OPEN LETTER to West Coast Regional Council

Let us understand!

WITH COPIES TO

    • Minister for the Environment, Hon James Shaw, Whaleoil, Newstalk ZB, ODT, NZ Herald, Stuff

LETTER

Mr Andrew Robb
Chairman
West Coast Regional Council

30 January 2019

Dear Andrew,

The Climate Conversation Group admires your council’s decision—which has gained widespread attention—not to support the Zero Carbon Bill until the science of the underlying theory of man-made global warming has been clearly explained and properly proven.

To support this decision and to strengthen your resolve, we write to let you know:

  1. The CCG has been asking for evidence of dangerous man-made warming (DAGW) for many years without success.
  2. Two weeks ago we asked the IPCC Secretariat itself for this evidence; they have none.
  3. We wrote last year to the Royal Society in London for this evidence; they had none.
  4. We asked the Royal Society of New Zealand a few months ago for this evidence; they had none.
  5. In December 2017 I asked the Minister for Climate Change, the Hon James Shaw, for this evidence; he had none (which means the Ministry for the Environment has none).
  6. We have asked numerous scientists in New Zealand and around the world and the publicly-employed ones universally tell us to see the IPCC Assessment Reports. Many of the independent scientists tell us there is no evidence.

I note that NIWA scientists have already started to bully you and your council, but please withstand the temptation to give in. No matter how much it may seem that the weight of public and official opinion is against you (and it’s a terrible weight) know beyond a shadow of doubt that truth is with you and truth is very weighty indeed.

The evidence for that is easy to find (unlike the evidence for DAGW) — it is simply that so far nobody has clearly explained the evidence.

Keep asking for the evidence and be assured that we will, too. If we can be of any assistance to you, you need only ask.

With my very best wishes,

Richard Treadgold
Convener
Climate Conversation Group

32 Thoughts on “OPEN LETTER to West Coast Regional Council

  1. Most people who want to understand something start by doing a course:
    https://online-learning.harvard.edu/subject/climate-change

  2. Ian Cooper on January 31, 2019 at 10:26 am said:

    Once again Simon you deliberately miss the point. It isn’t the people that hold opposing views to you that need educating, it is obviously the authority figures & institutions that can’t answer the question, or wont because to do so would be embarrassing for them, that obviously need enlightenment! If the solution is to simply go to that Harvard web site to get the answer, why haven’t all of those listed above done so?

    Also once again you come across with your elitist attitude implying that we are all dummies because we haven’t been taken in by the lies foisted on us by the people on the above list, as you have. You very rarely answer a direct question, similar to those on the list, and you re-direct to some source that you tout as being an authority.

  3. What lies? How do you know they are lies? Who is doing the lying? How many people are in on the conspiracy? How do they stop someone in the know from spilling the beans?
    The alternative hypothesis, which you should seriously consider, is that the experts know more about climate science than you do. If you are not prepared to take a course, maybe try reading the IPCC assessment reports https://www.ipcc.ch/reports/ which is what everybody seems to have suggested that Richard should do.
    As a member of the Climate Conversation Group, do I get an opportunity to proof letters before they go out?

  4. The West Coast Regional Council were brave to stick their necks out but, in my view, are asking the wrong question.

    What they should really ask is whether there will be any measurable change to the world’s climate as a result of NZ’s Zero Carbon Bill, and whether the government can offer any assurances that the Bill won’t cripple an area that is already suffering from some fairly major economic hardship

    (For example, I hear that Eugenie Sage turned down an application for a mining project that would have created 50 jobs)

  5. Richard Treadgold on January 31, 2019 at 11:36 am said:

    Andy,

    The West Coast Regional Council were brave to stick their necks out but, in my view, are asking the wrong question.

    I can see where you’re coming from, but I’d say both questions are right and either could bring down the IPCC.

  6. Richard Treadgold on January 31, 2019 at 11:44 am said:

    Simon,

    What lies? How do you know they are lies? Who is doing the lying?

    To start with, consider the frequent statements from the UN, the IPCC, UNFCCC, scientists, politicians, academics of all stripes, physicians, lawyers, and so on that, specifically, “the evidence is overwhelming” of dangerous man-made global warming, and that, to view the evidence, “just” read the assessment reports.

    But we did and there’s no evidence there. Ergo, it’s a lie, that’s how we know and that’s who’s doing it. I cannot justify talk of a conspiracy, and we didn’t mention one.

    If you say (and I don’t recall your saying it) there is evidence in those reports, kindly state precisely what they say and on which page.

  7. I can’t see the West Coast District Council bringing down the IPCC. At best, they are seen as “rednecks” especially with one in the main Stuff article wearing a MAGA hat (obviously a deplorable then)

    But, as someone who identifies as a redneck, in spirit at least, more power to them ..

  8. Richard Treadgold on January 31, 2019 at 12:17 pm said:

    Andy,

    But, as someone who identifies as a redneck, in spirit at least, more power to them ..

    That’s right! But I meant the question itself is toxic for the IPCC. If it doesn’t exactly bring the IPCC down, even when others take up the argument, it can neutralise their credibility. A functional castration.

  9. Richard Treadgold on January 31, 2019 at 12:30 pm said:

    Simon,

    As a member of the Climate Conversation Group, do I get an opportunity to proof letters before they go out?

    Do you subscribe to the CCG motto shown above, ending with the word “lunatics”? If not, then no. If you do, the answer is still no.

  10. Hemi Mck on January 31, 2019 at 3:22 pm said:

    Andy,

    I think that West Coast Regional Council’s question is the right question. I just wish a few more RC’s would be brave enough to do the same.

    The issue you raise is actually not a concern to the CAGW movement or this Government. Their aim is to annihilate certain industries deemed as bad and replace Enterprise with welfare dependency. It is all part of the green /socialist (some would say marxist) agenda to control through redistribution of resources.

  11. Brett Keane on January 31, 2019 at 3:31 pm said:

    Strength to their arm!
    I put the same to Northland RC. Acknowedged by the CEO, but a waste of breath so far. However, now the ball is rolling thanks to these brave folk…… maybe time to hit them all with cc’d CCG emails?
    Brett

  12. Brett Keane on January 31, 2019 at 3:35 pm said:

    I tell them it is only models, and such can never provide data. No Engineer should touch such with a 40ft bargepole etc…. and so on. PS from Brett

  13. Barry Brill on January 31, 2019 at 3:43 pm said:

    Simon
    I’ve done that online Harvard course. It’s very good but doesn’t offer a jot or tittle of scientific evidence supporting the hypothesis that observed 20th century warming was predominantly caused by human activities.

    Surely, the easy route is to simply provide those Councillors, and the rest of the country, with a link to the relevant journal paper, with a page number. Why don’t you do that?

    And Neale, in emailing the other Regional Councils asking what evidence convinced them, mention that the request is made under the Official Information Act. They are obliged to answer.

  14. Barry Brill on January 31, 2019 at 3:53 pm said:

    The IPCC is the only possible source for the missing evidence, BUT :

    1. Their 1991 report (WG1) said they could find no such evidence

    2. Their 1995 report came to the same conclusion,(but Ben Santer said he had something (obscure) at a minute to midnight).

    3. The 2001 report bet the farm on Michael Mann’s ‘hockey stick’; (Santer paper ignored)

    4. The 2007 report relied upon “expert judgment” and mumbled about models (hockey stick ignored)

    5. The 2013 report relied upon “expert judgment” and an irrelevant graph from a Phil Jones model
    See earlier post: http://www.climateconversation.org.nz/2018/10/human-influence-is-unquantifiable/

  15. Hemi McK

    The government and fate have conspired to decimate the West Coast – esp Buller / Westport, with various coal mines and the Holcim concrete factory closing.

    The area is being run down with medical services being cut back and even policing scaled back, while crime increases.

    My wife comes from this area so it’s a bit personal

  16. Brett Keane on January 31, 2019 at 8:34 pm said:

    Barry, never tried an FOI. Any hints how to go about it? Brett

  17. I recommend that you reread the AR5 Summary for Policymakers:
    https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads/2018/02/AR5_SYR_FINAL_SPM.pdf
    “Warming of the climate system is unequivocal”
    “Anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions … are extremely likely to have been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.”
    “Continued emission of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and long-lasting changes in all components of the climate system, increasing the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems.”
    “Surface temperature is projected to rise over the 21st century under all assessed emission scenarios. It is very likely that heat waves will occur more often and last longer, and that extreme precipitation events will become more intense and frequent in many regions. The ocean will continue to warm and acidify, and global mean sea level to rise.”
    “Climate change will amplify existing risks and create new risks for natural and human systems. Risks are unevenly distributed and are generally greater for disadvantaged people and communities in countries at all levels of development.”
    “Without additional mitigation efforts beyond those in place today, and even with adaptation, warming by the end of the 21st century will lead to high to very high risk of severe, widespread and irreversible impacts globally (high confidence). “

  18. Richard Treadgold on February 1, 2019 at 2:55 pm said:

    Simon,

    The most charitable reason I could give for your suggestion that we reread the whole SPM is that it will keep us quiet for a day or two. It is impenetrable, wordy and dense, and it certainly won’t help our search for truth, as it contains precisely zero evidence. All the science is in the Working Group I report—as you should know.

    “Warming of the climate system is unequivocal”
    “Anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions … are extremely likely to have been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.”

    When this report was released in 2013, a lot of people were drawn to these compelling statements. Finally, there seemed to be a well-evidenced conclusion that warming was man-made. But look closely and you’ll discover two contraindications.

