JoNova

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


The Skeptics Handbook

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The Skeptics Handbook II

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Australian Environment Conference Oct 20 2012


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



Climate Change could make humans extinct says “expert”

Time to panic. Climate Change could make humans extinct, warns the Sydney Morning Herald.

“The Earth is warming so rapidly that unless humans can arrest the trend, we risk becoming ”extinct” as a species, a leading Australian health academic has warned.” The trend, the trend, which trend exactly? The trends have been flat on the surface for 17 years, so if that trend continues, we risk “staying the same”? That’ll be deadly. In 1997 global population was 5.8 billion. Since then, there has been no significant warming in the part of the world that humans live in, and global population plunged to 7.2 billion.  Hold off on the End-of-Humanity Party.

Helen Berry, associate dean in the faculty of health at the University of Canberra, said while the Earth has been warmer and colder at different points in the planet’s history, the rate of change has never been as fast as it is today.”

Luckily Helen Berry has seen the Neanderthal global data sets from the paleolithic era which recorded those climate changes. Otherwise how would she know the exact rate of global warming from, say, 11,900 -11,860BC or 42,040 – 42,000BC? The only records I’ve seen (like, the ice [...]

Skeptics romp in 6 Bloggies categories — (Lifetime Achievement Award for Jo- thank you!)

The Bloggies awards were so enthused that skeptics dominated the Science and Tech category that they removed the category.  So I suggested skeptical readers pick different categories, and lo and behold today skeptics win in six different areas.

Thousands of readers will not go away.

I’d like to thank especially, the Mainstream Media, without which I would have hardly any traffic. I dedicate this win today to the science journalists in the ABC, BBC, CBC, CBS or CNN, and to Roger Harrabin, Andy Revkin and George Monbiot — all of whom make it so easy for skeptical blogs to flourish. Their promotion of logical fallacies, one-sided reports, and rank name-calling paves the way, en masse for hundreds of thousands of disappointed, thoughtful, inquisitive readers to hunt online for something better.

If science journalists were good scientists or good journalists skeptical blogs would not be one of the largest single categories on the world wide web. (Judging from the other winners, the mainstream media is also lacking in Moms).

Best European Weblog, Winner: Tallbloke’s Talkshop

Best Weblog About Politics, Winner: The Global Warming Policy Foundation

Best Topical Weblog ,Winner: Climate Audit [...]

The Great Unravelling: Even fans of “climate fear” admit skeptics are fashionable

Just another signpost on the road to Sensible-land. Remember how skeptics were the fringe minority, the dying dinosaurs, and there were only a few left on the planet? That was last week. Suddenly, begrudgingly, being a skeptic is fashionable (but still wrong, of course). This is “fashionable” in the sense of popular but meaningless, not storming Gucci-type chic, more like getting a high-def TV built into the fridge door. It’s trendy but essentially useless. (By the way, the cool TV has a remote control, DVD and FM radio so you…  don’t have to get off the kitchen floor. I suppose it’s just a matter of time before the TV in the family-room will get a fridge built in?)

But I digress.

The Telegraph has the headline “Global warming – there’s hope amid the gloom” .

Geoffrey Lean tells us “scepticism has replaced concern about climate change”, and you and I might think, that therefore, global leaders ought to pay attention to their citizens. But Lean says more skepticism means world leaders have to shout at the punters even louder. Never, ever assume the voters are right.

Lean hasn’t read Marcel Crok and Nicholas Lewis’s report about climate sensitivity being lower [...]

Nick Cohen “deniers have won” — gets startlingly close to the truth

What insight. ‘Tis prosaic — Nick Cohen in The Guardian packs more truth — runs tantalizingly close to a major insight, yet skates off, one single word short.

It’s projection on a rampage, and Cohen almost seems to realize it.  Perhaps we can help him?

“The climate change deniers have won”

Where else, but The Guardian?

Yes, Mr Cohen, those whom you deliberately and with malice call “deniers” are winning. Incredibly, even though they have only 0.03% of the funds, none of the machinery or the institutions, the enmity of western governments, existential opposition from the $350 billion renewables industry, no support from the large global carbon trading market, and only scorn and derision from the entire UN, and yet they are winning with nothing but wits and facts.

