This article appeared in the February 27, 2019 edition of the Monitor Daily.

Read 02/27 edition

The weight of viewpoints on climate progress

Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff/File
Clouds hang over the desert in Santa Rosa, Mexico.

Part of good journalism is to seek out a range of viewpoints rather than just present a story through one lens. But a corollary journalistic responsibility is to weigh the credibility and relevance of viewpoints.

One topic area where the interplay between these two principles comes under particular scrutiny is climate change.

When I recently wrote about the proposed Green New Deal, some of the feedback was along the line of “you seem to just accept climate change without presenting other viewpoints.” With the climate issue moving higher on humanity’s radar, this is an important discussion.

Yes, there’s an “uncertainty factor” in any predictions about how Earth’s climate will be affected by a given level of greenhouse gases. Or will clouds disappear from the sky due to climate change, as one study released this week suggests is possible? That’s hard for scientists to say. But such questions are different from witnessing substantive debate in the scientific community over the basic challenge of rising atmospheric carbon. We at the Monitor will keep watching and listening to the research.

We will also dig into the rigor with which that research has been done and how that relates to the strong consensus within the climate science profession that human emissions are now the leading factor affecting changes in Earth’s climate. I’ll also listen to a planned Trump administration panel featuring voices skeptical of mainstream climate science with that same level of critical rigor.

Now on to our five stories for today.

Share this article


This article appeared in the February 27, 2019 edition of the Monitor Daily.

Read 02/27 edition