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The Hockey Stick Illusion

After the successes of Caspar and the Jesus Paper and The Yamal Implosion, the two postings on this site that have garnered significant levels of attention, a number of readers suggested to me that I write a book about the Hockey Stick. Being an amenable sort, I have done just that and the results of a year's worth of early mornings and late nights are going to become available to the public in the near future.

The Hockey Stick Illusion is a critical history of the affair, tracing the story from its very beginnings in the notorious Deming email, right up to the most recent developments - the release of the Yamal data and the wave of uproar that followed.

I should point out that the cover shown here is a placeholder and that something a bit snazzier is being lined up.

The Hockey Stick Illusion will be published by Stacey International some time in January. Given the events of the last couple of days it looks as though I may have to try to stick in an appendix though, as many of the emails speak directly to events in the book. I hope there's still time. While I'm doing that you can preorder a copy here.

Stacey have the UK rights and will sell into overseas markets too, but will allow me to accept offers of contracts from US and Australian publishers. If anyone wants to speak about rights outside the UK, including translation rights,  please feel free to drop me a line.


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References (4)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    The Hockey Stick Illusion is a critical history of the affair, tracing the story from its very beginnings in the notorious Deming email, right up to the most recent developments - the release of the Yamal data and the wave...
  • Response
    If you want to see how different the world now is from how it was before the internet, look no further than this story (now bouncing energetically around the world): It is claimed that the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia has been hacked and there is a ...
  • Response
    A. W. Montford posts a great list of 33 of the more outrageous emails from the Climatic Research Institute over at Bishop Hill Blog. Here are the first ten: Climate cuttings 33Welcome Instapundit readers! Hope this is useful for you....
  • Response
    For those of you who don’t know of the blog Bishop Hill, let me say that he is a succinct and careful writer who has earned praise from many (including myself and Steve McIntyre) in taking a difficult niche subject such as the Hockey Stick and paleo

Reader Comments (28)

I've ordered my copy - I'm looking forward to enjoying the fruits of your labour, and I bet you are now wishing you could add yet another chapter...

Nov 21, 2009 at 9:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterThe Englishman

Please, please put pressure on the publishers to allow discussion of the events of the last few days. It would seriously detract from your book if it was terminated (like some series one could mention) prematurely. Mind you, there's a load of work for the ecclesiatical word processor in this suggestion.

Nov 21, 2009 at 11:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterRon Zelius

The Bish - have you read 1254751382.txt?

A quote from you you'll be pleased to hear

Nov 21, 2009 at 12:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterLuke Warmer

Luke Warmer

This was Melanie Phillips linking to me. I would have been surprised if the Team had taken any notice of what I wrote.

Nov 21, 2009 at 12:13 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Look forward to it - I think future generations will look back and shake their heads, history will not be kind to the global warming alarmists!

Nov 21, 2009 at 1:06 PM | Unregistered Commentertwawki

Excellent - I did once suggest that SM should write a book about the HS saga. Should be a best seller.

Nov 21, 2009 at 2:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul Biggs

Good news. Just placed an order.

Nov 21, 2009 at 4:14 PM | Unregistered Commentercogito

Already ordered! And I'll spread the word....

Keep up the good work!

Nov 21, 2009 at 4:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterFeedback

Excellent news, Bishop, and definitely one for my "to be read" list. To echo Ron Zelius, you could bring it bang up to date with the latest developments; alternatively, there may well be plenty more in the months ahead to justify a sequel.

Nov 21, 2009 at 4:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlex Cull

Well done. I will definitely buy. Stop the presses and get the latest in there. It would not be compete without the latest revelations.

Nov 21, 2009 at 4:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

I was concerned that prssure would be brought to bear on the publisher. But I see they published two other good books:

Climate Change: the Counter-Consensus by Robert Carter and David Henderson

The Wind Farm Scam by John Etherington

You're in good company!

