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



2000 Forecast: Snowfall to disappear from the UK

Photo: London Evening Standard 24 Nov 2010

Monday, 20 March 2000.  Look out! Back when every witchdoctor had a PR agent and newspapers dutifully repeated their latest crystal ball incantation, it was reported (without so much as a caveat) that there would soon be no more white Christmases in London, and worse, soon  “kids will not know snow”. Gone too would be the scenes that inspired glorious impressionist images, and lyrical poetry. Are you in tears yet? The travesty!

Pity the poor shop owners who were trying to order stock based on met office “forecasts”. Back in 2000, shop owners were not bothering to stock sledges.

No more snowmen in England!

h/t to Bernadette and Trevor who spotted this gem.

Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past

By Charles Onians, 20th March 2000

Britain’s winter ends tomorrow with further indications of a striking environmental change: snow is starting to disappear from our lives.

Sledges, snowmen, snowballs and the excitement of waking to find that the stuff has settled outside are all a rapidly diminishing part of Britain’s culture, as warmer winters – which scientists are attributing to global climate change – produce not [...]

Carbon Credits reach their true value!

I can hardly let the demise of the Chicago Climate Exchange go by without a note.

Didn’t I point out that if carbon trading was a free market, nobody would pay a cent?

Well, hail the triumph of the free market.

(Yes, a couple of weeks back, when the news came out that the CCX was closing, it did make my day.)

But as Steven Milloy points out the death of the US national carbon market has barely made a mention in the news.

How did the Green press react? Denial:

“[There are] no implications for the EU and UK,” Emilie Mazzacurati, head of carbon research for North America at Point Carbon, told BusinessGreen in an email.

No implications? None? And would they have said that if new markets had blossomed in, say, Japan or Brazil?

The market opened in Nov 2000, and as Milloy notes, with a red carpet future:

The CCX was the brainchild of Northwestern University business professor Richard Sandor, who used $1.1 million in grants from the Chicago-based left-wing Joyce Foundation to launch the CCX. For his efforts, Time named [...]

Finnish Translation of Climate Bullies Want Your Money: Ilmastoskeptikon käsikirja

Send this to your friends who speak Finnish… even if they’re not skeptics. –  Jo

Thanks to Pasi

Ilmastoskeptikon käsikirja 1 & 2

Ilmastofoorumi ry on julkaissut suomennokset australialaisen toimittajan ja kirjailijan Joanne Novan kirjoittamista The Skeptics Handbookista (Ilmastoskeptikon käsikirja) ja edellisen jatko-osasta Global bullies want your money (Ilmastokovikset haluavat rahasi). Palautetta suomennoksista voi lähettää osoitteella kasikirja.ei.roskapostia@ilmastofoorumi.fi.

[...]

Now we are not even allowed to doubt?

It’s Naomi Oreskes reasoning which is scary.

Some people just can’t think.

Naomi Oreskes “reasons” by Remarkable Parallels, which is as bogus a way of thinking as any tea-leaf-incantation that we thought we left behind in the caves. She thinks that because she can find parallels between Tobacco and Climate Skeptics, therefore skeptics are wrong about climate sensitivity due to a trace gas. Go figure why anyone struggles to analyze ice cores when they could have just done a Google search?

I can find remarkable parallels between Lysenko and modern climate science, but I don’t bother writing a book on it. If I want answers about the climate I look at the data from the planet, not data about personalities.

Mike Steketee (Some sceptics make it a habit to be wrong) has learnt a new way to throw names from Oreskes. Nick Minchin (recently retired Senator from the conservative opposition) is just the latest target of this effusion of confusion.

Now anyone who raises points against a policy can be called a “doubt-monger” and the Orwellian destruction of our language advances one more notch.

Naomi Oreskes IS the Merchant of Doubt

Ponder the irony of what Oreskes herself [...]

Unintended Consequences: Greens protect coal deposits and destroy rainforest

In Borneo, the Dypterocarp forest, one of the species-richest in the world (F), is being replaced by oil palm plantations (G). These changes are irreversible for all practical purposes (H).

Oops.

Brought to you by the same kind of people who regulate free markets to the point where you can get detained for selling light bulbs heat balls, comes the cry for a “free market solution” on carbon emissions. These people wouldn’t know a free market if it was the only bridge across a swamp full of crocodiles. Is that a stable path; a simple choice; a tested way through the quicksand?  No No! There’s a log (it looks like a log)… “it’s natural”. (It’s two hundred million years of natural selection.)

