Kiwi Royal Society fails to produce climate evidence

The Royal Society of New Zealand (RSNZ) cannot substantiate their claim that mankind is causing dangerous global warming. The NZ Climate Science Coalition (NZCSC) have just spent months pursuing them for evidence, which they failed to produce. We believe that it does not exist.

For several decades publicly-funded climate scientists associated with the RSNZ have reported that global temperatures are increasing, sea level rise is accelerating, extreme weather events are more frequent and intense and that these and other dangerous effects are caused by human emissions of carbon dioxide, yet when pressed to authenticate their claims, they produce nothing.

The RSNZ have published some weighty climate reports, including Climate Change Implications for NZ, the Transition to a Low Carbon Economy and, most recently, the Human Health Impacts of Climate Change for NZ, all of which state that human emissions are causing dangerous global warming, but without evidence.

In mid-2017 the NZCSC asked the RSNZ for evidence of dangerous man-made global warming. In answer, the RSNZ first cited sources that didn’t address the mechanism of anthropogenic warming, then advised us to search everything on the Internet, then to “find the evidence yourself” in the hundreds of pages in the IPCC reports, and finally stopped talking to us.

We laid a formal complaint against the CEO of the RSNZ for breaches of the Society’s Code of Ethics by claiming without firm evidence that man-made global warming was real and dangerous. Eventually the RSNZ dismissed our complaint, calling it “insufficiently grave.”

RSNZ climate scientists have said for years that evidence for dangerous anthropogenic global warming (DAGW) is “overwhelming.” For example, in 2016 Victoria University of Wellington Earth Sciences Professor James Renwick (previously the Chair of the Royal Society of NZ Climate Expert Panel) was quoted as saying:

The climate is changing and it is due to human activity and that is very clear from all sorts of lines of evidence. The evidence showed that human influence was the dominant cause of global warming. – emphasis added

It is unreasonable for the RSNZ to conceal evidence that is overwhelming and critical to their argument, as, if it exists, they must know it (and if not, why not?). In their judgement on the ethics complaint, they acknowledged that “contention on all aspects of climate change, including its existence and causes, is notorious,” yet refuse to discuss it.

Many members of the NZCSC are also members of the RSNZ — scientists, engineers, scholars and friends of the Society. We have studied climate science for many years and are familiar with the IPCC reports and what they say about the detection and attribution of radiative forcing—they are vague when describing the human cause of warming.

The RSNZ have made great efforts both in public and behind closed doors to put our country on a costly and uncertain path to economic disruption by recommending substantial emissions reductions that will make not the slightest difference to the climate but will be ruinous to farming, industry and our way of life. Without clear evidence that warming is man-made and dangerous, that expense and disruption could be futile.

The Kiwi Royal Society have a duty to explain the science warts and all, and their refusal to answer demonstrates a broken relationship. Their actions suggest a precarious connection with the truth, and we scratch our heads at their peculiar intransigence. We don’t believe they have evidence, but in that case they ought to have said “there is no evidence” — and if they do have evidence, in failing to disclose it they have manifestly lost their way. In both cases they must be held to account.

Read more

Recent article by Barry Brill on the New Zealand Prime Minister’s new emphasis on combating climate change, in which he exposes the role of science in climate alarm.


*Richard Treadgold is convenor of the Climate Conversation Group
and an executive member of the NZ Climate Science Coalition

Leave a Reply

52 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
10 Comment authors
Notify of

If you had a scientific background, you would know that the first step is to do a literature review. Google Scholar returns 28,500 results. I recommend you start with the Stern Review.

Barry Brill

The Stern Review on “The Economics of Climate Change” is a 2006 report for economists. It was rejected almost unanimously by economists worldwide for many reasons, notably because it assumed a discount rate of 0.0% for events a thousand years in the future. Lord Stern was the UK head of Treasury and was appointed by PM Gordon Brown to prepare a political document to support Labour’s then policies. This was back when you were in primary school.

Why would you think this was a good place to look for scientific evidence? Somewhere in a much-reviled, out-of-date 700-page economic report?

Why not a reference to a peer-reviewed paper in a reputable journal? Even one would do – as long as it shows EVIDENCE that most of the observed global warming has been anthropogenic.


Global evidence of anthropogenic global warming is incontrovertible, your question was whether it is dangerous. First you need to define what conditions are dangerous, which is why I directed you to the Stern Report.

The global evidence of AGW is indeed incontrovertibly correct in sofar as there is any, which there is not, Simon.


It is quite simple.
1. Carbon dioxide and methane are greenhouse gases.
2. The quantity of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has been increasing due to human activity.
3. The climate has warmed as a result.
All of the above statements are undeniable.

Simon, let me explain something. I have been struck by a similarity, a similitudinariness of deep significance, between the story of the selling of indulgences by the Roman Catholic Church and how one German priest by the name of Martin Luther eventually did show it up for the nonsense that it patently was, on the one hand, and the AGW phenomenon on the other hand. You may have heard a French expression to the effect that the more things change, the more they stay the same: Plus ca chance, etc. It can be found on the internet, the same with the entire history of the selling of indulgences by the Roman Catholic Church. History is repeating itself through human folly. Erasmus, a catholic and Dutch philosopher, did write a booklet tp praise folly. Erasmus was a most-learned person, so I don’t want to do him down, not too much anyway, by being overly critical of folly in general. However, not all follies are equal in the matter of deserving praise. Likewise, some follies are definitely not to be praised, Erasmus notwithstanding. In the matter of AGW, issue rather, since AGW itself is not… Read more »

Sorry, Richard. The last thing I would want to do is intimidate Simon. How can I change it? I’m nearly incompetent with computers.
If you you have some time, can you change it, please.

Must remember that.


Hi Simon, you seem to be trying to understand RT’s puzzlement. It derives from your three words “as a result”. He seeks evidence that the observed warming does, as a scientific fact, result from the human-caused emissions of greenhouse gases. He knows the hypothesis very well. But he hasn’t seen the evidence in the WG1 report of AR5, or anywhere else. The Royal Society of NZ has not been able to point him to the scientific evidence. He hopes that you might. Once the evidence is identified, a conversation can begin regarding the strength of that evidence. Whether it is ambiguous or non-conclusive or open to a different interpretation. It can be weighed against contrary evidence (if any) and experiments to test its reliability can be devised. The maths, when disclosed, can be replicated or questioned. Confidence levels can be assessed. There is widespread concern that the ‘evidence’ might prove to be no more than a print from a mathematical computer model (or the average of many such prints). Of course, that is not evidence at all – it is a product of many inputs including a plethora of assumptions and tweaks. The… Read more »


If you had done a literature review, you would know that the human induced and natural contributions to global warming are well understood. There is even a real time calculator that differentiates between both components:


Read the paper and the associated references. The rationale for the human and natural attributions is all there.
You keep asking for evidence. When it is shown to you, you refuse to read or understand it. This is symptomatic of a closed mind.

As I read it, the paper shows that there is a good correlation given the various factors they have considered. These factors do not include sunspot effects or the effects of cosmic rays as described by its Svensmark – or many other possible mechanisms..

So it really says, “if you only take the effects we have considered into account and ignore all the other ones, then the correlation is excellent.”

I don’t think this is good enough. It’s a bit like saying “nobody has found a cause-and-effect relationship between greenhouse gases and temperature. I have found one! Therefore I must be right!”

Read the paper and the associated references, saith Simon. The rationale etc.

It takes a minute to read the Abstract, but the word rationale as used by Simon is entirely appropriate and looking over the gobbledygook following the the Abstract, I think, but I cannot prove it, I admit, that a lot of it is compiled with the aid of AI-kind of computer programming.

Without shills, it is without a doubt a lot of blog sites would be struggling or defunct and internet outfits might be reduced in their gross income.
The rationale of the people thinking up this pseudo-scientific gobbledygook must be money. Why otherwise would they bother? These are obviously academics of some sort. Have they nothing better to do?

I will read it once more, if I change my mind I will confess that I don’t understand it-But I do. If I were on the warmist gravy train…., hmmm, maybe I could agree, but no, it does not appear to be scientific.

With apologies to Simon.

Some years ago I had a conversation with Bhanu Padmo on a blog site since discontinued. Bhanu and I could not agree on everything, but as to modern academicians we were in accord, more or less.

Academics are headed for the chop, except as spinners and lobbyists for vested interest. As for science, that too is severely compromised. Still, the experts like a debate: How many fairies are dancing on this spin?

Stephanie Hawking

Here is a link to an explanation of “proof” in science: Long before research exposed evidence that humans cause global warming, science made another sensational claim — that smoking caused lung cancer. That case has been proven beyond doubt. But there is a science story from this era that is mostly forgotten: The battle against cigarettes taught science how to prove. Before linking cigarettes to lung cancer, science had no established method to prove that one thing caused another. The fields of epidemiology and statistics were new, and while they had some prior successes, the questions were so evident — think about mercury causing madness — that proof did not require the level of meticulousness that modern science expects. The need to establish a link between cigarettes and lung cancers — and the backlash that ensued — changed this. Epidemiology and cigarettes grew up together. Today’s debate over global warming echoes that era. Because of politics, a post like this, intended to inform, will sway few minds. But I have spoken with skeptics who honestly want to understand, but don’t have the tools to grapple with such a large, complex field of science. And they have a point — while we talk a lot… Read more »

Stephanie Hawking

Plants and wild animals are responding to global warming.

