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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Mid-winter cold and expensive electricity: a million pensioners fear they can’t heat their homes

It’s cold up there in Canada, Alaska, Siberia. The Green circle marked over Greenland. (Purple means “minus 30″ or colder). | Map Nullschool.

Wholesale gas and electricity prices have risen between 30 and 40 per cent over the past three-to-five months in the UK according to Bobby Kalar, the boss of Yu energy.

Not surprisingly, pensioners in the UK say they are cutting back on food so they can afford to keep the heat on. Still, their sacrifices will mean the world will be 0.00C cooler in 2100. Hard to argue with that.

Express UK

WINTER CRISIS: One MILLION pensioners fear they cannot afford to heat their homes

And a third will be forced to ration their heating in a bid to keep the bills down, according to a new survey.

Of Britain’s 11.5m over 65s, nearly one in ten (nine per cent) are anticipating either a new health problem or the worsening of a current condition, like arthritis, as they struggle with the cold.

As many as 90 per cent of the 2,000 pensioners surveyed by comparison website believe the high cost of gas and electricity presents a real [...]

Scott Pruitt’s nomination — a call for support so he can stop the trainwreck that is the EPA

UPDATE: Watch the proceedings live Weds morning US time

Donald Trump nominated  the man who is the expert at running lawsuits against the EPA to run it. Naturally this threatens a lot of sacred totems, not to mention a very big trough.  Protests are raging. In reply, people are speaking up in support of Pruitt.

Those who think his nomination should be opposed are confused saying that “Mr. Pruitt’s backers tout it as a virtue that he has sued the EPA. … In every instance, Mr. Pruitt has joined forces with polluting industries seeking to avoid clean up responsibilities.”

The EPA is so lost, it doesn’t know what real pollution is anymore. Opposing the EPA is what any good environmentalist would do.

The EPA is so lost, it doesn’t know what real pollution is anymore. Opposing the EPA is what any good environmentalist would do.

The religious mission against plant fertilizer in the hope of holding back the tide by half a millimeter in 2100 is noxious, damaging, dangerous in so many ways. It deprives the poor of cheap energy, good jobs, and warm houses. It hurts the environment because it makes the EPA, the US, so much less effective at [...]

Dinosaurs wiped out by … Darkness and Cold

Now this is climate change. If you can believe this study, wow:

“In the tropics, annual mean temperature fell from 27 to 5 degrees Celsius”

And we worry about a warming of one degree in a century.

“It became cold, I mean, really cold,” says Brugger. Global annual mean surface air temperature dropped by at least 26 degrees Celsius. The dinosaurs were used to living in a lush climate. After the asteroid’s impact, the annual average temperature was below freezing point for about 3 years. Evidently, the ice caps expanded. Even in the tropics, annual mean temperatures went from 27 degrees to mere 5 degrees. “The long-term cooling caused by the sulfate aerosols was much more important for the mass extinction than the dust that stays in the atmosphere for only a relatively short time. It was also more important than local events like the extreme heat close to the impact, wildfires or tsunamis,” says co-author Georg Feulner who leads the research team at PIK. It took the climate about 30 years to recover, the scientists found.

The real threats are not fertilizer and balmy weather, but rocks from space, and cold, cold, cold…

How the [...]

Wastebook 2016: PORKemon Go — US Gov burns $5b on stuff like payments with peanuts

Who knew the US government accepted loan repayments in peanuts? And what happens to the $74 million dollars worth of peanuts that come in? They could pay politicians with it…

Other waste identified by Senator Flake  in Wastebook: PORKémon Go, includes a study that found girls are more likely to play with Barbie dolls than boys are. Nearly $2m was spent on holograms of dead comedians. The IRS, not so surprisingly, says the IRS doesn’t waste tax dollars. Flake points out they spend $12m on an email archiving service in 2014 that they never even installed.

If the US government spent $12 million on using the sun to model the climate instead, it would be about 0.1% of what they’ve spent on models driven by CO2 which still don’t work after 20 years of tweaking.

Public relations and advertising amounted to a total of $1.4 billion.  US national Debt is nearly $20 trillion.

Press Release

Among the 50 examples of egregious federal spending uncovered in Flake’s 2017 report are a program that accepts peanuts for loan repayments, a computer that binge-watches Desperate Housewives, and a study into what happens when you put a fish [...]

A Socratic approach on climate change

(Click for the full advert)

The Climate Study Group is trying a new approach with an Advert in The Australian on page 7 today. Or rather, you might say this is a very old approach…:

Socrates Nice to meet you Mr Smith. I hear you are very concerned about dangerous global warming.

Mr Smith Yes, we are facing an alarming prospect of a global warming catastrophe.

Socrates What gives you such concern?

