A flock of snippets – July 31

from a variety of sources & correspondents


What a month

A visit from the incomparable Monckton was suddenly proposed and he’s already on his way. There’s nothing like hearing your own community mentioned by the famous, so here’s hoping he finds local matters to comment on and to make our leaders respond. People like Key, Smith and the honchos at NIWA have been simply avoiding our sceptical questions, which makes it impossible to hold their feet to the fire.

I wanted to attend both the Northern Club lunch and the debate at AUT but I will only get to the evening debate.


The other day an article titled Jim Hessell: Climate change and hot air appeared in the Herald. An odd little rambling article to match its headline.

It came from none other than Jim Hessell, former senior climatologist at the New Zealand Meteorological Service, who produced the first modern peer-reviewed paper on the subject of New Zealand temperature records (Hessell, 1980).

It’s not hard to know why he wrote this “potted course” on meteorology, as he describes his article: it’s because he wants to be associated with the warmist side of the climate debate. The thought of being categorised as a sceptic seems too much for him, though he remains an old-fashioned scientist who surely believes in the value of scepticism.

We owe Hessell much gratitude for his solitary work on the NZ temperature record in the 1970s, which now stands alone in refutation of NIWA’s recent transgressions against the scientific method. Why? Because he shows clearly that Salinger et al. were wrong to claim significant warming in New Zealand. If they were wrong in 1980 are they still wrong now, 30 years later? They are. Watch this space.

But Hessell parts company with reasonable discourse in this garbled expression of belief in anthropogenic global warming.

Ironically, since Hessell first pointed out the possibility of the ubiquitous Urban Heat Island effect corrupting the temperature record with strong warming, here he ignores it completely. But everywhere the impression of long-standing “global warming” still depends on “the totally unreliable global mean surface temperature anomaly record with its unrepresentative sampling of variable and constantly changing locations by unknown observers with changing instruments under obscure circumstances.” [Thanks, Vincent.]

He mentions simultaneous cold and warm events as though they’re significant and increasing though they’re not; claims both poles are warming, when the Antarctic has clearly been cooling for 30 years; assumes global warming is caused by humans but not why; asserts that hurricanes are increasing in strength and frequency though they’re not; and touches on rising sea levels as though they are significant though they’re not. [Thanks, Bob C & Bob D.]

It’s febrile nonsense, but although the signature of “ex-Met Service and lecturer” lends it credence, the adverse comments show many readers see through it.

Where Jim Hessell’s piece comes off the rails is in his assumption that increased CO2 is a proven threat. CO2 causes global warming, and more of it will cause a small fraction more, but there’s no sound evidence that increased CO2 is a hazard.

So, what’s the evidence, Jim? (Model outputs and claims of scientific consensus don’t count.)

To counter his assertion of approaching peril, there is unambiguous, solid evidence that increased CO2 is beneficial to us all.

Green Party idiocy

They’re not stupid people, so why are they thinking stupidly? What are they afraid of?

Dr Kennedy Graham, Green Party politician, agreed to debate Christopher Monckton next week. Then the party leadership had a chat with itself and decided it was against the idea of debating global warming. What was their reasoning? This is something everybody should know about our “environmental guardians”: they don’t want us to think for ourselves.

Here’s the email to the Public Relations Institute of NZ (PRINZ) last Tuesday from Andrew Campbell, Political Director for the Greens (emphasis added):

Apologies I missed your calls earlier.

There has been a change of plan for us in relation to Dr Graham’s debate with Lord Monckton.

Earlier today the TV show Q&A approached us about our Co-leader Dr Russel Norman debating Lord Monckton on that show this Sunday morning. Dr Norman is unable to do the show as he is out of the country, but the invitation sparked a conversation within our leadership about would he have appeared anyway. We made the decision that he would not have, and for that reason Dr Graham has decided it is no longer appropriate for him to debate Lord Monckton if our leadership wouldn’t.

I want to stress that Dr Graham accepted your offer to debate in good faith, and continued to be happy to debate right up until our party position on the matter changed.

On reflection we do not think it is appropriate for our party leader to debate with Lord Monckton on the science of climate change as that sends a message that there is uncertainty regarding the existence and causes of climate change. Our participation in a TV debate on this matter sends a message to viewers that the science is uncertain, and that is a position that we do not wish to convey. Science has processes to determine accuracy (to the best of our knowledge at any given time). We feel that Lord Monckton sits outside of these processes and outside the scientific consensus on climate change. It is notable that leading scientists around the world refuse to debate the fact of human induced climate change with Lord Monckton on that basis. We side with these leading scientists and the scientific consensus.

As a political party our interest is in how we address the realities of climate change. That climate change is real is the near consensus view of parties in parliament too, hence the National Party supporting an ETS. The ETS is based on the assumption we need to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere. Finding ways to create a sustainable future is our priority, not re-litigating the accepted science.

So because we will not debate Lord Monckton on television is it the consistent position for Dr Graham to also withdraw from the event next Thursday also. I apologise that this position was not reached sooner, and appreciate that some materials or notices may have been distributed that are now inaccurate. Please accept our apologies for this.


Andrew Campbell

By this email, the Greens publicly declare that they don’t want their electorate thinking for themselves. They will decide what are appropriate opinions for their electors to hold, and any other opinions will not be appropriate.

What do you think? Do you think?

Mr Campbell, does the fact that there is “uncertainty regarding the existence and causes of climate change” justify the expression of this uncertainty to the electorate? If not, why not?

Mr Campbell, you say science has “processes to determine accuracy.” Does the fact that from time to time informed people disagree with the outcome of these processes justify debate on the matter? If not, why not?

Mr Campbell, when you say you side with “leading scientists and the scientific consensus” and thus refuse to discuss the matter, what is it you are afraid of in any discussion? After all, it’s only a discussion.

Mr Campbell, you say your interest “as a political party” is in how you address “the realities of climate change.” What would you do if the reasons to address climate change were shown to be non-existent? Would you perhaps “re-litigate the accepted science” after all? Even without showing the reasons to be non-existent, what do you consider is wrong with restating the accepted science?

Mr Campbell, your apologies are hollow, as your reasoning is vacuous.

The reason I say so is that all matters of important public policy deserve full, exacting and exhaustive public debate in the beginning, the middle and the end. For you to aver the opposite is astonishing, unscientific, unreasonable and unpatriotic.

It is the least of your duties now to explain and justify your mystifying decision not to discuss the reasons for the most substantial, not to mention the most expensive, change in public policy in many decades with the New Zealand electorate.

Why won’t you talk to us?

Views: 333

4 Thoughts on “A flock of snippets – July 31

  1. QuentinF on 01/08/2011 at 12:44 am said:

    So they wont go on TV because Monckton will show them as charletons and the public might be told the truth?

    • Andy on 01/08/2011 at 7:41 am said:

      No, they won’t go on TV because it might “confuse” the public about climate change, and this is not the message they want to convey.

      Basically, they are saying that you have to be thick and unquestioning to vote for them. This might not be a great vote-winning strategy for most political parties.

  2. Andy on 01/08/2011 at 7:55 am said:

    Incidentally, the team at Hot Topic appear to be organising an email campaign to PRINZ on the grounds that it is “unethical” to allow this debate, on similar grounds that it is spreading confusion.

    The activist movement GetUp did a similar thing in Australia

    They complain about Monckton’s use of the phrase “Hitler Youth”. He used this at Copenhagen when a group of youth activists tried to shut down his debate.

    Doesn’t anyone do irony anymore?

  3. Andrew on 01/08/2011 at 9:16 am said:

    Brave Sir Graham ran away.
    Bravely ran away, away!
    When danger reared its ugly head,
    He bravely turned his tail and fled.
    Yes, brave Sir Graham turned about
    And gallantly he chickened out.
    Bravely taking to his feet
    He beat a very brave retreat,
    Bravest of the brave, Sir Graham!

    With apologies to Monty Python

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