Montford’s Hockey Stick Illusion
If you haven’t picked up and read a copy of A.W. Montford’s recent Hockey Stick Illusion, then you really should do it. I’m so impressed that I’ve decided to write a chapter by chapter review, as time permits. I thought I had known most of the general Hockey Stick story, but Montford filled in lots of gaps with details I hadn’t been aware of.
Chapter 1 focuses on the roots of the global warming movement, beginning with Arrhenius, Callendar and the World Meteorological Organisation, and moves on to 1988 when James Hansen’s testified before Congress. That year the UN went on to create the IPCC. Already claims of scientific consensus we’re sprouting.
In the IPCC’s First Assessment Report (FAR) in 1990, Montford describes the 1000-year temperature graph showing how the MWP was warmer than today’s temperatures, a graph the IPCC soon came to regret. Being a real nuisance, the MWP had to go to make way for the new desired narrative of CAGW. Geoscientist David Deming, who was a potential recruit for revising the historical record, describes how he was sent an e-mail by a prominent U of Arizona scientist with the astonishing statement:
We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period.
Subsequent papers showing a warmer MWP were smacked down by science journals. Then came MBH98, and the AGW movement was on its feet and marching. The troublesome MWP had been erased and the 20th century was made to be the warmest on record. The movement was on rails.
Montford describes the media explosion that ensued and how the Hockey Stick was prominently featured in the IPCC third assessment report, making it THE key argument for the need to curb CO2 emissions, and making the once obscure Michael Mann a celebrated scientist. The groundwork for the greatest hoax of all time was now in place.
There’s no shortage of intriguing detail. It’s a book that keeps the light on at night.