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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The inference crisis: when one third of experts draw the wrong conclusions with “way too much confidence”.

So much for expert judgement

In a test of scientists abilities, the same data was sent to 27 teams of researchers in cognitive psychology. The idea was to test the theoretical inferences they drew. But those expert teams drew conclusions from identical data that varied, oh boy, all the way from “zero to 100 percent.” One of the research team described it as a “jaw dropping” result –   where only one third of the experts made the correct inferences about what that data meant. Two thirds of the experts were either totally wrong or just operating “a bit better than pure guessing”.

What are we teaching at universities?

Beyond the ‘replication crisis,’ does research face an ‘inference crisis’?

Researchers test expert inferences against known data, find inconsistency

What they found was “enormous variability between researchers in what they inferred from the same sets of data,” Starns says. “For most data sets, the answers ranged from 0 to 100 percent across the 27 responders,” he adds, “that was the most shocking.”

Rotello reports that about one-third of responders “seemed to be doing OK,” one-third did a bit better than pure guessing, and one-third “made misleading [...]

Oopsie solar-battery fail? Cloud causes System Black event at Alice Springs affecting thousands

Welcome to the new complexified energy grid where a cloud can cause a system black event — knocking out power for as much as nine hours. This affected the hospital for 30 minutes and the prolonged problems caused many businesses and supermarkets to close. Alice Springs is an island microgrid servicing about 29,000 people in the centre of Australia. It was 38 degrees C yesterday when the power went out. Shame about those fridges and air conditioning units.

Alice Springs is a mini version of larger grids showing how fragile these new complicated systems of multiple generators based on weather events and batteries can be.

Looks modern, sometimes has electricity too. Alice Springs  |  Photo by Stefano, Wikimedia.

 Yesterday: Thousands impacted by Alice Springs power blackout*

Steve Vivian, ABC News

Thousands of residents in Central Australia went without power yesterday afternoon, with some experiencing blackout conditions for up to nine hours.

Electricity was cut across the Alice Springs region around 2:30pm yesterday and was not restored in some areas until 10:47pm.

Today: Inquiry called, and explanations garbled — NT Chief Minister announces review

NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner told ABC Darwin [...]

Extinction Rebellion are run by paid activists — the £200,000 “grassroots” movement

Looks like a religion, acts like a religion…  @ExtinctionR

Just another group profiting from “climate change”

What other grassroots movement has fears of “six figure tax bills”? And these are just the UK figures.

How Extinction Rebellion climate change zealots – including a baronet’s Cambridge-educated granddaughter – are paid £400 a week to bring mayhem to our streets

by Holly Bancroft and James Heale, Mail on Sunday

Extinction Rebellion activists are being paid up to £400-a-week to lead protests Activists have been paid more than £200,000 since the start of the scheme   The eco-protest group privately fears it could face six-figure tax bill from HMRC  Tory MP calls on HMRC to launch an investigation into the group’s tax affairs

A document entitled Finance Policy And Processes seen by this newspaper in a ‘work in progress’ version states: ‘The maximum claim for volunteer living expenses is £400 a week (or £200 for someone volunteering part-time).”

But XR’s documents raise concerns about the fact that it has paid no tax or National Insurance on these sums, and questioned the employment status of activists.

The payments aren’t illegal, though the tax avoidance might be. But it [...]

How dare you steal my dreams for a sensible democracy!

Adam Bandt, Greens MP, set up a  Parliamentary Committee on Climate Action which aims to declare a Climate Emergency in Australia. Five Liberal (conservatives) have signed up to the chicken-entrails committee.

Rowan Dean has a message on Sky News for Tim Wilson, Dave Sharma, Jason Falinski, Katie Allen, Angie Bell and Trent Zimmerman, said in a Swedishy indignant voice

How Dare You!

You have stolen my dreams and my hopes for a sensible conservative government with your empty words like renewables and climate emergencies.

People are being conned, people are being hoodwinked,

Entire educational standards are collapsing before our eyes…

 I would add: How dare you wreck a perfectly good civilization based on nothing more than inept simulations from an immature crystal ball gazing science, staffed with B-grade, aggrandizing pretenders that hide declines, fiddle data, and think namecalling is an analytical technique.

How dare you exploit the weak minded, inciting the gullibles to break the law and glue themselves to crosswalks!

[...]

Weekend Unthreaded

Battle of the religions: Vatican may list Green Sins against planet

The Catholic Church eyes off the competition — the Green Church of hippie witchdoctors. Thinks about discovering a new commandment — thou shalt not hurt silicon dioxide, (or something like that.)

Some catholic delegates call it an ecological conversion. I call it a marketing campaign.

Harming planet could be a sin, say Vatican delegates

by Tom Kington, The Australian

Delegates at the Pope’s synod on the creeping destruction of the Amazon have called for crimes against the environment to be ranked alongside traditional sins and have raised the idea of “ecological conversion” to a greener brand of Catholicism.

Can’t beat the pagans — can join them:

Conservative critics of the Pope, who loathe his liberal stances on homosexuality and divorce, claim that he has no business fighting climate change. They also allege that the synod’s working document gives tacit approval to pagan worship by praising the closeness of Amazon tribes to ­nature. Cardinal Gerhard Muller, from Germany, a former senior Vatican official who was ousted by the Pope in 2017 over his conservative views, has criticized the term “ecological conversion”, stating: “There is only conversion to the Lord.”

The Vatican wants [...]

The State of Destruction

Sometimes we fool ourselves into thinking that destruction is creating something and that the government is a wish-fairy.

Nice quote “The Industrial Decalogue”  from 1916.

You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot help small men by tearing down big men. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer. You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred. You cannot establish security on borrowed money. You cannot build character and courage by taking away men’s initiative and independence. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.

by William J. H. Boetcker

–W.I.S.T. (Wish I’d said that).

The list is known by many names — like “the Ten Cannots”. Urban myth has it that Abraham Lincoln said it, but he did not.

Imagine if this (or something like it) was a school anthem?

(And there may be even better, shorter ones, suggest away…)

 

h/t [...]

Midweek Unthreaded

Port Hedland: one man with a keen interest knows more about this site than the Bureau of Met does

If the planet was at stake you’d think the BOM would be doing this research, not unpaid volunteers.

Bill Johnston has shown again, that the BOM is apparently unaware and, perhaps most damningly, not even interested in most of the things that happened to their official thermometer sites.

Port Hedland is supposedly “one of the best” researched sites in Australia — so it is a certified ACORN site (one of the 112). The trends matter, and being remote, it influences a large area. But one man with dedication and no funding at all can find key historical maps and photos that the BOM, with its million dollar-a-day budget, cannot.  Instead of doing this hard work the BOM uses the magical homogenization process “to fix” up all the anomalies by hunting for data in sites hundreds of kilometers away that can be used to adjust the records at Port Hedland. This is the secret process that even the BOM admits it cannot describe in full to anyone outside the BOM. As Johnston says, it’s a process so bad it “should be abandoned”. There is no saving the error correction that starts with bad data, missing documents, and barely any historical research [...]

Homogenisation: The Magical system which uses thermometers in Victoria to correct the temperature in Tasmania

Trying to fix past mistakes through homogenization

Lots of things can muck up a perfect thermometer spot, like shade, new roads, new screens, or old paint. In order to remove these annoying non-climatic effects, the BOM compares each station to those around it to look for odd changes. In theory this sounds like a good idea. In practice it’s more like hepatitis – bad news that spreads. It’s a rogue code, sweeping through records, trying to find undocumented changes, and enabling any amount of revisionism.

The BOM “detects” these mysterious shifts at each site through thermometers that may be hundreds of kilometers away, even across a mountain range or the Bass Strait.

Among other sites, Cape Bruny in far south Tasmania has been corrected with the help of Ballarat 812 km away on the mainland, over mountains and across the Bass Strait. In 1991 Cape Bruny was found to be “statistically” wrong, and adjusted down by over half a degree.

All these sites marked in red were used to correct the record at least once at Cape Bruny, a distant island in the far south of Tasmania.

It’s a tough life for old screens: Their wooden houses get [...]

Weekend Unthreaded

….

Australia: 2019 was not the hottest summer say satellites — it was just as hot in 1991

All that global warming and nothing to show for it?

Headlines rang out telling Australians that last summer was the hottest ever. But, according to the UAH satellite series, the hottest — just barely — was in 1991, when CO2 was a wonderful, safe 356 ppm. Since then, humans have emitted more than half — fully 58% — of all the emissions we have ever emitted since we crawled out of those dank caves. CO2 levels are almost 50 ppm higher now, and temperatures are almost as high.*

Wonder if this summer will get close to the summer of 1991 (and we wonder if Victoria will keep the lights on).

The UAH data comes from NASA satellites, which cover all the Australian land mass every day and night.

The BOM (and NASA) prefers to use Australian ground data which is based on sparse thermometers that keep changing sites and equipment, are located near airport tarmacs, buildings, and cars. When readings are too cold, the BOM sometimes deletes them. Temperatures from thermometers hundreds of kilometers apart are magically homogenized and “corrected” through a secret computer process and two thirds of our warming comes from those adjustments, not from CO2 [...]

Which expert put a thermometer on a hot tin roof for 40 years?

Is This the Wackiest Weather Station in Australia?

Guest post by Ken Stewart

South Australia puts thermometers beside incinerators. Victoria puts them behind prison walls. Tasmania has one beside piles of human excrement. New South Wales has them beside freeways. But Queensland goes one better — it has one on a roof.  And not just any roof, but on the shiny steel roof of a sugar loader, high above the ocean, and at the end of a jetty 5.6 kilometres out to sea. It’s in the Coral Sea, at Lucinda Point in Far North Queensland.

This station cannot possibly record meaningfully representative temperatures. But these temperatures are duly reported on the Bureau’s websites, and on TV and radio. Not only that, but temperatures at Lucinda are used to adjust temperatures at Cairns. Thus, they contribute to the official climate record of Australia, and also to global climate analyses by the likes of the Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS) and the Hadley Climate Research Unit (HadCruT).

Putting a weather station on a roof is a direct breach of the Bureau of Meteorology’s own guidelines, which state:

3.6.7  “Shelters shall not be installed on the [...]

Midweek Unthreaded

Who knew? The Australian Bureau of Met just made last summer hotter, and history colder (again)

The cheapest way to prevent man-made global warming is stop the BOM altering the data

First the BoM had “high quality” data. Then, with fanfare, after we asked for an audit they had the miracle of ACORN circa 2011. Then early this year ACORN 2.0 was quietly birthed  with major adjustments as expert data became “more expert” but the BOM strangely didn’t want to mention that what was so good is now even better (apparently). The unofficial BOM audit team — especially Bob Fernley-Jones and Chris Gillham — have unearthed just how large the latest rewrite of history is. These men are truly independent, they have no funding, and nothing to gain either way. Please thank them for their unpaid dedication.

In this brazen latest round, even the summer of 2018 just got warmer. After all the headlines, after it was measured on supposedly modern first class equipment, even data just 18 months old is being re-fiddled. The temperatures read out on the news in January 2018? Nevermind what they said then. Those hottest ever records then were even hotter than the BoM thought, thanks to amazing new discoveries that the BOM doesn’t think are important enough to issue as [...]