This thread is for discussion of general political issues not covered by other threads.

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50 Thoughts on “Politics

  1. Richard C on 16/10/2010 at 4:17 pm said:

    Climate Conversations Group Questions to Ministers – Climate Change Issues, Nick Smith and Research, Science and Technology (in Charge of NIWA), Wayne Mapp


  2. THREAD on 17/10/2010 at 6:55 am said:

    Climate Change: Politics and Political Positions

  3. THREAD on 18/10/2010 at 7:31 pm said:

    Communication: Getting Eye-Time

    Writing Headlines – Writing Articles

    MSM, Google News, Internet Search Hooks, Public Exposure


  4. THREAD on 18/10/2010 at 9:29 pm said:


    NIWA – Tyndall – Science Media Centre – Royal Society (NZ) – Gluckman – Smith – IPCC – Media etc


  5. val majkus on 20/11/2010 at 9:21 am said:

    John O’Sullivan sent me this today
    ever wonder about that private police team that never submitted a final report on their CRU investigations?

  6. Andy on 20/11/2010 at 9:51 am said:

    News from Canada:

    The inconvenient truth about the climate change bill


    I wonder when someone other than Christopher Booker will start to ask similar questions in the UK?

    Indeed, I seem to remember a bunch of people wanted 40% reductions in NZ. Can any of these guys actually do sums?

  7. val majkus on 20/11/2010 at 10:14 am said:

    Andy James Delingpole is a questioner
    How the Climategate weasels wriggled free
    This week marks the anniversary of Climategate but even though I helped break and name the story I’m certainly not celebrating. That’s because, despite the marked shift it effected in public opinion, its effect on public policy-making has been close to zilch.

    For chapter and verse on the horrifying disjunct between what all sane, informed people know about “Anthropogenic Global Warming” (ie, it’s a crock) and what our governments are doing in response (ie, “Nyah nyah. Not listening. We’re going to go ahead with our crazy tax, regulation and wind farm schemes anyway”) I refer you to this superb summary by M’Learned Friend Booker.

    James has written quite a lot about AGW himself on his blog

    • Andy on 20/11/2010 at 12:02 pm said:

      OK, I stand corrected. I meant someone other than Christopher Booker, James Delingpole, Richard North. i.e someone in the libtard lamestream media. (to use a Dellerism)

      Wouldn’t happen to be anything to do with those enormous green investments in the BBC pension funds would it?

  8. val majkus on 20/11/2010 at 10:34 am said:

    a good rundown on events since Climategate (thanks to Climate Depot)

    • Richard C (NZ) on 20/11/2010 at 12:13 pm said:

      READ ME for Harry’s work on the CRU TS2.1/3.0 datasets, 2006-2009!


      Well, keen-eyed viewers will remember that all the tmin/tmax/dtr/back-to-tmin-and-tmax stuff revolves around the tmin and tmax databases being kept in absolute step. That is, same stations, same coordinates and names, same data spans. Otherwise the job of synching, and of converting to DTR, becomes horrendous. But look at what happens to the line counts of the databases as they’re mangled through the system:

      originals ** identical metadata **
      606244 tmn/tmn.0708071548.dtb
      606244 tmx/tmx.0708071548.dtb

      climat conversions
      27090 climat.tmn.0902192248.dtb
      27080 climat.tmx.0902192248.dtb

      climat merged interims
      607692 int2.tmn.0902192248.dtb
      604993 int2.tmx.0902192248.dtb

      bom conversions ** identical metadata **
      5388 bom.tmn.0902192248.dtb
      5388 bom.tmx.0902192248.dtb

      bom merged (into climat interims) interims
      607692 int3.tmn.0902192248.dtb
      604993 int3.tmx.0902192248.dtb

      Sometimes life is just too hard. It’s after midnight – again. And I’m doing all this over VNC in 256 colours, which hurts. Anyway, the above line counts. I don’t know which is the more worrying – the fact that adding the CLIMAT updates lost us 1251 lines from tmax but gained us 1448 for tmin, or that the BOM additions added sod all. And yes – I’ve checked, the int2 and int3 databases are IDENTICAL. Aaaarrgghhhhh.

      [I don’t know if HARRY put the FOI files on an ftp server in the first place but I’ll bet he was the guy that pointed everyone to them. The Architectural Structural Mech/Elec Construction sector is light years ahead of these guys when it comes to data definition, standardization, manageable modules (OO) etc]

      Hooray for Harry on Climategate anny!

    • Andy on 20/11/2010 at 12:48 pm said:

      I still find it hard to believe that we are expected to believe this stuff was hacked from the outside.

      I see that John Graham Cummings bug fix for the Met Office still remains unresolved at their end.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 20/11/2010 at 3:34 pm said:

      “I still find it hard to believe that we are expected to believe this stuff was hacked from the outside.”

      Or, in my case

      I still find it hard to believe that we are expected to believe this stuff.

      And I can’t reconcile the 2006-2009 date.

      The travails of HARRY are similar to what I experienced in a COBOL programming night class at Waikato Polytech back in the 80’s. The Tutor gave us a banking problem involving transactions and file updates that grew in complexity very quickly so that we all tied ourselves in knots. The Tutor then introduced us to the concept of manageable modules to solve the problem and armed with that knowledge I then went on to embed SQL in COBOL to transact with a DBMS (much parameter setting) without too much difficulty for the first time at Waikato Polytech, much to the tutors amazement. I think his exact words were “I can’t believe this is happening”.

      I did read in CESM blurb that Fortran 90 modules are as close to OO as a procedural language gets. In the CRU situation I would have thought that if the raw data was in a strictly defined format that one of the latest generation high-level automated programming tools would churn out the code after similar system design was completed.

      Maybe even an EDI system similar to KiwiPlus that Zespri uses to request daily packing orders from Packhouses all around the country.

      I can’t see how they can persevere with that mode of operation, HARRY’s gone so who are the poor sod(s) that now run that system.

      The workarounds are interesting too. HARRY again:

      “Bear in mind that there is no working synthetic method for cloud, because Mark New
      lost the coefficients file and never found it again (despite searching on tape
      archives at UEA) and never recreated it. This hasn’t mattered too much, because
      the synthetic cloud grids had not been discarded for 1901-95, and after 1995
      sunshine data is used instead of cloud data anyway.”


