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

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The Skeptics Handbook II

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



Skeptical view makes Australian front page: climate madness, dishonesty, fraud, deception, lies and exploitation says Maurice Newman

The giant boondoggle is coming undone.

What makes this article remarkable is the strong language coming from a credible source on the front page of a major national daily. We have crossed another line in the decline and fall of the Great Global Warming Scare.  Maurice Newman is chairman of the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Council , was Chairman of the ABC, and of the board of the Australian Stock Exchange. He was Chancellor of Macquarie University until 2008. The Op-Ed and news article today sums up the worst of the last five years of climate, and is the first time I can recall seeing a well respected commentator use such unequivocal and damning language and so prominently. There is no hedging here, no pandering. Newman obviously reads skeptical blogs and is very aware of what is going on. Ponder that he was Chairman of their ABC, and if someone of his sensible insight could not clean it up, we need far more drastic action (that’s another topic we will explore soon).

His opinion piece in the Australian (Crowds go cold on climate cost), is discussed on the front page as a news item titled “Climate policies helped kill manufacturing, [...]

Third icebreaker abandons rescue of climate scientists boat in Antarctica, media fog, obscure, don’t say “climate”

LATEST NEWS: Aurora Australis abandons attempt to save Akademik Shokalskiy in Antarctica. The SMH headline could’ve said “Another icebreaker abandons attempt to save climate scientist’s boat in Antarctica.” UPDATE: Russia says 54 of 74 passengers to be helicoptered off if weather permits. (h/ tPeter Miller) The Polar Star icebreaker has left from the US to come help. It will take 8 -9 days to arrive. (Guardian)

Welcome to Media-Sport, where we score points watching a part of the media dance around the hysterical folly of an Antarctic climate science expedition trapped in sea ice for six nights (and counting). The Art of Propaganda is not just in the telling of one-sided lines, but is crafted through parts left unsaid.

More global warming, it is everywhere you look. View from Akademik Shokalskiy

With three ice-breaker rescue ships trying to reach them, the latest news is that the scientists and media entourage may have to abandon ship and be helicoptered to safety (though right now even that is not possible due to the very rough weather).  The ABC news home page at time of posting this has zero references to “Antarctica”, but does say there are cracks in ice around a [...]

IPCC “science” on sea-levels dumped by an Australian State Government

It’s just another day on the road back to reality.

The New South Wales state government in Australia has announced it will tell its local councils  that not only are they not bound by the IPCC sea-level predictions, they must do their own research on their own beaches. It’s the polite way of saying that no one believes the IPCC predictions anymore, worse, that they are so sure the IPCC is wrong that councils have to get different advice. For the IPCC it’s just one more signpost on the path to oblivion.

The Australian:

The NSW government will order councils to study the scientific evidence for sea-level rise on a beach-by-beach basis, amid fears that many local authorities may be undermining property values by imposing punitive planning conditions based on predictions contained in reports of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

IPCC credibility has crumbled in so many ways. People were suffering real pain  — properties near the ocean in some councils were being denied the approvals to renovate or expand, and their values had fallen. Owners were locked into properties they couldn’t improve and couldn’t sell. The NSW state government told councils last year they didn’t [...]

Tell the world to stop blaming your home air conditioner for peak power spikes

Guest post by TonyfromOz (Anton Lang)

The Peak Power story is that spikes in electricity occur 6 to 10 days a year and we need to cut back on the power we use at home to ease spikes. In Australia, the spikes are on the hottest days of summer, and commentators tut-tut and blame the profusion of air conditioning in our homes. Their story goes that there is no point in building more power stations because the spikes are short lived.  [See  Western Power,  Reneweconomy, The Queensland government, and Urban Ecology for examples of people making out  residential air conditioners are to blame. That last link has this hysterical quote "The big mistake was putting air-conditioning in cars." If people were not used to being cool in their vehicles, they would not demand it in their homes. (Tony O'Dwyer, National Economics)". Never let the riff raff use the industrial magic tools eh? Keep the air conditioners for the elite academics, pollies and white collar office workers! -- Jo]

But here’s the kicker. There’s one day of the year when more people are at home than any other day, so if home air-conditioners were the problem, then Christmas Day should be a [...]

Merry Christmas to all for 2013

Merry Christmas to readers everywhere, especially to those who are far from family and friends in time or place…

… or possibly separated by the politics of modern tribes. A shame.

