5 x 8: Should climate change deniers be censored?

1) INFORMATION THROUGH INACCURACY

Climate change is a scientific fact, a fact that reasonable people have probably concluded too late to do much about the eventual demise of the planet. Misinformation — some of it intentional, some of it not — has stalled planetary action. As the Star Tribune reported over the weekend, within 100 years, Minnesota is going to be Kansas.

The Los Angeles Times recently adjusted its editorial policy on letters to the editor to disqualify the letters from climate change deniers.

In an editorial, editor Paul Thornton noted the work of scientists with peer reviews is more dependable and accurate than those who consider climate change a hoax perpetuated by liberals to curtail personal freedom.

Just last month, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — a body made up of the world’s top climate scientists — said it was 95% certain that we fossil-fuel-burning humans are driving global warming. The debate right now isn’t whether this evidence exists (clearly, it does) but what this evidence means for us.

Simply put, I do my best to keep errors of fact off the letters page; when one does run, a correction is published. Saying “there’s no sign humans have caused climate change” is not stating an opinion, it’s asserting a factual inaccuracy.

So when the Star Tribune printed its series over the weekend, it was widely expected a flood of letters from non-scientists would debunk it with a flurry of letters.

The Star Tribune is printing them. In an explanation today, commentary editor David Banks said the claims need to be debated.

In compiling letters packages, we have three main goals: to provide insight; to reflect, on the whole, the nature of the sentiments we receive, and to produce a collection that’s engaging for readers. These goals can be conflicting.

With respect to accuracy (on climate change or any topic), the fact is that many opinions are based on incomplete or inaccurate information or are underpinned by logical fallacies — yet they represent beliefs held, to varying degrees, by the public. If misconceptions exist, is it helpful to hide them, or better to debate them? A tenet of free speech is that the best ideas, through competition, will prevail.

We consider Readers Write to be a community forum, not merely the province of authorities. We grant participants some leeway while taking care to avoid deliberate misrepresentations. We are mindful of our own biases, and we recognize that the format makes it difficult for any one writer to treat a subject comprehensively. Still, we appreciate genuine insight and hope that, over time, we help readers come to informed conclusions about complex matters.

Which brings us back to the original question that led the Times to its position: Can you help readers come to informed conclusions about complex matters by presenting information that’s wrong?

Related: Study Shows That Human Beings Are Too Selfish to Fix Climate Change (Time.com).

How to Talk to Climate Change Deniers (New Republic).

2) SUPPORT FOR ‘THE VOICE’ ISN’T BROUGHT TO YOU BY….

There are a lot of famous voices at NPR but pretty soon Frank Tavares won’t be one of them. You probably don’t know him by name, but he’s “the voice” behind all the NPR underwriting announcements.

NPR has decided to dump Tavares, a freelancer, and move the operation in house for the sake of efficiency, according to the trade publication Current.

Today it will announce who that person will be.

  1. Listen 2003 NPR Day to Day Interview with Frank Tavares

3) WHAT’S IN OUR TRASH?

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has completed its survey of trash thrown out in the Duluth area and several other locations around the state, the Duluth News Tribune reports. The results are not pretty.

Despite efforts to get people to compost food waste, the percentage of trash that’s food has increased from around 13 to near 20 percent, the paper reports. Statewide, the average is about 18 percent.

“That one has us puzzled. … Are we really throwing out that much more food? Because we’re diverting thousands of tons of food away from the landfill to composting, which we weren’t doing in 1999, yet the number still went up,” said Karen Anderson, WLSSD community relations director. She added that the 1999 and 2013 surveys were not identical and differences may account for some of the apparent increase.

The percentage of trash that’s plastic is up, metal and paper is down, the survey said.

4) A HATER’S GUIDE TO THE WORLD SERIES

Almost as if they read my post last Friday, Time notes that two “insufferable” franchises are squaring off when the World Series begins tonite.

So it’s printed a guide for baseball fans who want both teams to lose.

