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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China and the imaginary EV “market”

With headlines like these, you might think that electric vehicles are competitive: China holds the keys to the electric car revolution –

“In the third quarter, global sales of electric vehicles (EVs) soared 63 percent”

–Business Insider

You might think your nation is way behind:

Australia debates value of electric vehicles while China pushes ahead

In 2017, 652,000 plug-in battery cars were sold in China, up 59 per cent, or almost half of worldwide sales.

–Sydney Morning Herald

But then there is this:

Tax incentives for electric vehicles were stopped in Hong Kong, and sales collapsed

Tesla car sales in Hong Kong fell from 2000 to just 300 cars in one year, a crushing indictment of their competitiveness and … No wait, it’s worse:

Data from Hong Kong´s Transport Department shows Tesla sales fell to just 32 between April and December 2017, a dramatic decline from the near 2,000 sales notched up over the same period of 2016.

The removal of tax incentives in Hong Kong almost doubled the price of some Tesla models.

In total, including non-Tesla models, just 99 electric cars were registered [...]

Madness and misinformation in renewables-land: South Australia brags they didn’t have to “load shed”

Hope foreign readers are enjoying the spectacle of a first world nation destroying its competitive advantage with renewables. Hope that helps you avoid the same fate.

Praise the lord, states without coal don’t have to load-shed-industry (because they don’t have much left):

The South Australian Treasurer is bragging that SA didn’t have to shed any industry load on Friday, but the coal state of Victoria did. Pull the other one:

“In terms of supply we should be okay,” he [the SA Treasurer] said.

“Victoria I understand is about to load shed industry. So they’re not coping with the power supply.

“They are a coal-dependent state and they are having to take industry offline to support their households. In South Australia we’re not having to do that today.” — h/t A H

The Treasurer didn’t mention that SA shed the load already over the last two years by driving heavy manufacturers out of business, and out of the state. Let’s name some:

Gone from the SA power load: Mitsubishi, GMH, Plastics Granulating Services (Recyclers), Caroma (76 jobs) after 79 years in business, Penrice, Arnotts biscuits (120 jobs), Aldinga Turkeys (79), ACI Glass (60 [...]

Fake News Media: Would you like the hole truth or fake mud with that?

The decrepit legacy media is now so low there are competing stories in the same week discussing which form of decay is the worst.

Is it that the media suppresses the good news, or that it amplifies the bad — throwing fake mud that is never cleaned up? It’s two sides of the same corrupt, self serving coin.  Pass on these links to friends who think the legacy media still has journalists with , a) a backbone or b) ethics.

Suppressing the Good News is the media’s dirtiest tactic

Steve Sheldon

Here are headlines you won’t read in almost any major American newspaper, hear on any of the evening news programs, or see in your Yahoo “news” feed:

Dow Hits 87 Record Closes Since Trump Elected

Texas Hero Was NRA Instructor

Dow Reaches Four 1,000 Point Milestones in One Year for the First Time Ever

ISIS on the Run, Almost Completely Destroyed

New Home Sales Highest in a Decade

Texas Hero Uses AR-15 to Save the Day

Dow Hits Two Streaks Lasting More Than Ten Days, First Time Since 1959

Trump Donates [...]

You mean the ABC isn’t telling us all the news on Iran?

It’s a shame Australia’s billion-dollar-ABC apparently can’t afford a Wall St Journal subscription. In long coverage of the Iranian unrest ABC prime time news tonight said the protesters “wanted the government to create jobs”. (Sounds like an Australian election) But  The Wall St Journal, puts it differently. Farnaz Fassihi describes the slogans being chanted:

“We don’t want an Islamic Republic, we don’t want it, we don’t want it.”

“They are using Islam as an excuse to drive people crazy.

Breitbart:

Despite the threats of physical violence, women in the Islamic republic have used the opportunity to call out for more personal freedom and a relaxation of strict Islamic rule and sharia law:

In a different article Caroline Glick sees dismal coverage in the US too and speculates on a much bigger picture.

 I’m just letting people know there is another side. Best wishes for the brave people seeking freedom.

There is an epic battle going on, with lives of workers and families at stake, and the only subheader the ABC can find is” ‘Trump should focus on America’.

[...]

Global warming will weaken winds in the Northern Hemisphere, but speed them up downunder!

Now they tell us! Climate warming to weaken wind power in northern hemisphere, increase in Australia: study

After building 341,000 wind turbines, mostly in the Northern Hemisphere, now climate modelers reveal that winds will decrease in the Northern Hemisphere!

Warming temperatures caused by climate change are set to weaken wind energy in the northern hemisphere, a study shows, lessening the amount of wind power produced for wind farms.

However the southern hemisphere would see a boost in wind, which could potentially turn north-eastern Australia into an attractive investment for energy companies.

Rush, invest your money now.  The theory called polar amplification has the success rate of a coin toss. Buy a wind farm in NE Australia!

Luckily wind speeds are not also influenced by cloud cover, jet streams, oceans currents, forest growth, atmospheric tides, solar factors, magnetic fields, ozone levels, cosmic rays, or butterflies. Otherwise this study might be inadequate, uninformed guesswork being used to inform investment decisions!

Look out for Polar Amplifiers. Click to enlarge.

Key points: Atmosphere instability which creates wind changing in northern hemisphere North-east Australia could become an attractive investment for energy companies At present there is only one operational wind [...]

The Guardian invents a myth that Trump obstructs satellite research

Part #4,566 in The Demonisation of Trump – The Guardian spawns another urban myth and fake-hate-news. Donald Trump accused of obstructing satellite research into climate change

The poor ignorant readers, fed the anti-science spin, and missing all the relevant info below (or any counter point of view) — predictably respond with the words “sociopath”, “Hitler”, “Nazi’s”, “criminals”, “crooks”, “liars” and “sychophants” — and that’s just in the first 20 comments of nearly 400.

The author Robin McKie found one scientist willing to hype this in a suitable way:

“This is like throwing away the medical records of a sick patient,” said David Gallaher of the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado.

If McKie bothered to get calmer and more accurate views, he does not report them. Though he also says: “Many scientists say this decision was made for purely ideological reasons.” He names none of the “many”. Way to go McKie.

Enter a real expert in satellite systems:

Roy Spencer, award-winning satellite expert, explains how Trump is being wrongly blamed

In short, the story is that a series of US military satellites are monitoring sea ice. Four were launched from 2003 – 2014 (numbered 16 [...]

ABC renewables fantasy island “farewells diesel” (except for 40% of its power)

Flinders Island is in the Bass Strait North of Tasmania.

If there is a heaven for renewables, this island should be it. But instead, even on Flinders Island, renewables aren’t cheaper than diesel generators. This is a dismal reality, yet the ABC promotes it as a fantasy poster-isle, interviewing only vested or “no idea” people, asking no critical questions, doing no counter research and telling us renewables will be “more reliable” and implying they are cheaper too. The ABC is a three-million-dollar-a-day advertising outlet for other government agencies. Instead of serving Australians it appears to be there to help shake down the taxpayer.

ABC renewables hype strikes again: Rhiannon Shine reports Flinders Island as a showcase of the brave new renewables world. Let’s translate that spin and see just how pathetic it is. If anywhere was going to be totally renewable, Flinders Island would be it — a first world island, tiny population, massive subsidies, no access to cheap coal or gas power, government support at every level and placed in a handy wind stream known as “the Roaring Forties”.  Yeah! This is one of the last places in the first world (short of Antarctic stations) where renewables [...]

Uni NSW Journalism lecturer gives advice on how to cleanse your news sources

Christopher Kremmer, Senior Lecturer in Literary & Narrative Journalism, School of the Arts & Media, UNSW, wants to help you shield yourself from worldviews that you don’t like, so he provides a detailed “how to” list of ways to make sure you filter out, specifically, news.com.

This man lectures in journalism. Instead of teaching journalism students on how to logically outplay and counter arguments and spot the flaws, he’s teaching them to cleanse their feeds lest they be exposed to inconvenient worldviews.

The team that has no evidence and no answers has to find a way to compensate for their intellectual vacuum.

Taking control of who gets to send us news

… before I had even typed in my search terms, it was apparent that my options had been narrowed. The news list that the aggregator threw up was dominated by websites whose idea of what constitutes news is very different to my own.

It takes a lot of effort to build an information silo:

One by one, I began blocking offending mastheads, then refreshing the browser to check the progress of my censorship. It takes a while because news websites use multiple addresses to maximise reader access. [...]

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 [...]

Kelloggs sells Social Justice Cereal, calls half the population names and posts $53m loss

The new marketing move by Kelloggs to insult half its customers doesn’t seem to be working out too well. Last year Kelloggs jumped into politics by loudly cancelling advertising on Breitbart saying the new media outlet didn’t fit their values. It was an attempt to punish the big winner in the new media for reporting politically incorrect news. Breitbart responded with the DumpKelloggs petition, and 436,000 people pledged never to buy Kelloggs again.

The company has now reported a $53 million dollar loss in the fourth quarter. It’s shutting down 39 distribution centres, potentially sacking 1,100 workers. Kelloggs share prices are back to where they were a year ago, but Kraft-Heinz is up 31%, and Post is up by 37%. Hey, but it could be a coincidence.

To get some idea of the depth of the goodwill crater left by the Kelloggs political bomb, check out Chiefio’s Bye Bye Kelloggs flaming rant last December. He won’t give a trigger warning, but tells people who need one to “get out now”. I’ve picked a tamer paragraph:

 Dear Kellogg’s:

We, the Average Joe and Average Jane have put up with this Protest Shit to the absolute limit, and [...]