Tiresome climate propaganda

Here’s a (lightly improved) op-ed I submitted to the Herald a month ago with no acknowledgement. Prof Geoff Duffy describes scientific properties of greenhouse gases that raise significant doubt about the wisdom of mitigating our emissions of any gas. How odd that these fully informed colleagues make no argument against his criticisms, preferring an ineffectual allegation of being “wrong about many [unspecified] aspects of science.” So I ask you, lady and gentlemen: what aspects and how is he wrong? — RT

The letter Our impact on climate very clear, of 8 Oct 2018 (right), by Prof Dave Frame and seven other local climate scientists, gives misleading information about greenhouse gases.

Seeing a letter over those scholarly signatures sparks interest in the pending illumination. But, sadly, Frame et al. (or Frame ‘n Pals) recite the tiresome propaganda of the IPCC without demur and tip-toe around the scientific points made so well by our friend Dr Geoff Duffy.

They present sentences arranged to resemble a logical argument that are in fact unconnected. Each one tells part of the truth, so it’s not wrong, but it neither contributes to an argument nor supports the next sentence.

Any connection between them rests only on our gullibility.

Rises like hot air at 300°C

Frame ‘n Pals would distract the unwary by claiming water vapour “acts as an amplifying feedback on changes in greenhouse gases”. They say it’s created by warming and amplifies that warming. But they mislead us, since water vapour enters the atmosphere in countless ways. It doesn’t need warming. Water vapour is one of the lightest of gases. It is more buoyant than hot air at a temperature of over 300°C, so it rockets into the heavens.

Water vapour is evaporated constantly by natural forces. Direct sunlight evaporates surface water and so does the wind, as farmers and clothesline makers know. Wave action and turbulence increases surface area, thus increasing evaporation, geothermal heat helps and the constant breathing of quadrillions of plants and animals provides a continual torrent of water vapour. None of this depends on the temperature.

As a greenhouse gas, water vapour outweighs, outfights and out-competes all the others in 1) abundance, 2) the number of infrared bands at which it absorbs energy and 3) the proportion of available energy it absorbs at those frequencies.

Most of the signatories to Frame’s letter are fellows and members of the Royal Society. They cite “the most significant sentence” in the AR5: “human influence on the climate is clear.”

No evidence for us then—what are these scientists doing?

But the NZ Climate Science Coalition, of which Geoff and I are members, last year asked the Royal Society of NZ directly for evidence that human activity causes dangerous global warming and they had none to give us.

This letter from members of the Royal Society now says a human influence is clear. It’s troubling that they boldly assert what a few months ago they had no evidence for. What on earth are these scientists doing?

Dr Jim Salinger is quoted in the Herald yesterday (Jim Salinger: The real facts on methane) saying: “The amount of water vapour in the atmosphere exists in direct relation to the temperature.” But he fails to say it’s a loose relationship with temperature.

Ice sublimes without melting and wind evaporates it however cold it is. Winds lift billions of tonnes of water vapour into the air every day and, in evaporating, each molecule cools the ice, snow or water it came from. Because the atmosphere is seldom saturated it can always take up more water vapour, except sometimes in the tropics. The point is, it doesn’t need warming.

Salinger dead wrong

It’s disturbing that Salinger says: “Duffy claims that water vapour is the most important greenhouse gas. This is incorrect.” Salinger is simply dead wrong. IPCC says “water vapour has the largest greenhouse effect in the Earth’s atmosphere.” So also says NOAA and innumerable other sources. Aiguo Dai (2006) in a study of global surface humidity, opens with: “Atmospheric water vapour provides the single largest greenhouse effect on the earth’s climate.”

Salinger and his Frame ‘n Pals, government-employed climate scientists, still cannot prove that human emissions cause dangerous global warming, which is what this dispute is about. That’s why they produce no evidence against Prof Duffy.

They also display a disregard for accuracy in their explanations of the climate change hypothesis. What are they hiding?

Salinger contradicts the IPCC about the supremacy of water vapour and defies widely known scientific characteristics of greenhouse gases.

No evidence of a positive net feedback

Few care about the arcane details of infrared frequencies, or differences between carbon dioxide and methane, or nit-picking disputes over global warming potentials on the 50-year or 500-year horizon. All that is as meaningless to most voters as disputes over pinheads and dancing angels.

But Frame and Salinger both preach that water vapour responds with positive feedback to warming, when there’s no evidence of this. Were it true, the world’s climate would have tipped into catastrophic warming millions of years ago. Scientists and engineers know that strong positive feedback creates instability which destroys a system. But the atmosphere is warming and cooling all the time with no instability whatsoever.