4. Take advantage of every fan-related schadenfreude opportunity. Whatever you do, don’t ever get caught in the trap of empathizing with fans of either team. These are people who have gotten to fully enjoy baseball for weeks (or in the case of Mets fans, months) longer than you. They might be agonizing at this very moment, but they didn’t have to go to the trouble of figuring out how to hate-watch the World Series just to make it palatable like you did. At the very least, their team has won a pennant — a successful season by any measure — so don’t be afraid to make light of any minor misfortune via whatever avenue you deem most convenient (Twitter, text message, unnecessarily elaborate schadenfreude dance routine).

Also: prepare for an obscene amount of narratives connecting the joy the Red Sox bring as an antidote to the tragedy of the Boston Marathon bombing. There’s always the danger of trivializing the tragedy, NPR reported this morning.

Yes. There is.

5) WHAT’S IN A CHICKEN NUGGET?

You’re going to want to read this one before lunch.

A professor of medicine at the University of Mississippi has done an autopsy on a chicken nugget to see what’s inside.

“I was floored. I was astounded,” Richard D. deShazo tells The Atlantic about the moment he had a look under the microscope.

Here. Have a look for yourself:

(University of Mississippi)

The nugget from the first restaurant (breading not included) was approximately 50 percent muscle. The other half was primarily fat, with some blood vessels and nerve, as well as “generous quantities of epithelium [from skin of visceral organs] and associated supportive tissue.” That broke down overall to 56 percent fat, 25 percent carbohydrates, and 19 percent protein.

The chicken industry disputed the doctor’s findings.

Bonus I: How to trick or treat as an adult.

Bonus II: Want Your Daughter To Be A Science Whiz? Soccer Might Help (NPR)

Bonus III: A Father, A Daughter And Lessons Learned. The celebration of Story Corps’ 10th anniversary is providing a daily lift this week. (NPR)

TODAY’S QUESTION
When do you know what you read on Wikipedia is true?

WHAT WE’RE DOING

Daily Circuit (9-12 p.m.) – First hour: Doctor-patient relationships and the future of health care.

Second hour: Depending on where you stand on the political spectrum, the free market is either espoused as the key to prosperity and the basis for a well-functioning society, or decried as the source of all ills. Either way, it’s often viewed as something that acts independently of government. But journalist Alex Marshall argues in a new book that the idea of a free market is a myth.

Third hour: Tom Weber speaks with MPR’s Dave Peters about small towns that sometimes find themselves in the position of needing to merge or consolidate. Carleton and Thompson are in that situation now with a vote coming November 5th.

MPR News Presents (12-1 pm): An Intelligence Squared debate: “Should We Break Up the Big Banks?”

The Takeaway (1-2 p.m.) – The Obama administration faces mounting criticism over the Affordable Care Act rollout, The Takeaway examines federal health care policy past, present, and future. Plus: Iran’s tumultuous history and how it informed the nation’s modern relationship with the West.

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – Don Samuels’ resume includes stints as a gospel music star, a toy designer, an ordained minister and a city council member. Now he’s trying to add a new position: mayor of Minneapolis. MPR’s Curtis Gilbert continues his series.

Bret Neely reports Minnesota lawmakers in Congress unsuccessfully tried to delay or repeal the tax on medical device companies as part of the deal to end the government shutdown. With Democrats and Republicans now negotiating on fiscal issues, is a repeal of the tax any more likely? And if a repeal takes place, will it unravel the funding stream of the 2010 health care law?

The days of plague epidemics ravaging the population are long gone — for humans. Now, plague is killing small wildlife across the American West. NPR will have the story.

  • MrE85

    1) The Star Tribune is wrong on this one. Unless they want to accept letters denying gravity, the Holocaust, the moon landings, etc. as well. Nitpicking your headline, I was taught that only governments can “censor.” What the L.A. Times is doing is more accurately described as gatekeeping or just plain editing. I agree that censor is a more familiar term that communicates a point, but it’s an important distinction on what a newspaper decides to do on its own and what it is ordered to do by the government.
    3) We recycle and compost more than we throw away at Stately Moffitt Manor, but perhaps we are the exception. For us, it’s just a way of life.

