JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).



The Skeptics Handbook

Think it has been debunked? See here.

The Skeptics Handbook II

Climate Money Paper


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GoldNerds

The nerds have the numbers on precious metals investments on the ASX



Suing the skeptics

Guest post by Anthony Cox on the legal side and on ABC bias

Anthony Cox and David Stockwell sent the letter below to the ABC in response to the article Climate change ‘brown wash’. They wrote:

“Dear sir, On the 27th July I sent you this e-mail:

“Dear sir,

On the 26th July, on Unleashed, an article by Kellie Tranter was published;

http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/stories/s2962929.htm

Since the article was very critical of the sceptical approach to anthropogenic global warming [AGW] it would be reasonable for a sceptical view to be published in response, especially in this election period. Accordingly I have attached a response entitled “suing the Sceptics” which was the theme of Ms Tranter’s piece. Details of the authors of the submitted article are here:

Anthony Cox, lawyer and secretary of The Climate Sceptics.

Dr David Stockwell, environmental scientist.

Regards

Anthony Cox”

I have yet to receive a response from you. The article, with some small typo corrections, is again attached. I can only repeat that, since Ms Tranter’s article was critical of the sceptics’ position, a reply is justified [...]

Our Climate! THE iPhone App for climate realists

UPDATED! It’s rocketing up the rankings

NEWS: Can you believe there are 570 Apps in the Canadian weather apps list! No neither can I.

But Our Climate has made it to number one

Iphone Our Climate

“The Our Climate App will prove to be an enduring tool for all open-minded individuals who yearn for the uncensored truth about the Earth’s weather-climate system.

Enjoy!”

Dr Willie Soon Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Our Climate

Behind the scenes a veritable who’s-who of the skeptical world has been working away on yet another way to reach people, especially young people.

For those of you with iphones, if you want the latest graphs, blog information, or answers to questions at the pub debate, there is an option from the iphone store with dozens of excellent articles of the right size, lots of pictures, graphs, quizes, world-wide polls, and more.

The skeptics community grows stronger through projects like this. Kudos to Lubos, and Willie Soon especially, as well as Richard Lindzen, Roy Spencer, Fred Singer, Henrik Svensmark, [...]

Australian warming trend adjusted UP by 40%

Ken has been a very busy man. Another soul in the dedicated army of volunteer auditors. He’s been going through the entire Australian High Quality Data Set as supplied by the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM). He’s been assisted by two readers from this site — Lance and Janama — and we’ll be looking to increase the team (see below).

In the State of the Climate  report, both  the BOM and CSIRO told us that “since 1960 the mean temperature in Australia has increased by about 0.7 °C. The long term trend in temperature is clear… ” but as usual, what they didn’t say was that the raw data since 1910 (not just from 1960) increased only 0.6°C.

The BOM claim their adjustments are random and neutral. Yet when Ken looked at the raw data from Australia’s 100 high quality rural sites, the adjustments increased the trend in the raw data by 40% — from a 0.6°C rise over 100 years, to 0.85°C over 100 years.

In an email to Ken, Dr David Jones, Head of Climate Monitoring and Prediction, National Climate Centre, Bureau of Meteorology, made a clear claim that the adjustments had no [...]

Hurricanes, storms take holiday too

Will a hotter world lead to more intense storms?

2010 might be on track to be the warmest ever (according to GISS), but right now, we may be about to set a new record of tropical storms — in inactivity. Ryan Maue tracks the global accumulated activity and reports that by the end of July we might break the record low we set last year.

Ryan N. Maue’s 2010 Global Tropical Cyclone Activity Update

July 15: If no additional ACE occurred in July, the 24-month global ACE total would be 1095 compared to last month at 1173. The previous 30-year low was 1091 set recently in September 2009. No lower values exist during the past 30-years.

Global and Northern Hemsiphere Tropical Cyclone Activity is near a record low

Looking at the National Hurricane Centre, it doesn’t seem like there is much activity on the way between now and the end of July.

Advisories issued for the North Atlantic, The East Pacific, The West Pacific, and the Indian Ocean are all the same:

There is no tropical storm activity for this region.

[...]

The Green exodus from the Big Scare

Video available on the CFACT site.

Another Green soul declares enough is enough. It’s a question of conscience.

Physicist Dr. Denis Rancourt is a former professor and environmental science researcher at the University of Ottawa (as green as they come), and has officially bailed out of the man-made global warming movement. He runs a radio show, and speaks with many activists and NGO’s around the world. He claims that the “activists in the developing world, who need to directly defend their own neighborhoods, they understand that this global warming thing is an invention.”

Climate Depot has released a video of Dr. Rancourt: Man-made global warming is nothing more than a “corrupt social phenomenon.” “It is as much psychological and social phenomenon as anything else” .

“I argue that by far the most destructive force on the planet is power-driven financiers and profit-driven corporations and their cartels backed by military might; and that the global warming myth is a red herring that contributes to hiding this truth. In my opinion, activists who, using any justification, feed the global warming myth have effectively been co-opted, or at best neutralized,” Rancourt said.

“Global warming is strictly an imaginary problem of the First [...]

Cap N trade? The zombie bill may not be dead

There are many ways to play the game, and many loopholes to push. Unfortunately there are all too many players who are willing to step outside the spirit of what Democracy is supposed to be about. The lame-duck session is a loophole. This is well written, though focuses only on the government-grab-for-tax, and not on the banker-benefits of trading…– Jo

Foxnews: Senate Energy Debate is Still all About Cap-and-Trade

Phil Kerpen A headline on Thursday screamed: “Democrats pull plug on climate bill.” Don’t believe it. It’s a diversionary tactic.

The Obama administration and Democratic congressional leadership, seeing their window for shoving the country to the hard left closing quickly, are intent on making one last major push for cap-and-trade. It starts with their “spill-response bill” or “energy bill,” but it’s really about cap-and-trade.

The irony is that the political genius of cap-and-trade was supposed to be that it hides a tax hike from the American people.

[...]

Gillards non-plan for the Climate

UPDATE: The more I think about this, the more sinister it seems. Gillard won’t put the policy on the table for all of us to debate, but she’ll get a quasi-mandate for an ETS by proxy. She’s playing both sides of the field. The Greens will assume the “citizens committee” will be convinced, they’ll be angry at the delay, but vote for the ALP anyway, the mainstream voter thinks they can  relax and worry about it later. The skeptics know that any committee can be whitewashed or biased, and Gillard has pretty much said an ETS is inevitable. Michael Cejnar in #7 is exactly right (read his comment).

What’s a politician to do to convince the masses? They’ve tried the panel of 2,500 so-called experts at the UN who spend five years writing 3,000 page reports. They’ve tried spending millions on advertising campaigns, prize winning documentaries, coloring in competitions in schools, and they’ve tried bullying, name-calling and endless rounds of repetition.

Now instead of convincing the masses, they’ll just “convince” 0.01%. Democracy be done with it.

By “moving forward”  to the Rudd summit of 2008 (or as Bolt points out, the Republican deliberative-poll farce of [...]

Another 10 of the Worst AGW papers: Part 3

Guest post by Cohenite

To natural born critics AGW is the gift that keeps giving. It would be cruel to say these papers all exhibit unworldly qualities because that is inevitable if your purpose is to generate a virtual reality with computer modeling. But, as the old saying goes, you have to be cruel to be kind; so some of these papers are speculative and unrealistic; others are eristic and the rest egregious in intent or execution. A scientific theory such as AGW is, like all human endeavours, only as good as its best examples; the following papers, all peer reviewed, represent the best of AGW. The papers are in no particular order, or lack thereof, of merit.

Part I and Part II of The Worst Papers according to Cohenite. Conversely: Ten of the best

[...]

Flashback: The rise of the unskeptical scientist

People from the How Arrogant Art Thy Name-calling thread were wondering what we call people who toss out “Denier.” I suggested that the best response to “denier” is just to point out they are name-calling thugs trying to stop people talking about the evidence.

That said, the discussion reminded me that I had another more sneaky, devious and comic response way back two days before ClimateGate broke, (and my web traffic numbers soared) and many people may have missed this post. Times have changed since then, and now even Pachauri is paying token lip service to the “value of skeptics”. But there are still plenty of people who want to disown the word skeptic because of the long PR campaign to slur it. I say that only makes it o-so-much more valuable. Let’s use their own PR campaign against them.

The rise of the unskeptical scientist

Nov 17, 2009: I’ve done it, I’ve finally solved the dilemma of how to refer to scientists who actively promote a crisis due to carbon, but can’t provide the evidence that carbon causes major warming. Not Team-AGW, not alarmist, a far better one has come to me.

Once upon a [...]

How arrogant art thy name-callers?

Ivar Giaevar

The guys at Popular Tech have done a Very Nice List. They’ve put together seven names of eminent scientists who are skeptical of man-made climate catastrophe, along with their stellar biographies and quotes. It tells us nothing about the climate, but before you write it off as just a fallacious appeal to authority, ponder that these eminent people are the same people that teenage tree-huggers would call “deniers”.

To see just how mindlessly puerile “denier” is, try the thought experiment of putting those-who-use-it in the same room as one of the more notable “deniers”.

Julia Gillard (the new PM downunder) used “denier” 11 times in one recent speech. So imagine she’s in a room talking with, say, Ivar Giaever. She studied arts and law, he got a PhD in theoretical physics two years before she was born, and won a Nobel Prize by the time she was nine. Picture him talking atmospheric physics and her telling him he’s a denier.

Julia Gillard, PM of Australia. Source: The Daily Telegraph

A Nobel doesn’t mean he’s right, but when Gillard says “Denier” she is referring to thousands of people including Freeman Dyson, Ivar Giaever (Nobel Prize), Robert Laughlin [...]

Finally! The long awaited Italian Translation

Click to download The Italian Translation of The Skeptics Handbook

Dario Buso has finally accomplished a task I’ve been looking forward too for a long time. The Italian Translation of The Skeptics Handbook is here ready to be sent to all your friends among the 62 million speakers of Italian around the world.

He has done a marvelous job of putting it all together, along with help on the in-depth and careful review work done by Guido Botteri and Patrick. It’s just another example of the remarkable productivity of exasperated people. Citizens who won’t let the half-truths and distortions stand unopposed.

As always these things take a team (all up, involving people in six countries).

Dario writes:

Guido and I would also like to mention the final review by Colonel Guido Guidi, an Italian Army weather forecaster who manages and presents some weather forecast programs on national RAI TV channel. Col. Guidi also keeps a very informative blog in Italy on the status of the global climate, as a skeptic of the AGW hypothesis. He’s our Anthony Watts “made in Italy”…

Guido’s Italian blog is Climate Monitor.

The 15th translation of The Skeptics Handbook.

[...]

Did GISS discover 30% more land in the Northern Hemisphere?

… UPDATED with GLOBAL values! The questions get bigger.  (See below) July 18th.

Frank Lansner has been a busy man, and he’s asking some very thought provoking questions.

The Northern Hemisphere has a ratio of 40% land to 60% oceans, and the Hadley Met Centre seems to use a similar ratio (NH HadCrut Series: 58% ocean, 42% land). But  Frank Lansner wondered why, when he graphed the GISS land-data-set alongside the combined-sea-surface-temperatures (CSST), GISS comes up with an “averaged” line that runs much closer to the land data set and not the sea surface set. If it were weighted 60:40 (ocean:land) the combined Northern Hemisphere line ought to run slightly closer to the ocean based temperatures.

So Lansner mixed the land and sea temperatures in different ratios and graphed them and an odd thing occurred. Perhaps there is some good reason for it, but the GISS NH average line is currently running close to a mix that could be almost 70% land, and only 30% ocean. Back in 1985 the NH Average was closer to the sea temps as would be expected. In fact as late as 1995, the NH line still ran at around 40% land area. But somewhere [...]

Abbreviations Page

I’ve added a page with a list of abbreviations, there’s a link to it in the sidebar on the top right. If you are looking for an abbreviation and can’t find it, or have a correction to make, please comment here so we can improve the page.

The “find things” list at the top right is becoming more organized and useful. (Yes, the social events page needs to be updated).

Find things INDEX ABBREVIATIONS ARCHIVES Links&Sources Latest Comments & News Guide for Comments Social Events

Thanks to both Bob, Rob and Barry who compiled the list. Sorry it’s taken so long to get it finished.

Abraham surrenders to Monckton. Uni of St Thomas endorses untruths.

John Abraham, University of St Thomas.

What do you do when someone speaks against your faith, sounds authoritative, well informed, and backs everything up with lots of evidence? If you’re sane, you change your mind.

If you are John P. Abraham, a lecturer in fluid mechanics at the University of St. Thomas, Minnesota, you write to a few select scientists distorting what your opponent said, and then collect the infuriated responses. Abraham went on to assemble a list of things Christopher Monckton didn’t say,  complained about things he didn’t cite (even if he did and it’s printed on his slides), pretended he couldn’t find sources (but didn’t take ten minutes to ask), and created a litany of communication pollution in an effort to denigrate Monckton’s character.

The untruths and fabrications have come back to bite him.

We’ve seen these tactics before. Tim Lambert (aka Deltoid) did a similar thing when he ambushed Monckton with quotes from Pinker that he arranged with emails he still hasn’t revealed. And when it comes to attacking things, graphs and arguments that weren’t made,  John Cook of SkepticalScience did the same with his attempt to rebut the Skeptics Handbook. What matters to the religious [...]

The ranks are splitting, tossing incantations as they go

We always knew Climategate would the test the cohesion of the “team”. The reputations of good greens, good journalists, and decent politicians (there are a few) are on the line. They have to draw a line somewhere, and six months later, a few more cracks in the wall are showing.

Even people who think we need action against CO2 are not convinced by the whitewashes. And for many of them, it’s not the ClimateGate emails themselves which pushed them over the edge, but the blatantly surreal nature of the so-called inquiries that don’t ask the basic questions or invite the key people.

Phrases about how the science is still settled (even though the scientists themselves might cheat) are like a pass-code that allows commentators to say something pointed against the tribal witchdoctors without getting too many nasty spells cast on them by the disciples.

