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July 23, 2009

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I'm not entirely sure why the Post keeps allowing George Will to write about climate change.

Probably because the Post's management agrees with Will.

It's blatant factual dishonesty.

Shocking.

I suppose I shouldn't be so flippant, but I lost the ability to suffer fools patiently several years ago.

George Will makes me sad in the way that many, many, many commentators have made me sad over the past few years. I'm only 25, so some may say it's too early to be this cynical. But I started following politics on a state and national level when I was 13 years old, so I think that tenure gives me some leeway.

I used to wake up early on Sunday mornings in high school to watch Meet the Press. I read every single story that was written about politics and government when I was a teenager. Growing up in suburban New Jersey made me appreciate the reasonable Republicans. I even agreed with them sometimes, even if I was a bit to the left of center than most of them. Sure, there were right wing zealots who I thought were crazy, but they always seemed few and far between.

To me, the beacon of the reasonable man was George Will. I'm not sure why that was. Maybe I was mesmorized as a kid everytime he spoke about baseball (my favorite sport for years). Maybe because he just seemed so much like my father when he was on TV - dignified, restrained, and reasonable . Maybe it was something else. But as a kid, George Will represented the idea of intellectual honesty and respectable debate. Maybe I disagreed with him, but surely we could "disagree without be disagreeable."

There were plenty of men I looked up to in that model. John McCain was another one - the war hero, the moderate Republican who bucked his own party because of his principles. Arlen Specter was another. Even through most of the past decade, I held on to that idea for as long as possible.

Well, Arlen Specter is generally without principles. John McCain sold out to religious conservatives mid-decade in order to receive their endorsement when running for president again in 2008, selected Sarah Palin as a running mate, showed very little intellectual curiosity himself, and was much more interested in blowing things up rather than making things saner. And George Will has been caught repeatedly making wildly inaccurate characterizations on a global warming.

I realize that it shouldn't bother me and that I should just come to expect this kind of behavior from the "reasonable men" I used to admire. I just wish it didn't happen so frequently...

If Will's column were a sitcom (and at times it sounds like one), we could say it's jumped the shark. Like Adam Collyer, I went through a phase of admiring his reasonableness. I'm long since cured.

Bob L: When it comes to climate change, Will isn't jumping the shark. Piers Akerman of the Sydney Daily Telegraph, he's jumping the shark.
I refer you to Tim Lambert:

http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/07/piers_akerman_takes_denial_to.php

To me, the beacon of the reasonable man was George Will.

It's an act. It's hard to tell if he's a victim of his vanity or just willfully (pun intended) disingenuous. I find him really easy to ignore. Which isn't to say I don't appreciate people calling him out on his disinformation and sophistry.

And George Will has been caught repeatedly making wildly inaccurate characterizations on a global warming.

George Will's tenuous relationship with truth has been evident for some time. Jonathan Shwarz dug up a good example from over 25 years ago here.


Adam, are you perchance the same person who used to comment under the handle "Adam" and recently graduated from law school?

Its not just in Wapo. In Newsweek (owned by Wapo, of course) this week, His Georginess suggested by implication that our economy was in the dumpers and had no growth at all during the 1950's, 60's and 70's because of the upper-bracket tax rates. Right. Before Saint Ronnie there just wasn't any investment or expansion in our economy.

http://www.newsweek.com/id/207412

Will's basic argument seems to be that the United States shouldn't do anything about emissions because no one else in the world is.

Remember that the United States' per capita carbon emissions dwarf those of all other countries.

Remember that the United States' per capita carbon emissions dwarf those of all other countries.

Yes, but we're entitled!!

It's an act. It's hard to tell if he's a victim of his vanity or just willfully (pun intended) disingenuous. I find him really easy to ignore.

I also find George Will very easy to ignore these days. I think that's part of what makes me sad about him. I don't have a passionate reaction to him in the same way I do about Sarah Palin (which is another topic altogether). When I see George Will saying something remarkably inaccurate, I just shake my head and sigh.

Oddly enough, it reminds me of getting in trouble as a teenager. I used to watch my friends' parents get angry and ground their children. I did my share of dumb things then too, except instead of yelling and screaming and grounding, my dad would just look at me in a very calm tone and say, "Your mother and I are very disappointed in you." That's the one that stings worst.

