Earlier this month, the Los Angeles Times officially confirmed the paper is no longer running letters to the editor that deny the scientific conclusion that climate change is a reality and is caused mainly by human activities.
Prior to this, the magazine Popular Science went even further and completely turned off the comments section for its entire website, stating quite eloquently that, "Everything, from evolution to the origins of climate change, is mistakenly up for grabs again. Scientific certainty is just another thing for two people to 'debate' on television. And because comments sections tend to be a grotesque reflection of the media culture surrounding them, the cynical work of undermining bedrock scientific doctrine is now being done beneath our own stories, within a website devoted to championing science."
The L.A. Times editor stated the paper's reasoning as, "Letters that have an untrue basis (for example, ones that say there's no sign humans have caused climate change) do not get printed."
The Sydney Morning Herald has subsequently announced it also won't allow climate deniers to "misrepresent facts" on climate science in letters - an especially powerful case given the terrifying fires ravaging Australia against a backdrop of continuing broken heat records.
As the former Editor of DeSmogBlog, most of the climate deniers and self-proclaimed skeptics I have encountered over the years have been paid by Exxon, the Koch brothers or other such industry interests, making a good living as fake experts for hire. They are manipulators of the truth.
Of course, not all are paid mouthpieces, and some of them just simply believe that climate change isn't happening or it isn't caused by burning fossil fuels.
To those people not being paid by industry to sell doubt, to those who in their heart-of-hearts actually question the realities of climate change, I would say they have every right to submit their opinions as letters to a newspaper.
But just like the guy who sends in a letter each week to the paper insisting he was abducted by aliens, or that 9-11 was a hoax, it is up to the paper to decide what to print and what to throw in the waste basket.
A new study released today concludes that Koch Industries and its subsidiaries stand to make as much as $100 billion in profits if the controversial Keystone XL pipeline is granted a presidential permit from U.S. President Barack Obama.
The report, titled Billionaires' Carbon Bomb, produced by the think tank International Forum on Globalization (IFG), finds that David and Charles Koch and their privately owned company, Koch Industries, own more than 2 million acres of land in Northern Alberta, the source of the tar sands bitumen that would be pumped to the United States via the Keystone XL pipeline.
(Click to expand or see original source)
IFG also finds that more than 1,000 reports and statements in support of the Keystone XL pipeline project have been made by policy groups and think tanks that receive funding from the Koch brothers and their philanthropic foundations.
On Saturday, October 19th, from Romania to Canada and beyond, protests of varying size took place all over the globe to bring attention to the dangers of hydraulic fracturing (fracking).
The events, part of a worldwide effort by Global Frackdown, are designed to raise public awareness about the environmental and health threats posed by fracking, as well as to signal to oil and gas companies that citizens are not willing to be passive when it comes to the health of their communities. Global Frackdown held their first mass protests in September 2012, spanning 20 different countries.
Over the past several years, the battle over fracking has brought Congressional hearings, protests and huge industry money to Washington DC. But in recent months the topic has taken on a new, more local turn in the nation's capital as oil and gas companies push to drill in a national forest near in the city's backyard and an unusual cast of charaters are lining up to oppose it.
The fight is over access to drill for shale gas in the George Washington National Forest and officials from the Environmental Protect Agency, Army Corps of Engineers and the National Park Service have come out in opposition, even though some of these same federal agencies have in other contexts helped to promote expanded shale gas drilling.
The forest is one of the East Coast’s most pristine ecosystems, home to some of its last old growth forests.
Horizontal drilling, key to shale gas extraction, has never before been permitted in the George Washington National Forest. But as the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service prepares a new 15-year plan, drillers are pushing hard for the ban to be lifted despite the industry’s long record of spills, air pollution and water contamination on public lands.
The Alliance statement accused Mr. Stark of "eavesdropping" on a conversation between an Edelman PR vice president and Arch Coal executives in a hotel lobby. The Edelman/Alliance accusation lacks merit, as we demonstrate below.
The audio reveals Mr. Ferguson agreeing to speak with Mr. Stark just prior to turning to speak with Ms. Hennessey.
In sum, both Ms. Hennessey and Mr. Ferguson were well aware that Mr. Stark was a reporter, and neither party did anything to suggest that the conversation Mr. Stark recorded was private, off the record or otherwise secret.
In response to the Alliance's allegations, DeSmogBlog issued the following statement to the Seattle Times and other media outlets that reported on this important story:
Democracy is utterly dependent upon an electorate that is accurately informed. In promoting climate change denial (and often denying their responsibility for doing so) industry has done more than endanger the environment. It has undermined democracy.
There is a vast difference between putting forth a point of view, honestly held, and intentionally sowing the seeds of confusion. Free speech does not include the right to deceive. Deception is not a point of view. And the right to disagree does not include a right to intentionally subvert the public awareness.