Monthly Archives: September 2012

Courts Not Scientists Sneaked Greenhouse Gas Sham into Law

Even though neither U.S. presidential candidate is talking up man-made global warming behind the scenes courts are hard at work making laws based on controversial greenhouse gas science.

Carbon Dioxide Not the Devil He Claims

Carbon Dioxide Not the Devil He Claims

An undemocratic, largely unseen shift in American law is now taking place. You would never know it from the media facade but 2012 has witnessed an inexorable Big Green legal juggernaut driving across America. Judges not voters are at the wheel and by stealthy maneuvering we are being steamrollered by secret government diktat rather than electoral preference. It is happening away from the public political barometer because the mainstream media focuses voter minds on believing the race for the Whitehouse is all about the grassroots economy. With $3 billion per year in government climate funding up for grabs neither Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney nor Democrat President Barack Obama appear willing to debate the American courts’ back door imposition of new draconian climate laws. Left unchecked more democracies are headed for the abyss of unreasoned totalitarianism.

Voters don’t know it yet but our courts shifted gear to drive us all to accept – by imposition of law – the cornerstone of man-made global warming science: the greenhouse gas hypothesis. All this despite repeated concerns expressed by conscientious climatologists. For example, only last week another top climate scientist unswerved by government bribes (Dr. John Christy) gave evidence to the U.S. House Energy and Power Subcommittee declaring: “I’ve often stated that climate science is a ‘murky’ science. We do not have laboratory methods of testing our hypotheses as many other sciences do.”

Despite Christy’s candor about the uncertainties two western governments this year rendered crucial legal judgments unequivocally enshrining the GHE – the cornerstone of all mainstream climatology – as incontestable legal and scientific fact. 

In this new topsy-turvy world last June the US Supreme Court ruled that “we give an extreme degree of deference to the [EPA] agency when it is evaluating scientific data within its technical expertise.” Right there judges, as with policymakers, turned a blind eye to the truth about this“theory” which has no less than 63 competing variants taught at leading universities – many in fatal contradiction with each other as revealed in the best-selling climate science book ‘Slaying the Sky Dragon.‘ The law has gone ahead and made an ass of itself over an issue even the scientific community explicitly accepts it has never resolved by experimental tests in our atmosphere. Today green-friendly courts are applying the slipshod ruling of Massachusetts el a.-v-Environment Protection Agency in which Justice Stevens declared:

“A well-documented rise in global temperatures has coincided with a significant increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Respected scientists believe the two trends are related. For when carbon dioxide [CO2] is released into the atmosphere, it acts like the ceiling of a greenhouse, trapping solar energy and retarding the escape of reflected heat. It is therefore a species—the most important species—of a ‘greenhouse gas.’

Judges Go Where Scientists Fear to Tread

But with billions in subsidies and research grants still  very much up for grabs despite the recession the sham appearance of scientific certainty still drives this scam forward. Much of the foundation claims for GHE global warming are premised on scientific research carried out behind closed doors deliberately hidden from the public. Without shame government agencies such as NASA defy freedom of information requests to disclose the root of their clandestine work. Yet despite the subterfuge the bold claims are that America’s 2012 Budget “sustains the President’s commitment to global-change research as part of a government-wide effort to understand, predict, mitigate, and adapt to climate change and transition the United States to a clean-energy economy.”

So precisely how much are American taxpayers doling out to “save the planet”? No less than a cool $2.6 billion this year via the multi-agency U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), an increase of 20.3 percent or $446 million over the 2010 enacted level. No wonder the political elite, in these times of extreme austerity, aren’t letting voters in on the secret of this monumentally unjustified and wasteful redistribution of wealth. When we look closer we may determine that it is by the connivance of government-appointed court judges working in tandem with fellow government scientists that our money is being stolen by the deft use of two powerful legal precedents from the United States Supreme Court.

In 2007 the Supreme Court made its first big play to dodge the scientific arguments and decide that Earth’s atmosphere does indeed act “like a greenhouse.” In 2012 America’s top judges then went a step further and validated into law the term “greenhouse gas” where before it lacked any valid scientific or legal definition. In our court system CO2 (the gas of most interest to tax grabbers)  is now officially a dangerous and taxable “greenhouse gas” where before it was innocuous and widely used in greenhouses to augment plant growth.

Incredibly, the country’s top judges fail to note that the rise in temperatures and levels of carbon dioxide only “coincided” for the period 1975-1998, a blink of an eye in geologic time. Of no apparent concern to the courts, Romney or Obama is that for the past 400,000 years the universally accepted Vostok ice core data shows that rises in CO2 always FOLLOW rises in temperature. This compelling evidence proves this benign trace gas cannot possibly drive global temperatures and its atmospheric level is merely a byproduct of any planet-wide warming.

Forget the Facts Government Science is Right

Other countries driven by their rich elite are also adopting this insidious anti-science US government policy. Earlier this September in New Zealand the Auckland High Court followed the American example and ruled in the matter of NZCSET-v- National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) that only government climatologists can be expert witnesses in court proceedings concerning greenhouse gas issues, regardless of whatever the broader scientific community says. New Zealand’s government researchers, using the same brand of secret science, imputed that human emissions of CO2 were harming Earth’s climate and the court agreed without question.

It may only be a matter of time before the courts in the UK, Australia and Canada follow suit. But independent climate researchers are doing all they can to speak out against this shocking bias. Among them is Principia Scientific International where climate researcher, Carl Brehmer lamented that not only does the US Supreme Court get the correlation/causation issue all wrong, but it fails to see how self-contradictory and unphysical are it’s assertions. Brehmer observed that judges have “ignored verifiable, observable scientific evidence to opine that any gas can act like a piece of solid glass (ceiling of a greenhouse) to prevent insolation from reaching the ground (trapping solar energy).”

Therefore lawyers, not scientists, are now writing the laws of physics to rule that a “greenhouse gas” is any gas that acts like a piece of solid glass (ceiling of a greenhouse) to prevent insolation from reaching the ground (trapping solar energy). By some miracle known only to them from their alternative universe this process simultaneously decreases Earth’s surface albedo (retarding the escape of reflected heat). That’s got to be one of the craziest non-sequiturs to be enshrined in law.

Zealous Environmental Lobbying Pays Off

Of great consequence are the following facts:

  • The notion that carbon dioxide is a pollutant, which requires regulation, is now the federal legal precedent in the United States; the EPA is set to shut down more than 100 of the 500 coal-burning power U.S. plants over the next few years;
  • The amount of electricity produced in the United States by coal powered plants has already been reduced to 1/3 down from ½;
  • In an attempt to reduce carbon emissions enough food is currently being turned into ethanol that could feed over a million people per year – pushing up prices;
  • Many countries have already instituted carbon taxes and others are contemplating it;
  • Large-scale land grabs are underway worldwide which drive rural farmers off land their ancestors have owned for generations to be turned into “carbon sinks” that are then “sold” on the carbon market. [1]
  • The plan is afoot to issue every person on the planet a “carbon ration card” which will track and ration all of the carbon dioxide that you personally produce as you go about living your life; [2.]
  • It remains the standing intention of the “Club of Rome” and the “World Future Council” to foist upon the world’s civilizations a “zero carbon economy.” [3.]

PSI researcher Brehmer concludes, “Environmental extremists are all for turning off peoples’ electricity, burning their food for fuel, stealing their land for carbon sequestration, planning to tax every man, woman and child for breathing, and forcing people to live without being able to use fire for energy (because fire produces carbon dioxide).”

Nonetheless, independent (unpaid) researchers like those at PSI won’t quit in their fight to expose faux government science. They are adamant there exists no scientific basis to deprive our populations of access to plentiful, inexpensive electricity, to continue having food to eat, to continue owning land upon which to farm, to continue being free to breath without being taxed for breathing and to continue being able to use fire as an energy source. If a self-serving elite backed by misguided lawmakers, view these desires as “crimes against humanity” then their world of secrecy and subterfuge – where bad science makes bad policy – is headed for tumultuous conflict under a glaring light of reason.

—————–

[1.]”The specter of land grabs – or ‘carbon grabs’ – is pivotal to this emerging debate. We define carbon grabs as large scale appropriations of land and resources for global climate change mitigation benefits and profits from carbon markets.” ( See: Land Grab for Biochar? Narratives and Counter Narratives in Africa’s Emerging Biogenic Carbon Sequestration Economy, Leach M., Fairhead J., Fraser J.,  (April 2o11) Journal of Peasant Studies and University of Sussex.

[2.] “Under the proposals, all citizens would be given a personal carbon allowance, based on national targets for cutting CO2 emissions. People who take measures to cut the pollution they produce could sell their surplus. Those who continue to produce pollution above their personal cap would have to buy credits on the open market.” (See: Plan for ‘credit cards’ to ration individuals’ carbon use, Russell B., (July 19, 2006), The Independent).

[3.]“’This conference is not just about the destabilized climate. It’s about a socially and ecologically just economic model for developing and industrialized countries that will foster material prosperity for all without surpassing the natural limits of the planet. The time for the Zero Carbon Economy has come’, says Anders Wijkman, Vice President of the Club of Rome and Chair of the World Future Council’s Climate and Energy Commission.” (See: World Future Council calls on UN Climate Conference, World Future Council, (2009)).

 

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Would Hamlet Suffer the Outrageous Fortune of the Greenhouse Gas Theory?

Those deniers of the greenhouse gas theory – the Slayers – are under attack on the prominent Bishop Hill blog. But they may wonder – as did Shakespeare’s famous character – that perhaps it’s better to be insulted than ignored. At least – in the melee of jibes and brickbats – there are inquisitive souls made curious to actually read what the Slayers (reincarnate as Principia Scientific International) showed with their assault on the scientific cornerstone of man-made global warming.

Principia Scientific International Stands No  Global Warming Theatrics

Principia Scientific International Stands No Global Warming Theatrics

In his ‘A new typology for the climate debate,’ Lloyd Robertson, offers a guest post that pulls no punches. “ I suppose the skydragons, whoever they are, are plain ignorant, not trying to learn, but probably honest. I don’t read them, I had never even heard of them until Judy Curry sharpened her lance against them.”

That’s what put me in mind of the Hamlet’s famous soliloquy:

To be or not to be, that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And by opposing, end them

Relentlessly, these “deniers” confront the believers.  The “To be or not to be” of the greenhouse gas theory remains the question. And despite all the slings and arrows flung at the four dozen or so scientists that comprise the slayers – not “sky dragons” as per Robertson’s gaffe – these naysayers aren’t going away.

On several levels Robertson reveals he doesn’t actually know what he’s talking about and glorying in his own ignorance and prejudice Robertson proceeds to pigeonhole all and sundry. From the blog owner, Andrew Montford to the likes of Steve McIntyre, Judy Curry, Pielke Jr. etc. the so-called “lukewarmists” – they are made the good guys in the man-made global warming debate. Robertson determines these are noble folk possessed of “Socratic ignorance combined with some knowledge, still learning, and communicating honestly”

In less cuddly and lovable terms does Robertson paint the likes of Kevin Trenberth, James Hansen and other primetime doomsaying alarmists. This clique, Robertson says, suffer from “plain ignorance, lack of knowledge, not trying to learn, still communicating dishonestly.”

Obviously Robertson is honest enough to admit he’s not a man who personally chooses to go in for an in-depth and intellectually challenging analysis on the finer points of physics, atmospheric chemistry, and other imponderables. No, he lets others do that for him and all he has to do to be right is to appeal to their “authority.” The author, in his trite style picks the “middle way” in all things science. As self-appointed representative of the willfully ignorant he chooses the middle because it seems so utterly reasonable and safe to huddle in a mass when you’re someone who either lacks the inclination or ability to think it through for yourself.

But then one of those  “plain ignorant, but probably honest” slayers, Ken Coffman,  happened to post the first comment on Robertson’s fluff piece. Canny Ken is none other than the U.S. publisher of “Slaying the Sky Dragon: Death of the Greenhouse Gas Theory.” Being the no-nonsense kind of guy he is Ken then poses the kind of tough questions that the Robertsons and other unthinkers would rather not ponder.

First Ken declares: “…The subject is not that complicated…conduction, convection and radiation always act in the same direction: to integrate, dissipate, diffuse, disperse, etc.”

He then poses his questions: “ If object A is going to make object B hotter via radiation, then what is the most fundamental thing you should be able to say about the temperature of object A? Don’t turn off your brain…think this through. Honestly, anyone with any common sense and the barest grasp of physics can recognize the pure nonsense of the human-caused global warming theory.

I’m ignorant, unwilling to learn, but honest? Really? I’m not the one who sees a 33C greenhouse gas effect mentioned in a physics textbook and accepts it without knowing its basis. Where does it come from? How does it work? How can I replicate it in my living room or a lab?”

Ken, of course, is referring to the myth enshrined in certain climatology textbooks since the 1980’s that declare that so-called “greenhouse gases” can trap/delay heat transport sufficiently to make our planet “warmer than it would otherwise be.” But Ken and his colleagues understand that compelling empirical evidence proves carbon dioxide cannot trap or delay the emission of heat energy by any more than 5 milliseconds.  Ken then asks, “So, is this meaningful from an average temperature point of view? No, it isn’t. It will decrease the peak temperature immeasurably slightly and it will increase the valley temperature immeasurably slightly. It will have no meaningful effect on the average. Period. It can’t. It won’t. It doesn’t.”

Well said, Ken. Perhaps some will get it. Perhaps others won’t and the insults will still fly. Perhaps another telling verse from Hamlet should waft into that “middle road” of science so that others may glean a little insight from the Bard:

Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pith and moment

What Principia Scientific International has shown – by its publications – is that the hydrological cycle, the Ideal Gas laws, adiabatic pressure and actual physical solar insolation are the fundamental physics that explain Earth’s atmosphere and not the mythical sky dragon of greenhouse gas theory alarmists. By learning these fundamental truths we may conclude that while the physics of the GHE may have been stitched together by a cynical few, it owes its obduracy to the confirmation bias of so many uncritical academics and well-meaning but quiescent folk.

Update (September 17, 2012):

Bishop Hill blog owner, Andrew Montford has now withdrawn the fact-free offensive ad hom by Lloyd Robertson and there is now no reference whatsover to “sky dragons.” If only a reasoned discussion on the science could also ensue!

 

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New Courtroom Strategy for Kiwigate Climate Data Skeptics

Government climatologists in New Zealand (NZ) last week won a major courtroom victory against skeptic plaintiffs when a high court judge declined to order scientists to release their data. But fresh legal analysis points to a new courtroom strategy to circumvent the kiwi government’s failure to honor a promise to release hotly contested global warming evidence.

‘Kiwigate’ is the three-year ongoing controversy about the New Zealand government’s national temperature reconstructions. This fresh analysis is less about the biting assessments of skeptical experts but  – of far greater probative significance –  about the (now unlawfully hidden) findings of an independent international climate science agency of comparable standing  that assessed the work of NZ government climatologists.

This analysis exposes glaring omissions in Justice Venning’s Judgment. It can be shown that the court failed to address critical issues pointing to bad faith by a government chief scientist who may have lied and/or intentionally misled the court in a sworn affidavit with  claims over the public interest immunity defense.  An omission by the presiding judge to weigh such assertions and their veracity within a key witness’s sworn testimony, plus other failings identified below, constitute new evidence supportive of plaintiff’s pleas in any putative mandamus hearing on grounds that government officers did not perform their duties.

Last Friday the New Zealand Climate Science Education Trust  (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Trust’) was defeated in their legal challenge to compel government scientists to reveal anomalies in their nation’s unofficial “official” climate record. Because a court permitted the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research of New Zealand (NIWA) to break a promise to reveal key evidence the judge was able to rule that the Trust had failed to prove their case.

