The highly-intelligent Matt McIrvin has a good and thoughtful take:
mmcirvin: Achenbach on global warming denial: I think this is the first time I've ever sparked a non-negligible political-blog controversy, over the merits of Joel Achenbach's Washington Post Sunday magazine article on global-warming skeptics.... I'm somewhat more sympathetic.... It's a Sunday magazine piece, not written according to the inverted-pyramid rule with conclusions up at the top. Achenbach's aim, as he explains, is to give the people he's profiling enough rope to hang themselves, and a fairly sophisticated reader will come away from reading the whole piece realizing that they've done so.
But... [h]e engages the people much more than he does the arguments, and that's a problem because their rhetoric is often pretty good. Somebody thinking, "OK, these guys are a little kooky and/or dishonest, but I never heard these points they bring up before. What about all those anomalies? What about the thickening ice, the Medieval Warm Period, the historical lag between temperature and CO2 levels? Might there actually be something in it?" still isn't going to get much of an answer from the Post Magazine piece.... [I]t's possible to do better without turning the whole thing into agitprop. For me, the gold standard for this kind of piece is John Farrell's outstanding 2000 Salon article "Did Einstein Cheat?" about the even more bizarre world of advocates against the theory of relativity. It doesn't just show you how kooky these people are, it also provides a fairly definite idea of just how they're wrong. By taking the ideas it's knocking more seriously than Achenbach did, it actually ends up being far more convincing.
And, of course, an unsophisticated reader who does not read Achenbach's whole piece with attention...