NZ Climate Realists Newsletter

This newsletter, Number 16, from the Climate Realists against the ETS, came via email on October the 30th, 2012:
Greetings Climate Realists,
The year is racing on by, we’ve now passed the ‘two months till Christmas’ mark and so it continues.
The ETS legislation has passed its second reading; some complain it should be scrapped altogether and others complain it’s not strong enough.
The price of carbon is so low it’s laughable, down to under $3. This is causing problems for those who were aiming to make a fortune from carbon credits.
Plenty to read this week- and all of it interesting!
all the best,
Esther
In case you missed it on Morning Report:

06:39 Farmers losing confidence in carbon scheme

Landowners who are locked into a government carbon initiative say they could be forced to sell their properties because of a collapse in the price of carbon. (1′42″)

Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed

07:13 Carbon price crash could force some farmers off their land

Landowners who are locked into a government carbon initiative say they could be forced to sell their properties because of a collapse in the price of carbon. (3′05″)

Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed

Don
or for the printed version:

Carbon credit price crash could force sales

A crash in the price of carbon credits could force landowners who invested in new forests to sell their land, an analyst says.
The Government’s permanent forest sink initiative allows landowners who establish forests on previously unforested land to earn credits for the carbon sequestered by their trees.
But the price of New Zealand carbon units has dropped from about $20 a tonne in the first year of the scheme to about $3 a tonne…………

Brett

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The invitation (below) to a ‘climate change stakeholders’ seminar is clearly marked to be circulated among ‘interested people’ so for anyone who has the time, money and inclination to attend and make a few pointed observations about suggested climate change action and what could be done with the carbon market post-2012, here are the details:

Invitation to Climate Change stakeholder seminar

 

Doha: The next phase of the global response

You are invited to a climate change negotiations seminar, to be held in Auckland on Monday 12 November and in Wellington on Friday 16 November.

 

New Zealand Climate Change Ambassador Jo Tyndall will reflect on the year’s progress in climate change negotiations and talk about some of the challenges for the upcoming United Nations climate change talks.

 

The 18th United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Ministerial conference will be held in Doha in November/December this year.  Big ticket items for the meeting include upholding the milestone deal reached last year in Durban by progressing negotiation of a new global legal agreement on climate change through the ‘Durban Platform’ negotiations, concluding the 2007 Bali Action Plan, and launching a second commitment period to the Kyoto Protocol.

 

What does this mean for climate change action post-2012?  What does it mean for the carbon market?  Take this opportunity to ask questions as well as offer your point of view.

 

RSVP by 2 November to jessica.thorn@mfat.govt.nz with the name and organisation of the person attending, and whether you will be attending the Wellington or Auckland seminar.  Space is limited: priority will be given to early registrations.  Feel free to pass this invitation on to colleagues, professional networks and other interested people.

 

The Auckland seminar will be held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Auckland Office, level 6, 139 Quay Street on Monday 12 November from 2-4pm.  Please meet in advance at reception on level 6.

 

The Wellington seminar will be held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 195 Lambton Quay on Friday 16 November from 2-4pm.  Please meet in advance at reception on level 12.
Don
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Global Warming scare is finished
There is no doubt that the global warming scare is over now that even the most warminst of newspaper, the Guardian, has realised that Renewable energy has turned sour for ethical investors.
It is over.
The demolition has been scheduled.
The execution date set.
For all the warmists might huff and puff about their “science”, nothing can change the facts:
The Kyoto commitment is ending on 31st December 2012
Climate researchers have lost confidence in their models
It is clear from the falling share price of wind and solar, that investors, whose jobs it is to know about such things, have decided that there will be almost no wind or solar being sold after the end of this year…….
To read the rest of this article and see a very ‘revealing’ graph go to:
Bob
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And speaking of interesting graphs….
Check out this link for a fantastic set of graphs entitled “Harmonic Climate Models vs Climate Reality”
They show it all, really.
Thanks to Willem for directing us to this site.

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Antarctic ice shelves not melting at all, new field data show

Twenty-year-old models which have suggested serious ice loss in the eastern Antarctic have been compared with reality for the first time – and found to be wrong, so much so that it now appears that no ice is being lost at all.

“Previous ocean models … have predicted temperatures and melt rates that are too high, suggesting a significant mass loss in this region that is actually not taking place,” says Tore Hattermann of the Norwegian Polar Institute, member of a team which has obtained two years’ worth of direct measurements below the massive Fimbul Ice Shelf in eastern Antarctica – the first ever to be taken.

According to a statement from the American Geophysical Union, announcing the new research:

It turns out that past studies, which were based on computer models without any direct data for comparison or guidance, overestimate the water temperatures and extent of melting beneath the Fimbul Ice Shelf. This has led to the misconception, Hattermann said, that the ice shelf is losing mass at a faster rate than it is gaining mass, leading to an overall loss of mass.

The team’s results show that water temperatures are far lower than computer models predicted …

Hatterman and his colleagues, using 12 tons of hot-water drilling equipment, bored three holes more than 200m deep through the Fimbul Shelf, which spans an area roughly twice the size of New Jersey. The location of each hole was cunningly chosen so that the various pathways by which water moves beneath the ice shelf could be observed, and instruments were lowered down.

The boffins also supplemented their data craftily by harvesting info from a biology project, the Marine Mammal Exploration of the Oceans Pole to Pole (MEOP) effort, which had seen sensor packages attached to elephant seals.

“Nobody was expecting that the MEOP seals from Bouvetoya would swim straight to the Antarctic and stay along the Fimbul Ice Shelf for the entire winter,” Hattermann says. “But this behaviour certainly provided an impressive and unique data set.”

Normally, getting sea temperature readings along the shelf in winter would be dangerous if not impossible due to shifting pack ice – but the seals were perfectly at home among the grinding floes.

Overall, according to the team, their field data shows “steady state mass balance” on the eastern Antarctic coasts – ie, that no ice is being lost from the massive shelves there. The research is published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

This is good news indeed, as some had thought that huge amounts of ice were melting from the region, which might mean accelerated rates of sea level rise in future.

This article from Science (The Register).
Link to Geophysical research article referred to above: http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/pip/2012GL051012.shtml
Jock

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A very interesting read
Everybody needs to read this and start to lobby your local MP’s especially if you are in NZ Nick Smith & John Key


David and Norma

extract:

Environmental scientists appear to have reached consensus. They are at last agreed that the jury is still out on climate change and global warming. Many skeptical reports at university level have emerged, and those in the field seem to agree that what once they thought was reliable evidence is now too shaky.

A week ago the British metservice released its finding that global warming stopped 16 years ago and that their computer models to project global warming were deeply flawed.

Associate Professor of Physical Geography, James Renwick of NIWA last week admitted that “in the Antarctic in total the ice is growing, and when you add up what is happening around the continent the area of sea ice has been increasing for at least 20 years or so”.

His comments were backed up by the National Snow and Ice Data Centre in Boulder, Colorado, which has said Antarctic sea ice reached a maximum extent of 19.44 million square kms in September 2012, with a record high monthly average of 19.39 million square kms, being slightly higher than the previous record in 2006.

In his Geological Society of America abstract, Dr. Don Easterbrook, Professor of Geology at Western Washington University, presented data showing that the global warming blip from 1977 to 1998 is over and we have entered into global cooling that should last for the next thirty years…………

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Randall Carlson on Climate Change

…..I would state that I do not consider the present warming of the climate to be an anomaly, rather I believe that the present scale and rate of climate change is well within the range of natural variability, and is, therefore, not anomalous at all. This opinion is based upon nearly three decades of in-depth study into the matter of climate change over multiple time scales. What has become apparent, from an ever growing body of evidence, from many diverse sources, is that the climate of the past has constantly changed, with a range of variability far exceeding anything experienced within recent history, say for example, since the inception of the Industrial Revolution…….

http://www.redicecreations.com/article.php?id=22161

Susan

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Hi again

 

I thought this might intrigue some …

 

” … National Weather Service, known as the Met Office, quietly released a report last week conceding that so-called “global warming” actually stopped more than 15 years ago. The startling admission shows once again that United Nations theories and climate models are wildly inaccurate at best, experts say, meaning multi-trillion dollar schemes to deal with alleged human-caused “climate change” are at the very least severely misguided … “

from …

 

 

I haven’t verified any of it but it rings my bell. Again I have to ask:  what redress do we Citizens have against politicians who bring in their ill-founded wealth transference schemes, and always refuse to admit they may be wrong?

