To the man with a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. And so it goes with these tree-ring climate reconstructions: no matter what, you get a Hockey Stick, and somehow the Little Ice Age and the Medieval Warm Period (and the Holocene Optimum and Roman Warming) are relegated to climatic mythology.
That's when I seek clarity and open my volumes of Dr. H H Lamb, in particular "Climatic History and the Future." There I find that indeed these climatic periods had global existence; lives prospered where later they were devastated, crops were introduced during warm periods which failed during cold, glaciers retreated, advanced, and retreated again, tree lines and sea levels rose and fell, and all of this in the brief 10,000-year period following the Ice Age.
Worldwide, scientists have examined and documented thousands of studies that illuminate natural climate change. The chronicles of our ancestors, through such means as records of weather, population growth and decline, tax rolls, commodity prices, deserted cities and ports, famine and plague, and in many other ways, show that the flat Hockey Stick shaft does not depict the reality of the climate of the past 1,000 years (or before and beyond), and yet all this is lost in unending debate about the significance of tree-ring sample selection.
And after all this, nothing is settled, and the debate rages on: the tempest in a tea pot. Sound and fury signifying nothing (Lamb was British, so the Shakespeare is a small tribute to British genius). All sides claim victory, but continue the fight as if victory achieved nothing. And that is the reality of this debate. The tree rings left out of the debate speak as much to the problem of climate reconstruction as the ones included. They tell no tale, because they are as incapable of telling one as are the ones selected. But all that is heard is the yammering of the hammering.