Tag Archives: Climate Change

Fact or Faction

The Sticky Truth

The election is right around the corner and the world is in a tizzy about the outcome. News sites and Facebook feeds are brimming with analyses of the latest Trump gaffe, the panic surrounding the “new” Clinton emails, and what they mean about the polls. But to what extent does new information actually filter through our consciousness to influence our system of beliefs?

I’ve discussed America’s difficult relationship with the truth before. The media certainly shapes the way that the public interprets information – whether or not viewers believe the news being reported is true. Of course, that’s assuming that they actually care if something is true. In the case of Trump, for example, his supporters view him as a truth-teller even though he continues to spout easily disproven lies. Some have actively claimed that they would support him regardless of whether he is telling the truth. Meanwhile, Hillary “enjoys” a persistent aura of untrustworthiness in spite of having lied significantly less than her competitor.

We are in an age where many Americans proudly proclaim their disbelief in science. How do you get through to people who are so enamored of their own convictions that they will not accept anything that proves them wrong? A study in 2010 showed that “misinformed people rarely change their minds when presented with the facts — and often become even more attached to their beliefs.”

Part of the solution is changing tactics. No one likes to be patronized and hitting someone over the head with dull and dry statistics certainly is not a winning strategy. Scientists and communicators have had to tackle these problems when trying to fight the uphill battle against climate change denial. A great blog called Skeptical Science first introduced me to this interesting approach to debunking myths: fight sticky ideas with stickier ideas. Use humor, snappy soundbites and unexpected metaphors to make the truth circulate. Hey – who doesn’t love a good meme?

Truthiness: How Hard Can the Windbags Blow?

Truth, Fact, Interpretation, Misdirection – In An Age of Liars, We Need A Decoder Ring

Think about this: we know the difference between truth and lies. Presumably, we form our opinions from the information given to us. Certainly, this ought to be the case for things like policy decisions. Shouldn’t our elected officials be able to incorporate relevant facts and factors into their plans of what to do next? Stephen Colbert’s “Truthiness” is alarmingly relevant right now.

When I was in college, I took a tremendous class from well-known writer Francine Prose, called “Language, Literature, and Lies.” Though I didn’t know it at the time, it was a great primer for my work in PR. One of the most lasting exercises was to read the same big news story in three major outlets (The New York Times, The New York Post, and The Guardian). We pored over the articles, picking out how the authors referred to their subjects (e.g. President Obama, Barack Obama, Obama, Mr. Obama, the president, etc.), which snippets of quotes they chose to cite, how they framed an issue, and who they gave the last word. Subtle choices conveyed biases. As humans, it is nearly impossible for us to describe happenings completely objectively – the nature of language is that it necessarily filters everything through our own lens; our own version of truth.

That said, while most media outlets use specific language to shape their version of events, they still stick to the same basic facts in news. That’s something we expect; why read or watch news if none of it is true? So it is jarring to note that when it comes to picking candidates for the presidency, many voters are keen to disregard flat out lies so long as they serve a particular agenda. The author of Wag the Dog recently wrote a biting op-ed about this in Al Jazeera, and multiple papers have referenced Politifact’s “Truth-O-Meter” with regards to candidate claims (it ranges from true to pants on fire).

I’m a big proponent of free speech, but I do believe that there is a difference between fact and opinion. Facts are, by nature, true. They are true whether you believe them or not. The converse is not the case. Unfortunately for some of us dreamers, simply believing something very fervently does not magically make it true. There is a danger to pandering to that falsehood. We can handle the truth, and we must if we expect to do anything helpful or relevant in life.

Stephen Colbert: Truthiness

Climate Change Scientists Take Nantucket Sleighride

Take Your Own Nantucket Sleighride: How Old Whaling Ships Are Helping in the Fight to Stop Climate Change

In the wake of the recent UN climate change conference in Paris, there’s lots of discussion about the subject. Some argue that the accord that was reached is historic and a huge step in the right direction, while others argue that the accord doesn’t go nearly far enough.

Meanwhile, there are scientists and others who get up every day and fight the battle against climate change as best they can, accord or not.

And so, one on-the-ground tidbit that got very little attention in all the hubbub about the Paris conference was this, as reported by the Associated Press: “Maritime historians, climate scientists and ordinary citizens are coming together on a project to study the logbooks of 19th-century whaling ships to better understand modern-day climate change and Arctic weather patterns.”

