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.

When he became quiet for a moment Rodney said: “In your press release you described some adjustments to Kelburn, but there were presumably other adjustments made there, right?” There was more huffing and puffing, talking about this and that, references to “the graph with 11 stations” but Rodney said, “No, I’m only interested in the graph with seven stations.”

Quiet persistence rewarded

At last David admitted: “Yes, there were other adjustments made there,” so Rodney said, “When you plot the unadjusted figures, the trend is about 0.2°C — basically flat, right?”

They finally admitted, “Yes, it’s basically flat.”

“So, that’s interesting,” said Rodney. “And of course, the graph on your web site has a trend of 0.92°C, which is strong warming. So why not just explain the adjustments?”

Well, David was visibly rattled and his colleague kept butting in with his view.

They described the adjustments to Hokitika. Rodney said, “That’s the sort of thing 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.”

Success — “we’ll post it all”

They said: “We’ll post it all up on our web site,” though they did not say when, so we’ll see what happens. Then Dr Wratt said: “You need to write a paper, get it published in a reputable journal.” He wanted Rodney to write a paper describing the adjustments he was after.

Rodney said: “I don’t need to write a paper! You just need to explain the adjustments.” They said Jim Salinger’s PhD paper “explains the adjustments.” I start to get the feeling they don’t understand the adjustments, that perhaps Jim Salinger is the only person in the world who does. If not, then why did NIWA bring him back to explain the adjustments, after our paper came out challenging them? Why did they need him?

This is a man with whom a few days earlier they had been locked in a bitter employment dispute, and suddenly they’re all friends again — to fight a common enemy, perhaps? Or does Salinger still have all the original data and refuses to hand them over to his former employer? That would be interesting — New Zealand echoes of the CRU disgrace, where Prof Phil Jones, of the University of East Anglia, against long scientific practise, claims some data is personal property and refuses to share it with other scientists. The NZ situation dates all the way back to Salinger’s PhD thesis, when he had been studying at the University of East Anglia.

The Coalition’s scientists are already aware that Salinger’s PhD thesis is the earliest reference they have found which mentions adjustments to the New Zealand temperature record. They will examine his thesis more closely now. Is that where it all started?

NIWA’s public image in tatters

Rodney Hide walked out of the meeting about then, since he’d had enough of the lack of cooperation and the blatant obfuscation. But he’s a hero, patiently, politely asking simple questions that in the end could no longer be denied because they are reasonable.

Nick Smith had banned any recording of the session and allowed no notes of it. This account was taken from Rodney within about half an hour of him leaving the meeting.

We have reason to be very glad that NIWA have agreed to post details of all the adjustments we’ve asked for. We sincerely thank them for that decision, because finally, independent scientists can give the adjustments a public scrutiny they have never had.

So the quest to examine the New Zealand temperature record moves to the next stage.

But Dr Wratt and the Hon Dr Nick Smith have done themselves, their precious NIWA (which belongs to us all) and their devotion to global warming no favours at all with their undignified exclusion of a statesmanlike elderly scientist from what might prove to have been the most significant climate meeting held in New Zealand this century.

Their public image lies all in tatters.

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6 Thoughts on “NIWA squirms, but agrees to release adjustments

  1. outtheback on 10/12/2009 at 8:35 am said:

    Recently I attended an Auckland EMA meeting on ETS at which Dr Smith, Minister for Climate Change, spoke about its virtues.

    Some of the opening words of Dr Smith were that in his opinion the science is correct and current climate change is indeed caused by humanity. A few minutes later he states that even if the “science” was to be wrong the economical reasons for introducing ETS are correct.

    A rather interesting statement in that it would appear that the government is already gearing up for the fall out for when the “science” has to admit that they had it wrong and all doubt about climate change is almost over. I say almost because this has now been going on for more than a century and we just can’t bury the monster.

    But good news, we made the right decision because it was the right economical reason. Phew that was lucky.

    Tax reasons could be good economical reasons for a government to get into something like this, of course the other economical reason could be that no developed nation can be seen any longer to not do its “thing” in relation to the fear of climate change in fear of being called a pariah state and its products being banned by other nations public ( the unions will help in this to preserve jobs in their own countries, any reason to exclude imports is a good reason).

    So we have now entered the era of economic ransom from UN controlled bodies whose wishes are fulfilled by the masses and mass hysteria.

    The train has indeed left the station, except it left for the wrong reasons, but it does not look like it can be stopped yet.

