Unreliable witness

NZETS.jpgDuring my appearance before the ETS Review committee earlier this month I was asked by committee chairperson Peter Dunne to comment on the evidence presented by the submitters who appeared immediately before me — McCabe Environmental Services, being one Bruce McCabe and Kathleen Ryan-McCabe. ACT member John Boscawen was clearly wondering how two sets of evidence could present such diametrically opposed interpretations of the basic facts.

The committee secretariat were kind enough to provide me with a recording of the McCabe’s oral evidence, as well as their written submission. My comments on the MEC submission were delivered to the committee on April 22nd, and are now available on the parliamentary web site here (direct link to PDF). The McCabe’s evidence is here. Not to put too fine a point on it, the MEC evidence is wrong in just about every material respect, choosing as they did to rely on Fred Singer’s Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change booklet as their primary source. You’ll find chapter and verse in my evidence, but I also took the opportunity to provide the committee with a quick list of arguments that signal the presence of cranks arguing for inaction:

  • Cooling since 1998, 2001, 2005, etc
  • There is no correlation between CO2 and temperature…
  • Climate models cannot forecast the future/are unvalidated…
  • Future warming from CO2 will be tiny/the greenhouse effect doesn’t work the way the IPCC thinks it does.
  • The hockey stick is broken.
  • The sun/sunspots/cosmic rays are the real cause.
  • “There is no consensus” or “The science is not settled”.
  • Any mention of Al Gore.

I leave it as an exercise for the reader to see how Bob Carter’s evidence (given today) stacks up against that list…

[PS: At the recent European Geophysical Union meeting Fred Singer’ announced his NIPCC is not yet dead. Apparently there’s an 800 page report due this year. Must be costing Heartland a fortune…]

10 thoughts on “Unreliable witness”

  1. Meanwhile Chris de Freitas appears to have access to the Herald columns whenever he seeks it. I no longer get the Herald but his name caught my eye on their website this morning. I see he’s no longer described as a geography professor but as a climate scientist. It’s the same old stuff, albeit more cautiously expressed than sometimes. Global temperatures are going down, not up, in spite of more CO2 in the atmosphere, but even if they are going up is it due to CO2? What about the sun (degenerate into vagueness here because there’s no evidence of increased solar activity, but always worth a mention to muddy the picture)? Warming and CO2 are not well correlated in the past. We’re almost at saturation anyway, the point at which extra CO2 apparently no longer leads to extra warming. And don’t forget how good CO2 is for plant growth. The growing evidence is that natural influences on climate are in fact stronger than any man-made greenhouse effect. His conclusion: “It may be premature to discard our anxiety over the threat of possible human-caused global warming, but this anxiety should not be based on ignorance of what science can tell us! “(My exclamation mark)

  2. That’s it! I get the impression Bobs heart is not in it anymore. Maybe the lecture at the University of Waikato would have been worth attending after all. And well done on your comments on the MEC submission.

  3. Yes, I’ve just spat some tea at my screen. I think CdF has gone a lot further than he usually does – been a little less careful to leave himself room to wiggle. If I didn’t have a couple of posts in the pipeline I’d be all over this like a rash…

  4. CdF isn’t actually a climate scientist. His publications are mostly about WEATHER and tourism.

    His PhD was measuring how the sun affects skin temperature – I kid you not. I have it from a very reliable source that the “Dr” in de Freitas came from a project largely involving walking around beaches in Queensland taking the skin temperature of nubile bathers.

    Interesting that he no longer uses Auckland University – I wonder why that is.

  5. At this point the direct funding of Heartland-type endeavors can be attributed to the evil Dr. Kochenscaife, with the Exxon-Mobils of the world having shifted their overt efforts to arguing about the economics, but (and it’s a very large but) the latter crowd continues to fund the think-tank network (AEI, CEI etc.) that in turn continues to do the heavy lifting on policy and lobbying. E-M continues to fund the think-tanks, but it’s “general” funding that they can deny is directed at climate issues. Such denials are of course pure bullshit, but the U.S. media swallows them whole.

  6. Gareth,
    a fine idea so I’ll steal it.

    Over the last month or so we’ve had the students working on climate myths and lies posters for the foyer of the Chem Dept here at Otago. (Happy to send copies if you want to host them). The students based their latest poster on this article in Critic. Well, sort of; out article was in response to an earlier one but you get the idea.

    Our next series of posters will be getting them to briefly explain 5 or so wingnut arguments eg like your list of danger signals and then assign a “tin foil hat” rating to various ETS submissions.

    Nominations for funniest please?
    So far my vote for Terry Boycott Mobil because of CO2 emissionsDunleavy.

  7. Bonus points to the tireless Dave McArthur who has “devoted perhaps as much as 150,000 largely unpaid hours this
    century to researching the science underpinning the communication
    of climate processes and strategies for conserving the climate
    balances that sustain us.”

    Keep up the fantastic effort Dave! 17 years effort devoted to climate change alone this century alone, and all by 2009. Shame that it seems to have cost him some teeth. Doubtless gnashing them at out gullibility to believe that… hmm actually I’m not sure what Dave thinks that other people think. He seems to work pretty cheap too.

    Some of the handwritten submissions are especially worth reading.
    T G Brown
    S D Payne
    M C Bint

  8. Doug, I especially like Mr Brown’s reference to NWO Globalists. Are they a rap ensemble, perhaps?

    But for real wingnuttery, just wait for my review of Wishart’s Air Con. Central to Wishart’s “argument” is a piece of pure nonsense of the highest order…

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