Raw Hide

by Gareth on September 30, 2008

rodenymorph.gifAs the general election nears and policies are beginning to emerge, ACT is sticking to its “dump the ETS” line and its leader, Rodney Hide, has confirmed himself as a climate crank. In a speech to a public meeting at the Franklin Centre, Pukekohe on Monday, Hide ran through his now familiar “I know better than the world’s climate scientists” schtick:

There is no evidence that CO2 drives climate or that industrialisation is warming the world. In fact, the evidence is the reverse.

No it isn’t.

Hide is telling lies to try to get elected, and our media should call him on it. But if they won’t, I will. I’m willing to debate climate science and policy with Hide, in public, in the run up to the election at a venue in Canterbury of his choosing, or here on Hot Topic. Will he accept my challenge, or rely on a complacent media to get away with spouting this nonsense? I’m not holding my breath…

The speech also suggests a schism on climate policy in the ranks of the National party:

National MPs have sidled up to us to agree with us – and to complain that Nick Smith as hijacked National’s policy. They agreed with John Key when he said climate change was a hoax. Now he too is backing the ETS.

Hide playing politics, or is the climate sceptic rump in the National caucus stronger than Smith and Key would like us to believe?

I think we should be told…

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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

Carol September 30, 2008 at 8:28 pm

Great stuff Gareth. I have every confidence that you will shred Rodney in a debate. Maybe you should be in politics!

Sam September 30, 2008 at 8:29 pm

i’m willing to debate tax with michael cullen, but he won’t.

why? cos if they went around debating with every man and his dog they wouldn’t get anything done.

jeanette will get her crack at him.

Gareth September 30, 2008 at 9:25 pm

I’m far too thin-skinned to be a politician, Carol.

Sam: I’d pit my dog in a debate about climate with Hide and expect her to win. Unless the media call Hide on his nonsense, then a brief interlude in a leader’s debate is hardly likely to have much influence – however good Jeanette F may be. And I have discussed tax with Cullen… ;-)

Sam Vilain October 1, 2008 at 12:13 am

Their party web site allows comments, so I’ve replied to some of the scientific assertions in their statement on the main article link. If it got deleted, the response is also saved here.

Gareth October 1, 2008 at 7:37 am

Nicely done, Sam. I wonder how they’ll react…

Stephen October 1, 2008 at 7:52 am

It’s wasn’t exactly the most seething comments site on the web in the first place, so i’d hazard that not a lot will come of it. Good for people having a browse of ACT press releases though…

Greg October 1, 2008 at 8:23 am

I get the impression that my local National candidate doesn’t like listening to scientists either….

Stephen Franks – April 18, 2008 at 9:21 pm
The AGW debate between the theologians on both sides is bearable only in periodic samples, to see where they’ve got to.

Here’s a link to the original thread where he wrote that:
http://poneke.wordpress.com/2008/04/18/dave/

Carol October 1, 2008 at 8:35 am

Good job, Sam V.

Steve Wrathall October 2, 2008 at 1:39 pm

Contact Energy’s 10% price rise (others surely following) is a foretaste of the costs that will be loaded onto households due to the ETS. The 2008 NZIER study “The Impact of the Proposed ETS” predicted yearly household incomes would drop by $3,000, average hourly wages by $2.30, and each year 22,000 new jobs will be foregone.

With record fuel and food inflation, and with others (including Europe) reneging left, right and centre, should Kiwis be further impoverished in order to ever so slightly mitigate “global warming” (which mysteriously stopped in 1998)?

Stephen October 2, 2008 at 1:43 pm

That wasn’t the first reading of the ETS Bill was it Steve? How many countries have reneged? How many countries are planning an ETS? 1998 – was that a joke?

jonno October 2, 2008 at 1:49 pm

I guess it is a mystery to Steve Wrathall, as he obviously cannot read a graph, understand science or is just repeating the same bull. However, it looks like the global economy ‘stopped’ in 2008.

Gareth October 2, 2008 at 2:29 pm

The NZIER figures? A crock of an offensively smelly substance of your choice.

Stephen October 2, 2008 at 2:34 pm

Really was bizarre that they chose to analyse the first reading and not even the second/third – maybe they didn’t have time to do so for the second/third, but then why bother at all?

Gareth October 2, 2008 at 2:43 pm

Sam V: Looks like one of the NZ CSC has turned up to support Rodders.

There is no, I repeat NO direct evidence that Climate change is CAUSED by human greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, Anthropogenic Global Warming itself is mostly a Northern Hemisphere issue, if it even exists at all.

The longest reliable temperature record in New Zealand is from Christchurch dating from 1905 onwards. http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/gistemp_station.py?id=507937800000&data_set=1&num_neighbors=1

There is no detectable change in temperature over the period of this record.

Atmospheric CO2 levels have been measured at Mauna Loa (Hawaii) since 1958. The data is here.
ftp://ftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/ccg/co2/trends/co2_mm_mlo.txt

I defy anyone to graph these two together and conclude that Atmospheric CO2 has caused warming.

The case for Global Warming being caused by human greenhouse gasses is NOT proven. We should not destroy our economy and severely impact the living standards of every New Zealander without rigorous proof that anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions are causing adverse climate change.

Sounds like Vincent Gray to me… though it’s credited to “Dave H”.

Can I outsource a rigourous debunking, please?

jonno October 2, 2008 at 3:09 pm

“The longest reliable temperature record in New Zealand is from Christchurch dating from 1905 onwards. http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-…..eighbors=1

There is no detectable change in temperature over the period of this record.”

That is, if you don’t know how to read a graph, there is a clear upward trend.

Sam Vilain October 2, 2008 at 3:33 pm

Jonno – heh, yes, I was thinking that, too. It looks like a data set which might correspond to the global trends if put through an N-year rolling average. This should be enough, as clearly the CO2 levels are only a part of the total forcing that leads to the global average.

Steve Wrathall October 3, 2008 at 7:46 am

To Stephen: How many countries have reneged?

China, India et al won’t have a bar of it.
US, never joined in the 1st place.
Canada has stated it will not meet its Kyoto targets & busily develops oil sands.
German chancellor Angela Merkel last week backed an almost total exemption for German industry from new rules to force companies to pay for greenhouse gas emissions. Merkel said that, although she supported the need to tackle climate change, she “could not support the destruction of German jobs through an ill-advised climate policy”.

Shall I go on?

Kyoto: a nudist club many have joined, but NZ is the only one taking its clothes off.

Enjoy your swim.

Steve Wrathall October 3, 2008 at 7:52 am

Jonno: “it looks like the global economy ’stopped’ in 2008.”

So aren’t people suffering enough already? Or should we be paying $3 or even $5/L for petrol in order to win Helen Clark a job at the UN?

jonno October 3, 2008 at 8:00 am

Steve, I don’t think you understand the implications that climate change will have on people, if you think people are ‘suffering’ now.

“China, India et al won’t have a bar of it.” You don’t know what you are talking about.

Stephen October 3, 2008 at 8:09 am

Renege: To break a promise or commitment; to go back on one’s word

That doesn’t really fit with China, India or the US now does it… Now if you look at what the two US Presidential candidates want to do, you’ll see that they both want action on climate change. You’ll also notice that Australia recently entered into Kyoto, and are planning an ETS. Not surprising with Germany, but they’ve already lowered their emissions in the past several years anyway.

Now, back to the science…got any? What’s that about 1998 again? Sounds like you might be on to something there…seriously.

Steve Wrathall October 3, 2008 at 10:43 am

Jonno: “…, I don’t think you understand the implications that climate change will have on people, if you think people are ’suffering’ now.”

The moderate 0.13 dec C per decade rise in temperature we have seen in the last 50 years will, if continued for the next century, due to longer growing seasons and the CO2 fertilisation effect, be on the whole, beneficial.

Bit of a shame really that we haven’t even seen that amount of warming in the last decade.

Gareth October 4, 2008 at 9:30 am

The moderate 0.13 dec C per decade rise in temperature we have seen in the last 50 years will, if continued for the next century, due to longer growing seasons and the CO2 fertilisation effect, be on the whole, beneficial.

In other words, if we ignore the evidence, misinterpret the data, and don rose-tinted spectacles, we can envisage a bright future.

In La-la land. Hope you’re happy there, Steve.

jonno October 4, 2008 at 3:18 pm

“The moderate 0.13 dec C per decade rise in temperature we have seen in the last 50 years will, if continued for the next century, due to longer growing seasons and the CO2 fertilisation effect, be on the whole, beneficial.”

I guess your understanding is really lacking, the 0.13C rise per decade will have dramatic effects, especially when you take into account that this is not uniform across the planet, but much higher at the poles.

Go read a book Steve, one written by real scientists.

Sam Vilain October 6, 2008 at 4:11 pm

Ok, I did it – refer graph and retort

Steve Wrathall October 7, 2008 at 10:16 am

Jonno:”.. the 0.13C rise per decade will have dramatic effects…”

Please state what observation would falsify this prediction.

“…especially when you take into account that this is not uniform across the planet, but much higher at the poles…”

Wrong. Antarctica as a whole is not warming: “Antarctic sea ice extent continues to show inter-annual variability and localized changes but NO STATISTICALLY SIGNIFICANT AVERAGE TRENDS, consistent with the LACK OF WARMING reflected in atmospheric temperatures averaged across the region” (IPCC 2007)

All there is evidence for is localised (Arctic) warming, not global warming.

Jonno October 7, 2008 at 12:12 pm

“Please state what observation would falsify this prediction.”

You will need to read a book, or else just observe the effects that the changing climate is having on the planet. Do some real resaerch you. Can you please prove otherwise, the onus is on you;

“Wrong”

No, this is correct, yet again you need to go educate yourself. As climate change progresses, the Polar Regions are changing more rapidly than any other region of the planet.

In the humid equatorial regions, where there is so much water vapour in the air that the greenhouse effect is very large, adding a small additional amount of CO2 or water vapour has only a small direct impact on downward infrared radiation. However, in the cold, dry polar regions, the effect of a small increase in CO2 or water vapour is MUCH GREATER. (IPPC, 2007)

Bruce Wielicki … “global warming does not mean uniform temperature change”

When you see climate signals discussed in reports like the IPCC, remember that climate scientists are basing these on the big picture, and that “global warming” does not mean uniform temperature change over the entire Earth.

The climate system is sufficiently complex that like the economic analogy: it does not do anything in a simple uniform way. So even when the global average temperature is increasing, a few places will actually be cooling.

The scientific debate is shifting from whether mankind is causing climate change (we are), to how large a change we can expect in the future, how fast climate will change, and what the regional impacts will be. In the coming decades, even regional climate change will reach levels that exceed natural variability. In some areas like the polar regions, it already has. This will be much easier for the public to understand as their own regional climate change becomes increasingly obvious. But we cannot wait that long to act. (for more, see Don’t notice climate change yet? You will.)

Bruce Wielicki of NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virgina is the Principal Investigator for CERES, a project now using four instruments on two different Earth–orbiting satellites to monitor how clouds affect our climate.

Steve Wrathall October 7, 2008 at 7:22 pm

“Can you please prove otherwise, the onus is on you”

This statement in a nutshell shows scientific illiteracy.
Have you ever heard of Occam’s Razor? Do not needlessly multiply explanitory variables? Accept the simplest explanation that fits the facts? Does that ring a bell?

Skeptics position: Natural factors+ unknown factors explain observed climate.

Man-made global warmist position: Natural factors + PLUS ANTHROPOGENIC GHG +unknown factors explain observed climate.

