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



Another skeptical mind: Revered wine science expert writes skeptical book to rave reviews

The message just can’t be stopped.

What makes a leader of a field, a leader? They have a brain, and not always, but sometimes, they can reason. So it’s not surprising that some leaders see through the fog. Here’s another example of how the truth gets out. It’s a specialist field, and newspaper stories are all doom and gloom (eg. Climate change threat to Australia’s top wines! ) but one of its most esteemed leaders is saying emphatically: not so.

“The effects of climate change have been dramatically over-estimated. Future global climate change caused by human activity will be much less than feared and be largely benign for viticulture”. “The 21st Century will be wine’s golden age”.

In viticulture, tiny changes in levels of part-per-trillion molecules produce prizewinners (or not). See Croser’s review to appreciate just how much. They don’t just talk in degrees but the number of days involved.

“…the quantum and quality of the tertiary aroma and flavour compounds synthesised is profoundly influenced by atmospheric temperature.    John Gladstones identifies the optimal mean temperature of the last 30 days of ripening for the synthesis of flavour and pigment in red varieties as 18-22ºC and for [...]

Australians can see through it: Media scores lowest low spot on “trust” poll

Australian people know they are being “sold” a message in the media. According to the Australian Election Study from 2010, just 17% are “confident” in The Press. [Story: The Australian]

Australians were underwhelmed with the politics on offer in 2010,  Rudd hit deep lows, Gillard had knifed Rudd, yet, even in that unflattering environment over twice as many people (43%) said they were confident in “the federal government ” as said the same about the media. I wonder what these results would be now?

Trust in the media is a theme I will keep returning to in 2012  – when it comes to underperforming politicians, insane laws, over-reaching judiciary, corrupt bureaucrats, and failing currencies, the problem is The Media. None of the lackluster or self-serving talent on display would be able to continue for long if the media exposed them and relentlessly demanded logic, reason, evidence and manners.

It’s what is not said that matters.

 

Source: The Australian

Australians trust the armed forces, universities, and the police.

The gloss of universities is striking — they are riding on the rigor and achievements of past generations.

The last survey I saw (about May 2011) showed that 50% of Australians still [...]

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to everyone,

thank you for your support, for being endlessly curious

and determined never to give in.

Cheers!

Jo

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Climate alarmists might just be captive to basic emotions

Paul Biegler has some words of wisdom in The Age, but unfortunately he mixed up a few vital terms up in his  pop-psychosocial-analysis. Once again, the projection of the alarmist’s own inner headspace is rampant. Those without the ability to reason keep “finding” that inability in those who can. (It makes sense,  a brain needs to use logic to recognize logic)*. Not surprisingly, surveys also show that skeptics are more literate and numerate than believers. Those who adopt fashionable ideas to impress their friends assume their opponents behave in the same unscientific way.  I have to sympathise with them. How else can they explain the mismatch between their chosen prophets and their busted prophecies?

The corrected version of  this article in The Age. I’ve taken some savage edits of the article (colored like this) and corrected the terms.

“Climate sceptics alarmists might just be captive to basic emotions”

Instant gratification is a powerful, but flawed, human motivator.

Searching for that perfect Christmas gift for your climate alarmist friend? You could do worse than slinging them a book like Emotional Intelligence, Plimer’s, Carter’s or Bookers. Why? Research is mounting that your friend is the victim of a brain glitch. More particularly, he [...]

Inconvenient energy paper vanishes from government site

I don’t have a horse in the Peak Oil race, but Energy Security is too important to let the government “disappear” inconvenient reports. As David Archibald points out, at one time the Australian Government went to great lengths to make sure we would be more self sufficient. Lately there are times when Australia doesn’t even have three months supply.– Jo

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Guest Post by David Archibald

Inconvenient report disappeared

About a week ago, the Australian Government released what it called a “Draft Energy White Paper”.  It is available here:  http://www.ret.gov.au/energy/facts/white_paper/draft-ewp-2011/Pages/Draft-Energy-White-Paper-2011.aspx

World Annual Discovery (red) and Production of Oil (Blue) See below for details.

The White Paper contains a number of strange statements and inanities:

Page 67: “For a major global energy exporter like Australia, pursuing a goal of national energy self‐sufficiency is counterintuitive.”

Page 69:  “Energy security does not equate to energy independence or self‐sufficiency in any particular energy source.”

Page 123:  “As a result of increased daily net imports in recent years, the level of oil stocks in Australia has regularly fallen below the 90‐day requirement since mid‐2010. The National Energy Security Assessment found that this does not [...]

Carbon Price just jumped 30% — It’s not a free market, it’s a fixed charade

A small group of selected rulers just raised a hand, changed the rules, and sent billions of dollars from some people to some others.

This type of arbitrary control over the  carbon market shows why it is a misnomer to call it a “free” market, and why a “market” is the wrong tool to try to use to reduce emissions. CO2 is a universal molecule, found in every walk of life and many inanimate processes. We can’t include them all, and someone somewhere gets to decide which ones count and which ones don’t, and how many of them we are allowed to emit in the first place.

Supply and demand of CO2 emissions are not set by a free market (you know, voluntary and willing participants exchanging things for mutual benefit). The bureaucrats just mandated an illusion of market forces, within a range set by said ‘crats. The price of carbon credits had gotten too painfully low for the rulers and their patrons and fans, so something had to be “done”. They made the carbon caps more stringent. If the price was too high, they would have loosened them (and they admit as much below). This has nothing to do [...]

Ian Plimer: How to get expelled from school

It’s well written, packed with references, and has an unapologetic, irreverent tone.

If you are a skeptical teacher, this is an essential book; if you are an alarmist teacher, it’s doubly so. This is the ammunition that smart teenagers will use to point score against you. (Be prepared, eh?)

My only grievance with this book is that Plimer got this excellent title before me

One hundred and One  Questions for your teacher [...]

The IPCC exaggerate: Monckton calculates how much

Following on from blackbody discussions, here is Christopher Monckton’s simple account of how we know the IPCC is exaggerating climate sensitivity. This comes from page 12 of Moncktons: Regulation without reason  (on the Canadian coal regulations.)

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Guest Post: Christopher Monckton Are the IPCC’s global-warming projections proving accurate?

IPCC (2007, scenario A2) expects 3.4 C° manmade global warming to 2100. The calculations so far in this paper have assumed that the IPCC is right. Environment Canada does not ask any questions about the IPCC’s global-warming projections. Officials should have made some allowance for IPCC overshoot.

Since 1750, whence IPCC dates our influence on climate, a recent study (Blasing, 2011) shows 3 W m–2 of forcing from our greenhouse-gas emissions, less –1 W m–2 from non-GHG influences (IPCC, 2007). Global temperature had risen by 0.5 C° from 1750-1983 (Hansen, 1984), with a further 0.3 C° since (HadCRUt3, 2011). Of this 0.8 C° warming, 50 to 100% may be manmade. Thus, the 261-year transient climate sensitivity parameter is (0.4 to 0.8)/(3 – 1) = 0.2 to 0.4 C° W–1 m2. Multiplying by the forcing at CO2 doubling, i.e. 5.35 ln 2 (Myhre et al., 2001, cited by IPCC, 2001, 2007), gives [...]

Monckton on blackbody radiation

I wrote to Christopher Monckton a while back to ask him about a post Blackbody – the key error in climate science, and bless his soul, he whipped off a letter with his detailed answer and wrote it all back to me, saying that other people were asking him about that too. It’s a shame to keep it hidden and high time I brought it out. Usually this topic generates quite a discussion. Though, warning (!) it contains equations, and primarily discusses the physics of blackbody radiation from Earth. It is essentially a debate about the core physics among a few skeptics. The most curious thing being that this time — this blog is on the mainstream end of opinions. (Yes, I think there is a greenhouse effect as I explained here and here).

Huffman asserts there is no measureable greenhouse effect on Venus and Earth and that the temperatures of both planets is determined by their distance to the sun. (Michael Hammer responded to that with an explanation of why we know There is a Greenhouse Effect on Venus). My unsophisticated thought was that if distance explained it all, then ergo, albedo would have no effect at all [...]

Tallbloke and Fenbeagle with a Christmas Pantomime

Fenbeagle does the full Star Wars parody for Christmas, check it out! This is just a part. But before you go, if you haven’t already read the letter from Tallblokes attorney, see below. All jokes aside, we don’t want the establishment to think they can get away with invasions of privacy like this. UVA spent $1million helping Mann to hide the emails that the public paid him to write. Tallbloke (Roger) was just writing from home when 6 police turned up to take his computer and copy the entire contents.

Fenbeagle

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Tallbloke will pursue legal action and could use some help From Anthony Watts WUWT: [...]

Blast Deniers into space eh?

Frustrated cult members know they can’t explain their faith to the rational. [See Grist]

They bombarded us with glossy brochures, with full feature documentaries, and awarded people on their team with Nobels for nothing. They spend billions of dollars of our government funds and investment monies, and, once upon a time, the full support of the EU, UK, US, Canadian, Australian, and New Zealand governments, all the major financial houses of the world, and of course the supertanker of governments – the UN. They had 70% of the Western population convinced and a $144 billion dollar global trading scheme with all the patrons that engenders.

