Reprehensible display by Renwick

Professor James Renwick

Just two weeks ago Dr James Renwick published an article in The Spinoff provocatively titled Slaying the zombie memes in that ‘climate sceptic’ column on Stuff. Dr Doug Edmeades had posed some perfectly sensible questions to the science behind the claims of dangerous anthropogenic global warming (DAGW), yet Dr Renwick apparently gave them little thought, slating him as presenting “zombie memes”—using a shallow warmster meme himself to denigrate his colleague. It’s amazing what he does next.

First, Doug says:

satellite data shows that there has been no increase in global temperatures since 1998 – almost 20 years now – despite an increase in global CO2 concentrations.

James retorts:

This is just wrong, as a quick Google of ‘satellite temperatures’ could tell anyone.

However, it is known by yours truly that many reports and papers over the last ten years confirm what Doug says. Some of them use satellite temperatures, some use terrestrial datasets—the UK Met Office acknowledged the hiatus with three papers in 2013—and there has been a torrent of papers discussing the meaning and implications of the hiatus. The hiatus, in manifesting this widespread activity, exists.

Then James replies:

When Invercargill is hitting 32°C, high tides and storm surges inundate Tamaki Drive and wreck the roads around the Coromandel Coast, New Zealand glaciers lose one third of their ice in 40 years, Christmas wildfires in California are followed by massive rain storms and mudslides, it’s easy to see the changing climate.

The professor in the School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences at Victoria University, a senior player in what is probably the main centre of climate studies in New Zealand and a frequent lecturer at public events, demonstrates recent climate change by citing recent weather events as proof. It’s a disdainful comment to a fellow scientist and fellow member of the Royal Society.

We know this because he told everyone what climate is. In January, 2010, James contributed to 10 big questions on climate change answered, an article in the Herald, by answering the questions they posed. This was Question 6:

Weather forecasters can’t even predict the weather two weeks out, how can climate scientists predict 10 or 50 years out?

James said:

Well, that’s confusing the weather with the climate.

Now he’s done it himself. Was this fundamental error deliberate, or was it a mistake? Doesn’t really matter, for a professor. If mistaken, he’s incompetent; if deliberate, deceitful. But there’s more to be found. Doug simply said there’s been a warming hiatus of about 20 years. Let’s pull at the threads of Renwick’s reply.

  1. The climate has in fact been warming all the time.
  2. That high temperature in Invercargill the other day proves it.
  3. Tamaki Drive flooding the other day proves it.
  4. Wrecked roads on the Coromandel coast the other day prove it.
  5. Shrinking NZ glaciers prove it.
  6. California forest fires prove it (even in December).
  7. Rain storms and mudslides prove it (imagine, in winter).
  8. You can see the changing climate.

There are some serious mistakes in all this.

  1. When he says “this is just wrong” he means there’s no hiatus, it’s actually been warming. In this, he denies the temperature records but that’s pointless—the observations exist. He’s a climate denier.
  2. The Invercargill temperature record is weather, not climate.
  3. Every spring tide accompanied by a storm (i.e., weather) since construction of Tamaki Drive at an unsuitable altitude in 1932 has caused flooding.
  4. Coromandel road construction began with colonisation in the 1860s. They are in many places on unstable ground and they are wrecked by weather events and waves, not climate.
  5. The 2017 paper he co-authored, Regional cooling caused recent New Zealand glacier advances in a period of global warming, showed that NZ glaciers advanced between 1983 and 2008 because of cooler temperatures which he claimed were responsible for about 56% of the advance. The end of that period of 25 years overlaps the hiatus by ten years, a substantial chunk of each period. He claims the overlap was both warming and cooling—warming in his reply to Dr Edmeades but cooling in his recent paper—and both claims cannot be true. What does he say to that? Glacier retreat over a century or more, as in NZ, can be a mark of climate change rather than weather because it’s so slow. However, he implies that humans are responsible for the shrinking glaciers, although our emissions only began in perhaps the 1950s or 1960s, while the glaciers have been retreating since the mid-19th century. So our emissions have not caused their loss; nor did our emissions cause the cooling that partially restored them.
  6. Nowhere are forest fires caused by climate change, they’re not even weather. Yes, it has to be fairly dry, but fires begin for many reasons and they are mild or intense for various reasons. It’s just silly to say they’re caused by climate change.
  7. Rain storms causing mud slides are weather, not climate.
  8. The period since the mid-1990s is too short to see climate change. Weather changes quickly; climate changes slowly.

See climate change? He can’t be serious! Professor Renwick has committed a cardinal earth science sin, probably several, in trying to tell us that these weather events make it “easy to see the changing climate.” His students, his colleagues at Victoria and the Royal Society, will learn of this mistake and the enormity of it won’t escape them. Professors don’t cite evidence that’s fundamentally invalid. How will he explain it to them? James tours the country teaching that climate change is the biggest challenge of our generation, all the time teaching people the difference between weather and climate. He never tells them that weather and climate are the same thing.

This cannot be an honest mistake, for how could he forget? But if it’s deliberate, he’s surely deceitful.

Will this be death to his gigs? Will he apologise?

Views: 2426

97 Thoughts on “Reprehensible display by Renwick

  1. Magoo on 02/02/2018 at 9:57 am said:

    A call for support from Australian scientist Professor Peter Ridd, who is being treated very unfairly by James Cook ‘University’ because he dared to criticise the shonky science of 2 scientific institutions:

    And a good write-up on Jo Nova’s site also:

  2. Richard Treadgold on 02/02/2018 at 10:54 am said:

    A worthy cause. Supporters of free speech and natural justice are inspirational heroes.

  3. Simon on 02/02/2018 at 1:19 pm said:

    James Renwick is correct. All satellite measures show an increasing trend since 1998. He also states: “The 20-year thing is chosen because 1998 was a big El Niño year, so warmer than surrounding years, so minimising any upward trend from there. This is known as “cherry-picking”, selecting just the numbers that support your argument and ignoring the rest.”
    You are also cherry-picking sentence fragments to give a misleading impression of what James is saying. All of Doug Edmeades points are rebutted. Dr Renwick is the expert, Dr Edmeades is outside of his area of expertise.

  4. Magoo on 02/02/2018 at 1:56 pm said:


    According to Dr Cowtan’s trend calculator that you link to, the satellite datasets (i.e. RSS & UAH) show NO statistically significant warming trend since 1998, or 1997 for that matter:

    RSSv4.0 TLT – Trend: 0.142 ±0.175 °C/decade (2σ)
    RSSv4.0 TTT – Trend: 0.133 ±0.167 °C/decade (2σ)
    UAHv5.6 TLT – Trend: 0.145 ±0.170 °C/decade (2σ)
    UAHv6.0 TLT – Trend: 0.075 ±0.171 °C/decade (2σ)

    RSSv3.3 TTT – Trend: 0.084 ±0.164 °C/decade (2σ)
    RSSv3.3 TLT – Trend: 0.064 ±0.168 °C/decade (2σ)
    Karl(2015) – Trend: 0.107 ±0.123 °C/decade (2σ)
    Karl(2015) global – Trend: 0.107 ±0.123 °C/decade (2σ)

    Regarding cherry picking the dates to coincide with the 1997 El Nino, the IPCC must be cherry picking also when they state that the ‘hiatus’ (IPCC) has lasted 15 yrs in the AR5 published in 2013:

    Box TS.3 | Climate Models and the Hiatus in Global Mean Surface Warming of the Past 15 Years, page 61, Technical Summary, Working Group I The Physical Science Basis, IPCC AR5 report, 2013.

  5. Dennis N Horne on 02/02/2018 at 8:51 pm said:

    Magoon. The past three years show the highest global mean surface temperatures in recorded history, with perhaps 17 of the warmest years recorded since 2000, showing an obvious trend, and you witter on about a hiatus.

    Are you simple minded? Do you not know it’s a complex system and 93% of the heat is going into the oceans? So the surface temperature does not increase with increasing CO2 linearly?

    And no, you don’t understand the IPCC reports better than the authors, and no, you don’t understand the science better than the climate scientists, and no, you don’t know more about the scientific method than the RS, NAS, AAAS, APS, ACS etc etc etc.

    Edmeades is a fool for challenging tens of thousands of experts on a subject he clearly does not understand.

  6. Simon on 02/02/2018 at 10:01 pm said:

    Magoo, Doug Edmeades specifically said “no warming” not “no significant warming”. The lack of significance is because the time period is too short to be meaningful. There are several other statements, eg the Medieval Warming Period was warmer than today, which are also factually incorrect.

