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

Clickbait climate records: Hot in France but snowpacked in Canada and Colorado

News today is filled with “record heat” in France — whatever, it might be the hottest since thermometers started measuring, but it’s been hotter before. Even if it’s real, it’s only a technicality because we only started records recently. At most it can only be the hottest in 130 years or so, and we know it was just as hot in medieval times, hotter 7,000 years ago, hotter 130,000 years ago, and so on, hotter for most of life on Earth.

The record heat in France is a meaningless clickbait moment in climate history that preys upon the short term human psyche. Like some collective amnesia we forget that the French Revolution was but a moment ago in geologic history. So this is the worst heatwave in Europe since … 2003? 

But is it even a real (albeit short term) record? We don’t know if French historic records were adjusted, cooled, subject to unaccounted site moves, or measured in super sensitive electronic thermometers that didn’t exist in 1896.  But we do know that when France’s top TV meteorologists wrote a skeptical book, he was sacked. If the data is being tampered with, what are the odds that any recognised French [...]

Advice to the National Environmental Science Program

Unfortunately this survey closes Saturday Sunday at 5pm EST. One DAY to go now. [Correction: Day was wrong, go for it. h/t Eric Worrall].

Apologies to those who would have liked to send in a submission. Hopefully I covered much on your behalf.

The National Environmental Science Programs wants feedback and to figure out priorities for environmental research in one specific program. This funding is $145m, among other things they fund David Karoly at CSIRO.  The form promises a receipt and a PDF reply.

NESP is seeking your feedback

The National Environmental Science Program (NESP) is scheduled for completion in 2021. Early planning for a future environmental research program to succeed NESP has commenced. The details of a future program are subject to Government decisions.

Feedback on key aspects of NESP will help inform the design and administration of a future program. A survey is now available via the Department’s online consultation hub. The survey will close on 30 June 2019.

Consultation on the National Environmental Science Program

h/t Darren Nelson

________________________________________________________________________________________

6. What have been the barriers to engagement [with NESP research]?

1. Data and methods are not always publicly available. 2. [...]

“Insanity”. Feel the angst — should the Emissions Reductions Fund pay money to coal?

Let’s set national policy by “Embarrassment”? Great way to run the country (into the ground).

Skeptics: send in your submissions  before July 12.

A coal generator has asked the Emissions Reductions Fund to pay for carbon credits if it upgrades its turbines and makes less CO2. “The Specialist Reporting Team’s” Penny Timms, of the ABC, quotes two activists, asks no skeptics, no engineers, no electricity consumers, and no hard questions. They call the owner of the generator a “coal baron”. Where are the “wind and solar barons”?

Here’s the ABC standing up for their own ideology:

The chief of the Australian Conservation Foundation, Kelly O’Shanassy, said “it would be a mistake.”

“We would be the only country in the world to be using a climate fund to fund coal-fired power, and that would just be a global embarrassment,” she said.

So a know-nothing activist sayth it would be embarrassing. Who cares? Does it reduce CO2 or doesn’t it? Japan the World Bank and the UN green fundshave funded coal power.

Hypocrisy unbounded — does CO2 matter or not?

If CO2 is reduced by upgrading a coal station is it really a CO2 reduction or it is an unthinkable Sin? Apparently [...]

Oregon Democrats say climate bill is “dead”. Republican senators wait in hiding. “Prove it”.

Oregon’s Eleven Update: The eleven Republican Senators remain in hiding to block a vote on the HB2020 Cap N Trade bill. The ruling Democrats have now said the bill is dead — even suggesting that they don’t have the numbers in the Senate themselves. But Republicans are wondering if that’s just a ploy to trick them into returning. After all, if the Democrats didn’t have enough votes from their own Senators why did they put the bill up for a vote?

If the State Troopers caught them, would they detain them “in the Chamber”?

So much for a high trust society:

Top Oregon Democrats Say Climate Change Bill Is Dead After GOP Senators Fled the State

Chip Browlee, Slate

[...]

The planned electricity shortages begin and duped Australians say “thanks”

Once upon a time Australians were rich enough to afford electricity on demand

Now obedient Australian’s are impressed with getting tiny refund for having voluntary mini-kinda-blackout.

