Conservative syndicated columnist George Will by now must feel he’s struck a vein, as his every written word on the subject of climate change raises kudos and skeptical eyebrows, respectively, from those dismissive of or troubled by climate change science trends.
Will again drew blood from the latter group – those alarmed or concerned – with a July 23 “Climate Fixers’ Hard Sell” nationally syndicated column.
“If you do not want to do anything today, promise to do everything tomorrow, which is always a day away,” Will wrote of the 3.6 degrees F (2 degrees C) goal (see related story). “That is the goal. Details to follow. Tomorrow.”
“Fortunately,” the ever-skeptical Will (see earlier Yale Forum article) continued, “skepticism about the evidence is growing, as is evidence that, whatever the truth about the problem turns out to be, U.S. actions cannot be significantly ameliorative.” Will’s point about U.S. actions alone has some merit, but he goes on to argue that warming has come to a halt in recent decades.
The media watchdogs at Columbia Journalism Review weren’t smitten by Will’s artful turn of phrase and eloquent rhetoric. Faulting his “mocking” approach, Greg Marx wondered why Will “doesn’t bother to quote scientists or reports today” but instead depends on the views of a conservative commentator for the late William F. Buckley, Jr’s National Review.
“Cherry-picking data points from the last decade, as Will continues to do, may be a useful debating trick,” Marx wrote. “But it’s a lousy way to advance public understanding of science.”