Will Keith Hunter destroy us?

Prof Keith Hunter

Talk to us again, Keith.

All it would take is some evidence

Professor Keith Hunter didn’t continue his conversation with us here (which we all felt was proceeding very well). He based that decision on unspecified comments from some of our readers. But he’s not above visiting Hot Topic and throwing us a barb from there.

He had this to say a few days ago:

With regard to Treadgold and his ilk, I have to say that there is nothing they say that I can relate to, as an active scientist who works in the climate change arena and who speaks on behalf of many others down here at Otago in that arena. I have told Richard this. For better or worse, my view is that they (RT and co) do not speak for the genuinely skeptic community.

The time for their brand of skepticism is past, I am afraid.

Sincerely. Keith

How strange. He’s identified in us a unique brand of scepticism. It must be the brand which won’t go away until evidence turns up. But instead of waxing psychological and talking about scepticism, he should listen to what we’re asking. It’s not very hard.

I cannot imagine Keith’s flexible, wide-ranging intellect being unable to “relate” to the following, because it’s just not difficult to understand! Let me say it slowly:


We’ve found no evidence to show:

  1. A current (or even recent – say within 100 years) unprecedented global warming trend.
  2. A greenhouse effect powerful enough to endanger the global environment.
  3. That human activities could lead to dangerously high global temperatures.
  4. That climate models have a high level of skill in predicting the climate.

Now, come on, Keith, there are no fish hooks in there, no ad hominem attacks, no nasty slurs on anyone’s character. To show we’re wrong, all you have to do is mention some evidence.

How hard could that be?

After all, the evidence is “growing”, even “becoming overwhelming”, according to some commentators. So somebody should have memorised a bit of it by now, right? Say what it is.

All you need to destroy us is evidence

Of course, even arch-warmist Gareth Renowden now admits that warming has not been “unprecedented”, which by itself pours icy water down the warm neck of the CAGW theory, and that’s just the beginning. As I pointed out to him recently, he claims there’s evidence but has not disclosed any.

If you believe there is evidence, reveal it. If you think we’re being wilfully blind and deliberately ignoring the evidence, all you need to destroy us is the evidence!

So produce the evidence. Destroy us.

Visits: 110

23 Thoughts on “Will Keith Hunter destroy us?

  1. Andy on 02/05/2011 at 10:16 pm said:

    I wonder who this “genuinely sceptic community” are?

  2. Alexander K on 03/05/2011 at 5:05 am said:

    Keith Hunter has a rather disturbing view of what sceptics are and the way they think. I have a sneaky suspicion he needs to get out more and widen his reading habits.
    I am not a scientist, my formal education, training and and professional experience is in Fine Arts and education, but that does not mean I am not well read about a wide range of stuff.
    I see Climate Converstion Group as being generally senible, sensitive to the feelings of others and most ‘scientific’ posts are well-written, are factually-based and intelligently reasoned.
    On the other hand, Renowden’s blog seems to take a somewhat Rommian bombastic and sneering attitude to anyone who dares to disagree with him or his sycophants. If Keith Hunter identifies with the Renowden style and point of view, that speaks volumes about him.

  3. Richard C (NZ) on 03/05/2011 at 7:11 am said:

    Even Jim Hansen is facing reality and caling for major revisions to the GCMs
    Honest Jim: the science is not settled

    Anthony Cox and David Stockwell
    Anthony Cox David Stockwell

    2 May 2011 – ABC The Drum

    At his online website, free from the restraints of peer review, Dr James Hansen, head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, the world’s most prominent expert on the use of computer models for understanding of the Earth’s climate [GCMs] recently published an article entitled ‘Earth’s Energy Imbalance and Implications’.

    This article estimates the current state of the Earth’s energy balance using the latest information from satellites, Argo ocean floats, and GCMs.

    The Earth’s energy balance is the most important measure of anthropogenic global warming [AGW] because it shows whether energy is leaving or accumulating.

    Among 52 dense pages of science, Hansen reports on two experiments from the last eight years that call for major revisions to the GCMs.

    The first is the reliable measurement of ocean heat, which is accumulating far slower than the GCMs predict. Hansen notes the dramatic slowdown in heat uptake since 2003, demonstrated by an international array of Argo floats, and also seen in a decrease in the rate of sea level increase to 2.3 ± 0.5 mm/year from 3.1 mm/year [page 35].

    Observational error makes it difficult to measure heat uptake on short time scales, especially pre-Argo, but the slowdown in heat uptake since 2003 seems to be robust (Levitus et al., 2009; Lyman et al., 2010).

    The second is a major error in the way GCMs model the mixing of heat into the ocean, which has the effect of exaggerating the net AGW in models [page 32].

    Our principal conclusions, that the slow response function is unrealistically slow, and thus the corresponding net human-made climate forcing is unrealistically large, are supported by implications of the slow response function for ocean mixing.

    Hansen’s frank admissions may have been precipitated by a number of studies finding that much less heat is being moved to and stored by the deep ocean than previously assumed. Dr David Douglass, by studying the effects of the eruption of Mt Pinatubo on global temperature estimated in 2006 the mixing factor to be 50 times smaller than used by climate models.


    • Australis on 05/05/2011 at 8:49 am said:

      Hansen – “the slow response function is unrealistically slow, and thus the corresponding net human-made climate forcing is unrealistically large …”

      That word “corresponding” suggests that there is a constant relationship between the rate of ocean heat mixing and the extent of AGW. And the former has been measured by Douglass (2006) as being one-fiftieth of the rate used by climate models.

      Does this mean that we should divide model outputs by 50 to obtain the true extent of AGW??

  4. Andy on 03/05/2011 at 8:52 am said:

    I get the feeling that the “acceptable face of scepticism” is a bit like a friendly labrador – non-threatening, fun to have around, plays ball and curls up by the fire in the evening.

    We, People of the Ilk, are a bit more like the irritating Jack Russell, constantly yapping and biting at the ankles. No fun at all, and we are to be kept outside at dinner parties.

    • Very funny, Andy, and you’ve created a good thing. The phrase People of the Ilk rolls off the tongue and unites those who fight for the same cause. What sweet irony to reclaim it, reverse it, and fire it back at the insulting warmists.

      Soon we’ll commission a coat of arms and a uniform. Then an anthem, a book and a speech at the UN. The world will be ours!

      Oops, got a bit carried away there. What fun.

    • Huub Bakker on 04/05/2011 at 12:02 am said:

      Not to be confused with People of the Elk, which is something totally different. 🙂

  5. Alexander K on 03/05/2011 at 11:34 pm said:

    Yeah, I’ll be in! ‘One of the ilk sounds pretty good to me, but where I am living right now, in melting-pot central (suburban outer London), the locals would probably imagine an Arctic quadruped with large webbed antlers. My mum taught me to speak quaite naicely, but people here still have trouble with my Kiwi accent. Apart from when I use ‘bad language’ – Old English is NEVER misunderstood, anywhere!
    And Josh nails it every time!

  6. Flipper on 05/05/2011 at 12:16 pm said:

    As a non-scientist (or even one of those who call themselves “scientists”), I am appalled at the naivety of the “highly educated” participating in this debate.

    Regular Climate Conversation contributors, not to mention Richard T himself, attempt to explain, for the most part anyway, all of the idiosyncrasies of this debate in a manner that can be understood by “The Real Majority” – ordinary folks who will vote a party/parties in or out of Government.

    This view will not be popular with those who feel their professional expertise has been impugned by the flat earth society (aka Al Gore/IPCC adherents). But really folks, this battle will not be won by scientific papers. It will be won only by concerted political action.

    If you want to win, look for potential allies. Look what is happening in Aus. Look for allies in NZ.
    Forget (for the moment, anyway) about NIWA’s dishonesty. They will regret that in due course. Please, concentrate on the NZ rural sector.
    Without the rural sector (sans the tree planters) NZ is “ZIP”. Repeat: ZIP.

    Please Richard T, do not be offended. I admire your work. But will it WORK?
    Yours in anti AGW –


    • Andy on 05/05/2011 at 1:59 pm said:

      I do agree with Flipper here, that it is not about the science.

      The NZ agricultural issue is a unique one, because we have such a large part of our economy tied up in it, and we are the only nation (at this stage) committed to introducing agricultural emissions into the ETS.

      In my view, the issue around agricultural emissions is the biggest part of the scam. Everyone is pussy-footing around, trying to be PC, including the National-led government, yet they all know that these “measures” will only impose additional costs on the agricultural sector and make diddly-squat difference to emissions (never-mind any change to the climate, as if cows farting ever was in the picture anyway)

      Don Nicholson has posted up something here:

      “In denial over denial”

      Agricultural emissions are, in my view, the “low-hanging” fruit for the anti-AGWers in this country, and the one that the government are most likely to back down on on their ETS plans.

    • I’m not offended in the slightest, Flipper, thanks for your thoughtful comments. I’m not sure the CCG is up to running a political campaign. It might be better suited to providing information for such a campaign. Such as the efforts by ACT to put pressure on NIWA and spread the message about AGW from a national pulpit. Efforts that look set to continue under Don Brash.

      You’re quite right that the war will be (or is being!) fought in political arenas on political grounds and not on scientific grounds, however I’m a firm believer in having scientific information freely available for the climate warriors, because at certain key moments it will prove vital.

  7. Alexander K on 05/05/2011 at 10:40 pm said:

    Flipper has made a very valid point. The level of actual scientific knowledge exhibited by the Alpha politicians here in the UK is almost zero; so arguing scientific points is a waste of time. In my view, the only thing that will win this battle against the climate alarmists long-term is economics, as in the economic impact mad policies such as ETS have on the voting public, particularly in these straightened times. Hopefully, the old Kiwi reputation for political pragmatism and common sense will eventually prevail.
    But the value of this blog, Richard, is the science which is presented as a very valuable resource for those able to fight in the political arena. I’m a bit far away from home right now to be of much practical help in the political fight; all I can do right now is assist in presenting what I think is a reasonably sane and clear-eyed view of what’s happening in the UK.

  8. val majkus on 06/05/2011 at 12:09 am said:

    and there is a movement to repeal the Climate Act in the UK
    It’s recently started; hopefully it gains momentum

  9. Clarence Kay on 06/05/2011 at 9:00 am said:

    As I’ve seen it, this blog fills an important role in analysing climate issues in a topical and tolerant way – but it is non-partisan.

    The scope of the blog extends to all aspects of the climate wars, whether scientific, economic, social or political. Of course, scientific disputes play a major role because misrepresentation of “the science” is the very casus belli of the war.

    But a growing number of New Zealanders (whether scientists or not) have had a gutsful of the misrepresentations, as well as the mounting economic costs, and now want to do something about it. They need to become politically active, in the same way as thousands of Green Party supporters have become active in previous years.

    I personally believe that the recent changes in the ACT Party have made it a very effective vehicle for the anti-CAGW vote. Most of the rural and business communities were very comfortable with Don Brash both as RB Governor and NP Leader, and still see him as a safe pair of hands for the conservative side of politics.

    So, Flipper, hie ye to the ACT Party website!

    • Yes, Clarence, I sympathise with those fed up with the transparent nonsense ladled into the mainstream media news trough — I’m fed up, too!

      I was very comfortable with the ACT Party under Rodney’s leadership, and became good friends with Rodney after we talked about AGW, however I confess to being interested only in the Party’s anti-AGW stance. I was never much impressed with Don Brash as a politician (he seemed too cerebral and detached, vital qualities otherwise) so when he deposed Rodney I was concerned ACT would be disadvantaged. However more and more colleagues are expressing confidence in him, and you’re another, so I’m thinking he might be good for ACT and their policies.

      Thanks for your kind words about the blog.

  10. Flipper on 06/05/2011 at 2:14 pm said:

    I am sure that ACT will be more credible under Don Brash whom I hve known for some 35 years. He has the intellect (real, as opposed to perceived) to take apart the warmists “before lunchtime”. Hunter and his like have lost all credibility.
    If they (ACT) get 6% plus without bleeding the Nats all will be well.

    But lets us get real in terms of world political realities. Europe (Thanks to the PIGS) is broke.
    The USofA is waiting in the wings for Obama to come to his senses (bear in mind this “genius” has never even run A 7 Eleven) but even if he does, the USA will NEVER approve AGW legislation because it transfers power from the Congress to the Moon/Clark/IPCC clique.
    The UK isstruggling to stAy afloat, buty let’s not go there now, buit AK scores a three-pointer!

    At home it all comes doiwn to the way Minisyters And MPs Are briefed.
    The AGW ‘crts mke szure there are so mAny faVOURble m(to their ppoint of view) fliterrs that public rection to ndx thde like is buried.

    MFAT is a major proble4mn. TAke gthem awAy And Kyoto disaPPEaRS.. That wiull require steel balls….I could go on ……………

    Richard T nd tghe mAny learned contributors to CCG , YES gtheir c ontributions, ANalysis, etc etc etc is vital nd zshlould NOT cease. IU admire you foilks for your c ommitment and your iuntrellectuaL HONEZSTY. It izs really All worth while.
    My Original messAge wsas intended zaimply to say that hAvin g woin (as you have) the debate on the science, mpove on the poilitical fight.

    Have a nice anti-AGW weekend.

    • Andy on 06/05/2011 at 2:25 pm said:

      That damned cat is walking on your keyboard again Flipper!

      Never mind, I got the gist, thanks. And it made sense too. Agreed on Brash, but why does he have to “debate” that moron Hone?

  11. Flipper on 06/05/2011 at 2:21 pm said:

    I am sure that ACT will be more credible under Don Brash whom I have known for some 35 years. He has the intellect (real, as opposed to perceived) to take apart the warmists “before lunchtime”. Hunter and his like have lost all credibility.
    If they (ACT) get 6% plus without bleeding the Nats all will be well.

    But let’s get real in terms of world political realities. Europe (thanks to the PIGS) is broke.
    The USofA is waiting in the wings for Obama to come to his senses (bear in mind this “genius” has never even run a 7 Eleven) but even if he does, the USA will NEVER approve AGW legislation because it transfers power from the Congress to the Moon/Clark/IPCC clique.
    The UK is struggling to stay afloat, but let’s not go there now. But AK scores a three-pointer!

    At home, it all comes down to the way Ministers and MPs are briefed.

    MFAT is a major problemn. Take them away and Kyoto disappears along with the silly ETS (give any money to Chch reconstruction). But that will require steel balls….I could go on ……………

    Richard T and the many learned contributors to CCG , YES, your contributions, analysis, etc etc etc are vital and should NOT cease. I admire you folks for your commitment and your intellectual honesty. It is really all worth while.

    My original message was intended simply to say that having won (as you have) the debate on the science, move on to the political fight.

    Have a nice anti-AGW weekend folks.

  12. Flipper on 06/05/2011 at 5:12 pm said:

    Thanks Andy… and thanks Richard T for the corrections. Actually, Tasha, a Burmese, did make her mark. She is a little DoB who thinks she is human. Come to think of it, she has more sense than Hunter K et al.

    • Andy on 06/05/2011 at 6:35 pm said:

      If you continue to have cat/machine interface problems, I can recommend PawSense

      PawSense is a software utility that helps protect your computer from cats. It quickly detects and blocks cat typing, and also helps train your cat to stay off the computer keyboard.


      No, I am not making this up!

  13. Flipper on 07/05/2011 at 6:42 pm said:

    Thanks Andy. Very helpful.

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