Green Fury over NYT hiring a lukewarmer columnist: Brett Stephens

Bret Stephens

Bret Stephens. By Вени Марковски | Veni Markovski (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

New York Times has triggered intolerant deep greens across the USA, by hiring a columnist who is not completely certain we face inevitable eco-doom.

Climate of Complete Certainty

This is Bret Stephens’s first column.

When someone is honestly 55 percent right, that’s very good and there’s no use wrangling. And if someone is 60 percent right, it’s wonderful, it’s great luck, and let him thank God.

But what’s to be said about 75 percent right? Wise people say this is suspicious. Well, and what about 100 percent right? Whoever says he’s 100 percent right is a fanatic, a thug, and the worst kind of rascal.

— An old Jew of Galicia

In the final stretch of last year’s presidential race, Hillary Clinton and her team thought they were, if not 100 percent right, then very close.

Right on the merits. Confident in their methods. Sure of their chances. When Bill Clinton suggested to his wife’s advisers that, considering Brexit, they might be underestimating the strength of the populist tide, the campaign manager, Robby Mook, had a bulletproof answer: The data run counter to your anecdotes.

That detail comes from “Shattered,” Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes’s compulsively readable account of Clinton’s 2016 train wreck. Mook belonged to a new breed of political technologists with little time for retail campaigning and limitless faith in the power of models and algorithms to minimize uncertainty and all but predict the future.

With me so far? Good. Let’s turn to climate change.

Last October, the Pew Research Center published a survey on the politics of climate change. Among its findings: Just 36 percent of Americans care “a great deal” about the subject. Despite 30 years of efforts by scientists, politicians and activists to raise the alarm, nearly two-thirds of Americans are either indifferent to or only somewhat bothered by the prospect of planetary calamity.

Why? The science is settled. The threat is clear. Isn’t this one instance, at least, where 100 percent of the truth resides on one side of the argument?

Well, not entirely. As Andrew Revkin wrote last year about his storied career as an environmental reporter at The Times, “I saw a widening gap between what scientists had been learning about global warming and what advocates were claiming as they pushed ever harder to pass climate legislation.” The science was generally scrupulous. The boosters who claimed its authority weren’t.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/28/opinion/climate-of-complete-certainty.html

To a normal person this article might seem harmless enough. But Stephens has trespassed on forbidden territory – he dares to question whether we should accept absolutely every pronouncement of imminent eco-doom at face value.

The overreaction from greens verges on comical. Consider the following from deSmogBlog;

Climate Scientists Cancelling Their New York Times Subscription Over Hiring of Climate Denialist Bret Stephens

By Graham Readfearn • Thursday, April 27, 2017 – 16:59

A New York Times defence of its hiring of a climate science denialist as a leading columnist is pushing high-profile climate scientists to cancel their subscriptions.

Professor Stefan Rahmstorf, of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impacts Research in Germany, is the latest scientist to write publicly to the New York Times detailing his reasons for cancelling their subscriptions.

The NYT has hired former Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens as a writer and deputy editorial page editor.

Stephens wrote several columns while at the WSJ disparaging climate science and climate scientists, which he has collectively described as a “religion” while claiming rising temeperatures may be natural.

The NYT has been defending its decision publicly, saying that “millions of people” agree with Stephens on climate science and just because their readers don’t like his opinions, that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be heard.

But the NYT defence has angered scientists.

Read more: https://www.desmogblog.com/2017/04/27/another-leading-climate-scientist-cancels-new-york-times-over-hrting-climate-denialist-bret-stephens

Huffington Post has also joined the fun;

13 Better Things To Read Than Bret Stephens’ First New York Times Column

The Gray Lady’s newest hire used his debut column to defend his record of climate science denial.

29/04/2017 9:09 AM AEST
Alexander C. Kaufman Business & Environment Reporter, HuffPost

The New York Times took a lot of heat for hiring Bret Stephens, a former opinion writer at The Wall Street Journal, as its newest columnist. There was a lot to criticize. In his storied tenure on some of the most radically conservative pages in print journalism, Stephens accused Arabs of suffering a “disease of the mind,” railed against the Black Lives Matter movement and dismissed the rise of campus rape as an “imaginary enemy.”

But Stephens’ views on climate change ― namely that the jury is still out on whether burning fossil fuels is the chief cause ― drew the widest condemnation. ThinkProgressadmonished the Gray Lady for hiring an “extreme climate denier,” and famed climatologist Michael Mann backed them up in the critique. DeSmog Blog, a site whose tagline reads “clearing the PR pollution that clouds climate science,” reported on a letter from climate scientists who are canceling their subscriptions to the newspaper over its latest hire. In These Times’ headline pointedly asked: “Why the Hell did the New York Times just hire a climate denier?”

Even the Times’ own reporters publicly questioned the hire.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/bret-stephens-nyt_us_5903b95fe4b05c39767fa198

I look forward to Stephen’s second column.

Advertisements

178 thoughts on “Green Fury over NYT hiring a lukewarmer columnist: Brett Stephens

  1. I stopped reading the New York Times when I saw them arranging the order of comments to match their opinions.

    • maybe too many readers are leaving –

      “Last October, the Pew Research Center published a survey on the politics of climate change. Among its findings: Just 36 percent of Americans care “a great deal” about the subject”

      • “Answering a survey just 36 percent of Americans care “a great deal” about the subject”

        Virtue Signalling is not just something you do in front of others — it is also something you do to maintain your own high self-opinion about yourself.

        But actions speak far louder than words. How many of that 36 percent — who supposedly greatly care about climate change — actually “act” on their supposed beliefs? Most are probably just small time versions of Al Gore who owns mansions and autos, a party time yacht and likes to fly around in private planes I have no doubt, human nature being what it is, that most of them put personal comfort first — and except when answering a survey don’t think much about climate change.and certainly don’t let it interfere with their ongoing lives.

        Eugene WR Gallun

      • Well, the reality is that many of us care ‘a great deal’ about the subject, because we believe (pending our new administration actually DOING something, and not just TALKING about it), the train has been headed down the wrong track into the tunnel with the boulder on the rails at the far end.

        So we care ‘a great deal’, but not in the manner the warmists would like.

      • Stephens misrepresented his sources because he cares more about propaganda than accuracy. It is a significant distortion of the Pew survey results to not mention 75% of Americans say they are “particularly concerned about helping the environment” as they go about daily living, 67% say “climate scientists should play a major role in policy decisions,” 61% say they “will make major changes to their way of life to address climate change,” 58% who believe the news media does a good job in covering issues about global climate change “follow the news very closely,” more than 80% support expanding solar panel and wind farms, more than 50% oppose offshore drilling, fracking, and coal mining. More than 60% are focused on living in ways that protect the environment say it bothers them a lot when they see other people leave lights and electronic devices on, or throw away things that could be recycled.

        When Revkin said he “saw a widening gap between what scientists had been learning about global warming and what advocates were claiming,” he was referring to the context of the “1992 climate change treaty.” That was his view 25 years ago. Stephens writes Revkin “wrote [this] last year,” without mentioning it was referring to events 25 years ago. The anecdotal comment of what one person thought 25 years ago cannot be assumed to be representative then and cannot be extrapolated to now.

      • “It is a significant distortion of the Pew survey results to not mention …

        That’s crazy talk, to me, David. Not mentioning things you want mentioned, is not distorting the survey, it’s just failing to please you.

      • @JohnKnight John, my point is Stephens misrepresented the Pew survey by only selecting the less than positive results. It may be “crazy talk” to you, but it is understood within science that if anyone is going to mention a study, there is an obligation to correctly represent it. What I meant to show was the Pew survey also contained positive results of majorities caring about climate change and the environment, in contrast the the one-sided picture presented by Stephens. Accuracy matters, and Stephens failed. Saying only 36% care “a great deal” fails to include 38% who care some, for a total of 74% who care. Look at the results for yourself: http://www.pewinternet.org/2016/10/04/the-politics-of-climate/

      • I was wondering, of those who “care a great deal”, how many are alarmists and how many are skeptics?

      • What we are witnessing is a crack starting to spread in the dry concrete brains of the climate alarmists. When things like this start, they do not stop.

    • Pokin’ around the lefty blogs to check out the lefty-pukes’ reaction to this Brett Stephens story has been delicious treat. Apparently, Stephens’ first column was published without a “trigger warning”–a patent hive-taboo no!-no!–and so the shock of the whole deal on the psychologically-unprepared good-comrades sent them, one and all, on a rocket-assist propelled (metaphorically speaking, of course), faster-than-a-speeding-bullet (maybe-metaphorical, maybe-not), madcap, psychotic-break, shrieking dash for their nearest, respective, hive-bubble safe-space, where they are currently undergoing mass, “two minutes hate” therapy.

      The best part of the whole deal being all those offended hive-bozos’ publicly-shared, fired-up, little, huff-n’-puff, shrill-and-cranky, frenzied dumb-kid, mouthy-spoiled-brat, snot-nosed, “front-row”-wanker, “I’ll tell my hive-mummy!”, gibbering-dork, I’m-gonna-“unlike”-you! zinger-boogers that they’ve oh! so self-importantly dispatched to the NYT demanding that their subscriptions be cancelled. Good stuff! And, for once, those absurd, little, creep-out, green-washed geek-balls have earned their participation trophies.

      • I liked what Brett vStephens wrote. I was more or less resigned to the Times being in the pcket of warmists when suddenly Stephens was appointed. A luke-warmist to me is someone on the fence who ought to climb down on my side because the other side is contaminated by pseudo-science. the It is unfortunate that warmists have insinuated their lies into all ,parts pf society, including many leaders of scientific societies. Such “leaders of science” reveal themselves as career politicians, not as scientists, when they took control of these societies. As a member of several scientific societies I expect to be consulted about my opinion. But these usurpers do not do that. It turns our that the Times apparently still has some thinking persons who realize that the anti-science doctrines of the global warming movement are a dead end. Let’s see if they will stand up to the political pressure of the warmist establishment to fire Stephens. Except for digging a hole for itself by always backing warmists they are still a decent source to orient yourself to the news. I am curious how this will play out in other parts of the paper.

      • Shades of Sean Thomas-
        ‘ First, I asked Stephen Belcher, the head of the Met Office Hadley Centre, whether the recent extended winter was related to global warming. Shaking his famous “ghost stick”, and fingering his trademark necklace of sharks’ teeth and mammoth bones, the loin-clothed Belcher blew smoke into a conch, and replied,

        “Here come de heap big warmy. Bigtime warmy warmy. Is big big hot. Plenty big warm burny hot. Hot! Hot hot! But now not hot. Not hot now. De hot come go, come go. Now Is Coldy Coldy. Is ice. Hot den cold. Frreeeezy ice til hot again. Den de rain. It faaaalllll. Make pasty.” ‘

        To paraphrase advice to lawyers, -If the facts are against you argue the science. If the science is against you attack the denier.

      • My apologies to the moderators. I used the ‘D’ word and got sent to the principals office. It needed a sarc tag.

    • I think if EVERYONE cancelled their subscription to the NYT, that would be just ducky. Our collective IQ would rise by an order of magnitude, and there would be SO much less whining.

    • On Tuesday morning, after marches for “Science” over the weekend
      and marches for the “workers” on Monday, the following bubbled up
      as a link on excite.com news… leading to a Fox news item:

      http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/05/02/conservative-columnist-under-siege-after-n-y-times-debut-on-climate-change.html

      In addition to the text there’s video which I did not review. You’ll
      probably see adverts that my system blocks, but there’s no denying
      that the discussion continues.

