Editorial – Unlucky Valentines

For some people, this Friday the thirteenth brings along some unpleasant feelings. Not because it’s supposedly bad luck so much as because it means tomorrow is the 14th of February and they’ve suddenly realized they’ve made no plans whatsoever for Valentine’s Day. Needless to say, I expect I’ll be making amends the rest of the week, unless I can come up with something really good in the next few hours. If anybody has suggestions, by all means feel free to mail them to me at karl@voicemagazine.org. Any help is appreciated.

Now, I know that in last week’s editorial I said I don’t often disagree with the articles here, but this week again, I feel like I should make it known ahead of time that it does happen. In particular, The Great Warming Debate this week by S.D. Livingston has found some information about climate change and adjustments that are made of the temperature record. While she has a good point overall about how science needs to be careful, we as laymen also need to be careful when we’re ascribing bias or felonious motives to science, because, as usual, when you look a little deeper in to the matter, it turns out things are not so simple.

To be specific, adjustments of recorded temperatures has always happened, and in fact has been called for by people arguing against human-caused climate change as the simple raw numbers are not fully descriptive either, due to various events that occur (such as changes in the housings of the equipment, changes in locations, and changes in the local environment around the equipment). So when one scientist claims systematic adjustments of temperatures in one direction, it always pays to look around and see if anybody else is saying anything about it, because the reality is, this world is full of cranks and dishonest people, but the internet gives everybody an equal voice.

Some think that that’s the great thing about the internet, that all voices are made equal, but those people don’t understand that there’s such a thing as negative informational value. When we find a piece of information that is false, or misleading, that’s information with a negative value, as it hampers us from being able to see objective reality. Should the people who believe in a flat earth, for instance, have an equal voice to everybody else? For myself, I take as a starting point for climate science debates the site http://www.skepticalscience.com/ and go on to further research from there. For me, and for science, there’s no doubt that the climate is changing, and that human released CO2 has been the primary cause. The difficult part is figuring out what should be done about it, but until people who are releasing bad information about it are given as much voice as those who argue for a flat earth, we’re going to have difficulty mustering the political will to accomplish meaningful steps.

But articles like that, which provoke thought and, ideally, response, are the kind of articles that I like to print. And we’ve got a few of those this week, from Deanna Roney’s look at the dread of sending in an AU assignment, to the Writer’s Toolbox look into helping you with creating your fiction, to our Council Connection or any of the rest of the articles. I expect everybody will find something in this week’s issue that makes them think. Enjoy the read!