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

History making big freeze in the US

In parts of the US schools are closed, flights are cancelled, and USPS has even stopped deliveries. Frostbite can occur in ten minutes or less, and police stations have opened their doors to the homeless…

Once in a generation blast of cold weather:  From the BBC

Deadly cold weather has brought what meteorologists call a “once-in-a-generation” deep freeze to the US.

The extreme Arctic blasts, caused by a spinning pool of cold air known as the polar vortex, could bring wind chill temperatures as low as -53C (-64F).

Weather officials in the state of Iowa have warned people to “avoid taking deep breaths, and to minimise talking” if they go outside.

Chicago police say people are being robbed at gunpoint of their coats.

 This may be the beast from the Sudden Stratospheric Warming that was raging a month or so ago high above the Arctic jet streams.

Forecasters are attributing this cold snap to a sudden warming above the North Pole, caused by a blast of hot air from Morocco last month.

Cities shutting down:

Grand Forks, North Dakota, has so far seen the lowest wind chill at [...]

John Cook, we’ll believe you when you stop doing what you complain we’re doing

John Cook tries to attack skeptics for their savage jokes about cold spells. Go for it John, we’ll believe you when you when you stop publishing stories about single hot days and tell PhD’s they shouldn’t harp on about random noise like heat waves:

Forecast: flurries of shivering climate-change deniers

When a cold spell struck the east coast recently, US President Donald Trump tweeted “Wouldn’t be bad to have a little of that good old fashioned Global Warming right now!”

The argument he is sarcastically implying and often makes—that global warming isn’t happening because it’s cold outside—possesses an obvious logical flaw. [No kidding]. It’s like arguing that the sun no longer exists when it gets dark at night. Of course, Trump didn’t invent this argument—it’s commonly brought up on denier blogs and social media threads whenever the weather turns cold.

This type of fallacious reasoning is not just common on believer blogs, it’s their bread and butter.

Trump was being sarcastic. Skeptics are making jokes — but what excuse can anyone make for paid PhD’s who are serious?

Let’s swap the hot’s and cold’s of Cooks own words (mine bolded):

The argument PhD’s seriously imply and [...]

Irish Greens try to inspire mass Yellow Vest protests

Greens et al want to add €12 or $20 AUD to the cost of filling a car in order to stop jellyfish plagues, sharks and droughts in Ireland in 2100. Hello, Yellow Vests….

Ireland’s main political parties show no sign of agreement over 2030 climate change targets

Stephen O’Brien, The Times, UK.

TDs and senators are split over plans for a fourfold increase in carbon tax …

Fine Gael and Green Party members of the Oireachtas climate action committee want a report next month to recommend a carbon tax of at least €80 a ton over the next decade, which would add €12 to the cost of filling a car with diesel or petrol and €7.20 to a bag of coal.

Sinn Fein is opposing increases in carbon tax until there is better public transport, grant aid for retrofitting houses, and lower costs for electric vehicles. Fianna Fail is also against recommending a carbon tax rise in the climate action report.

The Greens want the tax to be doubled to €40 next year, with annual increases of €5 over the next decade until it reaches €90.

 As usual, the theft is [...]

Weekend Unthreaded

Nearly a billion dollars for electricity for just one day — $500 per family

The Electro-pyre conflagration escalates.

The cost of electricity on Thursday in two states of Australia reached a tally of $932 million dollars for a single day of electricity. Thanks to David Bidstrup on Catallaxy for calculating it.

As Bruce of Newcastle says “ “Three days and you could buy a HELE plant with the money wasted.” That’s a power plant that could last 70 years, and provide electricity at under $50/MW. (Forget all the high charges for 30 years to pay of the capital (in red below), we could just buy the damn thing outright, paid off in full from day one.)

Cost of old coal plants in the USA. From the report by Stacy and Taylor, of the Institute for Energy Research (IER)

Burned at the stake: $500 per family

In Victoria, per capita, that means it cost $110 for one day’s electricity. For South Australians, Thursday’s electricity bill was $140 per person. (So each household of four just effectively lost $565.) In both these states those charges will presumably be paid in future price rises, shared unevenly between subsidized solar users and suffering non-solar hostages. The costs will be buried such that duped householders will not be aware [...]

Melbourne, 200,000 houses blacked out, 10 companies curtailed, as 1-in-3-year hot day hits

***UPDATED: Melbourne has been 42C or more around 50 times since 1855. That’s one in three years. Thanks to Bob Fernley-Jones for the correction.

 They were only 250 million watts short:

Loy Yang, powering Victoria, and soon probably “taking the blame” too.

Rachel Baxendale, The Australian

h/t Des Moore

More than 200,000 Victorian households had their power cut off yesterday in a bid to protect the state’s energy system from shutting down, as the Andrews government was forced to admit there was not enough power to keep up with soaring demand in sweltering summer heat.

Homes were blacked out, traffic lights across Melbourne were switched off and businesses were forced to close for up to two hours after the Australian Energy Market Operator enforced rolling power outages to make up a 250 megawatt shortfall in supply.

The State Energy Minister (Lily D’Ambrosio) said there would “absolutely” be no blackouts this morning and the rolling blackouts started 90 minutes later. Welcome to the USSAustralia where we hope to make your 150th Birthday Party 0.001 degrees cooler but we can’t predict our electricity grid for the next hour and a half.

Dark ages [...]

Solar cycles to blame for jellyfish plagues (not coal fired plants)

Image Erin Silversmith

Three amazing things in this story. One that solar cycles might influence the oceans to such an extent that jellyfish plagues are cycling in tune with the sun. Second is that the sun might control food for jellyfish on Earth somehow but have no effect on clouds, temperature or our climate (join the dots that expert climate models don’t). Third is that (briefly) there was actual scientific debate published on the ABC (even if only a few Australians were exposed to it). No one called anyone names, and both sides got to speak (albeit on different channels). Put it in your diary.

A couple of weeks ago on the ABC jellyfish were booming and it was because of climate change:

Jellyfish are causing mayhem as pollution, climate change see numbers boom

RN By Hong Jiang and Sasha Fegan for Late Night Live

…the brainless, spineless, eyeless, bloodless creatures are booming in numbers — and causing mayhem around the world.

Some scientists think jellyfish numbers are increasing as the climate changes — the creatures reproduce well in warmer waters.

Last year, Nick Kilvert of the ABC saw it as a coming deadly jellyfish hell.

This week [...]

Warning: Money on fire in Vic and SA electricity prices at $14,000 per MWh

Prices are “off the chart” in Vic and SA right now and likely for the next few hours. Factories will be closing. Diesel generators will be running, but only in South Australia and Victoria. At these kinds of prices tens of millions of dollars could be going up in smoke every hour. By the end of today the bill could come to more than a hundred million dollars.

In QLD and NSW where there are old or evil coal fired plants the wholesale electricity costs are only $105/MWh.

Victoria

South Australia

The national electricity market (or at least the Eastern half and 90% of the population).

 

Today when we need it, wind power on the NEM is running at about 20% of total capacity. Four out of five windfarms are not working.

 

 

 UPDATE: LOR3 (highest level warning) issued in Victoria but resolved at 8pm. In SA the diesel jet engines have been switched on for the first time as emergency reserve. We didn’t used to need to buy expensive machinery so it could sit around for 18 months before it was needed.

 

h/t Ian B, LightningCamel, George, David [...]

Forgotten history: 50 degrees everywhere, right across Australia in the 1800s

Don’t believe your lying eyes — Australian newspaper archives are full of temperatures recorded higher than 121 in the shade which is 50C.  All of these temperatures in the map below are found in historic newspaper archives. Measurements done after 1910 are even done with official Stevenson screens, yet the BOM “throws them away”. It’s true that ones done in the 1800s are often recorded on non-standard equipment, or are just literally “in the shade” under cover. So some of these, perhaps many, are one or two degrees too high. But even if we take two degrees off, how scary is global warming when Australia knew many days of 48C and 49C and some at 50C 120 years ago? The BOM — supposedly so concerned about the State of Our Climate — show little interest in talking about our history or in analyzing it, or even mentioning it.

And modern temperatures are recorded on electronic equipment, sometimes in areas affected by urban heat islands (concrete and cars).

(click to enlarge)

Photo: Jo Nova

50C temperatures have occurred all over Australia before

Australians have been recording temperatures of over 50C since 1828, right across the country. In [...]

1,500 private jets fly in to save world at Davos

Where is your carbon footprint when you need it?

This week the same people who advertise their virtue with climate cloaks are advertising their status with a Bombardier 7500.

Don’t call them hypocrites, it’s completely consistent. Both are pretentious attempts to peck up the order.

More And Bigger Private Jets Landing at Davos as Leaders Discuss Climate Change

Erin Corbett, Fortune

Perhaps its all because of jet envy.

At least 1,500 private jets are slated to arrive in Davos. The number is up from last year’s estimated 1,300, according to the Air Charter Service, which also found that this year’s jets are larger and more expensive.

Why more and bigger jets?

“This is at least in part due to some of the long distances traveled, but also possibly due to business rivals not wanting to be seen to be outdone by one another,” Andy Christie, the private jets director at ACS said in a statement.

 Would you like a helicopter with that? [...]

Midweek Unthreaded

Save the world and raze some forests

Look out, another knot of tortured researchers just went past. All this time we’ve been pouring money into planting trees and stealing land from farmers because we were sure that trees would cool the world. (Just like solar panels do, yeah?) But life is so complicated — for years now some researchers have been quietly wondering if more trees were actually going to warm the planet instead, but they didn’t want to say much. It turns out that while trees absorb the sacred CO2 (that’s cooling!) they also emit methane (that’s warming!), and terpenes (cooling) and isoprene (warming and cooling!) If that’s not complicated enough, then there is the albedo effect. Trees are dark, they absorb more sunlight than bare ground and snow. So depending on where they are planted, that makes for “warming”. Then some VOCs or volatile organic compounds also seed clouds.

So what’s the net effect? Who knows, it’s not like there are whole industries dependent on it…

Now they ask?

How much can forests fight climate change? Trees are supposed to slow global warming, but growing evidence suggests they might not always be climate saviours. Gabrielle Popkin, Nature

As usual, the debate is based on [...]

The Great Renewables Marketing scam known as “climate change”.

Another family friendly picnic day in Australia where nice people spend their leisure time advertising an industry worth more than $476,000,000,000.

A bunch of Australians do free corporate advertising

They would kick themselves if they knew…

Blue Mountains residents to make ‘human sign’ for climate change action

The message will say: Renewable energy, make the switch now, 100% renewables… imagine.

Blue Mountains residents will stand side by side to form the word “SWITCH” which will then be photographed from the air.

Imagine if this was an advert for Coke, or Exxon? It would be so much better. Coke and Exxon produce something that people want voluntarily.

One hundred years from now, people will look back and marvel at the Great Renewables Marketing scam known as “climate change”.

Weekend Unthreaded