Sent: Monday, June 09, 2008 2:00 AM
Subject: NOW IS THE TIME FOR ACT TO ACT !! (anyone interested to contact Rodney in this regard - address is above)

23 Feb 2007

Rodney Hide

Rodney Hide is New Zealand's leading proponent of accountability and transparency in government. He is also Parliament's most highly qualified environmentalist.

He entered Parliament in 1996 as an ACT list MP and became the Leader of ACT in 2004. In 2005 he won the Electorate Seat of Epsom.

Rodney forged a reputation in parliament by running successful campaigns against government waste, red tape, excessive taxation, and corporate welfare. He has helped many of his constituents in their struggles against government bureaucracy.

Rodney was founding chairman of ACT's predecessor, the Association of Consumers and Taxpayers, and founding president of ACT in 1994. Before becoming an MP, he worked as an economist, university lecturer, and on North Sea oil rigs.

Rodney has Masters Degrees in Economics (from Montana State University) and Resource Management (from Canterbury/Lincoln Universities). He is a regular blogger at

Dear Rodney - Please see the high lighted portion below - Regards, Ken Shock, Russell, NZ

Reply #316 on: June 06, 2008, 03:44:37 PM
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Vote on climate bill is blocked in Senate

By H. JOSEF HEBERT, Associated Press Writer 56 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - Senate Republicans on Friday blocked a global warming bill that would have required major reductions in greenhouse gases, pushing debate over the world's biggest environmental concern to next year for a new Congress and president.

Democratic leaders fell a dozen votes short of getting the 60 needed to end a Republican filibuster on the measure and bring the bill up for a vote, prompting Majority Leader Harry Reid to pull the legislation from consideration.

The Senate debate focused on bitter disagreement over the expected economic costs of putting a price on carbon dioxide, the leading greenhouse gas that comes from burning fossil fuels. Opponents said it would lead to higher energy costs.

The 48-36 vote fell short of a majority, but Democrats produced letters from six senators including both presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain saying they would have voted for the measure had they been there.

"It's just the beginning for us," proclaimed Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., a chief sponsor of the bill, noting that 54 senators had expressed support of the legislation, although that's still short of what would be needed to overcome concerted GOP opposition.

"It's clear a majority of Congress wants to act," Boxer said at a news conference.

She and other Democrats said this now lays the groundwork for action on climate change next year with a new Congress and a new president that will be more hospitable to mandatory greenhouse gas reductions.

Both Obama and McCain have called for capping carbon dioxide and other emissions linked to climate change. President Bush has opposed such measures and said he would have vetoed the Senate bill if he had received it.

The bill would have capped carbon dioxide coming from power plants, refineries and factories, with a target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 71 percent by mid-century.

"It's a huge tax increase," argued Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, a prominent coal-producing state. He maintained that the proposed system of allowing widespread trading of carbon emissions allowances would produce "the largest restructuring of the American economy since the New Deal."

Supporters of the bill accused Republicans of muddying the water with misinformation.

"There is no tax increase," Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., one of the bill's chief sponsors said. She said the emissions trading system would provide tax relief to help people pay energy prices. And supporters disputed that it would substantially increase gasoline prices.

Four Democrats joined most Republicans in essentially killing the bill.

Obama and McCain, as well as Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., and Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., who is recovering from cancer surgery, were absent, although they each sent a letter supporting the bill.

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Reply #317 on: June 09, 2008, 02:45:35 AM
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Climate Findings Were Distorted, Probe Finds
Appointees in NASA Press Office Blamed

By Juliet Eilperin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, June 3, 2008; Page A02

An investigation by the NASA inspector general found that political appointees in the space agency's public affairs office worked to control and distort public accounts of its researchers' findings about climate change for at least two years, the inspector general's office said yesterday.

The probe came at the request of 14 senators after The Washington Post and other news outlets reported in 2006 that Bush administration officials had monitored and impeded communications between NASA climate scientists and reporters.

James E. Hansen, who directs NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies and has campaigned publicly for more stringent limits on greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming, told The Post and the New York Times in September 2006 that he had been censored by NASA press officers, and several other agency climate scientists reported similar experiences. NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are two of the government's lead agencies on climate change issues.

( To find out WHO is censoring WHO, read the post below - Ken )

Research Professor at James Cook University,
Queensland, Australia.

NZCPR Guest Forum
Professor Bob Carter
8 June 2008
Hansenism in the cause of "command and control" climate politics

Following the failure of the Kyoto Protocol, powerful political forces are now being applied to voters in western democracies "to do something about global warming".

In late 2005 and early 2006, three major climate conferences were convened in Australasia, namely GREENHOUSE 2005: Action on Climate Change, 13-17 November 2005 in Melbourne; Climate Change & Business - 2nd Australia-New Zealand Conference, 20-21 February 2006 in Adelaide; and Climate Change and Governance Conference, 28-29 March 2006 in Wellington.

The three conferences shared the features of widespread pre-meeting publicity, and of sponsorship by major science organisations (CSIRO, Bureau of Meteorology, Royal Society of New Zealand), government departments (governments of Victoria, South Australia and New Zealand, foreign embassies (U.K., Holland), Greenhouse organisations and lobby groups (Australian Greenhouse Office, Greenpeace, World Wide Fund for Nature, Pew Center for Climate Change), and a wide range of companies and business organisations.

The press coverage before and during each meeting often gave the impression that the science of climate change was to be the focus, but in fact the conferences were dominantly concerned with greenhouse politics and governance.

I present here an analysis of the face that was presented to the public by the Wellington conference, Climate Change and Governance. The conclusions that I draw are, however, applicable also to the Melbourne and Adelaide meetings and to others of like kind. I assess the intentions of the Wellington conference organizers, the degree to which the general and policy discussions were informed by an adequate understanding of the science of climate change, the role played by the media in informing the public, and assess the outcomes.

Troublesome ethical issues emerge, the most important of which include the role in society of scientific organisations and universities, and the way in which government-employed and other scientists are today constrained in the public comment that they can make on controversial issues of the day. Another major concern is the way in which scientific results are now routinely deployed into the public domain with a clear propaganda intent.

That human activities are causing dangerous global warming is unproven and unlikely. Assertions towards that end are based on circumstantial evidence and unvalidated computer modelling. Present-day public discussion of climate change is dominated by self-interested scaremongering against a background of inculcated social guilt.

Yet against this background of strong and complex uncertainty, the Wellington Climate Change and Governance conference succeeded in reinforcing the already strong public impression that dangerous human-caused climate change is occurring, and that this change can be prevented by limiting human emissions of greenhouse gas.

However, to the degree that the conference was intended to contribute to a balanced public debate on human-caused global warming, it failed.

The major sponsors of the conference included organisations whose charter includes the disinterested presentation of high-quality science, and civil social responsibility; these organisations failed in their duty of public care.

In addition, media coverage of the conference was "balanced" in only the most superficial way; news reports concentrated heavily on climate alarmism, and failed to follow up on the caveats which were expressed by the more responsible speakers at the conference.

These major conclusions about the Wellington climate conference apply also to many other similar climate meetings that are held around the world, including the recent meetings in Melbourne and Adelaide. In fact, future natural climate change is inevitable and attempts to stop it are both futile and scandalously expensive. Fanning public hysteria over hypothetical human-caused global warming - as the Wellington, Melbourne and Adelaide conferences did - is particularly damaging because it diverts attention from the need to develop plans to manage future natural climate events as and when they occur, both warmings and the more dangerous coolings.

Our modern societies will be much the poorer if we do not protect the key principles of:


      Fearless, independent and impartial advice from civil servants and expert committees to their political masters;

      The scrupulously disinterested pursuit of research by scientists; and

      The even-handed reporting of scientific results to the public.

Both the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and the Wellington climate conference, display clearly the unacceptable price that society pays when it allows science to be corrupted by politicization. The future assessment of complex scientific and technological issues like climate change needs to be much more rigorously bias-proofed. At the very least this will require the routine use of counterweight and audit panels for rigorous verification of all major policy recommendations

Human causation aside, compelling scientific evidence exists that natural climate change, both warmings and coolings, present a future hazard to mankind.

