Investigating Climate Change Deniers and their spin against global warming

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Graffiti art is seen on a wall next to the Regent's Canal in Camden in London

A few weeks ago, a pithy Daily Blog guest post by Green MP Gareth Hughes about offshore oil and gas exploration around New Zealand attracted an enormous number of comments — 498 when I last looked. That conversation soon veered off the subject of oil and gas and began to traverse the reality, or as claimed by a vociferous minority, the falsity of global warming and any consequent climate change. The resulting exchanges provide an object lesson in life through the looking-glass, that alternative world where warming isn’t happening, climate scientists are colluding in a giant hoax, and the poor old free market is being threatened by gangs of rampant watermelons — great wagon loads of fruit against freedom, leeks against liberty, and carrots against capitalism.

And it really is an alternate universe. The vociferous deniers of the reality or severity of the climate challenge are able to draw on an impressive array of “support” for their views, from newspaper opinion pieces, through a myriad of blog posts to verbose think tank reports. There’s even an alternative to the body established to review climate science, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – dubbed the Non-governmental International Panel on Climate Change, or NIPCC. What you won’t find is anybody doing credible research on climate. You’ll find nitpickers and naysayers, snide commentary on stolen emails, and books explaining the giant conspiracy by socialist billionaires and climate scientists to derail capitalism and bomb us all back to “feudal times”, in Rodney Hide’s memorable (and risible) recent coinage.

All of these sources, from blogs like Watts Up With That in the US or Jo Nova in Australia, to the weighty tomes delivered by the NIPCC, exist purely as a support network for people and politicians who find confronting climate change an affront to their beliefs or to their pockets. Every discussion about what to do about climate change can be derailed by deploying a few token arguments — all of them long debunked at serious web sites like Skeptical Science.

Take the NIPCC as an example. It is now on its second major report, the most recent published to coincide with the release of the summary for policy makers of the first part of the IPCC’s fifth report last October. The NIPCC is wholly funded by the Chicago-based Heartland Institute, a free-market lobby group masquerading as a think tank that has been taking fossil fuel money to campaign against action on climate change for most of this century. The prime movers in the NIPCC are retired scientists with long track records of campaigning for inaction on climate. They find, unsurprisingly, that climate change is not a problem.

Anyone with a background in basic climate science who has taken a look at the “work” of the NIPCC has found it to be unimpressive. In a post last year looking at the NIPCC chapter on the cryosphere, I described it as the Heartland Institute’s Big Book Of Lies About Climate Science, but writer Graham Wayne was even more blunt:

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The NIPCC report is akin to a confidence trick. It is pseudo-science, badly presented, made difficult to assess or check, and depends on ‘blinding the reader with science’ that may look credible until you actually try to verify those claims against the peer-reviewed published literature.

In other words it’s a part of a big smoke screen designed to create the impression that there’s real uncertainty about the causes and consequences of climate change. There’s a PR campaign being waged against action to reduce emissions. This has never been a scientific debate, nor a debate about the science: it’s a political debate where the side that wants to do nothing resorts to misrepresentation, smear and innuendo to diminish any public or political perception of the need for urgent action.

As the signs of warming become ever harder to deny so the voices of climate denial become more shrill. For the poor foot soldiers of climate inaction, the wordsmiths who spam comment threads with the pre-digested objections cooked up on the other side of the looking glass, there’s an urgent need for reassurance. Take a look at almost any comment thread at WUWT or Nova: you’ll find the platoons of fighters for inaction proclaiming the end of warming, the imminent death of the climate problem. The cruel truth is that they’ve been saying the same thing for years. And yet the planet continues to warm, the ice to melt and the seas to rise. One day soon they will find that impossible to deny.

121 COMMENTS

  1. Climate change is a very scary thing, and if we are responsible (I do think we are, too much of a coincidence for me, not to) what needs to be done, is not very attractive to any of us, including me. I try as much as I can, but I am still living in a world that is geared for us not to.
    As humans when we are faced with scary stuff, we have a habit of doing and saying things that may not necessarily change things but make us feel less afraid of them.
    Remember your mum or dad getting the monsters out from under the bed as a kid. Why do you think we invented religion and an afterlife, and even in the modern scientific age, feel the need to cling to that idea, so afraid of dying are we.
    I think it is the thing inside us that stirs these fears up, the kid inside, that is making not only anthropomorphic climate change denying but what looks like actual climate change hurrying along.
    The more adult and less selfish among us are prepared to look the demon in the face

    • At the risk of seeming pedantic, the word you are looking for is “anthropogenic” rather than “anthropomorphic”

      The latter means :”described or thought of as being like human beings in appearance, behaviour, etc.”

      • Yes you are being pedantic, you know as well as I do that you bolt down stuff on blogs in between doing your real stuff in life and sometimes you just don’t go back and check what you wrote

    • “Climate change is a very scary thing, and if we are responsible (I do think we are, too much of a coincidence for me, not to) …”

      Tell me Raegun, just to indulge me, what exactly is it that is too much of a coincidence?

        • Frank the first cite is a series of temperature graphs from the late 19th century to 2000. If that’s all you have, just over 100 years for a planet that is billions of years old, I’m not going to waste my time looking at the rest.

          I ask again, what is it that is too much of a coincidence?

            • Geezus IV, you are the joke that keeps on giving.

              To whom did you link?

              Was it anybody that conducts actual science like NOAA or NASA? Or, maybe an organisation affiliated to those that conduct scientific research?

              No, you linked to a commodity trader, one that trades in weather predictions.

              Colour me unsurprised.

              Your sideshow should be called:

              NASA and every scientific community on the planet versus Intrinsicvalue and the Wide Boys.

              From your link

              The Cliff Harris/Randy Mann/Tom Loffman Weather and Trades daily weather and commodity trading service provides short, medium and long-term weather forecasts (up to 180 days and beyond). We also have “Cliff’s Best Picks” of potentially profitable weather commodity trades that will be updated as needed. We highlight the major commodity markets that have been and will be affected by Ma Nature’s “wild ways” in the next few years without a high risk of futures trading losses.

              Our service has also added 32-year trader Tom Loffman’s mathematical/technical stock and commodity forecasting. It’s an approach similar to numerical weather forecasting and provides precise buy and sell prices based on the behavior of each stock or commodity, rather than using guesswork or untested speculation.

                • No need to invoke any coincidence. We see atmospheric greenhouse gases increasing, and we note temperatures rising – as expected, because we have a very good understanding of the radiative physics of CO2 and other GHGs.

                  For a better perspective on global temps, google “wheelchair graph of global temperatures”.

                  • “No need to invoke any coincidence. We see atmospheric greenhouse gases increasing, and we note temperatures rising – as expected, because we have a very good understanding of the radiative physics of CO2 and other GHGs.”

                    Really?

                    “There is no scientific proof that human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are the dominant cause of the minor warming of the Earth’s atmosphere over the past 100 years. If there were such a proof it would be written down for all to see. No actual proof, as it is understood in science, exists.”
                    Patrick Moore
                    Founder of Greenpeace.

                    http://www.epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Files.View&FileStore_id=415b9cde-e664-4628-8fb5-ae3951197d03

                    • Ah, our brave footsoldier for inaction reappears.

                      You have your “founder of Greenpeace” (who wasn’t).

                      We have the Royal Society and the National Academy of Sciences.

                      Climate change is one of the defining issues of our time. It is now more certain than ever, based on many lines of evidence, that humans are changing Earth’s climate. The atmosphere and oceans have warmed, accompanied by sea-level rise, a strong decline in Arctic sea ice, and other climate-related changes.

                      Source: http://royalsociety.org/policy/projects/climate-evidence-causes/

                      If it’s OK with you (and it probably isn’t), I’ll stick with the evidence, rather than the views of a PR man and lobbyist.

                      You might want to reflect on the fact that your comments here only serve to prove the point I made in the original post.

                    • re Patrick Moore

                      Oh ho!!! Another LIE from IV!!

                      And this is A Big One!!

                      IV, maaaaate. You’ve been snapped.

                      (Damn. I should’ve researched and found this out myself… Bugger.)

                    • Out of interest, which part of this post about Patrick Moore is a “lie”

                      By the way, I do recommend his book “confessions of a Greenpeace dropout”

                      It has lots of really useful information about geothermal heat pumps, a subject close to my heart.

                    • He claims to be, and is often represented by the media as a “founder of Greenpeace”. He wasn’t: see the link in my earlier comment. He is a paid lobbyist and PR man.

                    • I’m very happy to stand corrected, it makes little difference to the truth of his statement, but for the record:

                      “Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore has angered environmentalist groups after saying climate change is “not caused by humans” and there is “no scientific proof” to back global warming alarmism.”

                      http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/greenpeace-cofounder-patrick-moore-tells-us-senate-there-is-no-proof-humans-cause-climate-change-9159627.html

                      “Dr. Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace, has been a leader in the international environmental movement for over forty years”

                      http://www.ecosense.me/

                      “Patrick Moore (born 1947) is a Canadian ecologist, known as one of the early members of Greenpeace, in which he was an environmental activist from 1971 to 1986. ”

                      “According to Greenpeace: How a Group of Ecologists, Journalists, and Visionaries Changed the World by Rex Wyler, the Don’t Make a Wave Committee was formed in January 1970 by Dorothy and Irving Stowe, Ben Metcalfe, Marie and Jim Bohlen, Paul Cote, and Bob Hunter and incorporated in October 1970.[6] The Committee had formed to plan opposition to the testing of a one megaton hydrogen bomb in 1969 by the United States Atomic Energy Commission on Amchitka Island in the Aleutians. Moore joined the committee in 1971 and, as Greenpeace co-founder Bob Hunter wrote, “Moore was quickly accepted into the inner circle on the basis of his scientific background, his reputation [as an environmental activist], and his ability to inject practical, no-nonsense insights into the discussions.”[7]”

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patrick_Moore_(environmentalist)

                      There are literally thousands of other cites claiming the same thing.

                    • So what? All it shows is that the other ‘cites’ simply picked up on Moore’s lies and now you’re deliberately spreading them as well. If Greenpeace denies Moore’s involvement as a founder then who are you going to believe? But if your so obsessessed on these lies than you’ll justify them no matter what.

                      All it shows is that your a good little Act supporter you are Intrinsicnutcase.

                    • “Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore has angered environmentalist groups after saying climate change is “not caused by humans” and there is “no scientific proof” to back global warming alarmism.”

                      It appears not to be getting through to you, Intrinsic value.

                      Science doesn’t give a toss what Moore believes or thinks.

                      It wouldn’t matter if he was president of the Royal Society.

                      Take a deep breath, concentate…

                      S..c…i…e…n…t..i..f…i…c
                      C…o…n…s…e…n…s…u…s

                      The scientific consensus; thousands of scientists, thousands of lines of evidence..

                      get it?

                    • You haven’t demonstrated there is any ‘consensus’, what that even means.

                      You also haven’t answered the problem that scientists have got many things wrong in the past.

                    • Andys says:
                      March 1, 2014 at 8:41 pm

                      Out of interest, which part of this post about Patrick Moore is a “lie”

                      AndyS – once the lie is exposed for what it is – best to drop it. Otherwise you’re simply giving further opportunities to tell the reader that your assertion was passing on an untruth.

                      In this case, Gareth has ‘outed’ Patrick Moore for what he is (and which I’ve bookmmarked for future reference next time you or IV try to use it again). And he most certainly was not the “founder” of Greenpeace as you and IV claim. In fact, by all accounts, he was a paid propagandist for various industries.

                      Time to let that one go I think.

                    • No I am not letting this go. First of all, I didn’t make any claims about Patrick Moore. Secondly, I have his book, and on the back it says :

                      ” Moore explains why, 15 years after co-founding it…” etc

                      If you have objections to Moore being referred to as “co-founder of Greenpeace” then maybe you should take that up with Moore or the publishers of his book.

                      After all it is his word against Greenpeace.

                      Obviously, it is embarrassing for Greenpeace to have a man that claims they are “anti-science, anti-intellectual and anti-human”, so they will do their best to distance themselves from him.

                    • After all it is his word against Greenpeace.

                      Actually, it his word against himself. Greenpeace was founded in 1970. Moore had nothing to do with the organisation until 1971, when he wrote to GP asking to sail on their first ship. You can read his letter of application here.

                      Moore is entitled to call GP whatever he likes (within the law, obviously), but he is not entitled to misrepresent his relationship with the organisation.

                      Perhaps the truth is too inconvenient for you, Andy. It seems to be some kind of pattern… Like IV above, you are proving the point of the original post rather neatly.

                    • You can call him a co founder, or a founding member, an early member, or whatever.

                      However, I have a little objection to being called out as liar (I say on behalf of IV) as these are claims made by Moore himself and not something that IV or I made up.

                      All that notwithstanding, his book does have some interesting material even for the hard core environmentalist, such as the section on geothermal heat pumps.

                    • Well at least Michael Mann has stopped referring to himself as a Nobel Prize winner.

                      That particular distortion of reality has been put to bed, although it might resurface at the Steyn vs Mann trial .

                    • Good little foot soldier Andy can’t resist repeating tropes from the land of denial. Mann shared in the Nobel Prize won by the IPCC, and that’s all he’s ever claimed.

                      Steyn remains toast. And if McIntyre goes on the stand on his behalf, he might find life becomes uncomfortable.

                    • Not sure I am being a foot soldier for “denial” here, rather taking an interest in a rather curious court case in which a scientist sues a journalist for defamation, and in the process defames several other people (including scientists) and also uses a quote from the Muir Russell enquiry which was made up, or at least altered

                      He’d better have some clever lawyers.

                    • Read this Andys?
                      From Gingo @ http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20121029101443AA3YzZh
                      “His lawyer wrote the lawsuit. And he described it as follows: “As a result of his research, Dr. Mann and his colleagues were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.” There’s no lie in that claim, unless one cherry-picks bits and pieces from it.”
                      The whole lawsuit can be read here…

                      http://legaltimes.typepad.com/files/michael-mann-complaint.pdf

                      Section 17) states that Dr. Mann shared the Noble Peace Prize with other authors on the IPCC.
                      There may be other references to the Noble Peace Prize but, to be honest, my eyes started glazing over.

                    • Mann shared the Nobel peace prize for being a “contributor” (along with hundreds of otters) to the IPCC which actually won the prize, along with Al Gore.

                      In a similar vein, I can claim to be a Nobel Peace prize winner by dint of being a citizen of an EU country.

                      I am sure you would all like to congratulate me on my recent award.

                      (I was going to correct the “hundreds of otters” above but I thought I’d leave it as a legacy to the truly bizarre spell checker on the Mac)

                      [But what about the beavers on the River Otter? GR]

                    • anything I say may be used as evidence against me, but I will blame it on the Mac spell-checker 🙂

                    • Yeah, but did you take any steps to verify it AndyS? And Intricvalue has form on spreading his bullshit so it’s something we’ve come to expect from you good little Act supporters.

                    • I didn’t make the claim so I don’t need to verify it. As it happens I was aware of the Greenpeace claim against Moore. Yet I have his book and have read it and the book describes in some detail Moore’s early days with Greenpeace.

                      He was involved with early Greenpeace campaigns against whaling and nuclear testing. He describes in the book how he became disenfranchised with the organisation “he helped of form” because it had been taken over by “neo-marxists” (his words)

                      So arguing about trivialities of whether his was a “co-founder” or merely an early member seem fruitless. He was there in the early days and left. There are no lies in that

                    • According to Greenpeace: How a Group of Ecologists, Journalists, and Visionaries Changed the World by Rex Wyler, the Don’t Make a Wave Committee was formed in January 1970 by Dorothy and Irving Stowe, Ben Metcalfe, Marie and Jim Bohlen, Paul Cote, and Bob Hunter and incorporated in October 1970.[6] The Committee had formed to plan opposition to the testing of a one megaton hydrogen bomb in 1969 by the United States Atomic Energy Commission on Amchitka Island in the Aleutians. Moore joined the committee in 1971 and, as Greenpeace co-founder Bob Hunter wrote, “Moore was quickly accepted into the inner circle on the basis of his scientific background, his reputation [as an environmental activist], and his ability to inject practical, no-nonsense insights into the discussions.”[7]

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patrick_Moore_(environmentalist)

                      I’d say this is VERY embarrasing for Greenpeace, which is why there is so much effort to discredit him. And Frank just about everyone involved in the climate change industry is a paid propagandist. In act that description fits Greenpeace members and the IPCC very well indeed

                      No, Patrick Moore’s words will be quoted many, many more times here Frank.

                    • It amuses me that climate alarmists can quote all of these illustrious societies but when challenged not present a single piece of evidence that what you claim is actually true. That after all, is precisely the point Moore was making.

                    • You just don’t understand the scientific consensus thing, do you, Intrinsic value?
                      Most people can grasp it but not you.

                      Patrick Moore is an individual with an opinion. On its own and in terms of the scientific consensus, Moore’s opinion carries no weight at all. Nor does Richard Alley’s or Al Gore’s.

                      Say it slowly

                      c…o…n…s…e…n…s…u…s

                      you know, of the scientific kind….

                      …the IPCC…

                      hello?

                      have you got it yet?

                      Perhaps the IPCC is not your thing, because you believe in the scientific konspiracy driven by watermelons, right?

                      OK, well how about The Royal Society and US National Academy of Sciences

                      News release

                      joint statement

                      Thursday’s Daily Telegraph:

                      Now the two most famous scientific institutions in Britain and the US agree: ‘Climate change is more certain than ever’

                    • .Daily Telegragh

                      Whoops, I mean The Independent.

                      The daily tele is where “climate-gate” dupe James Delingpole wrote, before being recently dumped.

                      Delingpole’s reponse to Sir Paul Nurse’s question (in the link) is a climate change denial classic. It exposes the shallowness of analysis undertaken by one of the UK’s loudest science denialists.

                    • I’m not sure Delingpole got dumped from the Telegraph. Anyway, he is now at Breibart’s new London edition.

                    • Your argument seems to rest on the following propositions:

                      1. That there even is a consensus, and
                      2. That a consensus settles the science.

                      You are wrong on both counts, so back to the drawing board with you.

                    • Your argument seems to rest on the following propositions:

                      1. That there even is a consensus, and
                      2. That a consensus settles the science.

                      You are wrong on both counts, so back to the drawing board with you.

                      – See more at: https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2014/02/26/investigating-climate-change-deniers-and-their-spin-against-global-warming/#comment-195858

                      Lol Tell that to NASA, the US National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society.

                      Your replies just get getter funnier and funnier.

                    • Those don’t answer anything.

                      Come on Richard, seriously. You’ve been beating on about this so it must be important to you. At least have the intellectual integrity to have a go.

                      Cite the survey of scientists that evidences a consensus. Not opinion piece, the actual evidence.

                      Then explain how a consensus settles the science.

                      Why are you so afraid of the truth?

                    • <i.Cite the survey of scientists that evidences a consensus. Not opinion piece, the actual evidence.

                      Are you being deliberately thick, Intrinsicvalue?

                      What the hell do you think the IPCC reports are?
                      Stop embarrassing yourself.

                      NASA cites them. the Royal Society cites them, and so does the Academy of Sciences.

                      Not a single scientific community on the planet disputes them as a legitimate summary of the state of scientific knowledge of Earth’s climate.

                    • That would be Patrick Moore, the phony founder of Greenpeace?? Got any more where that came from mate? You Act supporters seem to have access to bucketloads of these lies.

                • Regarding Holocene temperatures, this is fascinating; http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/03/response-by-marcott-et-al/

                  Note this bit; “We showed that no temperature variability is preserved in our reconstruction at cycles shorter than 300 years, 50% is preserved at 1000-year time scales, and nearly all is preserved at 2000-year periods and longer. “

                  Which confirms the abnormality of the current sharp rise in temperature, correlating with the rise in anthropogenic CO2.

                  More evidence of cause and effect? It would seem so.

              • Why would I link to Nasa? Their own employees don’t always agree with their position. And NASA consider that temperature records since 1880 are ‘long term’ (http://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/nasa-finds-2013-sustained-long-term-climate-warming-trend/#.Uw78NvSSxuA).

                Actually it’s interesting how many climate alarmists begin their graphical presentations in 1880, Richard. I guess its to fool gullible people like you.

                If NASA are satisfied with describing a temperature series form .0000004% of the earths history as ‘long term’, then You’re welcome to them. In the meantime, I’ll remain skeptical, based on the genuinely long term data such as I cited above, and

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Holocene_Temperature_Variations.png#sthash.QoNu79ge.dpuf

                http://joannenova.com.au/2010/02/the-big-picture-65-million-years-of-temperature-swings/

                  • I’m not mocking NASA, Richard, I’m mocking YOU for believing that temperature graphs from 1880 reflect a long term trend.

                    • And we’re reciprocating, IV.

                      You can deny the data all you like. But the world is still round; the Earth is not the center of the solar system; and yes, humainduced atmospheric pollutants (CO2, methane, and nitrous oxide) correlate with the rise in temperature.

                      Just as the rise in CFCs in the mid/late 20th century correlated with the weakening of the Ozone Layer.

                      And just as the rise of cyanobacteria in Earth’s primeval past correlated with the transformation of the planet’s atmosphere.

                      Science is not your strong point. So let’s start with something basic, eh?

          • I’m not going to waste my time looking at the rest.

            Of course you won’t as that would carry the risk of you actually becoming educated.

        • Providing a list of temperature series that shows increasing temps across the 20th C does not “prove” that these temperature increases were caused by CO2

          The IPCC only really focus on the post 1950s warming anyway

  2. I think there was only one person (IV) beating the NIPCC drum on that thread, and to be honest it all gets a bit boring. “My authority is bigger than yours” kind of stuff doesn’t really add a lot to any discussion

  3. NIPCC really is a joke.

    Let’s gingerly lift the lid and see what’s floating in the bowl at NIPCC and associated site.

    Because it is not a government agency, and because its members are not predisposed to believe climate change is caused by human greenhouse gas emissions, NIPCC is able to offer an independent “second opinion” of the evidence reviewed – or not reviewed – by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on the issue of global warming.

    Translation: Regardless of what the science says government agencies are predisposed to a priori bias of affirming climate change. Mainstream science is part of a conspiracy!

    A score of independent scientists from around the world began to share their research and ideas with Dr. Singer [founder of NIPCC], as they continue to do. Some of these scientists have asked not to be named in NIPCC reports for fear of losing research grants and being blacklisted by professional journals.

    Translation: Brave independent scientists are in fear of being victimised. Mainstream science is part of a conspiracy!

    we are able to look at evidence the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) ignores.

    Translation and correcting the omission: The NIPCC cherry picks the science it considers and in doing so ignores the overwhelming bulk of mainstream science from NASA, NOAA and every other organisation on the planet that conducts research into climate .

    In June 2009, the first full NIPCC report was published by The Heartland Institute. It is titled Climate Change Reconsidered: The 2009 Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC). The new report, some 880 pages in length, is the most comprehensive critique of the IPCC’s positions ever published.

    at least there is no fudging about its intention there

    It lists 35 contributors and reviewers from 14 countries and presents in an appendix the names of 31,478 American scientists who have signed a petition saying “there is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide,

    And it keeps on giving, about that petition hoax.

    (35 contributors! – awesome… not, check out the number who ontribute ti IPCC

    In its own “about” page half the copy is not about the NIPCC at at all, it is devoted to casting slurs against the IPCC. Go figure.

    Even from its own website it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that the NIPCC is not set up to objectively survey the state of climate science, as it mendaciously claims. Its function is to selectively use any information possible with one objective, to oppose the conclusions of the IPCC. In other words, to oppose the consensual position of the world’s premier research bodies into our climate.

  4. Actually, I thought the premier authority on sea level rise (for Christchurch, anyway) was Tonkin and Taylor, since their report was commissioned by the Christchurch City Council and overrules the IPCC on decision making

    • Hang on Andys, in your other comment above you were saying lets not quote reports “my authority is bigger than yours gets boring”‘ Now you are doing the same with the Tonkin and Taylor thing. I would want to see a range of opinions.

      Climate science is rather complicated. I tend to go with the weight of evidence, what does most of the science say on some issue. This is partly what the IPCC does. Unless you read each and every science paper on some aspect, and have relevant expertise in that area, you cant do much more.

      The weight of science certainly points to anthropogenic warming. Just how much we will get is probably the debatable aspect, but I dont like gambling that it would be small. Again I would tend to go with the middle range estimates until I see something utterly compelling otherwise.

      I seem to recall you are a sceptic. Fair enough and some sceptics make some fair points, but rather a lot of scepticism looks exactly like tobacco company tactics to me.

      • My point is that everyone is banging on that the IPCC is “the authority”, yet when CCC commission a $90,000 report from an engineering consulting company that states that sea level rise could be twice as bad as what the IPCC project, why should we take that as gospel?

        The literature that they cite is mostly studies based on models that make some fairly large assumptions on the behaviour of ice sheets to GHG forcing.

        This is the same report, by the way, that acknowledges that there has been no measurable sea level rise around Canterbury for 10 years

        Reports like this do actually affect people in the form of property values and insurance premiums, so we like to see them based on the best evidence, and when that evidence doesn’t line up with the IPCC you have to wonder if there is an agenda somewhere.

        • Andy S, Tonkin and Taylor may be right. Sea level rise may be high in NZ.

          Note the IPCC estimates are global but regions can experience more than the global average, parts of the pacific already are.

          However I agree never take one single report at face value. They should get an alternative report or in depth peer review.

          • The T&T report acknowledges the fact that there has been NO measurable sea level rise for 10 years in Lyttelton harbour. They did a literature review that came up with scenarios that are twice as bad as the IPCCs.

            AR5 was duw to be published but they chose to go ahead anyway.

            Why did CCC commission this report?
            If their agenda is to decommission the East side of ChCh then it would be nice to hear about it. The report suggests a “managed retreat” if not a “forced retreat”

            Thankfully, i have been paid out in full by my insurance company so my personal liability is minimal.

            • AndyS, current sea level rise is not future sea level rise. You are playing with words to take a cheap shot but havent addressed the actual logic used by Tonkin and Taylor.

              You have ignored what I said, you get regional differences.

              Why do you think Tonkin and Taylor have some devious motive? you yourself say they have looked at all the science, so are hardly cherry picking. The IPCC is very conservative on sea level rise.

              • Nigel,
                I don’t think Tonkin and Taylor had any devious motives. They did the job they were commissioned to do.

                However, I would like to see a more transparent report from CCC on their plans for the city that they supposedly represent

                Obviously, there has been a major disaster on world scale in chch nz, ( a loss adjuster from USA told me it was a “supercat” on par with Katrina)

                There may be genuine reasons to write off major parts of Christchurch, but I would like that in a more detailed form than some waffle deduced from future projections derived from unvalidated computer models about sea level rise caused by some unvalidated models about ice melt.

  5. One point in favour of climate change deniers…

    They’ll be the ones that owners of coastal properties can offload their homes on to. ‘Cos as sure as evolution made li’l green apples and Homo Sapiens made global warming, there ain’t no way in hell I’d be buying a beachfront property any time soon…

    😉

        • On a more serious note Frank, would you trust the experience of the IPCC or would you go to a local engineering consulting company for your sea level projections?

          The CCC chose the latter option.

          • T & T prepared their report before AR5 was published, so could not use the IPCC numbers. Nevertheless, their literature review was reasonable, and their planning range of 1m in 100 years, and “plausible upper limit” of 2m are well in line with current thinking.

            Given that current CO2 levels commit us to 15-20m sea level rise *eventually* (range of hundreds to a thousand years), it’s a question of when, not how much that is policy-relevant.

      • Andy:

        Al Gore is smart enough to know that beachside properties can be offloaded to climate-change-denying idiots at a profit.

          • AND I’m sure there’s a gulf of difference between predicting earthquakes and climate change modelling based on known data regarding rising CO2 levels (as well as other human-caused pollutants), which allow reasonable guesses to be made.

            Don’t you think, AndyS?

            After all, we can “predict” the weather based on data. But we still can’t predict earthquakes – we don’t (yet) have enough data.

            • How are those models doing Frank?

              Models didn’t predict the lack of warming that is apparent this century.
              Models didn’t predict the complete absence of sea level rise that is apparent in Lyttelton harbour for the last 10 years (it’s in the T&T report)

              We base our future decisions on models,

              Great, so what if the models are wrong?
              We have just forced people from their homes based on someone playing Sim City?

              • Still trotting out that tired old denier nonsense I see, Andy.

                Climate model runs demonstrate decadal and longer periods with little or no increase in global surface temperatures. They don’t do “forecasts”, because (unlike weather forecasts) the starting conditions are not specified. Using climate models for near-term decadal forecasts is still very much in its infancy.

                Lyttleton sea level is just one data point, and cannot prove or disprove global sea level rise. But with the world certain to continue to warm, and ice sheets certain to continue to melt, sea level will certainly continue to rise. By different amounts in different places, of course, but as I noted above (and you seem to have ignored) the question is not whether or not SLR is real, but when we will see the multi-metre SLR that paleoclimate data suggest is also now certain (unless we act very quickly to reduce CO2 to pre-industrial levels).

                • The T&T report includes scenarios that are in the cm of sea level rise to scenarios that are in metres.

                  So the “predictions” from that report are as good as useless for planning purposes.

                  • There aren’t any “predictions” in the T&T report – but there are scenarios for planners to consider, and illustrations of what those scenarios mean for various places in the region.

                    For planning purposes timescale is very important, as T&T point out. You might build/rebuild low-cost structures on the shoreline, expecting to replace them at some point, but anything expensive/strategic would need to take multi-metre SLR into account.

                    In my view, the entire ChCh rebuild is in long term trouble, where the definition of long term extends out more than 50 years. But then so are all coastal cities – many of which will be in trouble long before that.

                    • Potential sea level rise is but one of many factors that influence decision making in ChCh.

                      A lot of the land on the East is basically reclaimed swamp so isn’t that great for any big buildings anyway.

                      We have decided to take the insurance money and rebuild at 700 metres above sea level, so should be safe for a few centuries, although the Alpine Fault might get us first

                    • Very nice too. If you haven’t already done it, the night sky tour at Mt John is a must. And ask the guides why infra-red telescopes are best placed above the atmosphere (in orbit, preferably).

                    • I haven’t done the Mt John tour but intend to soon.

                      By the way, we have fresh snow here (in the Mackenzie) tonight,

                      (from the weather isn’t climate department)

    • Would you buy a property in an area close to the sea, known for liquefaction, and a recent history of earthquakes?

      The obvious answer seems no, but many people are, in Christchurch.

  6. Hello,

    It’s odd that the TV weather reporters are mostly deniers, isn’t it? I mean, they see what’s happening every day with our crazy weather (I’m in the US and believe me, this has been a strange winter). I have written to them asking their positions on climate change and their responses are generally “The weather has always changed”. Have you seen the website IceCap? I’m afraid many TV weatherpeople are heavily influence by the man in charge of IceCap (Joe D’Aleo), who is a climate change denier.

    It’s very sad, because TV weather people would be the perfect communicators of climate science to TV viewers. Instead, they ignore the subject completely. “Too political” they say.

    • I think weather reporters tend to deal with short term events while climate scientists are looking at long term changes in weather patterns.

      • Weather forecasters have two roles. One is to forecast the weather, the other is a bit of light entertainment.

        I don’t think climate change propaganda fits into the TV model for them.

        • AndyS then why do weather presenters engage in denialist climate change propoganda?

          I suspect most of them have no actual qualifications in weather. I cant believe that nice looking woman Renee has a degree in meterology she used to be a games show host or something. Presents the weather well though.

          Theres also probably professional jealousy between meteorologists and climate scientists, so the meteorologists will argue on principle.

          • I wasn’t aware that weather presenters engaged in “denialist” propaganda.

            “Hi, I’m Jim. Tomorrow it has a 50% chance of rain, but I think you should ignore that because it is a conspiracy by left wingers to increase your taxes”.

            Never heard that one.

          • “Climate science is propaganda?”

            No, that is not what I said,
            but there is a multi-million dollar industry built around spreading “the message”

            Or, as Michael Mann refers to it “The Cause”

            • What multi-million dollar “industry” would that be, AndyS?

              And can you confirm/reject that anti-AGW groups have been/are funded by the fossil-fuel industry?

              • I could name several NGOs that are funded in the millions by governments to push the climate agenda.

                E.g wwf funding by the EU runs into the millions of euros
                http://eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=84752

                The amount that the counter group gets is peanuts in comparison. Most oil companies fund climate change research, finding it easier to pay off the green lobby than fight them.

  7. I still say that if the denialist dissapeared many (the Greens) would be caught with their pants down as the reality is that the response to climate change (given current technology) needs to be drastic.

  8. Funniest thing of all? STILL no EVIDENCE has been presented that proves mankind is the primary cause of climate change. NONE.

  9. “According to Greenpeace: How a Group of Ecologists, Journalists, and Visionaries Changed the World by Rex Wyler, the Don’t Make a Wave Committee was formed in January 1970 by Dorothy and Irving Stowe, Ben Metcalfe, Marie and Jim Bohlen, Paul Cote, and Bob Hunter and incorporated in October 1970.[6] The Committee had formed to plan opposition to the testing of a one megaton hydrogen bomb in 1969 by the United States Atomic Energy Commission on Amchitka Island in the Aleutians. Moore joined the committee in 1971 and, as Greenpeace co-founder Bob Hunter wrote, “Moore was quickly accepted into the inner circle on the basis of his scientific background, his reputation [as an environmental activist], and his ability to inject practical, no-nonsense insights into the discussions.”[7]”

    Oh so he wasn’t a founder of Greenpeace? He was “accepted into the inner circle”??

    You Actoids need to learn to get your stories straight. Your all over the fucking place.

    • Referring yo yourself as a “co-founder” or as an “early member in the inner circle” seems to be arguing about angels on a pin.

      [Moore calls himself a co-founder, and he wasn’t. Speaks volumes about his probity. GR]

      [Repeat of earlier rubbish removed. GR]

  10. For IV: Once again a little flurry of comments from you that serve only to underline the original post. Please read the Royal Society report I linked to earlier. You will note that the RS underlines the fact that future warming is certain, and that we caused it. You can huff puff and perform the fan dance, but the facts is the facts, and you ain’t got any.

    Incidentally, insulting the world’s climate scientists by calling them propagandists only shows how divorced from reality you are. Not a good a look if you want to be taken seriously.

    • “You will note that the RS underlines the fact that future warming is certain, and that we caused it.”

      Do you not understand? I’m asking you to provide proof. Not the opinion of the RS, not the opinion of NASA. PROOF. When are you going to do that?

      • NASA doesn’t present “opinions”.

        NASA presents data as hard evidence.

        You, on the other hand, IV, offer nothing but opinions. And not very good ones at that.

      • The proof is in the literature, but I very much doubt you’ll read it.

        Start, if you will (which I doubt), with Spencer Weart’s masterly history of the science – The Discovery Of Global Warming. It’s several hundred thousand words, but is very readable. Then, when you’re up to speed with why we know what we know, start reading the IPCC’s Fifth Report. The Working Group One report on the physical science is out now, free, and covers every notable paper on the subject since 2005.

        Those are not opinions: they are facts. Allow me to quote Churchill:

        [The] truth is incontrovertible. Panic may resent it, ignorance may deride it, malice may distort it, but there it is.

        .

        You just ran into the buffers of truth.

  11. The nesting and comment sequence on this thread is so borked that I am asking the admins to close comments. If anyone wants to continue to discuss the post, or any points raised, you can do so at Hot Topic here.

    • What, even if we are banned from Hot Topic? Surely not!

      (Even if I promise to be nice)

      [You are on moderation at HT, not banned. Just as you are here… GR]

      • Oh that’s very generous of you Gareth. If there is a positive contribution to your fine blog I’ll do my best to make it in good spirit and lack of temper.

        (PS I’m much better since the medications my GP put me on)

Comments are closed.