By Rob Bluey and Gregory Wrightstone
Greg Wrightstone, a geologist and expert reviewer for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, has posted content on LinkedIn for years. It would often spark discussions and debates among his followers—and the occasional trolls.
That changed last month. Wrightstone, who serves as executive director of the CO2 Coalition, says he was banned from LinkedIn for posting factual information related to climate change. His appeal was denied, leaving him without a voice on a platform where he had cultivated a significant following.
Having been stripped of his ability to communicate on LinkedIn, Wrightstone now is speaking out and sharing his story publicly with The Daily Signal.
On this episode of “The Daily Signal Podcast,” Wrightstone warns others about social media censorship and the consequences of limiting discussion and debate. Listen to the full interview or read a lightly edited transcript below.
Rob Bluey: We are joined on “The Daily Signal Podcast” today by Greg Wrightstone. He’s a geologist and executive director of the CO2 Coalition. He was also recently banned from a social media platform for writing about climate change. Greg, welcome to the show.
Greg Wrightstone: Good to be on with you. Too bad it’s in this type of a situation, though, but thank you for having me.
Bluey: Well, we want to make sure you have a voice to talk about these issues and The Daily Signal is certainly a place that you can do that. Greg, so often we hear about social media censorship from the likes of Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. And now apparently we can add LinkedIn to that list, thanks to you. Tell us what you did to be permanently banned by LinkedIn.
Wrightstone: I think I was too successful promoting the science, the facts, and the data that dispute this notion of man-made catastrophic warming. I posted very interesting and very scientific, but interesting, charts and facts on temperature data through time, [carbon dioxide’s] relationship with temperature to show that—and I’m a geologist—throughout geologic time, that CO2 really hasn’t been the control knob of the Earth’s climate.
I would post things and I’d get 20,000-25,000 views within 24 hours, getting a huge number of people signing up to be connections with me. Some days I might have 12 or 15 people signing up. And I had a large following, and I think it became too much. I got a couple of trolls on and it really, I think, it escalated when I blocked a couple of them that just got nasty. And this was in May and June. They started taking down my posts.
Again, this is material that’s from [the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration], NASA. I’ve been accepted as an expert reviewer for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. So, I’m part of that process. I’ve been recognized as an expert on climate, I just disagree with some of the conclusions on what the science says.
And I posted this science, and as I would post it, it would be removed. They said it’s false and misleading. This culminated in, I believe, in July, … just a few months ago. They said, “You’ve been banned. Your account was restricted to multiple violations of LinkedIn’s user agreement,” blah, blah, blah.
This is where it gets good. You can’t make this stuff up. The last post that I had, I stated, “It appears that I’ve been targeted by the LinkedIn overseers for elimination and deplatforming,” and then I went on. So I predicted that I was going to be deplatformed and banned on LinkedIn. Well, that post was removed as false and misleading, and then they banned me. …
So, my post said, “I think I’m going to be deplatformed.” They said it was false and misleading, and then they deplatformed me. You don’t know whether to laugh or cry when it comes to things like this. It’s just part of this cancel culture.
And I sat back and thought about it. I had such a great following. I said, “I’m going to go ahead and appeal this.” So, I did appeal it. I said, “I’m going to follow your LinkedIn User Agreement,” and here’s what I said, I said, “I will only post factually correct information.” That’s what I said. “I will only post factually correct information.”
They got back to me within 24 hours and they said, “Nope, you’re banned.” And this is a quote from them: “This type of content is not allowed.” So this kind of type of content, they’re referring to my request and statement that I will only post factually correct information.
Again, you don’t know whether to laugh or cry. All I can imagine [is] there’s some guy sitting in a California office in his home with a man bun and tattoos—not that I’m opposed to tattoos and man buns—with a degree in sustainable development from San Jose State, just gleefully hitting the ban or the censor button.
I’ve asked, too, when the things would be labeled false and misleading, I said, “OK, I’m a geologist, degreed geologist, expert reviewer for IPCC. Those are my qualifications. What are the qualifications of the reviewers?” And of course, they would never respond to that.
