‘Clueless’ cries the credulous truffle grubberRichard Treadgold | July 1, 2011
But Brash simply reflects reality
A post today at Hot Topic gets really stuck in to Don Brash. Don gave a speech today to the Federated Farmers annual conference. He mentioned the ETS, which exists because of a belief in the dangerous global warming created by the actions of humanity, which Don and many others disbelieve.
Therefore Gareth Renowden, the dynamic self-starter who runs the Hot Topic blog (named after the book he wrote — guess what that’s about?), which exists to sell more copies of his book, so he’s never going to admit he’s wrong about the climate (yes, he has a strong vested interest in this “discussion”), couldn’t let it go without having his say. Thing is, he vilifies more than he informs.
Don wondered aloud (in his speech to the farmers) why we have an ETS. He had to admit (answering himself) that he knows of no good reason at all. I agree we’ve been given no good reason.
No good reason for the ETS
What was the strongest reason the Minister of Climate Change ever gave for our ETS? He said it was to get brownie points with our trading partners. In other words, there’s no good reason at all. But Renowden seems to find it acceptable for Nick Smith to admit there’s no good reason for our ETS, yet perfectly deplorable for Don Brash to admit the same thing.
Renowden is so divorced from his audience that he implies there is a good reason for the ETS but neglects to say what it is. Maybe he thinks they won’t notice:
One might wonder why an intelligent man who has led two political parties and been governor of the reserve bank could be so unaware of the facts.
What facts would they be, Gareth? But it gets worse, because a year ago I wrote:
Gluckman has stated that New Zealand action on climate will be “symbolic, moral and political” and will not affect the climate of the Earth. It is a fact that he has given us no scientific reason to believe that such action is necessary. The Coalition has called on him, and I call on him again, to provide such reasons and to stop hiding behind the petticoats of the Royal Society and the IPCC.
Two months ago I asked again for evidence of a human cause of dangerous, or catastrophic, warming (CAGW). But he has never revealed any. Probably never will. But that’s two of our leaders giving no reasons for an ETS.
Don Brash agrees with Smith and Gluckman
If the Chief Scientific Advisor to the Prime Minister has never publicly mentioned any evidence for CAGW, why should Don Brash be expected to do so, and what blinds Renowden to the clear fact that the two men are saying the same thing? Don Brash actually agrees with both Nick Smith and Peter Gluckman but Renowden criticises him for doing so. That is not reasonable.
Don mentions the long increase in world temperature over 200 years, since the Thames regularly froze during winter, pointing out that the warming began a century and a half before our CO2 could have been a factor. Renowden simply whines that the Thames never “regularly” froze over. What a prune. Even in that he’s wrong, and he ignores the substantive point, that the world has been getting out of a cold spot all by itself.
Look at the Wikipedia reference he gives and you learn the freezing occurred between the 15th and the 19th centuries — about 400 years. That’s regular enough for me.
Bridge freezes Thames River – big surprise
Renowden appears to blame the freezing not on the weather but on an old bridge, which will surprise many people. Apparently the freezing stopped when the bridge was demolished. It must have been the bridge! Then he concedes that the freezing happened “only in the coldest winters,” which will surprise nobody.
Gareth, that’s the point: see, the cold weather caused the Thames to freeze, after which the weather warmed up by itself, which wasn’t our fault. So stop blaming humanity.
In his next simple refutation of dangerous modern warming, Don refers to the Roman and Medieval warm periods and the fact that greenhouse gases could not have been responsible for them. Renowden wisely doesn’t try to refute that. But he comments that there’s “almost certainly” more acreage of wines growing now in the UK than ever before. I think that’s almost certainly very interesting, as I almost certainly didn’t know that before. Thanks, Gareth.
Rapid change, but nothing is happening
Next, Don turns to the harmless modern temperature increase and whether extra CO2 is harmful. Renowden’s response is open-mouthed dread. He talks about the pace of change being “so rapid” as though it’s rapid, when nothing is actually happening. I hope he’s remembering to breathe, the panic attack seems real enough. Hate to lose him.
“Those who got rich without penalty on their carbon emissions … are to condemn the poor to suffer.” Dear, oh dear. “Destroyed by rising seas.” Crikey. Are those the same seas that are currently not rising? And not overwhelming any islands, nor deltas?
Don completes his brief review of non-dangerous global warming with the observation that “it’s entirely unclear why New Zealand should be at the forefront” of efforts to slow the warming, at considerable cost. But Renowden pontificates that we should “do our fair share.” Is that so?
But New Zealand is already doing far more than its fair share. We are:
- the only country in the entire world (outside Europe) to have ANY ETS
- the only country in the entire world to enact an ETS in the last seven years
- the only country in the entire world to include ALL sectors in an ETS
- the only country in the entire world to include ALL gases in an ETS
That gives us four gold medals, in a field event we didn’t want to participate in. Why do we need a clutch of gold medals?
Only country to attack its own industry
Why did we also win the bronze medal at Copenhagen for the most ambitious future targets (behind Japan, which has since recanted)? Why does our sense of guilt seem greater than all other countries? We’re doing more than our fair share.
Why are we the only country to mount an attack on its own principal industry (livestock farming), when the other 192 countries are selfishly tailoring their measures (if they’re taking any measures) to suit their own economic interests?
We’re doing more than our fair share. What are they doing?
If the only reason for us to have an ETS is to gain brownie points with our trading partners, what are they doing to gain brownie points with us? I’ll tell you: nothing.
Why are we concerned at all, when an independent examination of our temperature record reveals that our temperatures have remained almost perfectly stable since European settlement began in 1840?
There has been zero global warming in New Zealand.