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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Reagan on rioters, “what’s to negotiate?”

Ronald Reagan:

“I’m sick and tired of the argument about whether some effort to enforce law and order is going to escalate anything at all…”


President Reagan’s message to a media who protected and defended rioters in 1969.

His message is more pertinent today than ever, as the state of our national media has only grown more rotten, biased, and disconnected over the years.

The kicker comes at the end.

— Reagan Battalion (@ReaganBattalion) August 26, 2020


Nice civilization you have there. Shame if something happened to it.

As Kamala says with a smile:  “…they’re not going to stop, and nor should they”.

Are the Democrats basically running on extortion: Vote for us so unhappy Democrat voters don’t tear the country apart?

She’s talking about protestors (theoretically) but doesn’t seem to mention the rioters, and as the BLM say “silence is violence”.

Things the ABC / BBC probably won’t mention

The Democrats don’t seem to want to stop the mobs. Tucker Carlson explains…

Weekend Unthreaded

New Report: Australians pay $1300 in hidden climate bills each year

The parasites take $1,300 per household each year in Australia

Australians could save $13 billion dollars a year if they weren’t forced to pay for pagan climate witchery.

If the bill collector knocked at the door and demanded $1,300 dollars each year to try to stop storms and floods a century from now, there would be riots in the streets. Instead the money is buried in complexity and taken in slices through unlabeled bills and receipts throughout the year. We list the GST. Imagine if we listed “the Climate Tax”?

Malcolm Roberts, a One Nation Senator has commissioned a study by Alan Moran to add up the cost. But why did he have to do that? Where was the Treasury, the Minister for Energy, the CSIRO, the ABC, the Labor Party, the State Premiers, and all our universities? All apparently, are out to lunch with the vested interests or running chicken, afraid of being called names.

Alan Moran adds up the state and federal subsidies, including the renewable schemes (like the SRET) that charge every electricity user for other people’s solar panels.  He also includes the costs to businesses from higher electricity charges — which are invariably passed on to [...]

Optimistic? SA Energy Minister says helpfully “The grid blowing up is not the right term”

South Australia has built unreliable generators on one third of all homes in the state. They are expensive, encased in glass, and all fail at the same time, usually for breakfast, and definitely for dinner. They randomly fail when clouds roll in, but consistently fail all night long. When they do work, they all work together, producing an excess of energy when no one need an excess.  In order to pretend that this surge is useful, a billion dollars of working infrastructure has to switch off, scale down, spin its wheels, and toss money out the window.

A few weeks ago, the State Energy Minister of SA, Dan van Holst Pellekaan, warned that the state is only a few years away from reaching “net negative demand” which is a fancy-pants way of describing the moment that solar power makes more energy than the whole state can use. His reassuring comment was “The grid blowing up is not the right term, but it simply will not work.”

With 250,000 unreliable generators in the state the midday excess is now so large it threatens to break things, drive up voltages, drive out reliable generators and generally muck up what was a finely [...]

Thursday Open Thread

Activist mobs for dinner? Things the ABC and BBC might not mention.

When the hollering throng comes demanding strangers raise their fists, good people at dinner might agree, and take the path of least resistance. And if everyone did, it becomes another advertisement for a political terror group. “Look everyone supports us!”. But it only took one  woman to refuse and the propaganda moment suddenly flipped.

If you can’t see the video, you can watch it here.

1) In a scene that played out several times Monday, a Black Lives Matter protest that began in Columbia Heights confronted White diners outside D.C. restaurants, chanting “White silence is violence!” and demanding White diners show their solidarity. #DCProtests

— Fredrick Kunkle WaPo (@KunkleFredrick) August 25, 2020

Is this the point the BLM groupies back up at least on this approach? In comments under this tweet,  there are many droll comparisons of Brown Shirts and RedGuards. But even BLM supporters know this went too far:

 @saletan Anyone who stages this kind of mob aggression is doing the Trump campaign’s work for free.

@LAppiah This is just bizarre. I sincerely believe white people need to take a big step back and consult black leaders about what is [...]

Reinfection and T cell immunity — does the common cold give us protection against Coronavirus?

The first case of a definitive reinfection was reported today

Before we look at whether a cold gives us protection let’s point out we don’t know how well a SARS 2 infection gives us protection.

A 33 year old man in Hong Kong was tested positive nearly five months after his first infection, and with a slightly different variant of the virus, so it’s very likely this was a second infection rather than a resurgence of the first.  It hints that Covid may be a bit like the common cold, and our immunity may be partial and temporary which is not good news for the herd immunity idea and the vaccine plan, but it’s only one case. On the plus side,  he had a three day fever, cough and sickness in March, but is asymptomatic this time, suggesting that maybe there is enough residual immunity to help him beat the second infection.

There have been other reports of people getting reinfected but none of the previous cases had genetic testing of both infections to show they were different.  But 13% of 4,000 doctors who were surveyed in May (even at that early stage) believed that at least one of their [...]

Tuesday Open Thread

Caravans of airships riding jetstreams for freight?

The low carbon idea is a frivolous fashion, but could airships take some freight from container ships? Seems unlikely but there are visions here of giant caravans of airships lifting into jetstreams and travelling perpetually eastwards. And there are already models competing for start up funds.

Airships use a lot less fuel than jets do, but a lot more helium, which is a point that gets a mention, but not much of an answer.

How airships could provide the future of green transport

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, The Telegraph

A Boeing 747 requires at least 70 tonnes of aviation fuel to cross the Atlantic. Mr Handley says his ARH 50 model has the same cargo payload but needs just five tonnes of fuel for the same journey, yet can still reach 300 km/h at high altitude.

Airships can land anywhere there is a flat space — they don’t need the runways and airports. They can get closer to their destination. Even landing on a river.

An academic paper from the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis In Austria proposes using the Jet Stream to transport cargo on transcontinental routes without any need for power beyond the initial lift [...]

Australian academics working for the CCP on the side…?

Some Australian researchers visiting China turned out to be effectively Chinese researchers funded by Australians.

What does it mean to be an Australian citizen paid by Australian taxpayers if it’s “OK” to take $150,000 extra from the CCP, plus benefits for the wife and kids, and in some cases also keep that a secret from the Uni in Australia that they work for? How about having a cloned research project in China studying the same high tech topics and producing patents owned by the Chinese government? The “Thousand Talents Plan” has been described by FBI director Christopher Wray as “economic espionage”.  It includes military technology, drone automation, AI, biotech, and many high tech areas. To put a fine point on it, some of these researchers are signing up to agreements to obey Chinese laws, and which require them to ask permission from the CCP before they disclose these arrangements to their Australian employers.

We might be tempted to call this all sort of names, but this sort of activity is apparently legal. It’s just a loophole being exploited.

The Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s new report: Hunting the phoenix: The Chinese Communist Party’s search for technology and talent.

Remember Peter Ridd [...]

Megatons of Solar Panel trash coming to a dump near you soon…

Solar Power, not-so-sustainable?

Solar panels need a special kind of recycling that costs 4 to 8 times as much as the recycled bits and bobs are worth. And the first major generation of solar panels will hit their use-by date soon.

Solar Panels Are Starting to Die, Leaving Behind Toxic Trash

Maddie Stone, Wired

By 2050, the International Renewable Energy Agency projects that up to 78 million metric tons of solar panels will have reached the end of their life, and that the world will be generating about 6 million metric tons of new solar e-waste annually. While the latter number is a small fraction of the total e-waste humanity produces each year, standard electronics recycling methods don’t cut it for solar panels. Recovering the most valuable materials from one, including silver and silicon, requires bespoke recycling solutions.

The solar sleeper awakes:

Most solar manufacturers claim their panels will last for about 25 years, and the world didn’t start deploying solar widely until the early 2000s. As a result, a fairly small number of panels are being decommissioned today. PV Cycle, a nonprofit dedicated to solar panel take-back and recycling, collects [...]

How to Sell the same day’s footage to FOX *AND* CNN

A satirical take on the media.


How to Sell Protest Footage to FOX AND CNN, by Ryan Long.

So there’s still a bias, but if he’d used a sledgehammer CNN fans wouldn’t be laughing too, and they need to see this more than Fox fans do.

Weekend Unthreaded


Wow. Vitamin D deficiency may cause 40% of respiratory deaths in older people

It’s really quite a scandal.

Missing out on the Sunshine Vitamin?

Historians will marvel that societies that were advanced enough to stream reality-tv-shows at 100 million bits per second, were also so backwards that half the population was deficient in Vitamin D — something that costs 6 cents a dose or comes free from the sun. Nearly 60% of older Germans were deficient, and the ESTHER study puts a fine point on how much that matters. Almost 10,000 people were followed for 15 years  in Germany,  and during that time about half the people who died of respiratory illnesses might not have died if they had enough Vitamin D.

In  this German study 44% did not have adequate Vitamin D and about 1 in 6 people have levels so low they are clinically deficient.

Imagine if someone found a drug that stopped nearly half of all influenza deaths?

Right now, the Northern Hemisphere has higher levels of Vitamin D than most months which is quite likely reducing the death rates.  The message needs to get out about Vitamin D before the next Northern Winter.


Morethan half the population is deficient.

In terms of respiratory diseases, those whose [...]

The Marxists have forced out the Conservatives, now they’re coming for the Liberals

Some thought provoking insights from Yoram Hazony in The Challenge Of Marxism. I’m not inclined to read analysis of anything Marxist, but this moment in history has some uncanny similarities I was not aware of, and Hazony connects the dots from Karl to Kamala (so to speak). He paints a compelling pattern, even if I want to add details and patterns myself. It’s a springboard…

Read it all.

The Marxists have forced out the Conservatives, now the wheel has turned and  they’re coming for the Liberals, argues Hazony. The Liberal world thought they were marching through the institutions but the momentum was with the Marxists among them, who have now forged ahead and are turning on their own.

Will the liberals drop their liberalism and adopt marxism, or will they push back?

 Anti-Marxist liberals are about to find themselves in much the same situation that has characterized conservatives, nationalists, and Christians for some time now: They are about to find themselves in the opposition.

This means that some brave liberals will soon be waging war on the very institutions they so recently controlled. They will try to build up alternative educational and media platforms in the [...]