Senate Staffer Attacks NYTimes Reporter for Writing Book on North Pole

A book written to be accessible to anyone over the age of ten, The North Pole Was Here, has a staffer for a prominent denier in the US Senate up in arms.

Not for what the book says–because the staffer appears not to have read it–but the fact that it was written by a reporter.

NYTTimes reporter Andrew Revkin published a straightforward but appealing you-are-here account of visiting the top of our home planet, where the air is thin, the "ground" is ice floating on the ocean, and everything is changing.

Here’s an excerpt from the first chapter:

Unlike the planet’s South Pole, where a continent is home to permanent research stations and dozens of scientists, engineers, cooks, doctors, and other staff, at the North Pole nothing is permanent except the seabed far below. The ice that is here today will be somewhere else tomorrow. In a few years, much of what I am walking on, what our airplane landed on, will break up and slide out of the Arctic Ocean altogether through passages around Greenland, replaced by newly formed ice. A while ago, a visitor left a message in a container on the ice near this spot. It was found on a beach in Ireland a few years later.

Amazingly, this factual account has alarmed Marc Morano, a communications director for Senator James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma). Marc Morano, formerly with The Rush Limbaugh Show, and the first in the media to publicize the attacks of the Swift Boat veterans, has now attacked New York Times’ reporter Andrew Revkin.

According to a story broken by Greenwire (reg. required) on Wednesday, Morano called into doubt the twenty years of Revkin’s reporting on climate change issues, because "sales of Revkin’s book…would be enhanced by his paper’s coverage of climate."

Morano said: "We’re not just shooting arrows."

Yesterday also saw the revelation in the NYTimes that NASA has altered its credo, removing the first line–"To alter and protect the home planet"–perhaps because prominent climate researcher James Hansen pointed to that phrase when insisting on the right to speak up on the hazard to the planet and our way of life from global warming.

Given this somewhat crazy state of affairs, Gristmill asked Revkin to answer a few questions, to which he graciously responded.

Gristmill interview with Andrew Revkin.

(Please check out the above link for the actual interview. My version of the opening is slightly different in emphasis…but it’s the same information, so I hope Grist won’t object if I leave up the original version.)

Published by Kit Stolz

I'm a freelance reporter and writer based in Ventura County.

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