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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Big Gov Octopus squeezes Russia into sending very mixed messages

Putin doesn’t think humans control the climate, and has said so openly. Now, he’s finally agreed to ratify the Paris agreement, though with very low targets. He even did it by a government order (which means he has bypassed the house — the State Duma) — presumably to avoid the people who would voice “the same kinds of arguments against the need for collective action that he himself has frequently expounded.”.

The Cold Calculus Behind Putin’s Lukewarm Embrace of Paris Pact

By Natasha Doff, Ilya Arkhipov, and Yuliya Fedorinova, Bloomberg

Putin, who presides over the world’s fourth-largest emitter, is trying to position himself as a leader of the same transnational regulatory movement that his first economic adviser compared to fascism. After three and half years of foot-dragging, Putin has finally decided to ratify the 2015 Paris Agreement — and the reasons have less to do with the fate of the planet than with geopolitics and gross domestic product.

Mark it in your diary. Straight answer coming:

 In fact, when asked if embracing the Paris pact means Putin now agrees with the scientific consensus on the primary cause of planetary heating, his spokesman was [...]

Weekend Unthreaded

The unseen danger of declaring fake “climate emergencies”

A declaration of a fake emergency is just like yelling “fire” in a crowded theatre

Photo by Takver.

A couple of days after skeptics were banned by The Conversation, came an article advising how people who do illegal, potentially dangerous things can use the “climate emergency” as a legal defense. Skeptics and scientists might rub their hands with glee, waiting for the climate emergency to be vaporised by any half decent prosecuting lawyer. But that won’t happen — the alleged law breakers don’t have to prove there is a climate emergency, they just have to prove that a reasonable person would think there is. So when East Widgiemooltha declares a “mergency”, that is enough.

So when a local council succumbs to fashion whims or gets heckled into declaring an emergency it’s effectively encouraging vandals, tyrants, and paranoid eco-terrorists.

Activists are using the climate emergency as a new legal defence to justify law-breaking

Nicole Rogers, Senior lecturer, School of Law and Justice, Southern Cross University

 The defence permits law-breaking in circumstances of “sudden or extraordinary emergency” if:

an ordinary person possessing ordinary power of self-control could not reasonably be expected to [...]

Eco-worriers new strategy: use Greta as a human shield against debate

The only reason Climate Scare Machine played the Child card was because they’ve given up the adult contest of persuasion.

As a marketing tactic it has a lot going for it. Playing the “girl under seige” card brings out protectors. Holding the “girlie hype” card whips the gullible and emotional into a frenzy. The people who don’t do numbers but rather assess the world via indignation-hope-and-fear can be galvanized into action. They may not be able to add up the megawatts to keep the lights on, but they can leverage emotional barbs to control whole dinner parties. In a gregarious species, that matters.

Strategically, best of all, the kiddie card means most adults will pull their punches, and anyone who tries to reply can be framed as an instant bully. As Laurie Atlas (on 4RO radio) said today, “she’s like a human shield” — the UN put her up there to stop people firing shots back. Just like terrorists hide behind civilians, Eco-terrorists hide behind children.

The UN can fire shots from behind her, and then hold up the Greta-shield to deflect returning missives. “How dare you!”

So the girl too-young-to-own-her-own-home can tell whole nations how to run their economies. She [...]

Bubble pops: Australian renewables investment down 80% as RET subsidy ends

After billions of dollars of “gifts” to the renewables industry, and a doubling of the wholesale electricity price, wind and solar power are still so inefficient and uneconomic that investors can’t make a profit without getting more free money. After the wild bonanza of the last two years the RET scheme has completed the large scale targets that were set so long ago, and that’s it, ppft.

What was 4,300 MW of new projects per quarter is now just 800MW: 83% less

From the Clean Energy Council

After a record breaking two years of investment in large-scale wind and solar projects, the pace of projects reaching financial close has slowed dramatically over the past two quarters. The Clean Energy Regulator announced this month that the large-scale 2020 Renewable Energy Target (RET) has now been met. What happens next is unclear.

