Like alarmists everywhere ahead of Paris, Gareth “Running Man” Renowden flees honest inquiry. He’s happy to allow readers to make any wild predictions they like about global warming, but ask for details and he deletes your question. What’s he afraid of?
When a question I left recently at Hot Topic under The Age Of Resilience starts tonight did not appear, I left a second asking where it went. The replies exemplify the mischief and dissimulation so commonplace at Hot Topic.
The reader nigwil says: “Regardless of what the report says, the sea is going to rise, probably by as much as 2 to 5 metres by 2100.”
I say: “Really? Let me address the minimum sea level rise (SLR) of 2 m you say we should expect by 2100. There are 84 years left in which to achieve this, remembering that we’ve had 27 mm since 2000 (1.8 mm/yr × 15 yr). The ocean has 1973 mm to go, which at the current rate will require 1096 years. When will the acceleration begin? When will it reach the 23.5 mm/yr required to achieve 2000 mm by 2100?”
If the rate does not reach 23.5 mm/yr by 2017, the rate of acceleration thereafter must be even greater, yet it requires some extraordinary event even to achieve 24 mm by next year—it’s a whopping 1300 per cent more than last year. Still, if it’s not achieved soon, the prediction cannot come true.
So it’s a reasonable thing to ask, in my opinion. It’s also restrained, there’s no abuse and the arithmetic makes sense. It’s a genuine inquiry. When it failed to appear on the HT blog, I asked about it and received an answer:
I posted a reply but where did it go?
[It was deleted. Your misrepresentations already have enough exposure at your “CCG” without HT having to give them additional exposure. GR]
So I tried again: “But surely, Gareth, you jest?” But he was unbending:
[Nope. You want to indulge in tortuous, incomprehensible and long-winded ramblings, but you have a blog already devoted to that. Stay there, please, unless you are willing to apologise to the NIWA and other NZ climate scientists you have maligned over the years. Oh, and you could pay back some of the taxpayers money you so egregiously rorted by folding your “Education” Trust. Until then, your presence is not welcome here. GR]
So he blusters away. But he still hasn’t answered my questions and he’s using bombast and blather to justify it. Like this.
NIWA climate scientists have never wanted an apology. In fact, they responded to our public and Parliamentary criticisms by reconstructing the NZ temperature record, which by any measure is an outstanding victory for us. It directly recognises the Coalition’s work as contributing to a more robust national climate record. Not many people can say they’ve helped the country’s leading scientists achieve a better result, although Renowden is too mean-spirited to acknowledge this.
Listening to their apologists at Hot Topic, you’d think NIWA’s scientists could do no wrong, but they’ve been guilty of losing work paid for by taxpayers. They also refused to answer our questions about their work. It was this obstinacy which eventually forced us to seek help in the courts.
Renowden resurrects appalling fabrications that he himself invented to demean our civil suit against NIWA. But as regular readers know, I have many times patiently explained that forming the NZ Climate Science Education Trust was required to meet the expectations of the Court. A non-existent body cannot appoint an agent or open a bank account, much less bring a suit to court.
As to his malicious accusation of “egregious rorting”, dissolving the trust was no fraud. Nobody predicted the damages Justice Venning suddenly awarded against us, because never before had a group of New Zealand whistle-blowers, challenging the actions of a government body, been required to pay costs. It was unprecedented in a hundred and seventy-three years of New Zealand legal history, and thus we were entirely unprepared to pay nearly $90,000. All we could do was dissolve the Trust, but Justice Venning’s cold-hearted ruling creates a grim precedent that will forever threaten honest citizens seeking answers from powerful public bodies.
Although the taxpayers weren’t defrauded, they might have hoped to reap an unexpected windfall—and remember we were simply asking how they did things; how brutal might NIWA’s response have been had we asked them for money?
NIWA is not a conventional government department but a state-owned enterprise, required to earn a profit for the benefit of its one shareholder, the Crown. This invests it with the flexibility and legal protections of a private company and the bounty of the public purse.
But there’s this propaganda benefit, too, which Renowden plugs at every opportunity. When the Crown enterprise was waiting for the money granted by the Court, we were no longer dealing with an ordinary company: we suddenly discovered that we were actually “defrauding” the taxpayer (where did he suddenly come from?). Yet NIWA engaged top-of-the-line Queen’s Counsel to defend a civil suit against their commercial activities by using public funds.
By what perverted legal logic can NIWA at once hide their actions behind a veil of commercial confidentiality, enjoy the status of a respected government authority and protect all this by spending public funds? They have it both ways, so how can anyone call it to account? And how can it be seen as open or transparent when it refuses to answer its critics?
The legal barriers around a Crown enterprise are sensational—a formidable public-private partnership in law and custom that bulwarks it against honest inquiry yet grants it the full defensive power of public resources. Justice should run the other way, for it should defend the private citizen against powerful government authorities that stray from fairness. Here the court not only failed to defend us, but by its inequitable ruling on costs colluded with NIWA’s efforts to crush us and it succeeded.
It’s disappointing to see Renowden running from my straightforward inquiry about predicted sea levels, since his own claims of urgency that we must save the earth gave rise to it. If he cannot justify urgency, there is no need to act quickly. But if he doesn’t know when the sea will begin its dangerous rise, it is scarcely urgent, and if the beginning is a long way off, the dangerous rise he predicts (two metres by 2100) cannot occur.
We do not believe him. Even the IPCC predicts only about 450 mm by 2100, and their worst-case scenario, RCP8.5, will produce, by their guesswork, only 1000 mm. To double that requires good evidence, which we are entitled to know; to quintuple it to 5000 mm is witless.
Sceptical people don’t go along with everything the IPCC expects us to swallow. When reasonable questions go not merely unanswered but brazenly ignored, reasonable people will treat these baseless “predictions” with scorn.
By the way, for the sea level to rise by five metres at the current rate of 1.8 mm/yr would require over 2700 years. But of course those brainiacs at Hot Topic have calculated that already, right?