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The Hockey Stick Illusion Kindle Edition

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Length: 489 pages

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Andrew Montford's The Hockey Stick Illusion is one of the best science books in years. It exposes in delicious detail, datum by datum, how a great scientific mistake of immense political weight was perpetrated, defended and camouflaged by a scientific establishment that should now be red with shame. It is a book about principal components, data mining and confidence intervals--subjects that have never before been made thrilling. It is the biography of a graph...Montford's book is written with grace and flair. Like all the best science writers, he knows that the secret is not to leave out the details (because this just results in platitudes and leaps of faith), but rather to make the details delicious, even to the most unmathematical reader. I never thought I would find myself unable to put a book down because--sad, but true--I wanted to know what happened next in an r-squared calculation. This book deserves to win prizes.
Matt Ridley, Prospect

Andrew Montford tells this detective story in exhilarating style.
Joe Brannan, Geoscientist

For anybody who wants to understand the scientific and psychological background to Climategate, there is no better read than Andrew Montford's new book, The Hockey Stick Illusion: Climategate and the Corruption of Science.
Peter Foster, National Post

About the Author

Andrew Montford - The author studied chemistry at St Andrews University. He is a respected blogger at Bishop Hill where his layperson's explanations of the Hockey Stick debate have won wide acclaim. He lives in rural Scotland with his wife and three children.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2979 KB
  • Print Length: 489 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1906768358
  • Publisher: Stacey International (June 6, 2011)
  • Publication Date: June 6, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005A54KEM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #588,723 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

274 of 360 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 25, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is a superb review of the story of the hockeystick, the temperature reconstruction which was supposed to show that late 20th century temperatures were unprecedented for at least 1,000 years and which was highlighted in the third IPCC report in 2001. What Montford does in this book is take us through Steven McIntyre's attempt to reproduce the original result of Michael Mann and the controversy that followed. His account is very well written and it reads like a detective story. The technical details of the debate are clearly explained even though there is no heavy mathematics or statistics. He tells the story chronologically and gives a good feel of what people on both sides of the debate actually said at the time (and there are plenty of references as well as judicious quotes from all sides). I have been following this debate for the past five years or so. To my mind this gives as clear an account of the debate as we are likely to see. What is now clear is that the Mann conclusions, far from being based on coherent evidence across a geographical widespread range of proxies all showing similar patterns across the Northern hemisphere, were based on a tiny subset of proxies, bristlecone and foxtail pines, from California whose anomalous 20th century growth was almost certainly not caused by high temperature. The apparently broad evidence was an illusion created by an eccentric implementation of a standard statistical technique called principal components analysis. Mann's version of this (which appears to be his own creation) effectively mined his hundred plus proxies for any which had hockeystick shapes and then gave them huge weight in the analysis. What is worrying about all this is not so much the fact that a paper is wrong.Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Rapley on April 16, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One of the most important books of modern times. A very erudite, well-read commentator on science and society, Montford demolishes the global warming scam, one lie at a time. This is one of the most important books to read if you are the least bit concerned about maintaining life on this planet. A very brave man, Monford stands agains the plethora of commentators who have been bought by governments and big industry to promote the myth of global warming as a thinly-veiled initiative to generate new income tax streams. This is book that is a MUST-READ.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 14, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Shocking! The book tells a comprehensive story of the scientific paper used as propaganda for boosting the prospects of alarmists to loot tax payer money for their "researches". Filed with examples of scientific misconduct, written in a compelling, electrified manner.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By rickzz on February 9, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There's ample historical and temperature proxy evidence the world was warmer during the Medieval Warming period (1000-1300s) than today. Then, temperatures declined from 1300-1800s ("little ice age") before warming again in the late 19th century. This all happened at a time when CO2 levels were flat and much lower than today.

In the past century, global temperatures rose by ~1C (0.5C from the 1970s to 1990s) during a time when CO2 levels significantly increased due to industrialization. By itself, CO2 should warm the earth by ~1C per doubling of CO2 ("climate sensitivity"). Alarmists, though,hypothesize positive feedback will also kick in and magnify the sensitivity to 3-10C due to increased water vapor, which is the most powerful greenhouse gas. But this has never been proven and the real-world evidence is shaky at best (climate models don't count as real evidence). Since 1998, temperatures have been flat with slight random fluctuations. So it's both true that recent temperatures have been "flat" and also at "record" highs- unless you include the Medieval warming period. The MWP is significant then because it casts doubt on the AGW hypothesis- the notion that CO2 has high climate sensitivity. The simpler null hypothesis is that we're well within natural variation and that most of the 20th century warming was not due to CO2.

In 1998, Michael Mann et al published a temperature reconstruction of the past 1000 years with a "hockey stick" shape, which claimed to prove that the Medieval Warming period wasn't that warm (or global) after all and that late 20th century temperatures were at unprecedented levels. The hockey stick became the face of AGW and convinced the public (myself included) that AGW was a dire threat.
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99 of 145 people found the following review helpful By George Gilder on February 24, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The plot of the Hockey Stick Illusion will be familiar to any follower of the Colombo shows on television. In each case, we see the humble investigator initially ignored, brushed aside, stonewalled, disdained, doubletalked, waffled, red herringed, and evaded by lofty and complacent Establishment figures, citing their own authority, crowded schedules, sophisticated reasoning, advanced degrees, abstruse mathematics, and exalted ideals.

In this case, the Columbo figure is Steve McIntyre, a Canadian mining consultant. A.W. Montford's book tells the gripping and suspenseful details of McIntyre's pursuit of the self-denominated "hockey team" led by Michael Mann, who wrote the key chapters on his own work for the IPCC, and Phil Jones, who maintains the temperature record used by the IPCC to document the "Hockey Stick": showing unprecedented and anomalous anthropogenic global warming in the Twentieth Century while denying that any comparable or greater warming occurred in the Medieval period.

McIntyre relentlessly replicates and decodes the increasingly desperate devices used by the climatocrats to defend their findings. But parallel to this fascinating story is the amazing tale of the ascent of Mann. From an obscure newly minted PhD in 1998 at the U Mass department of geosciences, he became the Lead Author of the crucial Observed Climate Variability chapter in the IPCC report, contributor to several other chapters, 'Scientific Advisor' to the White House on climate change, pundit on CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, BBC, NPR, PBS, and scores of Establishment newspapers and magazines.
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