We were recently informed by the blaring of progressive trumpets and flapping of angelic wings that evil energy users had set a new record, with 2014 being the warmest year in recorded history. The end is clearly near, so you should all begin getting your affairs in order unless President Obama can rail through his new methane regulations. It is, as Mother Jones described it, a moment of truth. Well folks, what can I say? We had a good run.

But wait! The phrase “moment of truth” ends with a rather important word. How “true” is this claim? The folks at NASA who declared the doomsday scenario have rather sheepishly admitted that under further scrutiny, they’re at least 38% sure it might have been true.

The Nasa climate scientists who claimed 2014 set a new record for global warmth last night admitted they were only 38 per cent sure this was true…

The claim made headlines around the world, but yesterday it emerged that GISS’s analysis – based on readings from more than 3,000 measuring stations worldwide – is subject to a margin of error. Nasa admits this means it is far from certain that 2014 set a record at all.

Yet the Nasa press release failed to mention this, as well as the fact that the alleged ‘record’ amounted to an increase over 2010, the previous ‘warmest year’, of just two-hundredths of a degree – or 0.02C. The margin of error is said by scientists to be approximately 0.1C – several times as much.

What’s worse, as you read through the experts’ detailed explanation, is that even if they are correct and it was the warmest year on record, it beat the old mark by .01 degree centigrade. That’s one one hundredth of a degree. (With a margin of error a full order of magnitude larger.) Taking that margin into account, they go on to admit that the other two years in contention – 2005 and 2010 – are all so close that they don’t know which of the three is actually the warmest.

This ties into the other side of the story which never seems to make its way onto the pages of Mother Jones or in the CNN chyrons. If you are having trouble figuring out which of the years in the past fifteen or twenty is hotter or cooler, it’s because the planet has stubbornly refused to continue warming since the mid 90s, to the great dismay of the green warriors. And we’ve known this for a couple of years now.

Remember that really scary “hockey stick” graph IPCC used to show that rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations would send global temperatures soaring? And recall all the ballyhoo about CO2 levels reaching a 400 ppm record high? Yet last February even IPCC’s chairman Rajenda Pachuri has admitted that world temperature data has been flat for the past 17 years. And that was after the British media reported that the UK Met Office was projecting a 20-year standstill in global warming by 2017.

It must be because we’ve already done such a bang up job of curbing emissions around the globe and need to do more of the same, right?

“The rise in the surface temperature of Earth has been markedly slower over the last 15 years than in the 20 years before that. And that lull in warming has occurred even as greenhouse gases have accumulated in the atmosphere at a record pace.”

There should be a blaring siren and massive retraction in the New York Times any… day… now.