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

Earth hour becomes the Power Hour tonight at 8:30

Tonight celebrate the Power Hour and your incredible good luck

Photo: | Centenial light bulb, Livermore, CA.

In the hundred thousand years since homo sapiens came to be, people have fled bondage, wars, small-pox, dysentery, died from minor scratches, starved to death, been ravaged by lions, stricken by cholera, and survived ninety thousand year stretches of abysmal ice age.  We lived in the darkness for 99,900 years.

It’s your chance to show your commitment to fighting the forces of darkness.

Some of those fossil fuels have been waiting for 100 million years to return to the sky. This is a lot of fun to do with kids.

From past years festivals of light:

Things you can do at 8.30 on Saturday:

Turn on all the lights you can find (bonus points for incandescents from the stash.) Put on the party lights, the patio light, the pool light, the mozzie zappers, unpack those Christmas decorations. Get out your torches. Switch the movement detector spotlights to continuous operation. (Involve the kids — they love to help). Light your backyard with the landcruiser headlights! (Don’t flatten the battery, make sure you keep that engine running.) Don’t forget those bar radiators — revel in [...]

A few women swim naked to give free adverts to renewable industry. ABC loves it.

Save the world, skinny-dip for a photo.

It doesn’t matter how pointless your action is, the ABC will cover it as long as it gives free advertising to giant multinationals and fellow lobbyists for big government.

Six women take a swim, put it on the news. No hard questions asked.

Naked group swim in pristine Jervis Bay helps photographer highlight climate change

Justin Huntsdale, ABC

When South Coast NSW photographer Tamara Dean asks you to be involved in her latest project, be prepared to make a bold environmental statement in your birthday suit.

“Biologists predict that if we continue carrying on the way we are, by the end of this century, 50 per cent of species living today will face extinction,” Ms Dean said.

Canberra environmentalist and economist Tory Bridges said she would do whatever it took to get people thinking about climate change.

That included swimming naked in the open ocean with 20 other women on a rainy weekend. But she was willing to suffer for the art, especially with the future of the environment at stake.

The photo shoot was part of Ms Dean’s ongoing project [...]

Mission Impossible: “100% renewable”. Greens ban coal and cars by 2030. Kiss goodbye to $30b and life as we know it?

The Australian Greens are actually proposing an end to thermal coal exports and coal plants and a ban on new internal combustion vehicles by 2030.

Their policy plan: Renew Australia 2030

The Greens policy blueprint suggests Australia would become a “renewable energy superpower”, with coal exports to be replaced by clean hydrogen, and the construction of a $6bn taxpayer-funded ­energy grid upgrade to develop new renewable energy zones.

– Ben Packham, The Australian

Coming soon, the Greens will ban planes, holidays and jokes…

Greens set 2030 cut-off for coal exports and coal-fired power stations

The Greens will propose 2030 as the cut-off point for thermal coal exports, and the shutdown date for Australia’s fleet of coal-fired power stations, in the party’s new climate and energy policy heading into the federal election.

– Katharine Murphy, The Guardian

Current thermal coal exports bring in $25 billion dollars each year. That’s a lot of money and taxes taken out of our economy. Which hospitals will the Greens close? (Maybe all of them, especially at night time). We could just ban people from getting sick?

Closing our 23GW of coal fired [...]

Power collapses again in Venezuela

What a mess. The power is down again in more than half the country — coming and going. People are desperate for water. Schools, industry and state buildings are closed. The Russians have sent in troops. The US has told them to get out.

It’s easy to take civilization for granted — until you don’t have one.

Urgent: New disruption identified in #Venezuela 40 hours after onset of national power outage; 91% of country now offline reversing partial recovery; incident ongoing #SinLuz #Apagon #27Mar ⬇️https://t.co/7nhWVW9v7a pic.twitter.com/xA8ZRdmagc

— NetBlocks.org (@netblocks) March 27, 2019

Update: It has been 55 hours since the onset of nationwide power outages in #Venezuela; 69% of the country remains offline after a new drop in connectivity #SinLuz #Apagon #27Mar ⬇️https://t.co/7nhWVW9v7a pic.twitter.com/7trvLoLqjd

— NetBlocks.org (@netblocks) March 28, 2019

 

h/t to Rafe Champion, who links on Catallaxy to my post on how hard it is to restart a grid. And also to Lance’s comment which was so useful I added it as an update to that post and which is now starring on Catallaxy too .  In case you missed his comment, and because it’s so apt, here it is again:

Lance predicted [...]

Day 2: James Cook Uni checks your emails but not the science

Day 2: Jennifer Marohasy gives us an update on Peter Ridd’s battle for free speech

Today, Judge Vasta asked how it could be that James Cook University – a recipient of so many billions of dollars over the years – could leave no stone unturned in its disciplinary process against Peter Ridd, while doing absolutely nothing to address his complaints about the lack of quality assurance of its research.

Not once in court today, or yesterday, was there any defense by the James Cook University Team of “the science” that Peter Ridd has been so critical of.  The university is simply arguing that he doesn’t have a right to speak-out.

Let’s remember how important “quality control” is to JCU: One researcher at JCU was found guilty of fabricating results by Upsalla University. Peter Ridd reported the same researcher has presented photos of 50 fish that contained manipulated, flipped duplicates. These are serious allegations in science. In response JCU took a whole year to even name the people on the investigation panel, let alone start investigating. As I said at the time:

James Cook has done what any ambitious, money-hungry grant troughing institute would do, a [...]

Midweek Unthreaded

Forgot these lately… sorry.

Peter Ridd’s Court Case — Free Speech versus James Cook Uni

The court case is on Day Two of a three day process.

For the latest see GideonRozner on twitter

Also discussing JCU’s search of Peter’s email account.

Judge: ‘Isn’t JCU going through Professor Ridd’s emails itself a breach of confidentiality that is meant to apply in the disciplinary process? This is totally contrary to the spirit of the EBA.’

— Gideon Rozner (@GideonCRozner) March 27, 2019

 

Peter Ridd Challenges James Cook Uni Sacking

Charlie Pell in The Australian, 2016

The first alleged breach of the code occurred in April 2016, when Professor Ridd emailed a journalist to allege that images given to the media by the Australian Institute of Marine Science and Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority were misleading.

Professor Ridd said the images of bleached coral reefs near Stone Island, off the coast of Bowen in north Queensland, were misleading because they showed poorly affected corals, which were selected over nearby healthy coral and used to show “broad scale decline” of reef health.

Field technicians working for Professor Ridd took photos in the same vicinity as the bleaching pictures supplied by the university and GBRMPA which showed [...]

Surprise: Largest Glacier in Northern Hemisphere has started growing again

Jakobshavn Glacier, Greenland          Image: NASA

The Jakobshavn is the glacier that dumps more ice in the ocean than any other in the Northern Hemisphere. It made the iceberg that “sank the titanic”. It has been receding for years, and the losses were accelerating, but then it astonished the scientists.

 ”At first we didn’t believe it,” said glaciologist Ala Khazendar of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “We had pretty much assumed that Jakobshavn would just keep going on as it had over the last 20 years.”

–ScienceAlert

“That was kind of a surprise. We kind of got used to a runaway system,” said Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland ice and climate scientist Jason Box. “The good news is that it’s a reminder that it’s not necessarily going that fast. But it is going.”

Box, who wasn’t part of the study, said Jakobshavn is “arguably the most important Greenland glacier because it discharges the most ice in the northern hemisphere. For all of Greenland, it is king.”

– Associated Press

But it’s OK, seriously, we’re all still going to bake in climate hell because all the models that [...]

Trump wins: Russiagate becomes the weapon of mass destruction for Mass Media’s reputation

Trump is vindicated. The real substance of Russiagate is what it says about the media

Dragged out for two years of hate, denigration and abuse in the media, in the end the Muller inquiry found no collusion. How many journalists predicted this. How many even wrote as though it was possible? Credit to Matt Taibbi for the scathing WMD comparison.

Mueller report into collusion a stunning victory for Donald Trump, by Cameron Stewart, The Australian.

The summary of the Mueller report issued today by Attorney General William Barr clears the president and his aides of any collusion with Russia and says there is no legal case to support obstruction of justice charges against him. …

It is a devastating defeat for the Democrats and for much of the US media who had hoped, prayed and frankly expected that Mueller would somehow find a silver bullet to end or at least cripple Trump’s presidency.

Matt Taibbi on Russiagate: ‘Death Blow for the Reputation of the American News Media’

It’s official: Russiagate is this generation’s WMD

Nothing Trump is accused of from now on by the press will be believed by huge chunks of [...]

Australian electricity market wrecked by big-gov: corporates gouge $3b from electricity customers

Thanks to Big-Gov’s Renewable Energy Target, big corporate greed was unleashed:

ABC — Australian energy giant AGL ‘gouged’ customers after Hazelwood closure, new research shows

Some of the nation’s biggest energy companies have allegedly used the closure of Australia’s dirtiest coal-fired power station to price gouge customers and make an extra $3 billion in wholesale profits, according to a new report.

We already knew that renewables are so poisonous they make other generators more expensive. But this is something “extra”. Either big corporate’s suddenly turned into greedy machines or the government destroyed the free market that worked fine for years:

When the closure of Hazelwood was announced just a few months earlier, AGL increased the price of much of the coal-fired power on offer from the Bayswater and Liddell plants in NSW.

The study found a significant part of the output from the Liddell plant was repriced from $40 to $60 per megawatt hour, to greater than $5,000 per megawatt hour — so expensive it effectively restricted supply.

At the same time, much of the power offered by the Bayswater plant almost doubled in price, from about $40 [...]

Weekend Unthreaded

The new $30 Trillion dollar climate wishlist of the same old ideas

There’s a new Christmas fantasy list for Climate-worriers. It’s a New York Times bestselling book (aren’t they all) and people are gushing …because it lists the same old solutions we’ve heard 100 times before, like using wind, solar, go vegetarian, walk to work, and (wait) educate your girls.

The PR material glows like the Sun. Wear your sunglasses and hazmat suit when reading:

Project Drawdown is the most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming.We did not make or devise the plan—the plan exists and is being implemented worldwide. It has been difficult to envision this possibility because the focus is overwhelmingly on the impacts of climate change. We gathered a qualified and diverse group of researchers from around the world to identify, research, and model the 100 most substantive, existing solutions to address climate change. What was uncovered is a path forward that can roll back global greenhouse gas emissions within thirty years. The research revealed that humanity has the means and techniques at hand. Nothing new needs to be invented…

Project Drawdown’s ranked list of 100 climate change solutions has priced the whole planet-fixing kit at a cool $29,609 billion dollars (of other people’s money). [...]

EU decides to quietly drop “carbon neutrality by 2050″

France (with nukes) and Germany (with a huge renewables component) used to forge ahead with climate panic in the EU while the Eastern block (like Poland, with more coal and less cash) reliably pushes back against it. But France is pushing everyone to meet the new sacred 1.5C target with the big Carbon-Neutral-By-2050 plan. It’s a target so wildly ambitious even Germany has pulled the pin on yet another fantasy deadline like the last ones it failed to meet. This is despite (or rather, because of) renewables overtaking coal in Germany in January. The more unreliables a nation has the more inefficient their whole grid is, and the more it costs to save each ton of carbon. Every extra wind turbine is more expensive at reducing CO2 than the last.

The EU Council has just released its summit statement– basically saying yes to all the IPCC favourite pet visions but not putting any dates on it. With no dates, it’s a meaningless wishlist.

But hey, it’s only the planet at stake, it’s not like there is a deadline that matters anyway eh?

The GWPF Calls it “Over” for the EU’s big carbon-neutral-by-2050 target

March 20: Tomorrow, the 28 [...]

Climate skeptics, anti EU party surges from nowhere in Dutch Elections

Like Trump, and like Brexit, journalists did not see this coming.  Centre right parties somehow expect to keep winning by adopting centre left policies.  But politics is being transformed by parties brave enough to speak against political correctness.

 

In the Dutch provincial elections the Forum for Democracy (FDV) Party has rocketed to 12 seats from nothing. They only launched in 2016.  The FDV campaigned against “climate change hysteria” and against immigration and for more direct democracy. The Financial Times calls them Eurosceptics.

For centre right parties there are many votes to be gained in being outspokenly skeptical of climate change — Abbott, Trump, Dean, and now “Baudet”.

Thierry Baudet, 36, heads up the FDV. The Dutch PM was and still is Mark Rutte (of the VVD supposedly a centre right party), and he has just lost control of the upper house. There are 75 seats all up, and FDV somehow looks like getting 12, the same number as the ruling VVD Party.

The “centre right” ruling party apparently now has to do deals with the Greens. Which tells us all we need to know about how not-right the centre-right is.

Far-right populists score stunning win in Dutch provincial [...]