Waatea 5th Estate – NZ hits 400ppm – climate denial vs climate reality


Joining us tonight to discuss NZ hitting a carbon dioxide reading of 400 parts per million and what that means for us as a country…

In studio, with 30 years history of climate science, lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize – the world renowned Dr Jim Salinger

On the phone – Labour Party spokesperson on Climate Change, Dr Megan Woods

And on Skype, the lead author of the Royal Society of NZ climate report, Professor Jim Renwick and Maori Activist, deep sea oil protestor and Environmentalist with Greenpeace Mike Smith


    • From http://robinwestenra.blogspot.co.nz

      A review of an interview with NZ climate scientists

      I would like to be diplomatic and respectful but listening to our climate change spokespeople interviewed yesterday I am unable to restrain myself

      “For the globe as a whole that’s less of an issue.”

      My first response to seeing a full half-hour on Waatea TV devoted to 400 ppm of CO2 and climate change was that this was something we have been waiting for.

      But on listening expectation gave way to disappointment and a distinct feeling that there is no one in this country left to speak out about the climate emergency except for a a small handful of intrepid bloggers and activists.

      Yesterday’s effort was designed to lure us back to sleep.

      Don’t worry, little hobbits!

      Despite the valiant attempts of Martyn “Bomber” Bradbury to bring things back to reality it would be the grossest understatement to say that every single one of his guests failed miserably to use the opportunity given them to speak out about the climate emergency.

      I would give each of them (with the honourable exception of Mr. Bradbury) grades of between ‘C-minus’ and E.

      Firstly Jim Salinger.

      For all his great achievements, Jim Salinger sounds as though he is stuck in 2007 and delivering basically the same, slightly—modifed message.

      He seemed singly unable to come out and say clearly that scientists in this country are being muzzled and that it is this government that is reponsible.

      But what really made me wake up from my torpor was when I heard him say there has been a “1 degree Celsius temperature increase in about the last one hundred years”.

      One degree?

      There’s lots of fudging of the figures but even the most conservative media reports are saying that temperatures have gone up at least 1.3 degrees since the pre-industrial age.

      We have experienced 20% of all anthropogenic global warming in the last year.

      That by definition is runaway Global Warming.

      If Industrial Civilisation survives until November 2016 Professor Guy McPherson and I will tour NZ discussing the environmental and geo-political implications of this unfolding disaster nation wide, stand by for details on the blog and look out for a Facebook ” Event”.


      What is it that is stopping Jim Salinger from acknowledging this and singing from the rooftop about this alarming fact.

      Why downplay it?


      After listening to Mike Smith, an esteemed activist, saying that people are “worried”, we have to “get our head around major problems”, “anticipate and prepare”

      And then there was Megan Woods MP – Labour Party spokesperson on Climate Change whom I could not bear to listen to (she’s the one with the ‘E’ grade)

      And now we come to the other expert, Professor James Renwick.

      This was the segment that caught my attention.

      After agreeing, in response to a strongly-worded question, Prof, Renwick agreed, yes we do have a problem in the Arctic but – wait for it “in the Arctic it is getting into a runaway situation” but for the globe as a whole that’s less of an issue”

      Did I hear that right?!

      Did I hear that right?!

      “For the globe as a whole that’s less of an issue.”

      And then he goes on to say that we might see a lot of warming 10-12 degrees
      (“something crazy like that”) – it might be catastrophic for humanity – but it wouldn’t just keep getting hotter, like on Venus.

      Great news folks!

      But the climate could change enough so that food and water availability “would go out the window”…that would be a bad thing for humanity”

      Well,Professor, I suppose it would.

      From yesterday as well – the professor is among those in this country who are “puzzled” by the record autumn temperatures.

      Apparently we need more research to reinvent the wheel.

      “Exactly why that’s happened is subject to ongoing research. We have yet to work out what is going on there.”

      I can think of quite a few people who are not “climate scientists” and not only more erudite than esteemed professor., but more informed as well

      It does make me wonder how they award professorships in this country these days.

      Here is the discussion which brings to mind,not Monty Python,but NZ’s own John Clarke (“Fred Dagg”)

      In fact there IS an example where someone, the chief forecaster at NIWA demonstrated some urgency (and passion) in getting the message out.

      But that was before he was turned into a whimpering public servant by his superiors.


      • And now we come to the other expert, Professor James Renwick.

        This was the segment that caught my attention.

        After agreeing, in response to a strongly-worded question, Prof, Renwick agreed, yes we do have a problem in the Arctic but – wait for it “in the Arctic it is getting into a runaway situation” but for the globe as a whole that’s less of an issue”

        Did I hear that right?!

        Did I hear that right?!

        “For the globe as a whole that’s less of an issue.”

        Peter Wadhams – Implications Of Arctic Sea Ice Collapse – YouTube Which are global.


  1. It was good to hear Jim Salinger talk about the gagging of scientists, which he could not do much when employed because of gagging of scientists.

    It was sad to hear Jim Renwick not know the answers to important questions.

    It was sad to hear others suggest there are solutions to the CO2 predicament within the current political framework.

    In November 2015 atmospheric CO2 trends started to look rather disturbing.

    Year-on-year increases in monthly concentrations for the last several months:

    May: 3.76
    April: 4.16
    March: 3.31
    February: 3.76
    January: 2.56
    December: 3.01
    November: 2.89
    October: 2.34
    September: 2.28

    February, March, April and May [2016] trends looked very disturbing.

    And in early June the daily results have been looking even more disturbing.

    Daily CO2

    June 6, 2016: 407.84 ppm

    June 6, 2015: 402.99 ppm

    Up 4.85 ppm.

    Things to watch over the coming months:

    1. Atmospheric CO2.

    2. Fires in Siberia and Canada.

    3. Global average temperatures.

    4. Meltdown of the Arctic.

    ‘Arctic Death Spiral – another record:

    Average volume for May lowest ever at 20,991 km³.

    Averages for May:

    2007: 23,078
    2008: 24,102
    2009: 23,851
    2010: 22,181
    2011: 21,108
    2012: 21,677
    2013: 21,839
    2014: 21,878
    2015: 23,000
    2016: 20,991’


  2. Wow, the rubber hits the road all right. I just listened to this while packing house to move next week. I am moving away from the harbour front property into the mountains. The road which the harbour front property is beside is also the sea wall along the Otago peninsula, the road has traffic cones all along the edge here now as it is being undermined by the sea.
    Lucky escape I think, these properties will be worthless soon.

  3. Dr Megan Woods called our agricultural carbon emissions “the elephant in the room”. I think the elephant in question is the claim by the organics movement that they already have tried and tested carbon-neutral or even carbon-absorbing land management practices, developed over decades. Are agricultural scientists researching this? If they are, and if it’s true, would a hypothetical Labour/Greens government put some serious resources into transitioning farms across the country to organics ASAP?

    Speaking on elephants in the room, some commentators like Dr John Robinson believe that our agricultural emissions have been over-emphasized to blunt criticism of our fossil fuel extraction industries, including coal mining on the West Coast, fracking in Taranaki and so on. industrializing countries such as India and China get hauled over the coals for massive increases in emissions, much of which is created in the manufacture of export goods that countries like the US and NZ would otherwise have to produce for ourselves, and emitted from fossil fuels that we export to them for the purpose. I went to a talk recently at Otago Uni given by physicist Inga Smith, which pointed out that international travel and freight have not been included in the per-country carbon emissions statistics, because it’s too hard to agree on what country is responsible for what proportion of a given journey. Which means much of the emissions from both of tourism and export goods industries are not included in our emissions!

  4. The removal of the thumbs-up/thumbs-down icons was a good move because those who used to click thumbs-down whenever unmentionable truth was written now have to respond with rational arguments based on facts, and most of the time they don’t have any.

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