Perrott pouts a porky

Hot Topic logo

I see now that two days ago Ken Perrott made a short but incorrect comment at Hot Topic which should be rebutted:

My comments at Treadgold’s blog are now deleted.

Ken, whose repetitive comments here, with their artificial argumentation, became quite vexing, risks misleading Hot Topic’s readers into believing I deleted all his comments. For that is not true.

Actually, only Ken’s latest comment was deleted, for being derogatory, personal and in bad taste. I deleted a comment only after repeated warnings not to indulge in ad hominem remarks, which he ignored. It’s easy to verify that all his previous comments are still sitting here, ready to illuminate us.

Just stand around shouting insults

No doubt pluralising his “comment” was indeliberate and I look forward to his apology when he hears of my rebuttal.

Looking at some of the other comments, I’m surprised to see that scarcely a sentence mentions the national temperature record, which is what I’m talking about. Or perhaps not surprised, having noticed before that most contributors there (but not all) seem happy just to stand around muttering insults.

I might say that some of the remarks are in the most dreadfully poor taste. It’s a wonder that Mr Renowden lets them stand.

However, I should congratulate him on his writing this time. For a post that basically tells me to naff off from his blog, it is remarkably well-researched. I suppose I should feel flattered he went to such trouble over someone unimportant, without influence, not threatening or notable. Continue Reading →

NIWA ignores our questions

Parliament Buildings through an onion

We’re working through several answers from the Hon Wayne Mapp, Minister of Research, Science and Technology, concerning questions posed by ACT about the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA).


A further question asked the minister why he tabled the Hokitika analysis instead of an analysis for all seven stations, as Rodney Hide had asked and David Wratt had agreed to do during the December meeting of MPs. Nick Smith prevented a record being kept of that famous meeting, so the only account of it came from Rodney Hide in a late-night phone call. You can read it here on the CCG blog.

If you haven’t seen the “NIWA squirms” article before, I’ll ask you to take particular notice of this part:

Rodney said, “That’s the sort of thing [a description of the adjustments at Wellington] I want to see for every site.” Wratt admitted there were other adjustments at Hokitika. Rodney said, “Well, just explain those, then do the same for the other five sites” [Rodney thought that the Wellington adjustments had been described, so only five sites remained. It proved to be untrue — they have still not described Wellington, so there are six to go.]

Rodney’s request to see all seven stations is unambiguous and undeniable. Continue Reading →

Global warming first: oxygen involved!

The mighty Merz Glacier

A story in the NZ Herald a few days ago talked about giant Antarctic icebergs:

A massive iceberg struck Antarctica, dislodging another giant block of ice from a glacier, Australian and French scientists said.

The end of the mighty Mertz Glacier had been repeatedly hammered by the 97-kilometre-long iceberg as it moved in the ocean currents. Note that there’s no mention of global warming to explain this “breakup” of ice.

This event was driven entirely by mechanical forces …

… until the final paragraph, when the article talks about oxygen levels and quotes “a leading climate expert”, Steve Rintoul:

Oxygen levels being fed into the world’s ocean currents are now changing “and the overturning circulation currents will respond to that change,” Rintoul said. Observing what happens “will … allow us to improve predictions of future climate change.”

One wonders whether Rintoul is accurately quoted.

It is understandable that the overturning circulation might transport water of differing oxygen levels around the oceans, but it is incredible that differing oxygen levels might affect the overturning circulation.

I do not understand how observing the effects of oxygen on the overturning circulation might have any effect on our predictions of “climate change”, much less allow us to improve them.

Further explanation is required, and it ought to have been obtained by our beloved Herald before publication of this nonsense.

NIWA breaks promises, should apologise

Parliament Buildings through an onion

We’re working through several answers from the Hon Wayne Mapp, Minister of Research, Science and Technology, concerning questions posed by ACT about the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA).


One question concerns the production of what we have referred to as the Schedule of Adjustments (SOA). It’s simply a statement of what changes were made to the raw temperature readings, why and when, in order to record the scientific justification for them.

The Climate Conversation Group (CCG) and the NZ Climate Science Coalition (CSC) have been asking NIWA since November to disclose the SOA. Privately, they have told us they are “reconstructing” the SOA, and, indeed, on February 9, they quietly posted a list of all the adjustments to the seven-station series together with a discussion of the reasons for Hokitika. Well done, them.

On January 30, Eloise Gibson wrote in the NZ Herald:

The country’s climate forecaster is bowing to public pressure and putting all of its temperature data and calculations on the internet because of mistrust fuelled by errors overseas.

Principal climate scientist James Renwick said Niwa had decided to bare all because “if we don’t we appear to be hiding something”.

Two people in Niwa’s climate group have prepared a full set of documents including all the data from climate stations and a full explanation of the adjustments made to records, which should be available online in about a week.

Continue Reading →

Odd numbers

Parliament Buildings through an onion

NIWA supply temperature data to the big overseas teams that maintain the global temperature datasets, including NASA, NOAA, the Hadley Centre, the WMO, NCDC and the UK Met Office (Hadley Centre).

It’s a bit odd that not all those organisations get the same sets of data.

For instance, the WMO gets monthly summaries comprising Kaitaia, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Paraparaumu, Kaikoura, Hokitika, Christchurch, Tara Hills, Invercargill, Raoul Island, Chatham Islands and Campbell Island — 13 stations in total.

From time to time, “Other data are provided in response to requests to NIWA.” So in August 2005, NCDC and NOAA reveived data from Kaitaia, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Paraparaumu, Hokitika, Tara Hills, Invercargill, Campbell Island, Chatham Islands and Raoul Island. That’s a bunch of 10 stations.

In August 2003, NIWA apparently sent (isn’t this fascinating?) the WMO data from 17 New Zealand sites: Kaitaia, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Paraparaumu, Nelson, Kaikoura, Hokitika, Christchurch, Tara Hills, Dunedin, Invercargill, Raoul Island, Chatham Island, Campbell Island and Scott Base, Antarctica. So that’s a New Zealand site?

In 1994, the UK Met Office (Hadley Centre) got temperature data for the seven-station series, plus Havelock North and Mt Cook (my emphasis).

Strange that in every case the overseas teams received data from more sites than we ourselves use for the national record.

Why does NIWA select only seven sites to describe the whole country? They really ought to explain it to us.

Suspicious warming trend proof of bias?

Parliament buildings with onion

We’re working through several answers from the Hon Wayne Mapp, Minister of Research, Science and Technology, concerning questions posed by ACT about the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA). Some of the answers are bombshells. One reveals that NIWA lost vital worksheets used by Dr Salinger in constructing the national temperature record.


The next question I’ll discuss concerns adjustments NIWA made to the national temperature record. ACT asked a simple question about them, which was this:

… how many of the years before 1950 had their temperature adjusted downward in the NIWA “Seven-Station” Temperature Series and how many upward; and how many of the years after 1950 had their temperature adjusted downward and how many upward?

Continue Reading →

NIWA admits deleting vital climate files

a destroyed hard disk drive

NIWA have admitted that vital original material used to prepare the official New Zealand temperature records was deleted. They do not say when it happened, but it means that, in contravention of time-honoured principles of good science, NIWA is no longer able to verify the work done by Dr Jim Salinger.

The news came in an answer to a written parliamentary question from ACT and comes as NIWA is under pressure to justify the so-called “seven-station” time series that forms the centrepiece of their evidence of long-term warming.

The Climate Conversation Group (CCG), in association with the NZ Climate Science Coalition (CSC), published a report last November into apparent irregularities in the New Zealand temperature record. Continue Reading →

Salinger & NIWA all at sea over temperature trends

NZ temp record

What’s going on?

NIWA goes to a lot of trouble to warn us about the coming “climate change” causing warming between 0.7°C and 5.1°C by 2090. But I can reveal evidence that our top climate scientists don’t believe this.

Should New Zealanders expect significant warming for the next 80 years? You might be surprised to learn — especially if you’re following the discussions here — that scientists with NIWA, whose job is to research the climate, tell us we already haven’t had any warming to speak of for about 60 years and we won’t get serious warming in the future.

Now that’s not the message we normally get from government scientists! Continue Reading →

Windmills increase CO2, pollution & costs

An ugly windfarm near Palm Springs, California.

A good man learns from experience; a wise man from the experience of others. The following story describes actual experiences with modern windfarms. It has a Canadian focus, but can instruct us too if we listen. Let us do what we can to prevent these mistakes from occurring in New Zealand.

This story is about windmills proving a disaster, both financially and for energy security, but they are disasters in the literal sense, too. These monstrous machines in our landscapes can cause enormous damage when they fail, which they do quite frequently, adding even more to their great expense, not to mention that people have died. We have pictures of some of the failures. Here’s a site that actually supports wind power, claiming they reduce “carbon footprints”, whatever they are, but loves looking at accidents. It makes chilling viewing. Here’s a sample failure:

windmill failure

See more on our new page of wind turbine failures.


Wind power is a complete disaster

[subheads, emphasis, added]

There is no evidence that industrial wind power is likely to have a significant impact on carbon emissions. The European experience is instructive. Denmark, the world’s most wind-intensive nation, with more than 6,000 turbines generating 19% of its electricity, has yet to close a single fossil-fuel plant. It requires 50% more coal-generated electricity to cover wind power’s unpredictability, and pollution and carbon dioxide emissions have risen (by 36% in 2006 alone).

Flemming Nissen, the head of development at West Danish generating company ELSAM (one of Denmark’s largest energy utilities) tells us that “wind turbines do not reduce carbon dioxide emissions.” The German experience is no different. Der Spiegel reports that “Germany’s CO2 emissions haven’t been reduced by even a single gram,” and additional coal- and gas-fired plants have been constructed to ensure reliable delivery.

Indeed, recent academic research shows that wind power may actually increase greenhouse gas emissions in some cases, depending on the carbon-intensity of back-up generation required because of its intermittent character. On the negative side of the environmental ledger are adverse impacts of industrial wind turbines on birdlife and other forms of wildlife, farm animals, wetlands and viewsheds.

When the government picks winners look out for havoc

Industrial wind power is not a viable economic alternative to other energy conservation options. Again, the Danish experience is instructive. Its electricity generation costs are the highest in Europe (15¢/kwh compared to Ontario’s current rate of about 6¢). Niels Gram of the Danish Federation of Industries says, “windmills are a mistake and economically make no sense.” Aase Madsen, the Chair of Energy Policy in the Danish Parliament, calls it “a terribly expensive disaster.” Continue Reading →

Our paper is misinterpreted — have you read it?

Graphs from our paper

The paper we published last November continues to attract attention. The sceptics like it since it seems to refute any warming in New Zealand and the warmists like it since it seems to present a loutish, unscientific punching bag.

The truth lies more moderately somewhere in between.

The sceptics shouldn’t look to our paper to refute local warming, because it doesn’t. It presents no evidence on the quality of the national temperature graph — it merely questions the data, expresses strong doubts about their accuracy and wonders what adjustments were made to them.

Salinger contradicts Wratt in writing

Those looking for a refutation of New Zealand warming actually need look no further than NIWA’s own graph of the New Zealand annual temperature series, which shows no significant warming since about 1950. Here’s a copy:

NZ annual temperature series

In confirmation of this, Dr Jim Salinger expressly claims that the NZ temperature increase over the last 50 years is only 0.3°C. In an email to Vincent Gray in 2006 he said:

A linear trend fitted to the data over the period 1950 – 2005 is equivalent to an increase of 0.4°C over that period (or 0.3°C fitting a trend to the last 50 years, 1955 – 2005).

That’s a far cry from 0.92°C over the last 100 years, which is what David Wratt last claimed. The first 50 years must have been scorching! Continue Reading →

Suspended at Hot Topic!

Hot Topic logo

It seems I inspire anxiety in warmist minds around the world. Real Climate, home of the infamous Mike (the Hockey Stick) Mann, and Tamino at her blog, Open Mind, have both banned me for asking questions, and now at the little-known New Zealand warmist site, Hot Topic, I have been “suspended”!

I argued with a silly, alarmist story at Hot Topic about a tiny rise in atmospheric methane levels. I knew I risked a high level of personal abuse, and that I had already been declared “unwelcome”, but I was unwilling to let such unfounded, anxiety-peddling nonsense go unchallenged.

Here is the comment with which Gareth Renowden greeted my first remarks this morning (the first comment of mine at that site for a number of weeks):

[Richard: Until you withdraw your shonky “report” on NIWA’s temp record and apologise for smearing the reputations of senior scientists you remain unwelcome here. GR]

And this, dear reader, is what the redoubtable Bryan Walker has done to my response to others’ comments at about 1:10 this afternoon:

Bryan Walker February 25, 2010 at 1:33 pm
Richard, I have put your latest comment on hold until Gareth returns this evening and can decide what to do about it. So far as I am aware you remain unwelcome on this site, but your appearance caught me by surprise and I’ve let your first comment stand since it has attracted other comments. Please make no further comment in the meantime.

Until the great man returns to apply some much-needed reason to the problem of my comments, you can read them here: Continue Reading →

IPCC to announce “significant” changes

Have the revelations of impropriety, mistakes and sheer deception finally forced substantial change, or is this an attempt merely to gloss over the shattered credibility of the IPCC? Whatever the outcome, nothing will remain as it was; there have been titanic shifts in opinion, few people believe that mankind is responsible for changing the climate and investors are leaving the “carbon” markets in droves. The following article is a good summary of how the IPCC’s credibility has been destroyed.

