NIWA v Cranks: Update one

by Gareth on August 16, 2010

Reaction to the news that NZ’s merry band of climate sceptics — the NZ Climate “Science” Coalition — are attempting to take NIWA to court is certainly creating a stir. The Herald updates with an NZPA story:

Court action against New Zealand’s state-owned weather and atmospheric research body is “stupid” and just creating confusion, University of Otago pro-vice chancellor of sciences Keith Hunter says.

The Science Media Centre has pulled together an extensive selection of comments by senior climate scientists outside NIWA, but my favourite take comes from associate professor Euan Mason of the University of Canterbury:

This legal suit is a nonsense designed to attract publicity and spread fear, uncertainty and doubt in the absence of a decent argument. The media should ignore it and the judge should throw it out. Let the “Climate Science Coalition” tender its own calculations and subject them to rigorous peer review by submitting a scientific paper.

I expect we’ll hear more from the scientific community in due course. Meanwhile, the Environmental Defence Society is considering joining the action on NIWA’s side:

The Environmental Defence Society says it might apply to the High Court for permission to join proceedings being brought by climate sceptics against the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA).

The more the merrier, I say! Blog reactions are coming in thick and fast. Russell Brown has covered the story at Hard News, and it will feature in this week’s Media 7 on TV NZ7, while Bomber Bradbury demonstrates a nice use of turtles (all the way down) in his response. See also a nice punchy post by r0b at The Standard, but David Farrar can only manage to reprint a chunk of the CSC press release and look forward to the action. So much for not being a sceptic, David… And as ever, Danyl at the Dim-Post has a good point to make. Below the fold, my morning media exposure.

First up was a slot on Morning Report with Sean Plunkett asking the questions. He gave Bryan Leyland a good introductory grilling on the funding of their action, and then lightly sautéed me for referring to the loss of NZ’s alpine ice — apparently that’s due to global warming or something… ;-)

Climate sceptics take NIWA to court over data

Shortly afterwards I popped up on Glenn Williams’ Breakfast Show on Radio Wammo — live via Skype video. I wish I’d shaved. Note the appearance of Rosie the trainee truffle hound towards the end…

Finally: we need a good “gate” for this. All suggestions welcome. Dunleavygate? Crankgate? Something pithy, preferably — but definitely not NIWAgate. ;-)

{ 257 comments… read them below or add one }

Carol Stewart August 16, 2010 at 3:03 pm

Assgate?

Gareth August 16, 2010 at 3:19 pm

Sounds a bit rude to me… ;-)

laurence August 16, 2010 at 3:31 pm

I’m with Carol, Assgate sounds about right.

bill ramsay August 16, 2010 at 3:57 pm

crockgate
actgate
wasteoftimegate [wotgate]
rotflgate
deniergate

Grant August 16, 2010 at 3:58 pm

This isn’t really a suggestion as such, but for some reason I’ve been thinking of it as dullgate. Not trying to poke at the individuals concerned just that the whole affair seems so, well, incredibly dull to me. Then again it could just be the late night followed by an early rise making everything seem dull.

This comment has a very dull theme to it, doesn’t it ;-)

While I’m writing, a commenter on my blog post on the subject has pointed out that Doug is apparently the former MAF scientist that Maxigold took on. (I’ve linked the post on my name.)

Ken August 16, 2010 at 4:57 pm

Grant, Doug is a former colleague of mine. I have tried to engage with him on this issue but he refuses to reply to my emails. Pity as we generally get on well and respect each other and we could actually discuss this evenly.

There is an interesting story of opportunism and betrayal of science behind all this. Doug Edmeades and Bert Quinn were the two main government scientists who were in MAF’s defense team. Maxicrop sued after Doug had made a comment on their product on Fair Go.

MAF won the case – the science was good – but it terrified them of ever getting involved in legal procedures again. Bert Quinn recognised this fear so when he left MAF and started his own company he often used threats of legal action to prevent MAF, and then AgResearch, from publishing our data on direct application rock phosphate and particularly on the Egyptian rock he imported. Doug was heavily censored and this was one of the reasons he eventually left to start his own agricultural consultancy.

Our whole group was told not to publish or comment on our data. It was a disgusting example of capitulation on our managers’ parts. And even 10 years later I was ordered not to use my data after another legal threat from Bert. Around the same time Bert used legal action to get a book Doug had written on the Maxicrop and QuinnPhos sises withdrawn.

So Doug, like Bert, is no stranger to legal actions and the way that even threats of legal action can be used against scientific institutes. I am sure he is hoping for similar success in intimidating NIWA here.

I imagine that Doug has ended up in the denier camp (relatively recently) because he sees it as a way of confirming himself and promoting his consultancy within the agricultural community. That’s all I can put it down to. It certainly is not because of any scientific integrity.

But his actions are certainty disappointing. he has got in with some bad political apples. And in the end it will only destroy his reputation.

Sally August 21, 2010 at 8:34 pm

“I imagine that Doug has ended up in the denier camp (relatively recently) ”

Doug has been speaking out about this scam for some time, definitely not recently.I would have to conclude that Ken’s imagination of Doug is akin to his imagination of global warming

TBWood August 16, 2010 at 7:41 pm

“And in the end it will only destroy his reputation.”

Too late, and I mean that sincerely.

Vain, ignorant and being led by people with no scruples. Ultimately I feel sorry for him, but being blunt – if he’s daft enough to take up with this lot then he gets what he deserves.

TB.

Keith Hunter August 16, 2010 at 7:51 pm

Hi Gareth & Friends:

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

Cheers and kia ora.

Keith

Roger Dewhurst August 17, 2010 at 9:27 am

The integrity of ‘climate science’ has been utterly compromised by Mann and the UEA emails. In that area the peer review process has been prostituted. The great pity is that this scandal will reflect badly on genuine science as well.

Gareth August 16, 2010 at 8:07 pm

Thanks, Keith, glad to be able to shine a little light into the dark corners of ignorance. ;-)

Doug Mackie August 16, 2010 at 9:12 pm

As per multipIe discussions, I think it would be terribly amusing to ask (by name) some of the NZ C”S”C associated folk with science training and call for them if NZ C”S”C asked their scientific opinion and what is their scientific opinion.

For example, surely Bryan Leyland called on his co-author on several articles, de Freitas? If so, what did de Freitas say? If not, why didn’t Leyland ask de Freitas? IIRC, RSNZ regulations require a member to not commit errors of science by commission or by omission .

OTOH, de Lange wrote that excerable piece at Muriel Newman’s blog (see my rebuttal at hot-topic
confusing mixing and residence time (errors an undergraduate would not make). He seems a simple case of ideology and vanity.

I wonder, what would a loss do for Leyland’s consultancy business? Or perhaps Gibb might make up any shortfalls?

Richard T August 16, 2010 at 9:24 pm

The farming lobby is really very misguided over climate change. Edmeades does seem to be playing to that. The phrase “Federated F***wits” keeps going through my mind when I see him or Don Nicholson quoted.

As for gates how about

Herring-gate
or
New-gate – as that’s where the CSC members deserve to have their severed heads put on a spike and displayed to the world -

TBWood August 16, 2010 at 9:51 pm

Gibb-gate?

Just thinking ahead a little…

re: de Freitas, perhaps he’ll be called as an expert witness. That would be outstanding. Zugzwang.

Roger Dewhurst August 17, 2010 at 11:02 am

The interesting things will be the discovered documents and the evidence, on oath, of NIWA staff. The onus will lie on NIWA .

Gareth August 17, 2010 at 11:09 am

First the plaintiffs have to establish that there is a case to answer. On the basis of the documents released to date that would appear to be very unlikely. See this post at Pundit for some reasons why.

Thomas August 16, 2010 at 10:14 pm

Joined the EDS just now…. and recommend all who read this to do the same. Go EDS!

What a hoot…! This court case will land on Leyland and co’s big toe like a dropped sledgehammer. Ouch!

Really August 16, 2010 at 11:04 pm

So for questioning dodgy manipulation of data makes me a crank, denier, and fool.

You are all so desperate for it to be man that did with a fervour that the chrstian church would be proud of.

Climate religionists who’s dogma is obvious.

Sheep all of you rushing to attack and make up nonsense. Baaaaaaaa

Richard Christie August 17, 2010 at 12:07 am

So for questioning dodgy manipulation of data makes me a crank, denier, and fool.

Not necessarily, but your inarticulate comment certainly confirms it.

David August 19, 2010 at 4:17 pm

I thought he articulated the position quite well.

Mike C August 17, 2010 at 12:13 am

“So for questioning dodgy manipulation of data makes me a crank, denier, and fool.”

If your unquestioning acceptance of smears against scientists and lack of evidence to back up your claims didn’t, I’d say the rest of your post sure did.

David August 19, 2010 at 4:18 pm

“lack of evidence” Umm isnt the CSC trying to get the “evidence” off NIWA?

Thomas August 17, 2010 at 7:31 am

Scientists question each others data by submitting peer reviewed research of their own. In the absence of any of your own interpretations of NIWAS publicly available raw temperature data, what actually is your point? So far you have not provided any science based alternative interpretation of the data of your own.

Michael August 17, 2010 at 4:50 am

I am very saddened to see that NZ farmers (some of them anyway) are so misguided on climate. In Scotland I am member of our NFUS we have a strong position on the dangers of climate change. We do have farmer climate sceptics, they tend to be older wealthier and semi or fully retired. They know full well the climate is changing, hell the world is changing but they want no part of it and will dig on and resist reality for all they are worth. Are they interested in the long term? Do they even care about agriculture? The answer of course no, but they are angry, angry at the loss of control the changing climate has brought, they thought they were invincible and could do wrong. They simply cannot face change it contradicts their whole mindset, an existential threat so great they seek refuge in comforting conspiracy and denial. They do not in any way represent the next generation of farmers who will have to clean up the mess and feed 9 billion people in a time of climate chaos at best catastrophe at worst.

tomfarmer August 17, 2010 at 5:07 pm

michael @ 17th August,

seem to recall a fellow out of Aberdeen (or near), a slate quarrier who, upon membership and financing the New Party – they had like views to global warming deniers back then(90s. early noughties) – found himself significantly better off from new supply contracts in Europe..

methinks a similar possibility (or proposal) may be operating in the case depicted by Ken above in respect the fellow’s motivation.. viz a sort of off-the-table or under the table inducement for services rendered etc..

not to distract from the proposed challenge, more out of backstory if you will…

David August 19, 2010 at 4:22 pm

Wow, angry old scotsmen. How scientifc..
.

bill ramsay August 19, 2010 at 4:47 pm

indeed, so you had better watch out.

W R Ramsay Esq. b. Dundee Scotland. 1957

Bryan Leyland August 17, 2010 at 8:58 am

Dear Gareth,

Inspired, I suspect, buy Sean Plunket asking me about funding yesterday, (was this your idea?) one of your friends or supporters has put this in my letterbox “How does it feel to be a petro-dollar funded whore”.

First off, the suggestion that peddlers of “petrodollars” would have an interest in killing off the man-made global warming myth is preposterous. To the oil and gas companies, scaremongering over man-made global warming is in their financial interests. The reason? They compete with coal. Carbon Dioxide taxes make coal much more expensive and this, in turn jacks up the value of oil and gas reserves. It should be obvious to anyone. The only oil company that would fund sceptics is one that has a genuine interest in honest science. And they are few and far between. One oil company has put a small amount in this direction and possibly 100 times more into funding man-made global warming.

The writer of the note appears to share your unshakeable conviction that my opinions are for sale. As I do quite a lot of work as an expert witness, this is quite a serious accusation and potentially damaging. It is also, quite demonstrably, totally untrue. As a 50% owners of hydropower station my wife and I have a large investment in renewable energy. The Green Party and Jeanette Fitzsimons have a substantial investment in wind power generation.

As I am sure you know, I have strongly opposed the Emissions Trading Scheme that will bring windfall profits to a hydropower scheme and also to wind farms. I have also opposed our crazy electricity “market” that does the same thing. In case you hadn’t noticed by now, this demonstrates that my opinions are not for sale. If they were, I would be supporting the electricity market and the emissions trading scheme.

The Green Party, on the other hand, have put an enormous amount of effort into promoting the emissions trading scheme, carbon taxes and the like that will, for sure, benefit their investment. When I spoke against the previous government’s Energy Strategy, which concentrated on renewable energy, Jeanette Fitsimopns was one of the members of the select committee (and when I walked in, she walked out). Surely, her conflict of interest–and that of the Green party–was such that she should have declared this conflict of interest and refused to sit on the select committee.

I have been a consulting engineer for 35 years. Virtually without exception, clients employ me because they know that I will tell them what they need to know, rather than what I think they want to hear.

The climate scientists in NIWA and Victoria University are paid by the government. I am told that many of them have reservations about man-made global warming. If they stated them publicly, they would lose their jobs. In the old days, public servants clearly understood that it was their duty to tell the government what it needed to know, and it was the job of politicians to decide which policy to adopt. Since 1999, this has all changed. Many public servants are very unhappy about it.

Now, I hope, you understand why most people who publicly oppose the myth of dangerous man made global warming either retired or financially independent.

If you also count the free time that I have devoted to these things, the cost to me and my family of my efforts to bring common sense and honest science to the debate on man-made global warming are well in excess of $100,000. Nobody has paid me a cent towards this. I have received a small amount of money to refund a few documented expenses.

Let there be no more nonsense about the opinions of me and my friends being for sale. They are not. The debate is supposed to be about the science and validation of claims, not about personal attacks on our integrity.

Gareth August 17, 2010 at 10:55 am

Bryan, thanks for showing up. I hope none of my “friends and supporters” would stoop to sending you such a letter, and I would urge them to resist the temptation. I am happy to accept that your opinions are not for sale. You clearly made your mind up on global warming a long time ago and are unwilling to change it — whatever the evidence may be. You are however very happy to work hand-in-glove with groups such as the Heartland Institute in the USA to promote climate inactivism, and this current legal case is clearly a part of that overall campaign.

So how about you answer some questions in the spirit of Plunkett’s enquiries yesterday. You are a trustee of the NZ Climate Science Education Trust. You would be failing in your fiduciary duty as a trustee if you did not know the current state of NZCSET finances. Please share with us some information about the trust’s current funding and its expectation for future funding. You would also be failing in your duty as a trustee if you had embarked on a potentially expensive court case, with a substantial risk of failure, without having source of funding available to meet those costs. Please tell us where you expect that money to come from, if it is not already lodged in the trust’s bank account.

Then there’s the question of the purposes of the Trust, as discussed in section four of the deed of trust. Please tell us why the Trust decided that its first course of action would be to institute these proceedings in the High Court, rather than, say, providing a scholarship (sec 4.2.6)? A fair minded individual might think that it was an abuse of a charitable trust to use it as a vehicle for legal proceedings, so please tell us a little more about your plans as Trustees for meeting the objectives laid our in the deed of trust.

I am sure that as you have been campaigning for NIWA to be open with NZ’s climate data, you will adopt the moral high ground and adopt a policy of complete transparency with the respect to the funding and activities of the NZ Climate Science Education Trust.

Kind regards

David August 19, 2010 at 4:24 pm

“think that it was an abuse of a charitable trust”

Of course using Sci blogs is not. Cough ahem.

Thomas August 17, 2010 at 12:21 pm

“The debate is supposed to be about the science and validation of claims, not about personal attacks on our integrity” Well said Bryan, but then for God sakes do the science, download the raw temp data from NIWA and come up with your own method of correlating series from stations that moved or changed based on sound peer reviewed science. Then publish your evidence and let us see what you got to say. Then we can have a debate about the science!
But you chose to take NIWA to court instead. Its YOU who started this round of mud slinging instead of having a proper science debate!!!!
And as of the charitable intentions of your trust, well I’d hate to think what happens when your friends at ACT realize that you are squandering tax dollars form all our taxes on your quixotic quest. As that’s exactly what you are doing, using the tax benefit your donors received from giving to your trust and your income tax exempt status – money that could have been used for education, health care and other valuable tasks – to fund your hunger for publicity. Shame!

simon breeze August 22, 2010 at 3:45 pm

CSC only took Niwa to court after years of trying to get them to reveal what had happened. Vincent Gray has published his read on the data several times. But you guys just dont want to know. How about a few people standing up as telling it as it is. As an ex science teacher I am appalled that money and position are the only things that really matter to these ‘pretend scientists. Some of you havent realised the Genie is out of the bottle and you better start looking for real honest jobs

bill ramsay August 22, 2010 at 3:56 pm

This is utter tripe.

‘Pretend’ scientists? just as you are an ‘ex pretend’ science teacher? After all we only have your opinion.

Carol Cowan August 22, 2010 at 8:35 pm

Simon, is it logical to assume that most of the world has warmed, but New Zealand hasn’t? Being surrounded by ocean, it’s reasonable to assume we haven’t warmed as much as continental areas have, but really, what will it prove if the records end up showing we have had very little or even no warming at all? That’s one reason this lawsuit is a waste of time and money.
I don’t have a PhD, but I did not find it difficult to follow NIWA’s explanation for how the adjustments were made.

TBWood August 17, 2010 at 9:14 am

“The debate is supposed to be about the science and validation of claims, not about personal attacks on our integrity.”

Are you serious?

DR Muir August 17, 2010 at 9:40 am

Totally agree. The problem is not local. Overseas agencies that “push” AGW also produce cherry-picked and massaged data to assure the continuance of Government and Green Industry funding. This is well documented.

Ian L. McQueen August 17, 2010 at 10:27 am

If NIWA has followed proper scientific principles, it has nothing to worry about. Why are so many people here afraid of a proper investigation? Afraid that it will become known that temperature data have been fudged to show a warming that did not occur? Is it so warm in NZ this winter that you have fears of runaway climate?

IanM

Thomas August 17, 2010 at 12:25 pm

Ian: Nobody is afraid of a proper scientific investigation. In fact I’d say bring it on!!! Take the raw data records from NIWA and then do the science yourself. Publish what you have to say in a peer reviewed journal. Then we can have a proper science debate.
So bring it on. Be my guest!

David August 19, 2010 at 4:26 pm

Right, so you admit NIWA havent provided the missing methodology to explain the adjustments.

bill ramsay August 19, 2010 at 4:49 pm

He didn’t say any such thing. he said that YOU should do the investigation YOURSELF if you are not happy. Then YOU can have an argument based on FACT.

This is the normal process, scientists pick holes in others arguments all the time.

Roger Dewhurst August 19, 2010 at 5:06 pm

Why should we play into your hands doing such a thing? We are simply asking for the material that NIWA is obligated to supply. That is all. You will notice that the documents filed in court say much about non-disclosure but very little about how that data should have been adjusted.

Ken August 19, 2010 at 4:52 pm

David – the methodologies are published. There is a range of them. Ranging from pretty objective (comparison with nearby stations) to fairly subjective. The NIWA site links to the paper concerned.

Now, you, Richard Treadgold, or anyone else could download the publicly available raw data, consult that paper and have a go at calculating your own adjustments.

I am sure you well get a slightly different answer – but if you are honest it will not be very different.

What is extremely dishonest, though, is to claim that no adjustments are necessary and to defame honest scientists by claiming their adjustments were motivated to produce a desired result. Treadgolds discredited report did that.

Treadgold and his mate were the motivated ones. They wish to distort the data and defame the scientists. And by claiming no adjustments are necessary they do both.

Vincent Gray August 17, 2010 at 10:34 am

There is no documentary evidence to support the NIWA temperature record. If they cannot produce some they should withdraw.

Gareth August 17, 2010 at 11:07 am

All of the information required to construct a long-term temperature series is available. Please go ahead and reconstruct an NZ series using established techniques (along the lines, perhaps, of the Clear Climate Code effort to reproduce the GISS temp series), and submit a paper to the peer-reviewed literature. I would be very happy to suggest to the editor of Weather & Climate, the NZ MetSoc journal, that such a paper be considered. It would, however, have to pass peer review. I am sure that would be no obstacle to someone with such a long track record of publishing on climate matters, Vincent.

David August 19, 2010 at 4:28 pm

If it was that simple, why doesnt NIWA explain the changes further? Is it that hard? Or dont they know?
Very strange a public body is being so obstructive and obstinate.

Roger Dewhurst August 19, 2010 at 5:08 pm

It does not reflect very well on them, does it?

Thomas August 17, 2010 at 12:02 pm

Huh? No evidence Vincent??
Why don’t you download the raw temp data from all the stations. NIWA has them available for anybody to download, and then come up with a scientific critique and a better method than that NIWA used to correlate the temperature series from the various probes into a long term series? If you disagree as you obviously do with the published rationale by NIWA as how they did this then you should publish a paper as has been suggested to you. Surely if you are right about the science, this would be in your best interest and the NCSC could save its charitable funds for a better cause than wasting it on a ridiculous law case.

David August 19, 2010 at 4:43 pm

“then come up with a scientific critique and a better method than that NIWA”

What method was that then?

Johnmacmot August 17, 2010 at 10:46 am

Why have none of you expert scientists published a paper outlining your analysis of the problems you see with the NIWA temperature series?

Roger Dewhurst August 17, 2010 at 10:54 am

The answer to your question is to be found in Vincent Gray’s comment above.

Johnmacmot August 17, 2010 at 11:09 am

Really? Not that I can see. Why don’t you take the raw data, and develop a valid temperature record yourselves? That is, actually do some science?

You call yourselves a “Climate Science Coalition”. Are any of you capable of doing real scientific work? It certainly hasn’t been clear up until now from anything you’ve made public.

Roger Dewhurst August 19, 2010 at 5:10 pm

Why should we, other than you would like us to.

cindy August 17, 2010 at 11:32 am

speaking of funding, it’s interesting that climate sceptic Patrick Michaels has now admitted that 40% of his funding comes from oil.

Roger Dewhurst August 19, 2010 at 5:16 pm

It has been explained to you ad nauseam exactly why the oil companies have a vested interest in AGW rather than a vested interest in the sceptic proposition. I assume that Michaels is a consultant. Obviously you are pretty ignorant of the way in which consultants work in the natural resource based industries. Brian Leyland clarified that for you early in this thread. Why not read what he wrote and learn something. However I suspect that you will not for you are too comfortable sucking on the taxpayers’ tit.

Joe Fone August 17, 2010 at 11:35 am

Gareth: “reconstruct an NZ series using established techniques”

What, you mean construct a NZ series by fiddling and manipulating the data until it confesses to a warming trend that wasn’t there to begin with?

I guess then you can wave your arms hysterically and say it’s “proof” of manmade warming!

Gareth August 17, 2010 at 11:44 am

Your approach would be equivalent to creating global cooling by sticking the world’s thermometers in fridges.

When you stitch multiple stations together to create long term series, you have to correct for site/equipment changes (warming and cooling). and the techniques for doing so are well established in the literature. Shame that no-one in the NZ C”S”C seems willing to read it.

Roger Dewhurst August 17, 2010 at 11:56 am

Well established techniques there may well be but the technique in question was concocted by a certain gentleman, recently sacked by NIWA, when he was a student at VUW. The details of his method have vanished. There appears to be no indication that his method was peer reviewed.

Gareth August 17, 2010 at 12:01 pm

You don’t have a PhD, do you Roger? If you did, you’d know that a doctorate thesis is subject to an incredibly rigorous going over by the university, and submitted to external readers for review. Why not pop along to the VUW library and have a read?

bill ramsay August 17, 2010 at 4:48 pm

Roger,

supporing a PHd thesis is a far from trivial process. The viva is especially tough. So your comments on peer review can be safely ignored.

Also, you must not align the sacking of Jim Salinger as you do. As everyone knows, he was fired for speaking out of turn. Nothing to do with ‘concocting’ any technigues as you put it.

RW August 17, 2010 at 4:56 pm

Contemptible, but exactly what one would expect form you.

bill ramsay August 18, 2010 at 5:07 pm

RW, contemptible in what way? Or are you being ironic? it’s so hard to tell.

and in what way would that be expected from moi?

Richard Christie August 18, 2010 at 5:53 pm

Bill, I think he was referring to Rog. Comments are indented from the one they reply to.

bill ramsay August 18, 2010 at 7:49 pm

a thousand apologies, these glasses i have seem to have gone faulty! :)

David August 19, 2010 at 4:46 pm

Well this is the puzzle. You have Stations affected by UHI (Kelburn) which are obviously hotter because of asphalt car parks, hot cars and air cons expelling hot air but instead of adjusting them down, they increase them more!
Why?

Carol Cowan August 23, 2010 at 9:37 pm

David, the Kelburn data-collecting station is set in a grassy enclosure in the Botanical Gardens – no asphalt car parks or cars or air cons in sight. It’s a lovely spot for a picnic. The site is on a hillside and is cooler than downtown Wellington (at or near sea level).

Chris September 3, 2010 at 10:33 am

The asphalt car park is east of the site. Ever heard of a easterly wind in wellington – I certainly haven’t. The site is also very exposed. There is no air conditioning exhausts nearby. UHI is just a thoughtless argument on many occasions.

Johnmacmot August 17, 2010 at 11:47 am

LOL, Joe! That’s a fine example of arm-waving, unsupported hysteria you’ve just demonstrated there.

If you expect anyone here to take any notice of you, please provide evidence. Otherwise all you are doing is making accusations.

Mind you, that doesn’t seem to be a problem for some people, does it? But it certainly speaks loudly about your credibility. (A hint: it makes you silly)

Joe Fone August 17, 2010 at 11:52 am

Johnmacmot: “If you expect anyone here to take any notice of you, please provide evidence”

LOL!!! That’s rich coming from you guys. The world is still waiting for evidence of human-induced global warming/climate change. All we’ve seen so far is fiddled data and hysterics backed up by a fawning media and politics.

Johnmacmot August 17, 2010 at 12:10 pm

WEll, that’s a fact-free bunch of accusations and assertions again, Joe. Is that the best you have to offer?

Again, let me invite you to back up those assertions with objective evidence.

Thomas August 17, 2010 at 12:11 pm

Joe Fone…. all YOU see are fiddled data because you have chosen to think that scientists fiddle data to match their beliefs and you have stopped to look for yourself.
The rest of us OBSERVE vanishing glaciers, melting poles, record global temperatures and a growing frequency of severe weather events, all in line with what science predicts will happen along the way of Earth’s warming under rising CO2 concentrations.

David August 19, 2010 at 4:51 pm

Thomas, youve got to stop thinking the journalists at the WWF are scientists.
Glaciers- not vanishing
Arctic ice- recovering (As at July this year)
Antarctic- more ice.
Record Global temps- umm try doing some paleoclimatology research, dare I say MWP.
Extreme weather- not proven and the Hurricane/ Typhoon season this year is as per usual the same number as its always been.Actually predicted to be less.
Anything else?

Australis August 17, 2010 at 12:22 pm

This blog is running way off point. Nobody can either replicate the NIWA graph or produce an alternate without the requisite data.

NIWA says their 35 ‘corrections’ were made (because sites were moved or unreliable) by a process of comparison with reliable neighbouring sites. But none of the seven stations had neighbours at the time, and Salinger’s thesis indicates he used such substitutes as glacier melts. But the data is either secret or missing. So why not short-circuit all this debate by just posting that data on this website?

You can’t? No, I thought not. So a Judge will have to ask for it.

Richard Christie August 17, 2010 at 12:38 pm

I fail to see your problem Australis, if the corrected data exists and the method used to produce the correction has been made available, then the raw data can be easily obtained by working backward.
It’s absurd to demand, as some have in these comments, that original signed-off documentation be maintained in perpetuity in order to satisfy those too lazy to do the necessary work.

