Only threat to Christchurch is Salinger’s alarmism

the beginning of the Christchurch earthquakes

From the Christchurch Press today comes alarming news:

Rising sea levels are a greater threat to Christchurch’s seaside suburbs than previously realised, a climate scientist is warning.

Speaking at Canterbury University this afternoon, Jim Salinger said latest estimates could have major implications for Christchurch’s earthquake rebuild.

Christchurch City Council should be working to a one-metre estimate for sea level rise, he said.

“It’s the opportunity for Christchurch in its rebuild, it should be looking at at least a metre. Some local bodies in Australia are using one metre.”

Salinger plucks the same alarmist harp strings he’s been picking for decades. He specifies one metre: does he include those places which are 500mm higher after the earthquake? They should get a discount.

But the Coalition chairman Barry Brill decisively puts this loose cannon of a climate scientist down, demanding evidence:

“Christchurch residents have enough on their plates without unfounded scare stories about rising sea levels.”

“There is just no basis whatever for Salinger’s speculations,” said Mr Brill. “There is no record of any climate-related sea level rise in Canterbury during the last 50 years, and the tiny long-term rise in New Zealand sea levels is currently decelerating.”

Barry says there is no argument regarding the following facts:

• Worldwide average sea levels rise continually to a tiny extent, but have risen by less than 2cm each decade during the last 100 years.

• An acceleration as a result of increased ice melt has been projected by computer models on the basis of certain scenarios, but no increase has been observed in the real world.

• Since they began, satellite measurements have detected no increase whatever in the average rate of rise. But the rate has decreased in the last five years.

• There has been no increase in ice melt in East Antarctica (80% of global ice storage).

• Sea level rises around New Zealand have never reflected changes in the worldwide average; they have been diminishing for 20 years or more.

“If Jim Salinger wants to question those facts, I am happy to debate them at any time or place,” said Mr Brill. “Until he has some hard science to support his beliefs, he should avoid adding to the anxieties of Cantabrians.”

Hear, hear, we say.

Not to mention people around the world who trust scientists, even scientists in far-off New Zealand.

Views: 108

54 Thoughts on “Only threat to Christchurch is Salinger’s alarmism

  1. Alexander K on 22/09/2011 at 10:29 pm said:

    Jim Salinger is obviously not dealing from a full deck. His latest scary story is ridiculous and gives the lie to his work category – he has obviously dropped out of any rational science.

  2. Doug Proctor on 23/09/2011 at 3:49 am said:

    The lack of supporting evidence that CAGW is occurring is less astonishing than the lack of demand for such evidence. All the “evidence” is in models that project a future change that cannot be found to have begun yet: the 1 m rise by 2100 means that the AVERAGE over 89 next years is 11 mm/yr, while the current average is 3 mm/yr or less – if the current drop continues. If we allow a couple of years before disaster scenarios start, the average rise will have to be >13mm/yr, or 4 times what is going on.

    Such major changes must occur for the Salinger projections to occur! But the MSM doesn’t seem to be able to address this predicament for CAGW.

    The world – a planet, after all, does not suddenly shift, except in the minds of catastrophists and fundamentalist Christians (somewhat the same). Earth science people see this, it appears, while social science people, including journalists, do not.

    It is the attractiveness of living in “special” times, or that of having a God-like authority speaking on your behalf that the MSM likes so much? How can a First World education lead to the inability or refusal to think for oneself, to ask pertinent questions and to challenge the writ of (clearly) motivated people?

