Tag Archives: NIWA

Have local climate pseudosceptics come to the end of the road?

This from Radio New Zealand today:

Climate deniers ordered to pay court costs

A group of climate-change sceptics has been forced to pay court costs over their unsuccessful legal challenge against the National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (Niwa).

The New Zealand Climate Science Education Trust took Niwa to court saying its science was faulty and that was unacceptable because its findings guided national policymaking.

The case was abandoned when judges ruled scientific argument was not appropriate for determination by a court of law.

The High Court awarded costs of about $80,000 against the trust, which then asked the Court of Appeal for a discount arguing its members had acted in the public interest.

But the court has concluded the trust was mounting a crusade against Niwa and was not acting reasonably.

via Radio New Zealand : News : National : Climate deniers ordered to pay court costs.

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Climate change denier’s false “deep distress” fools no-one

Recently I commented on the High Court rejection of the climate change deniers/contrarians/sceptics arguments against NIWA’s New Zealand temperature record. I said that those attacking NIWA were “getting all falsely indignant because others have pointed out that in effect they were charging that NIWA had acted fraudulently and this had been rejected (see “Leading climate scientists” make false allegation).”

I argued that, in fact, these groups have for several years have accused NIWA scientists of fraud, even if the specific F word had not been used. It is disingenuous of these people to now claim “We never said it was fraud” and limit themselves to the literal words used in the High Court submissions.

The writer of that blog post, the well-known local climate change denier Richard Treadgold, indignantly claimed:

“the Trust did not claim fraud in its Statement of Claim to the High Court, which nowhere uses any derivative of the word fraud. The Coalition never accused NIWA of fraud.”

Come on Richard – enough of the porkies. You are just relying on reader’s ignorance of the statement. (While at the same time avoiding the long history of aggressive accusations of scientific fraud your organisations have made against NIWA scientists).

Someone from NIWA who participated in the High Court case, and therefore is familiar with the statements, sent me these comments:

“here are some accusations in the NZCSET’s statements of claim:

Paragraph 20 in NZCSET’s First Statement of Claim (July 2010), repeated in First Amended Statement of Claim (July 2011):

20.  In making the 1999 decision NIWA was influenced by the expectation that significant NZTR warming would encourage funding for additional climate change research.

If this isn’t accusing us of fraud, I don’t know what is.

Also, from NZCSET’s First Amended Statement of Claim (July 2011):

45. Given the differences in data and calculations utilised by NIWA in producing the 7SS and the NZT7 there is no known scientific basis upon which it could have arrived at the coincidence between the results of the two series. The defendant must therefore have been affected by bias or actuated by some ulterior and/or irrelevant purpose, including:

(a) The advantages of finding a warming trend broadly consistent with the advice on climate matters that NIWA has been offering to judicial, administrative and

legislative bodies during the past decade;

(b) The avoidance of political embarrassment, or reduction in public confidence in NIWA’s scientific advice on climate matters, which might arise if the NZT7 failed to align with the warming trend shown in the 7SS.

Again, this is surely accusing us of fraud, by any other name. The explicit use of the ‘F’ word is not necessary.

Treadgold pretends “deep distress” at Dr Renwick’s comment referring to “the claim by the New Zealand Climate Science Education Trust (CSET, a small group of climate change “sceptics”) that NIWA had acted fraudulently in putting together its ‘7-station’ temperature series.” Treadgold goes as far as to pretend “to those devoted to the even-handed, practical pursuit of truth this accusation is deeply distressing.” (sic). And he calls for Dr Renwick to “man up and admit their mistake, apologise and withdraw the press statement.”

What hypocrisy!

Given the long history of the unfounded attacks by Treadgold and his mates on NIWA’s scientists, that again and again their claims have been exposed as unfounded and NIWA’s position vindicated, and now finally the rejection of these denier claims by the High Court, let me repeat my suggest from 2 years ago in Painted into a corner?

Isn’t it long past the time that Treadgold and his mates “man up”, apologise and withdraw their claims?

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High Court ruled on integrity – not science

There is a lot of local internet debate about the High Court decision on the Judicial Review of NIWA’s New Zealand temperature record. Some of it is poorly informed as it assumes that the Judge ruled on the correctness of the science. That the ruling confirmed that the scientific consensus on global warming is “legally” correct. This would be silly and deplorable, if true, because it’s hardly the place for the High Court to decide scientific truth.

Justice Venning saw no reason to review the science – he found the appellant’s arguments inadequate or false.

In fact the ruling was not on the science – but on the scientific integrity of NIWA scientists who produced the science. The appellants (the NZ Climate Education Trust) could not prove their effective claim that NIWA’s scientists were guilty of fraud. That the methods used to get the temperature record were faulty or jerry rigged. That being the case the request for a judicial review of the science was rejected.

Justice Venning did decide that “in principle, the remedy of judicial review is potentially available” to the appellants. But:

“Unless the decision maker has followed a clearly improper process, the Court will be reluctant to adjudicate on matters of science and substitute its own inexpert view of the science if there is a tenable expert opinion.” And “unless the Trust can point to some defect in NIWA’s decision-making process or show that the decision was clearly wrong in principle or in law, this Court will not intervene. This Court should not seek to determine or resolve scientific questions demanding the evaluation of contentious expert opinion.”

(Quotes are from Justice Venning’s Judgement).

Clearly the trust were unable to give any acceptable or convincing evidence of defects in NIWA’s work. Therefore the “application for judicial review is dismissed and judgment entered for the defendant.” And he awarded costs to NIWA.

NIWA’s reaction

NIWA also clearly interpret the judgement as endorsing their integrity. Their official comment (see Endorsement of NIWA’s science welcome) states “High Court Judge Justice Venning was unequivocal in his findings, reinforcing NIWA’s professionalism and credibility in this important area. “ And “NIWA Chairman, Chris Mace, said, “High Court Judge, Justice Venning’s ruling is a comprehensive reinforcement of the professionalism and credibility of NIWA’s science and scientists.”

The emotions of loss

Of course, those in denial are now trying to claim victory because no ruling was made on the temperature record itself (it wasn’t considered so couldn’t be ruled on) and getting all falsely indignant because others have pointed out that in effect they were charging that NIWA had acted fraudulently and this had been rejected (see “Leading climate scientists” make false allegation).

I can appreciate these local climate change deniers are a bit emotional at the moment. They have fallen to arguing amongst themselves.  They are busy smearing Judge Justice Venning (which I would think has its own legal dangers) and blaming everyone else for their defeat. But a simple glance at the history of this dispute shows that they have, in effect, been accusing NIWA scientists of fraud and justifying that accusation with untenable claims, which, in the end, were not seen as credible by the High Court.

A brief history

The Judgement illustrates the start of this sorry saga with:

[118] On 26 November 2009 members of the Coalition published on their website a paper entitled “Are We Feeling Warmer Yet”? The paper claimed that “New Zealand’s temperature had been remarkably stable for a century and a half” and that the Coalition had “discovered that the warming in New Zealand over the past 156 years was indeed manmade, but had nothing to do with the emissions of CO2 – it was created by manmade adjustments of the temperature. It’s a disgrace.” The Coalition advanced the theory that the trend shown by the 7SS disagreed with historical temperature measurements recorded in NIWA’s climate data base.

Avoiding the F word but dog whistling fraud.

This is the only real reference to that document and the quote is significant as it illustrates that these groups were really accusing the NIWA scientists of manipulating adjustments to obtain a warming trend (see New Zealand’s denier-gate). In this document they also claimed that scientists:

“created a warming effect where none existed.” . . . “the shocking truth is that the oldest readings were cranked way down and later readings artificially lifted to give a false impression of warming.” (My emphasis).

Although they have been careful to avoid the word “fraud” in their public pronouncements, their claims and charges have really just been dog whistling the same message. As has the tone of their supporters in on-line discussions.

Subsequently the authors of this document changed their story. This came after NIWA reviewed the work, carried out an independent analysis and produced a temperature record basically the same as the previous one (see Painted into a corner?). Without in any way acknowledging the incorrectness of their claim that no adjustments were necessary for site changes of the weather stations the climate change deniers/contrarians/sceptics then started to argue about the nature of these adjustments. And they later produced another analysis where they did use adjustments.

This is a weird situation – they still stand by both reports yet they are effectively saying two different things – (a) no site adjustments are necessary and (b) site adjustments are necessary but NIWA is doing it wrong! No wonder Justice Venning concluded they had no expertise in the subject.

