Deadly effective manipulation

This excellent post is from our friend Rupert Postlethwaite, a real scientist who is so good at putting two and two together he often has trouble getting them apart. However, he pretends to be so many people he can also, like any properly absent-minded professor, quite forget who he is. Rupert says a glance at this conference programme will reveal how professionally clever the climate alarmists are and I agree. But, given global temperatures have not risen significantly since about 1995, while at the same time the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere went up by about 9%, it is obvious that FACTORS OTHER THAN CO2 have a controlling influence on temperature. To douse this oh-so-serious sea level conference with copious quantities of cold sea water, you can easily find objective data on sea level rise in our part of the world. Visit the Australian South Pacific Sea Level and Climate Monitoring Project and check out the February 2012 report (pdf). From the Executive Summary on page 3: “Monthly sea levels during February 2012 were around 5cm higher than normal at Marshall Islands, PNG, Samoa and Cook Islands and as much as 12cm higher than normal at Solomon Islands. Sea levels were around 7cm lower than normal at Vanuatu. Sea levels at Kiribati, Nauru, Tuvalu, Fiji and Tonga were all near normal for this time of the year.” What was that about global sea levels rising with global temperature and always going up, never going down? Explain this, NIWA! – Richard Treadgold

the ocean

CO2 imagined to raise the oceans

Assisted by some mainly taxpayer or citizen-funded organisations, including the Royal Society of New Zealand, GNS Science, Victoria University and the Wellington City Council, the New Zealand Climate Change Centre is hosting yet another expensive climate jamboree in Wellington on May 10-11.

Sea-level Rise, Meeting the Challenge is nominally concerned with discussions of sea-level rise that is imagined as being caused by human carbon dioxide emissions.

Many Kiwis are concerned that New Zealand already has an expensive and ineffectual emissions trading scheme to help “stop climate change” (a banal and utterly impractical notion, if ever there were), and which the government shows no sign of repealing despite almost complete recalcitrance by other countries to mimic its crazy brave venture.

The government may have no intention to repeal the ETS, but interestingly it has just announced its intention to change the function of the scheme from a trading system to a direct carbon tax. And this at the same time that the Australian government has introduced a direct carbon tax this year that will transmute into a trading scheme in three years’ time.

Monty Python and green-armoured prejudice

Monty Python springs to mind, and one has to quite seriously ask the question as to whether any trace of rational, objective advice is now able to penetrate the green-armoured prejudices of the scientists, bureaucrats and politicians who comprise the A-league decision-makers of the Wellington beltway.

But back to the sea-level conference, which is the latest manifestation of the D-grade thinking among such folk, the programme for which is posted here.

Astonishingly for a conference that has sea-level change as its theme, only two expert papers are to be delivered on the topic. Entirely unsurprisingly, one presenter is from CSIRO in Australia and the second from our own NIWA in Wellington. Knowing the climate alarmist views espoused by both these organisations does not fill one with confidence that their sessions will provide a balanced briefing on the various disputed records of sea-level and their analysis.

The second thing that stands out about the science is the seamless segue that the conference programme exhibits AWAY from stopping sea-level rise by reducing emissions, and TOWARDS adapting to the coastal effects of sea-level change.

To arrest the tide cut your exhausts (huh?)

Preparation for and adaptation to coastal erosion hazards is an entirely sensible policy that many independent scientists have been urging should be applied to deal with all aspects of climate hazard, global warming included. But these urgings have until now been eschewed in favour of the fantastical idea of the IPCC that climate hazard is best mitigated by human emissions reductions.

A sensible policy of adaptation to sea-level rise must, of course, be based upon realistic estimates of the likely future change at specific locations. Instead, climate agencies and governments worldwide, blindly following the IPCC, have used speculative computer model projections of future global sea-level rise as the basis for new coastal regulations.

Look at reality – not computer models

Even were the computer projections accurate (which they are not), using a hypothetical global sea-level to set coastal regulation at different points around New Zealand is logically equivalent to using a single building-code-template to build houses around the country that are designed in energy terms for the average global climate. No sane government would even contemplate such an exercise — would it?

The second problem with regulating for adaptation to hypothetical future sea-level rise is that it delivers enormous power into the hands of regional and local councils to make decisions that affect coastal property valuations, a process that has already begun around New Zealand.

This is an even bigger, and current, issue on the east coast of Australia at the moment, where a very large amount of political pushback against new coastal regulations is coming from ad hoc local citizen action groups. These groups do not object to sensible, adaptive coastal management as such, but rather to the use of ludicrous projections for up to 1 m or more of rise in the next 100 years – in a situation where accurate tide gauge measurements show that the likely rise is between about 5-20 cm, depending upon the precise location.

Some Australian councils have declared policies of land abandonment for designated areas of coast-fronting properties that are as high as 6 m above present sea-level!

I don’t know the science but I’m famous

Scanning the rest of the conference programme, what stands out also is the clever interweaving of sessions aimed specifically at influencing bureaucrats (especially members of local councils), and the way that the usual reliable suspects (mostly high profile public figures, the strength of whose opinion on climate change issues is inversely proportional to their understanding of the scientific background) are to be used throughout as session and discussion chairs or moderators.

Overall this conference represents another highly polished exercise in influencing public and bureaucratic opinion along desired political lines, similar to the 2006 Wellington Climate Change & Governance meeting.

Damn the facts, we’ll beguile and bewitch

Such conferences are run almost exactly along the lines first fleshed out by the IPCC’s triumvirate of founding science bureaucrats in the early 1990s, Bert Bolin, from Sweden, Maurice Strong from Canada and John Houghton from England. The modus operandi is to declare the science as settled (hence only the two summary papers on it), and to devote the rest of the conference to discussing how to implement the desired policy measures, which contain a large measure of regulatory control.

This is a deadly effective formula for exerting influence, as the three senior IPCC bureaucrats most certainly knew when they minted the approach about 25 years ago.

That there is no established evidence for dangerous sea-level rise, nor for carbon dioxide emissions having a direct effect on sea-level change in New Zealand, appears to be no impediment to the organisations that are supporting this conference. They apparently have so much money to burn that subsidising a two-day junket to further a poster-boy, global warming, sea-level propaganda scare is simply par for their beltway golf course.

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