Editing Out the Truth: Climate Science Censorship
Last Updated on October 10, 2020
Everything’s Cool (2007)
Just Pretend It Isn’t Happening
Although this one came out a couple years ago, it is no less relevant and insightful. In Everything’s Cool, the documentary filmmakers Daniel B. Gold & Judith Helfand explore the science of climate change.
They do so from the perspective of the US government’s response the climate crisis, and the plethora of scientific evidence and urgent warnings. It’s abundantly clear that immediate action is desperately needed to address the issue. Instead, it is being painfully ignored by the government executive.
Unfortunately for those of us who wish to continue living on a stable climate planet, alarms were met with cool cynicism and manufactured doubt. Rather than acting urgently on the science, the truth was distorted and buried. Top government officials pursued a policy of censorship in order to maintain the carbon emitting status quo.
Nothing To See Here…
During the Bush years in particular, the US President’s response was the often-repeated mantra, “we need more information.” Truth be told, this isn’t necessarily a horrible reply. It seems logical enough.
Well, it turns out that the government already had copious amount of information. Indeed, piles and piles of it. All of it leading to the same infallible scientific conclusion. The planet is warming as a direct result of human industrial activity.
Mum’s the Word
The problem highlighted by the documentary isn’t that the planet is heating up. Rather, it’s with government’s censorship of the crisis. Those who are supposedly responsible for representing the population’s best interests, were in fact covering up the truth about climate change.
This was done in a particularly oblique and manipulative manner. Not only by blocking out inconvenient reports, but by literally editing scientific publications. Words were inserted here and omitted there. Sneaky dealings were made, all with the aim of diluting the urgency of the message and generating confusion around the science.
One such arbitrator of truth was the man put in charge of overseeing what climate science-related publications are released by the government. This was White House chief of staff for the Council on Environmental Quality, Philip A. Cooney. Interestingly enough, Cooney also happened to be a non-scientist and former oil lobbyist.
US citizens would have continued on none-the-wiser were it not for the actions of a frustrated whistleblower by the name of Rick Piltz. A senior government climate research coordinator, Piltz resigned in protest of the censorship. Indeed, he came forward to denounce the “editorial” practice on scientific research. Clearly business interests and politics should not be dictating the terms of scientific understanding.
The Truth Comes Out
Although Cooney eventually resigned from his role, the damage was done. Cooney returned to the petroleum industry, but the mechanisms by which scientific censorship took place are still in effect. Clearly, things need to be corrected with regards government climate reporting.
Meanwhile, Piltz was left ostracized and destitute. He passed away from liver cancer in 2014. Although anger and frustration evidently took their toll on Plitz, concerned citizens are justified in their gratitude. As a result of his efforts, we are now aware of the censorship.
Piltz’s motivation for sharing the facts helped shed a light on these dubious government practices. Before his death he also managed to help start-up Climate Science Watch (2006). It’s an organization dedicated to protecting the public interest in its review of climate science. It serves as a watchdog for government climate science research.
In addition to his many activities and accomplishments bringing the issue to light, Plitz also won the Ridenhour Prize for Truth-Telling from The Nation Institute. His struggle and eventual success serves as a reminder to those who are fighting to the get the truth of climate science out to the public.
Dark Forces at Work
There were also a number of other mini-stories reported in the film, but I’ll leave you to discover them for yourself. Overall, I did enjoy the documentary. Despite the sourness of injustice & deceit, the message is an important one. I found it to be enlightening and certainly worthy of a recommendation.
Strangely enough it has also become increasingly difficult to find. Although I first watched it on Netflix, unfortunately it’s no longer available there (at least not in the US or Canada). Nor is it on iTunes! Hopefully this will be fixed soon.🤞
You’ll Now Have to Hunt for a Copy
In the meantime, there are other online sites that also share documentaries. Although I haven’t yet found one that offers currently offers it (or I would totally share a link).
As far as I can tell, you may need to find it at a local rental place (if such a place still exists where you’re at). Otherwise, you can maybe try to borrow from local library, or rent it via Amazon. It does appears available to rent via Amazon Prime, however this service is not yet available in Canada.