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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Fires in August in 1951 in Queensland were described as “catastrophic” when CO2 was 311ppm

 The Bushfire season started in August in 1951 in Queensland

In 1946 in August “Mt Archer, in the Kilcoy district, was a 1500 ft torch tonight”. The 1951 fires did £2m of damage, and within three years the people of Queensland responded by creating six times as many fire teams and more firebreaks. One farmer put in 500 miles of firebreaks on his own property.

Since then humans have put out 85% of all the CO2 emissions we have ever put out, showing that cutting our emissions by 85% (in reality, even going wildly negative to get back to 311ppm) won’t stop fires in August in Queensland.

We don’t have a climate emergency, we have a history emergency. It’s like hundreds of years and the effort of thousands of people just doesn’t exist.


The outbreaks hare been the worst for years.
The fire risk is being maintained by westerly winds and the tinder-dry nature of the land.

Flames are laping 60 ft high and whirlwinds carrying blazing foliage and grass often 200 ft. high, are spreading the fire…

After the savage fires of 1951, Queenslanders formed hundreds of volunteer bushfire groups, cleared firebreaks, and it was simply understood that fires were coming, and could occur anytime after August.

1954:   State Facing Worst years for Bushfires

“The bushfires of 1951 were the board’s worst on record, with losses totalling more than £2,000,000. Mr. Healy said an outbreak of bushfires this year was so certain that it was just a question of when. There had been two recently in the Monto district, but they had soon been brought under control. Most risky time would be after August, with October possibly the worst month.?” -–  Warwick Daily News, Tuesday 15th June 1954

In 1951, there were only 50 volunteer bushfire brigades, but by 1954 in Queensland there were 300.

“One grazier in the Barcaldine district had made 500 miles of fire lines on the one property.”
Bushfire, Queensland, 1951, News


Out in Longreach, fires were so common, the fire season ran all year, but was reduced in winter.

12 May 1953: Trove: Winter lessens Bushfire Risk – May 12 1953

With the beginning of winter, the bushfire risk had lessened and no serious outbreaks were expected until August-September, Mr T. Pyae, manager Of Dalgety’s…

 In 1946 in August, hundreds of square miles of drought and flames

Bushfires sweep SE Queensland

Bushfires sweep SE Queensland

BRISBANE, August 14. -
Hundreds of square miles of
drought-stricken South-east
ern Queensland were aflame
tonight. From Bundaberg to
the border bushfires, driven
by south-westerly winds,
were menacing homesteads,
stations, property, stock, and
army buildings and destroy-
ing the last remnants of win-
ter feed.

And back in 1935, a pall of smoke ranged over Brisbane

The city and suburbs were again overcast with a pall of smoke from bush fires continuing to burn on he ranges surrounding Brisbane.  – 6 Aug 1935: Trove: Courier Mail Brisbane

Bushfire, Queensland, 1951, News

Thanks to Graham Dunton and Pat for finding these stories.


Several bush fires on the North Coast have threatened farms, and in some cases caused damage… -  August 6, 1935

A bush fire which started on Noora homestead after a goods train passed through burned out between 15,000 and 20,000 acres in the district… — Aug 6, 1935

Bush fires in the Mulgowie district during the week-end did much damage, and it is estimated that more than 1000 acres of grass was destroyed. … — Aug 6, 1935

Meanwhile this week in 2019 the ABC and Queensland fire and emergency services are telling us that the fire seasons are starting earlier.

28 Aug: ABC: Queensland bushfire season expected to last longer, authorities warn
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) Deputy Commissioner Mark Roche said Queensland had already started its fire season, with several fires coming close to homes and killing wildlife in the south-east last week.
“The bushfire season has started early and we expect it will go later as well,” he said…

9 Sept: MyPoliceQld: Fire investigation, Lakes Creek
Following investigations into a fire in the Mount Archer area, police commenced proceedings by way of a Notice to Appear against a 63-year-old Lakes Creek man for the offence of Light Unauthorised Fire under the provisions of the Fire and Emergency Services Act 1990.
Around 1.45pm yesterday a member of the public called Triple Zero after seeing a man acting suspiciously in the area.
It will be alleged that the man was conducting his own backburning operations without a permit – and the fire subsequently spread from Lakes Creek to Mount Archer…
The man is scheduled to appear at the Rockhampton Magistrates Court on 8 October 2019.


And some at the ABC chose to talk up the fires, but not mention the arson which was already well known by 11 Sept: ABC The World Today: Residents return home to Peregian Beach as bushfire threat eases By Rachel Mealey on The World Today. 

Just sayin’…

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Ecological Grief – when scientists think they need therapy, but what they really need is debate

Once upon a time, scientists had colleagues that brought them back to earth. Then sensible scientists were sacked and the only people left in the department were the hyperbolic dramatists. Is it any wonder that what’s left of university departments thinks they need  therapy? Every time one of them hits the panic button they all panic together.

‘Ecological grief’ grips scientists witnessing Great Barrier Reef’s decline

Barnes, who is still analysing her results, was surprised that many of the scientists whom she interviewed felt intense grief and sadness about the reef’s deterioration. Nature has also spoken to several coral-reef scientists not involved in Barnes’s study who echo those sentiments.

“I now feel much more hopeless, and there’s a deeper anxiety breaking through,” says John Pandolfi, a marine ecologist at the University of Queensland in Brisbane.

David Suggett, a coral physiologist at the University of Technology Sydney. “Nothing can prepare you for seeing it play out in real time,” he says.

Nothing can prepare you — unless of course a wiser older colleague reminds you when it all happened before. “No biggie.”

Suggett says that he finds it difficult to set his emotions aside about the reef’s condition when talking to the public. He worries that if he shows his feelings, then people will accuse him of being biased. “It’s very challenging for researchers to maintain the appearance of being objective while showing that they care about the ecosystems they’re working on,” Suggett says. He thinks a lack of support networks for scientists struggling with the emotional effects of their work could also lead to feelings of isolation.

Dear Dr Suggett — why maintain the appearance of objectivity when you could maintain objectivity instead? We can show we care about the ecosystems by studying them better — by listening to opponents, debating it freely and tossing out cherished assumptions.

Scientists don’t need a therapy group — they need a debate.

Keep reading  →

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SSW, Sudden Stratospheric Warming hitting a record over Antarctica, Ozone hole almost gone already?

Two days ago over the Antarctic the SSW or Sudden Stratospheric Warming was still running strong up at 10 hPa or around 30 km high.

NIWA claim it may be the strongest SSW seen in the Southern Hemisphere ever (which means the last 50 years).

Temperatures in the  green circle marked in the centre were 11C, instead of minus 40 to minus 60C. As we mentioned before, this is extremely rare, and the likely implications are that sometime in the next few weeks a cold beast will hit somewhere in the Southern Hemisphere, but no one really knows where. The Australian BOM are rather bravely predicting a warmer less rainy spring for NSW and QLD. (See below).

If only we really understood the major drivers of our climate we might have predicted this more than a few weeks in advance. Perhaps it is caused by some of those solar factors that the big GCM’s completely ignore?

From Nullschool:

SSW, STratospheric Sudden Warming, Southern Hemisphere, Antarctica.

Stratospheric Sudden Warming, Southern Hemisphere, Antarctica.

Two years ago, same time, we see a single large polar jetstream at 10hPA and temperatures of around minus 40C in the warmest part and minus 60 elsewhere in the jetstream. These normal winds flow in a westerly direction at around 200km an hour especially in spring.

SSW, Stratosphere, Temperature, Antarctica, Southern Hemisphere. Nullschool.

More normal stratospheric pattern over Antarctica in 2017

There are hardly any news reports on this in Australia, indeed it’s even hard to find twitter discussion:  #SSW

Predictions for the Australian weather from The Conversation on Sept 5th.

Impacts from this stratospheric warming are likely to reach Earth’s surface in the next month and possibly extend through to January.

Apart from warming the Antarctic region, the most notable effect will be a shift of the Southern Ocean westerly winds towards the Equator.

For regions directly in the path of the strongest westerlies, which includes western Tasmania, New Zealand’s South Island, and Patagonia in South America, this generally results in more storminess and rainfall, and colder temperatures.

But for subtropical Australia, which largely sits north of the main belt of westerlies, the shift results in reduced rainfall, clearer skies, and warmer temperatures.

Past stratospheric warming events and associated wind changes have had their strongest effects in NSW and southern Queensland, where springtime temperatures increased, rainfall decreased and heatwaves and fire risk rose.

The influence of the stratospheric warming has been captured by the Bureau’s climate outlooks, along with the influence of other major climate drivers such as the current positive Indian Ocean Dipole, leading to a hot and dry outlook for spring.

 The peak was expected a couple of weeks ago, but apparently the peak moved and was repredicted to be yesterday at 17C.

 Ozone hole headed for zero (as in “solved”)

During the SSW the ozone hole shrinks and repairs itself even faster than usual. Normally the ozone hole grows and peaks in October. But right now it is already vanishing as the winds up high turn back on themselves. At least half the Stratospheric jet stream — especially over the Australian side appears to be flowing from the East instead of the West.  Twitter #Ozonehole

From the Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Program:

Ozone hole, southern hemisphere.

Must be the CFC-Free bug spray….

Sudden warming in the high stratosphere,
In winter, in the Northern Hemisphere,
Is a forcing, it seems,
On its lower jet streams,
And a sign that a cold blast is near.


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Burn Money: wind farms in Tas and Vic are “correlated” — all useless at the same time

How to make electricity more expensive: build 1,000MW of random generation which needs expensive back up and an undersea cable too.

Tom Quirk and Paul Miskelly noticed that the team selling the new “largest wind farm in the Southern Hemisphere” on Robbins Island are claiming it will help stabilize the supply of intermittent power in Australia. Instead it’s likely to do the opposite. This is the same 1GW wind farm that even Bob Brown, former Greens leader, doesn’t want. An eagle-chopping eyesore.

UPC Renewables are claiming the correlation between the Tasmanian Robbins Island output is “very low” compared to the wind farms in Victoria. It would be nice if only it were true. Instead they apparently got their r mixed up with their r2 — and incorrectly claim the correlation is low when actually its dangerously high. I say “dangerous” because it’s a danger to the NEM — the national grid. The last thing we need is 1,000MW of useless extra energy that arrives when all the other useless energy arrives — exacerbating the ups and downs — driving the efficient baseload providers out of business even faster, and leaving the nation with an expensive headache and sitting on a knife edge of frequency hell.

And there’s no point (or any profit) without a second undersea interconnector, so who’s paying that bill? It’s being sold to the taxpayer as a necessary bit of infrastructure for the forced transition (that we didn’t need in the first place). All so UPC investors can make money.




Tasmania – Australia’s offshore wind farm?

Guest post by Tom Quirk and Paul Miskelly

Is it possible that Tasmania could become Australia’s offshore wind farm? A proposal by UPC Renewables[1] [1] an international developer of wind farms, suggests that a 1000 MW wind farm could play on important role in moderating the intermittent supply of electricity from renewable resources.

UPC wants to construct what would be one of the largest wind farms in the world on Robbins Island, near Cape Grim in northwest Tasmania. There are two wind farms in the north of Tasmania that are part of the Australian Energy Market (AEM). These are Woolnorth to the west and Musselroe to the east. These and the proposed site on Robbins Island are shown in Figure 1 with the Victorian wind farm at Bald Hills, the closest mainland wind farm to Tasmania and along with the Basslink connection that joins the Tasmania grid to the grid in Victoria.


Wind farm, Tasmania, Robbins Island. Map.

Figure 1: Layout of operating and proposed wind farms in Tasmania, along with Basslink and Bald Hills in Victoria.


At present Tasmania with hydropower, wind farms and the Basslink connection has enough energy available for its own needs and is also able to supply surplus energy to Victoria as Basslink has a capacity of 400 MW, and for short periods of up to 4 hours, 630 MW. However adding 1000 MW potential of the new wind farm will require not only a transmission line from Robbins Island to the Basslink terminal near Launceston but also an additional 500 MW link to Victoria.

The key question is what will these connectors cost for the consumers and taxpayers?

However before discussing this, an independent assessment of the benefits, and also, any potential risks, of the proposed new wind farm, needs to be made.

In their submission, UPC Renewables provides an analysis that states:

UPC has done its own analysis of 5 minute NEM data for 2017 which demonstrates that the correlation between operating Victorian and Tasmanian wind farms is very low (i.e. R- Squares below 0.2 in most cases — refer Table 3 appended See Figure 2 below). This points to the value of development in geographical diverse locations to minimize coincidently high or low output and hence avoid the issues that coincident generation or lack thereof brings.”

The key point in the above quote is the use of the term “correlation”. A correlation coefficient ranges from +1 to -1 or 100% to -100%. The UPC quote above and their table quoted there refers tothe correlation coefficient as “R-Squares”, or “r2“. How or where does this r-squared term arise? The question arises because “R-Squares” is not a term in normal usage as a correlation coefficient[2].
A second point about looking at correlations among the outputs of these wind farms is that the energy generated as a function of time needs to be examined in detail as there may well be low correlations but nonetheless swings in energy output of any of the wind farms, even large swings, may occur, being not necessarily made apparent by the correlation analysis alone.


Robbins Wind farm, Tasmania, Musselroe, Bald Hills,

Figure 2: Extract from Table 3 appended to the UFC document. The table shows correlation values for the wind farms shown in Figure 1.and the average values for the 35 wind farms examined.

Given that there are ambiguities arising from the form of the UPC renewables statement as per the quote above, the rule in any such potential for confusion is: look at the data.

