Freeman Dyson seems like a nice man and, in 1949, he was certainly one of the most impressive physicists in the world. Nicholas Dawidoff is a great sportswriter. And the New York Times (with obvious exceptions) is held to be a reputable and credible publication.
But none of that helps to explain why the NYT Magazine would ask a sportswriter to research an 8,000-word article on an issue he knows nothing about - featuring an 85-year-old “expert” who is similarly at sea on the issue.
Take what position you will on the degree of urgency, climate change is unquestionably one of the most important public policy issues currently facing any government in the world. It is somewhere between casually irresponsible and criminally reckless for a respected medium like the New York Times to undermine the quality of public discussion by putting so much focus on people who are so clearly out of their depth.