The man-made global warming skeptics of the Trust had initiated this judicial review after they saw that their nation’s climatologists had inexplicably grafted a warming trend onto the country’s raw temperatures using  dubious statistical techniques. For over three years the controversy grew and NZ’s National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) resorted to hiding/destroying data. In 2010 – to ameliorate the controversy – NIWA was compelled to approach the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) to undertake an independent  and open external peer review. Thereby, under ministerial order the government anticipated that the methodology and documentation of the disputed ‘Seven-station Temperature Series’ (7SS) data file would be vindicated and the full Aussie review would be put on show. But last Friday, because NIWA (and the National Party government) had belatedly reneged on their promise, the judicial review found their was insufficient evidence to sustain the skeptics’ courtroom claims.

As the dust settles at the Auckland High Court and the climate alarmists gloat the Trust has yet to announce how it will respond. But legal analysts have seen a way forward to resolve the stalemate after NIWA’s refusal to come clean about their disputed SS7. Readers can contrast and compare the SS7 (adjusted) temperatures with the actual (raw) temperatures in the graphs below. Skeptics remain insistent that NIWA used a discredited, non-standard method to create an unjustified warming trend that fitted a political agenda.

Despite Justice Venning’s adverse decision the Trust still achieved something of a moral victory. In this three-year dispute NIWA has been forced to disavow it’s own National Temperature Records. NIWA chose to lose the “official” tag for its temperature series as a ploy to evade coming clean about its secretive number-crunching  methods. Thereafter NIWA asserted such data was “special” i.e. only for internal use by climatologists. On September 10, 2012, the Monday after their defeat  the Trust’s  lawyer, Barry Brill issued a public statement:

“NIWA asserts that it is not required to justify its methods. It claims the exclusive and untrammelled right to select any statistical technique it thinks appropriate. However, it publicly undertook to have its methods tested by both a BoM review and the independent peer-review of a scientific journal. It has now elected to neither disclose nor rely upon BoM’s work and it has not submitted to a journal review.”

NIWA had altered its position at the eleventh hour, as signaled by a hasty revision of NIWA chief climatologist, Dr David Wratt’s affidavit. Astonishingly, at paragraph 306 Wratt now claimed, “NIWA and BOM regard the process of peer review and the interchanges between them as confidential, privileged, and subject to public interest immunity.”

The fresh claim for public interest immunity is baffling and disingenuous in light of the fact that the minister responsible for NIWA, Hon. Dr Wayne Mapp, promised that the BoM review would be independent and more transparent. NIWA’s last-minute U-turn is a betrayal of the trust petitioners and NZ taxpayers placed in Mapp’s mealy-mouthed assurances; it gives the clearest signal yet that the Australian climatologists’ review probably pinpointed shenanigans that Mapp’s ministerial colleagues felt compelled to suppress despite his high-sounding promises. In effect, NIWA – the accused in this “crime” – had manipulated behind the scenes to ensure that the “prosecutors”  of the case (NZCSET) were barred from examining critical evidence provided by NIWA’s own “expert witness” (BoM).

Intentional Withholding of Evidence Specifically Obtained to Establish Defendant’s Credibility

As the lawyer for the plaintiffs, Barry Brill explains, “Both NIWA and BoM (at NIWA’s request) declined freedom-of-information requests for copies of the BoM report. Early last year, appeals were lodged to the respective authorities in New Zealand and Australia. NIWA advised the Ombudsman that the BoM report was relied upon for the litigation – and then advised the Court that it did not rely upon any aspect of the BoM review.”

Mapp’s retirement in late 2011 was likely timed to minimize his public embarrassment.  There is little doubt that this disgraceful decision will be condemned – not only in NZ – but around the world as  gross bad faith.  This was no exculpation for the climatologists – it was a breach of due process – a blatant  withholding of evidence. But NIWA’s treachery need not go unpunished. In law there are remedies to punish those who subvert the search for truth in legal proceedings –  it is the doctrine of spoliation, as explained below.

Using the Spoliation Doctrine to Compel NIWA to Disclose

Withholding of  key evidence during legal proceedings is covered by the spoliation doctrine. In New Zealand the spoliation doctrine – as a tool for compelling defendants to be completely forthcoming with their evidence – remains less advanced than in other common law nations. But the Ministry of Justice aspires to bring it’s spoliation rules more closely in line with those of the U.K. and U.S. Even better news is that the Law Commission will make recommendations on this issue before the end of 2012 (that’s if there are no further flies in the political ointment!).  As such, if the Ministry of Justice are true to their word (unlike NIWA!), I expect their recommendation to provide good reading for the Trust. A taste of what may be to come is found in their consultation document entitled ‘Supplementary Legal Consultation Issue Adverse Inference from Defendant’s Failure to Give Evidence.’

But until such time as the Evidence Act (2006) is beefed up, for the moment skeptics will be well advised to seek to apply the ‘Trompert Principle’  which has been re-affirmed by the Court of Appeal since the enactment of NZBORA. Applying Trompert the Court of Appeal endorsed Adams J statement of the law in Purdie v Maxwell which extended to an accused’s failure to give by his own evidence “or otherwise” an explanation that might be expected of an innocent person.” [2.] While in R v Butler it was noted that the law “certainly allows an inference adverse to an accused to be drawn if he remains silent at a trial in the face of evidence pointing to his guilt.” [3.]

This makes it reasonable for any court to infer that NIWA’s bad faith serves to deny taxpayers their right to robustly test the Trust’s claims that NIWA’s numbers are dodgy. If BoM’s assessment supports the Trust’s position then it is proven that NIWA failed in the stated public duty of this Crown Research Institute (CRI) to “pursue excellence, abide by ethical standards and recognise social responsibility.” (More on NIWA’s public duties below).

NIWA temp adjustment versus raw NZ temps

NIWA temp adjustment versus raw NZ temps

Indeed, as Barrister Brill noted: “No policymaker should be asked to rely upon data which has been manipulated by unprecedented DIY techniques – especially when those methods have failed to pass peer review.”

The Trust ‘s attempt to get relief for the suppression of NIWA’s homogenized climate data and BoM’s review of that evidence failed because the court omitted to apply the negative inference against NIWA. As it stood, with no such negative inference attached to the hidden BoM evidence Justice Venning may have reasonably adjudged that those experts the Trust relied upon were of insufficiently high standing for the court to accept as rebuttal witnesses. Justifying that position,Venning opined that it is not the job of a judicial review to weigh the merits of opposing scientific arguments. Absent the negative inference for the missing/withheld evidence, this is not an unreasonable position to hold.

As such, Venning has now made it a matter of record that only scientists of recognized high standing can guide such legal pronouncements. In this regard the court has affirmed the true significance NIWA’s withholding of the BoM review – by judicial decree the BoM evidence (or an adverse inference for its deliberate omission) goes to the heart of determining the entire case.

Getting the Legal Benefit of the Hidden BoM Peer Review

By any reading of Venning’s judgment it is clear there can be no dispute that BoM’s evidence would meets Venning’s high bar criteria as “expert” testimony. New Zealand’s Law Commission may be about the come to rescue if it decides later this year that NZ should come into step with other common law nations to be bound by the principle that “it is not contrary to a defendant’s rights for a fact finder to draw a logical inference from a defendant’s failure to provide evidence in circumstances where he or she would be expected to do so. “ [4.]

If this reasoning had been cogently applied in Venning’s court a wholly different outcome may have ensued and the Trompert Principle could come to the fore while the Justice Ministry deliberates over the Law Commission’s proposals. Already the Law Commission has taken particular interest in what the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has adopted on this issue. The ECHR has held that drawing a negative inference from a defendant’s silence or withholding of evidence was not unreasonable nor in breach of Section 6 of the European Convention [5.]

Defeating Defendant’s Claim on the Public Interest Immunity Test

Whether we apply Trompert (id.) or some incarnation of ECHR’s approach we will see paragraph 306 of the affidavit of NIWA’s chief climatologist Dr. Wratt in a very different light if he persists in his claim that the BoM review evidence was “confidential, privileged, and subject to public interest immunity.”  Even raising the public interest immunity defense puts Wratt in direct conflict with NIWA’s duties under the Public Records Act (2005). The record in this case clearly proves that NIWA has not applied for, or obtained a Public-interest immunity (PII) certificate from Parliament. This suggests that this gambit by Wratt is a “last-minute” ruse and appears disingenuous in light of the fact that the BoM evidence has been in the possession of NIWA for over a year. So “last minute” is Wratt’s PII gambit that it appears to have completely bypassed Venning.

This belated public interest immunity defense argument can be challenged on two fronts (a) what is the context? And (b) how is such evidence ordinarily regarded under existing applicable laws and regulations, both in NZ and other comparable common law jurisdictions (e.g. U.K).

(a) The Context of the Public Immunity Defense Claim:

A public interest immunity certificate (PII) is intended as a government gagging order to protect official secrets. In New Zealand, the relevant legislation on this is the Official Information Act 1982. The Act implemented a general policy of openness regarding official documents and replaced the Official Secrets Act. NIWA is a Crown Research Institute (CRI), in effect a private company wholly owned by Parliament with a duty to be “financially viable” and operated on commercial lines. There is nothing in and of itself inherently harmful to the public interest in climate data and records held by NIWA or BoM.

The Trust may now pursue a line of questioning to adduce why NIWA did not make the case for PII at the time BoM reported its findings. NIWA appears to have had possession of the BoM evidence for over a year. What undisclosed facts or circumstances now suddenly render it “secret”? Moreover, what level of PII classification has it/will it been given (if at any) and when was the PII certificate granted/applied for (if ever)? All such questions will tie the government in further knots if it is seeking to perpetrate a smoke screen with this  public immunity defense flannel. The Trust’s legal team may be well advised to immediately file a freedom of information (FOI) request to get to the bottom of the phantom PII claim because nowhere in Venning’s decision does the court address the public immunity interest privilege.

Absent any discussion in Venning’s decision  about this  PII ploy we do know – as from August 2011 – that the NZ government committed itself to a Declaration on Open and Transparent Government. So when does John Key’s government intend to come clean over this new NIWA subterfuge? In this regard, perhaps the Prime Minister could be pressed to explain why the minister for NIWA gave an undertaking that the BoM review was commissioned expressly for publication in a journal and thus available for public scrutiny. To prevail at trial with its new “secret science” stance NIWA will be challenged to provide compelling reasons why it ex post facto sought this bizarre defense when at the outset it did not indicate that any such climate data would be “classified.” Perhaps the Trust should also now consider putting these issues to the New Zealand Chief Ombudsman for adjudication.

(b) Freedom of Information Laws Not Intended for Climate Data

Contrast and compare this NIWA PII fiasco with the situation in Britain in 2010 during the Climategate controversy when it was established that climate records and science methodology are not state secrets. Then Professor Phil Jones of the University of East Anglia (UEA) was found to have refused to comply with freedom of information (FOI) requests and, as with NIWA, intentionally withheld and/or destroyed data. The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) affirmed that climate data was not protected information. They found that UEA was required to release  all such data upon FOI requests and that Jones had breached the statute. UEA’s chief climatologist only escaped criminal charges because the short (six month) statute of limitations had already expired.

With the ICO/Jones precedent established it would seem untenable for the NIWA (but more pointedly, NIWA’s owners, the NZ government) to justify any claim for privilege to withhold the BoM review as per Section 27(3) of the Crown Proceedings Act (1950) or any other statute. Moreover, in its publication, ‘The Privilege Against Self-Incrimination’  the Law Commission proposes that the privilege should not protect documents already in existence before the demand for information is made (i.e. the BoM review). We will see how the commission speaks on this finer detail once it publishes its final report. If the Law Commission recommends an approach in line with that of the ICO in England, any such documentation ought to be treated on the same basis as real evidence, which is not normally within the scope of the privilege.

Next Step: Serving NIWA with a Mandamus Petition?

To unravel this tawdry web of deception the Kiwi skeptics may now wish to consider filing what is known as a mandamus petition. A mandamus is a remarkable legal tool to force a government agency such as NIWA to comply with its own regulations. As indicated in my prior articles, a mandamus petition is a formal request for a court hearing independent of any judicial proceeding. Generally, a mandamus petition seeks an order from a court “to compel a lower court or a government officer to perform mandatory or purely ministerial duties correctly.” [6.]

Justice Venning’s Failures and Omissions

In his decision [at 183] Justice Venning ruled that NIWA had vindicated its methods  as per the evidence of BoM’s short and ambiguous letter. But didn’t NIWA declare it did not intend to rely on the BoM evidence? It appears that Venning simply went along with whatever Dr. Wratt said about the BoM review – known to have comprised about 30 pages. Without examination of BoM’s evidence how could Venning rule that it was not adverse to the defendants? Venning merely opines that NIWA discharged its duty “in accordance with recognised scientific opinion.”  This is a misleading and unqualified statement and permits NIWA to have their cake and eat it, which is unjust. Venning is discredited as much for what it doesn’t say as for what it does. It does not declare that the court even made a cursory examination this supposedly “secret” evidence ex parte, in camera. Nor did Venning’s decision utter a single word on Wratt’s invoking of  the public immunity interest defense. These errors and omissions alone render this judicial review incomplete and thereby open the door for the Trust to justly pursue a mandamus challenge.

Further reasons supportive of a fresh writ include Venning’s explicit statements that he was adopting a lax approach – as affirmed when he stated, “a less intensive review can be appropriate.” As  one Australian attorney following the case, Val Majkus, points out, “The ‘less intensive review’ option was the option His Honour adopted in this case.” [7.]

To this end the court applied no test other than to take Dr Wratt’s word for it that “best practice” had been followed. In addition, the court declined to state that it had addressed the entire 30-page BoM review.  As such, it may be inferred that Venning merely examined the covering letter. At [144] Venning noted that only one climate scientist, Dr. Mullen, provided a statistical opinion for NIWA. While at [143] Venning failed to  even acknowledge the evidence of the three professional statistical reviewers of the Statistical Audit. Yet NIWA submitted that the highest of tests should apply and, likewise, the plaintiffs would not disagree.

In the light of these facts the determination of Venning [at 183] that the court rules NIWA applied “best practice” is proven to be  arbitrary and capricious being both subjective and incomplete. That the judge decided that the plaintiffs were unqualified is irrelevant to the scientific debate, which is more properly resolved with full disclosure of all the evidence. Therefore, Venning’s decision poses more questions than it answers. As such it is incomplete and should be re-visited and possibly overturned upon the conferring of a mandamus hearing (id.). The Trust has shown it has the stamina and acumen to sustain a protracted legal fight. I’m sure it will welcome all the support and encouragement fellow skeptics can offer.

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[1.] From Trompert v Police [1985] 1 NZLR 357 “…that in summary proceedings where a prima facie case has been established, the failure of the defendant to give an explanation when he might naturally be expected to do so may be taken into account in determining the weight to be given to the evidence.”

[2.]Purdie v Maxwell [1960] NZLR 599

[3.] R v Butler [1992] 2 NZLR 599.

[4.] Supplementary Legal Consultation Issue Adverse Inference from Defendant’s Failure to Give Evidence; NZ Ministry of Justice, Law Commission Report (February 19, 2012), Page 2; para: 7.

[5.] Averell v United Kingdom (2001) 31 EHRR 36. The Court held that drawing such inferences did not contravene the fair trial rights embodies in Art 6(1), or the presumption of innocence in 6(2).

[6.] Garner, B.A., Black’s Law Dictionary, p. 980, 8th Ed., St. Paul, USA, 2004.

[7.] Majkus, V., reader commentary, ‘Climate Conversation Group,’ September 10, 2012 at 6:28 pm, http://www.climateconversation.wordshine.co.nz.

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Jo Nova Questions Greenhouse Gas Theory Numbers

Top Australian skeptic blogger Jo Nova is showing no little gumption (and leadership) in publishing a fascinating new paper by a recognized Aussie thermodynamics expert exposing a calculating error in the standard model greenhouse gas theory equation. Under ‘Do greenhouse gases warm the planet by 33°C? Jinan Cao checks the numbers’ Jo writes “Jinan Cao has been dissecting the nature of the greenhouse effect and a key calculation that I normally just accept without questioning. This will set a few pigeons loose, but it will be interesting to see where they land. The claims analyzed here are the oft repeated ones that the Earth’s greenhouse effect already warms us by 33°C and that a doubling of CO2 directly causes a 1.1°C rise (that’s with no feedbacks taken into account).”

Skeptical of Greenhouse Gas Numbers -Joanne Nova

Skeptical of Greenhouse Gas Numbers -Joanne Nova

Of course, there remain fundamental differences in the position Jo takes on the supposed “greenhouse gas effect” from that of my colleagues at Principia Scientific International (PSI), but it’s refreshing see her blog operating as a genuinely open forum for debate on this issue. Reader comments have been lively, one in particular by ‘Myrrh’ stood out for me:

“The Greenhouse Effect” is a sleight of hand, this is what the author is arguing about, something that is non-existant.

“The Greenhouse Effect is that the Earth would be 33°C colder without ‘greenhouse gases’, that is, that ‘greenhouse gases’ warm the Earth to 15°C because these absorb thermal infrared radiation from the upwelling thermal infrared from the Earth and so trap it in a blanket/send it back to Earth where it further warms the warmer surface”

But, that -18°C figure is for the Earth without any atmosphere at all, that is, with no gases.

An Earth without the fluid ocean of gas around it which is voluminous, heavy, weighing over a ton on our shoulders.

It is real gases having volume, mass, attraction which gravity keeps around the Earth which is our real “Greenhouse”, the whole atmosphere.

AGWScienceFiction has misappropriated the term to refer only to “warming”, but our real Greenhouse atmosphere both warms and cools, just like a real greenhouse (which can be heated and has windows which can be opened to cool it.)

Without this real atmosphere temperatures would range from very, very hot to very, very cold, think Moon. The average calculated for the Earth without our complete real greenhouse gas atmosphere is -18°C. Nitrogen and Oxygen are greenhouse gases.

AGW’s “The Greenhouse Effect” sleight of hand begins by taking as its base this -18%deg;C figure not applicable to its claim, because it counts only those gases absorbing thermal radiation as ‘greenhouse gases’, but this figure is for the Earth minus nitrogen and oxygen too which make up practically around 99% of our atmosphere.

The sleight of hand continues that their ‘greenhouse gases’ can raise the temperature of the Earth 33°C to 15°C – but how can it? It’s an imaginary construct as above, but also because when taking out the main greenhouse gas water vapour the temperature of the Earth would be 67°C.

That is, our Earth with our atmosphere of the heavy voluminous fluid ocean of real gas around us of mainly nitrogen and oxygen, but without water, would be 52°C hotter. Think Deserts.

When the Earth’s water is heated by the direct thermal energy from the Sun, thermal infrared, heat, (and not the AGW fisics “shortwave” which is impossible), it becomes less dense and lighter and evaporates as water vapour rising in air where it condenses out again to water in releasing its heat in the colder heights of the troposphere (heat flows from hotter to colder).

So water with its very great heat capacity will take away an enormous amount of heat from the surface and cool the Earth from the 67°C it would be without water.

“The Greenhouse Effect” is non-existant, it is a deliberate con. A magic trick, created by tweaking real physics and misusing its terms to give the impression that such an effect exists.

Moreover, they, the creators of this fictional world, have not only removed the Water Cycle which cools the Earth 52°C from the 67°C it would be without it, but it has excised rain from the Carbon Life Cycle.

Carbon dioxide is fully part of the Water Cycle which has been excised from the real world to create AGW’s The Greenhouse Effect.

All pure clean rain is carbonic acid because in the real world where gases are real (and not the imaginary ‘ideal’ gas of the fictional AGW world with its atmosphere of empty space and not the heavy voluminous heavy fluid real gas atmosphere around us), water vapour and carbon dioxide have a great attraction for each other and so water in the atmosphere will go into a clinch with all the carbon dioxide around it and come back to Earth as rain, snow, as well as fog, dew; carbon dioxide in this sharing the same residence time in the atmosphere as water, 8-10 days.

Carbon dioxide cannot “accumulate in the atmosphere for hundreds and even thousands of years forming a blanket” where it is joined in the Water Cycle, but also, because it is a real gas and not the imaginary ideal gas of the AGWSF fisics it has real weight, and because it is one and half times heavier than the real gas Air it will separate out. You heard. It will separate out and displacing oxygen and nitrogen will naturally sink back to the Earth’s surface.

Because the real world atmosphere is a heavy voluminous fluid ocean of gas the method of heat transfer is by convection, in solids it is by conduction. It is the convection currents of our real atmosphere that transfer heat, these are called winds. Convection currents in the ocean are called currents, volumes of water on the move.

Winds are volumes of Air on the move created by differential heating from the Earth’s surface, hot air rises cold air sinks. As lighter less dense hot air rises colder heavier more dense air will flow down to sink beneath. Flow, because it is a fluid, gases and liquids are fluids.

These are our winds, volumes of the fluid gas Air on the move which primarily begin by the intense heating of land and ocean at the equator by the Heat energy direct from the Sun, thermal infrared, which heats the air first by conduction. as these volumes of hot air rise they flow towards the colder poles and the colder volumes of air at the poles sink beneath flowing towards the equator. Add in Earth’s rotation, etc. for wind patterns.

In the real world it takes the Sun’s great thermal energy, Heat, transferred by radiation direct from the Sun to the Earth’s surface to get the great intensity of heat at the equator in order to give us our massive wind system.

The “Shortwave in” of the AGW fisics can’t physically do this. Another AGW fisics sleight of hand, which has excised beam thermal infrared to create the fictional fisics to promote AGW. (So it can claim that any thermal infrared measured downwelling from the atmosphere is from the ‘backradiation’ of the upwelling thermal infrared.)

The upwelling of thermal infrared from the heated Earth plays little part in heat transfer in the fluid real gas atmosphere around us. What there is of it is waste heat, directionless and useless for doing work. The direct heat from the Sun is capable of doing work, this is the beam thermal energy, travelling in straight lines, concentrated. It takes this direct heat energy to physically heat land and oceans, just as it takes concentrated heat energy to cook your dinner.

There is no The Greenhouse Effect, it is an illusion created by various sleights of hand of fictional fisics by giving the properties on one thing to another, by taking out properties and processes and taking laws out of context and so on, all wrapped up in classic con misdirections.

Introduced into the education system and drummed in by such memes as “shortwave in longwave out” and “carbon dioxide accumulates in the atmosphere and is well-mixed and can’t be unmixed”, and, with ‘experiments’ rigged (heating jars of air and jars of carbon dioxide) or giving fake fisics explanations of real world effects (scent bottle opened in classroom for ‘well-mixed by ideal gas diffusion with molecules travelling at great speeds under their own molecular momentum bouncing off each other, when it is actually convection currents created by volumes of molecules with different pressures), a whole generation doesn’t know what it’s talking about..

If we don’t get out of this con and stay trapped in their “radiation only” heat transfer misdirection we’re going to have a general population not only unable to appreciate the real world around us as we have now, knowledge we’ve gained recently in the history of science, but unable to create the things we can now by knowing the difference between Light and Heat.

How many reading this can see nothing wrong in being told that the visible light radiating from an incandescent lightbulb is the heat we feel? That don’t understand the difference in application as between these:
http://infraredheaters2.tripod.com/ and http://www.littlegreenhouse.com/guide3.shtml

Isn’t it time we got back to real physics? What else is going to stop this toxic AGW mindset destroying the basic food of us Carbon Life Forms? We’re around 20% carbon and the rest mainly water. We also need it to breathe, to get oxygen around our bodies we have to have around 6% carbon dioxide in each breath and we don’t get that from the atmosphere, we produce our own..


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Carbon Trader Judge Taints Bizarre High Court Climate Ruling

Global warming skeptics lose key Kiwi courtroom battle. Ruling permits government climatologists to opt out of complying with freedom of information laws concerning their country’s cooked climate books. But the judge involved holds a substantial carbon trading interest which supports accusations of a conflict of interest precluding his participation.

GJ Venning Controversial Carbon Trading Kiwi Judge

GJ Venning Controversial Carbon Trading Kiwi Judge

Auckland High Court Justice Geoffrey J. Venning has triggered a fresh climate scandal after it was revealed he owns a forest company (Tahakopa) that is registered under the Emission Trading Scheme to sell carbon credits for profit. The judge had just given a shock ruling that “the methodology applied by NIWA was in accordance with internationally recognised and credible scientific methodology.”

With his track record in controversy Venning is no stranger to scandal having already been subjected to investigation by the country’s Judicial Conduct Commissioner on conflict of interest charges. Ordinarily, any self-respecting judge would recuse himself from such a watershed judicial review of his nation’s disputed climate record to ensure justice is not only served, but is seen to be served. That won’t happen here. Instead Justice Venning boldly orchestrated more of a tragic comedy than a confluence of impartial judicial wisdom. One well-placed barrister is less than complimentary: “He [Venning] hasn’t met a law yet that he couldn’t breach with a smile on his face.”

This  ruling is especially  inflammatory because it gives judicial authority for Venning’s government employers to keep secret the methods used by (government) climatologists to tack on an unsubstantiated and additional 0.5C of warming onto the nation’s temperature record. Plaintiffs in the case, the New Zealand Climate Science Education Trust (NZCET) have yet to announce how they will respond.

NZCET have been arguing since 2009 that their own experts’ examination of the climate records indicated that NIWA had used statistical tricks. These seem to have been developed in an unpublished and unverified student thesis from 1981 to massage the raw numbers to fit a political agenda as indicated in the graphs below.

The now "Unoffical" NIWA temp adjustment versus raw NZ temps

The now “unofficial” NIWA temp adjustment versus raw NZ temps

Earlier in the battle NZCET had scored what seemed a decisive victory when NIWA was forced to disavow it’s own National Temperature Records after compelling evidence suggested shenanigans by James (now Dr.) Salinger, the student author of the missing thesis. Salinger moved to New Zealand from England after working at the University of East Anglia (UEA). The UEA was discredited after it’s chief climatologist admitted misconduct in the Climategate scandal.

Thereafter, Kiwigate showed an eerily similar pattern to Climategate as more government climatologists were exposed for using dubious statistical techniques and hiding/destroying data. As the controversy grew NZ’s National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) was compelled to approach the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) to undertake an independent external peer review of the methodology and documentation of the Seven Station Temperature Series (7SS) data file.  But then BoM were made to appear as if they had fudged their task when there was no publication of findings or  NZ  governmental confirmation that there had been a full and formal ratification of NIWA’s numbers beyond one short and ambiguous letter.

The (still) unanswered question posed in this mockery of a judicial review is whether NIWA had based its now officially “unofficial” temperature record (using the 7SS Temperature Series) on hidden methods proposed in an unverified student’s thesis or rather by the more credible and verifiable process known as RS93. Voters have a right to know because the NZ government has used the 7SS Temperature Series to guide national policy on climate.

The plaintiffs had petitioned for this judicial review alleging NIWA failed to apply the best methodology in compiling data for the 7SS record. But NIWA disagreed and largely upon the testimony of two NIWA government employees Justice Venning threw out the Trust’s case.

Venning’s Judgment Under the Microscope

So let’s take a closer look at the decision handed down by the High Court of New Zealand (September 7, 2012). From [44] to [47] the court adopts an eerily similar approach as was adopted in the U.S. Supreme Court (June 26, 2012) when it likewise confessed to bias in choosing to defer to the opinion of fellow government authorities. In [50] & [51] Justice Venning spells it out – the court would give greatest weight to evidence provided by government climatologists. Venning leaves the reader in no doubt he had drawn a clear line between the credibility of “experts”  (government climatologists) and “unqualified” analysts (skeptical taxpayers).

The elephant in the room is the crucial third party evidence from Australia’s BoM. Aussie government climatologists became involved after direct Kiwi ministerial intervention. Certainly, since Climategate no one could be left in any doubt that there is often the smell of  “pal review” in what passes for peer review in government climatology so it seems incongruous that BoM failed to deliver a shining endorsement of NIWA.

As leading Aussie skeptic blogger Jo Nova noted, “This decision is all the more preposterous given that even the highly questionable Australian BOM obviously didn’t endorse the NIWA methods and after asking for an Australian BOM review, NIWA went to extraordinary lengths to hide that review. Did they hide that review, because it would have lent support to the very evidence the so-called “non-experts” put forward?”

Indeed, Venning’s ruling appears less assured on this aspect and the high court judge mischaracterizes the significance of what is in BoM’s peculiar letter. This raises more questions than it answered and leaves taxpayers no clearer as to what precisely their ministerially-sanctioned “peer review” had ascertained.

Nova adds “What’s unnerving about this is that if “authority” is determined not by behavior, logic or quality of reasoning, but simply by government decree, then the court becomes a de facto arm of the government — because only people who are funded by the government (all “climate scientists” are funded by government) can give evidence that the court recognizes. Who can criticize and hold government or statutory authorities to proper standards? Not the citizens, for they are not “qualified.””

On the plus side at [38] the court did accept there is no controversy that NIWA’s temperature is unofficial i.e. it has not to be relied upon as it carries no authority.

Spoliation Doctrine Not Put to Good Use

The Trust’s defeated legal team will likely be kicking themselves that they didn’t achieve more through robust use of their nation’s freedom of information rules and adept application of spoliation doctrine. Now contrast and compare at how American attorney, Chris Horner over in the U.S. is currently using FOIA as a judicial can opener to expose his country’s mendacious alphabet soup data riggers.

Horner has just announced he has the national weather agency (NOAA) in a spin after their failure even to acknowledge his FOIA request. Under US law this may constitute constructive refusal, and Horner can now move to seek an immediate judicial remedy (including a negative inference as per spoliation doctrine). In all common law nations the spoliation doctrine is in place. It’s just that in one or two countries (like New Zealand) litigators and courts are yet to get up to speed.

So what is spoliation doctrine and how could it have made a difference down under? In legal parlance spoliation doctrine addresses the intentional/accidental withholding/destruction of evidence whereby a party in litigation is put at a disadvantage because the opposing party will not/cannot hand over evidence it had responsibility to preserve and present.

In English-speaking, common law nations the loss/destruction of key evidence is sanctionable by the court – such sanctions are mandatory upon motion and judges have no discretion as to their application. Depending on the severity and relevance of the lost evidence judges are required to mete out an appropriate remedy including a negative inference (such that the lost/destroyed evidence shall be ruled as being favorable to the party who had sought disclosure of that evidence).

NIWA appear not to have complied with it’s country’s version of FOI. In NIWA’s case – with willful refusal to hand over climate data –  the plaintiff’s ought to have motioned the court for the spoliation inference upon such bad faith. This would have compelled Venning to give plaintiff relief by applying punitive sanctions against NIWA. The plaintiff’s lawyers appear not to have pressed this issue and this seems baffling to me and other legal analysts. If they had done so then, at minimum, Venning would be duty bound to rule that the missing NIWA data and BoM peer-review evidence was favorable to NZCET. Once Venning had comported with the spoliation mandate that there would be little if any hope of a judicial victory for NIWA.

Looking to the Future

The nations most advanced in the use of this superb legal tool are the U.S. and U.K While – Canada where Dr. Tim Ball is on track to defeat Michael hockey stick Mann – is fast coming up to speed. [1.] I’ve regularly commented as to how the modus operandi of government researchers in the US, UK, Australia, NZ and Canada appears to follow the same pattern of FOIA refusals and evidence loss/destruction and I fear the Trust missed a trick in not applying the spoliation doctrine to pressure Venning over NIWA’s willful withholding of evidence that could have been the key to a skeptic victory.

Kiwigate, as with Climategate, concerns obvious scientific failings in the mishandling of data needed to verify scientific conclusions about a marked warming trend unsupported by the raw temperature data. Just as with England’s Professor Phil ‘Climategate’ Jones in New Zealand Salinger had let his dog eat his data. Without the necessary metadata to hand to back up claims for a steeper warming trend taxpayers were supposed to take the word of a wagon-circling clique that western nations should compliantly adopt crippling taxes to cut carbon dioxide emissions.

But there is no definitive international standard of excellence or a set procedure for processing raw temperatures from a multitude of temperature stations at different times and various periods. Instead of ruminating as to why taxpayer funded climatologists would want to deny public access to publicly paid for science data Venning instead determined his role was to preserve a cozy climate coterie – what’s secret stays secret in Justice Venning’s court.

The Trust should take heart that the NZ government and NIWA have been forced to renounce any claims about an “official climate record. In the light of the great significance the court has placed in “expert” testimony it makes it imperative that full discovery is pursued over what is actually behind BoM’s bizarre letter (id.). I would urge the Trust to pursue further FOI requests to shame NIWA into divulging the results of the BoM’s withheld analysis. The very fact that the BoM review is as closely guarded as NIWA’s original data crunching methods suggests something huge is yet to be uncovered.

Helpfully in this regard is what is now in the court record  [124]. NIWA is affirmed as admitting that it’s data for the more recent period 1955-1994 shows a warming trend of a mere of 0.28 degrees Celsius. While the warming trend from the earlier period 1931-1954 shows 1.84 degrees based only on three or four stations. So much for those hysterical and unfounded claims about an increase in “catastrophic” man-made warming. As with the original Watergate scandal – it is the cover up of the crime that proves the criminal intent of the proponents.

Adding its own significance is NZCSET’s own Statistical Audit that Justice Venning didn’t set aside, disallow, or nullify. Thus it stands pristine and ready to be used again when required. For sure, NIWA cannot refute the NZCSET Audit for not being scientifically credible because they can’t/won’t apply their own 7SS method and prove it to be of superior scientific rigor to the NZCSET Audit. And while NIWA won’t come clean about its dodgy data no one need have any faith in any further unsubstantiated government claims about this elusive anthropogenic global warming.

All this distills neatly the greatest disservice Venning did for New Zealand taxpayers. Throughout he has been oblivious to the need for scientists to openly share their data and methods with those who paid for it. Perhaps taxpayers via grassroots political lobbying could achieve more on changing this obstructive mindset than with further litigation.

If full disclosure of the NIWA’s actual methods is not forthcoming by order of the NZ government then New Zealand should not pretend to have an honest and open government. Surely, if the world faces a genuine climate catastrophe what possible excuse can governments and climatologists have to be so reticent about sharing all the evidence if their goal is truly to convince us all that we need to cooperate over emissions cuts?

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[1.] As the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit explained in Silvestri v. General Motors Corp.:[2] “[t]he policy underlying [the] inherent power of the courts [to impose sanctions for spoliation] is the need to preserve the integrity of the judicial process in order to retain confidence that the process works to uncover the truth.”

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Post Normal Climatists Redefine Scientific Method & Increase Famine

Totalitarians of the climate alarmists are asking “what to do with the contrarians?” It appears the success of skeptics in defeating the man-made global warming crusade has galvanized a counter-offensive against “unrestricted and highly interactive” blogs. Damn that free speech!

The religionists of the climate doomsday scenario are unhappy that independent scientists demand that alarmist science  “prove its reliability and integrity over and over again” and they’re holding a seminar to whine about it: ‘ CSTPR Noontime Seminar: The Contrarian Discourse in the Blogosphere – What are blogs good for anyway?’

One of the dissenters to this deluded brand of post-normalism is climate researcher, Carl Brehmer, one of more than fifty such contrarian thinkers over at Principia Scientific International (PSI). Brehmer and his PSI colleagues are delighted at how their push back against post-normalism is going.

The Enemies of Post Normal Science: Principia Scientific International's Logo

The Enemies of Post Normal Science: Principia Scientific International’s Logo

Astrophysicist, Joseph E. Postma, who enjoys a successful research career working for the Canadian and Indian space agencies agrees with his PSI colleague, Brehmer. Like Brehmer, Postma is adamant there is unstoppable momentum among his peers to oppose the dogmatic post-normalist crusade to re-define how science is communicated and what its meaning is.

Postma says, “No doubt, they [post-normalists] would wish for a new way to perform and communicate science that doesn’t have to include such things as…the scientific method, which requires skepticism, rebuttals of postulates with facts, etc. They desire science to be not so much about science, but about dictatorial & essentially religious declaration.”

Brehmer, Postma and their PSI colleagues seems to have a point judging by one bizarre quote from the post-normal screed which declares “Finally, it is concluded that the climate change discourse has been stifled by the obsession of discussing the science basis…”

Brehmer retorts, “Imagine that, one “stifles” the climate change discourse by obsessively discussing the scientific basis of climate change.  Guilty as charged.  I have been attempting to stifle the “climate change discourse” by discussing the scientific basis of climate change.”

But what is the “climate change discourse?”  it seems one of it’s elements is the public policy of burning our food (corn) as ethanol fuel instead of pumping out the plentiful reserves of oil and gas  out of the ground. Such is the lunacy of American and European climate policy. Out of curiosity Brehmer ran some numbers related to ethanol production, which is sees our food turned into fuel. The source of these numbers is listed at the end of this article.

Brehmer found that to produce one gallon of ethanol about 22 pounds of corn (1) needs to be sacrificed.  22 lbs of corn contains about 10,560 calories (2), which is enough calories to feed one person for about four days (3). Therefore the calories sacrificed to make 90 gallons of ethanol could sustain one person for an entire year.  Since the US currently produces 10.6 billion gallons (4) of ethanol yearly, enough corn is being sacrificed each year for ethanol production in the United States to feed 117 million people.  This is occurring at the same time that the United States Department of Agriculture is reporting that over 50,000,000 people living in the United States are in “food-insecure households” (5) because their families do not have sufficient funds to purchase adequate amounts of food.

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 mandates that by 2022, 36 billion gallons of biofuels will be produced in the United States.  15 billion gallons of this biofuel is expected to come from corn (6). This will require the sacrifice of enough food to feed 166,000,000 people — over half the current population of the United States.  This doesn’t even take into consideration that it takes at least 2/3 gallon of fossil fuel, by the US Department of Energy’s own figures, to produce one gallon of ethanol (7).  (Ethanol producers do not use ethanol to produce ethanol because it is too expensive.)

This is not a Democrat vs. Republican issue, since the act mentioned above was signed into law by a Republican president.  This is a sanity vs. insanity issue.  Under the ruse that carbon dioxide is a pollutant the government is planning to turn enough food into fuel by 2022 that could feed half the population of the United States!  Even if carbon dioxide were a pollutant the use of biofuels produces little or no net reduction in carbon emissions since by some estimates it takes more energy to produce a gallon of ethanol than what one gets back from it when it is burned.  “Adding up the energy costs of corn production and its conversion to ethanol, 131,000 BTUs are needed to make 1 gallon of ethanol. One gallon of ethanol has an energy value of only 77,000 BTU.” (8)

One might protest these figures saying that not all ethanol is made from corn, because there is also “cellulosic ethanol,” which is made from the non-edible parts of plants. The problem is that there is “currently, no large-scale cellulosic ethanol production facilities . . . operating or under construction.” (9)  This is because “cellulosic ethanol” is much more expensive to produce than corn ethanol.  For example, it is estimated that a large-scale “cellulosic ethanol” production facility would cost in the neighborhood of $300 million dollars to build (10) vs. $67 million for a corn-based plant of similar size and a number of “cellulosic ethanol” production hurdles have yet to be overcome (11).

What does this all demonstrate?  The folly that ensues when public policy is built upon bad science.  In the late twentieth century the notion arose that carbon dioxide was a pollutant and because this notion proved to be such a potent pretext for revenue generation it overpowered 300 years of scientific evidence to the contrary (12) and has permeated the psyche of the ruling class world-wide.  They, in turn, have foisted this notion upon the general public, many of whom seem defenseless against the deception.  This phenomenon raises the following questions:

Do people really not know that carbon dioxide is food — food for plants, which becomes food for animals (including human beings)?  Do people really not know that carbon is one of the essential building blocks of organic life (Organic – “Belonging to a family of compounds characterized by chains or rings of carbon atoms.[13]) and that most life on earth is organic life?  Do people really not know that plants thrive in a carbon dioxide rich environment and along with water, nitrogen from the air and minerals from the soil, powered by sunlight, through the process of photosynthesis make food for animals to eat and oxygen for animals to breathe?  Do they not know that gardeners actually pump up to four times the current atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide into greenhouses to promote plant growth? (14).

Perhaps they don’t know that even at current emission levels from the use of fossil fuels that the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will not reach a level for optimal plant growth for at least 200 years and that CO2 levels will not become toxic until well into the next ice age >10,000 years from now.  Perhaps they don’t know that sound scientific theory supported by empirical scientific evidence (as opposed to politically motivated declarations supported by biased and incomplete computer models) does not confirm the hypothesis that the general global warming trend of the past 150 years has been the result of increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide (14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20).  Perhaps they don’t know that only 4% of the carbon dioxide currently in the atmosphere is from the burning of fossil fuels (21). This means that if carbon dioxide is, indeed, a pollutant, then God, Himself, is the main polluter of the planet since He is responsible for the other 96% of the air’s carbon dioxide content.

Beyond these questions, why is it that people don’t realize that global warming is a good thing that promotes life, e.g., human civilizations have always faired better during warm periods in history than during cold periods; more people die from cold every year than from heat; many plants die or go dormant in the winter and come to life in the spring and summer; the warm equator is teaming with life while the cold poles have sparse life.

The Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change produced video in time-lapse photography, which shows the profoundly positive effect that increased levels of carbon dioxide has on the growth of plants.

Since fossil fuels — oil, coal, and natural gas — produce carbon dioxide as a by-product, which promotes plant growth, they are in reality the only truly “green” source of energy that human beings use at the present time.  Wind power does not promote plant growth, but windmills do kill a lot of birds (22). Solar power does not promote plant growth.  Hydroelectric power does not promote plant growth, but it does destroy a lot of plant life when whole valleys are flooded behind the dam.  Nuclear power does not promote plant growth, but it does produce radioactive waste.  Geothermal power does not promote plant growth, nor has it been proven to be a significant source of energy.  Therefore, fossil fuels, because they produce plant food — carbon dioxide — as a byproduct, are the only truly “green” source of energy that human beings currently use.

Brehmer’s findings made the post-normal view of the world look utterly crazy. Looking his findings he asks, “Does anyone else see the profound irony in the environmental activists, who profess to be interested in the health of the biosphere (which presumably includes promoting plant growth) putting political pressure on world leaders to restrict the use of fossil fuels so as to curb the emission of plant food and lecturing everyone on how to reduce their “carbon footprint,” insisting that they must reduce the amount of plant food that they produce as they go about living their lives?”

Unless you’re one of CSTPR’s diehard post-normal eco-warrior it’s hard not to be cynical about this brand of green garbage. However, if you want to practise your right to free speech (while you still have it!) then consider attending the noontime seminar on September 11, 2012 at 1333 Grandview Avenue, which is one street north of University Avenue on the CU-Boulder campus.

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(1) From research performed at Cornell University http://www.news.cornell.edu/releases/Aug01/corn-basedethanol.hrs.html

(2) One pound of corn = 480 calories – http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_many_calories_in_one_pound_of_corn

(3) “United Nations UN recommends 2350 calories per day.”  http://wilderdom.com/games/descriptions/WorldMeal.html

(4)  Yearly U.S. Ethanol Production 2009 – http://www.biofuelsjournal.com/info/bf_articles.html?type=ec&ID=25474

(5) http://www.ers.usda.gov/Briefing/FoodSecurity/stats_graphs.htm

(6) “The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) requires use of 36 billion gallons of renewable transportation fuels in the U.S. by 2022. Of that quantity, 16 billion gallons must be cellulosic biofuels. Ethanol from corn is capped at 15 billion gallons.”   http://www.energy.gov/news/archives/documents/Myths_and_Facts.pdf ibid.

(7) “. . . each gallon of ethanol produced from corn today delivers one third or more energy than is used to produce it.”    US Department of Energy

http://www.energy.gov/news/archives/documents/Myths_and_Facts.pdf

(8) From research performed at Cornell University http://www.news.cornell.edu/releases/Aug01/corn-basedethanol.hrs.html

(9) US Department of Energy 2007, “Biofuels in the U.S. Transportation Sector,” http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/analysispaper/biomass.html

(10) O. Port, “Not Your Father’s Ethanol,” Business Week (February 21, 2005), web site www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/05_08/b3921117.htm.

(11) O’Neal, Michael, “Scientists seek cheap, plentiful energy alternatives,” October 13, 2006  http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0610130128oct13,0,2156857.story

(12) http://www.bookrags.com/research/carbon-dioxide-wsd/

(13) Encarta® World English Dictionary © 1999 Microsoft Corporation

(14) T.J Blom, W.A. Straver, F.J. Ingratta, Shalin Khosla – Factsheet Carbon Dioxide in Greenhouses – Order No. 94-077, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

(15) C. D. Idso and K. E. Idso, Carbon Dioxide and Global Warming, Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change

(16) Clark, R., A Null Hypothesis For CO2, EPA submission, Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0171 6/17/09

(17) Richard S. Lindzen and Yong-Sang Choi, On the determination of climate feedbacks from ERBE data Program in Atmospheres, Oceans, and Climate, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Revised on July 14, 2009 for publication to Geophysical Research Letters  “The observed behavior of radiation fluxes implies negative feedback processes associated with relatively low climate sensitivity.  This is the opposite of the behavior of 11 atmospheric models forced by the same SSTs.”

(18) Evans, David Dr., The Missing Hotspot, 21 July 2008, Last major revision 22 Mar 2009, Last minor revision 18 Sept 2010,

Web address: http://sciencespeak.com/MissingSignature.pdf

(19) Gerhard Gerlich and Ralf D. Tscheuschner,  “Falsification Of The Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effects Within The Frame Of Physics,” International Journal of Modern Physics B, Vol. 23, No. 3 (30 January 2009), 275-364

(20) John O’Sullivan, Hans Schreuder, Claes Johnson, and Alan Siddons Slaying the Sky Dragon – Death of the Greenhouse Gas Theory, Jan 18, 2011, Stairway Press, 1500A East College Way #554 Mount Vernon, WA 98273, ISBN 978 0 9827734 0 6

(21) “Man’s contribution to atmospheric CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels is small, maximum 4% found by carbon isotope mass balance calculations.”  Segalstad, T. V. 1996: The distribution of CO2 between atmosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere; minimal influence from anthropogenic CO2 on the global “Greenhouse Effect”. In Emsley, J. (Ed.): The Global Warming Debate. The Report of the European Science and Environment Forum. Bourne Press Ltd., Bournemouth, Dorset, U.K. (ISBN 0952773406), pp. 41-50.

(22) “Wind turbines at Altamont Pass kill an estimated 880 to 1,300 birds of prey each year, including up to 116 golden eagles, 300 red-tailed hawks, 380 burrowing owls, and additional hundreds of other raptors including kestrels, falcons, vultures, and other owl species.” Center for Biological Diversity, Fact Sheet On Altamont Pass Bird Kills

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