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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The Skeptics Handbook II

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The TPP monster has 5,544 pages. A real free trade agreement would have 1

Lately the Five Star Free Market label is just a fake seal of approval for something Unfree

Just as carbon trading has nothing to do with a free market, so it is with monster free trade deals like the TPP. The free market meme won the intellectual debate of the 20th Century, but now its good name gets used and abused to sell the idea it defeated –  bigger-government.

A real free market deal has only one page and a bunch of signatures. But it takes a lot of pages to list all the unfree parts and to spell it out in sub-sub-clauses that hurt or help thousands of businesses around the world. Who gets the sweetest deal out of the complexity — the card carrying networkers — those who schmooze up to the right minister or bureaucrat. The people who compete on price or quality alone would win in a real free market, and so would we as customers. Instead the document rewards the gatekeepers, the rulemakers, the industry with the best lobbyists and the monied set who can donate enough to the right causes to get a better deal.

Tipping the scales at 5,544 pages — [...]

Dismal: The polarization of climate debate depresses believers: The solution they all miss

It’s “depressing”, “hopeless” and “dismal”

The climate debate is more polarised than ever. David Roberts at Vox is very honest about the challenges believers face to solve the deep partisan political divide. But despite all the grants and funding to solve this problem, the experts miss the obvious. I explain below why polarization will solve itself. Indeed, all their best efforts to reduce polarization in the climate debate are creating the polarization. It takes a sustained effort and millions of dollars to keep a false belief alive.

Now Dunlap and McCright (along with Oklahoma State’s Jerrod Yarosh) have updated their study, giving us a fresh look at public opinion on climate change at the end of the Obama era.

The findings are dismal, if not very surprising: Polarization only accelerated after 2008, the gap between the parties is wider than ever, and the trend shows no sign of stopping.

The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) scores politicians. It tracks the voting records of members of Congress. Way back in 1970 both sides of politics wanted to approve environmental legislation about equally.

(Dunlap et al, Environment)

Public opinion has a similar trend. Here are Gallup poll results since 1997. (The [...]

Globally 91% of wars have nothing to do with climate change

Climate change causes war (maybe) and meaningless statistics (definitely)

One day when you grow up, children, you too can be a research scientist who writes papers that tells the world something banally obvious — like, say, that natural disasters make conflict more likely.

Who, exactly, thought natural disasters brought peace?

I don’t think the journalist who wrote this next paragraph asked himself what it means (if anything):

Globally, there was a nine per cent coincidence rate between the outbreak of armed conflicts and natural disasters like droughts and heatwaves. But, in countries that were deeply divided along ethnic lines, this rose to about 23 per cent.

I suspect it means not much (define “coincident”), but if it did, it implies that globally, 91% of wars don’t coincide with natural disasters.

If there is a real message here, it appears to be that ethnic divisions cause wars:

Dr Jonathan Donges, who co-wrote the paper about the study, said: “We’ve been surprised by the extent that results for ethnic fractionalised countries stick out, compared to other country features such as conflict history, poverty, or inequality.

[...]

“Clinton Cash” movie available

Readers may find this documentary interesting. I doubt the ABC will be running it. This US election matters to so many people around the world. The outcome makes a big difference to climate skeptics. And it’s about so much more than that. How do we beat corruption?

 Breitbart is hosting the free showing (only for a few hours) for the documentary based on a senior editors book: Clinton Cash

UPDATE: Australia is in this too. Both Gillard and Bishop have contributed $500m Australian taxpayer dollars to Clinton charities [and other Democrat power brokers*].Tony Thomas has those details. “Julia Gillard lavished an unprecedented $292 million in taxpayer dollars on the Clinton-dominated Global Partnership for Education, where she was later appointed chair. Imagine the howls if Tony Abbott had underwritten…” See also “The Clintons and Their Corruptocrats” for even more…

From Breitbart:

The film, based on the New York Times bestselling investigative book Clinton Cash by Breitbart Senior Editor-at-Large Peter Schweizer, has sent shockwaves through media. The New York Times, Washington Post, ABC News, and other Establishment Media have verified and confirmed the book’s explosive revelations about how Hillary Clinton auctioned State Department policies to foreign Clinton Foundation [...]

Unfortunately Australia has a government

We knew it was going to happen sometime. Shorten has conceded defeat. Turnbull stays on as a weakened PM.

It’s a Delcon win

For Defcons / Delcons this outcome was close to as good as it gets. How could an unfunded, disorganized group vote for “not Turnbull” without handing the government to a Labor-Green group? Individual voters can’t vote for a “hung weak government”. For a whole glorious week Turnbull has been tortured with calls for his resignation with his faults laid out bare. Several Turnbull supporters were targeted and removed. The antithesis of the hard left (Pauline Hanson) has gained a voice. The Nationals grew stronger and the Liberals were punished.

All this, despite the mainstream media barely mentioning Delcons, and hardly ever interviewing minor party candidates (except for Greens). This result was achieved despite GetUP running a $3m dollar campaign* in exactly the opposite direction targeting Abbott supporters.

Sinclair Davidson (and many in the pro-Turnbull camp) are declaring that Abbott would have lost, but they use polls from a year ago, or polls about a man who didn’t campaign to be PM. And we all know how reliable polls are. Turnbull nearly lost the election because he wouldn’t [...]

