Federated Farmers gullibility highest since records began

You may have noticed that New Zealand’s Federated Farmers organisation is capable of military grade climate change denial. I was going to write on the history of farming denial, but while looking for the 2006 and 2007 Federated Farmers presidential addresses from (then president) Charlie Pedersen (can’t find my copies) I found this wee gem (published two weeks ago) by Don Nicolson, the current president.

With deep snow in the USA, parts of Australia awash and mudslides in Brazil, it’s unsurprising we’re seeing professors of climate change pinning this “evidence” on the climate change donkey.

Sticking with mass media (because, as we shall see, Don Nicolson has great faith is them) I recall experts carefully and mildly saying things like:

Sydney Morning Herald

Professor Karoly stressed individual events could not be attributed to climate change. However, he said the wild extremes being experienced on the continent were in keeping with scientists’ forecasts of more flooding associated with increased heavy rain events and more droughts as a result of high temperatures and more evaporation.

Even The Australian:

Professor Will Steffen, the executive director of the ANU Climate Change Institute, said there was no direct link between global warming and the tragic flash flooding in Toowoomba which has killed at least nine people in southeast Queensland. But he told The Australian Online that climate change would lead to heavier, more frequent rain.

(Thanks to Grist for helping me find the links again. They also link to a few more and have a fabulous commentary).

Nicolson continues:

…only four years ago, newspapers were reporting “few scientists dispute the part played by climate change, which is making Australia hotter and drier”. The drought breaking is now hailed as “evidence” of climate change. Talk about a dollar each way.

Quite. A dollar each way being in one place talking of “professors of climate change” and then switching to newspapers. Don Nicolson has such faith in newspapers that it must warm the cockles of Rupert Murdoch’s heart but — and I hardly know how to break it to him and his members — climate change means, well, change. If I turn to the IPCC AR4 Working Group II report about Australia and NZ I see, in the executive summary (for the hard of understanding) that:

The climate of the 21st century is virtually certain to be warmer, with changes in extreme events. Heatwaves and fires are virtually certain to increase in intensity and frequency (high confidence). Floods, landslides, droughts and storm surges are very likely to become more frequent and intense, and snow and frost are very likely to become less frequent (high confidence). Large areas of mainland Australia and eastern New Zealand are likely to have less soil moisture, although western New Zealand is likely to receive more rain (medium confidence)

Has anyone from Federated Farmers actually read this? More extreme weather events. More floods. More droughts. It seems simple enough but what does Nicolson see that I don’t?

Building a climate of fear is big business, just ask Al Gore, Hollywood producers or those learned professors seeking research grants.

What is the obsession that climate change deniers have with Al Gore? But, oh you learned professors, never fear, it turns out that Federated Farmers are a billion times on your side (scroll to the end if you can’t stand the suspense).

The UK’s Sunday Times revealed this stunning post last year by a UK Met Office employee, “this will be the warmest winter in living memory, the data has already been recorded. For your information, we take the highest 15 readings between November and March and then produce an average. As November was a very seasonally warm month, then all the data will come from those readings”. That logic doesn’t give me confidence.

This traces back to Dominic Lawson saying in his opinion column
that someone saying they were a met service employee posted that on the Times website. While I was finding a link to show how credible Lawson is I read that Lawson is married to the sister of “potty peer” Christopher Monckton. That should help place him on the credibility spectrum. I can but wonder if Lawson actually read the book by Nigella’s husband, John Diamond, that Lawson edited, Snake oil and other preoccupations.

Conveniently, Lawson does not link to the comment but there is a whole heap of difference between someone posting to a newspaper website and saying they work for the Met Office and actually doing so. Don Nicolson’s gullibility does not give me confidence.

In the first place, I know it seems like UK winters last forever but the Met Office, along with the rest of the UK defines winter as Dec-Feb. Does Federated Farmers think that New Zealand winter is between May and September? Does Nicolson really believe that the Met Office had prepared their report for winter by November, before winter had started?

Second, a quick look at the Met Office weather average methods shows just how much data is used to produce the many averages. Lawson and the rest of the denialosphere, including Nicolson, could have checked this in seconds. Why didn’t they? Confirmation bias? But, here is an interesting point to consider: Unseasonably cold weather in Northern Europe. Umm, is that a change in climate? Or is it just weather?

So instead of lining the pockets of largely foreign owned forestry companies, why aren’t we putting the billon dollars earmarked in the Budget for the ETS, into international collaborative research instead?

Whoa Don! Do you mean set aside a billion bucks for “those learned professors seeking research grants”?

It took me just under 2 hours to research and write this piece. That included random link following. Don Nicolson couldn’t or wouldn’t do the 2 minutes research required to show that he was way off beam. That ignorance or intellectual laziness doesn’t give me confidence.

Finally, Don, may I take it that over the next few decades the members Federated Farmers will commit in writing to keeping the frequency of requests to the government for weather-related assistance to the same level as the last few decades?

79 thoughts on “Federated Farmers gullibility highest since records began”

  1. It might not be useful to tar all fed farmers members with the same brush – some clearly accept climate change and are working on adaptation. I don’t know whether or not they are a minority, but Charlie’s or Don’s views in no way represent the views of all members of this organisation.

    Climate change proponents can be equally guilty of in-group – out-group bias, which doesn’t help to win friends and influence people.

    Perhaps a more targeted “Gullibility of Fed Farmers Presidents highest…” would be more conducive to helping those within the organisation pushing for change.

    1. Accepted Nigel, and I have read some great commentary by farmers. Heck, even our truffle hunting host is a farmer. But I just don’t recall seeing press releases from FF that offer a contrary opinion. I would sort have imagined that the president speaks for at least a majority.

      1. Imagine being a progressive thinker in that organisation trying to lead change. It would be much more helpful to them if you target the views of the denialist Presidents – divide and conquer, vs a warmist vs Feds them and us situation.

        Especially if climate change acceptance is a minority position within the organisation.

        1. Mostly I do target Nicolson as an individual. If the organisation encourages complicity by silence because it is hostile to dissension then perhaps those who disagree should review their membership. However, as far as I can see FF is perfectly open to dissent and has mechanisms for members to have input on policy. That being so, Federated Farmers members must thus accept some collective responsibility for what is said in their name.

          If nothing else, recall that after Charlie Pedersen they voted in Don Nicolson.

    2. I’ve seen other opinion pieces recently by representatives of Federated Farmers who were not Don Nicholson. Both seemed to go out of their way to dismiss Climate Change. One piece in the Dominion Post last week was about long term global trends that would affect farmers in the next 100 (?) years . I forget who wrote it or what day it was but it made no mention of climate change just some lame comments about farmers having to deal with weather which has always varied. It was such a glaring – and deliberate – omission that it made me seriously doubt the entire analysis.

  2. Thanks Lyndon. Who could argue with these heartfelt sentiments?

    I ask all Kiwis to think more deeply before supporting environmental causes. I believe they often give support to relieve themselves of any guilt about their lifestyle. Kiwis must understand that ill thought out environmental controls based on emotion rather than science will inevitably lead to a reduced standard of living.

    I hear you Charlie. Shame Federated Farmers is so cavalier with the facts then isn’t it?

  3. The science of climate change cuts across numerous disciplines, and where scientists have painstakingly gathered and pieced together mountains and mountains of data. So why would anyone ask for the opinion of Don NIcholson, since he hasn’t read or understood a word of it?

    Why stop there, why don’t we have a judicial system that runs on similar principles? Perhaps David Bain’s innocence or guilt should have been decided by Federated Farmers.

  4. What gets me is that the job description of these officials of Federated Farmers is presumably to represent the best interests of farmers based on good science and reason. They are not paid salaries to indulge their personal views/fantasies in public. Perhaps they also have a personal belief that bovine TB is caused by monkeys. It should not interfere with their day job.

    Its like paying a subscription to a society for the advancement of space exploration whose officials then proceed to argue the moon landings didnt happen. Cant someone in Fed Farmers remind these guys of their basic contractural obligations?

  5. If we had scientifically literate editors in chief and boards of directors in the main NZ papers who would not buy into this nonsense of giving contrarian views equal standing (read The Merchants of Doubt by Oreskes on that matter) then the FF president would perhaps get the public hiding he deserves in the press.
    But because denial of reality is the mechanism of coping for much of society, not just on climate change but very generally on the predicament of our overshoot civilization, the press simply dishes up nursery rimes for the masses so that we can jointly drift comatose towards the abyss…..

  6. It is perhaps also worth mentioning that the ‘official’ terminology used by Federated Farmers is “climate variation” where several articles at their website and other press releases do all they can to muddy the difference a change in the mean (climate) and variance. I’m preparing a post on the duplicity in these articles, but, briefly: Figure 2.32 from TAR easily explains the difference that Federated Farmers are so carefully obscuring. (Dunno if that link will work but should be easy to find: TAR fig 2.32).

    1. If you read through the analysis following there is limited evidence to support that image. The aspect that as temperatures increase heavy rainfall events increase (only need to travel from London to Mumbai to work that one out) is supported. But there is no evidence for increased weather extremes in the terms the image describes, ie increased hot and cold extreme events.

      “Consequently, there is now little evidence to suggest that the inter-annual variability of global temperatures has increased over the past few decades, but there is some evidence to suggest that the variability of intra-annual temperatures has actually quite widely decreased. Several analyses find a decrease in spatial and temporal variability of temperatures on these shorter time-scales.”

      1. R2 you are still being a pratt. Stop it.
        The figure demonstrates the difference between a change in variance and a change in the mean. Federated Farmers misleadingly conflate the two concepts.

          1. aww shucks, you only did that because you like me. I have been waiting for that since I posted the link. I was getting worried I’d have to sockpuppet the question to myself.

            The link is to TAR 2001. But AR4 2007 is less equivocal. For example, the section on <a href="http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch3s3-8.html&quot; Changes in extreme events.

            The FAQ 3.3<a href="http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/faq-3-3.html&quot; Has there been a Change in Extreme Events… is kinda cool.

            And <a href="http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch3s3-8-5.html&quot; Table 3.8 is clear.

      2. Hi R2 . I am still waiting for you to answer my question on what could have caused an increase in mean global temperature over the last 30 years – a period when solar activity would have indicated a drop in global mean temperature. Thanks.

          1. Yep, the only thing that R2 knows for sure is that we’re all wrong… though it’s always a bit hard to grasp logically how he could be so certain of that since he apparently is entirely blameless in the reliable knowledge department… oh, that and the Free Marketâ„¢ will cure all ills (for some reason there is no doubt in this particular matter), in firm, ongoing alliance with its great imperial partner, the mighty US Republicâ„¢… but they all think that…

          2. My post of January 7th, in response to yours of the same date: “R2 says “…not all warming is caused by GHGs …” Seeing as we have recently been through a period of low solar activity, I would like to know what else could have caused recent (last 30 years) warming other than an increase in GHGs? Who turned up the thermostat?

            I am not asking you to prove something R2 but to give your opinion, based on your own statement. Thanks.

            1. And that statement was refering to warming since 1870. Solar activity has increased since that time.

              It is also important to recognise there is a large amount of random noise in the temperature record. Some years are cooler than others despite greenhouse gases increasing year on year over the last 100 years. That noise exists on time scales longer than 1 year also. So to say that only solar activity or greenhouse gas emissions can change temperature of scales on 30 years is a little naive.

            2. Yes, but R2 – how do you know? The only pieces of information for which you ever claim any certainty as knowledge are ones that contradict us, with 100% consistency! You’ve managed to achieve a kind of disconfirmation bias…

            3. I strongly recommend you take a good look at this R2
              read and inwardly digest.
              Have a good look at the graphs of solar irradiance – particularly the later ones that highlight the time period we are talking about. Note also the work in 2009 by the Naval Research Laboratory, particularly the analysis which concludes:
              “According to this analysis, solar forcing contributed negligible long-term warming in the past 25 years and 10% of the warming in the past 100 years.”

            4. R2 says “Some years are cooler than others despite greenhouse gases increasing year on year over the last 100 years.”
              That point has been well-covered in the research. However, the trend over the last 30 years has definitely been upwards. We don’t expect to see that each year is warmer than the previous one, because there are factors such as the El Nino/Southern Oscillation still at work. If you have looked at any graphs at all of global temperature you will see that upwards trend with “wobbles” caused by natural variation and things such as major volcanic eruptions.

              Seriously R2, do you actually take notice of anything said around here? Because if you did you should have learned this by now. You are acting like a child who has to be re-taught the alphabet every day.

              And you still haven’t said what you thought has been causing global warming if it isn’t solar activity. I am interested in hearing your theory.

            5. Carol, you are the one acting like a child, misquoting me and pretending to not understand what I say.

              My point in pointing out the noise in the temperature series was quite obviously to point out the amount of randomness in the series, not to say that this randomness was prof warming was not caused by GHG increases. Quite obviously this randomness is not prof that GHG increases are not causing warming – it only shows multiple factors are at play.

              I can not tell you what has caused the warming since 1970. Many people think it is GHG increases, and they may be right. My original quote referred to a longer time period than you present. Please accept this and move on.

              Macro, I read you link. It shows solar activity increasing since 1870. And not since 1970. Lets also move on.

              To summerise:
              – The info you post shows no increase in solar activity since 1970 – I agree something else needs to be causing warming based on this information
              – Since 1870, more than just greenhouse gases have caused warming

              I hope we can agree the above two points, be mature, and move on.

            6. “I read you link. It shows solar activity increasing since 1870. And not since 1970. Lets also move on.”

              Well you DIDN’T read it very carefully did you!

              Did you notice just how much of an increase there was (in fact how little) Hint: look at the scale on the vertical axis? And did you care to note later just how much Solar Irradiance may have contributed to AGW in that period? I tried to steer you towards this but you had your blinkers FIRMLY on.

            7. R2, I did not misquote you. In the original thread, when I referred to the last 30 years – although you had referred to the last 100 or more – it was because your point did not hold true for that time period. All the quotes presented by me above are direct copy and pastes from that thread and are therefore not misquotes. So, my original question still stands (and I will reword it for simplicity) – if recent warming is not caused by an increase in carbon dioxide or an increase in solar activity/irradiance, what do YOU think has caused that warming?
              It’s not a trick question, I am just interested to know what you think the alternative is.

  7. At the heart of this, and of denial in general is our own and each others cognitive filters. We are all very selective about what we choose to believe – our ways of seeing and knowing are based on what we have seen and learnt in the past. We will trust certain sources and not others if these sources subscribe to our world-views and paradigms, and thus become trapped in paradigms and world-views.

    What’s that? – you think scientists are immune? certainly not

    So while a fed farmers member or chairperson who is able to see the realities and risks of climate change has their work cut out for them, they are still the very best people to deliver the message; they are the best people to cut through the cognitive filters of their fellow farmers.

    Additionally, if you take a them us position, any message that you have will be instantly filtered, as well as exacerbate the current ‘them-us’ polarisation – and thus further increase the filtering effect.

    We urgently need to update our own world views to include ‘the laws of the mind’. The lack of traction on getting a transition underway could have as much to do with our own ways of seeing, as it has to do with the ways of seeing of those who we are trying to communicate with.

    This paper by Dan Kahan of the Yale Law school is a good start.

    1. If it turned out I was being led by a fool then I would lief have that pointed out to me than to let the fool continue to spout nonsense in my name.

      It is a matter of fact that the elected presidents of Federated Farmers are spouting nonsense about climate change. If you read FF releases you see they have a bunker mentality of ‘them’ against the “heroes of climate change”.

      It may take some loud shouting to break through this and let the open minded farmers know they are being lied to. Silence for fear of making them retreat deeper into the bunker will not stop climate change.

      1. Doug – you say “if it turned out I was being led by a fool then I would lief have that pointed out to me than to let the fool continue to spout nonsense in my name.”

        Clearly you are applying your own preconceptions to the issue before you.

        This is consistent with message I am trying to get across, but the roles are reversed in that you are defending and justifying your own way of seeing and knowing.

        The feeling that produce such a reaction are consistent with dissonance – which can be reduced by changing values, beliefs or norms, or through ignoring, denial, justification and rejecting the validity of other views. The latter being the easier option.

        If you have access to the journal Nature, check out Dan Kahan’s brief article: Fixing the communications failure NATURE|Vol 463|21 January 2010

      2. Doug – you say “if it turned out I was being led by a fool then I would lief have that pointed out to me than to let the fool continue to spout nonsense in my name.”

        Clearly you are applying your own preconceptions to the issue before you.

        This is consistent with the message I am trying to get across, but the roles are reversed in that you are now defending and justifying your own way of seeing and knowing.

        The feeling that produces such a reaction are consistent with dissonance – which can be reduced by changing values, beliefs or norms, or through ignoring, denial, justification and rejecting the validity of other views. The latter being the easier option.

        If you have access to the journal Nature, check out Dan Kahan’s brief article: Fixing the communications failure NATURE|Vol 463|21 January 2010

        I am advocating strategy not silence.

        1. Here’s a quote from Kahan’s Nature article: If, however, the
          truth carries implications that threaten people’s
          cultural values, then holding their heads under-
          water is likely to harden their resistance and
          increase their willingness to support alternative
          arguments, no matter how lacking in evidence.
          This reaction is substantially reinforced when,
          as often happens, the message is put across by
          public communicators who are unmistakably
          associated with particular cultural outlooks or
          styles — the more so if such advocates indulge
          in partisan rhetoric, ridiculing opponents as
          corrupt or devoid of reason. This approach
          encourages citizens to experience scientific
          debates as contests between warring cultural
          factions — and to pick sides accordingly.

        2. You appear to arguing a type of appeaesment.

          In general, farmers have not previously struck me as retiring types who would be too shy to tell someone they were full of sheep/cow/deer etc shit.

          The members of Federated Farmers have had many years to send the message to their presidents. They did. They voted for Charlie Pedersen and then Don Nicolson.

          1. @Doug: “You appear to arguing a type of appeasement”

            You appear to be presenting a straw-man, rather than engage with the scientific evidence that I have presented.

            If it looks like denial, and smells like denial….?

            And by the ‘laws of the mind’, not an unexpected response.

            It is worthwhile trying to understand ones own biases and responses to dissonance, and this also provides great insights into the challenge we face with regard to sustainability and climate change.

  8. Sorry Nigel, I think I have lost what your point is. But call my approach the Emperor’s new clothes.

    I do not accept that calling the presidents of Federated Farmers on misleading their members and calling the membership for allowing the presidents to get away with it without a murmur will make UE* (Unconvinced by Evidence) people bury their heads deeper.

    Members of Federated Farmers have other sources of information about climate change; if they remain unconvinced then it is wilfully so. They either know their president is lying or they don’t care.

    *One of Stephen Schneider’s last credits as author is (free access) ‘reply’ to a
    ‘comment’ that made a similar point. (I’m working up a post on these papers).

    1. @Doug: “I do not accept that calling the presidents of Federated Farmers on misleading their members and calling the membership for allowing the presidents to get away with it without a murmur will make UE* (Unconvinced by Evidence) people bury their heads deeper.”

      I think that from here Doug, I’ll have to see whether someone you know and trust or that you identify with can help make the point I was trying to make.

      Scientific observations indicate that if I present further evidence of my point, you will just become further entrenched in yours – i.e. bury your head deeper. By pursuing this with you I also risk being seen by those who identify with your views as an ‘other’.

      p.s. neither of your links above worked. I’m sure there’s lots of stuff online to affirm any position though; can you provide any that are based on peer-reviewed studies instead?

      Its a simple formula once you know it. Pick something that someone is committed to based on the way they view or see an issue, and challenge it with contrary evidence. The most likely reaction you will get is justification or denial etc. Hit them with more evidence and they will just dig their toes in.

      However “ridiculing ones opponents as corrupt or devoid of reason” is even more useless than hitting them with more evidence.

      But then for every complex problem there is a solution that is simple, elegant, and wrong…

      Changing peoples values, beliefs and norms is complex and simplistic attempts just create further denial and polarisation.

        1. @Doug: “As for challenging things with contrary evidence (at the risk of ostriching people), well, it is a raison d’etre for this blog.”

          Indeed – and my point is that due to cognitive biases, people easily fall into ‘camps’ or communities that subscribe to similar world views. From here affirmation/confirmation bias and dissonance take hold and it soon becomes difficult to challenge the way people within that community know and see issues. Essentially the community becomes an echo chamber where people can come to reinforce each others world views.

          This applies as equally to deniers as it does to climate change proponents. The only way we can have informed debate is to learn about our own biases and try to control for them. Just as I have had lots of ‘thumbs down’ for challenging you for tarring all members of federated farmers with the same brush, if I were now to target all hot-topic readers instead of just you I will increase the dissonance felt by them. I will then get more ‘thumbs down’ for not conforming to the blog norms which is to slag-off all deniers and those that associate with their world view. I will then have even less chance of getting any evidence that I present past the cognitive filters of Hot-topic readers.

          Kahan et al’s cultural cognition work is looking at the dynamics behind denial, and is a much deeper analysis that just categorising people such as is debated in the PNAS opinion pieces you provided.

          I do agree that thrashing deniers is good sport, and that with the stakes so high we need to expose those who publicly deny climate change. However we also need to take note of new evidence in this battle, and fight strategically.

          The evidence ‘suggests a likelihood’ that your brain, my brain and the brains of our fellow hot-topic readers are similarly configured to deniers brains. We all tend to respond in the same way to evidence that is contrary to our own world view.

          In order to update our values, beliefs and norms when required, instead of taking the justification/denial route we have to be aware of our filters and how they can cloud our interpretation of evidence.

          From my interpretation of methods from various scientific disciplines including social psychology, anthropology, communications, and political science, I think that the title of this post is counter productive.

          I know I shouldn’t but I can’t resist a poke, but after all this is a forum for challenging people with evidence…

          As a chemistry professor, you wouldn’t happen to have a >a href=”http://www.odt.co.nz/opinion/opinion/15309/debunking-climate-change-deniers”>bias against social sciences>/a< that could be clouding your interpretation of scientific evidence would you?

            1. looks interesting Doug, things are progressing so fast in this space though, and the lag on a book is even longer than journal literature. That book was published in 2007.

          1. Very good comment Nigel and I appreciate all you comments (as too I appreciate Doug’s)- always thoughtful.
            Having been a regular recipient, until recently, of the Fed Farmers “mouthpiece” “Straight Furrow” I can assure you that what the President says is pretty much what many in the farming community think as well – however I am also well cognizant of the fact that there are a good number who hold a contrary opinion as well.

      1. Scientific observations indicate that if I present further evidence of my point, you will just become further entrenched in yours.

        No. All the evidence suggests is a likelihood of this happening.

        And it certainly does not imply that nobody in the world is capable of changing their mind when presented with evidence.

        1. @Sam: “likelihood” – see “indicate”

          Enter the “those that identify with your views”

          Yes certainly I could have written “indicate the likelihood”, but this is a blog discussion. Note your attempt to pick out something that I said and use it as a basis to disregard my view or any point that I am trying to make.

    2. A couple of farmers I know have said they can clearly see that the climate of northern Southland is now mimicking that of Otago, the province to the north of us. Farmers are not stupid, they are very much in tune with weather and seasons. However, from my experience, it is the younger generations (under 60’s) who are far more likely to accept that this is climate change. The older ones, that I know, are more inclined to disbelieve the evidence they see in front of them is down to a changing world. I know this is a generalization, but it is one that holds true for my province.

      Also, those who accept the reality of climate change are inclined to stay out of public debate, whereas those who are convinced it is a conspiracy, a hoax or a communist plot are stridently vocal.

      1. Hmmm old farmers are less likely to believe the climate is changing while young urbanites are more likely to believe it is.

        So young people who do not live with nature and have not experienced a long life of climate variation are to tell older people who have farmed through droughts and wet seasons for decades this is a changing climate.

        (Note: I am not saying that NZ has not warmed. Only that the perception weather is becoming more extreme needs to be tested).

        1. Surely, R2, Carol is referring to younger farmers, and younger in this context is under 60? Therefore they’ve had plenty of time to experience a long life of climate variation. Your young urbanites are your own invention; in my experience, people who work in the field – landcare officers, conservation project managers, rangers – have little doubt the climate is changing. While folks who go from air-conditioned car to air-conditioned office and then back to air-conditioned home and whose perception of reality is entirely screen based – TV, PC or wind – might not be able to name 3 species of Australian tree or tell you if there are crocodiles in the Darling, but they’ll still reckon climate change is crap…

        2. I thought it was clear from the context I was talking about younger (under 60ish) FARMERS, R2. Sorry if I confused you.

          We scientifcally-minded types don’t take our views of weather from perceptions, but from data.

  9. “If I turn to the IPCC AR4 Working Group II report”
    Arrr yes, the ‘experts’….
    We’ve been told many things about the IPCC that aren’t true. IPCC reports are not always based on peer-reviewed literature and they are not written by top experts. The IPCC did not seek the input of thousands of scientists regarding the crucial question of whether or not humans are responsible for global warming – that determination was made by the authors of a single chapter of the 2007 IPCC report (out of a total off 44).

    1. Damn it, you are right! Why oh why oh why while there was still time didn’t the IPCC swallow their pride and ask EG Beck about how the carbon cycle really works? Oh, the IPCC would have been so chagrined to have been so wrong. But I bet, like true scientists they would have accepted the sound criticism.

      Phew, luckily there is still time for the 5th IPCC Assessment Report to seek the wisdom of Ken Ring. I do hope he will so kind as to offer them an explanation of why “carbon dioxide mostly falls, it doesn’t rise, or plants would have to extend themselves into the sky to get their nourishment”. (Waikato Times April 3, 2007)

      Oh, perhaps you, Lank, with your PhD in geochemistry and extensive work experience, could act as a go between, a sort of John the Baptist for Ken Ring, and tell the IPCC – as one scientist to several thousand – that Ken Ring has the truth?

  10. “More extreme weather events. More floods. More droughts. It seems simple enough ….” (for Doug)
    …..but NOAA tracks the frequency of floods and droughts and they say that there has been no upward trend in extreme precipitation events (floods plus droughts) during the 20th century. If there is any trend at all, it is a trend of less frequent floods and droughts – not a single year in the past decade cracked NOAA’s ‘top 15’ list for extreme precipitation events, and each of the top six years occurred prior to 1985.

    1. Err, what again are you saying? Seems here is what NOAA actually said in regards to climate change and severe weather events:

      Once more Lank is simply thinking that nobody will check his nonsense.

      Lank go back to Kindergarten where silly games of make belief really belong.

    2. And to nail Lank to the plank a last time, here another of NOAA’s papers, entitled:



      From this I cite: “Our results complement the above findings and indicate that in a warmer and wetter world, as projected by climate models driven by increasing greenhouse gases, increases in extreme precipitation are likely to be disproportionately large compared to any change in the total precipitation.This is likely to have important socio-economic and ecological impacts.

      Lank you are a pathetic figure really.

    3. Here is the full NOAA report on the matter entitled:

      “Weather and Climate Extremes in a Changing Climate, June 2008”


      Citing from this:

      Many extremes and their associated impacts are now changing. For example, in recent decades most of North America has been experiencing more unusually hot days and nights, fewer unusually cold days and nights, and fewer frost days. Heavy downpours have become more frequent and intense. Droughts are becoming more severe in some regions, though there are no clear trends for North America as a whole. The power and frequency of Atlantic hurricanes have increased substantially in recent decades, though North American mainland land-falling hurricanes do not appear to have increased over the past century. Outside the tropics, storm tracks are shifting northward and the strongest storms are becoming even stronger.

    4. Citation required. 2 bob says its actually Nova, WUWT, Monckton, Delingpole, or… hang on, no, I’ve found found it – it’s bloody Heartland. All over the usual regurgitators’ forums. 2 bob now says you can’t find this original data, because you never have. It’s just snip and spew from the likes of you!

      While we’re all waiting, we could watch this.

      Or we could read some of the sheet Doug provided –

      Along with the risk of drying, there is an increased chance of intense precipitation and flooding due to the greater water-holding capacity of a warmer atmosphere. This has already been observed and is projected to continue because in a warmer world, precipitation tends to be concentrated into more intense events, with longer periods of little precipitation in between.

      Or we could go to NOAA itself and discover –

      In areas where a drought or excessive wetness usually accompanies an El Niño or La Niña, these dry or wet spells have been more intense in recent years. Further, there is some evidence for increasing drought worldwide, however in the U.S. there is no evidence for increasing drought.In some areas where overall precipitation has increased (ie. the mid-high northern latitudes), there is evidence of increases in the heavy and extreme precipitation events. Even in areas such as eastern Asia, it has been found that extreme precipitation events have increased despite total precipitation remaining constant or even decreasing somewhat. This is related to a decrease in the frequency of precipitation in this region.

      Do you ever experience a sense of shame, Lank, just out of interest? I’m going to guess the answer is no, but that doesn’t necessarily make you quite as clever as you might think you are

    5. My comment is caught in the spam filter. Let’s just shorten it to ‘Lank is talking out his bum’, just for a change, or, to be more precise, someone else is doing so! Specifically Heartland. Let’s all watch this while Lank asks himself why he’s content to go through life as a meat puppet for The Man.

  11. Does telling Lank, R2 and co. that they are liars run the risk of forcing them and/or the people who follow them* to ostrich even more?

    I’ve long said that one of my purposes in posting is to nail the deniers so they will never be able to plead “honest mistake guv”. Sockpuppets like Lank and R2 are a sideshow. Though it is kind of fun to ratchet up the cognitive dissonance pressure for them.

    [gratuitous whatever] Perhaps I am wrong though, perhaps they do enjoy coming here, telling lies and being caught at it. Perhaps they need the attention so much. Perhaps they fit the image for the slogan one of my t-shirts used to have on it: “Modern youth needs more discipline.” It all becomes clear. [/off]

    * Now there would be someone I can finally sell my surplus to requirements trans-tasman bridge to.

    1. Sure, this is war, but if we are going to use our time and energy fighting deniers, lets try to use our resources as effectively and efficiently as possible. Who knows, maybe there is even a place for social science to contribute in this? 😉

        1. Speaking as a veteran of the feminist movement of the 70s and onwards, I have to say there must always be a place for the shouters and in-your-face types. I personally always held the view that ‘we’ shouldn’t put older women offside by inferring (or sometimes saying) that the whole basis of their lives was futile. Because they *would* dig in.

          But they were a side issue. The real issue was their husbands and sons. A few years on and you, still, hear women say “I’m not a feminist, but ….. ” and go on with a central tenet of feminist claims. They just mean they don’t wear overalls or hate men. The fact that most feminists were married women in fairly standard jobs where overalls were not worn is a mere detail.

          Reasoned argument, eloquent persuasion and furious shouting all have their place.

  12. Skeptic Lank
    I don’t know where you get your disinformation, but you need a better source.
    See here:

    “Climate Scientists Defend IPCC Peer Review as Most Rigorous in History”
    by Stacy Feldman – Feb 26th, 2010

    “Nicholls, a professor at Monash University in Victoria, Australia, said the IPCC 2007 Fourth Assessment report was subjected to several rigorous tiers of review. The study cites over 10,000 papers from the scientific literature, “most of which have already been through the peer-review process to get into the scientific literature.”

    “The report went through four separate reviews and received 90,000 comments from 2,500 reviewers, all of which are publicly available, along with the responses of the authors, Nicholls said.”


    Regarding Australia’s rainfall, and the dubious statements made by the Federated Farmers leader: The maps shown here show rather dramatically how much rain patterns have changed over recent decades.


  13. Nice work Doug. I hope you emailled this too Charlie and/or the Fed Farm for comment? I know they’re reaction is likely to be the typical glazed look, and then “Yes but what about [insert climate denial cannard here]” but it might be an interesting exercise non-the-less

    1. Thanks David, no I didn’t send it to Federated Farmers. Pedersen and Nicolson and many of their members (as Macro noted) are deniers and it will have no impact on them.

      In the pipeline, for Nigel and others: Denier vs sceptic and what the distinction means in terms of framing discourse.

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