Inconvenient Censorship Stanford U. Bans Climate Film from Airing

Written by Marc Morano


marcmoranoStanford University has banned a documentary film from airing a climate change interview with one of its prominent warming activist professors, Stephen Schneider. After legal threats from Stanford University, the documentary filmmakers were forced to use a blank screen and an actor had to read the transcript of Schneider's banned climate interview. The skeptical global warming documentary "Not Evil Just Wrong", set for its international premier on October 18, 2009, interviewed Schneider about his flip flop from a coming ice age proponent in the 1970s to his current advocacy of man-made global warming fears. Schneider is a professor of biological sciences at Stanford University. (email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Irish filmmaker Phelim McAleer told Climate Depot: "Lawyers for Stanford University have tried to ban our documentary from reporting on how one of their professors previously predicted an imminent ice-age, but is now a leading global warming advocate." (Schneider joins others like Obama Science czar John Holdren. See: Climate Depot's Factsheet on 1970s Coming 'Ice Age' Claims -- 'Fears of a coming ice age, showed up in peer-reviewed literature, at scientific conferences, by prominent scientists and throughout the media')

To watch the "banned" video excerpt from "Not Evil Just Wrong" of an actor portraying Schneider's interview click here.

Climate Depot has obtained a copy of Stanford University's legal letter prohibiting the Irish filmmakers from airing Schneider's interview in which he is questioned about his inconvenient conversion from a global cooling advocate in the 1970s to a present day global warming activist.

'You are prohibited'

Stanford University sent a scathing letter to the documentary makers declaring: "You are prohibited from using any of the Stanford footage you shot, including your interview of Professor Stephen Schneider. Professor Schneider likewise has requested that I inform you that he has withdrawn any permission for you to use his name, likeness or interview in connection with any film project you may undertake."

'Removed from your footage'

The Stanford letter concluded: "Please confirm to me in writing that you have received and will comply with Stanford's directive that all shots of Stanford University (both indoors and outdoors) and all parts of Professor Schneider's interview will be removed from your footage. We appreciate your prompt attention to this matter."

Climate Depot has also obtained the exclusive pre-release video and the transcript of Schneider's interview which Stanford University lawyers deemed too hot for broadcast. McAleer called on Stanford to withdraw the legal threat which has forced the filmmakers to use a blank screen and an actor's voice to read the text of Professor Schneider's interview about his changing climate positions.

"The lawyers at Stanford sent the unprecedented letter after we asked Schneider about his flip flopping on climate alarmism," the film's director McAleer explained. McAleer said he is shocked at the legal maneuvering by Stanford to censor an interview with one of their most prominent professors.

'Chilling effect'

"This will have a chilling effect on academic freedom and students. It sends out the message - don't ask your professors embarrassing questions because they will not be tolerated," McAleer said.

McAleer's documentary "Not Evil Just Wrong" takes a skeptical look at man-made global warming claims. "Not Evil Just Wrong" attempts to "show the human cost of extreme environmentalism." "It reveals how global warming legislation such as cap-and-trade will chase jobs out of America during one of the biggest recessions in living memory," McAleer said.

To watch the "banned" video excerpt from "Not Evil Just Wrong" of Schneider's interview click here.

'Sufficient to trigger an ice age'

In the 1970s Professor Schneider was one of the leading voices warning the Earth was going to experience a catastrophic man-made ice-age. However he is now a member of the UN IPCC and is a leading advocate warning that the Earth is facing catastrophic global warming. In 1971, Schneider co-authored a paper warning of the possibility of a man-made "ice age." See: Rasool S., & Schneider S."Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and Aerosols - Effects of Large Increases on Global Climate", Science, vol.173, 9 July 1971, p.138-141 - Excerpt: 'The rate of temperature decrease is augmented with increasing aerosol content. An increase by only a factor of 4 in global aerosol background concentration may be sufficient to reduce the surface temperature by as much as 3.5 deg. K. If sustained over a period of several years, such a temperature decrease over the whole globe is believed to be sufficient to trigger an ice age."

Schneider was still promoting the coming "ice age" in 1978. (See: Unearthed 1970's video: Global warming activist Stephen Schneider caught on 1978 TV show 'In Search Of...The Coming Ice Age' - September 20, 2009) By the 1980's, Schneider reversed himself and began touting man-made global warming. See: "The rate of [global warming] change is so fast that I don't hesitate to call it potentially catastrophic for ecosystems," Schneider said on UK TV in 1990.

