The Wall Street Journal editorial page has long taken issue with progressive, liberal issues, including the need to address the human impact on climate change. Now, environmentalists are fighting back.

A group of environmental journalists, all with long careers in environmentalism, are criticizing the paper for its decades of undermining science and arguing against the overwhelming consensus in the scientific community that the environment is being threatened. The Journal has long downplayed the fact that humans are causing climate change, despite the strong evidence. It tends to claim that it would be too costly to attempt to fix the problem and sees calls for greening as being politically motivated. A February 16, 2010 editorial stated, “We think the science is still disputable.”

Using words like “disingenuous,” “misleading,” and “dangerous,” the group echoed the concerns raised in a recent report about the Journal done by Media Matters, showing that the paper has been distorting facts about environmental issues including the ozone and acid rain.

“In the case of climate change, there is strong body of scientific evidence that shows climate change is occurring and that is caused by human activities,” said Carolyn Whetzel, president of the Society of Environmental Journalists and a reporter for Bloomberg BNA. “This has been reported in hundreds of news outlets in the U.S. and around the world. Editorials that argue otherwise simply do not reflect peer-reviewed science and may confuse the news consuming public.”

Whetzel and other environmental journalists noted that the paper’s prominence makes its behavior even more disturbing and dangerous, since it is often quoted and cited to by other right-wing commentators, like Rush Limbaugh.

Whether the paper responds to the Media Matters reports or changes its tune on climate change remains to be seen.

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