Monday, 27 April 2009

Soapbox Salinger sacked [updated]

NIWA has sacked Jim Salinger. Described by some as “New Zealand's most prominent climate scientist,” by others as "New Zealand's most prominent climate alarmist," and still more as “the voice of global warming in New Zealand,” his sacking does not unfortunately presage any sort of change of direction for New Zealand’s most prominent global warming promoters. NIWA is still wall-to-wall warmist – but when both Greenpeace and Jeanette Fitzsimplesimons are upset at his sacking, it’s reason enough to celebrate.

As Anthony Watts does:

Now if NASA could just get the stones to do this for Jim Hansen . . .

Said Salinger himself in response to the sacking: “As scientists we’re all a bit eccentric and we all might slightly break protocol, but it’s not going to destroy NIWA.” For “break protocol,” read “use his job as a political soapbox.”

For your interest, here is some of the “wisdom” Salinger has dispensed on behalf of his former employer:

  • At a convention of the Institute of Brewing and Distilling in New Zealand, Jim Salinger told the crowd that climate change will likely cause a decline in the production of malting barley in New Zealand and particularly Australia, and that, "It will mean either there will be pubs without beer or the cost of beer will go up."
  • "Regional warming" is killing NZ’s glaciers, said Salinger in November 2007. Yet according to Salinger's own organisation, New Zealand's average temperate the previous month was 0.5 degrees Celsius below average, New Zealand experienced no warming over the last century, and the “regional” warming over the Southern Hemisphere for the last 30 years showed "a warming trend" of around 0.00 °C per decade.
  • In April 2007, comments from Salinger over over Northland's flooding showed that the Government's National Institute of Water and Atmosphere (NIWA) should be shut down, said Augie Auer. "So simplistic, it's silly" was how Dr Auer described the statement.
    "As an explanation of the cause and consequences of last week's Northland rains," said Dr Auer, "Dr Salinger's statement ... is as unscientific as it is incorrect. "
  • In February this year, Salinger was quoted in the Herald on Auckland’s so called “hottest day ever” -- “the highest since official NIWA records began in September 1868” said the Herald – a remarkable judgement based on one outlying reading in Whenuapai, a station which only existed from 1945 to 1993 and from 2005 to now. (See discussion here at NZ’S Weather Forum.) This interview was among those cited as a reason for Salinger’s sacking.

Anyway, here is a YouTube grilling of warmist messiah Al Gore by a Republican Congresswoman on cap-and-trade system to curb greenhouse gases during a congressional hearing recently which just been posted at TechCrunch. Watch Al Gore being frustrated by the questions put forward to him the the Congresswoman.

This was yet another occasion when the Goracle -- who has a policy of never debate, only obfuscate --  managed to once again sidestep the challenge of former Thatcher Science Advisor and Free Radical contributor Christopher Monckton, Gore’s Democrats refusing to allow  Monckton to testify alongside Gore. [Michael Savage interviews Monckton here.]

And even CNN has taken to mocking Gore these days, pointing out the irony in Gore trying to draw parallels with global warming activism now and civil righs activism in the 60s – there was some irony in that remark, being that Gore's father was a longtime senator from Tennessee that voted against civil rights legislation, said Dobbs – who “also noted during the segment prior Earth Day prognostications, all of which didn't quite come true.” Newsbusters reports:

    "Well, Earth Day, this week, and here are some words of doom and gloom from leading scientists, academics and authors on our climate and environment associated with Earth Day," Dobbs said. "Journalists Peter Collier wrote, ‘One to two million people per year will be starving to death during the next 10 years.' Biologist Paul Ehrlich claimed that most people are going to die in ‘the greatest cataclysm of mankind.' Harvard biologist George Wall said, ‘If we don't take act now, civilization will end between 15 or 30 years.' And ecologist Kenneth Watt claiming that in 15 years, ‘Air pollution will reduce the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one- half.' I want to point out if I may that each and every one of those quotes were from the first Earth Day in 1970, nearly 40 years ago."
The CNN segment highlighted a report that global warming skeptic Lord Christopher Monckton was denied the opportunity to testify before the House Subcommittee on Energy and the Environment.
"The House Democrats don't want Gore humiliated, so they slammed the door of the Capitol in my face," Monckton told the online magazine Climate Depot," CNN correspondent Lisa Sylvester said.
And as Climate Depot's Marc Morano explained - most Gore's doom-and-gloom forecasts are to occur in the distant future.
"If you look at Gore's testimony today, he was talking about what could, might and may happen 50 to 100 years from now," Morano said to CNN. "He was not talking about reality."


  1. This warmist scientist has polarized the debate on climate change in NZ that he deserved to go. Perhaps the next one to go is another warmist Dr. David Wratt (government climate change adviser) who is also from NIWA. Dr Wratt has been dismissive about the NZ Climate Science coalition since it formed a few years ago.

    Anyway, here is a YouTube grilling of warmist messiah Al Gore by a Republican Congresswoman on cap-and-trade system to curb greenhouse gases during a congressional hearing recently which just been posted at TechCrunch. Watch Al Gore being frustrated by the questions put forward to him the the Congresswoman.

    Al Gore Defends His Right To Invest In Green: "Congresswoman, You Don’t Know Me."

    Al Gore is a partner in the Venture fund , Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, where Mr. Gore is promoting investments in Green technologies.

  2. Nice to see the neo-Luddite movement alive and well on this blog!

  3. Illuminated Tiger

    Interesting how there are so many, such as you, who fail to consider real evidence, weigh concepts analytically, check premise and consistently measure each and every conclusion against reality.

    You are in the position of a blind believer who evades critical thought in order to take what you perceive as the easier, more convenient option. That's the inconvenient truth you need to consider about yourself.

    Next time you want to post, try writing something of substance.


  4. Perhaps the issue is really about free speech. Crown Research Institute scientists are not allowed to talk in the public square without approval. It is in the interests of a civil open and free society that scientists are encouraged to speak out and argue the toss in public. Whether one agrees or disagrees with Jim Salinger's comments is essentially irrelevant. We need our politicians to remove the restrictions on scientists speaking in public. The removal of current restrictions can improve the quality and breadth of public discourse on a myriad of issues that affect us all.

  5. John Scott, most employees in positions of responsibility are "not allowed" to speak out, regardless of the organisation, industry or occupation.

  6. John

    There would be no problem if an individual (such as a "scientist") is speaking his mind in public as any private citizen can. Jim (the sky is falling) Salinger was not doing that. He was relying upon his artificial status as a government authority to utter proclaimations from the parapets of a (government) castle. All is well for him so long as the proclamations to the people are as his masters require. Not so good for him if he annoys his masters or fails to behave as they require (or if they detect that the people have stopped believing in him or, worse, don't take him seriously/respectfully).

    As a government owned creature (a modern version of the old town crier) he's presently experiencing the fact that he must do as his owners command if he wants to stay up on the parapets. They own him. He is not his own man.

    BTW free men are able to speak their minds in public...


  7. Clunking Fist

    It's not a matter of being "allowed" or "not allowed". It's a matter of doing the correct actions consistently even when such actions make you unpopular. If you can't, then resign and find a better role more in tune with your nature.

    As an executive holding a responsible position I've previously had good reasons to have "spoken out". As a first step issues may be dealt with internally. In some instances the best alternative is to enter the public domain. If the issue relates to a criminal activity there is no alernative other than to contact relevant authorities immediately. Your skill, experience and morality as a professional executive informs the decision.


  8. LGM, do you know what a nutshell is?


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