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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Skeptics Handbook spreads en masse: 150,000 copies!

A donor in the US felt The Skeptics Handbook was so worthwhile that they have paid to print and post 150,000 copies of the booklet through Heartland. Just soak in that number. A “bestseller” only has to notch up 5,000 copies…
Cover Skeptics Handbook

As always, Joseph Bast and his team are efficient and ambitious. For starters, the Handbook was provided to everyone who came to the 2009 International Conference on Climate Change in New York, but the big plan extends far and wide. It includes some 850 journalists, 26,000 schools, 19,000 leaders and politicians, just to mention a few (see the list at the bottom for details).

My aim, as always, is to lift standards of science communication to help people make up their own minds. Scientists need to stand up and defend the discipline that gave us penicillin, cures for cataracts, and machines that fly round the world in a day. Science has become the victim of politics and economics and like everything valuable in life it needs to be defended against the ever present entropy of unreason. There are infinite ways to confuse, confound and be incorrect.

For those who are wondering, I will not, and have not received any payment for my work or costs. I did not ask for any, nor was any offered. Heartland approached me with a request for permission to print the Handbook, which I was happy to give. That I should have to even mention payments (or lack of) shows how weak the AGW case is. After all, if the alarmists had the evidence they claim, they could discuss the science instead of the funding. (DeSmog and Deltoid tried and failed pathetically to find any faults in the science. See my reply to DeSmog here.) Thanks to the special online supporters who’ve bought me boxes of chocolate and to everyone for all the enthusiastic feedback. It keeps me going.

Real science is not afraid of debate.

Like predictable performing poodles, no doubt some who pretend to be concerned about the environment will find the time to question my motivations (as if that changes Earth’s climate somehow). Apparently some ‘idealists’ can’t imagine anyone working for free for a cause they believe in passionately. It’s hard to believe I’m just as dedicated and sincere as all those greenie bloggers eh? Ironically, I’m just like them, except—I can reason.

Even if I had been paid, it makes no difference to the graphs from NASA. The hypocrisy is rich.
No one expects NGO office bearers to work for free, and when funded-Greenpeace-activists publish reports, no one shrilly dismisses the science because it’s produced by an organization that benefits from inflating crises.

I will be arranging an Australian print run in the next week, which will be distributed by Max Rheese at The Australian Climate Science Coalition, and in NZ by Terry Dunleavy at the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition. Heartland have offered to give me some copies from the Australian print run, which I will make available for a small fee to help recoup some costs. Many people have emailed me asking for a hard copy and I will be in touch when the handbook is ready. I will also offer bulk class sets for schools. But there won’t be many extra copies, so email me now if you want some and I’ll make sure the print run is big enough to include you. (Use joanne AT joannenova.com.au).

Each time you read a sentence about skeptics ‘muddying’ the debate—recognize it for what it is—an arrogant claim that the public are too dumb to follow the science.

Thank you
Thanks to Heartland, and thanks especially to that generous, anonymous donor who is doing what the government and the would-be journalists ought to be doing—providing some balance in the public debate on an issue which is supposedly “The Greatest Threat Humanity Faces”.  If we face such a potential catastrophe, how can it be unhelpful to describe the basic science? The 800 year lag, the log absorption, the satellite temperatures are all non-controversial. And if the missing hot spot had been found it wouldn’t be controversial either, it’d be in school text books.

I say, if the evidence is so well established then convince us. Real science is not afraid of debate. The global warming hot-heads hate the light of day, and call basic facts ‘misinformation’, because it makes their job of producing propaganda much more difficult if the public know the real inconvenient truths (as opposed to the inaccurate, irrelevant ones).

Notice the skeptics are not the ones trying to silence the other side? We object to censorship, even of those who have different views. We know that if we get open discussion, we win. Let the government patsies speak.

Each time you read that skeptics are ‘muddying’ the debate—recognize it for what it is—it’s an arrogant claim that the public are too dumb and too easily confused to understand the science. If people providing scientific information are ‘dangerous’, then ipso facto—the public need protection from what—the facts? All hail our great saviors, the IPCC, the false prophets who’ve come to save us from the need to think for ourselves.

