Saturday, November 21, 2009

The 'Hockey Stick' Scandal

I've been reading around the web a bit, catching up on latest in the Climate Research Unit (CRU) scandal that broke wide open yesterday.

One of the things I'm learning more about is the 'hockey stick', which refers to the (hypothesized, and now rigged) dramatic increases in global temperatures in the last 130 years, so that when graphed the changes look something like a hockey stick. The chart's from Wikipedia's entry, the "
Hockey Stick Controversy." What's so interesting about this, is that the graph is derived from the data and research aggregation of Michael Mann, who is at the center of the CRU hacking case now unfolding online.

The first post to read is at Jeff Id's Air Vent blog, "Baby Steps." That entry links to a series of essays by the author called the "Hockey Stick Posts," where the first entry is called, "How to Make a Hockey Stick – Paleoclimatology (What They Don’t Want You to Know)." Clicking there leads us to a Michael Mann research paper on the hockey stick phenomenon, "Proxy-Based Reconstructions of Hemispheric and Global Surface Temperature Variations Over the Past Two Millennia."

Now, going back to the
Baby Steps post, Jeff Id (who's apparently been at the center of some of the online debates) adds this key passage:
These new emails do not provide any huge revelation of collusion, we already knew about that. They don’t provide any smoking gun proving intentional corruption of data for a conclusion (although the Jones quote was good enough for me). They don’t have any proof of making a conclusion in exchange for money or proof of changing a conclusion for personal benefit. I don’t know about you, but I didn’t expect any of that. The mechanism of reward for certain results is exactly what some of us expected it to be.

What the emails show is that there is some good science going on. There are some quality open discussions in them for sure. What they also show however, is a pattern of elimination of dissenting views. They show an advocacy by some ’scientists’ which belies scientific credibility. These few names are universally limited to the top people in the field — think about what that means. These are the ones who actively work to make sure that dissent is unpublished and are often the loudest in public to discredit others. Mann (creator of the bogus Al Gore hockey stick) seems to be the worst offender along these lines but he clearly has a circle of trusted friends. Finally, these files show a lot of money involved in the industry. Big dollars are in play with big travel budgets, prestige and a lot of power for those who follow the main player’s lead [emphasis added].
There's lots more developments in the controversy.

Check Marc Sheppard, "
The Evidence of Climate Fraud," which has an analysis of the devastating significance of the CRU scandal. Also, John Hinderaker has a post examining the hacked e-mails, "The Alarmists Do 'Science': A Case Study." (Via Memeorandum.)

Plus, a couple of entries from James Delingpole, "
Climategate: How the MSM Reported the Greatest Scandal in Modern Science," and "Climate Change Has Nothing to Do With the Holocaust or 9/11":

But you’d be forgiven for thinking otherwise from all the hysterical propaganda put out by the ecofascists of the AGW lobby.

Here’s the latest example from those silly trustafarian children at Plane Stupid:

Actually, this isn't a horrible joke (see for yourself here).


Tom the Redhunter said...

Great post.

Another problem with the "hockey stick" is that even if true, we do not and can not know whether this thing happened in in the past or not. The whole reason they push the hockey stick it to make you think that it must be humans who drove the temperature upward because we didn't have such upticks in the past.

By "past" I mean thousands and millions of years ago.

The reason is simple; the close to the present day, the more granular the data. Assuming again the hockey stick graph is accurate, we have fairly good data for the past few hundred years.

But the farther you go back the less we can pin down temperature variations by decade or even century. Go back a million years and we've no idea how the temperature varied each century.

So there may have been zillions of hockey stick upticks and downturns and by definition we cannot know.

TonyfromOz said...

As this conspiracy unfolds, be aware that it only seems to be unfolding amongst the Bloggers.
MSM will assiduously keep away from the intent and instead concentrate on the 'Hacking' aspect in an attempt to downplay what has actually been going on, that of widespread rigging of the whole Climate Change/Global Warming debate.
This might just be the first shots fired in the unfolding of this mammoth hoax.

Dennis said...

Anyone who took the time to look at the data prior to or after the periods used to create most of the data used in justifying GW had to be struck at how quickly all of the predictions would collapse and the conclusions would change. Ice core drilling, studies of the the CO2 levels in various Eras, et al do not support much of GW.
One of the reasons it is called statistical inference and not statistical fact is that so much depends of the quality and breath of the data collected. Also it is why statistical conclusions are not allowed in court rooms.
One is always struck by the attributes used in most computer modeling. One has to select which attributes have an effect, weight those selected values and determine what the output actually means. It most, if not all, the computer model becomes a self fulfilling prophesy closely following the originator's ideas. Much of GW's information comes from computer models.
There are a number of various cycles, aphelion-perihelion, Menander Minimum (sp), declination, et al that have to be taken into consideration to even start understanding the what, where, how and when of climate.
The fact that a number of those who tried to push GW deleted emails, et al when faced with Freedom of Information Act inquiries leaves one wondering how valid any of the data used for GW's justification could be given their desire to hide the data. If science is a "systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment" should have left them wanting to present all of the information discovered to enhance other scientist's understanding.
Why would any scientist worth the title try to keep dissenting opinions from becoming known if the furtherance of science was the goal?