    • Merriam: to examine in order to suppress or delete anything considered objectionable ; also : to suppress or delete as objectionable

      But I see your point. I think there are two things here (a) there is the newspaper as a private institution and (b) there is the community conversation and the avenues in which to participate.

      I consider editing to be the modification of the way something is said and censoring to be the banning of an idea, no matter how it’s said.

      I don’t necessary think censoring is wrong just because it’s censoring. But we can call it “moderating” if it makes you feel better. :*)

      • MrE85

        No media outlet or government has the power to ban an idea. They DO have the power to muffle public expressions of ideas, and I think we all agree this power should be used sparingly.

        • cybear

          I disagree that the Strib uses such power ‘sparingly’. They deserve to slip into oblivion.

          • MrE85

            Then you would get your news from where?

          • cybear

            Why is that any concern of yours?

  • 1)”Should climate change deniers be censored?”

    If these Bozos are censored, how else would we get our daily dose of “Climate Change Deniers” humor?

  • Nathan

    3) I know my household is adding to the plastic in the trash situation because our recycler only accepts plastics 1 & 2 and we don’t have anywhere to store the other varieties. My boyhood home in M.A. recycles almost everything, the transfer station takes all plastics, glass, metal, and paper products.

  • KTN

    Deniers should be kept off the page, they offer nothing other than hyperbole to their feeble argument. Skeptics however ought to have their voice heard. Skepticism drives science, and absent those arguments, blind following results.

    Two questions I like to ask deniers are:
    What other science do you also reject?
    Which peer reviewed journals do you use to bolster your argument?

    Both usually get the same response – stuttering and fumbling for an answer, followed by a change of subject.

    • Gayle

      Thanks KTN!
      Here are some questions I ask deniers:

      What information is missing that would change your mind about climate change?
      Have you followed the $? Who has a vested interest in dismissing the science of climate change?
      What financial interest does (name any of the hundreds of scientific organizations that have endorsed the research) have in supporting the reporting of climate change?

      As with your experience, I typically get some stuttered nonsensical response about socialism or redistrubution of wealth.

    • Erik Hare

      Thank you. I don’t know what a “denier” is necessarily, but I am definitely a skeptic. There are many problems with the current theory, but they start at the core of the problem.
      The thesis is that the warming we have seen on our planet is man-made. The antithesis, therefore, is that the warming is natural. You can never say the thesis is completely proven unless you can disprove the antithesis. Well, in this case that’s essentially impossible. So there has to be at least a small sliver of doubt no matter what.
      For my part, I’ve done enough work with infrared absorption to know that while CO2 is a healthy absorber water is even stronger. You can’t get into a good model for planetary warming without confronting the water cycle, which is incredibly complex. So most of the models are not working very well right now – and that’s completely understandable, frankly.
      I still believe that there’s a good chance that the warming is at least mostly natural, and that the recent crash in sunspots will show us if that particular theory for natural warming holds up. It may or it may not.
      That’s how science works – it asks questions far more than it supplies answers. If there is not room for that in a discussion we’re all in serious trouble, IMHO.

      • We know that the planet goes through natural cycles of warming and cooling. The question here is what happens when you add the man-made emissions on top of what has already been occurring naturally. So it’s not about whether carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions are “mostly natural” or “mostly man-made” as much as it’s about whether the man-made emissions are significant enough to throw the planet’s natural cycles out of whack and therefore change our climate. The consensus in the scientific community is that the answer to that question is “Yes.”

        • Erik Hare

          That is the consensus, yes. And there are hundreds of other very good reasons to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels even if climate change doesn’t turn out to be strongly correlated with man-made CO2 emissions.
          But I hope that there is always room for skepticism in the public debate even when there is a consensus among scientists. I realize how difficult that is given how the public does not think in the terms I’ve outlined, but to my mind it points to a need for more fundamental discussion and education rather than anything that even approaches censorship.

