The BEST Is Not Good Enough

Though Mark Twain originally provided Rudyard Kipling with the advice to “get your facts first, and then you can distort ‘em as much as you please,” it appears as if some modern day authors have adopted the mantra. And one need look no further than the coverage of the release of physics professor Richard Muller’s work on surface temperature measurements for evidence. (see for example, Richmond Times-Dispatch, “Skeptic Shifts on Warming,” by Associated Press reporter Seth Borenstein, Oct. 31st).

Painting physicist Richard Muller as a climate skeptic who turns believer upon seeing the records his team at the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperatures project (BEST) recently released, the article offers Muller’s story as proof that “the overwhelming majority of climate scientists” believe global warming is caused by human fossil fuel consumption.

If the study had not been partially funded by the Koch Foundation which is characterized as being skeptical that human activities are the primary cause of global warming, Muller’s research probably would have received zero attention.

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