The Portland Press Herald does a disservice to readers when it publishes errors of fact such as those printed in “Another View: Let’s do the climate math for answers on global warming” (June 12).

According to the author, there are 12 currently active volcanoes worldwide, and a single volcano emits more “carbon pollutants” than “all the cars ever built, combined.”

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, about 70 volcanoes are typically active in any given year, and they emit a total of only a small fraction of the carbon dioxide emitted by cars and light trucks annually. The best available complicated science on the role volcanoes play regarding climate is that volcanic emissions probably have a net cooling function, not warming, as the writer implied.

Inaccuracies regarding the science of global warming have been a regular feature of what appears to be an over-diligent effort on the part of the editors to offer a “balance” of opinions on global warming.

Inaccuracies aside, the more serious problem is that by choosing to publish so much material that rejects global warming science, the paper supports a “false balance” – that there are two relatively equal “sides” to the science of global warming. This is not accurate; the overwhelming weight of the best independent research indicates that global warming threatens our quality of life.

Good journalism is no accident. Guidelines for best practices challenge editors and contributors to fact-check, use the best sources with demonstrated expertise and qualifications in appropriate fields and to be “fair to the truth” – not create the impression that there are two equally valid “sides” to every issue.

Perhaps readers should be thankful that the editors haven’t also felt compelled to give equal space to the Flat Earth Society each time the PPH prints an image of the Earth.

Dudley Greeley