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Discussion > Information help - BSA complaint

It's been a stunning summer here in Aotearoa, and we kinda deserved it after last year's mediocrity. Of course this also means that the "Extreme Weather/Drought is the New Normal" meme has been dragged out by the alarmists and dutifully played out on the airwaves by their media faithful.

A particularly egregious example was a story last night on the post-News Comedy-Current Affairs show (I kid you not) 'Seven Sharp'.

It was such a relentlessly alarmist, one-sided view that I am complaining to the Broadcast Standards Authority. It breaches at least four standards so far as I can see it (they will be much the same as you you would get in Aus or the UK, I'm sure). And, yes, they did have Jim Salinger on...

Anyway, I set about writing my complaint and part of it was addressing the extreme claims made. I started doing the homework, including massive searches with different terms, and then it occurred to me that someone out there has probably got these answers at their fingertips.

Here are the specific claims I wanted to address (not that they are impossible, just that they are the extreme end of projections but were presented as fact, irrefutable and irrevocable). All were dated as 'by 2100':

1. 3.0ºC temperature rise
2. 1 metre rise in sea level (I already have the UC charts showing sea level data but they are, as we know, largely a product of 'adjustments'. Still, they indicate c.3mm/year)
3. More drought. Now, this is referring to NZ, so any specific info would be good.
4. Heatwaves (whatever they are, scientifically) will increase by a factor of 3..5..10!
5. We'll be able to grow mangoes commercially
6. The old will die from heat stress
7. Dengue fever could break out
8. North Island ski-fields will close due to lack of snow

Now. I know some of these are more easily quantifiable than others. I will only address those I can show are irrefutably extreme. So, if anyone can point me easily to a credible (in the eyes of authority) source of data to show a point is cherry-picking the extreme, that would be great. For example, I know that IPCC AR4 sea level projections are lower than I metre but it'd be good to source it directly.

I can concentrate on formulating the complaint versus the standards.

It may be that Anthony has a resource like this but it got me thinking that we need a 'real' sceptical science resource. Thanks in advance.

Mar 13, 2013 at 2:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterGiixxerboy

I think the IPCC reports are your best bet, and you can follow up the references cited in those reports if you wish:

e.g. regional climate projections for Australia and New Zealand

That is, I'm assuming you want to quote from mainstream science, and this is a source that they can't really argue with. They would have to justify being more extreme than the IPCC. I've not looked through to see whether the numbers you quote are outliers or not, but this is where I would start.

Also, note the definitions of uncertainty that the IPCC uses e.g. 'likely', 'very likely' which have very specific meanings and don't mean 'almost certain'.

Mar 14, 2013 at 11:09 PM | Registered CommenterRuth Dixon

Thank you Ruth!

Mar 14, 2013 at 11:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterGixxerboy

So you were so outraged by half a dozen assertions that you have to complain. And yet you don't actually know whether the assertions were valid. Anyone else see the humour in that?

Mar 16, 2013 at 4:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket


"Climate: observations, projections and impacts"

Might aid with your quest

Mar 17, 2013 at 1:32 PM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

Anyone else see the humour in that?
Mar 16, 2013 at 4:52 PM BitBucket

Well, it's known that I lack a sense of humour, but it does not strike me as odd, silly or funny in any way.

If you were going to complain about something, I imagine you would want to be able to quote authoritative data. So it makes sense to me to ask where is the best place to look up such data. Is that humorous in some way?

Mar 17, 2013 at 8:28 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Thank you Martin, exactly right. I ended up using IPCC AR4 to substantiate the complaints. I have no idea what BB finds strange in this. It's a bit like asking where I might find a book in a library.

Mar 18, 2013 at 3:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterGixxerboy

Green Sand

Thank you, too, for your help. My complaint is in. Let's see where that goes. But just filling in the online form clearly says complex issues do not compute. As we all know (I'm including all sides of climate science here, I hope), where the climate is heading; how and to what extent anthropogenic influences are playing a part, and understanding things like TCS and ECS are issues with no easy answers. But the meeja seem to be on another planet, possibly Portlandia (check the opening sequence on Youtube) where everything can be reduced to simplistic, emotionally-cloying memes.

Mar 18, 2013 at 10:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterGixxerboy

"I have no idea what BB finds strange in this."

It's not simply that he finds it strange but that he thinks other people should find it humorous.

But also he seems to confuse anger (of which quite a bit is expressed here) with hatred which I have hardly ever seen on BH - and the few times I have seen it, I noticed it was quickly moderated away.

He clearly sees some things in a different way from how you and I do. I once asked him about this but it seemed to make him very cross.

Mar 18, 2013 at 12:01 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Oh come on! Getting so upset that you have to complain and then having to check with your mates whether you are right to be upset -if you don't find that amusing you are taking things too seriously.

Mar 18, 2013 at 8:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket


What I take seriously is the knee-jerk policy response to Global Warming scare stories. It kills people. I didn't have 'to check with my mates whether I was right to be upset'. I knew the claims in the programme were exaggerations, I was just seeking advice on where would be the best source of reference for the information that would detail the scale of the exaggeration. There are many possible sources of such information and, of course, nearly every metric from GAT to Sea Level rise is hotly contested, with a range of estimates. forecast and projections. The claims in the programme, however, were fatuous and extreme. So much so that I had only to reference the IPCC AR4 figures (which themselves are criticised as high-end and possibly exaggerated) to support my complaint.

Your hostility and willingness to lash out at anyone who differs from your views marks you out as a bit of an arse, Bitbucket. I recommend a long, cold, hard look at yourself. because the bitchy, mud-slinging way you comment here is usually a sign of someone unhappy with themselves. If you think you are going to impress any lurkers, you're mistaken. If you think the way you articulate yourself marks you out as 'smart', doubly so.

Mar 19, 2013 at 12:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterGixxerboy

Yup, I was right. Inability to laugh at yourself is a sure sign of taking yourself much too seriously.

Nobody dies from global warming "scare stories". You are thinking of poverty.

Mar 19, 2013 at 1:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket