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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Jennifer Marohasy and ABC’s MediaWatch tribal warfare

UPDATE: While MediaWatch (ABC) is hassling Jennifer Marohasy, Marc Hendrickx at ABCnewswatch responds in kind, posting an excellent open letter to MediaWatch, asking if they can outline their own scientific qualifications to judge Jennifer Marohasy’s scientific work. ABC staff want to know her motivations, but Marc wants to know theirs. And “given that they employ 11 staff full time” and produce “one 15 minute show per week”, do they consider that this represents good value for the Australian taxpayer? Touche!

Brilliant Marc. It’s a must read.

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Jennifer Marohasy has extraordinary influence. She’s so powerful that the ABC’s Media Watch program has singled her out, asking questions about her income and disclosures that they don’t even bother to ask Tim Flannery. Presumably they don’t think anyone still takes Tim seriously.

They sent her a barrage of questions last Friday, which she hammered in a detailed reply on the weekend. I hear they are still sniffing around anyone they can think of who may know something about Marohasy, asking leading questions and volunteering information that isn’t correct.

Media Watch (aka Witch Hunt) thought this was a question worth asking:

[To Jennifer Marohasy] In your recent opinion columns [...]

Richard Black — the fastest apologist for misbehaving scientists

Black thinks the BBC reported on ClimateGate, instead they rushed to report a “hacking” that may not even have been a hack…

Richard Black thinks the BBC was the first to “report” Climategate in the mainstream press.

@BBCRBlackvia TwitterTired old meme that BBC was slow to report “ClimateGate” is circulating again – for record we were 1st main news org http://t.co/c4sU6puy

But the BBC didn’t report ClimateGate in that story at all. What they reported was a hypothetical hacking of a university in the UK, one which (two years later) still remains a claim that has no evidence in support of. Was it was illegally hacked or legally leaked? Don’t tune in to the BBC for the answer. They don’t even ask the question.

If the BBC had reported on Climategate, we could tell, because they would have reported what the emails actually said, not just the opinions that said “they don’t matter”.

Let’s compare Black’s reporting of Climategate and FakeGate

On ClimateGate, Black waited until after he had a spokesman from the CRU to comment, and having confirmed the emails were from the CRU, Black quoted exactly none of them. On FakeGate, Black posted so quickly that he [...]

Climate Coup — The Politics

How the regulating class is using bogus claims

about climate change to entrench and extend their

economic privileges and political control.

Guest Post: Dr David M.W. Evans, 29 Feb 2012, last updated 13 Mar 2012, latest pdf here

The Science

The sister article Climate Coup—The Science (a more mainstream version of The Skeptic’s Case) contains the science foundation for this essay. It checks the track record of the climate models against our best and latest data, from impeccable sources. It details how you can download this data yourself. It finds that the climate models got all their major predictions wrong:

Test Climate Models Air temperatures from 1988 Actual rise was less than the rise predicted for drastic cuts in CO2 Air temperatures from 1990 Over-estimated trend rise Ocean temperatures from 2003 Over-estimated trend rise greatly Atmospheric hotspot Completely missing –> water vapor feedback not amplifying Outgoing radiation Opposite to reality –> water vapor feedback not amplifying

 

The latter two items are especially pertinent, because they show that the crucial amplification by water vapor feedback [i] assumed by the models does not exist in reality. Modelers guessed that of the forces on [...]

A GONGO idea – a government funded job destruction program…

For pure, circular destruction of wealth, happiness and prosperity, it doesn’t get much better than this. Not long back Greenpeace and co were busted for planning a six million dollar campaign to disrupt and delay the coal industry — and today The Australian reports that three of the major organisations involved received close to $750,000 from the government, for “public climate change activities” raising doubts about whether public funds had been misused.

The Nature Conservation Council (NSW), Environment Victoria and the Conservation Council of Western Australia have received grants of $211,000, $213,215 and $319,420 respectively for public climate change activities since last December.

Environment Victoria and the Conservation Council of WA confirmed yesterday they had backed the development of the anti-coal campaign.

The coal miners are an industry that is legal, employs 40,000 people directly, provides the fuel for more than half our electricity and generates about $13b in tax dollars for the Australian government.

Now if the NGO’s wanted to explain to the rest of us why we ought to decide to reduce our coal mining, that would be fair enough, but they aren’t trying to convince us with reason or debate, they’re trying to disrupt a legitimate economic [...]

Prius drivers behaving badly. Upper class more likely to cheat.

Prius drivers may claim they want to help the poor but they are less likely to want to slow down and let them cross the road.

You’d think Prius drivers would hold pedestrians, who emit less carbon, in high regard. But alas, roadside tests show about one third of Prius drivers broke crosswalk laws, putting the Prius drivers in the most-unethical-driver class. (As with all generalizations we ought remember that two thirds of Prius drivers did the right thing.) The common factor among unethical drivers was that shiny expensive cars were three times as likely to plow through the crosswalk. It’s not so much the hybrid, or the greenness, it’s the status…

In a final experiment, the researchers took their hypothesis to the streets. At a busy intersection in the San Francisco Bay area, the team stationed “pedestrians” at crosswalks, with instructions to approach the crossing at a point when oncoming drivers would have a chance to stop. Observers coded the status of the cars’ drivers based on the vehicles’ age, make, and appearance. Drivers of shiny, expensive cars were three times more likely than those of old clunkers to plow through a crosswalk, failing to yield to pedestrians [...]

