Kiwis complacent on global warming


Dr Anna Berka

There’s nothing to be done about global warming beyond feeling anxious, if you choose. We’re not causing any harmful warming and the sporadic warming we’ve seen is of no concern.

But once again we’re being hectored, this time by an academic skilled in redistributive environmental policy, inclusive energy governance and conceptualizing community renewables deployment as a form of associative democracy—oh, yes, Anna Berka knows us so well.

She gained her MSc in the Netherlands five years ago, her PhD dissertation was published last month and already she brings us friendly advice.

She starts by calling us complacent, saying we regard “the process” as too expensive and we wait for other countries to “develop the technology,” which is a “self-defeating narrative.” What process, what technology and what is defeated is not clearly explained. It could be the process of fighting the climate. I have one word for you—King Canute.

It costs us now and pays off in the future; so we put it on the back burner because we perceive there to be more pressing problems.

Well, observing that battling the climate is expensive and saying so is pragmatic, and there are more pressing problems. Bring evidence, Anna, that we should elevate the global warming battle over education, violence, poverty, the Middle East and all things in between. Evidence is just so persuasive. Oh, you don’t present any, you only harangue us—that’s a mistake.

Four bad country examples

She seems to view the problem like so many zealots, as one of social psychology rather than examining the science. She takes a totalitarian approach, saying “when the government wants to it can make great change and quickly.” I thought you knew us, Anna, but you don’t. We call ourselves free. You really do have to persuade us. Recruiting the government to compel us turns us off in droves.

Berka has been comparing New Zealand’s record with four European countries — Spain, Germany, Denmark and the United Kingdom — which she claims have had some success in orchestrating a state-led transition to renewable energy in the last 40 years.

Oh, have they now? Hmm…

Spain: renewables sector in meltdown over soaring cost of subsidies; the government pulls the plug on them; sales plummet; numerous turbine manufacturers close their doors.
Germany: after spending €150 billion and years of effort to scrap nuclear and fossil fuels and switch to wind and solar, Germany will not meet its national and EU emission reductions and clean energy targets for 2020. Planning more coal-powered plants to keep lights on and factories humming.
Denmark: poster-child for the green energy revolution, closed down its three nuclear plants to appear green but regularly imports nuclear power from neighbours to make up shortfalls.
United Kingdom:
closed down its aluminium smelters, which went to China, where production creates higher emissions. Wind turbines are increasingly hated and opposed. Fortunately, they’ve just approved the first natural gas fracking well.

She says Germany and Denmark in particular have been consistently framing climate change as a civic opportunity and believes their example holds important lessons for New Zealand.

Important lessons indeed—let us not repeat their mistakes!

She says the government must serve as a knowledge broker and matchmaker, using grants and public loans to bring existing expertise out of the woodwork, put in place incentives to invest and regulations and public procurement programmes to guarantee demand.

This is wrong. Wrong and stupid and probably fascist.

Associative democracy

If new energy technology works and it serves a need, people will want to buy it, so don’t squander our taxes supporting private industry. If the public doesn’t want to buy the technology, no amount of wasted expenditure will guarantee demand. A public procurement programme is an efficient mechanism for government departments and public bodies to obtain what they require for the least outlay from the public purse. You absolutely must not use it to indulge starry-eyed social engineering conceits.

We have expertise in New Zealand for any engineering project you can imagine. If we don’t, we can find it overseas, just as somebody found Dr Anna Berka. Apparently we lack experts in associative democracy.

However, we don’t need expertise in battling global warming; we need evidence of a serious problem that makes us do something about it. Once upon a time that went without saying. Do-gooders like Dr Berka must realise that we’re not being complacent despite the facts; it’s just that the facts don’t exist that might support what she’s telling us to do.

Just as the Royal Society of New Zealand told us, there’s no evidence for dangerous man-made global warming.

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26 Thoughts on “Kiwis complacent on global warming

  1. Simon on 29/07/2018 at 8:58 am said:

    One of the problems is that older people don’t weight the future every highly, they won’t be around when the going gets tough. They also tend to have their opinions locked in, even in the face of over-whelming evidence.
    One example, the average age of the Climate Non-Science Coalition is probably around 70 years old.

  2. Richard Treadgold on 29/07/2018 at 11:26 am said:

    What evidence? You don’t know how anyone values the future, you’re missing out on the sweetness of each new day, you’re obviously out of touch with anyone’s opinions and if you truly believe people dismiss real evidence then you don’t know the value of evidence or of people. Speaking of evidence, you don’t have any concerning our membership, our ages or dangerous man-made global warming.

  3. Andy on 30/07/2018 at 9:39 am said:

    The four countries that she cites as “successes” are carpeted in wind turbines

    If NZ wants to go down that track, good luck. It will destroy our tourism and provide zero economic or energy benefit.

    If anyone wants a taster, I suggest driving from Carlisle to Glasgow. “Turbine Alley” I believe it is called. There isn’t a hill that doesn’t have turbines on it

  4. Richard Treadgold on 30/07/2018 at 9:44 am said:


    There isn’t a hill that doesn’t have turbines on it

    So you’re nit-picking again.

  5. Andy on 30/07/2018 at 11:19 am said:

    This is an example of the view on the M74 in Scotland

    It is like this for miles and miles

  6. Richard Treadgold on 30/07/2018 at 12:22 pm said:

    That’s a revelation, Andy. Incredible.

  7. BobD on 30/07/2018 at 2:27 pm said:

    The question that’s often not asked is: who has to take them down again?
    “There’s always been a myth that the wind blows all the time in the Chathams but it doesn’t.”

    In this case the turbines lasted only a few years before they proved to be financially unsound and had to be removed.

  8. Alexander on 30/07/2018 at 4:23 pm said:

    I will be honest and up-front with you.
    I am a retired secondary teacher with tertiary qualifications in my 79th year. I am still working but on a very part-time basis. Being retired means I have time to read which I do, voraciously, mostly on science, engineering, and climate -related topics and your letters on this thread are mostly evidence-free rants with little science or knowledge behind them. I am surprised that you are tolerated by our host as you are rude, ignorant and intolerant of any concepts which do not fit with your warped and very sketchy idea of what science actually is.
    I no longer bother to read your stuff – life’s too short to bother with you.
    In your shoes, I would at least employ some manners and civility toward those you now hector.

  9. KillerBean on 30/07/2018 at 8:30 pm said:

    I hate wind turbines with a vengeance. They are everywhere in the UK. I used to look out at the ships coming and going in the Mersey estuary, all you can see now is miles and miles of turbines, no horizon anymore.

    They are destroying our countryside, many tonnes of concrete go into making the bases for them, the bases will be there long after the turbines are gone.

    Environmentalists are unwittingly destroying our planet, bloody fools the lot of them.

  10. Mack on 31/07/2018 at 5:24 pm said:

    I was just looking at Alexander’s comment and have realised that he’s fairly upset about Simon imposing upon his age…..saying older people don’t care about the future.
    I wouldn’t worry too much about being old, Alex, there’s a lot of us who don’t make it to old age….and one of the nice things about it…as Clint Eastwood says…you really don’t give a stuff anymore.
    Simon’s turn will come.
    Meanwhile, let him have as much lack of manners and civility as he likes, Alex,….as he says we’ve already got our “opinions locked in, even in the face of overwhelming evidence.”

    There it is….”overwhelming evidence.”
    It’s on the list…

  11. Simon on 02/08/2018 at 3:25 pm said:

    Apologies for being oldist; I was quite harsh in such a generalisation. Many older people are very open-minded and responsive to new ideas and paridigms.
    It was Max Planck who said: “A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.”
    I’m not sure I completely agree with that statement though. I recommend reading Thomas Kuhn’s ‘The Structure of Scientific Revolutions’ for the bigger picture.

    It would be interesting to know what Mack’s criteria for ‘overwhelming evidence’ of AGW is. If you can tell us that, I might be able to give you an estimate of when you will be convinced.
    There is a lot of ‘almost certainly’ in the IPCC documentation.

