George Will and the editorial page editors at the Washington Post proved a long time ago they don’t know science (see “The Post, abandoning any journalistic standards, lets George Will publish a third time global warming lies debunked on its own pages“). And they don’t do any fact-checking (see WashPost op-ed page remains the home of un-fact-checked disinformation about clean energy and global warming).
But as a letter to the editor pointed out, they don’t know mythology either. I was so focused on critiquing the substance of the original post (here and here), I missed the unintentional inanity of the headline, “Cooling Down the Cassandras,” and Will’s final line:
Environmental Cassandras must be careful with their predictions lest they commit what climate alarmists consider the unpardonable faux pas of denying that the world is coming to an end.
Other than not knowing the science or doing basic fact-checking, the faux pas is pretending to be an intellectual while not even knowing you’ve used a mythological metaphor containing a hidden army that destroys your whole damn message. Cassandra famously had the gift of prophecy but the curse of not being believed, with archetypally tragic results:
While Cassandra foresaw the destruction of Troy (she warned the Trojans about the Trojan Horse, the death of Agamemnon, and her own demise), she was unable to do anything to forestall these tragedies since they did not believe her.
So yes, climate scientists have become Cassandras — and Will and WashPost’s Fred Hiatt are the ones blind to the obvious dangers, the ones trying to drown out the warmings of those who are trying to warn about impending catastrophe.
Here’s the letter, by Jim Mcelfish, Senior Attorney, Environmental Law Institute Washington:
George F. Will used his Oct. 1 column to deride government officials and scientists warning of the consequences of global warming, and he suggested that these climate-change “Cassandras” slow down and not cater to “alarmists.” Mr. Will has perhaps forgotten his classics. Cassandra, prophetess of Troy, was always right when she sounded the alarm but was never believed by those with power to avert disaster.
- Washington Post, Fred Hiatt turn op-ed page into a “joke” with yet another falsehood-filled piece attacking climate action and clean energy — by GOP quitter-in-chief Sarah “Four Pinocchios” Palin!
- The Washington Post launches a paranoid (and naïve) attack on the House clean energy and climate bill for promoting efficient new buildings
- Memo to Washington Post: Editorial page editor Fred Hiatt just recycled a right-wing WSJ op-ed. If you won’t fire him, could you move him over to obits where he can’t hurt anyone?
- In a blunder reminiscent of Janet Cooke scandal, the Washington Post lets George Will reassert all his climate falsehoods plus some new ones