Chris Mooney, contributing editor at our sister publication Science Progress, has written an op-ed for the Washington Post that calmly lays out the many significant flaws in George F. Will’s recent global warming denial column. In “Climate Change Myths and Facts,” Mooney shows that Will’s errors are not simply “inferences,” as editorial page editor Fred Hiatt claimed, but deliberate lies about the science and the organizations cited in Will’s column. Mooney explains why we so greatly need journalism that “is constrained by standards of evidence, rigor and reproducibility”:
Congress will soon consider global-warming legislation, and the debate comes as contradictory claims about climate science abound. Partisans of this issue often wield vastly different facts and sometimes seem to even live in different realities. In this context, finding common ground will be very difficult. Perhaps the only hope involves taking a stand for a breed of journalism and commentary that is not permitted to simply say anything; that is constrained by standards of evidence, rigor and reproducibility that are similar to the canons of modern science itself.
Mooney continues his column with explanations — and links to sources — of several of the errors in Will’s column, errors that fail to meet any standard of evidence, rigor, or reproucibility. He convincingly makes the case that whereas Will himself can say anything, the Washington Post and its army of factcheckers have no place publishing such tripe.