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NZ Justice shows courts are useless in a science debate

The NZ court case of skeptics versus NIWA has come down against the skeptics.

The National Business Review does tabloid-style sensational namecalling in the headline (does it consider itself to be a proper newspaper?)

Climate change deniers shot down in NIWA court challenge”

Judge Geoffrey Venning threw out claims by the NZ Climate Science Education Trust that the Crown Research Institute known as NIWA breached its statutory duties, were mistaken in fact, failed to consider mandatory considerations and acted unreasonably in publishing its work.

NIWA will be entitled to costs, which are yet to be set, as a result of the case, Justice Venning’s judgment says.

Why did the skeptics lose? According to the news report, it was not because NIWA provided good answers, or found the missing data, but because the skeptics didn’t have “authority” to question it.

Some evidence in the case was ruled inadmissible, including that of Terry Dunleavy, a former journalist who is a founding member of the trust and secretary of the associated NZ Climate Science Coalition.

Justice Venning says Dunleavy “has no applicable qualifications” and “his interest in the area does not sufficiently qualify him as an expert”.

He also questioned the credentials of Bob Dedekind, a computer modelling and statistical analyst whose “general expertise in basic statistical techniques does not extend to any particular specialised experience of qualifications in the specific field of applying statistical techniques in the field of climate science”.

Perhaps the judgement is quite different from what the NZ Business Review reported, but unless it is, the outcome had nothing to do with science, but everything to do with a logical fallacy.

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

If non-experts protested unfairly at the NIWA results, surely NIWA would find it easy to explain why they were wrong, and a judge would be more than capable understanding, but if NIWA is not even expected to answer those questions then no justice has been done.

The credibility of NIWA staff ought to rest on their record rather than their titles. The unscientific behaviour of Jim Salinger and others is endorsed by the court, apparently, as long as they are paid by the government.

The courts are supposed to be independent of the government. When these two institutions are effectively working together we lose one of the major safeguards of democracy. All the more reason to fight to keep the free press, free. What else is left?

And again, we get the line that NIWA is OK, because it’s just as bad and incompetent as all the other agencies around the world which adjust data without detailed explanations, and which lose data ad hoc:

“I am satisfied that the methodology applied by NIWA was in accordance with internationally recognised and credible scientific methodology,” Justice Venning says.

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

NIWA will say they have been vindicated, yet they still can’t explain or defend the adjustments. The raw observations suggest NZ has barely warmed by 0.06C over the last 150 years, yet the headlines produced by NIWA claimed rises of 0.9C in the last century.

Whenever NIWA claim the court supports them, reply by pointing to this graph:

Graph from Watts Up

Information is our friend. We just need to keep repeating it and providing it to as many people as possible. Don’t be distracted by the failures of institutions that ought to be protecting us.

No one needs a PhD to read that graph, and NIWA still can’t explain it.

Richard Treadgold writes, and will write more on the Climate Conversation as he goes through the judgement in detail.

Associate Professor James Renwick, School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington immediately issued a press release, but as Treadgold points out,  to anyone who can read the case, what Renwick said had nothing to do with what the case was about.

The judgment is on the courts website and at NZ_Climate_Science_v_NIWA.pdf.

—————————————————————

Other Posts on NIWA and it’s failings:

Don’t mention the Peer Review! New Zealand’s NIWA bury the Australian review

New Zealand – Where did that warming go?

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Tiny Url for this post: http://tinyurl.com/9xrudy9

140 comments to NZ Justice shows courts are useless in a science debate

  • #
    Shevva

    Advanced civilization, what a joke.

    The tactics are to keep chipping away until you give up. Just remember to keep looking at the data and not the retoric.


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  • #

    Reminds one of 1930s Germany or Russia. And the result, in human suffering will surely be the same unless some people in power come to their senses.

    (Or maybe they have and are just looking to enhance their bank account.)

    Thanks
    JK


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  • #
    Stamper

    A sad day for NZ Justice and science


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  • #
    Joe V.

    The clue might be in the Courts web address:-

    http://www.courtsofnz.govt.nz/

    Was this all decided from the perspective of a lone judge ?
    Interesting character, about which it has been said:-

    “Nicknamed “G-man”; an obvious play on Justice Venning’s first name but also reflective of the judge’s obvious tendency to put the interests of the State bureaucracy ahead of the law and open justice.  One well placed barrister, who has appeared before the judge often, characterises Justice Venning’s conflicting attributes aptly,  “He hasn’t met a law yet that he couldn’t breach with a smile on his face.


    As well as:-

    Justice Venning is very clever.  He is also prone to instill personal bias into proceedings by setting subtle traps for counsel.  Fearless promoter of Crown interests, Justice Venning has changed dramatically in the years since his appointment.  In his early years he was very cognizant of appearing to be fair from the bench.

    Well all that may be just opinion.
    And then there were his tree planting interests:-

    Justice Venning faced scandal in 2011, as a result of a conflict of interest and failure to divulge his outside business position in a forest investment tax shelter. 

    From:-
    Justice Venning


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    • #
      Richard C (NZ)

      Richard Treadgold is disallowing this “Severe criticism of the judge” (from kiwisfirst.com Joe V link) at CCG, my quote from it got deleted.

      In case my subsequent comment gets deleted here it is:-

      “Fearless promoter of Crown interests” kinda squelches any idea of impartiality don’t it?

      18. Judicial Oath—The oath in this Act referred to as the Judicial
      Oath shall be in the form following, that is to say:

      I, , swear that I will well and truly serve Her [or His] Majesty [specify as above], Her [or His] heirs and successors, according to law, in the office of ; and I will do right to all manner of people after the laws and usages of New Zealand without fear or favour, affection or ill will. So help me God.
      Cf. 1908, No. 151, s. 4

      http://legislation.knowledge-basket.co.nz/gpacts/reprint/text/1957/se/088se18.html

      Note “without …. favour” but J Venning favoured NIWA anyway (“less intensive” and “more tolerant”) despite his Judicial Oath.

      An empty and mistaken oath in other words.

      http://www.climateconversation.wordshine.co.nz/2012/09/judge-declines-to-intervene/#comment-115620

      J Venning seems to have made the “without fear” part integral to his MO especially in regard to the Crown.

      But to “all manner of people” “without favour” – not so much.

      BTW “less intensive” and “more tolerant” is from the judgement:-

      [45] I consider this Court should be cautious about interfering with decisions made and conclusions drawn by a specialist body, such as NIWA, acting within its own sphere of expertise. In such circumstances a less intensive or, to put it another way, a more tolerant review is appropriate.


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      • #
        Richard C (NZ)

        Yup 4.1 deleted at CCG. And apparently JoNova commenters are “mongrel”:-

        [Richard C, this is savage criticism without evidence and I'm having none of it. It's irrelevant what the mongrel commenters are saying on Jo Nova's site, since they don't live in our jurisdiction, nor are they likely to be applying to our High Court for a judgement. - Richard Treadgold]

        http://www.climateconversation.wordshine.co.nz/2012/09/judge-declines-to-intervene/#comment-115620

        Since I am one of those “mongrel commenters”, I’ve responded that I thought it a bit over the top.


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        • #
          Joe V.

          Thank you for rushing to defend the honour of Jo Nova’s site Richard C.
          I wouldn’t take the canine reference personally though & RT does make a good point.


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        • #
          cohenite

          The Judge has simply presented argumentum ad verecundiam; this was always on the cards since Judicial officers work on a precedence basis with ‘evolution’ of the law related to previous ratio decidendi or principle of previous cases.

          In this case the Judge has bypassed particular examples of the ratio decidendi doctrine and relied on the concept itself; that is NIWA represents the highest condition of ‘evolved’ scientific expertise therefore its pronouncments and arguments are to be preferred over contrarian arguments on no other grounds than that NIWA is the designated expert. This ignores the fact that the method for questioning the scientific orthodoxy and authoritative source, peer review, has been suborned.

          However, in respect of any law case in Australia questioning the BOM temperature record may not be so constrained because BOM has admitted to defects in the previous HQ network and announced those defects have been resolved in the replacement ACORN temperature record.

          If any analysis of ACORN finds similar defects to the HQ network than action may be taken against the ACORN Network on the basis that criticism of that has come from within the system, the authoritative source, itself.


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        • #
          Andrew W

          Richard C, Richard Treadgold is simply demonstrating that he has due respect for the NZ legal process, given how much this decision has cost him, I can only take my hat off to him.


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          • #
            Richard C (NZ)

            Do you think “due respect for” the NZ legal process and [justice served by] the NZ legal process are one and the same Andrew?

