The Sciences

George Will Just Can't Keep His Hands Away from the Hot (Warming) Stove

The IntersectionBy Chris MooneyApr 2, 2009 1:24 PM

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Whoa boy. George Will has done another global warming column. He doesn't mention either my takedown, or that of the World Meteorological Organization, but it's obvious he has seen them. And yet, he still wants to use WMO data to cast doubt on the idea that it's warming up globally:

Reducing carbon emissions supposedly will reverse warming, which is allegedly occurring even though, according to statistics published by the World Meteorological Organization, there has not been a warmer year on record than 1998.

Congratulations, Mr. Will--your statement is no longer factually incorrect! However, you still appear to reject statistical reasoning about temperature trends. How else to explain this silly fixation on 1998 being the warmest year? This isolated factoid does not cast any serious doubt on the idea that we're in a warming trend. It's absurd to assume that we'll set a new temperature record each year, and that if we don't, there's nothing to worry about. But of course, if you read my response and that of the WMO, you're already aware of this. So here's an idea, Mr. Will: Why don't you openly acknowledge your critics, and debate them, and explain to us all why it is that you think there's a relationship between the 1998 record--which is only a record according to the WMO, not NASA--and the idea that global warming isn't happening due to human causes? For more on Will's latest see Adam Siegel, Joe Romm, the Union of Concerned Scientists, Media Matters, Jon Chait.....

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