Response to Reisman commentary

To the editor:

I was disappointed this morning to find that the Ellsworth American gave such prominent commentary space to Jon Reisman, and to learn that the University of Maine employees someone who publicly demonstrates such a lack of academic rigor.

It is not his lack of a PhD that bothers me, nor his financial ties to the likes of the Koch brothers.  Rather, it is the fact that his commentary consists of regurgitated headlines from conservative misinformation mills with little evidence of research or independent thinking reflected in his commentary.

To cite just one example, Mr. Reisman claims that “The Democrat [sic] platform also contained a plank calling for the investigation and prosecution of climate change skeptics as racketeering enemies of the planet who must be punished and silenced.”

What the Democratic Party platform actually says is that “All corporations owe it to their shareholders to fully analyze and disclose the risks they face, including climate risk. Those who fail to do so should be held accountable. Democrats also respectfully request the Department of Justice to investigate allegations of corporate fraud on the part of fossil fuel companies accused of misleading shareholders and the public on the scientific reality of climate change.”

Did Mr. Reisman actually read the platform?  Whether he did, and concluded that investigating allegations of fraud equates to broad investigation of all climate change skeptics, whether he didn’t bother with this basic first step of developing a commentary, or whether he purposefully mislead his readers, I don’t consider him fit to teach in our university system or write commentaries for our esteemed local paper.

And no, I am not another liberal trying to silence climate skeptics.  Flat earthers are welcome to write letters to the editor and speak at Koch brothers’ events.  But university classes and commentaries on the front page of your editorial section are not the place for invented narratives posing as academic truths.


Florence Reed

Surry, ME

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