Chris Mooney has a rebuttal to George Will's recent misleading articles on global warming in the Washington Post. It's a nice bit of debunking, particularly of the ice age myth, and of course the ten-years-cooling myth I've debunked elsewhere:
Will also wrote that "according to the U.N. World Meteorological Organization, there has been no recorded global warming for more than a decade." The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is one of many respected scientific institutions that support the consensus that humans are driving global warming. Will probably meant that since 1998 was the warmest year on record according to the WMO -- NASA, in contrast, believes that that honor goes to 2005 -- we haven't had any global warming since. Yet such sleight of hand would lead to the conclusion that "global cooling" sets in immediately after every new record temperature year, no matter how frequently those hot years arrive or the hotness of the years surrounding them. Climate scientists, knowing that any single year may trend warmer or cooler for a variety of reasons -- 1998, for instance, featured an extremely strong El Niño -- study globally averaged temperatures over time. To them, it's far more relevant that out of the 10 warmest years on record, at least seven have occurred in the 2000s -- again, according to the WMO.
I'm of the opinion that this argument that there's no global warming because 1998 was so warm is more idiotic than any other denialist argument save the "Mars is warming" argument. Still, it was nice for Mooney to spell it out so that perhaps more and more people will see that. Mooney's last paragraph bears repeating as well.
Readers and commentators must learn to share some practices with scientists -- following up on sources, taking scientific knowledge seriously rather than cherry-picking misleading bits of information, and applying critical thinking to the weighing of evidence. That, in the end, is all that good science really is. It's also what good journalism and commentary alike must strive to be -- now more than ever.
Indeed, the professional liars in our media wouldn't stand a chance if every one of their viewers/readers checked up on what they said. Sadly, most don't, but then ironically claim they deal with facts instead of emotions. We don't have that luxury any more.