    We can all argue that there is nothing wrong with reducing the use of fossil fuels, apart from life giving CO2 there is also a fair amount of undesirables released with every tonne of coal burned. All these resources are potentially finite so let’s start looking for alternatives now and increasing the cost of the use of fossil fuels will possibly help with this search. Just “not in my backyard” will be heard a bit more often in the future by anyone who may get a major wind generating development or solar panel array nearby. Although there are some interesting studies being done on the origin and formation of oil and it may not be anywhere near as finite as thought.

    To reduce oil and coal use and to promote nuclear energy , and seeing that there was no credible fear factor, someone looked in the box and pulled out an old one. No matter how dubious, it had the backing of the UK and Germany did not want to be left out. And even though the initial reasons I believe were created for a different purpose once the greenies picked up on it the monster was unleashed. Margaret Thatcher’s lasting legacy sealed by Tony Blair getting a less negative response from the Bush administration in return for support in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    The fact that the train left for the wrong reasons will backfire hugely on science, politicians and technical progress in the years to come and skepticism and lethargy within the masses will set in. People will want to be led even more and Super UN is there to help (with even more regulations).

    We will then need an even bigger fear factor to change that behavior, if at all possible.

    Dr Smith also mentioned that the developing nations need a hand with their emissions since 97% from all future CO2 growth is expected to come from these countries. Of course it will, for the developed nations to stick to their targets they will export their high emitting industries, and the jobs that go with it, to these countries so that the politicians in the developed nations can claim victory. At the same time as the developing world emissions go up the press in the developed part of this planet will stir up hatred towards the third world for not doing enough to reduce emissions, a campaign to buy locally made will surface – produced with CO2 friendly machinery.

    Then when I asked him if we can get out of any UN treaty once it would indeed be clear that climate change was not human induced he disappointed me by stating that a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. I can only assume that he was talking about his own knowledge as he does not know me from a bar of soap so would not know what knowledge I may or may not have. I had to answer him on that by stating that that little knowledge issue etc goes both ways and he agreed with me on that (so he does have little knowledge about this issue then). The whole comment was very disappointing and usually only coming from someone on the proverbial back foot.

    After a bit more probing on the question the answer was “of course we will get out of ETS if that was to be the case and the whole world would accept that fact”.

    So the answer really is: yes we can but no we won’t (and the ability to get out is a non issue as we wouldn’t dare).

    Back again to scientific consensus, which we will never get as it will be impossible to prove that it would not have been even colder without the higher CO2 level then what it will be in 3 years time.

    But by then Dr Smith won’t be Minister of Climate Change any more.

    Yes, it’s hard to know where Nick Smith is coming from. Sometimes I think he’s just being led by other interests, but which ones? It’s obvious he doesn’t know much about climate change but it’s a bit harder to determine whether he believes in it. – Richard.

  2. inversesquare on 11/12/2009 at 7:48 pm said:

    WOW….is all I can say

    Go Rodney!!, …..but get ready for the smear campaign that will ensue…

    I can hear it now:

    Right wing extremist, policies stuck in the 80’s (don’t you know about the ‘third way’?, lier, denier, self interest group….etc etc etc……

    I just want the damn truth!! and I can’t understand why everyone else is so hell bent on putting fingers in ears……

    I used to wonder how we got so many reports on Cancer studies in the media telling us that doing, eating, drinking or breathing anything at all will give us cancer…… me thinks that the climatologists are using the same funding model!

    Yes, what matters is the truth. – Richard.

  3. PaulsNZ on 14/02/2010 at 10:33 am said:

    With the huge sums of money involved in the Carbon Trade and the black hole debt of the US and worrying NZ debt and the enormous pressure put on our Govt to sign “Legally binding Agreements” on CO2 emission’s one can conclude the Global Warming fraud is driven by money!. The currency that rules our lives and now it seems will rule our demise!. So we should just refuse to pay!, Just like Ice-Land, just Like Greece. Whats the worst that can happen, Foreign invasion?, Civil War, Race war? Through out history these things have come to pass when Money is involved!.. I Say Kill the influence of Foreign Banks in our Land!. John Key knows exactly what I mean!.

    • I take your point that the AGW scandal is about money and influence rather than the climate. However, I’m uneasy with “killing the influence of foreign banks”. It rather smacks of blind intolerance than a rational theory.

      Can you say more about it?

  4. Pingback: Climate Conversation Group » NIWA ignores our questions

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