Meltdown of the climate ‘consensus’

Rajendra Pachauri

From the New York Post, September 1, 2010.

If this keeps up, no one’s going to trust any scientists.

The global-warming establishment took a body blow this week, as the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change received a stunning rebuke from a top-notch independent investigation.

For two decades, the IPCC has spearheaded efforts to convince the world’s governments that man-made carbon emissions pose a threat to the global temperature equilibrium — and to civilisation itself. IPCC reports, collated from the work of hundreds of climate scientists and bureaucrats, are widely cited as evidence for the urgent need for drastic action to “save the planet.”

But the prestigious InterAcademy Council, an independent association of “the best scientists and engineers worldwide” (as the group’s own web site puts it) formed in 2000 to give “high-quality advice to international bodies,” has finished a thorough review of IPCC practices — and found them badly wanting.

False claims, no evidence

For example, the IPCC’s much-vaunted Fourth Assessment Report claimed in 2007 that Himalayan glaciers were rapidly melting, and would possibly be gone by the year 2035. The claim was actually false — yet the IPCC cited it as proof of man-made global warming. Continue Reading →

To do good, the free will be bound

a bait ball

C. S. Lewis on Liberty

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive,” wrote C. S. Lewis, the Oxford/Cambridge scholar best known for his Christian apologetics and the Chronicles of Narnia book series. “It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

May those toiling for the improvement of society in New Zealand and around the world give these words sober contemplation.

Improvement need not be bought with the loss of our freedom. Who would lead us will learn the difference between them.

(Thanks, Keith.)

Rudman offensive but NZ temp record dubious

the NZ Herald logo

A letter sent to the NZ Herald on 25 August that remains unpublished.

Sir,

In “Exercise degrees of common sense“, on Wednesday August 18, Brian Rudman loses his journalistic poise and jeers gracelessly at the “flat-earth” members of the NZ Climate Science Coalition.

When he asserts that they deny “man-made global warming” he is dead wrong. He is welcome to interview us, which might stop him from consulting his imagination. The Coalition does not dispute that human activity possibly has an influence on the climate but it questions the magnitude of that influence.

The IPCC also questions it, for it claims only a 90% to 95% probability of human influence. Note that is an opinion without evidence, unless one considers flawed climate models to be evidence.

The Coalition knows there are good reasons to adjust temperature records; Rudman ignores the fact that, rather than challenging NIWA for making changes, we just asked them what the changes were. He should wonder why they have still not told us. If they did, we would promptly stop asking for them.

Brian Rudman

He might also wonder why NIWA repeatedly give the example of an altitude change to the Thorndon/Kelburn temperature record, when they didn’t actually make any altitude-based changes to any stations.

Rudman’s reference to “mystery money-bags funding the coalition” is offensive nonsense. Members analyse, consult and write about climate matters in their own time for no payment. The Coalition is made up of volunteers, it is not wealthy and will rely on fund-raising if the suit must go to court.

The only “money-bags” able to buy staff and consultants in the climate debate are the great NGOs like WWF and Greenpeace, with annual budgets of around $600 million each. The giant enviros far out-muscle the marketing budgets of any group of sceptics. The energy companies climbed aboard the warming bandwagon long ago and don’t fund sceptics.

But our suit is not about the global warming debate. It asks for simple clarity and accuracy in public temperature records. We cannot submit a paper “backing our claims”, as some suggest, because we’re not making any claims — we’re wanting to review the national temperature record and we’re asking a couple of questions that NIWA hasn’t answered.

Since being asked by the Coalition to describe how they obtained the temperature record and finding they were unable to do so, NIWA are recreating it from scratch.

The sooner these simple facts are acknowledged by responsible journalists the sooner reason will return to this important matter of public interest. Kiwis deserve to have a national temperature record they can trust but at the moment it is dubious.

A tale of two hemispheres

a brain of two hemispheres

Running this blog, people send me stuff.

My new friend Jim has sent me a wonderful graph that pits NASA against NIWA in a way most apposite for our stoush with them. Here’s the graph, showing basically that the Southern Hemisphere has warmed more slowly than the Northern Hemisphere:

temperatures of two hemispheres

This must be compared with the official NZ graph from NIWA.

official NIWA temperature graph

Jim said:

The Goddard Institute for Space Studies [GISS, a division of NASA] explains that the temperature increase in the Southern Hemisphere is less than the Northern due to it being mainly water and that water has a greater temperature inertia than land.

The NASA chart says that a 0.5°C increase has taken place in the Southern Hemisphere as a whole over the 20th century — well below the global average.

NIWA scientists, on the other hand, claim their data series is correct and that New Zealand is warming considerably faster than global averages. Why is a maritime country like New Zealand so anomalous to the rest of the Southern Hemisphere?

Which means that NIWA’s official national temperature series has some well-credentialled scientific opposition. Surely Wratt et al. will struggle to refute the well-muscled NASA without surrendering some humiliating ground. Continue Reading →

A swelling debate — Chris has questions

NIWA's temperature adjustments at Hokitika

In the last week or so one “Chris” (I can’t give his surname without his permission) has begun asking some well-informed questions and putting some well-aimed objections to our campaign against the national temperature series protected, I mean produced, by NIWA.

He’s putting increasing efforts into his writing, such that his last comment amounts to some 400 words. He demonstrates an impressive commitment.

When I realised my response had reached 1300 words I knew it had to become a separate post, both to honour Chris’s honest efforts and to more prominently feature the arguments he was making. Many of the things he says are widely said so our rebuttals should be given more prominence. Continue Reading →

Oxford Union Debate on Climate Catastrophe

the Oxford Union building

Science 135, global warming scare 110

For what is believed to be the first time ever in England, an audience of university undergraduates has decisively rejected the notion that “global warming” is or could become a global crisis. The only previous defeat for climate extremism among an undergraduate audience was at St. Andrew’s University, Scotland, in the spring of 2009, when the climate extremists were defeated by three votes.

Last week, members of the historic Oxford Union Society, the world’s premier debating society, carried the motion “That this House would put economic growth before combating climate change” by 135 votes to 110. The debate was sponsored by the Science and Public Policy Institute, Washington DC.

Serious observers are interpreting this shock result as a sign that students are now impatiently rejecting the relentless extremist propaganda taught under the guise of compulsory environmental-studies classes in British schools, confirming opinion-poll findings that the voters are no longer frightened by “global warming” scare stories, if they ever were. Continue Reading →

Nicks in the myths of time

Baby stars, as seen by the Hubble telescope

I want to revisit some false arguments fabricated ages ago by our critics: time-worn errors which need re-rebutting, because they are still surfacing. These smooth myths, one might say, are nicked all over with imperfections. And mists cover everything.

The main spurious argument holds that the Climate Science Coalition says there’s no reason to adjust the raw temperature readings. That is false: we think there are good reasons for adjustments. What we actually say is that NIWA has made changes but refuses to reveal what they are.

A related myth is that NIWA has given us everything we asked for — simply by releasing the net arithmetical adjustments to each station. The reality is that, first, a net change isn’t enough because there could be multiple changes at a station. Second, the number by itself is useless; any reviewer needs the reason for each change. This is what NIWA has refused to tell us, yet both bits of data are required for any independent assessment of the accuracy of the temperature record. Continue Reading →

Banned again at Hot Topic

Hot Topic logo

Yes, it was I, twice masquerading under another name, trying to inject some reason into the comments at Hot Topic.

I have always refused the notion of not signing my own opinion, but being censored over there forced my hand; unfortunately, being a neophyte forger unveiled it.

Nonetheless, I said nothing I haven’t said elsewhere or wouldn’t be prepared to say openly. But Renowden’s comments reveal a continued avoidance of every topic I raise, so I’ll go another round.

GR: “What a pity he doesn’t have the courage to post under his own name.”

A cheap shot, this; entirely personal and nothing to do with the matter. It’s also illogical, for every time I post a comment, Renowden refuses to publish it. To have the temerity then to criticise me provides the very definition of framing someone.

GR: “Earlier today he … all but called me a liar.”

Since he made three false statements, one could be justified in doing so. The more interesting comment was that, if Renowden still disagrees the [adjustment] methodology is unavailable, he is a truffle short of a lunch. He doesn’t respond to that, but good on him for ignoring the ad hominem bits, even when they’re amusing. Continue Reading →

Hunter’s extraordinary peroration

We shall fight on the beaches…

Keith Hunter becomes deeply afraid for the future as we announce our review of NIWA’s behaviour. Why?

He says this, all timorous, intimidated and grateful for the gentle haven that is Hot Topic (as long as you agree with them):

I want to say how gratified I am that on this day of reckoning, the scientific community and the blogosphere have got behind our friends at NIWA and come out with so many statements of support. Make no mistake, this effort by the NZ*C*S*C is an attack on science and and [sic] attack on integrity. I, for one, will not put up with it! I am hugely comforted by the letters and phone calls of support I have received today. Maybe finally the mainstream scientists of this country are waking up to what the NZ*C*S*C is trying to do. Let there be no doubt – this is another attack on integrity [sic] of the science system. We defeated this when the Nazis did it, we defeated it when the Soviets did it, and we will continue to defeat it! And in case you think it [sic], let me remind you – all it takes for scientific untruths to survive is for honest men and women to ignore them.

So it’s a day of reckoning. The Coalition mounts an attack on science and on integrity. He is not putting up, is hugely comforted and confident we will defeat it. As we did with the Nazis and the Soviets and shall continue.

One question: let you remind us in case we think what?

I fail to see how the question “what adjustments did you make and why” can be interpreted to mean all this.

I fail to see how this expostulating answers the assertion that ethical standards were not observed.

I cannot fail to observe how the scientist loses his grip on reality. A day of reckoning? An attack on science?!

NIWAgate now on WUWT

NIWA temp adjustments with scales of justice

The tireless Anthony Watts reports our legal claim against NIWA (h/t to Andy).

May it encourage climate realists around the world to make a similar study of their national temperature history.

Barrage of misinformation: can’t they read?

NIWA temp adjustments with scales of justice

Wow! What an explosion of nonsense.

Hearing some of the comments about our court action against NIWA, you could be forgiven for thinking that the Coalition was made up of stupid people.

But the stupid ones are those mouthing off a torrent of misinformation against us without reading what we’ve actually lodged with the High Court. I have time only for a couple.

Commentator the First

Gareth Renowden, of Hot Topic, was interviewed this morning on Radio NZ by Sean Plunket. He said, among other things, the following:

I’ve been following [the Coalition’s] rather weird obsession with the New Zealand temperature record very closely on the blog.

It’s not a weird obsession, Gareth, it’s a weird and impenetrable temperature record, which you would know by now if you had bothered to take a look at it.

… all that Bryan [Leyland] wants is already there. The raw data you can download from NIWA. The adjustments that are required have been listed by NIWA; the methodology for doing it is available in the peer-reviewed literature; it’s incredibly non-controversial to climate scientists and meteorologists that you need to make adjustments.

Gareth here offers three false statements (I still hesitate to call them lies, though he has made them before) and a diversion. Continue Reading →

Background to our application for judicial review

NIWA temp adjustments with scales of justice

The following sets out the background of the NZCSC’s application and provides some vital context.

The National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) is a Crown Research Institute (CRI), contracted by the Government to be its sole adviser on scientific issues relating to climate change.

NIWA’s National Climate Centre is responsible for maintaining the National Climate database, mainly comprising records compiled by the NZ Met Service during the period 1853-1992. This archive finds its greatest significance in the New Zealand Temperature Record (NZTR), showing mean average surface temperatures throughout the twentieth century.

In 1999, the National Climate Centre adopted a “Seven-station Series” (7SS) as the basis of the NZTR. The stations (Auckland, Masterton, Wellington, Nelson, Hokitika, Lincoln & Dunedin) are geographically spread and considered to represent New Zealand as a whole. The 7SS graph and spreadsheet appear on NIWA’s website www.niwa.co.nz/news-and-publications/news/all/2009/nz-temp-record. Continue Reading →

Our Statement of Claim against NIWA

NIWA temp adjustments with scales of justice

1. NIWA has statutory duties to undertake climate research efficiently and effectively for the benefit of NZ, pursuing excellence and observing ethical standards, while maintaining full and accurate records.

2. The official NZ Temperature Record (NZTR), which is the historical base for most Government policy and judicial decisions relating to climate change, wholly relies upon a “Seven-station series” (7SS), adopted in 1999.

3. The twentieth-century warming trend of 1.0°C shown in the 7SS is dependent on the use of “Adjustments” taken by NIWA from a 1981 student thesis by J Salinger, a previous NIWA employee.

4. NIWA’s 1999 decision to rely on the Adjustments was a breach of duty as it did not:

• evaluate the thesis methodology or consider whether it needed updating
• discover that the supporting data and calculations had been lost
• undertake any check or peer review or require consent from the copyright holder
• maintain any record of the decision Continue Reading →

Dynamite changes to raw readings

What has NIWA done to the original raw temperature readings? What do the adjustments look like? I can do little better than to show them on a single graph.

NIWA temperature adjustments, before and after

This clearly shows two important things:

1. The original readings show a slight, insignificant warming.

2. The adjustments have the effect of cranking the older readings down so the trend is now one of strong warming. Indeed, it is 50% greater warming than the globe itself.

Just as our original paper showed, back in November 2009, New Zealand has indeed been the subject of man-made warming, but only by adjusting the figures. Still, to this very day, NIWA refuse to detail the adjustments they made and why they made them. Continue Reading →

High Court asked to veto NIWA graph

NIWA temp adjustments with scales of justice

In an unprecedented move, the High Court at Auckland has been asked by the NZ Climate Science Coalition to invalidate NIWA’s official national temperatures.

Papers filed last week by the NZ Climate Science Education Trust ask the High Court to invalidate the New Zealand official temperature record (NZTR) developed and promoted by the Crown Research Institute, NIWA. NIWA maintains temperature archives for the past century, and attempts to forecast temperatures for the next century. These records form the basis of NIWA’s scientific advice to central and local government on issues relating to climate change.

All manner of documents published by NIWA claim that NZ’s temperature rose over the last hundred years by 0.9°C, supported by their specially-adjusted readings from their specially-selected weather stations.

Around the world, temperature records have been coming under closer scrutiny as people have discovered quality problems and even outright dishonesty affecting their national temperature history. Continue Reading →

Naïve fanfare silenced by foot-in-mouth NIWA

An ancient foot in the mouth

Quelle surprise! Network PR have taken down the page proclaiming their work with NIWA on “how to position itself in the climate change debate” (h/t to Andy).

It was here, but now the page of case studies doesn’t even mention NIWA. Here is the Google cache version, just to prove we didn’t imagine this.

When a company ceases to trumpet what they perceive as a good piece of work, you know their hand has been forced. In this case, who but NIWA would be doing any forcing?

Network PR has produced a monumental piece of naïvety in disclosing details of its work with NIWA. Network’s principals knew of their client’s adversaries, for the very purpose of the education campaign they fashioned was to deal with criticism from them, but the desire to trumpet their effectiveness was too strong to resist. It was a wonderful divorce from reality, to fail to imagine the adversaries hearing of this news and making use of it against their client.

So much for Network PR. Good luck to them. Now, through the careless eagerness of their supplier to leverage new business from success, NIWA’s senior managers have had their plainly self-absorbed thinking lit by a dazzling public spotlight and naturally it shames them. There are two threads in their error.

First, the leadership decided to use NIWA’s public funds for other than public purposes. That is, the organisation would not benefit from coaching their staff in how to avoid answering questions, only the individual scientists might be spared the irritation, embarrassment or simply the shame of answering questions exposing their unscientific methods, conclusions and agenda. Continue Reading →

NIWA prefers spin to straight answers

Hypnotic spiral

A scandal is erupting over a PR firm – Network PR – employed by NIWA for months specifically to advise it on how to respond to “attacks” from the NZ Climate Science Coalition and blogs like this one.

Read the self-serving announcement from Network here. Network must have been bamboozled into ignoring the scientific questions, because if they heard how simple they are, they surely would have advised NIWA to just answer them.

NIWA’s difficulties spring directly from refusing to answer these questions. Why won’t they answer? Continue Reading →

Don’t lie to me Nick Smith — 1

Image from TV series 'Lie to me'

A CCG reader reported on Nick Smith’s presentation on the ETS last Tuesday (I’m not sure where, as I couldn’t see a Tuesday meeting in his published schedule) and mentioned his use of a combined CO2/temperature graph showing a good correlation (h/t to Bulaman). He mentioned its resemblance to the famous hockey stick graph of late 20th Century global temperatures. It deserves a separate post. He says:

The road show here on Tuesday was well attended and a polite reasoned session. The 2 cops in the back of the room after the Gore fiasco might also have moderated things a bit! The rationale for being in the ETS was effectively the precautionary principle jacked up to cost us $1.5 billion. The evidence was our hockey stick friend with CO2 and temp graphed together.

At the Royal Akarana Yacht Club presentation on Thursday which yours truly attended, the combined graph Smith showed us resembles the Mann hockey stick graph, but it is different. It comes from the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change; you can see it in a brochure at the NZ government Climate Change site. The brochures were handed around at the meeting.

This is the graph: Continue Reading →

Nick Smith on ETS in Auckland tonight

The Hon. Dr Nick Smith

Dr Smith will be at the Royal Akarana Yacht Club tonight, speaking on the Emissions Trading Scheme. The meeting begins at 7:30 pm.

