Tuesday, March 22, 2005

The Bigger Can Of Worms: Hockey Stick Redux

A while ago, I pointed out a fairly old piece by Richard Muller at UC Berkeley, itself relaying research by McKitrick and McIntyre poking holes in the Michael Mann work forecasting general global warming and placing anthropogenic CO2 generation as the cause thereof. Via Slashdot, in this latest go-round, M&M have a slightly different beef with Mann; namely, that he hasn't published the full source of his model and in fact refuses to do so.

This is no insignificant issue. We need a clear idea that the science underlying any forecasting methodology is sound, and if that methodology is opaque, it becomes little more than orthodoxy.

Those wishing to label me a "nut" would be reminded at this time that, in certain circles, Peak Oil is also just a "theory". Whether McKitrick and McIntyre are right or wrong is largely immaterial here; the important thing is the process used to determine whether Mann's hypothesis is correct or not. Spreading ad hominems strikes me as the wrong way to go about this.