Media Matters has the latest on dubious statements about science by the editorial page of this seemingly august paper. It seems that two ed page folks have claimed that new findings about methane emissions from trees somehow undercut the case for concern about human caused global warming.
This is a ridiculous position: No matter what’s going on with methane, we’re still pumping oodles of CO2 into the atmosphere. That’s not changing fast, and CO2 is the greenhouse gas that everyone is most worried about (not to say that the others don’t matter). So this commentary from the Journal editors, delivered on their show the “Journal Editorial Report,” doesn’t even make sense on its face. The comments do, however, parallel something similar said recently by that reliable scientific source, Rush Limbaugh.
To be sure, this misuse of science hardly compares to previous transgressions from the Journal editorial page. In The Republican War on Science, I discuss an outrageous editorial from the paper suggesting there’s nothing to worry about from mercury in fish. And Media Matters previously caught the WSJ editorial page committing the granddaddy of abuses, an action so out of line that it just makes your jaw drop.
Last year, in an editorial debunking global warming (as usual), the Journal editorial page threw up a graph from the first IPCC report, circa 1990, to support its argument. Trouble is, the IPCC has done two reports since then, and, er, has changed its position considerably as the science has evolved. It’s pretty tough to believe that whoever decided to use that ancient graph wasn’t aware of this, but perhaps they just didn’t care.
And that, again, is why although you should certainly trust their science reporters, you should never trust the Wall Street Journal editorial page on global warming.