A tribute to Condoleeza Rice and George W. Bush who, despite voluminious evidence to the contrary, said, "I don't think anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another one and slam it into the Pentagon, that they would try to use an airplane as a missile," adding that "even in retrospect" there was "nothing" to suggest that" and "I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees," respectively.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

George Will: Intellectually Dishonest About Global Warming 

Seems whenever George Will is confronted with the overwhelming evidence and opinions about global warming and man's role in the apocalyptic trend, he trots out a 1975 study in which climatologists predict new glaciers forming and even a new ice-age. Thus, he suggests, the scientists were wrong then so there's no reason to accept that they are right now. Further, he concludes that the costs of being wrong about global warming would be costly to economic expansion. His dismissive attitude and his worries about the economics of being wrong show that for him, it's about money.

So, let's look at how intellectually dishonest George Will's conclusions concerning the 1975 study truly are:

First of all, there have been many technological advances in detection, monitoring, satellite imaging and computer modeling unavailable when the study was done in addition to 30+ years of additional data collection.

Secondly, the 1975 study's conclusions may have been right. The world may have been headed for a new ice-age. But Will implies that this shows the scientists' conclusions are not be trusted this time. Another conclusion may be that man's effect on the environment has been so significant that it reversed the trend toward a new ice-age.

Finally, to Will it's about the cost to the economy if global warming is just occurring naturally and not due to man's activities on the planet. This is just plain back-assward thinking. The potential devastation that global warming may bring demands that we bear some costs now to prevent it even if we're wrong. The consequences are just too dire to ignore. The old saying about an "ounce of prevention" certainly comes to mind.

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