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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Delcons, Defcons, and elections in Australia 2016

With an election likely for July 2nd, the hottest topic in Australian politics right now is how to vote. So put your best case forward here. Hammer this out. Will Turnbull promise anything to win back the Delcons — the angry conservatives? The time to ask is now, and if the Liberal base are not prepared to vote against him, they have nothing to negotiate.

“Better to have a real conservative opposition than a fake conservative government.”

The elephant in 2016 is the ferocious boiling anger among betrayed conservatives and small government libertarians, divided over whether they can bear to vote for Turnbull (a Liberal*) who has been called the best leader the Labor Party never had. Delcons was tossed at the so-called “Delusional” Conservatives. But they took up the badge. Defcons means the Defiant ones.

Right now, and since September, I’m a Delcon, like Tim Blair, Merv Bendle, and James Allan. Convince me otherwise. (We love you Miranda but you are wrong.)

“As long as Turnbull is in charge there will be no real alternative for conservative libertarians.”

The issue: Is it better to vote for the lesser of two evils and hope a Turnbull-led party can be reformed [...]

Environmentalist — becoming a dirty word

Once upon a time, nearly everyone was environmental. After the first glorious Earth Day fully 78% used the term to describe themselves. Incredibly in 1991 just as many Republicans identified as environmentalists as Democrats did.  Now only 42% of all Americans would use the term.

The long term trend appears inescapable. The Republicans are about 20 years ahead.

[...]

Bill Shorten wants a lot of new carbon taxes and to help international bankers

 A gift for Turnbull, who doesn’t deserve it.

Welcome to Election-2016 in Australia.

We’ve done this before: Bill Shorten has promised there will be “no carbon tax under Labor”.  This almost exactly mirrors the promise made by Julia Gillard on her way to the most pathetic parliamentary win ever recorded in Australian history. Gillard’s barely-there-with-the-help-of-two-turncoats-success was based on this infamous deceit, which Mr Bill Shorten approved of and voted in. Channelling Gillard-2010

At least he is kinda upfront about saying there will be no tax apart from a lot of new taxes he calls trading schemes. What kind of trade are you forced by law to make? A tax…

“There will be no carbon tax under Labor, there will be no fixed price under Labor, what we are doing instead is we are working with the market to create an Emissions Trading Scheme,” Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said.

He is offering a kind of “Cap N Trade”, which is bound to suit all the Aussies who’ve been lining up at protests saying “No Carbon Tax. We want Cap N Trade”. Have you met one ? Me neither.

Let’s not forget the advantages of trading versus taxes: Markets are [...]

BBC finds wind farms have no effect on climate

For a moment I thought the BBC was tackling a very important question:

Wind farms’ climate impact recorded for first time

Most taxpayers want to know whether wind farms have an impact on our global climate. But the BBC are looking at whether wind farms cause warming on the square kilometer below them. A question hot on the lips of almost no people.

In the first study of its kind, scientists have been able to measure the climatic effect of a wind farm on the local environment.

The team said its experiment showed that there was a very slight warming at ground level and that it was localised to within a wind farm’s perimeter.

Data suggested the operation of onshore wind farms did not have an adverse ecological effect, the group added.

That will presumably reassure all three residents living under wind-farms who were worried about their house overheating, or the clothes not drying on the line.

It may not reassure the 99.9% of the UK people who pay for the BBC and hope to see it report something useful. Voters might have preferred to see a cost benefit analysis on the billion-dollar industry: [...]

18 million square kilometers more greenery due to “carbon pollution” that the Greens hate

What kind of pollution do you want to feed your plants? The carbon kind.

Yet again, a satellite study of leaf area shows that the world is greener than it was in 1982. There are more plants mostly thanks to CO2 aerial fertilization. The biggest benefits from CO2 are in the warm tropics. The extra greenery in colder areas was due to that other disaster called “global warming”. About a tenth of the greening had nothing to do with either carbon pollution or extra warmth and was apparently thanks to nitrogen from man-made fertilizers.

Obviously we need a $10 billion dollar program to stop this immediately.

Click to enlarge.

Humans are Greening planet Earth — ABC

The most comprehensive modelling of remote sensing data so far shows the area on Earth covered by plants in this time has increased by 18 million square kilometres — about 2.5 times the size of the Australian continent — largely due to the fertilising effect of carbon dioxide (CO2).

“[The greening] has the ability to fundamentally change the cycling of water and carbon in the climate system,” said Dr Zaichun Zhu, from Peking University in China and lead author [...]

The Smug do mockery as a substitute for progressive argument

The state of “progressive” national debate has been reduced to backslappin’ self-congratulation about the dumbness of the other side. There is no need to discuss morals or ponder imponderables, it’s enough to crack jokes, point and snigger.

In left-leaning media-land, it’s one long empty selfie. For a change, left-leaning Vox has published a serious article that hits one  mark exactly — even if the writer is unaware how his arguments apply to climate change and other areas. There is admirable self-awareness on the glorified issue of gay rights versus the undeserving interests of the poor.

Emmett Rensin is persuading his fellows to be more respectful of the rubes they disdain, apparently in the fear that Trump is reaching those same rubes and may win come November. He foresees his colleagues saying “What the fuck happened?“. But there is insight as he disassembles the vacuity of at least some channels of political correctness. It’s worth reading, because Rensin is trying to solve a problem conservatives face — how to overcome the empty mockery and get the mockers to engage in honest discussion. Its not enough to have the right arguments if there is no debate.

Rensin hints briefly that “there is [...]

Weekend Unthreaded

Polish wind power suddenly not so popular

Another snippet for the next time a climate saviour tells you the “whole world” is moving to clean energy.

Last year Poland  installed almost as many new wind turbines as Germany (the Kingland-of-Wind-towers). Wind make about 13% of Poland’s electricity. This year,  according to the wind industry,  the  new conservative Polish government wants to regulate them out of existence.

Bill threatens Polish wind power, warns industry -

Poland’s thriving wind energy industry has warned that it faces bankruptcies, rapid divestment and an end to growth under a bill that threatens executives with prison.

“For some projects, it will be terminal . . . it will kill them,” said Wojciech Cetnarski, president of the Polish Wind Energy Association, an industry lobby group. “This will result in bankruptcies. That is for sure.

“No one will invest any more in this country’s wind energy industry if this law is passed.” The bill will make it illegal to build turbines within 2km of other buildings or forests — a measure campaigners said would rule out 99 per cent of land — and quadruple the rate of tax payable on existing turbines — making most unprofitable.

This [...]

The Flaw of Averages

Lockheed EF-80 (P-80) prone pilot test aircraft

An interesting link from commenter Pauly about the danger of thinking in averages.

In the late 1940s planes in the United States airforce were mysteriously falling out of the sky. No mechanical faults could be found. A young researcher named Gilbert Daniels collected data on thousands of pilots body measurements to update the old 1928 averages and discovered there was no such thing as an average pilot. The cockpits were designed to fit a man that did not exist. Human variability is such that once three different factors were taken into account, even allowing the cutoff for “average” to include 30% of the population in each factor, a mere 3.5% of the population would match the average for all three.

Once more variables were considered, the bell curve got rapidly thinner:

The Flaw of Averages

Using the size data he had gathered from 4,063 pilots, Daniels calculated the average of the 10 physical dimensions believed to be most relevant for design, including height, chest circumference and sleeve length. These formed the dimensions of the “average pilot,” which Daniels generously defined as someone whose measurements were within the middle [...]

“The Illusion Of Debate”: A History of the Climate Issue—Part 1

History buff: Cook, who believes in learning from the great men of the past, dresses up as a beloved figure from the golden age of Consensus Science.

This timeline, like the climate debate, is best taken with whiskey. Strictly for climate-tragics, it’s layered deep, well aged, and may not make any sense at all. It’s art. It’s been a looong time coming (the second longest draft post ever under development on this blog).  Thanks to Brad Keyes. Smile :- ). — Jo

Introduction by J. Cook

The great Hoofnagle Brothers define climate Menshevism as a trick to ‘create the illusion of debate.’

Opponents of the climate don’t even need to win the debate—though they usually do—they just need the audience to think we’re debating. (Which is why we must never, ever do so.)

Please enjoy as Brad Keyes, my boss at Climate Nuremberg, looks back on some of the most colorful, least edifying moments in a decades-long debate that never happened.

— J. Cook Twisted Tree Heartrot Hill 2016

_________________ c. 1850 AD Fossil fuel revolution begins Environmentalists hail the switch to alternative energies—coal, natural gas [...]

