Again, Dickinson’s information is correct, but he is piggybacking off earlier investigations by the media. The editors of the German journal where the industry-funded study was published soon retracted the paper, and the media covered the controversy extensively. In June 2003, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution labeled the study “dubious” and exposed the authors’ ties to the energy industry. Still, Dickinson does deliver an appreciated follow-up in Rolling Stone, reporting that Connaughton, testifying before the House Oversight Committee just last March, is still touting the study as a “new and major piece of science.”


Dickinson concludes his article with a Cooney’s departure from the CEQ and a look at the Bush administration’s current policy on global warming. Dickinson mentions the White House’s attempt to muzzle NASA climatologist James Hansen - a story that also first appeared in The New York Times last year - as well as Bush’s new climate mitigation plan, unveiled last month at a Group of Eight meeting in Germany. Here, Dickinson doesn’t have a lot of paper with which to condemn the White House or CEQ, but his skepticism, thankfully, is undiminished. “Even when Bush proposes what looks like a plan, it’s designed to stall real progress on global warming,” he writes.


Hopefully, if the press continues to investigate American climate policy as diligently as it has in the pass, we will soon have the documents to substantiate that opinion as well.

Curtis Brainard is the editor of The Observatory, CJR's online critique of science and environment reporting. Follow him on Twitter @cbrainard.