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02.16 Toxic black snow covers Siberian coalmining region [0:49 video; If its killing us, stop doing it]
02.16 Renewable energy will be world's main power source by 2040, says BP [But in America's capitalistic bubble, bribed-to-be-biased media and government defy reality]
02.16 What the pesticides in our urine tell us about organic food [What does inaction tell us about capitalism and our government?]
02.14 Exposure to Glyphosate-Based Herbicides and Risk for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma: A Meta-Analysis and Supporting Evidence [If its killing us, make it illegal]
02.14 To avoid environmental catastrophe, everything must change [Consider why this headline is laughable or confusing to many, if not most, Americans...]02.13 Study Shows Toxic Pesticide Levels in Families Dropped by 60% After One-Week Organic Diet [2:10 video; Produce and canned vegetables laced with toxic chemicals—from fertilizers and herbicides, too—must be quickly phased out to use safe organic alternatives]
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US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
02.20 ‘Sustained and ongoing’ disinformation assault targets Dem presidential candidates [If you can sense them, block them!]
02.20 Despite the slaughter in Yemen, Britain is still chasing arms sales [and the Great-Again-America is too...Capitalism without morality is horrible]
Economics & Corrupting-Capitalism
International & Futurism
02.21 John Oliver Compares Brexit ‘Disaster’ to Will Smith’s Genie in Live-Action ‘Aladdin’ (Video) [21:26 video; we’re approaching an Idiocracy-type of society, where stupidity is “normal”]
02.20 House report lays bare White House feud over Saudi nuclear push [Its hard to keep up with all the criminal crap going on...]
02.18 Hate-Fest in Warsaw
More Hot Air from George Will
Columnist defends errors in climate change column
2 March 2009Syndicated Washington Post columnist George Will and the Post's ombud Andrew Alexander are still failing to address the majority of the inaccuracies in Will's February 15 column on climate change.
Facing down critics (including FAIR--Action Alert, 2/18/09), Will claimed in a new column (2/27/09) that his original "column contained many factual assertions but only one has been challenged." Taking up that "one" challenge, Will continued to insist that his summary of research done by the University of Illinois' Department of Atmospheric Sciences was correct--despite the researchers' repudiation of Will's argument.
Of course, critics had pointed out two other inaccuracies: Will had suggested that global cooling was a prevailing scientific concern of the 1970s--a falsehood he repeated in his new column--and claimed the United Nations has found there has "been no recorded global warming for more than a decade," an inaccurate interpretation that the U.N. has tried to correct in the past. How the legion of fact-checkers that (according to Alexander) scrutinize Will's columns managed to miss the fact that Will's critics had cited multiple errors of fact in the previous column is hard to understand.
Will's real point was to criticize a New York Times report by Andrew Revkin (2/25/09) for not naming the experts that Revkin said found Will's column to contain inaccuracies. This, too, is specious, as Revkin noted that the sea ice researchers from the University of Illinois said Will was wrong about their data. (Revkin's piece was troubling, but for a different reason entirely; see FAIR Blog, 2/27/09.)
In his February 27 column, Will added another exaggeration, suggesting that scientists face enormous pressure to toe the line on climate change even though the scientific evidence is questionable:
Will seems to be going for a two-fer: This measurement error is alarmingly significant ("the size of California"), and the New York Times ("a megaphone for the alarmed," in Will's view) is not reporting this obviously important news. Except that this doesn't appear to be all that important; as the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center explains on its website (2/26/09), this discrepancy was reported almost immediately, and "does not change any of [their] conclusions regarding the long-term decline in Arctic sea ice extent.... Any discrepancies fall within the margin of error."
That Will would cite scientists who immediately identified and corrected an error is an irony he would be better off not highlighting.
For his part, the ombud dismissively likened the controversy surrounding the inaccuracies in Will's column to being "like watching chairs being thrown in a bar fight," although he acknowledged that Will's reference to sea ice research should have prompted further inquiries by the Post. Alexander also noted that "readers would have been better served if Post editors, and the new ombudsman, had more quickly addressed the claims of falsehoods."
Given that Will's critics are still waiting for a response regarding two out of the three documented inaccuracies in Will's February 15 column, the ombud's call for improved timeliness misses the more important point.
Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting is a nonpartisan media watchdog organization. Visit http://fair.org for more information, or share your opinion about this story by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org. Republished in the Chronicle with permission from F.A.I.R.
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This story was published on March 2, 2009.