Tide in, mind out

homer.jpg No surprise: the NZ climate crank coalition has rushed to support the ACT/National review of climate policy. Rear-admiral Jack Welch issued a press release on Sunday welcoming the coalition deal, and ACT’s demand that the science of climate be reviewed:

We are confident that once the Select Committee has an opportunity to hear all sides of the scientific debate on the man-made global warming hypothesis, it will conclude that climate variation is natural and cyclical and does not justify the costs and restrictions on human activity which have been proposed on the basis of computer projections rather than what meteorological observations and the earth’s history have demonstrated over the centuries.

So this committee of parliamentarians is going to judge the work of the entire climate science community and decide that it’s wrong? Wishful thinking (I hope). But it gets better:

Admiral Welch said qualified coalition members look forward to assisting the Select Committee and to serving on the proposed advisory group of government officials and private sector experts.

Allow me to point out the obvious. The NZ CSC has no members “qualified” to assist the select committee, and if any of them get anywhere near any “advisory group”, New Zealand will be going to hell in a handbasket.

Time for the NZ scientific community to make it clear to Nick Smith and National that the starting point for any review of climate policy has to be an acceptance of the IPCC’s Fourth Report, and the NZ Royal Society’s statement issued earlier this year. Anything else would be like appointing Ken Ring to run MetService.

[Title reference]

RTFR, Jack

homer.jpg The old sea dog at the helm of our little flotilla of climate cranks has fired a broadside at the NIWA scientists involved in the preparation of this week’s revised climate projections for New Zealand. Yes, step forward Rear Admiral Jack Welch, who’s in fine bombastic form (perhaps he’s been taking lessons from Heartland’s J Bast Esq.) in a media release from the NZ CSC. According to Jack, “NIWA scientists have become political propagandists”:

The State Services Commission should investigate whether scientists of NIWA have crossed the boundary into politics with their sudden flurry of advocacy for action on so-called global warming at a time when the Government is struggling to gain support in Parliament for its Emissions Trading Scheme Bill. This today from the chairman of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition, Rear Admiral Jack Welch. “This flurry of advocacy has all the hallmarks of political spin, which has appalled the scientists associated with our coalition. Worse, NIWA is breaching the principles of good science by not qualifying its climate predictions with appropriate disclaimers.

Oh, the shock and the shame. Bow your heads, ye Nobel prizewinners, because the Admiral has spoken. He continues:

“Projections of future climate are not predictions, but speculation. They come from global climate models that have not been verified, so their output is merely conjecture. This is recognised across the Tasman, where the Australian CSIRO attaches a disclaimer to all its reports, such as this one on a report from the Queensland Government: ‘This report relates to climate change scenarios based on computer modelling. Models involve simplifications of the real physical processes that are not fully understood. Accordingly, no responsibility will be accepted by CSIRO or the Queensland Government for the accuracy of forecasts or predictions inferred from this report or for any person’s interpretations, deductions, conclusions or actions in reliance in this report.’

Unfortunately for the Rear Admiral, here’s what it says on page 2 of the report he’s complaining about:

As explained in the report, developing projections of future climate changes is still subject to significant uncertainty. The authors have used the best available information in preparing this report, and have interpreted this information exercising all reasonable skill and care. Nevertheless none of the organisations involved in its preparation accept any liability, whether direct, indirect or consequential, arising out of the provision of information in this report.

And a little bit later, in the executive summary (p xiii):

A definitive single quantitative prediction of how much a particular climatic element (eg, heavy rainfall intensity) will change over coming decades is not feasible. This is because the rate of climate change will depend on future global emissions of greenhouse gases, which in turn depend on global social, economic and environmental policies and development. Incomplete scientific knowledge about some of the processes governing the climate, and natural year-to- year variability, also contribute to uncertainty in projections for the future.

Seems to cover all of Jack’s points, and we haven’t even started reading the main body of the report (which is well worth reading in full).

Read The Flaming Report, Jack, before rushing to the media to complain about it. Sadly, I don’t think you bothered. I hope and expect that you will issue an equally speedy apology.

But I’m not holding my breath.

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.