A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).



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Australian virtue signaling peak: We can have a Labor Govt or an extra half trillion dollars

The next Australian election is coming mid year (the pollsters are calling)

The Labor opposition in Australia is doing its best to tempt us with promises they can improve the weather.  They say they’ll make us rich and popular too. But a former big-wig in the Australian bureaucracy thinks the bill for that will leave a third of a million people unemployed, and cost nearly half a trillion dollars.

The Labor opposition in Australia wants to make our hair-shirt 26% target into a bed of nails at 45%.

Carbon cut apocalypse: cost of ALP energy plan

by Simon Bensen, The Australian

Labor’s 45 per cent emissions-­reduction target would push electricity prices 50 per cent higher, cost workers up to $9000 a year in lower wages and wipe $472 billion from the economy over the next decade, according to the first independent modelling of the energy policies of both the government and opposition.

The Liberal (erstwhile conservative party) wants to spend $70bn on weather control.

The Coalition’s commitment to meeting a 26-28 per cent reduc­tion under the Paris Agreement would also come at a cost, with $70bn in cumulative economic losses by 2030 and a 2 per cent hit to real wage growth.

 The Labor plan will cost around 330,000 jobs, the Libs 80,000 jobs. Unless Australians manage to vote for another party entirely, or do an AusExit from our own government, that’s a whole lot of people sitting around watching cat videos.

Brian Fisher used to manage ABARE — The Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics. He’s also been an IPCC reviewer. He’s frustrated at our dishonest debate (the one that implies we can do the weather changey plan for free as an add on like a Happy Meal). He estimates our GDP will be $144b smaller each year by 2030.

But hey, it’s only money.

And in fairness, the Labor policy will “only” cost $400 billion more than the Liberal Policy.

h/t Pat


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The Anthropocene: all that CO2 and the only mammal extinction is a brown rat on a desert island

Where’s the apocalypse: With all the forecasts of doom, is this it?

Global Lament is rising for the small brown rat (Melomys rubicola) lost off a desert island no one heard of til morning tea today. This is a rat that was only recognised as a distinct species in 1995, though even then, it was debated, and the rat’s existence was hanging by a thread. The island is a 5 hectare sand spit with a bit of low scrub and an old rusty scaffold once called a lighthouse. So it’s all of 0.05 square kilometers: it is so small there is no fresh water on the island, just the odd puddle after it rains. It’s all so ephemeral that over a decade or so the island shrank 40% and the vegetation was wiped out by 97% (details below). Life on shifting sands in the Torres Strait is all pathetically desperate. It’s 200km off Queensland but only 50km from Papua New Guinea and the highest point (if you could call it that) is 3m about the high tide mark. In other words, any decent wave could have washed the last one off. It’s sad, but it’s not “climate change”.

Latch Report, Recovery Plan for the Bramble Cay 2008

Latch Report, Recovery Plan for the Bramble Cay 2008 EPA, Government of Queensland.

No one is quite sure how the brown rats got there, some researchers ambitiously speculate that they might be a relic of the old Australian-PNG land bridge. That would mean they miraculously survived there for 9,000 years through super cyclones, tsunamis and surges. On the other hand, the same researchers suggest they might have drifted on a log from Fly River in PNG, or just hopped off a fishing boat that anchors nearby. No one really knows. Perhaps a cat hopped off a fishing boat too?

What’s the chance that sandspit may have been wiped out and rebuilt many times and then repopulated — apparently even whole palm trees are washed up from Papua New Guinea.

As Peter Latch said in 2008 — Cays come and go:

These cays are geologically temporary features of considerable instability, which may respond dramatically to fluctuations in their environment (Gourlay 1983). This inherent instability is well documented elsewhere, for example Green Island near Cairns has a long history of shoreline construction and erosion (Baxter 1990).

The rat’s demise was known in 2016, but it’s re-demise is hitting the news again. It’s a zombie extinction on the second run because an Australian Minister mentioned in one line of a press release that it was now formally and officially “Extinct”. Seven other mammallian critters were apparently rescued from death row in the same press release. No one cared. The Tammar Wallaby was listed as Extinct, but now is now listed as “Not listed” which sounds sinister, except it’s fine –it’s not even categorized as “Vulnerable”. We thought it was dead, but there were some in New Zealand (taken there by an Australian Governor).

The ABC headline of doom:

An Australian rodent has become the first climate change mammal extinction

Absolutely positively no hype here:

[ABC]  For thousands of years, generations of Melomys rubicola lived and bred on a sandy bank in the Torres Strait known as Bramble Cay. Some time between 2009 and 2014 the last of this species died; probably drowned in a storm surge.

The BBC is a bit more circumspect, at least admitting that that it might still be alive in the jungles of PNG:

Scientists say there is a chance that an identical or similar species could yet be discovered in PNG. But they’re uncertain because PNG’s nearby Key River region has been little documented by research.

Australia has one of the world’s highest rates of animal extinction, says the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

The ABC rolls out the predictable “not cute enough to save” excuse to explain our careless failure as a nation. It’s as if Australians have all the maturity of the average three year old and only rescue stuffed toys.

