Government against the people

judge's gavel

The question arises, m’lud, of costs

Unaffordable justice is not justice.

But before payment ever becomes an issue, the very availability of a Court of law is vital, for it guarantees that the ordinary citizen may have his grievances examined by a disinterested judge. We shouldn’t underestimate the power of the unperturbed mind to resolve disputes, remedy wrongs and instil peace; it’s fair to say that nothing else can.

The significance of the Court’s availability increases with the increasing power of one’s adversary, until the adversary is the Crown itself, when the importance of an open Court surpasses everything. For in battling the Crown or the State one stands to lose everything, the combat is so unequal. Only the judge stands between the citizen and the Crown. Outside the courtroom the citizen would be crushed without thought, but before the judge the agent of the Crown will discover that he meets an equal — and shares similar standing with the citizen.

So an accessible Court is the last restraint on the unhindered power of the government turned against its citizens. If the Courts were completely to fail, only blogs such as this would stand, rather forlornly, perhaps, as the last cudgel of democracy; the last gasp of reason before the absolutely final, desperate step to take up weapons and man the barricades around the Parliament, the Kremlin, Tiananmen Square or the Bastille.

Such a failure of democracy itself further fails democracy, and takes the present possibilities much too far, but it serves to show the value of these public discussions — core principle is never very far away.

The existence of a free Court is as important today as ever. From the English barons united against the hubris of the king in the 13th century to the industrial iniquities of Dickens in the 19th to the increasingly Dickensian iniquities of today, two hundred years later, the existence of a reliable spring of reason lies at the heart of our love for a wise and satisfying country.

The Court’s disinterest must be manifest as much in its judgement of costs as in its assessment of the matter in dispute, since it prices the justice it dispenses, and for the Court merely to be available (though that be priceless) is not enough: to keep this justice in reach of the ordinary citizen the Court must be accessible at an affordable cost or its doors might as well be padlocked.

Why such fulmination? Because NIWA, a government agency, has become overbearing in responding to our challenge to their temperature record. NIWA starts by exaggerating the costs of its defence.

We’ll show ’em

The NZ Climate Science Education Trust (the Trust, or NZCSET), as regular readers know, asked the High Court to review certain decisions of the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Ltd (NIWA) in producing the national temperature record and therefore to set the record aside. During a three-day hearing in July the court found against the Trust. Now the issue of costs arises, for part of Justice Venning’s decision was “The defendant is entitled to costs.”

NIWA has reported to the Court that their costs were $118,000, but that’s 50% above the normal scale. Why? It’s nothing less than a punishment, and the crime, of course, is daring to challenge the government. Whistle-blowers aren’t welcome with NIWA. They can pursue tobacco barons to within an inch of the law, or let them investigate fracking, or lunge at the throat of the Ministry of Social Development for breaches of privacy, but don’t you dare ask reasonable questions of us or suggest we perhaps should use a properly accepted scientific method of adjusting temperatures.

In its Court pleadings NIWA’s scientists claimed through their lawyers they are the final arbiters of the science they use and nobody can tell them what to do. I happen to agree that they should have that right, subject only to the usual journal-borne scientific challenge and verification, but when they adopt that attitude in their relationship with society it becomes no more than hubris and they turn from useful scientists into something unattractive. How unpleasant they become when a disagreeable, bureaucratic arrogance makes them take up strong-arm tactics against honest citizens.

Let’s punish someone

But NIWA goes further than that. It actually names two individuals who, it claims, should personally pay the $118,000 – and they weren’t even parties to the court case. Terry Dunleavy is the honorary secretary of the NZ Climate Science Coalition and Barry Brill is the chairman of the Coalition, and a lawyer, who helped bring the court case.

It’s a scandal, because the parties, of course, were the NZCSET and NIWA. No individuals were involved on either side.

The principle NIWA is resorting to here is known as a “non-party costs order” and although the concept of non-party costs has been developed in recent years for cases of companies in receivership, it has never been applied to a judicial review case. It is believed to be the first time non-party costs orders have been sought by an agency of the New Zealand Government or any other government in the Commonwealth.

We tried to talk, NIWA chose the Court

The Trust sent all its criticisms (140 pages worth) to NIWA over a year ago. We offered to co-operate fully with any enquiry NIWA’s chairman might initiate. We prescribed no restrictions and made no demands. You can’t get fairer than that.

But NIWA ignored us, refused to answer our questions and insisted on going to Court. They can scarcely claim that we dragged them all unwilling to Court after ignoring our questions for more than a year.

The Trust argues that costs shouldn’t be awarded at all, because the case was taken in the public interest. There is no question of pecuniary gain. Even NIWA don’t suggest that somehow the Coalition could get some financial reward from winning. So there are no grounds there to award costs against the Trust.

The Courts have regularly upheld “the watchdog principle”. They say it’s appropriate for responsible lobby groups to test decisions taken by an arm of the executive government, for example, in the 1999 case of Greenpeace v Minister of Health.

Environmental lobbies such as Greenpeace and the Forest & Bird Society are regular litigants in both the Environment Court and the High Court, but because they seldom seek pecuniary gain they regularly benefit from the rule. The NZCSET is in the same category, even if its quest for truth in climate science might currently be a little less fashionable.

This is the same rationale as the new law allowing protection for whistleblowers.

Government throwing weight around

With a now-characteristic arrogance, NIWA opposes the Court applying the watchdog principle. It bristles with indignation that any group, at any time, should question its decisions. It not only demands the full costs allowed, but even asks for a surcharge of 50% – presumably to put the “deniers” in their place. It all smacks of an overbearing Government agency throwing its weight around.

Curiously, NIWA says the case did not concern climate change, but only whether NIWA had made mistakes in manipulating raw temperature data. Contrast this with the view of the NZ Herald editorial of 17 September:

“If the coalition had managed to discredit Niwa’s methods, it would also have discredited the evidence for climate change, and the part played by human activities.”

So when responsible private groups make inquiries of government agencies, are rebuffed and forced to seek answers in Court, the Courts generally look kindly on them when making orders for costs.

They take the view that government agencies generally should be required to account for their actions and if no other avenue is available then it’s perfectly appropriate and acceptable to use the Courts.

David v Goliath

In this case we have a tiny charitable trust fighting manfully against the huge resources of the New Zealand government. Long ago, the Courts evolved the notion that costs would not generally be awarded against a plaintiff bringing a case purely in the public interest, unless pecuniary profit is also involved. That principle is now enshrined in the High Court Rules.

If the case had succeeded, the Court would have ruled that NIWA has over-stated the warming experienced in New Zealand to date, and therefore the warming predicted for the next 100 years. That lower prediction would mean that we don’t have to spend billions on climate change mitigation and adaptation, and we don’t need an ETS. Everybody would be financially better off and the worriers could stop worrying. What could be more in the public interest than that?

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142 Thoughts on “Government against the people

  1. Simon on 15/10/2012 at 8:03 am said:

    I’m surprised that costs claimed is only $118,000. Legal fees plus NIWA staff time at full charge out rates would mount up pretty quickly. Naming individuals rather than NZCSET might decrease the temptation to dissolve NZCSET solely in order to avoid paying costs.
    Taking cases to court should never be truly ‘free’, otherwise the legal system would be swamped with frivolous law suits.

  2. Richard C (NZ) on 15/10/2012 at 8:23 am said:

    $60,000 punitive costs for 0.5 C of warming that’s no longer relevant – these people are megalomaniacs

  3. Andy on 15/10/2012 at 8:23 am said:

    Shouldn’t the court have determined the validity of the NZCSET before the proceedings started?

    Where does this decision leave other legal entities such as Family Trusts, Limited Liability Companies etc, with respect to liability issues?

  4. David on 15/10/2012 at 10:55 am said:

    Andy is onto it. You can ask the Court to review the costs. However you are probably better to have the local Law Society do it first. They are obliged to review costs charged in the event of a complaint about overcharging. Just ask Peter Williams (ex) QC how he went when they did his!!
    Then you take that review to the Judge.

  5. Alexander K on 15/10/2012 at 1:55 pm said:

    NIWA is behaving badly in the manner of all bullies, but I can’t say that I am surprised.
    Over 50 years ago, I asked a magistrate to justify his utterly irrational judgement at the conclusion of a court case brought against me and was threatened with being ‘sent down’ immediately for contempt of the court in an apoplectic manner by said magistrate. I was forced to accept the irrational decision and also to pay for it! The QC I had engaged to represent me was insistent that the decision was farcical but suggested that I pay up and shut up as fighting the judiciary was beyond my limited means. The QC graciously waved his own charges as he felt I had paid enough in reputation and cash for losing a case I should have won, in his view.
    I remembered then my late father’s warning that ‘justice is always available on the same basis as dinner at the Ritz’.

  6. Paul on 15/10/2012 at 3:59 pm said:

    The Government has no interest in fairness or the democratic process as the absolutely damning documents on this website show. The country is run by a self interested oligarchy.

    • Simon on 15/10/2012 at 7:10 pm said:

      Apparently Google has intentionally slowed their website because it has invested so much in wind power. Fairfax’s share price has also been severely affected because it supports climate change. I guesss Gina Reinhart will fix that 🙂

    • Andy on 15/10/2012 at 7:16 pm said:

      My web host claims to be 100% wind powered (despite 99.999% claimed uptime) and charges me a surcharge for the privilege

      I haven’t had time to write to them and cancel my contract, but I will and I will make sure they know exactly what I think of them and the slime that supports the wind farm scam.

  7. Samoht on 15/10/2012 at 5:25 pm said:

    Oh dear…. You sued NIWA with a trust set up for the very purpose to do so and lost. What a pity!
    Now save us your tears and front up to the nonsense you have caused. You have abused the NZ legal system in trying to have the courts settle science which obviously failed.
    You should now pay up the cost you have caused to the people of New Zealand and then disappear from the scene with your deluded message and your ridiculous antics.

    • Andy on 15/10/2012 at 6:32 pm said:

      Why would the “people of New Zealand” give a toss about this?

      Haven’t we got more important things to worry about, like our personal details being made available in WINZ kiosks?

  8. I did not cover your court action on my blog, as I had some concerns that the whole thing might backfire, even though you were always correct. However, as things stand, I am concerned to see the outcome that you describe – which is unexpected. Whatever my misgivings, I wished you well, and admired your determination, and agreed with your principled stance. If you start a fund, I for one will contribute, even if only a modest amount. It should not be the case that you need to ask your supporters for funding help, but that may be the situation. I only hope that other people would likewise help if it comes down to that. I am sorry to hear that this situation has arisen and hope that sanity prevails. If it come to it, even if small amounts, hopefully it would finally comprise a large amount and leave all they key players none the worse off.

  9. Brandoch Daha on 15/10/2012 at 9:06 pm said:

    This has really made my day – NZCSC’s sordid PR stunt has backfired rather badly, methinks, and it is delicious irony that they now claim to be the victims of those hard-working scientist and civil servants they themselves have hounded mercilessly for years.

    I also hear that Nick Smith gave Terry Dunleavy a right serving at the ETS submissions recently, and demanded an apology for wasting the time – and impugning the integrity – of “my scientists”, so I expect NIWA have the political backing to extract their pound of flesh.

    Will there be a Court hearing on this matter? As I’m semi-retired, I’d love to attend.

    • In response, we asked Nick Smith when NIWA’s paper would be published and he went quiet. There’ll be no hearing – the judge said if the parties cannot agree he’ll decide the matter on memos from each side.

      You describe our effort as a “sordid stunt” – please explain why.

      You say “hounded mercilessly” – asking questions can be like that when you refuse to answer them. They can follow you everywhere, but that’s all we were doing. Do you know, even now, the error margins in NIWA’s 7-station series? Do you know, even now, when and in what peer-reviewed journal the 7-station series will be published as NIWA promised the Parliament? Do you know why NIWA “reconstructed” the 7-station series? Because they couldn’t even explain the original, much less justify it with proper science. They couldn’t explain it!

      Hounded mercilessly? Our little volunteer tin-pot outfit against the government’s permanent bureaucrats? Oh, poor them! Why do you consider them unaccountable for their actions?

    • Brandoch Daha on 16/10/2012 at 2:11 am said:

      Mr. Treadgold, as you have admitted to your part in this debacle, may I point out that the Court found against you on all counts – and awarded costs against you – in an action you yourselves bought?

      How often does that happen, I wonder? Surely it is pause for thought; perhaps you may actually be wrong?

      With all due respect, perhaps reality is not what you think, and you are genuinely ignorant and deluded regarding the science of climate?

      Or, is it just further evidence of some vast conspiracy ranged against you, you brave little band of fearless truth-seekers that just happen to be acting in the interests of, and supported by, the largest and most heavily-subsidised industry the world has ever known?

      Just asking!

    • Andy on 16/10/2012 at 6:35 am said:

      We should remember that NIWA hired public relations firm Network PR (at the taxpayers expense) to fend off these “merciless attacks”.

      This was the same company, if my memory serves me correctly, that mysteriously “disappeared” references to NIWA from its website

      [UPDATE] link here

  10. Doug Proctor on 16/10/2012 at 5:36 am said:

    I would ask Brandoch to look at the pre-adjustment and post-adjustment temperature profiles for the 11 stations, and then the pre- and post-combined station profiles. If he can, without simply saying “they are the scientists, I am not, so I take that what they did was correct:, say that there is nothing odd about the differences, then I will withdraw the following statement that authority, not personal insight, is what guides his life.

    If your stockbroker did this with the value of your portfolio over the past 30 years, to demonstrate to you that your actual value back then was little, and it is robustly improving now, you would be astounded. This is what has happened. The early stocks, i.e. temperatures, are deemed to have been valued too high, and so knocked down, and just yesterday’s stocks, i.e. temperatures, deemed to have been valued too low, and so have been knocked up. Unless your prior history involved funds in Thai “dollars”, and today’s in US funds, you would – at a minimum – ask questions of your broker. That is what the Coalition has done. You would have gone to a Court when your broker refused to answer just as the Coalition did.

    Just who are these “scientists”, anyway? Not one came to the stand. The case was lawyer-a-lawyer. All it would have taken is one of your much-respected scientists to have explained to the court how what they did could be considered reasonable and – notice the and – what the result would have been had the Coalition’s position been taken. That would have been the end of the story.

    NIWA purpsosely stayed away from discussing whether the Coalition had a reasonable point about the techniques used and how different – but reasonable – evalutation techniques would have affected the outcome. They simply demonstrated to the judge’s comfort that their results were not challengeable.

    Note that I’m not saying the judge acted improperly, not at all. I’m saying that NIWA skillfully managed the case to limit it to the non-technical aspects of the case. You seem to think that the case was about the legitimacy of the NIWA temperature records, but is is not. It became about the legitimacy of NIWA not having to justify what it does. To anyone.

    As for how the case turned out:

    NIWA’s refusal to address the two core issues, i.e. alternative evaluation techniques and their outcome, should have, as I see it, instantly created an “adverse implication”, as a blog-responder called it. Their refusal to discuss these two issues out-of-court should have, as I see it, instantly have created recognition that NIWA, not the Coalition, forced a Court action. The fact that neither of these things happened says to me that the Court’s function here was to narrowly determine the legal right of private citizen’s to question Departmental advice given to, and used by, the Government.

    One may think of a good reason for the Courts/the Government to take this position by considering the “advice” both the US and the UK received and used about Weapons of Mass Destruction (WOMD) prior to invading Iraq. The advice was bad and the Governements probably knew it was bad (based on the US government’s punishment of the Plames for pointing it out). If a private citizen’s can sue for disclosure and win the case that the Government willfully misuses, misrepresents or misinforms its citizenry to futher its policy objectives, then “good government”, as Tony Blair called it, will be difficult.

    I expect that, on appeal and with much difficulty, anxiety and further costs, court costs will be assessed to both parties But a public spanking has occurred, not just to the Coalition, but to two individuals not in apparent legal connection to the case. The shots have not just been fired over the bow her, but through the rigging.

  11. Alexander K on 16/10/2012 at 8:07 am said:

    I am mystified as to why various individuals are so keen to applaud the magisterial punishment of those who ask our democratically elected government’s paid servants legitimate and reasonable questions, questions which should be answered quite routinely. The amount of bile displayed by those same apologists for the scientists and politicians who are our servants and not our masters also puzzles me more than somewhat.
    The state our democracy and its institutions is something of a worry and I too would be happy to contribute a small amount even though I am of very limited means.

  12. Simon on 16/10/2012 at 8:48 am said:

    The problem is that answering one question only begets another question and then yet another. It is extremely difficult to explain science to someone where it conflicts with their world view, try explaining evolution to a religious creationist.
    Mischievously wasting scientists’ time has been a tactic used by climate sceptic lobby groups, and this usually ends up being paid for by the tax-payer. If you are serious about understanding how the temperature record is derived, why not engage NIWA on a consultancy basis? Adopting an antagonistic position does not help your cause.

    • Bob D on 16/10/2012 at 9:51 am said:

      Mischievously wasting scientists’ time…

      All this came about because when sceptics asked NIWA how they derived their 7SS, NIWA refused to provide any information. We now know that was because they honestly didn’t know – they admitted later that they had lost it all. Now the 7SS result is itself suspicious – why would NZ have warmed significantly more than the rest of the world, and the Southern Ocean?

      So the question asked of NIWA was reasonable, by any measure. Had NIWA simply confessed that they didn’t know how they got their 7SS, all would have been well, and no tax-payer money would have been wasted. Instead they went on the attack (a well-known defensive tactic) by trying to make out that they had already given the information to the sceptics, and the sceptics were simply harassing them. That was of course shown to be incorrect later – they couldn’t have provided information they didn’t have themselves.

      If you are serious about understanding how the temperature record is derived, why not engage NIWA on a consultancy basis?

      We understand it very well, in fact we corrected their mistakes in our Audit, which remains the only analysis done to date on the 7SS using the method of RS93. Had we engaged NIWA on a consultancy basis, they would have produced their erroneous Review using a crude and out-dated method from a student’s thesis written in the late seventies.

      Bit of a waste of money, that would have been.

    • Simon on 16/10/2012 at 10:18 am said:

      Are you really 100% sure that you know how NIWA derived their revised series? They are entitled to use whatever methodology they believe is appropriate and need not follow RS93 or Salinger’s thesis exactly.
      I do have some sympathy for your position because compared to the rest of the world, the NIWA estimate looks high but your estimate looks too low. Regardless, there has been statistically significant warming so I’m not really sure why the issue warrants bringing a case to the High Court.

    • Bob D on 16/10/2012 at 10:22 am said:

      Are you really 100% sure that you know how NIWA derived their revised series?

      Absolutely. Have you read NIWA’s Review?

    • Andy on 16/10/2012 at 10:30 am said:

      I do have some sympathy for your position because compared to the rest of the world, the NIWA estimate looks high but your estimate looks too low.

      I like circular reasoning.

      Why does this estimate look too low?
      Because we have an a priori hypothesis that “global warming” is causing the earth to uniformly warm, and if the data doesn’t fit, we need to adjust it until it does

    • I’m not really sure why the issue warrants bringing a case to the High Court.

      With a little imagination, you’ll manage. This may help: have you asked a public servant a question and met a refusal to answer? When you reflect on the matter, you realise that you pay his wages. Might that be a reason?

    • Bob D on 16/10/2012 at 1:03 pm said:

      They are entitled to use whatever methodology they believe is appropriate and need not follow RS93 or Salinger’s thesis exactly.

      Whenever they were prompted, they claimed (rather huffily) that their original 7SS was based on the very best internationally peer-reviewed science. They then quoted RS93 repeatedly. Ken and Gareth jeered that the Coalition should have known that, etc.

      When NIWA did their Review, however, instead of using the very same best internationally peer-reviewed science (ie: RS93), they chose to use the crude, outdated method from Salinger’s thesis instead. Why did they do that? They were supposed to be recreating the 7SS, so why not use the same technique, especially when it was properly peer-reviewed, etc. Why use an outdated, unpublished method?

      The fact is that the method NIWA used has zero international standing. They have been invited on many occasions to provide backing for their technique from the scientific literature. To date they have been unable to do so.

  13. Andy on 16/10/2012 at 9:28 am said:

    Mischievously wasting scientists’ time has been a tactic used by climate sceptic lobby groups,

    for example?

    If you are serious about understanding how the temperature record is derived, why not engage NIWA on a consultancy basis?

    Great idea. I might get WINZ to design my network security while I am at it

    Reminds me of Ronald Reagan’s famous quote. The most scary words in the world:

    “I’m from the government and I am here to help you”

  14. val majkus on 16/10/2012 at 7:23 pm said:

    Richard I’m absolutely horrified – $118,000???? Is there an itemised list – if so can we see it. If not can we see the document claiming those costs?

    Here’s a paper by Justice Venning (dated 1996)
    which certainly seems to envisage much more attainable costs under the (then new) Cost Regime which took effect on 1 Jan 2000. The Judge says the new regime is a scale system providing for the successful party to recover two-thirds of the rate considered reasonable in relation to a particular proceeding or interlocutory application. Proceedings are first categorised as to their complexity and significance. Second, the time reasonably required for the various steps within a proceeding is fixed by reference to a scale. There are 3 different categories for cost purposes – 1, 2 and 3. There are different daily rates applying to each category
    Category 1 – $1,070 per day;
    Category 2 – $1,600 per day;
    Category 3 – $2,370 per day.

    Then there are categories for determining what is a reasonable time for a step in the proceeding – Band A, B & C.

    So to calculate costs you multiply the total time allocated by the appropriate bands (A, B or C) in the Third Schedule (for all the steps taken in the proceeding) by the appropriate daily recovery rate that applies to the particular category (1, 2 or 3) fixed for the proceeding.

    Well you can check out the paper, as I say it certainly envisages much more attainable costs than NIWA is apparently claiming (and in saying this I’m disregarding all the non transparency by this Crown entity which resulted in these proceedings having to be brought.)

    • Yes, well, I see what you mean. Venning J said: “Given the time involved and the steps taken, costs on a category 2 time band C would seem appropriate.”

      Barry’s away just now, but will return next week and I’ll refer your comments to him then. Thanks. I wondered where you were, this being a legal topic and all…

  15. val majkus on 16/10/2012 at 7:55 pm said:

    sorry that paper by Justice Venning is 2006 NOT 1996

    I accept there may have been an increase in the scheduled costs since then but of an amount envisaged by a cost claim of $118,000 – I wouldn’t envisage that

  16. Pingback: NIWA v cranks: costs are in, losers start whinging

  17. Brandoch Daha on 16/10/2012 at 9:44 pm said:

    Well, does the NZCSET “charitable trust” that ran the case have any other string to its bow?

    If not, it would seem to have been set up purely to avoid personal responsibility by the people behind it. This would set a bad precedent if those very same people got away with wasting everyone else’s time and money.

    As a taxpayer, I think NIWA should be recompensed for what seems to be a frivolous and vexatious suit. If you guys really think the science of global warming is wrong, then publish your results like everyone else and thrash it out at conferences and in the literature, not in the courts!

    • Bob D on 16/10/2012 at 9:58 pm said:

      …what seems to be a frivolous and vexatious suit.

      See my comment above:

    • Brandoch Daha on 16/10/2012 at 10:44 pm said:

      Tell it to the judge, friend.

    • Alexander K on 17/10/2012 at 7:44 am said:

      Brandoch, you seem to be unaware of NIWA’s history of ‘adjusting’ historical data.
      As I outlined earlier, part of the cost of maintaining a functional democracy is to allow our questioning of authority employed by the State, which, in effect, is us. The cost of not allowing the questioning of ‘authority employed by the State is writ large in recent history; in my view, we collectively paid dearly for the democratic rights we have and we give these rights away at our peril.
      If you are keen to to see the emergence of Facism or other forms of extreme autoritarianism in our society, just keep insisting that State servants cannot be questioned by citizens and citizen groups. And don’t imagine that Fascism can’t happen in 21st century New Zild, the seeds lie in every society, no matter how apparently ‘civilised’.
      There is a cost for maintaining a fully functional democracy; reasonable and affordable access to the courts by citizens and citizen groups is one of those costs.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 17/10/2012 at 7:49 am said:

      They told the judge but he ignored (or didn’t even realize) that the NZCSET ‘Statistical Audit’ was reviewed by 3 professional statisticians. Instead, for his deterrence to statistical expertise he chose the word of a climate scientist (Mullen – what are his statistical qualifications?)

    • Richard C (NZ) on 17/10/2012 at 7:59 am said:

      And I remind you Brandoch (before you leap to judicial defense), the Judicial Oath contains the words “without fear or favour”.

      Clearly, the judge exercised favour (and a little fear, read caution) towards NIWA and justice was not done.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 17/10/2012 at 7:33 am said:

      As a taxpayer too, NIWA have not lived up to the standards of scientific quality required of a publicly responsible body (the ‘Statistical Audit’ has not gone away as as a result of the decision remember Brandoch). And as a taxpayer, I find their actions reprehensible and megalomaniacal.

      The hearing was NEVER about “the science of global warming” – that’s being disproved by the climate every year now so there’s really no need to publish anything. We only need to defer to GCM (non)performance:-

      Neither was “global” warming EVER global. The warming is confined to the NH extratropics:-

      UAH NH extratropics vs tropics vs SH extratropics 1979 – 2012

      That would make the warming in NZ (that NZCSET do NOT dispute – they get 0.34 C/century) irrelevant in global terms and given natural attribution by Salinger and Renwick anyway.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 17/10/2012 at 7:48 am said:

      Might have been Salinger and Mullen. Either way, it wasn’t CO2.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 17/10/2012 at 8:35 am said:

      The longest running thermometer record on the planet (CET) is now back where it was in 1659


      Science Or Propaganda?

      By Paul Homewood

      The UK Met Office display the above graph prominently on their website. It is the temperature plot, based on the long running CET (Central England Temperature series).

      The message is clear. Temperatures suddenly started climbing rapidly around 1980, a classic hockey stick.

