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Climategate anniversary

Written By: - Date published: 7:38 am, November 20th, 2010 - 102 comments
Categories: climate change, dpf, science - Tags: ,

It has been a year since the CRU emails were stolen and the “climategate” “scandal” broke. There’s an interesting summary (ht Joe90) at the ClimateSight blog here:

The Real Story of Climategate

A year ago today, an unidentified hacker published a zipped folder in several locations online. In this folder were approximately one thousand emails and three thousand files which had been stolen from the backup server of the Climatic Research Unit in the UK, a top centre for global temperature analysis and climate change studies. … This was not the work of a computer-savvy teenager that liked to hack security systems for fun. Whoever the thief was, they knew what they were looking for. They knew how valuable the emails could be in the hands of the climate change denial movement.

Skepticism is a worthy quality in science, but denial is not. A skeptic will only accept a claim given sufficient evidence, but a denier will cling to their beliefs regardless of evidence. They will relentlessly attack arguments that contradict their cause, using talking points that are full of misconceptions and well-known to be false, while blindly accepting any argument that seems to support their point of view. A skeptic is willing to change their mind. A denier is not.

There are many examples of denial in our society, but perhaps the most powerful and pervasive is climate change denial. We’ve been hearing the movement’s arguments for years, ranging from illogic (“climate changed naturally in the past, so it must be natural now“) to misrepresentation (“global warming stopped in 1998“) to flat-out lies (“volcanoes emit more carbon dioxide than humans“). Of course, climate scientists thought of these objections and ruled them out long before you and I even knew what global warming was, so in recent years, the arguments of deniers were beginning to reach a dead end. The Copenhagen climate summit was approaching, and the public was beginning to understand the basic science of human-caused climate change, even realize that the vast majority of the scientific community was concerned about it. A new strategy for denial and delay was needed – ideally, for the public to lose trust in researchers. Hence, the hack at CRU, and the beginning of a disturbing new campaign to smear the reputations of climate scientists. …

Even if, for the sake of argument, all science conducted by the CRU was fraudulent, our understanding of global warming would not change. The CRU runs a global temperature dataset, but so do at least six other universities and government agencies around the world, and their independent conclusions are virtually identical. The evidence for human-caused climate change is not a house of cards that will collapse as soon as one piece is taken away. It’s more like a mountain: scrape a couple of pebbles off the top, but the mountain is still there. For respected newspapers and media outlets to ignore the many independent lines of evidence for this phenomenon in favour of a more interesting and controversial story was blatantly irresponsible, and almost no retractions or apologies have been published since.

The worldwide media attention to this so-called scandal had a profound personal impact on the scientists involved. Many of them received death threats and hate mail for weeks on end. Dr. Phil Jones, the director of CRU, was nearly driven to suicide. Another scientist, who wishes to remain anonymous, had a dead animal dumped on his doorstep and now travels with bodyguards. …

Before long, the investigations into the contents of the stolen emails were completed, and one by one, they came back clear. Six independent investigations reached basically the same conclusion: despite some reasonable concerns about data archival and sharing at CRU, the scientists had shown integrity and honesty. No science had been falsified, manipulated, exaggerated, or fudged. Despite all the media hullabaloo, “climategate” hadn’t actually changed anything.

Sadly, by the time the investigations were complete, the media hullabaloo had died down to a trickle. Climategate was old news, and although most newspapers published stories on the exonerations, they were generally brief, buried deep in the paper, and filled with quotes from PR spokespeople that insisted the investigations were “whitewashed”. In fact, Scott Mandia, a meteorology professor, found that media outlets devoted five to eleven times more stories to the accusations against the scientists than they devoted to the resulting exonerations of the scientists.

Update: Many other climate bloggers are doing Climategate anniversary pieces. Two great ones I read today were Bart Verheggen’s article and the transcript of John Cook’s radio broadcast. Be sure to check them out!

In other recent news: 2010 temperatures have hit record highs; for some strange reason the ice is melting all over the world; the oil industry is (still) funding the denier movement; Hot Topic spanks David Farrar (and spanks him again for good measure); some skeptics finally wake up; and The Guardian asks “Is climate science disinformation a crime against humanity?”.

102 comments on “Climategate anniversary ”

  1. Bill 1

    I can’t see how disinformation can possibly be a crime against humanity. At best, those wilfully and deliberately spreading disinformation could be classified as being accessories to a crime against humanity. And even that’s a stretch.

    The perpetrators of the crime are us. We drive the cars and run the industries. We fly in the planes and consume the goods.

    And while we justify our personal or individual actions in all manners of ways, the truth of the matter is that our personal actions underpin, excuse, perpetuate and eventually amount to be the very actions…and the only actions… that are causing climate collapse.

    Unless you are suffering from some form of diminished responsibility resulting in insanity: If you jump off a cliff, you can’t blame the person who said you could fly for your smashed up body, can you?

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      disinformation is merely a necessary tool in the perpetuation of any crime against humanity.

      Bill, isn’t it difficult to describe it as a crime if the Government, the courts, and a given societies mores say that driving cars and running industries is generally OK within broad limits?

      Mentioning the responsibility of individual actions is a good point – but until people have a society and a context which gives them sensible choices other than automotive transport, work in industries, flying in a plane to visit family in Christchurch or Auckland – people will use what they have on hand and what is promoted to them.

      • Bill 1.1.1

        ” isn’t it ( it isn’t?) difficult to describe it as a crime if the Government, the courts, and a given societies mores say that driving cars and running industries is generally OK within broad limits.”

        Whether it is a crime or not seems irrelevant to me. It’s unconscionable. But then, by extension so is (generally and with caveats) the actual act of driving the cars and running the industries etc.

        If we choose to exonerate ourselves in the present by claiming that it’s up to the government and the market and whatever other centre of authority we may choose to invoke, to provide us with the context that would open up new possibilities, then we will stay firmly ensconced in this hell bound hand basket.

        Our governments will always enact legislation that facilitates the execution of business agendas. And business agendas are driven by profit motives and not impinged upon by social considerations where such considerations impact on profit margins.

        I mused the other day that in the interests of extracting maximum profit from a failing scenario that car manufacturers and the oil industry might eventually come together to sell cars as loss leaders as petrol becomes ‘unaffordable’ in a loosely parallel marketing strategy to that whereby hardware such as CD players were sold cheap (at a loss?) thereby creating a market for CDs.

    • RedLogix 1.2

      If you jump off a cliff, you can’t blame the person who said you could fly for your smashed up body, can you?

      Poor analogy Bill. After all any adult understands the consequences of jumping off cliffs. It’s something done before, the chain of cause and effect is well-proven and not subject to debate. Any sane adult who listens to the suggestion that they migh fly instead is clearly a fool.

      On the other hand imagine if an adult made the same suggestion to a young and credulous child; who would be responsible then?

      And again imagine if it was not something commonplace like jumping off a cliff, but some event entirely novel that there was not a definitive body of conventional knowledge about, or simply outside of the victim’s range of experience. Surely the person who exploits that degree of uncertainty, or unawareness … to perversely assure the victim that there was no possible risk… surely they are accountable for their actions?

      • Bill 1.2.1

        Red, I’m not arguing that those who promulgate falsehoods are innocent or blameless. I’m just saying that at the end of the day they are not the ones responsible for what you and I do or don’t do. We are.

        And it’s not those who are unaware who are seeking scapegoats. (They don’t need scapegoats; everything is fine in their minds) But what of those of us who are quite cognisant on matters connecting climate collapse and our behaviours? Is half of the population ( or whatever the %age is) refusing to continue behaving in ways we know cause climate collapse? If not, why not?

        Is it because abrogating any personal responsibility is convenient and easy whereas accepting full responsibility would be onerous under current circumstances…and therefore something to be avoided?

        How many people are salving their conscience by engaging in facile acts of consumerism in preference to taking effective action?

        If we were at all serious we’d refuse to fly. We’d be serious in weighing up whether to continue in our job on the grounds that it is socially necessary on the one hand or refusing on the grounds that is socially unnecessary and or uses processes or products, or relies on underlying processes or products, or produces products that contribute to climate collapse. We’d resist car use. We’d insist that radical changes were made now!

        But hey. Life would be problematic on the material/financial front. So the problem or need for decisive action gets abstracted and delayed for some future moment even by those who know better thanks to the fact that ‘everybody else is continuing to do it’ (safety in numbers?) and the ‘fact’ that we need the government to legislate the changes we need That, plus the absurd but easily adopted notion that a lightbulb will suffice in the interim.

        • RedLogix

          Mostly I’d agree with what you’re saying here. Lot’s of folk with their heads firmly buried up their asses on this..

          Personally I’ve done a lot to reduce my footprint.

          1. I use public transport most days to get to work.
          2. At work I’ve personally created energy generation and saving opportunities that way exceed my personal consumption.
          3. We grow a lot of our own food and firewood. The next big project will revolve around more permaculture.
          4. We drive very modestly. The car is a 16yr old turbo-diesel that gets 5l/100km and I’ve genuinely forgottten when I last filled it.
          5. Our power bill is less than $100 per month even in winter. A hot water solar panel is about to get installed within a month or so.
          6. We’re really very modest about what we purchase, our tv is so old it provokes mirth from visitors… the computer is a recycled Win2k machine from work, and the last tech purchase I made was a decent mapping GPS for tramping.

          But that’s about as far as I can take it on my own. It’s far short of what I’d like it to be. To make more progress personally I need the community around me to be on board as well. To achieve that we need a moral imperative and political consensus around the urgent need to act now.

          But we don’t have that consensus because of the disinformation spread by people who KNOW the truth…but want to delay change to maximise their own personal interests.

          • Bill

            Yup. We can only go so far as individuals. We need our immediate physical community to get on board.

            Now, if 50% of the population accept the realities of climate collapse, then why are 50% of the people in our immediate communities not at least exploring the possibility of decisive and meaningful courses of action?

            As I think I alluded to above, it seems to me it’s because many of us look at the situation from a position that places us as individuals at the centre rather than one that places society at the centre. And that perspective creates a space that justifies inaction.

            eg. If we viewed jobs in terms of social usefulness and balanced that against their contribution to climate collapse, then most jobs would be abandoned. But we view jobs in terms of what they contribute to personal well (income etc) and balance that against the impact the absence of a job would have on personal well being.

            So we continue. ( And seek to blame, a la The Guardian, the deniers and the propagandists that we no longer pay attention to.)

        • just saying

          But Bill you’re doing it again.

          Any moves in the right direction, are instead of decisive action, and those that make an effort are just as culpable, if not more so, than those that refuse to listen, or indeed, those that promulagate the bullsit that makes doing nothing an easy option.

          I think I appreciate your frustration, and you make a valid point. But I think constantly jeering at the efforts that are being made is kind of lazy. Everyone could do better. Can you honestly say you couldn’t do better? There are a hell of a lot of people who are doing a lot more than buying low-energy lightbulbs.

          • Bill


            You can’t expect meaningful or intelligent action on climate collapse to spring from a centre of genuine ignorance. And that (whether we like it or not) gets deniers off the hook.

            But knowledge or acceptance (which you and I have) demands meaningful or intelligent action be taken. So we are most assuredly on the hook, along with about 50% of the population.

            Can you point out where I’m jeering at genuine efforts that people have made/are making?

            I cannot see where I have done any such thing. Are you taking my dismissal of consumerism personally?

            Well….consumer based acts because leave us powerless, leave culpable practices unaffected and lay claim to a degree of efficacy that stems from falsehoods regarding asymmetries of consumer/producer power relations. Consumerism as a solution is a particularly filthy little red herring that is useful for salving individual consciences and diverting attention away from real solutions. I refer to light bulbs as a shorthand for the lie or the buying into of the lie about the supposed efficacy of consumer pressure. Buy them. Use them. But ffs don’t imagine that consumerism leads us to anywhere other than where we are right now.

            • just saying

              “But ffs don’t imagine that consumerism leads us to anywhere other than where we are right now.”

              Quite agree Bill. I was (possibly unfairly) hearing you in the context of previous posts in which you’ve criticised at different times, planting trees, cooperative community gardens, attempts at getting “off the grid” etc as middleclass conscience salving that is part of the problem rather than the beginnings of genuine positive change.

              As I said you have a valid point, riding a bike, growing food, consuming less, recycling, community revivals of old environmentally sustainable skills etc etc aren’t going to save humanity, more radical action is needed. Where we disagree is that I don’t believe that most people who are changing their ways are thereby feeling comfortable and cosy and absolved of their responsibilities. To the contrary, making such efforts bring our plight into sharper relief, and I’d like to think (and maybe this is where I am being an unrealistic Pollanna) are part of a movment that is gaining momentum and scope.

              At the very least, as times get harder for everyone, the networks, informal cooperatives and knowlege bases that are being created now will be there for others to draw on.

              Also I believe that most who deny are being wilfully ignorant, and are at least as culpable as we are.

              • Bill

                My criticism of the likes of ‘transitional towns’ is not so much what they do, as the claims they make with regards to them being efficacious solutions. The fact that they continue to embrace market strategies in their attempts to overcome or go beyond an unfolding catastrophe that is directly attributable to behaviours and dynamics that the market fosters, dooms them.

                So, whereas the individuals involved in such projects may be learning or rediscovering skill sets, by locating the practising of those skills in a market context, they will at best achieve a ‘solution’ that will be a recreation or tawdry parody of the principle problem.

                And time that could or should have been spent creating and developing new mechanisms or relationships for production and distribution will have been wasted.

                Too often I see ‘transition town’ splurb used as nothing more than a marketing ploy for ‘trendy’ business initiatives that embrace all of our current market assumptions (eg private ownership and profit accumulation) and workplace structure assumptions (eg vertical divisions of labour) and so do nothing to challenge and merely perpetuate the underlying structures that give rise to climate collapse.

                Farcically. Many seem to exacerbate the problem of emissions by running ‘local’ markets that necessitate sellers driving fairly long distances out from the city with car driving consumers in their wake to buy at the ‘green and ethical’ rural market.

                I laud the growing of produce independently of large scale industrial agriculture and so on. But if those efforts are then going to mimic the destructive distribution practices of industrial agriculture and even do so in ways that are less efficient than industrial agriculture, then surely such projects should be subjected to ‘no holds barred’ scrutiny rather than given a ‘free pass’ just because they are claiming to hold some ethical and green high ground?

                Like I say, planting trees and getting off the grid or developing community gardens are laudable. But such efforts shouldn’t be regarded as beyond critical scrutiny. While on a quick first pass, they may seem to be doing good and striking out in a positive direction, a closer look may ( and sometimes does) reveal a truth at odds with professed ideals.

  2. Gooner 2

    Global warming is not about science, it never has been. It was based on computer modelling and evidence, not science.

    Then they said the science was settled, despite it never being about science.

    Of course as we know, science is never settled. Never. So that’s the biggest piece of disinformation ever.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      I don’t think you know what science is, as you argue that the science is never settled. Of course mate, that’s because its science and new discoveries can always overturn things – its science after all not dogma.

      If computer modelling and empirical evidence is not the stuff which builds up scientific understanding, what is mate?

      Nevertheless in life we have to recognise that sometimes have to make sufficient decisions on knowledge which is somewhat insufficient.

    • RedLogix 2.2

      It was based on computer modelling and evidence, not science.

      As is almost everything engineered with high technology in the modern world. It’s a tool that we routinely use for millions of applications because it works.

      Then they said the science was settled, despite it never being about science.

      Yes science never reaches a final resting point. There are always new observations, data and refinements of our ideas. But the only thing that trumps the present science is BETTER science…not the ignorant ranting of cranks.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.3

      It was based on computer modelling and evidence, not science.

      Don’t think I’ve seen a more blatant denial of reality.

    • KJT 2.4

      What do you think computer modelling and evidence is? Do you think we should ignore scientific evidence on the say so of nuts like you and the propaganda put out by oil companies and others who have a financial interest in AGW denial.

      The best evidence for AGW is the type of people who deny it. The same ones who deny evolution and that tabbacco smoking is harmful.
      Pseudo science Nut jobs like Wishart and Moncton, big oil, rabidly religious US right wingers etc.

    • lprent 2.5

      Gooner, you’re being ridiculous.

      Everything in science is modeled from quark interactions to the exact shape of Mercury’s orbit. You put those nice equations into models to predict what you should see in evidence to confirm or deny the theories.

      The only people I ever saw saying that the science is “settled” are non-scientists, and in this debate almost entirely from the denier side as a diversionary tactic.

      But at some point the science is predictive enough that you have to act as if it is true. In the climate change debate, that happened over a decade ago. Unless someone comes up with an alternate theory that can be tested or some evidence that contradicts the major substance of the current predictions, then the deniers are simply jerking off.

      Face it, unless there is a change in the levels of man-made greenhouse gas emissions, then you can look at the conservative IPCC predictions in AR4 as being the best possible results. The reality is far more likely to be larger and earlier climate change than their predictions.

      • nzfp 2.5.1

        Quit the “denier” bullshit! Using the word “denier” is an inductive informal “association” fallacy – associating Anthropogenic Global Warming skeptics with Holocaust Denial.

        The word fallacy means deceptive, misleading, or false – using fallacies to support an argument is the same as lying – which renders your arguments invalid.

        If you need more information on why doing this is bullshit – read this “OpenMike: 19 November 2010 at 11:37 am”

        The reality is far more likely to be larger and earlier climate change than their predictions

        And here we have the straw man, skeptics don’t assert that climate is static.

  3. Tanz 3

    Climate Change is a fraud, it’s a Humanist Manifesto invention, to help create global taxes, global government and a global socialist state. Have you ever read Mind Seige by Tim La Haye? Very revealing indeed, and a very good writer too. The left of course, as with Wishart, try to debunk and dismiss such people as disillusioned, because Hamanism is a religion, and its supporters live and breathe it, they”re fanatics about, mostly. Just saying!

    • The Voice of Reason 3.1

      Ha! Nice one, TANZ. Probably pay to put a smiley face on comments like that or people will think you’re serious!

      • Tanz 3.1.1

        I am serious. You have swallowed the lies, hook, line and sinker (sucker?). And of coure the New York Times is in on it, it couldn’t be more ardently left-wing and humanist if it tried. United Nations too, very much so.

        It’s the Tower of Babel all over again, just more insidious and velvet-gloved, this time.

        • RedLogix

          You need to get out more, stop reading drivel from denier websites and talk with researchers and scientists who do the actual work in the field. The people who drill ice-cores, collect sea-bed sediments, measure tree-rings, collect and manage the vast amount of data being collected from all over the planet, analyse it, and publish the peer-reviewed papers.

          Climate science has rapidly become a very large field with many, many threads of information, being carried foward by tens of thousands of experienced scientists, in hundreds of different institutions, in dozens of countries. Almost all their independent lines of work firmly supports the same conclusion.

          The idea that they are all deliberately purveying a concocted lie is preposterous.

    • Colonial Viper 3.2

      “Humanist” does not mean what you think it means.

      • Tanz 3.2.1

        But you haven’t looked at both sides of the argument, have you, just the left-wing propaganda. Will people of the left ever wake up?

        • RedLogix

          What makes you think that you are qualified to ‘examine both sides of the argument’ and come to any kind of useful decision?

          Would you show me a bunch of biopsy slides and asked me to detemine if you had cancer or not? Nah…the only person whose opinion who mattered a damn would be your oncologist.

    • Pascal's bookie 3.3

      MMMMM Ham.

      • KJT 3.3.1

        Hope it was a free range hamanist!

        • Daveosaurus

          I’d happily join the Hamanists, except I don’t want to get dragged into a holy war with the Baconites…

          • r0b

            Which side would Chris Trotter be on?

          • Pascal's bookie

            Why can’t we all just get along?

            • nzfp

              we can PB,
              Focus on the economics – the debate is a distraction.

              My 2 cents on why this debate is pointless HERE

              What I think of the word “denial” in the context of climate science HERE

              I still have to get your links about Bush and the nuclear option in Iraq – but no time today – if it’s anything I heard it first from Scott Horton on Antiwar.com

              Captcha”advertised – the corporate media is paid by advertisments – we are the product they sell to the advertisers – we are being advertised (propagandised).

    • Draco T Bastard 3.4

      No, it’s not a fraud – the fraud is by the people who deny it and you happen to one of the ignorant suckers who believe them.

      • Tanz 3.5.1

        Does a bear **** in the woods? You have to ask. New York Times is fighting for its survival though, and people have stopped reading and buying it. I wonder why Perhaps its out of touch with the majority, Conservative view, as is the media in this country, and the govt.

  4. sweetd 4

    “Climate policy has almost nothing to do anymore with environmental protection, says the German economist and IPCC official Ottmar Edenhofer. The next world climate summit in Cancun is actually an economy summit during which the distribution of the world’s resources will be negotiated. – Ottmar Edenhofer”


    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      The economy starts in nature and the environment – the economists have forgotten this. Without it we wouldn’t have an “economy” so, yes, environmental protection is economic. Redistribution of that economy so that everyone gets their fair share is moral.

      • sweetd 4.1.1

        Just so we know it is nothing about climate then.

        Whats fair, who decides? What if they don’t want to give up part of their non fair share? Is it okay to take it by force then?

        • Draco T Bastard

          Of course it’s about climate. Protecting the climate protects the economy.

          Whats fair, who decides?

          The science.

          What if they don’t want to give up part of their non fair share? Is it okay to take it by force then?

          Yes. Please note, application of the law is force.

