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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Midweek Unthreaded

Oops, forgot yesterday.

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Midweek Unthreaded, 7.7 out of 10 based on 6 ratings

75 comments to Midweek Unthreaded

  • #
    Spetzer86

    UK Green scheming for the Swansea Tidal lagoon? https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/

    Maybe a little bit under the table to keep the deal sweet?

    30

  • #
    Betapug

    Looks like the Crash Test Dummy saved Tesla:

    “First quarter volume was boosted by the huge Australia 100 MW/129 MWh being officially applied to the books. The quarter recognized 373 MWh deployed – just short of 2017’s total volume deployed of approximately 410 MWh. The first quarter numbers were a 161% increase over the Q4 2017, and 621% larger than Q1 2017.”

    All those batteries not going into the stalled Tesla 3 production had to go somewhere. Why not the other side of the world?

    40

    • #
      yarpos

      Thc components for the SA battery werent from Teslas normal sources due to stupid promises by Elon. Had to source rrom Samsung.

      10

  • #
    Betapug

    I don’t seem to have properly attached the link

    10

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  • #
    Another Ian

    FWIW

    “Things might be about to get interesting:
    From twitter
    Paul Sperry
    ‏@paulsperry_
    7 minutes ago

    BREAKING: IG Horowitz has found “reasonable grounds” for believing there has been a violation of federal criminal law in the FBI/DOJ’s handling of the Clinton investigation/s and has referred his findings of potential criminal misconduct to Huber for possible criminal prosecution”

    https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2018/05/09/w-o-o-d-9-may-2018/#comment-94914

    40

  • #
    Another Ian

    “Don’t Tell Anyone, But We Just Had Two Years Of Record-Breaking Global Cooling”

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/05/17/dont-tell-anyone-but-we-just-had-two-years-of-record-breaking-global-cooling/

    40

  • #
    Another Ian

    “USDOJ: Climate lawsuits ‘violate constitutional principles’ ”

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/05/17/usdoj-climate-lawsuits-violate-constitutional-principles/

    30

  • #
    Another Ian

    What about Oxford professors? (see comments)

    “Oxford Professor: Rich People Fuel Climate Change, “We’re Not Controlling Them” ”

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/05/17/oxford-professor-rich-people-fuel-climate-change-were-not-controlling-them/

    30

  • #
    Another Ian

    “Earth Cooling Fastest In A Century – Since Trump Took Office”

    https://realclimatescience.com/2018/05/earth-cooling-fastest-in-a-century-since-trump-took-office/

    50

  • #
    Another Ian

    “Y2Kyoto: Climate Dumbo”

    “Woolly mammoths have been extinct for more than 4,000 years, but with new gene-editing techniques, they could help mitigate the effects of a modern problem: climate change. […]”

    And more plus the links

    http://www.smalldeadanimals.com/index.php/2018/05/17/y2kyoto-climate-dumbo/

    40

    • #
      Another Ian

      Range management revolutionised! A comment from that thread


      Johnny
      May 17, 2018 at 1:09 pm

      Let me get this straight – the mammoths that ate the grass disappeared, so the grass disappeared.
      Therefore we bring back the mammoths and the grass will come back.

      I’m beginning to understand why these people believe in global warming…”

      70

      • #
        Hanrahan

        Let me get this straight – the mammoths that ate the grass disappeared, so the grass disappeared.
        Therefore we bring back the mammoths and the grass will come back.

        That’s not so strange logic. It could be that grazing controlled woody weeds but there are other possibilities why grazing aids grasses. Spreading seeds in a nice pile of fertiliser might help too.

        10

        • #
          toorightmate

          If we had some rum, we could have a rum and coke, if we had some coke.
          Similar logic?

          50

          • #

            That’s what is best about your choice of cold single malt scotch! It warms nicely, if not greedy!

            30

          • #

            Nich ‘cube’ aber ‘tetrahedron’! Mein hut der hat drei ecken drei ecken hat mein hut. Und hätt er nicht drei Ecken, So wär es nicht … What is the meaning of ‘orthogonal’; in four or more ‘dimensions’, please? :-)
            All the best!-will-

            10

          • #

            The most simple non-communitive algebra is the 2D complex numbers. SURFACE!, this allows the concept of orthogonal multiplication to have a non-communitive division called “square root” with a possible negative linear value called √(-1). Such can only exist (be physical\not ‘imaginary’) if ‘normal’ (orthogonal) to said 2D surface A third dimension (3D)! But then what may possibly be the cube root of (-1). Seems like the hurrier you go the be-hinder you gets! :-)
            All the best!-will-

            10

        • #
          Graeme#4

          There was a TED talk by an American farmer who showed that damaged farmland could be rejuvenated by stocking with cattle, exactly the opposite of the current beliefs.

          30

          • #
            Hanrahan

            There is an Aussie farmer with unconventional [demonstrated] ideas on rehabilitation of land as well.

            Graziers, their land and the GBR would all benefit if they fenced off the creeks and pumped the water into troughs.

            20

    • #
      Another Ian

      GMO observations in comments too

      20

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  • #
    robert rosicka

    Pot Kettle Black , the ABC run a story on Trumps fixation on Hillary but neglected to mention they have an unhealthy fixation on Trump , they not only have a show dedicated to ridiculing him but the show has been going longer than Trumps been in office .

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-25/why-hillary-clinton-still-haunts-donald-trump/9356520

    30

  • #

    I have started a new Series on electrical power generation here in Australia and it was actually from a suggestion from a reader.

    Each day I am detailing the power generation totals from all sources in the (main) AEMO coverage area of everywhere east of the WA border.

    I thought it would be a little easier than it turned out to be, but it is an interesting exercise.

    It’s an easy thing to just write down the data, but what I wanted to do was to show with images those sources of power generation, and that’s why I wanted the email address for the site’s owner, and thanks Andrew M for that permission to use your images.

    Each daily Post detailing the power generation for the previous day is put up at my home site at around 2PM each day. It takes me around an hour and a half to do it all, but all the work was in setting up the Template which I just copy and paste and then add each day’s data with the images, and as you might expect, the images take most of that time, getting them, then working them into a correct size and format for placing into the Post for each day, and there’s nine of those images, each with accompanying data.

    At the end of each week, I’ll also be adding totals for the week, and the rolling averages as well.

    It’s an interesting task and if any of you have an interest, it’s always there at my home site.

    I made an introductory Post to explain it, and the link for that is below, and at that Post is the permanent link to the daily and weekly Posts.

    I would like some feedback if any of you want to critique it, as to if I have made it as easy to understand as I wanted it to be.

    Australian Daily Electrical Power Generation Data – Introduction With Permanent Link To Daily and Weekly Posts

    (Most recent Post for Wednesday) Australian Daily Electrical Power Generation Data – Wednesday 16th May 2018

    Tony.

    40

    • #
      Hanrahan

      You should be nominated for an AO for your unselfish devotion to the cause.
      It is no coincidence that most productive sceptics are retired, younger men need to eat and provide for a family.

      20

    • #
      robert rosicka

      Forget Finkel and that American import , you should be the one running the AEMO and the one who decides our electricity generating future Tony ! Very easy to scroll to exactly what you want thank you for an outstanding effort .

      41

    • #
      Peter C

      Wind and Solar seem a very small contribution to the total.

      How come they are causing so much price and grid security disruption already?

      10

    • #
      Robber

      Great work Tony, thank you.
      What is the source of the rooftop solar “behind the meter” data? Any way of adding that to the overall grid data? Clearly it is now big enough to impact noon time grid generation and therefore impact on grid economics.
      It would also be useful if a spreadsheet could be made available so that various cuts of the data and trend lines could be created by anyone interested.

      10

      • #

        Robber,

        because it is behind the meter, it won’t ever show up at that AEMO site, so there’s no way of adding it to the overall total.

        Picture it like this.

        At the top image, the upper black line for total power generation, see where it dips after the morning peak, and then rises again to the evening peak, well draw an imaginary line (sort of in the form of a slight ‘hump’) between 9AM and 4PM. Before those two times, there is very little anyway. At it’s maximum, it adds around 15% to the total, but keep in mind that is virtually all consumed by the homes themselves. It has no impact on coal fired power at all, as that power generation has hardly changed from what it always does. All it means is that less Natural gas fired units are required to run to top up the grid.

        As to overall power, note both images for solar power and rooftop solar are (basically) sinusoidal (a sine wave) in nature. The average of (one half of) a sine wave is 0.637 times the Peak, so I can work out the average power total for solar from that. Then, as that average is only for the duration of that sine wave, eg, the hours of power generation, here 7.30AM till 5.30PM, ten hours, then I can work out the average across the full 24 hours.

        That’s why, across a full 24 hour day, solar plants are averaging around 0.5% (tops) of the total power generation, and rooftop solar is around 4.5 to 5% of that total.

        As that Aeroid site uses the data from the AEMO for all its sources, my guess is that they get their rooftop solar from any of those ‘widgets’ which detail that rooftop solar power.

        Tony.

        20

        • #
          Robber

          Tony, you say that rooftop solar has no impact on coal fired power, and that little rooftop solar enters the grid.
          With 3,000 MW being produced from rooftop solar for say 6 hours, that’s 18 million kWhr from 1.8 million rooftops, or about 10 kWhr/rooftop. My understanding is that the average household consumes about 4,000 kWhr per year or about 11 kWhr/day. So it seems unlikely that those households consume 10 kWhr during those midday hours. So it seems likely that more than 50% of rooftop solar is entering the grid, that is more than 1,500 MW.
          As you say, the impact of that is likely to be reduced gas, but that makes gas stations less economic as their utilisation drops, yet they are still required for the evening peak.

          I think that there will be more value in the data as we can see the weekly, monthly and seasonal variations, which is why I suggested a spreadsheet would be useful to be able to calculate capacity factors for each power source over time. My theory is that as more wind and solar are added to the mix, (and they are estimated to rise from about 10% currently to about 17% by 2020 to meet the 2020 RET target of 23.5%, with hydro the other 6%) costs will continue to rise as we will still need the same amount of coal/gas capacity to meet evening peaks but their utilisation will drop.

          20

          • #
            Graeme No.3

            Robber:

            Rooftop solar only travels as far as the local district transformer so it can only show up as reduced demand by those houses and their neighbours i.e. it cannot be meaured only guessed.
            Yes, the effect of renewables increases the cost of conventional sources because they have (almost) fixed costs and less generation to spread those costs.
            A coal fired station runing 90% CF and generating at $40 per MWh still has to run as rolling reserve whenever renewables are working so if renewables supply 30% of generation then the (almost) unchanging costs have to be spread over 60% i.e. the charge goes up to $60 per MWh.
            The higher the percentage renewables the greater the cost of conventional generation until, at some point, conventional generation stops (as in Germany where 2 or more CCGT plants have been taken down and rebuilt in other countries. The alternative would be for conventional sources to shut down when, say wind, supplies a lot. Unfortuntely most consumers don’t like paying more and getting 8 hour blackouts. They get irate so governments make conventional sources responsible for keeping the grid going.
            The alternative is some fast acting method such as OCGT’s which cost more than even wind and generate a good deal of CO2 emissions. Other possibilities are pumped hydro which takes years to be built and the mythical batteries which are going to make renewables cheap.

            01

          • #
            Graeme#4

            An average of only 11 kWh/day seems low. I consume an average of around 25 kWh/day and that’s not including gas for heating and cooking. Now wondering if this low average includes folks living in caravans, shacks, etc., and not only average households.

            00

    • #
      pat

      TonyfromOz -

      fantastic work. if only the public knew.

      30

    • #
      Another Ian

      Tony

      Re prices

      I checked the data dashboard around 06:44 am on 17th May

      Qld $106.79

      Both lines max into

      NSW $225.31

      Vic $203.62

      SA $210

      And Tas a mere $75 approx – they probably like Basslink broken

      20

      • #
        yarpos

        Tassie actually seems to be ravelling pretty well in terms of price and availability. I guess management in Hydro will be stressing about revenue foregone

        00

  • #
    robert rosicka

    Labor party starting to implode as left and right infighting gets serious .

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-18/warren-snowdon-federal-labor-mp-dumped-by-party-left-faction/9774622

    Had no idea there was a right wing side to Labor !

    20

    • #
      Dennis

      In more recent years Labor have managed to hide the factional wars.

      And that Bill Shorten is leader only because of the deal done to convince Kevin Rudd to replace Juliar Gillard that requires a majority of party members voting at a Federal Conference to remove the leader.

      Italian citizen by birthright Anthony Albanese is hovering.

      10

  • #
    pat

    17 May: The Local Germany: AFP: EU takes Germany to court over poor quality of air
    The European Commission said Thursday it is taking Germany, France, the United Kingdom and three other EU countries to court for failing to comply with the bloc’s air quality standards.
    The Commission, the European Union’s executive arm, gave the six, also including Italy, Hungary and Romania, a last chance in January to take the required steps to improve air quality after years of warnings.

    The Commission, the European Union’s executive arm, gave the six, also including Italy, Hungary and Romania, a last chance in January to take the required steps to improve air quality after years of warnings.
    However, EU Environment Commissioner Karmenu Vella told a press conference in Brussels the six, which include Europe’s top four economies, had not acted quickly enough.
    “The commission had to conclude that … that the additional measures proposed are not sufficient to comply with air quality standards as soon as possible, and therefore are being referred to court,” Vella said.
    “We cannot wait any longer,” Vella said, warning that Brussels may end up waiting several more years before the countries put measures in place.

    Vella had also given Spain, the Czech Republic and Slovakia a last chance in January to start complying with EU standards and decided to give them a reprieve…
    “The measures that are planned or being put in place appear to be able to tackle (exceeded limits) if they are fully and immediately implemented,” Vella said.
    But he warned the commission was keeping the three under review…
    https://www.thelocal.de/20180517/eu-takes-germany-to-court-over-poor-quality-of-air

    no secret whose side BBC is on:

    17 May: BBC: UK referred to Europe’s top court over air pollution
    By Roger Harrabin
    But Britain could face fines totalling millions of pounds, on-going until the problem is solved.
    The government has already lost a series of battles in the UK courts on air pollution…

    Environmentalists say by taking the UK to the European Court of Justice, the EU has demonstrated what will be lost after Brexit.
    The Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, previously promised that governance of the environment would not be diluted when the UK leaves the EU.
    But he revealed last week that the UK environmental watchdog he proposes after Brexit would not have the automatic power to take the government to court.

    The Green MEP Keith Taylor welcomed the EC’s decision. He said: “The Commission is being forced to take legal action against the UK because the government remains steadfastly apathetic in the face of a public health crisis that is linked to the deaths of 50,000 British citizens every year.”…

    “Post-Brexit, this is exactly the kind of scrutiny and oversight the Tories plan to escape. Proposals for a so-called environment watchdog that is nothing but a lame lapdog without the legal teeth to take the government to court put this reality in sharp relief.
    “This is particularly concerning as legal action by the Commission and environmental lawyers, on the basis of EU law, has been the only way to force the UK government to take any action on air pollution at all.”

    Margherita Tolotto from the green group European Environment Bureau said: “European air quality laws are being broken on a continental scale.
    “Everyone in Europe has the same right to clean air, and when national governments fail to deliver EU protections, it’s right that the European Commission steps in to protect us from the air we breathe.

    As the announcement was being made, lawyers for Paris, Madrid and Brussels were in front of the European Court of Justice asking that the three cities be allowed to challenge vehicle emissions regulations set by the European Commissions and agreed by national governments.
    They are trying to annul the Commission regulation that allows diesel vehicles to exceed emissions limits during road tests, in the wake of the “dieselgate” scandal…
    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-44155590

    the few BBC comments I saw were quite scathing of the EU.

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  • #
    pat

    17 May: WSJ: Europe Sues Largest Members Over Air Pollution Levels
    By Emre Peker in Brussels and William Boston in Berlin; Laurence Norman in Sofia, Bulgaria contributed to this article
    The EU’s executive arm also increased pressure on national authorities in Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the U.K. for disregarding the bloc’s rules and allowing the sale of Volkswagen AG and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV vehicles that don’t meet emission standards…

    “We will only succeed in fighting urban air pollution if the car sector plays its part,” said Elzbieta Bienkowska, the EU commissioner for internal market and industry. “Manufacturers that keep disregarding the law have to bear the consequences.”…
    The EU’s limited response—in contrast with billions of dollars of fines and myriad lawsuits in the U.S.—has stoked anger in Europe, where the commission says 400,000 premature deaths annually are linked to polluted skies. More than 130 cities in 23 of the 28 EU members exceed air quality standards…

    EU members that are sued could face penalties in the hundreds of millions of euros, but only after lengthy legal battles, according to an EU official.
    The ECJ takes on average two years to issue a ruling, but may opt to fast-track the air-pollution cases due to the health impact. If the EU’s top court agrees with the commission’s infringement findings, the countries would have to adopt measures to curb pollution levels. Should the EU members fail to do that, the bloc can sue for damages, resulting in fines…

