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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Think it has been debunked? See here.

The Skeptics Handbook II

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Who wants to aim for the Paris policy, or worse the 2 °C target, and starve 84 million more people?

Fujimori et al estimate that if we aim for the 2°C Paris commitment as many as 84 million more people will be going hungry by 2050. Their solution, naturally, is to still aim for futile, global weather management targets, but to add another layer of socialist complexity and welfare. It’s only money.

If we feed corn to cars instead of people, and we limit land-use to carbon storage rather than food crops, how could the outcome be any other way? A million dead here, a million dead there, and pretty soon someone will be using their deaths to ask for for a grant, a tax, and a supranational committee.

For thirty years people have been saying we need to reduce our emissions as a precaution even though we can’t predict the climate. But when we can predict that people will starve, the principle seems to be do it anyway and “give them your money”. I can find zero mentions of the precautionary principle in their paper.

This paper is, yet again, another variation on a plea for more governance, more tax, more fiddling with global systems.

Inclusive climate change mitigation and food security policy under 1.5 °C climate goal Abstract

Global warming means a global fall in wildfires

Strangely, despite NASA Giss “discovering” that the world has heated a lot since 1998, fires have declined.

Apparently increasing our CO2 emissions means less fires. Tell the world.

Figure 2. Wildfire occurrence (a) and corresponding area burnt (b) in the European Mediterranean region for the period 1980 – 2010. Source: San-Miguel-Ayanz et al. [37].

This new paper points out that the perception is that fires are worse than they have ever been, but that this is simply not true, not in the last thirty years, and not in the last few hundred either. It also documents how much money and effort we put into suppressing almost all fires and that this is in contrast to tens of thousands of years where humans used fire as a tool. Suppressing fires is getting increasingly expensive and sometimes costs lives as well.

Putting things in perspective. We spend a lot of money to avoid death and damage by fire, yet earthquakes kill 700 times as many people and floods kill 1,800 times as many people. There is something primal about fire that we feel driven to stop.

Table 1. Global comparison of human and economic losses derived from wildfire, earthquakes and flood [...]

The Crash Test Dummy speeds up: our Renewable Target is 16% and rising, so are our electricity prices

The Renewables Lobby subsidy and handouts are still growing. In 2018, Australia must get 16% of all our electricity from “renewables”, up from 14.2% last year.

That’s 28,000 Gigawatt hours of magical green electrons from generators that give us nice weather as opposed to generators that cause droughts, floods, cyclones and spread crocodiles, dengue fever, cause wars and change butterflies.

Welcome to modern Australia where our grid is designed by witchcraft, run by superstition, and panders to every whim of the Giant Renewables Industry Lobby.

The noose tightens in Australia.

Renewables must supply 16% of our electricity in 2018, and even more in 2019.

Source: 2001-2030 Annual Targets and renewable power percentages, Clean Energy Regulator.

Prices are rising too: Could there be a connection here?

Even the ABC now says “Something has gone terribly wrong with our electricity prices”. Prices went off the ranch from 2007, rising much faster than the CPI. This is also the point Australia started ramping up the intermittent renewables. Before that the Snowy Hydro Scheme –the only reliable and cost effective form of renewable power — had been operating for decades. Correlation is [...]

Weekend Unthreaded

As it got hotter in Spain, less people died. Thank air conditioning and electricity.

Cheap energy might save more lives than expensive “climate-changey” energy?

Researchers looked at 47 major cities in Spain, from 1980 to 2015 and checked 554,491 deaths. Even though temperatures have risen, less people are dying of heat in Spain. Apparently human ingenuity, energy and air conditioners were more than able to keep up with climate change. The population is older but less vulnerable to heat now than it was forty years ago.

Air conditioners rose from 5% of the population to 35% during the study period.

Oh the dilemma — to save lives, should we build more windmills to try to change the global climate or aim to get 100% of households access to an air conditioner?

Welcome to the dire threat of climate change:

The relative risk of death fell as temperatures rose (According to the model used). See the caption below.

From the Discussion in the paper:

The temporal evolution of heat-related mortality risks here found is, in general, consistent with those reported by previous studies in some other countries [12–15], which provide evidence for a decrease in vulnerability to climate warming despite the ageing of societies. For example, in Spain, the proportion of people [...]

Climate Change is a ratings killer — Everyone is bored to death of the sermon

After 30 years with no debate and one predictable, repeated lecture the audience is switching off

Scott Whitlock at Newsbusters reports that one climate-worrier journalist revealed in a tweet that climate change kills the ratings. Another tweeter had prodded Liberal MSNBC journalist Chris Hayes to cover more on climate change. “Acting like there is nothing to be done is not excusable.”

In reply Chris Hayes lamented:

“almost without exception. every single time we’ve covered it’s been a palpable ratings killer. so the incentives are not great.”

@chrislhayes 24 July 2018

Those crashing ratings would change overnight if news networks threw open the doors and pitted skeptics against believers in a real televised form of debate. The spectators would suddenly be able to pick sides — may the best person win. There would be genuine controversy. Sacred cows would be slaughtered, and for a while at least, climate change would rate well.

What stops the media doing this? Most editors are too scared of being called climate deniers if they dare allow the other side to speak. Look at the pushback when the BBC allowed Professor Bob Carter to do one interview:

The [...]

Scientist create, then cure, baldness, wrinkles and some aging in mice

Here’s a tantalizing bit of gene research. Scientists were able to switch off a central gene in the nucleus of a mouse cell. That in turn meant the mouse’s mitochondria started failing (I’m going to be talking a lot more about these fascinating bits of machinery in our cells). After two months, the poor lab mice were wrinkled, going bald and their organs were aging rapidly, but lo, after the gene in the nucleus was switched on again, the mitochondria were restored, and wow, all the hair and skin grew back to what it had been before.

Mitochondria have their own DNA loops.

Why get excited about mitochondria? These are tiny biological batteries we have inside every cell. The are the mini-factories burning sugar or fat, generating free radicals on a mass scale and churning out the chemical energy that is then used in most of the chemical reactions in our body. They are turning up in every second paper these days related to aging. These little organelles are so important and rule breaking they even have their own DNA loops with 37 genes — this is the only genetic material in us that is not part of the [...]

Turn off all wind and solar at 6pm peak time — makes no difference

All those billions we spent and yet at 6pm, many days coal, gas and hydro provide 98% of the power Australia needs. Wind and solar are our spare bikes, the third ski, the Banana-Slicers of the National Grid (read those reviews). Just what would we do if wind and solar were all we had? — Jo

At peak time intermittent renewables often make less than 2% of total Australian electricity

Guest Post by Anton Lang (TonyFromOz)

h/t to Rafe Campion at Catalaxy

When power is required the most, wind and solar are missing almost entirely. This isn’t cherry picking of one time — peak time is the most important time on the grid, when the most power is required.  The almost non-existent contribution from renewables is so common it has occurred now for seven days out of the last 14 days.

I’ve been doing a series on the Australian generation and demand curves on a daily basis for seven weeks, the totals are settling down, so that now the percentage changes are only in tenths of a percent, and consider that when it comes to total power and coal fired power, a tenth of one percent is 600MegaWattHours, so at [...]

Midweek Unthreaded

California – so advanced they can keep the lights on quite a lot of the time

In LA temperatures are forecast to reach as high as 32C (90F) on Monday and 36C (97F) on Wednesday. (They call this a heatwave?) But gas is running so short that Californians are being asked to turn off non-essential lights and not use their biggest appliances from 5pm to 9pm.

Welcome to the future, where you need to plan ahead to run your washing machine or oven.

Back in the dark ages when we had coal plants, we just switched these things on hither, thither…

California power grid urges consumers to conserve energy in heat wave

(Reuters) – California’s power grid operator on Monday issued an alert to homes and businesses to conserve electricity on Tuesday and Wednesday when a heat wave is expected to blanket the state.

SoCalGas issued a gas curtailment watch on Monday, notifying customers to be prepared to reduce gas use if needed…  the watch would remain in effect until further notice.

The ISO said consumers “can help avoid power interruptions” by turning off all unnecessary lights, using major appliances before 5 p.m. and after 9 p.m., and setting air conditioners to 78 degrees or higher.

By [...]

The mysterious vanishing of the We Love Trump rally in the UK

While everyone saw the flying baby Trump balloon, did your local Fake News Media show you footage of the “We Love Trump” rally?

 

The ABC includes three videos of the anti-Trump events, but only a couple of still shots of the pro-Trump counter protestors which were described as a “small group”.

The ABC description on July 14th

Huge police numbers were on hand to manage the crowds in London, with only small flare-ups occurring when the demonstrators clashed with pro-Trump counter-protesters outside a pub on Whitehall. Wearing Make America Great Again hats, the small group chanted “USA” and also voiced their support for English far-right activist Tommy Robinson.

There’s no mention that the original Welcome Trump rally was banned from gathering at the US embassy and marching on Whitehall even though the large anti-Trump rally was permitted.

But our ABC did feature an interview with a guy wearing a MAGA hat that was there because he “happened across the March”. Obviously the ABC needs more money so it can train staff to use Youtube and teach the Arts grads how to interview leaders of protests instead of anonymous random uninvolved bystanders.

Tommy Robinson seems also to [...]

Weekend Unthreaded

For all the other stuff….

UK: smart meters are expected to save a whopping £11 annually

No one needed a smart meter when we had smart baseload.  Beware Australians, despite the promises and threats, smart meters may or may not make UK customers a paltry saving. When all is said and done it’s not even clear the benefits outweigh the costs.

 People who have smart meters installed are expected to save an average of £11 annually on their energy bills, much less than originally hoped. A report from a parliamentary group now predicts a dual fuel saving of £26.

Customer pays, but energy firms save more:

Customers have financed the smart meter programme by paying a levy on their energy bills, while suppliers have frequently blamed the levy for rising costs. However, the report claimed most of the eventual savings would be made by energy firms, rather than consumers.

It is an £11 billion programme. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it appears the country would be richer if the government just gave back £170 to each person instead.

Smart meter looks like a dumb elephant:

The report also said that:

More than half of smart meters “go dumb” after switching, meaning they stop communicating with the supplier [...]

Canadian former PM says let the others do a carbon tax and conservatives will win every province and the nation

Skeptics are winning

Stephen Harper must have watched the Tony Abbott win, the Trump win, and the Doug Ford win in Ontario. He gets the message. When will Australian conservatives? Fully 48% of Australian’s are happy to pull out of Paris. Plus 14% more are undecided, there for the taking – convince them.

Trudeau’s aggressive climate action plan appears dead Trudeau’s Tough Climate Polices Face a Mounting Backlash

Bloomberg, Christopher Flavelle  and Josh Wingrove

As that [carbon] price is about to take effect, growing opposition has put Trudeau on the defensive and has provincial governments rolling back other measures, raising questions about the appetite of this oil-exporting country to tackle climate change.

Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, said Thursday it would join a legal challenge against Trudeau’s carbon pricing. Polls suggest Alberta, the center of Canada’s oil and gas industry, will soon elect a government that opposes the plan. And Trudeau’s own chances of reelection next year have fallen, as his opponents seize on public resistance to carbon pricing.

Trudeau’s carbon tax looks pretty much dead now that most provinces are out

Click to enlarge

Financial Post, [...]

In Australia free speech costs $68,000

Say you want to speak something you believe to be true, but it may offend or upset some people. Violent thugs threaten to turn up. In Victoria the police bills the non-violent speaker — in this case $68,000 in order to keep the peace.

How is this not “protection money” and with the police working in cohoots with bullies?

Andrew Bolt:

I am calling out Victoria’s Police and their masters in the Labor government. Why are you cooperating with violent fascists of the Left to stop conservatives or people of the right from holding meetings? This $68,000 bill to protect Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux is a disgrace.

Tim Andrews, AustralianTaxPayers Alliance

Rather than going after people who actually cause violence, the Victorian police are trying to shut down a legal, law-abiding speaker and prevent her from giving a lecture. Because of threats made by some Marxist thugs.

This is just not on.

If you believe – like I do – in freedom of speech, then join us in our campaign and contact the Victorian Government to demand action. 

This goes to the very heart of freedom of speech in [...]