To the Select Committee from the Kiwi Party


Submission to address the following terms of reference of the Committee's review:
# identify the central/benchmark projections which are being used as the motivation for international agreements to combat climate change; and consider the uncertainties and risks surrounding these projections
# consider the impact on the New Zealand economy and New Zealand households of any climate change policies, having regard to the weak state of the economy, the need to safeguard New Zealand’s international competitiveness, the position of trade-exposed industries and the actions of competing countries.
The Kiwi Party is a New Zealand registered political party with a constitutional commitment to upholding Judeo/Christian values in our society. These values have been the foundations that have brought 169 years of freedom and prosperity to our citizens and our nation.
Science & technology have played an enormous part in our country's development and achievements. The discovery of scientific knowledge relies upon a free society where persons can pursue the research of facts and theory without political interference except where such research or experimentation may be harmful to human life or the violation of accepted humanitarian principles.
It is the concern of the Kiwi Party that the current debate about global warming, climate change and its anthropogenic origins has become far too politicised. in our opinion.
We welcome this committee's formation to give an opportunity to review the consequences of going any further down a path that has gathered widespread political acceptance. At the same time a growing number of scientists and people of commonsense are becoming increasingly concerned about the disregard of clear evidence to the contrary.

The current situation where supporters of anthropogenic global warming label all sceptics of the theory as either not being ‘real scientists’ and ‘not qualified climate experts’ or those who are in the pocket of oil companies and other special interest groups. This is not a healthy environment for scientific debate. 

Given that the vast majority of research funding currently being allocated by governments around the world is going to pro-global warming research one might ask the question as to who is in who’s pocket!
  1. Is Global Warming theory supported by sufficient factual evidence to justify the enormous expenditure of public money and burdens being placed on our economy being proposed by the Emissions Trading Scheme(ETS)?
The debate has led to an increase in new research and new facts about our climate that is beneficial to the world. However it is clear from the ongoing controversy that the debate is far from over. As a committee you will hear scientific evidence from both sides of the argument. It is not our intention to repeat a great deal of that evidence to be presented by various experts more qualified than ourselves.
We seek to raise a fundamental question based upon a lay-person's logical conclusions once the facts are clarified and extracted from the media hype and bias.
For example, it is not helpful that almost every time the media reports on the subject of global warming we see the same pictures of a lonely polar bear floating on a piece of ice, or melting ice falling into the sea. Both of these pictures can be seen every year and are not unique to this period of the world’s climate. Since the world has been warmer than the current temperatures in the last 2000 years there can not be any threat of extinction to polar bears, nor the collapse of the ice shelfs to cause massive sea level rise.
It is also difficult to hear the facts when the media and some politicians constantly claim that there is no longer any doubt about the fact that the earth is warming rapidly and that temperature increase is entirely caused by greenhouse gases. ( These are often expressed as CO2 equivalents and we shall hereafter refer to them simply as CO2. )
We hope this committee will establish what is really happening with the accurate temperature data being collected from all over the globe.
We, as the public, hear from the media that 2008 is the tenth hottest year on record while at the same time we hear that 2008 is the coldest year on record this century.
Both these statements are true and reflect how the same facts can be presented to support a particular argument.
Rather than claiming that the 2008 temperature is a slight variation in a warming trend it is possible to state that 2005, the second hottest year on record, was a blip in a cooling trend that began in 2002 and has continued every year (with the exception of 2005) until 2009.
The following is an attempt to establish some facts regarding the claims of global warming.
The longe range view over the last three decades shows a warming trend of the Global Average Temperatures. (GAT)
 1979-1988 average 14.09 C
1989-1998 average     14.22 C
1998-2008 average      14.39 C
An increase of 0.30 C
Many climate scientists accept that the highest temperature in 1998 was at least in part affected by a strong El Nino weather pattern at that time. If this is taken into account by using an average of the year before and after and comparing those years in three decades we see:
1986, 1987, 1988 average 14.13 C
1996, 1997, 1998 average 14.34 C
2006, 2008, 2009 average 14.38 C
An increase of 0.25 C
If we simply take the GAT in 2008 14.31 C and compare it with the GAT of 1900 at the beginning of the last century of 13.75 C we have an increase of 0.56 C.


