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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EU hides their Toaster and Kettle bans so they don’t “galvanize” Brexit

The last thing the EU want is for the British to be reminded of the EU’s intrusive, pointless plans to control them from afar:

Dave Keating, Euractiv.com

EU’s ban on inefficient toasters delayed to avoid pro-Brexit press attack

The EU has put plans to regulate inefficient kettles and toasters into cold storage amid fears in Brussels that they could galvanise support for the leave campaign in the UK’s 23 June referendum

 Freudian slip?

Are the laws made for the people, or for the M.P’s?

But in fact, these efficiency improvements have had a complicated relationship with public opinion in the past decade. Public backlash has been one of the biggest impediments to passing these EU laws.

Dang voters are an impediment to bureaucrats.

Efficiency improvements for things like toilets and lightbulbs, passed by the Commission of Jose Manuel Barroso which ended in 2014, prompted negative press, particularly in the United Kingdom.

So the British press has more spine than the French and German propaganda sheets?

Newspapers accused the European Union of meddling in the most minute details of daily life and demanded the freedom for consumers to [...]

Millennials haven’t forgotten Mao, Stalin or Lenin. They never knew them.

Millenials are aged 25 – 39. In Australia four out of five are not even “familiar” with Mao. Half have never heard of him, even though he caused the deaths of twice as many people as Adolf Hitler.

Political ideologues control our education system. We teach kids identity politics, and how to control the weather with light globes, but not the most important political lesson of the 20th Century.

We won the cold war, then lost the peace.

Why Millenials are embracing Socialism

Tom Switzer, Sydney Morning Herald

The survey evidence is clear. In a YouGov poll commissioned by the Centre for Independent Studies last year, 58 per cent of Australian millennials have a favourable view of socialism, with only 18 per cent having an unfavourable one. These findings reflect Millennial attitudes in Britain and the US.

What’s going on?

Part of the problem is plain ignorance. Most Millennials were hardly alive when Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union an “evil empire”.

According to the CIS poll, only 26 per cent of Millennials are familiar with Vladimir Lenin and 34 per cent with Joseph Stalin. Only 21 per cent of those [...]

Australians: destroying their grid faster than any country on Earth

Australians are the Renewable crash Test Dummies

As I said for free and two months before the ANU,  with a 50% annual growth in renewables, Australia is ramping up unreliable power faster than anywhere.

Now comes a paper: Australia: the renewable energy superstar showing that, per capita, Australia is installing unreliable generators in a blitzkrieg pace, more than twice as fast as Germany is, and 4-5 times faster per capita than the EU, USA, Japan and China. No other dummies are even in the race. The largest coal exporter in the world is working harder than anyone to destroy its largest export earner — which would be noble if only there was more to it than being a magical spell to ward off storms.

This is a legendary paper and very helpful. Save the link, copy the reference, send it to your MP, your friends, your newspaper! Why not head to the launch at ANU at 5:30pm, 14th Feb?

Never again can anyone get away with national flagellation for “not doing enough”. Henceforth Green and Labor M.P.’s will stop calling us a national joke, a pariah, and a disgrace. (Though, actually, all those things are true, for the opposite [...]

Want to hurt the competition? Send in climate protestors… $91 billion cost

Opportunity costs are the most invisible costs in the world.

Purely hypothetically, if you wanted to nobble a competing country, you could pay 350.org…

“We know what it takes to stop this industry,” said 350.org’s May Boeve. “It is not a mystery, it is not magical.

Valerie Richardson, The Washington Times

Climate protests cost $91 billion in lost economic activity, chamber study finds

Climate activists fighting to derail pipelines and other energy projects have blocked $91.9 billion in U.S. economic activity and hundreds of thousands of jobs, according to a new report.

See more at: https://www.globalenergyinstitute.org/infrastructure-lost

There is no Economy B. Once we have wrecked this one….

The report analyzed 15 targeted projects, including the hotly contested Keystone XL pipeline, Constitution Pipeline, and Oregon LNG terminal, as well as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 2014 fracking ban.