    I know that throughout history the Madness of Crowds has perplexed the thinking few. But in the “Information” Age, that this still occurs makes one wonder if we do not live in the “Information” Age, but the “Data” Age. Information has meaning, whereas data is a hook on the wall waiting for any hat that needs hanging.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 23/09/2011 at 8:42 am said:

      Doug, the MSM are incapable of your simple calculation:-

      “…the 1 m rise by 2100 means that the AVERAGE over 89 next years is 11 mm/yr, while the current average is 3 mm/yr or less”

      I wonder if the NZCSET would be interested in running a short seminar tailored to the needs of journalists to actually do this calc for themselves. Maybe a sponsor like Casio or HP could be found to defray costs and invitations sent to every NZ journalist that has reported alarmist sea level bunk recently

      It get’s worse when the tide guages are considered so that:

      “…or less”


      “…or 1.7 mm/yr

    • Richard C (NZ) on 23/09/2011 at 9:40 am said:

      The US Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are having trouble with the arithmetic too:-

      Berkeley lab cites sea levels as concern for possible Alameda campus

      “Climate change is projected to cause San Francisco Bay to rise more than 18 inches over the next 50 years. The effort to curb its effects — such as changed local waterfronts and increased ground water — will likely evolve over time as new technologies emerge and money is secured to pay for them, according to the commission.

      I get 9.1 mm/yr for that projection – it better get cracking.

      [With the help of my trusty CASIO fx-180P – yes, yes I know, sledgehammer/nail, do it mentally etc but think of the sponsorship possibilities. I could have used my old CASIO fx-17 that I bought to replace my slide-rule, my HP 10B-II financial calculator or Sharp EL-878C credit card calculator or even Microsoft Excel running on DELL]

    • Richard C (NZ) on 23/09/2011 at 10:16 am said:

      I used my CASIO fx-180P because it said “SCIENTIFIC CALCULATOR” on the front, so it just seemed to be the appropriate tool for the job.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 23/09/2011 at 11:16 am said:

      If I’d used my financial calculator I would have got 9.1 $/yr, and that can’t be right.

    • Andy on 23/09/2011 at 11:26 am said:

      The only calculator you need is this one

      which tells you how much you have to pay for your chickens as they come home to roost.

      (Do chickens really come under the ETS? This calculator seems to think so)

    • Richard C (NZ) on 23/09/2011 at 12:17 pm said:

      If I slaughter 3000 of those chickens (5kg) a year, it’ll cost me $39/yr by 2030.

      10 goats (28kg) cost $39/yr.

      1 bull (500 kg) $39/yr.

      I’ve probably got the weights up the wop but we now need to relate this cost to the $ value of each group (for which I will need my financial calculator).

      BTW, equinox has produced a fantastic day here at Mt Maunganui.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 23/09/2011 at 1:31 pm said:

      OK more realistically, to incur $39/yr ETS cost by 2030:-


      1 x 500kg bull @ $2.75/kg wholesale price = $1375 and 2.8% ETS charge

      18 x 10kg goats @ $3.30/kg wholesale price = $1069 and 3.6% ETS charge

      7500 x 2kg chickens @ $5.70/kg wholesale price = $42,750 and 0.09% ETS charge


      1,526,785 x 2kg chickens equal 1 x 500kg bull in ETS terms.

      So no ETS chickens coming home to roost but the goat farmer will have to plant 0.043 ha (430m2) of radiata pine now to offset the ETS charge. From what I can gather though, that area will support 1 buck and 10 does (A good stocking rate is 1 buck:12 does per half hectare of a well-developed agrolivestock farm) so what’s the point?

    • Andy on 23/09/2011 at 1:34 pm said:

      RIchard, you forgot to add in the cost of all those “green jobs” that will be required to count your chickens.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 23/09/2011 at 3:06 pm said:

      Counting 1 dead bull per hour @ $39/hr “green job” (conservative) cost = $39 and no ETS revenue gain.

      They will have to count 1560 dead bulls a week (40 hrs) or 81,120 a year just to break even when they employ one dead-bull counter (then there’s the offset checking, invoicing, late payments, bad debts etc). 503,000 bulls were expected to be slaughtered in 2010 so one dead-bull counter rakes in (503,000 – 81,120) * 39 = $16,453,320/yr (I’d want a commission). I think they’ll come out on top.

      But a dead-chicken counter will have to count 300,000 dead chickens a week or 15,600,000 dead chickens a year to break even. Around 90 million chickens are slaughtered every year so one dead-chicken counter brings in only (90,000,000 – 15,600,000)/7500 * 39 = $386,880. I think they’ll lose on this one.

      Obviously there’s a truck load more money in dead-bull counting although 500kg is the top end.

      Then there’s:-

      Cows, heifers, steers, vealers, ewes, hoggets, lambs, rams, wethers, hinds, stags, goats and pigs (but no mention of alpacas and the like).

    • Richard C (NZ) on 23/09/2011 at 4:56 pm said:

      I used the $20 default in my haste which miss-states it all – should have used $25.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 23/09/2011 at 5:33 pm said:

      Just dawned on me (having dry-stock farm experience), that the farmer does not necessarily incur the ETS charge when a beast is slaughtered. Dry-stock (steers and bulls) can be sold at auction to butchers who I assume do not incur the ETS charge and the farmer avoids it too.

      Similarly, when does legal ownership change when a farmer sends a beast to an abattoir for slaughter? Is it at the point of unloading on the abattoir property (the meatworks is purchasing the live animal, slaughtering it and then paying the farmer)? If it is then the beast is alive (a live-stock sale) and no ETS charge is incurred by the farmer and neither presumably by the abattoir.

      Surely, an ETS charge would have to be time-on-property based to reflect emissions?

    • Richard C (NZ) on 23/09/2011 at 6:03 pm said:

      And a breeder that on-sells dry-stock to fattening farmers, doesn’t incur the ETS charge?

      An ETS fuel charge is incurred on purchase from the fuel retailer and the retailer collects the charge. Using this rationale, an animal ETS charge should be incurred on purchase from an animal breeder.and it’s the breeder that collects the charge and sends it to the govt coffers.

      Looks like a can of legal worms to me.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 23/09/2011 at 6:55 pm said:

      Or maybe an animal parallel to the ETS fuel charge is that the butcher or supermarket collects the ETS charge from the consumer so that to be consistent, the producers (oil companies, refiners, fuel retailers, breeders, fatteners, meat retailers) do not incur the charge in each case.

      I see a double standard here.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 01/10/2011 at 1:57 pm said:

      Well waddaya know? The point of obligation will initially be set at the processor level (H/T Mr February’s “Stating the pleading obvious (big dairy and the ETS review)” post).

      Q: What is the entry date and what are the reporting obligations for agriculture?

      A: The entry date for the agricultural sector has been delayed by two years from 1 January 2013 to 1 January 2015. Participants may choose to voluntarily report their emissions from 1 January 2011, and must report their emissions from 1 January 2012.

      Q: Where will the point of obligation be for the agricultural sector and why?

      A: The point of obligation will initially be set at the processor level. The Government has the option to change the point of obligation to the farm level, subject to stakeholder views and the successful resolution of some practical issues, including the ability to verify emissions returns and to enforce compliance with the scheme.

      I’m wrong to compare fuel emissions to animal emissions because fuel emissions are by the consumer but animal emissions are by the grower – the Oil Company equivalent (duh)..

      It makes sense that the point of obligation for animal emissions should be at the farm level. Surely animal emissions are related to the age of the animal (its size) so that “the ability to verify emissions returns and to enforce compliance with the scheme” must be a (gigantic bureaucratic) process that tracks animal ownership over time from birth to slaughter with progressively increasing emissions over time until it is fully grown and a reporting obligation.upon each successive owner for time-of-ownership and age-range-of-animal?

      The processor probably owns the live animal for less than a day in the lifetime of the animal.

      All unnecessary of course.

