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

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What the hell was he thinking?

Looking for a great Christmas present idea? I’ve been enjoying the new glorious full-colour book covering the work and “why’s” of a great Australian cartoonist. There is still time to buy it for a friend, or put it on your list. Cartoonists have leeway to say what no one else will, and of cartoonists, there are few like John Spooner.

John Spooner’s Guide to the 21st Century:  What The Hell Was He Thinking

 

  If a scholar in two hundred years time happened to be regarding the intricacies of Australian political life at the turn of the 21st Century, they would find few better guides…. than the cartoons of John Spooner. – Gordon Morrison

John Spooner’s last cartoon, 2016. The Age.

As well as being a collection of his work, a keepsake with over 250 images, Spooner explains what was going on in the editorial zone of one of Australia’s largest newspapers as it evolved over the last 40 years.

Spooner writes about how different things were in The Age in the 1970s. (It used to be a real newspaper once). He describes the gradual closing down of dissent from the party line. He worked [...]

Trump trolls the UN

The UN collective junket for 25,000 people is over. In PR Bingo, all the winning phrases were launched. As usual, “it’s progress”, but “nowhere near enough”.

“Weary” climate negotiators “worked through the night”, in a “marathon” and “but the agreement fell well short…”

‘1,000 little steps’: Global climate talks end in progress but fail to address the galloping pace of climate change By Brady Dennis ,Griff Witte and Chris Mooney, The Washington Post

The agreement was non binding and has no chance of achieving the 1.5C or even the 2C goal, despite this, the crowd was happy:

“Approval of the agreement prompted a standing ovation from the delegates. “

People who think in group-formation will cheer any form of “Yes” –  nevermind the numbers.

Trump is trolling the UN

The US is out of Paris (theoretically) but “in” the negotiations. It will take four years for the US to formally leave the Paris Agreement, but in the meantime, he’s technically at the table, unbridled, and free to kill sacred cows in public. The UN, no doubt, thought the four year cooling off period would work for them (with the help of 4 year US election cycles) but being out-but-in gives Trump license [...]

Weekend Unthreaded

Christmas Carols for coal

Oh yes, sure. These are really going to catch on. The grippy totalitarian, gimme dat culture strikes again with hot lyrics like “We Wish You a Steady Climate”, “We all Yearn for Solar Panels”, and “Away in The Arctic”. They sound for all the world like they were written by a climate model.  If we can’t outdo this, making them funnier and more in the spirit of Christmas, I’ll eat my keyboard.

Please do your best, the official PDF is here. (Carols against Coal backed up here.)

We wish you a Steady Climate

Tune: Trad English (We with you a merry Christmas) Lyrics: Petrina Barson

We wish you a steady climate, we wish you a steady climate, we wish you a steady climate and a happy new year.

Glad tidings we bring to you and your kin. We wish you a steady climate and a happy new year.

We just want ambitious targets, we just want ambitious targets, we just want ambitious targets so bring some out here. Glad …

We won’t go until we get some, we won’t go until [...]

Climate change causes time travel? Humans turning clock back 50 million years

The Pliocene is coming to get you.

The shocking news is that the world cooled for 50 million years, then, just like that, two hundred years ago, humans stopped the cooling, and turned the global clock, or thermometer, whateveryoucallit, around. Now, unleash the disaster — by 2030 Earth is going to resemble the mid-Pliocene. So in just 11 years time, it will be like 3 million years ago. Apparently we are losing 250,000 years every year. Buy a solar panel now!

You think I’m joking:

Humans may be reversing the climate clock, by 50 million years

Our future on Earth may also be our past.

In a study published Monday (Dec. 10, 2018) in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers show that humans are reversing a long-term cooling trend tracing back at least 50 million years. And it’s taken just two centuries.

By 2030, Earth’s climate is expected to resemble that of the mid-Pliocene, going back more than 3 million years in geologic time.

How bad was the Pliocene?

