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 II

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Midweek Unthreaded

Inconvenient Bill: Electric cars may lower your fuel bill, but make electricity, jobs, lifestyle, unaffordable

The electric car push is on. Sadly, what people save on petrol bills looks like it’s going to be spent on electricity or tax. Steve Goreham outlines the international push to get our cars and heaters electrified. But the dark alter-implication of electrification is renewables. (No point in driving a coal driven car.) It follows then, that electrification of everything that isn’t already electrificated, will mean more solar, more wind, and then more decimal places on your electricity bill. Welcome to the Bermuda triangle of cost savings in a subsized-mandated-unfree-market. The more you save, the less you have. We all know wind power is “free”, but somehow costs seem to keep rising in places with more wind power. It’s so unfair: Inconvenient Factoid:  Electricity prices in most top “wind” powered US states rose 2 – 7 times faster than in other states Read and weep Australians. Pedal faster: “…on average US electricity prices increased less than five percent during the eight years from 2008 to 2016″ Some US consumers are still paying rates in single digits. For contrast, the Australian situation, is pathos and bathos simultaneously: Australian households are paying 60 per cent more for their power than those [...]

Perth plan to become ghost town delayed, with average rain and dams highest in 8 years

South West WA and Perth have been the Australian posterchild for Water-Panic for years.

We were destined to be an abandoned ghost town with worthless property:

Perth is set to become the world’s first ‘Ghost City’ according to a long-term weather forecaster and a news anchor. “I’m reading here that unless drastic action is taken, Perth could become the world’s first ghost city – a modern metropolis abandoned by the 1.7 million people there for lack of water,” she said.

Tim Flannery started the Ghost Town scare in 2004. He felt the best way to fill WA dams was to vote for emissions reductions.

As I write, the remnants of a small cyclone are raining down on us in midsummer, which the ABC earlier warned was a “deluge” dropping “three months of rain”. What they don’t mention is that, even before this “downpour” (of 90 mm or 4 inches so far), Perth Dams already have 35% more water than at the same time last year, and an extra 69 gigalitres of the precious wet stuff.  We have more water than we’ve had since 2009, and more is on the way.

WA Water corporation data shows Perth Dams have [...]

Weekend Unthreaded

Birds using aerial bombing with firesticks to light fires and flush out prey

By Crikey! Birds are deliberately using fire as a tool. Humans are not the only animals on Earth setting things on fire.

Aerial arsonists are on the loose. Sneaky Australian raptors have been spotted picking up burning sticks, or even stealing them from a campfire and then deliberately dropping them on grass so they can feast on rodents fleeing from the fire. Apparently they do this in hunting packs, and will drop the burning stick half a mile away on the far side of waterways or roads. Aboriginal people have been talking about this for years, but no one quite believed it.

This really puts a spanner in the works of the fire management plans. So much for firebreaks.

Someone is going to have to get these birds to apply for permits.

Australian raptors can spread fires.  Credit: Bob Gosford

Australian Birds Steal Fire to Smoke Out Prey

Live Science, Mindy Weisberger

Three species of raptors — predatory birds with sharp beaks and talons, and keen eyesight — are widely known not only for lurking on the fringes of fires but also for snatching up smoldering grasses or branches and using them to kindle fresh flames, to [...]

Earth doomed! Hawking offers to pay deniers fares to Venus: Jo says he can send himself to Mars

Forget 2 degrees of warming, Hawking says “460″.

Oh, look, there goes another attention-seeking celebrity scientist — flaming out –watch the arc:

In the second episode of his new series “Stephen Hawking’s Favorite Places,” the British physicist warns Earth could soon become as hot as Venus if action to halt climate change is not taken immediately.

Now temperatures on Venus reach 250°C with powerful 300mph winds. Hawking says a greenhouse effect burned the planet’s oceans and lands, and that something similar could happen right here on Earth if climate change continues unabated.

“Next time you meet a climate-change denier, tell them to take a trip to Venus; I will pay the fare,” says the physicist in his show.

Sadly, Hawking is an atmosphere-denier. Venus’s atmosphere is ninety times denser than the Earths. The lapse rate* just goes on and on through 60 kilometers of “air” and Venus ends up with a 467 degree surface, just like Earth would if it had an atmosphere this thick. (See these calculations.)

When Hawking yells “Venus”, I yell back “Mars”. Both have atmospheres of 95% CO2, but one is 467 degrees and the other is minus 40. Hawking may  say “but the Martian atmosphere [...]

Germany drops carbon target

Compare the outrage: Germany abandons carbon target, but stays in Paris agreement. US  abandons Paris, but makes actual “carbon” cuts. One of these nations is a global pariah.

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s would-be coalition partners have agreed to drop plans to lower carbon dioxide emissions by 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2020, sources familiar with negotiations said on Monday –

And this is a problem, how?

– a potential embarrassment for Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Oh.? Well, it’s only dates and numbers anyway:

Instead, they would aim to hit the 40 percent target in the early 2020s, the sources said, adding that both parties are still sticking to their goal of achieving a 55 percent cut in emissions by 2030.

Which is more important, paper promises you don’t keep, or lower outputs of “planet destroying gas”? Nevermind about CO2.

Source: Washington Times

US Outshines other countries in CO2 emission reduction.

In other unrelated news: Wind energy is taking over the world, highly competitve and in Germany — collapsing.

The German wind market is “threatening to implode”:

In the past year alone, more than 2,000 employees in this sector [...]

Wet Dream of climate dictators: Skeptics exiled to convict camps on Antarctic Islands

Tony Thomas has unearthed a ten year old document that reads like a wet dream for mini-climate dictators. It envisages, by 2028, that the first climate skeptics will be convicted of denying the existence of climate change and exiled to three penal colonies in, wait for it, Kerguelen Island, South Georgia and New Zealand’s South Island. Magically, these are “International convict settlements.” So it’s globalist prisons for the deplorables who say unpermitted things, because they are so bad, we wouldn’t want them mixing with normal criminals back home who believe in climate change but rort the carbon markets.

Luckily their fantasy fiction is even less accurate than climate models. By 2030 they are tipping Africa as an economic powerhouse:

2030 … the global economy today is less dominated by the big three of China, India and the US. Instead, economic blocs such as the African Union, the Latin American Trade Council and the Alliance of Turkic States have emerged as powerful players on the scene.

As Tony Thomas points out they also estimated oil would rise from $150 in 2008 to $400 by 2022. So far it has risen all the way to $60. They also predicted a [...]

Midweek Unthreaded

Tips and homeless ideas…

Sydney before “climate change” — over 50C, 122F recorded at Windsor Observatory, 1939

This was Sydney before “Climate Change” hit — fifty degrees:

Jan, 12, 1939, The Northern Star

Penrith may have recorded 47.3C for at least one-second this week, but Windsor is only 23 km north-east of Penrith, and on January 13th, 1939, it recorded 122F or 50.5C with an old fashioned liquid thermometer,  not a modern noisy electronic one.

Apparently, climate change makes our extreme heat less extreme.

Furthermore, this was not measured on a beer crate in someones back-yard, but on the historic Windsor Observatory which was built in 1863 by John Tebbutt F.R.A.S who had discovered The 1861 comet, and published many scientific reports in Astronomical Journals. His meteorological observations are published at Harvard in 1899 (among others). Tebbutt died in 1916, so it’s not clear what instrument the 122 F was recorded on in 1939, but a Stevenson Screen had been installed around 40 years earlier, and the measurement was made by Mr Keith Tebbutt, presumably his son.

Tebbutt’s portrait graced the back of our 100 dollar note from 1984 -1996.

See, Many Collapse in the Heat: Thursday Jan, 12, 1939, The Northern Star

Windsor Observatory | Photo: Winston M. Yang Wyp

All part of Greater [...]