JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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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 [...]

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

The Australians must have said something awful.

In the never ending quest to hide information that the taxpayer paid for, the New Zealand trial of skeptics vs alarmists is rising to new heights.

This is a legal case asking for discovery of documents, which is much harder to dodge than a simple FOI. Yet NIWA are putting in an Olympic effort to hide what the Australian BOM (their allies?) have said about their work.

The bottom line is that the NIWA team peer reviewed Australia’s new ACORN temperature set and endorsed it as being “worlds best practice” which (judging by what we’ve seen) it clearly is. What a damning review. The NIWA practice is so bad, that even the Australian BOM can’t return the favor and pretend to say something good about it.

NIWA (New Zealand’s National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research) is the official New Zealand organization responsible for climate pronouncements. They pronounced that the country had warmed almost 1°C during the twentieth century, but, oh dear, when skeptics looked, the raw data showed a rise of only 0.23°C  in the same time period. And in the full record, the trend was only a  0.06°C per century since [...]

New Zealand – Where did that warming go?

UPDATED (below)

Think of this as a car crash. NIWA says: “The car’s fine, there’s nothing wrong with it.”

Then: “We can’t find the keys (actually we’ve lost the car)”.

Later: “We weren’t driving it”.

Finally: “The car doesn’t exist”.

There’s a litany of excuses. The National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) claims New Zealand has been warming at 0.92°C per 100 years. But when some independent minded chaps in New Zealand graphed the raw NZ data, they found that the thermometers show NZ has only warmed by a statistically non-significant 0.06°C. They asked for answers and got nowhere, until they managed to get the light of legal pressure onto NIWA to force it to reply honestly. Reading between the lines, it’s obvious NIWA can’t explain or defend the adjustments.

Richard Treadgold was one of that team and wrote it up here.

The legal documents:

August 2010: The NZ Climate Science Coalition’s put together legal claims.

The NZCSC filed judicial review proceedings against NIWA, requesting the Court to:

• Declare the 7SS invalid • Direct NIWA to prepare [...]