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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UK voters tired of “big” or “bigger” government. UKIP wins again!

Government, Opposition, what’s the difference? It’s all become shades of “bigness”.  With the UK Big-Government orbiting in the  shadow of the Mega-Government in the EU, is it any wonder an alternative had to spring forth? And Lo…

In case you haven’t heard, Mr Reckless left the UK Tories, joined UKIP (the UK Independence Party) and just won the byelection becoming UKIP’s second member of Parliament. It surprised quite a lot of people.  Analysts are abuzz: the electorate was not as old or white as the first seat UKIP won, and it was ranked 271st on the list of seats UKIP “might win”. Labor won just 16% of the vote.

People seem to like the idea of small government, lower taxes, and politicians who don’t promise to change the weather. Who would have thought?

Perhaps the mighty English will one day even win the right to buy powerful hairdryers, and serious vacuums? We dare hope!

BBC News

UKIP’s victory was in many ways even more impressive than their triumph in Clacton. The ease with which they demolished a 9,000 Tory majority was striking and this after the Conservatives had strained every sinew to halt the UKIP bandwagon.

[...]

Election over, so US, China agree to make unenforceable long term commitment with no consequences

Now that the mid-term elections are over in the US,  Obama is free to announce the climate commitments that voters didn’t need to hear. (I did say this would happen.) It’s a “landmark” agreement and a “gamechanger”, but no one can point out what  happens if either country doesn’t stick to its agreement.

The end-point of this grand theater of intent and glorious promises is Paris 2015.

What matters is the appearance of “momentum” — and this show ticks all the boxes. The two global superpowers make a sudden, unexpected agreement to reduce emissions and the press can call it “remarkable”, as if it has substance.  Obama –  the President without a majority in either house of Congress –  has announced a big new target of 26% reduction by 2025.  What can a lame-duck President achieve? Fluff and PR. As it happens, US emissions have been falling for years because of the miracle of shale gas and oil. This announcement supposedly doubles the pace of that reduction which was occurring anyhow, and which had nothing to do with any green policies aimed at reducing emissions. Furthermore, Obama, magically, will do it without  imposing new restrictions on [...]

Big lesson for Australia from US voters. Climate change is over as an election issue.

Remember how we were told people everywhere are “waking up to the threat of climate change”? Welcome to 2014. In Charles Krauthammers words “The National Weather Service has upgraded the election from tropical storm to tsunami, especially the results of the governorships. If you look at the bluest states in the country, Maryland, Illinois, Massachusetts, all gone Republican.”

Australians may have missed what happened this week in the US (especially if they only watch the ABC). Climate Change is over as a voting issue.  Will Australian Opposition Leader, Bill Shorten, get the message? Just last month he pledged to put carbon trading on the next election agenda (again). The conservatives across the nation must be cheering.

In the US, Tom Steyer threw $74 million into a campaign to convince voters to be very afraid and vote out the Republicans. Nearly all of Steyers favourite candidates failed. It was no accidental issue. The NextGen Climate Action Super Pac took Steyers money, and spent it all (and more) to push President Obama’s green agenda, specifically targeting coal “for extinction”. The Republicans supported energy of all kinds from coal to oil, fracked gas, and more pipelines.

This was the “biggest investment the environmental [...]

Coal Miner Clive Palmer to host a climate conference for global leaders

Australian politics is pure side-show cabaret.

For Clive Palmer, it’s a smashing winner all the way ’round.  It’s more photo opportunities,  more Palmer-Party headlines, and a chance for him to hobnob with any international names who feel like turning up for a few days of taxpayer funded R&R to his Coolum Resort.

Thus Clive disarms his opponents, networks with the odd VIP, and unnerves the government all at the same time. He can wave the Green flag in future negotiations with Abbott and co, to try to haggle extra bits and pieces in his favour. Plus he distracts people from a messy legal matter with a Chinese firm, and he could certainly use some guests at his 95% empty resort. Which, by the way, is also a legal headache and in the news for all the wrong reasons.

It is a bet that a few politicians wouldn’t mind a Sunshine Coast junket after the G20 on November 17. They get to relax for a few tax-deductible or tax-funded days while they pretend to talk about the insolvable climate problem. Plus it’s a fun way to look compassionate and caring for the third rock from the sun. Everyone earns greenie points, [...]

Get rid of the rogue EPA and pointless “climate” policies. Governments can’t change the weather.

One day people will marvel that turn of the century governments thought they could control the climate, and needed to issue decrees about how much “change” in the weather they would allow.

From different continents come two articles with a similar theme. It’s time to dump the EPA and pointless “Climate” policies.

The US should get rid of the federal EPA

Alan Caruba and Jay Lehr tell us how it is. The EPA is a rogue tool of liberal activitists.

For years now I have been saying that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must be eliminated and its powers given to the fifty states, all of which, have their own departments of environmental protection. Until now, however, there has been no plan put forth to do so.

Dr. Jay Lehr has done just that and his plan no doubt will be sent to the members of Congress and the state governors. Titled “Replacing the Environmental Protection Agency” it should be read by everyone who, like Dr. Lehr, has concluded that the EPA was a good idea when it was introduced in 1971, but has since evolved into a rogue agency threatening the U.S. economy, attacking the fundamental concept of private [...]

The Carbon Tax saga goes on: What game is Palmer playing?

