Having struggled valiantly over the years to provide a home for any writer or “scientist” who will challenge the global climate change consensus, Canada's National Post has started a series on “The Deniers,” people who the Post would laud for trying to undermine Canada's commitment to climate change policy.
First in the series was a “defence” of the esteemed statistician, Dr. Edward Wegman, who appeared earlier this year at a U.S. Senate committee with a critique of the ridiculously controversial “Mann Hockey Stick Graph.” Wegman's conclusions in that appearance have been interpreted variously as either a tacit endorsement of Michael Mann's benchmark climate reconstruction or as a devastating criticism. As the DeSmogBlog is not a science site, we recommend that you go to Mann's own RealClimate.org, if you want intelligent interpretation of the statistical bickering.
But there is a public relations element to this fight on which we can comment. The denial industry loves the Mann hockey stick entirely because it is controversial. People like Oklahoma Sentor James Inhofe and National Post business page editor Terence Corcoran obsess about Mann because they can pretend the controversy somehow calls into question all of the science behind the worldwide consensus that human activity is causing climate change.
But look at the attached graph (or go see the original at Wikipedia) . It shows 10 different climate reconstructions, all of which lead to the same sorry conclusion as Mann. The short black line, by the way, is the actual temperature since reliable global measurements began.
So, Dr. Wegman is an impressive (if somewhat territorial) statistician …. So, the Mann hockey stick is controversial …. So what?
The consensus remains, and questioning it is not an act of skepticism, it is an act of denial.