Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Good News and Bad News

There is good news and bad news in today's Washington Post:

The Arctic sea ice cover continues to shrink and become thinner, according to satellite measurements and other data released yesterday, providing further evidence that the region is warming more rapidly than scientists had expected ... The new evidence -- including satellite data showing that the average multiyear wintertime sea ice cover in the Arctic in 2005 and 2006 was nine feet thick, a significant decline from the 1980s -- contradicts data cited in widely circulated reports by Washington Post columnist George F. Will that sea ice in the Arctic has not significantly declined since 1979.
The bad news is that polar ice is rapidly melting away at a distressing rate. The good news, such as it is, is that the Washington Post deigned to concede that George F. Will is a lying sack of crap, and that the newspaper's editors have allowed its pages to be a conduit through which his lies have reached the public.

No doubt the editors of the paper have already received a sternly-worded e-mail from Sir Frames-a-Lot for the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad way they've chosen to present the fact that one of their columnists is a liar who has actively misled the public rather than, oh I don't know, avoiding the whole "true versus false" conflict frame in favor of manipulative appeals to someone's white trash notion of values.

This is a step in the right direction for the Washington Post. Going forward, better and bigger steps will take the form of refusing to publish lies about the state of the climate.

By way of background, The Scientific Activist has a good roundup of Will's lies and some of the reaction to it among climate scientists. George Will has a right to his own opinions, but he does not have a right to his own reality.

(via Andrew Sullivan)

1 comment:

twoblueday said...

George Will should stick to his slavish addiction to baseball, and not inflict his idiotic opinions on other subjects, based upon invented "facts," on the rest of this.

I have never once figured out why and how George Will got in the public eye to start with.