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While Big Coal Paid Actors to Call Global Warming Fake, May 2016 was the Hottest May on Record

Two pieces of information about global warming have become available this week, one of them political and the other scientific.

In political news, it has been revealed that Peabody Energy, the biggest coal company in the United States, has been paying dozens of front groups and actors money to cast doubt on the existence of global warming. Peabody ran the gamut, paying off groups inside and outside the DC Beltway, lobbyists, “social movement” groups and even academics, all to toe the global warming denialist party line, a party line so conveniently beneficial to Peabody’s bottom line.

In scientific news, NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies has just announced that May 2016 was the hottest May in its 137-year global temperature record. You can check out that record directly for yourself right here, or you can examine the graphic trend of the numerical data below:

NASA GISS global temperature record for the month of May, 1880-2016

As you can see from the data or the graph, the 10 hottest Mays in the global temperature record all have occurred in the last 20 years, and the 20 hottest Mays have occurred in the last 30 years.

The distinction between the actual observed trend and the corporate-sponsored talk about the trend are starkly and simply at opposites with one another. In a simple world, the more reliable observations would be used to form the basis of our nation’s policies. Unfortunately, politics is rarely simple.

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