Thursday, August 19, 2010

On global warming -

A little bit of “news” for all of those who have difficulty connecting with the concept of “global warming”. I say “news” because it is not really news; it is one of those obvious things that people going about their everyday business have not noticed because it seems to have “always been so”.

But that is really the point.

First, this piece of “news” came to light through the farming community. In good part it is in response to a band of total wallies who want to preserve the sanctity of their belief that “global warming” is a myth. The latest move by these flat-earthers is to start a High Court action against NIWA (the government funded National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research) the purpose of which is to get NIWA to “reveal adjustments” made to national temperature statistics. The statistics in dispute apparently show an increase in mean temperatures over the past 100 years of about 1*C.

There is no need to debate cause here. That is not the point. Man-made or natural, global warming is a phenomenon that needs to be understood. That is quite apart from anything we (the human species) might be able to do about it.

So, to the Obviousman news release that has come to the fore today.

There are two introduced grasses in NZ which come originally from “sub-tropical” climes.

The first of these is paspalum. It has featured in my life for as long as I can recall. It is easily recognisable as the seeds are very sticky and develop at the end of a stalk about shin high; or belly high on a sheep. I do not know the past or current range of paspalum so I will leave that to one side.

The second is kikuyu, a grass which was introduced (as I hear the history) into the far north in the 1950’s. It was very prolific when I was a kid up there but it was not the major pastoral grass it is now. It was introduced from Zimbabwe because of its ability to resist drought, to recover very quickly after drought, and to survive in colder wetter conditions. It is very frost tender, but the buried stolons do survive quite well given the occasional surface freeze.

So it is that the Federated Farmers (no, TF, it is not a compulsory government imposed organisation) have revealed that farmers in the Waikato are learning how to modify their feed budgets and stock management processes to take into account this new “northern invader”. While not in any way claiming “scientific proof”, FF have estimated that the range of these two grasses has extended south by about 1.5* Latitude in the past 10 years. It is always easy to pick kikuyu in a paddock, especially during summer. It is the green bit. When the rest of the clover, rye and fescue has gone brown, the kikuyu is still green.

So, one has to ask, given this independent evidence why is it so important to the flat-earthers that the NIWA statistics be proven false, engineered in some way, or otherwise misleading?

Very simple, I suspect. It is their religion. It is an undeniable precept of their belief that global warming is a false construct. It is like Columbus trying to reach India by going west. Well, I mean to say, going eastward was hellish long, dangerous and there were Somalian pirates on the way. Who can blame him for wanting to find “a better way”? Especially so, if his boss could make even greater profit from the easier access to the Spice World. So any scientifically based idea ranks with the thought of “God does not exist”. It is anathema to them. Totally.

The very big difficulty that I have is that NIWA is going to (will have to) spend my money (as a taxpayer) defending itself from a totally unjustified, indescribably stupid, self-aggrandising Court action from a bunch of bone-headed knuckle-dragging throw-backs to the days when science was totally against the teachings of God.

With any luck, the Court will give them their 15 seconds, then toss the brief into the recycling bin on the way to a good cup of coffee.


Anonymous said...


Overgourd said...

Still doing the duckspeak I see.

The probligo said...

:) but not as quackers as some...

建枫 said...