Climate Confusion at the Washington Post

Washington DC in warm weatherIf Saturday’s 75 degree heat in Washington, DC caused you to pick up Sunday’s Washington Post, you saw schizophrenic reporting of global warming, just in the pages of that one edition.

Unfortunately, the cover story, run next to a photograph of rooftop sunbathers, unjustifiably disregarded the impact of global warming. They quoted one meteorologist to the effect that “despite views to the contrary, global warming is not responsible for the region’s unusually mild winter.” But that statement is scientifically indefensible.

It would be more accurate to say that record winter temperatures are likely due to the combination of global warming and El Ni±o — and global warming may be making El Ni±os more likely. The meteorologist sarcastically added, The world is not coming to an end.” Everything is fine, no need to take any action….

But then if you flip a few pages further in the paper and you find “March in January! Or is it Mayday?” The story opens with:

Never has good weather felt so bad. Never have flowers inspired so much fear. Never has the warm caress of a sunbeam seemed so ominous. The weather is sublime, it’s glorious, it’s the end of the world.

Setting aside their blatant and strange contradiction on the end of the world, one of the Post‘s very own writers articulates his concern over the obvious signs of climate change.

And concerned we should be, for a number of reasons. First, the weather. Second, the front page attention given to a one-sided argument that climate change isn’t changing the climate. Meanwhile, the article recognizing global warming is elsewhere in the paper and in rhetoric that’s not entirely serious and yet not entirely joking.

Some tips for the media: Stop contradicting yourself and run the real story honestly and where it belongs.

5 Responses to Climate Confusion at the Washington Post

  1. CarlD says:

    Funny, it was cold and snowy in the western US, and average in the northeastern US. There were extremes in both directions at other places around the globe. Where those caused by global warming too?

    There have been heat waves throughout history (there was a big one in the northeastern US in mid-January in 1932), and cold spells too. Global warming has only warmed the earth about 1 F since 1900–that hardly accounts for temperatures 30 F above normal.

    Just because you assert that the present warm spell was a combination of global warming and El Nino does not make it so. Have you ever heard of the concept of scientific proof? You have provided none whatsoever about the current warm spell, you have merely asserted it. That’s why I trust meteorologists far more when they give their expert opinion that the northeastern warm spell was due to El Nino and not global warming.

  2. CarlD says:

    The price of being a good climate writer is that you don’t get to write about the weather.

  3. JJWFromME says:

    it was… average in the northeastern US.

    68 degrees on January 6 is not average weather here in Boston. 25 degrees is normally considered warm.

    The front page story in the Boston Globe quoted a scientist who said that it was a combination El Nino and climate change.

  4. air purifier says:

    yeh, that’s global warming, it doesn’t seem government is taking any actions to solutions.

  5. danny says:

    If it’s too hot, it’s because of global warming; if it’s too cold, it’s because of global warming; too many hurricanes: global warming; fewer than average: global warming. Al Gore can’t lose this crusade.