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

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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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Australians paying $600 per household to subsidize wind and solar

Australia is a wonderful living experiment for nations worldwide of how a people with more energy resources per capita than anywhere else in the world can sabotage a perfectly good electricity grid in the hope of appeasing the Weather Gods.

At the request of Senator Malcolm Roberts, Alan Moran slices up our “Chief Scientists” report (known as the Finkel Review) and gives us some home truths. Electricity costs have doubled in Australia, Finkel’s plan would take what isn’t working, and do more of it –  in the process pretty much destroying one fifth of our manufacturing base, costing us thousands of jobs, and adding almost $588-$768 per household annually to energy bills. Let’s ask Australian voters if they want cheap coal power or if they’d rather spend  $600 a year to make the weather unmeasureably nicer in 2100? Why don’t we have a plebescite on that?

In other basic truths Moran points out that while Finkel seems to think new coal fired plants are uneconomic, everyone else is building them around the world. Old plants don’t have to be blown up on their 50th Birthday either. They can be maintained instead, like lots of other perfectly good 50 year old [...]

Weekend Unthreaded

Forget geoengineering planet, lets drug and modify humans instead — Shrink your kids

Can’t persuade people? Drug ‘em.

Tony Thomas finds an academic (Matthew Liao) who suggests that given the climate change risk it might be more ethical to shrink our kids by 6 inches, or drug people with oxytoxin to make them more compliant. Jo Nova thinks it might be more ethical to fund skeptical scientists instead of unskeptical ones and figure out whether a man-made disaster is actually coming before we start shrinking kids.

The idea is that people would accept bizarre climate-saving imposts willingly if only we could give them the “love drug” oxytocin. He calls it “Pharmacologically induced altruism”. Oxytocin increases altruism and empathy, but I would guess that only altruistic or empathetic people would willingly take it “for the sake of the planet”. The rest of the population might be a little suspect that they might be more prone to being duped and conned while “under the influence”.

The initial paper Human Engineering and Climate Change, came out five years ago. But in academic circles, Liao wasn’t laughed out of town, and hasn’t apparently issued a more comprehensive update.

 

Tony Thomas spots a few ethical problems:

Liao insists his human engineering  is all voluntary, [...]

Prof Peter Ridd: the Great Barrier Reef recovers, our science institutions are failing us, science needs to be checked

Alan Jones, interviews Peter Ridd,  James Cook university professor of physics about the state of the Great Barrier Reef

The coral reef recovers.

Peter Ridd: Coral Reefs recover — “the scientists make hay when it dies in a spectacular way but they are quiet when it recovers.”

On symbionts — “There is a large variety of symbionts and some allow coral to grow faster but are more sensitive to bleaching.”

All the corals on the Great Barrier Reef live and grow much faster in Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and Thailand where the water is much hotter than it is on the reef and the corals just juggle these symbionts.   4:20

Corals have a little thermometer built in them, when you take a core of them from many years ago we know what the temperature of the water was back when Captain Cook sailed up the coast, it was actually about the same temperature then. It was colder 100 years ago, but it has recovered from that. The temperatures on the reef are not even significantly warmer than average on a hundred year timescale.

Corals that bleach in one year will [...]

Ideology Wars: How corporates and neoliberals conned environmentalists into “fighting as individuals”

Feel the hate. Martin Lukacs in The Guardian blames “corporates” for everything. It’s all a big 40 year neoliberalist plot to trick you, make you feel guilty, and worst of all, to fool you into thinking you are an individual instead of, err… a group. What could be worse?

In the declining stage of the Climate Wars, the excuses are running amok. The Lukacs “analysis” tries to foment an us-n-them class warfare, but will offend quite a lot of believers by tossing their individual actions (their plastic bag penance) under a bus.

He is so busy looking at the world through marxist-colored-glasses he doesn’t seem to have noticed that many of the “big polluters” — the oil and gas giants — all lobby and profit from carbon action. Big Oil and Big Gas want carbon rules and carbon subsidies because it helps them compete with their real rival, Big Coal. Meanwhile Lukacs wants everything back under government ownership, but the worst real polluters on the planet are the wasteful communist regimes and socialist dictators, not the free West and the publicly listed corporations.

The saddest thing is that The Guardian editors thought this was worth publishing as is, and that [...]

