JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Government mismanagement kills 2,500 people a year

Bad governments don’t just “waste millions of dollars” — mismanagement kills.

We live in one of the richest nations on Earth. But waiting times for one type of cancer treatment in Australia have blown out to the point where 2,500 people are dying every year. Why do we have money to waste on fruitless efforts to change the weather?

NEARLY 2500 cancer patients are dying prematurely each year due to poor provision of radiation therapy services, experts have estimated — with many more waiting far longer for the life-saving treatment than clinically recommended.

Graeme Morgan, former director of radiation oncology at Sydney’s Royal North Shore Hospital, said it appeared state governments were attempting to give preference to other treatments such as chemotherapy due to the high upfront costs of installing the linear accelerator machines required to deliver radiation treatments.

Yet he said the result was that nationally, 15,600 Australian cancer patients were missing out on radiation therapy each year, and 2500 dying early — figures he described as “a disgrace”.

Thirty percent of one cancer patient group was missing out on starting radiation therapy within six weeks (ideally, it ought to be within 4 weeks):

“If you don’t treat [...]

Conspiracy Theories in the Australian: Not by me though?

It’s nice to know Christian Kerr of The Australian reads my site and wants to quote me, but really Christian, where’s the conspiracy?

“Science broadcaster turned climate-sceptic blogger and convoy backer, Jo Nova, let loose. “The ABC coverage is so shamefully biased, a government PR agency could hardly have done a better job,” she claimed.

“They carefully avoided selecting any of the key messages in the speeches or petition (but they put in any odd unconnected grievance they could find). They didn’t interview the organisers, instead just showing a snippet of a song and a truckie tooting.” But the opponents of the rally were no less inclined to conspiracy.”

When the media coverage of the Convoy was so dismally biased, I wasn’t suggesting a conspiracy. No one needs a conspiracy when good old fashioned incompetence will do. I have documented some of the poor media coverage of climate science, and especially ABC coverage, at length.

Indeed, Mark Scott, director of the ABC himself admitted that the ABC is there to help the government. The fact that he thought it was OK to admit that publicly tells you how far the ABC has come from any notion that it is [...]

That Australian sense of humour: not the Tea Party, the G.R.O.G. Party

G.R.O.G. = Get Rid Of Gillard

… …

H/t:   Just Grounds, Jeff, Craig. Thanks

Please, will the original artist comment so I can give credit and a link?

UPDATE #1: Could be Alex Werchon on CAN-Do?   4-Mar-2011? (h/t Dave N if so).

UPDATE #2: Andrew Bolt describes the Thomson meltdown as “out of control” – Senior members of the Gillard government are being accused of heavying the Health Services Union for reporting the allegation that  M.P. Thomson misused Union funds to hire prostitutes… “overnight a dirt-covered shovel is left outside the door of HSU secretary Kathy Jackson, who was home alone.” Bolt also notes that the Labor Party connection with union thugs and conmen has some history.

“What we are witnessing is more like scenes from a mafia vendetta, not the processes of a responsible government.”

Andrew Bolt

Have these people no scruples?

Solar Power costs less than Coal, and the Wishing Chair lives on

Finally, a new day has dawned and solar power is cheaper than coal fired electricity! Gadzooks! It must be true, the Sydney Morning Herald says so.

“Solar energy cost hits par with coal fuel“

Who knew they conquered the low energy density, high maintenance, poor performance, bad weather, and general darkness at nighttime — all in the last weekend? This changes everything… oh, but wait, that’s odd — this only applies in some parts of New South Wales?

Silly me, and I thought the sun shone on the whole nation (and sometimes on the rest of the world too)?

THE cost of solar power in parts of NSW has for the first time crept below that of coal-fired electricity – seen as a key tipping point for the expansion of renewable energy. [SMH]

The dead-set give away is the “parts of NSW” — straight away you know that either someone is stealing sunlight from neighboring councils, or this isn’t a real “cost”, not in the same sense that you and I would use the word. When we think of the cost of something, it means we want to know how much we’ll pay. If we pay less up [...]

Andrew Pitman cries poor and rich, says climate science is certain, but is new and “changing”

Well which way is it then?

Last year Professor Andrew Pitman said the science was settled, he was a poor volunteer, and skeptics were rich (which was why they were winning).

…climate scientists are losing the fight with climate sceptics. That the sceptics are so well funded, so well organized, have nothing else to do, they kind of don’t have day jobs, they can put all of their efforts into misinforming and miscommunicating climate science to the public, whereas the climate scientists have day jobs and this isn’t one of them. All of the efforts you do in an IPCC report is done out of hours, voluntarily, for no funding and no pay, whereas the sceptics are being funded to put out full scale misinformation campaigns…”

[Source: It was so bad, the ABC broadcast it, twice -- Eleanor Hall interviews Andy Pitman. Robin Williams thought it was so “useful” he rebroadcast the same factually incorrect, irrelevant material.]

Tom Nelson caught him telling prospective students in the Adelaide Advertiser that they ought to rush to study climate science so they can get paid well, be political activists, and change our understanding of the climate.

Almost invariably, climate PhDs with a physics [...]

Giant PR machine swings into gear against the Convoy

It’s important for the big-government-dependent parties to deny the power of the Convoy.

Less than a week ago, there was a rally at Parliament House with around 3,000-5,000 people. And today there was another one, this one with around 600 vehicles according to Matt and Janet Thompson, and this one by people who have gone to extraordinary lengths, driving up to 5,000 kilometers from all corners of the country.

The convoy is a rolling protest that involved thousands of people across the nation. In Sydney, people switched their headlights on in sympathy, and Andrew Bolt records at least one witness suggesting half the cars on the road had their lights on.

Feelings and support for the convoy are widespread and running high. One of the convoy supporters from near Clermont reports: ‘In only 24 hours, we gathered 300 signatures for the petition, local beef producers had organised fuel donations of over $13,000 and the CWA had organised food and drinks for everyone on the convoy.  This support from a town of only 2000 was amazing and a testament to a united effort.’

Dale Stiller’s comment is typical on Just Grounds: The convoy has experienced nothing but support. There have been [...]

Italy caught emitting 10 times as much of a potent greenhouse gas

HFC-23 is 15,000 times as potent as CO2 in the greenhouse gas stakes. It’s only made by six factories in the whole of Europe.

Given that, you would think that they’d have this one esoteric compound completely tracked, measured to the nth, audited and cross checked, right? After all, how devastating would it be if governments can’t report something as simple as HFC-23 accurately, how could they possibly expect to run a global trading scheme on a gas like CO2, which is not just made in hundreds of factories, but thousands of cities, millions of cars, and billions of animals. Well, if you thought someone somewhere had a handle on those numbers, get ready to be corrected. Not only did people think it was a good idea if countries self-assessed their emissions, but they trusted those countries to accurately report numbers that millions of dollars of payments rested on, and nobody was looking too hard over their shoulder.

Who has been emitting twice as much HFC-23 as they admitted? That would be the whole of Western Europe. Italy, apparently, has snuck out 10 times as  much.

So what does a “binding target” mean exactly? Not much. When we can’t measure [...]

The Green Thing: the old and wise fight back

This was forwarded to me via email.

The modern version of “green” is so tame. When it comes to recycling material, living without disposable goods,  and leaving a smaller carbon footprint, the real experts are the long lived people who’ve been there, done that, and did it so much better, so long ago.

Jo

Eco-friendly TV anyone? (via Amberley Working Museum, England). Photo: By Les Chatfield

The Green Thing

The original low carbon lawn mower. Photo: Kallerna

In the line at the supermarket, the cashier told an older woman that  she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment.

The woman apologized to him and explained, “We didn’t have the green thing back in my day.” The cashier responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment.” He was right — our generation didn’t have The Green Thing in its day.

Back then, we returned milk bottles, soft drink bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled. [...]

Gillard has a problem: Growing Convoy on the way — powers through North Queensland!

1,410 miles or  2,270 km to go

Fifty cars, trucks and vans, and there were at least four helicopters watching the action as the North Queensland Convoy headed through Charters Towers. Images like these will make the Labor Party break into a sweat.

These pics from the You tube of the aerial shots as the convoy went through Charters Towers.

The Convoy travels through Charters Towers

Over 100 in the convoy in the NT last night! ANNIE HESSE Katherine Times (via Carbon Sense Coalition Blog) 18 Aug, 2011 09:17 AM A Convoy of more than 100 vehicles – including road trains, campervans and utes – rolled into Katherine last night to show their support for the Convoy of no Confidence, a convoy heading to Canberra to raise a voice against recent government decisions.

Rashida Khan, who led a trail of vehicles from Darwin to Katherine yesterday, said she was on her way to Canberra to speak up for “some of the toughest people” she knows, who “have been pushed to the edge by the decision to ban live export”.

Have a look at the convoy passing through Ingham:  (H/t Val Malkus). Send in those links!

[...]

More photos from both sides of a Nation protesting!

UPDATED: Former CSIRO researcher talks about the lack of freedom to speak against the government.

See Angry Anderson’s speech and Art Raiches speech about the decline of CSIRO:  Art Raiche on CSIRO Canberra Protest. Dr Raiche talked of the days when the CSIRO was a world class organisation and worked for Australia, Agriculture and Industry.

“Management learned how to bring the most senior climate scientist under their control. It was OK to think independently…as long as Management approved of it.

We were given very strict, VERY strict guidelines on not publishing anything or publicly discussing any research that could be seen as critical to Government policy.If we did not do it, we would be subject to dismissal.

We had now become a Government Enterprise. We were told by the Chairperson that we Scientists no longer worked for Australia, we had to learn that we worked for the CSIRO.”

Destination Canberra – nearly 4000 km away

This is a protest to set records. For these vehicles in Perth, it’s 4 days of driving nearly every waking hour (and another 4 days minimum to return). The cost of petrol, accommodation, wear and tear and camper-hire, not [...]