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."