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


Advertising

micropace


GoldNerds

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



Archives

Books

International bullying, unfair “targeted” punishment suggested by The Royal Society over climate change

How low is too low? Do we want to live in a world where groups of countries gang up on non-compliant countries by randomly picking a target nation, and punishing it until it gives in?  Perhaps you’d prefer a world where voters or evidence matter and where our leaders persuade each other with rational argument? Me too.

“Divide and conquer” is as old as witchdoctors

Warwick University and the Royal Society published game theory “research” which argues that it might be useful to (unethically) single out a few countries randomly that are not performing “up to climate expectations”. The researchers admit that the whole approach depends on the players being irrational.

“In the mathematical model,” said Dr Johnson, “the mechanism works best if the players are somewhat irrational. It seems a reasonable assumption that this might apply to the international community.”

No matter how they dress it up, it’s just bullying by one bunch of countries to pick on one single other one until it acquiesces. Then the next wave begins with different targets, gradually picking off one state at a time. It fails if the non-compliant states get coordinated and treat any unfair attack on one member [...]

Another carbon credit fraud – $2b. The faked fixed unfree market feeds crooks and makes no difference to emissions.

More news of how the faked fixed unfree market in carbon credits feeds the people who are inclined to cheat, and may have actually increased emissions by 600 million tonnes as well (not that that matters). Around $2 billion dollars may have been wasted, but it’s worse than wasted; the money does not just evaporate. Rewarding cheating takes money from honest players of society and feeds the corrupt sector. Free markets are a powerful tool, but good tools can be used in stupid ways. And so it is with a market trying to sell units of an atmospheric-absence-of-a-gas that no one really wants or has a use for.

The only people calling for a free market in carbon are the people who don’t know what a free market is. Sometimes a free market is just a dumb idea — like when trying to run a global market in a ubiquitous gas molecule that is intrinsic to life on Earth and oceanic chemistry. Worse, we think we might do it in countries with weak law and order, and high rates of corruption. Even sillier than that, we’re trying to sell units that depend on intentions — was that a sincere new [...]

#TalkAboutIt: Climate change sceptics versus the scientists (correcting ABC mistakes, strawmen, and misleading lines)

#TalkAboutIt: Climate change sceptics versus the scientists, By Clara Tran and staff

Busy slaying strawmen instead of real debate?

What a facade. The ABC says its skeptics versus “the scientists” except there are no skeptics present. In typical Newspeak the ABC says “#TalkAboutIt”, but it’s a conversation with themselves. They invent “DorothyDixer” strawman questions for their own team to bravely kill.

If the ABC really wanted their listeners to discuss skeptical views, they would invite skeptics to make them — but interviews are a thing of the past (back in the days when the ABC was an institution of repute). The fake debate is the only kind that professors like Matthew England can win.

This is why the ABC fails so dismally to dint skeptical numbers in Australia. If they want to convince skeptics of their point of view then they have to deal with actual skeptical arguments, but they are too afraid to air them. Consequently they sideline themselves out of the national debate, relegated to the propaganda wars.

Correcting the ABC:

Skeptical Scientists versus The Unskeptical

The ABC offers arguments allegedly made by climate skeptics, all of them minor and of little consequence (short version first, more [...]

George Soros buys bargain coal shares with big coal reserves

George Soros has poured money into promoting “climate change” politics through his foundations, working to demonize coal, but the man himself is now buying coal stocks. Analysts are asking if he is buying in to shut them down, or to pick up a bargain and take the profits. (There must also be options where he gets control to turn them into mixed energy renewables/coal plays.) But in the end he’s 85, and worth $24 billion. He has an 11 billion dollar stock portfolio and he’s spent less than $3 million on coal. It’s hard to believe the profits would be worth the bad press. Though Steve Milloy points out those companies own rights to 11 billion tons of coal reserves.

Coal used to supply 50% of US electricity, now it’s 40%. Peabody Energy Shares used to trade at $90, but now trade at $1.

Fox News

Soros, whose Climate Policy Initiative think tank recently urged the world to stop using fossil fuels in general and coal in particular, snapped up 1 million shares of Peabody Energy and half a million shares of Arch Coal, giving him significant stakes in what’s left of the U.S. coal industry.

[...]

Hottest July in 4000 years? Not even the hottest July since *2014* according to satellites

NOAA has a press release out being picked up around the world. For example, the DailyMail, UK, is saying July was the hottest month since records began in 1880 as heatwaves swept the Earth’s countries and oceans. Other silly tabloids have headlines about this being the hottest July in 4,000 years, as if we have even the remotest idea what the average July global temperature was in the days of Plato.

