Matthew McIrvin is shrill:
mmcirvin: More fun and games: Does Joel Achenbach's article on global warming skeptics win the bingo? It's written as a more or less unjudgmental personality piece, of the "I can't evaluate what these brainiacs are saying but it sure is interesting" variety.... [T]his kind of coverage of science drives me nuts.
Joel Achenbach's true sin is his failure to lift a finger to evaluate any of the claims of global warming skeptics. Fortunately, we can teach Joel Achenbach to deal with Fred Smith. We can send him to Tim Lambert:
Deltoid: CEI exaggerates by a factor of one million: After everyone laughed at their first two ads, CEI have made another one. This purports to compare Gore's CO2 emissions from flying around to give his presentation on global warming with that of an average person. This screen capture shows that Gore's CO2 meter is about 683,000,000, while the one for the average person is 177, so apparently Gore's flying around produces 4,000,000 times as much CO2 as the average person does in their regular activities. The average person produces about 170 pounds of CO2 per day. According to the CEI video Gore only makes flights from one side of the USA to the other and never flies to somewhere in the middle of the country or on the same coast. This calculator says that a cross country flight produces 1600 pounds of CO2. It seems that the CEI believe that Gore must take 4,000,000*(170/1600)=400,000 cross-country flights every day of the year.
Taking a cross country flight even every second day would be a pretty brutal schedule, so CEI are out by at least a factor of a million.
So, if Gore doesn't fly around the country to warn people about global warming, no-one hears his message. If he does, CEI says "Don't listen to Gore, he's a hypocrite". Cute.
Joel Achenbach had better learn to deal with Fred Smith. If he doesn't he will be doomed, after his death, to forever walk the night through the Washington Post newsroom:
There was a clanking noise, deep down below; as if some person were dragging a heavy chain over the casks in the wine merchant's cellar. The door flew open with a booming sound, and then came the noise much louder. "How now!" said the night editor, caustic and cold as ever. "What do you want with me?"
"Much!" -- Achenbach's voice, no doubt about it.
"Who are you?"
"Ask me who I was."
"Who were you then?"
"In life I was your magazine writer, Joel Achenbach." "You don't believe in me," observed the Ghost.
"What evidence would you have of my reality, beyond that of your senses?"
"I don't know."
"Why do you doubt your senses?"
"Because a little thing affects them. A slight disorder of the stomach makes them cheats. You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of an underdone potato. There's more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are!"
At this the spirit raised a frightful cry, and shook its chain with such a dismal and appalling noise. "Mercy!" said the night editor. "Dreadful apparition, why do you trouble me?"
"Man of the worldly mind!" replied the Ghost, "do you believe in me or not?"
"I do. I must. But why do spirits walk the earth, and why do they come to me?"
"It is required of every man," the Ghost returned, "that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellowmen, and travel far and wide; and if that spirit goes not forth in life, it is condemned to do so after death. It is doomed to wander through the world -- oh, woe is me! -- and witness what it cannot share, but might have shared on earth, and turned to happiness!" Again the spectre raised a cry, and shook its chain and wrung its shadowy hands.
"You are fettered. Tell me why?"
"I wear the chain I forged in life," replied the Ghost. "I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it. Is its pattern strange to you?"
The editor trembled more and more.
"These links I forged when I let Fred Smith spin me about global warming..."