          • Absolutely. There is definitely a difference between saying “climate change is a hoax” and “the answer is not that simple.” Hopefully the LA Times will be careful enough to draw that distinction and allow for some skepticism to be part of the discussion.

            And I’m very glad you agree that there are many reasons besides and beyond climate change to reduce fossil fuel use. I think that’s actually the part I find most disappointing about media coverage of fossil fuel use is that it tends to focus almost exclusively on climate change without any discussion on other health and environmental issues related to mining, processing, emissions of toxic chemicals, particulate matter and so forth.

          • MrE85

            “…there are hundreds of other very good reasons to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels even if climate change doesn’t turn out to be strongly correlated with man-made CO2 emissions.”
            That’s very true. For more, see China. Or Bakersfield, CA.

          • denier

            We have amply demonstrated in North America that so-called fossil fuels can be used responsibly.

          • MrE85

            “So called?” “Responsibly?!?”

          • Denier

            “So-called” because there is a growing belief that fossil fuels are not fossil at all. They are the residue of the formation of the solar system. Most of the asteroids are carbonaceous.

            “Responsibly” – Absolutely. Since 1980, we have approximately doubled power generation while also reducing NOX and SO2 pollution by three quarters. Particulate pollution has been reduced dramatically. I call that responsible.

          • MrE85

            I’m glad you stopped by. Your views are…interesting.

          • Denier

            They are well informed.

          • tboom

            The same information leads me to a differnt conclusion.

  • bakhtin

    If the Strib is going to print letters containing claims that are already proven false beyond any reasonable scientific doubt, then it is incumbent on the newspaper to post the facts alongside any such letter.

    So, when someone writes, ‘Climate change is a hoax,’ the Strib should put next to it a statement explaining that the writer is in fact, wrong.

    The same goes with flat earthers, young earthers, gravity deniers, people who think the earth is at the centre of the solar system and/or universe, etc.

    Print all opinions, sure, but when those opinions are based on falsehoods, a responsible newspaper must point them out.

    • Wait – “Gravity Deniers”???

      LOLWUT??

    • Denier

      By that standard, the Strib should always post a statement that says, “Despite the predictions of the global warming models, scientific data demonstrate that there has been no warming in over fifteen years.”

  • kennedy

    Re #3: I suspect there are more people recycling than composting. As people recycle more material, it reduces the amount of recyclables in the trash. If the amount of food waste remains the same, it makes up a bigger percentage of the trash. That doesn’t mean that more food is being wasted.

  • Kassie

    I find it interesting that a lot of the commenters put the climate change deniers in with flat earthers, gravity deniers, etc. But those we laugh out of the room. I think they are more like the anti-vaccine people, the birthers, the people who think chiropractors will cure disease or that they can get a cure for a cold at their local food co-op. Anti-science people are everywhere and we give a lot of credit to them.

    • Denier

      The real science has long contradicted the global warming narrative. There never has been statistically significant warming.

      • KTN

        Really, never. How about the ice that used to cover Minnesota, roughly 10,000 years ago – where did it go? Did it melt, or did the flying spaghetti monster come and take it.

  • Joe D

    #1 To quote Mr. Dylan:
    Half of the people can be part right all of the time

    Some of the people can be all right part of the time
    But all of the people can’t be all right all of the time
    #5 I don’t think any of us should be surprised by this one…still rather disgusting though.

  • Ben Chorn

    Politics and science should never mix. If you blame something on a political that is backed by facts, then you’re simply wrong.

    • Kassie

      Politics and science should mix. Politicians should make decisions based on facts. For instance, AIDS policy for a long time was based on societies feelings towards the kind of people who got AIDS instead of the scientific facts behind AIDS. That was wrong. Or back in Nader’s heyday he used science to promote consumer protection laws.

      • Ben Chorn

        I agree that politics and science should mix- I meant to say that you shouldn’t be using politics to decide science, (ex. saying that climate change is made up by Liberals, or that vaccines can cause retardation because a politician told you).

