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posted: 11/1/2013 5:00 AM

Facts are clear on climate change

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Richard Francke's letter of Oct. 23 made me wonder yet again, what is the Daily Herald's policy on printing letters to the editor containing errors of fact? In his letter denying climate change, Mr. Francke refers to the NIPCC report. This is a report created by The Heartland Institute, which has a long history of opposing science in the interest of its free-market funders, including ExxonMobil.

In contrast, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issues periodic reports based on rigorous science. Thousands of top climate scientists and other experts contribute on a voluntary basis, without payment from the IPCC. The evidence is clear that climate change is happening, and the IPCC reports with 95 percent certainty that human influence is the dominant cause.

We need honest information in order to create informed public policy. Our children's future depends upon it. The duty of journalism is to provide accurate, truthful news. Editorials and opinion letters obviously fall into a different category, but when the arguments for those opinions are based on factual errors, I believe it is the Daily Herald's responsibility to exercise its editorial duties.

The Los Angeles Times does not print letters from climate-change deniers because, "saying 'there's no sign humans have caused climate change' is not stating an opinion, it's asserting a factual inaccuracy." I believe the Daily Herald should follow suit.

Janet McDonnell

Arlington Heights

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