Green Bloggers Having a Tough Time with Headlines

by William Yeatman on February 10, 2015

in Blog

Over at Chris Mooney’s Washington Post energy and environment blog, which goes by the twitter handle “@PostGreen,” there’s a recent piece by Puneet Kollipara that is titled, “No, climate models aren’t exaggerating global warming.” According to, “exaggerate” means to “overstate.” Now, keeping in mind both the title of the post and also the definition of “exaggerate,” consider Kollipara’s fourth paragraph:

It’s true that air temperatures have increased slower in the past 15 years or so, and climate models on average instead predicted much more warming. And scientists are slowly beginning to figure out why temperatures didn’t rise quite as much as expected. 

To my eyes, the excerpt above seems to blatantly contradict the title.

This same thing happened yesterday, in a Grist blog by David Roberts. The title of that post is “Obama’s carbon rule hangs on this one legal question.” He’s referring to EPA’s illegitimate and illegal Clean Power Plan. For the first 16 paragraphs, Roberts describes the “one legal question” that will make or break the rule. And then, he says (in a parenthetical, no less):

(For another argument that EPA’s interpretation is likely to be struck down in court, see this paper from lawyers Brian Potts and David Zoppo.)

While it’s good of the author to concede that there are, contrary to what his title would have you believe, at least two legal arguments that could sink the Clean Power Plan, the fact is that he’s still low-balling the legal logic mounting against the rule. In addition to the plain terms of the Clean Air Act, the rule also violates the terms of two other federal statutes, a doctrine of statutory interpretation, and, perhaps, even the Constitution (although I’m not sold that the rule runs afoul of the spending clause).

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