Public debate on climate change at last

Key and Rudd debating

I’m snowed under with work, but even if I cannot do this remarkable event justice with a full report, neither can I continue to ignore it. It must be recorded and acknowledged and praised and have thanks given for it. I will expand the account as I find the time.

It was a seminar on “climate change” arranged by the Napier branch of IPENZ, a society for civil engineers. Invited speakers included scientists from NIWA and scientists from the NZ Climate Science Coalition.

I have collected several eye-witness accounts which I want to weave together, but for now, just to give a brief report of the night, here is a quick summary from Alan:

Very well organised and run — took all afternoon and into 8 pm, with a dinner break. [Dr David] Wratt/[Prof. Martin] Manning/[Dr Andrew] Tait (NIWA) did not come across very well, to my mind; second-hand used car salesmen comes to mind (especially the first two).

Tait was hopeless; spoke of the precautionary principle, risk mitigation (buy my computer model tool box). Was a dead (not stunned) mullet when Willem asked him how his rainfall projections for the next 100 yrs compared with historic records. He was unable to understand the question therefore unable to give an answer.

Wratt/Manning came across as extremely defensive and tried to give the impression they are taking a very moderate, measured approach to their conclusions. But when you question them, the bullshit flows once they get off their rehearsed lines.

The audience was reasonably intelligent and could read between the lines. One of the questions I asked Wratt was about how he could confidently claim the pH of the oceans had dropped by 0.1 unit over 150 yrs, when ocean pH varies with space and time, and we could barely measure it with any confidence 150 yrs ago. He quickly passed the ball to Manning (in spite of the fact it was his claim on his slide).

Manning then stumbled along and blurted out some multi-syllable sciencey words, concluding that we would like more information — i.e., a non-answer.

A woman sitting behind me tapped me on the shoulder and whispered “they haven’t got a clue.”

During one of the breaks I heard a member of the audience state the sceptics presented their case far better (genuinely?) than the AGWers.

Bryan [Leyland] gave a superbly polished, entertaining (this helps a lot) presentation showing the folly of subsidised alternative energy. Game set and match with that one.

[Dr] Vincent [Gray] quickly drew the greenies to their feet, spitting flames and shouting curses, and you could probably lump Wratt in with them.

[Prof] Willem [de Lange] did a great and entertaining job of demolishing rising sea level catastrophe, at the same time linking the sea level changes to other than CO2. It certainly works with an audience that can think for themselves.

2 Thoughts on “Public debate on climate change at last

  1. Bulaman on May 17, 2010 at 8:41 am said:

    How can you tell a climate scientist is lying?

    Their lips are moving!

    Does the climate change? Yes!
    Is mankind to blame? Don’t know but we’ll tax the life out of you just in case!!

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