Bernard's Top 10; How Greenland is melting; NZ among the OECD's worst on environment; The global savings glut and (real) investment drought; Why NZ monetary policy is actually tightening; Clarke and Dawe

Bernard's Top 10; How Greenland is melting; NZ among the OECD's worst on environment; The global savings glut and (real) investment drought; Why NZ monetary policy is actually tightening; Clarke and Dawe

Here's my Top 10 items from around the Internet over the last week or so. As always, we welcome your additions in the comments below or via email to

See all previous Top 10s here.

My must read is #1 because of the beautiful pictures and video. Interactive journalism at its best.

Here's this week's best Dilbert.

1. Click on this - Seriously. This link takes you to a brilliant piece of interactive journalism by the New York Times on how a bunch of scientists are measuring the way Greenland's porous ice sheet is melting.

The scientists are fighting a battle with climate-change-denying politicians in Washington who want to stop them measuring what's happening to the ice sheets.

You couldn't make this stuff up. The chairman of the US congressional science committee, a Republican from Texas, is a climate change denier. His committee has spent more time investigating aliens than climate change. Here's more on Lamar Smith.

2. Not such a great record - This OECD report on the Environment in 2015 ranks OECD members on various measures on the environment, including on environment taxes and recycling. New Zealand is the biggest user of landfills and has the third lowest environment taxes.

3. Here come the Millenials - This chart below shows that millenials (those born from 1980 to 2004) are already the most populous cohort in America, even more so than the baby boomers. The problem is about half of them aren't old enough to vote, or don't vote. They could be quite a political force once they come of age and work out they have some power.

4. The global savings glut - This chart below showing how emerging markets are still growing their savings faster than they are investing just emphasises the scale of the capital flows washing around the globe, and in particular out of emerging markets such as China and into developed markets such as New Zealand.

The blue lines are emerging market savings and investment rates and the green lines are developed market rates of savings and investment. The red lines are the global average. The gaps between the dotted lines and the hard lines effectively represent the savings glut and expains the inexorable downward pressure on short and long term interest rates.

5. Low rates everywhere else - But not nearly as low in New Zealand. This chart below is worth republishing just to show how low official interest rates are in the rest of the world. By comparison our 2.75%, which looks set to be held on Thursday, is an outlier. It's helping to drive our currency up again.

The New Zealand dollar now stands 7.5% higher on a Trade Weighted Index basis (73) than the Reserve Bank's forecast for September quarter (67.9) after the currency's surge from 63 USc and 88 Australian cents at the end of September to 68 USc and 94 Australian cents this morning.

This is driven partly by expectations of looser monetary policy in Europe and China, along with a further delay to the Fed's long-awaited hike and the Reserve Bank's expected pause in rate cutting on Thursday. Much of the move happened after Graeme Wheeler said in his October 14 speech that he was again taking Auckland's housing boom into account when setting interest rates and that he wanted to keep some interest rate powder dry, which was interpreted as setting a harder floor for the OCR at 2.5%.

The combination of lower interest rates overseas and the currency's rise through October has effectively tightened monetary policy in New Zealand over the last fortnight. Yet inflation is well below the Reserve Bank's target and unemployment is rising.

6. Temperatures 'intolerable to humans' - The New York Times reports on a study showing that parts of the Persian Gulf could become so hot because of climate change that they would be uninhabitable by the end of the century.

The dangerously muggy summer conditions predicted for places near the warm waters of the gulf could overwhelm the ability of the human body to reduce its temperature through sweating and ventilation. That threatens anyone without air-conditioning, including the poor, but also those who work outdoors in professions like agriculture and construction.

The paper, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, was written by Jeremy S. Pal of the department of civil engineering and environmental science at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and Elfatih A. B. Eltahir of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Previous studies had suggested that such conditions might be reached within 200 years. But the new research, which depends on climate models that focus on regional topography and conditions, foresees a shorter timeline.

7. 'See it as an opportunity'  - Martin Wolf is also writing about climate change at the FT, pointing out the costs of addressing the problem are relatively low and could help the world beat poverty.

The evidence is ever greater that what Professor Stern calls an “energy industrial revolution” is within our grasp. If so, the long-run economic costs of addressing climate risk could be quite modest: maybe as little as the loss of one year’s growth of consumption by 2050.

Yet the path for emissions that is needed to deliver a 50 per cent chance of limiting the increase in temperature to 2C above pre-industrial levels is also radically different from that of the past.

Hitherto, global emissions of carbon dioxide per head have risen, not fallen — despite all the global conferences — as the rapid growth of emerging economies, notably China, has swamped feeble efforts to curb emissions elsewhere. On anything like our present path the necessary declines in emissions will not occur. Humanity will have made an irreversible gamble on the chance that sceptics are, in fact, right.

Fortunately, new technological opportunities are opening up. Potential exists for a revolution in energy generation and storage, in energy savings, in transport, and in carbon capture and storage.


8. Booms and busts - It turns out there was an Alpaca boom that went bust and here's the in-depth story on it via

Unless alpaca wool sweaters are the next hot Christmas item, there’s little demand for what the animals produce. And because of the aggressive breeding, there’s now an abundant supply of fiber. Some alpaca owners give it away to farmers to use as mulch or sell it in bulk for cheap. Plus, Peru already has a thriving alpaca fiber industry, where it’s produced on a much larger scale compared to the U.S.

“The fundamental fact is that in this country, an alpaca, as an asset, an income-producing asset, is worthless. It has no value at all,” Sexton says. “The product it produces, 6 to 8 pounds of alpaca fiber a year, is worth less than what it costs to feed, medicate, and house the animal.”

9. The Human cost of cheap chicken - Oxfam America has written a report documenting the extremely low wages and eight-hours-without-a-break shifts for migrants and other workers in America's chicken industry. It means some wear adult nappies while working on the production lines because they're not allowed to take toilet breaks. No more chicken McNuggets for me...

10. Totally Clarke and Dawe gives Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton a hard time, which is fair enough. And Scott Morrison.

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current comment policy is here.


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RE: #4, "Savings Glut" nonsense - "Rather than banks receiving deposits when households save and then lending them out, bank lending creates deposits" BoE

So the problems start when people stop borrowing and start paying down debt.

Not really. Just close down the banks and make money a communal service. Loans rationed, but interest-free.

Can we expect the banks to start pushing ever more unsecured loans like credit card debt.

yeah AJ....
And most everyones' answer to that, seems to be to lower interest rates and have everyone borrowing even more.....

Including the prominent wealth transfer recipients.

BNZ annual net profit after tax rises 22% to record high north of $1 billion. What is the latest recorded NZ nominal annual GDPE growth rate? - that's right, ~2.83%. Read more

I wonder if they are not in fact the wealth transfer managers that act as agents and smokescreen for the recipients. Obviously the banks take a small cut on the way, just as a property manager does as agent for the property owner. It isn't clear to me who the principal beneficiaries of the whole scheme are, they are shrouded in secrecy. Is it the oil sheiks? The hedge fund billionaires? This is an onion of many layers.

Everyone is working their guts out on a treadmill trying to pay off high mortgages on properties overvalued by a central bank ponzi. An expansion of IOUs creating a bubble. What we are seeing in Auckland housing is not an increase in prices but signs of credit expansion making a mockery of money itself. Central bank money printing is theft. People have worked and saved all their lives and now can't live off the interest like they used to. Money is a store of someones lifes work, reward for their labour. Buy printing it you are devaluing that work, and putting at risk the whole financial sytem which values all the assets we own.

Not so much stop as never borrow. Why do you think ANZ? etc wants to get into the likes of India with Credit cards etc? Many if not most middleclass indians dont use CC and there are millions of them. Savings, in fact the emerging markets dont have any welfare so they have to save for their own old age / ill health. So are they become more affluent they save more, some suggestions are around 30% of their wages get saved, unlike the west.

Re #1, clearly the author of the top 10 is biased too...(Biased Bernard...)

To be a denier the proponent of the argument would have to be right, which they are not. Climate change is bollocks. It's called weather and the climate changes everyday! Ice ages come and go, climates warm and cool, get over it...

And in regards the stupid #3, more millennials?? 25 years of millennials by this definition, yet only 15 years of Gen X and 20 of baby boomers?? What another load of bollocks, of course there are going to be more millennials based on this definition...

Apparently a world filled with stupid people...


Your comment on climate change is confirmation of your final statement.

You are seriously incorrect and, sadly, ignorant.

Afraid not. We'll see in 50 years time who's right. Predictions of sea level rises of 1m by the end of this century are pure nonsense based on extrapolations of far too short time periods of data. The quality of the older data is also dubious. The reality is that most low lying areas that are in danger of inundation are actually probably sinking as fast or faster than the sea level is rising - and land sinking has nothing to do with climate change!

So if we add moar water to oceans by melting ice that is on land, it wont cause sea level rise? If we increase the density of air, by increasing the amount of carbon in it, that wont change its capacity to store heat? Pretty big claims there, but the best part is that you think that because "land is sinking faster then sea levels are rising" a rise of 1m by the end of the century is just pure nonsense.
Thanks I needed a laugh!

Sea levels are rising, just that they won't rise 1m by the end of the century. More likely it will be 200-250mm at most.

Yet we hear silly claims about sea level rises of a metre and even local council's are trying to put in planning regulations based on that unlikely event.

The amount of additional carbon dioxide going into the atmosphere each year is relatively tiny compared to the total amount entering and leaving the atmosphere each year (in the natural carbon cycle).

Overall this whole climate change thing is blown way out of proportion. The earth and humanity has far greater risks of annihilating itself than that.

You are talking absolute crap frankly. The predictions are not that drastic? Plus of course its not likely you will be around in 50 years to be told you were wrong. Plus the rise doesnt stop at 2100 it is going to keep going up.

So by the end of the century there will have been sea rise, just right now they dont know exactly how much, but they do have a range and even the minimum isnt pretty.

"Based on the new mid-range IPCC RCP4.5 scenario - around 650 ppm CO2 and equivalents producing a forcing of approximately 4.5 watts/metre2 - the most likely sea level rise by 2100 is between 80cm and 1 metre. "

More than likely I will be here in 50 years (shouldn't even need to be in a retirement village by then!).

I may not be here in 2100 to prove you wrong, but it is glaringly obvious to anyone looking at the data of sea level rises over the past century and a half, that the sea won't rise 1m.

Consider that deforestation in 19thC NZ probably had a greater impact on net carbon dioxide "emissions" from NZ than our current society does. And fossil fuels have been burnt for fuel for centuries you know...

I think you are lacking in a bit of evidence mate. Perhaps you could direct us to the scientifically written papers that support your views?

Sea level rise is just one aspect of CC, storms, droughts, floods are far more of a concern in the near term.

Storms, droughts, floods?? Sounds like the weather to me...

ignorance and stupidity, sadly the consequences do not just fall on you.

Are you a paid troll funded by the Koch Brothers via one of their denial "think tanks"?

You missed, extremist political ideology, ie they believe their fundamentalist views are correct.


To confuse weather with climate is abysmally ignorant.


the weather conditions prevailing in an area in general or over a long period.
"our cold, wet climate"
synonyms: weather pattern, weather conditions, weather, atmospheric conditions


the state of the atmosphere at a particular place and time as regards heat, cloudiness, dryness, sunshine, wind, rain, etc.
"if the weather's good we can go for a walk"
synonyms: meteorological conditions, atmospheric conditions, meteorology, climate;

No. To try and read into minor annual fluctuations and rely on old inaccurate data to draw conclusions is ignorant.

We all know that the climate is warming (we are still coming out of the last ice age), but to draw a conclusion that this is a problem is a nonsense.

I would quite happily buy a coastal property, if it wasn't a tsunami risk or an erosion risk, neither of which have anything to do with climate change by the way.

And anyway what happened to global warming?? And what about the next ice age, which was a popular fear when I was young, along with the fear of nuclear winter...

Righteous climate zealots need to get over it...

Kindly inform the audience about the effects of ocean acidification, as you know it all obviously.
Where is your PHd incidentally??(not the one you bought on line)

"By comparison our 2.75%, which looks set to be held on Thursday, is an outlier. It's helping to drive our currency up again."

NZ is an outlier, with high interest rates. What are the benefits for NZ households of this policy?

There are a number - but I'll pick a goodie for you - the ability to ease (in the traditional sense) monetary policy if this is actually required during a significant downturn. This is what the Fed were trying to reestablish, but it seems they may have missed the boat and are destined to repeat their QE mistakes all over again.

High NZ dollar makes your imported goods cheaper. And your overseas holidays, too.

The OECD waste Stats are obviously bunk, and I really worry why why were not noticed when this report was proofed..

And when you do go to the Annex of the report, it notes that the NZ stats only include Landfill amounts, so of course it will be 100%....

True that.

For instance, the colour coding implies that we have no recycling at all; which is not so.

Ahh! the refreshing sound of the torch and pitchfork brigade pursuing those most foul heretics...., still looking through the pinhole and drinking the MSM koolaid I see. With your assumptions, modelling, predictions and not a small amount of funding you are able to assert that it is all our fault and imminently fixable of only we could be taxed some more. Please continue to disregard that the planet has been through all this many times before without our input and just go ahead building asylums for those poor deluded souls daring to question the veracity of those nice people on the telly.

The planet has not been through this ever before. Not at anywhere near the same rate except as a result of catastrophic events.

Do some homework on the subject before you spread more damaging misinformation. And make sure your sources are qualified to give an opinion. Hint: Leighton Smith doesn't count.

Yes...I was just about to mention that climate change and the effect humans have had and are having on it, seems to be bringing the crazies out.
Then again, most people don't seem to believe we're being shafted left right and centre economically speaking, either, so I suppose it should come as no surprise....
Ignorance is bliss?

Yeah well apart from 1910-1940 and 1870-1890 when it was warming faster than it is now. It warms during an inter glacial - get over it.

"Q. Do you agree that according to the global temperature record used by the IPCC, the rates of global warming from 1860-1880, 1910-1940 and 1975-1998 were identical?"

A...So, in answer to the question, the warming rates for all 4 periods are similar and not statistically significantly different from each other."

however 1998 was an anomaly year. Also you have a 20 year period, a 30 year period and a 23 year period, all carefully cherry picked I bet and probably neither prove or disprove anything.

Same 2010 piece? looks like it, carefully chosen questions put together by climate deniers with hand picked data points.

Classic. Roger Harrabin is a "climate denier"! You really should google him before you call him names. Note the link is from the BBC - not known for their "denier" bias.

The period chosen were chosen by Roger Harrabin, not me, and no doubt because they are the periods of significant warming in the recorded period. Tends to warm in a stop start basis - and is clearly not accelerating. The point is there was significant warming before the world industrialized prior to post WW2.

Not true - Reflect on the carboniferous period when all our hydrocarbons - coal, oil, gas were laid down.

They were all deposited by converting very high levels of CO2 in the atmosphere to vegetation.

The planet has seen very much higher levels of CO2 than we are contemplating even with future multiple doublings of CO2 concentrations. Rather than any shock horror runaway scenarios it simply stabilised at lower temperature levels and life began.

All good news !

The first and second points you raise are meaningless gibberish.

CO2 levels, well,

a) Actually the bit the Planet has never been through before (if I remember correctly) is the rate of change, which means plants and animals do not have time to adapt. ie the food chain.

b) Humans have never been through this before and probably wont, see a)

c) Sea level rise is going to keep happening, virtually all our cities of note will be swamped and abandoned, sure its 200 years off..

d) Droughts, floods and and super storms will get worse and do more and more damage we cannot afford to the point our agricultural system will be gone, see b)

The last but one sentence is again meaningless gibberish.

The good news? um I cannot see any, except the planet will survive us and hopefully next time the "new humans" wont be so stupid.

Mr Henderson, it has as been through this before. Do some research. How many ice ages and interglacial periods have we been through!! NZ has gone from tropical to glacial numerous times, it may well again and it will survive.

The simple fact is that volcanic events have far greater impact on the environment over short time frames than climate changes do.

The changes you're talking about have taken place over much longer time periods and have been caused by well understood processes. Milankovitch cycles, extreme volcanic activity, and tectonic movement for example.

None of those processes are responsible for the present relatively rapid warming. Indeed, without our contribution of greenhouse gasses we would still be in a cooling phase.

You're a victim of one of the many forms of cognitive dissonance.

Cooling phase? The climate has been warming and sea levels rising for 20,000 years! For the later part of the Holocene temperatures have been relatively stable.

Sea level rise is actually considerably lower than it has been on average since the last ice age.

You must be a lot more confident than many others including myself as to what caused the medieval warm period and subsequent little ice age, let alone the ice ages.

We have to accept there are many unknowns in trying to plot future outcomes for chaotic systems that we simply don't understand.

Galactic cosmic rays produce clouds - a simply fact - but we have no knowledge of how these have and will vary with time.

I am not so much worried about NZ surviving - it will, as you say - it is the environment that my kids and theirs too (if they have any) and all the other future leaders that are now at school. The western world cannot carry on continuing to use energy as we have, and we all need to start reducing the impact we make. Hard to swallow if you drive a V8 ford ute, smoke cigarettes and get trolleyed every night, driving home afterwards.

And talking about pitchforks, bring 'em on:

Nick Hanauer:
The Pitchforks are Coming


"You show me a highly unequal society, and I will show you a police state. Or an uprising. There are no counterexamples. None. It’s not if, it’s when."

Interestingly, Kunstler has the same comment, just not so namby pamby. Bankers taken for a drag behind their limos or something.

So the so called super rich are making bolt holes in NZ, just why I wonder will NZers tolerate them? Just as an example both my private pensions that are invested in the "markets" and will go bye bye. Why am I going to be any less p*ssed in losing my pensions than an American losing his/her 401k? I suppose the gun crazy US could prove a very dangerous place to be as Kunstler suspects, and NZ no where as bad. However you cannot exists outside of a society and just dip in when you want to ie if NZers shun such ppl their paper wealth will do them no good.

#1 Calm down Bernard. The Greenland 15-16 season acc. surface mass balance is tracking above the 1990-2014 average. No need to fret. As for denial - let's face it the IPCC has been painfully clear on this:

AR5 Ch 12 table 12.4:
"Exceptionally unlikely that either Greenland or West Antarctic Ice sheets will suffer near-complete
disintegration (high confidence)"

Except the newer data coming to light after the IPCC papers isnt quite so good.

Predictably you discredit anything the IPCC states as "old data" when it doesn't suit your world view.

The Danish Meteorological Institute link above is updated daily and confirms nothing even unusual, let alone catastrophic, is happening there. You have some newer data?

Bit more of a priority than the Greenland ice sheet... "scientists in Sweden published a study in the journal Nature Communications suggesting that solar storms – streams of charged particles from the sun – could be much more powerful than previously assumed. Researchers at Lund University say they’ve now confirmed that Earth was hit by two extreme solar storms more than 1,000 years ago. These storms were at least 10 times larger than those observed in recent decades."

....your are frustratingly stupid.

Actually no, I think he's pretty bright, just commited/wedded to his ideology, and/or trolling for the fun of it.

Ah, the good ol' solar storm scenario ag'in.

I see someone finally got around to measuring some Arctic ice. So much for an ice free Arctic.

"Recently, the feasibility of commercial shipping in the ice-prone Northwest Passage (NWP) has attracted a lot of attention. However, very little ice thickness information actually exists.

...Results indicate that even in today's climate, ice conditions must still be considered severe. the waters of the northern NWP, in 2014 more ice survived the summer as MYI than in the nine most recent years but slightly less than during 1968–2015 on average...

...and therefore, shipping through the NWP should not be taken lightly. These conclusions also support results of Smith and Stephenson [2013] who suggested that the NWP will not become easily navigable for another 40 years or so."

Push out those doom predictions another 40 years - or so.

And for Antarctic Sea Ice - the news is unexpectedly good;

“Its really not surprising to people in the climate field that not every location on the face of Earth is acting as expected – it would be amazing if everything did,” Parkinson said. “The Antarctic sea ice is one of those areas where things have not gone entirely as expected. So it’s natural for scientists to ask, ‘OK, this isn’t what we expected, now how can we explain it?’”

No, it's not.
The ice may be covering a larger are, but the quality of it is not as good.
It will also mean that penguins will have to travel further form their nesting areas, to get food.
It's definitely also not due to global's a side effect of global warming.
In fact, the area around both the Arctic and Antarctic is warming nearly twice as fast as other ares on the planet:

No! it must be true or why would our regional council be proposing a methane tax for farmers? Surely they are not just money grabbing empire builders?

Climate change has in the meantime acquired a religious quality. "... a Republican from Texas, is a climate change denier ..." A "climate change denier". Like holocaust denier, or like heretic. Non-believers who ought to be burnt at the stake.

It is undeniable that there are still many scientists who do NOT believe that the human contribution to climate change is significant. It is also undeniable that a climate change industry has been established with many managers, administrators and scientists now depending on climate change for a living.

"It is undeniable that there are still many scientists who do NOT believe that the human contribution to climate change is significant."

References please.

There are very few such deniers and even fewer who are qualified in a relevant discipline.

The much vaunted "98% of climate scientists in agreement" is also untrue. The real percentage is more like 99.8% and when you remove those paid by third parties to modify their views it's virtually 100%.

I am glad you are asking. Here a study published by the Dutch govt (in English):

It indicates that about one third of climates scientists surveyed view human related climate change as minor or uncertain. No, not your religious fantasy numbers which would make every Communist party happy, but just two thirds subscribe to the alleged overwhelming consensus. And God only knows how many of those are just protecting job and income by supporting the hysteria.

You are throwing the word 'religion' about with gleeful abandon when responding to factual statements.
Here's on of the authors of the survey you're quoting, giving his interpretation of the data they gathered.
It differs a bit from yours.

"For the reasons outlined above we consider the results excluding the undetermined responses the most meaningful estimate of the actual level of agreement among our respondents. Indeed, in our abstract we wrote:

90% of respondents with more than 10 climate-related peer-reviewed publications (about half of all respondents), explicitly agreed with anthropogenic greenhouse gases (GHGs) being the dominant driver of recent global warming."

90% is a bit more than the 66% you claim - but even the 66% claim is answered in this blog:

"This is the average of the two subgroups with the highest number of self-reported publications for both Q1 and Q3. In our paper we discussed both ways of quantifying the level of consensus, including the 66% number as advocated by Tom Fuller (despite his claims that we didn’t).

Fabius Maximus goes further down still, claiming that the level of agreement with IPCC AR5 based on our survey results is only 43-47%. This result is based on the number of respondents who answered Q1b, asking for the confidence level associated with warming being predominantly greenhouse gas-driven, as a fraction of the total number of respondents who filled out Q1a (whether with a quantitative or an undetermined answer). As Tom Curtis notes, Fab Max erroneously compared our statement to the “extremely likely” statement in AR5, whereas in terms of greenhouse gases AR5 in Chapter 10 considered it “very likely” that they are responsible for more than half the warming. Moreover, our survey was undertaken in 2012, long before AR5 was available, so if respondents had IPCC in mind as a reference, it would have been AR4. If anything, the survey respondents were by and large more confident than IPCC that warming had been predominantly greenhouse gas driven, with over half assigning a higher likelihood than IPCC did in both AR4 and AR5.".


Incorrect of current, genuine publishing climate scientists the % of them convinced of climate change was 97% and from a more recent study suggests 99% is more probable.

So "Prall’s database" looking at it its a) 5 years old.

Some interesting Qs....take 17 (sun) recent, 27% of "climate scientists" questioned dont know if or what the % the sun has had an effect. Frankly with all the literature out there on this one effect alone its impossible to believe that the effect isnt well considered.

So in short this looks very much like a pile of crap.


Frankly if I was in need of medical help I'd be looking for the best expert I could get on the subject, ie I'd wish to determine the surgeon's / specialists credibility and up to date knowledge and not go to someone behind the times and in-experienced, your call?

So digging deeper. When you start to look at the calibre of these climate scientists you can measure that via say the amount of peer reviewed papers they have published. You find that those scientists who have a significant amount of recent peer reviewed publications and are all active have a very high degree of yes climate change is real and yes it is serious outlooks. At the other end of the scale you have ppl barely classed as a climate scientist (or that may not even be one), then you see more uncertianty or lack of knowledge. So in this "study" there appears to be no weighting, just a simple number count.

Going back to my sentence on needing a surgeon, who you really bet your life on? a virtual no-name or a leader in the field?'s Peter Pan surrely?

And God only knows how many of those are just protecting job and income by supporting the hysteria.

