One of the joys about having a publishing or public relations office is that news is not judgement, indeed to believe Andy Revkin, that would be evil issue advocacy. The
In January, when Steven E. Koonin welcomed participants to the Climate Change Statement Review Workshop that he was chairing for the American Physical Society, he made a point of acknowledging “experts who credibly take significant issue with several aspects of the consensus picture.” Participating, and fitting that description, were climate scientists Judith Curry, Richard Lindzen, and John Christy. Now Koonin has published a high-visibility commentary in the Wall Street Journal under the headline “Climate science is not settled.” In the paper version, the editors italicized the word not.Ben Santer, Isaac Held and William Collins have now been officially declared chopped liver.
It can be added that Koonin has a long past in investigating and pronouncing on physics questions of special public importance. A quarter century ago, the article“Physicists debunk claim of a new kind of fusion” included this: “Dr. Steven E. Koonin of Caltech called the Utah report a result of ‘the incompetence and delusion of Pons and Fleischmann.’ The audience of scientists sat in stunned silence for a moment before bursting into applause.”. . .Now Eli, Eli wonders who wrote this press release. Not really, but implausible deniability is always useful. Suspicions are that something wonderful will come from NYU
Koonin’s 2000-word WSJ commentary dominates the front page of the Saturday Review section, with a jump to an interior page. The editors signposted it in several ways. The subhead says, “Climate change is real and affected by human activity, writes a former top science official of the Obama administration. But we are very far from having the knowledge needed to make good policy.” A call-out line in boldface on the front page says, “Our best climate models still fail to explain the actual climate data.” Another, after the jump to p. C2, says, “The discussion should not be about ‘denying’ or ‘believing’ the science.” A photo caption on the jump page says, in part, “Today’s best estimate of climate sensitivity is no more certain than it was 30 years ago.” A caption on the front page says, “While Arctic ice has been shrinking, Antarctic sea ice is at a record high.” (Although that photo plainly shows only the extraction of an ice-core sample, the caption adds, “Above, scientists measure the sea level in Antarctica.”)
UPDATE: It turns out that the author of this piece has a track record. In the comments, Pinko Punko answers Eli's question.
I'd like to note that the author of the piece, Steven T. Corneliussen, also authored this nice write-up of the National Review attacking Neil deGrasse Tyson. It includes some nice notes about the Discovery Institute and Ann Coulter and reports these opinions as if they were just news. Not clear why this was deemed newsworthy to the Physics community. See how oddly it reads.Denunciations from Roger Jr. and Andy of such obvious issue advocacy are a bit late tody