Posted by: Roger Pielke, Jr.
Over the weekend I read with mild amusement and increasing frustration the latest exchange in the “hockey stick” battle. Given that the “hockey stick” has occupied the attention of climate researchers in professional journals, been discussed on the pages of leading newspapers, and been the subject of a Congressional investigation, you might think that the latest exchange would be over something important. If you happen to be thinking along these lines, you’d be wrong.
Increasingly the back-and-forth over hockey sticks is beginning to look like a testosterone-fueled fight between different cliques of pimple-faced junior high school boys, egged on by a loud group of close observers who for various reasons want to see a brawl. And just like those boys on the playground, these guys are too wrapped up in their own vanity to see that they are making us all look bad, and are risking having our recess cancelled. From my perspective — that is, one focused on decisions about climate policies or climate science — the continuing pettiness of the debate on the “hockey stick” suggests that the time might be appropriate for the participants to explain to the rest of us why we should care about their continuing smarminess, else they should all be sent to detention where they can continue their bickering while the rest of us stay on the playground.