Laking recycles dishonesty

It’s one thing to be misunderstood, quite another to be repeatedly misquoted.

A misunderstanding can be a mere message muddle – happens all the time – and mistakenly misquoting is minor misconduct.

But continuing to misquote someone after being told what they actually said is unforgivable. Crafting your assertions to your own ends rather than to the truth is detestable.

Children make no bones about it. They call it lying and they hate it.

What’s happened?

Our local warmists only pretend to be honourable. They continue to use bad language to describe climate sceptics and they stoop to anything to denigrate them, even to repeatedly misquoting us.

A few days ago the NZ Herald published an opinion piece titled “George Laking: Epsom and climate change” penned by one George Laking. Barry Brill posted an amusing article about it yesterday.

In the comments, the author made allegations against me which regurgitate the well-known Renowden distortions of the joint Climate Conversation/NZCSC paper, “Are we feeling warmer yet?” (AWFWY), collated by yours truly from data provided by Coalition scientists.

That paper revealed giant differences between the official national temperature graph on NIWA’s web site and the raw temperature data they made available for download. Where their graph showed clear warming over the last hundred years, the raw data showed none at all. Seeing that, anybody would ask, as we did: “What changes did you make, and why were they necessary?”

We were right

Incredibly, they couldn’t answer us (it turned out the details had been lost in a computer botch-up). This simple question, which any Stage 1 science student who adjusted their data would be expected to answer, was quite beyond our leading climate scientists.

But they didn’t say this. Instead, they treated the country to a barrage of bluster, dissimulation, flat-out lies and distortions – even misleading their Minister in the Parliament; they delayed, obfuscated and delayed again – and agreed to recalculate the adjustments. Bingo!

NIWA’s decision to spend $70,000 on those recalculations was clear proof that we had been right all along. The science behind the temperature record was deficient, as we pointed out, and NIWA knew that, so they were forced to reconstruct the adjustments. But they would not have done so if we had not asked and we had not been right.

NIWA had clearly adjusted the publicly-owned temperature records and we always felt that the public had the right to know the reasons for those adjustments, for otherwise no independent review was possible.

He hasn’t even read our paper

At every point, the local climate alarmist Gareth Renowden, of Hot Topic, took issue with NIWA against us. They could do no wrong; we could do no right. He showed at every turn his lack of concern for the truth or the improvement of the national temperature record. He took everything we said as an attack on the theory of global warming, heaping insults on us for that, and showed great eagerness to believe whatever NIWA’s scientists told him – he was a perfect stooge. One of the things he misrepresented was what Laking repeats in the Herald: that, in calculating the trend from the raw readings alone, I (meaning our team) “overlooked” the need for adjustments.

It is breathtaking to hear Laking renew that claim. He displays no knowledge of the NZ temperature record and to compound his ignorance, two years after publication he still hasn’t even read our paper. Yet he claims: “My own training in science has made me alert to and familiar with the need to prepare raw data for analysis.” But not alert enough to read the paper you’re evaluating, eh, George? Well, this serves you right – a child could see through that mistake.

Our AWFWY analysis clearly states on page 3 that we examined NIWA’s web site data on station histories (as it was – it’s since been altered) for reasons to make adjustments. We reported that the station histories were “unremarkable”. They contained “no reasons for large corrections” – but the fact that we looked, and we said we looked, shows we were aware of the occasional need for adjustments. To then claim we “overlooked” that need is completely stupid – if you read our paper, you won’t make that mistake.

Man-made warming

While George is pronouncing on a subject he knows nothing of, it’s interesting to hear him repeat something our paper says, for which we were ridiculed. He confirms that all of the warming reported in New Zealand arises only from the adjustments, because he says: “If you take the raw temperature recordings alone … you won’t see a temperature rise.”

Because then: “the readings have to be corrected for changes in site location, exposure, and instrumentation.” The delicious irony of admitting to this “man-made” warming escapes him. He really ought to reflect on the likelihood of so many adjustments contributing to the warming he claims has been largely man-made (in the other sense of emissions). Did all seven temperature stations move, as he implies, from the coast to cooler hills?

NIWA exaggerates the warming by 168%

Laking points to “NIWA’s “Report on the Review of NIWA’s Seven Station Series” (once available on NIWA’s website, now split into individual documents, but available here as a single file (pdf, 8.7 MB), and it shows how temperature has risen 0.9 °C in this country over the last century.” He says this is “a kernel of science”. He’s more right than he knows.

We refuted it, you know

(Tore it to pieces, actually.) It’s only fair to point out, George, that on 6 August the NZCSC analysis of NIWA’s review (pdf, 2.8 MB) was released. You’re right, there’s a kernel of science in NIWA’s review. But they didn’t use the scientific method they claim to have used (and promised for months beforehand that they would use), by not using the correct method they overstate the warming by 168%, they use stations 1100 km apart yet call them “neighbours”, use annual data when the proper method specifically requires monthly data and do several other unscientific things.

But he can read our report for himself or get a gentle introduction by reading our summary of it. He clearly has not heard of it and should find it illuminating. Hope he lets us know what he thinks of it and whether his strong faith in NIWA is still intact.

Here’s Laking’s full comment:

If you take the raw temperature recordings alone (like ACT, or to be precise, Richard Treadgold did), you won’t see a temperature rise. But that is because the readings have to be corrected for changes in site location, exposure, and instrumentation. My own training in science has made me alert to and familiar with the need to prepare raw data for analysis. Treadgold overlooked this and so ACT constructed a whole court case on the most abysmal scientific howler.

Well, sorry, but Laking just walked into a big hole nobody warned him about or he’s deliberately repeated the “howler” myth, knowing it to be false. Let me spell out his mistakes.

  1. ACT did not work on our AWFWY report, though they gave it wholehearted support when it was done. They put the most fantastic pressure on NIWA’s top managers and scientists from within the Parliament.
  2. Laking assumes most adjustments will result in warming, thinking the weather stations all moved to cooler places. He doesn’t realise that, taken together, as the BOM in Australia say, one would expect adjustments over a long period to balance out and to be neutral. Instead, NIWA’s adjustments demonstrate an extraordinary bias towards warming – 50% more warming than the whole globe, by the way, even though we’re the world’s largest archipelago, sitting in a great big ocean.
  3. ACT have nothing to do with the suit against NIWA. That is being brought by the NZ Climate Science Education Trust, an offshoot of the Coalition. Fancy not getting that right!
  4. The “howler” is no such thing, since it was invented by Gareth Renowden to discredit our paper and it is a lie. Nowhere does our paper claim there should be no adjustments, nor have we ever said so.

The last word

In his opinion piece, Laking acknowledges that organisations around the world follow the lead on climate given by the “scientific work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.” The IPCC is highly regarded, especially in banking and investment circles.

They have been particularly revered since making possible the unique money-making scheme of buying and selling a trace gas that nobody can measure, that neither the seller nor the buyer wants, that the buyer cannot take delivery of, and where it suits both parties to fraudulently overstate the quantities bought and sold. It’s brilliant.

But the IPCC is being reevaluated around the world on several levels. On the scientific level, the IPCC released a draft report a couple of weeks ago on coping with extreme climate disasters. In it, they candidly admit the chances that various events will happen. They are distressingly uncertain about most things, which is causing people everywhere to consider the possibility that the IPCC has been wrong to predict catastrophe.

That same IPCC which inspires your government to spend your money to “change the weather” (oh, yes, we can!) is the same one that just announced:

It is likely that anthropogenic influences have led to warming of extreme daily minimum and maximum temperatures on the global scale.

Only “likely?” And they don’t even say how MUCH warming! If an investment consultant came to me offering to invest my money, and he said it was “likely” I would get my money back, I would call the police.

George, if you have the time, answer me this: How much will the global surface temperature be reduced if New Zealand achieves its stated target “for a 50 per cent reduction in New Zealand greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2050”?

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23 Thoughts on “Laking recycles dishonesty

  1. Mike Jowsey on 03/12/2011 at 11:52 pm said:

    But they didn’t say this. Instead, they treated the country to a barrage of bluster, dissimulation, flat-out lies and distortions – even misleading their Minister in the Parliament, they delayed, obfuscated and delayed again – and agreed to recalculate the adjustments. Bingo!

