JoNova

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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Delcons do matter — defiant non-left voters were “most influential group”

Aiming for the passionless imaginary center doesn’t work

Defcon, Delcon, T-shirtSome big surprises from exit polls from the Australian election day, thanks to the Australian Institute of Progress (AIP). Non-Greens third party voters (code for Delcons – or Defiant conservatives) were more interested in “cultural issues like immigration, Islam, gay marriage, refugees, industry protection and political correctness”. Graham Young, Executive Director of the AIP calls these voters the “most influential in Australia, effectively choosing who will form the government.”

The next election will be won by the party that manages to reap more than its fair share of the non-Greens minor party voters. They are up for grabs for Liberal or Labor.

In the end, around 50% of the Delcons are prepared to put Labor above Liberal in preferences (the nuclear option) –  showing how wrong Mark Textor’s theory is that the Liberal base “doesn’t matter” and the Liberals should aim for the centre and can afford to mistreat their base. Another theme I see is that parties need passion — when it’s missing from the base, it sure isn’t coming from the centre. As I said before Turnbull took over, “the passionate support base for the Liberal party will switch to other conservative or libertarian parties.” It was all so obvious. Turnbull had to personally throw in a million dollars to make up for some of the loss in donations.

One gratifying surprise is that the naked Mediscare campaign may have helped the Liberals and hurt the Labor Party. More people who named it as “important” were likely to be repelled by the scare. The Labor Party overdid it. The people who were fooled by it were already voting Labor, and some of the people who might have voted Labor saw it as heavyhanded propaganda. The Labor party could have won more Delcons if it had been halfway sensible. Instead they retreated left to “the green centre” and so alienated centre voters. Many Delcons had no choice but to go to a third party.

Another surprise — the economy, normally safe ground for the Libs, probably cost them votes. Fully a third of voters still care about the economy above anything else and the Libs hardly won any Labor voters over this time, but lost 3% of the economy-driven-voters who picked them last time (if only they could have run the anti-carbon tax theme eh?).

Superannuation, predictably, was a vote repeller away from the Liberals, though was an issue that only mattered for 3.6% of the population. (Presumably most people don’t have enough Super to care — that’s the 401k for US readers, Pension Provision for the UK.) I’d bet the larger cost of the Super Bomb was that those with more Super who were Liberal supporters stopped donating and volunteering to help. Graham Young doesn’t mention that effect, but even if the direct loss of votes was small, the passion causes an indirect loss that is larger.

The full analysis of of federal election exit polling by Australian Institute of Progress (AIP)  is available at these links:

If you are not already a member of Australian Institute for Progress you can join by clicking here.

The Mediscare hype probably worked against the Labor Party

This is comforting. It was a naked, dishonest effort which involved a lot of people on the street repeating the same false accusation, handing out gimmicky cards, effectively trying to “create” an issue where there was none. In the end it probably swung more people, especially the Delcons, to the Liberals. The Labor Party could have captured more Delcons if it had been just not so damn grubby:

Keep reading  →

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Globally 91% of wars have nothing to do with climate change

Ruins of Qunaitra, War, Syria, conflict, climate change.Climate change causes war (maybe) and meaningless statistics (definitely)

One day when you grow up, children, you too can be a research scientist who writes papers that tells the world something banally obvious — like, say, that natural disasters make conflict more likely.

Who, exactly, thought natural disasters brought peace?

I don’t think the journalist who wrote this next paragraph asked himself what it means (if anything):

Globally, there was a nine per cent coincidence rate between the outbreak of armed conflicts and natural disasters like droughts and heatwaves. But, in countries that were deeply divided along ethnic lines, this rose to about 23 per cent.

I suspect it means not much (define “coincident”), but if it did, it implies that globally, 91% of wars don’t coincide with natural disasters.

