Geoff Metcalf reports on a Washington Times commentary.
It turns out the latest underreported bad news for disciples of the gospel according to Al Gore is that reports by the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are "flawed and cannot be supported."Commentary By H. Sterling Burnett
In a 2001 report, the IPCC published an image commonly referred to as the "hockey stick." This graph showed relatively stable temperatures from A.D. 1000 to 1900, with temperatures rising steeply from 1900 to 2000. The IPCC and public figures, such as former Vice President Al Gore, have used the hockey stick to support the conclusion that human energy use over the last 100 years has caused unprecedented rise global warming.
However, several studies cast doubt on the accuracy of the hockey stick, and in 2006 Congress requested an independent analysis of it. A panel of statisticians chaired by Edward J. Wegman, of George Mason University, found significant problems with the methods of statistical analysis used by the researchers and with the IPCC's peer review process. For example, the researchers who created the hockey stick used the wrong time scale to establish the mean temperature to compare with recorded temperatures of the last century. Because the mean temperature was low, the recent temperature rise seemed unusual and dramatic. This error was not discovered in part because statisticians were never consulted.
Furthermore, the community of specialists in ancient climates from which the peer reviewers were drawn was small and many of them had ties to the original authors - 43 paleoclimatologists had previously coauthored papers with the lead researcher who constructed the hockey stick.
These problems led Mr. Wegman's team to conclude that the idea that the planet is experiencing unprecedented global warming "cannot be supported."