Month 2, Day 23: George Will is an Utter Disgrace

As usual, the Washington Post disgraces itself by continuing to print George Will’s vacuous denialism. Here’s the latest example.

I am not a scientist, and I’m certainly not a mathematician…but I sure as hell know more about statistics than George Will. The fact that this guy is still read and heard in our media is depressing beyond belief. So I wrote them a letter.

It is beyond incredible that a mainstream newspaper like the Washington Post should continue to publish misinformation of the sort propagated by George Will. In his column of February 21st, Will distorted the words of climatologist Phil Jones, making it seem that Jones asserted that no human-caused warming is occurring. But Jones has stated in a BBC interview that he is “100% confident that the climate has warmed,” and notes evidence that “most of the warming since the 1950s is due to human activity.”

Jones made a scientifically accurate statement to the effect that statistical significance was vastly more difficult to achieve in short-term measurements; this has nothing to do with whether global warming exists, as witness Jones’ own statements to the BBC. Either George Will doesn’t know what “statistical significance” means, in which case he’s incompetent — or he knows and doesn’t care, in which case he’s a mendacious hack. In neither case does he deserve to be heard on the subject of climate change.

It is a sad commentary on the state of our media that George Will’s scientific illiteracy is considered important commentary on the most significant threat human beings have ever faced. Will should stick to issuing quote-studded pronunciamenti on politico-cultural trivia, a genre in which his glib faux-erudition can remain relatively harmless.

Warren Senders

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