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

Crocodiles and Jellyfish are coming to get you — stay safe, install solar now!

Oh the dilemma. When faced with a crocodile do you get out a gun or put up a windmill?

It could be that natural cycles change animal habitats as they have for millions of years. It could be that we made crocodiles a protected species and stopped hunting and killing the wild ones in Queensland from 1974, but whatever, it must be climate, climate, climate. Buy an EV and stop the spread of crocodiles!

Crikey! Crocs heading south and other changes forecast for Australia’s wildlife

ABC “Science” By environment reporter Nick Kilvert

The chances of limiting climate change appear to be growing slimmer by the day — and this may have big implications for Australia’s wildlife.

Recently a number of crocodiles have been trapped in the Mary River, just 105 kilometres north of Noosa and 250km south of their usual range.

Irukandji jellyfish too, appear to be expanding south, with 10 suspected stings near Fraser Island and a child stung at Mooloolaba last year.

Numerous tropical fish have been recorded up to 1,000 kilometres south of their traditional range, such as the Great Barrier Reef’s lemon-peel angelfish which turned up on [...]

Junk generators: 2 million expensive solar panels cut Australian total CO2 emissions by 1%

Solar panels across Australia reduce our emissions by almost nothing.

The ABC is whipping Gorgon for not getting carbon sequestration to work, claiming that this is a crisis that will wipe out the entire “gain” from installing two million solar panels across Australia. What the ABC don’t say is that the entire infrastructure of solar panels (on 20% of Australian homes) is only reducing our CO2 emissions by one pointless percent. So the Gorgon delay in achieving the impossible is likewise irrelevant. Australian emissions are rising at 1.5% pa now anyhow.

In terms of our national emissions, the real question is if we shut every solar panel in the nation would anyone notice?

Despite the $1.1b budget, the ABC could have got this bigger and more useful perspective for free from any number of skeptics, none of whom it tried to interview.

With minimal training in arithmetic ABC staff could even have figured it out for themselves. Instead, as per usual, the ABC provides free advertorials for green-industry hacks, with no hard questions and little research.

Can someone please explain to ABC investigative journalists the difference between a megaton and a ton? All they had to do was graph [...]

ABC comedy, the jokes on you — Here’s to a holiday on stained mattresses in the back yard

Thank the ABC. This is the best comedy I’ve seen them do on “climate change” — albeit unwittingly.  The ABC has a new comedy show on Wednesday nights called RoadMap to Paradise.

This is Big-Government Comedy. You’ll swear this was made by a skeptic. No really.

Unconvinced that ‘feel good’ environmentalism is making any real impact @mrcoreywhite sets out to come up with a fresh solution. Could incentivising greed and laziness for a good cause be just what this country needs? #RoadmapToParadise tonight at 9.35pm. pic.twitter.com/JJUqU4lblp

— ABC TV Australia (@ABCTV) June 20, 2018

Is he a skeptic infiltrator? Nooo. The same episode includes an interview with a CSIRO scientist, Kathleen McInnes, who drops in to tell us things are “pretty bad”. And one of Corey White’s big ideas is to treat Elon Musk’s business like a tax deductible religion. I don’t think he sees the funny side of that either.

What was he thinking?

It’s tough being a comedian.

I’m guessing Cory White wanted to expose the futility of individual voluntary action to change the planet’s climate, with the bigger aim of convincing the audience that only Big-Government regulation can save us!

Sadly for him, Big-government action [...]

Let us choose: If the public really thinks ABC is “priceless” they will be happy to pay for it

Australia’s public broadcaster is under public fire. It’s about time.

The rank and file of the Liberal Party voted to sell it off which sparked off a national debate about the value of subsidizing the largest media outlet in the country in an era when the average Australian can broadcast their opinion for free from their own phone. We don’t need a government funded voice, we just need free speech.

Fighting back, the ABC head says Australians think the “ABC is priceless”, so I say: Fine — let those people pay for it.

I’m Pro-Choice on the ABC. Let the people choose which media outlets they want to contribute to. Since the ABC costs $1.1b that’s about $50 per person per annum or $200 per household of four (assuming everyone pays, which they won’t). I say, launch the IPO, sell the shares, or at least, give us the tick-a-box option on our tax return. Make it voluntary.

Stop the forced payments for Big-Government-lovin’ propaganda

We could spell out the actual cost on the tax returns, and ask who wants to pay…

In a democracy this could be done for lots of items — want to send your tax dollars [...]

Midweek Unthreaded

Chinese set up a giant strawman carbon market twice size of EU

What would China do if it wanted competitors to keep shackling themselves to an industry-crippling religious weather-fetish?

mock their economy-killing stupidity openly til they realized it, or nod vigorously and set up a big inflatable strawman idol in the streets of Shanghai? It protects no fields but looks convincing to Greenpeace and good enough for Goldman Sachs…

Notice the size of the carbon markets: The EU’s trading scheme is the largest in the world and “covers” 1.8 gigatons of carbon emissions.  China’s power sector (just power) produces 3 gigatons of emissions. The plan is to carefully strap a very mild carbon market on the Chinese power sector starting in 2020 and expand it later to other industries which would then include some 5 gigatons of emissions.

Sounds like a marvelous advert for people trying to sell carbon trading schemes:

Clean-energy advocates trumpeted the creation of the planet’s largest carbon market, which will be nearly twice the size of the European Union’s.

The headline in TechnologyReview, James Temple:

China is creating a huge carbon market—but not a particularly aggressive one

Not aggressive is the phrase  – join these dots:

… the government’s goal for now is to reduce the [...]

Renewables Fail: fossil fuels, coal, same dominance of our energy mix as 20 years ago

Despite 20 years of non-stop propaganda and belligerent namecalling, strangely, expert green policies have achieved exactly nothing of what they said they aimed for. Coal provided 38% of our power in 1998 and it is still the same 38% in 2017. The non-fossil fuel sector has actually declined slightly as nukes decrease.

We spent billions doing exactly what was asked. Perhaps following the advice of people who think the debate is over and “denier” is a scientific term might not be the best national energy policy?

Fuel shares in global power generation for the last 20 years  |  BP Energy Review, 2018.

Long-term dominance of fossil fuels unchallenged

Graham Lloyd, The Australian

Global demand for coal and gas to generate electricity was back on the rise last year …

Most striking had been the failure of renewable energy to make an impact on the fossil fuels share of power generation, BP group chief economist Spencer Dale said.

“Despite the extraordinary (global) growth in renewables in recent years, and the huge policy efforts to encourage a shift away from coal into cleaner, lower carbon fuels, there has been almost no improvement in [...]

Weekend Unthreaded

JCU staff too scared to use their uni email – this is what “academic freedom” looks like

Academic Freedom in Australia: Academics are free to use hotmail at work

For the first time in months the ABC suddenly finds time to mention Professor Peter Ridd — but not because he got sacked for an email with the illegal line “for your amusement”.  That new development in academic freedom was not newsworthy on the billion dollar ABC site.  Nor did the-blob’s-ABC feel Australians needed to know that the international outcry over his sacking was so strong that Ridd raised $160,000 in donations in a mere couple of days. However now things are apparently “serious”: other academics at JCU have given up using the official email network, hiding their thoughts on hotmail and gmail instead. Finally, 27 days after he was sacked, the ABC have arrived…

Management of JCU insists Ridd’s sacking was not about academic freedom. But everyone at JCU acts otherwise. Staff at JCU now know exactly how free they are — if they say something the management doesn’t like, they too could be victims of a personalized email trawl. Anyone could lose their job at any time for falling foul of a selectively enforced and unknowable “code of conduct”.

James Cook University staff avoid using emails [...]