        • Denier

          But, what if the climate change narrative was made up by liberals to justify their true agenda? Frankly, I can’t think of any other reason other than ideology why the data contradicting that narrative would be so thoroughly ignored. Why else, other than ideology, would there be so many repeated calls to suppress those who oppose the narrative?

          • tboom

            Ah, … because the data (the actual, scientifically acquired data), supports “the narrative”.

  • jon

    @#3) We compost and recycle… our compost bin is only 1 gallon, and gets taken out weekly, our recycling bin is ~13 gallons, and gets taken out weekly, Our garbage can is ~13 gallons, it is taken out weekly, but rarely more than half full. Other garbage (from projects around the house, old furniture that people won’t accept as a donation, etc.) will occasionally fill up the outside trash can…

    Really if we want people to compost, we need to start picking up compost as well as recycling and trash… I don’t think a lot of people have an interest in running their own compost bin, and even if they do they will read places that anything containing animal products (meats, cheeses, etc.) or oils can’t be composted, when infact they can, just not particularly well in a home compost pile, and not in a home compost pile without drawing unwanted critters to the neighborhood.

    @#5) Can someone share the contents of a chicken for comparison? Do the findings suggest that the chickens were just improperly trimmed, or that an entire chicken was ground up, and reconstituted as a collection of nuggets?

    • John

      I’ve lived in two places in MN in the last few years, both had compost pickup. Hutchinson (where I lived for 5 years) had compost as part of trash/recycling pickup weekly the whole time. St. Louis Park (I’ve lived here for over a year) has just added compost pickup as of Oct 1 (yay) – though they’ve had yard waste pickup for longer than I’ve been in town.

      I’m surprised by how hard it has been to get back in the habit of using the compost bin after being off it for a year. We’re moving that way, but our compost volume is well below what I expected, and garbage has not gone down as much as I thought it would. I expect this to change as we get our habits reformed.

  • I think Bob has touched on this before, but I wonder how much our tendency to throw away food has to do with the “sell-by/use-by/best-by” dates we see on food packaging? The Natural Resources Defense Council thinks it’s a real problem – http://www.nrdc.org/food/expiration-dates.asp

    • Kassie

      Everything should just have born on dates, like Bud Light, right?

  • MikeB

    The Strib letters section is limited real estate. What is the value in giving that space to crackpot theories? That’s what you see in the comments section. Insisting that 2+2=5 does not move the discussion forward. Is the purpose of the letters section to provide a representative sample of the letters received, to illuminate under voiced opinions, or to actually learn something?

    Perhaps a feature story about those climate denialists and interviewing them, getting to the reasons of why the scientific data is ignored due to political, cultural, commercial, or other reasons. It does track to the politics of the moment so maybe it is too predictable.

  • Scott44

    So, folks want to censor people for voicing an opinion? If that is the case the people that believe in little people living in the center of the earth should be censored or the people that still think the Vikings have a chance this season. Get a grip folks, we dont censore people that dont believe in bigfoot!

  • Let’s return to the original question:

    Can you help readers come to informed conclusions about complex matters by presenting information that’s wrong?

    • Chuck

      Sure, people can come to informed conclusions, because even wrong information can and should be discussed; this comments section demonstrates that principle in action. If information truly is wrong, the truth will eventually emerge as a consensus, even though some people may never be convinced of it. Those people occupy the margins and will rightly be ignored by the mainstream. If the wrong information has any merit at all, that too will be revealed. (Whether the information is proven wrong early enough to matter is a different issue.)

      • But that’s a long and terribly inefficient process — the two-year debate over a birth certificate comes to mind. Is this is not an issue where time dictates we leapfrog past the deniers, marginalize them as being unworthy of participating in the public debate, and, in fact, move THAT debate to a more intellectual level in the recognition that the species doesn’t have a lot of time to fool around?

