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 British are too big to Bully: Nigel Farage

It’s a moment in history. Congratulations to Nigel Farage.

Populism is becoming very popular

The Chairperson bureaucrat sums the petty pointlessness of the EU so well. As the Brits triumphantly and disobediently wave their flags, she tries to order them into submission:  “Could we please remove the flags. ” “If you disobey the rules you get cut off” — she threatens to cut off the nation that’s celebrating that it has cut itself off.

Freed from the self-serving undemocratic conglomerate meddlers.  Brilliant, and best wishes to the UK.  

At long last, they’ll be able to buy whatever dang hairdryer they want…




With populist members lukewarm, The E.U. fast needs some reform, As the Brexiteers show, How to pack up and go, To the exits, could be the new norm. – Ruairi

Friday Open Thread

Democrat admits climate dogma loses to skeptics, asks YouTube to block them instead

If only they had overwhelming evidence they could post YouTubes that were popular

As Steve Milloy says “Not only are we winning the debate… we are forcing our opponents to show who the actual would-be-dictators are. “

Here’s Dem Kathy Castor writing to the YouTube CEO to ask him to stop YouTube suggesting skeptical videos as “up next” or earning advertising money.

To Sundar Pichai,

CEO, Google, CA

[snip intro]

As we all work together to solve this crisis [climate change], we must also eliminate barriers to action, including those as pervasive and harmful as climate denial and climate misinformation.

That’s why I urge you to ensure that Youtube is not incentivising video’s by removing them immediately from the platform’s recommended algorithm; Add ‘climate misinformation’ to the platforms list of borderline content; Stop monetizing videos that promote harmful misinformation and falsehoods about the causes and effects of the climate crisis; Take steps to correct the record for millions of users who have been exposed to climate misinformation on YouTube.

Please respond by Friday February 7, to describe any efforts you plan to take in order to address these important issues.


ABC outrage: Solar in Australia no longer ‘a licence to *steal* money’

ABC writers see only the cruel obstacles in the way of a wealth transfer:

Solar generation is being buffeted by financial headwinds that are killing investment

Who knew that the whole point of financial winds is to kill off dumb investments in the first place? Not the socialist ABC.

If the ABC weren’t an advertising agency for Big Gov dependents, the headline could have read:

Artificial solar bubble busts in Australia: green investors burnt

What big government giveth…

There goes another solar powered Boom and Bust.  |  Greenenergy markets /  Wattclarity

Solar no longer ‘a licence to print money’

Investment has ” has fallen off a cliff.” And there is more of that coming: “Queensland and South Australia have been at the forefront of depressed solar prices, but Mr [Tristan] Edis argues News South Wales and Victoria will not be far behind.

By business reporter Stephen Letts, (Are they kidding? Business?)

Independent wholesale energy market consultant Allan O’Neil has waded through the 660 pages of the ‘Generator Statistical Digest (GSD) 2019′ and found one of the key themes was the struggle new solar farms were having “with the messy reality of the electricity market”.

Back then, [...]

Tuesday Open Thread

Off the charts: Bushfires may be 20 times more intense than the largest fires humans can control

Ten times the fuel means 100 times the intensity

Hardly anyone is talking about these numbers yet they show just how far beyond our control the pyroconvective firestorms are and why we need to be so much smarter at preventing them. They also show how irrelevant temperatures onsite are, compared to fuel load and wind speed.

Controllable fires are 3MW per meter, but we now have loads of 70MW/m

Not only are these fires obscenely, catastrophically intense, it doesn’t matter how much fire fighting equipment we buy, how many dams we empty, they are a man-made disaster, and we’ve known for years how to prevent them. (Some would say, thousands of years). The message in here is that cool controllable burns are tiny, less damaging, and far less intense. The pyroconvective monsters are totally different creatures.

Andrew Bolt interviewed fire expert David Packham in November:

Top fire expert David Packham says forget global warming. It’s the reckless failure to burn-off fuel loads that have turned parts of Australia into death traps. Near Melbourne “we’re looking down the barrel in these areas at 1000 deaths”.

His key point is that if we increase the fuel by ten, [...]

Weekend Unthreaded

Merkel says she wants to talk to skeptics. We’ll believe it when we see it

Angela Merkel, last week.  Source: Kremlin

Now she  gets it — fifty years after school:

DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) – The world needs an open dialogue about climate change to heal the gap between sceptics and believers since time is running out to cut the emissions that drive global warming, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday.

This may seem important after three decades of skeptics being called deniers, and being shut out of every debate, decision and research grant. But it has all the hallmarks of relevance-deprivation-syndrome. The US people elected a skeptic, and he and Saint Greta have stolen her limelight:

The first two days of the annual Davos gathering were dominated by the back-and-forth between the 73-year-old former businessman Trump and 17-year-old campaigner Greta Thunberg, with corporate leaders caught in the middle, concerned that as well as words, there was a need for concrete decisions.

Statements like this provide cover for the reality which is rampant social ostracism, exclusion, coercion and bullying. But it’s soothing theatre for the Davos crowd who would love to be seen to be diplomatic. They are clapping their own generous image.

She drew applause from the [...]

