Energy Editorials

August 15th, 2008 at 8:20 am by David Farrar

This is quite amusing:

NZ Herald: Laudable unity on energy goals

The Press: Energy divide

So what do they say beyond the headlines. The Herald:

Broad long-term agreement on matters is a decided plus for a country that has become uncomfortably accustomed to the threat of power shortages. The Party’s support yesterday of the Government’s 2007 strategy, notably the target of 90 per cent renewable electricity generation by 2025, and an emissions trading scheme is, therefore, welcome. This is not an instance where the National Party should be criticised for saying ‘me, too’. Security of supply is too important for that.

National has correctly identified that the major obstacle to such security is the lack of clear and consistent rules to encourage power companies to invest in new water, wind, geothermal, tidal and other renewable generation. Its major remedy is an urgent reworking of the Resource Management Act. It would introduce priority consenting for large power projects, as well as streamlining the working of the act and putting an end to frivolous objections. Priority consenting would mean consents would be “called in” and determined centrally, and a decision would be made within nine months. Other details have not been announced, and National must ensure the balance does not swing too far against community interests.

If we do not want more coal or thermal stations, we need to make it easier to get wind farms and hydro plants. Just vainly hoping our energy demand grows half as quickly as it has historically is not much of a strategy.

:

For Labour, the focus is on renewable energy, and particularly on a new concept, “reversibility”. For National, with the memory fresh in everyone’s mind of the third winter in recent years in which energy security has skirted close to a crisis, the focus is meeting present needs and preparing for those of the future.

The reality is that Labour’s focus on renewable energy has been rhetoric. 75% of new capacity under Labour has been thermal.

The difficulty with renewable sources of energy, however, is that no matter how much people may profess to admire the concept, they run into the same problems as other energy projects no-one seems to want one anywhere near them. Wind turbine projects, large and small, up and down the country have met ferocious resistance. And the revival by Contact Energy of proposals for more hydro dams on the Clutha River, while welcomed by some, has also prompted a threat of determined opposition by others.

And David Parker has ruled any future Clutha dams out.

National is selling its energy policy as an integral part of its plan to try to lift the country’s productivity growth. Productivity growth, which is crucial to economic prosperity, has sagged badly under the present Government and National believes, probably correctly, that secure and efficient electricity supply is essential to help try to revive it. Whether it can achieve this while paying more than lip-service to environmental commitments remains to be seen.

One has to have sufficient secure electricity. The environmental issues around certain forms of energy will partly be met by a workable Emissions Trading Scheme which sets a price for carbon.

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45 Responses to “Energy Editorials”

  1. Vyvyan (17 comments) says:

    Parker has ruled any further Clutha damns out? Then why did I hear something earlier this week about the dam project at Beaumont being raised from the dead yet again?

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  2. Vyvyan (17 comments) says:

    Ah sorry, I really should read things better. But the Beaumont dam has always been meet by huge opposition. Why would they bring it up again after its already not gone ahead once?

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  3. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    Planned hydro projects here:
    http://www.stoprodneypowerstation.org/documents/Planned_Generation_Projects.pdf

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  4. davidp (3,580 comments) says:

    I don’t see how we can encourage productivity growth while having an energy strategy (renewables and carbon trading) that will see NZ having some of the most expensive electricity in the world. The only way it can even vaguely work is if you assume significant depopulation.

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  5. Nigel Kearney (986 comments) says:

    The Herald editorial is a complete non-sequitur.

    How does an agreement on 90 per cent renewable generation and an emissions trading scheme do anything to address the problem of supply? Nationa has said ‘me too’ to policies that make the problem worse. There is now bipartisan support for proposals that do the opposite of achieving security of supply.

    It is true that reworking (or even better, abolishing) the RMA is essential. However those reforms don’t have bipartisan support and will be gone by lunchtime if a Labour/Green govt gets back in.

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  6. goodgod (1,348 comments) says:

    An ETS has no place whatsoever in a country that struggles to supply it’s own basic domestic and industrial electricity and whose economy is in a downturn. ETS is for China, Germany, United States, Britain, Italy, France.

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  7. insider (1,028 comments) says:

    It’s a big myth we have an insecure power system. Despite what Brian Leyland and Brownlee say, we aren;t going home each night with the prospect of not having lights on, unlike some countries. How many times have those guys called “blackout” this year? How many times were they correct?

    All systems have failures, all systems have stress at times. NZ is no different. Water is the stress factor. But we are naive to expect that additional security will have no cost. So how much are you willing to pay for a 1 or 2% improvement, because the cost is going to be a damn sight (or shoudl that be dam site?) more than 1 or 2% on your power bill

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  8. Bryan Spondre (225 comments) says:

    “Productivity growth, which is crucial to economic prosperity, has sagged badly under the present Government and National believes, probably correctly, that secure and efficient electricity supply is essential to help try to revive it. ”

    Absolutely, I suspect most people would rather have money in their pockets and the lights on than be living in the eco-socialist paradise that Helen Clark and Jeanette Fitzsimmons are desperate to create ( so they can score cushy jobs at the UN.) Have a look at the market pricing signals : there are plenty of reasons to build new supply.

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  9. goodgod (1,348 comments) says:

    Comalco regulary shutting down part of it’s operations for electricity conservation sure isn’t a myth. Telling people the cost of a new dam is not going to be offset by the increased profit associated with growth is a myth though.

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  10. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    Guess i’ll start spamming this around:

    Consents granted to:

    Hydro: 17, 16 = 33MW
    Geothermal 220 (’called in’), 23, 90, 132, 15 = 480MW
    Gas: 200
    Wind: 225, 30, 46, 1.8, 240, 102 (’called in’), 48, 20, 84 = 796MW!

    Total 1509MW consented or called in, which I think is just as good (?). There are a lot more ‘under appeal’ etc..

    1300+MW are planned, according to Transpower…
    http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/transpower-chief-new-projects-will-outpace-electricity-demand-33153

    With only(?) 150MW to 200MW of new generation a year required, how can National improve this?

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  11. insider (1,028 comments) says:

    goodgod

    AFAIK Comalco shut down production only for the part that was exposed to the spot market. ie they took a commercial risk and reacted when the price got too high. Are you saying all users should permanently fund surplus capacity so the prices for a single company don’t rise? Wouldn’t it be more efficient for Comalco to reduce demand temporarily to benefit all consumers?

    stephen

    more to the point, who would build more capacity than the market can absorb when that will lower returns? ANd who is best placed to decide that – politicians or players? That’s one of the big problems I see with the nat policy – blithely promising that they will ensure more can be built to lower prices, but what if the commercial generators see no benefit in doing so, are the govt going to force the construction of plant? On past experience wiht both parties that is likely to be a financial disaster.

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  12. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    Bryan, would you agree that the further a thread goes on Kiwiblog, the higher the chance that someone will refer to an NZ political figure aspiring to work at the UN, despite hearing absolutely nothing from that figure on the matter EVER?

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  13. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,746 comments) says:

    What we have here with the National “Me too” energy policy is an acknowledged desire by the National party hierarchy to lock in the losses to the economy Labour has achieved over the last nine years and ensure that New Zealand swaps places with the Eastern European economies. They rise up the standard of living ladder and
    New Zealand falls down it.

    Don’t forget the wave as you see those successful East European economies fly past us. Your kids will be working there.

    My handle “OECD rank 22 kiwi” couldn’t be more apt. After six to nine years of the new National government it is more like to be @OECD rank 24 kiwi” :D

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  14. Bryan Spondre (225 comments) says:

    insider: “Despite what Brian Leyland and Brownlee say, we aren;t going home each night with the prospect of not having lights on, unlike some countries. How many times have those guys called “blackout” this year? How many times were they correct?”

    Remember the Auckland CBD electricity supply failure in 1997 ? That was a consequence of the Resource Management act delaying the construction of a tunnel and additional supply capacity into the Auckland CBD. Members of the Green Party might be happy to cook over a wood stove and go to bed by candle light but having spent a numbers years in a previous lifestyle working in the electricity supply industry I can assure them that they are the exception.

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  15. insider (1,028 comments) says:

    Bryan

    Are you sure about that? I thought it was due to some engineering decisions and overloads on a circuits. But it was 10 years ago and a localised network issue rather than indicative of a national situation, which is what we were talking about.

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  16. getstaffed (9,186 comments) says:

    I become concerned when a government feels to the need to indoctrinate 4m citizens with hydo lake level graphs regularly on TV… presumably preparing to attribute any power shortage on the unpredictability of the weather. I guess now the lakes are filling up we’ll be assured of supply because of sound planning and governance?

    Also, one of the things that differentiates developed nations from developing nations is certainty of supply of essential services: security, food, power, affordable housing and an expanding economy. I’m with OECD in his/her assessment of where headed.