    • Little chinks of light appearing everywhere. The UK government is beginning to take a hammering over the Climate Change Act, and it seems the PM is not entirely unsympathetic.

      • She must have changed her mind since she wrote this when the Climate Change Act was passed by Parliament

        “I am thrilled to see that after years of Conservative pressure, we have finally passed a necessary and ambitious piece of legislation on Climate Change. Britain is the first country in the world to formally bind itself to cut greenhouse emissions and I strongly believe this will improve our national and economic security. To stay reliant on fossil fuels would mean tying ourselves to increasingly unstable supplies which could endanger our energy security and the Climate Change and Energy Bills mark an important step for both the health of our economy and the health of our nation. It is now vital that we stick to these targets. I will continue to put pressure on the Government over the third runway at Heathrow as an extra 222,000 flights a year would undermine our national targets and seriously damage the health of the local community.”

  2. Ah good old scaremongerer Stefan, who frightened the Dutch with a 1.5 m sea level rise by the end of this century because he has a science fiction model where half of the Antarctic icecap slumps in to the ocean. So he now thinks the NYT isn’t alarmistic enough anymore. LOL

  3. The New York Times

    —————————————-

    Thank you for participating on NYTimes.com.
    Your published submission can be found at this link:

  4. Gang Green is more than a meme.
    Their actions identify them beautifully.
    When accused of unreasoning over certainty… they respond with…irrational anger.

  5. There you go. Other than this being the NYT we are not surprised. Stephens quote about those claiming certainty framed the issue perfectly. Green lemmings jumped right in.

  6. Interesting decision by NYT. I wonder if they are afraid of been on the wrong side of history on climate change. Something big must have made them change their minds. Have they received information of a forthcoming serious blow to the climate fascist movement ?

      • Climate Change has lost its political value. The Democratic Party is learning that the activists who support it give bad press and actually hurt the party. The NYT is the voice of the Democratic Party.

        Eugene WR Gallun

      • “In 2016, evening newscasts and Sunday shows on ABC, CBS, and NBC, as well as Fox Broadcast Co.’s Fox News Sunday, collectively decreased their total coverage of climate change by 66 percent compared to 2015”

      • The next 4 years are going to be hard on the Climate Faithful. 2020 was an end point for many predictions of climate doom. The closer we get to that year, the more obvious it becomes that nothing they predicted is true.

        Add to that how many governments are starting to lean away from climate based legislation, how poorly the renewables have done, and how little of the $100 Billions a year Climate Cash gravy train will actually be funded, and it becomes obvious that the CAGW free ride is coming to an end.

        And most polititions and media pushers know they don’t want to be the ones holding the tiller when it runs aground. People tend to think you’re to blame then.

    • Perhaps they’ve been lurking here and determined that they can no longer ignore the broken methods, manipulated data, political bias, conflicts of interest and unsupported claims of the warmists that have defined climate science since the formation of the IPCC. I suspect the unsupportable vitriol coming from the green left complaining about Stephens will lend further support to their decision. Sure, a squeaky wheel gets the grease, but a broken bearing needs to be replaced.

    • Kneejerk, NYT is getting hammered after the debacle of the elections and leaks. You have youtubers who smash NYT readership let alone subscriptions.

      Survival

      • Is the “Vicar of Bray” connected to the Democratic mascot? Or is he an avatar of the windmill-tilting Donkey O’Tay?

    • “Something big must have made them change their minds.”

      Stephens has been ragging on Trump since well before the election. He’s been in full despot mode for over a year. I’m guessing his “hire” by the NYTimes was more of a “fire” by the WSJ, as in “Go find someplace else to spew, Brett.”

      The WSJ isn’t particularly kind to Trump, even on its editorial pages, but Stephens was way, way, over the top, probably something that appealed to the NYTimes editors.

      • Trump supporters remind me of warmistas when it comes to their reaction to any criticism of their chosen gods.

  7. The NYT has been quite partisan and preachy this election cycle, even given their baseline partisan bias. They have tried more conservative columnists in the past, who are either fired or become part of the Borg.

  8. Political “Scientist” Michael Mann Prefers Censorship, Slander and Punitive Action Over Debate

    When the New York Times announced a few weeks ago that it had hired Bret Stephens, a former Wall Street Journal columnist, the climate cult went insane.
    https://co2islife.wordpress.com/2017/04/29/political-scientist-michael-mann-prefers-censorship-slander-and-punitive-action-over-debate/

    The winning strategy isn’t arguing the “science,” the winning strategy is arguing that the benefits don’t justify the costs. The benefits of fighting climate change are estimated to be measured in a fraction of a Degree C change in global temperature a hundred or more years in the future. The cost of preventing that highly speculative Degree C increase in global temperature is measured in percentages of world GDP. The speculative benefits simply don’t justify the costs.
    https://co2islife.wordpress.com/2017/04/29/the-winning-climate-change-strategy-isnt-debating-science-it-is-arguing-politics/

    • co2islife

      I’ll stipulate you’re sincere about “…the winning strategy is arguing that the benefits don’t justify the costs…”, but I doubt there’s more than 10 sentient beings on the planet who accepts any public estimate of costs.

      After estimates for Obamacare, Olympics, Jerry Brown train-to-nowhere, repairs to Orville dam, USAF F-35, benefit of Raider’s move to Las Vegas, Banca Monte dei Paschi’s 5th taxpayer bail-out, nobody believes this stuff any more.

      There just isn’t any such thing as a “government estimate of costs”; hell, there’s barely any such thing as “government accounting of costs”.

      • That only makes the arguement stronger. There are no benefits, and spending more for nothing is even worse.