    URL links to each of the above points would be good (time being an infinite resource, of course…)

    e.g bluster, dissimulation,our paper, etc

    Why bother? Because this is a very pivotal piece. No wriggle room allowed.

    • Thanks Mike. You’re quite right, links should be everywhere. Hmm, pivotal, you think? I’ll add more as time allows. My new mission. But there are new articles being published, pieces being sent to me, new developments, Durban, checking climate metrics each month, reading the blog comments, checking disk space, the odd customer… ahhhhhhh!! Whew! Ok, I’m better now.

  2. PeterM on 04/12/2011 at 5:56 am said:

    Oh silly me, and there I was thinking that doctors knew all about temperature measurement. Body temp 37C or so with diurnal, sex and racial differences to give a normal (mean) temp of 36.8C.
    Playing statistical games with 1/10th of a degree doesn’t seem to be the answer. Rather than hang the temp graph at the end of the bed dont they make you climb up and down steps to measure the work involved?
    Perhaps CAGW doctors should read about the earth’s missing heat.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 04/12/2011 at 6:58 am said:

      7,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 joules per annum approximately – to put a number on it.

  3. Richard C (NZ) on 04/12/2011 at 7:27 am said:

    George-the-Doctor now has another kernel of science that he can look up thanks to the NZCSET but the thought of actually doing so is probably morally repugnant to him so I have my doubts that he will ever get around to improving his present level of ignorance.

    I repeat, if Laking is the Doctor I think I would rather have the disease. Given that he’s a medical oncologist: (treatment primarily with drugs, e.g. chemotherapy) not a radiation oncologist probably explains why he doesn’t know squat about AGW. Pity Laking didn’t pursue the radiation sub-specialty or he might have seen through the bogus backradiation heating notion.

    This idjit deserves to be an object of mirth and an example of just how superficial the understanding of the various catastrophic man-made climate change hangers-on really is. Sad that it’s a faction of the medical profession in this case,

    Fools rush in, none so blind, etc, etc.

  4. Richard C (NZ) on 04/12/2011 at 11:03 am said:

    “scientific work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.” ?

    1) The IPCC does not actually do “scientific work” (see 2).

    2) WGI cobbles together the scientific literature (the actual “scientific work”) agreeable to the prescribed narrative (studiously avoiding the disagreeable) being developed by the vested interests in WGs II.and III with the addition of lots of suitably dramatic and authoritative figures and tables relying heavily on the circular reasoning of model simulation to illustrate the already finalized message.

    3) A Synthesis Report, loosely based on the findings of WGs I, II and III but firmly on-predetermined-message dumbs down all the complexity so that the message can be further filtered and simplified for political influence (see 4).

    4) A sanitized and super-simple Summary For Policymakers advocacy statement that creates the illusion of absolute certainty is spoon-fed internationally to policy wonks who are actually the ones that tell politicians what to say and enact in their respective countries.

    If that’s “scientific work”, then I’m a rabid warmist on the loose from Joe Romm’s Climate Progress.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 04/12/2011 at 11:32 am said:

      Thinking too that the IPCC (and UN and UNFCCC) might not be held by banks nowadays in the same high regard as that of the insurance industry.

      The banks have been enamoured by the coal industry lately as reported from Durban but the investment banks (e.g. JPMorgan, UBS) are rather less enamoured with climate-related businesses and are the ones cutting traders and analysts as the slump in shares and carbon emission permits kicks in.

      Picky I know but worth mentioning I think.

    • Richard C,

      I generally agree with your comments here, however, you say:

      The IPCC does not actually do “scientific work”

      Yes, I thought about that, but I let it go because literature reviews are valid and important scientific tasks. If we remember the important differences between a literature review and experimental work, etc., when we hear people talking about the “scientific work of the IPCC”, we’ll keep everyone on track.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 04/12/2011 at 12:31 pm said:

      OK, but the IPCC review work conforms only with definition 3 in the following definition of SCIENTIFIC (and then only WGI) but not necessarily definition 1,2 or Scientific method


      Sci`en*tif”ic, a. [F. scientifique; L. scientia
      science + facere to make.]
      1. Of or pertaining to science; used in science; as,
      scientific principles; scientific apparatus; scientific

      2. Agreeing with, or depending on, the rules or principles of
      science; as, a scientific classification; a scientific
      arrangement of fossils.

