Sunday soapbox

Sunday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, amuse, bemuse or simply muse, but please not abuse.

Love this one shared on HOLSTEE x

84 Responses to Sunday soapbox

  1. Goodbye climate change deniers.
    (For Paranormal, JC et al).

    “Climate change is a disaster. It’s a slow motion train wreck that threatens the future of humanity on the planet, and an indictment of the short-sighted failures of our political systems (and our thinking in general).

    As widely reported, 2014 was the hottest year on record. And that’s a good thing!

    It’s a good thing precisely because it has been widely reported, and because it puts a stake through the heart of the denier industry’s arguments. In particular, because of the high of 1998, deniers have argued that there has been a “pause” in warming. There never was a pause, but the argument was technical. Now we have a nice simple headline again: 2014 is the hottest year on record.

    Please – please! – let this be the end of the deniers.”

    The Standard has the links

  2. Richard says:

    Water – West to East:
    Have mentioned this issue on this blog before.
    Why is it not possible tap into the abundance of water on the West Coast of the South Island by tunneling through the great divide. I suspect companies, like Meridian, have studied this option to capture the water through a number of small power stations as the water flows through. For Meridian and the like,the economies did not stack up.
    Perhaps what was missing was a partnership with irrigation companies, farmers—
    Is this where government might become involved? – facilitating between interested parties- cost a little less than a convention centre in Auckland – and must better value added I think.

  3. Not going to back up your false slurs, Richard?

  4. Richard says:

    OK Robert
    What happened to your management of Jericho Farm south of Te Anau – a Ngai Tahu venture- I know quite a a bit about its set-up but not why it failed
    Please explain

  5. That’s not backing up your false slurs, Richard. Not at all. Where’s the facts around your claim that I “had my hand out”? What do you mean? It’s a slur that you haven’t backed with anything at all.
    With regard Te Koawa Turoa o Takitimu, you claim to know about it so I’m surprised you don’t know that at the end of my two-year stint managing the lodge and the re-planting of the 1000 acre degraded ex-farm, the project had not failed. Has it failed since? It certainly seems very quiet there these days, so far as I can see whenever I pass by, but I wasn’t aware that it had failed. Te Runaka o Oraka-Aparima would be the place to take your concerns. Ask Stu Bull, he’ll know. I’d like to hear more from you though – you seem somehow to have got your wires crossed. What do you mean by your slur? Or is it a matter of you flinging some mud then running off? It’s a pest for you having to wait all through the night to read my response, I suppose, but Ele has determined that I’m not to be trusted talking to the big people without a chaperone, silly, I know.

  6. Oh, and Richard – did you ever visit Te Koawa? I don’t remember you at all, sorry.

  7. JC says:

    “Please – please! – let this be the end of the deniers.”

    Dear oh dear. NOAA puts out a big front page saying the increase in temps last year was four hundreds of a degree.. clearly unmeasurable with Earthly thermometers.

    Then they say that the margin of error +/- is 0.09c, ie, the MOE is twice the supposed rise in temp.

    Then they state further on that the chance of 2014 being the hottest year is only 48%.

    Then further on they conclude according to their formulas that the chance of 2014 being the hottest year evah is “More unlikely than likely”.

    So there’s your science.. all front page activism followed by all the stuff that few read that says its “More unlikely than likely” to be true.

    Meanwhile, Berkley Earth.. the most modern record for land and sea temps has this to say:

    “Berkeley Earth Newsletter – January 2015
    View this email in your browser
    Berkeley Earth has constructed an estimate of the global average temperature during 2014, including land and sea. The key findings are:

    The global surface temperature average (land and sea) for 2014 was nominally the warmest since the global instrumental record began in 1850; however, within the margin of error, it is tied with 2005 and 2010 and so we can’t be certain it set a new record.
    For the land, 2014 was nominally the 4th warmest year since 1753 (when the land surface temperature record began).
    For the sea, 2014 was the warmest year on record since 1850.
    For the contiguous United States, 2014 ranked nominally as the 38th warmest year on record since 1850.”

    The temp plateau is now 18 years and 3 months and counting.. and the climate models are drifting even further from measured reality.


  8. We experience the hottest year on record and JC cranks out the denials, on cue, ad nauseum.
    Business as usual.

  9. Hottest year on record.
    To be able to dismiss that fact is quite an achievement, JC (and Paranormal, he/she’ll be composing a denial right now).
    Hottest year on record.
    That’s what I call a really inconvenient truth.

  10. Let’s not forget Farmerbraun’s position (posted on Bomber Bradbury’s blog)
    JANUARY 18, 2015 AT 8:28 AM
    It would be very disappointing if you didn’t get at least one apolitical , factual comment on this thread. So I’m here to say :-
    If it was the hottest in 130 years, who cares?
    It was hotter 7,000 years ago, hotter 120,000 years ago, and hotter for most of the history of life on Earth.
    It doesn’t mean CO2 caused the last hot spell.
    It doesn’t mean warming is bad.
    It doesn’t mean it will continue to warm.
    And it doesn’t mean we understand what drives the climate.
    Oh and yes . . . . most would call me an environmentalist.
    – See more at:

  11. “Last year was the warmest year on record for the planet, analyses by NASA and NOAA show, and it’s possible that 2015 could be warmer still. 2014 was warmer than previous record holders 2005 and 2010, and comfortably ahead of 1998. 13 of the hottest 15 years on record have all occurred since 2000. Remarkably, 2014’s warmth was achieved without much assistance from an El Niño — which boosts global temperatures and is normally a factor in record setting years…”

  12. JC says:

    OK, I’ve shown that NOAA’s own publication walks back the claim that 2014 was the hottest year ever saying it was “More unlikely than likely” to be so.

    I’ve shown that the largest and most modern database (Berkely Earth) says “”however, within the margin of error, it is tied with 2005 and 2010 and so we can’t be certain it set a new record.
    For the land, 2014 was nominally the 4th warmest year since 1753 (when the land surface temperature record began).
    For the sea, 2014 was the warmest year on record since 1850.
    For the contiguous United States, 2014 ranked nominally as the 38th warmest year on record since 1850.”

    Now we need to look at RG’s other quoted world expert on temps NASA and what it has to say:

    “The Nasa climate scientists who claimed 2014 set a new record for global warmth last night admitted they were only 38 per cent sure this was true.

    In a press release on Friday, Nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) claimed its analysis of world temperatures showed ‘2014 was the warmest year on record’.

    The claim made headlines around the world, but yesterday it emerged that GISS’s analysis – based on readings from more than 3,000 measuring stations worldwide – is subject to a margin of error. Nasa admits this means it is far from certain that 2014 set a record at all.”

    So NASA is now admitting there is only a 38% chance that 2014 was the hottest year ever.

    RG is clearly a denier of the science around Global temps for 2014.


  13. robertguyton says:

    “As the NOAA data makes clear, human-caused global warming has seen no “hiatus.” In fact, as the top figure shows, the decade of the 2010s is on track to be the hottest decade on record. The 1980s were the hottest decade on record at the time. Then they were beat by 1990s, which in turn were beat by the 2000s for the title of hottest decade. Each decade this century is likely to be the hottest on record — unless we slash carbon pollution ASAP.”

  14. Mr E says:

    I understand you have 2 profiles. A Google one and Worldpress one.

    What is that profile above? Is that one of the 2 you have already mentioned? I only ask because it came up a different colour than the 2 already mentioned.

  15. Let it go, E, let it go. There’s a whole world of interesting things to talk about. You’ve lost focus on what’s important. It’s a little embarrassing to see you carry on this way.

  16. A different colour!

    Good grief.

  17. JC says:

    “As the NOAA data makes clear, human-caused global warming has seen no “hiatus.”

    We’ve certainly had a warm period of 30 years or so but as the longer run graphs show its happened before and the temps of the last two decades show a plateau of no further statistically significant warming.


  18. farmerbraun says:

    Quite JC , but where the post to which you are responding went into the supposition area was this line :-

    ” Each decade this century is likely to be the hottest on record — unless we slash carbon pollution ASAP.”

    There is no scientific basis for that statement. The null hypothesis is that what we see is natural variation. That cannot be disproved at this time.

  19. TraceyS says:

    But most like never will be farmerbraun as the natural variables need to be ruled out one by one in order to discount the null hypothesis.

    That is highly unlikely in my view.

  20. farmerbraun says:

    I share your view Tracey, but in 50 or 100 years we may have a better understanding of what the natural variables are.

    Most people who support AGW seem to be unaware that we don’t know these things , and don’t understand why AGW is not a scientific possibility. We just can’t say . . . . either way.

  21. Mr E says:

    I just want to make sure I am speaking to the real Robert Guyton. With all these profile variations, it is hard to be 100% sure. You’d be doing me a favour clarifying the number of profiles you have, just so I can be sure. Before it was 2, now it appears to be 3?
    Is the non linked profile an imposter?

  22. farmerbraun says:

    Mr E . the literary style of the poster is usually definitive when attempting identification and verification.

  23. Mr E says:

    Farmer Braun,
    I tend towards AGW being a possibility. I’ve not got to it being a probability as there is so much reading and so much to digest, and I am only part the way through.

    Where do you stand on AGW?

  24. Mr E says:

    Farmer Braun,
    The black colour profile was a citation only with no literary style.

  25. “I tend toward AGW as a possibility”

    We must be grateful for small mercies.

    Hottest year on record and there’s a barely perceptible shift in opinion here in the home paddock – baaaaaaa! humbug!

    “in 50 or 100 years we may have a better understanding…”

    Good Lord!
    Very. Small. Mercies.

  26. robertguyton says:


  27. robertguyton says:


  28. farmerbraun says:

    Well Robert you must accept that understanding is basic to the scientific process . . . . surely?

    Of course AGW is a possibility , amongst many. But we cannot rule it in . . . or out.
    Science can be a slow process , especially with the most difficult problem we have attempted to date viz climate change.

    Let’s see , our present understanding of chemistry is measured in centuries , physics the same , biology a bit less, and climate incorporates all of these plus astronomy and solar physics.
    The idea that we have perfect knowledge of climate change is laughable at best.

  29. No one is suggesting perfect knowledge of climate change, farmerbraun, as you must well know. It’s a matter of likelihood. The chances of AGW being the case is very, very high, statistically. Holding off for the 100% moment is irresponsible and threatens the future of us all. Would you be so foolish as to not tailor your farming operation to the possibility that there will be drought in your area next summer? There is no 100% certainty that there will be, just a certain likelihood that there will. So why not look at what the scientists are saying, look at the likelihood they are talking about and drop your silly, “not 100% proven” fake-science and get onside with the realists.

  30. farmerbraun says:

    Robert that post is alarmist nonsense. No offense intended but I can’t be bothered with it.
    I’m a trained scientist ; I’m not giving it up.
    All honest scientists affirm that we do not know if AGW is real or not , and most say that even if it is real , we do not know if it is significant compared to natural influences.
    Fake-science indeed 🙂

  31. farmerbraun says:

    Putting that more gently ; there is no way that you will ever get me to accept conjecture as fact.

  32. Mr E says:

    Robert Guyton (as apposed to robertguyton or robertguyton),

    “chances of AGW being the case is very, very high, statistically.”

    What is that statistical probability, numerically, by way of interest?

  33. farmerbraun says:

    Impossible to calculate Mr E. since we do not know if elevated atmospheric CO2 is a cause or an effect or both.

    CO2 level goes up or down in the absence of Homo sapiens ; we do know that much, and we do know that it is frequently much higher than at present.
    It does appear to be caused by rising temperatures (a warmer ocean holds less dissolved CO2)
    We do also know that interglacial periods are not the more usual state of this planet.

  34. Paranormal says:

    ‘Get onside with the realists’. RG, see if you can put your alarmism to one side and reread the comments above. The realists are the ones not making the emotionally charged calls to action on something we don’t understand.

    That’s also why I’ve previously referred to King Julien’s comment “The science seemed so solid”. There is a real parallel there. See if you can spot it.

  35. Mr E says:

    Farmer Braun,
    I understand your view.

    I was asking Robert, he was making a statistical claim, and I wanted to hear the context of that claim. Trying to get the facts straight.

  36. robertguyton says:

    Alarmist, denier – waste of time name-calling, farmerbraun. As a “trained scientist” you’ll doubtless know that action is required based on high probability. The precautionary principle is one used by those who survive. Waiting for 100% surety is for losers, those who get caught out by waves, rock-falls and other phenomenon that “might not happen”, despite strident warnings from sensible people who can see quite clearly that it’s pretty damn likely.
    It’s that simple-minded bloke falling from the highrise roof, passing floor 807, smiling to those inside, saying, “All good so far!” I thought you were made of more substantial stuff, farmerbraun.
    E, not so much.

  37. farmerbraun says:

    “No one is suggesting perfect knowledge of climate change,”

    That’s fine , but in order to prove that a certain variable is a cause of observed climate change, we must first know what all the other causes are so that they can be eliminated ; we don’t.

    If you say that this is not the scientific method then we have an understanding.

    I accept that constructing models and comparing them with reality is a valid alternative technique for gaining knowledge, but they can only demonstrate correlation. Still , that might be a useful start.

    But when the models are consistently wrong (for 18 years, and not just by degree ; also by sign)) and continuing to diverge from observed reality, then the only possible conclusion is that the reliability of those models is low to non-existent.

  38. Mr E says:

    You don’t have a numerical statistical probability? Curious.

  39. robertguyton says:

    Hottest year on record, and yet they quibble, quibble, quibble, “it’s just NOT so!”
    I can imagine, if 2015 is hotter still, Para, E, fb and JC will still be quibbling, “But it’s not PROVED BEYOND DOUBT!!!”
    Nothing could ever be proved beyond the mass of doubt you quibblers represent. Sun coming up tomorrow?
    Can’t be 100% sure, eh, men! (Sorry Tracey, I know you share their quibbles)

  40. farmerbraun says:

    The precautionary principle applies regardless of whether it is warming or cooling or neither. The unexpected will happen.
    As a farmer I observe that in every aspect of my planning.
    But preparing for a change in only one of the possible directions is not a robust application of the precautionary principle ; one must be ready for the least expected as well as the most.

  41. farmerbraun says:

    Robert I used alarmist as an adjective to describe your post : alarm is the least appropriate response always because it reduces the field of perspective.
    If you say that you see no cause for alarm , then I certainly agree.
    I would say that ascribing certainty to what is mere possibility , could be construed as alarmist.

  42. farmerbraun says:

    “Hottest year on record, ”
    Maybe you don’t get it. On its own , or even if it’s the hottest decade , it means nothing because we know it has been hotter before we invented thermometers.

  43. farmerbraun says:

    Robert I sense your frustration. Try to take a longer perspective. 🙂
    I think we will make progress on the riddle of climate change , but only by proceeding a step at a time in a logical fashion.

  44. As if only a “trained scientist” could judge the pronouncements of the climate scientists, farmerbraun, that’s just nonsense and you know it. In any case, I’ll wager you’re not a climate scientist. Those climate scientists who constitute the vast bulk of those in the field and who are saying that AGW is factual and of deep concern, are speaking to ordinary humans when they give their views on what it means. You do not need to be a meteorologist to comprehend what the weather maps in the newspaper and on the television mean. Even us “non-scientists” farmerbraun, are well able to listen to and comprehend what the climate scientists are saying and it’s not, seemingly, what you are presenting here. Your scientific training, whatever that might be, doesn’t put you on a pedestal above we commoners when it comes to understanding the messages from the scientific community about climate change, global warming and AGW.
    Hottest year on record – that news must have seriously annoyed you people – how terribly inconvenient that we had the hottest year on record now, at this critical time in the deniers calendar. Your game, fellow commenters, is lost. Circumstances have contrived to make you look, I’ll use a “FakEe-ism here, silly.
    Here’s something else to knot your knickers even tighter – when I’m introduced on RadioLive of a Saturday morning, it’s as Robert Guyton, Soil Scientist! You might just have to defer to my views on that in our discussions, if we are to follow farmerbraun’s suggestion.


  45. Mr E says:

    You actually don’t have a numerical probability of AGW occurring? How can you possibly agree it is occurring without having that?

  46. “…even if it is the hottest decade it means nothing…”


    The denial runs <b.deeeeeeeeeep in this one!