Unlike koalas or whales, the small rodent was never cute enough to rate much of a conservation effort. It’s only with its extinction – noted for the first time by the Federal Government, in a press release from Environment Minister Melissa Price – that it’s attracted interest from beyond the circle of biologists and conservationists that warned of its demise.

Sure, rats are not cute and rescuable like Great White Sharks and Saltwater Crocs are. Will the national self flagellation never end? Australians will give our firstborns to a tiger shark rather than kill it for fish and chips but that doesn’t stop the ABC from implying we are all selfish and immature. Lordy, we didn’t spend millions to save it, nor did we rush up to the distant cay and adopt these rats as pets. Though if we had done that and actually saved one, we’d have been breaking the law.

Almost the whole island is protected by the Native Title Act. A lot of good it did the dead rats.

 So what about the odds that your car exhaust killed the last rat?

Euan Mearns savaged this last time around when it first became extinct in 2016. Firstly, we’re not even 100% certain it’s extinct. Secondly, there is no evidence linking it’s demise to man made CO2. Thirdly, it’s in a major cyclone zone where storm surges have happened many times and lately cyclone trends are declining in Australia. Fourthly, the small temperature increase is nothing, seriously, are we kidding?

Euan Mearns found a UQ report showing that fully half the islands meagre vegetation was stripped by storm surges from 2004 to 2011.

Worse, they way I read it, by 2014 the Cay itself had shrunk to 2.5 ha from 4 ha. The vegetation had suffered a catastrophic 97% loss.

Nevertheless, a worrying finding from the March 2014 assessment was that due to erosion by wind, waves and tides impacting on the island (refer to Limpus et al. 1983, Dennis & Storch 1998) the cay’s area above high tide had decreased from the approximately 4 ha reported in 1998 to only 2.5 ha, apparently the smallest size documented for the island to date (Dennis & Storch 1998, Ellison 1998, Latch 2008). Furthermore, the herbaceous vegetation on Bramble Cay, which provides both food and shelter for the Bramble Cay melomys (Dennis & Storch 1998), declined dramatically from approximately 2.2 ha in 2004 to only 0.065 ha, equivalent to a 97% loss over a decade (Gynther et al. 2014a). Birds roosting amongst this vegetation in March 2014 further reduced habitat availability for the Bramble Cay melomys because the species is known to avoid areas in which numerous seabirds roost at night (Dennis & Storch 1998, Gynther et al. 2014a)

As Commenter Roger Andrews says there sometimes whole palms trees wash up on Bramble Cay.

There has been speculation that the species may also occur on other islands in the Torres Strait or in Papua New Guinea (PNG), given the close proximity of the cay to the mouth of the Fly River, which regularly deposits large amounts of debris (e.g., logs and assorted driftwood, whole palm trees and other vegetation) on Bramble Cay. Further survey work on these islands and PNG, along with clarification of the taxonomic status of the Bramble Cay melomys in relation to PNG species, is required (Latch 2008).

Whole palm trees. Hmmm.

For those of you wondering if it is indeed a different species, Peter Latch said something like Yes, probably, maybe:

Bramble Cay melomys is recognised as a distinct species (Strahan 1995) despite some uncertainty about the designation of species within the Melomys genus (Flannery 1995, Dickman et al. 2000). Menzies (1996) in his systematic revision of the Melomys in PNG did not assess Melomys rubicola despite its close proximity to PNG. Dennis and Storch (1998) reassessed its taxonomic status on both morphological and genetic grounds and found that M. rubicola is the most morphologically distinct melomys in Australia based on discriminate analysis of a number of features. They also found that M. rubicola has a distinct mtDNA gene sequence when compared to other Australian melomys. While the genetic differences between mtDNA sequences cannot prescribe specific status unequivically, it was concluded that if they do indicate that M. cervinipes, M. capensis and M. burtoni are distinct species, then M. rubicola should also be recognised as a distinct species.

What’s the difference between weather and climate? If the world stops warming for 15 or 20 years that’s “not” climate change, but if a weekend storm surge wipes out a rat, living precariously on a sand bar it’s The First Mammal Extinction caused by your car. Give us your money.


Latch, P. 2008. Recovery Plan for the Bramble Cay Melomys Melomys rubicola. Report to Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, Canberra. Environmental Protection Agency, Brisbane.

Gynther, I., Waller, N. & Leung, L.K.-P. (2016) Confirmation of the extinction of the Bramble Cay melomys Melomys rubicola on Bramble Cay, Torres Strait: results and conclusions from a comprehensive survey in August–September 2014. Unpublished report to the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, Queensland Government, Brisbane.

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Solar subsidy death spiral: $2 billion in Australia, rising 50% pa as electricity prices rocket

Solar Panels cost more than people realize.

A few Australians are just beginning to realize that they are paying for their neighbour’s solar panel. As news spreads, the shine of good-citizen-solar is going to tarnish fast, but it is going to take a concerted campaign to spread the word.

In one corner are 2 million households which have solar PV and thought they paid for it themselves. In the other corner are 7.5 million households which have exorbitant electricity bills. And in every corner and all across the spectrum is mass confusion thanks to the mass media. The fog of advertisements disguised as “news” means if you ask a dumb-enough-question 70% of Australians will say they want the government to set a high RET target to make electricity cheaper. It’s almost like 2 out of 3 people think we need the government to force us to buy cheap stuff, because everyone would buy the “expensive” planet killing volts if we only had the choice. Doh.

That’s $200 per household (and the rest!) added to the electricity bill in 2019

This is just the direct SRES (Small Renewable Energy Scheme) cost. It doesn’t cover the burden of stabilizing the grid, of covering the cost of baseload power sitting around waiting for when solar users need it. Unreliable power makes the whole system less efficient, costs go up and all the cheap electricity generators have to charge higher prices too (at least, the ones it doesn’t drive out of business). Then there are the price spikes — so wild they make these subsidies look cheap.

Households’ $2bn hit for solar roof panel subsidies

Perry Williams, The Australian

Households will pay nearly $2 billion for rooftop solar installation subsidies this year, costing every home nearly $200 and threatening to derail Scott Morrison’s pledge to cut power bills.

The cost of the federal Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) and state-based rebates combined is forecast to rise by 45 per cent from $1.2bn last year to $1.74bn this year.

However, analysis of the cost of small-scale technology certificates, which are handed to consumers installing solar panels and then bought back by electricity ­retailers, shows a soaring cost for all power users.

How’s this for confusion?

Energy companies say the subsidy is 15% of the bill, but the Minister says it is just 3%. We don’t even know what the cost is. Therein lies a free-market disaster. How is anyone supposed to make sensible decisions?

Origin Energy ­revealed last year that the government’s SRES and state-based solar feed-in tariffs accounted for up to 15 per cent of bill charges.

Mr Taylor, the Energy Minister, said the cost of small-scale technology certificates — created to increase the incentive to install rooftop solar — was just 3 per cent of an average household bill.

Big energy blames big government and big government blames the big energy companies and in a way they’re both right. The big energy companies are playing the market for profits, but big government is screwing the people for power — selling “green electrons” at the election to win seats.

The Liberals are tossing away their best proven election winning advantage. They won’t win votes by aiming for the empty dead centre. The killer comments and lines are left on the cutting room floor.

They can’t show what fools the Labor Green candidates are while they try to be better managed fools themselves.

Just call it quits on the Solar PV subsidy — save householders $200 this year, and even more the year after that.

But read the comments at The Australian. Even at the most informed masthead in the nation many people have no clue.


I pay 28c per kWh for electricity I use from the grid. I get 11c per kWh for electricity my solar panels feed into the grid. Tell me again how I am costing other users money?

 The only clever thing about renewable energy is the way the true cost is hidden.

h/t Pat and Dave B.

Solar Panels Photo: Ulleo

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NASA hides page saying the Sun was the primary climate driver, and clouds and particles are more important than greenhouse gases

 ZeroHedge asks:  What the hell are NASA Hiding?

The NASA site used to have a page titled “What are the primary forcings of the Earth system?“. In 2010 this page said that the Sun is the major driver of Earth’s climate, that it controls all the major aspects, and we may be on the cusp of an ice age. Furthermore NASA Science said things like clouds, albedo and aerosol behaviour can have more powerful cooling effects that outdo the warming effect of CO2.

Today that page says Share the science and stay connected,  and “Access Denied”.


 Whatever you do, don’t tell the world that NASA says the Sun is more important than CO2.

The Wayback Machine captured the same NASA “Primary Climate Forcings” link in 2010.

NASA, Climate forcings, Sun, original page image.

Click to enlarge.


Here’s the text from the original page (my bolding).

NASA 2010: What are the primary forcings of the Earth system?

The Sun is the primary forcing of Earth’s climate system. Sunlight warms our world. Sunlight drives atmospheric and oceanic circulation patterns. Sunlight powers the process of photosynthesis that plants need to grow. Sunlight causes convection which carries warmth and water vapor up into the sky where clouds form and bring rain. In short, the Sun drives almost every aspect of our world’s climate system and makes possible life as we know it.

Earth’s orbit around and orientation toward the Sun change over spans of many thousands of years. In turn, these changing “orbital mechanics” force climate to change because they change where and how much sunlight reaches Earth. (Please see for more details.) Thus, changing Earth’s exposure to sunlight forces climate to change. According to scientists’ models of Earth’s orbit and orientation toward the Sun indicate that our world should be just beginning to enter a new period of cooling — perhaps the next ice age.

However, a new force for change has arisen: humans. After the industrial revolution, humans introduced increasing amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, and changed the surface of the landscape to an extent great enough to influence climate on local and global scales. By driving up carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere (by about 30 percent), humans have increased its capacity to trap warmth near the surface.

Other important forcings of Earth’s climate system include such “variables” as clouds, airborne particulate matter, and surface brightness. Each of these varying features of Earth’s environment has the capacity to exceed the warming influence of greenhouse gases and cause our world to cool. For example, increased cloudiness would give more shade to the surface while reflecting more sunlight back to space. Increased airborne particles (or “aerosols”) would scatter and reflect more sunlight back to space, thereby cooling the surface. Major volcanic eruptions (such as that of Mt. Pinatubo in 1992) can inject so much aerosol into the atmosphere that, as it spreads around the globe, it reduces sunlight and cause Earth to cool. Likewise, increasing the surface area of highly reflective surface types, such as ice sheets, reflects greater amounts of sunlight back to space and causes Earth to cool.

Scientists are using NASA satellites to monitor all of the aforementioned forcings of Earth’s climate system to better understand how they are changing over time, and how any changes in them affect climate.

According to the Wayback Machine the text disappeared in early 2011 under Obama’s reign. Some people say Trump hides climate science, but Trump deletes propaganda, while Obama denies the Sun.

The Sun drives the climate on Earth

There are many mechanisms that the Sun can change the temperature of Earth (and not just through solar radiation). As we’ve discussed here many times, not only is there Henrik Svensmark’s theory about the solar magnetic effect on clouds through cosmic radiation, there are also potential effects (backed by observations) that magnetic fluxes, solar particle flow (the solar wind) and changes in the spectrum of of the UV and infra red may affect all kinds of climate markers on Earth. That includes atmospheric pressure, jet streams (Rossby waves), clouds, floods in Europe, rain in Asia, groundwater recharge in China, lightning over Japan, and wind and rain over Chile. The pervasive effect of the Sun even correlates surreally with human fertility, lifespan and jellyfish plagues.

h/t Frank W and Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge. Someone picked this up in tweet, but no one seems to know who. Thanks to them too.

I agree with NASA 2010. So call me a denier.


UPDATE: I’m happy to say the Tweeter was likely @JWSpry – Jamie Spry — who wrote it up on the Climatism blog last year. Doing phrase searches I also discovered Randall Hoven wrote an article on American Thinker way back in Dec 2010 pointing at the page. A month later the page was gone. NASA reading skeptics?

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History keeps getting colder — ACORN2 raises Australia’s warming rate by over 20%

More warming adjustments from ACORN2

Once again we find that the oldest thermometers were apparently reading artificially high even though many were newish in 1910 and placed in approved Stevenson screens.)  This is also despite the additional urban warming effect of a population that grew 400% since then. What are the odds?!

Fortunately, gifted craftsmen, sorry scientists have uncovered the true readings from the old biased thermometers which they explain carefully in a 67 page impenetrable document.

Chris Gillham has soldiered through the new “ACORN 2″ adjustments that the Australian Bureau of Meteorology has o-so-quietly released and Australians are just waking up to find that our coldest mornings back in 1910 were even colder than anyone realized at the time. Graham Lloyd is  reporting in The Australian how the second rewrite in six years increases the warming by 23% . (Where was the ABC announcement?)

The ACORN series of the Bureau of Meteorology includes 112 stations. Their report lists the warming trends per decade in Table 9. I converted that into the total warming since 1910 and graphed that below.

About one third of the warming of our mean temperature is due to man-made adjustments

Comparing AWAP (semi-raw) to the latest ACORN2, the mean temp is up from 0.08C up to 0.123C per decade. That’s a 50% increase.

To slow Australia’s warming it’d be much cheaper to replace the BOM rather than our electricity grid. Just a thought.

Adjustments at the 57 longest stations in Australia, ACORN2 BOM, Max and Min. Graph.

The Australian BOM uses 112 Stations for the ACORN series. These are the full adjustments to the min, mean and max across all stations for the full range of 1910 – 2016.

As Chris points out AWAP is not exactly raw — but it is at least the unhomogenised Australian Water Availability Project dataset.

The biggest changes are in the old minima

The new ACORN version has nearly doubled the rate of warming in the minima of the longest running stations.

About half of the stations in the ACORN list are newer and start recording sometime after 1910. The last station added was in 1975. Chris Gillham reasons that this is not really good practice and so he identified the 57 stations which do have data all the way back.  He laboriously calculated the decadal trends, and again I converted them to the total warming and graphed the changes below, and we can see that  most of the action comes from the oldest early morning records.

Suddenly, one hundred years later, frosts got far worse during World War I.

It would be very helpful if the Bureau could explain why these particularly were measuring too high.

The historical cooling will presumably stop Australia setting some new “coldest ever records” and make it a bit easier to set “hottest ever” ones.

Records were smashed in all kinds of ways the week ACORN2 was released, but nobody knew…

Adjustments at the 57 longest stations in Australia, ACORN2 BOM, Max and Min. Graph.

In the 57 longest running sites the rate of warming nearly doubled in the minima.

 No, the homogenisation methods of the BOM have not been found to be “sound”

Graham Lloyd, The Australian:

A number of reviews of the ­bureau’s network equipment and its temperature data handling have been carried out. A technical panel found the homogenisation methods used were largely sound.

Actually, the The BOM Technical Advisory Forum was never tasked with replicating the homogenization process. Task members were mostly hand picked statisticians. They agreed homogenisation was necessary, “best practice” and they read “the unsolicited complaints”, and concluded that they were not enough to worry about. The only definitive news that came out of that forum was the admission from the BoM that absolutely no one outside of their sacred guild would ever get all the information and training to to recreate their dataset. The BoM method remains a secret black box technique to this day. If it can’t be replicated (because no one can explain the full methodology) it isn’t science.

Three years and $1.3 billion dollars later and still no error bars?

