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



Climate Scientists who were right 30 years ago?

Stephen Goddard has found a gem of a news article. 1979 : Before The Hockey Team Destroyed Climate Science.

Drs Leona Libby and Louise Pandolfi projected world temperatures in 1979 for the next 70 years and got results that, 30 years later, appear to have been broadly correct if out by 5 – 7 years. Ironically, they used, of all things, … tree ring data (going back 1,800 years). The critical difference was they assumed that the climate changes in natural cycles.

St Petersburg Times, Jan 1 1979

Prediction: Warming trend until year 2000, then very cold.

[...]

Climate Commission Report Debunked

Scientific audit of the Climate Commission Report “The Critical Decade – Climate science, risks and responses”

May, 2011

Bob Carter, David Evans, Stewart Franks, William Kininmonth

PART I – INTRODUCTION, DISCUSSION & CONCLUSIONS

For PART II – SCIENCE AUDIT see the Full PDF file of Part I & II

Also posted at Quadrant Online, May 30, 2011

INTRODUCTION

The Key Messages[1] summary of The Critical Decade[2] opens with a ringing statement of hyperbole:

Over many decades thousands of scientists have painted an unambiguous picture: the global climate is changing and humanity is almost surely the primary cause. The risks have never been clearer and the case for action has never been more urgent.

This declaration establishes two things. The first sentence signals that the report is committed to repeating the conclusions of the 4th Assessment Report of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC)[3], conclusions that are essentially reliant on computer modelling and lack empirical support. And the second signals that the report is long on opinionated analysis and political advocacy but devoid of objective risk analysis.

These same characteristics apply to the scientific [...]

Only an Eco-dictatorship Will Save the World! Democracy be Damned!

Thanks to the Global Warming Policy Foundation we can finally See the Light!, and it shines from Germany’s green government advisers.

Get Ready. To save the world you must give up the right to vote. To cool the planet, you will forgo the right to have a say in the laws of your land. Why? There are gifted, anointed higher beings out there (who knew?) and they are smarter than the masses. They may not know what an 8-sigma-tree is, but they know how to control the weather.

Through their benevolence you and I will live in a bountiful land, where there will be no more floods or droughts, no more record hot days, or blizzard filled cold ones. Instead life will be perfect. Every asylum seeker shall find what they seek, every climate scientist will have their own suite, and thus and unto infinity, the glorious bliss of perfect weather will descend upon the poor and worthy people of all lands, starting with Germany.

The gifted elite who have the Vision have given up trying to convince or persuade the stupid throngs of  doctors, geologists, engineers, lawyers, businesspeople and other heathen fools (like NASA astronauts) who “don’t understand” their [...]

The Worst Cookbook Interview Ever?

Robin Williams is supposedly one of Australia’s top science communicators. He, and the ABC, continue to support ad hominems, name-calling, and are running scared of a real scientific debate. Williams will not allow skeptics to explain their views on his show, except in comments on stories, and then apparently, even that was too much, and a raging thread (for the Science Show) mysteriously disappeared for days when it got too hot. BobFJ has been dedicated in tracking it, and keeping the pressure on the anti-science pronouncements of Williams et al. Here we have all the fun of the so called “Science” Show meeting the author of  Un-Skeptical-Science, with half-truths and irrelevancies broadcast across the continent thanks to the taxpayers of Australia. — JoNova

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Guest Post by  Bob Fernley-Jones (aka Bob_FJ)

In addition to regular readers of Jo Nova, those familiar with John Cook’s misleadingly titled website “Skeptical Science” may be shocked by what follows.  Some will also likely recall Jo’s article; Robyn Williams shreds the tenets of science.  It largely covered the awful Robyn Williams interview of Bob Ward of 2/Oct/2010, and resulted in strong ridicule of the ABC going viral around the world.   Well, lo [...]

GetUp — got hate and monkey jokes, but missed the science…

GetUp have pulled out all stops and produced their most convincing science and economics advert to wow “the nation’s decision makers” (they actually use that phrase). Don’t hold your breath waiting for the cost-benefit analysis though — the closest they get to science is a picture of a chimp. The jokes though, could go over well with the under-ten-set.

If this the progressive movement maturing, I can only say congratulations to them, they’ve made double digits.

The reasons to eschew our cheapest form of energy, to pay even more tax to not-build-more-hospitals-schools-and-roads (and not do more medical and physics research) is so obvious, apparently, that any brainwashed 13 year old can see it. It’s all to do with piggy banks and caricatures of what the business world is like. Get it?

Watch the video here:  http://www.getup.org.au/fund-solutions-not-pollution

As you watch it, ponder that someone in GetUp either thinks this will impress “decision makers”, or else cynically thinks the people who donate to GetUp are stupid enough to believe that. “Our team of media buyers are searching for availabilities in the programs that we know decision makers watch“. As if our Senators and M.P.’s have time to watch TV… [...]

Coalition policy looks like fairyland economics too

Greg Hunt tried to explain the Coalition policy on coal power stations on the 7:30 Report last night. It wasn’t a good look. This is what happens when they deny the science telling us that there is no need to reduce CO2. That’s a harsh criticism, because they are closer to reality than the ALP, but ultimately, as long as they say “we need to reduce CO2 by 2020″, and “the science is settled” they are stuck trying to move the immovable mountain.

Chris Uhlmann does a good job trying to fill in the gaps in the reasoning, and Greg Hunt looks silly denying the obvious. Coal provides the cheapest source of energy around, so if we replace it with anything else there will be extra costs. Hunt keeps waving the magic fairyland contradictory combination of “we’ll only use the cheapest alternative” and “we won’t do anything to raise costs.”

The real problem here is that the Coalition are not free to speak about a science theory. Each time they step slightly outside the politically-correct-line they are bullied and derided, which would be fine if it was just by the Greens, but isn’t fine when it includes most of the [...]

The Climate Commission Report: promotional material that they don’t even believe themselves

The latest Climate Commission report has created a media frenzy all over Australia — though on the plus side, I know a few skeptics who have been interviewed on radio stations in the last 24 hours.

As usual, the well funded team produce a long 72 page effort that says very little that’s new. Curiously the graphic designers didn’t try as hard as they normally do. Where are the full color shots of  a fragile Planet Earth? Where are the mandatory fields of baked-dry-mud? Maybe clip art is trendy now? Or maybe, just possibly, this document was slapped together at the last minute by a desperate department on the run from the crashing polls?

Apart from the sea of logical errors and half-truths, what is a sad mark of the times, is that despite all the taxpayer money, they can’t even produce a statement they will stand by. This is NOT a document that underscores decisions with billions of dollars at stake. It’s just for general information, and if the weather gets cold instead of warm, if people drown in floods they didn’t predict or build desalination plants that won’t be needed, it’s not their fault. “Don’t sue me”.

IMPORTANT [...]

ABC Rejects — Hansen admit the models are wrong, but alarmism gets the last word on the ABC.

ABC Unleashed knocked back this reply  (below) from Cox and Stockwell. The ABC is OK with publishing unsubstantiated smears, and doesn’t feel any need to muddy the water with inconvenient facts.

The essential point here is that Cox and Stockwell noticed that Hansen was inadvertently admitting the models have major flaws. Hansen effectively acknowledges the magnitude of the error by the models is almost half the entire forcing blamed on human emissions of CO2. Hansen thought he was making the point that it’s all awful and worse than we thought, because if aerosols have been cooling the planet more than we expected, then CO2 has been heating it more than we expected too! But in order to claim that, he had to first admit that the models (shock) had been wrong all along. In the end, it’s a speculative war of unknown fudge-factors.

Why does this matter so much?

The alarmists are always telling us that we know CO2 matters because they can’t explain the rise in temperatures without CO2. It’s all argument from ignorance and a fallacy from the beginning. Then when their models didn’t reproduce the cooling from 1945 – 1975, they “discovered” aerosols.

[...]

Could Green BioGas ferment botulism?

Clostridium Botulinum is one of the toughest bugs around. And its toxin (a neurotoxin) is also one of the most deadly, yet strangely popular at the same time. Yes botulinum toxin is also known as BoTox and tiny quantities paralyze nerves. Small quantities can be fatal as nerve damage progresses to respiratory failure.

In it’s spore stage you can boil the bug to no avail — it’s one of the reasons boiling isn’t enough for tins, or sterilization of lab equipment. To kill these spores you need 121C in an autoclave (or pressure cooker). The toxin itself can be destroyed at 100C.

A million acres of land are producing corn for biogas plants in Germany.

German “Green” Biogas Plants Producing Deadly Botulism – “Could Be Catastrophic To Wildlife”

By P Gosselin on 19. Mai 2011 No tricks Zone

German sporting and dog magazine Wild und Hund reports that thousands of domestic and wild animals are falling ill from tainted waste from green “climate-friendly” biogas plants, which is then used as an agricultural fertilizer in fields.

[...]

Evidence suggests global warming is good for our health

While half a million people starve each year we feed 6.5% of the world grain to cars. Image credit: "Corn for cars", From Viv Forbes. Click on the image to read the carbonsense post.

After I wrote Wasting money on climate change betrays sick in The  Weekend Australian, Fiona Armstrong of the Climate and Health Alliance replied with Climate action has clear public health dividend.  Here’s why she’s missing the main point (saving lives).

Fiona Armstrong claims that there are substantial health gains possible from climate action, and waved the banner of scientific integrity and “fact”. Unfortunately for Armstrong, the mortal facts from countries all over the world show that more people die in colder weather. Any statistic that suggests climate change is killing people only survives as long as we ignore the number of people saved.

Medical studies rarely show such unanimity. The results stand whether you look at seasonal or daily temperatures, extremes or averages, cold locations versus warm ones, or the trend in flood deaths and droughts. No matter where you live, whether you ail in your heart, or your lungs: You’re less likely to die in warmer weather.

If we could control the planet’s thermostat, [...]

So what is the Second Darn Law?

With nearly 500 comments on the thread on the Second Law of Thermodynamics there is obviously a need for people to discuss the basic greenhouse theory. Here’s a new thread on that theme.

So what is the Second Darn Law?

From NASA:

But there are variations

As with all these Laws of science there is no exact wording, because There Is No God Who Issues Science Decrees*.  What we have are human efforts to best explain the world around us. Note that the two well known versions of the Second Law both contain the phrase “whose sole result”, meaning that heat transfer can certainly move from a colder to a warmer body if there is some other compensating movement where more heat is transferred from a hotter body to a colder one. Voila… whatever heat transfer goes from greenhouse gases to the Earth is more than countered by the heat moving from the Sun to Earth and on to space. Greenhouse gases can heat the Earth as long as the entropy of the whole system increases.

[...]

10% of sea level rise is due to land rising too. Got that?

Just in case you missed it, there has been yet another example of data manipulation in the endless round of adjustments that bring reality closer to the models. Thanks to James Taylor in Climate Change Weekly for drawing our attention to it.

Sea levels are one of the top five most critical measurements to tell us about the planet’s “heat”. Remember, they say “it’s worse than we thought” and that sea level rise is accelerating. Yet the measurements by the best equipment available — satellites — tell of a steady linear rise of just 3mm year after year, except for lately, when it’s been lower. (What kind of scientist can’t predict where a straight line is headed?)

Sea level is hard to measure — the sea is not flat — the ground also moves, but satellites measure the world’s oceans every ten days to an accuracy of several millimeters, and what’s more, they measure it compared to the center of the Earth (see below). NASA says so. So it is hard to explain why, after delaying the latest (shrinking) results for a couple of months past the usual posting date, they now announce that they’ve added “a correction of 0.3 [...]

Announcing the Galileo Movement

Case Smit and John Smeed brought Christopher Monckton to Australia in a brave defiant move last year. This year they have put together the Galileo Movement which was launched today by none other than Alan Jones.

They live by the creed: “All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing”.

This is another form of the grassroots uprising against serfdom and misinformation.

Purpose and Aims of the Galileo Movement: by exposing misrepresentations pushing a ‘price on carbon dioxide’

The Galileo Movement seeks to protect Australians and our future in five areas:

Protect freedom – personal choice and national sovereignty; Protect the environment; Protect science and restore scientific integrity; Protect our economic security; Protect people’s emotional health by ending Government and activists’ constant destructive bombardment of fear and guilt on our kids and communities.

Please Visit The Galileo Movement and support them if you can.

Climate science rappers do some research as well

The Bunyip decided to take a closer look at the rap singing Climate Scientists (in that profane Hungry Beast rap video) and gives us an idea of what kind of rigorous science they pursue.

He’s noticed, for example, that one of the rap-singer-scientists claims a 97.7% (!) certainty that the Murray has not had a worse drought than the most recent one in the last 1500 years.

Snippets below from Insane Clown Posse — Part II

All thanks for the eye-opener go to Melbourne University’s Ailie Gallant (below)… It is not Allie’s efforts to attract attention  (which can also help with the funding), but her co-authored paper on water flows in the Murray Darling Basin which has brought so much re-assurance. In particular, it is the remarkably specific conclusion that there is precisely, and she is very exact about this, a 2.3% likelihood tht any of the many droughts over the past 1500 years were worse than the one just ended – the same dry spell during which the she began smokin’ dos’  stats in her climate crib.

And her methods? Well, let’s just say that the Professor is — yo, lab bitches — down with [...]

News thread May 15 and 500th Post!

There are many comments coming in on the previous thread about the 2nd law of Thermodynamics. This thread is for people who want to discuss other issues. I’ve moved comments from the other threads. PS: This is the 500th post on joannenova.com.au!

Spend more on everything says Fiona Armstrong in The Australian Australian legislation sneaks through the upper house about carbon pricing? The Australian BOM knocks back the FOI requests for the NZ NIWA review 1. Spend more on everything says Fiona Armstrong in The Australian

Yes, thanks to all who’ve pointed out the reply to my Australian article about medical research vs climate change spending. I’m delighted The Australian want to encourage this debate. I will be sending them a reply soon. I hope they provide a forum to really test the value of our tax dollars.  Bring it on!

Her reasoning is all the usual, unproven or disproven claims about what climate change causes (Storms, Floods, Droughts!), and her ignorance that deaths from cold-snaps outnumber the heat wave fatalities.

Apparently either we create money from nothing and pay for everything (and die-by-inflation) or if we want to prevent bushfire deaths and heatstroke we should take money from medical [...]

Greenhouse Gas warming doesn’t break the second law — Comments Overflow

Here are the first 500 comments on this thread (plus some orphans*). To make a new comment go to the original page.

Why greenhouse gas warming doesn’t break the second law of thermodynamics

*Orphan comments were recent ones attached to an older comment. When the older comment was moved to this thread they lost their position, and needed to be moved here. Sorry for any disruption to the flow. – Jo

Why greenhouse gas warming doesn’t break the second law of thermodynamics

This is generating many comments, see below for an update!

Behind the scenes some skeptics are suggesting that CO2 can’t warm us because the atmosphere is colder than the planet, and  it would break the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics (see Postma*, for example, p 6 – 7). I disagree. The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics applies to net flows of heat, not to each individual photon, and it does not prevent some heat flowing from a cooler body to a warm one.

Imagine three blocks of metal side by side. They are 11°C, 10°C, and 9°C. Think about what happens to the photons coming off the atoms in the middle of the medium temperature block between the other two. If heat never flows from cooler blocks to warmer blocks, all those photons have to go “right“, and not ever go “left”, because they “know” that way is towards a cooler block? (How would they?!)

The photons go both ways (actually every way, in 3D). There are more coming from the 11°C block to the 10°C block, sure, but the the 10°C block is sending ‘em back to the 11°C block too. So heat is flowing from cold to hot. It happens [...]

The brutal cold of the Maunder Minimum and the Great Irish Frost

A Scene on the Ice by Hendrick Avercamp, circa 1600

Dennis Avery reminds us of just how painfully cold the Little Ice Age was (see below) and also pointed me to this excellent historical description:

The Great Irish Frost of 1740, Longest Period of Extreme Cold in Modern European History

Biot Report #442:July 13, 2007

An extraordinary climatic shock—the Great Frost—struck Ireland and the rest of Europe between December 1739 and September 1741, after a decade of relatively mild winters. Its cause remains unknown. Charting its course sharply illuminates the connectivity between climate change and famine, epidemic disease, economies, energy sources, and politics. David Dickson, author of Arctic Ireland (1997) provides keen insights into each of these areas, which may have application to human behaviors during similar future climatic shocks. The crisis of 1740-1741 should not be confused with the equally devastating Great Potato Famine in Ireland of the 1840s.

Though no barometric or temperature readings for Ireland (population in 1740 of 2.4 million people) survive from the Great Frost, Englishmen were using the mercury thermometer invented 25 years earlier by the Dutch pioneer Fahrenheit. (1) Indoor values during January 1740 were as [...]

Gina Rinehart asks the business leaders of Australia to stand up against the carbon tax

Gina Rinehart, Australia’s wealthiest business leader opposes the carbon tax and asks “Where are the other leaders?”

What’s unseen are the hundreds of business leaders particularly in the top 100, especially the BCA, who say nothing. The only businesses that want an Australian Carbon Tax are the renewable energy brands and, of course, the companies who won’t have to pay it (i.e. our foreign competitors). Plenty of Chinese, Indian and Brazilian companies would surely give a schadenfreude-smile at seeing their Australian competitors hobbled.

Few Australian business leaders are brave enough to say the bleeding obvious, and I’ve mentioned before that many fear retribution. Gina Rinehart has published an article in Australian Resources and Investment this month (see below) daring them to speak up: where are Australia’s business leaders?

Bianca and Gina Rinehart with Lang Hancock in the 1980's.

Rinehart’s position in Australia is a curious one: in 2011 she is clearly top of  the rich-list, and is the first woman ever to hold that position.  Her father, Lang Hancock, opened the Pilbara but died in 1992 with his estate owing large sums and close to bankruptcy. Rinehart turned those projects around and became the most successful entrepreneur in the country [...]

Bob Carter speaks Wednesday in Port Kembla

CARBON DIOXIDE DOES NOT CAUSE GLOBAL WARMING Dr Bob Carter Adjunct research professor in the Marine Geophysical Laboratory at James Cook University

PUBLIC LECTURE WEDNESDAY 11th MAY 7.30PM PORT KEMBLA RSL CLUB AUDITORIUM