Sunday, February 26, 2023

Mike Butler: Two reporters, dogma, and a cyclone

Failure to understand and accept the basic differences between science and dogma raises serious questions about the judgement of two people paid to report the news. In an opinion piece by one of these people posted on the Newsroom site, a kicker said:
"Failure to understand and accept basic scientific facts raises serious questions about the judgment of prospective legislators."(1)
Politicking by these two activists posing as journalists started on Tuesday night when Three News political editor Jenna Lynch reported on National Party MP Maureen Pugh uttering the "heresy" that the climate has always changed, but she was still awaiting evidence that humans are causing changes.

Lynch’s item, a lynching that led the bulletin, included ambushing senior National MPs and demanding to know whether they shared Pugh’s scepticism. Lynch gloated at the end when she reported that Pugh had “walked back” her comments. (2)

Lynch implied that to deny the effects of climate change was to betray the thousands of people struggling with the effects of Cyclone Gabrielle The message was clear. If your thoughts are out of line with the current orthodoxy you need re-education.

Some countries have “re-education” camps. A few hundred years ago, heretics, such as Pugh, were tied to a stake and burnt to death. Today in New Zealand it's ambush with a camera and mock on prime time news.

Newsroom reporter Marc Daalder took up the cudgel on Wednesday and declared that “the rapid backlash to Pugh's statements and her unconvincing retraction show that the public and most sitting MPs also see climate denial as an automatic disqualifier for holding office”.

But do “the public and most sitting MPs” actually “see climate denial as an automatic disqualifier for holding office”?

Or do most people simply stay silent when the dogma of man-made global warming is invoked just to keep the peace?

In a fact-free rant, Daalder attempted to deliver the science that allegedly proves that mankind is bringing about climate doom by driving big utes that pump CO2 in the atmosphere.

But all he delivered were assertions along the lines that “14,000 scientific papers commissioned by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change can’t be wrong”.

If human-induced climate doom is so undeniable, why can’t an expensively educated American migrant simply state “this, plus this, equals this” with a “game, set, match” certainty?

To bolster his lack of evidence, he invoked the Royal Society of New Zealand as an authority of all things scientific and declared that the society “first backed the scientific consensus on climate way back in 2001”.

Bit of an own goal for Daalder considering that the Royal Society of New Zealand can no longer distinguish between science and Maori myth and folklore, as is evidenced by its energetic promotion of matauranga Maori as equal to science.

The gist of these two supposed news items (although I do accept that Daalder’s piece was labelled as “comment”) it’s possible that both Lynch and Daalder don’t know the difference between science and believing in dogma.

For instance, when Daalder mentioned “science” he actually referred to “consensus”.

Remember, science is the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation, experimentation, and the testing of theories against the evidence obtained.

A consensus is a general agreement which could be an agreement about anything, not particularly science. Consensus is in the realm of politics, not science.

What is dogma? Dogma is a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true.

The ideology of human-induced global warming has the hallmarks of a dogma, with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as the authority. The 14,000 scientific papers contain the principles.

In these two news media items, Lynch and Daalder have presented themselves as true believers, born-again acolytes.

They did not have the appearance of journalists, people who research and write informational news articles and stories about real events using a fair and unbiased perspective.

Like Lynch, Daalder linked the cyclone with man-made global warming when he wrote: “In 2023, as climate-intensified storms and cyclones have already killed 15 people, rendered thousands homeless and caused billions of dollars in damage, not accepting the scientific basis for anthropogenic (human-caused) warming is unacceptable in a legislator.”

Being young and from elsewhere, he probably does not know that the Esk Valley north of Napier, which is one of the worst-hit areas in the current disaster, sustained a similar level of water and silt damage in 1938.

The Esk Valley is a known flood area. In a study titled “Te Ngaru Catchment Flood Hazard Analysis”, published in 2005, the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council opposed any residential development in that area and cited 14 floods that had occurred in that area from 1924 to 1996, including the silt-up-to-the roof storm in 1938 and Cyclone Bola in 1988.(3)

When Cyclone Bola hit, I was chief sub-editor of a newspaper in Hastings It was a big storm in March of that year with warm rain that went on day and night for several days. Rivers were centimetres away from spilling over stopbanks. The rain stopped before that happened.

As far as I can recall, global warming did not feature in any coverage.