      “The conclusion of a lot of investigation is that the synthetic cloud grids
      for 1901-1995 have now been discarded. This means that the cloud data prior
      to 1996 are static.

      Edit: have just located a ‘cld’ directory in Mark New’s disk, containing
      over 2000 files. Most however are binary and undocumented..

      Eventually find fortran (f77) programs to convert sun to cloud:

      sh2cld_tdm.for converts sun hours monthly time series to cloud percent
      sp2cld_m.for converts sun percent monthly time series to cloud oktas

      There are also programs to convert sun parameters:

      sh2sp_m.for sun hours to sun percent
      sh2sp_normal.for sun hours monthly .nrm to sunshine percent
      sh2sp_tdm.for sun hours monthly time series to sunshine percent

      AGREED APPROACH for cloud (5 Oct 06).

      For 1901 to 1995 – stay with published data. No clear way to replicate
      process as undocumented.

      For 1996 to 2002:
      1. convert sun database to pseudo-cloud using the f77 programs;
      2. anomalise wrt 96-00 with anomdtb.f;
      3. grid using quick_interp_tdm.pro (which will use 6190 norms);
      4. calculate (mean9600 – mean6190) for monthly grids, using the
      published cru_ts_2.0 cloud data;
      5. add to gridded data from step 3.

      This should approximate the correction needed.”

  9. Richard C (NZ) on 01/02/2011 at 3:11 pm said:


    [Australian] Senate Select Committee on Climate Policy

    Submission by Bob Foster, 8 April 2009

    [Read SUMMARY if nothing else]

    Understanding climate-change is a work-in-progress; because the science is still very far from settled.

    However, Mazzarella14 makes a compelling case that it IS already sufficiently settled.

    It is too early – and the likely penalty (in terms of needless human misery) for error is too grave – for policymakers and planners to yet choose between a self-contained and primarily people-driven climate, and its natural antithesis.

    As the flow of satellite observations becomes a flood, the evidential support for a naturally-driven climate grows apace. The main underlying drivers of climate appear to be externally-linked in some way. Earth does not travel in an empty Universe.

    Includes anecdote of Victorian winemakers considering switching varieties in preparation for a warmer drier climate based on CSIRO/BOM projections (don’t know if they proceeded).

    Also an Appendix

    SPECIAL ISSUE: Natural drivers of weather and climate

    Papers and articles but no links unfortunately

  10. Richard C (NZ) on 01/02/2011 at 3:58 pm said:

    A Null Hypothesis For CO2

    Submission to the EPA (USA) CO2 endangerment finding

    Roy Clark 6/17/2009

    The energy transfer processes that occur at the Earth’s surface are examined from first principles. The effect of small changes in the solar constant caused by variations in the sunspot cycles and small increases in downward long wave infrared flux due to a 100 ppm increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration on surface temperature are considered in detail. The changes in the solar constant are sufficient to change ocean temperatures and alter the Earth’s climate. The effects on surface temperature of small increases in downward LWIR flux are too small to be measured and cannot cause climate change. The assumptions underlying the use of radiative forcing in climate models are shown to be invalid. A null hypothesis for CO2 is proposed that it is impossible to show that changes in CO2 concentration have caused any climate change, at least since the current composition of the atmosphere was set by ocean photosynthesis about one billion years ago.

    Sobering that this submission was ineffectual, politically.

  11. Andy on 16/02/2011 at 9:41 am said:

    The Nazi Origins of Apocalyptic Global Warming Theory

    One of the primary pioneering theorists on apocalyptic global warming is Guenther Schwab (1902-2006), an Austrian Nazi.[i] In 1958, Schwab wrote a fictional novel built off of Goethe’s (1749-1832) Faustian religious play entitled “Dance with the Devil.” While a few scientists since the late 1800’s had contemplated the possibility of minor global warming coming from industrial pollution, Schwab used Goethe’s dramatic approach to convert the theory into an apocalyptic crisis. The book outlines many looming environmental emergencies, including anthropogenic global warming. Guenther Schwab’s very popular novel was an apocalyptic game changer. By the early 1970’s, it had been translated into several languages and had sold over a million copies.

    At one point in his novel, Schwab opines on the fragile relationship between oxygen and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Assuming the planet has only about 100 years remaining, Schwab frets over the continuing rise of carbon dioxide that “will absorb and hold fast the warmth given out by the earth. This will cause the climate to become milder and the Polar ice will begin to thaw. As a result, there will be a rise in the level of the ocean and whole continents will be flooded.”


  12. Richard C (NZ) on 26/07/2011 at 5:52 pm said:

    Professional GreenPeace street beggers are titled “Outreach Campaigners – Street Team”

    Pay and benefits: to $44,000 (hrly base rate with incentives­)

    Never a dull moment – as an Outreach Campaigner you will be working in an exciting and fast paced environment, meeting new people every day and doing something inspirational every day.

    Greenpeace is an internationally recognised environmental campaigning organisation. We work across 6 key campaign areas to bring solutions to local and global environmental issues. These campaign areas include;

    1. Defending the oceans
    2. Preventing climate change
    3. Protecting ancient forests
    4. Toxic free future
    5. Peace and disarmament
    6. GE free future


    Just thought you would all like to know that.

    • Andy on 26/07/2011 at 6:42 pm said:

      This is the organisation that Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore describes as “anti-intellectual, anti-science, and ultimately anti-human”

      I believe he has also made public statements that the organisation has been “overrun with neo-marxists”

      From the horses mouth, so to speak.

  13. Richard C (NZ) on 08/10/2011 at 1:45 pm said:

    My regular monitoring of Hot Topic brings up the following from reading “SOS tour adds Lakes dates; Wratt in Wellington”.

    Wellingtonians with a lunch hour free on Thursday (6/10) might like to note that Dr David Wratt, Director of the NZ Climate Change Centre and NIWA’s Chief Scientist (Climate) will be giving a presentation on Assessing Scientific Knowledge about Climate Change as a part of the NZ Climate Change Research Institute’s seminar series.

    New Zealand Climate Change Research Institute?


