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 [...]

Monckton returns to Australia: help needed

David Evans and I are honoured to have been asked to tour with Christopher Monckton and Ross McKitrick. July (and the Green controlled Australian Senate) is not far off, and there is much to do to make the tour happen, but details are coming together quickly. Where there is a will…

Thanks to The Climate Sceptics and Leon Ashby for their tireless work behind the scenes  –  Jo

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From Leon Ashby

Dear Reader,

Please find attached a poster inviting you to help bring a very important tour to Australia in July.

A small group of volunteers wish to bring Christopher Monckton and several other speakers around Australia for an important tour to explain the science and politics of a carbon tax. We believe it will complement the “No Carbon Tax Protests” happening.

The reason for the extra speakers is to cover all angles of the debate. We want to do it as well as we can with this tour. Despite some large venue costs and a modest admission fee, we believe the tour will pay for itself, but being responsible, we need to have approx $100,000 in either donations, loans or guaranteed funds [...]

Professor points out, it’s a less-than-nobel consensus

Garth Paltridge is an Australian atmospheric physicist with 45 years experience. He worked with CSIRO, the WMO, NOAA, and as Professor and Director of the Institute of Antarctic and Southern Oceans Studies. He has explained why he’s skeptical of the theory of man-made global warming in his book –  The Climate Caper: Facts and Fallacies of Global Warming. Here he explains how a scientific “consensus” can be bought. There’s more than one good reason why argument-from-authority is a fallacy. — Jo

A less-than-nobel consensus

Guest Post by Garth Paltridge

We hear that Julia Gillard is happy to have the CSIRO, the Bureau of Meteorology and the Australian Academy of Science on her side while making her arguments for a carbon tax.   Well of course she is.  She and her predecessor bought them.  And bought them but good.  Over the last couple of years her Department of Climate Change (the DCC) gave them 27 million dollars in the form of research grants.   That pays a fair swag of the salaries of the CSIRO and Bureau climate scientists who make up the majority of all employed climate scientists in Australia.

University climate researchers, while [...]

Fairyland economics — Labor invents perpetual money machine

It’s fairy-land economics out there. In a big economic advance, the Labor Party realized  that they can solve world poverty: the secret is to take money from the big producers, and hand it to anyone and everyone — it will not only keep our national economy productive and efficient, but millions of people will be richer!  Why we didn’t do it 50 years ago!*

Millions to be ‘better off’ under carbon tax

Think of the possibilities! If it works on a national scale, why not go international — how much richer would we all be if we buried our  five cheapest sources of energy in a pit under Maralinga, forced everyone to use the sixth, seventh, and eight best sources of energy, AND we took the profits from the most efficient successful operations around the globe (known henceforth as “polluters” (sic))  and gave them to all the world’s poor and needy?

Where do Gillard and Combet think the “Big-Polluters” get their money from? Would it be from:

(a) giant Swiss-bank-accounts held by Nazi war criminals, (b) ancient Saxon wishing wells, or (c) pots at the end of the rainbow?

Do they think the big-polluters pull money out [...]

Bolivia gets stoneage legal system

UPDATED: See below

It’s the ultimate in pre-cambrian law. Gaia in the courtroom. Shh. The Statutory Spirits are at work. It’s not just the right to life for amoeba, it’s the right not to have your cellular structure modified.

Looks like salad is off the menu.

So is meat, fruit, tea and coffee, and no you can’t eat moths either. Who will prosecute the next cougar which violates the constitution by chomping on a Flamingo?

Looks like 10 million people might get to subsist on organic free range eggs, and milk from consenting cows. Perhaps they can reach a trade agreement for honey with The Andean Bee Collective. But then it’s not clear the honey doesn’t have a right to exist too.

Bolivia enshrines natural world’s rights with equal status for Mother Earth

Law of Mother Earth expected to prompt radical new conservation and social measures in South American nation

* John Vidal in La Paz * guardian.co.uk, Sunday 10 April 2011 18.17 BST

John Vidal reports from La Paz where Bolivians are living with the effects of climate change every day Link to this video

[...]

Unthreaded

I’ve been with our five year old in hospital overnight (with asthma), and there is no time to post… thanks to all the people who have donated to Tim Ball’s case (and you can donate through Dr Ball’s website via paypal http://drtimball.com/), and to commenters and moderators here too.

Lubos has a nice line: “To err once is human, to err twice is accident, to err thrice is coincidence, to err four times is dumb, and to err 12 million times is to be David Suzuki.”

– Jo

h/t Val for the paypal address of Tim Ball.

Legal warfare against skeptics: one win, one needs support…

The Big Scare Campaign is desperate, when they can’t win with reason, they can always find a reason to sue and hope to silence their critics. Their deep pockets make them an ominous foe, and the legal battles are running hot. Actions are running against Andrew Bolt, and Tim Ball (see below), and we only just found out, that one was launched against James Delingpole by the East Anglia CRU.

