The letter at right appeared in the NZ Herald on 10th February and that day I emailed the following letter in response. To the best of my knowledge my letter was not published, so here it is.
Your correspondent Philip Jones claims Bryan Leyland’s assertion of ‘no warming’ is incorrect, saying the temperature data do not support it.
He says recent high temperatures prove they have been rising and he’s right. But they haven’t been rising for some time and so he’s wrong.
For Mr Jones conflates high temperatures with rising temperatures, apparently not understanding that temperatures can remain high when warming stops. Hasn’t he heard? When a recipe says “bake in a hot oven for an hour” you don’t keep heating it up.
He says 2014 was the warmest year, but NASA belatedly admitted they were wrong about that—and the UK Met Office has now validated this century’s global warming hiatus. The yearly temperatures vary by such lilliputian margins even an Ellerslie photo-finish wouldn’t separate them; it’s impossible to claim a record for 2014.
The temperature data certainly support Mr Leyland’s claim of no warming for about the last 20 years—but the strange thing is they also support Mr Jones’s claim of record high temperatures.
It’s like a miracle.
Why are the most elementary logical processes beyond the capacity of many ordinary people and journalists?