Mr Smith Emissions of CO2 from burning fossil fuels.

Socrates How were these fossil fuels formed?

Mr Smith Various plant forms grew, died and formed fossil fuels before and during the Carboniferous Period.

Socrates Was there dangerous global warming prior to the Carboniferous Period?

Mr Smith No. There’s no evidence of dangerous global warming prior to the Carboniferous period.

Socrates So where did the carbon in fossil fuels originate?

Mr Smith Plants absorbed CO2 from the atmosphere prior to the formation of fossil fuels.

Socrates So the CO2 absorbed by plants is now being released from burning fossil fuels.

Mr Smith It must [...]

Angus Campbell, Chief of The Australian Army, “planet may become uninhabitable in many places”

David Archibald writes” From some sort of parallel universe, this is part of a speech given by the Chief of Army, as in Australia’s army.

Campbell appears to be completely duped by the weather-doctors — not the kind of gullible guy you’d put in charge of heavy machinery (and y’know, national security):

For the first time in mankind’s history our planet may become unsuitable for habitation in many of the places where large populations presently live. The Climate Change Institute at the Australian National University (ANU) asserts; changes would be irreversible on the time scale of human civilisation and would dramatically change the planet as we know it.

This is an unprecedented problem – the global population and its actions are bumping up hard against the capacity of the planet to sustain us in the present form.

He appears to have done no minutes of cross-checking, just swallowed the academics and paparazzi opinions holus. Why fight the climate? Campbell’s reasoning amounts to saying that the US is doing climate stuff (Jo notes they were then, but they won’t be soon.). It’s not too good when the head of your army hasn’t figured out the big secret [...]

The Conversation — cleansing skeptical thoughts — Read the banned comments here

The Fake Conversation where Bill’s informative, polite comments are removed, but the replies are left there.

Last week Bill Johnston posted a detailed, comprehensive analysis of Sydney Observatory thermometer record here that shows that most of the warming recorded there is due to buildings and freeways. But photo’s and graphs are “denier” stuff, and The Conversation is so afraid some its readers might see those historic photos they ban links to Bill’s work and Apparently when the Bureau of Meteorology discusses “Australia’s hottest decade” it is off topic to discuss the condition of their thermometers.

Bill Johnston was happy to defend his work in comments at The Conversation, but Blair Trewin, who wrote the post itself, was entirely absent. Cory Zanoni had to close the dangerous thread. He removed scores of comments, but left replies to Bill Johnston intact. Some “conversation”.

At least 46 of Bill Johnston’s comments were deleted from Australia’s climate in 2016 – a year of two halves as El Niño unwound   and 19 deleted from Australian climate politics in 2017: a guide for the perplexed. As Bill says: They obviously want to stay perplexed; uninformed; scary-cats, without a paddle for their leaky canoe.

Some skeptics [...]

Wind turbine manufacturer admits liability for noise damage. If word gets out…

These are Enercon wind turbines in Germany, Lower Saxony. Image: Philip May

This could be a watershed — if word gets out that turbine manufacturers will not even contest claims of noise damage, there could be many more claims around the world. There are rumors these cases are often settled out of court with confidentiality agreements, but who would know?

In an update to the Irish court case we discussed last month, the latest news confirms that the wind turbine manufacturer has admitted liability without contesting it. The court will be deciding damages in April. As I deduced at the time, the wind industry was using desperate wordsmithing to minimize attention on the story. The news item related to it even disappeared from the Irish Examiner.  The turbine industry must be hoping no one notices this story.

Stop These Things has an update:

Wind company admits nuisance damage to neighbours Irish Farmers Journal Paul Mooney 5 January 2017

High Court to determine compensation for seven families in April hearing.


Your car causes salmonella and other funny global warmy stories

It’s another warmy story:

Worst year in NSW for Salmonella, E.Coli as global temperatures increase

NSW recorded its worst figures in at least five years for diseases caused by food poisoning and mosquito bites, as doctors warn climate change is looming as a public health emergency.

Statistics released last week show 2016 was the worst year on record for diseases including legionnaires’ disease, salmonellosis, listeriosis, E. coli and dengue fever, which flourish in warmer conditions.

–Harriet Alexander, Sydney Morning Herald

More scary than 4000 cases of salmonella is the state of intellectual rigor among medico-unions:

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians [RACP] has released a position paper that described climate change as a “global public health emergency”.

The RACP called for a national climate and health strategy and reduced emissions of greenhouse gases.

With reasoning like that, they could make a lot more people very sick. Are they advocating we use solar panels to stop salmonella?

There has hardly been any warming in the last 20 years anyhow. And if we are doing cosmic epidemiology, so far global warming seems to come with longer lifespans, health, wealth, food, [...]

Richard Lindzen: Axe climate science funding. Groupthink has destroyed intellectual foundations.

How things change. This article has a straightforward tenor, asks questions of both sides of the climate debate and discusses whether skeptics might finally be given a seat at the government funded table (so to speak). It’s so blandly normal in tone it is a bit wildly rare! (Almost like real journalism?) How often do we see Judith Curry and Michael Mann in the same article as Bjorn Lomborg and Will Happer?

Most skeptics are optimistic that the Global Freeze on skeptical scientists may be finally coming to an end. But not Richard Lindzen, the carefully spoken man, with decades of experience, who lets loose…

Skeptical Climate Scientists Coming In From the Cold

Richard Lindzen, the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at MIT and a member of the National Academy of Sciences who has long questioned climate change orthodoxy, is skeptical that a sunnier outlook is upon us.

“I actually doubt that,” he said. Even if some of the roughly $2.5 billion in taxpayer dollars currently spent on climate research across 13 different federal agencies now shifts to scientists less invested in the calamitous narrative, Lindzen believes groupthink has so corrupted the field that funding [...]

Weekend Unthreaded

One third of human emissions and no warming, plus the unholy pursuit of a pause busting paper

For most of this year 2016 was expected to break the 1998  record (which was the hottest year in the UAH satellite data set). But a sudden drop in Dec pulled the yearly average down so that statistically they are indistinguishable.

From one big El Nino year to another big El Nino, we’ve put out one third of all human emissions that have ever been put out since hunter gatherers wandered the steppes, but it appears to have made very little difference.

Thanks to Roy Spencer and global satellites: 2016 not Statistically Warmer than 1998

The top five years in the 38 year satellite record

RANK YEAR deg.C. 01    2016    +0.50 02    1998    +0.48 03    2010    +0.34 04    2015    +0.26 05    2002    +0.22

Does it mean much? Not a heck of a lot. The pause was already long enough to show the models don’t work, and whether or not 2016 was another record is neither here nor there, except as a PR point.


Judith Curry resigns — “battle of scientific integrity versus career suicide”

It is sad to see that Judith Curry will not be continuing her research. The dead hand of buracademia drives out the best.

From Mark Steyn, who doesn’t hold back:

“…distinguished climate scientist Judith Curry had decided to resign from her position at Georgia Tech:

The superficial reason is that I want to do other things…

The deeper reasons have to do with my growing disenchantment with universities, the academic field of climate science and scientists.

Dr Curry elaborates:

A deciding factor was that I no longer know what to say to students and postdocs regarding how to navigate the CRAZINESS in the field of climate science. Research and other professional activities are professionally rewarded only if they are channeled in certain directions approved by a politicized academic establishment — funding, ease of getting your papers published, getting hired in prestigious positions, appointments to prestigious committees and boards, professional recognition, etc.

How young scientists are to navigate all this is beyond me, and it often becomes a battle of scientific integrity versus career suicide (I have worked through these issues with a number of skeptical young scientists).

Tidal free energy takes £8 million from EU taxpayers, lasts “weeks”

Darn free energy costs a fortune to collect.

The 39ft turbines were fitted with a sonar so they could be switched off if seals and dolphins wandered by, but the sonar developed a fault.

£18MILLION tidal energy scheme supposed to power 600 homes stops working after just three months The taxpayer-funded DeltaStream project in Pembrokeshire in Wales, was designed to use the flow of the ocean with a 39ft turbine installed on the seabed But the system developed a fault and stopped generating electricity weeks after Tidal Energy Ltd has now gone into administration and is seeking a buyer Dolphins and seals killed by coal: zero h/t Marvin

Sydney Observatory where warming is created by site moves, buildings, freeways

The iconic Sydney Observatory is Australia’s longest running weather station. But everything around the site has changed. Bill Johnston has spent months researching, photographing, and hunting through historic files to document those changes. He wasn’t paid for this work, but what he found was that the BOM has missed that the area around the thermometers has changed dramatically over the last century, so much so, that he claims it’s scientifically meaningless to try to construct climate trends from this data. Aerial photographs show exposure of the instruments changed in 1950, when Stevenson screens were moved, and after a brick wall was built metres from the screen in about 1972. It is suspicious that the changes are undocumented in Bureau reports, especially given they are responsible for much of the “unprecedented warming” in Sydney’s temperature data.  The BOM may counter that this site is not used to calculate warming trends across Australia, but as Bill points out, Sydney Observatory is used to homogenize other sites that are. So site changes and the urban heat island effect infects many country sites, and the traffic in Sydney “warms the nation”.  — Jo


Its fake news week! Guest post by Dr. Bill Johnston[1]. [...]