Amerikansk avis afviser læserbreve fra klimaskeptikere

“At sige ‘Der er ingen tegn på at klimaforandringerne skyldes menneskelig indvirkning’ er ikke at sige sin mening. Det er det at formidle en faktuel unøjagtighed.”
Los Angeles Times


LosAngelesTimes_onclimate

Verden har nu i hvert tilfælde mindst én avis, som åbent tager et standpunkt i forhold til klimaforandrings-problematikken og siger: “Breve, som er skrevet på usandt grundlag, som for eksempel påstanden om at ‘der er ingen tegn på at klimaforandringerne er menneskeskabte’, bliver ikke trykt i vores avis.”


Debatredaktøren, der tog stilling
Den 5. oktober 2013 skrev Los Angeles Times’ debatredaktør Paul Thornton: “Sagt helt enkelt, så bygger denne indvending mod præsidentens sundhedsplejelov på en løgn, og breve, der har et usandt grundlag (f.eks dem, der siger, at der ikke er nogen tegn på at klimaforandringerne er menneskeskabte) bliver ikke optaget.”

Klimabenægterne var naturligvis ikke glade for at læse dette. Men avisens læserbrevsredaktør var upåvirket af deres klager, som han forklarede det i en respons den 8. oktober 2013:

“For så vidt angår brev om klimaforandringer, får vi masser af dem, der benægter at der finder en global opvarmning sted. Og at sige, at de “benægter” er en underdrivelse: Mange skriver, at klimaforandringer er en skrøne, noget som er blevet opfundet af venstreorienterede, der vil indskrænke den personlige frihed.

Inden vi går i detaljer om, hvorfor disse breve ikke bliver publiceret på vores sider, skal jeg skynde mig at medgive, at bortset fra min hurtigt overståede biologieksamen i gymnasiet, kan jeg ikke bryste mig af mange videnskabelige udmærkelser. Jeg er ikke ekspert, når det kommer til vores planets komplekse klimaprocesser eller andre videnskabelige felter. Så når jeg skal beslutte, hvilke breve, der skal slippe gennem nåleøjet blandt hundredvis om et så tungtvejende spørgsmål som klimaforandringerne, så må jeg stole på eksperterne – med andre ord, de forskere med høje universitetsgrader, der er dybt begravet i grundig research og har strenge peer review principper.

Disse forskere har givet rigeligt med beviser på, at menneskelig aktivitet faktisk er årsag til klimaforandringerne. Blot her i forrige måned sagde Det Mellemstatslige Panel for Klimaforandringer – et FN-organ, der består af verdens bedste klimaforskere – sagde det nu er 95 procent sikker på, at det er menneskehedens afbrænding af fossile brændstoffer, som skaber den globale opvarmning. Debatten lige nu er ikke, om der er beviser for dette (hvad der tydeligvis er), men om hvad dette bevis betyder for os.

Kort sagt, jeg gør mit bedste for at holde breve med den slags vildfarelser helt væk fra avisens debatsider, og når det sker, at der slipper ét igennem, så publicerer vi en rettelse. At sige ‘Der er ingen tegn på at klimaforandringerne skyldes menneskelig indvirkning’ er ikke at sige sin mening, det er det at formidle en faktuel unøjagtighed.”

Paul Thornton respons modtog 5.000 Facebook-‘likes’ inden for tre dage.


Los Angeles Times – 8. oktober 2013:
On letters from climate-change deniers
By Paul Thornton


Grist – 10. oktober 2013:
L.A. Times won’t publish climate-denier letters
By John Upton


Mother Jones – 21 October 2013:
How 9 Major Papers Deal With Climate-Denying Letters
The Los Angeles Times took a stand against climate misinformation on its letters page. Will other newspapers follow its lead? By Jeremy Schulman


Media Matters for America – 31 October 2013:
REPORT: Climate Denial Letters In Top US Newspapers
LA Times Policy Against Climate Denial Letters To The Editor Not Followed By Other Papers


“Reddits videnskabsforum har bandlyst klimabenægtere. Hvorfor gør ikke alle aviserne det samme?

Det er et godt spørgsmål. Du kunne med god grund spørge din egen avis om det samme.

Reddits videnskabsforum er en lille del af Reddit, men ikke desto mindre har over fire millioner abonnenter. Til sammenligning er det omtrent dobbelt så mange som The New York Times har.


» Læs mere: grist.org


“At a minimum, good journalism — and the readers’ right to be fully informed — requires identifying a source’s stake. Is the source an environmentalist or coal or oil spokesperson? Their interests are clear.”
Dan Becker og James Gerstenzang i USA Today




Forecast the Facts kampagne

Did you see the letter to the editor that USA Today printed on October 16?

“[W]e have had a colder than normal winter, spring and summer, so I am going with no global warming.” 

Unfortunately, this blatant misinformation is not unique to USA Today. Even as front pages fill with images of climate disasters, newspapers across the country are publishing climate denial in their letters to the editor pages.

