Questions about the hockey stick

Friday, February 10, 2006
Speaking of fear mongering the hockey stick theory of sudden increasing global temperatures is being questioned by some folks in high places.

Seeking to resolve a scientific dispute that has taken on a rancorous political edge, the National Academy of Sciences said it had agreed to a request from Congress to assess how well researchers understand the history of temperatures on earth.

The study by the academy, an independent advisory body based in Washington, will focus on the "hockey stick," a chart of past temperatures that critics say is inaccurate. The graph gets its name because of the sudden, blade-like rise of recent temperatures compared with past epochs.

The controversy took a sharp political turn in July when Rep. Joe Barton (R., Texas), head of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, launched a probe into the work of three climate specialists who generated the graph, including Michael Mann, now a professor at Pennsylvania State University.

Mr. Barton's inquiry drew a rebuke from several scientific societies as well as fellow Republican Sherwood Boehlert of New York, chairman of the House Committee on Science, who called it a blatant effort to intimidate global-warming researchers.

After Mr. Barton didn't respond to an offer to jointly bring the issue to the National Academy, Mr. Boehlert independently asked for a review in November, science committee chief of staff David Goldston said. "It appeared that the issue was not going to go away by itself. We thought this was an appropriate way to get an assessment of the science," Mr. Goldston said in an interview.

via wsj

Hat Tip just one minute .


RogerA said...

Damn Terrye: of all the topics you could have selected to set me off, global warming is right up there: the equivalent of cold hands on your holsteins.

The absolute arrogance of the "scientific" and thumbsucking community, that somehow thinks the last 1000 years of planetary history are significant is astounding. This planet we live on has been around for some 4-6 billion--thats right Billion years; 1000 years in geological time isnt even significant. Moreover: its been hot, and its been cold: ask the dinosaurs and the wooly mammoths.

And THIS evidence is the stuff people should have learned in the 4th grade--so what is it about "scientists" who cannot put geological time in a framework of statistical validity--I actually think the problem arises from these souls misguided efforts to think that humankind is somehow significant enough to influence things like precession or sunspot activity--It is their fixation on homo sapiens as somehow better than anything that has come down the historical pike--

It was just 500 years ago that Galileo was made to recant under pain of an auto da fe, that the earth revolved around the sun--the prevailing "scientific opinion" was otherwise--and then there was that phlogiston thing scientists took as dogma. And then when Wegener proposed the theory of continental drift he was laughed off the stage--hell even third graders could see how africa fit into south america--

Science is not sacred--in fact, the advances in science come from challenging the existing dogma--when our great great grandchildren look at "global warming" they will shake their heads in amazement.

Rick Ballard said...


They'll fit in between phrenology and cosmology - where it belongs.

Knucklehead said...


People my age did learn what you talk about in roughly the 4th grade; learned in a manner of speaking - leanring only means anything if it can be applied.

The problem is all the years of telling people what they learned doesn't matter, there's something new.

Sometimes it does, and sometimes it doesn't. Discerning between the two is the difficulty.

On the matter of global warming the fact is nothing matters. What the Gaia worshippers fail to understand is that Gaia is just one god in a universe of gods. She will do what she MUST do. And that will happen despite her will or ours. Ol' Sol will belch and Gaia will get a hot flash. Something will move through the universe and Gaia will shift her axis.

The earth will warm or cool as events far beyond human knowledge, let alone control, dictate.

Has everybody got problems?
Are you stuck in a deadend job?
Frustrated and dissatisfied?
Are you on the edge of suicide?
Terrorist bombers on the left,
Fascist plots on the right.
Mass destruction and homicide,
Are you horrified and terrified?
Such a shame.

We've all got problems we know,
There's one thing that's for sure,
There's only one cure for all your hangups and all your depressions.

Have another drink it'll make you feel better,
Have another drink and you'll feel alright.
If you feel down and you're under the weather
Have another drink and you'll feel alright.
(Repeat above four lines).

Facts and figures.
Filling out forms.
Reading circulars.
Dictating letters.
Is your occupation
Getting to your brain?
Is there no relief?
It's like a ball and chain.
There's no need to get depressed,
Worrying won't make it better.
There's only one consolation I can recommend.
Don't take my word for it, try it for yourself.

Have another drink and you'll feel alright.
Have another drink it'll make you feel better.
Have another drink and you'll feel alright.
Have another drink it'll make you feel better.
Have another drink and you'll feel alright.

If you're feeling down and you're under the weather,
Have another drink and you'll feel alright.
Have another drink it'll make you feel better,
Have another drink and you'll feel alright.

If you're feeling down and under the weather,
Have another drink and you'll feel alright.

Syl said...

Right now I don't care about hockey sticks because I've just spent two hours uninstalling the old, installing the new, configuring, and being met with big red X's all over the interface, taskbar, and tray because I'm not 'protected'. 'Serious! Immediate attention required!'

Tonite was my last night of my 2002 norton anti-virus subscription. So I went to renew.

Argghhh. No longer supported. You have to purchase the 2006 version instead. :(

I'm so tight it was hard enough to renew but I had to spend $40 for the privelege of wasting all this time just installing and configuring the thing so it protected me like the old stand-by did. Took me 15 minutes just to figure out how to turn live-protect off permanently and shut down its firewall so I could use XP's.

I didn't let it finish its full scan because I just ran one with the old version three days ago but it says I'm naughty and lazy and UNPROTECTED. Sheesh. I have 1.2 MILLION files and a full scan takes 8 1/2 hours and Norton has never ever ever ever found a virus or anything else on my machine.

I just want it for checking mail in Eudora and for the occasional right-click scan-this-folder type of deal and a full scan occasionally.

It even tried to protect IE from someone hijacking the home page url. Since nobody's ever tried that with me and I, myself, change my home page frequently (I do them myself with Dream Weaver--they're just sets of links mostly) and I don't want to be bothered, I turned that off too.

Joe has worked in security for years and I think he'd give Norton an 'F'. When security makes you mad, gets in your face, and throws yellow messages with big red 'X's at you the tendency is to trash the whole thing--leaving you with NO security whatsoever.

Sorry, Terrye, I just had to let off some steam.

Syl said...

Oh, shoot. I've got to get my mail (only pick it up every few days--I'm so sick of email) because Norton kept my credit card number and in a year will automatically charge me to renew. The email supposedly tells me how I can stop them from doing that.

I'm not much of a conservative because I don't get bent out of shape when the government does stuff--but I sure get annoyed when some private companies do.

Buddy Larsen said...

I did a Norton update which ultimately -- combined with a volcanic temper toward the cussedness of inanimate objects -- resulted in my having a whole new computer. The update kept saying "you can't do this unless you do that", which function kept saying "you can't...that unless...this". So the huge time-wasting phone calls yo Norton started (I felt like Jackie Gleason--"NORTON!"), and it all got much much worse. I ended up locked out of any windows log-in, had to invent a new me to go back into XP and try to log in--but the new 'me' wouldn't hold any settings. I finally called in the kids who ordered a new Dell, transferred the whole mess in one big file, put it on the new computer, and I'm still months later sorting it out. New unit has McAfee--works real nice.

Seneca the Younger said...

One word, folks: Macintosh.

Buddy Larsen said...

Plan to, as soon as I finish my Serbo-Croatian dance lessons.

David Thomson said...

"One word, folks: Macintosh."

Amen. We Mac users do not suffer such indignities. God loves us. Bill Gates sold his soul to the devil. When will the rest of the world realize this?

Peter UK said...

That will be the next culyture war Mac users against the rest.Macintosh is already accruing the attributes of a faith.

Syl said...

Well, you guys missed the point. What the anti-virus program did to me last night was get in my face because it considers me as stupid as a MAC user.

That has NOTHING to do with using a Windows machine and everything to do with the specific program I installed.

So there. Insult my machine and I'll insult you right back. :)

As for the subject, sorry again Terrye, I just recommend everyone read State of Fear and everything Crichton has ever written on the subject of global warming and environmentalism in general. I know you've read the book, Terrye. We probably mostly all have, actually.

Luther McLeod said...

Well, just to lightly step into the fray. Good point Peter :-) and, yes Syl LOL.

I certainly agree about reading Crichton. Even if you disagree with him (which I don't) it is hard for me to understand how his logic can be dismissed. Of course, true believers can overlook a lot of things.

terrye said...


Don't worry about it. Let off steam, as long as you are not mark it is ok fine with me.

BTW the other day Glen Reynolds gave the new Norton thingee the piece of crap alarm or something. I know it is going to be time for me to renew in a few days and I am putting it off as long as possible.

My brother got a Mac, but I am attached to my old machine.

