The Editorial Boards Of The Wall Street Journal And The Washington Post Are In Agreement: 2+2=5


[ Nick Anderson; The Houston Chronicle ]

In Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal the paper’s deputy editorial page editor Bret Stephens writes, “The earth has registered no discernable warming in the past 10 years… Am I missing something here?”

Could be.

On Monday the World Meteorological Organization issued a press release stating: “The decade of the 2000s (2000–2009) was warmer than the decade spanning the 1990s (1990–1999), which in turn was warmer than the 1980s (1980–1989).” And also: “The year 2009 is likely to rank in the top 10 warmest on record since the beginning of instrumental climate records in 1850.”

NOAA also issued a press release on Monday, stating: “The 2000 – 2009 decade will be the warmest on record, with its average global surface temperature about 0.96 degree F above the 20th century average. This will easily surpass the 1990s value of 0.65 degree F.”

Though thoroughly debunked, the “stable temperatures over the past 10 years” myth lives on in the minds of the WSJ editorial board and no doubt a good chunk of their 2.1 million readers, whose average annual income is upwards of $190,000.

Yes, we all know that the WSJ editorial page is notoriously conservative, and that the paper is now owned by Rupert Murdoch—okay sure—but it also happens to have the widest circulation of any U.S. paper, and a highly influential readership. What does it mean that this paper can get away with publishing something so wrong on such an important issue? Not to mention that Stephens’ piece is so loaded with comically absurd paranoia that it could easily be mistaken for something from the Onion—it even has a picture of Lenin in Red Square.

Not to be outdone, today the Washington Post published an op-ed by world-renowned climatologist Sarah Palin, the second time in five months that they’ve offered her a national platform to share her climate change expertise.  Palin is one of the few scientists in the world that we must take deadly seriously when she contradicts the findings of the IPCC with her bold assertion that “we can’t say with assurance that man’s activities cause weather changes.”  Gratefully, I defer to Joe Romm’s take down.

And in case you missed it, last Sunday George Will—arguably the nation’s biggest living blowhard—typed out some more of his typical pompous bloviations, peppered with gems like “faith-based global warming community” and “(postulated) consensus,” and “substantially diminished freedom.”  Again I defer to Joe Romm, who notes a few problems with Will’s credibility:

The executive editor of the Washington Post was formally with the WSJ, and perhaps that explains some, but not much of this embarrassment.  But no, there can be only one explanation:  these people are not mentally healthy individuals—they are incapable of processing reality.  And given what’s at stake, the word sociopath seems more and more appropriate.

Thankfully, much of the world has better grip on reality, and this Guardian editorial—printed in 56 newspapers, 45 countries, and 20 languages—says it well.

12 Responses to “The Editorial Boards Of The Wall Street Journal And The Washington Post Are In Agreement: 2+2=5”

  1. Beal

    Okay, Cassandra, but aren’t you tired of beating your head against a brick wall yet? There are too many unenlightened folks out there clinging on to their cars and narrow view of a quality life, and too many powers-that-be afraid of the necessary changes that a meaningful response to climate change would entail — so why keep making the argument? The Gov just released an all-cuts budget (admittedly nothing more than a scare tactic) that cuts prisons and basic health services, and we are supposed to make noise about the need to spend money to mitigate global warming? Not going to get much traction when all the noise is fear–and not fear of global warming, but fear of losing basic services, losing jobs. You gotta drop the climate talk altogether, and stop talking green, unless it’s the green of dollars, because that is all that matters. Back to the basics. If we don’t use our limited land resources and limited transportation dollars efficiently (i.e. creating more compact transit-served communities) then we will never get out of this recession, we will never be able to afford the infrastructure, we will have to raise taxes to infinity — BE AFRAID! Forget about climate. No one cares.

  2. Dean Ruffner

    I’d say the chickens are coming home to roost.

  3. Jake VanderPlas

    Did anyone notice the Seattle Times article today “UN: 2000-2009 likely warmest decade on record” – I wonder if they would have reported that if we weren’t going through a week-long cold snap? That’s my favorite brand of denier illogic: it’s cold today, so all that warming stuff must be hogwash.

  4. old timer

    Planets heat up and they cool down.
    All on their own.
    Too many people have too much money and ego riding on one thing or another.
    The finance guys broke our economy.
    Who is to say the warming scientists are not equally likely to be wrong, and cause equivalent dislocations and pain?
    IMO, the thing we should be working on is an economic system that can be reconciled with finite planetary resources, or, failing that, figure a way to get us out of Dodge.

  5. Jake

    Yes, it’s true that planets heat up and cool down, all by themselves. And a major component of this heating and cooling is greenhouse gasses, like CO2, methane, water, and ozone (yes, the ozone layer is, when it comes to global warming, a bad thing. Not everything is black and white!).

    More greenhouse gasses = more heating. That is a fact. (Look at Venus and Mars, if you’re not convinced). If it weren’t true, Earth’s equilibrium temperature would be a balmy -18 C (-1 F).

    Also a fact: our actions create a lot of greenhouse gas, mainly in the form of CO2, but also methane and others – so much so that CO2 levels in our atmosphere are higher than they’ve ever been.

    The further fact that temperatures in the last 50 years are warmer then they have ever been confirms it. It doesn’t take a climatoligist to deduce the result: humans are causing climate change. I don’t know why that’s so hard for people to swallow.

  6. Joshua Daniel Franklin

    Be continually thankful for last November. Keep in mind that the Global Climate Summit shortly after the election gave President-elect Obama’s taped greeting a standing ovation. Judging solely by actuarial tables there was a very possibility that Sarah Palin would be running the country right now.

  7. Out of Debt Suze Orman

    my God, i thought you were going to chip in with some decisive insight about debt at the end there, not leave it floating.

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