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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Time Magazine wins Woke Joke of the Year Award

Some teenagers risk ten years in a Chinese jail. While another risks school detention as the chosen puppet of Big Government and Big Money.

Guess which one Time Magazine thinks is more worthy?

Time leaves out the Hong Kong Protesters fighting for their lives and freedoms to push a teen being used as a marketing gimmick.

How dare you? https://t.co/dnV9mESM6G

— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) December 11, 2019

UPDATE: Giovanni Cavalcanti  @giovannicavett · Just a little history of who was once considered “Person Of The Year” according to TIME magazine: 1938 -Hitler 1939 -Stálin 1942 -Stálin 1979 -Khomeini 2007 -Putin #TIMEPersonoftheYear2019

Friday 13th Christmas Drinks – Newcastle and Sunshine Coast

Friday 13th:   Newcastle sceptics for lunch and Sunshine Coast sceptics are getting together for afternoon drinks.

Email me: joanne AT joannenova.com.au and I’ll forward your email to the skeptic in charge. Even if you can’t get there this time, we’ll let you know for the next.  I hear the Sunshine Coast Sceptics are in for a real treat… (send me those photos please!)   Jim, in Newcastle your email bounced when I replied. Please try again.

Last week’s events were a great success in Perth, Melbourne, Adelaide and Rockhampton. Avid friendly conversations. Likeable, interesting people. Seems we all need more meetings more often:

Ray writes: “Thank you! It was quite shocking really. I was quite unprepared for normal conversation… “

There’s a regular weekly (weekly!) event in Sydney on Thursday nights.  For people in other areas — get cracking…!

Photo by Jonathan Rautenbach on Unsplash

 

British election: Here’s hoping democracy wins

Thoughts are with you Freemen of the United Kingdom. One day away from a very important election.

Boris is just brilliant in this Ad. He carries off the parody of the carol singers in “Love Actually” without looking smug or self conscious.

The Australian-ABC Groupthink Predictor points at a conservative win — since ABC NEWS has barely mentioned the UK election during the whole campaign, obviously it’s not looking good for the leading socialists. If Corbyn was in the lead we’d hear about it every night and see him with adoring crowds. If Corbyn was winning, it would be called a Climate Election, and a Brexit election.

But Groupthink can be wrong. To all skeptics and Brexiteers in the UK, please get out and vote. Don’t take anything for granted. Conservatives don’t just need a win, they need a workable government.

Will the nation that invented freedom manage to escape the clutches of the EU?

PS: Best of luck to the excellent Roger “Tallbloke” running in Oxford East. See his comment in #1.3

h/t David

Exxon wins trial: “Exxon knew” proves to be junk claim

“Exxon knew” is now legally proven to be the vacuous empty dogwhistle it always was — a cheap stunt to whip up jealously and anger in gullible minds.

Exxon wins first-of-its-kind climate change case against New York

December 10, 2019,  Josh Seigel, Washington Examiner

ExxonMobil won a first-of-its-kind climate change fraud trial on Tuesday as a judge rejected the state of New York’s claim that the oil and gas giant misled investors in accounting for the financial risks of global warming.

New York Supreme Court Justice Barry Ostrager said the state failed to prove that Exxon violated the Martin Act, a broad state law that does not require proof of intent of shareholder fraud.

“The office of the Attorney General failed to prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that ExxonMobil made any material misstatements or omissions about its practices and procedures that misled any reasonable investor,” Ostrager wrote in a 55-page ruling, deciding the case without a jury.

The Democrats in NY spent three years working on this before filing the suit, but apparently didn’t realize they were barking at clouds the whole time?

New York Assistant Attorney General [...]

Pushing back the Deep State? US Supreme Court may be able to stop politicians fobbing off big decisions to the EPA

The Deep State gets around congress and voters but we all know it isn’t supposed to be that way

The voters may not like the decisions, but they can’t vote out the bureaucrats. Think of the EPA, the FDA, and of course, the central bankers. Think of the Clean Air Act!

Some of these agencies effectively make the guidelines that we-the-people have to live by, then they enforce them, and adjudicate them too. They become defacto Kingmakers in their own fiefdoms. They are the fourth branch of government, also known as The Deep State.

But what feels wrong, may indeed be wrong, and it’s possible the Obama era Clean Power Plan could be repealed if it is deemed to breach the NonDelegation Doctrine, and there is renewed interest in this now that Brett Kavanaugh is in the Supreme Court. (No wonder some tried so hard to get him out).

The nondelegation doctrine is centuries old, and implicit in not just the US but all written constitutions that impose a separation of power. Here’s the wikipedia entry:

The origins of the nondelegation doctrine, as interpreted in U.S., can be traced back to, at least, 1690, when John [...]

Skeptics win on fires: ABC quietly flips — suddenly it’s fire management not climate change to blame

This is how the paradigm changes. The old activism is quietly dropped down the memory hole…

Buried in a save-the-koala story on ABC News tonight is an ABC journalist saying for the first time that it is “current fire management practices” that are the problem. Rani Hayman didn’t say fuel load, but she might as well have. The reference to “indigenous fire practices” makes it obvious that the ABC means more hazard reduction burns (not that they can say so). She also didn’t say “climate change” — write it in your diary. On November 14th, the same ABC journalist was only interviewing the posterboys who blamed “climate change” for the fires. 

UPDATE: Holy smoke — the Sydney Morning Herald also appear to have flipped hours earlier in the morning and in a much stronger and more direct way. Regular SMH reader Dave B sends in the link and says “wow… here’s a huge surprise”. Finally a spot of real journalism. Was this story the last nail in the ABC fuel-load denial?

Prescribed burning ‘key to controlling fires’.  

By Tim Barlass, Sydney Morning Herald

Expert says blazes have burnt where hazard-reduction took place two years ago. [...]

Excuses? Coldest Summer day, Snow in Australia and suddenly BOM remembers how inadequate their equipment is…

Snow in December: Has Australia installed too many solar panels?

Climate Change brings summer snow to Australia

Coldest maximum summer temperature on record at Thredbo

Kate Doyle, ABC News

On Monday, the second day of summer, the temperature only reached -1 degrees Celsius at the Thredbo weather station, the coldest maximum temperature recorded anywhere in Australia during summer.

But really cold records don’t matter.  For the first time in history, Blair Trewin, Bureau of Meteorology points out how minor these daily records are:

Blair Trewin, senior climatologist at the Bureau of Meteorology, confirmed that it was a summer as well as December record but pointed out there was more to it.

“In some ways it’s not quite as impressive as it looks,” Dr Trewin said.

This is indeed the only instance of him ever saying that.

“This is because before automatic weather stations were installed in the 1990s, manual observations at high mountain sites [like the top of Thredbo, Mount Hotham and Falls Creek] were very limited outside the ski season.”

Exactly. When will Blair Trewin tell Australians that hot records are not as impressive as they look because [...]

What do we call it when the State turns off your air conditioner? A “Peaksmart” moment

You can’t make this stuff up.

The Government advertising bureau — the ABC — is telling Queenslanders that it’s good for them if the government switches off their air conditioning. As we pay more than ever for electricity, we also lose control of even our household appliances. If we get something back for the overpriced service, the propaganda unit calls this a payment, and a benefit. If you have a Christmas party and 30 guests and you can’t use your own air conditioner, don’t forget, the State knows best. If it causes “whitenoise” interference, adds one more failure point, or causes people to turn their air conditioners down in temperature preemptively, or program them to come on earlier, who cares?

If the ABC says something is smart, we know it’s …

Power companies will soon be paying you to cut your energy use

Stephen Long, ABC

The units installed on the walls of his apartment look the same as any other air conditioners, but there is a difference. They’re fitted with “PeakSmart” technology. It allows the electricity network company to send a signal that turns the air conditioning down for a [...]

The half-mile electric car charging queue in the US

This could’ve been us, Australia, if Bill Shorten had won two more seats.

One week ago in California:

Tesla drivers are stranded for hours in a half-a-mile-long line

Shanon Stellini was travelling through Kettleman City on November 30 when she stumbled across a backlog of around 50 of the electric cars waiting to recharge in a half-mile line outside of at a station near Interstate 5. — Luke Kenton Daily Mail.

Tyler Durden, Zerohedge

There are now around 400,000 Teslas on the roads of the U.S. and the company’s commitment to hoarding its cash by any means necessary, including not paying bills and not investing in its Supercharger network, could finally be coming back to bite its owners in pronounced fashion.

The Kettleman City Supercharging station has 40 superchargers, is halfway between LA and San Francisco and people were returning from Thanksgiving.

Looks like Tesla owners need a back-up “baseload” type car in the garage all year to be able to enjoy those special days. There go those fuel savings.

Though they could just fly. There go those fuel savings and those emissions… …

The national electric car trap: What looks cheap, sounds fashionable but will [...]

26,000 junkets now in Spain at the UN Climate Change COP 25. Largest delegations? Ivory Coast and Congo

Junketees are on the move

Last week tens of thousands of officials, observers, and hanger-on-erers began their annual migration. To make the journey some 26,700 climate junketees used a form of petroleum and one caught a boat. Currently they are immersed in the seasonal two-week harvest before they migrate back.  Most delegates are collecting dollars, while others provide cash and collect Global Frequent Fashion Points instead.

Ponder that 11,000 athletes took part in the last Olympic Games and that’s only held once every four years. The COP events are the Olympics of government games.

Robert McSweeney of Carbonbrief  analyzes the UN Lists to find out which countries sent the most people. This year the junketee migration largely started in Africa, was headed to Chile, but somehow ended up in Spain. In 2019 the countries saving the world were the Côte d’Ivoire with 348 delegates, and both types of Congo with 293 and 163 delegates each.

This breaks down into: 13,643 people representing specific parties, 9,987 from observer organisations – such as scientists, business groups and various non-governmental organisations – and 3,076 journalists.

Marvel that 3,000 journalists have gone there yet we already know what they will write.

It’s [...]

Takes layers of incompetence to create mindless catastrophic hyperbole

With Alarmism off the dial, it’s nice to see some pushback coming from the near end of the science-scare. If journalists had asked questions like this back in 1988, it would have been all over by 1989.