    Scientific understanding of the earth’s climate has become well established over the last few decades. The 2007 IPCC assessment concluded that the evidence for widespread climate change is now “unequivocal”. The assessment also found that recent warming is “very likely” due to increases in greenhouse gases arising from human activities.

    The climate system continues to change and science continues to improve. This is leading to better understanding of the effects, hazards and opportunities. Domestic and international policy should keep up to date with developments in the science and everyone should have access to balanced and accurate scientific information.

    Further anthropogenic climate change is already unavoidable due to lags in the response to past greenhouse gas emissions and the time necessary for technological change. Keeping warming below levels that are regarded as dangerous by many governments requires emissions to keep to the low end of the green band below. This requires urgent action and commitment at local, national and global levels.

    Objectives of the CCRI

    The guiding objectives of the CCRI are to:

    Promote and facilitate improved debate throughout New Zealand on climate change issues by:

    * Undertaking new analyses specific to the interests of central and local government and NZ business so as to broaden and deepen understanding of climate change issues.
    * Facilitating well informed stakeholder discussions in conjunction with Victoria University’s Institute of Policy Studies on all aspects of policy, adaptation and education on climate change.
    * Bringing international experts to New Zealand on a regular basis.


    So they’re an advocacy group.

    Where do they fit in The Climate Change Scare Machine?

    See – Government Funded Activists


  14. Richard C (NZ) on 26/06/2012 at 8:03 pm said:

    Gwynne Dyer crashes the hyperbole meter:-

    Perpetrators will not pay for crimes against planet

    We now have a 20-year history of defeats on this agenda, and there is a lot of defeatism around. Politicians are always reluctant to be linked to lost causes, and the struggles against poverty and environmental destruction now seem to fall into that category. Thus we sleepwalk towards terrible disasters – but that doesn’t absolve our leaders of responsibility. We didn’t hire them to follow; we hired them to lead.

    At the recent World Congress on Justice, Law and Governance for Environmental Sustainability, one of the events leading up to the Rio+20 conference, a group of ”radical” lawyers proposed that ”ecocide” should be made a crime.

    They were only radical in the sense that a group of lawyers agitating for a law against genocide would have been seen as radical in 1935.

    One day, after many great tragedies have occurred, there will be a law against ecocide. But almost all the real culprits will be gone by then.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/perpetrators-will-not-pay-for-crimes-against-planet-20120625-20y9b.html#ixzz1yt5Yl7wi

  15. Richard C (NZ) on 28/06/2012 at 1:13 pm said:

    From the Politics section of ‘The Christian Post’

    Evangelicals and Climate Change: Global Warming Skeptics (Pt. 3)

    Editor’s note: In part three, the final installment of CP’s series on evangelicals and climate change, the focus is on an argument by skeptics that opportunities are being lost to help the poor because of a focus on global warming.

    Multiplier Effects

    The Poor and Vulnerable

    Climate Change and the Media

    What’s an Evangelical to Do?

    Though on opposite sides of the issue, Beisner and Cizik made similar claims. They both agreed that atmospheric carbon causes the Earth to get warmer. They both appealed to scientific evidence and believe the evidence is on their side. And, they both displayed concern for the poor and vulnerable. Perhaps the biggest difference between them has to do with how they view the Earth – fragile or robust. Beisner views the Earth as robust, able to handle the human-caused changes to the atmosphere. Cizik believes the Earth is fragile and too much human tinkering will have catastrophic effects.

    Many evangelicals, therefore, may feel stuck in the middle of this debate and unsure about what to do. “Loving the Least of These” recommends four steps that Christians can take to evaluate the differing claims about climate change.

    First, dig deeper into the facts and scientific evidence. Second, avoid polarizing voices of “angry people who call others names or refer to conspiracy theories.” Third, look at joint statements from professional societies that represent the collective wisdom of a large number of experts. And fourth, get to know a Christian scientist that can help you understand the scientific information.

    And remember that skeptics and activists alike can be brothers in Christ.



    Good advice until “third” and “fourth”.

    “….joint statements from professional societies that represent the collective wisdom of a large number of experts”

    One of the biggest bones-of-contention from sceptics.

    “…..get to know a Christian scientist that can help you understand the scientific information”

    If Katherine Hayhoe is typical of the genre then heaven help us (and the Evangelicals).

  16. Richard C (NZ) on 29/01/2013 at 6:43 pm said:

    Is it true or not?

    Eija-Riitta Korhola [Finnland]

    Probably I am not the only one who has been wondering about the apparent contradictions that arise from the various climate positions. Meteorologists claim that global warming has made a slow-down and describe the current epoch as cooler. Hence, temperatures do not seem to be in line with the predictions of the greenhouse theory. At the same time, others, like the World Bank in its November report, stress that the situation is worse than ever: emissions have increased and a temperature rise of four degrees is predicted for this century.

    How should we interpret these contradictions? Measured temperatures have been commonly understood as hard facts in the past. The fact that temperatures have not significantly increased during the first decade of this century can easily be checked by anyone. The conclusions that we should draw from this are a mystery, however. Changes in global temperatures could also be considered features of natural climate variability. The climate has always been changing at regular intervals.


    As I am a free thinker with no taboos, I want to express this out loud. The world should be portrayed the way it is, and a politician should also welcome crude facts. We should not force data or fit circles into squares – this mentality belongs to another world and another political ideology.

    But do we make sensible policies?




  17. Richard C (NZ) on 10/07/2013 at 6:53 pm said:

    ‘The Earth League: Self-Important, Self-Appointed Busybodies’

    by Donna Laframboise

    Once again, people described as “leading scientists” turn out to be economists, UN officials, and those with links to activist organizations.

    Earlier this year, a new organization held its inaugural meeting in London. Called the Earth League, it’s described in a press release as:

    “a voluntary alliance of leading scientists and institutions addressing earth science and sustainability challenges…”

    Among these “leading scientists” we find an old friend – Jennifer Morgan. I’ve been following the career of this individual for a few years and, to my knowledge, she possesses no scientific credentials whatsoever.

    Rather, she is a professional activist.