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  17. PhilBest (5,121 comments) says:

    “stephen”, is the ETS intended to price fossil-fuel-generated power off the market, or not? It is all very well to say that we have “enough” new wind farms and hydro dams consented or called in, to meet expected growth. BUT, we are faced with price increases in our electricity, as a result of political policy. 1) The ETS will force up the price of fossil-fuel-generated electricity, AND 2) Wind generated electricity is expensive. It is also not reliable, and will also face increasing opposition the more windfarms there are all over our landscape.

    Basically, if National were to study Horowitz and use the Left’s tactics against them, they’d be chanting “This government cares more about snails than human beings” ad nauseum. It is absurd if the issues have been so defined by the Left and the Greens and their media allies, that reform af the RMA is not a sure-fire vote winner.

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  18. insider (1,028 comments) says:

    That ‘certainty’ has never existed and will likely never exist in any power system in the world. Even if you could get it you would pay a lot. How much are you willing to pay each and every minute of the day to manage a risk that might come up rarely? Look at the US. Every year they get mass power failures in winter. They could engineer these issues out but they know that would be prohibitively expensive so they live wiht it.

    Also be careful of vested interests trying to socialise their risks. Funny how plenty of industries complain about reliability then shift to China, India or Bangkok – hardly the paragon of supply reliability – showing there is a tradeoff somewhere.

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  19. casual watcher (289 comments) says:

    I think we are doing just fine as we are – lets keep exporting coal (and jobs) to Asia and apply for all the ignorant ostrich awards the UN are handing out. Bugger Comalco – they are a greedy and corrupt multinational – they are not important and nor is Invercargill. These new light bulbs are bloody good – so long as they don’t burn your house down. ETS is a fantastic idea because we are such masochists in NZ and the harder things are, the Purer we become in the idealogical fantasy world we are such an important part of. And the whole thing is Bush’s fault anyway !! Fucking hell – this is just not sustainable – I’m off !!

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  20. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    philbest, the ETS is not meant to price FFs off the market, but to make them internalise the costs they have previously been externalising to the world, and since we signed up to Kyoto, to the NZ taxpayer – the ‘real’ cost if you like. Paying this ‘real’ cost levels the playing field somewhat – kind of like removing a subsidy – and then whatever power sources are the most economic will be built by whoever, subject to whatever RMA rules happen to apply at the time.

    Obviously wind power is economical (relative to local conditions of course) or we wouldn’t have had so many being built over the past few years. As for the future:

    without any consideration of carbon charges for fossil-fuel powered forms of electricity generation, the domestic wind industry is already directly competitive with fossil fuel-based forms of generation. Not only that – costs continue to be driven downwards due to further technological advances and scale economies: the CEO of Vestas (www.vestas.com), one of the largest turbine manufacturers in the world, has publicly stated that he expects turbine costs to be reduced at an annual rate of 3-5% for the foreseeable future.

    Take that with as big a pinch of salt as you want, seeing as who wrote it-
    http://www.windenergy.org.nz/FAQ/cost_wind.htm

    Am fairly optimistic about the market providing lower cost power relative to the real cost of fossil fuel generation.

    Wind is reliable in the sense that wind can be predicted, and is more consistent than rain. The gist of the wind industry’s plan is for wind to be integrated with the ‘batteries’ that we possess in terms of a lot of hydro generation – when it blow, reduce the flow; when it doesn’t increase the flow. Helps that there is quite a bit of geothermal baseline around.

    I would think that with the list I showed before “reform af the RMA is not a sure-fire vote winner.” is the reason that it is NOT a surefire vote winner, except for property developers and those who want to lobby politicians for ‘hurrying up’ their particular electricity development.

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  21. Owen McShane (1,226 comments) says:

    “Reversability” is the most inane idea I have ever heard – except maybe for “Sustainability” – but I suppose they are ideological twins or clones.

    Reversability essentially wipes out major hydro dams.
    But why would anyone want to tear up a hydro dam?
    Is Lake Karapiro a blot on the landscape?
    Hydro dams provide wonderful lakes and provide great recreation areas for inland towns and settlements.
    Do they really wear out?

    I just don ‘t get it. Please enlighten me.

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  22. PhilBest (5,121 comments) says:

    ABSOLUTELY, Owen. We have had this point so around the wrong way, it is laughable. Are lakes things of beauty and utility, or not?

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  23. dave strings (608 comments) says:

    whatever power sources are the most economic will be built

    Unless:

    I don’t like the look,smell,feel,style,locationormotivatingpowerofit!

