Letter: Schendler shows his intolerant views
Auden Schendler’s opinion (“Where were the fact checkers on Sturm column?” Commentary, Sept. 16, The Aspen Times) is a perfect example of Melanie Sturm’s point (“Inconvenient truths denied by climate faithful,” Commentary, Sept. 11, The Aspen Times). He is a climate-faithful member of the “Church of Settled Science.” Asserting that her columns are misleading and fallacious and need to be peer-reviewed is no different from calling her a liar — the first and last refuge of the ideologue.
Recall Melanie’s question: “So, who are the heretics? Are they alarmists intent on circumventing scientific inquiry and the free and open debate on which national consensus in a pluralistic democracy depends, or skeptics ‘not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead,’ as Thomas Jefferson encouraged? ‘It is error alone which needs the support of government,’ Jefferson believed, because ‘truth can stand by itself.’”
In a democracy, a well-informed public can play an important role in helping elected officials make wise policy decisions. Yet Schendler insists the public only be informed to the extent that he and others in the “Church of Settled Science” allow. That not only defies our constitutional right to free speech; it is tyrannical by nature — and is the very reason we have the First Amendment.
Schendler’s intolerant views and policy prescriptions are deeply reactionary and most harmful to vulnerable populations. In a valley noted for its high cost of living, he does not seem to care that his policy prescriptions will constrict people’s standards of living. That’s why he inhabits the moral low ground.
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