The advice of fools: Newman and Kelly risible on rising seas

IssacCordalBerlinFormer ACT MP Muriel Newman — an extreme right-winger and no stranger to the wilder shores of climate denial — has waded into the debate about sea level rise and coastal hazards in Christchurch in a long-winded and unhelpful article at her NZ “Centre for Policy Research” web site. In many respects, her piece is par for the Hidebound course — full of misdirection, misrepresentation and schoolgirl errors of fact, motivated by a weird world view:

The reality is that unfortunately, carbon dioxide is being used as a political football. When radicals embraced the environmental movement in the seventies, driving out people like Dr Patrick Moore the founder of Greenpeace, they used the climate debate to conceal their real agenda – the global redistribution of wealth.

Newman takes as the text for her sermon a piece by Mike Kelly, a New Zealander who is a professor at the University of Cambridge in the UK. His offering is just as ill-informed as Newman’s — can it really be the case that a professor of technology, whose main expertise is in “advanced electronic devices for very high speed operation”, doesn’t understand the difference between weather forecasting and climate modelling? Perhaps Kelly should read a few introductory texts on climate modelling before pontificating so publicly — and so erroneously.

But what makes Newman and Kelly’s articles so unhelpful to coastal residents in Christchurch and elsewhere is not the parroting of climate denialist tropes, but the conclusion she reaches:

The Christchurch Council – and all other councils around New Zealand for that matter – should base their coastal hazard projections, on what has happened in the past. There is no perfect predictor of the future, but looking at what has actually happened in the past is better than seizing on unreliable models developed by those driving a political agenda.

Let’s do what Newman wants, and forget modelling future sea level rise. Let’s look at the past.

During the last interglacial period, about 125,000 years ago, atmospheric CO2 stood at about 300 ppm, global temperatures were less than one degree warmer than now, and global sea level topped out at 6 m above present.

The last time CO2 stood at today’s level of 400 ppm was around 3 million years ago, during the Pliocene. Global temperatures were a degree or two warmer than no, and sea levels were 20 m higher.

These facts from the climate history of the planet should provide the context for any discussion of future sea level rise. They establish that we are already committed to multi-meter increases — unless we can radically reduce atmospheric CO2, and quickly1. There’s not much sign of that happening…

The policy relevant question is therefore not how much sea level rise to expect. Paleoclimate studies tell us where we’re heading. The big question is how fast the great ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica will melt and deliver that rise to our coastlines.

Climate models can help give us an idea of how quickly and how much the oceans will warm (and therefore expand) over the next century, which gives us a baseline increase to consider. However, the behaviour of the ice sheets as those oceans warm is much less well understood.

Ice sheet modelling is progressing in leaps and bounds, and we’re learning a great deal about Antarctica and Greenland as scientists explore ever more remote regions and gather more data, as this excellent article by Jamie Horton at the NZ Herald demonstrates. As we learn more, the news becomes bleaker, with parts of West Antarctica probably past the point of no return, and worrying signs that chunks of the huge East Antarctic ice sheet are beginning to stir, as CSIRO’s Dr Steve Rintoul discussed in an interview on RNZ National’s Nine To Noon this morning.

But it is still very difficult for scientists to give confident projections for future ice melt. Ice sheet models are improving all the time, but being conservative, glaciologists talk about multi-meter rises taking hundreds to thousands of years. If that is the case, why should we worry in the here and now?

The answer is straightforward. Substantial sea level rise is now inevitable. At some point in the future, large parts of the coastline of NZ are going to be flooding regularly, erosion will increase, storm surges will become more damaging, estuaries will expand inland, aquifers and wells will suffer salt incursions.

What we have to look at is risk, which is usually defined as probability of an event multiplied by the consequences of that event. We know that sea level rise is to all intents and purposes certain, so the answer simplifies to the value of the coastal assets in danger. That value has to take into account the expected life of the asset being considered, and their strategic importance.

There are two courses of action available: retreat — preferably managed sensibly, rather than forced by extreme events — and defence. Defence – especially against multi-meter rises where the maximum rise is not clear — is expensive, and not always possible.

The Christchurch council is investigating a tidal barrier across the Avon estuary to protect the city and its suburbs from increased flood risk. This might buy the city some time if sea level rises at the low end of current projections, but can’t be a long term “solution” unless the city is also prepared to build a network of Dutch-style dykes along the coastline to the north and to the south.

The current argument in Christchurch is about the impact of council proposals to establish coastal hazard zones. Residents fear that their land and properties are being devalued by the council action, and in particular by what Newman describes as its adoption of the “extremist” and “radical” projections of the IPCC.

What Newman suggests is that sea level projections should be based on recent, local — she calls it “beach by beach” — sea level rise, and ignore any future modelling. In the face of inevitable multi-meter sea level rise, I can imagine no better way to condemn the ratepayers of Christchurch and the taxpayers of New Zealand to an unnecessarily expensive, unpleasant and painful future.

The extremist here is Newman, but sadly her views are finding some support amongst coastal residents, as a look at their Facebook page shows. I can understand the temptation to argue that if sea level rise is only going to be small, or not happen soon, the matter can be ignored for now, but the danger is that this will encourage further coastal development — both residential and in terms of infrastructure. This will only increase the long term costs to be faced both by coastal residents and Christchurch ratepayers.

It may well be that the Christchurch council could and should handle the process of creating and implementing its coastal hazard zones in a better way. Consultation and consensus building is the only sensible way forward. But this can only happen if all sides understand what’s really going on with our oceans. Newman-style ideological climate denial has to be seen to be a fringe view, and not one that any sensible, risk-averse group of ratepayers can afford to adopt or promote. Those pushing climate denial to their neighbours should shut up.

However, one thing certainly isn’t the council’s fault. The current government has refused to deal with sea level rise at a national level, preferring to leave the responsibility to local and regional councils. While there is a clear need for local knowledge and input, there needs to be a national framework for both the science of sea level rise and approaches to dealing with it.

Without that framework there will be a piecemeal response, a patchwork of approaches. What’s happening now in Christchurch will be repeated everywhere. There will be unnecessary court cases, great stress for coastal property owners, and greatly increased costs for all tax payers. It’s going to be hard enough to deal with the reality of rapidly rising seas without handicapping ourselves by putting the issue in the too hard basket.

Sea level rise is a huge national and global problem which won’t go away just because a few ideologues are trying to mislead the public about the science. It needs an urgent national conversation on how to deal with it — something a responsible government would lead rather than ignore. After all, nothing can be said to be certain, except death, taxes and sea level rise.

  1. Plus, we have to be really, really lucky. []

184 thoughts on “The advice of fools: Newman and Kelly risible on rising seas”

  1. Anyone who advocates tidal barrages in Christchurch needs to brush up on their geology. Porous greywacke gravels and sands are not going to stop sea water incursion even if they build dykes from Scarborough to Waipara.
    The news that East Antarctica is vulnerable means that all bets are off on SLR. It’s no longer if, only when.

    The other delusion that accompanies dykes is the fond belief there would be money available to build them. At a time when cities and communities up & down the country are facing the same problems and we are realising that significant chunks of SH1 and the railway are going to need to move inland. Cue: Tui ad!

  2. The CCRU facebook page, that you link to, has nearly 900 members, which is not a bad effort for something that has been going for only a few weeks.

    Our main purpose is to get section 5 of the proposed district plan either completely canned, or substantially reworked. We try to avoid getting sidetracked on climate science and sea level rise, although this is obviously a central issue. 900 people in one group have a wide range of political views and understanding of science, so it is not helpful to create internal dissent when our common objectives are clear.

    It is the community’s general opinion that they were not consulted in a fair and democratic manner on this plan, and that it was rushed through under emergency earthquake legislation.

    Most of us agree that if there is to be a policy on sea levels and coastal planning, then it needs to be directed by central government. This is especially pertinent as the Crown are now the largest landowner in coastal hazard zones, in Christchurch, via the Red Zone process.

    1. Unfortunately the work done at Christchurch by Tonkin and Taylor that has been used to establish the appropriate sea level rise is incorrect in law.

      The NZ Coastal Policy Statement 2010 sets the requirements for assessing hazard risks requires that these be assessed “taking into account national guidance and the best available information on the likely effects of climate change on the region or district.” Note the phrase “likely effects”.

      The IPCC (whose guidence T&T rely upon) did a range of projections of sea level rise based on representative concentrations pathways for the way GHGs evolve. The T&T work uses the highest of these, even though it is described as the “upper bound” of the scenarios i.e. it represents an “unlikely” rather than “likely” forecast.

      T&T justify this by referring to the precautionary approach. The NZCPS 2010 defines this and when it should be used. It and the guidance issued by DOC on this are quite clear, the precautionary approach is not to be used when risks are being assessed (resource managers need to have the uncertainty reported, and technical advisers need to make this completely transparent).

      The problems can be seen in the T&T hazards zones, no one has the faintest idea what impact the particular arbitrary choices T&T made (with no apparent mandate) have on critical issues for the people who will be the people who will have to manage the consequences – the local residents.

      Finally the NZCPS only came in in 2010. Most of the guidance from MfE and the like predates that and fails to take account of the new provisions.

      1. Furthermore, on the RCP portal webpage, there s a disclaimer that RCP scenarios are not forecasts and are not for public policy decisions

        As far as I can see, RCPs are modelling tools for climate research teams, though I am happy to be advised otherwise

        1. Yes they are modelling tools. They attempt to span a range of possible forcing futures. Basically, the area somewhere in the range of RCP4.5 to RCP6.0 is probably a reasonable starting point for business as usual, depending on various things. (I would guess that if the Xi-Obama arrangement sticks, and if G2 leadership turns out to be fairly real, we’re more like RCP4.5.)

          RCP8.5 is very unlikely. It’s reasonable and valuable to use an extreme scenario to probe the climate response to a large and rapid forcing. But it would seem hard to make the global economy behave like that, unless we really really tried.

      2. Simon, you state: “The T&T work uses the highest of these, even though it is described as the “upper bound” of the scenarios i.e. it represents an “unlikely” rather than “likely” forecast.”
        It would be clear from the development of science that the “upper bound” the IPCC suggested is no longer the upper bound that scientists suggest to us. Many people who work in the climate science field believe that the IPCC is way to cautious. IT would appear that taking the worst case scenario under the IPCC view is actually a rather conservative stance. There is certainly no blame to put onto T&T to take the IPCC view as their worst case for the next 100 years. Plus if we wanted to actually plan for the future, we must by now take 5m SLR as a given over the next centuries and more most likely. So why aiming for a weak and gutless policy now?

        1. Thomas, we need to comply with the law and T&T aren’t allowed to use a worst case scenario. They are required to use the likely estimates and should report and use the uncertainty that surrounds it. It is for the elected reps to decide how much caution to use in light of that, not climate science/coastal engineers.

          It’s one of the costs of living in a democracy rather than a technocracy or theocracy.

          1. As I understand it, RCP 8.5 isn’t actually a “worst case scenario”, although it is often claimed that RCP 8.5 is “business as usual”

            There are four RCP scenarios. These are essentially “stories” that describe various economic and emissions pathways will play out in the 21st Century. The RCP community do use terms like “storylines” so a “story” is not too strong a word.

            I understand that the paleoclimate fraternity like to compare Pliocene conditions with today’s, as Gareth as written about in this post. However, in the T&T reports, no mention is made of paleoclimatic data, as far as I know.

            So all we have to work on is RCP’s, which are “stories”. These might be useful for guiding policy with regard to energy, for example, but drawing lines on planning maps is very dubious in my view.

            18,000 property owners in Christchurch might feel the same, although I haven’t been pushing this message at them.

            This article in the Press is an indicator of problems to come

            1. According to that Stuff article Tonkin & Taylor are suggesting planning for a 40cm rise over 50 years and 1m over the next 100 years. That is consistent with what the science is saying.
              Regardless, it would seems imprudent to build that close to the coast with the risk of storm surges and tsunami. Parts of Chile had 4.5m high tsunami waves yesterday…..

            2. ….”but drawing lines on planning maps is very dubious in my view.”….

              We understand. You are fundamentally still in denial about this whole climate thing. Planning for something you deny is a problem is obviously problematic for you.

            3. I do not deny that sea levels in NZ have been rising at a rate of 1.7mm a year for the last century.

              I do not deny that recent studies show no anthropogenic fingerprint to sea level rise in the Pacific Ocean.

              So, based on my lack of denial, do you think it is appropriate to remove the ability to insure your property, with the related loss of equity, for 18,000 properties, based on a scenario that has no empirical evidence for it whatsoever?

              A simple yes or no will do.

            4. Yes.

              (Because there is vast empirical evidence for climate change, and for the basic pattern of expected events. You know this, even if you don’t like it.)

            5. Sorry Dave my question was directed at Thomas.

              My question is really, even if “climate change is real”, which is a trivially true statement that I accept, we also all accept that there are a range of scenarios that can exist.

              Given the uncertainty of scenarios, why should we force one group of residents into a position where they potentially lose all their equity over an arbitrary boundary drawn on a map?

              Since I know that you are a reasonable person and have studied public policy and game theory, this is a conversation I would like to explore further with you, perhaps offline?

            6. “I do not deny that recent studies show no(!?) anthropogenic fingerprint to sea level rise in the Pacific Ocean.”
              You are winding yourself up like an eel on a hook Andy… cognitive dissonance must be painful to harbour….

            7. … and one more: Andy “your” paper focusses on one specific ocean region that is the subject of a significant cyclical spacial variability of SL. The study makes no attempt to discredit the external (anthropogenic) forcing of global SLR. In fact, the authors clearly state:

              Our study suggests that detection/attribution studies should be focused on other regions such as Northern and Southern Oceans, North Atlantic, Southern Pacific to the east of Australia. Based on CMIP5 MME (see figures 6 and 7), these are the regions that show significant externally forced sea level signals.

              And further, the authors also state that external forcings (antropogenic) may well amplify the currently observed large variations of local SL in the tropical Pacific via trade wind amplifications.

              So I am unsure why you even bring this study up. It makes no statement whatsoever that brings into question the antropogenic forcing of the observed and predicted global SLR trends.

          2. Simon Arnold: As I pointed out before, T&T did not in fact use a worst case scenario at all. The reference to the IPCC’s RPC 8.5 and the 1.0 m is under today’s knowledge conservative, not worst case.

            Further, as you rightly point out: T&T are not the lawmakers nor have they done any such thing. The elected representatives referred to T&Ts professional testimony. We do live in a democracy. It just seems that when democratic institutions make decisions that YOU don’t like, you turn around questioning the democratic process. Interesting….

            It is about time that the representatives of our democracy take the warnings of climate scientists seriously. We have already wasted precious decades while squandering away not only fossil fuels but putting the climate pendulum further and further out of balance. 5m SLR are now pretty much guaranteed, thanks to the policy makes being asleep at the helm on this matter for the last decades.

            1. There are 4 RCP scenarios. RCP 8.5 is the most pessimistic scenario

              1m SLR is the upper bound of that scenario

              Can you explain to me how the upper bound of the worst case RCP scenario is “conservative”?

            2. Thomas wrote: ” The reference to the IPCC’s RPC 8.5 and the 1.0 m is under today’s knowledge conservative, not worst case.”

              I don’t think this is true at all. RCP8.5 is pretty out there. It seems to require something like (1) high global population growth even though we now have a better idea about how to reduce this in welfare enhancing ways; (2) a mysterious reversion to global GDP growth rates not seen since the pre-industrial period; (3) a deep commitment to meeting future energy demand, such as it is, through fossil fuels. All of those are odd; and none are business as usual (TFR has been falling decade on decade; global GDP growth remains well above pre-industrial levels; etc). As for SLR – it is uncertain. But it would be silly to plan on the basis of a burn-it-all scenario, because this is not a plausible scenario.

            3. Dave, the point is, the IPCC did not factor ice sheet melt into their models. But it is at this front that recent research seems to carry a clear message: The melting of land-based ice masses is accelerating quickly and the 1m of the RCP8.5 scenario seems outdated, even if we were to burn fewer fossil fuels than that scenario assumes we would. Thus going with the 1m / 100 years would seem to be a very reasonable assumption, especially as the world has so far failed to make significant CO emissions reductions on a global perspective. In fact, we are still working with rising emissions, year by year.

            4. There’s some interesting, and very recent, ice sheet modelling that suggests past sea level rise is a poor analogue for the path we’re on. The reason being that ocean warming was almost entirely responsible for past events whereas air temperatures are going to come into play this time. The research hasn’t been published yet AFAIK.

  3. Muriel Newman falls into the ideological climate sceptic category. I think she tries to deny climate science because the alternative is too awful for her, namely admitting her vision of self regulating global capitalist free markets may have limitations. She defames scientists as all having left wing motives, without bothering to think half of them are probably right wingers.

    The government has pushed responsibility for adaptation to local councils. This would be to avoid the government making tough decisions, and is to have someone to blame if things go wrong. However what we really need is some national leadership to give some direction and cohesion, while giving local bodies some flexibility as well.

  4. Mike Kelly doesn’t have any professional expertise in the area of climate change science. I don’t think he’s as clear about this as he should be.

    Mike makes some poorly justified claims in his article, among which are:
    “It is 25 years now since climate model predictions have been made, and the vast majority have been overestimates, some gross overestimates, of temperature change.” Yes some models run a bit warm. But the projections they made back in the early 1990s were much closer to reality than the prediction of “no change” that sceptics made at the same time. So yes models are imperfect, but (a) not as imperfect as climate sceptics and (b) models do capture the aggregate features of observed climate change, and they seem to do so for the right reasons.

    “The atmosphere is a complex, tightly coupled, highly non-linear multi-component system which is rapidly changing and it is also chaotic. Predicting its future properties in 35 years is like trying to predict the shape of a particular rain cloud in 35 minutes as it scuds over the sky on a windy day.”
    No. Global mean surface temperature (gmst) seems to be linearly related to cumulative emissions of CO2. The minor wiggles which characterise variability are chaotic; but the forced response (in gmst) is remarkably linear. It’s more predictable than Mike’s layman’s description portrays.

    etc. If Muriel Newman wants to showcase the untethered ramblings of random members of Oxbridge SCRs, that’s cool, obviously. I approve -some of those in their anecdotage* are wonderful company. Perhaps she could find an entomologist with strong but strange views about GMOs, fluoridation or free trade, and showcase these. It’s amusing she claims we should make sure our policies are based on facts and evidence and then, in the very next breath, to wed herself to policies that fly in the face of both. By placing these claims in such convenient proximity, she helpfully points out exactly the reason why it is right to ignore her.

    *Philip England’s phrase, I think.

      1. Scenarios are not facts, but they play a role in preparing for events which we can foresee but have not experienced. In 1910 the UK was building dreadnoughts not because the Kaiser had attacked anyone, but because their were increasingly credible scenarios that he would attack someone, and that the UK would be required to oppose him.

        The whole point of anticipation – of which scenario planning is simply one expression – is that it is irresponsible (and inefficient, and a bunch of other dumb things) to plan without taking account of how things are likely to change. (The All Blacks, when on defence, do not concentrate their forces solely on where the ball is, but on where it might be reasonably expected to shift to next. This is seriously not an advanced concept.)

