NIWA bows at last to pressure, but feels ‘insulted’

Tam-o-Shanter sea urchin

In the NZ Herald yesterday morning came news that NIWA is “putting all of its temperature data and calculations on the internet”.

It’s been five weeks since the NZCSC request to NIWA’s CEO, John Morgan, under the Official Information Act; it’s only two months since we published our study critical of the handling of the NZ temperature record; and it is decades since Dr Vincent Gray, Dr Warwick Hughes, Dr Jim Hessell and others started asking Dr Jim Salinger for his data and calculations.

This is tremendous news and it is to NIWA’s credit that they are releasing the data. But one comment from Renwick strikes a sour and revealing note:

Yesterday Dr Renwick said that while he had no problem releasing the Niwa data he found it insulting to be singled out when, for example, medical and Treasury researchers were not expected to disclose all of their workings. “There is a real issue of trust here. The assumption is people like myself don’t know what we are doing or we’ve got some kind of agenda just to get research funding.”

He feels insulted? He should stop whining. Any discomfort Jim Renwick feels in being compelled to hand over to the public this public data is of his and his colleagues’ own making. NIWA is being singled out only because of its sustained intransigence over many years. Continue Reading →

Computers!

Sorry I haven’t been writing anything. Over the last few days I’ve been reinstalling Windows and the applications I use. I’ve been out of touch with everything. But things are slowly being sorted.

Unfortunately there have been many little pieces of software (or updates) I’d quite forgotten about which have been hard to locate. To balance that, I’ve found newer versions of one or two that are much better than the old ones.

So things are nearly back to normal better than normal.

In the meantime, I hope you’re keeping up with climate developments through the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition, WattsUpWithThat, EUReferendum and Climate Depot and your other favourite sites.

How long, do you think, before Pachauri resigns? How long before the IPCC is disbanded? We’re still waiting for NIWA to respond to our request under the Official Information Act.

Glacier melt claims outlandish

This is a good summary of the Himalaya glacier story. Jonathan Leake and Chris Hastings, at The Times Online, go through the details and discuss the implications.

The IPCC tell us constantly that they use experts in every field to assemble its reports. It’s scandalous that any of their teams might be led by a person who could know so little that this kind of school-boy error is possible.

Their reputation is getting worse by the day.

How Pachauri makes money from false claim in AR4

UPDATE 1 Jan 19, 3:54 pm: I’ve just come across Roger Pielke Jr’s view on this. He’s disgusted.


Dr Richard North, at Eureferendum, explains how a mistaken claim from about five years ago made its way into the latest IPCC “summary of the latest science” on climate change, has been thoroughly discredited and disproven, and yet still allows Dr Rajendra Pachauri, chairman and public front of the IPCC, to make a lot of money from it.

We’re constantly told that the IPCC reports “are put together by 2500 scientists” but so what, if they miss this kind of thing?

How can we trust this man and the alarming climate predictions he gives us?

Inquiry announced into Pachauri’s UK money

The Times of India, under an odd-sounding headline, carry the following story on their web site today:

Pachauri-led TERI under UK scanner

LONDON: The British government is to carry out due diligence on New Delhi-based The Energy Research Institute following a local newspaper’s relentless campaign against the organization and its director-general, Rajendra Pachauri, who is also the IPCC chairman.

A British Department for International Development statement said, ‘‘As is routine, DFID is undertaking a full Institutional Assessment of TERI as part of our due diligence process.’’

The Sunday Telegraph’s persistence seems to have ‘‘triggered the routine’’.

The paper attacked DFID and its secretary of state (cabinet minister) Douglas Alexander for presenting 10 million pounds of British tax-payers money to TERI in Delhi last September. In its most recent piece, titled ‘‘The curious case of the expanding environmental group with falling income’’, it once again questioned TERI and Pachauri’s probity.

It alleged, ‘‘He (Pachauri) enjoys a lavish lifestyle; his Delhi home is in the Golf Links area, the most expensive stretch of residential real estate in India, and he is famous for his $1,000 suits.’’ The piece also insinuated that while the registered charity, TERI Europe’s business in the past six years had increased, its published turnover had decreased.

When ‘‘The Sunday Telegraph’’ reportedly put it to one of its two directors, Dr Ritu Kumar, a south London resident, that the body’s income and expenditure in recent years were both much greater than the figures it declared, she is said to have admitted anomalies in the accounts. Teri Europe’s accountants have now been instructed to produce a revised version.

Let us hope it achieves a frank disclosure of the financial affairs of arguably the most important figure in the climate change scandal. With the reputation of the IPCC taking almost daily hits on multiple fronts, it’s little wonder recent polls show fewer New Zealanders now worried by “global warming”.

Carbon trading is not about the climate

carbon trading -- chasing a will-o'-the-wisp

Once upon a time, people thought they would stop global warming, caused by carbon dioxide, by extinguishing their fossil-fuelled fires. But everybody loved their fossil fires and depended on them for every good thing in modern life. So they didn’t want to give them up. What would be the best way to persuade the people to extinguish the lovely fires?

Tax or ETS

The people decided that they just had to make the lovely fires more expensive and invent other ways of providing every good thing in modern life. That gave them two options to choose between: let the government put an extra tax on the fossil fuels, or create licences to emit carbon dioxide and let everybody trade them with each other. That was called an Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), sometimes “cap and trade”.

Either scheme would have the effect of making the lovely fires more expensive because the cost of the tax or the emission certificates would be added to the price of the goods and services. Naturally, the people would end up paying more, but that was the whole point. All the good things in modern life were destroying the planet so they had to become too expensive to buy and the leaders said that was a sacrifice they were willing to make. Continue Reading →

What’s the evidence?

Anybody studying global warming comes across a lot of obscure blogs and online magazines which rail at “sceptics” and “deniers” for destroying the earth with their obstructionism and their oil-industry-funded arguments. They seem to think that it’s impossible for intelligent people to have reasonable questions about a complex, controversial topic and that therefore sceptics are being deliberately difficult. So they must be shouted at.

Quite a few of those articles get my careful attention because I’m looking for evidence of dangerous man-made global warming. I reason that when they talk about the overwhelming weight of evidence, they could be about to mention the evidence. But none of them do.

Nobody tells me the evidence

Actually, to be precise, many of them mention the evidence but none of them reveal it. Many of them point to the IPCC’s latest report, AR4, but, though it waffles around a lot, there’s nothing conclusive that links human emissions with damaging climatic effects. If I’m wrong, I challenge anyone to point it out to me.

Some writers give references to this or that piece of the puzzle, which on examination turn out to be full of holes, guesswork or based on modelling.

Others go into admirable detail about what could happen if warming got bad. They cannot be refuted because they’re probably right — it would happen. They don’t show any link between human activities and the warming they describe but they make me feel guilty for disagreeing with them — as if I don’t care what happens to the natural world.

Real Climate (Schmidt), Open Mind (Tamino) have banned me

Evidence does not consist of statements such as “the weight of evidence indicates…” or “there is a mounting body of opinion that…” or “it is highly likely (95% probability) that…”.

This question will probably be ignored. However, I must ask: what is the evidence for dangerous man-made global warming?

What persuaded you that the global climate is being changed to a dangerous degree by human activities? There must have been something that persuaded you!

Real Climate and Tamino have banned me and Hot Topic insult me and tell me I’m not welcome because I don’t believe them. These people are afraid of honest questions. Still nobody tells me the evidence.

I’m really curious to know how the believers keep going.

IPCC’s ‘lack of skill’ — scientific malpractice?

Dr Roy Spencer

In a dramatic recent article on his blog, Clouds Dominate CO2 as a Climate Driver Since 2000, Roy Spencer sets out clear evidence for internally-forced changes in the climate system. An internal forcing is a feedback, as when a change in temperature causes some other change which itself also changes the temperature.

For example, when temperature rises, it may cause an increase in atmospheric water vapour; that water vapour may condense into clouds, which in turn, by reflecting the incoming sunlight back to space, may cause the temperature to drop.

Such a process might be termed a thermostat, a natural regulator, keeping the temperature within its natural bounds, much as it has done for half a billion years and more.

In our example, the forcing was a temperature increase and the feedback was a temperature decrease – a negative feedback, moving the temperature in the opposite direction from the forcing. A positive feedback would move the temperature in the same direction as the forcing.

To date, the IPCC assumes two vital things: that climate sensitivity is high and internal forcing (feedback) is positive.

I do not follow every detail that Dr Spencer describes, but, after challenging these two assumptions and showing them to be wrong, his conclusion pulls no punches.


 

Clouds Dominate CO2 as a Climate Driver Since 2000

Last year I posted an analysis of satellite observations of the 2007-08 global cooling event, showing evidence that it was due to a natural increase in low cloud cover. Here I will look at the bigger picture of how the satellite-observed variations in Earth’s radiative budget compare to those expected from increasing carbon dioxide. Is there something that we can say about the relative roles of nature versus humanity based upon the evidence?

What we will find is evidence consistent with natural cloud variations being the dominant source of climate variability since 2000. Continue Reading →

Spencer climbs down — word is out, help at hand

Peter Spencer

I missed the announcement in the Herald yesterday, but it’s just as welcome for hearing it late: after 52 long days on a hunger strike, Peter Spencer, farmer, has given in to “the concerns of family and friends” and been winched back down to earth.

According to Greg Ansley, Peter was “taken to hospital in the nearby alpine town of Cooma to help recover from the ordeal and a diet of lemon juice, vitamins and water.”

Congratulations to a determined champion of justice. We hope he can keep the farm he’s worked so valiantly to save.

He has not achieved the demands he made of the authorities, like a royal commission and a face-to-face meeting with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, but he seems to have made a strong point around the country which will now be followed up by supporters and sympathetic politicians.

Australian Opposition National Senator Barnaby Joyce will take Spencer to Canberra next month to continue his “courageous” fight. Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said Spencer had made an important point.

Spencer, who faces the sale of his property and is deeply in debt, said yesterday he intended to continue his fight against laws that prevented him from clearing trees from his property.

From The Canberra Times:

The hunger strike was the latest in a long line of measures Mr Spencer took to draw attention to his plight and those of many other farmers and graziers in NSW and Queensland.

Mr Spencer said he plans to continue to lobby the Federal Government for a Royal Commission into legislation that bans farmers from clearing native vegetation on their properties.

So the crisis is over and Spencer is safe; I wonder how the real battle will end? This dispute is not just about global warming, it’s about private property, land rights and the rightful powers of the state.

Rajendra Pachauri — climate pirate

Rajendra Pachauri

Is Dr Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), dealing with us (his global constituents, as it were) honestly?

Richard North, in a blog piece called Pachauri: How much is this man getting?, says:

What we are seeing here … is an interesting modus vivendi — three different payments to support the chairman of the IPCC, yet each payment is made by a different organisation to a different organisation — one in the US, one in the UK and one in India. No one knows what the other is doing — except Pachauri, of course.

Why were these payments made in such complex fashion? Apparently his United Nations salary is not publicly disclosed — why not?

On January 6, 2010, in an article entitled Pachauri: the smoking gun, Dr Richard North describes how

TERI Europe was engaged in the production of a report for which it must have attracted funding in the order of £70,000 and incurred considerable expense, yet it shows an income of £9,000 and an expenditure of £5,000.

Even if there is a substantial discount on the SI2 report, it is simply not credible that TERI Europe could have operated that year with an income so low, or spent so little. On the face of it, we are very much closer to showing that this organisation has indeed been guilty of false accounting, and misleading the Charity Commission. Continue Reading →

NZ’s Reisinger — God’s right-hand man

Dr Andy Reisinger

Dr Andrew Reisinger, Senior Research Fellow, New Zealand Climate Change Research Institute (CCRI), sits at the right hand of God. The god, that is, of the IPCC — Dr Rajendra Pachauri. Andy is head of the Technical Support Unit for the Synthesis Report group of the IPCC, and from that exalted position controls what the world’s national leaders get to know about climate change.

For he was responsible to his “core group” co-author Rajendra Pachauri for co-ordinating the drafting of the Synthesis Report for the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4). The SR is “the concluding summary of the IPCC’s most recent assessment of our current knowledge on climate change,” as Andy’s cv puts it.