However, since the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change delivered its first report in 1990, the developed world was increasingly saturated with global warming propaganda.

Any report of any weather event since about then has been framed as “because of climate change” or “because of global warming”.

Attaching the (human-caused) warming tag to any weather event is an alarmist habit. It follows the first rule of propaganda. The repetition of anything creates an impression that what is being repeated must be true. This is how propaganda works.

The go-to person for a man-made global warming soundbite in New Zealand is Dr James Renwick, a geography professor at Victoria University, Wellington, who focuses on climate.

It is quite possible that both Lynch and Daalder for their entire lives have heard every storm described as “because of global warming”.

Utterly convinced of the truthfulness of the dogma, Daalder quoted from an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change statement which said: “It is incontrovertible that human burning of fossil fuels is the primary driver of climate change and global temperature increase”.

Therefore, I will quote from another authority. Emeritus professor Ian Plimer, an Australian geologist, analysed the ideology of human-induced global warming in his book titled Heaven and Earth Global Warming: the Missing Science. Plimer wrote:
No one has ever proven that emissions of carbon dioxide drive global warming. For more than two decades I have been asking for proof. If proven, it would also have to be shown that natural carbon dioxide emissions, 97 percent of the annual total, don’t drive global warming. This has also never been done.
An example of natural carbon dioxide emissions is the eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai underwater volcano a year ago.

The eruption shot volcanic ash 58km into the earth’s stratosphere, with 146 million tonnes of water, or enough to fill 58,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

After that eruption CO2 concentrations near the volcano soared to around 414 parts per million, compared with estimated 412ppm had the volcano not erupted. The increased 2ppm equalled a whole year's CO2 emission on earth. (4)

Did some of the water coming down in Cyclone Gabrielle go up from the Tongan volcano, and did some of that CO2 heat us up a bit more?

Both Jenna Lynch from Three News and Marc Daalder from Newsroom made it clear that they believe that man-made global warming caused Cyclone Gabrielle. I challenge them both to prove it.

And Perhaps Dr Renwick from Victoria University could accept Dr Plimer’s challenge by proving that the Tongan volcano with all its CO2 emissions did NOT cause Cyclone Gabrielle.

1. Climate deniers should not be MPs, Climate deniers should not be MPs (
2. What Pugh actually said. I was not able to find Jenna Lynch’s story.
3. “Te Ngaru Catchment Flood Hazard Analysis”, Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, 2005.
4. Tonga eruption doubles concentration of CO2 in Air,


DeeM said...

I'm afraid there's no altering the opinion of fanatics, even when you present a whole swathe of ACTUAL data to them, showing that CO2 and global temperature on Earth have no relationship to each other AND that extreme weather events are not more frequent or intense. In fact, some have become less so in recent decades.

Many of the papers supporting man-made global warming have been discredited by real scientists for lacking any data, cherry-picking data, or incorrectly analysing it. Often revealing a basic lack of understanding in the very principles the papers authors purport to be experts in. Michael Mann's Hockey Stick graph is a classic in all three.

Some people love a good "catastrophe", even when it isn't one.
Comfortable in their middle-class lifestyle, they can't wait to castigate everyone else who wants the same as them.
Man-made global warming is the perfect vehicle to project their own hypocritical "planet-saving" virtue.

Terry Morrissey said...

Just further evidence of a corrupt bought media following the ideology of an equally corrupt governing cult.
Now that covid has pretty much done its dash as a source of fearmongering and the facts of the vaccine are coming to the surface the government and their media sycophants are looking for a distraction. They have reverted to the old faithful of AGW to hopefully divert attention from the complicity of the government, opposition, bureaucrats and the media in the deception of the public on the safety, efficacy and adverse effects of the experimental gene therapy.

Ravi said...

From above, “ If your thoughts are out of line with the current orthodoxy you need re-education.”
Ms Lynch should know what her beloved Marxist icons, Stalin, Pol Pot, and Kim Jong Il, did to journalists and teachers that didn’t accept their dogma. Re-education would have been preferable to the dose of lead poisoning.

Rod K said...

Congratulations on a great article and in particular the reference to Dr Ian Plimer's book, "Heaven and Earth." His follow-up book entitled "Green Murder" takes the argument a step further by correctly blaming the "Greens" for using the Global Warming bulldust to completely screw the 'poor' who struggle financially to live a reasonable life.