I’ll be there. I encourage anyone of a sceptical cast of mind to attend also and together we can put some pointed questions.

Come early, introduce yourself to me (white beard, black jacket). We can support each other and the cause of truth.

Gluckman stumbles, Part 2 – Sludge

Lies in truth

UPDATE 18 July – see end (Royal Society)

This is the second instalment of a review of Professor Sir Peter Gluckman’s speech of 9 June, entitled Integrity in Science: Implications from and for the Climate Change Debate. The first instalment was Gluckman stumbles on the truth.

In using the term “denialist”, our Chief Science Advisor descends to the sludge at the bottom of the barrel of scientific debate. It is a matter of profound regret that the CSA imports this malignant, divisive term to his prestigious office and the hallowed halls of the Royal Society.

Soaked in fallacy

There is no reason for an honest man of science to employ erroneous techniques of observation or debate, for what would it profit him? They would only ensure, first, that his argument fails and, second, that his credibility is damaged, the greater for being the higher in rank. So this is an enormous lapse in judgement by our top scientist and deserves the firmest reproach. Endorsement of Sir Peter’s comments, such as by the Royal Society (see below), is similarly reproachable.

In adopting the technique – or logical fallacy, whichever you prefer – of the ad hominem argument by labelling those who disagree with him as denialist and rejectionist, he engages in the worst scientific conduct. It is no less than poisonous, and that this toxic stuff now emanates from the summit of our scientific pyramid gives it a cachet it should never receive.

Whatever familiarity the term has achieved under relentless repetition, the ad hominem fallacy it is soaked in is undiminished and thus it can never be acceptable among the well-educated. Continue Reading →

Gluckman stumbles on the truth

Lies in truth

Our quite new Chief Science Advisor, Professor Sir Peter Gluckman, addresses scepticism towards global warming. But he stumbles badly while confirming that the rot that masquerades as public climate science now infiltrates the very top of our national scientific hierarchy.

Talk about confusing the public. What chance is there for the man in the street to keep a clear head when even our top scientist gives the impression the world is about to end? Gluckman doesn’t use those words, but he aligns himself inflexibly with those who do.

In a widely-publicised speech at the Victoria University of Wellington on 9 June (312KB), arranged as part of the Institute of Political Studies series on Key Policy Challenges Facing New Zealand, he addressed the topic Integrity in Science: Implications from and for the Climate Change Debate.

Murky carbon schemes

Sir Peter is one of our truly top-drawer scientists, famous for his world-leading work in paediatrics and endocrinology. Scores of our top researchers, from scientists with decades of experience to fresh new PhD candidates, beaver away earnestly in the Liggins Institute which he established a decade ago. He’s the sort of man people instinctively trust and turn to for guidance; public officials and financiers happily entrust millions of dollars to him to spend on cutting-edge medical research. His knowledge is extensive and his judgement what most people would call flawless.

We ought not to criticise him lightly.

But in this noteworthy speech, he muddies the waters of “debate”, insults those who question the science, wrongly characterises the global warming situation and shamefully, in supporting carbon “trading”, supports those who seek their fortune in the murky, uncontrollable carbon schemes.

Though he raises the topic of climate scepticism he addresses only some insubstantial sceptical issues, virtually ignoring the very things they are sceptical of (which are the scientific observations and theories), concentrating instead, like the ad hominem-riddled warmist rabble, on the sceptics themselves, as though they all share the same faults and motives. Continue Reading →

Sorry for my absence

Broken tooth

I was recently bedridden with a cold and then overtaken by severe dental pain which has taken almost a week to diagnose, during which the pain relief escalated from the usual Panadol (or Tylenol for some) to an alarming though welcome familiarity with morphine. It will be a couple of days before the body returns to normal.

The dental adventure was unpleasant, presenting levels of deep pain beyond my previous experience. The strong drugs induced a sleepy, mental fog so thinking and writing became more difficult than usual.

I’ll be back shortly.

NZ ETS missing its target

Cover of the book The Carbon Challenge

… or is it?

The National government is determined to fire up an emissions trading scheme (ETS) on July 1st, but a new study criticises it forcefully.

NZ sceptics, led by ACT’s John Boscawen, have for some months campaigned against the ETS on scientific and economic grounds, inside and outside the Parliament. But this study by two Victoria University academics – believers in anthropogenic global warming (AGW) – could do more to force a government change of mind than any protest action so far.

Since it comes from within the warmist camp, John Key, Nick Smith and their advisers will, or should, pay it close attention. For it expresses arguments made by supporters of government “climate” policy, so they will be more difficult to dismiss than those of mere “deniers” of “climate change” (whoever they are). Continue Reading →

Wellington protest against the ETS

heading dog

Esther and Neil Henderson, the hard-working people behind Climate Realists NZ, want you to know about a major protest march at the Parliament aimed at ending the stupid Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).

Tues 22nd June, Civic Centre, Wellington, noon — be early

Parliament Buildings

If you can be in Wellington to support the anti-ETS march on 22 June, please give this notice some prominence on your website and spread it around by email.

Please note some of the details have changed slightly from earlier notices — you should use the details given here.

Esther reports that so far they have had an excellent response from lots of people and they are hopeful of a good turnout on the day, with trucks and tractors from the farmers to add colour and noise.

Come along and help make it a “cannot-ignore” event for the politicians!

Below this point is a rough interpretation of Esther’s latest announcement. It’s rough because it didn’t take too kindly to the transition from Word to html. I should spend some time tidying up the html, but it looks quite funky and it does tell you everything you need to know, so I’m not touching it. Contact details are at the bottom.

PS: I did make one change to Esther’s notice. Since there is, strictly speaking, no such time as “12 pm”, I changed it to “12 noon”. I hope Esther forgives my impertinence and I hope they’re not intending to meet at midnight.

Continue Reading →

When will our bloody journalists wake up?

An eye

How obvious must the lack of credibility in AGW become before New Zealand’s so-called journalists wake up to it?

