masthead-highres

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Hockey Stick Denial: This Time, at the Post

The Washington Post is editorializing today against the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, which held hearings twice in July on questions surrounding the "Hockey Stick" temperature studies.

Says the Post: "Instead of concentrating on the changing climate, the House Energy Committee picks on climatologists."

Whoever wrote the Post editorial seems to be genuinely unfamiliar with the hearings held, their purpose and what they revealed. It was irresponsible of the Post to publish something like this editorial without researching the matter a little bit first.

I realize the editorialist was at something of an information disadvantage, as the editorial page is editorializing against hearings the Post never covered, but occasionally even opinion writers have to do research.

In this case, too, it would not have been hard: The Energy and Commerce Committee has webcasts available of both the July 27 and July 19 hearings. The editorial writer might have watched a few minutes of them, or, perhaps, read the witness testimonies archived online. It would have taken just a few minutes to see that the hearings were serious business, conducted in a serious way (well, maybe not including the statements of the Congresswoman worrying that her grandchildren wouldn't ever get to see polar bears because global warming would make polar bears extinct before they get a few free hours to go to the zoo).

I understand that some blog readers will disagree with my opinion here, and will say this is not a matter of the Post editorialist misunderstanding, but one of the Post misleading its readers because the Post has an agenda of its own.

"They know perfectly well why those hearings are important," readers will write (or something similar), "it's that they're afraid the public will learn the truth about the incestuous nature of federally-funded climate science reviews, cover-ups of flawed studies by scientists who know better but who are afraid to speak out, and other examples of political-correctness gone wild. They're afraid the public will start wondering if several billion tax dollars a year spent on global warming research might be better spent on cancer cures. There is a whiff of a scandal here, and the Post wants desperately to cover it up, as Chairman Joe Barton and Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield are getting uncomfortably close to the truth."

I sympathize with this point of view. I really do. And I agree that the Post is capable of this degree of perfidy. Boy do I ever. But I cannot go down that road, and here's why:

The editorial is so silly, so off-the-mark, and so completely beside-the-point that no one would be willing to publish it unless they really and truly were so clueless they had no idea how ignorant they were showing themselves to be.

There is such a thing as pride.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 1:51 AM

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