      • There just isn’t any such thing as a “government estimate of costs”; hell, there’s barely any such thing as “government accounting of costs”.

        That isn’t an immutable law of government because it isn’t like that in my country. That is something broken that you guys need to fix.

  9. The most likely issue is that if only 36% of the population thinks climate change is an issue, the NYT finally realised that by pushing the climate meme so strongly for the last 30 years they are alienating 68% of the population. Remember, they are losing money, as is much of the original journalism industry. Also, despite the boost to the media provided by the division and controversy over Trump, recent polls and statistics show that Fox News is more popular than many left wing outlets. Same message: if I’m not catering to right / centre people, I am alienating a large chunk of the population, and potential customers.

  10. Sorry, make that 64% of the population alienated

    [Is that 64% alienated by the NYTimes? Or is that alienated against the NYTimes? .mod]

    • Is that 64% alienated by the NYTimes? Or is that alienated against the NYTimes?

      Normally you wouldn’t say people were alienated against the NYT. You would say they were alienated from the NYT.

      Having said the above, it is possible that a third person could cause the alienation between two people. link So, it’s not redundant to observe that the NYT, itself, had caused the alienation of its own readers.

  11. Maybe my imagination, or just wishful thinking, but it seems as if the political earthquakes in the US and UK have caused some of the habitually left-aligned media to start to consider the risks of not be with the in crowd. Not a very sensible way to form opinions but after all they are really just in the business of selling advertising.

  12. Here is a part of what I had to say about this a few days ago on my little blog site:

    What triggered the Times to make this change and hire a skeptical climate columnist?  I think I know.  After a life time of working in the media I know the sort of things that gets the attention of media managers.  I think it was the resignation of

    Judith Curry from her Professorship at Georgia Tech.  When a respected female Professor could no longer live in the Algorian climate science world and spoke out so clearly and reasonably as she walked away from her position, media manager types would take notice and examine her position a bit.  The result, they discovered that climate change skeptics are not the same as flying saucer wackos and the chemtrails crowd.  We are scientists who know that our science has been greatly distorted and politicized. 
    So now a skeptic is going to write a column for The New York Times.  It is my hope he will write reasonable, solid articles and avoid some of the extremes that have been in some of former pieces.        
    By hiring Bret Stephens, the Times is making a move that will be strongly attacked by other media.

    The times has a new ad campaign on the importance of truth.  I think this move backs up that ad campaign.  Others will scream no, no no.  To them I say, it is your turn.  We have been screaming and crying for years.
    OK.  All together. Whooo-Haaaa

    • Well, halfway-skeptical, but considering the NYT that’s just a mite short of revolutionary.

    • This is spreading rapidly in the climate change fear industry .. the knowledge that bullying and exaggeration has failed ..and backfired ..Here ,they point fingers ,not at skeptics ..but, each other !

      “UN climate chief Christiana Figueres, pleading with scientists to use everyday language to help counter growing public mistrust.”

      Soul-searching scientists struggle to get message across
      Mariëtte Le Roux
      AFPApril 28, 2017
      “Scientists have to go back to basics — thorough vetting and peer review to limit research mistakes and fraud, and resisting the temptation to exaggerate findings in a quest for prestige or funding.

      “It’s important for the science community to be responsible in the way they communicate the science, so as not to sensationalise their own findings and not to try and just go for a headline rather than a much more… sober and factual presentation of findings, the EGU’s Bamber told AFP.”

      https://www.yahoo.com/news/soul-searching-scientists-struggle-message-across-033018416.html

  13. From the Stephens article:
    “while the modest (0.85 degrees Celsius, or about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit) warming of the Northern Hemisphere since 1880 is indisputable, as is the human influence on that warming”

    And lastly:
    “None of this is to deny climate change or the possible severity of its consequences.”

    The gist of Stephens’ column is to knock off the green attacks if you want to raise the 36% of citizen concern on “climate change”, i.e., global warming.

    Stephens is not a lukewarmer, he’s more like room temperature.

    • Just goes to show how little it takes to bring-out “denier” attacks. How divsive and intolerant the left is.

    • Stephens is a sanctimonious jerk who will fit in perfectly with the Times … he is hardly a realist (my label for skeptic) and really not a lukewarmer …

  14. Hopefully contributors are right and the NYT is finally beginning to realize that the science is not as settled as they have been misled into believing. Here in the UK the Guardian newspaper which was once a superb, informed, critical on world issues, newspaper and long ago sold its now miserable soul to the crooks, chancers and swindlers who now exploit the gullibility of the scientifically innumerate editors and reporters to sell lies about the threats of unrestrained global heat death, is itself facing its own demise as readership deserts it in droves. A well deserved demise as it has betrayed the poor it claims to care for who now face ruinous energy costs in the most regressive form of taxation devised by man – paying excessive green subsidies for heating and lighting. The Guardian is secretly thinking of relocating to its original home in Manchester to try and stem the money loss. I think Ulan Bator would be better, but then their smug correspondents would have longer flights to their weekend holiday homes in France and Italy while extolling the struggling to turn their lights off and crush their cars.

  15. I hope he realizes the trouble he is going to be in. He can take comfort from the new friends he also finds.

  16. Added below to the comments:

    “The certainty of imminent (decades) catastrophe from AGW is a socially enforced consensus, which hence has nothing to do with science. This same certainty is pushed by presidents, prime minsters and governments world-wide and is the primary narrative that drives policy. Whether ACO2 is good, bad, or indifferent regarding the real physical climate, in the social domain this cultural narrative of certainty hugely dominates. The problem with this is that no cultural narrative in history has ever been true. It’s a fairy story, like religions. Cultural narratives have been net very +ve for humanity on evolutionary timescales, which is why we’re sensitized to them. Yet they can go very wrong too. The promotion of critical urgency short-circuits due consideration, so leading to massive misfires like European diesel policy or bio-fuel debacles. More generally, it seems likely that connecting world economies to a fairy tale is a high risk option (despite indeed we’ve done this with different fairy tales in the past). Few scientists speak to the wide disparity between an immature science and a narrative of certainty; those that do are typically demonized. This is part of social bias and enforcement, mechanisms that sustain strong cultures throughout history.

    Regarding ‘100% right’, this may cause rejection due to long-evolved mechanisms. Yet the rejection may be either apt or inapt. See the section ‘The entanglement of science’ in the link below.
    https://judithcurry.com/2017/02/20/innate-skepticism/

    • ‘Cultural narratives have been net very +ve for humanity on evolutionary timescales, which is why we’re sensitized to them. ‘
      This is perhaps the most interesting aspect of the AGW and other narratives. In the West the 20C was filled with particularly egregious narratives jostling to take over from earlier certitudes. Maybe, at long last, we are seeing a shakedown of those narratives that are ineffective. Perhaps Islam is providing us with some kind of ‘other’ to focus on while we regroup along a softened classical liberal / small state line. If so, we are in for a period of extraordinary unleashing of energy, wealth creation, and change.

      • Perhaps Islam is providing us with some kind of ‘other’ to focus on while we regroup along a softened classical liberal / small state line.
        I wish I could share your optimism. I’m afraid it’s actually providing a distraction from and counter to consideration of the necessity of drastically reducing the power and scope of the State: Them muzzies is gonna kill us if we don’t got a Big State to protect us!

  17. I guess the NYT finally saw the writing on the wall. The howls of protest from the True Believers is delicious. We’re winning.

  18. I’ve read many of Brett Stephens’ columns in the WSJ. He writes well & makes sense.
    The NYT allows some reading without paying, so I may be able to continue.

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    Huffington Post is now officially the HuffPost. But who cares?

    • HuffPo has always been an echo chamber & safe space for Eco Terrorists, Socialists, and the Climate Faithful. (but I repeat myself)

      If they ever allow a different opinion to be voiced within their digital pages, then it will be a sign that the church of CAGW has finally been broken. More likely, they will simply wither away as more and more of the Faithful see how wretched and tattered it has become. (like what happened to The Oil Drum)

  19. Bret Stephens is an outstanding writer and thinker. As he wrote, only idiots, fanatics, and thugs demand 100% conformity of opinions, but I have always found his writings to be among the most consistently agreeable with my own views on a wide range of subjects. Including that he is no fan of Trumpism – today’s version of the mid-19th century Know Nothings who luxuriate in their massive ignorance and massive overconfidence in their own superiority.

    Any writer who is not simultaneously pissing off the far left and the far right and the far-nationalists is not a writer I give a hoot about. Rigid ideology of any kind – political, religious, whatever – is for idiots who cannot think for themselves but feel compelled to let other idiots do their thinking for them.

    Bret Stephens is a thinker.

    • “Including that he is no fan of Trumpism – today’s version of the mid-19th century Know Nothings who luxuriate in their massive ignorance and massive overconfidence in their own superiority.” do you even realize the level of ignorance and arrogance you displayed in that single sentence ? Stephens is a sanctimonious child who is never far some sneering at those he finds inferior … I have to assume you are cut from the same bolt …

      • I am definitely a thinker and a searcher of fact, logic, and truth … completely the opposite of you, apparently who merely ssumes the truth out of your personal prejudices and ideology, and who treats your opinion like religion that must be defended, and that any who disagree as the equal of pagans and non-believers.

        God save us from the ideologues, who collective have cause most of mankind’s murder, mayhem, oppression, and misery for thousands of years.

      • Atta boy, Duane.

        In the name of attacking rigid ideology, don’t let anybody out-ad-hominem you.

      • That is one of the stupidest things ever written on the internet.

        Ideology is a cancer … it is a substitute for thinking and logic and the search for truth. Ideology assumes the truth, and then simply defends it. Ideology is the opposite of both science and thinking.

      • Why so defensive? All that proud chest-beating rings hollow.

        And your naivete is almost charming.

        Searching for truth, eh? What will you do with it when you find it?

      • drednicolson

        Well, in Duane’s own words he’s “…definitely a thinker and a searcher of fact, logic, and truth …”. Apparently he got PTSD kicking the ad hominem crap out of anybody who disagreed. At least he didn’t claim to be peace-loving.

    • Trumpism, like “alt.right” is a faux label assigned by the true know nothing a of our age, the lefties who are outraged that they are not in charge despite their obvious ark declared importance.

    • You’ve let others do your thinking on both science and Trump. You are unaware that the party you support doesn’t exist anymore except in name. The most poignant remark in this regard in the Pres election was “What have you got to lose? ” (said to black voters by Trump). I’m sure, from what you said, you missed the succinct meaning and power of this revelation.

      Your party wants your vote as long as votes are still needed, but their real constituency is outside the country in a Euro-centric /UN Champagne so$@1i$ts’ tota1it@rian command centre. You don’t know it now, but Trump is going to save your Kumbaya buns too. Like biologists saving the Nile crocodile, you and your clones will be snapping at his @$$ while the rescue is being made. Your party unwittingly but unquestionably invented a Trump. And the lefty-developed education system that gave you your designer brains may not be reversible.

  20. Simple explanation: Climate Change is the Left’s religion. Questioning their religion in what they see as their NYT is blasphemy.
    Blasphemers in every culture are, and always have been, mercilessly attacked.

  21. He’d better keep what floor he works on a secret, what with crazed, gun-totin’ watermelons about.

  22. Professor Stefan Rahmstorf who canceled his subscription is famous for his sea level rise equation, which assumes an unlimited supply of water.

  23. Red on Red violence. Hey, while you are up could you microwave a bag of popcorn and bring me a cold one. This is going to be fun.

