Climate High-Sticking

Embedded below, if I have mastered the custom Power Line formatting, is a stunning five-minute video of Berkeley physicist Richard Muller shredding the infamous climate “hockey stick” that is making the rounds widely on the Internet, so Power Line readers should see it too. (You can see the entire 52 minute lecture from which this excerpt is drawn here.) Never heard of Muller? You’ll start to hear from him now. He’s the author of several fine books, including one I especially recommend entitled Physics for Future Presidents: The Science Behind the Headlines.
While most of the attention toward the skeptic community has been centered on MIT’s Richard Lindzen, Fred Singer, and other who have stepped out big against the current on this issue, Muller has been quietly and strongly weighing in on climate science and related energy issues for several years, but a bit more cautiously. I first took note of this Technology Review article in 2003, in which Muller expressed skepticism of the “hockey stick,” though in measured tones:

When I first read the Mann papers in 1998, I was disappointed that they did not discuss such systematic biases in much detail, particularly since their conclusions repealed the medieval warm period. In most fields of science, researchers who express the most self-doubt and who understate their conclusions are the ones that are most respected. Scientists regard with disdain those who play their conclusions to the press. I was worried about the hockey stick from the beginning. When I wrote my book on paleoclimate (published in 2000), I initially included the hockey stick graph in the introductory chapter. In the second draft, I cut the figure, although I left a reference. I didn’t trust it enough.

But in the aftermath of Climategate, Muller is “going big” you might say. Watch this and you’ll see what I mean, especially his summary phrase, “You’re not allowed to do this in science.” Muller is not just tenured, but is late in his career, so feels free to speak out, unlike younger academics who don’t dare cross the Climate McCarthyism of the universities. More importantly, Muller is heading up the new Berkeley Earth Temperature Study, which will review and analyze all of the data on this subject starting from scratch. Unlike the Climategate cabal in Britain and in our NASA, the Berkeley group will share its data with all comers. Keep your eye on this; it will take time–years more than months probably–but may prove to be the thread that unravels the main prop of the climate campaign.

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