Recently, The New York Times published an article that may have inadvertently contributed to the continuing obfuscation of an issue that hardly needs any more muddying: climate change. The article, titled “What to Make of a Warming Plateau,” whimsically ponders the possible causes of a 15-year slowdown in the rise of the Earth’s surface temperature.
After positing that it could be a little of this, or maybe a smidgen of that, the author states, “Scientists and statisticians reject this sort of selective use of numbers, and when they calculate the long-term temperature trends for the earth, they conclude that it continues to warm through time. Despite the recent lull, it is an open question whether the pace of that warming has undergone any lasting shift.”
It goes without saying that 15 years — while a significant portion of a human life-span — is a negligible amount of time for measuring long-term changes to the Earth’s climate. But centering an article around this supposed controversy (caveats aside) — when there is near universal agreement about the causes and ramifications of climate change — is disingenuous at best.
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