Climate Confusion at the Washington Post

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….

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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.