  5. joe90 5

    Outgoing Republican Rep. Bob Inglis blasts GOP, right-wing pundits for denying global warming science

    INGLIS: Because 98 of the doctors say, “Do this thing,” two say, “Do the other.” So, it’s on the record. And we’re here with important decision to be made. And I would also suggest to my Free Enterprise colleagues — especially conservatives here — whether you think it’s all a bunch of hooey, what we’ve talked about in this committee, the Chinese don’t. And they plan on eating our lunch in this next century. They plan on innovating around these problems, and selling to us, and the rest of the world, the technology that’ll lead the 21st century. So we may just press the pause button here for several years, but China is pressing the fast-forward button. And as a result, if we wake up in several years and we say, “geez, this didn’t work very well for us. The two doctors didn’t turn out to be so right. 98 might have been the ones to listen to.” […]

    There are people who make a lot of money on talk radio and talk TV saying a lot of things. They slept at a Holiday Inn Express last night, and they’re experts on climate change. They substitute their judgment for people who have Ph.D.s and work tirelessly [on climate change].

  6. Santi 6

    One year since the big fraud “global warming” is was exposed.

    Don’t you feel sorry for the poor scientists waiting for grants for their bogus projects? And what about the control freaks in the left jumping at the opportunity to raise taxes and more legislation?

    • RedLogix 6.1

      One year since the big fraud “global warming” is was exposed.

      And all the evidence confirming ‘Climategate’ as the actual big fraud means nothing to you. I wonder what it would take for you to change your mind, to admit that you’ve been wrong?

  7. RedLogix 7

    Given the success of the most effective, immoral, and self-destructive disinformation campaign in history, scientists need to focus their messaging on a handful of key points. Richard Somerville (Climatologist Richard C. J. Somerville is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Scripps Institution of Oceanography) offers this:

    1. The essential findings of mainstream climate change science are firm. The world is warming. There are many kinds of evidence: air temperatures, ocean temperatures, melting ice, rising sea levels, and much more. Human activities are the main cause. The warming is not natural. It is not due to the sun, for example. We know this because we can measure the effect of man-made carbon dioxide and it is much stronger than that of changes in the sun, which we also measure.

    2. The greenhouse effect is well understood. It is as real as gravity. The foundations of the science are more than 150 years old. Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere traps heat. We know carbon dioxide is increasing because we measure it. We know the increase is due to human activities like burning fossil fuels because we can analyze the chemical evidence for that.

    3. Our climate predictions are coming true. Many observed climate changes, like rising sea level, are occurring at the high end of the predicted range. Some observed changes, like melting sea ice, are happening faster than the anticipated worst case.Unless mankind takes strong steps to halt and reverse the rapid global increase of fossil fuel use and the other activities that cause climate change, and does so in a very few years, severe climate change is inevitable. Urgent action is needed if global warming is to be limited to moderate levels.

    4. The standard skeptical arguments have been refuted many times over. The refutations are on many web sites and in many books. For example, the mechanisms causing natural climate change like ice ages are irrelevant to the current warming. We know why ice ages come and go. That is due to changes in the Earth’s orbit around the sun, changes that take thousands of years. The warming that is occurring now, over just a few decades, cannot possibly be caused by such slow-acting processes. But it can be caused by man-made changes in the greenhouse effect.

    5. Science has its own high standards. It does not work by unqualified people making claims on television or the Internet. It works by expert scientists doing research and publishing it in carefully reviewed research journals. Other scientists examine the research and repeat it and extend it. Valid results are confirmed, and wrong ones are exposed and abandoned. Science is self-correcting. People who are not experts, who are not trained and experienced in this field, who do not do research and publish it following standard scientific practice, are not doing science. When they claim that they are the real experts, they are just plain wrong.

    6. The leading scientific organizations of the world, like national academies of science and professional scientific societies, have carefully examined the results of climate science and endorsed these results. It is silly to imagine that thousands of climate scientists worldwide are engaged in a massive conspiracy to fool everybody. It is also silly to think that a few minor errors in the extensive IPCC reports can invalidate the reports. The first thing that the world needs to do to confront the challenge of climate change wisely is to learn about what science has discovered and accept it. The IPCC Fourth Assessment Report at http://www.ipcc.ch is a good place to start.

    • Bill 7.1

      Nice succinct cut and paste there Red. Ta.

      But that last para….”The first thing(…) is to learn about what science has discovered and accept it.”

      Any ongoing debate is largely obsolete and has a delaying effect with regards action. 50% +/- of people living in NZ already do accept the science. And yet…

      Seriously, that is a massive percentage. And I don’t think that any other shift in behaviour required that amount of ‘buy in’. Except perhaps where the centres of power were antagonistic to any shift and had the wherewithal to thwart or delay any such shift . But in such scenarios, did we wait for the centres of power to come to the table? Or did we walk away from the table and them…or by whatever other means leave them and their ever diminishing influence on the periphery of human affairs?

      Why are we waiting for our society’s reactionary centres of power (government, business or who ever) to formulate solutions before we shift? Serious question. It bamboozles me.

      • RedLogix 7.1.1

        Serious question. It bamboozles me.

        Because the entire economic and political edifice is utterly dependent on oil and coal. Without it the ruling classes no longer have the concentrated sources of energy they need to project power on the scale they have become accustomed to.

        There is after all so many more of us peasants than there are of them…

  8. Jeremy Harris 8

    Some of those leaked e-mails were absolute doozies…

    They are still hilarious to read today, hide the decline, in an odd way it’s good (that a skeptic died), delete the e-mails and get everyone else too..! etc, etc…

    One would think you’d be more careful what you e-mailed around…

    • RedLogix 8.1


      But you haven’t actually read the emails have you? Or even if you had, you’d not understand what they were about would you?

      For instance, what do YOU think the ‘hide the decline’ one was about? In your own words if you can…

    • Jeremy Harris 8.2

      I’m simply commenting on how the choice of words certainly gave plenty of ammunition to the skeptic bloggers…

      No need to get your pants in a bunch…

      • RedLogix 8.2.1

        Nah…quit with the disingenuous blame shifting.

        Sooner or later anyone writing or speaking in the public arena says something that taken out of context can be used as ‘ammunition’ against them. It’s always a cheap, despicable and dishonest trick.

        But these emails were not even public domain in the first place; they were personal communications, full of jargon and assumed knowledge, and certainly not vetted for anything that might be mis-onstrued as a ‘doozie’ by someone who was going to steal them.

        The entire Climategate episode stands in complete condemnation of every denier/skeptical who failed to stand up and repudiate it as the total rubbish it always was.

      • Jeremy Harris 8.2.2

        I’m not disputing that they were stolen and that that was wrong, but I’m not blame shifting simply by saying that when the contents of those e mails was reproduced publicly it looked bad…

  9. oscar 9

    Its odd how flora all over the world is starting to die off, as the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is dropping.

    Plantlife and humans can both stand CO2 concentrations up to 8000 ppm. Plants can go to 10000ppm before showing side effects.

    Tree rings from frozen trunks show that CO2 levels BEFORE the last ice age were around 5000ppm.
    The carboniferous period had CO2 levels around 9000 ppm, and incidentally, was one of the most green ‘eras’ of Earth.

    If you really want to stop the global warming, then stop breathing.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      Ok, I lied, this is the most blatant denial of reality that I’ve seen. Gooner pointed out that the theory was based upon evidence while this guy’s trying to tell us the evidence is the exact opposite of what it is.

      • Oscar 9.1.1

        Just because the other side of the story isn’t government funded doesn’t mean it isn’t just as valid.

        Science wasn’t around in the last ice age. We have no conclusive proof that reducing CO2 emissions is beneficial for Earth.

        If you take the theory that fewer CO2 particles in the atmosphere means less plantlife, then it’s entirely possible. Whos to say? Will the story change in 20 years when whats left of our forests start dying off because there is a lack of CO2?

        Given that we rely solely on plantlife existing to produce O2, if plants can’t breathe, neither can we.

        • lprent

          Complete bullshit and just shows your basic ignorance…

          Your argument would require that plants would soak up any extra co2 because you’re implicitly suggesting that they’re constrained by the availability of co2. So why are we getting a massive increase in the amount of co2 in the atmosphere?

          Take your time and think it through… It isn’t hard… It is because plants are unable to soak up the massive increase in fossil carbon being pumped into the atmosphere. They aren’t usually constrained by co2, therefore adding extra makes no significant difference to their growth rates..

          Basically you don’t understand the basics of the carbon cycle or plant nutrition…

        • NickS


          Basic plant biology: CO2 isn’t the only limiting factor to plant growth, as can easily shown in greenhouse and field trials, water availability, along with nutrients and day/night temperatures all influence plant growth rates. And that’s not even taking into account intraspecific and interspecific competition, and predation and parasitism that occur within ecosystems.

          Then there’s stuff like the range of temperatures that various metabolic enzymes work best at, ion and water pore transit rates, and temperature induced gene regulation patterns to deal with, and the speed at which adaptions to changing climate can occur at. Which for larger, long-lived species, such as trees, which are oft the main nodes of terrestrial ecosystems (and major carbon sinks), it can take a while, especially if you’re aware of how population size and characteristics and geographic connections come into play with evolution (and conservation).

          Not that I expect to understand any of above, since if you did you wouldn’t have made the “CO2 is plant food!” argument at all.

  10. nzfp 10

    A couple of Open Questions to the AGW proponents as well as the AGW skeptics camps

    1. Is it fair to assert that human behaviour – right now – has a negative impact on the environment, consider the Transocean, BP, Halliburton Gulf of Mexico incident?

    2. Assuming you agree with position 1. above, what do you think the cause for this destructive behaviour is?

    My answers are on open mike “19 November 2010 at 4:28 pm”

  11. nzfp 11

    Lets not forget what Climategae was all about…

    youtube: 19 November, 2010 “Climategate is Still the Issue”

    This week marks the one year anniversary of the release of emails and documents from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia that we now know as Climategate.


    Few have browsed the “Harry Read Me” file, the electronic notes of a harried programmer trying to make sense of the CRU’s databases. They have never read for themselves how temperatures in the database were “artificially adjusted to look closer to the real temperatures” or the “hundreds if not thousands of dummy stations” which somehow ended up in the database, or how the exasperated programmer resorts to expletives before admitting he made up key data on weather stations because it was impossible to tell what data was coming from what sources.

    Few have read the 2005 email from Climategate ringleader and CRU head Phil Jones to John Christy where he states “The scientific community would come down on me in no uncertain terms if I said the world had cooled from 1998. OK it has but it is only 7 years of data and it isn’t statistically significant.” Or where he concludes: “As you know, I’m not political. If anything, I would like to see the climate change happen, so the science could be proved right, regardless of the consequences. This isn’t being political, it is being selfish.”



  12. nzfp 12

    On Thursday 11 November 2010, The Guardian UK reported: “World’s forests can adapt to climate change, study says”.

    The Guardian stated that:

    … [a]ccording to a study of ancient rainforests, trees may be hardier than previously thought. Carlos Jaramillo, a scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), examined pollen from ancient plants trapped in rocks in Colombia and Venezuela. “There are many climactic models today suggesting that … if the temperature increases in the tropics by a couple of degrees, most of the forest is going to be extinct,” he said. “What we found was the opposite to what we were expecting: we didn’t find any extinction event [in plants] associated with the increase in temperature, we didn’t find that the precipitation decreased.”

    In a study published todayin Science, Jaramillo and his team studied pollen grains and other biological indicators of plant life embedded in rocks formed around 56m years ago, during an abrupt period of warming called the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. CO2 levels had doubled in 10,000 years and the world was warmer by 3C-5C for 200,000 years.

    Contrary to expectations, he found that forests bloomed with diversity. New species of plants, including those from the passionflower and chocolate families, evolved quicker as others became extinct. The study also shows moisture levels did not decrease significantly during the warm period. “It was totally unexpected,” Jaramillo said of the findings.


    • Jenny 12.1

      Quite possibly tropical forests could adapt to, and even thrive under the new conditions, but there won’t be any humans to inhabit this new Eden.

      New Scientist:

      As humidity rises, sweating cools us less, so we suffer heat stress at lower air temperatures. For now, no place on Earth exceeds the human threshold for heat tolerance, ……..That is thanks to a fortunate natural thermostat: when humid air gets hot, it rises and causes storms that cool things down.

      But there is a catch. The point at which air begins to rise – the stability threshold – depends on how warm and moist surrounding air is. Models predict that as the entire tropics warm, the stability threshold will rise.

  13. Jenny 13

    The World is Burning Up

    Scientific American:

    A new analysis using a standard drought index augurs that by the end of the century devastating drought conditions will take hold over much of the populated areas of the world

    • Jenny 13.1

      National Geographic:

      Increasing temperatures are already affecting rainfall patterns and melting glaciers, causing too little water in others. Later this century, if warming continues, floods and droughts could become more common and less freshwater will be available.

      Climate Change

      We are already seeing large-scale changes in places such as the Andes and the Himalaya, where glaciers are disappearing, taking with them the source of drinking and irrigation water for thousands of people. Floods, droughts, storms, and other climate-related natural disasters forced 20 million people from their homes in 2008.
      That same year, India faced the dislocation of some three million people when the Kosi River breached a dam and roared out of the Himalaya, causing the worst flooding of that river in 50 years. Then, ten months later, India witnessed its driest June in 80 years with millions of farmers unable to plant their crops, illustrating the increased unpredictability and extreme nature of severe weather and climate-related events in an era of global warming.

      • nzfp 13.1.1

        Jenny your response is a good example of how disingenuous the climate change debate has become. I note with dismay that absolutely “none” of the AGW proponents have seen fit to tell you that the Ars4 “large-scale changes in places such as the Andes and the Himalaya” was a myth based on ppseudo-science that has already been disproven and acknowledged as a “mistake” by the IPCC.

        This is the equivalent of Jews who claim to have seen human soap and human skin lampshades in the Nazi concentration camps – which also turned out to be a myth and has been acknowledged as such for some time now by leading Jewish historians – including the Encyclopedia Judaica.

        I refer to the soap and lampshades and the Nazi holocaust for a reason – and that is because of the false rhetoric of the “denier” association fallacy. All of the AGW proponents know that the melting glaciers assertion was a myth – along with the melting polar ice caps and many other assertions in the ARS4 document, yet they choose not to point this out to you.

        The CO2 is a symptom – not the cause. You are being manipulated to treat the symptom as the cause and ignore the real problems behind the destruction of our ecosystem. The real problem – is the same problem affecting our social system, our society, our democracy. The problem is economic.

        Here is my take on the real cause and real solutions that don’t polarise the skeptics and the proponents – a real solution that will achieve the results you need as well as me (skeptic).

        Time to put the name calling away (I’m not saying you’re doing any name calling – I haven’t seen any evidence of that – but the skeptics and the proponents do call each other names – which isn’t helping) – time to solve the problem – but first the problem needs to be framed correctly.

        • RedLogix

          All of the AGW proponents know that the melting glaciers assertion was a myth

          FFS… glaciers all over the world are in retreat, one badly worded para in a non-critical part of one report doesn’t change reality.

          Your patent and obdurate wrongness on this issue completely trashes any credibility you have on all others.

          You’ve had every opportunity to get it right, but you persist in ignoring reality. This brands you as a wilfully ignorant crank.

          • nzfp

            FFS Red, you’re lying and you damn well know it!

            FFS… glaciers all over the world are in retreat, one badly worded para in a non-critical part of one report doesn’t change reality.

            A badly worded paragraph in a document that was peer reviewed by multiple academic institutions. The whole Himalaya thing was a fraud and you damn well know it you liar!

            On Wednesday 20 January 2010 the Guardian UK reported that “IPCC officials admit mistake over melting Himalayan glaciers”.

            I mean FFS Red – you’ve known it was a lie for three years!

            The Guardian reported that:

            Senior members of the UN’s climate science body admit a claim that Himalayan glaciers could melt away by 2035 was unfounded.

            The UN’s climate science body has admitted that a claim made in its 2007 report – that Himalayan glaciers could melt away by 2035 – was unfounded.

            The admission today followed a New Scientist article last week that revealed the source of the claim made in the 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was not peer-reviewed scientific literature – but a media interview with a scientist conducted in 1999. Several senior scientists have now said the claim was unrealistic and that the large Himalayan glaciers could not melt in a few decades.

            Are you telling me there really were human lampshades?

            In fact, your comments are in direct contradiction to the evidence that Glaciers are growing and in most cases oscillate for example the Himalayas, Alaska, Norway and so on.

            FFS man!

          • joe90

            This, I think, is his slip showing

            Denier, oh you mean holocaust denier don’t you! yes you do – you mean holocaust denier!

            You’re not a supporter of the Social Credit philosophy, the bastard child of Australian Eric Butler and his League of Rights, are you nzfp?.

            • nzfp

              Hey joe90,
              Yep, I wrote that – what is your stance on the inductive association fallacy of equating Climate change Deniers with Holocaust deniers? By the way Social Credit was founded by Major Clifford H. Douglas. Do you have an issue with Social Credit monetary and economic reform policies? do you support those policies? Isn’t Social Credit a little off topic?

              • joe90

                Denial, you made the association with soap and lamp shades, not me.

                Fair enough, Douglas preceded Butler but reform the money smells an awful lot like social credit, a philosophy which hasn’t quite been able to escape its origins.

                inductive association fallacy… should I be impressed?.

                • nzfp

                  inductive association fallacy… should I be impressed?.

                  Only if you can’t speak English, that is simply the correct term.

                  Denial, you made the association with soap and lamp shades, not me.

                  Are you denying that they were a myth? I have to correct myself – it is stated on the “Jewish Virtual Library”. The point I was making is that calling Climate Change skeptics “Deniers” is an “inductive informal fallacy” of the type hasty generalization or red herring. An Anthropogenic Global Warming skeptic is defined by AGW proponents as a Climate change Denier, such that a Climate Change Denier is also a Holocaust Denier. Such that:

                  Premise A is a B
                  Premise A is also a C
                  Conclusion Therefore, all Bs are Cs

                  I discussed the “lampshades” and “soap” as they were demonstrably fallacious WWII myths that surfaced around the Nazi holocaust, which can be compared with the Himalayan Glaciers and is in context with the “inductive informal fallacy” of comparing Holocaust deniers to AGW skeptics (Climate Change deniers). The practice is disingenuous and disgusting.

                  What is your problem with “social credit” joe90? This isn’t the forum for a discussion on Social credit economic theory – maybe you can start a thread over at OpenMike and I’ll look out for it. I am happy to discuss any economic theory with you – I am familiar with social credit, as well as Austrian, English, Classical, Marxist, Ricardo, neo-liberalism, Georgism and many others – I suggest you search nzfp and social credit

                  • KJT

                    As Climate change deniers are likely to cause billions more deaths than the Holocaust I think the comparison is entirely appropriate.

        • lprent

          nzfp: I suggest that you read the IPCC AR4 reports. There are 3 or 4 of them (I only read part one myself).

          The first one is the one with the science in it. The other ones aren’t. They are put in to warn decision makers about possible implications in different areas of the science in part one.

          They are estimates, predictions and opinions based on available literature (usually not much) about what the effect of the science on climate change from the first part will have on the ecology, societies, and economies. Since we’ve never witnessed such climate change events there is no available evidence and very little modelling. They are all best guesses and developed from very sparse largely anecdotal evidence because there are few long-term studies in most of the most affected areas.

          So you’re making assertions about the science on the basis of the wrong part of the IPCC – specifically I think you’re referring to part two. The known science isn’t specific enough to look at purely local effects like glaciers in specific mountain areas except over the longer term. So what you’re seeing is best guesses and predictions based on small amounts of available information for guidance only. If you read the preface to part two, it states that quite explicitly – I guess you missed that?

          Part one doesn’t have much about any mass wasting of the ice in Antarctica, Greenland the Arctic or the mountains. In 2003 when the report was being written there wasn’t a lot of information. AR5 will have better modelling because there has been some pretty intense research going on in those areas to fine-tune the science and the modelling.

          Quite simply your ideas expressed in the comment above are fatuous, over-blown, mis-informed, and often outright wrong. I’ve noticed that seems to be your usual modus operandi?

          • nzfp

            No LPRENT – I am responding to Jenny’s “assertions about the science on the basis of the wrong part of the IPCC” and if you read my comments again – you will see that. Afterall it’s Jenny and Red asserting the Himalaya myth – not me. It is also the IPCC that admitted the myth – not me!

            Oh did you read the rest of my response to Jenny – read it again mate (said with spite) unlike you I propose clear solutions.

            The rest of your comments – like everything else you ever say in response to me is Ad Hominem and must be ignored as such … which I will.

          • nzfp

            AR5 will have better modelling because there has been some pretty intense research going on in those areas to fine-tune

            And are you going to sit around on your ass and wait for it to come out – or get on with the solution? What is the solution by the way? I’ve already demonstrated my solution – from the first day I posted on this site. What’s your solution LPRENT? You raise a lot of alarm, so what’s your idea of a solution?

          • nzfp

            The first one is the one with the science in it. The other ones aren’t. They are put in to warn decision makers about possible implications in different areas of the science in part one.

            You prove my point … The same point I stress …

            Thesis – Anti-thesis – Synthesis and control of the debate.

            Even your description of the IPCC reports prove the point

            Thesis – “The first one is the one with the science in it” CO2 human caused global warming
            Anti-thesis – “The other ones aren’t” – melting Himalayan glaciers (nice media sound bite)
            Synthesis – CO2 carbon capture technology, CO2 Carbon Trading, ETS schemes
            Control of the debate – “They are put in to warn decision makers about possible implications in different areas of the science in part one.”

            I can tell you right now the very implications of a debt based economy. I can tell you right now the immediate effects of changing to a publicly issued interest free money system along with tax and financial reform.

            I can also tell you that without a change to our money system – all of the IPCC recommendations will amount to absolutely nothing at all!

            • lprent

              You completely missed my point (unsurprising as that seems).

              Part one of the IPCC report is the known science. The other parts are there to look at possible implications.

              Your idiot statements make the assumption that they are both about the climate science and are of equal weight. To me that means you haven’t bothered to understand either.

              BTW: I suspect that your understanding of economics is on the same order as your understanding of the graduations of the reliability of science. Pathetic…

              • nzfp

                you completely missed my point, probably because you were too hasty and angrey to read my comment properly… this is not a surprise coming from someone as arrogant as yourself.

                the rest of your comments are ad hominem – sigh boring – what’s your solution?

                • nzfp

                  Oh wait – do you have an education in classics or philosophy – genuine question – it just came to me – maybe that’s why you missed the point.

                  • lprent

                    Classics and phil aren’t my areas. The last classics reading I did was when I was learning Latin 30 odd years ago.

                    FYI: BSc in earth sciences and some management, MBA with a spec in operations, some post-grad compsci (interrupted by a programming contract), and some interest-only Bugger All in history and anthro (in that order). Over the last few decades I’ve mostly spent time specializing in programming and political mechanics.

              • nzfp

                BTW: I suspect that your understanding of economics is on the same order as your understanding of the graduations of the reliability of science. Pathetic…

                Well now – Care to Prove it! You assert this bullshit I think I need to call you out on it – prove it or STFU. Seriously – bring it on mate – lets see your understanding of economics – I haven’t seen you post a thing about economics – or a solution to the environmental problem.

        • KJT

          The melting glaciers are a fact. You can see it yourself by looking at past and present photo’s of them. The only mistake was the speed of melting, at present, was overstated.

          People who deny AGW are not Skeptics. If they were they would have come up with researched scientific objections to AGW instead of pseudo-scientific B-S.

          I do agree that the destruction of our eco-system is a result of our economic demand for growth. Market failure, as the market does not allow for externalities to the money system.

          • lprent

            It is more complex than that. Mountain glaciers are sensitive wee beasts that respond quite rapidly to quite small changes in local climates.

            There are some glaciers that are currently growing because of climate change. Growth depends not only on tempature but also on the amount of snowfall at the glacier. A change in the amount of atmospheric water going over a mountain because of prevailing wind shifts can cause a quite large shifts in growth rates over a decade.

            But generally you’re right. Almost all glaciers and ice-sheets across the world are showing signs of mass-wasting. The only ones that aren’t so far are a few isolated local areas and those in the Antarctic which are within the fridge caused by the circum polar winds that are moderating the tempature effects that are decimating the ice sheets in the Arctic.

            • nzfp

              But generally you’re right. Almost all glaciers and ice-sheets across the world are showing signs of mass-wasting.

              Care to prove that baseless assertion?

              Essentially you have framed the debate so that any growing glacier is due to climate change and is the exception.

              Generally – isn’t a scientific term.

              • RedLogix

                Care to prove that baseless assertion?

                A few moments googling around some standard science sources would prove it for yourself. I’m not going to do your homework for you.

                From my own point of view, the glaciers I used to tramp over in the Southern Alps are all well receded when I look at them on Google Earth… or look at modern photos of them. On this I don’t even need to take on faith the veracity of any science report… I can see with my own eyes.

                As Lyn states, glaciers are not simple things, and this is one thing I do know a little about, having once worked as a field assistant to a geologist who was making a specific study of some SI glaciers.

                We’ve already seen some remarkable snow events in various places in the world likely due to AGW, that are the result of large amounts of warm-moist air, getting lifted rapidly above cold air-streams below them. Snow is NOT simply the result of cold air… it needs warm moist air to provide the water as well.

                Bear in mind that in very cold or high locations (like the mid-Antarctic), annual snow precipitation is acutally very low because there is almost no moisture in the atmosphere in the first place.

                A glacier in such a very cold location might well initially grow in response to increasing temperatures… as more snow falls in the upper neves, while temeratures are still low enough not to accelerate melting at it’s terminus. Clearly this is not a state that is stable… as temperature increases even more… the melting at the terminus will eventually exceed the snow gain.

                The balance of ice gain and loss is highly dependent on local climate and conditions… but overall the vast majority of glaciers world-wide are now loosing more ice than they gain … because it’s getting warmer.

                • Carol

                  Ah, yes, I learned that about snow during the many years I lived in London. Often in cold winters, people would say that it was too cold to snow. The snow would usually start to fall after it got a bit warmer.

                • nzfp

                  Hey Red

                  From my own point of view, the glaciers I used to tramp over in the Southern Alps are all well receded when I look at them on Google Earth… or look at modern photos of them.

                  Which is interesting because ScienceDaily (May 1, 2009) reported Southern Glaciers Grow Out Of Step With North”
                  ScienceDaily reported a study titled “High-Frequency Holocene Glacier Fluctuations in New Zealand Differ from the Northern Signature” by Joerg M. Schaefer et al stating that:

                  From the results, they constructed a glacial timeline for the past 7,000 years and compared it against historic records from the Swiss Alps and other places north of the equator.

                  They found that the glaciers around Mount Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak, reached their largest extent in the past 7,000 years about 6,500 years ago, when the Swiss Alps and Scandinavia were relatively warm. That’s about 6,000 years before northern glaciers hit their Holocene peak during the Little Ice Age, between 1300 and 1860 AD.
                  Overall, glaciers around the world have been declining since about 1860, with the exception of a brief advance in Switzerland in the 1980s, New Zealand in the late 1970s through today, and a few other places.


                • nzfp

                  Clearly this is not a state that is stable…

                  I’m sorry – are you suggesting that I am asserting that climate is stable?
                  The ScienceDaily (May 1, 2009) report Southern Glaciers Grow Out Of Step With North” of the study titled “High-Frequency Holocene Glacier Fluctuations in New Zealand Differ from the Northern Signature” by Joerg M. Schaefer et al noted that:

                  … Conventional wisdom holds that climate during the era of human civilization has been relatively stable, but the new study is the latest to challenge this view, by showing that New Zealand’s glaciers have gone through rapid periods of growth and decline during the current interglacial period known as the Holocene … The door is open now towards a global map of Holocene glacier fluctuations and how climate variations during this period impacted human civilizations.”

                  I agree – not stable at all.

                  • lprent

                    New Zealand has always massively changed. It comes from being islands on the junction of two sea plates, being very narrow, and having an extremely active geological history.

                    The holocene is a relatively stable period climatically. But what you need to compare it to is the overall climate stability over the last 40 million years since the ice age started. Glaciers aren’t a particularly good indicator simply because they respond to very small local shifts in climate and in areas of high geological activity (like NZ) they will even respond over a 10k time period to changes in geology.

                    I’m quite unsure why you seem to have such a fetish about glaciers. In climate change terms they’re a bit like looking at the current weather as being an indicator of climate change. Which is why they’re not covered in part one of the IPCC report.

                    BTW: If you get hold of an active map of NZ over the last few million years or so, you’ll see it bouncing up and down from underwater like yo-to, twisting as the seaplate edges deform, and generally obeying the grinding of the two plates as they generate volcanoes mountain building. There was a good windows screen saver from someone in the government geological staff a few years ago that did a brilliant version of the known data at that point.

                    • nzfp

                      New Zealand has always massively changed. It comes from being islands on the junction of two sea plates, being very narrow, and having an extremely active geological history.

                      Stating the obvious LPRENT, are you suggesting I contest this?

                      I put up the reference to the “High-Frequency Holocene Glacier Fluctuations in New Zealand Differ from the Northern Signature” by Joerg M. Schaefer et al, study for Red to see that our Glaciers were expanding in contrast to his assertions that they were contracting – again you didn’t read either my or Reds comments – jumping in with two feet too soon but for your benefit here is what Red said:

                      From my own point of view, the glaciers I used to tramp over in the Southern Alps are all well receded

                      And now you understand the context of the study linked to above – read it – I did – it’s interesting.

                      As for your comment I’m quite unsure why you seem to have such a fetish about glaciers FFS mate (real sarcasm here) it was in response to Jenny’s original post – about the Himalayan Glaciers. This whole thread is about Jenny’s assertions – based on the IPCC Ars4 document – that the Himalayan Glaciers would be gone by 2035 – not her words but the IPCC’s words. Also you will note that the AGW proponents are all over the media pointing out retreating Glaciers as if it is the end of the world – what a millenarian world view – here come the end times – lets all rapture shall we?

                      Seriously mate – you need to read what you are responding too first!

                      BTW: If you get hold of an active map of NZ over the last few million years or so, you’ll see it bouncing up and down from underwater like yo-to, twisting as the seaplate edges deform, and generally obeying the grinding of the two plates as they generate volcanoes mountain building

                      Wow, I learnt that in Form three maybe it has an impact on climate change, I would assert it does.

                    • lprent []

                      I thought my reply was pretty clear. It doesn’t simply doesn’t matter at a climate level what any individual glacier or group of glaciers do (except to the people and micro-climates affected).

                      Glaciers, especially mountain ones are far more subject to local weather conditions than they are to global climate.

                      In the case of NZ this is particularly the case because of the morphology of the country and the highly active geological structure. The geological history of NZ is replete with examples of very local shifts in climate at the same time period. You can find parts of the country (especially between the east -west divides) that the cave records that have both warmer and colder conditions, more or less precipitation, more or less erosion, etc etc within the same time period.

                      Quite simply looking at NZ’s paleoclimate makes it easy to pick whatever conclusion you want to draw because different areas will have quite different climate records at the same time. It is a consequence of our geology and position. We’re a thin land mass surrounded on all side by large oceans where the landscape gets adjusted frequently. Of course the ‘skeptics’ love cherry-picking NZ papers. You can find anything you want in our paleo climate record at a local level.

                      Which is what that paper is about, and you appear to be too thick to understand.

                      If you want to look for northern/southern hemisphere climate correlations then you’d do it either in aussie (continental land masses tend to give you a more stable record) or in the deep ocean seabed (best of all).

                      However even that isn’t of all that much use when you’re looking at the holocene or even most of the northern glacials. The latter are a regional event caused by regional climatic shifts over northern continental areas probably caused by the narrow Atlantic ocean and don’t correlate well with any southern climate shifts. God knows that classical geologists have been trying to do that glacial correlation for almost a century and failing miserably. The best that they have come up with is a weak correlation.

                      You have to look for far broader climate measures like the O16/O18 ratios in seabed sediments to get a better feel for overall climate shifts.

            • nzfp

              The Guardian UK Wednesday 20 January 2010 “IPCC officials admit mistake over melting Himalayan glaciers”

              In contrast to IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007: Climate Change 2007: Working Group II: Impacts, Adaption and Vulnerability.

              10.6.2 The Himalayan glaciers
              Glaciers in the Himalaya are receding faster than in any other part of the world (see Table 10.9) and, if the present rate continues, the likelihood of them disappearing by the year 2035 and perhaps sooner is very high if the Earth keeps warming at the current rate. Its total area will likely shrink from the present 500,000 to 100,000 km2 by the year 2035 (WWF, 2005).

              FFS it’s still on the IPCC website – this BS has already been admitted to as fraud!

              So who is the liar? Stop using BS to push your CO2 carbon trading agenda and get to the real solution.!

              Why is this important – it is important – because this is the BS that is parroted all the time by the AGW alarmists.

              See the IPCC response HERE

              • RedLogix

                There is any amount of evidence for the vast majority of glaciers retreating all over the world.

                The Wikipedia article is quite thorough. Other readable references here, here and here.

                The few that are advancing, or in the case of New Zealand glaciers recently growing very slowly off the back of decades of retreat… all have special features that explain their anomolous behaviour. The simple non-controversial fact is that the vast preponderance of glaciers are retreating due to increasing temperatures.

                So lets simplify this… in comments higher up you make it quite plain that you think that this is lies and bs. It can be readily shown you are plain wrong. It’s you whose has swallowed the bs on this one. You need to know that not everything in this world is a nefarious evil plot of some sort.

                As Lyn says above… if you understood how science works, and in particular how it works in this field… you’d realise that it’s the scientists here who are the good guys. They are the ones challenging the status quo, taking on the enormously powerful interests of the oil, coal and heavy carbon using corporates. The vast majority of scientists are in jobs that are very modestly paid (compared to the salaries of oil company CEO’s), who are driven from an early age by both talent, and a love of truth to understand this magnificent world we live in.

                There are only two options here:

                1. The vast majority of professional climate scientists worldwide (many thousands of them) are all mysteriously incompetent at what they do and are completely mistaken about the science. Only a handful of amateurs on the internet with little or no education or experience relevant to the field, and to a man have done no actual field-work .. are the ones who have stumbled upon the truth.

                2. The vast majority of climate scientists worldwide (many thousands of them) all know the truth but are all lying about it. And over many decades not one of them has blabbed about this, nor a single letter, memo or email detailing this enormously complex conspiracy has ever been discovered. (And no ‘Climategate’ is risibly short of such a ‘smoking gun’.)

                I’ve said it before many times; the idea that all these independently working people have secretly conspired, over many decades to concoct a totally bogus story… and with so much hard physical data from the planet confirming their conspiracy over all that time… is utterly preposterous. The fact that anyone would imagine otherwise is testament to the power of the human mind to delude itself.

                It’s bloody hard admiting to yourself that you have been wrong. But live long enough and any honest person will look back on some of the things they firmly believed in at one time…but now to their chargin realise were misleading or wrong. And no there is no symmetry here… AGW is the idea with the huge bulk of competent consensus science behind it. Not the disinformation spread by carbon industry ‘think-tanks’, nor the rantings of self-deluding cranks on the internet.

            • KJT

              As far as I am aware the only ones that are growing are in high snowfall areas such as the West coast whereas the majority, including the Himalaya’s are decreasing in mass. Which is what you would expect.

              • lprent

                Yeah, pretty much what you’d expect. Atmospheric water in existing cool temps regions are the primary growth factors for glaciers.

                The ones on the west coast that are mass-accreting are doing it pretty much at altitude in the mountains. Glaciers that are mass accreting in their upper regions and penetrate down to the lower altitudes are rapidly losing their lower regions in the overall tempature increases over the last decades..

                There are a few glaciers in the Andes that I’ve read some material about that are also growing in mass, and also some in the Antarctica peninsula. But in each case it looks like that it is changes in atmospheric water that is causing the change.

  14. Jenny 14

    Going down -town-

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