So, there we are. I’m banned for life, apparently.
Bluey: Now that you’ve been banned for life from LinkedIn, have you turned to other social media platforms to get your message out?
Wrightstone: Well, I joined the CO2 Coalition in January, beginning of January, as their executive director. We have a history and of course, we have a social media platform. I just hired a new media and technology, digital and communications manager for the CO2 Coalition. So, yeah. We’re doing this, the Facebook, Twitter, trying to get on some of the other media where we’re going to be doing a lot more videos and podcasts and livestreaming. And we have a lot of things planned.
So, this is a setback. We at the CO2 Coalition are no stranger to being censored. … In fact, last year, Daily Caller wrote us up a couple of times about the Facebook problems we had with being attempts at censorship. We got a letter from Stacey Abrams, Tom Steyer, and the leaders of 19 other environmental groups demanding that Facebook deplatform us and remove us for continual false and misleading [statements.] “We’re science deniers,” of course.
Nothing could be further from the truth. We’re a group of some of the top scientists in the world that are studying climate change. Dr. Richard Lindzen, Dr. Will Happer, both atmospheric physicists of some note, not just of some note, but legendary physicists. We’ve got Dr. Patrick Moore, sits on our board, who was a co-founder of Greenpeace. Pat Michaels, who’s a great climatologist.
We have all of these scientists that believe, we all believe, that the Earth ecosystems and humanity are thriving and benefiting and prospering from the combination of modest warming and increased CO2. We can see it by almost every metric.
And when you say things like that, people are probably going, “What? I’ve never heard that before.” But it’s true. The Earth is greening and thriving crops are breaking records year after year. And again, it’s this combination of warming and increased CO2. So, we’ll be getting the word out otherwise.
Shame on LinkedIn, shame on them. I can’t help but think that the people in charge, maybe they do want this type of censorship. Then again, maybe give them the benefit of the doubt. It’s just one renegade guy, again, punching gleefully on the cancel button. I don’t know.
But we’re getting the word out and doing that through lots of medium. In fact, I’ll be going to Nashville and taping a segment with Candace Owens for her next podcast that’ll be aired Wednesday. So, there are ways of getting around this. When you get a mouthpiece like Candace Owens with millions of people, I’ll be able to get this message out through there, and to heck with LinkedIn.
Bluey: That’s right. I mean, I think increasingly, obviously, we depend on social media platforms to share our news and information, and we do that ourselves at The Daily Signal, and we have faced our own efforts of these platforms trying to censor our contents. So, we definitely understand the ramifications of this. My question for you is, why is it on an issue like climate change that the left feels that they need to resort to these types of tactics in order to advance their agenda?
Wrightstone: We’re dangerous. They cannot allow our factually-based presentations to get out to the public, because what we say makes sense and it’s backed up by science. We’re rational, thoughtful people that are scientists, that are distinguished scientists, and we’re presenting this information. They cannot do it.
I look at this on a daily basis and there’s no way to sugarcoat it. Your listeners are being lied to on a daily basis about climate change and its ramifications. Not that it’s not happening. Of course, it is. We’ve been warming for more than 300 years, long before we started adding CO2. The first 250 years was naturally-driven and beyond. But we’re being told, “Oh, that all changed in the middle of the 20th century.” No, it didn’t. Those same natural forces are acting today as they have for millions of years.
And it’s this kind of information, we post the information confronting things like this false notion of the sixth mass extinction. I blew that up by looking at the same data that the U.N. claimed that there would be 1 million species going extinct over the next several decades. I looked at the same data and found that the average per year extinction was two species per year, not the 25,000 that they’re predicting.
We see that fires are actually in decline. The area burned in the United States, while it has been slightly increasing over several decades, is a fraction of what it was 80, 90, and 100 years ago. So, fires are declining. Landfalling hurricanes are declining. All of these things, if you look at the science, it flies in the face of these claims that are made by [President] Joe Biden and the alarmists. The climate-industrial complex, I call it.
