The 9/30 edition of the Wall Street Journal online carried an article asserting all sorts of errors in the latest IPCC report on climate change. That, of course, is to be expected--the WSJ is not, after all, Scientific American. What I found interesting, though, was who the WSJ chose to write their attack piece.
The article, entitled "The Political Science of Global Warming," was by a writer named Rupert Darwall. Mr. Darwall, the Journal tells us, is the author of The Age of Global Warming: A History. I googled that book, and it got rave reviews from the usual conservative sources. Sounds somewhat impressive, I think, but perhaps with the miracles of the internet, I can find out more about Mr. Darwall. And I did.
Rupert Darwall, we find, "read economics and history at Cambridge." Very prestigious school, of course, but conspicuous by its absence is any formal training in science in general, let alone environmental science. In fact, he was a conservative polemicist and a businessman--"after which he worked at the Conservative Research Department and then in the City as an investment analyst and in corporate finance."
Of even greater interest is that he was a featured speaker at the Author Series at the Heartland Institute. For those of you who don't know it, the Heartland Institute is a libertarian think tank, which got its start trying to debunk the notion that tobacco smoke is bad for you.
None of this is to say that a non-scientist can't write a good book on a highly technical subject, or that a business type can't objectively address that subject.
But that's not the way to bet.