Are the media blowing it on climate change?

When it comes to climate change, the popular media almost always dig up a skeptic whenever they interview a concerned scientist.  Fair or foul?

Fight fire with fire? (cartoon by Nick Kim)

Fight fire with fire? (cartoon by Nick Kim)

Writing in the leading journal Nature, Simon Lewis emphatically argues this is foul.  The skeptics being interviewed are very rarely scientists, Lewis argues, but are activists with an agenda.  

Lewis highlights a striking example of this: The BBC's recent interview of Lord Nigel Lawson, a leading climate skeptic, and pitting him against a leading scientist.  Lawson's qualifications?  He was formerly the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the UK--effectively the Minister of Finance.

Lewis says the media are blowing it: If they want to interview an activist climate-skeptic then they should pair him against an environmental activist, such as the head of Greenpeace.  

That way, there'd be no pretense of an unbiased or scientific exchange, says Lewis.  It'd be more a matter of standing back and watching the fur fly...