Let’s ask for it again
Today I wrote to John Morgan, CEO of NIWA, along this wise: Read more… »
Today I wrote to John Morgan, CEO of NIWA, along this wise: Read more… »
– by Barry Brill, Chairman of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition
Ex-climatologist Jim Salinger has penned an article for Australia’s The Conversation regarding his 30-year-old version of New Zealand average temperature trends and recent efforts to have the High Court order its removal from NIWA’s official website.
Salinger’s version was initially published in 1980, when he was a student at Victoria University. It relied upon seven geographically representative stations with long-term data (‘Seven-station Series’, or ‘7SS’). The article acknowledged the temperature data had been ‘homogenised’ but offered no details. The graph showed a warming trend of 1.1 °C from 1853 to 1975. Read more… »
When you can’t make a proper rebuttal the only recourse is distortion.
Two months ago, in Epic fail, NIWA! Your methods are a global secret, I described how I asked John Morgan, CEO of NIWA, in the name of the Official Information Act what authority he had to say that NIWA scientists, when reconstructing the national temperature record, used methods which were “in accordance with internationally recognised methodology.”
His reply: “The judge said so.” A foolish answer, because the judge didn’t validate NIWA’s methods — he’s incompetent to do so. He freely admitted his inability to rule on the science:
 “…the Court is not in a position to definitively adjudicate on scientific opinions.”
Mr Morgan must have missed it. Read more… »
John Morgan, usually dapper, in beach mode.
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. Read more… »
The NIWA case is to be heard before a panel of three judges at the Court of Appeal in Wellington tomorrow, Tuesday, 15 October.
The focussed grounds are that all three NIWA temperature series resulted from serious mistakes of fact, which impugned the rationality of the Crown Entity’s decisions.
The Coalition is also seeking reversal of the High Court’s costs order.
NIWA is cross-appealing. It apparently suggests that CRIs should not be subject to public law, but that CRIs are akin to SOEs. Also that NIWA’s supply of temperature research to the Crown is the result of commercial research contracts.
The judgement is likely to be reserved.
The NZ Climate Science Coalition’s opponents have attacked it for creating a Trust (the NZ Climate Science Education Trust, NZCSET) for the sole purpose of unfairly (perhaps, in the opinion of some, unlawfully) avoiding costs if they lost the court case against NIWA.
However, there are sensible reasons for creating a legal entity to take someone to court. One of the first questions a judge asks is “who are the parties?” If that simple question cannot be answered by naming a legal entity the case doesn’t get off the ground and the judge just gets annoyed.
So, although the NZCSC did the scientific work in challenging NIWA’s techniques, it couldn’t take the court proceedings. An unincorporated association cannot sue or be sued, as it has no legal existence separate from its multifarious members. Read more… »
The Sunday Star-Times claims the NZ Climate Science Coalition has “formed an unlikely alliance” with “the losers of an infamous tax-dodging trial.”
Ha, ha, very funny. The Coalition isn’t even part of the Court case – it’s being brought by the NZ Climate Science Education Trust (NZCSET, or the Trust). Nor has any “alliance” been formed – the only losers are the innocent readers being fed this arrant nonsense. Where does that paper find its material?
If only the reporter had interviewed our chairman. Oh, wait, he did.
Having established those two quite spectacularly incorrect factoids, the doughty environmental reporter continues with three more inaccuracies:
1. That the Coalition doesn’t believe that people cause “climate change”.
2. That NIWA has been awarded costs.
3. That the Trust asked about the judge’s forestry interests as part of its appeal against the Court’s decision on our request for a judicial review.
– by Barry Brill, Chairman of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition
The Sunday Star Times (SST) has today reported that the NZ Climate Science Education Trust (“Climate Trust”) has asked Mr Justice Venning to disclose whether he held any financial interests under the Emissions Trading Scheme when he heard the trust’s recent case against NIWA.
In a discussion on Wednesday about the Climate Trust’s filing with the Court of Appeal, the SST reporter asked me about allegations of judicial bias. He claimed to have information that the appeal was based upon the judge’s forestry investments. I assured him that the appeal made no mention of bias and that this question had arisen only in the course of the current costs argument in the High Court. Read more… »
NIWA, in its memorandum to Justice Venning about the costs of our court case, says some curious things. I’ve pulled out a few of the ripostes that the NZCSET’s lawyers have just delivered to the judge and which I’m delighted to share with you. (Bear in mind that the APPLICANT is the Coalition. The DEFENDANT is NIWA.) This one’s a pearler:
29. The defendant alleges in paragraph 17 that the proceeding did not concern climate change…
This is breathtaking. It will surprise their long-suffering supporters – having endured NIWA’s hogwash about the 7SS not being “official” or even a “national” temperature record (“oh, it’s only for study”), and that this organisation of top scientists has no obligation WHATSOEVER to strive for excellence, they now have to stand cringing as their favourite publicly-paid climate scientists argue that the court case had nothing to do with climate change.
Really? What rot. I’d like to shake these men up and make them see sense. Read more… »
NIWA displays an unattractive arrogance toward challengers.
Unaffordable justice is not justice.
But before payment ever becomes an issue, the very availability of a Court of law is vital, for it guarantees that the ordinary citizen may have his grievances examined by a disinterested judge. We shouldn’t underestimate the power of the unperturbed mind to resolve disputes, remedy wrongs and instil peace; it’s fair to say that nothing else can.
The significance of the Court’s availability increases with the increasing power of one’s adversary, until the adversary is the Crown itself, when the importance of an open Court surpasses everything. For in battling the Crown or the State one stands to lose everything, the combat is so unequal. Only the judge stands between the citizen and the Crown. Outside the courtroom the citizen would be crushed without thought, but before the judge the agent of the Crown will discover that he meets an equal Read more… »
From Australian fellow sceptics – the NO CARBON TAX Climate Sceptics Party (NCTCS)
– by Anthony Cox, Solicitor and NCTCS Secretary
A court challenge to the validity of the New Zealand temperature record [NZTR] has concluded. The Judgement refused all three parts of the challenge to the NZTR.
The challenge had been initiated by a group of climate researchers called The New Zealand Climate Science Education Trust [the Trust] against the government funded scientific body which prepared the NZTR, the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research LTD [NIWA].
The Trust issued a Statement of Claim [SOC] seeking:
A declaration that the New Zealand Temperature Record is not a full
and accurate record of changes in the average surface temperatures
recorded in New Zealand since 1900.
To be a judge in New Zealand is to wield substantial power. Here we have evidence that judicial power can reverse the meaning of a word.
The judgement in our case against NIWA said at paragraph 9:
Both the original statement of claim and the first amended statement of claim were prolix.
The word “prolix” comes from the Latin “prolixus”, which means “extended” (literally “poured out”) or “courteous, favourable”. It has come to mean “tediously lengthy, bombastic, long-winded, verbose, wordy.”
It’s not used as a compliment. When a judge describes your submission as prolix he’s saying “your explanatory skills are poor, you waffle and you have wasted much of my time.” Read more… »
The Herald has today editorialised its rancour against climate sceptics and repeated oft-heard unfounded criticisms (h/t – Andy). They make a couple of good points but so many blunders I’ve time for only a brief tour of them. Herald statements in green (emphasis added).
A year ago, James Hansen, one of the world’s top climate scientists, conceded that climate sceptics were winning the argument with the public over global warming. This, he said, was occurring even as climate science itself was showing ever more clearly that the Earth was in increasing danger from rising temperatures.
Just as Hansen didn’t justify his statement then, the leader writer doesn’t justify it now, Read more… »
In November 2009, about a week before the international climate change conference in Copenhagen, the CCG and the NZCSC (the Coalition) released a paper we’d been working on for some time — “Are we feeling warmer yet?” (AWFWY).
On pages 13 and 14 of his affidavit to the High Court, Dr Wratt devotes six paragraphs to our paper and contrives to misrepresent it – obviously trying to give it a bad name. First, he correctly quotes a sentence from the paper:
There are no reasons for any large corrections.
Then he observes:
“NZCSC members… appear to ignore the fact that good scientific practice requires adjustment for site changes before temperature series are analysed for long-term changes.”
Thus he establishes two things:
1. The paper finds no reasons to make large corrections, but it should.
2. The paper makes no corrections, but it should.
Fairly straightforward and not hard to understand. Except that: Read more… »
Professor de Freitas from time to time advises the NZ Climate Science Coalition, but he does not speak for it. Nevertheless, this op-ed in today’s Herald gives such a clear view of the issues touching our court case that it deserves a hearing here.
– by Chris de Freitas, Associate Professor, School of Environment, University of Auckland.
One assumes scientific analysis is objective, so it may come as a surprise that this was challenged in a New Zealand High Court case, the results of which were released last week.
The New Zealand Climate Science Education Trust (NZCSET) contested the claim by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Niwa) that New Zealand air temperatures had climbed by 0.9°C over the past century. The trust maintains that objective analysis of the data shows a trend closer to 0.3°C per 100 years. Read more… »
– by Barry Brill, Chairman of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition
It was a great disappointment that Justice Venning was not prepared to declare NIWA’s data adjustments to be a breach of the Crown Research Institutes Act 1992.
On the law, the Judge found that any review should be “tolerant” and “cautious” because NIWA was “a specialist body acting within its own sphere of expertise.” He declined to rule on the disputed science – while tending to favour the 92-page opinion evidence provided by NIWA’s Dr Wratt (which was not subject to cross-examination).
Where does this now leave the NZCSC’s long-term effort to show that the NIWA temperature adjustments are wrong? Read more… »
The court decision has been welcomed by the expected opponents, such as Renwick (who manages to fabricate our statements even when we write them down and file them with the High Court), NIWA (whose publicity, er, I mean legal team made mincemeat out of logic and science) and Hot Topic (but then Renowden wouldn’t know a climate scientist from an astrophysicist).
Now they’re joined by doctors eager to fight climate change, in Doctors Welcome Decision On Treacherous Temperature Case.
The reference to “treacherous” has a nasty effect, doesn’t it? And it means there must be some treachery, right? Well, actually, wrong. Despicably, they don’t justify it. Read more… »
Professor James Renwick’s press release yesterday celebrating NIWA’s court “victory” was wrong. The opening paragraph said:
A group of leading New Zealand climate scientists (listed below) welcomed Justice Geoffrey Venning’s ruling to throw out the claim by the New Zealand Climate Science Education Trust (CSET, a small group of climate change “sceptics”) that NIWA had acted fraudulently in putting together its ‘7-station’ temperature series.
But the Trust did not claim fraud in its Statement of Claim to the High Court, which nowhere uses any derivative of the word fraud. The Coalition never accused NIWA of fraud and these scientists cannot justify their claim that it did.
This fictitious accusation against members of the NZ Climate Science Coalition and its Trust might have added to the excitement of the press release, but the stimulus came at the expense of the truth.
To people accustomed to hearing ad hominem remarks of the worst kind, accusing climate sceptics of alleging fraud is perhaps of no great concern, but to those devoted to the even-handed, practical pursuit of truth this accusation is deeply distressing.
It must be withdrawn and Dr Renwick must apologise. They need to man up and admit their mistake, apologise and withdraw the press statement.
Would proper scientists expect anything less of others?
Mr Justice Venning has released his judgement in the case between the NZ Climate Science Education Trust (NZCSET) and NIWA.
All three of NZCSET’s requests to the Court were declined. Costs were awarded to NIWA.
I’ll have more to say when I’ve read the judgement in full. In the meantime, Scoop has a story with a number of links.
James Renwick has been admirably quick with a press release from a small group of scientists but he entirely mischaracterises our suit:
Scientific analysis and discussion is carried out through the peer-reviewed literature. The basic science of climate change (global warming) has been established for well over a century, and almost all scientists active in climate research agree that human activity is causing the climate to change. For a small group of scientists to appeal to a court of law to find otherwise is bizarre.
I have evidence, having corresponded with him, that James can read, but did he read what was clearly stated in the judgement? The facts are that our three causes of action concerned the New Zealand temperature record, not any global record, and we discussed only the New Zealand climate, not the global climate. We never discussed the causes, magnitude or future course of global warming.
In repeating this lie about what we said he makes it well-nigh impossible for even a well-informed member of the public to assemble anything but a wrong-headed view of our actual intentions.
In doing so Professor Renwick corrupts his position of influence.
Jo Nova comments on the decision.
John O’Sullivan expressed interest in our court project against NIWA. But some of his comments describe more hope than fact, possibly through a misunderstanding of NZ law and the nature of our court case, and perhaps my inadequate reporting has contributed to that.
This morning my inbox was filling up with requests to explain and I could sense some people becoming distinctly over-stimulated by the imaginary achievements of the brave Kiwi sceptics.