Professor Carter's full analysis of the Conference has been published by the NZCPR as a research paper: 
(this is a 39 page scientific document - see link)

7 JUNE 2008

By Robert M. Carter James Cook University,
Townsville email:


Professor Robert (Bob) M. Carter (Bio)

Bob Carter is a marine geologist and environmental scientist with forty years professional experience, with degrees from the University of Otago (New Zealand) and Cambridge University (England). He has held academic positions at Otago University and the University of Adelaide, and is currently a Research Professor at James Cook University (Queensland), where he was Head of School of Earth Sciences between 1981 and 1999. He is a former Director of the Australian Office for the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP), the premier, world-best-practice research program for environmental and earth sciences.

Bob has served on many national and international research committees, including the Australian Research Council. He is a former Chairman of the Marine Science and Technologies Award Committee and the National Committee on Earth Sciences. He is an overseas Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand.

Bob Carter's current research on climate change, sea-level change and stratigraphy is based on field studies of Cenozoic sediments (last 65 million years) from the Southwest Pacific region, especially the Great Barrier Reef and New Zealand, and includes the analysis of marine sediment cores collected during Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Leg 181 in the South Pacific Ocean east of New Zealand.

Bob's research has been supported by grants from competitive public research agencies, especially the Australian Research Council (ARC) who in 1998 awarded him a Special Investigator grant. He receives no research funding from special interest organisations such as environmental groups, energy companies or government departments.

Bob Carter has published more than 100 papers in international refereed science journals. He is also an established opinion writer for newspapers such as The Australian, The Brisbane Courier Mail, The Financial Review and The Sunday Telegraph, and makes regular appearances on radio (ABC Science Show; Michael Duffy, John Laws, Alan Jones and Glen Beck radio shows) and television. Bob has acted as an expert witness on climate change for the U.S. Senate Committee of Environment and Public Works (Washington, 2006) and for the U.K. High Court (London, 2007; Dimmock v. the Queen)

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Reply #318 on: June 09, 2008, 04:25:19 AM
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Dr Ron Smith is Director of International Relations
and Security Studies at the University of Waikato,
where he has been in one capacity or another for
thirty years.  He has a particular interest in nuclear
policy and, more generally, in energy and security
issues. Tertiary qualifications in both Chemistry and
Philosophy also underpin an interest in the interface
between science and society.

NZCPR Mid-week Politics
Dr Ron Smith
4 June 2008
Science, Politics & Climate Change

Science does not proceed on the basis of consensus. The history of science is full of cases where a minority (or even single individuals) turn out to be right and the majority turns out to be wrong.  The German scientist, Wegener, provides a Twentieth Century example, through the response of the scientific community to his notion of continental drift. For some sixty years the theory was derided by the majority of the geophysical community and papers supporting it were declined for publication by leading journals. Minorities, particularly, have a problem where there are strong ideological pressures towards conformity. In these cases, some fortitude is required to maintain what is seen to be a deviant or heretical view. Apart from the obvious example of Galileo the situation of biological scientists in the Soviet Union, subjected to the dominant (and erroneous) dogma of Lysenko about the inheritability of acquired characteristics, might be cited.

In the contemporary world of public financing of intellectual activity, there are also more subtle pressures towards conformity. One of the many baleful consequences of directed or 'performance'-based research funding is the extent to which it privileges the prejudices and paradigms of those holding power in the system at any time. The result is to favour for research support and publication those who follow the party-line. This characteristic, and the dominating connection between this activity and promotion, ensures the production of vast quantities of mediocre and repetitive material in our universities and like establishments and discourages the long-term and more speculative activity that used to be their academic glory. It is to the continuing shame of all the New Zealand universities that this is so. In this connection it is noteworthy that in the UK the panels making these systemic judgements about academic worth have now been instructed to destroy all the notes on which the judgements were made.

