From Webster’s dictionary
1. a natural object or an animate being, as an animal or bird, assumed as the emblem of a clan, family, or group.
2. an object or natural phenomenon with which a family or sib considers itself closely related.
3. a representation of such an object serving as the distinctive mark of the clan or group.
4. anything serving as a distinctive, often venerated, emblem or symbol.
It was William “Stoat” Connelley, Wikipedia administrator, keeper of multiple blogs, Green Party candidate and, one hopes, assiduous climate modeller during his spare time, who gave the reason why we keep encountering a certain statistical reconstruction of past climate in response to my query
Of course, the mere fact that the “totemizing” was propagated by the IPCC, the environmental lobby and especially the authors of this blog as “the scientific consensus” should cause disinterested viewers to wonder as to who is trying to fool who.
Response: in fact the totemising has mostly been done by the skeptics.
One of the doyennes of what can fairly be described as climate alarmism would be the author James Lovelock, creator of the suspiciously anthropomorphic Gaia Hypothesis. In 2006, Lovelock published his latest polemic on the state of the world: “The Revenge of Gaia” in which all sorts of catastrophes awaited the world, including the dread spectre of Global Warming.
In the section on global warming, which comes rather incongruously after a discussion about astronauts falling into black holes, Lovelock reveals his secret weapon:
For several tears now I have had on the wall above my desk that amazing graph of the temperature of the northern hemisphere from the year 1000 to the year 2000. It was produced by the American scientist Michael Mann from a mass of data from tree rings, ice cores and coral. It is called in America, mostly by sceptics, the “Hockey Stick” graph. This is because it looks like a hockey stick lying flat with a striking end pointing upwards. I keep it in view to reinforce my arguments with sceptics of global heating and also as a reminder of how severe it will be. The graph shows the natural fluctuations of temperature, and for the first 800 years of the past millennium there is a slight but perceptable downward trend, which, if projected, points to an ice age in about 10,000 years.
Then, at the start of the industrial period, it slowly begins to rise, and with ever increasing acceleration it climbs to reach temperatures nearly 1oC above the long term average. A single degree rise temperature may seem trivial, but remember we are looking at an average for half the world, the northern hemisphere. The difference between the long term average of the graph and the ice age, 11,000 years ago, is just over 5oC. The IPCC 2003 report suggests that the line of the Hockey Stick graph might rise another 5oC during this century. This is about twice as much as the temperature change from the ice age to pre-industrial times.
I’m sure “Stoat” will be on the phone immediately with James Lovelock to express his distaste at this totemization of the Hockey Stick at the behest of evil sceptics.
One must assume that even in the ancient year of 2006, Lovelock had never heard of McIntyre & McKitrick. Or Wegman. Or Cubasch. Or von Storch. Or … well let’s just say that its a small world Lovelock lives in.
My impression of “The Revenge of Gaia” could be summed up as “I’m too old for this to affect me but everyone much younger is basically screwed“. Yes, it’s that much fun to read.