Election Day in Australia – “Independent’s Day”

It’s not Independence Day for Australia, just “Independent’s Day”. Anyone but the majors…

Election Tomorrow: How-to-vote suggestions for climate skeptics

CarbonSense have posted a list of dedicated skeptics in Australian politics

HOUSE

David Archibald, Australian Liberty Alliance candidate for Curtin in WA George Christensen, LNP Candidate for Dawson in Queensland Dr Dennis Jensen MP, Independent Candidate for Tangney, WA

SENATE

David Leyonhjelm, Liberal Democrats for NSW Bob Day, Family First for SA  “No more windfarms” John Madigan, Manufacturing and Farming Party Malcolm Roberts, No 2 on ticket for Pauline Hanson in Queensland Dr Mark Imisides, Christian Democrats, WA.

Rafe Campion recommends the http://ConservativeRevolt.wix.com/HowToVote .

My method is to choose your local candidate carefully, based on individuals not parties. Know your candidates. I lean Delcon. Like John Stone who links to the list of Turncoats. There is no small government  major party any more. Shorten would be more-terrible in the short run, but we might get a good opposition and a decent Senate. (Blessed are the Gridlocked, whose MP’s cannot pass laws.) In the long run Turnbull could stop us getting both good government and a good opposition.  In the short run, the dire option of another Labor-Green government with some [...]

David Archibald: Australia Defence Policy (plus Perth speech Weds 7pm)

Perth readers: Free Public Lecture Australia’s Defence By David Archibald, 7:00pm at the Irish Club, Perth, WA.  Wednesday 25th May 2016

[Hear the 2GB interview with David last October]

__________________________________

David asked to crowdsource policies for the upcoming election, so China, Subs, RAAF, F-35s and more below…

Defence Policy

by David Archibald

The world is becoming more dangerous as US predominance recedes. A revanchist Russia is not expected to trouble Australia. The biggest near term threat is Chinese aggression in East Asia. Chinese attempts to expand its territory are quite likely to lead to war with a number of southeast Asian states, Japan and the United States. Australia will become involved because of our treaties with Japan and the United States. The worst outcome is that China wins a conflict in East Asia and dictates terms to Australia and other countries. A war in East Asia, whatever the outcome, is likely to result in countries acquiring nuclear weapons to counter aggressive hegemons like China.

[...]

Delcons: Might be a million votes that don’t matter

There is a voting block in Australia that is ignored and disorganised, but ready to be galvanized. It’s part of a worldwide phenomenon. Readers who havent read the first post on the Delcons  phenomenon ought start there.

An election is likely to be called any day. There are 15 million voters enrolled in Australia. If  4% of Liberal-Nat voters are Delcons, that’s about 2% of the total voter pool or 300,000 people who don’t matter. And that’s a conservative, pardon the pun, estimate. Another 10% of Liberal voters said they are “a little less likely” to  vote for the Liberal Party at the next election. These voters are not lost from the leftie end of the Liberal Party fan club. Potentially there are another 750,000 who could be convinced to instead vote National, ALA, Lib Dem, Family First or some other option should it appear. All up, these 14% of Lib voters have a million votes and are the most passionate sixth of Liberal supporters.

What could possibly go wrong?

Picture 300,000 less Liberal donors, volunteers, scrutineers, and people to hand out how-to-vote cards at 7,000 polling booths on July 2nd. Imagine 300,000 fewer website commenters willing to defend [...]

Cut carbon emissions by 50%? — Greens nightmare — Coal gasification may be the answer

A new MIT report suggests a better way to use coal in power-stations and potentially cut CO2 emissions by 50%. The process involves gasifying coal and producing electricity in one process at the same site. The coal only has to be heated once,  and the electricity comes from a fuel cell, not a fire — it’s a chemical reaction across a membrane.  The output is potentially much more efficient, and makes no ash. The researchers argue we could get twice as much electricity for each ton of coal burned. Currently coal fired power pulls out 30% of the chemical energy in coal, but coupling these two processes might increase it to 55-60%.

This report is based on simulations, but the separate processes are already well developed and running. The next step would be a fully functioning pilot plant to put the two together and test the idea. If there was the political will it could be done in a few years. There probably won’t be.

The Greens of course will hate the idea because the Evil-Factor of coal is near 100%.

In the eco-collectivist-world, cutting “carbon” is important, but apparently not as important as propping up a dependent lobby group [...]

The carbon tax and ETS is right back on the agenda in Australia — thank Gore and Palmer

The political bomb is ticking again. Despite being slayed twice at Australian elections the ETS monster – the emissions trading scheme -  has popped back out of the box. This time around, Turnbull and co will not paint it as a big deal grand scheme, nor give it a proper name. It will be eased in under the radar as much as possible (as I predicted) being forced on only the worst “polluters” as a cheaper way to offset carbon emissions.

There’s a strange rush on in Australian politics to force Australian companies (and consumers) to send money to struggling bankers in Europe.

It’s only a few credits… Greg Hunt says overseas emissions credits will ‘probably’ be allowed

The environment minister talks flexibility in emissions targets as Coalition backbenchers mock international deal reached at Paris climate conference.

The Turnbull government will “probably” allow emission reduction permits to be bought from overseas, giving Australia flexibility to increase the targets it pledged at the Paris climate conference, Greg Hunt has predicted.

Right now, to avoid lighting the same fires that got Turnbull ousted in 2009, Turnbull and Hunt are pretending an ETS was a part of the Abbott [...]