From the team at EUTMETSAT: all the weather of 2013 as seen from the world’s weather-watching satellites. It’s an HD video, so a slow download on my rural NZ treacleband internet connection, but worth every second of the wait. I strongly recommend clicking the full screen button (bottom right corner), and multiple viewings. Fascinating, with an informative commentary. And, because we haven’t had an open thread for a while, please take this opportunity to wax lyrical on any climate-related topic currently in the news…
A classic case of WACCy weather in the northern hemisphere, seen here in a map from the excellent Climate Reanalyzer site, prompts me to discuss the 2013 global temperature numbers, the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, and what sea ice loss is doing to northern hemisphere weather patterns in my post at The Daily Blog this week. We live in interesting times…
Jim Salinger’s analysis of the climate crank campaign to cast doubt on New Zealand’s long term temperature record, published last week at The Conversation, has drawn an astonishing response1 from Richard Treadgold (left), the man who kicked off the whole sorry process over four years ago. In an intemperate and libellous comment at his web site, Treadgold accuses Salinger of deception, stupidity and questions his mental stability:
Painting our efforts as some kind of attack on science is stupid. Salinger is either mentally unstable or he’s trying to hide his deceptive treatment of the national temperature records. We asked for details. You’re obviously hiding something if you call that anti-science.
The truth, of course, is that Treadgold and his friends at the Climate “Science” Coalition have spent the last four years quite deliberately attacking Salinger and the science team at NIWA by alleging they acted to deliberately overstate warming in New Zealand. They’ve taken their case to the High Court, and lost. Now they’re running away from facing the legal consequences, by refusing to pay court-ordered legal costs and leaving the NZ taxpayer to foot the bill2.
This has never been about science. It has always been a political campaign, as Treadgold himself acknowledged when he admitted to the “essentially political objectives of our paper”. Having the lost the argument, he’s now behaving like a spoilt child, throwing a hissy fit at Salinger for telling an uncomfortable truth. His pettiness even extends to posting articles suggesting that Salinger’s affiliations with the Universities of Auckland and Tasmania may be false3.
The last line of his typically prolix comment is interesting.
Finally, it’s insufficient that you merely repeat Salinger’s empty allegation of ‘errors’ in our audit. If you want us to respond to the allegation, specify the errors.
The hypocrisy evident here is breathtaking. The “audit” refers to a reconstruction of the NZ temperature record produced by Treadgold’s Coalition pals4 that was submitted as evidence in their High Court case. Treadgold and the CSC know perfectly well that NIWA found significant errors in that reconstruction, because a detailed description of those errors formed an important part of NIWA’s evidence produced in court.
If Treadgold and the CSC are so sure that their “audit” is faultless, why do they not submit it for peer review at an academic journal? I’m sure that Chris de Freitas, never averse to lending his academic weight to the climate crank cause, would be willing to act as lead author and help to usher it past peer review, as he has done for so many papers over the years. I hear that Pattern Recognition in Physics could have a new publisher who might be interested. In the meantime, if Treadgold has any sense of decency he will apologise to Salinger for so maligning an honest man. Past history would suggest that I should not hold my breath.
- Web cited so that he can’t “disappear” the evidence. [↩]
- I will have a great deal more to say on this issue, unless and until Barry Brill, Terry Dunleavy, Bryan Leyland and Doug Edmeades pay the costs awarded against their shonky trust [↩]
- They aren’t. [↩]
- Statistical Audit of the NIWA 7-Station Review, NZCSC, July 2011, available here. [↩]
This weekend’s episode of the new Keeping It Pure documentary series on Prime TV looks at how we’re addressing climate change issues in NZ. It screens at 8-30pm on Sunday and looks like required viewing for anyone with even a passing interest in the subject. Last weekend’s programme is being repeated on Saturday evening at 8-30 if you need to catch up, but set the recorder for future episodes — they won’t be getting repeats.
If you do nothing else today, take the time to read Jim Salinger’s account at The Conversation of the attempt by New Zealand’s little coterie of climate deniers to cast doubt on the country’s temperature record. It’s a useful summary of the cranks’ ludicrous effort, but Jim points out that it is just a small part of a much larger global PR campaign — drawing heavily on the strategies and tactics first used by the tobacco lobby — to undermine action to reduce emissions:
Earlier this month, the news broke that major tobacco companies will finally admit they “deliberately deceived the American public”, in “corrective statements” that would run on prime-time TV, in newspapers and even on cigarette packs.
It’s taken a 15-year court battle with the US government to reach this point, and it shows that evidence can trump doubt-mongering in the long run.
A similar day may come for those who actively work to cast doubt on climate science.
Frankly, that day can’t come soon enough.
Meanwhile, the latest news on the attempt by the men behind the trust used to bring the legal action — the NZ Climate Science Education Trust, fronted by Bryan Leyland, Terry Dunleavy and Doug Edmeades — to dump the costs of their failed case on the New Zealand taxpayer is that the official liquidator rates the “prospect of dividend” – that is, a payout by the trust — as “unlikely”. In the latest report (pdf) posted at the Companies Office1, the liquidator comments that he has only be able to contact one of the NZCSET trustees and that “he has thus far been co-operative with the liquidation”. If the other two trustees are not helpful, the liquidator warns that “they will be summonsed to attend a meeting to provide the necessary information”.
It may be that Christmas and summer holidays is slowing down the process, but if the NZCSET trustees are being deliberately unhelpful, I hope the Insolvency Service uses all of its powers to make them comply with the law. These men have wasted large amounts of taxpayer money pursuing their idiotic political agenda, and must be made to pay for their folly.