Skeptics’ Last, BEST Hope?

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


On Thursday, University of California-Berkeley physicist Richard Muller put out his much-anticipated Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project (BEST). Muller had been a skeptic of human-caused global warming, was highly critical of climate scientists, and was beloved by climate deniers who thought he would finally prove them right.

Unfortunately for them (and the Koch brothers, who spent $150,000 on the project), Muller’s alternative analysis of global climate data found the same rise in temperatures. It became clear a few months ago that Muller’s report was probably going to be a let down for deniers—he previewed Thursday’s results in testimony before the House Committee on Science and Technology in March. “Global warming in my evaluation is real and much of it, if not most of it, is caused by humans,” Muller said in a recent speech. Here’s what his team’s analysis of 1.6 billion temperature reports from 15 data archives looks like:

See Kevin Drum for more on the report and the skeptics’ reaction.

More MotherJones reporting on Climate Desk

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest