The NY Times v. Science

The New York Times this morning had a story splashed across its front page with the ominous headline, “Earth Sets a Temperature Record for Third Straight Year.” Its first paragraph was even more ominous:

Marking another milestone for a changing planet, scientists reported on Wednesday that the Earth reached its highest temperature on record in 2016, trouncing a record set only a year earlier, which beat one set in 2014. It is the first time in the modern era of global warming data that temperatures have blown past the previous record three years in a row.

Vivid writing to be sure (although the Times meant highest average temperature, not highest temperature). Football teams get trounced by 30 points. Racehorses blow past the competition to win by six lengths. What the Times does not give its readers, though, are the actual numbers by which global temperatures are racing towards climatic Armageddon. All we get are the loaded verbs.

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The NY Times v. Science

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