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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Delcons do matter — defiant non-left voters were “most influential group”

Aiming for the passionless imaginary center doesn’t work

Some big surprises from exit polls from the Australian election day, thanks to the Australian Institute of Progress (AIP). Non-Greens third party voters (code for Delcons – or Defiant conservatives) were more interested in “cultural issues like immigration, Islam, gay marriage, refugees, industry protection and political correctness”. Graham Young, Executive Director of the AIP calls these voters the “most influential in Australia, effectively choosing who will form the government.”

The next election will be won by the party that manages to reap more than its fair share of the non-Greens minor party voters. They are up for grabs for Liberal or Labor.

In the end, around 50% of the Delcons are prepared to put Labor above Liberal in preferences (the nuclear option) –  showing how wrong Mark Textor’s theory is that the Liberal base “doesn’t matter” and the Liberals should aim for the centre and can afford to mistreat their base. Another theme I see is that parties need passion — when it’s missing from the base, it sure isn’t coming from the centre. As I said before Turnbull took over, “the passionate support base for the Liberal party will [...]

Globally 91% of wars have nothing to do with climate change

Climate change causes war (maybe) and meaningless statistics (definitely)

One day when you grow up, children, you too can be a research scientist who writes papers that tells the world something banally obvious — like, say, that natural disasters make conflict more likely.

Who, exactly, thought natural disasters brought peace?

I don’t think the journalist who wrote this next paragraph asked himself what it means (if anything):

Globally, there was a nine per cent coincidence rate between the outbreak of armed conflicts and natural disasters like droughts and heatwaves. But, in countries that were deeply divided along ethnic lines, this rose to about 23 per cent.

I suspect it means not much (define “coincident”), but if it did, it implies that globally, 91% of wars don’t coincide with natural disasters.

If there is a real message here, it appears to be that ethnic divisions cause wars:

Dr Jonathan Donges, who co-wrote the paper about the study, said: “We’ve been surprised by the extent that results for ethnic fractionalised countries stick out, compared to other country features such as conflict history, poverty, or inequality.

[...]

Weekend Unthreaded

John Kerry: Air conditioner, fridge gas, as big a threat as ISIS

Let’s get those priorities right:

Secretary of State John Kerry said in Vienna on Friday that air conditioners and refrigerators are as big of a threat to life as the threat of terrorism posed by groups like the Islamic State.

Depends what you mean by “life” I guess. Some like the world 2 degrees cooler, and some prefer to keep their heads.

“As we were working together on the challenge of [ISIS] and terrorism,” Kerry said. “It’s hard for some people to grasp it, but what we–you–are doing here right now is of equal importance because it has the ability to literally save life on the planet itself.”

It’s good to know the US will be well defended against an invasion of badly gassed fridges.

Since warming is mostly beneficial this threat is at the Defcon-Toothfairy level. And probably not that high. The extra energy trapped by HFC refrigerant gasses most likely just reroutes and escapes to space through water vapor emissions.

[...]

Backflip: Antarctic peninsula, posterchild of Polar disaster, has been cooling not warming

The “fastest warming place” on Planet Earth wasn’t warming.

A new Antarctic study wipes out 20 years of panic about the West Antarctic Peninsula. All these years while people were crying about penguins, it turns out that the place was cooling rather than warming. Mankind has emitting a third of all its “CO2-pollution” ever from 1998, and there was “no discernible” effect on Antarctica. Indeed,  the study quietly finds that even the bigger longer warming that has happened in the last century was not “unprecedented” in the last 2000 years.

In the last decade as this cooling trend was happening in the real world –  in the media, the same spot was being described as “one of the fastest warming places on Earth”:

 The Antarctic Peninsula is one of the fastest-warming places on Earth, NBC, 2013

West Antarctic Ice Sheet warming twice earlier estimate, BBC, 2012

And this sort of news has been going on for years. This was “big deal” once-in-2000 year type stuff:

UK scientists say parts of Antarctica have recently been warming much faster than most of the rest of the Earth. They believe the warming is probably without parallel for nearly two thousand [...]

Clexit-coming? President of Philippines says Paris climate deal is stupid nonsense. Wants to kick someone.

Let’s not mince words. The new President of the Philippines, Jose Duterte, says he won’t sign or honor the “stupid” Paris deal and he wanted to kick the ambassador who asked.

Here’s a memorable moment in international diplomacy:

“You are trying to stifle us,” Duterte said on Monday in widely reported comments. “That’s stupid, I will not honour that. You signed … That was not my signature.”

Duterte said: “I’m mad at this ambassador. I want to kick him,” adding that limits on carbon emissions for the Philippines were “nonsense”.

