The “Hockey Stick”

2 03 2007

“Hockey Stick” is a term used to describe a graph which displays a high degree of single-directional variation on the vertical axis matched with a relatively short change in value on the horizontal axis. The appearance of a hockey stick implies exponential change.

There are economic hockey sticks,
hockey-stick-ec.png

expected growth hockey sticks,
web20hockeystick.png

and climate change hockey sticks very similar to the one which I use as a masthead atop this blog.
hockey_stick_graph.jpg

Unfortunalely for Al Gore and the global warming crowd, the graph used as the cornerstone of Mr. Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth is a house of cards that was not built on a foundation of solid science. The debunking of Mann’s “Hockey Stick” is largely ignored by the media, and denied by those whose willful ignorance can be characterized as groupthink. If it’s not groupthink, then it must be intellectual laziness…whichever the case, millions of people have made up their mind on a subject which they know virtually nothing about.

Here is a snippet of what fellow scientists have to say about Mann’s “Hockey Stick.”

What is disquieting about the `Hockey Stick’ is not Mann’s presentation of it originally. As with any paper, it would sink into oblivion if found to be flawed in any way. Rather it was the reaction of the greenhouse industry to it – the chorus of approval, the complete lack of critical evaluation of the theory, the blind acceptance of evidence which was so flimsy. The industry embraced the theory for one reason and one reason only – it told them exactly what they wanted to hear.

Proponents of the `Hockey Stick’ should recall George Orwell’s `Nineteen Eighty-Four’, a black SF drama in which his fictional totalitarian regime used `memory holes’ to re-invent past history [22]. In this age of instant communication, there is no `memory hole’ big enough to overturn the historical truth about the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age.

More red meat here:

As it turns out, it is not warmer now than at any time during the last thousand years. So people freaking out about small temperature changes suddenly melting the ice caps are just drooling in their unscientific beer. It gets you on television, but it’s hardly scientifically supported.

A true skeptic doesn’t say “prove me wrong,” he says “prove it.” Mann’s “Hockey Stick”, the basis of Gore’s myopic and apocolyptic prognostications, has only proved that real science is in real short supply regarding this important topic.

However, it seems there is quite a surplus of hot air coming from a myriad of sources.

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