So, the big, stupid talking point among climate sceptics at the moment, including some of the more sophisticated ones — I’ve heard Jim Manzi make this point before — is that no warming has occurred since 1998, because that was the hottest year on record. This is moronic. It also strikes me as very foolish from a rhetorical perspective. You see, global warming means that we will eventually have a year that’s hotter than 1998. A developing El Nino suggests that we may have a year that’s hotter than 1998 tout de suite.

I understand that the kind of person who cites the 1998 factoid as evidence against warming is not the kind of person who will be unable to come up with some alternative, perhaps more moronic, denialist evidence. Still, won’t having this argument cemented in the public record many, many times wind up being kind of a black eye once it’s no longer true?

I mean, can we get George Will on record as saying what he believes the implications of the world having a year hotter than 1998 would be?


  1. Brad Johnson says:

    Ryan — NASA’s figures have 2005 as the hottest year on record. The reality is that six years, all in the last twelve years, are within the margin of error of being the hottest on record: 1998, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, and 2007.

  2. Dan Staley says:

    I mean, can we get George Will on record as saying what he believes the implications of the world having a year hotter than 1998 would be?

    No, because then we’ll have 6 weeks of denialists stating warming is good. Then more parroting of another talking point, then another, then another.

    Enough of this “debating” with deniers. We are voting on carbon legislation. That is the end of the “debate”.

    The next societal discussion is how to adapt to and mitigate the coming rise in temps, so 1998, 2005, 2010, won’t matter any more.

  3. Doug says:

    I think the important feature of global warming skeptics is that there’s no way and no need to convince them. Who is their audience? I actually don’t think man-made climate change is all that controversial but the cockroaches who take over in 2017 will still have skeptics among them.

  4. mark says:

    Before giving the earth to the cockroaches, you might want to pull your heads out of your asses and look around. Global warming is a fraud and anyone with half a brain knows this. If global warming was such a menace, why isn’t Al Gore living in a one bedroom apartment and not jetting off everywhere? Why are you wasting valuable energy and carbon by running a computer. You should start saving the earth by giving up the technology allowing you to spew your idiotic rants about people far smarter than you.

  5. BeyondDC says:

    Global warming deniers are like Chevy Chase Purple line opponents. There’s so much overwhelming evidence that their position is wrong, they’re just throwing whatever they can at the wall and hoping something will stick.

    They’re not interested in getting it right so much as they’re interested in finding justification for what they’ve already decided. Being intellectually dishonest or short-sighted isn’t a deterrent, because they’re so desperate for any shred of a talking point that they’ll take anything, damn the consequences.