        • Chuck

          Yes, the process can be inefficient. But even in the case of the birth certificate, for example, those who claim that the president is a foreigner have been pushed to the margins. No one, save other “birthers” perhaps, takes the issue too seriously. No one in Congress, for example, has had anything to say about the topic for some time because there is no longer a political gain to be made except within certain small circles. In the case of climate change, deniers are already being pushed to the margins, at least to the extent that at worst, current thought is “what can it hurt to act as if climate change is real?” At best, deniers will be drowned out by more reasoned voices, and we can move forward from there.

    • Denier

      The Warmists have amply demonstrated that you can come to ill-informed decisions and conclusions by presenting information that is wrong. We are now blowing $1billion per day worldwide on stopping something that never was.

  • Jean

    One of the easiest questions I’ve had to answer in a long time. NO. Why no? Last I checked, the 1st Amendment was still active in the U.S.A.

    • But the 1st Amendment only applies to prior restraint at the hands of government, not an editor.

      • Denier

        While you have a point, I contend that institutions like the Strib, and their editors, have a professional obligation to refrain from censoring. In fact, their failure on this explains a good deal about their failure as a business.

  • Thomas A. Szyszkiewicz

    The last I checked, man-made climate change or global warming is a theory. It’s also a hard theory to test and prove, as Erik Hare pointed out. The way scientific theory works is it’s based on empirical evidence and making a theory based on that evidence and then doing experiments to see if the theory holds up to the evidence. But the fact that there has not been an increase in the world’s temperature over the last 15 years caused a huge embarrassment for the U.N. before they issued their most recent report. That piece of empirical evidence doesn’t support the theory they’re putting forward. I also find it interesting that people who put this theory forward don’t like
    to look at the Medieval Warm-Up and the subsequent mini-Ice Age,
    something that obviously happened without the same amount of
    human-generated carbon and other gases in the atmosphere.

    Keeping skeptics out of the newspaper pages or other media outlets smacks of totalitarianism. Man-made climate change is a theory, relativity is a theory, gravity is a theory, evolution is a theory. Germ theory wasn’t accepted until some 40 years after it was developed. Until Einstein came along, Newtonian physics ruled the day. Some greater genius than Einstein may come along some day and upset his theories. Something may be discovered that throws all of Darwin’s theories out the window. This is not to say that these theories have no basis in reality because they do. But they remain theories that can be upended if other discoveries are made. So people have the right to express their disagreement with scientific theories and to have that disagreement published or aired.

    Someone here said, “Follow the money.” Indeed. But while there are large companies that want to keep their businesses unregulated, there are also all kinds of researchers who want all kinds of grants to keep doing what they’re doing on global warming research. To think that researchers working on this theory aren’t effected by money and greed any more than are corporate interests is naive at best. So yes, follow the money and see where it all leads and you’ll find people with vested interests all over the place.

    So given the fact that man-made climate change is a scientific theory, one that can be challenged by other scientific evidence, I find it interesting that people in the secular world are accepting it as if it is dogma, a dogma to be imposed on all peoples, and woe to those who don’t accept it. Sounds rather like the Spanish Inquisition to me.

    • MrE85

      No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!!!! (sorry, old Monty Python joke)
      I’m sorry, but we don’t have time for debate. While others dither, I and others are moving forward on cleaner fuels, cleaner engines and other ways to reduce emissions. If I’m wrong, the worse that happens is the air got cleaner, new industries and jobs are created, and we are less dependent on oil.

      • Thomas A. Szyszkiewicz

        And that’s great, I have no problem with that at all. What I do have a problem with is treating this scientific theory as if it’s dogma and treating dissenters as if they’re worse than heretics.

        • Chris Hatch

          I would only ask you to review the scientific definition of theory. I do not think it means what you think it means.

      • Denier

        Well, there is the matter of vast resources being wasted on very high cost energy. Like what? Wind. Solar. At several times the cost of fossil fuels, and much worse wrt reliability, both are horrifically expensive.

