Comment to 538 on Climate Change reporting

I just posted the following comment to 538 regarding Nate Silver’s article, FiveThirtyEight to Commission Response to Disputed Climate Article. I thought I would post it here as well (slightly edited to clean up web links):

My comment is in specific regards to the following: “Roger’s article also contained an implicit policy recommendation in its closing paragraph. Whether or not the recommendation was justified by Roger’s thesis and evidence, we generally prefer to avoid these kind of recommendations, and instead allow readers to draw any policy conclusions for themselves.”

While I am okay with the valid editorial decision to separate opinion from reporting, I feel that 538 should provide a platform for just those very conclusions and recommendations. Climate change is real and caused by humans (see AAAS’ What We Know, or NAS’ Climate Change: Evidence and Causes, among myriads of documents). What we desperately need are the new policies and changes necessary to combat climate change. Where you choose to place that conversation is not important. The “prefer[ence] to avoid” the policy conclusions is not what I would hope to see from a data-driven journalism site.

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