Just take a sentence — a fragment, even — out of context from a scientific report and shout it from the pulpit to the choir of the faithful.
Today’s editorial in the Washington Times (“Global warming takes a vacation”) offers a conspicuous and bold example. In it, the Times quotes – quite out of context – NASA’s James Hansen: “The 5-year mean global temperature has been flat for a decade, which we interpret as a combination of natural variability and a slowdown in the growth rate of the net climate forcing.” The WT then proceeds to castrate the real story with this not-quite-false but blatantly incomplete extrapolation:
“Mr. Hansen has just acknowledged more than the lack of warming. His words confirm nature, not mankind, played the decisive role in directing global temperatures over the past 10 years.”
The WT then proceeds with the usual chorus of anecdotal pap (“Southern England is covered in snow. Los Angeles has been shivering…”), and piles on the liberal conspiracy charges.
Yet, a read of the real paper cited indicates Hansen said that, despite more frequent La Ninas (large-scale cooling of the equatorial West Pacific), the globally averaged temperature in the past decade had not gone down. (Skeptical Science.com offers a taut video on this.)
The difference between what would have been short-term cooling and what is the tail of the hottest decade on record is almost certainly man’s increasing injection of greenhouse gases, most notably carbon dioxide.
Think about it: take away the natural cooling induced by La Ninas and we’d see a more continuous rise. The other forcing functions on surface temperatures (including increased CO2 and other greenhouse gases) continue to do their work.
(Click image for video of recent-year temperature anomalies.)
And the current decade is the hottest ever recorded. As were the 2000s. As were the 1990s. As were the 1980s…
Yet the Washington Times decided not to tell the real story behind the article and the press releases by NASA and NOAA about 2012.
Instead they decided to arouse the deniers who choose not to let the full explanation of global warming signatures into their closed minds. The distortion — the deceit — is pornographic.
And it’s simple.