            Richard Treadgold may have respect for the NZ legal process but did he receive justice? He seems to have reservations on that:-

            Val, the more I think about this, the unhappier I become at the judge’s empty assertion in saying he won’t rule on the science because he then goes ahead and rules on the science anyway. Would that make it unappealable or the opposite?


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    • #
      Joe V.

      FWIW. I have no issue with RT criticising and deleting reference to :-
      http://www.kiwisfirst.co.nz/index.asp?PageID=2145845376
      at CCG.
      .
      Anyone attempting any sort of discovery on the Judge would come across this material very quickly, though I have no idea of its pedigree.
      .
      I fully appreciate that CCG needs to remain mindful of the environment in which it operates and that emotions will be running high right now. I can even accept the “mongrel” reference, so long as it was solely directed at the said poster on JN.
      .
      I wish RT and all at NZCSET the very best with their venture, though I would hesitate to comment on it over there having as I do, no competence in the NZ Jurisdiction.


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      • #
        Richard C (NZ)

        Very gracious Joe V (and also at 4.1.1.1). I doubt the same sentiment would be found at say, Deltoid.

        I find RT’s approach exasperating at times and this is one of them, but I guess his heavy-handed moderation of anything he sees as threatening an appeal is understandable. My view though (FWIW) is that the judgment should be vacated (voided) due to conflict of interest (J Venning’s carbob credits investment) and dereliction of duty (in respect to the Judicial Oath).

        David Stockwell made a nice summary at CCG:-

        What happened was the judge applied the standard that the scientific work be ‘tenable’. That is, being capable of arguing for the work. This is a lower standard than being ‘valid’, which implies correct, effective or authoritative. So the judge declined to decide the higher standard, but decided the lower one. This is like the ‘due diligence’ standard. Its not necessary to have made the right decision, only to have demonstrated duty of care.

        So the judge has ruled on the science, but its a low bar, because opposing, even contradictory arguments can be ‘tenable’ when only one could be valid.

        Thanks for all your effort. I think if anything it has informed the debate as to where the legal axe would fall.


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    • #
      Len

      Should get Shane Dowling’s Kangaroo Court on to Vennings.


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    • #
      Ian Mott

      It is not widely understood that all judges have the prerogative to choose to accept all of one “experts” testimony and ignore the testimony of another. There is no duty to consider ‘the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth’ when it involves expert witnesses. Judges are free to ignore hard facts presented by one expert and rely on mere opinions of another expert because the opinions of experts can be regarded as facts at the discretion of the judge.

      I found this out the hard way as witness for the defence in Maroochy Shire Council v Barns 2000, when I became perhaps the only forestry representative to have a court ruling to the effect that I was not an expert in forestry. Judge Dodds of the P&E Court ruled that I was not an expert because my dedication to representing other forest owning landowners meant that I was incapable of being an unbiased servant of the court, which, in theory, all expert witnesses must be.

      So Dodds proceeded to accept the entire testimony of the prosecution’s expert despite the fact that he ignored two whole chapters of RG Florence’s “Ecology and Silviculture of Eucalypt Forests” in claiming that Jim Barns’ harvesting constituted irreparable environmental harm. And Dodds then proceeded to accept the former State Forester’s views as the definitive description of “normal and necessary attributes of an existing lawful PRIVATE forestry use” in determining what constituted a “material change in use”. A person who owned neither land nor forest, and who had never had to produce a return on such assets, was allowed, by a grossly ignorant Judge, to define key attributes of an activity that he had absolutely zero direct exposure to.


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  • #
    spence

    Jo, This is a judge that is part of the establishment and has done what has been expected by the establishment. The judge had to state some reasons why the case should fail and chose the angle of competence.

    Don’t drop this, my advice is to continue and prove that competence existed and continues to exist.


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    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      This is a judge that is part of the establishment and has done what has been expected by the establishment.

      This is probably going to get me hung, drawn, and and quartered, but here is my take on this:

      1. This result is a compromise, and as such it is the best that could be expected.

      2. At one extreme, had NIWA lost, and lost publicly, and with great fanfare, then the organisation would have been history. “Good” some people might say, but the work that NIWA does around fisheries research, and water quality is fundamental to the New Zealand economy. We must be mindful that much of the mess that is the New Zealand temperature record was inherited from Jim Sallenger, so a negative finding would be shooting the wrong messenger.

      3. At the other extreme, had NIWA won on the strengths of its arguements, and the “superiority” of the science, then that would have been total game over, and would stand as a legal precident.

      4. By ruling that the evidence from Terry Dunleavy, and Bob Dedekind was inadmissible on the grounds of qualification, Justice Venning has done two things: a) he has apparently left the door open for an appeal or other form or review (precident might be an interesting thread to follow); and b) he has removed himself from the matter, and is no longer involved or able to comment.

      5. So if, as some have suggested, pressure had been brought to bear on Justice Venning from people close to Government, or vested interests outside of Government, this would get him out from under, and resets the game.

      6. We shouldn’t read too much into the web address domain name, that is the way it is for internet traffic routing and security purposes and does not indicate reporting lines.

      7. The game is not necessarily over, it is just that the ball is now back in the NZ Climate Science Coalition court, to challenge the decision.


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      • #
        Jaymez

        I agree with everything you wrote except:

        The way Venning defines what an ‘expert’ is unnecessarily too narrow and needn’t have been. He wanted to throw out all questions of NIWA’s approach.

        Venning stated: [53] Similar issues (as to the limited nature of his expertise), apply to the evidence of Mr Dedekind. Although in his affidavit in reply Mr Dedekind purported to comply with r 9.43, Mr Dedekind’s expertise is in relation to computer modelling and statistical analysis. Meaning, he felt Dedekind should have had relevant experience in climate science.

        You and I know that is garbage – data is data, programs are programs. As I noted in my post below, Venning would have rejected McKitrick and McIntyre’s debunking of Mann’s Hockey stick simply because they weren’t climate experts and Mann testified that he did everything correctly!


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      • #
        The Black Adder

        No Rereke, this is not a comprimise!

        This is FRAUD !!

        I do not care if it is the Kiwis or Sandgropers (Lewandosky)…

        It is still fraud for the benfit of a corrupt science that is benefitting a few !

        Royal Commission needed!

        What a joke!


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      • #
        Ross

        I hope you are right with your point 7 RW. Having thought about your whole post I think you are right , unfortunately.
        I believe the Judge got it wrong with the dismissal of Bob Dedekind’s evidence in particular.
        From what I can gather this was not an argument about the science , it was all about how the data was collected and then analysed. The stats involved would be no different to what is applied to a number of other fields.
        I picked up this post from Bob D on Climate Conversations

        “September 8, 2012 at 8:06 am
        The arrogance to think that a paleontologist, a retired journalist and a …..physicist/ IT guy were suitably qualified experts is astounding. This should have been laughed out of court.

        And yet it wasn’t. In fact, NIWA had to do some pretty nifty footwork to avoid some difficult questions.

        For instance, where was the evidence that RS93 had ever been used on the 7SS from 1853-2009? Absent. We were asked to believe Dr Wratt’s assertion that it had (in 1992), but ALL evidence had apparently disappeared. Not only that, but the adjustments coincidentally all matched the thesis adjustments, which all ended in 1975. And no new adjustments were made between 1975 and 1992. Hmm.

        Another question: Why, when NIWA performed their Review at taxpayers’ expense in 2010, did they NOT use RS93? They kept referring to it whenever the 7SS adjustment method was discussed, and it was a prime opportunity to re-do their missing work, yet instead they used an unpublished, untested method from a student’s thesis written in 1981.

        Please understand this: the method used in the NIWA Review in 2010 has no international peer-reviewed scientific standing. None. It is mentioned nowhere, outside of Salinger’s thesis. NIWA have never yet provided a journal or text-book reference to their technique.

        Yet a few people were able to do (at zero cost to the taxpayer) what NIWA should have done in the first place – produce a sensible 7SS using the same peer-reviewed technique NIWA kept referencing repeatedly, viz: RS93. In fact, one of NIWA’s complaints during the court case was that we applied the RS93 method “too rigorously”! In other words, when we did the job properly using an internationally-accepted method, we got a different result to NIWA’s, and they didn’t like it. In fact, the actual trend over the last 100 years is only a third of NIWA’s trend.

        Their only response to date has been a desperate effort to try to show that the RS93 method as published is “unstable”. Why then did they trumpet it all this time? And why did they never challenge it in the literature between 1993 and 2010?

        NIWA got away with it in the end, but only because the judge decided that he shouldn’t intervene in a scientific dispute, and our credentials (not the work we did) were not impressive enough


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  • #

    Not useless — destructive; tyrannous.

    I have communicated over and over that all of our institutions have been suborned by the incompetent climate consensus, so that there is no (good, responsible) law to be had in this matter. And it is due to a general incompetence among all scientists (not to mention laypersons, of course), for it is easy to see there is no greenhouse effect, which is the heart of the bad science being foisted upon the world by climate scientists, and ratified by bad physicists masquerading as competent experts. Judges and legislators — not to mention characterless Presidents — are simply playing Russian Roulette with a fully-loaded gun, and doing untold damage to anything they point their ignorance-fed actions towards. It has all the makings of a real, worldwide, war, when good scientists have to rebel against the state, because the bad scientists refuse to hear them.


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    • #
      inedible hyperbowl

      Tick tick tick, that’s 3 ticks from me


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    • #
      John Brookes

      You’ve got to be joking. We teach a lot of science that isn’t “correct”. Firstly, because science is never “correct”, and secondly because you can’t teach quantum electrodynamics to a 16 year old and get anywhere. The conspiracy theories are getting the better of you again…


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  • #
    Stamper

    Do not despair fellow sceptics; in the last 48 hours in the UK ” the appointment of two anti-wind ministers in the reshuffle. The new Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson, and Energy Minister, John Hayes, both oppose wind farms”
    PLUS at UN climate talks in Thailand “US negotiators stunned delegates by calling for any new treaty to be ‘flexible’ and ‘dynamic’ rather than legally binding, representing a complete U-turn on its previous position”
    This is USA code for bye bye.


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  • #
    Grumpy old man

    Scrub Rule of Law, it’s Rule by Laws all over the English-speaking World.


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  • #
    Peter Miller

    I assume there is an appeal process, perhaps there will be someone more reasonable judging the case then.

    My guess is the NZ Climate Science Education Trust probably needs better counsel.

    Why did the skeptics lose? According to the news report, it was not because NIWA provided good answers, or found the missing data, but because the skeptics didn’t have “authority” to question it.

    When I saw the statement above, I realised the problem was probably this: When you take on the Establishment – in this case, the NIWA, you can be sure they will have very smart counsel capable of proving “black is white” and deviously ridiculing your argument that “white is white”.

    I know that from personal experience – got the T shirt and still have the stripes across my back from taking on the Establishment. Right or wrong is irrelevant, it is all a matter of who has the deepest pockets and the smartest counsel.


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  • #
    Joe V.

    The Law is a tool. Lawers practise the Law by use of the tool.
    Judges can be usefull tools.


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  • #
    Eliza

    governments are ALWAYS right. especially English type ones. it will take centuries to change this.


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  • #
    Rick Bradford

    I’m sure the ghost of Trofim Lysenko could be seen in the background applauding this decision.

    The decision in summary: “Those who have the impudence to challenge the State shall be smashed.”


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  • #

    We’ve always know we’d never get a fair deal from the establishment, judicial or otherwise. We’ll take them down in the end though.

    Pointman


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  • #
    Catamon

    Be interesting to read the judgment when it gets published. Did a search but its not up as yet unless anyone else has it??

    Any more Skeptic driven cases going up in the near future??


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    • #

      I linked to it at the bottom of the post. It’s been there all the time.


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    • #
      Joe V.

      Searching can be a bit like history. You have to know what you’re searching for and the language of the time.
      See .pdf link in the main article & Pointmans link above.
      .

      No one needs a PhD to read that graph, and NIWA still can’t explain it.

      One benefit of hindsight is that facts can more easily be interpreted through the lense of history.
      As with most human endeavours, the lense gets foggier with age.
      .

      Just because we find new methods of looking back, doesn’t mean we’re seeing what we’re looking at – were just more likely to believe in it.


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      • #

        Like they say, hindsight is always 20:20

        Pointman


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        • #
          Joe V.

          Or does it just look that way:-?


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        • #
          The Black Adder

          Pointman,

          I wonder if you have pondered hindsights like this…

          ` In the future we will not see the snow fall again`

          ` In the future our dams will not fill…`

          ` In the future our seas will rise by 6 metres…`

          Catamon has an incredibly short memory!


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          • #

            In just a few short years, no one in climate science will know what a research grant is …

            Pointman


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          • #
            BobC

            Pointman
            September 7, 2012 at 11:36 pm
            In just a few short years, no one in climate science will know what a research grant is …

            As much as I would like to believe that, I can’t see governments giving this up as long as 1) Climate “scientists” keep producing “data” and models claiming that governments MUST assume dictatorial powers, and 2) The climate “scientists” can still fool (or in the case of this court — governments coerce) enough of the population to maintain the dream of absolute power.

            The problem is political, and must be solved politically by firing the politicians.

            This is precisely the problem that the US Declaration of Independence addresses:

            …–That to secure these [God-given] rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government

            This view, that the government works for the people rather than ruling them, is definitely considered subversive by many in government. In the US, however, the number of people who are agreeing with this sentiment (the government consists of their employees) has grown rapidly over the last 3 years of a government exhibiting behavior unrestrained by the principles of democracy.

            I’m not too worried about the government getting out of control in the US, but I’m not sure what corresponding restraining philosophies can be invoked in NZ and AU — but if they don’t exist, you’d better create them, as those governments have already gone too far down the road toward tyranny.

            BTY: You may buy the government’s excuse for your draconion gun control laws as necessary to “protect the public” — but if the government was actually concerned about public protection, it would greatly increase funding for the police and especially for neighborhood patrols. However, one thing the world’s tyrants have all agreed upon is that the public must not be armed.


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          • #

            M’lud Edmund and I, his faithful vassal, were merely joshing.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_GfO61f3yM

            Pointman


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  • #
    Sonny

    They are re-writing history.
    They are re-writing history.
    They are re-writing history.
    They are re-writing history.
    They are re-writing history.
    They are re-writing history.
    They are re-writing history.
    They are re-writing history.
    They are re-writing history.
    They are re-writing history.
    They are re-writing history.
    They are re-writing history.
    They are re-writing history.
    They are re-writing history.
    They are re-writing history.
    They are re-writing history.
    They are re-writing history.
    They are re-writing history.


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  • #
    Debbie

    http://greens.org.au/policies/human-rights-democracy/global-governance
    Just so you know.
    It’s sitting there happily on their website :)


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    Jaymez

    It is a very disappointing judgement. I have read the entire judgement and at first pass it seems to me that Justice Venning found himself an escape hatch. Judges do not want their verdicts to be controversial or overruled, and you can bet he knew if he had found in favour of the ‘Coalition’ his ruling would have been attacked.
    star comment

    His escape hatch was two pronged:

    1. Venning found that two of the key ‘expert witnesses’ for the Coalition, did not satisfy his definition of ‘expert witness’. That allowed him to simply disregard their arguments and evidence rather than look at them with as much weight as he applied to the testimony of NIWA’s experts which he appeared to accept without question.

    [51] Section 23 of the Evidence Act 2006 provides that a statement of opinion is not admissible except as provided by ss 24 or 25. Opinion is defined in the Evidence Act at s 4 as: “A statement of opinion that tends to prove or disprove a fact.” I accept Mr Smith’s submission that there are substantial portions of Mr Dunleavy’s original and reply affidavits where he proffers opinions on matters in issue in the proceedings, particularly on scientific practices and the validity of the scientific practices of NIWA. Such evidence could only be admissible under s 24 or s 25. Section 24 is not applicable in the circumstances. Section 25 could only apply if Mr Dunleavy was an expert in the particular area of the science of meteorology and/or climate. He is not. He has no applicable qualifications. His interest in the area does not sufficiently qualify him as an expert. I also accept Mr Smith’s further point that Mr Dunleavy’s views are not capable of offering substantial help to this Court on the issue that it has to determine. To that extent I agree that substantial passages of Mr Dunleavy’s evidence are inadmissible.

    [53] Similar issues (as to the limited nature of his expertise), apply to the evidence of Mr Dedekind. Although in his affidavit in reply Mr Dedekind purported to comply with r 9.43, Mr Dedekind’s expertise is in relation to computer modelling and statistical analysis.

    In fact Vennings makes the following outrageous statement which reminds me of the same criticisms which were made of Ross McKitrick and Stephen McIntyre who were ‘unqualified’ to critique Michael Mann’s infamous Hockey Stick graph, with errors which had escaped the notice of thousands of supposedly qualified climate experts!

    [54] I accept Mr Smith’s criticism of Mr Dedekind’s evidence to the extent that Mr Dedekind is not an expert in the application of statistical techniques in the field of climate science. Mr Dedekind’s general expertise in basic statistical techniques does not extend to any particular specialised experience or qualifications in the specific field of applying statistical techniques in the field of climate science. To that extent, where Mr Dedekind purports to comment or give opinions as to NIWA’s application of statistical techniques in those fields, his evidence is of little assistance to the Court.

