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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Weekend Unthreaded

Al Gore says climate change is like slavery

Al Gore’s new move is to wrap the global warming religion in with a bucket-list of “moral movements”, evidently targeting the naive souls who seek an Instant Life’s Mission, and / or  approval from sorority girls:

Al Gore: battle against climate change is like fight against slavery

The fight against global warming is one of humanity’s great moral movements, alongside the abolition of slavery, the defeat of apartheid, votes for women and gay rights, according to the former US vice-president and climate campaigner, Al Gore.

He forgets to add the defeat of Hitler and eradication of small pox. Though he gets points for finding a way to quote Martin Luther King Jnr: “No lie can live forever”.

Gore piles on the “industrial revolution” — apparently confusing actual working steam engines that move twenty thousand tons with solar cars whose weight is measured in kilograms and whose load bearing capacity is not even mentioned:

The battle to halt climate change can be won, he said, because the green revolution delivering clean energy is both bigger than the industrial revolution and happening faster than the digital revolution.

But he mixes up the exponential theoretical prospects of renewables with the [...]

Sign a petition for Australia to pull out of the Paris Agreement

Let’s get Australia out of the pointless Paris Agreement which will cost trillions, hurt the poor, send Australian manufacturing overseas, kill birds, bats, whales, raise electricity prices, and not change global temperatures by any measurable amount. This is a very well reasoned petition written by someone very familiar with the details of IPCC proceedings. It is an official petition, and alas, needs to be limited to Australian signatories.

Jo

_______________________________________________________________

An electronic petition for the House of Representatives requesting Australia pull out of the Paris Agreement.

Petition Number EN0264 Petition Address To the Hon. Speaker of the House of Representatives and Members of the House of Representatives Petition Of  Certain citizens of Australia Petition Reason (a) The damage and impairment to the Australian economy and the financial pain inflicted on our citizens and residents caused by inflated energy costs will be very significant and are very likely to be increased in future. (b) Australian greenhouse gas emissions are insignificant and have no measurable influence on global average temperature, meaning that Australia’s involvement is merely a political gesture. (c) The ratification of the Agreement seems to have ignored the following statements of IPCC’s Fifth Climate Assessment Report (5AR) of 2013: (i) [...]

If only Yes Minister had done the global warming thing (oh look…!)

Excellent comedy, if you haven’t already seen this. (Adapted from the Stage Play “Yes Prime Minister”)

Yes Prime Minister Global Warming etc Part 1 from Aris Motas on Vimeo.

Part II

Yes Prime Minister Global Warming etc Part 2 from Aris Motas on Vimeo.

Written by Antony Jay and Johnathan Lynn. BBC. h/t Waxing Gibberish and Friends of Science on Facebook.

Shocking electricity price rises coming in Australia: Not a failure of energy policy but a complete “success”

The numbers are breathtaking. On the east coast of Australia (which means most households in the nation) they are looking at 15 – 20% increases next month on electricity bills which are already at bleeding point.

Get a grip on these numbers:

Charis Chang, News.com –

POWER prices are set to rocket after three major retailers announced increases of up to 20 per cent and $600 a year for the average customer in some states.

Origin, EnergyAustralia and AGL have all announced price increases for electricity and gas starting from July 1.

Small businesses may be the hardest hit, especially Origin customers in South Australia, which will see prices rise by a whopping $1453 a year when increases to gas and electricity bills are combined.

The biggest increase for residential customers will be for AGL customers in ACT, who will pay an extra $579 a year for a combined electricity and gas rise.

In NSW, residential EnergyAustralia customers will see electricity prices increase by up to 19.6 per cent. Origin Energy customers will get a 16.1 per cent rise.

The price hikes will take effect [...]

Now that was “climate change” 8200 years ago — California lashed by 150 years of storms

Don’t tell me that cold is nice and the climate was ever ideal

A few scientists thought that the climate was stable and well behaved during the Holocene until we invented coal power and the Ford Model T and everything fell apart “unprecedentedly”.