      If you look closely, you will notice that the graph begins just before 1780. Yet the CET series actually began in 1659, so why did not the Met show the full graph?

      I have used exactly the same data, which is available on the Met Office website here, to produce the graph below for the full period.


      I say propaganda.

    • Andy on 17/10/2012 at 8:41 am said:

      If not, it would seem to have been set up purely to avoid personal responsibility by the people behind it.

      Is this a problem? I would have thought the NZCSET had the ability to pay costs. I have a limited liability company that I operate my own business under, for the purpose of limiting my personal liability, amongst other things.

      If the court thought that the NZCSET was an illegitimate legal entity, or one set up to avoid costs, then it would have been better to establish this before the proceedings began.

      Otherwise, where do we stand if we take any action against a government body? Do they make up the rules as they go along?

  18. Brandoch Daha on 17/10/2012 at 9:41 am said:

    Not wishing to be unkind, Mr. Andy, but many of the comments above, plus the conclusion of Doug Proctor’s article “Climate Change is caused by Clouds and Sunshine” which I have read


    sound to me very much like the following statement that is currently in the news:

    As time passes this truth will be stronger and stronger, and the accusations and the propaganda, the lies and hatred, will get weaker and weaker

    Guess who said that?

    • Andy on 17/10/2012 at 9:47 am said:

      Sorry to be unkind Mr Daha, but why do you find it necessary to provide a link to the BBC, the State Broadcasting Corporation that covers up for paedophiles and rapists that work for it?

    • Andy on 17/10/2012 at 10:00 am said:

      Oh I forgot Daha, it’s all a big conspiracy isn’t it?
      The squeaky clean Al Beeb that has a grotesquely biased viewpoint on matters climate, Israel, and any other bien pensant trendy cause du jour?

      We shouldn’t dare to crticise the “authorities”, even when they employees have been abusing children for decades and the entire media (apart from, apparently Peter Hitchens) knew about it.

      We just need to be good dutiful citizens, try not to ruffle the nest, and “trust them”

      Maybe, Daha, you and your statist fanboys might like to form a cheerleader squad for Big Government and the wonderful things it is doing for the city of Christchurch and its residents.

      Try to avoid standing under any lampposts for too long though

    • Brandoch Daha on 17/10/2012 at 10:13 am said:

      Sorry to offend with the BBC link, Mr. Andy, here is Fox News instead.

      He called the first marketplace shelling a “shameless orchestration.”

      “Obviously some people got killed by that explosion but we also saw mannequins being thrown onto trucks creating this show for the world.”

      The first defense witness Karadzic called, retired Russian Col. Andrey Demurenko, who investigated the second attack, also cast doubt on who fired the deadly mortars into crowds of shoppers.

      Demurenko told judges it was almost impossible to accurately fire a mortar into such a small marketplace.

      “The chance that a mortar shell would hit such a small street … is one in a million,” he said.

      Compare this style to the following;

      The very minor, long-term increase in temperatures, at 0.1C/century may be related to anthropogenically produced CO2, but other factors, including artefacts of data manipulation and adjustments might be equally considered. Regardless, the amount of heating not attributable to additional sunshine or oceanic influences is minor to the point of invisibility.

      CO2 as a threat to the biosphere is hereby repudiated. Nature, not man, is in charge of the current global, regional and local climate.

    • Bob D on 17/10/2012 at 9:57 am said:

      Brandoch Daha:

      sound to me very much like the following statement that is currently in the news:
      As time passes this truth will be stronger and stronger, and the accusations and the propaganda, the lies and hatred, will get weaker and weaker
      Guess who said that?

      What a stupid comment! So you read something, decide that it sounds like something unrelated that a mass-murderer said (it doesn’t) and then leave the insinuation that we’re somehow similar in our thinking to a mass-murderer.

      Are you for real, wormy one?

    • Brandoch Daha on 17/10/2012 at 10:05 am said:

      Mr. Bob, I am just pointing out that the psychopathology of denial is not limited to climate change; it is also displayed by war criminals and those members of the Church and BBC who turned “a blind eye” to the depredations of the pedophiles in their midst.

    • Andy on 17/10/2012 at 10:13 am said:

      What the hell has “denial” got to do with anything? There was a statistical analysis done of the 7SS that showed that the one degree of warming that was manufactured entirely out of adjustments might have been overstated.

    • Bob D on 17/10/2012 at 10:24 am said:

      Some advice: When you’ve dug yourself into a hole, stop digging.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 17/10/2012 at 10:26 am said:

      >”I am just pointing out…..the psychopathology of denial……not limited to climate change”

      But what happens Brandoch, when the climate DOESN’T change (as is hasn’t this century)?

      Apparently, “the psychopathology of denial” is currently attributable to those of warmist preconceptions.

    • Brandoch Daha on 17/10/2012 at 10:37 am said:

      Sorry, Mr. Richard, but I do not understand why you are saying the climate hasn’t changed, when it obviously has. I notice it myself, where I live, winters are a lot warmer and Spring comes earlier than it did when I was a kid.

      Also, anyone can see with their own eyes, the Arctic ice is going fast and the glaciers on Greenland and around the whole world are melting.

      Anyway, I found this link; perhaps you could explain to me why the best scientists in the world are wrong, whereas some non-scientists are right? It just doesn’t make any sense.

    • Andy on 17/10/2012 at 10:47 am said:

      Since you chose to quote The Royal Society, it is an appropriate moment to reflect that their motto is

      Nullius in Verba

      which means “Take no ones word for it”.

      Looking at the RS summary, on page 3 it states

      The size of future temperature
      increases and other aspects of climate change, especially at the regional scale, are still
      subject to uncertainty. Nevertheless, the risks associated with some of these changes
      are substantial. It is important that decision makers have access to climate science of
      the highest quality, and can take account of its findings in formulating appropriate

      Do you not think it is incumbent on the public to challenge that quality if it appears lacking?

    • Richard C (NZ) on 17/10/2012 at 11:35 am said:

      >’…the Arctic ice is going fast and the glaciers on Greenland and around the whole world are melting”

      Glaciers around the world have been melting since the ice age, go down to Fiordland and there’s glaciated valleys sans ice i.e. don’t panic.

      The Arctic situation has been resolved years ago – an influx of warm water from the ’98 El Nino and subsequent ice/albedo feedback i.e. (again) don’t panic.

      In short – don’t attribute to man what is normal in nature.

    • Andy on 17/10/2012 at 10:16 am said:

      Good spot, I think we have a dungeons and dragons player in our midst.

      They don’t get enough sunlight, those guys

  19. Brandoch Daha on 17/10/2012 at 11:09 am said:

    I’m not talking about the court case, now, Mr. Andy, i just want to know why some people say the climate hasn’t changed, when I know in my own life, it sure seems to have gotten warmer.

    Perhaps global warming happening faster in some places than in others? Does Mr. richard live in another country where the change is slower than here in NZ?

    • Andy on 17/10/2012 at 11:17 am said:

      I think Richard is referring to the flatlining of the global temperature record that has occurred over the last 15 years or so (according to the Hadcrut4 dataset)

      I don’t think anyone is actually claiming that the climate hasn’t changed over any period, because climate is always changing.

      We know that globally, the Earth has warmed about 0.8 degrees over the last 150 years or so. If you are able to perceive this amount of temperature change pro rata over your lifetime, you must have a very finely attuned set of senses

    • Richard C (NZ) on 17/10/2012 at 11:27 am said:

      >”Does Mr. richard live in another country where the change is slower than here in NZ?”

      I live in THIS NZ Brandoch:-

      The NZ climate hasn’t changed in the last 30 yrs (a standard climate time span), now it’s heading into a cooling phase. “seems to have gotten warmer” is merely an imaginative assessment unconfirmed by thermometers.

      Which begs the question: what NZ do YOU live in Brandoch? Real or imaginary?

  20. Brandoch Daha on 17/10/2012 at 11:58 am said:

    Hang on a minute, guys, when I was a kid we went to Mt. Cook and the glacier went miles down past the town; when I went back there recently, there was just this lake going for miles UP the valley. That’s a hell of a lot of ice to melt in 30 years, so it must be getting hotter.

    I’m not imagining this, go look for yourself!

    Also, i’ve been living in this house for 25 years and we have a woodburner. I used to have to fill right along under the deck with firewood before winter, but now we get through a winter with about 3/4 of that, so winters must be warmer. I feel the cold more than I used too, too, so probably use more wood on cold days now than before.

    We used to get mean frosts in winter, too, but I hardly ever have to put hot water on the car windscreen any more. It sure seems to me that things are getting warmer, so how can someone say “The NZ climate hasn’t changed in the last 30 yrs”?

    Who is this guy Richard C anyway? Is he a climate scientist, ‘cos I found a link to the government scientists who agree with me, not with him!