Mischief likes the big green cat-toy with balls to pounce on.

New British plan will pay people to be “ready to do nothing” to help with energy crisis

The birthplace of the Industrial Revolution has a new bright idea. Big-Government is going to take £1 each from people using electricity and instead of giving it to people who make electricity, they’re going to give it to people who don’t absolutely have to have electricity. Those people might be paid for doing no useful work, or indeed, in a fabulous twist, they might be paid not to do no work, but just to be prepared to do nothing. It’s a brilliant left-of-center economic move, guaranteed to help the non-essential part of the economy at the expense of the part that does things that matter.

Expect to see the UK doing more non-essential things in future.

Businesses could be paid to shut down from 4pm and 8pm on winter weekdays, under plans approved by regulator Ofgem

by Emily Gosden

Hundreds of businesses could be paid to switch off their power between 4pm and 8pm on winter weekdays as soon as next winter to prevent blackouts, under plans approved by regulator Ofgem.

Mothballed old gas-fired power stations will also be paid to come back to stand-by so they can be fired up to prevent the lights going out when demand is [...]

Unthreaded Weekend

Interference patterns ripple through clouds at my favourite rock pool.

 

Reddit gives up on debate, bans “deniers” and repositions as low traffic propaganda unit

Reddit is a social media website which calls itself the “front-page of the Internet”. It’s possible you’ve even heard of it (but not from me.) One Reddit moderator proudly announced on Grist that climate change is the hottest battleground in all of science, and actual debate is too hot for Reddit.

I’d like to thank them for sending more traffic to skeptical bloggers as they stop pretending to be on the “front line” in science. Though to be honest, I don’t expect to notice the difference: their “environment” page is positively raging along, with most posts getting only 1-2 comments. “Front page of the Internet” my foot.

According to Nathan Allen, Reddit-science means following consensus polls and doing pop-psychology on your opponents , while allowing people you like to post conspiracy theories, but protesting when opponents do the same.

Here’s a wild idea, perhaps this debate is the hottest battleground in science because a religious theory about the climate has usurped real science, and thousands of scientists are rising up in protest? (If I’m right, the number of skeptics will be increasing and the tenor of the discussions will get more and more acrimonious. Oh look… UK poll suggests there [...]

Sun dumps 500 times as many Hiroshima bombs of energy as “climate change”

Announcing the all new Solar-Insolation Hiroshima Bomb App, thanks to Dale Kent.

Since 1998, Global Warming has been occurring at 4 Hiroshima Bombs per second, not that we can measure that rate to a statistically significant value*, or that it means anything at all. Every second the sun pours 2700 Hiroshima bombs of energy on the Earth at the top of the atmosphere. 

As well as missing the big-picture, Cook and Nuccitelli show us they don’t have a good grip on cause and effect. The world may have been warming, but that does not  mean that CO2 caused it. Though they would very much like you to think that.

But if you want to scare people out of their money and impress fools, the Skeptical Science widget is just the thing. As SkS say on their page: “ Put a widget on your blog to let people know that climate change is important to you. ” To which  JoNova adds, “The Sks widget performs a valuable service, advertising the bloggers who don’t understand big numbers or trends, and who struggle with statistical significance. If someone wants to show they think-with-the-herd, and not with their brain, the SkepticalScience widget [...]

Two high school students take on teacher over climate and win standing ovation

A reader Russell writes in to tell me his Year 9 son Jordan and his friend, Tom, took on their teacher’s sacred belief in man-made global warming. Given no warning, and called insulting names in front of the class, they took up the challenge with gusto and stayed up til 1am that night to put the presentation together. Not surprisingly the teacher tried to pull out the next day, but the class would not let her.

One of the slides quotes Al Gore mocking “the tiny minority”, like the ones “who still believe that the moon landing was faked…”. Then it shows and quotes four Apollo Astronauts and Burt Rutan (the first private astronaut).

One of the ten slides

From reader Russell:

The other week at school my eldest son (15) was challenged by his teacher to present to the class why he is a ”climate change denier”. He had to do this presentation the next day.

At the start of his class the next day he advised the teacher he was ready.  She told him she wasn’t interested now, maybe another day. His classmates started heckling her saying ”You Chicken Miss”. She eventually agreed [...]