I read the first column and was appalled. But I stuck with it, and read his second column. And then I cancelled my NT Times subscription.
To me, it wasn’t the factual errors that got me. It was the sophistry — the artful creation of false arguments. It was the clear intent to mislead. It wasn’t just that he made errors of fact, it was that he carefully selected those errors and omissions in order to make misleading arguments.
So, it wasn’t just that he appeared uninformed. It’s that he cherrypicking items purposefully to mislead. The term for that is propaganda.
I guess what finally put me over the edge was his discussion of German electrical power generation. He argued that this shows that renewables are a failure because Germany has not reduced GHG emissions in the past few years. Post hoc, propter hoc.
Can you say Fukushima? How could anybody discuss German electrical power and not mention Fukushima? The Germans are now half-way through shutting down their fleet of nuclear reactors. These reactors formerly supplied nearly one-quarter of all electrical power in Germany. Could it be that — — just maybe — eliminating a carbon-free one-quarter of generating capacity might have had an impact on Germany’s ongoing GHG reductions?
Nah, not worth mentioning that. Because that would interfer with the propaganda you’re trying to spread.
He is not, by the way, the only NY Times columnist to take this approach. Decide what story they want to tell, then ignore all facts that don’t fit the story. But ignoring key facts in order to create a false cause-and-effect story — that’s fairly unusual, in my experience. And that’s where I drew the line.