Will's Climate Change Column Sparks Outrage in Environmental Community

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Brandon Hersh (202) 471-3205
bhersh@mediamatters.org

Will's Climate Change Column Sparks Outrage in Environmental Community

After Post refuses to address numerous global warming falsehoods, leading environmental organizations join Media Matters in calling for correction

WASHINGTON - After Post refuses to address numerous global warming
falsehoods, leading environmental organizations join Media Matters in
calling for correction

Today, Media
Matters for America
President Eric Burns joined Sierra Club
Executive Director Carl Pope, League of Conservation Voters President Gene
Karpinski, and Friends of the Earth President Brent Blackwelder in issuing a
letter to Washington Post ombudsman
Andy Alexander asking him to address several blatant falsehoods in George
Will's February 15 column about global warming.

Yesterday, Media Matters sent
an action
email
, asking readers to contact the Post,
which prompted thousands of activists to send correction requests.

"George Will's factually
challenged attempt to deny the link between human activity and climate change
is a stain on a publication respected for its commitment to accuracy,"

said Burns upon the release of the letter. "Will's
column and the Post's refusal to address its falsehoods have
drawn ire from thousands of Media Matters readers
and sparked outrage from esteemed leaders and members of the environmental
community. Hopefully, these actions will encourage the Post to finally correct the record."

The letter, a copy of which is included below, rebuts several falsehoods
in Will's column. As Media Matters recently
noted, Alexander
reportedly responded to one of these claims with further distortions of the
facts.

Andy Alexander

Ombudsman
The Washington
Post

1150 15th St. NW
Washington, DC 20071

Dear Mr. Alexander:

We are writing today to express urgent concern over your refusal to
correct George Will's February 15 column, "Dark Green
Doomsayers." Will used his nationally syndicated column to make several
clear distortions about global warming.

First, Will misused data on global sea ice levels from the Arctic
Climate Research Center (ACRC),
wrongly suggesting that ACRC data undermine the overwhelming scientific
consensus surrounding "man-made global warming." In fact, the ACRC
says the opposite is true -- the sea ice data Will cited actually support the
scientific consensus that humans are causing global warming.

Second, Will claimed that "according to the U.N. World
Meteorological Organization, there has been no recorded global warming for more
than a decade." Will cited no source and provided no quote for this claim.
In fact, last year, the WMO stated that the "long-term upward trend of
global warming, mostly driven by greenhouse gas emissions, is continuing."
And just last month, WMO secretary general Michel Jarraud reportedly said:
"The major trend is unmistakably one of warming."

Third, Will rehashed the discredited myth that in the 1970s, there was
broad scientific consensus that the Earth faced an imminent global cooling
threat.

Will's column has sparked widespread criticism. Yet, the only
response from the Post seems to
be to defend Will with further misinformation. When Brad Johnson from the
Center for American Progress Action Fund contacted you to correct Will's
distortions, you reportedly refused to acknowledge that they exist.

Global warming is one of the most urgent issues facing our country and
the entire world. In dealing with an issue of such magnitude, the Post has a duty to provide the truth to
its readers.

George Will is entitled to his own opinions, but he is not entitled to
his own facts. We respectfully ask that you immediately make your readers aware
of the glaring misinformation in Will's column.

Thank you.

Carl Pope

Carl Pope

Executive Director, The Sierra Club

Gene Karpinski

Gene Karpinski

President, League of Conservation
Voters

Brent Blackwelder

Brent Blackwelder

President, Friends of the Earth

Eric Burns

Eric Burns

President, Media Matters For America

To view
a PDF of the letter, please visit:

http://mediamatters.org/static/pdf/wapo-letter-20090224.pdf

###

Media Matters for America is a Web-based, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.

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