    These findings allowed Justice Venning to ignore or discount the Coalition’s evidence and instead preference whatever NIWA experts testified, even if they didn’t provide solid evidence; such as the hard copy of the adjusted temperature calculations, or the copy of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology Review. All they offered the court is testimony that their station data had been peer reviewed!

    2. Venning found that it was not up to the court to make decisions between two competing scientific theories. So provided NIWA were using a credible theory then that was sufficient.

    [45] I consider this Court should be cautious about interfering with decisions made and conclusions drawn by a specialist body, such as NIWA, acting within its own sphere of expertise. In such circumstances a less intensive or, to put it another way, a more tolerant review is appropriate.

    [46] There is a further point. At times the witnesses have identified a difference of opinion about scientific methods applicable to climatology. There are a number of examples where the Court stated its reluctance to adjudicate on matters of scientific debate.
    In SmithKline Beecham (New Zealand) Ltd v Minister of Health Ronald Young J said:
    This Court’s function is not to rule on the science. The important point is that Medsafe, MAAC and Dr Boyd have considered all the Plaintiffs’ scientific propositions and have a credible view of the science by relevantly qualified scientists. They have considered and rejected on scientific grounds the Plaintiffs’ views on safety and efficacy and related matters.

    [47] Unless the decision maker has followed a clearly improper process, the Court will be reluctant to adjudicate on matters of science and substitute its own inexpert view of the science if there is a tenable expert opinion:

    I guess had the ‘Coalition’ known this was the Justice’s position from the outset, then they would have known they were fighting an unwinnable case!

    In fact Justice Venning made it pretty clear that not only would he not consider the intricacies of what method had been used to establish the temperature series and a warming trend, he was happy to take NIWA at it’s word on how it went about things:

    [99] In summary to this point, the matters the Trust refers to and relies upon to support its argument that NIWA did not apply RS93 methodology to the 7SS are, at best, ambiguous and equivocal. Against that there is the express sworn testimony of Dr Wratt and Dr Mullan as to the application of the RS93. Dr Wratt deposes:41
    The methods outlined [homogenisation methods] are the basis for the homogenisation used for the temperature series presented in the Salinger et al 1992 report, and for the NZ temperature series used in the Mullan et al 2010 report. Homogenised time series reported in Folland and Salinger 1993, produced by Salinger and colleagues in 1992 utilising the methods documented in Rhoades and Salinger 1993, [RS93] form the basis (with annual updates for new data) for the [7SS] used by NIWA between 1992 and mid-2010. …

    [137] To the extent these matters involve differing contestable scientific opinions the Court cannot resolve them. However, I have to observe that Dr Wratt’s evidence appears credible and reasonable and, if necessary, I would accept it in preference to the evidence for the Trust on this point.

    Vennings in the end really says he couldn’t care less how NIWA worked out it’s temperature trends, he would accept it since he has already made it clear he wouldn’t adjudicate the science!:

    [157] It is unnecessary for this Court to resolve this scientific debate. On the evidence I accept it is more than arguable that the purpose of the NIWA review was to independently recalculate site change temperature adjustments from the underlying data and metadata and to document how those recalculated adjustments were produced and what their values were. I accept that NIWA could have recalculated the temperature adjustments in a different way yet still have arrived at a similar result which would strengthen the robustness and validity of the previous results.

    In addition Venning accepted NIWA’s argument that they did not have a legal responsibility to provide New Zealand’s temperature record.

    [38]. However, it has consistently been NIWA’s position that, while it has maintained a national climate database and has published the 7SS since 1992, it has not designated that as an official New Zealand temperature record. Dr Wratt explains that the reference to “the New Zealand temperature record” on NIWA’s website is used in a generic way to encompass a multitude of pieces of information which, together, compromise a record of New Zealand’s temperature.

    [40]. NIWA contends that the Trust essentially overstates the extent to which NIWA’s activities have direct public consequences.

    [44]….the Trust’s challenge is based on what it defines in its pleadings as “recognised scientific opinion”. A less intensive review is particularly apposite where the Court is not in a position to definitively adjudicate on scientific opinions. The Trust defines “recognised scientific opinion” as established scientific opinions and methods described in internationally recognised research journals. NIWA does not accept there is any such obligation, a matter to which I return shortly.

    The Climate Coalition (or ‘Trust’) as it is referred to in the proceedings, raised valid point after valid point about the way data had been spliced, temperature stations had been selected and UHI had not been properly accounted for. In response, NIWA simply testified that they did handle each of those issues properly and gave some examples of how that might have been done without actually providing in evidence the actual adjusted data or the peer review of their work. Justice Venning simply accepted them at their word rather than take the legal course which was open to him, which would have been to assume an adverse position because they refused to provide evidence available to them.

    If Justice Venning has acted appropriately under the law, it certainly doesn’t appear either logical or fair and will not stop people wondering what biases he may have allowed to come to bear, or what political pressure may have been brought to bear.


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      Rereke Whakaaro

      Good Summary, Jaymez, you have managed to give much more insight that I could in my #5.1. Thank you.


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      Ian Mott

      The most galling part about such rulings is that the judges appear to have no problem with ruling out the testimony of experts at the end of the proceedings. And this then denies the disadvantaged party any opportunity to bring in an expert that would meet the higher standard the judge has set.

      The response to this kind of crap is to round up absolute leaders in the field from all over the world so the next judge has no choice but to hear ALL the evidence.


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      Sean

      You ask: “If Justice Venning has acted appropriately under the law, it certainly doesn’t appear either logical or fair and will not stop people wondering what biases he may have allowed to come to bear, or what political pressure may have been brought to bear.”

      The answer to you question is he allegedly has a pecuniary interest in deciding this case the way he did:

      http://johnosullivan.wordpress.com/2012/09/08/carbon-trader-judge-taints-bizarre-high-court-climate-ruling/

      [Your last line ALLEGEDLY corrected so as its not sin binned. Please be careful. Mod Oggi]


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      John Brookes

      Judges do not want their verdicts to be controversial or overruled

      More like, “Judges don’t want to look like complete twats”.


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      Craig Thomas

      1. That’s the law. No Fakexperts allowed.

      2. McIntyre and McKittrick have done no such thing. Mann’s work has been replicated and confirmed as correct by many different groups. If M&M had had to appear in court to have their criticisms tested, they would have met the same ignominious fate as NZCSET just have.

      This case was lost because the facts simply did not support the criticisms.

      That’s all there is to it.


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    lawrie

    Disappointing for sure but not the end. Mann is looking for trouble against CEI and climate depot. More to the point is the reversal of green policy by many governments incl Gillards. There are far bigger problems ahead none of which are CO2. BOB has not mentioned CC in his reelection campaign. My only regret is that these climate crooks will escape scrutiny and punishment.


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      Rereke Whakaaro

      More to the point is the reversal of green policy by many governments incl Gillards

      And that will the the real benefit of legal challenges like this one. There will not be any spectacular and dramatic triumphs – they only occur in the movies – but slowly and surely the Politicians are starting to realise that perhaps, just perhaps, the system may be broken, and that they have all been chasing their tails.

      Nobody will want to look stupid, so they will all just quietly back away …


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    Popeye

    Jo,

    Agree totally with your point in reference to highlighting the data and whilst this is important I don’t think it’s enough.

    Once we have governments in control and dictating outcomes to the judiciary the time is fast approaching when other stronger forms of protest need to be adopted.

    I, personally don’t profess to know what some of these other forms might be but I do know there is a very powerful groundswell of people who KNOW the whole AGW or climate change scam is nothing but a big money making machine for SOCIALIST governments. This is one reason why Obama has had so much trouble getting any schemes off the ground in the US.

    I believe that we in Australia (and New Zealand) are FAR too complacent – we (in general – not intended to mean those who frequent your site etc) place more emphasis on sports results and social agendas than in looking out for or caring for our country.

    But what can we do?

    The ONLY power we have is at the ballot box but unfortunately we have about another year to wait before we can extract our revenge.

    If we fail to enforce our will at the next election then much stronger methods MAY need to be adopted.

    Cheers,


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      Catamon

      So what exactly do you mean by:

      If we fail to enforce our will at the next election then much stronger methods MAY need to be adopted.

      Are you laying in a supply of NATO std combat grade spinach or something??


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        BobC

        Catamon
        September 8, 2012 at 12:08 am · Reply
        So what exactly do you mean by:

        “If we fail to enforce our will at the next election then much stronger methods MAY need to be adopted.
        Are you laying in a supply of NATO std combat grade spinach or something??

        Well, of course not Catamon — in your philosophy people are owned by the government, any ‘rights’ they have are given by the government, and they must put up with anything the government decides to do to them.

        Other countries are based on more subversive philosophies — perhaps they are spreading.


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    pat

    Joe V. -

    22 Feb 2011: Stuff.co.nz: Jenni McManus: Justice’s conduct under scrutiny
    Justice Venning is alleged by the complainants to have failed to disclose properly, to the court and to the Trinity litigants and investors, full details about his directorship, investment and role on the management committee of the Tahakopa Forest Trust when he sat on the Trinity case.
    Unbeknown to them, the judge was also claiming tax deductions for expenditure on his investment – deductions he says were for the direct costs of the operation…
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/4685487/Justices-conduct-under-scrutiny

    wouldn’t you just know!
    am sure this may be of interest to the sceptics who lost their case, if true. conflict of interest?

    kiwisfirst: Restatement of complaints to Judicial Conduct Commissioner incorporating material provided by Venning J and hia aolicitor
    Dated 14 February 2011
    (c) Venning J excluded evidence of the value of carbon credits from the Trinity land as irrelevant to whether there would be a profit from the forest, but his own forest company, Tahakopa, has registered under the Emission Trading Scheme for the purpose of selling carbon credits for profit from its forests;
    http://www.kiwisfirst.co.nz/files/Restatement_of_Complaints_1402111.pdf


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      Joe V.

      Thanks pat, for this and all the further research below. I imagine the NZCSET team must be aware of it, and I would leave it to them to decide how best to take account of it / or not, as they proceed.


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    Catamon

    Thanks for the various links. :)

    Wow, having read the judgement and reasons, totally embarrassing for the plaintiffs.

    People can get all upset about the apparent dismissal by the judge of witnesses as not expert, but that seemed to me to be far from the main reason for the plaintiffs loss. Mainly, they had, and presented a crap case, and i kind of get from the tone of the judgment that Venning J may have felt that they were poorly prepared and wasting his time.

    totally LOL moment:

    The Trust also refers to Dr Wratt’s comment in an email to Mr Renwick and Dr Salinger (copied to Dr Mullan) in which he stated by reference to the 11SS: (To be absolute bullet proof on this one … )”.

    [127] The Trust says the above comments show that the stations were not chosen objectively, for the purposes of objective scientific research and that all Dr Wratt was interested in doing was to protect or support the 7SS.

    [128] I do not consider that to be a fair representation of the position. When the chain of emails is read in its entirety it is apparent that NIWA was concerned to obtain as complete a record as it could of stations that were quite separate from the stations used in the 7SS and which, at least in large part, did not require adjustments.

    The point is illustrated when the context of Dr Wratt’s “bullet proof” comment is considered. In full he said:

    … (To be absolutely bullet proof on this one, would it be a good idea if someone at Greta Point took exactly the same stations as Jim and checked that they got exactly the same result? I’m not doubting your calculations Jim, but I think we should subject any numbers we put out to very careful quality control).

    [129] In my view that comment makes it clear that NIWA was properly focused on ensuring that the information it published was correct and could not be criticised as inaccurate. Dr Salinger’s reference to pristine sites is consistent with a reference to sites that would not require adjustments. I do not draw any inference there was something untoward about his comments.

    “Climategate” email reprise??


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      Richard C (NZ)

      Fact remains Catamon, that the NZCSET 7SS (Statistical Audit series) now has higher standing than the NIWA 7SS irrespective of the judgment by virtue of its basis so you have a choice:-

      http://i54.tinypic.com/27xjm0k.png

      Take your pick Catamon, they’re both NZ 7SS

      But please tell us, what is the justification for the choice you make?


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        Catamon

        Fact remains Catamon, that the NZCSET 7SS (Statistical Audit series) now has higher standing than the NIWA 7SS irrespective of the judgment by virtue of its basis so you have a choice:-

        Wot, because the judge didn’t specifically comment on it? Well, if there wasn’t a countersuit involved,(was there?), then i’d expect that it would not have been relevant for him to comment on it. Careful judges do tend to avoid irrelevancies when making judgments so that they don’t come back to bite them when some aggrieved loser tries to appeal their decision.

        Still, whatever makes you feels better. Me, i’ll go with the NIWA for now one since after all they just won their case.

        I’d really like to know if anyone thinks there are grounds for appeal though?


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          Richard C (NZ)

          Catamon, you say:-

          i’ll go with the NIWA for now one since after all they just won their case

          Strange reason given the Judge doesn’t acknowledge the existence of the Statistical Audit (documents the NZCSET 7SS with citation of method) in his judgment. Neither does he acknowledge that 3 independent professional statisticians reviewed the Audit and found it to be valid.

          Could it just be your bias Catamon? They’re 2 valid series depending on common method interpretation afterall. Although unlike NZCSET, NIWA doesn’t acyully cite their method so that would make theirs inferior wouldn’t it?

          Like it or not Catemon, the NZCSET 7SS will still stand scientifically irrespective of legal blindness.

          I’d really like to know if anyone thinks there are grounds for appeal though?

          The grounds are the conduct of the judge in the case in the context of the Judicial Oath.

          The Judicial Oath states (my emphasis):-

          18. Judicial Oath—The oath in this Act referred to as the Judicial
          Oath shall be in the form following, that is to say:

          I, , swear that I will well and truly serve Her [or His] Majesty [specify as above], Her [or His] heirs and successors, according to law, in the office of ; and I will do right to all manner of people
          after the laws and usages of New Zealand without fear or favour, affection or ill will. So help me God.
          Cf. 1908, No. 151, s. 4

          http://legislation.knowledge-basket.co.nz/gpacts/reprint/text/1957/se/088se18.html

          Note “without fear or favour”

          In [45], first the Judge exhibits fear “I consider this Court should be cautious about interfering with decisions made and conclusions drawn by a specialist body, such as NIWA, acting within its own sphere of expertise”

          Then favour “In such circumstances a less intensive or, to put it another way, a more tolerant review is appropriate”

          In a just society that and nothing else would be grounds for appeal, but is NZ the just society we think it is?

          It still remains to be seen if that question is tested.


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            Andrew W

            You’re grasping at straws with that one, the bits of the ruling you quote only mean that the judge ruled on the weight of evidence – something quite normal.

            “without fear or favour” does not mean his ruling has to be liked by both sides.


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            Richard C (NZ)

            “without fear or favour” does not mean his ruling has to be liked by both sides.

            So what? I didn’t imply it did. But his ruling does have to be acceptable (in justice terms) even if not liked.

            “without fear or favour” is the Oath J Venning swore. To turn around and exhibit BOTH in [45] is not acceptable in my view. I’ll be interested to see if anyone from the NZ legal fraternity speaks out about this especially given J Venning’s past indiscretion.


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    pat

    25 March 2011: Stuff.co.nz: Jenni McManus: Impugned judge steps aside from Trinity case
    Geoffrey Venning, the High Court judge accused of bias and under investigation by the Judicial Conduct Commissioner, has disqualified himself from hearing any further matters relating to Trinity, the forestry partnership at the centre of New Zealand’s biggest tax dodge case.
    This comes nearly seven years after Auckland tax lawyer Garry Muir and his former law partner Clive Bradbury, both Trinity investors, asked the judge to step aside from hearing the Inland Revenue Department’s case against Trinity and its associated companies.
    Until last week, the judge had refused…
    Justice Venning has told the Judicial Conduct Commissioner he did not seek permission from the chief High Court judge to continue his forestry investment activities – as is required under law – but says his involvement in Tahakopa was “limited.
    He disputes any suggestion the partnership could be placed in the same category as Trinity…
    Fairfax NZ News
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/4807136/Impugned-judge-steps-aside-from-Trinity-case


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    pat

    can’t copy from the “Restatement of complaints” link but, in Part III, 12, it mentions Venning resigning from his directorship at Tahakopa Forest Trust in 2008.


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    Catamon

    So, can anyone here, without resorting to making an ad hominem attack on Venning J, or delving into some murky accusations of nebulous conspiracy, actually see any grounds for appeal in this judgement? You know, error at law and all that?


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      The Black Adder

      Can you give me 1, I repeat 1, peer reviewed paper that conclusively proves that Humans cause anything except anguish?

      No? Catamon? What was that? ??? Crickets chirping!! hehehehee…


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      bobl

      Perhaps that the Judge had a conflict of interest in that he is a Director of an organistion making a profit by selling Carbon offsets, underpinned by the climate scare supported by NIWAs dodgy science.

      Perhaps that there is no such thing as “Climatology” or “Climate science” (It’s called Meteorology) and that a statistician is eminently qualified to comment of the statistical aspects of anything statistically derived.

      Somehow we have got to the stages where Judges think the sciences are “Discrete” …

      Perhaps the question of Why people as inexpert on statistics such as Meterorologists should be commenting on statistics anyway – can’t have non-experts having an opinion can we. What’s good for the goose, perhaps therefore NIWAs testimony on statistics aught to have also been thrown out.


