But more importantly global warming hit centre stage because in 1988 the UN set up its Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (the IPCC). Through a series of reports, the IPCC was to advance its cause in a rather unusual fashion. First it would commission as many as 1,500 experts to produce a huge scientific report, which might include all sorts of doubts and reservations. But this was to be prefaced by a Summary for Policymakers, drafted in consultation with governments and officials - essentially a political document - in which most of the caveats contained in the experts' report would not appear.[snip]
Not the least of his efforts was his bid to suppress an article co-authored by Dr Revelle just before his death. Gore didn't want it to be known that his guru had urged that the global warming thesis should be viewed with more caution. One of the greatest problems Gore and his allies faced at this time was the mass of evidence showing that in the past, global temperatures had been higher than in the late 20th century.So, are any of the these claims true? If so, it's pretty devastating, methinks. Unless, of course, these are all oil-company-funded tyrants who want to Suppress The True Faith and so on?
In 1998 came the answer they were looking for: a new temperature chart, devised by a young American physicist, Michael Mann. This became known as the "hockey stick" because it showed historic temperatures running in an almost flat line over the past 1,000 years, then suddenly flicking up at the end to record levels.
Mann's hockey stick was just what the IPCC wanted. When its 2001 report came out it was given pride of place at the top of page 1. The Mediaeval Warming, the Little Ice Age, the 20th century Little Cooling, when CO2 had already been rising, all had been wiped away.
But then a growing number of academics began to raise doubts about Mann and his graph. This culminated in 2003 with a devastating study by two Canadians showing how Mann had not only ignored most of the evidence before him but had used an algorithm that would produce a hockey stick graph whatever evidence was fed into the computer. When this was removed, the graph re-emerged just as it had looked before, showing the Middle Ages as hotter than today.
It is hard to recall any scientific thesis ever being so comprehensively discredited as the "hockey stick". Yet the global warming juggernaut rolled on regardless, now led by the European Union.
[H/t to Fr. Longenecker for this link. He suggests some reasons the global-warming apocalyptic scenario has capture the imagination so much.]
[Oh, and here's a little note from Pajamas Media: those going to the next UN Climate Change Conference in the Indonesian resort of Bali will be flying Business Class.
The would-be regulators of the world's climate (and your wallet) are flying business class for two weeks in December at Bali's seaside luxury resort of Nusa Dua for the UN Climate Change Conference 2007. Pajamas Xpress blogger Claudia Rosett presumes that between beachgoing, tennis and spa treatments they will be discussing "the many ways in which the UN can collect fees and fund more conferences via taxes and productivity caps administered by the same UN system which refuses to open its own books to the public"Heh.]