Ben Stein and NYT ‘Get Really Seriously Wrong’

Stating quite succinctly how “there is an ongoing issue about whether global warming deniers should be treated seriously by the media, given that they have about as much scientific support for their position as the flat-Earth crew,” economist Dean Baker (Beat the Press, 7/11/09) notes how the July 11 “New York Times goes them one better in finding a global warming ignorer”: Apparently, Ben Stein has never heard about global warming. How else can someone interpret this paragraph: I don’t believe we need to do something radical about energy, but even assuming that we do, why do it right now? […]


Fox Fantasizes Evidence of ‘Global Cooling’

During his regular review of scientific reporting for the Knight Science Journalism Tracker, Boyce Rensberger describes (5/7/09) how the “11-year (give or take) sunspot cycle, associated with a periodic reversal in the sunâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢s magnetic poles” means that “the number of sunspots increases in the years just before a reversal.” But Rensberger notes that “Where are we now?” depends on “Who you gonna read?”: The Christian Science Monitor says the next reversal, expected in 2012, could be associated with an unusual number of sunspots and solar flares. Those flares send out barrages of charged particles that can cause problems on Earth. […]


The NYT’s Favorite ‘Climate Change Denier’

An April 24 New York Times op-ed from “Skeptical Environmentalist” Bjorn Lomborg contends “that reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a hopeless cause and that public money is better spent on research and development of renewable energy”–which Jonathan Hiskes of Grist calls (4/27/09) “a classic Lomborg argument–deliberately provocative and presenting several worthy goals as an either/or choice. Choose either emissions caps or R&D, he proposes. You can’t have both.” Pointing out that Lomborg “makes no mention of the tremendous potential that carbon regulation has to raise money for clean energy R&D,” Hiskes gives us some background: Lomborg made his name in […]