Wednesday, July 8, 2009

More facts, less opinion

I wonder if the editors of the Mountain Express realize the dichotomy in their two editorials last week. In the first they call for a debate on health care based on facts. They are obviously for changes in health care and everyone who disagrees with them will be convinced if there is open debate.

In the second piece they decry any debate about global warming because "hundreds of credible scientists and thoughtful studies have documented the crisis." So, when it suits their agenda they are for debate but when they have made up their minds no more argument is allowed.

These are two highly complex problems and, particularly with global warming, there is great disagreement among scientists that there is warming, and if there is, that it is human caused.

There are large bodies of evidence that the earth's climate is cyclical and we are moving into a cooler period. There are also many studies that the sun is, by far, the major influence on our climate and it is in an unusual period of sun spot activity (or lack thereof) in the last decade.

I have always thought that the duty of the press was to report both sides of an issue. To report that there is no argument and the issue is settled when there is still no settled science does not serve the public they seek to "inform."

We are still debating theories in most sciences that go back, in some cases, hundreds of years and yet the argument about the causes of climate change, which is relatively new, is closed.

As I have said ad nauseam, open debate and investigation of fact is what society needs, not the imposition of opinion.

Mike Burke

Zinc Spur

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