Geoff Duffy says “measure everything accurately” and that’s hard to argue with.

Richard Treadgold
Climate Conversation Group
Member of NZ Climate Science Coalition


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The amount of water vapor in the atmosphere is directly proportional to the air temperature. The water vapor feedback loop makes temperature changes caused by anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions even larger.

Brett Keane

I say prove it, too, Simon. Not holding my breath though, based on past performance. Troll.


Geoff needs to uncover a mechanism as to why humidity will decrease in a warming world. There is no indication of this happening in current Global Climate Models. If one exists, then it will mean a drier climate, which will likely be disadvantageous to crop growing.
In the absence of such a mechanism, the status quo should be assumed. Paleo-climatic history clearly shows the correlation between CO2 and surface temperatures.

Barry Brill

Simon, I was intrigued to read your assertion: “The amount of water vapor in the atmosphere is directly proportional to the air temperature”.

Could you please offer a link to the actual research you are relying upon? The 2008 news release you reference has no link to Dessler’s “experiment” and it doesn’t seem to be mentioned in AR5 or anywhere else. The article’s throwaway comment that warming is (always?) correlated with humidity does not seem to originate from any peer-reviewed research.

In my part of the world you can get dripping wet fog at the coldest part of the day (6am) while the air becomes dryza bone once the temperature rises about 5°C (2pm).

An obvious problem is that increased humidity means increased cloud, which usually means decreased temperature. Then there are all the complexities of the humidity being caused by evaporation which is accompanied by cooling. All this has been happening for millions of years so we know it must be self-correcting.

Brett Keane

The CO2 relation to Temperature has been shown to be as a follower eg c.800yrs with Ice Cores. Thanks to Oceanic and Seabed Crustal processes including Cold Bottom Water Formation. Self-styled climate scientists have no idea of how much CO2 is outgassed Tectonically on the seabed. But such processes, including Subglacial activity, are now being measured. The detective deductions of Prof Murry Salby showed this was likely and now we start to see how and why….. Similarly, certain claims on the RH, SH, Temperature relationships were used to justify the CAGW scam. Measurements show they are false. Like the Hotspot. When it became obvious that CO2 lacks the radiative power to do the job they gave it, they shuffled sideways again by claiming that, no, CO2 caused more Water Vapour to form. But we know it has not but Simon has not caught up with this, how embarassing. Simon’s claimed Hypothesis falls down and the Null Hypothesis stands yet. End of story, bar the squawking from non-scientist apparatniks. Brett PS, we expect the Quiet Sun to lead to more gassing because Muon impacts on the Mantle increase when the Magnetic Fields weaken. Stirring… Read more »

Andy is running climate doomsday stories everyday this week


Stuff have this on the bottom of all their articles on climate change

Stuff accepts the overwhelming scientific consensus that climate change is real and caused by human activity. We welcome robust debate about the appropriate response to climate change, but do not intend to provide a venue for denialism or hoax advocacy. That applies equally to the stories we will publish in Quick! Save the Planet and to our moderation standards for reader comments.

So presumably Stuff asserts that natural climate change does not exist. Unfortunately we can’t ask because it is “denialism”


“Natural” climate change occurs over millennia. What we are currently experiencing is large change over a matter of decades.
You could always get your climate briefings from Fox News, apparently people with very high levels of intelligence watch it.

Ian Cooper

So I take it Fox isn’t on your play list Simon?


Stuff say “climate change is real”

Yes I accept that

Weather is real
Climate is real
Climate change is real

Then they say “climate change is caused by us”

Ok that’s all climate change, or just the anthropogenic component?

I accept ghe trivially true assertion that humans affect the climate to some degree (planting a single tree affects the climate)

So what I presume that they mean is that human caused climate change is caused by humans

Yes I accept that. The sentence is self evident


All of your water vapour questions were answered in the NASA link, if you had bothered to read it.
Temperature change during the Little Ice Age were much smaller than those experienced in our generation. Volcanic eruptions can produce sudden drops in temperature, but they are short-term. Humans have been altering the climate for thousands of years, but not at the magnitude we see today.

Brett Keane

If we feed the trolls, we fall into their trap. Which is to waste our time because they have no constructive intent. “The truth is not in them” Brett


Sir David Attenborough: Climate change ‘our greatest threat’

The broadcaster said it could lead to the collapse of civilisations and the extinction of “much of the natural world”.
Sir David said: “Right now, we are facing a man-made disaster of global scale. Our greatest threat in thousands of years. Climate Change.

“If we don’t take action, the collapse of our civilisations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon.”

“Oh, I read it all before (I really am looking for evidence).”

NASA deals in evidence. So does every single scientific community on the planet.

Brett Keane

So Cedric, show us your evidence and that of nasa giss. The nasa section that helps aviators and flies rockets has none in its Standard Atmosphere……Brett


Cedric lives!

We missed you buddy


NASA Study: Mass Gains of Antarctic Ice Sheet Greater than Losses

NASA are the experts. They are a “primary source of information”.

We don’t go to some no name blog. We use experts and Primary Sources.



In case no one understands my previous comment, Cedric spent many a comment lecturing us about “primary sources” and the all seeing all knowing greatness of NASA when he held court at Ken Perrot’s blog.

I’m glad to say both of us have found better ways to spend our time these days


The media council see no grounds for Stuff’s one siddd bias in pushing their climate change propaganda


What lie is that Richard?
The Media Council ruling is clear:
Unless the scientific consensus on climate change shifts markedly, or important new information comes to light, it is unlikely climate change sceptic complaints alleging lack of balance will be successful.


“Climate change is real and caused by humans” says Stuff

Which part of climate change? The human caused bit or all of it?

We can always ask Stuff. Oh sorry we can’t


I believe that Tracy Watkins from Stuff is on the media council

Not that bothered anyway. Their climate change propaganda is just tedious

Ian Cooper

There you go again Simon! Another ‘logical fallacy,’ an argument to authority. The Media Council stuffed with someone from Stuff. Totally unbiased! Yeah right.

They aren’t journalists. They are just advocates. Are there any investigative journalists worth their salt left in this country I wonder? None working for the MSM that is for sure!

After this last round of advocacy being promulgated by Stuff into my local rag, I no longer put any money their way. I will leave them to shout inside their ever diminishing echo chamber. There are plenty of unbiased avenues to find out what is really going on. Get stuffed Stuff!

Ian Cooper

Too true Richard. As long as there is balance no one can really complain, but your last point highlights a possible imbalance, so therein lies a problem.

Ian Cooper

Richard your reply to Andy where you say, “The errors are still there, they still need airing and there will be ingenious plays to expose them.” is so true. The problem with confronting the media about their bias in their own arena is that unless you do it well, as far as the public don’t trust authority and are often sceptical themselves, you risk coming across as a crank. The CAGW people know that it is easier to throw out a ‘chicken little’ scare than it is to refute it. Those people have been doing just that for the past three decades. Their game plan is simple, but in the long run inevitably flawed. What we need is a short term assault that will break their flow. Put them on the backfoot. Perhaps the rise of Trump, Brexit, and the Jillet Jaunes is an actual sign that the middle class in particular have had enough of being preached to, and blamed for ills that aren’t happening. If it leads to a reality check starting with energy, then perhaps it will shake peoples attachment to the Green Blob? Then the world can continue along… Read more »


When Stuff claim that science is settled, you can throw their bizarre world view back at them with this kind of garbage

Dad gives birth to daughter?

How does “they” know it’s a girl? Becuase gender is a social construct OK?

Off topic sorry, but too crazy not to share

Ian Cooper

Something aligned to the start of the second paragraph in my last comment above, is this revelation from Andy May’s summary of the report by the Heartland Institute on Greenpeace on the tactics employed by the latter. Posted in an article in WUWT just over a week ago I highlight this passage about a Dr Chris Rose. “Dr. Chris Rose was a strategic advisor to Greenpeace International and is an expert on environmental campaigning. He wrote a book on environmental campaigning called How to Win Campaigns. Dr. Rose’s recommendations can be summarized as follows (after a list from page 7 of the report): 1. Choose a campaigning issue that you label as catastrophic and urgent. 2. Choose a villain (enemy agent) who can’t put up much of a defense and a sympathetic victim. 3. You (the good guy) propose a plausible solution to the campaign issue and accuse the villain (for selfish reasons) of preventing the solution from being implemented. 4. Issue a call to action and provide a way for people to become engaged (protest marches, face painting, financial contributions, etc.), so that they can become committed to the campaign. 5. Choose… Read more »


Let’s say for argument’s sake that we know the water vapour concentration at sea level at 15 Celsius and (say) 75% RH (8.03 g/kg as above = 9.82 g/m^3 ). It then CO2 warms it at sea-level by 1 degree to 16 Celsius and (again say) 75% RH. We know the water vapour concentration for that too (8.54 g/kg = 10.45 g/m^3).