Quarterly investment commitments in new renewable energy projects reached a high of over 4500 MW in late 2018, but has since collapsed to less than 800MW in each of the first two quarters of 2019.

All bad things are associated with Tony Abbott

This was the first line in the Clean Energy Council announcement:


Midweek Unthreaded


UN climate summit flops despite the childrens rent-a-crowd crusade

The Childrens Rent-a-crowd Crusade didn’t bring in the money

We all know why the climate picnic last Friday was not held on the weekend — hardly anyone would have come. When adults are too bored to go out and save the world, the only option is children. Butter them up, tell them they are heroes and rebels if they do what they want to do anyway and take the day off school. Climate protests have been shrinking for years, so the adults in charge needed to change strategies, and with a compliant media, it worked — it was a grand theatre.

Great PR. But it came to nothing today anyhow The UN asked for climate plans. Major economies failed to answer

Chloé Farand, Climate Home News

World leaders were asked to come to the UN with concrete plans to cut emissions to net zero.

But on Monday, the presidents and prime ministers of the world’s largest emitting economies stumbled. Signalling just how difficult the work of removing CO2 will be compared to setting targets.

The tougher 1.5C goal of the Paris Agreement, backed by UN chief António Guterres and the majority of the world’s nations, requires achieving net [...]

How to create panic by cherry picking the start date. Lessons from NOAA and NASA

Tony Heller does a fantastic video of the cherry picking done by US propaganda agencies formerly known as “scientific”. It’s an excellent collection of graphs, mostly US based ones, all showing rising trends but all starting in different years. Somehow the warming effect of CO2 starts at different times in different datasets.

Unskeptical Scientists have an excuse for starting every dataset when they do, but there is no excuse for the pattern of continually picking the low point and hiding the hotter-drier past. Heller is calmly scathing about Arctic Sea Ice data. How many people know the early satellite data  shows lower Arctic Sea ice in the 1970s?

It’s the pattern that matters. The US is only a small part of the surface of Earth, but it’s a large part of the propaganda. Formerly great institutions are deceiving the people who pay their salaries. A lie by omission is still a lie…

Before anyone asks: the graphs for Australia don’t necessarily look the same or start at the same date. Though the pattern of behaviour of our “scientists” is — and scary graphs usually start either in 1910 or “the 70s”. The wild heat of the 1890′s and the [...]

JCU appeals Ridd decision: James Cook Uni vows to waste more funds in quest to stamp out opinions

JCU protects reputations not the reef


Despite losing on all 17 points in a case that should never have gone to trial –

Sarah Elks, The Australian:

James Cook University is appealing a decision …  Federal Court documents reveal JCU has briefed one of Australia’s top barristers, Bret Walker SC, to argue it was legal for the north Queensland university to sack Dr Ridd last year after he publicly criticised its climate change science.

Physics professor Dr Ridd will on Monday launch an online bid for crowd-funding to help pay his legal costs, asking for an extra $1.5m, after supporters already tipped in $260,000 to help fund his unfair dismissal claim. Dr Ridd has spent $200,000 of his own money.

“It’s diabolically expensive because we expect it to go all the way to the High Court,” he said. “In the end, this is a battle for academic freedom. It’s about not allowing universities to stifle free speech.

James Cook Uni will dig deeper into taxpayer funds instead of doing research, in order to protect the reputation of overpaid bureaucrats:

Liberal senator James Paterson tells Alan Jones: “It looks like, so [...]

Weekend Unthreaded

It was a Global Climate Picnic Day: Go on — Show us you mean it guys — cut the cord to the coal fired grid

Anyone can say fossil fuels are evil. But let’s count the protestors living without them?

Every kind of motherhood spirit and mass delusion was at the Global Climate Picnic today. It was all things to all people, a day to absolve guilt about living rich, while simultaneously earning social status miles in the Flying Socialite Program. (Or perhaps that’s the Flying Socialist Program).   The Climate Picnic was green and fluffy, nice and sunny, and a walk in the park with the distant promise of free perpetual motion machines.  What’s not to like about a day off school feeling like a rebel for conforming with the throng?

