Any evidence yet, James?

My last communication to James Renwick was July last year. I said this:

Eventfinda are advertising your presentation in Nelson in August called “Climate Emergency”. What does it mean? What data does it rest on? What makes it an emergency? If you’re not too busy I hope you can help.

He didn’t have anything to tell me then, but now we see a tantalizing teaser in the RSNZ newsletter (in purple). Might be connected.

You’re welcome, James. Hope it flies.

Views: 6

39 Thoughts on “Any evidence yet, James?

  1. Simon on 14/02/2020 at 3:07 pm said:

    Why didn’t you go to one of his community lectures? I have, they are very good.
    James won the Prime Minister’s Science Communication Prize in 2018.

    • Mack on 15/02/2020 at 1:02 pm said:

      No, Simon I don’t think RT would go to one of the community lectures by NZ’s high priest of Global Warming…. James Duvet Atmosphere Renwick, without getting very angry and possibly throwing up.
      For instance, of the hysterical, fearmongering, “scientific” hyperbole of this piece of tripe put out by the NZ media…. “South Pole could “disintergrate” if Antarctic record breaking warmth keeps up – experts”….. he says … “Yes, all the Antarctic ice could melt if we try hard enough, but it would take 10,000 years”
      Read that again , the guy is completely unhinged. … iiving in some crazed cloud-cuckoo land. … just throws in 10,000 years to sound scientific and put it well out of human reach. Just imaginary, insane garbage.
      I love the verbage of the Renwick guru… things like…
      ..”the atmosphere acts like a duvet.
      …we need to act now.
      …the warming is already baked in.
      … the science is clear/ unambigious.”
      and one of my favourites…. “…makes for sobering reading”
      …sobering reading…sobering reading.
      The only person needing the “sobering” is this climate clown who needs to knock off the Koolaid.

  2. Nick on 15/02/2020 at 8:09 am said:

    @Richard Treadgold

    What The Science Says:
    An enhanced greenhouse effect from CO2 has been confirmed by multiple lines of empirical evidence. Satellite measurements of infrared spectra over the past 40 years observe less energy escaping to space at the wavelengths associated with CO2. Surface measurements find more downward infrared radiation warming the planet’s surface. This provides a direct, empirical causal link between CO2 and global warming.


    • Richard Treadgold on 15/02/2020 at 10:49 am said:


      I’ll answer the implied question yet again, but only because I have complete faith that you can confirm my answer elsewhere and, more importantly, that you will hear my answer, which is very important.

      By the way, what a long, complex page that one is, at the non-sceptical science website; very sciencey, thank you! It, too, completely misses the point of this topic. My answer is this:

      I entirely agree. There is indeed an undeniable potential cause of warming in atmospheric carbon dioxide, which I’ve never, of course, disputed, as you ought to know.

      HOWEVER, the question at the root of this topic in the climate debate (hollow laugh) concerns the magnitude of warming. Nothing else. By now, with CO2 at around 410 ppmv, the warming we can expect from a parcel of 20 ppm is less than 0.05 °C. Like spitting into a hurricane.

      See Joanne Nova, quite some time ago (you’ve heard of her, I’m sure — great communicator!), for this excellent graphic.

    • Nick on 15/02/2020 at 12:39 pm said:

      I cannot follow your train of thought about 20 ppm. Is it like Zeno’s Paradox, where you never arrive anywhere? (I think you might just have got nowhere!)

      1. Joanne Nova is not an expert so why do you waste time when you can look at science sites? You look, because you find her nonsense irresistible.

      2. CO2 accumulates, and even if we stopped adding CO2 now Earth would continue to warm.

      3. You don’t understand the consequences of adding enormous amounts of heat to the climate system: ice lost and worse weather.

      4. You don’t understand the concept of tipping points.

    • Richard Treadgold on 15/02/2020 at 1:05 pm said:

      Sorry, I’ll slow down for you. LOOK AT THE GRAPH ON JO NOVA’S WEBSITE. On the x-axis (the horizontal one) find the number 420 (that’s the closest one to the present level of 410 ppm). The height of the little blue bars indicates the warming caused by that parcel of 20 ppm. So 20 ppm (a ‘parcel’) of CO2, which is between three and five years of our emissions, will cause only approximately 0.05 °C warming. Equivalent to 1 °C per century, it is insignificant. I can’t say it any slower.

