photo via flickr
Have you ever wondered how political pundits are experts on so many subjects? On any given Sunday, you can tune in to the talk shows to hear a political roundtable discuss war, economics, environmental issues, popular culture, polling, race relations...the list continues ad nauseum. One of my favorite pundits is George Will of the Washington Post. Week after week Will pontificates on any number of subjects, but when it comes to environmental issues, Will rarely misses the chance to say something utterly false or misleading. This Sunday was no exception. Will held forth on the merits of offshore drilling and the impacts of wind turbines on bird populations: "Wind farms kill a lot more birds daily than are probably going to be killed in this oil spill."Here's video a video of Will, courtesy of Media Matters.
So what's wrong with Will's assertion? The American Bird Conservancy says a lot. Here are its numbers on the cause of bird deaths.
100 million - 1 billion
Car strikes: 200 - 300 million
Communication towers: 4 - 50 million
Power lines: ~75 million
Cats: 365 million (1 million per day)
Wind farms: 100,000 - 300,000
George Will has made a number of wrong statements related to climate change over the years, including one last year that caused some members of his own paper to call him out.
The Post's editorial staff even contradicted Will in an editorial published after Will said that Arctic ice mass is actually increasing.
MAKE NO mistake, Arctic Sea ice is melting. According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the maximum extent of the winter sea ice cover for 2008-09 was the fifth-lowest on record. Underscoring their point, the agencies added, "The six lowest maximum events since satellite monitoring began in 1979 have all occurred in the past six years (2004-09).
Read more here on Will's suspect record on environmental issues.