The earth is cooling! And it’s flat!

Last Thursday NZ’s premier scientific body, the Royal Society of New Zealand, made a very clear statement warning:

“The globe is warming because of increasing greenhouse gas emissions. Measurements show that greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere are well above levels seen for many thousands of years. Further global climate changes are predicted, with impacts expected to become more costly as time progresses. Reducing future impacts of climate change will require substantial reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.”

We now have the response of the NZ Climate ‘Science’ Coalition. (Hat-tip: Hot Topic.)

Some of the points made by the ‘sceptics’:

  • “Six of the seven members of the expert committee carry the conflict of interest that they work for institutions that garner research funds to investigate the human influence on global warming.”

Interesting. You’d be pretty short of experts in this area if you cut out anyone who worked for a university, NIWA, a crown research institution in the area… Committee membership can be found here. It’s a bit like saying that people who know what they’re talking about should be excluded from debate. But wait…!

  • “On top of which, the committee is unrepresentative: five members are from Wellington and two from Hamilton.”

No, I am not making this up. Go see for yourself (first link above).

  • “…it is by no means certain that the globe has warmed recently at all… looked at over a longer time period, using measurements made by weather balloon radiosondes since 1958, no overall warming is apparent.”

Hot Topic deals to this nonsense. This novel assertion — that Gareth Renowden has never heard it before is telling — appears to come from some British research that shows “that stratospheric temperatures have cooled since 1958 (which we expect), and that over the last 50 years the lower troposphere (where we live) has been warming.”

And so it goes. Hot Topic’s post, including the comments where the sceptics make an appearance, is recommended reading.

All this would be quite funny if it wasn’t that some people take them seriously — and not just the kiwiblog right. Many news media organisations give this bunch of inexpert climate change ‘sceptics’ equal billing with real experts, under the misguided belief that this provides ‘balance’.

Update: It has been brought to my attention that Hot Topic blog has been personally endorsed as the, “very good Hot Topic blog”by none other than David Farrar.

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9 Responses to “The earth is cooling! And it’s flat!”

  1. Truthseeker Says:

    Why are the NZCDC being so dishonest? What’s their motivation?

  2. MacDoctor Says:

    Jp: Your comparison of Global Warming Skepticism to absurd flat earth beliefs is a typical attempt to stifle debate on the issue, similar to the pejorative use of the term “climate change deniers”. Your reference to the blog Hot Topic (the link is not working BTW) is just linking to a person who prefers to mock rather than engage in debate. I draw your attention to the treatment of Richard Treadgold on that blog.

    You mock the opening paragraph of the CSC statement by pulling bits of it out of context. It should be clear to you that the RSNZ panel consists entirely of AGW cheerleaders, mostly from NIWA. I find it extraordinary that there are no representatives from any of the major universities, no paleoclimatologists and no geologists. I note that it is the geology and paleoclimatology data that is so damning to AGW dogma.

    I must point out that skepticism about anthropogenic climate change is not the purview of just a few right wing crazies. There are literally thousands of scientists who believe the theory is quite dubious. I have done a great deal of research on this (as I like to form my own opinion on these sorts of things) and I am constantly appalled by the lack of scientific understanding by so-called experts.

    Take, for instance, the graphs that you posted. They show a trended rise in troposphere temperature that closely match the surface temperature. Hot Topic then triumphantly states that trophosphere temperatures are going up and that the CSC people must have rather ignorantly misread the graphs. This is poppycock. Global warming theory states that heat is trapped by carbon dioxide (and water vapour) in the atmosphere. The theory states that the trophosphere is the first thing to warm and consequently the trophosphere should be substantially warmer than the surface, by at least a degree, probably more. And yet you can clearly see that it is virtually identical. This alone should tell you that the scientific model is deeply flawed and suspect.

    I could go on, particularly about paleoclimatology and long-term ice data, but I’ve made my point. By all means bring up the global warming debate, but let’s have rational debate rather than silly invective.

  3. Oliver Woods Says:

    Jeez, when honestly are the skeptics going to bugger off and admit they’re wrong? It’s such an unattractive trait to think global warming is wrong, particularly considering that the science shows that it’s happening!

    Thank God those of us on the Left are making the debate about the environment a lot more serious :).

  4. Johnnyb Says:

    Jeez, I wonder if people on the left are just being sarcastic in everything they write because it is all so freaking stupid and factually wrong. There is no such thing as Global Warming, it is all a hoax to create a tax on carbon to support the coming World Government. Current facts on the ground say the the Earth’s temperature is cooling and has been cooling for the last couple of years.

    Anyone who looks seriously at the Climate Realists case and still believes in Global Warming is a simple idiot.

  5. Stephen Says:

    I’d encourage anybody to go over to say, a science blog if they’ve got serious questions…As MacDoctor would seem to.

    Though MacDoctor, if Victoria and Waikato aren’t major NZ universities, then what are? Dunno where Dr WA Matthews is from though…

  6. jafapete Says:

    Stephen & MacDoc,

    There are plenty of links to scientific blogs on Renowden’s blogroll, if his isn’t scientific enough. A minor problem is that the truly scientific blogs are incomprehensible, which is why I appreciate Renowden’s attempts to popularise the science — as opposed to dumbing it down.

    All universities have their strengths and weaknesses, so while the strongest universities may not be represented it is quite possible that Victoria and Waikato have some strengths in the climate science fields. But they would have to be considered “major NZ universities” I reckon. (They outperform UA in my own field;))

    Lastly, I’d never try to stifle debate — with the possible exception of holocaust denial — on any topic. I just get a little cranky when I see people misreading the data, seemingly deliberately…

  7. Gareth Says:

    Thanks for the post Pete. All links gratefully received!

    Richard Treadgold’s “treatment” at HT was to get a lengthy and polite reply to his comment. So far he has hasn’t turned up to answer the points I raise. I don’t stifle debate – although I have occasionally edited comments to remove excessive rudeness or avoid potential legal issues. If MacDoctor would care to visit HT, I’d be more than happy to explain why he’s wrong.

    Here’s the real world: climate change is a serious problem. The basic science is not in any doubt. The scientific debate moved on decades ago (for the most part), and scientists now argue (vehemently) about the details, and work hard to improve their knowledge base.

    There is, however, a political debate about what to do about climate change, and one wing of that debate is keen to minimise the issue. The NZ C”S”C provide cover for that political view by calling into question the underlying science. In its own way it’s heroic. It’s an almost Nelsonian disregard for the facts (“I see no ships”). So we have a political debate which involves science, but is not itself a scientific debate.

    My position is pretty simple. Climate change is a huge problem. If we don’t try to stop its worst effects, we will be in deep trouble (in fact, I’d go so far as to suggest we already are). We need to debate the way we do it, not the fact of its existence.

  8. Long shot kick de bucket (no warming since 1958) : Hot Topic · Global warming and the future of New Zealand Says:

    […] [Update 2: Jafapete offers his take…] […]

  9. underground Says:

    Interesting post.

    Thanks for the laugh Johnnyb! After you have indulged us all and explained why the “left” are “freaking stupid and factually wrong”, would you mind sharing with us the details that convince you that global warming is a conspiracy to collect taxes to the support the “coming world government”. Cheers.

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