WashPo again lets Will misinform about global warming -- this time about hacked CRU emails


The Washington Post once again provided column inches to serial global warming minsformer George Will, who in this week's installment piled on the recent global warming controversy concerning reportedly hacked emails from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia. Falsely claiming that the emails "reveal some scientists' willingness to suppress or massage data," Will proceeded to take one such email out of context to suggest that the case for global warming is "less compelling."

Citing no evidence, Will claimed emails "reveal some scientists' willingness to suppress or massage data"

Will falsely claimed CRU emails are evidence that "some scientists" are "willing to suppress or massage data." In his Washington Post column, Will claimed that "[d]isclosure of e-mails and documents from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) in Britain -- a collaborator with the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change -- reveals some scientists' willingness to suppress or massage data." However, he cited no evidence to support his claims. [The Washington Post 12/6/2009]

Will proceeded to take Trenberth's email out of context to suggest case for global warming is "less compelling"

Will flogged out-of-context email to suggest case for global warming is "less compelling." From Will's Post column:

The Financial Times' peculiar response to the CRU materials is: The scientific case for alarm about global warming "is growing more rather than less compelling." If so, then could anything make the case less compelling? A CRU e-mail says: "The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment" -- this "moment" is in its second decade -- "and it is a travesty that we can't."

The travesty is the intellectual arrogance of the authors of climate-change models partially based on the problematic practice of reconstructing long-term prior climate changes. [The Washington Post 12/6/2009]

Trenberth's email referred to "inadequate" system of observing short-term variability, not long-term trend. In the October 12 email that Will took out of context, Kevin Trenberth, a climatologist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, cited "my own article on where the heck is global warming" and wrote: "The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can't. The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate."

Trenberth article -- referenced in email -- clearly stated that "global warming is unequivocally happening." Wired's Threat Level blog reported that Trenberth "says bloggers are missing the point he's making in the e-mail by not reading the article cited in it. That article -- An Imperative for Climate Change Planning (.pdf) -- actually says that global warming is continuing, despite random temperature variations that would seem to suggest otherwise." RealClimate.org similarly stated in a November 23 post that "[y]ou need to read his recent paper on quantifying the current changes in the Earth's energy budget to realise why he is concerned about our inability currently to track small year-to-year variations in the radiative fluxes." Indeed, the Trenberth article referred to what he called an "incomplete explanation" of short-term climate variations, and maintained that "global warming is unequivocally happening."

WashPo has repeatedly provided a platform for Will's global warming misinformation

Will is the Post's resident serial global warming misinformer. As Media Matters for America has extensively documented, The Washington Post has repeatedly provided column space to Will and his global warming misinformation. For instance, this year alone Will has claimed that "evidence" of global warming is "elusive," has falsely cited the U.N. in criticizing the "cataclysmic warning" that the planet will warm 6.3 degrees Fahrenheit, and misused sea ice data to suggest they undermine the overwhelming scientific consensus that humans are causing global warming.

Posted In
Environment & Science, Climate Change
The Washington Post
George F. Will
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