    • Andy on 17/10/2012 at 12:21 pm said:

      You are correct that the Tasman Glacier has been shrinking. If you go to the visitor centre at the head of Lake Pukaki, you can see information showing that the glacier was at that point several thousand years ago.
      You can also see a sign at Franz Josef that shows where the glacier was during the 1700s before the melt started after the little ice age.

      Anyway, glacier recession or advancement is a function of both temperature and precipitation, which is why some glaciers in NZ and elsewhere are advancing.

      I can’t comment on whether it is warmer or colder now than 30 years ago from personal experience, since I haven’t lived in one place long enough.

      However, I have been a keen skier for 30 years, and I know we have had bad seasons and good seasons throughout that time. This season turned out to be a good one after a late start. There seems to be some feeling that the ski seasons are getting later, but I don’t know if there is any empirical evidence for that. As it happens we still have 1.5 metres of snow at the local area and we will almost certainly be able to ski there at Christmas if we are prepared to hike

    • Richard C (NZ) on 17/10/2012 at 12:22 pm said:

      >”…t must be getting hotter”

      Please at least TRY to make an effort to keep up with the reasoning Brandoch. It has already been pointed out to you that the ’45 – ’75 NZ warming has NATURAL attribution in the literature (Salinger and Mullen, 1999), the IPCC acknowledges this – NO-ONE IS DISPUTING THAT.

      It has also been pointed out that “global” warming is a Northern Hemisphere phenomenon.

      Now re Mt Cook glacier. There are other factors involved, not just temperature. The natural climate shift referred to above had other effects, these impact on a glacier too. See:-

      About Glaciers – FAQs

      10. Why do glaciers advance and retreat?

      When the climate conditions remain constant a glacier will be in a state of balance or equilibrium, with the accumulation of new snow and ice being exactly compensated by the downward flow and ablation over a period of a year. In these conditions a glacier will stay the same size and shape, with the terminus remaining stationary and a large terminal moraine can form.

      However, when the general climate fluctuates, causing variations in local climate (such as average temperature, cloud cover, wind direction, precipitation etc), the mass balance is pushed out of equilibrium. The mass of snow and ice being added to the upper glacier is no longer the same as the mass being lost by ablation lower down. Mass balance is said to be positive when there is a net gain of ice mass and negative when there is a net loss.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 17/10/2012 at 12:34 pm said:

      >”‘cos I found a link to the government scientists who agree with me”

      There is actually only ONE Science Evaluation Manager at the CC Office of MfE (Dr Vera Power) and of course she “agrees” with you (it’s her job to “agree” with the “consensus”) because she only “evaluates” papers that she “agrees’ with and dismisses any contrary evidence out of hand.

      BTW the MfE position is that we should “expect one or two decades” when natural variability dominates. Given that we’ve just had one of those decades and it looks like turning into two, the possibility of an enhanced GHG effect as a result of aGHG emissions dominating this century seems rather remote at present don’t you think Brandoch?

    • Magoo on 17/10/2012 at 12:41 pm said:

      The reality of it Brandoh is that receding glaciers, melting ice, etc. are evidence of warming, but most definitely is not evidence of the cause.

      What evidence do you have that the warming is the result of mankind? CO2 can raise the temp. by 1.2C maximum per doubling of it’s total atmospheric concentrations, which makes it a very small contributor to global warming. The vast majority of the warming is supposed to be from positive feedback from water vapour and there is no evidence to back this up.

      It doesn’t matter if the glacier retreated because there is absolutely no proof that the reason is attributable to man. That’s the catch for AGW, there is absolutely no proof for it. To say that retreating glaciers are the fault of man when there’s no proof is like saying that summer and winter are the outcome of man’s emissions.

  21. Alexander K on 17/10/2012 at 12:13 pm said:

    Sad, isn’t it, when one thinks one is discussing a point with a rational being… well, semi-rational at least, then his mask slips and one realises the old truth that arguing with idiots always reduces you to their very low level of cognition. Like all trolls, Brandon steers the discussion all over the shop and his diversions/delusions become manifestly wilder and wilder.
    What an utter waste of time.

    • Brandoch Daha on 17/10/2012 at 12:39 pm said:

      WTF? What kind of a conversation group is this, when some dude comes in and shoots his mouth off without even introducing himself? Who is this Alexander? ***********************************

      Anyway, forget the glaciers, perhaps there’s something else going on, but can anyone give me a sensible explanation of why we don’t seem to get the cold winters and as many frosts at my place in Taranaki as we used to?

      I think it’s global warming, and I haven’t heard anything here to say otherwise. Mr. Andy has been nice and helpful, but some of the other guys sure seem to have axes to grind.

    • Alexander K on 17/10/2012 at 12:45 pm said:

      Brandon, you have proved my point.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 17/10/2012 at 12:52 pm said:

      >”I think it’s global warming, and I haven’t heard anything here to say otherwise”


    • Brandoch Daha on 17/10/2012 at 6:28 pm said:

      Yes, Mr. Richard C. at my age I do have bad eyesight, and arthritis, but I can still recognise a BS artist when I see one, you rude person.

      I don’t think you know nearly as much as you try to pretend too. As my father used to say, “empty barrels make the most noise”.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 17/10/2012 at 6:53 pm said:

      >”empty barrels make the most noise”

      I agree. Let’s talk about the DLR effects of aGHGs shall we?

      Then we’ll see whose barrel is full and whose is empty.

    • Andy on 17/10/2012 at 7:03 pm said:

      I don’t think Richard C is a BS artist at all. He does spend a possibly unhealthy amount of time reading climate science papers, so I think maybe it’s worth sticking around to see what he has to say

      You may not agree with him, but at least give him and the rest of us the time of day, and we will do likewise

    • Bob D on 17/10/2012 at 12:57 pm said:

      I think it’s global warming…

      It IS global warming, the same global warming that’s been going on since the Little Ice Age. Nobody disputes this – it’s about 0.8°C.
      What is under discussion is AGW, or anthropogenic global warming, caused by increasing amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere.

      As Magoo has pointed out, doubling CO2 from pre-industrial levels of 280ppmv to 560ppmv (by about the year 2100, roughly) is supposed (still unproven though) to increase the global temperature by about 1.2°C, at most. It has been postulated that a water vapour feedback mechanism will multiply this small warming to create warming of 4.5-6°C. This implies a significant acceleration in warming over the slow trend we’ve seen to date. However, the water vapour feedback achieves this by creating a hotspot (twice to three times the surface warming rate) over the tropics. This hotspot is missing.

      And instead of accelerated warming over the past decade and a half, we have seen no warming at all! Over the past decade the temperature has cooled. Therefore the theory of AGW is proven incorrect. Whatever was warming the planet was purely natural (possibly solar-driven), and is not human-caused. Our current emissions of CO2 appear not to be influencing the temperature at all.

    • Simon on 17/10/2012 at 1:40 pm said:

      I can see why the Judge threw out your testimony given the factual errors in the above statement.
      The tropospheric hot spot is not a necessary pre-condition for water vapour feedback from anthropogenic causes, it depends upon the lapse rate. A sample period of 15 years (conveniently chosen to include the 1998 mega El Niño) is an insufficient time period to disprove that warming is occurring. You also end up contradicting your first statement. Try n>30.

    • Magoo on 17/10/2012 at 1:49 pm said:

      Not a ‘pre-condition’, but a consequence of water vapour. Without it what empirical evidence is there for positive feedback from water vapour?

      Without evidence of positive feedback from water vapour what evidence is there for amplification, and without evidence of amplification what evidence is there for AGW?

      What empirical evidence is there for anthropogenic global warming?

    • Bob D on 17/10/2012 at 2:12 pm said:


      I can see why the Judge threw out your testimony given the factual errors in the above statement.

      No, he disregarded my testimony based purely on my qualifications, not what I wrote. If you know of any factual errors in my testimony, please list them.

      The tropospheric hot spot is not a necessary pre-condition for water vapour feedback from anthropogenic causes, it depends upon the lapse rate.

      Explain please. Also, you’ll need to notify the IPCC, they were the ones who published that prediction.

      A sample period of 15 years (conveniently chosen to include the 1998 mega El Niño) is an insufficient time period to disprove that warming is occurring.


      The simulations rule out (at the 95% level) zero trends for intervals of 15 yr or more, suggesting that an observed absence of warming of this duration is needed to create a discrepancy with the expected present-day warming rate.

      Phil Jones (Email 2208):

      Bottom line: the ‘no upward trend’ has to continue for a total of 15 years before we get worried.

      You say:

      You also end up contradicting your first statement.

      Incorrect again. There has been some global warming since the LIA. That warming stopped 16 years ago.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 17/10/2012 at 2:33 pm said:

      >”I can see why the Judge threw out your testimony given the factual errors in the above statement”

      What factual errors? Besides, AGW-centric climate science was never addressed in the NZCSET v NIWA hearing, that was a statistical issue. The judge did NOT however, make an objective assessment of the statistical merits of the ‘Statistical Audit’ vs NIWA’s ‘Review’, preferring instead the unsubstantiated word of Dr Mullen (a climate scientist but NOT a statistician). That assessment has yet to be determined in the statistical arena because the judiciary was incapable.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 17/10/2012 at 3:47 pm said:

      >”it depends upon the lapse rate”


      The posited hotspot arises from re-emitted LWIR from supposed WV amplified heating of GHGs ABOVE the hotspot zone heating the zone immediately below it in addition to heat already accumulated thereby producing a hotspot above the tropics (30N – 30S i.e. it’s a radiative effect if it happens, not dependent on lapse rate – but not happening.

    • Bob D on 17/10/2012 at 1:25 pm said:

      Lord Daha:

      WTF? What kind of a conversation group is this, when some dude comes in and shoots his mouth off without even introducing himself?

      You mean a bit like you did? Alexander K has been here a lot longer than you have.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 17/10/2012 at 2:16 pm said:

      HadCRUT4, NH vs SH, 1850 – 1980

      Gradual rise (normal since LIA) and parallel trends almost.

      Now 1980 – Present

      The NH diverges wildly from the gradual rise of the SH over the last 30+ yrs – how can this be?

      Whatever the reason, it’s not “global” warming and it’s not “well-mixed” aGHGs. Wouldn’t a more credible reason be that the concentration of thermometers is in UHI contaminated (and heavily adjusted) NH?

      That can be confirmed simply by comparing land based series with satellite series from ’78/’79. The most spectacular divergence is by GISTEMP:-

      You may be a fractions of a degree warmer in NZ since you were young Brandoch but you’re certainly not “hotter”.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 17/10/2012 at 2:42 pm said:

      UAH SH vs CO2

      Climate Sensitivity to CO2 = 0

  22. Andy on 17/10/2012 at 2:01 pm said:

    Back to the subject at hand, this link has some information on costs with respect to the environment court and the RMA.

    Obviously, this isn’t the environment court and RMA involved here, but there may be some points of interest.

    Factors to be considered in awarding costs

    The Environment Court is more likely to award costs against a party where:

    The proceedings are vexatious or the party acts in bad faith
    The arguments put forward lack substance
    There is abuse of the Court process in order to delay or obstruct another party
    Procedural requirements, such as pre-circulation of evidence, have not been met
    The case is poorly presented
    The party fails to explore the possibility of settlement
    The party takes a technical or unmeritorious point of defence
    Irrelevant evidence is presented
    The extent of cross-examination is inappropriate
    The scope of the issues could have been narrowed
    A party abandons proceedings without adequate notice

    It would be interesting to hear the criteria used by Justice Venning on which costs were awarded.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 17/10/2012 at 3:09 pm said:

      “The proceedings are vexatious”

      Vexatious Litigation

      “A legal action or proceeding initiated maliciously and without Probable Cause by an individual who is not acting in Good Faith for the purpose of annoying or embarrassing an opponent”

      NIWA’s annoyance and embarrassment stems from their own departure from quality and being found out, not from malice or lack of probable cause and good faith on the part of NZCSET. They were simply the whistleblower.


      This page looks at whistleblowing: disclosure of corporate information in the public interest, despite commercial agreements or secrecy legislation.

      The US Government Accountability Project comments that whistleblower legislation is an essential underpinning for civil society, protecting –

      individuals who in various societies have been termed “whistleblowers,” “bell ringers,” and “lighthouse keepers.” All expressions refer to a common identity – an individual who warns of threats to the public by serving as a “people’s witness.” …

      This form of freedom of expression is a basic human right. People’s witnesses are the lifeblood for efforts to prevent, investigate and prosecute corruption. They personify a basic premise of jurisprudence that “sunlight is the best disinfectant.” Without the free flow of information from knowledgeable witnesses, anti-corruption campaigns are empty and lifeless. Experience demonstrates, however, that in a repressive environment they will be silent observers instead of speaking out on behalf of the public. Freedom of expression provides our citizens the freedom to be partners in genuine challenges to corruption.

      # # #

      Apparently, NZ is moving towards a “repressive environment” if this case is anything to go by.

    • Alexander K on 17/10/2012 at 4:10 pm said:

      Your sense that NZ is moving toward becoming a repressive political environment is the point I was attempting to make to Brandoch. His language and general attitude informs me that he has no intention of learning anything through discussion here, but wants to shout if he doesn’t get his own way and that is a worry that so many like him, who have accepted specious arguments from authority, do not realise what being respectfully sceptical is all about or that the scientific method is a product of the Enlightenment and something we could quite easily lose along with many other freedoms that are products of that era.
      The fight with NIWA is essentially a manifestation of the struggle between truth and lies, freedom and repression. And it is crucially important that the guys in the white hats win! 🙂

    • Richard C (NZ) on 17/10/2012 at 4:39 pm said:

      I watched the film ‘The Insider’ recently (from Wiki):-

      The Insider is a 1999 docudrama film directed by Michael Mann based on the true story of the investigative journalism 60 Minutes segment on the Big Tobacco corporate crime and corruption expose by tobacco industry whistleblower Jeffrey Wigand.[1] The 60 Minutes story originally aired in November 1995 in an altered form because of objections by CBS’ then-owner, Laurence Tisch, who also controlled the Lorillard Tobacco Company. The story was later aired on February 4, 1996, with an exposé of CBS’ “whitewashing” published in a Vanity Fair article by Marie Brenner, entitled “The Man Who Knew Too Much”.

      The film’s title role person Jeffrey Wigand, with the events based on real life, subsequently led to the landmark corporate criminal case Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) of 1998 for $206 billion, originally between the four largest original participating manufacturers of United States tobacco companies (Philip Morris Inc., R. J. Reynolds, Brown & Williamson and Lorillard) and the Attorneys General of 46 States.

      Granted NZCSET is not a NIWA insider (and apart from the Michael Mann dichotomy) but the bullying parallels are not dissimilar to NIWA’s tactics (with judicial obsequience in their case).

      It’s a situation I think – as it was for the Big Tobacco “Seven Dwarfs” – of NIWA winning the bully battle but losing the science war.

    • bill on 17/10/2012 at 10:33 pm said:

      Ah, the evils of Big Tobacco eh, Dixie? That’d be all the mates of your mates at, say, Heartland then?

    • Mack on 17/10/2012 at 11:43 pm said:

      You better get your ass back to Deltoid Birdbrain….err, that’s Dead Deltoid now eh Bill, sorry about that. Still you’ve got the truffle farmer left for sanctuary…

    • Simon on 18/10/2012 at 8:04 am said:

      That would be Michael Mann the director, not Michael E Mann the climate scientist who also has to contend with vexatious law suits.
      As the Heartland Institute is a documented financial supporter of both the NZCSC and various big tobacco lobby groups, your analogy is highly ironic. Tell me again which side is desperately trying to maintain the economic status quo in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence?

    • Andy on 18/10/2012 at 8:24 am said:

      What has this got to do with “the economic status quo”?
      (Whatever that means).

      Presumably as the Evil Deniers are in the pay of Big Oil, it will be no problem to cough up a hundred grand.

      Oh wait, you mean this is yet another myth perpetrated by the warmists?

    • Richard C (NZ) on 18/10/2012 at 9:13 am said:

      >”…overwhelming scientific evidence?”

      Herein lies the problem Simon – there isn’t any.

    • Samoht on 17/10/2012 at 9:13 pm said:

      Factors to be considered in awarding costs:

      The Environment Court is more likely to award costs against a party where:

      The proceedings are vexatious or the party acts in bad faith – Tick! The NZCSET was a puppet set up to bring this case and this was never about science but an ill conceived strategy to delay action on AGW through abuse of the court system.

      The arguments put forward lack substance – Tick! As per the judges summary

      There is abuse of the Court process in order to delay or obstruct another party – Tick! as above

      The case is poorly presented – Tick! – the judge called the plaintiffs case ‘Prolix’

      The party fails to explore the possibility of settlement – Tick! – the NZCSET could have published its series in a reputable journal so that their arguments could be debated in the field of science

      Irrelevant evidence is presented – Tick! – much of the plaintiffs evidence was ruled inadmissible as it was the plaintiff themselves trying to act both a independent scientific witness and as part of the case plus lacked credible credentials.

      Sounds like a clear case to me!

    • Richard C (NZ) on 18/10/2012 at 7:18 am said:

      So in your view, pursuit of truth is vexatious Samoht?

      I think I see where you’re coming from.

    • Alexander K on 18/10/2012 at 7:26 am said:

      Samoht, are you REALLY yearning for a South Pacific version of the Gulags?

