New book in Dutch

Eet vet word slank

Eet vet word slank gepubliceerd januari 2013

In dit boek lees je o.a.: * heel veel informatie ter bevordering van je gezondheid; * hoe je door de juiste vetten te eten en te drinken kan afvallen; * hoe de overheid en de voedingsindustrie ons, uit financieel belang, verkeerd voorlichten; * dat je van bewerkte vetten ziek kan worden.

Trick and Treat:
How 'healthy eating' is making us ill
Trick and Treat cover

"A great book that shatters so many of the nutritional fantasies and fads of the last twenty years. Read it and prolong your life."
Clarissa Dickson Wright

Natural Health & Weight Loss cover

"NH&WL may be the best non-technical book on diet ever written"
Joel Kauffman, PhD, Professor Emeritus, University of the Sciences, Philadelphia, PA

The hockey stick fiasco

Part 1: The hockey stick and real life

In 1998, the journal, Nature, published a paper by three scientists which purported to show that global temperatures had been reasonably constant for a millennium up to the early twentieth century and then they had risen very rapidly, particularly at the end of the century. And they published a graph covering that thousand years. Because of its shape, it became known as the ‘hockey stick graph’.[1]

Hockey stick graph
This was an important development and it is used to reinforce the claim that the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, issuing from vehicle exhausts and heavy industry was the cause of an unprecedented hike in global temperatures.

Until the UN’s 2001 report, the existence of a warm period of about 500 years between c.950 and c.1450 AD had not been controversial. The mediaeval warm period formed part of a natural cycle of climatic variations that had been apparent since the end of the last Ice Age around 12,000 years ago.

IPCC's original graph

When Mann et al's hockey stick graph was published The IPCC then replaced that earlier, quite different graph (shown below) with the new one. Because of the dramatic rise in CO2 and temperature it purported to show at the end of the twentieth century, it was the most powerful weapon in the IPCC’s armoury in its case for man-made global warming.

But we know that the graph (known by the initials of the three scientists and the year of publication as MBH98) does not give a true picture of temperatures over that time.

How do we know? Well, we have well documented accounts.

Viking long ship

The mediaeval warm period

When Erik Thorvaldsson Raudi, aka Eric the Red, continued his westward voyage from Iceland in 986 AD, he came to a land so lush and verdant, that he named it for its colour: Greenland. Eric didn’t call it that because it was covered in ice and snow.

The Danes colonised Greenland and farmed there for some 400 years. That was during a period known now as the mediaeval warm period. It was a time when temperatures in the northern hemisphere were significantly warmer than they are today.

This warm period is not acknowledged in the hockey stick graph, but there is no doubt it happened.

Thames frost fair picture

The Little Ice Age

But that pleasant climate wasn’t to last; a subsequent climatic decline, during which the arctic pack ice advanced southward in the North Atlantic, was abrupt from about 1300 AD. It culminated in the ‘Little Ice Age’, which was actually a series of three distinct cool periods. It started with The Wolf Minimum about 1300 AD. After a slight warming around 1400AD, there was another cool period, The Spörer Minimum, from about 1450 to 1550, and this was followed by the Maunder Minimum from about 1650 to 1840.

During the Little Ice Age the Thames froze in winter and Londoners not only skated on it, they held markets and fairs on it.

We are now just recovering from the Little Ice Age – and the world is still well below the temperatures of Eric’s time.

There is an analogy I like to use: If you are standing in the middle of a flat plain at a point where your map says there is a mountain, it is your map that is wrong, not the earth. In similar fashion, despite the temperatures in MBH98 being relatively flat for a millennium, we know that they were anything but.


1. Michael E. Mann, Raymond S. Bradley and Malcolm K. Hughes. Global-scale temperature patterns and climate forcing over the past six centuries. Nature 1998; 392: 779–787.

Part 1: The hockey stick and real life | Part 2: An artefact of poor mathematics

Last updated 8 March 2009

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