My colleague Iain Murray notes here at OpenMarket and at Planet Gore about a series of past alarmist NASA pronouncements, which list I admit is hardly exclusive but certainly illustrative; but it does seem odd that none of them mention how the purported scorchiness — as in truthiness — of the particular year at issue in any given release relates to the not-a-dime’s-worth-of-difference heat of 1934 or the 1930s, generally.

After all, as the Washington Post rushed to helpfully note about NASA’s temperature correction — in a story not about the flaw and correction, which would be oh so gauche but, natch, about how it was being inappropriately flogged by some internet and radio chortlers — that “[c]limate researchers have long known that the mid- and late 1930s were quite warm and that 1934 may have been the hottest year of the century — although average temperatures in 1998 were statistically just as high”. Oh. Of course. The Post has regularly added such context when reporting on other NASA releases like those Iain cites, right?

No. While it is true, and James Hansen now rushes to protest, he did mention 1934 in this context previously (once…?…in 2001), can we at least admit that this pooh-poohing about a tenth of a degree here or there is a newfound induglence, and the notion of such small differences being, well, small have hardly been the topic of conversation — let alone reportage — that the Post‘s coverage and other alarmist apologism would have you believe?

The lesson of this episode has little to do with that tenth of a degree or so but that we are just about back to where we were in the 1930s, but certainly not abnormally warmer; that is, we see it affirmed that what we’re serially told isn’t true — that 1900, for example, was warmer than 2000 would certainly surprise most of the public — and that the organs telling us these things have a demonstrable bias toward hype and alarmism, and now apologism.