Quest for ‘balance’ leads to inaccuracies

NANAIMO – Re: Tornado opportunists wrong on all counts with climate changes, Guest Comment, May 28.

To the Editor,

Re: Tornado opportunists wrong on all counts with climate changes, Guest Comment, May 28.

I get it that the News Bulletin feels it necessary to offer ‘balance’ by printing articles such as this one. After all, it prints articles by David Suzuki on a regular basis.

What I don’t get is why it failed to check the accuracy of the claims made in this article, unlike in the rest of your normally excellent paper?

If I claimed to be from a scientific organization and stated that the Colliery dams are safer than anything else in Nanaimo, I perceive your paper would alter the content or not print it at all.

Yet this opinion piece from a ‘scientific’ organization evidently lied outright about the effects of climate warming, saying that violent storms are “on the decline” – while headlines read: “Weather disasters increasing, insurance industry warns.”

Annual payouts from flooding, fire, hail and windstorms actually increased from $100 million to $1 billion in the last decade. I believe it – my house insurance rates are rising far faster than are my property taxes.

Ironically, moving away from fossil fuels generates three- to eight-times more (and local) jobs per dollar invested, lowers transportation costs, greatly increases the local economy, often improves health outcomes and social well-being and reduces climate disasters (and insurance claims). These are provable.

But, sadly, in the interest of ‘journalistic balance’ it appears your newspaper is sometimes willing to forego its responsibility for printing accurate articles and thus confuse the public into believing our only future is with fossil fuels.

I know you can do better.

Ian Gartshore

Nanaimo