  7. Mack on 02/02/2018 at 10:31 pm said:

    Another brainfart from our resident bedwetting loon, Horne,
    “……it’s a complex system and 93% of the heat is going into the oceans?”
    Yeeeaaah that’s riiiiight, horneybabe….that’s exactly right…looky here….your looney mates on 1/2 the alarmist sites say so….wait for it… it’s 4 Hiroshima bombs / sec worth of heat going into the climate !!! , well, maybe only 93% of it going into the oceans according to you…but, all because of your magical “greenhouse” gases in the atmosphere. Wow, the science is right here…. See it says…”This warming is due to more heat trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere”.
    Yeah..”it’s a complex system” all right, horneyboy…there’s more than 4 Hiroshima bombs /sec worth of stupidity burning in your looney head.

  8. Magoo on 03/02/2018 at 1:17 am said:


    That’s ‘statistically’ significant, not just significant – do you know what statistically significant means Simon? If I told you that it has been cooling over the last 20 years but my data is not statistically significant would you have any faith in my statement? No?

    There has there been no statistically significant warming for the past 20 years despite a massive El Nino at the end of the data in 2015/16/17. The pause has now resumed again according to the satellite data & we have some La Nina cooling just beginning to further exacerbate the ‘hiatus’ (IPCC).


    Well that was quite a rant there Dennis, have a cup of tea and a lie down before you hurt yourself.

    Sorry dear boy, no statistically significant warming since 1997 is empirical fact supported by the satellite datasets, not my personal opinion. The ‘hiatus’ (IPCC) was the opinion of the IPCC in their AR5 report based on empirical data, not my personal opinion. You’re the one saying you know more about the science than the scientists, I’m just quoting them & their data.

    Don’t you agree with the IPCC’s write-up on the ‘hiatus (IPCC) in the AR5, or the climate scientists who produce the satellite datasets Dennis dear boy? Maybe it’s a conspiracy theory, best don your aluminum foil hat in case Elvis returns on the mothership. 😉

    Now dear boy, tell us all by what mechanism CO2 in the atmosphere warms the oceans. Also, you might like to update your science regarding how much the oceans have warmed:

    You two really are a couple of science denying numbskulls, but you are quite amusing.

  9. Dennis N Horne on 03/02/2018 at 9:44 am said:

    Magoof you goon. You can’t pick and mix from IPCC. It’s a review of the literature, not a bag of liquorice all sorts.

    Where is the “no warming”:

    Look here:

    You know more than NASA? Nah. I don’t thinks so. Not really. 😉

    Here is a prediction about you loonies and cranks:
    When it comes to global warming, recent years have been so hot that it worries even those who deny the problem exists.

    No one more desperately needs global warming to end than those most against doing anything about it. That’s why they cling so tight to the notion of a “pause” in global warming, a “pause” that was never more than a false impression, hoping others would believe the myth that it had all somehow stopped. Its death by thermometer has hit them hard.

    Mack, you wouldn’t know science from a scrotum, but here is a simple explanation for you:
    Without an atmosphere and greenhouses gases Earth would be at -18C not +15C. The most important non-condensing GHG is CO2.

    More CO2 means Earth retains more energy: temperatures up (surface, ocean) ice down. The climate system is very complex and you can’t just look at one aspect.

    There has been no reduction in the greenhouse effect since the Industrial revolution but there is (you might say) a masking by aerosols.

    The forum for scientific debate is in scientific publishing – peer-reviewed scientific journals. There is no scientific debate about man-made global warming and climate change. None.

    AGW is a theory that offers a Comprehensive and Coherent explanation of observations and measurements with many lines of evidence: Consilience.

    It isn’t going to be overturned by cranks or even physicists like Giaever, Dyson and Happer – who simply don’t know what they’re talking about and publish nothing.

    There has been a massive propaganda machine at work, using the same tactics as the tobacco industry. Confusion & Doubt. Indeed early on it was the same eminent scientists involved. Google Naomi Oreskes.

    The liar-deniers got at people first. Once people make their minds up they don’t change them. Whatever the evidence.

    As Max Planck said, science advances on funeral at a time.

    So. One day you will make your contribution.

    In the meantime, this might help you understand your position in the scheme of things:
    Psychology and global warming: why we can’t seem to prevent the coming disaster. Jerry Kroth

  10. Dennis N Horne on 03/02/2018 at 9:53 am said:

    Richard Treadgold.

    The theory AGW doesn’t need any more “proof”. It’s orthodox science now. Textbooks and all that. evidence unambiguous. Science “incontrovertible” (American Physical Society.)

    AGW predicted severe weather events would be more severe. And here they are, on the doorstep. So to speak.

    You see, you can’t add all that ‘extra’ energy to the climate system and not expect the weather to get worse. Because that’s what weather is: energy moving around.

    I think you need to just admit you’re wrong. Mind you, I asked my old mate Bob Carter when he was going to admit he was wrong, and he had a heart attack a couple of weeks later and died.

    So good luck with your denial of reality.

  11. Dennis N Horne on 03/02/2018 at 10:04 am said:

    Well. I’m going out shortly. Burn up a bit more hydrocarbon while the going’s good

    This is the most exciting experiment I’ve ever been involved in: (b>changing the climate of a whole planet. By puffing CO2 into the atmosphere.

    I mean. Who would have ever believed it possible?

    And here we are, perhaps 60,000 research scientists, say 30,000 describing themselves as “climate scientists”, publishing in Nature and Science – and other peer-reviewed journals – on climate science. Powerful science. Beautiful science. Following in the footsteps of the greats, like Fourier (1824), Arrhenius (1896) …

    And of course James Hansen and Michael Mann.

    Gosh it’s good to be alive. Fuck the grandchildren! Oh. Forgot. Don’t have any! (Thank goodness.)

    We are in the shit.

  12. Magoo on 03/02/2018 at 11:10 am said:

    Dennis dear boy,

    ‘Rant, rant, froth, froth’. You’re hilarious dear boy, very funny.

    Here’s the chapter in the IPCC AR5 discussing the ‘hiatus’ (IPCC):

    Box TS.3 | Climate Models and the Hiatus in Global Mean Surface Warming of the Past 15 Years, page 61, Technical Summary, Working Group I The Physical Science Basis, IPCC AR5 report, 2013.

    And here’s Simon’s trend calculator where you can check the return of the ‘hiatus’ in the satellite record, & the surface temperature (including NASA) which will probably also return to a ‘hiatus’ (IPCC) during the current La Nina – skepticalscience.conjob’s trend calculator confirms it:

    The paper I linked to above showing only 0.1C ocean temperature rise in the past 50 yrs is published in … wait for it … Nature, the very peer reviewed journal you recommend above – ‘beautiful science’. Happy reading dear boy. 🙂

    A couple of questions dear boy:
    1/ By what mechanism does CO2 in the atmosphere warm the oceans? Until you can answer that question ocean temperatures are irrelevant to the AGW debate raging amongst the scientific community.
    2/ Why do you hypocritically fly planes as a hobby if you believe in AGW?

  13. Mack on 03/02/2018 at 3:41 pm said:

    Horne parrots the mantra, (sure your nose isn’t a beak, Horne?)….
    “Without an atmosphere and greenhouse gases, Earth would be at minus 18C not plus 15C”
    The reality of the lunacy you’ve just said, hasn’t really sunk in , has it horneyboy. You see , at minus 18C all water on this planet is frozen solid. The oceans are all frozen solid.
    Now, the last time I looked at the sea, it wasn’t frozen solid. Oh dear, reality check for you, hornehead.
    But then we have loons like you with their crackpot “greenhouse” theory reassuring us that it’s the ATMOSPHERE , with it’s magical, mystical “greenhouse gases”… keeping us warm at the average liveable 15C.
    Nah, reality check, horneyface… it’s the big ball of fire in the sky, with its average of 1360 w/sq.m., beating down on us, 24/7 , from the TOA …you AGW brainwashed loon.

  14. Magoo on 03/02/2018 at 4:38 pm said:


    I forgot to mention in my last comment that your NASA graphs are a year out of date and low resolution. Here’s the up to date high resolution version with surface and surface/ocean:

    That there is the ‘no warming’ you asked for dear boy. When the La Nina data gets included the ‘hiatus’ (IPCC) will likely resume once again – shouldn’t be long now, UAH just updated their data in the last few days.

  15. Dennis N Horne on 03/02/2018 at 5:41 pm said:

    I don’t know why you people get so upset.

    You must know for history to describe you as geniuses it is necessary to be laughed at now?

    So you should welcome my comments. Be nice to me and I’ll keep insulting you.

    In the meantime, some science. Oh. Sorry. That’s insulting your “intelligence”. Science. You don’t “do” science.

    All datasets show warming. Even UAH. Even after Spencer and Christy got some lessons from scientists. Version 6, is it? Still trying to find god’s hand keeping warming down by changing the laws of physics.

    @Mack. You are priceless. If anyone needed to show the mentality of dumb deniers you’d be in great demand. Not even the head-in-the-clouds crank Lindzen rejects the GHE. Not even the hand-waving “We-don’t-know” crank Curry.

    But here you. Wonderful! You’re on display!

