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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Climate Change will make coffee extinct or something like that

The terror. Sit down I tell you.  The ABC tells us that you should “Grab a latte while you still can”.

Coffee beans  |Image wiki Hesham Raouf

In full, the true catastrophe is that if the models that are always wrong get something right, some wild coffee relatives, but not actual coffee crop plants, might go extinct. We don’t use them for coffee but you never know, we might one day use them as breeding stock. It’s that serious.

And we can’t save the seeds because apparently liquid nitrogen is too expensive. Wail. Gnash. Fawn.

Since bulk liquid nitrogen is cheaper than spring water, I rank this one as a Prime SkyWhale Class Scare, it’s all hot-air and scary for the wrong reason. You are meant to be afraid of the end of coffee, but what’s really frightening is that science journalism is dead instead.

By Belinda Smith and Nick Kilvert, ABC Australia

Most coffee species at risk of extinction due to climate change, scientists warn

The set up:

You might also want to sit down before reading this. And maybe grab another latte while you still can.

Of the 124 wild coffee species worldwide, [...]

Fake science on fake fish from James Cook Uni?

Third World Science with First World Funding

Is James Cook University a grants machine or a research institute?

James Cook University reviews ex-student’s ‘fishy’ findings, by Graham Lloyd, The Australian

Oona Lönnstedt has been prolific, writing alarming papers on microplastics, acidification, and reef degradation. But her work looks like a trainwreck. One paper has been withdrawn, in another it was “found that Lonnstedt did not have time to undertake the research she claimed.” She’s been found guilty of fabricating data on the microplastics study. Now Peter Ridd has pointed out that the photos of 50 Lionfish appear to contain a lot less than 50 fish. Images have been flipped, spun or “manipulated” so the same fish appears more than once.

James Cook has done what any ambitious, money-hungry grant troughing institute would do, a very slow investigation of allegedly corrupt behaviour and a very quick sacking of the honest researcher who threatens to expose them. Any respectable Science Minister would freeze all grants to James Cook until this situation was resolved and reversed.

Send your thoughts to The Hon Karen Andrews. Contact her here: karen.andrews.mp AT aph.gov.au. There is a crisis in Australian science. Who is going to [...]

Man-made US bushfires caused by PG&E, being sued for $30b: may take down some renewables too

Everyone “knows” fires are caused by climate change, but how many Australians know that when it comes to the huge Californian fires of October 2017 as many as 750 civil suits have been filed against  Pacific Gas & Electric  (PG&E),the 150 year old utility in California? The fire bill is running at around $30 billion dollars. PG&E are facing financial ruin, calling in a Chapter 11, and going broke.

That’s bad news for people filing the claims, but it is also bad news for renewable energy.PG&E are a major holder of some $35 billion dollars in long term green energy contracts many of which are at above market rates. PG&E may not have to pay out those high prices which means the Green industry will be hurt too.

What goes around comes around. Bad science begets bad business. The Green Industry could have cared enough about the environment to speak out about reducing fire risks through managing fuel loads, and the fires would have been less damaging. Instead they were busy putting up windfarms to stop bushfires instead.

Meanwhile their friends are still doing their best to increase fuel loads in order to reduce CO2 (and stop bushfires).

PG&E Bankruptcy Threatens [...]

Midweek Unthreaded

….

Climate change causes three meters of snow in two days, avalanches in Europe

It’s not well known, but in the same way that climate change causes every hot weekend it also causes snow dumps, avalanches, and freak weather. The scientific link is just as strong and calculated the same way. Take a tendentious cross-correlation on free-range seasonal assumptions, and then pour Vodka in the Cray.

If only the Germans had built more windmills they could have stopped this. Chaos in ski resorts, people trapped, road closed, flights canceled

Three metres of snow fell in the space of 48 hours in some parts of the country and more than a metre is forecast to fall today and tomorrow. — The Times (paywalled)

Heavy snow paralysed much of Europe for yet another day, cutting off mountain villages, sparking avalanches like one that crashed into a Swiss hotel, and killing at least four people.

At least 21 weather-related deaths have been reported in Europe in the last 10 days.

—ABC

With three million dollars to spend today (like every day) the ABC found cute photos of white stuff on cuddly sheep and scooters to fit the deadly theme. Nice.