100 companies to blame for 71% of carbon “pollution”, but world’s worst corporates are Big Government

The Carbon Majors Report  came out two weeks ago has been used to stoke Marxist fears that “corporates” are polluting the world.

These 100 Companies Are to Blame For 71% of The World’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions

[ScienceAlert]

Since 1988, a mere 100 companies have been responsible for 71 percent of the entire world’s industrial greenhouse gas emissions.

This data comes from an inaugural report published by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), an environmental non-profit. Charting the rapid expansion of the fossil fuel industry in the last 28 years, they have now released some truly staggering numbers on the world’s major carbon polluters.

Tess Riley of The Guardian tells us that “A relatively small number of fossil fuel producers and their investors could hold the key to tackling climate change”. She goes on to name the worst corporations: “ExxonMobil, Shell, BP and Chevron are identified as among the highest emitting investor-owned companies since 1988″.  It’s not til the ninth paragraph we find that: “A fifth of global industrial greenhouse gas emissions are backed by public investment, according to the report.” 

Only a fifth?

Look closely — the Worst corporate “polluters” are Big Government, not the Capitalist Pigs. [...]

Pop Quiz: Human Emissions Stabilize, but Carbon in Atmosphere still rises, what to think?

Apparently human emissions of CO2 have stopped growing in the last few years, but atmospheric levels of CO2 are rising anyway.

IEA data shows CO2 emissions stopped rising:

Global Carbon Emissions, 2017, IEA, Graph.

 

Pop-Quiz — The correct conclusion from this is:

1/ Human emissions are irrelevant — global CO2 is controlled by ocean currents, phytoplankton, other stuff. Efforts to control global CO2 through windmills and electric cars are a complete waste of money. 2/ Natural sinks have suddenly filled up, the ocean is full, and we are near a tipping point.  Panic. Give us your money. 3/ Pretend not to notice, instead, rejoice that Global GDP is still increasing which means that for the first time in 100,000 years, humans have disconnected economic development from burning carbon based stuff. This is proof finally, in your faith that renewables will not cripple economies. (See Scientific American.) 4/ Declare that global emissions are still rising rapidly anyway. (Here is the same award-winning Peter Boyer not researching his claims in 2016. When will he start?)

Global atmospheric CO2 levels at Mauna Loa are still rising:

Global CO2 Levels, Mauna Loa, graph, 2017, NOAA.  | Source NY Times

[...]

Weekend Unthreaded

Climate bargain, going cheap! Pay now, save $Trillions, stop Storms, Droughts, Bad Stuff. Ends today!

Hurry Now and Save Trillions! A 500 trillion, gazillion dollar bill is coming for you unless you buy my solar-panel-techno-wind-battery gizmo NOW! Don’t miss out. You too, can be a world saving star for a bargain price. Free planet with nice weather thrown in. Offer ends at midnight.

Seriously, have you always wanted to stop storms, vermin, disease, plagues, hunger, poverty, droughts, floods, and shrinking fish and chips?

All of this and much more if you just pay up now, pay today, pay tomorrow, and hock your children’s future.

Hands up who wants to be a hero?

Who needs an economist to calculate the biggest bill you’ve ever seen? (It’s a record, the Largest Ever Bill in Four Million Years! )

World’s young face $535 trillion bill for climate

The next generation will have to pay a $535 trillion bill to tackle climate change, relying on unproven and speculative technology.

LONDON, 19 July, 2017 – One of the world’s most famous climate scientists has just calculated the financial burden that tomorrow’s young citizens will face to keep the globe at a habitable temperature and contain global warming and climate change – a $535 trillion bill.

And much of [...]

Bill Nye says skeptics will die off. Instead young gullibles grow up to be old skeptics

Poor Bill Nye -he’s thinks somehow most people are as religious about climate change as he is, and will keep their naively unscientific beliefs about our ability to control the climate with power stations, wind mills and light bulbs, into their old age. Instead, the reality is Bill’s biggest nightmare, skeptics are not dying out at all — there is a never ending source of skeptics, as young gullible believers grow up to be old and wise.

Here’s his Christmas fantasy:

LA Times, Pat Morrison  Bill Nye on the terrifying ascendancy of American ‘dingbatitude’

It just sounds like people are scared. It just sounds like people are afraid. And the people who are afraid in general — with due respect, and I am now one of them — are older. Climate change deniers, by way of example, are older. It’s generational. So we’re just going to have to wait for those people to “age out,” as they say. “Age out” is a euphemism for “die.” But it’ll happen, I guarantee you — that’ll happen.   — Bill Nye

Here’s that data. For starters, we know that Republican voters are older than Democrat voters. So consider what [...]

