Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight has posted a rebuttal by MIT scientist Kerry Emanuel to Roger Pielke Jr.’s controversial March 19 story that argued climate change isn’t to blame for the rising costs of weather-related disasters.
“I don’t see how the data he cites support such a confident assertion,” Emanuel writes in the response that Silver commissioned to run on the data-journalism site. (Click here to read more about why Emanuel’s not buying Pielke’s argument.)
Emanuel’s post followed a note to readers Friday from Silver himself, who said the largely negative response to Pielke’s item prompted FiveThirtyEight to “think carefully” about the story and their editing.
“The back-and-forth is extremely detailed, citing paper upon paper, footnote upon footnote, and link upon link. The debate is hard for us to adjudicate without turning to experts for help,” Silver writes in explaining why he commissioned a story that responds to the central arguments of Pielke’s story.
Silver also said there were some “peripheral claims” allowed into Pielke’s piece and some other problems that “reflect a poor job of editing on our part.”
But the note says that broader criticisms of Pielke — namely that the political scientist isn’t qualified to write on climate and that he’s a climate “denier” — are “unfair.”
As National Journal wrote here, Pielke often enrages climate activists and has drawn criticism from several prominent scientists, although he does not dispute human-induced climate change and says it demands action.
Emanuel’s piece is just the latest chapter in the brouhaha over Pielke’s item and FiveThirtyEight‘s decision to bring him on as a contributor.
Huffington Post media writer Michael Calderone reported Friday that FiveThirtyEight apologized to scientists Michael Mann and Kevin Trenberth for emails Pielke sent them in response to their criticism of his March 19 item.
HuffPo reported that Mann and Trenberth interpret Pielke’s emails as threatening possible legal action. But Pielke told Calderone that it’s “ridiculous” to characterize the emails that way.
What We're Following See More »
"Nearly a year before Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired senior FBI official Andrew McCabe for what Sessions called a 'lack of candor,'" McCabe launched a federal criminal investigation into whether Sessions withheld information from Congress regarding his contact with Russian operatives. "Democratic lawmakers have repeatedly accused Sessions of misleading them" during his testimony, "and called on federal authorities to investigate." When Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation, "several top Republican and Democratic lawmakers were informed of the probe during a closed-door briefing with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and McCabe."
The Senate passed the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act, or SESTA, by a vote of 97-2. The bill now heads to the White House, where President Trump is expected to sign it into law. SESTA lifts federal immunity for internet platforms involved in sex trafficking, "a move that prosecutors, victims and anti-trafficking activists are heralding as an essential step in cracking down on the crime." Opponents of SESTA argue had argued that lifting the immunity could open websites up to lawsuits based on user-generated content, which could lead to a crackdown on free speech.
In a lengthy Facebook post, Mark Zuckerberg responded to reports that Cambridge Analytica had accessed the personal data of 50 million users, and kept the data after being told by the social media company to delete it. "I started Facebook," wrote Zuckerberg, "and at the end of the day I'm responsible for what happens on our platform ... While this specific issue involving Cambridge Analytica should no longer happen with new apps today, that doesn't change what happened in the past." On Monday, Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, called for “Mr. Zuckerberg and other CEOs” to testify "about social media manipulation in the 2016 election."
"The White House is backing a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill despite opposition from some House conservatives ... 'The President and the leaders discussed their support for the bill, which includes more funds to rebuild the military, such as the largest pay raise for our troops in a decade, more than 100 miles of new construction for the border wall and other key domestic priorities, like combatting the opioid crisis and rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure,' White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement." The details of the bill are expected to be released later today.