Submission to 2050 Emissions Target “Consultation”

Here is my submission to the 2050 Emissions Reduction Target Consultation, as invited by the Minister for Climate Change Issues, the Hon Dr Nick Smith, in his position paper Gazetting New Zealand’s 2050 Emissions Target, published last month. The central argument is a challenge to the Minister and his department to show us the evidence of a dangerous human influence on the global temperature. For without that, there is no need to “fight climate change” and they have no right to tax us. They have already raised the prices of petrol and electricity by their ETS scheme. This submission also available as a pdf (50KB).

Nick Smith

I operate a blog, the Climate Conversation Group, whose well-informed readers over the past four years have had thousands of conversations about climate, climate changes, their causes and likely effects. We oppose the Minister’s intention to gazette the country’s 2050 target reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. These are our objections to the gazetting.

Noting that 39 years remain in which to achieve these so-called “reductions”, the gazetting strikes us as primarily a marketing exercise rather than a sincere attempt to influence the climate. The Government’s intention to achieve mere public relations purposes is confirmed when the Minister denies even the possibility of influencing the climate and in the same breath talks instead about our reputation.

New Zealand alone cannot have much impact on global climate change… As a trading nation, New Zealand depends on its international reputation and its strong clean and green image.

Who is to say whether the natural course of New Zealand’s emissions during the next 39 years will be upwards or downwards? It could be that the emission levels specified here will at some time in the future be achieved only by increasing our emissions. Who is to say what technological innovations will improve our ability to generate energy without GHG emissions? What if we embrace nuclear power generation? What if the climate cools? Continue Reading →

The uncertainties of averages

Dr Vincent Gray

Those who provide us with the supposed Mean Annual Global Temperature Anomaly (graph shown below) treat the annual points in their graph as if they were constants. The points on the graph do not represent actual observations. They are processed versions of actual observations and they are subject to statistical uncertainties.

The latest CRU paper to calculate these uncertainties is Brohan, P., J.J. Kennedy, I. Haris, S.F.B. Tett, P.D. Jones (2006). “Uncertainty estimates in regional and global observed temperature changes: a new dataset from 1850.” J. Geophys. Res. 111: D12106. doi:1020/2005JD006546.

This paper combines many sources of uncertainties and the final figures vary from year to year, but are typically about ±0.2 ºC on a 95% confidence basis. Some versions of their graph include these figures as “error bars” attached to the data points.

Brohan et al even admit that they do not include “unknown unknowns”, even referring to the internationally recognised expert on this subject, Donald Rumsfeld.

It is surprising that they have left out of their discussions the most important source of uncertainty in their figures, one which is “known” to every person who has studied stratistics. It is the uncertainty which arises every time you take an average. Continue Reading →

Nick unmasks truth — climate is changing

65 million years of climate change

Last month our government, through the Minister for Climate Change Issues, the Hon Nick Smith, released a “Minister’s Position Paper” on New Zealand’s 2050 Emissions Target. It makes sickening reading. Here’s the beginning:

Multiple lines of scientific evidence show that climate change is happening, and humankind’s emissions of greenhouse gases are very likely the cause. Since the 1970s there is mounting scientific evidence that increased concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere from human activities are raising temperatures and changing the Earth’s climate patterns.

These activities include burning fossil fuels like coal and oil, deforestation and farming. Atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide, increased markedly over the 20th century.

“Climate change” is “happening”? It’s amazing that the government feels the need to point out to their subjects a fact known to Man since before the dawn of time: the climate changes. No, it’s ludicrous. Actually it’s stupid. Or it’s fatuous, or condescending, patronising, ignorant, dictatorial, racist, sexist and discriminatory. Also it’s witless. Continue Reading →

Quote of the week

what a thing to say

“Not long ago, to question multiculturalism … risked being branded racist and pushed into the loathesome corner with paedophiles and climate change deniers.”

Michael Buerk, presenter of the BBC radio program the ‘Moral Maze’, said this on 9 February while introducing a debate about multiculturalism in the UK.

BBC iPlayer link (20 seconds in).

Michael Buerk

Michael Buerk has presented The Moral Maze, a lively ethical dilemma discussion forum, since it began in 1990. Since 1998 he has also presented The Choice, in which an individual explores how they coped with a personal dilemma. He presented The Ten O’Clock News and 999, both on BBC One. He began his journalistic career with the Thomson Newspaper group in 1967 and went on to work on The Daily Mail.

Michael joined the BBC in 1970. During his subsequent years as a foreign correspondent, which included a four-year posting to South Africa, he reported from 53 countries. He has won numerous awards including Radio Broadcaster of the Year, the Royal Television Society’s Journalist of the Year and the BAFTA News Award.

Michael has now also won the CCG Quote Of The Week! What a burk.

Why wind won’t work

quill pen
To the Editor
Climate Conversation

13th February 2011

Why are governments still mollycoddling wind power?

There is no proof that wind farms reduce carbon dioxide emissions and it is ludicrous to believe that a few windmills in Australia are going to improve global climate.

Such wondrous expressions of green faith put our politicians on par with those who believe in the tooth fairy.

Tax payers funding this largess and consumers paying the escalating power bills are entitled to demand proof.

Not only is there no climate justification for wind farms, but they are also incapable of supplying reliable or economical power.

It is also surprising those who claim to be defenders of the environment can support this monstrous desecration of the environment.

Wind power is so dilute that to collect a significant quantity of wind energy will always require thousands of gigantic towers each with a massive concrete base and a network of interconnecting heavy duty roads and transmission lines. Then when they go into production, they slice up bats and eagles, disturb neighbours, reduce property values and start bushfires.

Finally, to cover the total loss of power when the wind drops or blows too hard, every wind farm needs a conventional back-up power station (commonly gas-fired) with capacity at least twice the design capacity of the wind farm to even out the sudden fluctuations in the electricity grid.

Why bother with the wind farm – just build the backup?

There is no justification for the continuation of mandates, subsidies or tax breaks favouring wind power over reliable and cheaper electricity generation options.

Wind power should compete on an equal basis with all other electricity options.

Viv Forbes


The above statements

are supported and expanded in a recent submission to the Australian Senate entitled: “Why Wind Won’t Work – It’s as Weak as Water.”

See a summary of the submission.

See the full report with pictures and all the gory and depressing details.

NIWA’s review taking a hiding

NIWA's logo

 

Questions raised over review of NZ temps

On 16 December, 2010, just before Christmas, just after the Parliament had risen for the year, just as the citizenry were rushing around doing Christmassy things and just as, necessarily, their oh-so-short memories of the year just gone were fading, NIWA released their long-promised review of the official New Zealand temperature record (NZTR).

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology gave it some luke-warm approval. In a letter dated 14 December, following their ‘peer review’ of NIWA’s ‘Review Report,’ Neil Plummer, Acting Assistant Director (Climate Information Services), at first gives this description of what the review would involve:

In this context ‘scientific review’ means a critical inspection/examination of the station reports taking into account the range of supporting evidence provided. The ideas, methods and conclusions of the papers are assessed for scientific error, internal consistency, clarity and scientific logic.

The data and methodology provided in the reports from NIWA are taken as an accurate representation of the actual analyses undertaken. We are not in a position to question all of the underlying analyses and data that have contributed to the final results, such as methods used to compile raw data taken at stations. We do, however, perform some independent analyses as appropriate to the aims of the review as outlined above.

Mr Plummer states clearly that they accept the data and the methodology presented by NIWA without questioning it. He also helpfully points out what the peer review will not do. Then he goes on in that vein at such length that he gives us the impression he doesn’t really want to review NIWA’s report at all. It would be too hard. Continue Reading →

NIWA’s review: what are they hiding?

NIWA's logo

 

NIWA refuses our OIA request—but why?

… continued from my initial post describing the weak endorsement from the Bureau of Meteorology of NIWA’s review of the official NZ temperature record (NZTR) and my subsequent demand under the OIA for copies of correspondence with the Bureau.

What has NIWA got to hide? They bought the Australian Bureau’s advice with taxpayer’s money — why is it being kept secret? Why can’t we see everything the Australians told their colleagues at NIWA? It’s only the temperature record, for goodness’ sake!

That’s not yet a state secret. It’s not like giving away the number of windmills we’re planning to build, or anything. Continue Reading →

Perrott puts his foot in his mouth

An ancient foot in the mouth

Then Renowden joins him

Our most vocal critic, Ken Perrott, has chanced upon a file I just posted, containing the unadjusted temperature data which was the subject of our paper, Are We Feeling Warmer Yet? (AWFWY), published here in November, 2009.

His response is to claim we made a big error. However, without realising it, Perrott actually accuses Dr Jim Salinger and NIWA itself of that error, because we just copied what Salinger did; what NIWA still does.

