WaPo has a new section called “Planet Panel: Views and Debates on Climate Change Policy”.
In it, you’ll find opinions by ten ostensible experts on the question (emphasis mine) “What Doubt is There About the Science Behind Global Warming?”
How many of the experts actually have a relevant science background?
- Rick Edmund – pastor, United Methodist Church (edu –?)
- Donald Boesch – biological oceanographer
- Lars Josefsson – energy co. CEO (edu – engineering/”technical physics”)
- David Hales – college president (edu – poli sci)
- David Hone – adviser to Shell (edu – petro engineering)
- Robert Shapiro – business consultant (edu – econ)
- William O’Keefe – CEO Marshall Institute, former API CEO (edu – ?)
- Bill McKibben – environmentalist/350.org (edu – journalism)
- Bjorn Lomborg – director Copenhagen Consensus Centre (edu – poli sci)
- Reid Detchon – UN energy foundation VP (edu – ?)
I am not proposing that one must have a doctorate in a relevant field in order to have an opinion on climate as a topic, but if the Washington Post is going to make the question explicitly about the science, how can they justify having a single scientist with a somewhat-relevant background? Several, perhaps all, of the other experts listed might be experts on policy questions (although in the cases of and O’Keefe and Lomborg, doubtful), but that isn’t what the question was asking. Nor is it any better that the answers were largely in agreement about the reality of the scientific consensus on the need for mitigation. If you had the resources of the Washington Post and wanted to assemble a panel on a question about the science of a specific topic, how many relevant scientists would you have included? My guess is more than one.
This is simply disgraceful. Although hardly surprising, from the paper that elsewhere counts George Will among its authorities on climate.