In the New York Times, Andrew Revkin weighs in today with his spin on NASA's temperature data errors, downplaying the whole affair. The story is written with the clear intent of trivializing the error and discrediting critics., blaming the blogosphere for making a mountain out of a molehill. He winds up with an affirmation of global warming dogma to reassure true believers.
Cleverly peppering his story with adjectives like "smaller" and "statistically meaningless" to describe the errors, Revkin proves himself a master Timesman, creating the impression that Steve McIntyre and NASA's James Hansen are in general agreement about this whole global warming business.
Now that the warm year rankings have been reordered, he proclaims that the media paid too much attention to the records. I would appreciate Revkin pointing out his and the NYT's previous debunking of the significance of Hansen's original ten warmest years list, which received enormous press attention and was used to make the case that global warming is rapidly proceeding.
In a an obvious attempt to make McIntyre look less than serious, Revkin notes that he posted the revised temperature list under the heading "A New Leaderboard at the U.S. Open" and used this quote "I just was sort of having some fun with it as much as anything." Sure, what fun all this is.
I have a proposal that would go a long way to scrubbing the NASA data and testing their techniques and methods. NASA's 2008 Earth Science budget is projected to be on the order of $500 million. Congress should direct $10 million to Steve McIntyre to investigate this program. This appropriation should have broad bi-partisan support since undoubtedly everybody wants to make sure they can rely on the science that serves as the basis for their multi-trillion dollar decision. This is less than 1/15th of Congressman John Murtha's personal earmarks. Otherwise, we can take it out of Dr. Hansen's budget, since he'll still have $490 million to play with.