Kiribati sinking beneath waves again

Tarawa atoll, Kiribati.

Oh, again?

Climate change sinking Kiribati – so says a Herald headline of Friday, November 12. Here we go again! More nonsense about sea levels in the Pacific rising, driven by the exhaust from our internal combustion engines and thermal power stations.

Nearly a year ago the Herald carried a similar story headed Tiny Tuvalu outgunned by oil giant which I quickly debunked. Seems they didn’t learn much that time around.

But the author this time is Bryan Walker, regular contributor to alarmist articles at Hot Topic. Continue Reading →

Hot Topic semi-science now in the Herald

NZ Herald crest
Hot Topic logo

Now we have the NZ Herald echoing Hot Topic’s posts from Sciblogs. Man, the Herald have really burned their bridges on impartiality, haven’t they? By patronising Hot Topic they unquestionably declare their belief in the non-science of dangerous anthropogenic global warming.

Don’t expect any material from them in the near future to be critical of the now-established doctrine of climate change according to the IPCC.

Comments on poll uncover Hot Topic’s dearth of science

Yesterday, they published an article by Bryan Walker, one of Gareth’s support writers, Ask me why – polling the public on climate change. The first thing Bryan does is denigrate the organisation behind the poll; good one, Bryan, ignore the issue — go straight for the man.

Note also Walker’s disconnect from the real world where people must make a living:

But their notion of what constitutes appropriate measures is severely constrained by their determination to protect what they call the competitiveness of all sectors of NZ industry.

“What they call” competitiveness? He says that as though it’s a bad thing. Continue Reading →

Gluckman: knows nothing about climate

Michele Hewitson

That incomparable writer, Miss Michele Hewitson, of the NZ Herald, has interviewed our Chief Scientific Advisor, Professor Sir Peter Gluckman, and the report appears in today’s edition.

Now, Michele often specialises in the human side of your famous person, not perhaps delving too far into the deeds and sayings for which he might be famous, but humorously describing the ebb and flow of the interview or the sometimes awkward situations that develop as our intrepid prober of public persons boldly goes where few reporters dare.

Michele can be genuinely funny and wondrously insightful by turns. That is how today’s example has turned out, as Miss Hewitson gets her subject to converse on everybody’s favourite topic — themselves. Which she accomplishes by various superficial means, such as asking why he has a beard.

Of all the fascinating and significant aspects of Gluckman’s life and intelligent toil, his beard must be the least important. Continue Reading →

NZ Herald ratifies outrageous rant

NIWA temp adjustments with scales of justice

Just four days after Brian Rudman’s diatribe against the Coalition, the Herald unleashed an opinion piece by one Sam Fisher. I’ve just discovered it but that’s no reason to let it stand unopposed.

I shall start at its rear end. His devastating conclusion:

In past years, the nutters were the ones with signs that said: “The world is ending.” Now, the nutters have the signs that say: “The world isn’t ending, it’s all fine.”

I agree wholeheartedly with this sentiment, for it is hard to fault. However, he omits mention of the sanity of those trumpeting the end of the world. So I would express it with a different slant, as it is on the masthead above:

For the first time in history, people shouting “the end is nigh” are somehow
the sane ones, while those of us who say it is not are now the lunatics.

Before that, he enlightens us with: Continue Reading →

Rudman offensive but NZ temp record dubious

the NZ Herald logo

A letter sent to the NZ Herald on 25 August that remains unpublished.

Sir,

In “Exercise degrees of common sense“, on Wednesday August 18, Brian Rudman loses his journalistic poise and jeers gracelessly at the “flat-earth” members of the NZ Climate Science Coalition.

When he asserts that they deny “man-made global warming” he is dead wrong. He is welcome to interview us, which might stop him from consulting his imagination. The Coalition does not dispute that human activity possibly has an influence on the climate but it questions the magnitude of that influence.

The IPCC also questions it, for it claims only a 90% to 95% probability of human influence. Note that is an opinion without evidence, unless one considers flawed climate models to be evidence.

The Coalition knows there are good reasons to adjust temperature records; Rudman ignores the fact that, rather than challenging NIWA for making changes, we just asked them what the changes were. He should wonder why they have still not told us. If they did, we would promptly stop asking for them.

Brian Rudman

He might also wonder why NIWA repeatedly give the example of an altitude change to the Thorndon/Kelburn temperature record, when they didn’t actually make any altitude-based changes to any stations.

