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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Victoria: it’s democracy and medical science, and getting better fast

The good news: Lockdowns will end sooner than expected. Not soon enough for some desperate businesses, but sooner than Dan Andrew’s modelers thought.

As I predicted, Victoria is doing better than the models estimated. Many people focus on the “daily new cases” but the “unknown source cases” is a better, more forward looking tool.

In Newspoll today we find — also as I predicted from the outset of the pandemic  — that health is priority one for most voters. It’s an awkward fact of democracy. As drastic as the restrictions are in Victoria, more than half the voters are happy to give up some freedom temporarily in order to save lives, hardship and unknown health effects, and the burden on healthworkers.

Right-leaning small business owners and entrepreneurs are often not at all happy about giving up freedom. They’re much more comfortable taking risks, but most of the population are not. It’s a personality type thing. It’s not going to change. (What’s obscene though, is that those comfortable taking risks are bearing more of the costs while public servants like Dan Andrews are getting fat pay rises. )

Despite the strict restrictions, fully 71% of Victorians view the restrictions as “about [...]

The information war about astonishing arson figures

ABC News Australia, from the Australian Institute of Criminology

Rapidly the word about the astonishing rate of arson and man-made accidents* is spreading, but it doesn’t help “the cause” (which for left-leaning journo’s appears to be getting left-leaning politicians elected).

For example, the awful Binna Burra fire in September was blamed on climate change. Instead it turned out to be caused by two teenagers with cigarette butts. Who looks silly pushing a carbon tax agenda to stop fires?

So The Guardian and the ABC are now compiling stories with conspiracy theories about how a thousand or so tweets with a pedantic error mistaking legal action for arrests somehow demonstrates a mysterious disinformation campaign (it’s pro-ject-ion.)  The main mystery here is how a prof in Qld can mind read through twitter — Dr Graham tells us “The motivation underlying this often tends to not be changing people’s opinions about the bushfire itself and how it’s happening, but to sow discord and magnify already existing tensions in polarised political issues.”

Maybe people are just angry at the wanton, pointless and avoidable destruction, yeah?

The Love Media are downplaying the arrests in a situation where catching, charging and convicting people must be [...]

EPA Part 1: Has the EPA done due diligence on the IPCC Climate Report? (Has anyone?)

The WA Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) wants every new project to aim for carbon neutrality, costing billions, almost certainly increasing pollution overseas, but hoping to lower temperatures over WA by 2100 AD.

The EPA is a scientific advisory body — the government doesn’t have to follow their advice — but if it does, and the advice was wrong — who is responsible for loss and damages which are foreseeable? The IPCC favoured models do not include solar magnetic, spectral or particle-flow parameters, and repeatedly fail. They are unaudited, unvalidated, and unaccountable. If the sun controls the climate these models will not show that. If the EPA is not doing due diligence on reports of a foreign committee, which person representing Western Australians is?

– Jo

 

Submission for the EPA Greenhouse Gas Emissions Assessment Guidance – Consultation

Joanne Nova, Sept 2, 2019:  Submission ID: ANON-1TDB-D593-G.

___________________________

Question 1: Has the EPA done due diligence on the IPCC Climate Report?

The EPA’s core role is to “protect the environment and abate pollution”, Section 15 of the Act (s.15) Therefore, the EPA would be legally obligated to assess the scientific evidence. The question upon which [...]

John Cook, we’ll believe you when you stop doing what you complain we’re doing

John Cook tries to attack skeptics for their savage jokes about cold spells. Go for it John, we’ll believe you when you when you stop publishing stories about single hot days and tell PhD’s they shouldn’t harp on about random noise like heat waves:

Forecast: flurries of shivering climate-change deniers

When a cold spell struck the east coast recently, US President Donald Trump tweeted “Wouldn’t be bad to have a little of that good old fashioned Global Warming right now!”

The argument he is sarcastically implying and often makes—that global warming isn’t happening because it’s cold outside—possesses an obvious logical flaw. [No kidding]. It’s like arguing that the sun no longer exists when it gets dark at night. Of course, Trump didn’t invent this argument—it’s commonly brought up on denier blogs and social media threads whenever the weather turns cold.

This type of fallacious reasoning is not just common on believer blogs, it’s their bread and butter.

Trump was being sarcastic. Skeptics are making jokes — but what excuse can anyone make for paid PhD’s who are serious?

Let’s swap the hot’s and cold’s of Cooks own words (mine bolded):

The argument PhD’s seriously imply and [...]

Dr Shearman diagnoses men who walked on moon, Nobel Prize winners, as “Delusional”

Feel the hate

Climate deniers are the delusional lizard-brain unworthy people who can’t see what preschoolers can.  They threaten human survival. So sayth Dr David Shearman, founder of Doctors for the Environment Australia, a place where the scientific method and good manners go to die.

This is an Opinion piece the 3 million dollars a day ABC thought was “useful”.

Dr Shearman from Adelaide has the rare genius ability to diagnose hundreds of thousands of people with a mental disorder without even meeting them. Better than a telepathic MRI machine. Indeed he’s so smart, he can predict the climate, and with 100% certainty, so I say — cancel the satellites, who needs em? Why bother to measure upper tropospheric moisture when you could “just ask Dave”?

I apologize forthwith to the rest of the planet:  all that money you have wasted installing temperature sensors, launching radiosondes and argo buoys. All along, Australia had David Shearman, SuperGod. He’s probably cured cancer. I can’t wait for him to tell us.

Today Dr David Shearman has diagnosed, and publicly, the mental state of Buzz Aldrin, Charles Duke and Harrison Schmitt, 3 of the 4 men alive who have walked on the moon. [...]

Paul Krugman sticks pins into the Climate Denier VooDoo Doll

Excuse #101: Denying Climate Change is an Evil Depraved Sin so we don’t need to bother coming up with reasons anymore

Why is Krugman sticking pins into Denier Dolls? It makes him feel better.

He said it himself — if people disagree about climate change in good faith, it means climate believers need to be more persuasive. But if they are just evil, there’s nothing you can do. This is the end-days desperation. And after thirty years of propaganda, there’s nothing left in their communication toolbox. The awful truth is that in the muted, lopsided debate, they had all the money and institutions but they still lost.

When you can’t convince people with polite discussion all that’s left is to agree with your opponents or demonize them. So that’s what Krugman does. Change the goal-posts — he’s saying these evil people are not even worth talking to.

Humans are incredibly good at rationalizing stupid things. Pace Paul Krugman, who wrote this in the NY times last week. This week, the Sydney Morning Herald became the copy-paste late repeater of junk analysis and naked smear by a failed economist. Bravo.

Denying climate change is evil Climate denial is rooted in [...]

Climate change creates free real estate in Tuvalu: “climate refugees” can all go home

The Green Blob is going to have to get rid of satellites. Real data is so inconvenient.

For years many people called scientists have assumed, like any smart 5 year old would, that islands are fixed blobs of rock and sand that just sit there and sink as oceans rise. Now satellite images show that three quarters of the islands in Tuvalu are growing rather than shrinking.

Total land area is up 2.9%. Total government funded scientists who predicted reality, down 97%.

Since our emissions helped create nearly a square kilometer of free real estate in Tuvalu, it seems only fair that they return any climate funds, and pay a royalty.

The whole of Tuvalu is 26km2 and about 10,600 people live there. Total GDP is $32 million. It’s a cheap marketing tool. In May last year, despite Tuvalu being used as an advertising posterchild for climate change for years, it had not received funding from the Green Climate Fund. In August 2017 UNDP finally promised $38 million. That’s theoretically an extra income equivalent to 20% of their GDP for the next seven years. No wonder these islanders are keen to talk “climate change”.

Scientists who have [...]

It’s about character: Rex Tillerson’s

Two stories shed new light on Rex Tillerson, the incoming Secretary of State for the US.

Read this. It’ll warm your heart: What I learned about Rex Tillerson.  A major corporate leader does what any good citizen would do. But in a sea of corruption and self serving glorification it’s a rare story and quite a good read too.

