Palmerston North the sacrificial victim for Kyoto.

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Turitea call-in questioned .

By KATIE CHAPMAN - Manawatu Standard


Environment Minister Nick Smith's decision to call-in the Turitea Wind Farm proposal is being questioned after official documents revealed the proposal failed to meet most of the criteria.
In December last year, Dr Smith called-in Mighty River Power's consent application because it was "nationally significant".
But information obtained by the Manawatu Standard under the Official Information Act undermines Dr Smith's reasoning.
The documents reveal the Kyoto Protocol was used to justify the call-in of the Turitea Wind Farm after it failed to meet other national significance criteria. And Dr Smith said the decision to call-in the application was "consistent" with changes he plans to make to the Resource Management Act.
The documents include a list of criteria for national significance, with an Environment Ministry staff assessment of how the Turitea project rates.
The breakdown was given to Dr Smith before he made his decision, and shows the project fits only two of the eight criteria: that it is in more than one district, and it is "likely to affect, or is relevant to New Zealand's international obligations to the global environment".
In most other categories staff judged the Turitea Wind Farm to be locally but not nationally significant.
Palmerston North Mayor Jono Naylor said the ministry's report reinforced what the council had argued since the call-in issue was first raised it was a local issue that should be decided locally.
"The Ministry for the Environment staff, in that report, are merely confirming what we've been saying all along."
The decision to call the project in was a political one, motivated by the National Government's push to change the RMA, he said.
"I don't question for a moment that we are the guinea pigs for this process.
"The new government ... has said before the election they were going to bring legislative changes to the Resource Management Act. This was an opportunity for them to try out their new process."
Dr Smith is out of the country and was unable to be contacted yesterday.
But, in a memorandum to Cabinet informing it of his intention to call-in the project, he said the decision was motivated by the RMA changes.
"The call-in is consistent with my intention to amend the RMA to provide for priority consents for larger-scale infrastructure."
A spokesman for Dr Smith said call-ins were at the minister's discretion, and only he could explain his decision-making process.


Note: This is a total disgrace. The minister has joined in a conspiracy against the city.

This is a world first, a city, its water supply, its last remaining bush reserve with rare and endangered native
fauna and flora, its skyline, property and amenity values, indeed its very future, sacrificed to the god of global

Kyoto has been an abject failure and a pointless exercise as the planet continues to cool after what has turned out to be a mild, cyclical warming. Would Smith be willing to sacrifice Nelson city in this way? Not on your life. The tofu munching greenies down there would string him up on the cathedral steps.

And where is Simon Power, Minister for SOE's and MP for the Turitea area ? Is he toadying to Smith or a partner in this conspiracy against the city ? Could it be that this whole call-in process was a ploy to get the ball rolling for the changes they planned to the RMA? Steve Maharey , who has privately stated his opposition to the Turitea wind farm, didn't raise any objections in public. Is it that he didn't want to jeopardise his exit from politics to his uber high paying position at Massey University?

Mendacity, a sinister, infectious pandemic.

After lying about his reasons for calling in
the Turitea wind farm Smith finally comes clean, 29/4/09. Its all about Kyoto (meanwhile the price of carbon is collapsing along with the global economy). The city's future is to be carbonised on the say so of just one person. No government here has kept the Treaty of Waitangi but this government
will ride roughshod over anyone in its way to suck up to a deeply flawed treaty which basically declares war on a New Zealand community. This is the penultimate chapter in a process riddled with corruption. The Board of Enquiry has been appointed by Smith to get the job done. Let's see if they have what it takes to stand up to him. Will this turn out to be a latter day version of a 1930's Stalinist show trial, where anyone who opposes "The People's Wind Farm" is an "enemy of the people?" Lets hope not, but the Minister for Destroying the Environment has set the scene by removing fundamental democratic checks and balances.
See the 4th comment in this post for the story in the Manawatu Standard, or click this link:

No wind farm in New Zealand has ever had a cost/benefit analysis done. The curbs on CO2 emissions through the ETS, if enacted in New Zealand "might" have an impact on temperatures of just one ten thousandth of a degree celsius, cripple the country's economy and add a punitive annual imposition on each NZ household of approximately $2,500. ( Professor Bob Carter in evidence given to the select committee reviewing the ETS)
Temperatures are continuing to drop. This image is from Professor Ian Plimer's book Heaven and Earth published by Connor Court.Plimer is emeritus professor of earth sciences at the University of Melbourne. His book, just published, is flying off the shelves. For a video interview click here.

Environment Minister Smith may buy into global warming hysteria but the public doesn't. Global warming ranks dead last.

For the full Pew Research survey results click this link.

Wind farms will devastate the countryside pointlessly. James Lovelock

Journalist and author Ian Wishart's new book is titled Air Con and argues that man made climate change is in fact a myth.

Video interview here,

and here.

NewsTalk ZB Recommending Air Con.
18 /2 / 2009


It's all right folks ,
we're here to "help."

See the second comment below for the editorial in the Manawatu Standard. 24/4/09

Our neighbours across the ditch are waking up. Click either this link or read the third comment in this post.

Intriguing differences between glaciers in the Northern and Southern hemispheres. New Zealand researchers are undermining climate alarmism. 2/4/09. See the 5th comment in this post.


So how much carbon can you actually save ?( if that is an issue for you ). Click this link to find out the truth.

Green jobs? Be careful what you wish for. The only beneficiaries are the "rent seekers." A billion dollars, destroying the eastern section of the city, will result in just 10-15 permanent jobs.

Comment number 6 in this post is a review from the Australian of Professor Plimer's land mark book exposing global warming for what it is, a mass delusional scam whose time is up.

See comments 7,8 and 9 in this post where a professional, Sean Cox, shreds the noise evidence of shills for the wind farm industry, Black and Hegley.
or go here.

Comments 10 and 11 examine the behaviour of the climate industrial complex acting as "rent seekers" doing their utmost to profit from climate alarmism. The article is from the Wall Street Journal , May 22, 2009, which can also be accessed here.


Palmerston North said...


By KATIE CHAPMAN - Manawatu Standard24/04/2009

All wind-farm proposals could be called in under Environment Minister Nick Smith's justification.

And Palmerston North Mayor Jono Naylor says it proves the need for national guidelines.

An assessment of the Turitea Wind Farm's national significance, prepared for Dr Smith by Environment Ministry staff, referred directly to New Zealand's ratification of the Kyoto Protocol in 2002, which committed the country to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

"The [wind-farm] proposal will assist New Zealand in meeting its international obligations to the global environment by avoiding an increase in carbon dioxide emissions associated with electricity generation.

"This is true of all proposals for the use and development of wind farms."

It then quoted the Resource Management Act, and New Zealand's Energy strategy, which aim to have 90 per cent renewable energy by 2025.

The report stated: "We consider that the national target of 90 per cent of electricity generation from renewable sources ... is a relevant factor for you to consider when assessing the national significance for this proposal.

"The timely consenting of new renewable electricity generation proposals is critical if New Zealand is to achieve this target."

Mr Naylor said that justification proved the need for national guidelines, because under that reasoning, every wind-farm application could be called in. "If they're proposing to keep calling these sort of proposals in, that reinforces the idea of there needing to be some national guidelines."

At the moment he seriously questioned the call-in process. "The minister has the ability to act unilaterally. They're only bound by their own judgement, and that of their staff." Palmerston North woman Jan Dixon is preparing a petition for national guidelines and intends to present it to Parliament on April 30. So far more than 2000 people have signed it.

Palmerston North said...


By MICHAEL CUMMINGS, Deputy Editor - Manawatu Standard

Environment Minister Nick Smith has some serious explaining to do. Revelations in today's Manawatu Standard about how Dr Smith came to his decision to "call-in'' Mighty River Power's consent application for its Turitea Wind Farm make for startling reading.

Dr Smith's decision last year to take the consent process away from the Palmerston North City Council because it was of "national significance'' angered many Palmerston North residents, not least the council.

But the official advice the Minister received from his staff, obtained by the Standard under the Official Information Act, seriously undermines the national significance justification. Furthermore, contradictory statements Dr Smith has made about the PNCC's ability to process the consent application are troubling.

In a press release explaining the call-in decision, he said the PNCC was open to allegations of bias because it owns the reserve land where the wind farm would be built.

But the advice he received from the ministry said the "PNCC's actual conflicts of interest are low'' and "we are confident the PNCC can, without bias and at low risk, appoint an appropriately independent panel of commissioners''.

And in a memorandum to cabinet, Dr Smith even said "it is clear that the councils have the capacity to deal with the [resource consent] applications''. So which is it, Dr Smith?

Of eight criteria assessed to determine if the Turitea consent application is nationally significant, only two were met. The fact the wind farm affects two districts was cited (which hardly outweighs all the criteria not met), but what Dr Smith has clearly hung his "national significance'' hat on is New Zealand's obligations under the Kyoto Protocol.

So, by that justification, it would seem any application to build a wind farm or renewable energy source is now a matter of national significance, and local interests are secondary.

Palmerston North Mayor Jono Naylor hit the nail on the head when he said, in response to today's revelations, the council has been treated as "the guinea pigs for this process''.

The National Government has an agenda to reform the Resource Management Act (RMA), which is its prerogative, but Dr Smith's call-in decision was based on reforms to the RMA that haven't yet been made.

"The call-in is consistent with my intention to amend the RMA to provide for priority consents for larger scale infrastructure,'' he said in the memo to Cabinet.

At best, the documents obtained by this newspaper lay bare a woefully inept decision-making process. At worst, they are evidence of an orchestrated campaign to deceive the people of this region and usurp the council's statutory role.

Either way, the decision to call-in the consent application was a sham.

Palmerston North said...

Lawrence Solomon:

Posted: April 25, 2009

A break from faith in Australia! The continent down under, which until recently adhered to a strict form of global warming dogma, is experiencing an enlightenment.
“Beware the climate of conformity,” warns the headline for a column on global warming in the Sydney Morning Herald.
“What I am about to write questions much of what I have written in this space, in numerous columns, over the past five years,” starts the column by Paul Sheehan, one of Australia’s top authors. “Perhaps what I have written can withstand this questioning. Perhaps not. The greater question is, am I — and you — capable of questioning our own orthodoxies and intellectual habits?”
Sheehan closes by answering in the affirmative, with “a reminder to respect informed dissent and beware of ideology subverting evidence.”
“Wong is wrong on ETS,” runs an editorial in The Australian, criticizing Climate Change Minister Penny Wong for her proposal to introduce an Emissions Trading Scheme in the midst of a recession. Instead, the newspaper asks the government to listen to the Australian Coal Association and the Australian Industry Group and postpone any decision for at least a year, if not forever. Jobs and the economy should not be threatened, the paper declares, particularly when climate change is an unproven theory.
“Garnaut turns on Government’s greenhouse scheme,” reports the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, advising its audience that “The future of the Government’s greenhouse gas trading regime is under question again, this time from the man who helped to design it.
“Ross Garnaut — who headed the Government’s review of climate change policy — has told a Senate Committee that it might be better if the scheme in its current form is not passed into law.
“That adds to the growing uncertainty about emissions trading, which is due to be up and running by next year.”
Still more: “Climate change science isn’t settled,” announces an opinion piece in The Australian by Canadian geologist Jan Veizer of the University of Ottawa. Veizer mocks the notion that “the tiny — biologically controlled — carbon cycle drives the climate.”
And more: “Planet doomsayers need a cold shower,” writes Miranda Devine in the Sydney Morning Herald, in an extensive article that damns “the global warming scare campaign.” She cites at length a hugely influential new book by University of Adelaide geologist, Ian Plimer, Heaven And Earth (subtitled “Global Warming: The Missing Science”). It is “a comprehensive scientific refutation of the beliefs underpinning the idea of human-caused climate change,” she explains, pointedly noting that Plimer’s book was written “for those out there with an open mind wanting to know more about how the planet works. The mind is like a parachute. It only works when it is open.”
Plimer’s book could not have landed at a more opportune time. With Australia’s resource-based economy rocked by recession, large swathes of the public are for the first time asking themselves if the job losses and economic dislocations that would come of reducing carbon dioxide emissions are really necessary. At the same time, the Australian Senate Select Committee on Climate Policy is hearing testimony on the wisdom of an Emissions Trading Scheme. Not only have the politicians running the proceedings decided to allow climate sceptics to express themselves, much of the press has decided to report their views fairly.
Into this global warming glasnost that Australia is experiencing steps Plimer, with perspectives that would once have been derided and dismissed.
To those who claim it is economically prudent to curb greenhouse gases based on the information known to date, Plimer responds that the business world would never “make trillion-dollar decisions without a comprehensive and expensive due diligence.” To those who claim that an overwhelming consensus of scientists associated with the United Nations climate change report have concluded that man is responsible for bringing us to global warming catastrophe, Plimer points to the report’s chapter dealing with man’s role, which is “based on the opinions of just five independent scientists.”
Thanks to Plimer, the press and politicians, Australia is likely to become the developed world’s third Denier Nation, after the Czech Republic, where only 11% of the public blame humans for global warming, and the United States, where only 34% blame humans.
Financial Post

Palmerston North said...


Large renewable energy projects will be called in under the National government because of the Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse gas emissions, Environment Minister Nick Smith says.

The minister yesterday defended his decision to call-in the Turitea Wind Farm, saying the project's national significance was unquestionable.

New Zealand's emissions were growing, and the issue had to be tackled, he said.

"Let's be honest about New Zealand's situation ... The biggest area of growth in emissions has been in terms of the energy sector."

New Zealand signed the Kyoto Protocol in 2002, committing the country to 90 per cent renewable energy by 2025.

Projects like the Turitea Wind Farm were needed to meet that goal, Dr Smith said.

"Large renewable energy projects will, under this government, be called in."

