I kinda suspected–but didn’t bother to prove–that George Will was recycling parts of his anti-global warming balderdashery, particularly his strained paragraph about global cooling in the 1970s, replete with misleading references.
Well, Brad Johnson has done the work: It appears Will has a rotating (and very limited) set of global warming talking points that date back to 1992. Once in a while, he simply rejiggers the column. Wow.
The George Will scandal grows larger now. Not only is he not constrained by, or answerable to, facts; but for a national columnist, such recycling is pretty stunning. I don’t know if it’s true, but I keep reading that Will’s column appears in some 450 papers. I wonder what they think of this methodology.
Moreover, the fact that these are in many cases 1992 talking points, and the global warming issue has changed dramatically since then, underscores just how little George Will must value having any actual knowledge about it. He made up his mind in the early 1990s, and from then on, global warming was bogus. End of story. Never mind the developing science, or the many substantive and scholarly refutations of the “global cooling” myth that have since been published.
This is the great conservative “intellectual” we’re talking about.
Let’s face it: There are a hell of a lot of people out there who can write a better, more original column than George Will. And they might even hit the factual accuracy bullseye as well. So you really have to wonder where this puts the Washington Post–does this stuff really live up to their standards?
I’m doing my Science Progress column this week about the whole George Will fiasco, because I see it as a profound and in many ways saddening moment in the relationship between the old media and the blogosphere with respect to science. More on that soon….