  16. Magoo on 03/02/2018 at 6:08 pm said:


    Your realclimate (snigger) link is also out of date dear boy. I know you’d prefer to cling onto the El Nino years, but science has moved on since then. Here’s the updated UAH version released Feb 1, 2018:

    Temperature back to normal, and no statistically significant warming since 1997.

    If you need any more help finding up to date temperature data just let me know dear boy – always happy to remedy ignorance. 🙂

  17. Richard Treadgold on 03/02/2018 at 6:19 pm said:


    Magoo, Doug Edmeades specifically said “no warming” not “no significant warming”. The lack of significance is because the time period is too short to be meaningful.

    Doug was substantially correct, as the warming was trivial. But the significance is in the failure of the models, not the over-short period. The UAH temperature record shows that for about 20 years the slight trend was indistinguishable from zero — certainly far short of the level predicted in the SAR in 1995 of about 0.2°C/decade. You are foolish to overlook this. See my next post for more on this.

    There are several other statements, eg the Medieval Warming Period was warmer than today, which are also factually incorrect.

    No, he’s correct on that. For example, Loehle, 2007, gives a graph of global temperatures over the last 2000 years from HadCRUT3 that shows today’s temperatures are well below those of the Medieval Warm Period.

  18. Dennis N Horne on 04/02/2018 at 11:38 am said:

    For heaven’s sake you fools: The warming did NOT stop. Most of heat went into the oceans, true, but the early analysis of “no statistically significant warming’ was later shown to be incorrect.

    Can you not get it into your thick heads it’s a complex system; you can’t just pick out bits separately to suit your denial. More CO2 means more energy retained. FACT.

    Aerosols mask some of the effect of more GHG. When China burns less coal there will be a lower level of aerosols. Watch.

    I’m not going back to see what Edmeades said, but I seem to remember he said he did not “believe” AGW. Well, it ain’t a matter of belief. AGW is an accepted theory in mainstream science. If you “believe” you know better than the RS, NAS, AAAS etc you are insane. You don’t. Nobody does.

    Medieval Warm Period. The global mean temperature was NOT higher than today. That is a lie.

    It’s not dumb deniers and cranks stopping us from mitigating the increasing-obvious effects of global warming, pathetic as they are, it’s short sighted politicians. However, Americans are onto it, and even rat-brains like Trump won’t have much long-term effect.

  19. Dennis N Horne on 04/02/2018 at 11:55 am said:

    Magoon Magoo Magoof. Sorry, I can’t answer your questions; I simply don’t read your wilful misinterpretations and glaring lies.

    The IPCC reports reflect the opinions and consensus of experts based on the evidence and are necessarily conservative. That you have no fucking idea what that means is not surprising.

    So. The IPCC is a good place to start, but more recent work shows we are running out of time to avoid 2C let alone 1.5C.

    Professor James Renwick is absolutely right.

  20. Richard Treadgold on 04/02/2018 at 12:00 pm said:


    The theory AGW doesn’t need any more “proof”. It’s orthodox science now. Textbooks and all that. evidence unambiguous. Science “incontrovertible” (American Physical Society.) AGW predicted severe weather events would be more severe. And here they are, on the doorstep. So to speak.

    Orthodox? Perhaps. I’m not saying otherwise. I’m asking a few questions: How does the ocean warm (vital caveat: from our emissions? Since nobody knows the equilibrium temperature sensitivity to CO2, you cannot provide a sensible range of likely temperatures in 2100, so what do we plan for? Antarctic and Greenland ice cores show unequivocally that temperature changes cause CO2 levels to change several hundred years later; you say that sequence has reversed; where is the proof of that?).

    There are other questions; I lack hope that you will ever answer them, but I trust that you see and will acknowledge the difference between alleging “all science is wrong” and courteously posing pertinent questions about the science. Your relentless hurling of straw men severely tests my patience. Contribute something, man.

  21. Richard Treadgold on 04/02/2018 at 12:13 pm said:

    Dennis, I see I’ve missed a couple of your important memos while distracted elsewhere. You say:

    More CO2 means more energy retained. FACT.

    Yes, strictly speaking you’re correct. But you must quantify the energy retained and of course you’re aware that the absorption capacity of CO2 diminishes at a logarithmic rate, so today it’s vanishingly small. As this graph shows:

    CO2 absorption spectrum

    Conclusion: no problem exists.

    So what would you say it is?

  22. Magoo on 04/02/2018 at 12:22 pm said:


    Regarding your comment below on another post:

    ‘and, whether you agree or disagree with someone, and however their viewpoint agrees with or differs from yours, practise the charms of courtesy and despise abuse.’

    Does that apply to Dennis Richard? You seem to excuse his constant abuse towards me & others – e.g. in his post above he calls me ‘Magoon Magoo Magoof’. He is constantly trolling, abusive, and never answers any questions that disprove his ridiculous assertions.

    If you really stand by your comment ‘practise the charms of courtesy and despise abuse’ then you will ban him. If you don’t then I’ve had enough of CCG.

  23. Richard Treadgold on 04/02/2018 at 1:43 pm said:

    Magoo, of course it applies to Dennis. You sound upset, I’m sorry, I had no idea. He’s a dragon, no question, but you, too, have been swapping laddish banter with him with what sounded like a big smile, so you should take some responsibility for these inflamed tempers. I’m surprised you demand that my plea for courtesy be buttressed by banishing miscreants. I’ve tried it, it’s awful and doesn’t improve people. You should both stay, your contribution especially would be missed, but I’m sorry, I won’t limit the people who can comment. That’s an anti-free speech tactic of the warmsters. I’ve just contributed to Prof Peter Ridd’s action against his university, and the crucial need to support free speech is fresh in my mind. It should be in our minds all the time. But let me know.

    • Graeme on 11/01/2020 at 12:25 pm said:

      It would be reasonable, it seems to me, to disallow Comments or Commentors who use obscene language.

  24. Magoo on 04/02/2018 at 2:01 pm said:

    RT, you are a great disappointment to me, your ‘practise the charms of courtesy and despise abuse’ are empty words. If you ‘won’t limit the people who can comment’ then you won’t delete my comment below – in the name of ‘crucial need to support free speech is fresh in my mind. It should be in our minds all the time’. This is my return of abuse back to Densus:

    There you go RT, some abuse in return for Densus. If you’re constant in your standards and your word is true you’ll leave it there (I bet your free speech standards aren’t as rigid as your like to think they are). Either way I won’t be back, CCG is overrun with Densus’ trolling and has ruined the blog. Then again I might return periodically to write more comments such as the one above for your good mate Densus.

    [No thanks, Mr W*****n. I’ve deleted that filth of yours and note we finally discover the real you. Slimy. Yes, free speech is fine, and I uphold your right to it. But I won’t leave such burbling profanity on my blog or in our readers’ lounges. Feel free to return with a civil mouth. — RT]

  25. Magoo on 04/02/2018 at 3:30 pm said:


    Your double standards are on display for all to see. I used to think you were a man of your word & integrity, but no longer so. Abuse of others is ok forsome but not for me apparently.

    Slimy? Yes you are. I won’t return and you can stick your double standards and your faux moral standards – I finally discover the real you. Slimy indeed.

    [Magoo, you just published the foulest vitriol this blog has ever seen; it was far worse than anything Dennis said so don’t pretend you’re being virtuous. But what exactly did he say that so offended you? All you cite is “his constant abuse towards me & others – e.g. in his post above he calls me ‘Magoon Magoo Magoof’.” But, Magoo, he was merely playing with your false name, not your real name. Isn’t it wonderful being able to fling such toxic verbiage from the safety of online anonymity, and as soon as I destroy your anonymity, you plead with me: “Oh, I’m self-employed. Don’t tell them who I am!” You foul-mouthed, sanctimonious hypocrite. If you’re not prepared to be quoted, you shouldn’t say it. I granted you freedom to speak and you spoke, but no principle of free speech or anything else requires me to mount that filth on a plinth and worship it. My decision not to sanction Dennis was mild, but your turning on me after all this time, when I’ve always tried to be helpful, is real betrayal. Go on your way. I hope you regain your good sense and return to normal, but if not, goodbye. Oh, and please note I haven’t sanctioned you, either. — RT]

  26. Dennis N Horne on 04/02/2018 at 3:59 pm said:

    Richard Treadgold

    I am genuinely sad you are unable to admit to yourself it is preposterous to wave your hands at the Royal Society, National Academy of Sciences, American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Physical Society, American Chemical Society etc etc etc. All endorse a massive amount of science published by a huge number of scientists in many fields; maybe 30,000 maybe 60,000.

    I am sad because you seem like a decent bloke and you have nice face. (Photo not fake is it? The beard a comb-over? 😉 ) Clearly you are intelligent. No, you are not a great disappointment to me – why would I have certain expectations. (Michael Kelly is another matter,)

    I only ever had one real argument with Bob Carter, whom I first met in 1961, and he died a month later. I subsequently had an argument with my best friend, who knew Bob at Cambridge, and he died one week later. This was very upsetting. I have also signalled “Don’t contact me again” to another dear friend, PhD Cantab, over this looming catastrophe.

