Time for NZ to Do The Maths – McKibben’s coming

Bill McKibben — that most thoughtful and interesting of climate campaigners — is bringing his very successful Do The Maths campaign to New Zealand next month, and will be speaking in Auckland, Wellington and Dunedin. Bill’s argument is straightforward:

The maths are simple: we can burn less than 565 more gigatons of carbon dioxide and stay below 2°C of warming — anything more than that risks catastrophe for life on earth. The problem? Fossil fuel companies have 2,795 gigatons in their reserves, five times the safe amount. And they’re planning to burn it all — unless we do the maths to change our future.

Talks are scheduled for:

  • Auckland – Tuesday, 11 June, Epsom Girls Grammar School Hall, 7-8.30pm
  • Dunedin – Wednesday, 12 June, venue tbc
  • Wellington – Thursday, 13 June, The Embassy Theatre, 7-8.30pm

I had the great pleasure of sharing the stage with Bill in Wanaka during his last NZ visit, and would urge HT readers to go along and listen to what he has to say. Details and tickets are available at maths.350.org/nz.

[Edited to add the trailer to the soon-to-be-released documentary of McKibben’s Do The Math tour of the US last year…]

74 thoughts on “Time for NZ to Do The Maths – McKibben’s coming”

      1. *crickets*

        What annoys is that various psych studies indicate that Copie, and any similarly-minded contrarians who are exposed to the same risible claim, will indeed continue to ‘recall’ that such a statement was made, and this clear demonstration that it did not will only lead them to cling to the patent absurdity more tenaciously.

        What do we do with such people? A question that keeps on coming up…

        1. Inventing the most blatant lies, then repeating them at infinitum is a key strategy of Propaganda. Unfortunately it works (sort of) on a significant number of minds and has the intended effect of disconnecting thought from reality. And just as it is impossible to put toothpaste back in the tube once squeezed out, even the most blatant lies unfortunately cause perpetual mischief.

          I wish there was a universal method to fight this and the dumb dullards or cunning criminals (your pick) who promulgate Propaganda such as this. Verbally slapping the ‘Copies’ of this planet wherever they poke their twisted head out of the hole is one way perhaps. Gets tiring….

        1. Link? Quote? Timeframe?

          Reread your own asinine assertion above. Precisely how much good do you imagine you’re doing your cause here?

          Yes, Dear Reader, this is about the level of commitment to veracity you can expect…

  1. My I suggest Copie go read Wisharts latest rant, Con Air. It will confirm his total misconception of Climate Reality. Wishart proclaims 1.5mm is the projected sea rise (cherry picking long out of date lineal projections) and that we are far better off adapting than mitigating.
    I suggest Wishart front the millions who are already homeless, starving, burned out, flooded out or otherwise devastated by climatic extremes (not to mention the dead though heat exhaustion, drowning, starvation, and a thousand other unfortunate climate related events), and tell them to adapt.
    Easy to say of course for a Jaffa who idea of adaptation is having to make his own latte should the ponsy arse cafe be closed.

    1. Are you unable to find evidence for the ~200mm sea level rise over the last century or the current rate of SLR? Internet skills are required but it’s not hard.

    2. Gee, that was hard! (WARNING: Links probably best avoided, Copie, given the danger of learning something.)

      All this coming from someone who cheerfully either invents, or repeats without thought, ridiculous claims ; claims so manifestly daft that only someone without the slightest inkling of how the world works could ever suggest that any educated person would make them.

      And then just walks away…

    1. Sea levels are rising:
      Church, J.A. and White, N.J., 2011. Sea-level rise from the late 19th to the early 21st century. Surveys in Geophysics,
      32(4-5): 585-602,
      even at depth: Johnson, G.C., Mecking, S., Sloyan, B.M. and Wijffels, S.E., 2007. Recent bottom water warming in the Pacific Ocean, Journal of Climate, 20(21): 5365-5375.
      We know various natural and non-climate anthropogenic processes matter, but the basic physical arguments for the link between climate change and SLR are pretty straightforward: you heat up a bucket of water, its volume expands. If you want to see for yourself, see Gregory, J.M. and Lowe, J.A., 2000. Predictions of global and regional sea-level rise using AOGCMs with and without flux adjustment. Geophysical Research Letters, 27(19): 3069-3072 and Gregory, J.M., et al, (2013) Twentieth-century global-mean sea level rise: is the whole greater than the sum of the parts? Journal of Climate, 10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00319.1.