    France said Thursday that it took note of the EU decision and reiterated its determination to curb pollution as soon as possible to both protect the health of citizens and end the proceedings…
    German Chancellor Angela Merkel said her government is “on the right track” and working with local authorities to quickly cut air pollution…

    The threat of legal action against European cities and the growing number of cities that are beginning to ban diesel vehicles from urban traffic is squeezing European car makers…
    Consumers, worried they won’t be able to use diesel-powered vehicles in city traffic, are turning away from diesel and opting instead for gasoline-powered cars and ***hybrids, data from the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association show…

    Sales of new diesel-powered passenger cars in the EU fell 17% to 1.57 million vehicles in the first three months of the year.
    ***The sharp decline was largely offset by sales of new gasoline-powered cars, which rose 15% to 2.3 million vehicles during the same period.
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/europe-sues-largest-members-over-air-pollution-levels-1526567974

    ***where are the hybrid figures, WSJ?

    00

  • #
    Peter C

    Why isn’t more research reproducible?

    Short Answer: Because too many scientists have been cheating, lying or incompetent. Misuse of statistics is apparently prevalent.

    Don Aitken essay here:
    http://donaitkin.com/why-isnt-more-research-reproducible/

    based on a longer report by the National Association of Scholars;
    https://www.nas.org/articles/nas_launches_new_report_the_irreproducibility_crisis

    Incidentally the picture on the title page of the NAS report is quite interesting. It hangs in the National Gallery (UK) and is titled;”An Experiment in a Bird in an Air Pump.
    https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/joseph-wright-of-derby-an-experiment-on-a-bird-in-the-air-pump

    10

  • #
    pat

    Controversial marine physicist Professor Peter Ridd parts ways with JCU
    The Cairns Post-16 May 2018
    Townsville-based marine geophysicist Professor Peter Ridd is understood to have left JCU about two weeks ago, ending an academic career …

    18 May: TropicNow: Professor parts ways with James Cook University over climate change studies battle
    by Sharon Timms
    Controversial James Cook University professor Peter Ridd is no longer working at the university, but it’s unclear if he’s been sacked or resigned from his position…
    A JCU media spokesperson declined to comment on Prof. Ridd’s departure from the university due to “ongoing litigation before the court”.
    Due to a non-disclosure agreement, neither parties would comment on whether he was fired or resigned from the university…

    ***The JCU spokesman said the university “strongly supports academic freedom”.
    “JCU’s academic staff members are free to pursue critical and open inquiry and participate in public debate and express opinions about issues and ideas related to their respective field of competence, in accordance with the University’s Enterprise Agreement and Code of Conduct,” the spokesperson said.

    “The Code of Conduct is the standard by which we conduct ourselves towards others and perform our professional duties on behalf of the University, to the highest standards of ethical conduct.
    “All staff members must comply with the Code of Conduct. No employee is immune from their responsibilities to treat people with respect and to maintain professional standards of communication.”
    https://www.tropicnow.com.au/2018/may/16/controversial-professor-parts-ways-with-jcu.html

    ***no mention of when JCU spokesman made these remarks.

    40

    • #
      Peter C

      That is bad news about Professor Peter Ridd.

      I imagine that he has negotiated a payout from the University. I hope it was a princely sum.

      The good part is that he can speak more freely when he is no longer gagged by the Code of Conduct.

      Honestly I cannot see how he could have breached the Code of Conduct by his written comments ( in the IPA publication, Climate Change – The Facts 2017), nor in his spoken comments on the Alan Jones program. He was always polite and respectful, even if he had to be critical of the scientific output of some others at the JCU and the misnamed GBR Centre of Excellence!

      50

    • #
      el gordo

      Good catch Pat.

      I nominate Professor Peter Ridd for our scientific Blue Team, along with Jennifer Marohasy and four others.

      10

  • #
    pat

    17 May: ClimateChangeNews: German coal phase out commission to balance jobs with climate
    Leaked strategy paper leads on jobs and calls for environmental concerns to be ‘harmonised’ with economic development
    By Benjamin Wehrmann for Clean Energy Wire
    The upcoming commission tasked with the management of Germany’s coal exit will prioritise jobs and economic stability over climate protection, a strategy paper seen by the Clean Energy Wire suggests.

    “Federal government policy aims to create full employment and comparable living standards in all of Germany,” the paper’s first sentence reads, underlining the commission’s strategic priority of ensuring local economies weather the phase-out of both coal mining and coal-fired power production…

    But it says climate action must be “harmonised” with economic development and social considerations. First reported on (LINK) by Spiegel Online, the paper says growth and employment in affected regions must be supported by a fund to minimise the impact of the coal exit and other structural changes associated with the country’s Climate Action Plan.
    It says a first report on the economic perspectives of lignite mining regions will be compiled by October and the final recommendations ready by the end of 2018…

    The strategy paper says the commission will set a final date for the end of coal-fired power production but does not suggest any interim measures, such as the immediate shutdown of old coal plants called for by the Green Party and environmental NGOs. It says that for Germany to reach its 2030 climate target, carbon emissions from coal-fired power production will have to fall by 60 percent compared to 1990.
    http://www.climatechangenews.com/2018/05/17/german-coal-phase-commission-balance-jobs-climate/

    00

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    pat

    fascinating, tho deceptive in parts, as expected:

    17 May: PacificStandardMag: What a ‘Reproducibility Crisis’ Committee Found When It Looked at Climate Science
    The scientific community is working to make its predictions more accurate, but there’s still a long way to go.
    by Francie Diep
    As debate in Washington heats up over climate change and transparency in science, the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine held a quiet meeting last week to discuss just how consistent the results are across climate studies.

    The verdict, for those who follow the science, wasn’t too surprising. There’s broad agreement among climate studies that global warming is happening and human-driven. But as scientists work to zero in on exact forecasts of future temperatures and precipitation under a given amount of greenhouse gas emissions, they are still seeing a wide range of results. “The spread has gotten tighter, but it hasn’t gotten super tight,” is how NASA climate researcher Gavin Schmidt (LINK) puts it.

    During the meeting, a panel of experts provided updates on what the scientific community is doing to make its predictions more accurate. This was part of a larger project (LINK) examining reproducibility in different fields of science. As mandated (LINK) by the American Competitiveness and Innovation Act of 2017, the National Academies will produce a report about the state of the dependability of scientific findings after 18 months. They held their first meeting in December…

    One major ongoing challenge for verifying climate work is that climate data sets can be massive, requiring a supercomputer to process. So, technically speaking, sure, a data set is freely available online. But in practical terms, how many people will be able to use it? “Maybe you have a petabyte—10 to the 15th bytes—of information standing behind your conclusion. Reproducing that ain’t gonna be cheap,” says Rich Loft (LINK), one of the panelists and a chief technology officer at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado. The community has to work on fixes that help groups more easily assess each other’s work, Schmidt says…

    Meanwhile, critics of the idea of human-driven climate change have long called for more transparent data as a kind of distraction technique, Schmidt says. This, some argue, is what’s happening now with a hotly contested proposed Environmental Protection Agency rule. The rule says the science used in EPA policy-making must be publicly available, purportedly so that others can reproduce it…

    When it comes to climate science, the current state of transparency—”almost all” climate data is now public, Schmidt says—grew in part out of a real scandal and change of heart. In 2009, hackers stole and posted online a series of emails between leading climate scientists, which had been saved on servers at the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom. The emails revealed conflicts of interest among climate scientists conducting peer review on papers that contradicted their own work, and a reluctance among climate researchers to share their data, the Guardian reported.

    Although nothing in the “Climategate” emails suggested the basic conclusions of mainstream climate science are wrong, they provided fodder for skeptical politicians and likely shook the public’s trust in climate scientists. In response, members of the community became far more open and transparent about their data and techniques as well as when they were uncertain about results.

    This did little to settle skeptics; the basic findings of climate science are just as politically controversial today as they were a decade ago. Yet it opened the door for important re-analysis by some unconventional actors, Schmidt says. He pointed to a 2013 paper by a biochemist—someone who would have been unlikely to have access to climate data in the old regime—that helped reveal flaws in a commonly used data set. “It clearly is the case that having data out there helps people who are interested get involved and do good things,” Schmidt says.

    At last week’s meeting, Andrea Dutton, a scientist at the University of Florida who studies the Earth’s past climates, noted a silver lining to the hostile attention the field has received from folks who deny the reality of human-driven climate change: “This public scrutiny has, I think, helped us to up our game in all these areas and be better about being transparent.”
    https://psmag.com/environment/what-a-reproducibility-crisis-committee-found-when-it-looked-at-climate-science

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  • #
    el gordo

    US birth rate hits 30 year low.

    00

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    yarpos

    Financial and cultural settings are not conducive to nesting , unless you are having govt sponsored bsbies.

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    pat

    comment #6 by Another Ian has WUWT link about just experiencing 2 years of cooling. some of the comments criticise that the 2 years begin near the peak of a very strong El Nino.

    just noting the first comment under the Pacific Standard Mag “Reproducibility Crisis” article, comment #20, which I can’t confirm is accurate:

    comment by Paul Q:
    In 2013 I had a two year discussion with my close friend who was a member of the National Academy. I proved to him that National Academy climate studies were biased in choosing time frames which distorted their findings. They were consistently using 1900 and 1980 for beginning years for their studies. These two years mark the coldest decades in the last 150 years. He reviewed Academy studies and he agreed that I was correct. 1900 was considered the end of the “little ice age” and 1980 was the end of a 30 year period when the temperature actually dropped as emissions and concentrations of CO2 were growing faster. We are all biased but we also want to be heard and published. Scientist have no special place when it comes to integrity. Be skeptical.
    My friend was also a member of the National Research Council and one of his jobs was to find peers who would do peer reviews. Nobody wanted to do it and he had a terrible time getting help. As a psychologist he reviewed some climate studies and with little knowledge of the subject and he limited his review to methodology and ease of understanding.

    to be continued.

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      pat

      WUWT thread also bemoans how MSM has not acknowledged this recent cooling.
      however, it is mentioned in the following, by the new NASA Administrator, Jim Bridenstone, without any sniggering or laughing from the NASA staff in the room (even tho the staff have no problem with laughing when Bridenstone is asked a question about “climate change” by Bob Jacobs, NASA Deputy Associate Administrator for Communications at 22mins24secs in:

      17 May: Youtube: 1hr5mins50secs: NASA Video: Administrator Bridenstine Talks with NASA Employees at Agency Town Hall
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFqz7VBoZCE

      Jacobs question (paraphrasing): it’s from JPL and they want to know how your position on climate change and climate-monitoring has changed. what your position is specifically. and they add to it your thoughts about the CMF – carbon monitoring system – which has just been mentioned there, and things like the proposal to cancel the latest OCO mission (OCO3).

      Bridenstine (paraphrasing): OCO3 is still being developed by NASA and my understanding is, in January we’re going to launch it. it was not in the President’s budget, but Congress funded it; President signed the bill into law. so it hasn’t been cut etc…
      Now in the debate (on his bill in 2013)…there was moment when I said these words – temperatures quit rising ten years ago, but here’s what I know. my constituents will die in tornadoes this year, so let’s allocate resources where we can save lives and properties today. by the way, that ten-year timeline (?), I pulled up from the NASA website but, after that pause, it started going up immediately, like the next year and now there’s a spike and ***the last two years it’s gone down a little bit…

      reminder:

      22 Apr: UK Independent: Adam Lusher: Trump’s new Nasa chief Jim Bridenstine a ‘climate change denier’ who could make ‘terrifying’ decisions, US senators warn
      As Tea Party congressman is appointed to head Nasa, senators warn of ‘terrifying’ danger that a man who has ‘made a career out of ignoring science’ might disregard scientific advice about the safety of a space launch
      The confirmation of Mr Trump’s nominee came despite Mr Bridenstine telling Congress in 2013 that “global temperatures stopped rising ten years ago. Global temperature changes – when they exist – correlate with sun output and ocean cycles”.

      Not only did this statement rely on debunked claims of a global warming “hiatus”, it also flatly contradicted the first sentence of the Nasa website page explaining the causes of climate change: “Most climate scientists agree the main cause of the current global warming trend is human expansion of the ‘greenhouse effect’.”…

      During a November confirmation hearing Mr Bridenstine softened his position slightly to accept that global warming is still happening and “human activity absolutely is a contributor to the climate change that we are currently seeing.”

      But the Oklahoma congressman still refused to accept that humans were the primary drivers of climate change, instead saying: “It’s gonna depend on a whole lot of factors. We’re still learning more about that every day. In some years you could say absolutely. In other years during sun cycles and other things there are other contributing factors that would maybe have more than an impact.”…
      https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/james-bridenstine-nasa-climate-change-denier-donald-trump-ignoring-science-terrifying-launch-a8313966.html

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      Peter C

      Thanks pat,

      Yes of course some people will criticize the 2 years of cooling as cherry picked from the El Nino peak, and very correctly.

      I have not checked all the comments to his reference. Actually I have not even looked at his reference.

      The thing is this. Is there any world temperature data series which is reliable? I think not.

      At an individual site, one can look at that site for trends: Rutherglen has cooled. Reason, Introduction of irrigation to the region.
      https://jennifermarohasy.com/2015/09/snowy-hydro-responsible-for-cooling-at-rutherglen/

      If one finds WARMING at most sites, then one can assume that the warming is general.
      That has NEVER been demonstrated.

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      pat

      2nd followup re NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstone (first is in moderation).

      some MSM (tho not many) are making a big issue out of Bridenstone’s comments at the NASA town hall, but it is a little more nuanced if you listen to his full reply on the video and even in this Atlantic piece:

      17 May: The Atlantic: Trump’s NASA Chief: ‘I Fully Believe and Know the Climate Is Changing’
      “I also know that we human beings are contributing to it in a major way,” Jim Bridenstine said, taking an unusual stance for his administration.
      by Marina Koren
      “I don’t deny that consensus that the climate is changing,” he said. “In fact, I fully believe and know that the climate is changing. I also know that we humans beings are contributing to it in a major way. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. We’re putting it into the atmosphere in volumes that we haven’t seen, and that greenhouse gas is warming the planet. That is absolutely happening, and we are responsible for it.”

      ***Bridenstine did not say that humans are the main drivers of climate change…

      Bridenstine went further on Thursday than he has in the past — even in the very recent past, like at his Senate confirmation hearing in November…
      When Brian Schatz, a Democratic senator from Hawaii, questioned Bridenstine about his views on climate change, Bridenstine said, “I believe carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. I believe that humans are contributing to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.”
      “To what extent?” Schatz asked.
      ***“That is a question I do not have an answer to, but I do know that humans have absolutely contributed to global warming,” Bridenstine replied.
      “Are they the primary cause?” Schatz said.
      ***“It’s going to depend on a whole lot of factors, and we’re still learning more about that every day,” Bridenstine said. ***“In some years, you could say absolutely. In other years, during sun cycles and other things, there are other contributing factors that would have more of an impact.”…

      “This goes to show Jim is a realist and pragmatist on climate — much as we had hoped when we looked to the confirmation hearing to hear the right answers. The answer he gave today is the ***right answer,” says Phil Larson, a former adviser in the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy under Obama and the assistant dean of the University of Colorado at Boulder’s College of Engineering and Applied Sciences…

      “The climate has changed and is always changing,” said Raj Shah, the principal deputy press secretary. “To address climate change as well as other risks, the U.S. will continue to promote access to affordable and reliable energy and support technology, innovation and the development of modern and efficient infrastructure in order to reduce emissions and effectively address future climate-related risks.”
      https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/05/trump-nasa-climate-change-bridenstine/560642/

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      pat

      3rd followup re Bridenstone:

      17 May: NASA Watch: NASA Asks For Employee Questions For Bridenstine Town Hall
      By Keith Cowing
      Keith’s note: NASA has developed a bunch of pre-prepared questions (LINK) to be asked of NASA Administrator Bridenstine. NASA Employees were allowed to submit questions at http://nasa.gov/townhall. Then everyone had a chance to see them all and upvote their favorites. Oddly, a lot of these questions would certainly put Bridenstine on the spot if they were asked.

      Tune in to the NASA Town Hall With Jim Bridenstine at 11:00 am EDT on NASA TV to see which of these questions get asked – and which ones are actually spontaneous. You have your user guide to see which is which. I am told that the top questions will be asked.

      Reader note: “The top two questions (one about full-cost accounting, and one angling “diversity” toward accommodations for disabilities) have 70 more votes than the next top question, which is strange because neither of those questions were even ON the list at 4:25pm EDT yesterday. See attached … the sudden viral nature of those two new “top questions” seems very strange indeed.”
      (FOURTH TOP QUESTION VOTES-WISE IS PRETTY MUCH EXACTLY AS PUT: YOUR POSITION ON CLIMATE SCIENCE HAS CHANGED A LOT OVER 6 YEARS: WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT VIEW AND WHAT, SPECIFICALLY, INFORMS IT?)
      https://pythom.com/Is-NASA-Pre-screening-Questions-For-the-Bridenstine-Town-Hall-2018-05-17-27303

      17 May: Tweet: NASA Watch: Hey @AGUSciPolicy Yesterday you were asking #NASA Administrator @JimBridenstine for a commitment by @NASA to support Earth/climate science. OK, so he gave a rather clear one today including support of the NAS Decadal. Response from you? Nothing but crickets. #FAIL

      Tweet: 15 May: AGU Science Policy: “we unite and write you today to request a commitment to NASA’s role as an earth science agency.” @ScienceMarch is circulating a petition that will be sent to recently-appointed NASA head Jim Bridenstine.
      (LINKS TO)
      March for Science: Support NASA’s Role as an Earth Science Agency – Sign the Letter
      https://www.marchforscience.com/bridenstine

      Tweet: 17 May: AGU Science Policy: That’s great that @JimBridenstine has now publicly expressed that he believes in established climate science. Thanks for alerting us! We’d appreciate if you could reply with some links so we can circulate this story

      Tweet: 3h ago: NASA Watch: Here’s the video of the entire presentation by @JimBridenstine https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFqz7VBoZCE … Google “Bridenstine” and you will find plenty of stories.
      https://twitter.com/NASAWatch/status/997230554717224960

      funny thing is I can’t seen where AGU has posted the video sent to them by NASA Watch, neither on this twitter thread, nor on their main Twitter page:

      15 May Tweet: AGU Science Policy: “we unite and write you today to request a commitment to NASA’s role as an earth science agency.” @ScienceMarch is circulating a petition that will be sent to recently-appointed NASA head Jim Bridenstine.
      PLUS FIRST NASAWATCH TWEET, BUT NOT THEIR REPLY TO NASAWATCH, NOR NASAWATCH’S REPLY WITH THE VIDEO LINK
      https://twitter.com/AGUSciPolicy/status/997231606657114112

      as I said, nothing on the AGU main twitter page either. even when something re Trump fits the CAGW agenda (to some extent), it’s as if the CAGW don’t want to acknowledge it (whether it’s AGU or the MSM).

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        Peter C

        Who Is Jim Brindenstone?

        He has recently been appointed as the head of NASA.
        And until recently I thought that was a good decision, until I read this:

        NASA’S JIM BRIDENSTINE AGREES HUMANS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR CLIMATE CHANGE

        https://www.wired.com/story/nasas-jim-bridenstine-agrees-humans-are-responsible-for-climate-change/

        now I am not so sure.

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          pat

          Peter C -

          am still waiting for the comment with the video of the NASA Town Hall event to come out of moderation. comment with The Atlantic piece is also in moderation.
          but will post a little more from Bridenstine’s answer (paraphrasing).

          the first 22mins of the video is merely Bridenstine introducing himself to the staff, background, etc.

          so the first real question is the one about climate change from Bob Jacobs, NASA Deputy Associate Administrator for Communications, who introduces Bridenstine at the start of the video.

          Jacobs points at rest of staff in audience, says before we come to HQ, another easy one. about climate change (everyone laughs) Jacobs says well, we’ll see if I’m working here. (suggesting he might get fired for the CC question). Bridenstine laughs.

          following the excerpts I’ve already posted in the two comments in moderation, Bridenstine says:

          Bridenstine: NASA is the one agency on the face of the planet that has the most credibility to do the science necessary to understand it better than ever before. and maybe to allay the concerns of the person who asked the question, I’d like to share this. if you look at the President’s budget request for 2019, his budget line for earth science is higher than three of the budgets that were passed by President Obama. and if you look at what was passed into law for earth science just a couple of months ago in the Omnibus bill, it’s the second highest earth science budget ever signed in the history of NASA that the President has signed into law.

          here’s what I’ll tell you from my perspective. we need to make sure that NASA is continuing to do the science, and we need to make sure that the science is ***void and free from partisan or political kind of rhetoric and, to do that, what we do & have been doing – and I know Thomas Zurbuchen has been focussed on – is following the guidance of the National Academy of Science (NAS). we had a new decadal survey that came out in Jan 2018.

          I’ve told Thomas, and he’s telling his people, we are going to put together an architecture that is going to follow that guidance. water cycle/energy cycle are coupled, how that effects the changing climate; how ecosystems are changing based on how we as humans are changing the climate. extending weather forecasts.. understanding climate in general. reduce climate uncertainty. sea level rise.

          we have guidance from an apolitical, non-partisan NAS telling us what is important for humanity and we are going to follow it, and I intend to do that.

          what Bridenstine didn’t say is CO2 is the primary driver of CAGW. that is fine.

          plus from the “Reproducibility Crisis” article posted in comment #20, the following excerpts – especially given the meeting was kept quiet – make me wonder if NAS is coming to its senses:

          As debate in Washington heats up over climate change and transparency in science, the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine held a quiet meeting last week to discuss just how consistent the results are across climate studies.
          The verdict, for those who follow the science, wasn’t too surprising. There’s broad agreement among climate studies that global warming is happening and human-driven. But as scientists work to zero in on exact forecasts of future temperatures and precipitation under a given amount of greenhouse gas emissions, they are still seeing a wide range of results. “The spread has gotten tighter, but it hasn’t gotten super tight,” is how NASA climate researcher Gavin Schmidt (LINK) puts it.

          interesting indeed.

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    pat

    followup reply to comment #23 is in moderation.

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    pat

    have finished with Bridenstone followups, but this related piece has now been posted online:

    17 May: Science Mag: That NASA climate science program Trump axed? House lawmakers just moved to restore it
    By Jeffrey Mervis
    A U.S. House of Representatives spending panel voted today to restore a small NASA climate research program that President Donald Trump’s administration had quietly axed. (Click here to read our earlier coverage.)

    The House appropriations panel that oversees NASA unanimously approved an amendment to a 2019 spending bill that orders the space agency to set aside $10 million within its Earth science budget for a “climate monitoring system” that studies “biogeochemical processes to better understand the major factors driving short and long term climate change.”

    That sounds almost identical to the work that NASA’s Carbon Monitoring System (CMS) was doing before the Trump administration targeted the program, which was getting about $10 million annually, for elimination this year…

    Assuming the money is intended to restore CMS, researchers familiar with the program were hailing the vote. “That’s great news!” earth scientist Pontus Olofsson of Boston University in Massachusetts wrote in an email. “[W]e need a research program that investigates the use of all the data and tools we now have at our disposal for the how to study, understand and mitigate carbon emissions. NASA CMS is such a research program and it’s essential that the program will be allowed to continue its work.”

    “Effective climate policies require the ability to accurately and independently measure greenhouse gas emissions,” Philip Duffy, president and executive director of the Woods Hole Research Center in Massachusetts wrote in an email. “I applaud today’s bipartisan action.”…

    It was offered by Representative John Culberson (R-TX), chairman of the spending panel that oversees NASA. Culberson cited the climate program’s importance as part of the agency’s efforts to track all sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Culberson also thanked Representative Matt Cartwright (D-PA) for urging him to restore funding for the monitoring system.

    The bill now goes to the full House, and ultimately will need to be reconciled with a parallel bill in the Senate. It will likely be several months before Congress completes action on the 2019 budget.

    Here is the text of the amendment…READ ON
    http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/05/nasa-climate-science-program-trump-axed-house-lawmakers-just-moved-restore-it

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      Peter C

      Satellites are well placed for climate monitoring. The UAH temperature series is good evidence for that.

      NASA launches and manages satellites.

      The question is; should NASA conduct its own CLIMATE RESEARCH. I think not. NASA is a technological and Engineering Organisation. They put a Man on the Moon. Let them do that sort of thing, which they have been mostly good at in the past.

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    Peter C

    The Federal Budget 2018

    this budget is the highest taxing, spending, and debt budget in Australia’s history.

    Ref; John Roskam, IPA Newsletter 16 May 2018

    Is this something that we should be worried about?
    I think so.

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    • #

      Yes Peter,

      What the Minister fer Goldman Sachs has done is reduce
      serf choices at the ballot box. ‘Tis now betwixt two
      top-down guv-uh-mint alternatives. Freedom of choice :(

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1B2tyKfrChQ

      …See ya’ at the IPA!

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        Peter C

        Thanks Beth.

        We do have to catch up.

        It seems that we might have stood next to each other at the Freedom of Speech Rally in Melbourne in Feb. Did you come with some young children?

        I will advise if I am going to any IPA functions.

        I will be at the Friedman Conference in Sydney on 26-27 May, but that might be too distant.

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      Hanrahan

      The problem is not so much this years budget but whether there is anyone with power on either side that gives a rats. There ain’t.

      I cannot believe that Turnbull is so doggone lazy that Shorten gets away with blatant lies and is not taken to task.

      Hound dog howling so forlorn
      Laziest dog that ever was born
      He’s howling cause he’s sitting on a thorn
      Just too darn lazy to move over.

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    Mary E

    Seems that the push to reinforce CAGW is getting more desperate. Several headlines screaming “The earth has had warmer-than-average temperatures for 400 straight months now” and the world’s peoples are finally getting the message, running about and tearing at their clothes and hair all in a panic.

    Wait, no, they -aren’t-. I hear…. yawns.

    “April marked the 400th consecutive month with global temperatures exceeding the 20th century average, more evidence the Earth is warming, according to the U.S. National Centers for Environmental Information in Asheville, North Carolina.

    “The milestone only highlights what we already know — the world has warmed over the last several decades and it continues to warm,” said Jake Crouch, a scientist at the National Centers for Environmental Information.

    The combined ocean and land temperature was 1.49 degrees Fahrenheit (0.83 degrees Celsius) above the 20th century average of 56.7 degrees in April. That made last month the third-warmest April in records going back to 1880, even as temperatures plunged across the U.S. The warmest year on record was 2016, followed by 2015, 2017 and 2014.” (Bloomberg)

    And

    “April 2018 was the 400th consecutive month of global temperatures above the 20th century average, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ( NOAA) announced Thursday.
    That means the last time Earth was cooler than that average was December 1984—the same month Band Aid released “Do They Know It’s Christmas.”"
    (EcoWatch)

    And

    “(CNN)For 400 consecutive months — that’s more than 33 years — the earth’s temperature has been above average, and climatologists aren’t mincing words as to why.
    The dubious milestone was reported in the April edition of NOAA’s monthly global climate report. The report also states that this April had the third-highest temperatures of any April since NOAA began collecting such records in 1880.
    “It’s mainly due to anthropogenic (human-caused) warming,” NOAA climatologst Ahira Sanchez told CNN. “Climate change is real, and we will continue to see global temperatures increase in the future.”"
    (CNN)

    And one last one – “It was December 1984, and President Reagan had just been elected to his second term, Dynasty was the top show on TV and Madonna’s Like a Virgin topped the musical charts.
    It was also the last time the Earth had a cooler-than-average month.
    Last month marked the planet’s 400th consecutive month with above-average temperatures, federal scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Thursday.
    The cause for the streak? Unquestionably, it’s climate change, caused by humanity’s burning of fossil fuels. “
    (USA Today)

    I don’t know whether to laugh or shout at these over-the-top attempts at bullying us into fear and guilt and action!

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    Hanrahan

    Here’s something for our overseas friends.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIRT7lf8byw

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