I'm posting this article in its entirety as published in the National Post, dated October 1, 2009 by Ross McKitrick, a professor of environmental economics at the University of Guelph. Also note that this was over a month before the Mann et al. emails were hacked.
Ross McKitrick: Defects in key climate data are uncoveredOnly by playing with data can scientists come up with the infamous ‘hockey stick’ graph of global warming
By Ross McKitrickB
eginning in 2003, I worked with Stephen McIntyre to replicate a famous result in paleoclimatology known as the Hockey Stick graph. Developed by a U.S. climatologist named Michael Mann, it was a statistical compilation of tree ring data supposedly proving that air temperatures had been stable for 900 years, then soared off the charts in the 20th century. Prior to the publication of the Hockey Stick, scientists had held that the medieval-era was warmer than the present, making the scale of 20th century global warming seem relatively unimportant. The dramatic revision to this view occasioned by the Hockey Stick’s publication made it the poster child of the global warming movement. It was featured prominently in a 2001 report of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), as well as government websites and countless review reports.