New Zealand sacks its top climate researcher for speaking with the media

WUWT reader “Purakanui” emailed me: “I have just read an extraordinary news item. Jim Salinger is the voice of global warming as far as New Zealand is concerned. Until recently he was always there when a new ‘record’ appeared, or a glacier retreated. He was a breathless and apparently wholly convinced warmer. Also he is a good scientist.”

I checked his bio page:

And it has been removed.  Now if NASA could just get the stones to do this for Jim Hansen for promoting civil disobedience. – Anthony

From TV New Zealand

jim_salingerOne of New Zealand’s top climate scientists has just been fired from his job at the National Institute of Water & Atmospheric research (NIWA).

Dr Jim Salinger has been the public face of the organisation for three decades, but says it was his unauthorised talking to the media that’s got him sacked.

Salinger, whose work as a science communicator has earned him accolades and even contributed to a Nobel Peace Prize, says he is now planning to sue his former employer for unjustified dismissal because according to him, he cannot understand why he was sacked.

“It’s not as though I’m doing bad science, it’s not as though I’m not performing and so I’m really astounded”.

What got Salinger fired is something that in the past brought him high praise – talking to the media.

Salinger says he always believed that his media work actually brought NIWA into repute.

Read the complete story here


newest oldest most voted
Notify of

I don’t know this fellow, is he a warmist? If so, then this is a very happy story with which to end the week. If not, then this is a very sad story with which to end the week.

John W.

Of course, for anyone who isn’t an AGW proponent, getting fired for speaking to the media about your job without your employer’s permission isn’t newsworthy. The judge should dismiss his suit with prejudice.


The government of New Zealand has recently become more skeptical of schemes to cap carbon.

“His work now is to make room for over 30 years of scientific papers – the quality of which is not in question.” mmmmm well ok.
I have tried to source these interviews without success – anybody?

There’s a dangerous arrogance among a number of these folks, I think. Frankly, there’s a sort of “moral superiority” about some that makes them act as if the rules don’t apply to them.
I’ve seen similar attitudes shown by all manner of power-drunk “crusading” folks. E.g., MADD, Anti-smokers, Drug Warriors, Anti-Porn Activists, etc.
I suspect that this also leads to big blind spots among many of these folks who sincerely believe that they’re not wrong.


From the linked article:

“As scientists we’re all a bit eccentric and we all might slightly break protocol, but it’s not going to destroy NIWA”.

Um… as scientists do we all exaggerate, fabricate, and pontificate? I must have missed that day in scientist school.
Is this the beginning of a trend? One can only hope. I’m getting tired of encountering programmed automatons created by the likes of Salinger.

Alec, a.k.a Daffy Duck

… the news from Poland:
Polish Academy of Sciences Questions Gore’s Man-Made Global Warming Theory
By: Kevin Mooney
Examiner Investigative Reporter
04/24/09 9:18 AM


This guy wants to use his government job as a soapbox for political involvement. If he believes in the importance of what he says he should show some leadership and initiative and test his ideas in a campaign for office. It would probably involve more courage than he has though. Simply filing a lawsuit will be a coward’s choice. What are his damages supposed to be? I’m sure this character will have no problem finding employment among like minded friends outside of government.

Retired Engineer

Wow! A chink in the armor? Along similar lines:
“Energy Policy: California regulators are ready to conclude that corn ethanol cannot help the state fight global warming. It seems they’ve discovered putting food in our cars would destroy the earth in order to save it.”
This has to be a mistake. We cannot allow logic or common sense to play any part in public policy.

Jack Green

Maybe it’s a trend. Some of these media types just pull things off the net so they have more time to ski, or hike, or golf, or what ever. Journalism has died.

Juraj V.

So he told that Antarctic ice is decreasing or increasing? Or both in the same week?


He doesn’t think he’s doing poor science?
Dr Jim Salinger here’s a few things you might want to brush up on
1. CO2 going up, up and away, while temps are going down. – Doesn’t your ‘good’ science say CO2 drives temps? Not looking like it. Looking at the trends I’d say we have about another 25 to 30 years of temps not rising. So much for CO2 driving temps.
2. CO2 was MUCH higher when the Dinosaurs were around – Doesn’t your ‘good’ science say we’ll turn into Venus with too much CO2. – At least that’s what your Nobel buddy Al Gore says.
3. Why is global sea ice increasing? Oh yeah, the video game your pals designed says global warming, causes global sea ice to increase, yet at the same time ‘magically’ Antarctica is going to melt and increase sea levels 20 feet.
Dr Jim Salinger you may not have been the one that did these studies, but you SUPPORT them, which is very poor science.
If I was representing my company and went around talking about how models show the tooth fairy exists I think I’d be fired. Especially if I was a scientist, b/c that would really show how inept I am as a scientist.

The first strike back? Hooray.

P Folkens

Rule: NZ government officials don’t speak in public without obtaining prior approval.
Action: NZ government official speaks in public without obtaining prior approval.
Results: Government official gets dismissed for speaking in public without approval.
Said sacked official wonders why he was fired.
This is an example of two characteristics of the AGW movement: a lack of simple logic and a disconnect due to their evangelism.


Now if NASA could just get the stones to do this for Jim Hansen for promoting civil disobedience. – Anthony
Not likely to happen when the big boss is in complete agreement with Hansen’s views.

Baz Moreton

Go to,25179,25376454-758
Jan Veizer April24 . ‘Climate change science isn’t settled’.
Keep up the brilliant work, though I am loosing one or two ,so called, friends.


Does anyone have any proven evidence weather he was an AGW liar ?
The MSM reports dont actually say anything about his position on issues, so we need to be careful.
If he is an AGW liar (and that is what we shoud call these frauds), then this is great news.


It will be a wonderfully positive sign that our society is on the mend if those who promote advocacy rather than honesty are removed from public positions. Don’t count on it though. It is still the opinion of too many that “The end justifies the means.”

Bio page link is DEAD as of 10:30 AM CDT, USA.
Interesting. Evidently in this Brave New World you can be made a “non-person as fast as you can be made an overnight celebrity. Telling!
Mark H.


Is he to become the Jim Hansen of the NZ? Another AGW scientist that will not blame his science but the government for stopping him telling the world how we are all going to die. Who is the NZ equivalent to Al Gore?

From the article:
NIWA says it will not talk about an employment issue publicly, but says it had given him warnings before his dismissal.
So Salinger was repeatedly warned, but he deliberately disobeyed those instructions. But in his mind, he’s special. The rules don’t apply to him.
Now if NASA would only have the huevos to tell its employees to clear public statements relating to their job, it would restore some faith in the organization.
But sadly, NASA lacks the courage of NZ.

P Folkens

In House Energy and Commerce Sub-committed testimony, Mr. Gore just equated AGW deniers with Bernie Madoff, stating that the deniers are perpetrating a greater fraud on the world. He also said “There is no legitimate basis for denying [GW].” Golly, I thought the recent data was legitimate.

Jean Bosseler

“I’m not aware of any other country sacking a Nobel award winner or for that matter a companion of the Royal Society of NZ, so that’s a bit strange I’d have to say”.
What has never been, can always be! I wish the same happens to Pachauri for sloppy work. Instead Yale University creates an Institute and a position for him !!!!! (Nature)
He is working part-time retaining his present positions with the IPCC and as director-general of India’s Energy and Resources Institute in New Dehli.
It’s only a matter of money, see Gore!
Jean Bosseler-Luxembourg, Europe

Dave D

I love this quote, it JUMPS off the page… “As scientists we’re all a bit eccentric and we all might slightly break protocol, but it’s not going to destroy NIWA”.
Let’s look at this quote. Are people employed and paid “as long as they don’t DESTROY” the organizations that pay them??? I missed that memo at my work. I guess things like following your supervisor’s instructions, and company policies are just extras – don’t destroy us and we’ll pay you for life… Good luck finding a job in this Climate! 😉
That’s not very Christian, I hope that he does find work and that God’s will is served through this experience. I have often found in all walks of life that a firing leads to a new hiring and things often happen for a reason, wish him a wake up call and all the best!

UK Sceptic

Q What do you call a sacked Antipodean AGW alarmist?
A A good start.

John H

My first reaction was that Hansen will give him a better job.

Mark Hugoson (08:34:59) :
> Bio page link is DEAD as of 10:30 AM CDT, USA.
> Interesting. Evidently in this Brave New World you can be made a “non-person as fast as you can be made an overnight celebrity. Telling!
Hardly! While I wasn’t able to find that page in Google, one problem was all the other hits through NIWA that are still there. I doubt they’ll delete the reports he co-authored or take the time to delete his name.
Radio and TV stations do a much better job of purging past employees, especially those to join the competition.

Adam Soereg

Is this person really an AGW proponent and he was fired? How could this happen to him?
As I previously thought, no one can lose his/her job because of promoting AGW and supplying the media with an endless source of scaremongering stories. But if you are a government-funded researcher and you are expressing your skeptical views publicly, you shouldn’t be surprised if you lose your funding and/or get fired suddenly.
Fortunately (like the climate itself), things are always changing. However, in the case of Jim Hansen and his civil disobedience movement I can’t be so optimistic.


Quoted from The Australian today hahahah Thank you Australian…. (hint last line qualifications of writer)
“It goes without saying that Plimer has every right to publish whatever it is he believes. However, for the editors of this newspaper to give books such as his the kind of enthusiastic welcome hundreds of others published in this country every year cannot dream of receiving and, even more, to treat their publication as important events, seems to me a grave intellectual, political and moral mistake.”
Robert Manne is professor of politics at LaTrobe University in Melbourne.

