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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Peter Ridd update: James Cook University wasted $630,000 defending the Bureaucrat Rulers of Science, and plans to appeal

Peter Ridd

The battle continues for Peter Ridd.

James Cook Uni lost every single point against Peter Ridd. Today at the penalty hearing we find out they plan to appeal.

The fake fish uni has learnt nothing:

Charlie Peel, The Australian

James Cook University risks contempt rap for response to verdict

James Cook University is poised to appeal against the Federal Court finding that its sacking of physics professor Peter Ridd was unlawful.

JCU’s response was so far from the mark, apparently Justice Vasta is considering whether to refer it to the Federal Court Marshall. Vasta said the statement attributed to Chris Cocklin of JCU was “almost contemptuous”.

The IPA, bless them, filed an FOI to find out how much money was burnt in the quest, and says it’s high time JCU  stops:

Gideon Rozner: The details of a freedom of information request lodged by the Institute of Public Affairs with James Cook University and released today reveal the University has already spent at least $630,000 on legal fees in the Dr Peter Ridd case.

“The very fact that an Australian university is willing to force the weight of an entire administration backed by taxpayer funds to stifle an academic’s freedom of speech sends a massive chilling effect to any academic engaging in public debate in Australia,” said IPA Director of Policy, Gideon Rozner.

“James Cook University’s shameful actions prove without doubt there is a crisis of free speech at Australian Universities.

“It is staggering to think that after the Federal Circuit Court ruled on every point in Dr Ridd’s favour, JCU is contemplating an appeal.

“Australian universities receive billions of dollars in taxpayer funding for the purpose of free intellectual inquiry. Now JCU wants to go to a higher court to prove it can shut down the freedom of speech on academic issue by one of its professors. It is outrageous. Taxpayers fund JCU to do education and research, not engage in vexatious litigation against its own staff.

The IPA media release.

It’s easy to stop JCU from behaving like this

Education Minister Dan Tehan or PM Scott Morrison could fix this in five minutes. All they have to do is tell JCU they’ll get no more grant money until the institute guarantees free speech and shows accountability for the people who flagrantly wasted over half a million dollars.

JCU grant money is better spent elsewhere. All the research they produce is now tainted and effectively worthless– no matter what any Professor says, everyone knows they are not free to criticize other staff, or procedures, or point out flaws. They’re scared to use their email addresses. We’ll never know what any JCU researcher is holding back.

JCU is the text-book example of what happens when government funding strangles science. The people in charge of JCU’s “science” department — deciding what “the consensus will be” are the administrators, not the academics.

This is not a one off. JCU has a pattern of evicting, blackbanning, and ousting people who disagree with the bureaucrats pet fashions (vale, Bob Carter!). In this culture, more funding means more strangling. So just stop.

h/t Jennifer Marohasy.

The Peter Ridd story:


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Part 3 of the Apollo 11 series


Part 3 in the hugely popular, politically incorrect, Apollo 11 series from Daily Wire as we count down to the 50th Anniversary.


I was surprised to hear that Apollo 10 made it to within ten miles of the moon. The lunar module was launched, started descent, then had to stop and return. It was all according to plan, and apparently they were so afraid the astronauts would go that extra ten miles that NASA only “half filled their tank”. They didn’t have enough fuel to do the landing and return.

The Youtube direct URL:


 UPDATE: Stephen sends in another Apollo 11 site — it’s replaying the audio and transcripts for the whole mission in “real time” with a 50 year delay. 240 hours of space-to-ground audio!

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50% of Americans don’t want to spend *even one more dollar* on renewables

Who wants to pay more for electricity?

All around the world conservative politicians are afraid to campaign against the cost of renewables. So here comes yet another survey showing a huge voter group sits there unrecognized, invisible, waiting for someone to vote for.

The news from the Center for Climate Change Communication, George Mason University:

Who is willing to pay more for renewable energy?

In two recent national surveys of American adults, we asked how much more per month, if anything, people would be willing to pay to get their electricity from 100% renewable sources. Nearly half of Americans (47%) reported that they were willing to pay more, while 50% said $0.

It’s a devastating result. Think about the fantasy they were being asked to put a price on — on offer was the mythical golden goose of  “100% renewable energy”. It doesn’t exist (unless you count hydroelectricity). Even so, what was that fantastical creature worth? For half of Americans — nothing.

Instead, the Centre for Climate Communication could have put a more realistic price on “100% renewable purity”, and asked how many Americans were willing to pay that exorbitant sum — it might be 1%. Might be less. (Can’t think why the Centre for Climate Change Communications didn’t want to find that out…)

They were expecting so much more:

In our December 2018 Energy in the American Mind report, we found that a bipartisan majority (85%) of American registered voters support requiring electric utilities to transition to renewable energy, even though only 38% think that wind and solar cost less than electricity from coal. This suggests that many Americans may be willing to pay more to get their electricity from renewable sources.

The inconsistencies layer like a supersize lasagne. 63% of Americans know wind and solar costs more than coal. Fully 85%  say they want “climate action”  — they want  to make it law, they know it will cost, and they want someone else to pay for it.

The payment paradox is the same all around the world. People know what they are supposed to say, that renewables are like apple-pie and motherhood and good, good, good. But hardly anyone wants to fork over the cash. But ultimately, if the government legislates  a more expensive energy source, someone has to foot the bill. There are two ways to reconcile the divergent figures: one, that bullying keeps people from admitting that they don’t believe to random pollsters that call in the night; or two, that western education has duped the masses into thinking that the government or companies have some magical pot of money that can cover the cost.

Who wants to pay –  The young and easily led  (Liberal Democrats)

The old, wise and careful are much less willing to pay for weather-changing sorcery.

How telling that the prime deciding factor for “paying up” is politics, not income. (Black-symbols, right, versus green symbols, left).

Climate polling, renewable cost, USA, 2019. Willing to pay?


The other predictors are age and education. And given the dime-a-dozen nature of modern degrees, education is partly a proxy for age anyway — there just aren’t that many post-docs in their eighties.

My hypothesis — that climate payments are a meaningless fashion statement — holds up well against the data. Fashion always counts most in youth, and in the inner city, university, left wing arty sector. Everyone wants to be seen to pay, but no one cares if the money really gets there.

Even those willing to pay are not willing to pay much:

The half that were willing to pay for the Golden Climate Goose were offering figures like $1 – $30 per month which is only $12 – $400 annually.

 Overall and on average, Americans are willing to pay an additional $16.25 per month for renewable energy. About one in six (17%) say they would pay between $1 and $10 more, while 15% are willing to pay between $11 and $30, and 14% are willing to pay between $31 and $200 more. Among those who are willing to pay at least some amount more per month, the average is $33.72 per month.

Note the misleading average in the first sentence? The average American is absolutely not willing to pay $16 per month extra. Given that 50% want to pay nothing more, and 17% want to pay $1 – $10 per month, that means 67% of Americans are offering to fork out a lot less than ten dollars.

Cling to that fantasy

The Climate Centre says none of this matters anyhow because their own disappointing study is irrelevant:

It is important to note that public willingness to pay more for renewable energy is likely to become less relevant in coming years, because the costs of generating electricity from renewable energy sources have been rapidly declining . Increasingly, Americans will not have to decide if they are willing to pay more for renewable energy. Rather, they will likely be able to pay less for renewable energy. Because nearly half of Americans are already willing to pay more for renewable energy, we expect that consumer demand and positive sentiments will increase as renewable energy prices fall.

If renewables are so competitive why do we need government funded Climate Centres to ask how much extra the punters will pay?

It takes a large team to sell those white elephants.


 Gustafson, A., Goldberg, M., Rosenthal, S., Kotcher, J., Maibach, E., & Leiserowitz, A. (2019). Who is willing to pay more for renewable energy? Yale University and George Mason University. New Haven, CT: Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.

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The worst drought in history viewed through carbo-phobic glasses: ABC misses the obvious

The obvious headline:

“Worst drought in history was 100 years ago, nothing to do with CO2″

The Carbophobic headline:

Drought of 1891 to 1903 reconstructed shows today’s conditions likely to have more devastating effects

Indoctrinated ABC copy-writers can’t see anything other than future doom and a chance to advertise the government religion.  Figure that the Australian GDP per capita is 13 times larger now than in 1900. We have phones, planes, antibiotics, air-conditioning, satellites, and super computers, yet somehow we wouldn’t cope as well if the drought hit now?

It’s great, for a change, to see the ABC reporting on historic Australian extremes, and the BOM researching our amazing documentary history, shame they miss the bleeding obvious.

By Nikolai Beilharz, ABC Enviro-propaganda Unit.

A reconstruction of the Federation drought has found that if it were to occur again today, its effects would likely be even more devastating in some areas of the country.

The ‘once in a century drought’, which went from 1891 to 1903, caused an ecosystem collapse affecting more than a third of the country. The drought was one of the world’s worst recorded ‘megadroughts’, which at its peak saw much of the country get less than 40 per cent of its annual rainfall, with 1902 the driest year on record.

Isn’t “global warming” meant to increase rainfall?

Panic, Australian rainfall has increased since 1900.

An increase in rain across the year and the nation doesn’t prove droughts will be lower, but it’s surely relevant. Figure how it makes the risk of a long widespread drought worse?

If the ABC represented the taxpayers, they would train staff to ask reasonable questions. Beilharz would have pressed the BOM to mention long term rainfall and drought trends, he would have pointed out that we are vastly better equipped to deal with any climate extreme, and he also would have asked about studies of previous megadroughts. Instead he’s a paid parrot.

Megadroughts have always occurred in Australia and we are lucky the weather this century has been so kind.

[The Vance et al 2014] study of Law Dome Ice cores tells us that droughts are common in Australia, and that there appears to be eight mega-droughts over the last thousand years, including one that lasted a whopping 39 years from 1174- 1212AD. By their reckoning the 12th Century in Australia was a shocker with 80% of it spent in drought conditions. Things weren’t so bad from 1260 – 1860, at least, as far as they can tell. The researchers are convinced theirs is the first millennial-length Australian drought record.

The ABC even reported on the 39 year megadrought at the time. Of course, it didn’t show our climate was worse without “CO2″ — it only mattered for water management policies.

One day maybe the ABC and BOM will serve the nation instead of themselves. But not while Big-Government funds them both, and the voters get no accountability. A “tick a box” option on our tax returns would change that — these agencies would need to impress the people instead of the politicians.

Give us a real free market please. Who would buy this propaganda if they had a choice?


Vance et al, Interdecadal Pacifi c variability and eastern Australian mega-droughts over the last millennium (2014) American Geophysical Union, doi: 10.1002/2014GL062447

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Apollo 11: The inside story of the glorious technical mastery, the risks, the leap

For those who want to immerse themselves in the engineering masterpiece of the Apollo 11 mission, Burt Rutan recommends this documentary series. A whole fascinating hour each. Burt Rutan is an aerospace engineer who has designed 46 aircraft, received six honorary doctoral degrees and hundreds of awards. If these documentaries can keep him interested …

Hail the brilliant technical minds that triumphed and the brave men who got there.

Only 12 men have walked on the moon and three out of four still alive are skeptics. Buzz Aldrin is an outspoken skeptic, as are other astronauts Harrison Schmidt, and Charles Duke. So is Australian born Phil Chapman (support crew, Apollo 14) and Walter Cunningham (Apollo 7).  Burt Rutan too, of course. 

Remember a time when NASA could achieve great things…

Part I: We choose to go to the moon: Hosted by Bill Whittle

Part II: The clock is running


Burt Rutan says Part 3 and 4 are on the way.

The URLs:     

Rutan warns that Google or Youtube searches may not find the series. Apparently Bill Whittle is too politically incorrect for them.  At this point the Google search works with “Apollo 11: What we saw”. But “Apollo 11 youtube” is a fail — five screens of nothing. Spread the word.

There is information here you won’t hear on the Lamestream.

