Taking the Microphone Away From Deniers

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TVO Producer Daniel Kitts makes the case in the Globe and Mail online edition for not giving climate change “skeptics” equal time.

But he misses a couple of arguments, at least.

First, if you surveyed all those legitimate scientists who accept or contest the theory of anthropogenic global warming and then quoted them proportionately, the deniers would get to comment, but only very, very rarely. Choosing one person on one side and one on the other – as journalists so often do – makes it appear that the scientific community is evenly divided, that there is a hot debate. As Naomi Oreskes demonstrated in Science , no such debate exists in serious scientific literature.

Second, if you declined to use spokespeople whose income you could trace back to a fossil fuel company – or a think tank sponsored by a fossil fuel company – you would, again, seriously weed out the number of spokespeople available to challenge the science.

The question is not whether we should accept a show of hands among scientists and then bannish those who advocate a minority view. The question is why we are allowing an agenda-driven minority so much influence in a crucial global debate.

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