“You who have reached your peak and along with it spewed a lot of contaminants, emissions … Good for you. We are here, we have not reached the age of industrialisation. We are on our way to it.”

This is a bit of a bummer for the big-government collective. The Philippines has 100 million people and is the 12th biggest country on Earth population-wise.

Brexit, India and the Philippines smell like “Clexit”

The Trump factor looms too. Sensing a tidal wave, the UN promptly issued a call for everyone to hurry up.

The United Nations has issued a plea for nations to fast-track ratification of [...]

Wind power sucks money and electricity in South Australia

On a good day South Australia has more than 40% renewable energy. On a bad day, it’s -2 or something. Wind towers suck in so many ways.  They can even draw more power out than they bring in and best of all — their peak electron sucking power comes just when the state needs electricity the most.

Business blows up as turbines suck more power than they generate

The sapping of power by the turbines during calm weather on July 7 at the height of the ­crisis, which has caused a price surge, shows just how unreliable and ­intermittent wind power is for a state with a renewable ­energy mix of more than 40 per cent.

South Australia has more “renewable” wind power than anywhere else in Australia. They also have the highest electricity bills, the highest unemployment, the largest number of “failures to pay” and disconnections. Coincidence?

The emergency measures are needed to ease punishing costs for South Australian industry as National Electricity Market (NEM) prices in the state have frequently surged above $1000 a megawatt hour this month and at one point on Tuesday hit the $14,000MWh maximum price.

Complaints from business about the extreme prices – in normal times they are [...]

Bloomberg tells business leaders to say climate change is real or risk “survival”

The 6th richest guy in the US and the head of a major media corporation made it clear last December:

“No CEO could survive if they tried to say climate change isn’t real,” Bloomberg said, offering a suggestion for why Fox News rarely features business leaders to tout climate sceptic positions.                |      BusinessGreen Dec 4th 2015

What about business leaders who just have a few doubts? He’s got that covered too:

“You don’t sit there and say ‘I’m not sure it’s a real risk’. “ Bloomberg said.

Apparently the Big Fear of  Michael Bloomberg and Mark Carney (head of the Bank of England) is that a few business leaders will start asking questions or speaking their minds, and we can’t have that.

Successful entrepreneurs could be quite a scary force if many of them started speaking out. They have clout. They are not the gullible types and if they paid attention to this debate or even asked good questions, the whole House of Carbon would come undone so easily. That’s why it’s a big No No  for leaders to ask questions, the believers know they don’t have the answers.

These kinds of warnings need to [...]

Greenpeace slam Australia’s new Environment Minister (so Frydenberg can’t be all bad)

The one thing Malcolm Turnbull has got right in the last year?    Out with Greg Hunt, and in with Josh Frydenberg.

The new ministry has been announced, as predicted, without magnanimity, wisdom or grace. There is no role for Tony Abbott; Turnbull is still too afraid of him. But Greg Hunt has finally been moved out of the Environment portfolio which can only be a good thing. He has been a key proponent of passionate and pointless action on the weather, and was central to stopping a BOM audit and bringing in a carbon tax. Almost any other minister might actually try to get better science (see here and here), and solve real environmental problems instead of fake ones. Perhaps finally an environment minister may recognise that we need temperature data that can be independently replicated if we are ever going to understand the Australian climate?

The Dept of Environment has been merged with Energy which makes sense for carbon traders and the renewables industry, but perhaps not for the environment.

The new environment minister looks good

The Sydney Morning Herald has put together the praise for Josh Frydenberg:

Former Greens leader Bob Brown said Mr Frydenberg [...]

Climate change is potentially a $7 Trillion dollar money making venture (for bankers)

The tide of money, the vested interests flows

H/t to Eric Worrall at WattsUp.

The current “green” industry is already around $1.5 Trillion a year. Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England said he expects this to grow to $5-7 trillion.

Financial Post: Climate change a $7 trillion funding opportunity

He said that given the enormous funding needs for clean infrastructure — he estimates at somewhere between $5 trillion and $7 trillion a year — investment opportunities will rebound.

 If clean green energy was efficient, cheap and reliable there would be no “funding need” as the market would leap to exploit that opportunity. Instead most leading investors act like they are skeptics. The fact that central bankers are selling it so aggressively says a lot. Perhaps central bankers want to help the poor and save the world, or could it be that the entire financial industry will profit from a fake, forced market and another fiat currency? What are the brokerage fees on a $7T market…

Again we get this “free market” myth:

[Carbon pricing is the cleanest way for markets to judge the tangible exposure to climate change," said Carney