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

The Chinese coal fired steam engine from hell. Holy Volcano Train!

While Elon is charging up the EV to save the world, in China somewhere coal-fired steam trains live on, burning coal, hauling coal, spewing coal up in the air.

Get a load of this industrial marvel. This is the Fossil Fuel Nightmare Express. Raining live climate destruction at 6pm.

Surely the ultimate Iowahawk Grand Champion Carbonator of all time.

  h/t co2isnotevil

This is one way to illuminate fields and warn oncoming traffic.

This apparently is a working steam locomotive running to and from the Sandaoling Coal Mine Railway China Dec 2016.

The video starts slow but builds. Even in the first daylight pass the embers are obvious (around 1 minute). Then there are the nightime sweeps…

Commenters underneath are both impressed and aghast:

  Pat’s Trains

what are they feeding that thing! the souls of the damned?

Scott M Stolz

That looks perfectly safe, with the open rail cars of coal, and all. TheOneWhoMightBe Only one of these wagons is actual ‘load’. The rest is used to get the train up the hill.   Steven Parry

This display, while incredible, shows how desperately ill-maintained these steamers are. The coal burning steamers tend to build [...]

Dump Paris says former BHP Chief Jerry Ellis

Retired chiefs are an asset — they can say what they think without worrying that they will offend a politician.

Jerry Ellis is a truly independent opinion. Just the kind of guy the very dependent ABC won’t put on the 7:30 report this week.

Ex-BHP Chief: Scrap Paris Now by Tony Thomas

Ex-chairman of BHP (1997-99), Jerry Ellis  (left) ex-chancellor of Monash University, and an ex-director of ANZ Bank, has called for Australia to dump the 2015 Paris climate agreement. Ellis’s intervention puts cat among climate pigeons. 

The alarmists like to lie that sceptics are a fringe group. Ellis is hardly fringe. His former BHP continues to promote the story about human-caused catastrophic CO2 warming, as does Monash University. Ellis is an awkwardness for both.

By coming out against climate alarmism, Ellis, 81,  is giving added respectability to scepticism, much as ex-PM Tony Abbott did with his London sceptic speech of last October.[i] The credibility of the sceptic case, of course, rests not on authority figures but data such as the  more than two-fold exaggeration of warming since 1980 by the climate models on which the CO2 scare is based.

Here is [...]

It’s not a job interview, This is hell — and other stuff the ABC left out of our news.

One of the fieriest and most apt speeches in Washington was surely from Senator Graham. Since ABC viewers have missed this, I thought I would help out.

If the Democrats get away with this (so they can do it again) only a kevlar-coated-narcissist would want to run for public office.

Question for the #Metoo movement. When the mob rules and evidence is irrelevant, which gender will be less likely to want to play the game?

Weapons grade bullying is a good way to keep good men out of politics but it’s even better at keeping good women out. Good one gals.

Americans may wonder why other nations don’t understand them:

Exhibit A:   ABC National News, IView 14:08  (sorry if people overseas can’t see this)

Today tens of thousands of Australians will feel certain that they saw the key moments of the hearing and they will know that Kavanaugh is an abuser because the ABC told them so, right in the first line. Ford was there to warn Senators, Kavanaugh was an abuser. (The ABC actually said that).  Her claims were portrayed in graphic detail, and she was painted as a victim from the second line. In contrast, Kavanaugh’s words [...]

We Are Living Nineteen Eighty-Four

Some points here that the national media may not have shared. Supreme Court Justices in the most powerful Democracy on Earth may be at the point of being selected by character assassination. Evidence is so old fashioned…

As Donald Trump says “ it’s a ‘very big cultural moment‘ for the United States.” In terms of civilizations, some things matter.

We Are Living Nineteen Eighty-Four Authored by Victor David Hanson, National Review

Truth, due process, evidence, rights of the accused: All are swept aside in pursuit of the progressive agenda. 

In Orwell’s world of 1984 Oceania, there is no longer a sense of due process, free inquiry, rules of evidence and cross examination, much less a presumption of innocence until proven guilty. Instead, regimented ideology — the supremacy of state power to control all aspects of one’s life to enforce a fossilized idea of mandated quality — warps everything from the use of language to private life.

Newspeak and Doublethink

Statute of limitations? It does not exist. An incident 36 years ago apparently is as fresh today as it was when Kavanaugh was 17 and Ford 15.

Presumption of Innocence? Not at all. Kavanaugh [...]