Obviously a dastardly plot by Big Oil to surpress the truth about the dangers of AGW!


From the press report (never totally reliable, of course) this sounds sounds like a battle of wills between a supervisor under political pressure and a scientist used to getting his own way. There are references to insubordination and new policy. I suspect neither party handled the situation well from the beginning and now it’s escalated. Regardless of the scientist’s opinions, pro- or anti- AGW, there need to be clearly defined and publicized policies for individuals other than official spokespersons talking to the press or this sort of thing is almost guaranteed to happen. Agencies should be neutral and advocacy should be personal. And it’s the job of both parties to make this clear to the press.

OT… Swine influenza hits Mexico. We have more than 800 suspected cases and 57 deaths in several states of the country. I hope there is not a politician who would attribute it to global warming.
Regarding the case of Dr Jim Salinger, it makes me angry because true scientists are being fired for doing correct science. This is evidence on the existence of a crusade against those who struggle with the weapons of truth against the climate change priesthood.



“Niwa’s actions will make all government scientists nervous about their jobs,” said Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons.
“New Zealand is on a slippery slope when trying to provide Kiwis with a greater understanding of our climate is a sackable offence.”


Greenpeace said it wanted answers from Niwa and the Government.
“Dr Salinger has done some amazing work to educate New Zealanders about climate change and he is highly respected internationally,” said Greenpeace senior climate campaigner Simon Boxer.
“He was very clear about the need for urgent climate action in New Zealand.”

More from Salinger:
“The top ten warmest years have all been since 1983, with seven of them since 1990…”

In Auckland in April, NIWA climate scientist Jim Salinger delivered some sombre news to a convention of the Institute of Brewing and Distilling: in the decades to come, climate change will have serious effects on the cultivation of malting barley – a key ingredient in beer.
Warned Salinger, “It will mean either there will be pubs without beer or the cost of beer will go up.”
Malting barley crops will be affected globally, but Salinger’s remarks were specifically about New Zealand and Australia. As soon as 30 years from now, rising temperatures and drier conditions could spell dramatic decreases of the crop in areas presently growing the grain – in Canterbury in New Zealand and in four states in Australia: New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, and Western Australia. The picture is less dire for New Zealand, however, as the same climate changes may render parts of Southland and Otago more suitable for growing malting barley.
Brewers in Australasia will face “a lot of challenges”,including the necessity of developing new strains of heat and drought-resistant malting barley, or varieties that can mature in a shorter season.

(That’s it, get the beer drinkers onboard… that’ll get action!)
Scan through some of the links at
MAKE NO MISTAKE: Salinger is one of the MAIN AGW alarmists. His Chicken Little impersonation should never have had the tacit approval of a government. His “Nobel Peace Prize” contribution, as expected, was as a member of the IPCC… – and thus is totally pointless and meaningless (as all Nobel Peace Prizes are lately).
Thus, Mr. Salinger’s dismissal is a GOOD THING, and should be celebrated by science-oriented people everywhere. It is one more step in the dismantling of the ridiculous AGW religion.
Also, the warmists are FURIOUS, posts abound about this being a travesty, bad, horrible, anti-science, etc.
I, for one, will be celebrating Mr. “Deer in the Headlights what did I do wrong?” Salinger’s well deserved dismissal.

“…he is now planning to sue his former employer for unjustified dismissal because according to him, he cannot understand why he was sacked.”
I’m sure they ‘splained it to him. He’s simply in denial. He evidently assumed that being PC/pro-AGW would give him permission to override the rules.

Anthony wrote:
> I checked his bio page:
Where did you find that link? Even claims to not exist. It looks like they have changed the contact info into “key contacts” pages for each of their 13 divisions, see There is also an employee search page that doesn’t have biographical data, but does have Salinger, see*&submit=Search+Staff

Uh-Oh!!! Bigger mistake… Dr. Salinger is on the other sideway, that is, on the wrong side. Sorry.

alex verlinden

hey Daffy … 🙂
thanks for the link of the Polish Academy of Sciences … those 10 points are what I would call “the Big Picture” …

Dave D

I find it interesting that Gore is using the “Fraud”. I believe he wants to get out first and loudest to Congress and the Media – right after he read Lord Monckton’s Report.

Don B

This is a pleasant change from two years ago when the Oregon Governor forced the state climatologist George Taylor from his job at Oregon State University because he did not support carbon dioxide alarmism.

Ted Clayton

On eTaiwanNews: NZ climate scientist fired for unapproved comments

“Jim Salinger was let go for breaching a new policy at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research requiring scientists to have prior approval before speaking to media.”

I think this is a standard organizational ‘mechanism’; that one is required (at least ‘by the letter’) to run media-engagements etc past the Boss before jaunting off to effectively represent the Government, the Military, one’s University, or her local Brownie Troop, all by one’s little lonesome.
This type of rule or control often exists, but generally lies moribund for extended lengths of time. But given the right circumstances, it can suddenly be dusted off & enforced … to much gnashing & rending.
Could it be applied to NASA’s Jim Hansen? Certainly. Could he be hung out to dry purely for innocuously promoting “civil disobedience”? Probably not. Could he be sent packing for using lenient American rules that allow for orderly civil disobedience, as a ‘cover’ to instead engage to foment violent, destruction or subversive activities?
In a heart beat. … That is, the moment that authorities decide his usefulness (which I assume largely explains the Hansen-Circus) has come to an end.

George E. Smith

New Zealand has a number of prominent climate “skeptics/realists” (I am not one of them) notably Vincent Gray, who is in Wellington area and Chris de Freitas who teaches at the University of Auckland. Vincent is a Physicist, and I am not sure of Chris’ credentials but he teaches I think Geography and Climate science in some relational way. I had a good chat with him on a visit there in 2004, and I talk to Vincent now and then.
At the recent elections in late 2008 (just after the US) NZ elected a more conservative group of politicians; but I am not sure exactly how things ended up, because the old Laborite Helen Clark still seems to be Prime Minister.
But NZ is becomeing more suspect of the AGW thesis for some good reasons. They have a huge domestic farm animal population that outnumbers the human population 20:1, so they ahve the flatulence problem; but they also have intensive tree farming; probably the most efficient in the world, and generally are tired of the international community telling them they can’t carbon offset their methane with their CO2 absorbing tree farming.
All NZ native timbers are relatively slow growing; so they have created the world’s largest man made forests; of things like Douglas Fir (which is called Oregon pine down home) and other species, I think Pinus Radiata, and Pinus Insignus are two species that come to mind. They mature rapidly and are used for virtually all forest products with very little native species lumbering.
So i think Kiwis are getting a little sick of the UN telling them how to run things; and I’m hoping that the birdbrains in Canberra, can look across the Tasman, and see that they should follow NZ’s lead out of the AGW morass.
Australia has a significant carbon sourcing “problem” because of their general desert areas being so massive; so I am sure they feel the undeserved heat of the AGWers wrath. We can still kick their a*** on the rugby fields, but we are with them in this carbon fiasco.

alex verlinden

however … I tried to confirm the link from a source at the P.A. of Sciences, but did not succeed … the “the Geologic Science Committee of the Polish Academy of Sciences” is mentioned, and I checked a website ” ” , but I did not find any mention of the report … I wouldn’t know if that is the correct place to look …
anybody interested and more succesfull ?

J. Peden

Alec, a.k.a Daffy Duck (07:55:47) :
… the news from Poland:
Polish Academy of Sciences Questions Gore’s Man-Made Global Warming Theory
By: Kevin Mooney
Examiner Investigative Reporter
04/24/09 9:18 AM

The Polish Academy’s 10 points are well worth a click! Thanks, Daffy.

The law of Unintended Consequences at work. A new tax credit is given to paper mills for *adding* fossil fuels (diesel) to their fuel mix for power generation. Oops.–_but_should_they


I learned from a teacher of mine, with whom I also did research, that Nature usually raise red flags here and there to try to show us how it works. The deal with research is to try to see those flags and learn to read the language. Ignoring the red flags and not learning to read the signs only leads to bad conclusions.

Ted Clayton

CodeTech (09:53:30),
The reaction of Greenpeace – talking to New Zealand like they’re the USA browbeating North Korean – raises the question: Could the dismissal of Salinger be a way to confront the ever-growing sense of peerage with which Green & AGW NGOs interact with global States?
Is it, perhaps, that the entities whom the Salingers of the world champion have finally gotten just one size too big for their britches?
That is: It ain’t Salinger – it’s Greenpeace.

John in NZ

NZ has some of the most “employee favourable” employment legislation in the world.
If NIWA have not followed the correct procedure Jim could yet get his job back. But he has been annoying people with his public statements for a while. Jim has been to NIWA what James is to NASA. An embarrassment.

Mike Bryant

Ok, I didn’t realize that beer was at risk because of global warming… I will now become an Algoreholic and send in the next ten years of cap ant trade taxes to the US government… I figure my life savings might at least put a down payment on it… heck it’s dropped halfway in value anyway… my kids and grandkids can pay the rest.
Not really, I’m fighting this thing to the bitter end.


See I figure that beer would be on the hit list considering how much co2 it produces in the process of making it.

John Galt

Truman fired General MacArthur for insubordination, not for being a bad general. Likewise, the firing of Sallinger shows that in New Zealand at least, people aren’t above the rules.