Let’s differentiate again between climate change sceptics (who are prepared to rationally consider and discuss the science) and climate change deniers (who have an emotional commitment to denying climate change and see the science as just the result of a huge conspiracy). Currently there is a feeding frenzy amongst the deniers. Hysterical claims are being made and promoted on the flimsiest of evidence, even against the evidence. They are promoting anything and everything that can possibly be misinterpreted to discredit scientific conclusions and scientists. And, yes, these attacks do get nasty and personal.
This must be making the true climate change sceptics very uncomfortable. More of them should publicly dissociate themselves from this hysterical anti-scientific campaign.
Warming since 1995?
Predictably, several local blogging deniers took on the misreporting of the recent BBC interview with climate scientist Phil Jones. Several of his statements have been used to make distorted, even completely fraudulent, claims. Here I only consider the misreporting of Jone’s comment on global warming since 1995:
Here is the question and answer (see Q&A: Professor Phil Jones for full interview):
“Question: Do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming
Answer: Yes, but only just. I also calculated the trend for the period 1995 to 2009. This trend (0.12C per decade) is positive, but not significant at the 95% significance level. The positive trend is quite close to the significance level. Achievingin scientific terms is much more likely for longer periods, and much less likely for shorter periods.”
At least three local bloggers reported this as a u-turn. A concession that warming was no longer occurring. A denial of previous work! Essentially they were repeated the headlines of overseas conservaqtive and denier newspapers and blogs.
- Not PC trumpeted Wheels falling off the climate science deniers [updated].
- Conspiracy theorist Ian Wishart (TBR.cc “Investigate magazine‘s breaking news forum”) declared ADMISSION: No statistically significant warming since 1995.
- And Richard Treadgold at the Climate Conversation Group (the political arm of the NZ Climate Science Coalition) uncritically repeated the conservative and denier headlines Phil Jones: “No global warming since 1995″.
Now you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see these bloggers are completely distorting the whole meaning of Phil Jones’ comment. But, if you want to dig a bit deeper and get your head around the implications of statistical comments like this watch this video by potholer54. It deals specifically with this distortion:
An earlier video from potholer54 deals with the more general question. See 8. Climate Change — Has the Earth been cooling?