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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Labor hope for fantasy 45% reduction in Australian emissions by … 2030

Australians keep voting against climate taxes, but in 2016 we’re having an election based on climate. (We get the choice of “Bad” or “Worse”. For the economy, it’s the TNT-plan or the Nuclear-bomb?)

The Liberals are offering the obscene cut of 26 – 28% from 2005 by 2030. As a nation dependent on fossil fuels, with no nuclear or no new hydro on offer, the target is ridiculous. With the most rapidly growing population in the West, and one of the most energy intensive export industries globally, it’s economically suicidal. The Labor Party have a fantasy that it should be 45%. (Why not 85%?)

As far as the election goes in 2016, our only hope is to elect minor party and independent Senators to stop our two main parties from  hobbling the nation. Start planning now.

According to the opposition spokesman Mark Butler on the 7:30 Report last night, the 45% fantasy will all be fine, because energy use and economic development will be “decoupled” (for the first time in human history) and new technology will save us. We’ll have profoundly different cars he says.

Look at what the last 15 years have done for cars…

Imagine how different cars [...]

Weekend Unthreaded

New Science 21: The mysterious Notch in the Sun-Earth relationship — the dog that didn’t bark

The notch in the Sun-Earth relationship is the dog that didn’t bark — the clue that was there all along, telling us something about the way the Sun influences Earth’s climate. There is a flicker of extra energy coming in at the peak of every solar cycle — roughly every 11 years. It’s only a small peak, but there is no warming on Earth at all — it’s like the energy that vanished. A good skeptic would be saying but, the increase in energy is so small, how could we find it among the noise? And the answer is that Fourier maths is so good at doing this that it is used every day to find the GPS signals which (as David details below) are so much smaller than the noise that they are much harder to find than this signal from the Sun.

Thousands of engineers know about and use Fourier maths and notch filters, but due to a strange one-sided bureaucratic funding model, none of those thousands of experts have applied that knowledge, which is so well adapted to feedback systems to the Sun Earth energy flows. David has used an input-output “black box” method to find [...]

Life copes: The horses that adapted to massive climate change in just 800 years

In evolutionary terms, it’s a blink. Around 1200-1400AD a bunch of people bought a few domestic horses to far east freezing Siberia, where the temperature sometimes falls below -70. Somehow the horses have already become physiologically and genetically well adapted to the extreme climate. The panic-merchants would have us believe that the climate is changing “faster than evolution”, but biology and genes turn out to be amazingly flexible. (Who knows, maybe 4 million years of swinging ice ages has that effect on gene pools?)

DNA studies revealed that these horses were all derived from distant domestic horses, even though wild unrelated horses lived in the region til 5,000 years ago. This is pretty spectacular.

Dr. Ludovic Orlando: “This is truly amazing as it implies that all traits now seen in Yakutian horses are the product of very fast adaptive processes, taking place in about 800 years. This represents about a hundred generations for horses. That shows how fast evolution can go when selective pressures for survival are as strong as in the extreme environment of Yakutia.”

Analyzing the genomes shows that it’s not driven by mutations in genes as much as by changes to the regulatory [...]

Climate Spectator bites the dust

Shucks. A few days before the giant UNFCCC starts in Paris, Climate Spectator has been closed. (Didn’t know it existed? It was a part of the Business Spectator). Maybe Big Renewables is not doing such a roaring big business?

You can see how active and non-stop the pro-green energy message was, thanks to Google caching of The Climate Spectator. That was yesterday. For some odd reason the headline link to it is already gone, obliviated already and fed through to the mother-publication by default. Typically, the more popular articles got 5 – 10 comments, the rest, zero. To get the flavor, see “Going off grid” — where Tristan Edis argues that all that solar energy you make will be wasted (and it will cost you a lot of money too). He seems to think that intermittent unreliable energy is “useful” to the Grid, and there’s no sense in the article that I can see of the waste of the Grid’s resources and energy in accommodating his surplus.

The collapse of the Climate Spectator is of course, framed by some as “Murdoch strikes again”. Presumably Murdoch acquired it in 2012 and has been waiting all this time to fulfil his evil [...]

Only 3% of US people think climate is most important issue

Has there ever been a greater disconnect between what the elected leaders are offering and what the public really wants?

Obama must know what these polls say, so when he tells us that “climate change is the greatest threat” we know he’s not doing it to win votes. If he is  hoping to “lead” the people, his failure is dismal.

Is there any doubt left that The Climate Cause serves politicians and not the people?