  3. Willem de Lange on 23/09/2011 at 6:33 am said:

    The recent “surge” of melt from the periphery of the Greenland Ice Cap is estimated to add 0.3 mm per year to sea level rise. Coincidentally this is the same as the 0.3 mm per year fall in sea level attributed to glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA).
    All of the simulations of glacial melt I have seen to date, indicate a maximum extra input from Greenland in the order tof 180 mm. These assume that instead of the observed cycles of increase and decrease in melt associated with surging marginal glaciers, the entire ice cap and peripheral glaciers surge continuously. Observations so far are inconsistent with that scenario,
    I do not know which papers Dr Salinger think support his speculations, but the higher sea level guesses are based on empirical extrapolations that assume an acceleration in sea level rise that has yet to eventuate, or selected evidence from previous interglacials with uncertain errors.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 23/09/2011 at 8:22 am said:

      Willem, a paper by Chen, Wilson and Tapley (2011) find:-

      1. Greenland’s northwestern glaciers’ ice loss increased by: 100Gt/yr
      2. Greenland’s southeastern glaciers’ ice loss decreased by: 109Gt/yr

      Apart from this assessment rejecting GHGs as a cause:-

      “Global warming allegedly due to greenhouse gases would not be expected to cause such regional interannual variability in Greenland ice loss, thus pointing to shifts in weather instead.”

      It seems that glacial melt is not a contributor to sea level rise and that it is due to “melt from the periphery” only. Is this a fair assessment?

      Richard Cumming.

      Article and link to paper here:

    • Willem de Lange on 23/09/2011 at 9:36 am said:

      This is the latest paper to show that glaciers around the Greenland Ice Cap periodically surge, resulting in thinning and discharge of ice and melt water to the sea. As many of the glaciers are fed from the ice sheet, it can be argued that the ice sheet is “melting”.

      The key aspects for sea level rise are that the surging is episodic and not continuous. Further, not all glaciers surge simultaneously. This indicates that the behaviour is in response to regional weather patterns, and not a reflection of some global climatic trend.

      I suspect that there is an underlying trend of ice loss that may be linked to global trends. However, it is at least an order of magnitude smaller than the shorter term variability. My concern is with selecting a short period of surging and extrapolating that to project future sea levels. However, I note that if you do that, the extrapolated maximum rise is well short of the 1m minimum Dr Salinger wishes to attribute to Greenland melting.

  4. Andy on 23/09/2011 at 7:21 am said:

    I live in the beach suburb of Southshore, which is currently in the Orange Zone, meaning that we are awaiting a decision on the outcome of the land survey. If it goes Red, we lose our house and land. If it goes Green, we have to rebuild our house.

    Maybe Dr Salinger would like to add his input to CERA, the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority, who are currently dangling this Sword of Damocles over my and my neighbours heads. Maybe, in fact, we should demand it. It might shed some light on how seriously people in local and national government really take these doomsday scenarios from the warmist brethren

  5. Andy on 23/09/2011 at 9:22 am said:

    I thought Salinger is an “agricultural meteorologist” anyway. Since when has he been in the sea level business?

    • Richard C (NZ) on 23/09/2011 at 9:42 am said:

      Since “Climate Change” became a (very lucrative) business.

    • Gary Kerkin on 23/09/2011 at 10:34 am said:

      That doesn’t seem to matter, Andy. After all every one is an expert these days.

      I was amused by one of his comments viz. that rise in sea level was, for Christchurch, the “elephant in the room”. Where did this expression arise? I noticed at the Biophysical Limits symposium at VUW a few months back it appeared to be the expression du jour. I would have thought that your property would most likely be at danger of encroachment by sea water if the elephant(s) decided to take a bath in it.

    • Andy on 23/09/2011 at 10:36 am said:

      If the shaking was anything to go by, I’d say we had several elephants in our rooms recently.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 23/09/2011 at 11:03 am said:

      And sea level rise was the baby elephant.

    • Gary on 23/09/2011 at 7:24 pm said:

      Since he discovered Journalists are too lazy to check the story. You can say anything of Biblical propotions and they accept it.

  6. Andy on 23/09/2011 at 10:45 am said:

    I have to say, I prefer this style of alarmism.

    • Mike Jowsey on 24/09/2011 at 1:02 pm said:

      Air-heads. But, hey – Sex Sells! I bet they are hoping it goes viral (cos of the skinny white chicks in their undies). The point they are trying to make is that if you want to see a naked supermodel you must convince your politician to do something about CO2. Wow. As I said, airheads.

