Greenpeace shows no evidence


The NZ Herald published this article recently by Carmen Gravatt, the campaigns director at Greenpeace New Zealand.

I’m not well informed on the energy scene, but I want to comment on her outrageously distorted presentation of climate change. I reserve the right to complain to the NZ Press Council about the Herald allowing her space to spread this manifest nonsense about global warming.

First she says:

… the world is about to lose the chance to stop the global average temperature from soaring – uncontrollably – beyond two degrees.

Nobody – count them: nobody – in the IPCC predicts that global temperatures will soar “uncontrollably” if they rise by 2°C. If Miss Gravatt is unaware of that fact, she is singularly unprepared for the demands of her position.

No climate scientist anywhere, to my knowledge, claims that uncontrolled warming could occur at all. It has never occurred before, in 4.5 billion years. This is outright alarmism. If the Herald is in doubt about these facts, let them ring one of the climate scientists at NIWA. Then explain to their readers why they didn’t make the call before this unscientific twaddle went to press.

This doesn’t touch on global warming, but Miss Gravatt blatantly mischaracterises the nature of our oil use when she says:

But the reserves in the likes of the Middle East will never be able to meet the enormous demand created by the profligate use of oil for transport and energy generation.

To describe our use of oil for transport and electricity generation, the two greatest boons of our age, as “profligate” makes me wonder how she sees in her house at night; how she gets to the office in the morning and how she travels to those overseas climate conferences. Does she consider all those activities, performed by any person, to be a profligate use of energy?

Then she says enigmatically:

given the increasing ravages of climate change

Carmen, would you mind mentioning some of these “ravages” you refer to? Because actually the only ravages the scientists talk about are in the future. They are, at the present, imaginary; one could say they are prospective; they are, of a certainty, far from real. Scientists concur that it is impossible to declare that any particular weather event was caused by global warming. So any ravage was not a globally warmed ravage.

The only predictions of ravages come from computer models. There is no other evidence for them. There are, in consequence, many of us who don’t believe they will occur. So when you refer to them, I am drawn to ask: what are you talking about?

Finally, she refers to:

the melting Arctic

Considering the floating sea ice has recovered in each succeeding year from the low of five years ago, it’s extremely mischievous to describe it still as “melting”. For it melts every year. It melts by about 60% to 70% in the summer, but recovers again in the following winter. Since 2007 it’s been growing back.

Miss Gravatt’s claim that drilling for oil “will only drive climate change further” has no basis in fact. For one thing, she surely does not mean to imply that the mere drilling for oil affects the climate.

But, for another, there is no evidence that burning the oil thus produced will measurably affect the climate by warming it, much less warm it dangerously.

Carmen, you’re required to produce evidence for alarming claims such as these. What is it?

The time limit for complaining to the Press Council is one calendar month. Two weeks left for an email. I’ll think about it. What do readers think?

Views: 107

16 Thoughts on “Greenpeace shows no evidence

  1. Anthropogenic Global Cooling on 01/04/2012 at 1:00 am said:

    Greenies are dishonest liars, and the NZ Herald is a gutter press scandal rag. The fact that this article is in the Herald comes as no surpise at all, and I haven’t visited their website or read their newspaper for a long time now. The fact that they publish this tripe is desperation on their part due to a drop in readership. Last time I looked at the comments it was full of leftie green rubbish – they’re probably home on the dole.

    Avoid the Herald like the plague & perhaps they might see the error of their ways. In the meantime, visiting their website just encourages them to publish more alarmist trash.

    Complain if you like Richard, it can’t hurt, but the gutter press just prints what it likes & isn’t concerned with inconvenient things such as truth. If you do complain, send a duplicate to as many of the senior editors as possible – not all of them a greenie propagandists.

    • Gary on 01/04/2012 at 7:45 pm said:

      This sums it up…the rent a demo team.
      What qualifications do you have?

      I have a lot of on-the-job experience rather than tertiary education. I actually didn’t finish my environmental science degree because I took a job with Greenpeace that came up at the time. Industry experience is important and I have had campaign experience here in New Zealand, in Australia, in Europe and other places in the Pacific.

  2. David on 01/04/2012 at 8:19 am said:

    Agree . You should complain. We all should .

  3. Flipper on 01/04/2012 at 8:32 am said:

    The Herald also ran an AP (not a source held in reverance as it once was) sourced piece on a projected disastrous increase in natural “disasters”. This caused a colleague in the UK to observe:
    “Somewhat (in fact, exactly) akin to whores predicting the spread of sexually transmitted diseases – with one significant difference, however! The ladies of negotiable affections would have some basis for their warnings.”

    Does Carmen qualify?

  4. Mike Jowsey on 01/04/2012 at 8:46 am said:

    I agree with AGC and David above – stay away from Harold, and complain loudly to the appropriate regulatory bodies.

    Maybe present a balancing article for publication? SOmething about how we are lucky to be living in a nice warm interglacial, rather than say the Little Ice Age.

    Farms and villages in the Swiss Alps were destroyed by encroaching glaciers during the mid-17th century.[17] Canals and rivers in Great Britain and the Netherlands were frequently frozen deeply enough to support ice skating and winter festivals.[17] The first River Thames frost fair was in 1607; the last in 1814, although changes to the bridges and the addition of an embankment affected the river flow and depth, hence diminishing the possibility of freezes. Freezing of the Golden Horn and the southern section of the Bosphorus took place in 1622. In 1658, a Swedish army marched across the Great Belt to Denmark to invade Copenhagen. The winter of 1794-1795 was particularly harsh, when the French invasion army under Pichegru could march on the frozen rivers of the Netherlands, while the Dutch fleet was fixed in the ice in Den Helder harbour. In the winter of 1780, New York Harbor froze, allowing people to walk from Manhattan to Staten Island. Sea ice surrounding Iceland extended for miles in every direction, closing harbors to shipping.

