George Will Decries "The Climate Change Travesty"


climategate image

On the eve of the opening of the Copenhagen climate change conference Washington Post columnist George Will is really, really, really annoyed with catastrophic climate change proponents and the Climategate email revelations:

Disclosure of e-mails and documents from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) in Britain—a collaborator with the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change—reveals some scientists' willingness to suppress or massage data and rig the peer-review process and the publication of scholarly work. The CRU materials also reveal paranoia on the part of scientists who believe that in trying to engineer "consensus" and alarm about warming, they are a brave and embattled minority. Actually, never in peacetime history has the government-media-academic complex been in such sustained propagandistic lockstep about any subject.

The Post learns an odd lesson from the CRU materials: "Climate scientists should not let themselves be goaded by the irresponsibility of the deniers into overstating the certainties of complex science or, worse, censoring discussion of them." These scientists overstated and censored because they were "goaded" by skepticism?

Were their science as unassailable as they insist it is, and were the consensus as broad as they say it is, and were they as brave as they claim to be, they would not be "goaded" into intellectual corruption. Nor would they meretriciously bandy the word "deniers" to disparage skepticism that shocks communicants in the faith-based global warming community.

Savor all of Will's high dudgeon over Climategate here. And go here for an earlier rebuttal of Will's climate change commentary.


NEXT: Altamont Business Cycle Theory

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I just watched about five minutes of NBC News climate coverage, from Copenhagen to melting Greenland ice. Climategate was totally MIA. “Embattled” warming scientists my foot.

    1. Why do you think Chad visits H&R? He’d be part of a huge chorus anywhere else.

      Here? We believe in magical markets and minds so free that we can believe that free markets are magical.

      That is magically delicious to my mind.

  2. So what’s your stance on AGW now after Climategate, Ron? I mean, Will may be in high dudgeon, but he has every right to be. Even more so considering that the AGW fundamentalists are going apeshit trying to spin how some core scientists lying just doesn’t matter, and OH SHIT LOOK OVER THERE IT’S ELVIS

    1. thanks for today’s lesson in idiom guys…

    2. If Ron is halfway honest and not a political hack, his opinion should change when the opinions of scientists change.

      Can you point to any scientists whose opinion has changed as a result of the hack? Just one?

      1. shut the fuck up, Chad.

        1. I presume that means you can’t find even one.

          1. You presume I care what you think

            1. I am quite sure you don’t. But I care about what you think, which in this case, isn’t very much.

              I actually WANT you guys to find me one scientist who changed their mind because of this. I want to understand their reasoning.

              1. Oh Choad, it’s cute when you seem to think that we think you’re not just a sockpuppet.

                1. Careful there. Sockpuppet is a compliment.

                  Me. I’m a Chad denier. Doesn’t exist.

                  Chad, that excruciatingly poor nation in the sub-Sahara. I’d name my kid after it. Sure to inspire confidence.

                  Chad. A hanging piece of tiny paper that launched one of the biggest fucked-either-way debates: Gore vs. Bush.

                  Chad. Mongolian for MCF.

              2. “Hateful to me as are the gates of hell, Is he who, hiding one thing in his heart, Utters another.”

                Have you ever thought it could be a scientist who leaked the emails in the first place? Hiding out in the open.

                1. Chad is joe. I’m convinced.

      2. AGW is fact, not opinion. You said so yourself. Why are you bringing up the word opinion? How can they change their opinion when it wasn’t opinion in the first place?

        1. It is neither. It is a theory with a mountain of evidence behind it. The hack did nothing to change this.

          People have opinions, and the opinions of experts are worth far more than the average Joe’s (and infinitely more than political hacks). Since no experts are changing their opinion, it is safe to assume there is no reason to.

          1. It is a theory with a mountain of…


            …behind it

            1. A theory with a mountain of…


              behind it.

          2. Experts and political hacks are apparently not mutually exclusive groups.

            1. You are right. But being a scientist and a political hack IS mutally exclusive. Performing your duties as the latter ruins your career as the former.

