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




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



Nature – finally “finds” cause of Antarctic pause, will last centuries, tosses “global warming” out

Nature ties itself in knots here, and reveals a lot more than they probably meant too, but mostly about themselves rather than about Antarctica. If it’s correct, the implications from this study are pretty big, not that the study will tell you that. The term “Global warming” is tossed under a bus, along with almost all the Antarctic man-made scares of the last two decades. The political nature of Nature is on full display.

This time Nature claims it has found the cause of the Antarctic pause.  Apparently this now finally resolves yet another conundrum (fantastic, what!) that was, as usual, not called a conundrum until it was solved. Another secret problem fixed. Where was the press release telling us there was a problem?

Those who said there was a conundrum were just deniers. It’s right there in the press release, paragraph two:

The study resolves a scientific conundrum, and an inconsistent pattern of warming often seized on by climate deniers.

Which rather begs the question: If there was a conundrum then the skeptics who pointed it out were not deniers, but correct. And if there was no conundrum, and deniers were denying something, then this is not [...]

That’s a 97% consensus at Shell that renewables are not profitable

The Top Ten solar companies don’t pay any dividends

 Shell Chief Executive Ben van Beurden says he is wary of switching completely to renewables as it may threaten the very survival of the company.

Amazing that the oil and gas giant Shell got its shareholders to vote on whether they should put their profits towards becoming a 100% renewables corporation.

Major investors have been applying pressure on Shell to increase focus on renewables in order to mitigate climate change risks.

97 percent of Shell shareholders at its annual meeting on Tuesday rejected a resolution to invest profits from fossil fuels to become a renewable energy company. The Anglo-Dutch firm had previously said it was against the proposal.

So despite twenty years of relentless spin that “Clean Green Energy” is the future, 97% of investors know it isn’t.

Once again, the green sector have overplayed their hand. Shell‘s been good to them, pandering to the fear campaign for years, donating to their causes, and lobbying for carbon credits (because even and oil and gas company can get extra profits from big-government gravy into “sequestration” and biofuels.) But the green activists were not content. Too much [...]

Trump: Cancel Paris, Cut Funds for UN Climate, Save the coal industry

Trump vows to cancel the Paris climate deal, stop funding UN global warming programs and save the coal industry.

Gotta love these plans. No wonder the big-government fans are apoplectic over Donald Trump as he paints targets on their most sacred cows.

In Australia Bill Shorten, potential Prime Minister, called Trump: “Barking Mad.” Shorten, showing his diplomatic talent, was burning goodwill with a potential US president and 45% of voters in the largest economy in the world and our most important strategic ally.

Below, the Trump plans this week: to use cheap energy; to stop trying to change the weather, and finish feeding faceless foreign bureaucracies.


Trump: “We’re going to cancel the Paris climate agreement,” he said.

Trump slammed both rivals in his speech, saying their policies would kill jobs and force the United States “to be begging for oil again” from Middle East producers.

Trump said slashing regulation would help the United States achieve energy independence and reduce America’s reliance on Middle Eastern producers. “Imagine a world in which oil cartels will no longer use energy as a weapon,” he said.

Donald Trump Vows to Cut US Funding for UN Climate Change [...]

Another climate model paper in Nature misses a whole class of feedbacks

It’s always the same.  A new paper adds one more magical fine-tuning-cog to the models and promises “more accurate predictions”. There are a million small cogs we can add and it takes years to show they don’t deliver. These wheels can spin forever. The real climate machine has a whole extra exhaust pipe to which the models are blind.

 Why some climate processes are more effective at warming Earth

Conventional models assume increasing atmospheric CO2 warms the surface, then apply the feedbacks to the surface warming. But if feedbacks start up in the atmosphere instead, everything changes.

The assumption (bolded below) is the problem –

There are many processes which affect the surface climate: changes to the sun’s activity, to the cloud cover, precipitation patterns, or soil water content to name just a few. Currently climate scientists relate these processes by looking at how much they change the energy budget, described by perturbations in the radiative forcing. The existing assumption is that if a given process introduces a certain radiative forcing, then there will always be the same response in the surface air temperature. However, this assumption doesn’t hold for the temperature response on [...]

Australia’s ETS scheme: Hunt’s denial of the obvious

* UPDATE: The draft “SafeGuard” legislation in early September, before Abbott was outed, shows that the scheme was due to start on July 1, 2016, as it is now. Was Abbott aware?     h/t MV

The SafeGuard legislation appears to be a shapeshiftin tool  — it can be a minor fine to hit a few companies ($1.8 million) that have increased their output, or it’s a trading scheme that covers half the Australian economy. It all depends on the “cap” that’s set.

Greg Hunt, in his own words, in 2014:

Mr Hunt declared …emissions trading “is never coming back in any form“, potentially for the next two decades if the Coalition has its say.

No wonder Greg Hunt in 2016 denies that his ETS is an ETS:

Mr Hunt yesterday rejected claims a “secret” emissions trading scheme had been buried in the ­Coalition’s policies, which have been roundly criticised by environment groups as too little, too late. Mr Hunt said there were clear reasons why the Coalition “safeguards mechanisms” could not be considered a carbon trading scheme.

The clear reason it’s not an ETS?

“Our policy is not budgeted to raise [...]

Lookout — The USA is the new oil and gas superpower

“We are living in the midst of a veritable energy boom”

Since 2012, the largest producer of oil and gas in the world has been the United States, and its lead is growing.

The balance has shifted in the last ten years. US production now easily outstrips Russia and Saudi Arabia where the output has not increased much for the last decade.

The American Interest: Don’t Doubt the Strength of U.S. Shale.  h/t GWPF

What an innovation nation looks like:

The primary reason for the shift from net importer to net exporter “is we know how to produce natural gas in a very inexpensive way,” [said University of Houston energy economist Ed Hirs]. “And we’re going to be exporting the natural gas out of the U.S. and potentially, we’ll be exporting electricity.”

There’s a little shift in geopolitical freedom — “thanks to shale”.

Secret deal: Australia already has an ETS – carbon tax – starts in 5 weeks

Get ready. The legislation was done on the last day Parliament sat in December. The Coalition government knew it would be popular with the voters who all want “carbon action” so they… buried the news. No cheering. No speeches.

It apparently starts on July 1, and applies to 150 companies — about half our emissions. It’s a Cap N Trade system with “Caps” that can be screwed gently down as the climate warms to fill government coffers and raise electricity prices.  The Direct Action plan auctions can be phased out and the SneakTax phased in. It could end up being the main game. A blank cheque.

It’s called “Safeguard” — it was safe for politicians and guards them against their failure to meet pointless, symbolic international agreements to slow storms. A Safeguard for politicians but a SneakTax for the people.

What does it mean? It’s time Australia got a new central political party.

Alan Kohler in The Australian

From July 1, coincidentally the day before the election, the Coalition’s “safeguard mechanism” within its Direct Action Plan will come into force.

One-hundred and fifty companies, representing about 50 per cent of Australia’s total carbon emissions, will be [...]

David Archibald: Australia Defence Policy (plus Perth speech Weds 7pm)

Perth readers: Free Public Lecture Australia’s Defence By David Archibald, 7:00pm at the Irish Club, Perth, WA.  Wednesday 25th May 2016

[Hear the 2GB interview with David last October]


David asked to crowdsource policies for the upcoming election, so China, Subs, RAAF, F-35s and more below…

Defence Policy

by David Archibald

The world is becoming more dangerous as US predominance recedes. A revanchist Russia is not expected to trouble Australia. The biggest near term threat is Chinese aggression in East Asia. Chinese attempts to expand its territory are quite likely to lead to war with a number of southeast Asian states, Japan and the United States. Australia will become involved because of our treaties with Japan and the United States. The worst outcome is that China wins a conflict in East Asia and dictates terms to Australia and other countries. A war in East Asia, whatever the outcome, is likely to result in countries acquiring nuclear weapons to counter aggressive hegemons like China.


ABC national tribute to vegan lecturer climber who died on Everest

Who are the national heroes according to the ABC?

Last night we saw two full indulgent minutes on our ABC national news broadcast (from 12:25 mins) on the death of the unfortunate Maria Strydom, as she tried to descend Mt Everest. My issue is not with her, but with the ABC choice of national priorities. The 34 year old climber ticked all the PC boxes, a vegan academic in pursuit of better holidays. The ABC lost one of their tribe. But where are the accolades for the 50 people have died already this year doing their jobs in Australia, like the farmers and miners who die supporting their families?

The effusive coverage did not mention the phrase “unnecessary risk”. It was just a straight out tragedy. (A very first world kind of one).

There was an unbridled virtue message about hallowed university experts:

“…intellectually, reaching a PhD by age 30 — massive achievement”

“…celebrate the life of people like Maria — who actually did what she loved”

ABC narrator James Hancock revealingly sums it up: “…risking their lives in pursuit of the ultimate goal”

Because in ABC-world, “the ultimate goal” is adventure for self-gratification?

The news article [...]

Weekend Unthreaded