"The planet has been warming," says a new study of temperature records, conducted by Berkeley professor Richard Muller. I wonder what he'll be telling us next: that night follows day? That water is wet? That great white sharks have nasty pointy teeth? That sheep go "baaaa"?
No, the only surprising part of the results of the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Project is the good professor's chutzpah in trying to present them as new or surprising – let alone any kind of blow to the people he calls "skeptics" (or, when speaking to his friends at the Guardian, "deniers").
Here's the money quote from a ramblingly disingenuous piece he wrote in The Wall Street Journal, (which frankly should have known better than to fall for this guff):
Without good answers to all these complaints, global-warming skepticism seems sensible. But now let me explain why you should not be a skeptic, at least not any longer.
Let me explain what is going on here. And you can trust me: I'm not a climate scientist. What I am is someone eminently more qualified to deconstruct the semantic skullduggery going on here: a student of language, rhetoric and grade one bullshit.
In the first half of his piece, Professor Muller sets up his straw man. He does so by ascribing to "skeptics" views that they don't actually hold. Their case, he pretends for the sake of his wafer-thin argument, rests on the idea that the last century's land-based temperature data sets are so hopelessly corrupt that they have created the illusion of global warming where none actually exists.