        1. I agree with all this, Dave, but I think we can apply different criteria to different problems.

          We may use scenarios to guide our general direction on global energy policy, and indeed I’ve been pushing the Thorium/MSR avenue for sometime. It may indeed be too late to steer the energy supertanker onto a different course, if climate sensitivity turns out to be high. I accept that, and your war analogy is a good one

          However, local body decisions on coastal hazard zoning, which determine things like whether I can build a granny flat on my land, for example, are not the global supertanker. They are more like a lightweight kayak that can be picked up and moved with one hand (OK I might be stretching the analogy a bit far)

          So why can’t we relax the coastal planning constraints a bit and take a more adaptive approach to the problem, like for example North Carolina has done?

          1. *Snort*
            The North Carolina legislature banned the state from basing coastal policies on the latest scientific predictions of how much the sea level will rise.
            Are you seriously suggesting that we should ban science if it produces an answer that we don’t like?

            1. I am suggesting that we should use policies that adapt to what is actually happening based on real world data, with a reasonable timeframe like 30 years for planning, as NC have done.

              If you would like to use the Christchurch model and apply it to the entire country, with equity affected in the $trillions ($9 billion in ChCh alone) then I wish you luck.

          2. North Carolina’s approach is dumb. It is foolish to refuse to consider a foreseeable hazard because it collides with one’s politics or because some aspects of its scientific heritage are more uncertain than one would like. Similar arguments could be deployed (by biblical literalists, for instance) against considering geological hazards (which are also uncertain).

            If local bodies can head off problems by thinking, in the round, about the suites of hazards they face (including hazards which change over time like SLR) then that is surely a good thing.

            1. Given that people in coastal Christchurch are facing loss of equity up to and including total value of their properties, do you actually think this will fly as a national policy?

              It seems excessively cautious to me, and especially as the one metre SLR assumption is based on RCP8.5 which you yourself describe as unlikely

              Surely we can do a more measured risk based approach. No one at any point, as far as I know, has looked at the probability of the various scenarios.

            2. I think the issue has analogies with leaky homes. Risks arose in that case from a range of factors (building practices, materials, weak oversight), some of which it is reasonable to apply a private approach to, and some of which it seems appropriate to apply a less stringent approach to (given our attitude to social insurance in other cases). As with leaky homes, I don’t expect first-best policy arguments to win out – I expect piecewise, negotiated settlements.

              (I actually think SLR raises some really interesting policy patterns and issues, that people haven’t explored as much as they might have. It’s something I’d like to write about sometime soon.)

            3. Dave – if you wish to write about SLR policy then I would invite you to engage with the CCRU group which you can contact via or join the Facebook group (CCRU) (The email will get to me if you flag attn Andy)

              We are looking for inputs from all angles that give the residents of the coastal suburbs and the council the best outcome that satisfies the requirements of all parties

              At the moment, the group is heading towards litigation, which is something we should try to avoid. It will be expensive and probably unnecessary, if we can head it off at the pass and take a breath and discuss around a table in a civilised manner.

            4. The main issue with the Christchurch policy is that is is being forced through under earthquake legislation that doesn’t require as much consultation as normal.

              The people of the coastal suburbs are feeling very aggrieved, and rightly so

              We now have support from our local Labour MP Poto Williams, and some councillors have changed their position to one of support.

              This isn’t to say that we shouldn’t have a sea level policy in place, as this is required by law under the RMA

              We do however think that the policies are very blunt, and have not been properly analysed with respect to a serious risk perspective, taking into account loss of economic and personal well-being.

              The Tonkin and Taylor report for Wellington is a much better example of thought out policy and analysis.

              Christchurch has been a complete disaster. We have MPs and Councillors on our side and hope to get this kicked out so we can re-evaluate with proper consultation with all stakeholders.

              I seriously hope this position is deemed as reasonable.

            5. The main issue with the Christchurch policy is that is is being forced through under earthquake legislation that doesn’t require as much consultation as normal.

              The people of the coastal suburbs are feeling very aggrieved, and rightly so

              The people of Christchurch unfortunately have only themselves to blame for the loss of their democratic rights in continuing to vote in a government which has consistently acted against all democratic process.

            6. The people of Christchurch unfortunately have only themselves to blame for the loss of their democratic rights

              What relevance does the Christchurch Central result from the last election have to the current discussion?

  5. The trouble with an adaptive approach is that even if you require new dwellings to be on piles or even on wheels, so they can be moved in the event of significant SLR, the infrastructure; gardens, fences, paths, roads, gutters, power, water, sewerage, phone, fibre and more is pretty well nailed down and must be sacrificed. THAT is why I wouldn’t buy into low lying areas and why I’m even a tad nrevous about our current home that is only about 20m above SL. Of course if we did get even 5m SLR the damage to the entire community would be enormous, with communities and infrastructure up and down the country munted.

    1. I think you are miss understanding the adaptive approach. Under this approach you still project sea level rise 50 – 100 years into the future to map hazards but you do it based on current rise rates and adjust the zones on a regular basis as the rates rise or fall.

      50 – 100 years is the useful life of infrastructure so it is not getting stranded as it is not getting put into these zones. It simply means that you don’t clear out a lot of communities if rates don’t accelerate as currently projected.

      1. Being “adaptive” is all well and good, but it makes no earthly sense to base your planning on history when the problem is in a fundamentally different future – one whose parameters we are learning more about all the time.

        1. Here’s a good idea out of the US Senate, of all places – indict the US pollutocrats and their lackeys!

          Senator Whitehouse Compares Climate Denial to Civil Racketeering Perpetrated by Tobacco Industry

          The fossil fuel industry continues its crafty, cynical campaign of denial and delay. Big coal, oil, and natural gas, and related industries like the Koch Brothers’ companies, profit by offloading the costs of their carbon pollution onto the rest of us. They traffic in products that put health and safety at risk, and they don’t tell the truth about their product.

          Sound familiar? It should, because the fossil fuel industry is using a familiar playbook, one perfected by the tobacco industry. Big tobacco fought for more than four decades to bury the truth about the health effects of its product.

          But the government has a playbook too. It’s called RICO, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.

          The federal racketeering complaint opened up discovery into the files of the tobacco companies, and showed, finally and unequivocally, that for decades the tobacco industry knew about smoking’s harm while it continued public relations campaigns to deny that smoking was harmful.

          Discovery is a powerful tool. Sanctions for hiding evidence from a court are steep. So time and again, it’s discovery that finds the real smoking guns in corporate records.

          Imagine what a little discovery into the beast would reveal about the schemes and mischief of the climate denial apparatus—about what they’re telling each other in private while they scheme to deceive the public. The truth will eventually come to light. It always does.

            1. Andy, the only solution for your group – as the rest of us – is for humanity to stop pouring 40 billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere every year. Removing from power those hell-bent on exacerbating that pollution seems like a good start.

        2. I think what you are saying is that history and what is happening now can’t predict the future and that we are better to rely on models based on how we might be living in 50 – 100 years.

          I would argue against this on a number of points.
          1. What has happened historically and is happening now should be part of future projections especially to celebrate models.
          2. By their very nature models or any prediction carry a level of uncertainty. I do not think they should be used to wipe out peoples homes and communities when there is a chance that they are going to be wrong and when there is an alternative in the adaptive approach which will preserve peoples assets if the models prove to be wrong. (The adaptive approach will do the same thing if the models prove to be correct)
          3. Which models do you use (there are many and they can’t all be right). Some in Christchurch City Council are suggesting a 2.5m rise in the next 100 years is likely. Based on this should we hazard zone the entire city and move back to Lyttelton? (For other reasons I actually quite like this, imagine the harbour city, it would be an amazing sight)

          1. Such an approach as you suggest here would be fine if the present situation was analogous with previous warming events however, previous warming events were not caused by humans heavily loading the atmosphere with GHG’s, rapidly reducing rainforests, and dramatically changing significant areas of the dry land, promoting a significant energy imbalance and in geological terms “rapid warming”. As indicated by Rob Painting here:
            Of one thing we can be certain, the effects of Global warming are just beginning. The apparent slow rise of sea levels around Chch will not last for long.

            Over the past two decades, the massive platforms of floating ice that dot the coast of Antarctica have been thinning and doing so at an increasing rate, likely at least in part because of global warming. Scientists are worried about its implications for significant sea level rise

            What they found was that the massive ice shelves were losing, on the whole, about 30 to 50 cubic miles of ice per year over that span. And in that period, the rate of ice loss accelerated by an average of 7 cubic miles per year..


            1. The apparent slow rise of sea levels around Chch will not last for long.

              It is not “apparent”. It is 1.7-1.9mm a year, linear trend for the last 100 years.

            2. So you do concede then that the Sea Level is rising. Well that is a start. However, you confuse yourself when you calculate that rise over a century. That is where the apparent 1.7 mm / year comes from. SLR has been relatively constant over the first 3/4 of the past Century, but in recent decades that has now changed and SLR is increasing and will continue to accelerate. You cannot assume that the SLR will continue at a linear rate, that just will not happen. Not when the Antarctic is loosing ice at an ever increasing rate.

            3. Where do you get the acceleration from? The tide gauge in Lyttelton shows no statistically significant rise over the last 20 years or so.

              Is it satellite data, if it is you should not compare satellite and tide gauge results. To avoid error one measurement approach should be used throughout.

              I understand that satellites are also not that reliable around coasts.

            4. Warwick see Thomas’ comment below. Note that I also refer to the acceleration in the last 3 decades. (which includes your past 20 years) the mistake is that that extra rise is then averaged over 100 years. Furthermore – you need to note that Antarctica is now loosing ice at an accelerating rate. (Do you honestly think that that water is not going to affect Chch but everywhere else on the planet?)

            5. Warwick, SLR is increasing globally. There is no way to deny it. Even if local effects (land uplift, specifics of local ocean dynamics) mask it here and there with short time frames in mind, there is no escaping the truth that we are:

              a) increasing ocean heat content and rapidly so


              b) on the way to melt substantial parts of Greenland and Antarctica. We have by now assured about 5m of SLR in total.

              The timing of significant effects may vary from place to place and some areas will have a bit more time than others. But sticking your head in the proverbial sand near a beach (I can picture you now…. 😉 ) will neither be pleasant or responsible.

              Some people’s “wiggling” about statistical significance over short time frames and satellite data versus tide gauges constitute academic nonsense at best, willful denial more likely.

            6. The SLR rate for NZ is 1.7 mm a year, and it is fairly constant. Hannah and Bell 2012 report this. All the Tonkin and Taylor reports since 1999 report this. The science advisor at PCE reports this. I even phoned up the author of the H and B paper to confirm this.

            7. Yes Andy. These reports look at the long term trends from 1900 to today. We have been over this Andy. Also as you know, NZ has been so far lucky enough to not have seen the worst of the global SLR rates due to our location. But you can not deny that global SLR trends are currently on a rising trajectory with 3mm/y globally average over the last 20 years.
              NZ’s luck will not last.
              You can wiggle and wind yourself around as much as you like.

            8. “NZ has been lucky not to have seen the worst of the SLR rates due to our location”

              Are you able to define what this “luck” might entail? Global SLR as a concept doesn’t really exist. The satellite rates uniformly report a higher rate than most tidal gauges, it would seem. So 1.7mm a year, trendless, for NZ is what we have. That would give me until my 500th birthday before I need to worry about it, if these trends continued on their current trajectory.

            9. “”NZ has been lucky not to have seen the worst of the SLR rates due to our location”
              Are you able to define what this “luck” might entail? Global SLR as a concept doesn’t really exist.”

              It certainly does exist, although the changes are slow at the moment*
              Parts of NZ may get off lightly due to our proximity to the vast gravitational mass of Antarctica that has pulled sea water towards it, causing sea levels in the area to be higher than nearer the equator. The same effect is seen in Northern Europe & Britain as sea levels are affected by Greenland’s mass of ice. As the ice melts, those areas may even have a drop in sea level, at the expense of those further away.
              Our problem may be that we could see changes due to warming of the oceans and meltwater from Greenland before Antarctica starts to dissipate. These may be generations away, but we don’t need to have the water lapping at the Cathedral steps. The first 1m of rise taking out chunks of South Shore will see a collapse of confidence. I’d recommend finding a determined denialist to sell to while there are still a few around.

              *tell that to the good folk of Miami driving around with sea water up to their hub-caps. I doubt they would have built a city that spends part of the day below sea level so something is changing.

            10. You are in deep denial Andy. The small difference between our SLR and global average SLR will not last. As the global SL rises (currently with 3mm/y with a rate of increase of the SLR of about 0.02mm/y^2) we will follow suit in NZ.

            11. Can anyone explain why the tide gauges don’t match the satellite data?

              Can anyone explain why the Ministry for Environment claim that sea level rise has “accelerated” by comparing tide gauges with satellite data, which looks to me like “data tampering”, the kind of stuff VW will get fined a lot of money for.

            12. Andys. I have to agree with Thomas over this sea level rise issue. You cannot assume that because Christchurch has had 1.8mm sea level rise that this will continue at this rate forever.

              The IPCC report, says sea level rise will accelerate mid this century globally and there is no reason why Christchurch would be immune. You offer no robust proof that the IPCC are wrong. They have assessed the research and the weight of that research indicates an acceleration.

              You are on better ground with your concerns about building rules. Its hard to see why Council would limit people altering their properties. However these sorts of problems of law will continue if we do nothing to reduce global warming.

              Regardless of building rules, peoples property values will be destroyed as they become seriously impacted by sea level rise. Good luck insuring properties at risk, it wont be easy.This is what happens if we do nothing about climate change.

            13. The climate scientists at Christchurch City Council are predicting an acceleration of sea level rise in 2065. I would prefer a more accurate estimate, like the date, morning or afternoon?

              That notwithstanding, the process has been pushed through without public consultation under emergency earthquake legislation. Normally the process would take several years but thanks to CERA legislation, the council can dispense with that annoying “democracy” thing that gets in the way of great plans.

              These great plans include knocking down sea walls on Southshore spit and not filling in earthworks so that land becomes deliberately flooded after a storm.
              It also includes making all building and repairs too onerous under the new rules that no one really understands anyway, so people will move away and lose all their equity.

              Meanwhile, 18000 houses are affected with no means of democratic process because that process has been denied to them by the council.

            14. Andy asks: “Can anyone explain why the tide gauges don’t match the satellite data?”
              Andy, you have so far never asked any honest question here. All your “contributions” have been rhetorical wrangling and dropping of misleading questions. If you had an honest question about the difference of global average SLR satellite data compared to individual tide gauges then you could answer this yourself with ease.

              How about you point your nose and that to the readers here:

              The differences in SLR play themseleves out on a general rising trend. And NZ is not immue to that.

          2. I do not think they should be used to wipe out peoples homes and communities when there is a chance that they are going to be wrong and when there is an alternative in the adaptive approach which will preserve peoples assets if the models prove to be wrong.
            But equally, should I as a ratepayer be relaxed about the Council being sued by someone who bought a property in Brighton and wasn’t warned in the LIM that it was in danger of being inundated?
            Of course virtually all of ChCh (& Dunedin, Wellington, Auckland etc) are vulnerable in a worst-case scenario. Maybe Hamilton isn’t such a bad place to live after all.
            Don’t know if I would want to live in Lyttelton, the tunnel portal may still be open but where will the Heathcote side of the road go underwater? The Avon river is currently tidal right up to Barbados St, maybe you could catch the ferry to Church Corner.

            1. Why should you be concerned about the council being sued? Was anyone sued over the decisions to build in liquefaction prone areas like Bexley?

            2. You are missing the point here – the council still have a 100 year risk buffer under an adaptive approach. Under the current approach it is potentially 500 + years. Which is a bit over the top.

  6. Andy, does your concern for residents of Christchurch coastal suburbs facing loss of equity, also extend to the residents of low-lying Pacific islands facing loss of their land, water and food?

    If not, why not?

    1. We should indeed be concerned at the 0.8mm of annual sea level rise currently occurring at Kiribati.

      Since this is going to accelerate rapidly, at some point in the future, so we are told, perhaps Kiribati should adopt Christchurch’s policy of removing everyone’s property rights through an undemocratic process with no right of appeal.

      We could call it the “New Zealand Model” just so everyone knows where this great idea came from.

  7. Andy, as you are doubtless well aware, the Kiribati are already losing their property rights and livelihood through “an undemocratic process with no right of appeal”.

    That process is sea level rise caused by anthropogenic climate change:

    In the low-lying Pacific atolls of the Marshall Islands and Kiribati rising sea levels have made every high tide a dangerous event. Regular floods wash through villages causing damage to houses, killing crops and poisoning drinking water.

    The accompanying before- and after- photos may be of interest to you and your fellow NIMBYs in Christchurch, as it presages your own futures.

  8. AndyS surpasses himself at naked straw-man propaganda; the Guardian photos show that the high-water level is already above that of the islanders roads and homes; further sea level rise and/or storminess will only exacerbate their bleak situation.

    So, Andy, does your concern for residents of Christchurch coastal suburbs facing loss of equity, also extend to the residents of low-lying Pacific islands losing their land, water and food?

    If not, why not?

    1. Sea levels in the Pacific Islands are rising at about 50% of the rate of the Lyttelton tide gauges, at least that is true of Kiribati

      Naturally I am concerned about the islands. I am concerned about lots of things.

      However, we are currently discussing the Christchurch District Plan Section 5, and that is what the group I am involved in is trying to get stopped so that we can re-evaluate the policy with all parties being giving proper due process.

      Is it actually possible for you to focus on this rather than change the subject to whatever is the current fashionable cause in The Guardian?

      1. Andy, Is it actually possible for you to acknowledge the threat climate change poses to all of us, rather than merely focus on your personal financial interest in Christchurch District Plan Section 5?

        Your selfish ignorant hypocrisy is staggering; having spent years on this site, sneering at climate change “alarmists” and wind turbine “birdchoppers”, you’re now asking for our support to save yourself a few bucks.

        Well, buddy, you’ve made your own bed, now you can lie in it; better wear a snorkel while you’re at it!

  9. Your selfish ignorant hypocrisy is staggering;

    I know that Warwick has put a lot of time and money into this issue, as have many other CCRU members who I believe are advocating for the best interests of coastal residents with barely a second thought for their own well being.

    I don’t think I would describe any of these fine people as selfish or hypocritical. I will leave value judgements of my own motivations to others.

      1. Very little one would gather.
        One would think that the people on the Chch Waterfront were the only people in NZ – nay the Whole World! – who were being affected by LIM’s and insurance companies not wanting to insure properties because of the risk of inundation. I can assure andy and warwick that that is not the case. Half of the buildings in my own township are subject to such statements on their LIMs and have been so for some years. They are still bought and sold – people have to live somewhere, and if that area is not looking too bad at the moment – what the heck! They may or may not suffer inundation, that is the risk they take. It’s hard if you have bought into a coastal area in the past, not realising that it was under threat. But that is life. Now councils around NZ are doing something about it. They have too. If people want to preserve their beach lifestyle into the future then they will need to consider very carefully their carbon foot print – and be urging everyone else to go easy on the planet too, because if they don’t, and we continue BAU, then we are all stuffed, and they will be amongst the very first to suffer.

        1. The key issue you seem not to understand is that this plan has been forced through under the CERA earthquake legislation with little public consultation, at a time when the residents of the city have spent up to 5 years battling with insurers and EQC.

          Many who think that they have finally reached a resolution are now being told that they cannot build, or that it will cost them much more, or that their bare land that was sitting empty pending consents, insurance negotiations, etc. is now worthless

          This is the key issue that differentiates this situation form every other local body in NZ

          Furthermore, Christchurch is trying to establish itself as the template for the whole of NZ, in which case the whole of NZ living next to the coast needs to be very worried indeed.

          1. The key issue you seem not to understand, Andy, is that this is the inevitable consequence of the climate change and sea level rise that you’ve spent years denying, as well as scorning any action to remedy.

            Better get used to it, sucker.

            Bigger waves and more coastal erosion will hit Pacific countries like New Zealand as a projected upsurge of severe El Nino and La Nina events brings an increase in storm events, according to a study out today.


            1. I see, so the emergency CERA legislation that was used to fast track the coastal planning process is a direct consequence of the projections of rapid sea level rise and storm surges that haven’t happened yet that I am apparently denying.

              I am struggling to follow the line of reasoning here, but then I don’t have a liberal arts degree

            2. Well Gerry gave himself the power of Dictator andy so he can do what he likes – if you don’t like it – vote the b*gger out!

            3. As usual, I’m struggling to follow your line of reasoning, Andy, and I don’t have a liberal arts degree either.

  10. Andy, please provide links to the original sources of the following claims you have made:

    Can anyone explain why the tide gauges don’t match the satellite data?

    Can anyone explain why the Ministry for Environment claim that sea level rise has “accelerated” by comparing tide gauges with satellite data?

      1. I think I see your problem, Andy – you appear to have only a limited grasp of the English language.

        To assist, I have bolded the relevant text below; if you still have difficulty understanding the concepts, I suggest that you take off your ideological blinders, or ask a grown-up for help.

        Between 1901 and 2010 global average sea level rose at an average rate of 1.7 mm per year. It is likely that the rate of sea level rise has continued to increase since the early 20th century. Over the period from 1993 to 2010 the rate of global average sea level rise increased to approximately 3.2 mm per year.

        Due to the influence of regional climate trends and gravitational effects, sea level does not rise uniformly around the globe. Sea levels in New Zealand rose by 17 centimetres last century and they have risen on average 1.7 mm/year over the last 40 years.

      2. Andy, despite your alleged college education in Mathematics you be unable to derive a gradient from a graph. Try again as homework:
        What is the gradient of the graph from 1900 to 1950?
        What is the gradient of the graph from 1990 to 2010?
        What is the average gradient from 1990 to 2010?
        Please post your answers here for marking. 😉

        Solutions (if you are incapable of undertaking this exercise yourself) are further up in one of my earlier posts.

    1. Also “Handbook of Geomathematics”
      edited by Willi Freeden p368
      Section 7 Conclusions
      states “During this time interval, (the last 17 years) the agreement between altimeter and tide gauge data is good.”
      The link is a massive one and I won’t link it here.

      1. This article suggests that satellite data and tidal gauges do not match, nor is there an acceleration in sea levels in most locations around the world

        [Link to nonsense snipped. Andy, if you want to inform the debate about future sea level rise, please link to primary sources, not denialist propaganda blogs. GR]

        1. Here is the Abstract for the article published in the book I referred to above and from which I quote one sentence of the conclusion:


          After a general theoretical consideration of basic mathematical aspects, numerical and physical details, which are related to a specific epoch and areas where sufficient and reliable data are available, are addressed. The concept of a “mean sea level” is in itself rather artificial, because it is not possible to determine a figure for mean sea level for the entire planet, and it varies on a much smaller scale. This is because the sea is in constant motion, affected by the high- and low-pressure zones above it, the tides, local gravitational differences, and so forth. What is possible to do is to calculate the mean sea level at that point and use it as a reference datum. Coastal and global sea level variability are analyzed between January 1993 and June 2008. The coastal variability is estimated from tide gauges, altimeter data colocated to the tide gauges and from altimeter data along the world coasts, while the global variability is estimated from altimeter data. Regionally there is a good agreement between coastal and open-ocean sea level variability from altimeter data. The sea level trends are regionally dependent, with positive average of 3. 1 ± 0. 4 mm∕year. The variability of the trend of coastal sea level appears to be related to the interannual time scale of variability of the Northern Atlantic Oscillation and of the El Nino- Southern Atlantic Oscillation climatic indices.

          my bold

          If you were to read the full article you would see that this assessment is a perfectly reasonable one.

          1. The Tonkin and Taylor report for Christchurch seems to think 1.7mm a year is the global average.

            Someone else thinks it is 3.2mm a year.

            Take you pick I suppose, but let’s stick to one set of data and not pretend that there is an acceleration by comparing 3.2 mm with 1.7mm

            1. Yes andy Can I quote T & T here so we can try to explain this apparent discrepancy to you:

              Global sea levels have risen over the twentieth century with a global average rise of 1.8 ±0.3 mm/year estimated between 1950 and 2000 (IPCC, 2007). Relative sea level rise estimates in New Zealand appear largely consistent with this global average.
              Sea level recorded at Lyttelton Port increased at a rate of 1.9 ±0.1 mm/year between 1925 and 2010 (Hannah & Bell, 2012). Therefore, we consider it is reasonable to infer that global projections of sea level rise can be applied to obtain future projections of sea level rise in New

              Notice that T & T use the IPCC figures for 2007 as these would have been the most “authoritative” figures available at the time. Since 2007 there has been considerably more research and evidence that sea levels are rising faster. The IPCC has subsequently updated its figures on SLR accordingly as you well know. you can read more about the research in a non – technical version here:

            2. For Goodness Sake andy! I don’t claim that – The authors of the report state that. Are you such an ignoramus that you cannot tell the difference! Furthermore this is the Report, which you claim to be, the one and only authority on SLR in Chch. Are you now disputing this report? I quoted the relevant section in full so that we could see why there was an apparent disparity. The figure of 1.9 mm/yr come from H&B. T&T observe that this is consistent with observed average Global SLR at that time and conclude – quite rightly in my opinion that

              global projections of sea level rise can be applied to obtain future projections of sea level rise in New

            3. The error bounds of 0.1 differ from the error bounds shown in H and B

              Nevertheless, the secular trend of sea level rise for Lyttelton is 1.7mm a year across the last 100 years, with no obvious sign of acceleration.

              All the reports agree on this. Tonkin and Taylor (going back to 1999, three reports in total. the Ministry for Environment, the chief science advisor to the PCE (obtained via OIA)

              Everyone agrees with my assertion, so why am I somehow painted as the outlier?

            4. Andy for the very last time:

              1.7mm/y is the AVERAGE GLOBAL SLR from 1900 to 2014
              3.2mm/y is the CURRENT GLOBAL SLR rate averaged over the last 20 years.

              These are the GLOBAL average rates! And the CURRENT GLOBAL average rate is currently increasing with 0.02 m/y^2.

              Local rates in any particular place may vary as not every locality very obviously is exactly sitting at the global averages. Some places had less than the global average of SLR and some had significantly more. Some places had even a drop in SLR due to local rising land levels (rebound of the crust in areas where there has been significant glacial melting and mass redistribution.

              Andy, stop your attempts to confuse readers with your nonsensical leading questions or “pretend” dumbness in order to seed doubt in the public. There is nothing to doubt or misunderstand here whatsoever!

            5. Thomas, the general consensus is that you need 50 years of sea level data to infer a trend. So the last 20 years of data are largely irrelevant.

              Similarly, the fact that Lyttelton SLR trends have flat lined over the last 10 years is also irrelevant.

              The relevant metric is the 1.7mm per year secular trend over the last 100 years, that is not accelerating.

            6. Excellent. So the next time you point at a “pause” in global temperatures over the last ten or fifteen years we can remind you of this comment. Or are you just a self-serving hypocrite?

            7. New Zealand is near the centre of the South Pacific subtropical gyre. The low rate of sea level rise at Lyttelton during the noughties is consistent with the spin-up of the gyre, as stronger currents pile the water up in the centre of the gyre. Now that the warm phase of the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO) appears to be upon us, and the gyre has spun down, we may see a much higher rate of sea level rise at Lyttelton.

            8. The ” pause” that doesn’t exist is a separate problem to sea levels which are affected by lunar cycles, IPO, PDO, ENSO. Etc. it is in the literature that a 50 year period to remove these trends.

              Similarly a 30 year period is generally needed to establish climate change, for example the 30 year period 1976 to 1998 when we last had a significant warming period.

              Obviously I am a self serving hypocrite as are the others who are giving up their time for free to lobby for the 18000 property owners who are having their property values and rights diminished by a government that is illegally using earthquake legislation to fast track local government proposals.

              What I should do, of course, is obediently observe the government and rejoice when they take away our democratic rights and sovereignty, like for example TPPA, EU, UN, and other non sovereign bodies.

            9. Thomas, yes I can see the acceleration shown in the CSIRO PowerPoint you provide.

              Where did the data come from that produced this acceleration, that is not evident in the majority of tide gauge datasets?

              Why should I trust your PowerPoint slide over all the reports done for CCC based on peer reviewed papers?

  11. Clearly, Andy is trolling, using the Karl Rove playbook:

    Demand an elaborate, time-consuming comparison / analysis between your position and theirs.

    Tie them up. We are going for delay of game here. Dismiss their narrative as rubbish immediately.

    Do not even read it. Once the Liberal goes through the trouble to research, gather, collate, compose and write their narrative your job is to discredit it. Make it obvious you tossed their labor-intensive narrative aside like garbage. This will have the effect of demoralizing the Liberal poster.

    It will make them unwilling to expend the effort again, and for us, that is a net win.

    Challenge the Liberal position with questions, always questions. The questions need not be relevant. The goal is to knock the Liberal poster off their game, and seize control of the narrative

    Once you have control you can direct the narrative to where you want it to go, which is always away from letting the Liberal make their point. Conversely, do not respond to their leading questions. Don’t rise to their bait. Your job is to prevent the presentation and spread of Liberal viewpoints.

    Do anything you must do to prevent a Liberal poster from presenting a well-reasoned argument or starting a civil discussion.

    Don’t allow a Liberal to present their dogma unchallenged EVER.

    1. Of course there’s nothing to stop “Liberals” from using exactly the same tactics, however unsavoury they may be to intelligent debate.
      The sooner Denialist rubbish is buried under Godwin’s Law the better. Even if you have to use a sock puppet.

      1. Here is an excellent article on the history, motivations and authoritarian ambitions of Movement Conservatives such as Donald Trump and Andy Scrase:

        After the last Republican debate, astonished observers noted that many of the candidates’ assertions were flat-out lies. The New York Times editorial board mused: “It felt at times as if the speakers were no longer living in a fact-based world.” But the lies are not random. They tell followers that America has fallen apart because enemies— minorities, women and liberals– have poisoned the government. Only a Movement Conservative leader can purge the nation of that poison and return America to its former greatness.

        Donald Trump, who currently commands a significant lead, is the salesman who puts it most clearly. He tells his followers that “the world is a mess.” He promises to work outside the old order and replace it with something new and wonderful. He tells them a story in which Christianity is under siege, President Obama is a foreigner, and that immigrants—who actually commit crimes at lower rates than native-born Americans– are criminals. He refused to contradict a follower who announced that Muslims are a problem that we must “get rid of.” And he promises to “Make America Great Again.”

        But Trump is not an outlier. Jeb Bush says that black people vote for Democrats to get “free stuff.” Mike Huckabee insists that the United States is criminalizing Christianity. Bobby Jindal promises to “fire” Congress. Ted Cruz hints that President Obama is a Muslim and warns that no Muslim should be president. All of the candidates demonize undocumented immigrants.

        And Carly Fiorina makes the outrageous claim, on national television, that political opponents murder babies to harvest and sell their brains.

        Think about that.

        The fantasy world of Movement Conservatives is no longer fringe talk. The leading candidates for the Republican presidential nomination embrace it. They are playing to a chorus of true believers, and they are preaching what that choir wants to hear. They are following the path to authoritarianism.

        Last week, 43 percent of Republicans polled said they could imagine a scenario in which they would back a military coup. This week, Movement Conservatives in Congress knocked off a conservative speaker because he refused to sacrifice the American government to their demands.

        1. Yeah – Last year when I visited my cousin in Ohio I had this feeling I was entering a very sick society. When one votes as to whether or not to fund schools and local roads – when a visitor to the country is treated as a criminal from the moment they approach the border to the moment they leave – when everyone in the country and elsewhere is spied upon continuosly, and every department store has donation boxes for the poor (many of whom are their own workers earning around $7.00 per hour – if they are lucky), where only those who are wealthy can go to a doctor or hospital when sick or injured, you have to wonder what sort of society it is, and what the heck ever happened to “Social Justice”. By the way a professor lecturing on social justice at a Californian University once noted that his students had a very blank look on their faces whenever he was speaking on the subject. He asked them to write down what they thought he was talking about when he spoke of Social Justice – almost all thought he was speaking about some form of community criminal court! With that sort of ignorance amongst supposedly intelligent sections of society – who were undertaking a course supposedly addressing the very subject of justice in terms of the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society – you have to wonder.

  12. Thomas, if you want to go down the rabbit-hole with this time-wasting troll, I suggest you check out the advice he’s getting from Richard Cumming, over at Treadgold’s Swamp of Denial (aka CCG).

    Richard, in turn, is channeling pollutocrat-funded denial sites in the US such as Watts and Idso.

    Personally, I think you’d be better off debating religion with the Taliban…

    1. Indeed, and I think that the rabit zealots of the “Movement Conservative” have a lot in common with the zealotry of the Taliban or other rabit morons of that ilk. Both hate liberty, deny reason, believe in a fairy tale reality and preach intollerance.

      1. You are of course a beacon for liberty, Thomas. I seem to recall that your initial response to the fate of the Christchurch coastal residents was “puke”, and that they were simply a bunch of whingers.

        Do you feel the same about the single mothers who are being evicted from their homes in Germany to make way for “refugees”?

        1. Aha, our superhero, Red Herring Man, has returned!

          Presumably, Andy has been helping the climate-change-denying residents of South Carolina pile sandbags against the ravages of their one-thousand-year flood, whilst telling them it’s all just a “warmist” conspiracy…

        2. You will recall Andy that I agreed with you that the residents of ChCh should be allowed to spend their money in the way the want, if and that is a clear condition, if they agree to deny any responsibility of the rest of us (read: the taxpayer and the institutions they fund such as the councils) for the fate of their investments, the services to their properties, the insurability of their properties, the value perception of their properties or the willingness of banks to lend to them.

          In the end, as the seas will start rising in earnest, we will need to have a national policy to deal with the fate of our coastal properties and the services we want as tax payers provide to them.
          Some communities will be more defendable for a while than others, with local geographic features or national importance being important factors.

          But what your coastal landowners will not be able to avoid is the fact that our councils have the obligation to plan ahead and to note risks such as flooding, erosion and ocean inundation risks on their planning documents, LIM reports and so on.

          Your racist jibe about “German single mother[s]” (plural is your personal exaggeration and shameless propaganda) is abhorrent. At least you should report the “Telegraphs” article faithfully.
          The person in question is 51 her kids long grown up and she lives alone in the flat. Her landlord (the local municipality) gave her 8 months notice that the building in which is renting a flat will be converted into a refugee hostel and her rental agreement not continued. In most places of the world, landlords have the right to change the use of the property they own or sell the property and have the right to terminate rental agreements. However, Germany has a very good law protecting tenants rights which make it virtually impossible for landlords to evict tenants unless they violate the agreement. Most likely the municipality will lose the argument and the woman will be allowed to stay. She may have to put up with new neighbors….

          1. “At least I should report the Telegraph’s article faithfully”

            I never even mentioned an article in the Telegraph. Why should I report on something that I didn’t read or cite?

            1. If there was a master of dog whistling, then you Rob would have your own whistling orchestra.

              Apparently Thomas thinks my example which I didn’t cite was “abhorrent”, like it is an outside example in a peaceful migration.

              Unfortunately things are not going to work out well in Germany, Sweden and other western countries that have opened their doors to an unlimited influx of mainly unskilled men of fighting age from the Middle East.

              Nevertheless, my “dog whistle” as you assert, was to draw some parallels between properties rights being taken away by the State in Germany and similarly in NZ.

              For those that claim that Proper Tea is Theft (which is why you can only get herbal in a Marxist cafe) this might seem like a non problem, but for the majority of people it is, especially in a country of high percentage of home ownership like NZ.

            2. Andy: It is YOUR action of incorrect citing and exaggeration of a news story that I called abhorrent. Get it?

              Your track record is riddled with the deceptive or exaggerated citing of news or the published work of others. Once again you have been called out as the risible troll you are.

              Stay with the discussion at hand and if you cite anything, make sure it’s factual as you will be caught lying or making up tosh to inflame the minds of others.

            3. You are accusing me of exaggerating a news story. I claimed that more than one person (solo Mum, whatever) had been evicted to make way for refugees.

              I have found two names, Bettina Halbey, and Gabrielle Keller from this Mail article

              If you don’t believe the Mail, then you can contact these two people and find out for yourself whether it is true or not, and whether my “wild exaggeration” is just that

              Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Violent crime is escalating across Europe, so nitpicking whether one or two women were evicted is just that.

              As for Christchurch, the hazard notices are still on LIMs, so nothing really has progressed other than section 5 of the district plan being dropped.

            4. Andy, mass migration will become an issue for all countries to deal with as AGW will be altering the living conditions across the globe and drive people out of their homelands where conditions deteriorate. Germany, given its history, has a particular role to play in opening its hearts to those displaced by war at the edge of Europe. I am proud that they intend to help.

              But beware, NZ with its comparatively very low population density – less than 1/10th of that of Germany – will become a prized destination for refugees, climate, wars and otherwise, in this century.

    1. Yes, common sense has prevailed, and we can now have a proper discussion about the coastal hazards issues using the correct democratic channels, which we have been advocating for all along.

        1. Yes, finally some common sense prevails and government agencies start to take long awaited action towards acknowledging the problem and addressing some of the causes.
          More and more people begin to pull their heads out of the proverbial sand. The remaining “Ostriches” and deniers will look rather silly don’t you think Andy?

            1. Ah yes, Andy, truly it is the end of democracy when Council responds rationally to a real threat:

              The council said it was legally bound to include the coastal hazards information on the LIMs.

              On Tuesday, council chief planning officer Michael Theelen said the council did not want to over-play or under-play the information it held about coastal hazards.

              “What we have endeavoured to do is to ensure the LIM wording is a fair and accurate reflection of the information we have,” Theelen said.

              Zounds! Who will rid us of these meddlesome bureaucrats?

            2. It is not a real threat. It is a threat based on a computer model that explicitly states that is not a forecast and not for public policy

            3. Just thank your lucky stars your not living here n Perth WA andy! Sea level is rising at the rate of around 10mm per year. That is due to – up to 6mm subsidence per year from the increasing use of ground water by the City. The latest sources of water for Perth come from around 40% Ground water, 40% desalination, and 20 from water catchment (which are currently at 28% capacity the lowest level recorded for Oct).
              Adding a 3mm per years sea level rise – and the coastlines are under severe threat. A 10cm rise in sea level can cause up to 15m in erosion of unprotected sandy beaches.

            4. ” democracy missing in action…”???
              Andy: In any democratic assembly such as a council voting chamber or otherwise people who have a vested personal interest in a matter being debated must remove themselves from the vote due to their conflict of interest. And that is good so, as otherwise we would have a banana republic with corruption going wild. Am I correct?
              Now if a group of landowners with a personal investment affected by a measure such as information on LIM reports, which is there for the benefit of all people, wants to meddle with the democratic process and force our council to withhold material information about their properties, then this would be very undemocratic indeed. It would be corrupt and it would be an outrage. We could as well scrap the LIM process completely as if the coastal land owners have information withheld then we might as well allow anybody to get rid of compromising information on their LIMs too!
              Get with it Andy: Democracy is a principle that you must uphold even if you don’t like a particular decision.

            5. You seem to be missing a key point, despite it being repeated several times.

              I will repeat this again.

              The proposed district plan was being forced through under emergency earthquake legislation thus bypassing the normal democratic process of consultation with the public

              Do you remember this? Perhaps you would like the democratic process to be removed and society to be administered by technocrats with no input from the rest of society.

            6. Andy, you seem to be missing a key point, despite it being repeated several times.

              I will repeat this again:

              The purpose of LIM reports is to record facts, such as SLR, and the risks arising from it. Facts are not established by public consultation, but the policy response to the associated risks could very well be.

              Provided, of course, that the pernicious effects of vested interest and NIMBYism are recognised and avoided.

            7. The purpose of LIM reports is to record facts, such as SLR, and the risks arising from it. Facts are not established by public consultation, but the policy response to the associated risks could well be.

              The facts are fairly clear.1.7mm-1.9mm a year sea level rise, not accelerating, at Lyttelton

              Christchurch City Council have asserted that there will be a large increase in sea level rise, as yet, not seen in the instrumental record. They assert that sea level rise will be one metre by 2115, which will require of the order of 14mm a year sea level rise by the end of the century

              This is not a fact.

              This is a theory, as yet backed up by zero evidence to support it, other than arm waving about computer models and paleoclimatic reconstructions.

  13. Andy, in a classic Appeal to Ignorance ploy says:

    This is not a fact.This is a theory, as yet backed up by zero evidence to support it, other than arm waving about computer models and paleoclimatic reconstructions.

    In a similar vein, my Collins 2015 diary lists times of sunrise, sunset and phases of the moon in the future. How can that possibly be, when the future hasn’t even happened yet!

    Clearly, these predictions are not facts, but just theories with no evidence to support them, other than arm waving about computer models and astronomical reconstructions.

    Now, I’m not wishing to be unkind, but if Andy actually believed his own nonsense, he’d still be living on the South Brighton shore, rather than well inland…

    1. We can calculate the tides using known equations

      Perhaps you would like to show me the deterministic equation that defines one metre SLR by 2115

      Or perhaps, a citation in the peer reviewed literature, or in the IPCC

      Or perhaps, a back of fag packet, anything will do

      1. Andy, what, exactly, did you “study at Cambridge”?

        Not maths, surely, or you would know that climate is modelled by a mixture of deterministic and stochastic processes.

        The key uncertainty is in the amount of anthropogenic GHG emitted over time, which is why the IPCC (and Councils) use a range of scenarios.

        I am pleased, however, to see your new-found respect for peer-reviewed literature and the work of the IPCC!

    2. Yes Rob, but Andy has difficulty with the recent past too. Satellite altimetry data shows that sea level rise at Lyttleton Harbour has risen at over 4mm per year since 1993, and the tide gauge at Lyttleton implies even higher recent rates of sea level rise.

      This has to do with the dynamics of the South Pacific gyre circulation as well as long-term sea level rise, but it is the change in sea level height that Christchurch is experiencing.

      1. It’s unfortunate that your sea level data for Lyttelton doesn’t match the peer reviewed literature, cited by Tonkin and Taylor for their CCC report.

      2. I seem to recall the same circular argument from andy before – he is a one track record – or perhaps a one pea brain – it can only hold one “fact” at a time – and this one “fact” – (1.9mm SLR Lyttleton Harbour) is all it can take.
        andy – strange as it may seem – observations of physical data can change over time. And right now – as Rob has shown you – the observations of SLR for the Canterbury coast show that SLR is now up to around 4 mm per year. Furthermore, we should not be surprised by that result. The other inconvenient fact, that you do not wish to address, is that the Earth is continuing to heat at an unprecedented rate, and that implies accelerating SLR whether you like it or not.

        1. the observations of SLR for the Canterbury coast show that SLR is now up to around 4 mm per year

          is not supported by either observations or peer reviewed literature

          he other inconvenient fact, that you do not wish to address, is that the Earth is continuing to heat at an unprecedented rate,

          is not supported by either observations or peer reviewed literature

          1. “is not supported by either observations or peer reviewed literature”
            really! well if you say so andy – but I’d rather note the widget at the top right of this page andy – based on peer reviewed science.
            (Stanford University – peer reviewed)
            (latest observations of world temp record)
            and the NOAA state of the climate report 2014
            need I go on?
            Get your head out of the sand andy – you are wrong – dead wrong! and you and your ilk are instrumental in holding up real action that is necessary to mitigate the impending catastrophies towards which we are rapidly heading.

            1. Get your head out of the sand andy – you are wrong – dead wrong! and you and your ilk are instrumental in holding up real action that is necessary to mitigate the impending catastrophies towards which we are rapidly heading

              OK, so the group trying to get some justice for ratepayers in Christchurch is somehow blocking progress to “take action” on climate change, a movement supported by the Pope, The President of the USA, and just about every Western country on the planet

              I really had no idea we were so influential

            2. Oh yes, “movement conservative” and its bunch of lying snake oil sellers here, in the US, the UK, Canada, AU and elsewhere are indeed responsible for a considerable amount of collateral damage to the interests of humanity.
              Stay tuned, the day will come when the majority of the people will finally do a Canada and chase the loggerheads out of their positions.

        2. Of course recent sea level rise (1993-2015) at Lyttelton won’t ‘match’ the period starting from the early 20th century because the rate of sea level rise has increased since then. This should be rather obvious.

          From a planning perspective, what’s happening now, and likely future scenarios, are what’s important. When sea level rise at Lyttelton now exceeds 4mm per year, who cares about small rates of sea level rise back in the early 20th century? Not a rational person that’s for sure.

          1. I am interested in where are you guys getting the 4mm from, the graph linked above is pretty tiny. Are satellites really isolating out and just measuring the Canterbury coast and getting a 4mm p/y average increase over the last 20 years. That would be an 80 mm rise, seems like a lot, I would have though we would have noticed that. I have seen the Lyttelton tide gauge data and it is not showing this kind of change, statistically I think it is actually flat over the last 20 years. I will see if I can dig up the data for you. I guess we can at least conclude that satellites and tide gauges are not agreeing. Do you have any info about the accuracy between tide gauges and satellites and ideas on why they are giving such different readings.

            1. The tide gauge data at Lyttelton also show a dramatic increase in sea level rise in recent decades. And the satellite SLR plot (and data) is from the University of Colorado.

              These abrupt local shifts in sea level rise are to do with the dynamics of the South Pacific subtropical gyre. The gyre may ‘hide’ global sea level rise for a time, but changes in the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO) can bring about some rapid local adjustments.

            2. Warwick, here is another link, perhaps with more info, with regards to the Lyttelton tide gauges:


              As you can see there is a significant and linear looking trend in the data. You can download the data from the site I linked too and do your own regression if you want.

              As a primer on the science I can also recommend this publication by the Royal Society of NZ:

              And for a good comparison of various Ports in NZ and the relationship of local geology to SLR this paper is helpful:

              But no matter how much you might focus on a decade or two here or there, there is absolutely no room for doubt that we have kicked a process into motion that will, even if we stop emitting CO2 completely, cause sea levels to rise significantly over the next centuries. We have already “booked” several meters of SLR by now and it would seem plausible to expect 1m by the end of this century.
              The debate is not about whether there may be periods of local stasis at this port or that, ocean oscillation patterns are responsible for much of that, but whether we are willing to accept the challenge to plan today for the changes that we know are coming and whether we are willing to cut long-term damage by ending the era of fossil fuels.

            3. Warwick has already seen the PSMSL tide gauge data. We presented this as a slide during our public meetings.

              I also spoke with one of the authors of Hannah and Bell 2012 on the phone,

              This is the most cited paper on NZ SLR

            4. Hmm, maybe then Warwick did not understand what he was looking at.
              The data for the Lyttelton gauge which you can find here:
              give an SLR of about 140 mm over the last 20 years or an average of 7.6mm/year.
              So Warwicks remarks seem to stem from some fundamental error in his interpretation of the data.

            5. The huge recent rate of sea level rise at Lyttelton recorded by that particular tide gauge is misleading though – the discontinuity misses a significant decline in local sea level from the mid 1980’s to 1990’s. That can only be deduced by looking at the other Lyttelton tide gauge data.

              The data from both tide gauges would bring it more in line with the global trend – which is what we would expect. Mind you, Christchurch does get to experience these abrupt changes.

            6. The Tonkin and Taylor report states:

     Long-term sea levels
              Historic sea level rise in New Zealand has averaged 1.7 ± 0.1 mm/year with Christchurch exhibiting a slightly higher rate of 1.9 ± 0.6 mm/year (Bell and Hannah, 2012). Climate change is predicted to accelerate this rate of sea level rise into the future.


              No mention of rapid acceleration now.

            7. Andy, as you rightly quoted: “Historic sea level rise in New Zealand has averaged …..”
              The historic average is about that rate of 1.7mm/y.

              The recent average (last decades) however, is a quite a bit higher as you can confirm yourself by actually looking at the data…..
              So any talk about SLR slowing down is nonsense. SLR is accelerating globally and this can also be seen in NZ data.

            8. Thomas thanks for the links, have not had time to really get into it but there is some interesting info in them.

              Overall it seems to me that if you pick a short enough period of time you can ‘prove’ what you want. 1935-1940 and 1990-2000 raid increase 1940-1950 and 1975-1980 rapid decrease.

              To be able to have a sensible conversation about this it seems a longer period is needed, more like 50 years. We have had increasing co2 and warming over the last 50 years. What to the local tide gauges tell us over this period?

            9. If the sea level rise acceleration is obvious, why isn’t this mentioned in the Tonkin and Taylor report or Hannah and Bell 2012?

            10. Quoting Andy (again) “If the sea level rise acceleration is obvious, why isn’t this mentioned in the Tonkin and Taylor report or Hannah and Bell 2012?”
              Probably because they were actually written in 2011 with data from 2010 or earlier. Things are moving very fast in climate change and firm findings quickly go out-of-date. Unfortunately, with rare exceptions*, the new info is worse than anticipated.

              *like Antarctica gaining more ice inland than it’s losing on the coasts. Sounds good except that it’s caused by heavier than usual snowfall inland and that is surprising. Snow is rare in Antarctica, it’s normally too cold for snow and the vast quantities of ice actually accumulated from ice crystals floating down from the stratosphere.
              It might give us a bit of a breather re SLR, but only so long as the coastal melting doesn’t ramp up too rapidly.

            11. The Tonkin and Taylor report is actually based on the 1999 report they did, so it might well be out of date

              If you think that sea level rise has rapidly accelerated in the last 3 years, then you need to bear in mind that the authors of Hannah and Bell 2012 claim that you need 50 years of tide gauge data to determine the long term secular trend, after filtering out signals from IPO, PDO and various lunar cycles of decadal duration.

            12. Andy it is. Tonkin Tailor is working with a 1m SLR within the century. This obviously assumes the understanding that the SLR trend is accelerating and significantly so during the decades of this century. TT is citing the science that underpins this. Did you actually ever read the report?

            13. Yes I did read the report. I also read the paper that T&T cites, namely Hannah and Bell 2012. I also phoned one of the authors of the paper, who confirmed the long term trend in NZ of 1.7mm a year thats is not accelerating

              Obviously, T&T assume that there will be a rapid acceleration of SLR which will be 14mm a year by 2115.

              There is no empirical evidence as yet to support this acceleration in the NZ tide gauges

            14. Looking at the last 50 years will only tell us about the last 50 years, not the next 50 years. If you are interested in future SLR, you need to look at all the possible future contributions, rather than taking andy’s simplistic approach of assuming that nothing will change in the future.

            15. I never said that the next 50 years would be the same as the last.

              For example, Europe has been a fairly stable place for the last 50 years, and for the next 50 years, it is likely to be a sea of blood.

              I’m being told that sea level rise is accelerating, when the literature says it is not

            16. andyS has lied for the past 50 years or so and is likely to lie for the next 50.

              Please show us a link to the “literature (which) says it is not (accelerating)”. And by literature I mean peer reviewed scientific literature not the usual garbage you read.

            17. andyS has lied for the past 50 years or so and is likely to lie for the next 50.

              Which assumes I will live until at least 100 years old, and furthermore means I have been lying to you since before I was born, or since I was in kindergarten, depending on my age, which you may be able to infer.

              That gives us all plenty of time to find that anthropogenic signal in sea level rise.

              By the way, since you are late to the discussion, Ian, I cited Hannah and Bell (2012) which was cited by Tonkin and Taylor who are engineering consultants, who wrote a report for Christchurch City Council. (NZ)

              I’m sure you can find it in the preceding 170 ish comments in this thread.

            18. Andy, stop making statements of fact when you refer to your personal wishful thinking (or better wishful non-thinking, or most likely deliberate misrepresentation and deceitful lying).

              Andy S: I’m being told that sea level rise is accelerating, when the literature says it is not

              While in fact “Andy was told that SLR is accelerating and when he checked the literature, this was confirmed.”

            19. While in fact “Andy was told that SLR is accelerating and when he checked the literature, this was confirmed

              I did check the literature and it was not confirmed. Can you please give me a link?


            20. Goodness Andy, you must be a masochist. Obviously the literature is completely clear that SLR has been accelerating as anybody can also confirm by just looking at that curve one more time….

              If you want some links to literature, try this for a start:

              and a good summary of it in the press here:

              If you’re still thinking about buying that beach house, think again. A new study suggests that sea levels aren’t just rising; they’re gaining ground faster than ever.

              As told to you many times before: SLR in the early 20th century was about 1mm/y
              The average over the last 100 years is about 1.7mm/y
              and the SLR over the last decades as about 3mm/y

              You surely can’t be so daft as to still somehow tell yourself that SLR has slowed down given all the evidence.

            21. From the Church and White paper.

              ” Second, in contrast to the previously reported slowing in the rate during the past two decades1, our corrected GMSL data set indicates an acceleration in sea-level rise ”

              Forgive me if I am less than convinced by this.

              As for your figures of 3.2 mm vs 1.7mm, you are clearly comparing tide gauge data with satellite data, which don’t seem to match up however you torture the data.

              The Ministry for Environment say the rate is accelerating according your numbers on some webpages, and say it is not accelerating on others.

              I don’t accept your figure of 1mm a year 100 years ago. We had sparse data back then.
              What confidence do we have on this value?

            22. andyS whines:

              Forgive me if I am less than convinced by this

              Why should anyone care what [snipped – keep it polite, please. GR] andyS cares or thinks?

            23. I’m sure I could cherry pick a report to show that sea level rise has decelerated, which I can but I won’t, because these kinds of arguments are pointless over the short term.

              The issue is that there are 18,000 properties that have hazard notices on their LIMs that is based on science that doesn’t include a proper risk assessment based on probabilities, and that doesn’t comply with resource management act guidelines, according to Simon Arnold who commented on this thread early on, who wrote this piece here:


            24. Simon Arnold may be many things, but if this quote from The Press article is correct:

              Arnold concludes the expected sea level rise in 50 or 100 years could only be half or a quarter of what was forecast. He also says the report’s figures may be inaccurate as they were based on global, rather than local, climate change forecasts.

              On the threat of coastal erosion, Arnold forecast Christchurch coastlines would ebb and flow, and would likely be “in about the same place” in 100 years.

              …then he is clearly not an expert on sea level rise.

              We need to listen to what the science is telling us – not hang our hats on the work of cranks and ideologues. See the original post for why.

            25. Meanwhile in Florida the Republican Clown Brigades are turning state policy into kindergarten bully mud fights:


              A Republican with no scientific background who read an unnamed, five-year-old book is happy to throw a wrench in state proceedings surrounding an issue with close to 100 percent scientific consensus. Meanwhile, saltwater intrusion and spiking King Tides are already impacting the people who live in South Florida.

              I guess that sort of nonsense is what AndyS is hoping he can recreate in Christchurch?

              The fatal mistake of “Movement Conservative” to cut their ties with Science in favour of … who knows what actually?…. will surely be their undoing. Not that they were not forewarned.

            26. I think the point Simon Arnold was trying to make about the coastline being in approx the same place was around the balance of accretion and sea level rise.

              The Canterbury coast is accreting (getting bigger) at quite a rate, mainly due to sediment washed from the Waimakariri

              The council claim that the models show this process reversing in around 2065 when, apparently, sea levels will rise more rapidly than the accretion.

              The accretion doesn’t really help those that have properties close to the Avon-Heathcote estuary though.

  14. Quoting Andy…. “This is a theory, as yet backed up by zero evidence to support it, other than arm waving about computer models and paleoclimatic reconstructions.”

    Apart from a rapid phase-change of water globally as Arctic sea ice fades away, Greenland icecap melts, glaciers in retreat globally, Antarctic ice cap melting from above and being undercut by warmer sea water from below. There is no suggestion that these processes will stop and the inevitable consequence is that the good burghers of our eastern suburbs must eventually get wet feet. The only question is will the good burghers of our western suburbs also get wet feet?

  15. Not sure about the accretion of the Waimak, Andy, the gravel doesn’t seem to have got past the Stewarts Gully cut and it’s deep water at Kairaki. I gathered from past discussions about the loss of sand from the northern beaches (Amberley, Leithfield) that it’s because the deposits on Pegasus
    Bay originate mostly from the Rakaia, Rangitata and Waitaki Rivers carried slowly northward around the Peninsular by ocean currents. The hydro dams have reduced the input of debris (temporarily anyway)

    Has anyone had the opportunity to scan the lower Waimak with an echo-sounder?

  16. In the spirit of Simon Arnold’s observation that the Christchurch shoreline will likely be “in about the same place” after 100 years of rising seas, please note that Christchurch is “in about the same place” now – after the earthquakes – as it was before.

    Nothing to worry about, then!

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