Rudman’s reference to “mystery money-bags funding the coalition” is offensive nonsense. Members analyse, consult and write about climate matters in their own time for no payment. The Coalition is made up of volunteers, it is not wealthy and will rely on fund-raising if the suit must go to court.

The only “money-bags” able to buy staff and consultants in the climate debate are the great NGOs like WWF and Greenpeace, with annual budgets of around $600 million each. The giant enviros far out-muscle the marketing budgets of any group of sceptics. The energy companies climbed aboard the warming bandwagon long ago and don’t fund sceptics.

But our suit is not about the global warming debate. It asks for simple clarity and accuracy in public temperature records. We cannot submit a paper “backing our claims”, as some suggest, because we’re not making any claims — we’re wanting to review the national temperature record and we’re asking a couple of questions that NIWA hasn’t answered.

Since being asked by the Coalition to describe how they obtained the temperature record and finding they were unable to do so, NIWA are recreating it from scratch.

The sooner these simple facts are acknowledged by responsible journalists the sooner reason will return to this important matter of public interest. Kiwis deserve to have a national temperature record they can trust but at the moment it is dubious.

NZ ETS missing its target

Cover of the book The Carbon Challenge

… or is it?

The National government is determined to fire up an emissions trading scheme (ETS) on July 1st, but a new study criticises it forcefully.

NZ sceptics, led by ACT’s John Boscawen, have for some months campaigned against the ETS on scientific and economic grounds, inside and outside the Parliament. But this study by two Victoria University academics – believers in anthropogenic global warming (AGW) – could do more to force a government change of mind than any protest action so far.

Since it comes from within the warmist camp, John Key, Nick Smith and their advisers will, or should, pay it close attention. For it expresses arguments made by supporters of government “climate” policy, so they will be more difficult to dismiss than those of mere “deniers” of “climate change” (whoever they are). Continue Reading →

When will our bloody journalists wake up?

An eye

How obvious must the lack of credibility in AGW become before New Zealand’s so-called journalists wake up to it?

Their disconnection from reality now transcends mere embarrassment for the onlookers; it has become actually humiliating, because the only remaining reason for our nation’s professional journalists to hold to the IPCC line on dangerous man-made global warming is an intentional neglect of the facts. Continue Reading →

Gluckman — great baby doctor but no climate scientist

The ODT reports Professor Sir Peter Gluckman’s speech last night (you’ll remember him, he’s the PM’s chief science advisor).

As expected, the speech seems to have been mainly waffle with few new facts or arguments.

However, the Professor informs us that New Zealand beech trees and swallows are feeling the heat. This is despite Phil Jones’ claim that there has been no significant global warming for 15 years and a slight cooling during the 21st century. It also betrays David Wratt’s claim that future global warming will be less in New Zealand because of the surrounding ocean. More pertinent is the fact that NIWA’s SSS and ESS don’t seem to detect any warming in this country during the past 50 years. So something else must be affecting the swallows, and Gluckman’s ‘science’ (the only factual line in the whole speech) is exposed as being wrong.

Apparently the public is “confused” about the science — “what we know and what we do not know” — and the confusion is all caused by “deniers”. But, Doctor, we have genuine questions… Answer our questions! Beginning with: what’s the evidence?

If Sir Peter gives the PM truly objective advice on climate science, why doesn’t he do the same in his speeches? I think he’s telling John Key just what he wants to hear about global warming, so it doesn’t have to be objective.

There’s more to say about this disgrace.

Please listen to us Mr Key

It is significant that there are so many voices raised against the ETS.

a humorous ETS cartoon

Rodney Hide confirms this, saying that he has never received such a high level of public support on any other issue. He says Kiwis around the country are annoyed. They know there’s no need for an expensive ETS that will deliver no benefits whatsoever.

It behoves you to listen to us and very smartly do something about our concerns or next year you will find yourself back in the loneliness of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition. Our ETS will do nothing for the environment, will diminish the budgets of hard-working families and will require a monstrous create-nothing bureaucracy.

In addition, though the ETS purports to be based on movements of carbon dioxide into and out of almost every large-scale process in the country, there is no way to measure such movements. If you don’t believe me, ask your officials; uptake and emission of CO2 are based predominantly on computer models.

Since it can’t be measured, everyone can overstate with impunity the quantities involved and has an incentive to do so. Fraud is rife in the overseas schemes and there’s no reason to think it won’t occur here, too.

Because of our power generation structure, even the price of renewable electricity will go up because of the ETS, giving windfall profits of millions of dollars to the generators.

It’s too much to pay; and we refuse to stroke the over-anxious egos of comfortable, middle-class, socialist greenies.

Pay attention: We don’t want an ETS.

Humans to blame for climate change. Yeah, right.

The Holy Bible

From the Independent, written by Steve Connor, Science Editor, and echoed uncritically by the NZ Herald yesterday, comes an amazing story of faith. It must be faith because it cannot be science — there are too many opinions and the facts are wrong.

With the original Independent headline advertising the ignorance the story is steeped in (Humans must be to blame for climate change, say scientists) the articles of faith are reiterated for the global warming multitudes.

Harken ye unto them, that ye stray not from the green and carbon-free path of righteousness, I say unto thee, even your sons and your grandsons, keep to these my commandments, yea, even unto the hundredth year from this day, when, verily, these green prophecies shall surely come to pass, but, the Lord says, not before then.

But it’s a message with no punch

First we hear the strong conclusion we are to take from the story to come:

Climate scientists have delivered a powerful riposte to their sceptical critics with a study that strengthens the case for saying global warming is largely the result of man-made emissions of greenhouse gases.

Hear how quickly, as you read that, the idea of a “powerful riposte” dissipates into thin air. So the study merely “strengthens the case” for saying global warming is “largely” the result of our emissions. Well, there’s nothing quite like confidence for persuading people, is there? But they’re not prepared to say this proves anything. This is a message with no punch. Continue Reading →

Global warming first: oxygen involved!

The mighty Merz Glacier

A story in the NZ Herald a few days ago talked about giant Antarctic icebergs:

A massive iceberg struck Antarctica, dislodging another giant block of ice from a glacier, Australian and French scientists said.

The end of the mighty Mertz Glacier had been repeatedly hammered by the 97-kilometre-long iceberg as it moved in the ocean currents. Note that there’s no mention of global warming to explain this “breakup” of ice.

This event was driven entirely by mechanical forces …

… until the final paragraph, when the article talks about oxygen levels and quotes “a leading climate expert”, Steve Rintoul:

Oxygen levels being fed into the world’s ocean currents are now changing “and the overturning circulation currents will respond to that change,” Rintoul said. Observing what happens “will … allow us to improve predictions of future climate change.”

One wonders whether Rintoul is accurately quoted.

It is understandable that the overturning circulation might transport water of differing oxygen levels around the oceans, but it is incredible that differing oxygen levels might affect the overturning circulation.

I do not understand how observing the effects of oxygen on the overturning circulation might have any effect on our predictions of “climate change”, much less allow us to improve them.

Further explanation is required, and it ought to have been obtained by our beloved Herald before publication of this nonsense.

NIWA breaks promises, should apologise

Parliament Buildings through an onion

We’re working through several answers from the Hon Wayne Mapp, Minister of Research, Science and Technology, concerning questions posed by ACT about the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA).


One question concerns the production of what we have referred to as the Schedule of Adjustments (SOA). It’s simply a statement of what changes were made to the raw temperature readings, why and when, in order to record the scientific justification for them.

The Climate Conversation Group (CCG) and the NZ Climate Science Coalition (CSC) have been asking NIWA since November to disclose the SOA. Privately, they have told us they are “reconstructing” the SOA, and, indeed, on February 9, they quietly posted a list of all the adjustments to the seven-station series together with a discussion of the reasons for Hokitika. Well done, them.

On January 30, Eloise Gibson wrote in the NZ Herald:

The country’s climate forecaster is bowing to public pressure and putting all of its temperature data and calculations on the internet because of mistrust fuelled by errors overseas.

Principal climate scientist James Renwick said Niwa had decided to bare all because “if we don’t we appear to be hiding something”.

Two people in Niwa’s climate group have prepared a full set of documents including all the data from climate stations and a full explanation of the adjustments made to records, which should be available online in about a week.

Continue Reading →

Flourish commerce, and let the country live

UPDATE: 1 Jan 2010. I found the “flourish commerce” phrase used by Pears Soap, certainly a more salubrious context than the one I knew it from, but this is the only image I could locate. It’s not legible, but it is there (the evidence is overwhelming; 48,000 national science associations can’t be wrong).

