Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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February 16, 2009

BAD WILL HUNTING.... George Will, who has always presented himself as something of an intellectual among the conservative chattering class, seems to be struggling a bit now that there's a Democratic president. Some of his recent columns have varied between wrong and bizarre.

Last week, for example, Will wrote that if John McCain doesn't approve of a bill, congressional Democrats are guilty of "recklessness." This week, Will rejects the scientific consensus on climate change.

In the 1970s, "a major cooling of the planet" was "widely considered inevitable" because it was "well established" that the Northern Hemisphere's climate "has been getting cooler since about 1950" (New York Times, May 21, 1975). Although some disputed that the "cooling trend" could result in "a return to another ice age" (the Times, Sept. 14, 1975), others anticipated "a full-blown 10,000-year ice age" involving "extensive Northern Hemisphere glaciation" (Science News, March 1, 1975, and Science magazine, Dec. 10, 1976, respectively). The "continued rapid cooling of the Earth" (Global Ecology, 1971) meant that "a new ice age must now stand alongside nuclear war as a likely source of wholesale death and misery" (International Wildlife, July 1975). "The world's climatologists are agreed" that we must "prepare for the next ice age" (Science Digest, February 1973). Because of "ominous signs" that "the Earth's climate seems to be cooling down," meteorologists were "almost unanimous" that "the trend will reduce agricultural productivity for the rest of the century," perhaps triggering catastrophic famines (Newsweek cover story, "The Cooling World," April 28, 1975). [...]

As global levels of sea ice declined last year, many experts said this was evidence of man-made global warming. Since September, however, the increase in sea ice has been the fastest change, either up or down, since 1979, when satellite record-keeping began. According to the University of Illinois' Arctic Climate Research Center, global sea ice levels now equal those of 1979. [...]

Real calamities take our minds off hypothetical ones. Besides, according to the U.N. World Meteorological Organization, there has been no recorded global warming for more than a decade, or one-third of the span since the global cooling scare.

These points might be compelling, if they were in any way accurate. The problem, of course, is that they're completely wrong.

Will is simply wrong about the "cooling" data from the 1970s, wrong about the research conducted by the University of Illinois' Arctic Climate Research Center, and wrong about the reports from the U.N. World Meteorological Organization.

The Arctic Climate Research Center went so far as to publish a response online yesterday to Will's column.

We do not know where George Will is getting his information, but our data shows that on February 15, 1979, global sea ice area was 16.79 million sq. km and on February 15, 2009, global sea ice area was 15.45 million sq. km. Therefore, global sea ice levels are 1.34 million sq. km less in February 2009 than in February 1979. This decrease in sea ice area is roughly equal to the area of Texas, California, and Oklahoma combined.

It is disturbing that the Washington Post would publish such information without first checking the facts.

It is, indeed.

Steve Benen 1:35 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (63)

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It is disturbing that the Washington Post would publish such information without first checking the facts.

Notice, that's 'disturbing' -- not 'surprising' or 'unusual'.

Company paper in a one-industry town.

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on February 16, 2009 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

That's not the first time Mr. Will has been goofy about global warming. He had an opinion piece in Newsweek a little while ago that made similar statements.

Watch him on ABC Sunday mornings lately, and observe his confusion, specially when Paul Krugman is there to make immediate corrections.

George Will is a smart man, with a wonderful gift for words, but he's clearly struggling with a personal belief system in conflict with facts. I almost feel bad for him.

Well, almost.

Posted by: JC on February 16, 2009 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

Will's untrue reporting of the ACRC's sea ice data demands a correction, right? I mean, it's one thing for op-ed columnists to lie in the guise of opinion, or lie about what people have said or believe, but that's just shoddy.

Posted by: pseudonymous in nc on February 16, 2009 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

The obvious solution would be to release the proper mix of CO2 and Freon into the atmosphere. What could go wrong?

Posted by: Commonnonsensetarian on February 16, 2009 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

The increase in sea ice expansion and contraction is the arctic are working overtime to moderate the increased energy in the oceans and atmosphere.

The result could very well be a freeze-over, and a tipping into the next ice age. That possibility cannot be ruled out.

One way or another, the arctic are will give up the effort, or slam on the ice.

Posted by: MattYoung on February 16, 2009 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK


why can't the address what Will actually said, instead of what they thought he said.

They need to compare ice levels from September 2008 to February 2009.

He's wrong there as well, but the problem is that you can't even compare ice levels between September and February, since the ice levels fluctuate with the seasons.

Posted by: DR on February 16, 2009 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

I can't believe anyone still reads the WaPo when Charmin is so much softer and you don't get ink all over your fanny.

Posted by: doubtful on February 16, 2009 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

Oops, missed the rest of what Will said.

Posted by: DR on February 16, 2009 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

It's just as disturbing that Will doesn't understand how science works.

If some climate scientists in the 1970s thought the earth was getting cooler, but most climate scientists today think it is getting warmer, it is because their conclusions are derived from more recent data using more advanced research methods.

If you take science seriously, you have to go with what scientists think now, not what they thought thirty years ago when they didn't know as much.

Science, unlike opinion writing, has to take into consideration inconvenient realities that can't be wished away.

Posted by: dschwein on February 16, 2009 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

Here is a question. What is Will's, Brooks, Broder, etc. field of expertise? Betch ya it is not climate science, economics, physics, etc. Most of these guys have journalistic backgrounds. So why doe anyone with two functioning brain cells take them serious? They are not credible on any topic except maybe journalism and then only barely.

They are talking out of their asses.

Posted by: David on February 16, 2009 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

George Will, whatever his intellectual pretenses, is and always has been a hack, propagandist, and liar.

No news here.

Posted by: capitalistimperialistpig on February 16, 2009 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Back in 2006, no one thought Obama could win. So why should we believe those who tell us today that he's President?

Posted by: SqueakyRat on February 16, 2009 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

We do not know where George Will is getting his information...

From his rectum.

Posted by: Gang Green on February 16, 2009 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

'They are talking out of their asses. '

That explains it. I thought it extremely odd that they had hemorrhoids on their faces.

Posted by: Michael7843853 on February 16, 2009 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

So good to see that Mr. Will is finally giving Bill Kristol some competition. Maybe next Kristol will get a toupee.

Posted by: Capt Kirk on February 16, 2009 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

So what's the story about the "fastest increase in sea ice"? I've heard or read this "meme" from every global warming denier of late. Any truth to it or just more hogwash?

Posted by: ckelly on February 16, 2009 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

I remember quite a number of years ago now, reading an essay by Will on why, despite warnings by scientists, AIDS was never going to be a serious epidemic.

It was a perfect demonstration of Will being incapable of understanding science.

Posted by: Nothing But the Ruth on February 16, 2009 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

It is disturbing that the Washington Post would publish such information without first checking the facts.

That's because, as everyone knows, facts have a liberal bias. They can't be publishing anything even remotely liberal now, can they?

Posted by: kanopsis on February 16, 2009 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

Will appears to be talking about a rate of change, as measured over four months, not the overall change, as measured over thirty years. News media often have a very difficult time distinguishing between the two.

Posted by: andrew on February 16, 2009 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

I think of Will, like David Brooks, as a smart, fluent, sly Republican operative who is smart enough to choose his openings carefully and not lie all the time. His problem isn't his belief system, it's his mission statement.

Posted by: John Emerson on February 16, 2009 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

George Will's picture will one day appear in dictionary's next to the phrase "Concern Troll". He may have invented the form.

I remember when many moons ago now it was revealed that the regular citations of remarks by historical and literary figures ancient and modern are routinely added to his columns at the late stages of preparation by his trusty interns (and on this occasion one not so trusty intern) whose job it is to fabricate Will's erudition.

Posted by: hoi polloi on February 16, 2009 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

Here is a question. What is Will's, Brooks, Broder, etc. field of expertise? Betch ya it is not climate science, economics, physics, etc. Most of these guys have journalistic backgrounds.

Will is the only one of those 3 that actually has impressive bold faced initials after his name:

Will graduated from University Laboratory High School of Urbana, Illinois, and attended Trinity College, in Hartford, Connecticut (B.A.). He subsequently read PPE at Magdalen College, University of Oxford (B.A., M.A.), and received M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in politics from Princeton University. His 1968 Ph.D. dissertation was entitled Beyond the Reach of Majorities: Closed Questions in the Open Society.

Will then taught political philosophy at the James Madison College of Michigan State University, and at the University of Toronto. He taught at Harvard University in 1995 and again in 1998. From 1970 to 1972, he served on the staff of Senator Gordon Allott (R-CO).

He's still a discredited conservative moron and there is no reason to feel sorry for him. He's the fool who proclaimed: "Thank God the adults are back in charge." on the eve of Bush II's inauguration in 2001.

Bwahahaha!

Posted by: Ph.D in Dippiness on February 16, 2009 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

I can't believe anyone still reads the WaPo when Charmin is so much softer and you don't get ink all over your fanny.
Posted by: doubtful

Good grief, doubtful---have you ever tried to knock some sense into a deranged op-ed spewing machine the likes of George Willie with a rolled up wad of Charmin? It's like trying to herd cats by saying "please."

Solution for the George Willie Syndrome currently inflicted upon these United States:

1.) Soak three hundred copies of a George Willie op-ed in water.

2.) Roll them together---tightly---into a large, solid, elongated cylindrical shape.

3.) Allow to dry thoroughly.

4.) Fantasize beating George Willie in the face with "this weapon of his own design." Your defense in court (should you choose to interpret these instructions literally): I couldn't have done this if he hadn't written that op-ed!!!

Honestly, I think the chances of acquittal are at least 70:30; maybe better, if you can do it with a straight face....

Posted by: Steve W. on February 16, 2009 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

Shouldn't Will's main point serve to emphasize just how dramatic things are changing and how serious global climate change is? Hell, if in the 1970's an ice-age was upon us and now, a mere 30 to 40 years later, the oceans are rising and sea-ice is melting as fast as Larry Craig's inhibitions in an airport bathroom stall, then we really have and are doing a number on this planet. We REVERSED the onset of an ice-age!!! And sent ourselves tumbling off the other side of the cliff.

Then again, scientists said the Earth was flat only a few centuries ago, so that must still be the case....satellite photos be damned!!

Posted by: GreyGuy on February 16, 2009 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

As ever Repiglicans simply create whatever 'reality' they need to 'believe' in in order to justify their delusions in general. It's who they are, and what they do.

Posted by: stormskies on February 16, 2009 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

Why has everyone (including George Will) missed the obvious Republican solution for Global Climate Change?

Tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, and a total ban on regulation for all industries?

O.K., I'm kidding, but they wouldn't be....

Posted by: BuzzMon on February 16, 2009 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

Why does George Will get to stitch quotations from two different sources into a single sentence? I mean, if you take your subject from one place and your predicate from another . . . the possibilities are endless!

Posted by: SqueakyRat on February 16, 2009 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK


I'm with DR et al, I wish that the response to Will on the sea ice expasion claim would attend to what he actually wrte, in all of its Brooksian snakiness.


Posted by: Ottoe on February 16, 2009 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

If some climate scientists in the 1970s thought the earth was getting cooler

They didn't. There was one (1) statistician at MIT who made this claim. The rightards have turned that into "scientists" in their never-ending quest of epistemological nihilism.

"Republican," from the Greek, meaning "the rich lie to the stupid."
.