    So. I mean business. I openly tell people I am not a nice person. I want old deniers dead and gone.

    I know you are genuine and you put up with lots of crap. However you are wrong in your belief in yourself and your view of reality. Lots of people, including eminent scientists, die being wrong. It seems to be a human failing.

    Our best view of reality is what the science tells us. And the science is irrefutable. There is no way it is fundamentally in error. It is never going to overturned. Uncertainties are not errors in principle.

    You might like to ponder on this: What would you consider to be incontrovertible evidence of AGW such that we should be reducing emissions now.

  27. Richard Treadgold on 04/02/2018 at 5:23 pm said:


    I am genuinely sad you are unable to admit to yourself it is preposterous to wave your hands at the Royal Society, National Academy of Sciences, American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Physical Society, American Chemical Society etc etc etc.

    I’m sad, too. None of these institutes have polled their members, they’ve been infiltrated by activists who wouldn’t dare—though some members have petitioned the leadership to change their stance on climate change. But I’m not attacking them, I haven’t mentioned them.

    Our best view of reality is what the science tells us. And the science is irrefutable. There is no way it is fundamentally in error.

    Science is always refutable, with new evidence, or it’s religion. I told you exactly how it was in error. If you want to defend it, provide answers to my questions.

    Uncertainties are not errors in principle. You might like to ponder on this: What would you consider to be incontrovertible evidence of AGW such that we should be reducing emissions now.

    That would be mere make-believe. I can’t dream up evidence, you must present some that perhaps answers my questions.

  28. Andy on 04/02/2018 at 7:17 pm said:

    Dennis H Horne says:

    So. I mean business. I openly tell people I am not a nice person. I want old deniers dead and gone

    You have already got rid of one, and it looks like two now, regular commenters from this blog.

    I have nothing further to say to you, other than I suggest some kind of councelling. Hatred is not a good strategy for life

  29. Dennis N Horne on 04/02/2018 at 10:22 pm said:

    Richard. Your opinion is nothing more than hubris. I can tell you that you have absolutely no idea what climate science entails; the breadth and depth of it. Neither for that matter does Professor Michael Kelly FRS. Neither of you know much detail and neither take an overall view. You do not see the woods for the trees.

    Anything I write about climate science is of course not my opinion; it is merely a reiteration of orthodox climate science as I understand it.

    Your talk about polling members is absurd. That is not how science works. It’s just a standard denier mantra. If everybody had to agree there would be no progress. There will always be those who disagree, and are wrong. Note thousands of American engineers claim the collapse of the Twin Towers was an inside job – a demolition with carefully planted explosives.

    There is a consensus of — to all intents and purposes — every publishing climate scientist on the planet. The science is in the textbooks, along with discussion of gaps in knowledge, problems and uncertainty. It’s standard science.

    In the forum of scientific debate – scientific publishing, peer-reviewed journals — there is simply no debate.

    Anthropogenic Global Warming is one of the most examined theories in science, with a long history. It is studied by tens of thousands of experts all around the world, in many branches of science. All points the same direction: Earth is warming and ice is melting. As predicted.

    Even a dozen qualified scientists waffling on blogs and in newspapers or books isn’t going to have any impact on the conclusions. The underlying physics goes back to Fourier 1824. It’s very well understood. It ain’t going to change.

    The climate is complex but the science is not weird. There is a lot to learn but none of it is in itself difficult to understand. There are no mysteries, nothing beyond our comprehension, like the double slit experiment in quantum mechanics.

    Climate science is certainly not like an experiment in a laboratory, which is where our friend Mike Kelly goes wrong. It is essentially an observational science, like evolution. The “apparatus” in the experiment is the whole planet Earth.

    The picture is clear enough but it is a jigsaw. It’s no good pointing out maybe some pieces missing and some frayed at the edges. You can atomise the evidence but you can’t build a better picture with the pieces of the jigsaw.

    A question you may view as a “gotcha” simply shows your inability to digest the data and follow the narrative derived from it. You grasp at anything that seems to support your denialism, however much an outlier it is or how little sense it makes in context of what is already known.

    Anyway. The science progresses every month. Ten years time the picture will likely be much clearer, certainly in 20, but by then we will have left it too late to have any chance of preventing 2C or likely 3C or more by the end of this century. Well before then there will be serious dislocation of our societies, with even more starvation and migrations worldwide.

    I don’t believe you ask questions in order to learn the answers. Nevertheless, list some questions and I will try to explain to you how they are answered.

  30. Dennis N Horne on 05/02/2018 at 8:19 am said:

    Andy Scrase:

    Hatred is not a good strategy for life

    It worked supremely well for Trump. He got the top job, sort of, elected in a funny way, even though he hates everything America and decent people stand for: Truth, Fairness, Justice, Honour… He even lies to the poor fools who voted for him, he doesn’t care about them as he withdraws their healthcare and gives more (borrowed) “tax money” to the wealthy. He lies about climate change. Instead of expanding jobs in renewables he tells them “coal is beautiful.” He lies about “Russia” and the investigation so he can sack Robert Mueller, as he sacked James Comey before him.

    I have nothing further to say to you

    I’m sure you do but I doubt you would win an argument even with a halfwit…

    Homo sapiens faces an existential threat and it has never been less well positioned to cope. Too many of us, too big a herds and no fresh pastures to move to.

    We are in the shit.

    Ultimately the problem of climate change will be solved by the military. Wars do not decide who is right, but they will certainly decide who is left.

    I remind you New Zealand has no defence. It will be a walkover for desperate people.

    So, yes denial is the best option for you.

  31. Andy on 05/02/2018 at 9:02 am said:

    Since you bring up Trump, around 80% of the people polled approved of his State of the Union speech and thought it was positive and unifying. There’s lots to celebrate of course. Job growth, GDP growth, all time unemployment lows for the African American community, etc,

    I don’t see much “hatred” there, except for the Democrats who sat on their hands and fiddled with their iPhones, and especially the black senators who looked on in stony silence at the news that black unemployment was at a record low. We know that they don’t like their fellow blacks to wander too far off the plantation. Leftists hate success, and the sight of a prosperous black conservative like Thomas Sowell of Ben Carson drives them nuts

    It seems odd that a man whose slogan is “Make America Great Again” would hate America, and would applaud war heroes and others in his speech.

    The left hates humanity, hates the environment, hates nature, hates religion, hates the family, hates themselves

    It’s hate all the way. I guess that’s why you fit in so well

  32. Richard Treadgold on 05/02/2018 at 9:15 am said:


    Hatred doesn’t help anyone to flourish, especially Trump. You’re just trying to be clever.

    You claimed:

    I don’t believe you ask questions in order to learn the answers.

    You serious? Perhaps you’re new to this, and you’re simply unaware that I’ve been asking these questions for several years without answers, but let me advise you not to kid yourself: I want answers, and if they are good enough, they will change my mind, because evidence has a way of doing that (as you know). I’ve asked many questions over the years, on all kinds of topics, which have been answered, which makes me stop asking. Answers have a way of doing that.

    You do rattle on, and your long missives are mere diatribes unworthy of my time but this latest, well, are you kidding me?

    Nevertheless, list some questions and I will try to explain to you how they are answered.

    I’ve been listing them for months and now you claim I’ve never asked them! Go back, find them, list them and either answer them or get on your bike.

    By the way, Andy’s right, you’ve made good people leave this blog. You’re a self-confessed toxic influence. If you don’t come back with some of my questions answered, we will just never answer you: we’ll either convince you or silence you, but we won’t tolerate you.

  33. Andy on 05/02/2018 at 11:16 am said:

    White House withdraws Environmental nominee who denied basic scientific fact:

    Which basic scientific fact?

    The article states:
    “Testifying in the fall before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, she said that while humans probably contribute to current warming, “the extent to which, I think, is very uncertain.”

    Seems reasonable to me.

  34. Dennis N Horne on 05/02/2018 at 11:44 am said:

    Seriously? I’m to go back and sift through rambling spiels to find some questions? From hopeless dumb deniers?

    Human activity is responsible for more than all the warming. More than 1K since industrialisation. Fact. Incontrovertible science.

    Suck it up, nobody is interested in your nonsense any more. This site has no impact. The professor you malign won’t waste 10 seconds answering your lies.

    Ordinary people of normal intelligence see what is happening to the weather. It’s far worse than they suppose…

    We are in the shit.

  35. Richard Treadgold on 05/02/2018 at 11:53 am said:

    You demonstrate not the slightest goodwill, no serious intent to respond. Ah well.

  36. Richard Treadgold on 05/02/2018 at 11:59 am said:


    Seems reasonable to me.

    It is reasonable.

