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

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The Skeptics Handbook II

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

The word Skeptic is back!

Here’s a devout follower telling off his own kind for showing their “faith”. “Beyond Belief” (Climate Spectator)

The “believers” have suddenly realized how uncool it is to talk about “beliefs” when it’s supposed to be about science. So the rush is on to post articles warning believers to hide their “faith” and to throw in token comments about evidence instead. Indeed the Real Deniers are scrambling to claim the “name” skeptic that they used to despise.

It’s a measure of how far this debate has come. Such was the success of the PR campaign, some skeptics gave up on the term and opted to use “realist”. But the skeptics have been proved right time after time, and the unskeptical scientists have been embarrassed by their own conniving words, mistakes, tricks and lies. The resurgence of the word “skeptic” is rising like a rocket.

As I’ve said many times, the opposite of skeptical is gullible. And an unskeptical scientist is an oxymoron.

So here’s Paul Gilding in the publication that panders to the climate industry: Climate Spectator, offering the fake guise of a skeptical soul:

It’s time for true confessions. I don’t believe in climate science.

That’s because I’m a [...]

Canberra (the ACT) will cut emissions by 40% (!) by… 2020

File this one under: Experiments in Green Government. Watch this box.

There’s a spot in Australia called The Australian Capital Territory, where our National Capital, Canberra, sits and which has it’s own anachronistic government: a kind of glorified local council and  junior “state” government at the same time*.

In 2008 they were lucky enough to elect a Labor minority government with a Green coalition. Now it seems they’re going to showcase the ACT in a grand symbolic experiment by enacting the strictest carbon reduction scheme in Australia.

ACT environment minister Simon Corbell tabled the new target in a Bill in the Legislative Assembly today. (Aug 26, 2010)

“Governments have a responsibility to act on this issue, and the ACT Labor Government is leading Australia on reducing our carbon footprint,” Mr Corbell said in a statement.

The ACT has also pledged to have its emissions peak by 2013, decline by 80 per cent by 2050, and for the ACT to be carbon neutral by 2060.

Forty percent cuts (from 1990 levels) in just ten years?

Samuel J at Catallaxy Files calculates that as the mother of all emissions cuts translating to a 62% per capita reduction in a decade.


We have been conned

You can’t buy the truth, but you can buy a committee interpretation of it.

One year ago a group of eminent scientists wrote a letter to congress provocatively titled “You are being deceived.”

Now, in a similar vein, but with all the gory details, John McLean has put together a 66 page compilation of the modus operandi and history of said deception. It’s a story of how small committees of activists cite their own work, ignore contradictory information and dissenting reviewers, use the peer review system to lock out opponents,  and blithely acknowledge crippling uncertainties (but only in tracts of text that few will read, and  never in summation when it matters).

Click to read the full article

When your favourite prancing-horse-committee — the IPCC — is failing to impress the crowds, it’s time to distract them with dressage from another source. In this case, the IPCC is being reviewed by the brand new InterAcademy Council (IAC). Expect their somber pronouncement to discover some minor flaws of process, posit a few proceedural improvements, and then declare that above all, the science is sound, rigorous, and that carbon dioxide will surely kill millions if we don’t allow the [...]

Ice Core evidence — where is carbon’s “major effect”?

The ice cores are often lauded as evidence of the effects of carbon dioxide. Frank Lansner asks a pointed question and goes hunting to find any effects that can be attributed to carbon.

Where is the data that actually shows a strong and important warming effect of CO2? If CO2 has this strong warming effect, would not nature reflect this in data?

He has collected together the data from the last four warm spells (the nice interglacials between all the long ice ages) into one average “peak”. The common pattern of the rise and fall has already been recorded in many scientific papers. Orbital changes trigger the temperatures to rise first and about 800 years later (thanks to the oceans releasing CO2), carbon dioxide levels begin to climb. At the end of a patch of several thousand warm years, temperatures begin to fall, and thousands of years later the carbon dioxide levels slowly decline. No one is really contesting this order of things any more. What is contested is that those who feel carbon is a major driver estimate that the carbon dioxide unleashed by the warming then causes major amplification or [...]

Corruption for dinner anyone? The Carbon Market Scandal

Thanks to Down To Earth Magazine. Author: DIVYA

All round the world thousands of greenonomists recommend a “free market solution” to our so called pollution problem. But as I keep saying: this “free market” isn’t free. It’s a pale pathetic imitation: a “managed market”.

In Europe, if a factory produces CO2 (what factory doesn’t?) it can pay people in China and India to not produce an-equivalent-amount-of-CO2. Sounds sort of fine in intent except that paying people to not do something they were-going-to-do depends on knowing the future (and reminds us of a process known as extortion). That’s loophole number one. Officially it’s called “additionality”, which is a fancy way of saying people wouldn’t do something-in-particular to reduce emissions unless they got paid in carbon credits.