      3. Having a knowledge of science, or of a science; evincing
      science or systematic knowledge; as, a scientific chemist;
      a scientific reasoner; a scientific argument.

      Bossuet is as scientific in the structure of his
      sentences. –Landor.

      {Scientific method}, the method employed in exact science and
      consisting of: (a) Careful and abundant observation and
      experiment. (b) generalization of the results into
      formulated “Laws” and statements.

      It is only peer-reviewed literature and reports from actual scientific institutions e.g. CERN that conform to all 4 of the above definitions to my mind. so it is misleading to cast the IPCC as doing scientific work when in reality it is merely reviewing work that has already been done. Anyone, not necessarily scientists, can do that as shown by Donna Laframboise.

      Equally misleading is the claim that AR4 was the work of “2500 scientists”.unless for example, first on the list of Core Writing Team members:

      BERNSTEIN, Lenny
      L.S. Bernstein & Associates, L.L.C.

      suddenly becomes a scientist by association.

    • Absolutely, no argument with any of your points, except to say that literature review belongs to the scientific method, making a vital contribution to “having a knowledge of science”. To the extent that it performs a review of the literature, the IPCC does engage in scientific work.

      But we are not fooled by “2500 scientists” (when it’s incorrect) or that the IPCC is a “scientific organisation”, when it’s a political one.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 04/12/2011 at 2:34 pm said:

      I took the MftE CC Office to task on the same scientific review issue when Dr Power accused me of citing blog science (e.g. Global Warming Science) but that they got their science from the IPCC. I responded by asking what was the difference between me cobbling together a coherent and consistent narrative from various sources with supporting citations from peer-reviewed literature (and listing all 34 citations including those that refuted Powers citations) and the IPCC doing a similar undertaking (except for the refutations). Haven’t heard back since.

      Doing scientific work and reviewing scientific work done are two different undertakings but George Laking would prefer not to have to make the distinction. The latter can be done by anyone with sufficient transferable research, technical and analytical skill and with enough education to comprehend the issues. In this respect climate science review is not the sole domain of the IPCC or climate scientists either within or external to the IPCC in spite of the likes of Gearge Laking and Dr Vera Power making out that the IPCC is the only authority and considering it as such.

      The NZCSET on the other hand has done both undertakings with the statistical review of the NZ temperature series. Not only that but they have found failings in science that has ultimately been accepted by the IPCC review, ranking it alongside independent debunking (scientific review and work) of Mann’s hockey stick – also science that was accepted by IPCC review.

      What I am getting at is that IPCC review of climate science is very light-handed and susceptible to error when the commensurate and competent work (e.g. NZCSET, McIntyre/McKitrick) is absent and this is being gradually exposed as time (and climate) goes on.

      Similarly, a mere review is susceptible to error if there is not sufficient skill and education to comprehend the issues especially when combined with an inherent confirmation bias and advocacy slant.

      Therefore, a selected (mostly like-minded and factious) group engaging in scientific work that is arms-length assessment by type and title does not guarantee the quality and veracity of the product nor does it ensure that the outcome is also scientific when the process has essentially been hijacked for political purposes, WGI – SPM.

      Pedantic – but valid nonetheless.

  5. Richard C (NZ) on 04/12/2011 at 11:52 am said:

    “….the IPCC released a draft report a couple of weeks ago on coping with extreme climate disasters”

    That would be the Special Report: “Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (SREX)”


    “Uncertainty in the sign of projected changes in climate extremes over the coming two to three decades is relatively large because climate change signals are expected to be relatively small compared to natural climate variability”.


    “Climate change signals are expected to be relatively small compared to natural climate variability over the coming two to three decades”

    “Long-term trends in normalized economic disaster losses cannot be reliably attributed to natural or anthropogenic climate change”

    Strange that George omitted these quotes from his opinion piece because he’s a Doctor and as George puts it: “Doctors understand what’s going on”.

