NY Times Losing Readers after Skeptical Editorial on Climate Change
Angry readers are cancelling their subscription to the New York Times after the paper published an op-ed column in which author Bret Stephens argues against the scientific “consensus” on global warming.
Stephens, a former writer for the Wall Street Journal, is a neoconservative pundit and notable climate change skeptic. Unlike many Times readers, he doesn’t blindly believe the claim that mankind’s behavior has had an effect on climate trends.
In his article, Stephens compares scientists’ constant warnings about global warming to the media’s certainty that Hillary Clinton would win the 2016 election. “There’s a lesson here. We live in a world in which data convey authority. But authority has a way of descending to certitude, and certitude begets hubris.”
“Claiming total certainty about the science…creates openings for doubt whenever a climate claim proves wrong. Demanding abrupt and expensive changes in public policy raises fair questions about ideological intentions,” writes Stephens.
This is a fair argument. Just last week, former Energy Department Undersecretary Steve Koonin admitted that the Obama Administration used misleading press releases about climate change to support political initiatives.
Stephen’s article has also prompted backlash from the scientific community.
“I enjoy reading different opinions from my own, but this is not a matter of different opinions,” argues Stefan Rahmstorf, head of Earth System Analysis at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. “The Times argued that ‘millions agree with Stephens.’ It made me wonder what’s next – when are you hiring a columnist claiming that the sun and stars revolve around the Earth, because millions agree with that?”
According to Times editorial page editor James Bennet, Stephens was hired as part of an effort to “further widen” the paper’s range of views. “[There are] many shades of conservatism and many shades of liberalism,” notes Bennet.
“There’s more than one kind of [climate change] denial. And to pretend like the views of a thinker like Bret, and the millions of people who agree with him on a rage of issues, should simply be ignored, that they’re outside the bounds of reasonable debate, is a really dangerous form of delusion.”
As Stephens points out, there is a giant gap between what scientists are learning and what global warming advocates are claiming. As I wrote in a previous article, a Dutch study found that over 50% of climate scientists don’t agree with the so-called “consensus” on anthropogenic climate change.
Author’s Note: To me, hearing all sides of a story is the best way to increase one’s understanding of it. That’s why the Times decided to hire Stephens.
But the liberal media is so in love with the idea of global warming that just a single dissenting view is causing them to boycott the New York Times. Unbelievable.
Editor’s note: If you care to read the article, it was not denying climate change and was actually rather tame.
But climate change is a religion, Stephen’s editorial was sacrilegious. Anyone not see this coming? It is actually a bold step by the NYTimes though. An olive branch?