This fascinating project called Old Weather: Whaling will comb through approximately 2600 whaling logbooks, dating from 1756 – 1965, because they can yield valuable information about longitude and latitude measurements, weather conditions, the presence of icebergs and the edge of the ice shelf. This can help climate scientists compare weather and ice conditions, then and now, and can also help create advanced computer models that, based on the information from the logs, might be able to predict future conditions.

According to the AP story, Kevin Wood, a climate scientist with NOAA’s Joint Institute for the Study of the Ocean and Atmosphere at the University of Washington and a lead researcher on the project calls this a “virtual time-traveling weather satellite.”

“We can build an enormously detailed reconstruction of the conditions at the time … and we can we can understand how the climate has been changing over a longer period of time,” Wood said.

The Old Weather: Whaling project is led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The New Bedford Whaling Museum (Massachusetts) is, “transcribing and digitizing its own logbooks, as well as original data sources from the Nantucket Historical Association, Martha’s Vineyard Museum, Mystic Seaport in Connecticut, and the New Bedford Free Public Library.”

The digitized logbooks are being placed online and the public is asked to help sift through the thousands and thousands of pages of material. There are already 20 whalers’ logbooks online.

So here’s something you can “do” about climate change. You can actually participate in a project that will advance climate research. Check out Old Weather: Whaling to learn more. Meanwhile, have yourself a good Nantucket sleighride! (While you’re at it, go ahead and listen to Mountain’s “Nantucket Sleighride.”)

CupGate and the Art of Stealing Your Attention for Nonsense

The latest idiocy to hit the American consciousness is the kerfuffle over Starbucks’ plain red cup for the “holiday season” which, in its simplicity, apparently is contributing to the “war on Christmas.” Some are referring to this as “CupGate.”

This ridiculous idea is just one of a number of feints perpetrated by ultra conservative rightwingers in an attempt to get us all to stop thinking about the real issues.  That’s all it is.  In this case, CupGate can be traced to just one, conservative guy who calls himself a Christian and is famous for his outrage-and hate-filled videos that tend to go viral.  I won’t even name him because he doesn’t deserve one more microsecond of acknowledgement. The internet just loves those kinds of videos; hate and controversy sell online.  And, unfortunately, it’s much easier for people to talk about a cup than to tackle the real issues.  Plus a red cup makes a nice picture for social media, no? Ellen DeGeneres nailed the insanity of this one in a bit she did on her TV show.

How about for the holiday season – and beyond – everyone stops promoting these awful and, ultimately, stupid “controversies” and sticks to discussions about the real issues:  immigration, poverty, workers’ rights, climate, change…the list goes on.  No, these matters cannot be summarized easily or made into a slogan that fits on a red cup.  But we can try harder to keep our focus where it belongs.

Warning Signs: Inoculation Against Action

We all do it. Your mom tells you to clean your room, or take out the trash. You say, “Yeah, I’ll get to that,” then promptly forget to do so. She tells you again; you agree again. Eventually you stop actually listening to her. “Yeah, yeah, OK.” The problem is that we apply these same habits when it comes to bigger problems and the stakes are higher than a tongue lashing or grounding.

Climate change, police brutality, student debt, wealth distribution… these are all big issues that are confronting our world today, each of which has disastrous consequences for our present and future. How many times have you heard about them recently? How many articles, pictures and petitions have you seen go by on your Facebook feed? Now be honest: do you actually read or pay attention to each of these? When someone gives the rallying cry of “We are the 99%,” does it still bring your blood to a boil the same way that it did when you first heard that 1% of the world’s population owns almost half of its wealth? Or do you roll your eyes and say, “We already knew that”?

The media does the same thing. As a pr professional, I see it more keenly because I’m constantly trying to get outlets interested in certain stories. When you’re dealing with an ongoing issue – even when it’s important, affects a lot of people and has a heart-rending human element to it – after a while, the reporters get sick of covering it. They want to know what’s new. It’s called news, after all.

Pretty soon, the message that climate change is happening, the ice caps are melting and we need to take immediate action starts to sound an awful lot like the notices you get that your subscription to such and such service is expiring and you must “Act Now.” This is dangerous on a lot of levels. While it’s true that out of sight is out of mind, the converse seems to be the case as well; the over-coverage makes these issues nothing more than background noise. Of course we care, but much in the same way that we are more likely to donate money at the onset of a natural disaster than later on in the recovery process, our impetus to act fades away. And yet, in order to make an actual difference, we need to hold on to our outrage and remind ourselves that we need to do something about these issues and it has to be more than once.

