Lies, damned lies and statistics. Many’s the poor statistic that has been tortured into yielding a false confession at the hands of a merciless interrogator.
Climate sceptics have turned such torture into an art form, picking point-to-point time comparisons to show a falling trend in global temperatures, focusing on ”outlier” cool years and redrawing trend lines on graphs.
When they’re not torturing statistics, climate sceptics are taking up arms under the banner of ”correlation is not causation”. Which is true enough. Just because phenomenon A exists at the same time as, or slightly before, phenomenon B, does not mean that A caused B or vice versa.
For example, we could all agree that it is not enough, having observed both that Australian women were given the right to vote in 1901 and that global temperatures have been rising since then that, therefore, voting women caused global warming.
Clearly climate sceptics are right to say that correlation, by itself, does not prove a causal link.