              1. Bingo. Therefore, all the desperate posturing and evasion.

              2. You’re going to run out of scientists.

          3. You might want to actually read something that shows what the email were talking about when they mentioned hiding the decline.


          4. AGW is a failed hypothesis with a heap of collapsed cards behind it.

            And the kerosene has been poured on that heap, and the match is alight…

          5. It’s not a theory according to the government’s chief scientist. According to her it’s a series of observations.

      3. If he changed, he would still only be halfway honest? Not fully honest? Dang! You’re tough.

        Besides, he is an Opinion Change skeptic as well. The science is as settled as an Ordivician sediment.

      4. Can you point to any scientists whose opinion has changed as a result of the hack? Just one?

        Happily science is slow. It took almost 20 years for these snake oil salesmen to build AGW.

        I am not worried. This time next year i will be happy to point to many a scientist who have changed their views on AGW. In the mean time it is fun to watch the political landscape of AGW change in real time.

        1. Hey Chad who are you?

          You have been posting anonymously here for some time. I have put my name behind my statements. (not that my name is any big deal) but for Iraq i put my name on the line and i turned out to be dead wrong.

          You seem really convinced about AGW. How about you say who you are so we can see how you hold up after this thing unfolds?

      5. Yeah, very telling isn’t it. But not in the way you want to spin it. To me it means that AGW devotees will not change their opinions no matter what sort of duplicity is revealed by those championing the cause.

    3. the AGW fundamentalists are going apeshit trying to spin how some core scientists lying just doesn’t matter, and OH SHIT LOOK OVER THERE IT’S ELVIS

      It’s amazing. If Pfizer – while testing some new drug – did half the shit the CRU guys did, those assholes would be apoplectic.

      1. What if Pfizer did it in the lab they built someplace other than New London, would anti-corporation-ism trump anti-private-property-ism?

        1. If the new site was in a swamp, er, wetland somewhere then it might.

      2. Don’t use any logic or reason, BP, and you’ll be able to understand the fundamentalist viewpoint. Remember, lying for a “good” cause isn’t wrong, at least not when they do it.

        1. I imagine you think you’re being at least partially facetious, but I have had people defend the work of Michael Moore with exactly that sentiment – it’s not accurate (i.e. truthful) but he means it for the right reason.

  3. faith-based global warming community

    hahahahahaha… hammer, nail, head!

  4. Posted on the Ron Bailey thread:

    The complex psychology of climate denial

  5. If you’re in Houston Monday (the 7th), Dr. James Hansen, Objective Scientist And Not A Political Activist At All, will be speaking at the The Progressive Forum on “Threat To The Planet, Implications for Intergenerational Justice”.

    There will be a pro-Hansen reception inside, and an, ahem, anti-Hansen reception outside that’s scheduled to start half an hour before Hansen’s presentation.

    1. What was that about compromising your capacity as a scientist by being a politician? Oh noes!

  6. I had a great teaching moment on Friday when I promised my son that NPR wouldn’t mention the CRU emails in their segment on Copanhagan.

    1. It’s just an isolated incident! It has no bearing on the Real Truth?! Fundamental lying is irrelevant, you ignorant clods!

      1. Chad, stop using Epi’s handle. He might get mad and Puzdy Bear you.

    2. What does so-called “Climategate” have to do with Copenhagen? There’s a whole bloody sea between East Anglia and Denmark, one that will increase in size if your objectively pro-human-extinction desires are fulfilled.

      I suppose you guys were up in arms when the media didn’t mention your John McCain’s “bomb Iran” song during their coverage of the Iranian nuclear question. Oh wait, I don’t remember you guys complaining about that at all. Not so fun when it’s your ox being Gored, is it.

      1. Not a John McCain fan or voter. Been here a long time.

      2. Oh yeah, and no fan of George Will since he trashed Andre Marrou a few few Presidential elections back. It wasn’t THAT he trashed him, it was the smug, insulting, ad hominem approach he used to do it, evidence simultaneously of ignorance of his subject and a disappointing lack of character.

      3. You must be new here. Lurk. It cures ignorance.

        I suppose you guys were up in arms when the media didn’t mention your John McCain’s “bomb Iran” song during their coverage of the Iranian nuclear question.

