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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Furious commuters drag Extinction Rebellion protestors off train

Case #412 of religious fanatics overplaying their hand again

Two protesters in London had stopped the Jubilee line train by standing on top of it with a banner. Two more were planning to glue themselves to the train, but the crowd was fed up. Mahatir Pashais a journalist for ITV News who apparently witnessed and filmed the furious commuters. He writes on twitter: “One commuter shouted “I need to get to work, I have to feed my kids,” when the protestors initially went up.” Then there was the “shocking moment angry commuters drag two #ExtinctionRebellion protestors off the top of a train in Canning Town and attack them.”

The crowd cheered as the protesters and their banner were removed, and though people called for calm, some got violent. In an awful moment, one of the protesters was kicked and bruised (UPDATE: Looks like that was exaggerated.  No photos or reports today of any injuries). The protesters shouldn’t have been there, and the mob shouldn’t have got violent. *The mob it seems just got rough.

This is what we get after two decades of shutting down the conversation — most people aren’t convinced, and most activists are loopy. No middle ground.



Instead of trying to force the crowd to bow before their lecture, they could always stop namecalling, and actually listen to the people they are trying to persuade. Just a thought.

At the moment all XR protests have been banned across London, which is being challenged in court. In this case, even most XR members thought the Jubilee line protesters went too far.

 The Mirror, UK,

A poll on the Extinction Rebellion Telegram chat showed 86 per cent of members were against action targeting the London Underground.

Keep reading  →

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“A climate of fear on campus” — Susan Crockford Polar bear expert excommunicated

Add Susan Crockford’s name to the list of scientists being tossed out of the academic cathedral because they dare speak the truth. University of Victoria give no reasons for suddenly ending her long unpaid role as adjunct professor, but if they had evidence of incompetence, misinformation, deceit or poor performance, you can be sure they would say so.

The academic casualty list includes Peter Ridd, Bob Carter, Murry Salby, Bjorn Lomborg, David Legates, Nick Drapela, Pat Michaels, Mitchell Taylor, and now Susan Crockford. Outside academia those expunged from screens include David Bellamy, Johnny Ball, Phillip Vernier. Forced out of institutes were Caleb Rossiter and Lennart Bengtsson. The threat of RICO investigations drove Roger Pielke into a different career. Read “my unhappy life as a climate heretic“. Likewise Al Gore sacked Will Happer.

Others put up with the bullying and stay silent til they retire like Dr Rex Fleming from NOAA or they report anonymously after working for 40 years at the National Weather Service. Sometimes the bullying even follows people home, like Dr Fisher, economist and former ABARE manager who’s house was egged. All he did was model the costs of climate policies. Art Robinson ran for Congress and his three children were targeted at Oregon State Uni. No doubt there are more, please add them in comments.

Untold are the stories of all the academics and business people who stay silent, move jobs, change departments, and even leave the West in order to escape the punishment. From emails to me, I know it’s happening all over the scientific world, not just in climate change. Western universities are a toxic wasteland of political correctness. You can study namecalling at Queensland University, but not free speech or logic and reason.

Susan Crockford

Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Expert

Was this zoologist punished for telling school kids politically incorrect facts about polar bears?

Thanks to Donna La Framboise, Financial Post:

 A world-renowned expert in animal bone identification has lost her position at the University of Victoria (UVic), she believes for telling school kids politically incorrect facts about polar bears.

Zoologist Dr. Susan Crockford is routinely hired by biologists and archeologists in Canada and abroad to identify the remains of mammals, birds and fish. She has helped catalog museum collections, and assisted police with forensic analyses. But UVic students will no longer benefit from her expertise, and her ability to apply for research grants has come to a screeching halt. In May, the Anthropology Department withdrew her Adjunct Professor status, depriving her of a university affiliation.

Crockford describes her expulsion as “an academic hanging without a trial, conducted behind closed doors.”

The position of Adjunct Professor is unpaid. In exchange for mentoring students, sitting on thesis committees, and delivering occasional lectures, adjuncts gain official academic standing and full access to library research services. When asked what safeguards ensure that adjuncts can’t be excommunicated merely for expressing unpopular ideas, spokesman Marck declined to respond, citing provincial privacy legislation. In his words, the university doesn’t disclose “information about internal processes. We must respect the privacy rights of all members of our campus community.”