We realists have news for the lap-dogs and yap-hounds of bureaucracy and bankers. The people are too smart to be fooled by bluster and confusion.

Political correctness is NOT scientific correctness.

Long live independent thought and free speech.

Heartlands Distribution Plan for The Skeptic’s Handbook

Audience				       Total
Academics (Heartland policy advisors)	137
Black Churches				25,962
Business and civic leaders (H4)		448
Corporate leaders 			500
Donors and potential donors		3,316
ECN subscribers			        2,640
Elected officials - state and local 	16,000
Elected officials - Federal 		791
Environment Journalists			850
K-12 private school principals		22,700
K-12 charter school principals		3,482
North Carolina opinion leaders		2,538
Petition signers			        30,000
Public school board presidents		13,900
James Taylor				1,000
Jay Lehr				        1,000
Think tank leaders - conservative 	257
Think tank leaders - liberal		1,507
Trustees of colleges and universities	20,253
NY Conference				1,000
Inventory				        2,000
----------------------------------------------------------
Total					150,281

About Heartland

Heartland takes a lot of flack for a non-profit group. Note that 84% of their funding come from individuals and foundations and that no donor gives more than 5% of their total budget. For years they published their donor list, but other NGO’s did not follow suit. For the most part, people who attack Heartland are advertising the fact they can’t fault the science. Ironically, even if people can’t reason or think for themselves, Heartland and I both fight for their right to speak freely and avoid strangulation-by-taxation.


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50 comments to Skeptics Handbook spreads en masse: 150,000 copies!

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    Phillip Bratby

    Congratulations Joanne. Voluntary work brings its own reward. Even if it’s just the satisfaction of a job well done. But in this case, you are doing a fantastic job of bringing forth the truth and we all appreciate your efforts.


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    I am glad to read of such good news.

    It feels good doesn’t it?

    YEAH!


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    I am going to post this at the GWS blog.To let more people know about your handbook.


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    Steve Schapel

    Brilliant news, Joanne. Congratulations!


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    Rod Smith

    Welcome home Joanne. This is unexpected good news. Good work — and don’t let them get you down!


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    Jim

    Heartfelt congratulations. Well done. Brilliant.


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    geoff chambers

    Congratulations. I can’t match Heartlands’ generosity, but I got a plug in for your site in comments on an article by James Hansen in the British Guardian newspaper, recommending the Skeptics Handbook as the best short comprehensive summary of the sceptical position. And I mentioned the cartoons too. Great work. Keep it up.


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    David Walker

    Congratulations!

    Too bad I couldn’t make the conference in NYC, though I wanted to. There is so much dirt that I cannot share online that I’d like to sit down and spill.


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    Mike Davis

    Congratulations.


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    Andrew Simpson

    Congratulations, Joanne.

    Please make sure you send copies to Kevin and Penny!


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    Magnus

    Congratulations! (I hope that you can cope with the probable accusations that you’re now connected to the …heavy smoking habits lobbyists of the huge tobacco industry, etc… :/ )


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    Steve Schapel

    Andrew,

    I realise your comment was tongue in cheek. However, I think it does reflect a common problem. If the rationalist viewpoint comes naturally to you, it is so easy to assume that the AGW alarmists will change their minds “if only” they look at the facts. But I’m afraid that reality is not like that. Those whose positions are entrenched will just reject out of hand any information that is even vaguely challenging. Sending “The Skeptics Handbook” to Penny would be a criminal waste of resources.

    On the other hand, a copy to New Zealand MP Rodney Hide wouldn’t go amiss.


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    Anne-Kit Littler

    Spot on, Steve! Your comment brought to mind this great quote:

    “I know that most men*, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives.” – Leo Tolstoy

    *) 19th century semantics. We’ll include Penny Wong and other females in this!


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    Excellent news, Joanne. A book for children is exactly what we need here in the UK. The government have distributed Al Gore’s AIT to all secondary schools. It would be great to send out your book too. Are there any plans for the UK?


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    No Derek, at the moment there are no plans for the UK, but if anyone wants to suggest it to a group or donor there, I’m keen to help.

    Note that The Skeptics Handbook is aimed at policymakers, journalists and bloggers. After years of explaining science, I noticed that if I explain something well enough for a 9 year old to understand it, the light goes on for a lot of the adults too. I take it as a compliment that people like yourself mention that it’s also appropriate for children…


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    Big thanks Joanne. I’ve been on the case for around 4 years, lately on the Daily Telegraph blog site. It has taken a shift in weather to get the public conscious to question the presumption. I hope many read your work that gives a lot of answers.
    Heartland has this page:
    http://www.heartland.org/books/PDFs/SkepticsHandbook.pdf
    Perhaps this should be read in conjunction: UN Infects Science with Cancer of Global Warming (1.1Mb PDF) http://icecap.us/images/uploads/EDBLICKRANT.pdf
    Thank you again for your publication and the effort that you put into it!


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    Brian Valentine

    Hey Kids –

    That stuff about the polar bears getting hurt because of CO2 in the air, and all that preaching from Mr Gore –

    is ALL WRONG, and if you live in a Western-aligned country other than Czechoslavakia, then your PM or your President is wrong about all that too – as well as many members of your Parliament or Congress of Representatives.

    And if your teacher or your friends tell you that isn’t right – then give them the pamphlet from Miss Joanne, and ask them to tell you, why Miss Joanne is wrong.

    No one has been able to do it yet!


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    wilbert robichaud

    The The Skeptics Handbook should be part of the school system. Take a Look at what our kids have as a science book. We as parents have no say what is acceptable teaching when it comes to Global warming.

    http://www.bcscience.com/bc10/pgs/links_u1.html

    ” In the coming decades, our country is going to be transformed by climate change. According to Don MacIver, Director of the Adaptation and Impacts Research Group at Environment Canada in Toronto, there will be no part of Canadian life that won’t be affected by climate change. In this 54 minute audio Quirks and Quarks broadcast, we ask Canadian climate scientists to look ahead to 2050, to paint us a picture of what our country will look like as it’s being transformed.”
    This is Not education it is Indoctrination.


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    Brian Valentine

    I agree wholeheartedly, Wilbert.

    To me, this is indistinguishable from Communist indoctrination (and therefore it is Communism; a substance indistinguishable from water is water, for example).

    No one seems particularly concerned about that – but one day they will be, I assure you; and why must we face the agony of this discovery, needlessly?


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    GaryL

    Congratulations Joanne! The Skeptics Handbook is one of the most well written, easy to understand discussions of the concept of AGW in it’s context as a fraud and junk science. I have shown it to a number of people myself and plan to expose more.

    As I read in one of the comments here a couple of months back, the AGW proponents ignore or dismiss your work at their peril – we all appreciate everything you do.


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    MattB

    GaryL – that was my comment cheers:)


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    Brian Valentine

    An authoritative source on Soviet Communism agrees with me – this “carbon indoctrination” nonsense is indeed, Communism

    http://english.pravda.ru/print/world/americas/107272-carbon_communism-0


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    Rod Smith

    I think this quote reinforces what some folks here have had to say.

    “Today’s scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality.“ – Nikola Tesla, 1934

    Tesla had the right idea. So does Joanne.


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    henric

    Dear joanne,

    the sceptics handbook is excellent, I would like to translate it into german! Please give me the ok! It must be a school book for all kids. The misinformation in Germany is eminent. Let’s fight for true science and against Gore propaganda!

    You did a great job, Thank you

    Henric


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    MattB

    Rod – I have a feeling that Tesla was talking about Einstein…. i mean Tesla was a smart cookie no doubt about it. I note he was in favour of eugenics, and was a vegetarian because of the barbaric acts of killing animals, and the inefficiency of meat farming when millions globally starved. I’m surprised you choose him as a hero;) Or is it jsut because the quote sounds good:)


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    Rod Smith

    MattB: #28

    He may have been commenting directly about Einstein, but I notice he uses the word “scientists” in the plural. My philosophy is, “If the shoe fits, wear it.”

    I would think this especially applies to those whose philosophy seems to be, “If the data doesn’t match our model output, then change the data.”


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    Brian Valentine

    If the “carbon reduction programs” advocated by the environmental kooks don’t bear the hallmarks of eugenics, then I don’t know what does


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    MattB

    Can I get a signed copy?


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    Andrew Simpson

    MattB (comment #33),

    I think secretly you are a sceptic!


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    elvis

    Sounds just like Elvis. Hell yeah ! Don’t I look cool ? Global warming is just a communist plot. I wanna buy five copies for my mama. Strange fruit indeed.


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    Brian Valentine

    If you don’t think the one-world government advocated by the UN isn’t Communism then what would you call it, Elvis?

    And – strangely enough, the one world government to be created would indeed turn Western-aligned countries into pre-civilisation tribal units. Unless it is possible to run autos, factories, lorries, rail trains, and building heat all on Solar Power.

    [It seems possible enough if one consumes enough hallucinogen it appears.]

    Do you have any significant evidence otherwise, Elvis?

    Or are you just singing in the wind today without an audience?


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    MattB

    Andrew – lets just say I dare to tread where other warmists do not… and who knows where it will lead me;)


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    [...] Handbook” that the notorious Heartland Institute is helpfully printing 150,000 copies of for distribution across the US including 850 journalists, 26,000 schools, “19,000 leaders and [...]


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    [...] my ‘Profits of Doom’ is the best simple introduction to global warming science. But Joanne Nova’s Skeptics’ Handbook is entertaining reading, and a very useful guide to debate with Chicken Littles. var addthis_pub [...]


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    You are so damn right, science should be put under the political correct umbrella. That nearly all evil comes from politicians, who cares? I guess we just do not have to wait for “goodspeack” to be there it is. Isn’t that double plus ungood?


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    [...] Skeptics Handbook spreads en masse: 150,000 copies! Quote: [...]


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    RoyHogue

    My own field is Computer Science, but before that I was an Engineering major and have some knowledge in chemistry, physics and math so I have no trouble understanding the basic arguments, pro and con. I received your, “The Skeptic’s Handbook,” courtesy of the Heartland Institute and it’s a breath of fresh air. It will help me make the argument against AGW as I do at every chance I can get.

    However, I became an AGW skeptic immediately upon hearing that the matter was decided and no more debate was possible. Quite simply, science is not like that. Such a position is evidence of a closed mind at the very best. Their own attitude shoots them down to any honest scientist in any field.


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    KazzJazz

    Keep up the great work Joanne. I found out about your great work from Dr. Jay Lehr who was speaking in Sydney with Prof. Bob Carter. It was very interesting and informative. I now have the tools and knowledge to speak intelligently about the debate to my warm friends who never give me straight answers to my sceptical questions.


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    danappaloupe

    How much money did you receive from the Heartland Institute for those 150,000 copies? Is it considered income?


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    Tel

    Probably totally off topic, but it forms the basis of comparison with the Skeptics Handbook so here it is…

    I found the “Climate Change Literacy brochure” at this address:

    http://climate.noaa.gov/education/pdfs/ClimateLiteracyPoster-8.5×11-March09FinalLR.pdf

    It is the result of a Bill Clinton presidential initiative with the support of US Congress and their website claims that they have the support of 13 US government departments. More about the initiative here:

    http://globalchange.gov/about

    When I open page 2 of the “Climate Change Literacy brochure” I read the following:

    For at least the last million years, our world has experienced cycles of warming and cooling that take approximately 100,000 years to complete. Over the course of each cycle, global average temperatures have fallen and then risen again by about 9°F (5°C), each time taking Earth into an ice age and then warming it again. This cycle is believed associated with regular changes in Earth’s orbit that alter the intensity of solar energy the planet receives.

