Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: No Friends of Science

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  • merc,

    I Like Rain, great single. After The Rain, pretty good single. We love the rain because that's where our water for home comes from. It's pretty neat when it rains when you're surfing, until the lightening comes (yes some have died) and the fins...surfing means you are in the elements literally, so we like weather good forecasters.
    Factoid, swell forecasting was developed by the US Coastguard during WW2 in the Pacific due to serious failures landing LPV's on reef fringed islands on seemingly fine, clear and otherwise mild weather days...imagine 20 foot, long period wave sets grinding you into some remote reef while being fired upon.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2468 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    Well....that was the water this is the sea

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 699 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Curtis,

    The only climate change deniers are those who do believe all the catastrophe AND still drive in cars or fly in planes.

    And if all the science is so great why has the Australian National Tidal Data centre at Flinders University handed their data over to the Bureau of Metrology who now hide ( the lack of any real sea level rise around Australia) the data behind password protection and approved researchers.
    Same with the Hadley centre in England who give the Annual ( in Nov) World Average temperature. Try and check what is warming and what is cooling and you are out luck.
    Of Course Hadley had to rename themselves the 'near surface' temperature centre since the 70% of the planet that is ocean has the water temperature measured not the air temperature.
    Naturally the Antarctic getting colder is ignored , since they measure the stratosphere when it suits them. Or the Antarctic peninsular ( 5% of the land mass).

    Had to laugh at the NIWA 'prediction' of the glaciers receding in Westland, while the Franz is currently advancing ! ( no mention that the glacial maximum was reached in about 1830 which was the end of the Little Ice Age)
    Of course any place getting colder is allways due to other 'other' factors.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 183 posts Report Reply

  • Riddley Walker,

    things get a bit cold around here when John Key comes on the telly.
    i would to be lolling about in a landing craft under fire. i would rather be in the water in the rain.

    AKL • Since Feb 2007 • 890 posts Report Reply

  • Haldane Dodd,

    The Herald's Your Views section astonished me when I read it yesterday. Living and working in Geneva, I could not imagine the same mix of comments coming from a European audience. The debate is so hot here (excuse the pun), and particularly in the UK, that the problem is taken as almost given - save a few exceptions such as the Channel 4 'documentary'. That said, as I am involved on the periphery of the climate change issue with my job, it was interesting to see how the debate is being shaped on the other side of the world. Although we are an international organisation, I can't help but think that our perceptions of public sentiment are tainted slightly by where we live.

    Would the Herald's respondants be typical of New Zealander's current thinking, or is this just the people with too much time of their hands?

    Geneva • Since Mar 2007 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    The Waterboys have a new album out and according to Mr Reid it's a goody. Yes, sitting on an outer reef in the rain in tropical paradise as part of the food chain is very cool. However, back to the sort of serious stuff, because we are a couple of islands at the bottom of the world with alot of coastline and global pretensions, we make a big deal out of these sorts of issues.
    But who cares that our own harbour is polluted and unsafe after rain, the inner harbour reefs are dead, they still mine sand at Pakiri and Te Arai is about to be trashed. Oh and we don't have an adequate stormwater system separated from the sewerage "system", bla, bla. global warming starts at home.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2468 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    Would the Herald's respondants be typical of New Zealander's current thinking, or is this just the people with too much time of their hands?

    Garth George's column has been so absurd for so long that he simply isn't worth taking seriously. And the same goes for his fan club, who love every PCGM cliche they can regurgitate. There comes a point where your reaction has gone past outrage, past rebuttal, past even ridicule, to an indulgent smile and a turn of the page. He's like the old uncle in the corner who you used to argue with but now you just make him another cuppa and carry on with whatever you're doing, tuning him out as background noise.

    Anyway, I think the answer to your question is that public opinion is not with George, and the tide is only going in one direction - not his.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 688 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Anyone hear Jim Hopkins on The Panel today, same sort of weird knowallism couched as reverse humour. But Simon, you're right, but how long, how flipping long...Jim reckoned the whole climate change report simply said that NZ's Coasts would rise 70mm over the next 40 years, he was so funny (I almost died) he suggested to the other panalist and Jim that they go and buy a bottle of Twink(tm) because, and this is the ripper...it's only 70mm high! So it's all just a bottle of Twink(tm), nothing more, hahhhah Jim, you're a one.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2468 posts Report Reply

  • Mike Frew,

    what gets me is the introverted kiwi-centric she'll be right attitude exemplified by the likes of jim hopkins and miss westland.

    we may be miles away from anywhere buy the global context has been dropped by all but those who write for liberal cantabrians (pacific refugees in the press).

    with garth george, augie, jim, and miss westland getting significant airtime on this i can see how we're percieved by some as oz's poor cousin.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Welcome, Haldane.

