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

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



We need a free market in climate science

This weekend, I’ve got another article in The Weekend Australian. It’s a credit to the Murdoch News team that they are willing to print both points of view. This point is one that resonates with many people — a consensus can be bought with monopolistic science funding. It explains  why research could run off the rails. We paid to find a crisis.

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Climate change suspect must be given a fair trial

GOVERNMENTS across the world have paid billions to find links between carbon dioxide and the climate, but very little to find the opposite, and that’s a problem.

Teams of professionals have searched high and low for any possible hint that CO2 poses a threat, and that is all very well, but no one has been paid to find otherwise. CO2 has been convicted without a defence lawyer.

It is self-evident that any expert in a field will reap more rewards, fame and fortune if their field is critically important. Why would anyone expect such experts to go out of their way to hunt down evidence that might suggest their field ought not be the centre of a global [...]

BREAKING Australian Carbon Tax Legislation Released

The Carbon Tax legislation has been released finally: The draft from the Climate Change Department.

It’s supposed to be a simple tax on every ton of pollution. But nothing is simple when you try to tax a basic element of life. In a true free market you only need a buyer, a seller and a product. The Australian government is running this market from beginning to end: There are 340 pages of unfree rules.

The complexity is a chance to hand out favours to “our friends our fans and our marginal seats”.

How many ways can they crony up the country?

Legal-eagles, and number crunchers, please comment here so we can highlight the points that matter.

H/t Kevin

UPDATE #1

In 340 pages there’s zero instances of the terms “global warming”, and “temperature”. What’s this tax supposed to do??? h/t Pat

Speedy – better than the real thing

Speedy posted this skit in the comments thread here at #85. From that sequestered position, it’s taken two weeks but it’s going viral and Oops!,  the satire of Clarke and Dawe is being credited to Clarke and Dawe. I’ve had 6 emails in the last couple of days. Let’s give Speedy some credit!

Australian politics is like buying a  second hand car — Jo

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Overflow thread – convoy of no confidence (thread # 2)

These were the first 499 comments on this (largest thread on this site)

Click here to see the original post on The Convoy of No Confidence.

 

The original numbers of these comments was numbers 1 – 499

Overflow thread – Convoy of No Confidence

It’s time to flow over…

These were the second 500 comments on the Convoy Thread.

Click here to see the original post on The Convoy of No Confidence.

 

The original numbers of these comments was numbers 500 – 1000.

The Convoy of no confidence is amassing towards Canberra

Something beautiful is unfolding. From all over Australia, people whose businesses and jobs are being driven into the ground by spectacular government mismanagement are gathering to drive from the corners of the continent to converge on Canberra to demand an election.

Cars, utes and semitrailers are descending on Canberra from all over the country

A large map for printing and the media CONVOY JPG (600kb) or CONVOY TIF (2.6Mb)

The productive class may not have easy rent-a-crowds for rallies and chirpy letter campaigns, but they have something that the keen teens do not — they have capital assets — in this case, assets that move.

When it’s obvious money and choices are being poured down a bottomless well, people are prepared to go that extra mile, or in this case the extra 4,000.*

It started with Mick Pattel –  a livestock transporter from North West Queensland — who suffered a 50 percent drop in business when the Federal Government banned live exports to Indonesia. According to Beef Central he declared that the time has come for a re-election. The owner/driver from Richmond, who also serves as president of the National Road Freighters Association, started planning a protest [...]

It wasn’t CO2: Global sea levels started rising before 1800

Fans of man-made global warming frequently tell us seas are rising, but somehow forget to mention the rise started 200 years ago, long before our coal-fired electricity plants cranked up, and long before anyone had an electric shaver, or a 6 cylinder fossil-fuel-spewing engine. Something else was driving that warming trend.

Here is the data from tide gauges going back 300 years from a paper by Jevrejeva et al 2008.

[Graphed by Joanne Nova based on data from Jevrejura et al located at this site PMSML]

This graph was calculated from 1023 tide gauge records [Jevrejeva et al., 2006] going back to 1850.The 2008 study extended the record further using  three of the longest (though discontinuous) tide gauge records available: Amsterdam, since 1700 [Van Veen, 1945], Liverpool, since 1768 [Woodworth, 1999] and Stockholm, since 1774 [Ekman, 1988]. Obviously since there are only three old records, the error bars are a riot.

The Jevrejeva paper is also useful for portraying the 60 year rolling cycle. The regular ups and downs are obvious when the rate of change is plotted (see below).

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Australian sea-levels respond to CO2 by slowing down…

It’s worse than we thought. The models I mean — they are more hopeless at predicting things like regional sea-level rise than we had reckoned, and we thought they were god-awful.

Remember the awe-inspiring, grant-inducing and legislation-bending Victorian report suggesting “up to 45,000 Victorian homes – worth $10.3 billion – face inundation….Across Australia 247,600 individual buildings valued at $63 billion could be damaged or lost, while major infrastructure, including Sydney and Brisbane airports, are at risk of being flooded by increasingly damaging storms.” (The airports, forgoodnesssake, were going to be underwater, and the 737′s would need those optional float thingies to “land” where there wasn’t much … land.)

Then the poor residents of Port Albert were told to build houses on stilts to avoid the feared sea-level rise (and in a double dose of bureaucratic jeopardy: at the same time they had to keep their roof-tops below the “heritage” line — making houses fit for pygmies).

Those Hollywood-style-apocalyptic flood results are based on an estimated “1.1-metre sea level rise by 2100″. Let’s think that through: current sea level is rising roughly 2mm – 3mm a year, and thus, to hit that 1.1 metre total by 2100 those global seas will [...]

Monckton to Turnbull: Challenge to an absolute banker

Christopher Monckton is toying with Turnbull. It would be beautiful to watch

The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, following what the great Alan Jones has described as his “6-0, 6-0, 6-0 victory” over the director of the Australia Institute in a debate about the climate at the National Press Club in Canberra early this week, has today issued the following challenge to Malcolm Turnbull, the former leader of the Liberal/National Coalition, whom his party recycled last year for his naïve belief that “global warming” is some sort of “global crisis” –

Whereas one Malcolm Turnbull, Member of Parliament for Goldman Sachs, self-appointed leader of the Absolute Bankers’ Get-Rich-Quick, Gimme-the-Money, Subsidy-Junkies’, Profiteers’-of-Doom and Rent-Seekers’ Vested-Interest Coalition Against Hard-Working Taxpayers, has this day demonstrated wilful but indubitably profitable ignorance of elementary science by declaring that since all relevant matters of climatology are settled no one should pay any heed to a mere Peer of the Realm who dares to question the imagined (and imaginary) scientific “consensus” to the effect that unless the economies of the West are laid waste and destroyed we are all doomed;

And forasmuch as it [...]

This is why they want to stop skeptics speaking – Monckton swings 9%

Christopher Monckton had no slides, no graphs, and only part of one hour, and was faced with tough questions from seasoned journalists, 100 stacked seats of activists who hate him, and yet in that time 9% of the people who saw the debate and thought we needed to act on CO2, changed their mind.

This ladies and gentlemen tells you what a thin veneer it all is. We are one good prime time documentary away from a mass exodus from the Act!-now!-or!-Fry! camp. It’s so finely balanced that only a frenetic campaign of denigration, silence and assiduous denial will keep the public from “getting” it.

“Lord Monckton wins Press Club debate and persuaded 9% more Australians to his view that ‘Concerns about Global Warming are exaggerated’”

Roy Morgan Research

As far as believers of Global Warming are concerned, it’s absolutely rational to bully, namecall, whip up smear campaigns, and mock the skeptics. When they don’t have any good answers to the basic questions: Where’s the evidence, and Can we change the Weather?  They don’t have any choice.

Please gentlefolk, can we have a moments silence for the impending death [...]

This is not journalism, Wendy Carlisle

Background Briefing ABC Radio National July 17th

I’m sure Wendy Carlisle thinks she’s helping Australia.

The awarded writer who calls herself a science journalist, breaks laws of reason, makes a litany of careless errors, ambushes interviewees with false claims, and devoutly stares past hundreds of peer reviewed references as if they don’t exist. Yes, Anything but the evidence!

She thinks hunting through resumes of retired scientists is a good way to inform us about the need for a Carbon (sic) Tax.

It’s a wake up call ladies and gentlemen. This is the state of “science” at your ABC where polite discussion and meaningful research has been replaced with tabloid guttertalk.

The ABC is not part of the problem, it IS the problem. It’s not just that we spent $1 billion last year on the ABC — the real cost of the propaganda-machine disguised as “impartial reporting” is the billions of dollars we have already malinvested due to the ABC’s inability to provide rigorous and relevant science reporting, and the multi-billions more we are about to waste.

The nation is about to undergo a [...]

The Real Monckton Debate

The National Press Club Climate change debate between Lord Christopher Monckton and Richard Denniss.

The ABC appear to have lost the debate for their 10pm Channel 24 slot. Somehow I don’t think they would have lost the footage if Christopher Monckton had made a mistake…

Had he made a gaffe, it would have been on the 7pm news, and every hourly update after that.

Watch it here instead. Who needs the ABC?

Thank God for the internet.

Hat tip to Keith.

UPDATE: Keith writes that the youtube is popular today! Just looked at the video stats.. #2 – Top Rated (Today) – News & Politics – Australia #17 – Top Rated (This Week) – News & Politics – Australia #162 – Most Viewed (Today) – Australia

#2 – Most Viewed (Today) – News & Politics – Australia

My thought: We should all thank Monckton greatly for his brilliant performance (and climatesceptics for helping to make this happen). I am sure there are quite a few journalists in that room who came away from the debate with “less certainty” about the skill and knowledge of their environmental reporters. It won’t be reported widely in the press, but the [...]

Lord Christopher Monckton, and that waste-of-time “Lord” debate

The truth about the “Lord” claim

I care not about the UK peerage, but for the record, when people mockingly claim Christopher Monckton is not a Lord it shows just how desperate they are to attack the man and distract people from hearing his arguments.

The correct answer when people say: “He’s not a Lord” is one line.

The Letters Patent grants him a peerage, and his passport lists him as a Viscount. You really are scared of talking about scientific evidence aren’t you?

Attacks on his title are ad hominem remarks — designed to suggest he can’t be trusted to speak about anything else. The truth is a complex legal debate borne from that the centuries old messy ancient liaison between the British monarchy and UK Parliament. Do you want to talk historic legal technicalities or science?

There is no deception on the part of Christopher Monckton. He has never claimed he was a voting member of the House of Lords in the UK. He inherited the title the Third Viscount Monckton of Brenchley from his father and grandfather before that. It is indeed inscribed on his passport [...]

Spending billions? Why not do a due diligence study? Nah, who needs it?

Here’s an edited version of a comment found on Watts UP (h/t Ian :-) . A retired project engineer explains to Julia Gillard why peer review reports are not the same as a proper due diligence study — something smaller organizations would have done for projects twenty million times less ambitious than the Carbon Tax transformation of the Australian economy. Good luck with that message Colin. Since Gillard and Co didn’t think a feasibility study was worth doing for out $46 billion NBN, I can’t see them catching on to the idea of spending a few million as insurance against corruption, fraud or scientific stupidity. A due diligence study is too cheap. When they talk insurance, it’s only worth doing if it costs a magnitude more than the catastrophe.   — Jo … Agnostic says: July 14, 2011 at 12:29 am Here is an e-mail my father (a retired project engineer) sent to Julia Gillard [in reference to her email about why we need a carbon tax.]

“Dear Julia,

Thank you for your message. As a self funded retiree I will happily receive whatever allowances your plan provides for me. However, I despair over the way your [...]

Labor sets new record in Unpopularity – worst result since World War II

The latest Morgan Poll:

In the first Australia-wide voting intention poll conducted since Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced the details of the Carbon Tax the latest telephone Morgan Poll conducted over the last two nights, July 13/14, 2011 shows the L-NP 60.5% with a record winning lead over the ALP 39.5% – the worst Two-Party preferred voting result for Labor since the first Roy Morgan Gallup Poll conducted in May 1942.

The L-NP primary vote is 52.5%, nearly double the ALP 27.5%. Support for the minor parties shows the Greens 10.5% and Others/ Independents 9.5%.

Stephen Harper, estimates that if this were repeated uniformly across all electorates at a general federal election and writes to me that  “Labor would be reduced to a rump of just 29 seats. ..and if things get  two percent worse  (62.5/37.5 2PP) Labor would be reduced to just 17 seats out of 150.”

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The pendulum is swinging back now: Climate Rap

This is a great turning point. I know this has been circulating for weeks, but if you haven’t seen this climate rap, do check it out. Good Friday night stuff.

The warmers have been pretending for so long that they are the little guys fighting Big Oil, Big Industry, and Bad Government. The ruse worked so well, that the bubble is ripe for busting. They can’t “fight” the establishment — they are the Establishment.  They have a $144 billion carbon trading scheme, a $243 billion  renewables investment annually, not to mention a UN agency, and whole Western Government Departments spinning their dogma.  What self respecting youth wants to be a useful idiot fighting for their profits?

