A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


The Skeptics Handbook

Think it has been debunked? See here.

The Skeptics Handbook II

Climate Money Paper




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



Chevron wins $38m from Environmentalists behaving badly: extortion, fraud, witness tampering, corrupt practices

Score 1 for Chevron

In 2011, environmentalists won the worlds largest judgement against Chevron (holy moley $18 billion), but it turned out it was all based on fraud, fake witnesses and telling lies. Who would think people who say they like trees and human rights would be so self serving? The award has since been overturned — indeed the tables have turned, and last week Chevron was awarded $38 million in damages.

Strangely, bad behaviour of planet-saving-people doesn’t appear to rate highly in the news. Hands up who thinks the BBC/ABC/CBC would fail to mention it if environmentalists won a $38m suit against a money-laundering-witness-tampering oil company?

Gibraltar Supreme Court Awards Chevron $38 Million Against Ecuadorian Conspirators

[May 25th, 2018] SAN RAMON, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–May 25, 2018– The Supreme Court of Gibraltar has issued a judgment against Pablo Fajardo, Luis Yanza, Ermel Chavez, Frente de Defensa de la Amazonia (the “Front”) and Servicios Fromboliere for their role in a conspiracy to procure and attempt to enforce a fraudulent Ecuadorian judgment against Chevron. The court awarded Chevron Corporation$38 million in damages and interest and issued a permanent injunction against the defendants, preventing them from assisting or supporting the case against [...]

Midweek Unthreaded

If world warmed — crops could grow another 1,200 km further North

Climate change might bring more food as it expands into the arctic. In a big surprise, scientists found that agriculture works best in places without much snow and ice.

Burn oil and feed the world

Only a third of the giant northern boreal forest is able to be cropped at the moment. With any luck, serious global warming will set in, allowing us to raise the edge of the zone of arable land and feed millions more hungry people.

Obviously , we need to spend billions to stop this.

Though Canadians and Russians may disagree (especially if they thought CO2 actually mattered, but who does?).

Given CO2′s mixed performance in the last hundred years, I predict disappointment…


Here’s why there is no safe “middle ground” pandering to climate Yeti’s

Australians aren’t buying Turnbulls fence-sitting do-everything (do nothing) energy plan There is a lesson for politicians all over the world.

Labor, Liberal, what’s the difference?

In Australia the Labor party is 100% Gung Ho about controlling the global weather with our power supply. Despite that Dead-Weight handicap, slightly more Australians think that the Labor party will be better at managing electricity prices than the Liberal government*.

A Newspoll conducted for The Australian revealed that only 37 per cent believed the Coalition and Mr Turnbull would be better at maintaining energy supply and keeping power prices lower, compared with 39 per cent who backed Labor to deliver the ­reform. Almost a quarter of voters were undecided.

…the voters who wanted to Axe The Tax are still out there, and their electricity bills are even higher.

It’s not as insanely crazy as it sounds. By trying to half-way appease both sides both sides of politics Turnbull pleases no one. He’s crushed the issue as a vote winner for conservatives, which is not all that surprising since he’s not all that conservative. His gut instincts are screwed.

Labor are offering themselves as chief-witchdoctors. This is a gold plated gift to conservatives. But [...]

On Outsiders – Sunday 10:15am

Light posting as I am in Sydney at The Australian Taxpayers Association Friedman18 conference, and having a great time too. Fantastic panel with Ian Plimer and the wonderful former Senator Nick Minchin today.

I’m looking forward to appearing on Outsiders Sky at 10:15am with Ross Cameron and Rowan Dean. (Perhaps someone can record it or find the right link in comments thanks….) Podcast audio here.

KimH suggests those without Foxtel download the Foxtel play app on your windows device …

Science Commentator @JoanneNova talks about how she came to the revelation there was no evidence for climate change.

‘The media is hiding something; they aren’t discussing key important points.’

MORE: #Outsiders

— Sky News Australia (@SkyNewsAust) May 27, 2018


.@JoanneNova: You would not believe the kind of resources we have here in Australia. We are the world’s largest exporter of coal – and if even we keep digging at the current rate, we would still have 294 years left of the resource.

MORE: #Outsiders

— Sky News Australia (@SkyNewsAust) May 27, 2018


Dave posted some links:

They’re put a short segment up on twitter with a video.

Weekend Unthreaded

Don Aitken: Peter Ridd was sacked because he threatened the Money Making Engine at Uni

The university grant engine is just a part of the whole Green Scare Machine. Click to enlarge.

Science Funding is monopsonistic, one-sided and poses a real threat to science. Governments are strangling research. The more money governments throw at politicized science, the tighter the deadly grip.

Read the cutting commentary from Don Aitkin — the former vice-chancellor of the University of Canberra and foundation chairman of the Australian Research Council. There’s a vested interest here, rarely discussed, that has ballooned in the last thirty years to billions of dollars.

In The Australian and on Aitken’s blog

Don’t you Dare Upset The Money Making Machine

The engine works this way. There is strong pressure on all academics to bring in research grant money for the department, the faculty and university. Those who do it well find their careers advancing quickly. To assist them there are media sections in universities whose job it is to frame the research work of academics in a way that will gain the attention of the media. Such media releases will come with as arresting a headline as the media section can devise. Buzzwords like ‘breakthrough’, ‘crucial’, ‘cutting edge’ and ‘revolution’ will [...]

Snowy Hydro goes activist, lobbies for renewables to boost profits, beat enemy “Coal”

Spot the vested interest

The biggest competitor for hydro in Australia is cheap old coal power. Surprise me, Snowy Hydro jumped into the national energy debate a few days ago on behalf of taxpayers themselves.

With Turnbull offering five-billion-dollar gravy to build an unnecessary hydro storage battery, it is no surprise to hear Snowy Hydro pretending that Australia needs more intermittent unreliables.  The more solar and wind rock the system, the more Big-Hydro is needed to stabilize the boat. The big question is why hardly any journalists or politicians seem able to spot the obvious vested interest:

Ben Packham, The Australian:

Snowy 2.0 declares wind and solar power ‘clearly cheaper’ than coal

The government-owned company building Malcolm Turnbull’s Snowy 2.0 pumped hydro project has added fuel to the energy wars by declaring wind and solar are clearly cheaper options than coal.

And if you owned Hydro stocks, you’d say that too. Coal is every generators enemy for a reason. It’s cheaper than they are.

See the tiny numbers above the columns in this graph? Those are actual settlement prices — tiny wholesale bargain sales of coal fired electrons at 1c per kilowatt hour.

Midweek Unthreaded

One third of Australia wants public ABC spending cut. That’s 14 cents a day but Not Worth It

New essential poll today shows 35% of respondents support cutting spending on the ABC.

The ABC once had a hallowed status, but those days are over. One in three Australians are not enthused with non-stop naked Green-Labor advertising combined with derision and scorn for the deplorable half of the population.

We pay 14 cents a day for the ABC and it’s not worth it.

ABC ratings  plummet 13% in the last year

Showing that this survey is not an abberation, the whole nation is voting with the remote control:

Last week ABC News attracted about 660,000 viewers in the mainland capital cities. This compares with about 760,000 viewers a year ago.

That’s a trend line headed for zero by 2025.

Most Australians don’t watch the prime time 7pm news service they are forced to pay for. Apparently the ABC is a subsidy package for poor inner city elites who can afford to live in Darlinghurst but not to pay for their own news service.

The ABC rescue plan is a workshop on telling stories

The ABC solution yesterday is to get better at “storytelling”. It does not include employing a second conservative or libertarian commentator (one, Amanda Vanstone, [...]