LETTER: Is sample size the answer?

The reality concerning Fake News is that unless those expressing either viewpoint have the necessary unbiased expertise, their conclusion is dependent on information provided by third parties and therefore may be incorrect.

That is the whole point regarding fake or distorted news, whichever side you are on and whether the subject relates to climate change or anything else.

The Digital Reporter’s discussion on who to believe (Express, February 24) provides a useful perspective. Most of us non-experts are not qualified to come to a conclusion, whether we are non-expert everyday people such as you and me or influential such as the climate change protagonists, the Prince of Wales, Al Gore and the Green Party or indeed the Weapons of Mass Destruction scaremongers such as George Bush and Tony Blair.

We must therefore rely on expert opinion. But most experts whether they are individuals or inter-government advisory panels such as the IPCC cannot be relied upon because of their vested interests. Indeed, Brian Beck’s analysis of climate change data (Express 24 February) provides further evidence to cause us concern that so called experts and individuals in influential positions give us the wrong or a distorted message. This difficulty is compounded by the reluctance of most of us to accept the alternative view, even when clear and unbiased evidence opposing the opinion we hold materialises.

Perhaps the answer lies in the size of the sample – not the number of experts but the number of us ‘everyday’ people who draw a conclusion?

Statistically the margin of error decreases as a sample size increases. If so, important issues should always be decided by a referendum allowing us all to vote with each of our votes carrying equal weight. As with the EU Referendum, then whether the decision is right or wrong in an absolute sense, it is the right decision for the majority.

Cllr Dr Alan Latham

Chyngton way ,Seaford