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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What you don’t know about the climate (Half page advert in The Australian)

Here’s the full copy of a half page advert in The Australian. In a normal world, this would be discussed at conferences, and reported by science reporters in magazines like New Scientist or Scientific American, or on shows like Catalyst. Instead, private citizens have to fork out thousands to pay for an advert. — Jo

WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW ABOUT CLIMATE

The climate cooled for 37 years during the period 1940 to 1976. Books were written expressing alarm. Lowell Ponte’s 1975 book warns: “Global cooling presents humankind with the most important social, political, and adaptive challenge we have had to deal with for 110,000 years. Your stake in the decisions we make concerning it is of ultimate importance: the survival of ourselves, our children, our species.”

We now have a new climate alarm and similar statements are being made. Climate models used by authorities forecast that CO2 emissions will cause dangerous global warming, now referred to as Climate Change.

Sources: Various, as described in the “State of the Climate in 2012” in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society1, August 2013.

PSYCHOLOGY, BIAS ERRORS AND CLIMATE

Recent findings in the area of psychology, “Psychology and Economics” by [...]

Labor hope for fantasy 45% reduction in Australian emissions by … 2030

Australians keep voting against climate taxes, but in 2016 we’re having an election based on climate. (We get the choice of “Bad” or “Worse”. For the economy, it’s the TNT-plan or the Nuclear-bomb?)

The Liberals are offering the obscene cut of 26 – 28% from 2005 by 2030. As a nation dependent on fossil fuels, with no nuclear or no new hydro on offer, the target is ridiculous. With the most rapidly growing population in the West, and one of the most energy intensive export industries globally, it’s economically suicidal. The Labor Party have a fantasy that it should be 45%. (Why not 85%?)

As far as the election goes in 2016, our only hope is to elect minor party and independent Senators to stop our two main parties from  hobbling the nation. Start planning now.

According to the opposition spokesman Mark Butler on the 7:30 Report last night, the 45% fantasy will all be fine, because energy use and economic development will be “decoupled” (for the first time in human history) and new technology will save us. We’ll have profoundly different cars he says.

Look at what the last 15 years have done for cars…

Imagine how different cars [...]

Weekend Unthreaded

New Science 21: The mysterious Notch in the Sun-Earth relationship — the dog that didn’t bark

The notch in the Sun-Earth relationship is the dog that didn’t bark — the clue that was there all along, telling us something about the way the Sun influences Earth’s climate. There is a flicker of extra energy coming in at the peak of every solar cycle — roughly every 11 years. It’s only a small peak, but there is no warming on Earth at all — it’s like the energy that vanished. A good skeptic would be saying but, the increase in energy is so small, how could we find it among the noise? And the answer is that Fourier maths is so good at doing this that it is used every day to find the GPS signals which (as David details below) are so much smaller than the noise that they are much harder to find than this signal from the Sun.

Thousands of engineers know about and use Fourier maths and notch filters, but due to a strange one-sided bureaucratic funding model, none of those thousands of experts have applied that knowledge, which is so well adapted to feedback systems to the Sun Earth energy flows. David has used an input-output “black box” method to find [...]

Life copes: The horses that adapted to massive climate change in just 800 years

In evolutionary terms, it’s a blink. Around 1200-1400AD a bunch of people bought a few domestic horses to far east freezing Siberia, where the temperature sometimes falls below -70. Somehow the horses have already become physiologically and genetically well adapted to the extreme climate. The panic-merchants would have us believe that the climate is changing “faster than evolution”, but biology and genes turn out to be amazingly flexible. (Who knows, maybe 4 million years of swinging ice ages has that effect on gene pools?)

DNA studies revealed that these horses were all derived from distant domestic horses, even though wild unrelated horses lived in the region til 5,000 years ago. This is pretty spectacular.

Dr. Ludovic Orlando: “This is truly amazing as it implies that all traits now seen in Yakutian horses are the product of very fast adaptive processes, taking place in about 800 years. This represents about a hundred generations for horses. That shows how fast evolution can go when selective pressures for survival are as strong as in the extreme environment of Yakutia.”

Analyzing the genomes shows that it’s not driven by mutations in genes as much as by changes to the regulatory [...]

Climate Spectator bites the dust

Shucks. A few days before the giant UNFCCC starts in Paris, Climate Spectator has been closed. (Didn’t know it existed? It was a part of the Business Spectator). Maybe Big Renewables is not doing such a roaring big business?

