Shattering analysis of Shaw’s nil carbon dreams

Nobody really knows how much it would cost us to attempt to meet James Shaw’s Zero Carbon prescription, as it would take 30 years and there is much about it that is yet unknown.

But the Zero Carbon Bill’s own accompanying Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) admits that it’s impossible to identify any quantifiable benefits at all, and following Barry Brill’s outstanding examination of the Bill—what he describes as

“not only the most expensive (by orders of magnitude)” but what “might also be the most dangerous piece of government legislation ever placed before New Zealand’s House of Representatives”

—nobody can be uncertain that we would be extremely stupid to try.

Barry has graciously offered to post his essays here to see what people might ask or comment on (LINKS BELOW). Here are some extracts from them.

If the Paris Agreement targets a zero carbon period after 2050, why would New Zealand (a leading proponent of the Agreement) want to target an earlier period?

In a carefully considered paper “The price of feeling good”, Tailrisk Economics concludes that the Ministry’s consultation process was a sham, that the modelling was manipulated and deficient (hiding many negative economic impacts), and that the world is unlikely to follow us to a 2050 zero carbon target.

Climate policy is all dark clouds and there is no silver lining.

“I would be surprised if ever before in history a democratic government has consulted on proposals to reduce the material well-being of its own people by up to 25 per cent.” — former chief economist of the Reserve Bank

Let us know your thoughts.

The Brill essays

001 The Zero Carbon Bill (pdf, 185 KB)
002 2050 Costs vs Benefits (pdf, 267 KB)
003 We are the Climate Champions (pdf, 240 KB)
004 Climate Scare Could be Gone by 2030 (pdf, 302 KB)
005 1.5C Cuckoo in the Nest (pdf, 234 KB)
006 A Bang for Every Buck (pdf, 79 KB)
007 Two Stones for Every Bird (pdf, 171 KB)
008 What is C Commission (pdf, 442 KB)
009 The United Kingdom Precedent (pdf, 133 KB)
010 Targets or Virtue Signals (pdf, 251 KB)
011 The Short-lived Gas (pdf, 204 KB)


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6 Thoughts on “Shattering analysis of Shaw’s nil carbon dreams

  1. Simon on 26/07/2019 at 3:52 pm said:

    Simon Upton is a former National MP who does actually help frame climate change policy as the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment. His thinking is quite radical in treatment of the different greenhouse gases. He sees operational difficulties in achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, and suggests 2075 as still being consistent with the Paris Agreement objectives. He does concede though that climate sensitivity would have to be at the low end of current estimates to keep the temperature increase below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels.

  2. Gwan on 26/07/2019 at 9:24 pm said:

    Simon here again.
    What don’t you get ;
    The zero carbon bill is virtue signaling ,as Jacinda said “Its our nuclear moment ”
    Nothing that the developed nations do to reduce emissions will have any impact on rising emissions because China and India are accelerating their emissions as they build many new coal fired power plants to modernize their countries .
    I have said it before and I will say it again When the science of greenhouse gasses is examined scientifically the doubling of C02 can only increase the temperature by point six of a degree Celsius .6 C.
    Any increase above that depends on positive water vapour feedback and their is no proof that there are positive feedbacks.
    The theory that the temperature will increase more than that depends on the tropical hotspot which has not been located .
    We are being deluged on google and social media that the world is warming so fast and records are being broken for warmth every where .At the same time record cold temperatures have been recorded but they are not reported.
    The government can try to make New Zealand carbon neutral but at some stage the population will wake up when petrol costs $4 per litre and $200 per week for electricity for a week for the average home .
    Then the increased costs of fuel and electricity feeds through into every thing that you buy including food and basic needs .
    Then the government attempts to cripple our pastoral economy with a methane tax on livestock emissions
    and the economy will start a slide into recession.
    The basic facts are that livestock methane emissions are cyclic and they are the only emissions that are not extracted from below the earths surface where they have been buried for millions of years .
    If the fugitive emissions from coal mining and gas field extraction processes were captured methane emissions would stabilize and start to fall around the world and there would be no case for labeling livestock methane an emission .
    After 10 years the same molecules of carbon are counted again as the methane is broken down into CO2 and water vapour and the cycle continues .
    Climate change is all politics and the science and common sense has been left far behind .

  3. Simon on 27/07/2019 at 8:21 am said:

    The water vapour amplification effect has been empirically verified by multiple research organisations, e.g.
    Nobody debates this issue any more, you are on your own on this one.
    The only possible negative feedback would be if the climate was to become drier, a much more undesirable outcome, given our requirements for fresh water.

  4. Gwan on 28/07/2019 at 11:07 am said:

    Get real Simon .
    This paper was written in 2008 and was thoroughly debunked by Roy Spencer and Braswell .
    There is no proof that CO2 will enhance water vapour and cause a positive feedback .Water vapour could well be a negative feedback.
    The IPCC admit that they cannot model clouds and have not been able to estimate role that clouds have on the climate as clouds both warm and cool the earth .
    Of course water vapour is the main greenhouse gas and CO2 is a very small bit player in the climate dynamics .There is many times the the amount of water vapour in the atmosphere than CO2 .
    Just watch the temperature s on our TV and the Pacific Islands are regularly 29C to 32C and all that water vapour does not lead to runaway warming instead tropical thunderstorms build up and the afternoon rain cools down the Islands .
    You will have to do better than that and explain why the climate models are so far from reality .
    Graham .

  5. Richard Treadgold on 28/07/2019 at 2:42 pm said:


    Nobody debates this issue any more, you are on your own on this one.

    So we are, and so we are entitled to be. Answer our questions. For example, you say: “The water vapour amplification effect has been empirically verified by multiple research organisations” and cite NASA.

    Explain how it is that atmospheric physicists, of whom there must be at least several at NASA, turn a blind eye to the powerful effect whereby a wind, in a complete absence of warming, can evaporate large quantities of water in minutes or hours, from the land and the ocean. This is well known by housewives, farmers and physicists, but not apparently by atmospheric physicists.

    Explain why they are content to approve IPCC’s AR5, which says that atmospheric water vapour varies only by temperature and nothing else when nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, there is an enormous atmospheric capacity for highly variable specific humidity on scales far less and also far greater than the approximately 100 km grid of climate models. Why does it appear that no research is under way on improving the data on atmospheric water vapour, specific humidity and its effects on weather generally but especially on surface temperature?

  6. Barry on 25/08/2019 at 12:04 pm said:

    With increased water vapour comes greenhouse amplification and increased clouds. The first cause warming while the second (generally) causes cooling. Nobody knows which effect is greater.

    The answer must come from a Bayesian analysis of what has actually happened in recent decades. The most recent peer-reviewed papers all seem to point to an ECS of less than 2°C.

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