A couple of months ago, the National Academy said we couldn’t really say anything about the current climate except to note that it is almost certainly warmer now than any time in the past 400 years, something with which very few (certainly not I) would disagree. Now James Hansen, godfather of the global warming alarmists, says that it is the warmest in a million years. Steve McIntyre demonstrates just what a house of cards this claim is here.
Warning: that post is long and technical, but serves as a demonstration that in climate science it is very easy to make sweeping generalizations of the sort the media love, and very complicated to explain exactly why those generalizations are not justified. Sadly, most journalists are not qualified to do the sort of analysis of the claims Steve does. And yet even with that limitation, alarmists demand that journalists don’t listen to people like Steve, or me, but should instead take the word of the scientists on trust. The latest to do this is the once-august Royal Society, whose efforts to censor the debate on global warming have come under severe criticism from people like David Whitehouse, former Science editor of BBC online. Ironically, the Royal Society’s motto is “Nullius in verba,” loosely translated as, “Don’t take anyone’s word for it.”