Thursday, March 26, 2009

Dyson: Not As Advertised

I'll grant that this piece about Freeman Dyson and his anti-climate change positions is a nice little bio. But I was expecting something that would actually, y'know, show why he thinks the scientific consensus is wrong, and there was precious little of that. It's just a whole lot of "he's smart, he thinks climate change isn't an issue", without addressing the problem of the thousands of other smart people who have done a lot of smart work on the subject who are quite sure that the climatological equivalent of gravity exists.

Sorry, but I'm not going to be impressed by a writer that is willing to let people say things like "I never claim to be an expert on climate. I think it’s more a matter of judgment than knowledge" without applying the same standard to, say, aeronautical engineers. About all it does show is that too many journalists still have a crippling aversion to treating science as anything but religion in lab coats.

(Well, and that Freeman Dyson probably wouldn't get along with David Attenborough, considering his airy dismissal of the dangers faced by polar bears.)

Edit: Link added. I'll also add a link to the Media Matters response, where they point out that, far from being a science writer, the guy who penned the piece is a sports and music writer. Which might explain why a piece on science seemed so curiously lacking in, well, science.

First George Will and now this. Are the media's Powers That Be that worried about people taking climate change seriously, or just that thirsty for a fake controversy now that their favored political battles have become so one-sided?

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