LETTERS: Climate protest column proves divisive

Editor:

Re: School officials join fact-free ‘climate strike,’ Sept. 25.

I was dismayed to see Tom Fletcher’s column in the Peace Arch News, with the unfortunate heading Students, public get distorted picture of greenhouse gases.

This columnist takes issue with the Climate Strikes in which many students participated, and seems bent on challenging the science-based information on which the students are basing their protest. He implies that Ms. Thunberg, the initiator of the Climate Strike movement, is ill-informed, and has based her call to action on some National Geographic photos.

I beg to differ.

Greta Thunberg is a well-informed young woman, who accurately and succinctly speaks her mind. Her opinions are derived from scientifically substantiated facts, and the most currently available information.

For instance, the International Panel on Climate Change report of September 2019, versus the columnist’s quoted source of a 2014 Nature Journal.

Fletcher states that students are receiving misinformation in school and elsewhere, while his own column spouts misinformation – for example, related to sea levels. According to the world’s leading climate-science organizations, sea level is currently rising more than twice as fast as during the 20th century, and accelerating. I worry that “in this post-literate environment, propaganda may guide public opinion,” and people reading Mr. Fletcher’s column may accept his erroneous opinions as fact.

I hope that our students are being educated on the latest scientific information about global climate change, and the real actions that we, as individuals and a society, can take to mitigate the situation. I applaud the efforts of those who participated in the strike to inform the adults around them and attempt to garner our support.

Further, I would encourage PAN readers to seek out reliable scientific information regarding the very real and pressing issue of climate change.

Kathie Alary, Surrey

•••

Re: Vitriolic view not welcome, Oct. 2 letters.

Elise Burgert’s letter to the editor is troubling on two fronts.

She thinks her beliefs are so infallible that for someone to state a contrary point of view is immoral. Furthermore, she feels that for the local paper to publish a dissenting point of view is shameful. She is advocating what in this day and age is a phenomenon we’ve come to know as ‘deplatforming.’

Shame on her for suggesting that freedom of speech in our democratic society should be denied to anyone, no matter how wrong she thinks they are and how noble she considers her cause to be.

Few would disagree that academia does the bidding of the political left. Impressionable young students are being taught to think that they face a catastrophic future, with complete disregard for their mental well-being.

The resulting anxiety and hysteria that is being exhibited by some students as a result of this fake narrative is child abuse, pure and simple.

Looking back at Al Gore’s 2006 movie, An Inconvenient Truth, virtually every prediction espoused by Gore was wrong. Many laughably so. Looking back on today’s “climate emergency” 13 years from now, we’ll see how little the apocalyptic rhetoric of today had to do with reality.

Remembering that climate change is a naturally occurring phenomenon adds perspective.

Recalling the first verse of Paul Simon’s hit song Kodachrome does as well.

Glen Gerow, White Rock

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