    • Andy on 24/09/2011 at 4:58 pm said:

      Yes, but as Maurizio says, we need to encourage 350.Org to make more of these ads.

      I could talk about “global warming” for hours if girls taking their clothes off are encouraging me to do so….

  7. Andy on 23/09/2011 at 12:04 pm said:

    Just when you thought things couldn’t get sillier on sea level stories, check this out:

    Maldives government complains of spoof atlas omission
    The government of the Maldives has complained after the London Daily Telegraph website carried a satirical blog post saying the island nation is to be omitted from the Times Atlas of the World.

    The supposed omission was said to be due to impending climate change.
    The low-lying islands of the Maldives are at risk from rising sea levels.
    The spoof blog post was taken seriously by several media outlets in the Maldives.
    The Telegraph blog post was written by a climate change sceptic, James Delingpole.

    Oops, I am slow today, already on WUWT

  8. Andy on 24/09/2011 at 4:55 pm said:

    Bryan Walker at Hot Topic writes today in support of Salinger and his claims on sea level rise.
    There is some mention of a companion piece in the Waikato Times but I can’t find it.

    There are some mutterings about Walker about insurance, and the fact that some companies might not insure those of us (un)fortunate to live next to the coast.

    Although, I expect they will be prepared to insure us for a price.

    Funny that.

    • Andy on 24/09/2011 at 4:56 pm said:

      that should read “mutterings from Walker about insurance”

      The editor didn’t work for some reason.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 24/09/2011 at 7:06 pm said:

      Salinger and Walker because he repeats Salinger have got it wrong anyway, 0.8m is already being considered so Salinger’s just doing a Hansen. See:-

      Hannah dismisses Hansen’s alarmist rant (my words – not ODTs)


      Hannah concedes there have been times in geological history when sea level globally, and in New Zealand, rose by 10mm a year and higher, meaning a metre of sea level rise this century is possible.

      But at the moment that’s just not happening, he says.

      “If we’re not seeing it at this moment and we haven’t been seeing it for the last 20 to 30 years, then I think the probability of getting anything close to a metre by the turn of the century is very unlikely.”

      Hannah might pooh-pooh Hansen’s predictions.

      But he says it is still prudent for authorities to review regulations for minimum floor heights.

      Ministry for the Environment guidelines say councils need to consider sea-level rise of 0.5m to 2100 as a base value, and the consequences of a 0.8m rise, in their long-term planning.

      Hannah says that’s sound advice.

      “They would want to consider whether or not 0.5m to 0.8m would create significant problems for Christchurch, and I suspect it would in some areas,” he says.

    • Andy on 24/09/2011 at 7:26 pm said:

      What I am hinting at here is that maybe there is a funding element from (re-)insurance companies into sea level rise research.

      I have nothing to go on, other than a gut feel that these climate scientists keep mentioning insurance as though it were a “word from our sponsor”.

      Some more digging required, I feel.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 24/09/2011 at 10:26 pm said:

      At first I thought you were suffering after-shock shock then maybe it’s worth doing the digging.

      Did a Google search – insurance sponsorship climate change

      Lots of Insurance Co sponsorship like:-

      IAG NZ sponsors WWF New Zealand climate change campaign

      Page not found but got this (very revealing) by searching that entire line:-



      From risk to opportunity: insurer responses to climate change

      Tried this search – insurance sponsorship climate change victoria university

      Found IAG was a co-sponsor of this Wellington City Council conference:-


      [Link too large to include but Google it]

      Speakers included Trenberth, Salinger, Oxburgh, Steffen, Blair and…………Elayne Grace – Actuary IAG Sydney

      Grace makes no distinction between climate and weather e.g. lumps hurricane Katrina under heading “Climate change a serious issue”.

      Yes Andy, more digging required.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 25/09/2011 at 8:59 am said:

      The New Zealand setup seems to be that NZI is the principal sponsor of the Sustainable Business Network of which Rod Oram is a board member.

