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The evidence on warming

Written By: - Date published: 9:29 am, November 27th, 2009 - 94 comments
Categories: climate change, Environment - Tags: ,

Much ado about nothing in the last few days, with the release of materials related to climate change and warming on both the international and local scales.

First the international event – “Climategate” (sigh) – the now well known theft and publication of data from the University of East Anglia’s world renowned Climate Research Unit. “Climate change deniers” have of course whipped themselves up in to a frenzy of excitement on a the basis of a few quotes that can be read (out of context) as dodgy. The “star exhibit”, referring to data from tree ring growth patterns:

“I’ve just completed [some] trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie, from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.”

The Climatic Research Unit has now published its official response. On for example the quote above they say:

The use of the term ‘hiding the decline’ was in an email written in haste. CRU has not sought to hide the decline. Indeed, CRU has published a number of articles that both illustrate, and discuss the implications of, this recent tree-ring decline…

Overall this incident is embarrassing for the scientists involved – like having your diary read out in public – but it has about zero impact on the mass of scientific evidence and opinion on the severity and risk of anthropogenic climate change. (One of the best comments I saw on this issue was a “proof” that calculus is “wrong” based on the same kind of “analysis” of the letters of Newton – it’s brilliant).

Then the local event, in some ways a minor echo of the above. This started with a “news alert” from the poorly named “The Climate Science Coalition of NZ”, with of course the usual idiots quickly piling on board. The claim is that this data from NIWA showing a steady rise in NZ temperatures…

NIWA1

…is pure fabrication – the apparent temperature rise occurs only because the data has been “adjusted”. The “raw data” looks like this, showing no significant rise at all…

NIWA2

Unfortunately NIWA were far too slow out of the gate with their reply, but they have now issued one. Yes the raw temperature data has been adjusted. But for perfectly good reasons, such as to account for changes in the location of measurement sites (and other factors in accordance with “internationally accepted techniques”):

For example, in Wellington, early temperature measurements were made near sea level, but in 1928 the measurement site was moved from Thorndon (3 metres above sea level) to Kelburn (125 m above sea level). The Kelburn site is on average 0.8°C cooler than Thorndon, because of the extra height above sea level.

This page shows how data from different measuring sites is adjusted to remove the variation arising from site location (left graph) and get the true trend over time (right graph):

NIWA3

This is the kind of adjustment that has been used to get the correct and meaningful data, data showing a steady temperature increase (the first graph above). As NIWA state: “Warming over New Zealand through the past century is unequivocal” and:

“NIWA climate scientists have previously explained to members of the Coalition why such corrections must be made. NIWA’s Chief Climate Scientist, Dr David Wratt, says he’s very disappointed that the Coalition continue to ignore such advice and therefore to present misleading analyses”.

In short, this whole episode* is a beat up by climate change deniers who probably, as usual, knew very well that they were lying. What motivates people to deliberately spread such lies, and feed the confusion that delays action on a crisis that endangers humanity? The insanity of it is completely beyond me.

I don’t care if you don’t like scientists and don’t want to believe them – believe your own eyes – look around you. Arctic ice is disappearing (more). Glaciers are melting – (if you have 20 minutes watch this excellent video). Australia is wracked by drought. Here in NZ, icebergs that used to be the Antarctic are sailing past, and the glaciers continue to shrink. It’s real. It’s happening. Now.

[* Unfortunately this piece of nonsense has already gone international.]

[Update: more on the NIWA responses here and here, more on the CRU responses here.]

94 comments on “The evidence on warming”

  1. Jono 1

    Perhaps the Truth should start using shoes with velcro straps instead of waiting to tie its laces up?

  2. tsmithfield 2

    Hi r0b,

    There has been time now for more indepth analysis of the e-mails in question, and things are actually much more serious than you are suggesting. I pointed this out in general discussion yesterday but there was not much interest in responding to me. The guts of my post from yesterday as it is included at the bottom of this post as it is more appropriate here:

    The points NIWA make are fair enough. However, in the articles I have read on the subject, they are refusing to divulge the data for adjustments on all their sites. They have only produced the Wellington one to make their point. However, this leaves a lot of unanswered questions. For instance, have they made downward adjustments for heat-island effects in growing cities etc?

    This tendency to be covert and reluctant to divulge information just fuels skepticism. This has also been evident with the leaked e-mails where academics have actively tried to hide or destroy data to prevent analysis by skeptics. In other instances they have been coercing editors of respected journals to prevent publication articles by skeptical scientists. Then they have the nerve to criticise the skeptics for not producing enough peer-reviewed work!

    Surely the best approach is to make the raw data as available as possible, including the rationale for adjustments etc. If the warming trend is so obvious then the data itself will blow away arguments from the skeptical side.

    The problem for me is that there is evidence of the “experimenter effect” showing through quite strongly. Unfortunately, we can’t do double-blind studies with this sort of stuff. The best alternative is to widely distribute the raw data. The stance taken by the scientists in the leaked e-mails, and by implication perhaps many other scientists in the AGW side, is just to arouse suspicion.

    Anyway, here are the links I pointed to yesterday that show a great deal of analysis and context to the statements:

    1. An article by a pro-AGW commentator:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cif-green/2009/nov/23/global-warming-leaked-email-climate-scientists

    Notice that the author considers: “The emails extracted by a hacker from the climatic research unit at the University of East Anglia could scarcely be more damaging. I am now convinced that they are genuine, and I’m dismayed and deeply shaken by them.’

    and that: “Phil Jones, should now resign. Some of the data discussed in the emails should be re-analysed.’

    In depth, detailed analysis by other sites, including extensive contextual material can be found at these links:

    http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2009/11/24/taking_liberties/entry5761180.shtml

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/24/the-people-vs-the-cru-freedom-of-information-my-okole%E2%80%A6/

    http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/three-things-you-absolutely-must-know-about-climategate/

    • Zorr 2.1

      Nice quote mining there tsmithfield. The guy (George Monbiot) is completely correct in calling for the head of Phil Jones in an effort to put this issue to bed and get science back on track. However he also says (in the rest of his article) that the ‘red hot smoking gun’ for CCDers does not exist anywhere in those letters.

      Yes, they were being unscientific pricks. Yes, they should be fired and dragged through the mud. No, this doesn’t actually change the scientific consensus on climate change.

      • Huub Bakker 2.1.1

        No but it certainly exists in the programmes that came with the emails and which are used to create THE historic temperature curves that have most influenced the IPCC, and through them the rest of the world. Here’s just one.

        “Eric S. Raymond is a software developer and advocate of the open source software movement. He wrote a seminal paper called The Cathedral and the Bazaar, which explained why open processes are more effective than top down ones. He has been studying the code used by the scientists at the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, whose work raised serious questions about the quality of the research being used to underpin the proposed $1 trillion Cap’n Trade bill stalled in Congress. Here’s what Eric found in the computer code:

        “From the CRU code file osborn-tree6/briffa_sep98_d.pro , used to prepare a graph purported to be of Northern Hemisphere temperatures and reconstructions.

        ;
        ; Apply a VERY ARTIFICAL correction for decline!!
        ;
        yrloc=[1400,findgen(19)*5.+1904]
        valadj=[0.,0.,0.,0.,0.,-0.1,-0.25,-0.3,0.,- 0.1,0.3,0.8,1.2,1.7,2.5,2.6,2.6,$
        2.6,2.6,2.6]*0.75 ; fudge factor
        if n_elements(yrloc) ne n_elements(valadj) then message,’Oooops!’
        ;
        yearlyadj=interpol(valadj,yrloc,timey)

        “This, people, is blatant data-cooking, with no pretense otherwise. It flattens a period of warm temperatures in the 1940s — see those negative coefficients? Then, later on, it applies a positive multiplier so you get a nice dramatic hockey stick at the end of the century.