ABC says Arson = 1%. NSW police say 42% of fires are man-made. 9% are “natural”. Rest unknown. (So far)

It’s an arson epidemic

Holy Smoke Batman! An astonishing 12,000 fires have started in New South Wales since August. The police have investigated 1700 so far. Of those, fully 42% are described as “deliberately lit” which includes both intentional and accidental and at the moment police refuse to put a number on how many are truly arson, as opposed to people deliberately lighting a campfire which ran amok. Only 156 fires of the total investigated, or 9%,  were caused naturally (presumably that means by lightning).

Another 745 fires of the 1700 are not yet determined. There seems plenty of scope to increase the number of man-made fires but I would assume the extent of lightning strikes are already known.

‘Like nothing we’ve ever seen before’: police step up bushfire investigations

Forty specialist police officers will investigate to zero in on and profile would-be arsonists. “Strike Force Tronto is about profiling. It’s about zeroing in on serial arsonist behaviours that occurs during the bushfire period,” he said.

“That sets the framework for the next fire season so that we do zero in on and target those individuals who we believe may be involved in arsonist behaviour. “This [...]

Sydney on blackout watch, people told to close windows and doors, turn off non-essential

In the largest city in a country with 300 years of coal left, yesterday the government asked a few million people to pull down the blinds on a midsummers day, to turn off the pool pumps, and not run the dishwasher from 4 – 8pm if they could avoid it. It was 42 degrees C.

Remember the good old days when the nation could afford to run the air con? Here in metropolis Australia, some days it’s better to bunker down in a few dark rooms with the air con at survival mode.

Welcome to Renewable World. What’s wrong with all those solar panels? Between dust storms and bushfires and the hail in Canberra,  possibly they are covered in dust or soot, or perhaps, holes.

Imagine how much productive brain power is being consumed. The whole nation (almost) is becoming involved in management of the  hypercomplex random generation network. As well as all those poles and wires and control rooms, we now need radio and twitter to send messages to the serfs to open and close windows, change their work schedules, or run out and click the pool pump off.

’Close your doors’: NSW’s power at capacity

Ben Graham, The [...]

Friday Open Thread

“Climate Change” out: it’s Global Warming again because it’s more scary

Who cares about being accurate. The point of being a journalist is to tell people what to do. But after twenty years of propaganda the punters are still not getting the message, so Faye Flam (her real name) thinks it’s time to stop using “climate change” and switch back to “global warming”. Apparently a five year old Yale Study suggests that it’s more scary, and Flam has discovered it just in time to wring a bit more propaganda value out of the Australian fires. “Lucky”. eh?

She seems to think that a George W Bush adviser tricked the world into using “Climate Change” because it was less scary.

Let’s Go Back to Calling It Global Warming

by Faye Flam, Bloomberg Opinion

Seems “Climate change” is vague and doesn’t convey enough urgency.

As scientific terms go, “climate change” is lame. It sounds like something created by committee. And it’s hard to understand as a crisis when we also hear scientists talking about ice ages and other natural changes to the climate happening throughout earth’s history. “Global warming” is something people have worried about for years, though. It’s essentially another term for the same thing, but conveys a [...]

Unprecedented hail, phenomenal damage in Canberra: 1871, 1877, 1897, 1919, 1936, 1956, 1963

Yesterday hail the size of golf balls fell on Canberra:

Windows, cars, gardens smashed. Already there have between 15,000 insurance claims made and it’s been declared a catastrophe. (Tough few weeks for insurers in Australia).

Hail destroying the trees at Parliament House.. poor gardeners

— Tamsin Rose (@tamsinroses) January 20, 2020

Not too good for solar panels:

Canberra aims to be 100% renewables (but they aren’t cutting the line to the coal power). Will we ever find out how much the bill for the solar panel damage was?

One hundred and thirty three years ago:

h/t John in Oz.

… (Click to enlarge)


Queanbeyan is Canberra’s twin city, 15 minutes from Parliament House but in the next state. Long before Canberra was even founded, there were shocking hail storms. At a glance, terrible hail storms appear more common in summer.

January 7, 1871: Queanbeyan  Hail of “large jagged shapes”, “bigger than pigeon’s eggs” shattered “hundreds of glass windows”, “cut ripe paddocks of wheat to pieces”, was “ruinous on fruit” crops, vine and trees. Many buildings were damaged. Hail lay in “deep drifts on the ground”.

Dec 29th, 1877: [...]

Tuesday Open Thread

So much to discuss. Time for two unthreaded lines midweek.

57 Bushfire Inquiries isn’t enough. We need one more for leaders to hide behind

Big Government strangles our ecosystems just like it strangles scientific research.  Australia has had 57 bushfire inquiries since 1939. We knew what was coming and we knew how to stop it, and we’ve known for eighty years (and indigenous people for thousands). Instead we paid a garrison of gravy trainers to not-read-those-reports and to create the exact conditions we knew would turn into a pyroconvective catastrophe. State Premiers missed a major threat to their people, their industry, our environment. On top of the death and destruction toll, just one industry, tourism, is looking at a $4.5b loss. Heads must roll. If they were misled, then name the names.

Our institutions failed us: The CSIRO didn’t save us, the ABC didn’t. What’s the point of them? Academics and CRC’s could’ve warned the nation, but instead most experts and the “reporters” said renewable energy would prevent these fires, even though climate change has made no difference to rainfall or droughts, which are driven by ocean currents, and solar cycles, not carbon dioxide. Let’s promote those who got it right, and turn off the tap to those that didn’t. Who pays damages? Who gets sacked?

Just do it: less fuel, less rules, more [...]