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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The Skeptics Handbook

Think it has been debunked? See here.

The Skeptics Handbook II

Climate Money Paper


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



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Farmed fish doing alright at CO2 levels twenty, fifty, seventy times higher than today

The World Wildlife Fund tells us that global CO2 is bad for global fish stocks, but ponder that professional fish farms can reach levels of CO2 twenty or even seventy five times higher, and the fish appear to be doing OK. Current guidelines for fish farms even suggest that “safe limits of CO2 range from >5000 to >30 000 µatm*” which are “12.5 to 75 times higher than current atmospheric levels”.

So in another few thousand years we might really get into trouble with fish farms and climate change then? (Or maybe we won’t. James Hansen estimates if we burn every last barrel of fossil fuel on Earth we’ll get to 1,400ppm. The experience of fish farms all over the world is that fish can apparently adapt to levels ten times higher even than this worst case scenario.)

We have a situation where there are scores of reports fish suffering from ocean acidification and high CO2 levels, but they don’t mesh with the reality that fish farms have been dealing with for decades.  A new paper tries to figure out why this is so. The study doesn’t prove that there are no bad effects from higher CO2, but [...]

Pagan-Climate-101: The CO2 God causes quakes, tsunami’s and volcanoes

All the sensible people have left the room.What’s left, double or nothing?

In the religion that is “climate change” all correlations point to the CO2 God.  Bill McGuire is professor emeritus in geophysical and climate hazards at UCL and he hath written a book of immanent quakes, shakes and eruptions. Turn off your heater for it feeds the volcano.

Let us read from Climate-Psalm-101:

Global warming may not only be causing more destructive hurricanes, it could also be shaking the ground beneath our feet

Be very afraid little bunny:

… it does not stretch the imagination to appreciate that a warmer atmosphere promotes greater melting of the polar ice caps, thereby raising sea levels and increasing the risk of coastal flooding. But, more extraordinarily, the thin layer of gases that hosts the weather and fosters global warming really does interact with the solid Earth – the so-called geosphere — in such a way as to make climate change an even bigger threat.

Thus and verily will the continental plates dance to the tune of the magical CO2.

Pagan civilization found the Dog Star caused flooding in the Nile. So [...]

Trump has broken the mainstream media — a president so powerful he tells them off to their faces

A week ago, the grip of the old-school media elite was busted, but few seemed to have noticed this remarkable shift.

The top dogs in the media came to him expecting to discuss their access to him, instead he blasted them as deceitful, dishonest liars who should be ashamed.

Over the last forty years the mainstream media have degenerated into naked, unashamed political advocacy, yet conservative leaders still felt they had to pander for fear that they would get an even worse treatment if they called it for what it was. Not Donald Trump. Has there ever been a more powerful US president? They called him every name under the sun, and he took the insults and used them to win.

What other US president didn’t need to pander or even be polite to media royalty? Only a billionaire who got elected despite the old media could afford to blow them away. For the first time in US history, the top gatekeepers of the national discussion were named and shamed…  The Kings and Queens of the media finally overplayed their hand to the point where the people elected someone so powerful, so rich, and so independent that he has no [...]

Weekend Unthreaded (with a dose of nature)

We walked through a great sunset today on the river not far from home. A few hundred thousand people were within fifteen minutes drive, but almost no one was there.

Amazing how cities can have patches of tranquility.

We could all go wandering more often:

Walking in nature changes our brains

Does experiencing nature actually change our brains in some way that affects our emotional health?

…City dwellers also have a higher risk for anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses than people living outside urban centers, studies show.

[...]

Antarctic sea ice strangely the same as 100 years ago when Ford Model T was around

A hundred years of cars, planes, wars, and five billion more polluting people, and there’s nothing to show for it. Old log books kept by Scott and Shackleton show that Antarctic sea ice hasn’t changed much since 1912. Right now, at least three ecowarriors are rejoicing that perhaps there is a future for penguins after all.

Click to enlarge

Scott and Shackleton logbooks prove Antarctic sea ice is not shrinking 100 years after expeditions

“The missions of Scott and Shackleton are remembered in history as heroic failures, yet the data collected by these and other explorers could profoundly change the way we view the ebb and flow of Antarctic sea ice,” said Dr Jonathan Day, who led the study, which was published in the journal The Cryosphere.

“We know that sea ice in the Antarctic has increased slightly over the past 30 years, since satellite observations began. Scientists have been grappling to understand this trend in the context of global warming, but these new findings suggest it may not be anything new.

“If ice levels were as low a century ago as estimated in this research, then a similar increase may have occurred [...]

Victoria paying big to drive at breakneck speed to repeat South Australia’s blackout

Victoria is driving down Blackout Drive. They have reports from South Australia up ahead, they know where the road goes, but the state is paying for the first class ticket on a trip to RiskyGrid.

Victoria has 5.7 million people, over three times bigger than South Australia. Right now SA relies on the Victorian grid stability to keep running, and gets up to 800MW of reliable electrons from the state-next-door. But Victoria wants to add more wind power — theoretically the equivalent of a big coal fired plant (like Hazelwood).

Tom Quirk and Paul Miskelly looked closely at the numbers and patterns and see the writing on the wall. To help expensive, unreliable, intermittent green energy survive the government subsidizes it by around 9c per KWhr (bear in mind the wholesale rate for coal fired power is 3 – 4c per kWhr.) The government also demands retailers have a 12.5% mix of renewables, and that they accept most electrons from wind power whenever and wherever it is available. This strange anti-free market rule is called “nondispatchable” power, meaning the system can’t just throw it away if there is any demand at all. Whereas coal [...]

Major win: NASA was neutered, turned into political PR machine, and Trump is going to fix that

Trump is going to slash funds for NASA’s politicized climate program

In the last 20 years NASA has been turned from a space agency to one that ignores satellite data in favour of doing statistical tricks with badly placed ground thermometers and relies on Russia to do things in space.

Former NASA stars have been protesting for year at the dismal standards in NASA climate research. The same guys who walked on the moon, worked on the Apollo missions, and ran the shuttle program were fed up with NASA’s excellent brand name being exploited by junk scientists to do political promotions. Under Obama NASA was told to do three things — inspire kids, help international relationships and help Muslim nations “feel good”. So much for space exploration and science.

Obama slashed former President George W. Bush’s Constellation program, designed to take humans back to the moon and eventually to Mars, by leaking information to the press and threatening to veto the projects. NASA astronauts now rely on Russia to reach space, and NASA has been forced by the Obama administration to delay the Mars mission until 2030.

Apollo 11 Launch. Photo. 1969.

That’s about to change:

Today the guy who Trump [...]

The TPP monster has 5,544 pages. A real free trade agreement would have 1

Lately the Five Star Free Market label is just a fake seal of approval for something Unfree

Just as carbon trading has nothing to do with a free market, so it is with monster free trade deals like the TPP. The free market meme won the intellectual debate of the 20th Century, but now its good name gets used and abused to sell the idea it defeated –  bigger-government.

A real free market deal has only one page and a bunch of signatures. But it takes a lot of pages to list all the unfree parts and to spell it out in sub-sub-clauses that hurt or help thousands of businesses around the world. Who gets the sweetest deal out of the complexity — the card carrying networkers — those who schmooze up to the right minister or bureaucrat. The people who compete on price or quality alone would win in a real free market, and so would we as customers. Instead the document rewards the gatekeepers, the rulemakers, the industry with the best lobbyists and the monied set who can donate enough to the right causes to get a better deal.

Tipping the scales at 5,544 pages — [...]

Trump wakes Ad agencies: not everyone wants to be a politically correct coastal city yuppie

The seismic shift continues.

In the new Trumpocene, executives have suddenly realized that there is whole other world out there. This is pretty big stuff. People in Manhattan are even thinking they might need to hire country folk, or, crikey, set up country offices. They are suggesting maybe Big Data from internet surveys is missing the point (and half the country), and wait for it… they may have to really talk to rural people, and (pause, because this is so profound) … face to face.

Even possibly in their homes.

Trump’s Win Has Ad Agencies Rethink How They Collect Data, Recruit staff

Wall Street Journal

“This election is a seminal moment for marketers” says Joe Tripodi, Subway sandwich chain.

Trump’s win spurs concerns that ad agencies are out of touch with consumers

In the wake of Donald Trump’s victory, advertisers are reflecting on whether they are out of touch with the same people who propelled the businessman into the White House. By ALEXANDRA BRUELL and SUZANNE VRANICA

 A few days after the Nov. 8 election, the chief executive of the ad agency giant McCann Worldgroup summoned top executives to discuss what the company [...]

Marrakech: In the end, there is nothing left but spin, and all the momentum that $28 billion dollars a week can buy

Here’s the washup on the end of yet another UN COP junket. Marrakech, struck by panic, ends with a whimper, did anyone notice?

“My only worry is the money.”

Way back in that other era before the US election, delegates to the latest two-week-Olympic-junket with 200 nations in Morocco knew things could go badly. On November 4, Reuters said there was “…widespread unease”. But it wasn’t about the climate, it was “about finance …”

One delegate accidentally summed it up:

“My only worry is the money,” said Tosi Mpanu Mpanu of Democratic Republic of Congo, who heads a group of the 48 least developed nations. “It’s worrying when you know that Trump is a climate change sceptic,” he told Reuters.

Who cares about the weather, eh? The rest of the article is about the type of cash cows at stake.

Then the unthinkable happened: Trump. The panic began. Things were thrown into “disarray”. Everything was “imperiled”:

People were walking around looking pretty shellshocked,” says Dr Bill Hare, perched on a chair in the cavernous media tent at the United Nations climate talks in Morocco. “If you hugged an American there was a good chance they’d [...]