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



Radi-Aid: Africa helps freezing children in Norway

This is the Easter Spirit!

Gotta love it. h/t Eric W

Lewandowsky, Cook claim 78,000 skeptics could see conspiracy survey at Cooks site where there is no link

The MoonLanding paper is finally here. Eight months after Lewandowsky was so sure he had a “peer reviewed” conclusion that he announced his results in The Guardian and The Telegraph , the paper has finally been published.

Lewandowsky et al claimed to show skeptics are nutters who believe any rabid conspiracy like the “moon-landing was faked”.  Their novel method for discovering the views of skeptics involved surveying sites frequented by those who hate skeptics.

The survey questions included conspiracies likely to appeal to a small percentage of conservative or free market thinkers, and largely left out conspiracies that would appeal more to supporters of bigger government (like the idea that the rise of “climate denial” was a big-oil funded conspiracy). It studied big-government conspiracies and ignored big-corporate ones. There are gullible conspiracists who also believe in global warming, but there was no danger this survey would find them. The survey bias was so obvious, even alarmist commenters said they feared few “denialists” would take it. The results that were headlined in newspapers were based on a tiny sample of ten respondents to an anonymous online survey. Not surprisingly Lewandowsky’s university (UWA) received many complaints about ethics, methods, and the dismal quality [...]

Unpaid students to review AR5. This is rigorous expert science right?

The Risk Monger (David Zaruk) was astonished to receive an advertisement from the Dutch government looking for 60 young PhD students to help with the next Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report.

They salary is “none”. But they are not just looking for any old student. You don’t need experience, but to qualify you need “an affinity with climate change”. I guess they are not looking for skeptical students who feel an affinity with logic, reason, and empirical evidence?

The reasons for asking the unpaid students is actually described as an “ambitious plan” to do a “thorough review” because there were “errors in the fourth assessment report…”. O.K.

The Risk Monger:

Maybe I am jumping to conclusions, but with all of the mess of the last IPCC Assessment Report (including a non-scientific WWF campaign document predicting the disappearance of Himalayan glaciers getting through the review process and becoming one of the IPCC’s main conclusions), shouldn’t they try to do a more rigorous review process this time around? Students, working for free, are not perhaps the ideal choice of reviewers needed to challenge the experts

What troubles the Risk-Monger more here is that many environmental activists are working on their PhDs and [...]

Upgrade coal power and cut 15% of emissions. Where is the Green applause?

If the Greens cared about CO2 they’d be very interested in ways to reduce emissions. But their selective interest speaks volumes about their real priorities. Anton Lang shows how newer coal fired powers stations run hotter and at higher pressures, and use 15% less coal to produce the same amount of electricity. We could upgrade our power stations and cut a whopping 15% of their emissions — which is huge compared to the piddling small, often unmeasureable savings thanks to renewables. Even massive floods that stop industry don’t reduce our emissions as much as this would. Do the Greens hate the coal industry more than “carbon pollution”? — Jo

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Ultra Super Critical Coal Fired Power gives a 15% CO2 Emissions Reduction

Guest Post: Anton Lang (aka TonyfromOz)

It all comes down to steam.

Assume (for a moment) that we have to reduce the emissions of CO2 by something like 20% between now and 2020.

Previously I showed we could achieve a reduction of 13% in CO2 emissions from the electrical power generating sector just by converting from the current 70’s technology coal fired power to the newest technology USC (UltraSuperCritical) coal fired technology. That 13% I quoted [...]

Labor downgrades “Climate Dept”. Greens slam it as “symbolic retreat”

Dr Craig Emerson, Minister for Science, Weather, Inventions, Factories and Universities.

After the leadership farce last week and the resignations of the more-sensible Labor ministers, Gillard has reshuffled again and the DCC (Department of Climate Change) is disappearing into a “super ministry”. It is a sign of the times.

The P.M. has bundled the Department of Climate Change into a nightmare acronynm:

The Prime Minister used her sixth ministerial reshuffle to merge the Department of Climate Change with the Department of Industry, creating a new Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education.

Is that DIICCSRTE?

Gillard has made Craig Emerson minister of nearly everything.

Gillard also appointed the former Woodside director, Gary Gray, to cabinet as mines and energy minister. The Climate Spectator is worried. Gray said something skeptical once in 1993: that the evidence linking human activity to climate change was ‘‘pop science”. Years later he apparently said he regretted the comments, but this was not enough to convince the religious that he has discovered the faith.  He made the mistake of saying there needed to be “intellectual challenge and debate”. These plain and sane words marked him as a confirmed skeptic. Only [...]

