Those excitable greens are at it again. Regular Via Meadia readers are well aware of how alarmist hysteria, often underpinned by sloppy science, has undermined the credibility of the environmental movement and the cause they seek to advance. According to Michael Levi of the CFR, Canadian hockey fans are the latest target of a green terror campaign.Levi notes that while a recently released paper has sparked a number of news outlets to predict the imminent disappearance of pond hockey weather in the Great White North, none of the evidence in the paper merits such a conclusion:
So how do the authors end up generating headlines proclaiming that the end of outdoor hockey is nigh? First, they start by narrowing their scope to “Southwest Canada” (read southern British Columbia and southwest Alberta), where temperatures happen to be relatively warm to start with, and where the historical trend in pond hockey viability appears strongest. Then they blindly extrapolate the last thirty years’ trend into the next few decades. Since the area has pretty mild weather (and hence few good outdoor hockey days) to start with, this lets them identify “a foreseeable end to outdoor staking in this region within the next few decades”. (I’m setting aside for now the convenient use of the past three decades’ trend, rather than the full sixty year sample that the authors have; there’s no justification given for that.) Then comes the final step: in talking to the media, the authors don’t bother to point out that their result was only for a small sliver of the country.
Shoddy evidence and disingenuous conclusions bordering on downright dishonesty—unfortunately, we’ve seen these tricks before, and always deployed in the service of a policy agenda that is literally unworkable. Rather than spurring people to action, over time such tactics are going to fall on deaf ears as the public catches on to the greens’ game. It is a shame. Our environment and our puck-loving neighbors to the north deserve better.