In addition to $91.9 billion in lost economic activity, the protests cost nearly 730,000 job opportunities and $20 billion in tax revenue to federal, state and local governments.

…the U.S. surpassed Russia this year to become the world’s largest crude oil producer and has led the world in natural-gas [...]

Deadly: a quarter of all solar panels pose high or severe risk

Got Solar PV? Don’t let the kids play on the roof

Would you like a 240Volt shock with that?

In Australia, shonky fly-by-night installers are botching the wiring and not screwing the panels on properly. As many as a quarter of solar panels pose a high or severe “electrical safety” risk. Since there are two million households with solar panels, that’s half a million homes sitting under a live problem.

By mismanagement and delusional climate-changing schemes the government has entirely and artificially created the solar bubble. Hopefully people won’t die like they did in the Pink Batts Bubble. Back then, to stop droughts and storms and save the nation from the Global Financial Crisis, the government decided to rush out home insulation. The artificial bubble brought in poorly trained workers and four people died. Kevin Rudd (former PM) now says he wouldn’t have done it if he’d known the risks. But heck, way back in 2010 no one could have realized that artificial government industry bubbles wouldn’t mix well with 240 Volts.  Sure.

Australia’s big advance seems to be to stop unnecessary deaths under roofs, and start doing them on top.

Warning of deaths over solar panel installations Simon [...]

Wealthy countries accused of trying to keep their money to themselves

“Paris” is rock solid and on the brink simultaneously

In a kind of Schrodinger’s-Agreement Paris means everything and nothing all at once. The Grand Emissions-Mouth says every country on Earth has signed up except the US.  The Giant Money-Mouth says it’s unravelling, an emergency and on the brink.

How can that be? Spot the pea. This strange superposition can exist because the emissions agreement is vaporware: 200 countries signed up but almost none of them are going to meet their agreement and no one cares. On the money side though, almost no one is going to give or get what they expected, and it’s a complete bunfight down to the last comma.

It was and always is, about The Money

No one gives a toss about the CO2:

The Paris climate change agreement has started to unravel as a dispute over a $US100 billion-a-year climate fund prompts new demands that developing countries be given greater freedoms to increase their emissions.

Environment groups have claimed the Paris deal was “on the brink” after an emergency meeting in Bangkok at the weekend failed to reach consensus on crucial details on how the agreement would be managed.

The [...]

40 year old coal plant sold for $1m makes $100m profit and will run another 30 years

Old coal plants don’t have to die, they just need to be fixed

Vales Point, Power Station, NSW, Australia

The Vales Point Coal plant (Part B) was built in 1978. It was sold for $1 million in 2015 by the NSW government. It’s now making a bumper profit. If it gets a $750 million renovation it could keep running til 2049 when it will be 70 years old. Vales has a nameplate capacity of 1,320 MW.

On the other hand, we could follow South Australia and spend $650m and get a 150MW solar plant that only works half the time.*

When is an old coal plant on death’s door a better bet than the worlds largest solar plant? — Every hour of every day. Plus you get free fertilizer.

Profits to keep Vales Point coal-fired power station going for another 20 years

John Stensholt and Perry Williams, The Australian

The Vales Point power station near Lake Macquarie, which supplies about 4 per cent of power for the national grid, could receive a $750m injection to ensure it runs until 2049, making it the nation’s last standing coal station, with the country’s other facilities due to [...]

Eco-psychology: NEW Free helpline, handbook, for climate change mental illness

After thirty years of Green-Blob disaster porn, there are casualties.

Climate change [propaganda] takes a toll on our minds

Psychologist Susie Burke tells the story of a woman who came to her for counselling after having her first child. Not because she was suffering from post-natal depression, but because she was “struggling with the enormity of what she had done.” She felt she had brought her child into a “world she knew was going to be a lot harsher and a lot less safe,” Burke told DW.

“She came to me when she was overwhelmed by this distress; questioning whether she had done the right thing. The fear she had for his future was really huge.”

 Look out for the new hotline (Can someone find this number?)