We also know that the CO2 concentration at sea-level is 400 ppm.

Now, if the air at sea-level warms by 1 degree due to CO2, does air at 30,000 feet also warm by 1 degree? And what happens to the water vapour concentration IF air at 30,000 feet altitude is warmed by 1 degree? (e.g from -50 Celsius to -49 Celsius?)

As far as I can work out, it goes from negligible to negligible. (Note that the CO2 concentration at 30,000 feet is still 400ppm.)

So, it seems to me, water-vapour feedback (if any!) can only be at all significant at the lowest altitudes. And most of the atmosphere is unaffected.

Brett Keane

Richard, in long study and discussion on blogs like Tallbloke and wuwt we look at many of these things, with enough Senior Scientists and Engineers in many disciplines to keep us from straying too far. I hope. There is some correlation but causation is not yet proven. So we watch…. In times of weaker solar field strength such as now, with its concommitant weaker Terran magnetic belts, and a splitting shifting North magnetic Pole, heavy plasma nuclei up to Fe+ve are more likely to get in. Being very full of kinetic energy, they are thought to maybe excite magma that is on the point of boiling. Just like putting sugar or coffee in water at 100C. All over the place it goes! Noting that most Cosmic Ray particles are Solar in fact. There are signs of stirring volcanism eg Indian Ocean as well as the usual suspects on our Ring of Fire. It bears repeating that many assumptions by the Establishment regarding undersea volcanics and CO2 release have no real observational backing and some do not want any. This is changing and results of the first submarine video and sensor bots are coming… Read more »

Barry Brill

JCalvertN(UK) What an interesting question! Important too, as weather is influenced by temperature/pressure at the top of the troposphere – not at sea level. As a well-mixed gas, I assume CO2 re-radiation increases temps evenly (eg by 1°C as you posit) throughout the whole atmosphere. If RH remains unchanged, more WV will be taken up. But why should RH remain unchanged? If sea level RH remains 75%, the extra 1°C will allow SST evaporation to increase by about 6%, as you have shown. The additional WV might move up the air column (if all RH remains static) but only until it reaches its dewpoint and ceases to have any greenhouse effect. As that phase change will obviously occur way below 30,000 feet, there will be no temp increase at that altitude. IF the tropospheric temp DID somehow increase from -50° to -49°C, AND the RH remained static, then the WV could rise by < 2% – which is negligible, as you say. Simon assumes that 560ppm will warm the atmosphere by 1°C on average, and this will cause (not just allow) a huge increase in WV – which results in a "hot spot" in… Read more »

Barry Brill

Simon and JCalvert You will be interested in this paragraph from the Charney Report (1979) – the original source of the positive feedback assertion: “A plausible assumption, borne out qualitatively by model studies, is that the relative humidity remains unchanged. The associated increase of absolute humidity increases the infrared absorptivity of the atmosphere over that of CO2 alone and provides a positive feedback. There is also increased absorption of solar radiation by the increased water vapor, which further increases the infrared feedback by about 10 percent.” Note that this was (and is) an ASSUMPTION! There was no evidence then, and 40 years and billions of dollars have since failed to discover any evidence. The absence of the fingerprint “tropical troposphere hotspot” disproves the assumption, and invalidates the models which operate on the basis that it must exist. The hotspot is supposed to be created by the latent heat in the WV from the RH that remains unchanged in the atmospheric column until it “freezes out” at this altitude. As there is no hotspot, the assumed high WV content must not exist. It is not there because the sea-level RH does NOT remain unchanged… Read more »


There is no evidence that Charney’s assumption is false. His hypothesis is consistent with paleoclimatic data such as ice core samples.
A tropical troposphere hot-spot is the predicted response to any form of increasing radiative forcing. Detection is problematic given current radiosonde and satellite technology. Satellite drift and sparse radiosonde coverage are the main issues. If you are genuinely interested in finding a fingerprint for anthropogenic causes of warming, look at stratospheric cooling.

Barry Brill

We can agree on several points:

1. The fundamental requirement of the feedback hypothesis that RH remains constant when temperature increases, is itself a mere hypothesis and has never been proven;

2. ‘A tropical troposphere hot-spot is the predicted response to any form of increasing radiative forcing’. (Provided altitude-induced condensing water vapour is
the medium);

3. Detection of any such hot-spot has proven difficult, despite the billions of dollars spent on the warming hypothesis.

Satellite drift is yesterday’s problem, long since resolved. If the radiosonde coverage is too sparse why not increase it ten-fold? We both know the answer.

Please do elaborate the evidence thought to be offered by ice cores.

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