Add that to the windpower bill: SA Battery cost $90m which is $220 per family of four

The ABC reports that finally the people of SA can find out what the emergency Tesla battery cost — $56 per person, or $220 per family, just for the purchase, not for the operation. Hands up South Australians, who would have rushed to sign up to be the Star Renewable State if they had to sign the checks themselves and their electricity bill had a item called: “The price of renewables”.

South Australia didn’t need a battery when it had coal power:

A 505-page report released by Neoen this month ahead of an initial public offering suggested the battery cost around $90 million, at the current exchange rate.

The giant 100-megawatt lithium ion battery near Jamestown in the state’s mid-north commenced operation late last year.

“It actually costs taxpayers’ money. There’s a cost of $4-5 million a year to have the battery in place.

“There are more costs than that involved.

Where does Giles Parkinson think these “revenues” come from?

However, Giles Parkinson said the battery was on track to “make revenues of about $25-26 million in its first year”

The battery makes no electricity. All it does is shift [...]

Secret coal boom in China. Photos show massive construction at “closed” plants. Death of Coal is FakeNews.

China said it would stop coal power construction, but CoalSwarm activists have caught it restarting construction at many plants it said it would close. It’s a tsunami of coal plants according to EndCoal. We’re talking about new capacity of 259GW, equivalent to the entire US coal fleet or more than ten times the total Australian coal fleet (23GW).

China said it was done with these coal plants. Satellite imagery shows otherwise. By Nathanael Johnson on Sep 25, 2018 Newly released satellite photos appear to show continuing construction of coal plants that China said it was cancelling last year, according to CoalSwarm. In January 2017, China announced that it was canceling more than 100 coal plants across 13 provinces. At the time, a researcher familiar with Chinese politics said that regional officials might try to skirt the central government’s order.

The Huadian Plant was suspended in Jan 2017, but look at those cooling towers…. (Slide the centre line left and right).

Satellite imagery from Planet, February 2017 to March 2018, shows construction clearly ongoing at the plant.

Matt McGrath, BBC News

Building work has restarted at hundreds of Chinese coal-fired power stations, according to an analysis of satellite imagery.

[...]

Midweek Unthreaded

Australian Doublespeak: a policy “vacuum” still means $billions in renewables subsidies

From the headlines you might think Australia is going to stop giving free money to Renewables shareholders from 2020:

Australia abandons plan to cut carbon emissions

Scientists say this move amounts to walking away from the Paris Climate agreement.

–  Adam Morton, Nature, Sept 2018, vol 561, page 293

Australian energy policy vacuum beyond 2020 officially confirmed

An energy policy vacuum in Australia beyond 2020 is now looking inevitable, with the baseload-focused reliability guarantee the sole remaining piece of the shelved National Energy Guarantee the Coalition government is hanging onto.

–PV Magazine Australia

My reading is that this is wild exaggerated spin (and that Nature used to be a science journal). Remember that Kevin Rudd signed away $7 billion dollars in a flick just before he left Parliament. He extended the RET subsidies to keep drawing from your electricity bills til 2030:

Electricity customers face an extra burden of between $3.8 billion and $7.5bn in “windfall” subsidies for renewable power generators in the next decade ­because of the stroke of a pen in the last months of Kevin Rudd’s prime ministership. Against advice from consultants, energy companies and [...]

Iceland Katla volcano emits up to 24,000 tons of CO2 per day, may be about to blow (Or Not)

Either Katla in Iceland is about to blow or it isn’t.  It is a subglacial volcano giving off five to ten times more CO2 than vulcanologists expected. This has some experts spooked, though others are saying it’s not that unusual.

UPDATE: The lead researcher herself adds that her work does not suggest an eruption is imminent, nor that it would be like the theEyjafjallajokull eruption in any case. h/t Pat for the new take. Apparently The Sunday Times has been exaggerating… “Ilyinskaya tweeted that she has previously told the Sunday Times that “the severity of Eyjafjallajökull air traffic disruption was very unusual and unlikely to happen if Katla erupts, and still, they quote me as saying exactly the opposite!”

Katla volcano set to erupt, Patrick Knox, The Sun

Katla Volcano, Iceland, 1918

Icelandic and British volcanologists have detected Katla— Icelandic for “kettle” or “boiler” — is emitting carbon dioxide on a huge scale which suggests magma chambers are filling up fast.

According to the Sunday Times, the scientists believe it could be an indicator that an eruption could be brewing which would overshadow the eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in 2010.

The emissions are in the order [...]

Weekend Unthreaded

ABC Fake News Bubble needs conspiracy theories about Murdoch and Stokes

It’s Projection — the ABC fantasize about Murdoch and Stokes because the ABC wants that power themselves

Turnbull was the ABC’s pick for least-worst Conservative PM. They didn’t predict nor craft his demise, 45 elected representatives did. The People foiled the ABC, but instead of admitting that conservative voters matter, the ABC staff project their own desire to pick PM’s onto Murdoch and Stokes — which feeds the self serving fantasy that Australians need to pay for a national broadcaster to oppose big nasty corporates and their fake power.

While the ABC has no conservative commentators, as in zero, some other media outlets allow both sides of politics to speak — which clearly threatens the ABC bubble. Therefore it serves the ABC entirely to delegitimize the competition and to paint them as mindless corporate sock puppets.

The whole fake news conspiracy theory is bizarre beyond analysis. Rupert Murdoch supposedly picked PM’s by demanding his national masthead paper run no editorials calling for Turnbull’s demise, and silence no commentator that defended him. Meanwhile the ABC runs editorials disguised as news every night at 7pm. One time ABC management effectively called Tony Abbott “the most destructive politician of his generation.” ACMA eventually [...]

Hungry children wander among ruins, 30,000 people homeless in Florida after Cat 4 Hurricane (in 1926)

This Week In 1926

Hurricanes aren’t what they used to be.

Tony Heller at RealClimateScience found a photo of what happened when “an actual category four hurricane hit Miami” — as opposed to an almost Cat 6 that became an almost Cat-Nothing.

What Category Four destruction can look like.

At one point Florence was “Becoming The Strongest Storm to Ever Make Landfall North of Florida” and the “costliest ever to hit The US.”

Soon children won’t know what real storms are.

Hundreds of Hungry Children walk amid City Ruins

Imagine if this happened in 2018. The outrage, the scandal. Impeach Trump Now.

On the other side of the world on Sept 20th 1926,  The Melbourne Herald reported:

Click to enlarge

Thankfully we have and do things better now.

The people of Miami didn’t have satellites or TV or helicopters or mobile phones, or perhaps any phones.

Apocalypse 1926

“Hundreds of children separated from their families and hungry, their health endangered by the scarcity of water and the lack of sanitary facilities, are wandering among the ruins of Miami City today.

The tornado which wrecked the place at the week-end, twisting concrete steel buildings on [...]

Airconditioners save 20,000 lives in USA each year

Over the last century there was a remarkable decline in deaths due to hot days and heatwaves. (Not that the media seem keen to say so). Mortality on a hot day declined by fully 75% in the decades after 1960 when air conditioners started to be rolled out.

In the words of the authors from this 2016 study, the people of the US have largely adapted in ways that protect them from extreme heat.  The kind of hot days they are talking about happen on average 20 days a year in the US.

There has not been a similar reduction in deaths from cold snaps.

First, we document a remarkable decline in the mortality effect of temperature extremes: The impact of days with a mean temperature exceeding 80°F (26.6C) has declined by about 75 percent over the course of the twentieth century in the United States, with almost the entire decline occurring after 1960. The result is that there are about 20,000 fewer fatalities annually than if the pre-1960 impacts of mortality still prevailed.

We achieved a lot of things in the 20th century, but when Barreca went through the statistics, it wasn’t the introduction of electricity that [...]

Worst Storm Ever: Over 8,000 people killed in UK in extreme storm that lasted nine days (in 1703)

Cropped from The Great Storm by Goodwin Sands, 1703

While we soak in storm footage this week, imagine this storm!

Back when CO2 levels were ideal, the UK was hit by a monster nine-day storm: at least 8,000 dead, maybe as many as 15,000 people. Some 2,000  chimney stacks were blown down and 4,000 oak trees were lost in the New Forest alone. About 400 windmills were destroyed, with “the wind driving their wooden gears so fast that some burst into flames”. The worst toll was probably on ships — with some 6,000 sailors thought to be lost. As many as 700 ships were heaped together in the Pool of London, one ship was found 15 miles (24 km) inland. A ship torn from its moorings in the Helford River in Cornwall was blown for 200 miles (320 km) before grounding eight hours later on the Isle of Wight.

Back then, people blamed the “crying sins of the nation” and saw it as punishment by God. The government declared 19 January 1704 a day of fasting, saying that it “loudly calls for the deepest and most solemn humiliation of our people”. Apparently, it remained a topic of preachy sermons well into the 19th century — until it was more useful [...]