        Oh yeah, totally the same thing as a massive fraud and coverup by leading climatologists. Completely the same. You caught us.

      4. “Your John McCain”

        You are irredeemably stupid; thanks for making it very clear to us.

        1. This is the level of commentary I’ve come to expect from the libertarian echo chamber. Why not engage my arguments rather than resorting to ad quoques and tu hominems?

          1. Whenever you make an actual argument we can have that discussion.

          2. Uhh…maybe it wasn’t clear: the very fact that you think we are/were/would ever be McCain supporters shows that you haven’t an iota of a fucking clue. Why should we waste our time discussing anything with you?

          3. There was an argument to engage? Please enlighten us.

          4. What, you mean reply to your totally misinformed strawman arguments. If you want to find McCain supporters you’ll have better luck at the Daily Kos.

          5. No one here has engaged in “against too” or “you the man” arguments.

    3. James, You let your child listen to NPR. Child abuser!

      1. Calm down. It was supervised…with commentary. Would more parents be like James.

        1. Isn’t that like supervising your child at a bar when some guy pays your $20 bar bill to have sex with your kid?

          1. And your point is?

          2. You wouldn’t supervise?

    4. JA: You did know that NPR’s “All Things Considered” today (Sunday, Dec. 6) opened with a mention of the Climategate emails and featured a segment discussing them with climatologist Judith Curry?

      1. I like “All Things Considered”. Many here are too hard on the NPR.

      2. My guess is Friday drivetime is a little more listened to than the Sunday morning show.

  7. Really? George Will is a denier? I am so totally shocked!

    1. Really? Choad is a fundamentalist? I am so totally shocked.

    2. George Will wears bow ties. Leave the poor guy alone you fucking bully.

  8. George Will should have that stick removed and own up to the fact that Reason is just another name for right wing schtick. It, the magazine, stopped being useful and honest years ago. Will was never useful, always honestly who he is, which is sad.

    1. “Right wing schtick.” Really? Really???

      I’ll admit that the threads have occasionally been taken over by neocon and right-wing fervor, and that some of the magazine articles are much less libertarian than I would like. But it sounds like your definition of “right wing” is “not duck-speaking left wing.”

    2. lemme guess, since virginia postrel left, right?

    3. Is this cause for drink? It seems like it is.

      1. If not, it should be. I need an explanation for the last 3.

      2. I’ve got my glass of wine – do I sip or chug?

        1. Fuck the glass. Chug from the jug.

          1. For a poster who posts on a blog called reason you are not very reasonable.

            DRINK BITCHES!!!

            1. reason is a harsh mistress

  9. ‘But there will be 420 million Americans in 2050’

    George Will obviously does not understand synergy:

    LoneWacko + YouTube= 1875UsPopulation

    1. Where there’s a Will there’s a wey. (Mexican joke.)

    2. Maybe he’s counting the entire North American Union.

  10. For those of you interested has just reported that AGW is indeed an urban legend. Yes, just like Gere and the gerbils.

    1. …and Rod’s stomache pump.

  11. The global warming true believers have caused an immense amount of environmental destruction.

    They enabled rent seeking companies to get policies implemented that have caused stunning amounts of environmental damage.

    Humorous situation if not for the fact that the hysteria is going to wipe out a good chunk of the remaining asian rain forests and the species that depend on them.

    Way to go global warming true believers. Saving the environment from future global warming problems by destroying it now.

    Palm oil: the biofuel of the future driving an ecological disaster now

    Until now palm oil ? of which 83% is produced in Indonesia and Malaysia ? was produced for food.

    But the European Union’s aim of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020, partly by demanding that 10% of vehicles be fuelled by biofuels, will see a fresh surge in palm oil demand that could doom the rainforests.

    That is likely to kill off the “flagship species” of wildlife such as the Asian elephant, the Sumatran tiger and the orang-utan of Borneo which are already under enormous pressure from habitat loss. Plantation owners regard the orang-utan as pests because it eats the young palm oil plants and hunt them down ruthlessly.

