Environment

Climate Fun House Mirror

Collide-a-ScapeBy Keith KloorFeb 26, 2010 4:48 PM

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I know that Roger Pielke, Jr.'s loudest critics view him as a stalking horse for climate skeptics and deniers, so I'm sure they will find it useful that he's been included in this absurdly titled and absurdly packaged Field Guide to Skeptics. Surely the authors of this Foreign Policy article are aware that climate skeptic is a loaded term, commonly used to categorize people who either doubt the science behind anthropogenic climate change, or argue that mitigation of carbon emissions is not necessary at this point in time. Roger is not one of those people. I know because I've read enough of his body of work to know where he stands. Hell, even the Foreign Policy writers seem to know this, because they end their profile of him with this quote:

For his part, he thinks, "Climate change is a huge problem, and it's a problem linked to human activity. Greenhouse gases are an important part of that, but it's not only greenhouse gases. And we need to respond accordingly."

So I think Roger is justifiably perplexed at being labeled a climate skeptic by a major magazine, when he wonders aloud:

Am I the only one who finds this a bit incongruous?

No. UPDATE: An editor's note added to the Pielke portion of the FP article tries to explain:

The aim of the list was, as the introduction states, to separate "the noise from the serious concerns" with regards to those offering critiques of either climate science or institutions charged with presenting climate science to the public or policy-makers; the article was explicitly not intended to equate the viewpoints of all people contained on the list.

If they wanted to separate "the noise from the serious concerns," then they were doomed from the outset when they highlighted the article on the website's roving homepage, with an illustration of a polar bear on a melting iceberg, above this header:

Deny! Deny! Deny! FP's Guide to Climate Skeptics

UPDATE 2: Predictably, Joe Romm is happy to note the FP designation during one of his patented rants against Roger. I do hope Romm has the courage to take up Roger's invitation to a debate. Don't bet on it, though. Deep down Romm knows that William Connolley is right about this.

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