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

Think it has been debunked? See here.

The Skeptics Handbook II

Climate Money Paper




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



MediaWatch: Jo Nova, McLean, Newscorp fools! Govt committees are always right.

Ponder the irony — MediaWatch is meant to be a media auditor, but it starts from the assumption that every government run collective is 100% accurate (at least on climate change). And unaudited UN committees are infallible too. Indeed newspapers have a duty to repeat what these committees say without questioning them. Host Paul Barry actually uses the word duty.

Once upon a time, the duty of investigative reporters was to to investigate, now their job is to be glorified marketing hacks advertising the latest government scheme to change the weather.   What could possibly go wrong?

How about if governments set up all their institutes to find problems with CO2 and asked none of them to audit the others? What if whole government departments were tasked to slay the carbon dragon, and while exactly no groups anywhere were funded to find out if the sun controlled the climate instead? Using the MediaWatch Wand of Truth, only government scientists can criticize government scientists (and only then for five minutes until their uni trawls through their emails and sacks them). Thus and verily IPCC scientists should be obeyed.

MediaWatch marvels that the Australian Newscorp media can’t be bothered repeating [...]

#DataGate: Hadley reply to first audit with foggy excuses about problems 2,000 staff didn’t find

Last week we exposed absurd errors, brutal adjustments and an almost complete lack of quality control (was there any at all?) in the key HadCRUT4 data. The IPCC’s favorite set is maintained (I’m feeling generous) by the Met Office Hadley Centre and the Uni of East Anglia’s CRU in the UK.

Finally the Hadley Met Centre team have replied to Graham Lloyd regarding John McLean’s audit. They don’t confirm or discount any of his new claims specifically. But they acknowledge his previous notifications were useful in 2016, and promise “any errors will be fixed in the next update.” That’s nice to know, but begs the question of why a PhD student working from home can find mistakes that the £226 million institute with 2,100 employees could not.

They don’t mention the killer issue of the adjustments for site-moves at all — that’s the cumulative cooling of the oldest records to compensate for buildings that probably weren’t built there ’til decades later.

Otherwise this is the usual PR fog — a few outliers don’t change the trend, the world is warming, and other datasets show “similar trends“. The elephant in the kitchen is the site move adjustments which do [...]

ABC Climate fiction: Life at 0.5 degrees hotter, dead plants, animals, ghost towns, jellyfish hell

The job of ABC environment reporters is not to serve the public and ask scientists hard questions about whether we can rely on their climate models that fail 98% of the time and on every scale in time and locality.

Instead their job is to be fiction writers, converting failing models into vomiting babies:

Under IPCC forecasts babies born today will be 22 when warming hits 1.5C. What will life be like?

By environment reporter Nick Kilvert

Meet Casey X. She was born in Alice Springs Hospital on October 13, 2018.

She came into the world screaming, before projectile-vomiting over the hospital floor and falling asleep.

For this the ABC gets $3 million dollars every day.

We are talking about a half degree Celsius of warming spread over 22 years. This is double the decadal rate currently shown by satellites. But even if we assume that climate models are right for the first time ever, and this dramatic change in trends occurs, it’s still only half a degree more in a world where humans live from minus 50C to plus 40C and every day temperatures vary by 10 – 20 degrees.

Alice Springs 2040, unlivable [...]

Weekend Unthreaded

A close look at the arctic sea ice models that have launched the careers of a thousand polar bears

This is Expertise the UN can bank on

In the GWPF 2018 Lecture, Richard Lindzen pointed out the genius of Arctic climate models

First, for something to be evidence, it must have been unambiguously predicted. (This is a necessary, but far from sufficient condition.) Figure 1 shows the IPCC model forecasts for the summer minimum in Arctic sea ice in the year 2100 relative to the period 1980–2000. As you can see, there is a model for any outcome.

It is a little like the formula for being an expert marksman: shoot first and declare whatever you hit to be the target.

Graph of the Year:  Arctic sea ice predictions of the worlds top models in 2011. Spaghetti.

This will definitely happen according to the worlds top scientists at NASA, CSIRO, Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Lab (NOAA), National Centre for Atmospheric Research, The Hadley Meteorological Centre, the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology – Germany, the Institute of Numerical Mathematics of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the University of Tokyo, JAMSTEC (Japan), the Climate Research Division of Environment Canada, The Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research in Norway, the  Institut Pierre Simon Laplace (IPSL), plus experts from  Centro Euro-Mediterraneo [...]

Google is “the good censor” protecting civility by censoring conservative badthink

“Lucky us” Google has appointed itself as the unelected Decider Of Truth (and hopefully election results)

Google says it is unbiased, but a leaked memo explains to staff that free speech can be “a political weapon”, is a “utopian idea” and “users behaving badly” will allow “crummy politicians to expand their influence”.  And we can’t have that.

