Chris Mooney vs George Will


The Washington Post published a pretty good, though outrageously polite, Chris Mooney demolition of George Will’s nonsense on climate change.

The article really does, however, suffer from the crippling flaw of pretending to believe that Will is operating in good faith. If we were talking 48 hours or even one week after Will first published this nonsense, that would be fair enough. But there’s been tons and tons of time and Will’s errors have been brought to his attention. He simply refuses to correct them. He refuses to acknowledge that his characterization of the University of Illinois’ Arctic Climate Research Center is at odds with the ACRC’s characterization. He refused to acknowledge that his characterization of the World Meteorological Organization’s findings are at odds with the WMO’s own account of their findings. He refuses to acknowledge that all the other available research supports the WMO and the ACRC and not Will’s idiosyncratic reading of their research. And he refuses to acknowledge that his claim about global cooling has been systematically investigated and debunked.

But Mooney can’t really bring any of that stuff up and point out that George Will is an enormous liar, because to do so would lead naturally to the point that it’s grossly irresponsible of The Washington Post to keep running his columns. And if you do that, you can’t get published in The Washington Post! So good for Chris—it’s a good piece—but it’s still a rotten system.