And if you're going to write something for publication, you'd better do at least a little bit of it. And you'd better not outright fabricate to make your point.
Nathan Gardels does none of the research and lots of fabrication in this piece in the Huffington Post.
President Bush may go down in history as one of the most clueless leaders to have ever occupied the White House. He got the intelligence wrong on Iraq and now New Orleans.
Wow, that's some topic sentence. I can't wait to see the data that you use to back it up.
Despite the evidence presented by UN inspector Hans Blix and others, Bush insisted Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and warranted a preemptive attack.
Do you have any link to a statement made by Blix that indicates Iraq didn't have WMD? I was under the impression that Blix believed he had them, but that the inspections could contain Saddam's ability to use them, at least before the war started. After the war began is when he changed his tune.
The chief UN weapons inspector, Hans Blix, said he was starting to suspect Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction in advance of the war on Iraq, a German newspaper reported today.
"I am obviously very interested in the question of whether or not there were weapons of mass destruction, and I am beginning to suspect there possibly were none," Mr Blix told the Berlin daily Der Tagesspiegel.
The date of this article in The Guardian? March 23, 2003. Let's see, the war began in Iraq on March 19, 2003, so this would be after the war started, and Mr. Blix was only "beginning to suspect there possibly were" no WMD. So Mr. Gardels is wrong. Hans Blix did not warn that no WMD were present in Iraq before the war.
Of course, Mr. Bush was not the only one to believe Saddam had WMD. The list is actually long and distinguished. Sen. Kerry had a lot of questions about Saddam's intentions and capabilities before the war.
Why is Saddam Hussein pursuing weapons that most nations have agreed to limit or give up? Why is Saddam Hussein guilty of breaking his own cease-fire agreement with the international community? Why is Saddam Hussein attempting to develop nuclear weapons when most nations don't even try, and responsible nations that have them attempt to limit their potential for disaster? Why did Saddam Hussein threaten and provoke? Why does he develop missiles that exceed allowable limits? Why did Saddam Hussein lie and deceive the inspection teams previously? Why did Saddam Hussein not account for all of the weapons of mass destruction which UNSCOM identified? Why is he seeking to develop unmanned airborne vehicles for delivery of biological agents?
These are all great questions. Perhaps Mr. Gardels should answer them. But let us continue.
Then, last week, he made the astonishing statement that "I don't think anyone anticipated a breach in the levees." As Lousiana Senator Mary Landrieu pointed out, even the clay cartoon figure "Mr. Bill" had warned in public service announcements before Katrina that the levees wouldn't hold in the face of a strong hurricane. "Mr. Bill was better informed than Mr. Bush" she concluded.
Well, Mr. Bush's statement is wrong here, but the mistake is irrelevant. In the three days leading up to the landfall of Katrina the levees were not going to be upgraded to withstand a Cat 4/5 hurricane. That would have to have been started and completed years ago. The Army Corps of Engineers wanted to work on this starting in 1996, but met resistance. In addition, it was the local officials, Mr. Nagin and Ms. Blanco, who had the primary responsibility for preparing the community for the worst. Mr. Bush would have had to usurp their authority if they didn't accede to federal takeover, which they didn't.
Since leaving the UN, Hans Blix has been arguing that global warming is a far liklier [sic] threat to humanity than weapons of mass destruction. By most accounts, the increased number of hurricanes in the Atlantic and the Gulf is part of a natural cycle, but the intensity of the storms is a one of the consequences of global warming.
Of course, the data support none of these 'facts', except the statement that the number of hurricanes is part of a natural cycle. The remaining 'facts' are actually just speculation and supposition. The intensity variation is not necessarily "one of the consequences of global warming," and could simply be part of that cycle, as the chart demonstrates. Or maybe the 0.5 degree celcius warming that's occurred over 5 decades is partly responsible.
Numerous studies in recent years have found no evidence that the number of hurricanes and their northwest Pacific Ocean cousins, typhoons, is increasing because of the rise in global temperatures.
Are you with me so far?
But a new study in the journal Nature found that hurricanes and typhoons have become stronger and longer-lasting over the past 30 years. These upswings correlate with a rise in sea surface temperatures.
The duration and strength of hurricanes have increased by about 50 percent over the last three decades, according to study author Kerry Emanuel, a professor of atmospheric science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.
Emanuel's finding defies existing models for measuring storm strength. Current models suggest that the intensity of hurricanes and typhoons should increase by 5 percent for every 1ºC (1.8ºF) rise in sea surface temperature.
"We've had half a degree [Celsius] of warming, so that should have led to a 2.5 percent increase [in intensity], which is probably not detectable," Emanuel said. "What we've seen is somewhat bigger than that, and we don't really know why."
"We don't really know why." Remember that phrase, Mr. Gardels. We also don't yet have independent verification of Mr. Emanuel's research. Back to Mr. Gardels.
The devastation of an entire city suggests that perhaps we should listen to Mr. Blix once again. We need a strategy to preempt global warming.
This is the last line in the post, and still no data. Well, if Mr. Blix had been certain about WMD before and not after the war then perhaps his opinion now would mean more to me. Meanwhile, what exactly should the strategy be to reduce "global warming?" Well, it depends on which scientists you believe, doesn't it?
Due to this semi-random nature of weather, it is wrong to blame any one event such as Katrina specifically on global warming - and of course it is just as indefensible to blame Katrina on a long-term natural cycle in the climate.
From Our Environment, 1995.
Getting reliable predictions from models is difficult because many of the secondary processes are not understood. For example, when temperatures start to warm because of the direct radiative effect of increasing carbon dioxide? will clouds increase or decrease. Will they let in less radiation from the sun, or more? These secondary processes are important.
So, Mr. Gardels, let's not get all righteous and put all of our eggs in the basket of Hans Blix just yet.
Linked to Wizbang's COTT XXVIII.