“Scientists continue to warn us about global warming, but most of us have a vested interest in not wanting to think about it” Exactly!  If you care about the environment you need to think. How serious is the problem of CO2? Here’s a handy list of topics that won’t tell us that answer: Any list of organizations, associations, committees. Any survey of keywords used in publications. Psychoanalysis, pop psychology, anonymous internet [...]

This is what we need more of: Scientists calling out newspaper hype

Professor Richard Betts, Head of Climate Impacts Research, Met Office Hadley Centre, responded to an alarmist news story in the Independent, both with a comment at the article, and in a tweet (or two). If more scientists spoke out publicly, reporting would get better.

Prof Richard Betts commenting at the Independent (my bold):

Official prophecy of doom: Global warming will cause widespread conflict, displace millions of people and devastate the global economy

Leaked draft report from UN panel seen by The Independent is most comprehensive investigation into impact of climate change ever undertaken – and it’s not good news

Climate change will displace hundreds of millions of people by the end of this century, increasing the risk of violent conflict and wiping trillions of dollars off the global economy, a forthcoming UN report will warn.

Based on thousands of peer-reviewed studies and put together by hundreds of respected scientists, the [IPCC] report predicts that climate change will reduce median crop yields by 2 per cent per decade …

And so on– it is pretty much all there: war, starvation, floods, seas rising, and death. Richard Betts comments (my bolding):

“I’m one of the authors of the IPCC WG2 report, and I [...]

Media bias — ABC, CBS exclude skeptical scientists for 1300 days

The bias is obvious in what they don’t say. Reporters are supposed to seek out and promote the most rational, well argued positions they can find. Instead they elevate themselves to defacto “science judges” and decide which scientists deserve to be heard. It could be called arrogance, or it could be called “lying by omission”.

 COLD SHOULDER: ABC, CBS Exclude Scientists Critical of Global Warming for More Than 1,300 Days | NewsBusters

Like a simple parlor trick, the networks are able to make skeptical scientists vanish, at least from the eyes of their viewers.

In some cases, the broadcast networks have failed to include such scientists for years, while including alarmist scientists within the past six months. ABC, CBS and NBC’s lengthy omission of scientists critical of global warming alarmism propped up the myth of a scientific consensus, despite the fact that many scientists and thousands of peer-reviewed studies disagree.

Neither CBS nor ABC have included a skeptical scientist in their news shows within the past 1,300 days, but both networks included alarmists within the past 160 days — CBS as recently as 22 days ago. When the networks did include other viewpoints, the experts were dismissed as “out of [...]

Newman says The Party is Over for the IPCC

Another sign the debate is shifting, and probably in an irreversible way. Like a ratchet, the truth is slowly advancing, but once revealed, there is no going back.

The debate is gaining nuance: instead of scientists and deniers, there the public starts to see the argument is about shades of grey. The real debate has never been about whether greenhouse gases were real, instead it’s about how much global warming will happen. The cheating tactic of pretending the conflict was about something that nearly everyone agrees upon is like a ticking bomb for alarmists. The fuse has been lit. They will pay for their deception eventually.

Maurice Newman, chairman of the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Council, is following up on his extraordinary front page article in The Australian. He is influential and was Chairman of the ABC, and of the board of the Australian Stock Exchange, and was Chancellor of Macquarie University until 2008.

Maurice Newman in The Australian today:

GIVEN the low-grade attacks on me following my piece “Crowds go cold on climate cost” (The Australian, Dec 31) readers of Fairfax publications and The Guardian may be shocked to hear I believe in climate change. I also accept carbon [...]

Sydney Morning Herald allows a skeptic to say the games up for climate hysteria

Reader Cookster expressed amazement asked if the tide was turning and linked to Tom Switzers piece in the SMH today “Game Finally Up for Carboncrats”.  It’s a no-holds barred description of the current state of the climate scare. I’m not a regular reader of the SMH (the left leaning major daily in Sydney), so I might be wrong, but I’m tempted to agree with Cookster. What I can’t tell from the other side of the country is whether this was put out in print in the main Op-Ed section (please let me know).

Switzer is well respected in Australian newsprint (he’s the editor of The Spectator Australia) which no doubt made it hard for the SMH to say no. But look how confident, and well informed he is. The bland truth is that Kyoto is over, and as Tom says:

“Prospects for a replacement are virtually zero. Rich nations are rejecting climate compensation for the developing world. Europe is in a coal frenzy. Germany, a former green trend-setter, is slashing unaffordable subsidies to the renewables industry. The European Parliament is losing confidence in the EU emissions trading scheme. No Asian nation has an emission trading scheme in operation. China’s and India’s [...]

French Polar Chief slams SpiritofMawson fiasco

This really has been a PR debacle of amazing proportions. The ship stuck in ice has captured something larger than I would have expected. Methinks the timing must be apropos.

Good scientists are distancing themselves from the publicity hungry climate lightweights and commentators on both sides of the fence are agreeing in their criticism.

A third effect we are barely starting to see may ripple on for months — that’s when mass-media victims realize that the “Russian Tourist ship” was really a boat load of Australian and New Zealander scientists, paid for mostly by taxpayers and loaded and advised by supposedly “expert” climate scientists. This misinformation was despite the boat having BBC, and Guardian media on board, and Fairfax press in one of the rescue icebreakers. Today I see evidence of the first two effects.

From Skynews. The French chief of polar science calls the Spirit of Mawson trip “pseudo-scientific” and laments the effect it is having on real research.

The head of France’s polar science institute has voiced fury at the misadventures of a Russian ship trapped in Antarctic ice, deriding what he called a tourists’ trip that had diverted resources from real science.

In an interview with AFP, [...]

Skeptical view makes Australian front page: climate madness, dishonesty, fraud, deception, lies and exploitation says Maurice Newman

The giant boondoggle is coming undone.

What makes this article remarkable is the strong language coming from a credible source on the front page of a major national daily. We have crossed another line in the decline and fall of the Great Global Warming Scare.  Maurice Newman is chairman of the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Council , was Chairman of the ABC, and of the board of the Australian Stock Exchange. He was Chancellor of Macquarie University until 2008. The Op-Ed and news article today sums up the worst of the last five years of climate, and is the first time I can recall seeing a well respected commentator use such unequivocal and damning language and so prominently. There is no hedging here, no pandering. Newman obviously reads skeptical blogs and is very aware of what is going on. Ponder that he was Chairman of their ABC, and if someone of his sensible insight could not clean it up, we need far more drastic action (that’s another topic we will explore soon).

His opinion piece in the Australian (Crowds go cold on climate cost), is discussed on the front page as a news item titled “Climate policies helped kill manufacturing, [...]

Third icebreaker abandons rescue of climate scientists boat in Antarctica, media fog, obscure, don’t say “climate”

LATEST NEWS: Aurora Australis abandons attempt to save Akademik Shokalskiy in Antarctica. The SMH headline could’ve said “Another icebreaker abandons attempt to save climate scientist’s boat in Antarctica.” UPDATE: Russia says 54 of 74 passengers to be helicoptered off if weather permits. (h/ tPeter Miller) The Polar Star icebreaker has left from the US to come help. It will take 8 -9 days to arrive. (Guardian)

Welcome to Media-Sport, where we score points watching a part of the media dance around the hysterical folly of an Antarctic climate science expedition trapped in sea ice for six nights (and counting). The Art of Propaganda is not just in the telling of one-sided lines, but is crafted through parts left unsaid.

More global warming, it is everywhere you look. View from Akademik Shokalskiy

With three ice-breaker rescue ships trying to reach them, the latest news is that the scientists and media entourage may have to abandon ship and be helicoptered to safety (though right now even that is not possible due to the very rough weather).  The ABC news home page at time of posting this has zero references to “Antarctica”, but does say there are cracks in ice around a [...]

NY Times climate news shrinks 30% — another signpost in the decline of The Great Global Warming Scam

It’s not just the money that is leaving the room as reality bites, the chattering classes are not chattering about it so much either. The New York Times closed their  Green Blog earlier this year, which covered energy and environment. Seven reporters and two editors were moved into different roles. Did that matter? Seems so.

Think Progress tells the sad story:

The decision was met with disbelief and consternation by many, although readers were promised that The Times’s environmental coverage would be as aggressive as ever, and that the decision was purely structural.

It’s always about “seeming” and not about doing isn’t it?

So much for “structural”, now there are 30% less stories:

Maxwell T. Boykoff, who tracks media coverage of the environment at the University of Colorado, reported to Sullivan that The Times published just 247 print articles that prominently featured climate change between April and September of last year, In 2012, there were 362 such articles during the same time period – that’s a decline of about one third.

Furthermore, in that six-month period since the environment desk closed, there were only three front-page stories in which climate change was the main focus, compared with nine the year [...]

Six questions the media should be asking the IPCC – by Bob Tisdale

It’s clear science journalists need some help. The IPCC are saying “The ocean ate my global warming” and most environment reporters just cut-n-paste this excuse — they fall for the breathtaking joules-to-the-22nd-figures  — not realizing they convert to a mere 0.07C over nearly 50 years (as if we could measure the average temperature of the global oceans to a hundredth of a degree!). Worse, the warming we do find is so small, it supports the skeptical calculations, not the IPCC’s ones. I ran a tutorial for journalists at the end of the post, and asked Bob Tisdale (author of Climate Models Fail ) if he had some other questions. He did, oh boy, and here they are. Thanks to Bob.  – Jo

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Questions the Media Should Be Asking the IPCC – The Hiatus in Warming Posted on October 3, 2013 by Bob Tisdale

Joanne Nova asked me to suggest questions the media should be asking the IPCC about their 5th Assessment Report (AR5).  I’ve provided a few examples along with background information.

This post will discuss the slowdown in global warming since 1998 (or the halt since 2001) known as the hiatus.  While the hiatus in warming had been the [...]

More media pressure finally forcing the IPCC to cut the spin

The race in the media continues: The UK Daily Mail (again), The Spectator, The UK Express. The headlines the IPCC must hate  just keep coming, now in major newspapers and magazines. Finally, maybe, some of the media is starting to get it. At last also the IPCC is feeling the pressure to explain the halting of global warming and the poor performance of its climate models.

This is all well and good, but before we celebrate, ponder that if science journalists had been doing their job 10 years ago, the IPCC would have been put on the spot before before the wild evangelistic doom-fest of 2007 where national GDP points were roasted with every chapter. Billions could have been saved.

As I keep saying: The media is the problem. With good journalists, and real reporters, everything else gets better. Shine the light…

The UK Daily Mail  Tamara Cohen

World’s top climate scientists told to ‘cover up’ the fact that the Earth’s temperature hasn’t risen for the last 15 years

But leaked documents seen by the Associated Press, yesterday revealed deep concerns among politicians about a lack of global warming over the past few years.

Germany called for the references [...]

A tipping point: Skepticism goes mainstream…

Worldwide momentum is shifting. With David Rose’s article in the Daily Mail, Matt Ridley in the Wall Street Journal (“We got it wrong on warming“),  and the excellent article by Ross McKitrick  in the Financial Post the skeptical message is going mainstream.

The war is by no means over, but the race in media coverage has stepped up a notch. Now, for the first time there is an element of competition, serious newspapers don’t want to be left behind. Editors have realized the skeptics have a case.

In Australia the grand failure of the carbon tax in the recent election is still ripping through the news, the institutions, and the mood. It was a categorical defeat. From comments and emails I know this event was watched around the world.

Roy Spencer, veteran with two decades of experience wonders if this is a turning point too:

“…recent events are quite exceptional.”

” We are now at the point in the age of global warming hysteria where the IPCC global warming theory has crashed into the hard reality of observations.”

Ross McKitrick, Canada:

“To those of us who have been following the climate debate for decades, the next few years will [...]

PR Wars: IPCC fights for relevance, halves warming, claims to be 95% certain of something vaguer

We are over the peak. Years late, the IPCC concedes some territory and wears headlines they must hate (“Global warming is just HALF what we said“, “We got it wrong on warming“), but PR still rules, and in the big game, this will quickly spin to a minor bump. It’s a classic technique to release “the bad news” before the main report, to clear the air for the messages the agents want to stick.

Since 2007 they’ve burned through their credibility in so many ways:  think Climategate, and getting caught pretending activist material was science, being busted for 300-year-typos like the Himalayan Glaciers, plus 15 years of no warming, no hot spot, models being wrong, droughts ending, and ice returning, all the while pouring scorn and derision on anyone who questioned them. The IPCC were being hammered and they had to change tacks. Now, for the first time, the IPCC is making a serious retreat, presumably in the hope of being able to still paint itself as “scientific” and to fight from a different trench. Anything to continue the yearly junkets and to save face. What they hope is that no one will notice that the deniers were right [...]