In this case, the university is not protecting Crockford’s right to privacy. Instead, it is using a privacy smokescreen to protect members of a committee who have decided to purge an adjunct professor without reason or explanation.

G. Cornelis van Kooten, a UVic professor of economics who also holds a Canada Research Chair in environmental studies, says he is “appalled and distressed” by the Crockford removal. When, he asks, did “universities turn against open debate? There’s now a climate of fear on campus.”

Read it all: Financial Post

Susan Crockfords blog:

Donna La Framboise:

Adjunct Profs cost universities very little, and offer mentoring and sometimes attract grants. (Lomborg came with $4m, but it wasn’t enough.) When they threaten the Big-Government religion and cash cow, universities will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in the most petty of pursuits to excise them and deprive them of their titles lest they speak out.

(h/t to Bob FJ, Notalotofpeopleknowthat, and GWPF)

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Australian energy market likened to Papua New Guinea – unreliable, risky, like “developing nation”


The AEMO, theoretically the Australian Energy Market Operator, warned that people in Victoria and NSW face a high risk of blackouts this summer. Today the Sydney Morning Herald describes how big business is fed-up, calling it “disgraceful” that they have had to spend millions to install back up generators.   The chief of Coca-cola Amatil Australia compared the situation to what they face in Papua New Guinea.

How green is your diesel?

A disgraceful situation — the blackout risk in Australia

by Darren Gray and Nick Toscano.

Australia’s biggest fruit and vegetable grower, Costa Group, has blasted the “disgraceful” state of the nation’s energy market after fears of summer blackouts forced the company to spend millions of dollars on back-up generators to protect its crops around the country.

Harry Debney, the head of ASX-listed horticulture giant Costa Group, said the company had installed back-up generators to protect crops from a disruption to energy supplies in a number of states.

“It’s a disgraceful situation,” Mr Debney said. “We’re so concerned. There’s a lack of reliability, which is even more important than the cost, because if you’re out of production it just really hurts you very badly.”

His concerns were echoed by ASX-listed Alumina Limited which, along with Alcoa owns the majority of western Victoria’s Portland aluminium smelter, and warned that long-term outages could be damaging. Last week Coca-Cola Amatil boss Alison Watkins likened the situation to one the company would face in developing countries like Papua New Guinea while Bluescope has also raised concerns.

In response, the Federal Government is building gold-plated bandaids — spending bazillions to build Snowy 2.0 which will burn up and waste 20 – 30% of the electricity fed into it, but smooth out some of the unreliable supply. Minister Angus Taylor, squarely blames Victoria for “the speed at which the Victorian government was seeking to introduce renewable energy into market – a renewables target of 50 per cent by 2030 – without the baseload capacity to support it.”

Meanwhile, the Victorian Government is in deep denial

Apparently what the nation needs is a joint headlong rush into wind and solar.

Victoria’s energy minister, Lily D’Ambrosio, said the the country was lacking “any type of federal leadership when it comes to energy policy”.

“Victoria is investing in renewable energy to put more power into the grid and drive down power prices,” she said. “We stand ready to work with the Commonwealth, whenever they are interested in being constructive on this vital issue.”

If we only had more of the same thing that caused high prices and reckless instability we could get low prices and a reliable supply?

h/t Dave B


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The inference crisis: when one third of experts draw the wrong conclusions with “way too much confidence”.

So much for expert judgement

In a test of scientists abilities, the same data was sent to 27 teams of researchers in cognitive psychology. The idea was to test the theoretical inferences they drew. But those expert teams drew conclusions from identical data that varied, oh boy, all the way from “zero to 100 percent.” One of the research team described it as a “jaw dropping” result –   where only one third of the experts made the correct inferences about what that data meant. Two thirds of the experts were either totally wrong or just operating “a bit better than pure guessing”.

What are we teaching at universities?

Beyond the ‘replication crisis,’ does research face an ‘inference crisis’?