My experience is that there are a lot of folks from other natural science disciplines (e.g., geologists, anthropologists, chemists, etc.) who deliberately steer away from comment - they are what you might call 'lukewarmers'. Certainly a lot of the modelling had come under criticism from other disciplines and that (I understand) resulted in the IPCC introducing new likelihood categorisations into the AR5 release/study.

This is a good discussion on that very issue;

Very important points in here about how the RCP8.5 pathway is wrongly (very wrongly) referred to as the 'business as usual' scenario - as it is not BAU (a very unscientific term indeed), rather it is (as per the AR5 categorisations) an unlikely (worst case) scenario.

Regulators around New Zealand are coming unglued on this issue - Christchurch City Council most recently. The IPCC findings are often misinterpreted - and often by entities that, if they just READ the IPCC documentation more thoroughly - should/would know better.

I have reached a point where I find it difficult to be polite to the climate denial cretins. We have reached the point where very serious consequences have already begun; by century's end the effect will be disastrous.

If the denial industry continue their obfuscation, disastrous becomes catastrophic, and catastrophic becomes the end of habitability.

I'm a father, grandfather, and great-grandfather; I'm responsible in some measure for their safety. That leads me to despise the purveyors of lies and ignorance who regularly spout their drivel on these pages. Ultimately, they will be responsible for more unnecessary deaths than Pol Pot, Stalin, and Hitler combined.


Language! I hope your great-grandchildren do not read your coarse language, or they might lose all respect.

That is just hysteria. Even if sea levels rose 2m and temperatures rose 2 degrees in the next 50 years (which they most certainly will not without some serious unexpected intervention), then the earth would adapt as would its people.

I suggest you think about what is good on this planet rather than focusing on what is bad.

Protect your own environment, plant trees for your grand children, etc etc, don't fret about what you can't change.

(We aren't going to be able to stop China and India belching carbon dioxide for decades or centuries unless of course you are a brilliant engineer and can come up with cheap clean fuel sources...)


You are talking absolute rubbish on adaption of plants and species.

You are also cherry picking 50 years, sure in the next 50 years the consquences are not as serious as they will be, however 100~200 years at our current fossil consumption rate is 4~6Deg C and at even the lower number modern agriculture will be severely impacted if not gone. At 6 Deg C even if humans are stil around after the 4 Deg C its likely we'll enter a super warm period and then there will be no food chain as such, humans will not survive that event.

"grand children" obviously you have none or dont care....

Sure its quite likely we will not be able to stop India and China, however that is not as yet cast in stone as even India is now talking doing something.

There are no cheap, clean fuel sources, if you understood the thermodynamics then that would be clear you obviously do not. BTW, with peak oil being now and a run down to zero well within 50 years there certainly will be no "cheap and dirty" fuel sources either. Expensive and clean and limited, yes.

So a human wouldn't survive the temperature change of a move from Invercargill to Auckland?

The climate brigade need to get real and cut out the hysteria.

In regards thermodynamics: my very, very first lecture at university when I was 17 (in the late nineties, which is also why I don't have grand children! (Because of my age if you hadn't worked that out)) was Chem253 (honours 200 level physical chemistry) and the very first section was thermodynamics. Getting an A+ in that (along with almost everything else), I do know at least as much as the next man...

But I digress. Anyway cheap clean energy will happen and the laws of thermodynamics are not broken by moving heat from a cold sink to hotter one if a little work is applied as we all now know thanks to heat pumps becoming commonplace (even though on the face of that statement it seems counterintuitive, however as the change in entropy is positive it does happen!)

There is an endless supply of free energy on earth, just harnessing it is the only conundrum...

Correct, no despot / mass murderer managed total human extinction, which is our present course.

And Mao(120,000,000)

What a load of bollocks AH....what you are really wanting is for anyone who doesn't agree with you to lie down and be submissive and if they won't be submissive you want your agenda enforced!!

What if you are wrong? What if all your fears never happen? How are you going to recompense the people who were affected by your agenda? If climate change doesn't happen and the costs etc are enforced now then it will be your grandchildren and great grandchildren who will be forking out via the tax system for your agenda right now!!

If you are going to invoke the precautionary principle, you have to consider the economic costs of both Type I and Type II errors. The cost of doing nothing resulting in an increase considerably greater than 2C will be vastly higher than subsidising renewable energy or CO2 sequestration and then discovering that the temperature increase is not as great as initially thought.

And that depends upon who is doing the paying SimonP doesn't it.... Everyone passes the buck down the line to the SME business who are then enforced to spend vast quantities of money conforming to the enforced agenda.......those doing the pushing never do the paying.......they sit back smirking at their enforced agenda while making claims it is for humanities benefit/best you will see there is a familiarity with the plate gets passed round and the SME's are enforced to fill the plate before it is whipped out the back, out of sight where the distributions take place!!

The fact that you talk about subsidising renewable energy means that the cost of that renewable energy will be higher than what it should be in the market not the brightest idea unless of course one is in the business of providing the particular subsidised product......lobbying and subsidies go hand in hand!

It is the same debate over and over. I assume its the same people trolling in many cases genuine people who follow the batcrazy links provided only to find its a fools errand.
People who cannot change with the facts are fragile when confronted, and become obstinate and impassioned.
Nobody who is of of sound mind doubts the climate position of the IPCC.
Over and over , cherry picking is used, if the ice shrinks: silence , if the ice expands: streaking head lines,

Why is it that the do-gooders who are saving the world are such a rude, aggressive bunch who become personal whenever someone does not share their religious convictions?

People so flawed in character are not very convincing.

Actually this is fairly rare, but given the seriousness of the future hardly surprising.

Hmm PPan would English be your second language?

Re #2 Municipal waste disposal chart
Sorry Bernard that is unbelievable. It is telling us that all our municipal refuse goes only to landfill. When I think of our own home, all the houses in our city and in other places that we have knowledge of in NZ, there are parallel collections of a very significant quantity of refuse for recycling. I would suggest well over 50%. For this to be true all this recycling would also have to go to land fill. I just do not believe it, do you?
Unfortunately it calls into question the credibility of the rest of item 2.

