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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Gates on renewables: How would Tokyo survive a 3 day typhoon with unreliable energy?

Make no mistake, Bill Gates totally believes the climate change scare story but even he can see that renewables are not the answer, it’s not about the cost, it’s the reliability.

He quotes Vaslav (possibly Vaclav Smil?):

Here’s Toyko, 27 million people, you have three days of a cyclone every year. It’s 23GW of electricity for three days. Tell me what battery solution is going sit there and provide that power.

 As Gates says: Let’s not jerk around. You’re multiple orders of magnitude — … — That’s nothing, that doesn’t solve the reliability problem.

Bill Gates on renewables (part 1). I’ve never seen him so animated. His Tokyo in a cyclone scenario is interesting. pic.twitter.com/N2nhl2u9Ut

— David Michie (@dmichie66) December 9, 2018

h/t Craig KellyMP

During storms clouds cut solar panel productivity (unless hail destroys it) and wind turbines have to shut down in high winds.

The whole interview was part of a presentation at Stanford late last year:

Cheap renewables won’t stop global warming, says Bill Gates

The interview by Arun Majumdar, co-director of Stanford Energy’s Precourt Institute for Energy, which organized the conference, can be watched here.

[...]

Midweek Unthreaded

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Australia’s new hottest day just “discovered”, not Albany or Oodnadatta, but Carnarvon (51 degrees in 1953!)

Who knew? With intrepid dedication the Australian BoM has uncovered our hottest ever day, buried under erroneous calculations, hidden from view in High Quality expert data sets that were World Class til they weren’t. Strangely the BOM hasn’t issued a press release, even though their supercomputer-marketing team put out a Hottest Ever January media release within hours of January ending. It appears the BOM hasn’t even issued a press release to tell the world they’ve finished the third complete reanalysis of Australian temperature history.

Luckily for the BOM, which may have run out of bytes or letters of the alphabet, volunteers like Chris Gillham of the unofficial BoM audit team noticed that the BoM ACORN dataset has become ACORN2. So we’d like to tell the world. Once again, the genius at the BOM is able to retrospectively compensate for all the flawed sites and thermometers that kept reading too high. Incredibly, no one noticed for a hundred years.

As we launch ACORN2 let’s remember how proud the BOM were of ACORN1. This is from them back in 2017:

Bureau of Meteorology statement on temperature observations

01/08/2017

The Bureau of Meteorology holds the integrity of [...]

Australians: destroying their grid faster than any country on Earth

Australians are the Renewable crash Test Dummies

As I said for free and two months before the ANU,  with a 50% annual growth in renewables, Australia is ramping up unreliable power faster than anywhere.

Now comes a paper: Australia: the renewable energy superstar showing that, per capita, Australia is installing unreliable generators in a blitzkrieg pace, more than twice as fast as Germany is, and 4-5 times faster per capita than the EU, USA, Japan and China. No other dummies are even in the race. The largest coal exporter in the world is working harder than anyone to destroy its largest export earner — which would be noble if only there was more to it than being a magical spell to ward off storms.

This is a legendary paper and very helpful. Save the link, copy the reference, send it to your MP, your friends, your newspaper! Why not head to the launch at ANU at 5:30pm, 14th Feb?

Never again can anyone get away with national flagellation for “not doing enough”. Henceforth Green and Labor M.P.’s will stop calling us a national joke, a pariah, and a disgrace. (Though, actually, all those things are true, for the opposite [...]

Climate change is real because we are snowflake couch potatoes, addicted to netflix and airconditioners

Welcome to the DroneAge, where people act like robots and share dumb ideas at light speed! Episode #601: Climate change makes you lonely and fat.

Feeling friendless, floppy and like a loser? It’s not your fault. Blame a coal plant. Blame Exxon. Blame anyone but yourself. It’s your bad luck to be born into the most bountiful, benevolent era in human history. Damn!