  6. Flipper on 04/12/2011 at 5:00 pm said:

    A very “non PC” question: is the said George Laking of Epsom a relative or progeny of the real, and late, George Laking – a former and distinguished Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Chief Ombudsman?? If so, that George would have disowned the “George Laking of Epsom”. He is clearly gauche!.

  7. Andy on 04/12/2011 at 7:05 pm said:

    I found this post on The Standard (a popular left wing NZ blog) which cites Laking’s article

    The comments on this thread are most enlightening. Apparently this is NZ’s most popular left wing blog. It makes Hot Topic look like a women’s knitting group in comparison. Feel the hate!

    • Richard C (NZ) on 04/12/2011 at 8:54 pm said:

      Interesting find. The self-inflicted ignorance must be rational thought surely.

      Clark’s effort was impressive but as usual when it all got too inconvenient he got the chop (although he did test the limits). I can just about hear the teeth grinding and see the veins pulsating as the red mist descends – seems to be a leftist thing (think Al Gore’s raging tirade).

    • Richard C (NZ) on 04/12/2011 at 9:04 pm said:

      Left an appropriate comment to see the reaction if any, vis:-

      “Any progress finding the 7,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 joules per annum of ocean heat that the IPCC models accumulate but the ARGO network can’t detect?

      Gone missing apparently”

  8. PeterM on 04/12/2011 at 9:47 pm said:

    CAGW (catastrophic anthropogenic global warming) people who don’t like struggling through silly science might find some historic climate data interesting – not fiddled data but news reports and such that are fun to read. Try Steven Goddards Real Science.

  9. Doug Proctor on 06/12/2011 at 8:06 am said:

    Unlike George, I have read your paper.

    So NIWA used a more “useful” statistical method than R & S (’92) and happily came out with exactly the same result as the unknown Salinger method. The R & S (’92) method comes out with a result in-line with global records and the NZ position in the Southern Ocean where the temperature rise has not been as sustained or dramatic as for the Atlantic, Pacific and (particularly) the Arctic. But NIWA didn’t use it.

    Did the technique NIWAS actually used the one that Australia AND GISTemp uses? So you still have an apples-to-apples comparison, even if the apples are rotten?

    What is NIWA’s response to your criticism?

    Fabulous work. Any insider of NIWA, past rather than present, speaking about the matter? There must be ex-NIWA employees around.

    • Andy on 14/09/2012 at 3:15 pm said:

      “andy” keeps recycling the same Wikipedia article.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 14/09/2012 at 4:06 pm said:

      There’s NOTHING in the article detailing the technicalities of CO2 forcing and the IPCC RF methodology and rebuttal of it in particular.

      Wiki sidesteps the issue andy but do you? I’ve started a list of those who cannot (or will not i.e. default) offer a rebuttal of substance (validity and therefore success) to the following series and I challenge you with it:-

      An Unsettling Look at the Settled Science of Global Warming
      Part 1: Scientific Discussion

      And here,

      An Unsettling Look at the Settled Science of Global Warming
      Part 2: Layman’s Discussion

      And here,

      An Unsettling Look at the Settled Science of Global Warming
      Part 3: Policy Maker’s Summary

      The key point being the bogus “oversimplification” by the IPCC. Quoting Part 2:-

      “The IPCC equation assumes a “logarithmic” or log relation between forcing and CO2. The path length curve more closely resembles a „log log‟ relation between forcing and CO2. That is the IPCC model is an oversimplification that results in overestimating the impact of CO2 at higher concentrations”

      The Defaulter List so far is:-

      Martin Lack
      Rob Taylor
      Ken Perrott

      Do I add your name andy? Or have you got something that upholds the IPCC RF science?

      BTW, Ken’s name is there because he couldn’t even understand the challenge, poor chap.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 15/09/2012 at 9:26 am said:

      Nothing forthcoming from andy, I’m guessing he was just indulging in fly-by trolling.

      A default nonetheless. So the updated Defaulter List is:-

      Martin Lack
      Rob Taylor
      Ken Perrott
      andy (Not Andy)

      Looking forward now to Nick, bill, Richard Christie, Rob Painting et al making their next appearance. I’m sure the list will need to be extended then.

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