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Greens to Hockey Fans: The Sky is Falling!

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.

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  • Sam L.

    They really do love to lie to us. The lies will get bigger as we refuse to listen to them.

  • Michael Creighton’s State of Fear explores the connection between the green movement and the media which corrupts everything it touches – not just environmental politics. Scientists are no longer patient seekers of truth, but political activists. Compare the cliamategagte emails to the behavior of Eddington after WW1 when it fell to him to confirm or deny Einstein’s theory of relativity by photographing an eclipse. According to a biography of Einstein I read recently Eddington did not want the theory to prove true and Einstein was a German scientist and therefore a political enemy. Eddington looked at the plates in the field and announced they didn’t appear to support Einstein, but he had to conduct more exact measurements before he could be sure. He was a real scientist and a real mensch so he told the truth and didn’t try ‘to hide the bend ‘ in the light. Scientists who lie whether they work for BP or the East Anglia Propaganda Works are knaves and fools who blind us to whatever real dangers their may be. They need to be sat down by their mothers and read the story of The Boy who Cried Wolf until they get it.

  • Peter the Not-so-Great

    There’s one aspect of the greens’ press release that seems almost quaint. Even if their dire warnings are correct and pond-hockey weather disappears forever, how many Canadians would be affected, i.e. how many Canadians actually play hockey on ponds anymore? Even the smallest towns in my part of the country have indoor hockey rinks which rent ice time to amateur teams. Medium-sized cities (like my own, approx. 250000 residents) have dozens of such rinks, a sizable percentage of which remain in operation year-round; you and your buddies can play pick-up hockey in a July heat-wave if you want, and many people do. (Now that I think about it, I’m surprised the environmentalists aren’t condemning amateur hockey players because of this, since it takes a lot of energy to keep an indoor skating rink running in 30+ degree Celsius weather.)

  • Kris

    After examining the trends in obesity, I predict the imminent disappearance of pond hockey due to most potential participants reaching weights of 450 kilos. I have submitted my paper to Nature. And shut up, you obesity deniers!

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