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

Climate Money Paper




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



Youth are rebelling against climate dogma: at 18-20, nearly half in US are skeptical

The X-Gens will be the maximal climate believers. The worm is turning with an uptick in skeptical thinking coming from the late-Millennials (born after 1994) who are just now starting to reach a voting age*. This group was raised on climate dogma and relentless propaganda, and the age-old rebellion of youth is starting to kick in. The big-scare-campaign may have missed its moment; it’s been pushed too hard for too long. Not only have the PDO and other natural cycles rolled into unfriendly cooler-wetter zones, but the generational wheel is rolling too.

It used to be that the older the survey group, the more skeptical it was. Youth are easily fooled by passion and namecalling. But new evidence suggests the rebellion factor is kicking in: 20% of 18-20 year olds in the US are implacable skeptics, and 23% are  unconvinced. After twenty years of propaganda 55% of the generation “believe”, and only 12% are passionate. More of the same is not going to increase that. There is real hope here.

Data comes from Harvard Public Opinion Project. (PDF, currently not publicly available)


Harvard Political Review “For Young Voters, Climate Change Takes a Back Seat“


Congrats to Dellers, Booker, Monckton, Lawson — Carved into Denier Stone Prize Art

What success! Six skeptics have been honored in prizewinning art at Anglia Ruskin, a large university in Britain. Their names were carved into a plywood mock-rock, that drips oil.  James Delingpole is rapt — who wouldn’t be?

The top of the “rock” reads “Lest We Forget Those Who Denied”. The names: Christopher Booker, Nigel Lawson, Christopher Monckton, Melanie Phillips, Owen Paterson.

Indeed, the 2015 Sustainability Art Prize went to great sustainable art. In years to come, when everyone realizes how silly it was to demonize carbon, this art will live on — recycled as a testament to the vacuity of post-modern art. This work is already a classic of government-funded-largess, capturing the pure inversion of insight that comes through unwitting satire as “daring” artists pander to power. Perfecto.

These heroic names should be carved into real rock.

James Delingpole:

The sculpture has been described as an “oil painting with a difference” because a continuous stream of engine oil drools symbolically over the “deniers’” names, like tragic sea otters after an Exxon spill.


New telescopes see magnetic flux ropes on Sun (which can’t possibly affect Earths climate).

A new telescope has peered into the Sun to see solar magnetic flux ropes for the first time. Severe flux rope twists have been described as being like “earthquakes” on the sun, and are linked to eruptions of large solar flares that change magnetic fields, and cause radiation and energetic particles to rain on Earth.

We don’t know much about solar magnetic flux ropes. We know they affect space weather, but thanks to climate experts we already “know” they can’t possibly, ever in a million years, affect Earth’s weather. Even though we’ve only just been able to see them and have no long term data on them, we have Global Circulation Climate models (which don’t include these solar factors), so we have 95% certainty that none of the particles, fields or radiation changes have much impact on Earth. They might fritz satellites, electronics and communications, but Earth’s atmosphere has no electrical component (wink), and the models “work” (kinda, sorta, apart from “the pause”, the arctic, the ocean, the antarctic, and the holocene) without any of this fuzzy solar stuff. Got that? Repeat after me. The Sun does not affect Earth’s climate. (Good boys and girls. You are fit for a [...]

Matt Ridley: Africa Needs To Be Rich – Rather Than Green

Matt Ridley: Africa Needs To Be Rich – Rather Than Green Some people pretend to care about the worlds poor and how they will be affected by a hypothetical climate shift decades in the future. But African’s don’t want climate action as much as they probably want food, fridges and free markets. No electricity means indoor smog and real pollution coming to your kitchen. How many dead Africans is enough to appease the climate Gods? It’s good to see Australia and Japan may help build some coal fired plants in Africa.

The Times UK (see also Matt Ridley’s Blog)

A survey of more than two million  Africans finds that climate change comes dead last of 16 concerns they were asked about.

OK, It’s an internet survey. But who would take cold meals and cholera now so their great grandchildren live in a world a tenth of a degree cooler?

Just to get sub-Saharan electricity consumption up to the levels of South Africa or Bulgaria would mean adding about 1,000 gigawatts of capacity, the installation of which would cost at least £1 trillion. Yet the greens want Africans to hold back on the cheapest form [...]