It was a chance to complain about corporate greed, and do a cathartic exorcism of smoke and black stuff, which everyone knows must be bad. It was a spiritual event, a social event, and faked up as a science event too. The dumb could feel smart, the rich could feel pious, and everyone could feel so important. They were of course superheroes saving the whole goddam planet.

Fighting Climate Change is morally right, just like the battle against slavery — says someone in The Guardian, as if setting people free is like liberating electrons. [...]

Under seige: The Conversation pulls the weak “trust your doctor or Climate God” excuse

Today, for your amusement, Misha Ketchell, ex-ABC journalist, editor and ED of The Conversation scrambles to justify why banning half the population from speaking is not censorship. It’s almost a form of satire, but it’s not that clever.

He pulls out the old Argument from Authority and Ad Hom fallacies, known since Aristotle. He’s only 2,300 years behind the leading edge of rhetoric. Worse, the journalist doesn’t even understand the basics of journalism — as in, to research, present the best of both sides, and let the readers decide. Instead Ketchell, whose top scientific qualification is watching the ABC for twenty years, has decided that climate sensitivity of CO2 on planet Earth is 3.3C give or take nothing.

The biggest scandal of university research and science is there waiting to be told, but Ketchell-the-journo is 100% obedient to a collection of unaccountable foreign committee members who do unaudited work with unvalidated models.

Here come the excuses:

There’s a good reason we’re moderating climate change deniers: uninformed comments undermine expertise’

Real experts just answer the questions, they aren’t scared of the uninformed. Why is it only climate science where we need to protect the public from know-nothing comments? Either the punters [...]

Midweek Unthreaded


“The Conversation” gives up conversing, admits defeat on climate, bans all skeptical scientists from commenting!

What kind of conversation only has one side? Paid propaganda.

The Conversation is a site established** by your taxpayer dollars, in countries where 50 – 60% of the entire population don’t agree with the IPCC’s dominant mantra. Yet no matter how qualified you are, no matter how good your argument, your evidence and your data, you, we, half the population, is now banned. The editor Misha Ketchell has officially  blocked unbelievers, and thus effectively admitted that they can’t reply to skeptics, and that skeptics are posing too many questions they can’t answer. They’ve been deleting skeptical comments for years, so it’s good that they finally have the honesty to admit it.

The irony of a site called “The Conversation” which won’t allow a conversation is perfect Owellian Newspeak. Let’s just call it The Conversion from now on (thanks Travis) — the mission is to help converts keep the faith. Yesterday they published hatemail from Tim Flannery calling scientists who disagreed, deniers who are “predatory threats” to his own children. Today they’re banning half the population.

If only they had evidence they wouldn’t need to ban people:


The poor snowflake believers of the Windmills-change-the-weather religion can’t cope with hearing [...]

“Climate deniers are immediate threat to our children” — Ranting, Tim Flannery admits his “colossal failure”

Like the death throes of a religion…

I’d like to see the errors bars on that says Jo

Tim Flannery unhinged. What a rant. Apparently people who deny that Earth has a climate are coming to eat his children or something. It must be awful inside his head:

…the climate crisis has now grown so severe that the actions of the denialists have turned predatory: they are now an immediate threat to our children.

After all his predictions went wrong years ago, now he feels like a failure?

No climate report or warning, no political agreement nor technological innovation has altered the ever-upward trajectory of the pollution. This simple fact forces me to look back on my 20 years of climate activism as a colossal failure.

I say, not at all Tim. You were paid to sell carbon credits and industrial renewables and I’m sure Panasonic are very happy.

Flannery and his institutions may never have been funded by Vestas, GE,  HSBC, Deutche Bank, Goldman Sachs, BBVA and Citigroup  or Communist China but they’re happy too. I mean they’d like to be happier still, but Flannery did his best. And a lot of feudal bureaucrats and desalination-plant-owners are also glad Flannery came to forecast the [...]