Time to move on with global warming
In his letter “Putting their faith in a phony” (June 26, aspentimes.com), the writer suggests we “dig a little deeper than Wikipedia” in debating the causes of climate change. He contends Michael Mann’s hockey stick graph of the recent and dramatic rise in global temperatures was “totally discredited” by two industry types named McKitrick and McIntyre, and debunked by far-right pundit Mark Steyn in “A Disgrace to the Profession.”
So let’s dig deeper.
Mann’s hockey stick drew a lot of fire in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s from industry experts like McKitrick and McIntyre, but their attempts to discredit Mann ultimately failed. The National Research Council’s congressionally requested 2006 report on the controversy concluded that Mann, although he was wrong on some details, was basically right: “There is sufficient evidence from tree rings, boreholes, retreating glaciers, and other ‘proxies’ of past surface temperatures to say with a high level of confidence that the last few decades of the 20th century were warmer than any comparable period in the last 400 years.” (See www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=11676.). As the council’s chairman of the study said later, “The conclusions that we came to were essentially the same as the hockey stick.” (See http://old.seattletimes.com/html/businesstechnology/2010411091_apsciclimatehearing.html.).
As to whether Mann is a “disgrace,” consider this statement by the appeals court in Mann’s pending defamation suit against Steyn: “Follow-up, peer-reviewed studies published in the literature have independently validated conclusions illustrated by the hockey stick graph.” (See http://www.dccourts.gov/sites/default/files/2018-12/14-CV-101.pdf.).
Deep enough? Climate change deniers fought the hockey stick battle over a decade ago and lost. It’s time to stop debating whether there’s a problem and focus on solutions.