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Judith Curry has written two blogs here and here on the significance of the "hide the
decline" email in the Climategate affair.
They have attracted a torrent of comments, over 1400 so far,
many of them interesting. I have left a comment there as
As a science journalist who first wrote about
climate change 23 years ago, in The Economist, I think Judith is
right to identify the hockey stick as a seminal icon whose
debunking is therefore also seminal. When I first properly looked
at that image, in a presentation by the UEA's David Viner, it was a
Road to Damascus moment for me. I had drifted in a sceptical
direction from orthodox alarmism over several years. The Vostok ice
core had stopped me in my tracks because it seemed to suggest
definitive evidence of CO2 attribution (though we now know the
effect comes before the cause), but it was the hockey stick graph
that caused me to do a U-turn, because it implied so plainly that
today's temperature was unprecendented in magnitude and rate of
change. I recanted my previous scepticism. Imagine then the impact
of discovering a few years later (via Climate Audit and Bishop
Hill) that the hockey stick graph was methodologically flawed and
based on poor data. I have friends who say "Ah, but the hockey
stick was never an important part of the argument". I disagree.