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



Is this the beginning of the Euro-spring? the invisible revolution

From the Facebook page: Movimento-de-Forconi

During the last couple of weeks, truck-drivers in an advanced western region with 5 million people have blockaded roads and ports protesting at the sudden 40% rise in the fuel price (due to taxes) which is wiping out their business. The fishermen joined in, so did farmers. The area is heavily dependent on road transport, and was apparently paralyzed for days with fuel shortages, and empty supermarket shelves. On the internet, people are describing this as a middle class uprising, and on the verge of revolt. Can you name the location?

 …shades of a magna-carta type moment

Possibly not. The mainstream media are not describing this uprising at all … it’s o’ so unnewsworthy. And you can imagine that readers might not care if this were taking place in the back-reaches of Venezuela, the slums of Chad, or the dark corner of Uzbekistan. But it wasn’t. It’s was in the West, in Sicily. Who knew?

Word on the internet is that the middle class producers are rising up en masse. It’s  known as the ‘Movimento dei Forconi’ or ‘Pitchfork Movement’. Just like the The Convoy of No Confidence in Australia last August, it started [...]

Unthreaded weekend

Put those “other comments” and news here. Thanks!

Jo

Global cooling coming? Archibald uses solar and surface data to predict 4.9°C fall (!)

David Archibald, polymath, makes a bold prediction that temperatures are about to dive sharply (in the decadal sense). He took the  forgotten correlation that as solar cycles lengthen and weaken, the world gets cooler. He refined it into a predictive tool, tested it and published in 2007. His paper has been expanded on recently by Prof Solheim in Norway, who predicts a 1.5°C drop in Central Norway over the next ten years.

Our knowledge of they solar dynamo is improving, and David adds the predicted solar activity ’til 2040 to the analysis. Normal solar cycles are 11 years long, but the current one (cycle 24) is shaping up to be 17 years (unusually long), and using historical data from the US, David predicts  a 2.1°C decline over Solar Cycle 24 followed by a further 2.8°C over Solar Cycle 25. That adds up to a whopping 4.9°C fall in temperate latitudes over the next 20 years. We can only hope he’s wrong. As David says ” The center of the Corn Belt, now in Iowa, will move south to Kansas.”

He also predicts continuing drought in Africa for another 14 years, with droughts likely in South America too.

If he’s right, [...]

New element Governmentium: heaviest known, and paradoxically increasing

New Element Discovered The CSIRO announced the discovery of a perverse, perplexing atom

The new element is Governmentium (Gv). It has one neutron, 25 assistant neutrons, 88 deputy neutrons and 198 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312.

These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lefton-like particles called peons.

Since Governmentium has no electrons or protons, it is inert. However, it can be detected, because it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. A tiny amount of Governmentium can cause a reaction normally taking less than a second to take from four days to four years to complete.

Governmentium has a normal half-life of 3-6 years. It does not decay but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places.

In fact, Governmentium’s mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization will cause more morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes.

This characteristic of moron promotion leads some scientists to believe that Governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a critical concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as critical morass.

When catalysed with money, Governmentium becomes Administratium, [...]

2011 was 51st warmest year in Australia!

Despite all the headlines we see, 2011 in Australia was remarkable for its extraordinary averageness. It is a rare year that is more average than 2011 was.

(This email was spotted on it’s way to various government officials.  – Jo)

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Guest post from Steve Woodman 2011 was the 52nd coldest year on record in Australia, colder than 1912, 1914, 1915 & 1919

Alarmist propaganda outlets such as the ABC were clearly disappointed by 2011 and were forced to resort to decadal temperatures rather than individual years to provide it with its headlines 1:

“Last decade equals warmest on record: UN”

The article then goes on to say:

“2011 ranks as the 10th warmest year since 1850, when accurate measurements began”

That may be so in a global sense, but if the ABC took a more local perspective, in Australia, 2011 was below the 1961-1990 average (see the graph below) 2.

[...]

Dr David Evans: The Skeptic’s Case

A new brief summary of the reasoning and evidence behind the skeptics case. –Jo

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The Skeptic’s Case Who Are You Going To Believe – The Government Climate Scientists Or The Data? Guest Post Dr David M.W. Evans

We check the main predictions of the climate models against the best and latest data. Fortunately the climate models got all their major predictions wrong. Why? Every serious skeptical scientist has been consistently saying essentially the same thing for over 20 years, yet most people have never heard the message — here it is, put simply enough for any lay reader willing to pay attention.

What the Government Climate Scientists Say

 

Figure 1: The climate models. If the CO2 level doubles (as it is on course to do by about 2070 to 2100), the climate models estimate the temperature increase due to that extra CO2 will be about 1.1°C × 3 = 3.3°C. [1]

The direct effect of CO2 is well-established physics, based on laboratory results, and known for over a century.[2]

Feedbacks are due to the ways the Earth reacts to the direct warming effect of the CO2. The threefold amplification by feedbacks is based on the [...]

The doomsians are panixilated

 

Oil on Canvas George Crie (cropped). "Panic Attack or Anxiety PTSD" Neosurrealismart.com.

 

I just love some of these terms. Verity Jones (Diggingintheclay) and E. Michael Smith (Chiefio, see the postscript) are rolling on a neologistic wave, and they’re generating something special. The comments thread on Diggingintheclay is quite abuzz (and this comes from both that and Chiefio’s thread).

Adjixtered: Adjusted without adequate or meaningful explanation

Cliflation: The tendency for anything climate related to be inflated in importance, size, warming tendency, etc. (I think the pronounciation doesn’t capture the “climate” origin, hence I suggest “Climaflation” — as in “The clown fish research has been Climaflated.”)

Empixelated: To uncritically believe anything presented to you by the pixels on your screen. “Jones was sure Mann would be empixelated by the latest runs of HADcrut”. (I think this needs a different example: The  Department of Climate Change produced brochureware websites designed to empixililate unsuspecting taxpayers.) (H/t Another Ian for the word “empixilated”)

Envirallax (noun) – the apparent shift in importance of a report, quotation or publication related to climate science due to the difference in belief or opinion on the causes of climate change between two readers (cf. parallax). Related terms [...]

Carbon ship sinking: Barclays bank closes its carbon desk

Gillard once lauded the genius of the carbon market. That part of the “free” market which is free to move, is moving — and right out. The smart money is saying that carbon trading is a dead dog. It’s a has-been-tulip, a sick puppy, a sinking ship.

The future of global carbon trading is so “certain” that Barclays Bank is not even bothering to leave one part time guy in the US office with a post box, so they can pretend they still have an interest in it. The mood has so changed, they see an advantage in letting the world know they’re not wasting a single cent more on carbon trading in the United States of America. Well that made my day. .

“That is not good news for carbon-dioxide trading, especially not in the US,”

Barclays was the first UK bank to set up a carbon trading desk, and fast to move into carbon trading: “Barclays Capital is the most active player in the emissions trading market, having traded some 300 million tonnes as at February 2007″.

Barclays Closes US Carbon Desk In Latest Cap And Trade Setback

[...]

SOPA (stop online piracy act) designed to be abused

They control our money, our armed forces, our tax inspectors, jails, and police. Against that, we the people wield our biggest weapon — information.

The biggest threat to people in positions of power is the flow of news and ideas. The internet is the largest menace, the most powerful tool of the people, so we always knew the pushback was coming. Those who control the net, control the ability of the people to organize en masse, and to judge who is being honest, and who can be trusted. The Internet was vital in publicizing the climate data that contradicts the government climate scientists, because the mainstream media sure didn’t do it.

If SOPA PIPA is stopped (as it appears it might have been, as 6 supporters pull out) the only thing we can be sure of is that there will be other attempts to stop us speaking freely. This is an unending battle.

How bad is SOPA PIPA?

On closer inspection, the legalese in the bill has the potential to eviscerate free speech….and like NDAA, without proof…only with suspicion of “wrong-doing”. It’s all about copyright infringement. If you tick off the powers that be, and you’ve quoted someone, somewhere, [...]

Love it: Skeptics winning in the classrooms

“Climate change skepticism seeps into science classrooms”

The LA Times laments the loss of the totalitarian educational view — pity the poor students subjected to hearing both sides of the story:

Texas and Louisiana have introduced education standards that require educators to teach climate change denial as a valid scientific position. South Dakota and Utah passed resolutions denying climate change. Tennessee and Oklahoma also have introduced legislation to give climate change skeptics a place in the classroom.

In May, a school board in Los Alamitos, Calif., passed a measure, later rescinded, identifying climate science as a controversial topic that required special instructional oversight.

The news itself is interesting, but sadly viewed through the usual green-colored glasses.

Is it “reporting” or a propaganda piece? Let’s check the three boxes:

Box 1: One half of the story is reduced to Orwellian nonsense. Tick yes! — who, exactly, teaches children to deny we have a climate? Johnny, there are no clouds… Which state passes resolutions declaring that the climate does not change? Henceforth California will be 78…

Box 2: Look for the Mandatory Ritual Pean: “scientific evidence increasingly shows that fossil fuel consumption has caused the climate to change rapidly”. [...]

In 2002 Ron Paul saw the next ten years coming

Ron Paul is painted as fringe by the Establishment. (If you’re not part of the establishment then you must be “fringe”, right?).

Ten years ago Ron Paul made long series of detailed economic and foreign policy predictions that he hoped he would be proven wrong on.  It was a year before the US started action in Iraq. Five years before the housing bubble busted. Six years before the Global Financial Crisis. Nine years before the Arab Spring.  (At least he was wrong on the US “draft”. So far).

How many mainstream politicians can point to a speech like this?  How many presidential candidates saw it coming?

“Let it not he said that no one cared,

that no one objected once its realized that our liberties and wealth are in jeopardy”

Ron Paul

Ron Paul 2002 April 24th.

 

There’s a copy of the video of the speech without newspaper overlays, and background music, for those who prefer the uncluttered view.

“He saw these things coming because he reveres liberty above all else and when you cherish liberty you can see the things that threaten it. “  John Carey

[...]

Unthreaded

For all those comments that don’t fit somewhere else…

Jo

Does the PDO drive global temps, and is there a Siberian connection?

This is a post for those who like the intellectual stimulation of unraveling the cause and effect links at the bleeding edge.  It’s a weekend puzzle.

Frank Lansner (of Hidethedecline) wants to toss out his latest thoughts and findings for discussion. With a very simple equation he’s managed to recreate a curve just like Hadcrut temperature profile, using just the Nino 3.4 data (see Fig. 1). If it stands up, this would imply the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) pretty much determined a significant part of the climate — which is not a shock, but nonetheless there’s not a lot of room for CO2. The turning points do seem to match well (unlike the temperature versus CO2 “turning points”). As William Kininmonth reminded us, the oceans cover 70% of the planet, and are 4km deep, and most of that water is very very cold, even under the equator. If the surface of the central pacific cools by 1 degree does that drop global temperatures by 0.1C?

Of course, the mystery of what drives the PDO still stands. On that score, Frank looks at Siberia and Alaska, and finds an interesting correlation with the Nino3.4 when it is lagged by 15 -18 months. [...]

Nir Shaviv: On IPCCs exaggerated climate sensitivity and the emperor’s new clothes

Nir Shaviv, the well known astrophysicist from Israel, points out that climate sensitivity (according to the IPCC and co) has barely changed in 33 years. Therefore their predictions from the FAR (IPCC, First Assessment Report) in 1990 ought to mean something. Yet observations are now tracking outside and below even their lowest bounds of estimates. When will the IPCC admit those models need to change?

–Jo

 

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On IPCCs exaggerated climate sensitivity and the emperor’s new clothes Guest Post by Nir Shaviv (Reposted from ScienceBits , with permission. Thank you Nir). A few days ago I had a very pleasant meeting with Andrew Bolt. He was visiting Israel and we met for an hour in my office. During the discussion, I mentioned that the writers of the recent IPCC reports are not very scientific in their conduct and realized that I should write about it here.

Normal science progresses through the collection of observations (or measurements), the conjecture of hypotheses, the making of predictions, and then through the usage of new observations, the modification of the hypotheses accordingly (either ruling them out, or improving them). In the global warming “science”, this is not the case.

What do [...]

THAT famous email explained and the first Volunteer Global Warming Skeptic

Years before Climategate, THAT email, from Phil Jones to Warwick Hughes told us everything we needed to know about the scientific standards at the Climate Research Unit of East Anglia. THAT email was the tip of the iceberg, and below is what lay underneath the surface — the things that were said behind the scenes at the time. Geoff Sherrington has pieced together a sequence of climategate emails, his own emails, and parts of Warwick Hughes work to recreate the sequence.

And for the true skeptic-aficionados, here’s a new layer of history to the skeptical chronology. Where did this volunteer audit movement begin?

Who would have guessed that at least one skeptic, Hughes, was asking for the data Phil Jones worked with, as long ago as 1991? (That was way back in the days where people worked with hard copy print outs, and drew graphs by hand!) Does Hughes rank as volunteer Skeptic Number 1?

