The Hockey Season is Over

by Einar Du Rietz

…and the famous/infamous hockey stick got stowed away long before the latest world championship even started. Then occasionally picked out again.

The IPCC took out the hockey stick graph from two of their last reports. Somehow, it managed to creep back into the report submitted before Copenhagen, apparently picked up by one of the assistants, from Wikipedia.

Now, even the inventor of this symbol, Michael Mann, concedes that it was, if not altogether wrong, at least “misplaced”. In an BBC interview  summarized in the British Daily Telegraph by reporter Louise Gray, he concludes that “I always thought it was somewhat misplaced to make it a central icon of the climate change debate.”

So, it’s misplaced in the debate? Thought for a while that it was misplaced on the chart.

There are a lot of things to say about this symbol, or myth, make your pick. In the original chart, it takes off at the same time as the country with roughly 1/4 of the world’s weather stations collapsed. And though there might have been a trend during the 90’s, this has certainly not continued during the current millennium.

But symbols and myths are powerful things with their own lives. So the stick will most likely be there, together with the poor polar beers (whose population is increasing) and those mysteriously melting mountain top ice caps that maybe someone sometimes spotted. And even if the dutch win the soccer finals on Sunday, they are probably drowning.

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About the Author: Einar Du Rietz

Einar Du Rietz is a journalist and communications consultant based in Europe. He has authored several environmental reports for the Electrolux Group and written many blogs for the Center for the New Europe at CNE Environment.