For your own safety, you are not encouraged to think, judge or read the wrong views.

‘THE GOOD CENSOR’: Leaked Google Briefing Admits Abandonment of Free Speech for ‘Safety And Civility’

by Allum Bokhari

The 85-page briefing, titled “The Good Censor,” admits that Google and other tech platforms now “control the majority of online conversations” and have undertaken a “shift towards censorship” in response to unwelcome political events around the world.

It acknowledges that major tech platforms, including Google, Facebook and Twitter initially promised free speech to consumers. “This free speech ideal was instilled in the DNA of the Silicon Valley startups that now control the majority of our online conversations,” says the document.

Research into what? Good excuses?

Responding to the leak, an official Google source said the document should be considered internal research, [...]

Lindzen on why the educated elites are so vulnerable to being fooled

So smart and yet so stupid

Global Warming for the Two Cultures by Richard Lindzen

Prof Richard Lindzen, a giant of the skeptical debate delivered the 2018 Annual GWPF lecture this week talking about two cultures of two different educated elites. Those at the higher intellectual level may be more prone to groupthink than ordinary folk…

The two different kinds of elites and a vast gap between them

Lindzen  quotes C.P.Snow who was both a scientist and a writer and who lived in both elite worlds — the scientific and the arts.

C.P. Snow felt only 1 in 10 of the most highly educated in the western world had even a basic grip on physics:

A good many times I have been present at gatherings of people who, by the standards of the traditional culture, are thought highly educated and who have with considerable gusto been expressing their incredulity at the illiteracy of scientists. Once or twice I have been provoked and have asked the company how many of them could describe the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The response was cold: it was also negative. Yet I was asking something which is the scientific equivalent of: Have [...]

Australia may have a spine. Pushes back against UN hysterical coal hate

Australia considers keeping some industry, mining, lights…

In a radical move, an Australian PM stands up for Australia (somewhat).

Finally, for the first time since Tony Abbott was PM we see Australia not rushing to adopt everything a foreign unaudited committee tells us. The IPCC has overreached — the economic neophytes and b-grade scientists are calling for the fantasy wipe-out of Australia’s main source of electricity, one of our top two export industries and a 100% write off of a resource that could last for the next 300+ years.

This appears to be a government wide policy — not only Morrison, but the Treasurer, and Environment minister, all in agreement. It’s a good but minor sign. There would have been a mutiny if the conservatives kowtowed to the UN.

We still have an obscene 26-28% target for the reduction of CO2. (And we still have the UN and anti-Australian ABC). But at least, no more “nonsense” money poured into climate conferences and “that big climate fund”. We live in hope.

IPCC push to dump coal-fired power not for us, says Morrison

Graham Lloyd, The Australian

Scott Morrison has rejected a rapid global phase-out of [...]

IPCC Coral-apocalypse: 243,000 km² of Great Barrier Reef corals to die in only 20 years

Wise Hok Wai Lum: Flynn Reef 2014.

That’s it for corals.

The IPCC have gone full apocalyptic: “Coral reefs would decline by 70 to 90 per cent with warming of 1.5°C…” And this catastrophic prophesy will unfold sometime around 2040. (See the graph).

The IPCC are practically holding the Great Barrier Reef Hostage. Things are so dire, the Financial Review has just declared that the next election is the Great Barrier Reef election.

In the game of fine-tuning the carrot and stick, it’s all bad, but there is hope.

Right now the reef covers 348,700 km². And if we are good boys and girls we might only lose 243,000 km²:

Scientists say Australia has a chance to save 30 per cent of the Great Barrier Reef if immediate global changes are made to stop temperature rises.

This news will come as a shock to corals on the Great Barrier Reef which are obliviously living across a range of 2,000 kilometers and a span of five degrees Celsius from 27 to 32°C. But these are magic numbers apparently, and half a degree hotter (which is all we are talking about) it will be 27.5 to 32.5°C which is numerology hell [...]

#DataGate! First ever audit of global temperature data finds freezing tropical islands, boiling towns, boats on land

What were they thinking?

The fate of the planet is at stake, but the key temperature data set used by climate models contains more than 70 different sorts of problems.  Trillions of dollars have been spent because of predictions based on this data – yet even the most baby-basic quality control checks have not been done.

Thanks to Dr John McLean, we see how The IPCC demands for cash rest on freak data, empty fields, Fahrenheit temps recorded as Celsius, mistakes in longitude and latitude, brutal adjustments and even spelling errors.

Why. Why. Why wasn’t this done years ago?

So much for that facade. How can people who care about the climate be so sloppy and amateur with the data?

HadCrut4 Global Temperature, 1850 – 2018.