Presumably, people are either desperate or already so trained in paying unnecessarily exorbitant electricity bills that they are grateful just to get a tiny fraction of their electricity payments back as an incentive for switching off when it suits those managing our inadequate infrastructure.

Demand response is a sales term for a voluntarily “doing without”. The ABC describes it as a wonderful new market force held back by selfish corporate greed (wouldn’t you know it?). The ABC doesn’t mention that electricity used to cost much less before we artificially forced renewables onto the grid and drove out the cheap reliable baseload generators or make the remaining ones less efficient and more expensive. But who remembers 1995?  Were ABC researchers even born then?

It’s like 50 years of history doesn’t exist:

Another graph the ABC won’t show on TV

Behind-the-scenes battle over future of Australia’s energy market

It’s called demand response – it allows customers to save thousands of dollars by switching their appliances to lower electricity use at peak times.

[...]

Midweek Unthreaded

ManBearPriestMonks are the new climate experts: they declare faith in IPCC instead of God

Religious leaders dump coal, declare “no faith”

There goes my world. Who knew they had faith in coal?

So forget science, climate change is a moral problem. Is climate sensitivity 1 degree or 3? Ask a priest.

A group called Australians Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC) has badgered 150 soft targets in the religious world to sign a grandiose letter making coal into the new Lucifer.

The Guardian

In an open letter headed “no faith in coal”, the leaders say the climate crisis is a profoundly moral problem and Australia’s response will be crucial in addressing it.

Signatories to the letter include bishops, rabbis, theologians, the grand mufti of Australia and the heads of the Uniting Church, the Federation of Australian Buddhist Councils, Muslims Australia and the National Council of Churches.

Remember the alarmist maxim: ask a plumber to do the plumbing, a heart expert to do the surgery and when you want to predict the climate, ask an Imam.

Or failing that — ask a school student — which is what the religious leaders have done. Let’s quote their letter:

As you know, thousands of school students have been protesting in our [...]

Oregon: Police seek 11 Republican Senators — in hiding to stop vote on 80% carbon reduction

State troopers have been called in to get Oregon’s Republican senators back to vote on a climate change bill, but all 11 senators are in secret locations apparently interstate. No vote can take place on anything without at least one of those senators being in the chamber to vote.

Oregon’s Republican state senators go into hiding over climate change vote amid militia threat

ABC News USA.

Eleven Republicans refused to show up to work on Thursday and went into hiding in protest of HB2020, a bill that establishes a carbon cap, in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Industries that emit carbon dioxide — power plants, manufacturers, etc. — would have to buy an “allowance” for each metric ton emitted, thereby reducing the incentive to produce carbon dioxide in the first place.

The goal of the bill is to cut greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050 versus 1990 numbers.

It’s a question of democracy: On the one hand, if Oregonians voted for this draconian cut, they ought get it. On the other, the Republicans are incensed and want a democratic solution — a state wide ballot. The legislation is such a disaster for a [...]

Spot the gender-race flagwaving in climate junkets

The Climate Change River of Gravy is so wide and so fast it pulls other Big-Gov religions into the flow. Kind of like a Bernoulli Effect of Bureaucracy. The vacuum of common sense sucks. Or fast flowing nonsense attracts more nonsense.

Anthropologists of the future will study UNFCCC meetings

Here, two deep state clan members fly to a joint junket in Bonn. The climate sect does a feminist-indigenous handshake as a test of social rank. Will Australia pass?

Gender issues top Bonn climate summit

Graham Lloyd, The Australian

Australian officials attending ­climate change talks in Germany are being grilled on how the country is tackling global warming by addressing gender and ­indigenous issues.

The Canadian is proving their value to the other dependents of Big-Gov (though not to Canadian taxpayers):

In written questions to Aust­ralia about its climate change ­response, Canada has asked whether indigenous or traditional knowledge was taken into consideration in developing domestic policies or implementing measures to address climate change.

This gives the Australian a free pass to brag about similar pointless flag waving to an imaginary God that preferentially burns down the houses of single indigenous mothers. Should the [...]

Weekend Unthreaded

Peter Ridd: The Great Barrier Reef has about the same amount of coral as in 1985

The IPA team interview Peter Ridd. He explains that what’s happening on the Great Barrier Reef with coral bleaching is a normal cycle. He tells his story of being censured at James Cook university, but admits the state of free speech at universities in Australia is non-existent — even after his win. They discuss how we might reform science with audits (universities are almost a lost cause). We’ll probably never know how many scientists think similar thoughts to Peter Ridd. We know that they’ll need a $250,000 legal fund if they say so.

UPDATE: Importantly — Ridd says that the admin are still utterly convinced they are right. They have no remorse, no recognition of why they were wrong. Does this mean admin staff now decide what science is, not Profs? Apparently so. They hold the purse strings, not the Profs. Power follows the money. Indeed, JCU has no commitment to free speech; they’ve now removed the clause that ensured Ridd won. In their minds, their mistake was not in being draconian, but being careless with legal clauses. The Deep State tightens its stranglehold on science.

Peter Ridd: Of all the ecosystems in the world, the reef is one that’s [...]

Surprise: 17,000 lost wallets show humans are nice people (mostly)

Humans are a gregarious species. Most people do the right thing, and it’s this altruism, or self-identification as a “good person” that the climate industry preys on.

In a new study, researchers pretended to be tourists dropping 17,000 wallets they’d “found” into banks, offices, theatres and such, then tracking which ones got returned. To most people’s astonishment (lay person and expert) not only were a lot of wallets returned but the ones with the most money ($94) in them were returned more often.

What nobody seems to have remarked on is that these wallets were just plastic pouches. Which makes it all the more amazing that in so many nations a mere $13 in a plastic envelope might prompt half the population (or more) to send an email. How many people couldn’t be bothered, not because they are dishonest, but they figure, with petrol and parking, it’s not worth the owners time to come collect this? Indeed, people even sent off an email to return the “wallets” which didn’t have money to begin with.

Ed Cara at Gizmodo inadvertently summed up the zeitgeist of Western self hate, saying that this new study shows ” …maybe we’re not as awful a [...]

Birds start fire at solar plant, cost $8m, stops 84% of plant generating for weeks

Expensive birds

California Valley Solar Ranch Photo Credit: Sarah Swenty/USFWS

Oops. On June 5th, an event described as “an avian incident” started a fire at the California Valley Solar Ranch plant in California. The 250MW plant was reduced to 40MW of generation. It’s expected to be back up and running on July 1. By then the incident will have cost the company $8m.

‘Avian Incident’ Knocks Out 84% of Massive California Solar Farm

by Millicent Dent, Blomberg

An “avian incident” sparked a fire at one of California’s biggest solar farms, affecting 1,200 acres and knocking out 84% of the California Valley Solar Ranch’s generating capacity.

Impressive company spin:

“ incidents such as these give us continued confidence in our risk prevention and mitigation plans.””

It’s not clear if this was one bird, or a flock.

The plant covers 2000 acres (8km2) was built in 2013 at an estimated cost of $1.6b using a $1.2b loan from taxpayers through the DoE. It makes about 550 GWh a year at times that may or may not suit Californians. No doubt readers here will help out comparing the output of an equivalent coal plant built at a [...]

Finally “world first” study on nine houses shows wind towers make pulsing noise for 3.5 km

Generic wind turbine near farm. Photo: @gonz_ddl

Finally, a study looks at data on nine houses within ten kilometers of an old (probably small) wind turbine. What’s amazing about this research is not the result but that this study is so tiny, yet it’s still a “world first”.

There are already probably around 400,000 wind turbines installed around the world.* So you might think that there would have been scores of studies involving hundreds of people and followed up for a year or two. They would have looked at the effect of wind turbines upwind, downwind, side wind, in low wind, high wind, and at different times of day. They’d check for altered sleep patterns, lack of deep sleep, REM sleep, cognitive performance, blood pressure, cortisol levels, and school marks. Dream on. It’s like everything with climate change — who needs data?

Renewables are a $300 billion annual global industry. This work was done with a $1.4 million National Health and Medical Research Council grant. Where is the precautionary principle when we need it?

Can wind turbines disturb sleep? Research finds pulsing audible in homes up to 3.5km away

Nicole Hasham, Sydney Morning Herald

[...]