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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The Skeptics Handbook II

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Finally! The newly revised and edited ClimateGate Timeline (1.1)

The all new second edition of the ClimateGate Timeline is finally here. This is One Spectacular Poster of the ClimateGate scandal, covering 3 Decade. Behind the scenes, a team of five has diligently worked for hours and hours, checking and double checking quotes and references, adding new information and polishing this remarkable work. [...]

A moment of truth in the State of the Union?

Mark From the Hooterville gazette has spotted a very telling moment in Obama’s speech when the crowd laughs. Watch it closely.Without being in the room it’s hard to know who was laughing, and why. A year ago we could have assumed that laughter after a line about “overwhelming evidence” was really the crowd mocking those who don’t believe. But this is different.

“I know there are those who disagree with the overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change….        but….     but…      but here’s the thing, even if you doubt the evidence, providing incentives for clean energy and efficiency is the right thing to do.”

I watched it a few times to be sure I wasn’t misreading it. But the clues are clear. Watch Obama, he is not expecting to say a funny line. His response to the rising laugh tells us the laugh was not part of the plan. A good speaker (and he’s polished) knows intuitively that the way to kill a laugh is to speak over the top of it and interrupt the “moment”. (Professional speakers are coached to pause after delivering a scripted line that’s intended for comic effect). But tellingly, [...]

Deltoid creates some sci-comm pollution

Deltoid (aka Tim Lambert) tries to attack Monckton (again). The bottom line? Deltoid agrees that Monckton’s calculations are correct, and accuses him of getting a figure wrong (which Monckton got  right). As per form, there is plenty of bluster, and minimal substance. Deltoid repeats over and over that there are lots of mistakes and they’re all “important”, but cannot demonstrate any beyond a squabble over the exact phrasing of whether the IPCC included a formula or not. (It’s debateable, but it’s not important.)

Monckton’s letter to Rudd was big-picture stuff, yet Lambert avoids the heavy-weight items–the falling credibility of the IPCC, the starving poor, the cost-benefit analysis. Deltoid attacks phraseology, job titles, funding, but not the crux of Monckton’s points.

To put some perspective on it: the IPCC has grossly exaggerated climate sensitivity, ignored valid criticisms, and repeatedly used non-peer reviewed references (when it has repeatedly claimed to do otherwise). IPCC lead-authors are under investigation, have withheld data, conspired to delete data, and selectively ignored 75% of the global temperature record because it didn’t give them the “right” answer. (See the four Gates of the IPCC, and Horrifying examples of data manipulation.)

To put a pointier perspective [...]

Horrifying examples of deliberate tampering

Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse for the cult of the carbon scare.

Now we need to ask if the world has even warmed? I’ve always said, “global warming is real”, but the recent exposés of shocking corruption in science have made me start to wonder whether even that is true.

Today a study by Joe D’Aleo and Anthony Watts, was announced by the Science and Public Policy Institute (SPPI).

From their media release:

An extensive survey of the literature and data regarding ground and sea surface temperature records uncovers deception through data manipulation, reports the Science and Public Policy Institute (SPPI).

Authors veteran meteorologists Joe d’Aleo and Anthony Watts analyzed temperature records from all around the world for a major SPPI paper, Surface Temperature Records – Policy-driven Deception? The startling conclusion that we cannot tell whether there was any significant “global warming” at all in the 20th century is based on numerous astonishing examples of manipulation and exaggeration of the true level and rate of “global warming”.

That is to say, leading meteorological institutions in the USA and around the world have so systematically tampered with instrumental temperature data that it [...]

The four “gates” of the IPCC

First there was Climate Gate, showing that the peer review process has descended into a criminal farce of scientific malpractice where adjusting and hiding data was de-rigueur. Hello Fraud. ClimateGate also spread to the US, where 75% of worldwide data is systematically ignored or “adjusted” until it tells the right story.

Then there was PachauriGate, showing that the man in charge of the IPCC was chairman of boards of companies that profit handsomely as the scare-factor is ramped up.

Along comes GlacierGate: about the IPCC “accidentally” using a WWF report instead of peer reviewed science papers.  After calling a 60 page Indian Govt report on glaciers “voodoo science” they were forced to apologize for that “one paragraph that was wrong”. Then Donna LeFramboise in just one day of hunting, found 16 other references in the IPCC  4th report to the “scientific journal” called “WWF”. Proving that really, the big safety-mechanism of the IPCC reputation was not in its exhaustive reviews but was in the way it made its documents so big, so dull and so unreadable, that hardly anyone actually … reads them. Call it the thousand-page-cloak-of-invisibility.

