Spot the Hockey Stick #17: Lloyds of London

Following the discussion on insurers, RMS and climate change, someone pointed out that Lloyds of London also quotes a certain reconstruction of past temperatures. It wasn’t on the front page, but it wasn’t difficult to spot.

From the document linked as “Adapt or Bust” but included as part of a document on “Catastrophe” as part of the “360 Report” series (page 14) comes this:

land and air


The 1990s was the warmest decade
for a thousand years

Facts & stats

In addition to sea temperatures, land and air temperatures
provide an important measure of climate variation, and
have been reliably monitored for many decades.
It is generally agreed that the 1990s was the warmest decade,
and 2005 the warmest year, in a millennium. The below well
known graph illustrates that current temperature levels are
well out of line with the past.


It doesn’t inspire confidence in me that Lloyds still uses this to prove its case. Oh, and this was published in 2006, so no excuses about not knowing about the Hockey Stick’s true provenance will be entertained.


  1. Posted May 5, 2007 at 9:59 AM | Permalink

    Insurance premiums are a function of risk. If the public perceives an increased risk, then they can raise premiums.

  2. John Blethen
    Posted May 5, 2007 at 10:11 AM | Permalink

    $7.2 billion profit last year:

  3. Stan Palmer
    Posted May 5, 2007 at 10:36 AM | Permalink

    Is anyone else here old enough to remember the repines to the Challenger space shuttle disaster. There was an absolute feeding frenzy among insurers for liability insurance. Rates skyrocketed and claims were made that rates were only going to go higher. However there was no underlying crisis that required this. It was only retail insurers taking advantage of consumer credulousness. Children’s athletic leagues were being forced to suspend operations because they could not afford the insurance. How the destruction of a US government owned and operated research vehicle could cause an increase in risk for childrens’ athletic leagues was never explained. What happened was that institutions such as school boards, which were faced with enormous insurance premiums, stated to insure themselves and offset their self-insurance by entering the re-insurance fields themselves. They cut out the retail insurance level and liability premiums collapsed.

    The same thing can happen with climate change. It is understood that insurance companies, like most others, cannot help themselves. They will take any excuse to try to gouge the public. However insurance is easy to write and the re-insurance filed is open to all significant players.

  4. nanny_govt_sucks
    Posted May 5, 2007 at 11:14 AM | Permalink

    Insurers will use any excuse to raise their rates.

    Reminds me of the SNL fake-commercial skit where senior citizens were frightened into buying insurance against robot attacks (video is online here:

  5. samoore
    Posted May 5, 2007 at 7:26 PM | Permalink

    Steve, thanks for this.

    It makes for interesting reading (around the campfire, late at night, to scare the children).
    They “out-Gore” Big Al!

    One look at the bibliography, though, explains a lot….

  6. John Nicklin
    Posted May 7, 2007 at 8:35 AM | Permalink

    4: Nanny_govt_sucks

    Insurers will use any excuse to raise their rates.

    The other side of this fundamental law is that the insurers will use any excuse not to pay. Its like one of our Canadian philosophers, Red Green, said: “At the top of the insurance form they tell you in big numbers what they are going to pay… and in really small letters at the bottom, they tell you why they aren’t going to pay it.”

  7. Jos Verhulst
    Posted May 7, 2007 at 9:08 AM | Permalink

    The Hockey Stick also appears in Der Spiegel (a major German weekly), May 7th, 2007, p.153. Moreover, on p.154 Raymond Bradley is introduced as one of the authors behind the Hockey Stick, and is quoted as saying: “Wir müssen (…) davon ausgehen, dass es noch nie im letzten Millenium wärmer war als heute” (‘we should accept as a basic fact, that never during the past millenium is was warmer than it is today’). Moreover, Der Spiegel also writes: “Kritiker versuchten bisher vergebens, Bradley und seinem Mitstreiter Michael Mann Fehler in ihren Berechnungen nachzuweisen” (‘sceptics tried to find errors in the calculations of Bradley and his associate Michael Mann, but until now without any success’).

  8. John A
    Posted May 7, 2007 at 9:15 AM | Permalink

    Re #7


    Could you send a copy to my e-mail address? I can get it translated no problem.

  9. John A
    Posted May 7, 2007 at 9:50 AM | Permalink

    Actually Jos, I can give you another german language article dealing with carbon dioxide, the greenhouse effect and the Hockey Stick “The CO2 Fraud,the greatest scientific scandal of modern times”. It contains the following graphic comparing the IPCC TAR to the SAR, with a comment that will warm the cockles of Steve’s heart.

    [The German word “falsche” means “false”]

  10. Jos Verhulst
    Posted May 7, 2007 at 9:55 AM | Permalink

    I have only a paper version of the article. The title is “Der wohltemperierte Planet”. It is possible to buy it at the website of ‘Der Spiegel’, but it isn’t freely available.

  11. T J Olson
    Posted May 8, 2007 at 2:47 AM | Permalink

    The dodgy delay in getting up-to-date for Lloyds, leading to certainty, is worse than you know, Steve.

    Check out this piece a reported by Reuters.

    Droughts and rising sea levels are increasing! The Amazon may run dry and flooding could swell by an order of magnitude! “These things are fact, not hypothesis,” said Wendy Baker, the president of Lloyd’s America in an interview on Monday.

    It’s mass hysteria out there.

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