In the Pliocene, North and South America joined tectonically, the climate was arid, land bridges allowed animals to spread across continents [...]

Far Southern Ocean cools. Kiss Goodbye to polar amplication around Antarctica

A map of the sea surface zone that has cooled since 1979 — from 56S – 72S . It’s a pretty big area. Click to enlarge.

For years the IPCC have said that warming would be amplified at the poles. They warned us things would heat up twice as fast, which would melt sea ice. The oceans surface in turn would switch from being reflective white to a dark absorbing deep blue. Enormous amounts of energy would then flow into the ocean instead of being reflected back out to space. The more it warmed, the more it would warm — unleashing a devastating feedback loop.

As the Arctic warmed, the merchants of doom were keen to tell us how how right they were and this was evidence of man-made warming. But in the Antarctic exactly the opposite trend was taking place.

Mike Jonas has done what the IPCC should have been doing — investigating the trends in the Sea Surface Temperature in the polar latitudes with satellite records. In the latitude band from 56 to 72 degrees south the oceans have cooled, not warmed. The models don’t even have the sign of the trend correct. At the latitudes where [...]

Winning: Huge UN Climate junket only attracts four leaders

2018, Poland: When it comes to national leaders, nobody turned up

The second week of the UNFCCC conferences was always the one where the politicians swarm. But this time the only leaders are the ones from tiny pacific atolls who come in hope of increasing their GDP, one grant at a time.

Ministers – but few leaders – arrive for crucial part of climate talks Nina Chestney, Agnieszka BarteczkoKATOWICE, Poland (Reuters) – Brexit turmoil and French riots have kept many government chiefs away from the final and crucial week of U.N. climate talks, with only four national leaders present on Tuesday.

Out of around 134 national representatives delivering speeches over the next two days, only four are heads of government: the president of Kiribati and the prime ministers of Samoa, the Cook Islands and Tuvalu – nations among the most vulnerable to climate change.

No Leonard Di Caprio either.

If there was real money and power going down here, or leaders thought voters loved climate action, they would be in Poland.

Looks like winning.

h/t Pat

PS: Good luck to Great Britain. In the long run, will it be a real hairdryer, or EU approved one?

PPS: Good luck [...]

Midweek Unthreaded

PS: I’ve just got news that the brilliant ROM is facing significant health challenges right now which is why he is sadly missing from comments. He and his family would appreciate your thoughts and prayers.

I will pass on any messages sent to me or left in comments…    We miss you ROM!

Santa says renewables “push down prices”. Sydney Morning Herald believes him.

It’s Santa’s happy hour in electricity land

Finally, No really, renewables are so cheap we can switch to them and change the global climate for free.

This is a new study by the kind of “independent” group that is totally dependent on Big Gov handouts. It compares Australian prices to other obscenely expensive countries and finds that “renewables push down prices”. Compared to what? Not compared to nations with cheap electricity. And not compared to most of the last thirty years in Australia before we added all the unreliable gear.

The tricky graphs clearly baffled Peter Hannam. If only he were a journalist, he could have asked some hard hitting questions and shown this study to be the concocted vaporous PR exercise that it was.

‘No trilemma’: Study finds increased renewables push down power prices

Peter Hannam, Sydney Morning Herald

Renewable energy drives down wholesale power prices well in excess of subsidy costs and a further expansion of wind and solar would likely push them lower still, a study of Australian and European markets shows.

If renewables actually reduced average prices, this would be a first. Around the world, the more intermittent generators you have, the [...]

France: the streets belong to the Butchers and Bakers while the UN argues over a meanginless word

The timing is a disaster for the UN annual junket. The Yellow Vest protest has also spread to the UK now. Politicians must be tip toeing in Katowice, Poland.  The Western leaders can hardly offer prime symbolic gifts for carbon action for fear of triggering similar protests at home.

As the protests grew week after week, the “crumbs” thrown to appease the crowd only made them more resolute. The people are realizing how much power they have. The normal veneer of civility holds that the police and laws keep the peace, but the truth is that if the people feel exploited and act together, any free nation can grind to halt in days.

In hours, French President Macron is set to speak to try to defuse the anger.

Craig Rucker from CFACT took time off from the UN climate folly and walked the streets with the Gilets Jaunes. This is so interesting because he is not the usual journalist observer, and he is there, not opining from afar. He says the people have taken over the streets, but the movement is being smeared as violent, though the rioting is due to radical leftists not the core protesters of the movement. [...]

Weekend Unthreaded

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Dr Shearman diagnoses men who walked on moon, Nobel Prize winners, as “Delusional”

Feel the hate

Climate deniers are the delusional lizard-brain unworthy people who can’t see what preschoolers can.  They threaten human survival. So sayth Dr David Shearman, founder of Doctors for the Environment Australia, a place where the scientific method and good manners go to die.

This is an Opinion piece the 3 million dollars a day ABC thought was “useful”.

Dr Shearman from Adelaide has the rare genius ability to diagnose hundreds of thousands of people with a mental disorder without even meeting them. Better than a telepathic MRI machine. Indeed he’s so smart, he can predict the climate, and with 100% certainty, so I say — cancel the satellites, who needs em? Why bother to measure upper tropospheric moisture when you could “just ask Dave”?

I apologize forthwith to the rest of the planet:  all that money you have wasted installing temperature sensors, launching radiosondes and argo buoys. All along, Australia had David Shearman, SuperGod. He’s probably cured cancer. I can’t wait for him to tell us.

Today Dr David Shearman has diagnosed, and publicly, the mental state of Buzz Aldrin, Charles Duke and Harrison Schmitt, 3 of the 4 men alive who have walked on the moon. [...]

The vast social and political earthquake that started in France — first mass uprising against eco-elitism

The leaderless Yellow Vest — #GiletJaunes protest against living costs is escalating in France and spreading around the world to Belgium, The Netherlands, Serbia, even Basra and Bagdad in Iraq.  A Yellow Vest protest is planned for Saturday in Vancouver. The workers are fed-up with being ignored and milked for causes they don’t support, fed up with being shamed for driving cars or for voicing their concerns. On twitter both the left and right sides of politics are trying to claim ownership (though most of the left are silent, recognizing that this is driven from the provincial and rural population and aims right at their sacred cows). Oil refineries are being blockaded. Ambulance workers and firefighters have joined in. Students have aslo started to protest about education changes — blocking over 100 high schools. So far four people have been killed and 133 people injured. Shops and hotels have lost 20% or more of their revenue. They’re flipping over Porsches. Macron’s popularity is down to 23%. The protesters are now starting to cite other issues like the UN migration pact which they don’t want Macron to sign.

Even after the violence and damage over 70% of people surveyed in France [...]

Now even Green IEA warns Australia of the threat of “avalanche” of renewables

Even heads of green institutes are telling Australians not to go too green too fast

The IEA is the kind of organization that runs global summits selling carbon capture. That’s a process so fantastically inefficient  it wastes 40% of the electricity a coal plant makes while it stuffs a useful fertilizer in a hole in the ground. With that context, I note that even the IEA is warning Australia not to get too carried away in its Speeding Green Transition. Presumably Faith Birol, IEA head, is worried The Renewable Crash Test Dummies might actually crash.

First, the other news today of how fast we are adding unreliable infrastructure:

About 3400MW of solar, more than the capacity of Victoria’s twin Loy Yang coal-fired plants, is expected to be installed this year in Australia with a further 4300MW next year, according to the Clean Energy Regulator.

– Perry Williams, The Australian

To put that in perspective, our total grid is 56,000MW. We only had 4,000MW or so of unreliable power in December last year and were already struggling. Now we have 6,000MW and look like adding another 3,400MW of solar – in the next year. And [...]