George Will’s Opinion: you’re dying of heat? Get over it.
This summer has been hot, and the past 12 months has been the hottest in North America ever recorded. If there has been any good to come from this horrid stretch of weather, it is that, finally, climate change has made its way back into the general media conversation, from weather forecasters to newspapers around the country.
But still, there are the deniers. This week, it was George Will.
The conservative talking head and climate change denier George Will had this to say on ABC’s This Week (last week):
You asked us — how do we explain the heat? One word: summer. I grew up in central Illinois in a house without air conditioning. What is so unusual about this? Now, come the winter, there will be a cold snap, lots of snow, and the same guys, like E.J., will start lecturing us. There’s a difference between the weather and the climate. I agree with that. We’re having some hot weather. Get over it.
That’s incredibly insensitive, but not surprising, from George Will. American are dying in a heat wave that is causing real, specific practical problems for Americans all over the country–from millions without power to airplanes sinking into the tarmac, and George Will, climate denier, simply advises us all to ‘get over it.’ Will operates on the sophisticated ‘winter is colder than summer, therefore, global warming is not real’ logic, which unfortunately still allows you to be on television, regularly, sharing falsehoods with Americans, while our country, quite literally, burns.
The only way George Will’s opinion on this can be right is if the facts are all wrong. Here is a quick reminder of the facts, from Bad Astronomy:
The Earth is warming up. The rate of warming has increased in the past century or so. This corresponds to the time of the Industrial Revolution, when we started dumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases warm the planet (hence the name) — if they didn’t we’d have an average temperature below the freezing point of water. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas which is dumped into the atmosphere by humans to the tune of 30 billion tons per year, 100 times the amount from volcanoes. And finally, approximately 97% of climatologists who actually study climate agree that global warming is real, and caused by humans.
George Will’s denialism over the facts? That seems like a long shot. But just in case, there’s always this old standby response to Will: