On Monday, The New Yorker published Elizabeth Kolbert’s lengthy review of SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance. In her 2400-word review, titled “Hosed: Is there a quick fix for the climate?” she writes:
Given their emphasis on cold, hard numbers, it’s noteworthy that Levitt and Dubner ignore what are, by now, whole libraries’ worth of data on global warming. Indeed, just about everything they have to say on the topic is, factually speaking, wrong. Among the many matters they misrepresent are: the significance of carbon emissions as a climate-forcing agent, the mechanics of climate modelling, the temperature record of the past decade, and the climate history of the past several hundred thousand years. Raymond T. Pierrehumbert is a climatologist who, like Levitt, teaches at the University of Chicago. In a particularly scathing critique, he composed an open letter to Levitt, which he posted on the blog RealClimate.
On Friday, coauthor Stephen Dubner replied in a post titled, “With Geoengineering Outlawed, Will Only Outlaws Have Geoengineering?“ Notwithstanding the title, the piece is clearly meant to be serious. Here is what they have to say about Kolbert’s review: