JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


Handbooks


Advertising


Australian Speakers Agency



GoldNerds

The nerds have the numbers on precious metals investments on the ASX



The Skeptics Handbook

Think it has been debunked? See here.

The Skeptics Handbook II

Climate Money Paper



Archives

Books

No sign that Man-Made CO2 does anything to the cost of disasters

Roger Pielke Jnr in Forbes:

Everything You Hear About Billion-Dollar Disasters Is Wrong

First NOAA did the billion dollar disaster graph and forgot that it was just a artificially truncated proxy for inflation. Then after they got caught, they adjusted for inflation, but are still forgetting, somehow, that more people live in the US, and GDP has risen, so there are more assets to be destroyed. The storms have a larger target and more chance of “scoring”.

Here’s the ominous, grant-raising NOAA Count of U.S. billion-dollar disasters, 1980 to 2016.

Tried to graph disasters, accidentally graphed their own incompetence

 

Luckily there’s one man left in academia who hasn’t been sacked yet. Roger Pielke is helping NOAA out again and has calculated a meaningful graph instead.

Obviously, carbon emissions have gone to hell in a Saturn 4 Rocket, but in the USA it hasn’t made any visible impact in the last third of a century:

 

Cost of disasters, floods, storms, Roger, Pielke Jnr. Data:  data from the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (GDP) and Arizona State University (hazard losses).

Is it just incompetence, or is the NOAA team really succeeding (but as a Public Relations Agency [...]

This is the “old normal” — these fires are mid to late season fires for NSW

Fires in Spring? It’s normal for fires to peak in Spring in NSW

Greg Mullins is a former Fire and Rescue NSW commissioner and a councillor on the Climate Council, he implies in the Sydney Morning Herald that this is abnormal and that fires are starting earlier: 

If anyone tells you, “This is part of a normal cycle” or “We’ve had fires like this before”, smile politely and walk away, because they don’t know what they’re talking about.

In NSW, our worst fire years were almost always during an El Nino event, and major property losses generally occurred from late November to February. Based on more than a century of weather observations our official fire danger season is legislated from October 1 to March 31. During the 2000s though, major fires have regularly started in August and September, and sometimes go through to April.

This year, by the beginning of November, we had already lost about as many homes as during the disastrous 2001-2002 bushfire season. We’ve now eclipsed 1994 fire losses.

Mosomoso: The fire season in NSW is spring — this is not early, this is “late season”

For those [...]

In 1946 — 800 miles of fires “stretched from Brisbane to Townsville”

In 1946 fires burned in an “almost unbroken chain from Brisbane to Townsville”. They lit up the sky at night, pushed plumes of smoke 3,000 ft in the sky, that looked like “Bikini Atoll”. And this was July…

Qld 1946: Now that’s what I call Hazard Reduction

Believers of man-made-weather say that warmer drier conditions and longer fire seasons are preventing hazard reduction burns. Aside from the fact that a warmer world is not a drier world, and rainfall trends have gone up not down, this is a snowflakes excuse. Even if it were true, the answer is to get more serious about burning off when conditions are cooler.

Thanks to Siliggy, Lance Pidgeon for the pointer. This is what Queenslanders used to do when they were serious about stopping wildfires. Their view of dry brush was that it was waiting like tinder…

Fortunately yesterday, Armageddon didn’t come to the East Coast. But it might have.

800 Miles Of Fires Along the North Coast

The Courier Mail, Monday July 29th, 1946

Trove, National Library of Australia

By a Staff Correspondent TOWNSVILLE, Sunday. — Fires are burning to-night in an almost unbroken chain from the edge of Brisbane to Townsville, [...]

Opportunists and the backlash: Tree changers meet a megafire, and Greens meet some rage

Catastrophic fires are predicted tomorrow across the East Coast of Australia.  Around 500 schools will be closed tomorrow. Some 400,000 people have been warned “to be ready. Thousands are evacuated. A state of emergency has been declared. 1,400 interstate fire fighters have gone to NSW to help.

For updates about  New South Wales, check the NSW RFS website. For Queensland, see the QLD RFS website.

MyFireWatch has a live map updated regularly with outbreaks.

——————————————————————

How close and thick was that forest?

Shots from the ABC news Monday. To appreciate what happened, see the moving scene as people approach these ruins through tiny lanes surrounded by dense forest. (Full ABC segment below).

Bobin, NSW, Fire damage, ABC News

Look at the trees around this house at Rainbow Flat

The backlash begins

The opportunistic greens are already crying “climate change” while firestorms rage and lives are potentially under threat

Greens playing politics with fire, say Labor and Coalition

Greg Brown, The Australian

Greens leader Richard Di ­Natale sparked fury from both major parties when he said the ­nation’s emissions policy had caused the fires that killed three people and injured 100.

Greens policies increasing bushfire [...]

But weren’t solar panels supposed to stop bushfires?

Scenes of Armageddon in New South Wales today and people are calling it a climate emergency on twitter. Ban new coal mines! Blame Tony Abbott!  (See #nswbushfires). So far there are three deaths, and 150 houses lost (at least). The latest report tonight from @NSW RFS is that at 12:30am, there were 74 bush fires across NSW, 43 still not under control.

@smhussey This was the view over Northern NSW last night.

Passengers flying out of the Gold Coast said they couldn’t get away from the flames. #NSWfires

Details:https://t.co/xiUiZn9Ygh  CREDIT Zach Firth on Facebook

Frightening at any time, especially so this early in the season. It wasn’t that long ago we would have still been undertaking small hazard reduction burns at this time of year. Not any more.#NSWbushfires #QLDbushfirespic.twitter.com/Wchw4NDl8U

— ÆnesidemusOZ ⓒ 抗 (@AenesidemusOZ) November 9, 2019

Wow. That is a lot of forest being converted into cloud in that satellite image.

 

Too much fuel causes extreme bush fires, not climate change

67 years of hazard reduction in Western Australia shows exactly how to control wildfires. It’s just chemistry.

We leave all that fuel lying around then get surprised when [...]

Weekend Unthreaded

….

African oil and gas booms and first world rich XR calls Africans “climate criminals”

The Red Brigade uniforms are mass produced and the same all over the world.

Big finds in Mozambique, Saudi trouble, and the anti coal movement are helping African oil and gas:

Why Africa’s Oil & Gas Sector Is Exploding

By Tsvetana Paraskova – Nov 05, 2019, OilPrice

Major oil and gas discoveries and subsequent investments in infrastructure projects are set to help the oil and gas industry in Africa to grow, also helped by improved governance and regulation, PwC said in its newly released Africa oil & gas review 2019.

“One of the most dramatic finds in Africa over the past decade is Mozambique’s natural gas estimated at over 180 tcf, which has already unlocked the first three large-scale LNG projects,” according to PwC.

These projects and additional exploration could make Mozambique the world’s third-largest LNG producer after Qatar and Australia by 2030, PwC says.

 So seven XR groupies turn up outside an African oil and gas conference to show just how arrogant they are:

Extinction Rebellion calls Africa Oil Week delegates “climate criminals”

   By Madison Yauger, GroundUp

In a media statement, the group said: “Following the protest on [...]

Cut carbon emissions by drinking eco-vodka

Eight full grown trees of carbon in every bottle of Eco-vodka

No seriously, yesterday Air Co launched a type of vodka made from air instead of potatoes. One bottle allegedly soaks up “as much CO2 as eight fully grown trees.”

At $65 a bottle, this will be a must have for fashionable snowflakes who have too much money and not enough taste buds.

This solves the hole in the market for all the people wanting low carbon Bloody Mary’s.

The vodka, which costs $65 for a 750 ml bottle, is made from only two ingredients, carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas) and water. That’s unlike traditional vodka, which is typically made by fermenting grains such as corn, potato and wheat. Producing a typical bottle of vodka could create around 13 pounds of greenhouse gases, according to Fast Company, while Air Co.’s product is carbon negative, removing a pound of carbon from the air with every bottle produced.

More efficiently than plants?!

The process uses the same principles as photosynthesis in plants but does so more efficiently,” Constantine tells CNBC Make It.

Air Co.’s technology splits water into hydrogen and oxygen, then combines the hydrogen with carbon dioxide [...]

Meet the doomers: The near term human extinction support group

In this world, the deniers are the ones who think humans will survive

There are people more extreme than Extinction Rebellion. Though in a quieter way. They’ve given up. They’re so convinced by the apocalypse — a world careering towards doom — that they only feel at home around others who share their fears. Many have lost relationships, and now often hide their beliefs from their family. Many have dropped out of protests.

Activism means growing opium poppies so they have painkillers to make the end-time easier instead of starving. Kind of like “preppers” but not that optimistic.

James Purtill the ABC journalist, admits he himself was too dark for his girlfriend. “We broke up”.

The doomers get evicted and isolated from mainstream believers because “they sound too much like deniers”. Just as the deniers (he means skeptics) say there is no point cutting emissions, so do the doomers: they figure death is coming, it’s too late, why bother? Indeed.

Unlike the XR-attention-seekers, these are the gullible but they’re introverted, nicer, not forcing their beliefs on anyone. After the fantasy leap to believe in experts and models, there’s a certain kind of logic to it.

More collateral damage of the [...]

Real Estate worth 7% less in low lying climate “believer” areas

Image Paulbr75

Beachfront property in skeptical areas is worth 7% more than equivalent homes in “believer” neighborhoods.

Presumably believers think those homes are at risk of being washed away — at least that’s what the researchers think. But it could be that believers suffer an immediate social penalty — imagine turning up to the local dinner party and having to admit to the thought-police that you just bought a beachside mansion?