Better data shows July this year is the hottest since way back in…  2014. It’s not 4,000 years, not 135 years, it’s the hottest July since the last one. We only have 30 years of good climate data: the satellites tell us the pause is real, and last month’s summer temperatures is not a record anything. According to the UAH and RSS global satellites, lower troposphere averages for July 2014 were 0.30C and 0.34C, compared to July 2015 of 0.28C. Even, June 2015 was hotter (UAH, 0.35C; RSS, 0.39C). July 2015 is not even the hottest month since June.

But some journalists will believe anything. Anthony Sharman, sports journalist, News.com, Australia, thinks we know the global temperature of the July that Jesus was born. Who’s a gullible journalist then? [...]

Carbon accounting error reduces China’s emissions tally by twice Australia’s entire output

Welcome to carbon accounting games. Which other global “free” market is based on a ubiquitous molecule made by life on Earth, and produced in massive quantities in places where it’s almost impossible to even measure accurately? The largest non-human and human players don’t play (they don’t pay). Massive quantities go missing from the accounts, while other countries are expected to turn their economies upside down to cut one tenth as much.

Shu Liu et al estimate China’s output of CO2 was 14% lower in 2013 than other estimates.[1] They estimate China emitted 2.5 Gt of “carbon” in 2013.  Australia produces around 0.1 Gt a year.* So China’s “reduction” was 2 – 3 times what Australia produces every year. There is no other market in the world where so much hard money changes hands based on soft guesses about a product that no one wants, and is hard to even measure.

Frank Jotzo, ANU, reveals how irrelevant actual CO2 emissions are — it’s “good news” that doesn’t make any difference:

Frank Jotzo, the director of the Center for Climate Economics and Policy at the Australian National University in Canberra, said it was “good news” that Chinese coal was yielding [...]

Merchants of Doubt — insidious propaganda in schools

The book Merchants of Doubt, by Naomi Oreskes, was made into a box office bomb (it crashed). But, darkly, it has an ongoing life in our schools. Tony Thomas uncovers the push to put propaganda in front of children, dressed up as education.  The director of the film tells the world that his aim is to stop skeptics from being broadcast on TV. (Because that’s what you do when you can’t win a fair debate eh?)

This film was never about science, but about doing exactly what it claims to “expose”. (It’s projection all the way down.) The real merchants of doubt are those that seed doubts about honest whistleblower scientists, using character assassination, namecalling, tenuous associations, innuendo and allusion instead of scientific arguments. They don’t find a scientific fault in anything skeptics say, but resort to twenty year old false tobacco smears.

What we need are resources for teachers to help students critically analyze propaganda like this. How do children spot what isn’t said? What clues do we see in this movie that reveal its anti-science, political nature? Is it that they don’t let their skeptic targets talk about climate science at all? Readers suggestions are welcome.  How do [...]

Megawatts that come and go — Wind energy, shaking up the National Grid in Australia

This postmodern art is what wind power looks like on our national electricity grid. (Like a kindergärtner on steroids). There are 35 wind farms on this spaghetti graph, spread across 6 of our 8 states and territories. They cover thousands of square kilometers and are connected in allegedly the largest electricity grid in the world. This frenetic action covers the last two weeks, and is pretty normal.

You might think the wind “averages out” across the nation.  Noooo. Some days, Australia is windy…

Graph from ANEROID ENERGY for 1 – 16 August, 2015

The total megawatts output varies as per the black line, from zero megawatts right up to 3000.

This below is a typical days national grid demand in winter. Even in the dead of night, the minimum baseload demand is 18,000MW. The nation is talking of going 26% renewable (unless it goes 50%). What could possibly go wrong!

According to AEMO Australia has the largest interconnected electricity grid in the world covering the east coast from Port Lincoln in South Australia to Cairns in Queensland (See the green and red squiggles on the right hand side of the map below) . That’s most of the [...]

Myths about Myths of the climate change debate (as made by the Sydney Morning Herald)

Looking for some mythical myths?

Sydney Morning Herald/Age serves their subscribers up a few. Apart from “Myth 1″ below, Adam Morton avoids answering the most important points skeptics are making, but offers up some secondary bit and pieces. He supplies vague wordy answers announcing definitive conclusions based on irrelevant, motherhood type reasoning, non-sequiteurs, and little research: it’s just what we’ve come to expect from a Fairfax “investigation”.

“Myth 1″: The new climate target will be difficult to meet

Adam’s has four arguments (3 irrelevant, 1 wrong) to convince us it will be easy. I’ve paraphrased the wordy stuff. His arguments are so weak, the marvel here is that our national conversation is so irrational. “Not even trying” as they say.

Lo, behold, it will be “easy” to cut our carbon emissions by 26%, because:

1. The last small target we set for 2020 of a “5%” cut was less than other countries are achieving.

Jo says: There’s a reason our target was smaller.  Australia’s population is growing faster (proportionally), our distances are larger, population density smaller, our largest export earner is “coal”, and some of our other exports have “energy” built in (so the carbon emissions occur in [...]

Weekend Unthreaded

….