The conclusion is that the earth is undeniably warmer. That is well established and accounts for what is being observed in the thawing of the arctic perma-frost and melting sea ice in some areas. 
However the recent cooling trend raises questions over the fundamental theory of anthropogenic global warming.

Global warming theory maintains that an increase in CO2 leads to an increase in global temperatures. The more we learn about the complexity of the world's climate and its many varied influences, the more we should be careful about proposing simplistic theories and even more simplistic solutions.

The major problem for supporters of this theory is that global average temperatures have not increased above the 1998 peak while CO2 levels have continued to rise. This explains why there has been a shift from talking about 'global warming' to talking about 'climate change'.
This summer the widespread forest fires in Australia and a beautiful sweltering summer here in NZ make it convenient to attribute all this to increased CO2 and validation of the theory of anthropogenic global warming/climate change!   However if one has lived in London for their winter of 2009, one might have more difficulty believing in global warming with one of the coldest winters for at least 30 years.
The reality is that neither our hot summer nor Britain’s cold winter proves anything much except that our climate can change dramatically from year to year.   Any spot you pick on the globe has at some point been hotter and colder in recent history.
However, 2008 was the coldest year this century, and 10 years after the peak of 1998, the trend of the average global temperatures over the decade has been for the average annual global temperatures to grow cooler while CO2 levels in the atmosphere continue to increase, and increase dramatically.
The attached graph shows the extent that CO2 emissions have continued to increase over the past decade while the temperature has begin to trend downwards, pretty much since 2002 (with the exception of 2005).
2. Why are we are taking huge risks with the health and strength of our economy at a time when we need to reduce unnecessary costs and regulation in order to increase productivity and efficiency?

On the international stage the world is facing economic recession and here at home our economy is suffering the serious impact of these overseas events.

This surely cannot be the time for imposing additional costs on our businesses and economy when no one is able to predict the real value of such measures.

3. What we need is not just urgency but the right action.   History reveals there has never been a doomsayer that was right.

It was only 9 years ago the whole world was in a panic over the Millennium bug! Huge amounts of money and effort were spent in attempts to avert or mitigate the predicted catastrophe yet none of the predictions actually eventuated.
Since 1998 we have been hearing internationally respected voices making statements like, “we must act now, we may only have 10 years before we reach the tipping point and it will be too late to reverse the damage we have done!”
Ten years later we still hear the same call that we only have 10 years before we reach the tipping point.
With all due respect to the members of this committee, if members of parliament and ministers of the Crown truly and sincerely believed that the planet is in dire peril, greater action would surely be taken. 
We submit that the actions of the Government actually speak louder than their words, revealing the underlying reality of a game of politics and lack of courage to honestly speak up on an important issue.

New Zealand has a proud record of taking leadership in the world - we urge this committee to follow that record by having the courage to make a recommendation to this parliament that will be seen as genuine and sincere leadership on the world stage, something that goes against the tide of media hype and political spin.

Our justice system does not allow an accused to be convicted where there is reasonable doubt in the minds of the jury over the facts of a case presented by the prosecution. We believe you will have heard sufficient evidence in many submissions presented before this committee to require you in all honesty to say there is reasonable doubt about the wisdom of the course of action the previous government embarked upon.
We submit to the committee that, in fact, there will be negligible damage from delaying at least another 3-5 years until we see if there is any imperical evidence of a sustained rise in global average temperatures to back the theory before we take such drastic measures as treating CO2 as a pollutant and imposing costs on those who produce it. If the current cooling trend does continue over the next three years there will need to be a serious re-evaluation of the global warming theory.

The Kiwi Party would like to be heard by the committee. 


Yours sincerely,
Larry Baldock
Kiwi Party Leader