The Hockey Stick Under Oath: Mike Mann’s 2006 Testimony

March 19, 2012

For all the thousands upon thousands of comments, blog posts, tv talking head bloviations, and right wing radio slanders about climate scientist Mike Mann and the famous hockey stick temperature graph that made him famous – the bizarre truth is that almost none of the opining masses have ever actually heard Mann’s calm and imminently rational defense of the study, given under oath in hearings before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, in July of 2006.

In researching last week’s video that recapped those hearings, I was struck by how clearly and completely Mann stated the defense, in testimony that could have been given last week with minimal need for update.

It occurred to me that my original video needed a companion piece, with the testimony itself, uncut, and edited only with some visual material to add clarity and enhance the narrative. Here it is. If you have not seen the first piece, you might want to start with that here, or from links within the above video itself.

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9 Responses to “The Hockey Stick Under Oath: Mike Mann’s 2006 Testimony”


  1. In what ways if any does the book update on the above?

  2. Martin Lack Says:

    Last week the BBC broadcast a TV programme, in their sciencey Horizon series, on the subject of the workings of our unconscious minds. In the context of climate change denial, the work of Dr Tali Sharot (University College London) is highly illuninating. She has found that, whilst humans will modify their beliefs if they appear unduly pessimistic, they will not do so when confronted with evidence that they are being unduly optimistic.

    A summary of Sharot, T. (2011). The optimism bias. Curr Biol 21(23), R941-R945, reads:

    The ability to anticipate is a hallmark of cognition. Inferences about what will occur in the future are critical to decision making, enabling us to prepare our actions so as to avoid harm and gain reward. Given the importance of these future projections, one might expect the brain to possess accurate, unbiased foresight. Humans, however, exhibit a pervasive and surprising bias: when it comes to predicting what will happen to us tomorrow, next week, or fifty years from now, we overestimate the likelihood of positive events, and underestimate the likelihood of negative events. For example, we underrate our chances of getting divorced, being in a car accident, or suffering from cancer. We also expect to live longer than objective measures would warrant, overestimate our success in the job market, and believe that our children will be especially talented. This phenomenon is known as the optimism bias, and it is one of the most consistent, prevalent, and robust biases documented in psychology and behavioral economics.

    This appears to be another way of explaining what Leon Festinger called cognitive dissonance – the way in which we avoid exposure to and/or discount – information that contradicts our already-established (and/or preferred) understanding of reality.

    Optimism bias and/or cognitive dissonance may be a evolutionary survival mechanism (such as the fight or flight instinct) but we cannot evolve our way out of anthropogenic climate disruption, trees cannot migrate, and we cannot rebuild NYC every 10 years because the sea level won’t stop rising.

    To all those who think we can, I have to say your reality batteries need replacing.

  3. livinginabox Says:

    Of course the Wegman Report was:
    a) Not peer-reviewed
    b) Not objective
    c) Not science
    d) Heavily laden with plagiarised text
    e) Contained numerous falsifications
    f) Contained conclusions unsupported by the facts
    g) Relied upon cherry-picked 1% statistics
    h) The references were padded, 50 are uncited in the text.
    i) Was a product of the lie-factory

    Despite this, GMU chose not to censure Wegman – bizarre!
    Obviously GMU, are destined to be another branch of the Kochroach empire.

  4. ahaveland Says:

    Thanks for posting this Peter – Dr Mann did a great job in authoritatively presenting the case, but that was 6 years ago and we still haven’t progressed as much as we should have.
    “Fix” News should run it in full…

    Now just waiting for the trolls to turn up to watch them squirm.


  5. I hadn’t seen that before. You’re right–it was a concise and clear summary. It really is rather boggling that people are still fixated on the 1998 study as if nothing else has been done since, and no corrections were made. They certainly miss the caveats and tentative conclusions put forth telling you they’ve not actually read the paper.

    You don’t need a background in stats to be able to read their careful tentative analysis that suggests a possible conclusion instead of trumpeting it out as solid fact (as detractors of Dr. Mann would have you believe). At least it lets you know that they’ve not actually read the paper themselves–if I had annoying relatives I’d print off that paper and when they got started I’d give them enough rope to hang themselves and then hand them the paper and ask them to find support for their statements.

  6. rabiddoomsayer Says:

    Thanks for sharing


  7. […] Hockey Stick Under Oath: Michael Mann’s 2006 Testimony. Here’s an excerpt from Climate Denial Crock Of The Week: “For all the thousands upon thousands of comments, blog posts, tv talking head bloviations, […]


  8. […] taken effective, concerted global action adds to the problems of climate change. Peter Sinclair at Climate Denial Crock of the Week has come up with the video of the testimony to Congress by Michael Mann on the infamous (ice) […]


  9. […] Here’s a good video for the record, resurrected by Peter Sinclair at Climate Denial Crock of the Week.  Mann’s testimony on his research, at a hearing held by the House Energy and Commerce Committee in… […]


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