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George Will and Cognitive Dissonance

The IntersectionBy Chris MooneyJanuary 5, 2011 11:47 PM


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My latest DeSmogBlog post just went up. It's about the strange paradox of George Will, perhaps the number one spewer of misinformation about climate science in the mainstream media, writing a pro-science and pro-research column last weekend that is really, if you forget who the author is, pretty admirable. What's going on here? My take:

I can’t say what Will actually thinks of himself. And I don't know whether he’s ever experienced any acute sense of cognitive dissonance. But I am willing to bet that he does not consider himself to be virulently anti-science, and that he sees no contradiction between his recent “rah rah research” column and his long history of climate denial columns. Rather, it's more likely Will thinks that climate science, being corrupt (in his mind), gives the rest of science a bad name. Indeed, he may well think that he’s a truer science defender than those of us who fail to call out the corrupt climate researchers (again, in his mind), as he does.

So what do we do when he writes a column like this? Do we rant, or praise? You can read the full DeSmog piece here.

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