Who are denialists now?

Federated Farmers’ Hawkes Bay president Will Foley asks, who are the denialists now?

RadioLIVE recently ran an online poll asking its listeners if they were frightened of climate change.  To the shock of host Marcus Lush, two-thirds of respondents apparently said no, they’re not.  I would have said yes.

As some groups are cock-a-hoop over tough consent conditions imposed on the Ruataniwha water storage scheme and others think them lax, you have to wonder if this public climate weariness has spread to them too.

What it all means for the viability of Ruataniwha won’t be known until the 700-page decision is crunched but what I know is this.  If the scheme does not progress it won’t affect Green Party MP’s in their air conditioned offices or the paid Wellington staff at Forest & Bird.  They don’t have to worry about the El Nino being talked about for spring.  They don’t have to watch our region increasingly turn into a retirement village while our young drift to Auckland or Australia.  They don’t have to deal with crime since Hawke’s Bay bucked the national trend last year.

I cannot understand why some are so hell-bent on derailing a scheme, which gives Hawke’s Bay its best shot at adapting to a changing climate. Federated Farmers hosted Dr Russel Norman at the South Island’s Opuha water storage scheme a few years ago.  Memories seem short unless you are a politician.

With a medium level of confidence the climate experts say that average rainfall on the east coast will decrease this century.  This will lead to lower flows of the Makaroro River, Waipawa and Tukituki Rivers. The International Panel on Climate Change warns that by 2040, the East Coast can expect to double or even triple the time spent in drought.  This is our future unless we adapt and that means new pastures, crops, technologies and even animals.  Above all, adaption means storing water like that proposed by Ruataniwha.

I will be blunt to make a point; the shit in the Tukituki during summer low flows has mostly been human.  Up to 70 percent of phosphorous loading during low flows had come from the wastewater plants of Waipukurau, Waipawa, Otane and Takapau.  That’s thankfully changing with upgrades in hand while the allocation regime will put more water into the Tukituki during summer.

Ruataniwha could do more.  It could put a quarter of a billion dollars into those towns each year providing councils with the means to meet increasing drinking water standards.  This proves that the environment and economy are flipsides of the same coin.  If there’s no scheme, there’s no dam supported flushing and little additional money to upgrade existing plant.  Can anyone tell me the environmental win in that?

Is it just me or has the media and Ruataniwha opponents overlooked the IPCC’s warning that New Zealand is underprepared for a changing climate.  If anything, there seems to be outright denial since these groups seem to believe our rivers in 2040 will be exactly as they were in 2014.  It is not like the Hawke’s Bay Regional Investment Company got a muppet to look into climate issues and Ruataniwha either.  Victoria University’s Dr James Renwick happens to be an international expert in this field.

While dryland places like North Otago have been averaging twice their normal rainfall over the past five years, in the same timeframe, we’ve had three droughts and it is dragging Hawke’s Bay down.  Out of 67 councils in the last census, Hastings District slipped nine spots to 30th spot, Napier went back one to 31st while Central Hawke’s Bay District dropped to 58th – losing 1.8 percent of its usually resident population.

If Ruataniwha’s consents are so tough they are Clayton’s ones, then it will be a Pyrrhic victory for the environment.  As the climate warms so will the waterways while the volume going into them drops. While that’s great for algae it doesn’t sound so flash for introduced trout or native fish and birds. 

While we can expect less intense rainfall we can store what falls and that’s the beauty of Ruataniwha and the secret recipe of our economy; just add water.

So is Ruataniwha perfect, probably not, but what is?  Do I have the information to make an informed investment decision? That now hinges on the consent conditions attached by the Board of Inquiry.  Yet debating the principle of storing water, given towns and cities do it, is a bit like debating the wisdom of sunblock, dumb. 

If we accept the climate is changing then we need to store water and adapt how we currently do things.  If you deny the climate will ever change then I guess you won’t be at the National Aquarium of NZ on 6 May, where NIWA’s Dr Andrew Tait is talking at 730pm on The Climate and Weather of Hawke’s Bay.

New Zealand makes a tiny contribution to green house gases.

No matter how hard we try to reduce emissions, we are at the mercy of other countries whose emissions are much greater.

We can continue to do our bit but we must also prepare to adapt to whatever nature throws at us.

If, as is predicted, parts of New Zealand will be hotter and drier, then water storage schemes like Ruataniwha which will enable irrigation and maintain minimum flows in rivers, are not just sensible, the economic, environmental and social benefits they provide.

90 Responses to Who are denialists now?

  1. Andrei says:

    If we accept the climate is changing

    Everybody accepts the climate is changing, nobody denies this.

    The degree by which it has changed since the time our grandparents were children is at the limits of scientific detectability and yet this is enough chicken littles to go running about crying doom and disaster.

    And for politicians who are an unscrupulous, self serving, bunch, to latch onto this headless chookery as an excuse to grab more power for themselves.

    Does this irrigation scheme serve our interests in the here and now?

    Will it pay for itself?

    If the answer to these questions is yes then get on with it and build it

    And if the answer is no, then don’t.


  2. rayinnz says:

    Interesting that one Peter Small writes in today’s OTD asking “That denial be classed as hate speech”
    Great way to shut down debate, he is also not very happy about talking about any benefits that might accrue fron a warmer climate


  3. TraceyS says:

    Thankfully the ODT had the good sense to abridge it, Ray. At under the 150 word limit.

    Oh the irony in truncating free speech promoting an end to the same!


  4. JC says:

    I’m a born and bred Hawkes Bay man, worked a couple of years around Waipawa. My wife was born and bred in the back country there.

    One thing you always know about travel in the Bay is that just South of Hastings the country is brown from late Spring early summer till winter, and its like that till you hit Dannevirk.

    Drought is a way of life there, been like that in my 60 odd years and my father’s life (Born Waipukarau 1909).

    Before I would put any credence of the above article I would want to see annual rainfall data over the last 100 years before I ventured to suggest there’s been a change. The I’d start asking who pays and who benefits and then whether smaller dams would be more appropriate.