Their disconnection from reality now transcends mere embarrassment for the onlookers; it has become actually humiliating, because the only remaining reason for our nation’s professional journalists to hold to the IPCC line on dangerous man-made global warming is an intentional neglect of the facts. Continue Reading →

Gluckman — great baby doctor but no climate scientist

The ODT reports Professor Sir Peter Gluckman’s speech last night (you’ll remember him, he’s the PM’s chief science advisor).

As expected, the speech seems to have been mainly waffle with few new facts or arguments.

However, the Professor informs us that New Zealand beech trees and swallows are feeling the heat. This is despite Phil Jones’ claim that there has been no significant global warming for 15 years and a slight cooling during the 21st century. It also betrays David Wratt’s claim that future global warming will be less in New Zealand because of the surrounding ocean. More pertinent is the fact that NIWA’s SSS and ESS don’t seem to detect any warming in this country during the past 50 years. So something else must be affecting the swallows, and Gluckman’s ‘science’ (the only factual line in the whole speech) is exposed as being wrong.

Apparently the public is “confused” about the science — “what we know and what we do not know” — and the confusion is all caused by “deniers”. But, Doctor, we have genuine questions… Answer our questions! Beginning with: what’s the evidence?

If Sir Peter gives the PM truly objective advice on climate science, why doesn’t he do the same in his speeches? I think he’s telling John Key just what he wants to hear about global warming, so it doesn’t have to be objective.

There’s more to say about this disgrace.

We’re alone in these trenches, Nick

The NZ Herald reports Nick Smith commenting at the National Party’s northern conference at Waitangi last weekend. He was subjected to some stern questioning about the ETS he insists on installing for us.

He likens the scheme to our contributions to overseas conflicts, reasoning in this way:

“The challenge I give back to you is: when our Anzac troops went to Gallipoli, and when we’ve got our New Zealand troops in Afghanistan, do we really think those New Zealand troops in Afghanistan are going to make a world of difference to the final outcome there?

“No, we don’t. But what we do say, as New Zealanders, and what those Anzacs said in the tradition of New Zealand, is we as a country believe in doing our fair share.”

Nick, the two situations are not comparable. It is ridiculous, one might say even desperate, to attempt to compare them. You see, overseas, we’re fighting with other people. We can actually measure what we do against their efforts.

But with the ETS, we’re not like any other country. Nobody has an ETS like ours. We’re entirely alone.

And we will make no difference to the climate.

Whatever you say it will cost us, it is too much to pay for an empty gesture.

We are cretins ruled by delusions

A set of measuring spoons

UPDATE 1: 26 May 10:45 am

So it’s starting. It’s becoming real. For so long just a pie-in-the-sky dream of climate activists wanting so much to save the world from our greed, selfishness and general all-round bad qualities, the grand plan for the Earth’s climate is at last about to take a material form.

The Herald tells us today: “Mercury Energy hikes prices to reflect ETS“. Wonderful. Now we get the higher prices we demanded in order to change the climate. Now we shall be poorer, but happier. Now we can relax. The world is being put to rights.

The Herald says:

The ETS is a government-imposed cost on all electricity and gas production that emits greenhouse gases, reflecting the total volume of greenhouse gases produced by the electricity and gas industries as a whole.

Once upon a time, dear reader, in far-off times when our forefathers were subjects of the King of England, or the Netherlands, laws were introduced to require accurate measuring of everything that was produced and sold by measure. Standards were introduced and strictly enforced to ensure none of His Majesty’s loyal subjects might be defrauded by the unscrupulous manufacturer or vendor. Continue Reading →

NIWA temperature series problems — Part 1

NIWA ship

A survey begins

When we published our paper Are we feeling warmer yet? last November, criticising the Seven-station Series (SS), NIWA quickly produced what they call the “Eleven-station Series” (ES) to counter it. They went to the trouble of asking Dr Jim Salinger, recently dismissed and author of the original national temperature series, to help them create it, which makes us realise that nobody at NIWA understands how he produced the original figures.

According to the NZ Herald, Jim specially selected the stations for the ES.

Some people would be impressed by that news, but others find their antennae stiffening at the idea of “specially selecting” data for any reason. It might be justified, but then again, it might not. The situation calls for careful study. So what has happened? We can say a few things about it.

Scientists in the Coalition have had a look at the new series and found problems with it. Continue Reading →

Marc Morano — merry motor-mouth

Marc Morano

Press the Start button with care: you must be prepared to muster a strong determination to press Stop. If you do not, Marc will just carry on; he is all-nigh unstoppable, his passion unmistakable.

I have seldom, aside from university professors, found anyone with such a prodigious memory as Marc demonstrates here.

His instant recall for an eclectic collection of global warming facts, personalities and events is formidable.

He provides us with a handy history in a nutshell, if you can handle the non-stop, breathless delivery. Notice the delicate job Denis Rancourt does in getting Marc occasionally to stop.

Listen to Marc being interviewed on the player below. The interview begins at about the two-minute mark and lasts for about an hour.

Ice, anyone?

A gigantic glacier

Hot Topic has just released a rant against Barry Brill’s article “Crisis in New Zealand climatology”, just published at Quadrant.

Readers here, waiting for NIWA to release the reasons for the adjustments to the official national temperature record, will be pleased to learn that Renowden has the answer so NIWA needn’t bother with all that scientific mumbo-jumbo.

First he quotes Barry’s article pointing out that the average NZ temperature in the 1860s was 13.1°C, the same as the average temperature in 2005. Renowden scoffs at this but does not refute it. I find that strange. He has no argument with those facts. He lets them stand.

Instead, he waves a book cover at us, showing melting glaciers, falsely insinuating that rising temperatures are the only reason for glaciers to recede. Continue Reading →

Public debate on climate change at last

Key and Rudd debating

I’m snowed under with work, but even if I cannot do this remarkable event justice with a full report, neither can I continue to ignore it. It must be recorded and acknowledged and praised and have thanks given for it. I will expand the account as I find the time.

