Why Oh Why Can't We Have a Better Press Corps? (David Stout/New York Times Edition)
Robert Nozick Reads My Mind...

Why Oh Why Can't We Have a Better Press Corps? (Washington Post/Anne Applebaum Edition)

Each day that the Washington Post publishes Anne Applebaum diminishes its longevity by a week. Here she drives Kevin Drum into shrill unholy madness:

The Washington Monthly: IT'S A NEWSPAPER, NOT A MIRROR....I'm really tired of this kind of thing. Here is Anne Applebaum's sneering column today about the latest IPCC report on global warming:

"Worse than we thought." The headline in the British Guardian newspaper on Saturday was almost gloating about the bad news. The tone of the article that followed was no different....Among the coastal cities threatened by the higher ocean levels caused by melting ice caps, the paper noted -- not without a degree of satisfaction -- are London, New York, Tokyo and Hong Kong.

"Almost gloating"? I defy you to read either the headline or the Guardian's brief report (here) and find even a hint of gloating. Sure, the news they're reporting is dismal, but that's because the IPCC report was pretty dismal and they're reporting what the IPCC report actually said. As for the melting ice caps, the Guardian summarizes the likely consequences of a 4 degree rise in global temperature at the end of the piece. Here's the full paragraph on flooding:

Sea levels rise by up to 59cm. Bangladesh and Vietnam worst hit, along with coastal cities such as London, New York, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Calcutta and Karachi. 1.8m people at risk from coastal flooding in Britain alone.

This was reported "not without a degree of satisfaction"? She must be kidding. That's as telegraphic a style as you're ever likely to see in a modern newspaper. I recommend that in the future Applebaum leave the faux psychoanalysis to Charles Krauthammer. It suits him better.

The Washington Monthly: GLOBAL WARMING, TAKE 2....Now that I've vented my annoyance with Anne Applebaum's mind reading performance in today's Post, a reader suggests I should follow this up by mentioning that her substantive position is actually perfectly reasonable:

Any lasting solutions will have to be extremely simple....Fortunately, there is such a solution....It's called a carbon tax, and it should be applied across the board to every industry that uses fossil fuels, every home or building with a heating system, every motorist, and every public transportation system. Immediately, it would produce a wealth of innovations to save fuel, as well as new incentives to conserve. More to the point, it would produce a big chunk of money that could be used for other things.

Quite so, and virtually every serious analyst I've read agrees that a carbon tax is one of the primary building blocks for any effective global warming policy. Considering the results of this poll (see page 2), it's especially welcome to hear this kind of sensible talk from a conservative.

Of course, this makes the mockery in Applebaum's opening paragraph even more inexplicable. If she agrees that global warming is real, and that it may have catastrophic consequences, and that serious action is justified to fight it, why was she so dismissive of a newspaper report that implied the exact same thing? Very mysterious.