From The Vaults

George Will, Climate Warming Denialist, Strikes Again: “Hundreds of Scientists Are Skeptical”

George Will, a well paid Mr. Know-It-All, uses an impressive vocabulary, a refined sarcasm — and a bow tie — to project an image of intellectualism as he pushes, over and over, a right wing POV. His comments about global warming show him for the doctrinaire that he is. In his recent column, “Question time for Republicans,” he belittles Republican presidential candidate John Huntsman for saying, “I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.”

Will’s response to Huntsman: “Call you sarcastic. In the 1970s, would you have trusted scientists predicting calamity from global cooling? Are scientists a cohort without a sociology — uniquely homogenous and unanimous, without factions or interests and impervious to peer pressures or the agendas of funding agencies? Are the hundreds of scientists who are skeptical that human activities are increasing global temperatures not really scientists?”

A quick Google search shows that Will has been making outlandish statements about global warming for many years and, though he repeatedly has been refuted, and proven to be wrong, he persists in making the same false comments.

The notion that “hundreds of scientists are skeptical” concerning the fact that human activity increasing CO2 is causing global is simply false. If you’re not convinced, spend a little time reading the wealth of information on the web-site “Skeptical Science”

George Will has the brains and personality to be an effective communicator. The question is, why in the world has he chosen to be a “denialist” someone who employs rhetorical tactics to give the appearance of argument or legitimate debate, when in actuality there is none — why has he chosen to confuse the gullible with a POV that, certainly, with his big brain, he must know is simply wrong?

Interestingly, as if to answer that question, NYT columnist and Nobel prize winner, Paul Krugman, gives an answer in a recent column, “Republicans Against Science.”

Krugman points out the anti-science stands of Republican presidential candidates, and points out their motivation: “According to Public Policy Polling, only 21 percent of Republican voters in Iowa believe in global warming (and only 35 percent believe in evolution). Within the G.O.P., willful ignorance has become a litmus test for candidates.”

Will-ful ignorance. It seems a reasonable conclusion that George Will is spreading nonsense simply to stay in the good graces of his constituency.

Krugman writes, “The scientific consensus about man-made global warming — which includes 97 percent to 98 percent of researchers in the field, according to the National Academy of Sciences — is getting stronger, not weaker, as the evidence for climate change just keeps mounting. In fact, if you follow climate science at all you know that the main development over the past few years has been growing concern that projections of future climate are underestimating the likely amount of warming. Warnings that we may face civilization-threatening temperature change by the end of the century, once considered outlandish, are now coming out of mainstream research groups.”

If this only had to do with the issue of climate change that would be bad enough, but there are hundreds of other issues spokespersons, such as George Will, enrich themselves with by using their big intellects to serve the radical right. And much of the right that Will serves and seeks to please glories in an anti-science POV.

As Krugman says, “The deepening anti-intellectualism of the political right, both within and beyond the G.O.P., extends far beyond the issue of climate change.”


1 comment to George Will, Climate Warming Denialist, Strikes Again: “Hundreds of Scientists Are Skeptical”

  • David Schrock

    I had concluded premature senility explained George Will’s position on global warming. But your explanation makes more sense. I don’t often agree with Will, but I’ve had a lot of respect for his intellect. However, that respect continues to erode and Will denies the obvious. Sad.

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