The 'civil heretic' and uncivil critics
The NYT has an engrossing story
about legendary scientist Freeman Dyson, who dares to question the scientific assumptions about global warming and its effects. I remember reading the story and thinking, "The pushback on this is going to be interesting." Sure enough, Media Matters blasted out an email questioning the NYT writer's credentials -- "a sports and music writer"
-- and this press release
criticizing Dyson and his mistakes. Out of curiousity, I moseyed on over to Media Matters
, found its staff and advisors page
and, interestingly enough, there's not a lot of science background among them. I emailed back the MM emailer, somewhat snarkily, I admit, inquiring whether the attacks on the NYT writer might be a little bit, well, personal, considering, well, the MMers don't have a lot of science background themselves. Didn't hear back. ...
For the record: 1.) I believe global warming, or some sort of climate change, is happening. 2.) I believe fossil fuels are more than likely contributing to it. 3.) I generally adhere to the wise non-scientific attitude of The Economist, which once said that we non-scientists really don't know WTF we're talking about so let's just assume fossil fuels cause nasty pollution, start wars, etc., and let's err on the obvious side of caution and common-sense by reducing use of them. 4.) I don't want to see people like Dyson silenced. I don't care about the global-warming views of right-wing ideologues. I already know what they're going to say on all types of issues. But Dyson is an entirely different matter -- and it came across to me that MM was engaging in a classic shoot-the-messenger ploy by going after the writer, something that journalists are supposed to abhor. ... P.S. - Here's another shoot the messenger