    Much of this destruction was a direct result of environmental policies enacted to reduce carbon emissions.

    Yet palm oil, mixed with diesel to produce biofuel, was hailed as a potential saviour for the environment. Put simply, the argument runs that the palm oil plants produce organic compounds that when burned in engines do not add to overall carbon dioxide levels. The CO2 absorbed by the plant in its life-cycle should balance the amount it gives out when burned.

    However, the more the ecological fairytale is scrutinised the more it begins to look like a bad dream.

    Researchers from the Dutch pressure group Wetlands International found that as much as half the space created for new palm oil plantations was cleared by draining and burning peat-land, sending huge amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

    1. Ummm, environmentalists have been concerned about the land-use issues of biofuels for ages. Support among environmentalists for biofuels is tepid at best, and certainly they don’t support chopping down rainforests in order to produce it.

      1. So…where does it come from then?

        1. There are lots of marginal farmlands in the US and in the Ukraine, for example, that are no longer being used. Also, some biofuel crops can be inserted into rotations in a profitable manner. Algae could in principle be grown on wastelands using brackish and/or wastewater. And of course, there is the biofuel that we can make from wood and agricultural waste.

          We will need liquid fuels one way or the other. In addition to biofuels, they can be synthesized from sunlight and water. For example,

          As long as we do a good job of internalizing the major externalities, this is the kind of thing markets should be sorting out.

          1. Even markets can’t make an equatorial crop grow in temperate climates, though.

          2. The major problem is that markets are magical to most people. Farm subsidies are not. Why if it weren’t for artificial government subsidies to farming, humankind would have starved to death a long time ago. Subsidize. Always subsidize. If you don’t subsidize then you are relying on magical markets.

            If you don’t subsidize, then idiots might think orangutans are more important than the Earth and its imminent survival.

    2. Palm oil. What use is there for that? (Sorry, Rosy, you know I still love you.)

      1. say hello to the five sisters, too

        1. five-fingered armies invade your pants, too? SusanM. Behave!

    3. same goes for ethenol… the result of an unholy alliance between agribusiness and dumbass enviromental groups mixed with politicans of both colors all too eager to facilitate.

  12. ‘You call it Big Oil, We call it Big Maize Oil.’-Native American TV Personality

  13. The bio-feul scam was also perpetrated along the lines of ‘energy indepence’, a pathetic movement that tried to exculpate the Iraq War as a we-needed-the-oil-worthy endeavor.

    ‘If we can just lessen our dependence on oil from those evil muslims’ was sort of the argument posited by these enemies of free trade.

    Smart people like us realize that muslims need trade worse than we do since it is illegal to produce Scotch whiskey in their respective imamates.

  14. fewell, not feul. Feul is a German word, for sure.

    1. I do believe that’s German for queef

      1. Queef: the downside of going down.

        1. Ulrike: I habe deine Sexplan gefeult.
          jester: genau!

  15. pwnage!

    I invite you to read the exchange between bruce and david, about a third of the way down this thread. You guys will love it.…..l-post.php

  16. Climate Scientist to Revkin: “we can no longer trust you” to carry water for us.
    Okay folks, here comes a new e-mail from the climate community yesterday that I did not hack (I was copied on it), and it is a case study in not getting it. Back story: Ever since Chris Horner and I were at a conference together with warmenist Michael Schlesinger of the University of Illinois a couple years ago, Chris and I have been included on Prof. Schesingler’s e-mail distribution list, which usually consist of flagging climate news stories. Yesterday we got copied on this message Schlesinger sent to New York Times science reporter Andy Revkin:

    Copenhagen prostitutes?
    Climate prostitutes?
    Shame on you for this gutter reportage. [Emphasis added.]
    This is the second time this week I have written you thereon, the first about giving space in your blog to the Pielkes.
    The vibe that I am getting from here, there and everywhere is that your reportage is very worrisome to most climate scientists.
    Of course, your blog is your blog.
    But, I sense that you are about to experience the ‘Big Cutoff’ from those of us who believe we can no longer trust you, me included. …

    1. Think for a second. He’s a married man, and his wife probably freaked out upon reading about “eager beaver” prostitutes gunning for her man. You people are like starving squirrels pouncing on anything that even remotely resembles an acorn.

