Consider the simple fact, drawn from the official temperature records of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, that for the years 1998-2005 global average temperature did not increase (there was actually a slight decrease, though not at a rate that differs significantly from zero).Can it be true? It is true! I acknowledge it, and in fact I agree with Carter's assertion about the alarmists too.
As luck would have it, I also take a fairly skeptical view of climate change, and as a result have read a few things. When one has read a few things on this topic, the number '1998' sends up a little red flag: for a long while, it was the hottest year on record. Our skeptical professor sees fit to declare that climate change has stopped, based on the fact that mean temperature has not steadily broken its own record each year since 1998 (it broke its record only once: 2005 is now the hottest year ever).
You may recall that in a previous post I extolled the virtues of decentralized information systems like the internet and all that good "Web 2.0" stuff. Sure enough it did not let me down; I found a wonderful quote in a Wikipedia talk page about this very article:
- To give you an idea how wily Carter is being, consider that all the following would be true according to the data set he used:
- For the years 1995-2005 global average temperature increased
- For the years 1996-2005 global average temperature increased
- For the years 1997-2005 global average temperature increased
- For the years 1998-2005 global average temperature did not increase
- For the years 1999-2005 global average temperature increased
- For the years 2000-2005 global average temperature increased
- For the years 2001-2005 global average temperature increased
- For the years 2002-2005 global average temperature increased
- For the years 2003-2005 global average temperature increased
- For the years 2004-2005 global average temperature increased
. This, of course, is called "selective evidence".
Okay, time to lay off Carter. This comes up because in a booklet issued last month I find some curious phrasings. Chiding Mr. Stern's famous report on climate change, Senator Jim Inhofe says: "Stern has surely accepted his IPPC-centric science advice in good faith, yet that turns out to be his fatal mistake... global temperature has not increased since 1998, despite continuing increases in carbon dioxide".
Look: that year, 1998 again! Sure enough, Carter's article is referenced in the booklet. Sen. Inhofe accusing Stern of uncritically accepting IPPC arguments, but himself uncritically accepting Carter's, who selectively included evidence in a piece attacking "alarmists" for selectively including evidence.
While we're on the subject of predictions, it's being widely anticipated that 2007 will break the temperature record again.