    • Andy on 18/10/2012 at 2:22 pm said:

      Yes I think Thomas yearns for the glory days of the Fatherland

  23. Mack on 17/10/2012 at 10:50 pm said:

    Richard C, (NZ),
    I’m coming in a bit from out of left field here and I wish you well and take heart. You are now probably aware of how govt. controlled this little NZ is. You are up against the state and the establishment. Notice there has not been a peep from the NZ msm about this case, nothing to see here , move along. I said on another blog that NIWA covers Salingers ass, Venning covers NIWAs ass, the covers Vennings ass, and the govt. covers and pays for all their asses. Extreme controversy calls for extreme ass covering.
    This might be a long shot but if you could get this link to Justice? Venning somehow it might make him aware of a huge elephant in the room. Ask him to read my comments to this young Sth African here. Also tell him that there are a few more people in this country who have read the science of Nasif Nahle than he would prefer to imagine.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 18/10/2012 at 7:14 am said:

      Hi Mack. Just to clarify, Richard Treadgold is the blog proprietor here and party to the NZCSC. I am Richard Cumming (Richard C (NZ)) and merely a commenter at this blog and not associated with the NZCSC.

      I’m sure though that Richard Treadgold will see your comment and respond appropriately Mack.


    • Mack on 19/10/2012 at 11:07 pm said:

      Thankyou Richard C (NZ),
      Hi Richard Treadgold, Could I prevail on this thread with a little more science. At this point I hope you have become aware of the huge clash between Nasif Nahle and “Neutrino” at Jennifer Marohasy’s site last year. In case you may not have clarified your thoughts about or grasped the significance of what you’ve read it might be essentially summarised in comments I recently made on The Yale Forum on Climate Change and The Media…here….
      Mack says:
      September 13, 2012 at 5:55 am
      Svante Arrhenius, Tyndall, and others took what might happen inside a glass tube and simply extrapolated that directly to the earths atmosphere. Sort of colouring book level science but not whats happening in the real world.
      Here’s a small thing to think about..why did Arrhenius call it “carbonic acid” (weakly acidulated water?) Is that just an archaic term? Maybe he realised the extreme difficulty of producing, transporting (through glass tubes) and storing of CO2 without it coming in contact with or displacing air and its attendant water vapour. Any plumber will tell you that water and air gets into everything. Don’t forget the equation of acid and marble chips gives CO2 + water. So when Tyndall looks inside his glass tubes what is he “seeing” in reality? Is it what the teacher ,drawing little circles of carbon and oxygen on the blackboard, says it is ie carbon dioxide? Or is it “carbonic acid” “carbonic acid gas”?
      Speaking of teachers not living in the real world, some have drawn little pictures of the sun and earth on the blackboard and geometrically figured out that the TOA gets an average of 340w/sq.m instead of the reality of the measured 1360 odd w/sq.m.
      My perspective on the AGW issue is here..(warning, there’s a lot of reading, but it’s not my fault )
      I’m in the comments to the young Sth African who seems to have an open mind about the whole thing.

      Brian Dodge says:
      September 14, 2012 at 2:52 am
      Solar irradiance is about 1366w/m^2, on a square meter perpendicular to the solar radiation at the radius of earth’s orbit. The earth intercepts sunlight over a circle whose area is 1.275e14m^2, or about 1.74e17 watts. The spherical surface area of the earth is ~5.1e14m^2; dividing 1.74e17 watts by 5.1e14m^2 gives about 341watts/m^2, the average insolation accounting for diurnal and latitudinal projected angular changes of the surface of the earth with respect to the incoming solar radiation. That’s the reality in which teachers and everyone else lives.

      Mack says:
      September 14, 2012 at 8:52 am
      Wrong Brian Dodge 1366w/sq.m is the “solar constant” or the average yearly solar irradiation at the TOA. It has been measured since 1902 (at the Smithsonian Institute) and sattelite readings now keep it up to date and accurate. Your tutors have been telling you that this figure of about 340w/sq.m.which you, Trenberth, NASA,(ie Jimmy Hansen) et al have geometrically arrived at attenuates down to about 161w/sq.m. at the earths surface. You are just going to have to read Nasif Nahle to be convinced of this but the real irradiance at the surface of this earth is about near enough to that 340w/sq.m. figure you people arrived at for the TOA. This is the real world where a sq.m metal plate (inches thick ) in equatorial regions gets hot enough to fry eggs on.(think of the equivalent electrical wattage) and you are telling me that some of this is due to “backradiation” from the atmosphere. It’s the sun stupid.

      Mack says:
      September 14, 2012 at 11:06 pm
      Scrub the last word out of that posting Brian

      What this means is that this earth energy budget diagram produced by Kiel ,Trenberth 2009 here is wrong…….

      The incoming solar radiation is not 342w/sq.m. but something like 1366 w/sq.m. This K.T diagram is what the whole AGW, IPCC crap hangs on. This is their “recycling ” “backradiation”. If ever there is a moment in history where anything is wrong it cannot be anything more wrong than this.
      This may be of no consolation to you Richard, facing a $118,000 “fine” ,but it must come as comfort and glad tidings to know we have finally knocked the bastards off. (it seems like an Everest to me)
      Cheers and good luck,

    • Brandoch Daha on 20/10/2012 at 12:40 am said:

      If ever there is a moment in history where anything is wrong it cannot be anything more wrong than this.

      Thanks, mate, that’s a great summary of this site, and of AGW denial in general.

      It would be good as a mental health warning on each page, like the health warnings on cigarette packets.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 20/10/2012 at 8:04 am said:

      So you subscribe to K&T’s flat earth Brandoch?

    • Brandoch Daha on 20/10/2012 at 8:42 am said:

      Huh? Speak English, please.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 20/10/2012 at 8:52 am said:

      K&T’s flat earth

      The curvature is merely perfunctory because you will observe that there is no night-time.

      Day-time all year round in Kaponga Brandoch? Must be an unusual place to live.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 20/10/2012 at 8:42 am said:

      Being of the AGW Faith, you had better be “climate neutral” Brandoch.

      Otherwise you’ll be doing penance – although how a punishment worse than “climate neutral” could be devised I’m not sure

    • Brandoch Daha on 20/10/2012 at 8:56 am said:

      Hell, its good to see you have a sense of humour, Mr. Cummings – I was worried you might just be some Aspergic kid sitting at his computer all day in his jim-jams, thinking that he’s the smartest guy in the world…

      BTW, Kaponga’s in the Naki, but I had to get up in the middle of the night and stick my arm up a cow’s bum to help her deliver her calf.

      Seemed a lot like trying to teach basic science to people here, actually.

    • Bob D on 20/10/2012 at 9:24 am said:

      Seemed a lot like trying to teach basic science to people here, actually.

      To date I’ve seen no evidence that you have even a simple grasp of basic science, so I’m not sure why you feel you should try to teach it to others. Still, if you feel that it increases your self-worth, go to it. We listen with bated breath for your next scientific pronouncement. Or your first, in this case.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 20/10/2012 at 9:24 am said:

      >”…trying to teach basic science to people here”

      If that’s the “basic science” of flat-earthism and year round day-time I suggest you direct your teachings to Ken, Nick, Simon, Samoth, Rob and other fellow warmists Brandoch – I’m sure you’ll get an empathetic hearing.

      Meanwhile, the world of physics has moved on for the rest of us.

    • Andy on 20/10/2012 at 9:34 am said:

      Brandoch. are you the ghost of Rob Taylor come to haunt us?

    • Mack on 20/10/2012 at 2:05 pm said:

      Yeah Daahahahahaha…deluded believer extraordinaire…you’re either suffering brain fag or fags are getting to your brain. Ever thought of taking up truffle farming? Nah ,you just stick to milking the cows and atmospheric quantum thermodynamics.

  24. Brandoch Daha on 18/10/2012 at 8:34 am said:

    Gosh, Mr. Cumming, it seems you have quite a history of pretending to do climate science, e.g.

    This quote I found there kind of sums up what I reckon about some of the people on this site so far:

    They have these sad little fantasies of overturning climatology and all the supporting physical sciences. Sure, they never amounted to much in their ordinary lives but now they have one last shot at glory from the anonymity of the Internet.

    They will succeed where the creationists have failed.

    They will claim that Nobel Prize and defeat the “Hard Left Marxists” and all their relatives will have to pay a little more respect to their crazy old uncle at family gatherings.

    Five minutes research on the Internet, a few calculations on a napkin and off they go….marching bravely into the welcoming, softy, fuzzy land of the Krackpot Kingdom where a comfy chair, a nice cup of tea and a host of Monckton playmates await them.

    My question is, what does he mean by “Monckton playmates”?

    Does that funny old bulgy-eyed guy really dress up in a low-cut dress with a fluffy tail?

    If so, then that’s not my cup of tea at all!

    • Andy on 18/10/2012 at 8:40 am said:

      Seriously, Open Parachute?

