George Will’s descent

George Will has struggled for quite some time when dealing with climate policy, but his latest piece, arguing that global warming is part of an elaborate collectivist plot, is really out there.

Because progressivism exists to justify a few people bossing around most people and because progressives believe that only government’s energy should flow unimpeded, they crave energy scarcities as an excuse for rationing — by them — that produces ever-more-minute government supervision of Americans’ behavior. […]

An all-purpose rationale for rationing in its many permutations has been the progressives’ preferred apocalypse, the fear of climate change.

Jon Chait explains that Will happens to be “out of his gourd.”

Will is not arguing that liberals are misguided, or even that climate science is wrong. He thinks liberals were sitting around looking for ways to reduce peoples’ standard of living in order to enrich themselves, and global warming is the rationale they concocted. Along with virtually all the climate scientists.

Of course, by Will’s theory, liberals could just as easily have decided to start claiming that wheat is scarce or that cotton is scarce and started a big campaign to pass laws restricting them. This would have been just as effective a way to justify new bureaucracies charged with bossing around Americans. Somehow that didn’t happen.

What this immediately reminded me of was a similar George Will harangue against high-speed rail last year, which was argued along similar lines. The columnist didn’t address the policy or the substance of the debate, but rather, insisted HSR is part of a progressive conspiracy. “[T]he real reason for progressives’ passion for trains is their goal of diminishing Americans’ individualism in order to make them more amenable to collectivism,” Will wrote.

One of the nation’s most widely-read political columnists believes liberals support high-speed rail as part of some elaborate, freedom-crushing, Ayn-Rand-inspired conspiracy. And now he believes all of climate science is the result of a similar conspiracy.

Adding insult to injury, Media Matters has a report today, documenting the fact that a powerful, conservative foundation pays George Will $43,500 a year, and Will consistently relies on “experts” whose work is financed by the same foundation.*

Maybe it’s time for the Post‘s editors to have a chat with the conservative columnist?

* corrected