Gareth Renowden posted comment on the new paper in what seems to be his customary style: unpleasant, vexing, offensive, loathsome and short on fact. Still, along the way he did venture some factoids which I shall rebut while ignoring the vexatious.
First, his article was headlined: NZ cranks finally publish an NZ temperature series – but their paper’s stuffed with errors. To the first phrase, I note that publishing a temperature series is clearly beyond him and, to the second, I say we’ll see about that.
Renowden spends his first 300 words pouring malicious invective on the authors of the paper—and on me, but so what to any of it? In stooping so low, he reveals more of himself than of us.
I won’t answer the vitriol, just the errors; and I won’t do it all at once, but in pieces. He’s too poisonous to stay with for long. He would be eminently more readable were he to return to his journalistic roots, I’m sure, this activist role he’s chosen ill befits him. (He refers to the paper as dFDB 2014—good enough.) The first substantive thing he says is:
dFDB 2014 repeats the old canard that NIWA’s Seven Station Series (7SS) before the 2010 review was based on the adjustments made in Jim Salinger’s 1981 thesis. This was a key claim in the NZ Climate Science Education Trust‘s evidence to the High Court and so transparently at odds with written reports and papers from 1992 onwards that it was easy for NIWA to refute. As one close observer of the case told me:
Judges may not understand maths, but they are pretty good at English, and take a dim view of litigants who wilfully and perversely misrepresent simple English sentences.
Gareth, which sentences did we perversely misrepresent? You forgot to mention them.
I included the ‘close observer’ quotation simply because Renowden doesn’t even begin to attempt to pretend to justify it, so it’s a fantasy. Justice Venning, for all his errors, never made an allegation remotely like that. I don’t know why he calls it a ‘key claim’ in our suit. Our suit sought four things:
A. A declaration that the New Zealand Temperature Record is not a full and accurate record of changes in the average surface temperatures recorded in New Zealand since 1900;
B. An order setting aside NIWA’s 2010 decision to rely upon the Seven-station Series and the Eleven-station Series as the basis for the New Zealand Temperature Record;
C. An order preventing NIWA from using the NZTR (or information originally derived from the NZTR) for the purposes of advice to any governmental authority or to the public, pending its redetermination and independent peer review.
D. An order requiring the defendant to produce a full and accurate climate record of changes in the average surface temperatures recorded in New Zealand since 1900.
In paragraph 12 of our amended statement of claim of 1 July 2011, we stated in our introductory remarks:
The 7SS temperature data is sourced from the National Climate Database, but is subject to a number of adjustments (the Adjustments) taken from a student thesis submitted in 1981 by Dr James Salinger, a former NIWA employee.
This wasn’t even part of our claim, never mind a ‘key claim’. This was a simple reiteration of what NIWA had been telling us and the country for a long time. It’s what we thought was true, simple as that. Renowden is trying to pull the wool over our eyes and I will prove it. On 10 October 2010, I posted The Curious Case of the Missing Thesis. It includes:
When the NZ Climate Science Coalition made an OIA request for the NIWA amendments which shaped the whole NZ temperature record, it was told the amendments came from a doctoral thesis submitted in 1981 by James Salinger.
NIWA’s General Counsel officially advised (on two occasions) that “the methodology is documented” in the thesis, but “the original worksheets and/or computer records used for the calculations in Dr Salinger’s thesis work are the property of Dr Salinger, who no longer works for NIWA.”
When NIWA belatedly published its Schedule of Adjustments on 9 February 2010, it explained that relocations of weather stations required before-and-after comparisons against an independent station. The document notes that “Salinger (1981) provides the results of these three-site inter-comparisons for the 7-station series, up to about 1975.”
There is more corroboration that NIWA persistently and publicly claimed that the thesis was the source of the adjustments (I can’t believe I’m having to go through this just to counter lies). Again, from my October 2010 post:
The Minister responsible for NIWA, the Hon Dr Wayne Mapp, told Parliament on 18 February 2010 that the adjustments to the 7-station series were taken from the Salinger thesis. In a follow-up written answer (PQ1320) he explained more fully that “the adjustments used in the present “seven-station” series are consistent with those in the Salinger thesis. Some changes to the original adjustments have been necessary in the thirty years since the thesis was published.”
In answer to PQ1193, Dr Mapp advised that the source material for NIWA’s Schedule of Adjustments were: “a list of the more than 30 sites used to develop the ‘seven-station’ series; raw unadjusted data for these individual sites from NIWA’s National Climate Database; the time series of adjusted monthly mean temperatures at the seven locations; and Appendix C from Dr Jim Salinger’s 1981 Ph.D. thesis.”
Finally, to refute NIWA’s original claim that the worksheets were with Salinger, “who no longer works for NIWA” we learn the real reason NIWA couldn’t produce them (we had asked for them repeatedly).
In answer to other Parliamentary Questions, Dr Mapp described how the detailed calculations for the Salinger thesis had been recorded on the VUW mainframe, and were lost when the University changed its system in 1983.
Renowden said that ‘our’ claim that the 7SS was based on the thesis was “so transparently at odds with written reports and papers from 1992 onwards that it was easy for NIWA to refute.”
If it was ‘at odds with reports and papers from 1992,’ why did they tell us to look in the thesis? He’s also forgotten to cite NIWA’s ‘refutation’. Where was it, Gareth, and exactly what did they say?
You want to have another go, Gareth? That was rubbish.