JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


Handbooks

The Skeptics Handbook

Think it has been debunked? See here.

The Skeptics Handbook II

Climate Money Paper


Advertising

micropace


GoldNerds

The nerds have the numbers on precious metals investments on the ASX



Archives

Books

The UN threat to internet freedom

Oh Joy and Goody. Imagine if decisions about the global internet were made by the same institution that thought the rights of the downtrodden would be best protected by Col. Muammar Gaddafi? Hands up who wants another group of people you have no control over, making decisions for you and behind closed doors?

Of course, they will tell us the new regulations are there to help us, to stop spam, keep the internet fair and open. Then sooner or later, as with all human institutions, politics and ambition will mean the power is misused.

The people who will suffer the most are those in third world dictatorships. But free speech is the thing that stops the first world from turning into the third world. It’s hard to see how we get more than one shot at this. Once the net stops being open, imagine the fun trying to get that freedom back. Think of how fast protest groups can be arranged online through Facebook and email. Then think about how hard that gets if you have no e-help? The protests favored by the establishment get the free pass. What does everyone else do? Make thousands of cold phone calls? Use [...]

Tyrants always want to silence the critics

Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose.

Two hundred and fifty years ago the pamphleteers were the bloggers of the day. The Finkelstein plan in Australia is a modern version of the License of the Press under George III. Another excuse to tell people what they are allowed to read.

One John Wilkes was elected MP for Aylesbury in 1757.  George III soon-to-be-crowned King, arranged for his friend the Earl of Bute to get the job of PM. Wilkes wasn’t too happy with that. He thought Bute was incompetent, and so when one supporter of Bute started a newsletter called The Briton, it was only eight days later that Wilkes started his own newsletter, called the North Briton in response. Wilkes wrote anonymously each week, but his 45th edition was too much for George III and Wilkes was charged with Libel for accusing the George of lying, and he was tossed in the Tower. He challenged the arrest and won (eventually). His speeches during the trial became famous and had people chanting “liberty and Wilkes” in the streets. Sadly troops fired on the protesters, killing seven, in the Massacre of St George’s Field. The cry of “45″ (from the [...]

Long live free speech

This is what we have free speech for. This excellent video says it all.

Ponder as you watch: could you imagine a production like this coming from anywhere else but the Land of The Free? (Think Spain, Sweden or France? Weep, that the land of the Magna Carta was not the obvious source or even a likely contender. Could we really see this video coming out of Berlin or Beijing, or more to the point, Sussex, or Liverpool? The tragedy…)

Yes, this video is so good I’m posting it here even though every other libertarian, freedom loving, and just plain sane blogger will post it too and I hate being repetitive. Yes it’s that good.

H/t To Catallaxy, Bolt, and  to SPPI

The creators FreeMarketAmerica.org are looking for donations.

God forbid that I should admire the largest most successful collection of free people on Earth.

[...]

Media Watch witch hunt

“In the old days they would have just bound her, thrown her into the lake, and waited to see if she floated.

Though a primitive method of witch-hunting, it would surely be far more effective than Jonathan’s, and would require much less in taxpayer funding.” 

[MediaWatch comment by Preacher]

Jennifer Marohasy belongs to the “wrong” tribe, according to the ABC’s Media Watch program.

Media Watch is panting with excitement because — stop me if you’ve heard this before — she’s a scientist who earns money. My favorite part of the inadvertent expose-of-ABC-bias was the sneering voice-over, meant to be Marohasy or any supporter of her: petulant, petty and childish.  The full ABC-festival-of-smug is right on display, thanks, as always, to the Taxpayers of Australia.

It’s so bad, it’s satirical:

MW:   But many real journalists struggle when reporting science.

“Struggle?” Mr Holmes? You mean they are so confused about the real world, they think if a US group funds a group who write about a distantly connected topic, that therefore, ergo, and quid pro quo — that tiny funding demonstrates that Lake Alexandrina was always [...]

Finkelstein — Yes please. Just try it…

Welcome to Australistan.

I haven’t read the whole 400 page Finklestein report, but Mark Steyn tells me that the Chinese government likes it. What more do you need to know?

As Steyn says, this is not a left-right thing, it’s a free-unfree thing.

Tim Andrews at Menzies House launches a New Free Speech Campaign: “This is a proposal that would seem right at home in North Korea or Zibmabwe. I never thought – as dark as things seemed- we could stoop this low here in Australia”.

People asked me if this would “affect your blog”. Ha ha, I laughed, Will it? Right now, I’m discussing whether I’d need to move to Fiji, or Florida, or become a citizen of the Dominican Republic in order to express my views. Could I split my blog into a different domain name each day to avoid being “monitored”? ( I could have 365 blogs: joannenova1.com.au, joannenova2.com.au… it would play havoc with the search engines.) Alternately, perhaps I write 100% satire, cartoons, irony, and the exact opposite of what I mean? Ho Ho. Who has the rule book on the Soviet black market for ideas? What can we learn and how does it translate [...]

Monbiot — Steal things and be a “democratic” hero?

Showing the intellectual depth we’ve come to expect from progressives, Monbiot argues that the public debate on atmospheric dynamics would be improved by knowing who-funds-those-who dare speak against the government experts.

