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Maori Science Beats Woke Myths




Maori Science Beats Woke Myths

Written by Jennifer Marohasy

Every community has those who are designated wise — sometimes able to anticipate imminent catastrophe.

For example, back in the 1500s, some in rural England and France would suspend dead birds — specifically kingfishers — from silken threads that purportedly acted as natural weathercocks. It was thought that the dead kingfisher was able to anticipate approaching storms and turn its breast into the wind. This is an unfortunate example, though, because Thomas Browne showed it to be nonsense.

He suspended two dead kingfishers, side by side, and they pointed in different directions, thus demolishing the myth. I can’t imagine that all the wise ones took their dead birds down immediately, but Browne’s book Pseudodoxia Epidemica of 1646 championed a new kind of evidence-based science that relied on simple experiment.

For a period of some few hundred years, science came to replace superstition and key zoological texts including, for example, Origin of Species by Charles Darwin, were penned by the curious who tried hard to sort fact from fiction through observation. Browne and Darwin’s works followed Nicolaus Copernicus’ book On the Revolution of the Heavenly Spheres, published in 1543, that explained humankind was not at the centre of the universe.

Before evidence-based science, natural historians and even astronomers, relied on the work of Aristotle who thought mankind was at the centre of the universe. In the twelfth century, Aristotle was a major source of information for the medieval encyclopaedias of animals, known as Bestiaries, with moral biblical lessons added.

We have somehow returned to this practice where natural history is once again interwoven with moralising. Worse, many of those designated as wise are full of hubris and carry on as though humankind can affect the weather and climate.

This extends to projects at universities, where, even in zoology departments the ‘research’ must lament the trace gas carbon dioxide and its perceived impact on the distribution and abundance of species.

Even in The Spectator Australia, James Allan in ‘Decline and Fall of New Zealand’ (11 December) remonstrates about how woke our universities have become but then lauds the superiority of Western science relative to Maori mythology. But is woke science superior to Maori myths?

Arguably the most significant climate event since satellites began measuring global temperatures in 1979, was the very strong El Niño of 2015/16. It caused global temperatures to spike in February 2016, corals to bleach, and so on.

This hottest period – according to the UAH satellite record – was forecast some years earlier by long range weather forecaster Ken Ring relying on Maori mythology. It was not forecast by Western meteorological bureaus that run simulation models on super computers.

In 1974, Ring, then a high school mathematics teacher ‘dropped out’ to home school his children. He moved his family to the remote East Coast of the North Island of New Zealand and over a period of six years befriended local Maori fishermen. He returned to ‘civilization’ six years later with what he has described as ‘the rudiments of a weather prediction system’ based on traditional Maori knowledge.

Sometime later he began publishing weather almanacs for Australia, New Zealand and Ireland with rain, frost and snow maps including fishing calendars and gardening guides.

I’ve no doubt that the forecasts in those almanacs could be vastly improved, including through the mining of historical weather data using artificial neural networks, a form of machine learning that uses artificial intelligence.

John Abbot and I showed its application to monthly rainfall forecasting in a series of research papers published from 2012 to 2017, including in the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Advances in Atmospheric Sciences (Abbot J. & Marohasy J., 2012. Vol. 29, No. 4, Pgs. 717-730).

What has made Ken Ring’s long-range forecasts often more accurate than those from our bureaus of meteorology is their reliance on lunar cycles, uncorrupted by simulation modelling that misguidedly insists atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide are relevant to weather and climate forecasting.

It is possible to forecast El Niño and other key weather events years in advance because the passage of the Moon overhead is regular and cyclical. A 2019 technical paper by Jialin Lin and Taotao Qian entitled ‘Switch Between El Niño and La Niña is Caused by Subsurface Ocean Waves Likely Driven by Lunar Tidal Forcing’ explains the underlying physical mechanisms in terms of Newtonian physics.

In fact, observations of the Moon’s changing trajectory were a main test of the theories detailed in Isaac Newton’s The Principia,  published in 1687 and recognised as a highlight of the Scientific Revolution in the 17th century.

