George Will is an Irresponsible Jerk

Okay, that's putting it bluntly, and perhaps on matters besides global warming, Will is a trustworthy friend, a good father, faithful husband, a and so on and so forth. On all that, I have no idea.

But when it comes to climate change, Will is the bow-tied personification of another George — Bush. He's incurious (and has no interest in actually verifying his claims). He's knee-jerk (he refuses to listen to anyone with whom he might not agree). And he's contemptuous.

It's a sad display for a man once considered "responsible."  That is, as as another George — Orwell — would say, Will was once thought to be an opinion-leader who knew that ideas have consequences, and that bad ideas can lead to bad outcomes.

Does this sound hyperbolic?

It's really not. In a column a few weeks back, Will claimed that "global sea ice levels were within a difference of less than 3 percent of the 1980 level." This cherry-picked the data, by ignoring the huge fact that Arctic ice is declining rapidly, and Antarctic ice is not. But it also ignored the alarm about the decline in Arctic Ice that is being expressed by scientists around the world, including (most recently) researchers for the US Geological Survey. They have been charged with assessing the future of the polar bear, and they took a hard look at what is happening to Arctic ice vs. what the climate models project.

Their conclusion? Arctic Ice is declining faster than any of the models foresaw. Take a look:

Arctic Sea Ice Decline Exceeds Projections

It's this sort of fact that may have led Tom Toles — who like Will also works for the Washington Post syndicate, and has also won a Pulitzer Prize — to single him out in a panel this weekend. Striking to see Toles get that pointed.

Draw your own conclusions, as they say.


Published by Kit Stolz

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

3 thoughts on “George Will is an Irresponsible Jerk

  1. He’s always been a jerk and an a-hole, as a writer, thinker, and “opinion-maker.” His entire scam has been pretending to be a respectable, fair-minded person while in actuality he’s been an apologist for the most backward, reactionary policies of the rich and powerful for decades. He’s so creepy he almost makes me dislike baseball, which he officially adores. And being a potentially “trustworthy friend, good father, faithful husband” absolves him of nothing.


  2. FYI, Kit, I forwarded the Toles link to Joe Romm late Tuesday night, he did a separate post on it yesterday morning and then Matt Yglesias followed suit. Unfortunately the h/t I included didn’t survive, but even so it was nice to see it happen.


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