Laking recycles dishonestyRichard Treadgold | December 3, 2011
It’s one thing to be misunderstood, quite another to be repeatedly misquoted.
A misunderstanding can be a mere message muddle – happens all the time – and mistakenly misquoting is minor misconduct.
But continuing to misquote someone after being told what they actually said is unforgivable. Crafting your assertions to your own ends rather than to the truth is detestable.
Children make no bones about it. They call it lying and they hate it.
Our local warmists only pretend to be honourable. They continue to use bad language to describe climate sceptics and they stoop to anything to denigrate them, even to repeatedly misquoting us.
In the comments, the author made allegations against me which regurgitate the well-known Renowden distortions of the joint Climate Conversation/NZCSC paper, “Are we feeling warmer yet?” (AWFWY), collated by yours truly from data provided by Coalition scientists.
That paper revealed giant differences between the official national temperature graph on NIWA’s web site and the raw temperature data they made available for download. Where their graph showed clear warming over the last hundred years, the raw data showed none at all. Seeing that, anybody would ask, as we did: “What changes did you make, and why were they necessary?”
We were right
Incredibly, they couldn’t answer us (it turned out the details had been lost in a computer botch-up). This simple question, which any Stage 1 science student who adjusted their data would be expected to answer, was quite beyond our leading climate scientists.
But they didn’t say this. Instead, they treated the country to a barrage of bluster, dissimulation, flat-out lies and distortions – even misleading their Minister in the Parliament; they delayed, obfuscated and delayed again – and agreed to recalculate the adjustments. Bingo!
NIWA’s decision to spend $70,000 on those recalculations was clear proof that we had been right all along. The science behind the temperature record was deficient, as we pointed out, and NIWA knew that, so they were forced to reconstruct the adjustments. But they would not have done so if we had not asked and we had not been right.
NIWA had clearly adjusted the publicly-owned temperature records and we always felt that the public had the right to know the reasons for those adjustments, for otherwise no independent review was possible.
He hasn’t even read our paper
At every point, the local climate alarmist Gareth Renowden, of Hot Topic, took issue with NIWA against us. They could do no wrong; we could do no right. He showed at every turn his lack of concern for the truth or the improvement of the national temperature record. He took everything we said as an attack on the theory of global warming, heaping insults on us for that, and showed great eagerness to believe whatever NIWA’s scientists told him – he was a perfect stooge. One of the things he misrepresented was what Laking repeats in the Herald: that, in calculating the trend from the raw readings alone, I (meaning our team) “overlooked” the need for adjustments.
It is breathtaking to hear Laking renew that claim. He displays no knowledge of the NZ temperature record and to compound his ignorance, two years after publication he still hasn’t even read our paper. Yet he claims: “My own training in science has made me alert to and familiar with the need to prepare raw data for analysis.” But not alert enough to read the paper you’re evaluating, eh, George? Well, this serves you right – a child could see through that mistake.
Our AWFWY analysis clearly states on page 3 that we examined NIWA’s web site data on station histories (as it was – it’s since been altered) for reasons to make adjustments. We reported that the station histories were “unremarkable”. They contained “no reasons for large corrections” – but the fact that we looked, and we said we looked, shows we were aware of the occasional need for adjustments. To then claim we “overlooked” that need is completely stupid – if you read our paper, you won’t make that mistake.
While George is pronouncing on a subject he knows nothing of, it’s interesting to hear him repeat something our paper says, for which we were ridiculed. He confirms that all of the warming reported in New Zealand arises only from the adjustments, because he says: “If you take the raw temperature recordings alone … you won’t see a temperature rise.”
Because then: “the readings have to be corrected for changes in site location, exposure, and instrumentation.” The delicious irony of admitting to this “man-made” warming escapes him. He really ought to reflect on the likelihood of so many adjustments contributing to the warming he claims has been largely man-made (in the other sense of emissions). Did all seven temperature stations move, as he implies, from the coast to cooler hills?
NIWA exaggerates the warming by 168%
Laking points to “NIWA’s “Report on the Review of NIWA’s Seven Station Series” (once available on NIWA’s website, now split into individual documents, but available here as a single file (pdf, 8.7 MB), and it shows how temperature has risen 0.9 °C in this country over the last century.” He says this is “a kernel of science”. He’s more right than he knows.
We refuted it, you know
(Tore it to pieces, actually.) It’s only fair to point out, George, that on 6 August the NZCSC analysis of NIWA’s review (pdf, 2.8 MB) was released. You’re right, there’s a kernel of science in NIWA’s review. But they didn’t use the scientific method they claim to have used (and promised for months beforehand that they would use), by not using the correct method they overstate the warming by 168%, they use stations 1100 km apart yet call them “neighbours”, use annual data when the proper method specifically requires monthly data and do several other unscientific things.
But he can read our report for himself or get a gentle introduction by reading our summary of it. He clearly has not heard of it and should find it illuminating. Hope he lets us know what he thinks of it and whether his strong faith in NIWA is still intact.
Here’s Laking’s full comment:
If you take the raw temperature recordings alone (like ACT, or to be precise, Richard Treadgold did), you won’t see a temperature rise. But that is because the readings have to be corrected for changes in site location, exposure, and instrumentation. My own training in science has made me alert to and familiar with the need to prepare raw data for analysis. Treadgold overlooked this and so ACT constructed a whole court case on the most abysmal scientific howler.
Well, sorry, but Laking just walked into a big hole nobody warned him about or he’s deliberately repeated the “howler” myth, knowing it to be false. Let me spell out his mistakes.
- ACT did not work on our AWFWY report, though they gave it wholehearted support when it was done. They put the most fantastic pressure on NIWA’s top managers and scientists from within the Parliament.
- Laking assumes most adjustments will result in warming, thinking the weather stations all moved to cooler places. He doesn’t realise that, taken together, as the BOM in Australia say, one would expect adjustments over a long period to balance out and to be neutral. Instead, NIWA’s adjustments demonstrate an extraordinary bias towards warming – 50% more warming than the whole globe, by the way, even though we’re the world’s largest archipelago, sitting in a great big ocean.
- ACT have nothing to do with the suit against NIWA. That is being brought by the NZ Climate Science Education Trust, an offshoot of the Coalition. Fancy not getting that right!
- The “howler” is no such thing, since it was invented by Gareth Renowden to discredit our paper and it is a lie. Nowhere does our paper claim there should be no adjustments, nor have we ever said so.
The last word
In his opinion piece, Laking acknowledges that organisations around the world follow the lead on climate given by the “scientific work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.” The IPCC is highly regarded, especially in banking and investment circles.
They have been particularly revered since making possible the unique money-making scheme of buying and selling a trace gas that nobody can measure, that neither the seller nor the buyer wants, that the buyer cannot take delivery of, and where it suits both parties to fraudulently overstate the quantities bought and sold. It’s brilliant.
But the IPCC is being reevaluated around the world on several levels. On the scientific level, the IPCC released a draft report a couple of weeks ago on coping with extreme climate disasters. In it, they candidly admit the chances that various events will happen. They are distressingly uncertain about most things, which is causing people everywhere to consider the possibility that the IPCC has been wrong to predict catastrophe.
That same IPCC which inspires your government to spend your money to “change the weather” (oh, yes, we can!) is the same one that just announced:
It is likely that anthropogenic influences have led to warming of extreme daily minimum and maximum temperatures on the global scale.
Only “likely?” And they don’t even say how MUCH warming! If an investment consultant came to me offering to invest my money, and he said it was “likely” I would get my money back, I would call the police.
George, if you have the time, answer me this: How much will the global surface temperature be reduced if New Zealand achieves its stated target “for a 50 per cent reduction in New Zealand greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2050″?