Europe’s getting greener

Hat tip: Utopia who thinks that there must have been a mass kidnapping of environmental activists or otherwise they’d be dancing in the streets to celebrate the greening of Europe under capitalism and freedom.

194 Responses to Europe’s getting greener

  1. Andrei says:

    Hmmm Nit picky perhaps but those maps are only dealing with the EU and not Europe

    The Balkans are part of Europe, so is Norway and so is Russia all the way to the Urals and the Caucasus.

    We know the forests of Europe are regenerating but parts of Europe are also depopulating in some cases quite dramatically.

    I suspect “environmental activists” actually don’t like people very much and consider everybody but themselves to be a planetary pest so depopulation would be something to celebrate as well as reforestation

  2. TraceyS says:

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/grl.50563/abstract

    Not sure what the grey areas mean. Maybe no measurements available?

  3. TraceyS says:

    “I suspect “environmental activists” actually don’t like people very much and consider everybody but themselves to be a planetary pest so depopulation would be something to celebrate as well as reforestation.”

    Why not test your own theory, that “anything can be proved by someone with an axe to grind” and see if you can find a peer-reviewed journal article that supports your statement?

  4. Andrei says:

    Tracey my statement was an idle speculation not a theory.

    Came out of hearing an earnest young woman using the phrase “people are a pest on the planet” which stuck in my mind because I love people and what we do – like making music, dancing, writing poetry,

    I’m hungry for that and the best I can get is X Factor on my TV 😦

    Luckily there is Youtube

  5. TraceyS says:

    Andrei, like music, dancing, writing, and poetry are sources of entertainment for many, so is too is academic literature with all its faults, entertainment to others. Strange as some may find this!

    If it were not for publishing I would not be able to enjoy it as I do.

    Like most things in life you take the good with the bad and only improve the quality of the experience through repeat practice. An acquired taste I suppose – much like classical music or blue cheese.

    Someone who has never read an academic work before is quite likely to at first think what an absolute bunch of twaddle. It is a learned skill to be able to get past that and to see the wood for the trees. That would not be possible without a varied range of material from which to learn.

    PS. In the common sense how is to speculate so different from to theorise? Qualitative, I suppose, and much in the eye of the beholder.

  6. farmerbraun says:

    Probably true in common usage Tracey.
    In science those things are degrees apart.
    You may start with speculation.
    From there you could develop a hypothesis.
    Having tested your falsifiable hypothesis, and obtained a result that , with a certain degree of probability, indicates that your hypothesis is possibly true, you put it “out there” and invite criticism and /or corroboration.
    If it all goes well , and your hypothesis is validated , then you may have yourself a theory.

    It’s easy to see the problem with AGW , isn’t it? 🙂

  7. Andrei says:

    Someone who has never read an academic work before is quite likely to at first think what an absolute bunch of twaddle. It is a learned skill to be able to get past that and to see the wood for the trees.

    Here’s an interesting paper for you to read Tracey

    I hope you get as much pleasure from it as I did

    Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity

  8. JC says:

    “If it all goes well , and your hypothesis is validated , then you may have yourself a theory.”

    And if it fails then you simply legislate and pretty soon you not only have a theory but reality too!

    JC

  9. farmerbraun says:

    JC there is a theory that you should always follow the money.
    It works pretty well.

  10. farmerbraun says:

    Andrei says:
    April 8, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    That’s very good Andrei. I feel sure that Mr E. is going to enjoy that.
    There are some memorable lines ; this one took my fancy :-

    “The teaching of science and mathematics must be purged of its authoritarian and elitist characteristics, and the content of these subjects enriched by incorporating the insights of the feminist, queer, multiculturalist and ecological critiques.”

  11. Dave Kennedy says:

    Sadly while Europe has become greener since 1900, the opposite is true of New Zealand.

    Wikipedia presents a pretty dim picture of our environmental progress under a National Government.

    Comprehensive environment reporting has been stopped and our international ranking has substantially dropped.

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

    http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2012/11/00-down-gurgler.html

  12. Andrei says:

    Oh dear here were we having fun with science and alongs comes Eeyore Kennedy filled with doom and gloom about life in New Zealand under a tree killing National Government.

  13. Andrei says:

    Lets get back on track with an oldie but a goodie – and one I’m sure Mr Kennedy will appreciate

  14. Dave Kennedy says:

    No Andrei, just stating fact. We have a National Government that refuses to allow comprehensive and independent environmental reporting (the last was in 2007) and has allowed our international environmental performance ranking to substantially drop.

    This is not just about trees but about the fact that the balance between environmental protection and economic development has shifted to short term thinking and environmental degradation. 75% of our exporters are reliant on our clean green brand and yet this Government is allowing our brand to become increasingly tarnished.

    It is dumb thinking both economically and environmentally.

    Here is what some of our more aware business leaders think:
    http://www.pureadvantage.org/the-big-opportunities/

  15. Dave Kennedy says:

    Here is another video Andre, an oldie but a goodie 😉 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0oqeJ7a_hE

  16. Dave Kennedy says:

    Andrei here is a music video that is probably a better response to your one (Buffy Sainte Marie is an amazing 74 year old US Indian activist): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKmAb1gNN74

  17. Mr E says:

    Dave –
    Do you not think LAWA is comprehensive and independent.

    This from the website:
    “Land, Air, Water Aotearoa (LAWA) has been established by like-minded organisations with a view to helping local communities find the balance between using natural resources and maintaining their quality and availability.

    Initially a collaboration between New Zealand’s 16 regional and unitary councils, LAWA is now a partnership between the councils, Cawthron Institute, Ministry for the Environment and Massey University and has been supported by the Tindall Foundation.”

    If the answer is no – what do you think is missing?

  18. Mr E says:

    Farmer Braun,
    After your citation – I simply chose not to read Andrei’s link.

    I can see when it comes to science (and acceptance of society variation), Andrei and I have a fundamental difference.

    Incidentally, I am fascinated by your views on grass seed mixes, and ‘precious’ scientists, but maybe another day.

  19. Andrei says:

    After your citation – I simply chose not to read Andrei’s link.

    I can see when it comes to science (and acceptance of society variation), Andrei and I have a fundamental difference.

    “You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make him drink” – Mr E

    The paper I linked is a very famous paper published by a distinguished Scientist who deliberately wrote a paper consisting of hi faluting nonsense and referenced phrases from other published papers, none of which makes any sense to see if he could get it published

    He could – it made a lot of folks very angry when he admitted his joke.

    I personally think it was a very good joke

  20. Paranormal says:

    Andrei, thanks for the paper – an interesting link. Have you seen “What the Bleep do we know”? http://www.whatthebleep.com/
    A fascinating film on the convergence of science and spirituality. (BTW I imagine you share Bob Jones feelings on the ‘non’ sciences shared in his books, particularly Ogg)

    DK – It’s about now you should be hanging your head in shame that you are a member of a party that supported the NZ government that destroyed more trees than any other all because of Cullen’s poorly thought through ETS. Still, for you the end justifies the means.

  21. Mr E says:

    Andrei,
    There is a difference between a scientific journal and an academic journal.

    Maybe you reading of academic Journals has lead you to this view of ‘tosh’?

  22. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, LAWA is a positive initiative that will certainly moderate the most environmentally damaging environments. Collaboration and voluntary schemes have their place but are reliant on the motives and goodwill of those operating within it. The Clean Streams Accord was a good idea but we later discovered that some farmers seriously exaggerated what they had achieved.
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1112/S00093/fonterra-must-explain-self-reporting-inaccuracy.htm

    The once five yearly independent review of our total environment was a useful overview of where were and this no longer exists.

    Paranormal, you are factually incorrect again. The initial ETS had its flaws but the damage done to the forest industry through it was under a National Government: http://www.stuff.co.nz/marlborough-express/news/7928384/ETS-changes-bode-ill-for-forestry

  23. Andrei says:

    Mr E, I am an open minded and inquisative person, interested in the world I live in

    And fully aware that I know not very much

    The science journal article you referenced on another thread as a counter to my observation about the merits of most, not all, published science being not worth much was about Nitrogen loss in soils that are irrigated as I recall

    That is engineering rather than science, I’m no soil scientist of course
    but immediately on encountering that I’d ask to what forms of agriculture do these results apply and in what geographical regions?

    I assume that we are talking irrigated pasture in South Canterbury, something like that?

    But what of cotton being grown in irrgated feilds in Uzbekistan or Rice in paddys in Vietnam?

    The results of that article may be of some use to South Canturbury farmers but concepts may not apply to the Uzbeks growing cotton, might even be detrimental to them for all you, I or anybody else knows

  24. Mr E says:

    Andrei,
    No it is not engineering. Soil science is soil science. It is not soil engineering.

    Correct – South Canterbury research.

    This Journal does not state how the science should be applied, who or where it should be applied to. It is up to the reader to consider how the science applies to them. That is the nature of science. Or human interpretation for that matter.

    “And fully aware that I know not very much.”

    We all know not very much. Despite being named Homo Sapien Sapien – we have endless amounts of information to learn as a civilisation and no one individual can contain it all.

    That is what makes science exciting to me. The vastness of learning, both what has been done, but also what can be achieved.

  25. Mr E says:

    Dave,
    I don’t think you answered my question. If LAWA is not comprehensive and independent, what does it need to become that.

    I want to know what it is lacking for you to accept it as a replacement of government SOE reporting. Given of course the data comes from Local Government (councils) and the analysis comes from Central Government (MFE). Exactly the same sources of the State of the Environment reports that you so long for.

  26. Paranormal says:

    Sooo DK – in your world there was no massive destruction of forestry under the Greens supported Liabour government. Just a reminder – it was due to Cullen’s ETS impacting forest owners property rights, but hey that’s ok with the Greens.

    Standing at the trig at Arohena (next to Pureroa state forest) and seeing all the new South Waikato farmland that prior to Cullens ETS was forested is purely a figment of my imagination?

    Hypocrisy much?

  27. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, according to the LAWA website: Land, Air, Water Aotearoa (LAWA) has been established by like-minded organisations with a view to helping local communities find the balance between using natural resources and maintaining their quality and availability.

    The quality and the focus of environmental management will vary from region to region depending on economic drivers and the individuals in management positions in each area. It is a voluntary co-operation scheme with a focus on the sustainable development of resources. What is considered sustainable will also vary and the data being collected will be limited to what is deemed important.

    The five yearly environment reporting involved an independent and robust review of all data with an environmental focus only. The fact that this was removed without consulting with the Commissioner for the Environment was worrying and bizarre but similar to how this Government generally makes decisions. http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/119350/state-of-the-environment-report-stopped

  28. Mr E says:

    Ummm Dave – the so called volunteers are Local Government – councils. Having them contribute (volunteer) their information means the reporting is stronger than if the Government was to do it without them.

    Historically water quality was based on 70 odd monitoring sites paid for by the Government. Now there are many more. Actually over 1000 and using modelling the MFE now reports on over 500,000 sites.

    The new monitoring process (LAWA) is far far more robust. Thorough – whatever you want to call it.

    With The MFE processing data from the regional Councils – are you really trying to suggest that is not independent? Is it either the regional Councils or the MFE that isn’t independent?

  29. Dave Kennedy says:

    Paranormal, you don’t understand the order of events. The Greens would rather have a direct carbon tax as it is far more predictable for businesses and less able to be corrupted. The Greens only supported Labour’s ETS because it was better than doing nothing.

    The lack of replacement planting occurred after National allowed the use of cheap Eastern European credits that made the income from new forests as carbon sinks practically nil. Here is a quote from the article that I linked to earlier:

    “However, in an abrupt and controversial shift in emphasis, the scheme’s reliance on a trading market to set a reasonable price for carbon is now undermined. The value of units is heading for zero as the Government refuses to limit the quantity of cheap and dubious credits New Zealand emitters and industry can import to offset their carbon footprint. New Zealand is the only market not applying a limit, based on a Treasury assertion that the atmosphere doesn’t care where the carbon reductions occur so spending our funds in Ukraine, Russia and Hungary is an adequate response to climate change obligations. That is barmy reasoning because the impact is serious long term.

    In the first place, no new forest planting will occur because there will be no support from carbon unit income. This has long-term consequences for the supply of wood.”

    The figment of your imagination is that the Greens are responsible.

  30. TraceyS says:

    “And fully aware that I know not very much”

    Andrei, I beg to differ, as you appear to be someone who knows relatively a lot.

    But you are also prone to sweeping judgments that appear to be rather impenetrable. Comments regarding homosexuality, and now academia, stand out as examples.

    And referring to other people as “dumb”, for example, puts you in a similar class as Homepaddock’s ex-resident so-called “soil scientist”. That is rather a shame I think.

  31. Mr E says:

    “The figment of your imagination is that the Greens are responsible.”

    You heard it here first. Greens are not responsible.

  32. farmerbraun says:

    “The figment of your imagination is that the Greens are responsible.”
    Dave , the idea that NZ could be a fortress , isolated from world prices for anything , belongs in the disastrous Muldoon era.
    To suggest that the world price for carbon was inappropriate seems bizarre at best, in a country where almost everything is priced in relation to global prices.

    Of course the idea that the ETS was better than doing nothing can be seen now as misguided.
    It would have been far better on all counts do have done nothing.

    Pleas don’t give us the “setting-the-example-for-the-rest-of-world” nonsense ; it didn’t work.

  33. farmerbraun says:

    I see that we had the same thought Mr.E.
    With some difficulty I resisted the temptation:-)

  34. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, I am not criticising LAWA, but it is not set up to have a wider view of the state of our nation’s environment. We need to connect all the dots and have an overview to shape national policies and directions. This Government is not taking on this responsibility but shifting more onto the regions but providing them with limited teeth to do anything if things go wrong.

    Public access to important data is also more limited than ever before. Try and find any current assessment of water quality in Canterbury and the most recent I could find was five years ago and it showed increasing degradation:
    http://www.crc.govt.nz/publications/Reports/overview-state-trend-water-quality-canterbury-rivers-streams.pdf

    However there are a lot of other organisations expressing concerns: http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/7905535/Canterbury-water-quality-poses-risks

    Where can I find the current state or progress on water quality in Canterbury as one example of independent analysis?

  35. Andrei says:

    Comments regarding homosexuality, and now academia, stand out as examples.

    All I said was the majority of papers published in scientific journals don’t amount to much, which is true.

    The really, really good ones, which are exceedingly rare change the world,

    That not a sweeping statement, it is a wry observation

  36. farmerbraun says:

    The price of fuel goes up: less is used where possible.
    The price of oil goes down : . . . . .?

    Meanwhile the climate changes imperceptibly , as always.

  37. Paranormal says:

    So let me see if I’ve got your logic right DK.

    The Greens supported Liarbour who were responsible for deforestation on a massive scale before the implementation of a poorly thought out ETS.

    Now National are supporting the globally accepted best practice/price for carbon, and because of that, in your books, they’re the bad guys?

  38. Dave Kennedy says:

    Paranormal, I know you often refuse to read my links but I did have very strong evidence of National’s interference with the ETS having the biggest negative impact on forestry. You can stubbornly hold on to your personal view of the situation against evidence or you can come up with your own evidence to support your view.

    “Now National are supporting the globally accepted best practice/price for carbon”

    Says who? 😉

  39. Paranormal says:

    Says who?

    Those that know about it, your vaunted experts per se, those that are trading in carbon perhaps?

    And let’s get real here DK – a link to the Marlborough local rag. Really?

  40. Mr E says:

    “Where can I find the current state or progress on water quality in Canterbury as one example of independent analysis?”

    Well one thing is for sure Dave, the old Government SOE reports never reported regional water quality. 70 odd data points nationally never provided enough data to points to consider regions with any sort of accuracy. Sensibly the Govt ditched SOE reporting because LAWA superseded it.

    http://www.lawa.org.nz/explore-data/canterbury-region/freshwater/

    Yes that link provides independent regional data on Canterbury. I challenge you to go to the 2007 MFE SOE report and come back with regional water quality data. If you can’t I’d suggest you should come back here with an altered view.

  41. Dave Kennedy says:

    Paranormal, no credible support for your arguments? No supporting links?

    Are you also saying that because Geoff Thompson had his article published in the Marlborough Newspaper it has no value? What a strange argument.

    Mr E, some more detailed analysis of all our national data would be useful. I do find it hard to understand the trend indicators all showing no trends (is this believable?) when the last detailed assessment of Canterbury water showed a decline in quality and choosing just one catchment in the simplistic LAWA information it says this:
    “Increased demand for water and the effects from increasing agricultural activities are putting pressure on the Ashburton lowland water quality and aquatic ecosystems. The best water quality is often observed in the upper reaches where there has been little degradation and anthropogenic activity. The poorest water quality is typically found at sites closest to the coast where the river has been under pressure over the years from increasing landuse intensification, degradation and urbanisation.”

    It sounds like declining quality to me but hardly with the clarity of earlier reports and with any reasonable level of analysis. Hardly a replacement.

  42. TraceyS says:

    All I said was the majority of papers published in scientific journals don’t amount to much”

    What you actually said, Andrei, was:

    “…most scientific papers are tosh…” (April 6th, 11:31pm)

    Unless you have reviewed the majority, which would be an impossibility, that is a sweeping statement.

    Exceptional work is rare in any discipline. If it were common we’d likely regard it as average and bemoan the rarity of a new level of exceptionality.

    Furthermore, do you agree that exceedingly rare, really, really good, world-changing works, are always “good” or will lead to the world being changed in good ways?

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v380/n6569/abs/380064a0.html

    In some circumstances, it would seem to me, that you might prefer the slightly more mediocre over the exceptional if that better suited your belief system.

    Personally, I think there is a place for “tosh”, exceptional, and everything else between.

  43. Paranormal says:

    So DK – you’re accepting the logic you use is as I posted at 4.46.

    That means you’re really trying, in traditional leftist fashion, to rewrite history then? Do you still deny that over 30,000 hectares of forest was destroyed as a result of Labours ETS supported by the Greens?

    Do opinion pieces in local rags form the basis of proof required for your ‘evidence based’ policy? You have slumped to new depths.

  44. Mr E says:

    Dave,

    “some more detailed analysis of all our national data would be useful”

    If you spend a little time on the LAWA site you will find it is all there.
    Essentially what you need to do, is decide the region or river you want to consider, then follow your nose.

    Using the Ashburton river as an indicator for NZs water quality or even Canterburys water quality would be a silly thing to do. No scientist would do that, and I doubt many school teachers would do that, although I acknowledge some politicians might do that.

    On the website click on the Canterbury area, click fresh water, then click scientific indicators. You will see there is NO TREND for any of the water quality aspects in Canterbury. That doesn’t mean some water quality aspects aren’t declining in some rivers in Canterbury. It means when considered as a whole, there is no trend for either improvement or decline in Canterbury.

    For Canterbury data follow this link, then click on the Scientific indicators tab.

    http://www.lawa.org.nz/explore-data/canterbury-region/freshwater/

    For a summary of NZ data:

    On the website, follow logic. It will bring you to this page.
    Then click the ‘National Picture’ page.

    http://www.lawa.org.nz/explore-data/freshwater/

    What this page shows is:
    Total phosphorus appears to be declining as a contaminant
    Dissolved reactive phosphorous is declining as a contaminant
    Ecoli there is probably no change – although some would say it is tending to decline. But I think not a statistical one.
    Nitrate Nitrogen is propabably not changing, although some would say some rivers are improving while some a deteriorating and there are more deteriorating.
    Macro invertebrates appear to be declining.

    So some good news and some bad news. Overall all good. The areas that need worked on in my view – Nitrate. I suspect Macroinvertebates might improve as a result.

  45. Mr E says:

    Andrei,
    How many scientific papers do you read if you think they are mostly ‘Tosh’.
    That must get very boring – how do you motivate yourself?

    Could it be, that you read very few, and that you dim view of them has been formed on a minute number, perhaps some of them being academic papers rather than scientific? Is that a possibility?

    To help you answer the question, form a hypothesis, and test it.

  46. Andrei says:

    Tracey you linked to an utterly banal scientific paper that claimed to be the “Global carbon budget 2013”.

    And I said phooey

    That is not worth the paper it is printed on

    CO2 is a trace componant of the earths atmosphere in this epoch which is not evenly spread throughout the atmosphere, the concerntrations of which vary in both time and space.

    There are millions of processes adding CO2 to the atmosphere and millions of processes removing it from the atmosphere and a variety of feedback mechanisms that work to bring about a quasi stability in the levels we measure at a very few isolated observatories.

    This conversation is no more meaningful than the apocryphal one involving “how many angels can dance on the head of a pin”.

    Did you know for example that cosmic rays form carbon 14 (with a half life of abut 5700 years) from the vastly more plentiful Nitrogen in the atmosphere?

    Do you know what Limnic lakes are?

    I could spend the rest of the day (Good Friday on the Orthodox calender) adding items that are not well documented quantitatively that add or remove C02 from the atmosphere and not scratch the surface

  47. Dave Kennedy says:

    Paranormal:
    1) Commercial forests are harvested when they reach maturity this would have happened regardless of any ETS. Wood exports are a major income earner for the country.
    2) One of the highest levels of deforestation was in 2006, 2 years before the ETS was introduced. To claim that the majority of the felling since then was because of the ETS is disingenuous. Where is the evidence?
    2) Many of the forests were foreign owned (not the land) and they would want a return for their investment at maturity.
    3) Replanting is crucial to maintain the carbon sink benefits of our extensive forests and owners of much of the forested land had sold the trees some time before and replanting has a cost.
    4) The National Government, through not ensuring a base value for carbon credits in this country, have not made it economic to replant and much forested land has been shifted to more profitable land use such as dairying.

    You rejected the opinion piece from an industry consultant because of the newspaper it was published in, here is an academic view:

    file:///Users/davekennedy/Downloads/5604929-2013-02-Deforestation-survey-2012.pdf

    A telling quote from that research:

    “For the ETS scenario (large-scale owners) it is estimated that, of the 62,000 hectares of intended deforestation between 2008 and 2020, 86 percent of conversion will be to dairy, 9 percent to sheep & beef, 4 percent to lifestyle/residential and 1% to windfarm development.
    No respondents for the 2012 survey intend using offset planting. There is a clear preference to meet deforestation liabilities by purchasing units rather than using offset planting.”

    Again, Paranormal, you only offer your opinion and have not supported any of your claims with credible supporting links.

  48. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, When a catchment is described as under pressure and lower quality there is still a no trend symbol. All I saw was an assessment of no trend ion every page. This is simplistic and unexplainable. Where is the five or ten year data that supports it? At the same time the level of degradation with the normal curve styled graphs often show low quality. It is an insult to the intelligence of anyone interested in water quality to be told that the LAWA system replaces the old system. Also the state of many of our low land rivers had already reached a shocking level where recreation use is generally not advised, does no trend also mean that there has been no improvement?

  49. Willdwan says:

    For heaven’s sake, the deforestation occurred two years before the ETS because people knew it was coming and feared they would lose options for land use. It was ghastly, I saw a plantation, barely more than seedlings, being sprayed from a helicopter. Such a waste.

  50. Mr E says:

    Dave,
    By now you should realise that it takes a lot of data to make a statistically accurate conclusion on water quality. The ? marks are applied to catchments when not enough data exists to draw statistical conclusions.

    Water quality scientists are constantly calling for more data to make comparisons, simply to prove national trends. Drawing water quality conclusions about catchments is a frightening thing for any scientist, as the amount of data required to draw strong conclusions is often lacking.

    Now that LAWA exists MFE has a lot more data that it ever had, yet it is still not enough to make statistical catchment conclusions.

    Compare what you have seen in LAWA to the last MFE SOE report.

    http://www.mfe.govt.nz/sites/default/files/enz07-freshwater-info-sheet-jun08.pdf

    Now tell me LAWA is a step backwards from Govt SOE reports.

  51. Paranormal says:

    So DK – just to be clear – you are rewriting history to deny that there was no massive deforestation by property owners to avoid the imposition of the deforestation levy?

  52. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, you must not remember that the Government controversially removed the analysis and conclusions from that report. The Environment Commissioner made some very good recommendations on robust, independent environmental reporting that has been largely ignored. She also highlighted that New Zealand is one of the few developed countries that does not support independent state of the environment reporting.

    http://www.pce.parliament.nz/assets/Uploads/How-clean-is-New-Zealand.pdf

    You are right that there is more consistent and robust monitoring of water quality across catchments then before, but if there is no independent analysis and national co-ordination then any nation wide trends can be hidden (as they are).

    It is the Minister who now dictates what data will be collected and what will be published and this is a dangerous precendent.

    New Zealand’s environmental status internationally has significantly dropped because of poor reporting and protections (we have dropped 14 places on the EPI index since 2006). According to Wikipedia National’s environment protection policies are the second worst (after Act) of all our political parties.

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

  53. Dave Kennedy says:

    Paranormal, the imposition of the deforestation levy obviously had some minor impact but not to the massive extent you describe. Most of those forests would have been harvested anyway and one the largest amounts of annual deforestation occurred in 2006, two years before the ETS became law. It is you who is attempting to rewrite history!

    The fact that you refuse to provide evidence to support your argument is telling. It is also interesting that you don’t challenge the content of my links but just attempt to discredit the source.

  54. Dave Kennedy says:

    Willdwan, I will not argue that what you describe didn’t happen, but not to the extent you claim. Please provide evidence.

    Here is anther link to support the massive destruction of the forest industry because of THIS Government’s mismanagement:

    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/farming/289722/pine-seedlings-destroyed-ets-price-plummets

  55. Mr E says:

    Dave,
    I don’t understand what you are saying. You seem to be saying:

    The information is better, but now that MFE are processing it, it is no longer independent. Or perhaps you think that because the Councils now contribute information.

    That is just silly because MFE always processed the SOE reports. And without the Councils input your would never get catchment data of any consequence.

    The National River Water Quality Network is based on 77sites on 35 rivers. It really is impossible to present any trend data on individual catchments on that basis. The last time data from this network was published in a scientific journal the only significant quality trends were positive ones – for temperature, conductivity and clarity. And other trend comments came with a caveat. “At present, there is insufficient data about these attributes for national-scaled trend analyses.” (Larned etal 2004)

    You seem to want your cake and eat it too. You can’t have a robust data set without the Councils data being combined. Adding data to the NRWQN makes the data far more robust and allows analysis to be done that could never be achieved with 77 points. It doesn’t take any independence away. And it also doesn’t add additional control by the Minister. Keep in mind that the Cawthorne institute is involved to ensure findings are robust.

    I would also note that the report by the PCE came out 4 years before LAWA went online. LAWA was largely a response by the Ministry and Govt to respond to the concerns she mooted.

    I am trying to figure out it you are behind the times, or simply barking a tree that no longer exists? That tree has been replaced by something much better – progression. Or are you simply afraid of progression like so many other greens?

  56. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, we are debating at cross purposes. We do have better data and more comprehensive monitoring of water, I agree. However what the five yearly review attempted to do is analyse all the available data to get a sort of state of the nation overview that would guide Government policy and give voters an idea of wider trends. There is no substantive overview or analysis.

    Where is the analysis the Environment Commissioner asked for?

    1. Is the problem cumulative? Do successive impacts keep stacking up or is there some natural mechanism that tends to restore the system?
    2. Is the problem reversible? This is closely related to cumulative, but allows for the possibility of human restoration of the system through technology and management practices.
    3. Is the size of the problem significant? Is it widespread and pervasive, or is it confined?
    4. Is the size of the problem accelerating? Does it need to be dealt with urgently?
    5. Is the problem approaching some kind of physical limit? Is there a tipping point
    – a level of the problem that tips the system into another state?
    These criteria could be used to provide a high level view of the emphasis to place on different kinds of environmental damage.

    The LAWA presentation about water quality reads like Government spin and talks down the evidence. There is a continual claim that there are no significant negative trends and yet this is largely because a trend relies on 10 years of data that can verify this. It doesn’t mean that things haven’t changed for the better or worse. iIt is highly misleading especially when one reads:
    “While no significant trend was detected at most monitoring sites, a quarter showed an increase in nitrate-nitrogen concentrations over the 10-year period we analysed. More pasture sites had an increase in nitrate-nitrogen concentrations over the last 10 years compared to a decrease in concentrations, whereas more urban and indigenous sites improved (i.e., lower nitrate-nitrogen concentrations) than deteriorated.”

    If 75% showed no trend (many of these already poor) and 25% showed a deterioration, then that should ring alarm bells.

    NIWA claimed in 2010:

    “The overall picture emerging from the NRWQN is that our water quality, while generally good by international standards, is declining”

    It also said:

    “There were no statistically significant or meaningful decreases (in pollutants). A ‘meaningful’ trend is one which is statistically significant, with a rate of change greater than 1% per annum, and which is likely to be environmentally meaningful (being perceptible in less than a human lifetime).”

    https://www.niwa.co.nz/publications/wa/water-atmosphere-1-july-2010/how-clean-are-our-rivers

    LAWA claimed (as the Government does) that our rivers compare well to the OECD average as if we are alright. There is no mention that not so long ago we were well above the OECD average and this helped support a clean green advantage we have now lost.

    LAWA provides no perspective, while proper environmental reporting would.

    We also need to include an overview of land use (levels of forestation etc), species protection, lake quality, aquifer quality and use, GHG emission trends…

    From what I can find (you are welcome to prove me otherwise):

    -there is no significant improvement in water quality (including aquifers etc) and many rivers (up to 25%) showing deterioration as well as lakes.
    -More indigenous species are in danger than ever before.
    -We are losing forest cover (and useful carbon sinks) to other uses such as dairying. Research shows that over 80% of harvested forests are being converted to dairy farms.
    -Our estuaries are eutrophying
    -Our carbon emissions have increased at least 20% since 2008
    -Our houses are amongst the most inefficient (energy wise) in the OECD

  57. TraceyS says:

    “Tracey you linked to an utterly banal scientific paper that claimed to be the “Global carbon budget 2013″

    This was only one of four references given to support the 25% claim. I chose to link that particular one because the full text for it was openly available, whereas, for the others, it was not (or at least not available to me). I’m fully aware that the selection for open availability of certain full-text articles may be an attempt to influence readers in a particular direction. But that’s just how things work.

    Recently you said your daughter had completed her Masters. No doubt this would have required a thesis or research report and, regardless of the discipline, a fundamental part of that would likely have been a literature review. I wonder, did you check out all the references and tell her the same opinion that you have posted here that “most” of it is tosh? Or did you congratulate her for doing her best with imperfect raw materials in an imperfect world?

    I couldn’t help noticing this newspaper article today because it’s so relevant to our discussion here on so many levels:
    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/338659/findings-shed-light-climate-change.

    “The underlying science behind modern climate change had been known for some time, and Dr Clarkson said he hoped the study involving his research would help ”hit home the message” about the dangers of rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels.”

    The above quote grates and gives me concern because it smacks of an attempt to prove a point and this shouldn’t be what research is about. Other disciplines don’t get away with it so much but in science, particularly climate science, it seems to go unchallenged. But I will still get hold of the journal article and have a read of it if I can; reserving judgement until I make it to the very end. And I’d be very interested in reading your considered critique if you have the time and would care to post it here.

  58. Mr E says:

    Dave

    You seem to take data and put you own negative spin on it.

    “If 75% showed no trend (many of these already poor) and 25% showed a deterioration, then that should ring alarm bells.”

    There is not 75% showing no trend, and if you actually think that I have truly truly over estimated you.

    http://www.lawa.org.nz/explore-data/freshwater/

    Look at the Nitrate Nitrogen data again. Approximately 22% have improved, 25% declined and 53% are stable. Even an most basic understanding of statistics would have you questioning if any overall trend existed. The only alarm bell that should be ringing is that of any Green Party supporter reading this. They should have alarms going off in every direction.

    “LAWA claimed (as the Government does) that our rivers compare well to the OECD average as if we are alright”

    They did no such thing – they didn’t say we compare will so that is alright.
    In 2004 the median OECD monitored nitrate concentration was 1.812mgN/L. Do you know what our is Dave – in 2013 for the sites monitored —- 0.252mgN/L. The 2004 OECD monitored figure was 7 times what our nitrate is today. Yet you seem to have alarm bells going of when there is no obvious change going on.

    I noticed all 5 of your questions asked about ‘the problem’. Therein lies the problem I have with you Dave. Rather than consider the state of the environment sensibly, you seem to default to a “problem”.

    It gets pretty boring watching it.

    If I was an exporter – I would be pretty frustrated at watching it. The market damage that you negative attitudes have, is unknown, but the risk remains.

  59. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, I guess we will have to agree to disagree on this because I was using what was written on the site.

    “While no significant trend was detected at most monitoring sites, a quarter showed an increase in nitrate-nitrogen concentrations over the 10-year period we analysed. More pasture sites had an increase in nitrate-nitrogen concentrations over the last 10 years compared to a decrease in concentrations…”

    You also must have forgotten that 61% of the monitored sites on our rivers are deemed poor or very poor quality and are unsafe for swimming.

    It’s good that there is some minor improvements on around 20% of sites, but this should be balanced with the 25% that are in decline.

    We used to be much better than the OECD figures but now many of our rivers are only marginally better and some are worse.

    You can spin the water quality all you like but we have a long way to go to be able to call ourselves largely clean and green, because our rivers largely aren’t.

    Here is what our water scientists say:

    http://sciblogs.co.nz/griffins-gadgets/2012/11/27/mike-joy-isnt-a-lone-voice-just-a-loud-one/

    http://sciblogs.co.nz/waiology/2013/10/18/an-overview-of-the-water-quality-in-new-zealand-rivers/

    Rather than spin our water quality it would be far better that we didn’t have to and just got on with the job of cleaning them up!

  60. Andrei says:

    Tracey;
    That article is talking about the Great Permian extinction event which occurred over 250 million years ago and has long been known

    And it has also long been hypothesised that the cause of this was a huge volcanic event in the Siberian Traps

    A geologic event that lasted a million years.

    The extinction event itself took place, so it is said, over a period of 60,000 to 100,000 years a short time in geological terms but a long very time in human terms

    Consider a human being, if they are very lucky, they live 100 years – what is that to 60,000 years?

    The entirety of recorded human history encompasses 6,000 years.

    I cannot tell the future but I do know that the world will be a different place in a mere 100 years.

    60,000 years? Well it is actually quite likely there wont be people left by then to worry about anything.

    A great many catastrophes have hit humanity in my lifetime e.g. the Boxing Day Tsumani

    My Parents lived through famines and wars

    My Grandparents lived in times of a secession of wars interspersed by famine.

    Life is uncertain Tracey

    The poet and the owner of the case lit their cigarettes and Berlioz, who did not smoke, refused.

    ‘I shall refute his argument by saying’ Berlioz decided to himself, ‘
    that of course man is mortal, no one will argue with that. But the fact is that . . .’

    However he was not able to pronounce the words before the stranger spoke:

    ‘Of course man is mortal, but that’s only half the problem. The trouble is that mortality sometimes comes to him so suddenly! And he cannot even say what he will be doing this evening.’

    ‘What a stupid way of putting the question. ‘ thought Berlioz and
    objected :

    ‘Now there you exaggerate. I know more or less exactly what I’m going to be doing this evening. Provided of course that a brick doesn’t fall on my head in the street. . .’

    ‘A brick is neither here nor there,’ the stranger interrupted
    persuasively. ‘ A brick never falls on anyone’s head. You in particular, I assure you, are in no danger from that. Your death will be different.’

    ‘Perhaps you know exactly how I am going to die? ‘ enquired Berlioz
    with understandable sarcasm at the ridiculous turn that the conversation seemed to be taking. ‘ Would you like to tell me?’

    ‘Certainly,’ rejoined the stranger. He looked Berlioz up and down as
    though he were measuring him for a suit and muttered through his teeth something that sounded like : ‘ One, two . . . Mercury in the second house . . . the moon waning . . . six– accident . . . evening–seven . . . ‘

    then announced loudly and cheerfully : ‘ Your ‘head will be cut off!’
    Bezdomny turned to the stranger with a wild, furious stare and Berlioz asked with a sardonic grin :

    ‘By whom? Enemies? Foreign spies? ‘

    ‘No,’ replied their companion, ‘ by a Russian woman, a member of the Komsomol.’

    ‘Hm,’ grunted Berlioz, upset by the foreigner’s little joke. ‘ That,
    if you don’t mind my saying so, is most improbable.’

    ‘I beg your pardon,’ replied the foreigner, ‘ but it is so. Oh yes, I
    was going to ask you–what are you doing this evening, if it’s not a secret?’

    ‘It’s no secret. From here I’m going home, and then at ten o’clock
    this evening there’s a meeting at the massolit and I shall be in the chair.’

    ‘No, that is absolutely impossible,’ said the stranger firmly.

    ‘Why?’

    ‘Because,’ replied the foreigner and frowned up at the sky where,
    sensing the oncoming cool of the evening, the birds were flying to roost, ‘Anna has already bought the sunflower-seed oil, in fact she has not only bought it, but has already spilled it. So that meeting will not take place.’

    With this, as one might imagine, there was silence beneath the lime
    trees.

  61. farmerbraun says:

    Andrei , I think that most of what you wanted to say on this topic was beautifully illustrated by this link , which you posted way up thread.

    I looked first at the list of citations; that gave me the first clue.
    I started to laugh as soon as i got into the main body: it just got funnier.
    It’s worth a look, to illustrate the point under discussion:-

    http://www.physics.nyu.edu/faculty/sokal/transgress_v2/transgress_v2_singlefile.html

  62. Mr E says:

    Dave,
    You accuse me of spin – after you have come out with several statements that are wrong, either lies or mistakes.

    “I was using what was written on the site.”
    No you were not. The site did not say 75% stable as you incorrectly presented.

    “It’s good that there is some minor improvements on around 20% of sites, but this should be balanced with the 25% that are in decline”

    Please put your glasses on. Clearly it is not 20%. If you read around on other websites you will also question if it is 25%. Another website has it at 26%.

    “We used to be much better than the OECD figures but now many of our rivers are only marginally better and some are worse.”

    Could you write a statement that is more obviously spin?. The last time the OECD data was reviewed was 2004. The 3 rivers assessed (including Waikato) were in the best 4 for nitrate. 2 of the 3 were in the top 25th percentile for phosphate with the Waikato only just falling out side this category. OECD has not done a similar review since then.

    Upon releasing the River condition indicator in July 2013 (the data that LAWA is based on) this was the response by the minster:
    “Environment Minister Amy Adams said the reports showed that overall concentrations of nutrients and bacteria were either stable or improving at most monitored sites, and that water quality was generally improving. ”

    Who do I believe Dave, you or Amy? Given your propensity for spin, I choose Amy.

    Regarding your clean and green bashing, interesting NZers tend to disagree with you. This from a Linclon Uni Study in 2013

    “Survey responses reinforce the view that New Zealanders
    believe they live in a cleaner and greener environment than is
    found in many other developed countries. This view concurs
    with the conclusions from the ESI and the EPI, which rank
    New Zealand highly for environmental sustainability and
    performance.”

    “Respondents continue to believe the standard of living in
    New Zealand is good. Their assessment is that New Zealand
    is a ‘clean and green’ land and they also indicate the state of
    the New Zealand natural environment is good to adequate.”

    “The survey aimed to determine how New Zealanders perceived
    pressures, states and responses to various aspects of the
    New Zealand environment. Our brief review of biophysical
    resources is consistent with measures that show New Zealand
    is in the top quartile of countries in terms of sustainability
    (see Emerson et al. 2012). This position is consistent with
    New Zealanders’ perceptions that, on average, the state of
    their natural environment is adequate or good, New Zealand
    is ‘clean and green’, and that they have good knowledge of the
    environment.”

    Go ahead Dave, disagree with the data, the science and the people. Spin all you like. But I doubt it will win you votes.

  63. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E.

    “No significant trend on most sites” means that for ten years of monitoring there is no conclusive evidence of improvement or decline on most sites. Then LAWA states: “a quarter showed an increase in nitrate-nitrogen concentrations over the 10-year period we analysed”. I think my interpretation was fairly accurate 😉

    The 61% of sites recording poor to very poor quality and unfit for swimming has also been widely reported.

    While I acknowledge there has been some improvement I strongly disagree with Amy Adams’ spin. LAWA and other research all concur with the facts that our natural (indigenous) environments are largely clean and our urban waterways (1%) are improving, while our rivers in pasture dominated environments are either showing no trend (but remaining poor quality) or degrading.

    You reference to New Zealanders’ perception of our environment is a little sad as many think of our National Parks when they consider our environmental state and these are also used in our tourist advertising. Our perceptions of our clean green image are a little like our perceptions of our levels of corruption, both are viewed through rose tinted glasses and a lingering memory of what we were.

    “A new survey carried out by professional services firm Deloitte canvassed 269 public and private organisations across New Zealand and Australia.

    “It revealed almost a quarter had experienced domestic corruption in the last five years, with more than half the incidents occurring in the last twelve months.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/better-business/67511312/bribery-and-corruption-a-growing-threat-in-nz-deloitte

    We used to be cleaner and greener and we used to be less corrupt, denial of what we have become isn’t healthy, Mr E.

  64. Ray says:

    Go ahead Dave, disagree with the data, the science and the people. Spin all you like. But I doubt it will win you votes.

    How unsurprising that a rather benign and good news topic such as the greening of Europe has been threadjacked by our green eco-doomster.
    The relentless, grinding and overbearing negativity of the greens is perfectly expressed through his every utterence on whatever he has morphed this topic into. I for one have ceased trying to figure what he is on about.
    Whatever it is, his incessant bleating and that of his fellow green travelers does the environmental cause little good.
    What a sad, depressing and pessimistic life it must be, with the whole environmental future of this country on ones conscience, a life only relieved from such stresses, by the weekly donning of a hi-viz vest to facilitate the guidance of keen buyers to a re-vitalized hazelnut market.

  65. Willdwan says:

    I began coming to this site to escape the relentless negativity of other media, especially where farming is concerned. You can imagine my dismay at the presence of these green Jeremiahs. But I think they are done, a spent force, they don’t bother me anymore.

    Great news about the hazelnut market.

  66. Mr E says:

    This has become comical.

    Dave takes two quotes from LAWA and puts his negative spin on them. Blatantly ignoring any positive commentary.

    “Overall, the majority of the sites monitored for various water quality attributes showed no evidence of a trend . Total phosphorus levels improved at 30% and deteriorated at 10% of the sites monitored, with 60% of the sites showing no evidence of a trend. Dissolved reactive phosphorus levels improved at 40% and deteriorated at 11% of sites, with the rest of the sites showing no evidence of a trend. Around 13% of sites showed an improvement in E. coli concentrations, however, at about 9% of sites concentrations deteriorated.”

    Then Dave claims “we used to be less corrupt”. Let me tell you Dave – I couldn’t agree more. It is clear from this comment thread that less corruption was once apparent. I think there was a time that politicians weren’t so blatantly bias when considering the environment.

    What is embarrassing is your bias could be hurting the country. But you seem not to care about that. I would imagine the typical Southland voter does care about that. And I think they should care about that.

  67. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, you cannot possibly claim that our lowland rivers are clean, most are ‘poor’ to ‘very poor’ quality and while you can cherry pick phosphorus levels to show improvement, nitrogen levels are getting worse in 25% of monitored sites. 75% of our native fish species are either at risk or threatened because of habitat destruction (a 9% increase between 2009-13) and many of our cleaner South Island rivers have been infected with didymo.

    http://sciblogs.co.nz/waiology/2014/06/06/new-zealands-native-freshwater-fish-are-becoming-increasingly-threatened/

    https://www.niwa.co.nz/freshwater-update-62-september-2014/didymo-in-new-zealand-ten-years-on

    It is just like alcoholism, unless you accept the reality of the situation the necessary steps to recovery won’t be taken. And yet you are telling me not to be so negative and not talk openly about our situation in case our trading partners hear. This is just denial.

    It is already known by many overseas visitors that things are deteriorating environmentally here, keen trout fishermen who have been coming here for many years have noted the changes and ordinary tourists are surprised to see the number of places where the water is too polluted to swim.

    As I said before, the best solution is not to coverup and lie but actually do something about it. I agree that some efforts are being made, but as fast as farmers improve their environmental practices the stock numbers and intensification increases. 138,600 more cows were introduced onto our land between 2013-14 alone. One cow produces as much waste as 14 humans, so that is the equivalent of adding almost 2 million people to our population with limited waste management in one year. We now have around 5 million cows producing the waste equivalent of 70 million people.

    Willdwan, interestingly i see many of you as a bunch of denialists, stubbornly claiming the world is alright and the Government is doing a great job when the evidence of the opposite is in front of your faces. At every crack in the facade fingers are pointed elsewhere, the Greens are criticised for commenting and there are distractions like new flags being brought up. And yet there are so many positive things we that can do to put things right, like our ‘Good Farm Stories’, and the celebrations of other achievements that move us in a better direction.

    Ray, you actually know very little about me, I am involved in heaps of positive projects that are in the interests of our local economy and supporting the quality of life for Southlanders. Over next two weeks have been employed to help with the Disney Movie while it filmed down here and am looking forward to joining a hard working, dynamic and largely kiwi crew. Following that I am helping lead the shift of our local art collection to new premises while the current historic building where it is housed is earthquake strengthened. Exciting stuff 😉

  68. TraceyS says:

    Oddly, farmerbraun at 7:21 am, the Sokal article does not illustrate what Andrei was saying (that “…most scientific papers are tosh…”) since that nonsense was not published in a science journal. In fact it was almost rejected by the non-science journal it was published by so it would hardly be likely that the article would have been accepted by a scientific journal now would it?.

    The point of Sokal’s hoax was to illustrate the vulnerabilities of critical research and the publishers of it – not that the majority of published science was rubbish. In that context, I think that Andrei misused it (confirmation bias much?)

    As with many of Andrei’s links, it was posted for it’s immediate emotional effect (shock value) and you fell right for it.

  69. TraceyS says:

    It’s actually a pity that Sokal didn’t present his paper to a range of journals both within and outside of the natural sciences to see which would have accepted vs rejected it. But then he would have already known that a physics journal, for example, would have immediately seen right through his joke. So there’d have been no point as rejection would have been inevitable (and this wasn’t the point he was trying to make anyway).

    However, doing so would have prevented the useful experiment from being misinterpreted as justifying conclusions such as Andrei’s – which was clearly not what it was intended for.

    I’ve no training in the natural sciences but aside from the extreme and nonsensical nature of the claims, there are several other dead giveaways to the article being suspicious; the opening direct quotes entirely out of content, the acknowledgements which read like a disclaimer and including the word “political”, “works cited” instead of “references” or “bibliography”, near the end “finally” and then “finally” again, overuse of footnotes instead of building on the work of others in a cohesive and logical argument, and additionally there being way more authors named under “works cited” than are actually cited in the body of the article! Even if unfamiliar with the jargon of the discipline these are clues that something is up.

  70. Mr E says:

    “Mr E, you cannot possibly claim that our lowland rivers are clean, ”

    Relative to what Dave? Filtered water, is that what you want ?

    I didn’t “cherry pick phosphorous” that is a blatant lie.

    It is true that I have concerns about native fish. But this really is an emerging science and lending too much to trends would be silly.

    Your repetition of 25% of rivers getting worse, needs to be balanced with approximately 22% improving. Otherwise you risk looking foolish Dave.

    MFE in the past have stated there is no significant trend in Nitrate levels. Only you seem to want to over state that, ignoring international perspective and beating some Green Party drum. I guess that strategy is part of a desperate attempt to garnish votes. It is transparent Dave, people are not stupid.

  71. TraceyS says:

    “It is just like alcoholism, unless you accept the reality of the situation the necessary steps to recovery won’t be taken.”

    Dave, I hate to say this (since I admire your persistent effort) but that is an “own goal” right there in that statement.

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

    “The biological mechanisms that cause alcoholism are not well understood.”

    If water quality is “like alcoholism” then the biological mechanisms that cause water quality problems are not well understood.

    So maybe stop trying so hard to impress us that you understand it all and know how to fix things that may not even be broken. Like with alcoholism, “recovery” is better described as “coping” because of the permanent biological changes induced which can’t be reversed. Anyone with a family member who has alcoholism knows that they don’t really recover but learn to deal with it.

  72. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, you must be commended for your dogged determination. Almost 2/3 of monitored sites reveal water quality that is either ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’ and highly unsafe to swim in. And yes there is evidence that 22% of rivers are improving, but 25% of rivers are getting worse. The LAWA site you linked to clearly said that the waterways in pastural environments were seriously degraded and a good number were getting worse. None of this is over-stated it is just what it is.

    In 2011 the editor of the Southland Times (a keen fisherman) was so appalled at the declining state of Southland rivers he made it the election issue for the province. While there has been some progress in improving farming practice there has also been an increase of around 70,000 cows in the province (equivalent increase in waste of 1 million people). One step forward, one step back?

  73. Willdwan says:

    Dave, I don’t really see the world the way you seem to think. “Alright, govt. doing a great job. There are always problems and they are rarely solved, we do our best to deal with them and they get superceded by new ones. Governments never do a great job, in my view governments are a poor way of dealing with most problems. I know this is very alien to you so please don’t make such assumptions. And don’t use the word denialist, it is so dorky. So much like atheist.

  74. Mr E says:

    “The LAWA site you linked to clearly said that the waterways in pastural environments were seriously degraded and a good number were getting worse. None of this is over-stated it is just what it is.”

    Can you please refer to the quote that proves this Dave?

    “In 2011 the editor of the Southland Times (a keen fisherman) was so appalled at the declining state of Southland rivers he made it the election issue for the province”

    Our news is acting politically you say? No wonder you could sneeze through the paper these days. I think it is disgraceful when news leaders force their own goals onto news readers. Disgusting behaviour in my view.

    I too am a keen fisherman. I wade and wallow in rivers on a regular basis. Other than didymo I am regularly impressed by the clarity of our waters. I nearly always drink from any river I am in. Although I snear at the Makarewa and the Pourakino. The others slurped up readily. If I did that in some European countries I would float off belly up. But here I am confident. I was bought up in an era when people werent so paranoid. To date I have never ever had a single water slurping incident. Decades of doing it.

    If I was to make a visual assessment of my experiences, it is without doubt water clarity has improved, and my taste buds would suggest taste too.

  75. Mr E says:

    Also Dave,
    Can you please explain what period the 70,000 cows are over, and how they equate to the waste of 1 million people?

  76. Dave Kennedy says:

    “Can you please refer to the quote that proves this Dave?”
    Mr E, not one quote but many supporting my summary:
    “In comparison, rivers in lowlands surrounded by pasture and cities are often of poorer water quality.” Remember that city sites only represent 1% of the water. Also: “Streams draining urban and pasture dominated catchments have three times higher median nitrate-nitrogen concentrations, compared to exotic forests, and 10 times that of rivers draining predominately indigenous land cover catchments.” and…”More pasture sites had an increase in nitrate-nitrogen concentrations over the last 10 years compared to a decrease in concentrations” and…”The highest overall concentrations occur in a small proportion of pasture catchments” and…”a quarter showed an increase in nitrate-nitrogen concentrations over the 10-year period we analysed”

    “Our news is acting politically you say?”

    No I didn’t, he was acting environmentally and did explain it was in relation to the high public concern, the increased amount of worrying science and the recent Waituna crisis. Also all candidates in Invercargill and Clutha Southland were given a page to describe our Party’s water policies.

    If expressing concern about water quality was a political act then so was when the paper supported the protest about the possible loss of the Neurosurgery consultants from the DHB.

    “Can you please explain what period the 70,000 cows are over, and how they equate to the waste of 1 million people?”

    It was referring to the three years since 2011. I was probably conservative to say 70,000 over that time because In the five years prior to 2014 cow numbers increased by 40,000 a year In southland. I could have estimated an increase of 120,000 cows or the equivalent waste of 1.68 million people. http://www.stuff.co.nz/southland-times/news/8096813/Hello-cows-goodbye-sheep

    As for the quantities of waste produced by a cow, my estimate of 14 times a person was conservative because the US EPA claims a cow produces the equivalent of 20-40 people: http://www.epa.gov/region9/animalwaste/problem.html

    I used TVNZ’s statistic: http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/farmers-admit-role-in-river-pollution-4368846

  77. Paranormal says:

    DK just because I can’t be bothered wasting my time finding a link, that will yet again prove just how out of touch you are with reality, does not mean that destruction of forestry did not happen prior to the introduction of the ETS. Tens of thousands of hectares of both mature and immature forestry were destroyed – not harvested. You can just have a look at Hansard of the time for evidence.

    Whilst your political bias won’t allow you to remember it, many like Wildwan and me can remember it – and show you the huge tracts of country that are now not in forestry.

  78. JC says:

    Paranormal, you are correct. There was a very big deforestation in the mid noughties to get rid of trees before the first committment of the ETS came into effect.

    MPI’s own deforestation graphs show this clearly as something like 12,000 net was lost in that period and its now slowed down dramatically.. in fact the period from now to 2020 is for only 4000ha per year to be lost.

    MPI surveys for the last few years show little influence of the ETS in decision making, rather its to move into more profitable land uses, joint ventures where forestry rights were granted for one rotation only, a slump in forestry profits from 2003-04 to 2010, soaring land prices and, unmentioned but very significant, the kill off of the climate scam that was started by the 2009 Climategate emails.

    The surveys show that market forces offshore dramatically reduced the value of the carbon credits and thus reduced or killed that potential source of revenue for foresters and farmers here.

    Finally there was here a belated recognition that what Govt put together it could just as quickly pull asunder.. there have been over thirty changes in Govt incentives and disincentives for planting trees since the 1960s and there’s no reason to expect the same wont happen to carbon credits.

    JC

  79. Mr E says:

    Dave,
    It was as expected. Nowhere does that LAWA website say “waterways in pastural environments were seriously degraded”

    You have picked Nitrate out to try and prove that the website does say this. You might call this “cherry picking”, I would guess, because it would be just as easy for someone to look at Dissolved Reactive Phosphate and conclude that 1/3rd of pastoral waterways are improving so the LAWA says ‘waterways in pastoral environments are seriously improving’

    Now I don’t think most people do this and surely I wouldn’t do it either. Nor has LAWA done this. But you have done this Dave. I will call it for what I think it is – D grade politics.

    Regarding your other unusual statistics. The 3 years since 2011:
    Let me give you some facts Dave, from DairyNZ statistics:

    2011/12 Southland Cows -505,743
    2012/13 Southland Cows -532,079
    2013/14 Southland Cows -550,223

    That is 44,480 not 70,000 (that you think is “probably conservative”) and it is certainly not 120,000.

    Then strangely you have begun referring to what a cow produces as waste – making correlations to human waste. Multiplying erroneous statistics with erroneous understands, seemingly in an attempt to attack the Dairy industry.

    Your waste correlations baffle me. I would have thought you would have well understood by now, that what cows produces is nutrient rich, and readily used as manure – fertiliser. Unlike human sewage that is tipped out to sea – or dumped onto to land that becomes relatively useless because of heavy metal contamination.

    I thought this was bread and butter stuff for the Greens. Knowing that effluent is a usable resource rather than waste. It frightens me to think that those who put themselves forward as leaders in environment protection have such a dim view of resources.

    Your writings here really concern me Dave. The cherry picking, the major errors and the poor understandings that you continue to put forward. Seemingly in some attack on agricultural practices.

    Then again, I am sure some readers will worry not. You are a part of a party that has gone nowhere on the vote card, and the same goes in Southland.

    I know a drummer that can entertain crowds for hours, often recognised for ability in the great applause received.
    I have also listened to a 10yr old drummer, who anybody in their right mind would not listen to for more than 5 minutes.

    I guess making a poor job of making noise, is likely to rapidly lose interest.

  80. farmerbraun says:

    Don’t pull your punches Mr E. 🙂

  81. Mr E says:

    Farmer Braun,
    Punches? That is me being polite! Frankly, I am not a punchy kind of guy. I try and write thoughtfully and logically.

    Sometimes I try and use humour to make a point. In this case, I think pointing out the facts has been humorous. I can’t help that.

  82. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E I agree that the words ‘seriously degraded’ were my own but ‘very poor’ quality equates to that to me, as does ‘high concentrations’ of pollutants.

    I accept your statistics on cow numbers, my estimate was based on one year then rounded down as I didn’t find your figures in a search. So instead of the equivalent of over 1 million people, the waste equivalent is the same as 623,000 people instead.

    I also accept the difference between human and cow waste due to the fact of our processed diet, but this is surely negated by the huge volumes produced by the cows and what still happens to our ground water, rivers, lakes and estuaries if it is not managed. Every time it rains Environment Southland advises people to keep out of our rivers because of the high concentrations of pollutants.

    However while I accept your adjusted figures (I never claimed mine were accurate but acknowledged their sources and how I came to those conclusions) it doesn’t change my core arguments.

    I do find your highly emotive style of debating a little concerning and relating me to a ten year old drummer again is just personalising what should be about the facts. You do sound a little hysterical and often come across as if anything that vaguely points the finger negatively at agriculture is some form of heresy. 😉

    Paranormal, JC: “I can’t be bothered wasting my time finding a link”

    This sums up your lazy approach to the facts and if you can’t be bothered to check these things yourself you will just repeat spin and believe it as true. It is a fact that many forests planted around 25 years earlier were mature for harvesting and I would love to see proof of immature forests being felled for nothing because of the possibility of what the ETS may have contained. It actually only takes a minute of too to check these things through a google search 😉

  83. Mr E says:

    Dave,
    Your “very poor” claims, as you have stated them before, relate to the Swimming Suitability Index. This is what MFE say about the sites represented in that index.

    “What sites are chosen for monitoring?

    Councils focus their efforts on routinely sampling sites that are popular for primary contact recreation. Such sites are often lowland sites, close to populated areas and are subject to more pressures. Remote sites are likely to be less popular and less risky – and therefore less likely to be monitored. This means that the network of sites is biased towards sites under more pressure from human activities than if sites were chosen at random across all of New Zealand.”

    Bold – my emphasis.
    The point being – they went out and found sites likely to be degraded. Trying to present this data as representative of NZs water quality is just silly. You should know better.

    Funny that you consider my debating style highly emotive, when you use words like ‘seriously degraded’. And you accuse me of personal attacks and in the next breath accuse Paranormal of a lazy approach to the facts.

    I swear, you seem better at typing than listening, or self assessment.

  84. Dave Kennedy says:

    “they went out and found sites likely to be degraded.”

    No they didn’t, they found sites most likely to be used recreationally. While they are likely to be found near greater levels of human activity remember that urban sites showed the most improvement according to Lawa and the pastural sites were the ones with ‘the highest levels of contamination’. No matter how you look at it those 61% of recreational sites are the ones most of our tourists are likely to want to engage with. Hardly a good selling point for being clean and green. As I said many tourists here are shocked by the number of places that are too polluted to use.

    I would love you to try and explain what is the difference between very poor water quality and seriously degraded water quality?

    You are very easily offended and lacking in self awareness when you compare me to a drummer boy and accuse me of hogwash, poppycock and such like but find the words seriously degraded to describe very poor water quality as emotive…really?

    As for my description of Paranormal being lazy, well how else would you describe someone who admits they can’t be bothered reading my verifying links or looking for support for his own? Perhaps being very casual about his facts and approach to debating may be more more polite?

  85. Mr E says:

    Dave,
    Can you please prove this statement:
    “Every time it rains Environment Southland advises people to keep out of our rivers because of the high concentrations of pollutants. ”

    It is raining and I can’t find any evidence of ES advising me to keep out of the rivers. Or do we call it emotive poppy cock?

  86. Mr E says:

    Dave,

    “This means that the network of sites is biased towards sites under more pressure from human activities”

    More pressure for human activity is not more access by humans. You can’t honestly be reading it that way. Are you?

    ” Hardly a good selling point for being clean and green” If you were selling that to tourists, wouldn’t you compare to other nations monitoring sites. What is the perspective Dave? For all we know 61% on an international scale could be brilliant? Even though we use a World Health Organisation recommended guideline, can you find another country that monitors like this?

    I have seen tourists that are amazed a how we use our water. Asking wont we “get sick if we do that?”

  87. Mr E says:

    So to clarify Dave – Every time it rains Environment Southland don’t tell people to keep out of rivers. Infact they rarely ever do it.

    Your rule of thumb is not even what ES recommend. They say “Our advice is to avoid swimming after heavy rainfall”

    That is not “keep out of rivers after rain”

    I’d say I get sick of correcting you but it makes me laugh most of the time. So sigh away, and I will chuckle away.

  88. Paranormal says:

    DK “This sums up your lazy approach to the facts” – or does it just show your desire is so strong to rewrite history to suit your political agenda. I’m not sure where you were in the mid naughties but to have missed the massive politically driven deforestation is amazing for one with such supposedly Green credentials. “can’t be bothered” equates with I’m busy and this is something that is so obvious it goes without saying.

    You are also guilty of denigrating sources that don’t match your political outlook.

    So in the interests of factual information – have a look at this: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&ved=0CCcQFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mpi.govt.nz%2Fdocument-vault%2F838&ei=ulkrVcP4NILEmAXK04GQAQ&usg=AFQjCNFS46te3M9uzgopG8_4menJTIl5Ug&sig2=v4hhbjOSuQpnB8Kouon0Kg&bvm=bv.90491159,d.dGY

    Have a look at the graph at the top of page 13. The key part is the note: “This does not include immature forest cleared for other uses”. Deforestation in this period was significant. For anyone to claim otherwise is suspect.

    Your contribution to this thread merely reinforces your politically driven agenda, regardless of the facts or outcomes. More typical highly politicised grand sweeping statements with no merit or substance.

  89. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, I was paraphrasing and you are pretty desperate if you want to argue with me on this point. What the hell is the difference between “avoiding swimming after heavy rainfall'” and “keeping out of rivers after rain”, you are being pedantic in the extreme! The fact that you chuckle and laugh while pointing this out is actually a little sad.

  90. JC says:

    “Paranormal, JC: “I can’t be bothered wasting my time finding a link”

    I referred to the MPI Deforestation Survey but didn’t link to it because you already had way up the thread. That reference and my comments are correct and can be seen more directly here..

    http://www.odi.org/sites/odi.org.uk/files/odi-assets/publications-opinion-files/6307.pdf

    Specifically this bit..

    “There has been much discussion about the impact
    of the government’s initial decision to retain forest
    carbon ownership on increasing rates of deforesta

    tion. There has certainly been a noticeable increase
    in deforestation during the time period between the
    announcement of the government intention to retain
    carbon rights and the subsequent decisions made
    by the forest industry.
    Data from 2005 indicate that an estimated 7,000
    hectares of forest harvested in that year would not be
    replanted. The official government report observed
    that a ‘relatively new trend of not replanting for

    est after harvesting, and in a few cases converting
    immature forest to pasture, started on a larger scale
    in 2004’ (Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, 2005).
    The trend increased in the following year to 12,900
    hectares, representing 33% of the annual area har

    vested.
    As shown in Table 4 , deforestation reached a peak
    in 2008 and then declined dramatically after the
    introduction of the ETS. What is less clear is whether
    the decisions over carbon rights directly caused the new trend in deforestation.

    What becomes abundantly clear is that Labour tried to nationalise carbon credits and set in train a massive deforestation that was dramatically slowed by National.

    The people here who have been telling you that they observed this deforestation before the ETS are quite right and further, your own MPI link to deforestation surveys showed that something like two thirds of the deforestation occurred in the Central North Island and indeed I acted as agent for CHH to show investors around one of the cleared sites that had been stumped and grassed after logging in 2005 or 2006. CHH had prepared some 20,000 ha of cleared forest for farming and life style blocks at that time.

    JC

  91. Dave Kennedy says:

    Paranormal, Thanks for that because all it shows is a burst of deforestation from 2005 to 2008, that started well before the ETS was even suggested. This also coincides with a change in land use because of the dairy boom and I see no explanation of what kind of forest was included, was some of it scrub? You are jumping to conclusions. It would be interesting to see how the graph continued over the next three years and if the level of planting dropped away as predicted.

  92. Dave Kennedy says:

    JC, remember that over 80% of forested land in recent times was being converted to dairying and 2005 seems a little early for a reaction to the ETS. I would say changing to a more profitable land use because of the dairy boom is the most likely explanation.

  93. JC says:

    “JC, remember that over 80% of forested land in recent times was being converted to dairying and 2005 seems a little early for a reaction to the ETS.”

    You are ignoring the facts as have been presented..

    ” In 2002, the New
    Zealand Government enacted the Climate Change
    Response Act. This created the legal framework
    whereby the government would meet its obligations
    under the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol, particu

    larly in relation to its commitments to reduce green

    house gas emissions. It was the government’s view
    at the time that all of the benefits, liabilities and
    obligations under the Protocol would be retained by
    the state (Gould et al., 2008). This meant that the
    government retained both the credits and liabilities
    of carbon storage in relation to forests.
    This intention to retain forest carbon rights was
    signalled to the forestry industry in late 2002 and
    was included in a forest industry consultation proc

    ess in late 2005″

    As you’ve been told here by people who observed the early clearfellings prior to the ETS, by myself who was involved in the process, by the MPI link to deforestation on the early deforestation prior to the ETS, my link to the prestigious ODI and Paranormals link to the NZ Institute of Forestry’s facts and figures there was a substantial deforestation of NZ’s exotic forests in the period 2003-08 and a massive decline in deforestation thereafter once once carbon credit rights were restored to forest owners. Refer also to my earlier comment that Govt has been extremely fickle with forestry incentives and disincentives since 1960 as to why forest owners appear to have settled on a modest divestment programme since 2008.. after all, the Govt made two massive changes in forestry policy and incentives in just six years 2002-08.

    JC

  94. Mr E says:

    Dave,
    That is hardly paraphrasing. Let me remind you what you said ““Every time it rains Environment Southland advises people to keep out of our rivers because of the high concentrations of pollutants. ”

    There is nothing in the links you provided that is even close to this meaning. Parts of Southland recieve rain on 275 days of the year. There is no way ES warns people anywhere close to this frequency. Even your suggestion that you are paraphrasing seems wrong. And humorous.

  95. Dave Kennedy says:

    Actually, they do Mr E. I didn’t actually intend to say that, but between December and March they have regular monitoring of popular swimming places and advise people not to swim after rain:
    “Environment Southland regularly monitors 13 marine bathing and seven freshwater bathing sites during summer (December to March). The bathing water quality is assessed according to concentrations of indicator bacteria”
    http://www.es.govt.nz/environment/coast/bathing-waters/

  96. Dave Kennedy says:

    JC, we were initially arguing about the ETS and you have now introduced a new argument related to an earlier policy. You may remember that I also accepted that there may have been some deforestation due to climate policies, but how much was actually due to this is still debatable.

    You may also remember that in those earlier years the price for timber wasn’t that great, I had a friend who managed a saw mill then and he had to lay off staff and times were hard for the industry. For many, as you also explained, it was more economic to clear the land for another more profitable use.

    As I also said it would be interesting to see a graph for the current level of replanting now that carbon credit values have been allowed to drop.

  97. Dave Kennedy says:

    Actually, JC, the report you linked to actually supports what I was saying:
    “This period of deforestation was linked to the relative
    attractiveness of other uses for forestry land – what
    economists term the ‘opportunity cost’.
    The forestry and agriculture sectors in New Zealand
    are driven primarily by export markets. Therefore, the
    economic attraction of alternative land uses, notably
    dairy farming and beef and sheep production, plays
    a significant role in deforestation decisions by landowners.”

  98. TraceyS says:

    This graph presumably counts as “deforestation” the removal of immature trees for land use conversion. Compare it to the graph (based on the same source) that has these figures excluded.

    Clearly the ETS did result in the claimed effects. But so too has land-use competition.

  99. Mr E says:

    Dave,
    “Actually, they do Mr E.” – Advise people not to swim every time it rains?

    What utter nonsense. It is one thing to say an inaccuracy. It is another to keep repeating it in the face of an obvious error.

    Your link doesn’t say every time it rains. Your link says they monitor these areas to report to the public swimming suitability. Regarding rainfall again it says – “by not swimming during and for up to two days after heavy rainfall.”

    There is a very big difference between every times it rains and heavy rainfall here in Southland. Your so called paraphrasing is completely different advice than what ES gives. I think your so called paraphrasing is another example of you trying to beat down the truth about water quality. This time you are targeting Southland. But the cherry picking, error ridden, poor understanding that I think you have presented in this thread seem to be an attempt to beat down NZs water quality.

    What is you motivation, I wonder? Is it that as a representative of the Green Party you are happy to go to great lengths to exaggerate environmental issues for your own goals? Or is it, simply you get some satisfaction out of debating with me, and knowing my interest in water quality, you try and wind me up? 🙂

  100. Mr E says:

    By the way Dave,
    It is worth noting a study conducted by ES in 2013. They monitored 5 of the “very poor” swimming sites in Southland. They investigated what the source of the E coli was. These are the results:

    15/18 samples contained Wild fowl Ecoli
    13/18 samples contained plant decay Ecoli
    6/18 sample contained ruminant Ecoli

    Perhaps when you are discouraging tourists from using our waterways you should point out the main reasons are wild birds and plants. Wouldn’t that be funny for a Green party member to do. 😉

    Perhaps you should also say that as a Nation with water fowl and plants, we will never be rid of swimming site risk -until of course every truffafla tree is gone. Is that what the Greens want?

  101. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey, I agree with your conclusion, the grey area is the proportional influence of each factor. I am unconvinced that the ETS was a major one as has been claimed here and from what i can glean the attractiveness of alternative land use was the dominant influence. The spikes in 2008 and 2011 may not in fact be due to the ETS.

    Mr E, I wonder where those swimming sites were because it is widely accepted that most contamination across Southland’s lowland water systems is due to agricultural related land use.

    You seem to be claiming that our waterways aren’t nearly as bad as I claim and even that wild fowl do more damage than cows. You also argue that I have not properly recognised the improvements in quality. You have suggested that my views on water quality have the potential to damage our international image.

    I am claiming that the on going intensification of farming and the rapid growth in cow numbers has largely negated the progress made by individual farmers in limiting animal waste and fertilizer reaching waterways. While we can debate the number of cows and the amount of waste produced, either way we are talking about substantial volumes. After heavy rainfall (especially when cows are being grazed on Winter crops) our lowland rivers are generally awash with pollutants.

    Practically all fresh water scientists are in agreement that the overall water quality of our lowland rivers, especially through pastural land, is poor to very poor (you take offense at me calling this seriously degraded).

    Here’s what Angus McIntosh, Professor and Mackenzie Foundation Chair in Freshwater Ecology, University of Canterbury, had to say:
    “The need to halt declines in freshwater biodiversity values is critical. The current situation is really quite grim. In a recent survey of small waterways on the Canterbury Plains we have found over 80% are either moderately or severely polluted. For Canterbury urban waterways (pre earthquake), the situation is even worse”.

    And Professor David Hamilton, Bay of Plenty Chair in Lakes Management & Restoration at Waikato University and President of the New Society Freshwater Sciences Society, weighed in with this:
    “Over the past decade or so New Zealanders have witnessed accelerated degradation of many water bodies in response to diffuse nutrients derived mostly from agricultural sources.”

    Even if we have slight improvements in some areas, and I accept that there has been slight improvement in around 20% of sites, the improvement is not great and we still have 80% that are not showing a trend or getting worse.

  102. TraceyS says:

    You may remain unconvinced but:

    “…the key observations I would make from our company dealings with forestry investors, supported by the chart above, is that changes in land use in or out of forest has been closely linked to Government policies on climate change. Note the increased deforestation activity following the announcement of the introduction of an ETS and how it accelerated up to its introduction in 2008. Imposition of a large carbon emissions penalty on 1st January 2008 reversed this trend…” (my emphasis)

    http://woodmatters.pfolsen.com/final/issue057.html

    Listen to the industry, Dave.

  103. Mr E says:

    “I wonder where those swimming sites were because it is widely accepted that most contamination across Southland’s lowland water systems is due to agricultural related land use. ”

    Your ‘widely accepted’ seems flawed based on the data collected by ES.

    Where were the 5 sites?
    Waikaia River at Waikaia
    Mataura at Gore
    Mataura at Riversdale
    Aparima at Thornbury
    Oreti River at Winton Bridge

    The sites of Waikaia and Thornbury were the sites that reported ruminant Ecoli. The rest were birds, and or plant decay.

    “You seem to be claiming that our waterways aren’t nearly as bad as I claim ”

    Correct, you seems to select (cheery pick) negative information and promote it as representative of NZ state.

    “and even that wild fowl do more damage than cows”

    Incorrect. I presented the ES data without mention of Dairy cows. If you have extrapolated that – well done.

    “You have suggested that my views on water quality have the potential to damage our international image. ”

    I think any view that unfairly represents our environment in the media risks damage of our market place. We trade on our image, unfair representation of it is not acceptable in my eyes.

    “While we can debate the number of cows and the amount of waste produced”

    Again with the “waste”. Dave Dave Dave – the Greens will never be considered environmentally responsible while they look at cow effluent as waste. It is a resource and the sooner that is accepted by all parties the sooner it will be fully utilised.

    “Even if we have slight improvements in some areas, and I accept that there has been slight improvement in around 20% of sites, the improvement is not great and we still have 80% that are not showing a trend or getting worse.”

    These are the facts regarding National trends:

    Nutrients – Overall there has been an improvement.

    Phosphate is inarguably improving with 40% site improving and only 11% declining

    Nitrate is no significant change – 22% of sites deteriorating and 25% – the 3 % difference is not significant – MFE have stated that in the past – No significant change.

    Ecoli There has been no significant change – 13% of sites improved but 8% worsened – Again this 5% difference is not significant. MFE have said so.

    Invertebrates There has been no significant change – There was not enough data to conclude a trend. The little that could be reported did not appear positive. But that cant be said with and scientific certainty.

    Swimming Sites A new test has been applied – there is no trend data. No trend can be concluded.

    The only National significant trend that can be scientifically concluded is Phosphate is improving. This is fact. For you to suggest water quality is declining overall is wrong.
    That is not to say things cant be improved just from a trend point of view things are not getting worse.

    From an International point of view, the OECD reported we were great in 2004. “Great” is my word, but I think that modest. Since then, Phosphate has improved and the other items have not changed. This when we have lifted our productivity within the country and on the land.

  104. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey, did you know that when the sales of ice creams are highest there is also an increase in burglaries (there are more burglaries when the weather is fine apparently) and in Europe where there are lots of young babies there are also higher concentrations of storks (family homes tend to have chimneys where storks like to nest). You may very well be right about the impact of the ETS, but unless you can show the proportionality it is mere supposition. There is a lot of evidence to show that alternative land use was probably the main factor as the growth in deforestation also occurred at the same time as dairy prices were climbing steadily.

    Mr E, you continue to debate on interpretation and emphasis when the broad facts are indisputable. The professors that I quoted are representing generally accepted understandings about the quality of our water. Overall it is pretty bad. The fact that there isn’t enough data available yet to discern a trend on many sites is not a defense. Most sites record poor or very poor quality and it is logical that with growing numbers of dairy conversions and growing dairy herds that water quality in most pastural areas will not be improving.

    Repeating the data doesn’t change the fact that overall water quality is poor. Even going by your data, and combining all inputs, 13-22% of sites are improving overall and 78-87% of sites show no trend or are getting worse. 3% more sites are deteriorating than improving. The improvements should be celebrated (especially regarding phosphates) but the general state of our water quality is still pretty bad.

    As for my use of the word ‘waste’, you are correct about different labels, I have also heard it to be referred to as energy leakage when it hits our water systems. Giving something value is a better way of looking at it. However the amount of energy leakage is great and I have been told by a number of sources how overloaded many of our dairy paddocks are with this energy. There is often a layer of ‘green ink’ (one described it as) that covers the ground and stops the natural processes of healthy soil to occur.

    Our pasture based farming should be an asset to our industry but intensification has made it an environmental disaster. Other countries have limited the amount of environmental damage through capturing the effluent in herd homes but this would be counter productive here as there would be no point of difference then for our product.

    http://www.massey.ac.nz/~flrc/workshops/14/Manuscripts/Paper_Pow_2014.pdf

  105. Paranormal says:

    DK you raise the causation / correlation red herring here. Red herring because at the time it was very clear to those with even a peripheral involvement in the area that land owners were acting to secure their property rights. That you refuse to accept it says more about your politics and lack of business understanding than anything else.

  106. Dave Kennedy says:

    Paranormal, Academic surveys have indicated that the opportunity for a more profitable land has been a prominent driver. Your anecdotal evidence shouldn’t be discounted but it is hardly conclusive. I have an open mind and will be convinced with appropriate evidence. You have clearly made up your mind based on your own experience, you may be correct in your assumptions, but when I regard them in the context of your many other wildly unsubstantiated and emotive claims it colours my view. Even the links you and JC have provided support my view above yours. Here is one of them quoted yet again:
    “Therefore, the economic attraction of alternative land uses, notably
    dairy farming and beef and sheep production, plays
    a significant role in deforestation decisions by landowners.”

  107. TraceyS says:

    “Academic surveys have indicated that the opportunity for a more profitable land has been a prominent driver.”

    You should post links to the studies you are referring to because the periods of time covered is critical information given the change in drivers over time.

  108. TraceyS says:

    “Tracey, did you know that when the sales of ice creams are highest there is also an increase in burglaries (there are more burglaries when the weather is fine apparently) and in Europe where there are lots of young babies there are also higher concentrations of storks (family homes tend to have chimneys where storks like to nest).”

    Dave, I had no idea! What useful information!!

    Did you know that when the earth’s average temperature rises, the level of CO2 in the atmosphere follows closely behind?

    And you would have us believe that this is mainly attributable to human activity rather than natural forces – right? But…

    “…unless you can show the proportionality it is mere supposition.”

    Supposition or proof of proportionality, Dave. Which will it be?

  109. Dave Kennedy says:

    Actually, Tracey, although your intentions were mischievous you are actually partly right. As the Northern hemisphere ice melts and the tundra warms, methane is emitted at higher levels. It becomes a vicious circle of man made interference of the atmosphere causing a warming of the planet, which in tern sparks natural processes that warms it further. It is almost a chicken an egg situation except we can actually trace the real origins back to us 😉

  110. TraceyS says:

    The proportions, Dave, what are the proportions?

    I’m not the only one who thinks this information is critical. Is everyone who dares ask this question being mischievous?

  111. TraceyS says:

    “Tracey…you are actually partly right.”

    Which bit of what I wrote was “partly right” and which is “partly wrong”, Dave?

  112. TraceyS says:

    “Proportions”, please Dave, or I shall have to relabel the above chart “Ice creams vs burglaries”.

  113. JC says:

    “Therefore, the economic attraction of alternative land uses, notably
    dairy farming and beef and sheep production, plays

    a significant role in deforestation decisions by landowners.”

    Seeing you introduced a link to the MPI Deforestation Surveys, heres a quote from the 2008 survey:

    “Implementation of the ETS has put several large-scale deforestation projects on hold. The deforestation liabilities (and current commodity prices) are such that conversion is no longer economic. Some land that was harvested in 2008 has been left fallow awaiting the outcome of the ETS review. The 10,000 ha of pre-1990 forest forecast to be deforested between 2008 and 2020 includes: • Residential and lifestyle land of sufficient value to make payment of the deforestation liability affordable. • Dairy conversion necessary to complete some conversion projects commenced prior to 1 January 2008. In some cases the land-owners believe they will be able to convert without any deforestation liability. • Area that will be replanted following harvesting and deforested at age 9 in order to minimise deforestation liabilities.”

    So there’s a direct quote that conversion to dairying was dropped or put on hold due to the ETS making it uneconomic. Also a confirmation that young (9 year old) forests were to be clearfelled or kill sprayed to avoid ETS liabilities.

    Incidentally one of the principle reasons why 2/3rds of the conversions are by large companies in the Central North Island is the product of history, “bush sickness” and cobalt fertilisation.

    Much of the CNI couldn’t be farmed because of cobalt deficiency and these areas were planted to provide employment in the the 30s and to create an exotic forest estate to replace native forest logging and sawmilling.

    By the time cobalt deficiency and aerial topdressing were discovered land that was well suited to dairying was planted in trees to support the new radiata pine industry and its only recently that such land could be returned to farming without compromising log supply to the mills and the export market.

    In this thread there is now a pretty impressive lineup of anecdotal and empirical evidence that its the ETS that has been the main driver of deforestation since the early noughties that only halved once some certainty came into the market in 2008. Profitability of forestry versus dairying is a driver in some cases but equally so is the cost of conversion that would make some dairy conversion uneconomic from 2008.

    You also need to be desperately careful in determining profitability of forestry and dairying. When foresters do an Internal Rate of Return (IRR) for forestry they show land value as a cost.. the higher the cost of land the lower the return for forestry. This means that forestry might give a real return of 4-8%.

    Some of the profitability studies I have seen for dairy treat increasing land value as a capital gain, ie, the IRR of the dairy operation might be 4.5% but the increasing value of land adds a further 4% of value to give a return of 8.5%.

    That isn’t wrong but its not a real rate of return that can be used for comparison.

    JC

  114. TraceyS says:

    Dave:

    “…unless you can show the proportionality it is mere supposition.”

    Supposition it is then.

  115. Dave Kennedy says:

    JC, I’m not sure if we are agreeing or disagreeing now.

    “Implementation of the ETS has put several large-scale deforestation projects on hold.”

    I thought you were claiming it was the ETS, not more profitable land use that was largely driving deforestation, and now you produce support for the ETS actually slowing deforestation down.

    We are still left with conflicting stories of cause but no actual percentages.

    I guess now it comes down to how important we see forests as a carbon sink and if there is enough incentives into the future for retaining and growing them. There won’t be as long as carbon credits have such a low value.

  116. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey, which supports my original argument 😉

  117. farmerbraun says:

    ” There won’t be as long as carbon credits have such a low value.”
    To support that statement Dave , you will have to argue that sequestered carbon has insufficient intrinsic and extrinsic value.
    Given that it is in fact what enables life on this planet , then I think you will struggle , assuming that you want to attempt to make that argument.

    There is far too much food , fuel and fibre in the world , right?

  118. Mr E says:

    Dave,

    The professors that I quoted are representing generally accepted understandings about the quality of our water.

    Both of those Professors did not refer to the overall National water quality Dave. One talked about Canterbury water – specifically some small water ways – and Urban water ways.The other Professor talked about “many” not overall. Who knows how many “many” is. 5 – 6 or 500.
    Trying to use them to infer something about our National state of water quality is misrepresentation Dave.
    Lets add that to the list – cherry picking, major errors, poor understandings and misrepresentation. Your behaviour on this thread amazes me.

    The facts are undisputable. Our best, most recent review of fresh water trend says:
    Phosphate – Improving
    Nitrate – No significant change
    Ecoli – No significant change
    Invertebrates – No significant change (not enough data)
    Swimming sites – Not applicable
    As the Minister has said, ‘water quality was generally improving’.

    Repeating the data doesn’t change the fact that overall water quality is poor. Even going by your data, and combining all inputs, 13-22% of sites are improving overall and 78-87% of sites show no trend or are getting worse.

    You conflate issues Dave. Here you make claims about a poor ‘state’ of water then use ‘trend’ data to try and validate your claims. Clearly that is silly.

    Regarding your trend claims – only a fool would add “no trend” data to “deteriorating” data to try and infer water quality is declining. I hope that is not what you are doing.

    Regarding State , the best international study on water quality is the OECD study. My summary of the 2004 data would suggest we are the best in that study.
    In that study our rivers were ranked 1st, 2nd and 4th for Nitrate.
    In that study our rivers were ranked 4th 5th and 28th for Phosphorous
    In that study our Lake Taupo ranked 1st for Nitrate – Yes Dave, lake Taupo ranked 1st. Beating all other lakes, from Canada, Finland, Swede etc. Not just by a bit, by a country mile.

    You can say our swimming water quality is poor in relation to a health standard (WHO swimming) in sites that were selected for poor quality, that seemingly no other country is using, but in relation to other OECD countries our water quality is great – if not the best..

    So our state,/B> is great in 2004 and we have a trend for overall improvement since then. Brilliant!
    These are the facts Dave. The facts from the best studies we have on our overall picture. They are undeniable.

    NZers – now that we have given you a good slap on the back (I am sure Dave is agreeing with me) how about we fine tune some areas so that we can improve even more. Nitrate in some urban and rural areas needs attention. And we need more information about aquatic species, so that we can ensure they are protected appropriately.
    Work with us on this one, and I reckon we will be not only the best Internationally, but we will protect values that are important to us all for generations to come.

  119. Mr E says:

    sorry I missed quotations in the first sentence and the bold error.

  120. Dave Kennedy says:

    Farmerbraun, you will be aware that the value of a commodity is often determined by deliberate manipulation, often done for commercial gain. Land banking raises the price of land, food commodities can be stored and supply restricted to improve prices and popular fashions are created to increase demand and raise commodity values.These are basic commercial and market realities.

    If one accepts the science around climate change then carbon sequestration is vital and has a very real value in maintaining a stable climate. There is a battle between enlightened governments who want to provide a strong market value for sequestering carbon and powerful industries who don’t want the profits of their polluting industries restricted.

    This Government could have easily created a minimum price for carbon (as some other countries did) but decided instead to allow cheap credits into our local market. By continuing to subsidise polluting industries above the market value it allowed polluting industries to profit from their emissions, courtesy of the taxpayer.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10605697

    The potential for market manipulation of carbon credits for the wrong reasons and a weakening of government resolve in some countries is a real problem for a global carbon credit market. This is why a carbon tax, as the Greens propose, is a simpler and more effective system.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/the-insidious-truth-about-bcs-carbon-tax-it-works/article19512237/

  121. Andrei says:

    If one accepts the science around climate change then carbon sequestration is vital and has a very real value in maintaining a stable climate.

    Dave Kennedy I ws not going to get back intothis conversation because it is frankly inane

    But

    The climate is not stable – it never has been and it never will be.

    The climate is the very archetype of an unstable system mathematically speaking

    And to think that we can bring it into a state of stability through Government Policies is just magical thinking

    And politicians who pretend they can do this are just selling snakeoil

  122. Dave Kennedy says:

    No matter what you say Mr E, the fact of the matter is that most of our lowland rivers are poor to very poor in water quality. The swimming sites were not selected just for their poor quality they were first selected because they were popular for recreation.

    The LAWA site you were promoting did not provide a national median for water quality although it did claim that any improvement in quality was only seen in “the relatively small number of monitored sites in urban areas”. Hardly an endorsement for good progress when the quality is generally poor to very poor.

    http://www.lawa.org.nz/explore-data/freshwater/

    It is important that robust data is available in an accessible way because what i am saying about water quality won’t damage our national image it is information sources such as Wikipedia that will do it. Currently Wikipedia is using 11 year old information to provide a worrying picture of our water health and nothing that you have provided in this thread would significantly change those assessments. There is a good chance things have actually worsened since then.

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

    NIWA is another source of information using nationally collected data through the National Rivers Water Quality Network (NRWQN). Anyone outside New Zealand interested in the scientific assessment of our water quality would probably go to our National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, and this is what it currently has on their site:

    “As New Zealand tries to squeeze maximum value out of its natural resources, conflicts over water are coming to a boil. We’re fast approaching water resource limits in some parts of the country, and pollution issues are threatening our clean, green brand.”

    “There were no statistically significant or meaningful decreases. A ‘meaningful’ trend is one which is statistically significant, with a rate of change greater than 1% per annum, and which is likely to be environmentally meaningful (being perceptible in less than a human lifetime). A ‘significant’ trend is one which is statistically significant at the 95% confidence level, but with a rate of change less than 1% per annum (which is unlikely to be environmentally meaningful). [Note: The first two symbols were swapped in the print version of this map but have been corrected in this online version. The majority of data points showed ‘statistically meaningful increase’. ”

    It ends with this, which supports my initial argument:

    “New Zealand may need to consider rolling back from intensive land use in some catchments where even ‘best practice’ will not be sufficient to meet water quality targets,” says Dr Davies-Colley.

    “One thing is certain: we’re facing some tough decisions over New Zealand’s water resources. More than ever, we need robust science to inform the debate.”

    Mr E, you can spin LAWAs data for all your worth but your voice cannot compete with what is publicly available on recognized sites and from research. Are our freshwater scientists all wrong? is Wikipedia providing information that is completely different from our current state? Is our foremost water science and research body telling porkies? …I think not.

  123. TraceyS says:

    Dave Kennedy at 10:37pm: Then you also need to accept that lack of data about the proportions of various climate change drivers means that many climate change claims are also supposition.

    I think that’s a far bigger issue than whether or not the Government’s climate change policies drove foresters to obliterate young trees – or whether the primary driver was some other factor.

  124. TraceyS says:

    Dave, “Academic surveys have indicated that the opportunity for a more profitable land has been a prominent driver.”

    I’m still waiting to see references to these surveys. Can you please post them in a comment so I can read them.

  125. JC says:

    DK, my comments in this thread have largely been around the area of disputing that conversion of forest land to dairy was mainly a matter of greater
    profitability.. its much more complicated than that.

    What we’ve experienced (but few have acknowledged) is that in the last several decades there’s been a wholesale rationalisation of land use from sheep and trees to dairy, land retirement, shade and shelter, species diversification, tree crops, conservation and some carbon capture.

    A lot of the rationalisation has to do with fixing or in some cases worsening the effects of perverse incentives for forestry and farming which could theoretically have seen a farmer planting dairy quality land, intensifying farming on erosion prone land, planting good quality land in eucalypts to gain a rental that exceeds the net profits from any other form of landuse or retiring productive land in exchange for a free fence on a boundary.

    The ETS is simply a part of this perverse and glorious Buggers Muddle (BM) of competing subsidies, incentives and disincentives.

    If dairying has done one thing its sheer profits have overwhelmed a good chunk of the BM and created a rational pattern of land use and if dairying fails or becomes less important at least there’s a well fertilised, fenced and integrated farm for someone else to have a go at whatever seems to be the flavour of the markets.

    Be all that as it may deforestation should not be seen as bad for the ETS or carbon capture because its just part of the overall advantage of land rationalisation. Rather, those who are keen on carbon capture should get in on the act and start pushing for the next great leap in forestry and land rationalisation, ie the tussock lands especially in the Sth Island.

    There’s something like 7 million hectares of tussock land and a good part of that used to be low forest.. if its left ungrazed it comes back not in grass all the time but in woody vegetation.. the land is telling you what it is capable of if the right tree species are chosen. One of those species in Douglas fir, already a resounding success story on a number of the big high country stations. In the warmer Nth Island D fir carries only about 3 years of needles but in the tussock lands the cooler temps carry up to 8 years of needles, ie, less disease and better growing conditions. Plant several million ha of that and you’ll get a 100 plus years crop with a number of viable commercial thinnings.

    JC

  126. Mr E says:

    Dave,

    “The swimming sites were not selected just for their poor quality they were first selected because they were popular for recreation.”

    But there can be no argument, because they were in part selected for low quality characteristics, they cannot be used to summarise NZs water quality. We have to agree on this basic basic premise, surely!

    Let me repeat the LAWA data that describes trends:

    Phosphate improving 40% – 11% declining

    Nitrate improving 22% – deteriorating 25%

    Ecoli improving 13% – 8% deterioration

    Invertebrates No change – not enough data

    That is not spin – that is the LAWA website data.
    A blind mouse would read that as largely positive information. It is the best we have. Read it and interpret it like any logical person would. Then I encourage you to celebrate.

    The NIWA data and opinions you referred to …. that was 2010. It is out of date Dave given the LAWA data is more thorough, and actually up to date and delivering a different message.

    Quoting that as relevant does increase my list of your behaviours here.
    Cherry picking, major errors, poor understandings, misrepresentation and out of date.

  127. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, the point that I have continuously tried to make is that the overall state of our water isn’t good. Water quality has actually deteriorated since the 2004 figures Wikipedia used and LAWA claimed that the only significant improvement was in a few urban sites. It is only your interpretation of the data that convinces you that our water quality is fine and we are making good progress.

    The only thing we can really celebrate is an improvement in phosphate contamination, but even then 60% of sites show no trend or decline. Once trends can be established it is unlikely that more sites will show improvement than otherwise.

    It is you who is continually trying to isolate data to try and give an overall impression of improvement while ignoring the poor general state we have actually reached.

    NIWA is our most significant national scientific authority on water quality and if you contacted them today and asked for a current overview of New Zealand’s water quality I can guarantee that what they would say would be very similar to what is publicly available at the moment.

    There is no conspiracy to make us look worse than we are and if there was any general trend that showed significant improvement, then they would be celebrating that. However, there is a concerted effort to spin the overall state of our water in a more positive way to enable greater intensification of dairying and you are determinedly supporting that.

  128. Dave Kennedy says:

    “The climate is not stable – it never has been and it never will be.”

    Andrei, I guess it depends how you look at climate. Weather patterns can vary greatly but climate generally fits within predictable parameters. Most climate scientists have predicted that those parameters will become much wider and less hard to predict if carbon in the atmosphere exceeds 350 parts per million. It has already exceeded 400 and weather patterns are becoming more extreme and the climate parameters are widening all over the world. Even our Government is saying that the droughts we are experiencing are part of a new normal that ccould be attributed to man made climate change.

    We are rapidly shifting from a state of fairly predictable global climates to one of increasing unpredictability.

    “I’m still waiting to see references to these surveys. Can you please post them in a comment so I can read them.”

    Tracey, here is a reference to it in a Herald article and I tried to provide a link to the actual document and it wouldn’t work. A Google search can quickly find it and you can download the pdf to read it.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/element-magazine/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503340&objectid=10886741

  129. Dave Kennedy says:

    JC, you make some interesting points and I agree that the ETS was always a flawed way of managing emissions and encouraging sequestration. Giving timber a higher value would indeed help, especially if we encourage greater use of timber in our construction industry where the use of steel and concrete is carbon intensive and we have an abundance of an alternative resource. I would also suggest that there is potential value in farmed native timbers too. Kauri actually grows quite quickly further north (if we can sort out the dieback) and produces the best sounding musical instruments when 15-20 year old trees are used. http://www.songofthekauri.com/about-the-film/

  130. Andrei says:

    Weather patterns can vary greatly but climate generally fits within predictable parameters.

    Ever heard of the Younger Dryas Dave Kennedy?

    Happened about 10,000 years ago

    I guess if the Green Party had been around then they could have come up with a policy to prevent it

    What do you think?

  131. Andrei says:

    Dave Kennedy – weather patterns never repeat, ever!

    Each weather event is a unique circumstance that will be never ever be seen again –

    Similar things may occur, similar enough that predictions may be made as the weather systems develop but experience should tell you that these predictions are often wrong.

    Human history is littered with weather related castrophes – locally Cyclone Bola and the Wahine Storm.

    There were devasting floods in China that killed maybe 4 million people in 1931 – the circumstances that led to these built up over several years and what are effectively random events conspired to bring about catastrophe

    We can look at these circumstances ex post facto but before it happens we are in the dark.

    Even something like Hurricane Katrina which was closely monitored as it developed remained unpredictable as to whether it would fizzle out or hit land untill mere hours before it struck and where it would make landfall remained unknown until just before it hit and in fact wasn’t fully identified until after the event.

    This is the nature of the beast Dave Kennedy – we can’t change it we have to roll with the blows

    Wyoming or Taupo could explode tomorrow and then its a whole new ball game and everything we think we have planned for comes to nought

  132. Mr E says:

    Dave
    the point that I have continuously tried to make is that the overall state of our water isn’t good

    It is obvious your are trying to make that point. I think you’re doing a really bad point.

    When it comes to state you seem to want to use the Swimming data. Which clearly is not a fair representative of water quality. Given you’ve ignored my points about that – I am wondering if you agree.

    Water quality has actually deteriorated since the 2004 figures Wikipedia used and LAWA claimed that the only significant improvement was in a few urban sites

    No it hasn’t (water deteriorated) and no LAWA have not claimed that the only significant improvement is water quality is a few urban sites. That is a blatant lie. If I was a LAWA author, I would be fuming at you. To illustrate how stupid your claim is, you cant claim 40% has improved in phosphate, and the only significant improvement is Urban, when Urban only makes up less than 1%.

    It is you who is continually trying to isolate data to try and give an overall impression of improvement while ignoring the poor general state we have actually reached.

    I haven’t isolated data. Regarding trends I have presented it pretty much as LAWA has. Again here is the link. Anyone can scan down look at the graph and draw their own conclusions.

    http://www.lawa.org.nz/explore-data/freshwater/

    This is a fair summary. I am sure you will agree.

    Phosphate improving 40% – 11% declining

    Nitrate improving 22% – deteriorating 25%

    Ecoli improving 13% – 8% deterioration

    Invertebrates No change – not enough data

    And I haven’t ignored state. I have presented it as the OECD have presented it. As some of their best data. Possible the best. You might hate to hear that we are great compared to OECD countries I don’t.

    NIWA is our most significant national scientific authority on water quality and if you contacted them today and asked for a current overview of New Zealand’s water quality I can guarantee that what they would say would be very similar to what is publicly available at the moment.

    What is “publically available” – you mean the LAWA web site. Where are as Amy Adams put it ” the reports showed that overall concentrations of nutrients and bacteria were either stable or improving at most monitored sites, and that water quality was generally improving”.

    There is no conspiracy to make us look worse than we are

    No what we have is a Green Party member who is determined on promoting cherry picking, major errors, poor understandings, misrepresentation and out of date information to make our water quality look worse than it actually is. That is sad when a party promoting principles, uses such tactics. Now days we don’t call that conspiracy, sadly people tend to accept it as the norm from the greens.

  133. Paranormal says:

    Forget Wyoming or Taupo Andrei. When White Island goes up it could be catastrophic if sea water enters the caldera and ‘plugs’ the erupting volcano. It will take out most of the North Island. Perhaps we should introduce a Sulphur tax to make sure it never happens?

    DK – “climate generally fits within predictable parameters” so why is it so unpredictable? Fitzroy only invented weather 150 or so years ago.

    So when the dinosaurs were around, what fossil fuels were they burning to have such high concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere? Why didn’t that keep the planet warm to avoid their extinction. Maybe they didn’t have enough fossil fuels to burn (young planet at the time n all)?

    Actually the climate parameters are not ‘widening all over the world’ DK. The last few years have been much more stable. All part of the normal multi decadal cycle.

  134. Dave Kennedy says:

    “Ever heard of the Younger Dryas Dave Kennedy?”

    Yep, it sounded pretty horrible. We can’t control natural events like being hit by meteorites or having major volcanoes erupt but we can control the carbon we put into the atmosphere. If you accept the majority of the science then we can make our future lives and those of future generations more comfortable by taking action. If you are a skeptic or denier then doing nothing and trying to adapt to some pretty extreme conditions and much potential suffering will be the senario

    I care about my kids and potential grandkids, support the 97% of scientists and would rather we were more proactive 😉

  135. Mr E says:

    Paranormal.

    “Perhaps we should introduce a Sulphur tax to make sure it never happens?”

    Funny stuff.

    I wonder it Dave has worked out what his household carbon usage is? I doubt he has because he seems to refer to his carbon usage as “probably” lower than average.

    My household carbon useage – just over 5 tonnes. By way of perspective the reported average American household is 50 tons.

    If I looked my life and what I have planted to offset that, the 5 tons per annum has been mopped up and some. Making me Carbon negative. I’m in the green.

    For most people 5 tonnes is not impossible. But I live a different existence to most.

    If we don’t have politicians who account for their own carbon formally, can we really take their calls for a carbon tax seriously?

  136. Dave Kennedy says:

    “No it hasn’t (water deteriorated) and no LAWA have not claimed that the only significant improvement in water quality is a few urban sites. That is a blatant lie.”

    Sigh…Under “Summary: New Zealand’s national river condition,
    Overall picture”

    “Overall, the majority of the sites monitored for various water quality attributes showed no evidence of a trend.”

    “However, water quality at the relatively small number of monitored sites in urban areas is generally improving. Urban streams make up less than one per cent of the total length of New Zealand’s rivers.”

    That is a direct quote and the ‘However’ comes after explanations of the general lack of significant trends elsewhere, only in 1% of the total showed an overall positive trend.

    There is no other possible way of interpreting this! Your accusation of me lying when you must have read this shows just how desperate and blinkered you are! Apology?

    http://www.lawa.org.nz/explore-data/freshwater/

    I have little confidence in anything that Amy Adams spins since the Government’s agenda is to limit independent scientific reviews attack the likes of scientist Mike Joy and continue with dairy intensification. Her’s is a political view, I will stick with NIWA and our freshwater scientists and what I understand form your wonderful LAWA site.

  137. Paranormal says:

    DK – you’re linking to old and incorrect data again – 2011. Maybe you should update your information?



    Spot the trend?

    I also care about my children and their children. Which is why I want to protect them from your politically motivated climate lies that will destroy their future options. And please spare us from your call to higher authority 97% made up figures.

  138. Dave Kennedy says:

    Paranormal, it is the sum of all parts that gives strength to climate science, you really do need to read the Merchants of Doubt 😉 http://www.merchantsofdoubt.org/

  139. TraceyS says:

    Dave, from your link:

    “The recently released ‘Deforestation survey 2012’ showed that 62,000 hectares of forest will be, or have been, chopped down between 2008 and 2020. The survey shows that 86 percent of these areas will be converted to dairy farms.

    Have a look at the data tables from the 2014 Deforestation Survey:
    http://www.mpi.govt.nz/news-and-resources/statistics-and-forecasting/forestry/

    Notice the changes in Table 9.2: Planted production forest area in New Zealand:

    Between 2005 and 2014 the area planted in forest reduced by 65,000ha (-3.6%). Of that reduction, 60,000ha occurred between the years 2005 to 2009. And just 5,000ha occurred between the years from 2009 to 2014.

    Compare that to effective dairy hectares:
    http://www.dairynz.co.nz/media/1327583/nz-dairy-statistics-2013-2014-web.pdf (page 7)

    Between 2005 to 2009 the area increased by 35%. And 2009 to 2013 increased by 65%.

    What conclusions could you draw from these numbers?

  140. Paranormal says:

    Ah I see DK – its not about the evidence.

  141. TraceyS says:

    “In 2004, Naomi Oreskes performed a survey of all peer reviewed abstracts on the subject “global climate change” published between 1993 and 2003. She surveyed the ISI Web of Science database, looking only at peer reviewed, scientific articles. The survey failed to find a single paper that rejected the consensus position that global warming over the past 50 years is predominantly anthropogenic. 75% of the papers agreed with the consensus position while 25% made no comment either way (eg – focused on methods or paleoclimate analysis).”

    So what proportion is man-made vs natural, Dave? Remember we have agreed that “…unless you can show the proportionality it is mere supposition.”

    Is it 51% or 99%?

    Please answer accurately. I care about my kids’ future too.

  142. Mr E says:

    Dave,
    Here are the prior sentences you conviently left out.
    “Rivers and streams in (or downstream of) urban areas tend to have the poorest water quality (the highest concentrations of nutrients and bacteria, and lowest macroinvertebrate community index (MCI) scores).

    However, water quality at the relatively small number of monitored sites in urban areas is generally improving. Urban streams make up less than one per cent of the total length of New Zealand’s rivers.”

    And just so you know there is a massive difference between a significant trend and a general trend. Significance infers a statistically proven trend. General does not.

    “Apology?” Yes I think you should.

  143. Dave Kennedy says:

    No Mr E, I do have a reasonable grasp of written English and the crucial sentence was in a separate paragraph and referred to the overall assessment. It was not directly connected to the last sentence of the paragraph above. That is why they specifically referred to the fact that urban streams made up only 1% of the total.

    The opening sentence was also crucial:
    “Overall, the majority of the sites monitored for various water quality attributes showed no evidence of a trend”

    In reference to the difference between ‘significant’ and ‘general’ in the context that I was using them it doesn’t matter one jot!

  144. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey, your 11 year old research has probably dated a little, but I am happy to accept her findings that there is at least a 75% consensus “that global warming over the past 50 years is predominantly anthropogenic”. The fact that she found no rejection was also telling.

    The consensus is considerably greater now but even at 75% would be cause for action to me.

    Thanks for that 🙂

  145. Dave Kennedy says:

    Paranormal, it’s is not about just two graphs as evidence (and their original context is unknown) to disprove the vast amount of collective science, hence my link to the book 😉

    Just one example to deal with just one of your random graphs: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v455/n7209/abs/nature07234.html

  146. TraceyS says:

    Dave, I am not interested in the “consensus”. The consensus is pretty useless without the proportions (ie, natural : man-made). You’ve said it yourself.

    “Your anecdotal evidence shouldn’t be discounted but it is hardly conclusive. I have an open mind and will be convinced with appropriate evidence.” Heard that before?

    Now, I have attempted to provide some proportional information around deforestation. Perhaps you would care to comment on this? It’s a more complicated picture than it appears (as JC said above). But this must pale when compared to the complication involved in assessing climate change drivers and associated proportions.

  147. Paranormal says:

    And look what your dated link has shown DK – absolutely that AGW theory did not indicate the actual outcome.

    The 2008 paper you link to shows that yes – as the graph shows, there was a 30 year increase in ACE. But then look what happens in the ACE graph post 2008. A significant downwards trend – totally in line with the multidecadal cycle, and completely at odds with AGW theory. Remind me again what CO2 concentrations were doing in this period?

    Still good on you for sticking to your religion no matter what the evidence shows.

  148. farmerbraun says:

    Dave says:-
    “it is the sum of all parts that gives strength to climate science, ”

    which conveniently ignores the critical fact that it is the parts which are missing that consign AGW to mere speculation.

    We cannot test the hypothesis that AGW exists since , because we do not have a unified general theory of climate regulation, we can never falsify the null hypothesis. That is quite fatal.

    We have tried to construct models of the climate , in order to establish a correlation between atmospheric CO2 and global av. temp, but so far that too has been in vain.

    And thirdly we do not know what portion, if any , of the rise in atmospheric CO2 , is due to anthropogenic emissions. We do not have an accurate measurement of carbon fluxes and sinks.

    If you can show that I am wrong on any of those points , then please provide the evidence.

    Or if the logic is faulty , then please point out where it fails .

  149. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey, you are right, they are quite different situations. With climate change there is no proportional aspect that can be easily be determined. The climate ‘forcings’ can be determined but the related effects on climate and the percentage of those over natural causes can be difficult to determine because of the complexity of our natural environment. For instance while global air temperatures plateaued for a few years it was the oceans that warmed instead. http://data.giss.nasa.gov/efficacy/

    With deforestation it can be precisely determined by asking those involved why they behaved in the way they did. The surveys I have linked to showed it was more profitable land use that dominated decisions in most cases. Although I accept that uncertainty over climate policy was a factor, but a minor one.

  150. Dave Kennedy says:

    “the parts which are missing that consign AGW to mere speculation.”

    Farmerbraun, The crucial elements are not debatable, increased GHGs changes the way our atmosphere operates and increases global temperatures. The effects of this on the planet beneath is more complex and less easy to accurately predict. Climate models become more accurate the more information can be fed into them, they don’t produce false data, just results according to the inputs that determine them. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2014/jul/21/realistic-climate-models-accurately-predicted-global-warming

  151. TraceyS says:

    “With climate change there is no proportional aspect that can be easily be determined.”

    Supposition it is then!

    If you are at all capable of applying consistent thinking then you must agree…

  152. TraceyS says:

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn27347-dutch-government-taken-to-court-over-climate-change.html#.VS42usuJiB0

    “Urgenda is suing the Dutch government on behalf of some 900 citizens, including children. The suit claims that the government’s action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is insufficient, and is therefore “knowingly exposing its own citizens to dangerous situations”.

    “Some 900” out of 6,300,000 citizens. That’s representing 0.014% of Dutch citizens.

    We can only hope that they don’t succeed!

  153. TraceyS says:

    “Urgenda is arguing that the Dutch government has acted unlawfully by not “contributing its proportional share” to prevent global warming, breaking Dutch human rights and tort laws. The foundation hopes its lawsuit can set a precedent for citizens the world over to use existing laws to pressure their governments to act on climate change. Global warming of more than 2 degrees Celsius, Urgenda argues, “will lead to a violation of fundamental human rights worldwide.”

    Proportional share of an unknown quantity. Dave should line up to give evidence!

  154. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey, the evidence has already been presented and countries have made their commitments. The court action may be a useful way of properly revealing why the UN convention made the recommendations it did and why Governments are not fully supporting them.

    Andrei and Tracey, worthwhile watching to the end, it may fill in gaps for you: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-32300214

  155. Dave Kennedy says:

    oops, wrong link above. That one was supposed to follow the first paragraph, this is the video 😛 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hCRafyV0zI

  156. TraceyS says:

    “The court action may be a useful way of properly revealing why the UN convention made the recommendations it did and why Governments are not fully supporting them.”

    You seem to be supporting the use of the courts for political purposes Dave.

  157. Andrei says:

    Why do I bother – Dave Kennedy in the 1970s Stephen Schneider was promising us an ice age based of the fact that there was a cooling trend between the 1930s ( the dust bowl era recall) and the early 1970s

    But just as he got that scare underway the trend reversed itself so he flipped to global warming

    And that is the point take any two arbitary years as your starting point plot the average temperature calculated however you want and draw a line using least squares interpolation and the temperature will be either increasing or decreasing depending on where you start and where you end your time series.

    You a clearly totally innumerate and mathematics beyond 2+2=4 obviously bamboozals you so continuing this discussion is an exercise in futility.

    Europe might be getting greener but it is also getting redder with blood of innocent people being spilled in ever greater quanties while the clouds are darkening and the dogs of war gathering.

    I cannot believe this thread has gone to over 150 comments as our young people depart to add to the chaos and catastrophe and human misery that is Iraq, an event that passes without comment.

    We are headed towards a much greater catastrophe than a supposed sea level rise measured in less than a millimetre a decade but what the fuck

    You sir are clueless

  158. TraceyS says:

    LOL Dave – your link. In it he said we must stay away from analogies and within minutes launches into one about the family budget to explain the carbon cycle and shortly after a bathtub analogy.

  159. TraceyS says:

    Another one…ocean and soda-pop! Yes, Dave, I’m filling a few gaps in my analogy repertoire.

  160. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey, obviously to you that particular scientist has no credibility and anything he says must therefore be nonsense (obviously a bad choice from me).
    Try this one then:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QqPuKxXUCPY
    Or this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DqUqHgcgX7o
    Or perhaps this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zj3metY0pH0

    😉

  161. Dave Kennedy says:

    “We are headed towards a much greater catastrophe than a supposed sea level rise measured in less than a millimetre a decade but what the fuck”
    Andrei, we agree about the stupidity of this war, however for those who accept the majority science view (please watch the videos above) the time for action to stop even more human suffering in the decades ahead, we need to act on climate change now!

    If you believe I am clueless then so is NASA , most national science institutions, many corporates outside the fossil fuel industry (Apple, Google etc), most governments and even the Catholic Church: http://catholicclimatecovenant.org/catholic-teachings/bishops/

    You need to ask yourself who is opposing all of these institutions. It will be an interesting list and when studied closely you will often find the oil industry (containing the wealthiest companies in the world) is a major funder. The Merchants of Doubt!

    Can you find others not on this list?
    http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/solutions/fight-misinformation/global-warming-skeptic.html#.VS5od5SUdRA

  162. Willdwan says:

    NASA are a bureaucracy that no longer has a purpose, trying to justify their existence. You will note their former astronauts are vocal AGW skeptics.

    The Catholic Church…giggle, how desperate can you get? If ever you needed proof that AGW was nothing but religion and leftist politics, that would be it.

  163. Andrei says:

    Dave Kennedy I apologize for calling you clueless, intemperate of me

    The Catholic Church has not endorsed your view of Global warming what your link leads to is various statements made by American Catholic Bishops over the years.

    And if you want to use them as a source of authority you should also heed of their views on abortion and “gay marriage”

  164. Paranormal says:

    Dk you just can’t help yourself can you. You provide outdated links and information trying to shore up your religious belief in the catastrophe that can only be averted by joining the one true religion.

    As an example at 7.54 you try to bring out the old chestnut that the oceans sucked up the warming the air was supposed to take. Just to prove Wildwan correct and show just how political and dysfunctional NASA is here’s their release saying the oceans haven’t warmed: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2014/06oct_abyss/

    Hansen et al, being the participants in Climategate, have been thoroughly discredited. I guess if you don’t want evidence based policy then you’ll carry on with your Gorebull Warming charade.

  165. Paranormal says:

    As an interesting aside here’s an article from the latest AM Best magazine about computer modelling and how it is being inadvertently misused by insurers & reinsurers:
    http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/d4a8a5ab#/d4a8a5ab/23

    Change ‘insurer’ for ‘climate scientist’ (or Green activist for that matter) and see how it fits.

  166. Dave Kennedy says:

    Andrei, point taken about the Catholic Church endorsement, but it is still fact that many Christian organisations have supported the climate science and have concerns about the inequitable burden that will result from climate change.

    It is also a fact that most governmental and scientific institutions are in agreement about climate science and what should be done. I provided a link that lists the largest institutions (not individuals or random websites) that are skeptical about the science and most can be connected to the oil industry. Many of them also supported the tobacco industry in trying to prove that second hand smoke was safe. You haven’t come up with any argument to counter this other than repeating nonsense like Climategate that these corrupt organisations invented and has been easily discredited.

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

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

    Your theory that most climate scientists and all the institutions I have listed are all part of a conspiracy to make money out of a myth is clearly nonsense. There are very few rich climate scientists and the organisations that are fighting climate science are dripping with fossil fuel finance. It is obvious whose interests are best served by throwing doubt into the science. Tim Grocer and Nick Smith must also be part of this conspiracy as are all the political parties in NZ other than ACT (which got less than 1% at the last election).

    Paranormal, you need to properly read your own material:
    “Using satellite measurements and climate simulations of sea level changes around the world, the new study found the global ocean absorbed far more heat in those 35 years than previously thought — a whopping 24 to 58 percent more than early estimates.”

    Comparing climate modeling with insurance models is also a non-argument unless you can produce credible motives for climate scientists to create false models.

  167. Mr E says:

    Dave,
    “I do have a reasonable grasp of written English and the crucial sentence was in a separate paragraph and referred to the overall assessment”

    I think it is possible and actually likely you do have a good grasp of English. But in this I think you are misreading the summary. In fact I think it is blatantly obvious you have got it wrong.

    The summary is made up largely of trends.
    Total Phosphorous, DRP, Ecoli, Nitrate nitrogen, then Macro invertebrates. In those discussions the Author described trends. The most obvious one was the Phosphate trend.

    Then the Author changes tact quite drastically and introduces State – and not an overall state of any contaminant – the state of Urban waterways. And in that comment paints a bad picture. The Urban areas tend to be the worst for all contaminants.
    The very next paragraph is a “However”. A reprieve for Urban areas who, although tend to be the worst, are generally (not significantly) improving.

    When it comes to land class, and a small data set like urban sites it is very difficult to prove significant overall trends. Water quality can fluctuate highly, mean a lot of data trending in the same direction is need to prove a significant trend.

    Previous Authors like Larned et al 2004 writing a scientific paper on the NRWQN have put caveats on land class data conclusions because there is not enough data to draw significant conclusions.

    Regarding your comment
    “In reference to the difference between ‘significant’ and ‘general’ in the context that I was using them it doesn’t matter one jot!”

    No Dave you were saying
    “LAWA claimed that the only significant improvement was in a few urban sites.”

    When in fact LAWA claimed “water quality at the relatively small number of monitored sites in urban areas is generally improving”

    LAWA never claimed a significant trend. They claimed a general trend.

    You can dance on the head of a pin all you like but I think you are wrong.

  168. Dave Kennedy says:

    Oh dear Mr E, it is only you who is dancing on the head of a pin. LAWAs ‘overall picture’ of our waterways started with the introductory sentence:

    “Overall, the majority of the sites monitored for various water quality attributes showed no evidence of a trend” and this is from a generally poor base. All freshwater scientists that I am aware of describe the majority of our lowland rivers as being in a ‘poor’ to ‘very poor’ state.

    The concluding sentence in the ‘overall picture’ statement was an obvious attempt to end on a positive note and referred to where there was some improvement (we can debate the difference between ‘general’ and ‘significant’ until the cows come home – pun intended-but it doesn’t alter my point, just the extent) and that was in the urban areas. LAWA then added perspective by also stating it only involved 1% of the total.

    I guess we may have to wait for another 5 years or so to detect some evidenced trends, but if river quality had shown marked improvement in even the last few years then that would have been noted.

    We can celebrate a drop in phosphorus levels and the improvement in 1% (nitrogen levels overall have become slightly worse), but otherwise there is little to crow about. Our lowland rivers are in a poor state, native fish within them are steadily nearing extinction and you probably need to read this book:
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11382739

  169. Gravedodger. says:

    What a thread, I am endeavouring to follow it but IMHO it will all be rather moot if Europe does not get its excrement collected around Islam.

    That shadow is already seriously threatening, and with that threat of the over population and accompanying outcomes of a bunch of new settlers who wish to transfer the cesspits they escaped from to Europe it will matter little what colour it is on any maps.

    But don’t let me interfere, it is a serious encompassing of science , pseudo science and beliefs much of which will only be settled, if ever, by the passing of time.

    Makes sense though why debates are so structured around content and time slots.

  170. Dave Kennedy says:

    “much of which will only be settled, if ever, by the passing of time.”

    A true statement, Gravedodger, but we may rue lost opportunities if the settled state is not as we would have liked.

  171. Mr E says:

    Wow,
    You have really read that with your Green Party glasses on.

    If you read more of the website you would realise that the conclusion you have come to is wrong. The Authors have not claimed the only significant change that has occurred is Urban.

    Your own argument kind of undoes itself – why would they claim it as significant if it is 1%.

    Take DRP for example – Urban waterways represent 0.4% of NZs water way improving. Whereas pastoral represent a 6% net improvement. I can cite many other examples, where Urban improvements have had a relatively unimportant impact. Yet you say LAWA claim it is the only “significant” improvement. That is an utterly ridiculous statement to anyone that has spent time looking further into the website.

    Actually the difference between significant and general is important. Squirm on that all you want – LAWA didn’t claim a “significant” trend, has you said they have. There is a vast difference when applying those terms to scientific data as you have. Even if you have not intended to mislead – you have.

  172. Dave Kennedy says:

    Ditch the word ‘significant’, I only used it to emphasise that the only improvement worth noting was in a few urban sites (1%). If that is the only thing you want to argue about now then let it go, I don’t care.

    We were discussing the overall assessment of our national water quality and the only statement on the LAWA site regarding this is the one we are debating. I am using their words that were obviously carefully thought through and must reflect the broad analysis of the data.

    It was you who claimed that LAWA was the ultimate source on the state of our rivers and now you appear to be arguing that their overall assessment is wrong. You are now reduced to arguing a minor point, that I don’t actually care about.

    Perhaps you now agree with me that we need a full independent analysis of the quality of our rivers at least every five years.

  173. Paranormal says:

    Sooo DK – Nasa haven’t contradicted themselves – even though the article says it clearly:
    “found the ocean abyss below 1.24 miles (1,995 meters) has not warmed measurably.”
    And
    “The temperature of the top half of the world’s oceans — above the 1.24-mile mark — is still climbing, but not fast enough to account for the stalled air temperatures.”

    Also do you really think there is that much difference in computer models? You need to learn a little bit more about models so you can actually understand what you are talking about. Do you really think that modellers would intentionally create false models?

    The article was apropos when you consider the climate models are so far from reality and only getting wider of the mark every day.

  174. TraceyS says:

    “Tracey, obviously to you that particular scientist has no credibility…”

    No Dave, actually I wasn’t thinking that at all. I’m sure that he does have some credibility. But wouldn’t it be more appropriate to describe him as an engineer?

    I wonder, do you appreciate the irony in what he was saying?:

    “…you have to be very careful not to make an analogy by saying that what happened in the past is caused by the same things that are happening now.”

    “…what we try to do is look at the wide range of evidence and that we don’t use analogies…”

    So we can not make an analogy between past and future climate conditions but we can make an analogy between the climate and the water in a present-day bathtub? Between the ocean and a glass of carbonated beverage? How ridiculous!

    What he really needed to say, in order to gain my acceptance, was that we can’t make an analogy between past, present, and future climates because we do not know enough about any of them!

    Interestingly, the only person from the audience to change position was convinced by one of the ridiculous analogies which greatly oversimplified things! What you’ve got there is someone ascribing to the analogised version of climate science which will almost certainly turn out to be wrong. Wouldn’t you expect masses of people to feel incredibly let down when that version doesn’t play out?

  175. TraceyS says:

    Apparently the pause in surface warming has a “probability of less than 1 per cent”.

    What would be the chances of a 1% event occurring just now while there happens to be a hot climate change debate going on in the world?

    Begs the question – will this 1% event be like all those 100-year floods that seem to occur with relative frequency?

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn27012-burst-of-warming-may-end-lull-in-rising-temperatures.html#.VS8V4JN7-2U

  176. Dave Kennedy says:

    “found the ocean abyss below 1.24 miles (1,995 meters) has not warmed measurably.”
    Yep, 1.24 miles is very deep and the warming didn’t penetrate that far but the 1.24 miles above that (most of the ocean probably) did warm. http://www.nature.com/news/climate-change-the-case-of-the-missing-heat-1.14525

  177. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey you have over simplified this, and I’m not sure of your point. This is what was actually said:

    “It a small consolation then that rapid warming could still be a few years away. Although 20-year hiatuses were quite uncommon in the models – having a probability of less than 1 per cent – they were not unlikely when a hiatus has already lasted for 15 years, like the one we’re living through now. In that case, they continued to 20 years about 15 per cent of the time.”

  178. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey, It is saying is that the pause is unlikely to continue (1% chance) and we are likely to experience a period of rapid warming again. Last year was the warmest since records began, so it looks as if the pause has already ended. http://www.nasa.gov/press/2015/january/nasa-determines-2014-warmest-year-in-modern-record/

  179. Mr E says:

    Dave,

    Ditch the word ‘significant’, I only used it to emphasise that the only improvement worth noting was in a few urban sites (1%).

    Funniest sentence ever – Despite a net 29% improvement in DRP – the only trend worth noting is less than 1% of NZs waterways trend at the urban sites.

    Brilliant. You Greens make me laugh. Your assessment of data – stunning.

    Now oddly you are trying to infer the LAWA data is not useful, because we have been distracted dealing with your misunderstandings. Phooey. Your errors have nothing to do with the value of the LAWA website.

  180. TraceyS says:

    “Tracey, It is saying is that the pause is unlikely to continue (1% chance)…”

    Not it isn’t, Dave. There is up to a 25% chance of it extending to a 20-year hiatus. You have clearly misread my link! Why does that not surprise me given your above dialogue with Mr E?

    “Met Office Hadley Centre in the U.K. used an ensemble of climate models to find the probability of a 10-year hiatus driven by natural variability to be about 10 percent, and only 1 percent for a 20-year hiatus. But given the 15-year hiatus that’s already here, the chance it could extend to 20 years is between 0 and 25 percent, with a best estimate of 15 percent.
    http://www.yaleclimateconnections.org/2015/03/top-lessons-to-be-learned-from-warming-hiatus/

    So, if you understand what “probability” means, this hiatus (if it extends to 20 years) is a 1% chance event.

    Don’t you find it to be a very strange (some might say ‘inconvenient’) coincidence that this rare event seems to be occurring right now while there is a hot global climate change debate going on? I mean, what are the odds on that?

    I’ll bet you that this hiatus is not as rare as suggested. In fact it could quite plausibly be a series of 5-year hiatuses running consecutively, or a 5-year hiatus overlapping with a 15-year one. No probabilities are given for 5-year hiatuses. But if there is a 1% chance of a 20-year hiatus, rising to a 10% chance of a 10-year hiatus, then we can probably assume that 5-year ones are much, much more common! Why, if halving the hiatus duration results in a 10-fold increase in probability, then 5-year hiatuses could be occurring 100% of the time!

    Of course, climate models are not sensitive enough to give us the probabilities of such short events occurring. One thing we can be certain of is that they do, indeed, occur.

  181. Mr E says:

    Tracey,

    “Not it isn’t, Dave. There is up to a 25% chance of it extending to a 20-year hiatus. You have clearly misread my link”

    I wish you all the best. I hope you have plenty of time to go round in circles with Dave.

  182. TraceyS says:

    Thank you Mr E.

    I was out recently and a knowledgeable member of the public was chatting about climate change. He said; “one thing the greens will never do is look at the data”. I think that I’ve now seen pretty conclusive evidence of that here – if Dave is a representative sample.

    It was Dave who said:

    “…unless you can show the proportionality it is mere supposition.”

    And I did not disagree with him. But when I tried to show proportions behind deforestation trends, using real data, he failed to even respond.

    When I asked for proportional estimates re. climate change drivers Dave said it wasn’t possible.

    Then after providing him with information from climate models indicating the proportion of time covered by warming hiatuses he didn’t take the time to check his facts properly before telling me I was wrong.

    There’s definitely a trend emerging here. So if I decide not to go around in circles with Dave on this occasion, there will be plenty more opportunities in future to choose from.

  183. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, You now seem to be reduced to this forced, derisory laughter and no argument. It isn’t my assessment it is LAWA’s that you are actually arguing with, and NIWA’s. I never said that LAWA’s data wasn’t useful and I have actually learned a lot because you drew my attention to it (thank you for this). What I have been arguing for is a more in depth assessment of all the data to get a state of the nation assessment. All that Lawa really has regarding the general state of our rivers is that statement that we have been arguing over.

    I still stand by NIWA’s assessment because although it was done 4 years ago, as LAWA states: “Overall, the majority of the sites monitored for various water quality attributes showed no evidence of a trend.” So in terms of general quality there won’t have been much of a change since 2010 and things weren’t too good then.

  184. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey, Mr E actually I was wrong, if there is a pause for 15 years “they continued to 20 years about 15 per cent of the time”.

    Thanks, Tracey. It is useful stuff to argue against those who say global warming has stopped. I think one of the video links I provided supported that too.

    However Tracey your criticism of me not knowing proportions was because it wasn’t clear what you meant. It seemed as though you wanted to know the proportions between man made and natural forcings (or drivers?) and I have no knowledge of this. Now you are talking about predictability of events which seems to be another matter. Somehow, also, you have related it to the % of forestry land conversion drivers which is something else again. You may know what you are meaning but you have lost me completely again 😛

  185. TraceyS says:

    OK Dave, I will explain.

    You argued that, in the absence of knowing the proportions of various deforestation drivers, the debate about their relative importance was supposititious. Fine, I am willing to accept that. Instead, I attempted to crudely quantify the proportions (probably not very successfully); discovering that quantification of the driving forces is indeed a complicated matter. Yet this is just a little challenge compared to quantifying the driving forces of global climate change. You, very honestly, admitted that you cannot do it. And as far as I can see you are not alone. Has anyone been able to do this? Most of what I read is qualifying not quantifying.

    Why is it even important to quantify contributing proportions? It is important for the same reasons as in the deforestation example. For the reasons that you put forth yourself – basically to correctly attribute cause and effect. Otherwise the wrong levers may be pulled. As I’ve said, I don’t disagree!

    So why is it that you continue on with statements like “…the time for action to stop even more human suffering in the decades ahead, we need to act on climate change now!” when, without knowing the proportions, you must have absolutely no ability to quantify whether whatever “action” will prevent more human suffering than it will introduce. That means any action taken could be regarded as a great big experiment. Maybe you think that’s OK? I guess it is OK provided people give informed consent.

    It is that bit which worries me. Especially when people like yourself and Stephen Schneider pretend to know more than they really do.

  186. Paranormal says:

    Some Douglas Adams quotes that may have some relevance here:

    The Guide is definitive. Reality is frequently inaccurate.
    Douglas Adams

    I don’t believe it. Prove it to me and I still won’t believe it.
    Douglas Adams

    Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/d/douglas_adams_2.html#2dWa3mVgE4OZTbOx.99

    Thanks for the site Ele

  187. Mr E says:

    I call this ‘doing a Dave’,

    “It isn’t my assessment it is LAWA’s that you are actually arguing with, and NIWA’s.”

    “Mr E actually I was wrong”

    We’ve been debating the LAWA data and interpretation of it. The theme of the discussion has been that. Now you have admitted are wrong, we can move forward.
    A fair and true interpretation of the LAWA data obvious fit the following.

    Overall:
    Phosphate is improving
    Nitrate is not generally changing
    Ecoli is not generally changing
    Macroinvertebrates – not enough data to say.

    Urban areas have the worst quality for every contaminant but are generally improving.

    Great news NZ. While most many things are stable – some important things are improving. Phosphate is a bad contaminant and you have made some huge gains. Other contaminants aren’t overall changing. This has happened while proponents of agriculture have acted in an alarmist fashion regarding intensification. The Dairy industry has grown, and other agricultural industries have improved their productivity. Yet it appears the Nation has absorbed these changes. Focusing down into the data, the area that is worth attention is nitrate. Even though studies show NZ rivers are rated the best amongst their counter parts, some pastoral water ways have tended to increase in nitrate concentrations. If we want to continue to be the best, consideration of Nitrogen could be worthwhile.

  188. TraceyS says:

    More from your link, Dave, because I found it very interesting:

    “…if you’re a green plant that’s not very, very, helped by CO2 – only a little bit – and there’s a bigger one that’s helped a lot, it’s gonna get a very bigger leaf, shade you out, and you’re worse off. So what CO2 does is it changes the competitive balance of plants in an ecosystem. Therefore it’s hard to use a word like good or bad. (my emphasis)

    I agree with this statement. Without knowing the proportion of plant species which are advantaged by increasing CO2, versus the proportion of plants which are disadvantaged by increasing CO2, we cannot possibly accurately answer questions about whether the CO2 fertilisation effect is good or bad (or how good vs how bad).

    Schneider then continued on in the interview to suggest that increasing CO2 is good for agricultural crops but bad for natural ecosystems. Here we now have a respected engineer addressing another field of science. What are his credentials in this field? Maybe no more than mine as a home gardener. But he’s got the audience and I haven’t.

    I was thinking about all of this when I went out into the garden and pulled up some beetroot to roast for last night’s dinner. Rather indiscriminately I grabbed a few tops from the row and pulled. They came away easily from the humus-rich soil. I shook off the remaining to discover that I had a big one, a medium-sized one, and a tiny little one about the size of a 50c coin. What am I to make of this? How could this plant be so small after six months in the ground? Is it conceivable, heaven forbid, that CO2 has disadvantaged that tiny little beetroot while overfeeding his big fat brothers? Never mind, we still had roast beetroot for tea and it was yummy.

  189. Mr E says:

    Other peoples assessment of the River Condition indicator we have been discussing. (LAWA data)

    Good environmental farm management is starting to show through in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MfE) latest River condition indicator. This shows that over a decade at 90 percent of the sites tested, most of the MfE’s key indicators were either stable or improving.

    “Improved management of the land and water resource by everyone may be starting to show up in these water quality results,” says Bruce Wills, Federated Farmers President.

    “In broad brush terms New Zealand’s water quality is steadily improving.”

    “Or, as the MfE commented, “While long-term patterns and time lags make it difficult to attribute changes in water quality to any particular action, this may reflect a general improvement in land management and wastewater treatment practices”.

    Or this
    “The report shows that overall concentrations of nutrients and bacteria are either stable or improving at most monitored sites, and that water quality is generally improving.”
    Amy Adams

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: