Adam Reilly is leaving the Phoenix

Adam Reilly

My friend and former (and future!) colleague Adam Reilly is leaving the Boston Phoenix to become an associate producer for “Greater Boston,” at WGBH-TV (Channels 2 and 44).

Adam has ably handled the media beat since 2006, writing the “Don’t Quote Me” column and the media blog. Before that, he’d served as the paper’s political columnist.

Since the late 1980s, just three people have covered the media for the Phoenix — Mark Jurkowitz, now associate director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism in Washington; yours truly; Mark again; and then Adam. For a press critic, it’s one of just a handful of jobs in the country where you really get a chance to make a difference. No doubt a long line of applicants will form outside the Phoenix’s door.

Good luck and best wishes to Adam, a transplant from Minnesota who’s managed the difficult trick of establishing himself as a true Bostonian.

53 thoughts on “Adam Reilly is leaving the Phoenix

  1. The Phoenix is a far left propaganda rag. It has no journalistic standards. The Phoenix is a mouthpiece for the PC party line.

    What sort of “excellence in journalism” is it that you’re promoting, Dan?

    This post reveals an intriguing side of your “progressive,” “scientific” stance.

    What are your scientific credentials, Dan? I’m going to take a look at your credentials and find out. On the surface, you seem to be trained only in a literary discipline.

    I’ve got a degree in a scientific field. I program in C++, Java, Actionscript and Visual Basic, among other languages. I’ve written entire applications for a variety of businesses. For the past few years, I’ve been involved in the clinical trials process of the pharmaceutical business. I know the scientific process for the development and manufacturing of pharmaceuticals.

    I’m also about to earn a degree in nursing. I’m trained in anatomy, physiology and pharmacology.

    So, Dan, which of us has the more scientific viewpoint? Have you ever studied in depth a scientific field? Have you ever worked at something that demands the employment of the scientific method?

    So, which of us is better qualified to make a “scientific” appraisal of the global warming controversy? In what way is it that your viewpoint is “scientific?”

    This connection to The Phoenix is a fascinating insight into your “scientific” mind, Dan.

    1. Dan Kennedy

      @Stephen: Wow. All that and buddies with Bob Dylan and the Band, too. I’m so impressed. Perhaps you will win a Nobel Prize next year. We’re all rooting for you.

      I forgot to mention the other day that people often refer to me as “the Seventh Beatle,” right after John, Paul, George, Ringo, Billy Shears and Billy Preston.

  2. L.K. Collins

    Adam Reilly is a good choice, biased, but at least he understands the effect that his biases have on his views and is willing to represent opposing views with a degree of reason and fairness.

    As for your remarks to Stephen, Dan, you seem to wish not to address the underlying content, but prefer to press the personal attack.

    Your scientific training is somewhat lacking as is, I suspect, your understanding of statistics.

    1. Dan Kennedy

      @L.K.: My credentials in atmospheric science are identical to @Stephen’s and yours: non-existent. The difference is that I actually think we ought to pay attention to the world’s leading atmospheric scientists, especially given the voluminous real-world evidence that the earth is heating up quite rapidly.

      Tell me: did you manage to keep a straight face when you wrote that I was engaging in a personal attack against @Stephen?

  3. Actually, you are completely wrong, Dan.

    I have a degree in computer science.

    I worked the past three years as a consultant to one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies. I built an application that involved their clinical trial process. I consulted with chemists, microbiologists and other high level scientific personnel on a daily basis. If you like, I’ll submit my credentials to you privately.

    I am also a professional musician. I worked with Rick Danko for several years, among many others. Over the summer, I worked with a band from Albany that played numerous festivals. I’ve had a second home in Woodstock for 30 years. Who do you think lives in Woodstock? Dylan lived in Woodstock for several years. Two Band members still live there.

    I am about to earn my LPN degree. I’m earning my LPN degree because… well, I wanted to know medicine. I got tired of talking to pharmaceutical professionals and not really understanding the medical concepts.

    So, my scientific credentials are far superior to yours.

    It may surprise you, but expertise in computer science and skill in music is a fairly common thing. There seems to be a similarity in the mental processes involved in programming and musicial skill. I worked for years with a drummer, who was also a member a nationally touring band, and who programmed for Apple computers.

    Other than to claim, falsely, that my credentials are not real, you have no answer for my post. That’s about what I figured.

    My credentials are real, Dan. Again, what are your scientific credentials?

    My question for you, since you apparently do not have the credentials or experience to actually read a scientific paper, is how you are able to decide which scientists to believe?

    1. Dan Kennedy

      @Stephen: Let’s pretend that you have relevant credentials, which, even by your own telling, you don’t. They don’t matter unless you believe there’s a massive worldwide conspiracy among atmospheric scientists, and that we all need to read their scientific research in order to understand that they are lying to us because … because why? To get some grant money? To keep a glimmer of Al Gore’s political career alive?

  4. BP Myers

    Not sure why Stephen felt the need to post his resume. You doing some hiring, Dan?

    Anyway, I was watching BTP this morning and wondering just when Emily (who has to be the hardest working media person in Boston) was going to cut back a little bit.

    As much as I’ll miss her when she does (though she’ll still be all over the place, no doubt), she’s got a strong bench with Jared and now with Adam and no doubt some others behind the scenes.

    I just don’t see how she can keep it up.

  5. … unless you believe there’s a massive worldwide conspiracy among atmospheric scientists, and that we all need to read their scientific research in order to understand that they are lying to us because … because why? To get some grant money? To keep a glimmer of Al Gore’s political career alive?

    I didn’t refer to a conspiracy. You did.

    The unanimity of opinion to which you refer does not exist. The reason you believe that it exists is because you’ve refused to listen to the other side. You’ve attempted to label the other side as ignorant, unscientific goons who are unfit to even be heard. That’s been your consistent theme on this blog.

    Massive grant money is available… that’s for sure. And, it’s not small potatoes.

    Unlike you, I don’t have an answer. I will say it is deeply troubling when the lead scientist for the IPCC confesses that he’s lost his data and, thus, cannot answer basic Freedom of Information Act demands.

    As a journalist, you would think that this would trouble you.

  6. LFNeilson

    I thought we were on Adam Reilly leaving the Phoenix. That Stephen has an impressive background in science does not disqualify you, Dan, from writing, teaching, thinking or believing. I’m less than impressed by his opening, calling the Phoenix a far left propaganda rag, especially for his failure to cite specific articles or information that lead to such a judgment.

  7. L.K. Collins

    Don’t count on your assumption that I lack the understanding of environmental science, Dan; you might be surprised at the reality.

    I am well aware of what science can and cannot establish, and I am well aware of how “respected” scientists can be flat-out wrong.

    I am also well aware of how much “science” can be influenced by scientists’ personal agendas and future employment opportunities.

    Your blind support of flawed science and less-than-rigorous peer review is an indication your limitations. This support speaks unflatteringly of your views of the scientific…and academic…process.

    Your positions may or may not be correct, but the embrace of flawed science makes your conclusions…uh…err…somewhat inconclusive.

  8. Tom Underwood

    “I’ve completely defeated you, and all you can do is hurl insults?”

    I guess there was a contest that I missed the announcement about?

    Ah the wisdom of our elders. Right, Stephen? You’ve let us know that we all have IQ’s in the 50’s, are young and foolish, blah, blah, blah…

    And yet, you spend serious time spewing on this blog.

    What a riot!

  9. What does a scientific resume have to do with Adam Reilly moving over to WGBH? Stephen’s post is completely off topic and irrelevant.

    As far as your post’s content, congrats to Adam. We’ll miss him. As well, it is a great beat to be covering and so many different things going on in the media world.

    Dan: Would this be a position they might consider eliminating completely, considering what is going on in the media business these days?

    I would also agree with LK’s assessment here too that Reilly “understands the effect that his biases have on his views and is willing to represent opposing views with a degree of reason and fairness.” This is a very difficult thing to do. And, in many ways, good journalists have to go out of their way to do this sometimes.

  10. Al Fiantaca

    I must have missed something. How did we make the leap from a post about Adam Reilly soon to leave the Phoenix, to a virtual flame war about who has scientific credentials, yadda, yadda, yadda? What’s the connection? I just don’t see it in Dan’s opening comment.

  11. Al Fiantaca

    @ BP: Same, here about Emily Rooney. Of course, look at her father, and you might see that she has a long future ahead of her if she wants it, and she did just add the radio gig, even though it does leverage much of the material from BTP and GB. As for Jared Bowen (sp?). I’m not sure he’s ready as far as the public affairs side of the show goes. Thus far, most of his work has been on the theatrical/cultural side of things. More experience participating in heavier public affairs programs is necessary.

