Setting New Zealand’s post-2020 climate change target
Submission to MfE by Climate Conversation Group
Sent today, 20 May 2015
It is a great irony that you should call this a “climate change” target, for the science tells us New Zealand doesn’t change the climate. It is a fact that, were we to reduce our emissions even to zero, thus achieving the greatest possible reduction, though destroying our entire productive capacity, there would be no resulting change in the average global surface temperature.
Global human emissions in 2013 were 36 gigatonnes; NZ emissions in 2013 were 0.0542 gigatonnes—about 0.15% of global emissions. As for the amount of warming expected from those emissions in a year; it is vanishingly small: in removing them all, our sacrifice would be undetectable.
So you seek a climate change target that cannot change the climate.
That’s the first point of our submission: the science tells us that our best efforts in reducing emissions will not change the climate. Throttling back would be a waste of time and money because we don’t affect the climate even at full throttle. The Ministry for the Environment claims our reductions are necessary to inspire other nations, but we don’t know why they would listen to us: we say please use our money for anything useful.
Our second point is that there’s been no exceptional warming detected so far, either in the atmosphere or the oceans. Nor has the cryosphere shown exceptional diminution anywhere. The much-cited record reductions in Arctic sea ice recently quickly recovered to normal levels. The record lows were caused not by high temperatures but by strong winds moving the ice into the Atlantic where it melted.
The reductions were unusual, but not unprecedented, because they also occurred in the early 20th century, when our emissions could not have been the cause. The Antarctic sea ice, far from diminishing, continues its steady increase of the last 30 years.
The third point is that the sole support for predictions of dangerous warming are climate models—but they are faulty. We know this because observations over the last 20 years or so show the observed temperatures becoming increasingly cooler than the model predictions. This is easily verified. Let me repeat: the climate models are proved to be wrong.
Fourthly, a vital link in the supposed chain of causation from our emissions, to atmospheric warming and thus to oceanic warming is missing. To wit: the air cannot significantly heat the sea. We have been researching this for years but have not found a paper that describes this alleged phenomenon. This is no trivial omission, for if our emissions into the atmosphere cannot heat the sea then we can scarcely be held responsible for a sea level rise they did not cause. We can provide more information if the minister requires it and we implore the minister vigorously to confirm this point. This one scientific fact alone has the power to invalidate the need for us to act, for the other ramifications of the entirely mild atmospheric warming to be expected from our emissions are highly likely to be wholly beneficial.
Finally and fifthly, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which has been agitating for a climate treaty for 30 years, has engaged in deception and ruinous distortion of the science—such as brazenly claiming hurricanes had increased under the influence of global warming when the world’s leading hurricane expert had just told it they had not increased—therefore many people no longer trust it.
In conclusion, since there’s no reason to believe our emissions cause dangerous warming now or in the future, as the emissions even of the entire human race have caused no detectable warming for about 20 years, and since there is no evidence of unprecedented warming in the last several hundred years, and since the only sign of future dangerous warming is faulty climate models, and since the UN body exhorting us to act has not earned our trust, we therefore implore the minister to delay his decision on setting New Zealand’s post-2020 climate change target until the facts we outline above can be verified, or at least until the Paris conference of the parties is over and we can see whether anything has happened.
Climate Conversation Group
richard [at] climateconversation.org.nz