The NZ Climate Change Curriculum is Cult Indoctrination and Child Abuse

‘”Education” continues its slide into indoctrination and brainwashing. The Cultural Marxist’s “long march through the institutions” is now substantially complete.’ (@JWSpry)

‘There’s a disturbing whiff of totalitarianism, in that this secular religion permits no dissent’ (Karl du Fresne, Dominion Post, January 23, 2020)

state-organised bullying of kids’ (David Seymour)

The New Zealand government has announced a new Climate Change Curriculum (available here) for children from 10 and above.  It is a callous, exploitative project whose undisguised aim is to frighten children to death (perhaps literally) in order to fulfil the government/UN climate agenda.

Let us be quite clear – the climate change curriculum has nothing to with science or education but is unashamedly evangelical.  The IPCC reports are Holy Writ, and to question any detail is heresy.  There is instruction on how to resist temptation from the devil, in the form of sceptics (heretics).   Donald Trump, the villain who pulled the United States out of the Kyoto Agreement, is of course the Devil Incarnate.  There are fast days with abstinence from certain foods. Greta Thunberg leads the Children’s Crusade.  If the children fail, there will be hell on earth, and they will live with the guilt forever – moral blackmail, guilt and blame play a prominent role in the climate cult.

There is no attempt to apply academic rigour at any point or to inspire critical thinking – the aim is to suppress critical thinking.  Children are brainwashed, cowed or bullied into becoming climate activists.  They are given no space to disagree with the facts as presented, to fail to respond emotionally as demanded, to refuse to take action as required. Such manipulation is child abuse.

The ‘Science’ (Section A)

The fundamental creed is, of course, that an increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gases, principally CO2, is causing the world to warm up, with various spin-off effects like scarily rising sea levels, droughts, hurricanes etc.

The science presented is at best selective.  It does not show the breakdown of gases in the atmosphere.  There is no attempt to put climate change into context, even by providing a graph of geological history.  Everything is taught as bald fact, with no room for debate, even where the claims are hotly disputed by reputable scientists around the world.  Instead the children are taught to swallow and regurgitate the mendacious mantra that ‘97% of climate experts agree’.

The IPCC is referred to repeatedly as an absolute authority, despite the heavy criticism that has been levelled at the organisation over the years, with number of contributors complaining that the findings of scientists are reversed by the final editors .  New Zealander Dr Vincent Gray, who contributed to all the early IPCC reports, described the IPCC in 2007 as too blinkered and corrupt to save (see also here and here ).

An analysis by Dr Jock Allison of flaws in the science presented, focusing on the so-called myth busters in Session 7, is included below as an Appendix.

How does it make you feel?

One of the strangest aspects of a supposedly scientific subject, where one would expect the application of  some objectivity, is the emphasis on and encouragement of emotional response.  This is introduced as early as lesson two  with ‘The Feelings Splash: How does this make us feel’.  The remaining lessons of Section A include segments entitled ‘Feelings Thermometer. Can we measure our feelings?’; ‘Understanding our feelings about Climate Change’; ‘Introducing “Psychological adaptation”: Wellbeing action – what can I do?” – all leading up to Lesson 7: ‘Empathy/Outrage + Action = ACTIVISM’.  (One doesn’t like to think of how a child who said, ‘I’m fine with it’ would be viewed.)

Emotional response is such an essential part of the programme that there is a separate 15 page teacher resource dedicated to the subject.  Having callously pressured and enticed children into experiencing overwhelming emotions by telling them what is in effect a pack of lies, the education authority kindly offers advice to teachers and in turn parents on how to deal with traumatised children:

‘It is normal for children and adults to feel worried, frustrated, angry and sad when learning about the issues around climate change. Parents and whanāu can help when they acknowledge and accept the range of emotional impacts that awareness of climate change brings.

‘Parents and whanāu can watch out for:
• Worsening anxiety or behaviors over time
• Withdrawal or avoidance
• Excessive reassurance seeking or limit testing
• Changes in sleep, appetite and weight
• Somatic symptoms such as tummy aches and headaches
• Anxiety or behaviors that are interfering with functioning or causing distress
• Any other change in your child that causes distress or interferes with their functioning’

There follows a long list of professional agencies that can advice parents or treat traumatised children.  And finally, parents are warned:

GET HELP

It goes without saying that, if the campaign has its intended result and children are driven to suicide by this programme, blame will be attributed to climate change, not to the wickedness of those who devised this programme.

Activism (Sections B and C)

The purpose of the curriculum is not to educate: it is to terrify the children, then prime them for activism.  The argument for an urgent need for activism is as follows:

  • Greenhouse gases, generated by human activities, such as CO2 and methane are warming the planet – to question this is impossible
  • The natural emotional reaction is grief, fear, despair, anger and of course guilt – failure to react thus is impossible
  • The responsible response is to take action – failure to act is impossible

Section B introduces the concepts of personal responsibility and activism:

Session 6: ‘Living with Climate Change: What can I do?’

This session starts by recapping the essentials of the situation as has been taught to the children, with a graph showing sensational, totally unrealistic scenarios by 2080-2100 if little or no action is taken to reduce emissions.

  • ‘Average temperature rise – 3.7 degrees celsius’. (Jock Allison, below, Point 6, shows that neither the satellite data nor NOAA’s Climate Reference Network indicate continued upward movement in temperature.)
  • ‘Global sea level rise – 0.63 metres’.  (Numerous data sets and studies, including an analysis of measurements from the world’s 225 best long-term coastal tide gauges indicate an average global sea level rise of 1-2mm per annum and not accelerating, which suggests an increase of 60-120mm by 2080, so nowhere near 630mm).
  • ‘Extreme weather – large increase’. (There is no justification for this claim whatsoever – there is convincing evidence that climate change is not leading to higher rates of weather-related damages worldwide, once you correct for increasing population and wealth. Even the 2018 IPCC report made this clear)

None of these predictions are any more likely to come to fruition than any of the past sensationalist predictions on the subject – see Jock Allison on failed predictions, below, Point 22.

Having been reminded of looming Armageddon, the children are now set for the next stage.  They can live their religion, by making changes to their own lives, on the basis of the science as they have been taught it.  They can do their bit to reduce emissions by using less electricity, shopping locally, driving less, planting trees, etc.

A most concerning element is the strong pressure on children to limit their meat and dairy intake, with no discussion of health implications, nor any relevant resources. Starting with meatless Mondays is suggested – it is very clear that it will be virtually impossible for a children to opt out if a school makes this policy. The programme is intended for children as young as 10 – ‘A dietary warning for people with developing bodies would be a prudent addition as well if teachers want to avoid lawsuits’ (Robin Grieve).

Greta Thunberg is introduced at this stage as an inspiration, presaging what is to come.

Go out into the world and spread the word (Session 7)

Essential tools: children are first reminded of the fallacious mantras that ‘most scientists’ agree (argumentum ad verecundiam or appeal to authority) and that most of the population agrees (argumentum ad populum).

‘Empathy or Outrage + Action = ACTIVISM’

The discussion on activism covers climate activists that the children may have hear of, such as Greta Thunberg, Schools Strike4Climate, and David Attenborough, who has himself been blamed for the epidemic of eco-anxiety among young people.

How to deal with sceptics

While the climate cult insists that there is no significant opposition to its teachings, care has been taken to include in the curriculum a sizable section on dealing with heretics who question the IPCC gospels.

Children are given instruction to prepare them for dealing with hypothetical situations with those who are yet to be convinced, or ‘flat out deny the existence of climate change’ (nobody denies climate change, but no matter). Children are expected to rote-learn a set of dictums to be used to confront such situations and make conversions or silence unbelievers – role plays are set up to help them memorise the answers.

The suggested situations are often straw men, and the answers are either seriously disputed or out and out lies (one can only guess at the conflict that will arise between a child armed with these mantras and an educated parent). For a detailed analysis of the ‘myths’ and their supposed refutations, see Jock Allison, below.

Section C, ‘Time For Climate Action’ consciously sets out to turn children into activists for the climate cult.

Guilt

Children are obliged to commit as groups to ‘actions’. Suggested actions range from turning off lights to planning a campaign or a website. Children are encouraged to target their campaigns at everyone from parents to cabinet ministers.

Ironically, there is also a section on children’s basic rights, including those relating to wellbeing and education. Of course, as is the fashion, there is a suggestion of greater entitlement, also that adults are not taking action because they are selfish and uncaring of children and future generations (not because they have more sense).

The resource does not actually suggest civil disobedience, but it does feature prominently Greta Thunberg, who is closely aligned with the militant Extinction Rebellion.

XR

Greta Thunberg’s parents are supporters of the fascist organisation Antifa,  which has a policy of violence and intimidation of political opponents.

antifa better

In the name of  ‘climate’, young children are being encouraged to romanticise civil disobedience and even violence, which can lead to arrest, conviction and therefore a criminal record.

Conclusion

The manifest purpose of the Climate Change Curriculum is to create an army of youthful activists to lobby for the climate policies of the government and the United Nations.

Rather then teaching children scientific method, the programme consciously conditions them to accept a learning environment where they are effectively brainwashed, and where all dissent is discouraged.

The programme consciously sets out to undermine the psychological well being of young people, endangers their physical health by suggesting a serious dietary change and, via the role models presented to them, encourages them to neglect their education and to take actions that may lead to criminal conviction.

The Climate Change programme is not simply manipulation of the young in order to serve a political end – it is intentional, shameless child abuse.

 

 

Appendix

Comment on the Climate Change Curriculum from a scientific perspective, from Dr Jock Allison, ONZM, FNZIPIM, former Director of AgResearch Invermay 

The information has many glaring errors of fact. This document considers the 28 “Climate Myths” on Page 38 of the Resource material and the response implied to be the accurate situation based on science.

(The alleged “Myths” are shown in bold black type, versus “What the Science says”, according to the resource material, bold blue type, and then the actual situation as indicated by the real science, black italics.)

Most of the information stated as science based fact is alarmist and not indicated by the science. Much of the material (see Myth 27) illustrates a complete ignorance about climate change and simple atmospheric physics.

1. “Climate has changed before” : Climate reacts to whatever forces it to change at the time : humans are now the dominant factor.

Humans are not the dominant factor, they have a very minor effect. If all the Paris 2015 commitments are kept through to 2100 the maximum effect on temperature could be 0.17 degrees C. See Myth 24.

2. “It is not bad” : Negative effects of global warming on agriculture, health & environment far outweigh any positives.

This is nonsense. A comprehensive report prepared for MAF in 2008, indicated little effect on NZ’s agricultural production through to 2100. Further effects on health are overstated, and a warm planet is a lot healthier place to be than a cooling planet.

3. “There is no consensus” : 97% of scientists agree humans are causing global warming.

Again the warmist claims are not based on sound science, the so called consensus is simply warmist propaganda see “Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming. There is no such thing as “consensus” in science and the so called consensus(s) don’t exist.

4. “Its Cooling” : On average 2000 to 2009 was the hottest decade on record.

Climate records exist only from abut 1860, a mere speck of geological time. It is clear from many scientific references that the Medieval Warm Period (900 to 1300 AD) and the Roman Warm Period (2000 years ago) were both warmer …….. see figure

Jock Picture1

There is nothing unusual in the present weather and climate patterns from evidence over the past several thousand years.

5. “Animals and plants can adapt” : Global warming will cause mass extinctions of species that cannot adapt on short term time scales.

Alarmist assumptions, there is no guarantee that the planet will continue to warm, in fact there is every indication that some cooling might be on the way.

6. “It hasn’t warmed since 1998” : Every part of the earth’s climate system has continued warming since 1998, with 2015 shattering temperature records.

This is a standard response using land based data. There are many variations of such a graph …

Jock Picture2

There is a significant effect of the errors due to poorly sited climate measurement stations in the land based climate records, i.e. the UHI effect (Urban Heat Island), and this is well illustrated in the difference between the land based record and the new Climate Reference Network (CRN) set up about 2004 by NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) in the US set up the CRN network where 120 new stations without any possible outside interference with the climate measurements were established throughout the USA. Early results are below (from The USCRN Revisited)……..

Jock Picture3

This doesn’t look like continued warming since 1998, in fact it seems to show natural variation with little warming. Not unsurprisingly NOAA in the USA continue to use the previous land-based records, as they fit the narrative of continued warming.

In addition the lower atmospheric record (Trophosphere) also doesn’t show continued upward movement in temperature thus the educational resource response information is incorrect.

Jock Picture4

Further, the climate models on which warming predictions are made overestimate warming by a factor of about 3 times.

Jock Picture5

7. “Its cold” : A local cold day has nothing to do with the long-term trend of increasing global temperatures.

The suggestion that “its cold” is a climate myth is just silly.

8. “Extreme weather isn’t caused by global warming” : Extreme weather events are being made more frequent and worse by climate change.

Again this is not the case, as exemplified in several reviews see review by New Zealand’s Professor (Engineering) Mike Kelly from Cambridge in the UK.

As the narrative has change from global warming, to climate change, now it has progressed to climate disruption / extreme weather, and we get virtually every weather event attributed to climate change. This is simply not the case. There is no strong scientific evidence that climate change caused by humans has effects on extreme weather as frequently claimed by Government scientists.

9. “Climate Scientists are in it for the Money” : Climate scientists could make more money in other careers, most notably working for the oil industry.

Again this comment is simply silly. Most climate scientists would be unsuitably qualified for employment in the oil industry. The so called myth above comes from the situation where …

  • Global warming mainly caused by humans is Government policy at least since 1992 when at the Rio earth Summit in Rio, Brazil 130 governments signed up to the UNFCCC (United Nations Foundation Convention on Climate Change) which included agreement with that assumption (human emissions are causing warming) in spite of the fact that there was no scientific proof of the contention. Subsequently many / most of the remaining world countries have signed.
  • Governments pay all of the education sector, primary, secondary and tertiary where many / most of the world’s climate scientists are employed,
  • Governments pay most of the research institutions and all of the research grants for research on climate change,
  • Government bureaucrats have the final say on the wording of “the Summary for Policy Makers” summaries for the IPCC reports. Many changes made by the bureaucrats pushing their political agendas, are not supported by the science!
  • Thus any scientists who has an alternative view about climate science in any of the Universities or Research & Development Institutions is usually ostracised and or loses his / her job and the remuneration that goes with it, Thus the “Climate scientists are in it for the money” Myth, relates to the fact that if scientists speak out against the ongoing scientific mantra, then it most likely will be career ending, and the financial consequences stop most. Such “freedom of speech” is not allowed in our universities.

10. “Human CO2 is a tiny % of CO2 emissions” : The natural cycle adds and removes CO2 to keep a balance, humans add extra CO2 without removing any.

So what! one might say? The amount of CO2 from human activities is only 3-4% of all the CO2 which goes into the atmosphere each year, and the human influences on the climate are a small (1%) perturbation to natural energy flows. How this minor influence can be construed to be the driver of climate is mystifying indeed.

11. “Polar Bear Numbers are Increasing” : Polar Bears are in danger of extinction as well as many other species.

Again this is just silly, Polar Bear Numbers are higher than they have ever been since population number estimates have been attempted. The facts are that in the 1950s the numbers were down to about 5,000, and have been increasing since then, to a figure of 30,000 or more, no danger of extinction. See 10 Good Reasons Not to Worry About Polar Bears, from Dr Susan Crockford, evolutionary biologist and expert on polar bear evolution.

12. “CO2 limits will harm the Economy” : The benefits of a price on carbon outweigh the costs several times over.

Again we have a glib definitive statement completely without justification. What would the primary school kids understand about “a cost on carbon”, very little I suggest. The statement in the document I assume is meant to say that imposed costs to achieve reductions in CO2 (not carbon) emissions will be small in comparison to the costs of damages re climate change if we don’t reduce emissions.

There are no reliable data concerning such a contention, we in fact have no idea whether there will be continued warming, and whether this will have real costs at all? All the contentions are based on “computer models” which thus far are predicting much higher warming than has been recorded over the past few decades. See Myth 6.

13. “It’s a Natural Cycle” : No known natural forcing fits the fingerprints of observed warming except anthropogenic greenhouse gases.

This says “in our computer models, we can’t think of anything else that is causing warming, so it must be CO2”. This is completely unscientific? There is no fitting with any fingerprint of observed warming.

14. “Scientists can’t even predict the weather” : Weather and climate are different, climate predictions do not need weather detail.

Not sure where this myth came from? When the climate models are “running hot” (see Myth 6, then where dos the confidence about the predictions of future warming come from? How is it that the scientists are confident that the climate will simply keep on warming? There is no consideration in any of the scenarios of any cooling, which is quite possible in the future?

15. “CO2 limits will hurt the poor” : Those who contribute the least greenhouse gases will be most impacted by climate change.

Not sure where this contention comes from? Those who contribute the lowest levels of Greenhouse Gas emissions are certainly the least developed countries, many of which are being denied cheap energy (coal) to allow them to develop and improve their standard of living.

A good question for the school children could be “do you have the moral right to suggest that undeveloped countries be restricted in their development by reducing their own emissions”. Clearly the answer to this is no.

In fact under the Paris Agreement 2015, Developing Countries have the right to keep improving their standard of living until 2030 at least.

Also CO2 limits, and massive reductions touted as required to reduce warming will be politically unacceptable, and practically impossible. Consider ……

  • Undeveloped countries are responsible for 63% of the world’s emissions,
  • From 1990 to 2013, the world’s total emissions increased by 60%, not much indication of any commitment to reduce emissions there?
  • From 2017 and 2018 the world’s emissions increased by another 4%.
  • Under Paris 2015, China indicated emissions would double to 2030 +29.5%
  • Under Paris 2015, India indicated emissions would triple to 2030, +14%
  • It is assumed that by 2030, the other developed countries will increase emissions. + 10%
  • Total world emissions increase as undeveloped countries improve their standard of living, 5%, say 50%
  • Of the remaining 37% of world emissions (100% minus 63% see a) above), America (16%) has pulled out of the Paris Agreement.
  • This leaves the remaining developed countries reputedly trying to reduce emissions from the 23% of the world’s share that they have.
  • New Zealand has 0.17% of the world emissions, or about 1/135th of the 23%.
  • Conclusion: the actual world’s emissions will not reduce much by 2030 at least. It simply isn’t possible and the strenuous efforts being made under false pretences in New Zealand (CO2 is not the main driver of climate change) will have no effect other than making all New Zealanders poorer, especially the lower strata of society. This will be about $3,000 / household / annum or more than $1,000 / annum per individual in NZ’s population.

16. “Volcanos emit more CO2 than humans” : Humans emit 100 times more CO2 than volcanos.Not sure how this is calculated, and whether undersea volcanos are included. Certainly the Pinatubo eruption in 1991 caused some earth cooling over the subsequent 2 or 3 years, 0.4 to 0.7 degrees C. Clearly volcanoes are unpredictable, not under human influence, but potentially of massive capability.

17. “Record snowfall disproves global warming” : Warming leads to increased evaporation and precipitation, which falls as increased snow in the winter.

Any record temperatures, precipitation via rain or snowfall at individual places on the globe, do not prove anything about the world’s climate.

18. CO2 limits will make little difference” – (presumably to climate?) : If every nation agrees to limit CO2 emissions, we can achieve significant cuts on a global scale.

Can’t argue with this, BUT whether this will have any effect on climate is another matter. It is clear that water vapour is the main Greenhouse Gas, and that methane and nitrous oxide are of trivial importance, and CO2 not much above them  (see Allison and Sheahan, Greenhouse Gases: a More Realistic View (pdf), or a popular version from a farming newspaper, Water blamed as big planet warmer”).

Thus cutting emissions will have a negligible effect on the temperature. Humans are naive enough to think they can control the climate through manipulation of CO2 – they can’t control the climate and CO2 is not the main driver anyway. Huge negative impacts on the agricultural economy are not justified for no predictable outcome.

19. “Renewable energy is too expensive” : When you account for all the costs associated with burning coal and other fossil fuels, like air pollution and health effects, they are significantly more expensive than most renewable energy sources.

Not sure what this is about? If renewables wind and solar were so economically attractive then why after the technologies being available for the last 20 to 30 years, do they not have a greater share of world energy. Presently world energy use is still about 85% fossil fuels and renewables are very minor contributors ….

Jock Picture6

(From “The Energy emergency and the Space Option”)

Some reality is required as to what is possible re alternative fuels and the disadvantages of the high levels of renewables being integrated into national grids. Blackouts in South Australia is a good example of the unreliability of significant levels of wind and solar.

 Certainly discussion of alternative energy supplies is a relevant education topic, but that discussion should be based on reality, not green ideologies. A rapid shift away from fossil fuels is simply not practically or economically possible. Clearly the response here (blue typing above) is unrealistic.

20. “Humans are too insignificant to affect global climate” : Humans are small but powerful, and human CO2 emissions are causing global warming.

This is a very glib and inaccurate comment. Humans are pretty insignificant on the world scale. For examples in terms of total biomass volume, humans make up about half a cubic km – this in comparison with the 30 million cubic km of ice on earth.  The education comment above is based on the assumption that human CO2 drives climate change. There is no good scientific evidence for that. I.e. the climate models are nowhere near predicting the climate.

21. “It’s too hard” : Scientific studies have determined that current technology is enough to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to avoid dangerous climate change.

 Again this is nonsense. It simply isn’t possible!! If there was the resolve to reduce emissions while we had the world agreement (we have had the world governments agreeing that emissions should be reduced since 1992, and yet since that time the total world emissions have increased by more than 60%. Simply there is no practical resolve or commitment to make the massive reductions possible.

 There is not the technology available as contended above, no technology available for Carbon Recapture & Storage which has no example of working on a large sale anywhere, no technology available for the reduction of methane etc.

 A good education discussion in schools would be the massive protests in Chile, France, Holland and Germany when Governments have tried to impose emissions reductions policies, for example here and here .   Politics is the art of the possible, already government policies are having to be modified on the basis of protests.

22. “It’s not urgent” : A large amount of warming is delayed, and if we don’t act now, we could pass tipping points.

What tipping points? There is no good scientific information which suggests that such tipping points exist. There have been many doomsday predictions made in the past few decades.  Al Gore has made many predictions re temperature rise and disappearing Arctic Ice, which haven’t happened, similarly Prince Charles has made many such predictions along with many other politicians and scientists. For a catalogue of failed predictions, see “50 Years of Failed Doomsday Eco-Pocalyptic Predictions: the So-Called Experts Are 0-50” .

Even the UN say that climate policy is not about climate ………” We redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy” ……. “One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy, is environmental policy, it has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore” Dr Otttmar Endenhofer, IPCC Co Chair Working Group III, 2010.

23. “Climate is chaotic and can not be predicted” : Weather is chaotic but climate is driven by Earth’s energy imbalance, which is more predictable.

This is too complicated for discussion in schools, Climate is certainly chaotic and relatively unpredictable. This is why it can’t be modelled effectively.

24. “Adapting to global warming is cheaper than preventing it” : Preventing global warming is relatively cheap, while a “business as usual “ approach will cause accelerating climate change.

This is Green Policy hype with no scientific backing. We do not even know whether the earth is going to continue to warm (it is assumed so, without scientific evidence – computer models are not evidence). The amounts of money estimates to have any effect on climate are in trillions, with predicted very minor effects on climate. See Paris climate promises will reduce temperatures by just 0.05°C in 2100″ (peer-reviewed study).

Further adaptation allows action to be taken if, and when effects happen, eminently sensible when specifics of the future climate are unclear. Nothing will happen very fast so this is the strategy that should be adopted.

25. Renewable energy investment kills jobs” : Investment in renewable energy creates more jobs than investment in the fossil fuel industry.

There has been a lot written about renewable energy creating more “green jobs” –  Green Jobs  provides a good analysis. It is very clear that the science does not say that renewable energy investment creates more jobs. Green jobs in many countries have cost about 2 other real jobs per single green job.

26. “It’s only a few degrees” : A few degrees of global warming have a huge effect on ice sheets, sea levels and other aspects of climate.

Firstly I have never heard the so called climate myth above. However it isn’t clear there will be a continuing increase in temperature as predicted by the climate models, to the level of the target 1.5 or 2 degrees C temperature rise since the start of the industrial revolution. Certainly increasing temperature would have an effect on the ice sheets, sea level and other aspects of climate, but there is no certainty that these increases in temperature will materialise.

27. “Removing all of the CO2 would make little difference” : Removing CO2 from the air would cause most water in the air to rain out and cancel most of the greenhouse effect.

This comment just illustrates the complete ignorance about the climate and atmosphere that exists in those preparing this science material for schools. CO2 is plant food and through sunlight, water and CO2, plants create sugars

To suggest that removal of most of the CO2 (from the atmosphere) would cause most of the water in the air to rain out and cancel most of the Greenhouse Effect. This implies that most of the so called Greenhouse Effect isn’t required There are several significant problems with this hypothesis……..

  • Without Greenhouse Gases, the earth’s temperature would be about – 18 degrees C, and CO2 is recognised as the main GHG? So, removing most of the CO2 from the atmosphere would be far from ideal,
  •  It is nonsense to suggest that removal of CO2 from the atmosphere is even feasibly possible, and to further suggest that reducing CO2 levels will “cause most of the water in the air to rain out is complete fantasy”. Water vapour is the main GHG, so reducing the amount in the atmosphere (if that was even possible) would further reduce the amount of the warming blanket of atmospheric gases, thus effecting further cooling.
  •  Presently the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is about 410 parts per million (ppm), and plant growth will cease at about 150 ppm. For optimal plant growth 410 ppm is far from ideal. As the atmospheric CO2 has progressed from about 350 ppm to 410 ppm over 60 odd years there has been an increase in plant growth of about 15% world-wide, and there is no doubt that increasing atmospheric CO2 is greening the earth, surely a result that the Green party should applaud.
  • The earth is still in a CO2 drought with regard to optimal levels of CO2 for plant growth, and even doubling the atmospheric CO2 levels would be a huge advantage for food production, while being of little moment for the climate.

28 “Heatwaves have happened before” : Global warming is increasing the frequency, duration and intensity of heatwaves.

The statement “heatwaves have happened before” is not a climate myth, and as noted previously a warm climate is a lot healthier place to be than a cooling climate. Scientific information shows mortality risk attributable to cold is about 17 times higher than heat. See this from The Lancet, seen as the bible of medical technology publication. The much discussed consequences for human health from a warming climate illustrate in my opinion, simply the medical profession and academia tapping into the substantial financial resources available for climate related topics. 

Dame Anne Salmond’s Hit Piece on ‘Climate Deniers’ is a Monument to Ad Hominem

New Zealand’s Dominion Post published this week an attack on ‘climate deniers’ from Dame Anne Salmond, distinguished professor of Maori Studies and Anthropology at Auckland University, urging people to ‘Use Votes For Climate Action’ (on-line here).

The underlying premise is, of course, that the tiny portion of trace gases that is human generated (see graph at end) is warming the planet, and furthermore that actions by countries like New Zealand and Australia (with a combined contribution of about 1%) will avert the consequences of this warming, assumed to be universally negative in effect.

