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After His First Article, FiveThirtyEight Apologizes for Controversial Climate Science Writer

Who could have seen this coming?
Media • Views: 11,450

Well, that didn’t take long. Recently, Nate Silver’s new media venture FiveThirtyEight hired one of the most notorious “climate skeptics,” Roger Pielke Jr., as their science writer. Today, Silver is apologizing for Pielke, after Pielke’s very first article was severely criticized by climate scientists and he responded by sending them emails threatening possible legal action: FiveThirtyEight Apologizes on Behalf of Controversial Climate Science Writer.

NEW YORK — Two prominent climate scientists say Roger Pielke Jr., a controversial writer at Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight site, sent emails threatening possible legal action in response to their criticism of his findings for the data-driven news site.

Pielke says it’s “ridiculous” to characterize the emails as threats against Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University, and Dr. Kevin Trenberth, a distinguished senior climate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. FiveThirtyEight, however, apologized to both men.

“Roger is a freelance contributor and his private communications do not represent FiveThirtyEight,” Silver said in a statement to HuffPost. “We had candid conversations with Michael Mann and Kevin Trenberth. We made clear that Roger’s conversations with them did not reflect FiveThirtyEight’s editorial values.”

Revelations of the private correspondence are particularly poorly timed for FiveThirtyEight, which has been dogged online throughout most of its 11-day existence by the climate change dispute. The controversy was given increased exposure Thursday night on “The Daily Show.”

Also see:
First Climate Article on Nate Silver’s Data Website Uses ‘Deeply Misleading’ Data, Top Climatologists Say

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