Researchers test expert inferences against known data, find inconsistency

What they found was “enormous variability between researchers in what they inferred from the same sets of data,” Starns says. “For most data sets, the answers ranged from 0 to 100 percent across the 27 responders,” he adds, “that was the most shocking.”

Rotello reports that about one-third of responders “seemed to be doing OK,” one-third did a bit better than pure guessing, and one-third “made misleading conclusions.” She adds, “Our jaws dropped when we saw that. How is it that researchers who have used these tools for years could come to completely different conclusions about what’s going on?”

Starns notes, “Some people made a lot more incorrect calls than they should have. Some incorrect conclusions are unavoidable with noisy data, but they made those incorrect inferences with way too much confidence.

Keep reading  →

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Oopsie solar-battery fail? Cloud causes System Black event at Alice Springs affecting thousands

Welcome to the new complexified energy grid where a cloud can cause a system black event — knocking out power for as much as nine hours. This affected the hospital for 30 minutes and the prolonged problems caused many businesses and supermarkets to close. Alice Springs is an island microgrid servicing about 29,000 people in the centre of Australia. It was 38 degrees C yesterday when the power went out. Shame about those fridges and air conditioning units.

Alice Springs is a mini version of larger grids showing how fragile these new complicated systems of multiple generators based on weather events and batteries can be.

Alice Springs, Blackout. Photo by Stefano, Wikimedia.

Looks modern, sometimes has electricity too. Alice Springs  |  Photo by Stefano, Wikimedia.

 Yesterday: Thousands impacted by Alice Springs power blackout*

Steve Vivian, ABC News

Thousands of residents in Central Australia went without power yesterday afternoon, with some experiencing blackout conditions for up to nine hours.

Electricity was cut across the Alice Springs region around 2:30pm yesterday and was not restored in some areas until 10:47pm.

Today: Inquiry called, and explanations garbled — NT Chief Minister announces review

NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner told ABC Darwin Breakfast the outage stemmed from a generation issue.

“We’re not quite sure what’s happened there,” he said. “It shouldn’t happen … there seems to be an unacceptable failure here between the battery and the gensets [generation sets]. “We should be able to handle switches between solar and gensets.”

Caused by a cloud? I defy anyone to interpret this sentence literally:

The outage was caused by a cloud which rolled in to Alice Springs about 2:00pm on Sunday, which caused a “reasonably large increase” to the system, Mr Duignan said. “That resulted in the majority of our units going into an overload condition,” he said.

“Those units stayed in an overload condition for a number of minutes before they tripped off on their protection systems … the battery energy storage system went to full output before it tripped off as a consequence of the outage.”

And the words “solar failure” are never to be spoken.

Apparently there were many warning signs and engineers saw it all coming

From April 2019: “Without old power station we’d be ‘stuffed’: ETU”

A letter to the Editor of Alice Springs News, from the ETU = Electrical Trades Union

Sir – The majority of the 29,000 residents of Alice Springs were without power on Easter Sunday after a cable fault in the Desert Springs and Mount Johns area.

This is the second time in 10 days major power outages have affected the Alice Springs network. We praise the PowerWater (PWC) and Territory Generation (TGen) front line workers for their dedication and expertise which ensured a timely restoration of supply, but we have major concerns about future reliability of the Alice power supply.

Concerns relate to the ability of the new Owen Springs Power Station (OSPS) to consistently maintaining supply to the network without the Ron Goodin Power Station (RGPS) being available. There are also questions remaining around the Battery Energy Storage System’s (BESS) actual functions.

We are disappointed that TGen and the Government were failing to respond to workers’ concerns about the compressed timeline for the closure of RGPS. This blackout and the previous blackout show clearly that without backup of Ron Goodin Power Station (pictured), the Alice would have been stuffed. Without RGPS being available as it is currently we have no idea how long Alice Springs residents would have been without power after both these recent events.

Dave “Strawbs” Hayes

ETU NT Organiser

Oct 14, 2019 Probe into Alice Springs power outage

AAP, The Canberra Times

“The guys on the front line live and breathe this stuff and they have been saying for months that Ron Goodin Power Station was prematurely closed and that Owen Springs was not adequately tested to ensure continuity of supply,” union organiser Dave Hayes said.

This is what happens when electrical grids are run by climate scientists and not engineers.

h/t Dave B

Correction: The first link led to a different 2016 blackout story (highlighted by the ABC as “related news”):  Thousands impacted by Alice Springs power blackout, calls for compensation.  by Joanne Crothers. This has been replaced with a quote about the blackout two days ago which is obviously more “related”.  h/t Peter Fitzroy and commenters. Sorry about the confusion caused.


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Extinction Rebellion are run by paid activists — the £200,000 “grassroots” movement

Extinction Rebellion protest

Looks like a religion, acts like a religion…  @ExtinctionR

Just another group profiting from “climate change”

What other grassroots movement has fears of “six figure tax bills”? And these are just the UK figures.

How Extinction Rebellion climate change zealots – including a baronet’s Cambridge-educated granddaughter – are paid £400 a week to bring mayhem to our streets

by Holly Bancroft and James Heale, Mail on Sunday

  • Extinction Rebellion activists are being paid up to £400-a-week to lead protests
  • Activists have been paid more than £200,000 since the start of the scheme  
  • The eco-protest group privately fears it could face six-figure tax bill from HMRC 
  • Tory MP calls on HMRC to launch an investigation into the group’s tax affairs

A document entitled Finance Policy And Processes seen by this newspaper in a ‘work in progress’ version states: ‘The maximum claim for volunteer living expenses is £400 a week (or £200 for someone volunteering part-time).”

But XR’s documents raise concerns about the fact that it has paid no tax or National Insurance on these sums, and questioned the employment status of activists.

The payments aren’t illegal, though the tax avoidance might be. But it says something about the motivations of key players and about how much money all told is still rattling around the alarmist camp. Most protestors are not paid, but how many would be there if there wasn’t money to throw at key organizers?

Speaking of key organisers…

“XR co-founder Roger Hallam asked for £300 a week.” Gail Bradbrook who co-founded Extinction Rebellion, asked for payments of £600 a month. She and Hallam set up the movement after she was inspired by a hallucinogenic experience. The same woman that called for a rapid reduction in air travel, just happily admitted that she flew 11,000 air miles to Costa Rica for a holiday herself in 2016 where she took the drugs. The Sun is pointing out that hypocrisy. After that “trip” she then returned to the UK to start a movement, separate her family, end a marriage and “that was the right thing to do”. Curious phrasing.

Bradbrook, a consultant who has two grown-up sons and lives in a council house in Stroud, Gloucs, added: “I’d been focused on trying to start civil disobedience since 2010. I’d tried many things and they hadn’t worked. So I went on a retreat and prayed, with some psychedelic medicines. It was really intense and I prayed for what I called the codes for social change and within a month my prayer was answered.”

How Psychadelics shaped Extinction Rebellion (XR)

Gail Bradbrook: I’d been trying to start a campaign of mass civil disobedience for years before Extinction Rebellion.

Maybe it’s my Taureun nature but I’m a bit of a bull…

So she is a born activist looking for a cause. Not inspired by scientific evidence so much as astrology and drugs.  Nevermind.

Exstinction Rebellion LogoEverything about this is manufactured theater

XR is even trying to create a look that fits “diversity” memes. Because this movement is about earning status points in social pecking orders, its ranks are filled with white, university educated children. This is not about the hordes affected by extreme weather, which of course, barely exists, and is a smaller proportion of the population today than ever (Pielke 2018).

The Mail on Sunday team has documents showing the organisers are considering putting out a call for “poor and working class” protesters. At least one member objects to the “tokenism” of doing things this way as if black people can just be “ordered from a catalogue”.

No one cares that the whole movement appears to have been ordered from a catalogue.

Even the protestors need protection from their own protests

They say they care about the planet and the poor, but apparently not so much about their own supporters. Green and Black cross was providing legal support but have scathingly abandoned the movement — saying they are peddling misleading and inaccurate information about the legal process.

Extinction Rebellion protests: Activists accuse group of failing to prepare members for being arrested

Keep reading  →

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How dare you steal my dreams for a sensible democracy!

Adam Bandt, Greens MP, set up a  Parliamentary Committee on Climate Action which aims to declare a Climate Emergency in Australia. Five Liberal (conservatives) have signed up to the chicken-entrails committee.

