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 →

Renowden has no evidence for CAGW

Jo Nova's take on the lack of evidence for AGW

This is in response (slightly delayed by an Easter break) to the list of “proofs” produced by Gareth Renowden, at Hot Topic, in answer to my request of Sir Peter Gluckman, the PM’s scientific advisor, for evidence of a human cause for anticipated dangerous climate change, more properly referred to as the catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW) theory.

On 17th April, I wrote:

I would remind Sir Peter that evidence is required to establish the following key factors in the global warming debate — evidence that has not surfaced so far. We have been looking for evidence to show:

1. The existence of a current unprecedented global warming trend.
2. That the greenhouse effect is powerful enough to endanger the environment.
3. A causal link between human activities and dangerously high global temperatures.
4. That climate models have a high level of skill in predicting the climate.
5. A causal link between atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide and global temperatures.
6. A causal link between global warming and the gentle rise in sea level.

In response to this, Gareth claims “there is plenty of evidence to address every one of his points” and presents some attractive and interesting graphics in support. I’ll comment on what he says to each point.

1. The existence of a current unprecedented global warming trend.

GR: “…is [the current warming] unprecedented…? Well, no.” Continue Reading →

Now Gluckman wants evidence too

Sir Peter Gluckman

How quickly the climate debate changes

From the Office of the Prime Minister’s Science Advisory Committee comes an announcement with the heading:

Release of an important report on the relationship between evidence and policy formation

It begins:

One of the key challenges for all governments is how to make the best use of evidence in both policy formation and policy evaluation.

It’s reassuring to hear that the PM’s science advisor is prepared to look for evidence. At least in relation to global warming, it’s not an instinct he’s been noted for. He tells us he’s released a report, Towards better use of evidence in policy formation, and I’d like to read it.

Until I do, I would remind Sir Peter that evidence is required to establish the following key factors in the global warming debate — evidence that has not surfaced so far. 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 →

Gluckman stumbles, Part 2 – Sludge

Lies in truth

UPDATE 18 July – see end (Royal Society)

This is the second instalment of a review of Professor Sir Peter Gluckman’s speech of 9 June, entitled Integrity in Science: Implications from and for the Climate Change Debate. The first instalment was Gluckman stumbles on the truth.

In using the term “denialist”, our Chief Science Advisor descends to the sludge at the bottom of the barrel of scientific debate. It is a matter of profound regret that the CSA imports this malignant, divisive term to his prestigious office and the hallowed halls of the Royal Society.

Soaked in fallacy

There is no reason for an honest man of science to employ erroneous techniques of observation or debate, for what would it profit him? They would only ensure, first, that his argument fails and, second, that his credibility is damaged, the greater for being the higher in rank. So this is an enormous lapse in judgement by our top scientist and deserves the firmest reproach. Endorsement of Sir Peter’s comments, such as by the Royal Society (see below), is similarly reproachable.

In adopting the technique – or logical fallacy, whichever you prefer – of the ad hominem argument by labelling those who disagree with him as denialist and rejectionist, he engages in the worst scientific conduct. It is no less than poisonous, and that this toxic stuff now emanates from the summit of our scientific pyramid gives it a cachet it should never receive.

Whatever familiarity the term has achieved under relentless repetition, the ad hominem fallacy it is soaked in is undiminished and thus it can never be acceptable among the well-educated. Continue Reading →

Gluckman stumbles on the truth

Lies in truth

Our quite new Chief Science Advisor, Professor Sir Peter Gluckman, addresses scepticism towards global warming. But he stumbles badly while confirming that the rot that masquerades as public climate science now infiltrates the very top of our national scientific hierarchy.

Talk about confusing the public. What chance is there for the man in the street to keep a clear head when even our top scientist gives the impression the world is about to end? Gluckman doesn’t use those words, but he aligns himself inflexibly with those who do.

In a widely-publicised speech at the Victoria University of Wellington on 9 June (312KB), arranged as part of the Institute of Political Studies series on Key Policy Challenges Facing New Zealand, he addressed the topic Integrity in Science: Implications from and for the Climate Change Debate.

Murky carbon schemes

Sir Peter is one of our truly top-drawer scientists, famous for his world-leading work in paediatrics and endocrinology. Scores of our top researchers, from scientists with decades of experience to fresh new PhD candidates, beaver away earnestly in the Liggins Institute which he established a decade ago. He’s the sort of man people instinctively trust and turn to for guidance; public officials and financiers happily entrust millions of dollars to him to spend on cutting-edge medical research. His knowledge is extensive and his judgement what most people would call flawless.

We ought not to criticise him lightly.

But in this noteworthy speech, he muddies the waters of “debate”, insults those who question the science, wrongly characterises the global warming situation and shamefully, in supporting carbon “trading”, supports those who seek their fortune in the murky, uncontrollable carbon schemes.

Though he raises the topic of climate scepticism he addresses only some insubstantial sceptical issues, virtually ignoring the very things they are sceptical of (which are the scientific observations and theories), concentrating instead, like the ad hominem-riddled warmist rabble, on the sceptics themselves, as though they all share the same faults and motives. Continue Reading →

PM’s Chief Science Adviser must change — or go

Professor Sir Peter Gluckman

Here is a statement issued yesterday by Terry Dunleavy, Hon Secretary of the NZ Climate Science Coalition.

UPDATE 21 June: see end of post

Prime Minister John Key has been asked by a former National Party activist either to rein in his Chief Science Adviser, Professor Sir Peter Gluckman, or to change his title to more accurately reflect the professor’s global warming propaganda advocacy activities. 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.