Trees of course can’t move; they don’t have the energy.

Maybe those who can’t understand climate science have the same limitation as trees?

If the warmistas were cancer experts, and telling all the world that smoking caused lung cancer, would anyone believe them if the cancer experts themselves were smoking heavily? It would confuse some people, but if it turned out that the heavily smoking cancer experts were being paid by the government to put out the cancer message, and the government itself was promoting the smoking in order to increase money supply and the inflation rate and the tax take, then a different picture emerges. The analogy as presented by Stephenie Hawking is not correct, however. In the lung cancer and smoking connection there has been proven correlation, although many environmental factors have been ignored. The campaign against smoking has been rather successful and, though not always an honest fight on the part of both sides, it cam be said that the West is the better for it. I don’t know if smoking habits were affected elsewhere in the world. However, if warmistas are hoping to emulate the anti-smoking campaign by trading on the ill-effects, real, surmised and imagined, of smoking, they have some way to go and are handicapped by the fact that there… Read more »

Gary Kerkin

Stephanie, this is confusing. Before linking cigarettes to lung cancer, science had no established method to prove that one thing caused another. The fields of epidemiology and statistics were new, … … And I unearthed a notion that is rarely mentioned in the global warming debate: Science actually has a method for establishing that one thing causes another. There has always been a method to prove that one thing causes another, or disproved it. Curiously, it is called the scientific method. In brief, hypothesise a causal relationship, design an experiment to prove or disprove the hypothesis, analyse the results of the experiment, accept or discount the hypothesis based on the results of the experiment. Forgive me if I am stating what you already know. I wasn’t sure because of the confusion in your statements. Don’t confuse epidemiological studies with experimentation. Epidemiological studies might suggest possible links, but they do not prove the links. Your choice of smoking and lung cancer is a good one, because the initial epidemiological studies suggest a link based on a very vague trend in a broad scatter of information. Other studies have since identified causes and effects, but… Read more »

Sean Rush

Hi Stephanie, Some years ago I decided to ‘find out for myself’ what was happening climate wise. I was prompted because Al Gore’s movie mis-represented the true relationship between temp increase and CO2 (actually CO2 rise follows temp rise). I then found out that James Hansen, who started the whole scare back in 1988 orchestrated his testimony to Congress to fall on the hottest day of the year and arranged to turn off the air con – an odd way to support scientific conclusions Since then I have read numerous books and finally did a course last year at Vic Uni (directed by Prof Dave Frame, Lead Author for AR5 and AR6) and since then I have read peer reviewed articles and even struggled through AR5 WG1. In my travels I received a final draft report of WG1 (the science) for the Second Assessment Report (“SAR”) – this “final” draft was signed off by the scientists after long debate around human influences on climate in Asheville, Texas, and stated clearly that they could not attribute recent warming to human activities and didn’t know when they would be able to. This was consistent with… Read more »

Stephanie Hawking

A bit of reading here. Unfortunately they are experts.

The National Climate Assessment summarizes the impacts of climate change on the United States, now and in the future. A team of more than 300 experts guided by a 60-member Federal Advisory Committee produced the report, which was extensively reviewed by the public and experts, including federal agencies and a panel of the National Academy of Sciences.

Barry Brill

Dr David Wojcik offers an illuminating distinction between actual research results and the ‘speculative’ comments that appear in most scientific papers. He says the speculation is often overstated and may be related to further funding.

“That humans are actually causing global warming is a speculative conclusion, not a research result. There is no research project that finds that humans are causing global warming.”

This is a very confident (not to say dogmatic) statement. One can assume that he has sought out research for the human attribution and has found none. In that regard, he seems to be in the same position as the Royal Society of NZ.


One can also assume that Dr David Wojcik that works for an American lobby group (Heartland Institute) and is funded by Koch Industries and several fossil fuel companies.

@Barry Brill: Dr David Wojcik, if quoted correctly, is likely to be wrong on one count. To wit: That humans are actually causing global warming is not even a speculative conclusion, but at best inconclusive speculation.