On Earth Day: Remembering the First Earth Day and Honoring Its Legacy

I remember the very first earth day in 1970.  Although my memories are vague, it made an impression on me.

I was a senior in high school, and I remember going down to Earth Day’s NYC headquarters in advance of the event.  It was not that big, and was crammed full of papers, flyers, hand written to do lists and people were coming and going constantly.  I spent some time with friends making signs for what would turn out to be an incredible first Earth Day turnout; the crowd was estimated at about a million. The mayor at the time was John Lindsay, and he agreed to shut down Fifth Avenue for the march, in addition to allowing people to flow freely through Central Park.  The main organizers of the NYC event – Fred Kent, Pete Grannis, and Kristin and William Hubbard – got a lot of help from the Mayor’s office, even using some of the Mayor’s own staff to help with the huge organizing task.

Many people who participated, even in a small way, in the first Earth Day were changed forever by the experience.

NYC Earth Day organizer Pete Grannis, for example, went on to become a Democratic member of the NYS Assembly from Manhattan’s Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island (for about 30 years), where he was always an environmental advocate.  After the Assembly, he became Commissioner of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation where, in May 2007, he instituted a new Climate Change Office. He left behind this remembrance of the first Earth Day on the NYS Office of DEC’s online magazine NYS Conservationist.

As for me, I can’t say for sure what specific impact this event had on my life, but, here I am today, heading up this progressive pr firm and helping, among other worthy organizations, people and causes, an incredible Climate Change scientist, Professor Micha Tomkiewicz.  He writes a great, science-based blog on Climate Change called Climate Change Fork.  Here’s his latest blog, focused on Earth Day.

For me on this Earth Day, I’ll reminisce about that first Earth Day for a bit, but I’ll continue to honor its lasting legacy by making sure that Professor Tomkiewicz’s  voice – and the voices of those who know that we must act now on global warming – get heard loud and clear.  What will you do for Earth Day and beyond?

Science and Politics: When Feelings Trump Facts

Looking back on it, there was a time when the US was set on making science a priority in learning. Advancing our technology and teaching our children to strive toward excellence in math and science put us ahead in the Cold War and we desperately wanted to catch up with and surpass the advances made by other countries. The US made major progress – we even became the first nation on earth to land people on the moon!

By its nature, science is constantly growing and evolving (see what we did there?). We know more now than we did before – DNA, genes, the solar system, cancer research, etc.

So when did it become not only politically expedient, but popular to deny science? Science has long faced opposition from religious sources/forces, but more recently, it has been filtered most often through the lens of politics. Cases in point: we hear about climate change, evolution and vaccinations, and can immediately conjure up the last time we saw major opponents to their acceptance. These people are shown prominently in mainstream media, but more than that, are in charge of policy. Here’s where it becomes a problem.

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica science is:

…any system of knowledge that is concerned with the physical world and its phenomena and that entails unbiased observations and systematic experimentation. In general, a science involves a pursuit of knowledge covering general truths or the operations of fundamental laws.

The key word in that definition is “unbiased.” That means science should be an impartial resource that is equally relevant and accessible to those with myriad political opinions.

LCG has touched on this topic before, specifically with regard to news coverage of hot debate:

For us, it brings up the journalistic idea of balance wherein journalists try to get “both sides” of a news story. But what if there is no balance? Certainly, while part of the climate change story does include the fact that there are some people who deny that humans are helping to cause global warming, the deniers, by and large, are basing their claims on right wing political views, not real science. Should journalists feel compelled to include that in their stories? Currently, the jury’s out on this one, but we certainly don’t think so.

While it’s true that not everyone is a scientific genius, that does not excuse deliberate scientific illiteracy. We have professional scientists worldwide who have studied these issues extensively for decades and reached almost unanimous consensus. Not only that, some of the most important aspects have national and global consequences. Vaccination, for example, is vital to maintaining public health (as we recently saw with the measles outbreak); opinion does not counteract fact, and the ramifications of ignoring that truth can be catastrophic. Similarly, this applies to climate change. 97% of active climate researchers and the Academies of Science from 80 countries agree that humans are causiJng climate change. Of course, there should be room for political debate, but it should be over how to act, not whether to bother. For the record, it is possible to be a Republican climate scientist.