If there is a real message here, it appears to be that ethnic divisions cause wars:

Dr Jonathan Donges, who co-wrote the paper about the study, said: “We’ve been surprised by the extent that results for ethnic fractionalised countries stick out, compared to other country features such as conflict history, poverty, or inequality.

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Petition to remove air conditioning from all US State Property

You know it makes sense — air conditioners are as dangerous as suicide bombers. They must be stopped. Next up, refrigerators…

Here’s a petition you can support:  Do it for the children, for the future.

Remove air conditioning from all US State Department property.

John Kerry, Airconditioners, ISIS

WHEREAS, Secretary of State John F. Kerry has suggested that air conditioners are as big a threat as ISIS, and

WHEREAS, it is the duty of our elected and appointed government officials to lead by example,

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Rating: 9.4/10 (87 votes cast)

Only 20% of US people think the media even try to be unbiased on politics

Media spotlightThe good news is that a majority of people are aware of media bias, and are skeptical of what the media tells them. The bad news is that this is just another marker showing the average Western citizen is losing faith in the integrity of so many key institutions.

The activist journo’s have overplayed their hand. They are not even trying…

 “Voters Expect Reporters To Help Clinton Over Trump”

[July 21st, 2016] A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that only 20% of Likely U.S. Voters think that when covering a political campaign, most reporters try to offer unbiased coverage. Most (69%) say reporters try to help the candidate they want to win. Eleven percent (11%) are not sure  (To see survey question wording, click here.)

The media have lost so much influence. They described Brexiteers as loony, selfish and xenophobic, but more than half the country ignored them and voted for Brexit. Similarly, the US media mocked and denigrated Trump supporters, and continually predicted he wouldn’t stay in the race, and wouldn’t make it through the primaries, and  yet he did. Poor pundits keep being surprised by the people.

The key word in this survey is “try” — everyone knows humans have some kind of bias, but the survey asked “do most reporters try to offer unbiased coverage or do they try to help the candidate they want to win?”

Mainstream news has become an advertising forum for big government, but the dumb voters can see through it.

Nearly 50% of US voters think the media is biased against Trump. Nearly 20% say it’s against Hillary.

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Weekend Unthreaded

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“Clinton Cash” movie available

Readers may find this documentary interesting. I doubt the ABC will be running it. This US election matters to so many people around the world. The outcome makes a big difference to climate skeptics. And it’s about so much more than that. How do we beat corruption?

 Breitbart is hosting the free showing (only for a few hours) for the documentary based on a senior editors book: Clinton Cash

UPDATE: Australia is in this too. Both Gillard and Bishop have contributed $500m Australian taxpayer dollars to Clinton charities [and other Democrat power brokers*].Tony Thomas has those details. “Julia Gillard lavished an unprecedented $292 million in taxpayer dollars on the Clinton-dominated Global Partnership for Education, where she was later appointed chair. Imagine the howls if Tony Abbott had underwritten…” See also “The Clintons and Their Corruptocrats” for even more…



From Breitbart:

The film, based on the New York Times bestselling investigative book Clinton Cash by Breitbart Senior Editor-at-Large Peter Schweizer, has sent shockwaves through media. The New York Times, Washington Post, ABC News, and other Establishment Media have verified and confirmed the book’s explosive revelations about how Hillary Clinton auctioned State Department policies to foreign Clinton Foundation donors and benefactors who then paid Bill Clinton tens of millions of dollars in speaking fees.

The first two minutes tell the Clinton’s narrative. Then the documentary compares the message to the actions.

From the book:

In 2000, Bill and Hillary Clinton owed millions of dollars in legal debt. Since then, they’ve earned over $130 million. Where did the money come from? Most people assume that the Clintons amassed their wealth through lucrative book deals and high-six figure fees for speaking gigs. Now, Peter Schweizer shows who is really behind those enormous payments.

Trumps independent wealth becomes an asset:

Tim Kaine [Clintons running mate] Reinforces ‘Crooked’ Hillary’s Weaknesses on Cronyism, Corruption

[Breitbart] Trump won the GOP primary by self-funding his campaign and convincing voters that the lobbyists and other big-money donors would never control him like a puppet.

And Clinton’s selection of Kaine will allow Trump to run on the same themes in the general election by painting Clinton and Kaine as career politicians who have needed—and used—government their for personal gain.

At the GOP convention, Eric Trump, Trump’s son, urged voters to “vote for the one candidate that does not need this job.”

 UPDATE: The link still works for me, but may not for others. See comments #8 and #9 below. VinceOz and Evo of Gong.

h/t Pat.

*Correction, thanks to Bob D. The half billion was not just to the Clinton Foundation but to Democrat powerbrokers etc as well.

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John Kerry: Air conditioner, fridge gas, as big a threat as ISIS

Let’s get those priorities right:

Secretary of State John Kerry said in Vienna on Friday that air conditioners and refrigerators are as big of a threat to life as the threat of terrorism posed by groups like the Islamic State.

Depends what you mean by “life” I guess. Some like the world 2 degrees cooler, and some prefer to keep their heads.

“As we were working together on the challenge of [ISIS] and terrorism,” Kerry said. “It’s hard for some people to grasp it, but what we–you–are doing here right now is of equal importance because it has the ability to literally save life on the planet itself.”

It’s good to know the US will be well defended against an invasion of badly gassed fridges.

Since warming is mostly beneficial this threat is at the Defcon-Toothfairy level. And probably not that high. The extra energy trapped by HFC refrigerant gasses most likely just reroutes and escapes to space through water vapor emissions.

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Central banks drive booms and busts, and force everyone to be a high risk speculator

It doesn’t have to be this way. The most important price in our economy is set by a bunch of bureaucrats. They are unelected and unaccountable. But your day to day life is affected by their decisions, as well as your ability to buy a house or for your retirement savings to maintain their value. Some people are wiped out by a mere phrase in a memo. There is a deep Soviet style management program at the centre of all Western economies. It’s time we talked about that ogre.

Maurice Newman, former chair of the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX), writes in The Australian about the defining invisible issue which is rarely discussed — our currencies, our central banks:

Vladimir Lenin advocated: “The best way to destroy the capitalist system is to debauch the currency.” True or not, we seem hellbent on finding out.

Dark times are coming:

The BIS has rung the alarms. We are warned that the world’s most reckless monetary experiment, which has taken interest rates to the lowest in recorded history, is failing. Central bankers remain silent, not knowing how or when to end what they began, while the political class simply looks on, impotent and mired in its own economic mistakes.

This leaves only the market’s invisible and heavy hand to make the required adjustments. What follows will be indiscriminate, unpredictable, socially far-reaching and, politically ugly.

Central banks drive the economy at breakneck speed

Central banks keep interest rates artificially low. This pumps up a sick economy, by effectively “printing” money. (Technically, it makes money cheap to borrow into existence creating bank “credit”). This is a gold plated Christmas present for high risk speculators, but it’s taken from people who work for their money.  It’s like toxoplasmosis for savers — their savings are silently eaten away by inflation as borrowers outspend them with money they did not earn. Savers have to adopt high risk behaviours to stay afloat and keep their purchasing power from sinking in a river of money.

Easy money generates cycles of boom and bust that wipe out life savings. No one can do hourly work for 40 years, then live off the pitiful interest paid on the money saved. Instead everyone has to “invest” and speculate whether they like it or not. And thus do local councilors get eaten by Goldman Sachs traders for breakfast. What kind of culture do we want? Easy credit favours aggressive takeovers, and hostile, predatory market behaviour. Central banks control so many aspects of our lifestyle, yet we can’t vote them out.

More bad debt can’t fix a problem created with bad debt

We’re up to the third round of bubbles. The addiction to easy credit has reached the end stage when each injection is almost impotent. Printing money doesn’t create euphoria, or even growth, it just puts off judgement day.