Camouflage for poor science, poor standards, bad logic, and too [...]

Monckton replies to Prof Andy Pitman

 

Prof Andy Pitman

Prof Andy Pitman, lead author for the IPCC and Co-Director of the Climate Change Research Centre at the University of New South Wales, claims skeptics are winning because they are so well funded and tell lies. (And don’t we Australian taxpayers feel good about funding his career so he can throw baseless insults at polite volunteers?*) The ABC Interview is here. Case Smit took issue and wrote to Pitman in reply:

” I am one of the two retirees organising the Australian Tour of Lord Monckton. We receive not one dollar of funding from corporations or government! Nor have any other sceptics (true scientists) that I know.

We have underwritten the tour with our own money and are in the process of recouping the costs with donations which, so far have come from individuals who, like us, look into the science of global warming nd have come to the conclusion that humankind’s carbon dioxide contribution has nothing to do with it. Donations are coming in from as little as $10 from supporters of the Tour.

I could write a lot more, but I’m busy organising Monckton functions which [...]

Media ownership and the Rupert Murdoch tipping point?

Rupert Murdoch, 2009

Three years ago Rupert Murdoch was promising to make News Corporation carbon neutral. He implored his staff to personally reduce their footprint, and to be more creative in convincing the world to act too. He created websites specifically to help spread the message about the need to reduce carbon emissions. And he even bought a hybrid car for himself.

Today Quadrant magazine reports what many of us have been speculating behind the scenes: Murdoch has realized the IPCC and the “consensus” are fake.

The Australian has performed best in giving space to sceptics and dissenters but has stuck to the save the planet line in its editorials, some say because Murdoch said so publicly. Yet in a personal communication with Murdoch he indicated his scepticism to me. Last Friday’s editorial moved in the right direction when it called on politicians to question the science used by the IPCC but it has yet to endorse the call for an independent inquiry by a number of Australian scientists.

http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/doomed-planet/2010/01/des-moore

Rupert Murdoch is unarguably one of the most powerful men on the planet. This is an edited extract of what he said in May 2007 in the first ever [...]

Hansen barracking for lawless destruction and the end of civilization

Civilization is the problem. Hansen recommends a book that incites violent sabotage, and promotes illegal activities to bring about an end to industrial civilization. Is this kind of book legal in the US?

James Hansen has called for industrial sabotage and defended lawbreakers before, but did he really read all of Keith Farnish’s words before he endorsed the book “Times Up”?

Farnish has put together a frightening compilation. He tried non-violent protest with Greenpeace for five years, but then he changed tactics. He got angry, and recommends you do too:

“Constructive Anger, on the other hand, does achieve something useful – even if it may not be exactly what was originally intended. For instance, if all the evidence you have to hand suggests that removing a sea wall or a dam will have a net beneficial effect on the natural environment then,  however you go about it – explosives, technical sabotage or manual destruction – the removal would be a constructive action. If this action was fuelled by anger then your use of explosives involved Constructive Anger.”

The four key rules of sabotage

1. Carefully weigh up all the pros and cons, and then ask yourself, “Is it [...]

How to create a crisis graph in 6 simple steps

One of the main arguments from the IPCC is that essentially, we can’t explain temperature changes any other way than with carbon forcings. This is matched with impressive pink and blue graphs that pose as evidence that carbon is responsible for all the recent warming.

This is argumentum ad ignorantiam — essentially they say: we don’t know what else could have caused that warming, so it must be carbon. It’s a flawed assumption.

It’s easy to create impressive graphs, especially if you actively ignore other possible causes, like for example, changes in cloud cover and solar magnetic effects.

1.

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The new threat of a weak-Green carbon deal

The shifting ground in the climate debate means that now some of the Greens may realize they need to set their sights lower and accept a weaker ETS deal or get none at all.

Where before they would not accept Rudds proposals because they were too ineffective, they are now suggesting it’s possible. (I’d call them the “pragmatic Greens” except that the need for an ETS is based on out-dated science, stone age logic and fraudulent malpractice. )

The government needs 7 votes in the Senate. If they get the 5 Green votes, they need 2 others. There are rumours the last two votes could come from the two Liberals who crossed the floor to vote for the ETS in December (and against their new leader wishes and against the majority of their party).

The email campaign was a major success in November and December. I’m still hearing about it from members of Parliament. It burned an impression on Senators and their staffers that thousands of emails arrived, each one crafted individually, not “cut n paste automated emailling”. They had not seen anything like it before. They are still going through them.

These two Senators need to know how you [...]

Gatecrashed by the Lord (Monckton)

What more could a skeptic ask? We’d organized our first ever skeptics social event, to celebrate that last month Australia missed an emissionary bullet. Forty people met, honored to be able to talk to the only man in Australian parliament with a PhD in science–Dennis Jensen. There were toasts all round for his insight and courage in speaking out years ago, when hardly anyone else did.

Then in one of those few moments in life when the truly unlikely happens, Christopher Monckton appeared. Having just flown from the UK to Sydney, arriving only this morning on the other side of the country, he and his wife Juliet had flown to Perth for a meeting tomorrow (an extra 4000 km each way). There was no other night this could have happened. The crowd were delighted.

Both Monckton and Jensen were in fine form.

I highly recommend connecting skeptics together. One of the rewards of working hard to expose the way science has been exploited is that I meet great people: independent thinkers, conscientious people, passionate and dedicated souls.

That’s one thing I’ll miss when every man and his pet fish knows how exaggerated the claims are for AGW–it won’t work as [...]

Droughts might not be due to carbon-dioxide, says CSIRO

Still in the theme of Shock!-The-Media-IS-Reporting-The-News: The Canberra Times announced on it’s front page that CSIRO is not so sure that droughts are due to increased carbon dioxide. Only a few months ago, they announced the exact opposite.

September 2009: A three-year collaboration between the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO has confirmed what many scientists long suspected: that the 13-year drought is not just a natural dry stretch but a shift related to climate change.

Jan 2010: One of the report’s co-authors, hydrologist David Post, told The Canberra Times there was ”no evidence” linking drought to climate change in eastern Australia, including the Murray-Darling Basin.

Back in September, this long study was based on the old trick of using climate models and “subtracting” the natural causes to see what’s left. It’s also known as “Argument from Ignorance”. Since we can’t predict the climate five years in advance, obviously there are factors or weightings in those climate models that aren’t right. Ruling out “what we know” doesn’t prove anything at all, except that there is a lot we don’t know.

When David Stockwell analysed climate models and Australian droughts, he found that random numbers were more likely to predict droughts successfully. [...]

Is the media awakening? GlacierGate gets traction.

The Sunday Times and The Australian both picked up the scandal of the IPCC claims that the Himalayan glaciers might melt by 2035.  The claim turned out to be based only on a WWF report, which in turn was based on a New Scientist article from 1999. The Australian story today was headline front page news: UN’s Blunder on Glaciers Exposed.

The rigorous IPCC methodology amounts to this:

Here’s the IPCC Quote from Chapter 10 of the Fourth Assessment Report:

Glaciers in the Himalaya are receding faster than in any other part of the world (see Table 10.9) and, if the present rate continues, the likelihood of them disappearing by the year 2035 and perhaps sooner is very high if the Earth keeps warming at the current rate. Its total area will likely shrink from the present 500,000 to 100,000 km2 by the year 2035 (WWF, 2005).

[...]

ClimateGate arrives in the US

BREAKING NEWS: Manipulated Datasets at NASA and NCDC

Once again, the audacity and brazen manipulation of scientific evidence is shocking. These are very serious allegations.

Thermometers moved from cold mountains to warm beaches; from Siberian Arctic to more southerly locations, and from pristine rural locations to jet airport tarmacs.

There were around 6000 thermometers 20 or 30 years ago in the global data set, but in 1989-1990, the number of thermometers were reduced to around 1,500. A new study shows a dramatic pattern of artificial adjustments in the way these thermometers were included or deleted. Jonathon Coleman announced the study results tonight on his blog and also in his broadcast (see below).

Apparently officials systematically left out colder thermometer recordings and kept in hotter data, and where there were empty points on the map, they “filled them in” with calculations instead of measurements. The data was homogenized, and the adjustments always increased the warming. This is the telltale sign of chicanery. This is how we know there were artificial adjustments. Normal scientific corrections are random, not all tending in one direction.

E.Michael Smith notes “When doing a benchmark test of the program, I found patterns in the input data from [...]

Consensus? What consensus?

How many scientists does it take to prove the debate is not over? More than 30,000 scientists have signed The Petition Project. More than 9,000 of them have PhDs (not that that proves anything about carbon, but it does prove something about the myth of “consensus”). The petition’s wording is unequivocal:

“There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.” Source: www.petitionproject.org

The Petition Project is funded by donations from individuals and run by volunteers. It receives no money from industry or companies. In late 2007, The Petition Project re-did the petition to verify names again.

