‘Clueless’ cries the credulous truffle grubber

Don Brash

But Brash simply reflects reality

A post today at Hot Topic gets really stuck in to Don Brash. Don gave a speech today to the Federated Farmers annual conference. He mentioned the ETS, which exists because of a belief in the dangerous global warming created by the actions of humanity, which Don and many others disbelieve.

Therefore Gareth Renowden, the dynamic self-starter who runs the Hot Topic blog (named after the book he wrote — guess what that’s about?), which exists to sell more copies of his book, so he’s never going to admit he’s wrong about the climate (yes, he has a strong vested interest in this “discussion”), couldn’t let it go without having his say. Thing is, he vilifies more than he informs.

Don wondered aloud (in his speech to the farmers) why we have an ETS. He had to admit (answering himself) that he knows of no good reason at all. I agree we’ve been given no good reason.

No good reason for the ETS

What was the strongest reason the Minister of Climate Change ever gave for our ETS? He said it was to get brownie points with our trading partners. In other words, there’s no good reason at all. But Renowden seems to find it acceptable for Nick Smith to admit there’s no good reason for our ETS, yet perfectly deplorable for Don Brash to admit the same thing.

Renowden is so divorced from his audience that he implies there is a good reason for the ETS but neglects to say what it is. Maybe he thinks they won’t notice:

One might wonder why an intelligent man who has led two political parties and been governor of the reserve bank could be so unaware of the facts.

What facts would they be, Gareth? But it gets worse, because a year ago I wrote:

Gluckman has stated that New Zealand action on climate will be “symbolic, moral and political” and will not affect the climate of the Earth. It is a fact that he has given us no scientific reason to believe that such action is necessary. The Coalition has called on him, and I call on him again, to provide such reasons and to stop hiding behind the petticoats of the Royal Society and the IPCC.

Two months ago I asked again for evidence of a human cause of dangerous, or catastrophic, warming (CAGW). But he has never revealed any. Probably never will. But that’s two of our leaders giving no reasons for an ETS.

Don Brash agrees with Smith and Gluckman

If the Chief Scientific Advisor to the Prime Minister has never publicly mentioned any evidence for CAGW, why should Don Brash be expected to do so, and what blinds Renowden to the clear fact that the two men are saying the same thing? Don Brash actually agrees with both Nick Smith and Peter Gluckman but Renowden criticises him for doing so. That is not reasonable.

Don mentions the long increase in world temperature over 200 years, since the Thames regularly froze during winter, pointing out that the warming began a century and a half before our CO2 could have been a factor. Renowden simply whines that the Thames never “regularly” froze over. What a prune. Even in that he’s wrong, and he ignores the substantive point, that the world has been getting out of a cold spot all by itself.

Look at the Wikipedia reference he gives and you learn the freezing occurred between the 15th and the 19th centuries — about 400 years. That’s regular enough for me.

Bridge freezes Thames River – big surprise

Renowden appears to blame the freezing not on the weather but on an old bridge, which will surprise many people. Apparently the freezing stopped when the bridge was demolished. It must have been the bridge! Then he concedes that the freezing happened “only in the coldest winters,” which will surprise nobody.

Gareth, that’s the point: see, the cold weather caused the Thames to freeze, after which the weather warmed up by itself, which wasn’t our fault. So stop blaming humanity.

In his next simple refutation of dangerous modern warming, Don refers to the Roman and Medieval warm periods and the fact that greenhouse gases could not have been responsible for them. Renowden wisely doesn’t try to refute that. But he comments that there’s “almost certainly” more acreage of wines growing now in the UK than ever before. I think that’s almost certainly very interesting, as I almost certainly didn’t know that before. Thanks, Gareth.

Rapid change, but nothing is happening

Next, Don turns to the harmless modern temperature increase and whether extra CO2 is harmful. Renowden’s response is open-mouthed dread. He talks about the pace of change being “so rapid” as though it’s rapid, when nothing is actually happening. I hope he’s remembering to breathe, the panic attack seems real enough. Hate to lose him.

“Those who got rich without penalty on their carbon emissions … are to condemn the poor to suffer.” Dear, oh dear. “Destroyed by rising seas.” Crikey. Are those the same seas that are currently not rising? And not overwhelming any islands, nor deltas?

Don completes his brief review of non-dangerous global warming with the observation that “it’s entirely unclear why New Zealand should be at the forefront” of efforts to slow the warming, at considerable cost. But Renowden pontificates that we should “do our fair share.” Is that so?

But New Zealand is already doing far more than its fair share. We are:

  • the only country in the entire world (outside Europe) to have ANY ETS
  • the only country in the entire world to enact an ETS in the last seven years
  • the only country in the entire world to include ALL sectors in an ETS
  • the only country in the entire world to include ALL gases in an ETS

That gives us four gold medals, in a field event we didn’t want to participate in. Why do we need a clutch of gold medals?

Only country to attack its own industry

Why did we also win the bronze medal at Copenhagen for the most ambitious future targets (behind Japan, which has since recanted)? Why does our sense of guilt seem greater than all other countries? We’re doing more than our fair share.

Why are we the only country to mount an attack on its own principal industry (livestock farming), when the other 192 countries are selfishly tailoring their measures (if they’re taking any measures) to suit their own economic interests?

We’re doing more than our fair share. What are they doing?

If the only reason for us to have an ETS is to gain brownie points with our trading partners, what are they doing to gain brownie points with us? I’ll tell you: nothing.

Why are we concerned at all, when an independent examination of our temperature record reveals that our temperatures have remained almost perfectly stable since European settlement began in 1840?

There has been zero global warming in New Zealand.

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65 Thoughts on “‘Clueless’ cries the credulous truffle grubber

  1. Alexander K on 02/07/2011 at 7:30 am said:

    The bloke who runs Hot Thingummy seems a few sandwiches short of a full school lunch; it’s obvious that logical arguments are beyond him.
    Oddly enough, the Thames freezing over is not a rare event. About six years ago I took photographs of the ice completely covering the Thames at Boulters Lock in Maidenhead, Berkshire, about a half hour’s drive from London. It was very cold but looked very pretty, too, as it had snowed after the frost, but the ice was so thin there was no way anything but a duck could walk on it. The ones that were attempting to walk on the ice looked pretty miserable and kept skidding onto their backsides. Luckily, they have short legs, so falling down wasn’t a big deal for them. And I still have the pics.

    • Andy on 02/07/2011 at 9:47 am said:

      Here we go. Another Bishop Hill regular banging on about ducks 🙂

    • Alexander K on 02/07/2011 at 7:18 pm said:

      Andy, I never said a word about ducks on BH! I was just doing my best to add colour to the climate conversation regarding the frozen Thames.

    • Andy on 02/07/2011 at 7:47 pm said:

      Alexander, sorry, I guess it’s an in-joke after the recent thread on sea-levels at BH. The “half-way up a duck” comment by Jack Hughes prompted a flurry of comments about ducks, and even a Josh cartoon.


      The climate blogosphere is a bit like a pub quiz. If you take your eye off the ball for a minute, you’ve lost the plot, and you’ll never get the in-jokes (note to self: get a life).

      Just to make life even more interesting, Jack Hughes is an old university friend of mine, now living in Nelson NZ.

      We’re having a mild start to winter in NZ. I understand the barbeque summer in the UK never arrived, and it rained at Wimbledon.

      Ho hum..

    • Alexander K on 02/07/2011 at 9:23 pm said:

      Thanks, Andy.
      I have fond memories of Nelson and raced at the Tahuna Beach races in my petrolhead youth, more years ago than I care to think about.
      The Summer in the UK is about normal, ie totally unpredictable – the Met Office, in its usual style, went all alarmist about a probable heat wave last week. The daytime temps here in leafy outer London soared to a bit over 30c for a day or so, which was lovely, then the weather reverted to normal, back to hovering about the 20c mark. We had a few thunderstorms for Wimbledon, but that seems to happen every year, seems to go with the strawberries.
      Today is a lovely soft English Summer day and I shall be cranking up our barbecue in our tiny back yard late in the afternoon.

  2. val majkus on 02/07/2011 at 9:40 am said:

    reported from Australia:

    Reader Mark asked this question of Mark Dreyfus, the Gillard Government’s Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency:

    Can you provide details on how much the global temperature will drop with the introduction of the this tax in 2020 (~5years)/ 2025 (~10years) /2065 (~50 years)?

    Now, let’s make clear the ordinary meaning of the question. By how much will the world’s temperature fall from the business-as-usual scenario if we pay Labor’s tax? And the answer Dreyfus gives is…


    check for yourself http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/dreyfuss_confirms_zero_gain_from_our_pain/

    • Andy on 02/07/2011 at 12:07 pm said:

      Well, I guess that 10 years of high CO2 emissions has produced no measurable warming in 10 years means that he is probably correct.

      But we shouldn’t be complacent though, those “tipping points” may be lurking round the next corner…..

  3. Richard C (NZ) on 02/07/2011 at 11:28 am said:

    GR’s “facts” seem to side with model projections over direct observations, a trend in warmist language of late. Here’s the latest clanger from World Climate Report (worth a read re precipitation):-

    we’ll leave you with this incredible one sentence summary of an article by Laurens Bouwer in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society – a statement that still has us shaking our heads:

    “Lacking significant impact from anthropogenic warming so far, the best way to assess the potential influence of climate change on disaster losses may be to analyze future projections rather than historical data.”


    • Rephrasing: “There’s been no noteworthy warming, so let’s get everyone worried about our predictions.”

      The faith is strong in that one.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 03/07/2011 at 10:01 am said:

      Prof Bob Carter’s Sydney Morning Herald article “The science is not settled” contains (what I think was) the forerunner of that meme.

      The unvalidated computer models that now dominate the public face of climate ”science” are a jungle of complexities, and represent speculative thought experiments not empirically tested science.

      In support of these methods, the former director of the British Meteorological Office, Professor John Mitchell, has said that ”people underestimate the power of models. Observational evidence is not very useful … Our approach is not entirely empirical”

      Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/the-science-is-not-settled-20110702-1gvy6.html#ixzz1QzRBx7OO

      It is an excellent article written to sync with the ICCC-6 theme e.g.

      First, the science. The scientific method is a brilliantly successful technique for discovering, understanding and managing the world around us, born out of the fire of the European Enlightenment.

      Sound science is based upon observation, experiment and the testing of hypotheses in the context of the principle of simplicity (often termed Occam’s Razor).

    • Richard C (NZ) on 03/07/2011 at 10:29 am said:

      Case in point.

      Climate models fail to agree with 5 decades of observations

      Friday, July 1, 2011

      Could the findings of Zhang et al. mean that the projections of “almost all state-of-the-art climate models” are just plain wrong? They sure could…

      Global Warming and the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation NIPCC Report 6/28/11

      Reference: Zhang, D., Msadek, R., McPhaden, M.J. and Delworth, T. 2011. Multidecadal variability of the North Brazil Current and its connection to the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation. Journal of Geophysical Research 116: 10.1029/2010JC006812.

      Writing as background for their study, Zhang et al. (2011) report that “almost all state-of-the-art climate models project significant slowdown of the AMOC [Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation] during this century in response to the increased greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere,”
      As a result of their analyses, the four researchers determined that the AMOC’s “anticipated slowdown,” as they describe it, “has not occurred yet, even though global temperatures have been significantly higher since the 1970s.”


  4. Bruce of Newcastle on 02/07/2011 at 1:24 pm said:

    Some news I’m sure will stir Richard’s funny bone: Jim “a goat ate my homework” Salinger has been made President of the Commission for Agricultural Meteorology of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

  5. Andy on 02/07/2011 at 6:16 pm said:

    On the ETS, I saw Nikki Kaye MP (Nat) announcing on Facebook that the ETS has been successful as emissions have reduced and renewable energy permits (wind?) increased.

    I did ask for some evidence that the ETS was the cause of these emissions reductions, and not some external factor (such as economic downturn)

    No response was forthcoming.

  6. Flipper on 03/07/2011 at 11:33 am said:

    But, Warrick ….. Has Byong Lee done his homework, or did a Renowden-like donkey eat it?
    Second question… What “research” gratuity goes with the “post” ?

  7. Flipper on 03/07/2011 at 1:57 pm said:

    And as a follow-up which is equally applicable to Young Nicky Smith, Gillard, Gluckman, Moon, Hansern and Renowden ……..
    “Most politicians (TV presenters,commentators and entertainers et al) are like movie stars. They surround themselves with sycophants and yes-men and people who whisper nice shit into their ears – and a lot of them start believing it, because they want to believe it.” – Anon
    I exclude Don Brash from this, not because he is ACT, but simply because one doesn’t become a Central Bank Governor by whispering nice shit in a politician’s ear.
    Keep up the skeer, Richrd T !

  8. QuentinF on 03/07/2011 at 2:20 pm said:

    “Climate models fail to agree with 5 decades of observations”
    Well put in a FOI request for the algorithmns that these supposed “state of the art” models run on and see how far you get.
    I can hear the chickens squaking…

    • Richard C (NZ) on 04/07/2011 at 9:24 am said:

      Quentin, it is only the innards of some models that are impossible to dissect. Probably the easiest to access is GISS ModelE, here’s the formulation sheet:-


      Unfortunately the symbols don’t come across the internet but the information is freely available without the need for FOI, I’m sure GISS would send a pdf or similar if asked politely. NCAR is similarly forthcoming but the UKMO doesn’t provide the same easy access in my experience but others with more nouse may have gained access.

      Figuring out the formulations and how the code (also freely available at GISS) implements it is another matter entirely. I haven’t but people like Steve Mosher have been through every line of ModelE code.

      (Woo Hoooo editing feature – thx RT)

  9. John in NZ on 03/07/2011 at 4:19 pm said:

    The comments about the Thames are correct but the true believers will say it is only a localised cool period. When they say this, refer them to Soon and Baliunas paper in Climate Research (Vol. 23: 89–110, 2003)
    which shows that the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age were global events and therefore today’s warming is not unusual. This paper got a lot of attention in the Climategate emails.

  10. Andy on 03/07/2011 at 4:24 pm said:

    Richard, I really don’t know why you bother with Renowden and his band of trolls. They are not worth the bandwidth

    • Yes, they are not. But what are important are the bystanders, the topic or sometimes the person he’s attacked. In this case, I was sticking up for Don Brash.

      [Andy, notice this comment is now on the right post. I’ve installed a plug-in that lets me move the odd comment. You guys get an extra bite at the cherry, too; you can edit your comment for a few minutes. Might save me a little editing now and then.]

    • Andy on 03/07/2011 at 9:49 pm said:

      *Wow* I feel privileged, a plug in just for me!
      Thanks Richard!

      Actually, I do have a genuine point here. I have had too many battles and it really gains no ground. These people will not move from their positions I am currently having a battle I don’t want on facebook, and I shouldn’t because it makes me unpleasant to be around.

      I had some advice from the estimable Dr Richard North (EURef) who said that I should read “the art of war” by Sun Tzu ( I believe he gave the same advice to James Delingpole, so I feel privileged on that too)

      Choose only battles you can win, and don’t give propagandists air time.

    • Mike Jowsey on 04/07/2011 at 3:10 am said:

      I have to agree with you Andy. Don’t give them air time. Don’t drive your readers to their sites to see the latest scandalous crock. Ignore them and they will go away.

      (oooh – just tried the edit thingame – très kool)

    • Richard C (NZ) on 04/07/2011 at 10:03 am said:

      The benefit of taking on the other point of view (Facebook battle, HT) is that it sharpens your game. When there’s no-one taking issue with your position, there’s no need to draw on facts, be totally accurate or erudite. Consequently debate is along the lines of preaching to the converted or hand waving and tends to be somewhat vacuous.

      If a little provocation sends visitors here with an opposing or differing view (e.g. Nick, Thomas) then we have to have facts at hand and be able to communicate them. Engaging with those other views on other forums (no point in that for me at HT now that I’m in “permanent moderation”) regularly keeps the edge I find, especially when there’s others with a sceptical approach correcting or adding.

      Then to be effective, that game can be taken to wider public forums and national institutions with confidence in the position taken and the ability to advance it IMO. If your game’s not sharp, you go down in flames e.g. Ken Perrott. Having said this, I don’t think I’ll be putting my oar in at Deltoid.

    • Andy on 04/07/2011 at 10:51 am said:

      Yes, but if you get called a “denier” for making a verifiably true statement, you are wasting your time. At this point, you are entering the Orwellian world of the warmist mindset.

      They are not interested in your view. They are dangerous, nasty, toxic people.

    • Mike Jowsey on 04/07/2011 at 7:11 pm said:

      RC – For the very few who are A) well-read, B) well-spoken and C) well-motivated, there is merit in your pov. However, for a ‘sharpening’ of one’s game, an engagement is required similar to the actions of a steel on a blade. Too often the AGW proponents refuse to engage the actual point of a challenge but rather they tend to blow smoke, hand-wave or build straw men. Or worse – ad hom or block. Or it becomes two combatants quoting learned sources at each other with neither accepting that there is scientific process and insight in the others’ source. No common ground is found and no compromise is reached. I think this is what has gradually swung Judith Curry’s position from a proponent to a sceptic over the last 12 months. (Probably a bit simplistic, but I think she was genuinely shocked at the vitriol and complete lack of polite conversation coming from the Believers).

      I think Andy’s point, if I may, is that the weariness of it all in the face of a wall of venom and non-engagement is de-motivating. It is the choice of battle that is important so that one firstly applies one’s energy and time efficiently, and secondly one’s motivation and positive outlook is not sullied by the barrage of bs.

      Having said all that, I agree that now and then it is great to roll your sleeves up and wade on in to a conversation that is clearly lopsided, illogical and ill-informed. I love that!

    • Andy on 04/07/2011 at 7:55 pm said:

      Mike, I actually think Judith Curry’s moment of truth came after reading “The Hockey Stick Illusion”, and then trying to engage with The Team on Realclimate, where she received this venom.

      I really need to back off the climate blogosphere sometimes and focus on more constructive endeavours. Jim McK has done some fantastic work on the methane issue, and this is the kind of stuff I need to focus on.

      The alarmist blogosphere is just such a toxic and energy-sapping place.

  11. Alexander K on 04/07/2011 at 8:29 pm said:

    I wonder, too, about the merits of arguing with the less-polite and educated warmists. I was in the habit of jousting on the (London) Guardian’s CiF, but got sick of the foul and nasty language and the truly mindless ad-hommerie plus being expunged from the page for making what I considered to be very mild and carefully factual comments. Some of the posters there saw themselves as ‘attack dogs’ and said so quite clearly and employing any sort of our peculiarly Kiwi humour really set them off. After a while it seemed very similar to tea-time in the asylum with the inmates doing the catering – utterly mad and pointless.
    But, Richard, if you are convinced being exposed to proper science, reason and logic will gain new converts, go for it mate, but you have more patience and stamina than I.

  12. I’d like to put in my pennyworth’s here. You’ve all made good points, yet none of those points amounts to a dominating argument. Rather, they are all, at different times, right.

    It seems that we’re on a crusade, like it or not, and ranged before us (I do not say against us) there are people engaging in three kinds of thinking.

    First, there are those who think as we do. Our motives towards them are born of a sense of kinship and revolve around encouragement and support.

    Second, there are people who might be persuaded to our point of view; who are not presently persuaded one way or the other. Call them the neutrals.

    Thirdly and last, there are those who are so strongly persuaded against our views that they seem unlikely to change, those views having become embedded (we need not speculate on the mechanism). Call them the opponents.

    Three kinds: one with, one against and one neutral. We should frequently address the neutrals and give them the information they need to understand our point of view, which, we hope, will cause them to support us.

    We probably waste our time addressing the opponents in that vein because the belief is so strong in them that it becomes wearing, dispiriting and depressing. But there is still good reason to engage with the opponents, which is, first, to hear what they’re saying and, second, when talking back to them, opposing their views, the neutrals listening in will gain valuable understanding of opposing arguments. That is no trifling matter. However, success is a matter of balance. We should balance our effort with the worthwhile results that are likely.

    So, please don’t advise me to stop talking to our opponents; next thing you know, you’ll be telling me to stop listening to them, too! And that could be fatal.


    • Alexander K on 05/07/2011 at 12:16 am said:

      Richard, spoken like a true scientist!
      I would not for a moment dream of advising you to stop your efforts in their current direction. But at my age, well past the allotted threescore and ten, I don’t have the patience you younger people have and I know myself well enough to realise where I should not tread. An old bloke (now I come to think of it, more like middle-aged) once told me that we have two ears and one mouth for good reasons.
      So, as I said before, go for it!
      And the new edit facility is terrific!

    • Thanks, Alexander. The “two ears, one mouth” reference helps regulate the usage.
      Glad you like the new edit function. If you find any bugs with it, let me know.

    • Andy on 05/07/2011 at 10:49 am said:

      I think we need to realise that this is a political propaganda war. Of course, science needs to be correct, but it’s not about the science.

      Environmentalism is the new secular religion of the day. Couple this with the “post-modern” subjectivity that is taught these days (what I make of the data has as much validity as yours – much of this muddy thinking comes from Marxism) and we have an enemy that is very hard to defeat.

      Those in the middle, the general public who will be paying for high power bills, or even without power, will hopefully put their views into votes. That is, if there is anyone left to vote for.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 05/07/2011 at 11:45 am said:

      A political propaganda war and a massive power grab. The EU airline carbon regulations extend as far as Singapore for QANTAS (think Air NZ is exempt) and now OZ has a problem now that the Greens hold the balance of power in the Senate.

      Curiously, I’m not so much annoyed by political propaganda (I take it as given) as I am by unwitting and ignorant MSM dupes that do the propagating. By this I don’t mean AP because their alliance is clear but by the slavish regurgitation of that material and the lack of fact checking and balanced reporting. The “free press” don’t know they’re alive, they should take a long hard look at how things are in Fiji.

    • this is a political propaganda war.

      That ain’t half true, Andy!

  13. Roy Hogue on 05/07/2011 at 2:17 am said:

    If an opinion from halfway around the world means anything, Richard Treadgold is right. I would go a bit further and be out in front of Parliament in Wellington with a very polite, non confrontational but very visible protest against the ETS. If you do this the press will show up, they’ll read your signs and ask what it’s all about. Then you are very visible, your cause gets in front of the public in a way it never could by any other means and the people get to hear both sides of the story. Perhaps best of all, your government now is under higher pressure to actually answer its critics with facts (if they have any).

    In any case: good luck with your fight against the ETS.

    • Andy on 05/07/2011 at 3:04 pm said:

      I would suggest that if one of us stood outside parliament with a sign, we’d either be (a) ignored, or (b) reported as a wacko.

      When a group of farmers marched in Wellington last year, protesting against the ETS, they were treated somewhat unfairly by the press (a group of mostly elderly people marched yesterday, etc etc..)

      No one in the MSM will report this fairly (at least, not to date) If we had an Andrew Bolt in NZ, things might be different.

  14. Andy on 05/07/2011 at 8:57 am said:

    Our host gets a fair bit of press in this video from Heartland, Bob Carter and Barry Brill speaking


  15. Richard C (NZ) on 05/07/2011 at 11:25 am said:

    The refreshing discovery I have made is that responses from personnel at our national institutions (in my case MfE CC, PMSAC and NIWA) that I have engaged with over MMCC issues are devoid of the personal attacks of the blogosphere and that the interchange is civil, constructive and not at all tiresome (not so much from PMSAC – just eerie silence).

    Having received a factual comeuppance in the blogosphere a few times from MMCC proponents along with correction from sceptics, both of which know their stuff and present it well and therefore gain my respect, I can attest to the usefulness of such exchanges. Unfortunately they are rare and not immediately consequential. The useless time wasting exchanges occur with the rabid MMCC front and are not worth the effort – but the sporting aspect is a little addictive I confess. It’s always a toss up as to whether the effort expended refuting outlandish posturing in the media or by govt (e.g. Nikki Kaye MP (Nat) in Andy’s case) is worthwhile but the public duty is not to remain silent (make the point and leave at the earliest opportunity).

    Now that I’ve gained enough blog experience to be dangerous (like giving a chainsaw to a monkey) I’ve decided to use it and to apportion the greater part of my MMCC refuting efforts to try to influence the above institutions because I see those avenues as being the ones where I can perhaps be constructive and effective, Robin Pittwood aka Kiwi Thinker is doing similar. Whether I or Robin make a difference in the long run remains to be seen.

    The methane background research on this blog is invaluable as a basis for taking on MAF at least in the future and I’m sure the NZCSC also gains an advantage from this forum in its parliamentary and institutional forays. There’s always the possibility of group-think in blog feedback so I’m all in favour of adherence to the scientific method and sceptical scrutiny of any presentation, posts or comments – even if that means a modification of stance from time to time .

  16. Nick on 05/07/2011 at 2:25 pm said:

    I agree with Richard Treadgold on this one. Confining yourself to discussions with people who agree with you puts you risk of group think. Something I believe people on all sides of this debate should be wary of. I don’t think anyone (least of all myself) can claim to be so convinced of their position that they shouldn’t listen to other arguments.

  17. Andy on 05/07/2011 at 7:02 pm said:

    Some times, people change their mind of their own volition. — Mark “Six Degrees” Lynas talks

    You mustn’t believe the lies of the Green zealots. And I should know – I was one


    • Alexander K on 05/07/2011 at 8:10 pm said:

      Andy, I was so intrigued by the current Lynas story I actually bought and paid for a Daily Mail to read the print version that everyone that commutes reads. What I gained from it was that the ONLY item of Green dogma that Lynas has foresworn is the nuclear stance. Along with the silly George Monbiot of the Guardian, they have suddenly decided that nuclear power is very OK but they still believe in all of the rest of their religion. If you will pardon the analogy, they are like a pair of Catholic priests who have fallen deeply, madly in love with real flesh-and-blood women and are desperate to justify and declare their new-found love to the world, but they also desperately need to affirm their faith in their religion. They don’t want to leave the church, they just need to modify their faith just a tiny bit to accommodate nuclear power.
      Lynas (and Monbiot) remain deeply committed Green socialists who still vant to control zee vorld!

    • Andy on 05/07/2011 at 9:18 pm said:

      Aleander, Lynas is anti-wind.

      That’s enough to make him OK in my books.
      Give him time on the rest.

    • Alexander K on 05/07/2011 at 10:10 pm said:

      Andy, I will grudgingly give you that point, but in my opinion Lynas is actually barking mad and excerpts from his new book appear to bear me out. The pie he thrust in Lomberg’s face was not the act of a man with no rents in his marble bag. Neither was his persuasion of the Maldivan parliamentary cabinet to stage an undersea ‘cabinet meeting’ to highlight the Maldive Islands’ imaginary plight. Lynas remains convinced that the Maldives is facing tidal obliteration but is okay with them building a new International Airport on a beachfront location. His mental gymnastics are beyond logic!

    • Andy on 05/07/2011 at 10:23 pm said:

      Actually, I should point out a wee article I saw in today’s paper (not online) which announced the new president of the NZ Wind Assoc (yes this follows on from Lynas)

      The man in question is Eric Pyle.

      His credentials to be head of NZ’s Bird Mincing Industry?

      Previous positions –

      Forest and Bird (yeah really!)


    • Alexander K on 05/07/2011 at 11:32 pm said:

      Gosh! A man who knows how to climb the enviro career ladder!

  18. Andy on 07/07/2011 at 9:52 am said:

    Speaking of truffle hunters, Bryan Walker, Gareth’s chief of staff, seems to take objection to this statement from Mike Hulme

    The overwhelming scientific evidence tells us that human greenhouse gas emissions, land use changes and aerosol pollution are all contributing to regional and global climate changes, which exacerbate the changes and variability in climates brought about by natural causes. Because humans are contributing to climate change, it is happening now and in the future for a much more complex set of reasons than in previous human history.”

    I think he finds it too woolly and vague, and prefers the simplified version for the public, presented by the Australian scientists:

    The overwhelming scientific evidence tells us that human greenhouse gas emissions are resulting in climate changes that cannot be explained by natural causes. Climate change is real, we are causing it, and it is happening right now.”

    I have watched Mike Hulme do various presentations on video, and although he is a bit “post modern” for me, he does come across as one of the more reasonable guys in the pack.

    I don’t have too much of an issue with his comments above (apart from the greenhouse gas bit – I don’t see much “overwhelming evidence there)

    Clearly, though, this has offended Mr Walker. Really, Bryan needs to stop reading climate porn and actually look at the science.

    (it just occurred to me that the term “climate porn” was actually coined by Mike Hulme)

    • Richard C (NZ) on 07/07/2011 at 12:01 pm said:

      Walker can’t cope with complexity and uncertainty diluting the message. He has to exclude the following from any place in his mind and as many other minds that he can influence:-

      Land use changes,

      Aerosol pollution,

      Changes and variability in climates brought about by natural causes.

      Walker has inadvertently given substance to the non-AGHGe factors by putting them in print – thanks Bryan, keep it up.

      Which leaves AGHGe in the Australian (and Walker preferred) version. But recent “overwhelming scientific evidence” is pointing to a benign effect hence the (“partial and provocative” according to Hulme) attempt to reinstate alarm in pliable minds, “Climate change is real, we are causing it, and it is happening right now”.

      I agree, with only a little qualification the Hulme version is more representative of the issue and certainly a more responsible appraisal.

      Walker ends with resounding “alarm”:-

      If it comes across as alarming, that’s because it is alarming, not because the scientists have chosen to present it as such.

      Just how alarming is bluntly stated by Joe Romm in a post on Climate Progress [blah-de-blah]

      “But if we keep listening to the deniers and delayers, if we fail to sharply reverse our current emissions path nationally and globally, then we are headed toward 5°C (9°F) planetary warming by century’s end and 850+ ppm — with sea level rise of 4 to 6 feet or higher, rising perhaps a foot a decade or more for centuries, the U.S. Southwest and one third of the Earth’s habited land a permanent Dust Bowl, half or more species extinct, and much of the ocean a hot, acidic dead zone…”

      Very alarming indeed.

  19. Alexander K on 07/07/2011 at 9:04 pm said:

    Richard C, if Walker believes Joe Romm, that speaks volumes about Walker’s own credulity and credibility. Romm is an alarmist ranter who sees ad hommerie and shouting abuse at ‘deniers’ as reasonable debating tactics.
    Richard Black, the so-called ‘science’ correspondent (who usually only opens his mouth to change feet) on the BBC has picked up the story about China’s nasty habit of for burning coal in the pursuit of a better life for its citizens being the reason for no warming for a decade, an opinion the esteemed Judith Curry sniffs pointedly at.
    The UK Grand Poobah of climate, Chris Huhne, has just issued a long and very strange statement in the press about the ways in which Global Warming will increase the probability of war around the globe. It’s truly alarming that such an influential person should be reporting the equivalent of fairies having tea-parties at the bottom of his garden.

    • Andy on 07/07/2011 at 9:49 pm said:

      It’s a shame that Bryan doesn’t take more interest in climate science
      Since I became a “sceptic” of the AGW theory, I have actually rekindled my youthful passion for science.

      Climate science is actually one of the most fascinating areas of human knowledge to explore.

      It encompasses geophysics, geochemistry, geology, statistics, computer modelling to name a few.If you care to take the post-modern view, it also encompasses human psychology and politics.

      It”s hard to imagine how you could become “expert” in this subject. Bob Carter alluded to this in his keynote at the Heartland Conference (crank conference in Gareth-speak)

      I feel very bitter when I get called a “denier” for expressing this passion and interest in the nature around us.

    • Alexander K on 08/07/2011 at 1:48 am said:

      Me too, Andy. When I first became interested in clisci, I understood that ‘Denier’ was the diameter of manmade fibres! I remember my Mum being thrilled with gifts from my Dad of X denier ‘nylons’.

    • Andy on 08/07/2011 at 9:25 am said:

      Maybe we could talk to Damart about a range of thermal underwear called “climate deniers”.

  20. Alexander K on 09/07/2011 at 2:35 am said:


  21. Andy on 09/07/2011 at 8:40 pm said:

    Someone else gets stuck into Brash, on a non climate-related topic (ie. race) but reveals the true nature of The Greens.

    I almost feel sorry for ordinary members and supporters of the Act party. Most of them base their support on a shared belief in laissez faire free market capitalism; a preference for a small, ‘non-interventionist’ state; and a form of social liberalism that gives primacy to the rights of the individual.

    That’s not a worldview that I could ever sign up for, but nor is it one that gives cause for offence in an open democracy.


  22. Alexander K on 09/07/2011 at 9:49 pm said:

    Andy, the Greens have a unique history of adherence to extreme political views that deny the rights of the individual, similar to those of the late unlamented East German government; anyone who sees them as slightly goofy but essentially well-meaning tree-and-bunny-huggers needs to visit their dispensing optician.

  23. Pingback: Kiwi science fiction with a message | Open Parachute

    • Andy on 19/08/2012 at 6:33 pm said:

      it’s pretty desperate stuff from Ken trying get us “anti-science” types to visit his toxic blog. I was actually quite interested in Gareth’s book and am tempted to buy a copy, but not on Ken’s recommendation.

      PS Ken, have a word to Richard Christie and get him to stop stalking me, it is starting to creep me out.

  24. Pingback: Kiwi science fiction with a message | Secular News Daily

  25. Pingback: Entertaining – and the science is good: The Burning World | Secular News Daily

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