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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Polling trap: Pro Climate change policy a costly no-hoper bomb fooling both major parties

It’s another meaningless Reachtel climate poll. Fergus Hunter at the Sydney Morning Herald has been fooled like Turnbull and Shorten, and Rudd and Gillard before them.

It’s the same old Polling Trap.  Junk questions produce junk answers.

ReachTel asks motherhood questions about whether people would like to change the weather for free, and get free clean energy too. Who could say no? Without asking “what are you willing to pay?” the question is giving away coffee and cake at the side of road. Better survey’s show 80% of Australians don’t donate to environmental causes or vote for it. How committed are they? Answer, not even ten bucks a year. On flights, not even two bucks a trip. Survey after survey shows that when people rank issues, climate concerns are flat at the bottom of the barrel. Only 3% of US people think climate is most important issue.

Let’s translate that apathy to votes. Tony Abbott ran the 2013 election on the costs of making the weather nice and the people said No. No thanks, and No Way. He won in a landslide. What do people want? Cheaper electricity.

 Strong climate change policy is a vote-changing matter for a [...]

Weekend Unthreaded

Brilliant BREXIT speech by Daniel Hannan. UPDATE See the Movie.

If there is anyone out there who hasn’t seen the M.P. Daniel Hannan speech on BREXIT  two weeks ago, it’s worth your 6 minutes. It’s articulate. Compelling. Why would any great nation vote to give up their right to set their own laws and negotiate their own deals?

The EU is it’s own best example of big-government grown too big. As Hannan says, the “Every continent on this planet has grown over the past decade except Antartica and the European Union.” And it is so much more than just economics, but economics is the main reason given to stay.

“It’s not just the financial price of EU membership – it’s the democratic price.

We fought a civil war in this country to establish the principle that laws should not be passed nor taxes raised except by our own elected representatives. And now supreme power is held by people who tend to owe their positions to having just lost elections: Peter Mandelson, Neil Kinnock and what have you.


No one is talking about drawbridges or isolation. Nowhere else in the world do countries apologise for wanting to live under their own laws. New [...]

Magnetic Reconnection – Major space weather effect measured for the first time

The liquid iron flowing in the Earth’s core maybe what drives a magnetic field some 40,000 km to 370,000 km out beyond the Earth. The solar field envelopes that. At the layer where these fields interact sometimes the Sun and Earth’s magnetic field lines do something called  “reconnecting” — suddenly converting magnetic energy into plasma energy in an explosive way. We’ve finally just measured one event properly for the first time. So a 12,000km ball of lava with a thin crust of rocks and 15 km of damp air, floats in a sea of magnetically charged fields. You might think that our slithery-thin layer of humid air and clouds could be affected by the stirring of “yo-yo” like lava flows and magnetic fields that are also twisted by solar dynamos, but you would just be a silly denier. These magnetic explosions and solar winds can’t possibly affect our climate — there’s a 97% consensus that says so.

Luckily we have climate models that are 95% certain we don’t even need to include these factors — especially lucky, since we barely understand them.

This is after-all, just space weather, and it’s not like the Earth is in space, eh?

Supposedly geomagnetic [...]

John Cook wins award as Friend of Planet for feeding fallacies to school children

The Sydney Morning Herald lauds the Queensland Academic who won an award and busted four myths. The fake expert tosses out non-sequitur red herrings and strawmen, ignores some of the largest forces of nature in the solar system, trashes the scientific method. Give him a Nobel eh? John Cook still doesn’t appear to know about the most relevant surveys in his chosen field.

This week, the American National Center for Science Education gave Mr Cook its annual Friend of the Planet award, for outstanding work to advance the centre’s goals.

Evidently the centre’s goals include teaching kids that science is a form of opinion polling. Nah — who am I kidding, the primary goal is training kids to pay their science tax, to salute officials in lab coats, and prostrate themselves before Big-Gov, which after all, controls the weather.  Whatever else happens at schools, children must never ever question Big-Government Science. (That might lead them to question big-government grants!).


Lets unpack the mythical myth-busting

John Cook starts with a myth that isn’t a myth, and which isn’t science either:

MYTH BUSTED: There’s no scientific consensus on climate change

Despite getting a full time salary at UQ, Cook-the-consensus [...]

1000 year rainfall study suggests droughts and floods used to be longer, worse

A study done on… golly, Antarctic Ice, allegedly shows that in the catchment area for Newcastle in NSW, Australia, the last 100 years have been pretty darn nice, compared to the past when droughts and big-wet periods used to last a lot longer.

Set aside, for a moment, that the ice cores are thousands of kilometers away and in a totally different climate, if they are right, if, then natural climate change is much worse than our short climate records are telling us. And if our current records are so inadequate and don’t represent the “old-Normal”, then we have a flying pigs of predicting the “New Normal”. Has the climate changed at all, or is the new one just like the old old one?

Hydroclimatologist and lead author, Dr Carly Tozer from the ACE CRC said the research showed exposure to drought and flood risk was higher than previously estimated.

“The study showed that modern climate records, which are available for the past one hundred years at best, do not capture the full range of rainfall variability that has occurred,” Dr Tozer said.

“The wet and dry periods experienced since 1900 have been relatively [...]

New Science 24: Is that one new Solar force, or two? The Force-ND Hypothesis

Is Force X two different forces? The Sun could influence Earths climate through magnetic fields, solar particle flows, or spectral changes. | Image: ESA

There are two key clues, almost contradicting each other, which we must solve to figure out what Force X is. How do we explain that mysterious pattern — the little spike of extra sunlight each sunspot cycle doesn’t warm the Earth as it arrives — and it should. Instead, the warming appears greatly amplified 11 years later (or one sunspot cycle later). What’s going on? Logically the sunlight itself is not the direct cause, but only a signal, a leading indicator of something else going on — perhaps the solar wind, the magnetic fluxes, or the changes in the UV-Infra Red spectrum. Any one of these (or all of them) or maddeningly, even something else, could be influencing cloud cover on Earth — and some action on clouds is by far the most likely mechanism to amplify the solar effect. They blanket 60% of Earth, and small changes make large differences. We live on a Water-Planet. So having looked at the reasons for Force X, we now split it into two different forces (N and [...]

Monckton: IPCC climate models speeding out of control compared to real world

Christopher Monckton reminds us of just how badly the “experts” have failed in the last 15 years, even including the recent hottest ever El Nino months. China bombed the atmosphere with record carbon “pollution” — worse than we thought. The world though, warms sedately at a mere half a degree per century. This is what 95% certainty looks like.   — Jo

Introducing the global warming speedometer

A single devastating graph shows climate panic was unfounded

By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley

A single devastating graph – the new global warming speedometer – shows just how badly the model-based predictions made by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have failed.



Report suggesting new carbon tax for Australia hidden until after election

While Turnbull and the Liberals are attacking Labor for wanting a “massive new carbon tax on electricity,” it turns out that the Climate Change Authority is going to recommend the Liberals do exactly that but not ’til after the election. Allegedly Greg Hunt’s office are “very happy” that the report will be delayed. It would muddy up that scare campaign about Labor’s carbon tax if the punters knew the Libs planned to bring one in too. Labor and the Greens are crying foul, saying the report should be released now.

We are bizarrely reliving 2009. The public don’t want carbon trading. They have voted against it at every opportunity. They don’t want to spend even $2 to neutralize flights, yet both major political parties are now demanding we have one. If the report is suppressed in any way it shows Turnbull and Hunt know the public don’t want a carbon tax, but they’re going to give them one despite that.

The Climate Change Authority was rescued from the Abbott sabre by Al Gore and Clive Palmer. Turnbull and Hunt pointed at it on Sept 22 last year, barely two weeks after the coup, and announced carbon trading and a “cap” [...]

Weekend Unthreaded

Abbott’s plan delivers $10/t carbon reduction, lots of trees. Greenies call it “illogical”

Tony Abbott’s plan is one of the most efficient and effective programs anywhere in the world. But the Green hero is really enemy number one. Apparently giving the eco-cartel what they say they want is a disaster. Don’t look now, but green underpants are showing. Who cares about carbon reduction or trees? Givem’ power and money!

Gillard’s carbon tax cost $5310 per ton. Abbott’s plan at $10/ton this round is 531 times greener. The Direct Action plan uses a reverse auction to buy the cheapest carbon reduction in Australia. In the third round another half billion dollars has bought 47m tons of carbon reduction at an even cheaper price than the first two rounds. Most it achieved by planting or restoring greenery and trees.

The real problem with the Direct Action plan is manifold — a/ it doesn’t specifically punish the “big polluders” (those big independent companies that don’t need the government to survive).  b/ it doesn’t reward the right patrons  — there’s no money for the parasitic windmills and solar industries.  And c/  It is more like the real free market solution the eco-fans say they want — showing that the fake free market idea of imposing an [...]

Study shows bad economic times means there are more climate skeptics

I’ve said before that the man-made climate-faith is a luxury of the stupidly wealthy. Only people with time to stress about the carbon footprint of their oranges can wallow in the indulgence of owning the idea that windmills in Alabama could reduce tidal surges in Peru. It follows then that if (or as) the economy falls apart so will the Green religion.

A new research paper backs this up, but possibly shows more about researcher’s confirmation bias than it does about the public. (I suspect the most useful part of this research was that a couple of hundred people got to see a video with Richard Lindzen in.)

That the global-eco-faith needs lots of wealth is a horrible conundrum for the Greens. The best thing they can do to encourage “climate belief” is to get out of the way and let the economy prosper, which of course is the last thing the Greens can do since “Growth” = “Pollution” in the GreenWorldView. So the more the Greens do to slow or wreck the economy, the more skeptical the population will get. It’s a “positive” feedback loop that may protect Western Civilization a little bit. Joy.

Is that motivated recall or [...]

Climate change is making us mean, ugly and racist

Don’t turn on the air conditioner. You might make someone a racist:

Climate change is spawning injustice, racism, intolerance and wars, according to author and political activist Naomi Klein. 

Got moral decay? High Priestess Naomi Klein, expert psychoanalyst, says blame the weather. John Vidal, writer for The Guardian, believes her:

“It is not about things getting hotter and wetter but things getting meaner and uglier, unless we change the corrosive values that are pitting people against each other,”…

See, some people think mums and dads are supposed to teach values, but really it’s a humidity thing.

(Obviously, the way to fight racism is with biogas.

…and maybe ethanol.)

Naomi’s thesis reminds us that when the weather was ideal — like in 1915, there were no wars and everyone liked everyone.

She urged people to make the links between climate change and conflict. “Anti-austerity people rarely talk about climate change. And climate change people rarely talk about war. Overcoming these disconnections is the most pressing task for anyone occupied with social justice.

Yes, stop ISIS now — send in the windmills!

“There is no clean, safe way to run an economy [...]

Delcons: Might be a million votes that don’t matter

There is a voting block in Australia that is ignored and disorganised, but ready to be galvanized. It’s part of a worldwide phenomenon. Readers who havent read the first post on the Delcons  phenomenon ought start there.

An election is likely to be called any day. There are 15 million voters enrolled in Australia. If  4% of Liberal-Nat voters are Delcons, that’s about 2% of the total voter pool or 300,000 people who don’t matter. And that’s a conservative, pardon the pun, estimate. Another 10% of Liberal voters said they are “a little less likely” to  vote for the Liberal Party at the next election. These voters are not lost from the leftie end of the Liberal Party fan club. Potentially there are another 750,000 who could be convinced to instead vote National, ALA, Lib Dem, Family First or some other option should it appear. All up, these 14% of Lib voters have a million votes and are the most passionate sixth of Liberal supporters.

What could possibly go wrong?

Picture 300,000 less Liberal donors, volunteers, scrutineers, and people to hand out how-to-vote cards at 7,000 polling booths on July 2nd. Imagine 300,000 fewer website commenters willing to defend [...]

Climate spin: yesterdays disastrous climate investor news is “top marks”

Dismal failure can be rewashed as success. An outbreak of Dengue Fever could be a “hot holiday island with weight loss”.

Yesterday a study showed that the worlds sharpest fund managers couldn’t give a toss about climate change.  Less than a fifth could even manage a “tangible” effort. These guys manage trillions. They assess risks for a living. They can’t see either a green revolution, nor the need for one. As I noted, most heavyweight investors are acting like skeptics.

But some poor sods reading “The NewDaily” and listening to John Hewson would think it’s a booming thing. Hewsen, by the way, ran for PM in Australia circa 1993 as the leader of the Liberal Party.

Let’s translate the marketing: When the news is bad, find a reason to cheer (don’t mention the rest):

Super funds get top marks on climate index

Tony Kaye

On an index where 80% failed to do anything at all, there are still A, AA, and AAA rated divisions of tangibility:

Three Australian superannuation funds are among just 12 institutional investors in the world to receive the top rating for climate change risk management from the Asset Owners Disclosure [...]