The new FiveThirtyEight: a train wreck. Photo: uncredited / DailyKos By Laurence Lewis
23 March 2014

(DailyKos) – Nate Silver claims that his new blog is a data journalism organization. Silver is a numbers guy, and because his analyses of political polls proved more accurate than those made by the often inept traditional media competition, he has become celebrated as a genius, if not quite a shaman. How ironic, then, that with over 97 percent of the 11,944 peer-reviewed studies of "global climate change" or "global warming" between 1991-2011 endorsing the consensus on anthropogenic global warming, with almost every scientific society or association long before having concurred on the consensus, and with the U.S. National Academies of Science and the British Royal Society now saying that the consensus is more certain than ever, Silver would hire as one of his science writers the egregious purveyor of disinformation on climate change, Roger Pielke, Jr. And the worst part about it, given Silver's reputation as a statistics guy, is that Pielke often is criticized for butchering statistics and data analysis. 

With Roger Pielke Jr covering climate, how about Jenny McCarthy on vaccines? @capital_climate  @thingsbreak @NateSilver538 @climatebrad

Climate scientist Michael Mann is among many who are not impressed:

“Given Nate’s professed obsession with rigorous statistical analysis, it is rather disappointing to see him hire for his new venture an individual who has displayed a pattern of sloppiness when it comes to the analysis of climate data,” said top climate scientist Michael Mann via email. Pointing to a chapter in Silver’s recent book that addresses climate change (for which Mann was interviewed) he adds, “Sadly, this isn’t the first time Nate has been led astray when it comes to dealing with the science of climate change.”

After having been interviewed by Silver for that book, and despite obviously liking Silver, personally, when Mann read the result, he wrote an excoriating critique that should be read in its entirety.

Much more below the fold. [more]

By hiring a climate disinformer, Nate Silver undermines his entire premise of data-driven journalism



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