The AP has a story out today to remind us that the earth is not, I repeat, not cooling. Except, that's not really what the AGW skeptics have been claiming. I have gone from "uncertain" to "skeptic" over the past five years, so I think I'm pretty well up on what the skeptics have been saying. While there has certainly been mention that we have had slight cooling since 1998, and I am willing to concede that the dip has been statistically unimportant, the main point has been that there has not been warming, as we were assured would happen. Could this flat line be a mere hiatus in the overall warming trend, and we are still in trouble, just not as fast as predicted? Absolutely.
Yet the observed evidence has been more than a decade of no warming. In the face of the catastrophic predictions, it would seem that the burden of proof has shifted to the AGW crowd. With the spectacular failures of McKibben's and Hansen's predictions, more responsible scientists, if they wish to convince us of the importance of atmospheric carbon reduction and sequestration, now have to overcome the exaggerations of their allies.
In an entirely different context today, I announced that sleight-of-hand was in itself a reason to reject legislative proposals. That is apposite here.