You can see how active and non-stop the pro-green energy message was, thanks to Google caching of The Climate Spectator. That was yesterday. For some odd reason the headline link to it is already gone, obliviated already and fed through to the mother-publication by default. Typically, the more popular articles got 5 – 10 comments, the rest, zero. To get the flavor, see “Going off grid” — where Tristan Edis argues that all that solar energy you make will be wasted (and it will cost you a lot of money too). He seems to think that intermittent unreliable energy is “useful” to the Grid, and there’s no sense in the article that I can see of the waste of the Grid’s resources and energy in accommodating his surplus.

The collapse of the Climate Spectator is of course, framed by some as “Murdoch strikes again”. Presumably Murdoch acquired it in 2012 and has been waiting all this time to fulfil his evil [...]

Only 3% of US people think climate is most important issue

Has there ever been a greater disconnect between what the elected leaders are offering and what the public really wants?

Obama must know what these polls say, so when he tells us that “climate change is the greatest threat” we know he’s not doing it to win votes. If he is  hoping to “lead” the people, his failure is dismal.

Is there any doubt left that The Climate Cause serves politicians and not the people?

The numbers have shifted since July when the survey was last done. “Terrorism was up from 11% to 24% thanks to Paris. The economy and jobs was down from 30% to 21%. Climate change was all of 5% then, dropped to 3% now (pretty much in the error margin).

SOURCE:  Fox News Survey. 1,016 registered voters of a random national sample with a margin of error of plus or minus 3%.

 

The original meaning of “denier” was those who reject a religion

..

In 1475, the word “Denier” meant those who did not accept the church doctrine.

Five hundred years later, not much has changed.

“According to the Oxford English Dictionary, OED, the term “denier” — starting with its coinage in 1475, during the language’s transition period — has traditionally been used in a theological context, as in “Deniers of Christ Jesus.”

– Yale Climate Media Forum

The use of “Denier” in a theological sense continued for hundreds of years. Here it is in 1835:

“A denier of our Lord’s divinity will argue that it was an exclamation of surprise and ignorance; he makes it, in fact, a sort of modern  profaneness.

The Literary and Theological Review, Leonard Woods Junior, 1835. p449

In 2015, anyone who thinks that leeks and lightbulbs won’t stop floods in Peru is a “denier”. If you don’t accept that your air-conditioner causes war in Syria, or that sharks can protect us from heatwaves, get used to being referred to as a mindless denying apostate.

I’ve put in excerpts from an 1840 book below. Breathe deeply:

“FOURTH. Point out the difficulties of Atheism

[...]

US Presidential candidates ranked for independent thinking and gullibility on climate science

How many Presidential candidates are susceptible to groupthink, scare campaigns and low-base science agitprop? Thanks to Seth Borenstein, Michael Mann & Andrew Dessler we can rank them according to their ability to resist profoundly unscientific propaganda like “there is a consensus”.

Ted Cruz is clearly the best at holding his own in the independent thinker stakes.  Ben Carson and Donald Trump do well. But poor Hillary Clinton doesn’t stand a chance against the onslaught of junk graphs, hyperbolic claims, and inane bumper-sticker cliches.

Those who fall for the consensus argument are in no position to run a nation.  Firstly it’s profoundly unscientific — we don’t vote for the laws of science; scientific theories are either true or not true regardless of opinions. Secondly, it only takes ten minutes of independent searching to find that there is no consensus among scientists as a broad group, anyway. There is a consensus among various definitions of certified climate scientists, but not among meteorologists , geoscientists and engineers or other hard science areas.

As I’ve said before, skeptics outrank and outnumber believers, they make planes fly, find mineral deposits, and walked on the moon. Believers produce climate models that don’t work. If [...]

New Science 20: It’s not CO2, so what Is the main cause of Global Warming?

We are back in the hunt for the main mystery drivers of our climate. The IPCC says it can’t be the Sun because the total amount of sunlight barely changes. Which is the usual half-truth that  pretends the Sun is simple a ball of fire with no magnetic field, no solar wind, and has no changes in the “color” of the spectrum it emits. But the Sun has a massive fluxing magnetic field that turns itself inside out and upside down regularly, it churns off a stream of charged particles that rain on Earth, and if human eyes could see infra red and UV, we’d see the color of the Sun change through the cycle. We  are only just beginning to figure out how these aspects affect the climate. But we know these factors influence ozone, probably cloud seeding, and possibly jet streams.