        • MrE85

          There are those who would disagree — in a peer review journal, citing U.S. government figures:

          http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/09/22/solar-and-wind-power-now-cheaper-than-coal-power-in-the-u-s/

          • Denier

            As a subject matter expert myself on the topic, I can tell you that the article full of ignorance. There is not a single source cited in whom I have the slightest confidence. In fact, it looks to be a re-write of an NRDC press release.

            Firstly, there is no single cost for coal generation. These clowns are comparing eastern coal to wind when you should be comparing western (PRB) coal and lignite. Eastern coal generators are already being driven from the market by natural gas. They are also adding in the “social costs”, but fail to add in the social benefits. I can prove anything with that methodology.

            Second, the market value of electricity at WAUE (the pricing point on the grid for western MN that Buffalo Ridge wind farms look to is $25/megawatthour. The cost of wind is well over $100/mwh. What’s more, coal also has capacity value of 100% while wind’s is officially 11% and should be 3% according to MISO’s market monitor. Capacity in the midwest is not much of a value factor, but that can change.

    • KTN

      You say that there has not been an increase in the earths temperature in 15 years, but NOAA says this is the 333rd straight month of above global surface temperatures above the 20th century average. Who’s right?

      Where we stand in Minneapolis was once covered by ice, so sure, the climate changes, but like many of the previous increases in the earths temperature, those rises were a result of some disturbance, large volcano eruptions, a meteor strike, and did not happen organically. Now we have large increases of atmospheric carbon, and no event to trigger that rise (except 150 years of spewing carbon into the atmosphere) .

      Want proof – why do hardwoods planted in the Arrowhead region grow now, when 20 years ago the thought would have been laughed at – planting oaks in the BWCA, sure that will work. Except that is what is happening. Warmer overnight temps allow these trees to grow and survive the winter.

    • Denier

      Censoring skeptics only “smacks” of totalitarianism? It IS totalitarianism. Do you guys really want to set this precedent? What happens when you LOSE control?

  • Peter Millin

    Really. Censor people for their opinion? Be careful what you wish for. Tomorrow it could be you.

    • There are things we’re not allowed to say on the radio. It’s not like there’s an absence of censorship now.

      • Beware the boomerang

        Who censors ideas?

      • Peter Millin

        Its one thing to cry fire in a crowded theater. its different from censoring opinions.
        The earth is warming, althought the latest data suggests differently, but what is the cause?
        It is quite arrogant for humans to predict the cause of an earth that is billions of years old, when we cant even predict tomorrows weather 🙂

  • Final notice: For you newcomers, we don’t allow insults — “idiotic”, for example — in any comments. Comment on the issue, not the commenters. I don’t have a problem banning people who can’t understand this concept.

    • Denier

      Then why do you allow posts that conflate flat earthers with global warming deniers? That’s hypocrisy.

      • You may not specifically refer to other commenters individually and characterize them. You’re free to rail on whatever philosophies you choose, however.

  • Jay T. Berken

    #1) This is can be a double edge sword. On the one hand you would want the commenters reading the article and viewing the other comments to at least be exposed to their misinformation. If one’s comment are censored, the commenter has the tendency to then off-hand the article as more liberal/conservative biased and will retreat to their echo chamber and not learn something new even if they do not agree. The goal of comments, I think, is to expand the conversation about or to learn off of individual experiences, whether agreed or not, other than the articles/sources writers and editors.
    On the other hand, by keeping these comments, it can reinforce the readers to rethink their beliefs off of information that is not factual. The reader can say that if this reliable article/source allows these comments, then it must be true.

  • TJ Swift

    Climate change is a scientific fact. We know, for instance, that several times in it’s history, the Earth was largely covered in ice…but you may have noticed we’ve been between ice ages lately.

    Anthropomorphic climate change on the other hand, is not only *not* scientific fact, it’s a theory that has necessitated the wholesale surrender of scientific ethics to perpetuate.
    The silencing of the skeptics is already well under way, and for that we should all be very fearful of our future.

  • LiveScience/NBC has a story tonite saying Arctic temps are highest in 44,000 years.