A hot AP story

Reader William Katz alerts us to a classic example of the way the AP reports the news. His case study is Seth Borenstein’s “January weather hottest by far.” Mr. Katz observes:

We’re informed in the first paragraph that last month was “by far the hottest January ever.”
We’re informed in the second paragraph that they’ve only been keeping records “since 1880.” That’s 127 years. Apparently, that’s “ever.”
The story lists the usual “global warming” horrors.
Then, toward the end, the writer casually informs us that January temperatures in the U.S., presumably the home of environmental original sin, were essentially normal, “ranking only the 49th
warmest since 1895.”
As Gilda Radner used to say: “Never mind.”

Supplementary reading: S. Fred Singer and Dennis Avery, Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1,500 Years.
UPDATE: At the Volokh Conspiracy, Professor Orin Kerr throws cold water on Mr. Katz’s national analysis of a global problem. I refer interested readers, possibly including Professor Kerr, to the excellent Singer-Avery book, which ackowledges a global warming trend but attributes it to non-human factors.
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