 

Politicians must be held accountable for their goofs, no? So let them back their actions with their own personal fortunes … not ours.  If costing us money meant costing them money, then (and only then) we might see some proper ‘due diligence’ done (and perhaps some common sense in the Halls Of Power).

 

Rgds

 

JH,  Rob, Don, Phil

see also:

Bob, Amy

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NCSCS v NIWA court case

 

Please see this web site from ‘Tallbloke’ an English climate blogger of good reputation:

Barry, Judy

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Carbon Sense– a very interesting read:

James Hansen, an outspoken world climate alarmist says: “Coal-fired power plants are factories of death”. The Australian Greens want a fast end to coal mining in Australia, and support a swift expansion of wind and solar power. As the Greens are part of the coalition which governs Australia, the electricity industry is now being coerced by carbon taxes and green subsidies and mandates to replace efficient and reliable coal-powered electricity with costly and unreliable wind and solar plants.

 All of this paranoia is driven by climatist claims that carbon dioxide causes environmental harm by triggering dangerous global warming. Let’s look at whether coal energy or green energy does more harm to the environment.

Read the full article at:

Viv

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Do you believe in conspiracy theories?

……………………Note that I’m using the terms ‘conspiracy theory’ and ‘conspiracy theorist’ with no intent to cast judgement on those who hold those views. Even though the term ‘conspiracy theorist’ is sometimes used to accuse people of being paranoid, I’m trying to use it in the literal sense of people who believe that others have worked together (a ‘conspiracy’) to conceal facts from the public.  The climate change argument is therefore a conspiracy theory in the sense that it suggests scientists and climate change proponents have worked together to exaggerate the evidence……….

Despite their attempt to smear CAGW skepticism , 60 % of respondents say these climate scares are exaggerated.

Steve

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Trees go as Landcorp up dairy cows:

Several hundred hectares of one-year-old pine trees are to be mulched to make way for pasture and then herds of dairy cows. The reason: the low cost of carbon credits and the higher returns from dairying.

The development is just out of Taupo on land owned by Wairakei Pastoral and managed by Landcorp. According to Landcorp chief executive Chris Kelly, about 1000ha, including land recently planned in pines, has been laying fallow waiting for clarity on the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).

Kelly says with the price of carbon being so low, the company has decided to buy overseas credits and convert the land as quickly as possible to pasture for dairying. Landcorp presently manages six dairy farms in the Broadlands area for Wairakei Pastoral.

The initial development will involve converting land which is adjacent to those farms so that the land can be ‘bolted on’ without incurring any additional major capital cost – such as building new dairy sheds. Already bulldozers and other heavy machinery are on the site clearing and chipping stumps, bulldozing small logs into pits and finally mulching the remaining small sticks into the soil in preparation for sowing grass. 

Fescue and ryegrass are used and great care is taken to plant seed at a time when the best strike can be achieved. Fescue has a narrow sowing season – between the middle of February and the middle of March – whereas ryegrass has a wider sowing band. 

Landcorp farm business manager Alan Bullick says it can take 12-18 months before cows can graze the pasture and even then care has to be taken not to graze it too hard. “We start off in the first year by running 1.9 cows per ha. The next year we step it up to 2.1 and the following year up 2.3,” he says. 

When the land is fully converted it is excellent dairy land, but Bullick believes there are lessons to be learned from previous conversions. He says taking shortcuts doesn’t work and cash has to be spent at the start to get the land properly prepared; this includes the use of lime and super.

This gives a view of how committed the Govt are to the ETS. Landcorp is 100% Govt owned, and obviously the Minister of SOEs isn’t going to step in and stop this. The carbon price was as low as $NZ 2.35 last week, and Landcorp are going to buy overseas units which it must be assumed are cheaper still.

The cost of planting the trees with         a) treestocks,

                                                                   b) planting, and

                                                                   c) release spraying,

would have been about $2,000 / ha.

Seems the ETS is dying!!

Jock

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NZ News

New Zealand has been tipped to quit the Kyoto Protocol, designed to cut global emissions.

Government officials next month travel to Doha in Qatar for the latest round of negotiations on the treaty, but with less than four weeks before the summit, acting Climate Change Minister Simon Bridges says the Government has “not made a decision” on its commitment.

“My understanding is that decisions have yet to be made on that matter,” he said.

But the actions of participants in the carbon market, and market signs, suggest the Government is preparing to walk away. It will soon pass legislation that critics claim will weaken an already ineffectual emissions trading scheme, the mechanism designed to put a price on carbon and encourage a transition to a lower-carbon economy…………….

 

Don N, Don R

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Folks,

Thank you to Willie Soon for noticing the book described below so soon (get that!) and sending it on.

Such a book has been a long time coming, and meets what in my view is a desperate need for insightful analysis of the policy mess that western governments have got themselves into over science and environmental policy. And the authors have much street cred.

Bob

———————————————————————————————————

Institutions and Incentives in Regulatory Science (Edited by Jason Scott Johnston, 2012).

The book summary reads:

From endangered species protection to greenhouse gas regulations, modern regulatory interventions are justified by science.  Indeed, legislators look to science for simple answers to complex regulatory questions.  This regulatory demand for scientific answers collides with the scientific reality that on the frontiers of science, there are no simple answers, only competing hypotheses and accumulating but as yet often inconclusive evidence.   Given inevitable scientific uncertainty, regulatory agencies such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are put in the position of adjudicating unresolved scientific controversies.  As the contributions to this volume show conclusively and in great detail, such agencies (and other assessment organizations such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or IPCC) are far from unbiased in how they assess regulatory science.   They instead act as advocates for those scientific positions that further the regulatory agenda of promulgating new regulations and increasing the scope of the regulatory state.

The book describes many accurate facts about how regulatory agencies use science to justify their regulations that may surprise and even shock many readers:

■In the area of climate science, where the IPCC is advertised as an objective and unbiased assessment body, the facts are that the Lead Authors for IPCC Assessment Reports are chosen by political representatives on the IPCC, and have no duty to respond in any way to the comments of outside reviewers of IPCC draft chapters.  The oft-repeated claim that there are “thousands” of scientists involved in outside review of IPCC Assessment Reports is patently false, with generally only a few dozen truly independent outside reviews submitted even on key chapters.  Perhaps most strikingly, the Editors with responsibility for overseeing the decisions of chapter Authors are themselves chosen by the same people (Working Group Chairs) who pick the Authors.  An outside audit of the IPCC commissioned by the IPCC itself (done by the Interacademy Council) concluded that some body other than the IPCC should choose the Review Editors but acknowledged that there is no such outside body.

■Perhaps more than any other U.S. environmental law, the Endangered Species Act looks to science for clear answers regarding which species are imperiled and how to protect them.  But as this book shows, for even the most basic threshold question – as to whether a population constitutes a species or sub-species – there is no scientific answer.  As for the definition of a species, there are over a dozen competing definitions, and the categorization of a sub-species is even more problematic, with a plethora of approaches that have allowed the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and its biological advisers in the U.S Geological Service (USGS) to effectively declare sub-species at will, as even slight morphological or genetic differences are seized upon to indicate reproductive isolation and the propriety of categorizing a population as a sub-species.   Even more seriously, the book recounts how USFWS peer review in cases of controversial taxonomic classification has involved the selective disclosure of underlying data to outside peer reviewers and has been actively controlled by USGS scientists with a strong self-interest in USFWS determinations.  The book’s ESA chapters clearly show how supposedly scientific disagreement about whether a population is or is not a legally protected sub-species in fact reflect differing policy preferences, different weights that scientists attach to potential errors in triggering, or failing to trigger, legal protection.

■Perhaps the most dramatic case studies in the book come from the area of chemical toxicity assessment by the U.S. E.P.A. and National Institute for Environmental Health (NIEH). The book shows how the EPA has made determinations of chemical toxicity that deliberately ignore the most recent and most methodologically sound studies when those studies fail to support the agency’s preferred, pro-regulatory result of significant health risk at low doses.  The case studies here include formaldehyde, where the National Academy of Science (NAS) itself concluded that EPA’s risk assessment “was based on a subjective view of the overall data” and failed to provide a plausible method by which exposures could cause cancer, a failure especially problematic given “inconsistencies in the epidemiological data, the weak animal data, and the lack of mechanistic data.”  Equally dramatic is the story of EPA risk assessment for dioxin.  Here, the agency continues to apply its decades-old assumptions that cancer risks at low doses can be extrapolated linearly from those actually observed in animal studies at high doses, and that there is no threshold level of exposure below which excess risk falls to zero.  EPA continues to maintain these assumptions despite the NAS’s admonition that “EPA’s decision to rely solely on a default linear model lacked adequate scientific support.”  Perhaps most disturbingly, the book provides examples of how supposedly unbiased outside scientific advisory panels are tainted by conflicts of interest. In the case of bisphenol A, for example,  the NIEHS awarded $30 million in grants to study that chemical to scientists who had already  publicly stated that the chemical’s toxicity was already well-researched and reasonably certain.

All told, the institutional details and facts provided by the authors’ of Institutions and Incentives in Regulatory Science paint a picture of a serious crisis in the scientific foundations of the modern regulatory state.   But the authors go beyond this, by providing suggestions for reform.  These proposals span a wide range.  In climate science, author proposals range from calling for a much more open and adversary presentation of competing work in climate science to the abolition of the IPCC as a standing body.  In endangered species regulation, proposals range from more strictly science-based thresholds for sub-species determination to a separation of the science of species determination from the  legal consequences of listing under the ESA.  In environmental regulation, some authors call for a more open and transparent process of scientific assessment in which agencies such as the EPA publicly acknowledge and fully discuss the science on both sides of complex regulatory decisions, while others call for the strict separation of scientific assessment from regulatory authority.

The authors possess a unique combination of expertise and experience:

 Jamie Conrad is a principal of Conrad Law & Policy Counsel and author editor of the Environmental Science Deskbook (1998);

Susan Dudley, former Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in OMB, is the founding Director of the Regulatory Studies Center at George Washington University’s Trachtenberg School of Public Policy;

George Gray, Professor of environmental and occupational health and director of the Center for Risk Science and Public Health at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Sciences, was formerly science advisor at the U.S. E.P.A. and Executive Director of the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis;

Jason Scott Johnston is the Henry L. and Grace Doherty Charitable Foundation Professor of Law and the Nicholas E. Chimicles Research Professor in Business Law and Regulation at the University of Virginia Law School and the author numerous articles appearing in both peer-edited law and economics journals and law reviews;

Gary E. Marchant, formerly a partner at Kirkland & Ellis is Lincoln Professor of Emerging Technologies, Law, and Ethics and Executive Director and faculty fellow at the Center for Law, Science and Innovation in Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University;

Ross McKitrick, Professor of Economics at the University of Guelph is the author of Taken by Storm: The Troubled Science, Policy and Politics of Global Warming (2003) and of numerous articles appearing in peer-edited climate science journal such as Geophysical Research Letters ;

Rob Roy Ramey II, principal of Wildlife Science International, has consulted on several of the most significant Endangered Species Act listing decisions of the past decades and is the author of numerous scientific papers appearing in journals such as Science and Animal Conservation;

Katrian Miriam Wyman, Professor of Law at New York University Law School, is the editor and author (with David Schoenbrod and Richard Stewart) of Breaking the Logjam: Environmental Protection that Will Work (2010).

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