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New Yorker Environmental Writer Tears Apart SuperFreakonomics

I felt a little bad fanning the flames of the internet media slanderstorm surrounding the environmental contrarianism in SuperFreakonomics before...


I felt a little bad fanning the flames of the internet media slanderstorm surrounding the environmental contrarianism in SuperFreakonomics before the book had even been published, and before I'd even read it. I've still not read it, but I feel a little less bad now that Elizabeth Kolbert, New Yorker environmental writer and GOOD Portrait subject, has torn the book apart. You should read the full review (which also includes an account of Al Gore's new book on the environment) for the full evisceration, but here's a sample:Given their emphasis on cold, hard numbers, it's noteworthy that Levitt and Dubner ignore what are, by now, whole libraries' worth of data on global warming. Indeed, just about everything they have to say on the topic is, factually speaking, wrong. Among the many matters they misrepresent are: the significance of carbon emissions as a climate-forcing agent, the mechanics of climate modelling, the temperature record of the past decade, and the climate history of the past several hundred thousand years.Also notable: she actually describes their ideas as "horseshit."Photo by Livia Corona.