It was a seminar on “climate change” arranged by the Napier branch of IPENZ, a society for civil engineers. Invited speakers included scientists from NIWA and scientists from the NZ Climate Science Coalition.

I have collected several eye-witness accounts which I want to weave together, but for now, just to give a brief report of the night, here is a quick summary from Alan:

Very well organised and run — took all afternoon and into 8 pm, with a dinner break. [Dr David] Wratt/[Prof. Martin] Manning/[Dr Andrew] Tait (NIWA) did not come across very well, to my mind; second-hand used car salesmen comes to mind (especially the first two).

Tait was hopeless; spoke of the precautionary principle, risk mitigation (buy my computer model tool box). Was a dead (not stunned) mullet when Willem asked him how his rainfall projections for the next 100 yrs compared with historic records. Continue Reading →

In fact we are overcome

The end of the world

Gareth Renowden of Hot Topic, famed as much for truffle hunting as end-of-the-world prophecy, has just celebrated his 25th wedding anniversary.

Congratulations. It cannot have been easy.

His latest post reports that while celebrating that significant marriage milestone in Sydney the other day he found this little poem addressed to insensitive climate deniers everywhere and thoughtfully shares it with us:

An Open Letter to Climate Sceptics

Among your loved ones choose
– when the sweet airs fail,
when the rivers run dry –
the hand of whom to hold
until the last breath,
until the last cry.

That’s beautiful. How sad, how compelling, how utterly chilling.

**sniff** Continue Reading →

NIWA — climate denialists

Dr David Wratt

NIWA have responded to Rodney Hide’s criticism of their temperature record in two articles: a statement they published yesterday on Scoop, quoting Chief Executive John Morgan and Chief Climate Scientist David Wratt, and an article by Kent Atkinson from NZPA, who interviewed David Wratt and NIWA Communications Manager Michelle Hollis.

Here I review NIWA’s own statement at Scoop.

NIWA CEO John Morgan says, admirably, if predictably, that he supports “the integrity and professionalism” of his scientists. He adds that NIWA is internationally respected but then makes the quite remarkable statement that “we do not get involved in political commentary or process.”

That is an outstanding denial of the candidly political stance taken by the climate scientists under David Wratt, who unblushingly push the IPCC line, that human-caused warming will destroy life on Earth, that any temperature increase in the Earth’s climate should be “controlled” or “managed” below 2°C (as if we had the power to do so), that the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide should be “held” at 350 ppmv (as if we had the power to do so) and that the only way to escape ruinous global warming is to stop using petrochemicals and increase the use of all renewable energy sources but not nuclear power. And change our light bulbs and recycle things.

None of that is science; none of that is supported by scientific observations; none of that is anything but policy, politics and advocacy. Continue Reading →

Rodney Hide nettles NIWA

A speech delivered by the Hon Rodney Hide, ACT Leader, to the Waikato Federated Farmers AGM, at Hamilton Airport Conference Centre, Hamilton, on Thursday, May 6, 2010.

Nettle needles

Self-inflicted wounds and sloppy science

Should New Zealand lead the world?

Of course, you say. We’ve done it before.

First country to give women the vote. First country to sign a free trade agreement with China. First up Everest.

Yes, we know what it is to be first. To be the one others want to follow.

But do we know what it is to be out on a limb? To jump the starting gun and be running alone? Well, we are soon about to find out.

New Zealand will be the only country in the world to enact a national, all-sectors, all-gases ETS. Just us.

The US won’t be, nor Japan, India or China. And Australia has just pulled out as well. Continue Reading →

Links to the Niwagate fiasco

Links

About six months ago, on November 25, 2009, the CCG and the NZ Climate Science Coalition (CSC) published a brief study entitled Are we feeling warmer yet? that proved to be fairly controversial.

Since then the ACT Party, through John Boscawen and Rodney Hide, have applied considerable pressure in the Parliament to NIWA and its minister, Wayne Mapp. The questions they have asked have delivered copious information about the official New Zealand temperature record produced by NIWA.

The Climate Conversation blog has teased out the detail of most of the relevant issues over the six months since we first revealed the existence of these problems. However, locating all the relevant threads is far too difficult. This summary article will sketch out what has happened, from publication of our paper to now, loosely chronological but also bunching some related issues together. Its purpose is to provide a series of links to all the articles, in an easy-to-follow form.

It will include links to evidentiary material like the correspondence with Mace and historical records such as the Hessell 1980 paper, etc.

For now, it must be a work in progress, since it’s time-consuming to locate all the material. But this is a start.

I’ve decided to add a tag or two to the relevant posts, which will make it easy to find them. That will take some time. You can search our site for specific topics marked with tags. Scroll down until you find the heading Tags in the right-hand panel. Click a tag to list all the articles relevant to that topic.

Topics containing most of the stories of our fight with NIWA over the official national temperature record include:

NIWA
Climate research
Climate science

Some stories are filed under:

Climate Conversation Group
Global warming (though almost everything is filed there!)

You’ll find some posts dealing with the parliamentary questions filed under:
ACT
Parliament

Over the next few days I’ll add the magic tags “NZ temperature records” and “NIWAgate” to relevant stories so they will be truly easy to find. I’ll update this post as I make substantial changes.

Please accept my apologies for not making it easier for you to find the relevant stories. I’ll fix it as soon as I can.

Taxing the Heart out of Australia

Australian flag

The Rudd Resource tax is just another in a long line of taxes helping to depopulate rural Australia.

That depopulation of the outback started with the fringe benefits tax and the removal of accelerated depreciation, both of which penalise companies who provide housing for employees.

Every government since then has accelerated the drift to the coastal and capital cities.

The heavy burdens of excessive fuel taxes, coal royalties, rail freights and infrastructure bottlenecks have for years restricted the development of the outback resource industry. Only deposits that are rich or close to the coast can pay their way, which is why the Galilee Basin has been undeveloped for so long.

