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Enemies of Green: Faux & Balanced in the Washington Post

December 7th, 2009 · 1 Comment

The Washington Post has a sad record of Faux and Balanced when it comes to Global Warming. Sunday’s opinion pieces provided yet another textbook example. Today’s paper has two authors, both enemies of ‘green’ … from utterly different angles.

George ‘will-ful deceit’ Will stepped forward with his long anticipated contribution to the truthiness-laden ClimateGATE story, The climate-change travesty. One thing to be said, Will is incredibly skillful with words and knows how to mix facts with sleight of hands to create utterly disingenous (typically utter false) truthiness.  At this time, I lack the energy to dissect this column syllable-by-syllable, but suffice to say that his attacks on science and the scientific community essentially cross the line into libel.

Of course, the absurdities abound in the Will piece (as with essentially everything that he writes or says).  For example, Carl Zimmer, in George Will: Uncheckable, highlights the failures, yet again, of Washington Post factcheckers.

Will cannot have it both ways. He cannot pretend to speak with authority about the history of climate, but rely on people he considers cranks as authorities on that history.

Thus, yet again, The Washington Post publishes an ‘anti-green’, anti-science, anti-dealing with climate change diatribe from George Will.

Today, as well, they published another ‘anti-green’ diatribe, this one from Mike Tidwell.  But, this diatribe comes from a far different perspective, with far greater merit, and merits far greater attention. In To really save the planet, stop going green, Mike points out that

in the 1960s, civil rights activists didn’t ask bigoted Southern governors and sheriffs to consider “10 Ways to Go Integrated” at their convenience.

Tidwell is arguing, strongly, that we need to move forcefully with legislation to tackle climate change. And, that our ‘10 ways to green your office’ discussions are counter-productive, especially at this time, because we need to help drive our political leadership to the logical realization that we’re all in this together and that we need to act together, rather than in isolation.

All who appreciate the enormity of the climate crisis still have a responsibility to make every change possible in their personal lives. I have, from the solar panels on my roof to the Prius in my driveway to my low-carbon-footprint vegetarian diet. But surveys show that very few people are willing to make significant voluntary changes, and those of us who do create the false impression of mass progress as the media hypes our actions.

Instead, most people want carbon reductions to be mandated by laws that will allow us to share both the responsibilities and the benefits of change. Ours is a nation of laws; if we want to alter our practices in a deep and lasting way, this is where we must start. After years of delay and denial and green half-measures, we must legislate a stop to the burning of coal, oil and natural gas.

While, over the long term, our individual action is a necessary part of larger change, that individual action will be meaningless without the larger legal and regulatory structure creating a new framework in which to operate.

And, we have a responsibility to help drive that change. As Mike put it,

“We all got into this mess together … And, … we need to act accordingly. And now, with treaty talks underway internationally and Congress stalled at home, we need to act accordingly. Don’t spend an hour changing your light bulbs. Don’t take a day to caulk your windows. Instead, pick up a phone, open a laptop, or travel to a U.S. Senate office near you and turn the tables: “What are the 10 green statutes you’re working on to save the planet, Senator?” Demand a carbon-cap bill that mandates the number 350. That’s the level of carbon pollution scientists say we must limit ourselves to: 350 parts per million of CO2 in the air.

Let’s be clear, I don’t necessarily agree with every syllable of Mike’s piece. (For example, I am far less an enthusiast than he for ‘Cap & Dividend’.) On the other hand, this is a meaningful OPED that we should pay attention and act upon.  In it, Mike laid out a question that I plan, as I put aside my copy of ‘10 ways to green your floral decorations”, to ask of my representatives in Congress:

What are the 10 green statues you’re working on to save the planet?

Thus, with two fervently anti-green OPEDs, the Washington Post reaffirms its faux and balanced approach to opinions on climage change issues. George Will willfully decieving in his carefully crafted arguments favoring a polluting energy path forward and Mike Tidwell eloquently laying out a case for why political action is, at this time, more important than personal action in helping achieve necessary national change when it comes to creating a prosperous and sustainable future.

Tags: Energy · George Will · Washington Post · climate change · climate delayers · energy efficiency · global cooling · politics

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 POSTal Schizophrenia re Climate Science strikes again // Feb 14, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    [...] Will (for example) column inches to repeat the dishonesty. Not infrequently, the Post will have material on different pages that will contradict each other — some scientifically sound, some simply divorced from truthful discourse. (Further examples [...]

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