Data Is Not Information

And information is one heck of a long way from wisdom.

There an awful lot of data in the hockey stick diagram, but not all of it is correct. Here’s just one more data point.

The money quote:

The fact that the earth’s climate changes in cycles from warm to cold to warm, etc. (“Hockey Stick Hokum,” editorial page, July 14) was noted in the late 18th century by Edward Gibbon in his “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire”: “The reindeer, that useful animal, is of a constitution that supports, and even requires, the most intense cold. He is found on the rock of Spitzberg, within ten degrees of the Pole; he seems to delight in the snows of Lapland and Siberia; but at present he cannot subsist, much less multiply, in any country south of the Baltic.” In the time of Caesar, Mr. Gibbon wrote, the reindeer was native to the forests of Germany and Poland, but in Gibbon’s time the animal was nowhere to be seen in those parts. And between the Age of Caesar and the Age of Gibbon, the Medieval Warming Period and the “Little Ice Age” had taken place.

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