David August 19, 2010 at 4:52 pm

“the method used to produce the correction has been made available, ”
Citation please.

Richard Christie August 19, 2010 at 6:00 pm

Salinger’s thesis, Victoria University, somebody will correct me if I’m wrong.

Richard Christie August 19, 2010 at 6:09 pm

I’ll also take the liberty of pasting one of Ken’s many patient replies to similar questions throughout this thread maybe it was meant a reply to your question above.

Ken August 19, 2010 at 5:09 pm

David, go to the NIWA website and look for yourself. I am not at my PC so can’t do this simple job for you. It is a paper by a number of authors including Jim Salinger (can’t remember who is senior author) and more if a review paper.

If you push the Treadgolds etc they will admit that this paper exists and the methodologies are published. What the have retreated to is a demand for the scraps of filter paper and backs of envelopes used for the calculations. These, of course, no longer exist and that is why NIWA is currently repeating those calculations.

Richard Christie August 22, 2010 at 8:54 pm
Gareth August 17, 2010 at 1:08 pm

But none of the seven stations had neighbours at the time, and Salinger’s thesis indicates he used such substitutes as glacier melts.

You really need to do some fact-checking before spouting off, Australis. “None of the seven stations had neighbours” is nonsense, and the mention of glaciers in Salinger’s thesis is in a discussion of Hessell’s earlier paper:
“However, the almost occurrence and synchronicity of the warming at 66 out of 70 sites associated with years of profound glacier retreat cannot be explained simply by instrumental or observer error.” [Salinger thesis, p319]

In other words, the ice melt confirms the direction of change, not the quantum of warming at any single site.

If you rely on Treadgold for the facts of this matter, you’re going to be greatly mislead.

Joe Fone August 17, 2010 at 1:15 pm

Thomas says: “The rest of us OBSERVE vanishing glaciers, melting poles, record global temperatures” and he conveniently forgets to mention the areas of the same planet where the opposite occurs.

Meanwhile, the rest of us OBSERVE increasing Antarctic sea ice and record low temperatures elsewhere. Oh right I forgot… these are just “anomalies” to the AGW mantra, not to be mentioned in the same sentence. I mean why let contradictory evidence get in the way of a good Chicken Little story?

But here’s a question: What are you guys going to do after the AGW myth has done its dash and the public are bored and tired of hearing about it? You really need to start thinking ahead to the next hobgoblin to fill the void.

Maybe another “pandemic” of some sort will do in the meantime, till Al Gore can come up with something? You need to make a plan… some mad idea that can be manipulated and twisted into bastardised “science” and sold to ignorant politicians and a disaster-struck media.

Gareth August 17, 2010 at 1:30 pm

I’ll point this out for the casual reader: JF simply refuses to accept the facts he finds inconsistent with his stated position. It doesn’t matter how many times we point out that the warm anomalies greatly outnumber the cool, or that the Arctic is different to the Antarctic. Impervious to logic or reason, in other words.

Joe Fone August 17, 2010 at 1:40 pm

LOL!! Good on you Gareth. You stick to your ad hominems. That way you can avoid the real issues.

But you didn’t answer my question: What are you guys going to do after the AGW myth has done its dash and the public are bored and tired of hearing about it? You really need to start thinking ahead to the next hobgoblin to fill the void.

Maybe another “pandemic” of some sort will do in the meantime, till Al Gore can come up with something? You need to make a plan… some mad idea that can be manipulated and twisted into bastardised “science” and sold to ignorant politicians and a disaster-struck media.

Gareth August 17, 2010 at 1:51 pm

You really do need to look up the meaning of ad hominem.

The laws of physics have a splendid inevitability that mean there’s no risk of my being wrong about the direction we’re heading. The only sensible discussion is how bad it will get, and how soon.

bill August 17, 2010 at 3:06 pm

Joe, ‘You are wrong and this is why you are wrong’ is not an ad hominem. As Gareth says – look it up!

But I suspect that just as Monckton’s posse believe they know what constitutes membership of the House of Lords better than the House of Lords itself does, you guys will want to redefine ad hominem to mean any refutation of any claim made by a named AGW Denier. Perhaps you should contact the Conservapedia straight away and start the revision?

At any rate, you’re one of the few posters here whose behaviour is so routinely boorish that the thumbs down button becomes the option of choice.

jason August 17, 2010 at 2:28 pm

This whole argument continues to give CCC exactly what it/they desire, with the added benefit of portraying them as the victim of conspiracy once the case is rejected as frivolous. My sympathy goes out to the dedicated researchers that are being maligned and having their time consumed by this idiocy.
The bit that bugs me most however, is Sean Plunket’s claim in the morning report piece that this is somehow Jim Salinger’s fault: Climate_sceptics_take_Niwa_to_court_over_data @ 5:16 “There might be something to this though: Jim Salinger was still at NIWA when these adjustments were made, or these adjustments came through, and he’s a guy who said ‘sometimes you could justify dodgy science to raise awareness about global warming'”. I assume not, but is this for real?

Rob Taylor August 17, 2010 at 4:09 pm

Sean Plunket’s egregious ad-hom comment sounds defamatory to me – I expect we will hear a retraction and apology from Radio NZ in the near future.

It sounded similar to the made-up comment attributed to Sir John Houghton by a denier / journalist…

CM August 20, 2010 at 8:37 am

Radio NZ retraction/apology aired at 8.18am this morning.

Gareth August 20, 2010 at 11:19 am

Text of the apology:

“On Monday’s programme we said ‘sometimes you can justify dodgy science to raise awareness on global warming’ which we attributed to Dr Jim Salinger. Dr Salinger has contacted Radio New Zealand and we are happy to acknowledge that he did not make the statement attributed to him and we withdraw it. Radio New Zealand apologises unequivocally for the error.”

Good of them to correct it so speedily, and at an appropriate time. Personally, I think Sean was misremembering the old Schneider misquote…

Ken August 17, 2010 at 2:37 pm

I wish people like Bryan Leyland would do something about their mixed messages. Yesterday he said on radio that he agreed that adjustments were necessary to the raw temperature data. Good. He is more than half way there. (As people have pointed out if he objects to the actual adjustments used he has all the information he requires to calculate alternatives).

So how is he going to answer in court when that statement is put alongside the statements from the Statement of Claim that NIWA was “mistaken” to think that adjustment “was required to compensate for changes in the altitude of thermometers.
And “meteorologists senior to Salinger did not consider that the data should be adjusted.”

Nor has his organisation withdrawn anything from their discredited report “Are we getting warmer yet?”. This report claimed:

that scientists “created a warming effect where none existed.” That “the shocking truth is that the oldest readings were cranked way down and later readings artificially lifted to give a false impression of warming.” And “we have discovered that the warming in New Zealand over the past 156 years was indeed man-made, but it had nothing to do with emission of CO2 – it was created by man-made adjustments of the temperature. It’s a disgrace.

One the one had they said, and seem to continue to say for some audiences that no adjustments are required. And they have promoted that message intensly overseas. But to other audiences they accept that adjustments are required.

So how is he going to reconcile these two messages in court?

Bring it on, I say.

Joe Fone August 17, 2010 at 3:03 pm

Gareth: “The only sensible discussion is how bad it will get, and how soon”

Man alive you’re a real worry wart aren’t you. You must have a lot of sleepless nights Gareth, fretting about the AGW hobgoblin… “IT’S ALL TURNING TO CUSTARD!! AND IT’S ONLY GOING TO GET WORSE!” Ok you had better head for the hills so that it doesn’t get you. I completely agree. You should go now. Pack them bags and get out while there’s still time because really we’re all DOOMED (yet again!).

But I have good news. It’s really like the witchdoctor pointing the bone… it only works if you believe it. Al Gore clearly believes it so no hope there. Or does he?

Willem August 17, 2010 at 3:48 pm

Well, the NOAA data isn’t looking to great either:

http://co2insanity.com/2010/08/11/satellite-gate-noaa-data-10-15°-high/

the hockey stick looks broken, thanks to McShane and Wyner,
and the models are wrong by 400%, thanks to MMH2010

Things are not looking that great for the warming camp.

WhiteIce3 August 17, 2010 at 4:21 pm

Prof Keith Hunter says: “Court action against New Zealand’s state-owned weather and atmospheric research body is ‘stupid’ and just creating confusion.” Prof Euan Mason says: “This legal suit is a nonsense designed to attract publicity and spread fear, uncertainty and doubt in the absence of a decent argument.” The Environmental Defence Society is considering joining the action to support NIWA, Gareth says: “Blog reactions are coming in thick and fast,” and he ends with a nonsense request for a “…gate” moniker, just to crown the ridicule being heaped upon the NZCSC.

Who among the commenters here, and dozens of others, has read the Statement of Claim? There is much uninformed nonsense being put on this and other blogs.

I’ve followed the affair for months. The NZCSC has asked NIWA how they created the temperature series. They did not (not at first) make allegations of wrongdoing or mischief. Why hasn’t NIWA answered? None of the commenters, including Gareth, seem to notice the absence of a reply or they don’t question it; they should encourage NIWA to reply — they’re only questions!

When NIWA eventually agreed to recreate the series from scratch, it was a tacit confession that they could no longer describe the changes Salinger made to the temperature readings. Everybody ignores that. NIWA first said look over there (misdirection), and there, oh and here, then they said we’re not answering, no, no, no, but finally they quietly announced that, ok, we’ll do it again. But nobody listened!

If, after every reasonable avenue has been exhausted, including Parliamentary questions and OIA requests, a matter of intense public interest remains scientifically unprovable, which is literally the case with the official seven-station series, it is surely reasonable to ask a judge to compel a response. There’s nothing left.

So how will NIWA respond in the next three weeks or so? They have plenty of public support, but what exactly does the public support? Disclosure? Or non-disclosure (just trust us!)?

NIWA, I suspect, fully supports disclosure of their methods, or they wouldn’t have agreed to recreate the series. So we will never see how Salinger arrived at the present graph, because the information is gone, but we will see a new graph, fully documented, just as the first one ought to have been.

The question remains: why did it take such an extraordinary effort to get an answer out of them? I suppose, too, one could argue the present series should be withdrawn as being unsupportable.

One last point: Apparently the NZCSC claim that there are “no reasons for adjustments”. But people who say so are poorly informed. I’ve looked through NIWA’s web site: where do they give reasons for adjustments? Where do they list the reasons for the adjustments they made? Where (and this goes double for Gareth, for he should know) is the methodology described?

The correct answer to all three questions is “nowhere”. The NZCSC couldn’t find the methods in any of the references NIWA cited. Sorry, fans, NIWA has lied to you.

Gareth August 17, 2010 at 10:11 pm

“Whiteice3″ is Richard Treadgold, trying to hide behind a pseudonym because he knows I will not tolerate his presence here until he apologies for smearing the good reputations of NZ scientists. What a pity he doesn’t have the courage to post under his own name..

Earlier today he posted on his blog one of his typically oleaginous little rants, devoting himself to my comments on Morning Report yesterday. He all but called me a liar. Since he introduced the subject let’s quote his post:

Treadgold, Aug 17, 2010: “We never said there was no need to make adjustments, but we did ask what they were for.”

Treadgold/CSC, Nov 2009: “First, the station histories are unremarkable. There are no reasons for any large corrections. But we were astonished to find that strong adjustments have indeed been made.”

You be the judge. Who’s rewriting history?

Treadgold, you are a disgrace, beneath contempt. You don’t even have the balls to put your name to the law suit.

Roger Dewhurst August 18, 2010 at 10:01 am

Your censoring of all comment that does not reflect the message that you peddle does you no credit. You know that the hockey stick has been effectively rubbished by some of the world’s best statisticians, who, in passing, rubbished much of the science by proxy. The NOAA data has been rubbished and withdrawn, the UAE emails show that the work of Mann and his gang fall far short of reputable science, the peer review process has been brought into question.

Gareth August 18, 2010 at 10:32 am

No censorship involved. If readers don’t like a comment, they vote it into invisibility, but it’s still only one click away from being read.
The rest of your comment is another of your charming exercises in wishful thinking. If only you were right…

Roger Dewhurst August 18, 2010 at 10:48 am

“If only you were right…”

Time will show who is right. The clock is ticking!

Gareth August 18, 2010 at 10:57 am

At a guess, whatever the clock shows, you’ll claim it’s too soon to tell…

Roger Dewhurst August 18, 2010 at 11:07 am

I think that will be your excuse, if it is not already!

WhiteIce3 August 18, 2010 at 2:47 pm

“Whiteice3″ is Richard Treadgold? My friends will be surprised to hear that!

But rewriting history? You must quote a passage correctly to be credible. Have another look: the paper says:

Why does NIWA’s graph show strong warming, but graphing their own raw data looks completely different? Their graph shows warming, but the actual temperature readings show none whatsoever! Have the readings in the official NIWA graph been adjusted? It is relatively easy to find out. We compared raw data for each station (from NIWA’s web site) with the adjusted official data, which we obtained from one of Dr Salinger’s colleagues. Requests for this information from Dr Salinger himself over the years, by different scientists, have long gone unanswered, but now we might discover the truth.What did we find? First, the station histories are unremarkable. There are no reasons for any large corrections. But we were astonished to find that strong adjustments have indeed been made.

It’s obvious that their comment relates to the material they found on NIWA’s web site. There were no reasons given to change the data. In a broader reading of the section, that meaning is quite clear, but you ignore that context and treat the statement “there are no reasons for any large corrections” as the Coalition’s independent judgement, which of course is wrong.

By the way, if you make it impossible for Treadgold to comment under his own name, you are unjustified in saying he doesn’t have the balls to do so.

Gareth August 18, 2010 at 2:52 pm

When comments come from the same computer, it’s reasonable to assume they come from the same person — unless of course you are Treadgold’s evil twin.

You attempt to defend the indefensible, and sophistry will get you nowhere. It’s quite clear what you meant. Had you examined the station histories, you would have found ample justification for the corrections that were made — but that didn’t play to the narrative you wanted to establish, which was that warming was an artefact of the adjustments rather than a physical reality.

As for your cojones, the reference was to your not appearing on the list of trustees of the NZCSET, who will be personally liable for the costs of a failed action.

[PS: You’re now on moderation under this name too, and I will only pass further comments after you have publicly apologised for attempting to smear NZ’s climate scientists.]

NickS August 17, 2010 at 11:37 pm

Sheesh Richard, stay in your hole would you?

And as I said in my guest post over at The Standard, you and your fellow cranks have ironically, conveniently ignored the hot air microWatts stirred up with surfacestations.org over site effects, and the adjustments done by NOAA to make up for changes in station histories and environmental changes. Which if we leave aside NIWA’s version of NOAA’s rebuttal to microWatts with their 11 station series, and Gareth et al’s cluebatting of your failure of “science” report, I think the above really does point out nicely the NZCSC’s complete ineptitude and willing to ignore anything that’s inconvenient to your denialist crap.

Also, just to repeat it again, Salinger’s methods and reasoning are all available in his thesis, which can be freely viewed at the Victoria University library, if it hasn’t been scanned in yet. We also find the NZCSC’s claims about a thesis being “subjective” and untested most amusing, considering the amount of scrutiny your average science thesis goes through from the drafting process, to the defence and external review.

And 30mg of citalopram mean I get drunk way too easily, so I’ll stop here before I get too involved/full blown snarky with your burning stupidity and fail rhetoric.
/hic

icarus August 17, 2010 at 4:46 pm

Why the outcry from NIWA supporters? Surely this is playing into their hands.

I would have thought that if they have nothing to hide they would welcome the ringing endorsement that can be obtained from a thorough and rigorous investigation, call it an audit, of their methods and results. In the spirit of open-enquiry science, what on earth have they got to lose from just yet another forum of investigation, albeit within a legal framework?

A multitude of eye-balls can solve all bugs, or what am I missing here?

bill ramasy August 17, 2010 at 4:55 pm

Icarus,

You are missing something.

Overall the point you make on the surface is quite valid. The snag is, the CSC are not interested in any arguments that run counter to their own. They have had information given to them till the cows come home. Their errors in argument have also been explained to them at length.

They are acting like children who have been denied lollies. Petulance, through and through.

A legal framework is not the framework in which to investigate matters of science.

If they are so hell bent on saying that there is something wrong with the graphs etc., generated by NIWA, let they create/draft/write a paper with all their propositions, analysis and conclusions contained therein and then submit it for peer review. A battle on the internet is not the correct place. After to some on the internet Elvis is selling gas in Albuquerque.

And if that passes peer review and is directly contradicts the conclusions drawn by NIWA et al. then let the battle commence.

But no, they don’t do that. They’re lazy and want others to do the work for them.

LMK August 18, 2010 at 4:32 pm

I actually see this as a lose-lose for NIWA (and their supporters AKA the scientific community)… Primarily the sensationalist media are to blame.

If NIWA are found to have committed no “crime” or falsified anything, it is a non-story as far as the media are concerned, and I can guarantee will get very little press.

If they have made even the slightest error or forgotten to cross a T or dot an I, the media (and CSC) will be all over it. The media will create a headline crucifying NIWA even if the error is unrelated to the series in question, or a minor factor.

My 2c

bill ramsay August 18, 2010 at 5:10 pm

You have a good point there, what happened in east anglia is a case in point. Is this a good opportunity for someone to mention this in broader circles?

take my post later on in this stream about setting up a sweepstake.

Ken August 17, 2010 at 4:57 pm

Icarus – I am personally looking forward to this. A chance for these deniers to be shown to be talking out of both sides of their mouth (adjustments are both unnecessary and required!). And publicly too.

As for an outcry from those who support our scientists against this attack on their honesty and integrity:

I can just see the outcry and claims of “whitewash” and biased court when the case is either thrown out or found against the denier groups.

After all – haven’t we been there before with all those “climategate” email investigations which vindicated the science and made the deniers look silly.

Bob Bingham August 17, 2010 at 5:18 pm

These stories about falsifying data get even more preposterous. The number of scientists in this conspiracy now involve the whole of the NASA staff the European Space Agency, the United Nations, the World Meteorological Organisation, so many Universities you can’t count them, and they are in it together and nobody is spilling the beans. Now that is a conspiracy!

Thomas August 17, 2010 at 7:43 pm

Trustees of a trust have personal liability for the actions of the trust far in excess of that of directors of limited liability companies.
If Leyland and Co are squandering tax dollars – that’s what they are doing by spending tax exempt income on frivolous law suits – then as directors of a charitable trust they will be personally liable. Also all books of charitable trusts are open to the public. Joe Pubic has a right to walk into the offices of any charitable trust and see the books.
I would think that this whole trust ting will blow up into Leylands face.

Thomas August 17, 2010 at 8:17 pm

Joe Public… sorry for the missing ‘L” in the post above… no offense intended….

Tom Bennion August 18, 2010 at 11:46 am

This appears to be part of the statement of claim – posted on:
http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2010/08/csc_v_niwa.html#comment-729553

If this is correct, in my view it has very little chance of success (I have taken a few judicial review actions).

First, will the court find that the necessary statutory duty exists? The requirements of the Crown Research Institutes Act 1992 are relevant. On a quick scan, arguably there are statutory matters which might be linked through to these temperature adjustments. What the applicant has to argue is that the general reference to principles, ethical approach etc in the Act (see s5 for eg), is in play when adjustments are made – in a way in which the courts can be interested – and is not just a general guidance that the courts were never intended by Parliament to oversee. I can see the applicant getting some traction here.

What proceeds assumes the necessary statutory duty exists:

Then the case seems to have 2 angles re breaches of the statutory duties 1) wrong scientific method in making adjustments and
2) improper reasons for making adjustments – seeking extra funding etc.

On 1) the courts wont want to rule on a debate among scientists about correct scientific method. For judicial review, you have to prove some sort of obvious error, wrong figures, an obvious break down in logic. All these issues have been well rehearsed on blogs, in papers etc. It seems to be a debate between fully peer reviewed science methods and some lay doubters. No obvious error. I dont think the court will go there.

On 2) you have to prove 1) and then have a smoking gun email. Cant see that happening. Refer Hadley centre emails, once the shouting had died down.

I concur with others that this may be as much about the publicity of filing as anything. Preliminary procedural steps may be interesting:

What will discovery be – this is the process where NIWA has to provide all papers relevant to the statement of claim. How will that be managed? I think that a lot of the action may occur here. Dont expect the applicant to provide much in discovery – since its only recently formed it will be a draft of the constitution and not much more.

Security for costs – will NIWA seek security of a few tens of thousands to be filed by the applicant in advance in the court, on the basis that the applicant cant meet costs if it loses?

STATEMENT OF CLAIM

1. NIWA has statutory duties to undertake climate research efficiently and effectively for the benefit of NZ, pursuing excellence and observing ethical standards, while maintaining full and accurate records.

2. The official NZ Temperature Record (NZTR), which is the historical base for most Government policy and judicial decisions relating to climate change, wholly relies upon a “Seven-station series” (7SS), adopted in 1999.

3. The twentieth-century warming trend of 1.0°C shown in the 7SS is dependent on the use of “Adjustments” taken by NIWA from a 1981 student thesis by J Salinger, a previous NIWA employee.

4. NIWA’s 1999 decision to rely on the Adjustments was a breach of duty as it did not:

• evaluate the thesis methodology or consider whether it needed updating
• discover that the supporting data and calculations had been lost
• undertake any check or peer review or require consent from the copyright holder
• maintain any record of the decision

5. NIWA’s 1999 decision was based on the mistaken assumptions that the methodology:

• was in accord with current international best practice
• had been peer reviewed and published in a scientific journal
• could be replicated by applying the thesis to publicly available data
• could be supported by production of the Salinger thesis
• reflected an NZTR increase in 1944-60 shown by another Salinger paper
• was required to compensate for changes in the altitude of thermometers

6. NIWA’s 1999 decision failed to take account of the following relevant factors:

• the National Climate Database, compiled by the Met Service, shows no material warming
• meteorologists senior to Salinger did not consider that the data should be adjusted
• the warming trend is wholly reliant on the subjective and untested Salinger thesis
• an implausible 9 out of 10 of the Adjustments favour an upward trend
• NZ was warmer in 1867, and during 1863-1919, than it is now
• the thesis showed inexplicable and unprecedented warming of 1.42°C during 1944-57
• the 7SS warming trend is much greater than the global average
• the data was lost and the Adjustments could be neither documented or replicated

7. NIWA’s 1999 decision was influenced by the expectation that major NZTR warming would encourage funding for additional climate change research.

8. NIWA failed to observe ethical standards in delegating the 1999 NZTR decision to Salinger, who was in no position to assess the matter objectively.

9. Whilst conceding that the 7SS-based NZTR requires review, NIWA has refused in 2010 to suspend it, or stop using it. It relies on an “Eleven-station series” (11SS) of unadjusted data produced in December 2009.

10. The 2010 refusal involved a breach of ethical standards in:

• delegating to Salinger the authority to select the stations and time periods of the 11SS, when it knew that he was likely to be biased in favour of corroborating the 7SS
• allowing the 1931-55 period to masquerade as part of the 11SS, whilst knowing the requisite data was missing, and the series was unreliable
• falsely claiming that Salinger’s “ship’s paper” supported the 7SS
• continuing to promote a NZTR that NIWA knew to be seriously flawed

11. The 2010 decision was unreasonable and illegal, and made without:

• assessing the arguments put forward by critics of the 7SS and the 11SS
• checking or peer reviewing or documenting the statistical methodology of the 11SS
• ensuring that the selection of inputs was free from bias
• weighing the risks and benefits to NZ of continuing to rely upon a flawed NZTR

12. The 2010 decision ignored the following relevant factors:

• the 11SS disclosed no warming from 11 stations, and the claimed warming arose only when data was unavailable from most of its stations
• the known flaws in the 7SS; and the fact that it had not been followed by other compilers of temperature databases

13. The 2010 decision was influenced by the following improper considerations:

• repudiation of the NZTR might prove politically embarrassing or reduce confidence in the integrity and objectivity of NIWA scientists
• a planned project to review the NZTR might possibly confirm the 7SS warming trend

Therefore, the NZ Climate Science Trust seeks declarations and orders to:

A. set aside NIWA’s decisions to rely upon the 7SS and 11SS, and finding the current NZTR to be invalid.

B. prevent NIWA from using the current NZTR (or information originally derived from it) for the purpose of advice to any governmental authority or to the public.

C. require NIWA to produce a full and accurate NZTR.

Gareth August 18, 2010 at 12:16 pm

Hi Tom,

That appears to be the “summary” of the statement of claim distributed to the press, and available from the NZ CSC web site. The full statement of claim is probably rather different, and could be expected to make reference to the legislation under which the judicial review should be made – as you say, the Crown Research Institutes Act 1992, but likely also the Crown Entities Act 2004 and the Public Records Act 2005.

I’m also interested in the trust aspects of the filing, and the duties of the trustees. I understand the statement of claim is dated in early July, yet application for the registration of the trust was not made until the end of the month. The case was not filed until the trust was registered, but was clearly planned well in advance. Is this a potential misuse of a charitable trust?

Macro August 18, 2010 at 12:56 pm

I wonder if anyone has thought of applying to the “Trust” for funding for an educative programme on the consequences of Climate Change and Global Warming? It’s name does suggest that that is what it is for…. :) Sounds like there is a good supply of money.

Roger Dewhurst August 18, 2010 at 1:15 pm

Donations from leftists???????????? Dream on sonny.

Macro August 18, 2010 at 3:37 pm

You mean it’s NOT an Education Trust Roger? hmmmm I’m sure the Ministry of Economic Development would like to know that! They, after all, are responsible for all Trusts as you know. One would have thought that a trust with the name “NEW ZEALAND CLIMATE SCIENCE EDUCATION TRUST” would be one with the express purpose of promoting through education a full understanding of Climate Science and Global Warming and NOT, as it apparently is, a ruse to hide a few denialists with closed minds and no scientific justification for their anti-social, anti-truth behaviour.
By the way, Roger I may be as hoary as you – however I DID keep my science books and my mind open when I completed my degrees, and have found that science didn’t stop in the 1970’s with the confirmation of the Milankovitch hypothesis. Age does not necessarily confer wisdom. So less of the “sonny” put downs if you don’t mind.

Roger Dewhurst August 18, 2010 at 3:51 pm

I meant nothing other than seeking donations from leftists is a waste of time!!!!!! Good on you if you are a bit older than you appear to be. A pity you did not learn something along the way. But I suppose that you have never had any job not paid for by the taxpayer.

I assure you that I have to measure the books on science and engineering on my book shelves in metres!!!!!!! Many of these date from my years at VUW before it appointed lecturers in feminist geography!

Richard Christie August 18, 2010 at 4:47 pm

So Roger, are you therefore implying that the CSE Trust is full of lefties?
(Don’t tell Alan Gibb).

Roger Dewhurst August 18, 2010 at 5:38 pm

“So Roger, are you therefore implying that the CSE Trust is full of lefties?”

No

Macro August 18, 2010 at 4:56 pm

Your prejudices are showing Roger!
How do you feel about Zac Goldsmith? Traitor is he?
And wow in metres! I could say the same – but “mines bigger than yours!” arguments prove nothing. How many remain unopened?

Roger Dewhurst August 18, 2010 at 5:41 pm

Who is ZCG?

All have been opened and read. You asked the question. You got an answer. If you do not like it you know what to do.

R

Macro August 19, 2010 at 8:04 pm

Zac Goldsmith is a new Tory member of the British Parliament. Past editor of “Ecology” – His uncle was one of the founders. And the author of books on Climate Change and doing something about it! AND he helped draft the current governments policy paper on the environment! (thought that would make you shudder). The concern about GW is NOT the preserve of “lefties” it is the concern of people across the political spectrum because the effects will affect us all.

Well good to hear they are read Roger, pity there is little wisdom showing from it.

bill August 18, 2010 at 8:05 pm

But I suppose that you have never had any job not paid for by the taxpayer.

Is this statement as flatly obnoxious as it appears to be, or am I missing something?

RW August 18, 2010 at 3:44 pm

Obnoxious as ever – have some back, you ignorant fool.

Ian Bennet August 18, 2010 at 4:14 pm

Obnoxious as ever – have some back, you ignorant fool RW

RW August 18, 2010 at 10:39 pm

The offender smeared the reputation of a respected scientist. As for your lame rejoinder – as a parrot you should be CSC’s mascot – it would be an apt reflection of its membership’s intellectual quality.

Tom Bennion August 18, 2010 at 1:35 pm

Gareth

There is nothing inherently wrong in a group incorporating shortly before legal action. Its a time honoured tactic and not illegal. Here it seems that a trust is formed, decides that its first action will be litigation, and then also decides it wants to seek incorporation. Cant see anything wrong in that.

They might face an acute issue if NIWA seeks security for costs – which I would expect NIWA to do. The applicants have a number of procedural and substantive problems with this very difficult case they are attempting to bring.

On the matter of their charitable status. The wording of their deed is deliberately wide, talking about climate education generally. That is necessary, because if the deed simply talked about public education that global warming is not happening (or, more accurately, the new position, its happening, but its not humans doing it, and it wont be all that bad, lets wait and see), that could be viewed as overtly political. Maybe Marco is on to something with his suggestion of applying for funding for education. Entering into correspondence with the trust and seeking specific replies on the nature of the education they will undertake and what they would consider falls within their objects or not might be interesting.

Tom

Gareth August 18, 2010 at 2:23 pm

Thanks Tom. It might be very interesting to see how they handle requests for funding to disseminate information on climate change based on, say, NIWA’s work or that of the IPCC… ;-) Of course, if they refuse, or only fund sceptical activity, then they will be acting overtly politically.
They might also turn down requests for funding on the basis that they have no money, in which case why are they embarking on a risky and potentially expensive legal action? It would be good to have some of these questions answered…

Australis August 18, 2010 at 3:21 pm

Here is a puzzle. According to the spreadsheet on the NIWA website, New Zealand temperatures increased about 0.7° up to 1950, and then only about 0.35° in the past 40 years.

Yet the Government says that NZ emissions of greenhouse gases didn’t amount to much until the 1960s, and have been accelerating since 1990.

I would have thought that these NIWA figures should suit the climate sceptics very well, as they seem to show a big disconnect between emissions and temperatures.

So why are they attacking NIWA?

NickS August 18, 2010 at 4:21 pm

…You know, it’s come up on here multiple times that you need to take 15 year+ slices of temperature data in order to get a statistically sound indicator of temperature changes. And your warming levels will be influenced by whether or not you included the data sets that have to be adjusted first.

Anyhow, neither of NIWA’s series indicate the warming behaviour you’ve described:
http://www.niwa.co.nz/our-science/climate/news/all/nz-temp-record/temperature-trends-from-raw-data
http://www.niwa.co.nz/news-and-publications/news/all/2009/nz-temp-record/seven-station-series-temperature-data

Which makes your post somewhat pointless, other than displaying your ignorance and inability to read.

bill ramsay August 18, 2010 at 4:07 pm

shall we start a sweepstake on what the NZCSC’s response is going to be when they get their ‘backside felt’ as my old granny would say.

By that i mean when NIWA is relieved of the burden of dealing with the CSC pratts either by the Judge deciding that this has nothing to do with him, or the necesary law wasn’t in place, or they are simply told to f*&k off.

In fact why don’t we go one better, lets have two sweepstakes!

The first on the liklihood that the case actually goes anywhere, and then, the second, if there is a case likely outcome and the noise of jet engines [whining] eminating from the CSC.

Gareth, fancy totting up the possible outcomes then running a predictometer by posters?

Might as well get a laugh directly at their expense, rather than the indirect methods we are enduring just now.

Roger Dewhurst August 18, 2010 at 4:15 pm

You will have to do a lot more that just scrape through to come out smelling of roses.

R

bill ramsay August 18, 2010 at 7:53 pm

who mentioned scraping through? you projecting again?

Roger Dewhurst August 18, 2010 at 4:30 pm

Have you got enough money to cover your bet?

bill ramsay August 18, 2010 at 7:55 pm

not only do you know the cube root of bugger all about anything posted here thus far, you know nothing about sweepstakes, there’s no bet covering.

Tom Bennion August 18, 2010 at 4:25 pm

On the issue of the purposes of the trust and this litigation, I see that all but one of the purposes of the Climate Science Education Trust relate to advancement of education, which the courts define as the passing on of knowledge, objective research and the like. The litigation only indirectly relates to that.

But there is one purpose which is not strictly educative, and must fall under the charitable purpose of “beneficial to the community”, it is:

4.1.7. “The promotion of scientifically robust, research-based and rational decisionmaking processes at all levels in matters concerning the climate and the environment;”

This seems quite relevant to the litigation.

Assuming this matter goes to full trial, a court judgment, particularly if it makes any comments about the overall strength and motives of the applicant’s action, may shed some light on how the trust needs to think about purpose 4.1.7 and its education purposes in future. In other words, it may end up painting itself into an interesting corner …

bill ramsay August 18, 2010 at 7:58 pm

just out of interest, which court was this action filed in? if it does go to court how do the public get in, just waltz up? having never been in a court, this is all terra incognito to me.

could be a hot ticket! :)

Macro August 18, 2010 at 5:03 pm

“4.1.7. “The promotion of scientifically robust, research-based and rational decision making processes at all levels in matters concerning the climate and the environment;”

This seems quite relevant to the litigation.

Assuming this matter goes to full trial, a court judgment, particularly if it makes any comments about the overall strength and motives of the applicant’s action, may shed some light on how the trust needs to think about purpose 4.1.7 and its education purposes in future. In other words, it may end up painting itself into an interesting corner …”

Yes that’s the bit that interests me! “Research based – rational decision making” – here they appear to be attacking just that!

Tony August 18, 2010 at 11:18 pm

It seems to me that within the mutterings from the crankosphere there is a consistent waivering between there is no warming, or that there is warming but it is not induced by human CO2 emissions, and last but not least, there is warming caused by anthropogenic CO2 emissions, but it can surely not be harmful. Now the more often these are stated, the hope is that one assertion might be true, but at least two must be lies.

The problem is that we are staring down the barrel of massive levels of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere by the end of this century. If the implications become somewhat drastic, then it is not easy to simply flick a switch and suck the gases back out again. A massive, concerted, and costly effort over many decades will be required to fix it, if indeed it can be fixed. Of course the noisiest of sceptics will not be around to be answerable for their inactions.

The philosophical question that we need to ask, do we have an obligation to future generations? Furthermore is it ethical to force our grandchildren down the road of having to deal with all the uncertainties associated with high atmospheric greenhouse gases, the likes of which have not been seen for millions of years?

Ken August 19, 2010 at 4:25 pm

Richard Treadgod really does have trouble with consistency, doesn’t he. Writing as “Whiteice3″ he says:

“Whiteice3″ is Richard Treadgold? My friends will be surprised to hear that!”

I took that as a denial.

Then on his own blog he says “Yes, it was I, twice masquerading under another name”

I guess when he say in his infamous, and discredited, report “Are we getting warmer yet?” that NIWA had no reason to make adjustments to raw temperature data, that adjustments were not necessary, he may have been masquerading.

Or was it when he said that adjustments were necessary?

Whichever way he surely should be apologising for that report.

Ken August 19, 2010 at 5:09 pm

David, go to the NIWA website and look for yourself. I am not at my PC so can’t do this simple job for you. It is a paper by a number of authors including Jim Salinger (can’t remember who is senior author) and more if a review paper.

If you push the Treadgolds etc they will admit that this paper exists and the methodologies are published. What the have retreated to is a demand for the scraps of filter paper and backs of envelopes used for the calculations. These, of course, no longer exist and that is why NIWA is currently repeating those calculations.

Of course Treadgold isn’t really interested in this. It’s purely a propaganda exercise aimed at defaming honest scientists.

That is why several people have been asking him up apologize and withdraw. Which he would if he had integrity.

Australis August 19, 2010 at 6:10 pm

Ken – you must have posted about 200 times on the sentence contending NIWA had “no reasons for their adjustments”. Get over it!

There can be no reason for altering historical data, unless you can positively identify errors and know how to correct them.

In 1978-80, there was no literature on how you should change ancient thermometer readings because you suspect some of them were affected by screening, shelter, the urban heat island effect, instrument change, enclosure size, station movements, etc. An enterprising student broke new ground by suggesting some ways it might be approached, but his ideas were very subjective and weren’t followed by the wider world.

Many years later, Rhoades & Salinger (1993) had this to say:

“Adjustments for site changes can probably never be done once and for all. For stations with several neighbours, the decision to adjust for a site change usually can be taken with some confidence. The same cannot be said for isolated stations. However, large shifts can be recognized and corrected, albeit with some
uncertainty……
Whatever adjustment procedures are used, the presence of site changes causes an accumulating uncertainty when comparing observations that are more distant in time. The cumulative uncertainties associated with site change effects, whether adjustments are made or not, are often large….”

Ken August 19, 2010 at 6:40 pm

Yes, Australius, and I will keep mentioning it. It is the key slander because it both denies adjustments are necessary (even people like Treadgold admit this) and claims dishonesty on the part of the scientists because they used adjustments. That is slanderous and Tresdgold should withdraw his report and apologize for the slander.

How us he going to react when this position is questioned in court?

Of course they want it both ways because their report was a political document, which spread the slander world wide.

But I suspect most courts will see the clear hypocrisy.

Ken August 19, 2010 at 6:46 pm

By the way Australis, no one has altered historical data last time I checked. You can download all the data you want.

However, when you connect it all up to show changes over time you have to apply adjustment when necessary to accommodate a whole range of factors where changes have occurred. Not to do so would be dishonest. This is exactly what Treadgold did in his discredited report. Even though he now acknowledges the need for adjustments.

davidw August 22, 2010 at 9:38 am

“By the way Australis, no one has altered historical data last time I checked. You can download all the data you want.”

As an aside, try doing that with the raw surface temperature data from CRU or the UK MetOffice. They are lost. So much for scientific rigour. Or peer review of their adjustment methodology.

In the NZ situation, however, it is my understanding that NIWA have the raw data measurements (whose accuracy is up to +/- 2 degrees). But NIWA is unresponsive when asked for the adjustment methodology. (Apart from their standard tactic of saying it is in Salinger’s unpublished, non-peer-reviewed thesis, a single copy of which is in a library in Wellington, may not be borrowed, and which doesn’t satisfactorily answer the question. If it did, NIWA would be able to answer the OIA and Parliamentary questions.)

The lawsuit, as I read it, is not about the divergent viewpoints on the AGW science. It is about whether NIWA have fulfilled their statutory obligations to provide credible temperature records, suitable to use for government policy decision-making. To be credible, everything in the measurement, recording and adjustment process must be transparent, and the adjustments must repeatable by others (normal peer review scientific methodology).

If NIWA can satisfy that test, all is good, and we can trust their temperature records. If not, then the lawsuit asks that the temperature records be invalidated and not used in public policy-making.

I see nothing in this that is personal — merely upholding good science. In fact, this scientific scrutiny and rigour is desirable and necessary, since multi-million-dollar policies affecting all taxpayers and consumers (the Emissions Trading Scheme) are based, in part, on this science.

Let’s quit the petty arguing, and welcome the case is in the interests of all NZ.

Roger Dewhurst August 19, 2010 at 8:55 pm

“Zac Goldsmith is a new Tory member of the British Parliament. Past editor of “Ecology” – His uncle was one of the founders. And the author of books on Climate Change and doing something about it! AND he helped draft the current governments policy paper on the environment! (thought that would make you shudder). The concern about GW is NOT the preserve of “lefties” it is the concern of people across the political spectrum because the effects will affect us all.”

Britain is going down the plughole. Left or right it does not matter. They have all managed to destroy a once great country.

Ian Baker August 19, 2010 at 8:58 pm

The comments about Zac Goldsmith above display a disturbing disconnect with reality.

Goldsmith inherited 300 million pounds from his father Sir James Goldsmith (and also sister to Jemima, former wife of Imran Khan)

It is very easy to preach about sustainability when you are loaded.

The Tory party in Britain is Conservative in name only. There is nothing remotely conservative about their energy policy, which is based completely on some kind of sci-fi fantasy.

The new UK government makes us want Tony Blair back, it really is that bad, and I am a Tory.

Macro August 20, 2010 at 3:45 pm

I’m well aware of his wealth. I also don’t agree with all he says or does. I was wondering how long it would take the voters of Britain to wake up to the fact that Labour weren’t all that bad!
I simply want to make the point to Roger that the shuttered “black and white” attitude he adopts isn’t all that helpful in the end.

Ken August 21, 2010 at 8:38 pm

Ah, Sally. Our age difference must be showing with our different concepts of “relatively recently”.

Pity Doug won’t front up and speak for himself.

Mike August 21, 2010 at 10:39 pm

How interesting that NIWA supporters should refer to attacks on the integrity of scientists, when scientists in England have been proved to be falsifying data in order to foster their chances of receiving huge funding grants! Furthermore, they were “cleared” by colleagues from the same establishment who “proved” their figures were correct by comparing them with papers published by the very same people! These are the same people who support that shameful Al Gore who has made a fortune by being responsible for that film which contained so many untruths it has now been thoroughly discredited. But that has not stopped left-wing green teachers from continuing to show the film to impressionable young students, no doubt without any of the opposing viewpoint being presented. Now we must wait to see whether the integrity of the NZ court system will allow an unbiased examination of the NIWA “adjusted” figures, when surely NIWA will have to prove any argument for adjusting figures which just happen to produce the result they desire!

tomfarmer August 22, 2010 at 3:48 pm

mike,

what an impressively impressionable fellow you are.. tell me, pray do, should the court first resolve to hear the parties aforementioned and upon due process determine for NIWA, would it in your view retain its integrity..?

Roger Dewhurst August 22, 2010 at 4:03 pm

It may not matter. The cat has been put among the pigeons.

You are all blundering on in blissful lack of awareness of what is happening in the world around you.

Obama and his AGW policies are going down the plughole. Whether the weasel retains power or the mad monk gets it in Australia their ETS equivalent is dead in the water.

NZ is now out on a limb. Key will be damn stupid to stay there.

Alan August 22, 2010 at 9:31 am

If NIWA are some confident that their figures can stand up to scrutiny then they have nothing to fear. Personally I think Global Warming is a load of hot air and the ICCP have a vested intersted in promoting it for their own benefit.

The court is there to give an unbiased ruling and regardless of the fact that the GW brigade are terrified that the figures will prove to be false (whether deliberately or because of incompetence) the public has a right for an independent review.

The question is.if the figures are proven false will the GW brigade change their tune. I doubt it unless they manage to pen both eyes.

bill ramsay August 22, 2010 at 4:01 pm

the niwa numbers are those taken from the measuring sites themselves, the modifications are applied later to take care of site changes etc. There’s no dispute on the original numbers.

It’s only those in the crankosphere that are becoming bent out of shape over the amendments for site change etc.

“the court is there to give an unbiased ruling on what exactly? Courts are not the correct venue for deciding matters of science.

Furthermore, it is to the relief of many, that we do not depend upon your opinions for anything.

tomfarmer August 22, 2010 at 3:37 pm

davidw,

asides can be quite revealing.. as per your claim that a court of law can best serve the “public” interest re “scientific rigour”.. could you further explain that please..

my first use of quote is taken advisedly since on the face of matters thus far tis only in the intended claiment’s interest..

then as you say, cutting to the chase, i sense your expressed interest above relies on little to do with science.. hence explanation if you please.

davidw August 22, 2010 at 7:22 pm

tomfarmer,

You conflate many of my statements into three woolly paragraphs that appear to only invite me to extend my rope so that you can try to hang me with it. You don’t dispute anything I wrote.

I am not a lawyer. My personal expectation of the court is to answer very simple questions, such as:
* has NIWA published sufficient documents to enable an independent researcher to replicate the adjustments made by NIWA to the raw temperature records?

Do you have a problem with this question?

Macro August 22, 2010 at 9:02 pm

David – the simple answer to your question is “yes!”; and there is no need for anyone to go to court over it! Not only that – NIWA have already made it available to anyone who is interested. The court action is simply grandstanding by the applicants.

Rob Taylor August 22, 2010 at 6:00 pm

Surely, the burden of proof is on the denialist nutters who deny basic physics, a point they are unable to muster any form of answer to.

Debating with them is like arguing with children – what they wish to be so, they simply declare to be so.

Classic magical thinking, shading into mental incompetence and outright stupidity.

tomfarmer August 22, 2010 at 7:52 pm

Rob Taylor,

As well and truly stated by commentariat to this blog science and the relevant scientists have their way of doing things..

perhaps those who disagree or even attempt debate do so by another proof. We can hope of a non-alcoholic nature, yet perhaps they’ll find a way of coming to the party.. adequately..

not that I hold out much hope of this since, as you say, it might be a matter of “nutters”.. or of some enterprising paradise likely lost without satisfactory recourse to others. y’know a court set as an “independent” arbiter.. an admission if ever there was one of skills shortage.. on their part.. and in absentia they seek to provoke – as oft prior here and elsewhere I understand – some further illumination.. for their own devices..

tomfarmer August 22, 2010 at 8:09 pm

DavidW,

there you go again.. reading only what you wish to read, not answering, but asking; not explaining but explicating..?

I see the short hand, the lack of trumps, understand your predicament, but really..

you seek dispute, not I, for yours is the need to reason why.

DR Muir August 22, 2010 at 8:23 pm

It is a pity that this section has degenerated into ad hominem – If you can’t discuss the science sensibly, attack the credibility of the opposition. To justify a principle one does not have to have a Doctorate in a specific field – qualifications and position do not confer wisdom. In point of fact, many ‘specialists’ have developed such a narrow field of expertise that they fail to see the larger picture. True science can only develop if the proponent of a principle or theory is open to comment or points of view of ALL others. I was a Development Engineer for many years with acknowledged expertise in my field, yet I accepted hints and ideas from all sorts of people – many with absolutely no knowledge at all of the theory behind it all – they looked at the big picture and were not chasing self-aggrandisement.
I would suggest that you step back and decide if your comments actually contribute anything specific.

davidw August 22, 2010 at 8:41 pm

I thought that it would be interesting to have an intelligent discussion. Alas, I’m up against someone who cannot see the contradiction in “not explaining, but explicating…”!

Explicate. Verb. To explain: make plain and comprehensible; “He explained the laws of physics to his students”

Anyone else?

Ken August 22, 2010 at 9:03 pm

Davidw – given that the raw data, site information and adjustment methodologies are all available your independent researcher can do their own work, produce their own results. That’s what is meant be replication if research.

Now that requires some effort – but research always does. However Treadgold’s “science team” who ” wish to remain anonymous” are not interested in the science. They and their ACT friends are in to politics.

And if course when the courts tell them to piss off or rejection their claims they will yell “whitewash”. Still political till the end.

davidw August 22, 2010 at 10:02 pm

Ken,

“given that the raw data, site information and adjustment methodologies are all available…”

Yes to the first and second. But I challenge you to find a reference to the third, the adjustment methodologies. None of NIWA’s citations, (including the Salinger thesis), nor any of their answers to questions in Parliament, reveal the methodology. Where is it?

This is the crux of the matter. Without a published peer-reviewed methodology, the adjusted Temperature Record can be whatever NIWA thinks it should be. (I’m not saying that it is fictitious — merely that it could be. There is no way to validate it.) Thus the current NZ Temperature Record has NO CREDIBILITY.

Conversely, if NIWA were to supply a rational, peer-reviewed methodology for temperature measurement adjustments in a form that you or I could apply to the raw temperature records, and corroborate their calculations, then we can all have confidence in our official Temperature Record.

(Cautionary note: any adjustment methodology needs to also account for measurement precision.)

Richard Christie August 22, 2010 at 10:38 pm

davidw,
I think you are right about the crux of the matter.
Have you read the thesis or is your claim merely based on your interpretation of NIWA’s responses to requests, and implied in your comment @ 141 ?

davidw August 23, 2010 at 7:15 pm

No, Richard. I have not read the thesis. And I have no reason to visit Wellington. Have you read it?

If it is as essential to the credibility of NIWA as they assert, then I’d expect it to be online.

Richard Christie August 23, 2010 at 8:43 pm

No, I haven’t read it and haven’t really felt a burning desire to.
I’ve spent some little time in NIWA’s website reading the information they make available, certainly the Hokitika adjustments all make sense.
I also notice this:
“As an example of the detailed application of the adjustment process, we have posted a ten page description of the adjustment process for the Hokitika site. We will be posting further descriptions for the other six stations in due course.
[my italics].
Legal action seems unwarranted and jumping the gun. I worry more about the motivations of those initiating it than I do of the possibility that NIWA is involved in a grand and deliberate deception in order to inflate warming trends.

R2D2 August 22, 2010 at 10:17 pm

Great radio interview, nice to see we have independent media!

Ken August 22, 2010 at 10:45 pm

Davidw – there is a citation on the NIWA web site to the methodology paper.

Be clear, methodology describes the different methods used. Not the detailed calculations on each case. That is up to the “independent researcher”. I think it is very telling that none of Treadgold’s crew have attempted those calculations. They prefer to whine and demand the old scraps of filter paper and backs if envelopes knowing full well they no long exist.

But then again, the science doesn’t interest them. Them and their ACT mates are more interested in politics.

Rob Taylor August 23, 2010 at 7:56 am

Yep, all they want is the publicity – and perhaps a trial run for court cases in Australia and / or the US.

Meanwhile, the body count from climate change keeps rising, and we have seen nothing yet.

R2D2 August 23, 2010 at 11:51 am

Come on. There are plenty of deaths from weather events every year – but the ‘body count’ from anthropogenic climate change? I am yet to see one. Your comment simply builds a divide between ‘alarists’ and ‘deniers’. Try and moderate yourself please!

Rob Taylor August 24, 2010 at 3:15 am
Sally August 23, 2010 at 12:44 pm

I am posting this on behalf of Ann McEihinney
[broken link snipped: GR]

“Last March James Cameron sounded defiant.

The Avatar director was determined to expose journalists, such as myself, who thought it was important to ask questions about climate change orthodoxy and the radical “solutions” being proposed.

Cameron said was itching to debate the issue and show skeptical journalists and scientists that they were wrong.

“I want to call those deniers out into the street at high noon and shoot it out with those boneheads,” he said in an interview.

Well, a few weeks ago Mr. Cameron seemed to honor his word.
Read on
[broken link snipped: GR]

Quite clear that the cranks are not the skeptical journalists and scientists.

Gareth August 23, 2010 at 12:51 pm

“Sally” included links that a) didn’t work, and b) traced back to a company called MailChimp that offers email marketing services. One wonders just who might be running a professional marketing campaign against action on climate change.

Or perhaps one doesn’t.

Roger Dewhurst August 24, 2010 at 9:38 am

A PR companies works for NIWA I believe! The same PR company, or others, probably work for the lawyers and other shysters who have climbed onto the AGW gravy train.

tomfarmer August 23, 2010 at 2:02 pm

Seems DR. Muir found comment twixt myself and davidw, which leaves me behoven to avoid what might be seen as ad hominem respond..

yet very clear, as I wrote, “not explaining, but explicating” anticipation of the fellow’s dispute-seeking manner.. to wit, not for him well how could my construction make sense… nay, for him the deliberate and obvious dictionary definition so as to impugn one who questions him..

and yes, that lack of explanation remains.. and now one can only suspect its being a sore point.. because there is only recourse to his notion of intelligence..

margin note: must try harder

Dappledwater August 23, 2010 at 10:14 pm

“Thus the current NZ Temperature Record has NO CREDIBILITY.” – Davidw

Well NZ glacier’s find it credible, they’ve retreated in the last century. My thermometer finds it credible. The decline of frost mornings, in the last 5 decades, where I live seems to find it credible too. It was a lot colder back in the 70’s & 80’s here, that’s for sure.

Remind me why we should pay attention to kooks?.

davidw August 23, 2010 at 10:43 pm

Dappledwater, you have fallen for a typical pro-AGW myth.

Glaciers are not thermometers. Their extent is determined largely by the precipitation (snow and rain) in the mountains several years earlier. Not this season’s weather pattern.

Be careful to whom you pay attention. (And what you label people.)

Roger Dewhurst August 24, 2010 at 9:31 am

Read “The Little Ice Age” or “How Climate Made History 1300-1850″. By Brian Fagan. There is an interesting section of the advance and retreat of glaciers in New Zealand which tends to re-inforce the proposition that the LIA was a world wide event, contrary to the assertions of the Mann Gang. The later chapters suggest that he is a bit of a warmer at heart but it is a good book and well worth reading. Perhaps the sub-title should have been the main title!

Thermo August 24, 2010 at 11:32 am

“The Little Ice Age”

Roger, what was Ice Age like about this regional cooling?

We emerged from the last Ice Age 12,000 years ago, and temperatures have been falling ever since. Until the last 100 years of
course. Now the climate is warming at an unprecedented rate, and within a decade will be warmer than the peak of this interglacial. Such a pattern of warming has never been seen before in the global climate record.

Thermo August 24, 2010 at 1:37 pm

So David, are you telling us that the observed retreat of virtually all mountain glaciers world wide is just a coincidence?

Dappledwater August 24, 2010 at 1:36 am

Davidw – I know you’re new around these parts, but 100 + years of weather is called climate. Consult the WMO if you don’t believe me.

Roger Dewhurst August 24, 2010 at 9:33 am

I suspect that he has been around lot longer than you. Perhaps 30 or 40 years longer!

RW August 24, 2010 at 11:14 am

How long will we have to listen to climatological cretins like you and your pals? The way you’re going, long enough for the well-justified public ridicule that will come your way in due course.

Dappledwater August 24, 2010 at 9:21 pm

Yes, Roger, shame age doesn’t equate wisdom.

Rob Taylor August 24, 2010 at 11:50 am

Roger, the fundamental credibility problem of your and your ilk is that you proceed backwards from your preferred conclusion, as a trial lawyer might, but that conclusion does not fit with established facts (radiative physics of GHG), observation (Keeling curve, isotopic ratios, insolation & cosmic ray variance – or lack of it, etc, etc, etc) or any known physical theory (e.g. you need an unknown physical process to counteract the GHG-induced warming, plus another to provide the observed warming – bashful undersea volcanoes, perhaps?).

This is magical thinking reminiscent of the creationists’ “God of the Gaps”, and represents a similar leap of faith and ignorance of – or hostility to – the scientific method.

No amount of hand-waving, anecdote and wishful thinking can’t make up for your lack of fact, theory or observation. All you have is your poor, deluded faith that its all somehow going to work out just fine…

I expect that 20 million dispossessed Pakistanis may wish to disagree.

Finally, the human race has, as yet, barely begun to experience the consequences of the global warming our past emissions have already committed us to.

Thermo August 24, 2010 at 1:29 pm

I have tried to debate Roger on a few of his points but he refuses to engage and appears only interested in shouting ranting and raving from the sidelines. So childish. He claims to have a scientific background but I see no evidence of it in his postings.

Rob Taylor August 24, 2010 at 11:51 am

On a happier note, does anyone know when the Court hearing will be?
Could make an entertaining lunch break…

Roger Dewhurst August 24, 2010 at 4:44 pm

“We emerged from the last Ice Age 12,000 years ago, and temperatures have been falling ever since. ”

Temperatures have been rising and falling in a cyclic pattern but have plateaued in the last decade.

“Until the last 100 years of course. Now the climate is warming at an unprecedented rate, and within a decade will be warmer than the peak of this interglacial. ”

No. There is nothing unprecedented abiout the warming. There is the bronze age warming period, the Minoan warming period, the Roman warming period, the Mediaeval warming period and the current waring period all with cold periods between them of which the last was the Little Ice Age.

“Such a pattern of warming has never been seen before in the global climate record.”

Of course it has. See above.
—————————-

“So David, are you telling us that the observed retreat of virtually all mountain glaciers world wide

is just a coincidence?”

No. The world has warmed intermittently since the end of the LIA. Few dispute that.
————————-

“How long will we have to listen to climatological cretins like you and your pals? The way you’re

going, long enough for the well-justified public ridicule that will come your way in due course.”

What entitles you to claim overarching wisdom here? Tell us please. As for public ridicule those of your persuasion have bought a lot of it since Climategate, Amazongate, Himalayagate, and NIWAgate! Mann and his Gang have been thoroughly rubbished by some of the world’s best statisticians. Had you not noticed?
—————————-

“Roger, the fundamental credibility problem of your and your ilk is that you proceed backwards

from your preferred conclusion, as a trial lawyer might, but that conclusion does not fit with

established facts (radiative physics of GHG), observation (Keeling curve, isotopic ratios,

insolation & cosmic ray variance – or lack of it, etc, etc, etc) or any known physical theory (e.g.

you need an unknown physical process to counteract the GHG-induced warming, plus another

to provide the observed warming – bashful undersea volcanoes, perhaps?).”

Your fundamental credibility problem is that you believe exactly what the vested interests put in front of you. I do not know whether you have any relevant academic qualifications but you certainly lack the real world experience sufficient for you to excercise any judgement.

I have been around for a while; I even worked for the United Nations (IAEA and UNDP) as a technical expert for a year. Have you done that? Nothing that I saw there encourages me to accept their views on climate. What I saw was a lot of highly paid people coasting along, picking up the money, but never rocking the boat or doing the job they were supposed to do. Doing the job they were supposed to do was probably difficult. They probably got neither the equipment they were supposed to have or the transport to do the job. I certainly did not. The expectation was that the expert would tick the boxes, not ask awkward questions, and see that the host country got the money.
—————————-

“I have tried to debate Roger on a few of his points but he refuses to engage and appears only

interested in shouting ranting and raving from the sidelines. So childish.”

You have not tried. You have not presented a single logical argument.

” He claims to have a scientific background but I see no evidence of it in his postings.warming our past emissions have already committed us to.”

I have set out my background but I have yet to see yours.

Rob Taylor August 28, 2010 at 3:26 pm

Ho hum, Roger, yours is yet another litany of evidence-free personal anecdote and ad homs presented as indisputable fact by, IMHO, a blinkered and ideological true believer with his head in the sand and his arse in the air.

Have you ever read any climate science? Sorry, Plimer and Wishart don’t count…

As for me, my “academic qualifications and real world experience” include honours degrees in Mathematics and Physics and 35 years work experience in academia, government (Ministry of Energy), ITC (IBM, Apple, Cray), plus a stint teaching high school science and involvement in successful national, local body and environmental campaigns throughout.

I have been running my own sales / consultancy business for the last 10 years, and, as a keen tramper and climber, have personally seen a huge change in the icefields and glaciers of the Sth Island over my lifetime.

Nevertheless, subjective opinion is cheap and useless – I base my concerns on the science, which I follow where it leads. I suggest you try to do the same, in the hope you may not have completely lost the capacity to learn from – and be surprised by – the real world.

davidw August 28, 2010 at 6:44 pm

According to Rob, you should read “any climate science”, as long as it is not Plimer or Wishart. Can’t have you reading anything that challenges the accepted dogma. Otherwise you might become sceptical, and start questioning the “science”.

Now, which camp is “blinkered”?

Richard Christie August 28, 2010 at 8:53 pm

Come now davidw, surely you jest! are you suggesting Rob ought to go to Wishart [facepalm] and Plimer for science?

Roger Dewhurst August 29, 2010 at 10:51 am

Plimer clearly knows quite a bit about science. Few, if any, here can match his record. If Christie thinks he can, let him show us.

Gareth August 29, 2010 at 11:00 am

Plimer knows a lot about geology, to be sure, but his understanding of climate science is risible. He claims, for instance, that volcanoes emit more CO2 per year than human fossil fuel burning. That is straightforward nonsense. For a detailed exposition of Plimer’s deliberate mistakes, see Prof Ian Enting’s paper here.

Roger Dewhurst August 29, 2010 at 1:48 pm

“If you can’t accept the assessments of the IPCC after all the care and detailed review, then there
it would seem unlikely that you would take my word for the claims above without checking.”

Brazil? Glaciers? The railway engineer? Sorry, not that much care and detailed review, just bureaucrats’ spin for politicians.

Macro August 28, 2010 at 9:45 pm

Pray tell me david what scientific education does Wishart have apart from his obviously misunderstood secondary schooling? Can he honestly be cited as an authority on Climate Science?
And can a director of 3 mining companies not have a vested interest in opposing curbs to GHG emissions?

Roger Dewhurst August 29, 2010 at 10:45 am

Wishart’s and Gareth’s books both com out of the same bin. They are both written for the general public. As I have not read Wishart’s book and not all of Gareth’s I am not going to make further comment on either other than to remind you of the biblical reference to motes and beams.

Roger Dewhurst August 29, 2010 at 11:21 am

“And can a director of 3 mining companies not have a vested interest in opposing curbs to GHG emissions?”

Perhaps you will explain why you think this is so?

Macro August 29, 2010 at 8:05 pm

He is a director of three Australian mining companies. In 2008 and 2009, Plimer earned over AU$400,000 from these interests, and he has mining shares and options worth hundreds of thousands of Australian dollars. Plimer has said that the proposed Australian carbon-trading scheme could decimate the Australian mining industry, and probably destroy it totally, as well as creating massive unemployment. So if that is NOT a reason to declare GW a myth what is?

davidw August 28, 2010 at 9:33 pm

I was pointing out your hypocrisy. You describe someone as a “blinkered and ideological true believer” and then seek to restrict their sources of information.

“Blinkered” = “unwilling to understand another viewpoint”.

Have you read “Heaven and Earth” or “Air Con” yourself, or are you judging them solely on what selected others have written about them?

Johnmacmot August 28, 2010 at 9:44 pm

Davidw, are you actually saying that you take those books seriously?

That is indeed the position of a True Believer. It certainly is not the position of a rational and objective person who actually looks at the evidence. Or are you so hypocritical that you ignore the many “inaccuracies” in those books because that suits your ideology?

Macro August 28, 2010 at 10:00 pm

There are sources of information and then there are sources of disinformation. Wishart and Plimer fall into the latter category. One may hold a PhD is geology (NOT CLIMATE SCIENCE) and be a professor at Adelaide, but his extra curricula activities make any pronouncement suspect. He has a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. Now he may seriously hold the position that he takes. But ask yourself, just as you ask yourself when buying a used car “is this guy really giving me the whole truth?”
As for Wishart – he is simply a deluded fool who really doesn’t know what he is talking about.

Roger Dewhurst August 29, 2010 at 10:40 am

Both Wishart’s book and Gareth’s book were written for consumption by the general public. I do not think that Plimer was writing solely for the general public. The book is far too turgid.

Plimer is a geologist who has specialised in gold and to a lesser extent base metals. He is not a coal or petroleum geologist. There is no justification for supposing that he has any global warming axe to grind. Simply he holds the belief common enough among private sector geologists that AGW is scam. Like most private sector geologists he can smell a scam a long way off! Those who came through the Australian mining boom of the 1960s certainly learned to.
Climatology is merely meteorology if it does not encompass palaeoclimates. Palaeoclimates are very much the business of palaeontologists who are, after all, just specialised geologists. You might not like it but geologists do have something to say about climate, particularly putting things into perspective for those who cannot look back before 1960.

Gareth August 29, 2010 at 10:43 am

I see a new quote for the back cover of the next edition of Plimer’s tome:

“The book is far too turgid” — Roger Dewhurst.

;-)

Roger Dewhurst August 29, 2010 at 10:48 am

At least include the preceding sentence. I am sure that you would not stoop to getting it out of context.

Mike Palin August 29, 2010 at 2:19 pm

Roger-
I agree that geologists can provide perspective on the influence of CO2 on climate in Earth’s distant and recent past and, therefore, the immensity of the problem we face with continued burning of fossil fuels. We also know how decisions concerning complex natural systems must be made on the basis of imperfect information. A great many of us who take the time and effort to keep current with the relevant peer-reviewed scientific literature on the subject are in complete agreement with our climate science colleagues when it comes to anthropogenic global change.

Roger Dewhurst August 29, 2010 at 2:37 pm

See my post below. I think it will be numbered 212. Perhaps you might address the question why so many, including a number of well known climatologists, do not share your view.

Mike Palin August 29, 2010 at 5:35 pm

Who for example? Give me 5 names of climate scientists who disagree with the mainstream view of AGW. Five – you know – the number of digits on the foot you put in your month so often.

Roger Dewhurst September 1, 2010 at 11:14 am

There is a list of about 40 in a blog referred to in this forum somewhere.

Carter, de Freitas, Lintzen, Ball, Kininmonth, de Lange and Spencer come to mind immediately.

Doug August 29, 2010 at 3:28 pm

So all the geologists like Peter Barrett at the Antarctic Research Centre at VUW aren’t real geologists. None of them are agreeing with Plimer et al.

I would argue that palaeoclimatetologists active in the field (and the field is no more active than in Antarctica) have a much more valid opinion on climate change than mining geologists who’s last brush with palaeoclimatetology was in an undergraduate class 30+ years ago.

Roger Dewhurst September 1, 2010 at 11:25 am

Looking at the stuff that comes out of holes drilled in the ground, particularly in very recent sediments, looking at the margins of Lake Eyre and such places gives a geologist some perspective on matters too.

How do you account for the raised beaches at Kaiaua? Because Scholefield described them about 50 years ago and they do not fit very well in your warming story I suppose that they are unmentionable.

Richard Christie September 1, 2010 at 1:09 pm

Roger, why did you leave your home on usenet NZ General?

Macro August 29, 2010 at 8:10 pm

“Like most private sector geologists he can smell a scam a long way off! ”
Bit of a dog then are we Roger? Keen sense of smell – What gives you such fantastic olfactory powers?

Daveosaurus August 28, 2010 at 11:15 pm

I commend to you the review of “Air Con” here: http://hot-topic.co.nz/somethin%E2%80%99-stupid/ ; and in particular the excerpt from the book presented as the second paragraph therein. I do not need to read the previous two hundred and forty-six pages of Wishart’s turgid drivel to know blood libel when I see it.

davidw August 29, 2010 at 12:09 am

If you read my comments here, I have made no judgement of the contents of Wishart or Plimer’s books. I am merely asking politely whether you’ve read them?

Richard Christie August 29, 2010 at 11:30 am

I don’t think so. I think you were clearly implying that not to consider them as credible scientific sources is to be blinkered.
In my opinion Wishart is in a whole different category to Plimer. Wishart has nothing whatsoever to do with science, or for that matter, any generally accepted norms of journalistic veracity. He’ll twist and quote out of context anything to support his arguments. It’s quite sickening.

Roger Dewhurst August 29, 2010 at 11:38 am

He did an excellent job on Helen Clark. Is that what upsets you?

Richard Christie August 29, 2010 at 12:45 pm

No Roger, not that.
I just consider that he should go back and do what he did best, hosting the TV show “America’s best police car chases” or whatever it was called.

Roger Dewhurst September 1, 2010 at 1:17 pm

Apparently yes!

Roger Dewhurst August 29, 2010 at 12:20 pm

Wishart, when he keeps off religion, is an excellent investigative journalist. His two volumes on the Paradise Conspiracy are excellent as is his Absolute Power on Helen Clark. His thesis in the Paradise Conspiracy is confirmed by Andrew Molloy (the lawyer) in his book Thirty Pieces of Silver. He has been accused of being a right winger. If true that did not inhibit him in the Paradise Conspiracy. In all three books Wishart dotted the ‘i’s and crossed the ‘t’s. If he had not done so he would have had the shirt sued off his back by people with a lot of money to do so. He was not sued.

Carol Cowan August 29, 2010 at 9:11 pm

His “Air Con” might have been more credible if he hadn’t relied so much on blogs for his information. But that would have meant he would have had to read actual peer-reviewed science articles … which some people consider too much like hard work.

davidw August 29, 2010 at 9:17 pm

Are you accusing Ian Wishart of not reading “actual peer-reviewed science articles”? Or of doing “hard work”? On what basis? Have you seen the list of references for “Air Con”?

Carol Cowan August 29, 2010 at 9:21 pm

I saw a lot of references where his quotes are taken from quotes – ie, not direct evidence that he read the actual articles referred to.

Macro September 1, 2010 at 3:21 pm

Basically Wishart is scientifically illiterate and he demonstrates this on every page. He has no idea what he is talking about. He may even have “read” some of the articles to which he refers – but in almost every instance he demonstrates a complete misunderstanding of their content.

Ken August 29, 2010 at 11:29 am

I have reviewed Wishart’s book – see “Alarmist Con” (http://.wordpress.com/2010/06/16/alarmist-con/). My conclusion was that it is very much based on Wishart’s political agenda. Wishart’s conspiracy theory is that there is a communist/greenie/capitalist/ political conspiracy to impose a one world government on the planet. This will invoke all sorts if taxation, genocide, etc. And the science of climate change is a fraud aimed at achieving this.

Of course he then distorts and falsified the science to support his conspiracy theory. The book us full of the classical distortions and misrepresentation of the science. It doesn’t fool anyone who reads more widely but of course it is an ideal source of ready made arguments for the confirmation bias of deniers.

I haven’t read Plimmer’s book but it sounds like it might involve too much effort for small reward.

A really good and reliable source of information on climate change is contained on the IPCC reports – available free on-line.

Of course some people are so tribal that their nausea won’t allow them to read that source. But it doesn’t stop them telling lies about it.

davidw August 29, 2010 at 10:06 pm

“A really good and reliable source of information on climate change is contained on the IPCC reports – available free on-line.”

After the revelations from ClimateGate concerning the peer review process, and the number of errors acknowledged in IPCC “papers” (do I have to spell them all out?), I have no confidence in the IPCC reports.

Johnmacmot August 29, 2010 at 10:22 pm

How many errors exactly, Davidw? Would you like to detail them, with supporting evidence? That means reputable, objective evidence, not just assertions and accusations, of course. Prove it, Davidw. Otherwise it’s just the usual nasty smear tactics, isn’t it?

How many errors do you think just about any page in Wishart or Plimer contains? I’ll give you a hint – more than in the whole of the IPCC reports. But then when you’re in the propaganda business, being dishonest and misleading is a virtue.

You might be happy to deceive yourself for the sake of your own belief system, but no-one else here (with some obvious exceptions in the last few days) shares those delusions.

Thermo August 30, 2010 at 12:33 am

IIRC there were no errors in Working Group 1 and two peripheral errors in working Group 2 regarding the Himalayan glaciers, and Netherlands sea level.

Ooooooh serious!

Carol Cowan August 30, 2010 at 10:01 pm

And the Netherlands sea level error was from data supplied by that country’s government.

cyclone September 1, 2010 at 4:50 pm

Actually Wishart’s agenda his probably more of a religous one – in that he believes this conspiracy (not that there is one) to be a satanic one. And he will never listen to scientists on climate change because at best he believes them to be unwitting stooges of the devil and at worst willing accomplices.

Wishart should accept that the scientists aren’t lying – they really do have no reason to – and there is at the very least a huge risk to society and ask the question WWJD.

Rob Taylor August 29, 2010 at 12:02 pm

No, DavidW, I haven’t got beyond browsing those two books in stores, reading in-depth reviews such as those cited above, and debating those who have read and believe them (including a geologist).

The reason is simple – I have little time to waste on pseudoscience and scam artists when there is ample evidence-based science to be read.

Plimer’s easily-debunked claims re volcanic CO2, his faked graphs and his inability to debate the science shows that he is dishonest and/or out of his depth, and, having debated the physics with Wishart on his blog, I believe he just makes it up as he goes along.

Neither have I made a thorough study of the defining works of Scientology, astrology, homeopathy or iridology, but, through long experience, I beleive I can recognise an appeal to faith in the absence of evidence when I see it.

Another warning sign is that those who deny AGW often use similar rhetorical devices to those who deny evolution or the existence of AIDS, including ad hominem attacks on genuine researchers in the field, e.g. NIWA, Mann, Salinger, etc.

They also tend to be older men, who will not have to live with the consequences of inaction. As far as I am aware, young female AGW deniers are pretty thin on the ground… why do you think that is, DavidW?

Roger Dewhurst August 29, 2010 at 2:12 pm

“They also tend to be older men, who will not have to live with the consequences of inaction. As far as I am aware, young female AGW deniers are pretty thin on the ground… why do you think that is, ”

Older men indeed. More experience and a wider world view perhaps? Many of them are retired and their future does not depend on toeing the part line. Young sceptics of both sexes are thin on the ground, unfortunately. Perhaps wisdom will come with age, or perhaps the rude shock around the corner. I am tempted to comment on the susceptibility of young females but perhaps I will not.

Ken August 29, 2010 at 3:45 pm

Studies have shown that climate change deniers with a scientific background (relatively small in number) are on average definitely older. Many are retired – and some of those quoted are actually dead. The evidence is very clear.

As a retired scientist I can understand that. A number of factors are involved:

1: Retired scientists sometimes consult for industry. Although their science may be stale they often can be seen as “authorities.” At this stage they also tend to be willing to put their name to things which may be questionable. No longer publishing they don’t have to worry about reputations.
And of course industry and think tanks are not concerned with truth. They just need an “authority” figure they can quote to support their economic, ideological or political positions.

2: In retirement one does quickly get out of touch with the literature and current status of the science.

3: Retirement can mean some degree of loss of social contact and standing in the science community. These losses can be important to some and they can alleviate them by obtaining notoriety with semi fanatic groups like deniers.

After all, have you not noticed that those in denial quote a limited number of “authorities.” It is relatively easy to get on this list of “authorities.” And it presumably is great for the ego.

Roger – your comment on “party line” is silly. You have no understanding of how science works. The great thing about active science is that is continually checking one’s ideas against reality. reality is what keeps us honest. It is the politicians, consultants, and retired “authorities” who no longer have that advantage. They can be well out of touch with reality.

davidw August 29, 2010 at 7:05 pm

Retired scientists do not have the fear that the “establishment” will cut off their research funding if they point out the lack of clothes on the emperor.

How long would your job last at NIWA or VUW if your research showed that CO2 and temperature were heading in different directions?

There are a few brave, senior researchers who are prepared to speak out. Notice how many “reputable climate scientists” did not, however, when they were reviewing IPCC papers, subsequently discovered to contain glaring flaws.

Macro August 29, 2010 at 8:37 pm

“if your research showed that CO2 and temperature were heading in different directions? ”
But they are NOT david – that’s the whole point!

Macro August 29, 2010 at 8:33 pm

Roger – you grumpy ol sod! you are giving us a bad name! :)
And age does not necessarily bestow wisdom. (Some I know are really only 18 with 46 years experience). Nor does age improve scientific aptitude, or improve one’s ability to quickly discern the new concept. We tend to look at the the old longingly and don’t want to let go of ideas that have served us well in the past. Look at all the great science advances – all done by YOUNG men and women.
I’m not saying that we don’t have something to offer, (like the old ram to the young! ;) ) – but experience is one thing – truth another.

Thermo August 30, 2010 at 12:54 am

Roger – “Young sceptics of both sexes are thin on the ground”

Allow me to posit a simple explanation.

Young science students quickly learn and confirm by practical experiment that a gas altering the colour of the atmosphere in the infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum results in energy being absorbed where there otherwise would be none, hence causing higher temperatures.

But as some people age, their brains can start to get a bit mushy (like Roger’s), and they may forget the basics and fundamentals taught decades previous.

Roger Dewhurst August 29, 2010 at 12:23 pm

“….. hominem attacks on genuine researchers in the field, e.g. NIWA, Mann, Salinger, etc.”

Oh what faith!

Rob Taylor August 29, 2010 at 1:42 pm

Roger, show us the scientific evidence, rather than waste our time with your grubby little conspiracy theories and innuendo promulgated by vested interests.

You can’t can you? All you have is unreasoned dogma, the worn-out catechism of the Church of Denial…

Roger Dewhurst August 29, 2010 at 2:02 pm

Much of your ‘science’ is dodgy. Much of the data has been selected to prove a particular viewpoint. Much of the peer review has been corrupted. The UEA emails demonstrate this for anyone who is prepared to consider them objectively. I am unconcerned by whatever this committee or that concluded, or concluded on the basis only of what members of the Mann Gang told them. I have read enough to form my own opinion. That is that we have a gang of academic thugs taking over or strongarming journals, rorting the peer review process and manipulating data. That is not science; it is borderline criminal behaviour.

As for vested interests just follow the dollar.

Ken August 29, 2010 at 3:52 pm

“Dodgy science,” “selection of data”, “corrupted peer review”, “inquiries are whitewash”, “Mann gang”, “I have my own opinion”, “academic thugs” “strongarming journals”, “manipulating data”, rorting peer review”, “borderline criminal behaviour.”

Come on Roger you left out the New World Order!

And what are you going to fall back on with the CSC gets its just deserts in the High Court? More “whitewash”. All part of this giant conspiracy of scientists, journalists, media, academia, legal systems, etc.?

What an incredible amount of paranoia. Have you ever had any doubts? Any thoughts they you might be then one that is wrong and the rest of the world possibly right?

After all you have to work extremely hard to create this picture of the world.

Doug August 29, 2010 at 5:56 pm

Ken I am not sure how the deniers can argue that the media is biased against them. There is a long list of reports, articles, and opinion pieces that regurgitate the deniers talking point uncritically published in their various media. Even the BBC has on occasion assumed that balanced reporting means giving a forum to some very dodgy views masquerading as valid scientific opinion.

As a subscriber to the Dom Post in Wellington I live in daily dread of what will appear in the opinion section, not to mention the business section.

Thomas August 29, 2010 at 4:12 pm

Yes Roger: Follow the $$!! That’s exactly what it quite easy to do in the matter of the climate change discussion.
Here is the biggest trail of them all:
http://www.climatesciencewatch.org/index.php/csw/details/koch-brothers-and-climate-change-denial_machine/

and here:

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/08/30/100830fa_fact_mayer?currentPage=all

And it leads to the Koch brothers, muti-billionaires and bank rollers of “Institutes” such as Cato and Heartland among others. Or look for the Canadian Fraser Institute for that matter which went from denying that smoking is bad for you to denying climate change just as their paymasters tell them! As their stated objective is to work against state regulation of industry…..

Carol Cowan August 29, 2010 at 9:19 pm

I do not believe that Roger has stated a single scientific fact in this entire conversation to support his point-of-view.

Johnmacmot August 29, 2010 at 10:24 pm

Is it that many, Carol? I had him down for minus 3.

It’s remarkable to observe, isn’t it?

Thermo August 30, 2010 at 1:23 am

Roger – That is not science; it is borderline criminal behavior.

Or just the paranoid delusions of an old man.

Meanwhile, younger smarter sharper minded people realise that CO2 changes the colour of the sky in the infrared region of light, resulting in energy being absorbed where there otherwise would be none, hence causing higher temperatures.

But I guess if your brain has shrunk to the size of a grapefruit from old age like Roger’s has then such elementary scientific concepts can be difficult to re-comprehend.

Commiserations from us all, old man.

Roger Dewhurst September 1, 2010 at 10:39 am

For evidence I rather like to see the temperature derived from the Vostoc core plotted with the temperature from the Epica Dome core and the CO2 from the Epica Dome core, for the last 20,000 years, plotted together on the same graph. Examine where the inflection points are and how they relate to each other. Come back and tell us when you have done it.

Ken September 1, 2010 at 11:54 am

Roger – have a look at my review of Hansen’s book (A stormy future?). I include the graphs for the Vostok cores taken from the book.

It is good evidence for the role of CO2 in global warming. Of course politically motivated people like to refer to the time lag – simply the result of warming due to orbital changes causing the release of CO2. This then elevates temperature via a well understood feedback effect. (the effect of orbital changes on solar radiation is insufficient to cause the full extent of warming seen).

But to the uninitiated, and those willing to be deluded, it is often peddled as “compelling” evidence against the role of CO2. (Mind you at the sensitivity of the time plots it’s hard t pick up the lag).

Desperate! Reality is more complicated that these political peddlers like to claim.

Rob Taylor August 29, 2010 at 4:41 pm

Ooops, Roger, I forgot Sarah Palin, who is most definitely a young(ish) female AGW denier. As for her scientific background, when asked which climatological journals she reads, she replied “all of them!”.

Which just shows what stellar company you keep, you fearless deniers…

Macro August 29, 2010 at 8:42 pm

She’s a granny for heaven’s sake! (or near as dammit)

Ken August 29, 2010 at 10:22 pm

If course, that is the whole purpose of the climategate email and the lies about mistakes.

However, one advantage if this carefully revised science is that it us checked against reality, not fantasy. This makes it theist reliable stuff we have.

But I guess you would prefer to immunize yourself against reality and stick with Wishart’s ravings

Ken August 29, 2010 at 10:24 pm

Sorry about my mistakes. Bloody iPod takes over and it’s corrections can end up looking silly. Hope my point got across, though.

jeff September 1, 2010 at 9:11 am

There is no man made climate change that’s a fact. There are better ways to look after the Earth eg get rid of 1080. Can’t wait to the weekend to take my v8 out for a nice long run. no amount of tax greenie tax will stop me using my V8 if they did stop me I would burn rubber etc

Johnmacmot September 1, 2010 at 9:21 am

Yep, really useful and to the point post, Jeff. That’s a fact, for sure.

Roger Dewhurst September 1, 2010 at 10:15 am

1080 and overpopulation are certainly more worthwhile topics than AGW

Gareth September 1, 2010 at 10:19 am

But not on this blog, Roger. Stay on topic please.

Roger Dewhurst September 1, 2010 at 10:31 am

Perhaps you should start a thread on overpopulation as a cause of global warming. You might even create a schism amongst the sceptics! As for 1080, there are other forums. But it is indeed an environmental issue.

Gareth September 1, 2010 at 10:49 am

Post on the “quadruple squeeze” coming shortly. Overpopulation will be on-topic there.

TBWood September 1, 2010 at 9:13 am

Thanks Jeff. Great contribution.

Rob Taylor September 1, 2010 at 2:23 pm

Hey, Jeff, Steve & Roger, have you ever heard of George Orwell?

Amongst many wise things, he noted that:
“People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome.”

Sound familiar? Think about it a bit, it’ll come to you.

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