Absolutely totally gets the cigar. Atcheson earned my respect on this issue long ago, which is why this little thing is puzzling.
Here’s a sad story about practically my favorite environmental columnist, Dahr Jamail. I was reading a long summation of his, in which appeared some discussion of Greenland. Jamail claimed that observers say the 2019 melt season in Greenland will be the worst ever - with a link to a video by Jason Box. I follow this kind of thing, I know who Jason Box is, so I was surprised to hear the news that Box had already called it. Unfortunately, Box didn’t say what Jamail implicitly claimed he said. Box said that 2019 is likely to be a record melt year, not that it will be.
Sigh. Just a little mistake. But Jamail is accidentally lying – something I’ll remember for a long time. Rachel Carson and Elizabeth Kolbert set a standard for scrupulous triple-checked accuracy when writing about science. Without it, comprehension and cohesion is all shot to shit. In matters of science, writers need to earn and keep the trust of well-informed readers. It’s worth the trouble.
Atcheson, if he’s worth his salt, will either stop voicing his (apparently unsubstantiated) hunch about permafrost methane, or else start backing it up. Just show me the data. Not too much to ask for.