A flawed column in the New York Times.9:04 AM, Jul 6, 2015 • By ETHAN EPSTEIN
Oklahoma senator James Inhofe did the world no favors earlier this year when he brought a snowball onto the Senate floor in order to “disprove” global warming. For one, a blizzard hitting Washington, D.C. tells us absolutely nothing about whether man-made climate change is indeed occurring. His stunt also was a gift to the left, who have, predictably, referred to the incident over and over again as if it were the ne plus ultra of right-leaning thinking on climate. Inhofe, after all, serves the narrative – that conservatives are anti-intellectual cretins, of course – in a way that, say, Irwin Stelzer does not.
Take New York Times columnist Timothy Egan. In his most recent column, which uses unusually hot weather in Seattle as a peg to discuss climate change, Egan predictably goes back to the Inhofe well.
“Inhofe is famous for bringing a snowball to the floor of the Senate to prove his point,” Egan dutifully recounts. “What he proved is that there are Labradors with more common sense than a senator with a peanut for a brain.”
Egan’s column is mostly taken up with discussing the current heat wave in the Pacific Northwest. “[Seattle] had eight days at 85 degrees or higher in June. On Sunday, east of the Cascade Mountains, it hit 113 degrees in Walla Walla,” he notes.
Oh sure, he concedes, “The experts . . . do not think the broiling of the Pacific Northwest can be attributed to climate change . . .but they say that what we’ve experienced over the last 16 months is an indication of what this part of the world will be like after the earth has warmed by several degrees.”
There are two problems with this passage. First, the blog post that Egan cites makes no such argument. But in any event, even if it did, this is pure tautology: Egan is saying that Seattle will be warmer if Seattle is warmer. The question is: Will Seattle be warmer? And if so, why?
The columnist then goes on to lay out the cascade of horribles that will occur in the years ahead. “We could face major wildfires, in places where 500 year-old trees are draped with tendrils of green,” he warns, “Salmon-spawning rivers could be shallow and warm in early fall — lethal to this region’s iconic symbol.”
So, let’s boil Egan’s column down to its essence: he has taken a case of unusual weather and used it, speciously, to make a broader argument about the state of the climate. That is to say, Egan’s column is nothing more than mirror image Inhofe-ism. The distinguished New York Times columnist has thrown a snowball, and he apparently doesn’t even realize it.
9:14 AM, Jul 2, 2015 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
It makes no more sense to be certain that the globe is definitely not warming than to be certain that it definitely is. It makes no more sense to be certain that if the globe is warming it is not due to carbon emissions than to be certain that it definitely is. It makes no more sense to be certain that there will not be dire consequences if the globe is warming than to be certain that there will be.
The climate change crusade gains a prominent leader. Jul 6, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 41 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
Ever since the environmental movement began it has had a religious fervor: Like God, Earth is always capitalized, and there is an annual celebration, Earth Day, rather like holidays celebrated by other religions. Of course, the dogmas of green religionists have changed over time: Prophecies of a new Ice Age gave way to forecasts of global warming, and those to a more all-purpose fear of climate change. Fair enough.
Here's why.11:38 AM, May 7, 2015 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
The ice is finally melting. Not the Arctic ice, although that might be melting too. I mean the frozen position critics of the global warming hysterics have been taking. They disagree with Obama’s contention that the science of climate change is settled, and prefer reading actual temperatures recorded on thermometers to print-outs of assumption-ridden models.
9:04 AM, Apr 20, 2015 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The president is taking Air Force One to Florida this week. He is going there, unsurprisingly, to make a speech. On Earth Day, about climate change. He could make the speech in Washington, of course, but he needs a prop—in this case, will be the Everglades, which he describes as “one of the most special places in our country.
10:04 PM, Apr 7, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
At an event today at Howard University in Washington, D.C., President Obama warned of the public health risks assocaited with global warming.
"[T]he discussion really centered around the fact that climate change is having a impact on our public health," Obama said at today's event.
Hosted by Michael Graham.3:15 PM, Feb 25, 2015 • By TWS PODCAST
THE WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with senior writer Mark Hemingway on Obama's Keystone veto, and the attack of the environmentalists on sensible energy policies.
10:13 AM, Feb 25, 2015 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
On his blog this morning, Roger Pielke Jr. at the University of Colorado, a respected climate scientist, reveals that he was one of seven academics being being investigated by Rep. Raul Grijalva, the ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Natural Resources. Grijalva wants to know all university financial disclosure policies that are applicable to Pielke, detailed information about any sources of external funding and grants he may have received, as well as any communications related to external funding.
12:26 PM, Nov 6, 2014 • By WINDSOR MANN
The warmongers are at it again. In case you haven’t heard, the Pentagon has declared a global war on global warming. It’s our armed forces vs. the forces of nature, and we are the enemy. Those entrusted with protecting us from suicide bombers are now trying to protect the environment from us.
2:43 PM, Oct 9, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
In a few minutes, Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes of Kentucky will meet with the editorial board of the Courier-Journal in Louisville.
It can be done, but not the way the environmental left proposes. Sep 8, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 48 • By ELI LEHRER
From Al Gore to the leadership of groups like the Union of Concerned Scientists, environmentalists long have warned that global disaster is certain unless we do something about rising sea levels. The “something” that most on the left want is to remake our energy economy and increase government control over energy use in order to cut down on human emissions of greenhouse gases that cause the thermal expansion of ocean water and the melting of polar ice sheets.
A map of Internet searches that tells us...absolutely nothing.3:08 PM, Apr 30, 2014 • By ETHAN EPSTEIN
A graphic that is ricocheting around the liberal blogosphere this week is purported to demonstrate–what else?–how stupid and ignorant Americans are. (Well, non-Democrat Americans presumably.)
10:39 AM, Mar 11, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The Senate remained in session through Monday night and into this morning. The yield of this all-nighter was … nothing. Which was predictable. There never was any legislative point to the exercise. It was for show. The kindest possible description would be that the senators wanted to raise awareness of global warming/climate change which, of course, has hardly been mentioned at all in the great ongoing public conversation. The least kind description would be that the purpose of the all-nighter was to raise cash.