Submission to ETS Review Panel 2012 (#3)


I have read the consultation document regarding updates to the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme. It was all about HOW this onerous scheme (estimated to cost the average NZ household $1500/year for starters) could be implemented, but nothing about WHETHER it should be implemented. Apparently, that’s a subject that’s not open to discussion, since Nick Smith directed the Panel last year as follows:


"The review panel should NOT focus on:

a. whether an emissions trading scheme is the most appropriate response to climate change for NZ;

b. whether NZ should be taking action on climate change; and

c. climate change measures outside of the NZ ETS (except to the extent that a-c above raise broader issues about the best means of meeting NZ's international obligations)."


Mr. Groser says that NZ should “do its fair share on the issue of climate change.” That’s fair enough. The questions therefore become the following:


  • How does this carbon tax, along with similar carbon taxes in the rest of the world, serve to stop an alleged catastrophic global warming?
  • Does carbon dioxide produced by human activities directly affect global temperatures?
  • Are the human costs to households, the general economy and the overall personal and government debt “reasonable?”


It seems that the New Zealand government considers the premise of manmade global warming resulting from carbon dioxide emissions as scientifically proven beyond question and not worthy of debate. But it that true? In fact, thousands of respected climatologists and other scientists do not agree with that premise. Here are some examples:


  • More than 20,000 scientists have now signed the Oregon Petition which criticises the IPCC report as flawed research and states that “any human contribution to climate change has not yet been demonstrated.” Dr. Chris Landsea resigned from the IPCC because he “personally could not in good faith continue to contribute to a process that I view as both being motivated by pre-conceived agendas and being scientifically unsound.”


  • The Global Warming Petition Project has been signed by more than 31,000 American scientists, including more than 9,000 with PhDs. Nearly 4,000 signers are scientists trained in specialties directly related to the physical environment of the Earth and the past and current phenomena that affect that environment. The petition states: “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.”


With regard to the IPCC, far from being the last word on climate science, many of those who worked with that panel and are familiar with their methods have exposed it as being not a scientific, but a political organization. Czech President Klaus stated “It is not fair to refer to the UN panel as a group of scientists. The IPCC is not a scientific institution. It's a political body, a sort of non-government organization of green flavor. It's neither a forum of neutral scientists nor a balanced group of scientists. These people are politicized scientists, and UN bureaucrats, who arrive there with a one-sided opinion and a one-sided assignment." Dr. Richard Lindzen, who is a genuine climate expert (Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT), resigned from the IPCC process after his contributions were completely rewritten by the panel. He stated, "It's not 2,500 people offering their consensus, I participated in that. Each person who is an author writes one or two pages in conjunction with someone else. They travel around the world several times a year for several years to write it and the summary for policymakers has the input of a handful of scientists, but ultimately, it is written by representatives of governments, and of environmental organizations, each pushing their own agenda." But why not let one of the IPCC’s authors tell it in his own words:


"We need to get some broad based support, to capture the public's imagination...
So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements
and make little mention of any doubts...
Each of us has to decide what the right balance
is between being effective and being honest.
- Prof. Stephen Schneider,
Stanford Professor of Climatology,
lead author of many IPCC reports


More evidence of the disingenuity of some sources of global warming alarmism became manifest in the so-called “Climategate” e-mails which emanated from Great Britain’s University of East Anglia.

If manmade carbon dioxide emissions were the true cause of global warming, a number of historical anomalies need to be explained. First, there’s the so-called Medieval Warm Period, when 1000 years ago, Vikings settled in Greenland and raised crops and cattle and Britons grew grapes in England. Four hundred years later, Greenland froze and the Vikings starved. Europe was gripped in a Little Ice Age. The Thames froze all the way up to London. Another surge in temperatures saw widespread global droughts in the mid-1600s. Temperatures plunged again around 1700’s. The globe warmed in 1800-1940, cooled for the next 35 years, then warmed again. The 1940-1975 cooling period occurred despite the fact that industrial production and release of CO2 vastly accelerated during this time. This led to political and media scaremongering about Global Cooling, and the threat of a new ice age. And to top it all off, the earth has been cooling every year since 1998, due to reduced sunspot activity!

Sunspot and solar radiation activity almost exactly parallel temperature changes on the Earth. It correlates well with the anomalous post-war temperature dip, when global carbon dioxide levels were rising very fast. The increase in solar radiation prevents the formation of clouds, which have a cooling effect on the planet, therefore the temperature rises. It has been shown that when the earth warms due to increased solar activity, more carbon dioxide is liberated from the vast ocean reservoirs. Therefore, increased atmospheric CO2 is not the cause of warming, but the result of it.

Indeed, it seems ludicrous to think that carbon dioxide can have any but a negligible effect on temperatures, regardless of human activity. Carbon dioxide comprises a mere 0.04% of the earth’s atmosphere, while water vapour, a significantly stronger greenhouse gas, is about 4%. It’s understandable why politicians would ignore the contribution of the sun and water vapour, though. How could those be taxed?

So for the very dubious idea that manmade greenhouse gas emissions are leading to catastrophic global warming, the already strapped and overtaxed people of New Zealand (a country with 0.06% of the world’s population), reeling from the global economic downturn and the costs associated with the Christchurch earthquakes, are expected to pony up an average of $1500 per household TO START, with the cost of carbon credits slated to double in five years, based on the proposed increase of $5 per metric ton per year. What will this do the ability of industry to create wealth? Or are we expected to just run the printing presses and end up owned by the banks, like the countries of Europe now find themselves? At the minimum, it should be obvious that the debate is NOT over and the New Zealand government owes it to those for whom they work to have an open debate of the real climate science. In the light of the evidence, it should be very “reasonable” to Mr. Groser and others that the whole ETS should be scrapped forthwith.