The problem is that the judge hasn’t even made his decision, which my recent posts have made clear. We run a distinct risk of contempt of court if we appear to endorse the wild claims about the state of the case, of legal moves, even of victory, that are beginning to sound around the world.
It’s a shame, for the case contains enough of genuine merit; it can do without being overshadowed by needless exaggeration.
In an attempt to calm emotions, I’ve left a comment at John’s blog Read more… »
Here’s some good news: Mr Justice Venning said today that he intends granting my request to view the Court documents.
The other party to gain access is APNZ News Service, through Matthew Theunissen – that’s the Herald’s agency.
Because the file is in his Chambers and is the subject of a reserved decision, we must wait until the decision is delivered before we get access to it. I’m looking forward to studying the transcript because I missed a lot by not attending all the hearing. I’m not sure there’s much of interest in the other exhibits, but of course I haven’t seen them yet!
The Registrar’s office told me none of the material exists in electronic form. So that’s a shame – it means anything I want to post online I’ll have to type or convert with an OCR program. So let’s hope the quality is good.
It sounds as though I’ll get access to the whole suitcase full but I might have to be selective in posting only the juicy pieces online. And I won’t see the file for perhaps two or three months anyway.
The High Court at Auckland, constructed as the Supreme Court from 1865-1868, photographed in 1869. Among New Zealand’s earliest structures — though the discussions and decisions it hosts can be expected to last much longer than the building.
Today we bring you more details of the High Court hearing from two weeks ago, including a surprising admission by NIWA, who practically discard the “peer review” provided for them by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM).
In various previous posts (NZ sceptics v. NIWA – summary of case, More about the NZ temperature record, What warming, Incredible sham from NIWA and others) we summarise the *Coalition’s case against the Seven-Station Series (7SS).
Since 1999 this temperature series has been providing the basis for New Zealand’s climate change policies, but its major role has been to be presented whenever a public body needs official evidence of the country’s temperature history.
Until we investigated, NIWA’s web site did not disclose that the temperature readings had been adjusted. We only found out when we went to graph the data they provided – our graph was wildly different from theirs and showed no warming. Read more… »
Let’s start to crack this open. Since the judge hasn’t delivered his decision we’ll be careful, but I’m advised we can discuss it freely as long as we don’t insult the judge (or NIWA’s scientists, for that matter). [ADDENDUM: Or attempt to influence the judge's decision.]
There are several incongruous aspects of NIWA’s 7SS adjustments that have always mystified Coalition* members:
EDITORIAL NOTE: As an organ of the NZ Climate Science Coalition (NZCSC, or the Coalition), the NZ Climate Science Education Trust (NZCSET) was created especially to carry the Coalition’s legal suit against the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Limited (NIWA). The creation of a subsidiary is common in such cases and carries the approval of the judge. References here to the Coalition include the Trust. As a member of the Coalition, I sometimes say “we”, meaning the Coalition. The following is based on notes and conversations with our legal team and should be fairly accurate. Any mistakes are mine.
The hearing of the case between the Trust and NIWA ended on Thursday, with no surprises emerging from the defence presentation.
The Coalition had three causes of action against:
(a) The original Seven Station Series (7SS) published in 1999.
(b) The Review of NIWA’s “Seven-Station” Temperature Series (which is now the official version of the national temperature record).
(c) The Eleven-Station Series that was unadjusted.
Note that the Eleven-Station Series was issued in 2009 solely to counter the Coalition’s paper, “Are we feeling warmer yet,” published on November 25, 2009. The hastily-prepared 11SS appeared just eight days later in rebuttal, Read more… »
My apologies for my tardiness. I’ve been taking care of business, family and self. Now I can at last post a brief description of the final day of the hearing.
But first, please join me in a round of bashful giggling aimed at me. Why? I never knew that Wednesday, the day before this last day, had been scheduled as a rest day, and nobody turned up. Which renders my apology for not turning up quite redundant, I think. Well, let’s move on.
On this Thursday morning Justin Smith, counsel for the defendant, NIWA, presented their defence to the Coalition’s statement of claim. When I arrived after lunch he was presenting legal authorities concerning crown bodies, or state-owned enterprises. He spoke in a remarkably soft voice and, as I was seated behind him, that meant I failed to pick up a good three-quarters of what he said.
He must have been responding to our charge that NIWA did not perform its statutory duty. He said: “They’re not duties, they’re not called duties, they’re called operating principles.” Read more… »
The hearing finished about 3:30 pm today, Mr Justice Venning reserved his decision and the legal team and I had a few beers afterwards.
There’s little sense of what the decision might be. I’ll post a fuller report of the day’s session tomorrow.
Local warmists are scathing in their condemnation of the Coalition’s action against NIWA, but their fury is fuelled by fossilised notions of what we’re trying to do. Not to mention flawed by having only a distant acquaintance with what we have actually said.
It’s a fossil fuel-filled fury.
There is everywhere a tendency to take pot shots at our suit without engaging with the substance of it. For example, Read more… »
Ken Perrott described so well the laudable principles of scientific scepticism. Who would have guessed he would poke his own neck into a noose he was preparing for us?
He says scientific debates depend upon good faith, but then claims good faith justifies calling us by the despicable term climate “deniers”.
Which is like claiming to rob banks in the cause of honesty. But it gets better. Read more… »
I’m sorry, but there was too much work today to get to the High Court. There’ll be no report from the forecourt of the High Court today.
I plan to be in attendance tomorrow afternoon and hope it’s now NIWA’s turn to bat. I can’t wait to hear what they say.
UPDATE: This day (Wednesday) was a rest day – nobody attended the case. So everything worked out well.
The NZ Herald yesterday covered our suit against NIWA. But the heading was:
And the first paragraph said:
“A group of global warming sceptics has accused Niwa of deception over the issue…”
But this wasn’t true. Our suit says nothing about NIWA’s motivation in producing errors in the national temperature record, much less accuses them of deception.
I emailed Abby Gillies, the reporter:
Thanks for covering the Coalition’s suit against NIWA. I should complain, though, about your allegation: “A group of global warming sceptics has accused Niwa of deception over the issue…”
That is not the case. We don’t use the word deception Read more… »
Four lawyers went to court today, among a total of 13 people: the judge and a clerk, four lawyers conducting business, one sceptical witness (yours truly – Bob was busy), two senior NIWA scientists, a friendly David Wratt and slightly sullen Brett Mullan, the friendly Tim Mahood (their general counsel), and three others who appear highly prosperous and might be lawyers. Six for them and one for us (not counting working lawyers).
From time to time one or two female journalists sit to one side tapping on their laptops. Just before lunch a fellow turned up and sat beside me. I introduced myself and he said he was a sceptic (“from way back”) who heard of the court case only yesterday and couldn’t wait to come along.
Today was the second day of the Coalition’s action against NIWA. Our counsel, Terry Sissons, was still taking Mr Justice Venning through our statement of claim. It should have been NIWA’s turn by now, Read more… »
A group of unknown people protested our case this morning at the High Court. Although they handed out copies of this amusing letter they remain unidentified. I wonder who they are?
They single out two leading members of the NZ Climate Science Coalition: Honorary Secretary Terry Dunleavy and Energy Spokesman Bryan Leyland.
An Open Letter and Appeal to Lords Terence Dunleavy and Bryan Leyland of the Climate Science Education Trust
On this day 16 July in the year 2012 in the Northern Township of Auckland, Middle Earth
On the Occasion of the Lords’ Good Endeavours to Strike Down the temperature muddlings of the Dark Lords of the National Institution of Water and Atmosphere in the High Court of our Land
Hear Ye Honourable and Esteemed Lords of Middle Earth
We of the Flat Earth Society would like to extend to you a hand of friendship and solidarity… etc., etc.
It’s an attractive, fairly consistent piece of wordsmithing, almost worthy of former ages that valued speech for its beauty before its utility. In a sensible society, entirely the right way around. Read more… »
The subject of our court case against NIWA has surfaced again with our recent filing of papers. Ken Perrott has been quick to go on the attack but so far he hasn’t a clue what we’re actually asking for.
For the record, Ken, we’re not accusing our public climate scientists of “scientific fraud” as you claim on your blog. We’re saying (and proving) they made serious mistakes in their reconstruction of the national temperature record.
WUWT has posted a great summary of the NIWA story written by one Andi Cockroft in NZ.
This is a fresh thread for an interesting court case that’s being watched around New Zealand and the world, from all sides of the climate debate.
Someone’s finally told another “rob taylor” about his namesake insulting one of us at Hot Topic. He writes in high dudgeon, claims the same name, says he has worked for Greenpeace and disowns any interest in our discussion of the environment.
On the Internet, where nobody knows you’re a dog, it’s usually best to let sleeping dogs lie. Where might this lead?
It’s odd that this new rob taylor also disdains the use of capital letters, just like the rob taylor we know and love. Must be our modern mis-education system.
This is the latest rob taylor’s comment in full. It was received on May 20, 2012 at 2:10 am.
This is rob taylor from greenpeace, the only rob taylor from greenpeace and in no way have I been involved with this debate until this point until a friend informed me of this chat, which I have not the slightest bit of interest in. I have not worked at GP in NZ since I organized the March Against Mining on Queen St in 2010, and do not intend to engage in any environment debates in NZ in the foreseeable future let alone describing people I do not know in a public forum as “rent boys”. look somewhere else please lads and do not drag mine and Greenpeaces name into your discussion.
The determination of high-level dishonesty committed by NIWA scientists is wending inevitably to a conclusion.
Chairman of the Coalition and counsel for the NZ Climate Science Education Trust (NZCSET), Barry Brill, filed the Trust’s evidence with the Court during January (copies will soon be available on the NZCSC website) and NIWA is expected to respond by 2 March. We’ll then learn (for the first time) the shape of its defence and have the opportunity to reply. On 20 March, the Court will finalise a timetable, including a fixture for the hearing – which our counsel expects could occur about June or July.
The wheels of justice sometimes turn exceeding slow, but everyone gets a turn to speak and what they say is heard—simple principles, more often honoured in blogland in the breach than the observance yet generally revered.
Decisions in this seminal case against NIWA are eagerly awaited around the world. Will its scientific knavery survive a judicial examination? Can it really say one thing, do quite another, and get away with it—honoured, as before, as a leading scientific institution?
Remember, NIWA said it would use a particular method to calculate adjustments to the raw temperature readings; it not only didn’t use that method, it broke all the rules laid down by that method. I recently posted a summary of NIWA’s scientific outrages against the NZ temperature record.
NIWA has an interesting web site which they change frequently. One must visit often to keep up with the changes, because NIWA never sends one a memo.
There’s a section under Climate called “NZ temperature record” where you can see the latest version of the seven-station temperature series.
I think the judge supervising our application for judicial review would be keen to know that what NIWA solemnly pledged to the Court was not the “official or formal New Zealand temperature record” is in fact named on its web site in effectively that very manner.
For taking the words “NZ temperature record” in their most natural meanings, without strain, one understands that NIWA is presenting to the public the very thing it promised the judge it does not have. Read more… »
NIWA is creeping closer to court to answer our allegations. It can’t fudge the facts in there.
UPDATE 1, 16 Sep 9:30 – If anyone harbours lingering doubts that NIWA claim to have used a particular method in calculating the adjustments in their “Review report” published last December, let them check NIWA’s web site, where they say: “The methodology for adjusting for site changes in the NZ temperature record was published in the peer-reviewed International Journal of Climatology in 1993: Rhoades, D.A. and Salinger, M.J., 1993: Adjustment of temperature and rainfall records for site changes. Int. Journal of Climatology 13, 899 – 913.
UPDATE 2, 16 Sep 10:15 – Looking through NIWA’s web site this morning I discovered a seriously fraudulent statement. On the national temperature record review page there’s a section at the bottom that describes (and makes light of) our judicial review application in the High Court and makes this astonishing claim: “The reanalysis and peer review of the seven station series forms part of the judicial review action.” But that’s impossible — NIWA announced the review six months before we filed the papers with the court! Wayne Mapp, the Minister, had already announced NIWA’s review of the 7SS on 18 February 2010, and we didn’t lodge our application with the court until 16 August 2010, so is NIWA claiming to have extra-sensory perception? Is there a serial fraudster running NIWA’s media centre? Why can’t that organisation just tell the truth?
The New Zealand Climate Science Education Trust (NZCSET), on 1 July 2011, filed an amended statement of claim to challenge NIWA’s revised NZ temperature record (the old 7SS, now called the NZT7) published in December, and NIWA failed to file a statement of defence within the time limit. A tentative agreement to meet and narrow the issues was advised to the Court but has not been followed up. NIWA has not responded to correspondence in recent weeks. Read more… »
As regular readers know, Rodney Hide offered to pose our questions in the Parliament. ACT has just received the first answer from Dr Wayne Mapp, Minister of Research, Science and Technology.
Question: Does he agree with NIWA that the New Zealand Temperature Record (NZTR) is not an official temperature record, if so, why, and if not, why not?
Answer Text: The Member will be aware of the judicial review proceedings against NIWA involving climate data initiated by the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition. Standing Order 111(c) notes that matters awaiting or under adjudication in any court of record may not be referred to in any question. Given this, it would be inappropriate for me to respond further to this question.
This question was aimed at a statement by NIWA’s legal team in their Statement of Defence. That statement claims to classify their frequently-published national temperature graph as unofficial. Officially.
In answering that they couldn’t comment on matters before the court, at least NIWA and the minister avoided any temptation to grandstand or score points, but it means we’ll have to wait a while before learning their real meaning in making this bizarre claim in the first place: that (apparently) the only national temperature record put together, published and constantly presented over many years by the country’s only publicly-funded climate recording organisation is not actually the official national temperature record!
A man searching for a missing thesis.
When the NZ Climate Science Coalition made an OIA request for the NIWA amendments which shaped the whole NZ temperature record, it was told the amendments came from a doctoral thesis submitted in 1981 by James Salinger.
NIWA’s General Counsel officially advised (on two occasions) that “the methodology is documented” in the thesis, but “the original worksheets and/or computer records used for the calculations in Dr Salinger’s thesis work are the property of Dr Salinger, who no longer works for NIWA.”
When NIWA belatedly published its Schedule of Adjustments on 9 February 2010, it explained that relocations of weather stations required before-and-after comparisons against an independent station. The document notes that “Salinger (1981) provides the results of these three-site inter-comparisons for the 7-station series, up to about 1975.” Read more… »
Rodney Hide, Minister of Local Government and Leader of the ACT Party. Just made the Climate Conversation Group an offer we can’t refuse: suggest questions to ask Nick Smith and Wayne Mapp in the Parliament.
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?
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.
We hope justice will be done in the case against NIWA. Separate question: what of justice for the NZ temperature record?
For the last ten years, visitors to NIWA’s official website have been greeted by a graph of the “seven-station series” (7SS), under the bold heading “New Zealand Temperature Record”. The graph covers the period from 1853 to the present, and is adorned by a prominent trend-line sloping sharply upwards. Accompanying text informs the world that “New Zealand has experienced a warming trend of approximately 0.9°C over the past 100 years.”
The 7SS has been updated and used in every monthly issue of NIWA’s “Climate Digest” since January 1993. Its 0.9°C (sometimes 1.0°C) of warming has appeared in the Australia/NZ Chapter of the IPCC’s 2001 and 2007 Assessment Reports. It has been offered as sworn evidence in countless tribunals and judicial enquiries, and provides the historical base for all of NIWA’s reports to both Central and Local Governments on climate science issues and future projections.
NIWA has a printed promotional brochure describing its climate activities, which commences with the iconic 7SS graph. No piece of climate lore is more familiar to the public, and it is better known than NIWA’s logo.
NIWA makes some strange denials in their statement of defence. But Renowden, stupidly, tries to deny their denials.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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:
I look forward to some informed comments and perhaps enlightenment.
NIWA has issued a Clayton’s statement of defence. You know – the defence you mount when you’ve decided to surrender.
: 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).
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. Read more… »
As the models continue to leave actual temperature readings in their dust, sizeable warming halted about 1995 — although it might resume at any time. It must hasten to have any hope of catching up with the predictions.
If you claim warming continues, we want evidence of continued warming — eminently reasonable. Making us wait for 17 years for that evidence invites us to doubt you.
Claiming that warming hasn't stopped is the same as claiming it has — and both are ridiculous, for nobody knows the future. The best you can do is describe the past.
Click graph for larger version.
About 2000, climate scientists predicted, and the IPCC agreed, that, if the global temperature was strongly influenced by carbon dioxide (or GHG generally), there'd be a unique "fingerprint" publicising that influence high over the tropics — a tropospheric hot spot. So they started looking for it — and they haven't given up.
Click graph for larger version.