Mark Steyn’s most recent book, A Disgrace to the Profession” – The World’s Scientists In Their Own Words on Michael Mann, His Hockey Stick and Their Damage to Science, is an expose on the scientist who proposed the idea that earth’s temperatures remained stable for 900 years, then suddenly began warming in the 19th century.
Steyn compiled the writings and comments of one hundred scientists from around the world into what he is calling Volume I, promising to issue another volume that includes another one hundred.
He quotes Nobel Prize winner Ivar Giaever, who said, “in pseudoscience you begin with a hypothesis which is very appealing to you, and then you look for things which confirm the hypothesis.”
Those who oppose Michael Mann and his statements of fact that mankind is causing global warming are numerous, and not just among scientists.
In an article posted in December of 2009, shortly after the exposure of scientific impropriety by Michael Mann and The University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (dubbed ClimateGate), author Chelsea Schilling wrote the following:
“A new report reveals a British scientist and Wikipedia administrator rewrote climate history, editing more than 5,000 unique articles in the online encyclopedia to cover traces of a medieval warming period – something Climategate scientists saw as a major roadblock in the effort to spread the global warming message… A 1995 e-mail predating the Climate Research Unit scandal was sent to geophysicist David Deming. A major climate-change researcher told Deming, “We have to get rid of the Medieval Warming Period.”
It wasn’t just the Medieval Warming Period (MWP) that became a target, but also the Little Ice Age (LIA).
It is simple history that the MWP occurred, but the exact time it occurred is not. It is generally believed to have occurred from 900-1300 AD. During this time, when temperatures may have risen around 3.5 degrees F higher, agricultural productivity and crop diversity increased, and Norse settlements in Iceland and Greenland occurred. There are “records of bountiful harvests over much of Europe.”
The Little Ice Age occurred from around 1300 to 1850 AD. Indirect evidence (called proxy records, such as ice cores and tree rings) and historical documents indicate that the temperature dropped between 1.8 and 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit. There are reports of glaciers in the Alpines that grew far beyond where they are today, wiping out farms and villages.
There are also reports of famines, crop failures and decreases in commercial fish catches. The Norse colonies in Greenland were trapped by ice and suffered with starvation.
Other reports say that American Indians were forced to change their source of food from agriculture to hunting, and Japan felt temperature drops of more than 6 degrees Fahrenheit.
The significance of the historical records of the MWP and LIA is their impact on the veracity of Michael Mann’s hockey stick. Many of the scientists in Steyn’s book immediately noticed the absence of the MWP and LIA in the flat portion of the hockey stick graph, and found that reason enough to dismiss it as pseudoscience.
Ivar Giaever, whom I quoted earlier, resigned from the American Physical Society because of their statement that the evidence of manmade global warming was “incontrovertible” and urged fellow scientists to do the same. He said, “… in 2008, I was on a panel here about global warming and I had to learn something about it and I spent a day or so – half a day maybe – on Google. And I was horrified by what I learned… Global warming has become a new religion – because you can’t discuss it, and that’s not right.”
He added, “In the last 150 years, the Earth has got warmer according to these people. But human health has got better, the social system is better, everything is better… Why is it suddenly getting ‘worse’?”
Other scientists quoted in the book have a similar view toward the hockey stick curve. Dr. Hamish Campbell, PHd and geologist and paleontologist, said that “Mann’s ‘hockey stick’ has indeed been substantively discredited.” Professor Jonathan Jones, DPhil, a professor of physics, said, “Do I expect you to publicly denounce the hockey stick as obvious drivel? Well, yes.” And there are many more similar quotes.
Why is it so important to get this right by rejecting junk science? Because we need real science on which to form good life decisions that will benefit all of mankind. More on this next week.