George Will Misleads on Global Warming Again, Slapped on Wrist

This Sunday George Will,who is supposedly a serious thinker and not just a right-wing partisan, wrote his second Sunday column in a row about global warming. Just as he had the Sunday before, based on a septic Daily Tech item, he claimed that a) there has been no global warming since l997-l998, and b) global sea ice levels are what they were back in l979.

He sniped at Andrew Revkin of The New York Times, who pointed out that Will was ignoring certain inconvenient facts, such as the difference between the Arctic and the Antarctic, and, most of all, that Will's claim about sea ice was in fact challenged by the very Climate Research Center he quoted.

But this time, after thousands of email complaints, Will was chided not just by reputable outsiders, but by his paper's own ombudsman, who said Will's claim "should have triggered a call for clarification."

Wow. That's gotta sting.

Yours truly critiqued the situation on Revkin's deservedly popular Dot Earth site. This turned out to be one time when my analysis was actually quite popular on the advanced graded-on-a-curve commenting system, so forgive me for quoting myself:

For those of us concerned about the health of the planet, the
controversy over Will's column has been a distracting frustration. It's
not just that Will adamantly doubles down on his wrongheadedness.
That's to be expected: he's been waving off the threat of climate
change for years.

Digging into the details of his cherry-picking
and distortions not only ignores the trend, as Andy said, but ignores
the alarm among scientists specializing in the cryosphere. At the
American Geophysical Union two months ago, for example, a panel of
genuine experts from around the world warned of the "Arctic
Amplification" of the global warming signal, with extremely alarming
consequences, such as the softening of the permafrost in the East
Siberian Arctic Shelf.…

Here's how the BBC opened the story on this briefing:

"Scientists say they now have unambiguous evidence that the warming in the Arctic is accelerating."

is that simple statement from the best peer-reviewed experts on the
subject ignored so that we can debate the distortions in a Daily Tech

Not that it'll matter. We know what George will do. He will wave off the evidence. We know this because that's what he's always done. Back in 2006, in an off-camera discussion recorded on the weekend news show This Week, Will said he had been contesting global warming for thirty years, and when Katrina Vanden Heuvel of The Nation confronted him with a slew of inconvenient facts, he told her to "shut up!" (See my post about it here.) 

Will is a knee-jerk global warming denier who will never change, but as usual, a picture tells the story best of all…here's Will literally waving off the issue on the aforementioned news show.


Published by Kit Stolz

I'm a freelance reporter and writer based in Ventura County.

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