A seemingly essential strategy for proponents of the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) theory is to undermine opposition by, firstly, claiming that the scientific consensus supports the theory (the claim that 97% of scientists agree is still with us, despite having been soundly debunked) and secondly, insulting serious scientists by referring to them as ‘climate change deniers’, and even ‘climate deniers’.  Scientific debate  (‘giving a platform to deniers’) which might expose these fallacies is avoided at all costs.

The opinion piece from Anne Salmond is striking in its lack of restraint, blithely slandering the whole of the considerable scientific body who oppose the UN’s climate narrative.

Anne Salmond relies almost totally on fallacious argument, starting off with an appeal to authority, including her own, i.e. a 2010 letter from 255 fellows of the US National Academy of Sciences, among them herself – an historian, not a scientist.

Her main purpose, however, is to smear the opposition. Repeated use of the childish insult ‘climate denier’ is only one tactic – essentially the article is a monument to ad hominem.

‘As in 2010, these climate deniers seem driven by “special interests or dogma”. None of them has any scientific credibility, although they’re arrogant enough to expect their views on scientific matters to be taken seriously.

‘It appears that they are acting to protect their own political and economic interests, rather than the interests of the wider community, in seeking to thwart action to tackle climate change.’

These offensive claims are breathtaking in their dishonesty.  In New Zealand alone, many senior scientists have been questioning the UN-driven climate narrative from at least 2007 – a considerable number are included in a list of 1000 International Scientists who have made submissions to government and the United Nations to protest the findings of the International Panel on Climate Change.   As Owen Jennings wrote to the editor of the DomPost (16/01/2020):

‘She insults some highly respected NZ scientists and commentators like Professor Geoff Duffy, Dr Jock Allison, Dr Gerrit van der Lingen, Roger Dewhurst, Warwick Hughes, Dr Doug Edmeads, Dr Kesten Green, Dr Willem de Lange to name a few.  They have neither “special interest”, adherence to dogma or arrogance.  They do have compelling evidence that the small contribution humans make to warming temperatures is minimal, unlikely to increase significantly and not harmful.’

Other AGW sceptics, now deceased, have included emeritus professor and former Chief Meteorologist with the MetService, Augie Auer, the former Director-General of the DSIR, Dr David Kear, who described anthropogenic global warming as pseudo-science and a hoax, and Dr Vincent Gray, expert reviewer for many years with the IPCC, but who declared its claims to be ‘dangerous, unscientific nonsense’.

Another feature of the piece was the suggestion of culpability: it is, apparently, immoral to question the scientific basis for the IPCC position: ‘those who influence our patterns of behaviour in ways that accelerate climate change’. Anne Salmond was echoing the view presented more bluntly in the DomPost the previous day, that, ‘Australia is a climate-change denier’ and is guilty of the crime of ‘ecocide’.

The implications of the view that debate or dissent in science is immoral, that it should be punishable by law even, are quite disturbing.  Dr Jock Allison, ONZM (for services to science), former Director of AgResearch Invermay, has written scientific papers on, for example, the role of methane in climate, pointing out that methane is a tiny part of the earth’s atmosphere (0.00018 %), with a narrow bandwidth that falls within that of the far more significant H20, and is therefore negligible as a greenhouse gas.  Should Dr Allison be regarded as a criminal simply for doing what scientists do, because the facts he presents do not support a politically driven narrative?

Dame Anne’s prime example of culpability, ironically, relates to the fires raging in Australia.  Certainly climate is a factor – drought and fires are part of the Australian reality (see Bryan Leyland, Australia Has Had Forest Fires for Millions of Years).

In ‘Too Much Fuel Causes Extreme Bush Fires, Not Climate Change’,  Jo Nova points out:

Large wildfires can only occur when there is a combination, at the same time, of three things:

  • an ignition source,
  • severe fire weather and,
  • a large contiguous accumulation of fuel.

Remove any of these three and you cannot have a large wildfire (= megafire).

It is well known that big contributors to the fires are, on the one hand, the hundreds of arson cases (with almost 100 people arrested in Queensland alone) and on the other, the rejection by Green-dominated councils of proven practices of forest management, such as firebreaks and controlled burning, used effectively in Australia for thousands of years.

‘These fucking greenies and the government. Those fucking wombats who don’t want to burn shit off. Look at this. We’re going to lose all our fucking houses and properties because of you useless pieces of fucking garbage …’ (The Truth About Australia’s Bush Fires, video, 3:00)

(Cartoon from NZ Climate Science Coalition, Australian Bush Fires: Read What Henry Lawson Wrote in 1911 and Banjo Patterson in 1886)

Who is morally culpable, the scientist who studies the nature of methane, or the ideologically driven activist who enforce a policy which is sure to lead to disaster?   It is equally reprehensible to ignore those causes of the fire which are actually within human control, but instead exploit the disaster with a junk-science claim that a zero carbon policy by Australia might have stopped the drought.

Dame Anne Salmond’s opinion piece is a depressing reminder of how science and academia have been corrupted in this country and elsewhere.  It is devoid of academic rigour and judgement, and she has shown no compunction in slandering those whom she sees as political opponents, even when their only crime is to carry out their scientific mission.

See also:

Richard Treadgold, Anthropologist Becomes Arrogant Climate Activist

Scientists About the IPCC

Ed Berry, Human CO2 Emissions Have Little Effect on Atmospheric CO2

Composition of Earths Atmosphere (provided by Geoffrey Duffy, DEng, PhD, BSc, ASTC Dip., FRSNZ, FIChemE, CEng, Professor Emeritus, Chemical Engineering, University of Auckland)

Duffy 1 SnipDuffy 2 Snip

 

NZ’s Zero Carbon Bill: the Lies of Jacinda Ardern

The belief that Global Warming is an existential threat, requiring urgent action is the product of a dumbed-down education system. The belief that the world can painlessly transition away from fossil fuels is the product of an affluent and spoiled society. (@JWSpry)

The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading in parliament, in what Jacinda Ardern calls the  ‘nuclear moment for this generation’. What she means, of course, is that Parliament is in effect nuking the New Zealand economy, and the New Zealand environment, on the back of what is frequently referred to as the greatest hoax in the history of science.

NZIER [NZ Institute of Economic Research] estimate the cost of Zero Carbon 2050 at $85b per year, about 28% of current GDP. This is economic suicide over New Zealand producing 1/588th of global man made greenhouse gases. It will be worse if the primary sector is ruined. (Steve Collins, Climate Chains: Follow The Science, Not Emotion)

Jacinda Ardern’s speech in support of the Bill can be found here. If one assumes that Ardern understands the subject matter of modern New Zealand’s ‘nuclear moment’, then one must also assume that any errors in her grandiose claims must made with full cognisance. And so we talking of deliberate falsehood rather than ‘mistakes’; these falsehoods include:

  • The world is warming (ie unusually);
  • The sea is rising (ie unusually);
  • We are experiencing extreme weather events (ie to an unusual degree);
  • New Zealand’s actions with regard to CO2 and methane will make a difference;
  • The government is concerned about the environment;
  • The government is concerned about food production.

‘The world is warming, undeniably it is warming’

If it were snowing at sea level in Rarotonga, politicians would be claiming that the world was burning up.

It is true that the world went through a warming between the mid 1970s and about 1998, but then there was a ‘pause’ in temperature increase.  There was a pause in the pause, as it were, in the el Nino years of 2015-6, followed by the biggest temperature drop in recorded history in 2017 (see also Global Temperature Drops By 0.4 Degrees in Three Years).  Satellite data, which dates from 1979, shows the increase in temperature in the 1980-1990s and then a levelling out (surface temperature data is meaningless due to the lack of gauges).

Satellite temperature records

In 2014 (thus before the 2015-16 el Nino years) the extent of Antarctic sea ice was greater than it had been since 1979,  An expedition to Antarctica in the summer of 2017-8 found that the Ross Ice Shelf is freezing rather than melting.

Abrupt changes such as plummeting temperatures and sudden deluges, as have been experienced in New Zealand in September or Greece in the height of the northern summer are consistent with the variability that is a feature of a cooling planet.

The principal weather change likely to accompany the cooling trend is
increased variability-alternating extremes of temperature and precipitation
in any given area-which would almost certainly lower average crop yields. (John H. Douglas, ‘Climate Change: Chilling Possibilities’, Science News Vol. 107
Thu, 25 Sep 1975, reproduced here )

The multiple reports of excessive snow and breaking of low temperature records in both the northern and southern hemispheres in October of this year might be put down to ‘weather’; they are however, consistent with the fact that Arctic and Antarctic sea ice is now at historic high levels.  Antarctic sea ice expansion is consistent with the cooling trend that has been evident in the Southern ocean (data to 2011).

Sea temps

The magical 1.5 degrees

The 1.5 figure is one of those numbers that the IPCC plucks out of thin air, and backs up with no science whatsoever.  The idea that an increase by 2 degrees in global temperature will cause widespread species extinction is bizarre given that many places in the world – mainland Greek villages for example – can experience within the space of a few months changes in temperature of forty degrees.  If insects and birds find that the climate is gradually becoming too warm for their taste, they won’t suddenly drop dead, but it will show through a movement north or south. NO evidence has been provided that this is happening on a large and unusual scale.

‘Undeniably sea levels are rising’

The conviction that the sea is about to rise and engulf us all is widespread in New Zealand, thanks largely to propaganda from politicians and the media. The British tabloid, the Guardian, warned in 2017 that we are on course for a 3 degree increase in global temperature, and that this would result in major cities from Miami to The Hague to Osaka being engulfed.  Given that weather forecast for Vostok Station, Antarctica, for Sunday evening of 10 November indicated temperatures of -48C, it seems unlikely that a three degree increase in temperature would result in the whole of Antarctica melting, leading to a massive inundation world-wide.

Global sea levels are been rising at pretty much the same level for hundreds of years – we are talking of an annual global sea rise of less than 2mm per annum. Some studies indicate that the rate of sea rise tapered off in the 1950s, see here and here.  Frederiske et al.,  2018 estimated that global sea levels rose at a rate of only 1.42 mm per year between 1958 and 2014. That figure closely coincides with the results of Dr. Simon Holgate from 2007:  “The rate of sea level change was found to be larger in the early part of last century (2.03 ± 0.35 mm/yr 1904–1953), in comparison with the latter part (1.45 ± 0.34 mm/yr 1954–2003).”

The Wismar, Germany, record is one of the longest and most complete records of sea level rise in the world. It not only shows a long-term trend of 1.4 mm/year, but it shows no change in that trend (no acceleration over the past 50 years) since carbon dioxide levels have gone from 325 to 400 parts per million. Fort Denison in Sydney Harbour has been and remains one of the most reliable tide and sea gauging stations in the world, due to its position next to the largest body of water on earth, the Pacific Ocean.  The sea level rise recorded at Fort Denison shows a steady trajectory.

Fort denison

An analysis of measurements from the world’s 225 best long-term coastal tide gauges indicated that the global average rate of sea-level change, is just under +1.5 mm/yr (about 6 inches per century), and it is not accelerating.

In the New Zealand context, members of the School of Surveying, Otago University and GNS NZ  have analysed tide gauge records and vertical land  movements for New Zealand, and found  an average annual sea level rise of 0.9 mm over four main NZ centres, once subsidence is taken into account (this slide from their presentation at the International Surveyors (FIG) Conference in Helsinki 2017).

NZ sea rise Denys3

‘Some island nations will be impacted by rising sea levels.’  It is well known that in general islands in the Pacific are not experiencing threatening sea rise, and the island of Tuvalu for long the poster child for impending disaster, has in recent years actually gained in land mass.  Back in 2012, sea rise expert Nils-Axel Mörner  wrote:

In Tuvalu, the President continues to claim that they are in the process of being flooded. Yet, the tide-gauge data provide clear indication of a stability over the last 30 years.

A map published in National Geographic in 2016, showing where Earth has gained and lost land, revealed that Earth had gained more land than it had lost since 1985.

Along with other initiatives that involve spending money, ‘we are putting $300 million into international support to reduce climate change impacts, half of that going into the Pacific.’ Most New Zealanders do not begrudge money spent on projects aimed at raising the standard of living in the Pacific, such as education or clean water.  However, money donated on a fraudulent basis, such as ‘rising sea levels’ when they are not actually rising, can only encourage corruption.

‘Undeniably we are experiencing extreme weather events’

Wellington’s last storm of any significance, the Wahine Storm, was in 1968. Even the last IPCC report failed to show an increase in extreme weather reports globally. Warren Buffet, insurance billionaire, said in 2014 that insurance companies do not factor in ‘climate change’ at all, having no expectation of major claims from an increase in hurricanes or other such catastrophes. Roger Pielke, until recently of Boulder University, Colorado, has found convincing evidence that climate change was not leading to higher rates of weather-related damages worldwide, once you correct for increasing population and wealth.

The role of Carbon Dioxide

The Zero Carbon Bill is premised on the assumptions that

  • Trace elements such as CO2 especially, but also methane and even nitrous oxide, are important factors in global warming, outdignifying other factors, such as the sun;
  • The anthropogenic component of atmospheric CO2 is significant;
  • Initiatives from New Zealand will make a difference, actually and morally.

In his paper, How to Prove For Yourself That Carbon Dioxide Is NOT the Main Cause of Weather Changes and Climate Patterns (bundled here, p.11),  New Zealander and professor emeritus of chemical engineering, Geoff Duffy, makes the following points:

  • CO2 is a poor greenhouse gas (absorber of radiation), completely swamped by water vapour and clouds.
  • The concentration of carbon dioxide is so low that it is again dominated by water vapour.
  • The only greenhouse gas of significance is water vapour, which unlike the other traces gases has the capacity to form clouds, precipitation and humidity.

These two graphs show the numerical insignificance of the trace ‘greenhouse gases:

Duffy 1 Snip

Duffy 2 Snip

(Slides  provided by Geoffrey Duffy, DEng, PhD, BSc, ASTC Dip., FRSNZ, FIChemE, CEng, Professor Emeritus, Chemical Engineering, University of Auckland)

See also: Dr Ed Berry, Human CO2 Emissions Have Little Effect on Atmospheric CO2.

Methane (CH4) likewise is of no significance, as its absorbtion width falls completely within the absorbtion width of H2O.

CH4 is only 0.00017% (1.7 parts per million) of the atmosphere. Moreover, both of its bands occur at wavelengths where H2O is already absorbing substantially. Hence, any radiation that CH4 might absorb has already been absorbed by H2O. The ratio of the percentages of water to methane is such that the effects of CH4 are completely masked by H2O. The amount of CH4 must increase 100-fold to make it comparable to H2O. (Tom Sheahen, Methane the Irrelevant Greenhouse Gas)

Bud Bromley’s detailed account of the role of the different green house gases,  CO2 is Not Causing Global Warming, reiterates the insignificance of methane as a greenhouse gas.

There is in fact evidence that CO2 has a cooling effect: see Carbon Dioxide is a Cooling Gas According to NASA, and Academia, Greenhouse Theory Refuted by 17 Papers Finding CO2 Can Make the Climate Colder.

The Sun is the Climate Knob and the Looming Threat is Glaciation

  • The Sun is 4.6 billion years old.
  • The Sun has surface area is 11,990 times that of the Earth’s. Its diameter is around 1,392,000 kilometres (865,000 miles), about 110 times wider than Earth’s.
  • The mass of the Sun is approximately 330,000 times greater than that of Earth. You can fit 1.3 million earths into it.
  • The Sun contains 99.86% of the mass in the Solar System.
  • The Sun generates huge amounts of energy by combining hydrogen nuclei into helium. This process is called nuclear fusion.
  • The Sun’s surface temperature is ‎5,500 °C.
  • The Sun’s core is around 13600000 degrees Celsius.
  • Light from the Sun reaches Earth in 8 minutes and 20 seconds. (Jamie Spry, The Sun: Climate Control Knob, Enemy of the Climate Cult)

‘I wish we had a climate like Germany’s’, is something no Greek has ever said. Cold kills far more people than heat. Because of the lack of sunspot activity, many scientists are predicting dangerous global cooling, a particularly frightening prospect if one lives in temperate/cool climates such as that ‘enjoyed’ in New Zealand.  See: Scientists and Studies Predict Imminent Cooling and The Real Climate Crisis is Global Cooling and It May Already Have Started. A Mexican researcher is warning that his country should  ‘beware the little ice age cycle’.

Dr Carlton Brown of Massey University has made an assessment of the dangers for New Zealanders presented by glaciation: Catastrophic Grand Solar Minimum Risks in the Years Ahead. A responsible government would be putting its efforts into ensuring that power is cheap and reliable, so that pensioners don’t die of cold, but there are no signs that this is a priority for the ’empathy government’.

‘We cannot afford to be a slow follower, for the environment’

The environmental claims made in support of the globalist climate narrative are perhaps the most obnoxious, the most fraudulent of the lot.

Ardern plans to replace the government’s fleet with EVs i.e. battery-driven vehicles. A recent German study indicates that when all factors are taken into consideration, evs emit more CO2 than diesel ones. But that is a minor point compared to the serious problems presented by battery driven power.

  • Batteries are unsustainable: An essential component of lithium batteries is the rare earths, a limited resource – that’s why they’re called rare earths. [Correction: it has been pointed out that rare earths are in fact abundant on the earth’s surface, but that exploiting them is difficult, dangerous and, as mentioned below, causes environmental devastation.]  To use them for every form of transport throughout the world is impossible – but there wasn’t a peep out of the government when the Wellington City Council did away with its trolley buses in favour of battery-powered buses.
  • Rare earth mining is an environmentally devastating process.
  • Battery disposal has serious environmental implications.

See e.g. James Taylor, Batteries Impose Hidden Environmental Costs for Wind and Solar Power.

See also: Child Miners Aged Four Living Hell on Earth .. Clearly the conditions faced by miners of rare earths are not the fault of cell-phone users, but given that the NZ government is confident that it can influence China and India to go zero carbon, it is sad that it has shown no interest in persuading other countries to ensure their wealth benefits even the smallest citizens.

Where will the energy coming from? Aside from hydro and thermal, already used in New Zealand, but which themselves have environmental implications, the favourite options for new energy sources are wind and solar. Huge solar and wind farms are being built in countries like China.

solar-farm

Both wind and solar have proved to be totally uneconomic, only existing gratis of subsidies, incentives and increased power prices to the consumer.  The incentives feature prominently in the advertising of US solar companies, e.g. this one in Iowa.

Estimates of the useful life of wind turbines start from as little as 12 years, with both economic and environmental implications.  The cost of decommissioning a wind turbine is somewhere between US$200,00 and $500,000. Whether useless wind turbines will be smartly decommissioned, rather than left to rot and pollute land and sea, is questionable.

That the visual environment has no value in today’s Green world is apparent from the sighting of a wind farm behind Scotland’s iconic Stirling castle.

Stirling castle

But in any case, concerns over the blighting of the landscape have been overtaken by realisation of the destruction and the pollution represented by wind and solar.

Both wind and solar have huge footprints in relation to the power produced.  This chart is from Strata, The Footprint of Energy: Land Use of U.S. Electricity Production, June 2017.

Footprints

Analysis of a much touted proposal to make the US 100% renewable-reliant, showed that the necessary wind farms would cover twice the area of California. Often wind farms are at the expense of forest, e.g. Millions of Trees Have Been Chopped Down to Make Way for Scottish Wind Farms.

Wind farms present a risk to birds, bats, bugs and human beings

Wind farms are driving birds and bats to extinction – see also Wind Turbines Deadly to Bats, Costly to Farmers and Will Wind Turbines Ever Be Safe For Birds?

Maps depicting the USA’s best wind resource areas show that they are concentrated down the middle of the continent – right along migratory flyways for monarch butterflies, geese, endangered whooping cranes and other airborne species; along the Pacific Coast; and along the Atlantic Seaboard. (Paul Driessen, The Giga and Terra Scam of Offshore Wind Energy)

Wind farms are a enormous threat to human health.  Negative effects of industrial wind turbines include: sleep disturbance, cognitive impairment, mental health and wellbeing, as well as cardiovascular disease, hearing impairment, tinnitus, and adverse birth outcomes.

New solar technologies also present a danger to bird life.

More sophisticated solar technologies include photovoltaic systems, trough systems with parabolic mirrors, and power towers as a focal point for solar flux. Studies (and local experience) show that they cause bird deaths through trauma or solar flux injury. See Kagan et al,  Avian Mortality at Solar Energy Facilities in Southern California. The Ivanpah facility which uses a power tower, is said to kill 6,000 birds a year.

Both solar panels and wind turbines are full of toxic materials: disposing of both is problematic; in any case materials break up and disperse fragments in the wind.

‘Solar panels often contain lead, cadmium, and other toxic chemicals that cannot be removed without breaking apart the entire panel.’ (Michael Shellenberger)

A study by Environmental Waste found:

  • Solar panels create 300 times more toxic waste per unit of energy than do nuclear power plants.

  • If solar and nuclear produce the same amount of electricity over the next 25 years that nuclear produced in 2016, and the wastes are stacked on football fields, the nuclear waste would reach the height of the Leaning Tower of Pisa (52 meters), while the solar waste would reach the height of two Mt. Everests (16 km).

  • In countries like China, India, and Ghana, communities living near e-waste dumps often burn the waste in order to salvage the valuable copper wires for resale. Since this process requires burning off the plastic, the resulting smoke contains toxic fumes that are carcinogenic and teratogenic (birth defect-causing) when inhaled.

Because Germans are waking up to the threat posed by wind farms to birds, bats, and human health, new wind farm construction in Germany is grinding to a halt.

In Germany, real environmentalists are mounting a well-oiled revolt against the destruction of forests – the natural habitat of apex predators, like the endangered Red Kite. Environmentalists are also furious at the fact that Kites, Eagles and dozens of threatened bat species are being sliced and diced with impunity across Europe. Rural residents, driven mad in their homes or driven out of them by practically incessant turbine generated low-frequency noise and infrasound have taken their cases to law seeking injunctions and damages. (Wind Industry Crisis Spreads)

See also:

Solar Energy Badly Harms the Environment and Should be Taxed, Not Subsidised

Europe is Burning Our Forests for ‘Renewable Energy’. Wait, What?

One Billion (Pine) Trees

Not to be ignored is the cold-blooded decision to replant much (all?) of our agricultural land with pinus radiata forestry, which depletes the soil, is hostile to flora and fauna, and is ugly to boot.

‘We can not be a slow follower, for our food producers’

That protecting food producers is the last thing on the government’s agenda has been made crystal clear from the raft of measures taken to undermine the agricultural sector.  Perhaps the most egregious of these is special provision for overseas concerns to purchase farmland, but only if they converted it to forestry.  Consider, for example, the decision to allow a Japanese company to by-pass Overseas Investment regulations and buy 20,000 hectares of land to convert to forestry. – provided it is done in short order to allow the government to claim success for the One Billion Tree project.

The Zero Carbon Bill is in breach of the Paris Accord.

In a briefing sent 11 October to the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Adviser, Professor Juliet Gerrard,  Environomics Trust CEO Peter Morgan pointed out that the terms of the Paris Climate Accord, which New Zealand has signed, forbid carbon mitigation policies that affect food production.

Article 2(1)(b) of the Paris Accord requires governments to:

‘..[increase] the ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change and foster climate resilience and low greenhouse gas emissions development, in a manner that does not threaten food production.

Threatening the food production of New Zealand, a country that also exports food to other countries, is exactly what the Zero Carbon Bill is doing, along with the other measures taken by NZ government to undermine the agricultural sector.

Conclusion

Members of the public, including members of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition, have made submissions on the Zero Carbon Bill, pointing out the complete lack of a scientific basis for it, and also the fact of the Bill being in breach of the Paris Accord.  Any MP who claims to take an interest in the climate debate, including members of the Green Party, the associated select committee, and of course the Prime Minister, must be fully aware of the opposition to the bill and the weakness of the science.

For reasons one can only speculate on, Jacinda Ardern, and all members of parliament bar one, have chosen to ignore criticism of the science behind the climate narrative or questions regarding the implications if warming does in fact take place. They are ignoring the manifest economic and environmental consequences of the bill, and taken a step which unless reversed will cause unimaginable damage to the viability of New Zealand as a country.

 

See also:

Green Energy Future: a pictorial guide to the environmental catastrophe of renewables.

In Australia, Dr Bob Brown, former leader of the Australian Greens, was one of the first to break ranks when a wind farms was planned for the remote North-West of his home State, Tasmania: Hyper-Hypocrites: Greens Love Wind Power – In Your Backyard – But Never In Theirs

Peter Wadhams, Professor of Ocean Physics at Cambridge University, Next Year or the Year After the Arctic Will Be Free of Ice (August 2016)

Viv Forbes, Tomorrow’s Grim, Global, Green Dictatorship

Significant Natural Areas (SNAs): How NZ Cities Are Implementing Agenda 21 and the American Wildlands Project

The American Wildlands Project, now termed the Wildlands Network, proposes the designation of 50% of the United States as core wilderness areas with little or no human use, connected by corridors of little or no human use, and surrounded by buffer zones of highly regulated use.  Exposure of the Wildlands Project was responsible for the United States not ratifying the UN’s Convention on Biological Diversity in 1994.

The Wildlands project is associated with Agenda 21, which New Zealand endorsed at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, and which is the text for the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and ongoing programmes which support these policies.

Wellington and other New Zealand cities are implementing an urban version of the Wildlands Project.

In September of this year, suburban homeowners in Wellington were startled to receive notification that a smaller or greater part of their suburban property was to be incorporated into something called ‘Significant Natural Areas’ (SNAs) or ‘Backyard Taonga’.  This clearly has implication for property rights and values, however this was glossed over in the accompanying letter.

The letter was both wordy and vague; after a lengthy preamble about how Wellingtonians love native bush and wild life it arrived at something approaching the point

[…] We are writing because our work to identify and protect natural areas could affect you.

We’ve been working with ecologist and landscape specialists to identify areas of native bush and landscapes around the city.  This is so we can start talking about what they might have, and ways we can help them look after it. […]
‘As part of an overall District Plan review later this year, we will be asking people for their thoughts on how best to protect native bush and landscapes.  We especially want to work with landowners to find the right balance between protection and practical use – we don’t want to introduce anything that gets in the way of day to day use and maintenance.’ […]

There is no mention in the letter of how the SNA designation might affect property rights, such as the ability to subdivide, develop, build, or carry out home extensions.  The letter reads as though the Council is doing the property owner a favour.

A meeting was held in September in a home in the Wellington suburb of Johnsonville with two councillors, Peter Gilberd and Deputy Mayor Jill Day, and some local residents, alerted through the platform Neighbourly.

Some salient points emerged from the meeting:

  • 1,700 Wellington properties were affected.
  • The councilors had little idea, or would not say, what the legal framework to the policy was, beyond uncertain references to the Resource Management Act (RMA) and a directive from the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC).
  • It’s not about people: Deputy Mayor Jill Day in answer to the comment about the inaccessibility of some of these areas, made it clear that the purpose of these biodiversity areas is not to improve the lives of Wellingtonians, but to provide areas for native flora and fauna ‘it’s not about people, it’s about biodiversity.
  • Nobody has property rights: Jill Day’s response to a question about affect on property rights, to subdivide, extend or build a shed, or plan a garden, and on property values, was that ‘nobody owns land’.
  • The land designated as SNPs is second growth bush, scrub and gorse, but not in general (perhaps not ever) virgin bush. Land was included as a ‘corridor’ even if it connected to nothing.
  • Because of the vagueness of the letter, many homeowners have ignored it, not realising they were affected.