Most of Ken’s article at Open Parachute is pious ad hominem nonsense. There’s no reason to respond to all the arm-waving, so the sole point at issue is how to present an annual series with missing data.

The purpose of AWFWY was to compare the NIWA-adjusted Seven-station Series (7SS) with the unadjusted data. It was therefore necessary to use the same techniques as NIWA, insofar as they had been disclosed or were discernible. We had Salinger’s spreadsheet of adjusted readings, and we just did what Salinger did — he averaged years with missing data according to the number of available stations. Exactly what Perrott complains about.

You can see that from the spreadsheet. If you doubt that fact, just ask NIWA. Continue Reading →

No puerile sarcasm

Here’s a comment made today by Ken Perrott. Unfortunately his comments are copied immediately on Sciblogs, lending them a dignity they don’t deserve. Ken referred to the CCG as containing:

“puerile sarcasm aimed at denying the credibility of scientists and honest science.”

I don’t believe there is any “puerile sarcasm” here, and I would like to keep it that way. It’s acceptable to have one’s scientific thinking challenged or refuted, but the only way to brush off these insults is to be innocent of the alleged activity.

Anyway, we will agree, I’m sure, that Ken is fully skilled in judging the appearance and use of puerile sarcasm.

I encourage him now to address the scientific arguments given throughout this site against the theory of dangerous anthropogenic global warming.

But, considering his post simply offers juvenile mockery of those who disagree with him, I don’t expect very much. Perhaps he will surprise me.

NZ temperature record – a brief history

mountain mists

Official temperature records have been maintained in New Zealand since shortly after European settlement began in 1840. Throughout the ensuing 150 years, mean temperature levels appeared to remain stable. But NIWA (the responsible Government agency) has recently questioned the historical record, suggesting a long-term warming trend may have been hidden in the data.

Publications from 18681, 19202 19603 and contemporary records4 indicate that mean temperatures in New Zealand cities have not significantly changed since records began (Tables 1,2,3). Degrees Fahrenheit in the early figures have been converted to degrees Celsius. Continue Reading →

NIWA’s maverick methodology

maverick

A sober analysis from an indefatigable leader of our Campaign for True Temperatures. Barry’s careful, professional reticence stands in stark contrast to the concerns emerging over the work of our premier climate institution. — Richard Treadgold


“NIWA uses internationally accepted techniques” — Hon Dr Wayne Mapp, Minister of Research, Science and Technology.

The principal methodology used by NIWA in calculating adjustments to historical data for both the Seven-station Series (7SS) and its provisional replacement, the New Zealand Temperature Seven (NZT7), is by comparison with other temperature stations. This is well explained in the Review Report published December 2010 (page 11) as follows:

  • Micro-climates exist: Within a general region, taking Wellington as an example, there are many micro-climates, and thus temperatures vary from place to place. This is because of Wellington’s varied topography, meaning that the sites have different exposures and aspects and are at different altitudes. All these factors can influence the measured temperature. There is no such thing, therefore, as “the” Wellington temperature; there are many Wellington temperatures, and they are all different.
  • Neighbouring sites vary together: Comparison of temperatures from neighbouring sites shows again and again that trends and interannual variations at nearby sites are very similar. So although the base level temperatures may be different at two sites (due to micro-climate effects), the variations are almost in ‘lock-step’, with occasional exceptions. (See examples in the seven-station documents and on the NIWA website).

Continue Reading →

Never the twain shall meet

the finger of God

OH, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,
Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God’s great Judgment Seat;
But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth,
When two strong men stand face to face, tho’ they come from the ends of the earth!

from The Ballad of East and West
by Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936)


Toward a conversation

A reader of the Climate Conversation, Matt Flaherty, has made some intelligent and generous comments after taking yours truly to task for issuing a partially misleading press release last December.

Those comments deserve proper consideration in this separate post, for Matt raises the superb subject of what we ought to call each other in the climate debate. I’d like us to have a go at resolving this.

It would be especially interesting to hear from the ‘pro-AGW’ readers who have commented here lately, like the perspicacious Keith Hunter, David Winter, Matt Flaherty of course, and any others who have been just lurking until now. How would you like to be characterised, if at all?

For simplicity, there are two sides: the ‘warmists’ and the ‘deniers’; those on the one hand compelled to believe that mankind is destroying the planet and those on the other hand who cannot believe it. Continue Reading →