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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The Skeptics Handbook II

Climate Money Paper



Bankers, lawyers, investors disappointed: shucks

Hopes for carbon hub in jeopardy

The Australian – Full story here.  Note who is protesting at the slow delivery of an ETS….

AUSTRALIA’S ambitions to establish itself as an Asian carbon trading hub risk being dashed because of delays in the emissions trading scheme….

This was the assessment of bankers, lawyers and investors yesterday at the second Carbon Markets Expo on the Gold Coast. The expo has experienced a sharp decline in delegates this year, with numbers down from 1200 in its inaugural year to 750…

“As much as people talk about Australia creating a new carbon finance hub, I don’t think it will happen,” said Optim Legal’s Cameron Kelly, a lawyer specialising in carbon markets and credits. “If the CPRS does not get up, we’ll miss the boat.”

So a lawyer is afraid we’ll miss the boat. Which boat? That would be the boat-full of money from Australian workers that’s headed for major international banks, right?

(Isn’t that the kind of boat we would want to catch, but with a tactical nuclear sub and an armed SWAT team?)


Six words to expose the scam

After two years of distilling this down, it’s come to me that it only takes six words:

Banks want us to trade carbon

Banks want us to trade carbon.

Years from now historians will write about gullible leaders who go down in history as the ones who sold their nations to Goldman Sachs. Fools who thought they might look important trying to save the planet, but who instead were negligent, ignoring the science and slavishly committing their productive workers to pay tribute to a parasitic layer of financial houses.

Just as Woodrow Wilson came to bitterly regret setting up the US Federal Reserve. Josiah Stamp (1880-1941, Director of the Bank of England) warned us.


Subprime carbon is coming

There are people out there who manufacture money from nothing. Literally. The rest of the world has to earn it, but some are in it from the start–where money is created from the ether.

Banking is not a secret but no one tells you how it works… it’s hard to get your head around it, but if everyone understood, some aspects would be outlawed tomorrow (just like they used to be).

Greens and bankers make strange bedfellows. The bankers know where the Greens are coming from, but the Greens need to find out why bankers, “the paper aristocracy”, are so keen to save the planet. It’s an unholy alliance.


Can you help?

With Copenhagen coming up, we are close to a crunch point. To reach a wider audience I need things like copyright free photos for example. It would help people put this in perspective and understand what we mean when we ask for empirical evidence. I’m putting together another skeptics handbook right now as well as some articles. Things are urgent. Once legislation is in place it will be very very hard to unwind.

As well as photographs, we need translators, and Adobe photoshoppers. Thanks!

[Photo 1 (right): No I'm  not asking for banners, but in the spirit of grassroots action this is Greg Balle and I painting our 8 metre banner in Bali 2007.]


Despite propaganda, 30% of Australians aren’t fooled

The Question: Do increasing amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere pose an unacceptable risk of a catastrophic change in earth’s temperature in the future?

Of 1022 people polled, 55% agreed and 31% opposed (including the 19% who strongly opposed). Nearly half, or 45% are not convinced a catastrophe is on the way due to carbon dioxide. Source: OnlineOpinion

My sense is that the curve of opinion on this complex science is the inverse of what you would expect. Normally on a complex scientific topic,  the most common answer would be neither agree nor disagree (or don’t know), and the strong opinions would taper off like a bell curve with few people being sure either way. Instead opinions are polarized. “Catastrophic” is strong language. One side here is passionately wrong.

46 % of Australians surveyed believe the Emissions Trading Scheme should be delayed.

With 3000 times as much funding supporting the side with professional PR teams, the endless repetition of the assumption that man-made carbon dioxide causes warming is becoming a liability in itself. The more the advocates for action whitewash, the more people grow suspicious. They more they bully, the more people get a gut feeling that [...]

Two days to go to The Cinematic Tea Party

Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer have made a desperately needed and polished documentary. Once again, as resistance to the one-sided coverage of the greenhouse crisis grows we can marvel at the determination of people to find a new way to spread the word that there is another side to the story. Once again, grass-roots citizens rise up to fight the witchdoctors who promise to save us from their own exaggerated threats. The indomitable human spirit shines, but sadly so does the destructive power of ideology without rational debate.


Environmentalists who value science over ideology

Over the last ten years I’ve abandoned all the green groups that I was a member of, because they failed to use logic and reason and appeared more religious than scientific, so I’m delighted to have found one that holds as it’s first priority that “policies are set and decisions are made on the basis of facts, evidence and scientific analysis.” Say hello to The Australian Environment Foundation (AEF).

I’m speaking next Tuesday at their annual conference in Canberra, “Environmentalism: A Climate of Conflict”. [Link ]


Australian conservatives get gift opportunity: wreck it

Australian conservatives implode — the suppressed majority rebel

In an extraordinary development, it’s now publicly known and beyond any doubt that most of our conservative’s in opposition do not want an ETS (Emissions Trading Scheme) before Copenhagen.

But our opposition leader wants an ETS, and has put his job on the line to get it. The Government wants to start negotiations in a week, or else they will “dissolve parliament” (which is not quite as scary as it sounds).

It’s not obvious which way this will go. One state conservative branch has called the bluff, and The Nationals (the junior partners in conservative politics) have made it clear they will not vote for the ETS. The main conservative party in Australia is fracturing because intimidation and bullying has suppressed real opinions.

No one is debating the science. Instead, the government bullies the opposition with election threats, and  the opposition leader responds by bullying the opposition too. This is not what democracy was supposed to be.

This is an international version of my shorter local OnLineOpinion Commentary


Turnbull’s crushing loss called a “win?”

Is this the same conference? One newspaper reports a “win” for Turnbull, while another calls it “a slap in the face.”

Below, The Australian reports that our opposition leader won a concession from his party–yet it’s hardly a win. His party (or at least the WA State branch) clearly don’t want him to agree to an Emissions Trading Scheme before Copenhagen. Their “concession” was that he’s allowed to …um, talk about the details of the scheme that he can’t agree too. What Turnbull wanted and desperately needed was a concession that he could pass the ETS legislation in some form, and clearly he hasn’t got that. The real headline should be:

“Malcolm Turnbull wins meaningless concession from WA Liberals.”


Science communication pollution

Here’s an example of SciComm Pollution — an article that leaves the world slightly less enlightened than they would have been had it not existed. It’s also proof that the media blackout works so well that even theoretically educated people like, say, an archaeologist, are unaware of basic uncontroversial scientific truths.  Here’s Michael Berry, in the Salt Lake Tribune, having trouble reasoning, missing the point, being fully a decade out of date, and acting unwittingly as a public relations agent for a giant  bureaucracy.

He tries to claim Senator Orrin Hatch and The Skeptics Handbook are wrong on the Vostok ice cores.

“He (Hatch) then misinterprets the 420,000 years of glacial and interglacial stages to indicate that temperature is the forcing factor for rises in CO2, reversing the actual causal mechanism.”

Here, Berry gets it 100% wrong. Temperature is the forcing factor, and even the IPCC agrees. Senator Hatch is referring to the way carbon rises and falls after temperatures in ice core records. Berry implies that Hatch “misinterprets” two lines that clearly rise and fall with an obvious lag. Instead it’s Berry who misinterprets the graph. Carbon can’t control temperature from [...]

The main “cause” of global warming is air conditioners. p7

The headline is tongue in cheek, but the message is serious.

Look at these pictures of NOAA’s U.S. temperature stations. These thermometers on the ground have recorded faster temperature rises than sensors on satellites and weather balloons.

Lucky heat doesn’t rise off asphalt…

Things may have looked different at this site in 1909.