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  24. davidp (3,580 comments) says:

    Stephen>the ETS is not meant to price FFs off the market, but to make them internalise the costs they have previously been externalising to the world

    This externality is an imaginary externality. CO2 is a harmless gas which is a requirement for plant growth. Computer models suggested that increased CO2 was warming the atmosphere. An erroneous “hockey stick” theory that has been debunked suggested that increased CO2 would cause run away global warming. But in the real world, CO2 has been increasing while temperatures have been stable and decreasing. That would suggest it was time to revise those computer models so that they accurately model the real world… Not to codify those dodgy computer models in to legislation via an ETS.

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  25. PhilBest (5,121 comments) says:

    It is a complete mystery to me why so many Greenies are pro windpower and anti hydro. But some of them, I notice, are prominently involved in anti-windfarm activism in their own backyards. This seems a bit more consistent to me.

    I personally predict that it is WINDFARMS that will be being torn down in a decade or two. At least they are more “reversible” than a hydro dam. I am a technology optimist, and I do believe that windpower will become increasingly economic, but I believe that “tomorrow’s technology” will be something completely new and exciting, not prehistoric technology developed to its modern-day limits.

    I DO see a future, though, for cheap, mass-produced rooftop wind turbines. Imagine if the prices of them followed those of power tools in recent years, and we could pop down to our Warehouse or Mitre 10 to buy a new wind turbine. Same for solar panels. Energy independence at the level of the CONSUMER, though, is not so fondly regarded by big business and politicians, is it?

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  26. PhilBest (5,121 comments) says:

    By the way, “Renewable and Nuclear Heresies” by Jesse Ausubel, is a “must-read” on this subject.

    http://phe.rockefeller.edu/docs/HeresiesFinal.pdf

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  27. Bryan Spondre (225 comments) says:

    “I thought it was due to some engineering decisions and overloads on a circuits. ” The sub-transmission cables from the Penrose point of supply into the CBD zone substations had been problematic for some time. There was a plan to reinforce/replace them by boring a tunnel from Penrose into the Hobson Street substation and installing new cables. The work was held up by resource consent issues and unfortunately the summer a/c load was to great for the elderly cables to handle.

    I was working as the operations manager at Counties Power when it happened. Temperatures were unusually high that summer for Auckland, peaking at 34 degrees C some days. I was talking with a control room operator employed by Transpower the following day: he said they were watching the load on the old cables rising in the hours before it happened and said it was likely watching a car crash in slow motion.

    Localised network issue ? No, failure of an 11kV circuit into downtown Ekatahuna is localised, failure of all the subtransmission cables into New Zealands economic centre due to the politically ideological resource management act is a national issue.

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  28. insider (1,028 comments) says:

    Owen

    you just don;t understand. Landscape has to be ‘unspoilt’. Ridgelines are iconic and cannot be interfered with. Humanity’s practical needs come second to the esoteric.

    More interestingly, I wonder where this reversability concept has come from. There has been nothing I have seen discussing the concept before it;s announcement. Who was driving that secret agenda? But Labour now want to ban thermal and ban hydro. Not a huge amount left. The best provider of security is diversity of supply.

    Bryan

    The other way to look at that issue is that someone knew about the risks for sometime and failed to act responsibly by ensuring it was managed appropriately. That combined with an extreme weather event. I’m wondering if it is a bit convenient to blame the RMA for what may be management issues. Plenty of things get built. If mercury couldn;t get their act together, is that necessarily the law’s fault?

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  29. insider (1,028 comments) says:

    Bryan

    PS – I just scanned throught the investigation exec summary on the acukland blackout, the RMA was never mentioned. What was identified was that Mercury managed their assets and risks poorly, even though they had identified the issues nearly 10 years prior http://www.med.govt.nz/upload/23701/executive_summary.pdf

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  30. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    I’ve just been reading an old article about Simon MacKenzie of Vector networks – he was charged with finding out what caused the blackout. He now uses part of the faulty cable as a desk ornament.

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  31. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    Vector have a mini turbine next to their headquarters in Newmarket which has caused them to be innundated with calls about buying one…no doubt they’re working on it.

    You might know about farmers leasing turbines to power companies already philbest, but anyway:
    http://edition.cnn.com/2000/NATURE/06/14/wind.power/

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  32. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    davidp, I suggest you venture outside of whatever echo chamber you normally frequent for your science and see if there are any ‘counterpoints’ (heard of them?) to the points you raise.

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  33. davidp (3,580 comments) says:

    Stephen>I suggest you venture outside of whatever echo chamber you normally frequent for your science and see if there are any ‘counterpoints’ (heard of them?) to the points you raise.

