Michael Mann whips that baby out

The hockey stick

The above graph is Michael Mann’s infamous 1998 “Hockey Stick,” long discredited. Nonetheless, I just listened to a Mann presentation from mid-2018, and he once again whipped that baby out, asserted that it is an accurate depiction of reality, and then went into his usual spiel about the need to convert to overpriced, subsidized and inefficient solar and wind energy. More about that later.

Right now I want to focus on a 2005 paper by Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKitrick, a statistician and an economist. The paper is on the wonky side, but worth the effort if you’ve the ability to digest terms like red noise, eigenvalues, and Monte Carlo simulations. What they found, and unreported by Mann, was a “data transformation” described as follows (and brace yourself, honey):

[3] MBH98 used principal components (PCs) to reduce the dimensionality of tree ring networks and stated that they used “conventional” PC analysis. A conventional PC algorithm centers the data by subtracting the column means of the underlying series. For the AD1400 step highlighted here, this would be the full 1400–1980 interval. Instead, MBH98 Fortran code (ftp://holocene.evsc.virginia.edu/pub/MBH98/TREE/ITRDB/NOAMER/pca-noamer) contains an unusual data transformation prior to PC calculation that has never been reported in print. Each tree ring series was transformed by subtracting the 1902–1980 mean, then dividing by the 1902–1980 standard deviation and dividing again by the standard deviation of the residuals from fitting a linear trend in the 1902–1980 period. The PCs were then computed using singular value decomposition on the transformed data.

At first glance, it seemed to be something confined to scientists, but I found it within my grasp when I saw this illustration of the effect of the Mann data transformation:

Mc Mc

The above line is Mann’s Hockey Stick, not as sexed up as the one on top. The bottom graph is the true results of analysis of tree ring data, 1400-1980, without the data transformation. In the bottom graph no trends are apparent.

Tree rings are not a reliable gauge of temperature. Why did Mann chooses them? I think the answer might be in the noise they contain. By monkeying with the data, Mann got his desired result, an incredibly powerful propaganda tool. Underneath Mann’s Hockey Stick is science fraud. What McIntyre and McKitrick discovered was that Mann’s methodology would result in a hockey stick no matter the input data. It did not hurt that Mann “hid the decline” at the end of the graph as well.

Scientific papers are written in sparse, sterile language for other scientists. Nonetheless, McIntyre and McKitrick used the word “disquieting” to describe Mann’s work. That’s the equivalent of using BOLDFACE and EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!! in everyday writing. They are calling Mann out. However, in our corrupt and hyper-charged environment, where hucksters and carnival barkers are yelling CLIMATE CRISIS! from every available podium, work like theirs goes unreported. In fact, if you use the Google to search for these two men, you’ll find the usual “been debunked” and other personal attacks on them, ad hominem being one of the primary weapons of the climate alarmist crowd.

Below is a graph based on Greenland ice cores going back in time to the end of our last ice age.

Warm periods

If you can read sideways, you’ll see in the green areas the Minoan Warm Period, the Roman Warm period, and the Medieval Warm Period. These are times when civilization flourished. Each was much warmer than our current Modern Warm period, giving the lie to the IPCC’s contention that our current warming period is “unprecedented.”  In between Medieval and Modern is the Little Ice Age. In between Roman and Medieval, not labeled, are the Dark Ages. Note that humanity prospers during times of warmth, and suffers immensely during times of cold. We are lucky to be alive in a time of warmth.

It appears that Mann’s objective, even stated outright in the Climategate emails, is to eliminate these recent periods of warmth from human history, along with the Little Ice Age. There can be only one reason for such distortion – to make propaganda. Behind the warmists is an agenda.

It is important to get to the nut of the matter. The alarmists are pushing solar and wind, inefficient and unreliable technologies, and urging the end of the use of fossil fuels. The end result of such a strategy, if it is successfully implemented, will be less wealth, less food, more human suffering, and a decrease in population trends. This is what I suspect the the ultimate goal of this immense propaganda campaign, to put an end to spreading prosperity. How much happier a place for the 1 or 2% who control most of the wealth if the 98% stay mired in suffering and poverty.

And it is all done by propaganda magic! They demonize CO2 without ever having to explain how the warming started as we came out of the Little Ice Age and continued well into the 1st half of the 20th century without a notable increase in CO2. But being on the receiving end of NSF grants that only fund CO2 demonization campaigns means never suffering a burden of proof. Just assert assert assert until my ass hurts. It gets worse … they fail to explain how a warmer planet is a danger to humans.

