Apr 1 2010

Letters to the Editor

Hunting for Orion in Green Press List

I enjoyed the environment focus published in my recent e-edition of Extra! (2/10), but I am puzzled by the omission of Orion magazine from Miranda Spencer’s round-up of notable environmental magazines and websites (“Environmental Journalism in the Greenhouse Era”). Orion magazine is an extremely ambitious and high-end nature magazine, focused on the very topics Ms. Spencer raises. On the topic of climate change, it has consistently published writers and works of the top rank, and is a far more important voice than the others Ms. Spencer highlights, especially Mother Jones, which saw fit to write an entirely specious greenwashing profile of Reagan-era hack James Woolsey.

Martin White

Salem, N.Y.

Power Behind Climate Change Deniers

Unfortunately, many U.S citizens are no longer capable of independent thought in regards to anthropogenic climate change. Indoctrination of many citizens, especially those who are unaware of the scientific method, is taking place via email across the country. These messages of climate-change denial, conspiracy theories and the distrust of science-based reasoning are included with patriotic, pious and anti-intellectual themes.

Even infotainment outlets are getting in on the act of spreading the dogma by pretending to present a balanced argument while presenting the opinion of the one scientist out of 100 who will go on the record to document the lack of certainty within the scientific community instead of documenting the strong consensus which actually exists.

On top of the normal uninterest, this willful ignorance, be it due to party affiliation, religious conviction or just good old-fashioned corporate greed, has certainly stymied any attempts to change our country’s energy policy.

I have my own conspiracy theory: I suspect that the hydrocarbon energy business, the Republican Party (at least when Cheney was vice president) and even some in the media have conspired to create doubt and confusion regarding the scientific consensus. Even “educated” folks, like some of our federal congressmen and senators, have attested that the recent snow-storms in the D.C. area indicate that global warming theories are a liberal farce.

You folks have your work cut out for you.

Chris Reaka

Glendale, Ariz.

Where’s the Denialist Debunking?

I found the FAIR article “‘Climategate’ Overshadows Copenhagen: Media Regress to the Bad Old Days of False Balance” (2/10) to be somewhat lacking in substance.

In the article FAIR makes prolific mention of how the press received the whole “Climategate” affair. That there was a false “balance” to the news favoring critics of global climate change far more than they deserved. It was only mentioned once in your article (that I noticed) the response of one global climate scientist who claimed that the leaked e-mails were taken “out of context.” From there it seems it was simply implied or assumed in the article that those who believe in the existence of global warming are predominately correct in their views. In my opinion, this point was not very well established.

I really wish there had been more effort in your article to explain why critics of global warming were wrong or to explain why global warming is still something to worry about. I’ve seen a number of articles now about “Climategate” and have come away with the impression that climate change theories are somewhat dubious in their foundation. Therefore, when I saw your article, most of what I saw was simply the complaint that the press spent more time focusing on the “deniers” than on their opponents. This in itself is not necessarily a crime.

What I, the reader, would like to know most is whether the press focused on the correct viewpoint. As it stands, most all I got from the article was that the press favored a particular viewpoint. This really doesn’t say much of any real value to me. For all I know, it’s like accusing the press of favoring those who say the Earth is round over those who say it is flat.

Granted FAIR’s mission is to expose bias in the media, however, I really think it would serve everyone better if more attention was given in this case toward first establishing that the alleged bias was focusing on the wrong viewpoint.

Gary Childress

Apopka, Fla.

Editors’ reply: Please refer to the three in-depth debunkings of denialist claims cited in the article: Union of Concerned Scientists (ucsusa.org, 12/2/09), Pew Center on Climate Change (Climate Compass, pewclimate .org/blog, 11/24/09) and environ- mental blog EnviroKnow.com (11/25/09).

Climate Change Game Over

Good for FAIR for focusing on the environment, but that game has ended. CO2 is today 387.27 parts per million. Anything over 350 is extremely serious. When we hit 400 ppm—or before—things will really start to happen. Be afraid, very afraid.

We have two choices: 1. Bury our heads in the sand and say, “It will all turn out OK, somehow.” 2. Go into a defensive mode to save part of humanity.

Read or see on Google videos or audios of James Lovelock—probably the world’s leading earth scientist. In case you don’t know Lovelock, he’s the scientist who recognized the ozone hole, its threat, then proposed the successful solution Al Gore talks about. He is an independent scientist who has worked with NASA on the Mars Lander, with JPL and many other top organizations.

So why doesn’t FAIR become the first media kid on the block to break a story that mainstream media just can’t bring themselves to report or even look at—the end of the world! You’d think that would be blockbuster news—right? But would it sell soap? Probably not. Lucky for us, FAIR does not sell soap.

So why not at least read up on scientists like Lovelock and Lynn Margulis and many others and see why we are way, way past saving the polar bears—as cute as those cubs are.

Best regards—I hope FAIR has the huevos to tell this story loud and clear.

William Gloege

Santa Maria, Calif.