Prophecy not science

Once again, Rodney Hide strips away useless decoration to reveal the essence that lies beneath. This time, his target is Sir Peter Gluckman and his report on how climate change might be expected to affect New Zealand. Not now, later on. In 77 years. Here is Rodney’s article in the NBR last Saturday, Prophecy fails the scientific test (paywalled).

The Prime Minister’s Chief Science Adviser, Sir Peter Gluckman, has done us all a favour and provided a textbook illustration of the difference between science and non-science.

His recent report, New Zealand’s Changing Climate and Oceans (pdf, 634 KB), boldly predicts an average temperature increase of 2.1° Celsius by 2090. That prediction is the key give-away. It’s not science, it’s prophecy. Continue Reading →

Climate porkies from TV One

What appeared to be a startling development in the important topic of global warming started with Dr James Renwick on Sunday 17 March, 2013, in an interview aired on TV1 at about 11:17 am. Susan Wood introduces it by describing the current severe drought.

TVNZ issued a press release a few hours later, stating: “Dr Renwick told the programme that global warming was the only explanation for the drought,” even though that was not a faithful reflection of the interview.

The NBR followed up the same day with an article in which they make an identical statement: “Dr Renwick told the programme that global warming was the only explanation for the drought,” which suggests that the NBR obtained the statement from TVNZ.

Rodney Hide picked up the story (which is how I discovered it) a week ago with an article in the NBR criticising Renwick for blaming global warming for the drought.

My initial post supported Rodney’s article in the NBR and I defended him when he was lambasted by Gareth Renowden.

It was a startling story, since reputable scientists say that you cannot blame this or that specific weather event on global warming. Although warming might increase the frequency or ferocity of an event, warming alone cannot create one. But the statement was corroborated by the very broadcaster which interviewed Renwick. They should know. So it appeared to be true.

This is just not so

Because the statement was outrageous, I was sceptical, but after reading the transcript and studying the video, I thought that taking that meaning from it was plausible and I wrote a post carefully explaining my reasoning.

There was a clamour of dissent until Andy suggested someone contact James Renwick. Good idea, I thought, and I emailed him.

Within half an hour, James politely confirmed that he never blamed the drought on global warming: “This is just not so.” It’s good to hear him say that, actually, but we must deal with the fallout.

So, I apologise to Dr Renwick for misquoting him so badly — that is, over a statement so disastrously incorrect. And I am asking TVNZ for an explanation.

Our public broadcaster has told a very naughty porky.

Hide sticks it to Renwick

Rodney Hide
Rodney Hide continues to support a realistic view of dangerous anthropogenic global warming.

The NBR today carries his article “Faith, not facts, drive[s] global warming.”

Rodney says Renwick “was in no doubt that man-made global warming was causing the summer drought,” then quotes Renwick from his TV interview:

“Oh, no, no. There’s no other explanation that’s remotely plausible.”

But Rodney rightly points out:

That’s religious zealotry in action. Science is never that certain. The best-ever scientific knowledge was Newtonian mechanics. And Einstein blew it to bits. That’s the nature of science.

He goes on to show how Renwick’s theory is falsified. It’s the right stuff.