Playing with fake markets is begging to be bitten, and what do you know? A carbon market puts a price on life, but it only applies to some goods (all pigs are equal… but some are more so). The loop-holes pile on loop-holes until out the other end of all those angelically good circular intentions pops the exact one answer they were trying to avoid.

Figure it out. If global policies devalue concentrated energy underground and [...]

Lomborg: uses irrational name-calling and denies the evidence

The Australian published Bjorn Lomborg: A Rational Take On Warming last week.

It was self-contradictory, baseless name-calling from a formerly sensible writer.

Rational?

Lomborg and Gore are not so far apart

The only rational response to climate change is to use empirical, observable evidence. Rational people can point to results from 28 million radiosondes, 6000 boreholes, 30 years of satellites, 3000 ARGO ocean diving thermometers, raw data from thousands of surface thermometers, as well 800 peer reviewed references which include studies of corals, caves, pollen grains, ocean floor sediments, ice cores, and diatoms.

Lomborg is happy to call these rational people names, but irrationally doesn’t appear to have read their arguments. His method of quoting scientific studies, which was so successful on other topics, has come unstuck on climate science. He doesn’t realize that the US government poured $79 billion dollars into demonstrating one theory, but next to nothing to research, audit, or question that theory. He’s been tripped up by the skewing effect of monopolistic funding.

Far from being rational or scientific, he accepts the opinions of the Scientific Gods at the IPCC, and ignores the empirical evidence

Far [...]

Oreskes, Readfearn: Got no evidence? Throw different names. Skeptics are paranoid ideologues afraid of reds under the bed.

Ad Hominem Unleashed (aka ABC): On the origin of the sceptics

Commentators on a sinking ship search for reasons to “keep the faith afloat”.

The debate has moved a peg. Instead of “oil shills” now we’re just paranoid ideologues afraid of reds under the bed.

Naomi Oreskes

The battle cry: the “skeptics” are shills of big oil, has become an own goal. The PR team for the catastrophic theory have no new evidence of Big Oil funding and thousands of people now point out that the UNskeptics were paid 3500 times as much (at least). So they are moving on… the religiously devout believers can’t admit they were wrong, and nor can they look at the evidence, so what’s left? Post hoc random over-analysis of the irrelevant. Before, skeptics were paid hacks… and now they’re wrong because they … are ideologically against big government and regulation. From one ad hom to another.

And again, the ABC uses our taxes to promote the smear campaign,  support neolithic reasoning, and does everything it can to stop people talking about scientific evidence (by spreading misinformation or slurs about all the characters on one side). Oreskes and freelance writer [...]

ABC admits it’s a propaganda arm of the government

What Mark Scott admitted as the managing director of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation was really what everyone knew anyway: the ABC aims to please the gatekeepers of the pay-checks (which is, after all exactly what we’d expect from most organizations in the long run).

What makes it telling is that he could forget that he’s never supposed to admit this. I mean, they promote themselves in ads as “our ABC”. It’s supposed to serve the people, not the government. The key problem is that although the people pay for the ABC, they don’t hold the purse strings. And to some extent, the people, don’t really try to either. We get what we are willing to put up with.

THE ABC managing director, Mark Scott, has told an audience of film and television producers that the way he had been able to secure additional funding was by convincing the government the national broadcaster was working in its interests.

For a long time, Mr Scott said ABC management had simply gone to Canberra crying poor and telling the government what a great job it was doing.

“And I think if you take that approach, well, then you’ve joined the queue of [...]

Thorne 2010: A very incomplete history of the missing hot spot

Emails are coming in about the latest attempt to announce that they’ve “found the hot-spot”: Thorne et at 2010.

It’s already being used in NOAA press releases to repeat the same line about how a “new scientific study” supports the models. The aforementioned support is rather weakly phrased as being “broadly consistent” (which somehow means the same thing as being “90% certain” a catastrophe is on the way, right?).

But it gives them another chance to claim it’s been found:

This new paper extensively reviews the relevant scientific analyses — 195 cited papers, model results and atmospheric data sets — and finds that there is no longer evidence for a fundamental discrepancy and that the troposphere is warming.

