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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GoldNerds

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



Donna Faragher: armed with unpublished complaint-mail and an unbankable license — destroys livelihoods

Donna Faragher, Minister for Environment and other stuff.

Some people have recently received replies from the Minister of the Department of Environment in Western Australia.

The ten second answer to the latest DEC excuses: The Thompsons License is unbankable; the Thompsons have already met the conditions; the complaints are unverified and often solicited, or relate to some other business, and Donna Faragher can teach you how to spell “business certainty” but she hasn’t got a clue what it is.

I’ve added my thoughts below, in between the full grey-box-quotes of the letter.

____________________________________

Minister For Environment; Youth

Thank you for your email to the Western Australian Government dated 22 September 2010 regarding the Narrogin Beef Producers cattle feedlot in Narrogin.

Good to see that through the magic of electronic communications it only took one month and four days to reply.

By way of background to your letter, Narrogin Beef is one of 44 licensed or registered cattle feedlots in Western Australia. The Narrogin Beef feedlot is the only feedlot in Western Australia which has been the subject of significant and ongoing community complaints about unreasonable odour. [...]

Funeral for Property Rights

UPDATED: Dates for the West Australian Speaking Tour below

Magna Carta

The Thompsons protest on Monday was moving. Janet Thompson delivered one of the best speeches I’ve heard at a protest. I was going to copy parts of it and attach the full speech in documents. But so much is worth saying, I’ve put it here almost in entirety.

In Part I – Janet reads the eulogy to “property rights”: from the Magna Carta til Maxwell Szulc was put in jail for clearing firebreaks on his own land.

In Part II — she recalls those who are not with us, and then those who are. Government infringements on rights destroys lives, and breaks up families. Janet gives us brief examples of other travesties unfolding.

In Part III  — Matt reminds us that the government encroachment affects us all, contributes to suicides and points out that we bow daily to the UN. Every other time people have been subjected to centralized, unelectable power, the death toll has mounted. Now we are now presumed guilty until we prove our innocence.

Matt quotes Ayn Rand:

““When you see that trading is [...]

What’s the harm in acting anyway?

Saving energy or stopping pollution is a good thing. What’s the danger in acting now?

We can save energy and stop real pollution without setting up a whole financial bureaucratic system based on “thin air”. The wholly unnecessary trading system feeds the sharks of finance with more money and power. We waste blood, sweat and tears and encourage cheats. We reward fraud and foster corruption.

When we trade real things, people who cheat get caught easily. They can’t get away with it for long. But in the quasi world of meaningless permits-for-air, the only limit to cheating is “what they can get away with”.

For example: Carbon credits paid to China to build hydro dams end up helping bankers buy yachts, and feed the mafiosi in China. They evict homeowners, don’t pay them enough compensation, flood their valleys and commit these people to homelessness or more slavery to bankers through mortgages.

Sure, some useful outcomes might occur. But hoping we get lucky is not “planning”. It’s policy-by-accident. If solar energy, say, is a good idea all on its own, we don’t need to invent fake reasons to force people to use more of it.

We could for example tax [...]

BOM, GISS have record setting bugs affecting a million square miles?

How bad are these datasets? How sloppy are the data records?

Western Australia (WA) covers 2.5 million square kilometers (1 million square miles, about a third as big as the USA). The average of all WA stations over one month last year was adjusted up by as much as a gobsmacking 0.5 degrees due to a database “bug” – which contributed to August 2009 being the hottest August on record?! That’s one heck of a bug!

Could it get worse? Unbelievably, GISS seems to have lost data for key WA locations that an unpaid volunteer found easily in the BoM online records. GISS only has to maintain copies of records for sixteen stations in WA* which have temperatures current to 2010, but in seven of them they are missing data, and it affects the results. Are they random errors? No, shock me, six errors are upwards: in one case making the spring 2009 average temperatures for Kalgoorlie-Boulder 1.1 C degrees warmer!

But with no-one auditing our BoM or NASA’s GISS, and no team jointly receiving raw data or regulating standards in either agency, temperatures recorded in the field could potentially be listed in official records as being quite [...]

Is the Western Climate Establishment Corrupt? Part 10: Gore Orwell

 

The public might not understand the science, but they do understand cheating

Dr. David Evans 19 October 2010

[A series of articles reviewing the western climate establishment and the media. The first and second discussed air temperatures, the third was on ocean temperatures, and fourth discussed past temperatures, the fifth compared the alleged cause (human CO2 emissions) with the alleged effect (temperatures), the sixth canvassed the infamous attempt to “fix” that disconnect, the hockey stick, and the seventh pointed out that the Chinese, Russian, and Indian climate establishments (which are financially independent of the western climate establishment) disagree with the western climate establishment about the cause of recent global warming and the eighth showed how government institutional and funding pressures created the consensus among western climate scientists. The ninth showed the evidence that the amplifying feedbacks, responsible for two-thirds of the model warming projections, are not present in reality—and that the lame response of the establishment was to miscolour a graph to mislead us into thinking those feedbacks were [...]

Is the Western Climate Establishment Corrupt? Part 9: The Heart of the Matter and the Coloring-In Trick

This point is THE critical one. It was the first point raised in the Skeptics Handbook, developed in the Second Handbook; the point that Dr Glikson had no reply to; the point that tripped up Will Steffen, Deltoid, and John Cook. As a modeler there was the moment in August 2007 when David saw the graphs below and said, emphatically: This is it. It’s over for the climate models. –JN

 

The public might not understand the science, but they do understand cheating

Dr. David Evans 19 October 2010

[A series of articles reviewing the western climate establishment and the media. The first and second discussed air temperatures, the third was on ocean temperatures, and fourth discussed past temperatures, the fifth compared the alleged cause (human CO2 emissions) with the alleged effect (temperatures), the sixth canvassed the infamous attempt to “fix” that disconnect, the hockey stick, and the seventh pointed out that the Chinese, Russian, and Indian climate establishments [...]

Rare historic weather observatory faces closure

The Library at Collegio Romano

How valuable is empirical evidence and long term data?

The Collegio Romano is one of the few places in the world with multi-centennial meteorological and climate data series (228 years!). Maurizio emailed me to let me know that it’s in danger of being broken up. He’s translated an Italian Petition on his site. I’ve copied parts of it below.

Not many people in the world appreciate how important and rare those long temperature series and historic collections are. It only takes a moment to sign the petition (see below for English instructions).

From Maurizio:

Help Save Five Hundred Years Of Weather Observations

The historical meteorological observatory of the Collegio Romano, in operation for 228 years, has been told to vacate its premises occupied from 1879. To this moment, nobody knows where it will be moved to, and worse, nobody knows what will be the future location of its Library, immense historical Archives and collection of old instruments, a priceless heritage cared for during more than two centuries by many great people with lots of passion.

[...]

DEC, deceptive, duplicitous, or just clueless about money?

The DEC fight back with deception, bogus licenses (that no bank will loan money against), ask for things that have already been done, and turns a blind eye to the killer fine print clauses that make them kingmakers with veto rights over any business in the State.

This is a PR war, and the DEC response (below) is obviously designed to confuse the issue and slow down people who are asking questions. Instead of serving the people, they are deceiving the people. Shouldn’t we expect to get an honest reply from our “public servants”?

With all the emails headed into the WA Parliament about the Thompsons, people were asking DEC very awkward questions. In response DEC produced this reply (below). On face value, local parliamentarians might read that, and think this issue is resolved. Not so. Nothing had changed. DEC either naively don’t understand the World of Business, or worse, they do understand it, and are maliciously using it against their chosen targets.

DEC declare they’ve given the Thompsons a five year license for 10,000 head — but the fine print catch is that condition A1 makes it unbankable — no one would loan the Thompsons money to run [...]

Thompsons update – protest in Perth on Monday

Tower of Hope

Presents The Death of Property Rights

Please and join us for the Funeral Service

To be held on the steps of Parliament House Perth 11:00 a.m. Monday, 25 October 2010

Followed by the Burial Ceremony

Cottesloe Beach, Approximately 1:30 p.m.

“wear black, and bring your truck”

Are you fed up with our government stealing assets, destroying good businesses and ruining families? Are you sick of inordinate red tape being used against you?

Monday lunchtime next week join us at Parliament House in WA, meet Matt and Janet Thompson, Peter Spencer (the 52 day hunger-striker who has won the right to challenge in the High Court), and Maxwell Szulc (a WA farmer who, I understand, cleared fire breaks on his own land, and was jailed for it. Incarcerated! He is being released this Monday morning, which is why the protest is Monday).

I know you have other things you need to do, but if the government keeps growing, when will any of us be less busy?

This is about free speech. What is happening to Matt and Janet is a warning to all of [...]

Is the Western Climate Establishment Corrupt? Part 8: Do Most Western Climate Scientists Believe Global Warming is Man-Made?

The public might not understand the science, but they do understand cheating

Dr. David Evans 19 October 2010

[A series of articles reviewing the western climate establishment and the media. The first and second discussed air temperatures, the third was on ocean temperatures, and fourth discussed past temperatures, the fifth compared the alleged cause (human CO2 emissions) with the alleged effect (temperatures), the sixth canvassed the infamous attempt to “fix” that disconnect, the hockey stick, and the seventh pointed out that the Chinese, Russian, and Indian climate establishments (which are financially independent of the western climate establishment) disagree with the western climate establishment about the cause of recent global warming.]

Click to download a pdf file containing the whole series

Yes, But It’s Murky

Photo adapted from Youxue Hong Wikimedia

The vast majority of scientists in the western climate establishment believe in the theory of man-made global warming (but not Chinese, Russian, or Indian climate scientists, as noted). But [...]

What the heck are science journalists for?

From The Skeptics Handbook II

Last week a science journalist at The Guardian wrote the best summary I have ever seen of the state of the profession known as “science communication”. Only, he thought it was a spoof. Well, it is — and it’s satirically funny at the same time as being an unwittingly cutting commentary. (We laugh at the formulaic approach because we know it’s so true, and then we bang our heads on the wall…).

Science journalists who churn out mindless ritual productions are effectively being PR and marketing writers. Dangerously, though, they are dressed as “investigative” journalists. The public assumes they are checking that their stories don’t break laws of logic and reason, that they are supported by evidence, and that they are providing the whole story. Their PR is the most powerful advertising there is, it’s not just free, it’s a third party endorsement.

Ironically, the same journalists probably don’t realize how important they are. They think they’re there for a fluffy feelgood reasons: to help promote science, raise public awareness, and attract school leavers into careers in science. They don’t realize that their most important role is to protect science itself and be guardians [...]

Is the Western Climate Establishment Corrupt? Part 7: Other Climate Establishments Disagree

The public might not understand the science, but they do understand cheating

Dr. David Evans 6 October 2010

[A series of articles reviewing the western climate establishment and the media. The first and second discussed air temperatures, the third was on ocean temperatures, and fourth discussed past temperatures, the fifth compared the alleged cause (human CO2 emissions) with the alleged effect (temperatures) and the sixth canvassed the infamous attempt to “fix” that disconnect, the hockey stick.]

Click to download a pdf file containing the whole series

The western climate establishment consists of the climate science research bodies in the western world, and their climate scientists. The leading organizations are the IPCC of the United Nations, the CRU in Britain, and GISS and NOAA in the United States. Personnel move around within the establishment, getting funding from the same sources, collaborating on projects, and publishing in the same journals.

There are other climate establishments in this world, and [...]

Is the Western Climate Establishment Corrupt? Part 6: The Hockey Stick

I know the Hockey Stick is old news to most blog readers here, but it’s easy to forget that the people reading the mainstream news (ie: most of the West) have no idea of the scale of the audacity involved. Up until the 1998 MBH paper came out, it was widely understood that there was a Medieval Warm Period, indeed there were hundreds of papers available at the time. The Hockey Stick Graph completely rewrote everything, yet was accepted and widely promoted without anyone so much as asking for the data… until, of course, McIntyre and McKitrick tried. It will do down in the annuals of science as one of the most egregious examples of “the not-so-scientific” method. — JoNova

The public might not understand the science, but they do understand cheating

Dr. David Evans

6 October 2010

[A series of articles reviewing the western climate establishment and the media. The first and second discussed air temperatures, the third discussed ocean temperatures, the fourth discussed past temperatures, [...]

Shock! Climate models can’t even predict a linear rise

SOURCE: Semi-Satirical News

Preschooler outdoes climate models

Back in 2001, little Alby Brushtail was just 4 when he predicted global sea levels for a decade by drawing a straight line through a graph. Today, Will Steffen, Director of the Climate Institute admits that global climate models are woeful at predicting sea levels in a story titled: “Sea levels rising at top end of estimates”.

The failure of the sophisticated models is all the more baffling because by 2001,  global sea levels had been rising at the not-so-tricky, fairly steady rate of 3mm a year for the previous nine years. Despite this simple linear trend, even with the worlds best equipment and budgets of millions, the top experts only barely managed to predict future sea levels within their broad error margins.

In the end, they couldn’t outdo the four year old who drew the line in with an orange crayon in his preschool class and who simply said that the 3mm a year trend would “just keep going”.

For his remarkable success in 2001, Alby credited Mr Squiggle, but says he’s moved on now, and uses a [...]

Robyn Williams shreds the tenets of science

Robyn Williams presenting at the Prime Ministers Awards 2006

As I keep repeating, there’s only ONE thing that makes science different to religion, and that’s evidence. Robyn Williams is the most lauded commentator on science in Australian (read the rave here, he was the first and only journalist to be elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science;  a professor at two universities, and received 5 honorary doctorates) yet despite the accolades he mistakenly hails the opinions of paid PR hacks above evidence and reason, and hallows the Blacklist of Approved Climate Sorcerers, sorry, Scientists as if it holds the key to the question of climate sensitivity of a trace gas. (How many “scientists” do you need to warm a planet? Answer: Whatever $79 billion can buy.)

This odd juxtaposition of discussing modern science with neolithic reasoning is unfortunately de rigeur, such is the abysmal state of my profession, known (misleadingly in this case) as science communication. These same commentators who complain about “the people who confuse the public”, don’t seem to realize they’re the ones who lead the pack. They break laws of reason known for two thousands years, destroy the central tenets of science, and conflate [...]

Is the Western Climate Establishment Corrupt? Part 5: CO2 Emissions Versus Temperature

The public might not understand the science, but they do understand cheating

Dr. David Evans

6 October 2010

[A series of articles reviewing the western climate establishment and the media. The first and second discussed air temperatures, the third discussed ocean temperatures, and the fourth discussed past temperatures.]

Click to download a pdf file containing the whole series

Notice How They Never Directly Compare Temperature With Human Emissions of CO2?

According to the man-made theory of global warming promoted by the western climate establishment, the recent global warming is due to human emissions of greenhouse gases, which are dominated by carbon dioxide (CO2).

So let’s compare the alleged cause (human emissions of CO2) with the alleged effect (temperature).

Human emissions of CO2 have been estimated from historical data for the period 1751 (before the industrial revolution) to 2007 for the major sources—coal, gas, and petroleum use, cement production, and gas flaring—by the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center within the US Department of Energy. (The cumulative figures below extrapolate to 2010 using average annual emissions for the previous 14 years.)

[...]

Is the Western Climate Establishment Corrupt? Part 4: Past Temperatures

The public might not understand the science, but they do understand cheating

Dr. David Evans

6 October 2010

[A series of articles reviewing the western climate establishment and the media. The first and second discussed air temperatures, the third discussed ocean temperatures.]

Click to download a pdf file containing the whole series

They Don’t Tell You: The Current Global Warming Trend is Over 300 Years Old

A Scene on the Ice by Hendrick Avercamp, circa 1600

Satellite data only goes back to 1979, and global land-thermometer records only go back to 1850. Before that we have to resort to “proxies”, which are various natural phenomena from which temperature can be deduced. As we go further back in time, the errors and uncertainties increase.

[...]

New Zealand – Where did that warming go?

UPDATED (below)

Think of this as a car crash. NIWA says: “The car’s fine, there’s nothing wrong with it.”

Then: “We can’t find the keys (actually we’ve lost the car)”.

Later: “We weren’t driving it”.

Finally: “The car doesn’t exist”.

There’s a litany of excuses. The National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) claims New Zealand has been warming at 0.92°C per 100 years. But when some independent minded chaps in New Zealand graphed the raw NZ data, they found that the thermometers show NZ has only warmed by a statistically non-significant 0.06°C. They asked for answers and got nowhere, until they managed to get the light of legal pressure onto NIWA to force it to reply honestly. Reading between the lines, it’s obvious NIWA can’t explain or defend the adjustments.

Richard Treadgold was one of that team and wrote it up here.

The legal documents:

August 2010: The NZ Climate Science Coalition’s put together legal claims.

The NZCSC filed judicial review proceedings against NIWA, requesting the Court to:

• Declare the 7SS invalid • Direct NIWA to prepare [...]

The scientific world is fracturing

The rift between real science (the pursuit of truth) and PR-science (the pursuit of of money and power) is growing. Associations like The Royal Society, the APS, and the American Chemical Society are beginning to fracture internally as eminent members reject the unscientific pronouncements made on their behalf by small “secret and stacked” committees.

Hal Lewis comes from the elite upper levels of science — a physics professor at University of California (Santa Barbara), and a member of the Defense Science Board (a group of the top 40 or so, advising the Pentagon).

He’s resigned from the American Physical Society (APS) today, after 67 years. The APS is the world’s second largest organization of physicists, with 48,000 members. He is scathing of the fall from grace of the once renowned institution.

Anthony Watts is calling it “…an important moment in science history. I would describe it as a letter on the scale of Martin Luther, nailing his 95 theses to the Wittenburg church door.”

For reasons that will soon become clear my former pride at being an APS Fellow all these years has been turned into shame, and I am forced, with no pleasure at all, to offer you [...]

Another 10:10 parody

Note: There’s gratuitous offensive violence here, all from the original 10:10  eco-snuff movie. I wrote about the deplorable nature of this in  Sick green-psycho-stars want to kill your children.

The first 1 min:18 of this is jolly good fun (watch that well informed class give the teacher a hard time), then, of course, you-know-what-happens. The Ten Ten Classroom Debate.

[...]