Ed Driscoll

Two Gray Ladies in One!

In “What the New York Times Didn’t Learn from Paul Ehrlich’s Population Bomb Fizzle,” Robert Tracinski of the Federalist looks at the Times’ rare moment of honesty and self-awareness in debunking the WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!1!!!! fever that they and the American TV networks pushed so heavily in the late ’60s and early ’70s:

Stewart Brand, a former disciple of Ehrlich’s, asks: “How many years do you have to not have the world end to decide that it didn’t end because that reason was wrong?”

Most remarkable, however, is Ehrlich’s answer. Yes, he’s still around, the Times interviewed him, and they asked him that question. I got the impression it may have been the first time someone prominent has asked Ehrlich to answer this directly, and his guard seems to have been down, probably because he remembers all the puffball coverage he’s gotten from the New York Times over the years. So he answered it, and it has to be heard to be believed. He said: “One of the things that people don’t understand is that timing, to an ecologist, is very, very different from timing to an average person.” I wonder, is BS still the same for an ecologist as it is for an average person?

It is such an obviously arrogant, dishonest, evasive answer that the Times report features it prominently, and not in a positive way. They captured in one line the sudden realization that Ehrlich is a charlatan who has been conning the highest levels of the culture for years. (Jonathan Last runs down all of the awards and accolades heaped on Ehrlich as recently as 2012.)

That’s why it’s so great to see that the mainstream left is finally beginning to face up to this reality.

As Tracinski writes, “Perhaps some day they’ll do a look back on the failure of the global warming hysteria—though at this rate, we should expect to see that some time around 2062.”

Exactly — which is why, in the meantime, the Gray Lady is up to her usual slatternly panhandling ways, attempting to proffer “The Case for a Carbon Tax” in an unsigned editorial.

But then isn’t New York’s most visible Democrat house organ always asking for taxes to be raised? As Daniel J. Mitchell wrote in 2013 at Townhall, rounding up just a few of the Times’ calls for more and higher taxes in recent years, “The New York Times seems really fixated on screwing Joe Lunchbucket.”

But to paraphrase effete enviro-hypocrite John Kerry, How do you ask a newspaper to be the last news source to destroy its reputation for a hysterically misguided theory? mistake?