    The document does not make it easy to track the source of this information, and quite possibly they have multiple sources. However the ice core data shows a peak-to-peak temperature range of closer to 11°C making the above figure seem small by half. Possibly they have evidence of zero temperature swing at the equator so it averages out with the poles, or possibly they measure temperature range in a different manner to the way most people do (the biggest value less the smallest value is the range).

    You can see the ice core data here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ice_Age_Temperature.png

    (with annoying backwards time axis) or see Joanne’s graph on this blog.

    On page 11 of the “Climate Change Literacy brochure”, I see:

    Natural processes that remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere operate slowly when compared to the processes that are now adding it to the atmosphere. Thus, carbon dioxide introduced into the atmosphere today may remain there for a century or more. Other greenhouse gases, including some created by humans, may remain in the atmosphere for thousands of years.

    As has been pointed out elsewhere in this blog (will search for exact reference if anyone has trouble finding it), the actual measurements of the lifespan of human created CO2 in Earth’s atmosphere tend to be around 10 to 20 years.

    Two very suspicious numbers in a relatively short document, and neither of them provides any reference or source (so even Wikipedia would not accept research of this poor calibre).

    It took 13 government departments to make this! I shudder at how much money was spent :-(


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    danappaloupe

    The Heartland Institute receives money from the tobacco industry, employs former tobacco execs, and has denied the harm caused by second hand smoke. The tobacco industry is the most shameless group of people in existence when it comes to intentionally suppressing and denying research that is bad for business. Not that I blame them, selling cancer is not easy.
    Similar conflicts of interest exist with Exxon Mobile. Call it an ad hominem criticism, etc, but it is a serious conflict of interest. You have sold 160,000 copies of your handbook, 150,000 to The Heartland Institute. ExxonMobile has been donating around $100,000 every year… how much did they (Heartland) pay you? I don’t see how you are not indirectly getting money from big oil. And kudos for that.. I wish I could cash in on big oil also.

    I notice you conveniently left out Heartland’s record of support from and for the interests of large corporations in your “About” section.


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    Tel

    http://joannenova.com.au/2009/03/skeptics-handbook-spreads-en-masse-150000-copies/

    For those who are wondering, I will not, and have not received any payment for my work or costs. I did not ask for any, nor was any offered. Heartland approached me with a request for permission to print the Handbook, which I was happy to give.

    May I recommend a research tool?

    http://www.google.com.au/intl/en/about.html


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    danappaloupe

    As far as I can tell this site is not a not-for-profit, or non-profit venture. Maybe the structure is different in Australia, but in the US any organization that is set up as nonprofit identifies themselves as some form of a 501(c) organization. This website is a .com.
    I am only asking because the financial and legal classification of this site is not explained.


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    From where you guys get so correct info , i can’t even imagine


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    First, Rolf Harris has to change the words of ‘Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport’, now ‘Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree’ has succumbed to the tide of political correctness:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/sep/02/australian-school-gay-kookaburra-song

    Some American teachers want to drop ‘Huckleberry Finn’ because it contains ‘that word’, despite the scene where Huck seriously decides to go to hell rather than betray his friend back into slavery.


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    [...] Tai ne pirmas kartas, kai šis institutas bando paveikti mokymą apie klimato kaitą. 2009 metais jis išplatino 150 000 Joanne'os Nova'os knygos Skeptiko instrukcija (The Skeptic's Handbook) kopijų. Pasak Nova'os internetinio puslapio, tarp gavėjų buvo 14 000 JAV viešųjų mokyklų tarybų narių. [...]


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    [...] Tai ne pirmas kartas, kai šis institutas bando paveikti mokymą apie klimato kaitą. 2009 metais jis išplatino 150 000 Joanne’os Nova’os knygos Skeptiko instrukcija (The Skeptic’s Handbook) kopijų. Pasak Nova’os internetinio puslapio, tarp gavėjų buvo 14 000 JAV viešųjų mokyklų tarybų narių. [...]


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