        “All you apologists weakly protesting that this is research business as usual and there are plausible explanations for everything in the emails? Sackcloth and ashes time for you. This isn’t just a smoking gun, it’s a siege cannon with the barrel still hot.”

  3. r0b 3

    Surely the best approach is to make the raw data as available as possible, including the rationale for adjustments etc

    Which is EXACTLY what NIWA did with their data and explanation to the “Climate Science” idiots. Who then went ahead and lied to the public by making a song and dance about the raw data (ignoring the explanation that came with it). See again the quote from NIWA in the post:

    “NIWA climate scientists have previously explained to members of the Coalition why such corrections must be made. NIWA’s Chief Climate Scientist, Dr David Wratt, says he’s very disappointed that the Coalition continue to ignore such advice and therefore to present misleading analyses’.

    This is why it’s so hard to engage with the deniers, because they will actively lie and distort anything given to them. You’re doing it in a minor way yourself, with your selective quote from the Guardian. Note that the author also says:

    But do these revelations justify the sceptics’ claims that this is “the final nail in the coffin” of global warming theory? Not at all. They damage the credibility of three or four scientists. They raise questions about the integrity of one or perhaps two out of several hundred lines of evidence. To bury man-made climate change, a far wider conspiracy would have to be revealed

    Why not quote that bit as well TS?

    • zelda 3.1

      So Hokitika has to be adjusted ?

      And the Wellington Airport temperature station on top of a building along with City council funded station in the middle of downtown ( to get high readings for the TV news) means that NASA ignores wellington alltogether for its global temperature .
      The global temperature records are a shambles

      • aj 3.1.1

        “The global temperature records are a shambles”

        I think that is a very true statement. Patching records together from a range of sites at different elevations to get long term records leaves room for error. When were are dealing with temperatures changes over the last 50 years of only 0.7C, every tenth of a degree becomes important.

  4. It is interesting that those who decry the science and subject it to the most rigorous and critical analysis are prepared to accept at face value a few informal statements as proof of their prejudice.

  5. tsmithfield 5

    I agree with George Monbiot that the idea of a global conspiracy is ludicrous. What I do think is more of a danger, however, is the “experimenter error” being repeated numerous times by researchers who feel so strongly about saving the world that they unwittingly make adjustments to data on a biased basis without even realising it.

    This is a well known effect, and hence the reason why experiments are preferred as “double blind”. The fact they are so resistant to disclosing the raw data only fuels this suspicion.

    It seems to me that the e-mails in question provide evidence of an environment likely to foster “experimentor error”, and so some caution needs to be taken with viewing results, especially if researchers with opposing views are actively being locked out of major journals etc.

    I certainly believe the world is warming. However, it is the amount of warming, and the reasons for it that I question. How much of the warming is due to natural cycles and how much is due to human influence for instance?

    With respect to NIWA, the Investigate Site at least includes the full response from NIWA. The NIWA scientist states:

    NIWA chief scientist David Wratt says he has no plans to release data backing up claims of different temperature adjustments between historial weather station sites.

    “Wratt told Investigate tonight that some studies existed which contained “overlapping” periods which allowed NIWA to compare the temperatures at both locations.

    http://briefingroom.typepad.com/the_briefing_room/2009/11/breaking-nzs-niwa-accused-of-cru-style-temperature-faking.html

    He said NIWA intendeds to release data regarding the Kelburn weather station tonight, but will not release other data.”

    Why not release it all if all the adjustments are legit?

    I believe it is much more productive to solve the worlds immediate problems, and in so doing we will solve the long-term ones. For instance, solving problems such as getting rid of pollution, and finding renewable alternatives to fossil fuels will solve any long-term climate problems. I doubt the carbon trading scheme will solve very much in comparison.

  6. r0b 6

    Why not release it all if all the adjustments are legit?

    I agree that would be the ideal, but they are probably worried that what they do release will be distorted and lied about, as has happened in this case.

    For instance, solving problems such as getting rid of pollution, and finding renewable alternatives to fossil fuels will solve any long-term climate problems. I doubt the carbon trading scheme will solve very much in comparison.

    Think of the carbon trading scheme as a way of encouraging (“incentivising”, “sending cost signals”) the world to do exactly what you suggest, and you’re home. Sadly, rational argument isn’t enough, we need these cost signals for it to work. Crazy, but there it is.

  7. grumpy 7

    At the very least, the claim that “the science is settled” has taken a huge hammering.

  8. tsmithfield 8

    r0b “I agree that would be the ideal, but they are probably worried that what they do release will be distorted and lied about, as has happened in this case.”

    The best solution, r0b, is complete transparency, openness, and collaboration between all points of view. This works really well for Wikipedia, for example, in a much broader way.

    If this approach is taken, then any crack-pot arguments will be exposed for what they are, and there will be much more buy-in from the public.

    Looking at it objectively, and apply this to research generally, not just the climate debate. Would you agree that the type of environment evident in the e-mail leaks is open to fostering “experimenter bias” type errors?

  9. Andrei 9

    That works when both sides of the game are playing the game fairly. Here one side are charlatans and fools.

    And as the data that has come to light is analyzed it is becoming more and more apparent which side that is r0b.

    It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad

    • Pascal's bookie 9.1

      Indeed

      Vast ice sheets across the globe gained up to four inches just hours after it emerged experts at the University of East Anglia had been manipulating data in a bid to knock-off early.

      Meanwhile in the Antarctic the 200 square mile Donnelly ice shelf changed direction and headed back towards the continent where it then reattached itself to the slightly larger McPartlin ice shelf.

      Climate change sceptic and fully-qualified blogger Martin Bishop said: “As soon as these emails were released the world’s glaciers resumed their normal, icey behaviour, as long-predicted by some of London’s most important journalists.

      “This is the smoking iceberg that fires a polar bear of truth between the eyes of hysteria and communism.”

    • r0b 9.2

      Say Andrei – the end of my original post links to lots of pretty pictures of ice melting all over the world.

      Why do you think the ice is melting Andrei?

      • Andrei 9.2.1

        Why do you think the ice is melting Andrei?

        Because H2O makes a phase transition from solid to liquid at 0C°.

        The ancient Greeks were the first to note this phenomenon in writing I believe but I am sure that it had been observed long before that.

        Some very spectacular footage of melting ice and calving icebergs was included in the 1958 Walt Disney film “White Wilderness”. This film is somewhat notorious today since we now know its spectacular footage of lemmings committing suicide was achieved by the filmmakers flinging the poor little creatures off cliffs and into the sea where they drowned.

        But I think the melting ice was for real.

      • r0b 9.2.2

        Fine facetious answer Andrei.

        Why is ice melting all over the world?

        Are you suggesting that all that evidence has been faked like the lemmings? Is the NASA data and images showing shrinking and thinning of the Arctic ice cap fake or real Andrei?

        What about the people arguing over new mineral and shipping rights in the newly thawed areas, are they all fake?

        • Andrei 9.2.2.1

          Explain the difference to me between Walt Disney shipping Lemmings hundreds of miles to coastal Alberta (which is not their natural habitat) to film them “committing suicide” by “leaping” into the ocean and taking a Celebrity Politician or vapid movie star into the Arctic (not their natural habitat) at the height of summer, finding a place where a Glacier terminates and using that as a backdrop to hector us about wrecking the planet.

          Both are intentionally misleading – and this is where you people have come unstuck. We are inured to such crude propaganda and can see it for what it is.