      Zeno’s Paradox? Nonsense.

      1. Jo Nova’s arguments are irrelevant just now; I cited that page for the graph. Pay attention. I do look at science sites that produce less nonsense than you do.

      2. Perhaps, but not through increasing CO2 emissions.

      3. How much is enormous, and are you talking about man-made CO2, which is less than 10% of total CO2? Ice lost, so what? Worse weather? Not according to the IPCC — storms are not worsening. Get your facts straight.

      4. What tipping points? You don’t understand the enormous thermal effects of water’s changes of phase, that immediately balance insignificant warming from CO2 the moment it occurs.

    • Nick on 15/02/2020 at 3:11 pm said:

      Human activity has increased the atmospheric level of CO2 from 280 to 410ppm: 45%. The global mean surface temperature has risen 1.1C, and more warming is on its way. Of course the mean temperature has risen more than 1.1C in some places, as predicted.

      Worse weather? We’ll see how many Australians deny AGW when they’ve had more “unprecedented” ie catastrophic bushfires.

      You have no grasp of the science at all. What has water’s change of phase got to do with the energy balance? Nothing.

      Nor for that matter has water vapour. The energy out is determined by the non-condensable GHGs, principally CO2, high on the troposphere – where there is no water vapour.

      This is all normal or orthodox science. If you stopped looking at the crank sites like Joanne Nova and paid attention to the experts you might stumble on the truth.

      You may not have understood the allusion to Zeno, but It’s apt. You’re trying to argue that if you just add CO2 in say 20ppm increments it’s inconsequential. So you know the equilibrium climate sensitivity, do you? Nobel Prize in the mail…

    • Harry Cummings on 15/02/2020 at 6:50 pm said:

      Just past the 30yr first 10 year we all go a die anniversary
      500 million refugees where are they
      2 meter sea level rise what happened
      Ice free Arctic ?
      All pacific island should have all disappeared by now
      97% scientists agree yeah right
      The great hockey stick debacle …… Mann lost his court case against a retired pensioner
      Polar bear are now extinct some one should have told the polar bears
      Last year over 400 per review papers calling out the whole CO2 scam
      Australian forest fires around mid 70’s made the last look rather small
      James Renwick an also ran professor and bit of a conman
      Only human activity has increased CO2 from 280ppm to 410ppm good grief what a dumb thing to say that’s been debunked about a trillion times
      Etc etc etc etc I could go on an on

      I think the wheels are starting to fall off the old gravy man made climate change train an panic is starting to setting in

      Blame everything on the old age pensioners or if you are so convinced about man made climate change pop up to China an have a word with the Chinese governments and stop buying “made in China” stuff


    • Brett Keane on 16/02/2020 at 11:01 am said:

      Harry, add in the deadly ocean acidification…… Not happening anyway, but incapable of harming except maybe after a huge asteroid oceanic strike. We would then have more pressing problems. “Flaming Mountains” falling are predicted by the highest authority, by the way, but not of CO2. Brett Keane

    • Simon on 17/02/2020 at 9:18 am said:

      First you tell us that 400 ppm of CO2 is insufficient to affect the climate. Now you are telling us that the first 20 ppm is responsible for almost all of the observed warming.
      How do you reconcile these mutually contradictory opinions?

    • Richard Treadgold on 18/02/2020 at 9:53 am said:

      “20 ppm is responsible for almost all of the observed warming”? Stop lying. Show us where I said this.

    • Simon on 18/02/2020 at 7:26 pm said:

      The first 20 ppm is apparently responsible for 2.5 degrees of warming.
      Their logistic function is probably incorrect, but the gist of it is OK.
      Remember, Earth’s blackbody radiation is -18C, and the global average temperature is now about 15C. Water vapour accounts for about half of the difference.

    • Richard Treadgold on 18/02/2020 at 11:09 pm said:

      Ok, so I didn’t say that, but I understand what you’re talking about. The first 20 ppm of CO2 entered the atmosphere millions of years ago, so it’s a bit off the wall to say it caused the recent warming. How can you say water vapour accounts for about half? What about the sun? It heats everything regardless of water vapour or trace gases, but knowing the thermal properties of water, how can you imagine CO2 might be the least bit significant?

    • Simon on 19/02/2020 at 8:46 am said:

      All these years of running a climate blog and you still don’t understand how radiation works. Let me try and explain simply, at the risk of being inaccurate.

      Solar radiation increases the Earth’s temperature from above absolute zero to around -18°C. In the process, it absorbs ultra-violet and emits infra-red, which we typically think of as “heat”. Polar molecules,i.e. those with a magnetic field, absorb infra-red. N2 and O2 are not polar, but CO2, H2O, CH4, NO2, etc are. There is very little water vapour at -18°C, but there is sufficient quantities of other greenhouse gases to raise the temperature to the point where H2O becomes a significant greenhouse gas. This is the greenhouse effect which lifts the ambient temperature from around -18°C to +15°C.

      Climate science deniers try to simultaneous argue that the amount of CO2 is insufficient to affect the climate and that CO2 saturation has already been reached, i.e. all of the outgoing IR spectra that CO2 affects are now blocked. These opinions are mutually exclusive and both are incorrect.

    • Gwan on 19/02/2020 at 10:38 am said:

      Reply to Simon,
      The theory of greenhouse warming caused by increasing levels of CO2 and other very minor trace gasses is a sham.
      I will explain this in very simple terms Simon.
      For a start the warming affect of CO2 is logarithmic and that means that the first 10 parts per million has the greatest effect and the next 10 parts per million has only half the effect of the first 10 parts .
      From 250 parts per million to 400 parts per million the effects are quite mild and from 400 to 420 ppm the effect are negligible .
      Now are you comprehending Simon ?
      Scientists worked out over 100 years ago that the doubling of CO2 can only increase the earths temperature by .6 C .that is 6 tenths of one degree Celsius,
      The only way that the earths temperature can or would rise higher is through the tropical hot spot and positive water vapour feed back.
      Positive water vapour feed back and the tropical hotspot have not been proven despite frantic searching by activist climate scientists.
      A warmer atmosphere will hold more water vapour but the earth has been warmer than present 3 times in the last 8000 years and the warmer atmosphere did not lead to runaway warming .
      Every warm optimum was followed by a colder period the last being the Little Ice Age and the current warmth that we have enjoyed since 1860 is the rebound from the LIA.
      There is absolutely no proof that the mild warming we are enjoying is not natural climate variability .
      The climate emergency is a scare tactic to try and control society and many go along with this untill reality hits and living standards are forced down and scarcities of essential food ,fuel and goods becomes the norm.
      I always had questions about global warming but when activists at the Kyoto Accord introduced biogenic methane as an emission that countries had to account for I could then see clearly that the climate debate had been hijacked by activists ,
      Not one climate scientist at Kyoto spoke up and stated the obvious that all coal ,oil ,gas and cement from limestone is extracted from beneath the surface of the earth where they have been locked up for millions of years .
      Where as biogenic methane from farmed livestock is a cycle and does not add one atom of carbon or molecule containing carbon to the atmosphere over any time frame .
      Biogenic methane is carbon neutral.
      Burning wood pellets are carbon neutral but over a longer time frame and we all breath out 5% CO2 .
      No one can argue why biogenic methane should be included as an emission because their is no valid reason .
      To come up with “methane is bad ” is rubbish as the slow rise in global methane levels is from coal mining and combustion and escaping gas during extraction and distribution.
      Proud to be farming feeding the world with high quality protein.

    • Simon on 19/02/2020 at 1:15 pm said:

      You are contradicting 130 years of scientific literature. I can’t help you.

    • Richard Treadgold on 19/02/2020 at 1:24 pm said:


      You say “You are contradicting 130 years of scientific literature. I can’t help you.”

      But in claiming trace gases determine earth’s surface temperature, and denying a century or more of scientific observation, you’re beyond help. There’s just not enough thermal mass in 410 ppm of CO2 (possessed of woefully insufficient ability to intercept IR wavelengths) to overcome water vapour’s thermal mass in the troposphere. CO2 is needed high in the stratosphere, as the water vapour freezes out, and CO2 gets the remaining energy to space.

    • Simon on 20/02/2020 at 9:42 am said:

      That makes no sense and you are contradicting JoNova who is claiming that the first 20 ppm of CO2 in that atmosphere adds 2.5°C of warming. Different greenhouse gases absorb different IR spectra.

    • Richard Treadgold on 20/02/2020 at 10:06 am said:

      It makes perfect sense. The first 20 ppm causes about 2.5 °C of warming, sure. What’s the problem with that? It happened aeons ago. Explain how I contradict Jo Nova. I understand about different spectra and different gases. You don’t seem to understand the small number of spectra and the tiny amounts of energy in those spectra that CO2 is capable of intercepting and absorbing. It’s trivial. Like a mouse fighting with an elephant (water vapour).

    • Richard Treadgold on 20/02/2020 at 11:36 am said:


      I should have added that our century of observations fail to show CO2 capable of substantial warming. Four hundred parts per MILLION!

    • Simon on 20/02/2020 at 2:45 pm said:

      and yet 20 parts per million is alleged capable of causing 2.5 °C of warming.
      Climate science denial requires simultaneous acknowledgement of multiple mutually incompatible theories. I have no idea how you internalise those contradictions.

    • Richard Treadgold on 20/02/2020 at 11:15 pm said:

      What are you talking about? Are you suggesting, even when it’s clearly not what the graph means, that every 20 ppm produces the same amount of warming? You’re right to talk about belief in two contradictory realities, but they’re not mine, they’re yours.

    • Gwan on 19/02/2020 at 3:16 pm said:

      Put forward some rebuttal of what I have written .
      The scientific literature on the greenhouse effect is very clear that CO2 by itself will not cause CAGW .
      The theory states that there has to be positive water vapour feedback and also the tropical hotspot .
      Without these two essential items dangerous global warming will not happen.
      I would not want your help ,maybe you need help to understand how the world has been duped in the name of science .
      Fast loosing patience.

    • Simon on 20/02/2020 at 9:35 am said:

      The scientific literature on the greenhouse effect is very clear that CO2 by itself will not cause CAGW .

      Agree. Please read above.

      The theory states that there has to be positive water vapour feedback…

      Agree. Please read above.

      and also the tropical hotspot .

      The troposphere is warming, and it is warming faster at the tropics because there is more moisture in the air.

    • Mack on 21/02/2020 at 8:31 pm said:

      “…because there is more moisture in the air”

      more moisture? … more than what? more than by how much? over what time is there more moisture? ….no figures…no measurement… just hypothetical, presumptive, speculative, handwaving garbage.
      It’s called climate science.
      There are two phases of the climate loon..
      Hotter temperature= more dryness, more drought.
      Hotter temperature= more moisture, more rain. (floods)
      The climate loon oscillates between these two, according to the weather pattern occurring on either occasion.

    • Richard Treadgold on 19/02/2020 at 10:47 am said:

      Yes, radiation. I don’t understand. You say “Solar radiation increases the Earth’s temperature from above absolute zero to around -18°C.” What do you mean? Equatorial ocean waters are regularly heated to 31 and 32 °C, and desert sands reach 60 °C. Solar energy pours in 24 hours a day, about 1000 W/m2 at the surface — I wouldn’t expect a temperature of -18 °C. I’d say you’re not thinking about the real world. Physicists tell me that near the surface far more energy is transferred by collision than by radiation, since N and O2 hugely outnumber the trace gases.

      Saturation: do you mean “all of the outgoing IR spectra that CO2 absorbs are now being absorbed by CO2″? Or what do you mean by blocked?

    • Mack on 05/03/2020 at 1:51 pm said:

      “Solar radiation increases the Earth’s temperature from above absolute zero….”
      You are saying that the Earth doesn’t exist… because not much above that absolute 0 deg.K is what they think is the temperature of void space. Unfortunately for the believers of the “greenhouse” theory… the Earth DOES EXIST and gets in the road of all that radiation emitted from the Sun….that’s REALITY. Another small thing…. the ATMOSPHERE of the Earth also EXISTS and that is also REALITY.
      You “greenhouse” wackos are mucking round with a thought experiment whereby the Earth has NO ATMOSPHERE! This is sort of colouring book, sciencey doodlings on the blackboard with no basis in reality. Earth with no atmosphere.!!!..and then they start calculating what they think should be the REAL ATMOSPHERIC average temperature of this Earth as measured about 5ft off the Earth’s surface in Stevenson screens.
      The big mistake in all this UNREAL segregation of the, 70% coverage of the planet, as the OCEANS from the atmosphere.. is that the ocean has reached a certain level of temperature over the millennia and that in REALITY determines what the temperature of the ATMOSPHERE is directly about 5ft above the ocean waves. So when considering the ATMOSPHERIC temperature of this planet… the OCEANS must be considered as part of the ATMOSPHERE….there must be no nutty academic, artificial, UNREAL separation as in what this wacko “greenhouse” hypothesis tries to do.
      And of course, Simon … again comes up with this UNREAL -18deg C FROZEN EARTH nonsense, with this UNREAL “greenhouse effect” …which is required to RAISE THE ATMOSPHERIC TEMPERATURE by 33degs C !!!! … up to the REAL + 15deg C !!!
      Wow ! what insanity.

    • Rick on 21/02/2020 at 12:46 pm said:

      More evidence-free assertion from Nick, I see.

      “This provides a direct, empirical causal link between CO2 and global warming.”

      No, it doesn’t. The only direct, empirical, causal link that it provides is the one between the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere and the amount of radiation that it is absorbing – which we already knew from laboratory studies of CO2 dating back to the first half of the 19th century.

      The greenhouse effect is produced by all the greenhouse substances in the atmosphere together, not just by CO2, and the concentrations of these other substances may vary independently of CO2. There is no empirically proven causal link between atmospheric CO2-concentration and the magnitude of the greenhouse effect, which there would have to be if the theory of CO2-caused global warming was correct.

      Furthermore, the magnitude of the greenhouse effect is not the sole determinant of the global mean surface radiance, nor of the global mean surface temperature, which again it would have to be if the theory of CO2-caused global warming was correct. Other determining factors include insolation, energy from storage (principally, the oceans), gravitational and electromagnetic interactions with other heavenly bodies and the distribution of local and regional radiances across the planetary surface, among countless others, which are mostly unquantifiable at the present time.

      Thus, your perceived direct causal link between the observed reduction of Earth-radiation on CO2 absorption wavelengths and global warming is purely imaginary, spurious and scientifically baseless.

    • Nick on 24/02/2020 at 7:51 pm said:

      By your personal standards of evidence there’s no direct link between smoking tobacco and lung cancer either but very few scientists deny it. Interestingly, the scientists who did worked for the climate science denial industry.

      The present warming is caused by human activity: CO2 and CH4. It is not the Sun, “gravitational [or] electromagnetic interactions” or angry gods on heavenly bodies.

      Your personal incredulity has has had no impact on the global community of climate scientists or any scientific institution or society. The problem with the science is yours, not theirs — because consensus counts in science. It’s what goes into synthesis reports and textbooks.

      Not the tripe you write.

    • Rick on 25/02/2020 at 1:33 am said:

      Yet more dogmatic, desultory, evidence-free assertion from Nick, I see.

      I don’t know why he bothers to write such mindless tripe… unless his intention is to bore us all into submission through the ceaseless repetition of it, of course.

      Still, I suppose things could have been worse. He could have read us some of his poetry!

    • Andy on 28/02/2020 at 10:20 am said:

      I don’t think that scientists denied direct links between smoking and cancer. The dispute was around second hand smoking and cancer, which seems to be a more tenuous link.