      That’s going by this search – insurance sustainable business network sponsor salinger oram

      This search – pure advantage sustainable business network

      brings up

      Pure Advantage joins the global climate action campaign

      “……….the organisation championing a green growth paradigm shift for New Zealand – is joining former US Vice President, Al Gore, and others in a worldwide 24-hour event to mobilise people from around the globe to help solve climate change.

      The campaign kicks off with 24 Hours of Reality

      “Other aligned New Zealand organisations making presentations include Sustainable Business Network, Oxfam, Sustainable Food, Greenpeace, Generation Zero and WWF”

    • Richard C (NZ) on 25/09/2011 at 9:56 am said:

      OK, follow-the-money.

      By 2008, the insurance industry had swallowed the IPCC’s “Warming of the climate system is unequivocal” hook, line and sinker, see page 4 here (Manns hockey stick page 14):-

      From risk to opportunity: insurer responses to climate change

      Soooo, From Risk……To Opportunity (page 31 pdf)

      New Insurer Business Units (pg 32)

      Carbon Offsets (pg 37)

      Innovative Products For Energy Performance (pg 39)

      Carbon Risk Management Services: Project Risk (pg 41)

      Direct Investment (pg 41)

      Financing Emissions-reduction Projects (pg 42)

      Building Awareness & Participating in Public Policy (pg 43)

      The last being where the likes of Salinger, Oram and Saunders come in handy, their passage eased by the oil of Big Insurance via organisations such as The Sustainable Business Network.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 25/09/2011 at 10:06 am said:


      Cat Events Create New Levels of Risk for Businesses

      Cat Events = Natural Catastrophes = Severe Weather, in that report.

  9. Richard C (NZ) on 25/09/2011 at 9:06 am said:

    Phillip Duncan makes the mistake of conflating weather events with climate change in this NZ Herald article:-

    Throwing cash at Climate Change

    “However it’s worth noting that 2011 has been one of the most expensive years for natural disasters across a number of countries. The US has been hit especially hard with droughts in Texas, Hurricane Irene in the north east, those historic tornadoes which destroyed towns and hundreds of lives and of course the historic flooding earlier this year along the Mississippi River.

    Australia was pounded by historic flooding from one state to the next and New Zealand has absolutely had its fair share of severe weather events this year.

    The world is heating and it will cost us money to adapt to it or to try and find ways to stop it.

    But it will either take another major weather related disaster like Hurricane Katrina or a positive shift in the world’s economy before Climate Change becomes the hot topic again amongst voters.”

  10. Clarence Kay on 25/09/2011 at 2:41 pm said:

    Hot Topic says:

    ” In the Waikato Times piece [Salinger] also referred to push-back from the insurance industry. “They may say, ‘If you build there we won’t insure you because the risk is too high’.” The paper reported that Salinger had met with council staff the previous day to press the case for a one metre estimate, with a response from the council that it was “considering its options” and “would take Dr Salinger’s comments into account”.

    Seems like Cantabrians should be informing the council they want to be heard – before the options are considered.

  11. Richard C (NZ) on 01/10/2011 at 2:25 pm said:

    Sea level rise and the Christchurch rebuild

    by Bryan Walker – Hot Topic

    mustakissa September 26, 2011 at 8:15 am

    Who is Barry Brill, and what does he know about sea level?

    Bryan Walker September 26, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    He’s a former National Party MP and Minister and is chairman of the ironically-named NZ Climate Science Coaliion. He knows as much about sea level rise as his comments indicate – ie he knows what is passed around in the denialist world.

    mustakissa September 27, 2011 at 12:53 am

    What I suspected… it was more of a rhetorical question

    Soooo….. what’s being passed around in the denialist world? The very first comment under the post is:-

    Steve Wrathall September 25, 2011 at 11:40 am

    Decades of breathless predictions of over a m of sea level rise…
    Meanwhile the real world continues to be the ultimate catastrophism denier:
    Yes that’s right: 3 mm/year.

    None so blind Bryan. But apparently we should “Have a look at Tim Naish’s lecture for a glimpse into New Zealand’s likely future sea level rise” according to Bryan.

    Who is Tim Naish, and what does he know about [future] sea level?

    More of a rhetorical question really.

  12. Maurice@TheMount on 03/10/2011 at 8:21 pm said:

    Salinger is a Climate Clown conman, and should be locked up.

  13. mick on 04/10/2011 at 9:58 pm said:

    This is a reply to Richard C September 25, 2011 at 9:56 am.

    You say ‘By 2008, the insurance industry had swallowed the IPCC’s “Warming of the climate system is unequivocal” hook, line and sinker’.

    But hang on, I thought the insurance system was market based. Wouldn’t it be difficult to hoodwink the whole insurance market – which is after all a well resourced sector of civilised society – especially when there are so many skeptics around to point out where the IPCC are going wrong?

    And even if the IPCC has succeeded in hoodwinking the major insurance players, should there not be new, enterprising insurance companies entering the market to exploit the advantage of better (skeptical) information?

    • Mike Jowsey on 05/10/2011 at 7:28 am said:

      Insurance industry perception:

      For those in the risk management business, simply denying climate change is not an option. Increasingly, the insurance industry is showing the way forward. It involves tough calls to protect the bottom line: dumping customers with properties on floodplains, or in hurricane-prone areas, while insuring “green” technologies that offer the best chance of slowing warming and protecting investments.

      The IPCC AR4 position:

      Tropical cyclones, hurricanes and typhoons exhibit large variability from year to year and limitations in the quality of data compromise evaluations of trends. Nonetheless, clear evidence exists for increases in category 4 and 5 storms globally since 1970 along with increases in the PDI due to increases in intensity and duration of storms

      Peer-reviewed literature:
      Pretty graph:

      In the pentad since 2006, Northern Hemisphere and global tropical cyclone ACE has decreased dramatically to the lowest levels since the late 1970s. Additionally, the global frequency of tropical cyclones has reached a historical low.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 05/10/2011 at 8:35 am said:

      Mick, just because the insurance industry is market based and well resourced does not mean that corporate researchers (I was one for a while in the energy sector) will go beyond “consensus” science and if they do present contrary evidence, that it will not become part of corporate strategy if that strategy is aligned towards the opportunities that the UNs adaption and mitigation mechanisms open up for them as my comment that you reference demonstrates here:-

      I have an anecdote re “skeptics around to point out where the IPCC are going wrong”. I contacted the NZ Greenhouse Policy Coalition ( that represents NZ major energy users (a supposedly “well resourced sector of civilised society”) challenging them to look at the contrary science. The respondent David Venables, the Executive Director, said he did not have the time or other resources available to research and present a full examination of the science and that examining the pros and cons of the science is not really where GPC is in the debate. Also that successive governments have committed to doing something about climate change and it is GPC’s brief to make sure that what they do doesn’t ruin our economy and, in particular, major industrial employers. More on that here:-

      Your suggestion: “should there not be new, enterprising insurance companies entering the market to exploit the advantage of better (skeptical) information?” has also crossed my mind. I think as time goes on and it becomes more and more apparent that the IPCC scenario is not happening that pragmatic corporates and other commercial operators (not just insurance) will review their strategies if they have based them on IPCC model projections. I suggest that wheat growing and trading operators for example, especially in the northern hemisphere are well aware of Hershel’s 200 yr old+ discovery of a correlation between sunspots and wheat prices and that they are more attuned to those cycles in their risk management than they are to the IPCC.

      Bottom line though – don’t underestimate the power of group-think.

