Thursday, February 19, 2009

Where There's a Will . . . No Way

Update (Feb. 19-20): More analysis of Will-full serial lying is here:

University of Illinois' Arctic Climate Research Center:
In an opinion piece by George Will published on February 15, 2009 in the Washington Post, George Will states "According to the University of Illinois' Arctic Climate Research Center, global sea ice levels now equal those of 1979."

We do not know where George Will is getting his information, but our data shows that on February 15, 1979, global sea ice area was 16.79 million sq. km and on February 15, 2009, global sea ice area was 15.45 million sq. km. Therefore, global sea ice levels are 1.34 million sq. km less in February 2009 than in February 1979. This decrease in sea ice area is roughly equal to the area of Texas, California, and Oklahoma combined.

It is disturbing that the Washington Post would publish such information without first checking the facts.
More Grumbine Science: Neither politicians nor political commentators

ClimateScienceWatch: George Will recycles global warming disinformation talking points

Climate Progress: The day DC journalism died: Washington Post is staffed with people who found ZERO mistakes in George Will’s error-filled denial column

Deltoid: Washington Post rejects the concept of objective facts

Discover: FiveThirtyEight: George F. Will Takes on Science, Loses Credibility

Island of Doubt: The Intersection: George Will is Not Entitled to His Own Facts

Denialism: More links are at The Way Things Break: Waiting for WaPo

Original post:
A letter to the editor in today's WaPo skillfully skewers climate expert and general know-it-all George Will's latest work of fiction:
I thank The Post for George F. Will's Feb. 15 op-ed column, "Dark Green Doomsayers." The renowned climate expert put global warming in perspective for me, i.e., Earth is actually getting cooler.

So, rid yourself of those high-mileage cars and buy a Hummer or two. Seek opportunities to drive your car needlessly. Ensure that your food is produced at least 2,000 miles away, and bottled water should travel at least 3,000 miles. Keep your house shirt-sleeve warm in the winter and chilly in the summer. Better yet, open the windows. Never again buy any used item. Get rid of those energy-saving but funny-looking light bulbs. Write to your electricity supplier and demand that it power your refrigerator with energy from coal. Promote deforestation.

Ignore news stories such as "Scientists: Pace of Climate Change Exceeds Estimates," also in The Post on Feb. 15. God bless Mr. Will for unshackling me from carbon worry.
For previous Will-full hot air, see here.


Anonymous said...

The University of Illinois' Arctic Climate Research Center took down their note. Why? Their data source (NSIDC) just admitted a huge ice underestimation error. Key quote: "The problem arose from a malfunction of the satellite sensor we use for our daily sea ice products. Upon further investigation, we discovered that starting around early January, an error known as sensor drift caused a slowly growing underestimation of Arctic sea ice extent. The underestimation reached approximately 500,000 square kilometers (193,000 square miles) by mid-February."

Penguindreams said...

Interesting, anon. So, your argument is that Will knew that the satellite was bad before the NSIDC and Cryosphere Today did, and wrote his column from that position of superior knowledge, therefore is correct?

The best information available at the time he wrote the column said that he lied about what was current.

The best information available as to sea ice trends has been saying for a decade or more that he lied. c.f. Open Mind

CapitalClimate said...

Well said, Penguin, but it's worse than that. Even taking the correction into account, Slick Willy is still wrong (do the math). Then there's the matter of all the other lies: rehashing the 70s cooling crock, etc. What makes this so grievous is that he's been called out on it literally for decades, but the WaPo won't touch their sacred cow.

Anonymous said...

Cryosphere Today cited the inaccurate Feb data to prove Will wrong. Then when the news broke on the inaccurate sensors, the note disappeared. As noted by NSIDC, the data was fine in late 2008 when we were far more comparable to 1979 levels. Go see for yourself:

I agree talking Dec 1979 is cherry-picking and look at the long-term trend too. But is cherry-picking lying?

Penguindreams said...

Anon: "I agree talking Dec 1979 is cherry-picking and look at the long-term trend too. But is cherry-picking lying?"

Me: Yes.

See also my article on cherry-picking

CapitalClimate said...

Obviously cherry-picking is lying. And hiding behind anonymity is intellectually dishonest.

Anonymous said...

Excellent strategy. When author presents link showing late 1979 data matching (latest correct) data in Dec 2008, you challenge the author's character! Bravo!

CapitalClimate said...

Slice it any way you want,
- the original data was cherry-picked
- cherry-picking is lying
- no correction has been issued by Will or WaPo
- you're still cherry picking

Anonymous said...

Here is an example of cherry-picking as reported by the AP last night from Obama's speech.

OBAMA: "We have known for decades that our survival depends on finding new sources of energy. Yet we import more oil today than ever before."

THE FACTS: Oil imports peaked in 2005 at just over 5 billion barrels, and have been declining slightly since. The figure in 2007 was 4.9 billion barrels, or about 58 percent of total consumption. The nation is on pace this year to import 4.7 billion barrels, and government projections are for imports to hold steady or decrease a bit over the next two decades.

Therefore Obama lied and per your strict "cherry-picking" standards should not be working. Even though he could find the point (2005 per the Associate Press) where that was true, he was still lying.

Here is the link:

Dan said...

On the day of Will's column I checked the U of I website. They challenged Will's comments but immediately below the comment was a link verifying that at the end of 2008 the sea ice was roughly the same as 1979 as reported by Daily Tech. The juxtoposition couldn't have been funnier. Of course Will was refering to the Dec 2008 article. Should he be studying the raw data everyday to make sure on the day his commentary is published it is perfectly accurate. If he had he would have gotten the BAD data that has now been updated. The irony continues.

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