Sen. John F. Kerry (D-MA), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is the first member of Congress to weigh in on George F. Will’s egregiously mendacious “global cooling” columns. In a Huffington Post column, Kerry delivers a withering critique of one of his “favorite intellectual sparring partners,” stepping up to the plate on behalf of science and scientists everywhere, including Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and White House Science Adviser John Holdren:
Dragging up long-discredited myths about some non-existent scientific consensus about global cooling from the 1970s does no one any good. Except perhaps a bankrupt flat earth crowd. I hate to review the record and see that someone as smart as George Will has been doing exactly that as far back as 1992. And it’s especially troubling when the very sources that Will cites in his February 15th column draw the exact opposite conclusions and paint very different pictures than Will provides, as the good folks at ThinkProgress and Media Matters for America have demonstrated so thoroughly.
Stephen Chu “is no Cassandra,” Kerry explains. “If his predictions about the effects of our climate crisis are scary, it’s because our climate is scary.” To be fair to Cassandra, her predictions of the fall of Troy were right — what would make Dr. Chu different is if the American people listen to him, instead of the George Wills of the world. Which is why Senator Kerry took up Washington Post editorial page editor Fred Hiatt’s challenge and calls on Will for a public battle of the minds:
I know George Will well, I respect his intellect and his powers of persuasion — but I’d happily debate him any day on this question so critical to our survival.