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      Jaymez

      I think it is quite possible that the Coalition could take the matter back to the courts on three counts:

      1. Venning said his major problem was that he couldn’t adjudicate on the science and he basically disregarded the evidence of two of the plaintiff’s expert witnesses as not being ‘expert witnesses’. If the coalition found a couple of experts who would satisfy the definition, then that may help.

      2. If the Coalition could argue that the Judge was wrong in finding that the two witnesses did not satisfy the definition of ‘expert’. This should be easily done by showing that ‘climate science’ is not a discrete science. That those working in the area of climate science call upon the expertise of statisticians and programmers all the time because they do not have the skills to carry out the statistical or programming work themselves. An audit of the qualification of people working at NIWA in programming or statistical analysis could aid this. Or simply a submission comparing the specific skills held by the witness verss the skills needed to do what was being done at NIWA. Even with regards to the ex-journalist the Coalition could point out that Australia’s chief Climate Commissioner is a palaeontologist and the guy described by some as the worlds pre-eminent Climate Scientist, James Hansen is an Astronomer, and the East Anglia Hadley CRU’s Phil Jones another of the world’s leading Climate Scientists admits to not knowing how to operate excel!

      3. The other area which could allow the case to be re-looked at is if the coalition could obtain new evidence. This might require a leak from within NIWA. Someone who would testify for instance that UHI was not calculated in the adjustments, or that the temperature record splicing was dodgy, or that they did actually specifically choose the sites which best suited their story rather than for any scientific reason. Or maybe NIWA gets a hold of BOM’s review or correspondence between the parties which states why BOM was not prepared to write a letter stating they were happy with the 7SS or 11SS.

      Alternatively, if the Coalition can get hold of their own original data, then maybe they should just publish their own station series temperature data.


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        Richard C (NZ)

        “Alternatively, if the Coalition can get hold of their own original data, then maybe they should just publish their own station series temperature data”

        The ‘Statistical Audit of the NIWA 7-Station Review’ may yet be published, it’s available to anyone here now:-

        http://www.climateconversation.wordshine.co.nz/docs/Statistical%20Audit%20of%20the%20NIWA%207-Station%20Review%20Aug%202011.pdf

        The NZCSET 7SS series resulting from it stands as at least equal scientifically and statistically because it was reviewed by 3 independent professional statisticians. It also cites Rhodes ans Salinger 1993 as its methodological basis. NIWA does not cite their basis so in that respect, the NZCSET series is superior. Both series are plotted together here:-

        http://i54.tinypic.com/27xjm0k.png

        So the NZ public now has a choice of series irrespective of whether the Statistical Review is published (the NIWA Review wasn’t). The difference being in the rigour of application of R&S93. NIWA complained that the NZCSET application was “too rigourous” and their own interpretation and application is much more loose, so take your pick – rigourous or sloppy. The respective linear trends are 0.34 C/century and 0.91.

        J Venning did not acknowledge the existence of the Statistical Audit in his judgment and therefore ignored the work of 3 expert professional statisticians. Those experts more than made up for Bob Dedekind’s perceived lack of expertise in the eyes of J Venning. That could be grounds for appeal along with his other departures from Oath I think.

        The publishing route seems better than the legal route now that we see where the “legal axe has fallen” (as David Stockwell puts it).


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          Richard C (NZ)

          I’m wrong, J Venning DID acknowledge the Statistical Audit but didn’t refer to it by its title. But he DIDN’T acknowledge the review of it by 3 professional statisticians instead uses the word “”purported”:-

          [143] The Coalition produced a critique of the review accompanied by its own audit. The audit purported to apply the statistical techniques used in RS93 while leaving the remainder of NIWA’s methodology unchanged.

          [144] In response to the critique Dr Mullan recalculated most of the sites changed temperature adjustments applying the RS93 methodology. He concluded that the Coalition had incorrectly calculated the adjustments and if the RS93 methodology was applied correctly it resulted in adjustments close to those calculated in the review using the alternative method that NIWA had employed.

          Note that [144] is NOT a judgment, just NIWA’s response. I’ve seen at least one commenter on an AGW forum construe [144] as fact e.g. http://forum.weatherzone.com.au/ubbthreads.php/topics/1125573/__PG__#Post1125573

          But why “purported”? The statistical professional reviewers had no qualms that NZCSET did IN FACT apply ” the statistical techniques used in RS93″. Why did J Venning accept the word of Dr Mullen (NOT a professional statistician) against the expertise of 3 professional statistical experts?

          More grounds for appeal I think.


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    pat

    the submitter is a long list of companies, including Tahakopa.
    Southern Forestry seems to be connected to Tahakopa and Venning in one of the earlier links i posted, from memory the “Restatement of Complaints” link, which won’t open for me now.
    a search for “ETS” on the following link gives 15 results, with one being part of a common word, but all the rest relating to emission trading scheme:

    mfe.govt.nz: NES Southern Forestry Submission
    The forest-owning partnerships and companies that are part of the submitter were set up after 1990 and are participants in the ETS. These parties are part of that estate that contributes to maintaining NZ’s net Kyoto balance at 1990 levels, thus mitigating the potentially massive liability that the Crown could be facing that arises from the fact that gross emissions have increased by around 25% since 1990.
    http://www.mfe.govt.nz/laws/standards/forestry/submissions/26-southern-forestry-ltd-submission.pdf


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    Disgusting. Not surprised though. Justice Sheeple rules in favour of the Sheeple. He didn’t understand the case so he deferred to authority as stipulated in rule B1 and B2. Nah worries mate, she’ll be right. Promise to watch my size 13 Carbon footprint.


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    Janine I

    Some evidence in the case was ruled inadmissible, including that of Terry Dunleavy, a former journalist who is a founding member of the trust and secretary of the associated NZ Climate Science Coalition.

    A journalist, former at that? Not a meteorologist then?

    Justice Venning says Dunleavy “has no applicable qualifications” and “his interest in the area does not sufficiently qualify him as an expert”.

    Not a meteorologist, then.

    He also questioned the credentials of Bob Dedekind, a computer modelling and statistical analyst whose “general expertise in basic statistical techniques does not extend to any particular specialised experience of qualifications in the specific field of applying statistical techniques in the field of climate science”.

    Case over then. The Trust was poorly advised. It’s how the law works. The judge can only consider evidence that is admissible and admitted. I can’t see what the complaint from Jo is. Two fails for the Trust… failed citizen-scientists; failed litigants. Quite a quixotic cash-burn.

    Also, this is my first time here – just a comment about the comments: Very conspiratorial. Folks, it how the law works. May not be perfect system, but it’s the best we got so far. If folks want to witness a contest of science, get the Trust to take on the NIWA in the peer-review literature, and publish a rebuttle. They can do it as citizen-scientists as long as their work is quality. It’s a lot cheaper.


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      Ross

      Janine l

      I’ve made my comments on the qualifications aspects higher up , but I’d like to comment your last paragraph.
      If this was about a scientific difference of opinion with no major rammifications resulting from it then I’d agree with you but in the case of AGW there are huge and expensive policy decisions being made Governments around the world. If the basic data and analysis of it is questionable (as the Trust is asserting in NZ) and this is being producted by publically funded organisations then a debate in the literature is not enough.


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      Rereke Whakaaro

      The Trust was poorly advised.

      And that seems to be the nub of the matter.

      Justice Venning had done his homework, and looked at the nature of the complainants, and found precedent to exclude their evidence.

      Had that been foreseen, the complainants’ lawyers could have closed it of by using the Einstein precedent.


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      Jaymez

      They can’t take on NIWA in the Peer Review literature because NIWA have refused to publish the data showing the adjustments they made. They didn’t present them in court. All they did is tell the court what methods they used. They didn’t prove they used them. They also didn’t have the Australian Bureau of Meteorology Audit the work. The BOM explicitly pointed out that they could not comment on whether the work had been carried out properly, only that the methods they had been told were applied were of world recognised standards.

      The court did not require NIWA to prove they actually did the work to those standards, Justice Venning was happy to take their testimony as evidence. The trouble is, Niwa’s testimony didn’t ad up, the Trust knew it – but unless the court was prepared to force NIWA to provide the proof, they can’t prove it, in the courts or in the Peer reviewed literature.

      On the other hand, NIWA did not disprove any of the claims by the Trust with regards the actual temperature trends and the impact of UHI. But no-one cared about that.

      Remember, people considered Ross McKitrick and Stephen McIntyre were unqualified to debunk Michael Mann’s Hockey Stick graph just because they weren’t climate scientists and hadn’t published in the peer reviewed literature. Any honest scientist with an interest in the area doesn’t need to read something in a peer reviewed journal before they will allow themselves to be exposed to the truth.

      If you want to talk ‘conspiratorial’ explain why NIWA refused to present the BOM review to the court? Explain why NIWA would not call a BOM reviewer to court to give evidence on their behalf. Explain why NIWA did not simply provide the court with all the data showing how all the temperature adjustments had been made to the station data to get the warming trend and why? Surely that would have been simpler if all was above board?

      It’s a bit like the tax office questioning my tax return and me refusing to show then receipts but telling them they should take my word for it. Except in that case, I wouldn’t have the law on my side saying that as the tax payer I am the ultimate expert in my taxes so the Tax Office should take my word for it. And anyone who wants to testify against me is not qualified to because they have never actually done my tax before!


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      Grant (NZ)

      Quite a quixotic cash-burn.

      Not to worry. They’re funded by Big Oil.


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    pat

    on a related note, remember Timbercorp’s collapse with investors losing hundreds of millions of dollars:

    Wikipedia: Timbercorp
    Timbercorp, a now-defunct managed investment scheme within Australia from 1999 to 2008, was established to manage superannuation and investments in agriculture. The consortium of companies were placed into public administration on 23 April 2009 and is currently being wound up by administrators…
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timbercorp

    Timbercorp
    Carbon Emissions
    Across all our projects, Timbercorp has planted more than 100 million trees. This means the company, in particular our plantation forestry division, is well placed in terms of efforts to reduce Australia’s carbon dioxide emissions…
    Timbercorp has been involved in some important research through the University of Melbourne School of Forest and Ecosystem Science investigating the relationship between the forestry and agricultural sectors and greenhouse gas emissions…
    Timbercorp has provided input in the development of the carbon emissions trading scheme through the National Association of Forest Industries. Timbercorp welcomes the Government’s announcement that forestry may ‘opt in’ to participate in an emissions trading regime on a voluntary basis and continues to explore opportunities in this area.
    http://timbercorp.ezywiz.biz/default.asp?cid=14666&rid=14666

    remember CO2 Group (see links in comments on “10 Conspiracy” thread) whose Tassie Govt-Labor/Green-commissioned report just released discovered Tasmania’s forests & soil carbon (incl carbon on public and private land, in live vegetation, forest debris, dead trees and in soil) are worth billions of dollars?

    Reuters: CO2 Group Ltd.
    Aaron Soanes
    Aaron was previously Treefarm Operations Manager for Timbercorp where he managed all treefarm operations in the Victorian, South Australian and Western Australian regions.
    http://www.reuters.com/finance/stocks/companyOfficers?symbol=COZ.AX

    remember CO2 Group’s James Bulinski, the CO2 Group guy quoted in the links on “10 conspiracy” thread. Reuters didn’t report his Timbercorp connection, but it can be found on various websites, including this CRC one below:

    CRC from their website: “The Co-operative Research Centre for Sustainable Production Forestry was a collaborative venture between Australian forestry companies, the Commonwealth Government, state government enterprises and universities.”

    CRC: Membership of Committees
    Resource Protection
    includes: Dr James Bulinski (Timbercorp)
    http://www.forestry.crc.org.au/commlists.htm


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    pat

    read all to understand the truth about Tasmania’s economic state:

    ————————————————————————————–
    [and this is relevant to the topic how Pat? - Mod] [O/T - Snipped]


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    Evgueni Kretchetov

    Well, what do you want?

    We were burning witches at stake practically yesterday, and were taking ourselves quite seriously.

    We were believing in Communism, and the superiority of the Arian race, and were prepared to kill for it.

    And not that long before that we believed that killing the infidels was the best thing ever.

    And we still take ourselves quite seriously, but now we believe that we masters of the universe, and can command climate and the level of the seas.

    In this circumstances I think cold beer is in order, as I can only stand by and wonder.


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    hunter

    Are there means of review or appeal?


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      Rereke Whakaaro

      Only on a point of law.


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        Sean

        Yes and there is a big point of law on which this judgement should be thrown out – the judge’s alleged conflict of interest which should have barred this him from hearing this case.
        [The word 'alleged' is your best friend. I've added it for you. Mod Oggi]


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          Craig Thomas

          [snip - Craig, the word "conspriracy" has been overused to the point of meaninglessness. If you are going to use it, make sure you use it vis a vis the dictionary definition of it, or it won't be published here. - Jo]


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    tonyM

    I can understand the disappointment but am not surprised by the decision. Personal attacks on the judge are misguided.

    The judge is not there to decide on scientific matters but whether the law has been breached. If a recognised body says it has followed the appropriate procedures and has the experts to back it up no judge would be in a position to rule that some other expert is more appropriate.

    Even in the Al Gore case in the UK, the judge was not looking at whether the science was right but rather whether the Act would be breached by a particular position in his book – at least that’s my take on it.

    Most of us would not let a climatologist measure our mom’s temperature let alone believe in the robustness of a supposed global T, whatever it means in a non equilibrium world. But, we are stuck with a politicised monster that will only be broken and forced along the scientific method by continually hammering it where it is unscientific.

    The courts are not where this will happen unless there is a clear breach of a law.

    Where would we be without the internet!? :)


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    Alexander K

    My dad, an archetypical ‘Aussie Battler’, would mutter dark things about the imaginary relationship between law and justice such as
    “Justice is always available on the same basis as dinner at the Ritz.”


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      bobl

      Yes, my dad says “Law is not Justice” or “Law and Justice are not the same thing”. Very wise man my father!


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      Joe V.

      Indeed, with justice being in the eye of the Judge, who then uses the Law to justify their particular view on it. Lawyers can only point out ways of looking it, but Justices decide how to apply it, dispensing justice as they see fit. That’s why until it goes before a panel of Judges there’s little hope of a balanced view.
      The Law is indeed a tool.


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    Rab McDowell

    My reading of it is that both sides thought that a court, or at least this one, was not the right place to decide the science.
    So if you think NIWA won then that leaves us with the official govt agency advising the NZ govt that NZ has warmed twice as fast as the rest of the planet despite that fact that it is a reasonably small country in the middle of the biggest ocean of the world when that ocean has had no signiificant warming.
    So how does that happen? Perahps NIWA needs a whole lot more govt funding to determine that.


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    From the synopsis, I gather that Judge Geoffrey Venning essentially ruled in favour of NIWA because NIWA is an “immaculate conception”. An authority which utters ultimate truth.

    NIWA can no do as it pleases. It is above reproach; accountable and answerable to no mortal.

    Extrapolate the precedent to other government authorities.


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    Ally E.

    I wonder what Judge Geoffrey Venning sees when he looks at himself in the mirror every morning, a bought judge or a dumb one?


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    memoryvault

    .
    To paraphrase Robert B DePugh in his book “Can You Survive”:

    “It is impossible to challenge a corrupt system from within the system, because the corrupt system will simply alter itself to nullify the challenge.”


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    DaveA

    Perhaps time to recruit some hard hitters to review the analysis. He wants climate scientists then give him climate scientists.


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      Ross

      Maybe David Evans could look over the Trusts work –it would seem to be available in a presentable form and I cannot envisage it being a big job.


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        Richard C (NZ)

        DaveA, Ross

        Perhaps time to recruit some hard hitters to review the analysis. He wants climate scientists then give him climate scientists.

        Maybe David Evans could look over the Trusts work

        You don’t think 3 independent professional statisticians were expert enough for the Statistical Audit review and climate scientists are more expert for that?

        In [143] J Venning ignores those statistical experts completely (as do you guys) but then from [144] he seems to accept (by virtue of his decision) that Dr Mullen (a climate scientist, not a statistician) is the expert to defer to for a statistical opinion (not a climate science opinion note).

        Why then, would J Venning have preferred (for a statistical opinion) David Evans or a recognized climate scientist over Dr Mullen?


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          Ross

          Richard C (NZ)
          I was not meaning to criticise the 3 guys who did the audit ( I don’t know who they are for a start).
          But the Judge seems to think you need a stats guy who knows/has experience in climate science ( I think that is rubbish as I’ve said in other posts). But if there is to be an appeal then they have to address the points made by Venning to reject the case. That is why I mentioned David Evans.


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            Richard C (NZ)

            Ross, you just do not understand how the Statistical Audit was compiled. The “3 guys” are expert statisician reviewers, NOT the authors. The authors are Bob Dedekind, Gary Kerkin and I don’t know who else. I was involved early on and I like to think I provided at least some of the spark that got things going but I rapidly got out of my depth when the stats got heavy so I exited.