That sounds like proper influence to me — real, transformative power. For what comes out of the IPCC’s Assessment Report (or more particularly the summary of it) goes straight into the ears of national leaders around the globe and they will act upon it. They don’t read the actual reports, so they won’t spot the differences between them and the summary. Neither will they fault the summary for themselves, because they are not scientists.

So they are necessarily at the mercy of the authors (or manipulators) of the Summary Report. Much has been said elsewhere about the politically-motivated alterations that were made to many of the IPCC reports. The reports are meant to represent the best of current scientific knowledge, but in practice they are watered down, uncertainties are grossly understated, certainty is claimed where it doesn’t exist and what the scientists said has even been reversed — without their approval.

The mother of all conflicts — of interest

Continue Reading →

Caustic criticism as Jo Nova badgers The Australian

Joanne Nova

Jo Nova gives no quarter as she attacks The Australian newspaper for its coverage of Peter Spencer’s hunger strike against his unjust treatment by his own government.

Jo chastises it strongly for the long delay before it covered Spencer’s strike and its inadequacy since. She compares the paper’s reporting of other hunger strikers, including a sex offender, a serial killer and some asylum seekers, with its reporting of Spencer. The criminals got extensive and sympathetic coverage after a mere few days of their hunger strike. But The Australian waited 26 days (nearly four weeks) to mention Peter Spencer’s strike — as a sideline. They provided no substantive coverage until Day 42 — six weeks after it began — and even then were bitingly unsympathetic.

Jo suggests that “The Australian appears to go out of its way not to report the case of an Australian facing ruin, feeling suicidal and asking for a fair go. Spencer has had it tough within our legal system — even a Justice decreed his case was unconscionable“. She asks:

Could it be that The Australian cares more for our carbon emissions than they do about the lives of our farmers? Do the editors feel that somehow the country is better off if we don’t look too closely at any of the drawbacks of legislation aimed to reduce our carbon output?

Jo obviously did a lot of reading on the coverage and asks about the balance one might reasonably expect from Australia’s flagship newspaper but which is lacking in this series of stories of hunger strikes. It’s remarkable (even striking!) how on the one hand the paper is sympathetic to the criminals and migrants and yet on the other hand distinctly stonyhearted towards an innocent Australian farmer.

Whatever the editors’ motivations, they add a further injustice to Peter Spencer’s already long list of injustices.

Peter Spencer story getting more attention

Red tape protest

The mainstream media are becoming involved in Peter Spencer’s story now, although apparently some reporters are looking at Peter himself rather than the big picture.

Some less savoury details have emerged from Peter’s past, which have the potential to obscure the real and substantial matters of his treatment by successive governments and his undeserved misfortunes at their hands.

Still, lots of people are interested in his welfare and Joanne Nova is doing a sterling job keeping up with the play and badgering the news professionals to protect citizens from the government, not the other way around.

We can see how the story develops further at Jo Nova’s blog.

NIWA guilty of propaganda posing as science

NIWA web site banner

NIWA (National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research) has been accused of “propaganda posing as science” in its claim that the 2000s have been the warmest decade on record. The New Zealand Climate Science Coalition says the claim that the “noughties” decade is the warmest is based on a statistic for which the margin of error is far greater than the claimed warming.

The Coalition says it fully agrees with the criticism by Blue Skies weather forecaster Tony Trewinnard that NIWA’s own numbers show there is no long-term warming trend.

The warm decade claim is one of five by NIWA which amount to advocacy rather than science, and as such represents propaganda which should not be expected from a Crown research institute, especially one claiming to be based on science. The examples of advocacy are:

1) The warmest decade: NIWA principal climate scientist Dr James Renwick told newspapers that temperatures at seven key stations over the past 10 years were one-tenth of a degree above the 1971-2000 norm, adding “the next warmest were the 1980s, about 0.07°C above that normal, so it’s only a few hundredths of a degree difference”. Dr Renwick should know that a few hundredths of a degree is well inside the margin of error for temperature readings and is, therefore, meaningless. The Coalition says if Dr Renwick doesn’t know about margin for error he shouldn’t be in the job; and if he does know it, he has misled the public.

2) NIWA constantly claims that spot temperatures are just ‘noise’ and only long-term trends are important in climate science. NIWA’s statement notably fails to mention that the upward trend in the nineties has unexpectedly disappeared in the ‘noughties’.

