UPDATE: Because it seemed unusual that Samuelson had written a column only for the Orange County Register, the Wonk Room contacted the OC Register editors to confirm Samuelson was indeed the author of the denier column critiqued below. The VP of Commentary, Cathy Taylor, informed the Wonk Room that the Samuelson byline that appeared on the website was an error. This editorial was written by the OC Register board, not by the Samuelson. The Wonk Room regrets propagating the error.
Washington Post and Newsweek columnist Robert J. Samuelson has aligned himself with George Will, Michele Bachmann, and Glenn Beck, utterly denying the reality of man-made global warming. In a column published by the Orange County Register, Samuelson attacked the California Air Resources Board’s (ARB) new low-carbon fuel standard as a “fanciful ‘solution’ to so-called global warming”:
This is government by administrative decree from unelected ARB board members, administrators and staff, who concocted a fanciful “solution” to so-called global warming, an increasingly disputed phenomenon that hasn’t occurred for at least a decade. Nevertheless, by a 9–1 vote the ARB deemed it urgent enough to demand a 10-percent reduction in carbon dioxide that fuel producers release into the atmosphere on the theory -– also unproven -– that CO2 increases temperatures. Reality inconveniently contradicts the theory. CO2 has risen over the past decade, but global temperatures have declined, precisely the opposite of what the theory contends.
Samuelson even goes farther, mirroring Michele Bachmann’s bizarre rant that carbon dioxide is “harmless”:
There’s no evidence man-made CO2, even if it increases temperatures, is harmful. Indeed, some argue that warmer climes would benefit mankind by increasing crop productivity and reducing deaths from severe cold. None of that matters when government is intent on forcing change.
Samuelson has decided to go from being “hackish” to loony — evidently believing that there is a global conspiracy involving the Bush White House, the Obama administration, the National Academy of Sciences, the governments of nearly every nation on Earth, and thousands upon thousands of scientists and economists. As the director general of the U.N. World Meteorological Organization wrote in the editorial pages of the Washington Post, “The observed increase in global surface temperatures is a manifestation of global warming. Warming has accelerated particularly in the past 20 years.”
So this now means the Washington Post has three major columnists who are all global warming deniers — a record that must be the envy of the Washington Times and Wall Street Journal.
One wonders when their paymasters, Washington Post opinion page editor Fred Hiatt and Writers Group editor Alan Shearer, are going to get embarrassed.