One would think given recent findings that antarctic warming is robust for instance, that the canard of antarctic cooling would go away. Or, that based on the round dismissal of the myth of 1970s global cooling warnings we’d stop hearing about that in the media too. But instead I’m watching TV last night and there’s all these unbelievable crank ads sponsored by the anti-regulation ideologues the Americans for Prosperity featuring fake expert John Coleman. His senseless rant against the stimulus and the evils of regulation is accompanied by text on the bottom of the screen declaring “global warming it is the hoax” and “it is the greatest scam in history”. It is amazing in this day and age that this shameless conspiracy theory is being broadcast on national television. There is no way that one can on the one hand describe anti-AGW denialism as skepticism, and at the same time be a proponent of such an absurd conspiracy that thousands of scientists around the world, and journals, and editors, and politicians are all in cahoots to falsify data about climate.
But if there is a truism about crankery that I can come up with to explain the persistence of debunked arguments, it is that good ideas may come and go, but we’re stuck with the bad ones forever. For instance, we saw this weekend that George will still thinks there were predictions of global cooling in the 1970s. Scibling James decries George Will’s inability to read what he cites, but this is nothing new. George’s Willful Ignorance on this topic has persisted for years this isn’t the first time he’s misquoted that exact same article, or the second time either despite being corrected by others. His incompetence at judging sources, and his inability to stop citing false information shows he’s simply unwilling or unable to differentiate between legitimate and false information, or even read for comprehension for that matter.
What can be our response to this consistent dishonesty from Will? A repeat of a cherry-pick not once, or twice, but three times despite this being clearly false? I think the only thing you can say about someone like this, a man who can’t be turned, is that they’re a crank.