The Great 1998 Chart Swindle Is Now Officially Over

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One of the favorite topics in the climate change denial community is the “global warming pause.” It’s based on the fact that 1998 was an unusually warm year, so if you begin a climate chart in 1998 it will look as if nothing much has happened since. I made fun of this last week, but it occurs to me that we might genuinely have seen the last of that famous chart.

Why? Because it’s no good anymore. David Roberts tells me today that Republicans are incensed over a recent NOAA paper that suggests the “pause” is due to mismeasurements of ocean temperatures, but who even needs that anymore? Just look at the basic numbers in the chart below. Even if you start in 1998, you can see obvious evidence of warming.

Bottom line: Even the famously deceptive 1998 chart doesn’t work anymore. I suspect that we’re going to see a sudden lack of interest in 1998 charts from the denialists. They’ll have to move on to swindling the rubes with something else.

And if you’re curious, here’s an honest, plain-Jane chart of the past 50 years. The 1998 outlier is pretty obvious here, and the evidence of steady warming is pretty obvious too.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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