UPDATE: I asked Warwick, and he thinks the first unpaid skeptic was Fred Wood in 1988*.  — Jo

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Guest post by: Geoffrey H Sherrington, Scientist.

This is the longer story behind one of [...]

Scripps blockbuster: Ocean acidification happens all the time — naturally

There goes another scare campaign.

Until recently we had very little data about real time changes in ocean pH around the world. Finally autonomous sensors placed in a variety of ecosystems “from tropical to polar, open-ocean to coastal, kelp forest to coral reef” give us the information we needed.

It turns out that far from being a stable pH, spots all over the world are constantly changing. One spot in the ocean varied by an astonishing 1.4 pH units regularly. All our human emissions are projected by models to change the world’s oceans by about 0.3 pH units over the next 90 years, and that’s referred to as “catastrophic”, yet we now know that fish and some calcifying critters adapt naturally to changes far larger than that every year, sometimes in just a month, and in extreme cases, in just a day.

Data was collected by 15 individual SeaFET sensors in seven types of marine habitats.  Four sites were fairly stable (1, which includes the open ocean, and also sites 2,3,4) but most of the rest were highly variable (esp site 15 near Italy and 14 near Mexico) . On a monthly scale the pH varies by 0.024 to 1.430 [...]

Unthreaded

Let those comments flow.

Thanks!

Jo

Ian Hill: There have only been 78 other heatwaves like that in Adelaide… and 51 were hotter

It’s another mindless record used to remind the public to “keep the faith” and recite the litany: “Adelaide had it’s hottest start to the year since 1900″ Sky news Picking three particular days  outof 365 and comparing them over a century is about as cherry-pickingly meaningless as it gets. But Ian Hill went back through the records to find that not only have there been 79 heatwaves in Adelaide since 1887, but there have been 51 heat-waves that were hotter since 1887.

Ian Hill crunched the numbers and wrote:

Using the definition of a heatwave being “three or more consecutive days at or above 38C”, for no other reason than the fact that this fits in nicely with Adelaide’s recent maxima of 38.0, 41.6 and 40.6 on Dec 31, Jan 1 and Jan 2 respectively, I found that there have been 79 such heatwaves recorded in Adelaide since Jan 21, 1887, the date of the first such information available from the BOM. The recent heatwave is ranked 52nd, where the average maximum of days involved is used to rank heatwaves of the same duration.

If the file is sorted in chronological order a familiar trend emerges where there [...]

John O’Sullivan puts his house on the line — more than any skeptic ought to be asked to do

UPDATE 2014: Claims made that “Michael Mann Faces Bankruptcy as his Courtroom Climate Capers Collapse” on Feb 22, are incorrect. See here for more information.  This post below is two years old, and many things have changed. — Jo

It’s slipped past most skeptics with all the action lately, but John O’Sullivan is putting in above and beyond what any single skeptical soul ought to.

He’s already been a key figure helping Tim Ball in the legal fight with the UVA establishment, which has spent over a million dollars helping Michael Mann to hide emails. The case was launched by Michael Mann, but could turn out to do a huge favor to skeptics — the discovery process is a powerful tool, and we all know who has been hiding their methods, their data, and their work-related correspondence.

Tim Ball and John O’Sullivan are helping all the free citizens of the West. The burden should not be theirs alone. There are many claims for help at the moment, but that is a sign that the grand scam is coming to a head.

– Jo ———————————————————————————— Official: I Just Bet My House on the Outcome of Science Trial of the [...]

Ron Paul – the man the media fear the most

I met two Australian libertarians a few weeks ago who didn’t know who Ron Paul was, but then, why would they? The media sure doesn’t want anyone to talk about Paul.

In the Iowa Polls Romney is the “front-runner”, the “man-to-beat”, and leads at (wow) 24%,  while Paul is completely out of contention, hardly worth a mention, at… ah… 22%.  If Romney wins, it will set him up for the run at the White house, if Ron Paul wins, it “it may jeopardize the future importance of Iowa in the presidential election cycle“. Follow the logic: if Paul is elected in Iowa, then “Paul is just unelectable.” They actually say that. (Some polls put the two men level.)

If there was a serious frontrunner in the US republican race who was smart, decent, a doctor with no scandals, a long record of keeping promises in congress, a magnetic ability to raise money, massive grassroots fan base, and excellent polling, well of course the media will ignore him. Censorship by omission is weapon number one (and we know all about that as climate skeptics). If they have to mention him (and it’s coming to that), look for the opinion that writes [...]