During a five day trial of a man accused of abusing a young girl, the jury noticed one juror was a tall and somewhat charismatic middle aged man who wore a business suit. Mysteriously, he always had another man in a suit present around him, but doing nothing much.  He was picked as the jury foreman, but declined to “be in the spotlight”. When finally asked about the extra man, he just pointed at an Exxon headline in the paper and just said “I work for them” and he needed extra protection. The jury used the internet to figure out who he was. In 2007 Tillerson was CEO, and Exxon was the second largest company listed in the Fortune 500 list.

Emily Roden:  “As our deliberations came to a close, it appeared we might have a hung jury.

Award winning Peter Boyer attacks Myron Ebell — but who has an open mind, and who is in denial?

Peter Boyer seems to think Myron Ebell owes him an apology, but it’s the other way around. And Boyer ought say sorry to his readers.

“Science Communication” is a pretty dismal, immature profession. It’s so bad that an award-winning science communicator can talk about  “blunt denial” even while denying basic tenets of logic and appearing to have done almost no research on the global warming debate. If he was ever taught the basics of reasoning, like “correlation is not causation” or “all models are wrong but some are useful,” he’s long forgotten them. What’s an Order of Australia worth these days? Apparently not much.

If he had the open mind he talks about, he might have bothered to read the skeptical sites before he wrote an article. We’d have provided all the evidence an open mind could need to know that Myron Ebell is right on the money. So here Peter, with all due respect, is the red pill — the stuff the UNSW profs of climate crisis won’t tell you even if you dared to ask them.

Talking Point: Keeping an open mind in climate of blunt denial

Peter Boyer

Asked in 2012 what he [...]

McKibben: It’s The Climate World War. Hitler, Nazi’s, panic!

When you can’t persuade people to fight your imaginary enemy, declare a war.

New Republic We’re under attack from climate change—and our only hope is to mobilize like we did in WWII.

BY BILL MCKIBBEN     August 15, 2016

Translated: Expect 200 million imminent deaths (equivalent to WWII).  Give us your firstborn, and lots of your money.

Not quite a dispassionate scientist at work:

In the North this summer, a devastating offensive is underway. Enemy forces have seized huge swaths of territory; with each passing week, another 22,000 square miles of Arctic ice disappears. Experts dispatched to the battlefield in July saw little cause for hope, especially since this siege is one of the oldest fronts in the war. “In 30 years, the area has shrunk approximately by half,” said a scientist who examined the onslaught. “There doesn’t seem anything able to stop this.”

Panic now? In late 2015, Antarctic sea ice shrank by 13 million square kilometers, and nothing seemed to be able to stop it.

Then autumn came. Sea ice is projected to recover by September (like it does every year). Nature is full of cycles. Nothing about the current batch of climate shifts is unprecedented. [...]

Study shows bad economic times means there are more climate skeptics

I’ve said before that the man-made climate-faith is a luxury of the stupidly wealthy. Only people with time to stress about the carbon footprint of their oranges can wallow in the indulgence of owning the idea that windmills in Alabama could reduce tidal surges in Peru. It follows then that if (or as) the economy falls apart so will the Green religion.

A new research paper backs this up, but possibly shows more about researcher’s confirmation bias than it does about the public. (I suspect the most useful part of this research was that a couple of hundred people got to see a video with Richard Lindzen in.)

That the global-eco-faith needs lots of wealth is a horrible conundrum for the Greens. The best thing they can do to encourage “climate belief” is to get out of the way and let the economy prosper, which of course is the last thing the Greens can do since “Growth” = “Pollution” in the GreenWorldView. So the more the Greens do to slow or wreck the economy, the more skeptical the population will get. It’s a “positive” feedback loop that may protect Western Civilization a little bit. Joy.

Is that motivated recall or [...]

Australian Psychology Society uses biases and fallacies to accuse skeptics of bias and fallacies

If psychologists want to be taken seriously, and want psychology to be called “a science”, they need to elect a director who knows what science is.

