The Cabbie & Climate Change

Collide-a-ScapeBy Keith KloorMar 10, 2011 8:58 AM


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Grist's ace climate writer does some reporting in New York City...well, actually, he pulls a Thomas Friedman and talks to a taxi driver, who then becomes the symbolic Everyman in ace climate writer's post. (For those not familiar with this device, Thomas Friedman, when parachuting into European capitals or Middle Eastern cities, is fond of using taxi drivers as the symbolic Everyman of a particular country or ethnic group.) So the cabbie, prompted by Grist's ace climate writer to give his opinion on global warming,

ended up going on for a full 10 minutes. I so wish I could have recorded it. It was a perfect articulation of what I take to be the general orientation of millions of Americans.

The Grist ace climate writer, apparently unfamiliar with the long, fine tradition of NYC cabbies and their willingness to expound on all subjects known to mankind, conveniently decides that the views of his cab driver are representative of "millions of Americans." Cabbie informed pundit commentary is such a peculiar genre. But whatever. The Grist ace climate writer then goes on to call this NYT article by an actual reporter "unforgivable dreck." All I can picture is the reporter rolling his eyes.

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