Asked if the Kyoto Protocol was the reason he called the Turitea project in, Dr Smith said it was.

"The clear reality is that the Turitea Wind Farm, with 131 turbines [now adjusted to 122 turbines], is large and does have an impact on New Zealand's overall generation mix.

"I'm surprised anyone would argue with that."

He listed about five small-scale wind farms he had not called-in, and said about 100 megawatts was the line between large and small projects.

The Turitea Wind Farm is about 360mW.

Questions arose over Dr Smith's call-in decision last week, when documents released to the Manawatu Standard under the Official Information Act showed Mighty River Power's proposed wind farm fitted only two of the eight national significance criteria: that it is in more than one district, and it is "likely to affect, or is relevant to New Zealand's international obligations to the global environment".

Other criteria were deemed to be locally, but not nationally, significant.

Legally, the project had to meet only one national significance criterion to be eligible for a call-in, Dr Smith said.

When it was put to him that the decision was still at his discretion, he agreed, but reiterated that he believed it was nationally significant.

Asked why he did not publicly state the Kyoto Protocol as a reason for calling in the project in his December press release, he said that was covered by the statement.

The statement announced the call-in, and then read: "This project is of a size and scale that justifies a board inquiry. I have consulted with local councils on the make-up of the board and appointed members they were intending to use as commissioners or were appointed to me."

The statement then named the board, and explained the public notification process, before listing two more reasons for calling in the project.

Those were that it covered more than one district and had wide public interest, and the perceived bias of the Palmerston North City Council.

City residents'misguided'

Palmerston North residents are "misguided" for wanting the Turitea Wind Farm application heard locally.

Environment Minister Nick Smith said yesterday a board of inquiry was the best way to handle Mighty River Power's wind farm application, because it would be appealed to the Environment Court anyway.

This comes after documents showed Dr Smith expressed confidence in the Palmerston North City Council's ability to hear the consent in a memorandum to Cabinet, then later cited concern over the council's perceived bias as a reason for the project's call-in.

Dr Smith said while he had confidence in the council's abilities, the community thought the council was biased. That had to be addressed.

"The key difference there is between perception and reality.

"Did I believe that there was a potential perception of conflict of interest given that they are a land owner? Answer: yes."

In September, more than 60 people attended a city council meeting to support a submission opposing the call-in of the Turitea Wind Farm. A council meeting typically attracts two to five members of the public.

The message to the council was that people wanted the hearing process kept local, chaired by commissioners appointed by the city council.

But Dr Smith still insisted there was a perception of bias in the community, that people thought the council could not hold a fair hearing.

"Those range of views have been expressed quite clearly through the board of inquiry process."

He believed people who wanted the project heard locally were "misguided".

"Even if the Turitea Wind Farm was not called in, it is inevitable it would end up going to the Environment Court."

Call-in part of Act

Environment Minister Nick Smith plans to use the call-in process more as part of his changes to the Resource Management Act.

In a memorandum to Cabinet in December, Dr Smith said the decision to call-in the Turitea Wind Farm application was "consistent" with changes he plans to make to the Resource Management Act.

When asked how an unratified law change could be used to justify a call-in, Dr Smith said the decision was consistent with National Party policy.

"There is absolutely nothing improper in indicating to the public and community of Palmerston North that making this decision is consistent with what National campaigned on during the election."

He had "properly noted" that to his Cabinet colleagues, he said.

"It is my intention, in future, to make greater use of the board of inquiry process."

The Resource Management (Simplifying and Streamlining) Amendment Bill 2009, including the proposal for an Environmental Protection Authority, has been referred by Parliament to the local government and environment committee for consideration.

It will report back to Parliament on June 19.

Palmerston North said...


NZ glacier findings upset climate theory
4:00AM Saturday May 02, 2009

Research by three New Zealand scientists may have solved the mystery of why glaciers behave differently in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

Geologist David Barrell of GNS Science, Victoria University geomorphologist Andrew Mackintosh and glaciologist Trevor Chinn of the Alpine and Polar Processes Consultancy have helped provide definitive dating for changes in glacier behaviour.

They were part of a team of nine scientists, led by Joerg Schaefer of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University in New York, who used an isotope-dating technique to get very precise ages for glacial deposits near Mt Cook.

They measured the build-up of beryllium-10 isotopes in surface rocks bombarded by cosmic rays to pinpoint dates when glaciers in the Southern Alps started to recede. The technology is expected to be widely applied to precisely date other glaciers around the world.

Glaciers are sensitive indicators of climate changes, usually advancing when it cools and retreating when it warms.

The first direct confirmation of differences in glacier behaviour between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, the new work topples theories based on climate in the Northern Hemisphere changing in tandem with the climate in the Southern Hemisphere.

The research argues that at times the climate in both hemispheres evolved in sync and at other times it evolved differently in different parts of the world.

Dr Barrell said their research presented "new data of novel high precision", though the team has so far chosen not to roll out wider interpretations too quickly.

He said much of it reinforced work done 30 years ago by Canterbury University researcher Professor Colin Burrows, who used NZ glacier data to highlight some of the similarities and differences between northern and southern records over the past 12,000 years.

The paper published in Science magazine yesterday showed the Mt Cook glaciers advanced to their maximum length 6500 years ago, and have been smaller ever since.

But glaciers in the Swiss Alps advanced to their maximum only in the past 700 years - during the Northern Hemisphere's "Little Ice Age", which ended about 1860.

During some warm periods in Europe, glaciers were advancing in New Zealand. At other times, glaciers were well advanced in both areas.

In a commentary which accompanied the research, Greg Balco, from the Berkeley Geochronology Centre in California, said the conclusion that glacier advances in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres were not synchronised was "unexpected".

Dr Barrell said the paper presented only the first instalment of the dating work, and more would be revealed at an international workshop on past climates to be held at Te Papa on May 15.

"The New Zealand findings point to the importance of regional shifts in wind directions and sea surface temperatures," he said.

Regional weather patterns such as the El Nino Southern Oscillation were superimposed on the global climate trends reflected in the behaviour of glaciers.


Palmerston North said...


Christopher Pearson | April 18, 2009

Article from: The Australian

NEXT Wednesday I will be honoured to serve as the master of ceremonies at the Adelaide launch of a book that promises to be a cause celebre. It is Ian Plimer's Heaven and Earth: Global Warming - The Missing Science.

I expect that when the history of global warming as a mass delusion comes to be written, Australia's leading geologist will be recognised as a member of the international sceptical pantheon. As far as the progress of what passes for national debate is concerned, in all likelihood 2009 will be seen as the turning point and divided into the pre and post-Plimer eras.

Mind you, I think this year would have been a turning point in any event because global recessions have a way of forcing the great powers to behave pragmatically. Neither the US nor China is going to pay more than lip-service to global warming alarmism and even the bien-pensant Rudd Government has stopped pretending to accept the advice of its preferred adviser, Ross Garnaut, at face value.

But none of that detracts from Plimer's achievement in giving sceptics a campaign document containing all the scientific ammunition they could want, packed into 493 eloquent pages. Heartened by it, perhaps some timid politicians in both main parties will at last feel at liberty to own up to their private reservations about warmist catastrophe and all those drowning polar bears we keep reading about in the Fairfax press.

One of Plimer's gifts is a reassuring matter-of-factness. For example, he says: "The level of scientific acceptance of human-induced global warming is misrepresented. Furthermore, the claim by some scientists that human-induced global warming is 90 per cent certain (or even 99 per cent) is a figure of speech reflecting the speaker's commitment to the belief.

"It has no mathematical or evidential basis. It is comparable to 100 per cent certainty professed by religious devotees that theirs is the one and only true faith.

"My experience of dealing with blindingly obvious arguments against creation 'science' was that data and logic were treated with anger, rejection and hostility. Scientific arguments were never addressed. With some rabid environmentalists, human-induced global warming has evolved into a similar religious belief system."

He demystifies the use and abuse of models in climate science.

"The extensive reliance by global warmers on computer models impresses those with little scientific training. However, the significant manipulation of the source data and the lack of use of many known variables create uncertain outputs. Furthermore, scientific data yet to be discovered cannot be used in a model.

"It is very easy for the modeller to produce the predestined outcome before the model can be run. This is a common flaw in mathematical modelling. A model is not real. Models are not evidence. Models with simulations, projections and predictions prove nothing. All a model shows is something about the model itself and the modellers, normally their limitations. As the Talmud states: 'We do not see things as they are. We see them as we are."'

In the chapter on climate history he tackles warming's anthropocentric delusion head-on. "The Roman warming, the Dark Ages, the medieval warming and the little ice age invalidate all arguments supporting human-induced global warming. This is because climates far warmer than the late 20th century warming existed before industrialisation and human emissions of CO2. The notion that climate change is tied only to human activity with known atmospheric and ocean feedbacks is a simple and erroneous explanation of modern and ancient climates.

"To argue that modern climate is driven by slight changes in a trace gas in the atmosphere (CO2) requires many non-scientific leaps of faith."

Plimer was once involved in a high-profile dispute with fundamentalists over their claim to have discovered Noah's Ark and he has a particularly sure grip on the role of unquestioning faith.

