… is silly.

Regular readers will know that while I don’t write about climate change,* I have commented while writing on other topics** that trying to ’resolve’ scientific matters by flexing legal muscle is a poor tactic, to put it politely.

According to this article in the The Press, The New Zealand Climate Science Coalition (sic) has filed papers against NIWA (National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research) over the accuracy of it’s climate change data to the High Court.

The article states:

The coalition would ask the court to find Niwa’s New Zealand Temperature Record invalid.

Isn’t this a matter of science, not law?

Scientific matters belong in scientific literature, not the courts.

If they have something to present, present it as a research paper, surely?

More than just ask the court to invalidate data, they apparently are also asking to:

[…] seek a court declaration preventing Niwa from using the NZTR when it advised the Government or any other body on global climate issues. It would also ask the court to order Niwa to produce a full and accurate NZTR.

I no lawyer, but this would seem to be wanting to block and dictate the terms of data they don’t like.

I call tough luck.

According to the press accounts, ’the raw data [are] publicly available’. If so, the NZCSC are free to interpret these data as they see fit already. I can’t see that anyone is blocking them presenting their interpretation.


As far as I am able to tell, there is no statement on the NZCSC website about this at the time of writing. There is a statement (of sorts) on the ’Climate Conversation Group’ website. The technical points belong within a scientific review, not the courts. Their final point is that an independent review has already been organised. I would have thought the thing to do is to await the outcome of the review.

Hot Topic is a better forum for discussing climate change and it’s politics than mine.

** Where I’ve done this I have been writing about various alternative medical ’remedies’.

Other articles on Code for life:

You can change the ideas, but not the data

Friday’s Factoids and Quirky Quotes

Preserving endangered species – of gut microbes

Temperature-induced hearing loss

Testing common ancestry to all modern-day life