  47. Mr E says:

    Soil Scientist!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!

    Who endowed you with such an esteemed title Robert?

  48. The people at RadioLive, bless them!

  49. farmerbraun says:

    A trained scientist is someone trained in the scientific method. A lot of what passes for climate science does not conform with the accepted method of obtaining knowledge by the process of’s just guessing. That’s fine . But it has to checked against reality.
    That’s where we are up to. The current generation of models has failed the reality test.
    Back to the drawing board.
    Surely you are aware of this?

  50. Mr E says:

    Oh from the hallowed halls and scholarly journals of Radiolive doth ye be encumbered by the revered title of Soil Scientist.

    I can imagine that moment being a little like this (Trumpets splurting in the background):

    Here Yee Here Yee,
    Let it be known, that from this day forth, Robert descendant of the Guyton family , having completed a dig in his garden, and passing the sound checks, be known as Soil Scientist.

    (interview begins)

    Am I at all close?

  51. farmerbraun says:

    “…even if it is the hottest decade it means nothing…”
    That is – it tells us absolutely nothing about causation. Do you get that this is what it is about? Causation and proof?

  52. More mockery from Ol’ FakEe – it’s your bread and butter, isn’t it.
    I don’t mind though and they’re not far from the truth. Interestingly, I taught soil science to senior high school students when I was a teacher, and now I teach level 2/3&4 NCEA to adult students – soil, I’m no stranger to it, but I don’t claim to be a soil scientist – I say, ‘plantsman’. That’s what I believe myself to be.
    farmerbraun – probable causation and significant levels of proof. You seem to be an absolutist – 385 storeys to go, and your alright so far!!!

  53. Keep an eye on that pavement, fb – there’s no absolute proof that you’ll be splattered like a bug when you hit it, but I’m with those guys who reckon you’re going to lose your good looks!

  54. Mr E says:

    So when you are introduced as a Soil Scientist, do you correct them?

  55. Yes, and when I’m introduced as “Chairman of Environment Southland” I point out that I was in fact, Chairman of the SouthCoast Environment Society. I can understand how they might get confused – the person I speak to isn’t the person who talks to me before we go to air. That said, it was funny to be given Timmsy’s title, without having to fight for it. I enjoyed that for a few weeks.

  56. Mr E says:

    That you enjoy being endowed titles you don’t agree with or think you deserve, I think, says a lot.

    But I am pleased you make those corrections. Well done Robert.

  57. Paranormal says:

    RG – you’re still banging on about ‘hottest year on record’ when there’s no proven link to anthropogenic causes. That’s why Farmerbraun points out ‘so what if it is the hottest’. If you studied risk management a little, you would understand how you are misquoting your precautionary principle. It may assist you perhaps to look towards the medical profession with their “first do no harm” axiom.

    It is yet another interesting development on the road to the public finally removing their support for Gorebull Warming or Climate Change, or whatever it is today, that DK’s vaunted institutions have been so clearly shown to be playing politics instead of science. To be shouting “Hottest Ever” (as DK did) when, if it is, it’s only fractionally above previous recent temperatures, and it’s only since temperature recording began. And it gets worse, that any increase over previous ‘Hottest ever’ is still well within the margin of error.

    To be only 38% sure is an indictment on the politics of the day – truly indicative of the politics within NASA. They’re prepared to spend their credibility on political statements – a very sad state of affairs.

    If you want to talk probabilities here’s a way of looking at it you should consider. The question you are not asking, but for which the answer is really important: What makes the current global temperatures different to previous highs that were pre-industry (such as Middle Ages, Roman, and Minoan warm periods)? What we are seeing is probably no different to what has gone before. Why then the need to act on something that is probably not the cause.

  58. Para – I just saying, “hottest year on record” and watching you deniers scramble as fast as you’re little legs can carry you to try to deflect from the obvious – “hottest year on record” suits the AGW argument perfectly and makes yours look and sound lame-o. There’s no way round it, hottest year on record is a blow to your beliefs.
    Admit it, denier 🙂

  59. farmerbraun says:

    “Keep an eye on that pavement, fb – ”

    Look I’m fine with whatever you want to think Robert. My focus , in so far as I participate in public life , is on the known problems which are local and which can be solved right here and now in this country , without waiting for the rest of the world.
    Problems which require no government action, no new taxes etc. , just determined people who need good information and the benefit of other’s experience to get on with he job, knowing that someone has already done it.

    I understand perfectly that it is not possible that you have arrived at your conviction by a scientific process. So I’ll just say what I know is true and undisputed. Extrapolation is up to you.

    There will never be any concerted global action on climate change and I’m thankful for that. There’s plenty to do right here in Godzone.

  60. farmerbraun says:

    ““hottest year on record” suits the AGW argument perfectly ”
    Gotta agree with that . . . a match made in heaven.

  61. farmerbraun says:

    38% probability that it was the hottest. 0.02 degrees hotter than the previous hottest with a margin of error of 0.2 deg.

    Who cares?

  62. JC says:

    “It may assist you perhaps to look towards the medical profession with their “first do no harm” axiom.”

    This just in that beautifully encapsulates that principle.


  63. Mr E says:

    The margin of error is a lot bigger than the effect. Hilarious.

  64. Paranormal says:

    Thank you JC. An excellent post. Shame it’s wasted in the warmeners.

    RG – “Hottest Year on record” only works if you’re not into truth and science as it hides the reality of the situation. We’re on a plateau and have been for nearly 20 years. I can see why you buy into it to hide away from the truth – there is no Gorebull Warming. (As an aside reminds of the Matrix – “There is no spoon”)

    As I’ve said before, I wear your denier badge with pride. It indicates I’ve thought about the science, not bought the propaganda.

  65. TraceyS says:

    Mr E wrote: “That you [Robert] enjoy being endowed titles you don’t agree with or think you deserve, I think, says a lot.”

    Here’s guessing these two probably also enjoyed the titles bestowed:

    “University of Otago Energy Research Centre brings you a debate between Hon. Dr. David Clark from the Labour Party and Green Party co-leader Hon. Metiria Turei “discussing their parties’ stance on climate change, and their strategies and policies to mitigate and adapt to climate change in New Zealand.”

    I wonder if there was a correction?

  66. RBG says:

    Got yourself on the mailing list of oil free otago by the look of it TraceyS. Already seen from previous posts that you appear to be on the Greens and Greenpeace email lists.

  67. TraceyS says:

    All sorts of organisations send me emails RBG. Many of them have not asked if I wish to recieve emails from them.

  68. RBG says:

    A disingenuous answer TraceyS, Greenpeace and the Greens ONLY send you emails if you have given them your email address. I have family in Dunedin and they have never been sent an unsolicited email from oil free otago. Its a free country of course, but your not fooling anybody if you try and pretend this stuff just happens to turn up in your inbox. Joined the mailing list of WWF, coal action network and wise response too maybe? Maybe you are part of Nationals undercover team checking out environmental groups?

  69. Mr G says:

    Well that’s sneaky.

  70. Mr G says:

    That’s sneaky, isn’t it!

  71. homepaddock says:

    Robert – I deleted your test messages completely (instead of editing them and leaving the header). As a result WordPress has decided your comments are spam. Now that I’ve rescued them from the spam folder they should appear normally again.

  72. TraceyS says:

    Your imagination is working overtime RBG – on all counts!

  73. RBG says:

    Not on all counts TraceyS, you have to have given greenpeace and the greens your email address and you have been checking out oil free otago, when your comments on this blog show you are definitely not a supporter of them. Hey, you’ll be in the sights of the GCSB being on those mailing lists 🙂

  74. TraceyS says:

    I have not personally given any of those organisations my email address.

  75. RBG says:

    Question for Dave Kennedy. Do the Green party send out unsolicited emails to people who have not already given the party their email address? Just wondering because in the past TraceyS has quoted from and linked to party statements I get from being on the Greens database.

  76. Paranormal says:

    Oh really RBG. We all know the Greens and Liarbour are guilty of harvesting emails for election campaigning. That worked well for them didn’t it…

  77. TraceyS says:

    Have you ever noticed the “forward” button, RBG?

  78. RBG says:

    Oh so someone else sends them on to you TraceyS, how nice that someone wants you to be up to date with Oil free otago and the greens supporter emails.

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