Nothing But An Illusion

Open your eyes America, for what you are about to see is the greatest illusion ever conceived! On the count of three, you will awake to find the world is warmer, ice caps have melted, and forests are burning. You will find yourself blaming those who enable the advancement of society, the producers of oil and gas, and all manufacturing companies. Your ears will become deaf to all who try to tell you differently.


Not so fast...!

The cornerstone to many global warming alarmists' marketing campaigns, included in Al Gore's movie “An Inconvenient Truth” and most recently in a 2009 Climate Change Science Compendium released by the United Nations Environment Programme is the use of a little graph that looks like a hockey stick. This graph was first created by American Climatologist Michael Mann but later used in many other journal articles using completely different sets of data.

This graph basically says that as the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increases, the temperature of the planet will increase. This could be true and maybe it is, but the problem is that the data is presented in a deceptive way. Steve McIntyre, a retired statistician from Canada, was able to show back in 2003 that the data from Mann's graph was gathered in such a fashion that a hockey stick graph would almost always be created.

McIntyre also demonstrated that the hockey stick graphs created by the other researchers took on the hockey stick shape only when key data points were omitted. Once these key data points where included, the graph no longer had a hockey stick-like shape but became a straight line, meaning that there is no correlation between levels of carbon dioxide and global temperature! But shhh, Al Gore's "An Iconvenient Truth" would not be nearly as profitable using this undramatic data!

The graph below shows Mann's hockey graph with key data points missing versus McIntyre's graph with the key data points included.

Believe what you like, but I'd take news about global warming from Mann, a Canadian who is used to working with numbers, pretty graphs, and who probably wouldn't complain about it being a few degrees warmer outside, rather than from a politician who claims he invented the Internet.




McIntre, S. (2005). Hockey sticks, principal components, and spurious significance. Geophysical Research Letters, 32, 5.


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