JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


Handbooks

The Skeptics Handbook

Think it has been debunked? See here.

The Skeptics Handbook II

Climate Money Paper


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GoldNerds

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



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Dr Mark Imisides, a serious skeptic candidate for the WA Senate

This is such a change. It used to be that the best a skeptic could hope for was a politician who “believes the science” but spoke in a code about wanting more evidence.  But here’s a candidate openly wooing skeptics — no pandering to political correctness. Imisides is equipped with a PhD in chemistry and he wants a debate: Look at me as a type of scientific Dirty Harry, he says. He explains why lawyer-politicians use the wrong reasoning and we need scientist politicians (like him, obviously). His points are not just about Australian politics but all Western governments.  He skips the scientific details here (we all know them), but I can vouch that from his past emails he’s not only done the homework on aerosols, hotspots, ice cores, and different IPCC reports, he’s even familiar with the devastating Thompson’s case (skeptical farming family).  This man is a serious skeptic. Well informed, and he understands how to reason. In a double dissolution election, he’s tackling a big vacant niche so he has a real chance (and with a lucky #1 spot on the ticket to boot). I wish there were more like him in every state.

India to delay signing Paris agreement (Thank China)

India wants to be in the Nuclear Club — that’s the bargaining chip for signing the Paris agreement.

India won’t ratify the Paris agreement unless it gets membership to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) a club that was, as it happens, set up in 1974 when a naughty India set off a nuclear test. But China is completely against India earning its NSG badge. So the big two population elephants on Earth and the monster carbon emitters are not so concerned about the future of Earth that they are going to put other rivalries aside. Priorities, indeed.

Pretty much every nation on Earth has signed up for the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) – except for India, Israel, Pakistan and North Korea. In the NPT club there are five countries rated in the Platinum Frequent Flyer Bomb Class and the rest agree not to develop nuclear bombs but are (maybe) allowed to use nuclear power. Most of the few non-signers, like India, probably have bombs, but not the “license” for global bomb club membership. Now, China helps proliferate weapons in North Korea and Pakistan so it’s a tad rich that it claims to be afraid the NPT will fall apart if they [...]

EU panic — yells “xenophobic isolationist” — at people who held the largest global empire in history

EU fans are rightly fearing the unravelling of their empire, built on decades of sneaky, undemocratic bureaucratic creep. The French, Austrians, Finns, Dutch and Germans want a vote on the EU.

All over the establishment media, the derogatory narrative is that “Little Brits” are scared of the outside world, and are xenophobic, racists, too afraid to engage with the rest of the world. So let’s look at how inward-looking and timid the Brits were in times before the EU modern wisdom.

Here’s the British Empire circa 1920:

The Sun never set on the British Empire

Map adapted from Wikipedia

Get into the spirit Rule Brittania! Want more?

“Little Britain” ran the largest empire the world has ever known — spreading democracy, justice, and one language across a broader array of races and places than any other nation.  (And the real Anglosphere includes The United States of America.)

The Brits are the bigots who outlawed slavery, widow-burning and fostered democracy in India.

It’s not surprising that the Brits are leading the way out of the false anti-democratic empire known as the European Union.

The fight has just begun

Based on past form, we know that [...]

Brexit reporting — nobody mention “Switzerland” or “Norway”

Both sides of Brexit were shocked — the Remainers because they have never met a Brexiteer nor bothered to read their arguments. And The Brexiters were a bit shocked too — amazed that despite the big-media bias, puffed up economic scare and the blanket of institutional warnings, the public can still fight off big-gov with their votes in a bloodless coup. It’s a rare win.

Who wants to be tied to an economic basketcase?

Under the media shock and warnings of  the recession coming almost no one mentioned “Switzerland”, or “Norway“. Here’s the GDP growth graph from the World Bank showing just how well the EU fares compared to the non-EU countries of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, The US, Switzerland and Norway. Note the success of the EU red line which in nearly every year is outdone by nearly everyone else. The economic disaster that the UK faces is better GDP growth.

EU GDP Growth 2008 – 2015, World Bank, compared to non-EU nations, Switzerland, NZ, US

The reasons to leave the EU were so compelling the amazing thing is that 48% of the public still voted to stay. Chalk that “success” up to the media, and on an [...]

Weekend Unthreaded

 

And What a Weekend it is too…

Brexit hanging in the balance: UPDATE Leave Wins! Big gov loses :- )

Watching those results come in on Marketwatch,  and The Telegraph  map from @WSJeurope.

FRIDAY MORNING: Results are swinging both ways. The betting is shifting.  Pound falling. Remarkable rise in the spot gold price.  Telegraph reporting that Brexit is now the favourite outcome, but Marketwatch and others saying that results still to come are more likely to favour Remain from heavily populated areas in London.