The Chinese and Indians, not being stupid, immediately gamed the system. Why wouldn’t they?

The irony of unintended consequences. Here’s how it goes: HFC-23 is the godfather of greenhouse gases: it’s 11,700 times as powerful at warming as CO2 is. The chemical makers are paid as much as $100,000 in carbon credits  for every ton they destroy… Suddenly making-and-then-destroying HFC-23 is very valuable business, so people rush to fill this “demand”. HFC-23 is a [...]

Head of Australian Science Academy issues decree from Pagan Chieftans of Science

An interesting story quietly slipped into the news last week during the election campaign. It crosses several new lines, none of which it acknowledges.

Not only are the Western Climate Establishment sitting up and paying attention to skeptics, they’re slowly getting the hang of having the climate debate, and they have finally realized they can’t pretend the “science is settled” on climate feedbacks.

Australian Academy of non-Science

Humans affect climate change

* From: The Australian (my emphasis added) * August 18, 2010

THE Australian Academy of Science has pitted its expertise against the greenhouse sceptics in a report stating that humans are changing our climate.

Good news. They finally admit (by inference) that there is a debate. Since we amateurs are beating them in the debates and asking questions they can’t answer, they have finally acknowledged that they need to try to answer the questions, and they need to call us skeptics. (They can hardly pit expertise against “deniers” eh?)

The statement expresses for the first time the consensus among Australia’s top climate scientists on the evidence for human-caused global warming.

Oh ha-de-ha… after all the other versions of the anti-science fake consensus [...]

Duplicitous last minute declaration of intent…

With one day to go before the Election, Julia Gillard announces that she is prepared to make one of the most significant changes to our economy by putting a price on carbon, and that if she wins she will assume she has a mandate for it.

She’s had weeks to announce it, put it up for discussion, and convince the voters it’s a good idea. Instead she quietly slides it in at the last minute, allowing no time for dissenting views. This makes a mockery of a “mandate”.

When it’s something as serious as a committee of lucky-dip-citz’ with no official powers:  that deserves a proper launch and three weeks consideration.  But an economic move that affects every transaction, our international competitiveness, the energy sources we built our civilization on; That’s trickled into an interview with 24 hours to go. Righty-o.


I was once a Green who believed in man-made global warming

Since time immemorial people have been inventing or exaggerating scares to gain power. I used to think carbon dioxide posed a real threat, and I even used to be an active member of the Australian Greens. Then I discovered all the things we weren’t being told (like this and this), and how much money was involved and I was shocked.

There are many good people among the Greens who will be outraged when they realize how they have been used.

The most selfish aims are always cloaked in “good intentions”

Some Greens really believe a market based trading system is the best way to deal with pollution. But this pollution is not a pollutant,  and this “free market” is not free. Last year the carbon market reached $130 billion dollars. It’s projected to reach $2 Trillion, and you can be sure that “sub-prime” carbon is coming too. The market depends wholly on government mandate; it’s “fixed” from beginning to end. Who would buy a carbon credit if they weren’t forced to? In a free market, no one.

Worse, funneling money through fake markets is like inviting corruption to a three course meal.


South Pacific sea levels – Best records show little or no rise?!

Are the small islands of the South Pacific in danger of disappearing, glug, under the waves of the rising ocean? Will thousands of poor inhabitants be forced to emigrate, as desperate refugees, to Australia and New Zealand? Has any of this got anything to do with man-made emissions of CO2?

By looking closely at the records, it turns out that the much advertised rising sea levels in the South Pacific depend on anomalous depressions of the ocean during 1997 and 1998 thanks to an El Nino and two tropical cyclones. The Science and Public Policy Institute has released a report by Vincent Gray which compares 12 Pacific Island records and shows that in many cases it’s these anomalies that set the trends… and if the anomaly is removed, sea levels appear to be more or less constant since the Seaframe measurements began around 1993.

Sea levels: The El Nino / tropical storm anomaly in 1997-1998 is clear. A long sustained rise is not.

Take the infamous Tuvalu for example. It’s sea level rise was reported as 5.7 mm/year back in  2008. Now it’s calculated as 3.7mm/year. But look at the Seaframe Graph – its flat. It is universally forecast [...]

Carbon-trading supertanker adrift

Good news… In news just in, there’s another important sign that the momentum is shifting as Money goes in search of better prospects.

ICE cuts 50% of staff at Chicago Climate Exchange

The 1st round of layoffs began July 23, with more to come.  U.S. climate inaction is being blamed as main reason for cuts. Things are so bad, that ICE is collecting feedback on what to do with climate bourse

ICE just came in one day and started hacking away … We were told the company was restructuring,” said one source, who declined to be named.

Another said ICE cut around 20 roles at the CCX late last month, and at least another six high-level layoffs would come before next spring.