  12. Mack on 02/08/2018 at 9:18 pm said:

    “It would be interesting to know what Mack’s criteria for ‘overwhelming evidence’ of AGW is,….”
    The adjective you’re looking for, Simon, is ‘underwhelming’ … underwhelming to the extent, that for your mathematical probability fixated mind, and the vacuous political mindset of the IPCC, finally comes down to a big fat zero. No evidence…nada…zip…as I’ve already pointed out to Confused Jane…and it seems to have roused her up considerably, as she responds to that with a sort of blunderbuss rant loaded with 7 links..

  13. Mack on 02/08/2018 at 9:18 pm said:

    “It would be interesting to know what Mack’s criteria for ‘overwhelming evidence’ of AGW is,….”
    The adjective you’re looking for, Simon, is ‘underwhelming’ … underwhelming to the extent, that for your mathematical probability fixated mind, and the vacuous political mindset of the IPCC, finally comes down to a big fat zero. No evidence…nada…zip…as I’ve already pointed out to Confused Jane…and it seems to have roused her up considerably, as she responds to that with a sort of blunderbuss rant loaded with 7 links..

  14. Andy on 02/08/2018 at 9:52 pm said:

    Speaking of scientific revolutions and “old people”, I am old enough (60 next birthday) to remember both moon landings and the revolutions of quantum and particle physics

    I remember being entranced by articles in Scientific American and New Scientist, in my late teens/early twenties, about the discovery of the j/Psi particle, for example, the so-called “November Revolution”

    and of course I still try to struggle with the maths behind it.

    My parents woke me up to watch Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walk on the moon. Several years of moon landing footage when everyone else had given up convinced me that it was real and amazing, and I still think so

    AGW so-called science seems so disappointing in the light of the above. There are no great discoveries. No amazing mathematical or engineering giants. The basics of climate sensitivity remain unchanged since it was decided by a committee some time last century

    This, to me, is the the disappointment. Not that I “deny” that humans are capable of damaging the environment. It is the snuffing out of the spirit of scientific discovery, the dulling of the human endeavour to find truth.

  15. Alexander K on 03/08/2018 at 5:03 pm said:

    I wasn’t upset by Simon’s remarks about older people. just annoyed by his general derision of any person who does not agree with his nonsense. Age has nothing to do with one’s appreciation and understanding of technical subjects, and over the years I have been astounded by the ignorance of so-called well educated individuals who demonstrate that they have no clues about the first principles of how anything functions.
    And it’s very common for each generation in it’s turn to claim knowledge it does not possess. I am a couple of decades older than you, Andy, but I can also recall the excitement of the Moon landing. A mate and I took time off work to set up a 35mm camera on a tripod in front of his excellent monochrome TV set ( no colour sets then! ) and photographed the entire sequence of events, frame by frame. God knows where those frames are now, but I mention it as an example of my generation’s appreciation of what was happening during that time.

  16. Stephanie Hawking on 04/08/2018 at 7:01 am said:

    I won’t go on the BBC if it supplies climate change deniers as ‘balance’But this Wednesday, when I was rung up by BBC Radio Cambridgeshire and asked to come on air to debate with a climate change denier, something in me broke, and rebelled. Really? I thought. This summer, of all times?

    So, for almost the first time in my life, I turned it down. I told it that I will no longer be part of such charades. I said that the BBC should be ashamed of its nonsensical idea of “balance”, when the scientific debate is as settled as the “debate” about whether smoking causes cancer. By giving climate change deniers a full platform, producers make their position seem infinitely more reasonable than it is. (This contributes to the spread of misinformation and miseducation around climate change that fuels the inaction producing the long emergency we are facing.)

  17. Maggy Wassilieff on 04/08/2018 at 10:11 am said:

    Oh dear, A Philosopher lecturing/haranguing the BBC about balance.

    Can’t wait for “Stephanie” to post the next offering from the Guardian equating ‘Climate deniers’ to Holocaust cheer-leaders.

    I wonder how long it will be before AGW sceptics are paraded in front of a Climate Inquisition

  18. Brett Keane on 04/08/2018 at 12:06 pm said:

    Misuse of the “science advances one funeral at a time” aphorism is going to bite the physics-denying warmistas on their basement-dwelling derrieres. Because, having stolen the mainstream position without refuting the null hypothesis even, their leaders are reaching the position that puts a gleam into the eyes of funeral directors.
    Whereas we who hold to the Scientific Method, and actually can recognise a Significant Difference when we see it, are collecting more and more Papers and other evidence in favour of the Null Hypothesis. The new generation is getting embarrassed by their elders’ antics, and is publishing data on the oncoming cooling while quietly ignoring the ranters of greendom. Hasta la vista, and Sayonara, suckers! Time heals all wounds, so don’t feel too bad.

  19. Richard Treadgold on 04/08/2018 at 12:19 pm said:


    I wonder how long it will be before AGW sceptics are paraded in front of a Climate Inquisition

    Yes, we’re living in a ghastly time when the prospect of having to rehabilitate ourselves after a reprimand from some Climate Inquisition seems preferable to all the death threats. In my youth I read stories of the hellish activities of Nazi occupiers throughout Europe, the endless Japanese appetite for cruelty, the Mau-Mau rebellion in Africa and even older stories about the Reign of Terror and Madame La Guillotine after the French Revolution. Then there were Lenin, Stalin, Chairman Mao, Pol Pot, the Argentinian generals, Saddam Hussein, Idi Amin and Gaddafi. Now it’s building up again — to save the earth. Incredible.

  20. Richard Treadgold on 04/08/2018 at 12:20 pm said:


    Nicely observed, well written.

  21. Simon on 04/08/2018 at 12:25 pm said:

    Bollocks. The ‘new generation’ refuting anthropogenic climate change simply does not exist.
    The null hypothesis of no observable warming was rejected in the late 1990’s exactly as Revelle, Charney, and Hansen predicted it would be.

  22. Richard Treadgold on 04/08/2018 at 12:39 pm said:


    Your comment follows two of mine but clearly does not address them. Would it be too much to damn well cite the passage you’re responding to? We do. I won’t mention the use of the technical term of refutation ‘bollocks’.

  23. Maggy Wassilieff on 04/08/2018 at 1:44 pm said:

    The null hypothesis of no observable warming

    That is not the null hypothesis.
    That is a silly strawman hypothesis erected by folks who aren’t following the scientific method.

    The null hypothesis is that the observed level of warming is well within the bounds of natural climate variability.
    Most Climate- change sceptics accept some contribution from human activities….i.e. from forest clearance, Urban Heat influence, etc…. but the evidence to date suggests this is localised.

  24. Stephanie Hawking on 04/08/2018 at 5:55 pm said:

    The article shows how well the various datasets agree. The temperature increases are not internal variability. The American Statistical Association endorses the science.

    Note that without human activity Earth would have been cooling.

    The likelihood the global community of scientists is wrong is beyond infinitesimal. Eight million research scientists and not one can publish (in Nature or Science) a rebuttal of climate science from 60,000 climate scientists.

    Anthropogenic Global Warming is a real and growing threat to our farms and coastal cities.

  25. Simon on 04/08/2018 at 6:11 pm said:

    The 2013 IPCC report concluded it was “extremely likely” (a probability of at least 95%) that humans are responsible for more than half of the warming since 1950, and likely 100% of it.
    Internal variability can only account for ~0.3°C change in average global surface air temperature at most over periods of several decades. Observed warming is around 1°C change over the past century. This rate of change is almost unprecedented in the paleoclimatic record.
    To put things in perspective:

  26. Ian Cooper on 09/08/2018 at 11:44 am said:

    Slightly off topic, but I will get back to that later, I had to laugh yet again at the sensationalism of TV 1 News this morning. TV 1 trumpeted as a headline banner that the fires in California “were the worst in that state’s history!” A while later they interviewed live, one of the many fine New Zealand fire fighters who is over in California helping out. That fireman described these fires as the “14th worst in Californian history!” I think I will take the word of someone who is putting their life on the line and obviously knows a thing or two about forest fires, ahead of someone at TVNZ News looking to promote a sensational headline to keep the meme going. And they (TVNZ) keep pumping this stuff out as if we wouldn’t notice. Yeah right!

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