  5. robertguyton says:

    Developing water-intensive dairying in areas where droughts are expected to become more common and more severe.


  6. robertguyton says:

    Of course, the dam will be constructed using private money, won’t it?
    No ratepayer money would be used for the benefit of private industry, would it?

    Would it?


  7. Gravedodger says:

    No need to sign off as Lunacy, Robert, misguided, brainwashed, ignorant, indoctrinated, denier, if you must diminish your self-esteem but you are being harsh to call yourself a lunatic.


  8. Mr E says:


    Heard of Venture Southland?

    If not – from their website.

    “Venture Southland is a joint initiative of the Invercargill City, Southland District and Gore District Councils, and is the agency responsible for the region’s economic and community development initiatives”

    Their mission:
    “To actively work with groups and organisations to identify opportunities and facilitate the development of projects and initiatives that will enhance the prosperity and quality of life of Southland communities.”

    Kinda puts your question into perspective doesn’t it?


  9. robertguyton says:

    Back from your ‘Class of (18) ’81’, Gravedodger?
    How were the aged chaps? Any old flames you had to avoid?


  10. robertguyton says:

    Venture are buying a dam?

    Good Lord!


  11. Mr E says:

    They are?


  12. Mr E says:

    Heard of Southport?

    If not from their website:
    “South Port New Zealand Ltd is the southernmost commercial port in New Zealand, located at Bluff and operating on a year-round, 24 hour basis.”

    “The company is listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange (NZX), with majority shareholding being held by Environment Southland, the region’s local government environmental agency.”

    Oh and just in case you missed it

    Rate payer money benefiting private industry – I’m tell you Robert, it wont happen. Nope, nope, nope.


  13. TraceyS says:

    Gravedodger at 1:15 pm:

    Oh now that actually IS funny 🙂


  14. robertguyton says:

    Irrigation schemes – ratepayers’ money benefiting private industry.
    Are farmers comfortable with having a scheme that directly benefits their business, being payed for by city-folk?
    I thought that went against all things sacred to the farmer (I stand on my own two feet, beholden unto no man, etc…)


  15. blokeinauckland says:

    Lunacy (Guyton) you may want to read this – from a former DG of the DSIR.

    Click to access Global-Warming-Dr-David-Kear.pdf

    He was there at the genesis of the global warming/climate change schtick. Well informed and supported by observations published over the past 50 odd years.


  16. Andrei says:

    Irrigation schemes – ratepayers’ money benefiting private industry

    Does the concept of “public good” escape you Robert Guyton.

    If the whole community benefits then using public money to achieve an end is a good use of that money.

    And if the farmers within the community prosper so does the rest of the community. No man is an island as they say.

    Getting it 100% right of course, ie being 100% fair in how the costs and benefits are allocated is impossible – can’t be done old chum but with honest intentions and frank discussion we can get close enough that it wont matter enough to cause much grief.

    But of course the idea of people prospering is an anathema to the Greens which is why their default position is to oppose anything and everything that could possibly benefit anyone.


  17. Mr E says:

    Interesting article. Thanks.


  18. Mr E says:

    And Robert,
    Farmers pay rates and taxes. Ergo beholden.


  19. robertguyton says:

    “Public good”
    I see.
    It’s as I suspected.
    Farmers grab public money for their own direct benefit “because it’s good for the economy, and as everyone knows, a thriving economy is good for everyone“.
    What business couldn’t claim that?
    Every business should be subsidized with public (taxpayer) money then, isn’t that right, Andrei.
    You’re a closet Socialist/Communist it seems.
    Mr E. They do but that doesn’t relate to this situation, unless it’s only the rates and taxes of the farmers that are going to subsidize the scheme. It isn’t, ergo, your argument is foolish.


  20. robertguyton says:

    Bloke – that tripe. I received a copy of that in today’s snail-mail from a denier like yourself who must have thought I’d be impressed by it. But I was singularly unimpressed. Most amusing was the hand-written note at the end,
    Please stop writing to the newspaper. Everyone’s sick of it!”

    I’ll re-double my efforts.


  21. Mr E says:

    What is your return over the last 3 years from the Southport Councillor Guyton?

    Does the term investment mean anything to you?

    What about this statement?
    “In our view, the RWSS remains the most economic alternative and a viable investment for the region considering the importance of the primary industries and the mitigation to the biggest risk to the region’s economy (water shortage for agricultural production).”

    A viable investment? Should Councils not invest?
    Should the Southland Regional Council stop given money to Venture? Should it sell it’s shares in Southport?

    Have you and your Council collegues scandalously held investment in agriculture supporting industry? And do those dividends mean nothing to you? And the rate payer?

    I think the Hawkes Bay Council can invest in whatever they like. I’m not a rate payer there. I can’t critique them. It’s none of my business. Their money is there business and those in their region.

    I’m surprised as a Councillor from a different region you think it is right to wade in and criticise their consideration of the scheme.

    That’s a bit unhealthy don’t you think?


  22. Mr E says:

    Do I understand you right Robert?
    I person writes you a letter – So you write letters to the paper in response.

    That indicates 2 things – The hand written letter affected you. And you have an odd way of disagreeing with someone.


  23. robertguyton says:

    “Do I understand you right Robert?”

    No, Mr E. As per usual, you have the wrong end of the stick and have built an argument on your own failure to comprehend. You have a disappointing habit of creating your own reality then assigning it to someone else.

    I person writes you a letter – So you write letters to the paper in response.
    No. You are making incorrect assumptions, as you are so wont to do. Read more closely, think longer and harder.

    That indicates 2 things – The hand written letter affected you. And you have an odd way of disagreeing with someone.
    Wrong again, Mr Enonymous. Always on the attack and shooting at shadows, as you do, ad nauseum. Hope that helps clear your troubled mind 🙂


  24. robertguyton says:

    Did I write back to this fine denier, thanking them for their assistance?
    Why not, I hear you wonder?
    Because the letter-writer was anonymous, like you, Mr E.
    I notice the deniers lack the backbone to sign their real names.
    Regarding your SouthPort concerns, I too have had and expressed concerns about the relationship between ES and SouthPort for some time now.
    Not all regional development is good.
    If you struggle with that idea, consider the cultivation of cannabis in your own region. Good for the economy, but is it really what you want to see fostered, Mr E?


  25. jabba says:

    you are a tortured sole Mr Guyton. You need to chill out


  26. Mr E says:

    Good for the economy?
    Drugs are bad Robert.

    Is that what the Green Party means to you? Is that why you support Russell’s unusual economics?
    And I’m hoping surely that you are not suggesting that is the Councils next investment venture?
    How bizarre


  27. robertguyton says:


    “Drugs are bad” – tell that to Pharmac, Mr E. Or anyone suffering from chronic pain, or cancer. “Drugs are bad”. Goodness me.

    Many “economically desirable” things are “bad”, Mr E.
    I count lignite amongst them.


  28. Mr E says:

    You support pharmac and the economic creation of cannabis?


  29. robertguyton says:

    There’s a turnaround, Mr E!
    Jabba’s making more sense than you!


  30. Mr E says:

    You are a tortured soul?

    Now I understand the cannabis mentions.

    You have my sympathy.


  31. Dave Kennedy says:

    New Zealand per capita is one of the worst emitters of GHG in the world and yet our Government claims we don’t need to act because our total emissions are small in an international sense. We will wait until others properly respond. I find this stance morally corrupt.


  32. robertguyton says:

    It’s inevitable that the panel of real scientists that advise the world’s
    governments on global warming would attract a fake ‘denier-panel’, funded by industry money and intent on undermining the real science.
    Tuesday’s letter from the co-Lead Editor of that group did what it could to convince readers that ‘equal consideration’ should be given to their wrong-headed and dangerous claims, but it shouldn’t.
    Their call for ‘business as usual’ is wrong and puts our future at
    serious risk.
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the respected and real authority. The other panel that seeks to shroud itself under a similar sounding name, is a mouth-piece for the very industries that are causing global warming.
    Trust the former, be very wary of the latter.


    (My letter published today in the Southland Times. It was good to see another along similar lines from John Purey-Cust in there too. I suppose that’ll fire up the deniers, though I do find their letters to be oddly written and loopy in style.


  33. Mr E says:

    Don’t be naive Dave,
    Plenty of research has been and is being done to find ways to reduce our carbon output.
    I think you know this. And your just politicking.


  34. Mr E says:

    What is your carbon footprint Robert?


  35. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E official projections state that New Zealand’s carbon emissions will increase by 50% by 2030. Claiming that research is being done when we already have the knowledge to reduce emissions considerably, means what? Are you hoping for a scientific break-through that will suddenly solve the problem meanwhile business as usual is possible? http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/SC1312/S00041/new-zealand-carbon-emissions-projected-to-climb.htm


  36. robertguyton says:

    Mr E asks:
    “What is your carbon footprint Robert?”
    My carbon footprint is:
    “the total sets of greenhouse gas emissions caused by me.”
    That’s what my carbon footprint is, Mr E.

    I’ve a question for you, Mr E around your answer to Dave. You say “plenty of research has been and is being done to find ways to reduce our carbon output” but given “New Zealand per capita is one of the worst emitters of GHG in the world” from Dave, can you tell us what has actually been done and what reductions have actually been made?
    It’s one thing to be researching, but where are the real gains?
    It’s clear to me that under this National Government, we have increased our contribution to the greenhouse gas load on the atmosphere.


  37. robertguyton says:

    Dave @ 9:35 is on to it! Mr E, you are coming across as a prevaricating apologist for an out-of-touch, irresponsible, gas-emitting John Key-led Government.


  38. Mr E says:

    ABSOLUTELY! Perhaps not suddenly but it will happen.
    As a kiwi I’m surprised you don’t think the same. History proves we are great at adapting and overcoming challenges.

    The simple fact is NZ is largely viewed as carbon emitter because of ruminants.
    Our greatest emissions are methane and nitrous oxide. A loss of energy and nutrients. It is undeniable that farmers would rather avoid losing energy and nutrients regardless of their views on climate change. No farmers want to pay for nutrients or energy only to lose it to the atmosphere.

    Science will overcome the challenges.

    We know genetic variation can have a big impact on methane output. In all parts of the methane cycle. It has been worked on for years. Ironically genetic technologies have the greatest potential for rapid gains here.

    Similarly NO2 is constantly being researched. You’ll know about DCD and it’s potential to improve this issue. Ironically some Green supporters were both the biggest supporters and also greatest critics. Bizarre.

    Recently a farmer told me he was looking forward to the day a drone could sniff out urine patches and apply denitrifying products to it.

    NZers are clever Dave. Please don’t underestimate them.

    Also please don’t act like some elitist environmentalist. You might talk the talk but there are plenty of NZers who walk the walk and do a lot more than you to improve the situation. Your condemnation of NZ is disrespectful to many.


  39. robertguyton says:

    “History proves we are great at adapting and overcoming challenges.”

    “Science will overcome the challenges.”

    Possums, Mr E.





  40. Mr E says:

    You’re worried about possum emissions?
    I’d suggest you should work out your own emissions before you throw stones at others. Even possums.

    Otherwise your accusations lack credibility I reckon. Perhaps you are worse?


  41. robertguyton says:

    Your claim that “science will overcome the challenges” is dangerous bunk, Mr E. Your holding the belief does though, explain your cavalier disregard for the well-being of our future generations.
    “Science will overcome the challenges” is one of the greatest illusions to beset modern man. It’s interesting though, that you laud science so much, yet quibble when the scientists of the IPCC tell you that all countries must change their behaviour NOW. I’ve not heard them say, “Invest in R&D on the never-never and don’t actually do anything”.
    How’s that ruminant research going, Mr E?
    Link us to the findings that show how our emissions from ruminants is decreasing, will ya!


  42. robertguyton says:

    And Ele – the answer to the question posed in your chosen title is; the same people as before. Denialists then, denialists now.


  43. Mr E says:

    Sure Robert,

    “The new chip will also assist research by the Pastoral Greenhouse Gas Research Consortium and the New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre into reducing sheep emission of methane, says PGgRC manager Mark Aspin.

    “Research has shown that genetics do have an influence on how much gas an animal will emit from a given amount of feed. We have used the lower density chip to test 170 sires and the new chip will further improve our understanding of the genetics.””

    Go and visit Leon, buy his low emission ram. Put them over your ewes. Bobs your uncle, you’ve reduced your emissions.

    Even better when they find the markers leading to low emission all breeders can make progress easily.

    Some of you green types love to throw stones, but queried on your own behaviour and you clam up. I wonder why. Not so green I suspect.


  44. TraceyS says:

    Anti-agriculture + anti-science = ?

    Maybe, Robert, you should have finished your letter to the Southland Times with:

    “Trust only yourself, be very wary of the undersigned.”


  45. robertguyton says:

    Genetics is the answer then, Mr E?
    A less ‘leaky’ sheep will not reduce our greenhouse gases to any significant extent, though I applaud the direction. You’ll no doubt be praising (to the high heavens) the organic movement that has looooooong advocated the use of time-tested breeds to over-come parasite problems (a bug-bear of yours). I’ve not heard you say it, but presume you are thinking, “Three cheers for the organic sheep farmers!” Regarding your other comments about organics, I will reflect back to you something you wrote just now (adjusted for effect),
    “Some of you blue types like to throw stones…”
    Clam up when queried about my own behaviour? Hardly. Not really a “clam up” sort of guy, as my detractors here have repeated ad nauseum
    Perhaps if you asked a better thought-out question?
    “What’s your carbon footprint?” – what a daft question.
    Wikipedia helps you to understand the issue, Mr E:

    “The total carbon footprint cannot be calculated because of the large amount of data required and the fact that carbon dioxide can be produced by natural occurrences.”
    If you doubt that, perhaps you could demonstrate by providing the figures for your own?
    I don’t think you can.

    In any case, when calculating mine, how would I factor-in the amount of carbon I am sequestering in my (several) gardens and orchards around Southland? Perhaps you’d like to advise me, Mr E?

    Tracey – silly comment. At least Mr E is trying to engage intelligently.


  46. TraceyS says:

    ^ Yes he is. Pity you are not.


  47. Mr E says:

    What are the “time tested” breeds that overcome parasites Robert?
    I believe the contrary to be true. Modern breeders have selected for parasite resistant and resilient genetics. With your extensive farming experience you’ll no doubt know this.

    Yours is one of the lamest reasons, to avoid benchmarking, that I have heard. ‘It’s too hard’ is not a valid an excuse to me.
    Treat each property you own separately, add results together. Use your practical abilities Robert. I know you have them. All that farm experience must have rubbed off on you.


  48. robertguyton says:

    Mr E. You are demanding that I assess all of my ‘operations’ in terms of carbon, add my own personal carbon usage and post those results here for your pleasure, and if I don’t, you’ll crow, “Avoiding scrutiny”. I’m certain though that if you genuinely want someone to go to all that trouble for you, you’d offer your own statistics up first as a sign of goodwill.
    Arguing over the size of one’s carbon footprint seems a pointless exercise anyway, Mr E. What would you do with the information that my carbon footprint is “X”? I suspect you’ll pull the lame old argument, “You’ve a carbon footprint therefore you’re a hypocrite to criticise anyone else who creates one” – it’s a pointless, valueless argument, one that you’ve used when defending oil-drilling (You use oil, therefore you are barred from commenting on oil use) so daft, so shallow, so commonly employed by the Rightwing. Unless you are living in a cave, you can’t criticise modern society, you crow. Of course, if you are living in a cave, you’re a stone-age greeny and your opinion is worth nothing. The funny thing about that argument is the self-Righteousness that goes with it – puffed-up chests, combs erect, group cackling and back-slapping. I’ve seen it time and time again…at pre-schools and kindergartens I’ve visited.

    On traditional breeds of sheep being more resistant to parasites…
    There’s this:
    “Heritage breeds are much less susceptible to medical problems that plague more common types of animals. For instance, Gulf Coast sheep are more resistant to hoof fungal infections such as foot scald or hoof rot, a common problem in moist, warm environments like what Georgia has recently experienced. “We’ve gotten through this wet, hot summer and we don’t have a single limping sheep in the flock,” Payne says. These sheep also resist parasites such as haemonchus contortus, known as the barber pole worm, a red and white pest that thrives in wet grass and can cause anemia when ingested.”
    but information supporting my claim was much harder to find than I expected, so it might be another “sugar-cane” moment for me and means I’ll have to change my view about resistance to parasites in sheep. Perhaps I’ll plump instead for pasture species, grazing management and stock numbers for reducing the incidence of parasites in sheep. I do know modern anthilmentics are failing and have failed.


  49. jabba says:

    phew .. I’m a little tired .. just got home from the V8’s in Pukekohe. I hear the drivers planted a tree each so that is great news.


  50. robertguyton says:

    On the track?


  51. jabba says:

    not sure Mr Guyton .. maybe they do what you and Dave do and go out and buy carbon credits .. snigger


  52. Bingo Bob says:

    I’m with Robert on this one. I hate motorsport.
    I also hate gambling like Trevor Mallard. what I can’t understand is why Trev’s team have picked a bookie in one of the North Island electorates. Climate change…yep it’s happening …..planted lotsa trees and doing my bit.


  53. JC says:

    “It’s inevitable that the panel of real scientists that advise the world’s
    governments on global warming would attract a fake ‘denier-panel’, funded by industry money and intent on undermining the real science.”

    Ah, the Nazi insult.

    The warming has stopped for 17 years against all predictions from the IPCC, the sea rise has slowed against all predictions, extreme weather especially cyclones, hurricanes and tornadoes are at historic lows despite predictions, the Earth is greening.. even the deserts, increased CO2 is proving extremely beneficial, forests and crops are booming and a billion less people are in the starvation zone.

    Or rather they were, the mad rush to convert food crops to ethanol is slowly starving a half billion people and assisting to create a vastly more warlike and dangerous world, especially in the Middle East and Africa.

    Despite massive publicity, downright lies, falsification of data the IPCC and its cronies have come unstuck, the public has lost fear and interest and rates AGW at the bottom of its concerns and very green countries like Germany have reverted to dirty coal in a huge way, no international agreements have been made and all nations except those who thought they were going to get a windfall from the madness are abandoning any semblance of international cooperation as officials finally admit that the AGM scam was really about redistribution of income from the first to the third world.

    Its all turned to crap for the green scammers and all thats left is the insults and threats.



  54. Dave Kennedy says:

    JC the warming is increasing again and has been following a similar upward pattern for the last fifty years. Every other decade there has been a plateau but just before this last one we had the longest and most dramatic period of increases. Over the last three years temperatures have been steadily rising again according to NASA.

    2013 saw the world experiencing some of the most extreme weather events on record. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/dec/18/2013-extreme-weather-events

    If 98% of medical specialists told me that i would die of cancer if i didn’t follow a particular course of action then I would trust the word of the 2% when my life is at stake. I am certainly not going to follow the lead of the fossil fuel industry and 2% of scientists when our planet’s health is at risk. It is just not logical.


  55. Dave Kennedy says:

    Oops, I meant to say: “If 98% of medical specialists told me that i would die of cancer if i didn’t follow a particular course of action then should I trust the word of the 2% when my life is at stake?


  56. TraceyS says:

    Dave, you often crank about your preference for using the mean instead of the average as a measure when discussing the measurement of family income. But in the graph at http://climate.nasa.gov/key_indicators the mean stops at 2010. Therefore your claim that “over the last three years temperatures have been steadily rising…” appears to be based on the average as a measure. Do you know what the means are for 2011, 2012 and 2013 or where I could find them?


  57. TraceyS says:

    Meant *median* where I wrote “mean” above. Must be late in the day.

    And realised just after clicking “post” that both pink and red lines are means or averages – annual against 5yr. Not median vs average. Didn’t read the data labels properly.

    Still interested in median measures of temperature if these are available from somewhere as averages don’t really say it all.

    (I agree btw that it is better to use median rather than average – or preferably both together if they are both available).


  58. JC says:

    Better get your eyes tested DK, the NASA graph shows cooling since 2010 and a plateau in the last decade.

    And check the slope 1910 to about 1945 when we are told there was no man made warming and low CO2 concentration.. its exactly the same slope as 1975 to about 2004; ie, its all happened before and just happens to coincide with the well known Pacific Decadel Oscillation/ENSO which goes warm and cool for about 30-35 years.. a pattern discernible over many decades.

    As for the Guardian, it is simply reporting the same weather conditions that occurred 30 odd years ago during the then PDO cool phase.
    The same thing happened here and is why people said last years drought was almost as bad as the 1973 drought, the winds from a tropical storm were nearly as bad as the Wahine storm, the seas were crashing in on Haumoana homes just like back in the 1970s and so on.

    As for your 98% figure.. it turns out that was the opinion of less than 100 scientists.. all the rest either, see:


    Here’s a further breakdown of the scam:


    The survey asked two questions, here’s the first:

    ““When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?”

    To which thousands of scientists answered yes, including skeptics.

    The second question was:

    “Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?”

    Again, thousands of scientists agreed but many included caveats.

    The authors weren’t happy with that so they excluded over 97% of the replies and took just the replies of 77 scientists who had published the most on AGW and 75 of these gave the answer that was wanted..

    This is your 98% consensus of the worlds scientists.. just those with the most to gain and paid to produce AGW science.

    The vast majority of the world’s scientists and skeptics believe the world has warmed in the last 100 years.. about 0.8C, but the vast majority of scientists and skeptics do not accept that Man is the prime cause of this because of all the other proven factors that influence climate and create a natural increase in warmth.

    You are guilty of perpetuating a shoddy lie and a scam.



  59. Dave Kennedy says:

    “Do you know what the means are for 2011, 2012 and 2013 or where I could find them?”
    It did have them on the graph but it may very well have been an estimate. I did find these, however:


  60. Dave Kennedy says:

    You are right, JC, it wouldn’t be wise to justify international scientific support just based on that survey, which is why these provide more conclusive support and I’m happy to scale down the level of support to 97%:

    It is difficult to support the idea that the scientific academies of the world and NASA are all part of some scam when the majority are not profiting from their stance.

    The 2-3% of scientists denying the link to human causes still include a good number of people, but closer analysis of who they are and who they are linked to is revealing. A good number derive their incomes from the fossil fuel industry and the most prominent, like the infamous and elderly Fred Singer, have been discredited.

    The largest organisations that have supported the skeptic/denier line are not true scientific institutions (Like the Heartland Institute) and many have collapsed after their motives and funding have been questioned.

    Even if global temperatures level for a while, our oceans are still growing in acidity, sea levels are still rising and the severity of storms are increasing. The elephant in the room is the thawing of permafrost regions which will release huge volumes of methane: http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/science/130725/methane-gas-arctic-permafrost-global-economy


  61. TraceyS says:

    I like this statement:

    “I find it depressing that bodies of scientists can talk of their consensus about the extent of climate change when they should all know that a consensus among differing opinions is no answer to a scientific question.”

    James Lovelock (2014). A rough ride to the future: Allen Lane; ISBN 13: 9780241004760 ISBN 10: 0241004764


  62. JC says:

    DK, you are being naive about science and profits.

    For starters every Government scientist working on AGW is the grateful recipient of something like $150 billion dollars in funds paid for mainly by the US but also the taxpayers of dozens of other countries.. their livelihoods and salaries are dependent on finding more and more AGW, climate change and scary stories about the environment.

    As for being “pure” in funding, lets look at the “Climate Research Unit” of East Anglia Climategate fame..

    Here’s the link showing Shell, BP and Exxon were all funding the research. Its in the emails of the very same scientists.


    In addition the CRU was accepting funding from competitors to fossil fuels. Far from being pure the CRU and many if not most of the warming organisations have accepted funds of many millions from “Big Oil”.

