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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Australian Govt doesn’t give a toss what you think

The Australian government asks for submissions, gets around 4500, mostly against the tax, then ignores almost all of them. It’s just another form of suppression and censorship, a sign that the elites don’t give a fig what we think.

Menzies House is calling it an utter disgrace.

“In a shocking and historically unprecedented suppression of political expression, a staggering four thousand five hundred Australians have had their voices silenced by Australia’s political elite in the Labor-dominated Joint Select Committee on Australia’s Clean Energy Future Legislation.”

It shows what we all knew all along: the submission process was a merely legal formality, a scent of democracy.

This is a new low, and based on current performance, is just what we’d expect. They can’t justify this tax, they can’t debate the science, but they can ram it through. The only way “forward” is with whitewash, erasers, and the all-purpose delete key.

So figure what was going on in the minds of the chief censors:

a/ Abject desperation: We’re doomed! (Never let the plebs know that we got thousands of well written, detailed submissions that were against the tax, so find any half-baked pathetic excuse to not publish or count most [...]

There is a Greenhouse Effect on Venus

I‘m peppered with emails asking me if articles like this one (which claims there is no Greenhouse Effect at all on Venus) could be right.

Michael Hammer has some 20 patents in spectroscopy, and he explains why the Greenhouse Effect — where CO2 and other gases absorb and emit infra red — is very real, and backed by empirical evidence. The calculations using the Stefan-Boltzmann Law on the atmosphere of Earth and Venus, argue that the Greenhouse Effect is not-detectable. But not-detectable (by that method) does not “prove” the effect is zero. Other methods — like satellite observations of Earth’s atmosphere, and countless lab experiments, tell us that the Greenhouse Effect is real. (The Stefan-Boltzmann Law is used to create the first graph below). Huffman’s calculations suggest other factors are more important than greenhouse gases (with which we heartily agree) and that Hansen et al were barking up the wrong tree by pretending that Venus “shows” us anything much about the Greenhouse Effect. (Indeed, the IPCC mention “Venus” in their first Assessment Report back in 1990 as one of the three key reasons.)

So here in middle-of-the-road centrist land, the people who claim Earth could become more like Venus are [...]

White conservatives don’t deny “climate change”. Journalists deny English.

Yesterday I wrote that the media is a rubber stamp for government and green propaganda, and today, the perfect example of certified nonsense appeared.

Not only is the headline 100% incorrect, “Why conservative white men are more likely to deny climate change”, the body of the story barely tries to add a caveat. The poorly designed study used the ambiguous phrase “global warming” instead of “climate change”, which is not much better. Ask me if I believe in global warming, and I’ll ask you — warming since when?

The journalist, Adriana Barton, has dutifully repeated Orwellian newspeak, and wins today’s award for The Destruction of the English Language.

Can anyone name a single white guy who denies the climate changes? (And more to the point, for pedantic trolls, is that a person who is a well known skeptic, i.e. do they matter?)


Map: The Climate Change Scare Machine — the perpetual self-feeding cycle of alarm

Two professors of sociology think they can explain why “Climate Deniers” are winning.  But Riley E. Dunlap and Aaron M. McCright start from the wrong assumption and miss the bleeding obvious: the theory was wrong, the evidence has changed, and thousands of volunteers have exposed it.

The real question sociologists will be studying for years to come is: how was an exaggerated scare, based on so little evidence, poor reasoning and petty namecalling, kept alive for two whole decades?

Climate Change Scare Machine Cycle: see how your tax dollars are converted into alarming messages

See your tax dollars converted into their scare. Click for a larger image. Reference: Climate Money, Science and Public Policy Institute, 2009.


 The Full PDF version The key points

1. The money and vested interests on the pro-scare side is vastly larger, more influential, and more powerful than that on the skeptical side. Fossil fuel and conservative-think-tanks are competing against most of the world financial houses, the nuclear and renewable energy industry,  large well financed green activists (WWF revenue was $700m last year), not to mention whole government departments, major political parties, universities dependent on government funding, the BBC (there is no debate), the [...]

Carbon trading: may save a coal deposit, but farmers die, rivers run dry, and some are left homeless and poor

Perhaps this insurance costs too much?

Between Jan 2010 and March 2011, allegedly, 23 Honduran farmers have been murdered by the owners of a UN-accredited palm oil plantation.

“EU carbon trading rocked by mass killings”

At issue are the reported murders of 23 local farmers who tried to recover land, which they say was illegally sold to big palm oil plantations, such as Grupo Dinant, in a country scarred by widespread human rights abuses.

In July, a report by an International Fact Finding Mission was presented to the European Parliament’s Human Rights Sub-committee, alleging that 23 peasants, one journalist and his partner, had all been murdered in the Bajo Aguán region, between January 2010 and March 2011.

The deaths were facilitated by the “direct involvement of private security guards from some of the local companies who are complicit with police and military officials,” the report said.

In some cases it cited “feigned accidents” in which peasants were run over by security guards working for two named palm oil businessmen. In other cases, the farmers were simply shot, or “disappeared”.

Strangely, though the report was released in July, it’s become news now that a Green MEP and EU policy makers announced [...]

Site upgraded :-)

We now have inline comments and a not-very well sorted out Menu system.

Thoughts welcome.

Please report problems and experiment on this thread.

Cheers, Jo

PS: As new etiquette for the nested comments, please resist the temptation to queue-jump threads by just replying to the first comment (except for this thread).

 PPS: Some entertaining comment-gremlins turned up (instead of trolls).

Well, we had nested comments on this site for a few hours

This is 90% certainty? Really? (Yet another paper shows the hot-spot is missing.)

Fu and Manabe agree the hot spot is missing

GRL June 2011.

Yet another study hunted for a form of the missing hot spot–  and again the results show the models are unable to make useful predictions.

The upward rising trend predicted in the models is of critical importance. The models assume that the 1.1 degrees of warming directly due to CO2 will be tripled by feedbacks from humidity and water vapor. Studies like Fu and Manabe are looking to see if the assumptions built into the models are right. If relative humidity stays constant above the tropics throughout the troposphere, we should see the upper troposphere warm faster than the surface.

Fu and Manabe used satellite data  rather than weather balloons, and compared the tropical upper troposphere to the lower middle troposphere during 1979 – 2010. (Other papers I’ve written about compared the upper troposphere to the surface, and mainly used weather balloons.)

“One of the striking features in GCM‐predicted climate change due to the increase of greenhouse gases is the much enhanced warming in the tropical upper troposphere”

Satellites cannot separate out the altitudes at narrow resolutions, as the radiosondes can, but they produce reliable data [...]