Correlations among selected Wind Farm outputs

 The 5 minute NEM data for 2017 has been obtained from the AEMO website and Figure 3 shows the 5 minute variations for the month of July 2017 for Woolnorth and Bald Hills. Figure 4 shows Woolnorth and Musselroe. These wind farms are about 250 km apart from each other.


Wind farm, graph, Woolnorth, Bald hills, 2019.

Figure 3: 5 minute variations for the month of July 2017 for Woolnorth and Bald Hills.


Wind farm, Graph, Woolnorth, Musselroe output.

Figure 4: 5 minute variations for the month of July 2017 for Woolnorth and Musselroe.


The correlation coefficient for Woolnorth against Bald Hills is 57 +/-  1 % and the value for Woolnorth against Musselroe is 54 +/- 1%. The error is so small as there are between 8,000 and 9,000 5 minute values for each wind farm.

But if you square these July correlation coefficients you get 32% for Woolnorth against Bald Hills and 29% for Woolnorth against Musselroe !

The full analysis of the 5 minute data is given in Table 1. The UPC quoted values are the squares of the correlation coefficients.

Table 1 Comparison of correlations coefficients

Month 2017

Woolnorth Bald Hills 2017

Woolnorth Musselroe



Bald Hills Musselroe





















































Year 2017







UPC r2 value




UPC r value





Should this usage be in fact what UPC Renewables has chosen to offer in their presentation of the apparent correlations in wind farm output? It does pose one potential disadvantage for the case that they are presenting. The squaring of the correlation coefficient, remembering that the real, non-squared, value is across a range [-1, +1]), has the apparent advantage that, indeed, it results in a smaller numerical value An example from the table above gives the real value of the correlation coefficient (the bottom row of the table) is 57% or 0.57. Squaring this yields the value of 0.325, apparently a low value for the “correlation”. However, a possible value of -0.57, would have been much more supportive of the argument that UPC Renewables is trying to advance, then squaring this latter value to get +0.325.

However, the actual data show no negative correlations for the full year of 2017 (Figure 5).

Victorian wind power, output, June 2019, Graph.

Figure 5:  Full year correlations of Woolnorth against all other wind farms for 2017


In the event, the fact remains that the correlation is positive, and is significantly higher overall than the UPC Renewables paper would seem to suggest.

So what performance might be expected from this new wind farm?

Robbins Island is some 25 km from and immediately to the east of the Woolnorth wind farm so its performance should be similar. As an example, in South Australia, two wind farms, whose latitude and longitude data are separately published, North Brown Hill and Hallett 2, are 35 km apart and their correlation coefficient for the year 2017 is 85%. That is, their respective outputs are seen to track each other fairly closely. Therefore, given that the proposed Robbins Island wind farm would be even closer to Woolnorth than the 35 km that separates these two South Australian wind farms, it can be expected that, if anything, the output of the proposed Robbins Island wind farm would track that of Woolnorth even more closely.

So it is possible to model the Robbins Island contribution to Victorian wind farm supply by scaling both Woolnorth and Musselroe to 1000 MW as the behaviour of the Robbins Island wind farm. Table 2 show the contributions increase the intermittency. Figure 6 is an example of potential Victorian wind farms correlation to Robbins Island from Woolnorth scaled to 1000 MW.

Table 2: Victorian wind farm performance with added supply from Robbins Island

Wind farms

Correlation with Victoria

Capacity including “Robbins Island”

Annual average MW

Capacity factor

Mean 5 minute changes MW

% of changes over 100 MW

Maximum change MW


























Victoria, Robbins Island, correlation, wind output, graph, 2019.

Figure 6: 5 minute variations for the month of July 2017 for Victorian wind farms and Robbins Island scaling the performance of the Woolnorth wind farm to 1000 MW

Extent of the swings in total wind farm output

What has become a clear issue in the deployment of so much in the way of the ever-increasing proportion of the total installed capacity of both wind farms and solar PV installations is both the inherent intermittency of these forms of generation, and their virtually complete lack of a contribution to that all-important component of generation, system inertia, that is so important to the grid’s ability to deal with the stress of unexpected transients, such as that due to lightning strikes, loss of generation and bushfires passing under major transmission lines.[3]

One of the tasks required of the professional engineer in developing any proposal is the requirement to properly examine any and all likely worst-case scenarios.

The determination of a correlation index as performed by UPC Renewables does not address the matter of volatility in any way whatsoever. That volatility in the output of wind farms is clearly a concern can be seen by an examination of the total wind farm output on the Eastern Australian grid for virtually any month of the year. That for June 2019 is reproduced as Figure 7 below as a typical example.


Wind energy production, June, 2019, Australian, NEM, graph.

Figure 7 Total Wind Farm output of all AEMO-registered wind farms on the Eastern Australian grid for the month of June 2019[4]

The figure shows numerous occasions where deep minima in the output occur. Remember, this is the output of the total wind farm fleet. This also raises doubts about the UPC correlation analysis as recorded wind output varies by a factor of 10.

Clearly, if this supply were the only source of generation, then multiple grid-wide blackouts would have occurred during this month of June 2019 alone.

We need to keep very firmly in mind that supply and demand on the grid must be maintained in second-by-second balance. If the balance is not maintained 24/7, grid collapse, (the technical term for widespread blackouts), very quickly follows.

Now, let’s talk about the acceptability or otherwise of grid-wide blackouts. Remembering that a grid-wide blackout that lasts even a few hours can have catastrophic and even tragic consequences, and also remembering that the required “black start” after a grid-wide collapse may take several days to enable restoration of power, clearly a grid-wide failure occurring at any time is totally unacceptable. That this is so was a message brought home loudly and clearly to the British authorities after the occurrence of a widespread, very disruptive blackout on Friday, 10 August last. See, for example, the coverage in the Daily Mail.[5]

We may safely conclude then, that a grid-wide blackout, at a frequency of even just one in every ten years, is totally unacceptable.

So, what does the possibility of grid-wide blackouts have to do with the choice of whether or not to build a great, big, new wind farm, in northern Tasmania, the largest so far to be installed in Australia?

The clue can be found in an examination of either or both of the outputs of the Woolnorth and Musselroe wind farms shown in Figure 4. Each exhibits swings in output across the full range of its capacity, Woolnorth’s for example varying from zero to near its full installed capacity of 140 MW and back, and similarly Musselroe varying over its full capacity from zero to 168 MW. Furthermore, figure 4 shows that both wind farms vary in their output over their full range very frequently, if seemingly chaotically and frequently the swings over their full range occur quite rapidly. What is interesting is that the higher capacity factors demonstrated in the Tasmanian wind farms simply results in power excursions over the full installed capacity rather more frequently than might occur in lower capacity factor wind farms of mainland Australia. Maintaining control over the grid is a challenge where such uncontrolled variations are occurring, particularly where multiple generators are involved.

We can be quite certain then that should the Robbins Island facility be built then the grid operator will have to deal with an additional wildly swinging input varying from zero to 1000 MW and back, virtually fully correlated with the wild swings of the Woolnorth (and Bald Hills) wind farm. Without the building of a new 1000 MW gas-fired power station purpose built to back up this new wind farm, continued control of the Eastern Australian grid would be hugely challenging, if not impossible, to achieve.



Our analysis of the correlations among the various wind farms shows that the proposed wind farm at Robbins Island would add a very large additional highly variable, intermittent, supply that is positively correlated with the existing wind farm supply. As a result, any wind farm built at the Robbins Island location will merely add a large chunk of additional instability to what is an already increasingly unstable Eastern Australian grid. This instability is due to the inherent intermittency in the output of all wind farms and solar PV installations. As with all these other intermittent sources of generation, any such wind farm will also fail to provide the very necessary synchronous inertia provided by conventional dispatchable plant, inertia that protects the grid from the sudden shocks induced by such events as already mentioned. This second shortcoming is of concern if the Robbins Island wind farm is considered to be some sort of replacement for any coal-fired power station, to which UPC Renewables allude in their submission.

The sheer scale of the installed capacity of this proposal then should give cause for grave concerns for the continued operational stability of the Eastern Australian grid should it proceed.

Furthermore, our analysis shows that any suggestion that the building of wind farms at other sites in Tasmania would contribute the desirable output negatively correlated with that from wind farms in mainland Australia would require rigorous analysis before any confidence could be given to any such claim.

The development of the Robbins Island wind farm comes in two parts. The first stage of the farm would be a 500 MW installation. A transmission line would be needed to deliver the electricity to the Basslink station near Launceston. The second stage would add a further 500 MW and would require a second Basslink cable.

The impact would be experienced in Victoria as the wind farm output under the RET scheme has entry at zero bid price so receives the price set from the bid stack along with REC payment. Victoria already has some 4,000 MW of proposed or approved wind farms that will come into operation over the next five years. A further 1,000 MW will simply add to an already overloaded renewable intermittent energy supply.

This development by a supplier outside Victoria where there are limited interconnectors to other states shows that there is no effective planning for the development of electricity supply on a national scale.



[1^] The UPS Renewables submission may be found at:

[2^]Correlations   That a term such as “R-Squares” is not commonly used as a correlation coefficient can quickly be ascertained by reference to any standard text on statistics. A website such as: that discusses statistics in a very general fashion allows the reader to quickly determine what are the standard formulae and standard procedures.

[3^]  Past analysis: Miskelly A & Quirk T 2010, ” Wind Farming in South East Australia”, Energy & Environment Vol 21, Vol 20 Number 8 – Vol 21 Number 1 / December 2009 – January 2010. Available at:

Miskelly P 2012, “Wind Farms in eastern Australia – Recent Lessons”, Energy & Environment Vol 23 No 8 December 2012. Available at:

[4^] Courtesy Andrew Miskelly, from:

[5^] Daily Mail at:

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It’s a Science Emergency: How many fires can Australia stop with solar panels and windfarms?

As some fires rage, parts of the nation are gripped with witchcraft.

What to do about wildfires?

Skeptics think we should stop firestorms by reducing fuel loads, and clearing firebreaks. Unskeptical scientists on the other hand are talking about going vegan, swapping light globes, installing windmills and photovoltaic panels and of course…. planting more trees. Oh the dilemma? Should we stop fires with firebreaks or wave some solar panels? Yea, verily, let’s control fires on Mt Tamborine by cooling the world?  Hail Mary and line up the wind towers to face north at the equinox!

Joelle Gergis has a PhD in climate science, yet even she apparently believes that these fires are caused by coal plants, and could have been prevented if only we installed enough solar panels. It says a lot about what a PhD is worth these days. It also says a lot about the Australian National University, and all of it is sad.

Gergis, in particular, is not the only one, but she is all “moss drenched” hype and marketing, no caveats, no qualifiers, and no error bars.

I never thought I’d see the Australian rainforest burning. What will it take for us to wake up to the climate crisis?

– Joelle Gergis, The Guardian

What will it take for us to wake up to the Science Crisis? Somehow it had never occurred to her that rainforests can burn. What are our universities teaching?

Five kilometers away from the Binna Burra disastrous fires is Numinbah, where there is no trend at all in rainfall

This is the reality of climate change:

Numinbah rainfall, graph, Bureau of Meteorology.


The only trend that’s meaningful in fires is that 67 years of fire management in the hot, dry state of WA shows the more prescribed area we burn, the less wildfire does.

As the Bushfirefront team says — high fuel loads make unstoppable fires:

Fires on hot windy summer days in long unburnt forests simply cannot be put out by humans, no matter how many, how courageous and how hard they work and how good their technology. Even under relatively mild conditions, the intensity of fires burning in fuels over about 10 tonnes per hectare is simply too great to allow them to be attacked successfully. The 2007 Victorian fires demonstrated that the entire firefighting resources of Australia, plus international assistance from NZ, Canada and the USA, were inadequate.

Let’s see that data again. After terrible fires of 1961, prescribed burns were ramped up dramatically, and wildfires were almost non-existent for the next twenty years in WA.

Prescribed fire reduction, South West WA.

As prescribed fire reduction declined, Wildfires increased in South West Australia.

In Australia we can either have man made fires or natural catastrophes. Cool burns, or uncontrollable firestorms.


Other fires are burning on the Sunshine Coast and there are no trends in rainfall there either

Rainfall data from Nambour Bowls Club from 1900 – 2015 and then at Palmwoods shows no correlation with the rise of man-made CO2.

Rainfall record, Bureau of Meteorology, Nambour Bowling Club, Sunshine coast, graph.


See the rainfall in Mapleton Post Office

Rainfall record, Bureau of Meteorology, Nambour Bowling Club, Sunshine coast, graph.


Here’s Joelle Gergis at The Guardian joining fantasy clouds of cause and effect in vague prophet-speak:

Although there are natural seasonal fluctuations in the Indian and Southern Ocean that are influencing the dry and windy conditions we are currently experiencing, all of Australia’s weather and climate variability is now occurring in a world that is 1°C warmer than it was since pre-industrial times.

If that one degree is a magical switch why was the worst fire in Australia in 1851?

The human fingerprint on Australian temperatures has been clearly detected since 1950. This means that all natural variability is now being modified by human influences on the climate system, leading to changes in observed climate variability and extremes.

What human fingerprint? The CCSP said it was the hot spot, but it didn’t exist?

Since the 1970s, there has been an increase in extreme fire weather, and a longer fire season, across large parts of the country.

She doesn’t mention the lack of any trends in drought or rainfall.

Gergis is “the modern” fortune teller, but just like fortune tellers have done for eons, she refers to mystical signs and plants suggestions with emotive allegory:

It’s clear to me that the extreme events we are experiencing right now in Australia and all over the world, are a sign of things to come. Events that were considered extreme in today’s climate will become average in the future as records continue to be broken and the “new normal” emerges.

What we expect to see in our future climate is playing out right now, not decades in the future. As we begin to drift away from the safe shores of historical variability, the only certainty is that life in the “new normal” will be outside the range of human experience.

The same questions need to be asked of the ARC (Australian Research Council) — they continue to fund Gergis (and many others who apparently agree with her). Let’s go right up the chain, The Minister of Science needs to explain how taxpayers are benefiting from funding profoundly unscientific work.

It’s time the ABC explained why it does not ask its own science unit to look at the basic important data on climate change, and ask scientists like Gergis, her Director, the university, the ARC and the minister even one hard question.

We don’t need to do a sophisticated analysis here, just the basics, obvious to anyone able to read.

    1. Fires are worsened by drought, temperature, fuel-loads, wind speed, wind direction, lightning and arson. Globally there has been no change in droughts for 60 years, and climate models — can’t predict rainfall or droughts, exaggerated temperature trends, and got wind speeds wrong. Wind speeds have been slowing — which ought to make fires slower too. The only way CO2 emissions make fires worse is through fertilizing extra growth and increasing fuel loads. This is the one factor none of the unskeptical scientists will mention.
    2. Theoretically there is not even a reason CO2 emissions cause droughts. Professor Andy Pitman says that “a priori” CO2 emissions are not linked to droughts. Warmer worlds are also more humid worlds, with slightly higher rainfall (on average).
    3. Rainfall patterns inland on the Gold Coast, in Brisbane and on the sunshine coast show no correlation with CO2 emissions. There is no trend.
    4. Anyone who questions the magic spell is called a “Denier”. Obviously, the scientific case is so pathetically weak it must be guarded by name-calling.


See the rainfall in Brisbane back to 1840

From the Brisbane Regional Office, and then Alderley six kilometers away.  A very long record and no correlation with CO2.


Rainfall record, Bureau of Meteorology, Nambour Bowling Club, Sunshine coast, graph.


Which part of recent rainfall do we blame on climate change?


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Cost of Living is biggest concern among Australian voters on both sides of politics

What’s the polar opposite topic to climate change? Probably “cost of living”.

The latest Newspoll shows that the Coalition has far more to gain from addressing cost of living instead of “climate change”.  Labor voters are even more focused on cost of living than conservatives — which means there are a lot of Labor voters who can be potentially won over to the conservative side if the Liberal-National government plays the cost of living card against climate change and shows they are the team to get costs lower.

As far as conservative voters go, Climate Change ranked 5th as an issue. For every vote the Libs lose by aggressively tackling this — they stand to win far more. Furthermore, of the one in ten voters who are “conservative” and concerned about climate change, how many will dump the concern if we finally get some real debate in Australia? If one major party starts to talk about how futile and expensive it is to change the global climate these numbers will swing.

The Australian

poll, Australia, political prioritites, Sept 2019


The cost of living is now the greatest concern for voters, with a ­majority claiming it should be the federal government’s top priority.

Amid high energy prices and stagnant private sector wage growth, an exclusive Newspoll commissioned by The Australian shows 37 per cent of voters named cost of living as the most important issue, with 19 per cent citing economic management.

We can’t have both a low cost of living and a forced renewables transition. The Coalition could wedge Labor on this if they dared face the name-calling bullies.

The Newspoll is the third to be conducted since the election and surveyed 1661 voters across city and country areas from September 5 to 7.

It involved 956 online surveys and 705 robo interviews with a margin of error plus or minus of 2.4 per cent.

Both parties pander to the namecallers, and debate is practically non-existent in the Australian mainstream media, so this poll is “as good as it gets” for the unskeptical alarmists.

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Cannibal for the Planet: Save the world, eat human flesh?

Just one step closer to Aztec climate control:

Swedish scientist floats eating human flesh as solution to global climate change: reports

Gerren Keith Gaynor | Fox News

Aztec Art.

Stockholm School of Economics professor and researcher Magnus Soderlund reportedly said he believes eating human meat, derived from dead bodies, might be able to help save the human race if only a world society were to “awaken the idea.”

Soderlund’s argument for human cannibalism was front and center during a panel talk called “Can you Imagine Eating Human Flesh?” at the Gastro Summit, reports The Epoch Times. “Conservative” taboos against cannibalism, he said, can change over time if peoples simply tried eating human flesh.

 Should we eat Great Aunt Polly or what?

Check my numbers — Around the world 55 million people die each year. The human body is 18% carbon, so a 60kg person has 10kg of pure carbon and that will generate 40kg of CO2 in “the end”.  Looks like 55 million dead people will emit around  2.2Gt of carbon dioxide, or about 5% of human emissions, and about 0.002% of total natural emissions.  Even if we could get over the idea of eating Aunt Polly (which I don’t think we will) aged steak is unlikely to compete well in a market with yearling beef.

It’s all a bit macabre.

He suggested more plausible options such as eating pets and insects.

Not that eating Rover is going to sell well in the West either.

Before human meat becomes the next cuisine trend, however, history shows there are potential health risks to cannibalism.

Indeed. Say hello to Human Spongiform Encephalitis, Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease, and Kuru and they’re just the ones we know about and all universally fatal. In twenty years time there’ll be a lot more.

Swedish scientist advocates eating humans to combat climate change

Söderlund used his tv interview on the State Swedish Television channel TV4 to give a powerpoint presentation entitled “Can you Imagine Eating Human Flesh?” It included such topics as “Is Cannibalism the solution to food sustainability in the future?” and “Are we humans too selfish to live sustainably?”

No idea is too stupid to be funded by Big Gov.

We live in the richest era on Earth  and academics are talking about cannabalism — the perfect “end game” stratey:

In desperate times, people have fallen back on cannibalism to survive; for instance, there are reports of cannibalism during the North Korean famine in 2013, the siege of Leningrad in the early 1940s, and China’s “Great Leap Forward” in the late 1950s and 1960s.

In most civilizations, cannibalism is the last port of call, used only if the alternative is certain death. But what are the potential health consequences of eating one’s neighbor, if any?

Let’s economically-cannabilise academia instead. We all know there are much better uses for that money.

Image: File:Escultura arqueológica 03.jpg

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EPA Part 2: How many degrees Celsius of warming will these new WA Guidelines abate?

EPA, WA, Logo

Time for the cost-benefit question. In a sane world, the business case for carbon mitigation is like a naked singularity. No matter how many times the question is asked, no numerical answer ever emerges.

Yet whole economies are circling around this very question.  – Jo


Question 2:  How many degrees Celsius of warming will these new requirements abate, and how will this outcome be measured?

