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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Australian Environment Conference Oct 20 2012


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GoldNerds

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



Is your snout in the trough yet?

While cancer patients will have to pay more or wait longer for treatment, the Department To Fix The Weather handed out nearly 1 billion dollars in 2010-2011, some* of which was used to “educate” people about energy efficiency and the benefits of government policies.

*UPDATE: While there are a lot of “education” grants in 2012, there are some research grants going to the CSIRO (eg in 2012 at least $13m of the $40m that year was for research at CSIRO). In 2010 (the big dollar grant year) many more of the grants were for “strategies”, for IPCC matters, for universities and the CSIRO — though none of the grants I’ve seen on a random sample add up to anything like the total outgoing.)

Is this advertising by any other name? Instead of running an ALP campaign advert, they award money to groups which promote their policies and get disguised third party ads by NGOs who collect donations and are seemingly the voice of the community (what percentage of these non-profits comes voluntarily from the community and what percentage comes via forced payment from tax?).

“Do Something” picked up $800,000 to become a type of GONGO and run a [...]

Tim Flannery – baseload is just a “coal” industry idea (Yes and darkness is a “renewable” idea, right?)

How is this for a scary thought?

Tim Flannery says renewables will run the economy:

“What we can now see is the emerging inevitability that renewables are going to be running the economy…”

And I say: Prepare for economic armageddon. Picture an Australia where we all have jobs — jobs  digging holes, mucking out the stables, and chopping those last few remaining trees down. We may lead the world installing chinese-made solar panels, but they won’t help us make anything that anyone else wants to buy. Anton gives us some numbers no one seems to have mentioned to Tim. Like, it takes 1,000 new wind towers to kinda equal one coal plant. – Jo

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Guest Post: Anton Lang

Get ready — this is how much the 25 most recent, powerful, high-tech wind plants generate. Not the red line — that’s how much electricity we used. Look at the expanse under the blue line — every bit of that (“bit” being the word) is all thanks to those brand spanking new wind turbines.

Courtesy of the National Electricity Market. (NEM)

The red line at the top shows total electricity demand for NSW, Vic, Qld, SA, and Tasmania [...]

The message from boreholes

There have been suggestions that Jo Nova might be trying to hide or ignore the most recent boreholes graph from Huang et al. So here it is. This is the last 2,000 years according to 6000 boreholes, with the last 100 years also using the “instrumental record” which gives us that hockey-stick uptick at the end. Below I explain the pros and cons of this study and update my thoughts.

Huang and Pollack 2008: Their latest boreholes published study

 

A borehole sounds like a bit-of-a-stretch as a proxy. How could we tell if the world was warmer in 1066 by drilling a hole in the ground? Yes, fair point. But what makes boreholes useful is that they are global and there is a lot of data: specifically 6,000 holes all over the world.

I’ve been looking at boreholes in more detail, analyzing them in the light of newer proxies. When all the evidence is considered, boreholes turn out be not-much-use at giving us meaningful numbers in degrees C, and in my opinion, not-too-hot at telling us the “when” of an event either. Too much depends on assumptions.

But what are they good for is that, when combined with [...]

BREAKING: Skeptics equated to pedophiles — Robyn Williams ABC. Time to protest.

Hat tip to Graham Young editor of Online Opinion.

“That is worse than anything Alan Jones said. ” Follow Graham Young on twitter.

A bad-taste joke by Alan Jones in October created a national storm. These comments in the “science” show were supposedly considered, deliberate and researched.

This morning on the “science” show Robyn Williams equates skeptics to pedophiles, people pushing asbestos, and drug pushers. Williams starts the show by framing republicans (and skeptics) as liars: “New Scientist complained about the “gross distortions” and “barefaced lying” politicians come out  with…” He’s goes on to make the most blatant, baseless, and outrageous insults by equating skeptics to people who promote pedophilia, asbestos and drugs.

“What if I told you pedophilia is good for children, or that asbestos is an excellent inhalant for those with asthmatics, or that smoking crack is a normal part and a healthy one of teenage life, to be encouraged? You’d rightly find it outrageous, but there have been similar statements coming out of inexpert mouths, distorting the science.”

“These distortions of science are far from trivial, our neglect of what may be clear and urgent problems could be catastrophic and now a professor of [...]

Doha barely begun, and Crikey, someone makes sense…

From the Australian report on Doha (coming up next week)

Firstly — there is the usual nonsense, the must-have-caveats, the litany, that allows a brave journalist to write something that’s pretty obvious, but political incorrect. So first we-the-reader apparently needs to know (again) that: 1/ CO2 has hit record highs, 2/ Some large government report tells us that is awful and 3/We’re not doing enough, and 4/ Sandy the big-storm is “widely cited” by some unnamed sources (which means activists, not scientists) as evidence of climate change will make storms worse.

Then, good news, the MSM can admit that things are not accelerating (or even rising) as planned:

[Graham Lloyd]    “…the most recent global temperature record, released this week, shows the average global temperature fell last year for the second year.

In short, there is agreement that the rising trend has stalled.

Many scientists accept there are natural processes at work that are not properly factored into the global temperature models.

German environmentalist Fritz Vahrenholt, a former Social Democrat Party senator, founder of wind-energy company REpower and president of the German Wildlife Foundation, has been particularly outspoken.

“According to the IPCC climate models, there should be an increase in global [...]

Feelings on the ABC are running strong

Just one of the emails that crossed my desktop today. From Eric Fleay to corporate affairs @ the ABC, CC’d to myself, The Bunyip, Catallaxy, MichaelSmith, and Pickering. (Thank you Eric, such praise, for bloggers and commenters)

I would not have said things this way myself, but for all those who claim the ABC is not biased and shows no favors to the Labor Party, where is the ALP-green-voter-anger at the ABC? Do they complain that the taxpayer is forced to pay for a news service that does not cover environmental or green issues, or represent the voices of people who want more big-government hand-outs and regulation? Where are the calls from those who benefit from the gravy train to “purge” the ABC because it ignores them, denigrates, name-calls,  and misinforms them with one-sided views and incompetent news?   -  Jo

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Dear Ms ABC,

I have long bypassed television, radio and newspapers in favour of the internet to stay abreast of what is happening in the wider world. What I find amazing is that surely the ‘quality’ journalists touted by the MSM here in this country must go on the net themselves. Surely? [...]

Australia managed the mining boom so well we can’t afford cancer treatments

Our award-winning treasurer is forcing the nation to spend $8.9 billion on wind-turbines, to generate electricity which will be3- 4 times more expensive than coal powered electricity, probably won’t reduce CO2 at all, and which definitely won’t change the weather. Victoria’s windfarms have saved virtually no coal from being burnt. South Australian windfarms have saved 4% of their rated capacity in fossil fuels at a cost of $1,484 per ton.

MORE than $8.9 billion will be spent importing wind turbines because of the blowout in the Gillard government’s renewable energy target, providing few if any benefits to local industry, one of the nation’s biggest electricity generators warns.

The Australian can also reveal that a new Frontier Economics analysis commissioned by Macquarie Generation has found that the renewable energy target could slash the value of coal-fired power stations by between $11.3bn and $17.3bn – potentially having a greater impact than the carbon tax, which includes industry compensation.

In a new submission to the Climate Change Authority, Macquarie Generation said that 2500 wind turbines – costing $12.7bn – will be needed to comply with a scheme that is set to blow out the amount of renewable energy in the system to [...]

Catalyst: climate astrology in your very own backyard

The ABC tv program Catalyst was quite special last Thursday. Was that a science report, or an advertorial?

Brisbane was recording temperatures with modern Stevenson Screens in 1890, as were some other stations, but the BOM often ignores these long records.

Forget gloom and doom it’s “kinder” climate now

The ABC team have shifted gear. They heard they should stop being all gloom and doom (it’s climate fatigue you know) and make it simple. So they did, and everything was delivered in a cheesy canter, like an episode of Playschool. Smile everyone! Floods will increase, but we won’t hammer you with ominous music, instead we’ll show Jonica-the-presenter cleaning the floor of her very own home, joking about the pesky trickle in the living room (To paraphrase: It’s flooded again — can you believe?).

Dr Jonica Newby reckons things have changed since she bought her house. It’s simply unthinkable that the climate now is not exactly the same at her house as it was when she first moved in — way back in the historic year of…  2000. (Gosh, eh? I wonder why the BOM don’t publish a paper on it?) Now our national debate is reduced to presenters, not [...]

Weekend Unthreaded

Plenty of hot potatoes in the air at the moment…

Did Julia really say that? She’s here to help bankers “get their share”?

Her speech to the Australian Business Council yesterday:

And the “other Presidential contest”, the Chinese leadership transition is taking place today.  In 2015, China should take its pilot emissions trading scheme national.

In total around sixty per cent of the world’s GDP is either subject to a carbon price today, or has one legislated or planned for implementation in the two or three years ahead.

International carbon markets will cover billions of consumers this decade.  Ask the bankers at your table whether they want Australia to clip that ticket.  We’re going to help them get their share.

So that’s the work of coming years, that’s what preoccupies my thoughts as I think through the agenda for this country.

I skimmed this line on Andrew Bolts blog, but it didn’t really register until a friend from Europe emailed it to me. (Thanks Stefan).  Surely it was a slip, but then she follows it by saying “that’s what preoccupies my thoughts”.

So this is the new-ALP-  out goes the workers-party, in comes the bankers-party? Ho Ho Ho

How this for a hypothetical test? What if she knew of poor workers funds going missing, say, being misused through union corruption, would she launch [...]

Nature paper: Global droughts unchanged in 60 years

How many images have we seen of drought-stricken cracked land, or been told this is the future? How many headlines have suggested that global warming causes droughts?

Since the end of World War II humans have produced some 85% of all their CO2 emissions, but here is a new study showing that for all those emissions, and for all that warming, droughts back then were just as bad globally as they are today.

Essentially, researchers thought that the Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) was the way to measure global drought levels, and they thought that warming would increase global drought conditions. But the PDSI considers only temperature, not humidity, sunlight and wind. This paper shows that when these factors are included, worldwide drought is about the same now as it was in 1950.

Researchers are finally accounting for the fact that a warmer world usually means more evaporation (especially from the ocean) and thus more rain. It’s good to see that someone has crunched those complex numbers on a global scale. Credit to Sheffield, Wood & Roderick.

Figure 1 | Global average time series of the PDSI and area in drought. a, PDSI_Th (blue line) and PDSI_PM (red line). [...]

Events in Perth coming up next week

7.3- [...]

BBC secret exposed: Greenpeace, activists, BP decide what “science” brits see — Hello TwentyEightGate

Oh the irony. The BBC, supposedly the public owned broadcaster, had a meeting with 28 climate experts in Jan 2006 where it decided on its policies on climate coverage. It led to the extraordinary move of the BBC abandoning any semblance of impartiality (a principle that’s so important it’s written into its charter). In the meantime, the BBC did everything it could to hide those influential experts names. It’s been nearly seven years since the seminar, but now we know why their names were top secret. No one is even pretending this was about “the science”. The BBC has become a PR wing of Greenpeace.

In mid 2007 Tony Newbery of Harmless Sky started asking who was at the seminar, but the BBC wouldn’t give up the names. In fact the BBC thought the names were so significant that when Newbery sent them an FOI, they not only refused to hand over the list, but they used six lawyers against him (see  The Secret 28 Who Made BBC ‘Green’ Will Not Be Named). The BBC, improbably, argued they weren’t “public” and even more improbably, they won the case. Who knew? The BBC could be considered a “private organisation”. Where are the [...]

Kyoto: Australia “IN” New Zealand “Out”

 

New Zealand signed up for an emissions trading scheme in November 2009, fully expecting Australia to sign in an ETS the next week. Thanks to one vote and an Abbot win, Australia didn’t sign up then, but will get one (unless things change) in 2015.

Kyoto 1 ends in December 31, 2012, and not a moment too soon. Last week Australia signed up for Kyoto 2, but this time New Zealand  didn’t.

[Reuters] Neighbouring New Zealand said it would not sign up for the next phase and would instead join a separate convention, including large greenhouse gas emitters such as the United States and China.

Kyoto 2 will only include 15% of emissions. The New Zealanders didn’t want “in” with such a small ineffectual crowd, and will wait for the US and China.

[Reuters] Australia in July introduced a A$23 ($24) per tonne carbon tax on top polluters, which will move into an emissions trading scheme from mid 2015. Australia and the European Union have agreed to link their trading schemes by 2018.

New Zealand’s abandonment of Kyoto 2 followed changes to its emissions trading scheme (ETS), which allowed unlimited use of carbon credits to meet targets at near-record [...]

Al Gore tries “back door” and gets knocked back by Australian Firenado filmmaker again

It’s good to know some people just can’t be bought and Chris Tangey is one of them. He refuses to allow any part of his work to be used to “decieve” people.

Al Gore or someone in his team, really wanted the firestorm footage for his 24 hour televised special coming up this week (which Watts Up is matching hour for hour). One arm of his team (the Office of the Honorable Al Gore) asked Chris Tangey of Alice Springs Film & TV for permission to use the spectacular footage in late September, and Tangey said “No” it would be “deliberately deceptive”,  which caused media stories around the world. Now another arm, The Climate Reality Project has quietly tried dressing up in their nonprofit-documentary-group-cloak and again offering money to secure the rights.

The full recent email exchange is below. The Gore team mean “no disrespect” but their representative Andrea Smith was still happy to insult people with names, and was perplexed, writing that ” the US is the only country in the world that has an active Climate Denier movement – every other country in the world has accepted this as a fact.” We can see how well informed Al’s [...]

Gymnastics at 86! Not just aging gracefully, but setting a new benchmark

A feel-good video. She started gymnastics in her 50′s, and look what Johanna Quaas can do.

New research suggests the human body  contains remarkable plasticity.  It is constantly being rebuilt, and even weight training exercises help 90 year olds.

Quaas, below,  is redefining the art of aging gracefully.

… …

Johanna Quaas, an 86-year-old who has just entered the record books as the world’s oldest gymnast.

Displaying astonishing balance, strength and flexibility, she performed routines on the floor and parallel bars that would put someone decades younger to shame.

[...]

Moments in Climatism –the quotes you’ve been looking for

(Buy it from his site direct )

Steve Goreham, author of “Climatism” and his latest “The Mad, Mad, Mad World of Climatism” has compiled an handy set of quotes — ordered and sorted, just for that moment when you need something related to, say, ocean acidification, health effects, biofuels, Al Gore, carbon taxes, overpopulation, the UN, the IPCC, and more.

Steve holds an MS in EE and lives in Illinois. I have his first book on my desk:  extremely well researched, well written, well laid out. Polished and professional. He is across so many aspects of both science and politics, like few others. An organized mind. I like it!

Climatism Quotes

Here’s a select few

These people are called “progressives” (See Energy, other)

“If you ask me, it’d be little short of disastrous for us to discover a source of clean, cheap, abundant energy because of what we would do with it.”     —Amory Lovins, environmentalist, Mother Earth News, Nov.-Dec. 1977

“Giving society cheap, abundant energy would be the equivalent of giving an idiot child a machine gun.”     —Dr. Paul Ehrlich, Anne Ehrlich, and Dr. John Holdren, Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment, 1970, p. 323

[...]

Are ARC grants for science or a form of government advertising disguised as research?

ARC Grants have just been announced for 2013

Let’s look at what won a grant in light of the fact that nearly 80% of all the applications for ARC funding fail. (Indeed Nobel Laureate Brian Schmidt wonders if our best scientists are hobbled by an arduous waste-of-time process where they spend up to 30% – 50% of their working life applying for grants.)

Looking at the current round of successful grants. How do you beat four out of five candidates for funding? Here’s one successful method:

Step One: Use statistically insignificant results obtained by dubious techniques to generate a paper with conclusions that grab headlines.

Step Two: Make sure these “results” support contentious Labor Party policies, and actively promote the spurious conclusions in the media prior to publication.

Step Three (optional): Possibly go on to publish the paper, then again, maybe not.

Step Four: Apply for more money.

Apparently the ALP need to find budget savings from the science program to deliver their promised “surplus”. They are thinking of a grants freeze — which is a good way to create uncertainty and encourage the best researchers to leave the country. Here’s [...]

It’s back. Voting is over, and the climate zombie awakens

Good news for climate bloggers (why aren’t I “excited”?)

The topic no one was going to mention in the election campaign, just got a mention. And in less than 24 hours, it’s already being revived from oblivion. Banking group HSBC tells us that:

Barack Obama  may consider introducing a tax on carbon emissions to help cut the U.S. budget deficit after winning a second term as president, according to HSBC Holdings Plc.

A tax starting at $20 a metric ton of carbon dioxide equivalent and rising at about 6 percent a year could raise $154 billion by 2021, Nick Robins, an analyst at the bank in London, said today in an e-mailed research note, citing Congressional Research Service estimates. “Applied to the Congressional Budget Office’s 2012 baseline, this would halve the fiscal deficit by 2022,” Robins said.

There is no guaranteed path of course, the Republicans control the House. But how telling that the Zombie Ghost of Cap N Trade popped up its head so fast once the votes were in.

Climate Depot responds:

‘Congratulations to President Obama. Now that Obama will never have to face voters again, he may attempt to make global warming a key part [...]

The US Election — spot the numbers mismatch where 50:50 = 2 to 9?

UPDATE: The US Election is being called for Obama on all major outlets. MarketWatch. Telegraph. Real Clear Politics. Mark Steyn’s thoughts: “Life Free… Or Die”.

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Voting is now underway in all states of the US including Hawaii and Alaska.

Something very strange is going on with money. Normally bets are a decent indicator, but in the US right now as people roll out to vote, polls are largely at 50:50, but betting odds of 2-9.

The bet-takers own website explains that Obama’s odds of victory fell to a low of 2-9, with 75 percent of the action coming in for the incumbent Obama. CSM explains that given the odds, bettors were only taking in 20 cents for every euro wagered, plus the original stake, meaning Paddy Power wasn’t paying out a longshot. On the flip side, unpaid Romney bets held odds of 7-2.

Follow the odds on Predictwise or Oddschecker.

It’s so strange, one betting site in Ireland (Paddy Power) has already paid out $750,000 to Obama bettors. That was Monday.

Putting a fine point on it: Gallup and Rassmussen are saying Romney 49: Obama 48.  (For more poll results than you could want see the BBC. They can’t [...]