  37. Andy on 05/02/2018 at 12:07 pm said:

    It is extremely likely that human activities caused more than half of the observed increase in GMST from 1951 to 2010.

    No mention of the other half, nor the pre-1950s warming

  38. Simon on 05/02/2018 at 4:27 pm said:

    Extremely likely means that 95% of the AGW probability distribution is greater than half of the observed warming. The mean estimate for AGW is slightly higher than 100% of the observed warming.
    Uncertainty can have known bounds ,especially when the physical processes are well understood.

  39. Brett Keane on 05/02/2018 at 7:38 pm said:

    The above should contain some of the earlier and most criminal lies by the warmistas. They continue their total deceit on these pages, with abuse galore.

    Repitition of Santer’s evil, endlessly, rather than bringing data to the debate, is quite unedifying not to say boring. I too trusted scientists on AGW until my own scientific training led me to investigate anomalous data….. Repitition of false propaganda has no place in sceptical blogs.

  40. Brett Keane on 05/02/2018 at 7:44 pm said:

    The above should contain some of the earlier and most criminal lies by the warmistas. They continue their total deceit on these pages, with abuse galore.

    Repitition of Santer’s evil, endlessly, rather than bringing data to the debate, is quite unedifying not to say boring. I too trusted scientists on AGW until my own scientific training led me to investigate anomalous data….. Repitition of false propaganda has no place in sceptical blogs.

    I also note that repitition of false claims of statistical significance meaning anything more than zero is just hijacking of a blog.

  41. Richard Treadgold on 06/02/2018 at 5:01 pm said:


    Extremely likely means that 95% of the AGW probability distribution is greater than half of the observed warming. The mean estimate for AGW is slightly higher than 100% of the observed warming.

    Higher than 100%? Magnificent, but impossible. Please explain what you’re saying.

    Uncertainty can have known bounds ,especially when the physical processes are well understood.

    No, no, not in the case of climate science. You cannot possibly expect us to believe that “the physical processes are well understood” without your brain exploding. We are years from properly understanding this chaotic system, and every single IPCC report reinforces this with statements such as these in AR5: “…evidence for human influence has grown since AR4” or “since AR4, the understanding of mechanisms and feedbacks leading to changes in extremes has improved” or “since AR4, there have been improvements in techniques of measurement.” There’s no reason to believe that AR6 will be any different.

    Consider this: were the physical processes well understood, just a single climate model would be needed to forecast the future, rather than the 114 models in use presently, from numerous runs of which they further calculate a so-called “average” output. Then this counterfeit is presented as a “forecast” but it’s more like fortune telling.

    Consider this too: how do our emissions to the air, of which they comprise about 0.00001 (approximately the remaining proportion of CO2 that humans have contributed), by radiation warm the ocean?

    And this: why, during the hiatus, when billions of tonnes of human CO2 entered the atmosphere, did almost no warming occur? Don’t tell us again that the hiatus did not occur, when AR5 says it did.

    Also: since 1950, why have our emissions NOT caused an increase in storminess, storm violence, droughts, floods, or sea level, as constantly claimed by warmsters, including your good self?

    For confirmation of the facts I present here, please see my recent post, What IPCC scientists actually say.

  42. Simon on 06/02/2018 at 9:44 pm said:

    The climate would be slowly cooling if atmospheric greenhouse gases were not increasing.

    The physical processes have been known since 1870 but forcing and feedbacks imply a nonlinear system. Research is focussed on determining the equilibrium climate sensitivity, but we do not know what future emissions will occur. Nonlinear systems are sensitive to initial conditions and parameters.

    Ocean and atmosphere continually exchange particles. Heat exchange is not limited to radiation, e.g. conduction and convection.

    Cherry picking of natural variation. Volcanic + solar + ENSO + PDO + AMO + e.

    Rainfall intensity has increased. Some parts of the world are getting drier whereas others are getting wetter. There is some evidence that cyclones / hurricanes / typhoons are increasing in intensity.

    This has been explained to you many times with references to the literature. It is highly inappropriate for you to criticise individual scientists when you exhibit such a poor understanding of the science.

  43. Richard Treadgold on 06/02/2018 at 10:00 pm said:


    It is highly inappropriate for you to criticise individual scientists when you exhibit such a poor understanding of the science.

    Didn’t you pay attention? James condemned himself when he said, “that’s confusing the weather with the climate” and I agreed with him.

    If you would do me a favour, and state which question each answer applies to, I might understand what you’re saying. But I can tell you haven’t described how our tiny airborne fraction warms the ocean because you fudge it. You certainly didn’t explain probability distribution.

  44. Andy on 07/02/2018 at 9:54 am said:

    I enjoyed Renwick’s expert demolition of the Polar Bear argument.

    (Just Google it)

    Obviously, a millennial would just ask Siri


  45. Simon on 07/02/2018 at 10:06 am said:

    Paragraph for paragraph Richard.
    Let me try again to explain ocean heat circulation in as simple of terms as possible.
    At the boundary, ocean and atmosphere exchange H2O + CO2 + heat. Ocean circulation patterns shift that heat around the globe and between depths. Oceans are a massive buffered heat store.
    As a thought experiment, try to explain why the atmosphere heats up during the El Niño phase of ENSO and cools during the La Niña phase using one of your pet crank theories.

  46. Richard Treadgold on 07/02/2018 at 10:26 am said:

    Sorry, Andy, I’m not picking quite the right search term; I get nothing recently relevant. Can you fire off a link please?

  47. Andy on 07/02/2018 at 10:41 am said:

    “Are Polar Bears Endangered?”

    Answer: Population decreasing

    However, I don’t think that is the response from Polar Bear researchers

    But hey it doesn’t fit the narrative so take the top search result from WWF instead

  48. Andy on 07/02/2018 at 10:52 am said:

    Mitchell Taylor, Ph.D., is a Canadian[citation needed] biologist specializing in polar bears who claims that Canada’s polar bear population is higher now than it was 30 years ago and that polar bears are not currently threatened by climate change.[1][2][dead link] He is currently a contract adjunct professor at Lakehead University [1], and he is affiliated with the Heartland Institute [2].

    There you go then. “Associated with Heartland”.

    Need we say more?

  49. Richard Treadgold on 07/02/2018 at 11:33 am said:

    Thanks, Andy.

  50. Brett Keane on 08/02/2018 at 10:28 am said:

    Susan Crockford has shown, long since, that Polar Bears have rebounded from c.5000 to c.30000. Read her blog and Papers, Books. Since the forced reduction of hunting bears Inuit, who wisely used to make war on them in pre-firearm days, now say there are too many for comfort in some areas.
    Susan is a respected canadian biologist who has studied them more than the self-styled ‘Specialists’. THOSE FOLK HAvE BEEN CAUGHT OUT RECENTLY IN THEIR LIES.

    Good to see we are winning, and can tell it from the pile-on. Andy’s respect for Heartland is heartening..

  51. Barry Brill on 08/02/2018 at 6:22 pm said:

    The key to Jim Renwick’s entire approach to climate science is the dogmatic assertion he offers on Spinoff:

    ” The only ways to change the climate are to change the brightness of the sun, and/or to change the amount of greenhouse gases in the air. Those two things control the amount of energy the earth’s surface takes in and explain the ice age cycles and all the changes in climate we know of over many millions of years.”

    Based on this cornerstone belief, Renwick’s science studiously ignores every climatic influence except solar radiance and GHG forcing. If he is wrong about this, he is wrong about everything!

    In Renwick’s world, there is no geothermal or nuclear energy. Volcanoes are irrelevant as are heat interactions between the surface and the ocean depths. Climate is driven solely by light radiation, with no role for heat conduction or convection. He evidently believes albedo, cloud cover, aerosols, ocean currents, etc are all irrelevant – always have been and always will be.

    This is religion, not science.

  52. Barry Brill on 08/02/2018 at 6:43 pm said:

    Even worse is the following Renwick misrepresentation:

    “In 2012, the IPCC published a special 500-page report on exactly this topic, citing hundreds of studies that show climate change is leading to increasing extreme events.”

    In reality, the 2012 report cited hundreds of studies showing that global warming has NOT led to increasing extreme weather. The precise words are quoted extensively in a post on this very blog:

    All these ‘extreme’ allegations (such as Coromandel weather) were revisited in the the IPCC’s latest publication, the Fifth Assessment Report, which is also quoted extensively in that post. In contrast, the Renwick article relies on mere assertion.

    More recent peer-reviewed empirical studies have wholly demolished the meme that storms, floods,droughts, fires, etc are caused by greenhouse gases. References to these also appear on this blog:

  53. Barry Brill on 08/02/2018 at 7:13 pm said:

    While the Renwick mis-statements mentioned above might be egregious, surely his glacier claim is the most embarrassing: “New Zealand glaciers lose one third of their ice in 40 years”.

    That’s a direct quote of an unequivocal statement of fact. Here’s another one from the abstract of Renwick’s 2017 Nature paper (cited by Richard above): “In New Zealand, at least 58 glaciers advanced between 1983 and 2008”.

    Since the Ancient Greeks, logicians have claimed: “In logic, it is a fundamental law- the law of non contradiction- that a statement and its denial cannot both be true at the same time”. (Google it).

    The Nature paper shows that the driver of the glacier advances is persistent regional cooling which is “associated with anomalous southerly winds and low sea surface temperature in the Tasman Sea region”. This goes even further than NIWA’s recorded 7SS temperature data that shows no warming in New Zealand during the whole 20-year period of the global hiatus.

    So, how can Renwick possibly claim that recent Invercargill temperatures, Tamaki Drive floods, Coromandel storms, etc are the result of human-caused warming trends in the Tasman Sea region? He had just told Nature readers that New Zealand has been COOLING for a quarter-century. The man has no credibility at all.

  54. Barry Brill on 08/02/2018 at 9:43 pm said:


    The Ministry for the Environment says that sea levels around the New Zealand Coast (i.e. in the Tasman Sea region) have been rising at a rate of 3.4mm per annum. As this region has been cooling for the past 30-odd years, AGW cannot be the cause of this phenomenon.

    Sam Dean is both an author of the Nature paper and a leading member of the NIWA modelling team which projects forward the possible SLR for the remainder of the century. All those projections are firmly based on the hypothesis (now shown to be wrong) that AGW has been and will be the major driver of SLR around New Zealand.

  55. Richard Treadgold on 08/02/2018 at 10:35 pm said:

    Just devastating, Barry.

    • Richard Treadgold on 09/02/2018 at 1:58 pm said:


      We would all appreciate it if you would kindly reduce your thinking to a sentence or two of your own rather than spew a stream of links for us to sort through, attempting to match them with your cryptic remarks (I confess, your academic thoughtlessness is outstanding). This is the last time I work through them; the pleasure of rebutting your stupid reasoning palls as the square of the time required to review your references. Hope you can follow that.

      1. He mentions glaciers losing mass “in 40 years” and during that time they spent 25 years gaining mass, as he wrote in last year’s paper. He’s making two contradictory assertions: it’s been warming and cooling in the same place in the same period.

      2. Well, NZ not only could cool while sea levels rise, NZ did. From 1983 to 2008 (25 years) Renwick documented regional cooling, and local sea levels rose at the unremarkable 100-year average of 1.668 mm/yr. It wasn’t anthropogenic, though, it was natural, been going on for several hundred years. If you check this graph I doubt you’ll detect acceleration since 1900:

      The IPCC has considered the latest science and comments thus:

      AR5 Chp 3, p.288:
      The warming of the upper 700 m from 1971 to 2010 caused an estimated mean thermosteric rate of rise of 0.6 [0.4 to 0.8] mm yr–1 (90% confidence), which is 30% of the observed rate of GMSL rise for the same period (Table 3.1; Figure 3.13c).

      So warming alone caused global sea levels to rise about Half of one millimetre per year for 40 years. Maybe.

      AR5 Chp 3, Table 3.1, p.291:
      Global mean sea level rise from tide gauges: 1901–2010, 1.7 mm/yr; 1971–2010, 2.0 mm/yr (200 mm/8 in. per century).
      Thermosteric Component (whole depth): 1971–2010, 0.8 mm/yr (80 mm/3 in. per century).

      The tide gauges (a reliable source of coastal data, the only kind we’re interested in) record global sea levels totalled 1.7 mm/yr or 170 mm for 100 years. It may have got a bit faster over the last 40 years. We might, at a stretch, be responsible for something approaching half, or 85 mm, per 100 years. But I doubt it.

      What you call Greenland and Antarctic melting refers to a minuscule loss of mass that would require thousands of years to consume those gigantic ice caps and shelves. Please quantify the claimed thermosteric sea level rise and confirm its time span, given that for the past 20 years there has been no significant atmospheric warming.

      3. Renwick asserts that it has, indeed, been warming and cooling. I suggest you write to him at and ask him to clarify this mystery. I’ve no idea what he means, but you’re clearly wrong and he’s a professor.

      You’re very wrong on ocean temperature. The AR5 SPM, p.8 says: “On a global scale, the ocean warming is largest near the surface, and the upper 75 m warmed by 0.11 [0.09 to 0.13] °C per decade over the period 1971 to 2010.” So that would make 4 decades, a total warming of 0.44 °C, or a mere 1.1 °C/100 yrs. If you still want to assert 5 °C, by all means proffer a reference, and let James know; he might be surprised.

      It’s hard to form the impression that you consult authoritative sources of climate information, Dennis. Plus, I must say that your insinuation that Barry performs clownishly effectively curbs any perception that respect for you might occasionally be reciprocated.

  56. Simon on 10/02/2018 at 11:58 am said:

    The point that Prof Renwick is making is that the main drivers of climate change is solar radiation and greenhouse gas concentration. Volcanic influences are temporary and ocean/atmosphere eventually reach equilibrium. Richard and Barry need to get their story straight, Richard believes that atmosphere and ocean can’t exchange heat but Barry believes this heat exchange swamps all other effects.

  57. Richard Treadgold on 10/02/2018 at 1:20 pm said:


    Richard believes that atmosphere and ocean can’t exchange heat

    I believe you’ve misread me. I actually said that our airborne emissions cannot significantly heat the ocean, not that the whole atmosphere cannot (I have no knowledge of the whole atmosphere’s heating effect, if any, on the ocean, though an elementary teaching has it that the ocean warms or cools the air and not vice versa). I often mention radiation because that is the only feasible mechanism, since conduction and convection are effectively unavailable at the boundary. If heat is exchanged in significant quantities, it’s up to you to quantify the anthropogenic portion.

    Barry believes this heat exchange swamps all other effects.

    You’re clearly overlooking Barry’s comment above in which he names multiple climate drivers. If I’m wrong, kindly link to Barry’s assertion on this.

  58. Dennis N Horne on 10/02/2018 at 2:56 pm said:

    Richard Treadgold. I can’t teach you the science. If you wanted to know you would have learnt by now. The oceans are warming and getting frankly hot around NZ. Amazing how you deniers ignore the IPCC conclusions but pick out the bits that suit. More nuts than cherries…

    I post a comment I made elsewhere. It sums up the situation as I see it.
    Humans need to become smarter thinkers to beat climate denial
    A new paper shows that climate myths consistently fail critical thinking tests. Dana Nuccitelli

    It’s an anathema in science, but on a population basis only appeal to authority is likely to have much impact. Trump knows this, that’s why he filled his administration with deniers and dorks.

    Until the politicians make mitigation a top priority, and talk about it all the time, nothing much will change. Until disaster strikes; that tends to wake people up a bit.

    Even then the deniers will argue a catastrophic weather event is weather, and they are right. That is the problem. It’s part of the jigsaw but not the whole picture.

    And that is their modus operandi: atomise the evidence. Criticise the picture. Point to a slightly tattered piece. Or a “missing” piece. Or a piece that doesn’t seem to quite fit. Anything. Anything but admit that the picture may not be absolutely clear but it is recognisable. That is, refuse to see the wood for the trees.

    The point is the pieces do not fit together any other way to make any other picture. That is not proof either, it’s science, and in the end science does depend on the judgement of experts looking at the evidence (pieces). When we have a consensus we have a view of reality.

    Even scientists can forget this. We have people like Giaever, Dyson and Happer waving their hands around, claiming there’s nothing to the science or the consensus is a cult or a bit of warming would be nice.

    Others can’t see past laboratory science. Climate science is observation and measurement of the whole planet. The “apparatus” in this experiment is Earth itself. All of it. A very large and complex system. No wonder there are problems: it is very difficult. Nothing is simple. It takes time. We learn as we go.

    I find the amount of science being done to be truly amazing. Much of it is absolutely fascinating. Even little things, like knowing the sea level in Roman times because the Romans built fish-holding tanks in the sea, which had to have tops such that they flooded when the tide came in but remained full when it went out.

    So much is known now. To this old man it is truly remarkable. Incredible.

    It’s certainly the greatest experiment of my lifetime. Changing the climate of a whole planet and showing why and how.

    And as cynical as I am, I have been dumbfounded by the rejection of the science and the expertise of those who can best judge it: the Royal Society, National Academy of Sciences, American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Physical Society, American Chemical Society, American Statistical Association … Especially by those who should know better: highly qualified professional people and PhDs.

    The education system has something to answer for too. Dumb people don’t even learn at school they are dumb. It’s old fashioned but they don’t know their place. Well, I know my place, and it’s not to argue with people who know what they are talking about. Dumb people can’t even tell when people know what they are talking about. They will never learn.

    The fossil fuel industry and oil billionaires have a lot to answer for, with their wicked campaign of lies and denial of truth. Sometime I really do wish there was a god to judge them and a hell to send them to.

    • Richard Treadgold on 10/02/2018 at 3:47 pm said:


      Richard Treadgold. I can’t teach you the science. If you wanted to know you would have learnt by now. The oceans are warming and getting frankly hot around NZ.

      How disingenuous you are. You claim blithely I don’t know the science and you can’t teach it, when you are well aware I’m not asking to be told the science (nor need I be told), I’m asking for you to damn well justify the arguments you make. Without justification, you’re just waving your hands. I know you’re wrong, because I know the science, but I remain polite. I’m not placing labels on you such as “thick as a brick”, “obstreperous”, “denier” or any of the many similar labels our language makes available.

      You were once a scientist, or at least you believed in science, so I’m troubled you haven’t checked the references I provided to AR5, Chp 3, which gives the IPCC’s summary of recent ocean warming and subsequent sea level rise that caused. The oceans are not currently warming; they are not getting frankly hot around NZ. If you persist in denying the science, how about a reference? Your rambling, poisonous post at the Guardian is a true waste of time. You wish there was a god? Where do you think the truth comes from—or doesn’t it exist?

      This is goodbye, Dennis, you’ve finally worn me down. Sans references or reasonable argument, you are a noxious pest. This is the last post I’ll let through the gate. To contact this blog again, use my private email.

  59. Andy on 10/02/2018 at 5:05 pm said:

    This is the last post I’ll let through the gate. To contact this blog again, use my private email.
    Shame we lost Magoo and Richard C in the process

    If you’re reading gents, please come back!

  60. Richard Treadgold on 10/02/2018 at 5:12 pm said:

    I agree wholeheartedly!

  61. Gary Kerkin on 11/02/2018 at 10:42 am said:

    I wasn’t going to chip in Richard. Your blog; your rules! But I am very glad you have taken this step. A self-avowed destroyer cannot be allowed to hijack what has been a good venue for debate. I have learned much reading the arguments. Although I have not shifted my primary stance, I have moderated my views in some areas.

    I remain convinced that the debate about the concept of dangerous warming will not be won by vicious, vindictive, ad hominem, and irrational ranting, whether it be from my side of the fence, or the alternative! I regret that some people degenerate into such diatribes, not just because they are nasty, but because they do not add value to the debate. In fact they diminish it and discourage others from participating. It is said that the best part of beating your head against a brick wall is stopping.

    I sympathise with Andy’s view and join him in trying to encourage Magoo and Richard C to return. Come to think of it, I haven’t seen much from Maggy recently. I hope she wasn’t put off by the likes of Horne. I came close myself.

  62. Simon on 11/02/2018 at 10:56 am said:

    Dennis’s final post is extremely well written and I recommend that you re-read it. There is no ad hominem there.

  63. Andy on 11/02/2018 at 11:00 am said:

    But Dennis has spewed a stream of abuse since he arrived, so most of us don’t bother reading his TLDR posts.

  64. Alexander K on 11/02/2018 at 11:07 am said:

    I too am very pleased you have taken the step of barring Dennis Horne. He was not interested in anything anyone had to say here, and was the worst example of the trolls who inhabit other places and spaces.
    Over the years, I have had to remove stroppy teens from my classroom who behaved in the same manner as Dennis. It will be pleasant to read the comments here without Dennis’ vile, pseudo-scientific contributions and upleasant personal attacks.

  65. Richard Treadgold on 11/02/2018 at 11:30 am said:


    Dennis’s final post is extremely well written and I recommend that you re-read it. There is no ad hominem there.

    That’s its only merit and it’s too little, too late. One wishes that it also advanced knowledge of climate change but all we get is a rambling, corrosive tirade at society’s failings with no compensating praise of its glories.

  66. Richard Treadgold on 11/02/2018 at 11:35 am said:

    Gary, much appreciated.

    Andy, totally agree.

    Alexander, thanks; patience is sometimes virtuous, sometimes imprudent.

  67. Gary Kerkin on 11/02/2018 at 3:16 pm said:


    Dennis’s final post is extremely well written and I recommend that you re-read it. There is no ad hominem there.

    I happily concede your last point but note that it would be the first post of his I’ve read that doesn’t contain an ad hominem attack of some sort.

    I wouldn’t agree that the post is well written. As Richard points out it is rambling in its presentation, but he makes some valuable points which enlightens me as to why he feels like he does. He feels (perhaps knows would be a better word) that he is losing the debate and feels constrained to attack rather than reason. Some are points with which I agree, and have pointed out myself. That, however, does not give him the right to insult those who he is writing about. All of us who do not agree with him have been the target of his venomous writing. That sort of behaviour is unacceptable in a publication which endeavours to allow reasonable debate.

    I regret that it has come to this. I feel strongly about the right to speak freely, but I cannot condone those who can only contribute by openly insulting all who do not agree with them. That is not free speech. It is the antithesis of it.

    Richard Treadgold and most of the other people who contribute, or have contributed, to this blog are intelligent folk. Our expertise covers a wide range topics. While we might not be able to call ourselves “climate scientists” most have qualifications and experience that enable them to participate in a rational debate about the science, social, and political implications of climate change. We can enumerate and accept facts. And we can identify where claims are made on flimsy or insufficient evidence.

    Let us hope that “cool” heads prevail in the future, no matter the inclinations of those heads.

  68. Maggy Wassilieff on 11/02/2018 at 5:29 pm said:

    If you missing Dennis Horne’s contributions, you can find him over at Kiwiblog.
    Originally he used to post under his own name, but in the last year or so he posts under the pseudonym
    William of Ockham.
    You will easily recognize his style of abuse and favoured references.

    @Gary Kerkin
    I only post when things are of particular interest to me.
    Over the last few years I have received so much foul defamatory abuse at Kiwiblog from anonymous climate warmist advocates that I am now pretty much immunized against ad hom attacks.

    I have discovered that I am what is termed an “insult pacifist”.
    (probably helps that I had a few years of Quaker education)
    If folks are getting up-tight about receiving constant abuse, have a look at this book (esp. the later chapters)

  69. Richard Treadgold on 11/02/2018 at 6:23 pm said:

    Thanks, Maggy, good to hear.

    Would you mind helping with the pronunciation of your surname? Does it best rhyme with “waasilleaf”? I like to be accurate with the sounds of people’s names, even reading silently in my mind.

  70. Maggy Wassilieff on 11/02/2018 at 8:29 pm said:

    My surname is Germanised Russian.

    So – if you read Russian – Васильев / Vasiliev

    Pronunciation here (click on speaker symbol)

  71. Gary Kerkin on 12/02/2018 at 3:05 pm said:

    Thanks Maggy. I too usually comment only when I think I have something to offer. Counselling about language and behaviour in environments such as this is a case in point.

    What a sad reflection on our society that you found it necessary to “immunise” yourself against ad hominem attacks. I’m not sure I have the patience or desire to do so.

    At least, trying to argue with Renwick and other climate scientists is better than that. Renwick only stoops to other than polite language when he is particularly annoyed by statements or arguments directed at/to him. Even though I am not at all sure that he would be prepared to alter his view, at least there is the semblance of a reasonable debate. And I can hope that we might make a breakthrough under such circumstances.

    I never thought that I grew up in “nicer” times—the immediate post WW2 period was not all that happy—but I think I can now see that I did!

  72. Simon on 12/02/2018 at 3:43 pm said:

    Writing something in the public domain that the average layperson can understand necessitates adding some imprecision. Hopefully we all agree that Prof. Renwick understands far more about how the climate works than any of us ever will. Check out his publication history:

  73. Maggy Wassilieff on 12/02/2018 at 4:06 pm said:

    Hopefully we all agree that Prof. Renwick understands far more about how the climate works than any of us ever will
    Speak for yourself, Simon.

    I was shocked by one of Renwick’s statements a couple of years ago when he stated that he knew of no other explanation (apart from increasing CO2/greenhouse effect) to explain some aspect of warming temperature.

    I’m a post-graduate of Victoria University (Botany Dept, but with one Ph.D supervisor from Geology Dept) and I’m damn glad my lecturers, professors and supervisors were always open to discussing “other explanations”/hypotheses /theories.
    I never heard of the concept of “consensus or settled science” in my student days.

    There is a burgeoning literature to show that the “settled science of Climate Change” as we understood it even a few years ago, is far from settled.

  74. Simon on 12/02/2018 at 4:42 pm said:

    You shouldn’t be shocked Maggy.
    No alternative credible hypothesis has yet been presented to explain why global surface temperature has increased by approximately 1°C during the past century, a rate of increase almost unprecedented in the paleo-climatic record.

  75. Richard Treadgold on 12/02/2018 at 5:28 pm said:


    This is not to your usual standard.

    No alternative credible hypothesis has yet been presented to explain why global surface temperature has increased by approximately 1°C during the past century, a rate of increase almost unprecedented in the paleo-climatic record.

    You present two reasons for concern about the GMST over the past century. Each has been refuted.