    • mick on 05/10/2011 at 6:03 pm said:

      Fair enough. You probably guessed I hold different views from yours about the accuracy of IPCC projections, but I broadly agree with the points you make.
      Markets are not the perfect things capitalist theory wants them to be and they have a track record of doing some pretty dumb things. If the IPCC is wrong and you are right, the insurance market’s group-think on the climate change issue would be worthy of comment but wouldn’t break market records for stupidity.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 05/10/2011 at 7:27 pm said:

      I’m inclined to think that corporates, especially major energy users, are just taking the path of least resistance (a PC decision?) by accepting the status quo and not bothering to fight punitive taxes by recourse to contrary science (especially NZ and AU) rather than that they are caught up in group-think.

      What is a threat to the energy sector though, has been an opportunity that has been taken up enthusiastically by the insurance sector. I’m convinced that as time goes on, major energy users and generators will rue not getting involved in hard science and going on the offensive when they realize they’ve been hoodwinked and there will be red faces in the insurance sector too.

      A bit different in the USA. States, Republicans and the energy sector are fighting back, that fight is being followed under “USA” starting at this thread header “EPA CO2 regulation lawsuits”

      The Sierra Club has been most effective, they’ve managed to stop about 80 planned coal-fired power stations. Corporate reaction to such is ignorant and gutless I think (and that includes NZ), they should be employing their strongest weapon and that’s counter-consensus climate science and presentation of key climate metrics showing how reality is not tracking IPCC projections.

      I’m amazed that the energy sector in USA and AU (or anywhere) are not at the forefront of investigation of the validity of IPCC projections. Warmist folks are trying to create an impression that science sceptical of CAGW is funded by the energy sector but that’s a load of rubbish, the energy sector just seems to rely on delaying tactics in the courts by Lawyers and the likes of Sensenbrenner and Inhofe rather than go on the offensive themselves with hard science.

      I’m curious of your view of “the accuracy of IPCC projections”. Do you think they are on track or not?

      My view is that they are not and I’ve got a mountain of evidence to back that that I’ve put to the NZ MftE Climate Change Office and the Prime Ministers Science Advisory Committee (PMSAC).

    • Richard C (NZ) on 08/10/2011 at 12:01 pm said:

      Where the insurance industry fits in to The Climate Change Scare Machine

      See – Financial houses
      Map: The Climate Change Scare Machine — the perpetual self-feeding cycle of alarm

      Climate Change Scare Machine Cycle: see how your tax dollars are converted into alarming messages

  14. Richard C (NZ) on 12/10/2011 at 8:41 am said:

    Hostile response at Oamaru climate-change talk

    The science of climate change came to Oamaru, but a few people in an audience of about 50 gave it a hostile reception.


    Mr Oram and Prof Saunders could not be at Monday’s symposium in the Oamaru Opera House, Dr Salinger instead making their presentations.


    It was intended to have questions at the end of each presentation, but during Dr Salinger’s delivery, some members of the audience broke in, presenting alternative views and criticising the scientists, including attacks on the science behind climate modelling.

    The criticism ranged from changes in predictions in the past two decades to satellite data on sea levels and ice melt contradicting what scientists were saying.


  15. Richard C (NZ) on 15/10/2011 at 8:28 am said:

    Only threat to Lake Macquarie is City Council staff alarmism
    Marks Point property owner drowning in opinions


    A SELF-FUNDED retiree has been told he cannot develop his land at Marks Point because rising sea levels will inundate his property by 2100.

    Lake Macquarie City Council staff have recommended refusing Rob Antill’s plan for four two-level dwellings on a 1300-square-metre site.

    A council staff report said the development site would have ‘‘a small area permanently inundated by 2050’’.

    ‘‘The entire site may be permanently inundated by 2100,’’ it said.


    Mr Antill accepts the council must consider sea level rise, but believes the risk of being sued is among their main concerns.

    ‘‘I think the council has elevated opinion to the status of truth,’’ he said


    The council was satisfied the plan included raising most floor levels to 2.85 metres, but was concerned rumpus rooms would be only 1.56metres high.


    Steven Goddard has the Newcastle MMSL plot here:-

    • Andy on 15/10/2011 at 8:51 am said:

      Just imagine if we were currently acting on policies that had been based on projections made in 1920.

      Barking mad, the lot of them.

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