It is also worth noting that the letters were sent out just a few weeks before the local body election, giving those affected and concerned citizens no time to organise an effective response at this most crucial time.

The Policy

From Wellington City Council’s page Backyard Taonga

Pockets of natural land found on both private and public land. These are made up of natural ecosystems, outstanding landscapes and distinctive landmarks. […]

‘Ecologists completed a desktop study that was based mainly on aerial imagery, local site references and public viewing spots.’ […]

There are over 160 land areas around Wellington city that meet the criteria. Around half of these are on Council land.

A map of the designated areas can be seen here.  According to the FAQ for nearby Porirua City SNAs are ‘large areas generally over 0.5 hectares (1.2 acres) in size’.

The SNAs implement Our Natural Capital: Wellington’s Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan, approved by the Council in 2015, which says:

  • To achieve our biodiversity goals, we will aim to protect the ecologically significant areas on both private and public land.

  • We will restore these areas, create safe buffer zones around them and connect them together.

Maps and reports show that the consultants set out to create as many biodiversity areas as possible, on public and private land, regardless of quality.  Furthermore, the SNAs are open-ended, all areas are to have buffer zones, not just to function as such, but to allow expansion, as the buffers themselves become part of the significant biodiversity area.  The corridors, too, could expand in the same manner.

There was no mention in the Council’s letter of buffer zones or the intention to connect them, or the corridors mentioned by Jill Day.  The implications of ‘connect them together’ are enormous – is the intention really to eventually connect all the biodiversity areas in Wellington, to allow insects to move without hindrance from one side of the city to the other?  While many are in fact joined, there are implications for adjacent land where they are not, especially in the cases of isolated pockets.

Terms like ‘significant’, ‘ecosystem’, and ‘habitat’ are ill-defined. According to the website, one of the qualifying features is that sites,’connect ecosystems or habitats for rare indigenous species‘.  That is potentially every tree in Wellington. Protected native birds such as tuis, fantails and even wood pigeons are abundant in Wellington, liking both native and exotic vegetation, bush and gardens. There wouldn’t be a scrap of bush, in some areas hardly a tree, native or exotic, that doesn’t see a tui at some time. The American experience is that it only takes a single sighting of a protected bird or animal, even when it has clearly strayed from a nearby reserve, to halt all development. (See ‘Agenda 21: a Plan to Take Your Land and Give it To Tortoises and Pagosa Skyrockets’)

The SNAs are to be offset by high-density human habitat. In parallel with expanding protected areas Wellington City Council claims a shortage of land for housing.  The Council has a policy of Smart Growth, which translates as a ‘vibrant’, compact city, to be achieved by an ever-increasing number of apartment buildings, leading inevitably to the eventual destruction of our suburbs as we know them. Child-friendly cafes rather than backyards are portrayed as meeting the needs of the modern family.

As suburban gardens are progressively destroyed, and bushy banks bulldozed, native birds will be forced away from homes and into the SNAs, which will become a self-fulfilling prophesy.

The ecologists who completed the study were Wildlands Consultants. Almost fifty percent of Wildlands Consultants’ self-description concerns a prioritisation of Maori interests – this may also impact on private property rights and costs of development.

The SNA policy is an assault on:

  1. Property rights
  2. On Wellington suburbs and Wellington lifestyles

It’s not about people: Some of these areas have never been accessible to the general public.

It’s not about biodiversity – the universal destruction of the ecosystem provided by suburban garden across Wellington in favour of pockets of second-growth bush will decrease biodiversity. There will be a net loss of trees through subdivision and possibly also through people clearing their sections in order not to have them swallowed up by SNAs.

It IS about people–  just not in the way you expect.  Council policies are an implementation of the UN’s Agenda 21.

Agenda 21

UN policies, as expressed in Agenda 21,  and other UN statement and conventions endorsed by New Zealand governments, aims at:

  • the abolition of private property
  • the demise of rural living
  • population control
  • the ‘redevelopment’ of cities (Daisy Luther, What Exactly Is Agenda 21?)

The SNA policy claims to implement values held by New Zealanders, ie respect and love for nature in all its forms.  But what is being implemented here is not preservation but the expansion of all pockets of existing reserve land at the expense of private property owners, as a matter of policy.

Wellington has always been a place of homes and gardens, with abundant reserve land in native bush.  The council plans to turn Wellington into a city of apartments offset by little biodiversity areas not necessarily accessible by humans. The refusal to consider greenfield development is not driven by environmental concerns, but because it does not fit the vision of a compact ‘vibrant’ modern city filled with child-friendly cafes but no backyards. In sum, SNAs are designed to further the Agenda 21 vision of humanity corralled into high density urban areas largely cut off from nature.

Wellington’s SNA policy was developed as a response to a directive from the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC).

Wellington Regional Policy Statement (RPS) [here]

The Policy states: ‘The restoration of indigenous ecosystems on private land provides both public and private benefit’ (p.52).

Policy 23 (emphasis throughout added by author)

District and regional plans shall identify and evaluate indigenous ecosystems and habitats with significant indigenous biodiversity values; these ecosystems and habitats will be considered significant if they meet one or more of the following criteria:

(a) Representativeness […]
(b) Rarity […]
(c) Diversity […]
(d) Ecological context of an area: the ecosystem or habitat:

  • (i) enhances connectivity or otherwise buffers representative, rare or diverse indigenous ecosystems and habitats; or
  • (ii) provides seasonal or core habitat for protected or threatened indigenous species.

(e) Tangata whenua values […]

Policy 24 protects indigenous ecosystems and habitats with significant
indigenous biodiversity values from inappropriate subdivision, use and development.

We are then referred to Policy 47, which provides that :

When considering an application for a resource consent, [etc, …]  particular regard shall be given to:
(a) maintaining connections within, or corridors between, habitats of indigenous flora and fauna, and/or enhancing the connectivity between fragmented indigenous habitats;
(b) providing adequate buffering around areas of significant indigenous ecosystems and habitats from other land uses;
[…]

The SNAs then are closely aligned with the RPS, including the provisions for buffer zones and corridors, and undermining of private property rights.

Forest & Bird Action Against Hutt City Council

In 2018, after a petition was presented by Hutt residents, the council rejected a proposal to list Significant Natural Areas (SNAs) on private land on the District Plan. Forest & Bird  has gone to the Environment Court to reverse that decision.

With SNAs, DOC land and a huge raft of restrictive regulations we have only built on one percent of our country’s beautiful landmass and that includes roads. I don’t disagree that controls are needed but is there little wonder why there is a housing crisis.
And now my council is going to get sued by Forest and Bird. Well us rate payers will pay the cost and cause ructions at the next elections. Bring it on.
I’m listening to the glorious Tui birdsong outside my window as I type this. The birds and the bush is flourishing here in the Hutt the best it’s been in the last 15 years and SNAs are not needed. (Hutt City Abandons Controversial SNA Plan to Protect Biodiversity, comment)

Forest and Bird has also taken New Plymouth District Council to court over its failure to include private land in its SNAs, citing the Resource Management Act and such authorities as the Taranaki Regional Policy Statement, which also rely on the RMA.

The Resource Management Act (RMA):

The Resource Management Act 1991 reiterates the importance of: ‘the protection of outstanding natural features and landscapes’ and ‘areas of significant indigenous vegetation and significant habitats of indigenous fauna’ (Section 6); recognising the ‘intrinsic value of ecosystems’ and of ‘maintenance and enhancement of the quality of the environment’ (Section 7); ‘maintaining indigenous biological diversity’  (Section 30). (See also the Appendix for a fuller presentation.)

The RMA does not, however, legislate for prioritising biodiversity over human rights and values, particularly in a major urban area.

Section 5 of The Resource Management Act, Purpose and principles, states:

(1) The purpose of this Act is to promote the sustainable management of natural and physical resources.

(2) In this Act, sustainable management means managing the use, development, and protection of natural and physical resources in a way, or at a rate, which enables people and communities to provide for their social, economic, and cultural well-being and for their health and safety while

(a) sustaining the potential of natural and physical resources (excluding minerals) to meet the reasonably foreseeable needs of future generations; and

(b) safeguarding the life-supporting capacity of air, water, soil, and ecosystems; and

(c) avoiding, remedying, or mitigating any adverse effects of activities on the environment.]

There is nothing in the act which provides that ‘biodiversity’ should trump human rights and human welfare. Essentially the RMA provides for the protection of outstanding natural features and landscapes, of areas of significant indigenous vegetation and of significant habitats, while acknowledging the importance of  the social, economic, and cultural well-being of people and their communities.

The Resource Management Act makes it clear that while all efforts should be made to protect the environment, protect endangered species and preserve significant natural areas, the welfare of individuals and communities should come first.

SNAs and Smart Growth Policies are in breach of the Resource Management Act

The traditional New Zealand and Wellington standard of home and yard, providing spaces for people, plants, birds and bugs to live in close proximity, where children can play and their elders can garden, is an important part of our culture and makes an essential contribution to people’s well-being.

Across cities, children who live in neighborhoods with more trees tend to have lower incidence of asthma. Mere visual contact with vegetation has been shown to improve health, reduce postoperative recovery times, increase employee satisfaction, and reduce stress. (100 Resilient Cities, Why Cities Should Focus on Biodiversity)

The policies of the GWRC and the Wellington City Council however, are oblivious to human needs in terms of culture and well-being.  The SNA policy prioritises an on-going expansion of areas dedicated to ‘biodiversity’, regardless of human benefit, in a major urban area which at the time has extensive reserve land, including abundant native bush.  The policy infringes on people’s property rights, and ties up land which could be used for housing.

The SNA policy is therefore an urban enactment of the Wildlands Project, with maximum space allowed for flora and non-human fauna, while human beings are corralled into ever-smaller spaces. This map is a conception of how the Wildlands Project will play out in America – the green indicates areas allocated to human habitation.

 

wildlands-map-reverse-hue.jpg

Under the Wildlands Project, the United States would be transformed from a land where people can live where they choose and travel freely, to a Wildlands dominated landscape where people live in designated population centers with limited travel allowed through highly restricted corridors (Michael Coffman).

To suggest that such a plan could be implemented in major New Zealand cities might seem an extraordinary idea, but in fact the principle is the same: that the maximum possible space be allocated to ‘biodiversity’ and the absolute minimum to human habitat.

How did we get to this point?

The RMA is the only authority quoted by the Regional Council, by the Wellington City Councillors at the Johnsonville meeting, and also by officers of the Regional Council and City Councillors that I have spoken to on the telephone (apart from the Regional Authority itself).

How do we get from ‘avoiding, remedying, or mitigating any adverse effects of activities on the environment‘ while enabling ‘people and communities to provide for their social, economic, and cultural well-being and for their health and safety’ to a Regional Council directive instructing councils to make a practice of open-ended encroachment on private land of doubtful significance in New Zealand urban areas, and a Wellington City Council policy of prioritising ‘biodiversity’ over people in the nation’s capital?

While local authorities ostensibly base their policies on the RMA, the ultimate source for their policies is the UN’s Convention on Biological Diversity.

The Convention on Biological Diversity

Under the Convention on Biological Diversity, each Contracting Party shall, as far as possible and as appropriate:

(a) Establish a system of protected areas or areas where special measures need to be taken to conserve biological diversity:
(b) Develop, where necessary, guidelines for the selection, establishment and management of protected areas or areas where special measures need to be taken to conserve biological diversity:
(c) Regulate or manage biological resources important for the conservation of biological diversity whether within or outside protected areas, with a view to ensuring their conservation and sustainable use;
(d) Promote the protection of ecosystems, natural habitats and the maintenance of viable populations of species in natural surroundings:
(e) Promote environmentally sound and sustainable development in areas adjacent to protected areas with a view to furthering protection of these areas:
(f) Rehabilitate and restore degraded ecosystems and promote the recovery of threatened species, inter alia, through the development and implementation of plans or other management strategies:
[…]

The Convention, therefore, requires the mapping of biodiversity areas, and provides for their on-going expansion, by giving a special designation to adjacent areas, with a view to incorporating them in the biodiversity areas.

While there is no specific reference to private property, there are numerous references to regulations which allow by inference encroachment on property rights, eg ‘”Protected area” means a geographically defined area which is designated or regulated and managed to achieve specific conservation objectives’.

As Michael Coffman (Agenda 21 Wildlands Project) points out, state control over private property has been central to every international treaty since the 1970s.

The United Nations’ World Commission on Sustainable Development formalized this into international policy when it published its report Our Common Future in 1987. This landmark report helped trigger a wide range of actions, including the UN “Earth Summits” in 1992 and 2002, the International Climate Change ConventionThe Convention on Biological Diversity and worldwide “Agenda 21″ programs.

One of the most explicit UN position statements on private land is contained in the Official Report of the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements 1976, also known as Habitat 1:

Land, because of its unique nature and the crucial role it plays in human settlements, cannot be treated as an ordinary asset, controlled by individuals and subject to the pressures and inefficiencies of the market. Private land ownership is also a principal instrument of accumulation and concentration of wealth and therefore contributes to social injustice; if unchecked, it may become a major obstacle in the planning and implementation of development schemes. Social justice, urban renewal and development, the provision of decent dwellings and healthy conditions for the people can only be achieved if land is used in the interests of society as a whole.

Public control of land use is therefore indispensable to its protection as an asset and the achievement of the long-term objectives of human settlement policies and strategies.

New Zealanders have traditionally put a high value on universal home ownership, being a buffer against poverty and making an important contribution to family security.  Hernando de Soto found that strong property rights are the basis of liberty and wealth creation, as they enable ordinary people to use their homes as equity to start a business.

