Tuesday, 5 February 2013

DOWN TO THE DOCTOR’S: Salinger: Distinguished Ambassador For The Panic Merchants

Libertarianz leader Dr Richard McGrath has been waiting for a break in the weather of climate misinformation.

Climate alarmist and sacked former NIWA employee Michael James Salinger has really outdone himself this time. On January 30, when the focus of much of the nation was on searing (for New Zealand, anyway) summertime temperatures and drought, Salinger opined from his ivory tower that temperatures could reach the high thirties and possibly the low forties.

If New Zealand was ever going to break its record temperature, it would be now, Dr Salinger said.

“Parts of the South Island could expect temperatures over 40,” said the Oracle.

Notice that this stranger to truth* carefully said nothing about global warming. Nothing that controversial, not openly. This was posed as just a simple prediction of temperature in a specific region of the country, a day or two out from the time period under consideration. From a visiting and consulting professor at Stanford University, no less. Whose predictions carry weight. A certainty, surely.

Living on the east coast of the North Island, in one of its hotter towns, my curiosity was stimulated. And worried.  I had fears of Masterton wilting under some seriously scorching temperatures.

So what happened?

Almost immediately, the local weather predictors rubbished Salinger's calculations. MetServices Ian Gall said he doubted whether temperatures would ever reach 35C, noting that a north-westerly wind would be required for this to happen. And WeatherWatch's Philip Duncan said simply:

I don't think it's going to happen.

He was right. The following day, Masterton's official temperature reached 32.2, the nation's maximum, but at least eight degrees cooler than Salinger's doomsday prediction. Eight degrees! Yet Jim and his fellow travellers want us to ditch our gas-guzzling forest-killing ice-cap-melting automobiles and instead ride bicycles made out of plywood because of a predicted one- or two-degree increase in global temperature over the next century! Can anyone else see the irony in this?

As I write this, Masterton is enjoying a thunderstorm and heavy rain that was too much for some of the guttering around my home, with rainwater spilling over the side despite my having cleared them of leaves a week or two ago. Sorry to have to tell you this Jim, but the heatwave is over. The temperature here is dropping to 23 degrees tomorrow and 20 the day after, and it's going to keep raining. Oh dear. So much for Jim - he can't even manage a simple weather forecast for two days ahead. Why on earth should we believe his predictions for the next century?

Furthermore, Jim doesn't even have the courage of his convictions. He wouldn't voluntarily pay a levy on his own use of carbon unless a gun was held to his head. To quote the man:

A "voluntary emissions scheme" is like asking me to pay voluntary taxes - I would probably not pay them!

And what would stop you paying of your own accord this tax you so desperately want the rest of us to pay, Jim? I know the answer: it's not the mitigation of CO2 emissions that concerns you, it's making sure that everyone (especially the rich) is sucked into paying this stealth tax. Well, something has to fund all that wealth redistribution doesn't it?

Can you imagine how many carbon credits Ayn Rand's industrialist hero Hank Rearden would need to find to keep the likes of Jim happy:

“He saw his mills rising in the darkness, as a black silhouette against a breathing glow.  The glow was the color of burning gold, and ‘Rearden Steel’ stood written across the sky in the cool, white fire of crystal.  He looked at the long silhouette, the curves of blast furnaces standing like triumphal arches, the smokestacks rising like a solemn colonnade along an avenue of honor in an imperial city, the bridges hanging like garlands, the cranes saluting like lances, the smoke waving slowly like flags.  The sight broke the stillness within him and he smiled in greeting  It was a smile of happiness, of love, of dedication.”

See ya next week!

Richard McGrath
Leader, Libertarianz Party

* Editor’s Note: You’d think Soapbox Salinger might have been more careful, having been sacked after talking in the Herald on Auckland’s so called “hottest day ever” back in 2009 -- “the highest since official NIWA records began in September 1868” said the Scare Merchant – a remarkable judgement based on one outlying reading in Whenuapai, a station which only existed from 1945 to 1993 and from 2005 to now.

Here’s Martha & the Vandellas:


  1. While at NIWA Jim's seasonal forecasts were a standing joke...he'd make the call that summer would be 'dryer and warmer than normal' and we would get drenched and cold.

    The guy would struggle to hindcast the weather let alone forecast future changes in climate. Yet his thesis methodology for 'adjusting' temperatures is still used by NIWA to torture the climate record so it confirms a warming trend of around 0.9 oC over the past century. See the sorry tale here:


  2. Salinger is a nut. He liked to use, in radio interviews, the ridiculous illustration, the Butterfly effect, for his alarmist twaddle.

    My question is - how many other commentators will have him up for this? This is the second greatest con in mankind's history (after (man-made) Gods) and there is little in the way of serious journalism.

    It's become a secular religion - therefore Liberals will not cast judgement on it. Hence the silence.

    [In chaos theory, the butterfly effect is the sensitive dependence on initial conditions, where a small change at one place in a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences to a later state. The name of the effect, coined by Edward Lorenz, is derived from the theoretical example of a hurricane's formation being contingent on whether or not a distant butterfly had flapped its wings several weeks before.


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