So last month, when The Los Angeles Times announced that they would refuse to print letters that deny manmade climate change, Forecast the Facts seized the moment and asked other national newspapers to follow suit. Although global warming deniers have claimed that the policy is censorship, we agree with the L.A. Times’ stance on ethical journalism: we’re all entitled to our own opinions, but we’re not entitled to our own facts. Our petition for climate-denial-free newspapers received over 26,000 signatures, widespread media coverage, and attention from the editors themselves – The Washington Post actually came out and agreed with L.A. Times’ policy.

Still, USA Today and other major newspapers are reluctant to follow The LA Times’ lead – so, it’s up to us to build the public pressure it’ll take to convince them do the right thing. Together, we can create a groundswell of pressure by getting local newspapers across the country to adopt a policy that rejects climate denial – and it all starts with you.

Your local newspaper serves your specific community, and the editors are very receptive to what you have to say. Your paper is also smaller in size and focus than a national newspaper, making it more responsive and open to change. The more local newspapers that reject climate denial, the harder it will be for USA Today and other major newspapers to not fall in line. 

That’s why we are teaming up with our friends at MoveOn.org to help you launch a petition for your local newspaper to go climate denial-free! It just takes three easy steps, and we’ll promote your petition in your city to help make it a success:

1) Go to this link

2) To start and target your petition, enter in your local newspaper and the name of the editor-in-chief — his or her name is just one quick Google search away!

3) If you want to, edit the petition text as you see fit to tell your newspaper’s editor to drop climate denial, and then post your petition.

Will you start a petition demanding that the local newspaper in your city refuse to print letters that deny climate change?

Yes, I will!

Just how big an impact can you make? Our newspapers frame the way we think about climate change. Currently, letters pages across the country are being used to legitimize conspiracy theories; but if your petition is successful, you’ll have replaced that misinformation with constructive opinions on how to address the climate crisis. In other words, you have the power to help advance the national discourse on climate change. All you need to do is launch a petition today.

Click here to start a campaign for the newspaper in your city to stop publishing letters that deny climate change.

Factually yours,

Daniel, Emily, Brad, Sylvie, and the rest of the Forecast the Facts team



Underskriftindsamling

FORECAST THE FACTS – 13 OCTOBER 2013:
“Sig til aviserne: hold op med at publicere klimabenægtelser”


Foreccast the Facts’ underskriftindsamling blandt avislæsere modtog 22.000 underskrifter på indsamlingens første dag. Her er oplægget til underskriftindsamlingen:


LA Times says “we don’t publish lies”

Los Angeles Times editor just wrote one small sentence that could send shockwaves through the world of journalism.

LA-petition
“In a recent piece explaining why the LA Times did not publish letters arguing that Congress is exempting itself from Obamacare, Letters Editor Paul Thornton wrote the following:

“Why? Simply put, this objection to the president’s healthcare law is based on a falsehood, and letters that have an untrue basis (for example, ones that say there’s no sign humans have caused climate change) do not get printed.”

Sounds like a pretty simple principle: letters that contain blatant falsehoods don’t get published. But the thing is, no newspaper has ever stated that policy about climate change denial—until now. Not surprisingly, right wing media outlets are already up in arms. Why? Because they are worried this trend will spread to the country’s other mainstream newspapers.

That’s where we come in. The LA Times’ simple statement is the perfect opportunity to demand that the country’s other leading national newspapers—The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal—follow suit. We’ve got a huge opening to push these journalistic institutions to start doing their jobs and stop allowing wholesale lies onto their pages. Will you take one minute to sign our petition calling on the country’s leading newspapers to refuse any letters that deny the basic science of climate change?

As soon as we reach 20,000 signatures, we’ll deliver them to each of the papers and follow up with the editors to get a clear answer on whether they agree with the LA Times’ policy.

Click here to ask The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal to reject any letters endorsing climate denial.

After his offhanded sentence about climate deniers started a right wing media firestorm, Paul Thornton expanded on his policy in an additional blog post, saying in part:

“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.”

In a rational world, our nation’s journalists would have long ago agreed to this simple idea. These papers would never publish letters or opinion pieces from people who doubt that smoking causes cancer, or that HIV leads to AIDS. But they still perpetuate a false balance that presents climate deniers as if they are legitimate contributors to public debate, as opposed to unhinged conspiracy theorists.

In the few days since the Times’ off-handed announcement, the policy has been covered by numerous media outlets—a good indication that this could be a big deal. But it’s up to us to turn their one-sentence announcement into a major national trend. Please take a minute to sign our petition calling on The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal to follow The LA Times’ newly stated letters policy.

Sign the petition to keep our newspapers climate denial-free.

Factually yours,

Daniel, Emily, Brad, Sylvie, and the rest of the Forecast the Facts team

 

 

Forecast the Facts is a grassroots organisation that empowers people to fight climate change denial and promote accurate information about the climate crisis. You can follow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook. Help us end climate denial once and for all by contributing here.



En tredjedel af australske artikler benægter klimaforandringerne

A study of 602 articles in 10 newspapers by the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism found that 32 percent dismissed or questioned whether human activity was causing the climate to change.

Article in The Guardian on 31 October 2013 by Oliver Milman:
One third of Australia’s media coverage rejects climate science, study finds
An academic study has found that 32% of articles dismissed or questioned the link between human activity and climate change




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