Opinion

The Great Debate

Climate change and the WSJ

By Reuters Staff
March 6, 2009

wsjIn “The Wall Street Journal of Atmospheric Sciences“, Stuart Gaffin, a climate researcher at Columbia University, takes on the newspaper’s presentation of global warming.

“They have fed their readers so much misinformation and confusion one can only conclude they consider complete fabrication fair play in the discussion,” Gaffin writes.

Holman Jenkins, a Wall Street Journal columnist and member of the WSJ editorial board, rejected the critique, stating:

Mr. Gaffin seems to read “climate” as “atmosphere” and my statement as suggesting we know nothing of any kind about how the atmosphere might behave in response to rising CO2 levels. But that’s not what I said. I’m talking about what everyone actually cares about, whether the net result is a warming climate that will continue to warm in detriment to the presumed interests of humanity.

Gaffin replied:

Mr. Jenkins seems strangely unaware that the warming of the 20th century has coincided with 20th century increases in CO2. Also the current rate of CO2 and other greenhouse gases increases are extraordinarily unprecedented during the last 2000 years of human civilization (see figure below), which is no doubt the most important period to consider for modern society.

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