    What purpose does the Earth League serve? It’s yet another organization that thinks we need “a global transformation toward sustainability.” These self-important busybodies intend to “work together to respond to some of the most pressing issues faced by humankind.”

    Isn’t that nice. We’re further advised that,

    “By coming together in a self-organized alliance, the Earth League members will be a united voice in the global dialogue on planetary issues.”

    According to Guy Brasseur, the acting chair of the league:

    “This is a wonderful initiative which will address the challenges of sustainable development that are best investigated through a co-ordinated approach by leading experts. One of its roles will be to provide high-level decision-makers in business and government with analysis of the pressing global issues faced by society and potential responses.”

    As far as I can tell, these so-called “leading experts” already have plenty of podiums from which to preach their version of the environmental gospel. Why they feel the need to establish yet another vehicle to disseminate their views is far from clear.

    Their message, however, is tediously predictable. According to the League’s website, “societies around the world are currently witnessing severe crises,” with one of the problems being that “the gains of the human enterprise are distributed quite unevenly.” That last bit is a fancy way of saying that poverty remains a problem, and that these folks regard it as being a matter of “distribution.”

    For goodness sake. We’ve been hearing exactly that message for forty years. Books such as:

    * the 1972 Blueprint for Survival
    * the 1972 Limits to Growth
    * the 1976 Rio: Reshaping the International Order

    tilled this ground a long, long time ago.

    Every one of us deserves a voice in conversations about how best to respond to environmental and economic challenges. Yet these individuals seem to think that because, get this, they, as scientists,

    “have “the truth” as a common reference point…”

    they deserve special access to “high-level decision-makers in business and government.”

    Who else is involved – and is thus being described as a “leading scientist”?

    * economist Nicholas Stern, author of the controversial Stern Review
    * Leena Srivastava, a close associate of the IPCC’s Rajendra Pachauri at TERI University – whose PhD is in “energy economics”
    * Youba Sokona, a UN official who “has served in various advisory capacities to African governments”
    * Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, who I’ve described previously as “the furthest thing from an objective, dispassionate scientist”
    * Nebojsa Kakicenovic, an economics professor who advises the UN
    * Pamela Matson, who “serves on the boards of the World Wildlife Fund and the ClimateWorks Foundation”



    • Richard C (NZ) on 10/07/2013 at 7:03 pm said:

      ‘The Earth League’

      Towards a Global Research & Assessment Alliance

      Humankind has become a quasi-geological force on Planet Earth. Our species is the most successful ever, still growing in numbers and absorbing more and more natural resources for its industrial metabolism, which is largely based on fossil fuels and other dwindling stocks. As a consequence, societies around the world are currently witnessing severe crises that call for a “Great Transformation” toward sustainability. Climate change might be understood as just one manifestation of the emerging complex problem or as a driver. […]

      At the same time, the gains of the human enterprise are distributed quite unevenly: abject poverty, lack of education, insufficient access to health services and other social disparities persist worldwide in spite of dramatic economic growth in many countries. […]

      Science will have to play an unprecedented role in this enterprise if that circle is to be squared. Among the many reasons supporting such a statement, two stand out:

      First, modern civilization is virtually a “brainchild”, generated by the Enlightenment and the consistent application of reasoning through the scientific method. From an evolutionary point of view, it would be foolish not to harness research and innovation for overcoming the problems that those cultural forces keep on creating. So the best possible science should be employed to identify pathways and measures for perpetually improving the human condition. Truly transformational strategies may be needed to overcome the climate crisis and global demographic change.

      Second, the scientific community owns part of the knowledge established around the planet which is arguably spearheading the eventual development of a cosmopolitan paradigm for humankind. This is so because the generation of genuine knowledge is based on community-wide best practices that reflect the universalities of reality as epitomized by the laws of physics or genomics. For instance, quantum mechanics governs the development of modern electronics irrespective of politics, culture or religious belief. Thus scientists, wherever they work, have “the truth” as a common reference point. Such a unique position is able to transcend national interests which continue to dominate multilateralism in a world composed of some 200 sovereign states.

      In summary, the knowledge enterprise has both the capacity and responsibility to find and propose global solutions for global problems, yet this will require new forms of self-organization and novel concepts for the dialogue between science and society.

      The Earth League

      In view of the challenges and opportunities outlined above, we propose to establish a voluntary alliance of leading scientists and institutions dealing with planetary processes and sustainability issues – the Earth League.

      The name is meant to reflect that this initiative is about the whole Earth as a research topic, on the one hand, and about involving world-class scientific entities, on the other hand. The latter are universities, institutes or think tanks which are strong enough to stand comfortably alone, yet would gain additional weight and impact by standing together.



    • Richard C (NZ) on 10/07/2013 at 7:15 pm said:

      I like this bit:

      “…the knowledge established around the planet which is arguably spearheading the eventual development of a cosmopolitan paradigm for humankind”

      Their big one-world dream, and yes – “arguably”.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 10/07/2013 at 7:36 pm said:


      “In fact, serious steps towards an integrated Earth System science program, finally bridging the gap between the natural and the social sciences, are currently being made.”

      I suggest that the “bridging” is not science, either natural, social or even political. I see 3 economists in Donna’s list of “Self-Important, Self-Appointed Busybodies”; economics being a key lever for “even” wealth distributed socialist one-worldism.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 10/07/2013 at 7:59 pm said:

      Prof. Dr. María Máñez Costa
      Department of Economics and Policy [See what I’m getting at?]
      Helmholtz Center Geesthacht
      Climate Service Center (CSC)
      Chilehaus, Eingang B [A Chilean looking for global traction – from Germany of course!]
      Fischertwiete 1
      20095 Hamburg

    • Richard C (NZ) on 10/07/2013 at 8:03 pm said:

      Scientific Activities

      The new alliance will focus particularly on the production, dissemination and application of knowledge needed for managing anthropogenic global change according to the principles of sustainable development.

      + + + + +

      “Scientific” ? “Activities” ? “needed” ? “managing” ? “change” ? “according” ?

    • Richard C (NZ) on 10/07/2013 at 7:51 pm said:

      Another familiar name on the list:

      • Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change, Berlin, Germany (Ottmar Edenhofer);

      “…we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy”

    • Richard C (NZ) on 10/07/2013 at 8:45 pm said:

      ‘The Global Guardians and the League of Extraordinary Nutjobs’

      by Ben Pile

      […] Speaking of new global institutions seeking a legitimising basis, Roger Pielke Jr. Tweets…

      “Apparently, this proposal by scientists to stand above governments in an “Earth League” is not a spoof –> https://t.co/tB7dsmWeLu

      The link takes us to the following document:

      The Earth League
      Towards a Global Research & Assessment Alliance


      Because the world has not heard enough from the likes of Sir Brian Hoskins and Lord Nicholas Stern, there needs to be another talking shop, where these bureaucrats-posing-as-scientists can, like Emmott, and like Monbiot, and pretty much like their new critics (their erstwhile comrades) carry on doomsaying.


  18. Richard C (NZ) on 11/07/2013 at 11:54 am said:

    ‘Reclaiming the Moral High Ground (Epstein’s new energy primer)’

    by Pierre Desrochers

    […] Epstein’s main message is that environmentalists have “put forward the myth that a better environment means ‘saving’ the planet from human industry,” whereas in fact humans who have been lucky enough to join the international division of labor and benefit from ever greater energy use have increasingly insulated themselves from bad weather, diseases and food shortages.

    In other words, the story told by long-term trends runs directly counter to the dominant green narrative. Reducing our carbon footprint, it turns out, is a one way road to greater misery and environmental devastation. Until something better comes along, increasing our carbon footprint is the only proven way to help billions of individuals live longer, happier, healthier, safer, more comfortable, more meaningful, and more opportunity-filled life.

    With facts on their side, Epstein argues, hydrocarbon producers and supporters should eschew apologies (“Beyond Petroleum” and “bridge fuel” anyone?). Rather, industrialists should make a moral case through “aspirational advocacy,” which he defines as connecting educational efforts with target audiences’ deepest values and aspirations (from human progress to environmental remediation).



  19. Richard C (NZ) on 04/08/2013 at 1:22 pm said:

    Only vaguely recall this Economist article from a couple of months back (in ‘Democracy in America’, ‘American politics’ section note). I think all the “97%” talk might have drowned it out but it deserves a bring-up because the author doesn’t mince words in response to some of the other articles that did make waves at the time e.g. Nate Cohn of the New Republic below (my bolding):

    ‘A cooling consensus’

    Jun 20th 2013, 15:37 by W.W. | HOUSTON under American politics


    Mr Cohn cites a few scientists who are unruffled by the surprisingly slow warming.

    “It might seem like a decade-long warming plateau would cause a crisis for climate science. It hasn’t. Gerald Meehl, a Senior Scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, has seen hiatus periods before. They “occur pretty commonly in the observed records,” and there are climate models showing “a hiatus as long as 15 years.” As a result, Isaac Held, a Senior Research Scientist at NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, says “no one has ever expected warming to be continuous, increasing like a straight line.” Those much-cited computer models are composed of numerous simulations that individually account for naturally occurring variability. But, Meehl says, “the averages cancel it out.”

    Isn’t this transparently ad hoc. The point of averaging is to prune off exceedingly unlikely possibilities. It does not vindicate a model to note that it gives no weight—that it “cancels out”—its only accurate constitutive simulations.

    If “hiatus periods are commonly observed” is the right way to think about the current warming plateau, then the rest of Mr Cohn’s article, examining various explanations of the puzzle of the hiatus would be unnecessary. But, as all the pieces discussing the warming plateau make perfectly clear, climate scientists are actually pretty baffled about the failure of their predictions. Is it the oceans? Clouds? Volcanoes? The sun? An artifact of temperature data?

    As a rule, climate scientists were previously very confident that the planet would be warmer than it is by now, and no one knows for sure why it isn’t. This isn’t a crisis for climate science. This is just the way science goes. But it is a crisis for climate-policy advocates who based their arguments on the authority of scientific consensus. Mr Cohn eventually gets around to admitting that

    “In the end, the so-called scientific consensus on global warming doesn’t look like much like consensus when scientists are struggling to explain the intricacies of the earth’s climate system, or uttering the word “uncertainty” with striking regularity.”

    But his attempt to minimise the political relevance of this is unconvincing. He writes:

    “The recent wave of news and magazine articles about scientists struggling to explain the warming slowdown could prolong or deepen the public’s skepticism.

    But the “consensus” never extended to the intricacies of the climate system, just the core belief that additional greenhouse gas emissions would warm the planet.

    If this is true, then the public has been systematically deceived. As it has been presented to the public, the scientific consensus extended precisely to that which is now seems to be in question: the sensitivity of global temperature to increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide. Indeed, if the consensus had been only that greenhouse gases have some warming effect, there would have been no obvious policy implications at all.

    More >>>>>>


    + + + + +

    This was a very hard hitting article and I think others picked up on these points too but in blogs rather than prominent media like The Economist. There was no riposte to it that I can think of anywhere e.g. The Guardian.

    I think it was the lack of response that removed the article from consciousness. I only found it from a hotlink (“there may be a few skunks in the consensus science party”) in this Tuscon Citizen article from a few days ago (equally hard hitting):

    ‘Journalists need to resume skepticism of climate science data’

    by Mark B. Evans on Aug. 02, 2013, under Politics

    “The new IPCC report is likely to be loaded with qualifications and equivocations. Liberals will down play them and conservatives will make too much of them.

    Too many journalists have swallowed the “consensus” story whole, judging before all the facts are in. They need to resume their skeptical ways, lackey or commissar labels be damned, and report all the maybes in the report and not just the ises.


    # # #

    Interesting that these discussions are now to be found in the ‘Politics’ section of major publications, not in the ‘Science’ section. I think this is a subtle but important development.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 04/08/2013 at 1:43 pm said:

      The footnote to ‘A cooling consensus’:

      “We have not been awash in arguments for adaptation precisely because the consensus pertained to now-troubled estimates of climate sensitivity. The moralising stridency of so many arguments for cap-and-trade, carbon taxes, and global emissions treaties was founded on the idea that there is a consensus about how much warming there would be if carbon emissions continue on trend. The rather heated debates we have had about the likely economic and social damage of carbon emissions have been based on that idea that there is something like a scientific consensus about the range of warming we can expect. If that consensus is now falling apart, as it seems it may be, that is, for good or ill, a very big deal.”

  20. Richard C (NZ) on 02/09/2013 at 9:13 pm said:

    ‘Climate of failure(?)’

    by Judith Curry

    On the politics of global warming policy.

    Here is a good topic for Sunday’s discussion:

    Roger Pielke Jr. has published an interesting essay in Foreign Policy, Climate of Failure. Excerpts:

    […] ” A rising GDP, all else equal, leads to more emissions. But if there is one ideological commitment that unites nations and people around the world in the early 21st century, it is that GDP growth is non-negotiable”

    “Consider this: If the goal is to stabilize the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere at a low level by 2050 (in precise terms, at 450 parts per million or less), then the world would need to deploy a nuclear power plant worth of carbon free energy every day between now and 2050. For wind or solar, the figures are even more daunting.”

    “For several decades, the dominant view among climate specialists was that imposing a high price on carbon emissions — whether through a tax or a traded permit system — would create the economic incentive necessary to stimulate the green energy innovation needed. Unfortunately, the track record of such schemes is not encouraging. Any policy that depends for its success on creating economic stress on consumers (or voters) to motivate massive change is a policy doomed to fail. Voters typically respond to higher energy prices by voting out of office any politician or party who is perceived to be working against their economic interests. Supporters of carbon pricing have no good answer for the politics.”

    “So what’s the next step? For years — decades, even — science has shown convincingly that human activities have an impact on the planet. That impact includes but is not limited to carbon dioxide. We are indeed running risks with the future climate through the unmitigated release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and none of the schemes attempted so far has made even a dent in the problem. While the climate wars will go on, characterized by a poisonous mix dodgy science, personal attacks, and partisan warfare, the good news is that progress can yet be made outside of this battle.” […]

    JC comments: Pielke makes a strong argument for the existence of two constraints on climate energy policy:

    * there is one ideological commitment that unites nations and people around the world in the early 21st century, it is that GDP growth is non-negotiable.
    * Make clean(er) energy cheap, and dirty energy will be quickly displaced.

    Given these, Pielke argues that there are two overall solution strategies related to climate/energy policy:

    * To secure cheap energy alternatives requires innovation — technological, but also institutional and social.
    * focus on goals that can actually be accomplished and getting people who think differently to act alike.

    Well, this makes alot of sense to me. It constrains the politically viable solution space quite a bit. Focusing on non-CO2 components of the problem (e.g. methane, black carbon) would be a good place to start; in fact that strategy received JC’s 2012 story of the year Climate Fast Attack Plan.

    This post also serves as a lead in to tomorrow’s post on Professors, Politics, and Public Policy.


    • Richard C (NZ) on 03/09/2013 at 11:20 am said:

      ‘Professors, politics and public policy’

      by Judith Curry

      On academic misconceptions of politics and the policy process.

      The previous post Climate of Failure(?) highlighted the failures of climate policy; failures particularly in the eyes of many academic scientists who have been urging action (e.g. the AGU). In his recent NPR interview, Kevin Trenberth stated:

      “This is very much in the role of the politicians who are supposed to do what’s in the interests of everybody as a whole,” Trenberth says. “And I’m not so sure many politicians understand their role in this.”

      Well, maybe it is the academics who don’t understand their role in all this.

      The latest issue of the Political Quarterly has a very interesting and relevant article by Richard D. French entitled The Professors on Public Life [link to abstract]. Some excerpts:


      JC summary

      I think that Richard French and Paul Cairney provide some important insights that are relevant for the climate change policy conundrum. The frustrations of the climate community advocating urgent action are substantial. They seem to think that ‘better communication’ is the solution. The climate problem has suffered from analogy with the tobacco policy issue – relatively simple problem and simple solution. By contrast, climate change is a wicked problem: substantial scientific uncertainties, conflicting values, and costly solutions with unintended consequences. ’Better communication’ about the science isn’t going to help much.

      In my statements about advocacy by climate scientists, I have remarked not only on the issue of responsible advocacy, but also on the need for scientists to understand the policy process and the associated politics. Over the past 8 years, I have worked to educate myself on this topic. While I’m still a neophyte in all this, I understand enough to have concluded that the best role for myself as a scientist is (from my NPR interview):

      “All we can do is be as objective as we can about the evidence and help the politicians evaluate proposed solutions”

      Doing more than this, and being effective at it in terms of actually influencing policy, requires from scientists something different from alarmism, urging action, demonizing your opponents, and improving ‘communication’ and ‘messaging.’


    • Richard C (NZ) on 03/09/2013 at 8:22 pm said:

      ‘Climate of Failure: how alternate energy dreams are pie in the sky solutions for emissions’

      by Anthony Watts

      Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. had a worthwhile guest essay in Foreign Policy titled: Climate of Failure published last year that Dr. Judith Curry has made a post about today that she calls a “good topic for Sunday discussion”. I agree. While I see many of the same things she does, I also see a different path forward. Her last takeaway point is:

      … focus on goals that can actually be accomplished and getting people who think differently to act alike.

      We have the technology to do that in our hands now, all we need is the will. If it weren’t for the need to make nuclear bombs (of which uranium based nuclear power is a spinoff), we might already have been there. Few people know this, but the demonization of coal didn’t start with environmentalists, it started with nuclear power advocates, but that is a story for another day.

      Here are some excerpts from Pielke Jr’s essay in FP:


      Notes from Anthony:

      “…the world would need to deploy a nuclear power plant worth of carbon free energy every day between now and 2050. For wind or solar, the figures are even more daunting.”

      Given the size of the task presented, and the “herding cats” nature of individual sovereign nation economies, it seems to me that the promise of clean energy alternatives as a solution to carbon emissions is essentially stillborn.

      In my opinion, Thorium based nuclear power is the way forward. It has all the benefits of zero carbon emissions, plus it has less problematic fissile by-products than comparable Uranium235 based power systems. Plus, the fuel components of thorium based power systems aren’t generally compatible with current fission and thermonuclear bomb making technologies, making such technology less of a terrorist action risk. Thorium is estimated to be about three to four times more abundant than uranium in the Earth’s crust.

      More >>>>


  21. Andy on 07/11/2013 at 12:02 pm said:

    Great piece at Judith Curry’s entitled the Subterranean War on Science


  22. Richard C (NZ) on 15/01/2014 at 7:59 pm said:

    Chain of events:

    1) Read this page ‘What Catastrophe?’ MIT’s Richard Lindzen, the unalarmed climate scientist


    2) Saw this passage:

    Lindzen also says that the “consensus”—the oft-heard contention that “virtually all” climate scientists believe in catastrophic, anthropogenic global warming—is overblown, primarily for structural reasons. “When you have an issue that is somewhat bogus, the opposition is always scattered and without resources,” he explains. “But the environmental movement is highly organized. There are hundreds of NGOs. To coordinate these hundreds, they quickly organized the Climate Action Network, the central body on climate. There would be, I think, actual meetings to tell them what the party line is for the year, and so on.”

    3) So looked up Climate Action Network. Got to it via this Oxfam New Zealand page:

    Useful links

    International Climate Action Network:

    * http://www.climatenetwork.org


    4) Saw this at CAN – Integrating Climate Into the Post-2015 Framework >


    5) Read this:

    ‘Discussion Paper: Options for Integrating Climate Change Considerations Into the Post-2015 Development Framework’

    Submitted by Sam Harris on January 9, 2014 – 11:41am

    December 2013;

    Author: Bernadette Fischler, CAFOD. With contributions from: Rachel Garthwaite, Save the Children, Ruth Fuller and Dominic White, WWF UK, Sven Harmeling and Kit Vaughan, CARE, Sarah Wykes, Graham Gordon and Neva Frecheville, CAFOD, Lis Wallace, Progressio. (Supported by CAN and Beyond2015 but not an official position)


    At the 2012 Rio+20 conference all countries agreed that climate change is a major obstacle to sustainable development and poverty eradication. This is supported by the experience of people living in poverty and vulnerability and major UN reports feeding into post-2015.3 Science further underlines the immediate need for action in all areas, including international development. The urgency for action is underpinned by climate science and the window of opportunity for avoiding dangerous climate change is rapidly closing. Even a 2ËšC world will undermine development gains and make attaining post-2015 objectives more difficult. The post-2015 framework must help to make climate action in all countries happen without further delay and must support poor people to respond to climate impacts they are experiencing already.

    The purpose of this paper is to describe different options for including climate change in the post-2015 framework, and to facilitate a more informed and constructive debate by providing suggestions for possible target areas. A series of approaches to addressing climate change are discussed, including a “light touch‟ or narrative-only approach in option 0; mainstreaming climate change targets to make all relevant goals “climate-smart‟ in option 1; and three potential options for a ‟stand-alone‟ climate goal in options 2-4.

    None of these approaches are mutually exclusive. A truly committed post-2015 development framework would do all of these things. However, recognising the political nature of this process, we highlight the benefits and trade-offs associated with each to help informed decision-making.

    This paper builds on two papers presented during a workshop in October in London and the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (OWG on SDGs) meeting in November 2013. They have been put together by a group of development and environment organisations with the support of Beyond 2015 and CAN-International, two major global NGO networks involved in this agenda.

    6) Reading the above paper in full now on to-do list. Also to check out Beyond 2015.

  23. Andy on 25/09/2014 at 2:52 pm said:

    There have been a few “climate marches” around the world this week with “environmental activists” dropping mountains of litter everywhere.

    I “demand” that my government takes action on litterbugs!

    • Richard C (NZ) on 25/09/2014 at 8:53 pm said:

      Yes, anti-capitalism “climate marches” for a new “global climate economy”. Why do they bother with the charade anymore?

      For “climate”, read – Marxism:

      The entire capitalist system—with its private property, money, market exchange, profit-and-loss accounting, labor markets, and so on—must be abolished, thought Marx, and replaced with a fully planned, self-managed economic system that brings a complete and utter end to exploitation and alienation. A socialist revolution, argued Marx, is inevitable.


      For “global climate economy”, read – Collectivism:

      According to Moyra Grant, in political philosophy “collectivism” refers to any philosophy or system that puts any kind of group (such as a class, nation, race, society, state, etc.) before the individual.[4] According to Encyclopædia Britannica, “collectivism has found varying degrees of expression in the 20th century in such movements as socialism, communism, and fascism. The least collectivist of these is social democracy, which seeks to reduce the assumed inequities of unrestrained capitalism by government regulation, redistribution of income, and varying degrees of planning and public ownership. In communist systems collectivist economics are carried to their furthest extreme, with a minimum of private ownership and a maximum of planned economy.”[5]


      The genuine, well meaning (probably not the litterers – they’ll be paid ringins), but ignorant environmentalists don’t know who are siding with them. The phrase “wolves in sheep’s clothing” comes to mind.

  24. Richard C (NZ) on 25/09/2014 at 8:59 pm said:

    ‘Who are the ideologues now? Klein doesn’t care if science is wrong. Kennedy wants to jail dissenters’


  25. Richard C (NZ) on 27/09/2014 at 10:32 am said:

    ‘Climate Movement Drops Mask, Admits Communist Agenda’

    by Zombie, September 23rd, 2014

    Communists along with a few environmental groups staged a “People’s Climate Rally” in Oakland, California on Sunday, September 21, in conjunction with the larger “People’s Climate March” in New York City on the same day.

    Wait — did I say communists? Isn’t that a bit of an exaggeration?


    At the New York event, many people noticed that gee, there sure are a lot of communists at this march. But in Oakland — always on the cutting edge — the entire “climate change” movement at last fully, irrevocably and overtly embraced communism as its stated goal. Any concerns about “optics” or operating in “stealth mode” were abandoned.

    The “climate change” “crisis” is now nothing but the latest justification for “total revolution” and getting rid of capitalism forever.

    Yes, capitalism itself is the problem. The primary message of the People’s Climate Rally was this: Climate change is caused by capitalism, and merely attempting to reform capitalism will not stop global warming; it is impossible to work within the existing system if we want to save the planet. We must replace it with a new social and economic system entirely.