          And this is the Email scandal – these so called scientists have been producing propaganda dressed up as science.

          • r0b 9.2.2.1.1

            Explain the difference to me … finding a place where a Glacier terminates and using that as a backdrop to hector us about wrecking the planet.

            The difference is that in one case it was a movie of no significance, and in the other case we’re actually wrecking the planet. Doh.

            You haven’t answered the question. Why is the Arctic ice cap melting so fast? The longer you avoid answering the question the stupider you look.

  10. tsmithfield 10

    r0b: “Here one side are charlatans and fools.”

    Would that be the side that left incriminating e-mails up to be hacked and distributed, Rob?

    Seriously, though, you are showing tendencies towards ingroup-outgroup biases with that statement. Not every skeptic completely denies that the world is warming or that humans have a part in that. There are some very good scientists on the skeptic side of the argument, so you do yourself a disservice by lumping them all in as nutters.

    r0b: “Turn the guns of your “scientific rigour’ on the deniers arguments and data TS. Tell me what you find. Until then you’re just a denier foot-soldier.”

    I expect the same approach to also be taken by the other side of the argument. At the moment I think the evidence is there is vested interests at play on both sides, so interaction is not particularly productive at the moment.

    • r0b 10.1

      Would that be the side that left incriminating e-mails up to be hacked and distributed, Rob?

      Are you serious TS? That’s your argument? The CRU must be wrong because someone managed to hack their server?

      There are some very good scientists on the skeptic side of the argument, so you do yourself a disservice by lumping them all in as nutters.

      The majority of leading deniers are nutters TS. If there are good scientists in there as well (I’d be interested if you could name a few) then they need to be speaking out about the tactics of the nutters. Are any of them doing that?

    • r0b 10.2

      No hurry TS – just five good scientists will do. Don’t choose names at random from that supposed list of scientist deniers though, because most of them were listed without their knowledge or permission…

      • Geek 10.2.1

        I’m no denier r0b but I think the point is that the emails show there are people on the GW side of the argument who are acting less than ethically (destroying data and actively trying to prevent publication of scientists they disagree with is unethical). This as has been pointed out doesn’t prove the deniers correct but it does prove that both sides need to clear the nutters out of their ranks and start sharing their information so that an honest answer can be found.

        Until this is done there will always be those who are skeptical and hence will be able to dismiss the need for action.

        • r0b 10.2.1.1

          With the greatest of respect Geek, no, no matter how pure the science, the deniers will always be with us. Human nature.

        • Bright Red 10.2.1.2

          Geek. There will always be people who do the wrong thing or express what they’re doing wrongly.

          It has no bearing whatsoever on the issue.

          • Geek 10.2.1.2.1

            There will always be those who will disagree. However by not sharing data and by trying to silence those in opposition you just give them credibility.

            You have to remember it isn’t the scientists who are going to fix this. It is politicians who are going to try and win our votes who are going to make the changes that are needed. As long as the AGW side are seen to be with holding data and silencing opposition normal people like my self will always have that hint of something being fishy.

            This is the most important subject in the world at the moment. Those dealing with it have to be open and beyond reproach. As long as they behave in the same manner as those who they dismiss as crazy they only hurt their cause.

            • Armchair Critic 10.2.1.2.1.1

              The data are usually quite expensive to collect. Processing the data is also expensive, and so is interpreting the data. All up, the data are pretty valuable.
              One of the strengths of the US system is that a lot of the data collected on a lot of projects are available for free over the internet, albeit as raw data (and usually in an inconvenient format).
              Other parts of the world, and I’m thinking of New Zealand and the UK, the data are not in the public domain due to their perceived value, which is in part due to the business model under which the various organisations undertaking the research operate. In short, the commercialisation of research science in NZ has kept much of the data out of public view.

  11. singularian 11

    0.,0.,0.,0.,0.,-0.1,-0.25,-0.3,0.,-0.1,0.3,0.8,1.2,1.7,2.5,2.6,2.6,2.6,2.6,2.6

    that is all.

    catchpa – fry

    • r0b 11.1

      Ahh – the “fudge factor”. Which only appeared in commented out debug code and so was not used. That’s dull.

  12. tsmithfield 12

    r0b: “Are you serious TS? That’s your argument? The CRU must be wrong because someone managed to hack their server?”

    No. I was just being facetious. You hadn’t qualified which side you meant as “fools and charlatans”.

    “No hurry TS just five good scientists will do.”

    I am actually at work at the moment, so haven’t got time to dig too deeply. However, two names that spring immediately to mind are Spencer and Christie. Their peer-reviewed work on the feedback mechanisms of clouds is included the next IPCC report I understand.

    The link below can access both authors.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Christy

    So, tell me r0b, what do you qualify as a “fool and a charlatan”? Is it anyone who disagrees with the most extreme, strident views on AGW?

  13. gitmo 13

    “United States President Barack Obama yesterday said he would attend the start of the talks and that the US emissions reduction target would be 17 per cent of 2005 levels by 2020.”

    How does this compare to NZ’s proposed targets ?

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10611962

  14. singularian 14

    ……. and “Lord’ Monckton as debunked in earlier posts.

    All that is before 17/11/09 – the universe has shifted r0b, did you not get the memo?

    • r0b 14.1

      Say singularian – I’m interested in this new universe of yours. Why do you think the arctic icecap is melting so quickly? What’s your theory? How does it work in your new universe?

  15. singularian 15

    Quickly compared to?

  16. tsmithfield 16

    Rob: “Say TS since Andrei has chucked it in why do you think the Arctic is melting so fast?”

    I did say I thought the world was warming. What I am not sure about is whether it is all human activity, or if a substantial part of it is a natural cycle. Afterall, there have been times in our history when the earth was completely ice-free. At the moment there is warmer water due to the warming cycle to date, thus causing melt.

    Note that the warmng cycle has ceased at the moment, and may even be cooling at the moment. This was even admitted in one of the leaked e-mails: “”The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t,’

    • r0b 16.1

      I did say I thought the world was warming. What I am not sure about is whether it is all human activity, or if a substantial part of it is a natural cycle

      At the moment everything else seems quite stable (except slightly decreased solar activity for the last 10 years, which is one of the possible reasons there has been minimal warming for the last 10 years).

      But – over decades – CO2 is really spiking up, and so is temperature. Humans are emitting heaps of CO2. Now – it could be a complete coincidence, but given that it is exactly what science predicts, do you really think so?

    • I did say I thought the world was warming. What I am not sure about is whether it is all human activity, or if a substantial part of it is a natural cycle …

      Just in case it is like the really really big problem many people think it is, do you think we should at least change our behaviour to minimise the effect if it turns out that it is a really really big problem?

  17. BLiP 17

    I still don’t get all of the science. but from what little I have garnered, and I have read a truck loads over the last 12 months, the only argument worth having is: what can we do and how do we get started.

    I want to register my disapproval of the lies, misinformation, misdirections, and confusion paraded here by the same old trolls with the same old line of bullshit. Their words are the result not only of ignorance, but deliberate ignorance. Is there anyway we could institute a banning system to prevent the systematic disruption of discussion, and my education, by trolls using repeatedly disproved bollocks? Perhaps, three false statements and you’re out? Or perhaps, those more knowledgeable would consider desisting from engaging with the trolls. It has been fun, I have to say, witnessing the various and many spankings the trolls have received, but its starting to wear a bit thin now.

    Just asking, is all.

    • Gosman 17.1

      Yes I agree BLiP.

      We should stop people like Tevellerev spreading their ignorant unscientific nonsense on here forthwith.

      Oh wait…. you don’t mean the unscientific nonsense you agree with do you?

      • r0b 17.1.1

        Gosman, are you suggesting that if I believe one book I read in a library then I am forced to believe every book in the library? Because that sounds stupid.

        • Gosman 17.1.1.1

          I don’t know. Perhaps we should ask BLiP the criteria he would use to decide which criteria he would use to decide which statements are unscientific.

          Oh wait a minute…. he said three false statements and you’re out. How is he going to determine if a statement is false again?

          BLiP must be the brainiest person in the whole world if he can figure that one out. 😉

      • singularian 17.1.2

        lol

        Maybe Blip could list the ‘trolls’ he wants banned, so as not to insult his ‘education’ snigger

        catchpa – references- you really can’t make this shit up.

      • quenchino 17.1.3

        Oh yeah .. all that unassailable science from thousands of researchers, in hundreds of engineering institutions, who all examined the original, raw WTC wreckage and independently came to the same extensively, exhaustively peer reviewed consensus.

      • mickysavage 17.1.4

        On the one hand I sympathise with the desire to ban trolls. It would be ok if the debates at least progressed, in that case you can see there is an attempt to address the issues raised.

        But some of these conversations keep going round in circles and ending back at the start.

        On the other hand I find these arguments really good for honing the arguments for when you have to use them with people who are actually thinking about the issue.

      • travellerev 17.1.5

        tevellerev?

        Capcha: mistake. LOL.

        I still remember a fat, angry young man with an Australian outback coat and leather hat in te Papa sticking up his hand as one of only two of more than 300 people after hearing Richard Gage’s presentation sticking to his Conspiracy nutcase mantra. it must be getting lonely were you live. LOL.

        Here is some more on NIWA’s measuring methods.

        • NickS 17.1.5.1

          http://hot-topic.co.nz/nz-sceptics-lie-about-temp-records-try-to-smear-top-scientist/

          You know, it’s not that hard these days to find and read climate change blogs that actually know their stuff, unlike that magnificently incompetent moron Watts: Watts up with Watts?

          And on being angry at human stupidity:
          “I’m tired of ignorance held up as inspiration, where vicious anti-intellectualism is considered a positive trait, and where uninformed opinion is displayed as fact.”
          -Phil Plait, current president of the ever so evil James Randi foundation, aka the sceptics who aren’t making bad arguments constantly.

          • travellerev 17.1.5.1.1

            NickS I don’t pretend to know anything about climate change other than what has been dished out over the years.

            I live a sustainable lifestyle simply because I believe in trying not to take more than I need and to live in harmony with my surroundings.

            I think we have serious problems such as the wholesale destruction of out environment and huge pollution problems.

            I also happen to think that the debate on Global warming hasn’t finished yet and the whole Carbon credit industry is just that, and industry with people like Al Gore and the oil and banking industry making millions of dollars.

            The only response to CO2 emissions if they are so dangerous is planting more trees and killing of huge corporate industries which as we all know is never going to happen.

    • Macro 17.2

      Hear! Hear! BLiP!!
      In case you haven’t read it Gareth on Hot Topic has an excellent post on this CONSISTENT lie by the deniers they have been told by NIWA 3 years ago why the temperature data from the weather stations have been adjusted. NIWA have also explained to the NZC”S”C how the adjustment was made and the evidence is perfectly clear that the trend is upward and has been for a number of years.
      The NZC’S’C’ just choose to consistently ignore that perfectly satisfactory explanation – because it suits them to do so – despite the fact that to ignore the properly adjusted data is to allow inaccuracies that distort the true temperature records. The early data was taken at sea level and the later data was taken at Kelburn 120 m higher! NIWA also took data from Wellington Airport – also at sea level over the same time frame and found that the average difference in Temp – between Kelburn and the Airport was 0.79 degrees C – consistent with theoretical variations adjusted for height! ie – its about 0.8 degrees cooler 120 m higher. So when the earlier temperatures are adjusted to take this difference into account. the resulting graph is the one that should be used. This has been all explained to the NZCSC – 3 years ago! but they choose to be ignorant of it! and persist in spreading lies!

      • quenchino 17.2.1

        So why are lies so easy, and the truth so damned difficult?

        [lprent: Warning – you’re starting to trigger my troll crushing instincts from using mindless aphorisms that don’t contribute to debate. Read the policy to find out what happens next. ]

        • Gosman 17.2.1.1

          Jeeze quenchino, you read like some whinny adolescent kid.

          I hope you were being ironic or something with your last post.

          • quenchino 17.2.1.1.1

            Haven’t you someone to trade emmissions with?

            [lprent: Warning – you’re starting to trigger my troll crushing instincts from using mindless aphorisms that don’t contribute to debate. Read the policy to find out what happens next. ]

            • Gosman 17.2.1.1.1.1

              Well I hope I don’t have to cover your emissions because frankly I don’t think the world can support that level of BS for too much longer.

            • quenchino 17.2.1.1.1.2

              Ooh big boy… I’m impressed, didn’t realise we were in the presence of a world-class BS detection expert. So if truth is so easy… do tell.

        • Macro 17.2.1.2

          Because these lies that are being spread spring from small minds that do not wish to see the whole truth! it’s that simple.

    • r0b 17.3

      I want to register my disapproval of the lies, misinformation, misdirections, and confusion paraded here by the same old trolls with the same old line of bullshit. Their words are the result not only of ignorance, but deliberate ignorance

      I feel your pain. Boy do I feel your pain. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve had the same stupid argument with the same person over and over – I could retire happy.

      But Mickysavage is right, we do it to perfect our arguments. Eg, as I have learned in this thread, no point arguing science with a denier, just ask why the arctic is melting. Keep asking until they realise that they don’t have an answer. Also, although we’ll never convince the deniers that we argue with, we may convince a few of the (many) lurkers who read without commenting. And that makes is worth it.

      So fight the good fight…

      • Gosman 17.3.1

        I feel you pain also BLiP.

        Group hug everyone (((((((0))))))).

        All these people on this blog spouting arguments not backed up by mainstream science. It is just terrible.

        LOL!

  18. tsmithfield 18

    mickeysavage “Just in case it is like the really really big problem many people think it is, do you think we should at least change our behaviour to minimise the effect if it turns out that it is a really really big problem?”

    Mickey, I am all for behavioural changes. But ones that address immediate world problems. As I mentioined earlier, solving the peak-oil problem will go a long way to solving the C02 problem if humans are having a major effect on temperature.

    I think the price of oil will force these sorts of changes anyway….when it gets over $200 per barrel. However, I think emissions trading schemes are artificial and lack the buy-in of major polluters, so they seem a bit pointless to me, and even by the admission of their proponents, do very little to actually solve the problem anyway.

    • Macro 18.1

      I agree with you entirely ts
      Labour had a far better scheme 5 years ago – a carbon tax – but comalco said they didn’t like it and Shane Arden drove his tractor up parliament steps and that was the end of that!
      What we have now will do NOTHING to reduce the production of carbon dioxide. zip, nada, nothing! But it will cost taxpayers heaps in cuts in public services or increases in the tax take – the fiscal drag it will induce in the economy will be devastating. It is completely unsustainable. And for NOTHING!
      What is needed is a completely new vision – a mobilisation toward new energies – wind solar and geothermal. A restructuring of the national grid to adapt to the numerous smaller and home based energy sources. Every new home to be installed with solar hotwater collectors, (Israel has had this since 1974!) 5 sqm PV electric on each new home. They would pay for themselves in 7 years. More efficient lights and water use.etc – this is the low hanging fruit. Planting of native bush along the banks of the Manawatu would not only improve the water quality – but would also sequest carbon. Stopping gold mining – a productively useless activity but a high emitter of carbon would also be a good step as well!
      There are thousands of things we could be doing – they would all involve new employment opportunities – new areas for investment and we could have a reasonable chance of handing on to our children and grand children a wold fit to live in. Business as Usual is NOT an option.

      • mickysavage 18.1.1

        Good comment.

        The really big think NZ could do is stop supplying power to Tiwai Point. Huntly could then just about be shut down. There would be a foreign exchange hit but average power prices would go down.

        I would love to see actual economic analysis. I could never work it out how it was worth us selling the power so cheaply to them.

    • tsmithfield

      Mickey, I am all for behavioural changes. But ones that address immediate world problems. As I mentioined earlier, solving the peak-oil problem will go a long way to solving the C02 problem if humans are having a major effect on temperature.

      I think the price of oil will force these sorts of changes anyway .when it gets over $200 per barrel. However, I think emissions trading schemes are artificial and lack the buy-in of major polluters, so they seem a bit pointless to me, and even by the admission of their proponents, do very little to actually solve the problem anyway.

      Agreed in part. The benefit of an ETS is that it forces investment into, amongst other things, the clean production of power. This will allow the human race to slow down the depletion of petroleum until something better like fusion is a reality.

      I read something interesting a while ago where it was suggested that humans were in a race to either toast the planet or deplete its oil reserves and that either possibility required the same response.

  19. BLiP 19

    Okay – maybe banning the trolls is not the way to go. What about a licensing system where a person identified as an AGW Troll cannot comment in a climate science post without first having passed a test? Successful graduates can be given a password which would allow them to comment. I’m sure any technical matters would be no problem to the sysop and I am quite happy to formulate and mark the tests as well, as administrate the dishing out of the passwords.

    I would base the tests on the material covered here and here.

    Otherwise, I guess its just a matter of taking a deep breath, relocating the sense of humour, and wading through the sloshing ignorance while marvelling at the patience of those of you who can be bothered.

    Sigh.

    • Gosman 19.1

      Yeah kind of like reading all that 9/11 Truther stuff eh BLiP?

      LOL!

      • quenchino 19.1.1

        Yeah like you only pretend to believe all that AGW stuff eh Gossy?

        • Gosman 19.1.1.1

          And your allegation is based on what quenchino?

          Perhaps it was the same Aliens at Area 51 that advised you about the ‘truth’ behind September the 11th?

          BLiP idea about a test is about the dumbest thing I have read from him, and that is stating a lot.

          Whatever next, getting a Barcode tattooed on your forehead which you can scan before it allows you to post an opinion?

          LOL!

        • quenchino 19.1.1.2

          And your allegation is based on what quenchino?

          The naff and now dated “LOL!” of the smug and certain appended to your comments. Reveals at lot.

          • Gosman 19.1.1.2.1

            Do you mean because I laugh at the fact that you’re happy to believe nonsense conspiracy theories like the 9/11 Truther movement but expect others to take you seriously on AGW?

            No, I don’t think that is proof I’m a secret Anti-AGW denier. But nice try.

            • quenchino 19.1.1.2.1.1

              Too much protesting, shoulda stopped a few comments back.

            • felix 19.1.1.2.1.2

              He can’t. He’s obsessed with the idea that everyone else believes in conspiracies. He sees them everywhere, and when he doesn’t, he just makes them up.

              He believes in conspiracy theory conspiracies.

              He’s a meta-conspiracy theorist if you will.

  20. NickS 20

    /groan

    It’d take a whole day to cut through the CCD crap in here, which I don’t have.

    Anyhow, <a href="http://hot-topic.co.nz/nz-sceptics-lie-about-temp-records-try-to-smear-top-scientist/"Gareth's got a brilliant post up on Hot-Topic on the Niwa stuff, that exposes the NZ Climate “Science’ Coalition as a bunch of insipid, lying buffons, which also includes their pet climate “scientist” De Freitas.

    And on BliP’s idea for a test for CCD’s, linking to Wisharts soap-box for “evidence that climate change is wrong” should be considered a “fail”, much like linking to whale.to et al for anything health related.

    • BLiP 20.1

      You passed.

      • NickS 20.1.1

        Obviously.

        I tend to spit snark and science when I get the motivation to read the comments and see something stupid. Of which the “hide the decline” meme and tsmithfield linking to Wishart’s burning stupid, along with being functionally incapable of f*cking researching the evidence for increasing temperatures are the worst.

        Though 30+ km’s of biking yesterday have left me a bit in the “meh” state…

        • Huub Bakker 20.1.1.1

          You’re clearly not reading the right comments then or researching the evidence.

          The globe has been cooling since 1998 and correlates with solar activity but not carbon dioxide concentration.

          The team at CRU have been faking the evidence for years. My favourite quote from the code they used to create the temperature graphs that you put such great store by (pause while I pull the quote from the files I downloaded to my hard drive):

          “Here, the expected 1990-2003 period is MISSING – so the correlations aren’t so hot! Yet the WMO codes and station names /locations are identical (or close). What the hell is supposed to happen here? Oh yeah – there is no ‘supposed’, I can make it up. So I have :-)”

          They made it up. They were the world’s ‘experts” on climate change. They kept any dissenters out of the peer-reviewed journals.

          Global warming is dead. There never was any global warming. It’s over.

          • NickS 20.1.1.1.1

            Me thinks I’ll trust this thing called “peer review” and actual climate scientists, rather than the self-claimed “climate sceptics” who make the same damn fallacious arguments time after time and quote mine personal correspondences.

            Why? Because science just f*cking works, not always perfectly, but it still f*cking works. It worked on smoking being a cause of some cancers, it worked on DDT being a major ecological headache, restricting it to niche applications, it worked on CFC’s, it worked and is still working on evolutionary biology, and HIV being the causative agent of AIDS, or vaccines not causing autism spectrum disorders. All in spite of the “sceptics” counter claims and constant bullsh*tting.

            Just like it does with climate change research.

            Which, you know, there’s all those lovely correlations of the CRU data with other climate records, and all those shifts in animal distributions, migration patterns, frost days, soil temps. Which are easily found by going to wikipedia and using google to find copies of the relevant papers. Of course, one possibly expects you to crop up and say something exceedingly stupid about peer-review, or hark on about conspiracy, allowing for a wonderful educational opportunity for explaining science and getting snarky.

            Anyhow, amusingly enough you haven’t even bothered to be sceptical about the veracity of the stolen emails you have, nor actually show any inclination to think about this wonderful thing called “context”. Then, you do appear to possible really f*cking dumb, otherwise you a) you might have learnt about this thing called “sample interval” and b) actually noticed that solar activity took a real big dive in the 70’s, and yet temperatures continued to rise, thus out-ruling the solar activity claim. You scientifically illiterate moron.

          • quenchino 20.1.1.1.2

            As an academic yourself I might have thought you would understand the ethics of quote mining other people’s personal communications.

            You have already fallen right into this trap once already on this site, where you selectively quoted a chunk of code that defined an array of ‘fudge factors’, that was supposedly the ultimate proof that ‘global warming was over’.

            You neglected to include the remainder of the code, where it is obvious that the array concerned was commented out and never used. You also failed to present evidence that this piece of code was used for anything published at all.

            This raises two questions:

            1. Would you accept this standard of work from one of your own students? If so, why do you still have tenure?

            2. If you wouldn’t accept it from a student, why should we accept it from you? If not, can we have a withdrawal and apology?

            • Huub Bakker 20.1.1.1.2.1

              Ah, Someone who has actually looked at the files rather than simply spouting off. And someone who recognises my name but doesn’t realise there is no such thing as tenure.

              Huh, I feel chagrined at the previous quote. Thank you for the correction. However I base my conclusions on far more than a simple quote. Trying to get them all into one post is a trifle hard so I try for something short and sharp. 🙂

              Do I have problems with quote mining other people’s personal communications? Of course I do, but my ethics also requires me to blow the whistle in situations where I see the public good requires it. That is the ethics my profession requires of me regardless of the abuse and invective I might garner from others such as NickS.

              1. I would not accept the code that I saw from any my students. I would fail them the paper for having produced such code. I will not include any out of context quotes.

              2. This is not a forum that seeks or expects the same rigour of proof that a scientific journal would require. This is a forum to debate issues. As such we make statements that open to proof or contradiction.

              Now, let me test your knowledge. Have you looked at the data that shows that the global temperature correlates reasonably accurately with sun activity and does not correlate with carbon dioxide concentration, especially in the last 10 years when the temperature is dropping but CO2 continues to increase?

              Have you seen alternate temperature profiles that agree with historical evidence and show that the Medieval warm period was warmer than today?

              Do you feel some unease when you hear claims that the Arctic ice sheet will disappear in 10 years because two years ago it covered the smallest extent on record? (And then find that the satellite records only go back several decades and that the ice sheet now extends further than it has since 1979?)

              I will not support these with links. I leave that as an exercise for the student. 🙂

            • quenchino 20.1.1.1.2.2

              . Have you looked at the data that shows that the global temperature correlates reasonably accurately with sun activity

              Well of course there is a correlation. By itself this is a statement of the obvious that doesn’t tell us much new.

              In fact the sun has just gone through an especially of prolonged and deep minimum of it’s regular cycle. If the sun was the principle factor player in driving the climate, as you are suggesting, then logically global temperatures would have also been at very low levels.

              Instead, as you know perfectly well, most of the hottest years in the instrumental record have all occured during this same period when solar activity was especially low.

              and that the ice sheet now extends further than it has since 1979

              You may not have thought about the difference between area of the ice sheet, and it’s volume. Specifically the volume of multi-year aged ice. This is both pertinent and entertaining.

            • NickS 20.1.1.1.2.3

              Eh, it’s too late to do a full on post, but rummaging around:

              1) http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/10/a-warming-pause/
              – Oh look, no cooling since 1998. There’s also a neat java based app in one of the posts Hot-Topic that can be used to display the issues with taking short term trends in noisy data sets.

              2) Laut 2003, Solar activity and terrestrial climate: an analysis of some purported correlations
              – <a href="http://scholar.google.co.nz/scholar?cites=15762865635524181036&hl=en&as_sdt=2000"Citation list for extra reading, though please remember to actually skim over the abstracts further down the citation chain for critical discussions of the articles pub’d in (actual, not crank) peer reviewed journals…

            • sk 20.1.1.1.2.4

              Mr Bakker,

              Since you are an academic, maybe you can answer some questions for me. It startles me the way ‘correlations’ are bandied about; Given temperatures and CO2 vary over long periods are they I(0) or I(1) processes? In which direction does the causality flow? Does CO2 Granger cause temperature?

              Given the time series we appear to be dealing with, and the fact that the co-movement occurs over tens of thousands of years, how can 10 years have any meaning? If atmospheric CO2 Granger causes temperature, but with uncertain lags, at some point humanity is going to have a CO2 caused temperature crisis. Who cares about what has happened in the last 10 years?

              It is strikes me there is a hell of a lot of sophistry in this debate

  21. Tony 21

    Now it could be a complete coincidence, but given that it is exactly what science predicts, do you really think so?

    Well, there you go, I never realised that science was about making predictions. I always thought science was about observations. Alas I now stand corrected.

  22. r0b 22

    I now stand corrected

    No charge.

  23. Huub Bakker 23

    Heavens, three at once! 🙂

    (sk, it’s Dr Bakker actually but please call me Huub).

    I’ll take the solar issue first:

    I get my statement from this image taken from Camp and Tung GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS 2007 (That would be after your reference Nick.)

    http://cce.890m.com/solar-gcr/images/camp-tung.jpg

    It shows a fairly strong correlation between temperature and solar activity to my mind. And I do not ‘bandy’ correlations around; this is my direct observation of the graph. Now I do realise that temperature and CO2 can vary over long periods of time sk but here we have a fairly strong correlation that seems to account for most of the changes in temperature. I also see no long-term drift in this graph to suggest that there are other significant factors such as CO2 in play. And I know of no foreseeable effect from CO2 that will cause a ‘temperature crisis’.

    OK on to the temperature graphs. Now it’s interesting that you should place a link to realclimate.org Nick. The is the web site that appears prominently in the CRU emails. So when I look up another site and see this
    http://www.drroyspencer.com/latest-global-temperatures/
    – a clearly different temperature plot, I have to ask myself who is right. Do you have any suggestions as to how this disparity could be resolved.

    sk, I’m unfamiliar with the terms you use but I can say that the temperature records show that CO2 increases about 700-1000 years after temperatures increase. I would state that it is impossible in that case for CO2 to drive temperature, but I’m always happy to entertain a discussion on how that might be possible.

    However I do know that over at Climate Audit (http://camirror.wordpress.com/) they’ve managed to replicate the “trick” to “hide the decline” that apparent;y wasn’t taken out of context at all….

  24. quenchino 24

    I’m unfamiliar with the terms you use but I can say that the temperature records show that CO2 increases about 700-1000 years after temperatures increase. I would state that it is impossible in that case for CO2 to drive temperature, but I’m always happy to entertain a discussion on how that might be possible.

    I’m going to take this on good faith, but rather than re-type out the standard response, I would recommend few moments googling. This is a non-science blog, with a large non-specialist audience so I will restrict my linking to this vividly presented explanation here.

    In essence, the ‘CO2 lags Temperature’ meme is a cynical, professionally concocted piece of deception which has confused many, many people. I know it puzzled me for a while because superficially and intuitively it looks like a very real objection, but as you well know… many things in the world of science are neither superficial nor intuitive.

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    6 days ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    7 days ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    1 week ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 week ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
    Professors Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Jude Ball, Dr Judith McCool, Anaru Waa, Dr Becky Freeman Recent media reports have presented conflicting evidence on youth vaping in NZ. While some NZ school principals report concerns about increasing vaping on school grounds and confiscating vapes, ASH Year ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • In pursuit of “Freedom and Democracy”: Forever Wars in “America’s backyard”.
    “America the Beautiful!”, staunch defender of democracy, freedom and… a whole lot of despotic tyrants that play nice with what is called “the Washington Consensus.” America is indeed capable of immense good, but like any Nation, and most assuredly any aspirant to the mantle of Empire, great, immense evil. All ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • November ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: The beginner’s guide to blogging I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is ...
    1 week ago
  • Whodunnit? Finding the mystery 1080 testing lab
    1080 is used to control pests in NZ. Its use is contested by a noisy few. A new report claims high levels of 1080 in rats washed up on a beach. Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa (F&F) won’t name the laboratory that did their testing. It has sparked a hunt ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Authoritarian Friends, Democratic Enemies.
    What Kind Of Empire? The thing for Kiwis to decide is what kind of empire they want to belong to. The kind that, while offering its own citizens democratic rights, demands absolute obedience from its “friends”? Or, the kind that, while authoritarian at home, takes a relaxed attitude to the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Boris Johnson Goes Down
    It hasn't been a good week for the Conservatives, pollwise.  All major recent polls are showing their lead shrinking.Comparing each pollster's current (between 29/11 and 22/11) and previous most recent poll.Com Res - Conservative lead down 3 points.You Gov - Conservative lead down 1 point.Kantar - Conservative lead down 4 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Interesting
    Within quick succession, Countdown maths wizard and twitterer Rachel Riley, alleged comedian David Baddiel and prominent lawyer Andrew Julius have all expressed very similar opinions / ideas:
    These #3billboards are going round London today, organised by ex-Labour people, horrified by what their party has become. Their principles haven’t changed, they’re ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damn the Polls
    So, there have been a bunch of bad polls out for Labour, and even the Leftie's friend, Survation, have recently given the Conservatives a rip-snorting 11% lead.  You Gov's much vaunted MRP poll - which pretty much nailed the result in 2015 - is currently predicting a comfortable majority for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Europe declares an emergency
    The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to declare a climate emergency:The European parliament has declared a global “climate and environmental emergency” as it urged all EU countries to commit to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The vote came as scientists warned that the world may have already crossed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Bi-Partisan Commitment To X-ing “P”.
    Pure Fear: Worse than Heroin, this drug’s addictive power was terrifying. People under its influence didn’t drift off to Elysium. Nor did it persuade inadequate individuals that they could conquer the world. No, this drug – pure crystal methamphetamine, “P” for short – unlocked the gates of Hell itself. It ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advice about measles: when ignorance is definitely not a virtue
    As the rate of measles infection, and of deaths, continues to climb in Samoa, antivaccination activists infectious disease proponents seem intent on doubling down on their claims about vaccination. (Check pretty much any news-media FB post about measles & you’ll see exactly what I mean.) Unfortunately, some of them have ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Samoa’s devastating measles epidemic – why and how bad?
    Samoa are experiencing a devastating measles epidemic. It is possible that 2-3% of the population will ultimately be infected by the time it is over. Hopefully the mass immunisation campaign currently under way can mitigate some of this, for many it is too late. The first question many people ask ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • “It’s basic rights we are defending”: the Meghan Murphy interview
    Meghan Murphy is a Canadian writer and journalist She runs the Feminist Current website which she founded in 2012.  She was a keynote speaker for the Feminism2020 conference in Wellington this month. When Massey University cancelled the original venue booking Feminism2020 was hosted in Parliament by MP David Seymour. Meghan ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • A week of protests in Colombia
    Text and photos by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh Colombia has lived through one week of protests against the economic measures taken by president Duque. What looked like a protest that would fizzle out after its first day on November 21st is still going strong. Part of the reason for the continuance ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Anti-neutrinos–When you are your own opposite
    Around a million billion pass through you each second, almost all originating from our sun, but few of them are likely to interact with you enroute. I was reading in a physics magazine earlier in the week about the nature of neutrinos. These are extremely numerous elementary particles, but only ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Exoplanets, life, and the danger of a single study
    By Pallab Ghosh There’s value in covering new research advances, even when the underlying science is unsettled. But there are also risks. The recent announcement that scientists discovered water on the planet K2-18b, 110 light years away, prompted a media swoon. News stories, including a piece written by me, billed ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The Intersex Continuum
    I wrote this review a couple of years ago when I was still in the process of getting my head around the politics of transgenderism, and specifically the claim that intersex conditions lend support to the notion that sex is ‘socially constructed’. Since writing this review I have come across ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Leaving us with the bill
    Two weeks ago, Malaysian-owned oil company Tamarind declared it was insolvent and went into administration after a failed offshore drilling campaign. Tamarind apparently specialises in buying oil fields at the end of their life and trying to squeeze out the last few drops of pollution. But part of their scam ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How much does flying contribute to climate change?
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz How much does our use of air travel contribute to the ...
    SciBlogsBy Shaun Hendy
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The task before us
    Two weeks ago, the Zero Carbon Act became law. Right this moment, the Climate Change Commisison will be working on its initial budgets for 2022-25 and 2026-2030, and the UN has just given them a very clear steer:Countries must make an unprecedented effort to cut their levels of greenhouse gases ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Among my favourite asteroids: (2309) Mr. Spock
    Minor planet/asteroid (2309) Mr. Spock is named not for the character in Star Trek, but for a cat that was itself imperturbable, logical, intelligent and had pointed ears In a preceding blog post I introduced one of my favourite asteroids, (2472) Bradman, and also mentioned (6581) Sobers amongst a few ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Measles deaths and antivax misinformation
    Today the death toll from measles in Samoa rose to 32. All but four of the dead were less than 5 years old. Absolutely terrible, heartbreaking, news. That statistic alone should be enough to give the lie to the common claim by antivaccination activists plague enthusiasts that “measles is a ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Colombia: the state murder of Dilan Cruz
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh It is late here in Bogotá, almost 11.30pm on Monday the 25th of November as I write this. The day began full of hope with yet more massive marches throughout the country, a mix of the International Day of Non-Violence Against Women and the National Strike. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Anti-fluoride propagandists appear not to read the articles they promote
    Anti-fluoride activists are rubbing their hands in glee over what they claim is “yet another study” showing fluoride harms the brains of children. But their promotion relies on IQ relationships which the paper’s authors acknowledge disappearing when outliers or other factors are considered. And they completely ignore other relationships ...
    2 weeks ago