The only good long data we have on the Sun are the sunspots, which give us a reasonable idea of total sunlight since 1610. David uses Fourier maths to find the way that total solar irradiance (TSI) might relate to temperatures on Earth. TSI itself barely changes, so it could only have caused about 10% of the variation [...]

The one most important factor for Paris — The US congress

Will Obama and the UN succeed in forcing “climate taxes” on the US?

h/t to GWPF for finding the stories that matter

When the press releases come out saying that Paris has succeeded (which will happen, no matter the outcome) the key factor is not just whether the agreement has any meaningful teeth, but whether it can be forced on the US without approval of Congress. The US didn’t approve Kyoto, and now, more than then, there is no reason to think anything significant would get through. The GOP Republican candidates are not paying lip service to the global warming meme anymore, things have changed so much they’re almost all competing to be skeptics. Just 6 weeks ago a poll in the US showed the amazing, astonishing result that 31% of respondents agreed with GOP candidates statement that Climate change is a total hoax.

The EU and UN players know they can’t convince the US people, and nor can they get past their elected reps so they are talking of doing things in ways that don’t require congressional approval. Naturally, if they had overwhelming evidence, and half a case, they wouldn’t have to do that.

No matter what country you [...]

Weekend Untheaded

I’m travelling today…

1 million German households had power shut off in last three years due to green energy cost

How much further backward do things have to get?

In the great industrial nation of Germany power companies are going broke, and 350,000 households are getting their electricity turned off each year because they can’t afford the bills. In a nation of 82 million, power companies are issuing some 6 million threats to cut electricity.

Pierre Gosselin no trickszone: Socially explosive German homes losing power

From Speigel:

“Over the past three years it all totals to be a whopping 1.025 million households.”

“Spiegel writes that the price of electricity in Germany has doubled since 2002 in large part because of the renewable energy feed-in surcharge. Private households are the hardest hit; they have to pay some 45% more than the EU average (while German power producers get 30% less than the EU average)! The government-interfered market is grotesquely distorted.”

It is not only Germany’s power companies who are bleeding to death financially, but so are many private citizens, who are unable to pay for their power. A shocking situation in one of the world’s most technically advanced nations.

Bullying is everywhere and it works — even on surgeons

The evidence is overwhelming right?

Civilization is a pretty thin veneer, really.

Bullying and coercion is not just a school-yard thing. It’s everywhere and even at the highest levels.

This report on Australian surgeons was released a few months ago, uncovering bad behaviour from people we would normally think of as being outstanding and pretty darn smart. So bullying works even on people at the top of the pecking order, and in supposedly the most caring of professions.

We humans are a gregarious lot, and we pretend we’re all rational, but the pressure to conform and fit in is intense. Even for rational souls it’s easier to say nothing. No wonder the climate science debate is loaded with namecalling, bad manners, and petty mockery. Politicians and newspaper editors often don’t speak up because they are afraid of being called stupid or a “denier”.

Bullying-endemic-among-surgeons-but-victims-too-scared-to-speak-up

Bullying, discrimination and sexual harassment are rife in the surgical profession, a damning report has found.

Half the surgeons and trainees who responded said they had been victimized.

We are winning the debate on the science, but we need to win the social war too:

Although about three out [...]

Don’t drive, you encourage terrorists

If only we had more electric cars and windmills, lives could’ve been saved.

Ponder that air conditioners can cause people to do random acts of murder.  They might keep people in the room calmer, but outside that pollution* travels, heats the world, and lo, a terrorist is made.

(Call me a skeptic, but I tend to think that if we turn off all the air-conditioners (or run them on solar power, which is almost the same thing) we might get more acts of terror rather than less, but what would I know?) Bernie Sanders says that we should stop terrorists by reducing our carbon emissions. Somehow, there were people who did not laugh at him.

Time Magazine : “Why Climate Change and Terrorism Are Connected”

Drought in Syria has contributed to instability

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders used the terrorist attacks in Paris to call for action to address climate change at a primary debate Saturday. But, while the plea attracted ridicule across the political spectrum, many academics and national security experts agree that climate change contributes to an uncertain world where terrorism can thrive.

U.S. military officials refer to climate change as a “threat multiplier” [...]