Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The "hockey stick" lives (not)!

It is hard to think of a scientific fraud that has been more comprehensively debunked than the infamous Mann "hockey stick", not least in the admirable summary written by Bishop Hill and, latterly, in the Booker column.

In a sane world, when the progenitor of the self-same icon of warmist theology pops up again – for the umpteenth time and says: "Hey chaps! I was right all along, and my latest work proves it," you might expect a certain amount of jaundiced scepticism.

But this is not a sane world.

Thus, when Michael Mann delivers his latest attempt to prove his "hockey stick", cheer-leaders such as Richard Black, Environment correspondent for the BBC News website, roll over, wave their legs in the air and utter admiring gurgles, offering the immortal phrase: "A new study by climate scientists behind the controversial 1998 'hockey stick' graph suggests their earlier analysis was broadly correct."

Black clearly has neither the wit nor integrity to postulate that a so-called scientist who is already a three-time loser is not going to get it right on his fourth attempt and that, in pursuit of his mystic goal of proving that the world is warmer now than it has ever been – at least, in the last 1300 years – that he might be a tad biased.

Not that Black is alone of course. The warmist groupies on The Daily Telegraph are quick to follow in the wake of the Beeb, pronouncing: "Past decade hottest for 1300 years in northern hemisphere", trotting out the unexpurgated doctrine of the sainted Mann, who sits at the right hand of Gore.

For the moment, however, coverage is relatively modest but the Christian Science Monitor offers a taste of things to come with its comments section. The first commentor tells us:

The team led by Mann has lost all credibility. They (sic) way they have deliberately obfuscated errors in their results, refused to disclose their methods, publish their data and kept on pushing flawed analysis makes anything they publish highly suspect. That their latest publication confirms their earlier results is neither surprising or informative. It is just a continuation of their standard behaviour.
…while the second offers:

This has to be an April Fool's Day gag, right? Michael Mann's original hockey stick made him such a laughing stock in the eyes of the world, it's hard to believe any scientific body worth its salt would keep him on the payroll. He has been thoroughly discredited, why would anyone believe a word he says?
One blogger, quick off the mark, heads his piece, "Climate fraudster Michael Mann resurfaces", while another notes: "This is bound to send the Warmists into a frenzy".

It is, of course, going to take some time to deconstruct the Mann paper, but it is worth noting that climatologists have difficulty deciding even today what is the current temperature. That Mann is so unequivocally able to assert what the temperature was 1300 years ago tells us all we need to know.

But then, as we have so often observed, we are not dealing with science here, so much as a belief system. Those who want to believe will continue to believe, while the rest of us stand back in amazement and marvel at the gullibility of the human species – or some of it.