"Top 50 most expensive footballers - adjusted for inflation"
Maybe it's not calorie restriction . . .

Another week . . .

. . . another dozen links to discussions about global warming.

An interesting explanation of how anyone with a spreadsheet and some time can reproduce the "hockey stick".

The devil, as they say is in the details. In each of the steps there is some leeway for, shall we say, intervention. The early criticisms of Mann et al.'s analyses were confined to relatively minor points about the presence of autocorrelated errors, linear specification, etc.  But a funny thing happened on the way to Copenhagen: a couple of Canadian researchers, McIntyre and McKitrick, found that when they ran simulations of "red noise" random principal components data into Mann's reconstruction model, 99% of the time it produced the same hockey stick pattern. They attributed this to Mann's method / time frame for selecting of principal components. 

To illustrate the nature of that debate through the spreadsheet, try some of the following tests:

Run step 3 through step 7, but only use the proxy data up through 1960 instead of 1980.

Run step 5 through step 7, but only include the first 2 principal components in the regression.

Run step 3 through step 7, but delete the ice core data from the proxy set.

Run step 2 through step 7, but pick out a different proxy data set from NOAA.

Or combinations thereof. What you'll find is that contrary to Mann's assertion that the hockey stick is "robust," you'll find that the reconstructions tend to be sensitive to the data selection. M&M found, for example, that temperature reconstructions for the 1400s were higher or lower than today, depending on whether bristlecone pine tree rings were included in the proxies.

Or you can use this Web tool from AppInSys.com--unfortunately neither the tool nor the website is documented well--to contrast unadjusted temperature data with "adjusted" data. Has lots and lots of weather stations all around the world.

An infographic summarizing the climate change debate by someone who "wanted to simulate what it’s like for people trying to learn about climate change online".

Kevin Williamson concisely discusses the political issues. Mona Charen reminds us, very appropriately, that the scary talk seems quite similar to warnings 30 to 40 years ago that the world was about to run out of many basic resources and was about to become extremely overpopulated. Remember? How did those predictions work out?

A now famous post in the blogosphere looks, in great detail, at the adjustments to the data from one station: "The Smoking Gun at Darwin Zero". Comment, "Data and Climate Science," by Jerry Pournelle.

"Costco and the Climate War" (link via reader Peter K.):

Who needs Copenhagen? Head on down to your local Costco for a jumbo-sized illustration of how the pressures of the climate debate are playing out at the retail level.

Former Vice President Al Gore puts his foot in his mouth.

Half of a good objection to "Climategate":

So what are we to believe: that huge numbers of British and American scientists have entered into a conspiracy to dupe the world on climate change? Why? What would they stand to gain?

It's half of a good point because I, too, am very doubtful about alleged conspiracies, especially ones involving large numbers of unrelated people. But it's only half, because "conspiracy" in the normal sense of that word is not at issue here. When lemmings migrate in large numbers, it's not a conspiracy. Consider this explanation from an academic scientist:

Universities and departments have set policies to attract climate science funding. Climate science centers don’t spontaneously spring into existence – they were created, in increasingly rapid numbers, to partake in the funding bonanza that is AGW. This by itself is not political – currently, universities are scrambling to set up “clean energy” and “sustainable technology” centers. Before it was bio-tech and nanotechnology. But because AGW-funding is politically motivated, departments have adroitly set their research goals to match the political goals of their funding sources. Just look at the mission statements of these climate research institutes – they don’t seek to investigate the scientific validity or soundness of AGW-theory, they assume that it is true, and seek to research the implications or consequences of it.

This filters through every level. Having created such a department, they must fill it with faculty that will carry out their mission statement. The department will hire professors who already believe in AGW and conduct research based on that premise. Those professors will hire students that will conduct their research without much fuss about AGW. And honestly, if you know anything about my generation, we will do or say whatever it is we think we’re supposed to do or say. There is no conspiracy, just a slightly cozy, unthinking myopia. Don’t rock the boat.

Finally, humor: "Anthropogenic Global Warming Virus Alert".