The Washington Post has become the go-to newspaper for climate change skeptics. They have twice published pieces by (!) Sarah Palin, and they continue to justify running the factually and logically challenged work of George Will on the same subject. On the latter, rarely does one see an objection in print–either in the form of letters to the editor, interventions of other columnists, or the contribution of the public editor. On the former, however, we get this:
Now, the American public is again being subjected to those kinds of denials, this time about global climate change. While former Alaska governor Sarah Palin wrote in her Dec. 9 op-ed that she did not deny the "reality of some changes in climate," she distorted the clear scientific evidence that Earth's climate is changing, largely as a result of human behaviors. She also badly confused the concepts of daily weather changes and long-term climate trends when she wrote that "while we recognize the occurrence of these natural, cyclical environmental trends, we can't say with assurance that man's activities cause weather changes." Her statement inaccurately suggests that short-term weather fluctuations must be consistent with long-term climate patterns. And it is the long-term patterns that are a cause for concern.
Today, two more climate-critical, for a lack of a better term, pieces. One by Krauthammer (it's the new socialism!) and another by Michael Gerson. Gerson, however, affirms that climate change is real, but he blames the private behavior of some scientists for all the skepticism. He makes his case on two grounds: (1) the trust one must have in a former Bush administration speech writer and (2) a recent Rasmussen poll.
Climate scientists are clearly accustomed to deference. Theirs is a community coddled by global elites, extensively funded by governments, celebrated by Hollywood and honored with international prizes.
But outside the Copenhagen bubble, the field of climate science is deep in a crisis of professional credibility, which many scientists seem too insular to recognize. Fifty-nine percent of Americans now believe it is at least somewhat likely that some scientists have falsified research to prop up claims about global warming. If the practices at East Anglia are dismissed as "scientists at work," skepticism will rise as surely as temperatures.
Now Gerson must not read a lot of news, because that Rasmussen poll had a funny problem. Following the link in his own article to the very number he cites, one finds this:
Fifty-nine percent (59%) of Americans say it’s at least somewhat likely that some scientists have falsified research data to support their own theories and beliefs about global warming. Thirty-five percent (35%) say it’s Very Likely. Just 26% say it’s not very or not at all likely that some scientists falsified data.
59 + 35 + 26 = 120 percent.