Lonely, unfit and hooked on air-conditioning – is this the summer of the future?

Nicole Hasham, Sydney Morning Herald, uses new unorthodox indicators of “climate change”. Wait for it… test cricket attendance? It’s a smorgasbord of nonsense:

In Perth, cricket fans avoided an historic Test fixture amid predictions of 38-degree days. Sun melted a coastal highway filled with holidaymakers in northern NSW. Victoria’s coal generators shut down. Tasmania burned. And rotting fish corpses lining the Darling River at Menindee forced anglers to seriously rethink their plans.

Are we kidding? Thirty-eight degrees is just a summer’s day in Perth. It’s something that happens 19 years out of 20. As for coal generators shutting down: we’ve spent 20 years trying to drive them out of business to stop climate change, and now, if they don’t work, that proves climate change is real? The reasoning is [...]

Weekend Unthreaded

Legally it’s the wrong time? Coal mine rejected by judge who hopes to change weather

Sometimes we have laws, and sometimes it’s the wrong time for them

A judgement today in a minor NSW court banned a coal mine in the hope of making storms and floods nicer for our great grandchildren. Curiously, it was not the much hated thermal coal mine, it was a coking coal mine – the stuff we use in making steel. It takes 600 kilograms of coal to make one ton of steel and Australian coking coal is considered some of the world’s best. It follows that either the world uses a bit less steel, or it buys the coal from somewhere else. Does the judge have something against steel? Let’s melt down wind turbines and solar panels instead.

Most likely the world will buy the coal from somewhere else. It will likely be less pure and more polluting with few environmental controls or worker’s rights, but hey-de-ho, Judge Preston is not there to worry about environmental global concerns. It’s not like he’s a judge in the NSW Land and Environment Court. Oh…

Effectively, an Australian court decided to increase global pollution by blocking a clean coal mine*. As usual, there is no scientific or legal consistency; No principle apart [...]

Six weeks ago Australian Met Bureau predicted a dry month for Townsville

Warwick Hughes (h/t Dave Brewer) points out that on Dec 20th the Australian Bureau of Meteorology predicted that the Townsville region had only a 1 in 3 chance of exceeding the average rainfall in January.

Australian Bureau of Meteorology, prediction, Jan 2019 rainfall.

How that turned out one month later:

Australian Bureau of Meteorology, January rainfall, 2019.

Or graphed as the rainfall anomaly rather than as the percentage of the mean:

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Predicting rainfall in Australia is very difficult. The issue is not that the BoM gets it wrong — it’s that they pretend they can do it that matters. Why bother issuing one month forecasts?

Ten days out they were still hopelessly wrong

As Warwick Hughes notes they also predicted on Jan 17th that February in Townsville would only have a 45% chance of exceeding the average rainfall. The downpour started on Jan 27th.

Today, after one whole week in February, the area has already had over four times the normal rainfall for the whole month, but the BoM didn’t see that rain coming ten days in advance.

The fancy-pants detailed graphics are entirely misleading — like advertising that sells an ability the experts simply [...]

Whole suburbs flooded after exhaustive expert flood modelling says they won’t

Another triumph of modeling

In 2014, Townsville City Council launched a detailed flood mapping service.

The maps will allow people to search individual properties to find out the risk of it being inundated during a one-in-100-year flood event.

Five years later and they’re publishing inundation maps. Sadly, new suburbs were built with the wrong expectations.

 Townsville flood maps reviewed as more homes go under

Jared Owens and Charlie Peel The Australian

Townsville City Council’s spokeswoman said last night the model, which was based on expert modelling of different scenarios, was overwhelmed by an “unprecedented” monsoonal trough …

Local Government Associa­tion of Queensland chief executive Greg Hallam said Towns­ville’s flood maps relied on “exhaustive modelling of every possible scenario”, looking at variable­s such as rainfall and artificia­l structures.

“We’re not God. We don’t have supreme knowledge. We only have the best science, the best knowledge we can have,” he said. “We now know with the (dam) gates fully open … what will flood and what won’t, so there will be a new set of flood maps prod­uced out of this event.”

If we had better climate models, perhaps we might [...]

Midweek Unthreaded

Townsville floods again: 1881, 1892, 1946 and 1953. It’d be climate change if it stopped flooding

After epic flooding in Townsville, witchdoctors are blaming climate change.

 Queensland’s recent extreme weather – bushfires, heatwaves, coral bleaching, drought, Cyclone Penny, Townsville’s floods – showed Queensland is clearly experiencing climate change, Professor Ian Lowe said.

 Thus spake the Druid of Runes waving a bunch of multifactor complex processes that have been happening forever, can’t be predicted and only have scary trends if you draw short graphs with no error bars. Verily we see doom, doth payth my grant, or whatever it is that keeps Prof Ian Lowe going. He is allegedly in the  Queensland Climate Advisory Council (QCAC) — an organization so successful its only existence on the internet appears to be a sidebar on page 15 of a government PDF. But whoever they are, they’re experts, trust us, that the media doesn’t need to ask for an alternate opinion.

Wouldn’t you know it though, floods seem to happen quite a lot in Townsville

This is not to say that the current floods are not serious but just that Townsville is a floody kind of place. It’d be climate change if things stopped flooding in Townsville.

In the last ten days Townsville has had 600mm of rain [...]

Gillette’s Toxic Masculinity meets some deadly statistics

Seen the Gillette “Toxic Masculinity” Ad?

A couple of weeks back Gillette thought it would pander to the #Metoo women who do the shopping. Uproar resulted. James Delingpole won’t be buying Gillette in a hurry, but “news sells” and a boycott doesn’t always outdo the mindless sales boost. If you’ve had enough of politically correct advertising, spread the word.

Egard, the Watch Company responds:

 

Just for balance, here’s Toxic Feminity:

Weekend Unthreaded

Climate change spreads AIDS

Yesterday lots of people died and made the climate change. Today climate change is causing more AIDS and killing people.

It all goes to show that climate change is the most useless phrase in the English language.

It’s able to be used in so many contradictory ambiguous ways, as to mean everything, and therefore, nothing.

It’s useless to anyone who wants to convey information, but pretty handy for those who want to convey fog instead. Anyone want to prey on the good-but-confused?

How climate change is undermining the war against HIV in Africa Widespread poverty and worsening droughts, floods and other climate risks make Africa particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change

Climate change is always 50 shades of evil:

Yaounde — Teenage girls growing up in Lesotho in areas hit by harsh drought and other climate shocks are more likely to drop out of school, start having sex earlier and contract HIV, researchers say.

Even the IPCC doesn’t really pretend in their scientific hearts that we can predict or attribute the causes of drought and flood, yet here it gets bundled in with “climate change” as if everyone knows that droughts are getting worse (they’re not) and [...]

Evil whites caused the Little Ice Age by bringing small-pox to America

Is it April 1st in London?

The BBC is reporting that academics from University College London have discovered that the Little Ice Age was not caused by the record low solar activity of the Maunder Minima, instead it was due to the colonization of the Americas. Thanks mostly to measles and small pox the death toll was so enormous that about 9% of the global population died, supposedly leaving empty farmlands. These were swiftly covered in forests causing a deadly fall in CO2 which cooled the world.

This is an Apocryphal story that virtue signals in so many ways. A kind of triple-point scrabble maneuver combining climate, race, war, forests and imperial colonization in the one story.

The Great Dying of the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas caused the Little Ice Age

Colonisation of the Americas at the end of the 15th Century killed so many people, it disturbed Earth’s climate.

That’s the conclusion of scientists from University College London, UK.

The team says the disruption that followed European settlement led to a huge swathe of abandoned agricultural land being reclaimed by fast-growing trees and other vegetation.

This pulled down enough carbon [...]