"The environmental religion embraces anti-human totalitarianism. Some environmentalists consider their ideas and arguments to be an indisputable truth and use sophisticated methods of media manipulation and public relations campaigns to exert pressure on policymakers to achieve their goals. Their argument is based on the spreading of fear and panic to declare the future of the world to be under serious threat.

"In such an atmosphere they continue pushing policymakers to adopt illiberal measures, impose arbitrary limits, regulations, prohibitions and restrictions on everyday human activities and make people subject to omnipotent bureaucratic decision-making.

"In science, we are in awe of nature. In religion, we are in awe of God. Yet the new environmental religion is in awe of nothing. It is spiritually vacuous and negative. Christianity has a long tradition of using music for worship. The music, especially from the time of Bach and onwards, underpins all Western music. The environmental religion has no music, no traditions, no scholarship, no nothing. The new environmental religion has no big questions. It has no unknowns."

As well as being a nullity, eco-fundamentalism is atavistic in character.

"The environmental romantics have a loathing and fear of population increase, seek to return to the past and promote pagan superstitions. Well before the crunch of global warming appeared, the environmental romantics hated the modern world despite the fact that in industrial societies we live longer, we are healthier, the air and water are getting cleaner, the area of forests is expanding and we have far greater freedom than in past times. It is the energy-intensive communication systems of the modern world that allow the environmental romantics to spread the word."

I have tended to concentrate on those parts of Plimer's book that particularly appeal to me. In doing so I have failed to mention a lot of fascinating detail about the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the falsification of climate history via the notorious "hockey stick" graph, the antics of influential warmists such as James Hansen and the skulduggery of British learned bodies under pressure from the Blair government and the likes of Nicholas Stern.

As well, there is a wealth of information on the various effects of the sun on climate and the advantages of considering climate variability from the perspective of geological time, all set out very cogently.

But there is one mystery that can't be neglected and that Plimer attempts to address. How could such a solid-seeming expert consensus so quickly develop on such an absurd hypothesis?

Part of the answer lies in the pseudo-scientific pronouncements coming out of the IPCC, long captured by a small group of eco-fundamentalists, and particularly by its summaries for policymakers. The Nobel committee that rewarded IPCC panellists and Al Gore also has a lot to answer for.

The rest he explains by reference to Trofim Lysenko, an insignificant agricultural scientist but adept propagandist who, despite the complete lack of evidence, managed to persuade Joseph Stalin and his henchmen that he could triple or quadruple Soviet grain production. Plimer reminds us that "opposition to Lysenko was not tolerated. Mendelian geneticists were demonised as 'fly lovers and people haters' and between 1934 and 1940 numerous geneticists were shot or exiled to Siberia. Genetics research stopped. In 1948 genetics was officially labelled as 'bourgeois pseudo-science'. The ban was lifted in 1965 but the USSR had lost 30 years of advance inagriculture."

Plimer doesn't pretend that the international scientific community today lives in terror comparable to the gulag, but he has some telling things to say about the politicisation and bureaucratisation of science.

Then there are the burgeoning numbers ofso-called climate scientists, all with research grants and vested interests in defending what they've come to think of as mainstream climatology.

Finally there are all the rent-seekers in the academy, in government departments and in commerce who expect to make a living out of regulating carbon emissions. It will be fascinating to watch when the smarter among them realise that the jig is up.

Palmerston North said...



