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From the author of “Arguing with idiots”

February 12, 2010 - Jim Anderson
I heard Glenn Beck on the radio making light of the climate change debate.

It was great fun, given the massive snowfalls in Washington this week, and clips of Democratic politicians complaining in past years about a lack of snow.

For a moment, Beck tried to get serious. At least I think he was being serious. Let’s look at the trend, he said. The warmest year in history was 1998. And that was 12 years ago.

This indicates a 12-year cooling trend, the author of "Arguing with Idiots" concluded.

Guffaw. Guffaw.

And that was the end of him being serious about climate change.

If he had tried to be serious a little while longer, he might have also told his listeners this: January 2000 to December 2009 was the warmest decade on record, according to the Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

Beck might want to dispute those figures — or question their significance. I wouldn’t know, but apparently he sees no need to acknowledge them. They have been widely reported.

It’s easier, I suppose, to set down 1998 as the ultimate marker and move on, claiming that you've defined the trend. (Goddard, by the way, lists 2005 as the warmest ever.)

Whatever. A trend is defined as a general direction and tendency.

An idiot is defined as a unintelligent or foolish person. We are all stupid and/or foolish at times.

But we should try not to make it a trend.


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