Betsy Kolbert spanks the Superfreaks

The Part Two of my criticism of the Superfreakonomics authors and geo-engineering is languishing in my drafts folder. I’m not sure how much interest remains in further debunking of their nonsense, but for those who can’t get enough, and are interested in a wonderful skewering of Levitt and Dubner’s “realism”, do yourselves a favor and read Elizabeth Kolbert’s New Yorker piece on the Superfreaks.

7 responses to “Betsy Kolbert spanks the Superfreaks

  1. Pingback: Climate change Bytes and Blogs VII « Greenfyre’s

  2. She sums it right up:

    ” . . . while some forms of horseshit are no longer a problem, others will always be with us. “

  3. “languishing in my drafts folder”

    I can relate to that all too well, and will advocate for giving it a couple of weeks and then putting it out. Just add a little retrospective and/or overview analysis and it helps making sure that the story doesn’t just limp away.

  4. It’s easy to poke fun at geo-engineering, and to point out the flaws with various schemes, but we may be only shooting ourselves in the foot. If geo-engineering is possible (such as the scheme to shoot sulphur dioxide into the stratosphere), it will one day be done. It is simply too cheap; there are too many nations with the means to do it who, when push comes to shove, will do it, no matter what international agreements are in place. The cancer victim will use chemo to save his life, regardless of side effects. Lovelock, in “Vanishing Face of Gaia” presents a sober look at go-engineering, and the role it may play. We may not like it, but it will be used.

  5. “If _____ is possible,… it will one day be done.”

    Not, fortunately, always true.

    http://www.fas.org/nuke/space/c03anp.htm
    http://www.fas.org/nuke/space/anp-gao1963.pdf

    It’s “prevent the future,” that’s the way I put it. Not predict it, prevent it. And with anger and attacking, yes. You have the fun of attacking the thing you think is stupid. …
    — Ray Bradbury
    http://www.raybradbury.com/articles_playboy.html

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