Tag Archives: Science Denier

The New York Times Bites It With New Climate Denier Columnist

The New York Times has a history of supporting a certain degree of climate change science denial, while at the same time supporting some very good journalism in this area. Just now, the Times jumped over one big giant shark by adding Bret Stephens to its opinion page staff.

Stephens comes to the Times from the Wall Street Journal, a Murdoch anti-science rag you are all familiar with.

In 2011, he wrote,

Consider the case of global warming, another system of doomsaying prophecy and faith in things unseen.

As with religion, it is presided over by a caste of spectacularly unattractive people pretending to an obscure form of knowledge that promises to make the seas retreat and the winds abate. As with religion, it comes with an elaborate list of virtues, vices and indulgences. As with religion, its claims are often non-falsifiable, hence the convenience of the term “climate change” when thermometers don’t oblige the expected trend lines. As with religion, it is harsh toward skeptics, heretics and other “deniers.” And as with religion, it is susceptible to the earthly temptations of money, power, politics, arrogance and deceit.

“OK,” you say, “That was like six years ago. Maybe he stopped being a jerk since then.”

Nope. According to Joe Romm,

…in 2015, he wrote that climate change?—?along with hunger in America, campus rape statistics, and institutionalized racism— are “imaginary enemies.”

“OK,” you say, “That guy is even more of a jerk now than he was then!”


Romm also quotes climate scientist Michael Mann on Stephens’ hiring.

“sadly, the New York Times itself seems to have fallen victim to this malady, hiring one one of the most notorious climate change deniers, Bret Stephens, to promote climate denial propaganda on the once-hallowed pages of the Grey Lady.”

Media Matters has assembled a number of examples in which Stephens mislead readers on a number of matters including climate science. For example:

So global warming is dead, nailed into its coffin one devastating disclosure, defection and re-evaluation at a time. Which means that pretty soon we’re going to need another apocalyptic scare to take its place.


As for the United States, Gallup reports that global warming now ranks sixth on the list of Americans’ top 10 environmental concerns. My wager is that within a few years “climate change” will exercise global nerves about as much as overpopulation, toxic tampons, nuclear winters, ozone holes, killer bees, low sperm counts, genetically modified foods and mad cows do today.

Something is going to have to take its place.

The world is now several decades into the era of environmental panic. The subject of the panic changes every few years, but the basic ingredients tend to remain fairly constant. A trend, a hypothesis, an invention or a discovery disturbs the sense of global equilibrium. Often the agent of distress is undetectable to the senses, like a malign spirit. A villain—invariably corporate and right-wing—is identified. [The Wall Street Journal, 4/6/10; Media Matters, 4/6/10]

My friends at DeSmog Blog, a central clearing house for information on climate science deniers, will probably do something as well. I’ll link to it here should that happen.

Roger Pielke Junior, I forgive you for this one thing

Hi there, folks. This post should have been a tweet in response to Roger Pielke Jr (@RogerPielkeJr), professor of political science at the University of Colorado Boulder, the guy who got fired by Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight for, as I understand it, his anti-science positions on climate change. This is a response for a tweet by Junior designed to offend, nay, attack, both Professor Michael Mann and moi. But Roger blocks me (and everybody else) on twitter, so this has to be a blog post.

Roger is not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I suppose I can’t blame him for getting every single thing that he gets wrong wrong. When someone gets a specific thing wrong it is sometimes hard to say if it is because of base ignorance, nefarious intent (willful ignorance), or just one of those things someone didn’t happen to know. Since I am an anthropologist as well as a self-described expert (sub guru level, class II) on The West Wing, and Roger is neither, I will assume that he is not likely to get a West Wing reference even when it bites him in the face, even when West Wing references are dernier cri.

Refer to this post for background.

Having read the post, you understand that Judith (and Roger, but more Judith, because she is an actual climate scientists) rogered themselves — screwed themselves over — by leading Congress to the edge of the cliff, the metaphorical cliff you push federal funding programs off of, then asking to get pushed off the cliff before realizing what they were doing. I think that is clear.

Now, have a look at this brief scene from the West Wing.

See how the dairy farmer got rogered by President Bartlet back before he was running for president?

Now, have a look at some of Roger’s latest twittering.

So, Roger is accusing me of making a rape joke. I forgive you, Roger, because you are not up to this conversation and I understand that.

Now, I’m off to be interviewed for a local show on Minnesota’s Science March, coming up, then we’ve got a birthday in the family and gotta get ready for that!