The day the Global Warming death spiral began

Let the historic dissection begin. Man-made global warming is a dying market and a zombie science.

The Carbon Capture Report, based in Illinois, tallies up the media stories from the English speaking media on “climate change” daily. Thanks to the tip from Peter Lang, we can see the terminal trend below. The big peak in late 2009 was the double-whammy of Climategate and Copenhagen (aka Hopenhagen). It’s all been downhill since then.

Mentions of “climate change” in news, blogs and tweets dropped suddenly from July 29, 2011

Source: Carbon Capture Report

But something that caught my eye was the drop in mid 2011 (or precisely — July 29, 2011) when media stories fell by half, a step-change fall from which they never recovered.

Media Matters, and Joe Romm make much of of the fact that after Paul Ingrassia (a skeptic) was appointed as Reuters deputy-editor-in-chief news coverage of climate change fell by half.

Media Matters found a 48% decline in climate-change coverage over a six-month period, after Ingrassia joined the agency in 2011.

But Ingrassia started in April 2011 not July. Media Matters compares 6 months before the global fall Oct 2010 – April 2011 — to [...]

Jo Nova talks on 2GB about carbon credits and the forced market that is called “free”

Michael McLaren, 2GB

Thanks to Joe V in comments for finding the links to my interview on the “Carbon Free Market”

Michael McLaren speaks with Joanne Nova, author of The Skeptic’s Handbook, who speaks about the stupidity of aligning ourselves with Europe’s ETS.

Listen http://www.2gb.com/article/ets-more-black-market-green-economy# or Download

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Emotions are running high in Australia. One anonymous commenter has posted over 400 comments here, if he repeats himself, either ignore it, or explain why he’s wrong. Links are appreciated in comments but not ones that don’t even have one line of explanation (eg youtube). We welcome all honest debate from all comers.

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News media networks report global warming 92 times, versus global pause, zero times

As I keep saying, it’s not that the media has a problem, the truth is the media IS the problem.

If we had accurate and balanced reporting the global warming meme would have crashed and burned long ago, voters would have said “No thanks”; politicians would have wasted less money; scientists would be researching useful things; universities would have to fire professors who can’t reason, and we would all be richer.

So when the budget office says our ABC costs us $1 billion, I say No, the cost is measured in national GDP.

No wonder most of us have given up watching the old media.

Here’s a study, by the Media Research Centre, reported in the Wall St Journal. Hat tip to the HockeySchtick blog and Tom Nelson. It refers to US networks so “ABC” means the American variety. Curiously, the New York Times looks good in comparison to the network news. It told its readers about the global pause only six months after its foreign competitors did. It was only a few years behind the bloggers.

Networks Do 92 Climate Change Stories; Fail to Mention ‘Lull’ in Warming All 92 Times

ABC, CBS and NBC ignore ‘mystery’ [...]

Witchcraft on Catalyst — Scary weather is coming, it’s all our fault, be afraid!

There they go again. Last night the ABC again used taxpayer dollars to post up a slick advertisement for their favourite religion. Because Catalyst won’t read skeptical blogs, interview skeptics, or ask difficult questions, they give a false impression to any poor viewers who haven’t figured out that the presenters (in this case, Anja Taylor) are more activist than investigator.

“The gorilla in the kitchen remained invisible. Where was cause and effect?”

The Earth has had extremes of every kind of weather for 4.5 billion years. What makes the current ones any different? Any cause of warming could melt ice, raise sea-levels, shift jet streams, change cloud cover and shift evaporation rates. How do we know this warming is due to coal fired power stations? We only “know” because some climate modelers say so — but they rely on models that assume relative humidity stays constant when it doesn’t, and which are proven “unskilled” at precipitation, cloud cover and upper tropospheric temperature profiles.  The models ignore lunar effects, solar magnetic effects and millions of observations so they can blame your SUV and air-conditioner for causing droughts, storms, blizzards, and floods.

This is the modus operandi of the ancient witchdoctor. [...]