    The last written records of the Norse Greenlanders are from a 1408 marriage in the church of Hvalsey — today the best-preserved of the Norse ruins.The population of Iceland fell by half, but this was perhaps caused by fluorosis after the eruption of the volcano Laki in 1783.[18] Iceland also suffered failures of cereal crops, and people moved away from a grain-based diet.[19] The Norse colonies in Greenland starved and vanished (by the 15th century), as crops failed and livestock could not be maintained through increasingly harsh winters, though Jared Diamond noted that they had exceeded the agricultural carrying capacity before then. In North America, American Indians formed leagues in response to food shortages.[20] In Portugal, snowstorms were much more frequent than today. There are reports of heavy snowfalls in the winters of 1665, 1744 and 1886.[21]

  5. Bob D on 01/04/2012 at 9:11 am said:

    So when you refer to them, I am drawn to ask: what are you talking about?

    That line reminds me of this fabulous quote from Jane Austen’s most famous novel:

    Mr Bennet raised his eyes from his book as she entered, and fixed them on her face with a calm unconcern which was not in the least altered by her communication.
    ‘I have not the pleasure of understanding you,’ said he, when she had finished her speech. ‘Of what are you talking?’

    And I agree, we should complain, if only to let them know that among their readership there are some who still engage their brains occasionally.

  6. Alexander K on 01/04/2012 at 9:12 am said:

    A couple of weeks ago I had reason to question the veracity of a decidedly alarmist Herald ‘Ecomentalist’ article on sea level rise and the implications for Aucklanders who live near the coast . The ‘Environmental’ reporter, whose name I forget, replied asking for a citation in the manner of one of the Guardian’s pet ‘attack dogs’. I instructed him on where to look and suggested he do his own homework. No further correspondence has ensued.
    The article by the Green woman is typical of the unwarranted, unfounded rubbish the Green luvvies have been spouting in their increasing desperation caused by fewer and fewer members of the public taking them seriously

  7. Australis on 01/04/2012 at 12:32 pm said:

    Since the Herald article, the IPCC tome on SREX has been published. It surprises all by saying that hurricanes and floods can’t be ascribed to global warming. They doubt that recent weather has been extreme.

    It has been praised by Roger Pielke Jr, a luke-warmist who specializes in this field. His views have been taken up at

    The report has been criticized by Carmen’s lot:

    Last year, the BBC was alarmed by the IPCC draft. Even Richard Black saw it as the end of weather scares.

    I would suggest you offer the Herald an Op-ed saying Carmen’s piece is now out of date, and putting forward the Pielke interpretation of SREX. As long as you sprinkle the article with numerous references to IPCC, it should get printed.

  8. Andy on 01/04/2012 at 1:47 pm said:

    I can recommend Patrick Moore’s book “Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout” for some insight into this organisation he co-founded.

    Moore claims that, since the mid 1980’s, Greenpeace became increasingly irrational and “anti-science, ant-intellectual, and ultimately anti-human”.

    Other that the more recent climate change obsession, other issues that Greenpeace have grappled with include:
    – their opposition to Chlorine, and products derived therefrom, including PVC and Vinyl, both fairly inert and safe compounds.
    – their opposition to forestry (sustainable or otherwise) and their subsequent opposition to wood as a building material
    – their opposition to nuclear and hydro power, the two biggest candidates for “low carbon” energy

    Moore’s book isn’t a long rant against Greenpeace though. It is part autobiographical, and describes his early days on the anti-whaling and anti-sealing campaigns, with some heart-wrenching imagery reminding us that not all about the environmental movement was or is bad.
    He also has a lot of positive suggestions and optimism about our future as a human race, which is something that seems to be lacking from the modern environmental movement.

    The book isn’t overtly political. He describes himself as a “centrist”, and as such I think this book is an important one that can talk to the important middle ground in our society.

  9. Maurice@TheMount on 01/04/2012 at 8:09 pm said:

    Greenpeace has no evidence….and they are not Greens, they are Watermelons, Green on the outside and Red on the inside.

    When all the Watermelon Warmers admit their Lie
    We will raise a Monument into the Sky
    A Monument of Solid Carbon
    To commemorate their Bogus Bargain

    CO2 (Plant Food) is a trace gas in our atmosphere necessary for all life on earth, and all living things would benefit greatly with more of it.
    And never forget man made or natural it is the same molecule, one atom Carbon, two atoms Oxygen….PLANT FOOD.

  10. Nick Nicholas on 01/04/2012 at 9:45 pm said:

    Re Australis’s comment – The Herald simply publishes extracts from other papers/periodicals such as the UK Independent, all with the alarmist bias.
    I try, each time I see one; to send them a reference showing an opposing or refuting view – quite often from Pielke’s GWPF newsletter.
    It does not seem to make any difference. I have never seen any of them published and I have never had a response from the Herald.
    May I suggest others might like to do the same – send to —

    Nick N

  11. Richard C (NZ) on 02/04/2012 at 12:49 pm said:

    New word: “climochondriacs”.

    (H/t Steven Goddard)

  12. Andy on 05/04/2012 at 9:07 am said:

    Bryan Leyland’s complaint against Greenpeace over their misleading TV ad on the Rena disaster was upheld, and also got quite a bit of coverage in the media.

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