Many of us learned about scientific reasoning and methodology in school. Our society’s development owes so much to this field of study (think what would happen if we were still debating the morality of electricity instead of using it!). We are doing a disservice to ourselves and our country to turn our backs on science.

We remember past generations for their progress in this field; how will our descendants look back upon us; upon our actions and inactions? Can we really afford to make science a partisan issue?

The ever fabulous John Oliver illustrates our point.

Or, to put it differently, there’s this:

Virtual Water: With Concern About Future Availability of Fresh Water Worldwide, How Are We Using the Water We Have Now?

Wow, that strawberry shortcake you’re eating sure is delicious. But do you know how much water it took to get those ingredients into the delicacy on your fork? You don’t?

If you pay any attention to science news – or even if you don’t, you probably know at least the basics about climate change. We associate it with the upsurge in global temperature, the rising ocean levels and the escalation of both size and prevalence of extreme weather events. That said, one of the most immediate issues that is increasingly dire is the availability of fresh water for crops, livestock, drinking and myriad other daily uses.

One new system aims to keep better track of the water delegated to each task, raising awareness of just how much water we use for everything we interact with on a day-to-day basis. Virtual Water documents the so-called water footprint generated by everything from specific items (e.g. 33 gallons of water/1 apple or 1lb of strawberries, 2060.5 gallons/1lb of chocolate, 660.4 gallons/1 cotton t-shirt) to an individual’s direct and indirect usage (the average global water footprint of an individual is 48911ft³ per year) to an entire country.

The next step in that logic is to look into the way countries with more or less available fresh water buy/sell/trade items that require more water. In other words, is a water-poor country exporting water-heavy products? If so, how can the country maximize its efficiency without sacrificing its earnings?

Meanwhile, in addition to turning off the tap while we brush our teeth, we could all stand to be more conscious of how much of the precious resource we use. There are several apps available, for instance, that will let you know the information behind what you’re buying, eating, using, and throwing out.

Also, if you want to learn more about water as a commodity and how its shortages relate to climate change, you can read this excellent entry on Climate Change Fork, written by our client, Prof. Micha Tomkiewicz.

More Resources:

The Virtual Water Project

Water Footprint Network

Virtual Water.Org

Apps:

Waterprint App

Virtual Water App

Latest Client News – Week of June 16, 2014

Last Friday, June 13th, in a follow up to the ongoing NYU expansion struggle in Greenwich Village, a coalition of over 20 community members and groups filed a legal brief in the state appellate court in Manhattan.

A trial court in January held that the City violated state law by allowing NYU to take over three public parks for construction-related purposes during the twenty-year expansion project. The City and NYU have appealed this part of the lower court’s ruling.

The community coalition asks the appeals court to uphold the trial court, and to require the City and NYU to halt the project, reexamine the building plans and City approvals that were based on the illegal alienation of public parkland, and conduct a proper environmental review that takes the protected status of these parks into account. The parks defenders have also asked the appellate court to hold that the Mercer-Houston Dog Run, like the other three parcels, is public parkland.

The lawsuit, originally filed in September 2012, challenges decisions by the City and the State to approve the massive Sexton Plan, a $6 billion, almost two million square foot construction plan in the heart of historic Greenwich Village, for the convenience of NYU.

Meanwhile, Prof. Micha Tomkiewicz, author of the Climate Change Fork blog is currently attending the Sixth International Conference on Climate Change in Reykjavik, Iceland. Stay tuned for his update when he returns.

Barbara Winslow had a book party on May 19th at the Mott House in Washington D.C., where both Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton and House Minority Leader Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi gave remarks.

Latest Client News – Week of April 14, 2014

New! Barbara Winslow’s new biography of Shirley Chisholm was just mentioned and quoted in Newsweek’s obituary of the Harlem politician Basil Paterson.

The New York Times just published an article about NYU’s Chairman of the Board, Marty Lipton, calling him The Power Broker of N.Y.U.. In addition to discussing NYU’s corporate structure, and the scandalous bonus packages for an elite few administrators, the article quotes NYUFASP’s Mark Crispin Miller, who confirms that for all its talk of faculty input, NYU officials did not consult either them or the community while planning the 2031 Expansion Plan.