Rowan Dean has a message on Sky News for Tim Wilson, Dave Sharma, Jason Falinski, Katie Allen, Angie Bell and Trent Zimmerman, said in a Swedishy indignant voice

How Dare You!

You have stolen my dreams and my hopes for a sensible conservative government with your empty words like renewables and climate emergencies.

People are being conned, people are being hoodwinked,

Entire educational standards are collapsing before our eyes…

 I would add: How dare you wreck a perfectly good civilization based on nothing more than inept simulations from an immature crystal ball gazing science, staffed with B-grade, aggrandizing pretenders that hide declines, fiddle data, and think namecalling is an analytical technique.

How dare you exploit the weak minded, inciting the gullibles to break the law and glue themselves to crosswalks!

Keep reading  →

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Weekend Unthreaded

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Battle of the religions: Vatican may list Green Sins against planet

The Catholic Church eyes off the competition — the Green Church of hippie witchdoctors. Thinks about discovering a new commandment — thou shalt not hurt silicon dioxide, (or something like that.)

Some catholic delegates call it an ecological conversion. I call it a marketing campaign.

Harming planet could be a sin, say Vatican delegates

by Tom Kington, The Australian

Delegates at the Pope’s synod on the creeping destruction of the Amazon have called for crimes against the environment to be ranked alongside traditional sins and have raised the idea of “ecological conversion” to a greener brand of Catholicism.

Can’t beat the pagans — can join them:

Conservative critics of the Pope, who loathe his liberal stances on homosexuality and divorce, claim that he has no business fighting climate change. They also allege that the synod’s working document gives tacit approval to pagan worship by praising the closeness of Amazon tribes to ­nature. Cardinal Gerhard Muller, from Germany, a former senior Vatican official who was ousted by the Pope in 2017 over his conservative views, has criticized the term “ecological conversion”, stating: “There is only conversion to the Lord.”

The Vatican wants to be a guide for lost souls, a Sunday social program and the Global EPA.

PS: Rock pic etc coming when I have unpacked, done red dust eradication and overcome camping-lag.

Keep reading  →

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The State of Destruction

Sometimes we fool ourselves into thinking that destruction is creating something and that the government is a wish-fairy.

Nice quote “The Industrial Decalogue”  from 1916.

You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.
You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
You cannot establish security on borrowed money.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away men’s initiative and independence.
You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.

by William J. H. Boetcker

–W.I.S.T. (Wish I’d said that).

The list is known by many names — like “the Ten Cannots”. Urban myth has it that Abraham Lincoln said it, but he did not.

Imagine if this (or something like it) was a school anthem?

(And there may be even better, shorter ones, suggest away…)


h/t Chris D


UPDATE: Joanne is getting back tonight to Perth, from her epic drive to Uluru. Over 5,000 km, about 2,000 km on dirt. She blew a tire and destroyed a rim hitting a rock on a dirt section near the NT border, and the other car she was traveling with lost a lug bolt, blew one tire,  and had a puncture. Otherwise the drive was uneventful, so far. — David

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Midweek Unthreaded

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Port Hedland: one man with a keen interest knows more about this site than the Bureau of Met does

If the planet was at stake you’d think the BOM would be doing this research, not unpaid volunteers.

Bill Johnston has shown again, that the BOM is apparently unaware and, perhaps most damningly, not even interested in most of the things that happened to their official thermometer sites.

Port Hedland is supposedly “one of the best” researched sites in Australia — so it is a certified ACORN site (one of the 112). The trends matter, and being remote, it influences a large area. But one man with dedication and no funding at all can find key historical maps and photos that the BOM, with its million dollar-a-day budget, cannot.  Instead of doing this hard work the BOM uses the magical homogenization process “to fix” up all the anomalies by hunting for data in sites hundreds of kilometers away that can be used to adjust the records at Port Hedland. This is the secret process that even the BOM admits it cannot describe in full to anyone outside the BOM. As Johnston says, it’s a process so bad it “should be abandoned”. There is no saving the error correction that starts with bad data, missing documents, and barely any historical research and then pretends it can mash more bad data to produce “truth”.

