Ready for a little peek behind the editorial decision-making curtain at the Wall Street Journal? On Friday, the paper published an op-ed disputing anthropogenic global warming, on the strength of its being signed by 16 scientists. Sixteen, wow, that’s a lot! Except that in May 2010, 255 members of the National Academy of Science wrote an op-ed laying out the actual facts about global warming, and the WSJ turned it down. (It was published in Science instead.) Wait, is it possible this isn’t about the number of scientists at all??

What’s extra funny/horrible is that, surprise! The 16 “scientists” who wrote the published op-ed aren’t even climate scientists, for the most part — they’re meteorologists, astrophysicists, engineers, and so forth. One is an astronaut. (And many are retired.) These are mostly valid types of science, of course, but it’s informative that the antis had to pull every type of scientist or sorta-scientist or former scientist they could find from all over the globe in order to get up to 16.

Meanwhile, apparently all you need to do to get 255 signatories on a letter about climate change mitigation is hold it up at an NAS meeting and wave it around. Turns out it doesn’t take that much work to find scientists who support your position, if your position involves actual science! It’s just hard to get it published in the Wall Street Journal.

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