      Anyway, where in the world is the “climate denial industry” and where can I get a job?

    • Richard Treadgold on 28/02/2020 at 10:49 am said:

      Nick, you say:

      The present warming is caused by human activity: CO2 and CH4.

      But that’s the very statement ignored by IPCC in their AR5 and never mentioned by the Director-General of the United Nations in his irritating attempts to alarm us. It’s the very matter that draws no evidence from the Royal Society, the RSNZ, the MfE, the IPCC and many others in response to my letters.

      Also, oddly, it’s evidence you fail to supply. So stop shouting empty words and denying climate science. Bloody well prove it or shut up and go away.

  3. Gwan on 16/02/2020 at 1:54 pm said:

    Nick and Simon,
    James Renwick has been pushing CAGW before it was even global warming .
    He admits that the MWP and other climate optimums are very inconvenient facts and then he and his mates try to change history and then state that the MWP was only in the northern hemisphere .
    His old mate Jim Salinger has done research in the Waitomo caves that proved that New Zealand experienced the MWP,
    Just because the global temperature and CO2 levels have gone up in lockstep in the last 30 years that proves nothing .
    There is no proof that the mild warming that the world has experienced since 1980 is not natural climate variability.
    There is ample proof that the three climate optimums in the last 8000 year were warmer than present and also that the doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere cannot warm the planet by more than .6 of one degree Celsius without positive water vapour feed backs which have never been identified.
    I know that the whole CAGW is a scam pushed by activists and people like James Renwick.
    Not one scientist has ever challenged my statement that biogenic methane should never have been included as an emission in any countries emission profile .
    This was introduced at the Kyoto accord without any scientific scrutiny and not one activist scientist
    can argue why it should be included .
    Biogenic methane is carbon neutral as the process is a cycle and not one additional atom of carbon or molecule containing carbon is added to the atmosphere over any time frame .
    You and I breathing out contain 5% CO2 and burning wood pellets are exactly the same category as biogenic methane from farmed livestock .
    Graham Anderson
    Proud to be a farmer with carbon neutral cows

  4. Richard Treadgold on 21/02/2020 at 1:50 pm said:


    Your view of “a direct, empirical causal link between CO2 and global warming” is disputed by Rick, and I agree. If there was empirical evidence of that, the IPCC would have harped on about it so much that we would know it by heart. Instead, you should explain why you take a contrary view to the IPCC,

    • Simon on 24/02/2020 at 11:10 am said:

      The IPCC SPECIAL REPORT: GLOBAL WARMING OF 1.5 º Summary for Policymakers says:

      A.2.2. Reaching and sustaining net zero global anthropogenic CO2 emissions and declining net non-CO2 radiative forcing would halt anthropogenic global warming on multi-decadal time scales (high confidence). The maximum temperature reached is then determined by cumulative net global anthropogenic CO2 emissions up to the time of net zero CO2 emissions (high confidence) and the level of non-CO2 radiative forcing in the decades prior to the time that maximum temperatures are reached (medium confidence). On longer time scales, sustained net negative global anthropogenic CO2 emissions and/or further reductions in non-CO2 radiative forcing may still be required to prevent further warming due to Earth system feedbacks and to reverse ocean acidification (medium confidence) and will be required to minimize sea level rise (high confidence).

    • Richard Treadgold on 28/02/2020 at 2:50 pm said:

      Brilliant, Simon, you raise some vital matters, thanks. I’m elevating your contribution, which is actually yet another non sequitur, to a post. Watch this blog.

    • Brett Keane on 01/03/2020 at 11:25 pm said:

      Yessir, RT, be great to see the pieman justify confidence levels as quoted, and how oceans will be acidified, etc. etc……
      Not holding my breath, but it would be a welcome surprise. Brett

    • Brett Keane on 27/02/2020 at 11:13 am said:
      We make new discoveries about our sun and solar system all the time. Our true records show how models cannot make real data. I grieve for the liars, it is bad for the Soul, and even more for the victims to come. Just glad we stand on the Truth, that is Science. Brett

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