      1. Do you hear that “whooshing” sound going over your head again?

  17. Sorry…I’m with George on this one.

  18. Chad said,

    Ummm, environmentalists have been concerned about the land-use issues of biofuels for ages. Support among environmentalists for biofuels is tepid at best,

    The environmental community has been knee deep in biofuel promotion. Biofuels are starting to cause tremendous environmental destruction and the environmental community is desperately trying to pretend that they never supported biofuels.

    That dog ain’t gonna hunt.

    Ummm Chad, meet NRDC, you folks need to talk and get your stories straight.


    An Aggressive Plan for Ending America’s Oil Dependence

    The United States does not have to rely on oil to drive our economy and quality of life.

    We can replace much of our oil with biofuels?fuels made from plant materials grown by American farmers. These fuels, especially those
    known as cellulosic biofuels, can be cost-competitive with gasoline and diesel, and allow us to invest our energy dollars at home. They can also slash global warming emissions, improve air quality, reduce soil erosion, and expand
    wildlife habitat.

    Shifting to biofuels would bring tremendous benefits to America’s national security, economy, and environment

    Now there is the offhand chance that the linked NRDC paper is a hoax. I’m open to persuasion but I doubt it is.

  19. Chad, showing his lack of knowledge about environmental preservation, answers the question about where to grow biofuel feedstock by saying.

    There are lots of marginal farmlands in the US and in the Ukraine, for example, that are no longer being used

    Lots of marginal farmground got that way because farming it caused tremendous erosion.

    Trying to farm it again to produce biofuels is just going to repeat the original erosion problems.

    1. No…it is not being farmed any more because crop yields per acre have improved so much over the last century that growing on those lands makes no economic sense.

      Furthermore not only is there lots of marginal farm land not being used but there is lots of prime farm land not being used for this very reason.

  20. 1,200 limos and 180 private jets converge on Copenhagen

    “Comrades!” he cried. “You do not imagine, I hope, that we pigs are doing this in a spirit of selfishness and privilege? Many of us actually dislike milk and apples. I dislike them myself. Our sole object in taking these things is to preserve our health. Milk and apples (this has been proved by Science, comrades) contain substances absolutely necessary to the well-being of a pig. We pigs are brainworkers. The whole management and organization of this farm depend on us. Day and night we are watching over your welfare. It is for your sake that we drink that milk and eat those apples.”

    1. When you have taxpayers to pay for your offsets (indulgences), limos and private planes are very attractive considerations. What’s your problem? The science is settled like an Oklahoma ranch before Harrison’s Hoss Race.

    2. ^^^— Likes what PantsFan did here.

    3. Yes, and I heard that at the last Libertarian Party convention many arrived via…PUBLIC ROADS!!!!!

      We are all hypocrites now…

      1. MNG, these leaders often play class-warfare to the masses, so don’t mind us if we have a laff at their hoity-toity greenhouse emitting ways.

    4. Hmm… the capital S in Science is the tell.

  21. It’s hilarious reading you guys. Everyone’s like “OMG can you believe that people are still defending AGW!!!”

    Well, of course, because we are not stupid.

    Look, let’s save everyone time and stipulate that every piece of research done using the dumped data or done by the nefarious researchers in question is now unverifiable and unreliable.

    Now, to the extent that AGW rests SOLELY on that it is done for. To the extent that research from other people and other sets and kinds of data then it is still supported by that research. Does anyone want to disagree with that? Feel free to go all hasty generalization on us…

    Now, who wants to demonstrate that AGW rests solely on the work of the CRU Crew? If you do that then I will gladly join you in digging a grave for AGW. If you cannot though will you STFU?

  22. For those who got sand in their vaginas over my Hoaxbuster fun this weekend it was meant to highlight the goofy fallacy people were making. “The CRU Crew engaged in fraud and bullying, therefore AGW is false” is like “Evolutionary biologists engaged in fraud (Pilt-down man, Haeckel’s embryos, etc) and bullying (Sternberg affair) therefore evolution is false.” Both follow the same reasoning and both are moronic generalizations…

    All that’s been proven at best for youguys is work by the CRU Crew or with the data set in question should now be seen as unreliable. That’s it.

    1. There was never any proof that the AGW global warming theory was true to begin with – regardless of the hacked e-mails.

      There are some scientists who claim the theory is true and some who claim it is not.

      Neither you nor anyone else is capable of proving that the former group of scientists are any more authoritative on the matter than the latter group of scientists.

      1. Their vast numbers in comparison to the denier group is one measure of their authority.

        You guys just won’t give up. It’s one thing to peddle goofy economic flimflam that can’t be tested, but to actually come down on the anti-science side of a scientific issue, that’s just not a good strategy for getting people to take you seriously on anything.

        1. There were vast numbers of scientists once who believed that the sun orbited the earth, too, you know.

          1. When? Oh you mean centuries before modern science even came into being?

          2. Seriously is this what poses as a genuine critique of scientific consensus? I see this exact same example used over and over again. I guess it goes over your head that because people (though not scientists in the modern sense) were wrong about one fact centuries ago that doesn’t mean that all consensuses are prone to be wrong.

            The extraordinary claim here is that the overwhelming consensus of experts on this subject are wrong. That makes the burden of proof shift to the deniers. And it certainly doesn’t mean the majority consensus is more likely to be wrong because it’s a majority. What silly logic.

        2. “Their vast numbers in comparison to the denier group is one measure of their authority.”

          “Vast numbers”?

          That’s something else you can’t prove either.

          1. Really?

            Since 2007, no scientific body of national or international standing has maintained a dissenting opinion [from the IPCC position]. A small minority of organisations hold non-committal positions.

  23. MNG said,

    Look, let’s save everyone time and stipulate that every piece of research done using the dumped data or done by the nefarious researchers in question is now unverifiable and unreliable.

    Now, to the extent that AGW rests SOLELY on that it is done for.

    To the extent that research from other people and other sets and kinds of data then it is still supported by that research.

    The problem is the CRU researchers and the data they produced are deeply enmeshed in a wide variety of climate science.

    At this point we don’t know how much climate science work included either CRU data or work by CRU researchers.

    You can find the Wegman report at this link.

    The Wegman and North Reports for Newbies

    The paleoclimatology community seems to be tightly coupled as indicated by our social network analysis, …

    Our findings from this analysis suggest that authors in the area of paleoclimate studies are closely connected and thus’ independent studies’ may not be as independent as they might appear on the surface.

    It is important to note the isolation of the paleoclimate community; even though they rely heavily on statistical methods they do not seem to be interacting with the statistical community.

    It is clear that many of the proxies are re-used in most of the papers.

    It is not surprising that the papers would obtain similar results and so cannot really claim to be independent verifications.”

  24. Another illustration of the deep connection of the CRU group to a wide range of climate research is the copenhagan diagnosis that has been shopped around as a reply to the CRU scandal.

    The problem is that the researchers at the center of the CRU data dump were apparently deeply involved with the production of the copenhagen diagnosis.

    Climategate: Obama’s Science Adviser Confirms the Scandal ? Unintentionally

    I remember when Copenhagen Diagnosis came out because nearly every major paper ran a story on it. So I asked my CEI colleague Julie Walsh to compare the list of authors of Copenhagen Diagnosis with the scientists involved in Climategate.

    I’m sure it will come as a shock that the two groups largely overlap.

    The “small group of scientists” up to their necks in Climategate include 12 of the 26 esteemed scientists who wrote the Copenhagen Diagnosis.

    Who would have ever guessed that forty-six percent of the authors of Copenhagen Diagnosis belong to the Climategate gang? Small world, isn’t it?

  25. Chad is probably one of the prostitutes offering free sex.

  26. To quote Patrick Moore, biologist and co-founder of Greenpeace, speaking about the AGW issue: “‘Consensus’ is not a science word. It’s a POLITICAL word.”

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.