Reported today on Fox News (subheads added):


Tree rings

In the wake of its swift and devastating fall from grace, the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) says it will announce “within the next few days” plans to make significant changes in how it does business.

Just one year ago a pronouncement from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) was all that was needed to move nations and change environmental policies around the world. But today, the panel’s creditability and even its very existence are in question.

In the wake of its swift and devastating fall from grace, the panel says it will announce “within the next few days” that it plans to make significant though as yet unexplained changes in how it does business.

Brenda Abrar-Milani, an external relations officer at the IPCC’s office in Geneva, Switzerland, said changes have been slow in coming because “we have to inform the governments (all 194 member States) of any planned steps, and they are the ones who eventually take decisions on any revision of procedures.”

“We put everything on the table and looked at it,” she said, explaining that the panel’s reforms would be extensive. She refused to detail any of the changes, but she did confirm that are in response to recent scandals involving the panel. Continue Reading →

Dendro blatherskite

Dendrochronological drill

Let us talk about the NZ Herald again, Eloise Gibson (environmental reporter) again and Andrew Reisinger again, but more of Dr Reisinger than the others, who cannot be expected to know how he weaves that magic wool over their eyes.

Dr Reisinger, not unknown to readers of this Climate Conversation, who you might remember is close to Rajendra Pachauri (still clinging grimly to the leadership of the IPCC) and rumoured to be in a relationship with Pachauri’s younger daughter, Shonali, is this time treating us to a bunch of mysterious nonsense about tree rings. According to my information, he’s a highly skilled atmospheric physicist (which has nothing to do with tree rings, however).

He claims that trees have changed how they respond to the climate, but only in the last sixty years. Yeah, right! Continue Reading →

Weird site outages

Donkey up in the air

I want to apologise for this site being unavailable at times on Friday and Saturday. At the same time, I was committed to spending most of those days away from the computer and so I couldn’t follow up with my hosting company, the Kiwi Web Host Company, a subsidiary of iServe, in Wellington.

If you tried to access the Climate Conversation Group site and saw instead a notice that the bandwidth allowance had been exceeded, please accept my sincere apologies.

The short story is that the bandwidth allowance was not in fact exceeded and a mistake of some kind occurred. I’ve yet to find out what happened, but the site is back up and the statistics tell me that so far we’re well within the monthly allowance.

Weird, man!

Cold-blooded at Hot Topic

lizard

There continues such a stream of cold-blooded invective over at Hot Topic, one marvels they have the will to ignore the point for such long periods.

They discovered ACT’s questions in Parliament yesterday and have shared with the world the following pearls of understanding.

Gareth (after reading John’s first question): What “schedule of adjustments”? That’s just a term made up by Treadgold. Who writes your questions, John?

Picking up on that term is weak and quite ignores the thrust of the question. I didn’t make it up, but it’s jolly useful. James Renwick uses the term, so we’re in good company (or Renwick is).

Rob Taylor contributed: Evidently, ACT and NZ”C”SC are joined at the hip – one couple who truly do deserve each other!

Mindless twaddle.

password1: Speaker was ’sympathetic’ to the ACT’s member’s point of order. Transcript: [link]

Ah, some information!

Gareth: Hide’s supplementaries sound as though Treadgold wrote them for him. ACT are clearly hell-bent on supporting the CSC and CCG smear campaign. More fool them.

What’s wrong with me writing them (though I didn’t)? What smears? Show me a smear.

So, after this pointless arm-waving, what about NIWA not keeping a schedule of adjustments? You’re not enlightening us one bit, lads.

Question time Mapps a revelation

A Mapped-out question

Hide one, NIWA nothing

Question time in the House today was a revelation. You could see it, writ large and terrible, on Wayne Mapp’s face as he finally realised the depth of deception he’s been handed by his own department, the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA).

It has been obvious for a while that NIWA has not taken the good minister into its confidence, and I hope that the Hon Dr Mapp went back to that department today and rapped some naughty NIWA knuckles. It is past time it happened.

Deception is the wrong approach to use on a Minister of the Crown. You might try it, and for a time you might succeed, but it will catch up with you. I would not be in David Wratt’s shoes right now for any price.

Dreadful display of ignorance

Wayne Mapp did not appear to know

  • that the schedule of adjustments was not, in fact, contained in the voluminous references NIWA gave the NZ Climate Science Coalition (CSC)
  • that there are reasons other than location changes to adjust temperature readings
  • that the schedule of adjustments is not on NIWA’s web site
  • that Salinger’s thesis is not publicly available
  • the difference between the methodology of the temperature adjustments and the adjustments themselves
  • that the documents cited by NIWA do not in fact exist on NIWA’s web site but are elsewhere
  • that the famed schedule of adjustments does not actually exist

It was a dreadful display of ignorance by a Minister facing questions in the Parliament. Continue Reading →

Apologise? Why?

A cracked egg

It’s hard to know what Mr Renowden is trying to say in his post attacking me/us. Entitled Egg/face interface for Hide and the climate cranks, it asks for an apology from us/me but fails to mention what for.

I’ll have a closer look soon and comment on it. But it looks like the same tiresome stuff, I fear, as we’ve dealt with already. NIWA have told us that they don’t have all the records to give us a full answer but they will reconstruct them and show us why the adjustments are justified. To demonstrate that, they’ve just released the adjustment schedule for Hokitika.

There’s no reason for us to apologise, but we have thanked them.

We (our scientists) are looking at the Hokitika adjustments. We’re also examining Salinger’s thesis. Finally. Hurrah. It’s catastrophically long so any opinion will be a while in coming.

Gareth’s rant has attracted a great many comments, a lot of them rambling off the topic, but too few of any value and, regrettably common at Hot Topic, too many of none.

Just 90 yrs before we’re steaming

sea lion eating a juvenile shark

Yesterday, under the heading “Warming link to sea lion exodus” the NZ Herald carried a story about sea lions leaving their native Galapagos Islands. Apparently about 30 of them moved 1400 kilometres south-east to the island of Foca, off the coast of Peru.

The reason for the move, described as unexpected, was put down to “what may be another symptom of global warming”.

That’s a most alarming piece of news, because the sea surface temperatures around Foca Island are described as rising “over the past 10 years from an average of 17°C to 23°C”.

That’s a rise of 6°C in only 10 years! Which is the equivalent of 60 degrees over 100 years! And they think it’s caused by so-called “global warming”? I’ve never heard such nonsense, and I’ve heard some nonsense.

Even the sea lions, whose enthusiasm for warm water apparently motivates 1400-km marathon swim events, would be seriously discombobulated by sea surface temperatures quite this high.