      Give me a break

    • Andy on 18/10/2012 at 8:44 am said:

      Sure, they never amounted to much in their ordinary lives but now they have one last shot at glory from the anonymity of the Internet


      which perfectly describes the author of that comment. Let me guess, Cedric?

      You really will have to do better Brandoch, than pull random quotes out of NZ left-wing hate blogs

    • Richard C (NZ) on 18/10/2012 at 9:16 am said:

      From your unscientific emission, I think we can deduce that your barrel is empty Brandoch.

    • Bob D on 18/10/2012 at 9:28 am said:

      Lord Daha:
      That “funny old bulgy-eyed guy” would make absolute mince-meat of you and your mates in any debate, any time.

      And that’s a fact.

    • Brandoch Daha on 18/10/2012 at 10:52 am said:

      Well, I dunno about that – looks like this guy Monckton is a bit shy about fronting up to someone who has actually checked out his dodgy “references”.

      If he swings by the Kaponga RSA when he’s next in NZ, I’m happy to see if he’s the full quid. But he’d better not turn up in the bunny suit, ‘cos I’m a bit worried about my mate Trev, if you know what i mean…

    • Andy on 18/10/2012 at 11:09 am said:

      Pretty good. You’ll be onto Skeptical Science soon.
      They have lots of debunkings and prebunkings and expungements of memes that will keep you occupied for days.

      Don’t forget to drop by “Climate Crocks” too, he’s a mate of Hadfields

    • Andy on 18/10/2012 at 11:33 am said:

      By the way, what has Lord Monckton got to do with this topic or the Court Case in general?
      Was he a named party?

    • Richard C (NZ) on 18/10/2012 at 10:13 am said:

      BTW Brandoch, did you know Monckton is a luke-warmer? That is, he is more closely aligned with the warmist position (yours) than he is with the position of those who dispute CO2 having climate forcing power (mine).

      That puts you in very good company Brandoch – I’m sure you’re much comforted by this news.

  25. Andy on 18/10/2012 at 4:22 pm said:

    Why are you having a conversation with yourself about Lord Monckton?

    This thread has nothing to do with him.

    I am sure you can find some guy down the pub to talk to

  26. Alexander K on 18/10/2012 at 4:47 pm said:

    You are again hi-jacking the thread for your own purposes Brandoch, which is the favourite tactic of trolls. How is Viscount Monkton of Benchley, whatever his merits or demerits, relevant to the thread’s topic, which is, as the title says “Government against the People”.
    If you can’t produce anything that’s at least somewhere near the topic and do it in a gentlemanly fashion, go and play in your own sandpit.

  27. Andy on 18/10/2012 at 5:15 pm said:

    Bit of a laugh really.

    Well I am glad that you get entertainment value out of Big Government statism and corrupt science

    Whatever tickles you, I guess

    By the way, what is your definition of an “Old Codger”?

  28. Richard C (NZ) on 18/10/2012 at 5:21 pm said:

    >”Whatever your favourite position is, Mr. Cummings, I’m sure it is a solitary one”

    So your specialty is gutter slime and slease – not science.

    You are a disgusting troll Brandoch Daha – find somewhere else to contaminate.

  29. Richard C (NZ) on 18/10/2012 at 5:24 pm said:

    >”…threaten to sue his debunkers? Isn’t that just what those old codgers at NZSCS tried to do with NIWA”

    No they didn’t. And you are an idiot.

  30. Alexander K on 18/10/2012 at 8:18 pm said:

    Sadly, I need to remind myself of the excellent advice from Samuel Clemens:
    If one wrestles with a pig one gets covered in mud and the pig is the only one who enjoys it.

  31. Nick on 19/10/2012 at 11:36 pm said:

    Hiya Brandoch, may your stay be a long and merry one 🙂

    • Richard C (NZ) on 20/10/2012 at 10:40 am said:

      >”…all the help they can get!”

      From the Kaponga RSA?

    • Brandoch Daha on 20/10/2012 at 11:35 am said:

      Mate, just because we’re cow cockies doesn’t mean we came down in the last shower of rain.

      Like just the other day, Bruce Bayliss – our milk truck driver – reckoned that Watts bugger was way up the creek in claiming that Gergis paper was withdrawn, ‘cos its actually been reworked and resubmitted, and will be bloody interesting reading.

      So much for your relying on paid-for BS for your weltanschauung, eh boy?

    • Richard C (NZ) on 20/10/2012 at 11:45 am said:

      Did this internet search Brandoch – Gergis et al actually been reworked and resubmitted

      I see some speculation but where’s the confirmation?

    • Andy on 20/10/2012 at 11:59 am said:

      I don’t know but I’d ask the Bruce milk truck driver.
      He seems to be the local expert on multi-proxy paleoclimatic reconstructions up in the ‘Naki

    • Brandoch Daha on 20/10/2012 at 12:03 pm said:

      Wait and see, boyo,wait and see; Brucie knows a lot of people in the climate business, and he hasn’t put me crook yet.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 20/10/2012 at 12:29 pm said:

      Bruce-the-milk-truck-driver has probably been going by this 17th of May press release (linked to by Anthony Watts as it turns out)

      An issue has been identified in the processing of the data used in the study, “Evidence of unusual late 20th century warming from an Australasian temperature reconstruction spanning the last millennium” by Joelle Gergis, Raphael Neukom, Ailie Gallant, Steven Phipps and David Karoly, accepted for publication in the Journal of Climate.

      The manuscript has been re-submitted to the Journal of Climate and is being reviewed again.
      5 months have passed by and nothing forthcoming. I hope they haven’t lost that “0.09 of a degree” in the rework Brandoch – that would be disastrous.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 20/10/2012 at 1:01 pm said:

      SM reports on Aug 2nd:-

      According to information from the University of Melbourne, Gergis et al was not re-submitted by the end of July, but has been delayed until the end of September. The university stated:

      Please see latest information below

      Print publication of scientific study on hold

      An issue has been identified in the processing of the data used in the study, “Evidence of unusual late 20th century warming from an Australasian temperature reconstruction spanning the last millennium” by Joelle Gergis, Raphael Neukom, Stephen Phipps, Ailie Gallant and David Karoly, accepted for publication in the Journal of Climate.

      The authors are performing detailed reanalysis of the data for the above paper and will submit the revised paper to the journal as soon as possible, likely before the end of September.

      The last sentence of the UofM Update (linked up-thread) now just reads:-

      “The manuscript has been re-submitted to the Journal of Climate and is being reviewed again”

      July >> September >> ??

    • Richard C (NZ) on 20/10/2012 at 1:26 pm said:

      ?”July >> September >> ??”

      Missed the deadline for Journal of Climate Volume 25, Issues 19 and 20 (October 2012)

      Maybe November.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 20/10/2012 at 12:01 pm said:

      >”…and will be bloody interesting reading”

      Doubtful, as JN puts it:-

      Frankly, I’m surprised it lasted three weeks. Let’s remember that if one single journalist had simply asked “how much colder was it in 1200AD?” Gergis, Karoly and the rest would have had to say “0.09 of a degree”

    • Brandoch Daha on 20/10/2012 at 12:08 pm said:

      Jo Nova? Give me a break, or it’ll be Bishop Hill next, and all me cows’ milk will go sour.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 20/10/2012 at 11:36 am said:

      The Kaponga RSA possibly affiliated to the New Zealand RS if their respective scientific approaches are anything to go by.

    • Magoo on 20/10/2012 at 11:30 am said:

      Which one of you parents taught you your manners Brandoch, your mother or your father?

    • Douglas on 20/10/2012 at 3:05 pm said:

      It was probably the Jersey – plenty of sour milk from that one

  32. Mike Jowsey on 23/10/2012 at 10:10 am said:

    Bit disappointing to see all the pig-wrestling going on here. If all the ad-homs were snipped, the thread comments would be halved. Mister Treadgold, I formally object to the mud-slinging within these comments and ask for careful moderation of same. Thanks in advance.
    – Mike

    • Richard C (NZ) on 23/10/2012 at 10:53 am said:

      I’m a bit concerned Mike, that given the absence of Mister Treadgold lately he might be ill again.

    • RC,

      Touching concern, thanks, Richard. But not this time. 🙂

    • Mike,
      Sorry, mate – I’ve only just seen your complaint, so I’m twice wrong, I guess! My mistake, but your comment came in the middle of two weeks of 16-hour days. At the end of the university term I take all the editing possible. So that lets the trolls get away with murder.

      You’re welcome to have authorisation to trim the bad-mouthing when I can’t get to it, if you like… Let me know privately. I hate it, it certainly detracts from the tone, but it also inhibits sensible reasoning when the emotions are deliberately stirred up. I’d welcome some help, from anyone.

  33. Pingback: How NIWA added lots of warming in New Zealand – and got away with it – so far « Tallbloke's Talkshop

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