Peter Doherty: Australia is “public enemy number one”, cites “couple of people”

Why launch a $15 billion dollar tax? Forget any scientific reason; let’s do it so people overseas don’t laugh at us. This is as good as the reasoning gets. Have you got a Nobel? You too, could waffle on about hobbling our economy in the quest for international popularity.

Nobel Laureate Peter Doherty says Australia is being seen internationally as “public enemy number one” on climate change

“Australia is being regarded as public enemy number one,” said Professor Doherty, who won the Nobel prize in physiology or medicine in 1996.

The evidence Australia is seen as a public enemy?

“That’s a statement that’s been made to me by a couple of people – so that’s obviously a kind of buzz that’s going around the climate change community.”

Not exactly a large poll or a mass survey, but it impressed Dan Harrison, the Sydney Morning Herald and perhaps Ben Cubby (Environment Editor) too. Who needs evidence when you have the right “buzz”? Baseless ramblings are good to go.  File that rant under “Health and Indigenous Affairs” I suppose. It sure isn’t science.

The SMH could interview other Nobel Prize winners who use evidence and reason [...]

Weekend Unthreaded

Port Denison, Western Australia, April 2015. JoNova | Click to enlarge.

Penn and Teller on the religion called Recycling

We could have so much fun doing a show like this Busting the Religion called Climate Change.

Why recycle? “It feels good”

The show uses a few more crass words than it needs to, apart from that it’s a lighthearted satire that kills quite a few sacred cows. The first 5 minutes sets it up with a bunch of people telling us that believe it makes them a better community player, a better mom, a good example for their kids, and helps the planet etc etc.  Then Penn and Teller do some creative experiments on unsuspecting victims of the Recycling Religion.

This so lends itself to climate change. We could lead people through a series of questions where they agree to statements revealing they believe windtowers stop storms and solar panels hold back the tide.

My submission for the Australian contribution to Paris UNFCCC

Just add your voice. (It appears to be still open, though that may change any minute). You don’t have to do a big document. My post on submissions was last week.

The Australian government website asks these questions:

Q.1 What should Australia’s post-2020 target be and how should it be expressed? In responding to this question you could consider the base year (e.g. 1990/2000/2005), the end year (e.g. 2025/2030), the type of target and why the suggested target is preferred.

Australia should help improve crop growth and reduce desertification in arid areas by having no CO2 target at all. CO2 is a beneficial byproduct of economic activity.

Q2.  What would the impact of that target be on Australia? In responding to this question you could, for example, consider the impact on our economy, jobs, business and on the environment.

Australia would be more competitive economically by removing unnecessary restrictions on CO2. As the largest driest continent with vast arid zones, both our farmers and arid conservation areas benefit from extra atmospheric CO2.

Q3  Which further policies complementary to the Australian Government’s direct action approach should be considered to achieve Australia’s post-2020 target and why? We need [...]

Chile’s Calbuco volcano erupts

The Calbuco volcano in Chile has suddenly erupted. People have been evacuated from a 20km radius. Local flights are canceled. The ash cloud is moving east. It’s not clear yet how much effect it will have on the climate. But it is big and worth watching. So far, there are no reported casulties. This volcano has been quiet for 42 years, and caught everyone by surprise. h/t David W

Calbuco volcano, Chile @SegHumana

The free market wins again – carbon auction price is $14 per ton — up to 300 times cheaper than Carbon Tax

Landfill gas

All the usual suspects declared it could never work. Instead, “Direct Action” is likely to be wildly cheaper and more effective (at reducing CO2). The catch is, it won’t reward friends of big-government and it won’t punish miners, manufacturers and small businesses –  which must be why climate activists don’t like it.

Results are just in from the first Abbott government Direct Action carbon auctions. The government offered to pay for carbon reduction, and held a reverse auction (where people who bid the lowest price would win). The average price came in at $14 a ton.

The Numbers: The Australian government will spend $660 million to reduce emissions by 47mT. These projects will run for about 7 years, and mean the government is on track to meet the target of 180mT reduction by 2020. — Details are at the Clean Energy Regulator.

It’s a lot less than the fantasy schemes that use wind and solar power, of which cost estimates vary partly because no one really knows what the lifespan and disposal costs are. One MIT study estimated the cost of abating carbon with wind was about $60 AUD per ton, and the cost of [...]