Politics

Days Later Liberals Are Still Melting Down Over Bret Stephens’ First NYT Column

Peter Hasson Senior Reporter

Days after The New York Times’ newest columnist wrote a piece cautioning against shutting down reasonable debate on climate change, liberals in the media and elsewhere are still railing against the paper for publishing a dissenting view from its typical climate alarmism.

Bret Stephens’ column on Friday quoted former NYT environmental reporter Andrew Revkin who wrote last year, “I saw a widening gap between what scientists had been learning about global warming and what advocates were claiming as they pushed ever harder to pass climate legislation.”

“Claiming total certainty about the science traduces the spirit of science and creates openings for doubt whenever a climate claim proves wrong,” Stephens, a “Never Trump” conservative hired away from the Wall Street Journal, argued. (RELATED: The New York Times Affirms Elitist Bent With Latest Hire)

Stephens’ column prompted furious left-wingers to threaten to cancel their subscriptions. Days later, liberals are still bitterly complaining about the NYT’s decision to publish Stephens’ column.

Liberal website Slate ran an article Sunday calling Stephens’ column “classic climate change denialism.” The column declared it “not actually true” that “reasonable people can be skeptical about the dangers of climate change.” The author, Susan Matthews, appeared to suggest that the liberal paper can no longer be trusted on account of the article, concluding: “Stephens may be wrong about most things but he was right about one—some institutions no longer deserve to be trusted.”

“There’s nothing conservative (or liberal) about the Stephens column,” data journalist Nate Silver complained on Sunday. “The issue is about evidence vs. bullshit. He doesn’t know his subject.”

Washington Post blogger Erik Wemple called Stephens’ column “a dreadfully argued piece” in his second piece complaining about it. Wemple claimed that “speaking of climate change as a future problem shortchanges the entire issue.”

Penn State professor Michael Mann said the NYT can win him and other readers back by “owning [the] debacle” and “convincing us they’re not adopting editorial stance of false balance on climate.”

“Some of my more intemperate critics are doing an awfully good job of proving the point about the column,” Stephens noted in a statement on Sunday.

Follow Hasson on Twitter @PerJHasson