Who is introducing the extra explanatory variable? The warmists. The onus is clearly on the warmists therefore to prove why this EV is needed.

My razor is sharpened and ready.

Gareth October 7, 2008 at 8:12 pm

Steve, you need to explain why the extra CO2 we’ve put into the atmosphere is not warming the planet. Otherwise Occam’s Razor may well give you a closer shave than you might like.

AndrewH October 7, 2008 at 9:38 pm

Steve
I assume your “natural factors” includes natural GHG’s so how can you eliminate anthropogenic GHG’s from the equation.
How I see the skeptic position is an introduction of unknown explanatory variables (and sometimes extraplanetory variables) to justify ignoring the blindingly obvious.
ie – what Gareth says!

jonno October 7, 2008 at 9:59 pm

“This statement in a nutshell shows scientific illiteracy.”

No, it is you that shows scientific illiteracy. You make so many false statements, it is embarrassing. You cannot even understand Occam’s Razor… the simplest explanation is anthropogenic GHGs.

The mere fact you quoted the IPPC:

“Wrong. Antarctica as a whole is not warming: “Antarctic sea ice extent continues to show inter-annual variability and localized changes but NO STATISTICALLY SIGNIFICANT AVERAGE TRENDS, consistent with the LACK OF WARMING reflected in atmospheric temperatures averaged across the region” (IPCC 2007)”

To claim that the polar regions do not heat up faster then the equator just proves how little you don’t understand. GO READ A BOOK BUDDY.

Steve Wrathall October 8, 2008 at 10:04 am

Gareth said: “you need to explain why the extra CO2 we’ve put into the atmosphere is not warming the planet.”

The question is not whether extra CO2 warms the planet. Simple physics tells us to expect a slight warming, the effect of which diminishes with each extra ppm. The question is whether the warming will be catastrophic.

It is here that the warmist paradigm of positive feedbacks and “tipping points” has to come in to play. Why should skeptics have to “prove” such speculative effects aren’t happening, or any other negative proposition for that matter?

You’re being as illogical as theists who demand that God’s non-existence be proven.

Gareth October 8, 2008 at 10:31 am

You have to provide reasons why positive feedbacks won’t happen. The biggest of these is the water vapour feedback. For it not to have an effect, you have to explain why a warmer atmosphere (which you admit is predicted by “simple physics” (though it’s interesting to note that radiation transfer in the atmosphere is far from simple)) won’t hold more water vapour. That’s a well-established fact – observable every day in the way the weather works.

Lots of people have looked for possible negative feedbacks in the water vapour cycle (clouds, Lindzen’s tropical “iris”), but so far they’ve failed. A few are still trying (Roy Spencer et al), but their work isn’t making waves – and observations seem to support the basic premise: warmer air, more water vapour, more warming.

There are other positive feedbacks – ice albedo, for instance – and negative ones – new forest growth is one – but the balance is pretty much all on the positive side.

In order to rule out increases in temperature of the sort projected in AR4, you have to explain why our current understanding wrong. This isn’t “proving a negative”, it’s doing science.

Good luck with that

Steve Wrathall October 8, 2008 at 1:02 pm

4 billion years of life-support by the atmosphere show it is (like 99% of natural systems) dominated by negative feedback.
If the balance is “all on the +ve side”, why didn’t the 1975-1998 warming produce an even greater temperaturre increase since?

Gareth October 8, 2008 at 1:23 pm

If the current climate system was dominated by negative feedbacks, we’d never warm up out of an ice age. The forcings that are causing the current warming aren’t going away – they’re growing. And the global temperature will continue to increase (it didn’t “stop in 1998″).

Sam Vilain October 17, 2008 at 1:28 pm

Heh … the speech has been withdrawn from the Act party website now, guess Rodney didn’t like being shown up. Or, hopefully, he’s realized he’s been had.

Sam Vilain October 17, 2008 at 1:54 pm

Actually it just seems to have moved

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