The vegetation control bans, water mismanagement and growth of carbon credit forests are depressing agriculture and will depopulate rural towns. Continue Reading →

Stop the ETS: send emails now & keep sending them

After posting your email, vote in our ETS poll.
After voting, sign the petition to suspend the ETS.
email button

The New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) is an unnecessary waste of effort and it will increase the cost of living for every household in the land. It starts by raising the prices of electricity and petrol by 5%. The purpose is to change the climate of the earth.

National seem intent upon launching the silly scheme on July 1st. There are about eight weeks to go.

Send an email expressing your opposition to this new tax to your local MP, to the Minister for Climate Change Issues (Nick Smith) and to the Prime Minister.

Write whatever you want to say, of course, but if you asked me to give you some idea of what to say, I would suggest this:

I oppose the ETS. I want you to delay, disable or defeat the ETS. If the ETS goes through in its present form with your support, don’t come crying to me when you don’t get re-elected next year, because I won’t be voting for you and I won’t care if someone else gets your seat.

Continue Reading →

Fraud epidemic destroys trust in “carbon” trade

Handcuffs

Sends shivers down the spine, this does. For, not only does “regular” carbon trading take food from the mouths of mothers and babies, but fraudulent activities, increasing costs and therefore prices, take even more. How long before it turns up in New Zealand, if National really does launch its ill-advised scheme on July 1? The most important part of the story waits until the last two paragraphs, though I’ve flagged it in the heading. Further comments below.

First published by BusinessGreen, 30 Apr 2010

German carbon fraud investigation moves to UK

Prosecutors confirm that four arrests have been made in €180m fraud investigation

German prosecutors today confirmed they have arrested four people in Germany and the UK following raids on more than 50 homes and offices this week in connection with an alleged €180m (£156m) carbon fraud. Continue Reading →

Hansen refuses to explain why he does it

Dr James Hansen

While on the subject of awkward, unanswered emails, let me pass on a message I recently sent to Dr James Hansen, the scientist widely famed as the “father” of global warming. I still hope he will offer some explanation.

4 March 2010

Dear Dr Hansen,

The Climate Conversation Group and I have become interested in the very meaning of “taking the temperature”, calculating the so-called “average” temperature for a place and a region and the meaning of doing so. I have just seen your web page [The Elusive Absolute Surface Air Temperature (SAT)], discussing these and related matters. It is an interesting and informative page.

You say there is no agreed method of measuring surface air temperatures and, in fact, there are numerous practical and theoretical obstacles to ever achieving such a measurement.

There is a very obvious question raised by that discussion. We are interested to know why, if it cannot be done, do you do it?

Regards,

Richard Treadgold
Convenor
Climate Conversation Group

Renwick goes off the air

Dr James Renwick

Earlier this year I struck up a conversation with Dr James Renwick, NIWA Principal Climate Scientist. But we only exchanged a few messages; these were the last. After eight weeks I guess he no longer intends answering so I want to reveal the awkward questions he wasn’t prepared to answer. Here is his last email to me, followed by my response.

1 March 2010

Dear Richard:

In response to your mail of 23 February –

We have tabulated the adjustments (the “SOA”) and put them on our web site. Members of the CSC (Warwick Hughes, Vincent Gray) have had the necessary information for some time, as we have pointed out. Your document “Are we feeling warmer yet” illustrates the adjustments as step changes in the station graphs on pages 5-8. Continue Reading →

Nick, nobody has an ETS like ours

The Earth's atmosphere

In the Parliament today, Chris Auchinvole asked Nick Smith (Minister for Climate Change): “Are claims correct that New Zealand is the first in the world to have an emissions trading scheme, and that it is just a tax for revenue purposes?”

And thus did Nick reply:

No, 38 countries have commitments under the Kyoto Protocol, and 29 of them, or three-quarters, already have an emissions trading scheme. Nor is the scheme a tax. Although consumers and businesses will pay $350 million in the first year of the scheme for their emissions, foresters will receive $1,100 million in carbon credits for post-1989 forests. Far from providing net revenue to the Government, the scheme is actually a cost to the Crown. There are 12,000 New Zealanders who, in good faith, planted trees on the assurances of both National and Labour Governments that they would receive carbon credits for those post-1989 forests. The emissions trading scheme honours that commitment.

But the facts are different from those presented by our Nick. Continue Reading →

Please listen to us Mr Key

It is significant that there are so many voices raised against the ETS.

a humorous ETS cartoon

Rodney Hide confirms this, saying that he has never received such a high level of public support on any other issue. He says Kiwis around the country are annoyed. They know there’s no need for an expensive ETS that will deliver no benefits whatsoever.

It behoves you to listen to us and very smartly do something about our concerns or next year you will find yourself back in the loneliness of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition. Our ETS will do nothing for the environment, will diminish the budgets of hard-working families and will require a monstrous create-nothing bureaucracy.

In addition, though the ETS purports to be based on movements of carbon dioxide into and out of almost every large-scale process in the country, there is no way to measure such movements. If you don’t believe me, ask your officials; uptake and emission of CO2 are based predominantly on computer models.

Since it can’t be measured, everyone can overstate with impunity the quantities involved and has an incentive to do so. Fraud is rife in the overseas schemes and there’s no reason to think it won’t occur here, too.

Because of our power generation structure, even the price of renewable electricity will go up because of the ETS, giving windfall profits of millions of dollars to the generators.

It’s too much to pay; and we refuse to stroke the over-anxious egos of comfortable, middle-class, socialist greenies.

Pay attention: We don’t want an ETS.

Up down all around it ends where it begins

A Mobius strip

Most people take for granted that New Zealand’s surface air temperatures (SAT) have gone up over the last century. But is that true?