Anonymous “science team” becomes “expert” witness

The authors of this first report were Richard Treadgold and Manfred Otto Dedekind. The latter author was originally kept anonymous (Richard Treadgold claimed they had a “scientific team” which wished to remain anonymous see my email correspondence with Richard on this) but turns up as one of the “expert” witnesses in the High Court action (see Shy climate denier in “science team” reveals himself). He claimed to be an expert in statistical analysis – yet a simple statistical analysis of the data he presented in “Are we getting warmer yet?” would have clearly shown site effects which required adjustments! (Bugger me – a simple glance at plots for the different stations would have shown that fact! – See below for Wellington).

“Are we getting warmer yet?” declared no adjustments were required in merging data from these three stations!

The judgement called attention to the “limited nature of his expertise” (as also for one of their other witnesses, Terry Dunleavy), rejected their claims of “impartiality,” and found “substantial passages” of their evidence inadmissable because their comments and opinions on “NIWA’s application of statistical techniques . . . is of little assistance to the Court.”

What were the trust’s claims?

The Trust had attempted to show “a clearly improper process,” incompetence, scientific fraud, or whatever you wish to call it, by making three accusations:

Breach of statutory duty:

“[180] The plaintiff alleges that by departing from recognised scientific opinion NIWA breached its statutory obligations, including its obligation to pursue excellence.”

Failure to consider mandatory considerations and Mistake of fact:

“[181] Next, the Trust says that NIWA failed to consider mandatory relevant considerations in departing from recognised scientific opinions.”

“[182] For the same reasons the allegation of a mistake of fact based on departure from recognised scientific opinion” or the “alternative proposition, that the decision to publish the review was based on mistaken belief it had been compiled using internationally recognised scientific methodology.”

Unreasonableness

“[183] Finally, the plaintiff alleges that in deciding to publish the review without following recognised scientific opinion and without an independent peer review NIWA acted unreasonably.”

The Climate Education Trust and its “expert” witnesses were unable to support either claim and they were all rejected.

“Recognised scientific opinion”

A lot of the appellant’s arguments relied on their interpretation of “recognised scientific opinion.” They claimed NIWA, in its review of the temperature record did not use the methodology described in a 1993 paper. NIWA agreed and countered the “recognised scientific opinion” argument with:

[80] NIWA does not accept that there is such a concept as an “officially recognised scientific opinion”. Dr Wratt accepts that the science community has well developed processes for addressing debates about scientific methods and interpretation through scientific conferences, and publications in the scientific literature. Dr Wratt does not consider however that there is one absolutely standard global methodology for calculating adjustments in temperature series to account for site shifts that is immutable. He supports that opinion by reference to Petersen et al (1998) which describes various methodologies. He says, as a matter of logic that must be so otherwise there would be no development. Dr Trenberth is also supportive of Dr Wratt’s approach. In his opinion:
There is no one ‘correct’ way to calculate the specific adjustments which need to be made. …

NIWA’s position is surely the same any  credible research scientist would hold. The Trusts claim of an infallible, for all time and all situations method, is extremely naive and opportunistic. It’s not surprising that Justice Venning concluded they did not have the expertise to be taken simply on the word as the source of a “recognised scientific opinion”. Indeed, Professor Carter, a geologist appearing as an expert witness for the trust did “not directly support the Trust’s definition of recognised scientific opinion.” In his evidence he argued that:

“Applied science in any field must take into account the current state of knowledge as attested by the peer-reviewed literature.”

It’s no wonder the Climate Education Trust lost this case. They were unable to support their arguments. In fact their arguments were extremely naive and opportunist.

The question of costs

It remains only for the costs to be calculated (surely these characters are not silly enough to seriously consider an appeal?). These will be substantial and morally legitimate considering the cost of this case, and the ongoing public attacks on the integrity of climate scientists by these people. Costs which otherwise fall on the public.

I find interesting the fact that the Climate Education Trust when it was first formed registered as a charity. The implication was that they would rely on public donations to cover their costs (the Trust was formed purely as a front group for the legal action). However, the registration seems to have been withdrawn. One can only assume that they envisage covering their costs through corporate donations, and not through public charity. Or that they wish to avoid the finial accountability that comes with charity registration.

A bit of much-needed humour

Hitler Finds Out Climate Change is Real

Yes, I know. Bit of a cheap shot and these Hitler videos are getting a bit tiresome. However, when I first saw this I thought it might illustrate the emotional bickering in the local climate change denial/contrarian/sceptic community when they lost their High Court case against NIWA.

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The story behind the High Court action

Some readers may be unaware that New Zealand SciBlogs produces a weekly podcast (usually available Friday afternoon). It’s worth listening to as it provides a Kiwi angle on current science news.

The latest podcast (Episode 37 – Science on trial) will interest everyone concerned about climate change, and particularly the recent High court case taken by a climate change denial group against NIWA. There is a long interview with Gareth Renowden, a SciBlogger who writes for Hot Topic. Gareth has published a book on climate change (Hot Topic) and is a mine of information on the science and politics of the issue. He provides an in-depth analysis of the High Court case and the people behind it. Well worth catching up with.

Also on this last podcast is an interview with James Renwick, a climate scientist working at School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences, Victoria University. He comments on the current scientific and political situation regarding climate change.

via The Sciblogs Podcast.


And if you have the time why not go back and listen to previous SciBlogs podcasts. For instance Episode 34: Digital Earth 2.0 includes an interview with yours truly discussing my blog post on the changing face of Australia’s religious affiliations.

Scepticism, denial and the high court

Currently the NZ High Court is hearing a case brought against NIWA by a local climate change denial group.* You can catch up with the background and progress at When asses go to court, When asses go to law, Exclusive: Flat Earth Society appeal to NZ climate sceptics – join us! and Niwa breaching its duties with figures – sceptics group

The most interesting aspect of this trial will be the judge’s verdict and reasons. But at this stage I just want to justify my description of the complainants as climate change deniers rather than sceptics (a term I know they prefer – although one of them is objecting even to that (see Four go a-court, with a hey, nonny-no). To me it all boils down to questions of  “good faith.”

We have plenty of debates in science – and sometimes these can become heated. But they are important to the whole enterprise. Ideas and theories must be tested against reality, and that testing should be done collectively – individuals are too prone to bias. So argument, debate and testing against reality is what keeps us honest.

But of course that debate must be carried out in “good faith.” With the intention of exposing errors and coming to a resolution which provides a better picture of reality. From my perspective scepticism is part of the process and there is plenty of room for sceptics in science – including climate science. Honest, good faith, scepticism can only be good.

So what about “deniers.” Well, the difference here is that their “scepticism” is not aimed at improving our knowledge, or of furthering truth, but in discrediting that knowledge. By now we have all become used to the climate change denial activity, its sneering attitude towards science and the facts, and the support it gets from the fossil fuel industry and extreme right-wing and conservative politicians.

But here’s a little guide I came across which helps illustration the difference between scepticism and denial. It’s from Get Energy Smart! NOW! and the post is titled “Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire …” Differentiating Skeptic from Denier. (I sort of think the childishness of the title is appropriate in this case).

The post contrasts Legitimate scientific scepticism with denialism. Here’s an extract:

Legitimate scientific skepticism:

“I found a flaw in one of your statistical methods. Here’s a better way to do it, and here are my results using the new method.”

Denialism:

“I found a flaw in one of your statistical methods. Therefore, you’re a liar liar pants on fire.”

Legitimate scientific skepticism:

“I think one of your data sets is questionable. Here’s an analysis of how that data set impacts your overall result.”

Denialism:

“I think one of your data sets is questionable. Therefore, you’re a liar liar pants on fire.”

Legitimate scientific skepticism:

“I think your model fails to account for a factor that I believe is significant. Here’s a modified model that accounts for the factor you left out, and here are my results with the new model.”

Denialism:

“I think your model fails to account for a factor that I believe is significant. Therefore, you’re a liar liar pants on fire.”

Get it yet?

Actually, for anyone who has delved into the blogs, comments sections and forums of the climate change denial echo chamber the spite and sneering is not far from “liar, liar, pants on fire!”

I look forward to the High Court verdict.


*This denier group is rather weird. It calls itself the “New Zealand Climate Science Education Trust,” and is known as a branch of the NZ Climate Science Coalition – a local denier group with links to the US Heartland Institute and other right-wing think tanks. It originally attempted to register as a charity and was actually listed for a short time in the NZ Charities register. Now it has been removed!

Perhaps their registration was rejected, possibly because of its political nature or its unwillingness to provide financial reports. Or perhaps they decided that there was little mileage (and little support) from going down the charity road and it has fallen back on deeper financial pockets.

It might need them.

Image credit: Dirty Bandits

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Shy climate denier in “science team” reveals himself.

Credit: Star Phoenix Base (http://starphoenixbase.com/)

More information related to local climate change denier attacks on NIWA scientists is starting to appear. The NZCSC (NZ Climate Science Coalition – a local denier group) has listed sworn affidavits supporting their arguments to the NZ High Court requesting NIWA abandon New Zealand’s temperature record. Effectively they are accusing our scientists of scientific fraud! A very serious accusation.

