The IRA won’t solve global warming, obviously. But why is the Washington Post spreading disinformation to the WSJ?

Yesterday we discussed how Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal opinion page is basically jam-packed with climate misinformation. Apparently, it’s also a source of inspiration for the Washington Post, hardly considered a bastion of conservative propaganda, like the WSJ, but nevertheless seems happy to publish content that leaves its readers misinformed.

Back when the Inflation Cut Act passed the Senate, the Wall Street Journal editorial board was racing to get an answer, and apparently found a in the calculation on the back of Bjorn Lomborg’s envelope, this would reduce the estimated global temperature increase at the end of this century by 0.028 degrees Fahrenheit in the optimistic case. In the pessimistic case, the temperature difference will be 0.0009 degrees Fahrenheit.”

It’s an interesting attack, because even assuming it’s accurate, which would be a pretty bold assumption, what it shows is that despite being the largest federal investment ever in Climate action is still not enough to justify unfurling a “Mission Accomplished” banner and moving on to other issues. The climate crisis is so big that yes, the IRA may be a huge investment and not enough to ensure climate security.
And, of course, no one is saying that is the case! Even the bill’s proponents have been clear that it only puts us on the path to meeting the country’s goal of halving emissions by 2035 and eliminating them by 2050. So while activists might worry that passing the bill will mean people think we’ve solved the climate crisis and can therefore forget about it, Lomborg and the WSJ are accidentally helpful in showing that no, it’s not. is still a big problem that is going to require a lot more work.

You would think that in the two weeks since that WSJ op-ed, they might have found a different line of attack, one that doesn’t inadvertently justify more climate activism and action.

Nope! Tuesday, the The WSJ published an op-ed by none other than Bjorn Lomborg, who still hasn’t been able to think of anything original or clever or even do a more robust calculation on emission reductions, instead repeating the numbers of 0.0009 and 0.028 for the seemingly slow readers of the WSJ. Most people would say if it’s not news, it’s not news, but for Rupert Murdoch outlets like the WSJ, it’s the opposite. Murdoch knows the importance of message discipline. Propaganda has to be repeated over and over again for it to sink in.

Fortunately for Murdoch and the fossil fuel industry propagandists they apparently take over, the WSJ is being picked up by a decidedly non-conservative media outlet.

Because Tuesday too, the The Washington Post ran an almost identical column by Marc Thiessen — a Fox panelist, employee of the AEI funded by Koch, and for some inexplicable reason, Washington Post columnist. “Cut Inflation Act Won’t Cure Inflation. Or Climate Change,” reads Theissen’s headline, published and tweeted just hours before the WSJ published the similar headline from Lomborg “Cut Inflation Act Does Little to Curb Climate Change.”

And as he did in the pastTheissen brings WSJ-style misinformation to the pages of the Post, repeating, and thereby validating, Lomborg’s 0.0009 and 0.028 numbers, of course with the spin that this means the bill is useless, not that it isn’t. is just the first step in a long journey towards climate security.

(And no, neither Theissen nor the Washington Post editorial staff thought it necessary to include the unit of measurement, which we’d assume to be Fahrenheit, but either way it’s a problem when something happens in the Washington Post that would immediately lose points on a 10th grade chemistry quiz.)

The United States has just taken its first big step in the decades-long marathon to reduce emissions. But for Lomborg, Theissen, the WSJ and apparently WaPo, the fact that this small step didn’t get us to the finish line is being touted as reason to believe it’s not worth running the race for.

One wonders how these people get anywhere in life, when the first leg of the road trip doesn’t stop at their destination!

Teresa H. Sadler