Posted by: Grand Moff Texan on February 16, 2009 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

They don't like Will? Wait'll they get a load of Kristol.

Posted by: Allan Snyder on February 16, 2009 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

Next up from George Will: the earth is only 5000 years old, and flat, by the way.

Posted by: Kevin Judge on February 16, 2009 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

Will is a lying sack of shit. He crowed to the American public on national TV that Ronald Reagan was a “real thoroughbred” after the first Carter-Reagan debate without bothering to mention that Reagan had the benefit of a purloined copy of Carter’s debate briefing papers, which had been stolen from the Carter campaign by no one else but a pathetic little dishonest crook named George F. Will.

Posted by: J. Frank Parnell on February 16, 2009 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

Even if every word he said about the Ice Age fears of the 70's were true, it would mean exactly nothing. > You mean 1975 weather modeling technology got it wrong and we have a different (>) BETTER model now?

How can this be? Computing power is only SEVERAL ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE better now.

Astronomers were wrong about the whole heliocentric model thing once too. We should ignore them right?

Posted by: MikeN on February 16, 2009 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

I used to think it would be sad to see newspapers go out of business. But, the Washington Post and other newspapers have convinced me that the demise of newspapers and television news will be good for America. Their complete and utter incompetence is destroying their business and they don't understand why.

Newspapers are going out of business because they are incompetent not because of the Internet.

Posted by: enslaved on February 16, 2009 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

Will and Kristol are two pseudo-intellectuals in the same business: selling right-wing BS wherever they can. Both are presentable in public, have a pleasant personna, and sound as if they know something. And both make things up, like most other conservatives, when the facts don't support or reinforce their belief system.

Posted by: rich on February 16, 2009 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

Some of his recent columns have varied between wrong and bizarre.

So Will's added "bizarre" to his repertoire...so what?

Posted by: Gregory on February 16, 2009 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

As Will's hero Ronny Ray Gun once said, "facts are stupid things." Clearly, Will agrees with this sentiment.

-Z

Posted by: Zorro on February 16, 2009 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

You can't be wrong if your right.

Listen, he has to punch his ticket. This is money in the bank for him.

His philosophy such as it is consists of keeping his newer younger wife happy and paying off the old one.

Posted by: rapier on February 16, 2009 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

The Arctic Climate Research Center's conclusions show that they are a bunch of no good liberal/socialist/commie/nazi eggheads who don't understand real science. ;-)

Posted by: -jlinge- on February 16, 2009 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

George Will is paid to lie. He is a professional liar. It's his job to lie. And don't think for one moment that he doesn't know exactly what he's doing: lying for money.

Now that the Obama administration and the Democratic majority in Congress are moving towards taking some action -- however inadequate -- to address anthropogenic climate change, expect the fossil fuel industry's campaign of deceit and denial to kick into overdrive. And expect their bought-and-paid-for propagandists -- like George Will and Rush Limbaugh -- to vomit up their scripted lies like never before.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 16, 2009 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

It's obvious that George Will didn't even read the first article he cites.

The first sentence of the article is that: "The world's climate is changing. Of that scientists are firmly convinced." Then the article talks about [unnamed] "specialists" that think the world is cooling. And then goes into the the fact that ice ages occur in cycles (no, shit) and that we'll be due for another one (easy bet, when? sometimes in the next 10-20,000 years), and that crop production is tailored to to the current climate (which means any kind of climate change is precarious).

The article does mention the cooling spell around ~1950, but as mentioned above, that was attributed to airborne particles and global dimming, which was very brief. The article then summarizes a list different methods that could alter the global climate. #3 is man-made and the article states that, "There is general agreement that introducing large amounts of smoke particles or carbon dioxide into the atmosphere can alter climate" and, regarding global cooling or warming, "more precise knowlege of the past is needed to aid in choosing between various explanations for long-term climate changes." Like the Greenland Ice-Sheet Program, which has since provided a wealth of data and firmed up the anthropogenic climate change theory.