China finds the odd 200 years worth of fuel

Who isn’t finding shale gas these days? To whom shall we sell all those super-costly solar units, that we will supposedly be “world leaders” in? China reveals 25tn cu metres of shale gas Financial Times

China announced the results of its most extensive official appraisal of shale gas reserves on Thursday, having found potentially recoverable resources of 25.1tn cubic metres – less than previous estimates.

Although the figure is lower than an earlier estimate of 31tn cubic metres, China is still believed to have some of the largest reserves of shale gas in the world and has been working to develop shale gas as a cornerstone of its energy policy. The new estimate is enough gas to meet the country’s current consumption for nearly 200 years if fully extracted.

As Richard North points out, this changes everything:

[...]

Finkelstein — Yes please. Just try it…

Welcome to Australistan.

I haven’t read the whole 400 page Finklestein report, but Mark Steyn tells me that the Chinese government likes it. What more do you need to know?

As Steyn says, this is not a left-right thing, it’s a free-unfree thing.

Tim Andrews at Menzies House launches a New Free Speech Campaign: “This is a proposal that would seem right at home in North Korea or Zibmabwe. I never thought – as dark as things seemed- we could stoop this low here in Australia”.

People asked me if this would “affect your blog”. Ha ha, I laughed, Will it? Right now, I’m discussing whether I’d need to move to Fiji, or Florida, or become a citizen of the Dominican Republic in order to express my views. Could I split my blog into a different domain name each day to avoid being “monitored”? ( I could have 365 blogs: joannenova1.com.au, joannenova2.com.au… it would play havoc with the search engines.) Alternately, perhaps I write 100% satire, cartoons, irony, and the exact opposite of what I mean? Ho Ho. Who has the rule book on the Soviet black market for ideas? What can we learn and how does it translate [...]

Monbiot — Steal things and be a “democratic” hero?

Showing the intellectual depth we’ve come to expect from progressives, Monbiot argues that the public debate on atmospheric dynamics would be improved by knowing who-funds-those-who dare speak against the government experts.

It’s as if the truth of future tropospheric warming comes not from weather balloons, but from bank accounts and budget papers.

What words do Heartland print that are so dangerous, forthwith, such a public hazard, that we must know who funds the paper they are printed on?

(Dear George, when private citizens choose to speak, it’s none of your business whether they got funding or not, and who paid them if they did. It’s about science, not motivations. Data trumps funding. Debate the message, not the man. If you think Heartland promote lies, just explain what they are. Your megaphone is bigger than theirs, and if you asked to speak at a Heartland Conference to correct their views, I’m sure they would welcome it. It’s called free speech and may the best argument win.)

According to Monbiot, stealing is not just alright, it’s heroic. Your goods are mine, comrade. Too bad if you object.

I see Peter Gleick, the man who obtained and leaked the devastating documents from the [...]

The Moons’ influence on the atmosphere over Australia

We know the moon changes our tides, but can it also change our rainfall? Could the moon also cause tides in the atmosphere? Some researchers have found such periodic movements in air above 3000m. Some have suggested that the moon drives the cyclical shifts in the Length of Day (LOD) that occur on a fortnightly and seasonal basis.

Ian Wilson has been scouring the data quietly for years, following these ideas, and has found a link between lunar cycles and the sub tropical high pressure ridge that occurs in summer over the East Coast of Australia. He noticed there were 9.4 and 3.8 year cycles which match periods in spring tidal cycles. What matters is how close the full moon is to perhelion (the  closest point Earth comes to the Sun).  It’s yet another piece of the puzzle that the IPCC favoured models ignore.

The lunar forces are, not surprisingly, smaller than the solar one, and as the abstract points out: “it is not so much in what years do the lunar tides reach their maximum strength, but whether or not there are peaks in the strength of the lunar tides that re-occur at the same time within the annual [...]

FakeGate beats DenierGate in google war: DeSmog disaster spreads

In the big battle for the meme-of-the-moment, Fakegate has won.

DeSmog can’t be too happy about this. Google “DenierGate” and get 67,000 results, but google “Fakegate” and get 168,000.

UPDATE #2 March 14: FakeGate is now 6 times as popular. (“FakeGate” 420,000 results v “Deniergate” 69,000)

What do you know? Stealing things, breaching privacy, and exposing nothing but tiny funding isn’t catching on. As a PR faux pas this is a case study in implosions. DeSmog have inadvertently shone a beacon on the real David and Goliath story here, where the Big-Oil funding isn’t so big, and the real money is on the side who pretends they are “doing it for the planet”. Worse, between them, DeSmog and Peter Gleick have arranged a public ethics challenge for ethically challenged scientists, and a mass-media bias-test for biased journalists. The spectacle of scientists debating if it is OK to steal, and journalists making excuses for criminal activity, is doing as much damage as the original theft and overreaction. It’s so bad, even the Koch Brothers (target-number-one) can take the unassailable high ground (see below).

 

 

Note the auto-prompts: When it’s “FakeGate” it’s news, but when it’s Deniergate, Google queries [...]