Now, I’m a big believer in challenging people’s credibility – that’s how we dig away to something approaching truth.
But Newsweek science editor Sharon Begley torpedoes her own credibility and undermines the credibility of the review in her lede:
In naming roustabout, lumberjack, ironworker, and dairy farmer America’s “worst jobs,” CareerCast.com omitted one whose awfulness is counterbalanced only by its public-spiritedness: fact-checking BjÃ¸rn Lomborg.
Why is fact-checking Lomborg awful? Because you …ewww … have to read him?
Sorry, Sharon, but that’s just unworthy of anyone who would claim to be ‘NEWSWEEK’s science editor.’ Or if not, it tells me something about Newsweek.
Look, I don’t think Lomborg has a chokehold on truth in this complex issue. Nor do I think Steve McIntyre – or Phil Jones – does.
But I do think that the story is clear – that Jones et alia undermined the necessary process of science – through error cascade, groupthink, or deliberate policy – enough to move AGW into the ‘possible but unproven’ category.
What we need is constructive, transparent, respectful discussion that tries to sift the facts from the claims.
In her review, she makes reasonable claims that three of Lomborg’s claims are not supported by his citations. That’s serious. It would be more serious if she’d taken the time to map out Lomborg’s arguments and claim that – as a hypothetical – he makes 15 major claims and 10 minor claims and that of the 5 major claims that were checked, 4 of them were unsupported by his footnotes.
As it is, we have a science writer who is apparently virulently anti-Lomborg (see lede) citing a media critic’s anecdotal claims that several of Lomborg’s claims aren’t supported by his citations.
Lomborg responded on his website (pdf)…it’s worth checking out. If reading him doesn’t curdle your stomach, as it appears to do to Ms. Begley.
Update: Just read the Lomborg reply, and it’s pretty scathing about Friel’s claims. The fact that Begley doesn’t address the direct hits Lomborg seems to make further undermines not his credibility, but hers.