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Global-warming deniers cherry-pick their facts

Re: “David Suzuki wants to muzzle other theories,” letter, Sept. 10.

Re: “David Suzuki wants to muzzle other theories,” letter, Sept. 10.

The cherry-picking season in the Okanagan is over, but it’s alive and well on the letters page of this newspaper, with a classic example via the tired meme: “The planet has warmed very little since 1998.”

Hmmm … why would the letter-writer pick 1998, one wonders? Well, it’s one of the warmest years in recent decades, thanks to a major El Niño, so if you pick that as a starting point — as global-warming deniers are wont to do –– ongoing warming looks less imposing.

It’s spin, pure and simple. The fact is that Planet Earth is heating up. Every decade since the 1970s has been warmer than its predecessor, driven inexorably upward by human-produced greenhouse-gas emissions. And this year is on track to be the warmest of at least the past 1,000 years.

A year ago, the BBC in the U.K. advised that in future its editorial decisions on climate-change issues would be guided by scientific fact and consensus. All media would do well to heed that advice and not give credence to purveyors of selectively plucked cherries.

Thomas F. Pedersen

Executive director

Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions

University of Victoria

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