Tag Archives: New Zealand Herald

BBC and the 28Gate Scandal

I am sure that those that regularly follow blogs will have heard about the growing scandal of what has now been dubbed 28Gate (not sure about calling everything ‘gate’ but that is a detail). For those that are unaware of the story, it goes something like this. A blogger, Tony Newbury, picked up on the change in BBC policy with regards to climate change, and that the change was as follows, taken from a BBC report:

The BBC has held a high-level seminar with some of the best scientific experts, and has come to the view that the weight of evidence no longer justifies equal space being given to the opponents of the consensus [on anthropogenic climate change].

Tony was (quite reasonably) interested to find out who attended the seminar, and made enquiries of the BBC as to who attended. After all, this is a major decision on the output of the BBC and an issue that was controversial. However, the BBC declined to provide the information, which is distinctly odd. This all dates back to 2007, and Tony resolved to pursue the information through the UK’s Freedom of Information Act (FIO). The BBC then stumped up something like 8 lawyers to fight the FIO request, which is even more odd bearing in mind Tony’s interest was only in knowing who attended.

To cut a very long story short, the BBC fought tooth and nail to keep the information out of the public eye, and at great expense. The case finally went to an FOI hearing, at which the case was heard by two green leaning individuals, and the case was declined. The key to this is that the BBC is exempt from FIO requests under special rules for their journalistic role. This is the BBC’s distinctly odd justification:

In summary, the BBC considers the derogation protects the journalistic, artistic and literary integrity of the BBC by securing a creative and journalistic space for programme-makers to produce material for broadcast free from interference by those who would seek to influence our output.  Additionally, as also recognised by the Court of Appeal, it allows for a “level playing field” between the Public Service Broadcasters caught by the Act (BBC, Channel 4, S4C, GMS) and their commercial competitors.  In practical terms, the BBC has interpreted this to mean that we are not required to supply information held for the purposes of creating the BBC’s output or information that supports and is closely associated with these creative activities. [emphasis in bold italics is mine]

Keep in mind that Tony was just asking for basic details such as who attended the seminar, and the output was not one about journalism, but editorial policy on an issue of controversy. There is much more detail to the story, but that is the bare bones. However, into Tony’s impasse steps another blogger, who manages through diligent (and legal) Internet searches to obtain the list of attendees. On obtaining the list (follow the earlier link) it becomes apparent that the seminar that changed BBC policy was not as advertised; with a couple of exceptions, it was stuffed with advocacy groups including Greenpeace representatives. In fact, there was nothing in the list which might suggest that any attempt was made to do anything but put a group of people with a green agenda into a room and promote a climate alarmism position.

Why is this story important? The BBC claims to provide an impartial news service, and is highly influential throughout the world. It is not an openly partisan journalistic operation, such as Fox News in the US. In this respect, it stands for many New Zealand news outlets that implicitly promote themselves as balanced. For many years now, there have been complaints of partisan media coverage of climate change, and this has been dismissed by the same media promoting climate alarmism. The BBC case is important because it shines a light on just how partisan the media can actually be. Furthermore, it shows that the partisan approach is not based upon science but green advocacy.

In New Zealand, we could see that very same partisan approach a while ago, when climate alarmist James Hansen was given a free ride to promote climate alarmism, free from any challenging questions. The interview in question was fawning, and asked no serious difficult questions; at times it seemed that the interview was actively encouraging Hansen to issue alarmist rhetoric. As for the BBC, it seems that an editorial choice has been made to encourage climate alarmism. At the very least, there is an institutional culture which is profoundly ‘green’. The miracle is that, in the face of such media positions, that there are any doubts about the alarmist position in the general public. In particular, they are fed an ongoing diet of alarmism, and this extends over all of the major media.

There are exceptions, but these are rare. I forget the date and details, but I found room for praise for the New Zealand Herald when they allowed a skeptical voice to be heard, but that voice sounded out against an onslaught of alarmist stories. The balance, in other words, is heavily weighted towards alarmism. My own alarm is not about the climate, but rather about the dominance of ‘right thinking’ in the media. In the case of the BBC, it is not just climate change; there were also strong pro-European Union biases, where anyone who doubted the benefits of this ‘grand project’ were sidelined as ‘little Englanders’. We can now see the fruits of that project in the Euro crisis, a crisis that was predicted many years ago by those same ‘little Englanders’.

In much the same way, there has developed a mode of ‘right thinking’ in the mainstream media, a set out of values that sit unchallenged, and sit within sterile and unquestioning monocultures. The ‘greening’ of much of the media goes far deeper than climate alarmism, and is evident in much of the output that we see. For example, it is now hard to find a chef on New Zealand television who is not proclaiming the benefits of ‘organic’ ingredients, because (of course) all right thinking people MUST agree that organic is good. Never mind that if the world went over to organic cultivation methods, the world would face rising food prices, starvation and death for the poor, and an ever greater requirement for land for cultivation.

The real lesson in the scandal of the BBC is that there are cultural norms and values that are creating agendas that leave the public with few voices that dissent from those agendas. Those agendas are formed by all ‘right thinking’ people, who are self-selecting and self-replicating monocultures, and do the public a disservice by not holding all to account even-handedly; instead they exclusively feed their own agendas to the public. It is a diet, in other words, derived from those with power and who use that power to shape attitudes and values to match their own. It is very easy to understand climate alarmism in this context. It is an alarm set within institutions that have lost their collective way; they simply cannot see anything unless they stare in a mirror which reflects their own self-referential views and values. Little else gets through.

 

The Weather is Getting Worse?

Oh, dear. Philip Duncan at the New Zealand Herald has written a story that uses the idea that storms are getting worse due to climate change. He is described as a ‘weather analyst’. I have no idea what a ‘weather analyst’ might be, but it is hard to imagine that it has anything to do with science. For example, he says the following:

But the problem with diagnosing climate change as the reason for the increase in worldwide severe weather is that you need decades to really review it, and by then it may be too late to reverse. Talk about stuck between a rock and hard place.

Fact: the world is heating up. Fact: insurance companies are paying far more than before for weather-related disasters. Fact: organisations such as Niwa and NOAA have been warning us for over a decade that climate change will lead to more floods in summer and more snow storms in winter.

Let’s deal with his ‘facts’. First of all, although the world has warmed, the reason for the warming is the issue i.e. is it due to human activity? The other problem is that he uses the expression that’ the world is heating up’, despite there being a pause in the warming. This from Judith Currie:

This concept of a recent pause in the warming seems to be fairly widely accepted by many mainstream consensus scientists (e.g. the recent Greenwire article),with explanations ranging from aerosols, to solar, to oceans. The duration and magnitude of a pause that is significant in the context of the AGW debate is debatable, but I have made some suggestions.  Note that the short time scales considered here preclude determination of a statistically significant trend at the 95% confidence level, although lack of statistical signficance does not negate the existence of a pause as defined here.

The facts about insurance companies paying out more is absolutely true. However, the reason is straightforward. There is more building/population increases in places which are at risk of extreme weather events; for example the massive coastal developments in places like Florida, or the building of housing on flood plains in the UK (see here for serious analysis). This is from Dr. Roger Pielke Jr., who specialises in climate change and natural disasters.

There is seemingly a bottomless well of nonsense on disasters and climate change. I have long ago accepted that such nonsense is, like the presence of arguments rejecting the basic science of climate change, a situation to be lived with rather than changed. Even so, I can still poke some fun.

As just one of his many examples, Dr. Pielke gives the following:

  • Climatewire reports uncritically a claim coming from Swiss Re that “the financial toll of global weather disasters amounts to between 1 and 12 percent of U.S. gross domestic product annually.” This totals $160 billion to almost $2 trillion.

Reality Check: The actual number for global losses as a percent of US GDP is closer to 0.1%, with the maximum about 1.2% in 2005. The total cost of all hurricanes since 1900 in normalized dollars is about $1.4 trillion. The media (in general) rarely question numbers given to them from the reinsurance industry and on disasters and climate change have a strange aversion to the peer reviewed scientific literature. Innumeracy.

In another post, Dr. Pielke summarises the widespread reporting of connections with climate change and disasters saying the following:

The information above documents a pattern of misrepresentation of the science of disasters and climate change in the Stern Review report, the reports of the IPCC, an the US CCSP. The pattern of misrepresentation has three common characteristics:

1. Reliance on non-peer reviewed, unsupportable studies rather than the relevant peer reviewed literature.

2. Reliance on and featuring non-peer reviewed work conducted by the authors of the assessment reports.

3. Repeated reliance on a small number of secondary of tertiary sources, repeatedly cited such that intellectual provenance is lost.

The evidence presented here, and in great detail via the links, is unambiguous and unequivocal in support of my claims. Though if you would like to refute them with evidence, please do so in the comments. Until the climate science community cleans up its act on this subject it will continue to give legitimate opportunities for opponents to action to criticize the climate science community.

Interestingly, deaths from extreme weather events are actually at a low point, global tropical cyclone activity has reduced, and there is a host of other evidence that questions whether there are more natural disasters than before (see here for links to many other sources, and my previous discussion of an IPCC report on climate change and disasters). In summary, whilst it is correct that insurers are paying out more, there is no evidence that this is a result of climate change creating more extreme weather. I end the point with a long quote from Professor Judith Currie:

Judith Curry, chair of Georgia Institute of Technology’s School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.
The substantial interest in attributing extreme weather events to global warming seems rooted in the perceived need for some sort of a disaster to drive public opinion and the political process in the direction of taking action on climate change. However, attempts to attribute individual extreme weather events, or collections of extreme weather events, may be fundamentally ill-posed in the context of the complex climate system, which is characterized by spatiotemporal chaos. There are substantial difficulties and problems associated with attributing changes in the average climate to natural variability versus anthropogenic forcing, which I have argued are oversimplified by the IPCC assessments. Attribution of extreme weather events is further complicated by their dependence on weather regimes and internal multi-decadal oscillations that are simulated poorly by climate models.

I have been completely unconvinced by any of the arguments that I have seen that attributes a single extreme weather event, a cluster of extreme weather events, or statistics of extreme weather events to anthropogenic forcing. Improved analysis of the attribution of extreme weather events requires a substantially improved and longer database of the events. Interpretation of these events in connection with natural climate regimes such as El Nino is needed to increase our understanding of the role of natural climate variability in determining their frequency and intensity. Improved methods of evaluating climate model simulations of distributions of extreme event intensity and frequency in the context of natural variability is needed before any confidence can be placed in inferences about the impact of anthropogenic influences on extreme weather events.

As for the claim in the Herald article that ” organisations such as Niwa and NOAA have been warning us for over a decade that climate change will lead to more floods in summer and more snow storms in winter.” This fact is indeed correct (e.g. see here). Ok, but has there been any evidence that might support this taking place in New Zealand? I do not mean anecdotes, I mean rigorous scientific analysis. None is given in the article. As has been discussed, there is no evidence on a global scale. Another problem with the article is that Philip Duncan starts with an anecdote, as follows:

During the snow storm last August many people commented “so much for global warming”. The thing is, a warmer planet means bigger snow storms. Winter temperatures will still fall below freezing but a couple of degrees more warmth in the air can lead to more moisture and that makes bigger snow storms.

This paragraph is followed by the discussion of the ‘facts’ quoted earlier, implying that the snow is the result of climate change, but then he later suggests New Zealand might benefit from climate change

Dr Renwick also said something else: New Zealand may actually benefit from climate change. But how will we cope with the world wanting to move here in 100 years? And what about the millions who will suffer as a result of more droughts, floods and extreme weather?

Another concern is Philip Duncan’s poor attempts to suggest that he is something of a neutral observer.

Personally, I don’t subscribe to the scaremongering from the climate-change supporters, or deniers.

But the amount of severe weather around this planet in the past 10 years has been staggering.

The article describes exactly the kind of scaremongering that he purports to not to subscribe to. In his conclusion, he says the following:

The reason why the world is warming is something I still am not sure of, but I do know something is changing. And if we don’t get on top of it in the short term, our grandchildren may have to deal with something mankind hasn’t faced in thousands of years: a heatwave followed by an ice age. While Western nations will adapt to climate change, the poor nations of this world will not. And we are talking about hundreds of millions of people who may suffer.

This is, from any reasonable point of view, scaremongering. In places, he tries to dress up the piece with expressions of doubt and balance, but the entire impetus of the article is towards ‘we are doomed’, with the further implication that we can do something about the problem. Despite at times trying to appear to take a balanced view, his use of the word ‘denier’ in the article reveals that there is nothing balanced in his view.

As a last note, I am currently unaware of any scare mongering from the skeptic side of the argument, except to point out the potential for economic harm from policy to mitigate global warming. It is a very, very odd statement. The skeptical position is the opposite of scare mongering…..

Overall, another big ‘fail’ for the quality of discussion about climate change in the New Zealand Herald.

The Professor de Freitas Story and Wikipedia

I have just found an update on the story of Professor de Freitas, and the attempts to have him sacked for allowing the publication of a dissenting article on climate change. Wattsupwiththat has recently published a post which details the way in which the Wikipedia entry on the debate about the dissenting article was distorted to paint a negative picture of Professor de Freitas.

Whilst the post argues that there were many problems in the Wikipedia entry on the incident, it focuses on the claim that all of the peer reviewers of the dissenting article rejected the article. This claim was patently false, and relied upon a single Guardian article, which flew in the face of all of the evidence that suggested the opposite.The story does have a (sort of) happy ending, in that the post led to a correction of the article in question:

UPDATE: Following a conversation on Wikipedia founder Jimbo Wales’ talk page the error has been removed despite initial resistance from those who perpetrated the misinformation:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Jimbo_Wales#Activism_at_Wikipedia.3F

Also, I’d like to thank Nona, who tried to correct the error earlier as an anonymous user.

I added ‘sort of’ to the happy ending, as these ongoing attempts to smear the good name of Professor de Freitas should not be occurring in the first place. It just serves to place emphasis on the way in which some people have no qualms about presenting lies in order to preserve their world view, and the hell with the personal impact on a perfectly reputable scientist.

Another point mentioned in the article, of which I was previously unaware, was that Michael Mann (of hockey stick fame, and who also engaged in the conspiracy to have Professor de Freitas sacked) had complained to the New Zealand Press Council about a New Zealand Herald article written by Professor de Freitas:

The grounds of Professor Mann’s complaint are that the two articles were inaccurate, lacked balance and showed excessive advocacy. Under lack of accuracy he said the overall tone of the articles left readers with the false impression that the jury was still out on global warming and climate change where, as far as the vast majority of the world’s climate scientists were concerned, it is not. He gave particular examples of the inaccuracies he observed, along the lines of those cited in his article.

Mann had written a rebuttal of Professor de Freitas’s article, and was essentially demanding that it be published. Unsurprisingly, the complaint was not upheld, and I liked this part of the ruling:

Advocates of a particular standpoint may not find the press always serving their purpose, but then the function of the press is to serve their readers in the broadest terms.

In the context of what I found in the Climategate emails, I found this new information to be quite revealing. It is yet more confirmation that Mann is quite obsessive about protecting his views on climate science from any challenge whatsoever. At least in this case he seeks to address the problem with scientific argument, which is better than attempting to blacken a person’s name ( or something of an improvement on trying to get an individual sacked for allowing dissenting views).

However, it does bring to mind the somewhat obsessive commentary on my Climategate articles by Chris C, who attempted to defend the attacks on Professor de Freitas. It crossed my mind at the time that this might be Mann posting under an alias, and the thought once again crosses my mind. Of course, I will never know, and can only speculate; it could be that Chris C was indeed just posting as ‘himself’.

 

Update: I just took a look at the  debate within Wikipedia on the question of the rejection by the reviewers. It is well worth a quick read….you will need to scroll down the page and will find the section. The attempts to defend the wrong information are somewhat comedic….

A (belated) Congratulations to the New Zealand Herald

My apologies for the lack of posts of late. This one has been at the back of my mind for some time. I have previously been very critical of the coverage of climate change in the New Zealand Herald. As such, I was pleasantly surprised to have seen an article which questions the validity of alarmist warming predictions by Jim Hopkins. I quote some sections below:

If you’re worried about all the things you have to worry about, cheer up. Here’s one thing you won’t have to worry about any more. Global warming (remember, this was a prediction) will be the Great Disappearing Act of 2011. It will sink like a stone, exit stage left and generally melt away. Whoopee! [and]

We just don’t need to worry about it any more. That’s all. The prediction holds. Global warming has disappeared.

It is refreshing to see that such a piece published. My view is that there is a debate, and the media should address both sides of the debate. That is, that the media should cover both the alarmist and the skeptical view points evenly, or at least give some kind of balance. As such, I am in the surprising position of saying congratulations to the New Zealand Herald.

However, before getting carried away, a quick search for the term climate change also pulled up an article reviewing the year for the US, and which says (emphasis added):

Pipeline opponents, who included thousands of protesters outside the White House, blasted it as a retrograde step that deepened fossil fuel dependence even as a biblical succession of extreme weather – tornadoes, floods, fires, droughts and hurricanes – associated with climate change saddled the economy with 12 US$1 billion events.

There is no evidence that links these kinds of extremes with climate change (e.g. see here for a commentary on a recent IPCC report by Judith Currie). The New Zealand Herald is not alone in attribution of extreme weather events to climate change, which seems to be a commonplace in many media outlets. However, it is the kind of reporting that feeds into public alarm, and does so with no science to back up the alarm.

However, having put this niggle out of the way, the Jim Hopkins article is a good start. All we need now is some reporting on the findings of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition (regarding the dodgy dealings on the New Zealand temperature record), and perhaps some reporting on the murky involvement of NIWA employees in the manipulation of peer review.

However, all credit to the NZ Herald for publishing a view from outside the alarmist camp!

Happy New Year and let’s hope for more balance in 2012!

James Hansen causes a stir….

James Hansen, as reported in the UK’s Independent newspaper has suggested that the sceptic position on global warming is gaining ground and I really love this quote from the story:

In a briefing at the Royal Society , Dr Hansen, pictured, was frank about the success with public opinion of what he termed “the climate contrarians”, in effectively lessening public concern about global warming. He said: “They have been winning the argument for several years, even though the science has become clearer.

“There’s been a very strong campaign by those who want to continue fossil fuel ‘business as usual’, and the scientific story has not been powerful enough to offset that push.”

Part of the problem, he said, was that the climate sceptic lobby employed communications professionals, whereas “scientists are just barely competent at communicating with the public and don’t have the wherewithal to do it.”

The result was, he said, that in recent years “a gap has opened between what is understood about global warming by the relevant scientific community, and what’s known by the people who need to know – and that’s the public. However there’s nothing that has happened to reduce our scientific conclusion that we are pushing the system into very dangerous territory, in fact that conclusion has become stronger over that same time period.”

Why do I love this quote? It is because it flies so blatantly in the face of reality. For example, a particular bugbear of this blog is the New Zealand Herald, which offers particularly biased coverage of the debate. A quick site search of the Herald produced the following:

1. An editorial titled ‘Gillard Shows Courage on Climate Bill’, in which, you guessed it, coverage of Hansen’s comments is included. In addition to this we have commentary such as:

Either way, the country’s first step towards a cleaner economy sends a clear message to the world’s developing nations. Finally, one of the most notable climate change loafers has acted. The excuses for inaction are dwindling. The tax also delivers a strong verdict on the perils of global warming to the public. In so doing, it heightens the prospect of informed debate.

2. A more balanced article on the carbon dioxide tax in Australia

3. An article on…..yep, Jim Hansen’s comments on the climate change debate.

4. An article on Gillard’s wider political position which includes discussion of her position and debate on the carbon dioxide tax.

5. A couple of other articles also briefly touch on climate change, but are not addressing the subject….

I could go on, but the point is that Hansen’s comments only serve to refute Hansen’s comments. He claims that the debate is being lost due to lack of communication of the non-sceptic side of the debate, but Hansen’s comments are themselves widely reported, alongside some highly dubious ‘evidence’ he presents for the anthropogenic global warming thesis. Where are all these communications professionals on the sceptic side of the debate?

They are nowhere to be seen in most of the mainstream media.The Herald just serves to make the point with extensive coverage of Hansen’s views and comments, alongside endorsement of Gillard’s position on the carbon dioxide tax. These communication professionals should be looking for new jobs, as they do not seem to be having any impact.

The real point of interest here is the miracle of growing scepticism in the face of the ‘warming’ bias of the vast majority of the mainstream media. This bias is in turn supported by a huge ‘industry’ of NGOs with communications professionals, all of whom are seeking to promote the global warming scare. Two sociologists promoted the myth of the power of the sceptic camp with the following diagram:

However, in a rather brilliant response, Jo Nova presents the following:

It is really rather comical that the non-sceptic side bleats about communication professionals on the sceptic side when most of the mainstream media is supportive of their cause. For example, the lack of coverage of the scientific fraud of NIWA over the New Zealand temperature record in the press is a disgrace (see previous post here). If you would like to evaluate which of the above diagrams is closer to the truth, the New Zealand mainstream media tells the story; Jo Nova’s diagram paints the accurate picture.

As I have said, the real story is that, despite so much positive coverage in the media for the non-sceptic side of the debate, the sceptic debate is winning. Perhaps that just reflects the growing strength of the arguments of the sceptic side of the debate? Now, there is a novel explanation of why the sceptic argument is winning, and one which does not seem to occur to the non-sceptics.

Note: This is the second version of the post, due to initial technical problem. Among many problems, all links disappeared in the first version, so I hope all of this is reproduced accurately as per the original post.

The New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme – News

There has been news on the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), and this is the introduction from a report from the New Zealand Herald:

The soft start to New Zealand’s carbon pricing regime is set to get softer still.

The Government yesterday released a review of the emissions trading scheme chaired by David Caygill and its own preliminary response to it.

The headline for the report is ‘Softer still on climate change’. I like the idea that it is possible to be ‘soft’ on climate change which is rather an odd notion; in particular when there has been no scientific evidence presented to suggest any warming in New Zealand. I do not want to go into the details, but the essence of the story is the implementation of the ETS is being slowed down, such that the costs for business and households will kick in over a longer period.

There is an interesting response to the phased introduction in a TV One interview, in which the interviewer discusses the concept of a ‘climate crisis’ before introducing an interviewee  who has just participated in an alarmist event arranged by Al Gore. Described simply as an ‘expert’ (e.g. the title of the interview is ‘Expert Responds to ETS Changes’), Dr. Rod Oram’s profile on Wikipedia is as follows:

Rod Oram is a New Zealand journalist writing on corporate, economic and political issues. He is a columnist for the Sunday Star-Times and Good Magazine, a regular broadcaster on radio and television and a frequent public speaker. He is an adjunct professor in the business school at Unitec in Auckland and he has contributed to several regional economic development projects.

I checked the Unitec staff search facility and was unable to find his details and I am somewhat puzzled as to what, exactly, he is an expert in. Likewise a written piece on the TV One website describes him as follows:

A New Zealand climate change expert says people need a cash incentive to change their habits, and delaying an emissions trading scheme will not help.

This is the definition of ‘expert’ from dictionary.com:

a person who has special skill or knowledge in some particular field; specialist; authority:

I am sure that Dr. Oram is an ‘expert’ in something, but I am at a loss to see how he might be an expert in climate change. Nevertheless, this is how this person is characterised, and it comes as no surprise to hear that he is against the slower implementation of the ETS. My favourite moment was when he suggests that the ETS is not about ‘saving the world from New Zealand’ but ‘about making New Zealand a great deal more efficient in both energy and other terms’. He goes on to give a personal example of how he installed solar power and reduced his electricity bill by 40% and purchsed smaller cars. So there we perhaps have an example of his ‘expertise’; he installed solar power and purchased smaller cars?

This is an example of New Zealand journalism at its very worst. A person with no apparent expertise in a subject is characterised as an ‘expert’, and that person by coincidence is a climate alarmist (as evidenced by his participation in Al Gore’s event). It is all very, very shabby.

In another TV One interview the Environment Minister Nick Smith is interviewed over the phone, and the report cuts to images surrounding climate change, for example showing pictures of wind farms after a picture of a chimney bellowing out smoke. Within this montage there are pictures of burning forests and forest destruction, and there is even an image of a lonely polar bear floating on a piece of ice. I particularly liked the polar bear image as polar bear populations are stable, despite their use as the poster-animal of climate change.

The bottom line is that, during the interview, TV One might as well have added captions while Nick Smith was talking, saying that he was a ‘Polar Bear Killer’, or ‘Forest Burner in Chief’. The use of this footage during the interview was calculated, biased and completely underhand. It is yet another example of biased media coverage.

TV3 offers another example, titled ‘Government’s ETS changes help consumers but not planet’. With a title like this, you know the direction of the piece, and it delivers as expected. The report gets off to a fine start by characterising CO2 as a pollutant, even though it is essential to life on earth, and describes those who emit the gas as, for example, ‘big polluters’, whilst discussing how companies will ‘not have to pay for their pollution’. The reporter’s summary at the end of the piece is of particular note, saying that the government will ‘spend $500 million’ by not implementing the ETS faster. It is not clear how this might be seen as ‘spending’ when it is a tax that is foregone. The reporter goes on to say that the policy will do ‘nothing to save the planet, in fact it just puts it off for another day’. A balanced report – I think not….

I hope that the point I am making is clear. There is an agenda in the reporting in the New Zealand media, and it is not even difficult to see it. It is brazen and shameless, and it almost seems that they wear their bias on their metaphoric sleeves with pride. However, what they are presenting to the people of New Zealand is their own views, and seeking to use the power of the media to shape the views of the New Zealand people. Instead of presenting the facts of the situation, the news media are seeking to manipulate opinions to their own version of events/their own perspectives. Whilst all news media have some degree of bias on most subjects, the issue of climate change stands out for the crass and open way the bias is expressed.

The bias of the media would not be such a problem if it were not for the fact that all of the major outlets seem to be following the same path. At present, the New Zealand public have no alternative to the climate alarmism bias in any major media outlet, leaving them with no option but to be spoon fed the alarmist perspective. In my last post I discussed the self-censorship of the media over the scandal of the scientific fraud being conducted by NIWA. This is the other side of the coin, which is the relentless bias against any view/policy that goes against climate alarmism. It is a very, very sorry state of affairs.

New Zealand Media – A Scandalous Silence

There has been a scathing attack on NIWA in a recent post in the Climate Conversation Group. All the evidence that is being presented is indicative of a serious scientific fraud being perpetrated by NIWA regarding the New Zealand temperature record. It is a fraud that is being funded by taxpayer money, and it is a fraud that is, and will continue, to cost taxpayer money. Government policy is being directed by fraudulent science but, unbelievably, the fraud appears to be gaining no attention from the news media. It seems that the news media are self-censoring on this issue. I have included a long extract from the Climate Conversation Group post below:

NIWA didn’t use Rhoades & Salinger. We can prove it. They lied.

NZ Climate Science Coalition statisticians have uncovered evidence of scarcely believable deception from our National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Ltd (NIWA).

Last December, NIWA released a reconstructed NZ temperature series Report on the Review of NIWA’s Seven Station Temperature Series (“7SS Review”) (pdf, 8.5 MB). It has a fresh new graph (below) that’s all but indistinguishable from the previous graph. But that’s not the point.

The point is the new series is a lie.

It’s important to understand that NIWA have a Bible and they know how to thump it. Rhoades and Salinger 1993, Adjustment of temperature and rainfall records for site changes (R&S), is the NIWA Bible for estimating the effect of known site changes on temperature and rainfall measurements.

How do we know this? Because NIWA told us. Oh, how often they’ve told us! For they never tire of saying:the adjustments to the multiple sites comprising the ‘seven-station’ series were calculated by Salinger et al. (1992), using the methodology of Rhoades and Salinger (1993).”

NIWA said one thing, did another

That wearisome statement appears in the Overview portion of the 7SS Review, in the discussion on each and every one of the seven stations, and R&S is mentioned as an authority many times in its 169 pages — nowhere does it mention any deviation from the well-established scientific methodology in R&S. Before the 7SS Review began, NIWA and its minister, Wayne Mapp, made it crystal clear in media releases and in answer to questions in the Parliament that they’d be using R&S to make the adjustments.

But NIWA didn’t follow Rhoades & Salinger. They did whatever they liked so they could show warming.

The evidence that is being produced by the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition is damning. It is evidence that should be headline news, but where is the coverage in the press and on television? I checked the New Zealand Herald, and conducted a search for New Zealand Climate Science Coalition, and found no mention of the scandal. Instead, I found an article which is an attack on an Associate Professor Chris de Freitas that leads with examples of so-called ‘weather extremes’. Associate Professor de Freitas is not teaching climate change alarmism, and the implication of the article is that, in questioning anthropogenic climate change, Professor de Freitas is a ‘nut’.

The emphasis in the de Freitas article is on the ‘science’, but curiously the Herald’s taking the high ground on ‘science’ does not extend to reporting the scientific fraud that is being perpetrated by NIWA. It seems that science is only important when confirming the Herald’s editorial policy.What of other news outlets? I searched stuff.co.nz and found nothing, and the same for TVNZ’s website. I tried TV3’s search, with no discussion of the issue, and then tried some regional newspapers, all with the same lack of results.

Perhaps I am missing the coverage in my searches (which is possible), but it appears that a major scandal is being completely ignored by the media. Complete silence. I actually expected that I would find some kind of coverage, albeit expected that the usual suspects would be trotted out to denigrate NZCSC as ‘nuts’. Quite honestly I am astonished. It seems that the media is completely uninterested in what can only be described as a massive scientific fraud.

There really is something very wrong here. The news media have a duty to inform their readers of important news. As the post in the Climate Conversation Group points out, NIWA’s temperature record determines $NZ billions of spending, and is therefore a matter of great import. Even if editorial policy is ‘warmist’, this does not excuse or explain the complete silence from the media on this scandal. At the very least, there should be some kind of coverage. The lack of coverage is of itself a scandal.