  • New law sets up $300m Venture Capital Fund
    New Zealand firms expanding beyond the start-up phase are set for more support after today’s passage of the Venture Capital Fund Bill, Associate Finance Minister David Parker said. The Bill, which establishes a $300 million Venture Capital Fund, puts in place a key initiative of the Wellbeing Budget’s economic package. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • New Zealand’s National Statement to COP25
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira mā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Señora Presidenta, Excellencies, Delegates. International action A common thread that runs through the Paris Agreement is the commitment we have made to each other to do what we can to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Priorities for 2020 Wellbeing Budget outlined
    Budget 2020 will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also investing to future-proof the economy. When the Government took office in 2017 it was left with crumbling infrastructure, severe underinvestment in public services, degraded rivers and lakes, a housing crisis and rising ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • $12 billion in extra infrastructure investment
    The Government is lifting capital investment to the highest level in more than 20 years as it takes the next step to future-proof New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced $12 billion of new investment, with $8 billion for specific capital projects and $4 billion to be added to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Strong economy, careful spending gives $12bn of surpluses
    The Government is forecast to run $12 billion worth of surpluses across the four years to 2023/24 as the economy continues to grow. The surpluses will help fund day-to-day capital requirements each year. These include fixing leaky hospitals, building new classrooms to cover population growth and take pressure off class ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Minister welcomes data-rich coastline mapping tool
    The Minister responsible for the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 (te Takutai Moana Act 2011), Andrew Little has welcomed the launch of an online geospatial tool that provides data-rich, dynamic coastline maps that will significantly boost research and evidence-gathering under the Act. Te Kete Kōrero a Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Chief Victims Advisor reappointed for a further two years
    The Chief Victims Advisor to Government Dr Kim McGregor, QSO, has been reappointed in her role for a further two years. Dr McGregor has held the role since it was established in November 2015. She provides independent advice to government on how to improve the criminal justice system for victims. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • New Zealand tsunami monitoring and detection system to be established
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare have today announced the deployment of a network of DART (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami) buoys. “New Zealand and the Pacific region are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. It is vital we have adequate warning systems in place,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • DART Buoys Announcement
    DART Buoys Announcement Aotea Wharf, 9.30am 11 December 2019   Acknowledgements Acknowledgements to Minister for Civil Defence Hon Peeni Henare also here today. White Island It is with regret that this event shadows the tragic natural disaster two days ago. The volcanic eruptions on White Island have claimed 5 lives, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Final steps for racing industry reform
    Racing Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Racing Industry Bill in parliament today. This is the second of two Bills that have been introduced this year to revitalise New Zealand’s racing industry. “Our domestic racing industry has been in serious decline.  The Government is committed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Funding to promote New Zealand Sign Language initiatives
    Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, is pleased to announce that $291,321 is to be awarded to national and local community initiatives to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). “New Zealand is one of the few countries  in the world where Sign Language is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • How New Zealand defines and recognises veterans
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced today the Coalition Government’s initial response to work completed by the independent statutory body, the Veterans’ Advisory Board. “When Professor Ron Paterson completed his review of the Veterans’ Support Act in 2018, he made a number of recommendations, including one which I referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government to fund lion’s share of Ohakea water scheme
    The Government will fund the bulk of the cost of a rural water supply for the Ohakea community affected by PFAS contamination, Environment Minister David Parker announced today at a meeting of local residents. This new water scheme will provide a reliable and clean source of drinking water to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister statement on White Island eruption
    I have had the opportunity to be briefed on the details of the volcanic eruption of Whakaari/White Island, off the coast of Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty.  The eruption happened at 2.11pm today.  It continues to be an evolving situation.  We know that there were a number of tourists ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt funds $100k for weather-hit communities
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare have today confirmed initial Government support of $100,000 for communities affected by the severe weather that swept across the South Island and lower North Island over the weekend. The contribution will be made to Mayoral relief funds across the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Death of NZ High Commissioner to Cook Islands
    New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, Tessa Temata, died in Palmerston North over the weekend, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today. Ms Temata, 52, had recently returned to New Zealand for medical treatment. "On behalf of the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we extend ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Wellington rail upgrade full steam ahead
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced construction is underway on Wellington commuter rail upgrades which will mean more frequent services and fewer breakdowns. The upgrades include converting the Trentham to Upper Hutt single track section to a double track, with a new signalling system, upgraded stations and level crossings, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Defence Climate Change Implementation Plan released
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark and Minister for Climate Change James Shaw have announced the release of a Defence Climate Change Implementation Work Plan, titled Responding to the Climate Crisis: An Implementation Plan.  The plan sets out a series of recommendations based on the 2018 New Zealand Defence Assessment, The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt releases funding to support South Canterbury
    A medium-scale adverse event has been declared for the South Canterbury district, which will see up to $50,000 in funding made available to support farming communities which have been significantly affected by recent heavy rain and flooding in the area, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two weeks of solid rain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech at launch of Rethinking Plastics Report
    Thank you Professor Juliet Gerrard and your team for the comprehensive and extremely helpful report and recommendations. Thank you too to all the stakeholders and interested parties who have contributed ideas and thinking to it. “Making best practice, standard practice” is a great framework for change and the action plan ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt pledges next steps on plastic waste
    The Government will phase out more single-use plastics following the success of its single-use plastic bag ban earlier this year and the release today of a pivotal report for dealing with waste. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed the Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealandreport, released by her Chief Science Advisor ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • International student enrolments grow in universities and the regions
    International education continues to thrive as the Government focuses on quality over quantity, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. The tuition revenue from international education increased to $1.16 billion last year with the average tuition fee per student increasing by $960. The total number of international students enrolled in New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to Government Economics Network 2019 Conference
    I want to talk about one of the most pressing issues in our national life: the housing crisis and the poor performance of our cities. The argument I want to make to you is that generations of urban land use policy have lacked a decent grounding in economics. The consequences ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • DHB leadership renewed and strengthened
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says new appointments to DHBs represent a significant changing of the guard, with 13 new chairs including four Māori chairs. Today 76 appointments have been announced to complement elected board members, as well as eight elected members appointed as either chair or deputy chair.  Four ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tabuteau to advance New Zealand’s trade and political interests with European partners
    Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Fletcher Tabuteau, is travelling to Germany, Poland, Austria, and Spain next week to bolster New Zealand’s political and trade relationships in Europe. While in Spain, Mr Tabuteau will represent New Zealand at the 14th Asia-Europe (ASEM) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Madrid. “New Zealand strongly supports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Kris Faafoi
    “I’ve spoken to Minister Faafoi, who has apologised for his poor handling of this issue,” Jacinda Ardern said. “I have confidence in Kris as a hardworking and effective Minister, but this should have been dealt with in a much clearer manner, and I’ve made my views on that very clear ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tonga-New Zealand Joint Ministerial Forum
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters met with Tongan Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa in Wellington today. The pair signed a Statement of Partnership setting out joint priorities for cooperation out to 2023.  “We welcomed Prime Minister Tu'i'onetoa on his first visit to New Zealand as Prime Minister. Tonga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Shooting in Kurow
    The Minister of Police Stuart Nash says his sympathies are with the family of a man who died after being shot by Police in Kurow. “Initial reports are that Police were called by a family member to help the man who was threatening to harm himself,” Mr Nash says. “However ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government delivers funding boost for ethnic communities
    Ethnic communities will be able to plan and deliver more community initiatives thanks to an increase in Government funding, Minister for Ethnic Communities Hon Jenny Salesa said today. “Ensuring Aotearoa New Zealand is a place we can all be proud to call home has been a key priority of our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt supports Southland farmers in sustainability
    Healthier waterways, better productivity and farmer wellbeing are front and centre in a new project involving more than 1000 Southland farmers and growers. Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor today announced that the Thriving Southland Change and Innovation Project is the first region-wide extension programme supported by the $229 million Sustainable ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Flood of support for Top of the South catchment
    Work to look after nature and restore freshwater quality in Te Hoiere/Pelorus River catchment is getting a significant boost, thanks to new Government funding support Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage announced in Canvastown today. “Every New Zealander should be able to swim in their local river without getting sick, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Eight Queen’s Counsel appointed under new criterion
    Eight Queen’s Counsel have been appointed under a process that includes the new criterion of a commitment to improving access to justice, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. “The new criterion was included this year. It emphasises that excellence and leadership in the profession can be seen through a wider, community ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Major expansion for Wellington’s Onslow College
    Onslow College in Wellington will get 20 new classrooms for more than 400 students, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. The much-needed investment will relieve growth pressure the school has been experiencing for some time. Seven existing classrooms which have deteriorated over time will also be replaced, bringing the total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Talented young Kiwis awarded PM’s Scholarships to Asia and Latin America
    More than 250 young New Zealanders will add international experience to their education, thanks to the latest Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia (PMSA) and Latin America (PMSLA), Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This round of scholarships supports 252 recent graduates or current students to undertake study, research or internships ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government to improve competitiveness and transparency in the retail fuel market
    Consumers will benefit from a more competitive, transparent retail fuel market as a result of changes the Government will be making in response to the findings of the Commerce Commission’s study of the fuel sector. “We accept the Commission’s findings and, as the Prime Minister has said, we’re ready to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More cancer medicines for more people
    Five new cancer medicines have now been funded this year, meaning thousands of people have more treatment options PHARMAC has today announced that it has approved two new medicines for funding – fulvestrant for breast cancer and olaparib for ovarian cancer. This follows earlier decisions on advanced lung cancer treatment alectinib, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government acts to sort out electoral ‘coin toss’ problem
    The Minister of Local Government, Hon Nanaia Mahuta says the Government will consider making changes to local electoral legislation before the 2022 elections to fix the problems that have arisen where elections are settled by a coin toss.  The Minister says the recount process in the Murupara- Galatea ward at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • NZ to Join IMO Convention to Reduce Ship Emissions
    New Zealand will sign up to new international maritime regulations to reduce ship emissions and lift air quality around ports and harbours, Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter announced today. Subject to completion of the Parliamentary treaty examination process, New Zealand will sign up to Annex VI of MARPOL, an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Bill to empower urban development projects
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