Bluey: Greg, one of the things that is on my mind as a parent, and I know that we hear frequently from a lot of our audiences, that in schools today, you can’t escape this. I mean, they are confronted from a very early age, probably kindergarten on up, where they’re taught certain things and they’re not given the full perspective or even the facts that you yourself were trying to share, in this case on LinkedIn. What are some of the things that you would encourage our listeners to do, whether it’s for their own sake or for their kids’ sake or grandkids’ sake, to make sure that they have access to the truth?
Wrightstone: Well, we’re working and we recognize that at the CO2 Coalition, our membership—again, of scientists and engineers and climate experts—recognized just what you’re talking about and we’re working to fix that.
We’ve brought in educational experts. Dr. Sharon Camp is leading that. She’s an educator. We’re writing lessons plans. We don’t believe we’ll be able to get our information in the public schools. We look at them, we recognize that it’s just not going to happen. So what we’re doing is targeting the homeschooling crowd that’s large and growing with lesson plans, experiments to do. …
It’s really pretty cool how we can bring in just all sorts of science, concerning photosynthesis and things like that, and teach kids basic science and send them a message, again, that’s not indoctrinating them, but providing science and teach the scientific process to the children.
We’ve got a new website we’ll be launching shortly, and we’ve got a section called “The Kids Corner.” We’ll be having the educational videos.
We’re in the process of working through a series of children’s books. We’ve teamed up with a group out of Brazil and called the Intellectos. We’re working with them on books. They’re a science-based group down there trying to spread truth about Brazil and the Amazon rainforest.
There’s a lot that we’re trying to do to further this information and get it out there, and you can [go to] CO2Coalition.org to learn more about our group.
Bluey: Yeah, I see on your website that you encourage people to see for themselves, to make up their own mind, essentially, and not necessarily believe the narrative that might be prevailing in the media or from our politicians. And when it comes to some of the challenges that I think we face with that very notion, that’s one of the reasons we started The Daily Signal, to create another news source for Americans to get information.
What is it that going forward you intend to do with LinkedIn? I know you’ve gone through the appeals process. Do you feel that there might be an opportunity in the future to get them to reverse course, or have you given up hope on that and maybe just move on to another platform to get your information out to the public?
Wrightstone: Perhaps they hear this, perhaps they get … I know a lot of people have gone away from LinkedIn, they’ve heard about this and other events. Maybe we’ll shame them enough that they’ll take another look at it.
I mean, clearly, if I say I’m only going to post factual information and they come back and say, “No, it’s not allowed,” you would think somebody in charge would take a look at this after they hear about this, hopefully, on this podcast or other things we can talk about, and they’ll say, “Boy, somebody made a big mistake,” and then I would go back on. Again, because it was quite a good platform for me in disseminating the science, the facts, and the data.
Bluey: Well, Greg, thank you so much for joining “The Daily Signal Podcast” today. We appreciate it. And again, the website is CO2Coalition.org. And for those of you who were following Greg on LinkedIn, you do have an ability to sign up for updates on his website. So, there still are other vehicles where we can get the information in your hands, and The Daily Signal is certainly there to carry this story and expose other examples of social media censorship, because I think it’s so important, critically important, that Americans have access to this information and aren’t blocked by the big social media platforms.
So Greg, thank you for the work that you do, and we look forward to following updates and hopefully a better resolution with LinkedIn in the future.
Wrightstone: Hey, thank you so much, and I love the work you’re doing there. My wife and I both get your daily emails and it’s one of the first things we read. So, thank you for your work.
Bluey: We appreciate it.
Rob Bluey is executive editor of The Daily Signal, the multimedia news organization of The Heritage Foundation. Send an email to Rob.
Gregory Wrightstone is executive director of the CO2 Coalition and is a geologist with more than 40 years of experience researching and studying various aspects of the Earth’s processes.
Originally published by The Daily Signal. Republished with permission.