The numbers have shifted since July when the survey was last done. “Terrorism was up from 11% to 24% thanks to Paris. The economy and jobs was down from 30% to 21%. Climate change was all of 5% then, dropped to 3% now (pretty much in the error margin).

SOURCE:  Fox News Survey. 1,016 registered voters of a random national sample with a margin of error of plus or minus 3%.


The original meaning of “denier” was those who reject a religion


In 1475, the word “Denier” meant those who did not accept the church doctrine.

Five hundred years later, not much has changed.

“According to the Oxford English Dictionary, OED, the term “denier” — starting with its coinage in 1475, during the language’s transition period — has traditionally been used in a theological context, as in “Deniers of Christ Jesus.”

– Yale Climate Media Forum

The use of “Denier” in a theological sense continued for hundreds of years. Here it is in 1835:

“A denier of our Lord’s divinity will argue that it was an exclamation of surprise and ignorance; he makes it, in fact, a sort of modern  profaneness.

The Literary and Theological Review, Leonard Woods Junior, 1835. p449

In 2015, anyone who thinks that leeks and lightbulbs won’t stop floods in Peru is a “denier”. If you don’t accept that your air-conditioner causes war in Syria, or that sharks can protect us from heatwaves, get used to being referred to as a mindless denying apostate.

I’ve put in excerpts from an 1840 book below. Breathe deeply:

“FOURTH. Point out the difficulties of Atheism


US Presidential candidates ranked for independent thinking and gullibility on climate science

How many Presidential candidates are susceptible to groupthink, scare campaigns and low-base science agitprop? Thanks to Seth Borenstein, Michael Mann & Andrew Dessler we can rank them according to their ability to resist profoundly unscientific propaganda like “there is a consensus”.

Ted Cruz is clearly the best at holding his own in the independent thinker stakes.  Ben Carson and Donald Trump do well. But poor Hillary Clinton doesn’t stand a chance against the onslaught of junk graphs, hyperbolic claims, and inane bumper-sticker cliches.

Those who fall for the consensus argument are in no position to run a nation.  Firstly it’s profoundly unscientific — we don’t vote for the laws of science; scientific theories are either true or not true regardless of opinions. Secondly, it only takes ten minutes of independent searching to find that there is no consensus among scientists as a broad group, anyway. There is a consensus among various definitions of certified climate scientists, but not among meteorologists , geoscientists and engineers or other hard science areas.

As I’ve said before, skeptics outrank and outnumber believers, they make planes fly, find mineral deposits, and walked on the moon. Believers produce climate models that don’t work. If [...]

New Science 20: It’s not CO2, so what Is the main cause of Global Warming?

We are back in the hunt for the main mystery drivers of our climate. The IPCC says it can’t be the Sun because the total amount of sunlight barely changes. Which is the usual half-truth that  pretends the Sun is simple a ball of fire with no magnetic field, no solar wind, and has no changes in the “color” of the spectrum it emits. But the Sun has a massive fluxing magnetic field that turns itself inside out and upside down regularly, it churns off a stream of charged particles that rain on Earth, and if human eyes could see infra red and UV, we’d see the color of the Sun change through the cycle. We  are only just beginning to figure out how these aspects affect the climate. But we know these factors influence ozone, probably cloud seeding, and possibly jet streams.

The only good long data we have on the Sun are the sunspots, which give us a reasonable idea of total sunlight since 1610. David uses Fourier maths to find the way that total solar irradiance (TSI) might relate to temperatures on Earth. TSI itself barely changes, so it could only have caused about 10% of the variation [...]

The one most important factor for Paris — The US congress

Will Obama and the UN succeed in forcing “climate taxes” on the US?

h/t to GWPF for finding the stories that matter

When the press releases come out saying that Paris has succeeded (which will happen, no matter the outcome) the key factor is not just whether the agreement has any meaningful teeth, but whether it can be forced on the US without approval of Congress. The US didn’t approve Kyoto, and now, more than then, there is no reason to think anything significant would get through. The GOP Republican candidates are not paying lip service to the global warming meme anymore, things have changed so much they’re almost all competing to be skeptics. Just 6 weeks ago a poll in the US showed the amazing, astonishing result that 31% of respondents agreed with GOP candidates statement that Climate change is a total hoax.

The EU and UN players know they can’t convince the US people, and nor can they get past their elected reps so they are talking of doing things in ways that don’t require congressional approval. Naturally, if they had overwhelming evidence, and half a case, they wouldn’t have to do that.

No matter what country you [...]