    Would the Herald's respondants be typical of New Zealander's current thinking, or is this just the people with too much time of their hands?

    Don't forget it's a "selection" of readers' views; about as useful an indication of anything as a Close-up "poll". My brilliantly scathing response, for one, missed the cut.


    Merc,
    that station has gone to the dogs in the arvo. Jim Mora seems proud to be ignorant about everything, including any sense of balance. Jim Hopkins vs. Muriel Newman? Sheesh.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Crawford,

    Had to laugh at the NIWA 'prediction' of the glaciers receding in Westland, while the Franz is currently advancing ! ( no mention that the glacial maximum was reached in about 1830 which was the end of the Little Ice Age)

    Sorry Steve Curtis but you are wrong. The Glacial maximum for Franz Josef was when it used to stick out into the Tasman Sea about 15 000 years ago. Yes it has advanced and retreated a few time since then. And yes it is currently advancing. However the overall general trend is retreat. Wait a couple of years and it will start retreating again.

    I predict that NIWA's prediction will come true,

    Otepoti • Since Dec 2006 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Riddley Walker,

    Jim Hopkins on The Panel today ... that station has gone to the dogs in the arvo. Jim Mora seems proud to be ignorant about everything, including any sense of balance

    yes i heard. pack of tosspots. i thought about this thread while listening and thought what arseholes. oh i wish i wish they could one day experiment with getting scientists to talk about science instead of ignorant unfunny farts, and keep the ignorant unfunny farts to talk about unfunny farts.
    i'm glad you said that 3410, the last time i commented on Jim Mora's tragic impression of NewstalkZB some precious soul thought i was being a bit mean. i don't think it's mean - i think what Mora has done to that slot is an absolute disgrace. he should stick to announcing sheepdog trials, they seem more in keeping with his talent.

    AKL • Since Feb 2007 • 890 posts Report Reply

  • Matty Smith,

    He should stick to announcing sheepdog trials, they seem more in keeping with his talent.

    These days his segment is like radio coverage of sheepdog trials. Has there been any actual content on that slot in past few months? I haven't noticed any.

    It's more fun listening to the trainwrecks on ZB. Or, God forbid, Michael Laws.

    Wellington • Since Mar 2007 • 13 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    My pet Jim Mora peeve: everytime he says "Obviously, ..." to an interviewee, it's usually not only not obvious, but in fact not correct.

    For the first time in my life, NatRad sucks. Likewise, the Listener ('Make money' / 'lose weight' / 'make money' / 'lose weight' / 'make money' / 'lose weight'...

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    The times they are a changin', welcome to the new frontier. Two more song titles, I'm red hot tonight.
    3410, rejected by The Granny, kudos, now we must try to get you bounced by the Panel, how do you get on that thing anyway.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2468 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    I am glad its not just me who thinks Jim Mora is the most dishonest Leighton Smith-lite on NZ radio. Dishonest because he clearly has a tory with a small t agenda - though it was priceless hearing the Plunket guy patiently taking his anti-section 59 repeal argument apart the other day - but he's to gutless to come out and admit it, so he just stacks his panel and asks leading questions.

    Sorta like the David Farrar of National Radio.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1711 posts Report Reply

  • robert barnes,

    Only the reactionary fringe agree with the CSC view that climate change is a myth, but why do we then conclude that the answer is CO2 reduction? Nobody is asking the question "What good will this achieve - is this worth the cost?".

    There is considerable uncertainty in the Global Climate Models which forcast the temperature rise, with almost all the variation in the end-of-century predictions coming from the different models (and their assumptions) rather than different scenarios (high emmisions, low emmisions, etc). Thus if we forcast the temperature in 2100 if we take no action, or if we implement Kyoto and achieve the target savings, an average of GCM's predict that we will achieve a saving of 0.15 C. Put another way, the Kyoto temperature in 2100 is the no-action temperature of 2094.

    The usual debate is framed as "Global warming could cost us 2000 billion, so we should be prepared to spend a few billions to avert this catastrophe". Yet nobody asks how much the cost of global warming will be reduced by the measures. Not much, it would seem. Our choice is not "Spend billions or suffer a cost of trillions", it is "Spend billions (or not) AND suffer a cost of trillions, because we will have to deal with the consequences of global warming anyway. The cost of Kyoto has been estimated at about 1% of global GDP (every year). One year's Kyoto costs for the USA alone would be sufficient to provide clean water and sewage systems to all of Africa. So which is better use of our scarce resources? (yes, I know, it would only take a few days of the US military budget - that would be an even better diversion)

    We should do what makes sense - but normal economics will ensure that we do this anyway. Cleaner energy such as nuclear rather than coal where the scale makes this economical as in China, more efficient cars, lights, houses, etc. But let's not do stupid and ineffective things just to be "carbon neutral".

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    ummmmm.... how can 6 billion little farting rats drinking, eating and consuming and putting around in smelly gas drinking tin pots NOT have an effect on a relatively small planet.... um hellooooo denial dorks!

    Since Nov 2006 • 855 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    We should do what makes sense - but normal economics will ensure that we do this anyway.

    Classic!

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    Our discussions in NZ were more about Kyoto and why NZ is the ONLY country that records the cow fart methane and are then duly taxed immensely for our emissions. Is this true?

    Nope. Every UNFCCC member is required to measure their emissions, including those from agricultural sources. It's just that its a much smaller proportion in most of the countries we like to compare ourselves to because a) they're industrialised; and b) they generate most of their energy from coal or gas rather than hydro.

    And we don't tax farmers for their emissions. We should - the alternative is that the rest of us effectively subsidise the farming elite to the tune of $600 million a year - but no government has seriously considered it yet. A poll tax to internalise the emissions cost of agriculture was notably absent from the government's recent options document on the subject.

    that the farmers in NZ are the ones taking the blame.

    That is because, as far as New Zealand is concerned, they are to blame. Agriculture was responsible for 49.4% of our greenhouse gas emissions in 2004. That's from less than 1% of our population. The other 99% of us, all our electricity, SUVs, air conditioners, and industry, generate the other 50.6%. When you look at it that way, it's pretty clear who the culprit is.

    (And before anyone gets on their high horse about how valuable farming is, this isn't the nineteenth century anymore. Agriculture contributes only 5% of total GDP and 3.3% of total employment (and that includes first-stage processing). Those claims of special status may have been true in the past, but not anymore).

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1591 posts Report Reply

  • Heather Gaye,

    Yet nobody asks how much the cost of global warming will be reduced by the measures.

    There are levels of survival we are prepared to accept. I think the final phase of the IPCC investigation (to be released in may) is intended to provide exactly that - a range of suggestions to mitigate the problem to greater or lesser degrees.

    Under the western motorwa… • Since Nov 2006 • 522 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Morrison,

    And before anyone gets on their high horse about how valuable farming is, this isn't the nineteenth century anymore. Agriculture contributes only 5% of total GDP and 3.3% of total employment

    There's no need for a high horse to point this out.

    The importance of primary industry is not so much its contribution to GDP but its contribution to our exports - which is where we get our quality of living from. That is why farming remains so valuable.

    Check out the export stats for Dec 2006. The first three big earners are all in the primary sector. Dairy remains by far our biggest export sector and the major contributor to NZ's wealth.

    Blaming farmers for this situation is a bit counter productive.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    re kittens (specifically for WoW geeks)

    casting polymorph on xxxxx ...... "everytime you break a sheep God kills a kitten"

    cheers
    Bart

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3108 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    The point surely is that, whilst the science is not quite 100% certain (and what is?), this must be weighed against the fact that, if the theory is correct, then we are 100% fucked if we don't start doing something about it, quick smart.

    And more importantly most of the changes in behaiviour suggested in response are good things to do anyway.

    Why wouldn't you want to generate energy using renewable resources and not expensive (in foreign currency) coal and oil?
    Why wouldn't you want to make cars more efficient?
    Why wouldn't you want to develop better public transport?
    Why wouldn't you want to make bike paths around the city that encourage people to get some exercise?
    Why wouldn't you want to stop clear felling of tropical rainforests?

    yes I know I'm repeating myself sorry.

    cheeers
    Bart

    PS Is it a sign of old age that I'm less comfortable with the F word now?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3108 posts Report Reply

  • Nobody Important,

    Hmmmm, how did that old story go?

    "I was travelling on the train to Bombay and an old Indian man was ripping up a sheet and throwing the pieces one by one out the window. I asked him what he was doing and he smiled and said 'It's to stop elephants sitting on the track'. When I replied that there were no elephants sitting on the track he just smiled again and said 'I know - see how well this works?'

    And, as someone else noted this week in a letter to the NZ Herald: if climatologists are so confident in predicting negative climate change in 50 years time, how come they couldn't get the forecast right for Easter Weekend?

    8 years ago we were told planes would be dropping out of the sky when the Millennium Bug hit ...

    expat • Since Mar 2007 • 319 posts Report Reply

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