AGW says: Everyone knows the petition is bogus and filled with duplicate and fake names.

Skeptics say: Name 10 fakes.

[...]

What does an Australian farmer have to do to make the news?

What has The Australian got against a destitute farmer? Compare their coverage of one farmers protest with other hunger strikers:

When a sex offender protesting his innocence went on a hunger strike, it only took 6 days for The Australian to write about it. Taiwan’s former president went on a hunger strike which was reported as it ended after 5 days. Serial killer Ivan Milat only had to wait a couple of days to make the Australian with a hunger strike that only lasted for five days all up, and its conclusion was noteworthy too.* When three Australian Tamils went on a hunger strike they made headlines after 3 days, and also here. Some Sri Lankan asylum seekers agreed to end their hunger strike after 2 days and the story was covered sympathetically.

This is not to detract from the seriousness of some of the above claimants. But compare the reportage about Peter Spencer who started his hunger strike on November 23, 2009. For 25 days there was not even a short note to alert other farmers or landholders that there was a hunger strike underway by an Australian citizen, on Australian soil.

It was Day 26, before [...]

Monckton & Plimer tour Australia: dates & venues

UPDATE 3: Extra  events in Perth and Sydney due to demand – see this latest post.! You must pre register to avoid disappointment for the Sydney final event on Friday. (download PDF!) The email to use is: ‘cool@exemail.com.au’ OR FAX: (02) 4861 2029

There is no one quite like Christopher Monckton, with his background in Latin classics, journalism, work for the Thatcher government,  and dogged persistence to analyze the numbers. Last year he spoke in New York, Washington, Copenhagen, and across Canada (and that’s just the ones I know of, off the top of my head). Monckton is a gem of a man, and this is a rare opportunity to see him in action. He’s been storming the world for years now, a constant thorn in Al Gore’s side. Monckton challenged Gore to debate in March 2007. Al Gore claims “he want’s to convince the world”, but he’s had almost three years and still can’t find a single day to explain the “overwhelming” evidence on TV with Monckton present.

Ian Plimer, Professor of Mining Geology at The University of Adelaide, has made a huge impact around the globe with his book Heaven and Earth which has gone into its [...]

The carbon market blinks — $130b trainwreck slows

For the last five years the carbon market has been doubling year after year. But in 2009, the exponential growth trajectory paused. Point Carbon issued a report this week estimating that the world wide market in carbon trading in 2009 totalled around $136 billion dollars, which is not much higher than the 2008 figure. After years of living in a rapacious bubble, prices are about 60% below the peaks of 2008, carbon traders are starting to peel out into other commodities, and the sails are looking decidedly flat on the Maxi Yacht known as Carbon-Credits Inc.

The size of the market in gigatons of carbon grew nearly 70% over 2008, but the falling prices meant the same amount of money churned through the system and the total dollars were very similar year on year.

How times have  changed. Back in May 2009, emissions traders were feeling confident that a US market for emissions would be approved. Not surprisingly, the low carbon prices and the non-event of Copenhagen mean that carbon traders are becoming frustrated. Some are even expanding into… markets that are based on real commodities like oil, gas, gold and steel. [Reuters]

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Investigative journalists work hard to… protect the government from the people?

We would hope that The Australian would stand up for … Australians. Instead our National masthead is not investigating the claims of an Australian farmer against our government, they’re not interviewing constitutional law experts, they’re interviewing his brother.

Peter Spencer is on Day 47 of a hunger strike and trying to get compensation for all farmers whose land was effectively expropriated. Journalist, Paul Maley could have investigated the veracity of the $10 billion dollar claim, but instead he tries to assess Peter’s mental health and personal finances. While these might be a relevant part of the big picture, the big-picture itself is missing.

“Family Financial dispute helped send hunger striker Peter Spencer Up Pole”

The Australian sub-heading is: “SERIOUS doubts have emerged about the case of Peter Spencer”,… but the serious doubts amount to a 40 year old story, and the fact that Peter owes money to his family, rather than to the banks. Serious? Not on the scale of billion dollar carbon commitments.

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The red tape protest has started

James Loring in Tasmania has had a great idea to support Peter Spencer. He took something known as “flagging tape”, added a scarecrow, and a slow moving sheep and created this message for the world to see.

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