DAGW hypothesis fails on every measure

The story so far: the scientifically and climatically inept Dr Jarrod Gilbert pontificated hysterically that it should be a crime merely to discuss ambiguities in the theory of dangerous anthropogenic global warming (DAGW), taking the view that only “those who deny climate change” cause doubt. He says reasonable doubt doesn’t exist, which of course is flagrant nonsense—just as no sceptics deny that climate change exists. Continue Reading →

Renwick weak in climate quarrel

Dr James Renwick criticises Dr Chris de Freitas for keeping a cool head and saying there’s no need to worry about normal climate change. James says:

I am puzzled that de Freitas can review the evidence, the melting ice sheets, rising seas, warming oceans and atmosphere, and see nothing to worry about.

He claims four points of evidence. Let’s have a look at them. Continue Reading →

Umpteen degrees of blind panic

A lot of exaggeration and misdirection – take a look

Herald - Nine degrees

NZ Herald two days ago:

Burning the rest of the world’s untapped fossil fuel resources – an equivalent five trillion tonnes of carbon emissions – would push up the average global temperature by between 6.4C and 9.5C.

Those are the big figures behind a major new study published today in the journal Nature Climate Change—and they’re much more serious than had previously been anticipated.

The study, led by the University of Victoria in Canada, further estimated that this level of extra emissions would elevate Arctic temperatures between 14.7C and 19.5C.

In the absence of efforts to mitigate climate change, cumulative carbon emissions would likely exceed two trillion tonnes of carbon before the end of this century.

Etc., alarming, blah, blah, scary, blah. Continue Reading →

Sea level study distorted by journalists

Official complaint regarding inaccuracy

(Sent to the Herald today)

The Herald yesterday carried an article on sea level rise in the Solomon Islands. Villages have been abandoned and whole islands lost beneath the waves. Climate change is forcing people from their homes. Catastrophic sea level rise is already on us and we’re causing it. Continue Reading →

Met Office shock forecast: warming to continue

No warming for up to 25 years, but now…

The indomitable, indefatigable, never-say-die UK Met Office (under the spell of the IPCC) predicts that warming is set to “continue”, even though there’s been no global warming to speak of for about 25 years. Wonderful. In fact, the entire UAH satellite dataset from December 1978 to November 2015 (37 years) shows global warming at a yawn-inducing rate of just 1.14°C per century, well within natural variability. Stupendous. Continue Reading →

Stakes on climate change are indeed too high to keep silent

But not in the way the Herald means it.

Phillip Mills and Barry Coates, like good zealots everywhere, loyally maintain the view pushed down our throats by the IPCC that we need to reduce our emissions “to meet the aim of limiting global temperature rise to 2°C.”

They say they can’t stay silent, as the stakes are too high. I actually agree, but they’re thinking nobly of the whole world. I see the stakes a little differently. We’re just a small country and I want to know how much it could cost. Continue Reading →

Another Herald letter languishes


NZ Herald, 10th February, 2015.

The letter at right appeared in the NZ Herald on 10th February and that day I emailed the following letter in response. To the best of my knowledge my letter was not published, so here it is.

Dear Sir,

Your correspondent Philip Jones claims Bryan Leyland’s assertion of ‘no warming’ is incorrect, saying the temperature data do not support it.

He says recent high temperatures prove they have been rising and he’s right. But they haven’t been rising for some time and so he’s wrong. Continue Reading →

World emissions treaty a bag of thorns



Our hard-won democratic freedoms and our right to self-determination will be substantially restricted by this powerful treaty. So it is wonderful to hear that it faces severe difficulties and won’t be accomplished easily. Here are some brief observations to ensure that unscientific scandal-mongers are not the only voices on the subject and so our leaders might perhaps learn something vital about it. – RT

The Herald recently carried an article from the Independent lamenting the difficulty of getting 192 nations to agree that mankind can control the climate. Of course it comes as no real surprise, as the keenest megalomaniacs—I mean delegates—among them have been striving for such agreement for about two decades. Each year they meet in an exotic location, disagree on a climate-control treaty and then choose an exotic location to host their disagreement for the following year. All of this they do at our expense, not theirs. Continue Reading →

Herald obeys the clamour

Hopes end for levelheaded exemplar from once-leading opinion maker

The Herald nails its colours to the mast

The NZ Herald has finally burned any bridges it may have retained with decently sceptical climate scientists by publishing the above advertisement today pretending the obvious falsehood that the “science on climate change” is “settled”. Continue Reading →

Curbing Fallow’s emissions and correcting his maths

Brian Fallow

The Herald explains that Brian Fallow is its Economics Editor, but he belly-aches and pontificates about climate change more than anyone.

I suppose he must be an economist, since he’s divertingly keen to discuss all kinds of fascinating financial and structural details of transforming New Zealand society but little concerned with evidence that might justify it.

The result is he carps noisily on a ruinous, indefensible crusade. He insists the country spend time and tax “adjusting” to a “low-carbon” economy, though he freely admits we won’t thereby affect the climate even minutely.

Worse, he won’t say why we should do it. Not really why — not scientifically, plausibly tell us the necessity for it.

Let me highlight this error of judgement by rebutting a couple of his latest points. Continue Reading →

Herald no help

Bryan Leyland started the following letter, I finished it and the Herald refused to publish it.

Smell any smoke?

Dear Sir,

Jill Whitmore says, “Right now, we are all standing around saying ‘I smell smoke’ and doing nothing about it.”

But it’s not true that we all smell smoke. Many scientists and informed observers want real evidence of a fire. I’ve been asking for years but so far the best “evidence” comes from uncalibrated computer models that predict fire in a hundred years.

It’s a bit early to join a bucket line. Continue Reading →

Refute the nonsense

…see it as propaganda

…then starve it of light

I thought religion was dead — for practise only behind closed doors in the privacy of one’s home — then Gwynne Dyer thunders on the pages of the Herald with a rant about “the gods of climate.” Setting an unequivocally moralistic tone, he threatens divine punishment for our sins! Thoroughly unscientific. Amazing.

Dyer often mindlessly repeats all manner of misleading science about global warming, but this time he gives the science a staunchly moral cast. Well, how else to instil a proper sense of guilt? Continue Reading →

Miffed Michele mangles Monckton meeting

But she never asked this expert IPCC reviewer about climate change! It was either a lost opportunity or she didn’t know what to do with it.

Today I emailed Michele Hewitson to learn whether she asked Lord Monckton anything about the climate and how he may have annoyed her. I hope she replies, but she may not, especially if she spots these comments, posted before she had a chance to reply to me. But I must comment — her journalistic behaviour was crude, unprofessional, unattractive, unfair and unworthy of Christopher Monckton. To specialise in painting a “personality” in her subject can be admired. A descent into hollow chatter and rambling, malicious gossip cheapens both subject and reader.

via Michele Hewitson interview: Christopher Monckton – NZ Herald:

There was one question I really wanted to ask Viscount Christopher Monckton, the visiting climate change sceptic, and it wasn’t about climate. It was about … giving those pesky Argies the squits … during the Falklands War…

She refuses to ask intelligent questions about his vast knowledge of climate change, which brings him here, and instead employs a 30-year-old scatalogical yarn to mock him against today’s values. To assert that this spicy question was her most important raises to a virtue either mere vapidity or a taste to scandalise, neither of which empty urges sits well with the formidable tradition of the Herald. Continue Reading →

Herald, APNZ play fair

Pull straying journalist back into line

The NZ Herald has given Lord Monckton the floor to allow him to rebut the ridiculous criticisms of him by a bunch of so-called Kiwi scientists. Or perhaps it was a bunch of merely shallow scientists who were journalistically ambushed and their comments taken out of context. Who knows?

The culprit was the leftist idealogue employed by the APNZ as the “journalist” (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) Kurt Bayer. I notice Bayer’s byline, which accompanied the original article, has been removed from today’s story, no doubt as part of his punishment for treating a subject with complete, premeditated disdain. His only concern was clearly the advancement of a private agenda.

Under the heading “Climate change sceptic rejects criticism as ‘hate speech'” the NZ Herald has published an APNZ response to Lord Monckton’s complaint about the APNZ’s woefully innaccurate and shamefully unbalanced article in last Tuesday’s Herald.

Today’s article says:

Lord Christopher Monckton has rejected criticism of his views about climate change as his public speaking tour of New Zealand continues.

It then goes on to quote much of Christopher’s remarkably moderately-phrased written complaint verbatim.

Well done, them.

Christopher’s well-attended presentation last night in Northcote was stunning. I look forward to more of the same in central Auckland tonight.

Herald, APNZ find Monckton no easy target

Should try practising responsible journalism

The following correspondence from Lord Monckton to the NZ Herald concerning a scurrilous, misleading and repugnant APNZ article published today was posted on the NZ Climate Science Coalition’s web site


Posted 3 April 2013

Viscount Christopher Monckton, who has just begun a speaking tour of New Zealand, has responded to an article in the on-line edition of the New Zealand Herald, attacking his qualifications and motives.

Lord Monckton comments: “I have attached some recent material, for interest. The paper on climate economics has been accepted for publication in the Annual Proceedings of the World Federation of Scientists, now in its 45th year of publication. My expert-review comments on the forthcoming Fifth Assessment Report will, I hope, demonstrate that I have taken a constructive approach.

For the sake of correcting the factual record, I am inviting the Climate Science Coalition to post up and circulate widely a copy of my letter to the editor correcting the slew of malicious inaccuracies in the Herald’s article as soon as the Herald has published it, so as to minimize the intended damage to my reputation.” Continue Reading →

Tornadoes not part of increase in extreme weather

Peter Griffin: Tornadoes don’t indicate extreme weather is increasing – NZ Herald.

Old news alert (6 Dec) – I’m catching up.

This is good news. Nobody wants tornadoes to increase. Of course, there are other indications that extreme weather will increase – is perhaps already increasing – so please don’t stop worrying.

But it’s disappointing to see the Herald recycling posts from SciBlogs.

NIWA says it wasn’t about climate change


So shut up, you lot!

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. Continue Reading →

Herald shows what to avoid in climate debate

Here’s an agreeably restrained response to Brian Rudman’s repellent, unsophisticated bluster against the Coalition. The Herald declined to publish this, but we’re delighted to present it in their stead. If Rudman has the sense I think he has, or the slightest genuine interest in climate change, he’ll pay close attention to Tom’s analysis. – Richard Treadgold

Columnist sets bad example in attack on Climate Science Coalition

The September 12th column by Brian Rudman of the New Zealand Herald, “One small word, one giant setback for denial”, exemplifies how much of the climate debate has descended into a sort of murky underworld where logical fallacies, personal attacks and made up “facts” all too often replace rational discourse. While Herald editors are to be congratulated for allowing the publication of my letter to the editor correcting some of Rudman’s more obvious mistakes, his piece is worth analyzing as a sample of what other journalists must avoid if a civilized discussion about this vitally important topic is to be possible.

Rudman’s repeated references to “climate change deniers” is a particularly nasty and nonsensical phrase frequently employed by those who want to silence debate about the causes of climate change. Continue Reading →

Herald wrong in so many ways

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, Continue Reading →

Court no substitute for science

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.

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. Continue Reading →

Herald swiftly rights wrong

The NZ Herald yesterday covered our suit against NIWA. But the heading was:

Global warming sceptics accuse Niwa of temperature deception

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:

Hi Abby,

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 Continue Reading →

A fox in the henhouse

Rodney Hide’s been allowed to write in the Herald on Sunday.

This week he talks about the ETS and he’s not kind about it. The carbon price has collapsed and the government’s changed the playing field so the trading will probably never recover. Shame.

He mentions the CCG blog (thanks, Rodney!) and something I said about selling unwanted CO2. Stirred up a large number of comments. Do join in.

NIWA’s data proves NZ warming halt

It’s getting worse than they thought (for them!)

NZ monthly temperature anomalies 2001-2012 from NIWA reports

This insight into the NZ temperature record is from the resourceful Bob D. I’ve promoted it because it’s priceless. Bob says:

NIWA’s Climate Updates

I thought I’d share the local New Zealand temperatures over the last decade. I downloaded all NIWA’s Climate Updates from their website (the first one I could find was Oct 2001) and plotted the temperature anomalies that were published for each month.

Of course, what with Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming and all, I expected to see temperatures rising (accelerating, even) in a wild, out-of-control fashion, as the water vapour feedbacks kicked in, tripling the initial warming that came from the gigatons of poisonous carbon dioxide pollution that we’ve spewed (spewed, I tell you) into the atmosphere over the past decade.

I was a little surprised at what I saw. Continue Reading →

Runaway warming impossible — Herald uninterested

A week ago I offered the NZ Herald this short rebuttal of some alarmist climate nonsense from Carmen Gravatt (well, it’s really from Greenpeace but Carmen didn’t check it). The Herald has neither published nor acknowledged receipt of this so now you can see it and wonder with me why they turn down even moderate sceptical material. It goes without saying that the new, radical Greenpeace will flog this dead horse for years to come, but there’s no excuse for professional journalists to persist in ignoring well-known facts. When this climate revel is finally ended the Herald’s editors will deeply regret having adopted blinkers.

Carmen Gravatt’s gravely misleading Herald article of 15 March We don’t need extreme oil gives a gross distortion of a stupendously simple truth.

She blames oil for global warming, claiming we’ll cause “global average temperature [to soar] – uncontrollably.” But runaway warming is impossible. No credible climate scientist is making that claim — and it’s never happened before. Oil can cause real pollution and injury to humans and wildlife, but the global warming threat is imaginary, for no dangerous climatic influence from our emissions has been detected.

Jo Nova said in a report three years ago (Massive climate funding exposed) that the US government had poured $30 billion into pure climate research over 20 years. Yet the simple truth is that still nobody can point to a single piece of empirical evidence that man-made carbon dioxide has a significant effect on the global climate. Continue Reading →

Greenpeace shows no evidence


The NZ Herald published this article recently by Carmen Gravatt, the campaigns director at Greenpeace New Zealand.

I’m not well informed on the energy scene, but I want to comment on her outrageously distorted presentation of climate change. I reserve the right to complain to the NZ Press Council about the Herald allowing her space to spread this manifest nonsense about global warming.

First she says:

… the world is about to lose the chance to stop the global average temperature from soaring – uncontrollably – beyond two degrees.

Nobody – count them: nobody – in the IPCC predicts that global temperatures will soar “uncontrollably” if they rise by 2°C. If Miss Gravatt is unaware of that fact, she is singularly unprepared for the demands of her position. Continue Reading →

Watch it – or the mayor gets the lamington

pink lamingtons

Pink lamingtons

From today’s Herald:

Auckland Mayor Len Brown was the target of a lamington attack at Auckland University yesterday by an angry supporter of wharf workers.

Mr Brown was coming to the end of one of his regular Mayor in the Chair public sessions in the university quadrant when a young man with dreadlocks approached him with a pink lamington, smearing pieces of the sponge cake on the mayor’s face and shirt. The man then ran off.

He was part of a group of 10 to 15 Socialist Aotearoa members protesting against Mr Brown’s lack of support for workers in the bitter Ports of Auckland dispute where 300 striking union workers were fired by management on Wednesday.

Is this a sinister new tactic by our city’s youngest socialists, or is it simply a waste of a good lamington? Only time will tell.

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 →

Laking, liking words, lacking in science

It’s not possible even to keep track of the alarmist stories about climate, far less to refute them all. But when one is personally cited close to home and statements are wrongfully attributed to one, one ought to address them. This Laking/Herald howler is a case in point. Laking has taken his information from the Hot Topic side of the tracks without verification, not knowing the distortions of Renowden and friends (no matter how often corrected) and must now suffer the consequences; the formerly revered Herald similarly. My good friend Barry Brill here humorously draws our attention to the doctor’s faux pas. Regular readers will know that Richard C and Andy already mentioned the Herald article in comments on our Brash post. Thanks, guys. Apologies – one is only just getting around to it – but a refuting post will follow this. – RT

The NZ Herald runs climate alarm propaganda in every shape and size, and from every imaginable point of view. But it was scraping the barrel with its recent patronising but content-free sermon from a certain George Laking – presented on its weather page under the heading of “Epsom and climate change”.

Laking is apparently an oncologist. He transparently knows nothing whatever of meteorology, and even less about economics – and therefore relies upon a quote from an IEA economist to define the state of the science. He then buttresses his scientific bombast with other strongly-held opinions from non-scientists – the World Bank, UK Ministry of Defence, the Medical Association, and the World Health Organisation.

Each one of his sources has heard a real scientist say something, somewhere, about climate science. And they are almost sure they can remember part of what was said. But, says George, global warming isn’t about science anyhow, it’s about MORALITY!

If you want to know how morality works, ask a cancer doctor. George has seen what tobacco sellers got up to and he wouldn’t be a bit surprised if climate sellers weren’t just as bad.

And it turns out George’s medical training also left him well-versed in the need to manipulate raw data to get the result you are after. He says:

“If you take the raw temperature recordings alone (like ACT or… Richard Treadgold did), you won’t see a temperature rise. But that is because the readings have to be corrected for changes in site location, exposure, and instrumentation. Treadgold overlooked this and so ACT constructed a whole court case on the most abysmal scientific howler.”

Hmm. George obviously doesn’t read very much in pursuit of his climate hobby. He certainly doesn’t express any methodological preferences as between Salinger (1981) and RS93; or even NIWA’s 2010 review versus the audit published by the NZ Climate Science Coalition. He doesn’t even differentiate between the old 7SS and the NZT7.

Poor George seems to think Richard Treadgold is helping ACT to sue somebody in Epsom. Perhaps the teacup taper?

Does the Herald read these Op-Eds before publication, or is a burning zeal to hurl abuse at non-believers seen to be a sufficient qualification?

Blame or repair?

The Herald today fumes over fumes from farming.

There’s so much in their editorial with which to take issue, but a single point glares out from the page. They say:

The whole point of the ETS is that emitters take financial responsibility.

The Herald appears to replace concern for the environment with a vindictive crusade to lay blame. And I thought they just wanted to repair the environment.

Who is the emitter?

Is it the farmer or his customer? Or the customer’s customer? Surely everyone who eats butter or cheese shares a slice of the “blame” for the emissions caused in producing what he eats.

So the final customer should pay a share.

You think they do? But, in an auction, how does the farmer ensure extra on top of the auction price for his milk or meat or whatever, to compensate him for the ETS tax? That’s not going to happen.

Farming is unique in being mostly helpless to recover the ETS costs. Fonterra can adjust their wholesale prices or their payout, Air NZ can charge extra for a carbon footprint and ordinary businesses set or negotiate higher prices as costs increase.

But farmers’ selling prices are dictated by the auction system. They can neither alter the prices nor reduce their emissions. It’s like shooting trout in a barrel. Hardly fair. Unless they’re on a canning or a supermarket contract, and we know how easy it is for the farmer to dictate terms to the buyer…


The farmer bears the same responsibility for his animal’s “emissions” as Australia bears for the fumes from Chinese power stations burning Australian lignite.

Which is none, of course – China takes responsibility for those emissions; or it would, if it joined the game.

The farmer’s final customers should take responsibility for the products they select, for without their purchase, the farmer would not produce it. Still, it’s far too hard to levy every user of mutton, bacon or milk; much easier to attack the helpless farmer.

And everyone knows the ETS won’t repair the environment anyway.

It’s all symbolic. What a sham.

And we call ourselves grown-ups.

Barton earns Canadian rebuke

Chris de Freitas

This post could be considered tardy. However Donna Laframboise’s illuminating comments lose nothing with the passage of time. They deserve circulation and Auckland’s possibly best-known sceptical climate scientist deserves her thoughtful and eloquent support.

Four weeks ago, on July 16, the Herald published Chris Barton’s attack on Chris de Freitas’s integrity. The next day I posted a defence of a scientist who has given a lot of help to any number of keen climate amateurs like myself and has the courage to say out loud that things are not scientific if to him they appear in fact to be unscientific.

About a week later the uncompromising Laframboise posted a perceptive analysis of Barton’s attempted “critical thinking”. I encourage you to read the whole thing if you have a few minutes. Continue Reading →

Renowden misdirects in a septic meander


de Freitas feeds his students sceptic propaganda …

So says the radical Renowden, he of the non-sceptical “believe everything they say” warmist persuasion. But read what he says about Chris de Freitas’ crimes and you’ll realise he says nothing, because no crimes exist.

Gareth Renowden is himself guilty of attempting to abridge the academic freedom to study and teach inconvenient facts.

It’s all arm-waving, and Renowden cites nothing in the Geography 101 course that’s untrue. He says many unkind things about the graphs and their provenance, but he never says they’re wrong, and that’s a strange thing to forget, which means he didn’t forget it — he omitted it, because they’re not wrong. Continue Reading →

de Freitas on solid ground

what is weather

(h/t Bob D for most of the references)

Journalist Chris Barton has a story in yesterday’s Herald titled The climate dissenter holds his ground. After looking at Barton’s alarmist arguments I’ll stand with Chris de Freitas on the solid ground.

The story begins with the implication (not that the journalist says it this plainly) that, even with the planet battling weather extremes, that is not enough to convince an Auckland climate scientist (Associate Professor Chris de Freitas, at the University of Auckland) of the truth of human-induced global warming. We’re supposed to feel exasperation: “What will it take to get that man to see sense?”

But Barton is dead wrong. For why should “extreme” weather be an indication of man-made global warming? How could we get more extreme weather out of global warming? Continue Reading →

Open question for the NZ Herald

Editorial writers – please glance over here

I have a question.

The aftermath of United Nations climate change summits is becoming depressingly familiar.

With these words last December 14, the New Zealand Herald editorial writer signalled his slant. It’s a bias towards the official line on global warming. The Herald joins the chorus of activists baying for Western compensation for the third world to answer the allegations of “injury by climate”.

According to this view, every other good and time-honoured cause for foreign aid is eclipsed by this one: that the effects of global warming will be — even are already — too onerous for emerging nations to bear, therefore we must stop doing what has created our wealth and, on top of that, pay heavy fines for many years to come, perhaps forever — they haven’t told us when to stop.

There must be a reason for this.

What is it?

Herald’s editor ducks the issue

duck assassination

This post is not directly about climate, but concerns our relationship with reason and science, in which there are parallels with the conduct of the climate debate.

Shrill cries of alarm

Shortly after the momentous earthquake and tsunami wreaked such terrible havoc in Japan on March 11, the press and broadcast media began a chorus of shrill, poorly-informed warnings about the nuclear crisis developing at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.

Sober description of fail-safes

Then a blog posting appeared on March 13, describing the operation of those 40-year-old reactors and their numerous fail-safe systems. It was written by one Dr Josef Oehmen, a mechanical engineer and scientist, and concluded there was no reason to be alarmed and very little possibility of a meltdown. Even if a meltdown occurred, he said, the plant’s systems and trained engineers would handle the event safely. The article was quickly picked up and widely distributed around the Internet.

It was published here as Nuclear reactor: blast impossible, meltdown no sweat.

Maladroit attack on public peace of mind

On March 15 one Justin Elliott published Debunking a viral blog post on the nuke threat which tried to pour cold water on Oehmen’s analysis. Elliott didn’t do this by refuting what Oehmen had said or by disagreeing with his analysis; instead, he ripped into Oehmen’s reputation.

Oehmen’s article begins with a candid admission:

I am a mechanical engineer and research scientist at MIT. I am not a nuclear engineer or scientist, or affiliated with Nuclear Science and Engineering at MIT, so please feel free to question my competence.

But in a supremely bungling introduction, Elliott swaggers right on past this clear, honest disclaimer and arrogantly reports, as his own words, that Oehmen has no special expertise in nuclear power. Hmm. The cautious would note that and read on with care. Continue Reading →

Trading on our emotions

clouds in the thin air

Never more truth said in error

Brian Fallow, in the Herald today, emphasis added (h/t Richard Cumming):

“The review, to be chaired by David Caygill, is a statutory requirement. It is expressly not to revisit the issues, debated at tedious length for at least the past decade, about whether New Zealand should be taking action on climate change at all or whether an emotions trading scheme is the most appropriate response.”

Oh, the emotions trading scheme? Ha-ha! His error illuminates an inconvenient truth about the ETS! It’s founded on emotion. Yes, Brian, I know it was a simple mistake, saying ’emotions’ instead of ’emissions’, but it reveals a great deal about the ETS and it’s worth laughing at because you say it again! Further on:

The Obama Administration has acknowledged that a national cap-and-trade (emotions trading) scheme is a non-starter for at least the next couple of years. Japan has shelved its plans for an ETS. Climate policy in Australia remains up in the air.

There can be no clearer example of an “error” revealing the writer’s true thinking. For the ETS depends entirely on trading on our emotions. There’s no science persuading us to reduce our emissions — there’s no evidence. There’s only speculation and the electronic dreams of computer models. The activists convince us only through emotive appeals to save polar bears and other cuddly animals, using graphs of carbon dioxide and temperature to illustrate fraudulent descriptions of climate science. Continue Reading →

Computer model is not evidence

NZ Herald crest

Letter sent to the Herald on 7 Jan, 2011
quill pen

Dear Sir,

It has come to my attention that you published a (further) letter from a Dr Doug Campbell, again challenging Professor Chris de Freitas’ recent article about the science of global warming. Dr Campbell said: “The facts support anthropogenic global warming with a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide resulting in warming of between 2 °C and 4.5 °C.”

I wish to point out that, as a matter of fact, that is not a fact.

Dr de Freitas was talking about an expected temperature increase from carbon dioxide alone of about 1 °C, and he mentioned that was, “by itself, relatively small” and “not controversial.”

Dr Campbell, if he disagrees with that, should cite his authority for doing so. The only source of temperature increases greater than one degree is various computer climate models. These models give different results on each run. Continue Reading →

Many surprised to learn global warming basics

From the pen of Chris de Freitas comes this short but compelling narrative, inspired and inspiring, and calming, like a cool balm on an inflammation. Read it and watch the heat from the global warming debate dissipate and important issues clarify. Reprinted here with Chris’ kind permission.

Chris de Freitas: Emotion clouding underlying science of global warming

First published in the NZ Herald, 5:30 a.m. Wednesday Jan 5, 2011
Professor de Freitas

Professor de Freitas

Unlike most other hot-button environmental issues, global warming is widely misunderstood. As a climate scientist, thinking about this, it struck me that it was not surprising, since accounts of the scientific basics of global warming almost never appear anywhere in the press.

There is not space here to include all the charts and numbers that might accompany such an account. In their place is a necessarily brief summary.

Most people are not shocked to learn that global warming discussions evoke polarised views, but many are surprised to discover that the scientific basics are not contentious. An awareness of these is helpful in building an understanding of the extent to which there is a problem and how it might be addressed. Continue Reading →

Fighting climate change public insanity

picnic table and chairs set up in the sea

In the NZ Herald last Wednesday, David Venables, executive-director of the Greenhouse Policy Coalition, talked about world leaders at Cancun soon putting “the finishing touches to a global agreement on climate change.”

Why do we want such an agreement?

Though Mr Venables, oddly, leaves it unsaid, it is to reduce our emissions of “greenhouse gases” or “carbon” to halt what we now call “climate change.”

But is this enough? Will this stop climate change? No, it won’t, and there are two reasons for that: NZ’s tiny emissions and the eternally changing nature of the climate. Continue Reading →

On Kiribati sinking

Island of Tabiteuea, Kiribati.

We didn’t mention straws, only facts


Bryan Walker, of Hot Topic, insists on the fact of the sinking of Kiribati along with a human cause of the sinking. Under the heading “Clutching at straws” he says:

The vigour of denial is as evident as always.

I remain unconcerned about criticism he got from the pugnacious Ian Wishart at The Briefing Room, along with “others” on the Herald web site. I believe that Ian correctly quotes from Kiribati’s marketing material, but now I comment on what Walker says about our post here at the Climate Conversation, Kiribati sinking beneath waves again.

Because his criticism of me is frail, since he ignores what I say. The best that can be said about his summary of our post is that he slides past its substantive arguments, replacing them with “straw man” arguments easily dealt with.

But first, I must express annoyance at his use of “denial”. He says it just once, but securely tars his opponents with it, yet it must be the last resort of the desperate, for where is his argument that the denial has no substance? Absent — he leaves it hanging.

Certainly, when one argues with anything, one denies something. On that definition, Walker himself is a “denier”, for he denies what I said. A denier label cannot be the end of rational thought nor award an uncontested victory, for it applies to both parties to an argument. Continue Reading →

Kiribati sinking beneath waves again

Tarawa atoll, Kiribati.

Oh, again?

Climate change sinking Kiribati – so says a Herald headline of Friday, November 12. Here we go again! More nonsense about sea levels in the Pacific rising, driven by the exhaust from our internal combustion engines and thermal power stations.

Nearly a year ago the Herald carried a similar story headed Tiny Tuvalu outgunned by oil giant which I quickly debunked. Seems they didn’t learn much that time around.

But the author this time is Bryan Walker, regular contributor to alarmist articles at Hot Topic. Continue Reading →

Hot Topic semi-science now in the Herald

NZ Herald crest
Hot Topic logo

Now we have the NZ Herald echoing Hot Topic’s posts from Sciblogs. Man, the Herald have really burned their bridges on impartiality, haven’t they? By patronising Hot Topic they unquestionably declare their belief in the non-science of dangerous anthropogenic global warming.

Don’t expect any material from them in the near future to be critical of the now-established doctrine of climate change according to the IPCC.

Comments on poll uncover Hot Topic’s dearth of science

Yesterday, they published an article by Bryan Walker, one of Gareth’s support writers, Ask me why – polling the public on climate change. The first thing Bryan does is denigrate the organisation behind the poll; good one, Bryan, ignore the issue — go straight for the man.

Note also Walker’s disconnect from the real world where people must make a living:

But their notion of what constitutes appropriate measures is severely constrained by their determination to protect what they call the competitiveness of all sectors of NZ industry.

“What they call” competitiveness? He says that as though it’s a bad thing. Continue Reading →

Gluckman: knows nothing about climate

Michele Hewitson

That incomparable writer, Miss Michele Hewitson, of the NZ Herald, has interviewed our Chief Scientific Advisor, Professor Sir Peter Gluckman, and the report appears in today’s edition.

Now, Michele often specialises in the human side of your famous person, not perhaps delving too far into the deeds and sayings for which he might be famous, but humorously describing the ebb and flow of the interview or the sometimes awkward situations that develop as our intrepid prober of public persons boldly goes where few reporters dare.

Michele can be genuinely funny and wondrously insightful by turns. That is how today’s example has turned out, as Miss Hewitson gets her subject to converse on everybody’s favourite topic — themselves. Which she accomplishes by various superficial means, such as asking why he has a beard.

Of all the fascinating and significant aspects of Gluckman’s life and intelligent toil, his beard must be the least important. Continue Reading →

NZ Herald ratifies outrageous rant

NIWA temp adjustments with scales of justice

Just four days after Brian Rudman’s diatribe against the Coalition, the Herald unleashed an opinion piece by one Sam Fisher. I’ve just discovered it but that’s no reason to let it stand unopposed.

I shall start at its rear end. His devastating conclusion:

In past years, the nutters were the ones with signs that said: “The world is ending.” Now, the nutters have the signs that say: “The world isn’t ending, it’s all fine.”

I agree wholeheartedly with this sentiment, for it is hard to fault. However, he omits mention of the sanity of those trumpeting the end of the world. So I would express it with a different slant, as it is on the masthead above:

For the first time in history, people shouting “the end is nigh” are somehow
the sane ones, while those of us who say it is not are now the lunatics.

Before that, he enlightens us with: 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.


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.

NZ ETS missing its target

Cover of the book The Carbon Challenge

… or is it?

The National government is determined to fire up an emissions trading scheme (ETS) on July 1st, but a new study criticises it forcefully.

NZ sceptics, led by ACT’s John Boscawen, have for some months campaigned against the ETS on scientific and economic grounds, inside and outside the Parliament. But this study by two Victoria University academics – believers in anthropogenic global warming (AGW) – could do more to force a government change of mind than any protest action so far.

Since it comes from within the warmist camp, John Key, Nick Smith and their advisers will, or should, pay it close attention. For it expresses arguments made by supporters of government “climate” policy, so they will be more difficult to dismiss than those of mere “deniers” of “climate change” (whoever they are). Continue Reading →

When will our bloody journalists wake up?

An eye

How obvious must the lack of credibility in AGW become before New Zealand’s so-called journalists wake up to it?

Their disconnection from reality now transcends mere embarrassment for the onlookers; it has become actually humiliating, because the only remaining reason for our nation’s professional journalists to hold to the IPCC line on dangerous man-made global warming is an intentional neglect of the facts. Continue Reading →