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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Outgoing UK Environment Minister says green groups are profiteering anti-capitalist agit-prop

Some extraordinary statements from Owen Paterson, the man who was the UK Environment Secretary until a week ago. This is baking hot. Paterson also draws attention to the way big-goverment has fed big-government lobbyists 150 million euros since 2007. Can we get this man to Australia? — Jo

I’m proud of standing up to the green lobby

The Telegraph UK I leave the post with great misgivings about the power and irresponsibility of – to coin a phrase – the Green Blob.

By this I mean the mutually supportive network of environmental pressure groups, renewable energy companies and some public officials who keep each other well supplied with lavish funds, scare stories and green tape. This tangled triangle of unelected busybodies claims to have the interests of the planet and the countryside at heart, but it is increasingly clear that it is focusing on the wrong issues and doing real harm while profiting handsomely.

Local conservationists on the ground do wonderful work to protect and improve wild landscapes, as do farmers, rural businesses and ordinary people. They are a world away from the highly paid globe-trotters of the Green Blob who besieged me with [...]

Notching up open review improvements – a correction to Part III

Flagging an update (coming) to Big News Part III

Score 1 for open science review, thanks to Bernie Hutchins, an electrical engineer who diligently asked the right questions about something that bothered him regarding the notching effect. We’re grateful. This will improve the model. On the downside, it means we’re slightly less certain of the delay (darn) — the notch doesn’t guarantee a delay as we had previously thought. But there is independent evidence suggesting temperatures on Earth follow solar activity with a one cycle delay — the lag seen in studies like Archibald, Friis-Christainsen and Usoskin is still a lag.

What does it mean? The step-response graph (figure 2 in Part III or figure 4 in Part IV) will change, and needs to be redone. The reason for assuming there is a delay, and building it into the model, rests now on the independent studies, and not on the notch. The new step change will need to be built into the model, and in a few weeks we’ll know how the predictions or hindcasting change. David feels reasonably sure it won’t make much difference to the broad picture, because a step-response something like figure 4, Part IV, explains global warming [...]

Wow, look at those BOM adjustments – trends up by two degrees C!

The mystery of Australian temperature adjustments

Ken Stewart has been checking the Australian BOM official ACORN minima data against the raw data. This week he highlights the six very strange cases of Brisbane Airport, Amberley RAAF, Dubbo, Rutherglen, Rabbit Flat, and Carnarvon. In all these places the adjustments change the trend by more than 2 whole degrees C. It’s a kind of hyper-homogenization.

Thermometers are supposed to be accurate to a tenth of a degree. Australian average trends are sometimes calculated to one hundredth of a degree. What then do we make of adjustments that change the trends by a whopping 2 degrees, and decades after the data came in? The only thing we know for sure about Australian temperatures is that we need an independent audit. Why is it left to volunteers to check? Surely the Greens want good data too?

Some of these stations are isolated outposts, so theoretically they are the heavyweights on Australian area-weighted averages. The map scales can be a bit deceptive. In outback Australia the nearest neighbours can all be 500 km away (300 miles). Some dots on the map are not so much a town as a motel and a gas station. [...]

Ian Plimer launching his new book: Perth Monday, Melbourne Tuesday, Bris next Monday

Don’t miss: The Book Launch: “Not for Greens” by Ian Plimer.

“Not For Greens is a powerful critique of the green movement and the damage it has done to living standards around the world.”

PERTH: Monday, July 21, 2014,   at 6:00 PM, Fire and Ice, Subiaco Square (next to Subiaco train station), a mere $10. I’ll be there. The Perth Book Launch info.

MELBOURNE: Tuesday 22 July, 5.00pm for 5.30pm to 7.00pm, CQ Functions, 113-123 Queen Street, Melbourne  RSVP (IPA)

BRISBANE: Monday July 28, 2014 5.00pm for 5.30pm to 7.00pm Pullman Brisbane King George Square, Corner Ann & Roma Streets, Brisbane

RSVP for Melbourne and Brisbane at the IPA here http://rsvp.ipa.org.au/. 03 9600 4744.

H/t to Lance thanks!

Weekend Unthreaded

Wayward thoughts…

If you ask questions about our theory you are a horrible person

In response to Australia removing the Carbon Tax the ABC News report broadcast the best arguments of believers in man-made global warming . They tell us we should spend billions to manage a ubiquitous natural molecule with a fake market, in the hope we’ll get nicer weather. If you question that you are a bad, bad person. You are the kind of vile, stupid and selfish person, a troll, who doesn’t mind killing people with asbestos or tobacco, you are an international pariah, a shock-jock and an irrational, unthinking denier.

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is our national debate, by our leading “thinkers”, broadcast on our national public news service:

ABC News 17-7-2014

ADAM BANDT, DEPUTY GREENS LEADER: This is the Australian Parliament’s asbestos moment, our tobacco moment, when we knew what we were doing was harmful but went ahead and did it anyway.

RICHARD DENNISS, AUSTRALIA INSTITUTE: … We’re outing ourselves as a pariah. We’re outing ourselves as a country that’s not committed to tackling climate change.

BILL SHORTEN: Direct Action is a Clayton’s climate policy, designed for the audience of internet trolls and shock-jock radio announcers and climate sceptics.

It is [...]

Was the Hottest Day Ever in Australia not in a desert, but in far south Albany?!

Albany, Western Australia. Not near a desert. Not near the tropics. Hottest place in Australia?

Lucky, thanks to the BOM, that we have such high quality data to understand the Australian climate. Without it, we would never have found out that the hottest day ever recorded in Australia appears to be the 8th of February, 1933 in, wait for it… Albany, in the far cool south of Western Australia.

Chris Gillham emails:

“Guess where and when was the hottest day ever recorded in Australia? 50.7C at Oodnadatta on 2 Jan 1960? No way! Mardie at 50.5C on 19 Feb 1998? Get out of here! It was at Albany on 8 February 1933, that historic day when this normally chilly town on WA’s southern coast was razed with a temperature of 51.2C. Don’t believe me? You can’t question the accuracy of ACORN, a temperature network that shapes economic policy, and the screenshot from last night’s ACORN download for Albany max proves it …”

The all new marvellous ACORN  dataset has been “expert peer reviewed”, it “employs the latest analysis techniques “ and it is “a complete re-analysis of the Australian homogenised temperature database”. Phew. The BOM lists their [...]

Finally! Carbon Tax Gone – Australia gets rid of a price on carbon

As of today, Australia no longer has the most expensive “carbon” price in the world. The voters didn’t ask for a tax in 2010,  but it was forced on them in 2011. They rejected it wholeheartedly in 2013 but it still has taken months to start unwinding this completely pointless piece of symbolism which aimed to change the weather. The machinery of democracy may be slow, but this is a win for voters.

11:15am EST today: The Australian Senate passes the carbon tax repeal bill.

“Australia has become the first country in the world to abolish a price on carbon, with the Senate passing the Abbott government’s repeal bills 39 votes to 32.“ SMH

Now we need to turn off the tap to all the other green gravy rent-seekers who ignore the evidence.

h/t Matthew (aka Matty thanks!)

Other news services are starting to cover this.  All the cross-benchers except Nick Xenophon (who was absent) voted for the repeal. Labor and the Greens opposed it. News.com

Soon big companies will stop paying a penalty on carbon emissions, currently just over $25 a tonne, ending Australia’s most controversial policy implementation since the 2003 decision to join the Iraq invasion.

Labor [...]

Niger, Africa where 17 million people use less electricity than Dubbo, NSW

Niger, Africa, is considering building a new small coal fired power station. Greenpeace have protested before at coal power stations in Africa. But how compassionate are those who don’t want Africa to use cheap coal fired power (like, say, professors at western universities?) TonyfromOz puts the issue in perspective. I knew much of Africa was very very poor, but this rather lays the dismal extent out before us. Mali, a nation of 15 million people produces the same amount of electricity as the small town of Dubbo, NSW. Niger, with 17 million, produces even less. All up, there are 23 nations in Africa that each produce less electricity than Dubbo. If we combine them, the 142 million people in those 23 nations are using the same amount of electricity as Adelaide in Australia (which has about 1.1 million people). Stark.

Perhaps we could ask Niger if they’d like to help reduce global temperatures by 0.0 degrees, or if they would rather save money and have electricity that works at night instead?   — Jo

Guest Post – TonyfromOz

Niger, Africa

Recently, a new coal fired power plant was proposed for the country of Niger in [...]

Labor Party gift to Coalition — gullible green-left still want a tax to change the weather

The Coalition must be thrilled today that the Australian Labor Party want to run the next election on the carbon tax. Could there be better news for Tony Abbott? Labor has vowed “to fight for “a serious, credible climate change policy’’ .”

The Carbon Tax was a centrepiece at the last election and the voters threw it out. Current polls show only 35% of voters want it. So far it has brought down two prime ministers and an opposition leader. The damage looks set to continue.

For Labor, nothing has changed. They still think it was right to tell the voters there would be no carbon tax in the 2010 election campaign, and then bring in a carbon tax. (Who cares what the voters think?) The Labor Party still thinks a tax can change the weather. They still are the gullible patsies for large financial houses bringing in a fake market in a product that nobody wants, that depends on unknowable “intentions”, and is prone to fraud. The Labor Party plan to help workers by transferring billions of dollars from citizens to the financial sector and green-renewable industry patrons, all in a quest to reduce the global temperature by 0.0C [...]