LA Times: What climate change controversy?

The LA Times has integrity, not going to allow factual inaccuracies to pollute the Letters page if they can help it. The Letters editor announces that letters from climate change denialists will not be published. Good.

On letters from climate-change deniers – latimes.com.

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.

The bottom line is, the science is in. Science is not decided by vote or by popularity from the public or on the editorial pages. It is conducted within the community and non-scientists have little say except to judge it personally for themselves. I choose to defer to the worldwide consensus of experts who understand this topic far better than me. I would never have the audacity and arrogance to say there is a conspiracy to hide such a body of knowledge about nature. That’s absurd. And any letters that suggest it are absurd to and only do harm.

I’m almost certain they don’t publish letters by people who insist the government is hiding UFO secrets or are conducting mind control experiments either. It’s reaching that level of silly.

Yay, LA Times for stating the obvious.

  8 comments for “LA Times: What climate change controversy?

  1. October 10, 2013 at 4:08 PM

    People who think you can continue to pump carbon (and other chemicals) into the air and nothing changes, probably never had chemistry sets when they were kids. How and why the changes, can be left up to the experts; and they have already weighed in on this one with overwhelming consensus.

    By the way, do they even make chemistry sets anymore, or is that a relic from a time when kids lived more dangerously? (I’m 60)

  2. J
    October 10, 2013 at 4:17 PM

    Seems they’ve taken a page from PopSci’s decision to remove commentary because of how it degrades trust in established science.
    I really like how they’re being very precise in how they use language rules, too (“stating an opinion” versus “asserting a factual inaccuracy”).
    This is a good step forward, but also a long way from toning down denialists, especially within political realms.

  3. Massachusetts
    October 10, 2013 at 4:22 PM

    Apparently yes! I googled chemistry sets, which linked to amazon: 132 hits in. “Toys and games”, and they look like actual sets as I remember them.

  4. One Eyed Jack
    October 10, 2013 at 5:59 PM

    By the way, do they even make chemistry sets anymore, or is that a relic from a time when kids lived more dangerously? (I’m 60)

    They still make chemistry sets, but they’ve become quite pathetic. They’ve taken most of the experiments out that have the wow factor. Anything exothermic is definitely out. You’re pretty much left with growing crystals, pH color changes, and brine shrimp (not really chemistry, but biology). I can put together more interesting experiments from common items you’ll find at CVS and ACE Hardware than what you get in a commercial chemistry set… hmm, I smell a book in there.

  5. neko
    October 10, 2013 at 6:23 PM

    hmmm… I wonder if by talking about how they aren’t going to publish letters saying something, they aren’t really putting that something back in the public mind.

    They are egging other news outlets with false balance, or ones with an agenda that there is a controversy, to talk about this new controversy on whether there is a controversy.

    Thereby reinforcing that there is some kind of controversy. Psychologically speaking.

    Just saying.

    Were it me, I would have dropped the letters on the floor, quietly, next to the ones from the flat earth society. There is no major news outlet that fails to deal with crackpot letters. They generally don’t comment on it to begin with.

    Of course I can safely comment on all of this, because I’m so meta no ideas actually escape from logic as circular as mine. Rest assured.

  6. Chris
    October 10, 2013 at 6:48 PM

    One Eyed Jack: “I can put together more interesting experiments from common items you’ll find at CVS and ACE Hardware than what you get in a commercial chemistry set… hmm, I smell a book in there.”

    Here you go: Theo Gray’s Mad Science: Experiments You Can do At Home – But Probably Shouldn’t. Then you can check out his website: http://theodoregray.com/ (there are videos of things you probably should not do with sodium)

  7. eddi
    October 11, 2013 at 8:11 AM

    Chris
    My inner child and his inner mad scientist thank you.

  8. Kathy Moyd
    October 16, 2013 at 12:06 AM

    The statement about not printing letters denying human-caused climate change was included in parentheses near the end of a paragraph on a different subject, which most people probably didn’t read. It was not intended to create a controversy.

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