A great post from Uknowispeaksense, who has given me permission to re-post:
Recently, there has been a court case in New Zealand where a group calling themselves the New Zealand Climate Science Education Trust (the Trust) were bringing an action against New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Limited [NIWA] essentially alleging that they used some dodgy statistics to produce a warming trend in some of the New Zealand temperature record.
The Trust was represented by Bob Carter (paleontologist), Mr Dunleavey (retired journalist) and Mr Dedekind (IT professional with some modelling experience). Keep in mind, these are the so-called “experts” put forward by the Trust. I kid you not. Before going any further, I urge you tocheck out their “statement of claim” as lodged with the High Court of New Zealand registry. It stops just short of claiming the scientists committed fraud but only just.
In paragraph 20 the trust accuse the scientists of being “influenced by the expectation that significant NZTR warming would encourage funding for additional climate change research”. Wow. They also accuse them of being subjective and secretive etc.
Well, the verdict is in and it seems Bob and his mates have lost in the most spectacular fashion, not only failing to prove their case in all aspects, but also having costs awarded against them. But that’s not all. Reading the findings, one gets a real insight into just how poor and sloppy Bob and his mates were in their whole approach. The judge has also given them some severe, but just, criticisms. Here are a few of my favourites. Emphasis is mine.
Section 23 of the Evidence Act 2006 provides that a statement of opinion is not admissible except as provided by ss 24 or 25. Opinion is defined in the Evidence Act at s 4 as: “A statement of opinion that tends to prove or disprove a fact.” I accept Mr Smith’s submission that there are substantial portions of Mr Dunleavy’s original and reply affidavits where he proffers opinions on matters in issue in the proceedings, particularly on scientific practices and the validity of the scientific practices of NIWA. Such evidence could only be admissible under s 24 or s 25. Section 24 is not applicable in the circumstances. Section 25 could only apply if Mr Dunleavy was an expert in the particular area of the science of meteorology and/or climate. He is not. He has no applicable qualifications. His interest in the area does not sufficiently qualify him as an expert. I also accept Mr Smith’s further point that Mr Dunleavy’s views are not capable of offering substantial help to this Court on the issue that it has to determine. To that extent I agree that substantial passages of Mr Dunleavy’s evidence are inadmissible.
 Further, I note that Mr Dunleavy has, in any event, failed to comply with High Court Rule 9.43, and could not be regarded as an impartial expert. There are passages of his evidence which are objectionable on the grounds that they are submission and not evidence as to factual matters or even opinion.
 Similar issues (as to the limited nature of his expertise), apply to the evidence of Mr Dedekind. Although in his affidavit in reply Mr Dedekind purported to comply with r 9.43, Mr Dedekind’s expertise is in relation to computer modelling and statistical analysis.
 I accept Mr Smith’s criticism of Mr Dedekind’s evidence to the extent that Mr Dedekind is not an expert in the application of statistical techniques in the field of climate science. Mr Dedekind’s general expertise in basic statistical techniques does not extend to any particular specialised experience or qualifications in the specific field of applying statistical techniques in the field of climate science. To that extent, where Mr Dedekind purports to comment or give opinions as to NIWA’s application of statistical techniques in those fields,his evidence is of little assistance to the Court.
Ooooh, that smarts. When are these idiots going to realise that being an Excel Expert or a Google Galileo does NOT a climate scientist make. At this point I’d like to digress for just a moment and refer my readers to a blog entry over at my favourite denier blog, Geoffrey Brown’s official blog for the Climate Sceptics Party, where on Wednesday, July 4, 2012, Anthony Cox, in referring to this New Zealand court case, said this:
Anthony Cox suggesting a case could be brought against the BoM
All I can say to this is, please do Anthony. Given your expertise in climatology, perhaps you could evidence? So, back to the New Zealand High Court findings. After the judges critique of the relevant expertise or, lack thereof, of the plaintiffs, he then went on to describe the extensive qualifications and expertise of the defendants. It was a beautiful thing and well worth the read. But now to something else that caught my eye.
 A further preliminary point arises. The Trust’s argument on this point depends on this Court finding that NIWA departed from “best recognised scientific opinion”. It defines “recognised scientific opinion” as relevant established scientific opinions and methods described in internationally recognised research journals. In Dr Carter’s opinion, RS93 is the definitive paper for statistical adjustments to offset the effects of site changes in New Zealand conditions. It is implicit in his evidence thatfailure to apply that is a failure to comply with recognised scientific opinion.
 Dr Carter, the expert for the Trust, does not directly support the Trust’s definition of recognised scientific opinion. His evidence on this point is, in summary: Applied science in any field must take into account the current state of knowledge as attested by the peer-reviewed literature. Any departures from established knowledge or authority must be noted and explained. If one disagrees with the established literature, then the remedy is to write a critical paper with full reasoning and have it published in a suitable journal.
This really tells a story and I refer my readers to a post I did about Bob Carter and his opinion on peer review where states, “Interestingly, Albert Einstein’s famous 1905 paper on relativity was not peer-reviewed. It is therefore quite clear that peer-review is not a precondition for excellent, indeed epoch-making, scientific research.” Ouch. Finally, this bit:
 Next, there is a letter to Mr Dunleavy on 18 February 2010 responding to an Official Information Act request. The Trust seeks to rely on the following passage:
NIWA’s letter of 29 January pointed you to several papers including Dr Salinger’s PhD thesis as explanations of the methodology behind processing the original records.
It may have been of more assistance if NIWA had gone on to clarify the application of the RS93 but the use of the word “including” is again at best, ambiguous. When the passage relied on is read in context of the response as a whole it does not, in my judgment support a conclusion that NIWA was saying that it did not apply RS93.
What is it with deniers taking things out of context? Anyway, the rest of the judgment reads like a “How to make spurious unsubstantiated claims relying on the testimony of non-experts in order to waste the court’s time and cop a hefty legal bill in the process” manual.
Well done Bob and his mates, well done. Now, how about coming home and having a go here and then maybe go and give crybaby Watts a hand to take on the establishment over there?
That way, when it’s all done and dusted and you’ve made a complete dick of yourself in numerous places, we can get on with dealing with the very serious issue of human induced climate change and rising temperatures as recorded by the very accurate instrumental record.