Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Freedom of the press - unless it's about global warming

Quadrant magazine always has interesting articles, but this one really caught my eye.


A smallish newspaper The Geelong Independent has radically come out and stated that it will publish both sides of the global warming debate.
I'm always a bit bemused about 'the debate'.  The warmists tell us:
  • The debate's over, the science is settled, supposedly; and
  • The only debate now is to decide what to do about global warming.
I'm not aware of much of a debate and I certainly don't believe that ANY part of science is settled.

Newton's Laws proved to be adequate under some circumstances but were shown to be seriously flawed by Albert Einstein in the early 1900s and again in the 1930's by the discoverers of quantum mechanics like Neils Bohr, Edwin Schroedinger and Paul Dirac.  They continue to be challenged today.

No scientific hypothesis or theory is ever “settled”. (Science isn’t about consensus either, but I’ll leave that for another post.)

Back to freedom of speech:

The article goes on to say how the editor tried to organise an actual debate between a local sceptic, Alan Baron, and a teacher at the Gordon Institute of TAFE. The debate was to held at the TAFE College but was cancelled at the last minute.

I've enjoyed writing letter to the editor in our local paper, The Latrobe Valley Express and have had several published.  I also have noted long 'dry spells' (not caused by global warming, I might add) where I can't get a letter published.  I even tried a sucky one where I congratulated the paper on its open-mindedness.  They wouldn't publish that one either!

It turns out that some newspapers have an editorial policy not to publish letter from "deniers", whoever they are.  I don't think I've ever read anything by someone who actually says that there is no greenhouse effect.  The argument has always been about how much.

Here's a copy of the statement from the Fairfax Sydney Morning Herald.  I've left out the picture of scorched Earth that accompanied the story. As you can see, the Los Angeles Times also forbids deviation from the global warming dogma.

Say anything you want. As long as you don’t question the religion of global warming.

Climate change: a note from our Letters editors
October 21, 2013
Julie Lewis and Marc McEvoy, Letters editors

Five degrees hotter... our climate in 90 years. Digital illustration Photo: Matt Davidson
Letters editors rarely make the news. This month the Los Angeles Times letters editor, Paul Thornton, did just that with a story on letters from climate-change deniers. He said he would not print letters that asserted "there is no sign humans have caused climate change" because "it was not stating an opinion, it's asserting a factual inaccuracy". This attracted headlines declaring "Los Angeles Times riles climate-change sceptics by banning letters". Unsurprisingly, we've been asked how we treat letters from climate change deniers.
Herald editor-in-chief Darren Goodsir recently reiterated the paper's stance on global warming. "The Herald believes unequivocally in human-induced climate change," he told an audience at David Suzuki's City Talk. "It is an established fact. What we are much more interested in is not the sideshow over whether this phenomenon exists or not, but on how it should be tackled."
We do not ban writers whose views suggest they are climate change deniers or sceptics. We consider their letters and arguments. But we believe the argument over whether climate change is happening and whether it is man-made has been thrashed out extensively by leading scientists and on our pages and that the main debate now is about its effects, severity, and what society does about it.
Climate change deniers or sceptics are free to express opinions and political views on our page but not to misrepresent facts. This applies to all our contributors on any subject. On that basis, a letter that says, "there is no sign humans have caused climate change" would not make the grade for our page.



No comments:

Post a Comment

Got a comment for me?