3) Most of the warming in New Zealand occurred prior to about 1955, well before the build-up of atmospheric CO2. There has been little or no statistically significant warming in New Zealand over the past 55 years. NIWA fails to put its information in its proper context.

4) Climate is always warming or cooling. There no evidence whatsoever that ‘climate change’ in New Zealand over the past 150 years is outside the expected range of normal climate system variability.

5) The NIWA press statement wrongly contended that 2009 was a year of warm weather extremes, when it is usually at pains to distinguish weather from climate. It dwelt on cyclones in the Pacific without mentioning the vanishing hurricanes in the Atlantic. It studiously avoided mention of the blizzards which disrupted the Copenhagen conference and are currently setting coldness records throughout the Northern Hemisphere. The entire piece is a classic example of the use of selective and misleading data.

The Coalition statement concludes: “Until NIWA responds to our request to come clean on the full extent of its adjustments to raw temperature data, exactly what adjustments were made, and why, any statement that institute makes about climate variation must be taken with a grain of salt.”

Old lessons good lessons

Dear Sir, A friend of mine in New England has a neighbour who has received a Government cheque for 1,000 dollars this year for not raising hogs. So my friend now wants to go into the business himself, he not being very prosperous just now. He says, in fact, that the idea of not raising hogs appeals to him very strongly. Of course, he will need a hired man, and that is where I come in. I write to you as to your opinion of the best kind of farm not to raise hogs on, the best strain of hogs not to raise and how best to keep an inventory of hogs you are not raising. Also, do you think capital could be raised by issuance of a non-hog raising gold bond? The friend who got the 1,000 dollars got it for not raising 500 hogs. Now, we figure we might easily not raise 1,500 or 2,000 hogs, so you see the possible profits are only limited by the number of hogs we do not raise.

The letter below surfaced in an email group today (on the right is its earliest incarnation). It’s creative writing and, if you’re in a good mood when you read it, finely stimulating, even hilarious.

But I was moved to investigate. Google gave several recent references, the earliest was May 7, 2006. I kept looking; there are a score of references dated December 2009.

Then, on a blog from Quite Interesting Ltd (www.qi.com), came word it was from 1982. The writer traces it back from 2006 to an entry in Hansard in October 1994. I urge you to take a look; the story is interesting enough, to be sure.

The matter has by now quite fastened on our writer’s imagination and he presses his investigation on and on, discovering it on both sides of the Atlantic and in ever earlier decades. Eventually he turns it up, almost fully formed, in 1935, with beginnings in Hansard, no less, in a shipping context, in 1934!

Old or new, early or late, it contains elementary economics lessons for ever. Not to mention some of the driest British (or American) humour you’ll find anywhere.


NIGEL JOHNSON-HILL, PARKFARM, MILLAND, LIPHOOK GU30 7JT

Rt Hon David Miliband MP
Secretary of State.
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA),
Nobel House
17 Smith Square
London
SW1P 3JR

16 July 2009

Dear Secretary of State,

My friend, who is in farming at the moment, recently received a cheque for £3,000 from the Rural Payments Agency for not rearing pigs. I would now like to join the “not rearing pigs” business. Continue Reading →

WordPress upgrade — sorry

Hard disk

UPDATE 3: Tue 12 Jan 2010 4:15 pm

It’s been four days without the blog

On Friday afternoon I asked for technical help from my web hosting provider. Something went wrong when they moved the site to a new server. While I was waiting for them to fix it, I formed a desire to install a second copy of WordPress as a test bed. I thought: what could possibly go wrong?

The minute I created the second database, the first one stopped working, meaning nobody, myself included, could access the Climate Conversation Group blog.

However, it turned out that there was no connection between the two events; they just coincided.

It’s very frustrating not having the blog available. The traffic logs show that a lot of people visit here every day, so I’m sorry about the lack of service.

Feel free to leave any comments, questions or complaints below.

UPDATE 2: Fri 8 Jan 2010 1:30 pm

Well, the upgrade still hasn’t happened, but the whole site is now on a server with the latest software that WordPress requires, hurrah! My thanks to the technical support staff at The Kiwi Web Hosting Company in Wellington for their help.