    Been there. Done that. The counterpoints don’t stand up to scrutiny.

    The climate change industry has spent $50billion since 1990 trying to prove their theories. They haven’t. But Al Gore has made $100million out of it, so at least someone is profiting.

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  34. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    lovely. how is the hockey stick graph a theory again?

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  35. davidp (3,580 comments) says:

    Stephen>how is the hockey stick graph a theory again?

    All the gory details:

    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2008/8/11/caspar-and-the-jesus-paper.html

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  36. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    I meant: gravity is a theory in that a theory is an explanation for an observed phenomenon: the theory of gravity suggests an explanation for what keeps us from floating away, through suggesting that the forces exerted through the by planet mass affecting objects around it etc. You seem to suggest a bunch of temperature measurements are a theory, when they are in fact empirical fact.

    Your source looks suspiciously like some guy’s blog. Not where I would go for anything remotely scientific unless it was written by say a practising scientist in the relevant field.

    Whatever the strengths or weaknesses of the original Mann paper a decade ago, every study since has supported the general conclusion: that global temperatures have sharply increased lately, and are the planet is currently warmer than any time in the last few thousand years.

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  37. davidp (3,580 comments) says:

    >You seem to suggest a bunch of temperature measurements are a theory, when they are in fact empirical fact.

    The hockey stick is a prediction for the future. It turns out to be a prediction that was not backed up by rigorously analysed evidence. I don’t think anyone still believes it to be true.

    >Not where I would go for anything remotely scientific unless it was written by say a practising scientist in the relevant field.

    It’s a summary of events surrounding the publication, or non publication, of scientific papers. It also describes the politics surrounding the publication process. That isn’t the sort of discussion that is going to be presented in a peer reviewed journal. The comments are open tho if you want to dispute the factual basis of anything presented.

    >and are the planet is currently warmer than any time in the last few thousand years.

    Except for 1000 years ago, when Greenland was an attractive destination for immigrants. And 1934, which was the hottest year recently. And 1998, which was hotter than any year since. Evidence that all suggests that a planet bouncing out of an ice age will warm, but that this warming will be subject to the solar cycles that created the ice age in the first place.

    Global warming believers keep making predictions. Those predictions are usually wrong. You shouldn’t ignore these failings and insist that we react on the basis that they were actually right.

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  38. PhilBest (5,121 comments) says:

    Stephen, there is “old media” and “new media”. The article on “Bishop’s Hill” blog that davidP links to, is an outstanding example of “new media”. Read it, and come back to us and try to explain that the tactics of the “hockey stick” promoters are right and ethical – there’s a good chap.

    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2008/8/11/caspar-and-the-jesus-paper.html

    EVERYBODY, that is a B. fine read. Thanks, davidP. A nod to “Climate Debate Daily”, I suppose that’s where you first saw it too?

    The politicised chicanery that is AGW “science”, eh? ” “. ” “. ” “. I wish it was possible to capitalise quotation marks or put them in bold type. Imaginative readers, just visualise me holding my hands up in front of me and wiggling the second and third fingers of both hands as I say the word, “science”…….

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  39. PhilBest (5,121 comments) says:

    And while we’re on the subject of what people can read about AGW “science”, try the following:

    REPORTS AND ARTICLES – Google them yourself –

    (- davidP: the first on this list is the “Wegman report” that one of the commenters on the Bishop Hill blog refers to, saying that he’d like to see it’s findings incorporated into the timeline of the Bishop Hill article.)

    Edward J. Wegman et al: “Ad Hoc Committee Report (To the US Senate Committee on Energy and Commerce and the US Senate Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations) on the Hockey Stick Global Climate Reconstruction” (THIS IS SHOCKING READING)

    Tim Ball: GLOBAL WARMING SERIES (Excellent – best of their type yet)
    Part 1: Environmental Extremism
    Part 2: Historical and philosophical context of the climate change debate.
    Part 3: How the world was misled about global warming and now climate change
    Part 4: How UN structures were designed to prove human CO2 was causing global warming
    Part 5: Wreaking Havoc on Global Economies
    Part 6: The Hockey Stick scam that heightened global warming hysteria
    Part 7: The Unholy Alliance that manufactured Global Warming
    Part 8: UN’s IPCC preying on people’s ignorance
    Part 9: Carbon Taxes: Hand over your money! “We are saving you from yourself”
    Part 10: Environmentalists Seize Green Moral High Ground Ignoring Science
    Part 11: Maurice Strong Politics 101

    Vincent Gray: “Spinning the Climate”

    S. Fred Singer et al: “Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate”

    John McLean: “Peer Review? What Peer Review?”

    Jack Welch: “NIWA Scientists have become propagandists”

    Brian Sussman: “James Hansen: Abusing the Public Trust”

    Laurence Solomon: “The Deniers”

    Ray Evans: “The Chilling Costs of Climate Catastrophism”

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  40. davidp (3,580 comments) says:

    PhilBest>Thanks, davidP. A nod to “Climate Debate Daily”, I suppose that’s where you first saw it too?

    I think Andrew Bolt linked to it a few days ago and that is where I saw it. I find the commentary concerning the politics of journal publishing to be fascinating. You sort of imagine a lot of critical and unbiased scientists determining the validity of theories using unambiguous data. But in actual fact, science is just as status conscious and money driven as anything else we do. Notice the reluctance of the people involved to release their raw data for independent analysis… it is all about maintaining a monopoly on a particular field of research, and a reluctance to be proved wrong. It’s not too far advanced from this Bigfoot story that has been in the media the last few days… they’re going to release photos and DNA results, but the unambiguous evidence of the body (which they supposedly have in a freezer) is going to be under wraps while they study it further. Yeah right!

    I vaguely recall that some of the NASA evidence in favour of AGW turned out to be a Y2K problem. But the guys who found this to be the case essentially had to reverse engineer the data, because NASA refused to release the raw version.

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  41. PhilBest (5,121 comments) says:

    davidP, this debate has got going a bit more 2 threads up from this one. Could you please go there and take over, I need to be gone for a while now……..

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  42. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    davidp,

    4:05 pm: The hockey stick is a prediction for the future. It turns out to be a prediction that was not backed up by rigorously analysed evidence. I don’t think anyone still believes it to be true.

    Really? These are the only places i’ve seen the Hockey Stick(s):
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=7#figures
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/ipcc2007/fig6-10b.png
    and the relentless DeSmogBLog http://www.desmogblog.com/this-is-not-a-hockey-stick, which has one that goes to 2005.
    and the detailed paleoclimate section of the IPPC report, but that’s a really big download.

    …and they don’t seem to predict anything, as they are records (and simulations for some reason) that stop at 2000. The latest readings are of course:

    GISS: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/news/topstory/2006/2006_warm.html

    and HADCRUT: http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/

    It’s a summary of events surrounding the publication, or non publication, of scientific papers. It also describes the politics surrounding the publication process. That isn’t the sort of discussion that is going to be presented in a peer reviewed journal. The comments are open tho if you want to dispute the factual basis of anything presented.

    Quite right, I didn’t even look at it before. It is certainly unseemly and I’ll keep an eye out for news relating to it since it’s pretty recent – but what are the ramifictations?

    Except for 1000 years ago, when Greenland was an attractive destination for immigrants. And 1934, which was the hottest year recently. And 1998, which was hotter than any year since. Evidence that all suggests that a planet bouncing out of an ice age will warm, but that this warming will be subject to the solar cycles that created the ice age in the first place.

    You’re way off with 1934 – that was the US, not the world. 1998 is second to 2005, according to GISS’s handy table above.

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  43. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    4:15 pm philbest, like i showed above, there are many many recent historical and paleoclimatic reconstructions around, so what changes? Observing known laws of physics = greenhouse gases leading to warming. CO2 is not the only GHG, obviously different factors all over the place. I don’t really think anyone is leaning on the hockey stick graphs(s) as the basis for AGW, probably why it’s so far back in the IPCC report, maybe.

    ‘new media’ certainly has a very legitimate role in reporting on events, as this guy shows, and opinionating on politics and morals etc, but not so much in science, seeing how specialised it is, obviously.

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  44. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    Link-filled comment preceding the above is awaiting moderation…

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  45. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    davidp, 5:33 pm

    ‘Publish or perish’ is the mantra you refer to, something of a problem when funding is tied to what has been published, and the citings for the paper that was published. People say that ‘more research is needed’ about climate change, but then others say ‘so much money is spent on research and that is what scientists are motivated by’. Not sure how to reconcile the two.

    I vaguely recall that some of the NASA evidence in favour of AGW turned out to be a Y2K problem. But the guys who found this to be the case essentially had to reverse engineer the data, because NASA refused to release the raw version.

    A mixup over data corrections with the NOAA or something…
    http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/20070810_LightUpstairs.pdf

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