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John Tierney (journalist)

john tierney (journalist), john tierney journalist picture
John Marion Tierney born March 25, 1953 is an American journalist and author who has worked for the New York Times since 1990 A self-described contrarian, Tierney is a critic of environmentalism, the "science establishment", big government,1 and calls for limiting emissions of carbon dioxide2


  • 1 Early and personal life
  • 2 Career
  • 4 Books
  • 5 Awards
  • 6 See also
  • 7 References
  • 8 External links

Early and personal lifeedit

Tierney was born in 1953 outside Chicago, grew up in "the Midwest, South America and Pittsburgh"3 He graduated from Yale University in 1976 As of 1998, he was married to Dana Tierney, with whom he had one child, Luke3


After graduating from college, Tierney was a newspaper reporter for four years, first at the Bergen Record in New Jersey and then at the Washington Star Starting in 1980, he spent ten years in magazine journalism writing for such magazines as Atlantic Monthly, Discover, Esquire, Health, National Geographic Traveler, New York, Newsweek, Outside, Rolling Stone3 Tierney began working at The New York Times in 1990 as a "general assignment" reporter in the Metro section3 Tierney writes a science column, Findings, for the Times He previously wrote the TierneyLab blog4 for the Times In 2005 Tierney began to write for the Times Op-Ed page and as of 2015 his writings appeared in both the Times Op-Ed and "Findings" science column5 He also writes for the conservative City Journal1


Tierney described his TierneyLab as "guided by two founding principles"

  1. Just because an idea appeals to a lot of people doesn't mean it's wrong
  2. But that's a good working theory4

His column about New York, "The Big City", ran in the New York Times Magazine and the Metro section from 1994 to 2002 His criticism of rent stabilization, the war on drugs, Amtrak and compulsory recycling, have been described as questioning "some of the complacent shibboleths of urban liberalism"6 His 1996 article "Recycling Is Garbage" broke the New York Times Magazine's hate mail record and was praised by libertarians for bringing "libertarian ideas to America's big-government bible"7 Critics complained that in the article he quoted "not a single representative of the recycling industry", but did cite the head of "an environmental consulting business for hire to solid waste companies"6 In a 2001 column Tierney cited a study suggesting that Global Warming would boost the US economy6

Tierney identifies himself as a libertarian and has become increasingly identified with libertarianism

Joseph J Romm has written that Tierney is one of the "influential but misinformed" skeptics who have helped prevent the US from taking action on climate change In his 2007 book, Hell and High Water, Romm cites, and claims to refute, what he calls Tierney's "misinformation"8 Columbia Journalism Review complains Tierney "has a tendency to support his point of view using sources with a clear ideological or special interest agenda, without properly identifying them"6

In 2007 Tierney wrote a column claiming that Silent Spring — Rachel Carson's 1962 book on the detrimental effects of pesticides on the environment — is a "hodgepodge of science and junk science" whose rhetoric still "drowns out real science," such as the work of agricultural bacteriologist Ira Baldwin Among those who have criticized the column for alleged errors of fact and misrepresentation are Erik M Conway, Naomi Oreskes,9 and Merrill Goozner10

In 2016 Tierney criticized President Barack Obama for "politicized science to advance his agenda" and appointees in the Obama administration for "junk science—or no science—to justify misbegotten crusades against dietary salt, trans fats, and electronic cigarettes They cited phony statistics to spread myths about a gender pay gap and a rape crisis on college campuses"1


  • God Is My Broker, A comic novel written in parody of financial and spiritual self-help book was written in collaboration with novelist Christopher Buckley
  • Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength Co-wrote in 2011, along with Florida State University psychologist Roy F Baumeister They state that self-control and willpower function analogously to muscles Thus, they write that willpower can be exhausted from overuse but generally speaking is strengthened through exercise exercise that modern people tend to disregard11 Publishers Weekly praised the book as "a very fine work" that is "clear and succinct" as well as "based on solid research"12
  • The Best-Case Scenario Handbook: A Parody Sep 16, 200213 a parody of the popular Worst-Case Scenario Handbook series


  • 1998-99, New York News Publishers Association 1 Distinguished Column Writing Award
  • 1988, American Association for the Advancement of Science/Westinghouse Science Journalism Award, for a cover story in Newsweek, "The Search for Adam and Eve"
  • 1983, American Institute of Physics-United States Steel Foundation Science Writing Award14

See alsoedit

  • Simmons–Tierney bet
  • Scientific opinion on climate change
  • Public opinion on climate change


  1. ^ a b c Tierney, John November 14, 2016 "Trump and Science" City Journal Retrieved 15 November 2016 
  2. ^ TIERNEY, JOHN 16 January 2012 "Climate Proposal Puts Practicality Ahead of Sacrifice" New York Times Retrieved 15 November 2016 
  3. ^ a b c d "National New York Region Columnist Biography: John Tierney" New York Times Retrieved 15 November 2016 
  4. ^ a b TierneyLab
  5. ^ "John Tierney Recent and archived work by John Tierney for The New York Times" New York Times Retrieved 15 November 2016 
  6. ^ a b c d Roth, Zachary 1 December 2004 "The Problem with John Tierney" CJR Retrieved 15 November 2016 
  7. ^ Fifth Columnist| Reason |Julian Sanchez | September 14, 2005 |accessed 15-11-2016
  8. ^ Joseph Romm Hell and High Water: The Global Warming Solution Harper Perrenial, 2007 p103-104
  9. ^ Erik M Conway, Naomi Oreskes Merchants of Doubt, 2010, p223
  10. ^ Carson Bashing and the Ill-Informed DDT Campaign June 5, 2007 Merrill Goozner
  11. ^ http://abcnewsgocom/Entertainment/wireStoryid=14455157
  12. ^ http://wwwpublishersweeklycom/978-1-59420-307-7
  13. ^ "The Best-Case Scenario Handbook: A Parody" Amazon Retrieved 15 November 2016 
  14. ^ Tierney's biography at New York Times
  • Biography from the New York Times
  • Sept 14, 2005 interview with Reason magazine

External linksedit

  • Recent Tierney columns at the New York Times
  • "Meet John Tierney", New York Times biographical video interview

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John Tierney (journalist)

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