Barbara Winslow just got back from Atlanta, GA, where she gave a talk at Spelman College about Archiving. She also attended the Organization of American Historians’ annual meeting, where she took part in a panel about social and political biography. Her talk focused on “Writing About a First: Shirley Chisholm, Feminism, the Black Freedom Struggle and the Democratic Party.”

In CUNY Radio’s Podcast, “Book Beat” interview with Barbara, she gives some highlights of her research about Shirley Chisholm. Barbara will be doing readings/signings of her book, Shirley Chisholm: Catalyst for Change, at Sister’s Uptown Bookstore and Cultural Center on April 23rd, and at Bluestockings on May 19th. See our Upcoming Events page for more details. You can also download the book digitally on Amazon.com.

Prof. Micha Tomkiewicz was featured in an article in the Poughkeepsie Journal. The article, a response to his National Climate Seminar talk, was written by students from Bard College’s Center for Environmental Policy (CEP).

Latest Client News – Week of February 24, 2014

Prof. Micha Tomkiewicz will be giving a seminar about adaptation to climate change this Wednesday, March 5th! In other news, we’re coming to the end of Black History Month, and transitioning into Women’s History Month. While we don’t agree with relegating the celebration of these two important populations to mere months, they do give us more chances to talk about Barbara Winslow’s wonderful new biography of Shirley Chisholm. She’s been in the news quite a lot recently, and we’re quite proud.

Prof. Tomkiewicz’s talk is part of the National Climate Seminar, which is hosted biweekly by Bard College’s Center for Environmental Policy (CEP). The talk will be in a dial-in format, and will run from noon until 1pm. To listen, Call in to: 1-712-432-3100. Code: 253385. His talk, “Desalination as Adaptation,” will also be available on the CEP archives website after Thursday. You can read Prof. Tomkiewicz’s weekly blog at Climate Change Fork.

Meanwhile, Barbara was featured on Errol Louis’ Inside City Hall show on NY1 along with Shola Lynch, director of the documentary Shirley Chisholm: Unbought and Unbossed. The three of them discussed Ms. Chisholm’s legacy, her importance in today’s world, and how her current acclaim differs from how she was received by her contemporaries.

Barbara also appeared on ABC-TV’s Here and Now show to talk with host Sandra Bookman about the book, why parts of it prompt such anger and frustration among many readers, and what it means to bring Ms. Chisholm’s story out of the dry world of trivia facts, into the light of present-day notice.

Week of November 18, 2013

Our clients are always up to something, and we want to make sure they get the credit they deserve for their latest ventures. In recent news, Theater Three Collaborative has just launched an Indiegogo campaign to help fund a full production of its new eco-drama about climate change. Meanwhile, NYUFASP has published a series of emails taking stock of the administration’s overinflated salaries as compared to the financial struggle enforced upon the faculty and students. Theater Three Collaborative (TTC) has started an Indiegogo campaign to help with funding a full production of its new eco-drama, Extreme Whether. The play has received numerous accolades from renowned scientists, writers and environmental activists including world-famous climate scientist James Hansen, and prominent arctic ice scientist Jennifer Francis. TTC has presented several readings of the play so far, one of which featured Zach Grenier of TV’s The Good Wife. TTC plans for the play to run from March 20 – April 13, 2014 at Theater for the New City, with each show followed by a “Festival of Conscience” discussion with a major scientist or environmentalist. The Extreme Whether Indiegogo campaign includes premiums for each level of giving, ranging from tickets to the play to Sniffley the frog umbrellas (Sniffley is a character in the play), to a tour of Parsons-Meares Costumes, one of New York’s major costume shops.  Parson-Meares has designed costumes for all TTC productions since 1995, and builds costumes for Spider Man, Cinderella and other major Broadway shows. There is also an option for a home-cooked meal by the playwright. NYU Faculty Against the Sexton Plan (NYUFASP), which has been fighting against the NYU administration’s excesses and ill conceived projects has put out a list of the salaries given to the “essential” administrative staff. It is increasingly clear that the gap between their compensation and that of the professors is ever widening, even as the students bear the brunt of this increase. This only adds credence to the fact that the NYU 2031 expansion plan is part of a wider pattern of spending which seems determined to add to the debt owed by its students (who already carry one of the highest debt loads in the nation), to the detriment of its academic offerings. This is a disturbing trend for a so-called “institute of higher learning.” Meanwhile, LCG is happy to announce that we will be working with Professor Barbara Winslow, who runs the Shirley Chisholm Project at Brooklyn College. She has written a definitive biography of Shirley Chisholm – which will be out this month – and we are thrilled to be helping her publicize it.