    Until recently, those attacking the capitalist system as the cause of global warming were intentionally a little vague as to what will replace it if we are to solve the problem. But on Sunday in Oakland, that curtain was drawn back and the new system was finally revealed: Communism. Or at least hardcore socialism as Marx defined it — the necessary transitional phase before true complete communism (i.e. no private property, no families, no individualism). Most countries we tend to think of as “communist” actually self-defined as “socialist”: The USSR, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, for example, was (as its name reveals) socialist. I point out this detail in case anybody reading this article thinks that the “socialism” advocated at the rally was merely some kind of squishy soft-hearted semi-capitalism; no, it is the same type of socialism one finds in places generally thought of as communist.

    Below you will find irrefutable proof that communist ideologies, organizations and phraseologies have completely moved to the forefront of the “climate change” movement. (I was originally tempted to say that the communists, as they are wont to do, have merely “co-opted” environmentalism. But that would imply that the goal of global warming scaremongering was something other than “destroying capitalism” in the first place. At this point I now know that destroying capitalism has always been the goal; the only thing that changed on Sunday is that the mask was dropped.)

    This proof will necessarily entail posting a lot of photographs; in situations like this, the only way to conclusively demonstrate a point is through repetition of evidence. One could summarize the evidence with a few shorthand images, but that would leave open the possibility that the case was being overstated. To quash that counter-argument before it arises, I will post lots and lots and lots and lots of images from all over the rally, from the sponsors, to the attendees, to the booths, to the speakers, to show beyond any doubt that the entire rally was thoroughly saturated with communism and socialism to the point where these ideologies were the overarching theme of the event.

    Ready? All the photos below were taken at the People’s Climate Rally in Oakland on September 21, 2014.




    Keynote speaker:
    That is why we must look at each other as allies. We are the ones that through our collective activity, will be able to create the change that we want to see in our world.

    We must look around and see who agrees with us. That in order to stop what is foreseen as the sixth great extinction, that could include all of us, we’re going to have to disrupt and transform the capitalist system.

    That is why we say, ‘System Change, Not Climate Change!’



    “Solidarity, a Socialist, Feminist Anti-Racist Organization” looked a little unhappy despite being opposed to “capitalism, patriarchy, white supremacy, settler-colonialism, heterosexism, the compulsory gender binary, and the imperialist domination of the world by the United States.” C’mon — smile!


    Speak Out Now had a presence — and despite their innocuous name, they were amongst the most radical and extremist groups at the entire rally, calling for a violent communist revolution based on “the ideas and actions of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky, on the model of the Russian Revolution of 1917 when the working class showed its capacity to take over” because “Socialism cannot come through a modification of the existing system.”

    So, is it starting to get a little clearer what they mean by “System change, not climate change”? Good.

    • Andy on 27/09/2014 at 10:49 am said:

      That’s brilliant. The photos were great. ticked all the “right on” boxes!

  26. Andy on 07/10/2014 at 8:24 pm said:

    Jo Tyndall, who is apparently an NZ “climate ambassador”, prattles on about Fossil Fuel subsidies whilst maintaining a very impressive hairdo.


  27. Andy on 20/03/2015 at 11:48 am said:

    President Obama has committed to a 40% reduction in Federal Govt GHG emissions over 10 years

    If that means 40% less US Federal Govt, then it ain’t all bad

  28. Richard C (NZ) on 28/04/2015 at 5:50 pm said:

    For the record:

    ‘Hidden crisis of liberal democracy creates climate change paralysis’

    Mark Triffitt, Lecturer, Public Policy at University of Melbourne
    Travers McLeod, Honorary Fellow in the School of Social and Political Sciences at University of Melbourne


    What can be done to overcome this crisis?

    Successfully tackling climate change and other big policy challenges depends on making tangible the intangible crisis of liberal democracy.

    It means understanding that liberal democracy’s governance machinery – and the static, siloed policy responses generated by such democracies – is no longer fit for purpose.

    It means coming up with disruptive solutions – like coalitions of countries, cities and companies to tackle climate change – that re-align this machinery with the new order of scale, complexity and speed that defines our 21st-century world.

    Long-term solutions to fix the crisis in democratic governance in Australia might include:

    • More deliberative systems that directly engage citizens and deepen debate. Such systems would work to capture and grow long-term vision, values and objectives – rather than static perceptions of incremental policy decisions made for tactical reasons.

    • Expert and citizen panels that are genuinely intergenerational and cross-sectoral. Their composition should favour younger generations and ensure the baby boomer generation cedes some control over what it leaves to the next.

    • Granting more decision-making power to institutions independent of the government of the day, but still accountable to parliaments (such as the Parliamentary Budget Office or Infrastructure Australia). This would increase the capacity of policy planning and decision processes to have staying power beyond individual political cycles.

    • Enabling the appointment of some ministers from outside the parliament. This would allow experienced hands – experts at the top of their game – to lead a portfolio while remaining accountable to the parliament.

    • Synchronising state and federal electoral terms (to be a minimum of four years), with state and federal elections to take place at two-year intervals. This would allow the meshing of short, medium and long-term planning, complete with clear milestones.


    # # #

    >”liberal democracy’s governance machinery – …………. – is no longer fit for purpose”

    So say 2 guys in public policy academia. They don’t say explicitly but the inference is their preference is for Soviet-style centralized command and control. That’s the preference of the UN’s Christiana Figueres too:

    “China is also able to implement policies because its political system avoids some of the legislative hurdles seen in countries including the U.S.”, Figueres said.


    >”Granting more decision-making power to institutions independent of the government of the day”

    In other words, unelected bureaucrats and technocrats.

    What could possibly go wrong?

  29. Andy on 04/04/2016 at 6:26 pm said:

    I am interested to know what they will define as a “denier” if they propose that “deniers” be sent to jail, murdered, hung of even beheaded (yes even the latter was suggested in the comments at the Guardian)

    Are the Warmists connected with Islamic militants? They seem to have a very similar attitude to “infidels”

    Given the rather rapid pace that free speech is being suppressed in the West, and violence condoned by governments, including the Obama administration, then there is a real possibility that this might happen.

    I suppose I could buy some solar panels to ward off the vampires.

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