            AFTER the Statistical Audit series was compiled it was sent to 3 independent professional statisticians (the “3 guys”) for review. They found that the methodology was consistent with R&S93 and only minor changes were made. Therefore the review negates J Venning’s decision that Bob Dedekind was inexpert but J Venning ignored the review of the Audit by the professionals even though he acknowledged the Audit and decided one of the authors was inexpert.

            Now, why would J Venning consider additional stats guys if he has ignored 3 already?

            Why would J Venning prefer Kinninmonth or Evans over Mullen given that he has already preferred (favoured) Mullen and NIWA?

            Why should the Judge even prefer climate scientists or electrical engineers over statisticians for statistical opinion and expertise (as he already has with Mullen who is a climate scientist but not a statistician)?

            Yes an appeal addresses what the Judge considered but it also addresses what he DIDN’T consider (or at least it should). J Venning DIDN’T consider the expertise of the 3 expert statistical reviewers.

            Note too, that the NIWA Review and series was NOT itself reviewed by expert statisticians but by BOM and that was not a technical review of methodology either.


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            Ross

            Richard C

            I understand exactly how the review was done. But you have to understand how the legal game is played. If Venning rejected the review because he considered the reviewers to be non experts then on appeal, if it takes place ,then reviewers who the Court cannot reject becuase of their definition of expert have to be found. This is especially true if NIWA try to paint Bob D an a non expert again.
            That is how the game is played.
            I can understand your frustration Richard but if the fight is going to go on it has to be done playing the “legal rules” otherwise it will end up where it is now.


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            Richard C (NZ)

            Ross you STILL don’t understand even after my explanation, You say:-

            “…he considered the reviewers to be non experts”

            He did no such thing, He did NOT even acknowledge the existence of the 3 professional statistical reviewers in [143].

            Worse, he accepted the expertise (by virtue of the decision) of ONE CLIMATE SCIENTIST (Dr Mullen) for a statistical opinion in [144] when he should have relied on the expertise of THREE STATISTICIANS.

            Answer the question Ross: why should J Venning favour (contrary to his Judicial Oath) a non-statistician over 3 professional statisticians that he chooses to ignore for a statistical opinion?

            Things are moving on somewhat anyway. A trip to the Appeal Court might be redundant if a successful complaint can be made to the Judicial Conduct Commissioner re J Venning’s carbon credit investment in Tahakopa Forest Trust (regitered with ETS).

            A similar complaint against J Venning resulted in him stepping aside from the Trinity case. I suspect that the Commissioner may have the power to vacate (void) the NZCSET decision if J Venning can be proved to be a beneficiary of the ETS scheme because he would have exercised very poor judgment in not recusing himself and the outcome would obviously be a miscarriage of justice. Even if he’s sold down his share he would still have potential allegiances enough to taint his impartiality.


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            Richard C (NZ)

            As it turns out, Geoffrey Venning or family has no current shares in Tahakopa Forest Trust Limited

            http://www.business.govt.nz/companies/app/ui/pages/companies/552192/16216215/entityFilingRequirement

            Closes the door on that avenue.


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    Steve Meikle

    In the Middle ages the only admissible experts on theology were catholic priests. The rest were by definition heretics and were burnt at the stake.

    This is what science (ie the activity of a clique who call themselves “scientists”) has come to.

    And they might wonder why I am skeptical of their claims.

    What is next? they will declare climate skepticism a mental illness and commit those who refuse the orthodox line?


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      Manfred

      Steve Meikle stated September 8, 2012 at 2:46 pm

      What is next? they will declare climate skepticism a mental illness and commit those who refuse the orthodox line?

      Hasn’t it already reached that shrill and desperate level? I watched a TVNZ programme in which some hapless family were identified for squandering electricity – in spite of the obvious, that they were literally paying dearly for the privilege. Never mind that 60% NZ power is hydro generated, they were committing a heinous carbon crime which required televised chastising and Orwellian re-education. They were obliquely labelled as eco-criminals and complete ignoramuses. ‘Salvation’ was offered by the programme team, replete with financial inducement, together with having to endure being force-fed a mind numbing series of catastrophic beliefs leading to, presumably, redemption. Had they been smokers as well, one feels they risked immediate deportation back to Australia (where they apparently came from).

      In disagreeing with the State sponsored view, one clearly walks to a different beat clearly labelled as ‘aberrant’ – an indiscernible step away from mental illness and criminality.


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    bananabender

    Why didn’t they use Garth Paltridge and William Kininmonth as expert witnesses? Both are expert (according to the legal definition) climate scientists as well as being sceptics.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garth_Paltridge

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Kininmonth_%28meteorologist%29


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    [...] leading Aussie skeptic blogger Jo Nova noted, “This decision is all the more preposterous given that even the highly questionable [...]

    ——————————————————————————————
    [This link is worth a read. Legal analyst and science writer, John O’Sullivan is co-founder and coordinator of Principia Scientific International (PSI) gives his take on the NZ decision. Mod]


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    RoyFOMR

    Pop along to Climate Audit to see what Steve McIntyre thinks about Prof Loo


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    John Brookes

    You guys have not chance.

    “NZ Climate Science Education Trust”

    Just how wanky does that sound? Still, I guess it was more catchy than “A group of disgruntled old blokes who don’t like what your saying”.

    BTW, I failed to stop for an elderly pedestrian when driving around a corner on the way to the shops. When I parked, this guy bailed me up and accused me of not seeing him. Of course I saw him, but I pointed out that I didn’t expect cars to give way to me when I was a pedestrian. He muttered something about “the arrogance of youth”. I could have kissed him. Fifty five years old, and at least someone things I’m young!


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      Myrrh

      Hmm, in the UK the pedestrian has the right of way in the situation you describe:

      “8
      At a junction. When crossing the road, look out for traffic turning into the road, especially from behind you. If you have started crossing and traffic wants to turn into the road, you have priority and they should give way (see Rule 170).” http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/TravelAndTransport/Highwaycode/DG_070108

      I think in principle roads are for pedestrians, and animals, except for roads especially built for motorised traffic only, pedestrians have right of way. Tempered of course by how sensible it is to claim it..

      The rules show another example of pedestrian claiming right of way, at zebra crossings cars don’t have to stop unless the pedestrian has first stepped into the road. This is a ‘designated area’ for what is still, I think, the principle that pedestrians have the right of way. Like ships giving way to sail. http://www.maritime.nsw.gov.au/sbh/safety_on_the_water/safety_on.html


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        Craig Thomas

        if you have started crossing and traffic wants to turn into the road, you have priority and they should give way

        Lack of driver training means few drivers are aware of this.
        I always give way to pedestrians when coming around a corner, and I find other drivers seem confused by this.


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        John Brookes

        They have the right of way in Australia too, but your really shouldn’t try and exercise that right. Its a road rule that should be changed.


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          Craig Thomas

          I disagree – they should be more choosy in handing out licences, and as part of that choosiness ensure that drivers are competent.


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          Myrrh

          That’s just silly. Someone crossing the road already has right of way, you coming around the corner shouldn’t be going at a speed which endagers them. You were clearly in the wrong. The pedestrian shouldn’t have to jump out of your way because you have bad driving habits.


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      Mark

      John, you should be worried! For once I agree with you.

      Nothing annoys me more than some stupid old codger who just charges across the street with head turned away from the oncoming traffic. As if to declare “I’m old (and senile), and won’t take responsibility for my own safety”.

      Myrrh, that you believe roads are for pedestrians is revealing. Where in the Motor Traffic Act of any jurisdiction is this stated?


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      Eddie Sharp

      JB says:

      He muttered something about “the arrogance of youth”. I could have kissed him. Fifty five years old, and at least someone things I’m young!

      Be careful not to get too attached to that feeling JB, or the roads of WA will become no-go for ambulant pensioners.


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    Steve Meikle

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/brian-rudman/news/article.cfm?a_id=1&objectid=10833373

    here is a warmist celebration of this same event, from the New Zealand Herald.

    Alas I got it from my best friend who is a warmist.

    Why, if they reject non climate scientists do they not reject AL Gore?


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    Richard Pearson

    ‘No true Scotsman’ is a fallacy of which the judge is guilty.


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    Sonny

    This is why I quit law and did engineering instead.

    The law is just the governments little bitch.


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    I still think the court should have been presented with and considered evidence that 25.5% of temperatures in the Seven Station series and 16.2% of temps in the 11 Station series recorded before Celsius metrication in 1971 were logged as whole Fahrenheit degrees (i.e. x.0F), suggesting consistent rounding with a probable downward bias that raises questions about the validity of the NIWA record before that year … http://www.waclimate.net/round/new-zealand-temperatures.html


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    [...] their options for appeal. A comment on Jo Nova’s site summarizes the judgement. Jaymez September 7, 2012 at 10:17 pm · [...]


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