Burke is an Australian psychologist and academic who specializes in eco-psychology. She treats people suffering mental illness as a result of climate change, and also recently set up a free hotline called the “Climate Change Psychological Support Network,” where Australians can call a qualified psychologist to talk through their feelings about environmental change.

Look out for the handbook:

‘The Climate Change Empowerment Handbook’ is a handy guide [...]

Australia to dump renewable energy subsidies, quit trying to control climate with windmills and solar?

Wow.  Australia may dump the RET — the renewable energy target — and stop trying to use our national grid to make global weather nicer for our great grandchildren? This would be legendary.

“Lowering prices will be more important than lowering emissions”

Don’t break out the Moët yet. Note two caveats.

1. The Daily Telegraph “understands” this to be true. Not definitively announced. Not passed through cabinet. Is this just testing the water to see how hot it is?

2. Australia will still try to meet our pointless Paris agreement some other way. Sure.

Will those big complex winner-picking, market fiddling schemes go?

Daily Telegraph

RENEWABLE energy subsidies and emission-reduction targets will be replaced with a focus on lowering electricity prices under the Morrison government.

New Energy Minister Angus Taylor said the federal energy policy has been “a mess” and says the fact prices have soared while blackouts persist means something has “gone terribly wrong”

The complex schemes Mr Taylor refers to are understood to be the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET), which subsidises the development of renewable energy.

The Daily Telegraph understands emission-reduction [...]

Climate change is coming for your kids — Who knew children are more likely to die in floods, droughts, heatwaves?

Hear Ye!

To all the world’s recalcitrant, absent, and neglectful parents, paediatricians have arrived to tell you to give your kids a drink during a heatwave, pack food to last through droughts, and that you really need global unaccountable committees to look after your kids. Presumably their junkets meetings will be paid for by you.

Kids are “underprioritized”? (So what do they think 2 billion parents are doing?) Children are highly vulnerable to health risks of a changing climate

“…researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and Columbia University Irving Medical Center set out some specific challenges associated with the impacts of climate change on the world’s 2.3 billion children and suggest ways to address their under-prioritized needs.“

Researchers discovered children have “anatomic, cognitive, immunologic, and psychologic differences” which put them at more risk than adults. OK. They’ve noticed kids are small and inexperienced. Ambitiously, they apply this to 2.3 billion children, pretty much all of them here on Earth. That’s your kids, mine, “under prioritized”. Hmm.

The finding that children are vulnerable will shock all the parents who assumed their kids would survive the next flood, malaria, and dengue outbreak without any help. What will [...]

Climate Lobbying is a 2 billion dollar industry — Money talks, but this report has no idea what it is saying

In one of the more pointless and inane “scientific” publications of the year, Brulle et al has added up climate lobbying dollars across the years and sectors, but missed the two largest sectors and blended friend and foe unto homogenised pap. Even Brulle admits that gas companies lobby for climate legislation, while coal companies lobby against it, yet Brulle still lumps them all into the archetypal ogre called “Fossil Fuels”. Let’s perpetuate a mindless stereotype, eh?

Was that an accident or an aim?

Thus and verily do “fossil fuels” predictably outspend environmental organisations:

“Unsurprisingly, sectors that could be negatively affected by bills limiting carbon emissions, such as the electrical utilities sector, fossil fuel companies and transportation corporations had the deepest pockets. Their lobbying efforts dwarfed those of environmental organizations, the renewable energy industry and volunteer groups.”

Fossil fuels didn’t just outspend enviromentalists, they might as well have been them. Shell leaned on World Bank to nobble the competition. It begged for Big-Green subsidies to sequester carbon and lobbied for carbon trading. BP committed to a low carbon world, and went so far as to join Greenpeace and lobby the BBC itself.

Gas companies benefit from climate change [...]

