Letter: Columnist is much more than a climate denier

Blue sky and sunbeam
A September 2020 sky.
Photo courtesy Getty Images

To the Editor,

In his latest offering the resident hard right columnist would have us believe that addressing the existential threat of climate change is too costly and inconvenient. He castigates the Biden administration for restoring our participation in the Paris Climate Accord and nixing the boondoggle Keystone Pipeline, actions which should be lauded by anyone with a scintilla of understanding and concern about the effects of climate change on the planet.
Efforts to address climate change are dismissed, using Heartland Institute misinformation as a crutch to support a scornful attitude towards climate mitigation efforts. A little research reveals that the Heartland Institute has as much credibility as a snake oil salesman. This organization is “known for its rejection of scientific consensus on climate change” and a “leading promoter of climate change denial,” according to Wikipedia. The New York Times revealed in 2012 that Heartland planned to “undermine the teaching of global warming in public schools” and had hatched “a plan to create a curriculum for public schools intended to cast doubt on mainstream climate science.” Such a curriculum would claim that “whether humans are changing the climate is a major scientific controversy.” Financial supporters of the Heartland Institute include self-interested plutocrats such as Charles Koch and the Walton family. These revelations help explain the wild assertions of the columnist regarding efforts to halt global warming.
Readers might wonder why they have never heard of the sources used by the ideologue to support his fallacious pronouncements. This is because his sources are invariably obscure organizations or publications catering to a small demographic of ultra-conservative zealots bent on proselytizing their stunted worldview. A worldview which holds that hierarchy and inequality are the natural results of traditional social differences or the inability to successfully compete in the dog-eat-dog world of unfettered capitalism.
Yet, this column continues to be featured in the Civic Center section of the newspaper, portrayed as a public service.
Pasqual Pelosi

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