Clive Palmer, the coal mining Billionaire and his three (or four) PUP Senators have voted down the Carbon Tax repeal they said they would pass. It was quite the blockbuster day in Australian politics. They supported the government move to bring on the vote at 11:45am today, then decided not to vote for the repeal bill. They hold the balance of power. The carbon tax is still law. It may get voted on again by next Thursday, but if that fails, it won’t be voted on again til August, and millions in carbon tax payments are on the line.

There are at least three version of why the bill failed (the same thing happened the day Palmer met Gore). Sky News suggests PUP wanted to change their amendments. According to News.com, Palmer says the amendments put forward by the Coalition were older ones, and not the newer ones the Coalition agreed to, and he claims the government pulled a “swifty”. In an article in The Australian,  it appears the problem was that the amendments were not circulated at 8.30 this morning. Given that Palmer has been known to feed scurrilous versions to the media, perhaps the confusion here is no [...]

Will Australia get carbon trading? The Palmer and Al Gore paradox goes on…

Palmer is offering to vote for Tony Abbott’s Direct Action Plan as long as he gets “his” Emissions Trading Scheme as well (the one he didn’t want eight weeks ago, to solve a problem he didn’t believe existed).

None of it makes sense on its face. Clive Palmer, the coal miner and die-hard unbeliever, appears to “want” an ETS, the Climate Change Authority, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and direct action to reduce CO2 as well as the RET.  (And some say that Gore lost?)

Is Palmer just playing games with both the Coalition and the media, holding cards for negotiation-sake, and messing with journalist’s heads? It could be.  But until we see the fine print on the legislation (and all the other deals), we can assume the loser of the Gore-Palmer paradox was neither Gore nor Palmer, but the Australian taxpayer.

Abbott will find it hard to knock back a deal to bring in “Direct Action”, after having campaigned for so long to get it working.  Especially if the ETS is sold as a dead duck at zero dollars and only on the condition that Japan, South Korea, China, Australian and the US all start emissions trading. [...]

Obama Rule by Decree: If you like Your Lifestyle — You can keep your lifestyle…

How many people will die in order to reduce world temperatures by possibly, maybe, something a lot less than 0.05 F? Commiserations to the people of the USA.

Obama said almost nothing about climate change in the 2012 election campaign. Ain’t that the way? He can’t persuade the people to take the medicine they don’t need. Congress won’t pass it, so he’s going around the voters entirely and doing it through EPA regulations.

Rothbard and Rucker look at the toll of Obama’s EPA plan to slash CO2 emissions by a pointless 30%:

224,000 more lost jobs every year (U.S. Chamber of Commerce figures). Cost to every American household $3,400 per year (U.S. Chamber of Commerce figures).

What’s the point of electing a congress if the President rules by executive order ?

“Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., went so far as to describe it as an unconstitutional power grab.”

– Jo

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EPA’s next wave of job-killing CO2 regulations

Unleashing EPA bureaucrats on American livelihoods, living standards and liberties

David Rothbard and Craig Rucker [CFACT]

Supported by nothing but assumptions, faulty computer models and outright falsifications of what is [...]

Climate science hopelessly politicized. Geological Society of Australia gives up on making any statement

So much for the consensus.  In 2012 The Geological Society of Australia (GSA) was one of the few associations to make a slightly skeptical position on climate. For poking their heads above the parapet they’ve had years of headache and debate, and finally have issued a statement saying they have given up entirely on putting out any statement. The debate is so furious and divisive that no position could be agreed on. (I wonder exactly how many of their members are fans of climate models? Was this the work of just a few zealous believers?) I think I’ve hardly ever met a geologist who wasn’t somewhat skeptical.

The back story is that, like most science associations, in 2009 the GSA chanted the litany. (Their 2009 statement is here). They wrote that governments should take strong action to reduce CO2 and that meant paying geologists more to do research and sit on plum advisory committees. How predictable…

1. That strong action be taken at all levels, including government, industry, and individuals to substantially reduce the current levels of greenhouse gas emissions and to mitigate the likely social and environmental effects of increasing atmospheric CO2.

2. That Earth Scientists with appropriate expertise [...]

The remarkable rise of UKip — tiny fringe disappearing loony skeptics win popular vote eh?

It’s a “Political Earthquake” according to the French PM. The EU and British local Elections have been marked by the smashing rise of Euroskeptics, climate skeptics, and skeptics-of-politics in general. (Monckton dares anyone to suggest a more skeptical party than UKip). UKip got 16% last time round in the European elections of 2009, this time it’s looking at something like 28%. “We’re coming for YOU, Red Ed’: Nigel Farage boasts…

Mark Steyn

Sunday’s UK election results were the first since 1910 in which a party other than Conservative or Labour came out on top in a national vote. That’s to say, Nigel Farage did something nobody from outside the two-party system has done in over a century: he won.

“Try as I might, I cannot remember a time when Britain’s various elites were as united in fury as they are now over UKIP leader Nigel Farage.. The Right and Left of the Political Class Have United Against A Common Enemy: Us”

James Delingpole

Mark Steyn‘s advice to the non-UKIP parties (which they didn’t heed):

You can’t keep calling these guys “fringe” “extremists” when they get more votes than you. So instead of shrieking about “fruitcakes” and “loonies” why not [...]