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Thursday, 15 October 2009

Busting the climate deniers via Youtube

This post is my contribution to Blog Action Day

Youtube is really really really big. In the US searches on the site are around a quarter of all Google searches.

In this environment battles range as users debate issues via their own video creations whether via talking head to webcam or produced-up little films. Amongst the hot topics is climate change.

Peter Sinclair aka greenman3610 runs a graphic design and animation studio in Midland, MI and produces the very effectively done 'climate crock of the week' series. An activist and writer for 30 years in the areas of energy and environment, he is best placed to tear to shreds the sort of unscientific, unresearched nonsense on climate change which appears in the media frequently enough to feed a weekly series.

Battle, on Youtube, often involves DMCA, (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) claims against a video which usually results in it being removed from YouTube.

The DMCA, (Digital Millenium Copyright Act), was originally intended to protect copyright owners from internet abuse, but has systematically been used improperly, notoriously by authoritarian religious groups and cults (Scientologists) and people such as creationists, in order to restrain criticism and free speech on the internet.

This is what happened to Sinclair in July when he criticized and parodied the work of well known climate denier Anthony Watts, and his "" project.

Copyright law allows for critical review, parody, and transformational use of material.

Sinclair filed a 'counternotice' with Youtube, affirming, "under penalty of perjury, that I have a good faith belief that the material was removed or disabled as a result of a mistake or misidentification of the material to be removed or disabled."

Two weeks later Youtube told him, "this content has been restored and your account will not be penalized."

What the silencing attempt resulted in was greater traffic and visibility for Sinclair's videos. This has also been the case with other great science defenders using Youtube, such as Thunderf00t, an English-expat who takes apart creationist.

In his latest piece Sinclair takes on how one of the world's most respected and experienced climate modelers, Mojib Latif's observations in September on natural climate variability were misinterpreted by climate change deniers.

Ironically, Latif's message was precisely that natural variations in the long term warming might be misinterpreted, by the media, out of ignorance or malice!

Earlier he took on Channel Four's unfortunately resonant film 'The Great Global Warming Swindle'.

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