    1. No other explanation. This is rather lame; it says, effectively: “We can’t think of anything else!” I’m not familiar with all the alternatives put forward, but only one is needed, and it’s this: Dr Roy Spencer said, ten and more years ago:

    Because small, chaotic fluctuations in atmospheric and oceanic circulation systems can cause small changes in global average cloudiness, this is all that is necessary to cause climate change.

    I can’t find it, but Spencer’s on record as saying it would take a reduction of “only a few percent” in cloud cover to account for the observed temperature increase.

    2. Almost unprecedented temperature increase. This is also weak, because it means the rate of increase has a precedent, so there’s no cause for concern. Next.

  76. Richard Treadgold on 12/02/2018 at 5:31 pm said:


    So – if you read Russian – Васильев / Vasiliev

    Ah, thank you. I learned that interesting alphabet at Rangitoto College along with a little vocab and I’ve felt special ever since.

  77. Richard Treadgold on 12/02/2018 at 5:42 pm said:


    Writing something in the public domain that the average layperson can understand necessitates adding some imprecision.

    That may be fair enough, but “imprecision” hardly accounts for the brazen deception involved in Professor Renwick’s citing weather events to “prove” that man-made climate change is already occurring. I’d call it a disfigurement of reality, a perversion of truth—in plain terms, a lie. Imprecision? Baloney and drivel!

  78. Simon on 12/02/2018 at 8:11 pm said:

    Prof. Renwick’s point is that some highly improbable events become more likely as the climate changes.

    Clouds can have both a positive and negative feedback depending on formation. You would also need a mechanism for change. The only one I am aware of ionisation from cosmic rays, but the solar maximum has well and trully finished and the correlation of solar cycles with historic temperature is very weak.
    There is no competing alternative theory.

  79. Richard Treadgold on 12/02/2018 at 10:04 pm said:


    You would also need a mechanism for change.

    What for? To change climate change? The short-term satellite-observed cloudiness records we have reveal plenty of change.

    There is no competing alternative theory.

    The theory you’ve chosen does not present itself. I mean, there’s no compelling evidence to believe it. What is the evidence? They turn off the “anthropogenic portion” in the models and voila! They can’t produce the warming. That persuades you? It’s hardly evidence.

    There’s no need for this theory when you’re seeing continual change everywhere, constant natural variation, unless you’re determined to blame humanity. At some point you just have to be content with saying “we don’t know.” Though you keep looking.

  80. Brett Keane on 13/02/2018 at 11:07 am said:

    Simon could start by understanding underpinnings like statistical significance properly. Took me a bit of head-scratching, and there is far more to it. AGW is nowhere near to a Theory. It has not passed the smell test to become a viable Hypothesis yet. An hypothesis being just a guess needing empirical proof. Instead, when CO2 was shown to be inadequate, it was positted that water was vapourised increasingly as a positive forcing to multiply power to an effective level. Such an ‘IR Catastrophe’ would have wiped life out, auld lang syne.

    Prof Renwick is a typical believer from the School of Geography, which is populated heavily from the Arts fraternity. To whom Physics is a foreign lifeform, and it does show. He needed a bolthole from the NIWA catastrophe, and Vic U. provided one. Where the scientific method will never challenge him. He imagines, but this year he will have to face real challenge in hearings over the Greens’ climate tax Bill. Destroying our Primary Industry for suburban marxism may destroy said believers’ “Social Licence” to eat. Stock up on Pam’s Value cheap canned corn and spagetti. In case you get what you are after.

  81. Maggy Wassilieff on 13/02/2018 at 11:32 am said:

    There is no competing alternative theory.

    Actually, there are at least seven. And I would expect any decent university lecturer to have discussed the strengths and weaknesses of each with his/her students.

    But, at present, I’m fairly relaxed with the null hypothesis… i.e. what we are observing is well within the bounds of natural climate variability (with the addition of an urban heat influence and anthropogenic land change influence operating at regional scales).

  82. Simon on 14/02/2018 at 8:22 am said:

    Let us know when any of these ‘theories’ develop a body of work in the scientific literature.
    In the meantime, here are some further thoughts from Prof. Renwick:

  83. Maggy Wassilieff on 14/02/2018 at 10:49 am said:

    @ Simon

    Let us know when any of these ‘theories’ develop a body of work in the scientific literature.

    I have posted links on a number of occasions.

    But ultimately it is up to you to read widely and keep yourself informed of developments.

  84. Andy on 14/02/2018 at 11:53 am said:

    New sea level paper reports rapid acceleration. 6.5 times the Church and White 2006 result

    “Climate-change–driven accelerated sea-level rise detected in the altimeter era”

  85. Mke Jowsey on 15/02/2018 at 7:28 pm said:

    Well, as an advocate of free speech, I advocate reinstating Dennis the Menace Horne. Of course, he’s an arse, of course he abuses us with ad-hom diatribes, and of course he has only argument from authority rather than science. But censorship is egregious, no matter the tiresome rants. Dennis the Menace allows steel upon steel to sharpen steel. Unless he issues a fatwah or something. Harden up.

    That said, I appreciate your weariness, and he is an arse without substance, and I have not bothered much to drill down on his dribble as you, RT, have so reluctantly had to.

    But, as much as I disapprove of what he says, I will defend to the death his right to say it.

    I say bring back the Magoof and Dear Boy rants and come what may! I very much doubt the planet is in peril of our wee assumptions.

    Tally ho!

    By the way, it seems to me that we should all, as enjoyers of this weblog, contribute more rather than just watch from afar. Engage. Comment. Even a “+1” or a “thumbs down”. DO SOMETHING!

    • Richard Treadgold on 15/02/2018 at 9:17 pm said:

      Yes, Mike, I too defend his right to say rude things, absolutely. He has said many rude things here, and I let him. But no longer. Ever. He may say them elsewhere.

  86. Mike Jowsey on 16/02/2018 at 9:47 am said:

    Well, RT, you are doing a tremendous job of running this site and I respect your decision. Keep up the great work my friend!

  87. Barry Brill on 19/02/2018 at 11:57 pm said:

    Thanks for the link, Simon.
    I’ve been puzzled by our new PM’s suggestions that New Zealand should seek to be a “leader” in the climate change space. It seemed to that this was likely to be an all pain/no gain aspiration, but assumed she would share her reasoning in due course.

    Meantime, as is so often the case, Jim Renwick has leaped in front of the camera. I raced to find his arguments in support of his op-ed headline “New Zealand Must be a Global Leader in Climate Change”. But all in vain. He offers not a single argument. In fact he says nothing about the subject except – ““We could be global leaders – if any country can do it, surely New Zealand can.”

    Well…so what? Any country COULD do it, but nobody else wants to do it. Why should we?

  88. Brett Keane on 20/02/2018 at 3:45 am said:

    There will be hearings, run by the Greens in Parliament on the carbon tax. We can blow this out of the water with a strong effort. Failure means subjecting the farming community to an unconstitutional tax based on false premises. Might as well tax new mothers for increasing or maintaining the human race. That might strike home. I have been thinking on concise submissions.

  89. Brett Keane on 22/02/2018 at 10:21 am said:

    A good start might be making them produce their proof documentation. IPCC SFPs would be easy meat, likewise their climate model ‘projections’.

  90. Barry Brill on 25/03/2018 at 2:50 pm said:

    Willis Essenbach has an interesting analysis of CERES data at He shows a globe with all temperature changes between 2000 and 2017 and on that globe the easter side of New Zealand is shown with -0.3°C cooling while the rest has zero change.

  91. Discursively now, it’s a Punch and Judy show. Divide and Rule is the first chapter in the book of political science. How many contestants here are genuinely deluded about what they are doing? The deniers are, or appear to be, convinced, though there must be a small coterie of stokers, cultivators, agitators amongst them somewhere. On the other hand(It’s a Punch and Judy show, remember), on the other hand are the religious warmists(Remember what Chesterton said about what people believe when they do not believe religiously, or words to that extent. They believe in anything). Dangerous Anthropogenic GW is a religion for most, often driven by an unconscious guilt complex due to their, and their kin’s, wasteful and frankly gratuitously consumerist lifestyle. So yes, on that side there is a spiritual element-concern for the environment, driven or kept underground, in the deep subconscious of people’s cellar where denials of the obvious are stored and ever fermenting to lead people with these denials in the cellar to become emotionally active and politically re-active as a compensatory strategy. Amongst the warmists are the divide and rulists, cultivating and fomenting, feeding the fires of psychological miasmas for political scientific purposes, that is, money, power and more money. Though I cannot offer proof, I think that the real top of the political hierarchy is driven by a terminal case of ennui. Rambling now, while almost everybody is exercised by this or that diversion, democracy in the West, not including the USA here, because they are too big and bad to be a democracy, is being sold down the gurgler. Sleepers awake, the price of slavery is eternal damnation.

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