It’s as if the truth of future tropospheric warming comes not from weather balloons, but from bank accounts and budget papers.

What words do Heartland print that are so dangerous, forthwith, such a public hazard, that we must know who funds the paper they are printed on?

(Dear George, when private citizens choose to speak, it’s none of your business whether they got funding or not, and who paid them if they did. It’s about science, not motivations. Data trumps funding. Debate the message, not the man. If you think Heartland promote lies, just explain what they are. Your megaphone is bigger than theirs, and if you asked to speak at a Heartland Conference to correct their views, I’m sure they would welcome it. It’s called free speech and may the best argument win.)

According to Monbiot, stealing is not just alright, it’s heroic. Your goods are mine, comrade. Too bad if you object.

I see Peter Gleick, the man who obtained and leaked the devastating documents from the [...]

Getup-poplexy! scared of monckton, mannkal, bolt and jonova: fox australia would be a hit

Thank you GetUp! Australians are finally talking about how they can get more media competition and how we can lift media standards. Read on to see Moncktons reply, and the call for interest Spot those afraid of free speech.  

  Gina Rinehart merely buys 13% of  Fairfax, and the GetUp-union-funded-Labor-green fan club rush to start raising funds ($37,000 already), not to compete in the free market for shares, but to run the scariest adverts they can, to whip up fear and interfere with normal corporate board room activity. It’s just the way they do things. What are they so afraid of? They’re afraid the public might hear the other side of news. When you run a propaganda campaign, the worst thing that can happen is a crack in the armour — That people like  Monckton, Bolt, Nova, or the libertarian economists at Mannkal might get a chance to be heard.  Once the truth gets out it can’t be put back in the bag. It spreads.

Wait for it. This is the dark conspiratorial “secret” aim of free market thinkers that they uncovered. Remember some poor hapless soul had to view hours of free market discussion to find [...]

Influential people are getting the message: Gina Rinehart explains the science of climate change

Cover: Australian Resources and Investment Dec 2011

The key messages are not lost on the bright and influential, and even if the mass-media avoid the evidence, the facts are quietly storming their way through the echelons of power. For the future historians, here’s a glimpse of how information networks grow and evolve behind the scenes.

Once upon a time, the missing hot spot and the water vapor amplification were virtually unknown. In Jan 2009 2010, Tony Kelly (a member of the Royal Society) met David and me privately in Perth. He grasped the implications of the model amplification in a flash. There’s a world of difference between the certainty of the 1.2 C direct effect of CO2, and the highly uncertain assumptions that push it up to 3.3 C. Three months later, not coincidentally, the Royal Society was approached by deeply concerned skeptical members, and had to formally reconsider its position.

In June this year, we were lucky enough to dine with Matt Ridley, who likewise picked up the message, and is spreading it — see his acclaimed speech in November. A few weeks ago,  I noticed Lord Lawson and Lord Turnbull  similarly argued the same meme (though I [...]

The tax whose name shall not be spoken

Blitzed in the polls, the Australian Labor Party have picked the communist solution — straight from the Soviet rule book of Free Speech.  Goskomizdat revived as a kind of Goskoshopfront. It’s more desperate and simplistic band-aid legislation to benefit the ruling class and not the people. Surprisingly, the media seems to be silent on this scandalous attack on free-speech.

The Gillard Government tells us the tax’s effect will be minimal, but they are clearly terrified of the blowback.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has been directed to enforce accurate business promotions with a $1.1m dollar fine, and team of 23 “carbon cops”, to stop Australian businesses from posting any signs telling the public how much extra they are paying due to the Carbon Tax, or having a “Pretax sale”.  Imagine the travesty of transparently letting customers see a breakdown of their invoice, or of warning customers of price rises to come?

A  simple repeated message like the one below can take on a life of its own. (And we all know what animal the crowd will think of if we say: “Don’t think of an elephant”):

Of course, some will wave this away by explaining [...]

Black Day for free speech in Australia: Bolt loses case

Bolt loses and so do all whites, aboriginals, and every citizen of Australia.

News: The ABC

Andrew Bolt has been found guilty of causing “offense”.

Journalist and political commentator Andrew Bolt has been found guilty of breaching the Racial Discrimination Act over two articles he wrote in 2009.

Bolt was being sued in the Federal Court by nine Aboriginal people including former ATSIC chairman Geoff Clark, academic Professor Larissa Behrendt, activist Pat Eatock, photographer Bindi Cole, author Anita Heiss, health worker Leeanne Enoch, native title expert Graham Atkinson, academic Wayne Atkinson, and lawyer Mark McMillan.

I now know that I can’t speak freely on some topics, even if I thought what I said — uncovering unspoken truths or awkward facts — would help that minority group. Aboriginal people face many challenges. How can their lot be helped by shutting down discussion?

If drawing attention to problems, to try and find a solution “offends” some Aboriginal people, by law, now it must not be spoken. Aboriginal people who struggle are thus more likely to continue to suffer if the answer to their pain involves speaking some truth that doesn’t make 100% of them happy. What a curse to bestow upon any [...]