Book Review – ‘The Hockey Stick Illusion: Climategate and the Corruption of Science’

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BOOK REVIEW: ‘The Hockey Stick Illusion: Climategate and the Corruption of Science’ by A.W. MontfordReviewed by Michael R. Fox Ph.D – As time passes major scientific information and political intrigues continue to emerge with regard to the flawed Hockeystick fiasco, and its flawed portrayal of man-made global warming.  The “hockeystick’ is the name given to the temperature chart assembled to represent the last 1000 years of temperature records (

The large role of the discredited Hockeystick has had a major role in driving dangerous energy policies and flawed history of global temperatures for the last 1000 years.  There was a conscious effort by the global warmers to revise the temperature record of the planet over this time.


As the link above shows, the authors of the Hockeystick in fact attempted to consciously eliminate the known temperature records of the Medieval Warming Period of 1000 years ago and furthermore to eliminate the colder temperatures of the Little Ice Age 200 to 800 years ago.  If that weren’t enough, the last 100 years of global temperatures (the “blade” of the hockeystick), were themselves produced by the authors with statistical trickery.

As any reputable scientist will tell you, massaging and revising such data is highly dishonest since it destroys the very basis of science and any possibility for replication of the chart by others.  Science is driven by observable evidence and replication, not consensus, not computer models, not hearsay, not expert testimony, not bullying, and not name-calling.  Just the observable evidence.

More and more scientists are re-examining this theory, are studying the problems, and are speaking out and writing books on the detail analyses of the hockeystick. All of this and more are discussed in spectacular detail in a new book by A.W. Montford, entitled “The Hockeystick Illusion”(  The subtitle “Climategate and the Corruption of Science” tells the reader of what lies in store.

Montford’s book is more than 450 pages, and includes the detailed, magnificent research work of Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick, both Canadians, in unraveling the dishonest science which created the erroneous and widely used ‘Hockeystick” graph.  Many state and federal agencies in the US are still in thrall with the man-made CO2 theory causing global warming, even catastrophic global warming.  They seem to be pretending that the Hockeystick is an honest piece of work, worthy of formulating energy polices for their citizens. It is not.

All state and federal agencies, leaders, legislators, and Congressmen should be required to read and understand this book in its entirety.  They then should begin to promulgate rational energy policies, cap and tax policies, based upon the actual measurable evidence. We have already wasted tens of billions pursuing the erroneous understanding of the forces driving climate. Hint: It isn’t man-made CO2.

Understanding how such data manipulations and dishonest portrayals of temperatures came to be used in this effort, is crucially important to our nation’s future security, future energy supplies, future freedom, liberty, future prosperity. We cannot get any of the policies right, if we don’t get the science right.

This discredited theory, portrayed by this single graph of the last 1000 years of global temperatures, has received global coverage and has driven state, national, and international policies with regard to man-made CO2 emissions. These have been the alleged culprit behind the alleged man-made global warming (hint: for example, the planet is not as warm  now as it was during the higher temperatures and the lower atmospheric CO2 of the Medieval Warming Period—when for centuries the Vikings were farming in Greenland.)  This is one reason why so much effort went into fudging the data and bullying critics, in they tried to eliminate the clear global record of the Medieval Warming Period.

Both the State of Washington (largely in the Dept of Ecology and the governor’s office), and the Obama Administration are still using this flawed science as a “scientific” basis to help cripple our nation’s energy production capabilities. Many sources of man-made CO2 in the US are now targeted for closure or limited use.)   Coal fired plants, natural gas plants, and the large transportation sectors all use fossil fuels to make electricity and transport our nation’s goods, and power our trucking sectors, retail sectors, and agriculture.

Many do not appreciate how much fossil fuels are used in powering the agriculture sector, not to mention the thousands of tons of natural gas needed to produce fertilizers. Worse, I see no evidence at the State or National levels that they want to perform the necessary science, engineering, and analysis to correct their dangerous suicidal energy policies.

Of potential interest to our leftwing legislators, a number of leftwing scientists are now getting off the “man-made climate disaster train”, finally. Some for the wrong reasons, but at least they see the flaws. See, for example, here (

The Hockeystick Illusion clarifies and communicates the complex recent history of this issue. It deserves a prominent place in your library.  The federal government and many state legislatures should be embarrassed for having embraced such unscientific nonsense as a basis for crippling energy policies.

For more information or to purchase the book:

Michael R. Fox, Ph.D., is a nuclear scientist and a science and energy resource for Hawaii Reporter and a science analyst for the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, is retired and now lives in Eastern Washington. He has nearly 40 years experience in the energy field. He has also taught chemistry and energy at the University level. His interest in the communications of science has led to several communications awards, hundreds of speeches, and many appearances on television and talk shows. He can be reached via email at