Climate Change and Balance in the Media

We have a couple of clients involved in climate change – esteemed climate scientist Micha Tomkiewicz and a theater group, Theater Three Collaborative; the theater group is trying to fully produce a climate change play called, “Extreme Whether.”  So, we are always on the lookout for developments in climate change and in opportunities to join the conversation.

Recently, we noted an interesting media development on climate change that caused quite a stir.

On October 8th, the LA Times’ editor of its letters to the editor, Paul Thornton, declared that he doesn’t print letters asserting that “there’s no sign humans have caused climate change.” He went on to say, “Just last month, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — a body made up of the world’s top climate scientists — said it was 95% certain that we fossil-fuel-burning humans are driving global warming. The debate right now isn’t whether this evidence exists (clearly, it does) but what this evidence means for us. Simply put, I do my best to keep errors of fact off the letters page; when one does run, a correction is published. Saying “there’s no sign humans have caused climate change” is not stating an opinion, it’s asserting a factual inaccuracy.”

The right wing news site, NewsBusters, actually kicked off the whole controversy when it claimed that LA Times’ editorial writer Joe Healy, in a longer piece, had said that “letters that have an untrue basis (for example, ones that say there’s no sign humans have caused climate change) do not get printed.” That is what prompted Paul Thornton to write his piece and to correct NewsBusters.

As you can imagine, the responses came fast and furious, especially from climate change deniers, accusing the LA Times of impeding free speech, among other things.  Of course, Newsbusters itself was one of the first out of the gate:  “So letters to the editor ‘that say there’s no sign humans have caused climate change…do not get printed.’  That’s quite a statement coming from a writer not named Al Gore.” And, naturally, the right wing “commenters” were out in force.  “It’s not just in California; liberals in the media are doing it everywhere. The primary tool of Marxism is propaganda. The truth hurts their cause;” “Climate change: this is not science – it’s mumbo jumbo.” “At the risk of stating the obvious, the MSM (mainstream media) has devolved into a Soviet-style propaganda arm for the Washington establishment and virtually every leftist cause brought forth. The fact that the Feral Government is devolving into a fascist oligarchy is undoubtedly more than coincidence.”

For those who believe in actual science, however, it was welcome news to hear the LA Times express out loud what virtually everyone has known for quite a while:  climate change is real, and humans have contributed to it.  If you read the whole piece that Thornton wrote you will see that he is not actually saying that the LA Times will never print a letter in opposition to the human-induced climate change theory; what the LA Times is objecting to is printing the kind of silly, baseless non-scientific claims that are often made by the right when referring to climate change.  Thornton says, “As for letters on climate change, we do get plenty from those who deny global warming. And to say they “deny” it might be an understatement: Many say climate change is a hoax, a scheme by liberals to curtail personal freedom.”

To follow up on the Paul Thornton’s column, Mother Jones magazine asked the opinion page editors of the Washington Post, the Dallas Morning News, the Tampa Bay Times, USA Today, the Plain Dealer, The Houston Chronicle, the Denver Post, and the San Diego Union-Tribune if they’d follow the Washington Post’s lead on climate change denier letters to the editor.  There was a general consensus that most of the outlets wouldn’t publish “factually inaccurate letters,” but, except for the Washington Post, whose editor agreed outright with the LA Times, many of the other outlets responded cautiously or in line with their paper’s editorial stance on climate change.  The whole article, How 9 Major Papers Deal with Climate Denying Letters, is a very interesting and enlightening read and a peek into how editorial and opinion pages are molded.

For us, it brings up the journalistic idea of balance wherein journalists try to get “both sides” of a news story.  But what if there is no balance?  Certainly, while part of the climate change story does include the fact that there are some people who deny that humans are helping to cause global warming, the deniers, by and large, are basing their claims on right wing political views, not real science.   Should journalists feel compelled to include that in their stories?  Currently, the jury’s out on this one, but we certainly don’t think so.