Empirical evidence does not lend much support to the notion that climate is headed precipitately toward more extreme heat and drought. The drought of 1999 covered a smaller area than the 1988 drought, when the Mississippi almost dried up. And 1988 was a temporary inconvenience as compared with repeated droughts during the 1930s “Dust Bowl” that caused an exodus from the prairies, as chronicled in Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath.
– James Hansen August 1999
Apparently Hansen had his Armageddon epiphany around the same time as the invention of the hockey stick, which coincidentally was the same time when he started tampering with the temperature data.