Why Climate Alarmism Hurts Us All Michael Shellenberger, Forbes, does some research on the wilder climate claims. What a novel experiment!  He gets answers (at least for now) by taking the line, as he says in his twitter account, “Climate change is real but there’s NO SCIENCE for apocalyptic claims”. So he’s a believer that is concerned about the needless rising anxiety and panic.

When the media says “billions will die” Shellenberger wanted to know why. He just pulled on that string and it all unravelled…

It takes a layers of incompetence to wind up an atmospheric spectral change into Death To Billions. Mass delusion and catastrophic hyperbole just doesn’t come from nowhere — it’s starts with incompetent scientists who never ask each other hard questions, not even in the tea rooms. They tell journalists ambiguously phrased, cherry picked lines which are then amped up by the media, who also ask no hard questions and go on to misquote and exaggerate. By then [...]

Russians spent $95 million to NGOs to feed “shale fear” and anti-fracking campaigns. Most of the West fell for it…

Russia makes about $300 billion in gas and oil exports each year. For a tiny tenth of a billion dollars it fed western activists in NGOs* and successfully stopped fracking development in the UK (and some parts of Australia apparently). It’s what you call a stupendous investment.

Matt Ridley lays out just how game changing the discovery of shale fracking could have been for the UK, and how easily the politicians and system was exploited and fell over:

The Plot against Fracking, The Critic

When the shale gas revolution first came along, some environmentalists welcomed it, and rightly so. …

But then the vested interests got to work. Renewable energy promoters panicked at the thought of cheap and abundant gas.

The Russians also lobbied behind the scenes against shale gas, worried about losing their grip on the world’s gas supplies.

 It’s all so predictable…

The Centre for European Studies found that the Russian government has invested $95 million in NGOs campaigning against shale gas. Russia Today television ran endless anti-fracking stories, including one that “frackers are the moral equivalent of paedophiles”. The US Director of National Intelligence stated that “RT runs anti-fracking programming [...]

Climate Change is sexist

Wired reports that Climate Change is worse for women

Who knew? Not only are all past droughts and floods wiped from history apparently climate change makes men invisible too:

The struggles are coming fast, and they’re coming hard. For farmers, drought or even just less reliable rainfall means crop failure and less water for cattle. Landslides from stronger monsoons wipe away farmland. Living alongside rivers is increasingly perilous, as stronger—yet often less frequent—storms flood communities.

So men walk 120 extra kilometers and women walk 30 fewer kilometers, and this is “worse for women”:

All terrible crises in their own right, but exacerbated by underlying societal norms. In East Africa, for instance, men in pastoral communities have traditionally wandered 15, maybe 30 kilometers from home in search of water for their cattle, returning to their families periodically. But with climate change, now they’re having to travel up to 150 kilometers. Before, women would go with the men and milk the cattle, using the product both for their family’s own nutrition and as an extra source of income, and heading home as needed. Now that the men have to cover much greater distances, the women end up staying [...]

ABC discovers data (on facebook) showing wet rainforest has not burned once, ever, or at all, in “tens of millions” of years

This is striking new finding by ABC journalist Ann Arnold that for some reason has not yet been published in a science journal.

Some mystery remains, however as to which dataset could rule out any and all fires in the last 30,000,000 years, or indeed which dataset could prove that those forests and trees have existed in the same place continuously. We keenly await more details on the high resolution sedimentary pollen and missing ash deposit that could show that there were never fires, not one, especially during the Miocene when Antarctica thawed around 24 million years ago and stayed hot for ten million continuous years.

It’s all the more remarkable given that temperatures have varied in the Antarctic by 15 degrees Celcius over the same period, and for 20 million years out of the last 30, it was even hotter than today.

Scientists keenly look forward to seeing those error bars, though one critic, Dr Hyperbowlie suggested the p-values “might be greater than 1. ”

Global Temperature estimates over the last 65 million years.

Bushfires devastate rare and enchanting wildlife as ‘permanently wet’ forests burn for first time

Ann Arnold, ABC, Saturday Extra

These forests have [...]

Jeopardy: What happens when your single largest generator is uncontrolled and coordinated by clouds? Watch Western Australia

Western Australia is a giant experiment: Even the Energy Experts are saying solar is  jeopardizing the grid — it’s “dumb”

Watch this space — blackout coming, 3 years and counting…

The Western Australian grid is a separate island from the rest of the nation. It’s roughly a 2.5 GW system for 2.5 million people. WA is getting into trouble faster than nearly anywhere else. Solar PV is now up to …. something larger than 850MW (which is the size of the coal fired generator). The ABC doesn’t tell us what the real figure is (according to the AEMO it’s around 1300MW, and growing at 120MW a year). There are no interconnectors to rescue WA, just the taxpayer or hapless electricity consumer.

Unreliable solar is now the largest single generator in the Western Australian grid. It’s not only bad because there are no other states to dump the excess energy on, or to save the state, but despite the vast size nearly everyone lives within 100 kms (60 miles). So when the sun peaks for one it nearly peaks for all. When the clouds roll over, especially when those nice north-south aligned fronts roll in, it covers most of the [...]