Worst Science Article of the Day: Climate Denialism in The Daily Beast

By Andrew Moseman | December 8, 2009 6:21 pm

Planet earthLately when we’ve picked on people for bad science reporting, it’s often been anti-vaccine nonsense in the Huffington Post, or The Telegraph for going way overboard on one story or another. Today, though, it’s The Daily Beast, running columnist Tunku Varadarajan’s “A Skeptic’s Guide to Copenhagen.” And Varadarajan earned both contempt and some praise for this piece.

Given the title, Varadarajan certainly isn’t trying to hide what he’s doing; it’s a big tent revival for people who agree with him. The piece trots out one global warming non-believer talking point after another: suggesting the East Anglia hacked e-mails affair shows a widespread conspiracy, taking the word “trick” in the emails out of context, saying the sun is “the likeliest global warming culprit,” painting a handful of scientists like Freeman Dyson as heroic for “dissenting from the warmist consensus” and dismissing the rest as a bunch of villainous sheep, and so on.

Then there’s this little bit from the Michelle Bachmann school of science (CO2 can’t be bad because it’s natural):

Don’t forget carbon dioxide, a colorless, odorless gas once considered essential to life on earth, not to mention bubbles in Champagne. (Although it’s now regarded as a poisonous pollutant, you can, however, trade it.)

Forget that Varadarajan dodges the fact that this makes no sense by being cute (see: Will, George). I’m actually impressed at the sheer breadth of the project. Seriously. The Daily Beast column might be little more than name-calling passed off as “eyebrow-raising” opinion, but just about all the talking points are there, neatly wrapped in three pages. Varadarajan actually makes good reading for both those who need their non-believer spirit lifted and those AGW believers who want to hone their arguments.

Related Content:
Discoblog: Worst Science Article of the Week
80beats: U.N. Climate Summit Begins in Copenhagen
The Loom: George Will: Uncheckable?
The Intersection: The Latest Anti-Science Republican: Mike Pence

Image: iStockphoto

  • http://www.twitter.com/nemski nemski

    I wish I could laugh, but I cannot.

  • Carter

    I laughed at Michelle Bachmann, as I do every time I read about her latest hijinks in the paper. She’s from a very, erm, odd district of Minnesota. I can’t understand why she thinks CO2 is totally harmless. While of course it is vital for plant life, obviously the concentrations we will reach in the next several decades is dangerous. But if she wants to find out how deadly a poison it really is, she should plull a plastic bag over her head and breathe deeply.


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