For the Herald to uncritically re-publish this piece from The Independent is reprehensible, particularly since they must be aware that there are currently serious discussions taking place here and overseas about the inadequacies of global and local temperature records. Continue Reading →

At last, Pachauri is correct

This, from Watts Up With That, needs no comment from me.


This QOTW [Quote Of The Week] is from our friend and WUWT contributor Willis Eschenbach who writes:

I just got my 29 January 2010 copy of Science Magazine, which contains an interview with Rajendra K. Pachauri, the future ex-Chairman of the IPCC. In it, he gives the following astounding answer:

Q: Has all that has happened this winter dented the credibility of IPCC?

R.K.P.: I don’t think the credibility of the IPCC can be dented. If the IPCC wasn’t there, why would anyone be worried about climate change?

Why, indeed? …

Phil Jones: “No global warming since 1995”

Professor Phil Jones

From the Mail Online today comes an incredible turnaround from a scientist at the centre of research into global warming for the past 20 years. Following the Climategate release of emails, he now says there’s been no global warming since 1995 and there is doubt that the Medieval Warm Period was cooler than today. But until recently these points were part of the “unequivocal evidence” for anthropogenic global warming (AGW) and were never denied. These admissions are fatal to the theory of AGW. It cannot survive.


The academic at the centre of the ‘Climategate’ affair, whose raw data is crucial to the theory of climate change, has admitted that he has trouble ‘keeping track’ of the information.

Colleagues say that the reason Professor Phil Jones has refused Freedom of Information requests is that he may have actually lost the relevant papers.

Professor Jones told the BBC yesterday there was truth in the observations of colleagues that he lacked organisational skills, that his office was swamped with piles of paper and that his record keeping is ‘not as good as it should be’.

The data is crucial to the famous ‘hockey stick graph’ used by climate change advocates to support the theory.

Professor Jones also conceded the possibility that the world was warmer in medieval times than now – suggesting global warming may not be a man-made phenomenon.

And he said that for the past 15 years there has been no ‘statistically significant’ warming. Continue Reading →

What’s the problem?

the last post

The last post?

Here is the tireless, incomparable Willis Eschenbach posing a simple question and answering it simply and irrefutably. After reading this, all the alarmist nonsense in the world will make no difference to our thinking. In just a few words with plain facts he removes the belief — or even the need to believe — that the humble carbon dioxide has the power to command the climate. The more people know this, the faster we’ll all regain the will to live; spread it widely.

I found it on WUWT under the heading:


Congenital Climate Abnormalities

13 Feb 2010, by Willis Eschenbach

Science is what we use to explain anomalies, to elucidate mysteries, to shed light on unexplained occurrences. For example, there is no great need for a scientific explanation of the sun rising in the morning. If one day the sun were to rise in the afternoon, however, that is an anomaly which would definitely require a scientific explanation. But there is no need to explain the normal everyday occurrences. We don’t need a new understanding if there is nothing new to understand.

Hundreds of thousands of hours of work, and billions of dollars, have been expended trying to explain the recent variations in the climate, particularly the global temperature. But in the rush to find an explanation, a very important question has been left unasked:

Just exactly what unusual, unexpected temperature anomaly are we trying to explain? Continue Reading →

Diatribe in EU Parliament AWFWY good

Good grief!

I’ve just come across this video of Godfrey Bloom, Member of the European Parliament for Yorkshire. He was speaking in Strasbourg during the debate on the outcome of the Copenhagen summit on climate change when he gave this furious tirade against the belief in global warming.

The surprise for us was that, near the end, announcing that the New Zealand temperature database was “fraudulent”, he suddenly brandishes a copy of our report, Are we feeling warmer yet? It’s a dramatic moment!

So how about that, then?

Presentation on NZ temperature record

On December 7 last year, I was invited to a political meeting hosted by John Boscawen, ACT list MP and all-round good guy, at the Royal Akarana Yacht Club in Auckland. I described the history of the joint CCG/CSC campaign to get the temperature adjustments from NIWA. Somebody was running a video camera.

This is the first half (9:41):

Here’s the second half (9:41): Continue Reading →

DomPost asks our opinion

It’s always nice to be asked for our opinion, and especially so when it’s for public consumption. The friendly Kiran Chug (yes, that’s her surname, lovely person) gave the Climate Conversation Group a mention yesterday in her article Kiwi aids climate-change research overhaul.

Here’s a portion, quoting Martin Manning:

The goal was to come up with a “better approach in the future” which better co-ordinated research from different scientific areas and made it more useful to policy makers, he said.

“This is not about admitting that anything that has been done in the past is wrong.”

However, Richard Treadgold, from the Climate Conversation Group, said the scientists’ group was pre-empting its findings by assuming its research would need to be acted on by policymakers.

A climate change sceptic, he did not accept that models predicting the future could be evidence of climate change.

“Evidence is from the real world, that’s been observed. There’s no way computer models fulfil those requirements.”

Wellington scientist and climate change sceptic Vincent Gray said the researchers were continually coming up with “new models” but they were still “fiddling the figures” and were unlikely to restore public confidence in their work until their projections were proven.

Climate Realists

heading dog

I finally got the latest Climate Realists’ newsletter posted, and a warm welcome to them from us. We look forward to working with them to spread news about global warming and defeat the lame-duck, senseless ETS.

Check out the heading dog

The Climate Realists have their own button on the navigation bar, above. They’re really lively, go-ahead young people from a sheep farm out of Gisborne. They have many dogs. Neil and Esther are hard-working, practical people, and when they say there’s something wrong with the idea of global warming we should listen to them.

Their newsletter includes every news item on every subject from around the world during the past month (that was deliberate exaggeration). It’s varied and interesting and you’re sure to find something in it to enjoy.

Carbon Sense Coalition

Australian flag

Newsletter

Understanding the Ruddy ETS

The Emissions Trading Scheme proposed for Australia and now before the Australian Parliament is far more than “A Great Big New Tax”.

PM Rudd’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme combines a Big New Tax with a War-Time Rationing scheme and an Income redistributing compensation scheme, all to be run by a regulatory army probably bigger than our real army.

Let’s try to understand this Ruddy ETS. To simplify things, let’s look at just the electricity industry. Continue Reading →

Dog legs it after hot topic

dog chasing a horse

Gareth Renowden, in a recent post at his Hot Topic blog, apart from a flash of genuine humour in the heading (“dogging a fled horse”) offers nothing new and requires us to repeat ourselves in pointing out what our regular visitors already know: our questions are reasonable and NIWA has not yet divulged the answers to them.

Mr Renowden queries our statement that NIWA “merely” refers to the scientific literature, patiently explaining to us that “that’s where scientific knowledge is to be found, not in worksheets or computer records” (as though they are the only options).