NIWA’s official graph of the national temperatures is well known. You can get it from their web site. By the way, if you go there, let me know if you think they’ve recently stretched the image laterally; it is definitely wider than before — even the text is obviously stretched sideways. Could they be trying to make the vertical change less prominent and thus reduce the apparent slope of the trend line? What goes through their minds at NIWA? Anyway, as copied a few months ago, and so a little different, it looks like this:

NIWA's official NZ temperature graph

You should be aware that the Climate Conversation Group and the NZCSC have delivered a rip-snorting criticism of this graph, so we don’t agree with it even for a moment. Now I will raise further objections to NIWA’s graph because it contains features inconsistent even with NIWA’s own conclusions. Continue Reading →

Throw us a bone, mister?

A magnifying glass

Royal Society dwells in rarified realm

In their philosophical banquet hall they dine on pure science. Their table groans under the weight of hypotheses, complex thinking and evidence. Their huge intellects, beyond the ken of we ordinary folk, address issues we cannot imagine and their highly skilled minds devise solutions to problems we didn’t even know existed.

We are grateful when at last the Royal Society academicians let us know what for our good they have decided to do, then we can express our appreciation for the care they take over us.

Yesterday, the Chief Science Advisor, Peter Gluckman, made a speech at NIWA in Auckland. He addressed, as was proper for a scientist in the exalted position of advisor to our Prime Minister, high questions of science and its practise and development. He referred to the Royal Society, in England, celebrating this year the 350th anniversary of its founding. What a wonderful society, wonderfully inspired and courageous in countless periods as it championed the cause of empirical, evidence-based truth and reason.

Too much dogma…

The good Dr Gluckman bemoaned the fact that “too many decisions are still based on dogma rather than knowledge”. How true that is. But see how that barb lands uncomfortably close to our admirable Royal Society. Does he know that the vexed question of anthropogenic global warming, about which he asserted later in his speech quite firmly: “I am not going to enter the debate about whether the world is warming and whether that warming is anthropogenic,” is ruled by the very dogma he appears to deplore? Continue Reading →

Trenberth and Royal Society clash head-on

A few fish in the sea

Here’s an article by Kevin Trenberth from this week’s Science Journal that directly contradicts the recent statement on Science, Climate Change and Integrity by Professor Keith Hunter, Vice-President of the NZ Royal Society. We look forward eagerly to the public debate that will surely follow this disclosure of discord within the formerly close-knit climate science community.

‘Missing’ heat may affect future climate change

Satellite instruments and ocean sensors limited

Current observational tools cannot account for roughly half of the heat that is believed to have built up on Earth in recent years, according to a “Perspectives” article in this week’s issue of the journal Science.

Scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado, warn that satellite sensors, ocean floats and other instruments are inadequate to track this “missing” heat, which may be building up in the deep oceans or elsewhere in the climate system.

“The heat will come back to haunt us sooner or later,” says NCAR scientist Kevin Trenberth, the article’s lead author. Continue Reading →

Impressively complex. Of course, we ignore it — NIWA

A Stevenson screen in the snow

NIWA keep talking about various reasons to adjust the official New Zealand temperature readings. They say one must account for changes in location, exposure, urbanisation and instrumentation. For some reason they continually harp on about the altitude difference between Thorndon and Kelburn (Wellington).

But it is empty talk, because they have never made changes for those reasons. Are you listening? People of New Zealand: scientists from the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), your country’s publicly-funded, premier environmental research organisation, have lied to you and continue to lie to you. Continue Reading →

Sorry the site went down

hard disk drive

I’m sorry if you couldn’t reach our site today (Friday). A technical glitch has been resolved and we’re up and running again. Some comments have been delayed but not, I think, lost. If your comments don’t appear, please post them again.

Thanks,
Richard.

Salinger claims warming but can’t feel the heat

A man with his head in the sand

The Waikato Times today carries an interview with Dr Jim Salinger by Jeff Neems.

The heading is Salinger doesn’t feel critics’ heat. Which probably explains why he doesn’t reply to the criticism.

I think there is something to be said to Dr Salinger. He gets away with some elasticisation of the facts. Do you think we’ve attacked Salinger personally and not on facts? I don’t. We’ve directed our criticism squarely at his PhD thesis and some things he has said. We have deliberately not attacked Jimmy himself.

Do you think Salinger is being a mite hypocritical? First he says:

Science is about facts, not beliefs. I like to look at the facts and see what they say – if people want to attack me as a person, that has nothing to do with my science. It doesn’t worry me.

Then he attacks the Coalition on personal grounds through their alleged connection with big oil. I myself have no connection with the oil industry; I suppose that’s why my cheque from them is overdue. Continue Reading →

Oceans don’t warm as they lose heat

Royal Society web site banner

Keith Hunter’s statement gives another reason to believe in Anthropogenic Global Warming:

It is also clear that the oceans absorb about 85% of the excess heat resulting from this radiative forcing by greenhouse gases (as well as about 40% of the carbon dioxide). Detailed measurements of the changes in oceanic heat content, and the temperature rise that accompanies this, agree quantitatively with the predicted radiative forcing.

This is far from “clear”. It is both absurd and wrong.

  • The ARGO programme has found that the ocean has been cooling since 2003. Despite expectations of warming, temperature measurements of the upper 700 m of the ocean from the ARGO array show no increase from 2003 to 2008.
  • It is physically impossible. CO2 radiates infrared at wavelengths of about 12 microns, while the limit for sea absorption is 3 microns.

The greenhouse effect involves wavelengths greater than 3 microns (mostly around 14 for CO2), while the absorption spectra for the oceans cover wavelengths less than 3 microns (mostly in the visible light range). It is not physically possible for the oceans to absorb 85% of the energy recycled by the Greenhouse Effect – and it’s even harder if you accept the IPCC argument that the impact of an enhanced greenhouse effect occurs near the tropopause (10-15 km above the ocean surface with a CO2 optical depth of the order of 10 m).

Is Prof Hunter right? Is this a reason to believe in Anthropogenic Global Warming?