That's the speech I'd like to give to George Will - "The actual reasonable people in this country are very disappointed in you."

Adam, are you perchance the same person who used to comment under the handle "Adam" and recently graduated from law school?

Sadly, I am not. Only sadly because instead of graduating, I have one year left. But at least I'm not taking the bar this year. There before the grace of God go I...or so I'm told.

I saw a bare-faced Go-Away Bird!

Hi

Your faith grows stronger each day.

Absolutely NO DOUBT in your minds that (a)the earth is getting warmer, and (b)mankind is to blame, in particular the United States (but of course!)

What was it that caused the ice caps to recede and the glaciers to melt at the end of the last Ice Age?



I saw a bare-faced Go-Away Bird!

Congrats, when are you coming back to blogging? ;-)

Your faith grows stronger each day.

Not really, but thanks for just assuming and stating. Your mind reading powers are impressive indeed.

Absolutely NO DOUBT in your minds that (a)the earth is getting warmer, and (b)mankind is to blame, in particular the United States (but of course!)

I doubt just about everything. I don't have complete absolute certainty in anything, and I imagine that many people are the same way. Nevertheless, I believe (a), (b), and (c) with high confidence.

What was it that caused the ice caps to recede and the glaciers to melt at the end of the last Ice Age?

You seem confused. I don't come here to give introductory lectures on paleoclimate to ignorant people that are too lazy to do any reading on their own.

"What was it that caused the ice caps to recede and the glaciers to melt at the end of the last Ice Age?"

Mastodon farts?

Perhaps ten million delicatessen owners traveled back in time and opened ten billion seltzer bottles, all at once, releasing an immense cloud of CO2?

Maybe it was just the ebb and flow of the solar cycle.

Your faith grows stronger every day.

Absolutely NO DOUBT that there is no anthropogenic contribution?

If you can prove your hypothesis, there's some money in it for you. Good luck.

congrats Hilzoy. Did you get any pictures to share with us?
Hope you're having fun and get back safe.

The return of George Will... followed by the return of Tomaig.

Your faith grows stronger each day.

Absolutely NO DOUBT in your minds that (a)the earth is getting warmer, and (b)mankind is to blame, in particular the United States (but of course!)

What was it that caused the ice caps to recede and the glaciers to melt at the end of the last Ice Age?

a) Over thirty years of measurements of land and sea temperatures show a generally rising trend. That looks like warming to me — no faith needed.

b) CO2 concentration has also risen over that period, and isotope ratios in that greenhouse gas indicate it comes from fossil fuels. More measurements. Again, no faith needed.

c) Finally, for most of that time the U.S. produced the largest share of fossil-fuel CO2, and still has the highest per-capita output.

Speaking of faith, whence comes your faith that there can be only one cause for climate change? Also, do you really have faith that repeatedly spamming nonsense will win you any converts?

Publius:"snowball effect".

Intentionally clever choice of metaphor?
Will be meaningful to fewer and fewer people if George gets his way.

The US is a net carbon sink, you chuckleheads.

And the issue here about others not pulling their weight on such matters as carbon emission reduction is, as Robert Sameulson reported years ago, one of utter hypocrisy. This applies to the Euro creeps as well as the Chinese and Indians.

It's a matter of principle, if anyone cares about such these days.

Oh yeah, and then there is this little deal about those guys lighting their cigars with the US dollars that will be shipped their due to an increasing trade imbalance as well as the thousands of jobs lost to Cap-n-Trade crappola at a time we can least afford it (in case, ya know, some of you haven't looked around the corner of the street lately).

And quoting MEDIA MATTERS, of all places?

That's another bad case of ADS Syndrome. Agenda Drive Science is a hard disease to quell, but it must be done.

George Soros darling sock puppets at M.M. and Real Climate get a lot of billing and free publicity, yes, but ideology is no more sound a sponsor of science than Big Oil.

If this is global warming hellfire, it is of a Laodicean variety at worst, and a boon to carbon injection for plants at best, along with longer growing seasons and a wetter world--which a warmer world would be.

We have some other things to attend to by the the time the Maldives go under water in the year 2800 AD.

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