An Inconvenient Doofus

Ostrich-like journalists continue to use refuted arguments that global cooling was predicted by “many scientists.”  The latest comes from renowned denialist George F. Will.

In today’s Washington Post, Will continues his smug blah-blah-blah against Obama and others who, Will claims, have been fanning flames of various unfounded doomsday scenarios – global warming among them.

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(photo CC: Keith Allison)

While Will primarily is calling out the apocalyptic predictions of sequestration survivalists, he turns to his old itch, global warming, towards the end of his piece.

He resurrects six, count ’em, long-dead “the ice age is a comin'” sources – none of them primary and all of them excerpted out of context – in an attempt to show that science really isn’t worth paying attention to after all. But none of Will’s sources cite supporting science, they all come from the 1970’s, and all represented then an enticing feedbag of easy sensationalism for the general press.

By Will’s condescending account, today’s global warming child is crying wolf.  So why pay attention?

To be fair, global temperatures had been flat or on a modest decline for much of the period between 1945 and 1970; This was assessed to be the result of forcing by large aerosol pollution.  But the truth is that far more peer-reviewed research papers in the 1970s were published predicting global warming as a result of increased carbon dioxide than predicted global cooling.

PeerReviewedPapersComparingGlobalWarmingAndCoolingIn1970s

(image CC: skepticalscience.com)

Furthermore, and most importantly, the primary paper Will mentions that suggested cooling was later found to be flawed, and the primary author himself, Stephen Schneider, confirmed this: “CO2 warming dominates the surface temperature patterns soon after 1980.”

So once again I find myself calling out Mr. Will for cherry picking dated and refuted sources, for offering no supporting citations in science, and for generally mocking that which he has not had the courage to learn about.

Mr. Will repeatedly shows no interest in the facts in his global-warming-scam op-ed pieces, and should be ignored until further notice.

How inconvenient.