The New Zealand
Climate Science Coalition
Hon Secretary, Terry Dunleavy MBE, 14A Bayview Road, Hauraki, North Shore City 0622
Phone (09) 486 3859 - Mobile 0274 836688 - Email -
Media release (immediate) 11 June 2007
Professor August H. (Augie) Auer jr
“ This sudden loss of Augie Auer is a colossal blow not just to his family and friends and his colleagues in the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition, but to everyone in New Zealand who has a regard for truth and the role of science,” said Owen McShane, a co-founder with Mr Auer of the coalition, which they formed in April last year to challenge official pronouncements about man-made global warming.
“Augie was greatly feared by the warmists because he was able to combine a wealth of scientific knowledge and experience with a personable way of explaining the complex issues involved in a way that ordinary people could understand. He was not just a truly great climate scientist, he was a warm and caring human being. He was also patient and unflappable, often in the face of vicious personal abuse from opponents desperate to silence him. He was a living model of the Christian virtue of turning the other cheek
“It’s easy for those of us born and bred Kiwis to forget that Augie was someone who became a proud New Zealander by choice. There was never a day when he did not express his pride in being a New Zealander, ever grateful for the privilege of being able to live here.
“It’s very sad that Augie will not live to see the fulfilment of his conviction that good science will triumph over the false hype and over-exaggerated propaganda about carbon dioxide being a pollutant and a cause of catastrophic global warming. When the day comes when the science prevails, and there are many who predict that it will happen within the next five years, we will not forget the leadership shown by Augie Auer in the fight against the corruption of true science,” said Mr McShane.
Professor August H. (Augie) Auer Jr was one of New Zealand’s leading and best known atmospheric scientists and meteorologists
Mr Auer was Professor of Atmospheric Science at the University of Wyoming for 22 years. A method of classifying land-use as urban or rural, based on work he published in 1978, is used by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and by the Jamaican National Environment and Planning Agency. His most frequently cited research paper discusses formation of ice crystals in clouds.
In 1990, Professor Auer emigrated to New Zealand, becoming Chief Meteorologist for the Meteorological Service of New Zealand from 1990 to 1998. Auer has been frequently quoted in the New Zealand press regarding weather and climate issues, and is regarded in New Zealand as a "well-known and colourful meteorologist".
He was responsible for the improvement and updating of the technical competence of the MetService weather forecasting staff. His frequent liaison between the media and the MetService during major weather events, and his accurate interpretations, endeared him to the nation.
Following the transfer of climate science issues from the then MetService into the National Institute for Water and the Atmosphere (NIWA) in 1992; Augie became increasingly critical of the institute’s statements.
In 1998 Professor Auer became TV3’s weekday weather presenter. In February 2002 he moved into a new role as the network’s resident meteorologist. .
In April 2006, he helped found the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition in order debate the many extreme claims about man-made global warming, and was chairman of the coalition’s science panel.
In a May 19, 2007 interview with The Timaru Herald newspaper - Professor Auer said a combination of misinterpreted and misguided science, media hype, and political spin had created the current hysteria and it was time to put a stop to it. "It is time to attack the myth of global warming," he said. According to Mr Auer: Water vapour was responsible for 95 per cent of the greenhouse effect, an effect which was vital to keep the world warm, he explained. "If we didn't have the greenhouse effect the planet would be at minus 18 deg C but because we do have the greenhouse effect it is plus 15 deg C, all the time." The other greenhouse gases: carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen dioxide, and various others including CFCs, contributed only five per cent of the effect, carbon dioxide being the single greatest contributor at 3.6 per cent. "It would be like trying to increase the temperature of bath tub full of water - using one drop from an eye dropper".
Professor Auer had a grasp of all facets of meteorology including weather analysis and forecasting (corporate and governmental), teaching at the tertiary level, airborne research, weather modification, air pollution, legal and forensic consulting, extended range prediction and media presentations.
Professor Auer is remembered for his witty and quick manner of thinking and his ability to communicate complex ideas to the general public. He was an entertaining and informative speaker. His presentations on the atmosphere and the weather were both humorous and respectful, demonstrating a knowledge of all facets of weather and climate. He had a particular rapport with New Zealand farmers, and a concern for the effect of climate on our primary industries.
TRIBUTE TO AUGIE AUER AT HIS FUNERAL ON 22 JUNE 2007
by Terry Dunleavy MBE,
secretary of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition
For all of us this is a time of mixed emotions. I know it’s that way for my colleagues of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition.
Last Tuesday night at 7.43, the lights in the whole of North Shore went out. Snap! One moment pervading light; the next deep brooding darkness, a sense of immediate helplessness.
It was like that when we heard about Augie. Our first thoughts were for Susan and the children; and then we realised what we also had lost.
The brighter the star, the blacker the void when its light suddenly vanishes. And the brightness of Augie’s star lit more than just his family and those of us who had the privilege of his friendship and professional collegiality and his ineffable congeniality: I have been amazed at the huge numbers of ordinary New Zealanders, throughout the length and breadth of the country, who have expressed their own personal sense of loss on websites and in other ways.
And as secretary of the Climate Science Coalition, I’ve had many similar messages from overseas.
The brighter the star, the blacker the void when its light suddenly vanishes.
And yet, there’s that other emotion: when you get past that sense of loss, it’s impossible to think of Augie Auer and not smile, and not to suddenly feel your spirit rekindled by the memory of the unfailing warmth of his personality, his positive attitude to life, and especially his eternally reassuring confidence about the natural cycles of weather and climate that were so much a part of his life. In weather parlance, Augie was blessed with a prevailing sunny nature.
In my own life I’ve been branded as somewhat of a stirrer, and that has thrown me into contact with a lot of like-minded people, prepared to question the established order when it needed to be questioned and challenged. In all that time, I’ve never known anyone to possess the patience and persistent good humour that was such a distinctive and disarming characteristic of Augie.
He didn’t argue, he politely disagreed. He didn’t antagonise. He didn’t attack the person, but simply expressed regret that people who should know better could be so wrong.
In the field of weather and climate, Augie’s grasp of the science, and his own personal, practical experiences and exposure to the elements, including some hair-raising exploits in the States flying in rickety aircraft into the heart of storms to better understand their causes and effects, saw him regarded with awe by those of his peers who really understand this complex and still developing branch of science.
But in addition to that, what they envied him, and what the rest of us came to value in Augie, was his extraordinary ability to convert the complexities of weather and climate science into language and symbols that us ordinary folk could understand. Such was his popularity among ordinary Kiwis, that there was probably a good reason that Metservice had later to designate a weather ambassador, because there was only one person recognised as THE weather MAN: Augie Auer.
I would be failing in my duty today and our debt to Augie’s legacy if I didn’t refer to his leading role in the formation of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition in April last year. He became a leading spokesman and chairman of our science panel.
All of us were fed up with the manner and extent to which the public have been misled on man-made global warming –as he pointed out it’s now called climate change so they can still claim to be right even if the present cooling phase continues. All of us in the coalition believe that the climate changes – it has done so quite naturally for millions of years, and it will continue to do so.
The truth is that the distinguished scientists among our number, like so many of their colleagues elsewhere in the world, have been unable to discover any valid verifiable scientific justification for the claim that man-made emissions of the life-giving gas carbon dioxide will cause the world to warm to any measurable degree, let alone to a catastrophic degree.
No one knew this better than Augie, who spent much of his last year bringing the message of truth and reason to groups up and down the country. He had a special rapport with farmers, and in his last year, I think he must have spoken to just about every branch of Federated Farmers in the country.
And now his voice is stilled; the light from his bright star has vanished.
But we will ensure that his message of honest science, logic and commonsense gains ever more wider acceptance until that day, now not that far way, when, as Augie assured me at the outset: “Don’t worry Terry, good science will win in the end.”
He has been a passionate opponent of the lie that the science is settled. As a true scientist he knew that science, across the whole range of scientific disciplines, is never settled thanks to humankind’s intelligence and talent for newer and more exciting discoveries.
So Augie would want me to say: Don’t believe all you read about so-called global warming in the scare-mongering print media, or what you hear from politicians desperate to create diversions from their problems with the polls. Especially don’t believe the flat earthers who want you to feel guilty about the way you live your lives. Respect, protect and enhance the environment, yes, but don’t waste resources on ineffective remedies for non-existent problems
Thanks to open and enquiring minds like Augie Auer’s, good science in the field of weather and climate is starting to win.
Those of us Augie has left behind, those of us he was accustomed to greet in his regular emails, as “fellow rebels,” owe it to his lifelong dedication to climate science and to his memory to do what we can to hasten the day when good science does finally triumph.
Meanwhile, we offer to Susan, Chris, Bridget and Andy, our heartfelt condolences. We know just how much you have lost, but we know that mixed in with that sense of loss is a deep pride in all that Augie accomplished.
We know that you will never, ever forget him.
Neither will we.