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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It’s a Science Emergency: How many fires can Australia stop with solar panels and windfarms?

As some fires rage, parts of the nation are gripped with witchcraft.

What to do about wildfires?

Skeptics think we should stop firestorms by reducing fuel loads, and clearing firebreaks. Unskeptical scientists on the other hand are talking about going vegan, swapping light globes, installing windmills and photovoltaic panels and of course…. planting more trees. Oh the dilemma? Should we stop fires with firebreaks or wave some solar panels? Yea, verily, let’s control fires on Mt Tamborine by cooling the world?  Hail Mary and line up the wind towers to face north at the equinox!

Joelle Gergis has a PhD in climate science, yet even she apparently believes that these fires are caused by coal plants, and could have been prevented if only we installed enough solar panels. It says a lot about what a PhD is worth these days. It also says a lot about the Australian National University, and all of it is sad.

Gergis, in particular, is not the only one, but she is all “moss drenched” hype and marketing, no caveats, no qualifiers, and no error bars.

“I never thought I’d see the Australian rainforest burning. What will it take for us to wake [...]

Widespread snow all over the East Coast of Australia – first time in decades

Not what the climate models predicted

This weekend it’s snowing within 90 minutes of Melbourne and Sydney. It’s snowing in far south Queensland. In the Alps Thredbo recorded an amazing 117cm of fresh snow in two days, while snow fell in towns that rarely get snow like Gordon near Ballarat, Tumut, Crookwell. The highway through the Blue Mountains was blocked. The airport was closed in Orange.

 TA polar blast has whipped across New South Wales, dumping unprecedented levels of snow on parts of the state. From the rugged terrain of the Blue Mountains to streets in Bathurst, whole towns were completed whited out as the freezing weather took hold. @lizzybryan1 #9News

— Nine News Sydney (@9NewsSyd) August 10, 2019

The ABC makes sure to embed their best excuses for the Global Warming.

Repeat after me: The Science is Complex. Two “leading” researchers say blah, blah, attribution, models. They argue that unverified, unvalidated models that ignore the solar wind, solar spectral changes, and solar magnetic changes can tell us how much effect CO2 has because there’s a mysterious gap between what their models predict the natural climate would do and what really happened — especially according to thermometers [...]

ABC Climate Zombie Myths and Fantasy Strawmen. Who’s feeding the trolls?

Skeptics are now the brain-eating undead from Haitian Cult Voodoo. Just more namecalling in lieu of science. The ABC has become the US Weekly,  TVWeek, or OK! of national policy, filled with inane clickbait animations, fictional stories and fantasy myths.

Looks like it’s projection again

Here’s a guy who believes that we control storms, floods and droughts with solar panels and wind turbines. The only climate zombie that needs hosing down is all his. He’s the one saying that the type of milk you drink, or your funeral service are to blame for random stuff like spotted quoll fertility, shark attacks, or tornadoes. Go vegan to save the planet!

Poor Nick Kilvert is so badly trained he can’t figure out why ideas like “CO2 feeds plants” just won’t die. The mystery of how the truth keeps coming back (despite their best efforts). So this weekend he put out a handy condescending guide of strawmen and mythical myths for beleaguered believers who are lost for answers to skeptical scientists. The man’s cult-like belief is so obvious, the real question we need to ask our elected MP’s is why are we funding an journalistic organization which has staff who are so incompetent, [...]

In Australia Climate obedience must be 100% (no matter what the evidence is)

Stating the bleeding obvious about climate science earns headlines

Tony Abbott merely states what no real scientist could argue with. Things are not quite as settled in climate science as people say. For this tiny deviation from the permitted line he is isolated and depicted in a headline as “questioning science” when he’s really just questioning propaganda lines.

The editors of both AAP and The Australian could have chosen a different headline: Abbott declares “we only have one planet”. But in headline-world, which is often the only line people will read, Abbott is made out to be saying something risky. Imagine, I am Spartacus, if every single conservative politician said “of course — Climate science isn’t perfect.” But almost none of them have the balls.

Abbott questions climate change science


Tony Abbott has questioned the “so-called settled” science about climate change, a month after dropping his view that Australia should pull out of the Paris climate agreement.

The former prime minister insisted he was a realist when asked about his position on climate change during his election campaign launch in Manly on Friday.

“The so-called [...]

Modern Astrology in NY Times: Justin Gillis says Eclipses show all Scientists are always right about everything

Verily. Eclipses do weird things to people.

Justin Gillis, writer for The New York Times used the recent eclipse to sell something I’d call Sciencemagic. Essentially, if some Scientists™ can calculate orbital mechanics to a fine art, it follows, ipso nonfacto, that all people who use the same job title are also always right.

“Should You Trust Climate Science? Maybe the Eclipse Is a Clue”

Thanks to the work of scientists, people will know exactly what time to expect the eclipse. In less entertaining but more important ways, we respond to scientific predictions all the time, even though we have no independent capacity to verify the calculations. We tend to trust scientists.

If Scientists™ say that solar panels will stop malaria, then buy some! Save lives in Ghana. (What are you waiting for?)

The implications stretch far. Clearly, we can chuck out the whole research thing (labs, who needs em?) Why test predictions, if Scientists™ are 100% accurate? We’ve been wasting money. We don’t need more large hadron colliders, we just need to survey more particle physicists.

This idea that job titles have a kind of truth-telling power is not much different to astrology where truth [...]

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 [...]

Audit CSIRO: they lack evidence says Senator Malcolm Roberts

Malcolm Roberts, Tim Ball and Tony Heller held a press conference to release Roberts 42-page reply to the CSIRO. [OR download the PDF here]. Essentially, despite us spending billions of dollars to reduce CO2 in the hope we change the weather, the CSIRO can only provide irrelevant and weak evidence, and nothing that demonstrates consistent cause and effect. CSIRO can provide nothing to show that they are not just exploiting natural climate cycles for political purposes. (See here, models based on solar factors predict temperature changes very well and most turning points. Solar models explains the missing hot spot, solves many other problems, something that none of the major GCM’s can do.)

“The onus is on CSIRO to prove its climate advice and claim.”

A new graph of Law Dome temperatures in the last 2000 years shows there is nothing unusual about current climate changes (just like almost every other long proxy also does which we’ve all seen 20 times before).

No need to panic about the penguins.

Law Dome Antarctica  compared to Hadley Met centre (Click to enlarge with sources)


One Nation call for audit over CSIRO climate claims

An [...]

Australian temperatures unchanged for 20 years: Plus Malcolm Roberts first Senate speech is tomorrow

Malcolm Roberts will give his maiden Senate speech tomorrow (Tuesday) at 5pm at the Australian Parliament House in Canberra. To reserve seating contact Leon Ashby leon.ashby AT or phone (02) 6277 3151. He has asked for updated graphs of the UAH data for Australia. His speech may be available via the APH website. (h/t Jim S)

Luckily for us the UAH satellite database can be filtered to track temperatures in the lower troposphere over the Australian land mass. Thanks to John Christy for providing an Australian specific dataset.

We’ve put out a third of all the CO2 homosapiens has ever made in the last 20 years, and it apparently has made no meaningful difference to temperatures here. We’ve put out 60% of all our CO2 since the satellite record began.

Here is the full Australian monthly data from 1979 – now for all seasons graphed below. There are breathless news articles hyping every hot month, every hot week, for records in every little region, and even for a single record hot nights, but no press release to say that temperatures in Australia have not really changed in a meaningful way since 1995.

Thanks to  KensKingdom [...]

Malcolm Roberts on Q & A : 1 skeptic against 6 who believe the consensus

On the Eastern side of the country the new skeptical Senator, Malcolm Roberts is on Q & A.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Greg Hunt - Minister for Industry, Innovation & Science Linda Burney - Shadow Minister for Human Services Brian Cox - Particle Physicist and TV Presenter Lily Serna - Mathematician and TV Presenter Malcolm Roberts - One Nation Senator-elect for Qld

As usual it is 6 against 1 the skeptical views that 54% of Australians share. Glaciers will form in hell before the ratio on the ABC would run 1:6 the other way. For Groupthinkers it’s very important that the group discussing a “controversial” topic agrees with each other. This neutralizes any damaging effects of hearing a lone voice put forward counter arguments.

John Cook has sent in a Question about empirical evidence.

Cook points at “less heat escaping to space” – Jo says –this doesn’t mean anything. We assume he means less heat escapes at certain frequencies (which he should have said). Sections of the outgoing spectrum are missing (e.g. Harries et al), which shows that CO2 is stopping some outgoing radiation and is a greenhouse gas (and we knew that already), but it doesn’t show that overall extra heat is staying [...]

Cold water in vast Western Pacific, record water vapor, clouds, rain — super big El Nino things going on

Indo-pacific-warm-pool (IPWP) | NotricksZone

A very striking pattern of records is happening at the moment. Data is going “off the chart” on several factors at once.  As well as record high temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere in Feb 2016, the water is far cooler than usual in the Indo Pacific, while there is increased water vapor and cloud all over the world’s oceans. But windspeeds are slow, slow, slow. It has the hallmarks of a very Big El Nino. Bigger by many measures than 1997-98.

The cooler Indo-Pacific

P Gosselin at NotricksZone has got some very interesting graphs about the ocean around the vast Western Pacific.  Frank Bosse and Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt noticed  that ARGO buoys are recording a very unusual cooling in the Indo-Pacific Western Pacific.

Is something fishy and odd going on there? Hard to say, but while the globe set a record last month, it is interesting to know that over the last couple of years temperatures have declined in the Western Pacific by a whole degree.  The Indo-Pacific Warm Pool (IPWP) covers 20N to 20S across a full quarter of the circumference of the Earth. According to Bosse and Vahrenholt it’s around “16 million cubic [...]