Apollo 11 engines found and recovered from 4km deep

 

Hey, Moon Landing Deniers… here’s an interesting tid-bit and an epic project. The historic engines that propelled Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on their trip to the moon (with Michael Collins orbiting above them) have not only been found but recovered. These F-1 engines fell back to Earth at 5,000 miles per hour and sank four kilometers underwater in the Atlantic. (The Apollo 11 crew splashed down later in the Pacific on July 24, 1969.)

It was not immediately clear when or where the objects might be displayed, but Mr Bezos said when he launched the project last year that he hoped they could be viewed at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington.

[...]

What happened to “Earth Hour”? Celebrate: It’s the “Power Hour” tonight!

Turn on your lights from 8.30pm-9.30!

Remember all the fuss? What happened to Earth Hour 2013?

It’s that time-of-year for the hour of Green Darkness. But how times have changed.  On Their-ABC, the only mention I can find is this: “Is Earth Hour dead?“  The Age and The SMH pay lip-service to Earth Hour with an article in today. But there is nothing like the hype of previous years. The Guardian puts on the best spin, but concede Lomborg might be right. Even the Huff Po is telling us it’s a waste of time.

It appears Lomborg took the fun out of it by pointing out that Earth Hour was a waste-of-time token that produced more emissions than it saved.

Earth Hour teaches us that tackling global warming is easy,” Lomborg writes at Slate. “Yet, by switching off the lights, all we are doing is making it harder to see.”

How so? Well, for starters, Lomborg argues that more than a billion impoverished people around the world have no switch to flip, lacking the electricity that we take for granted. Earth Hour, he implies, demonizes a technology that has lifted great swaths of humanity from lives of [...]

IPCC Lead Author calls Lewandowsky “deluded”

People across the UK are rolling in the aisles in laughter.

Lewandowsky’s latest paper, “Recursive Fury” (which has just reappeared),  categorized a comment by Richard Betts under the heading “Excerpt Espousing Conspiracy Theory” (in the supplemental data). But instead of being a comment from a rabid tin-foil-hat skeptic, Betts turns out to be Head of Climate Impacts at the UK Met Office and an IPCC lead author.

When Betts was informed about this by Barry Woods, he tweeted “Lewandowsky et al clearly deluded!”

Here’s the comment by Betts that Lewandowsky et al think demonstrates conspiracist ideation. Betts is pointing out how easily the authors of the original paper (claiming that skeptics-believe-the-moon-landing-was-faked) could have posted their survey link in places where skeptics were actually likely to see it. The Moon landing paper — after all — claimed to analyze skeptics but ended up getting results only from sites that were virulently anti-skeptic.

Richard Betts: “The thing I don’t understand is, why didn’t they just make a post on sceptic blogs themselves, rather than approaching blog owners. They could have posted as a Discussion topic here at Bishop Hill without even asking the host, and I very much doubt that the Bish [...]

Who will be Australia’s PM tomorrow? (Answer – Gillard)

UPDATE: Rudd refused to contend. Gillard and Swan “won” uncontested. (The ALP loses.) QLD State Liberal Premier Newman calls for a federal election. “‘The country cannot afford the waste of time; the paralysis we’ve seen.’” ——————————————— It’s on. Finally.

Leadership ballot called for Labor Party at 4.30pm today. [...]

Andy Hoffman admits they’re losing: Fighting skeptics is like fighting slave traders

Andy Hoffman has flown from Michigan to deliver the pop science solution to our atmospheric catastrophe.

You may have thought it was about planetary radiation, or moist adiabatic lapse rates, but Hoffman is here to save you from the waste-of-time science debate. Discussing science with “climate deniers”  is like “talking to a wall” he says. We agree — anyone who denies we have a climate is thick-as-a-brick. Have you ever met one? No, neither have I. The mythical climate denier seems to be causing global warming through their inaction, but no one as yet, can name a single person who denies the climate.

I’m sure Hoffman wouldn’t want to be loose and inaccurate with his words — so no doubt he will find an actual “climate denier” or start to speak English instead.

Perhaps the debate he says he wants, will start when we speak the same language?

It’s obvious the Great Global Warming Scare is unravelling when the losing team turn into sour-puss-psychologists — finding dark mental failings in those too stupid to understand their Gift with The Weather.

When it comes to pop-psychology anyone can play…

Hoffman thinks skeptics aren’t convinced because they are afraid:

MANY climate sceptics [...]