But we were asking for the specific adjustments to the specific readings from particular thermometers, and we didn’t find them in the citations NIWA gave us. Is that clear enough? We need the adjustments, not references to documents that don’t contain them. If Renowden insists that those documents contain them, he must point them out to us. Continue Reading →

Rodney Hide remains rightly honourable

The Hon Rodney Hide

UPDATE: Comments added and extended 3:30 p.m. February 11.

The Hon Rodney Hide gave welcome publicity in his Leader’s address in the Parliament yesterday to our attempt to obtain the adjustments made to the national temperature record.

Gareth Renowden, at his Hot Topic blog, has again misunderstood what we’re trying to do and tries his darndest to demolish Rodney’s reputation, solely on the basis that Rodney disagrees that the world is dangerously warming from the actions of humanity. Has he not heard of free speech?

However, far from misleading the Parliament, as Mr Renowden scurrilously alleges, Rodney in fact brings its members up to date with the latest developments in the long-running climate scandal, which most of our mainstream media have shown themselves reluctant to do.

Greatest scandal in history of science

Let’s examine his salient points, ignoring the ad hominem attacks on Rodney, the Coalition and me. Here is Mr Renowden, quoting Rodney (RH) (some of my comments in red):

Hide climbs straight into the so-called “climategate” affair:

RH: Climate-gate is now the greatest scandal in the history of science.

Astonishing hyperbole, but straight out of the denial campaign’s play book. Try Googling “greatest scandal in the history of science” and see where the hits are coming from…

I did. They are overwhelmingly about the climategate affair. No problem. In any case, it’s an expression of opinion, cannot be incorrect and is distinctly unastonishing. Continue Reading →

Hot Topic floundering, no leg to stand on

flounder

One of the criticisms levelled at our joint study with the NZ Climate Science Coalition, Are we feeling warmer yet? by Hot Topic was that we lied in stating there were no reasons for large corrections to the NZ temperature record.

These are Renowden’s comments from last November (extra emphasis added where he quotes from our study):

Did you miss it? The big lie? There are no reasons for any large corrections. That’s it, there. And it’s a lie because the NZ CSC has known for at least three years why adjustments have been made to certain stations.

Renowden obviously took NIWA’s word for it (along with many others, and why not?), that they had earlier advised the Coalition of reasons to correct the temperature readings. Now that it is established that they did not so advise the Coalition, it is proved that we were not lying.

So he should apologise for his incorrect allegation, not to mention the unholy relish with which he delivered it. I won’t besmirch this site by quoting what he says about me and the Coalition; the link is above and readers may choose to verify his language for themselves. Suffice it to say it was colourful.

He was pleased to take NIWA’s side then and enjoy his roasting of us, as he no doubt imagined it to be, but he must now face his error — the evidence has emerged which kicks it into touch, as we always hoped it would. Nor must he take my word for it — he just needs to listen to NIWA’s own legal counsel.

He, Tim Mahood, has told us in writing that NIWA lost their record of the corrections to the temperatures and the reasons for those corrections. NIWA no longer complain that we already “have” those corrections and that we are being a nuisance, although they have not yet apologised for citing numerous sources for the corrections which all proved false when we checked them. Of course, NIWA knew they were false when they supplied them, for they knew the adjustments didn’t exist.

So will we discover what sort of a man is Mr Renowden? If he prefers to disagree with NIWA and to cling to the idea that there are reasons for large (or any) adjustments to the temperature readings, he should declare what those reasons are and what are those adjustments, to which stations. However, NIWA, whose cause he so vigorously defends, will be unable to assist him.

If, on the other hand, he agrees with NIWA, that no reasons for large adjustments are known, he should apologise to us, for we said just that in the paper he so vehemently disagreed with.

If, in response to this glad news, he says nothing, then that will say everything.

Have a nice day, Gareth.

NIWA loses, opts for fresh start

NZ temperature icon

Regular readers will know that we asked NIWA how they adjusted the NZ temperature series. In reply, they distracted, deceived and disparaged us. We checked what they told us and it was false. They lose.

They admit they never had the temperature adjustments we were asking for. Why didn’t they just say so in the beginning? We and the NZ public await an apology for their dissembling.

They’ve done the hard thing and admitted the truth. So the good news is they can now get on with some real science. They say they will “recreate” the adjustments. Whatever they mean by that, it must be an improvement on trying to denigrate us when we ask for information. It is also good that they reexamine the 30-year-old claims of warming that wobble now they lack any scientific support. In fact, there is evidence they are false. More on that later. Continue Reading →

NIWA’s ghastly blunders — now read the official letters

NIWA Wellington office

NIWA blundered in not keeping track of some important records that justify the country’s warming since the 19th Century, even if it inherited the problem from its predecessor in the Met Service, or the early behaviour of Jim Salinger, who did the work. It blundered again when, instead of being honest, it attacked the CCG and the NZCSC when we asked to know the Schedule of Adjustments.

Now NIWA has admitted in writing that it lost the original data. This settles our original question for the moment and sets them free to go about repairing the situation. Their general counsel, Tim Mahood, made the admission a few days ago, and here’s the letter to prove it.

The NZ Climate Science Coalition had asked NIWA under the Official Information Act last December for the details of the adjustments. This is the original request.

Finally, here’s the hard-hitting letter the Coalition sent back to Mr Mahood, setting out the defects in his official OIA response the day before. Have a look at it — it’s dynamite.

Now we’re waiting for them to finish re-creating the adjustments to the NZ temperature record and to post them on their web site. They told us today it should happen this month. We’re on tenterhooks and can’t wait to have a look at it.

A month ago, when Hot Topic was berating us as unscientific and demolishing our case against NIWA, how many people thought our request was unjustified? How many thought NIWA could do no wrong? How many will apologise to us? Yet who has proved truly scientific? Who has helped to actually improve New Zealand’s temperature record?

For that will be the long-term result of our efforts. What a wonderful thing!

Having (no doubt painfully) admitted to losing Salinger’s working documents, NIWA is now free to pick up what old records it has and work on them afresh. Without the confession the old records must have languished untouched, their taudry reputation defended less and less vigorously by an organisation tarnished by its neglect of verity. A new spirit of honesty will invigorate the place, for truth sets everybody free. The result must be a more accurate dataset and more confident predictions for the future.

I wonder what Hot Topic makes of that?

FARCE: NIWA don’t have the changes

UPDATE 1 1st Feb, 11:16 pm: The second paragraph should have stated that Jim Renwick was quoted in the Herald, not Jim Salinger. My apologies; this has been corrected.


unadjusted NZ temperature graph

Heads must roll

Turning into farce

In an astounding admission of ineptitude, after their former arm-waving and expostulations of injustice, NIWA have finally confessed that they cannot provide the adjustments they made to the original temperature readings in the official NZ temperature record. Continue Reading →

Rifts in fabric of global warming dream

A tear in the fabric

The IPCC is doomed, Pachauri faces removal

As much as I would like to focus on local facets of the climate change dreamland it is nevertheless impossible to ignore the continuing revelations from abroad that are tearing at the fabric of the “Grand Narrative”, to use Philip Stott’s term at the Clamour Of The Times.

These tectonic changes will demand alterations to or even cancellation of our own ETS and other responses to “global warming”, so we need to know about them. New Zealand needs a dialogue to debate the implications. Continue Reading →

NIWA bows at last to pressure, but feels ‘insulted’

Tam-o-Shanter sea urchin

In the NZ Herald yesterday morning came news that NIWA is “putting all of its temperature data and calculations on the internet”.

It’s been five weeks since the NZCSC request to NIWA’s CEO, John Morgan, under the Official Information Act; it’s only two months since we published our study critical of the handling of the NZ temperature record; and it is decades since Dr Vincent Gray, Dr Warwick Hughes, Dr Jim Hessell and others started asking Dr Jim Salinger for his data and calculations.

This is tremendous news and it is to NIWA’s credit that they are releasing the data. But one comment from Renwick strikes a sour and revealing note:

Yesterday Dr Renwick said that while he had no problem releasing the Niwa data he found it insulting to be singled out when, for example, medical and Treasury researchers were not expected to disclose all of their workings. “There is a real issue of trust here. The assumption is people like myself don’t know what we are doing or we’ve got some kind of agenda just to get research funding.”

He feels insulted? He should stop whining. Any discomfort Jim Renwick feels in being compelled to hand over to the public this public data is of his and his colleagues’ own making. NIWA is being singled out only because of its sustained intransigence over many years. Continue Reading →

Computers!

Sorry I haven’t been writing anything. Over the last few days I’ve been reinstalling Windows and the applications I use. I’ve been out of touch with everything. But things are slowly being sorted.

Unfortunately there have been many little pieces of software (or updates) I’d quite forgotten about which have been hard to locate. To balance that, I’ve found newer versions of one or two that are much better than the old ones.

So things are nearly back to normal better than normal.

In the meantime, I hope you’re keeping up with climate developments through the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition, WattsUpWithThat, EUReferendum and Climate Depot and your other favourite sites.

How long, do you think, before Pachauri resigns? How long before the IPCC is disbanded? We’re still waiting for NIWA to respond to our request under the Official Information Act.

Glacier melt claims outlandish

This is a good summary of the Himalaya glacier story. Jonathan Leake and Chris Hastings, at The Times Online, go through the details and discuss the implications.

The IPCC tell us constantly that they use experts in every field to assemble its reports. It’s scandalous that any of their teams might be led by a person who could know so little that this kind of school-boy error is possible.

Their reputation is getting worse by the day.

How Pachauri makes money from false claim in AR4

UPDATE 1 Jan 19, 3:54 pm: I’ve just come across Roger Pielke Jr’s view on this. He’s disgusted.


Dr Richard North, at Eureferendum, explains how a mistaken claim from about five years ago made its way into the latest IPCC “summary of the latest science” on climate change, has been thoroughly discredited and disproven, and yet still allows Dr Rajendra Pachauri, chairman and public front of the IPCC, to make a lot of money from it.

We’re constantly told that the IPCC reports “are put together by 2500 scientists” but so what, if they miss this kind of thing?

How can we trust this man and the alarming climate predictions he gives us?

Inquiry announced into Pachauri’s UK money

The Times of India, under an odd-sounding headline, carry the following story on their web site today:

Pachauri-led TERI under UK scanner

LONDON: The British government is to carry out due diligence on New Delhi-based The Energy Research Institute following a local newspaper’s relentless campaign against the organization and its director-general, Rajendra Pachauri, who is also the IPCC chairman.

A British Department for International Development statement said, ‘‘As is routine, DFID is undertaking a full Institutional Assessment of TERI as part of our due diligence process.’’

The Sunday Telegraph’s persistence seems to have ‘‘triggered the routine’’.

The paper attacked DFID and its secretary of state (cabinet minister) Douglas Alexander for presenting 10 million pounds of British tax-payers money to TERI in Delhi last September. In its most recent piece, titled ‘‘The curious case of the expanding environmental group with falling income’’, it once again questioned TERI and Pachauri’s probity.

It alleged, ‘‘He (Pachauri) enjoys a lavish lifestyle; his Delhi home is in the Golf Links area, the most expensive stretch of residential real estate in India, and he is famous for his $1,000 suits.’’ The piece also insinuated that while the registered charity, TERI Europe’s business in the past six years had increased, its published turnover had decreased.

When ‘‘The Sunday Telegraph’’ reportedly put it to one of its two directors, Dr Ritu Kumar, a south London resident, that the body’s income and expenditure in recent years were both much greater than the figures it declared, she is said to have admitted anomalies in the accounts. Teri Europe’s accountants have now been instructed to produce a revised version.

Let us hope it achieves a frank disclosure of the financial affairs of arguably the most important figure in the climate change scandal. With the reputation of the IPCC taking almost daily hits on multiple fronts, it’s little wonder recent polls show fewer New Zealanders now worried by “global warming”.

Carbon trading is not about the climate

carbon trading -- chasing a will-o'-the-wisp

Once upon a time, people thought they would stop global warming, caused by carbon dioxide, by extinguishing their fossil-fuelled fires. But everybody loved their fossil fires and depended on them for every good thing in modern life. So they didn’t want to give them up. What would be the best way to persuade the people to extinguish the lovely fires?

Tax or ETS

The people decided that they just had to make the lovely fires more expensive and invent other ways of providing every good thing in modern life. That gave them two options to choose between: let the government put an extra tax on the fossil fuels, or create licences to emit carbon dioxide and let everybody trade them with each other. That was called an Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), sometimes “cap and trade”.

Either scheme would have the effect of making the lovely fires more expensive because the cost of the tax or the emission certificates would be added to the price of the goods and services. Naturally, the people would end up paying more, but that was the whole point. All the good things in modern life were destroying the planet so they had to become too expensive to buy and the leaders said that was a sacrifice they were willing to make. Continue Reading →

What’s the evidence?

Anybody studying global warming comes across a lot of obscure blogs and online magazines which rail at “sceptics” and “deniers” for destroying the earth with their obstructionism and their oil-industry-funded arguments. They seem to think that it’s impossible for intelligent people to have reasonable questions about a complex, controversial topic and that therefore sceptics are being deliberately difficult. So they must be shouted at.

Quite a few of those articles get my careful attention because I’m looking for evidence of dangerous man-made global warming. I reason that when they talk about the overwhelming weight of evidence, they could be about to mention the evidence. But none of them do.

Nobody tells me the evidence

Actually, to be precise, many of them mention the evidence but none of them reveal it. Many of them point to the IPCC’s latest report, AR4, but, though it waffles around a lot, there’s nothing conclusive that links human emissions with damaging climatic effects. If I’m wrong, I challenge anyone to point it out to me.

Some writers give references to this or that piece of the puzzle, which on examination turn out to be full of holes, guesswork or based on modelling.

Others go into admirable detail about what could happen if warming got bad. They cannot be refuted because they’re probably right — it would happen. They don’t show any link between human activities and the warming they describe but they make me feel guilty for disagreeing with them — as if I don’t care what happens to the natural world.

Real Climate (Schmidt), Open Mind (Tamino) have banned me

Evidence does not consist of statements such as “the weight of evidence indicates…” or “there is a mounting body of opinion that…” or “it is highly likely (95% probability) that…”.

This question will probably be ignored. However, I must ask: what is the evidence for dangerous man-made global warming?

What persuaded you that the global climate is being changed to a dangerous degree by human activities? There must have been something that persuaded you!

Real Climate and Tamino have banned me and Hot Topic insult me and tell me I’m not welcome because I don’t believe them. These people are afraid of honest questions. Still nobody tells me the evidence.

I’m really curious to know how the believers keep going.

IPCC’s ‘lack of skill’ — scientific malpractice?

Dr Roy Spencer

In a dramatic recent article on his blog, Clouds Dominate CO2 as a Climate Driver Since 2000, Roy Spencer sets out clear evidence for internally-forced changes in the climate system. An internal forcing is a feedback, as when a change in temperature causes some other change which itself also changes the temperature.

For example, when temperature rises, it may cause an increase in atmospheric water vapour; that water vapour may condense into clouds, which in turn, by reflecting the incoming sunlight back to space, may cause the temperature to drop.

Such a process might be termed a thermostat, a natural regulator, keeping the temperature within its natural bounds, much as it has done for half a billion years and more.

In our example, the forcing was a temperature increase and the feedback was a temperature decrease – a negative feedback, moving the temperature in the opposite direction from the forcing. A positive feedback would move the temperature in the same direction as the forcing.

To date, the IPCC assumes two vital things: that climate sensitivity is high and internal forcing (feedback) is positive.

I do not follow every detail that Dr Spencer describes, but, after challenging these two assumptions and showing them to be wrong, his conclusion pulls no punches.


 

Clouds Dominate CO2 as a Climate Driver Since 2000

Last year I posted an analysis of satellite observations of the 2007-08 global cooling event, showing evidence that it was due to a natural increase in low cloud cover. Here I will look at the bigger picture of how the satellite-observed variations in Earth’s radiative budget compare to those expected from increasing carbon dioxide. Is there something that we can say about the relative roles of nature versus humanity based upon the evidence?

What we will find is evidence consistent with natural cloud variations being the dominant source of climate variability since 2000. Continue Reading →

Spencer climbs down — word is out, help at hand

Peter Spencer

I missed the announcement in the Herald yesterday, but it’s just as welcome for hearing it late: after 52 long days on a hunger strike, Peter Spencer, farmer, has given in to “the concerns of family and friends” and been winched back down to earth.

According to Greg Ansley, Peter was “taken to hospital in the nearby alpine town of Cooma to help recover from the ordeal and a diet of lemon juice, vitamins and water.”

Congratulations to a determined champion of justice. We hope he can keep the farm he’s worked so valiantly to save.

He has not achieved the demands he made of the authorities, like a royal commission and a face-to-face meeting with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, but he seems to have made a strong point around the country which will now be followed up by supporters and sympathetic politicians.

Australian Opposition National Senator Barnaby Joyce will take Spencer to Canberra next month to continue his “courageous” fight. Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said Spencer had made an important point.

Spencer, who faces the sale of his property and is deeply in debt, said yesterday he intended to continue his fight against laws that prevented him from clearing trees from his property.

From The Canberra Times:

The hunger strike was the latest in a long line of measures Mr Spencer took to draw attention to his plight and those of many other farmers and graziers in NSW and Queensland.

Mr Spencer said he plans to continue to lobby the Federal Government for a Royal Commission into legislation that bans farmers from clearing native vegetation on their properties.

So the crisis is over and Spencer is safe; I wonder how the real battle will end? This dispute is not just about global warming, it’s about private property, land rights and the rightful powers of the state.

Rajendra Pachauri — climate pirate

Rajendra Pachauri

Is Dr Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), dealing with us (his global constituents, as it were) honestly?

Richard North, in a blog piece called Pachauri: How much is this man getting?, says:

What we are seeing here … is an interesting modus vivendi — three different payments to support the chairman of the IPCC, yet each payment is made by a different organisation to a different organisation — one in the US, one in the UK and one in India. No one knows what the other is doing — except Pachauri, of course.

Why were these payments made in such complex fashion? Apparently his United Nations salary is not publicly disclosed — why not?

On January 6, 2010, in an article entitled Pachauri: the smoking gun, Dr Richard North describes how

TERI Europe was engaged in the production of a report for which it must have attracted funding in the order of £70,000 and incurred considerable expense, yet it shows an income of £9,000 and an expenditure of £5,000.

Even if there is a substantial discount on the SI2 report, it is simply not credible that TERI Europe could have operated that year with an income so low, or spent so little. On the face of it, we are very much closer to showing that this organisation has indeed been guilty of false accounting, and misleading the Charity Commission. Continue Reading →

NZ’s Reisinger — God’s right-hand man

Dr Andy Reisinger

Dr Andrew Reisinger, Senior Research Fellow, New Zealand Climate Change Research Institute (CCRI), sits at the right hand of God. The god, that is, of the IPCC — Dr Rajendra Pachauri. Andy is head of the Technical Support Unit for the Synthesis Report group of the IPCC, and from that exalted position controls what the world’s national leaders get to know about climate change.

For he was responsible to his “core group” co-author Rajendra Pachauri for co-ordinating the drafting of the Synthesis Report for the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4). The SR is “the concluding summary of the IPCC’s most recent assessment of our current knowledge on climate change,” as Andy’s cv puts it.

That sounds like proper influence to me — real, transformative power. For what comes out of the IPCC’s Assessment Report (or more particularly the summary of it) goes straight into the ears of national leaders around the globe and they will act upon it. They don’t read the actual reports, so they won’t spot the differences between them and the summary. Neither will they fault the summary for themselves, because they are not scientists.

So they are necessarily at the mercy of the authors (or manipulators) of the Summary Report. Much has been said elsewhere about the politically-motivated alterations that were made to many of the IPCC reports. The reports are meant to represent the best of current scientific knowledge, but in practice they are watered down, uncertainties are grossly understated, certainty is claimed where it doesn’t exist and what the scientists said has even been reversed — without their approval.