Interesting read for a state of the science 35 years ago, but it's hardly any kind of evidence for Will's argument that science can't predict anything about climate, therefore global climate change is a hoax.

Posted by: ChrisS on February 16, 2009 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

Wonder how many outside groups / people grease up (kinda like payola)Will and others for writing this nonsense

Posted by: Burghman on February 16, 2009 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

Am I the only one who liked Squeaky Rat's brief comment at 2:02? Oh well, it made me laugh. So much for Will's central argument.

Posted by: jeri on February 16, 2009 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

Looks like William Kristol's influence is already being felt on the WaPo opinion pages.

Posted by: Aviate on February 16, 2009 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

That great Minnesota paper the Star Tribune enjoys the title of "liberal" but they print columns from this idiot 2-3 times a week. Why are they in financial trouble? Print the facts and maybe your paper will be read.

Posted by: SteveA on February 16, 2009 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

How can George Will (or all the pundits) be considered expert on every subject listed in wikipedia and beyond?

George Will may know baseball, but he pops up as an expert or the last work on anything in the news. It must be a terrible burden to understand everything and have to educate the masses.

Posted by: muffler on February 16, 2009 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

the following lines from Will's column were not disputed (also, in the 70s John Holdren believed in the threat of imminent global cooling, as well as imminent catastrophe from overcrowding):

In the 1970s, "a major cooling of the planet" was "widely considered inevitable" because it was "well established" that the Northern Hemisphere's climate "has been getting cooler since about 1950" (New York Times, May 21, 1975). Although some disputed that the "cooling trend" could result in "a return to another ice age" (the Times, Sept. 14, 1975), others anticipated "a full-blown 10,000-year ice age" involving "extensive Northern Hemisphere glaciation" (Science News, March 1, 1975, and Science magazine, Dec. 10, 1976, respectively). The "continued rapid cooling of the Earth" (Global Ecology, 1971) meant that "a new ice age must now stand alongside nuclear war as a likely source of wholesale death and misery" (International Wildlife, July 1975). "The world's climatologists are agreed" that we must "prepare for the next ice age" (Science Digest, February 1973). Because of "ominous signs" that "the Earth's climate seems to be cooling down," meteorologists were "almost unanimous" that "the trend will reduce agricultural productivity for the rest of the century," perhaps triggering catastrophic famines (Newsweek cover story, "The Cooling World," April 28, 1975). [...]

As global levels of sea ice declined last year, many experts said this was evidence of man-made global warming. Since September, however, the increase in sea ice has been the fastest change, either up or down, since 1979, when satellite record-keeping began.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on February 16, 2009 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

You forgot to credit where you copied and pasted that from, Marler. For shame.

What do you mean, "the following lines from Will's column were not disputed"? That there's no dispute that the Times ran the quotes you cited? Maybe so. But that the "global cooling" theory -- as topical as it might have seemed after a couple of severe winters in the '70s -- was anything like the scientific consensus? Hell yes, that's disputed.

Shame on you for your continued intellectual dishonesty, Marler. For a guy who desperately wants to appear intelligent, and who just loves out-of-context linking to various developments on your pet subject, you simply can't let go of your faith-based belief in an ideology more discredited than even the notion of global cooling.

Jackass.

Posted by: Gregory on February 16, 2009 at 5:18 PM | PERMALINK

The Washington Post has a new ombudsman.

Write him at ombudsman@washpost.com and ask him to investigate any financial ties between Will and the energy industry. Will has a history of taking cash in the form of speaker's fees or consultant's fees from individuals and industries he favors in his columns.

Posted by: ColinLaney on February 16, 2009 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

In September it was really warm and dry where I live and all these Chicken Little global warming types were saying that temperatures are rising and sea ice is melting more. Now I have a foot of snow in my yard and it's freezing! What do you say to that, Al Gore? Huh?

