Apparently, John's latest foray into the entangling brambles of Will's global warming denial struck a chord. In particular, his questioning the expertise of Will and Mark Steyn to one, deny global warming, and two, to properly adjudicate what qualifies as adequate evidence for their denials seemed to have aroused the ire of none less than Steyn himself. To wit:
In a column about "the environment" the other day, George Will quoted yours truly, and has received a lot of grief ever since for relying on a notorious know-nothing.
As he should. Part of constructing a refutation of a given position is making sure the expertise of the sources one cites in said refutation is commensurate to level of expertise one is seeking to refute. In short, you don't go ask a carpenter to cut you a porterhouse. But rather than acknowledge the dubious nature of his source, Steyn lapses into some dubious rhetorical trickery of his own, quoting Thomas Friedman's (neatly deprived of context) admonition to further reduce carbon footprints, then providing a picture of Friedman's ample estate. The conclusion we're meant to draw?
Well, obviously, being a renowned expert, Thomas Friedman, like Al Gore and the Prince of Wales, needs a supersized carbon footprint.
Ah, yes. They're all hypocrites. We've touched on this favorite hobby horse of the global warming deniers before (here and here). What we said then bears repeating now. Al Gore, Thomas Friedman and a whole host of pocket-mulching hippies could be the biggest hypocrites that ever walked the face of the earth: they drive the biggest trucks, own the biggest houses, fly to conferences in jets fueled with Ozone Penentrator 2.0 while tossing styrofoam plates out of the plane and it would not matter one whit, in so far as the facts of global warming are concerned. But you see, it's always easier to attack the arguer than the argument. Moreover, Steyn's not done reasoning like a lazy freshman:
But you don't [need a huge carbon footprint]- you can get by beating your laundry on the rocks down by the river with the native women all day long.
"Environmentalism" is a government restraint on economic advance and, therefore, social mobility. In other words, it's a way to ensure you'll never live like Tom Friedman.
Maybe it's just the fact that I've misplaced my tinfoil hat, but a more bizarre and unwarranted conclusion, I cannot imagine. Especially in light of the fact that governments the world over have long been among the most vehement opponents of environmental movement. Of particular note, our own.