Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Fact and fantasy

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  • Stewart, in reply to Farmer Green,

    How far up the Manawatu river are you swimming, Farmer?
    Before the slips the water coming through the gorge would have been fine for swimming and quite a few kms of the river downstream of the gorge would have likewise been OK, but it sure gets pretty toxic once it gets closer to the sea.

    It is silly (for any of us) to assume a river is homogeous along its length.

    Te Ika A Maui - Waitakere… • Since Oct 2008 • 572 posts Report Reply

  • Felix_felix,

    Hi Russell, long time reader. You mentioned "Some have even sought to have him sacked from his job at Massey University -- and been given short shrift by vice-chancellor Steve Maharey." Can you give a pointer to where Steve's defense is/was?
    I'm struggling to see anything from the VCs and it would be nice if someone had mentioned that Mike (and Uni researchers in general) have an obligation to be a "critic and conscience of society" Ed Act 162(4)(a)(v). Oh, and thanks for covering this..

    Welly • Since Nov 2012 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Russell Brown,

    If you are in no doubt then I am assured that you are indeed not a scientist.
    In an effort to encourage you to embrace uncertainty, and to take your rightful place as an unabashed sceptic in all matters, I submit extracts from recent letters to a NZ weekly , written by a very respected scientist :-

    "The globally averaged surface temperature peaked in 1998, and has been on a slight downward trend since then. If recent history has any lesson, it is that this trend will not change until 2025, and maybe even later if the current low solar activity persists.

    Although Arctic sea ice is at a recent minimum, Antarctic sea ice is at a recent maximum. This is at a time when CO2 emissions continue to rise faster than ever; proof that man-made CO2 is at best weakly coupled to the climate."

    And in a further letter he wrote:-
    ". . . there is a significant challenge to the strength of the AGW hypothesis appearing in the mainstream scientific literature in recent months, in favour of the role of the sun."

    Farmer Green has been keeping abreast of the emerging science and finds nothing to dispute in either of these excerpts.

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 487 posts Report Reply

  • Stewart, in reply to Farmer Green,

    Definitely not an average farmer : well below average stocking rate ; almost no fertiliser use for 25 years ; well above average profitability; possibly educationally advantaged ; anything but a collectivist.
    But still working (playing) 12 hour days , 7 days a week , 52 weeks a year.

    For this sir (if I am not assuming too much) I salute you! would that we had a greater percentage of farmers with a similar mindset.

    As someone esle commented, a number of the younger more educated farmers are far more aware of environmental and conservation matters. However, given that a lot of farms continue to be inherited down the family, shouldn't we be insisting that all farmers' children be educated in such subjects? (Fascist, much?)

    A mate of mine in Sth Canty farms and is constantly railing about the environmental constraints on farming, the compliance costs, etc but he knows it is the right thiing to do and he complies fully because he believes he is a custodian of the land he farms. He's also into some of the alternative bio-organic concepts which he claims have some veracity.

    Te Ika A Maui - Waitakere… • Since Oct 2008 • 572 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Farmer Green,

    a very respected scientist

    name?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16794 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Stewart,

    Swimming between Orini and P.N, but the occasional capsize of the Javelin in the Manawatu estuary produces no ill effects.
    Toxic? Hardly. Pristine? No way.
    Distance from source is a factor but flow rate according to seasonal and climatic cycles is a much larger effect .

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 487 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Sacha,

    Aah . A sceptic. :-)
    Michael Kelly - Prince Philip Professor of Technology, University of Cambridge, and visiting professor at the MacDiamid Institute V.U.W.

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 487 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Farmer Green,

    The globally averaged surface temperature peaked in 1998, and has been on a slight downward trend since then

    Wow, really? Peaked except for 2005 and 2010 which were warmer. And that downward general trend is what accounts for 9 of the 10 hottest years on record being post-2001?

    Farmer Green has been keeping abreast of the emerging science and finds nothing to dispute in either of these excerpts.

    Uh-huh...

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4369 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Stewart,

    A science education will suffice but is not as necessary as an openness to science and the scientific method. So probably early childhood education is where the emphasis should be. It's hard to beat literacy.
    Farmer Green did not study agriculture as such during his kindy years , rather Botany, Chemistry and Mathematics.

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 487 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Uh huh. Oh dear. Just refute the first statement: a Nobel prize awaits you.
    I'm sure that Michael Kelly will welcome your correction.

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 487 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Farmer Green,

    Ah. I trust the moderated world consensus via the IPCC. Take it up with them rather than waste our time here with outliers who deny what's going on.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16794 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg, in reply to Farmer Green,

    Michael Kelly

    Michael Kelly was one of the 16 scientists who signed the thoroughly umm, debunked opinon piece in the Wall Street Journal earlier this year - No Need to Panic About Global Warming

    And seriously:

    recent letters to a NZ weekly

    is not where I would expect to go looking for scientific guidance. There are journals for this kind of thing.

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • Felix_felix, in reply to Farmer Green,

    Hi Farmer Green, looks like your referring to comments by Prof. Mike Kelly FRS (Prince Philip Professor of Technology at the Centre for Advanced Photonics and Electronics at the University of Cambridge).

