In a stunning move that some scientists are decrying as blatant censorship, The Los Angeles Times is no longer publishing letters from those who deny climate change.
“Simply put, I do my best to keep errors of fact off the letters page; when one does run, a correction is published,” writes Times letters editor Paul Thornton. “Saying ‘there’s no sign humans have caused climate change’ is not stating an opinion, it’s asserting a factual inaccuracy.”
William Happer, a physics professor at Princeton, tells Fox News that the Times "should be ashamed of itself" regarding this decision.
"There was an effective embargo on alternative opinions, so making it official really does not change things," adds Jan Breslow, head of the Laboratory of Biochemical Genetics and Metabolism at The Rockefeller University in New York.
“The free press in the U.S. is trying to move the likelihood of presenting evidence on this issue from very low to impossible,” J. Scott Armstrong, co-founder of the Journal of Forecasting and a professor of marketing at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, told Fox News.
Happer, Breslow and Armstrong are among 38 climate scientists who penned a letter titled “No Need to Panic About Global Warming” for The Wall Street Journal in January 2012 which argued that the call to “decarbonize” the world's economy isn't supported by science.
But not everyone is outraged by the Times' new editorial stance, Poynter notes.
“Thornton’s decision could well leave a few editors wondering if they should follow suit,” Graham Readfearn predicts in the Guardian, adding that "wrongheaded and simplistic views like this are a regular feature" in hundreds of other newspapers worldwide.
Elaine McKewon authored of an Australian study of newspaper coverage of climate change and told Readfern she hoped the Times’ decision would provide “other mainstream media outlets the courage to stop appeasing the climate denial noise machine.”
In the scientific community, the debate about anthropogenic global warming has been over for decades. The scientific consensus on climate change is as strong as the consensus on human evolution or the link between smoking and cancer.
“The religion of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming [CAGW] does not tolerate non-believers,” Breslow told Fox News.
The Times' decision came earlier this month and was picked up by other news outlets days ago.