Is the Earth getting warmer?
A prominent left intellectual says "no". Journalist Alexander Cockburn, writing on his CounterPunch website, describes "the earth's current cooling phase, during which - contrary to warmest doctrine - CO2 levels have been rising." See Cockburn's essay, Sunspots and Republicans, March 3-4, 2012. on the CounterPunch website (www.counterpunch.org).
So what is happening to the Earth's temperature? The largest data set was compiled by Richard A. Muller, Berkeley physics professor and former global warming skeptic. Muller got money, including Koch money, to ask, "is the Earth really getting warmer?" The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) project announced its findings in October 2011. They found - are you ready for this - that the Earth is really getting warmer.
They have submitted their findings for publication in Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres. The graph on the upper right is Fig. 1 from their manuscript "Decadal Variations in the Global Atmospheric Land Temperatures," and you can download your very own copy from this website . Your downloaded file should be entitled berkeley-earth-decadal-variations.pdf
The graph shows the earth's land temperature for the last 60 years (1950-2010). The long-term trend is flat from 1950 to about 1975, and then increases by about 0.2 C per decade. The total increase from 1975 to 2010 is 0.8 degrees C.
Cockburn is a talented journalist, but on issues of climate change he is just not reliable.