    He is indeed a very respected scientist, however he is, notably, not a climate scientist, and there's now a long run of physicists and engineers embarrassing themselves over claims about climate, e.g, Prof. RA Muller and the outcome of the Berkeley Earth Surface Temp project.

    Welly • Since Nov 2012 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Sacha,

    That’s fine. Farmer Green was once a theist.
    However , the science of climate is far from being exhaustive, and the reliable observations too few to make definitive statements about trends. Sometime after 2025 we may know( and it is greatly to be hoped) that the gradual warming since the end of the LIA continues unabated, it being presently masked by the current cool phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation.(since 1999)

    Talking of observations , anyone here care to tell of their experiences during the previous cool phase of the PDO from 1946 -1975?

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 487 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Michael Kelly – Prince Philip Professor of Technology, University of Cambridge

    From his web page:

    Michael Kelly studied Mathematics and Physics to MSc level at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand, and completed his PhD in solid state physics at Cambridge in 1974. After a further seven years as post-doc working on the electronic structure of metals and semiconductors, he joined the GEC Hirst Research Centre in 1981. While there he and his team developed two new families of microwave devices that went, and are still, in production with E2V Technologies at Lincoln. From 1992-2002 he was Professor of Physics and Electronics at the University of Surrey, including a term as Head of the School of Electronics and Physical Sciences. During 2003-5, we was the Executive Director of the Cambridge-MIT Institute, an £80M project which brings together academics from Cambridge and MIT to work on research, education and industrial outreach for the benefit of the UK economy.

    Here's his recent publications. The closest he seems to get to climate change is knowing a bit about how to design buildings to deal with it, doesn't seem to have published at all on how bad it is (or isn't) or what's causing it.

    I do despair.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6207 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Farmer Green,

    the reliable observations too few to make definitive statements about trends

    I'll take the experts, thanks. You're wasting your time.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16794 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Sacha,

    I wouldn't have mentioned it except that Russell asked : it was just courtesy. Time will tell and adaptation is what farmers do every day/season/year/ climate cycle.
    You'll have to forgive my equanimity.

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 487 posts Report Reply

  • Stewart, in reply to Farmer Green,

    A science education will suffice but is not as necessary as an openness to science and the scientific method. So probably early childhood education is where the emphasis should be. It's hard to beat literacy. Farmer Green did not study agriculture as such during his kindy years , rather Botany, Chemistry and Mathematics.

    You have inferred, perhaps, that I meant tertiary education. I meant education throughout life, not the latter part of school education.

    Thanks for your info re swimming in the Manawatu. Whats the riperian environment like between Palmerston North and the estuary? Is that stretch filtering out a lot of the contaminants?

    BTW Your syntax & sentence structure are unusual.

    Te Ika A Maui - Waitakere… • Since Oct 2008 • 572 posts Report Reply

  • richard,

    I suspect this comes under the heading of feeding the trolls.

    Not looking for New Engla… • Since Nov 2006 • 259 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Stewart,

    Hmmm, hang- over from the years of Latin and French?

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 487 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to richard,

    I suspect this comes under the heading of feeding the trolls.

    Trolls have been moved from under the bridge, and are currently in intensive care. Giardiasis and lactose intolerance :)

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1579 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green,

    What's the riparian environment like between Palmerston North and the estuary?


    The Manawatu river is now cut off from nearly all of the wetlands that it occupied in earlier times. So below P.N city there is little amelioration.
    Farmer Green doesn't have major concerns about the Manawatu, (compared to say, the Piako, Waitoa or Waihou rivers) and expects that recent moves by Horizons (One Plan) will produce steady improvement.
    Farmer Green would love to see an end to the sewage outfalls at Norsewood, Dannevirke, Pahiatua, Ashhurst and P.N. but the main enrichment is still nitrate from nutrient overload on soils caused by high stocking rates.

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 487 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    Giardiasis showed little seasonality. The highest rates were among children 0–9 years old, those 30–39 years old, Europeans, and those living in low deprivation areas. Notification rates were slightly higher in rural areas. The correlation between giardiasis and farm animal density was NOT significant at the TA level.

    Conclusions :
    The public health importance of giardiasis to New Zealand mainly comes from its relatively high rates in this country. The distribution of cases is consistent with largely anthroponotic (human) reservoirs, with a relatively SMALL contribution from zoonotic sources in rural environments and a modest contribution from overseas travel. Prevention efforts could include continuing efforts to improve hand washing, nappy handling, and other hygiene measures and travel health advice relating to enteric infections.

    The NZ Medical Journal.

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 487 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    I do despair.

    Can I recommend a book?
    Creed For the Third Millenium

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 487 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Farmer Green,

    The globally averaged surface temperature peaked in 1998, and has been on a slight downward trend since then.

    Anyone who makes that argument basically disqualifies themselves. It only works if you start your series in 1998. Start it in, say, 1970, and see how your graph looks.

    And this ...

    However , the science of climate is far from being exhaustive, and the reliable observations too few to make definitive statements about trends.

    Is just complete nonsense.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18991 posts Report Reply

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