Recently record low temperatures have been measured at Greenland.
October temperatures have plummeted to minus 55 and minus 57 degrees Celsius. You must really be a very strong believer in global warming if you think ice is melting at these temperatures. But if you are able to convince gullible others that ice is melting and even melting dangerously below minus 50 degrees Celsius, you might get the Nobel Price, like Al Gore and Obama.

Not sure what those sites are you are getting your misinformation from, but you may want to branch out a little:

Oh dear, classic cherry picking and confusing weather with climate.

a) Sure ice doesnt melt on some occasions in the year and even gains, the point is it does on other it loses and the NET is a loss trend and that collapse is accelerating,

b) Sure while Greenland is roughly the centre of a cold anomaly in the north atlantic, the rest of the planet is clearly warmer.

Meanwhile the Antarctic is becoming a huge concern,

But on this occasion (GRL link above previously) " the waters of the northern NWP, in 2014 more ice survived the summer as MYI than in the nine most recent years but slightly less than during 1968–2015 on average".

Run for the hills we are all doomed - MYI accumulation is running "slightly less" that the 1968-2015 average!

So much for "that collapse is accelerating".

Ps Expressing an opinion does not make a person a troll , or on the payroll of big oil or a flat earther.
Just saying in advance.

An opinion is just that, and if it isn't backed up by data, then it is also just plain wrong.

And conversely cut and pasting from Skepical Science doesn't make you plain right. You do realise the SS boys post-edit forums to "win" arguments and discredit people who question them, astro-turf, misquote people - and in their spare time photo-shop themselves as SS Nazi's!

Abit of slander/libel on the side?

SS nazi's? really? evidence?

yeah right.

Th science is there you purposefully twist and cherry pick from the data to discredit it.

I have indeed as per the last time you did an ad hominem attack on this subject.


a) this doesnt refute the climate science.
b) there is no evidence I can find so far that it was not a plant or indeed is even true.

Sure, but when your opinion is based on cherry picking data, mis-truths or downright lies and ignoring facts then clearly your opinion is unfounded and not defendable. Ergo expecting rational and balanced ppl to a ) accept your opinion as viable isnt something to be banked on, and b) you end up looking like a denier kook you clearly are. Hence why we are seeing 75% of Americnas accepting climate change because the evidence and impacts on them are over-whelming. Not to mention of course the poo exxon is finding itself in, they are looking like the next tobacco industry, sued to hell and back.

But the well-funded trolls are endemic on sites such as this, so ridiculous opinions are suspect. Of course, to be kind: "People never react to what's real. They react to what they want to believe. To what they believe they see or to what they want to see. What's real doesn't matter unless it coincides with their beliefs." L.C. Modesitt, Jf. And. more humourously, but sadly too true:

The bitter comments displayed above against anyone who dares question any aspect of what is perceived to be the consensus on climate change are disappointing.

Whilst labelled " deniers " - in fact no thinking person has ever argued that additional CO2 does not cause additional direct heating of the atmosphere.

Where there is room for valid debate is the extent to which feedback mechanisms will modify this direct heating to produce
climate changes net of natural effects which we do not understand.

Please take a few minutes to read:

This sets out - I believe on a measured way why so called " deniers " are simply those who attach more value to measured
data sets and what they imply for feedback co-efficients vs the unmeasured co-efficients in the many models.

The facts are that the model forecasts of incremental heating from the IPPC have been consistently revised downwards
over the years and in fact the projections of the so called " skeptics" of maybe 1º of heating by 2100
are much closer to what we have observed to date.

We are talking global heating here - there are many local effects such as in the Northern hemisphere where pollution
is playing a major part as can be observed by simply looking out a plane window as one flies over the clear blue South Pacific to the greyer skies of the North. Man-made for sure - but not CO2 effects !

So called " deniers " or " skeptics " do not believe you can have a consensus on any scientific method
as justification for it's correctness.

If it's science - then it's not a consensus. If it's a consensus it's not science.

Throughout the history of science there was an absolute consensus on the most important of scientific issues
of the day:

The Sun went around the Earth
Atoms were indivisible
Antimatter could not exist
Space and Time were not the same
Matter and Energy could not be transformed
Nothing could travel faster than light
The list goes on and on ...

These were all disproved - not by a consensus but by a single paper setting out how the new theory
could verified and over time and in each case so it was ...

I would urge more tolerance for an open debate on what appears to be a highly emotional issue for some
as the most likely way to bring a greater level of understanding to what is no doubt a very complex problem.

Hey JB,
Here's a website which makes it easy for you.
All the arguments refuted, in a scientific way.
Let me know which one you don't agree with. Happy to talk. Bitterly or otherwise.

Mises? a loopy austrian economics web site knows all about climate science? yeah right. The very fact that you point to these fruitcakes shows how open to debate you really are (not).

The models are verifiable actually, by a) being inspected and b) having separately derived models all of which show close and accurate results.

There is no opposing science to explain the changing climate, except via man made CO2 releases, so in terms of open debate, yeah sure lets see the science in per reviewed papers de-bunking it.

Let's test the fact the models have been inspected - in this case by one who is probably the worlds smartest living mathematician and see what he says:

Freeman Dyson is a scientist of enormous stature. For more than four decades, he taught theoretical physics at Princeton's Institute for Advanced Study - described by the New York Times as "the most rarefied community of scholars" in the US.
In a recent 8,000-word profile, the Times says Dyson is "a scientist whose intelligence is revered by other scientists." One colleague describes him as "infinitely smart." Another says: "You point Freeman at a problem and he’ll solve it. He’s extraordinarily powerful.”

Dyson is also a longstanding member of JASON - "a small government-financed group of the country’s finest scientists" that evaluates matters of an often classified nature. At JASON meetings, in which everyone present is considered brilliant, reports the Times, someone will idly pose a math question and Dyson will quickly provide an answer, pointing out that "the smallest such number is 18 digits long."

In the words of one of Dyson's colleagues, "When this happened one day at lunch, the table fell silent; nobody had the slightest idea how Freeman could have known such a fact or...could have derived it in his head in about two seconds.”

Dyson, who has written several books and received numerous awards (including 21 honorary degrees), is a big-picture thinker. The Times says he's known for his "interpretive clarity" and his "penetrating ability to grasp the method and significance of what many kinds of scientists do."

Now 85, Dyson has lived in the same house for more than 50 years and has been married to the same woman for equally as long. His car bears an Obama bumper sticker.