This isn’t Soft Brexit; it is Remain by another name

“Truly heading for the status of colony”

Britain is suddenly very interesting (for the eight hundredth time in the History of Western Civilization). It’s a defining moment. Fans of the establishment didn’t want Brexit,  so they tried a scare campaign, which failed. They tried on a second vote and legal means, and namecalling “xenophobic isolationist” — all the usual. Anything but a polite list of good reasons to stay in (something to counter the brilliant Daniel Hannan’s points, not to mention the happy existence of Switzerland and Norway). Now they wear the cloak and try the Remain By Stealth option (like our Carbon Tax by Stealth). Call it Brexit but make the reality the same. It is an absolute scandal for the working class and poor in the UK. Hence the string of resignations…

The peasants don’t want people in Brussels deciding what kind of hair dryer and vacuum cleaner they may buy.

James Delingpole is in fine form as a spokesperson for the downtrodden:

Brexit, it is now becoming clear, was our Peasants’ Revolt in more ways than one.

It was our Peasants’ Revolt in the sense that it was an uprising [...]

JCU staff too scared to use their uni email – this is what “academic freedom” looks like

Academic Freedom in Australia: Academics are free to use hotmail at work

For the first time in months the ABC suddenly finds time to mention Professor Peter Ridd — but not because he got sacked for an email with the illegal line “for your amusement”.  That new development in academic freedom was not newsworthy on the billion dollar ABC site.  Nor did the-blob’s-ABC feel Australians needed to know that the international outcry over his sacking was so strong that Ridd raised $160,000 in donations in a mere couple of days. However now things are apparently “serious”: other academics at JCU have given up using the official email network, hiding their thoughts on hotmail and gmail instead. Finally, 27 days after he was sacked, the ABC have arrived…

Management of JCU insists Ridd’s sacking was not about academic freedom. But everyone at JCU acts otherwise. Staff at JCU now know exactly how free they are — if they say something the management doesn’t like, they too could be victims of a personalized email trawl. Anyone could lose their job at any time for falling foul of a selectively enforced and unknowable “code of conduct”.

James Cook University staff avoid using emails [...]

Don Aitken: Peter Ridd was sacked because he threatened the Money Making Engine at Uni

The university grant engine is just a part of the whole Green Scare Machine. Click to enlarge.

Science Funding is monopsonistic, one-sided and poses a real threat to science. Governments are strangling research. The more money governments throw at politicized science, the tighter the deadly grip.

Read the cutting commentary from Don Aitkin — the former vice-chancellor of the University of Canberra and foundation chairman of the Australian Research Council. There’s a vested interest here, rarely discussed, that has ballooned in the last thirty years to billions of dollars.

In The Australian and on Aitken’s blog

Don’t you Dare Upset The Money Making Machine

The engine works this way. There is strong pressure on all academics to bring in research grant money for the department, the faculty and university. Those who do it well find their careers advancing quickly. To assist them there are media sections in universities whose job it is to frame the research work of academics in a way that will gain the attention of the media. Such media releases will come with as arresting a headline as the media section can devise. Buzzwords like ‘breakthrough’, ‘crucial’, ‘cutting edge’ and ‘revolution’ will [...]

One third of Australia wants public ABC spending cut. That’s 14 cents a day but Not Worth It

New essential poll today shows 35% of respondents support cutting spending on the ABC.

The ABC once had a hallowed status, but those days are over. One in three Australians are not enthused with non-stop naked Green-Labor advertising combined with derision and scorn for the deplorable half of the population.

We pay 14 cents a day for the ABC and it’s not worth it.

ABC ratings  plummet 13% in the last year

Showing that this survey is not an abberation, the whole nation is voting with the remote control:

Last week ABC News attracted about 660,000 viewers in the mainland capital cities. This compares with about 760,000 viewers a year ago.

That’s a trend line headed for zero by 2025.

Most Australians don’t watch the prime time 7pm news service they are forced to pay for. Apparently the ABC is a subsidy package for poor inner city elites who can afford to live in Darlinghurst but not to pay for their own news service.

The ABC rescue plan is a workshop on telling stories

The ABC solution yesterday is to get better at “storytelling”. It does not include employing a second conservative or libertarian commentator (one, Amanda Vanstone, [...]