    1. The first statement doesn’t mention a human influence. Presumably the IPCC felt that everyone was waiting to know whether the world had warmed, oblivious to the fact that anyone can access thermometers and temperature records at any time, when what we really wanted to know was whether it was our doing.

    2. The reasons for the second statement are in Chapter 8 of the WGI report. Reading it, you find that what purports to be “evidence” is only opinion. Expert opinion, to be sure, but there’s no evidence at all. You can see that the statement is expressed as a probability, so on principle it’s unacceptable as proof.

    I’m surprised you don’t know this, but we cannot be surprised that the councillors don’t know this, so we should give them every assistance. I must say, Simon, that comments like yours are most useful in allowing answers like these to be made available for them.

    Oh, one more thing: the remainder of the statements you quote are scary predictions — definitely guesses, not evidence. Please try harder.

  19. David Barnes on February 1, 2019 at 4:20 pm said:

    I suggest all those criticising the WCRC submission to the Zero Carbon Bill actually READ it in detail rather than taking Media interpretation and distortion. The submission is very well put together, it is not ‘Red Neck’ and raises extremely valid points which pertain to “The Coast”.

    It is my experience that the vast majority of people who live ‘outside’ have little reality of the actual geography, distances and true facts of the area under the WCRC in particular those immediately North of the Bombay Hills including the extremists of the Green Party.

    A question I keep asking is when James Shaw quotes that the sea level will rise 1.5 and 3.5 metres over what time scale … he always makes it sound as though it will happen tomorrow. He never says how much the sea level has risen in the last 100 or whatever years……always the alarmist detail.

    I am a Master Mariner and have Hydrographic experience consequently tidal data and depth under the keel is of great importance …. cant say there has been any difference these lat 50 years.

    David Barnes
    Westport

  20. Richard Treadgold on February 1, 2019 at 5:49 pm said:

    Brett,

    Let me know if you have the info you need, but in case you haven’t, it basically means including somewhere in your letter asking for information the words: “This request is made under the Official Information Act.” Simple as that. It compels them to answer; not to supply the information, but at least to answer.

    The https://www.dia.govt.nz/Official-Information-Act-requests Department of Internal Affairs website on OIS requests suggests:

    See the Ombudsman’s Making official information requests – A guide for requesters (Ombudsman website), or the State Services Commission guide (SSC website) explaining how agencies will respond to requesters. This guidance explains the process in more detail.

    It would be tremendous if you asked the other councils what persuaded them, because the odds are against them providing any actual evidence. Be lovely to get stuck into that. Let us know how you get on.

  21. Wooden Goat on February 1, 2019 at 7:31 pm said:

    Two observations from the distant past –

    1 – CO2 levels in the atmosphere have been **far** higher than they are now (around 7,000 ppm versus around 460 ppm now). Life thrived then and there was no “runaway greenhouse effect”.

    2 – The average global temperature has been as high as 20 degrees Celsius (as against about 12.5 degrees now). Again, there was no “runaway effect”.

    Given these two facts, I won’t be losing any sleep over so-called “climate change”.

  22. Chapter 8 of AR5 states:
    “It is unequivocal that anthropogenic increases in the well-mixed greenhouse gases (WMGHGs) have substantially enhanced the greenhouse effect, and the resulting forcing continues to increase.”

    “Industrial-Era Anthropogenic Forcing
    The total anthropogenic ERF over the Industrial Era is 2.3 (1.1 to 3.3) W  m–2.3 It is certain that the total anthropogenic ERF is positive. Total anthropogenic ERF has increased more rapidly since 1970 than during prior decades. The total anthropogenic ERF estimate for 2011 is 43% higher compared to the AR4 RF estimate for the year 2005 owing to reductions in estimated forcing due to aerosols but also to continued growth in greenhouse gas RF. {8.5.1, Figures 8.15, 8.16}”

    Keep reading, the proof is there. The fact that every country bar one signed the Paris Agreement demonstrates that the report represents the best understanding of the science at the time.

  23. Richard Treadgold on February 1, 2019 at 10:25 pm said:

    Simon,

    “It is unequivocal that anthropogenic increases in the well-mixed greenhouse gases (WMGHGs) have substantially enhanced the greenhouse effect, and the resulting forcing continues to increase.”

    Perhaps, but we want to know (and don’t you?) what effect all that forcing has on the actual temperature.

    The total anthropogenic ERF estimate for 2011 is 43% higher compared to the AR4 RF estimate for the year 2005 owing to reductions in estimated forcing due to aerosols but also to continued growth in greenhouse gas RF.

    I tested the effect of this by comparing five global temperature datasets for 2005 and 2011. In 2005, all five sat about 0.2 °C above the running 37-month average. In 2011, with anthropogenic forcing apparently 43% higher, all five datasets cooled to about -0.1 °C of the 37-month average. The climate didn’t just fail to warm, it actually cooled by about 0.4 °C. To have even the sign wrong, the calculations had to have been poorly informed. It’s likely that more than a few trace gases determine the surface temperature of the planet.

    Then you start to sound stupid. You say: “Keep reading, the proof is there.” That shows you haven’t been listening. It’s what they all say: James Shaw, The Commissioner for the Environment, James Renwick, NIWA, the Royal Society, the Royal Society of New Zealand, Al Gore, the IPCC Secretariat. Nobody tells us what the evidence is, yet if it’s overwhelming somebody must have memorised it. What about you, Simon? Have you memorised the evidence?

  24. KillerBean on February 2, 2019 at 5:39 am said:

    Simon.

    “demonstrates that the report represents the best understanding of the science at the time”

    So the science is not settled then, its just the best we have at this time.

  25. Brett Keane on February 2, 2019 at 12:00 pm said:

    David Barnes: Thankyou. Someone who is there and knows the Engineerng and Science. Simon believes you are ignorant, we do not. Having clocked up years of seatime and work on coastal protection eg Mangawhai Spit, now at Ruawai on the Kaipara, below sealevel. Have not found worthwhile SLR n my 71yr of intense observation except where we used proven methods to strengthen dune systems, with sand ie soft protection by plant accumulation. The counters quickly aired after your announcements were for sedimentary erosion near homes too close to the shore. WC is tectonically very active too of course.
    You folk know far more than James Shaw, let alone Simon.

    We really need to better understand WCRC’s reasons for their stand and learn more, because it s not they who are ignorant, but the greenies. I say so as a trained Soil Scientist too, among other disciplines and it has been a wearisome road. New company makes a great difference.

    RC thanks, starting to get info needed for Select Committee submissions and RC requests. Might eat into my sailing on the Kaipara, for research of course, ahem….. Sailed to Poutu a few days ago. Brett

  26. Changes in radiative forcing do not instantaneously translate to changes in temperature. You really really do not understand climate science better than the IPCC. Have you heard of the Dunning Kruger Syndrome?

  27. Richard Treadgold on February 2, 2019 at 1:57 pm said:

    Simon,

    All right, so if it’s not instantaneous (though energy is radiated very quickly indeed) then how long does it take, sir? Why do you imagine the IPCC might mention an increase of 43% in 7 years? Do you think it might possibly be related to an increase at some time in actual temperature? They bang on about that all the damn time.

    Finally, can you consider the possibility that other factors are interacting with these trace gases and each other to arrive finally at a particular temperature, at a particular place, for a particular time? Of course, there’s no such thing as a global temperature, you do know that, right?

    Actually, though doctors and nurses use and rely on thermometers regularly for diagnostic purposes, there’s no such thing as a bodily temperature, either.


    And stop throwing the Dunning-Kruger insult around, mate, it’s offensive. Oh, that’s why you do it? Well, I could easily stop that. Please stop it yourself.

  28. Alexander K on February 2, 2019 at 4:45 pm said:

    Sinon reminds me of some of the boys and young men I once entertained in my classroom (I avoided the term ‘teach’ as that was a non-starter for those particular beings.
    It seems quite clear to me that as the evidence of CAGW we require cannot be produced, therefore a fraud is clearly being perpetraed which affects every citizen whose government is undertaking ‘mitigation’ which negatively effects us all.
    The submission quoted in the article is, hopefully, evidence that not all local bodies have accepted nonsense disguised as ‘settled science’.

  29. Brett Keane on February 2, 2019 at 7:31 pm said:

    RT, David, Barry et alia: so far, Northland RC website refers me to MfE whch goes straight to the IPCC models first and foremost. Models we know produce no data – should be end of story. But NRC’s deciding presentation was in 2011 by guess who? Salinger, Saunders and Rod Oram as the mouthpiece I guess. With slides. What d’ya reckon about all this?

  30. Brett Keane on February 2, 2019 at 7:40 pm said:

    By the way, went to Paparoa A+P Show today. Saw some great shearing and chopping etc.. Talked with NRC Field Staff, who don’t seem much more enamoured with DOC than I am. (Nor with the prostitution of research concerning sprays eg Roundup and false changing of test results which make anti-spray freaks give them a hard time. Which I saw today. I burnt their tender little ears, I fear)…… Brett

  31. Brett Keane on February 2, 2019 at 8:00 pm said:

    Okay then, that is what we have been saying, it is models all the way down until we reach Simon maybe. So next step, FOI’s to show that over many RC’s? Brett

  32. Richard Treadgold on February 3, 2019 at 11:34 am said:

    Brett,

    What d’ya reckon about all this?

    I don’t know what was in the presentation, but since they’re all warmsters I can guess the tone of it.

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