The mother of all conflicts — of interest

Continue Reading →

Caustic criticism as Jo Nova badgers The Australian

Joanne Nova

Jo Nova gives no quarter as she attacks The Australian newspaper for its coverage of Peter Spencer’s hunger strike against his unjust treatment by his own government.

Jo chastises it strongly for the long delay before it covered Spencer’s strike and its inadequacy since. She compares the paper’s reporting of other hunger strikers, including a sex offender, a serial killer and some asylum seekers, with its reporting of Spencer. The criminals got extensive and sympathetic coverage after a mere few days of their hunger strike. But The Australian waited 26 days (nearly four weeks) to mention Peter Spencer’s strike — as a sideline. They provided no substantive coverage until Day 42 — six weeks after it began — and even then were bitingly unsympathetic.

Jo suggests that “The Australian appears to go out of its way not to report the case of an Australian facing ruin, feeling suicidal and asking for a fair go. Spencer has had it tough within our legal system — even a Justice decreed his case was unconscionable“. She asks:

Could it be that The Australian cares more for our carbon emissions than they do about the lives of our farmers? Do the editors feel that somehow the country is better off if we don’t look too closely at any of the drawbacks of legislation aimed to reduce our carbon output?

Jo obviously did a lot of reading on the coverage and asks about the balance one might reasonably expect from Australia’s flagship newspaper but which is lacking in this series of stories of hunger strikes. It’s remarkable (even striking!) how on the one hand the paper is sympathetic to the criminals and migrants and yet on the other hand distinctly stonyhearted towards an innocent Australian farmer.

Whatever the editors’ motivations, they add a further injustice to Peter Spencer’s already long list of injustices.

Peter Spencer story getting more attention

Red tape protest

The mainstream media are becoming involved in Peter Spencer’s story now, although apparently some reporters are looking at Peter himself rather than the big picture.

Some less savoury details have emerged from Peter’s past, which have the potential to obscure the real and substantial matters of his treatment by successive governments and his undeserved misfortunes at their hands.

Still, lots of people are interested in his welfare and Joanne Nova is doing a sterling job keeping up with the play and badgering the news professionals to protect citizens from the government, not the other way around.

We can see how the story develops further at Jo Nova’s blog.

NIWA guilty of propaganda posing as science

NIWA web site banner

NIWA (National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research) has been accused of “propaganda posing as science” in its claim that the 2000s have been the warmest decade on record. The New Zealand Climate Science Coalition says the claim that the “noughties” decade is the warmest is based on a statistic for which the margin of error is far greater than the claimed warming.

The Coalition says it fully agrees with the criticism by Blue Skies weather forecaster Tony Trewinnard that NIWA’s own numbers show there is no long-term warming trend.

The warm decade claim is one of five by NIWA which amount to advocacy rather than science, and as such represents propaganda which should not be expected from a Crown research institute, especially one claiming to be based on science. The examples of advocacy are:

1) The warmest decade: NIWA principal climate scientist Dr James Renwick told newspapers that temperatures at seven key stations over the past 10 years were one-tenth of a degree above the 1971-2000 norm, adding “the next warmest were the 1980s, about 0.07°C above that normal, so it’s only a few hundredths of a degree difference”. Dr Renwick should know that a few hundredths of a degree is well inside the margin of error for temperature readings and is, therefore, meaningless. The Coalition says if Dr Renwick doesn’t know about margin for error he shouldn’t be in the job; and if he does know it, he has misled the public.

2) NIWA constantly claims that spot temperatures are just ‘noise’ and only long-term trends are important in climate science. NIWA’s statement notably fails to mention that the upward trend in the nineties has unexpectedly disappeared in the ‘noughties’.

3) Most of the warming in New Zealand occurred prior to about 1955, well before the build-up of atmospheric CO2. There has been little or no statistically significant warming in New Zealand over the past 55 years. NIWA fails to put its information in its proper context.

4) Climate is always warming or cooling. There no evidence whatsoever that ‘climate change’ in New Zealand over the past 150 years is outside the expected range of normal climate system variability.

5) The NIWA press statement wrongly contended that 2009 was a year of warm weather extremes, when it is usually at pains to distinguish weather from climate. It dwelt on cyclones in the Pacific without mentioning the vanishing hurricanes in the Atlantic. It studiously avoided mention of the blizzards which disrupted the Copenhagen conference and are currently setting coldness records throughout the Northern Hemisphere. The entire piece is a classic example of the use of selective and misleading data.

The Coalition statement concludes: “Until NIWA responds to our request to come clean on the full extent of its adjustments to raw temperature data, exactly what adjustments were made, and why, any statement that institute makes about climate variation must be taken with a grain of salt.”

Old lessons good lessons

Dear Sir, A friend of mine in New England has a neighbour who has received a Government cheque for 1,000 dollars this year for not raising hogs. So my friend now wants to go into the business himself, he not being very prosperous just now. He says, in fact, that the idea of not raising hogs appeals to him very strongly. Of course, he will need a hired man, and that is where I come in. I write to you as to your opinion of the best kind of farm not to raise hogs on, the best strain of hogs not to raise and how best to keep an inventory of hogs you are not raising. Also, do you think capital could be raised by issuance of a non-hog raising gold bond? The friend who got the 1,000 dollars got it for not raising 500 hogs. Now, we figure we might easily not raise 1,500 or 2,000 hogs, so you see the possible profits are only limited by the number of hogs we do not raise.

The letter below surfaced in an email group today (on the right is its earliest incarnation). It’s creative writing and, if you’re in a good mood when you read it, finely stimulating, even hilarious.

But I was moved to investigate. Google gave several recent references, the earliest was May 7, 2006. I kept looking; there are a score of references dated December 2009.

Then, on a blog from Quite Interesting Ltd (www.qi.com), came word it was from 1982. The writer traces it back from 2006 to an entry in Hansard in October 1994. I urge you to take a look; the story is interesting enough, to be sure.

The matter has by now quite fastened on our writer’s imagination and he presses his investigation on and on, discovering it on both sides of the Atlantic and in ever earlier decades. Eventually he turns it up, almost fully formed, in 1935, with beginnings in Hansard, no less, in a shipping context, in 1934!

Old or new, early or late, it contains elementary economics lessons for ever. Not to mention some of the driest British (or American) humour you’ll find anywhere.


NIGEL JOHNSON-HILL, PARKFARM, MILLAND, LIPHOOK GU30 7JT

Rt Hon David Miliband MP
Secretary of State.
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA),
Nobel House
17 Smith Square
London
SW1P 3JR

16 July 2009

Dear Secretary of State,

My friend, who is in farming at the moment, recently received a cheque for £3,000 from the Rural Payments Agency for not rearing pigs. I would now like to join the “not rearing pigs” business. Continue Reading →