A popgun broadside

Dick Hubbard and Bob Harvey, mayors of Auckland and Waitakere City, recently popped over the Tasman to attend a conference on climate change in Melbourne. Invigorated by the event, they issued a press release – Climate Change –€“ The Monster In The Living Room. Hubbard was particularly forthright:

Carbon pricing is imminent, like it or not, and once there is a price on carbon the need for all of us to move quickly and effectively will sharply increase. We must be prepared. Not only must we measure our own emissions as councils but also know what each sector emits. Then we can act collaboratively on reduction.

Rear Admiral Jack Welch, chairman of the NZ €œClimate Science Coalition, took exception, and issued his own press release:

€œThe Auckland and Waitakere mayors have fallen into the carbon trap laid by the likes of the Green Party and Greenpeace, in adding their voices to the unproven myth that emissions of carbon dioxide will threaten the survival of the planet

Unproven myth?

The really monstrous reality is that leaders such as the two mayors are rushing to get on a global warming bandwagon for which there is no valid verifiable scientific proof. The first thing they should check is New Zealand’s official temperature and sea level records, where they will find that the country has been cooling since the El Nino of 1998, and the levels of the Waitemata Harbour have remained about the same for the past 100 years.

No valid scientific proof?

The Rear Admiral is, of course, correct on all counts. The survival of the planet is not threatened by puny humans and their emissions of carbon dioxide. The surface will get a little warmer, enough to cause problems for their civilisation, but the Earth itself will carry on in its orbit until the sun turns into a red giant in about 5 billion years time and swallows it whole.

Nor is there any “valid verifiable scientific proof” of the existence of a global warming bandwagon. There’s plenty of evidence for global warming, and what’s causing it, but no-one has found a wagon with a band playing – what, The Sun Has Got His Hat On? As for New Zealand temperatures and the sea level measured in Waitemata Harbour, these are well-known proxies for the global average, not just a couple of figures from a small corner of the South Pacific without much influence on the numbers for the whole world.

Bob and Dick, I hope you are feeling suitably chastised. The rest of us can sleep easy in our beds, secure in the knowledge that a fine old sea-dog is steering the ship of state towards…

Oh, bugger.

NZ Windfarms $75m share offer oversubscribed

The Press reports that NZ Windfarms is having no trouble finding investors for a new share issue:

“Chairman Derek Walker said a 40 per cent oversubscription – excluding a cornerstone stake taken by electricity network company Vector and a pool of shares for existing shareholders – meant that demand from institutions would be scaled back.

NZ emissions scheme to include all sectors and all gases

The government has announced that it will make up its mind on a domestic emissions trading scheme by September. Quoted in the Herald, climate change minister David Parker said:

“We are looking for a design that will be economy-wide, and include all sectors, and all gases.

Fact checking Finlay

Finlay MacDonald, former editor of the New Zealand Listener, uses his Sunday Star Times column to cast a few stones at carbon trading. He’s sceptical about business “going green

Polar opposites

Interesting reading: on the one hand, Christopher, Lord Monckton, Britain’s most famous climate crank, is exposed as, well, something of a crank in a profile in The Observer, while James Lovelock comes on a bit strong in the Times Online.

Monckton:

‘Well,’ he says, breezily, ‘for a few years, the temperature will continue to rise, but nowhere near as fast as the alarmists would wish it to rise. Then solar physicists suggest that in the next solar cycle but one, and a solar cycle is about 10.6 years, there will be a considerable cooling of the Sun. And the panic will disappear.’ Hey presto.

Lovelock:

If you want to get some idea of what much of the Earth might look like in 50 years’ time then, says James Lovelock, get hold of a powerful telescope or log onto Nasa’s Mars website. That arid, empty, lifeless landscape is, he believes, how most of Earth’s equatorial lands will be looking by 2050. A few decades later and that same uninhabitable desert will have extended into Spain, Italy, Australia and much of the southern United States. “We are on the edge of the greatest die-off humanity has ever seen,â€? said Lovelock. “We will be lucky if 20% of us survive what is coming. We should be scared stiff.â€?

Meanwhile, Vanity Fair‘s now annual Green Issue includes an excellent profile of Myron Ebell, the man behind the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s sceptical effluvia. Worth reading if only for the phrase:

Many of the skeptics are curmudgeons: old, bald, and bitter. But not Myron Ebell.

Old, bald and bitter. Who can they mean…?