Absurdity everywhere in Hadley Met Centre data

There are cases of tropical islands recording a monthly average of zero degrees — this is the mean of the daily highs and lows for the month. A spot in Romania spent one whole month averaging minus 45 degrees. One site in Colombia recorded three months of over 80 degrees C. That is so incredibly hot that even the minimums there were [...]

Big news coming tomorrow: watch this space

All the info later on Sunday Australia time, first thing in the morning for most of the world. Just in time for the IPCC report Monday. Do come back. :- )

This will be the unthreaded line til then.

Warning! Wind power warms local climate for next hundred years, needs 5 – 20 times as much land

It’s not often we see a report that turns things on their head quite like this.

Wind turbines may cause more local warming than global cooling in the next century.

Photo: Jo Nova

If the US were to install a lot of turbines, Wind power could warm the United States by 0.24 degrees Celsius instead of cooling it, because wind turbines “redistribute heat” in the atmosphere. They mix the surface layers. (0.24C would be equivalent to two decades of recent warming.) The largest effect is at night where wind plants can warm the local area by 1.5C.

At least 10 previous studies have now observed local warming caused by US wind farms. Keith and Miller compared their simulated warming to observations and found rough consistency between the data and model.

Nick Carne — Cosmos magazine

The new studies by Keith and Miller were published in Environmental Research Letters and Joule.

Major downer. The power density of wind energy is up to *100 times* less than predicted.

The new research suggests we can’t put too many turbines to close together or the whole group become far less efficient. That means we need 5 – 20 times [...]

Global Flipping. Manitoba dumps carbon taxes too

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wanted all the Canadian provinces to do their own carbon tax, and threatened to do a weapons-grade national tax if they didn’t and they aren’t. Ontario, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland all said No. Now the Premier of Manitoba has done some spectacular backflipping to join them.

A mere few weeks ago he was Trudeau’s best friend promising to start collecting a $25-a-ton tax on December 1. Brian Pallister was hoping that his smaller tax  would stop Trudeau from hitting them with the big one — a tax that started at $10 and added $10 each year until it reached $50 in 2022.  But Trudeau said he’d make them pay twice, and now Pallister has said “No thanks” too. Not only has he pulled the pin on his own tax, but he’s going to fight Trudeau next year to stop The Big One as well.

To appreciate how big a flip this was, ponder that Pallister had been planning to bring in his carbon tax for a year, and even had a special scheme for the big six corporates there to dodge his tax with their own private cap-N-trade scheme. Only small companies [...]

Blogs Tenth Birthday and 50 comments to go til we reach 500,000

Comments count sitting at 499,955

Sometime today the comment ticker will hit 500,000 and sometime last Sunday we reached the blog’s tenth birthday.


For the curious, see that first post on Sept 30th, 2008

I didn’t really know what a blog was then. I had no history of commenting, no experience moderating, and somehow didn’t even have a list of blogs I read daily. For the first year my posts were often two weeks apart and I remember wading into the trenches in comments consuming hours to research and defend arguments. As with many new blogs, there were heated battles. It was a bit of a Grad Dip on steroids in the climate debate. Fortunately the sparks attracted a great class of respondents, and soon I had help to answer questions and help to moderate. Sometime I must write about the processes that seemed to work best with cultivating a good community discussion. In the end, it was useful to imagine we were all in a room, and ask whether that behaviour would be OK face-to-face?

The blog and Skeptics Handbook got me into The Australian, speaking in New York and Washington, (and hopefully Germany and Norway next [...]

Humanities research politicized too: Silly fake papers “feminist Mein Kampf” get through peer review

Unfalsifiable theories and no dissenting ideas allowed

A kind of social snakeoil is being pushed upon us….

a culture has developed that make only some conclusions allowed.

Three left wing academics wanted to expose the political corruption in feminist, sexuality, queer, gender, race and fat studies. They hoped to bring back some rigor and reintroduce skepticism to peer review. They submitted 20 outrageously fake papers (like a feminist rewrite of Mein Kampf), got seven accepted so far, but outed themselves. They found they could get ridiculous things published  as long as they framed the idea in politically fashionable terminology.

Project Summary: ○ This problem has arisen within a culture in which dissenting ideas have not been admitted or tolerated, often resulting in legitimate criticisms being denigrated on moral grounds. For example, questioning tenets of feminist philosophy might get you branded sexist or accused of carrying internalized misogyny. Questioning critical race scholarship is written off as exhibiting “white fragility” (Robin DiAngelo, 2011, 2018), “white ignore-ance” (Barbara Applebaum, 2006), a form of intentional ignorance, a form of resistance, or seeking white approval. Of note, it is impossible to counter such claims, and attempts to [...]