It’s very significant that James Delingpole has won and won well, as James says:

If it sounds like I’m overdoing it, consider this: the PCC’s ruling must be among the first by any quasi-official body anywhere in the world to take the side of a Climate Change sceptic rather than that of the Warmist establishment. This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.

The Commissions ruling:

In particular, the complainants were concerned that the blog posts described Professor Phil Jones as “disgraced, FOI-breaching, email-deleting, scientific-method abusing”.  They explained that Professor Phil Jones had been exonerated of any dishonesty or scientific malpractice by a series of reviews.

Through its correspondence the newspaper had provided some [...]

Patrick Moore takes on another Greenpeace Guru

Patrick Moore was a co-founder of Greenpeace way back in 1971. He abandoned them in 1986 so he could pursue his environmental passions. As you would. Last November he published a tempting book: Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout: The Making of a Sensible Environmentalist. And not surprisingly stretched a few of his old friendships. The Vancouver Sun has a rare debate between Moore and Rex Weyler, another co-Founder (see below for a snippet). Predictably, Greenpeace is firing their best ad hom, and referring to him as a “paid spokesman for the Nuclear Industry” and are busy rewriting history. They used to list Moore as a co-Founder on their website in the past (copy here), but now they say that they were formed in 1970, and he joined it in 1971, “see the letter”. I did see the letter, and it seems “Greenpeace” didn’t quite mean the same thing in 1970.  What Moore joined in 1971 was a committee called, engagingly, “Don’t Make A Wave Committee” (I can see why that didn’t catch on) and it seems they had a boat called Greenpeace. He was also president of Greenpeace from 1977, and was even on the Rainbow Warrior when it was [...]

Greenpeace: witchhunters with $280m dollars to spend

UPDATE: It appears ANZ is not feeling apologetic or likely to cave in to green threats. ANZ chief executive Mike Smith, has delivered a savage attack on Julia Gillard, declaring her party was part of the “weak government club” of the world.

Greenpeace have produced a hit job on the ANZ Bank: a (fairly) slick production designed to seriously hurt the bank’s brand name, and to make it harder for coal miners to raise funds (which ultimately makes it harder for the poorest in society to pay their electricity bills).

This is why I insist:  Yes, this IS about the science. Even if we defeat the tax and trading scheme, as long as the public think “carbon is pollution” any honest business or business working with them will be subject to this bullying. Coal provides about three quarters of all Australian electricity. Yes, we need to get rid of the pollutants in coal production, but carbon dioxide is not one of them.

We are carbon life forms. There is no evidence that the climate models are right, and that CO2 emissions hurt the planet. Greenpeace could attack the coal industry because of poor safety standards, or because of [...]

Poll Wars: Lying with loaded questions

The Carbon Tax is melting down Australian politics. The spin is running wild and the falsity of “carbon pollution” (sic) preys on yet another political leader.

Two polls met head to head today, one showing 59% of Australians don’t want the tax, and other saying that 72% of Australians want government to negotiate with Greens on the carbon levy. It’s a PR war out there, and, humans being gregarious creatures, every side wants to be in the majority — it’s a critical mass type of thing.

It’s easy to figure out which poll is closer to the truth.

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) poll asked 550 adults the simple question:  “Thinking about the carbon tax. Are you in favour or against the introduction of a carbon tax in Australia?”. 59% were against, 13% didn’t know. Making it 72% who are not for it.

Meanwhile, proving that you can get almost any result you want on a poll if you ask the right questions, Galaxy Research asked 1036 people, the complex, loaded double whammy:

Thinking now about some federal issues. All sides of Australian politics agree that there is a need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions [...]

Is man-made CO2 different? 1000 years? Try 4 years.

That CO2 you emitted last Tuesday: Is it coming back next month, next year, or in March 3011?

Tim Flannery makes it clear that CO2 circulates o-so-slowly, circa “a thousand years”. Remember that CO2′s “greenhouse” effect occurs at speed-of-light timescales, so if the temperature is affected, so must be the CO2 (according, at least, to the World of Flannery).

If we cut emissions today, global temperatures are not likely to drop for about a thousand years… Just let me finish and say this. If the world as a whole cut all emissions tomorrow the average temperature of the planet is not going to drop in several hundred years, perhaps as much as a thousand years because the system is overburdened with CO2 that has to be absorbed and that only happens slowly.  [Thanks to Andrew Bolt]

There are a few clues that maybe CO2 doesn’t idle the centuries away aloft, and that (I know you’ll be shocked) the Climate Commission (and IPCC) have overstated things: If emissions are absorbed by the global system in a matter of months, it rather blows the idea that we have to act decades ahead to stop the catastrophe. If CO2 levels adjust quickly, our [...]