One of the biggest flaws in the homogenisation process is that changes to stations swept across the country around the same time at many stations. In the wake of parallel changes, is a trail of sudden very artificial step changes in records at far distant stations. During World War II, the RAAF controlled many of the sites and after the war ended, some sites went to the Dept of Civil Aviation, others to the Met Bureau. As managers changed, so did practices and positions. Then in the 1950s passenger jet travel “took off” and runways grew larger and longer. The thermometers were often shifted around during these expansions. Meanwhile in post offices automatic telephone exchanges were being added, and in 1972 Fahrenheit thermometers become Celsius ones. In the 1970s microwave towers were added. In the mid 1990s electronic sensors arrived to replace the older mercury or alcohol bulbs, and screens shrank from 240 Litres down to just 60 Litres.

Homogenisation makes it possible to take these artificial jumps and spread the errors and biases to stations without the same changes. The process is so use-less it is damaging the data. Rather than detecting climate change, the process invents it, making it appear that changes to sites were really a change in the climate.

The Bureau needs to go back to the start, to scratch, and the raw records, and do the proper documentary search for each site they use. Either that or Australia needs to go back to the start and axe a dysfunctional organisation get a proper Bureau — one that is interested in Australia’s climate.

In the meantime it’s left to volunteers.

The curious case of Port Hedland

Guest post by Bill Johnston


Port Hedland is a hot dry place in the far North West of Western Australia. The average rain is about 11 inches annually (286mm). Evaporation though, is a ferocious 3.2 meters a year. The Port Hedland post office started recording temperatures in 1912, was hit by a major cyclone and inundated in 1939. From 1948 the records come from the airport. In 1939 the towns racetrack was converted into a landing ground and an Aeradio base was set up. Aeradio was a tracking station to watch and connect with flights going from Perth to Broome and warn the pilots about approaching weather. But the RAAF were not happy with the tidal swamps around it, and they set up a few runways 12km east of there by 1943. It had a workshop and buildings and even a machine-gun post. Such were the times! The official screen probably moved there in 1944.

The official metadata record for the site only says that the airport site opened in 1948 and that there was no useful overlap between it and the postoffice — which is not surprising given how many changes there were in the 9 years before that.

The metadata mentions ” that the “site moved within the airport grounds (585 m north-northeast) on 27 March 1981”. Johnston wonders which site moved and what happened to the Aeradio and RAAF data before 1948.



In this figure Johnston lined up all the sites that were used to homogenize the Port Hedland record in the period around 1968 – 1975. It’s easy to see that these were also often affected by artificial step ups in 1972 or 73.



Dr. Bill Johnston.

Former weather observer and research scientist, New South Wales Department of Natural Resources


Limiting warming that hasn’t happened to 1.5oC relative to pre-industrial times by some time in the future is based on the faulty notion that homogenised temperature data reflect the climate alone.


Across the world and particularly in Australia no weather station sites have stayed the same. Therefore its important that effects caused by site and instrument changes are not attributed to the climate.


Historic temperature data collected to monitor the weather were from thermometers of unknown quality exposed in the shade, hung on the wall of south-facing verandas, in Glaisher stands which were manually turned away from the sun, in ‘thermometer houses’ of varying design, inside iron-roofed Stevenson screens and in some cases inside buildings.

For most historic datasets like Sydney Observatory, Cape Leeuwin, Cape Otway; and post offices like Port Hedland, Bourke, Darwin, Barcaldine and Mildura, details of site changes and the conditions under which observations were made are scant or unavailable. For many it’s not known when Stevenson screens were installed or the state of the instruments or if the vicinity was watered. Homogenisation aims to adjust for non-climate effects, however as explained in this note, methods used by the Bureau are unscientific, biased and should be abandoned.

There is no evidence in their reports that independent peer-reviewers[1] investigated datasets or looked for problems in homogenisation methods, or in the way data are observed or the usefulness of historic data for tracking trends or changes in the climate.

The three obvious sources of bias ignored by peer reviewers are:

  • Non-existent or faulty metadata (data about data) is used as primary evidence of site changes and as noted by Della-Marta et al. (2004)[2] (p. 85) “The decision of whether or not to correct for a potential inhomogeneity is often .. subjective”. Subjective assignment of changepoints allows the process to be guided by pre-determined outcomes.
  • Comparative methods whereby target site data are adjusted relative to data for up to 10 correlated comparators (whose data may not be homogeneous) lacks rigour and is also biased. As correlated comparators likely embed similar faults the adjustment process coerces site-related step-changes into a trend.
  • Residual trends that result from arbitrarily identified changepoints and dodgy adjustments are passed-off as being due to the climate by default.

Of particular concern is that by ignoring network-wide changes that happened in the 1950s, 1970s and more recently, homogenised datasets embed trends and changes that have nothing to do with the climate.

The problem of correlated comparators

Use of correlated comparators to make adjustments is the most obvious source of bias especially when their data are likely to be tainted by parallel site change effects.

Network wide changes in the 1950s include the post-WWII reorganisation of Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Meteorological Section in June 1946 when Aeradio staff moved to the Department of Civil Aviation, and meteorological (met) staff to the Weather Bureau within the Department of the Interior. This required construction of Flight Services offices and control towers and refurbishment of former Aeradio facilities as met and radio-aids offices.

Driven by the need for improved upper-air forecasts for aviation, the second change included deployment of radiosonde balloons to monitor temperature and wind profiles, METOX radar to track the balloons and wind-finding (WF) radar to provide reliable coverage along major air routes. New met-offices usually distant from the previous Aeradio office supported such developments and met-enclosures were up-graded and moved as other facilities such as airport terminals were upgraded and runways strengthened and lengthened to handle jet aircraft.

Also, at about the same time, automatic telephone exchanges were built in post office yards and by the late 1970s, towers for microwave communications. On 1 September 1972 metrication resulted in thermometers across the network being replaced and units of rainfall changed from points to millimetres from the 1 January 1974. Next was the widespread introduction of automatic weather stations (AWS) and they becoming primary instruments from 1 September 1996.

As most network-wide changes are time-coordinated, correlated comparators likely reinforce rather than correct faults in homogenised data.

Changing to 60-litre screens

Replacing 230-litre Stevenson screens with 60-litre ones accelerated from about 1995 and is the single most important cause of network-wide warming and recent record temperatures.

Small screens are not buffered to the same extent by the enclosed air-volume as standard screens and transient eddies from pavements, passing vehicles and aircraft movements cause spikes on warm days, which the Bureau routinely reports as being due to the climate.

Practices that reduce natural cooling via the water cycle such as ploughing, spraying-out the grass and gravel mulching in the vicinity of sites also cause increased warming. Small screens beside dusty tracks at airports, roadsides and in paddocks, which accumulate dust and grime between infrequent service visits are also biased-high while changes such as new buildings, roads and other developments results in frequent over-ranging. In addition, satellite images confirm wind-profiler arrays installed close to screens at Canberra, Adelaide, Coffs Harbour, Tennant Creek and other airports cause up-steps in data that don’t reflect the climate.

As governments depend on the Bureau’s fake-news as much as the Bureau depends on the government’s largess, there is little wonder that those in charge of Australia’s climate are not interested in holding the Bureau to account.


  • Site change impacts (most recently the introduction of AWS and 60-litre Stevenson screens) dominate trends and changes in Australian temperature records and no datasets show warming that unequivocally due to the climate.
  • Action on climate change and the Paris agreement with all its buzzwords – limiting warming that hasn’t happened to 1.5oC by some time in the future is the greatest scam ever perpetrated in the name of science.
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Homogenisation: The Magical system which uses thermometers in Victoria to correct the temperature in Tasmania

Trying to fix past mistakes through homogenization

Lots of things can muck up a perfect thermometer spot, like shade, new roads, new screens, or old paint. In order to remove these annoying non-climatic effects, the BOM compares each station to those around it to look for odd changes. In theory this sounds like a good idea. In practice it’s more like hepatitis – bad news that spreads. It’s a rogue code, sweeping through records, trying to find undocumented changes, and enabling any amount of revisionism.

The BOM “detects” these mysterious shifts at each site through thermometers that may be hundreds of kilometers away, even across a mountain range or the Bass Strait.

Among other sites, Cape Bruny in far south Tasmania has been corrected with the help of Ballarat 812 km away on the mainland, over mountains and across the Bass Strait. In 1991 Cape Bruny was found to be “statistically” wrong, and adjusted down by over half a degree.

Cape Bruny Island, Tasmania, Thermometer, Bureau of Meteorology

All these sites marked in red were used to correct the record at least once at Cape Bruny, a distant island in the far south of Tasmania.

It’s a tough life for old screens: Their wooden houses get cracked, their lawn doesn’t get mowed, they get moved around the corner, and then the old thermometer gets swapped for a new one. Sometimes careless people build buildings and carparks in inconvenient places, bringing shade and windbreaks. Sometimes these are recorded, sometimes not.

No one is saying that the raw data doesn’t need any adjustments, but the BOM should be doing the historical research first, as the unpaid BOM audit team does — and for these kinds of changes, especially Bill Johnston. Only after the BOM has all the documentary photos and site moves should it even think about letting an algorithm sweep through the raw data trying to make up for all the inadequacies of the recording equipment or the lack of good information about the site.

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Weekend Unthreaded


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Australia: 2019 was not the hottest summer say satellites — it was just as hot in 1991

All that global warming and nothing to show for it?

Headlines rang out telling Australians that last summer was the hottest ever. But, according to the UAH satellite series, the hottest — just barely — was in 1991, when CO2 was a wonderful, safe 356 ppm. Since then, humans have emitted more than half — fully 58% — of all the emissions we have ever emitted since we crawled out of those dank caves. CO2 levels are almost 50 ppm higher now, and temperatures are almost as high.*

Wonder if this summer will get close to the summer of 1991 (and we wonder if Victoria will keep the lights on).

Australia, summer temperatures, Graph, 2019, UAH, satellite, hottest summers.

The UAH data comes from NASA satellites, which cover all the Australian land mass every day and night.

The BOM (and NASA) prefers to use Australian ground data which is based on sparse thermometers that keep changing sites and equipment, are located near airport tarmacs, buildings, and cars. When readings are too cold, the BOM sometimes deletes them. Temperatures from thermometers hundreds of kilometers apart are magically homogenized and “corrected” through a secret computer process and two thirds of our warming comes from those adjustments, not from CO2 or whatever is warming the planet. To measure climate change, the BOM compares new readings from super-fast electronic one-second measurements in small 60 litre boxes to old readings from slow glass thermometers in 240 litre boxes. The agency carefully calibrates these different thermometers then throws all that data away. What’s not to like?

Here’s the BOM temperature map for summer 1991

Summer 2019, Bureau of Meteorology Map


And for summer 2019

So, 28 years later the Australian summer was about the same in the places where 24 million people live. But possibly it was hotter in places where we have almost no people and hardly any thermometers. Maybe. In the BOM’s defence it was wetter in Northern Australia in 1991 than in 2019. However this just means that if 2019 was the “hottest” then it was due to the drought, not our CO2.
Summer 2019, Bureau of Meteorology Map

Drought means higher maximums

As Roy Spencer, Ken Stewart and Bill Johnston have independently shown, rainfall cools the maximum temperatures in summer in Australia. Obviously, in summer, wet ground is cooler ground and so is the air above it.  Tom Quirk has reported that the biggest differences between UAH and the BOM are in December and February.

In Australia, if the climate gets cooler we may get more droughts (due to less evaporation off the ocean), This may mean higher extreme maximums in summer than what we got during a lovely hot spell. Whatever happens, of course, a PR Bureau will call it “climate change” and they predicted it, even if they predicted the opposite.


Lower Troposphere Aust:

BOM Temperature Map for Australian Summer of 2019

BOM Temperature Map for Australian Summer of 1991


* Unlike “expert climate scientists” I’m not claiming anything about CO2 because of one hot summer then or now. I claim that CO2 is largely irrelevant because the trends are not increasing, 28 million weather balloons couldn’t find the hot spot, 1,000 tide gauges show the seas are not rising fast, nor are they accelerating. Plus the climate models are wrong on the Antarctic, and hopeless on most things.


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