  24. Bret Stephens is a great columnist and thinker. I put him in a category with Charles Krauthammer.
    But the real reason the NYT hired him is due to his last several columns at WSJ excoriating Donald Trump. He was an unabashed “never-Trumper”. That would set well with the NYT crowd. It would be congruent with their unfulfilled promise of being “more honest” in their reporting. Alas, Stephens isn’t a reporter.

    • anyone who is still a Never Trumper is hardly a great thinker … more like a dogmatic fool … Bret Stephens is an intellectual mercenary who was never a conservative … he took the job at WSJ because they paid … he’ll take a paycheck and write what his paymasters tell him everytime … they told him to write this …

    • Excellent analogue, Forrest!

      May I offer a modification? It’s as if millions of toddlers have soiled their diapers and are throwing tantrums all at once…..

  25. Last week I tagged a True Believer family member for a Facebook post of an article alleging Greenland ice data adjustment. His response was (predictably) absolute fury – ‘We will NEVER ever ever agree….blah blah blah’ and he proceeded to insult my ‘lack of knowledge and refusal to learn’ about AGW – which he insists is THE gravest threat ever.

    Do you wonder if he practices what he preaches? Well readers – wonder no more….!

    * In the past 2 years he’s been on two world class holidays: to New Zealand and San Francisco. (He lives in the UK)
    * He teaches as a visiting lecturer in a major European city almost every week, flying in and out.
    * He’s done two trips to Dubai this year.
    * And the real kicker….he drives a nearly new 3.0 diesel Porsche 4×4!

    I’m not making this stuff up. Yet when prompted – nothing more, about possible data manipulation and the possible corruption of science he went up like Mount Etna. Couldn’t take ANY challenge to his scared theory. Astonishing hypocrisy.

    • A good example of the reactionary true believer. Instead of critically reviewing information he uses temper tantrums to avoid dealing with facts that weaken his faithful position.

    • CheshireRed, like the line from that old Jerry Clower song, …… me thinks your True Believer family member is telling you ……. “Momma don’t want you messing with the deal she’s got!

  26. Brett Stephen’s first piece in the NYTimes was excellent. If anything he was soft on the consensus enforcers and threw them a bone.

    The views of an overwhelming majority of the Times commenters was pretty much what you would expect.

    I hope they gave Brett a big jump in pay to move from the WSJ to the NYT.

  27. Maybe the NY times is tired of being bullied by ECO-Maniacs who could care less about
    the real issues facing the nation . Any step towards balanced reporting and journalism
    is worthy of support . So well done Bret Stephens & the NY Times .

    • Left-leaning MSM outlets are failing — both in readership and financially.

      People want the truth — the unbalanced truth — not propaganda.

      This is why this website is so popular.

      This is why HRC lost.

  28. “We make it our business to know all that we can about media outlets and the influential individuals within them… we offer a full range of services, from generating news coverage…around the world, to monitoring and managing ongoing media relationships.” http://hoggan.com/media-relations/
    Desmog, creature of the politically well connected Hoggan PR firm, is funded by John Lefebvre who plead guilty to laundering billions of dollars in illegal gambling proceeds. http://www.populartechnology.net/2011/04/truth-about-desmogblog.html
    “The point is calling out the climate-change deniers,” Lefebvre says. “All we do with DeSmogBlog is pull down their pants and show everybody where the money comes. from.”http://www.populartechnology.net/2011/04/truth-about-desmogblog.html

  29. There’s a lot of competition in the Left Wing anti-Trump media. Not much competition for Fox in the Right. Maybe The NY Times sees some advantages and opportunities in the middle ground.

  30. Earlier today I posted the following comment on Stephens’ Facebook page:

    Your first column is outstanding and a refreshing upgrade for The Times. I was an IPCC expert reviewer, and I’ve made near-daily atmospheric measurements since February 1990 (aerosol optical thickness, UV-B, total column water abundance of both ozone and water vapor, etc.). For 25 years I have calibrated my instruments at Hawaii’s Mauna Loa Observatory, where carbon dioxide has been measured since 1958. I am deeply concerned by the intolerance of those who have staked their reputations on models that fail to adequately incorporate the effects of aerosols and water vapor on global temperature. While carbon dioxide continues its relentless increase, none of the models selected by the IPCC manage to track measured temperatures. It’s past time for the modelers who have made many dire predictions over the past three decades to leave politics aside, season their findings with some traditional skepticism and earnestly endeavor to correct their models with real world feedbacks.

    Forrest M. Mims III

  31. This article has finally answered a question I have been struggling with for some time. Why don’t editors of newspapers actually intervene with obviously biased articles? Why don’t they at least try to make things more impartial?

    The answer is money; papers will usually sell more if they appeal to people’s prejudices. Note above how people cancel subscriptions if they don’t hear what they want to hear. Seems to be a flaw within economic rationalism, the media becomes biased and partisan to sell more papers.

    • I don’t think the answer is money but a balance of power within the board of editors. One of them may have hold the others to hostage for a considerable time. Does anyone know about changes in the board of NYT?

    • Seems to be a flaw within economic rationalism, the media becomes biased and partisan to sell more papers.

      It’s complicated. In the 1800s the penny papers actually became a less political alternative to the established newspapers. That said, there was a greater diversity of papers and most people could find a paper that aligned with their situation in life.

      In the early 1900s, newspapers started consolidating and most cities were finally left with only one paper by the late 1900s. The advertisers, more than the readers, started calling the shots. This left some people completely unrepresented. (But newspapers were practically a license to print money.) link

      An example of the above was the situation on the Canadian prairies in the early 1900s. The newspapers in the cities represented business and the farmers had no representation. The result was The Western Producer. It provided farmers with the information they needed to campaign for their own interest.

      So, was The Western Producer an example of “a flaw within economic rationalism” or an example of the free market working the way it should?

      • Back when print media were all there was, each of the larger cities had at least a Republican or Whig paper and a Democrat paper. Then about the time of the Civil War emerged the radical notion of “objective” journalism, but such a thing rarely if ever existed.

        Thank God that, at the same time that each city got just one paper and when there were only three TV networks all singing out of the same hymnal, along came first talk radio, then the Internet to bring back the diversity of opinion that existed in the Early Republic.

      • commieBob:
        “So, was The Western Producer an example of “a flaw within economic rationalism” or an example of the free market working the way it should?”

        You made a good reply. It is complicated. I guess there is a difference between social representation (Western Producer) and objective information. Alarmists claim they are being objective, NYT claims they are being representative. But is economic rationalism a tool which is able to determine the difference?

        I’m not sure, as economic rationalism is the kind of thing that left unchecked also produces chicken battery farms, and human battery farms if given the chance. Without some kind of moral and/or legal framework, it doesn’t seem to care about either the chickens, or the individual, or the ‘truth’.

      • Chimp April 29, 2017 at 7:47 pm
        Not sure Why I can’t respond directly to you.
        Your climate science is much better than your history of journalism. In New York when there were three networks we had the New York Times, The NY Post, The Daily News, and The New York Herald. The Daily News and The NYT were morning papers, and the Post and Herald were afternoon/evening papers. The morning papers were much more liberal than the afternoon papers. The NYT had an Early edition (the City Edition) and a later edition (The Late City Edition ).
        We also watched Chet Huntley and David Brinkley, who in my opinion were far better and more honest than Walter Cronkite.

      • Tom Trevor: Like Disqus, the Worpress blog platform indents each level of reply. However, Disqus also marks each response with the stimulator, so after a chain hits the configured indentation limit, it will still link a reply without further indenting it. My guess is that WordPress hasn’t been configured that way here. Mod can tell us if I’m right.

    • The answer is money; papers will usually sell more if they appeal to people’s prejudices.

      Right you are, ….. thingadonta, …… like the ole Jewish proverb states, ….. “If you can’t get customers in your store ….. then you can’t sell them anything” …… or something to that effect.

      And technically, newspapers, news media, magazines, social-media internet sites, etc. ….. are all “sellers” of advertisements ……….. and their AD Rates are based solely on “number of subscribers”.

    • The obvious solution is to have only one paper, run by the government, since only the government is responsive to the needs of all the people.
      /sarc

  32. Is anyone aware of any plans by Australia’s ABC to hire a presenter who is not a dedicated member of the Global Warming Cult? No less welcome would be a similar hiring decision by the BBC.

  33. Brett seems to have touched a third rail of lefty thinking: thou shalt not disagree with lefty group think in lefty media. Will he be flashed and burned like a June beetle hitting a bug zapper, or will he survive? (NY) Time will tell. Free speech and controversial thought is vital unless it enrages the reactionary left. Lots of luck, Brett.

  34. Much of the Lefty “outrage” is your garden variety virtue signaling. And Mann’s cancelling his subscription because of the NYT’s response to the criticism over Brett’s hiring is a classic example. Here is their response, which was calm and measured: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/22/public-editor/seeking-more-voices-even-if-some-dont-want-to-hear-them.html?_r=0
    It appears those on the Left have either forgotten about the First Amendment, or would like to have it repealed.

    • The left believes that there is a hate speech exception to the first amendment.
      Of course they also define hate speech as anything that makes them mad. Which always works out to anything that they disagree with.

  35. Stephens sounds like Andy Revkin to me, who survived for years at the Times saying pretty much the same things. Dot Earth infuriated alarmists by writing about the uncertainties of climate science, while generally supporting the basic science. This attitude did not upset the higher-ups at the Times, as Revkin generated much discussion, a lot of it from skeptics. He’s also an excellent writer, which helped him a lot.

    Revkin vigorously defended his right to be editorially neutral in his moderation of comments, not always the easiest practice considering the constant pressure from alarmist scientists and commenters.

    • Revkin wouldn’t allow my comment up several years ago when I reminded him of what he said on Blogginghead.TV. He said in that interview that he won’t write about a moderate like Pat Michaels because his arguments take too long to explain.

  36. The rage at anyone who dares have a different opinion, even very slightly different, is quite telling.

  37. I’ve looked all over the alarmists’ sites to find one thing Stephens said in his piece that was so hateful or scientifically incorrect. All I see is ad hominem drivel with no citations or counter argument. “The world is burning” and “fire him yesterday” do not advance the conversation.

    Can anyone quote anything in his column that is incorrect or hateful?

  38. “…To stay reliant on fossil fuels would mean tying ourselves to increasingly unstable supplies which could endanger our energy security……”

    This ability to invert every logical comment into the exact opposite conclusion is astounding.

    Considering the most unstable energy supplies are green energies. Imagine you are close to a solution you have been working on with your computer and suddenly poof….power out. The only solution is local backups at exorbitant costs.

    Try maintaining that silicon foundry, in the middle of a batch run, and poof….power out. Processor chips required for improved climate change model biasing just cost more.

    See the latest example of what happens when power fails (not related to green energy in this case but it shows the disaster that can result due to an outage) regarding the ice core meltdown at U of A’s new ice core freezer facility.

    This problem is so serious that new Green energy facilities require fossil fuel backups of equal generation capacity to maintain reliability in the event of nightfall or calm wind conditions. So energy costs are increased unnecessarily.

    So sad.

    • To a leftists, hearing something they disagree with makes them mad. So everything they disagree with is hate speech.

      • Yep, that is the way it is. They are very Orwellian and use these smear tactics to silence the opposition. The willingness and ease at which they will slander people and undermine the 1st Amendment is truly unfortunate. I see them starting the effort of making climate denial hate speech. You see signs claiming Climate Denial is racists, impacts reproductive rights, etc etc etc. They find the thinnest of threads to tie all these leftwing groups together. It is all pure political theater.

  39. So this Michael Mann who canceled his subscription because Stephens’ is a climate denier…….is he the same guy who earlier this month told a congressional panel that he never calls people climate deniers?

  40. The only interesting question now is “How long will the New York Times retain Bret Stephens?” The pressure will be relentless.

  41. The first thing I ever rea about climate change was in the NYT, but it was about the coming Ice Age. This ha me very worried, because my teachers had already told me pollution woul cause an ice age. then, without a hiccup the Times was on to global warming. This switcheroo is why I became a skeptic and decades of study is why I stay a skeptic.

  42. Does this mean that the NYT is admitting that rabid climate alarmism without a smidgen of skepticism might not be the best long-term position?

  43. 90% of the media was against Trump before he was elected and 90% are against him now . As one of
    60 million deplorables that can’t stomach watching that sector of the media Fox has lots of wide open runway . Maybe the NY Times is looking at their marketing slogan and seeing something doesn’t add up.
    Other than places like Berkeley and NY snobs the rest of the country may not agree with everything Trump says or how he says it but they know the Democrats sold out to billionaire bag men and self dealers .

    • Uh, 90% of the media were for Trump before he won the Republican nomination. He was their wet dream of a foil for Queen Billary. “The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men …

  44. Maybe all the warmists will abandon the NYT, nudging it out of their world and closer to the real world again….

  45. This is just the NYT doing some CYA window dressing…

    When the Global Warming hypothesis is officially disconfirmed in about 5~7 years, the NYT will at least have a few articles in 2017 showing some skepticism before CAGW crashes and burns.

    The Left owns the CAGW scandal 100%, and when it finally comes crashing down, the Left will fall with it.

    The NYT will soon have to fire this poor guy as loony Leftists are going completly insane over Brett’s article expressing some doubt on the efficacy of the CAGW hypothesis…

    There are definite cracks developing in the clay feet of Leftists’ god Hubris, and when it tumbles into the sea, it will be spectacular.

    • They are goin’ down …hard !
      Finally, the admission that the policy of exaggeration by climate scientists and their media allies not only failed, but… Backfired ! Enjoy !

      Read this ; “UN climate chief Christiana Figueres, pleading with scientists to use everyday language to help counter growing public mistrust.”

      Soul-searching scientists struggle to get message across
      Mariëtte Le Roux
      AFPApril 28, 2017
      “Scientists have to go back to basics — thorough vetting and peer review to limit research mistakes and fraud, and resisting the temptation to exaggerate findings in a quest for prestige or funding.

      “It’s important for the science community to be responsible in the way they communicate the science, so as not to sensationalise their own findings and not to try and just go for a headline rather than a much more… sober and factual presentation of findings, the EGU’s Bamber told AFP.”

  46. Nothing like a smug German overreacting to a wise old Jew to make one rethink ones views on climate change eh?

  47. I noticed a lot of comments along the lines of Catastrophic Climate Change is a strawman argument and you will not find catastrophic used in any peer-reviewed paper (you will, though, in economics when referring to climate change). All the hyperbole is saved for the press releases and press interviews where, apparently, its OK to embellish or even lie out right.
    “When I interviewe­­d James Hansen I asked him to speculate on what the view outside his office window could look like in 40 years with doubled CO2. I’d been trying to think of a way to discuss the greenhouse effect in a way that would make sense to average readers. I wasn’t asking for hard scientific studies. It wasn’t an academic interview. It was a discussion with a kind and thoughtful man who answered the question. You can find the descriptio­­n in two of my books, most recently The Coming Storm.”

  48. “Professor Stefan Rahmstorf, of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impacts Research in Germany, is the latest scientist to write publicly to the New York Times detailing
    his reasons for cancelling
    their subscriptions.”

    Interesting detail. But who should believe that Rahmstorf canceled PIK newspaper subscriptions.

    Certainly in the cafeteria the latest issues of NYT, WSJ, SPIEGEL, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Süddeutsche newspaper, etc. are still ready on the shelves.

    Certainly these newspapers are too archived with cross references to articles by PIK and similar climate-activist stories.

    Storm in a glass of water.

    • That is a storm in a teacup in the English speaking world, it is also what may be called a chink in the armour of the feral believers. This is wonderful as the doubt creeps in to those that are not fully brainwashed.

  49. Newspapers usually try to identify who are their main readers by age, ethnicity, political affiliation, level of education and what their interests are.The Melbourne Age for example identified it was mainly read by inner city green lefties with higher education (albeit in Arts Law Teaching etc ) who dislike the market, readily call for more government expenditure and intervention and are convinced about the man- made causes of Global Warming which they firmly believe will be catastrophic
    Co-Incident with that a paper has to be able to convince its advertisers (who are the ones who pay the Bills ) that it can deliver readership of their ads to a well-heeled group of readers.
    The principal flaw in that strategy for the Age that has emerged is that the on- line Amazon and Google websites have now attracted away around 40% of advertising formerly going to print media.

    A former Age editor- in -chief stated in a confidential discussion that it was a strict commercial decision for the Age to try to appease or retain its then inner city green- left readership by adopting a CAGW line some years back. As a result it has just not been possible to get a letter published that challenges that meme in any way nor does the paper countenance any writer who queries the CAGW orthodoxy.

    So to answer the apparent paradox of why the NYT hired luke wamer Brett Stephens one would probably have to start looking at what commercial factors affected that decision which in turn means looking at what shifts in their readership plus advertisers the Times had detected which they felt they had to recognize and respond to just to stay in business.
    I am not close enough to the US or New York scene to attempt to answer that but maybe some New Yorkers could suggest some explanations.

Comments are closed.