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



University witchdoctors speak out, and the frightened are fleeing!

What are they so afraid of?

It’s all become a media frenzy. Who would have thought that holding an opinion about climate sensitivity due to a trace gas could become a reason to mark someone as an untouchable heretic? Venues are being canceled (and new venues arranged), the media are hunting in packs, and the university witchdoctors are coming out to show how neolithic (but politically correct) their reasoning is.

And they think they are so civilized.

They are stone age tribes with smartphones.

University Witchdoctors — collapse under the hypocrisy of their own reasoning

Academics want climate sceptic’s Lecture cancelled! is the headline on the front page of The West Australian.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s serious. We can no longer stand by and watch as once great institutions embarrass themselves with childlike efforts to silence dissent.

Natalie Latter, a PhD Student at UWA, wrote a letter, endorsed by a few other academic types (who ought to have saved her and themselves from such an embarrassing mistake):

“Lord Monckton propounds widely discredited fictions about climate change and misrepresents the research of countless scientists,” says the letter. “With zero peer-reviewed publications, he has declared [...]

Protests coming up

There are two protests coming up in Sydney. Friday – tomorrow with David Archibald in Martin Place, and Saturday week with myself Christopher Monckton and David Evans at Hyde Park on Saturday 9th July. Click on this link to see the Monckton tour dates. Click here for other protests around the country.

If you live in or near the electorates of Greenway (NSW) and La Trobe (Vic) groups are forming. Please add a comment below or email me to find out more. If you want to start a group to meet like minded people, Holler!

Click on the image to see a larger one.

THE HUNTER VALLEY — SAYING NO TO THE CARBON TAX RALLY

Saturday, 2nd July 2011 1pm Foreshore Park, Newcastle see Facebook

Government wants help to think of a reason to have a carbon tax: will pay $$$

Shouldn’t the government know what the benefits and costs of the carbon tax are before they make it into law? This is looking awfully like a case of “policy first, justifications later”.

First they promised they won’t do it. Then they do it, and they ask for even more of our money so they can pay PR hacks (introduced to us as scientists and economists) to tell us how fabulous their unwanted plan is — after all, the Climate Change Commission has no purpose other than to advertise the Carbon Tax. Then there’s a $12 million advertising program. But wait, there’s more…

Amazingly, there are now $250,000 grants (how many?*) from the Department of Climate Change to anyone who can persuade the public to accept the carbon tax!

If the government had thought this through, they’d already know why they wanted to bring in the tax. (Or maybe they did think it through, but are afraid to tell us the real reasons?)

As it is, they’re only bringing in the tax because 12% of the voters voted one green member into the House of Reps, and it was the price paid to keep Gillard in power. But for most Australians [...]

Skeptoid – like a skeptic but not quite

Here’s a new sign of the times.

Almost no one has gone from skeptic to believer on global warming. The conversion flow is nearly all one-way traffic. But on the Skeptoid site, author Craig Good is a “convert” of a sort, and I have to give him credit for writing the most sensible advice yet for believers of man-made global warming (see below).

But before anyone gets too excited, the two key questions here are: how much of a skeptic was he, and what did it take to change his mind? Answer, not much and not much.

This is not a big believer-awakening-moment of the Mark Lynas type, or another Judith Curry sort of conversion. Both of those were active, involved and outspoken in the climate debate.  Craig Good’s entire skeptical position can be summed up in a few paragraphs, so yes, he qualifies as a skeptic, of the gut-hunch-it’s-wrong-but-haven’t-read-a-single-skeptical-paper-type skeptic.

If there are grades of skeptic from 1 to 10, he was only a 2.

So here’s the flash of insight, that’s never been seen before from alarmist circles

This is great stuff (if blindingly obvious):

To my friends on the Left: Do you want [...]

Keynes versus Hayek: Big government versus individual rights

Check these out. There’s been an ongoing war of ideas, Hayek vs Keynes, for eight decades and counting — and these videos sum it up consummately. This ongoing academic fight has shaped lives and countries for decades: booms, busts, unemployment, and possibly even wars.

Indeed it’s an ominous sign of the times that there is a resurgence of this debate. (The masses take no interest in monetary policy when times are booming.)

(If you are in a tearing hurry, skip the first minute).

I’m not a rap fan, but this is so good that, for the first time, I have to admit rap has its role.

There’s a second in the series and it’s even better.

* * *

There are parallels between climate and economics. Using global markets against “man made global warming” is a Keynesian solution to the weather.

The big left-right divide is not about conservative versus progressive. The “progressives” want us slow down, and give  up cars, flights and air conditioners, and the “conservatives” fight to keep development rolling. Ultimately the left right dichotomy boils down to the individual versus the collective. Thus Keynes (the big government solution) [...]

Clean energy “investments” just a tiny $243 Billion in 2010

Click on the image to go to a fully interactive infographic where you can find out just how much money people have buried, I mean, invested in clean energy in your country. It's nifty.

Have you ever thought about how lucky we are that only kind-hearted helpful souls are involved in the erstwhile cottage industry known as “renewable energy”?

Imagine if a less-than-scrupulous agent got into these green-fields of money, and frolicked in the vast acreage of subsidies, schemes, and easy loans? Where would we be? The public would think the people and the industry were here to save us, the industry could prod levers of government to encourage more subsidies and pro-renewable energy legislation. The “cottage” industry could also pay for and help write reports that the government then used in order to convince the people to put more of their goods and chattels in the public-trough. In variations on the circular theme, the industry could apply for grants from the government to help pay for the reports it wrote for the government to help it earn even more subsidies, or to cripple it’s competitors. (eg. See here).

Thus deadly positive feedback would spiral out of control.

Then [...]

Monckton stirs the pot with a cheap shot, and the media obediently perform

By now every person in the climate debate knows that Monckton used a swastika on a slide in LA.

UPDATE: By the time I wrote this, Monckton had already been roundly condemned for his unnecessary hyperbole, and unreservedly apologized. I couldn’t see much point in joining in the chorus. Yes, I agree,  he did the wrong thing. The ends doesn’t justify the means. We can hardly complain about namecalling, if we do it too. I’m just trying to add perspective on the magnitude of the crime. People are suggesting we exile the man for  — as far as I can tell — one clumsy joke and one very poor choice of slide.

None of this would be necessary if the media had reported information from both sides of the story.

I groaned when I saw it. The fascist comment has been used many times before (and Garnaut is advocating ad hoc extensive government control over business). The Nazi swastika, though, is a new low in rhetorical excess. Definitely not one I would have used, and I’m glad Monckton has apologized so quickly, and won’t be using it again — it’s a cheap shot.

This is [...]

Oreskes’ clumsy, venomous smear campaign: busted

Naomi Oreskes

The great Fred Singer takes the time to explain why Naomi Oreskes is a scientifically inept and a poor historian. Her famous claim of a scientific consensus based on 900 papers missed more than 11,000 that should have been included. Her grasp of science is so poor she isn’t familiar with the pH scale, thinks Beryllium is a heavy metal, mistakenly assumes that CO2 is trapped in the troposphere, and climate models can predict forest fires and floods. Embarrassingly, Oreskes doesn’t understand the difference between reactive oxygen and radioactive oxygen.

Armed with cherry picked distortions she sets about maliciously impugning upstanding senior scientists with distinguished records in science, and years of service. Unlike a professional historian she hasn’t even interviewed any of them to find out if the information she promoted was correct. Sadly Singer is the only one still with us to point out the flaws.

Years from now when their contributions are still recognized, Oreskes will be but a footnote in history classes of how poor research and largely baseless innuendo were used to serve a groupthink meme and feed a hate campaign against some of our best and brightest. No humility. No respect. No [...]

Peer review denial and the abuse of science

“Climate denial and the abuse of peer review“

Can someone get Stephan Lewandowsky his medication? His new marketing message is that “deniers” don’t do peer review papers. There’s a curious case of acute-peer-review-blindness (APRB) occurring. It doesn’t matter that there are literally thousands of pages of skeptical information on the web, quoting hundreds of peer reviewed papers, by people far more qualified than a cognitive-psychologist, yet he won’t even admit they exist.

…most climate deniers avoid scrutiny by sidestepping the peer-review process that is fundamental to science, instead posting their material in the internet or writing books.

Dear Stephan, deny this: 900 papers that support skeptics. What is it about these hundreds of papers published in Nature, Science, GRL, PNAS, and Journal of Climate that you find impossible to acknowledge? (And  do tell Stephan, if people need to publish peer reviewed material before they venture an opinion on climate science online, how many peer reviewed articles on climate science have you produced?)

Obviously, the real deniers are the people who deny the hundreds of papers with empirical evidence that show the hockey stick is wrong, the world was warmer, the climate changes, and the models are flawed.

[...]

Heading over the waterfall

Here in Australia we are in a eerie twilight world: it’s obvious skepticism is thriving, and plain that those pushing the carbon tax are desperate. Yet this is a train-wreck in action.

The current government popularity is as sunk as sunk can be. On a daily basis, commentators ask how long Gillard will survive, or how the Labor Party could be doomed or posit yet another explanation for “the downfall”. “Change or Die” says party elder, John Faulkner. Yet paradoxically, it is just because the government is so desperate that it can’t “afford” to bury the dead-lemon policy called the Carbon Tax. A weak government is a dangerous one.

It’s like a barking mad virus has run amok

Two weeks from now, the Greens get control of our Senate (possibly for six years), but the House of Representatives is as knife-edge dysfunctional as ever. With legislative seats so closely tied, we’re left with three so-called independents who — in theory — might be talked into voting against the Carbon Tax. In practice, it’s virtually an impossibility. On the day that Tony Abbott delivered his searing budget reply, Windsor was seen to sympathetically put his arm around Gillard’s back and [...]