When I chose the title for the last post, I didn’t really intend to stimulate discussion of the Phil Jones interview. I just thought it was a catchy title for a post about the fact that if you account for exogenous factors, you can establish a trend with less data than you’d need without accounting for exogenous factors.
Nonetheless, a lot of commentary mentioned the Phil Jones BBC interview. And that caused me to ponder such questions as “What should Jones have said?” and “What would I have said?” In fact, since I hadn’t done my recent analysis at that time, I might have responded very similarly to the way Jones did.
It was mentioned that his response was scientifically correct, and scientifically appropriate. I agree. He gave the right answer, if his audience consisted of scientists. But of course, it didn’t. Therefore it’s fair to consider not only the scientific content of his response, but also its impact on public perception of global warming.
So I’ll pose the question to readers: supposing that warming since 1995 wasn’t statistically significant, what would be the ideal response to the question?