NY Times Andrew Revkin Walks Back Some of His “Overstated” Phrases About Peter Gleick — Or Does He?
The media loves he-said, she-said stories. Those have the most narrative drama and require the least amount of actual judgment on the part of reporters or editors. Just relate the core facts and then slap some opposing quotes and you are done!
And so we have the Washington Post‘s story on the Heartland affair, “Climate scientist admits duping skeptic group to obtain documents.”
Of course the piece had to quote Heartland Institute President Joseph L. Bast. But recall that several leading climate scientists slammed Heartland last week for “spreading misinformation” and “personally attacking climate scientists to further its goals.” Bast himself told Climate Progress last year, the “ecological impact” of mining and burning fossil fuels is “not negative”! And remember his 2006 quote on second-hand smoking that “no victim of cancer, heart disease, etc. can ‘prove’ his or her cancer or heart disease was caused by exposure to secondhand smoke.”
Surely one representative of the misinformers is more than enough in any serious news article on climate. But no, the WashPost actually quotes the long-debunked Richard Lindzen to close its piece — please, put your head vises on for this one:
Richard Lindzen, an atmospheric scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who has questioned whether climate change will cause effects as severe as some predict, said he has been struck by “the viciousness” of his opponents. But Lindzen feels obligated to keep questioning what Gleick and others say about climate change impact “because they’re lies, it’s that simple. What would you do if people were truly misrepresenting things, and it has consequences for society?”
The WashPost quotes Lindzen attacking others for telling lies and misrepresenting things? Here are RealClimate scientists debunking a “series of strawman arguments, red-herrings and out and out errors” by Lindzen. Then we have climatologist Kevin Trenberth explaining that the flaws in Lindzen-Choi paper “have all the appearance of the authors having contrived to get the answer they got”. Here is The Atlantic‘s Marc Ambinder debunking Lindzen, “Global warming denialists have been re-discredited”
How could the Washington Post run those head-exploding quotes from Lindzen?
But they are sober stuff compared to Lindzen’s crocodile tears about how he’s been “struck by ‘the viciousness’ of his opponents?” Last year, he smeared his one-time close friend climatologist Kerry Emanuel: