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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The Skeptics Handbook II

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



ClimateGate II: Handy Guide to spot whitewash journalism – The top 10 excuses for scientists behaving badly

Sorting real journalists from sock puppets is not too tricky: real investigators tell you what the story is about; PR writers tell you what to think.

Do they “discuss” ClimateGate emails … without quoting the emails?

Who digs for details, and who hides the evidence?

The PR writers for Big-Government were quick to come up with excuses for ClimateGate II. Which is all very well, but it’s blindingly obvious where their own personal prejudices lie if they won’t print the emails that they are supposedly discussing. It’s not so much cherry-picking, but cherry-denial. “Don’t mention the radioactive cherries, but lets discuss how cherry farmers have been victimized, talk about the history of cherry tree farming, and hear their excuses and assertions that the cherries are an essential part of our diets. Don’t mention the Geiger counter. OK?”

The top 10 excuses for PR writers  who pose as “journalists” to ignore ClimateGate emails

This is standard issue damage control for ClimateGate — protect the cheats and liars, attack the whistleblower, and  use excuses and padding-fillers to cover a story without actually giving the public any information on the [...]

Bret Stephens: The Great Global Warming Fizzle [Wall St Journal]

Another sign of the times. Mark this one in your history books for studies on the Rise and Fall of the Great Warming Delusion. Yes, it’s another well written piece on the religious nature of the faith some have in our ability to change the weather. But this time there are sounds of the death knell…

Jo

The climate religion fades in spasms of anger and twitches of boredom

How do religions die? Generally they don’t, which probably explains why there’s so little literature on the subject. Zoroastrianism, for instance, lost many of its sacred texts when Alexander sacked Persepolis in 330 B.C., and most Zoroastrians converted to Islam over 1,000 years ago. Yet today old Zoroaster still counts as many as 210,000 followers, including 11,000 in the U.S. Christopher Hitchens might say you can’t kill what wasn’t there to begin with.

Consider the case of global warming, another system of doomsaying prophecy and faith in things unseen.

As with religion, it is presided over by a caste of spectacularly unattractive people pretending to an obscure form of knowledge that promises to make the seas retreat and the winds abate. As with [...]

Did I say the ship was sinking? Canada, Europe, Brazil, USA, Russia planning exits or delays

Things are not going too well at Durban, or anywhere in the Land Where People Want to Change the Weather.

Richard Black (BBC) admits there’s a “seismic shift” going on. (Could it be a tipping point I say?)

“The politics of the UN climate process are undergoing something of a fundamental transformation. “

 It appears nearly anyone with power or influence wants to get out, or delay action on “climate change”.

Canada announced it will formally withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol next month,  joining Japan and Russia who’ve ruled out commitments.

The EU announced it won’t act if everyone else doesn’t:

The 27-nation bloc said it accounts for about 11 percent of global emissions and that it can’t act alone on emissions blamed for damaging the environment.

As far as Durban goes, most the rest of the major emitters want to delay things.

The US, Russia and Japan were already arguing for a longer timeframe.

To the anger of small islands states, India and Brazil have joined rich nations in wanting to start talks on a legal deal no earlier than 2015.

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UPDATE: Durban Warning: Public Will Soon ‘Lose Confidence In This Travelling Circus’

…within [...]

Pointman — A dead man’s hand detonator on hidden emails may protect ClimateGate whistleblower

In the high powered risky game of whistleblowing there are ways to make the the leaker a less attractive target.

Pointman analyzes the ClimateGate whistleblower’s tactics and explains why he, she or they probably released those other 200,000 emails but kept them hidden behind the 4000-8000 character almost unbreakable password. He points out there are no emails released yet between key scientists and people in power, hence the worst, most damaging emails may be kept under a ” dead man’s hand detonator”. If politicians are afraid of what might be in those released-but-hidden emails, they may not want to expose or attack the whistleblower for fear of unleashing the other emails. The hidden emails buy the whistleblower protection.

Jo

Some thoughts and some questions about the Climategate 2.0 release

Guestpost by Pointman

Two years ago, I did what can only be described as a highly speculative profile of the climategate leaker. You can find it here. I strongly suggest you read it now or you’ll have some difficulty following the rest of this piece. Reading it again in the light of what more can be deduced about them from the second release, it holds up surprisingly well. Where it [...]

Australia picks last possible moment to leap ONTO burning ship

Gillard — the Australian Prime Minister — got the timing perfectly wrong.

Within two weeks of the Carbon Tax finally becoming Law, it’s becoming hard not to notice that the whole Global Scam is fragmenting. This Carbon ship is on fire,  the lifeboats are leaving, the rats are jumping, and the Australian team just turned up with the family jewels. Their policies are “take no prisoners” and “bring no life jackets”. Their exit plan is to have No Exit.

