Some useful background: Steve McIntyre's presentation at Ohio State (Spring, 2008). As H. Ross Perot might say, "I find it fascinatin'. Jus' fascinatin'." A businessman started with a simple question: could he please see the data that supported the famous "hockey stick" showing that recent years were the hottest on record? And he uncovered one of biggest cans of worms ever. The whole story is amazing, but two especially entertaining bits are these:
A noted statistician, after reviewing the hockey stick paper and ensuing controversy, stated: "I am baffled by the claim that the incorrect method doesn’t matter because the answer is correct anyway. Method Wrong + Answer Correct = Bad Science." (p. 10)
Mann, the lead author of the original hockey stick paper, is quoted as objecting to the statistician's review: "[He] uncritically parrots claims by two Canadians . . ." (p. 11) You can understand Professor Mann's exasperation, can't you? If they're Canadians, how can they be right?
McIntyre has posted links to two reports that are harshly critical of the hockey stick result (and that were--surprise!--headlined incorrectly by the New York Times, Boston Globe, and Nature).
I was also interested to see that McIntyre has a section on his site, "Econometric References". It lists a dozen articles from the economics literature on how to do statistical analysis properly. The list doesn't make him right, but it does mean he's probably better read on a key issue than 99.9% of the journalists who write about global warming. (And probably more than a few of the scientists, too.)
For discussion related to the recently revealed information, some fine posts are the following:
John Hinderaker discusses four of the e-mails and concludes:
Apparently the alarmist climatologists acknowledge that SO2, frequently emitted in conjunction with CO2, nullifies, wholly or in part, any warming tendency associated with the CO2. What is the net effect? This is, obviously, an empirical, quantitative question. But these scientists can't answer it, not only because each of their models gives a different result, but because they have no idea how much SO2 is being emitted by the main countries that produce that pollutant, India and China. Having no idea what the facts are, their models are useless. It does appear, however, that one obvious alternative to impoverishing humanity in a most-likely-futile effort to stave off global warming would be emitting a whole lot of SO2 over the ocean, and continuing those emissions indefinitely rather than banning them as is currently contemplated by the warmists' models.
Devil's Kitchen deconstructs a "read me" file attached to the computer code.
Jeff Id comments on "The Hockey Stick Peer Review Gauntlet".
AJ Strata makes a good point about phony precision in the old temperature data.
The BBC's Martin Rosenbaum writes ". . . they [the e-mails] are certainly interesting from the FOI point of view."
If you'd like a perspective on what's behind the global warming hysteria, or if you're just a fan of Public Choice, I recommend Bruce Yandle and Stuart Buck's paper, "Bootleggers, Baptists, and the Global Warming Battle". Their story is supported by this recent article recounting how some folks expect to make lots of money from global warming:
UKRAINE'S economic collapse has produced a potential multibillion-dollar bonanza, allowing the country to reap windfall carbon credit profits from the dead chimneys of its industrial decline.
Finally, a welcome bit of humor: "What happens when you run the Climate Models?"