But 8200 years ago things apparently got pretty wild. See the GISP graph below where there was a three degree fall in temperatures suddenly (circled in red below). A new study found that at the same time China and California also cooled. Strangely, this cooling effect probably did not produce calm, happy days for the Californians at the time. Instead it looks like they got 150 years of intense winter storms and a lot of wet weather.

UPDATE: This graph shows the ice-core data up until 1855. The last 150 years (1705 to 1855) are highlighted in red to show the warming as the Earth began coming out of the LIA. Obviously that red line would continue up further if it was drawn to the present.

Looks like real climate change….

The reason for the sudden snap is possibly that a couple of massive glacial lakes in North East America collapsed and suddenly drained out [...]

Stupid Nation: Australians crave cheap energy, yet think “low cost” renewables need support

It’s like an Easter Island moment for an advanced economy: somehow “cheap” energy can’t compete in a free market without government subsidy. A Nation of Serfs have forgotten what a free market is. Will cheap desirable stuff sell itself, or not?

The contradictions mount. Electricity and gas prices are hitting escape velocity:

The wholesale electricity spot prices was about $35 a megawatt hour during 2011, rose to $58 after the carbon tax was introduced and is now about $130 as gas prices push up energy generator costs.

Not surprisingly 70% of Australians want cheaper, more reliable electricity. Only one person in four would rather cut emissions than cut the bill. Yet the agitprop telling people that renewables are “cheap” has been so pervasive that fully 38% of Australians think the government should raise the renewable energy target, and 23% think it should stay the same. It follows that around 4 in 10 Australians apparently hold the bizarre idea that wind and solar are cheap and yet in need of government support, as if there are no investors willing to put money into supplying something that 100% of people want at a price cheaper than what they currently pay. So [...]

What is the sound of a dying planet?

UPDATE: It is apparently funded by the Arts Council England. Couldn’t we guess?

A new climate forcing, let’s call it Musikiness, will change the upper trough-o-sphere:

Climate change data is being transformed into beautiful symphonies

What is the sound of a dying planet? Translating hard facts into feeling is the issue of our age – and it is the task Climate Symphony have appointed themselves. A collective of artists and scientists, the London-based team are inspiring action by transforming climate change data into music.

Listen at the link. 

Wait til you see what it can do. This is a pretty powerful tool:

“Climate Symphony has developed a side-project – calling out lies in politics.”

“We want to create a formal record,” she says, “A method of fact-checking the things Trump is saying, of finding distortions. It’s revealing. You’re looking at it, and listening to it, and you find that it’s distorted. It’s all distorted.”

Musikiness could replace the US GAO. (Who needs auditors). But I worry about what happens if they use the wrong key.

Finally, twenty years late, EcoWorriers care about transparency and “hard facts”:

“…it isn’t just background noise…  music is the [...]

Weekend Unthreaded

This is only 1 percent of a real mass extinction

Peter Brannen argues a real mass extinction doesn’t just wipe out 1% of species, it wipes out 90%.

It turns out humans are not quite as bad as a one-kilometer-deep lava layer covering an area as big as the US.

 Earth is not in the midst of a Sixth Mass Extinction

Humans have changed the ecosphere:

So things don’t look so good, no matter where we look. Yes, the victims in the animal world include scary apex predators that pose obvious threats to humans, like lions, whose numbers have dropped from 1 million at the time of Jesus to 450,000 in the 1940s to 20,000 today—a decline of 98 percent. But also included have been unexpected victims, like butterflies and moths, which have declined in abundance by 35 percent since the 1970s.

Is this a mini extinction?

…the only reason we know about mass extinctions in the first place is from the record of this incredibly abundant, durable, and diverse world of marine invertebrates, not the big, charismatic, and rare stuff like dinosaurs.“

So you can ask, ‘Okay, well, how many geographically widespread, abundant, durably skeletonized marine taxa have gone extinct thus far?’ And [...]