If we open our eyes to the evidence – as Thomas Browne implored a few hundred years ago – we would notice that the very hot year globally of 2016 immediately followed a year of minimum lunar declination, as did the super El Niño exactly 18 years earlier, in 1998, that also caused mass coral bleaching.

It is now well understood, beyond Maori mythology, that there is an 18.6-year lunar declination cycle.  But this is wilfully ignored by mainstream meteorologists lest such extra-terrestrial influences on weather and climate detract from the moralising about humankind’s influence.

More than ever, Westerners who claim to respect science —could benefit from a return to simple observation as practiced by Maori fishermen who see the weather patterns created by the passage of the Moon and its changing declination.

Browne’s contemporary, John Ray wrote, ‘Let us not suffice to be book-learned, to read what others have written and to take on trust more falsehood than truth, but let us ourselves examine things as we have the opportunity, and converse with Nature as well as with books …’

In meteorological bureaus, simulation modelling has replaced observation and Heads of state are urged to sign international treaties absurdly pledging to stop climate change. The true nature of this woke western climate forecasting would be better appreciated if it was evaluated against other methods.

Forecasts from different systems could be placed next to each other, in much the same way that Thomas Browne strung up dead kingfishers – side by side.


      • Mr Editor, Sir,

        If DYOR stands for ‘Do Your Own Research’, then I am disappointed, especially as you had supplied the article, (which presumably comes from some ‘learned Journal’ which you have access to) and on an academic level I believe my request for Bibliographic and Author details was a reasonable one.

        Based on your previous efforts in such matters (Where you have routinely supplied such information) I expected the same, and, as noted, your reply disappoints.

        Thank you.



        • “Jennifer Marohasy (born 1963) is an Australian biologist, columnist and blogger. She was a senior fellow at the free-market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs between 2004 and 2009 and director of the Australian Environment Foundation until 2008.[ She holds a PhD in biology from the University of Queensland. She is sceptical of anthropogenic global warming and co-authored a peer-reviewed paper in GeoResJ suggesting that most of the recent warming is attributable to natural variations, a view disputed by climate scientists.”
          She also takes a nice photo if you DYOR



  1. I read up untill it mentioned ken ring then realised its a peice on broken clocks still being right twice a day.
    He didnt forecast jack shite, he made 50k predictions and 1 sortve got it right



    • I did DYOR and he was on the money, on multiple occasions. Using observations of the Geonet drums, I was able to predict with certainty a major aftershock to the Sept 4th Christchurch earthquake, on Sept 9th between 1pm and 2pm.

      Mind you I’m sure a lot of fishermen could have done so as well. It wasn’t rocket science. If you looked at the Lyttelton drums for the previous 3 days, there were no aftershocks and the drum records clean for the next time interval and for the same time interval a build of aftershocks to a peak and then declining.

      And it bugged me – where had I observed this recurring time period before? Eureka – tidal charts on the wall in the bach!!! Furthermore when I checked tidal charts up and down the east coast of the South Island, and compared to Geonet drum activity in those areas, there was a degree of correlation.

      And that got me thinking about the moon, so I used Google, and at that point I found Ken Ring. I emailed him a few times. Later in 2010 he predicted a very major aftershock in the time period between 15/16th and 23rd February, and to take special care. He warned to look out for strange sky colour, and any beached whales. Stranded whales often occur just prior to a major shock as the low frequency pre earthquake waves disorientate the whales sonic navigation. The change in Sky colour occurs because of an extreme build up of pressure in rocks, creating electrostatic atmospheric charges due to the piezoelectric effect of said rocks.

      At 3am on Feb 22nd, I was awakened and checked the drums, and there was a series of aftershocks, out of Christchurch, same depth, same magnitude, same interval apart. Google further, I found that in the preceding 48 hours that 107 whales had died on Stewart Island after being stranded.
      On waking, the sky had a purple hue, so I was unsettled. I had an early morning meeting which I excused myself from early, but by mid morning had my fear had settled and forgot about it.

      In later court proceedings, Geonet admitted that they too were aware that the Sept 4th earthquake was not the end and that a major aftershock was due within 6 months but had kept their mouth shut to avoid creating panic.

      Ken also predicted a major aftershock in mid-march 2011, the 15th I think, for which he was jumped on by the media and ridiculed. I took it seriously and was continuously watching the geonet drums, and sensor reporting maps – which is what 99% of people watch. Around 9pm we had a major aftershock, right on cue, and I observed it in real time on Geonet drums and sensor maps.

      But within a few minutes, the highest intensity sensor readings were removed and replaced with downgraded readings, something both Ken and I observed occurring and emailed each other about. There was just no way that Geonet could allow Ken Ring to be right.

      Sept 4th was different to Feb 22nd. Feb 22nd did not have the same level of correlation between tidal charts and Geonet drum activity.

      It would appear that Ken ring was and still is, subject to the same type of “fact checking” and “conspiracy theory” ridicule in the media that has been employed over the vaccines.

      And what most people don’t know is that his weather data has been used around the world for years because it is so accurate.



  2. Great article – I’d forgotten about dear old Ken Ring and his “moon-based” earthquake predictions until I read the article. Then DylanHunt reminded us of the one or two Chch aftershock predictions that Ring got close to predicting correctly amongst all his other numerous predictions that didn’t work out. (If you fire enough arrows at random, some will get close to the target by chance).

    I’ve always been interested in cycles, having once discovered, as an innocent wee youth, that females are not all that interested at certain times of the month – but I digress.

    I posted a week or two ago about Valentina Zharkova’s work on intermeshing solar/planetary cycles and their long-term effect on climate change. From memory, her prediction, based largely on solar/planetary/lunar cycles, is that the Earth’s climate will keep warming for a couple of hundred years or thereabouts, then will plunge back into another ice age. (I may have mis-remembered the details – but something like that.)

    So – Weather cycles influenced by the moon? – Maybe, or maybe not, But as a keen gardener who like to keep a bit of an eye on the weather in winter, I’ve noticed one pattern in the Chch weather that I haven’t yet given up on. It goes like this:

    After several days and nights in a row of overcast, yucky drizzly, rainy weather, (for which Chch is famous in winter) the cloud often SEEMS to clear away right about the time of the full moon and we get a brilliantly clear, frosty night amply bathed in the light of the full moon.

    Some people have explained to me that this is a purely psychological phenomenon – I selectively happen to remember all the occasions on which we got a clear frosty night at full moon – and fail to notice the occasions on which it didn’t happen. In other words, its just “selective attention” on my part.

    They may be right – I dunno.



    • Then DylanHunt reminded us of the one or two Chch aftershock predictions that Ring got close to predicting correctly amongst all his other numerous predictions that didn’t work out. (If you fire enough arrows at random, some will get close to the target by chance).

      Sorry MBS42, but you and most everyone else got punked by earthquake fact checkers, especially because most people didn’t bother to do the research. Same as with Covid theatre.

      Ken never actually 100% predicted earthquakes on all those occasions. What he said that was the periods in question, specific days or range e.g. 15/16 to 23rd Feb 2011, were periods of highly elevated risk because of the position of the moon. And he took great pains to explain that. But the same media that are fizzing at the bung for Jacinda, mangled what he said.

      The analogy he gave was that if Richie McCaw and Dan Carter were playing in a test match there was a highly increased likelihood of a win, compared to a test where they both stood down. Both playing was not a dead cert of winning, and both standing down was not a dead cert of losing, however the odds were dramatically altered in each case. Feb 22nd he put down as a very high likelihood, as with March 15th.

      And if his purpose was to warn so people could take precautions, then getting it right some of the time, based on possible risk is far better than Geonet sucking their thumb and the public being blindsided and people losing life. If only one life was saved by his warnings of elevated risk, than it was worth it. And if the life saved was someone in your family, wouldn’t you be grateful?

      We all know people who died in the earthquakes. What would you think if some close to you that died, could have been saved by being more cautious around those dates? I believe some people did heed his warnings and lived to tell the tale.

      The mainstream media – mangling the truth since Adam was painting his fig leaf nappies Karitane Yellow.



  3. I got a copy of Kens weather predictions for the following year once just out of interest. It was equally useless as the metservice website when it came to weather predictions you could actually use in real life.



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