  12. Neil Sagan

    I didn’t refer to a conspiracy. You did.

    [snip]

    Unlike you, I don’t have an answer. I will say it is deeply troubling when the lead scientist for the IPCC confesses that he’s lost his data and, thus, cannot answer basic Freedom of Information Act demands.

    It didn’t take him long, just two paragraphs, between rejecting the notion of conspiracy and embracing it. How else to interpret “deeply troubling” if not nefarious?

  13. Actually, Neil, normal human corruptibility can explain Jone’s actions. Conspiracy is not the only explanation.

    “Deeply troubling” can also mean that, given the man’s failure to maintain the most basic scientific standards in this instance, we might suspect that he has a tendency to fail in the way consistently.

    Dan, what would you think and write if you confronted a government official about a very important official, filed a FOIA demand that that official produce his information, and that official reported that that information has magically disappeared?

  14. Ok, I’m ready to set forth my grand theory on how Dan concluded that there is a scientific consensus behind global warming. I’m doing it on this thread because Dan’s connections to The Phoenix make it pretty clear that he lives in a hermetically sealed universe of the far left. A post that celebrates the Globe hiring from The Phoenix, a far left propaganda rag, makes it pretty clear just how the Globe is staffed.

    So, here’s my theory on how Dan came to his conclusions.

    1. Dan has never read a primary scientific source on this issue.

    2. He has never made a serious attempt to seek out an opposing voice within the scientific community. I don’t claim to be an expert in journalism, but this would seem to me to be SOP.

    3. His reading on this issue has been entirely within the popular press, and restricted to reading the views of fellow ideological leftists in journals like The Phoenix.

    4. Dan is admittedly a scientific naif. I’ll go further and bet he doesn’t know anything about math beyond knowing how to add, subtract, multiply and divide. Since I can do advanced math, and I’m a competent computer programmer, I have a better understanding of scientific methodology than Dan.

    5. Dan has an ideological predisposition to grand theoretical issues. Because of his leftist beliefs, he just plain likes theories that state universal problems, and his answer for those universal problem is always greater governmental regulation and increased taxation.

    6. Everybody Dan knows believes that there is a scientific consensus behind global warming.

    7. He refuses to even consider a cost versus benefit scenario, should his theories turn out to be wrong. He’s already admitted to this.

    So, I’ll bet that I’ve described pretty accurately how Dan came to embrace global warming.

    I came to this discussion because of Dan’s “Conservatives are stupid and unscientific” piece about a week ago. He presented two arguments: (1) conservatives aren’t on the global warming bandwagon, and (2) Sarah Palin stated that the U.S. response to the Jihadis should be to win the war.

    We know now, as a result of Dan’s revealing his connections to the far left Phoenix that he is a partisan of the extreme left. So his accusations that others are partisans of the extreme right ring kind of hollow. Pot calling kettle black. He’s since back pedaled and refused to answer whether he thinks the U.S. should fight to win the war on terror. And, it appears that he has absolutely no primary, scientific information to form a basis for his belief that global warming is back by a scientific consensus. On this basis, Dan favors taxing every individual and regulating every business on earth.

    So, who’s stupid and unscientific?

    And, my personal opinion on global warming is that I don’t have one. My one opinion on this issue is that anybody who wants to tax every individual and regulate every business on earth bears an enormous burden of proof that probably cannot be met.

  15. Christian Avard

    Wow, good for Adam. I take it he’ll no longer have a seat on the show now. Is that right? Who will replace him?

    1. Dan Kennedy

      @Christian and @Al: I’m not going to talk out of school, and I don’t necessarily know all the details of what’s going to happen. I hope and expect Adam will be replaced at the Phoenix. Arts and entertainment is the franchise, but media criticism has always been a very important part of what it does, going right back to Dave O’Brian in the ’70s. I don’t know exactly what Adam will be doing at “Greater Boston,” and I’m not sure he does, either. What we know is that WGBH is in expansion mode given what it’s doing on the radio side, so a lot of very interesting things are going on right now.

  16. … I don’t care about anyone’s resume either unless it’s germane to the topic and the topic is Adam Reilly. The Phoenix’s loss is Greater Boston’s gain. Is someone going to take over the “Don’t Quote Me” column or is it going by the wayside? Too bad–it has a history of solid reporting (and I’m not just buttering up the owner of this blog). And while the Phoenix does have a bias, at least it’s not as unreadable nor as intelligence-insulting as the Herald, which is as skewed to the right as the Phoenix is to the left… also, David Thorpe’s “Big Hurt” music column is by far the best rock writing in any of the local papers.

  17. BP Myers

    “A post that celebrates the Globe hiring from The Phoenix, a far left propaganda rag, makes it pretty clear just how the Globe is staffed.”

    Which post would that be?

    Because it’s not this one.

    1. Dan Kennedy

      @BP: Not sure how I would parse it today, but I started working for the Phoenix during the Gulf War. It was pretty clear then that the Globe was well to the left of the Phoenix on some issues.

  18. OK, Dan, I was in a hurry today, and I made one mistake.

    Now, respond to what I’ve said in substance.

    Do you really think that one typo excuses you from answering my assessment of your motives for supporting global warming.

    You must have really sighed in relief at thinking that that offered you a way out.

    My assessment of your methodology in becoming a supporter of global warming is correct.

  19. And, here’s a link to a post in Anne Althouse’s blog today:

    http://althouse.blogspot.com/2010/02/al-gore-would-like-you-to-lie-back-and.html

    Presumably, since Althouse is a professor of law at the University of Wisconsin, she doesn’t fall into your stupid and unscientific category.

    You’ve got the smirking wise guy thing down pat, Dan.

    Tell me about your due diligence in deciding that anybody who opposes the global warming hysteria is stupid and unscientific.

    I await your reply.

  20. L.K. Collins

    Are we now talking about a race as to how “left” the two publications are?

    The Globe and The Phoenix are biased to the left. Arguing degree does not alter the fundamental reality.

    My point about Reilly is that he is able to use his biases to provide informative and reflective coverage, and avoids both ideology propaganda. He is thoughtful and measured. He is also thorough.

    This is what puts him head-and-shoulders above others in the profession.

    Those who aren’t deserve to be challenged.

  21. Let me repeat my assessment of your sterling scientific reasoning for climbing aboard the global warming bandwagon:

    1. Dan has never read a primary scientific source on this issue.

    2. He has never made a serious attempt to seek out an opposing voice within the scientific community. I don’t claim to be an expert in journalism, but this would seem to me to be SOP.

    3. His reading on this issue has been entirely within the popular press, and restricted to reading the views of fellow ideological leftists in journals like The Phoenix.

    4. Dan is admittedly a scientific naif. I’ll go further and bet he doesn’t know anything about math beyond knowing how to add, subtract, multiply and divide. Since I can do advanced math, and I’m a competent computer programmer, I have a better understanding of scientific methodology than Dan.

    5. Dan has an ideological predisposition to grand theoretical issues. Because of his leftist beliefs, he just plain likes theories that state universal problems, and his answer for those universal problem is always greater governmental regulation and increased taxation.

    6. Everybody Dan knows believes that there is a scientific consensus behind global warming.

    7. He refuses to even consider a cost versus benefit scenario, should his theories turn out to be wrong. He’s already admitted to this.

    So, I’ll bet that I’ve described pretty accurately how Dan came to embrace global warming.

    I’ll accept your refusal to answer as an admission that, when it comes to this issue, you haven’t got a clue what you are talking about, but that you nonetheless support a global system of taxation and regulation.

  22. OK, Dan, I did a bit of your homework for you.

    Let’s start with the “scientific consensus.” I don’t know the answer here, but since you are a journalist, perhaps I can rely on you to check it out.

    I can at least point you in the direction of questioning whether there is, in fact, a scientific consensus.

    Admittedly, Wikipedia is not a reliable source of information, but it can point you in the right direction to start.

    This is the Wikipedia link to a list of scientists who do not agree with the “consensus:”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_scientists_opposing_the_mainstream_scientific_assessment_of_global_warming

    Here’s a link to Google:

    http://www.businessinsider.com/the-ten-most-important-climate-change-skeptics-2009-7

    I leave it to you to check it out. Apparently, you haven’t had access to Google or Wikipedia.

    All I did was to open my browser to the applicable site and type in “global warming scientists skeptics.”

    Perhaps your browser refuses to visit those sites. So you haven’t been able to examine the consensus. But, you do know that those who aren’t on the global warming bandwagon are stupid and unscientific.

    I know how to do the smirking wise guy routine, too.

  23. BP Myers

    “I can at least point you in the direction of questioning whether there is, in fact, a scientific consensus . . . This is the Wikipedia link to a list of scientists who do not agree with the “consensus:”

    From your own link:

    Climate scientists agree that the global average surface temperature has risen over the last century. The scientific consensus was summarized in the 2001 Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

    It would appear that you can stop putting “scientific consensus” in quotation marks, anyway.

    1. Dan Kennedy

      @BP: The lists are hilarious. I clicked on one guy, Tim Ball, and quickly found that he’s a bought-and-paid-for tool of the oil industry. Big surprise, eh?

      I was also thrilled to see my personal favorite, Richard Lindzen of MIT. Lindzen is not a global-warming skeptic. He is a global-warming enthusiast. Here is how he opened a piece he wrote for Newsweek a few years ago:

      Judging from the media in recent months, the debate over global warming is now over. There has been a net warming of the earth over the last century and a half, and our greenhouse gas emissions are contributing at some level. Both of these statements are almost certainly true. What of it? … A warmer climate could prove to be more beneficial than the one we have now.

      Sorry for the link back to Media Nation; the link to Newsweek no longer works.

      One of the lists also includes Freeman Dyson. You cannot possibly read this New York Times Magazine profile of Dyson and come away believing he has anything valuable to say about climate change. Read the whole thing. But this paragraph shows Dyson’s not much of a skeptic either:

      Dyson agrees with the prevailing view that there are rapidly rising carbon-dioxide levels in the atmosphere caused by human activity. To the planet, he suggests, the rising carbon may well be a MacGuffin, a striking yet ultimately benign occurrence in what Dyson says is still “a relatively cool period in the earth’s history.” The warming, he says, is not global but local, “making cold places warmer rather than making hot places hotter.” Far from expecting any drastic harmful consequences from these increased temperatures, he says the carbon may well be salubrious — a sign that “the climate is actually improving rather than getting worse,” because carbon acts as an ideal fertilizer promoting forest growth and crop yields. “Most of the evolution of life occurred on a planet substantially warmer than it is now,” he contends, “and substantially richer in carbon dioxide.” Dyson calls ocean acidification, which many scientists say is destroying the saltwater food chain, a genuine but probably exaggerated problem. Sea levels, he says, are rising steadily, but why this is and what dangers it might portend “cannot be predicted until we know much more about its causes.”

      Global warming is good for us! Anyone who wishes to take that position is free to do so, of course, and that is precisely the position being taken by Lindzen and Dyson. Yet that’s not a scientific view; it’s essentially a religious view, based on faith rather than data.

  24. BP Myers

    @Dan: Mr. Ball appears to be a character from a Christopher Buckley novel, working for energy-industry front groups with names such as the “Natural Resources Stewardship Project” and the “Friends of Science.”

    You couldn’t make it up.

  25. You first statement is a complete BS statement.

    First, I don’t know if the statement is true. Second, there is no evil in producing oil. The fact that you state that as an unassailable fact reveals your ideological prejudice.

    You’ve dismissed the funding for global warming research out of hand. The U.S. federal budget proposes a $2.6 billion funding for global warming research.

    So, basically, you just think producing oil is evil.

    I don’t agree with that. I think that producing oil is a very good thing.

    So, your first statement reveals what you are really about. You hate oil. You learned that in Rhetoric 101, too. Oil is evil.

    Dan, you’re really a scientific genius. You’ve obviously spent a few minutes trying to confirm your ideological prejudices, and you’ve succeeded in doing just that.

  26. So, the people who work for the IPCC make a very good living from fanning the flames of global warming.

    By your own logic, they are thus lying tools.

    Al Gore is making, reportedly, over a billion dollars trading carbon credits.

    So, you hate cars and oil.

    You want to tell me what I can buy and what I can drive.

    That’s to be expected.

    You just casting about right now, Dan, for evidence to justify your fetish with taxation and regulation.

    You’re a hopeless leftist loon yourself, Dan.

  27. And, I might finally add.

    You’ve clearly spent all of a few minutes doing this in-depth research.

    You still haven’t read a single primary source.

    You seem to especially love The New York times, a leftist partisan in the debate. You are quoting NYT articles as if they were unbiased research.

    At least we know now exactly what you are all about.

    You want to control the lives and confiscate the income of others, and you want the government to enforce your prejudices.

  28. Dan and BP

    So, it’s a crime for people who disagree with Dan you to make a living. People who make a living doing things you like are heroes.

    That’s what we’ve got so far.

    People who work for oil companies, producing the oil and gas that power your cars are villains.

    The desperation in these efforts is evident, Dan. You’e dismissed anybody who disagrees with your leftist ideology as hopelessly evil because they make their living in a way you don’t like.

    You written off, in a previous post, the massive funding that people on the global warming side receive as of no importance.

    You really do have the mentality of a tyrant. In fact, you have the mentality of the repressive Christian fundamentalist that you keep bemoaning. The reason that you fear that mentality so much is that you have it.

    So far, we’ve got your sanctimony. What else you got?

  29. BP Myers

    I wonder if he understands that lunatic post after lunatic post only harms the cause he ostensibly espouses.

    Nobody wants to side with a lunatic, except other lunatics.

    People like him are the GW folks best friends.

  30. And, Dan, just to show you how determined you are to maintain your prejudices, let me demonstrate how wildly and deliberately you have misstated my remarks.

    I said that Wikipedia was a good place to start. I didn’t say it was an ultimate authority. In fact, I said that it was an unreliable source of information.

    I suspect that a real journalist might go from here to reading actual scientific documents, instead of biased summaries of the public statements of specific scientists in the New York Times.

    It’s clear to me, Dan, that you don’t have a clue in hell what you’re talking about, that all your information is second hand, and that your belief in global warming is just part of a general extreme leftist ideology.

    Your behavior in responding to my post is absolute proof of my assertions.

    In the case of this issue, you are just completely ignorant, and determined to remain so, lest exposure to anything opposed to your ideology enter your head.

    You’re not a journalist, Dan. You’re a fake. You’re no different than Glen Beck or Sean Hannity. You’re just the flip side of the coin.

    You got so hysterical that you’ve even neglected to notice that I don’t have a position in this debate. I’m merely skeptical, and I demand an extraordinary level of proof to justify global taxation and regulation.

    This is called being neutral. It is a characteristic of extreme ideologues of both the left and the right to accuse those who are neutral of actually being in the pocket of the other side.

    I’ll depart your site, now, Dan. I know everything I need to know about you.

  31. L.K. Collins

    Hmmm… Lets see if the momentous exit is really an exit, or a prelude to a second act.

    I agree with much of what he says regarding your bias and your dismissiveness, even your elitist positioning. I agree with is critique of your reasoning. You have admitted your naivety in matters scientific and statistical; some of your positions make that particularly clear.

    I do not agree, however, that you are dumb, stupid or evil, even though you seem to take pleasure from the discomfort of others. (See snide remarks and sotto voce quips and comments.)

    I suspect that you have yet to completely embrace the concept of open, and even contentious, review as a way of understanding the merit of your own work. (The thinness of your skin is, at times, painfully obvious.)

    It seems as if your “political” views come first and your in-depth research goes to only so far as to “prove” your thesis to your liking.

    Data that does not fit the preconceived model needs to be convincingly explained, not summarily dismissed.

    Indeed, that is the cardinal error that the IPCC scientists have made in their work; and covering their error with bombast and derision has not made their error fade. The deliberate substitution of non-theoretical data in the theoretical model and the convenient loss of underlying data — the stuff which is essential to true peer review — leaves concerns that they are hiding much more than they wish to admit.

    1. Dan Kennedy

      Lets see if the momentous exit is really an exit, or a prelude to a second act.

      Third. He’s promised this before.

      You have admitted your naivety in matters scientific and statistical.

      @L.K.: Outside of the Phoenix, where I mainly covered the media and some politics, my deepest sustained work has been in areas with a strong scientific and medical bent: my book on dwarfism, “Little People,” and my years-long coverage of the toxic-waste story in Woburn. There was a time when I could explain the genetic mechanism that causes achondroplasia, or how trichloroethylene biodegrades into vinyl chloride. Can’t do it now, at least not off the top of my head.

      I don’t sit around reading scientific papers. (Do you really think @Stephen does? When finally pressed, he turned to Wikipedia and a Web site called Business Insider. And when I started fact-checking his list from Wikipedia, he objected to my using such an unreliable source!) I have never defended the IPCC or the scientists in East Anglia. Instead, I have showed how irrelevant their sins (or non-sins) are. Maybe they fudged their numbers. But once their misbehavior was exposed, the ice caps didn’t un-melt, the homes in northern Alaska didn’t unslide into the sea, and shipping companies attempting to use the Northwest Passage didn’t suddenly discover that the water had refrozen.

      I would love it if global warming turned out to be a hoax. It doesn’t make me closed-minded to observe that we’re way past that — just someone capable of observing what’s going on.

      You really love the word “bias.” I’m not sure what it means — or, rather, I’m not sure what you mean by it. I am a liberal opinion journalist who is committed to the truth. Over the years I’ve made it plain that I never thought George W. Bush was lying about weapons of mass destruction; that the New York Times committed journalistic malpractice when it suggested that John McCain had had an affair with a lobbyist; and that suggestions that Sarah Palin’s son Treg was not really hers were grotesque. Those are just a few examples. Of course, when it comes to the issues, I certainly wouldn’t give Bush, McCain or Palin the keys to my car.

      I am dismissive of claims that global warming is not real because the globe is really warming. It’s that simple.

  32. BP Myers

    @Dan: I am dismissive of claims that global warming is not real because the globe is really warming. It’s that simple.

    Love to prove that wouldn’t ya? Get your name into the National Geographic.

    http://tinyurl.com/y8gknsd

    1. Dan Kennedy

      @BP: I’d be about a decade too late to claim that prize. Nice picture!

      Scientific “proof” is inherently problematic. Has it ever been proven that smoking causes lung cancer? Perhaps it has been and I missed it. But for most of my life, the best that we could get were statistical correlations, which the tobacco industry claimed proved nothing.

      I’m also not sure the lawyer for the Woburn families would have been able to convince jurors that trichloroethylene caused leukemia, even if he had gotten an opportunity to make his case.

  33. BP Myers

    @Dan: Thanks.

    Climate skeptics remind me of that Mayor from Jaws, who refused to believe there was a problem because it harmed business interests and might cost money to resolve. Like many skeptics too, he was no fan of “college boys” and book learnin’.

    Another line from that flick also comes to mind with regard to the skeptics: “I think that I am familiar with the fact that you are going to ignore this particular problem until it swims up and BITES YOU ON THE ASS!”

  34. L.K. Collins

    Defense of the scientists is not necessary; defense of their their methods and data and the conclusions drawn therefrom are.

    I will not disagree that the earth has seen warming over d time, nor will I disagree that “man” has been a factor and that CO2 concentrations have increased significantly in the past 150-200 years.

    I do disagree that the data proves direct causal link between the observed warming and both “man” and CO2, and that the predicted consequences are dire and apocalyptic.

    Those are predicated on straight-line projections which run counter to the overwhelming evidence that the earth has warmed and cooled fairly regularly in the past.

    We fall into a trap of our own making if we assume that we can account for every environmental variable that may have effect upon the climate. Ouija board claims are not good science. Their PR value may be fleeting and may ultimately delay the real understanding of what is going on.

    I liken your stance as one standing over the oija boardd players and declaring the results as gospel.

    As for the definition of bias? Come on, now Dan, you really shouldn’t run and hide behind a parsing of the definition to account for your unwillingness to see how your ideology limits your ability to grasp more complete pictures.

    I stand on my statement, data not fitting the preconceived theory needs to be explained, not dismissed…something you rarely do in your writings.

  35. Mike Benedict

    @Stephen: A degree in computer science = a degree in science?

    That’s a calculus that no sane person would ever dream up. I suppose that’s why they call it a B.S.

  36. Steve Stein

    This says more about politics than about science (and nothing about Adam Reilly – has this thread been hijacked or what?):

    I have been to enough college campuses to know if you are 30 or younger this climate issue is not a debate. It’s a value. These young people grew up with recycling and a sensitivity to the environment — and the world will be better off for it. They are not brainwashed. … From a Republican point of view, we should buy into it and embrace it and not belittle them. You can have a genuine debate about the science of climate change, but when you say that those who believe it are buying a hoax and are wacky people you are putting at risk your party’s future with younger people.

    – Lindsay Graham (R-SC)

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