So now that it’s all going to rot and ruin, they have no ammo left. Their arsenal is reduced to namecalling and jokes that reveal the Christmas wish-list of the inner totalitarian.

Those with billions of dollars attack the mostly unpaid volunteers who are beating them. It’s emblematic that in this meeting of the “ruling class” where the joke is funny, the only people not represented in the audience of politicians and businessmen are the taxpaying citizens:

Our biggest problem is to deal with the skepticism and denial of the cult-like lemmings who would take [...]

Anyone driving up from Albany to Perth this week, WA?

If anyone is coming up from Albany before Christmas and could bring a parcel to Perth, I’d most appreciate it.

Please email: joanne AT joannenova.com.au

Thanks

Carbon price hits record low of 6.3 Euro…

The low price, 6.3 Euro, is equivalent to about $8 Australian or US.

The Australian government signed us up to pay $23A with a floor at $15 (and they think that they are creating a “free” market.)

By Thomson Reuters Point Carbon

LONDON | Wed Dec 14, 2011 12:01pm EST LONDON (Reuters) -

EU carbon prices fell to their lowest ever level on Wednesday …

The ICE ECX December 2011 EUA contract fell 73 cents to an all-time low of 6.30 euros, down 10.4 percent on Tuesday’s 7.03-euro settlement. By 16.30 GMT, the contract had recovered slightly to 6.41 euros on healthy turnover of around 15 million units.

The drop sends the contract into unchartered territory, falling well below its previous low of 6.77 euros on December 6 as market traders saw few signs of respite in the EU economy to boost demand for emission permits.

[...]

Tallbloke’s computer seized, Jeff ID threatened in Climategate retaliation: It’s intimidation

BREAKING: As Jeff ID says, “The Empire Strikes Back”

Industrial wall in Donetsk, Ukraine. Photo: Борис У.

UPDATED: See Washington Examiner story below.

Tallbloke’s computers were confiscated by police today, allegedly in the search for the climategate leaker. But it’s obvious that there won’t be any clues left on Tallbloke’s computer (it would have no record of comments dropped onto wordpress.com, a US service). See Watts Up.

The point of this is not to catch the leaker, it’s to intimidate bloggers.

 Jeff ID writes:   Tallbloke a fellow recipient blog of the climategate emails, and linked on the right, was raided today in what seems to be a coordinated effort by Metropolitan Police, the Norfolk Constabulary and the Computer Crime division and the U.S. Department of Justice Criminal Division.  His home was raided and computers were taken for ‘examination’.

They don’t really want to catch the leaker, because a whistleblower is protected by UK legislation. The proof that this is aimed at intimidating bloggers rather than catching the climategate leaker is the coordinated and pointless US dept of Justice action through wordpress. To wit:

Both Tallbloke and JeffID received “the following notification from the U.S. [...]

After Durban – First Thoughts

Geoff Sherrington analyzes the words in the Durban agreement, and finds a telling tale of politics, money and influence, but not one of probability, maths, food, shelter or freedom (which do not appear at all). The word science appears 6 times in 21,313 words. It’s the mere token excuse that underlies everything else. This is a legal style document, so it is to be expected that it’s dominated by “parties” and “reports” but given the uncertainties involved in predicting the climate, a rational document, designed to serve the people, would surely include statistics, cost benefits, and mentions of probabilities. But then, we always knew that the big greenhouse scare was not about the emissions or the atmosphere, but about status, power and money. — Jo

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By guest author Geoff Sherrington. The killing fields of Durban have produced agreement by many countries to one of the more extraordinary and preposterous documents one could read. It is so contrived by the UN that it is hard to know if it is the correct document, or maybe an unadopted working draft in progress.

The winners and losers at Durban were? The losers were the John and Joan Citizens of the World, who [...]

Enron called Kyoto “a victory for us” in 1997

Enron was jubilant when the Kyoto agreement was put forward

Here’s a legacy exhibit from the historical annals of How the Global Warming Scam Grew. You can see the cogs of the industrial machine picking up the “green theme”, becoming patrons of eco-legislation, and pouring money and influence into any big-government scheme that also promises them big profits. This is exactly the unholy alliance of Big-Finance with Big-Government that I described in the Climate Scare Machine Map. The email below documents one part of that self-fulfilling cycle where the taxpayers and citizens get screwed, corporates and politicians win, and the environment is irrelevant. The Greens ought be ashamed their naivety and ambition was so easily gamed by the real powers-behind-the-scenes.

Robert Bradley Jr. was working for Enron in 1998, and saw Enron lobbying for profits in the green sector. Bradley’s name was on the “to” list of this email below (perhaps with the wrong address because it did not arrive). He only saw the email when another man asked Bradley what he thought of it, and Bradley asked him to forward the message.

See Master Resource for the full email. Here are some key snippets.

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Durban: Wild ambit fails, but money flows. Landmark non legal “something-arother” agreed to.

Good news. The talented strategists left the UNFCCC team before COP17 in Durban. The A-graders saw the trainwreck coming and moved on.

Everyone knows it’s a herculean task to get 190-odd countries to sign anything, and with a typical pragmatical approach the UN drafting team have gone for … not just a new “International Court” (crikey!) but rights for Mother Earth (can we be sued by a rock?), and oh boy, the holy grail, the whole kit and caboodle … we demand Peace On Earth, and a  Partridge in a Pear Tree, as Part 47a, and starting by morning tea tomorrow.

Monckton  reports that the funereal collapsing Durban talks still held the highest of ambitions. Godlike even. The real action behind the posters of parrots and pleas to save pygmy corals, or spotted limpets is the plea to make some unelected bureaucrats the totalitarian Kings of The World.

In part it’s chilling, a New International Court — which could presumably try you for crimes against coastlines, clouds, or (more likely) against endangered windfarms. Those with their hands on the legal wheel want the power to direct money (was that $1.6 Trillion?)  from the richest nations to their friends, patrons, or [...]

Councils become climate experts too. (Now Big-government insanity comes from small councils)

The answer seems so bleeding obvious. Local governments are ruling on what people can do with their own land if it happens to be near seas recorded as rising at a frightening 1mm per year. Home owners are losing options and home value, not because of the rising water, but because of rising nonsense.

Let’s assume that IPCC projections might, incredibly, actually come to pass — why don’t the councils just get all residents to sign a clause before they buy or renovate. We the residents and potential residents, won’t mind signing that we have seen The Official Council Climate Warning:

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“The IPCC estimates the oceans may rise by (insert wild prediction here).

The council cannot be held responsible for the weather, and will not hold back the ocean.

Buy or renovate at your own risk!”

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Who has more incentive to assess the threats to a house (your house): a/ you, the homeowner who just hocked yourself to the grave and wants to live in it, hand it to your kids, or on-sell it for a decent quid; or b/ the local councillors who will never set [...]

Chinese 2,485 year tree ring study shows natural cycles control climate, temps may cool til 2068

A blockbuster Chinese study of Tibetan tree rings by Liu et al 2011 shows, with detail, that the modern era is a dog-standard normal climate when compared to the last 2,500 years. The temperature, the rate of change — it’s all been seen before. Nothing about the current period is “abnormal”, indeed the current warming period in Tibet can be produced through calculation of cycles. Liu et al do a Fourier analysis on the underlying cycles and do brave predictions as well.

In Tibet, it was about the same temperature on at least four occasions — back in late Roman times (those chariots!), then again in the dark ages (blame the collapse of industry), then in the middle ages (the Vikings?), then in modern times (blame the rise of industry).

Clearly, these climate cycles have nothing to with human civilization. Their team finds natural cycles of many different lengths are at work: 2-3 years, 100 years, 199 years, 800 years, and 1,324 years. The cold periods are associated with sunspot cycles. What we are not used to seeing are brave scientists willing to publish exact predictions of future temperatures for 100 years that include rises and falls. Apparently, it will [...]

Influential people are getting the message: Gina Rinehart explains the science of climate change

Cover: Australian Resources and Investment Dec 2011

The key messages are not lost on the bright and influential, and even if the mass-media avoid the evidence, the facts are quietly storming their way through the echelons of power. For the future historians, here’s a glimpse of how information networks grow and evolve behind the scenes.

Once upon a time, the missing hot spot and the water vapor amplification were virtually unknown. In Jan 2009 2010, Tony Kelly (a member of the Royal Society) met David and me privately in Perth. He grasped the implications of the model amplification in a flash. There’s a world of difference between the certainty of the 1.2 C direct effect of CO2, and the highly uncertain assumptions that push it up to 3.3 C. Three months later, not coincidentally, the Royal Society was approached by deeply concerned skeptical members, and had to formally reconsider its position.

In June this year, we were lucky enough to dine with Matt Ridley, who likewise picked up the message, and is spreading it — see his acclaimed speech in November. A few weeks ago,  I noticed Lord Lawson and Lord Turnbull  similarly argued the same meme (though I [...]