NZ Herald and their choice to publish climate denial


The NZ Herald can publish whatever opinion they like. That is their right. But as the only nationwide newspaper in the country, the NZ Herald has a responsibility to public debate that goes beyond limp Press Council rulings. Publishing a column as ridiculously steeped in climate denial mythology as this monstrosity by Charles Moore, is about as responsible as publishing a column claiming smoking won’t lead to lung cancer.

The fact that the column was eviscerated online should have been a guide. In response to Moore’s nonsense, the Telegraph’s assistant comment editor, Tom Chivers, concluded

Maybe the “origins of warmism” really do lie, as Charles claims, in “anti-industrial nature worship, post-colonial guilt, a post-Enlightenment belief in scientists as a new priesthood of the truth, a hatred of population growth, a revulsion against the widespread increase in wealth and a belief in world government”. And certainly there are green types for whom anthropogenic climate change fits beautifully into a quasi-religious worldview, in which “the climate” is a sort of Gaia-god whom we anger at our peril. But none of that changes the fact that tiny concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere traps infrared energy into the global climate system, and that will have complex knock-on effects on other aspects of the system, some of which we can predict with greater or lesser degrees of accuracy, and some of which will be damaging to human life. It’s reasonable to be concerned about economically damaging or socially authoritarian responses to the threat of climate change. But Charles has utterly misunderstood the issue, and told an entire scientific discipline that he knows best, and it’s important that someone points out that he’s got it wrong.

Climate change is the defining issue of our generation, it is a debate that is beyond journalistic need for balance the way Apartheid South Africa was beyond the journalistic need for balance. It is an ethical decision to state that the status quo is immoral and that debate isn’t around ‘is it bad’, it is around ‘how do we change it’. Climate change and global warming caused by human pollution is a debate that media should declare starts at ‘how do we minimise pollution and make our economic structures more sustainable’ not ‘is climate change man made’.


  1. you’re right to challenge the New Zealand Herald for publishing this ridiculous ‘article’, but I just need to point out that the New Zealand Herald is not ‘New Zealand’s only national newspaper’. Despite its name, it is no more national in scope than the Dominion Post, the Press or the Otago Daily Times.

  2. When I read this article in the Herald I thought it was April 1 again.

    Maybe the Herald is full of climate change deniers. Maybe they just don’t check the wire content coming in from overseas. Either way, they just dented their own reputation even further. Sad really.

  3. You really want to rile anyone up who believes the climate is changing regardless of humanities involvement go to “The Slater’s” Blog. Its all an eco-Taliban plot to force the rich to stop making money according to his lot…

    • Only because he hasn’t figured a way to make money out of climate change yet. Soon as the right can figure out a way to make a quick buck out of it they will do a 180% turn on it.

      • That’s right. So instead of making attempts to deal with climate change a matter of left versus right (which many people on the left do) it would be much better to see it as a challenge that can be tackled both from the left and the right. If you only think it can be tackled from the left is it any surprise there is resistence to efforts to confront it?

  4. “the only nationwide newspaper in the country”

    Does anyone outside of Auckland read the NZ Herald?
    I don’t think I’ve ever seen it in a newspaper stand in Chch. Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a physical copy of it.

  5. Please can you think about this theory:
    because the planet is orbited by an unspecified number of satellites:
    transmitting data on GHz frequencies:
    that their effect could be something like a microwave oven; the frequencies don’t exactly match however resonant frequencies could occur in the event of multiple colliding transmissions.
    Seriously, there are so many versions of how many satellites are working up there, I don’t think anybody knows. This, plus a lot of space junk, causing

    • Jane
      As much as humans littering the stratosphere with junk is not an intelligent move. the radio waves emitted by satellites sum total to an insignificant tiny fraction of the wide band spectrum radiation we get from the sun.

  6. 212 months without any warming, according to the satellite data.

    What happened to Global Warming?

    • You sound disappointed. Perhaps you could try counting significant storm events, or measuring sea level rise or ocean temperature rise.

      CO2 count for today is 401.12ppm but for the week it averages 401.54ppm.

      So do you thinks CO2 concentration in the atmosphere is falling.

      Short term sampling is not really relevant. Variations are a part of what is expected but long term trends have accumulated effect.

      I am curious as to what you want to believe at this point in your journey.

      • Not disappointed, amused. Amused that humans can have the conceit to believe we are having such a profound influence on the planet, or that our tiny contribution can be significant in any way.

        And for the record, the atmospheric CO2 count has been far higher than it is today, in fact as high as 5000ppm around 550 million years ago.

        I totally agree with you about short term sampling. Yet climate alarmists rarely look beyond the past 200 years, rarely cite data prior to that, and rarely consider that CO2 is only one driver of climate.

        • I love it when you spin lies over climate change IV. It’s good because the certainty that you mimic here you use every where else on every other topic and that’s deeply comforting to me. If you are such a liar on this issue, I can transfer that whenever I hear you use that same tone of certainty.

          What you totally fail to point out of course is that this CO2 count was that high because the planet was covered in plantation that forced the CO2 that high over hundreds of thousands of years. What we have seen with recent warming is the same thing but over hundreds of years cause by man made pollution – the ramifications for the speed of that increase are catastrophic if serious attention to it isn’t made.

          Your trolling IV needs to be far more subtle than this or else you look too obviously like a National Party research plant. Try to pull it back a little so you have more impact.

    • You shouldn’t expect to see dramatic temperature changes while the glaciers & polar ice remains, these will keep temperatures moderate by absorbing the heat as enthalpy of fusion.

      Once the ice is gone we may need more heroic measures – I fancy an ablative shield composed entirely of RWNJ climate change deniers myself.

    • IV,
      Time and again it has been pointed out to you that many scientists think all the extra heart is been absorbed by the oceans.
      Everyone knows that CO2 levels have been higher in the past, that
      change was so gradual that life could adapt. Many believe that we are now changing the climate so rapidly that it will be impossible for life to adjust to these new conditions. Already we are witnessing changing migration patterns and species moving higher up mountains. As all life on the planet is interrelated these changes effect us whether you hate it, ignore it or pretend it isn’t happening.

      • Yogi when you start using expressions like ‘many scientists think’ and ‘many believe’ you give away the doubts in your own position.

        And the argument that changes to CO2 have been slower in the past has been well and truly debunked by the cites I gave above.

        • IV,You seem to be forgetting that, as Karl Popper famously said, all science has to be falsifiable. One day it may be proved that reindeer can actually fly, unlikely, but I can’t definitely prove that they can’t take to the wing.
          I believe that having doubts means my position is stronger than your dogmatic denial of evidence.
          I can’t see any links you have posted on this thread that back your stated claim…
          “And the argument that changes to CO2 have been slower in the past has been well and truly debunked by the cites I gave above.”
          Perhaps that’s the fault of the administers of this site but, truth be known, if they didn’t come from a reliable source I may discount them anyway.

  7. IV,
    My main point was that most scientists are gracious enough to admit they don’t know all, as this quote from one of your link shows…
    “To what extent should the answers generated from such models be trusted? All one can say is this: Models are the best we can do, everything else is ballpark back-of the envelope stuff. This means we should use models to educate ourselves about possibilities, realizing that their output produces probabilities not measurements.”
    There seems to be a strong census of opinion amongst scientists that action should be taken against anthropomorphic climate change, of course they could all be wrong and a paradigm shift in their thinking could occur. In the meantime it would seem to make sense to take their warnings seriously and prepare for the worse; after all, in ninety-nine doctors say one needs a procedure to save one’s life it’s unlikely the patient would follow the advice of a lone dissenting profession opinion.
    I may have missed it for nowhere on your two links did I see the statement you claimed…“And the argument that changes to CO2 have been slower in the past has been well and truly debunked by the cites I gave above.” Perhaps you could cut and paste the pertinent point.
    Very rapid climatic changes have occurred in the past but, to my knowledge, they have all resulted in five mass extinction events, surely we don’t want to bring on the sixth.

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