Barry Brill

Simon I was interested in your reference to a “Nature” paper, Haustein et al (2017), as an anthology of all the prior evidence that recent observed increases in global mean surface temperature (GMST) have been caused by anthropogenic greenhouse gases (AGW). The paper is concerned with the theoretical methodology that should be used in preparing a real-time index of AGW. This could be done by an improved version of the Otto et al (2015) suggestion of “a simple least-squares fit between observed temperatures and the EXPECTED responses to anthropogenic and natural radiative forcing …. [The index] satisfies the need for immediate availability. We update it using monthly GMST and revised monthly radiative forcing data”. The authors propose to take observed GMST from HadCRUT4-CW “as the dependent variable and estimated responses to human-induced and natural drivers of climate change as the independent variables”. Estimated responses? No evidence? How are the estimates done? Well, it turns out that they start with the estimates in chap 8 of AR5 and update those figures by GHG emissions data published monthly by NOAA. After wading through pages of this, it becomes crystal-clear that the authors know nothing of… Read more »

Stephanie Hawking

“David Wojcik [of] Heartland Institute funded by Koch Industries and several fossil fuel companies.”

Is this the extent of your rebuttal of what he says? I must tell you, this doesn’t work on us

Well it certainly worked on Barry Brill. He quoted his words as gospel: “One can assume that he has sought out research for the human attribution and has found none.”

Humans have raised the CO2 level in the atmosphere 40%.

No rational person disputes that.

Stephanie Hawking

Richard Treadgold.

No scientific institution or society agrees with your views. Not in any branch of science. Not in any country. Nothing, nowhere. Zero.

Even the oil companies ignore you.

So clearly the evidence for AGW is available if you want it. In fact, it’s considered overwhelming. Irrefutable.


You really have to cease these ludicrous statements. Even Judith Curry, Roy Spencer, and the mumblings of Monckton concur that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and is causing some warming of the atmosphere. Their disagreement is over what the equilibrium and transient climate sensitivity is.

But where is the evidence that humans have raised CO2 levels by 40%? Correlation is not evidence of causation, Richard.

“that seems to be”, ok, thank you. We’ll go with that until scientific evidence gives us more on that score.

Quite, by the merest of margins, the CO2 isotope trope is a theory, and therefor falsifiable. Fifty years ago I was studying agriculture and some simple agri/soil science. Ever since the AGW carry-on I have wondered why the loss and uptake of carbon in the soil was given so little attention by the warmistas. It’s not as if myself and many others, before me and after, have not been trying to bring this into the conversation to pull this factor into the carbon exchange equation. Sofar, only in the case of permafrost has it been given any air, and only then to increase the clamour of false alarm bells. As for the science; The industrial revolution has been common knowledge. Likewise, explosive population growth, historically speaking, and the agrarian revolution in the West, which, to an extent, has kept pace with population growth in the West, is well-known. We now don’t need scientists to tell us that the increased burning of fossil fuels has caused smoke to go into the air. The CO2 isotope story is, in the AGW hype scheme of things, barely relevant. What is, in that regard, is the huge… Read more »

Stephanie Hawking

Human activity includes changes in land use.

The amount of fossil fuel burned is known. It more than accounts for the 40% increase in atmospheric CO2.

(Isotopes shown the carbon came from fossil fuels and the oxygen level in the atmosphere is dropping.)

Inter alia, the scare about permafrost relates to methane initially. As to Stephanie trotting out the assertion that the amount of fossil fuel burned is known, and that it supposedly “more than accounts for the 40% increase in atmospheric CO2”, well, how simplistic can you get. That is not scientific.
Since the AGW hype is about the climate globally, the amount and type of fossil fuel burned should be calculated globally over the periods relevant to match subsequent increases in atmospheric CO2 and subtracting the uptake of this, up and down in percentages of the different isotopic carbon. Please explain.
No scientist has calculated all the fossil fuel burned globally before, say, fifty years ago-Impossible.

Barry Brill

The lack of EVIDENCE for the attribution of extreme weather to “climate change” AND the attribution of climate change to anthropogenic emissions of GHGs is causing near-insuperable problems in the multiple US court cases against oil companies. See an excellent discussion by Michael Kile at –

If the City of New York can’t find any compelling evidence of human attribution for observed warming, then what chance the miserable RSNZ?

DICTIONARY: Attribution, n., the art of evaluating the relative contributions of multiple causal factors to a change or an event, according to one’s prejudices.

John Sexton

Could Simon & Stephanie understand this?

Here is a key graph of all Greenhouse gases that shows detailed percentages of where the source of C02 in the atmosphere and human emissions are miniscule at only 0.117%. Human activities contribute slightly to greenhouse gas concentrations through farming, manufacturing, power generation, and transportation. However, these emissions are so dwarfed in comparison to emissions from other natural sources it is foolish to think humans make any difference. Even the most costly efforts to limit human Co2 emissions if they succeeded would have a very small– undetectable– effect on global climate.

Post Navigation