For the past four years, he has also challenged prevailing ideas about climate change. In a nutshell, he thinks the computer-generated models being used to predict long-term climate consequences are flawed because scientists have too little information about many of the variables that must be taken into account.

In 2007, Dyson reminded a Salon writer: "I was in the business of studying climate change at least 30 years ago before it became fashionable." Having seen many faddish notions come and go, Dyson is distressed that many environmentalists now believe "global warming is the greatest threat to the ecology of our planet."

Although the public thinks that "anyone who is skeptical about the dangers of global warming is an enemy of the environment," he feels the opposite is true.

"Many of the skeptics are passionate environmentalists," he insists. But they believe old-fashioned pollution and nuclear weapons are bigger concerns.

Now let's evaluate your comment the models all deliver consistent outputs.

Given they all assume the same feedback co-efficients which dominate the outputs - one would expect them to deliver similar outcomes.

The big question I have is why we would use the positive feedback co-efficients inserted into the models when the ERBE satellite measured the co-efficient as negative - i.e. as the earth gets warmer - radiation to space increases - exactly as one would expect.

For models to be considered reliable they must be able to reconstruct the past temperature record for at least say 1000 to 1500 years - a period when we have strong temperature data and temperature proxies.

Yet all the models fail this test.

Without knowledge of what drives natural long term variation and the fact we are warming anyway being in an interglacial period must distort any model that does not take these variables into account.

We simply do not know what causes ice ages - orbital mechanics, variations in the suns output, galactic cosmic rays, volcano's, earth's passage oscillations through the milky way. All these could be major temperature drivers.

Without this knowledge I simply cannot see how models that exclude all these variables can make accurate predictions of future temperature paths driven solely by CO2 levels.

Until they are capable of this rather simplistic test - I believe one has to treat them with great caution and certainly should not be using them for very expensive policy initiatives.

He has a long history of being a contrarian in all scientific topics, often leading to insights admittedly. But:
A favorite word of Freeman's about doing science and being creative is the word 'subversive'. He feels it's rather important not only to be not orthodox, but to be subversive, and he's done that all his life.

Yet he says, "[one] of the main causes of warming is the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere resulting from our burning of fossil fuels such as oil and coal and natural gas."

He admits not knowing “the technical facts, about which I do not know much”

In 2008, he endorsed the now common usage of "global warming" as synonymous with global anthropogenic climate change, referring to "measurements that transformed global warming from a vague theoretical speculation into a precise observational science.

Since originally taking interest in climate studies in the 1970s, Dyson has suggested that carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere could be controlled by planting fast-growing trees. He calculates that it would take a trillion trees to remove all carbon from the atmosphere.[

Actually , no "The facts are that the model forecasts of incremental heating from the IPPC have been consistently revised downwards"

they are being revised upwards.

Steven I think you'll find they have been revised downwards. So slightly less hand wringing required.

"The equilibrium climate sensitivity quantifies the response of the climate system to constant radiative forcing on multi-century time scales. It is defined as the change in global mean surface temperature at equilibrium that is caused by a doubling of the atmospheric CO2 concentration. Equilibrium climate sensitivity is likely in the range 1.5°C to 4.5°C (high confidence), extremely unlikely less than 1°C (high confidence), and very unlikely greater than 6°C (medium confidence).

The lower temperature limit of the assessed likely range is thus less than the 2°C in the AR4, but the upper limit is the same. This assessment reflects improved understanding, the extended temperature record in the atmosphere and ocean,and new estimates of radiative forcing."

And the footnote "16 No best estimate for equilibrium climate sensitivity can now be given because of a lack of agreement on values across assessed lines of evidence and studies."

So much for settled science. And they give up giving a best estimate like the did in AR4.

Past IPCC reports are distorted by their understandable reluctance to take into account probable scenarios which cannot yet be reliably quantified.

Just one example: they have not included the positive feedbacks which will most likely significantly increase methane release in their projections. there's insufficient certainty and they don't wish to be shown to be wrong down the track.

They get enough flack when they're right.

Interesting how their own conservative publication is now being used against them by the deniers. ie as more up to date science is completed that is showing things are worse the deniers are now using the IPCC against them.

Ah the good old cherry picking, meanwhile in the real world of more up to date, data and papers.

As an example,

“Adding in the last two years of global surface temperature data and other improvements in the quality of the observed record provide evidence that contradict the notion of a hiatus in recent global warming trends,”


"The apparent observed slowing or decrease in the upward rate of global surface temperature warming has been nicknamed the “hiatus.” The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report (link is external), released in stages between September 2013 and November 2014, concluded that the upward global surface temperature trend from 1998­­ to 2012 was markedly lower than the trend from 1951 to 2012.

Since the release of the IPCC report, NOAA scientists have made significant improvements in the calculation of trends and now use a global surface temperature record that includes the most recent two years of data, 2013 and 2014—the hottest year on record. The calculations also use improved versions of both sea surface temperature and land surface air temperature datasets. One of the most substantial improvements is a correction that accounts for the difference in data collected from buoys and ship-based data."

Interesting, thank you.

It is regrettable that civilized debate on the issue no longer seems possible. Not even on what can or should be done about human triggered effects on climate. During Club of Rome times it was accepted that overpopulation is a main driver of environmental degredation in general. Halve the global population, plus inevitable technological progress would probably take care of the problem whether it exists or not.

Instead it is now seen as a law of nature that e.g. the population in Africa will keep rising exponentially. No No, dont tell these people that a lot of babies are not in their own best interest and definitely not when Islam is involved - but rather go on with silly functionary meetings, questionable simulations and reports, and - most importantly - slapping people with new taxes. Problem solved.

NZ should be happy to have a small population and therefore in principle the chance to live environmentally sustainably. Instead we bring in loads of migrants. Anyone against is criminalized as a rascist. The only important thing seems to be towing the government/media line and paying taxes, emissions levies rara, for being "bad". Infantile, really. And governments do not even have to intimidate people into this, like in proper dictatorships. An army of selfappointed do-gooders do it for them.

LOL, um quoting fox "news"? So its perfectly OK for climate denying right wing Politicians to subpoena private emails fishing for out of context sentences, to discredit via the media but not for the law to be upheld? Surely seeing such emails etc in a court of law should be welcomed by those who are pushing their agenda?

If you're in denial about climate change and our role in it, please contemplate these stats before you dismiss them

From Phil Plait at Slate:

If global warming is a hoax ...

… then why was this September globally the hottest September on record by a substantial margin?

… then why were seven of the months in 2015 (so far!) the hottest of those months on record (February the hottest February on record, and so on)?

… then why is 2015 on track to be by far the hottest year on record?

… then why was the last warmest year on record just last year?

… then why are the 10 hottest years all since 1998?

… then why are we seeing far more high temperature records broken than lows?

… then why did summertime Arctic ice thin by more than 80 percent from 1975 to 2012?

… then why is Arctic sea ice volume dropping so fast it’s called a “death spiral”?

… then why is the percentage of older ice in the Arctic dropping?

… then why are we losing 450 billion tons of land ice every year?

… then why have we lost 5 trillions tons of land ice just since 2002?

… then why are Earth’s sea levels rising by more than 3 millimeters per year?

… then why are the oceans getting more acidic?

… then why are the vast majority of glaciers across the planet melting?

… then why do at least 97 percent, and perhaps as high as 99.9 percent of climate scientists say it’s real?

… then why don’t climate change deniers publish papers?

… then why do global warming deniers keep using long-falsified claims?

… then why does every conservative political party in the world except the GOP think it’s real?

… then why has the fossil fuel industry dumped more than $36 million (so far!) into the 2016 elections, with a staggering 93 percent of it going to Republicans?

Just checking NIWA's data for NZ: for September 5 out of 6 main centres had temperatures below their mean, August had 4 out of 6 and July 3 out of 6.

Does that mean NZ has global cooling now!!!

What frustrates me about the climate change issue is the emphasis of discussion (and particularly on regulatory actions) on sea level rise. Of all the potential effects, it has a longer and more uncertain time frame - giving plenty of time to adapt.

Meanwhile the more frequent, more intense storminess talked about in the research outputs is catching us out time and time again;

We find in CC regulatory discussions this issue of 'managed retreat' comes up frequently but only in relation to the beachfront. Whereas I feel rivers and streams and unstable hillsides (slips) have the potential for much more immediate danger to life and infrastructure.

I often think to myself - deaths attributable to sea level rise are (to my knowledge) so far = nil. We should think on that in respect of our present mitigation actions.

Actually no, there probably have been deaths from sea level rise. Ie they estimate that Hurricane sandy causes 20%? more damage financial loss that should have been expected from the event alone. Ergo it is not hard to consider that there could easily have been less deaths also. Such info/data might well exist I just have not come across it.

I certainly agree that the increased severity and frequency of major weather events is killing more ppl than just sea level rise, but it is all interlinked.

But in practical terms - what I'm saying is that one little SLR variable (usually the RCP8.5 number) when inserted into a formula calculating the SLR effect over 50 and 100 years, causes all sorts of mayhem right here right now (fiscal/financial mayhem, that is) - far more than any storm surge in the immediate future is going to capture at the land/sea interface. Take CHCH recently - how many of the 18,000 homes captured by that one little variable would not have been captured had the variable used been the likely, as opposed to unlikely scenario one.

The thing that worries me about rise in sea level, is the contamination of underground fresh water aquifers with sea water.
This is a real threat to the viability of a lot of Pacific islands.

I suspect if what I am reading is correct that its far more likely that over-use by over-population will collapse the aquifers a lot faster allowing sea water to "rush" in even before CC makes a difference.

PS not just the PIs either but lots of agricultural land and countries.

Of course not. What you quote is weather ie noise, what was quoted before is climate and long term trends.

The most sensible comment I have seen in this debate is Even though global warming is expressed as a single figure - the average temperature rise of the whole planet's surface - the effect will not be spread evenly.

You quoted global climate data for September data though if you look at it from a country by country basis it varies -even within countries it varies e.g. UK .

If you are serious about your grandchildren and great grandchildren's future Alan, you will ensure that they are being raised to be adaptable in a future that can't be predicted.

I think it is one part of the debate is whether the planet is warming?, the other part is , if so, what is causing it? Climate change is a natural thing and was happening long before people were on the earth. I think the argument is really what effect are people have on the climate that is adding to this natural occurence. I personally think climate is more complicated than anybody will ever understand. The smartest people in the world can't really predict the weather accurately more than two weeks ahead. I wonder if , like many things today, that are partly true, are a means of implementing radical change whereby certain parties may benefit greatly at the expense of others. (of course you could argue that some are benefiting at the expense of the our climate). One part of the argument I don't understand is if we all stopped burning fossil fuels tomorrow would the climate suddenly cool? this idea that we are all heading for this irreversable doomsday? Could someone explain that?

"if we all stopped burning fossil fuels tomorrow would the climate suddenly cool?"
No, CO2 takes many decades to be eliminated. We'll continue to warm. But the sooner we stop burning them, the less the ultimate warming will be. BTW, there's no "debate". The facts are in place with good confidence.
BTW, for Halloween, someone wanted to open a house of horrors for the denialists, then realised we already have science museums.

There is no sane debate the planet is not warming, there is simply an astounding amount of data saying yes it is.

Co2 as a warming device is also well established science.

The science has long established there is no natural warming, it is all essentially man made by releasing co2

"explain it" there is already heaps out there doing so.


This is where you get it so wrong and appear incapable of even taking the time to study alternative view points that refine these simplistic statements that you make for what is a complex and chaotic problem with no simplistic solution.

No one disagrees that CO2 has direct warming effect.

But the feedback co-efficients which dominate have been measured and can be debated.
They will have a bigger / lesser multiplier effect than the direct warming component.

No one disagrees that the planet is warming - we are leaving an ice age - more correctly in an interglacial period.
Consequently sea levels have been rising since records began but at no greater rate measured statistically than prior periods.

You state as a the fact that there has been no natural warming - this is simply incorrect.

There has been very substantial warming since the mid 1600's post the very well documented little ice age which can not have been caused by CO2 emissions - this constitutes natural warming.

You as a concerned individual, as are many others - do yourself no good service by making statements such as you have above .. " The science has long established there is no natural warming " which are simply not true.

But...but...there is one major simple solution - just leave the fossils in the ground (rather than hoping for some future technical development to recapture the CO2).