New Science 19: The invisible nameless model that controls the whole field of climate science

Don’t underestimate the importance of the nameless basic model. It sounds small, but in the culture and philosophy of climate science it’s bigger and carries more weight than the massive hairy GCMs. Like an invisible gossamer web, it’s overarching. It spans and defines all the other models. When they produce “dumb” answers, the basic model holds them in, for thou shalt not stray too far from the climate sensitivity defined by the basic model. It defines what “dumb” is. (It’s just “basic physics” after all.) One model to bind them all. What could possibly go wrong?

A lot, apparently. The physics might be right, but the equations are calculating imaginary conditions. The answers might be arithmetically correct but useless at the same time. They miss the real route that energy flows through to space.

By definition, as long as the basic model is wrong, the GCM models can never  get it right.

It’s not like climate scientists consult the oracle of the basic model every day, or even once a year… they don’t need to. They were taught it their climate larval stage, often long before they’d written one paper. The basic model shows that the warming of [...]

Those policies will cause HOW much cooling exactly? The best case fantasy a mere 0.17C by 2100

Suppose we give billions to the bureaucratic geniuses in Paris. Suppose they are right about how global warming works (though we know they are not). What do we get for all that money?

Combined, all plans, carried out, successful best case, at a cost of hundreds of trillions + : 0.17°C

More realistic more pessimistic case: 0.05°C

If the infra-red reroutes through the atmosphere and climate sensitivity has been overestimated by 5 – 10 fold: 0.02°C

The UN wants us to spend $89 trillion by 2030 to “green up” everything. For that we hope in theory, if we’re lucky to get a reduction of one sixth of a degree 70 years later. Rush, Rush, buy that plan today! Order two, and don’t count the dead.

The real reduction, using the best empirical data, and a corrected basic model, is more likely to be in the order of one thousandth of a degree 9 decades from now.


New Science 18: Finally climate sensitivity calculated at just one tenth of official estimates.

Image: NASA

In years to come it may be recognized that this blog post produced the first modeled accurate figure for climate sensitivity. Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity sounds dry, but it’s the driving theme, the holy grail of climate science. The accurate figure (whatever it is) summarizes the whole entirety of  carbon dioxide’s atmospheric importance. That number determines whether we are headed for a champagne picnic or a baking apocalypse.

To calculate a better estimate, David identified the flaws of the conventional basic model, and rebuilt it. The basic climate model is the top-down approach looking at inputs and outputs of the whole system. It defines the culture and textbooks of the modern global warming movement. GCMs (the big hairy coupled global models) are bottom-up approaches, doomed to failure by trying to add up every detail and ending up drowning in mile-high uncertainty bands. But the GCMs are ultimately tweaked to arrive at a similar ballpark climate sensitivity as the textbook model for the “basic physics” dictates. Hence this core model is where the debate needs to be. (Everyone knows the GCMs are broken.)

For decades the world of conventional climate research has been stuck in a groundhog day [...]

New Science 17: Solving the mystery of the missing “Hotspot”

Things are hotting up. After all the hard work of the past few posts, the payoff begins. By solving the flaws inherent in the basic conventional model we solve some of its biggest missed-predictions. And the clincher for conventional models has always been the missing hot spot. Without it, over half the projected warming just vanishes. And if it is telling the tale of a negative type of feedback instead of a positive one, then all bets are off — not three degrees, not even one degree, it’s more like “half” a degree. Go panic about that.

Here David gets into the empirical data — the radiosondes, the satellites, and shows how his model fits their results, whereas the establishment models have repeatedly been forced to deny them. Twenty eight million radiosondes get the wrong results: how many ways can we adjust them? Tweak that cold bias, blend in the wind shear, change the color-scales, homogenize the heck. Smooth, sort, shovel and grind those graphs. The fingerprint of CO2 was everywhere in 2005, though gradually became the non-unique signal of any kind of warming, but it still wasn’t there. It kept being “found”, though it was never reported missing. [...]

New Science 16: Building the alternative model and why it solves so many major problems

In typical style I looked at this draft and told David that the second half of his post should be at the top (that’s where he discusses how his model solves so many problems). He replied that the equations were the most important part, and he wasn’t going to flip them around. So, for readers who don’t speak mathematica-lingua, all I can say, is don’t miss the second half below.

Also in typical style, David prefers this picture he’s just drawn in his diagramming software, to my cartoon in the intro to post 11:


In this post, David combines the two smaller models to make one basic climate model (that’s the sum-of-warmings and the OLR models). Unlike the mainstream conventional basic model that underlies the entire establishment culture and philosophy, the alternative model uses more empirical data (and from the real world too, not just the lab). It’s also less reliant on hypothetical partial derivatives. Plus, in the alternate model, different forcings can cause different responses. In the conventional model, the architecture assumes the climate responds to to all forcings the same way.

CO2 has a warming effect on the atmosphere, rather than just on the surface, and [...]