Australian FOI law keeps secret the construction of New Zealand seven station temperature series

In 2010 the New Zealand National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Ltd (NIWA) with the assistance of four months help from the Australian BoM revised their seven station NZ temperature series to arrive at a national temperature trend from 1910. This is a much shorter period than the previous seven station series which was from before 1860.

The New Zealand Climate Science Coalition (NZCSC) started with an Official Information Act request on 21 December 2009 – attempting to obtain from NIWA details of the adjustments and construction of the seven station series from the many component data. These efforts did not succeed and I think in August 2010 they started court action against NIWA – which I understand is not over.

At the end of August 2010 NIWA sought the assistance of the Australian BoM to check their seven station series and in late December 2010 the revised NIWA seven station trend was published.

The NZ blog Climate Conversation Group has an article on 28th April “NIWA — show us the peer review!” – where they discuss the unsatisfactory state of affairs due to NIWA secretly adjusting raw station data to make their high warming seven station trend a trend that is unverifiable until NIWA releases details.

In February 2011 I lodged an FOI request with the BoM to release to me all documents and data connected with their work on the seven station series for NIWA. After a couple of extensions of time – on 6th May they emailed me the following pdf files which in a nutshell – tell me that all relevant documents and data are “fully exempt” from the FOI Act – and are thus still secret.

First the BoM reasons for refusal.

  • Some relevant sections of the FOI Act
  • Schedule of Documents – a very interesting list of 159 exempt documents comprising over 1600 pages plus 642 files – there may be some duplication.

This schedule shows the “peer review” process started at the end of August 2010 and the list ends on Christmas Eve – pretty much four months.

I am hoping that people smarter than I might see ways to carry on the battle to get these papers and files released.

What can be so secret about the things publicly funded scientists and bureaucrats do to adjust common garden old weather records into a form that suits them? We are not talking about nuclear weapons secrets here.

There were two other pdf files

Added 7.30pm 7 May: Please note the anti-spam function is catching many good comments now and holding them for approval. So please be patient if your comment does not appear quickly.

Organic farms more energy efficient – not so says Mischa Popoff

A study at York University – Toronto, finds Organic farms more energy efficient.

Now this blog has no track record commenting on Canadian farming but when Mischa Popoff sent me this reference, the bells it rang for me is that for decades I have heard what I think are unjustified claims about organic produce here in Australia.

Now if consumers enjoy paying high prices for pest affected inferior produce while believing it carries some Green benefits by being “organic” – I suppose that is their business.

Anyway – read on for Misha’s comments.

Okay… now I’ve heard everything.

A new study co-authored by a member of the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University claims organic farms can be more energy efficient than conventional operations. That’s like saying “Hey! I can be a faster runner than Usain Bolt!”

In case you don’t know, Usain is the fastest man in the world (he’s also referred to as Lightning Bolt). So, how the heck can I claim to run faster than him? Well, you see, the key words in my dubious claim are “can be.” I mean, sure, if Usain is fast asleep I can be way faster than he is. It all depends on the circumstances. And, until Usain and I have a race, well… my statement stands! So there.

This study is a total sham. Really. I mean, how much of my taxes were wasted on this? But, alas this is what happens when people who’ve never worked a day on a farm and who work at a university located in the downtown core of a large city decide to attack modern farming in a fight against the phantom menace of climate change.

As I show in my book, organic farming is less efficient than conventional farming. In most cases, far less so. But that’s perfectly fine! There’s nothing wrong with burning fossil fuels, especially on a farm! And since when is organic farming supposed to fall into line with every single “green” desire environmentalists have?

We’re supposed to produce food that’s purer and more nutritious in the organic sector. We rely on time-proven methods that have sustained humankind for thousands of years; so who cares if we burn a bit more diesel? Every organic farmer I know will tell you straight up that he burns more fuel for every bushel he produces compared to his conventional neighbors. And you know what? It doesn’t bother him in the least. What bothers organic farmers, young and old, is when they’re used as pawns to fight someone else’s environmental battle, in this case, the crazy battle against climate change.

Attention, anyone working in the environmental department of a university! North-American farmers don’t care about climate change! Never did, never will.

In case you haven’t heard about this study, click here. And if you have, and thought perhaps it might be true, ask yourself why Al Gore never mentions organic farming. It’s because he knows organic farming requires more fossil fuel than conventional farming, and it releases more CO2. Too bad the authors of this study don’t know what Gore knows.

If you haven’t heard about my book that debunks this type of malarkey while promoting true, honest, domestic organic farming, please go to my website. For my specific comments on the issue of organics and CO2, just click here.

Mischa Popoff, B.A. (Hons.), IOIA Organic Inspector
Author of Is it Organic? The inside story of the organic industry
Some people hate this book, but if you’ve ever worked on a farm, you’ll love it
Osoyoos BC Canada

Reasons to Oppose a Carbon Tax #3

Dear Government Member of Parliament,

Let us look quickly at your Government plans to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

From the above link – I have assumed your Government is aiming to reduce its emissions by between 5 and 15 per cent below 2000 levels by 2020. I have chosen the mid-range 10% reduction for the graphic below.

CO2 emissions China vs Australia

Let us further assume that Australian voters come to agree with your GreenLabor Government Carbon Tax plan – that the huge national sacrifice is worth the pain – to reduce our emissions by the ~80 million tonnes from current levels which gets us down to 10% below 2000 levels by 2020.

All those jobs exported to Asia – all those mortgage foreclosures – all those chilly winters as we try to reduce our rocketing electricity bills – all those rocketing grocery bills – fuel prices heading skywards – all will be worth it to do our bit to save the planet.

What will our decade long sacrifice mean in global terms if the above fairy story came to pass.

The figures show that China alone – not adding in the rest of the world – just China – will wipe out our tens years of painful ~80 million tonnes of carbon dioxide reductions in just 48 days of their emissions increase from 2008-2009.

48 days respite – that is what our decade of financial sacrifice will buy just from Chinese emission increases.

Luckily my little scenario was a fairy story – because Australian voters will not return your GreenLabor Government at the next election – whenever that is. An election could be held sooner than 2013 of course if the GreenLabor Government was to lose a seat in a byelection.

Your Government should do the decent thing – call a fresh election now and campaign on a platform to introduce your Carbon Tax – and then your Government could earn the mandate to introduce this colossal change to our national life.

PS: The BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2010 can be downloaded

Yours etc

Reasons to Oppose a Carbon Tax #2

Dear Government Members of Parliament and Senators.

Voters out here in the real world can not understand why tiny Australia is playing world leader by introducing a Carbon Tax.

Major global carbon emitters, China, India, Russia, Canada, Japan, France and the USA have either rejected or deferred ETS as a means of limiting CO2 emissions: That the Australian Government would rush in foolishly and go it alone to implement this utterly impractical Green policy – simply beggars belief !

And this, at a time when the US Dollar Index has tumbled fifteen percent in a year – harming our export industries by driving our dollar ever higher in value – while global debt concerns are ever present to threaten greater damage to markets.

Surely, this is the wrong time for Government to disrupt our economy by embarking on a windmill-tilting Green experiment to “do something about climate change” – an experiment which has not the slightest hope of having a detectable effect on global climate.

It is amazing that our Government has not done any due-diligence studies to assess the effect of a Carbon Tax on our economy. Voters out here in the real world value our national prosperity greatly and our Government should take heed of public opinion which is sixty percent against your Carbon Tax.

Your Government should call a fresh election now and campaign on a platform to introduce a Carbon Tax – and then your Government could earn the mandate to introduce this colossal change to our national life.


BoM 3-month outlooks hopeless again

The BoM 3 month forecast Outlooks improved for three months after Spring 2010 but have deteriorated again over the last two months.

Below I have six panels showing Outlook forecast map alongside realworld results map for rain and max & min temperatures.

Outlook period January to March 2011


Rain Outlook Jan-Mar2011

The Outlook has a western and eastern rain peak with a dry trough in between. In real life there was no sign of that – in fact the eastern area included some dry areas and there was no sign of the predicted large dry patch near Haddon Corner. IMHO this result would score under 50%.

Maximum Temperature

Max T Outlook Jan-Mar 2011

The huge hot patch predicted over the SE failed to happen.

The large predicted cool patch over WA was at best a 50% success. Overall I doubt it could score 50%.

Minimum Temperature

Min T Outlook Jan-Mar 2011

First the prediction was for warm and hot nights over all of the continent – this did not happen as the real world was far cooler (as usual) than the BoM expected. The Outlook completely missed the large cool anomalies in the north half. I doubt it could score 50%.

Outlook period February to April 2011


Rain Outlook Feb-Apr 2011

The huge dry prediction over the SE never happened except for the small area in NE NSW. The SW WA dry patch was not predicted. It might score a 50%.

Maximum Temperature

Max T Outlook Feb-Apr 2011

It is clear enough no great success. Where they predicted notably hot in the SE, it was cool and in WA where it was warm, they had predicted cool. I doubt a score could top 50%.

Minimum Temperature

Min T Outlook Feb-Apr 2011

The huge cool anomaly predicted never happened – WA was a partial success but the SE and Cape York warm predictions failed to be anything other than near average.


Thinking of the entire group – are these expensive productions worth anything to the nation ?

Letters to MP’s opposing a Carbon Tax

I have just faxed the following one page letter to the 20 Labor MP’s on the smallest majorities, plus eight relevant cabinet level people. I intend to follow this up with a series over the next two weeks – each dealing mainly with one aspect of the case against a carbon tax.

Everybody who opposes the Carbon Tax should write to or contact MP’s – we have few methods available to make our views heard.

Reasons to Oppose a Carbon Tax

You know that Prime Minister Gillard went to the last election saying there would be ‘‘no carbon tax under the government I lead’’.

You know also that The Deputy Prime Minister, Wayne Swan, said last August that if Labor won the election there would be no carbon tax during its three-year term.

Obviously these astute statements helped save your Labor Government from defeat last year – so voters out here know there is clearly no mandate for the carbon tax.

Do you know that Australian carbon dioxide emissions are less than 1.5% of global carbon dioxide emissions ?

So it is crystal clear that your Green-Labor Government could dismantle the Australian economy back to Stone Age levels – and the world could not measure the circa 1% change in global carbon dioxide emissions that would be produced by our sacrifice.

Do you know that CSIRO research in 1992 showed that the Australian landmass absorbed our emissions from industry and land clearing ? See

So from a global perspective Australia produces practically no net carbon dioxide emissions anyway.

Your Government should call a fresh election now and campaign on a platform to introduce a carbon tax – and then your Government could earn the mandate to introduce this colossal change to our national life.

Yours etc