Rep. Dan Kelley, a state representative from Newton, Iowa, started a petition on CREDO Mobilize, where activists can launch their own campaigns for progressive change. Will you help Rep. Kelley pressure the Des Moines Register to take a stand against climate change denial by signing his petition and sharing it with your friends and family?
The Los Angeles Times recently announced a common-sense policy of refusing to publish letters to the editor that deny climate change. But unfortunately, among major newspapers, the L.A. Times stands out as an exception.
Many newspapers around the country either frequently run letters to the editor that promote climate change denial, or don’t have an explicit policy against doing so. Unfortunately, that includes the paper I read most often — the Des Moines Register.
That’s why I started my own campaign on CREDOMobilize.com, which allows activists to start their own petitions. My petition, which is to Carol Hunter, Interim Editor of the Des Moines Register, says the following:
It is the job of newspapers to inform viewers of factual information, not promote lies about climate change. Implement a formal policy of refusing to publish any letters to the editor or other content that denies climate change.
Here in Iowa, we understand the role renewable energy plays in our future. Of all 50 states, we’re third only to California and Texas in the amount of wind energy we generate, and nearly a fourth of the energy we produce comes from wind. As a state legislator, I’m proud to represent constituents who work at two major manufacturers of wind turbine blades and towers that help other states follow our lead.
But as a faithful reader of the Des Moines Register, living in a state that invests so much in the future of energy, it’s especially disappointing when I see the Register print letters from climate change deniers who want to tie our state to the dirty fuels of the past.
I read the Register because I believe it plays a critical role in our political process by acting as a check against unscrupulous politicians who lie to the public. But by “reporting both sides” and giving climate change deniers equal space to promote their lies, large swaths of the news media have failed to do their job of informing the public.
With the science on climate change becoming increasingly grim and time running out to prevent catastrophic extreme weather events from becoming near-constant occurrences, we can’t afford to let the Register mislead the public by printing errors of fact about climate change.
Last month, the L.A. Times letters editor wrote:
“Simply put, I do my best to keep errors of fact off the letters page; when one does run, a correction is published. Saying “there’s no sign humans have caused climate change” is not stating an opinion, it’s asserting a factual inaccuracy.”
While the L.A. Times’ announcement is a welcome step in the right direction, we need to put pressure on the Des Moines Register to follow suit, given the influence it has on decision makers in our state, including my colleagues at the statehouse.
Will you join me and add your name to my petition telling the Des Moines Register to explicitly reject letters to the editor that deny climate change?
Thank you for your support.
Rep. Dan Kelley
Sign the petition