Democracy Soup

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George Will keeps getting it wrong on global warming to be the Media Putz

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Originally published on on October 8, 2009

George Will

George Will is one of these tired conservative columnists who should stick to areas that he knows something about, which might limit him to writing only about the Chicago Cubs.

One area where he should permanently retire from consideration is global warming. Despite the embarrassment and outright lies in his columns, Will continues to write about global warming as if he knows about the topic.

Perhaps the only reason George Will writes about global warming is that he loves the fact that the same initials (G.W.) run through his name, global warming, and someone who didn’t think much about the environment either (George Walker, as in Bush).

Will clearly sees value in writing about this topic. In a year with a new president, crashing economy, health care, teabaggers, et al., Will has now written seven columns on global warming. In his case, practice really isn’t even close to perfect.

The columnist’s main argument in his Oct. 1 column is based mostly on semantics from an article from The New York Times. This capacious argument makes up the majority of the essay. And most of them center around the word “plateau” concerning global temperatures.

We are seeing multiple phenomena of great concern besides global temperatures. And our manmade activities won’t make that change anytime soon.

Will’s other major statement is referencing a professor emeritus at the University of Virginia. The professor’s theory suggests that thousands of years ago, primitive farmers burned forests and built methane-bubbling rice paddies that warmed the world by a degree or more.

However, in the article that Will quotes (also from The Washington Post), this reporter notes that:

“Other scientists, however, have said the idea is deeply flawed and might be used to dampen modern alarms over climate change… His answer is based on circumstantial evidence…. “

On top of that, the professor Will holds up with fine praise says later in the article that “there is still a need to cap and reduce greenhouse gases, since modern smokestacks and tailpipes are pumping them out at a level that dwarfs anything from earlier eras.”

Oops. Maybe Will didn’t get that far into the article.

There is an art to writing a column filled with inaccuracies. But a lazy, inaccurate column takes great skill and very little effort. Will believes that global warming doesn’t exist, yet he throws it out there that if it does, we can’t do anything about it, so why care?

Warnings about cataclysmic warming increase in stridency as evidence of warming becomes more elusive. A recent report from the United Nations Environment Program predicts an enormous 6.3 degrees Fahrenheit increase by the end of the century even if nations fulfill their most ambitious pledges concerning reduction of carbon emissions. The U.S. goal is an 80 percent reduction by 2050. But Steven Hayward of the American Enterprise Institute says that would require reducing greenhouse gas emissions to the 1910 level. On a per capita basis, it would mean emissions approximately equal to those in 1875.

That will not happen. So, we are doomed. So, why try?

Well, fewer people might drown by a specific place in time in the future. Given how fast we are “working” at it now, time might be one of the important elements we need. We could literally breathe easier for longer.

This isn’t the first time Will has come under fire for his lack of knowledge on global warming. Will’s February 15 column was spotlighted for its incredible deceptions and lies, and the reluctance of Will’s employer, The Washington Post, to correct those errors.

Clearly, George Will didn’t learn from this and other lessons. Then again, maybe Will has been spending too much time enjoying his brandy snifter with the folks at the Chamber of Commerce, equally in denial over the damaging effects on the planet Earth.

Will’s ignorance is only surpassed by his pretentiousness, as if saying something stupid with high-class words makes them less stupid. His concluding sentence:

Environmental Cassandras must be careful with their predictions lest they commit what climate alarmists consider the unpardonable faux pas of denying that the world is coming to an end.

Wow. Those who are concerned about global warming aren’t saying the world will come to an end. The world will be around for awhile; though at this rate, there were be less land for people to live on, including Will’s Washington, DC. Action, not fancy words, might change that path.

George Will should do some real reading about global warming. And he can start with being this week’s Media Putz. It may not have them fancy words, but at least it’s based in reality.

George Will previously won the Media Putz on October 18, 2007.


Written by democracysoup

October 8, 2009 at 6:00 am

Posted in media criticism, MSM

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