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



Carbon — demonized by climate propaganda

The PR machine has spent twenty years pretending to be scientific while they push poll the phrase “carbon is pollution”  (Don’t you want to stop pollution?) But turn the polling inside out and the nonsense is exposed. Stephen Harper takes the PR team’s theme to its logical conclusion and uses it against them.

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Forget plate tectonics and continental drift. A trace gas in the atmosphere can reshape the Earth, at least, that’s apparently how many people see it. A new survey shows that over a third of the population think that climate change induces not just tsunamis, but even volcanic eruptions. Worse, 37% of people are so convinced carbon is pollution that they think it would be a worthwhile aim to reduce the carbon content of their body. (The ultimate diet, you might say).

About a quarter of the population are so plum-confused about what carbon is, they would rather not eat food with carbon in it. (Crikey!) The numbers taken in by the mass delusion are shocking. Nearly half the population think food would be safer without carbon.

This is the unscientific bias of our national bureaucracies, [...]

Nearly 80% of Chinese people are skeptics*: world wide poll

Gallup has done a world wide poll, about whether people believe the theory of man-made global warming. Though don’t stake too much money on the results, they only interviewed “approximately 1000 people” (what’s an approximate person?).

*So we’re talking about a survey of about 10 people per country.

The headlines are outrageously ambitious , “most of the human race”, yet having surveyed 111 countries it’s sort of  half-way believable (with caveats). What’s striking is that the great man-made global warming theory has left no corner of the globe untouched… 10% of Somaliland believes it fergoodnesssake. (Well OK, so one person said “yes”.)

But it begs a few questions — like how do you phone poll accurately in countries where there are not many phones, and hardly anyone speaks English?

The China statistic is interesting. For all the talk that the world’s largest emitter of CO2 is “speeding to take up renewable energy” it ranks 105th out of 111 countries. “79%” of Chinese people are skeptics (well, more or less).

[...]

Who does the Labor Party represent? Would that be major Financial Houses?

Another leading commentator — this time Michael Stuchbury in The Australian — see the Carbon Tax as a dead dog.

ARE these the signs that Labor’s climate change policy is heading for a second disaster? Big unions and big business are in revolt as the mining boom’s strong dollar squeezes the rest of the trade-exposed economy. Households are up in arms over surging power bills.

And since the shambles of the late 2009 Copenhagen climate summit, Labor hasn’t doused worries that its carbon tax would put Australia in front of the world, a critical risk for a carbon-intensive economy.

This treble of jobs, cost of living and international competitiveness engulfs Julia Gillard and Greg Combet as they attempt to reverse Kevin Rudd’s humiliating 2010 retreat on his emissions trading scheme. It is replete with political and policy failures, some of which are only now becoming evident.

Facing a revolt among steel industry members, Australian Workers Union secretary Paul Howes last week vowed to oppose Labor’s carbon tax if it cost just “a single job”, even with unemployment below 5 per cent. Remember this is Wayne Swan’s union, which was mostly responsible for replacing Rudd with Gillard.

Tim Blair [...]

The moment to test what we-are-made-of, is here

Ladies and Gentlemen, as the power of big-government comes under threat the attacks on skeptics and free citizens grow worse than ever. We are all busy, but we cannot let this one get past. Art Robinson is one of us, one of the original skeptics, back when hardly anyone else was. He’s been a key player, dismayed, like the rest of us at the way science was being used for political purposes. Indeed, he was so dismayed, he ran for congress as a Republican last year.  Against an allegedly full-on smear campaign from the incumbent Congressman Pete DeFazio, Art managed to get 44% of the votes in a long-held Democrat seat.

Oregon State University Library

The shocking thing is that, right now, Art has six children, and three of them simultaneously are getting their PhD projects canceled, snatched, and dismissed. They are or were all studying at Oregon State University, and despite all three having put in years of work and getting great grades, they are now locked out of labs or faced with the prospect of losing all their work.

OSU received $27 million from the same Democrat Congressman Pete DeFazio’s government that Art challenged.

“DeFazio [...]

Billions of dollars sneaks out the door through UN committees

There are billions of dollars of money sneaking out the door of Western Nations and being used to feed the monster bureaucracy, the UNFCCC and its cohort.

In The Carbon Tax that Ate Australia Tony Cox and David Stockwell point out the Australian contributions  fly so under the radar (despite being millions of dollars) that even the Australian government seems to have forgotten they agreed to pay them.   Greg Combet, the minister for Climate Change promises “every dollar of the Carbon Tax will be given back to the people”:

Every dollar raised by the carbon price will be dedicated to supporting households with any price impacts, and supporting businesses through the transition to a clean energy economy. Because we are a Labor government, we will support the most vulnerable in our community — the people who need help the most.

But Combet in Cancun promised  10% of the Australian carbon tax as a tithe to the UN. (And there’s the $599 million as part of the Fast Start Finance program over three years that is in the pipeline.) So which commitment will the Australian government break? Or, let me guess, in the world of spin, the government can give all [...]

Heartland International Climate Change Conference 6

Heartland is offering people the chance to see and possibly meet some of the heroes of the skeptic world in Washington in June 30 – July 1, 2011, Washington D.C. (I hear this may possibly be the last of the Heartland Climate conferences. I hope not!)

Unfortunately I won’t be able to get there, but Bob Carter, Fred Singer, Harrison Schmitt and Steve McIntyre will, the great Craig Idso will be. Click on the images to enlarge them and read

Cheap Influence in National Politics: How Panasonic buy time on our public broadcaster

Tim Blair broke the story of Tim Flannery claiming to be working for Panasonic. (But wait, I hear you say, how could that be,  we thought he was working for the Australian people?!)

If you are a foreign multinational and you want to influence national Australian policies, you don’t need to spend much. Prime time advertising in Australia is as cheap as chips, but it only works on politically correct topics where our national broadcaster (the ABC) will give you a free pass. When it comes to climate change, ABC adverts don’t interrupt the program, they are the program.

Flannery has been on ABC’s Q&A five times, ABC’s Lateline three times [1,2,3,], the ABC’s 7.30 report, ABC breakfast, ABC Latenight live, something on the ABC called Conversations, and too many radio spots to mention. When people question whether Tim Flannery ought be proud of promoting an electronics giant at the same time as he is paid for government funded work … the ABC comes out defending him, and their no-hard-questions approach to promoting what he promotes.

It’s not that someone of his notoriety shouldn’t be getting ABC airtime, it’s that he gets away with failed predictions, half truths, and is [...]

Is it possible our new chief scientist has doubts about climate “science”

The last chief scientist of Australia, Penny Sackett, was disappointed not to be invited to the cabaret at Copenhagen. She quit after she she felt “ignored” . Possibly she belated realized that the government may have appointed her to just so she would not disagree inconveniently with any of their pet projects, thus neutralizing the role of Chief Scientist and reducing it to a rubber stamp.

The new chief scientist is Ian Chubb, Vice-Chancellor of ANU, and a neuroscientist. Unlike Sackett, he’s already said he will “leave the climate debate to politics”. Surprisingly, his actual views on climate science are not easy to pigeonhole. He didn’t mind getting money to buy huge supercomputers for ANU climate modelers (what vice chancellor wouldn’t?). But when he spoke at an event at the ANU climate change conference in Oct 2007, many of his statements can be read both ways.

Is it possible… could it be, that he is a scientist enough to know what the scientific method is and be willing to be a guardian of it? Refreshingly, he does not like the name-calling and the hyperbole of the climate debate. He repeated calls for rational debate, from both sides. He wants a [...]

The sleepers awake: the siege begins

The zeitgeist of the anti-tax revolt in Australia is beginning to gather momentum.

In the last month I’ve met a dozen mining and business leaders, 6 elected members of parliament, and I’ve spoken to 450 pastoralists in remote Australia. Each time the theme is the same: businesses are afraid of the tax, but they are also afraid to speak against it. The phrases I’ve heard specifically are “it’s  a vindictive government”, and “they have long memories”.  At least one of these business leaders was CEO of a household-name multi-billion dollar company.

It’s the same with business associations and committees. They’re wondering if they should focus on hammering out a better deal in the cat fight for compensation or take the “riskier” position and oppose the carbon tax outright.

For Labor the dark winds of discontent are gathering pace.

Things have gone distinctly pear shaped in the last week for the Labor carbon pricing plan. Polls are punishing the Labor party (it’s the lowest results for them in 15 years); the most powerful union leader in Australia (normally a Labor supporter to the end) has threatened to oppose the tax “if one job is lost”;  Andrew Bolt is speculating on just [...]

Ten more faulty assertions from Climate Minister Combet

Ten more faulty assertions from Climate Minister Combet

Carter, Evans, Kininmonth, Franks

Bob  Carter, David Evans, Stewart Franks & Bill Kininmonth

(Also on Quadrant, here and here.)

In a speech given at the National Press Club on April 13th, Climate Minister Combet has yet again revealed that he is receiving unbalanced scientific advice, and that his understanding of the problem of hypothetical dangerous global warming is inadequate. His predecessor, Senator Penny Wong, exemplified the same weaknesses and so does the government.

It is a structural governance deficiency of high order that our current government continues to take exclusive advice on global warming from an unelected, unaccountable international political body (the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; IPCC), as translated for Australian consumption by the CSIRO and by the Department of Climate’s advisor, Professor Will Steffen.

There are multiple clouds of impropriety hanging over the IPCC’s advice:  ClimateGate, thermometers next to hot concrete and artificial heating sources passed off as measuring “global” warming, vital graphs of past temperatures that depend on a single tree in far north Russia, global data sets that are missing, official forecasts of temperature and atmospheric warming that are nothing like [...]