Sean Cox is opposed to Wel Networks' plan for a wind farm west of Hamilton and now the wind expert has succeeded in getting a hearing into the farm adjourned for two months. Bruce Holloway reports.
AUTHOR Jack London once observed it was a lot cheaper to buy a general than to fight him and his army.
How Wel Networks must wish it had taken a similar approach with Sean Cox, a former wind farm designer who just happens to live a few kilometres upwind of its projected Te Uku wind farm.
Cox may have thrust a major spoke in the turbines of Wel's $140 million plans with a wide-ranging and compelling submission in opposition to the project.
The sail design consultant, who lives at Aotea Harbour, has effectively forced a two-month adjournment of a Resource Management Act hearing into the project to allow Wel to prepare a time-consuming and costly response to his evidence.
Ironically Cox began his engaging two-hour submission at the hearing by observing Wel Networks "could have hired me as a consultant for nominal dollars and shut me up straight away".
But, he mused, the community-owned company preferred to ignore him, and his offer to share 10 years of wind data he had collected on the district.
Contact Energy, which is preparing its own application for a far bigger west coast wind farm to the north, is certainly not making the same mistake.
Cox told the hearing he has been hired by Contact to consult on its massive $2 billion project for the Te Akau-Waikaretu district.
Cox designed some of the world's first wind farms back in the early 1970s, and at the hearing was quick to present himself as every RMA applicant's nightmare an affected resident who is more technical than the technical experts.
With the zeal of a mad scientist, Cox set about rubbishing almost everything to do with the wind farm, but, in particular Wel's evidence related to noise and subsonics (sounds that cannot consciously be heard).
It was the sort of stuff that only someone who has designed turbine blades for 30 years could truly appreciate.
Cox presented a string of complex calculations even more complicated than rugby's tackled-ball rule or the blue lines in ice hockey to conclude that not only was the Wel case full of "fluff" but the bottom line was that there would be no public benefit from such a marginal proposition.
"Wel refused to let me see their data and showed no interest in seeing mine," he said.
"I was dumbfounded."
The Irish-born Cox made an immediate impact when he asked the presiding commissioners to declare their own technical backgrounds so he could pitch his presentation at a suitable level. When he found he was dealing with landscapers, town planners and barristers, he duly dumbed down his technical message.
While some of his scientific equations looked like they could have served as props for the movie A Beautiful Mind, other parts of his submission were brutally blunt.
He noted Wel Networks noise expert Nevil Hegley was an acoustics engineer, with a background in audible sound waves (those above 15hz) rather than subsonics, and argued his evidence should be set aside.
"Once the wavelength goes much over 20m the characteristics of air pressure waves change significantly," he said.
"Much of the art in acoustics is to do with air-ear-brain interface as it is a subjective science.
"Subsonics is to do with the study of the properties of the air, the wave, the mechanics of it and its interaction with environmental objects, including humans.

Palmerston North said...

"This is the proper province of the aerodynamicist, such as myself."
From this platform of presumed technical superiority Cox attacked Hegley's submission that noise levels should be measured only at house sites.
"Does he believe that people should hide in their houses from the noise made by their neighbours? I believe that people have a right to privacy and enjoyment of their property over every square metre of it."
Cox himself suffers from a severe metabolic disorder that requires him to live in a low-stress and clean environment at Aotea Harbour.
He highlighted particular problems that could be expected with night noise at the eastern end of Pond Rd, parts of Waitetuna Valley and Aramiro, though he warned that since he had been modelling his predictions, the second Wind Turbine Noise Symposium has taken place in Europe, and more information might come to light after the World Health Organisation's Night Noise Guidelines project issues its final report later this month.
But Cox said many noise issues were pretty basic.
"Sound is an entirely subjective phenomena and it is easy to forget when quoting numbers that people do not hear absolute levels of sound," he said.
"If a person is in a quiet environment then a certain sound will seem louder than if they are in a noisy environment... To suggest that the Wel wind turbines should be allowed to make noise as if they were standing in an Auckland industrial estate is absurd.
"If Wel wish to build an industrial site in a quiet country area then they must adapt to it."
Cox also waded into a spat with Dr David Black, senior lecturer in the department of medicine at Auckland University, over health effects of the proposed wind turbines.

Palmerston North said...

In his initial submission, Cox argued subsonic sound pollution was the most recently discovered and "possibly the worst of all the bad environmental effects of giant wind turbines".
In reply Dr Black said his literature review found no significant health effects due to subsonic noise from wind turbines documented in medical literature.
Cox snorted at this. "Saying `I looked and found nothing' is meaningless. Absence of proof is not proof of absence."
Cox said it was clear Dr Black, who supported the wind farm and concluded it would have no more than minor effects on the living environment around it, "had no understanding or aerodynamics and the mechanics of wind turbines".
"Everybody connected with the wind turbine industry knows that there is some kind of health problem with subsonics.
"There is no doubt that high-level subsonics are lethal. That there are health problems with subsonics is as obvious now as it was 50 years ago that there were health problems with cigarettes."
Dr Black is overseas and not available for comment.
Perhaps most controversially, Cox also raised the spectre of the wind farm interfering with the delicate balance of rainfall in summer easterlies on the Aotea Harbour.
Cox, who was the first person to do research into the micro-cell structure of wind since 1928, described air approaching a wind turbine as being like a crowd of people in a tube station walkway.
All are moving the same way at nominally the same speed, but some going at slightly different speeds and directions than others. Different chunks will have slightly different speed direction and temperatures, but they all have one thing in common. They are all at the same average pressure."

However, when an air molecule is deflected by the blade it changes direction and speed, and this causes localised pressure changes.

"The net result of these pressure zones is a pressure on the face more toward the wind and a suction on the face more away from the wind."

Cox said in some areas the wind velocity would stay high and form local low pressure zones.

"The overall rotation will cause high level faster moving air to be pulled down to the surface and slow surface air to be pushed high.

"I have no idea what the net effect will be to local weather except to say that the energy flux involved with 28 3MW turbines in this small area is enough to have significant effects.

