Climate change at Kiwiblog

An unusual ‘request’ or challenge to post on Climate change from Lyn Prentice at The Standard.

I can think of that happening several times in the past, and not just in the climate ‘skeptics’ area. There is one ‘fact’ driven ‘political’ site that appears to specialise in it. Now if we could just persuade PG to write a post on climate change maybe these idiots could find a hero to follow…..

I wonder how I could do that :)

I suspect Lyn is making assumptions again and has no idea what my views are on climate change, despite me having debated climate change for years at Kiwiblog – often as a lone voice against the entrenched “nothing’s wrong, do nothing” hard core there.

But the vocal few are not the Kiwiblog opinion.

David Farrar occasionally posts on climate change. His last is Fisking deaths from climate change in which he concludes:

As to the facts:

Professor David Spiegelhalter has already savaged this one elegantly on his blog.  All the projected increase in temperature-related deaths in the UK is due to the increase in the number of elderly people.

If you compare people of the same age, the projections say cold-related deaths will fall by about twice as much as heat-related deaths rise, as his graph of the numbers from the paper shows.  That is, the paper actually predicts that global warming will reduce the number of temperature-related deaths in the UK.

Will Stuff run the truth as prominently as the original story.

Finally a point worth noting:

In the USA or Australia, let alone Africa, India, and other less-wealthy tropical places, there is going to be a real problem with temperature-related deaths from global warming.  In many more parts of the world, there’s a potential for weather-related deaths from drought, flood, storm, and ‘tropical’ disease.

Heat waves in the UK are not in the top ten list of things to worry about from global warming. Pretending they are is likely to be counterproductive.


Previous to that he posted a Climate change update quoting a new report from the Office of Prime Minister’s Science Advisory Committee is on . He concludes

The key projected changes for NZ are:

  • Ocean acidification: pH changes are greater in cooler waters
  • Temperature: The midrange of projections is an average temperature increase of 0.9°C by 2040, 2.1°C by 2090
  • Wind: Increase in strongest winter winds by 2100
  • Precipitation: Little change for the overall mean, but large geographical variation
  • Extreme weather: Heavier and more frequent extreme rainfalls, but also more droughts. On average, 2 or more extra weeks of drought annually by mid-century for much of North Island and eastern South Island.

In terms of the recent temperature trends, the report notes:

  • Over short time periods, natural variability has a significant impact on the global warming trend
  • Short periods of no change or even slight cooling are to be expected, despite a continued long-term warming trend; 
  • At times natural variability may even amplify warming;
  • Global surface temperatures are only part of the picture, the ocean is a much larger heat sink than the atmosphere;
  • The reported recent ‘hiatus’ in the rate of rise of temperature does not signal that climate change has ‘stopped’ or is no longer a concern

The report is around 20 pages long, and for my 2c is very well done. I suggest people actually read it, rather than jump to conclusions about what it does and does not say.

This is similar to my approach on climate change – concerns but with some cautions about overstating and over-dramatising potential problems.

In contrast some of the Kiwiblog regulars react to this last post. Andrei:

The report is around 20 pages long, and for my 2c is very well done.

I haven’t read it but will though my prediction. from your extracts, is that it will be twenty pages of gobbly gook and double talk trying to paper over the well proven fact that political airheads have been sucked in by charlatans, willingly in many cases since they have used crap science to justify new taxes and what politician can ever resist a chance to implement a new tax?


Wind: Increase in strongest winter winds by 2100

Cannot see a year ahead, let alone ninety! Laughable, fucking laughable.
Let’s tax stupid NZers now is what this Labour Lite government is saying.

I dabbled in that debate but didn’t get too involved, I’ve learnt the futility of trying to argue with entrenched denial. Debating with the likes of Andrei and Manolo is like whispering in a Dunedin southerly blast.

Both those comments had 31 likes, and they had 7 and 8 dislikes. That’s probably fairly indicative of the active opinion on climate change at Kiwiblog.

Comments along the lines of “it’s cold today, what happened to global warming” are common. There was such a dig in the snow yesterday by Kea:

Yet another frigid winter in the Northern Hemisphere. I just heard, on the radio, some cities have vastly increased their coal supplies to deal with the cold.

“Waves of Cold, Snow to Invade Midwest and East Into Next Week

After a weekend with record cold and snow, more waves of cold air and snow are on the way through the middle of November from the Midwest to the East.

A storm last weekend produced the earliest snowfall on record in Columbia, South Carolina, on Saturday. Freezing temperatures settled over much of the South and, when combined with the snow in the southern Appalachians, allowed some ski resorts to open early.

Snow buried part of New England later in the weekend, as the same storm pushed off the coast, turned northward and ramped up.”

Nasska obliged with a response:

They must have got it wrong Kea. Just the other day, on these very forums, someone reckoned that the temperatures have been soaring & that it’s probably too late to save the planet.

Can you check that link….it could be one of those sceptic sites.

…”The freezing snow and ice is on the ground”….

Quick! Carbon taxes must increase….only they can save the planet.

Griff does most of the counter debate at Kiwiblog these days:

Yet another frigid winter in the Northern Hemisphere.

Nope yet another cold blast in the north eastern usa The south western usa and Alaska is still baking
From the site you linked to.

A powerful storm is slated to move over the Bering Sea this weekend, possibly becoming one of the most intense storms to ever impact the region.According to Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson, “In brief, when a typhoon curves away from Asia it causes the jet stream [steering winds] farther to the east across the Pacific and into North America to buckle and amplify days later.”This is the case for the remnants of Super Typhoon Nuri as it has already curved away from Asia and tracking northward toward Alaska.As a result, arctic air is expected to invade the Plains, Midwest and Northeast next week.

Dry conditions will persist over the Southwest well beyond the upcoming weekend, as the drought intensifies and fire danger continues.
The usa is experiencing climate change. Stronger storms. More extremes in precipitation. More drought in dry areas.

That will fall on deaf ears despite the overwhelming scientific evidence that the world has a potentially very serious problem with climate change.

Climate is very complex but local signs and global science suggest it is changing and it’s very likely humans are partly responsible.

The main questions for me are on the degree and the severity of the changes, no one can be sure about that (the IPCC quote confidence levels of varying possibilities), and whether we can do anything effective about it.

A blog post on CBC News an hour ago:

Urgent IPCC climate change warning demands action: Bob McDonald

IPCC report is that doing nothing will cost much more than taking action now

By Bob McDonald, CBC News

The latest report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the loudest shout to come from the scientific community about the urgency to do something about global warming. Yet less than a week later, it’s barely talked about.

The 116-page report is a synthesis of the last four reports – intended to act as a summary of where we are – leading up to the next big UN climate summit in Paris next year. Normally, the wording of these reports has been somewhat cautionary, using phrases such as, “very likely,” or “strong evidence,” when referring to changes taking place in the Earth’s atmosphere since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.  

Not this time.

The message from the scientists is now clear. Fossil fuels must be gone by 2100 or we will pass a tipping point into a future calamity.  

While this message from scientists has been growing more urgent since the first report in 1990,  the response from politicians has been slow. Global carbon emissions continue to rise, along with rising temperatures in the air and the oceans.

I’ll post that on Kiwiblog this morning. The response there will be more predictable than the weather, but that won’t change to facts and the need for action world wide.

Bob McDonald concludes:

The most important part of the message from this IPCC report is that doing nothing will cost much more than taking action now. That’s an economic argument.

Let common sense prevail.

Common sense is unlikely to prevail at Kiwiblog on this topic but at least both sides of the arguments are allowed and debated there.

Leave a comment


  1. If the “science is settled” then why is the Antarctic ice cover continuing to expand?

    The greenhouse effect doesn’t distinguish between the northern and southern hemispheres, so what could be causing the Arctic ice to retreat while the Antarctic ice advances?

    One contender is geo-engineering. There’s a much higher presence of HAARP sites in the northern hemisphere.

  2. kathy maddren

     /  8th November 2014

    A decade or so ago heaps of scientists decided on all our behalfs, that eating more than three eggs a week was life threatening.

    But I carried on eating eggs whenever I felt like it.

    Just because you have a University Degree, doesn’t mean you’re smart.

  3. David

     /  8th November 2014

    Really Pete ? After you finished explaining 17 years of stable temps are you really going to prostrate yourself unquestionably to Greenpeace, I am shocked.
    Humans play a part in temps but nowhere near anything that taxpayer funded loons imagine. Seriously Pete CO2 is essential to growing plants and it appears it’s working quite well and is not the poison we have been led to believe. Polls point to around 10% of the population die in a ditch over climate change….Eco loons

    • kathy maddren

       /  8th November 2014

      I am going to take a wild shot in the dark, and presume you don’t live in close proximity to cows, Dave. LOL.


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