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

Kill the squirrel to save the planet

And you thought humans were special because they can control the climate. Move over Big-Coal, make way for the squirrels and beavers. They’ve been stirring up the soil releasing CO2, or damning up streams and producing methane.

Daily Mail — Richard Gray

Forget humans, RODENTS are the climate villains: Squirrels and beavers are contributing to global warming far more than previously thought

Arctic ground squirrels churn up and warm soil in the Tundra, allowing carbon dioxide gas trapped in the ice to escape into the atmosphere Methane released from ponds created by beavers estimated to contribute 200 times more greenhouse gas to atmosphere than they did 100 years ago Climate scientists will have to tweak their models to include role of rodents Scientists insist that rodents role in global warming does not let humans off the hook but shows animals play more of a role than previously thought

Wake up climate simulators, it’s time to add rodent-forcings to the models. Along with anthropogenic forcing (and beaver-effects), that’s three vertebrate families down, and only 181 to go.

Squirrels have been around in some form for 40 million years, but in the last 100 they’ve become dangerous climate [...]

Naomi Klein runs amok, calls skeptics white supremacists

Naomi Klein is still throwing rocks, and these rocks are hairier than ever. Try this: if you disagree about climate sensitivity you are not just an unconvinced mind, but a white supremacist. It’s racism, racism all the way down, I tell you!

Lucky Naomi is here to unpack the sinister World Order of evil white men who control the climate.  Who knew? In her world, man-made climate change will kill more non-whites than whites, but the white guys who run everything just don’t care. So there! (Is she saying that white men can control the weather but black men can’t?)

The namecalling reaches a new level of absurdity in “Why #BlackLivesMatter Should Transform the Climate Debate“.  Forget money, power and sex, the world is run on racism:

“What would governments do if black and brown lives counted as much as white lives?”

Taken together, the picture is clear. Thinly veiled notions of racial superiority have informed every aspect of the non-response to climate change so far. Racism is what has made it possible to systematically look away from the climate threat for more than two decades. It is also what has allowed the worst health impacts of digging up, processing [...]

Hot New Book: Steyn, Delingpole, Bolt, Carter, Plimer, Lindzen, Lawson, Watts, Nova

Too many big names too list, and all in one book, edited by Alan Moran and published by the IPA. I’m am just tickled, delighted to be one of the authors.

The proper headline should include Ross McKitrick, Willie Soon, Pat Michaels, Garth Paltridge, Kesten Green, Stewart Franks, Christopher Essex, Jennifer Marohasy and John Abbott. Not to forget the great writers Rupert Darwall, and Donna LaFramboise.

– Jo

An excerpt:

Shh, don’t mention the water

To state the bleeding obvious, Earth is a Water Planet. Water dominates everything and it’s infernally complicated. Water holds 90% of all the energy on the surface,[1]  and both NASA[2] and the IPCC[3] admit water is the most important greenhouse gas there is, they just don’t seem inclined to produce posters telling us this is a humidity crisis, or that water is pollution.

I get right into the Dada-science, foggy-text, Klingon plots and zombies. I went right over the word limit… :- )

There are briefings in February as well, see below for details! From John Roskam at the IPA

Climate Change: The Facts 2014, a new book from the Institute of Public Affairs is now available. It couldn’t come at a more [...]

In Lima, success IS the junket, the headlines, the “voluntary” soft option

So Lima produced another “accord” of late night unenforeceable nothingness. They pumped out gloom and doom, and trumpeted the $12 billion in funds pledged to the Green Climate Fund. But only a few years ago in Cancun they were aiming for $100 billion. A grand failure as the world grows more skeptical.

But as long as these UNFCCC mega-junkets occur at all, it is still a win for the Green Blobby.  Blob-science and the renewables industry still got $12 billion more than skeptical scientists. And 11,000 potential lobbyists got a two week junket in South America, mixing with friends, and hearing how virtuous and important they are. That’s bound to pump up the science-activists — at the very least, they’ll be motivated to make sure they don’t miss out on next year’s two-week junket, or the year after that…

For scientists, this is rock star treatment. Is there any other branch of science which gets a regular paid two-week long international trip to an exotic location year after year? In what other career could B-grade researchers — whose computer simulations fail on every measure — get the red carpet rolled out and lauded as people “trying to save the [...]

Weekend Unthreaded

Greens using “think-tank” witchhunt

The emotional babies in Parliament will do anything to avoid discussing certain ideas on their merits.

The Australian Department of Education has been asking specialists if their appointed curriculum reviewers have been “connected” with two of Australia’s most prominent non-leftist think tanks. The crime apparently is to consort with the scum who ask if big-government is too big.

Both the IPA and CIS support free markets, individual liberty and limited government.

South Australian Greens senator, Penny Wright, wants to know.

“This is outright McCarthyism,” IPA deputy director James Paterson said. “It is pretty much ‘Are you now or have you even been a member of the IPA?’ ”

Should we or should we not teach points X, Y or Z to the children of Australia? Green-logic says it depends on whether the person making the decision has ever been associated with the IPA or the CIS. Presumably reviewers who’ve been published by Green Left Weekly, the CFMEU, The Wilderness Society, Greenpeace, or The Australian Conservation Foundation should be weeded out too. Right?

Maybe not.

The lead author of the original history curriculum was Melbourne University historian Stuart Macintyre. His connections were not pursued by [...]

Sydney Sea levels rising at just 6.5cm per century. Peak-panic is behind us.

In The Australian Bob Carter compares the long term tide gauge record in Sydney with projections, and exposes the exorbitant cost of insurance for alarmist sea level forecasts. The good news is that it appears councils are waking up, and  “peak-sea-level-panic” is behind us.

Sea-level alarmism has passed high tide and is at last declining. With luck, empirical sanity will soon prevail over modelling.

After years of research it turns out that talking about “global”  sea level rise is nearly meaningless to real people who live in one place. The ocean rise varies locally from beach to beach from as little as 5cm per century to as much as 16cm per century. The variations are mostly due to different rates of land subsiding or rising.

More importantly, the rate of rise was either the same or was even faster before World War II when CO2 levels were “safe”.

Figure 5: Comparison of decadal rates of change over historical record. Analysis based on relative 20-y moving average water level time series. | Watson 2011

Fort Denison in Sydney has one of the longest running continuous records, starting in 1886, and finally local councils are realizing that they need [...]

48 science minds misuse the term “scientist” – namecalling is not science

A group of people calling themselves “leading scientists” think that what the climate really needs is some A-grade namecalling. Specifically, they want the word skeptic for themselves, and want everyone who is unconvinced by their argument to be called a “denier”. I guess they’ve finally realized how uncool it sounds to be an unskeptical scientist. Their reasoning is that they have 48 sciencey type celebrities and they can quote Carl Sagan.  Their scientific greats include guys like Bill Nye the Science Guy, James Randi, and Dick Smith.

The headline reads:

End misuse of ‘sceptic’, urge 48 science minds

Me, I think –  let’s aim higher, and end the misuse of of the term “scientist”. Real scientists debate the evidence and don’t use namecalling as scientific argument. Denier” is not a scientific term, it’s a form of character assassination from lazy minds who want to avoid discussing the data.

Make no mistake, “denier” is not a descriptive term in a science debate, it’s equal to saying “you have the brain of a rock”. Being in denial of observations to the point where a person in toto becomes labeled a denier, is shorthand for saying that they are so mentally deficient that [...]

Australia tithes $200 million to Green Blob. Time to stand up to the bullies and out-Green them instead.

Pander to the crocodile. Danegeld. The Australian government has offered $200 million for the UN Green Climate Fund. It’s more advertising money for the Green Blob, guaranteed to fund nice jobs that depend on the belief that man-made climate change is real, dangerous and can be solved by the UN. The cluster of dedicated climate-changing lobbyists will grow (slightly) and Australia’s foreign aid budget will shrink. In the end, it won’t make any difference to the global climate, but it will increase the number of press releases pushing the meme, and demanding more money from the public. Shame.

When Green bullies use outrage to push for money, the answer is not to pay them off, but to out-Green them and expose the hypocrisy.

Imagine if the Abbott government stood up to the so-called environmentalists and said: “We’re doing something real to help the poor and the environment — we’re funding programs direct to make sure the funds go where they are needed most. Large conglomerate centralized groups are inefficient, they tend to feed bureaucracy and junkets. We are going to be the first nation to fund an independent science program. For the sake of the environment we going to audit [...]

It’s the name and shame campaign: Australia, you are the weakest link!

Does anyone care about actual carbon emissions anymore? (I mean, apart from our coalition government?)

What matters is not whether you emit or suck the CO2. It’s not even about whether you are seen to be doing something. Doing something is irrelevant.  It’s about joining the club and obeying the rules. And the rules are complex: Carbon trading is good. Planting trees is bad. Carbon taxes are good, but carbon soil storage is bad. And nuclear, of course, is awful — unless you are a large communist power, in which case, it’s a landmark agreement.

More efficient coal power is bad,  even if they reduce emissions, but inefficient wind towers are good, even if they don’t.

If there is a rule underlying the rules, it appears to be that any solution is a good solution if it makes big government bigger. If governments are already as big as they can get (e.g. China) then any solution is a good solution.

We can see the rules at work in the current name and shame campaign. Australia might meet those targets but who cares — it’ s now at the bottom of the Climate Oscars.

Oh no. The pain and humiliation. Australia [...]