Nov 21, 2009 at 4:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Looking forward to reading it. A suggestion - maybe you could change illusion to delusion on the next pring run?

Nov 21, 2009 at 8:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterFrugal Dougal

Congratulations. I'll be placing an order soon. Uhhh... do you think anyone will be accepting US dollars?

Nov 22, 2009 at 5:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterRobert E. Phelan

“We have to get rid of the warm medieval period” SAGA from Deep Cool

Mon, 24 Mar 2008
Hi Phil, Kevin, Mike, Susan and Ben – I’m looking for some IPCC-related advice, so thanks in advance. The email below recently came in and I googled “We have to get rid of the warm medieval period” and “Overpeck” and indeed, there is a person David Deeming that attributes the quote to an email from me. He apparently did mention the quote (but I don’t think me) in a Senate hearing. His “news” (often with attribution to me) appears to be getting widespread coverage on the internet. It is upsetting.

I have no memory of emailing w/ him, nor any record of doing so (I need to do an exhaustive search I guess), nor any memory of him period. I assume it is possible that I emailed w/ him long ago, and that he’s taking the quote out of context, since know I would never have said what he’s saying I would have, at least in the context he is implying.

Any idea what my reaction should be? I usually ignore this kind of misinformation, but I can imagine that it could take on a life of it’s own and that I might want to deal with it now, rather than later. I could – as the person below suggests – make a quick statement on a web site that the attribution to me is false, but I suspect that this Deeming guy could then produce a fake email. I would then say it’s fake. Or just ignore? Or something else?

I googled Deeming, and from the first page of hits got the sense that he’s not your average university professor… to put it lightly.

Again, thanks for any advice – I’d really like this to not blow up into something that creates grief for me, the IPCC, or the community. It is bogus.

Best, Peck

The email referred to:
Dear Dr Overpeck,

I recall David Deeming giving evidence to a Senate hearing to the effect that he had received an email including a remark to the effect “We have to get rid of the warm medieval period”. I have now seen several comment web pages attribute the email to your. Some serious and well moderated pages like ukweatherworld would welcome a post from you if the attribution is untrue and would, I feel sure, remove it if you were to ask them to. I am sure that many other blogs would report your denial. Is there any reason you have not issued a denial?

David Holland

Jonathan T. Overpeck
Director, Institute for the Study of Planet Earth
Professor, Department of Geosciences
Professor, Department of Atmospheric Sciences)

At .. 26/03/2008, Kevin Trenberth wrote:

Hi Jon

There is a lot to be said for ignoring such a thing. But I understand the frustration. An alternative approach is to write a blog on this topic of the medieval warm period and post it at a neutral site and then refer enquiries to that link. You would have a choice of directly confronting the statements or making a more general statement, presumably that such a thing is real but was more regional and not as warm as most recent times.

This approach would not then acknowledge that particular person, except indirectly.

A possible neutral site might be I posted a number of blogs there last year but not this year. I can send you the contact person if you are interested and you can make the case that they should post the blog.
Good luck

From: Phil Jones Thu, 27 Mar 2008:

Peck et al,
I recall meeting David Deeming at a meeting years ago (~10).

He worked in boreholes then. I’ve seen his name on several of the skeptic websites.

Kevin’s idea is a possibility. I wouldn’t post on the website ‘ukweatherworld’.</B

The person who sent you this is likely far worse. This is David Holland. He is a UK citizen who send countless letters to his MP in the UK, writes in Energy & Environment about the biased IPCC and has also been hassling John Mitchell about his role as Review Editor for Ch 6. You might want to talk to John about how he’s responding. He has been making requests under our FOI about the letters Review Editors sent when signing off. I’m sure Susan is aware of this. He’s also made requests for similar letters re WG2 and maybe 3.

Keith has been in contact with John about this.

I’ve also seen the quote about getting rid of the MWP – it would seem to go back many years, maybe even to around the TAR. I’ve no idea where it came from. I didn’t say it!