Pears Soap -

The inside of my grandparents’ white porcelain toilet bowl had the inscription, for the regular edification of we young boys controlling our aim: “Flourish commerce, and let the country live”, enlivened by the stirring sight of New Zealand’s and Great Britain’s crossed flags, in colour.

Written probably in about the 1940s, such frank promotion of commerce was non-controversial in the days before so-called “social welfare” had smuggled its obfuscating tenets into every area of life, until nobody knows where wealth comes from.

These days, forgetting what wealth is and how it’s made, we consider even schools and universities to be centres of production, in the same category as pig farms and steel mills, and we burden their transactions with a Goods and Services and every other sort of tax.

We failed to destroy our own productive capacity

It is fiscal misbehaviour bordering on the criminal to thus reduce funds needed for education, but nobody seems even to notice, much less to complain.

In the Christmas Eve edition of the Herald, Brian Fallow, Economics Editor, pontificates sadly over the failure at Copenhagen of developed nations to destroy their own productive capacity. Continue Reading →

Humour us — what was the evidence, again?

The NZ Herald on Saturday ran an Associated Press story headlined Global warming a tough sell for human psyche. The reporter finds experts to say how hard it is for people to accept man-made global warming (although the reporter doesn’t refer to acceptance, he calls it getting “excited”).

So the difficulty in getting people to believe in global warming is caused just by psychological factors?

I wonder if the Herald would mind, just briefly, going over the actual evidence for dangerous man-made global warming again?

It might refresh our memory. Facts usually make my mind up, but what about the Herald?

NIWA’s obfuscation unequivocal — it’s worse than we thought

NIWA have published misleading material on their web site and seem to have advised the Minister for Climate Change Issues to give evasive answers to questions in the Parliament.

For those unfamiliar with the story: NIWA keeps raw data for the national NZ temperature record and makes it available on their web site. The Climate Conversation Group and the NZ Climate Science Coalition conducted a joint study of the temperature record, researched by a science team and published on 25 November under the title Are we feeling warmer yet?.

But we’re only asking about the weather

That study demonstrated that the official graph does not represent the raw temperature data. NIWA told us that adjustments have been applied so we’ve asked for the details. So far they obfuscate. We don’t know why they refuse to disclose what the weather has been.

We conclude that NIWA’s response to our enquiries has been defensive, obstructive and oddly disparaging.

The Hon Rodney Hide became concerned about deteriorating standards in public science and asked in the Parliament whether the Hon Dr Nick Smith would require NIWA to release the full data for the official NZ temperature record. On the last possible day for answering, Nick finally replied: “You must ask Wayne Mapp; he’s the responsible minister (for Research, Science and Technology, the portfolio that covers NIWA).” We won’t get any Parliamentary questions answered now until well into the New Year, so Nick Smith has caused a considerable delay in getting this information to the public.

Gratuitously, he added: “I would note however that the NZCSC have had this information since 2003.” He hoped that little factoid would hurt the Coalition’s reputation, but it won’t, although it might hurt his own — because the Coalition didn’t exist until 2006.

See the email, they said, but they deceive us

NIWA say that the Coalition have had all the information needed to reproduce the official graph since 19 July, 2006, when, they say, “NIWA advised NZ Climate Science Coalition member Dr Vincent Gray” of the need for adjustments and gave him a couple of examples. Dr Gray has located an email of that date and we can now reveal that it was from Dr Jim Salinger, not NIWA, it was not addressed to the Coalition and did not mention the Coalition.

It was sent just a few weeks after the Coalition was created, before they ever discussed the national temperature record. Dr Gray tells us that and other emails before and since were not official communications on either side — they were letters between two scientists who had known each other for years.

But most significantly the email does not give details of the adjustments made to the temperatures, nor does it give the information required to derive the adjustments. Dr Salinger just discusses the changes in a general way and gives a few examples and that’s all. NIWA’s assertion that that email contains the requested information is not supported by reading the email. Continue Reading →

Prove it, iceman!

This was in the Herald this morning:

Icebergs coming en masse

More than 100 Antarctic icebergs – and possibly even hundreds of them – are floating towards New Zealand.

An Australian Antarctic Division glaciologist, Neal Young, said yesterday that the ice chunks, spotted in satellite photos, had passed the Auckland Islands and were heading towards the South Island, 450km northeast.

