Why a Stock Analyst Saw Through the “Hockey Stick” Hoax

Attending the Fourth International Conference on Climate Change, I was surprised by the response Stephen McIntyre, primary author of the Climate Audit blog, and early exposer of Michael Mann’s fraudulent “hockey stick” graph (and continuing exposer of the numerous additional “hockey sticks“), gave to a question as to how he got involved in this whole area. It turns out he hadn’t even heard of the IPCC until 2002, when he got interested in the subject during a conversation with a geologist friend. And, contrary to the “Climategate” emails from which one would deduce McIntyre to be a dangerous ideologue from whom information must be hidden, it turns out he was and is totally disinterested in the political implications of climate research, and would in fact support governmental involvement as legitimate.

Rather, he was struck when he read the material his friend had told him about by its hockey stick graph, because as a mining stock analyst he was familiar with the irregularity of such a sudden, extraordinarily rising curve. He had previously seen graphs depicting such a rapid swing from flat to a dramatically rising curve only in projections made by dot-com start-ups, and he knew that such an extreme swing could only be plotted based on wildly unlikely assumptions. He thus submitted a very respectful request to Mann and the preeminent Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia (CRU) for their underlying data. And the rest, most fortunately, is now history.

Mr. McIntyre recommends the following as the most cogent explanation of Mann’s creative methodology that he subsequently exposed:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Scientists Hide Global Warming Data
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party

Surprisingly, McIntyre defends Mann and his colleagues from accusations of fraud, apparently because they weren’t utilizing their “tricks” to sell stock. He unfortunately fails to recognize that the taxpayers whose money has and continues to be stolen in order to support their work have been defrauded, or that which would be perpetrated upon the millions whose lives would be destroyed should the policies such data is designed to support be implemented. I find it extraordinary that someone who has as doggedly pursued and uncovered so much brazen dishonesty—and who has been viciously attacked in the process—would retain such a view, but despite our philosophical differences, Steve McIntyre is a genuine hero and well deserves the standing ovation the audience of 800 gave him.

Mary L. G. Theroux is Senior Vice President of the Independent Institute. Having received her A.B. in economics from Stanford University, she is Managing Director of Lightning Ventures, L.P., a San Francisco Bay Area investment firm, former Chairman of the Board of Advisors for the Salvation Army of both San Francisco and Alameda County, and Vice President of the C.S. Lewis Society of California.
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