  2. Don`t need to and won`t. If you are so illiterate as to not being able to comprehend, research and extract for yourself from the enormous amount of scientific and physical evidence already available then you are a wasted space.
    Do some homework and work it out for yourself (like the rest of us have). Hint—– check back though the links provided by Hot topic over the last five years if you can handle that much info. If that`s to much bother for you don`t expect any further response from me.

  3. Bill McKibben also told his audience in Wanaka that co2 produced global warming would ruin the local ski industry by reducing snowfalls. Since Bills speech the area has experienced excellent ski field conditions, with plenty of snow. Indeed, Coronet Peak ski field in Queenstown had a record. Year in 2012!

    1. Dear Readers, as you already would have noted, Copie is unable to do any research by himself on the Internet. But with his silly remarks he does give others the opportunity to remind themselves of the many changes to our world already under way due to our warming world.

      Here is a website of Ski fans talking about what is happening to their sport for example in Europe:


    2. I was on stage with Bill in Wanaka. Please provide a reference to support your comment. It’s more likely that I would have said something like that…

      1. Hello Gareth, no, it was Bill McKibben who said that ski fields would have to close because of a lack of snow. You however, when challenged by a member of the audience to prove rising sea levels when the Worlds leading sea level expert, Dr Nils Axel Morner has proven that this is not happening, you refused to answer and instead desribed Morner as someone who believed in “dowsing”

        1. You were there? Perhaps you were the person who asked about sea level rise? I believe my answer indicated that sea levels were certainly rising, and pointed out to the questioner that Morner was no kind of authority to cite on the subject. Thomas kindly supplied the evidence for that above.

          As to the snow, what we would have said was that ski fields in NZ faced an uncertain future, because warming will drive the snowline upwards. However, the latest research suggests that it’s not all bad news, at least in the near term. Although lower slopes may have less reliable cover, higher slopes may actually get more snow. And Queenstown/Wanaka business may get a boost as Aussie ski fields suffer. Having said that, I’d be investing in The Remarkables rather than CP. A big lift out of the valley and extension of the field to the south would easily compensate for any lack of snow at CP.

          1. PS: as far as Wanaka goes, I’d be investing in Treble Cone not Cardrona. Best skifield in the Lakes, higher, tends to get snow from NW, and with great potential for expansion.

        2. All bearing in mind that the reliability of the recollection of events in question here can be guaged via a quick glance back to comment #1.

          Let’s not forget Mörner’s ‘interesting’ photographic evidence from the Maldives, and associated ‘interesting’ claim regarding Australian researchers/’activists’.

          Do you believe in dowsing, Copie?

  4. Unable to provide evidence of rising sea levels, Thomas now provides a reference in Europe about snow levels. Natural climate changes appear to be working against the man made global warming story!

    1. …in the minds of people like me who cannot follow the science but delight in barging in with our uninformed opinions anyway.

      I repeat; what good for your cause do you imagine you are achieving here? Review your performance above, and then fill in the following: I make Deniers look like________________

      Have you heard of the Dunning-Kruger effect, Copie?

    2. Unable and/or unwilling to read the response to his stupid assertions, Copie carries on making a total fool of himself…. 😉

      Copie did you actually read the links Bill provided for you above for rising sea levels? Do you want your nose pushed into the evidence repeatedly until some processing perhaps sets in?
      Are you perhaps capable yourself to type “evidence for rising sea levels” into Google? This is the first site that comes up (as Bill already provided for you above, in case you are once again too lazy to look for yourself.
      or here:

      Records and research show that sea level has been steadily rising at a rate of 1 to 2.5 millimeters (0.04 to 0.1 inches) per year since 1900.

      This rate may be increasing. Since 1992, new methods of satellite altimetry (the measurement of elevation or altitude) indicate a rate of rise of 3 millimeters (0.12 inches) per year.

      This is a significantly larger rate than the sea-level rise averaged over the last several thousand years.

      Homework for you: Read this http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/indicators/
      Then answer:
      1) What are the 7 indicators in the NOAA website above linked that tell us that the climate is warming?
      2) What are the 3 reasons cited in the NOAA website above linked that tell us that humans are the primary course of warming.

      If you have any trouble understanding the evidence or the arguments, dig a bit deeper.
      If you have any issues with the data the NOAA is referring to then provide alternate peer reviewed evidence.

      If you however prefer to simply play the ‘fool on the hill’ then I suggest you better leave this site before without doubt you will be kicked by the moderator.

  5. All that NOAA writes is that sea levels may rise in the future! And what has happened? Nothing, sea levels continue as they have for the past hundreds of years.

      1. Dang! Oh dear! Copie can not read and can not read simple graphs.
        What an idiot indeed. What a waste of time!
        Copie, how old are you? 10?

    1. I suppose being haunted by the ineducable at least provides an opportunity to demonstrate the complexities of the actual world.

      (Dopie will doubtlessly enlist some chummed Denier rubric which automatically saves the dismfort of having to actually listen to Jennifer Francis, too.)

      Quiz questions: one; do we get more snow in relatively cold or relatively warm winters?: two; unless you are a Physics denier (well, you are, but anyway…) a warmer atmosphere must hold more water, currently around 5% more than pre-industrial. This, in turn, must lead to an intensified hydrological cycle, with both increased drought and precipitation events. (If you’d bothered to actually watch Trenberth instead of ritually performing the sign of the evil eye you’d know this.) If the temperature is still around zero, how do these latter events manifest themselves?

  6. And still none of you are able or willing to provide proof that man made sea levels are rising anywhere?
    You are all acting like schoolyard bullies, trying to force your views onto others, only its not working.
    Climate reality is happening in Europe, where the European Government have abandoned the carbon tax.
    And now the Australian government have also had to face reality and abandon their carbon tax!

    1. here:http://hot-topic.co.nz/time-for-nz-to-do-the-maths-mckibbens-coming/#comment-37643
      The link Thomas provided you with here:
      states and I quote it in full – since your obviously too lazy to go read it for yourself :
      “Two main factors contributed to observed sea level rise.[8] The first is thermal expansion: as ocean water warms, it expands.[9] The second is from the contribution of land-based ice due to increased melting. The major store of water on land is found in glaciers and ice sheets.
      Sea level rise is one of several lines of evidence that support the view that the climate has recently warmed.[10] It is very likely that human-induced (anthropogenic) warming contributed to the sea level rise observed in the latter half of the 20th century.[11]
      Sea level rise is expected to continue for centuries.[12] In 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projected that during the 21st century, sea level will rise another 18 to 59 cm (7.1 to 23 in), but these numbers do not include “uncertainties in climate-carbon cycle feedbacks nor do they include the full effects of changes in ice sheet flow”.[13] More recent projections assessed by the US National Research Council (2010)[14] suggest possible sea level rise over the 21st century of between 56 and 200 cm (22 and 79 in).
      On the timescale of centuries to millennia, the melting of ice sheets could result in even higher sea level rise. Partial deglaciation of the Greenland ice sheet, and possibly the West Antarctic ice sheet, could contribute 4 to 6 m (13 to 20 ft) or more to sea level rise.[15]”
      So if you really want anyone to take you seriously – and todate you have provided no evidence for any to take you seriously – stop repeating falsehoods and patent rubbish!

      1. As for “proof” – such an absurd statement shows you have little understanding of science – for science as a discipline “proves” nothing.

    2. Copie: You are a habitual liar or have a serious problem with your memory function….
      We have pointed you to the science on ocean levels here many times. Do you refuse to follow the links we gave you?

      What other evidence do you really need than this
      Graph of Trends in global average absolute sea level, 1870-2008?

      Do you think you know better than the large number of scientists who contributed with their work to the data on that graph and the countless tide gauges and satellite measurements involved?

    3. Copie, you have been repeatedly warned to join in the conversation, not make unreferenced, counterfactual allegations that are off topic. Final warning. You will be on moderation if you continue in this vein, and I will only pass you posts if they add to the conversation here.

  7. I absolutely admire the patients and dedication to providing the information and links (Gareth, Rob, Bill, Macro and others) to try and educate Dopie but as with Andy S if you feed the trolls they keep coming back like rats.
    They live in a delusional world where the reality of the “Inconvenient Truth” does not exist and they resent your attempts to burst their little `happy happy` bubble with real and well researched, peer reviewed science. As with rats their basic function revolves around nothing more than eating (everything), defecate and fornicate. They can be taught to do tricks for food but science, forget it. Best thing about them is if you don`t feed them they die.

  8. Yep, this one lives in a world of its own (including invented current affairs on top of quotations). Sadly I think Rob and eltoro are on the right track, as even hitting it with a stick for educational purposes is pointless where the premises are so manifestly idiotic.

  9. Thank youMacro for that information. However, “expected to” and “very likely” are quite meaningless.
    Perhaps you can demonstrate where in NZ rising sea levels are a problem?

    1. Perhaps you can demonstrate where you got that ridiculous quote you started all this with?


      See, the thing is, no-one who knows anything at all about the science (or science full-stop, for that matter), or anything at all about the AGW issue, could ever suggest ‘in 2010 that most of NZ would be under the sea by 2015.’

      Least of all Bill McKibben.

      It’s actually hard to find words to convey how ignorant that claim is.

      Because to say so you’d have to be completely unaware of physical processes and the rate at which they could conceivably be expected to change, barring an asteroid impact or the moon shifting out of its orbit.

      You know, you’d have to be the kind of person who boorishly demands answers to some irrelevant question like ‘where’s the sea-level problem now, eh?’ as if this is some kind of unbeatable trump card, when the issue is about inevitable future sea-level rises that will certainly not be able to be ignored, even by the most wooden-headed.

      But, rest assured, no currently conceivable sea-level rise will manage to put ‘most of NZ’ under water, as everyone here but you understands.

      And yet you appear to believe you’re the expert. Smarter than the folks at NIWA. Smarter than all the people who studied for years and have to make it in a highly competitive environment. Do you imagine this anti AGW, anti-intellectual crusade is some kind of ‘revenge of the little people’, or something? Because this is actually the blackest of farces, and the consequences will most likely be horrendous…

    2. Ever visited Thames? On Wednesday the coast road was partially closed following the storm overnight with rocks and rubble washed onto the road from the storm surge. Monatairi is barely now above seal level, some houses are are at sea level on High Tide. The Hauraki Plains with its rising salinity? Stayed at Ohope Beach and experienced the morning stench from a sewage outflow that is barely above sea level? The storm water outlet from a new development near Marsden Pt has a fall of exactly one meter over a kilometre of pipe! Dig a hole 1 metre deep on Fanshaw Street in Auckland and it immediately fills with sea water We are talking high value real estate here. These are just some examples that come immediately to mind.
      You need to learn some basic mathematics in which terms such as “likely” “very likely” and “highly likely” are explained. This is the language of science, and if you are to understand it then you will need to do some study, because meaning – as Wittgenstein postulated – is conferred by how we use words, and scientists use words like very likely a lot. and they have a specific meaning.

  10. The math is getting clear and the message worse if anything. On the day we passed 400ppm CO2 at Mouna Loa, a new paper discussed at the Guardian reveals a stunningly detailed climate record of the Earths past 3 million years from lake sediments in Siberia. At 400ppm CO2 3 million years ago, temperatures where 8C higher and sea levels 40m higher than today!

    “It shows a huge warming – unprecedented in human history,” said Prof Scott Elias, at Royal Holloway University of London, and not involved in the work. “It is a frightening experiment we are conducting with our climate.”

    Prof Robert Spicer, at the Open University and not part of the new study, agreed: “This is another piece of evidence showing that climate models have a systematic problem with polar amplification,” ie the fact that global warming has its greatest effects at the poles. “This has enormous implications and suggests model are likely to underestimate the degree of future change.”

  11. In New Zealand, 65 percent of our communities and major infrastructure are within 5km of the sea. Twelve of New Zealand’s fifteen largest towns and cities are coastal: Whangarei, Auckland, Tauranga, Gisborne, Napier-Hastings, New Plymouth, Whanganui, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Dunedin and Invercargill – home to 64 percent of the total New Zealand population.

    Auckland’s downtown area, Wellington’s CBD, and the airports of Auckland, Wellington, Nelson, and Invercagill are also very close to the sea.

    There has been unprecedented development of our New Zealand coastal areas, where housing, along with tourism and its associated facilities such as roads, have resulted in a dramatic rise in potential risk from storm-tide inundation, coastal erosion or wave overtopping. This, says Dr Bell, “will be put to the test as sea-level rise and climate change effects progressively increase our exposure to these coastal hazards.”


    1. Great find! I wish the original paper was not behind the paywall.
      Now try again: El gy gyt gyn… 😉

      Oh, and for Copie, he will surely only see gibbrish and wiggly lines… That’s no proof! Thats just scientists being incomprehensible to the masses….
      Pacific islanders clinging to floatsome while their islands visibly sink on the 6pm news behind them…. now that would do perhaps.

      1. Ah, but that’d be a Natural Cycle! After all, the world’s flooded before – sans SUVs – according to one of their favourite science texts; the Old Testament! I’m sure evil Mike Mann is plotting to disappear the BFP* as we speak…

        For those who witter on about desk-bound theorists in ‘Ivory Towers’ conditions in El-ge-git-gin are going to take a bit of explaining. (starts at about 0′ 51″ – after the helicopter has done nothing unusual!)

        *Biblical Flood Period

  12. Peter Hadfield – Potholer54 – has set the likes of Copie a challenge.

    If this is you, all you have to do is explain how the overwhelming paleo / non-model evidence for AGW can be wrong, without resort to conspiracy theories, complaints about models, black-helicopter accounts of the UN and it’s sub-agencies’ activities, or pointing out that Al Gore is rich, or fat.

    Your chance of success is less than 1 in 1000. Prove me wrong.

  13. Thomas, not a good idea to quote the Pacific Islands as a demonstration of rising sea levels. They are all based on coral attols which are sinking.

    1. Citation. Evidence. Some indication you’re not just talking through your hat. I acknowledge this will be difficult for you.

      (HINT: your own party-line is that some of them are doing the complete opposite.)

      Simply put, sea levels are rising as irrefutably as temperatures are. Now go and watch that video whose link I provided above and astonish us all by providing an evidence-based refutation.

      And you still haven’t told us if you believe in dowsing. I’m going to guess this is because the answer is ‘yes’.

    2. As bill quoted already: The denier teleprompter reads: Corals will grow fast enough to keep pace with rising sea levels.
      The scientists however (you know, those people with a degree and with years of experience who leave their arm chairs behind to take careful measurements over a wide range of places….) think otherwise. If you had any interest in finding out what they discovered, here is a good start into the topic:

      Divorced from the reality of scientific endeavor however, Copie is likely reduced to viewing the world from Here 😉

      1. That looks very suitable, Thomas; all it lacks is a pair of rose-coloured glasses and / or ideological blinders.

        I guess Copie can download those for free from WUWT… ; > )

  14. OK I admit to being wrong. I had considered that if the rat was not fed it would die but you learned gentlemen have proven that if you feed the rat to excess (that is information overload) will have the same effect. The Dopie troll/rat has suffered a brain hemorrhage and has expired. Oh dear, what a shame. It has been entertaining but we must move on. Time and climate change will wait for no man, women (or troll).

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