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Backflip: Antarctic peninsula, posterchild of Polar disaster, has been cooling not warming

The “fastest warming place” on Planet Earth wasn’t warming.

A new Antarctic study wipes out 20 years of panic about the West Antarctic Peninsula. All these years while people were crying about penguins, it turns out that the place was cooling rather than warming. Mankind has emitting a third of all its “CO2-pollution” ever from 1998, and there was “no discernible” effect on Antarctica. Indeed,  the study quietly finds that even the bigger longer warming that has happened in the last century was not “unprecedented” in the last 2000 years.

In the last decade as this cooling trend was happening in the real world –  in the media, the same spot was being described as “one of the fastest warming places on Earth”:

 The Antarctic Peninsula is one of the fastest-warming places on Earth, NBC, 2013

West Antarctic Ice Sheet warming twice earlier estimate, BBC, 2012

And this sort of news has been going on for years. This was “big deal” once-in-2000 year type stuff:

UK scientists say parts of Antarctica have recently been warming much faster than most of the rest of the Earth. They believe the warming is probably without parallel for nearly two thousand years. – BBC, 2001

But the news in 2016 was a bit of a bomb, prone to being misinterpreted, so the PR Team was pre-armed with excuses, from the first line of the scientific abstract which pretty much says that the peninsula still was one of the fastest warming places on Earth (if you look at warming from 1950 and ignore the last 20 years the study is studying). Great opening line. The abstract also mentions that the Antarctic peninsula is only 1% of the Antarctic (though no one seems to mention that when it was melting).

Further excuses went out in the media (from The Australian and The ABC):

  1. The cooling is natural and temporary (Hey, how do they know? They know because the models which didn’t predict the cooling are still predicting it will warm).
  2. “The study does not suggest that global warming has been halted…” (because it would not get published in Nature if they did).
  3. It’s just a coincidence that global temperatures “paused” during the same years –  this has nothing to do with the “haitus”. (Methinks someone is still hurting from skeptics mentioning “the pause”.)
  4. Here’s a goodie:  “It hasn’t cooled nearly as much as it had warmed before,” Steig said. (Like 20-year-trends only mattered before 1998. After that, who cares?)
  5. Trite excuses make subheader status: “Long-term changes have year-to-year variability: researcher” (Like that’s news?  No one seems to put that in a sub-heading when it’s a warm year. Is the aim here just to bore people into not reading the article?)
  6. Distractions make subheader status: This news about cooling is not important — what really matters is  ____ (insert anything else)____. Eg. The real threat is ocean warming: Leeds researcher

Contort those headlines

Something funny happens to editors with these types of stories. When Antarctica warms, melts, or loses ice the headlines are short. But when it cools you can feel the editors pain. Here’s the ABC’s catchy headline:

Antarctica: One of last century’s fastest warming places is temporarily cooling, scientists find

The WashingtonPost came up with this snappy effort:

The Antarctic Peninsula has been cooling, but that doesn’t disprove global warming

Spin the meaning

No matter how much it cools, it still warming:

“We’re certainly not saying that global warming has stopped. On the contrary, we’re highlighting the complexity of climate change.”

Complexity is the excuse for all occasions. Better  leave it to experts and don’t think cooling means, y’know, cooling. One hot month is man-made but 20 years of regional cooling means nothing.

Don’t mention the volcanoes

The edge of the Pacific plate, and a volcanic chain runs under those red dots on the map below. Note where the heating is in the paired other map of Antarctica. Hmm? Is magma hot enough to melt ice…

Indeed,  one researcher recently described the Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctic is sitting on a “stovetop burner”.

So glaciers could still be melting down this neck of the woods, but there might be natural causes for that too. Likewise oceans may be warming around here as well, but then I don’t suppose anyone at the BBC or ABC will mention the hot magma underfoot.

Antarctica, Volcano, global warming.

All those past stories that told us manmade emissions were destroying Antarctica — forget them. We don’t know what the cause is:

Lead author, Professor John Turner of British Antarctic Survey says: ‘The Antarctic Peninsula is one of the most challenging places on Earth on which to identify the causes of decade-to-decade temperature changes.’

Now they tell us.

Indeed, apparently researchers can’t say that human-caused climate change was doing anything to the Antarctic:

Prof Nerilie Abram, at the Australian National University, said: “For a remote place like Antarctica, where climate measurements are especially short and those year-to-year swings in climate are very large, our records really aren’t long enough yet to see the full picture of human-caused climate change.”

Shame they didn’t mention that twenty years ago.

Perhaps they could speak up about the researchers who are making a fuss about other noisy, short data series? Like these ones: Shattered records show climate change is an emergency today, scientists warn.

It’s important never to be surprised

Scientists get shocked, astonished and amazed at events that are not even as bad as their models predicted. But when things are the opposite of what the models said, these are completely… expected:

Prof Andrew Shepherd, at the University of Leeds, said: “It’s completely unsurprising that in any long-term temperature record there will be a decade of measurements that buck the trend. There are few scientists left who believe that atmospheric warming will be the main cause of Antarctic [ice] instability over the next century.

 The warming that models projected,
Was flawed, as the skeptics expected,
With Antarctica cooling,
The warmists were fooling,
With data which must be corrected.

– Ruairi

REFERENCE

Turner et al (2016) Absence of 21st century warming on Antarctic Peninsula consistent with natural variability, Nature 535, 411–415     doi:10.1038/nature18645
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Clexit-coming? President of Philippines says Paris climate deal is stupid nonsense. Wants to kick someone.

Let’s not mince words. The new President of the Philippines, Jose Duterte, says he won’t sign or honor the “stupid” Paris deal and he wanted to kick the ambassador who asked.

Here’s a memorable moment in international diplomacy:

“You are trying to stifle us,” Duterte said on Monday in widely reported comments. “That’s stupid, I will not honour that. You signed … That was not my signature.”

Duterte said: “I’m mad at this ambassador. I want to kick him,” adding that limits on carbon emissions for the Philippines were “nonsense”.

“You who have reached your peak and along with it spewed a lot of contaminants, emissions … Good for you. We are here, we have not reached the age of industrialisation. We are on our way to it.”

This is a bit of a bummer for the big-government collective. The Philippines has 100 million people and is the 12th biggest country on Earth population-wise.

Brexit, India and the Philippines smell like “Clexit”

The Trump factor looms too. Sensing a tidal wave, the UN promptly issued a call for everyone to hurry up.

The United Nations has issued a plea for nations to fast-track ratification of the Paris Climate Agreement as some countries are backtracking on support for the deal’s sweeping restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions.

How about Thursday?

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged nations to attend a “special event” Thursday where they may deposit their “instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession to the Paris Agreement on climate change.”

Progress so far? 177 nations turned up to the Paris party, but only 19 have ratified the agreement in the last six months. It’s not looking good. They need 55 nations which are responsible for 55% of the worlds emissions before the Paris deal gets legs.

Marc Morano, who runs the skeptics’ website Climate Depot, said Tuesday that the cold feet on global warming shows that some countries are realizing the international climate agreement is “not in their best interests.”

“More and more nations are realizing that the U.N. climate treaty is nothing more than an effort to empower the U.N. and attack national sovereignty while doing absolutely nothing for the climate,” said Mr. Morano, who debuted his film “Climate Hustle” during the negotiations in Paris.

He said that the “time has come for a U.S.-led ‘Clexit’ from … the climate treaty.”

The “Clexit” or Climate Exit, comes from Viv Forbes at Carbon Sense in Queensland. It’s catching on.

The Washington Times also quotes Eric Worrall on Watts Up.

Keep reading  →

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