Then again, the real motivator might be that people will pay more to live next to a skeptic.

This brings the dilemma for skeptics — save 7% on the new house, but live surrounded by snowflakes, or pay more and get on better with neighbors?

Does climate change affect real estate prices? Only if you believe in it

According to a new study from the UBC Sauder School of Business, buyers could end up paying significantly more for a home.

For the large-scale study, researchers combined sea level data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), geographic data about climate change attitudes from the Yale Program on Climate Change, and proprietary data on millions of repeat real estate transactions from Zillow to examine [...]

Doomsday poll shrinks 25%: Now just 11,000 MeToo scientists say “panic now”

Who remembers that 15,000 scientists signed some climate declaration in 2017? The same Prof Ripple, and Bioscience probably hope you don’t, because two years later there is the same rehashed, but with only 11,000 signatories. So 4,000 disappeared without a trace. There are however, the same comic indefendable graphs. Call it “extreme graphing” — every line needs to be diagonal. All “pauses” are disappearing. No fallacy remains unbroken.

To stop storms we apparently need to reduce the global population, stop mining “excessive” minerals, eat more veges,  and we need to preserve biodiversity, reefs, forests and greenery at whatever it was in 1685 or whenever the sacred preindustrial year of Life On Earth is declared. You know the drill — coal and oil are demon spirits. Exorcise them now! Then rinse, repeat and …hand-wash your undies.

This is panic-science: hold the error bars, hide the adjustments and heap on the hype.

Climate crisis: 11,000 scientists warn of ‘untold suffering’

Damian Carrington, The Guardian

The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists.

“We [...]

Midweek Unthreaded

A town in Texas went “100% renewables” and prices jumped 20%

Georgetown Texas did the Fake Renewables Show and Dance — the one where they “buy” 100% renewables but are connected 24/7 to a grid maintained by the usual non-renewable baseload generators. No doubt they paid for the right number of gigawatt hours of renewables but it’s a mere electrical-accounting trick. They didn’t cut the cord, and they’re not paying for all the hidden costs they would incur if they did.

The real cost of the mythical “100% renewables” does not include a gas fired backup station (which they’re using) — but it does include a huge storage system, transmission lines, and frequency control. They’d need something like 60,000 tons of lithium-ion batteries costing about $2 billion dollars* and maybe a couple of dams too.

ENERGY TRANSITIONS How 100% renewables backfired on a Texas town

Edward Klump, E&E News reporter

 

 

Electricity from various sources commingles on the main Texas grid, and the city said it’s not claiming that electrons produced in West Texas are the same ones people consume in central Texas. Georgetown’s customers have been paying for all-renewable energy since April 2017, based on a standard in Texas, it said. Still, [...]

Just like that: US serves notice to quit Paris Agreement

First nation out leads the way:

Lisa Friedman, New York Times

Trump serves notice to quit Paris Aggreement

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration formally notified the United Nations on Monday that it would withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement on climate change, leaving global climate diplomats to plot a way forward without the cooperation of the world’s largest economy.

The action, which came on the first day possible under the accord’s complex rules on withdrawal, begins a yearlong countdown to the United States exit…

A true leader, Trump didn’t wait for herd approval, just made his own path.

But why does it take so many years to get out?  It’s a non-binding, non-treaty with no legal teeth except ones countries domestically screw on themselves. The wording is “should” not “shall”. Most nations aren’t even aiming to meet their own targets, and their commitment is essentially to turn up and renegotiate their commitment, and get told off for not fawning enough, whether or not their actual target reductions in carbon emissions are met or not. Is there any reason why this can’t be extinguished overnight except that the deep state bureaucrats knew the agreement [...]

Japan: The precautionary principle killed more people than the Fukushima nuclear disaster

The panicked closure of nuclear power in Japan pushed electricity prices up. The UN agrees that no people died from radiation in the Fukushima event, but the frenzied over-evacuation killed up to 2,000 people. After that, higher electricity prices led to at least 1280 extra deaths in the 21 largest cities. That translates into 4,500 deaths if the mortality rate was similar across the rest of the country.

Japan nuclear shutdown did ‘more harm than good’, study finds

World Nuclear News

Be Cautious with the Precautionary Principle: Evidence from Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Accident, by Matthew Neidell, Shinsuke Uchida and Marcella Veronesi. A discussion paper by the Germany-based IZA Institute of Labor Economics.

“Our estimated increase in mortality from higher electricity prices significantly outweighs the mortality from the accident itself, suggesting the decision to cease nuclear production caused more harm than good.”

The authors calculated that these higher electricity prices resulted in at least an additional 1280 deaths during 2011-2014. This is higher than a previously documented estimate of 1232 deaths which occurred as a result of the evacuation after the accident, they say.

“Since our data [on mortality related to higher [...]