Enjoy…

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Greens reveal their aims: Environment? Who cares?

Hypocrisy soup for an entree anyone?

The Greens say they want to protect the environment, that CO2 is evil, and that we must be considerate of foreigners. But their actions speak louder than their tie-dyed t-shirts.

Example 1: They get a pot of $10 billion to hand out to their friends, their fans and their pet projects — and they’ve chosen to use it on “carbon reduction programs” that we already know won’t do much to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. If they truly wanted to reduce CO2 emissions, they wouldn’t have ruled out nuclear at the start line and they wouldn’t have ruled out carbon capture and storage (CCS). (We know that CO2 emissions don’t matter; who knew the Greens thought that too?)

Australian Greens leader Bob Brown insisted that CCS not be funded by the new entity, arguing that the money represented industry welfare for foreign-owned mining giants and “clean coal” was an illusion.

But the treasury says this will cost a fortune.

FAILURE to develop carbon capture and storage technology will release 25 million more tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by 2050 and increase the hit on the economy caused by Julia Gillard’s carbon tax, [...]

Election Now! National Rally Canberra + Tamworth event

My intray is full of motivated people with ideas on how to stop this train-wreck. Some are proposing leaflet drops in city malls, letter drops in suburbs, large banners and or sandwich boards beside city streets, debates, conference seminars, and the list goes on. Everyone wants to do something.

This notice just came in for a large rally in Canberra. The rally that was in Tamworth has been moved to Canberra. In it’s place in Tamworth is a new event.

PLUS FREE PUBLIC FORUM – Climate Change Debate! Tamworth, July 21

Tamworth: Thursday 21st July 2011 at 6pm at West Diggers Grand Ball Room, Kable Avenue.

Professor Bob Carter is the Guest Speaker, you can ask questions as receive real answers rather than that of the politicians who seem to be ignoring what is a vitally important part of this debate! You can also support their petition. RSVP to team@ashcroftproperty.com.au

—Jo

ELECTION NOW 2011 NATIONAL RALLY CANBERRA

Tuesday 16th August 2011 Parliament House CANBERRA

ELECTION NOW RALLY

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Lessons in wasting money: Use more wind and solar and… emit just as much CO2

One windfarm: bad; ten windfarms: useless.

If we replace 5% of the power grid with windpower we could reduce our CO2 emissions by 4% or so. (If only there was some point to doing that.)

But here’s the non-linearity trap for the fans of green energy. If we replace 20% of the power grid with wind power, we don’t get a 16% reduction in CO2 emissions: we get about 2% reduction (give or take a lot). Indeed if we use enough windpower we might even increase CO2 emissions. Yes Coal + Wind = more CO2. Oh the irony. Quick, can someone email Julia Gillard?

A review of wind power’s success in reducing emissions of CO2 shows the folly of pretending that successful small wind and solar power units can be upscaled to replace a large part of our electricity grid.   The major difference between a coal-burning future and a “clean technology” one turns out to have nothing to do with CO2 — instead, in a coal burning future it’s impossible to waste this much money.

The Gillard Carbon Tax plan very much pretends that Australia can “convert” to wind and solar,  but a new review by Herbert Inhaber shows [...]

Barking mad — a nation howling at fireflies

You don’t need to study any numbers to know it doesn’t add up. The statistical chicanery in a patchwork tax, with a complex compo plan, and offsets, subsidies, and a$10 billion renewable energy* Christmas wish list is as complex as a climate model.  But this time no one is saying “it’s settled”, and is seriously expecting to get their extra 20 cents a week.

Lost among the bedazzling array of numbers are one pair of figures that put the central dumbness of this plan on display.

Australians will pay about $10 billion* a year in carbon fees, overachieving their European competitors who only paid $2.6 billion over, wait for it, six whole years. On a per capita basis the numbers are stark. While Europeans chip in 96 cents a year, Australian’s will be told to pay $500.

The bottom line — figure this — is that we as a nation have “decided” to voluntarily^ pay somewhere from 2 – 5 times as much for our energy, and there are no cheap “technologies” on the horizon unless someone somewhere discovers them (and they’ve been looking for decades). Julia Gillard tried to compare this to other major economic moves like floating the [...]