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Unpublished Letters: Media responsibility for climate legislation failure

September 2nd, 2010 · No Comments

WarrenS has taken on an admirable resolution: to send a letter to the editor (LTE) (or, well, a major politician) every single day, on the critical issues of climate change and energy. This discusses his approach and here is an amusing ‘template’ to for rapid letter writing.

Now, I have always written letters and even had many published — just not one every day. WarrenS inspires me to do better.

Many newspapers state that they will reject letters that have been published elsewhere, thus I have not been blogging letters … perhaps that should change. Thus, below is what might be the first in an “unpublished letters” series publishing those LTEs that don’t get picked up by the editors.

30 July 2010

To the editor, The Washington Post,

Steven Stromberg, in How Washington failed on climate change, concludes that President Obama only could pursue a limited number of major initiatives. And, with the ability to have one big win, Obama chose health care over climate

Stromberg, deputy opinions editor of, has one glaring gap in an otherwise insightful piece: silence on any media responsibility for a political climate where climate legislation can become a backburner issue.

In recent weeks,

* Highest temperature records have been broken around the globe: Moscow, Kuwait, …
* Scientific institutions have reported:
o That, to date, 2010 is the hottest year in history
o The past decade is the hottest in human history
o That, since 1950, the world’s phytoplankton has decreased by 40 percent due to climate change.

And, so on …

These types of stories, however, are not front page items for The Washington Post.

And, The Washington Post and “opinions” section have had “balanced” reporting where those seeking to confuse people about the science are given equal — or even greater — billing as reality-based discussions.

That President Obama and the US Senate did not feel a great urgency to pass climate legislation is, in part, because Congress’ home page paper has not accurately reported climate change and has give voice to those peddling falsehoods.


A. Siegel

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Tags: climate change · environmental · Global Warming · journalism · unpublished letters · Washington Post