'Scary scenarios'

Schneider also has made controversial remarks advocating "scary scenarios" to convince the public of climate threat. "So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have." (For full context of Schneider's quote see here.)

'Slaughter' skeptics in a debate?

Schneider also reversed himself after issuing a public debate challenge to skeptical scientists in 2009. Schneider originally boasted that skeptics would be "slaughtered" in a debate, but after numerous challengers stepped forward, he quickly backed off and declared he would not "schedule some political show debate." See: Scientist who boasted he could 'slaughter' skeptics in debate backs off...'I certainly will not schedule some political show debate in front of a non-scientific ' - June 1, 2009

1970s 'Ice Age' Fears Were Widespread

Despite many claims to the contrary, the 1970's global cooling fears appeared in peer-reviewed literature, scientific conferences and were widespread among many scientists and in the media. Newsweek Magazine even used the climate "tipping point" argument in 1975 to hype global cooling. Newsweek wrote April 28, 1975 article: "The longer the planners delay, the more difficult will they find it to cope with climatic change once the results become grim reality."

But on October 24, 2006, Newsweek admitted it erred in predicting a coming ice age in the 1970's. (See also: NYT: Obama's global warming promoting science czar Holdren 'warned of a coming ice age' in 1971 - September 29, 2009 & also see: NASA warned of human caused coming 'ice age' in 1971 - Washington Times - September 19, 2007 and also see: 1975 New York Times: "Scientists Ask Why World Climate is Changing, Major Cooling May Be Ahead", May 21, 1975 and see: 1974 Time Magazine: "Another Ice Age," June 24, 1974)

For a full report on the 1970's ice age scare, see Climate Depot's 1970's Ice Age Fact Sheet. Climate Depot's Factsheet on 1970s Coming 'Ice Age' Claims -- 'Fears of a coming ice age, showed up in peer-reviewed literature, at scientific conferences, by prominent scientists and throughout the media'

Climate Depot Exclusive: Transcript of Professor Stephen Schneider segment from "Not Evil Just Wrong." International Release Date October 18, 2009:

Video Clip of Prof. Schneider's interview from "Not Evil Just Wrong" available here.

VO (Voice Over): In the 1970s one of those who believed the earth was facing an ice age caused by humans was Professor Stephen Schneider of Stanford University. However Professor is now one of the leading scientists claiming the earth is heating up because of man made global warming. He is a senior member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and a close advisor to former vice-president Al Gore. Professor Schneider was with Al Gore when he heard he had won the Nobel peace prize.

Al Gore: I am of course deeply honored...

VO: In the 1970s he was a leading voice warning of an imminent ice-age Professor Schneider now gives frequent interviews warning the complete opposite - that we are all in danger from imminent Global Warming.

Prof. Stephen Schneider: Don't be poor in a hot country, don't live in a hurricane alley, watch out about being on a cost or in the arctic, it's bad idea to be up in high mountains with your glaciers melting and losing your water supply and if you are in Mediterranean climate you're gonna have a fire season in the summer and it's really gonna be a problem.

VO: Professor Schneider was interviewed for this documentary. We asked him about his support in the 1970s for the theory of man-made Global Cooling. After the interview lawyers for the university wrote stating we could not use our footage of Stanford and that Professor Schneider was withdrawing permission for his interview to be screened. According to legal advice we are prevented from screening Professor Schneider's image or footage of Stanford filmed during our interview. But we can report what he said, using an actor saying his actual words.

Actor's Voice (words of Prof Stephen Schneider): I was initially in 1970 and '71 more worried about cooling.

VO: Indeed Professor Schneider in the 1970s published papers and praised books which warned of the devastating consequences of the forthcoming man made ice age. But within ten years Professor Schneider and the scientific consensus claimed the earth was experiencing global warming.

Actor's Voice (words of Prof Stephen Schneider): The scientific community is very, very confident that it is warming.

VO: Despite this dramatic reversal of the scientific consensus Prof. Schneider, Al Gore and their supporters are now urging governments to increase taxes and ban oil coal and gas, the fossil fuels, that are the main source of worlds cheap energy.

End "Not Evil Just Wrong" transcript excerpt.


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