As a result of my following the Michael Mann/Mark Steyn case (well, cases nowI’ve found myself arguing with a rather tough-minded reader in the comments section. You can see the whole thing over in my “How to Argue LIKE STALIN” post. One of the things my reader put me onto was the following report from the University of East Anglia, about the Climate Research Unit, in which it says the following:
CRU publications repeatedly emphasize the discrepancy between instrumental and tree-based proxy reconstructions of temperature during the late 20th century, but presentations of this work by the IPCC and others have sometimes neglected to highlight this issue.
Got that? CRU scientists have been pointing out, repeatedly, that proxy reconstructions (the hockeystick) are not as solid as all that, but the IPCC has been known to ‘neglect to highlight’ this point.
One thing I have been saying for some time is that there is a yawning chasm between what the science says and what the popular press says. Now please look at that comment again. If even the IPCC is simplifying things – how much worse is the case in the popular media?
When was the last time you read an article in the popular media that even mentioned that we are still quite unsure as to what the exact climate of past centuries was? Plenty of scientists acknowledge this basic point, and have said so in print in the best scientific journals there are – but when was the last time the Guardian or the New York Times mentioned this point?
This is why so many people think the whole thing is nonsense – they are being fed a false and hyped image of what is actually going on.