Syl said...


Whew. Thank you.

I think I know what Glenn's problem was. Once you purchase and install, you have to let it phone home to validate that your installation is 'legal'. I think Glenn's refused to phone home and wouldn't make a connection.

Mine did that too. I don't know how Glenn solved his problem, but mine was because I had rebooted (as requested) and my proxy server hadn't loaded. So I opened IE and told it not to use a proxy server, told the anti-virus to try again and it phoned home successfully.

BTW, if you want to use all the features it offers you'll probably have no problems. I use my machine for rendering and everything this program does slows my machine down too much. It's an old machine and I need every processor cycle I can get.

My problem was in telling it I didn't want it to do what I had paid for. Sigh.

BTW, Auto-Protect did not turn off permanently as I told it to do in one dialog I found. Instead when I rebooted again this morning it turned it back on.

I had to wait for it to run and settle down, then turned off auto-protect again--only until the next reboot. My reboots instead of taking a few seconds take much longer now because of this stupid program.

That's a pisser because when I'm working in Poser or DAZ Studio, I need more memory than I have and using the swap file slows rendering down. I reboot to clear memory of the junk loaded in by surfing and stuff. Now reboots take longer and the little symantec icon flashes all its warnings and I have to deal with that too before I can get back to work.

Buddy Larsen said...

back in my old oilfield days sometimes my drilling fluid analysis instruments would glitch up--since I was usually physically remote and since letting the fluid go wrong is a well-damager if not killer, I sometimes had to work fast and unobstrusively ("What? You don't have a SPARE?"). Solution, drop the item in a 5-gal bucket of diesel. When this wouldn't fix it, it *would* let me order a special chopper run, as "Somebody dumped my VG meter in a bucket of diesel!"

RogerA said...

Actually, Mark, the species of mankind, in some fashion, has been around for millions of years; and I suspect had we been around longer, say into the Jurassic eras, we could have also have survived quite nicely.

I will grant the first 3 or 4 billions years probably werent all the much fun--but in our haste to condemn human activity, lets not throw out such things as solar cycles, precession and the like--1000 years doesnt tell you a whole heck of a lot--and why not go back at least 8000 years when our species started to settle down in the agricultural role.

This whole fascination with global warming looks to me more species centric than it does look like science.

Buddy Larsen said...

Mark, Google "carbon cycle himalayas"

Rick Ballard said...

Climate Audit is the website for the fellows who are sure to be as popular as Lonberg one of these days. McIntyre and McKitrick are applying statistics, in what appears to be a fairly standard manner, to the datasets used to promulgate the "Hockey Stick" and finding that the Hockey Team's methodology lacks the rigor one might hope for in scientific analysis.

It's an area where I wish that I had the background to follow the discussion more closely. I know there are other contributors here with sufficient background and I hope that they take a look and report back.

Buddy Larsen said...

That would be MHA, Morgan, and Seneca. I can count to ten (twenty with my boots off, but I usually pass out around 12 to 18, depending on the humidity).

Rick Ballard said...


I believe that there are a few more than that. I can sing right along with RogerA on the "look, isn't your X axis just a tad short?" but after that I'm wandering in the wilderness.

Buddy Larsen said...

The only time I can do math is playing cards for money--then I can almost physically feel my brain slopping itself around into a defensive position where it can force itself, dammit, to quit floating around in all the colors and vapors and ptomaine-induced spirit visions, and calculate !

terrye said...


My folks were in that oil business, the roughnecking end of it.

Buddy Larsen said...

Me, too, Terrye--Summers and various semesters when I felt more like Ishmael than a Longhorn, I'd find myself working derricks across Wyoming and Montana--out of Miles City and Casper. Miles City was so full of roughnecks and giant Canadian harvesters (the fellers, not the machines), plus the regular local cowboys--that it was probably about the last place on the planet to still look and feel like the Wild West--or the Hollywood Wild West, that is, har!--at least on Saturday nites 'downtown' around the hotel. Seem to be maybe 5 or 10 to 1 young drunk guys to every gal. Lotsa fisticuffs. I much preferred the summer I was sweet on the local druggist's daughter, and usually sat in their Victorian parlor with my hair slicked back being glared at by Pa, while the rest of the crew was drinking to oblivion down the street. Miles City was either hangovers and black-eyes, or extreme frustrated lust, take your pick. It coulda been 1868 rather than 1968.