The Wall Street Journal keeps peddling Big Oil propaganda

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) Opinion page has long had a conservative skew, and unfortunately that has extended to politicizing climate change with biased and factually inaccurate editorials.

Over the past several weeks, the WSJ’s attacks on climate science have gone into overdrive. On May 15th, the Opinion page published a self-contradictory editorial from the lifelong contrarian and fossil fuel-funded Fred Singer that so badly rejected basic physics, it prompted one researcher to remark, “If this were an essay in one of my undergraduate classes, he would fail.”

The WSJ did publish a letter to the editor (LTE) from real climate scientistsAndrea Dutton and Michael Mann rebutting Singer’s editorial. However, it gave the last word to science deniers in an LTE response rejecting the well-established facts that sea level rise is accelerating and Antarctic is loss is contributing to it.

A few days later, the WSJ opinion page was at it again, publishing an editorialby Stephen F. Hayward, who describes himself as having “spent most of my adult life in conservative think tanks in Washington, D.C.,” and it shows. Hayward has a long history as a climate naysayer, spanning over a decadeback to his days with the fossil fuel-funded American Enterprise Institute.

Playing Whack-a-Mole with Hayward’s Gish Gallop

Hayward’s arguments of course deserve to be judged on their own merits. I devoted my first-ever Tweetstorm to doing just that:

Dana Nuccitelli@dana1981

Ok, let's do a Whack-a-Mole Twitter thread debunking all the nonsense in @stevenfhayward's @WSJ editorial (1/n)

Hayward falls into the category some describe as “Lukewarmers.” This group consists of people who think that – contrary to the body of available evidence– global warming will be slow and we don’t have to worry much about it. I prefer the term “Luckwarmer,” since they’re betting that Earth’s climate sensitivity is at the very low end or lower than the range of values supported by scientific evidence. In that sense, they’re gambling we’ll be very lucky that the climate dice will come up snake eyes.

Throughout his career, Hayward has spilled a lot of ink trolling those who are concerned about climate change. In this latest opinion piece, he argues that “climate change has run its course” because nobody is doing anything serious to solve it, and nobody cares about climate change anymore.

Hayward’s evidence to support this thesis is flimsy, to put it charitably. For example, when pressed on the fact that every country save America has agreed to implement policies to curb climate change, Hayward cited Japan as a counter-example that’s building more coal power plants since the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster. Indeed, Japan’s climate policies are highly insufficient to meet the Paris goals. But Japan has nevertheless signed onto the Paris agreement, whose framework allows signatory countries to periodically strengthen their policies and commitments and thus eventually meet the targets. And Japan’s per person carbon pollution is already about 40% lower than America’s.

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Posted by dana1981 on Monday, 11 June, 2018


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