Global Warming in the Washington Post

Global warming has been an issue that has never really interested me very much. Absent major technological advancement it’s not like anything is going to be done about it. The Left loves to talk about it but has no real solution, what passes for the “Right” is always eager to change the subject.

However it has been interesting to note the mental gymnastics the Left has used to avoid having to address “the pause,” the fact that global warming hasn’t gone through the formality of actually happening for some time. An article I read today in the Washington Post was quite Orwellian in it’s attempt to explain away “the pause.”


The new paper begins with a simple scientific literature review, finding that while there are many scientific publications citing the “pause” and trying to explain it, they aren’t very clear on its start date. Rather, start dates range from 1993 to 2003, although many start with 1998, a very hot El Nino year and at the time the hottest year on record (which serves to dampen the assessment of the rising temperature trend if this start date is chosen).

As opposed to global warming itself, which everyone agrees started on January 26 1903, a Monday.

The study also undertakes a statistical analysis of observed temperature trends, finding that if you select a short enough time period, it is quite easy to find a ‘pause’ in the rise of global temperatures — and if you select a long enough one, it goes away.

For example, you’ll find significant warming if you start at the end of the Ice Age.

Indeed, the new Lewandowsky paper, co-authored with climate researcher James Risbey of Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and Harvard historian of science Naomi Oreskes, is part of a triumvirate of interdisciplinary studies by this team, debunking the “pause” using a variety of tools including social scientific techniques (Lewandowsky is a psychologist by training). The researchers have already found that in blind expert tests, 25 economists examining various temperature trends did not observe a “pause”(…)

You might think that interpreting a 2 dimensional graph would be straightforward, but it’s much more of a Rorschach test. Good thing we have the social sciences to help us interpret it.

(…)— and have also suggested, with a larger group of collaborators, that scientists have fallen prey to the “pause” narrative because of a “seepage” of arguments by climate change doubters into the scientific literature.

A rather circular argument.

“Basically our argument is that there is no such thing as a pause in global warming, and in fact, arguably there never has been,” says Lewandowsky. “What there has been is a fluctuation in warming, and they always occur,” he adds.

This would be quite the argument for the regional Commissar to use to explain why there has been no increase in steel production.


Steel production is still increasing, you’re just seeing variation in the increase in production…

Even if the authors are right, that does not mean that prior studies into the “pause” weren’t valuable. They tended to focus on natural fluctuations that impact the rate of global warming, such as the behavior of the vast Pacific ocean. This adds to our overall understanding of the complex climate system.

So it’s not the “pause” didn’t happen, it’s just that it shouldn’t be called “the pause.” Wouldn’t want anyone to get the wrong idea.


Chris Mooney, New study finds ‘no substantive evidence’ of a global warming ‘pause’, Washington Post, November 24 2015

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