This post is for Jim Simpson and the OTC team at Paddington who helped transmit the moon-landing. They are organizing events in Australia for the Apollo 11 Anniversary, especially for the veteran Engineers, Technicians and Managers.

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Former Greens leader Bob Brown campaigns against wind farm

Do we need wind farms to save the world or not? Not, says Bob Brown.

Robbins Island, Satellite view.

Robbins Island, North West Tasmania

People can have sleep and health and their views destroyed, but that didn’t matter til a farmer on a remote island off Tasmania made a deal to build one of the largest wind “farms” in the world.

Graham Lloyd, The Australian

Former Greens leader and veteran activist Bob Brown is campaigning to stop a $1.6 billion wind farm development in Tasmania because it will spoil the view and kill birds.

The proposed Robbins Island wind farm in Tasmania’s northwest will be one of the world’s biggest, with up to 200 towers measuring 270m high from ground to blade tip.

He’s written a letter protesting about the view:

Despite the criticisms levelled at former prime minister Tony Abbott and treasurer Joe Hockey for describing wind turbines as “ugly”, Dr Brown said the Robbins Island plan was, visually, a step too far. “Mariners will see this hairbrush of tall towers from 50km out to sea and elevated landlubbers will see it, like it or not, from greater distances on land,” Dr Brown said. “Its eye-catchiness will divert from every coastal scene on the western Bass Strait coastline.”

So Tony Abbott was right. It will be good to hear that apology.

After millions of birds bats and who-knows-what-else has been killed, now he cares:

In his letter on the wind farm, Dr Brown wrote: “Besides the impact on the coastal scenery, wind turbines kill birds. Wedge-tailed eagle and white-bellied sea eagles nest and hunt on the island. Swift parrots and orange-bellied parrots traverse the island on their migrations.”

The birds are just a “beside”.

Reap what you sow — a belief based on superstition with no underlying principles means sooner or later Greens reveal their inner hypocrite.

The ABC reported on this project in Dec 2017. The industrial wind plant was only going ahead if they could also build a second interconnector across the Bass Strait, something the company said it would pay for if it got approval. For some strange reason the Tasmanian Government was spending $20m investigating the business case first…

Why are taxpayers worried about a business case if the company was the one risking the money?

Keep reading  →

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Weekend Unthreaded

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Vegans save a cow, kill 1,000 mice. Eat less red meat, get anemia.

How many sentient mammals died to make that vegan hamburger?  Tasmanian farmer Matthew Evans has added up the inconvenient numbers and written “One Eating Meat”. The death toll for vegetarian foods means vegans kill less cows, but more mice, lizards and ducks.

Preachy vegans should be silenced by new book on true cost of plant-based diets

Susie O’Brien, Herald Sun (paywalled)

For every 75 hectare of peas, 1500 animals die each year, including possums, wallabies, ducks and deer, not to mention many more rodents.

The 200,000 wild ducks killed in one year by NSW rice farmers?

Evans estimates he kills close to 5000 moths, slugs and snails each year in order to grow vegetables at Fat Pig Farm, his property in the Huon Valley.

Apparently beef uses more water, but plants use more brains:

One scientific analysis from the University of NSW quoted by Evans concludes that “25 times more sentient beings die to produce a kilo of protein from wheat than a kilo of protein from beef”.

The sentient beings are mostly mice.

More spent on low iron hospitalisations as meat intake declines

 It’s down with red meat, and up with iron deficiency in NZ  h/t Warwick Hughes

As the amount of red meat Kiwis eat shrinks, hospitalisations for iron deficiency anaemia are on the rise.

And it’s costing millions.

The cost of hospitalisations - primarily due to iron deficiency anaemia – has crept up from an annual $3.2 million to $6.7m over the past 10 years, according to Ministry of Health

On the ABC Evans talks about the effect the book is having on vegans.

What’s a true vegan these days?


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Climate scare machine — happy to use people with a mental illness as a promotional tool:

So some people have a mental illness. Unbridled, baseless Climate-Panic makes that worse. Now those victims are advertising material:

Climate Despair is making people give up on life

Mike Pearl, Vice.

There’s nothing like a bit of unprecedented misery made possible by unprecedented history denial:

“This is painful,” [Renee] Lertzman said. “It’s super painful to be a human being right now at this point in history.”

We live longer than ever, are richer than ever, fly all over the world, and one of our biggest fears is losing our mobile phone. This article is wholly so far gone past the Rubicon that it makes Michael Mann look sensible. Seriously, by reviewing apocalyptic books and stories from mental health wards, the man who brought hockey-stick hype to the world  appears to be the most normal person in the room.

This article is doing its best to normalize climate-depressive-obsession.

Step 1: pick one graphic tale

Suddenly, she was contemplating self-harm. “Though I don’t think I would have hurt myself, I didn’t know how to live with the fear of… the apocalypse, I guess? My son was home with me and I had to call my friend over to watch him because I couldn’t even look at him without breaking down,” Ruttan Walker said. She eventually checked herself into an overnight mental health facility.

Step 2: do a sweeping generalization

Her case is extreme, but many people are suffering from what could be called “climate despair,” a sense that climate change is an unstoppable force that will render humanity extinct…

 People are suffering from climate despair. Journalists are suffering from a lack of any supporting data, too. Coincidence?

Total supporting observations here: one group letter from Swedish psychologists, a teenage girl, plus a grab bag of anecdotes with no evidence to suggest that their mental illness was due to “climate” change.

Most of the article is  just mere speculation, the rest is worse:

This despair could be a consequence of climate change being on more people’s minds than ever before.

No kidding. Probably due to stories like this one.

The article helps readers find the most bleak of bleak books, like The Uninhabitable Earth, or worse:

But nothing compares to the intense viral bleakness of Deep Adaptation: A Map for Navigating Climate Tragedy, by Cumbria University professor Jem Bendell, a 2018 paper that Bendell self-published after an academic journal declined to publish it. The paper argues that total societal collapse is on its way, and describes life in the midst of that collapse with vivid sentences like, “You will fear being violently killed before starving to death.” The paper was so powerful that people have credited it for sending them to therapy or quitting their jobs to live closer to nature.

Then author MikePearl manages the impossible — makes Michael Mann look sensible

Nice advertising for Michael Mann as well as the Religion.:

These feelings can be powerful, but they aren’t grounded in hard science. [You mean like Michael Mann is?]

Michael Mann, the Penn State climatologist often credited for helping bring the public’s attention to the historical trends that are central to our understanding of climate change, calls this perspective “doomism,” and he wanted to make it clear the evidence doesn’t support it. “Unfortunately there’s some bad science behind much of the ‘doomism,’” he said. “There is no need to exaggerate or misstate what the science has to say.”

No need indeed, except when you need to hide a decline and bury the last 40 years of tree ring data.

When you need a heart surgeon get a heart surgeon, but when you need a therapist, find a believer:

For these patients, one important first step seems to be simply finding a therapist who acknowledges upfront that climate change isn’t a manifestation of mental illness.

According to Ruttan Walker, the activist who had the crisis in 2015, the perfect therapist would recognize that yes, mental illness is the problem at hand, but would simultaneously recognize the “enormity of the climate crisis.”

They might give you handy clues like this:

… there’s another, much older and simpler way to process despair. Give into it for a moment. Cry it out. Let yourself acknowledge how fucking bad it all is, and how a lot of it is never, ever getting better. In short: grieve.

If they asked people with a proven track record of being immune from climate despair — they’d ask a skeptic. Jo Nova recommends reading real history books as a way of feeling jubilantly thrilled for being born during a non-event non-crisis with decades of what was actually pretty good weather.

Failing that, read a skeptic blog!




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Midweek Unthreaded

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Antarctica was warmer one thousand years ago — and life was OK

Remember when polar amplification was the rage? So much for that theory

Antarctica is twice the size of the US or Australia. Buried 2 km deep under domes of snow, it holds 58 meters of global sea level to ransom. The IPCC have been predicting its demise-by-climate-change for a decade or two.

A new paper looks at 60 sites across Antarctica, considering everything from ice, lake and marine cores to peat and seal skins. They were particularly interested in the Medieval Warm Period, and researched back to 600AD.  During medieval times (1000-1200 AD) they estimate Antarctica as a whole was hotter than it is today.  Antarctica was even warmer still  — during the dark ages circa 700AD.

Credit to the paper authors: Sebastian Lüning, Mariusz Gałka, and Fritz Vahrenholt

Feast your eyes on the decidedly not unprecedented modern tiny spike:

Luning, 2019, Graph, Antarctica Temperatures, AD 0 - 2000, MWP, LIA.


The little jaggy down after 2000 AD is real. While there was rapid warming across Antarctica from 1950-2000, in the last twenty years, that warming has stalled. Just another 14 million square kilometers that the models didn’t predict.

We already knew the Medieval Warm Period was a global phenomenon, thanks to hundreds of proxies, and 6,000 boreholes. But this new paper is a great addition.

With an awesome dedication to detail, the team put all the big oceanic and other factors into one big graph. It is nice to see them side by side so we can see the connections between them.

Antarctica, Graph, temperatures, ENSO, PDO, IPO.

Fig. 8. Reconstructions of key drivers of natural climate variability. Southern Annular Mode, SAM, 70 year loess filter (Abram et al., 2014); El Niño-Southern Oscillation, ENSO (Conroy et al., 2008); Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation, IPO, piece-wise linear fit (Vance et al., 2015); Pacific Decadal Oscillation, PDO (MacDonald and Case, 2005); Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, AMO (Mann et al., 2009); solar activity changes (Steinhilber et al., 2012); volcanic eruptions (Sigl et al., 2015).


Main drivers of the multi-centennial scale climate variability appear to be the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) and El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) which are linked to solar activity changes by nonlinear dynamics. The MCA forms the final part of a long warm phase that dominated the first millennium CE


Looking at different parts of Antarctica some parts cooled while other parts warmed. Many of these “sea-sawing” pairs appear to be flexing as a dipole.

Luning et al 2019, Antarctica, Temperatures, Ice cores, MWP, LIA.

Fig. 4. Temperature development in the Antarctic region during the past 1500 years based on palaeoclimate proxies of selected study sites. 7: Fan Lake (Strother et al., 2015), 25: ODP 1098 (Domack and Mayewski, 1999; Shevenell et al., 2011; Shevenell and Kennett, 2002), 31: Berkner Island (Mulvaney et al., 2002), 45: EPICA Dome C (Masson-Delmotte et al., 2004), 49: Woods Bay (Mezgec et al., 2017), 57: RICE ice core (Bertler et al., 2018), whole Antarctica (Stenni et al., 2017:
composite-plus-scaling CPS reconstruction). Location maps in Figs. 1–3. Those location numbered:

Map, Antarctica.

Somewhere is all this data are some answers that might help us figure out the climate.

The Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA) is a well-recognized climate perturbation in many parts of the world, with a core period of  1000–1200 CE. Here we are mapping the MCA across the Antarctic region based on the analysis of published palaeotemperature proxy data from 60 sites. In addition to the conventionally used ice core data, we are integrating temperature proxy records from marine and terrestrial sediment cores as well as radiocarbon ages of glacier moraines and elephant seal colonies. A generally warm MCA compared to the subsequent Little Ice Age (LIA) was found for the Subantarctic Islands south of the Antarctic Convergence, the Antarctic  Peninsula, Victoria Land and central West Antarctica. A somewhat less clear MCA warm signal was detected for the majority of East Antarctica. MCA cooling occurred in the Ross Ice Shelf region, and probably in the Weddell Sea and on Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf.  Spatial distribution of MCA cooling and warming  follows modern dipole patterns, as reflected by areas of opposing temperature trends. Main drivers of the multi-centennial scale climate variability appear to be the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) and El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) which are linked to solar activity changes by nonlinear dynamics.

Related stories


h/t NoTricksZone, Willie S, Ronan C.

Lüning, S., M. Gałka, F. Vahrenholt (2019): The Medieval Climate Anomaly in Antarctica. Palaeogeogr., Palaeoclimatol., Palaeoecol., doi:10.1016/j.palaeo.2019.109251

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Falling sea levels bleaches corals — hear from Jen Marohasy in Maroochydore, Sunday

Jennifer Marohasy is speaking on Sunday in Maroochydore. Details at her blog.

Book Here Button.

Corals, Marohasy, Heron Island. Photo.

Jen’s mother on Heron Island, mid 1950s.

From Jennifer Marohasy:

Corals usually grow-up to just below the lowest mean spring tide. Corals are particularly vulnerable to extremely low tides and in particular low tides in the middle of the day when there is also high solar radiation. The damage from such events may leave a characteristic tell-tale structure, for example, micro-atolls.

I have a picture of my mother (who migrated to Australia after WWII, see the picture featured at the top of this post) standing in front of a micro-atoll at Heron Island, where she worked as a waitress in the mid-1950s. I have another picture — I will show at the Maroochydore surf club on Sunday — showing the extent of the bleaching at Heron Island at that time.

This coral bleaching back in the 1950s, and much of the recent bleaching at the Great Barrier Reef, may have been due to falling sea levels, rather than extreme temperatures as I will explain on Sunday.

Read more at her post….

Everyone is welcome at the Surf Club. I will speak for about 1 hour … beginning at 2pm on Sunday 14th July on Level 3 which is the Conference Room, 36 Alexander Parade, Maroochydore.

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Fed up UK viewers raise £33,567 in days for legal challenge about BBC Bias

Smashing plan — raising funds to call for a judicial review of BBC bias

David Keighley has a great strategy — instead of debating “the facts” with an organisation that accepts whatever an unaudited foreign committee says — he’s going for the jugular — how do they measure and define impartiality? They aimed initially to reach £30,000 to cover our legal fees but have already achieved that in mere days, such is the anger out there, Australians are even donating. (We get fed the BBC too!) So they’ve just extended the aim to raise £60,000. This is important because we know the BBC has deep pockets — remember in 2006 how they held an in house seminar with high level “climate experts” that turned out to be mostly a workshop with Greenpeace, industry activists and lobbyists. They then spent years and tens of thousands of your taxpayer pounds to hide the identities of the 28 experts.

The BBC will fight this judicial review to the end, unless of course, they actually think they are unbiased. What are the odds?

From the FAQ for the StopBBCBias campaign group:

Dear Auntie: You cannot call yourself impartial if you are measuring yourself

StopBBCBias campaign group launches crowd-funding appeal to fight for a judicial review into how the BBC measures its own impartiality

The BBC’s Royal Charter and Framework Agreement lays down a clear statutory obligation of impartiality. Documents to be filed at the Administrative Court will say that the measures the Corporation has in place to meet this Charter requirement are seriously inadequate, and that this has led to bias and a failure to carry out a main public service duty to its audiences.

We believe that the only way the BBC can be seen to be impartial is to have an independent, objective system of measurement – not one that the BBC runs against itself. Then and only then can it really be called impartial.

BBC 28Gate Where science reporting means asking Greenpeace


Our case

We are a group of private individuals bringing a case for judicial review of the way the BBC measures impartiality. It is our contention that the current methodology – based as it is on opinion polling – is fatally flawed.

Our argument is based on the fact that we believe that opinion polling is not a suitable mechanism to determine whether in fact the BBC is impartial.

We Australians need to get serious ourselves. As far as I know our ABC is so unaccountable it doesn’t even have to do dodgy inhouse opinion polls. We are so far behind…


h/t TomoMason, GWPF, Peter M, El Gordo, Another Ian.

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Methane emissions: don’t blame cows and camels, blame the oceans

Steak-lovers — look at the volatility in the graph of methane levels. That is not the cows…

Methane emissions are a bit of a sleeper. They are ignored (even by me) yet and cows, sheep, pigs and lamas produce a whopping 11% of the Australian national greenhouse emissions (mostly as methane and nitrous oxide). Livestock emissions are 70% of our entire agricultural sector emissions. They are so important, at one stage Australia was considering a camel genocide — hoping to stop storms and reduce droughts by knocking off some camels. So if we like ham, steak and hamburgers, we need to pay attention. The carbon-politisi are coming.

The UN thinks we need to worry about methane which has 34 times the impact of CO2 (which is 34 times something immeasurably insignificant, so who cares?). Somehow global methane levels are often blamed on fossil fuels and farting cows, but this latest analysis suggests humans are pretty much irrelevant.

Tom Quirk tracks the annual changes in methane and finds that it bumps up by both big and small amounts, and the volatile pattern doesn’t match human agriculture or mining but rises and falls in time with El Ninos. This is not entirely surprising as El Nino’s affect rainfall (and thus affect droughts and fires). And wetlands are the largest natural source of methane on Earth. Dryness leads to methane…

Humans were once responsible for the global rise in methane, as Tom Quirk explained in 2013. Russian pipes were so leaky in the 1970s and 80s that the large annual increases in methane may have been due to “communist maintenance”. When the Soviet Union started selling natural gas to the Europeans, the leaks were stopped and the rises in methane became much smaller.

It’s another wonderful bit of original research from Tom Quirk. Looks like thousands of cows and camels may be saved.

– Jo


Guest post by Tom Quirk

Latest Methane Measurements from Cape Grim

Annual changes in atmospheric methane show no smooth progression but rather great variability.

The annual changes in direct atmospheric methane measurements from 1986 to 2018 are shown in Figure 1 along with 12 year smoothed ice core data from 1900 to 1991. These measurements are from the CSIRO at Cape Grim and ice cores at the Law Dome in Antarctica.

Methane, Global, graph, 2019

Figure 1: Annual changes in atmospheric methane in ppb per year from ice cores at the Law Dome in Antarctica with 12 year smoothing and direct annual measurements at Cape Grim in Tasmania

Law Dome measurements.

The Law Dome ice core measurements show rising annual emissions in the last half of the twentieth century. This is understood to be due to leaky gas pipelines and in particular the Trans-Siberian pipeline[1] where the leakage was much reduced in the 1980s. There is also a gentle rise to a peak in the mid 1920s and then a gentle decline. The decline is at the start of the Great Depression with a recovery at the start of the Second World War. Figure 2 shows a similar rise and fall from an estimate of total fossil fuel emission for the United States[2] so the Law Dome data may reflect the economic events of the early twentieth century. Similarly the change in trend in the early 1970s may reflect the economic recession that followed the oil embargo of the Arab-Israeli war.


Methane, Global, graph, 2019

Figure 2: Annual and10 year running average of total fossil fuel emissions for the United States from CDIAC estimates. Note the peak in the mid 1920s.


Cape Grim direct measurements

The direct annual measurements at Cape Grim in Tasmania are also shown in Figure 3-upper along with the year of the Mount Pinatubo eruption, 1991, and the years in which El Ninos occurred. Figure 3-lower shows the monthly El Nino 3.4 Index.

The Pinatubo eruption coincides with an atmospheric methane peak. This has been explained[3] by the sulphur dioxide from the eruption reducing the removal of methane from the atmosphere.

The remaining methane peaks coincide with the years in which El Nino’s occur. There is one exception in 2016 where the methane peaks in 2014, preceding the El Nino peak by 2 years.

The methane peaks are associated with droughts and forest fires from changing conditions in wetlands[4].  Also there were massive forest fires in 2014 and 2015[5].


Methane, Global, graph, 2019

Fig 3a

Methane, Global, graph, 2019

Fig 3b.


Figure 3a: (upper) : Annual changes in atmospheric methane in ppb per year from ice cores at the Law Dome in Antarctica with 12 year smoothing and direct annual measurements at Cape Grim in Tasmania. The vertical red line is for 1991, the year of the Mount Pinatubo eruption and the vertical black lines are the years for El Ninos .Fig 3b (lower) Monthly El Nino 3.4 Index.


The main source of atmospheric methane since 1995 is from natural sources with great variability.

It is not from domestic livestock as noted by Albrecht Glatzle[6]. However it is possible fracking and increased transport of natural gas may make a contribution to the methane in the atmosphere.


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