During the last couple of years, I have been writing letters to the editors of newspapers and magazines that publish misleading or incorrect articles about climate change. For the most part, they don’t end up getting printed. Still, it is sensible to hope that they get into the hands of editors and sometimes the authors of the original pieces.
At the same time, we now live in an age where may people have email addresses that are either public or easy to guess. We can take advantage of that by directly contacting people who write problematic articles, and then engaging them directly in debate. If we are lucky, some of them will agree to let us publish the back-and-forth, as Nobel Prize winner Robert Laughlin has done.
I see several advantages to this approach:
- It gives us a lot more space to make arguments and raise evidence than can be had in a letter to the editor
- It provides a resource to those seeking information on climate change science and policy
- It provides specific information on the viewpoints of individuals who are sufficiently well-connected to have their articles published
- Ultimately, it may allow us to draw more attention to the idea of leaving most of the world’s remaning fossil fuels buried, to prevent dangerous climate change
I have already kicked off the new approach by writing to Colin Robertson. Naturally, I will continue to write letters to the editor and pursue other strategies to raise awareness about climate change and to try and encourage the development and implementation of sound climate change policies.