Back when I wrote a response to George Will's climate denial alleging that there has been no global warming in ten years because 1998 is the warmest year on record in the World Meteorological Organization's data (NASA's Goddard Institute ranks 2005 the warmest), I used the following crude analogy in an attempt to demonstrate the gist of why Will's argument is so dishonest and statistically ignorant:
Look at it this way: for a 500 day period you have five cars a day drive by your house. Over the next 49 days you have 20 cars go by. Then the next day 30 go by. Then for the next 50 days 29 cars go by.Well, don't take my word for it. As Island of Doubt notes, the AP took temperature data and gave it to independent statisticians and asked them to discern any trends, without telling them what the data represented. Long story short, they found no decline or leveling-off in the trends, but did find decades long upward trends.
Would it make any sense for someone to say there hasn't been an upward trend of of cars driving by your house because the number hasn't passed the 30 mark? (The claim would grow even more absurd if you were also aware of a known mechanism for an increase in traffic around your house, e.g. a particular road is shut forcing more traffic onto your road.)
Who knew statistics was one world government biased?