Sergey Abramov (ship, 1960) …By Leksey

It’s hard to imagine how the timing could have been more quintessentially insane, or their  “Leadership of Clean Energy” more poignantly inane.

After subterranean lakes of Shale Gas were discovered two months ago under Lancashire in the UK , even half-tinted-Green governments started stepping backwards from diabolical renewables deals. Nearly everyone popped up and said No No No to Kyoto. “Let’s be frank” said EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard, “At best we could only get the EU, Norway and maybe two or three more countries to sign up for a second Kyoto period.” The Bloomberg article about the collapse of the Kyoto agreement discusses 14 nations and two continents, but Australia wasn’t  [...]

Hot new search tool for Climategate – I and II combined

Behind the scenes, I’ve been playing with a new neat tool for hunting hypocrisy, corruption, bias and unprofessional behaviour and I’m pleased to announce its ready to share with the world. The kudos for this all belongs to, as usual, a skilled volunteer. Thanks to EcoGuy for turning his rapid-fire coding ability onto this.

On the  EcoWho site he has helpfully placed all of Climategate I and II together into a combined searchable database. It’s fast, easy to scan, it copes with tricky search requests and provides a link to the full email from the results page of the search.

 

Welcome to the ClimateGate FOIA Grepper !!!

 

  Click on the image or the link above.

Happy Hunting!

 

Jo

 

UPDATE: EcoGuy tells me that searches are coming in a stream about  one-every-5-seconds. Do tell us what you find!

 

UPDATE: Ecoguy adds: you can put ‘.*’ between words you are looking for to find them apart but in the same order (i.e. paper.*fraud) – you can do what is called basic Regex matching, so if you know Regex you can really go to town. Putting a space at the beginning and end will just [...]

More emails: Phil Jones paid £13.7 million in grants but “not a public servant”

Up to £13.7 million in grants have been paid to Professor Phil Jones, from a number of funding bodies including the European Union, NATO, and the US Department of Energy. But the intellectual and philosophical climate is so weak that Jones doesn’t even consider himself to be paid to serve the citizens of those countries. No wonder he feels that people asking for “his” data are nuisances and pests.

Usually in Science-World, scientists don’t have to deal with pesky FOI’s — because they make their data and methods available for free upon request. It should never come down to legal action for citizens to get what is rightfully theirs.

Phil Jones is Director of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU), a Professor in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia in Norwich. He’s one of the key climate scientists behind the IPCC reports (he and James Hansen of GISS in NASA are the two leading alarmist climate scientists).

Emails released in ClimateGate II that show he deletes emails, rationalizes that he is a not really a public servant, and discusses ways to hide from FOI requests, even as he admits the models are all wrong.

Prof Phil [...]

Breaking! Apparently, more emails released. Climategate II?

Five hours ago, FOIA left a link on my blog to a Russian site (I had been away). Emails and comments are streaming through to let me know that the Tallbloke, and Jeff ID have also got them. Tallbloke has opened it and checked for viruses. Jeff ID confirms there are thousands of emails readable and 220,000 more locked behind a password. (H/t Foia (!) Ripper,  hunter, RoryFOMR,  Janet J,… thanks!)

Assuming (I stress) assuming that these are indeed real, and not an elaborate hoax, wow.

It appears it’s all on again. The sordid details, honest thoughts, and human folly on display. (If true, thank you to Foia.) We need confirmation.

UPDATE #3*** It appears the Guardian is onto this already and  Michael Mann is suggesting the emails are real”: “Well, they look like mine but I hardly see anything that appears damning at all”. Hat tip: Tom Nelson

The BBC likewise is reporting this, and confirming it — it appears the emails are from 2009 or earlier, and if that’s the case, it means these were probably held back from the first batch. This will be described as being “rehashed old news”, which committee’s have investigated, blah blah blah, [...]

The tax whose name shall not be spoken

Blitzed in the polls, the Australian Labor Party have picked the communist solution — straight from the Soviet rule book of Free Speech.  Goskomizdat revived as a kind of Goskoshopfront. It’s more desperate and simplistic band-aid legislation to benefit the ruling class and not the people. Surprisingly, the media seems to be silent on this scandalous attack on free-speech.

The Gillard Government tells us the tax’s effect will be minimal, but they are clearly terrified of the blowback.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has been directed to enforce accurate business promotions with a $1.1m dollar fine, and team of 23 “carbon cops”, to stop Australian businesses from posting any signs telling the public how much extra they are paying due to the Carbon Tax, or having a “Pretax sale”.  Imagine the travesty of transparently letting customers see a breakdown of their invoice, or of warning customers of price rises to come?

A  simple repeated message like the one below can take on a life of its own. (And we all know what animal the crowd will think of if we say: “Don’t think of an elephant”):

Of course, some will wave this away by explaining [...]

7,000 excess winter deaths in Australia and 1,500 in New Zealand each year

Excess winter deaths are more than triple the number killed on the road.