Japan: Fifty solar PV companies already gone in 2017 as subsidies end. Coal soaring.

What’s the word for competitive-but-needs-a-subsidy?  Broke…

One hundred solar PV companies are forecast to collapse in Japan this year alone.

Up to 100 solar PV firms in Japan could face bankruptcy this year, with more than double the number of firms going bust in the first half of this year than the same period in 2016.

According to corporate credit research company Teikoku Databank, which surveys companies across various industries and has produced its third report on solar PV company bankruptcies, 50 companies in Japan’s solar sector have already gone out of business in the first six months of 2017.

While the market overall has rapidly expanded from the launch of the feed-in tariff (FiT) in July 2012, Teikoku Databank acknowledged that there has been a slowdown in deployment in the past couple of years as the government successively made cuts of 10% or more on an annual basis to the premium prices paid for solar energy fed into the grid.

Bankruptcies have doubled in the industry since last year.

Meanwhile Japan plans to build at least 45 HELE Coal Plants.

Check out the map of “coal in versus coal out” in Japan. For [...]

Climate change gives us less devastating natural disasters

Funny, Al Gore didn’t say anything about 2017 being “less devastating”:

Frankfurt am Main (AFP) – Natural catastrophes worldwide were less devastating in the first half of 2017 than the average over the past 10 years, reinsurer Munich Re said Tuesday, while highlighting the role of climate change in severe US storms.

Some 3,200 people lost their lives to disasters between January and June, the German group found — well short of the 10-year average of 47,000 for the period or the 5,100 deaths in the first half of 2016.

Every year there is a long list of disasters somewhere (aka weather-porn items for Al Gore

April floods and landslides in Colombia that claimed 329 lives were the deadliest single event.

Elsewhere, an April-June heatwave in India killed 264 people, while floods, landslides and avalanches claimed around 200 lives in Sri Lanka, 200 in Afghanistan and 200 Bangladesh.

In terms of costs — that’s 60 billion “saved” this year:

Disasters inflicted a financial cost of around $41 billion in the first six months, Munich Re reported.

That was less [...]

Climate Change remains Malcolm Turnbulls Kryptonite

As long as “climate change” is on the agenda in Western politics it will keep tearing the right-conservative side of politics apart. Because it is built on a mistake, the only stability for the right (and eventually the left) will be resolute skepticism. Truth will out in the end. Til then, the right side hobbles along with the exception of a few like Abbott, then moreso, Trump. Trump is the only politician to laugh at the snake oil salesmen and he won the most powerful democratic battle on Earth. When will other non-leftie politicans get the message?

Here in Australia the issue is so toxic that the only kind of carbon tax we can have is the secret, mislabeled kind. The climate issue is so toxic it has gone underground.

The legacy media keep telling us “the science” is all one way so they are baffled that so many in politics don’t get it. What the media hide from themselves is that skeptical scientists vastly outnumber and outrank the believers, and that most of the public doesn’t buy the message either (see these climate polls). If politicans truly represented the public on this, over half would be skeptical.

Australian Financial [...]

There have been far bigger Antarctic icebergs than the latest A68 Larson C berg

CNN is  “freaking out” about the latest large iceberg. But John Sutter doesn’t mention that there was an iceberg twice its size in the year 2000 which was 11,000km2, and that as long ago as 1967, two other icebergs of a similar size were recorded. Thanks to John McLean for the links.

UPDATE:  Tony Heller has found a newspaper story about an even bigger one from 1956. This monster iceberg was allegedly 334km x 96km or 32,000 km2.  (h.t John of Cloverdale).

UPDATE #2: Monster bergs are everywhere. Lazzara lists two other massive icebergs as well as B15 that occurred in just 18 months: A38 in Oct 1998 was  7,600km2 and A43 in May 2000 was almost as big as B15, being 9,250km2. h/t WS All three of these were larger than the current “freak”.

When it comes to long term trends in iceberg sizes, the only scientific answer is “who knows”. Satellite records are so short, if a bigger iceberg broke off in say, 1811, how the heck would we find out? Not much is left of an iceberg 100 years later. What kind of proxy could show it ever existed — ancient stone carvings of satellite pics from [...]

Weekend Unthreaded