"I will give fair warning that if this proposal goes ahead and I find evidence of interference to rainfall or other weather patterns I will bring an action for negligence against Environment Waikato at least."

Palmerston North said...

Some business leaders are cozying up with politicians and scientists to demand swift, drastic action on global warming. This is a new twist on a very old practice: companies using public policy to line their own pockets.

The tight relationship between the groups echoes the relationship among weapons makers, researchers and the U.S. military during the Cold War. President Dwight Eisenhower famously warned about the might of the "military-industrial complex," cautioning that "the potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist." He worried that "there is a recurring temptation to feel that some spectacular and costly action could become the miraculous solution to all current difficulties."

This is certainly true of climate change. We are told that very expensive carbon regulations are the only way to respond to global warming, despite ample evidence that this approach does not pass a basic cost-benefit test. We must ask whether a "climate-industrial complex" is emerging, pressing taxpayers to fork over money to please those who stand to gain.

This phenomenon will be on display at the World Business Summit on Climate Change in Copenhagen this weekend. The organizers -- the Copenhagen Climate Council -- hope to push political leaders into more drastic promises when they negotiate the Kyoto Protocol's replacement in December.

The opening keynote address is to be delivered by Al Gore, who actually represents all three groups: He is a politician, a campaigner and the chair of a green private-equity firm invested in products that a climate-scared world would buy.

Naturally, many CEOs are genuinely concerned about global warming. But many of the most vocal stand to profit from carbon regulations. The term used by economists for their behavior is "rent-seeking."

The world's largest wind-turbine manufacturer, Copenhagen Climate Council member Vestas, urges governments to invest heavily in the wind market. It sponsors CNN's "Climate in Peril" segment, increasing support for policies that would increase Vestas's earnings. A fellow council member, Mr. Gore's green investment firm Generation Investment Management, warns of a significant risk to the U.S. economy unless a price is quickly placed on carbon.

Even companies that are not heavily engaged in green business stand to gain. European energy companies made tens of billions of euros in the first years of the European Trading System when they received free carbon emission allocations.

Palmerston North said...

American electricity utility Duke Energy, a member of the Copenhagen Climate Council, has long promoted a U.S. cap-and-trade scheme. Yet the company bitterly opposed the Warner-Lieberman bill in the U.S. Senate that would have created such a scheme because it did not include European-style handouts to coal companies. The Waxman-Markey bill in the House of Representatives promises to bring back the free lunch.

U.S. companies and interest groups involved with climate change hired 2,430 lobbyists just last year, up 300% from five years ago. Fifty of the biggest U.S. electric utilities -- including Duke -- spent $51 million on lobbyists in just six months.

The massive transfer of wealth that many businesses seek is not necessarily good for the rest of the economy. Spain has been proclaimed a global example in providing financial aid to renewable energy companies to create green jobs. But research shows that each new job cost Spain 571,138 euros, with subsidies of more than one million euros required to create each new job in the uncompetitive wind industry. Moreover, the programs resulted in the destruction of nearly 110,000 jobs elsewhere in the economy, or 2.2 jobs for every job created.

The cozy corporate-climate relationship was pioneered by Enron, which bought up renewable energy companies and credit-trading outfits while boasting of its relationship with green interest groups. When the Kyoto Protocol was signed, an internal memo was sent within Enron that stated, "If implemented, [the Kyoto Protocol] will do more to promote Enron's business than almost any other regulatory business."

The World Business Summit will hear from "science and public policy leaders" seemingly selected for their scary views of global warming. They include James Lovelock, who believes that much of Europe will be Saharan and London will be underwater within 30 years; Sir Crispin Tickell, who believes that the United Kingdom's population needs to be cut by two-thirds so the country can cope with global warming; and Timothy Flannery, who warns of sea level rises as high as "an eight-story building."

Free speech is important. But these visions of catastrophe are a long way outside of mainstream scientific opinion, and they go much further than the careful findings of the United Nations panel of climate change scientists. When it comes to sea-level rise, for example, the United Nations expects a rise of between seven and 23 inches by 2100 -- considerably less than a one-story building.

There would be an outcry -- and rightfully so -- if big oil organized a climate change conference and invited only climate-change deniers.

The partnership among self-interested businesses, grandstanding politicians and alarmist campaigners truly is an unholy alliance. The climate-industrial complex does not promote discussion on how to overcome this challenge in a way that will be best for everybody. We should not be surprised or impressed that those who stand to make a profit are among the loudest calling for politicians to act. Spending a fortune on global carbon regulations will benefit a few, but dearly cost everybody else.

Mr. Lomborg is director of the Copenhagen Consensus, a think tank, and author of "Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming" (Knopf, 2007).