Wednesday, November 18, 2009
In an earlier post (here), I discussed the criticisms Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner have encountered over their apparently casual treatment of climate science in their new book, "Superfreakonomics." Now that their book has been published, I have some anecdotal evidence, based on conversations with friends outside of the climate policy arena, that the clarity, confidence, and coherence of Levitt and Dubner's prose outweighs their lack of scientific understanding. That is to say, Levitt and Dubner's version of the climate problem, however inaccurate, seems to be gaining traction simply because of their popularity as writers and public intellectuals. Whatever their intentions might have been, they have provided ammunition to those who would derail US climate legislation at a fairly pivotal moment.