So I changed it to, “Someone came along and said, ‘Hey, try lighting this,’” which is much more human and real. And as many of my free-market, blog-commenter friends would say, look at all the benefits that have come from burning fossil fuels. So I evolved the song. And I don’t see it as an apologist saying, “Oh yeah, that was bad.” I do think it’s correct, so I changed it. And someone can say, “Oh, Revkin, you’re caving to fossil fuels.” I don’t think I’m caving; I think it’s true. And it’s been blogged on before by climate contrarians who thought they had a big ‘gotcha’ thing.

It’s all a process, and when people jab at me like that, I say, look, my journalism stands or falls on its own merits. I’m a thinking, breathing person as well as reporter, and I was a musician before I was a journalist.

 

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