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Bad News, But Will Anybody Listen? May 18, 2010

Posted by Dwight Furrow in Dwight Furrow's Posts, politics.
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NASA-GISS data show that the past 12 months were the hottest 12-month period on record. In the chart below, Paul Krugman plots the difference over the past 25 years from the average temperatures over the period from 1951-80 (measured in in hundredths of a degree centigrade):


Climate-change deniers have been, for years, arguing that the data shows the earth is in fact cooling. But the upward trend in this chart shows something quite different.

As Krugman says:

So much for the “global cooling” talking point. What I’m wondering is what excuse the deniers will come up with.

They could argue that temperatures fluctuate, that one shouldn’t make too much of a particular peak — which is actually true. But that would get them in trouble, since the whole global cooling thing has been about taking the 1998 peak — visible in the chart — plus a bit of bad data to claim, literally, that up is down. Any statistical fix, like looking at multi-year averages, would just confirm that the temperature trend is up.

Now, I’m sure that the climate deniers will find a way to ignore the latest facts. But I’m not sure what that way will be.

book-section-book-cover2 Dwight Furrow is author of

Reviving the Left: The Need to Restore Liberal Values in America

For political commentary by Dwight Furrow visit: www.revivingliberalism.com



1. Asur - May 19, 2010

By that chart, over the past 25 years or so the average temperature has gone up by about half a degree fahrenheit.

I’m not about to sweat half a degree, nor will I lose sleep worrying about climate-change deniers asserting global cooling, since that appears to be a self-contradictory position and I don’t put much stock in self-contradictory positions.

What I am concerned about, however, is making sure we have a nice, warm blanket of greenhouse gasses to help us ride out that next ice age we’re about overdue for.

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