Graham Lloyd reports that progress is slow:

But a key recommendation, to include confidence levels or error margins in the data, remains ­unfulfilled. A BoM spokesman said work was under way on a number of scientific papers looking at uncertainty and confidence intervals for temperature data ­observations, adjustments and national averages.

“This work will be made available to the public following ­thorough peer review,” the spokesman said.

The Australian BOM get one million dollars a day but 1,339 days since the report was released and $1.3 billion dollars of taxpayer funds later, they still can’t do error bars.

Is this, or is this not the “Best Ever” dataset?

I mentioned a few days ago that the new rewrite created a new all time hottest Australian temperature record — a day that reached 51 degrees C. The question is whether the BOM will recognize this officially, or whether, like the last ACORN record in Albany, they simply pretend it doesn’t exist. ACORN 2 is now considered the official national average temperature record, but is the Carnarvon record from 1953 real, or just an anomaly accidentally created by sweeping changes?

Do the BoM team believe in ACORN? With no press release it doesn’t appear so.

Chris Gillham (and others) has done a mountain of work and there is much more yet to discuss. More soon…


Bureau of Meteorology, ACORN 2, October 2019, Bureau Research Report – 032

WA Climate, Chris Gillham, ACORN2 influence on Australian temperature trends.

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Kids protesting to change weather are “heroic” but grownups in yellow vests are unnewsworthy

 Are children driving this or is the media?

A bunch of children are being hailed as heroes for skipping a day of school in order to get better weather for their 120th birthday party. Imagine the thrill of importance for any 17 year old “said” to be wielding this power. This is rock-star stuff.

 How teenage girls defied skeptics to build a new global climate movement

[by Tara John, CNN] A thick smudge of gold glitter on her right cheek belied the fact that [Anna] Taylor, 17, has taken a leading role in organizing a protest that is expected to see hundreds of students walk out of class across the UK on Friday.

“Hundreds” eh? Keep that figure in mind.

Meanwhile adults in yellow vests go to expense, effort and take risks to mass protest week after week and the TV ignores them

As Rafe Champion says: What is happening in Paris? Not much according to the MSM.

“There appears to be a different story to be told, but who would know?”

Week 13 and 50,000 people are still taking to the streets in an extraordinary leaderless protest.  The Italian deputy PM personally went and met with the yellow vests and invited them to Rome. Police have had to block yellow vest protestors from crossing the border to join up with Italians. The French ambassador to Italy has been recalled, and the French government is officially “not happy”. President Macron is talking about holding a national referendum with 3 months of public debate on climate change, taxes, public services and democracy. France hasn’t had a referendum since 2005.

This phenomenon is entirely unprecedented but apparently not that newsworthy. It’s not like the media have spent twenty years telling us that everyone wants “climate action” and that was totally wrong.

Instead of wanting to stop storms, these adult protestors “want to live in dignity”. They “want to be heard”. Must be nutso.

The media reporting (such as google finds it) seems to be keen to report any violence, damage or injury as if this were a football match brawl or simply declaring that the movement is shrinking. Our ABC still adds a box to coverage: “What is the yellow vest movement“. The caption says it’s just “fuel taxes”, not a political phenomenon protesting elitist rulers, high taxes. The linked page tells us Everything We Need To Know is stuff like “violence“, “hoods“, “masks“, and “graffitti“. The phrase “largely peaceful” sneaks in to paragraph 4 to be immediately neutralized by telling us that “some” unnamed persons who may be people at the local coffee shop, are calling the protests the worst in over a decade and even anticipate the unrest leading to civil war.   That’s a lot of negative words in “everything we need to know”, some of which have not even happened.

Tweeters tell a different story. See #YellowVests. Who needs the ABC when there are a thousand reporters on the spot?

Reuters tells us that the French people are saying Enough! and want the protests to stop. But ignore their headline and read their fine print:

While a majority of people support the movement, two in every three believe those still protesting each weekend in Paris and other cities are not representative of its early ambitions.

Lo, someone did a survey and someone else can interpret at least one question to say what they want to say. If the French media is like ours, French people probably are sick to death of hearing of fires and violence (which Craig Rucker told us were radical lefty infiltrators). Imagine if there were interviews with normal looking people in the crowd instead.

Imagine there was actual public debate on TV?

The media IS the problem

h/t Rafe

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Gates on renewables: How would Tokyo survive a 3 day typhoon with unreliable energy?

Make no mistake, Bill Gates totally believes the climate change scare story but even he can see that renewables are not the answer, it’s not about the cost, it’s the reliability.

He quotes Vaslav (possibly Vaclav Smil?):

Here’s Toyko, 27 million people, you have three days of a cyclone every year. It’s 23GW of electricity for three days. Tell me what battery solution is going sit there and provide that power.

 As Gates says: Let’s not jerk around. You’re multiple orders of magnitude — … — That’s nothing, that doesn’t solve the reliability problem.

h/t Craig KellyMP

During storms clouds cut solar panel productivity (unless hail destroys it) and wind turbines have to shut down in high winds.

The whole interview was part of a presentation at Stanford late last year:

Cheap renewables won’t stop global warming, says Bill Gates

The interview by Arun Majumdar, co-director of Stanford Energy’s Precourt Institute for Energy, which organized the conference, can be watched here.

Keep reading  →

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Australia’s new hottest day just “discovered”, not Albany or Oodnadatta, but Carnarvon (51 degrees in 1953!)

Australia's hottest day ever. Map.

Who knew? With intrepid dedication the Australian BoM has uncovered our hottest ever day, buried under erroneous calculations, hidden from view in High Quality expert data sets that were World Class til they weren’t. Strangely the BOM hasn’t issued a press release, even though their supercomputer-marketing team put out a Hottest Ever January media release within hours of January ending. It appears the BOM hasn’t even issued a press release to tell the world they’ve finished the third complete reanalysis of Australian temperature history.

Luckily for the BOM, which may have run out of bytes or letters of the alphabet, volunteers like Chris Gillham of the unofficial BoM audit team noticed that the BoM ACORN dataset has become ACORN2. So we’d like to tell the world. Once again, the genius at the BOM is able to retrospectively compensate for all the flawed sites and thermometers that kept reading too high. Incredibly, no one noticed for a hundred years.

As we launch ACORN2 let’s remember how proud the BOM were of ACORN1. This is from them back in 2017:

Bureau of Meteorology statement on temperature observations


The Bureau of Meteorology holds the integrity of our weather observations and climate data to the highest possible standards. The Bureau rejects allegations aired in some media outlets that it has sought to tamper with temperature data.

So the highest possible standards just got higher. Luckily they have arrived in time to find extra warming trends before the next Australian election.
Warming trends with adjustments again?
From Chris Gillham:  ACORN 2 influence on Australian temperature trends

An example of the haywire homogenisation that’s rewritten Australia’s temperature history is that Carnarvon can now claim to have had Australia’s hottest ever day, with ACORN 2 listing the town at 51.0C on 23 January, 1953. The bureau names Oodnadatta Airport at 50.7C on 2 January 1960 as Australia’s hottest ever day.

In the ACORN 1 dataset, 23 January 1953 at Carnarvon was 48.5C, and in RAW it was 47.7C. ACORN 1 lists Albany at 51.2C on 8 February 1933 but ACORN 2 cools this day to 49.5C (RAW 44.8C).

So the original Carnarvon record just got 3.3C hotter. The Albany record which got 7 degrees warmer in the last round has dropped back 2.7C. Lordy, look at the size of those centigrade wrestling matches!

The original ACORN may have been a bit rushed as it arrived just in the nick of time to save the BOM HQ dataset from being audited by the Australian National Audit Office. (Something Cory Bernardi requested with our help). The old HQ stood for High Quality. So much for that.

Cooling the past once again?

Thermometers in 1910 -1940 were reading far too high despite them being in Stevenson Screens at some of our best sites:


Australian Bureau of Meteorology, Australian temperatures, adjustments to raw readings, ACORN and ACORN2.


What bad luck. All this time the raw data was conspiring to hide Australia’s true cooler history.

It was even more true of Minima:

Australian Bureau of Meteorology, Australian temperatures, adjustments to raw readings, ACORN and ACORN2.


It’s a big news day when a town is even forecast to maybe possibly beat the old Oodnadatta record, so I expect (not) that the media will go crazy about this new discovery, or they would if the hottest ever day was not 60 years ago.

There’s a lot more we will say about ACORN2. Questions we are all waiting to find out — does it still have nearly a thousand days where the minima are higher than the maxima? Are they still creating monthly square wave patterns in the data as temperatures whip-saw up and down with adjustments going a degree either way on each side of New Years Eve? Just how much has this cooled the past and warmed the trend and where are these changes most apparent? Will the BOM call these adjustments “neutral” like the last time. How do they compensate for the Urban Heat Island effect, for the introduction of electronic super sensitive thermometers and all the site moves?

The Australian people pay a million dollars a day for this inept and biased operation.So far the only thing new about this version is that the BoM don’t seem so keen to tell the world about yet another revision of history.

For the record, when this new version was “launched” a year ago, I went through the full history of scandals and revisions in one post (just in case you want to be reminded how many times the BoM has shifted the goal posts).

Thanks to all the dedicated BOM Audit team who don’t get paid, thanks to Jen Marohasy, Senator Cory Bernardi, Graham Lloyd and The Australian. All of whom have played an important role in keeping the pressure on.


THE BOM LIST grows — Scandal after scandal


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Australians: destroying their grid faster than any country on Earth

Australians are the Renewable crash Test Dummies

As I said for free and two months before the ANU,  with a 50% annual growth in renewables, Australia is ramping up unreliable power faster than anywhere.

Now comes a paper: Australia: the renewable energy superstar showing that, per capita, Australia is installing unreliable generators in a blitzkrieg pace, more than twice as fast as Germany is, and 4-5 times faster per capita than the EU, USA, Japan and China. No other dummies are even in the race. The largest coal exporter in the world is working harder than anyone to destroy its largest export earner — which would be noble if only there was more to it than being a magical spell to ward off storms.

This is a legendary paper and very helpful. Save the link, copy the reference, send it to your MP, your friends, your newspaper! Why not head to the launch at ANU at 5:30pm, 14th Feb?