    Big Government and Big Oil have poured something like $150 billion into AGW and the best the warmers can come up with is a few million paid to skeptics.. can you see where the logical corruption and conflicts of interest might occur?

    Add in another $100-200 billion for the carbon credit schemes and you can see why banks and Big Oil and Govts and greenies might want more fossil fuel scare stories.. add in wind schemes like Windflow and you can see why NZ Greens might invest in it including a then GP leader and promote the crap out of wind power.

    Until Climategate experts were predicting the AGW industry and associated spinoffs like carbon trading were going to be a trillion dollar industry, so yes, there was every reason to expect corruption and racketeering from believers.



  63. Dave Kennedy says:

    JC – I can’t help but note that your main source for information appears to be from Anthony Watt’s blog: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Watts_(blogger)
    I would rather take NASA’s word on the science than Anthony’s (he is supported financially to write his blog by the Heartland Institute).

    Oil Companies do like to have an image of supporting good science and when I went to a presentation from Shell a large part of it was promoting their clean energy research. It is also reasonable that oil companies support the management of the problems that they are responsible for, just like gambling institutions are expected to provide funds to deal with problem gambling.

    In reality oil companies’ support for clean energy are largely window dressing and make up a tiny portion of their expenditure and Shell would rather talk about greater efficiency than clean energy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Dutch_Shell

    It is not logical that scientists work on climate change issues because they motivated by money, they would probably make far more if they supported fossil fuel based industries. Your reference to Climategate is unfortunate as this has been debunked as a beat up some time ago. When the huge bulk of the science is solid focusing a beat up on a few outlying aspects cannot discredit the main message. http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/solutions/fight-misinformation/debunking-misinformation-stolen-emails-climategate.html

    “You are guilty of perpetuating a shoddy lie and a scam.”

    You really need to read ‘Merchants of Doubt’ to realize who are the real scammers and liars.


  64. TraceyS says:

    Hmmm, “useful”…


  65. Dave Kennedy says:

    Still waiting for Ele to moderate my substantive response 😛


  66. jabba says:

    great race at the V8’s today .. carbon credits flying out the door so no problems with global warming here


  67. JC says:

    “I would rather take NASA’s word on the science than Anthony’s (he is supported financially to write his blog by the Heartland Institute).”

    Wrong. Watts received $44,000 from a private donor that was arranged through Heartland. The money was for a specific project and nothing to do with the day to day running of the blog which is manned by Watts and some volunteers.

    Heartland *is* supported by private donors.. to the tune of $4-6 million IIRC and only a small amount of this is spent on climate issues.

    As to your assertion that Climategate was debunked.. tell that to the public who have turned off climate issues in a big way. Do you really think those emails outlining “Mikes Trick” and others stating they dont know why its not warming were fake?



  68. Dave Kennedy says:

    JC, I can see that your belief in Anthony above the majority of the world’s scientists is firm and any number of links I provide won’t sway you from his message. No matter how you look at it being connected at all to the Heartland Institute will cause concern with those that know their background and agenda. http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Heartland_Institute

    Heartland is losing support and it’s conferences have become nonevents: http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/05/24/489430/the-self-inflicted-downfall-of-heartland-institute/

    I admire your tenacity but not the limited and dubious sources that you use to support your case. I’ll stick with the mainstream on this. 🙂


  69. JC says:

    “I admire your tenacity but not the limited and dubious sources that you use to support your case. I’ll stick with the mainstream on this. :-)’

    Really? Last time I looked there were no international treaties , no ratification of Kyoto, a big increase in emissions from the most green country Germany, Australia out of any more climate BS, Obama making no headway, US emissions dropping due to fracking, limited concerns from the public(s), no warming for 17 years and IPCC model predictions ludicrously too “hot” compared to actual official measurements.

    The IPCC has put its faith in faulty models and overegged AGW and suffered the inevitable blowback in public indifference and the scorn of people who actually record the real time data.

    Its all very well saying “Its worse than we thought”, but if the empirical data shows something completely different then credibility is lost.



  70. Dave Kennedy says:

    JC, please read the ‘Merchants of Doubt’ it is well researched and provides a history of many of the organisations and scientists who are leading the the opposition. In many cases they are the same ones who fought against the science that claimed tobacco was harmful and that CFCs damaged the ozone layer. Each time they were proved wrong but they worked to support the industries that profited from the status quo.

    Scientists are conservative by nature and in most cases their models have been shown to be the same. Most new research points to things becoming worse than predicted. http://www.newscientist.com/special/worse-climate

    I would be interested in all your ‘official’ sources that question the IPCC. I would also be interested to see the evidence that there has been no warming for 17 years. Another important thing to understand is that we are talking about climate change and the warming aspect is only one part of that.


  71. TraceyS says:

    From Lovelock, J. (2014). A rough ride to the future; regarding CFCs:

    “In the 1970s the quality of much of the observational and theoretical atmospheric science during the ozone depletion affair was poor. Much more than now, there was an inexcusable faith in the predications of half-baked mathematical models. The science was so bad that when orbiting satellites first measured and reported low values for ozone in the south polar stratosphere the information was rejected by the scientist ‘believers’. Then they programmed the data collection from the circumpolar satellites to ignore low values of ozone above the South Pole. They were so in love with their models and so sure that they were accurate that they considered the ozone hole over Antarctica impossible…….[t]hose who have faith in models or received ideas, rather than trust in well-made environmental measurements, are no longer objective scientists: they are no more than believers or deniers.”

    “I was deeply involved personally in the debate around the danger posed by the CFCs to stratospheric ozone…….[a]lthough little has been said about the shameful conduct of science in the ozone war, we have learnt from it and the quality of climate modelling and observations now under way is far better. But have we yet, as a society, learned to use our intelligence to overcome the tribal and political prejudices that lead to bad science?”

    The opinion of Dita De Boni* linked to by Dave, complete with image of a man with suit pants aflame (indicating lying of course), and opening with the sarcastic comment “[e]nlightened indeed are our leaders. Tim Groser, Minister for Climate Change Issues, has declared a report signed by 2500 global scientists urging immediate international action on climate change a “useful contribution”. Is there no end to this man’s brilliance? Our minister can barely bring himself to agree that there is climate change, let alone that scientists who have devoured thousands of reports to bring us the most potent picture yet of our inevitable doom can have the faintest hint of an idea about the subject” indicates that no, we have not “learned to use our intelligence to overcome the tribal and political prejudices that lead to bad science”.


    That the Minister refuses to be tribalised is a credit and he ought to be lauded. That you Dave, and your relative Robert, herd people into the camps of either ‘believer’ or ‘denier’, and then denounce the latter, is despicable. If there is something the matter with being a ‘denier’ then there is also something the matter with being a ‘believer’. At least that’s how a balanced mind would consider it.

    Interestingly, Lovelock, who was “first to detect the widespread presence of CFCs in the atmosphere”* considers that he would have appeared “…corrupted, because [he] was frequently seen in the company of Ray McCarthy, a senior scientist at Du Pont, the principal manufacturer of CFCs.” McCarthy provided Lovelock with data on CFC emissions from other chemical companies, no doubt a critical role towards the demise of the chemicals.



  72. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey, earlier there were a number of people who had a healthy skepticism of man made climate change, but now the huge weight of global science is firmly on one side. Those who disagree are part of a 2-3% minority. All the official scientific bodies of the world support the same view. Those who reject the scientific process and the collective wisdom of the scientific community can no longer be called skeptics, only deniers can reject what is in their faces every day. It takes a determined effort to ignore such a massive body of evidence and no manner of picking away at the edges will change it.


  73. TraceyS says:

    It is the behaviour of the tribalists that bothers me, Dave. Both camps! But take away tribalism and the believer camp’s mechanism for change is gone. And you wonder why people resist your efforts to convert them?

    In the case of CFCs the believers did turn out to be correct. But their blind belief, which led to the corrupting of models, was ironically detrimental to the cause. We’ve seen the same in regard to climate change.

    I stand by my right, in fact my responsibility, to keep asking questions and probing the science.


  74. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey, there is blind belief and a logical acceptance of the weight of evidence. There is nothing tribal about the acceptance that human activity is causing a huge environmental catastrophe when the science is as conclusive as it can be and the physical evidence is constantly in the mainstream media. The medical analogy is a useful one, if 97% of medical science recommends a particular treatment to save my life, the odds are that I will have a greater chance of survival if I go with that view. Medical science is always advancing and is never perfect, but on the whole the weight of research leads to the correct conclusions. It is yours and JC’s choice to follow the 3% and I guess you still have a 3% chance of being found correct, I personally don’t like the odds.


  75. RBG says:

    Your responsibility to probe the science! How do you reckon youre doing that TraceyS? Reading popular science mags and quoting James Lovelock?! Nothing wrong with science mags as entertainment but theyre not scientific resources. Why do you keep quoting lovelock and never James Hansen? There is general agreement from all major global scientific organisations that global warming is real, you won’t accept that, so you make up some nonsense about ‘tribal camps’ which looks a hell of a lot like common old denier talk.


  76. TraceyS says:

    Yes, RBG, I am a practising empiricist – in the field of social science. So it is my responsibility to probe, and probe outside my direct area of academic research I will if that interests me, which it obviously does. There’s an academic database at my disposal so I might as well use it.

    Some of the professional work I do is environmental. Mostly practical but also regulatory. And the science impacts our business so I will make it my business to probe the science. In fact in my role it is only prudent to do so.

    Did you think I spend all day reading pop-science and commenting on blogs? LOL. Be careful what you assume :). As a believer, you have just beautifully demonstrated being blinded by biased thinking.

    I’ll quote whomever I like. Have you noticed how Guyton and Kennedy never refer to Lovelock, ever? They just ignore my references to his work. Now don’t you think that is odd? The man’s a legend. I mean, he actually knew Rachel Carson!


  77. TraceyS says:

    That’s a really tribal comment at 11:40am btw.


  78. JC says:

    DK @ 11:12am

    I’ve read the blurbs and reviews of the Merchants of Doubt so I’ll content mysely with this little question..

    According to what I read, there are “a tiny handful” of scientists that are spreading doubt about AGW and stopping implementation of various scheme, treaties and other positive actions.

    So lets see, there is a $150 billion dollar industry on climate change, 97% of the world’s scientists agree something must be done, ie, several million scientists, nearly every country in the world and most politicians agree and the mainstream media is extremely helpful in getting the message out.

    Yet just several (named) scientists are thwarting this absolutely massive Juggernaut from proceeding?

    Well.. golly gosh.

    As for the 17 years of no warming lets ask Prof Phil Jones of the Climate Research Unit:


    B – Do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming

    “Yes, but only just. I also calculated the trend for the period 1995 to 2009. This trend (0.12C per decade) is positive, but not significant at the 95% significance level. The positive trend is quite close to the significance level. Achieving statistical significance in scientific terms is much more likely for longer periods, and much less likely for shorter periods.”

    Thats for the period 1995-2011, but as your own figures from Nasa show, there was no warming from 2011 onwards,, indeed a slight cooling that takes the record just outside being statistically significant, thats 18 years to 2013.

    Bear in mind that at the time the IPCC best estimate of warming per decade would be around 0.2C to 0.4C, ie one helluva lot warmer than 1995-2013.

    Other scientists of course have compared all the main temperature records plus balloon and satellite records and stated that there has been no statistically significant warming for slightly shorter and somewhat longer periods. However I’ve used a scientist and a database that you are comfortable with to make the point.



  79. RBG says:

    Tribes are what people are born into, here in NZ TraceyS they are also called Iwi. Accepting the international scientific consensus on AGW doesn’t make anyone the member of some tribe invented by social scientists. Understanding the science behind climate change and accepting the physical evidence of melting glaciers and rising temperatures in recent decades doesn’t make people ‘believers’, its not a religion and only idiots say it is. Your wafflely comment didn’t explain how you were going to probe the science, just looked like you were going to use the internet. Real scientists go out in the real world and observe and measure stuff, like ice cores, changes in plant and animal ranges and a lot more. They have been doing that and 97% say there is a problem. Have fun hanging out on the internet with the other 3%.


  80. TraceyS says:

    RBG – you are free as a bird to believe what you trust to be true. I’d be the last person to tell you otherwise and would ask you to show me the same respect. I have never said people should not believe in AGW. Nor have I denied AGW occurs. You put me in the deniers camp and that is tribal behaviour.

    Your message is that it’s not OK to question. You’re on “our” side or not – and if not you’re on the “other” side – like it or lump it. It’s our way or no way. Two sides only. Lightness or darkness. No other position allowed to exist.

    I ask you “have you noticed how Guyton and Kennedy never refer to Lovelock, ever? They just ignore my references to his work. Now don’t you think that is odd? ”

    It is not odd actually. Lovelock is on the case of AGW. He sees the only solution to carbon emissions being nuclear power. So those guys just pretend he, and his views, don’t exist. Because nuclear power might be able to save the planet but it would go down like a lead bomb with Green Party supporters. I challenge Robert and Dave to state otherwise.


  81. Dave Kennedy says:

    JC, the point that the Merchant of Doubt clearly makes is that it only takes a few to question the science to delay action and in an attempt to be fair much of the MSM have tried to give both sides of the argument. Misguided fairness has distorted the message, and we have often ended up with views representing the 3% getting coverage way beyond their significance.

    You keep going on about the dip in global warming and ignoring that fact that over the last 60 years or so there has been a steady increase in temperatures but every decade or so it has plateaued for a while, it is not a continuous trajectory. We are also dealing with extreme weather events that have caused both extreme heat and cold.They have had to add a new category to encompass the extreme heat being experienced in Australia. http://www.smh.com.au/environment/weather/temperatures-off-the-charts-as-australia-turns-deep-purple-20130108-2ce33.html

    Tracey, Lovelock thinks that we should give up: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2010/apr/01/james-lovelock-climate-change-pessimism

    However, for the sake of my children I would rather stand with James Hansen: http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2011/05/gore-hosts-hansen.html


  82. JC says:


    There is an elephant in the room, its so massive I wonder you missed it..

    It is not, repeat *not* possible in a free society for 97% of scientists to agree on something as complex, poorly understood or contentious as climate science, I’ve worked with scientists all my working life and for two decades specifically as an extension officer getting the science to the farming community.. I know scientists and absolutely know that level of agreement is not possible on even slightly contentious issues.

    Out in the real world its extremely unlikely that even half of the world scientists would agree with some of the central planks of the IPCC mesage.

    There is also no such thing as a consensus in science.. there’s only right or wrong and to say there is a consensus is simply to express the view of small discrete groups; half the scientists in the world would be out of a job if they agreed with the other half.

    All that can be said is implied by the two questions I gave earlier, yes, most scientists agree the world has warmed in the last few hundred years, and yes humans may have an impact on climate, but for now we are unable to decide whether that matters.



  83. TraceyS says:

    Dave, an opinion piece from 2010! Why don’t you read his very latest book? I’m not asking you to agree with everything. I do not. But just suspend your biases for a short time while you read it.

    For someone who has “given up” it is strange to name a book “A Rough Ride to the Future”.


  84. RBG says:

    ‘Your message is that it is not OK to question’ Bullshit TraceyS. Never said that. Its about risk. Risk to everyones kids if we use the excuse of 3% doubt and do nothing effective to try and stop climate change. If a school was filling with smoke and the teachers said ‘there’s a 3% chance its the caretaker burning his toast again, we won’t evacuate the kids’, those teachers would not deserve respect. Climate deniers, same deal.


  85. Dave Kennedy says:

    JC, there is broad agreement that greenhouse gases (predominantly carbon emissions) are effecting our climate. Coal and oil are the main contributors as the carbon they release into the atmosphere have a longer life than methane. The only way we can turn things around is by cutting back drastically in our use of fossil fuel. The rate of change and the best way of dealing with the problem may be debated but the broad facts are widely accepted.

    I bet if you asked any one of the almost 200 science academies and national science bodies, I have linked to previously, they all will agree with me:


  86. JC says:

    “Coal and oil are the main contributors as the carbon they release into the atmosphere have a longer life than methane.”

    And right there is one of the reasons for the IPCC lacking credibility. Its assumption on the use of coal at 2100 and again at 2500 are 2 to 7 times the total known reserves for coal. Based on these improbable figures the IPCC reckons that CO2 from coal will be half the total emissions in 2100 and 2/3rds in 2500.




  87. Dave Kennedy says:

    JC, These are projections presumably based on current consumption levels, but in reality the most important period is the next 30 years. We are already over 400 ppm when the safe level for maintaining some climate stability is 350, and your expert is an electrical engineer. It’s as though there is a desperate search going on to find anything that can be questioned. The Merchants of Doubt are as busy as usual 😉


  88. JC says:

    “These are projections presumably based on current consumption levels,”

    As is made pretty clear they are heroic assumptions far in excess of reserves which are projected out for hundreds of years.. no allowance made for human ingenuity which always finds better alternatives over time.

    “and your expert is an electrical engineer.”


    “Professor Rutledge is the Tomiyasu Professor of Engineering at Caltech, and a former Chair of the Division of Engineering and Applied Science there. He is a Fellow of the IEEE and a winner of the Teaching Award of the Associated Students at Caltech.”

    And he seems to have form with the International Journal of Coal Geology

    Click to access DavidRutledgeCoalGeology.pdf

    Geological Society of America

    And a helluva lot of other coal related subjects


    “We are already over 400 ppm when the safe level for maintaining some climate stability is 350”

    Looks like you need a history lesson on this globe. You can start here:


    This is the most recent study of the dozens I’ve read that show we are barely above starvation point for CO2 in our vegetation. We need to double or treble CO2 to get back towards some historic average.

    You need to stop thinking about Dave Kennedy and like minded friends and think about the health of the Globe with its more normal massive loading of CO2 and heat and celebrate your death if you cant adapt.



  89. Dave Kennedy says:

    Good grief! 😛


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