Today’s Arkansas-Democrat Gazette contains an opinion column from Jonathan Last again suggesting that global climate change is not settled science and that Al Gore has exaggerated claims of the damage that climate change will cause. He quotes the recent New York Times article that drags up criticisms of Gore. The NYT article, which says that a few--a few--climate scientists think that some of Gore’s claims might be somewhat overstated is pretty nicely debunked here. He drags up the old claim that a study by the Max Planck Institute blames global warming on an increase in solar energy—an idea which the authors specifically refute within their study. (Click here for details.) He then quotes a couple of fringe authors to attempt to link global warming scientists with UFO-chasing nutjobs. Mighty fine “journalism,” if you ask me—much like the rest of those who argue with global climate change science, Last simply repeats old lies and half-truths, and restates tired attacks on Al Gore, without any new information.
Note, please, that Jonathan Last is not a scientist, or even a science writer. He is an ultraconservative opinion writer and on-line editor of the Weekly Standard, the neocon rag which recently ran an article claiming that there was money to be made in the “Global Warming Industrial Complex,” apparently without a hint of ironic intent. Last also writes a weekly column for the Philadelphia Inquirer, the dying daily paper recently placed under the charge of Republican activist Brian Tierney. Recent "scientific" columns by Last include attacks on the abilities of American actors and an anti-aborition screed. This is another example of why it is important that people interested in the truth surrounding scientific issues don’t get their information from pundits and columnists. Instead, if you want to know what scientists have found, and what they think, ask the scientists.