In unrelated news, I just got a new job. What's with all these naysayers saying the economy is in bad shape?

Posted by: jonas on February 16, 2009 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

George Will coached candidate Ronald Reagan prior to a debate with Jimmy Carter with a briefing book stolen from the Carter campaign in 1980. During the 1996 presidential campaign, Will's then-wife did over $100,000 of PR work for candidate Bob Dole while Will extolled the Dole candidacy in print. This pompous ass may be the most intellectually and morally bankrupt "conservative" apologist in print today.

Posted by: Justin Time on February 16, 2009 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

if John McCain doesn't approve of a bill, congressional Democrats are guilty of "recklessness."

sez George Will, who, about six months ago, was complaining of John McCain's 'dismaying' temperament.

Posted by: alan on February 16, 2009 at 5:58 PM | PERMALINK

For more than a decade, there has been no recorded global warming, even as CO2 levels continue to increase. George Will is right to question the constant drumbeat of this supposed crisis. In fact, more and more scientists are questioning whether man is responsible for any of the previous warming. And to read some of the articles by Russian scientists who are now predicting the next ice age.... does anyone really understand climate over long periods of time? I think not. Add to that, thinking that mankind could change it is a joke all in its own.

Posted by: Blogger92672 on February 16, 2009 at 6:37 PM | PERMALINK

zomg! first scientists told us that disease was caused by fluctuating amounts of phlogiston, and now they want us to believed the are caused by tiny invisible animals that live in our guts!

if they were wrong about the phlogiston, how can you believe them about the invisible animals?

Posted by: blogger666 on February 16, 2009 at 7:01 PM | PERMALINK

Also, it really struck me that his tirades against Nancy Pelosi are filled with sexism. I have never heard him so insulting ANY male politician.

"So what's the story about the "fastest increase in sea ice"?"

They must be talking about icebergs. That are calving off the polar ice sheets because of the warming of the water under the shelves. That's the only explanation that makes any sense. The Northern Passage and the Russian version are now open sea in the summer.

"The article does mention the cooling spell around ~1950, but as mentioned above, that was attributed to airborne particles and global dimming, which was very brief." I wonder if it had anything to do with WWII and the two nuclear bombs we dropped on Japan.

Posted by: Cal Gal on February 16, 2009 at 7:42 PM | PERMALINK

Some scientists did indeed believe the earth was cooling then. Does that mean they were stupid and that climatologists are therefore also wrong about global warming? No. The reason those researchers believed the earth was then cooling was because of an increase in particulate matter in the atmosphere, the primary source of which was dirty coal stacks and diesel exhausts. After the later passage of the Clean Air Act, particulate matter in the atmosphere was greatly reduced. Indeed, even today some researchers have proposed seeding the atmosphere with particulate matter in order to offset the results of global warming. I believe there was also a cooling period after Mount Pinatubo erupted, which spewed huge amounts of particulate matter into the atmosphere. I was just a child during the 70s and I have no idea if the Clean Air Act was passed in response to a cooling trend or not, but you see, the important thing to note is that the cause of the cooling was addressed, and then the cooling ceased! So the scientists who advised about global cooling would seem to have been correct, and George Will would seem to be full of shit.

Posted by: Pocket Rocket on February 16, 2009 at 8:00 PM | PERMALINK

You know, while you are kicking around these paltry talking points, climatologists and governments around the world have accepted global warming as a real threat and for most of the last decade have been trying to formulate and enacting policies to deal with it. You deniers are like the guys claiming rockets won't work in space while the rest of us were watching the moon landing.

If you want to look like anything other than desperate and foolish, at least put some substance in your comments.

For more than a decade, there has been no recorded global warming, even as CO2 levels continue to increase.

Not according to the mainstream climatologists. Please quote some data and explain why your evidence is better research than what everyone else is using.

George Will is right to question the constant drumbeat of this supposed crisis.

Pure talking point. If it isn't a real crisis, then you should be able to provide a counterargument!

In fact, more and more scientists are questioning whether man is responsible for any of the previous warming.

Exactly how many is "more and more?" Who are they and what credibility do they have? You can't counter-argue established science with vagueness.

And to read some of the articles by Russian scientists who are now predicting the next ice age . . .

All sorts of whack articles come out of Russia these days. Please give us some reason to believe these people instead of the leading experts on the topic in countries that are not Russia.

Does anyone really understand climate over long periods of time?

Yes, the climatologists do. Any reason why your opinion should be worth more than theirs?

Add to that, thinking that mankind could change it is a joke all in its own.

This goes beyond vague to vacuous. Got any math to back up this claim?

Posted by: Midland on February 16, 2009 at 8:17 PM | PERMALINK

Any columnist can and should be challenged as to accuracy. It doesn't happen nearly as often as it should, and the Post should run a correction and think about firing the op-ed page editors.

Posted by: secularhuman on February 16, 2009 at 8:42 PM | PERMALINK

Quote: "George Will may know baseball"

I call BS on that one; anyone who believes Tony LaRussa is a genius is an idiot!

Posted by: Tom on February 16, 2009 at 10:39 PM | PERMALINK

All members of the media should read this.

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/2009/pr20090211.html


Posted by: steveb on February 16, 2009 at 11:59 PM | PERMALINK

"For more than a decade, there has been no recorded global warming, even as CO2 levels continue to increase. "

This quote is being widely used by gcw deniers and is based on the fact that 1998 is still the warmest year on record (although there is some dispute about this since 2005 was very close and some sources feel that it set a new record). What the claim ignores is that several years since 1998 have in fact been warmer than any year other than 1998.

"As global levels of sea ice declined last year, many experts said this was evidence of man-made global warming. Since September, however, the increase in sea ice has been the fastest change, either up or down, since 1979, when satellite record-keeping began. According to the University of Illinois' Arctic Climate Research Center, global sea ice levels now equal those of 1979. [...]"

As other have already pointed out, the last sentence of this paragraph from Will is flat out wrong. In fact, the NISDC reports that this January's levels were the 6th lowest since 1979.

I don't know if the part about the rate of change since September is the fastest on record but it is largely irrelevant. September's sea ice extent was the 2nd lowest on record at 2.24 million square kilometers below the 1979-200 average minimum, and 15% below the 3rd lowest minimum on record.

What this means is that there was a lot more uncovered artic ocean surface than usual, making it a lot easier for the rate of increase to be higher. It also means that millions of square kilometers of old, thick ice is now thinner first- or second-year ice. So the relatively large winter rebound in ice extent could (probably will) have relatively little impact on next years minimum.

Posted by: tanstaafl on February 17, 2009 at 5:53 AM | PERMALINK

Mount Pinatubo Global Cooling Effect:

http://geography.about.com/od/globalproblemsandissues/a/pinatubo.htm

Posted by: Pocket Rocket on February 17, 2009 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

3 things I'd like to note:
1) It's correctly termed "climate change", some places will get colder, some warmer, and all will have more extreme weather due to pumping man-made energy into a closed chaotic system. In chaotic systems there is a 'tipping point' after which it's impossible to know what will happen. But it won't be good for mankind. (I'm greatly simplifying here.)

2) There are ZERO peer-reviewed papers denying climate change. This isn't because of conspiracy among all the scientists in the world, it's because CC deniers are wrong.

3) Just for the record, scientists, even as the term was understood centuries ago, never believed the earth was flat. Some medieval Christians did, but not even many of them.

e.g. Any sailor from 300 BC on knew the earth wasn't flat, otherwise ships wouldn't go 'hull down' as seen from the deck when they sailed away from you, but you could still see them hull up if you climbed a mast. And believe me, sailors understand curvature;-)

Posted by: The Sailor on February 17, 2009 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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