Poll: Australians more skeptical. Climate change “dropped off” political radar

In Australia the latest (unpublished) opinion poll shows concern about tackling climate change has fallen from 55% in 2007 to 35%.

Groupthinking struggles to understand:

The aversion to talking about climate change during the election campaign reflects a wider problem: our concern for this issue has fallen even while it has become larger and more urgent, writes Mike Steketee.

Climate change dropped off the political radar – ABC Drum

It sure does reflect a wider problem: that democracies need real public debate, real choice, and we are not getting it. Skeptics want climate change to be a voter issue — bring on a plebiscite. Let the public decide how much they should spend to change the weather. But that’s exactly what the believer politicians fear. They know they have to hide the topic because it’s electoral death. Everyone wants to stop pollution and “save the planet” — it’s motherhood and apple pie, but no one wants to pay much to try to change the climate. Eighty percent might believe the climate changes, but only12% want to pay two dollars to offset their Jetstar flight (and it’s less for Qantas). Therein lies a diabolical dichotomy.

[...]

So NASA – GISS says it does not ‘fudge’ numbers

The NASA climate tweet:

“NASA does not ‘fudge’ numbers. All data requires statistical adjustments to remove bias.”

Thanks to Ole Humlum at Climate4U we can see NASA – GISS not-fudging temperatures below. They are very active at it.

This graph shows how thermometers from 1910 still need to be adjusted, even 100 years later. They need constant correction (the bottom blue line is the month of Jan 1910). Strangely, even modern thermometers need  correction too (the top red line is January 2000).

Over the eight years since 2008, the anomaly for Jan 1910 was re-estimated in many steps to be 0.7C cooler than it was thought to be back in 2008. Meanwhile the anomaly for Jan 2000 was adjusted to be 0.09C warmer between 2008 and 2016. Presumably the original raw temperatures were already adjusted prior to 2008. Who knows?

And you thought that temperature data was just a number on a page and once a calendar year was over it was finished. How naive. Turns out it’s a fluid entity traveling through the fourth dimension. Luckily NASA GISS are able to capture the way temperatures of the past are still changing today.

Diagram showing the adjustment made [...]

Coal power on the rise: Will China end up selling electricity to Germany?

Get a load of this.  China has been adding a new idle coal fired plant nearly every week. It is building 368 coal fired plants and planning a further 803. The Greens think the Chinese have over capitalized, made a bubble, and have built a bunch of white elephants (maybe they have). But Germany has crippled its electrical generators in order to make the weather cooler, and pays exorbitant prices per kilowatt hour that are driving businesses overseas. Merkel is still trying to get solar power to work in a land where the only thing that will make the current panels economic is if the Earth changes its orbital tilt.

Well say hello to the savvy Chinese investors who may be able to solve both problems. It seems hard to believe but all that surplus energy might just find its way to Germany. With new ultra hot coal power there is talk they can produce electricity so incredibly cheap they can send it on ultra high voltage lines all the way to Berlin. Barking? They’ll probably earn carbon credits for doing it too.

The Times UK

Coal’s future burns bright — Graham Lloyd

Greenpeace likes to think [...]

Weekend Unthreaded

NASA — done moon — now “smacking down” people on facebook (to help Bill Nye the science guy)

Forget spacewalks and mars missions, today it’s newsworthy if NASA writes on Bill Nye’s facebook page.

“NASA BRUTALLY shuts down climate change deniers on Facebook as they mock Bill Nye” — Express

“NASA smacks down climate change doubters in Facebook discussion” –Washington Post

Here comes a “smackdown”…

When it was accused of “fudging numbers” in producing global warming data, it retorted: “NASA does not ‘fudge’ numbers. All data requires statistical adjustments to remove bias.”

… more a tap on the wrist with a logical fallacy and a loose generalization.

The language Jason Samenow at the Washington Post, and Sean Martin of The Express are using is less “reporter”, more rap-song hyperbole. This, err brutal event seems to have shut down nobody, and answered nothing.

Bill Nye’s Facebook comments  are eye opening — skeptics are all over it. One skeptic somewhere made a silly comment and it became a Washington Post story?

Ponder how often NASA would have been so casually and repeatedly accused of “fudging numbers” back in 1969.

The real story is the decline of NASA. It’s getting trashed on Facebook.

I wonder what odds one would get, From a warmist, if [...]