Supposedly, allegedly, naturally

Now this is really baffling.  The Washington Post publishes another George Will column containing global warming denial.  Ok, to be fair, the article only contains that charge as the set up to the claim that flourescent bulbs won't stop global warming anyway.  No one believes George Will about the former, and no one believes the later.  Anywhere, here's the denial:

Reducing carbon emissions supposedly will reverse warming, which is allegedly occurring even though, according to statistics published by the World Meteorological Organization, there has not been a warmer year on record than 1998. Regarding the reversing, the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change has many ambitions, as outlined in a working group's 16-page "information note" to "facilitate discussions."

For those keeping score at home, there seems to be a critical inference there in that paragraph from the data of the WMO to the claim that the earth's climate is cooling.  As we have noticed before, the Washington Post and many other very dim people consider such inferences to be completely a matter of "opinion" and not "fact" (a distinction we find meaningless in this circumstance).  For what it's worth–which in this circumstance is pretty much everything–here is the WMO in a letter to the Post (published last week):

It is a misinterpretation of the data and of scientific knowledge to point to one year as the warmest on record — as was done in a recent Post column ["Dark Green Doomsayers," George F. Will, op-ed, Feb. 15] — and then to extrapolate that cooler subsequent years invalidate the reality of global warming and its effects.

So that's that.  Now as for the claim of "reversing" the effects of global warming with light bulbs.  No one, I'd venture to guess, could seriously maintain that view (so perhaps George Will is attacking yet another of his many liberal communist totalitarian straw men–er, I mean straw persons.  Ok, if no one seriously holds the view, then this is technically a "holllow man.").  The undeniably negative effects of burning coal (damning rivers, etc.) as well as the undeniably scarce nature of fossilized resources are sufficient to mandate efficient light bulbs.  If they don't work as well as advertised (as he later goes on to point out), then perhaps someone enterprising capitalist can build a better one–there seems oddly enough to be a market for energy efficient products these days.  

4 thoughts on “Supposedly, allegedly, naturally”

  1. In the category of similar-but-stupider is something I have see several times on the Drudge Report: when Al Gore testifies to Congress (or gives a speech elsewhere) about global warming during the winter–i.e. on a day when it is cold–Drudge will accompany the Gore story with images of snow/ice and indicate how cold it is in D.C. during the testimony. The implication is that a cold winter day somehow calls global warming into question.

  2. It occurs to me that there ought to be something like an argumentum ad repetitum fallacy (though obviously my attempts a Latin are less than sterling): The fallacy that if you just keep repeating nonsense and drivel over and over again, it will somehow miraculously turn into cognitively legitimate information and conclusions.

    Or maybe we could call it the Farmer Fallacy, in honor of George (for those of you who know your Greek) Will: “If I just keep plowing this field long enough, something good is bound to grow.”

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