Thursday, February 19, 2009

Check The Facts George

Earlier this week, George Will had one of his periodic global warming skeptic columns in the Washington Post.

We're slow to get on this, but better late than never. As evidence for his skepticism, Will stated:

"As global levels of sea ice declined last year, many experts said this was evidence of man-made global warming. Since September, however, the increase in sea ice has been the fastest change, either up or down, since 1979, when satellite record-keeping began. According to the University of Illinois' Arctic Climate Research Center, global sea ice levels now equal those of 1979."

Shortly thereafter, the folks at the University of Illinois put this up on their website:

"In an opinion piece by George Will published on February 15, 2009 in the Washington Post, George Will states 'According to the University of Illinois' Arctic Climate Research Center, global sea ice levels now equal those of 1979.'

"We do not know where George Will is getting his information, but our data shows that on February 15, 1979, global sea ice area was 16.79 million sq. km and on February 15, 2009, global sea ice area was 15.45 million sq. km. Therefore, global sea ice levels are 1.34 million sq. km less in February 2009 than in February 1979. This decrease in sea ice area is roughly equal to the area of Texas, California, and Oklahoma combined."

We might add that winter sea ice is not the real issue--over the years, winter sea ice has declined, but not by a whole lot. Summer sea ice, in contrast, has declined dramatically in the Arctic over the past 50 years, from a high of nearly 12 million square kilometers in 1952 to a low of less than 6 million square km in 2007.

Will's mistake, of course, was in trying to cite facts. Like the other skeptics, he should stick with innuendo.


Bluedog said...

And here I was getting ready to make my own post about Will's column. I think an important thing to keep in mind is that regardless of whether you buy into the man-made global warming theory (which I do)no one should dispute that reducing our carbon footprint is a bad idea. Why shouldn't we transition away from fossil fuels; why shouldn't we drive more efficient cars; why shouldn't we make our homes and offices more energy efficient?

It's the end result we should be focused on and not the reasons for working toward achieving that result.

I still remember seeing Bush, at a campaign stop in Detroit prior to the 2000 election, making fun of Gore's push for energy independence; Bush and the auto workers all had a big yuk over that. So, who's laughing now?

Tarheelman 1993 said...

George Will is a jackass. Just ask Tony LaRussa.