UPDATED: Who cares what happens in the Australian election next week. This is brilliant news and a historic moment! In the modern era finally the creeping growth of Big-Government has been pegged back.  Fittingly, the spot price of gold melted up by $100 in hours and the Kitco site melted down. Pollsters and analysts were flummoxed. The UK is a nation divided with a patchwork of areas being strongly pro or against, and no easy trend across the nation. ABC radio here is painting BREXIT as a bit of an “emotional” decision over immigration, in contrast making out that the fear of a economic pain for leaving is “rational”. As if leaving the economic basket-case that is the EU would be bad for an economy which gave more money than it took. The UK is the [...]

Green Utopia? Adventure park wants to “go solar” but raze 15,000 trees

It takes bumper government subsidies to destroy this many trees for so little reason:

Six Flags Adventure Park goes Solar – Slate

The plan, the largest solar installation in New Jersey, will generate 21.4 megawatts of electricity, enough to power the amusement park’s Garden State facility. The company projects that the initiative will eliminate approximately 215,000 tons of CO2 emissions over 15 years…

“We are excited about the fact that this project will reduce carbon emissions by 31 times more than the trees and shrubs that will be removed, and that we will become the world’s first solar-powered theme park,” said Kristin Siebeneicher, communications manager for Six Flags Great Adventure and Safari.

The 66 acres of native wildlife may not be so excited.

Nor are the surrounding hominids. Can’t please em’:

Local residents and environmental groups—including Clean Water Action, Crosswicks/Doctors Creek Watershed Association, Environment New Jersey, NJ Conservation Foundation, Save Barnegat Bay, and the Sierra Club—beg to differ, claiming that razing nearly 15,000 trees will adversely impact water quality, air quality and sound quality; decrease the wildlife population; and affect biodiversity,…

Somewhere a plot of underground coal is being protected.

Welcome to [...]

Local Event: Gold – and Western History – plus wine, cheese, Perth Friday night

Perth readers may want to come tomorrow night as David Evans discusses the role of gold in western history.

Gold – Past, Present and Future?

Classic Nights — History of Western Civilisation An Adult Education initiative from St Augustine’s

Explores the history of gold as a medium of exchange, and its role in curbing financial shenanigans down the ages. The origins of banking, the global financial crisis, and the next decade — the world has more debt than ever before, the situation is not sustainable, and major changes of some sort are afoot. It’s a chance to discuss ideas that have shaped human history.

Current financial markers are a long way from the norm:

The welfare state enabled by the bubble in taxes, made possible by the bubble in money manufactured due to Greenspan’s policies.

To reduce the current bubble, central banks are trying to generate moderate but controlled inflation. The winners will be the borrowers (who don’t get wiped out with the volatility), the losers will be everyone else, especially the savers.

Event details below.

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CO2 hits record high: Antarctic temperatures do nothing

The terrifying effect of CO2

Feel the panic.

South Pole CO2 levels cross 400 ppm first time in 4 million years!

WASHINGTON: The Earth passed another unfortunate milestone when carbon dioxide levels surpassed 400 parts per million (ppm) at the South Pole for the first time in 4 million years, according to US scientists.The South Pole has shown the same, relentless upward trend in carbon dioxide (CO2) as the rest of world, but its remote location means it is the last to register the impacts of increasing emissions from fossil fuel consumption, the primary driver of greenhouse gas pollution, researchers said.

In response, the South pole temperatures “pause”

Satellites show the real warming effect of CO2 on the air over Antarctica (thanks Ken Stewart)

For thousands of years temperatures in West Antarctica have been higher than now.

Graph via WattsUP

Temperatures (orange) peaked around 4,000 years ago (top graph). Graph: T.J. Fudge | University of Washington

 

Notice how CO2 controls the temperature in Vostok – Not. [...]

Asteroid kills 90% of all mammal species: Anthropocene kills one rat (maybe)

Compare the tallies. Sixty-five million years ago an asteroid smacked-down and only 10% of mammal species survived. So far in the Anthropocene Catastrophe, one type of rat has been wiped off a 300m island.

Press Release Mammals almost wiped out with the dinosaurs

A study by researchers at the Milner Centre for Evolution at the University of Bath and published in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology, reviewed all mammal species known from the end of the Cretaceous period in North America. Their results showed that over 93 per cent became extinct across the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary, but that they also recovered far more quickly than previously thought.

Afterwards, mammalian life recovered with unexpected speed and diversity. Chalk one up to nature and evolution. Not so fragile?

[...]