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Which ‘climate science’ does Minister Smith accept?

25 January 2011
For immediate release

Which ‘climate science’ does Minister Smith accept?

Climate Change Issues Minister Nick Smith has been called on to amplify his statement to the New Zealand Herald’s Brian Fallow last Saturday: “We accept the science” relating to global warming and the forthcoming review later this year of the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).

Fallow had written: “The review, to be chaired by David Caygill, is a statutory requirement. It is expressly not to revisit the issues, debated at tedious length for at least the past decade, about whether New Zealand should be taking action on climate change at all or whether an emotions [sic] trading scheme is the most appropriate response.”

The call to Minister Smith comes from Hon Barry Brill, chairman of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition, and himself a former Minister of Energy and Minister of Science and Technology, who said: “Minister Nick Smith told the Herald ‘we accept the science.’ Fine. What science is that – the 2007 version (when the ETS Bill was introduced) or the 2011 version?

“Al Gore’s slogan ‘the science is settled’ has now well and truly passed into history. The US Government alone is budgeting $US10.6 million per day for new climate research during the current fiscal year. The UN’s IPCC is to be the subject of sweeping reforms. Closer to home, NIWA’s credibility is under severe strain.

“Within the past week, India’s influential Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh has released a new scientific paper showing that increases in the sun’s magnetic field has been the cause of much of the 0.75°C global warming recorded since 1960. Dr U R Rao, former chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation, says any contribution by CO2 is much less than the estimates of the IPCC – at least 44%.

The Hindustan Times has commented that “international climate science is mainly Western driven to support the view of the rich world that gases such as CO2 are the main contributor for global warming. Any scientific work challenging this view has been debunked as the work of skeptics.”

Mr Brill said that, in the past, the IPCC has consistently ignored solar magnetic fields and the impact of galactic cosmic rays (GCRs). But the chair of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Rajendra Pachauri, himself an Indian, has assured the Indian Government that the impact of these factors will now be studied in depth and reported upon in 2014.

Mr Brill added: “Major changes in the scientific world can hardly be ignored in the political world. The Caygill panel cannot form any authoritative view on whether the ETS is futile self-sacrifice, without considering the latest scientific advances. The present National-led government is wrong to eliminate in advance from the terms of the review any consideration of the many new questions of the now unsettled climate science, following the admissions by the IPCC of errors in its 2007 Assessment Review, and the revelations of fraudulently misleading climate claims in the leaked ‘Climategate’ emails.

“So we call on Minister Smith to justify his acceptance of what he terms ‘the science’ and to explain to New Zealanders in detail the science that he finds acceptable.

“Is it the science whose erroneous claim of the melting of Himalaya glaciers in a few years, was admitted by IPCC to be wrong?

“Is it the science of the University of East Anglia scientists in UK who conspired to thwart Freedom of Information Act requests for their data.

“Is it the science in which NIWA claims that its recent adjustment of its Seven Stations New Zealand temperature record received a positive peer-review by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) and that BoM had concluded that ‘the results and underlying methodology used by NIWA were sound’; when in fact the BoM’s actual statement was ‘that evidence provided by NIWA generally supports (but does not prove) the corrections they made.’

“If this is the kind of science that Minister Smith finds acceptable, then it is time that Prime Minister John Key stepped in to restore the integrity of the Government he leads, and suggests that Minister Smith act more like a realist and less like a propagandist.

“The very least that the Prime Minister can now do is to widen the terms of the Caygill review panel to allow it to take into account changes in the science that have come to light since 2007”, Mr Brill concluded.


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