Denial problem

Not all arguments should be allowed to carry the same weight

Alf Randall’s recent letter (The News, Nov. 6) has prompted me to write. Not to criticize his letter, which is full of nonsense, but to wonder why The News would print it.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion about things that serve having an opinion: the qualities of a movie, the efficacy of a politician, or the food in a local restaurant. But it is ridiculous to entertain an opinion that goes against something factual, unless it’s for ridicule or humour.

For example, it is unlikely that much column space would be provided someone to rant on, offering their opinion that the Earth is flat, when we know it is a globe. Or to consider someone’s opinion that gravitation doesn’t occur because it is not mentioned in the Bible.

Like gravitation, a round Earth, and evolution, climate change is a fact. It has been accepted as truth by 97 per cent of climate scientists, that is, scientists who study the subject. And none of the major scientific institutions in the world dispute the theory of human-caused climate change — not one.

Is not the purpose of a newspaper to inform — that is, impart information or knowledge to the populace? How does the printing of these denials of the fact of climate change inform any of us?

How does compounding the already-existing doubt about the reality of climate change — manufactured by many of the same folks that told us tobacco was not harmful to our health — allow us to make wise decisions not only for ourselves but for future generations?

It’s so easy nowadays to determine the truth about the claims made by climate change skeptics like Randall.

Simply read any peer-reviewed paper on climate change, most of which can be accessed on the Internet. Skeptical Science (http://www.skepticalscience.com) is a good place to start.

Mark Twain said: “If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you’re mis-informed.”

There’s no reason he has to be right.

Neil Dawe

 

Parksville