See also: Agenda 21 Simplified: the Eradication of Private Property Rights

While the Convention on Biological Biodiversity binds governments to take certain legislative action, it has no authority in a country per se, i.e. unless governments pass the necessary legislation.  Thus there should be a clear legal authority which links the Convention to the GWRC Policy Statement, which has proved very difficult to pinpoint.

The Legislative Pathway

Wellington City Council: The biodiversity strategy implements the Greater Wellington Regional Council’s Regional Policy Statement which ‘introduced policies to protect important areas of native bush and landscapes, making Backyard Tāonga part of a regional legal requirement’.

The Greater Wellington Regional Policy Statement: Takes its authority from the provisions of the Resource Management Act 1991.

4.1 Regulatory policies –  Policies that must be given effect to by regional, city or district plans (in accordance with sections 67(3)(c) and 75(3)(c) of the Resource Management Act, 1991).

The RMA (see above and also the Appendix] is clearly not the inspiration for the SNA biodiversity strategy.  However, the RPS also acknowledges that:

The Documents which informed this Regional Policy Statement include the New Zealand Energy Strategy to 2050 (2007), the New Zealand Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy (2007), the Regional Renewable Energy Assessment for the Wellington Region (2006) [only 2008 located], the New Zealand Urban Design Protocol (2006) and National Priorities for Action for Protecting Biodiversity on Private Land (2007).

None of the first three are concerned with encroachment on private land or biodiversity, not even the Renewable Energy Assessment (despite the implications that wind farms have for wildlife).  Nor is the Urban Design Protocol, except that it  decrees that quality urban design ‘facilitates green networks that link public and private open space’ (an idea also mentioned in the RPS), meaning unclear.

The National Priorities for Action for Protecting Biodiversity on Private Land (2007) set out the following ‘National Priorities’ (p. 2):

  1. To protect indigenous vegetation associated with land environments (defined by Land Environments of New Zealand at Level IV), that have 20% or less remaining in indigenous cover.

  2. To protect indigenous vegetation associated with sand dunes and wetlands; ecosystem types that have become uncommon due to human activity.

  3. To protect indigenous vegetation associated with ‘originally rare’ terrestrial ecosystem types not already covered by priorities 1 and 2.

  4. To protect habitats of acutely and chronically threatened indigenous species.

[…] Our expectation is that the priorities in this statement will be used to support and inform councils’ biodiversity responsibilities under the Resource Management Act. We believe this can be best achieved within a co[o]perative rather than a legislative framework.

There is no mention of creating SNAs in urban areas, nor buffer zones or corridors.  It does however refer to the NZ Biodiversity Strategy (2000) which states:

Maintain and restore a full range of remaining natural habitats and ecosystems to a healthy functioning state, enhance critically scarce habitats, and sustain the more modified ecosystems in production and urban environments and do what else is necessary to maintain and restore viable populations of all indigenous species and subspecies across their natural range and maintain their genetic diversity. (Department of Conservation and Ministry for the Environment, 2000, p.18)

The statement refers to the following legislative provisions

7 Legislative Provisions for Protecting Indigenous Biodiversity
   7.1 Legislation
7.1.1 Resource Management Act 1991
[…]
7.2 Biodiversity Convention and Strategy
7.2.1 Convention on Biological Diversity
7.2.2 New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy

The present  New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy 2000, still in force, includes  under Objective 1.1 of its Action Plan,

Protecting indigenous habitats and ecosystems

a) Complete indigenous biodiversity survey and assessment to identify habitats and ecosystems important for indigenous biodiversity. [Key players…]
b) Add to public conservation lands those habitats and ecosystems important for indigenous biodiversity that are not represented within the existing protected area network or that are at significant risk of irreversible loss or decline, or in situations where public ownership is needed for effective management. […]
c) Encourage and support initiatives to protect and maintain habitats and ecosystems important for indigenous biodiversity on private land using a mixture of mechanisms, recognising the rights, responsibilities and interests of landowners and society, including information, education, voluntary mechanisms, economic incentives, property rights and regulation. […]

d) The 2000 Strategy  thus provides for mapping biodiversity areas, and taking ‘habitats and ecosystems important for indigenous biodiversity’ into ‘public management’ under certain circumstances.  At the same time it emphasises:

‘Securing the willing and active participation of landowners is therefore pivotal to sustaining indigenous biodiversity on private land’ (p. 38)

. In the whole of the Strategy, there is only a fleeting reference to corridors: ‘gaps in knowledge […] (for example, the use of corridors)’ , while ‘buffers’ are mentioned only in relation to Lake Taupo and rivers that feed into it, and the 350 hectare Motatau Forest Reserve.

The Strategy is not, therefore, the missing link between the Convention on Biological Diversity and Greater Wellington Regional Council’s SNA policy.  There is another document, however, which has not been mentioned in the relevant council statements: the Proposed National Policy Statement on Indigenous Biodiversity.

The Proposed National Policy Statement on Indigenous Biodiversity

The Statement has no legal effect: it was announced by the Minister for the Environment in early 2011 but ‘was not progressed due to a lack of stakeholder agreement on its content […]’.

Despite its lack of legal standing,  the Statement appears to be the inspiration for the GWRC’s Policy Statement – alternatively the connection could be spurious, in that both could be inspired by another document, as yet undetermined.

The statement recommends:

  • the retention of as many ‘elements’ as possible
  • the retention of existing vegetation, whether indigenous or not (but not including recognised pest plants), that provides habitat for indigenous species or seasonal food sources for indigenous species (i.e. every tree in Wellington)
  • buffer zones
  • corridors (‘ecological linkage’)
  • ways to address the problem of private property.

This national policy statement seeks to:
1. bring more clarity to the role of local authorities in biodiversity management under the RMA than may be apparent on the face of the Act itself.

POLICY 6
To promote the maintenance of biodiversity outside of identified areas of significant indigenous vegetation and significant habitats of indigenous fauna, and to support the resilience and viability of populations and species assemblages within identified areas and habitats, decision-makers should:

a. recognise the contribution that all remaining areas of indigenous vegetation make to the maintenance of indigenous biodiversity and encourage the retention of as many elements as possible
b. recognise the full range of potential adverse effects on indigenous biodiversity including, but not limited to, population fragmentation, degradation of non-living components (eg, water and soil), interruption to breeding cycles and migratory pathways, and increased exposure to invasive introduced plant and animal species that pose a threat to indigenous biodiversity.
c. encourage the retention of existing vegetation, whether indigenous or not (but not including recognised pest plants), that provides:
i. habitat for indigenous species
ii. seasonal food sources for indigenous species
iii. ecological linkage between areas and habitats identified in accordance with Policy 4
iv. a buffer to indigenous vegetation for areas and habitats identified in accordance with Policy 4
d. when the retention of existing vegetation and habitat will not achieve sustainable management, encourage measures that mitigate and offset adverse effects on indigenous species during, and subsequent to, removal or modification of that vegetation or habitat through harvest or clearance or other activity that may threaten the survival of affected species populations
e. encourage the planting of naturally occurring, locally sourced indigenous species and the creation of habitats for indigenous species as well as plant and animal pest control
f. encourage the establishment of additional indigenous riparian vegetation as a means of increasing connectivity and enhancing freshwater habitat for indigenous species
g. ensure human-made structures do not adversely impact on indigenous species by interfering with their natural migratory movements
h. consider both regulatory incentives (such as bonus development rights in exchange for protection and enhancement of vegetation and habitats) and non regulatory incentives, (such as technical advice and practical help) to support and encourage landowners to make appropriate land management decisions.

Restoration:

Restoration and enhancement means the active intervention and management of degraded biotic communities, landforms and landscapes in order to restore biological character, ecological and physical processes.

Private property:

Delivering on [the role of the RMA and local authorities] has, however, proved challenging for local authorities for the following reasons:

  • areas and habitats of indigenous species occur on private land and there can be tensions between the aspirations of private landowners for land use and development and the need to protect those areas habitats [..]

  • overall success is reliant on the goodwill and sympathetic management of the many private landowners on whose properties indigenous species and ecosystems remain. That needs to be remembered in the way we manage for biodiversity under the Act.

The Policy Statement sought to address these challenges, as it aimed to:

help decision-makers appropriately balance the protection of biodiversity, the interests and values of tangata whenua, the rights and responsibilities of landowners and the broader national interests that may be at stake in future resource management decision-making.

Other Forces

Wellington, along with many other cities world-wide, belongs to a number of local authority networks.  They include 100 Resilient Cities, C40 Cities and ICLEI (Local Governments for Sustainability, which are funded by elite foundations and major corporations, or partnered with networks funded by the same, such as the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation, George Soros’s Open Society, Google, Microsft and L’Oréal (see, e.g. C40 partners)   David Rockefeller, a major force behind the development of Agenda 21 and the UN narratives of ‘biodiversity and ‘global warming’, personally founded 100 Resilient Cities.  The function of these Networks is the implementation of Agenda 21. Both ICLEI and 100 Resilient Cities have strong ‘biodiversity’ policies.

A number of American states have moved to ban ICLEI and Agenda 21 , with mixed success, because of the threat they pose to private property rights.  The New Hampshire Bill of 2012 read:

No agency or department of the state shall implement programs of, expend any sum for, be a member of, receive funding from, contract for services from, or give financial or other forms of aid to the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI), and its derivatives, in furtherance of the United Nations program known as Agenda 21.

Future Legislation

The New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy and the National Policy Statement on Biodiversity are in the process of being updated.  The intention is to bring them into line with the polices apparent in the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Greater Wellington Regional Policy, and the SNA initiatives – this means the prioritising of ‘biodiversity’ over human rights and human welfare, with a vision of ever-expanding protected areas, and ever-shrinking  human habitat, and an ever-increasing alienation of people from nature.  (See the section on the new draft Biodiversity Strategy here.)

Appendix

The Resource Management Act

Part 2, Purpose and Principles

5 Purpose

(1) The purpose of this Act is to promote the sustainable management of natural
and physical resources.
(2) In this Act, sustainable management means managing the use, development,
and protection of natural and physical resources in a way, or at a rate, which
enables people and communities to provide for their social, economic, and cultural
well-being and for their health and safety while—
(a) sustaining the potential of natural and physical resources (excluding
minerals) to meet the reasonably foreseeable needs of future generations;
and
(b) safeguarding the life-supporting capacity of air, water, soil, and ecosystems;
and
(c) avoiding, remedying, or mitigating any adverse effects of activities on
the environment.

6 Matters of national importance

In achieving the purpose of this Act, all persons exercising functions and
powers under it, in relation to managing the use, development, and protection
of natural and physical resources, shall recognise and provide for the following
matters of national importance:
(a) the preservation of the natural character of the coastal environment
(including the coastal marine area), wetlands, and lakes and rivers and
their margins, and the protection of them from inappropriate subdivision,
use, and development:
(b) the protection of outstanding natural features and landscapes from
inappropriate subdivision, use, and development:
(c) the protection of areas of significant indigenous vegetation and significant
habitats of indigenous fauna:
(d) the maintenance and enhancement of public access to and along the
coastal marine area, lakes, and rivers:
(e) the relationship of Maori and their culture and traditions with their
ancestral lands, water, sites, waahi tapu, and other taonga:
(f) the protection of historic heritage from inappropriate subdivision, use,
and development:
(g) the protection of protected customary rights:
(h) the management of significant risks from natural hazards.

7: Other matters

In achieving the purpose of this Act, all persons exercising functions and
powers under it, in relation to managing the use, development, and protection
of natural and physical resources, shall have particular regard to—
(a) kaitiakitanga:
(aa) the ethic of stewardship:
(b) the efficient use and development of natural and physical resources:
(ba) the efficiency of the end use of energy:
(c) the maintenance and enhancement of amenity values:
(d) intrinsic values of ecosystems:
(e) [Repealed]
(f) maintenance and enhancement of the quality of the environment:
(g) any finite characteristics of natural and physical resources:
(h) the protection of the habitat of trout and salmon:
(i) the effects of climate change:
(j) the benefits to be derived from the use and development of renewable
energy.

Section 30:  Functions of regional councils under this Act

(1) Every regional council shall have the following functions for the purpose of giving effect to this Act in its region […](ga) the establishment, implementation, and review of objectives, policies, and methods for maintaining indigenous biological diversity:

31 Functions of territorial authorities under this Act

(1) Every territorial authority shall have the following functions for the purpose of
giving effect to this Act in its district:
(a) the establishment, implementation, and review of objectives, policies,
and methods to achieve integrated management of the effects of the use,
development, or protection of land and associated natural and physical
resources of the district:
(aa) the establishment, implementation, and review of objectives, policies,
and methods to ensure that there is sufficient development capacity in
respect of housing and business land to meet the expected demands of
the district:
(b) the control of any actual or potential effects of the use, development, or
protection of land, including for the purpose of—
(i) the avoidance or mitigation of natural hazards; and
(ii) [Repealed]
(iia) the prevention or mitigation of any adverse effects of the development,
subdivision, or use of contaminated land:
(iii) the maintenance of indigenous biological diversity:
(f) any other functions specified in this Act.
(2) The methods used to carry out any functions under subsection (1) may include
the control of subdivision.

The NZ Government’s Strategy to Destroy the Farming Sector

‘If sheep and beef farms convert to forestry on a nationwide scale at just half the rate that has occurred in Wairoa this last year, there will be no sheep and beef farms left by 2050’ (Neil Henderson, Gisborne farmer)

The agricultural sector is New Zealand’s largest industry, made up chiefly of  pastoral farming and horticulture.

Table value of farming

Table from Jock Allison 2016, What does the future look like for agricultural science?

The coalition government, however,  is implementing a strategy squarely aimed at replacing the farming sector with forestry.  The result will be depopulation of the countryside, the destruction of  our environment and our way of life, and sets us on the road to poverty.

The measures include:

  • Zero Carbon Bill
  • Emissions Trading Scheme changes
  • One Billion Trees Fund
  • Fresh Water proposals
  • The Biodiversity Framework
  • Overseas Investment Office incentives for conversion of farmland to forestry

Given the scope of the measures, there can be no question that the government is set on destroying the agricultural sector and replacing it with forestry, much of it foreign owned.

The Zero Carbon Bill

The Bill provides for eliminating New Zealand’s carbon dioxide emissions completely by 2050. It also aims at a 10% reduction in biological methane by 2030 and a provisional reduction of between 24%-47% by 2050.

There are a number of criticisms:

  • Article 2 of the Paris Accord specifically prohibits countries from restricting food producers. ‘This Agreement […] aims to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change […] in a manner that does not threaten food production’.
  • Despite New Zealand’s livestock farmers producing almost twice the milk and meat per kilogram of carbon dioxide than the global average, the terms of the Zero Carbon Bill mean they will face the harshest restrictions in the world.
  • According the Bill’s own ‘Regulatory Impact Statement’, economic growth could slow by $5-12 billion per year over 2020 to 2050 – a loss of around $300 billion. Emissions-intensive sectors including farming ‘could see their output drop by 50 percent from current levels by 2050’.
  • It is agreed that 3-5% of atmospheric CO2 is generated by humans.  Of this, New Zealand is responsible for less than 0.2%, but in any case New Zealand is a net carbon sink – already sequestering three times its total emissions according to the NIWA CO2 recording station. .  However the government wants New Zealand to offset the emissions of countries like China, not to mention the 95+% that is produced naturally.

Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS)

There are now proposals to bring farmers, previously exempt, into the ETS. The Interim Committee on Climate Change has recommended a special levy and rebate scheme, with farmers paying 5% of total emission costs by 2025.   At the current New Zealand ETS price of $25 per tonne that will equate to 1 cent/kg of beef, 1c/kg of milk solids, 3c/kg of sheep meat and 4c/kg of venison. As with GST, there is no guarantee that the discount will remain at 95%.  There are also considerable infrastructure costs., i.e. measurement tools to be set up on affected enterprises.

One Billion Trees Fund

The government is providing funds to encourage the planting of one billion trees by 2028.  At least half of this is likely to be pinus radiata forest plantations, probably much more. According to forestry Minister Shane Jones, ‘ the commercial forestry sector [is] projected to plant half a billion trees in the next 10 years’.

From the Fund’s website: ‘Direct Grants from the One Billion Trees Fund are available to landowners, including private landowners, farmers and Māori landowners, to help with the costs of planting trees or assisting reversion to native forest. Funding is available for plantings of a minimum of an acre for native trees, and 5 acres for exotics.’

Fresh Water

‘we have seen […] modelling that suggests 68 percent of drystock farms in the Waikato/Waipa catchment would be converted into forestry as a direct result of the proposed regulations.’  (Andrew Morrison, B+LNZ)

Under the previous government, initiatives to clean up the waterways resulted in dairy farmers fencing off over 98 per cent of waterways and spending over $1 billion in environmental investment over the past five years.  Labour however has made a bid for the moral high ground, environmentally speaking, by drafting proposals that will put more pressure on the farming sector.

The discussion document on a new National Policy Statement on Freshwater Management details proposals that would:

  • Impose immediate ‘tight restriction’ of agricultural land use intensification ahead of all regional councils having new freshwater plans in place no later than 2025;
  • Require all farms to have a ‘farm plan with a freshwater module’,
  • Immediate action to reduce nitrogen loss in a range of at-risk catchments across the country;
  • Much more stringent rules for the exclusion of stock from waterways than those applied in the dairy industry’s Clean Streams Accord, including deeper setbacks from waterways, fencing or control of stock into waterways under a metre wide, and applying greater stock restrictions;
  • New controls relating to winter grazing and feedlots;
  • Requiring any vegetable-growing operation wanting to increase its production to get a resource consent.

Objections

  • Plans to lock down current land uses will have a disproportionate effect on the majority of sheep and beef farms that are low input, extensive systems with a light touch on the environment.
  • The document gives an estimated annual average cost for a lowland dairy farm at $9,350, rising to $14,850 for a rolling hill country sheep and beef farm, and $9,200 a year for a vegetable growing operation. Farm management plans alone will cost thousands. A total figure of one billion is mooted.
  • The lack of science: nitrogen is an element essential for life, which New Zealand soil lacks, along with a number of other important minerals.  No science is provided to explain at what point the quantity of nitrogen becomes poisonous.
  • Sheep and beef farmers have already been working to address a wide range of environmental issues
  • Given that the principle causes of water pollution are cities, particularly their sewage systems, targeting the agricultural sector at the same time as bringing in other measures which undermine its viability is questionable.

‘These proposals will undermine the viability of a low-intensity sector which supports over 80,000 jobs and generates exports of $9.1 billion a year. It risks decimating rural communities, especially when coupled with other proposed policies such as the Zero Carbon Bill.’ (Beef + Lamb New Zealand)

The Biodiversity Strategy ‘Discussion Paper’

The Biodiversity Strategy has serious implications for rights pertaining to all land and water use.  If the American experience is a guide, this will impact on the meanest ditch, or the ability to collect rain-water.

30% of New Zealand is forested (far more than most industrialised countries); there is unforested reserve land in our national parks and elsewhere. Apart from land defined as forested, there is considerable native bush on farms and suburban sections.

The proposals:

The restoration and protection of indigenous biodiversity’, so that ‘by 2050 biodiversity is […]restored’. ‘Our species, habitats and ecosystems […] are increasing, not declining’: ‘Large-scale planning and action being undertaken for large geographical areas in high priority places (e.g over 500,000 hectares)’ ‘A complete network of biodiversity hubs across New Zealand’ joined by ‘corridors […] from the mountains to the sea’.

Criticisms

  • Although New Zealand already has substantial reserves and native forest, the biodiversity strategy is not simply about preservation and improvement of those areas, but vigorous expansion, with an on-going open-ended commitment to increase land dedicated to biodiversity.  Full restoration can only be achieved by humanity departing, or being corralled into the smallest possible space (ie through housing New Zealanders in apartments instead of in homes with gardens).
  • Corridors from the mountains to the sea: this is an idea from the American Wildlands Project which aims to create huge corridors for large animals to roam the length of North America. No science is provided to explain why this would benefit NZ fauna, who already have corridors via farms and gardens, but do not necessarily need to travel the length of the country.
  • The Strategy will entail regulations (‘tools) to facilitate taking or controlling the use of private land: this idea is a repeated theme in the document.

NB: The draft biodiversity strategy makes no reference to the home garden, either in its list of ways to enjoy the outdoors, or as an ecosystem in its own right. Rather, it describes New Zealand as one of the most urbanised countries in the world, evoking an image of the New Zealand as land of apartment dwellers, clearly false.

The Department of Conservation seeks to create an octopus-like empire that is part of all decision-making relating to land and water use.  DOC plans to intrude on every aspect of life, from businesses to farms to suburban homes. The intention is to make biodiversity part of all decision-making, and ‘All areas of significant biodiversity on land [will be] mapped and protected.’  The need for increased ‘long-term targeted funding’ is stressed repeatedly.

The draft Biodiversity Strategy is closely modeled on the American Wildlands Project, which proposes that 50 % of American territory be core wilderness reserves, joined by wilderness corridors.  Both are implementations of Agenda 21, a non-binding UN-drafted agreement signed by NZ in 1992, which calls on governments to intervene and regulate nearly every potential impact that human activity could have on the environment.

A family in Colorado is being told they can’t use a motorized vehicle to get to their home in the mountains and when they prepared a legal case, their home was seized by the local government. Property owners in California are being told they can’t plant on their farms and all water, including ditches, is being put under the control of the EPA. [Environmental Protection Agency]. One Wyoming man can’t have a pond on his property because of the new rules. (S. Noble, Agenda 21, a Plan to Take Your Land and Give it to Tortoises).

Overseas Investment

New Zealand encourages overseas investment in forestry and offers streamlined ways to do this. (Overseas Investment Office)

Farmland is defined by the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) as ‘sensitive land’ and purchase by overseas interests requires OIO approval. An exception is made for farmland that is to be converted to forestry.   Overseas investment in forestry is actively encouraged: ‘Generally overseas investors buying fewer than 1000 hectares of forestry rights per calendar year are exempted from needing consent.’ It is hardly surprising that there have been an increasing number of sales of productive farmland to overseas investors specifically to convert to forestry. In many cases the blocks are the full 1000 hectares, in some cases larger blocks are sold, e.g.

The OIO has found Dickie was in breach of OIO rules when he sold 1727ha Hadleigh Station, also near Masterton, for $13.4m to Austrian Countess Veronika Leeb-Goess-Saurau, but it said it had no power to take action against him. (European Aristocrats Buy Large North Island Farms for Forestry Conversion)

Logging produces carbon emissions

Recent research indicates that forests that are logged every 25 years are net emitters of carbon dioxide. Taking into account factors such as the carbon released as the roots of cut trees rot in the ground and the fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides applied to tree plantations, one study concluded that logging in North Carolina, for example, emits 44 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year. Forestry can only be a net carbon sink if more environmentally sound practices are followed.

The main such practice would be to cut trees every 60 or 90 years rather than every 30 years or less. Those cuts should be done in small patches rather than clearcutting vast areas. And foresters should grow a mix of native species rather than monocultures of alien species. Such forests would store more carbon and support more wildlife.

The New Zealand government has at no point flagged such a solution, but proposes to cover the country with a monoculture of exotic pinus radiata.

The Environment

The government’s plans to cover the soil with exotic forest, wind turbines and solar farms will inevitably have a dramatic effect on the visual environment.  Furthermore, pinus radiata plantations are grown on fertile pasture which it impoverishes, souring the soil when New Zealand soil and water are already acidic, and are hostile to flora and fauna.  Should a change of policy, or an economic disaster, mean that forested land is reclaimed for farming, the costs to make it fertile again will be phenomenal.

Lifestyle

‘We know that in other regions, large areas of forestation and monoculture of trees have meant that […] rural schools have closed down and rural communities have moved away and disappeared.’ (William Beetham, Wairarapa Federated Farmers)

China has been building cities, with no employment opportunities, in advance of its enforced evacuation of the countryside.  In a move eerily reminiscent of China, Wellington City Council has declared the need to build apartments to house another 80,000 residents by 2050, provenance unspecified.

While the kind of pressure in New Zealand might differ qualitatively from that applied in China, the results will be the same in terms of the demise of a lifestyle, transferring the populace from low-density rural communities and city suburbs to apartment living.

The Economy

The implications of government measures go well beyond the cost for the tax payer of incentives, infrastructure etc. Farms are being taken out of production; trees being planted now under the new incentives will not show a return for 25 years. There is no evidence that  long-term forestry is a viable alternative to farming.

China is currently planting a pine forest the size of Ireland, and plans to eventually cover 25% of its land area in forestry.  This is not because it buys the global warming narrative and aims at ‘zero carbon’ – China is also seeing a huge roll-out of coal-fired power-stations.  However:

  • China will be able to pay the Kyoto game and have carbon credits to sell to the West and,
  • China will be able to corner the market in cheap timber for biofuel, etc. New Zealand will have to compete with China in the sale of forest products.

Conclusion

  • Measures to reduce emissions, such as ETS and Zero Carbon, will have almost zero impact on atmospheric CO2 and methane, in the light of what is produced naturally and by much larger countries.
  • Forestry plantations logged every 25-30 years will be net emitters rather than carbon sinks
  • The special exemptions for forestry make a joke of our Overseas Investment policy.
  • The conversion to forestry will have enormous negative effects on the environment and rural lifestyles.
  • Large sections of rural New Zealand will be in foreign ownership.
  • It is hard to see how conversion to forestry can do other than destroy the economy and impoverish the country.

The decision to convert New Zealand from pasture to pine plantation makes no sense economically or environmentally.  It is an ideological decision on the part of the NZ Labour and Green Parties, relying on junk science at every turn, and shows a callous disregard for the well-being of New Zealanders.

See also:

Farmland Loss to Forestry: Land Prices Raise Fears for Economy

50 Shades of Green  (NZ organisation to stop the blanket planting of good farmland, and its sale to overseas interests)

 

NZ pineforest

Jock Allison’s Reply to Attack on ‘No Climate Emergency’ Letter From Scientists

Australia’s The Conversation and subsequently the NZ Herald recently published a  comment in response to the There is No Climate Emergency (pdf) letter sent to the United Nations by 500 Scientists and professionals. The ‘comment’, penned by an Australian academic and a post-graduate researcher, is seen by many as both offensive and devoid of academic rigour.  One of the signatories to the letter is New Zealander Dr Jock Allison, retired Agricultural Scientist with the Ministry of Agriculture, who has written important papers about matters relating to the ‘climate’ debate, in particular about the role of methane.

In an email to the author Dr Allison answered the accusations of a) clandestine orchestrated lying, b) interpretive lying, and c) implicatory denial, against the signatories, most of whom are university graduates in geology, ‘a training of particular relevance when it comes to understanding and interpreting world climate over very long periods of time’.  Allison also raises important issues related to integrity of science, and climate science in particular, such as the question of  ‘groupthink’,  and the credibility of the IPCC.

 

From: Jock Allison
Sent: Sunday, 13 October 2019 10:32 PM
To: ‘z.leviston@ecu.edu.au’ <z.leviston@ecu.edu.au>; ‘Iain.Walker@canberra.edu.au’ <Iain.Walker@canberra.edu.au>
Subject: FW: Climate Change and Three Forms of Denial

Dear Iain & Zoe,

Your “comment” on the “group of self-proclaimed “prominent scientists” 500 of whom sent a letter to the Secretary General of the United Nations urging Mr Guterres that there was no climate emergency was published in the Auckland Herald 11th October 2019.

I come from what might be seen as a naïve premise that “It is paramount that even in the world of social psychology” that one should where possible deal in facts. You have postulated that the principles espoused in the registered letter illustrate three forms of denial, …….

a) clandestine orchestrated lying,

b) interpretive lying, and

c) implicatory denial

These are significant claims to make against 500 personnel who are mostly university graduates, with many of them (particularly the Australian list) graduates in Geology a training of particular relevance when it comes to understanding and interpreting world climate over very long periods of time.

Further I note that the group of 75 persons who signed from Australia are not “business and industry figures” as you have defined them, as I have noted before, most are graduates, some are academics from universities as you are, albeit from rather more quantitative pursuits than social psychology.

You can find an assessment of your article prepared by a colleague here .  https://stovouno.org/2019/10/13/climate-change-junk-psychology-and-the-nz-herald/

I attach (below) for your consideration an article I wrote with an American colleague last year, and will be interested in your scientific assessment of the conclusions – i.e. methane and nitrous oxide are almost irrelevant as Greenhouse Gases, CO2 is relatively unimportant, and water vapour is the most important Greenhouse Gas. [Allison and Sheahen, Greenhouse Gases – a More Realistic View (pdf)]

For your information and comment, I provide the link to a comprehensive paper “Why Scientists Disagree about Global Warming”  http://climatechangereconsidered.org/why-scientists-disagree-about-global-warming/ which is an excellent review of the claims re various “Consensus” which are professed by many to exist. Clearly Consensus does not exist.

Consideration of the world climate data should be of the highest scientific quality, a situation that alas doesn’t exist. Further the growth and acceptance of the climate scare is outlined in an excellent review “Groupthink” see https://www.thegwpf.com/christopher-booker-groupthink-on-climate-change-ignores-inconvenient-facts/ Indeed Groupthink is a well known phenomenon first identified by an eminent professor of Psychology at Yale in the 1970s, Professor Irving Janis, I am sure you will have heard of him, if not then reading some of his publications might be very useful for your edification.

To add to your complete disregard for scientists who approach science through looking at the actual data and making their assessments accordingly, you might like to read of a group in the USA, “The Right Science Stuff” mostly ex NASA (National Aeronautical Space Administration in the USA) retired employees, have made it their mission to review all of the work of the IPCC re climate. This has taken a long period, but you can read about them here ……… https://www.therightclimatestuff.com/ To summarise, the group has unique skills and is of the view that “there is no climate emergency”. There is a lot of material on this site, and becoming au fait with the information will be pretty useful for you.

In fact the motto of the astronauts was In God we trust, all others bring data”.  I wouldn’t go as far as the religious reference, but the “all others bring data” is certainly a good motto. Indeed it would be a good motto for you to reconsider your assessment of the 500 who signed the letter to the Secretary General of the UN, I can assure you that all the personnel I know in the group will assess the available information and on the basis of that information will come up with interpretations of the data from a scientific viewpoint.

I am interested in how you have come to such conclusions in your opinion article. Some comprehensive explanation would be appreciated. There is a considerable amount of hard science to back up against your belief, and subsequent interpretation of those beliefs. Respectfully I suggest that you might like to reconsider.

Please provide me with some definitive statements why we are incorrect in the attached paper above. One provision, “computer models don’t hack it in the debate”.

I look forward to your informed contribution to the debate.

Best wishes,

Jock Allison

Dr Jock Allison, ONZM, FNZIPIM

Climate Change, Junk Psychology and the NZ Herald

In September of this year a letter from scientists and professionals was delivered to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, entitled There is No Climate Emergency.  The letter points out that:

  • Natural as well as anthropogenic factors cause warming.
  • Warming is far slower than predicted.
  • Climate policy relies on inadequate models.
  • CO2 is plant food, the basis of all life on Earth.
  • Global warming has not increased natural disasters.
  • Climate policy must respect scientific and economic realities, and concludes.

Our advice to political leaders is that science should strive for a significantly better understanding of the climate system, while politics should focus on minimizing potential climate damage by prioritizing adaptation strategies based on proven and echnologies. (The letter is reproduced in full below.)

The Three Forms of ‘Climate Denial’

A ‘comment’ on the letter entitled Climate Change: the Three Forms of Denial recently republished by the New Zealand Herald (after Australia’s The Conversation) makes it painfully clear that there is unlimited money to pay for propaganda to promote the cult of climatism, regardless of quality.

The authors, Iain Walker, professor of psychology at the University of Canberra and Zoe Leviston, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Edith Cowan University, Western Australia, profess to be informed by a work by Stanley Cohen called States of Denial: Knowing About Atrocities and Suffering (with particular reference to genocides).

Their article by no means manifests the academic rigor expected of academics of any standing.  The very premise and theme is an example of ad hominem, and this fact-free piece consists in its entirety of blatant falsehood, mendacious smears and fallacious argument.  Like most uses of fallacious argument, theirs are wrong in all their parts.

Note: as at 12 October there is no link to the There is No Climate Emergency  letter as published by the NZ Herald – an extraordinary oversight on the part of the authors and the Herald.

A letter from ‘a group of self-proclaimed “prominent scientists”‘ (false)

The letter There is No Climate Emergency does not refer to ‘prominent scientists’ but to ‘a global network of 500 scientists and professionals’.

Many who signed are senior scientists, in the sense of being professors or emeritus professors, and some are indeed prominent.  These include Nils-Axel Mörner, Emeritus Professor Geology and sea level expert Richard Lindzen, Emeritus Professor Atmospheres, Oceans and Climate, and Tim Ball, Emeritus Professor Geography, University of Winnipeg (who suggested that Michael Mann, architect of the Hockeystick, should be in the state pen instead of Penn State), and all have published extensively about the climate narrative promoted by the United Nations.

supported by 75 Australian business and industry figures (false)

This refers to the 75 Australian signatories and is, quite simply, a shameless lie.  The list consists of current and emeritus professors and other qualified people such as C.D. Ollier, Emeritus Professor of Geology and John McLean, PhD who has written extensively about climate change and particularly the fraudulent processes of the International Panel on Climate Change.

‘denier’; ‘in denial’ (the ad hominem fallacy, aka name-calling)

Not to be equated with ‘deny’. ‘In denial’  means that the subject accepts the alleged irrefutable fact at some level, but refuses to face up to it for emotional or other reasons.

The insult of denier is commonly trotted out by the dishonest and ignorant when faced with a multitude of scientific facts that they cannot answer.  This is a representative exchange on sea level, almost word for word, which invites the question of where the epithet is more fairly applied):

(See also Jamie Spry, A Pictorial Guide to Sea Level Rise Alarmism)

‘This is just another way of rejecting the facts’ (ad hominem)

What facts? Not a single empirical fact is offered here, and the assumption of ‘the facts’ is illegitimate.

‘climate change denier'(ad hominem)

In fact thousands of scientists are saying that:

  • the climate has changed naturally from Earth’s year dot (underplayed, ignored or denied in the UN’s climate narrative)
  • there no evidence that anthropogenic CO2 is responsible for the nature of that change.

‘Outright science denial has been replaced by efforts to reframe climate change as natural, and climate action as unwarranted’ (ad hominem, false)

Fraudulent claim of a shift in strategy: scientists have been pointing out since the IPCC was formed that the earth’s climate has always changed, and that targeting CO2 to stop global warming is useless and unwarranted.

‘Outright denial’ (ad hominem, straw man, false)

‘There is plenty of evidence of clandestine, orchestrated lying by vested interests in industry’

  • No examples, no evidence. No facts.
  • The major oil companies, like Exxonmobil,  endorse the climate scam whoeheartedly.
  • What exactly have vested interests got to do with the abundance of compelling facts carefully compiled and presented by scientists?

‘Interpretive denial’ (ad hominem)

For example, one might say climate change is just a natural fluctuation or greenhouse gas accumulation is a consequence, not a cause, of rising temperatures.  Thus pointing to evidence, no matter how substantial, that the climate has always changed, and that CO2 has a minimal effect compared to the sun first and foremost and water vapour by a long second, can only derive from an emotional or self-interested denial of Walker and Leviston’s invisible ‘facts’.

‘the scientific consensus on climate change’ (argument from authority)

  • There clearly is no consensus, else these people would not have written this article.
  •  (See also 1000 International Scientists, and the 31,000 American scientists who signed this petition.)
  • And if there were a consensus, so what? This would not alter the facts – this is the Appeal to Authority fallacy.

Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels: it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled (Michael Crichton)

Seems fair.

‘the treatment of Thunberg ‘ (pedophrasty)

‘the cacophony of reactions to Greta Thunberg’s appearance before the United Nations Climate Action Summit’ […] ‘The treatment of Thunberg, and the vigour with which people push away reminders of that which they would rather not deal with, illustrate implicatory denial.’

The Greta Project has certainly aroused a great deal of criticism: while some of this is unkind and personal, in the main it is directed at Greta’s handlers,

  • The creation of a cult led by a 15 year old schoolgirl, which is somehow expected to influence the decisions of adults.
  • The fact of Greta Thunberg being exploited and manipulated.  This child abuse clearly doesn’t worry the professor of psychology.

 

Pedophrasty: Argument involving children to prop up a rationalization and make the opponent look like an asshole, as people are defenseless and suspend all skepticism in front of suffering children: nobody has the heart to question the authenticity or source of the reporting. Often done with the aid of pictures. (Nassim Nicholas Taleb)

The article culminates in an appeal for action by the public at large

‘Implacatory denial’ (ad hominem)

The facts of climate change are not denied […] what is denied or minimised are the psychological, political, and moral implications of the facts for us.   The general public, not just scientists, are guilty of ignoring the authors’ ‘facts’ and should be obeying  Greta’s demand for ‘action’, presumably declaring a climate emergency, banning fossil fuels and meeting the IMF’s demand for more climate taxes.

Conclusion

In sum the article, while masquerading as psychology, is nothing more than a string of dishonest claims about people’s motivations in order to suppress scientific dissent and achieve compliance towards a political agenda.

Science […] looks skeptically at all claims to knowledge, old and new. It teaches not blind obedience to those in authority but to vigorous debate, and in many respects that’s the secret of its success (Carl Sagan).

 

Text of European Climate Declaration September 26, 2019

There is no climate emergency

A global network of 500 scientists and professionals has prepared this urgent message. Climate science should be less political, while climate policies should be more scientific. Scientists should openly address the uncertainties and exaggerations in their predictions of global warming, while politicians should dispassionately count the real benefits as well as the imagined costs of adaptation to global warming, and the real costs as well as the imagined benefits of mitigation.

Natural as well as anthropogenic factors cause warming
The geological archive reveals that Earth’s climate has varied as long as the planet has existed, with natural cold and warm phases. The Little Ice Age ended as recently as 1850. Therefore, it is no surprise that we now are experiencing a period of warming. Only very few peer-reviewed papers even go so far as to say that recent warming is chiefly anthropogenic..

Warming is far slower than predicted
The world has warmed at less than half the originally-predicted rate, and at less than half the rate to be expected on the basis of net anthropogenic forcing and radiative imbalance. It tells us that we are far from understanding climate change.

Climate policy relies on inadequate models
Climate models have many shortcomings and are not remotely plausible as policy tools. Moreover, they most likely exaggerate the effect of greenhouse gases such as CO2. In addition, they ignore the fact that enriching the atmosphere with CO2 is beneficial.

CO2 is plant food, the basis of all life on Earth
CO2 is not a pollutant. It is essential to all life on Earth. Photosynthesis is a blessing. More CO2 is beneficial for nature, greening the Earth: additional CO2 in the air has promoted growth in global plant biomass. It is also good for agriculture, increasing the yields of crops worldwide.

Global warming has not increased natural disasters
There is no statistical evidence that global warming is intensifying hurricanes, floods, droughts and suchlike natural disasters, or making them more frequent. However, CO2-mitigation measures are as damaging as they are costly. For instance, wind turbines kill birds and insects, and palm-oil plantations destroy the biodiversity of the rainforests.

Climate policy must respect scientific and economic realities
There is no climate emergency. Therefore, there is no cause for panic and alarm. We strongly oppose the harmful and unrealistic net-zero CO2 policy proposed for 2050. If better approaches emerge, we will have ample time to reflect and adapt. The aim of international policy should be to provide reliable and affordable energy at all times, and throughout the world.

Our advice to political leaders is that science should strive for a significantly better understanding of the climate system, while politics should focus on minimizing potential climate damage by prioritizing adaptation strategies based on proven and echnologies.

 

See also:

New Zealand petition organised in July 2019, largely by staff members of Auckland University, to the effect that:

‘We, the undersigned, urge the New Zealand House of Representatives to declare a climate emergency, now’

The scientific consensus is that the world stands on the verge of unprecedented environmental and climate catastrophe for which we are little prepared, and which affords us only a few years for mitigating action.

The ‘More than 50 of New Zealand’s top researchers‘ claimed by Stuff prove on inspection of the website to be 50 post-graduate researchers, and while the now 1290 signatories do indeed include 20-odd professors and about 140 people with PhDs in relevant fields, these are lost in a list which appears to comprise mainly of school children, climate activists and many who leave the Institution field blank.
and
Bill Adams, Why People Distrust Science.  “When I analyzed the source of my discontent, I came up with a dim view of my chosen field [psychology], a criticism of widely held pre-theoretic assumptions that could not be challenged or changed [my emphasis].