Indur Goklany compares average daily deaths for each month in Australia and New Zealand and shows that in both countries (like in much of the rest of the world) there are more deaths in the cooler months.

While climate change legislation aims to make the world cooler, statistics show that the cooler months consistently have higher mortality.

In the unlikely event that legislation might succeed in reducing global temperatures, based on past statistical records, thousands of extra people may die as a result. In study after study, it’s clear that more people die in the colder months than in the rest of the year. The trend applies even in warm countries like Australia.

 

Average daily deaths for each month in Australia (left axis, black numbers) and New Zealand (right axis, grey numbers) over a ten year period.

 

The statistics indicate that:

For the 10-year period, 1998-2007, Australia had excess winter deaths of 6,779 per yr out of a total of 131,613 deaths per yr (avg.) This works out to 5.2% of all deaths per yr (on avg). For the 10-yr period, 1999-2008, NZ [...]

IPCC scientists test the Exit doors

RE: Mixed messages on climate ‘vulnerability’. Richard Black, BBC.

AND UPDATED: The Australian reports the leaked IPCC review, AND a radio station just announced it as “IPCC says we don’t know if there is a reason for the carbon tax”. See more below.

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This is another big tipping point on the slide out of the Great Global Scam. IPCC scientists — facing the travesty of predictions-gone-wrong — are trying to salvage some face, and plant some escape-clause seeds for later. But people are not stupid.

A conveniently leaked IPCC draft is testing the ground. What excuses can they get away with? Hidden underneath some pat lines about how anthropogenic global warming is “likely” to influence… ah cold days and warm days, is the get-out-of-jail clause that’s really a bombshell:

“Uncertainty in the sign of projected changes in climate extremes over the coming two to three decades is relatively large because climate change signals are expected to be relatively small compared to natural climate variability”.

Translated: The natural climate forces are stronger than we thought, and we give up, we can’t say whether it will get warmer or colder in the next twenty years.

[...]

The Age does award winning PR — oops was that meant to be science?

RE: “Sceptic: one inclined to doubt accepted opinions” by Michael Bachelard, The Sunday Age

———————————– For free, and just because I’m a nice person, I’m going to help Michael Bachelard with his science articles.

He’s a Walkley Award winner writing for the two largest “broadsheet” circulation papers in Australia. He knows indigenous issues, politics and industrial relations, so “climate science” was the … er, obvious next step, right?

The Age (and by default, it’s sister The Sydney Morning Herald) decided to pretend to investigate the most burning climate questions the public could offer. But their investigations apparently amounted to phoning up government agents and fans of the policy, and asking them what to write.

 

It’s titled: Sceptic: one inclined to doubt accepted opinions, but it could have been titled Journalist: one inclined to parrot groupthink

Poor Bachelard is out of his depth in the science trying to answer Stephen Harper and Harry Hostan’s questions. For an investigative journalist he had odd ideas about how to get answers, almost never contacting the people or groups he wrote about directly. Who knows, maybe the servers at Fairfax don’t allow emails out to non-lefties at the moment, because he doesn’t seem to [...]

The chemistry of ocean pH and “acidification”

The ocean acidification threat is a big can of worms. I asked Professor Brice Bosnich to help create a quick reference page on the chemistry and was pleased he could find the time to help. Here’s everything you wanted to know about the basics…

He explains what pH means, and points out that:

Ocean pH varies by 0.3 naturally. Claims of acidification since 1750 are based on dubious models and few observations.

There are reasons to assume that marine life will not be overly affected by an increase in ocean acidity due to atmospheric carbon dioxide:

Ocean life evolved and survived far higher levels of CO2 for millions of years in the past. Marine organisms actively create carbonate shells (using energy) which means crustacea, corals and molluscs aren’t automatically prey to pH changes in the same way that say a limestone rock would be. The world’s oceans may have warmed a mere 0.17C since 1955, hardly a significant threat to marine life.

We also find out that acidic water is added to the ocean from rainfall and floods (and he explains why raindrops will always be acidic).

There are more pressing threats. — Jo

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Guest Post by Professor [...]

Unthreaded November 14 2011

For all those other topics….

Naomi Klein’s crippling problem with numbers

Naomi Klein Photo: Mariusz Kubik

Naomi Klein was the wrong person to send to a heavy-weight science conference  — in “Capitalism vs Climate” she notices hundreds of details, but they’re all the wrong ones.

Naomi can tell you the colour of the speakers hair, what row they sat in, and the expression on their face — it adds such an authentic flavor to the words, but she’s blind to the details that count. She can explain the atmosphere of the room, but not the atmosphere of the Earth. One of these things matters, and Klein has picked the wrong one.

Her long attack on the Heartland ICCC conference this year is all color and style, and nothing of consequence — the lights are on and no brain is home.  Unpack the loquacious pencraft and we wallow in innumerate arguments that confuse cause and effect, peppered with petulant name-calling. She can throw stones, but she can’t count past “one”.

Her aversion to numbers is crippling

Consider how she reduces planetary dynamics to a Yes or No answer. She thinks each skeptical scientist contradicts the next: “Is there no warming, or is there warming but it’s not a problem? And if [...]

Big-Oil money fund warmists, confusing attack machine

Pew Charitable Trusts is an influential “progressive” think-tank with $5 billion in assets. What was the The Pew Center on Global Climate Change has lost the Pew name and funds, and become the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES).

Pew used to supply $3.5 million of the center’s current $4.4 million annual budget. Instead, in complete green purity, Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Hewlett-Packard Co. and Entergy Corp. will be the principal founding sponsors for the new C2ES.

DeSmog immediately denounced them and declared that all of their pronouncements are automatically biased since they are now oil-funded deniers:

Or maybe not. If Shell had sponsored a skeptic, Desmog would have turned it into a high rotation ritual chant.

[...]

Welcome to a “Hung” Democracy

And so it came to pass that a small band of the selfish or deluded came to steal the blood, sweat and toil of the many.

They lied, broke solemn promises, failed to provide evidence, and displayed a singular lack of good-manners. They viciously insulted anyone who disagreed, they hid the models the public were forced to pay for, they gave patrons highly paid jobs to advertize their scheme.

They speak arrant nonsense as if it is the bleeding obvious: telling us that we will grow rich if we use energy that costs more; that coal miners are to blame for heavy rain; that more taxes will bring investors; that we’ll lose jobs if we don’t pay more than we need to for energy; or that 6.98 billion people will follow the 0.02 billion who lead us on the path to the Land of Stupid. They made prophesies that failed time after time, yet speak on, as if  only they have the vision to guide us.

The polls show the public would not have elected people who wanted to bring in a Carbon Tax. Yet it is law.

The narcissistic self-anointed activists have overreached, and it will be their undoing.

[...]

Labor Party Big Economics Idea: Pay $10 billion to *lose* $20 billion more!

This is about what it adds up too: If the carbon tax costs us, say, $10 billion a year (anyone have a better number?) we not only have to pay that, but we might lose another $20 billion a year as well.

As I’ve said before, you can’t compensate the nation. There is no productivity gain, no win, no efficiency improvement. There is no bigger pie if you have to cook with leather.

Treasury likes to pretend that the rest of the world is “joining” in the carbon schemes, and that by 2016, the US, Canada, Japan, Russia, China and India will have changed their minds and legislated a carbon price.

The Minerals Council of Australia wasn’t convinced that was a good plan, and asked the Centre of International Economics to analyze the Treasury modelling on the carbon price. The Treasury wouldn’t let them. (Who do they think owns the models?) Instead the CEI had to do their own modelling.

They are apparently the first to try to figure out what might happen in Australia if the rest of the world doesn’t leap head-first and suicidally into carbon pricing schemes.

The CIE finds losses that are 6 times greater:

That [...]

One day to go before Australia wins Global Hair Shirt

Australia will — bar asteroid impact — get its Carbon Tax on Tuesday.

Otherwise, it’s business as usual in skeptic-world: Wild unheard-of snow started falling early in the US; there’s another story about masses of fossil fuel energy somewhere under Australia, another western nation makes it stark raving clear that it won’t be getting an ETS (Yay for Canada eh), while a different one pulls the pin on solar panel subsidies (Go Britain). The G20 leaders give Julia Gillard the deadly “you are so incredibly brave” speech, and said they aren’t going to follow.

“PM Julia Gillard told by G20: you’re on your own on carbon”

[...]

CO2 emitted by the poor nations and absorbed by the rich. Oh the irony. (And this truth must not be spoken)

Kudos to John O’Sullivan for finding this story; see the note at the end about the extraordinary response his post on this received.

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Who are the world’s worst “polluters”? According to a new high-spectral-resolution Japanese satellite — it’s developing countries.

Who knew detailed spectroscopic data on Earth’s atmosphere was available to figure out where the CO2 and other greenhouse gases are being produced and absorbed?

In January 2009, a Japanese group launched a satellite “IBUKI” to monitor CO2 and methane spectral bands around the world to establish exactly where the world’s biggest sources and sinks of greenhouse gases were. With climate change being the perilous threat to millions, this data would seem so essential you might wonder why didn’t someone do it before. As it happens, NASA tried — it launched the Orbiting Carbon Observatory in Feb 2009, which was designed to do exactly the same thing, but it crashed on launch. Oddly, NASA don’t seem to be prioritizing the deadly climate threat, as it will take NASA four years to figure out why the Taurus XL rocket failed and relaunch it.

The results from from Japan’s Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)  show that Industrialized nations appear to [...]