Never again can anyone get away with national flagellation for “not doing enough”. Henceforth Green and Labor M.P.’s will stop calling us a national joke, a pariah, and a disgrace. (Though, actually, all those things are true, for the opposite reason. China is laughing at us, and we are a disgrace to our children for blowing up national assets, squandering resources and teaching them witchcraft.)

Per capita, Australia (all shades of red) is installing renewables

Australia is installing renewables so fast it’s even faster than the second top country which is also, Australia.

Apparently the net cost of adding renewables is zero according to the experts at the ANU. In a consistent world this one document would also immediately end all subsidies. No more RET, SRES, LRET, low interest loans, tax breaks, forced market rules or golden interconnectors.

Except, of course, they’re totally wrong on the cost. Australians have the most expensive electricity in the world for a reason. Somehow Chinese hackers or a renewables marketing team must have snuck into the ANU to write most of the report. Of the six summary conclusions, the first two are obvious and the last four are fantasy. They are only “straight-forward” or “sustainable” if you have $10 trillion dollars to spare and you can’t think of anything better to do with it.

The full gloss PR story:

Australia: the renewable energy superstar


  • Australia is installing renewable energy (solar photovoltaics and wind) far faster per capita than other countries.
  • The Australian deployment rate is 4-5 times faster per capita than the EU, USA, Japan and China.
  • Stabilising the electricity grid when it has 50-100% renewable energy is straightforward using off-the-shelf techniques that are already widely used in Australia.
  • The electricity sector is on track to deliver Australia’s entire Paris emissions reduction targets five years early, in 2025. This is one of the world’s fastest sustainable rates of emissions reduction.
  • Remarkably, the net cost is zero because expensive fossil fuels are being replaced by cheaper renewables.
  • Australia is on track for deep and rapid greenhouse emissions reductions through deep renewable electrification. Much of the world can readily follow the Australian path. Renewable energy offers real hope for a future liveable planet.

The net cost is zero?

The net cost is only zero if you ignore the glorious subsidies, the extra transmission lines, the rising FCAS bill, the blackouts, the emergency demand management, the damage from surging voltages, the wasted capital expenditure, the squads of flying diesels, synchronous condensors, and the burden that unreliable energy dumps on the whole grid. In the US windpower makes gas power $30/MWh more expensive. Blakers et al might think this is a part of the gas bill but obviously it’s a hidden renewable cost. We can argue the toss with cherry-plucked analysis of wholesale price bidding games, but the end result is a retail price and on that, history is devastating. Coal gave us 30 years of falling prices, and renewables wiped all those gains out.

Renewable energy saves on fuel, but wastes infrastructure, land, labor and resources. How can that be cheap?

Like an infection, unreliable power damages the efficiency and economics of every other generator. And even though solar energy is semi-reliable, it still wrecks havoc on the grid: see the Duck curve, the 1000MW generator that goes AWOL and the warnings. For most of the year solar energy is the extra energy that arrives when we know we don’t need it.

Plus the rise of subsidized unreliables pushes out the unsubsidized sector leaving the market ripe for bid squeezes that cost nearly a billion dollars a day.

One of the world’s fastest sustainable rates of emissions reduction?

What’s sustainable? Not the price, our industries, or our 50Hz supply. Not our lifestyle.

We can have sustainable rates of carbon reduction but we can’t have a sustainable civilization at the same time.

The world can readily follow the Australian path?

Sure if they happen to be a first-world nation with vast empty space that’s 15 degrees from the equator, in the roaring 40s, and with $100 billion to throw away. Sure.


h/t Marc Morano, ClimateDepot


Andrew Blakers, Matt Stocks, Bin Lu (2019) Australia: the renewable energy superstar, ANU, [PDF]

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Climate change is real because we are snowflake couch potatoes, addicted to netflicks and airconditioners

Welcome to the DroneAge, where people act like robots and share dumb ideas at light speed!

Episode #601: Climate change makes you lonely and fat.

Feeling friendless, floppy and like a loser? It’s not your fault. Blame a coal plant. Blame Exxon. Blame anyone but yourself. It’s your bad luck to be born into the most bountiful, benevolent era in human history. Damn!

Lonely, unfit and hooked on air-conditioning – is this the summer of the future?

Nicole Hasham, Sydney Morning Herald, uses new unorthodox indicators of “climate change”. Wait for it… test cricket attendance? It’s a smorgasbord of nonsense:

In Perth, cricket fans avoided an historic Test fixture amid predictions of 38-degree days. Sun melted a coastal highway filled with holidaymakers in northern NSW. Victoria’s coal generators shut down. Tasmania burned. And rotting fish corpses lining the Darling River at Menindee forced anglers to seriously rethink their plans.

Are we kidding? Thirty-eight degrees is just a summer’s day in Perth. It’s something that happens 19 years out of 20. As for coal generators shutting down: we’ve spent 20 years trying to drive them out of business to stop climate change, and now, if they don’t work, that proves climate change is real? The reasoning is so circular it could give people whiplash.

Let’s not forget coal plants run at 550 degrees plus (unless they run at 1000C). They don’t shut down when it gets two degrees hotter outside, they are some of the last generators running. They outlast even the nuclear plants. (Not that we have any of those).

And Lordy, a modern university professor was trapped in his airconditioned car in Adelaide and discovered sunlight goes “through glass”:

It was not what the Griffith University professor had planned. But as a monster heatwave baked a crust onto southern Australia, “it was not possible to be outside at all”, he says. “I couldn’t do anything, I was basically just in the car all the time. Even then I got fried because the sunshine was so hot, it went through the glass,” Stantic recalls.

Sure. Hot sunshine goes through glass. Cold sunshine, of course, bounces right off. The nonsense never ends.

So he cut his holiday short.

Once, long ago, my parents drove 4,000km right across Australia in January, including 700km of dirt road over the Nullabor in an un-air-conditioned EJ Holden. They couldn’t put the windows down or the car would fill up with dust. At times the car was over 50C inside. Somehow they survived, and even had fun. In the 1800′s people did it on horseback (if they were lucky). If they weren’t lucky, they walked from Perth to Kalgoorlie with wheelbarrows. No fans, no fridges, no phones. What a bunch of fat unfit sissies we are.

As for dead fish — plenty of those in 1932.

Dead fish, dead birds, and even a dead baby.  The mercury hit 120F in Collarenebri. (That’s 50C, again, just another one among our long list of 50C temps).

You know it must be climate change when things are almost as hot and deadly 87 years later.

Mass fish and bird deaths in 1932 prove climate change was something that happened all the time.

The Uralla Times, Feb 1, 1932

A world too hot for humans, my foot

At Observatory Hill in Sydney, it hasn’t even reached 40 degrees once this summer, despite building brick walls and giant freeways next to the thermometer to help it stay warm. They’ve switched to electronic one-second-record thermometers too which you’d think could electronically pluck a 40C out of gusts of car exhaust coming off the freeway.

But it was hot hundreds of kilometers away:

The record-smashing temperatures of recent weeks have made it very clear: climate change has arrived. Depictions of a world almost too hot for humans are no longer an abstraction. Summer has changed, and so must we.

Hasham writes like a Hollywood marketing groupie. Where are the hard questions? The counter-points? Any semblance of critique?

Today people “on low incomes” we’re told, are lying on the floor because they can’t afford air conditioning. “They would literally lie on the floor in the coolest part of the house and not move for hours,” [Dr Louise] Crabtree says.

They are trapped in their homes “because they don’t have transport options that are affordable and cool.” It’s like a Soviet Gulag I tell you!

We’ve spent 30 years telling people to live in high density apartments and catch buses so they can stop heat waves.  But now they are imprisoned at home in heatwaves that keep coming, and what they really need is a car, cheap petrol and a garage at home to park it.

“We heard from people who, on a hot day, can’t get out of the house because they don’t have transport options that are affordable and cool.”

Blast-furnace ambient temperatures also turn people off physical exercise.

“If it’s just too hot and a walk to the bus stop is too far and the bus stop has no shade, people will stop walking. It’s very much impacting how much people are walking or bicycling,” Crabtree says.

Is the real problem the heat waves that Australia has always had, or is it that people can’t afford fuel and energy since the government decided we should try to change the weather instead?

h/t David B in Cooyal

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Weekend Unthreaded

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Legally it’s the wrong time? Coal mine rejected by judge who hopes to change weather

Sometimes we have laws, and sometimes it’s the wrong time for them

A judgement today in a minor NSW court banned a coal mine in the hope of making storms and floods nicer for our great grandchildren. Curiously, it was not the much hated thermal coal mine, it was a coking coal mine – the stuff we use in making steel. It takes 600 kilograms of coal to make one ton of steel and Australian coking coal is considered some of the world’s best. It follows that either the world uses a bit less steel, or it buys the coal from somewhere else. Does the judge have something against steel? Let’s melt down wind turbines and solar panels instead.

Most likely the world will buy the coal from somewhere else. It will likely be less pure and more polluting with few environmental controls or worker’s rights, but hey-de-ho, Judge Preston is not there to worry about environmental global concerns. It’s not like he’s a judge in the NSW Land and Environment Court. Oh…

Effectively, an Australian court decided to increase global pollution by blocking a clean coal mine*. As usual, there is no scientific or legal consistency; No principle apart from impressing people at dinner parties?

The court decision may put $100b of coal projects at risk:

Coal is our number one export earner:

[Perry Williams, The Australian]

An unprecedented court ruling that links Australia’s coalmines to global climate change may place a $100 billion pipeline of fossil fuel developments in peril.

But who needs money? (Or steel…)

Bear in mind the decision may be appealed. (More money for lawyers).

Tick, tock, time to be legal?

Strangely the judge concludes that moving 0.03% of global coal production from Australia this year to China next year will make the world a better place for the NSW taxpayers who fund his salary.

The developer of the mine, Gloucester Resources — controll­ed by German mining billionaire Hans Mende — aimed to produce 2.5 million tonnes a year of coal from the open-cut mine 3km south of Gloucester.

Total global coal production is 7 billion tons or more. India has built 52 new coal mines in the last five years.

Keep reading  →

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