There is avalanche danger, blocked roads and floods in [...]

The hottest thing in SA and Victoria tomorrow may be electricity prices

Millions of dollars will be burning on electricity tomorrow

With normal hot summer days expected tomorrow price spikes are forecast.

It’s not that hot

These are hot, but not unusual days for the capitals — Adelaide is forecast to be 41C, the other capitals are tame: Melbourne 33, Canberra 39 and Sydney 30.  Though small inland cities are baking – like Albury at 44C.

South Australia could burn $36 million an hour

For South Australia tomorrow the AEMO is forecasting the state will need 2,800MW for 2.5 hours at $12,000/MWh. That could be $35m per hour.  Note that forecasts in electricity often vary quite a lot from actuals. Looking at the truckload of cash being offered (from a generators point of view) will presumably bring in some extra supply and lower that price.

Forecast prices for Jan 15th 2019 | AEMO

 

For Victoria, things are even worse

The AEMO is forecasting 9,000MW will be needed at $14,500/MWh for 3 hours. That’s $130 million per hour.   Hypothetically, it would be an obscene $390 million dollars just to power the state just from 3 – 6pm. Enough to buy an entire gas fired power plant and have it sitting around [...]

Another expert climate professor *** becomes outspoken skeptic

Look, another climate expert the BBC won’t be interviewing

Anastasios Tsonis is emeritus distinguished professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He is the author of more than 130 peer reviewed papers and nine books. He is just retired, and finally able to speak his mind. [Updated] …though he’s been a climate professor and a skeptic for some years, somehow the media didn’t beat a path to his door. He commented below that rather than staying silent til his retirement he has been skeptical for many years and was free to say so at his university (such a rare thing, how many other profs can we say the same about?). His University of Wisconsin  site is here, and his statement here.]

The overblown and misleading issue of global warming

Washington Times

Anastasios Tsonis

The fact that scientists who show results not aligned with the mainstream are labeled deniers is the backward mentality. We don’t live in the medieval times, when Galileo had to admit to something that he knew was wrong to save his life.

Lives are not at risk, but careers sure seem to be. Not medieval times but perhaps modi-eval?

So how [...]

Report on Aug 25 blackouts shows how fragile our grid is (and the real cost of cheap solar panels).

 When cheap solar is expensive Badly installed solar PV makes Australia’s grid fragile

On August 25 last year there was nearly a system blackout when, improbably, three states of Australia were islanded by one lightning strike. Within seconds, trips were switching, two smelters were load shed to save the grid from collapse, and across the Eastern Seaboard of Australia frequency and voltages surged or fell everywhere. In Sydney 45,000 homes lost power for a couple of hours. Shops had to close. Trains were stopped. Passengers were stranded. Traffic signals were not working on major roads. There was chaos. Industrial users shut down in a mass of 725MW of load shedding.

The AEMO final report on that day has just come out and shows us just how fragile our grid is. This was not so much a freak accident, as an accident waiting to happen.

It turns out that another cost of cheap rushed solar panels is that many drop out with voltage spikes, suddenly going offline and leaving another hole to fill. The numbers are amazing — of panels installed in the last 2 years as many as one-third in South Australia dropped out when we needed them and about 1 [...]

Australia is worst casualty of Paris: Big hit to GDP, wages, dollar, trade balance for nothing

Australia Wins The Global Patsy Award 2019

The Brookings Institute released a report that claims everyone is better off economically by sticking to Paris, but check out the devastating graphs. Economically, everyone is a loser, but the three biggest losers are Australia, Russia and OPEC.

Australia is doing more, paying more, suffering more and yet will make almost no difference to the global emissions tally in anything other than a purely symbolic impress-your-dinner–guests kind of way.

If Australia left the Paris Agreement, even the left leaning Brookings Institute can’t find much difference in total global man-made emissions. Australia is forcing the renewables transformation faster than anywhere else, it will lose GDP, wages, jobs, investment, and the dollar will fall. All that, and no one could even tell the difference between Paris with Australia, and Paris without.

Clearly Australian negotiators at the UN are incompetent on a whole new scale.  If they had Australian’s interests at heart, even a little bit, they would have done this study themselves, and gone to Paris with some realistic comparative data to argue that we are cutting too fast and paying too much. Finalists for most useless Global Negotiator of the Decade are Kevin Rudd, [...]

Midweek Unthreaded

Saving the planet one $2,000 cat door at a time

Go on. Prove how much you love the planet, or maybe just outdo the Jones’s and get yourself a $2,000 automatic designer cat door that is draft free, radio controlled and evens opens the door for the cat in case your cat is intellectually challenged.

How many storms will this cat door prevent?

Couple pay $2000 for a cat door to help fight climate change

Petwalk image

This story was first reported on CBC by Greg Rasmussen. What else are public broadcasters for?

Sometimes being energy conscious can mean geeking out on gigawatts, or studying the latest heat exchanger technology. But in this case, it involved splurging on a $2,000 cat door.

The super-insulated, radio-frequency-controlled designer cat passageway is one of many energy saving features in a super energy efficient house being built in West Vancouver.

I thought climate warriors weren’t supposed to have a cat?

Just three million dollars to build a passive “net zero” house:

Costing about $3 million to build, it’s not far out of line in pricey West Vancouver. James said he kept close watch on the extras and said it only cost about 4 per cent more than [...]

Crossbench senators wasted $20 billion propping up renewables — Australia Institute, PR agency for renewables

Tony Abbott won a 90 seat landslide based on a blood oath to Axe The Carbon Tax. In 2014 he was thwarted in the Senate from instigating his plans to clean out the green-machine burden, largely by Clive Palmer and cohort, a coal explorer and senator who was a skeptic til Al Gore visited the week before key legislation was voted on. The people who voted for Clive sure didn’t vote to bankroll the Renewables Industry but that’s what they got, and thanks to the Australia Institute we can see just how much the turncoat cost — about $1,000 per person.

The Australia Institute is suddenly raving about the value of crossbench Senators — especially the ones who did the opposite of what their voters expected — “yay”, democracy. Then they’ve paired it with the release of a nothingburger survey that asked the wrong people no relevant or specific questions so the Institute could pretend Australians approved of the sell-out Senators who wasted $23 billion dollars on a pagan weather-changing plan. Do you like the Senate, then you love Renewables? Cheers Jiminy!

Is the Australia Institute a research group or a PR Agency for Renewables?

Saved By The Bench

Weekend Unthreaded

Narcisistic or delusional? Former BBC reporter admits he did biased reporting

Paid by the people to give them the facts, Clive Lewis is proud that he deceived them and delivered a message that served his own interests rather than theirs. From a Jan 2018 story by  Amanda Cashmore For Mailonline:

“Clive Lewis admits broadcasting biased news“:

In 2017 Lewis admitted to biased reporting whilst working for the BBC. At a Momentum rally he stated: “I was able to use bias in my reports by giving less time to one than the other. I reported on both but the angle and words and the language I used — I know the pictures I used — I was able to project my own particular political positions on things in a very subtle way.“

This is clearly in breach of the spirit, ethics and whole point of the BBC. Did he think the people of the UK needed his wise but hidden counseling because he’s been born so much smarter than everyone else.

Naturally, we know where people struggling with reality end up in the climate debate. This is Clive Lewis, Jan 1 2019:

Politicians must persuade consumers to make dramatic lifestyle changes if devastating climate change and mass extinctions [...]

The Sahara may flip from desert to grass every 20,000 years. Blame The Sun.

MIT researchers think they have solved a bit of a mystery regarding Sahara dust, but if they’re right it means the Sahara Desert has already come and gone 3 – 5 times since humans walked the Earth. The Sahara is the largest desert on Earth, and this would be the largest and longest drought “ever” on the planet (as far as we know).

UPDATED: Commenter Javier points out these drying cycles were known years ago. (See below)

This would rather redefine the whole idea of “climate change” — 3.5 million square miles of Green Sahara turns into Dust-bowl Sahara — and it’s all thanks to sunlight. The drought doesn’t just last 7 years, but more like 7,000. And it’s happening over 9 million square kilometers, an area larger than Australia. The major climate models leaned towards the monsoonal cycle, rather than the longer ice age one. So this theory may have resolved one of the 495 contradictions in climate models. Or not. But the bigger message here is that the sun causes climate change and on a massive scale.

h/t to Roger Tallbloke.

The Sahara is the largest dust bowl in the world, dumping 10 million trucks of dust across [...]