Climate scientists are canceling their subscriptions to The New York Times because the paper hired a columnist who is skeptical of man-made global warming.
Climatologists Michael Mann and Stefan Rahmstorf believe The NYT’s decision to add former Wall Street Journal writer Bret Stephens indicates that the paper has thrown its lot in with “climate denialists.”
They are urging other left-leaning academics to follow their lead to send a signal to The Gray Lady that climate skepticism is intolerable.
Rahmstorf, a researcher at Potsdam Institute for Climate Impacts Research in Germany, accused The NYT of “unbearable hypocrisy” for hiring Stephens while holding itself up as a beacon of “truth.”
“The Times has denounced the critics of its decision as ‘left-leaning,” Rahmstorf wrote in a letter to paper on Thursday. “This is an insult to me and was the final straw to cancel my subscription. There is no left-leaning or right-leaning climate science, just as there is no republican or democrat theory of gravity.”
Stephens has defended himself from the climate warriors’ barbs, telling Vox earlier this month that he is not a climate skeptic. He believes that man contributes to rising temperatures throughout the years.
“The best scientific evidence suggests temperatures are rising,” he said, “and the best scientific evidence suggests man-made anthropogenic carbon emissions have some substantial thing to do with that.”
He added that climate forecasts contain uncertainties ‚Äì in short, temperature increases yesterday do not necessarily mean those temperatures will increase in perpetuity, he said.
“If I say, “Hey, there are uncertainties about forecasting the future,” that ought to be — in any other context — a statement of common sense. But now if you say there are uncertainties, you are akin to what’s called ‘a denier.”
The NYT, meanwhile, has continued to defend Stephens’ pedigree.
“The crux of the question is whether his work belongs inside our boundaries for intelligent debate, and I have no doubt that it does,” James Bennett, the paper’s editorial director, said on April 22. “I have no doubt he crosses our bar for intellectual honesty and fairness.”
Stephens’ comments and The NYT’s defense of their new hire were apparently not enough to quell Mann’s rage.
“I’m now convinced that the NY Times is part of the problem,” Mann, a climate academic at Pennsylvania State University, told reporters earlier this month. He also said that it “it really is time for people to cancel their subscriptions.”
An online petition urging the paper to fire Stephens has now gained almost 25,000 signatures in the last seven days.