Egos of NIWA

John Morgan, the Chief Executive Officer of NIWA, perhaps the country’s premier scientific institute, has misled the press and the people of New Zealand. He made a public claim of international recognition of NIWA’s temperature adjustment methods but refuses to provide evidence of that recognition. How can anyone believe him?

After NIWA published a review of the national temperature record (called “the Review”) in December 2010, the NZ Climate Science Coalition asked them how they adjusted the temperatures. What method did they use? It’s a reasonable question. If you knew that, you could try to replicate NIWA’s results. Replication is what science is all about. Continue Reading →

NIWA withholds evidence, loses face

About ten to four this afternoon Outlook went ‘bing-bong’ and a mail from NIWA arrived on my desktop. It was John Morgan, refusing my second request for publicly-owned information. The time elapsed since we first asked for it has reached 21 weeks.

Readers might remember I asked again on 20 February:

So would you please provide a copy of the scientific literature that approves of the measurement technique used by NIWA in the Review. This request is reiterated under the Official Information Act.

Here’s what Mr Morgan decided to say about it:

Dear Mr Treadgold

I write in response to your email dated 20 February 2014 indicating that you believe that my reply of 21 November 2013 did not answer the question raised in your email of 22 October 2013. Continue Reading →

Epic fail, NIWA! Your methods are a global secret

John Morgan in less-than-dapper mode

CEO can’t produce a single scientific reference

NIWA methodology unrecognised, never published

Regular readers appreciate that one of this blog’s principal concerns is NIWA’s failure to disclose the methods it has used to adjust the raw readings behind the national temperature record—the so-called 7SS or “seven-station” series.

NIWA has persistently claimed that its adjustment methods are recognised internationally, but failed at the High Court hearing in July last year to supply evidence of international approval; the court heard only assertions from NIWA itself, which, though empty, seemed oddly to convince Mr Justice Venning of their legitimacy. Now those mendacious claims are catching up with NIWA’s CEO, John Morgan—but I get ahead of myself. Continue Reading →

Climate Conversation traffic sets records

Thank you to all our visitors – both voluble and silent – for making this small corner of the free blogoverse a forum both informative and influential.

I just checked last month’s Climate Conversation web traffic figures out of cPanel and I’m mightily pleased. All metrics show record high figures. This is only for the CC sub-domain of WordShine (I really must shift it to climateconversation.org.nz, huh?). Here is the cPanel graph with October highlighted:

CCG traffic summary for October 2012

The release of the judge’s decision and the recently-filed costs arguments are obvious sources of increased interest. But there have been some notable threads of conversation on climate science which have pitted determined warmists against equally tenacious sceptics. Continue Reading →

Climate Conversation v. Hot Topic et al.

Alexa world-wide rankings

I bow to you, my reader.

As measured informally on my Alexa toolbar, you’ve raised this humble blog into a leading Kiwi site for sceptical discussion of global warming. Though many of you are silent and your participation limited to quiet reading, you’ve achieved a remarkable thing with your frequent loyal visits (I’ll be sure to keep the kettle hot).

It shows that north of sixty thousand visitors per month prefer a moderate tone over stridency and a restrained view of climate data better than a doomsday clamour. Large numbers! MSM, are you noticing?

In June last year there was a bit of a fuss over climate blog rankings and whether the numbers were reliable. Nothing to do with climate, of course.

Then a while back I reinstalled the Alexa toolbar, just out of interest. Apparently you have to give Alexa time to get settled information on your traffic, so I waited. Just now I noticed our world ranking is up to 844,719, having started at over 1.3 million. The NZ rank is under 900. Wow! So it’s time to tell you. Continue Reading →

I’ve been busy

Business commitments have kept me from covering any climate topics for a while, but I plan to post an article or two at the weekend. There’s a paper on clouds by two Auckland researchers that has come to my attention and I may have time for further items.

So, my apologies, but I haven’t stopped either being interested in climate matters or spending time reading and writing about them. There’s a lot happening and some people have been quite excited at the extra realistic (sceptical) coverage of global warming.

I avoid getting excited because the great carbon-based wheel is now turning at a fair clip and will take a power of stopping. That’s no reason to slacken our efforts, but is a reason to raise the gaze to a slightly more distant finish line.

A letter to Gavin Schmidt goes unanswered

It has taken me a while to follow up on this letter I sent to Gavin Schmidt on 5 March, 2010. It will come as no surprise to anyone that he hasn’t deigned to answer my email. However, as it expresses succinctly some of the main defences against the “denier” appellation I’ll put it up for comment.

Dear Dr Schmidt,

I’m disappointed to hear you quoted (below) apparently referring to climate “sceptics” as “nutters”.

For it is not mental instability that requires me to want evidence of AGW. It is not insanity to want someone to describe in simple words, without taking too long, without referring me to the hundreds of unfriendly pages of the AR4, the evidence for AGW.

Not, note, evidence for the greenhouse effect, which is indisputable. Continue Reading →

Merry Christmas

caption

Merry Christmas to everyone

As the premier Christian celebration, rivalled only by Easter, when He died/rose from the dad – I mean, the dead (though the dad is not so far from the story!) – it lies near the centre of our religion, our culture, art, music, literature and folklore. Christmas is now understood and observed around the world. Two thousand years ago, who would have imagined it?

Christmas is an event marked not so much by stern faces, authority or rigid ritual, but by merriment. Of all things! Merry Christmas? This is how we greet one another? How wonderful!

That’s something we can join in with without having to bow down before a god or any conception of a god. Without requiring the acceptance of a creed, or supernatural event or spiritual condition or even the existence of any spiritual region, we can greet one another with merriness!! We can be merry! I shall be merry!

In this odd and unexpected rebound from the strictures of the Victorian age, when everything started out so laissez-faire, when we tossed out so many rules, we turned our backs on conventions near and far, and began, as though we were the first to discover sex, to disavow all reasons for resisting its allure, then started drugs with a similar lack of restraint, then turned with our new axe to all the rules wherever they are found, and even called ourselves post-modern, this rebound which has turned so grim, so very grim, so politically correct, so dour, so freedom-less, while the word freedom itself drips oh so regular from everyone’s lips, as we tut-tut the racial words and correct our Maori pronunciation while our English language languishes for lack of learning and we lay complaints of sexism and females are personally offended and males are routinely feared and suspected and ignored and disrespected and why don’t the men take proper care of their women first and then their own children and racial taunts are elevated now above the sexual sins of yesteryear, and never mind the affronted spouse, we don’t refer to anybody’s colour except the white, white skin of the ever-powerful, ever-present, all-knowing, ever-selfish white man, Christmas gives a little pressure release valve so we can be merry. I love you all.

The silliest day of them all

The silliest commemoration in the year is the United Nations “International Day of the World’s Indigenous People” (a day of observance but not a holiday).

Anybody thinking? Who is not indigenous to somewhere? So who would this commemoration be for? Anybody thinking? Anyone born off-planet? Anyone?

It’s the International Day of Everyone and Nobody knows it.

Laking recycles dishonesty

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. Continue Reading →

Personal update

I’ve been sick in bed for the week with a watery head cold. My wife took very good care of me while trying to keep her distance — nasty and painfully spluttery, it was. Much sleeping, reading and eating went on, all in bed, some of it at the same time.

I’m still not fit for polite company but I’m now catching up with work and trying to catch up with this writing. There’s so much to say, and I still like to pass on some current stories to help keep readers informed, such as today’s on black carbon.

I hope you visit other sites, too, just as I do, but putting stories here gives us an opportunity to converse about them and inform local communities. And somebody has to mention the latest sceptical climate news, since the MSM aren’t doing it, are they?!

Thing is, I just cannot cover them all, so I’m sorry if I left something out or haven’t touched on your favourite topic lately, but I’ll get round to it. Drop me a line, if you like, to remind me or to make a suggestion.

There are some things I want to say about NIWA, our legal case and the abortion that is their latest temperature record.

I hope all this will be accomplished soon, with your help and patience.

Cheers,
Richard T.

NZ blog rankings

Alexa rulz!

Just a quick note to draw your attention to a new feature on the sidebar: scroll down one page and you should see it. There’s a little table showing the recent Alexa rankings for the Climate Conversation, SciBlogs and Hot Topic. At the moment we’re leading them by big margins.

It’s not automated, just a table I’ll fill in when I remember.

My wife and son just accused me of boasting, and I suppose to some degree I am boasting. However, it’s humbling to see that this modest little blog is more popular and thousands more people visit it than other, brasher sites around the country that even get into the newspapers.

I’m content to boast a little if it means that more ordinary Kiwis hear about us and get the opportunity to participate in a calm, polite and informative conversation about “the biggest challenge facing humanity today.”

This is a bit of bragging I won’t apologise for and the mainstream media can go hang. Notice we’ve just gone under 1000, which means we’re one of the thousand most popular sites in the country. Course, it could change tomorrow!

We’ve moved

A hard disk drive

WordShine moving tomorrow today

Saturday 14:50: Done. Whew!

After spending two days studying the database material I last looked at about six years ago, altering files, moving files and creating and deleting databases, I’ve finally managed to migrate the WordPress installation without breaking it.

Hurrah! This calls for a celebration!

I’m sorry for the interruption to normal service, and I’ve missed you all! But the advantages of moving to the new hosting company include accommodating all the conversations you could ever want to have, even inviting the rest of the world! And if more disk space is needed, it’s fantastically cheap to add it.

Please tell me of glitches

I should ask you (please) to let me know if you come across errors or anomalies on the blog, because I can’t be everywhere.

Thursday 21:56: Still waiting.

I love it that computer equipment is getting cheaper by the month and competition makes the leading entrepreneurs more creative in attracting customers. Because after being hit with an extraordinary invoice for over $2000 for next year’s hosting, I knew I must change web hosts.

That’s when I discovered how inexpensive web hosting has become!

Annual hosting of the Climate Conversation Group (plus WordShine itself) will cost less than half what it did last year. At the same time, we get unlimited bandwidth! Instead of biting my fingernails as the bandwidth rose inexorably and the end of the month approached, I can forget paying for extra bandwidth and concentrate on research and writing. Continue Reading →

Perspective, raw and bleeding

Alexa NZ rankings

The best in New Zealand is no. 1. All others fall into line astern according to their number. So far, we at the Climate Conversation are proud of our standing. However, should this ranking fall, we will still be proud of our standing.

Latest rankings – 21 June, 2011

(The closer the number is to 1, the more popular the site.)

Climate Conversation – 928    SciBlogs1879    Hot Topic3478    Open Parachute3602

This is a dose of reality. Has the warmist bluster lost its lustre?

20 June, 2011 — CCG 989;           SB ;           HT 4204;           OP
14 June, 2011 — CCG 1021;           SB 1709;           HT 4142;           OP 4988
12 June, 2011 — CCG 1038;           SB 1611;           HT 4398;           OP 6013
9 June, 2011 — CCG 1045;           SB 1584;           HT 4122;           OP 7113
8 June, 2011 — CCG 1100;           SB 1541;           HT 4113;           OP 6504

Briefly in hospital

I’m having tests for the good of my health and regrettably cannot contribute as usual. North Shore Hospital doesn’t provide public Internet access and I don’t have the right gear to connect the laptop to the phone.

I’m obliged to type this on a teensy keyboard little larger than a postage stamp, which makes contributing wearisome.

My apologies, therefore, for a seeming absence. Be assured I am here in both body and spirit, carrying a watching brief with the doctors briefly watching.

NIWA correspondence safe in hands of the BoM

What a secret!

See UPDATE, below.

Here’s a development that threatens to place publicly-funded weather data on the same footing as the next budget, or troop movements.

In February, Warwick Hughes lodged a Freedom Of Information request to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology to release all documents connected with their peer review for NIWA of NIWA’s review of their seven station series (7SS).

Today, Warwick posted a story about it, Australian FOI law keeps secret the construction of New Zealand seven station temperature series.

What’s so secret about temperature records?

In frustration, Warwick laments: “I am hoping that people smarter than I might see ways to carry on the battle to get these papers and files released. What can be so secret about the things publicly-funded scientists and bureaucrats do to adjust common or garden weather records into a form that suits them? We are not talking about nuclear weapons secrets here.”

I agree. Let’s hope someone with legal expertise and a desire to uncover the truth can pick up Warwick’s endeavour and move it forward.

The NZ situation

We’re waiting for the outcome of an investigation by the Ombudsman into NIWA’s refusal to release to me similar documents related to the peer review.

UPDATE

The BoM, in a document setting out their Reasons for Refusal, reveals that no fee was paid to them by NIWA for the peer review.

Praise for CCG from Jo Nova

Jo Nova

I want to pass on some kind words from Joanne Nova for our blog and our campaign for truth in climate science.

A few days ago I was catching up with Jo’s site and I was blown away (again!) by the number and quality of her posts. I told her so, and said she’s like the Energiser bunny!

After noting we were missing from her site’s blog roll, I asked her to include us. She swiftly acceded to my request, saying:

Done. Sorry you had to ask.
There’s no real reason it wasn’t done before except that I pay little attention to blog rolls. Thanks for pointing out the omission! You are doing a masterful job of NIWA. It’s inspiring…

Cheers!

Nice lady! Great climate warrior! Read her posts!

Happy Easter break

I’ll be out of town over Easter, visiting the latest grandchild who is to be christened. I expect to be back to the computer on Tuesday night, but don’t expect much out of me until later in the week. If anything crops up, feel free to use this “Easter” thread or use the famous Open threads set up by Richard C.

Good luck to you all.

Richard Treadgold.

When does an adjustment become a replacement?

axe in block

UPDATE: March 27, 8:50 p.m.

A reader points out that a replacement requires the virtual death of the previous version. As the traditional British announcement on the death of the sovereign (“The King is dead; long live the King!”) makes clear, you cannot have two of them. He’s reminded of Barry Brill’s recent post here 7SS – R.I.P. about the Monty Python parrot, whose death proved in the end impossible to ignore. Thanks, Australis.


NIWA’s minister has made a bizarre assertion to the Parliament which signals NIWA’s inability to admit its mistakes.

Last December, NIWA published a report reviewing the NZ Temperature Record which was based on its 18-year-old Seven-station Series (7SS). The 169-page report included a new spreadsheet and graph (which NIWA called the NZT7) and stated, on page 3, that “the revised temperature series supersedes the previous version posted in February 2010.”

When it was published, the previous 7SS was taken off NIWA’s temperature web page and the NZT7 was posted in its place.

But there’s some deception going on, because here’s the thing: NIWA’s web site describes the new graph as a replacement, but a few days ago Parliament was officially told the very opposite — that the NZT7 is not a replacement. As Hansard shows: Continue Reading →

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 →

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.

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 →

Flaherty slays denier Delingpole, takes aim at me

James Delingpole

Wherein Flaherty is thanked and congratulated, it is explained where Flaherty goes wrong in his criticisms of me, and the reader is reminded of what is still outstanding in connection with NIWA’s Review report. Delingpole gains a mention.

Matt Flaherty has been visiting us recently, questioning me about the New Zealand (you can’t believe it’s official!) Temperature Record. Matt wrote recently on James Delingpole and the “denialism” of “climate change.” That tells you where Matt’s understanding lies. Anyone who a) uses the term climate denier, and b) considers that an intelligent person is capable of denying that climate changes, something akin to denying the earth revolves around the sun, demonstrates a voluntary level of ignorance and a lack of incentive to listen.

Having somehow become aware of the CCG, he thought to use us as an example of

how one should deal with a denialist of Delingpole’s ilk

Matt elevates me to dizzying heights, for which I thank him. But I protest I’m unworthy, just an honest toiler for truth, not even in the same league as consummate wordsmiths like James (right about everything) Delingpole.

He cites the Daily Bayonet and Bishop Hill, who mangled the message of my Dec 2010 press release, but he is wrong to blame this messenger for that, and quotes (accurately) from that press release: Continue Reading →

Figures he doesn’t believe

CCG site traffic figures

Analyse this!

Perhaps I bang these traffic figures into this post like slamming a report onto the desk.

Just hear the satisfying report!

After firmly refusing and being advised to refuse, I grudgingly present the traffic figures for the first seven days of this month. They apply, as the screen dumps make clear, only to the subdomain ‘climateconversation’, not to the whole ‘wordshine’ domain.

Ken will get no more than this from me. I do this only to remove the bad taste that lingers in my mouth after being accused of lying by a man whose admitted aim is quarrel, dissent and discord. That’s what you told me, Ken, isn’t it?

Who knows what innocent visitor might have that unsubstantiated slur stick? Where might it again surface? Better to strangle it at birth — and strangle it with the truth. Better many things had such short lives. Pity more don’t.

What the figures mean, I don’t know. If there are deficiencies in them, point them out, argue about them. I prefer to spend my time fighting climate ignorance and spreading climate facts.

But in this thread, at least, these inane hostilities will not be off topic.

CCG site traffic figures

Rotted minds at Hot Topic

UPDATE 1, 2 JAN 2011, 23:10 NZT

An answer for RW, of Hot Topic — see end.


There, I did it again — ventured over to Hot Topic. When will I learn?

Briefly optimistic someone wanted answers and really was listening, I was called liar and worse, then quickly censored. “Open and frank discussion forum”, indeed!

I’m posting the deleted response to Gareth’s demand for an apology and a reply to an HT reader. diessoli — see the end of this post for my response to your comments.

WARNING

What follows is just “I said, he said” argy-bargy. It’s not important and is posted simply to document my last encounter with the proprietor at Hot Topic, Gareth Renowden. I think the exchange typifies his lack of charity and his stubborn refusal to admit that NIWA has made or even could make a mistake, but others will have a different opinion.

It started with a visit to read about an ‘award’ HT published (actually recycled from the Pacific Institute) — the 2010 Climate B.S. of the Year Award. NOTE: BS means Bad Science, apparently. Anyway, you can verify my conversation there if you’ve a mind to hurt yourself.

I left a short note pointing out the hilarity of awarding a prize to four unrelated statements and making a couple of comments. Gareth asked me, as he often does, to apologise for my “smear campaign against NZ climate scientists.”

I sent this response: Continue Reading →

An impressive level of scintillating repartee

Prof Keith Hunter

Prof Keith Hunter — making a name for colourful language.

BoMshell: where is the real review? Go to end

I’ve discovered an extraordinary exchange on a warmist blog in which a senior NZ scientist, supportive of the CAGW theory and now a top university administrator, is goaded beyond his endurance and discards his carefully-nurtured, hard-won scientific training, descending into gutter language.

I seldom visit this warmist blog, it being for the most part misleading vitriol. But this exchange offers unexpectedly an irresistible deliciousness.

At Hot Topic on December 22, Gareth Renowden posted “A Christmas cracker for the cranks” (he loves that word ‘crank’, pulls it out all the time, uses nothing else) which set off a bright burst of champion rhetoric on his blog.

An especially scintillating exchange occurred when Professor Keith Hunter, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Sciences) at the University of Otago, turned up to support the comments Renowden made about the press releases from the CCG and the CSC regarding NIWA’s review of the NZ temperature record, released just before Christmas.

I know little about Keith Hunter, although he was the subject of comment here after an extraordinary peroration when we decided to take NIWA to court. He is making a name for colourful language.

Prof Hunter is a vice-president of the Royal Society of New Zealand and a former national president of the New Zealand Institute of Chemistry. He’s a senior scientist, an establishment heavyweight and quite probably a super person. Continue Reading →

WordPress upgrade

A hard disk drive

Please be patient

The blog must be upgraded to WordPress 3.0.2. This should take just a few minutes, but who knows? It must be done, and the time is now.

If things stop working, please be patient; I’m aware of it.

Thank you. See you all again shortly.

Starting at 16:53 NZT.

Richard Treadgold

UPDATE 17:36 NZT

Took longer than I hoped, but it seems to have worked. Please let me know if you notice any shortcomings, thanks.

I still can’t do automatic upgrades because my file permissions are incorrect. One day soon I’ll replace the lost widgets from the sidebar (I miss the oil prices).

Like diamonds, CO2 is for ever

the head on a glass of beer

Wrong again, huh?

Hot Topic, in a post endearingly headed “I’ve been wrong before“, berates the CCG for reporting a criticism of the Royal Society. Chemist Dr Klaus L. E. Kaiser published evidence of miscalculations by the RS which was supported by Swedish Professor of Applied Mathematics, Claes Johnson.

But unfortunately the confidence shown by Gareth Renowden in rebutting this criticism of the Royal Society does not extend to admitting the extent of uncertainty about the carbon dioxide cycle. To listen to Gareth, you’d think the science was settled, but in fact there are substantial unknowns.

He introduces his rebuttal (ignoring his opening paragraph, which contains ad hominem remarks) with this:

Unfortunately for Kaiser and Sullivan, the Royal Society (otherwise known as the most august of scientific institutions, 350 years old this year) didn’t make any schoolboy errors. The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is determined by the interchange of carbon between the atmosphere, oceans and biosphere. Over the last few hundred years the ocean and biosphere have been doing us a big favour by absorbing two thirds of the CO2 we’ve emitted. The balance has been steadily accumulating, which is why atmospheric CO2 has risen from 280 ppm to 390 ppm.

This seems to be true, although the proportion of human emissions being absorbed by natural processes is specified variously, by different authorities, between about 45% and the 66% Gareth mentions. But whatever figure you take, it does leave a “balance” of an amount which “steadily accumulates”, accounting for a rise in atmospheric concentration from about 280 ppmv to about 390 ppmv now.

But watch the pea under the cup. Continue Reading →

Open threads as promised

UPDATE 1

Sat 16 Oct 2010 10:20

I’ve returned to the familiar CCG style for now. Since the new style wasn’t giving us everything we wanted, there was no point in leaving it there. As I look around the Internet I see little that I like; finding a good blog theme is not proving easy. If anyone wants to give links to excellent themes, I’d be grateful. – Richard T

Open threads have been put up today, as requested by several very active members of our Conversation. They’re accessible from the menu bar (look for Open threads) and the sidebar on the right. I guess I should start to move relevant comments from the “Housekeeping” post to the new topics.

The record number of comments previously was 68 recorded on “Observations on NIWA’s Statement of Defence” but now the record is up to 138 143 161 recorded on “World of sceptical questions unfolds…“. Rodney take note: see what you started? (thanks again)

Housekeeping

I’ve activated a new theme, called Blocks2. No, BLOCKS2!! It gives comment numbers, which makes it really easy to refer to the comment you’re responding to, plus it allows threaded comments, letting you reply to a particular comment, indenting as it goes.

Let’s see how it works for a few days; let me know when something seems broken. I’m keen to make things easier, not more difficult!

Now we can refer directly to comment numbers, which are consistent and unchanging within a thread.

Let me know of problems.

— Richard T

World of sceptical questions unfolds…

Rodney Hide

We have been offered, dear reader, an outstanding opportunity to engage in climate activism.

A reader, Huub Bakker, commented yesterday on What’s left of the NIWA case, saying:

Where does all this leave the Government legally? Should all the previous conclusions be re-evaluated? Will the plastering job of the new NZTR be sufficient? Any thoughts from Rodney Hide, who I know reads this blog?

And this afternoon Rodney responded:

Amazing! And very disturbing about the state of science at NIWA.

What next? I am not sure.

Perhaps readers could suggest questions for the Minister Responsible for Climate Change Issues, Nick Smith, and the Minister of Research, Science and Technology (in Charge of NIWA), Wayne Mapp?

No other country can do this

That’s a remarkable offer, Rodney, and we’ll take you up on that, thank you.

Folks: let’s not underestimate either the significance of Rodney’s suggestion or the power of our questions. For overseas readers: Ministers of the Crown are under an obligation to answer correctly-phrased questions in the Parliament; they cannot decline. The difficulty is that you need to be a member of the House to ask the questions. Hence the importance of Rodney’s suggestion. Let us use it wisely.

Overseas readers included

Continue Reading →

NIWA oddly denies everything

NIWA temp adjustments with scales of justice

Just a quick response to Hot Topic’s insipid rebuttal to my update on Wednesday to our stoush with NIWA. I’ll write in more detail later.

In NIWA V CRANKS 4: SHOOT OUT AT THE FANTASY FACTORY this morning, Renowden, in typically slippery style, omits in every material instance the fact that NIWA’s statements in their Statement of Defence are precisely what I say they were.

In other words, he doesn’t refute what I say. Anyone can verify this by getting the two Statements and comparing them; Continue Reading →

Whoops! Your interest is overwhelming

I apologise to our overseas friends, supporters and casual visitors who came here over the past 24 hours or so wanting to know the latest development in our long-running national temperature saga but instead found a story so hard to follow it was worse than finding footprints through a coal mine at night while wearing sunglasses.

I’m sorry we let you down

Our local supporters found it informative, but they’ve been following events more closely. For those who haven’t been so close it was very frustrating.

It was my fault. I completely misjudged the interest this story would generate. It was especially regrettable since I’m keen to encourage investigations into climate organisations around the world and this hardly gives a good example of how to proceed.

Your presence here has been a tremendous boost to everyone involved; the web traffic stats have gone through the roof and we’re grateful for your visits. It’s all helping to spread important anti-consensus messages where just a short time ago there were almost none.

But not only was the story difficult to penetrate, the two most important supporting documents weren’t yet available online. I thought it would be a simple matter of posting them on this web site, and what would it matter if they were posted a few hours after releasing the article (who would notice? — FAIL!) but the legal advisor said keep it on the originator’s official site. It took precious time for messages to go between the people involved and the files were posted late this morning (when I wasn’t here to announce it).

Pretty busy right now

On a personal note: I must earn a living, so most mornings I’m away from the home office. It means that for six to eight hours a day there’s no response on the web site. Also, the end of the university semester is a busy time, with students wanting their reports and papers edited, which takes up another two to six hours per day, so I have little time to spare on this most enjoyable climate pastime. If I am slow to respond, please forgive me; I will get around to answering you, but perhaps not quickly.

This climate work is at the moment a pastime; I would prefer it to be a full-time activity but I haven’t found a sponsor…

The next major job is to write a report on the temperature saga in a way that lets our overseas brothers and sisters share in the excitement. It won’t be tomorrow or even the day after, but it will arrive and it will be something to look forward to, I promise.

It will be as thrilling as any story about a disputed national temperature record, strange decisions in a public agency, unpaid sleuths fighting bureaucracy, ancient feuds, simmering tensions, budget blowouts, questions in the Parliament and conspiracies that circle the globe.

Who could miss it? Stay tuned.

Either that, or read all the previous posts, plus those Statements of Claim and Defence and write a story for us. We’ll post it if it’s good enough.

Cheers.

– Richard

Judicial Review documents now on line

The previous post here, Observations on NIWA’s Statement of Defence, referred to the Statement of Claim and the Statement of Defence concerning the Application for Judicial Review that the NZ Climate Science Education Trust is bringing against the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA).

My apologies to all our readers who would have expected immediate access to these documents which have been filed at the High Court in Auckland. They are now available on the NZ Climate Science Coalition web site here:

http://tinyurl.com/23eplfy

I look forward to some informed comments and perhaps enlightenment.

– Richard.

Observations on NIWA’s Statement of Defence

surrender photo

Claytons: The drink you have when you’re not having a drink.

Three weeks ago NIWA released their Statement of Defence in response to the NZ Climate Science Coalition’s Statement of Claim regarding an Application for a Judicial Review. You have to be a lawyer (which I’m not) to see the ramifications and it’s taking a while to work through it, but these are my first reactions and I can’t hold them back any longer.

Most of this will upset NIWA’s supporters. If you’re a NIWA supporter, go find a buddy to hug before reading on. This will rock your world.

Because NIWA formally denies all responsibility for the national temperature record (NZTR).

Betrayal of supporters

Now that is surprising – shocking, really. Forget their defensive posturing since our paper criticising it last November – now they’ve given that up and say the NZTR isn’t their problem, they’re not responsible for maintaining it and apparently there’s no such thing as an “official” New Zealand Temperature Record anyway.

Will the MSM pick this up? I think they should, but I rather doubt they will.

If I was a long-term NIWA supporter, I’d be a bit miffed to hear this revelation. I’d think that NIWA had betrayed us. Continue Reading →

Rudman offensive but NZ temp record dubious

the NZ Herald logo

A letter sent to the NZ Herald on 25 August that remains unpublished.

Sir,

In “Exercise degrees of common sense“, on Wednesday August 18, Brian Rudman loses his journalistic poise and jeers gracelessly at the “flat-earth” members of the NZ Climate Science Coalition.

When he asserts that they deny “man-made global warming” he is dead wrong. He is welcome to interview us, which might stop him from consulting his imagination. The Coalition does not dispute that human activity possibly has an influence on the climate but it questions the magnitude of that influence.

The IPCC also questions it, for it claims only a 90% to 95% probability of human influence. Note that is an opinion without evidence, unless one considers flawed climate models to be evidence.

The Coalition knows there are good reasons to adjust temperature records; Rudman ignores the fact that, rather than challenging NIWA for making changes, we just asked them what the changes were. He should wonder why they have still not told us. If they did, we would promptly stop asking for them.

Brian Rudman

He might also wonder why NIWA repeatedly give the example of an altitude change to the Thorndon/Kelburn temperature record, when they didn’t actually make any altitude-based changes to any stations.

Rudman’s reference to “mystery money-bags funding the coalition” is offensive nonsense. Members analyse, consult and write about climate matters in their own time for no payment. The Coalition is made up of volunteers, it is not wealthy and will rely on fund-raising if the suit must go to court.

The only “money-bags” able to buy staff and consultants in the climate debate are the great NGOs like WWF and Greenpeace, with annual budgets of around $600 million each. The giant enviros far out-muscle the marketing budgets of any group of sceptics. The energy companies climbed aboard the warming bandwagon long ago and don’t fund sceptics.

But our suit is not about the global warming debate. It asks for simple clarity and accuracy in public temperature records. We cannot submit a paper “backing our claims”, as some suggest, because we’re not making any claims — we’re wanting to review the national temperature record and we’re asking a couple of questions that NIWA hasn’t answered.

Since being asked by the Coalition to describe how they obtained the temperature record and finding they were unable to do so, NIWA are recreating it from scratch.

The sooner these simple facts are acknowledged by responsible journalists the sooner reason will return to this important matter of public interest. Kiwis deserve to have a national temperature record they can trust but at the moment it is dubious.

Nicks in the myths of time

Baby stars, as seen by the Hubble telescope

I want to revisit some false arguments fabricated ages ago by our critics: time-worn errors which need re-rebutting, because they are still surfacing. These smooth myths, one might say, are nicked all over with imperfections. And mists cover everything.

The main spurious argument holds that the Climate Science Coalition says there’s no reason to adjust the raw temperature readings. That is false: we think there are good reasons for adjustments. What we actually say is that NIWA has made changes but refuses to reveal what they are.

A related myth is that NIWA has given us everything we asked for — simply by releasing the net arithmetical adjustments to each station. The reality is that, first, a net change isn’t enough because there could be multiple changes at a station. Second, the number by itself is useless; any reviewer needs the reason for each change. This is what NIWA has refused to tell us, yet both bits of data are required for any independent assessment of the accuracy of the temperature record. Continue Reading →

Banned again at Hot Topic

Hot Topic logo

Yes, it was I, twice masquerading under another name, trying to inject some reason into the comments at Hot Topic.

I have always refused the notion of not signing my own opinion, but being censored over there forced my hand; unfortunately, being a neophyte forger unveiled it.

Nonetheless, I said nothing I haven’t said elsewhere or wouldn’t be prepared to say openly. But Renowden’s comments reveal a continued avoidance of every topic I raise, so I’ll go another round.

GR: “What a pity he doesn’t have the courage to post under his own name.”

A cheap shot, this; entirely personal and nothing to do with the matter. It’s also illogical, for every time I post a comment, Renowden refuses to publish it. To have the temerity then to criticise me provides the very definition of framing someone.

GR: “Earlier today he … all but called me a liar.”

Since he made three false statements, one could be justified in doing so. The more interesting comment was that, if Renowden still disagrees the [adjustment] methodology is unavailable, he is a truffle short of a lunch. He doesn’t respond to that, but good on him for ignoring the ad hominem bits, even when they’re amusing. Continue Reading →

Hunter’s extraordinary peroration

We shall fight on the beaches…

Keith Hunter becomes deeply afraid for the future as we announce our review of NIWA’s behaviour. Why?

He says this, all timorous, intimidated and grateful for the gentle haven that is Hot Topic (as long as you agree with them):

I want to say how gratified I am that on this day of reckoning, the scientific community and the blogosphere have got behind our friends at NIWA and come out with so many statements of support. Make no mistake, this effort by the NZ*C*S*C is an attack on science and and [sic] attack on integrity. I, for one, will not put up with it! I am hugely comforted by the letters and phone calls of support I have received today. Maybe finally the mainstream scientists of this country are waking up to what the NZ*C*S*C is trying to do. Let there be no doubt – this is another attack on integrity [sic] of the science system. We defeated this when the Nazis did it, we defeated it when the Soviets did it, and we will continue to defeat it! And in case you think it [sic], let me remind you – all it takes for scientific untruths to survive is for honest men and women to ignore them.

So it’s a day of reckoning. The Coalition mounts an attack on science and on integrity. He is not putting up, is hugely comforted and confident we will defeat it. As we did with the Nazis and the Soviets and shall continue.

One question: let you remind us in case we think what?

I fail to see how the question “what adjustments did you make and why” can be interpreted to mean all this.

I fail to see how this expostulating answers the assertion that ethical standards were not observed.

I cannot fail to observe how the scientist loses his grip on reality. A day of reckoning? An attack on science?!

NIWAgate now on WUWT

NIWA temp adjustments with scales of justice

The tireless Anthony Watts reports our legal claim against NIWA (h/t to Andy).

May it encourage climate realists around the world to make a similar study of their national temperature history.

Barrage of misinformation: can’t they read?

NIWA temp adjustments with scales of justice

Wow! What an explosion of nonsense.

Hearing some of the comments about our court action against NIWA, you could be forgiven for thinking that the Coalition was made up of stupid people.

But the stupid ones are those mouthing off a torrent of misinformation against us without reading what we’ve actually lodged with the High Court. I have time only for a couple.

Commentator the First

Gareth Renowden, of Hot Topic, was interviewed this morning on Radio NZ by Sean Plunket. He said, among other things, the following:

I’ve been following [the Coalition's] rather weird obsession with the New Zealand temperature record very closely on the blog.

It’s not a weird obsession, Gareth, it’s a weird and impenetrable temperature record, which you would know by now if you had bothered to take a look at it.

… all that Bryan [Leyland] wants is already there. The raw data you can download from NIWA. The adjustments that are required have been listed by NIWA; the methodology for doing it is available in the peer-reviewed literature; it’s incredibly non-controversial to climate scientists and meteorologists that you need to make adjustments.

Gareth here offers three false statements (I still hesitate to call them lies, though he has made them before) and a diversion. Continue Reading →

Background to our application for judicial review

NIWA temp adjustments with scales of justice

The following sets out the background of the NZCSC’s application and provides some vital context.

The National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) is a Crown Research Institute (CRI), contracted by the Government to be its sole adviser on scientific issues relating to climate change.

NIWA’s National Climate Centre is responsible for maintaining the National Climate database, mainly comprising records compiled by the NZ Met Service during the period 1853-1992. This archive finds its greatest significance in the New Zealand Temperature Record (NZTR), showing mean average surface temperatures throughout the twentieth century.

In 1999, the National Climate Centre adopted a “Seven-station Series” (7SS) as the basis of the NZTR. The stations (Auckland, Masterton, Wellington, Nelson, Hokitika, Lincoln & Dunedin) are geographically spread and considered to represent New Zealand as a whole. The 7SS graph and spreadsheet appear on NIWA’s website www.niwa.co.nz/news-and-publications/news/all/2009/nz-temp-record. Continue Reading →

High Court asked to veto NIWA graph

NIWA temp adjustments with scales of justice

In an unprecedented move, the High Court at Auckland has been asked by the NZ Climate Science Coalition to invalidate NIWA’s official national temperatures.

Papers filed last week by the NZ Climate Science Education Trust ask the High Court to invalidate the New Zealand official temperature record (NZTR) developed and promoted by the Crown Research Institute, NIWA. NIWA maintains temperature archives for the past century, and attempts to forecast temperatures for the next century. These records form the basis of NIWA’s scientific advice to central and local government on issues relating to climate change.

All manner of documents published by NIWA claim that NZ’s temperature rose over the last hundred years by 0.9°C, supported by their specially-adjusted readings from their specially-selected weather stations.

Around the world, temperature records have been coming under closer scrutiny as people have discovered quality problems and even outright dishonesty affecting their national temperature history. Continue Reading →

Nick Smith on ETS in Auckland tonight

The Hon. Dr Nick Smith

Dr Smith will be at the Royal Akarana Yacht Club tonight, speaking on the Emissions Trading Scheme. The meeting begins at 7:30 pm.

I’ll be there. I encourage anyone of a sceptical cast of mind to attend also and together we can put some pointed questions.

Come early, introduce yourself to me (white beard, black jacket). We can support each other and the cause of truth.