Currently this case appears to be timetabled for the middle of the year.

Gareth, at Hot Topic, has already commented on a discrepancy in the affidavit from the NZCSC star witness, Dr Bob Carter (see The Carter Controversy). Carter claims “I receive no research funding from special interest organisations such as environmental groups, energy companies or government departments.” But recent exposure of internal memos from the US heartland Institute revealed that Carter is and will receive payments from them for his climate change denial work. As Gareth said: “A cynic might ask if Bob’s sworn statement to the High Court is entirely compatible with his Heartland funding.”

But my interest here is in the affidavit from Manfred Otto Dedekind. He has a B.Sc (Hons) in Physics (1986) and claims to be a computer modeller “constantly engaged with statistical analysis.”  Why am I interested? Well, he admits that he was “a co-author of the 2009 NZCSC paper “Are we Feeling Warmer Yet?” Two years ago I was denied any information on the authorship of this paper, and its scientific input, by the NZSCC and its Climate Conversation Group (see New Zealand’s denier-gate and Climate change deniers live in glass buildings). In fact I was specifically told that the “science team “ who did the work for this paper wished to remain anonymous.

It was the first time I had heard of scientists so shy about their work. But given Dedekind’s science background and admitted co-authorship of this “paper” (“Are we feeling Warmer Yet?”) I guess we have a case of a “shy scientist” (or perhaps he was their whole “science team”) reluctantly coming forward because of the impending court case.

In the affidavit he describes himself as a “physicist” and “IT professional” living in Auckland who emigrated to New Zealand after working for 10 years “for the CSIR in Pretoria.” No indication of his current employment although he claims to “work as a computer modeller.”  A search on Google Scholar produced just four engineering papers (two as senior author) published about 20 years ago.

When I requested information about their “paper” from these organisations two years ago I was directed to Richard Treadgold (who current runs the denier blog Climate Conversations) as the paper’s author. He was extremely evasive, promised me the data  and methodology they used and then refused to provide it. You can download a full record of my email correspondence with Richard – but here are  questions related to the statistical analysis and the scientific authors of the “paper.”

No statistical analysis

Treadgold and Dedekind (2009) (“Are we feeling Warmer Yet?”) claimed: “the station histories are unremarkable. There are no reasons for any large correction.”  In fact they went on to assert that NIWA scientists:

“created a warming effect where none existed.” That “the shocking truth is that the oldest readings were cranked way down and later readings artificially lifted to give a false impression of warming.” And “we have discovered that the warming in New Zealand over the past 156 years was indeed man-made, but it had nothing to do with emission of CO2 – it was created by man-made adjustments of the temperature. It’s a disgrace.

But they provided no statistical analysis to back up this claim!

Any effect, or lack of effect, of changes in location of station sites would have been easy to show by a relatively simple statistical procedure. In answer to my question “Was any statistical analysis (e.g. ANOVA) done on the raw data to test for the effect of station site?”

Richard’s answer “No.”

Now, at the time I thought that was scientifically inept. But Richard’s co-author Manfred describes himself, in his affidavit, as having “a sound grounding in the practical application of statistical technique.” So he should have known he could easily test his and Richard’s claim that adjustments for station site changes were unnecessary with the appropriate statistical analysis.

I find it hard to believe that he didn’t do this relatively simple analysis – given his “sound grounding” in the techniques. He may well have done so – but if he did I am sure he would have found it didn’t support the claims he and Richard made in this “paper.”

Anonymous “science team”

When communicating with Richard I attempted to track down the scientific authors of his paper. This was because Richard himself appeared not to understand my questions (he admits no science background) – and kept claiming he was passing them on to his “science team.” So it’s understandable that I should ask who this science team were:

“Can you tell me who the authors are? They will be the best people to ask about the statement in this paper which I, and David Winter, believe (and show with our analyses) to be incorrect. It would only be sensible, and respectful, for me to communicate with them before commenting further.”

Richard’s reply: ” I collated the study. The scientific team wish to remain anonymous.”

Later, frustrated with Richard’s avoidance,  I asked: “PS – would it be possible to discuss these directly with one of your scientists involved in the work? It would be a lot easier.”

Richard’ strange reply: “Talk to a scientist??!! Ring the Make A Wish  Foundation! No, it would be easier (for me, too!) — but so far they don’t wish to be known.”

Well, at last Manfred has put his hand up.  I am pleased to see that he and his mates have included their “paper” “Are we feeling Warmer Yet?” on their  index of exhibits for the High Court. Maybe NIWA will get the opportunity to put to him the questions I have raised. No judge will put up with the avoidance tactics dished out to me.

I guess we are all interested in seeing how the High Court reacts how the court reacts to Manfred’s request that NIWA’s temperature record “be rejected.” Actually, I am also interested in hearing what the judge has to say about the malicious nature of their request and the time wasted by the court.

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Shonky climate-change denial “science”

I have often accused the local climate change denial group of shonky science in their treatment of data for their report Are we feeling warmer yet? (see for example ). There is the clear issue of their presenting temperature data which had not been corrected for changes in station location, etc. (And of course their unwarranted accusation that our climate scientists were guilty of fraud in using the necessary adjustments). And some of the data they used did not appear to correspond to that on the NIWA database.

Richard Treadgold (the only publicly acknowledged author of the report) consistently refused to clarify any issue I raised with him on the data. He also refused to make his data or methods available. (Although he assured me that his report was backed by his own “science team which wished to remain anonymous”). Read the emails for a summary of his attempts to avoid revealing his data and methods.

However, Treadgold seems to have inadvertently let some of his data slip by providing  a link to a spreadsheet (Summary AWFWY RTreadgold.xls which is in a directory for his blog). This provides an opportunity to check in detail the level of scientific competence in this group.

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A desperate plea to be noticed?

Quite a few local bloggers* have commented on the legal action some New Zealand climate deniers are taking to get NIWA to change its national temperature record. This is only the latest step in a nasty little campaign by these people to deny the reality of climate change. Nasty because it distorts the data and facts and makes outrageous attacks on the integrity and honesty of New Zealand scientists. The latest step – but I do wonder if it is the last step – seeing it is likely to backfire.Initially this campaign attempted to take advantage of the “climategate” email hysteria to whip up local anti-science feelings. Of late, as this hysteria has dispersed the local deniers have deteriorated to a small but vocal clique making carping and dishonest attacks on NIWA. I guess they see this legal action as a way of somehow revitalising their campaign.

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Swiftboating science

“Swiftboating” is a new term for me – and for science, I guess. But it is part of US political jargon.

To quote Wikipedia:

“Swiftboating . .  is used as a strong pejorative description of some kind of attack that the speaker considers unfair or untrue—for example, an ad hominem attack or a smear campaign.

The term comes from the Swift Vets and POWs for Truth (formerly “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth,” or SBVT) and that group’s widely publicized campaign against 2004 US Presidential candidate John Kerry.

Originally, terms like “swiftboating”, “Swift Boating”, “Swift Boat tactics”, etc. were mostly used by people who disapproved of the Swift Vets and POWs for Truth. It is now in mainstream use. Some American conservatives have strongly objected (see below) to the criticism of SBVT implied by such negative usage.”

It appears, mainly, to be a tactic of political conservatives. So it’s not surprising they describe the process differently. This from Conservapedia:

Swift-boating is an idiomatic catchphrase generally taken to mean exposing hard truths about Democrats who have distorted the truth or lied about their own activities.

Here on Conservapedia, the term is used to mean exposing hard truths about liberal editors who censor, distort the truth, or engage in deceit.”

So – its a synonym for “character assassination” and “smear.” With particular connotations of calling into question one’s honourable status.

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The global warming debate summarised

The debates around climate change have hotted up of late. Obviously this is related to the Copenhagen Conference, the “climategate” theft and release of emails in the UK and the attacks on our NIWA scientists by the local “denier” groups the Climate Science Coalition, the Climate Conversation group and a number of local bloggers.

It amazes me how often the same arguments come up, how strongly proponents of these are so adamant about them, and how little they have actually researched the issues – except to confirm their own biases.

Often, but not always, those arguing most furiously have only a rudimentary understanding of the whole subject of climate change. So, they may benefit from exposure to even the most simplified counter arguments.
Recently the Information Is Beautiful blog produced a very effective summary of the arguments and counter arguments (see Climate Change Deniers vs The Consensus). This includes most of the arguments I have heard lately so I reproduce it below. I think it is very effective because it avoids the jargon and technical detail (although I think the simplification may be a bit misleading in parts).

Hopefully readers will find this summary useful. Click on each image to view a clearer version which is also suitable for printing.

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