After the nameservers have replicated the new details I’ll do the WordPress upgrade. Boring, really, isn’t it? Computers have nothing to do with the subject, yet without them we’d wait weeks to hear each others’ messages, so it’s sensible to take care of them.

UPDATE 1: Thu 7 Jan 2010 10:28 am

Continue Reading →

Peter Spencer — climate martyr

Peter Spencer fasting on his protest platform

This is an Australian story. It is for us all.

Noble resistance has often created martyrs, those who die in defence of their cause. Let us hope we’re not watching the final days of the first climate change martyr.

Peter Spencer is a courageous, intelligent and resourceful man. But he has been destroyed by the Australian government, through the legal system, in the name of climate change. The only rescue possible for him is by the government and they are refusing to get involved.

It is worse than disgraceful. It is tragic.

The only hope for him now is a public outcry, which is beginning in Australia.

He came to my attention through this story on Jo Nova’s web site. It is a disgrace that the mainstream Australian media are not reporting it (though some are beginning to).

It is no great surprise that the New Zealand media aren’t reporting it either. For one thing it’s happening overseas but doesn’t involve Paris Hilton and for another our media have largely lost their spine. Especially where climate change is involved, almost no journalists will challenge the government line.

Losing all he has in the next few days

The page I link to above has important links to parts of the story. In addition, Joanne posted this story yesterday which contains a harrowing radio account by Peter himself of the troubles he faces and the strenuous, creative efforts he’s made over several years to confront them.

The tremendous strain of being parted from his family for the last three years and the imminent loss of his farm and personal effects in the next few days causes him to break down several times. Throughout his account, even after more than 40 days without food, he speaks clearly of events and his hope that the government can yet be persuaded to change what it has done.

Jo’s latest post reports the rally was quite well supported. However it includes a very disturbing account of possible government intervention making the rally more difficult to stage. Bus inspectors threatened a snap inspection which effectively stopped the organisers from using buses.

And we thought Australia was a modern country with advanced notions of freedom and democracy.

What’s possible over the ditch is possible right here.

What to do? Post a comment about your support on Jo Nova’s blog. There’s an address there to write to the Australian Prime Minister. Post a comment here. Write to anyone you know in Australia to make sure they’ve heard about this amazing injustice.

If you think of something else we can do, post it here.

Climategate — conspiracy and more

Climategate graphs

I prefer the term Warmergate (it’s so near the original!) to refer to this scandal but most people are by now familiar with Climategate, so I bow to the public search engines, er, I mean public opinion.

On 12 October, 2009, thousands of emails and data files laboriously collated by a whistle-blower perhaps within the CRU at the University of East Anglia were sent to Paul Hudson, BBC climate change expert. He did nothing with them. On 19 November they arrived anonymously on a server in Tomsk, Siberia, from where they were sent to blogs around the world.

On 13 December the Daily Mail’s rather excellent summary of an important part of those emails began:

The claim was both simple and terrifying: that temperatures on planet Earth are now ‘likely the highest in at least the past 1,300 years’.

As its authors from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) must have expected, it made headlines around the world.

Yet some of the scientists who helped to draft it, The Mail on Sunday can reveal, harboured uncomfortable doubts.

Continue Reading →

Christopher Monckton — climate champion

Lord Monckton

A letter sent from: The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley

1 January 2010
His Excellency Mr. Kevin Rudd,
Prime Minister, Commonwealth of Australia.

Prime Minister,

Climate change: proposed personal briefing

Your speech on 6 November 2009 to the Lowy Institute, in which you publicly expressed some concern at my approach to the climate question, has prompted several leading Australian citizens to invite me come on tour to explain myself in a series of lectures in Australia later this month. I am writing to offer personal briefings on why “global warming” is a non-problem to you and other party leaders during my visit. For convenience, I am copying this letter to them, and to the Press.

Your speech mentioned my remarks about the proposal for world “government” in the early drafts of what had been intended as a binding Copenhagen Treaty. These proposals were not, as you suggested, a “conspiracy theory” from the “far right” with “zero basis in evidence”. Your staff will find them in paragraphs 36-38 of the main text of Annex 1 to the 15 September draft of the Treaty. The word “government” appears twice at paragraph 38. After much adverse publicity in democratic countries, including Australia, the proposals were reluctantly dropped before Copenhagen.

You say I am one of “those who argue that any multilateral action is by definition evil”. On the contrary: my first question is whether any action at all is required, to which – as I shall demonstrate – the objective economic and scientific answer is No. Even if multilateral action were required, which it is not, national governments in the West are by tradition democratically elected. Therefore, a fortiori, transnational or global governments should also be made and unmade by voters at the ballot-box. The climate ought not to be used as a shoddy pretext for international bureaucratic-centralist dictatorship. We committed Europeans have had more than enough of that already with the unelected but all-powerful Kommissars of the hated EU, who make nine-tenths of our laws by decree (revealingly, they call them “Directives” or “Commission Regulations”). The Kommissars (that is the official German word for them) inflict their dictates upon us regardless of what the elected European or any other democratic Parliament says or wishes. Do we want a worldwide EU? No.

You say I am one of “those who argue that climate change does not represent a global market failure”. Yet it is only recently that opinion sufficient to constitute a market signal became apparent in the documents of the IPCC, which is, however, a political rather than a scientific entity. There has scarcely been time for a “market failure”. Besides, corporations are falling over themselves to cash in on the giant financial fraud against the little guy that carbon taxation and trading have already become in the goody-two-shoes EU – and will become in Australia if you get your way.

You say I was one of “those who argue that somehow the market will magically solve the problem”. Continue Reading →

Carbon bribery and corruption

Australian flag

The Carbon Sense Coalition today called for an end to the practice of governments trying to buy support for their failing Ration-N-Tax Scheme using tax money raised in an underhand fashion from the same people.

The Chairman of Carbon Sense, Mr Viv Forbes, said that since the “Climate Scare-a-Day” campaign of 2009 has failed to spook the people, the New Year will see acceleration of the next ploy: “carbon bribery and corruption”. Continue Reading →

Steve McIntyre — climate warrior

Steve McIntyre

In my reading, over the last two years or more, of McIntyre’s blog, Climate Audit, there’s a great deal of statistical material I simply glossed over. I had to take it on trust as I have no way of verifying it myself.

However, there were two things I could verify. First, McIntyre’s dogged precision in concentrating on a topic and following it unerringly for months or even years. Second, his unfailing courtesy towards everyone he dealt with, from scientists who, seemingly capriciously, refused him the data he requested, to commenters on his blog who “piled on” rather than keeping to the topic. He speaks his mind without fear or favour but is never rude.

When I noticed that scientists at Real Climate often insulted McIntyre without necessarily addressing his arguments I took it as confirmation they could not refute them.

It is with pleasure that I pass on this enjoyable description of the person behind that admirable persistence. – Richard Treadgold

First published in Macleans, December 13, 2009.

The private emails and logs leaked last month from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia can’t tell us whether industrial activity is really heating the earth’s atmosphere and endangering civilization. But they have settled the identity of the Great Satan of climate science. Torontonian Stephen McIntyre, a gentle, persistent amateur who had no credentials in applied science before stepping into the global warming debate in 2003, is mentioned more than 100 times. Continue Reading →

Kiwis and icebergs — they go together well

This post has been in the works for several weeks now but it hasn’t lost its fascination. A story appeared in the NZ Herald on 8 November about the latest sighting of icebergs, which annoyed me for its references to global warming. But on investigating I discovered some interesting science.

Icebergs are beautiful

Let’s do something for the language
There’s no collective noun for icebergs (the situation is worse than we thought!). Here are some suggestions: a group, a herd, a glide, a float, a thunder, sizzle, swish, a gleam, a crackle or a slush? That has a lovely rhythm. Let me know your preference, or send in your suggestions. When the list is a bit longer we’ll put up an online poll.

The story is stale and the icebergs have melted, but two issues remain: The first is that there’s nothing new about icebergs floating past New Zealand. It doesn’t happen often, but evidence proves regular visits going back millennia. Believe it or not, we have photographs! Not of icebergs exactly, but where they’ve been… well, you’ll see, read on.

The second point is that NIWA scientists can be relied on to mention the magic words “climate change” any time they’re talking about ice, water, wind or weather and that, my friends, makes me angry. Continue Reading →