Right now I would like to take all of the climate scientists on the planet, put them in an auditorium, seal it off and let it fill with CO2 from their exhalations of doom and gloom, and then have them explain why they are not dying off from the resulting heat.

I should disclose something here … I spent most of my accounting career working for small independent oil and gas producers. Right now I own small interests in about twenty natural gas wells. I depend on those wells for part of my retirement income. Because natural gas is abundant, it is also cheap. I would like to see higher prices, as these wells are not delivering the income I hoped for. However, natural gas is cleaner and more efficient than coal, and puts out less CO2. It is the primary reason that the U.S. is putting out less CO2 into the atmosphere. We are slowly converting to natural gas. Not windmills. Not solar panels. Natural gas. I say this without conceding that CO2 is anything other than a friend of humanity.

PS: Just for shits and giggles:


9 thoughts on “Michael Mann whips that baby out

  1. Here’s data that helps explain consumption, a root cause of the controversy (“crisis”). https://ourworldindata.org/renewable-energy

    Please consider adding biomass and biofuels to the not-so-bright future or “renewables.” Cutting down forests for chip export to Asia and Europe to burn to generate electricity seems ultimately nonsensical to me. However, the EPA says it’s “sustainable” and “renewable.” Didn’t coal replace wood (10,000 BC to 1750 AD) by 1750, or so? Dumbing-down, much?


    1. There has been a separation, one that always existed, between real green and Big Green. Greenpeace, Sierra, WWF are Big Green, and have always been controlled opposition. I don’t know about the CO2 emissions associated with biomass and wood, but why are we even talking about it. We have plenty of coal and gas.

      Judith Curry and Patrick Moore appeared on a stage with Michael Mann for a debate last year. That is somewhat troubling. Normally, when you are dealing with an op like Mann, he would only consent to “debate” controlled opposition people. Both Curry and Moore are said to ahve left the AGW movement to fight it …

      …Remember Wendell Potter, the “ex” insurance executive that left his cushy job to fight the health insurance industry? Turns out he was on assignment, there to ensure that Obamacare got passed. He never left the industry, was controlled opposition. I went to a lecture by him in Denver, and during Q&A he called on everyone but me, and when I was the only one left, still refused to call on me, looking at me and saying “No more questions, I guess.” I always wondered about that, if he had been coached on how to spot people with real questions.


  2. My husband has worked in the oil and gas industry, in various capacities, for 45 years.

    We’ve always wondered why natural gas doesn’t fluctuate in price the way oil does, and why it isn’t pushed more as a better alternative.
    It’s cheap, it’s plentiful, it burns cleaner-
    As of now, only a very few vehicles, and city buses run on NG.
    They sometimes burn it off in flares on drilling sites and at refineries. 🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️

    It’s a mystery that only Big Oil can give you the answer to-
    They have more control and make more dollars from oil-
    Obviously TPTB don’t want this country running on NG.

    So many times we’ve thought it was going to spike and have thought about investing; then, nope!
    The price stays the same.


    1. There is a large turnover to natural gas in industry, electrical power generation and other uses. Automobiles require national infrastructure that is already there for gasoline, so it is difficult for one to push the other out. I had a chance to sell my gas well interests and saw all the pessimism around me and decided to hang in there, to be a contrarian. Prices have bounced back some, and one of my pet theories is that there is no free market, so ignore supply and demand. So far, I’ve not been proven wrong to do that. Or right.


      1. Yes!
        You would think a hard winter up north would increase demand; therefore prices would go up-
        But it doesn’t always happen that way-

        So supply and demand is not a good marker.


  3. That sounds about right to me… I’ve reached pretty similar conclusions about the goals of the operation.

    The topic comes up on NakedCapitalism a lot. They have many hardcore believers who seem to yearn to put on hairshirts, like penitents of old. Some are guilty about their carbon levels. Others are haughty about their sacrifices and look down on the sinners around them.

    The topic of elite hypocrisy arose once (celebs that are all “do as I say, not as I do”, flying on private jets etc.) That sparked a lot of passion. They largely concluded that the masses could not be expected to sacrifice if elites continued to enjoy lavish excess. Or that it would at least spur much more resentment, and rage, rebellious rumblings. I’m not so sure — just takes more spin and propaganda perhaps. Through incrementalism the planners can lower everyone gradually, and still remain in their own exclusive enclaves.


  4. Mark thank you one doesn’t have to read between the lines much to know what’s being shared here in your piece and by commenters. I would like to know more. For example what others besides Mann are whipping their stuff out with or without Mann? Names would be much appreciated. Video and/or audio links would be heaven sent. If needed I’ll take care of postage.
    So tired of sleeping eyes wide shut.


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