He said more than 100 icebergs – some more than 200m across – were seen in just one cluster, indicating there could be hundreds more.

Dr Young said they were the remains of a massive ice floe which split from Antarctica in rising sea and air temperatures resulting from global warming.

– AFP

I think it’s exciting that we might see giant icebergs again, because it’s dramatic. However, the assumption that their close approach is connected with warming is odd, since the appearance of ice in my gin and tonic indicates just the opposite—a cooling trend. As you sail to Antarctica, the appearance of icebergs in the sea certainly confirms a cooling trend. A reasonable person, on hearing that icebergs appear because of warming, surely considers enquiring whether it’s actually because of cooling.

Dr Young’s easy attribution of the calving of these icebergs to “global warming” is unlikeable and unconvincing. More likely is that, as usual, the ice shelf reaches such a length (through continual plentiful production of ice, please note!) that the ocean waves can move it about with sufficient force to snap it off. If warming was causing melting, what would survive to embark on a voyage to anywhere?

It is equally likely that, because of cooling seas, the icebergs now survive the long voyage to New Zealand!

I know of no evidence supporting a global rise in temperature recently. Certainly, no more than perhaps 0.2°C, something like that, in the few months which might have influenced the calving. In the Antarctic, such a rise might get you up to around minus eleventy five which is dreadfully chilly and won’t melt anything. There’s nothing abnormal going on here. Might we not reasonably expect the Herald to know this and to question the AFP story?

They have let us down.

Drop conspiracy talk, just look at your thermometer

The other day in the Herald, Mr Chris Barton took up the topic of global warming in an article headed “Climate debate adrift on rising tide of lunacy“.

With hardly a mention of the subject, Barton gets stuck into those who question the orthodox view of the subject. He tries various techniques to get the opposition to shut up; in fact, he tries everything except actually, well, listening to them.

He gets a bit confused, too. At one point he says, of the “madness” of the climate change debate, “there is a lot of it about”. But later he’s forgotten that and, trying to mis-characterise the strength of the opposition, he says “Like the rest of the world we have a small but very vocal group spreading their stupidity”.

He picks up on a typographical error by a correspondent and makes merry with the new word as though it represents a marvellous new insight. But it’s just old-fashioned stupidity.

This is a professional journalist who ought to support a vigorous debate for the good of the community, but instead he’s thinking up dirty tricks to silence a well-informed, well-meaning opposition. I’m ashamed of him.

If he wants to be taken seriously, he can address these questions: Why are global mean atmospheric temperatures falling as carbon dioxide rises? Why is the heat content of the oceans falling as carbon dioxide rises? What is the evidence that the temperature increases of the late 20th century were caused by carbon dioxide? What is the evidence that increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide will result in dangerously higher temperatures? Is he happy to bring our productive systems into disarray and ruin our lovely environment with noisy, ugly windmills on the basis of climate models that are known to be wrong and without performing any cost-benefit analysis?

If Barton actually observes the climate and its history he will quickly discover for himself why we’re so doubtful that anything dangerous is about to happen. Perhaps then he will hear the shrill voices of alarm as we hear them: as dogs barking and fleas biting but nothing of consequence.

What else can be said to him? I tried this the next day: Continue Reading →

White roofs might cool a city, but hardly the globe

Brian Rudman, in White roofs are good for society, in the Herald last Wednesday, dredges up Professor Steven Chu’s wacky idea from last May to paint our roofs white, reflect more sunlight and thus temper the severe global warming presently afflicting us.

Professor Chu, US Energy Secretary and Nobel-prize-winning physicist, said lightening roofs and roads in urban environments would offset the global warming effects of all the cars in the world for 11 years.

He doesn’t tell us how long everything must remain painted white to earn those 11 years, or how much we’d need to pay for all the paint.

We can tell him, however, that it wouldn’t make any difference to global warming, although it might reduce the urban heat island (UHI) effect.

How does the UHI work? Well, roads and buildings absorb heat from the sun more than trees or grasslands do. So, as a village becomes a town and the town grows into a city, adding more and more roads and buildings, average temperatures climb, especially at night. This happens in both hot places and cold places, it makes no difference; if you build a city, you raise the temperature.

But if more surfaces were light-coloured instead of dark, more sunlight would be reflected and downtown wouldn’t get so hot.

The trouble is, it’s just not enough to combat global warming. With only about 0.1% of the sun’s energy being reflected away even if every road and building in the whole world was painted white (which would be a miraculous feat of co-operation), we wouldn’t see any change in the global average temperature, which might go down by about 0.1°C.

So we’d pay trillions to keep our parts of the world painted and we wouldn’t see any result for it.

The irony of this proposal is that the US-managed global surface temperature record is contaminated by the UHI effects from urban weather stations all over the world, since so many of them are in towns and cities. Anthony Watts, at Watts Up With That, has gathered evidence of this and for years has been lobbying to have adjustments made to the dataset to remove the spurious UHI warming and see whether we really do have global warming.

There is strong evidence that if this was done most of the surface “warming” recorded over the last part of the 20th century would simply disappear.

How ironic that Rudman picks up on a solution incapable of solving a problem that doesn’t exist, but whose effect could be to remove evidence of the problem.

Uh, so it will solve global warming! White paint, anyone?

By the way, it’s important to remember that this solution only makes sense in low latitudes (closer to the equator), where cooling your building is sensible. In higher latitudes (closer to the poles), where it’s already colder, you must heat the building and you really want darker colours to warm it a bit and save that heating money. So you can’t really paint all the buildings white, only those in the warmer places. And you don’t want to paint the colder roads white, since they ice up more readily.

What a pity. It was such a good idea.

We should indeed lead on climate change

A letter sent to the NZ Herald. Hope they publish it.

Sir,

Your leader of August 7 headed Seize chance to lead way on climate change, on one level, is easy to support, but on different grounds, for those assumed in your leader are spurious. We must take a lead, indeed—let us be the first to examine the need to respond to climate change.

No matter how far we go along the path towards action, no matter how many people concur that action must be taken, even on marketing grounds, no matter how the arguments for action pluck at our heart strings, no matter that we all want to save the planet, yet if there are no grounds for action, it will be wasted: the taxpayers’ money wasted, the voters’ living spent.

At the risk of sounding repetitive—even a bit shrill, evidence of the catastrophe said to be building around us is yet to arrive, at the very time of decision when its presence is most important. Global air temperatures are recently level, even declining. Even the long-term trend in air temperature is within natural limits. Sea levels are rising no faster than they have for centuries, sea temperatures are not rising, sea ice levels are within normal limits and Tuvalu has still not been evacuated, though an oceanic incursion has been threatened since the 1980s. Glaciers are mentioned only when one is found with pieces conveniently missing; plenty are growing, but unreported. We’re yawning.

The only reason to believe future temperatures will be ruinous are computer models of the climate. But as everyone knows, they are driven in every decisive parameter by human knowledge and its imperfections, not by the climate. They do not deal properly with clouds, which by themselves are capable of overwhelming any temperature change attributed to carbon dioxide or the lack thereof. They do not deal properly with a list of things. They are not reality and they constitute no sort of evidence whatsoever.

So—what is the evidence? Not the propaganda—the evidence!

Regards,

Richard Treadgold
Convenor
Climate Conversation Group

It’s your footprint. What is it to me?

Gareth Hughes, an obviously earnest young man, writing in the NZ Herald recently, advises us breathlessly to take all manner of feel-good actions to stave off global warming and prevent any further drain on the national grid. As though the national grid was not supposed to supply energy for our use. That we pay for.

He seems to take the view that the Earth is a fragile, sensitive object that, without the most rigorous balancing of resources to ensure what is called “sustainability” (but which is never defined), might never recover from the ravages of this human life upon it. Never mind that animals, birds and fish rage and stamp, consume and defecate their mindless ways above, across and under it and in the oceans in their millions willy-nilly. What they do is natural but everything we do is unnatural, artificial—even inhuman, perhaps. Certainly endlessly disagreeable. Continue Reading →

Greenpeace can act illicitly but CO2 is not poisonous

Last Sunday the NZ Herald reported on a Kiwi woman, one Emily Hall, now a Greenpeace activist in the UK, who was in a boarding party that recently attacked what used to be called a collier—a vessel used for transporting coal.

The Herald’s story contained no censure against Greenpeace’s overt lawlessness. It was a sympathetic treatment of Hall’s experiences with Greenpeace and her and its tactics of rebellion against the Establishment in the name of the environment.

But the story incorrectly described carbon dioxide as “poisonous”.

There was nothing wrong with describing the ship’s load as “dirty” coal, since either handling the stuff or burning it inefficiently results in a mess, although modern methods of burning powdered coal, combined with smokestack “scrubbing” of most of the airborne pollutants, is thermally efficient and allows us truly to describe coal as “clean”.

But labelling “carbon emissions” as “poisonous” is just plain wrong. Carbon emissions is a euphemism for carbon dioxide and there is nothing remotely poisonous about that. Neither is it “dirty”, regardless of Greenpeace’s clumsy propaganda attempts to link it with the visible pollutants that come from coal.

Describing this clean, invisible plant food as poisonous simply attempts to justify Greenpeace’s hostility towards carbon dioxide, and thus legitimise an attack on a vessel and its crew going about their lawful business.

The Herald ought to stand aside from the campaign to wrongly vilify carbon dioxide for the activists’ political purposes.

Bester knows best, uh?

The Herald let Denise Bester loose on us the other day. She made me feel I’d been mugged by a cuddly toy. Not rigorously scientific, just echoing allegations from the global warming orthodoxy, and so naively confident in proposing ineffective, feel-good solutions incapable of affecting the climate that she must have a vested interest in the solutions. Right at the end we find out she does. She sells them. Continue Reading →

Brian Fallow’s ludicrous doubts

The NZ Herald today carries Brian Fallow’s lament over a gap that’s arisen “between what the new Government is saying and what it is doing, with respect to the select committee review of the emissions trading scheme.

He says that National believes that an ETS is the way to go, but the scheme has “some design flaws” and that’s fair enough. But look, he says, at the terms of reference for the select committee!

It is the Act Party’s wish list “verbatim“, except for what he describes as “the ludicrous suggestion that the committee hear competing views on the science.”

Why is it ludicrous, Brian? Continue Reading →

Oxfam and ‘Planet Roulette’

I just emailed Barry Coates, Executive Director of Oxfam New Zealand, thus:

Dear Barry,

Your article in the Herald today attracted my attention, since I am interested in the general topic of global warming, but I also experienced a certain (perhaps naive) surprise at Oxfam’s connection with global warming. Clearly you believe in the hypothesis of dangerous man-made global warming; I hope you don’t mind if I ask some questions about it.

First, some facts seem to have come unstuck from reality. Continue Reading →

Twisting words bends nature out of shape

A NZ Herald headline today blares “Oceans’ acidity threatening coral and mussel survival”, making us imagine reefs and shellfish beginning to fight for their lives. The article begins:

Rising carbon dioxide levels are increasing acidity in the oceans faster than scientists thought, posing a greater threat to shell-forming creatures such as coral and mussels.

An eight-year project in the Pacific has found that rising marine acid levels will challenge many organisms, because their shell-making chemistry is critically dependent on a less acidic, more alkaline environment.

The study monitored seawater pH levels at the northeast Pacific island of Tatoosh off Washington state in the United States.

Notice how the scope of this alarmist item contracts dramatically from “oceans” in the headline, to “the Pacific” in the second paragraph, to “an island” in the third paragraph. That’s an important point: the scientists haven’t been studying the whole ocean, just one bit of it.

If a scientist claims to know what is happening in the whole ocean after studying a single island, should we award him a medal or just smile politely and agree to humour him? Continue Reading →

Huge increase in the minuscule is still tiny

Last Wednesday the NZ Herald tried to shame New Zealand into more grown-up climate behaviour.

A body grandly known as the UN Climate Change Secretariat, a moniker which smoothly conveys an image of sponging up large amounts of cash for no earthly good, had just released figures showing “the growth in New Zealand’s emissions between 1990 and 2006 to be among the worst in the world’s industrialised nations.” Continue Reading →

Tourism to be Ravaged by Global Warming?

The Editor,
NZ Herald.
4 January, 2008.

Dear Sir,

Is our hard-won tourism industry to be ravaged by global warming?

No, not by rising sea levels, but by imposts to “offset” the “carbon footprints” of the growing numbers of our visitors? Let us hope that cool heads examine the matter carefully before hasty action spoils anything.

According to research from the University of Otago published in the NZ Herald today, visiting tourists’ CO2 emissions equal those from all our coal, gas and oil-fired electricity generators combined. Continue Reading →