It says something about how important the hot spot is that they keep “finding it”. (Even though they never seem to issue a press release saying it’s missing.) But since the data from the last warming spell came in ten years ago, there are only so many ways they can rehash the same numbers. So now they’re scraping the bottom of the barrel in desperation. This new study is not a “new scientific study”, it’s a new review. This paper tells us [...]

How the BBC became a propaganda arm of the UK government (and WWF)

Andrew Montford (Bishop Hill) and Tony Newbery (Harmless Sky) have put in a submission to the review of the BBC’s impartiality on science. It’s the anatomy of how government and activist groups take over an arm of a public broadcaster. There is no sneaking in the back door here.

The main problem facing government and policymakers was convincing the public that concern about anthropogenic global warming was well founded, and not just another scare story that would soon be forgotten. The Climate Change Communications Working Group (DEFRA, EST, UKCIP, Env. Agency, DTI, Carbon Trust) was set up, and in February 2005 received a Short List of Recommendations from Futerra, an environmental PR consultancy, on the means of conveying the required message to the media and the public . In August 2006, the IPPR produced a thirty-page report entitled Warm Words: How are we telling the climate story and can we tell it better? which developed Futerra’s recommendations. This concluded that:

Many of the existing approaches to climate change communications clearly  seem unproductive. And it is not enough simply to produce yet more messages, based on rational argument and top-down persuasion, aimed at convincing people of the reality of [...]

The death of reason at UWA

Stephan Lewandowsky reasons by bad-analogy

How do we know man-made climate change is a mortal threat?  Some people discuss radiosondes, but for Lewandowsky, the answers lie in laser surgery, gravity waves, airplanes, bridges, AIDS, nanotechnology, falling apples, and driving cars into brick walls.

On Ad Hominem Unleashed (otherwise known as the ABC), Lewandowsky is working his way through the fallacies season by season — he’s tried argument from authority, he’s hailed expert opinion, and even pretended that expert opinion is evidence.

So now, moving right along into Spring, he’s come to a variation of the “insurance” argument. Having told us how absolutely certain everything is, with a straight face, he’s now telling us it’s uncertain, but basically, since we absolutely definitely know it might be bad,  we ought to reject the best source of energy known to humankind, and try all the alternatives, no matter how uncertain they are, even if it kills people. (I’m sure he doesn’t think of it that way, but he might change his mind if he spent a day with a mother in Tanzania who can’t afford to boil drinking water and is nursing a child with typhoid.)

Follow his “thinking”

Lewandowsky is so ahead-of-the-pack [...]

Dessler 2010: How to call vast amounts of data “spurious”

This is part of the big PR game of publishing “papers.”

In the climate models, the critical hot spot is supposed to occur because (specific) humidity rises in the upper troposphere about 10km above the tropics. The weather balloons clearly show that temperatures are not rising as predicted, so it was not altogether surprising that when Garth Paltridge analyzed weather balloon results for humidity, and found that humidity was not rising as predicted either.

Indeed, he found specific humidity was falling, which was the opposite of what all the major climate models predicted and posed yet a another problem for the theory that a carbon-caused disaster is coming. He had a great deal of trouble getting published in the first place, but once he finally did get published and skeptics were starting to quote “Paltridge 2009″, clearly, Team AGW needed an answer.  “Dessler 2010″ is transparently supposed to be that answer.

To start by putting things into perspective, lets consider just how “spuriously” small, patchy and insubstantial the radiosonde measurements have been. According to NOAA The integrated Global Radiosonde Archive contains more than 28 million soundings, from roughly 1250 stations.

Worldwide radiosonde stations (NOAA)

… Or how about the [...]

Breakthrough: DEC ‘s all-purpose (green) business licence

In a handy discovery The Department of Environment in WA have found a way to issue a licence that give businesses “all they could ask for” while at the same time keeping the Green complaints to a manageable minimum.

It’s the perfect license for politicians who want to have an answer for ABC radio.

Central page for information on The Thompsons.

Mystery Solved: Why the PR hacks exploded their credibility

Click to read the full PDF

The world was baffled. What were they thinking?

This colossal PR disaster was 20 years in the making, and it took a special set of conditions to achieve a true marketing black hole. Never before in the history of public relations has so much star-power, money and kudos been used to score such a monstrous global own-goal. The campaign to dehumanize skeptics laid the groundwork and somehow, fittingly, the eco-terrorists own name-calling has come back to bite them.

How could people with red carpet careers make a mistake so smashingly spectacularly awful that they scored negative press all round the world, lost 20% of their members, and drove away three out of four major sponsors within days?

They can’t be written off as a little side group of extremists. 10:10 was sponsored by the UK government, major corporations like Sony, and was a group of nearly 100,000 people (now only 73,000). A hundred odd people must have spent months preparing, with casting, scripting and special effects meetings, so they could capture the effect of exploding ten-year-olds without once noticing the rather invidious parallels with, say, Pol Pot. Incredibly the 10:10 [...]

Soul searching enviro-journalists admit they look duped and should have talked to sceptics

There is much introspection going on among environmental journalists. Last week, in a remarkably candid piece, Margot O’Neill of the ABC revealed for the first time what the flummoxed and frustrated would-be journalists are  discussing behind the scenes.

The admissions are extraordinary. Despite the fact that hardly any of the journalists wrote about Climategate, for many the emails from East Anglia were not just important, but a defining moment (though not, apparently, because it dented their faith in the global warming dogma). Instead, it was the effect Climategate had on editors and others in the office: people who had previously thought climate science was scientific, and environmental journalists were journalists. Suddenly, others realized they had been cheated of the real news, sideswiped by a development none of the supposedly “investigative” reporters saw coming.

Now for the first time, we find out that the formerly respected writers got looks of betrayal.

Probably the most important reaction to the UEA hacking for journalists was in their own newsrooms, among their own editors who are the gatekeepers controlling if your work appears and how prominently. While some UK surveys show no dramatic loss of credibility for climate scientists with the public, here’s how [...]

Is the Western Climate Establishment Corrupt? How many excuses does it take?

Announcing the full version of the Climate Corruption series. There are two copies with different formatting, one here and one on the Science and Public Policy Site. (Click on an image below for the respective PDF version).

Foreword By Joanne Nova, October 2010

How many excuses does it take?

(Size: US Letter — with SPPI's usual professional formatting)

The Western Climate Establishment has allowed egregious mistakes, major errors, and obvious biases to accumulate — each factor on its own might be hard to pin down, but the pattern is undeniable.

The Western Climate Establishment is cheating:

Official thermometers are overwhelmingly in warm localities such as near air conditioner exhaust vents, buildings, concrete, tarmac, or asphalt. Officials hide the Argo data, which shows the world’s oceans are cooling. They ignore hundreds of thousands of weather balloon results that show the climate models overestimate future warming by at least 300%. Climate scientists frequently point to the last 130 years of global warming, but don’t mention the full story: the planet started warming before 1700, over a century before humans [...]

Is the Western Climate Establishment Corrupt? The public might not understand the science, but they do understand cheating

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

Dr. David Evans 7 Nov 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 [...]

Another Minnesotans for Global Warming parody…

The Minnesotans for Global Warming have produced I’m a denier to the Monkey’s song I’m a believer…

It’s not the way I would have made it, but it’s funny.

I fight the use of the term, but these guys coopt it. It’s the opposite approach but it also chips away at the power of the namecalling bullies.

Australia’s High Quality Data: 12-year-sites used for “long term” trends

 

What would you say if you knew our high quality temperature record included sites with 100 year long “records” which were based on just 12 years of data and some undisclosed method was used to construct 90% of the graph?

Wow? I mean, Wow?! Why are these sites with such little actual data being included in a series called “high quality”?

Presumably the “adjusted” trends were recreated (in a sense) by homogenizing data from nearby stations, but why not use just the stations with long records in the first place? Out in the vast outback there are long distances between stations, and while a “splice” might overlap for ten years, who knows whether the dramatic PDO oscillations don’t shift weather patterns during their 30 year cycle and mean that any ten year period is not indicative of the longer time frame.

BOM compensate for the Urban Heat Island effect by making adjustments that essentially result in almost no change in the trend. They remove the “urban” stations, but UHI affects even small populations, and Andrew Barnham speculates that the largest changes in the UHI effect may occur in these smaller rural locations that are still included.

Andrew [...]

An update from the Thompsons down under

For all the supporters of the Thompsons, Janet writes to describe the kind of limbo they are living in. The eviction day October 15, came and went in a blur of work. They remain on the property only due to court injunctions, which have no certainty. Matt and Janet are their own lawyers — doing all the paperwork — with helpful advice from all round, especially Peter King. Legal suits were launched from both sides. The Thompsons are basically under siege, living week to week in their home, waiting, though not sitting still. [...]