What are the benefits to the Western Australian environment from the EPA recommendations, especially given that almost no nation is trying to reduce emissions and installing as much renewable energy as rapidly as Australia already is.[1]

The WA population is 2.6 million or about 0.03% of the total population of Earth. Given that the largest economies in the world, such as China, India, Brazil, Japan and Indonesia are not going to achieve significant emissions reductions, the imposition on the people of WA poses a large burden on the industry and economy of the state which may be entirely pointless. Only 16 countries are even aiming to meet their Paris targets.[2] One of those 16 is Indonesia, but only five months ago Indonesia threatened to withdraw from Paris Agreement.[3] The United States of America is one of the few that has reduced CO2 emissions, but not through any schemes or with targets. The reduction is almost entirely due to the growth of the shale gas industry.

If  we assume the IPCC is correct and assume Australia could reduce emissions to zero starting today, it would lower the temperature in 2050 by around 0.015 °C.[4] Obviously the total for Western Australia alone, and with only a partial reduction, is an order of magnitude (or two) smaller than this. If the IPCC climate sensitivity is 3 to 10 times smaller, as the empirical observations suggest, the total effect of Western Australian action alone will be smaller still.

The EPA is only required to consider the environmental implications, but even so, if the benefit of carbon abatement by Western Australian projects is surely measured in ten thousandths of a degree, should the EPA be pursing guidelines that have only a symbolic benefit?

Surely there are more important environmental actions the EPA ought be considering?

The EPA needs to define what a “reasonable” measure is.

Furthermore, if the EPA action reduces emissions, in all likelihood those emissions will simply migrate (with the jobs and capital investment) to the countries with lower emission standards. Thus the emissions will just be emitted elsewhere and the EPA regulations will have achieved nothing in terms of overall CO2 emissions.

Worse, most countries have lower pollution standards than Australia does, and so the net effect may be to preserve an immeasurably small part of the WA wilderness, but indirectly create more environmental damage globally.

The EPA document  argues that “It is rapidly becoming standard international practice for greenhouse gas emissions to be considered by regulatory agencies”. Many countries are paying lip service to emissions, but actual reductions are rare: see China, Indonesia, India, Africa, Brazil or the USA.



[1^] Blakers, A., Stocks, M., and Lu, B. (2019) Australia: the renewable energy superstar, APO Analysis and Policy Observatory,  ANU, [PDF]

[2^] Nachmany, M. and Mangan, E. (2018) Aligning national and international climate targets, London School of Economics and Political Science.

[3^] Telesur,

[4^]Evans, David (2011)  Independent calculations, published at Dr Evans, was formerly a leading Kyoto Carbon modeler, Australian Greenhouse Office.

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Weekend Unthreaded

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The entire Australian temperature record in five minutes

Entrancing dance of data by  Tony Heller (aka Steve Goddard).

As he describes it, this video shows the data from all 1,657 NOAA GHCN stations in Australia.

His post:  Australia Shows No Warming

Australian temperatures last 150 years. Graph.

Australian temperatures last 150 years. Graph.

By this data, there’s not much warming in Australia since 1900.

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Breaking: James Cook Uni ordered to pay $1.2m to Peter Ridd. Judge Vasta is scathing.

Peter Ridd, James Cook University.


Heads must roll at JCU for the incompetent mismanagement, and for acting as “science” rulers and trying to suppress a scientific view they personally didn’t like. They’ve already wasted $630,000, and now another $1.2m — all so they could stop Ridd saying there is a replication crisis in science and our institutions can no longer be trusted:

James Cook Uni ordered to pay $1.2m to Peter Ridd

Charlie Peel, The Australian

James Cook University has been ordered to pay reef scientist Peter Ridd $1.2 million for unlawfully dismissing him after he publicly criticised the institution’s climate change science.

The judge lambasted the university, saying it had “failed to respect (Dr Ridd’s) rights to intellectual freedom”.

JCU has said it will appeal the finding that the dismissal was unlawful and declined to comment further on the judge’s ruling.

In a scathing judgment handed down on Friday, Justice Vasta criticised the university for an “blatantly untrue” and “appalling” public statement it issued after the April ruling.

“Professor Ridd was entitled to say that he had been vindicated by the court.”

This is the most important battle any scientist faces. Without free speech there is no scientific research, only propaganda.

Until JCU pays up and sacks those responsible we must assume all research coming out of this uni is filtered to fit a political agenda. What are JCU researchers not saying because they fear being sacked?

The ABC reminds us of just how dangerous his words were:

Dr Ridd was dismissed by James Cook University (JCU) in 2018 after being issued with a number of warnings for comments he made about a coral researcher and for telling Sky TV that organisations like the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) could “no longer be trusted”.

Court documents at the time said Dr Ridd described his colleague in an email as “not having any clue about the weather”, and that he “will give the normal doom science about the Great Barrier Reef”.

Dr Ridd said in another email that JCU, along with other universities, were “Orwellian in nature”.

No breach of government propaganda will be tolerated.

Gideon Rozner IPA:

It is time for JCU to accept the decision and move on. If not, Education Minister Dan Tehan must intervene and tell JCU to withdraw its appeal because it is an inappropriate expenditure of taxpayer funds and will do irreparable harm to the international reputation of Australia’s higher education sector.

h/t , Steve H.

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EPA Part 1: Has the EPA done due diligence on the IPCC Climate Report? (Has anyone?)

EPA, WA, Logo

The WA Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) wants every new project to aim for carbon neutrality, costing billions, almost certainly increasing pollution overseas, but hoping to lower temperatures over WA by 2100 AD.

The EPA is a scientific advisory body — the government doesn’t have to follow their advice — but if it does, and the advice was wrong — who is responsible for loss and damages which are foreseeable? The IPCC favoured models do not include solar magnetic, spectral or particle-flow parameters, and repeatedly fail. They are unaudited, unvalidated, and unaccountable. If the sun controls the climate these models will not show that. If the EPA is not doing due diligence on reports of a foreign committee, which person representing Western Australians is?

– Jo


Submission for the EPA Greenhouse Gas Emissions Assessment Guidance – Consultation

Joanne Nova, Sept 2, 2019:  Submission ID: ANON-1TDB-D593-G.


Question 1: Has the EPA done due diligence on the IPCC Climate Report?

The EPA’s core role is to “protect the environment and abate pollution”, Section 15 of the Act (s.15)
Therefore, the EPA would be legally obligated to assess the scientific evidence. The question upon which everything hinges was stated in the Background Paper thus:

“How serious are the projected environmental impacts of further greenhouse gas emissions?

“The EPA declares that human emissions are driving changes to the climate and the scientific data is “robust and compelling”. However the EPA does not list or discuss any data at all. It quotes The 2018 State of the Climate Report from the Bureau of Meteorology and the CSIRO, and the October 2018 IPCCs Special Report on Global Warming.

“Taken together, this information is of concern and cannot be dismissed as speculative or incorrect…

The EPA is not quoting evidence or data in the background paper. It is merely repeating committee reports. Given that management of the West Australian environment depends upon these forward projections, and billions of dollars depends upon the EPA guidelines, the onus of due diligence surely rests with the EPA, not with a foreign unaccountable organization such as the IPCC. While the media and activists may claim “thousands of scientists” are involved, in actuality, the number who have checked the key conclusions is small. For example the number of listed reviewers of Chapter Nine of the Fourth IPCC Assessment Report was only 601 , and these scientists only have to have read the draft chapter to be included. They don’t necessarily need to have critically audited it. Thousands of other scientists involved in the IPCC reports are specialists in adaption, mitigation, biology, markets, or some smaller aspect of climate science. They have assumed the assumptions and conclusions of Chapter Nine were correct.

Question 1: Has the EPA assessed or audited the IPCC Climate Report?

Question 1.1a: If so – which observational data sets shows that man-made CO2 causes dangerous warming? Or is the EPA policy dependent entirely on reports based on unverified and unvalidated climate models with a proven record of failure? (see below).

Question 1.1b: If the EPA has not independently assessed the data and evidence, will the EPA take responsibility for any damages that occur to the state (flora, fauna or citizens) if it recommends action based on unverified, unaudited climate models that peer reviewed papers already describe as “skillless”?2

Model failure is well documented

The direct warming effect of doubling CO2 will only lead to 1.2 °C of warming3 according to James Hansen, and the IPCC4 . Skeptics largely accept that, the contentious point is whether that warming is amplified by feedbacks as the IPCC contends5 , or dampened by feedbacks as the empirical evidence from 28 million weather balloons suggests.6 7 8 The CCSP Chapter 5, mentions “fingerprint” or variant of that, not just once, but 74 times. If the models are wrong on this one key feedback we would expect to see evidence from many sources, which we do.

The model predictions fail on almost every level and aspect. They are unable to predict temperatures on global scales, and also on regional, local, short term 9 10 , polar11 , and upper tropospheric scales12 13 too. They fail on humidity14 , rainfall15 , drought 16 and they fail on clouds.17 The common theme is that models don’t handle water well. This is obviously a big problem on a planet covered in water. Water holds 90% of all the energy on the surface,18 and both NASA19 and the IPCC20 admit water is the most important greenhouse gas. Furthermore the predictions of upper tropospheric water vapor, which are the most important feedback in the coupled climate models have been repeatedly and completely incorrect.21 22 This particular aspect of model predictions is known as “the missing hot spot” – the section of the atmosphere above the tropics around 10km altitude. It’s more important than any other single aspect, even than the direct effect of CO2. The amplification is called positive feedback, and this particular feedback from water molecules is one of the biggest single factors in climate models23 . There are claims that it doubles the effect of all other forms of warming24 .

Missing Hot spot, IPCC predictions, Failure, Graphed, Upper Troposphere.

The CCSP (Climate Change Science Project) published the predictions and observations as graphs in separate parts of its large 2006 report

Many top climate scientists have admitted and discussed the differences between modeled and observed trends on the most influential feedback system in the climate models:

“…‘potentially serious inconsistency’ between modelled and observed trends …discrepancies in the tropics remain to be resolved.” (Karl et al., 2006)

“Surprisingly, direct temperature observations from radiosonde and satellite data have often not shown this expected trend. (Sherwood et al, 2008)

“… the tropical troposphere had actually cooled slightly over the last 20 to 30 years (in sharp contrast to the computer model predictions… (Santer 2008)

(most) models overestimate the warming trend in the tropical troposphere…The cause of this bias remains elusive. IPCC, 2013 (IPCC) 25

Models systematically overestimate nearly every other aspect

As expected, when the models are wrong on a key factor the predictions are systematically wrong in many outcomes. This includes sea-levels, where 1,000 tide gauges show the rise is only 1mm a year, far less than predicted. 26 27 Seas around Australia were rising just as fast around the time of the Great Depression as they are today.28 The raw satellite data agreed with this29 until it was adjusted in 2003, allegedly to match one subsiding gauge in Hong Kong. Satellites are now tracking every 20m rolling sandspit above the seas — and if seas were rising the beaches would be shrinking. Instead, when 709 islands in the Pacific and Indian oceans are studied, 89% have either stayed the same or got bigger.30 Not one island large enough to have human inhabitants was getting smaller. Sea levels also started rising long before human emissions of CO2 became significant. The IPCC favoured models can not explain why this warming started around 1800AD. 31 32

The models cannot explain the warming during the Medieval Warm Period either. There are claims this was not global, but scores of proxies from all over the world show that it was. 33 34 Furthermore, 6,000 boreholes drilled around the world agree that the warming effect was global. 35 36 37 38

In the oceans, the warming isn’t statistically significant, sea-levels started rising too early, aren’t rising fast enough, aren’t accelerating, nor are warming anywhere near as much as they predicted. Antarctica was supposed to be warming faster than almost anywhere but they were totally wrong. The vast Southern Ocean is cooling not warming. The only part of Antarctica that’s warming sits on top of a volcano chain where 91 new volcanoes were recently discovered­­­.

There are many reasons the IPCC work can be dismissed as “speculative”

Argument from Authority or Ad Populum is fallacious reasoning and though skeptics are independent and vastly outnumber convinced scientists, that does not make them right, and does not form any part of the scientific argument put forward here. However, it does show that the EPA has not critically investigated the IPCC conclusions and forward projections. If they had, the EPA would be aware that the IPCC work is very much a speculative extrapolation with unverified, unvalidated modeling.

To that limited end, it’s worth noting that thousands of independent scientists are actively protesting the IPCC assumptions. Survey’s show most engineers and geologists39 , and half of the worlds meteorologists,40 and climate scientists do not agree with the IPCC’s level of certainty.41 Skeptics include Nobel Prize winners of Physics, and Freeman Dyson and 3 of the 4 surviving astronauts who walked on the moon. Unlike the IPCC, their opinions cannot be dismissed as “speculative”. Their claims are modest (that the climate is likely to continue changing at a similar rate to the last century and that IPCC is exaggerating the effect of CO2 by a factor of 2 – 10 fold). On the other hand the IPCC claims involve “unprecedented” changes, and rapid acceleration which is not shown in any dataset, only in model projections.
If the evidence was so overwhelming, and the debate not even worth having, why do the small number of officially recognized climate scientists find it so hard to convince other scientists? The laws of science are the same regardless of the branch of science. Atmospheric physics is still physics.

It is worth noting that the IPCC assessments are dependent on a few scientists who have behaved in profoundly unscientific ways: for example, hiding data, declines, history, adjustments and methods.

The BOM admits that its methods cannot be replicated: If it can’t be replicated, it isn’t science

The Bureau of Meteorology admits its methods cannot be described in full42 . Each station is adjusted by techniques that are not fully published. In their own words their methods of adjusting the data are:

“…a supervised process in which the roles of metadata and other information required some level of expertise and operator intervention.”

…several choices within the adjustment process remain a matter of expert judgment.

Does the EPA endorse scientific work that cannot be replicated and whose methods are not described in full? If the EPA does not carry out due diligence, it is implicitly accepting these profoundly unscientific standards.

Australia has always been a hot land. Our environment is surely adapted to that?

Australian heat waves, 50 degrees C, 1800s, historic. Map.

50 degree temperatures occurred right across Australia. Click to enlarge.

Archival history from Australian news reports suggests extreme heatwaves were common in the 1800’s. CO2 was low in the 1800s yet there are scores of references to 125F “in the shade” in our national newspaper archives, which is an astonishing 52°C. This was measured on non-standard equipment, but was sometimes done by expert scientists. Early explorers were trained to measure temperature. Charles Sturt recorded temperatures in the shade of 127F, 129F and even 132F, reporting that the ground was so hot, if matches fell on the sand they would ignite spontaneously.43 44 In 1846, Sir Thomas Mitchell also recorded 129F.45 He was afraid the thermometer would break as it “only reached 132F.” In 1860 John Mcdouall Stuart’s party measured 128F in the shade.46 Heat was so common that miners in 1878 had a policy to “knock off” work if the thermometer hit 112F (44.4°C). No air conditioners then. Despite the spikes of heat in the 1800s, by 1952 Australian scientists were discussing the cause of mysterious long cooling trends across a large part of the continent.47

Conservatively, even if some of these many recorded temperatures are overestimating the heat by 2 or 3 degrees Celsius, these temperatures would still show that Australia has always had extraordinary heatwaves.

There are many examples of Australian thermometers being inadequately sited, mysteriously adjusted, and readjusted. E.g. Streaky Bay, South Australia48 . For other examples see Climate Change: The Facts 2017.49

Parts 2 and 3 coming.

NOTE: The three images above are discussed in the submission, but not included. Next time…


1 McLean, John (2007) An Analysis of the Review of the IPCC 4AR WG I Report, Updated: McLean, John (2009) The IPCC can’t count its “expert scientists”,

2 Hans von Storch, Armineh Barkhordarian, Klaus Hasselmann and Eduardo Zorita (2013) Can climate models explain the recent stagnation in global warming? Academia

3 Hansen J., A. Lacis, D. Rind, G. Russell, P. Stone, I. Fung, R. Ruedy and J. Lerner, (1984) Climate sensitivity: Analysis of feedback mechanisms. In Climate Processes and Climate Sensitivity, AGU Geophysical Monograph 29, Maurice Ewing Vol. 5. J.E. Hansen and T. Takahashi, Eds. American Geophysical Union, pp. 130-163 Abstract

4 See also Bony et al 2006, and the IPCC, AR4 Chapter 8, p 631.

Keep reading  →

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Aunty ABC tells readers: Don’t let fear hold you back in your dream to be important, smug, tool of bankers and big-state

It could have been headlined: How to host Climate Tupperware Parties

It’s another ABC coaching session on how to be a useful political activist. Having beaten Fairfax into the dirt, the ABC is gradually becoming Time-magazine-Readers-Digest-and-Womens-Weekly rolled into one, but aimed at teenagers.

Fear of being seen as too ‘activist’ may be stopping us from achieving meaningful sustainability

By environment reporter Nick Kilvert and Erica Vowles for Life Matters

Translated: Only the brave are activists. Don’t give in to your fears!

This is a Greenpeace training manual, pretending to be “news” about a tiny survey:

Liz Lyons from Melbourne is one person who definitely didn’t consider herself or her friends, activists.

“I’d never go to rallies or anything like that,” Liz said.

“No disrespect to anyone who did, I just thought that wasn’t me, that’s not something I would be a part of.”

But when the 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report sounded a dire warning of what climate change has in store for the near future, Liz said something changed in her.

“It really came home to me last year when the IPCC report came out,” she said.

“Suddenly this future I had planned for myself — you know the house, the dog, retirement hopefully some day, wasn’t a certainty anymore.”

As well as attending climate change protests, Liz hosted a dinner party for her friends, where a speaker came to talk about climate change.

Leading up to that event, Liz said she was still a bit nervous about how some of them might respond.

“I remember saying to friends, ‘don’t worry, it won’t be too full on’,” she said.

People get marketing degrees to write this kind of first person, soft sell, gently gently catchee monkey. They used to work for Avon, or Tupperware, now they work for the ABC.

I don’t doubt that the ABC narrative writers believe in climate change (whatever that is). But underlying this faith is the happy coincidence that every climate activist is another little helper working to get big-spending governments elected. And we all know what kind of government is more likely to increase paychecks at the ABC. I’m not suggesting ABC staffers are sitting around in tea-rooms joining these dots. Far from it. They are telling themselves how brave they are fighting for “science” while they destroy it. And there’s no one left at the ABC to pop their bubble, so it never occurs to them that this is self-serving fake “journalism”.

But shucks, poor Liz tried recruiting some live-sandwich-boards by boring them with a climate lecture for dinner and it didn’t work:

Although her friends’ reaction to the dinner was positive, and they’ve been supportive of her stance on climate change, Liz hasn’t convinced any to come with her to protests.

And she still doesn’t identify with the “activist” label.

The same kind of government that wants to save the planet and change the weather is the kind of government that wants a broadcasting arm under their control, and a nation paying ambitious taxes. Hand meet glove: say “power” and “glory”! Whatever you do, dont say “competition” or “cost benefit”.

Coming up, some namecalling and lies-for-the-cause:

The ABC staff want to convince junior activists that they are not the “fringe”, the “deniers” are — which means inverting reality (and namecalling). So here comes the reframe with cherry picked statistics:

But could we be avoiding acting on environmental issues because we think they’re more fringe than they actually are?

When it comes to climate change at least, a study by the CSIRO that Dr Leviston was part of, found that may be the case.

When a cohort of people were asked whether they thought climate change was happening, between just 6 and 7 per cent said they didn’t think it was, Dr Leviston said.

“What we did after we asked that question, is we asked people, ‘OK, where do you think the Australian public sits? What proportion of the Australian public fits into [the climate-change denial category]?”

“The estimate was that about 25 per cent — about a quarter of the Australian population — denied that climate change existed.”


So Kilvert et al are arguing that the public are tricked into thinking that 25% of the population are “deniers when really only 7% are. But when we look at the study itself, it’s the famous, well done CSIRO one which shows that 54% of Australians skeptics of man-made global warming.

Here’s one of my favourite graphs from the Leviston study results:

54% of Australians are skeptical, poll, survey, climate change, csiro.


But Kilvert and al forget to mention that most Australians didn’t agree with the IPCC. Lies by omission (again).

It’s not about helping the planet, Greens are green to enhance themselves:

Keep reading  →

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