Strange new paper on NZ climate – Part 1

Cooling consistent with warming

Rodney Hide’s column in last week’s NBR commented on a recent article in Nature Communications:

The glaciers are retreating. The glaciers are retreating. Humans are cooking the planet! Hang on, the glaciers are advancing. They’re advancing. Humans are cooking the planet! Continue Reading →

Graham rises to snarl at Hide, induces somnolence

Kennedy Graham, Greens MP

Kennedy Graham, another Greens MP who distorts environmental facts despite his immaculate steel-grey coiffure, says in the NBR that Rodney Hide’s depiction of the Greens (‘Zombie Greens chant false science mantra’) makes selective use of facts and conclusions. He should know, he’s an expert at it—for 16 years he was one of our diplomats. Continue Reading →

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.

Renwick doesn’t blame AGW for drought

When Rodney Hide, in an NBR article, criticised Dr James Renwick for, in a TV1 interview, blaming anthropogenic warming for the recent drought, Gareth Renowden accused him of misrepresentation.


James Renwick has confirmed by email that he did not blame global warming for the recent drought. 10:00 pm 16 May 2013


First I defended Rodney. Later I pointed out that the NBR took exactly the same message from Renwick’s interview as Rodney had. It reported: “Dr Renwick told the programme that global warming was the only explanation for the drought.” In a detailed analysis of the interview and its introduction I show how this was the reasonable conclusion. Continue Reading →

Renowden a scaring warmist

I haven’t seen much lately of Gareth Renowden’s climate writing, although I came across him burbling recently about US activist Bill McKibben.

Today I read Renowden’s post at The Daily Blog complaining about Rodney Hide’s NBR article. In it, Rodney criticises Dr James Renwick for comments Renwick made during this interview for TV1’s Q+A programme.

Nasty stuff

In the Daily Blog post, Renowden is distinctly combative, immediately smearing Rodney as ‘irrelevant’ and ‘rabid.’ It’s nasty stuff, but Renowden seems inured to the dirt he shovels. There was nothing in Rodney’s article to deserve this treatment. It’s unclear why Renowden bothers with such an “irrelevant” commentator but comparing Rodney with a mad dog is as outrageous as it is patently untrue.

In the end Renowden shreds his own credibility by inviting Rodney to join the warmists, claiming rather feebly ‘we need all hands on deck’ — as though the rabidly irrelevant would chance his welcome.


James Renwick has confirmed by email that he did not blame global warming for the recent drought. 10:00 pm 16 May 2013


Disagreeing further with Rodney’s article, Gareth makes a point I cannot ignore: “There’s been no warming for 17 years, apparently. Tell that to the Greenland ice sheet, or the Arctic sea ice. Tell that to the warming oceans. Global surface temperatures may not be shooting up as fast as in the recent past, but heat continues to accumulate in the climate system. Rapid climate change is here, now.” Continue Reading →

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.

A fox in the henhouse

Rodney Hide’s been allowed to write in the Herald on Sunday.

This week he talks about the ETS and he’s not kind about it. The carbon price has collapsed and the government’s changed the playing field so the trading will probably never recover. Shame.

He mentions the CCG blog (thanks, Rodney!) and something I said about selling unwanted CO2. Stirred up a large number of comments. Do join in.

No answer was the stern reply

Parliament Buildings

Rodney’s first question

As regular readers know, Rodney Hide offered to pose our questions in the Parliament. ACT has just received the first answer from Dr Wayne Mapp, Minister of Research, Science and Technology.

Question: Does he agree with NIWA that the New Zealand Temperature Record (NZTR) is not an official temperature record, if so, why, and if not, why not?

Date Lodged: 28/10/2010

Answer Text: The Member will be aware of the judicial review proceedings against NIWA involving climate data initiated by the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition. Standing Order 111(c) notes that matters awaiting or under adjudication in any court of record may not be referred to in any question. Given this, it would be inappropriate for me to respond further to this question.

Date Received: 10/11/2010

Officially unofficial

This question was aimed at a statement by NIWA’s legal team in their Statement of Defence. That statement claims to classify their frequently-published national temperature graph as unofficial. Officially.

In answering that they couldn’t comment on matters before the court, at least NIWA and the minister avoided any temptation to grandstand or score points, but it means we’ll have to wait a while before learning their real meaning in making this bizarre claim in the first place: that (apparently) the only national temperature record put together, published and constantly presented over many years by the country’s only publicly-funded climate recording organisation is not actually the official national temperature record!

Qué?

World of sceptical questions unfolds…

Rodney Hide

We have been offered, dear reader, an outstanding opportunity to engage in climate activism.

A reader, Huub Bakker, commented yesterday on What’s left of the NIWA case, saying:

Where does all this leave the Government legally? Should all the previous conclusions be re-evaluated? Will the plastering job of the new NZTR be sufficient? Any thoughts from Rodney Hide, who I know reads this blog?

And this afternoon Rodney responded:

Amazing! And very disturbing about the state of science at NIWA.

What next? I am not sure.

Perhaps readers could suggest questions for the Minister Responsible for Climate Change Issues, Nick Smith, and the Minister of Research, Science and Technology (in Charge of NIWA), Wayne Mapp?

No other country can do this

That’s a remarkable offer, Rodney, and we’ll take you up on that, thank you.

Folks: let’s not underestimate either the significance of Rodney’s suggestion or the power of our questions. For overseas readers: Ministers of the Crown are under an obligation to answer correctly-phrased questions in the Parliament; they cannot decline. The difficulty is that you need to be a member of the House to ask the questions. Hence the importance of Rodney’s suggestion. Let us use it wisely.

Overseas readers included

Continue Reading →

NIWA — climate denialists

Dr David Wratt

NIWA have responded to Rodney Hide’s criticism of their temperature record in two articles: a statement they published yesterday on Scoop, quoting Chief Executive John Morgan and Chief Climate Scientist David Wratt, and an article by Kent Atkinson from NZPA, who interviewed David Wratt and NIWA Communications Manager Michelle Hollis.

Here I review NIWA’s own statement at Scoop.

NIWA CEO John Morgan says, admirably, if predictably, that he supports “the integrity and professionalism” of his scientists. He adds that NIWA is internationally respected but then makes the quite remarkable statement that “we do not get involved in political commentary or process.”

That is an outstanding denial of the candidly political stance taken by the climate scientists under David Wratt, who unblushingly push the IPCC line, that human-caused warming will destroy life on Earth, that any temperature increase in the Earth’s climate should be “controlled” or “managed” below 2°C (as if we had the power to do so), that the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide should be “held” at 350 ppmv (as if we had the power to do so) and that the only way to escape ruinous global warming is to stop using petrochemicals and increase the use of all renewable energy sources but not nuclear power. And change our light bulbs and recycle things.

None of that is science; none of that is supported by scientific observations; none of that is anything but policy, politics and advocacy. Continue Reading →

NIWA ignores our questions

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).


A further question asked the minister why he tabled the Hokitika analysis instead of an analysis for all seven stations, as Rodney Hide had asked and David Wratt had agreed to do during the December meeting of MPs. Nick Smith prevented a record being kept of that famous meeting, so the only account of it came from Rodney Hide in a late-night phone call. You can read it here on the CCG blog.

If you haven’t seen the “NIWA squirms” article before, I’ll ask you to take particular notice of this part:

Rodney said, “That’s the sort of thing [a description of the adjustments at Wellington] I want to see for every site.” Wratt admitted there were other adjustments at Hokitika. Rodney said, “Well, just explain those, then do the same for the other five sites” [Rodney thought that the Wellington adjustments had been described, so only five sites remained. It proved to be untrue — they have still not described Wellington, so there are six to go.]

Rodney’s request to see all seven stations is unambiguous and undeniable. Continue Reading →

Question time Mapps a revelation

A Mapped-out question

Hide one, NIWA nothing

Question time in the House today was a revelation. You could see it, writ large and terrible, on Wayne Mapp’s face as he finally realised the depth of deception he’s been handed by his own department, the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA).

It has been obvious for a while that NIWA has not taken the good minister into its confidence, and I hope that the Hon Dr Mapp went back to that department today and rapped some naughty NIWA knuckles. It is past time it happened.

Deception is the wrong approach to use on a Minister of the Crown. You might try it, and for a time you might succeed, but it will catch up with you. I would not be in David Wratt’s shoes right now for any price.

Dreadful display of ignorance

Wayne Mapp did not appear to know

  • that the schedule of adjustments was not, in fact, contained in the voluminous references NIWA gave the NZ Climate Science Coalition (CSC)
  • that there are reasons other than location changes to adjust temperature readings
  • that the schedule of adjustments is not on NIWA’s web site
  • that Salinger’s thesis is not publicly available
  • the difference between the methodology of the temperature adjustments and the adjustments themselves
  • that the documents cited by NIWA do not in fact exist on NIWA’s web site but are elsewhere
  • that the famed schedule of adjustments does not actually exist

It was a dreadful display of ignorance by a Minister facing questions in the Parliament. Continue Reading →

NIWA squirms, but agrees to release adjustments

A momentous meeting took place last night (Wednesday, 9 December) at Parliament House in Wellington. This exclusive account comes courtesy of the Hon Rodney Hide, who was present.

The meeting was called two weeks back by Nick Smith so that MPs could be briefed by Dr David Wratt, Chief Climate Scientist, on the official NZ temperature graph published by NIWA on their web site, which Rodney Hide had posed questions about in the Parliament.

Knowing NIWA climate scientists would be there, Rodney invited Dr Vincent Gray, leading climate scientist, to accompany him as an advisor.

Gross discourtesy

But before the meeting could begin, the Hon Dr Nick Smith had a surprise for them. He ordered Rodney not to bring Vincent into the meeting. Nick said roughly: “It’s a private meeting of MPs and we do not wish to have outsiders.” But, showing a distinct favouritism, he allowed the outsiders from NIWA to remain. So why did he exclude Rodney’s adviser? Was it because Vincent has known the details of the New Zealand temperature records for more than fifty years? Was NIWA afraid of what he knows? If not, why did Nick Smith refuse to admit Dr Vincent Gray?

It was, of course, a gross discourtesy for Nick Smith to brusquely issue orders to a coalition partner in front of other MPs. But that’s just my opinion.

So Vincent Gray took his leave and subsequently Dr Wratt began his address. They sat through about 25 minutes of a description of the IPCC process, its committees, scientific writers and review procedures. David talked about the climate modelling that underpins the alarming climate predictions and it was quite unnecessary and very boring.

Sudden disorder

Finally there was a moment for a question. Rodney said: “I’d just like to take you back to the graph on your web site, the one with seven stations. Can I ask about that?”

There were sudden signs of disorder as David Wratt, with the other scientist (Rodney didn’t catch his name) interrupting from time to time, seemed immediately to become angry with the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition. He ranted on about their press release and they didn’t want to know this or that. Continue Reading →