Executive Director: Professor Lyn Littlefield OAM FAPS

The Climate Study group in Australia published a half page advert in The Australian last week – Psychology and Climate Alarm: how fear and anxiety trump evidence.  In reply, Prof Lyn Littlefield, Executive Director of the Australian Psychology Society wrote a letter to The Australian protesting — claiming that the Climate Study Group are the ones suffering from the confirmation bias they accuse climate scientists of.

“The advertisement, ‘Psychology and the New Climate Storm’  misuses psychology-based arguments to add credibility to myths and misinformation about climate change. In doing so, the authors illustrate aptly the very error bias (confirmation bias) they are erroneously attributing to the climate science community.”

It’s the “the pot calling the kettle black”, exclaims Littlefield. But since her arguments are entirely fallacies, this is the kettle calling the pot calling the kettle black.  The Climate Study Group mentioned many scientific observations, and in reply Lyn Littlefield can’t find an error in any of them, she can only cite “the consensus”. [...]

UQ’s Denial 101x : Putting the stink in distinction

Guest Post By Tony Thomas*

A keen student, I have just completed Week One of John Cook’s MOOC at Queensland University: “Denial 101x – Making Sense of Climate Science Denial.”

A MOOC is a Massive Online Open Course, and Cook’s course has 13,000 students so far.  He is a Climate Communication Fellow for the Global Change Institute at the University  and author of the notorious 2013 study purporting to find a 97% climate consensus in the science literature.

One normally gets a buzz from study. But my brain needs a shower and scrub to feel clean again.

I was not intending to write about my studies so early, in case that got me prematurely expelled. But one week of it is enough.

For example, in case I forget elements of Cook’s denialist ideation, he provides an acronym FLICC. This covers Fake experts, Logical fallacies, Impossible expectations, Cherry picking and Conspiracy theories.

Worse is in store. Cook says, “Next week’s interviews are equally exciting, as we speak to Phil Jones from the University of East Anglia…” Jones is the author of   “pretty awful emails” (his words) in Climategate. Other stars in the Cook course firmament will be Michael “Hockey-stick” Mann and [...]

Will Steffen in denial of entire Holocene?

Either Will Steffen thinks humans didn’t exist five thousand years ago, or he hasn’t heard of the Holocene. The Herald Sun tells us  the extraordinary news that:

“Humans are living in the hottest temperatures they have ever lived and I can guarantee this will only get worse.”

Will Steffen also says the climate is “complex”, and “impossible to entirely predict”. I guess that means his guarantee that it will get worse comes direct from God, since it’s not possible through science. I don’t know why Matthew Dunn, technology editor of the Herald Sun, didn’t ask more about that — obviously that would be big news.

Otherwise, nearly every proxy that’s ever been proxied suggests there were a lot of warmer times in the period 5,000 – 8,000 years ago. Ice cores say it was hotter in Greenland, barnacles, corals, sea worms, and “swash” tell us sea levels were something like 2 meters higher in stable West Australia* and nearly 1m higher in Hawaii and Polynesia, oceans were 2 degrees warmer around in Indonesia, and 6,000 boreholes sunk in the oceans all over the world show it was a global deal. Australian Aboriginals apparently struggled through a 1,500 year [...]

48 science minds misuse the term “scientist” – namecalling is not science

A group of people calling themselves “leading scientists” think that what the climate really needs is some A-grade namecalling. Specifically, they want the word skeptic for themselves, and want everyone who is unconvinced by their argument to be called a “denier”. I guess they’ve finally realized how uncool it sounds to be an unskeptical scientist. Their reasoning is that they have 48 sciencey type celebrities and they can quote Carl Sagan.  Their scientific greats include guys like Bill Nye the Science Guy, James Randi, and Dick Smith.

The headline reads:

End misuse of ‘sceptic’, urge 48 science minds

Me, I think –  let’s aim higher, and end the misuse of of the term “scientist”. Real scientists debate the evidence and don’t use namecalling as scientific argument. Denier” is not a scientific term, it’s a form of character assassination from lazy minds who want to avoid discussing the data.

Make no mistake, “denier” is not a descriptive term in a science debate, it’s equal to saying “you have the brain of a rock”. Being in denial of observations to the point where a person in toto becomes labeled a denier, is shorthand for saying that they are so mentally deficient that [...]