I’ve written a piece for RMS [popular journal Weather on the MWP and LIA – from a UK perspective. It is due out in June. I can send if you want.

I’m away all next week – with Mike. PaleoENSO meeting in Tahiti – you can’t turn those sorts of meetings down!


Hmmm… “I need to do an exhaustive search I guess” and “I assume it is possible that I emailed w/ him long ago, and that he’s taking the quote out of context,” doesnt reconcile well with “Peck’s” last sentence “It is bogus.”

Nov 22, 2009 at 7:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard

Now I know your name I will have to think of you as living on a hill called Bishop... Thanks for a great site - book ordered...

Nov 22, 2009 at 8:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterStuart Huggett

Ordered 2. One for the girlfriend.

Nov 22, 2009 at 8:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterJavelin

In one of the emails where a mention is made on the lack
of warming our AGW proponents comment on how disappoint this is.

The AGW equation is warming = massive damage to the current human, animal
and vegaetable components of the planet. So it appears the AGWs want
to see evidence of warming, that causes damage!

Increased CO2 leading to minimal effects would be great news, but the
AGWers appear to decry this.

Nov 22, 2009 at 9:08 AM | Unregistered Commenterjim

You're doing great work on this Bishop - I'd urge you to tack another chapter into that book to cover recent events; not only the proof of distortion and collusion that the emails reveal, but also the way in which the mass media, almost as one, have decided to ignore the real story.

Nov 22, 2009 at 10:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterFrankFisher

Let’s see whether Alan Jones picks this up on 2GB radio in Sydney tomorrow, he has been scathing about the government on this. Also hopefully there will be some editorial comment in the Australian, We need to write to our politicians en-mass this week to make them aware of what is going on – as they vote on the ETS - links to their email addresses on Steven Fielding’s site (also on mine). If we keep the comments coming on Andrew Bolts blog and also get more people to sign the online petition that Barnaby Joyce has then we can give this greater momentum. Additionally if people can link/and or comment about this site, Bishop Hill, Air Vent, Climate Audit, Andrew Bolt etc and any other relevant site on their tweeter, facebook, myspace etc – it will give greater traction and exposure! Get to work people!

Nov 22, 2009 at 12:49 PM | Unregistered Commentertwawki

This looks interesting, I'll do some advertising when it comes out.

If you need help translating to American, let me know. :D

Nov 22, 2009 at 1:19 PM | Unregistered Commenterjeff Id

If it is available on the Kindle, I will buy and read. I hope it will be....


Nov 22, 2009 at 4:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterTim G

Your Grace

Can I add my support to those who have already posted and urged you to include the present (and possibly near future) events in your book? I'm sure it would be well worth the reading anyway but to miss out on this stuff would, unless absolutely unavoidable, represent an opportunity lost - in my view.

Nov 22, 2009 at 5:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterW E Radcliffe

On my wish list, so should arrive in xmas stocking.

Nov 22, 2009 at 11:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobinson

I'm curious who you've had review the book for you. I've gotten the impression that you are not an expert in this field, and a few mistakes here and there would cause people to tar the whole book.

Nov 23, 2009 at 3:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterMikeN

If I order two copies, would it be inappropriate to send one to Dr. Mann?

Nov 23, 2009 at 4:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterAndy

I love this: (see above somewhere)

"I’m away all next week – with Mike. PaleoENSO meeting in Tahiti – you can’t turn those sorts of meetings down!"

- Classic! Classic hypocrisy, that is. How was he going to get to Tahiti then? By canoe, or in one of them there GHG-producing jet planes?

Nov 23, 2009 at 4:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterMikeE

P.S. Forgot to add: I've also pre-ordered the book.

Nov 24, 2009 at 1:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterMikeE

Please, conclude your book with a climate-gate epilogue.

Nov 24, 2009 at 10:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterChris Schoneveld

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