Of course, in order to attack any part of the great facade, it’s important to recite the incantation against bullies. Phrases about how the science is still settled (even though the scientists themselves might cheat) are like a pass-code that allows commentators to say something pointed against the tribal witchdoctors without getting too many nasty spells [...]

The Climate Spectator joins the gravy train

Here we go again. I like Alan Kohler, the economic reporter on the nightly ABC news. He likes numbers, graphs and hard data. Yet here he is, setting up a new project which looks like it ‘s another climate clone site analyzing everything carbon-related in the harsh light of day except the assumption about climate “feedbacks” that the whole error cascade is based on. (This is the same assumption that the empirical evidence has shown was too high by a factor of six.) [See here for my latest demolition and  here where a Dr of Paleoclimate comes unstuck.]

The Business Spectator wrote so sagely and incisively about the Super Profits Tax, I’d love to think they would apply the same sharp brainpower to the issue of climate. But Kohler writes:

“We were initially despondent when the CPRS was kicked into the long grass by Kevin Rudd,…”

Despondent? Imagine them saying “Interest rates were raised and we were despondent?”

But Kohler and the other economic commentators have been caught watching the money instead of the reasoning (they’re watching the wrong money too, here’s the money that speaks volumes). If upper tropospheric water vapor doesn’t increase as the world warms, the reason [...]

Smell that evidence

Cows and complaints don’t correlate. See the graph of the empirical evidence on the Thompsons case; the complaints, the cows, the recorded smells. Compare the Thompsons feedlot with others in the US which are 4 – 8 times larger and closer to towns. [...]

Friday night reading: the eloquent take-downs

Today, while I work on something else, I thought I’d just share a few of the more entertaining pieces of writing I’ve come across lately.

How many mistakes can you pack in one phrase?

Remember how all defenders of the Man-Made-Catastrophe were trained to say that skeptics are funded by big oil, and Big Oil had that insidious agreement… that internal memo that said they were aiming to “reposition global warming as theory rather than fact” (which has all the meaning of “repositioning McDonalds as a fast food chain”, it being tritely obvious and all). Well, Russell Cook points out that this popular bumper-sticker line that’s quoted ad lib across the ether, is full of mistakes, misattributions and misinformation. It seems it’s not only not a smoking gun, but it’s not a weapon, and wasn’t fired by the prize winner shooter they attributed it too, and the guy that didn’t fire the dud shot, didn’t win a prize either.

With fanfare according to Gore it was “discovered by the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Ross Gelbspan”, but the Pulitzer site doesn’t know about Gelbspans “prize”, and you can read all the sordid details at the Climate Gate Country Club, or a [...]

Tyranny: How to destroy a business with environmental red tape

Updated with Janet’s comments below.

Matt and Janet Thompson are at the end of the rope

Did you know in Australia it’s possible to ruin a business if you don’t like the way it smells? This is a heartbreaking story — that a government could effectively ruin a family by slowly strangling them in red tape, and that they would have apparently no protection from the courts or the ombudsman. It eats away at our sense of justice. Can we speak freely? Are we all treated equally under the law, or are some laws only enforced according to a capricious whim?

This is the price we pay for vague laws where business people can run ventures, do everything to the letter of the law, with best-practice procedures, winning customers and contracts, yet go broke despite all that because of onerous, impossible-to-meet conditions, that are unmeasurable, and change suddenly, with the added bonus of inordinately long delays. At the moment, Janet and Matts farm, Narrogin Beef Producers, lies empty, unstocked, while debts accrue by the minute.

This is also a story of sovereign risk. Investors in Australian industry beware.

Unused equipment that cost hundred of thousands of dollars lies [...]

The Unskeptical Guide to the Skeptics Handbook

It’s taken 21 months, four professors, and three associate/assistant professors, and THIS is the best they could come up with? The printed version listed no author (the pdf has been updated with John Cooks name*) yet wears the logo of the University of Western Australia (UWA), which will embarrass that university as word spreads of the intellectual weakness of their “Guide“.

Did UWA commission this piece of rather inept, qualitative “feel-good” science and clumsy reasoning? Stephan Lewandowsky invited John Cook to speak at UWA and “offer assistance“.

The booklet uses a mislabeled graph with a deceptive scale, won’t show the damning graphs it supposedly debunks,  assumes positive feedback occurs despite the weight of empirical evidence against it (Douglass, Spencer, Lindzen), and repeats irrelevant information even though The Skeptics Handbook describes why rising sea levels and glaciers and ice sheets can’t possibly tell us what causes the warming. It misleadingly discusses a different fingerprint — one that isn’t the key point and isn’t disputed by skeptics. Cause and effect are mixed up, and naturally there are strawmen arguments to unnecessarily destroy for the spectacle of being seen to do something. To top it off, Cook still thinks a measurement is [...]