All this has important implications for our contemporary concerns about climate change and about what our response ought to be to claims that a major crisis is looming and, as a consequence, certain social, political and economic steps should be taken. As is well-known, there is serious and persistent scepticism in regard to both the magnitude and the direction of climate change and the degree to which it may be said to be anthropogenic. This might be a largely 'academic' question were it not for the fact that measures of taxation and regulation are proposed that have the potential to cause significant harm to the economic well-being of New Zealand. Unlike the Wegener case, the consequence of suppressing the deviant view may not be simply that we remain in ignorance. It may be that we embark on policies that are likely to be very damaging to us and only marginally advantageous (if at all) to the wider global community.

With the hindsight of history, it is hard to believe that the diplomats and various experts who came together in Rio (in 1992) and, again, in Kyoto (in 1997), would have agreed to a global mitigation plan under which only a quarter of the world's states had any obligations to do anything, had they realised how the economies of India and China, and other Asian states, would grow in the years that followed. The argument that developed states achieved their relative prosperity without any restraints on their greenhouse emissions and that it would thus be wrong to impose any restraints on those still developing, may have seemed appealing at the time (and may still seem appealing to some) but if there is anything in the claim of climate crisis to come it is patently too simplistic.  And then, of course, there is the fact that, by all present signs, many of the states that have accepted commitments will (in varying degrees) fail to meet them.  Germany provides an interesting example here, since apart from the general slippage characteristic of European states, it is intending to make its problem infinitely worse by continuing with a minority-driven phase-out of its nuclear generation capacity.  Pathetically, the German government is intending to ask Brussels for a dispensation in regard to its Kyoto targets on this account.

Given that the world will very likely continue to increase its production of greenhouse gases (and in the light of the earlier-expressed doubts about the causation and extent of any climate change) there should surely be some thorough-going review of the facts before New Zealand, to its very considerable detriment, elects to fulfil what it sees as its Kyoto commitments. There is a need for a substantial and wide-ranging debate and this must surely mean that at least one of the political parties contesting the up-coming election must offer an alternative to the prevailing un-wisdom on climate. Most desirably, this should be the National Party. The central issues are very consistent with what National has stood for but the leadership of the Party is very clearly intent on offering only what it perceives to be consensus policies and is unlikely to make a stand on principle when expediency is doing so well.

This, really, only leaves ACT. For them, to give New Zealand voters a clear policy choice at the election later this year could be seen as not only a moral obligation but also a political opportunity; an opportunity for national second thoughts. And it is surely consistent with core principles. In the light of the inevitable negative impact of the proposed Kyoto changes, this could be welcomed by a significant proportion of the electorate. To be sure, there may be some risk in such a policy to the main-stream support which, through the election of Rodney Hide in Epsom has ensured the Party's place in Parliament. On the other hand, there may be little long-term virtue in maintaining a two-member party. This might be an opportunity to go for broke and offer a radically different approach to what is clearly shaping to be a major political issue. This, after all, is what Party-founder, Roger Douglas, offered in a different context, nearly a quarter of a century ago.

If ACT took up this challenge, it would offer an explicit commitment to oppose any legislation or regulatory measure, bearing on supposed climate change, until the evidence for such change and its anthropogenic character had been the subject of a formal commission of inquiry. This inquiry would also examine the likely social and economic implications for New Zealand of the various proposed mitigation measures.  In relation to this latter point, it may be that even if we satisfied ourselves that the scientific data pointed (with whatever degree of certainty) to undesirable change, caused by human activity, we still might conclude that we should not proceed with measures now proposed on the grounds of the damage that these will cause to New Zealand interests, both collective and individual.

The principle here is a familiar one. In the context of international relations, governments have a particular responsibility to protect the interests of their own citizens. Particularly, they may not to be self-sacrificing in respect of those interests, so that even if it were clear that the climate-mitigation measures envisaged for New Zealand would benefit humanity as a whole (another matter on which the proposed commission would be asked to report) it is not clear that it would justify the harms likely to be inflicted locally. Of course, individual citizens may be self-sacrificing with their own interests. In the present context, this would mean that they could volunteer to pay (say) carbon charges in relation to their own fossil-fuel usages or make other changes in their life-style and behaviour. It is just that the government would not impose such things upon them.

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There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty.