RE: A free AND responsible press;
Here is a link to FactCheck.org's science site. It affirms that Obama has been correct or nearly correct about recent claims he has made about 2014 being the warmest year, as well as the fact that 14 of the 15 years since the turn of the century have been among the hottest years on record:
I sent you this link so that you can at least understand what is accurate, even if you are not willing to edit, or reject entirely, letters about climate change that do NOT contain (accurate) information about global warming. In fact, some of the letters and articles in the Tribune from deniers, contain almost NO accurate information at all, and it can be proven that they don't!
Surely your role as a trusted news outlet, involves reporting real information and actual facts pertaining to the stories and issues that the Tribune covers? So, how about really editing the letters of denial that are sent to Readers' Views for their accuracy--as you claim is your right to do under the Readers' Views, opinion page guidelines?
I found an article affirming Obama's climate claims in about two minutes by simply going to the FactCheck.org website, and consulting its science section. So, why can't the Tribune do the same? You have often needed to verify or correct some information in my letters, so that means you have actually bothered to check the sites I referenced by using the Internet. I can virtually guarantee you that some day the American Press, and the press worldwide, will wonder why it didn't recognize the importance of AGW (man-made global warming), and actually bother to check some of the supposed facts in countless letters of denial that are published in newspapers like the Tribune. So, many news outlets like the Tribune will eventually NEED to begin vetting deniers sooner or later. By not doing so, members of the press are inadvertently allowing downright false pieces of misinformation, as well as blatant lies, to be given a free but false pass! Would you publish a letter, or article, which claimed GW Bush is really a transsexual, or that President Obama is an avowed necrophiliac? With the possible exception of President Obama—of course you wouldn't!—at least not until you were damn sure that you were really reporting factual and verifiable information!
Global warming may not entirely eradicate the human race, but it will very likely expose our children and their children, to a hostile and perhaps even deadly, environment. So, If we don't become extinct, as up to a million other species may (by the end of this century), we will need to view our global climate as part of a delicately balanced web. For that reason the extinction of many other species would very likely, adversely affect the human race and damage our worldwide environment as well!
I am not trying to attack your integrity or coerce you into heeding the songs of canaries in coal mines—environmental ignorance is (although not always deliberate), typical of the press around the world—not just in Duluth Minnesota. However, I am asking you to seriously consider the things I and many others have mentioned in letters which have been sent to the Tribune.
I consider the role of the press to be just as critical as the role of climate scientists in spreading factual information about AGW. So, it's my hope that increasing numbers of informed people will frequently send letters containing truthful information about man's role in global warming to their local news outlets. Even if such letters are sent to the editors WITHOUT the express purpose of being published in various opinion page sections, such letters can also serve the purpose of keeping the journalists, who work at those outlets knowledgeable about the many types of misinformation and downright lies that are distorting actual facts about climate change. So after those in the press are provided with truthful information, the ball will then be in their court, and they will have the responsibility to act with honesty and accuracy concerning the facts about global warming—ignorance really should not provide anyone with a free license to lie! So the press will eventually have NO excuse to enable deniers! And, the press really does need to play a paramount role in educating the public--that's why it needs to be educated itself!
What is the rationale behind the claim that outlets like the Tribune reserve the right to edit for accuracy, if so much inaccurate and misleading information is continually printed in your pages anyway? You needn't ALWAYS vet the letters of denier for facts, but just as you examine my links—and rightly so—can't you also occasionally attempt to verify the claims of deniers by spending just a few extra minutes on the Internet, or simply going to links like the one I provided at FactCheck.org? What is your excuse as a professional news outlet when, like so many others, you deliberately look the other way, and thus legitimize the lies and misinformation provided by deniers without first verifying the truth behind what they say for yourself?
Peter W. Johnson