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


Planetary Heroes meet in Paris to save Earth from bad weather

Never before has there been so many egos in the one room:

It was the largest single-day gathering of heads of state or government in history, the UN said.

“Never have the stakes of an international meeting been so high because it concerns the future of the planet, the future of life,” French President Francois Hollande said in an opening speech.

“The hope of all of humanity rests on all of your shoulders.”   — Paris Climate Change Talks begin, The Australian, Graham Lloyd.

Glory be. Pray to our Elected Fathers (and Mothers) who have come to save us from our sins.

The Chosen Ones shall rescue us with full gloss PR. For it is only in the world of Mass Marketing that we can call China a climate saviour:

[Obama] then met Chinese President Xi Jinping before the summit started, with his focus turned to deepening co-operation between the world’s two biggest emitters of the greenhouse gases that cause ­global warming.

“As the two largest carbon emitters, we have both determined that it is our responsibility to take action,” Mr Obama said as he sat alongside Mr Xi.

And so [...]

What you don’t know about the climate (Half page advert in The Australian)

Here’s the full copy of a half page advert in The Australian. In a normal world, this would be discussed at conferences, and reported by science reporters in magazines like New Scientist or Scientific American, or on shows like Catalyst. Instead, private citizens have to fork out thousands to pay for an advert. — Jo


The climate cooled for 37 years during the period 1940 to 1976. Books were written expressing alarm. Lowell Ponte’s 1975 book warns: “Global cooling presents humankind with the most important social, political, and adaptive challenge we have had to deal with for 110,000 years. Your stake in the decisions we make concerning it is of ultimate importance: the survival of ourselves, our children, our species.”

We now have a new climate alarm and similar statements are being made. Climate models used by authorities forecast that CO2 emissions will cause dangerous global warming, now referred to as Climate Change.

Sources: Various, as described in the “State of the Climate in 2012” in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society1, August 2013.


Recent findings in the area of psychology, “Psychology and Economics” by [...]

Labor hope for fantasy 45% reduction in Australian emissions by … 2030

Australians keep voting against climate taxes, but in 2016 we’re having an election based on climate. (We get the choice of “Bad” or “Worse”. For the economy, it’s the TNT-plan or the Nuclear-bomb?)

The Liberals are offering the obscene cut of 26 – 28% from 2005 by 2030. As a nation dependent on fossil fuels, with no nuclear or no new hydro on offer, the target is ridiculous. With the most rapidly growing population in the West, and one of the most energy intensive export industries globally, it’s economically suicidal. The Labor Party have a fantasy that it should be 45%. (Why not 85%?)

As far as the election goes in 2016, our only hope is to elect minor party and independent Senators to stop our two main parties from  hobbling the nation. Start planning now.

According to the opposition spokesman Mark Butler on the 7:30 Report last night, the 45% fantasy will all be fine, because energy use and economic development will be “decoupled” (for the first time in human history) and new technology will save us. We’ll have profoundly different cars he says.

Look at what the last 15 years have done for cars…

Imagine how different cars [...]

Weekend Unthreaded

New Science 21: The mysterious Notch in the Sun-Earth relationship — the dog that didn’t bark

The notch in the Sun-Earth relationship is the dog that didn’t bark — the clue that was there all along, telling us something about the way the Sun influences Earth’s climate. There is a flicker of extra energy coming in at the peak of every solar cycle — roughly every 11 years. It’s only a small peak, but there is no warming on Earth at all — it’s like the energy that vanished. A good skeptic would be saying but, the increase in energy is so small, how could we find it among the noise? And the answer is that Fourier maths is so good at doing this that it is used every day to find the GPS signals which (as David details below) are so much smaller than the noise that they are much harder to find than this signal from the Sun.

Thousands of engineers know about and use Fourier maths and notch filters, but due to a strange one-sided bureaucratic funding model, none of those thousands of experts have applied that knowledge, which is so well adapted to feedback systems to the Sun Earth energy flows. David has used an input-output “black box” method to find [...]

Life copes: The horses that adapted to massive climate change in just 800 years

In evolutionary terms, it’s a blink. Around 1200-1400AD a bunch of people bought a few domestic horses to far east freezing Siberia, where the temperature sometimes falls below -70. Somehow the horses have already become physiologically and genetically well adapted to the extreme climate. The panic-merchants would have us believe that the climate is changing “faster than evolution”, but biology and genes turn out to be amazingly flexible. (Who knows, maybe 4 million years of swinging ice ages has that effect on gene pools?)

DNA studies revealed that these horses were all derived from distant domestic horses, even though wild unrelated horses lived in the region til 5,000 years ago. This is pretty spectacular.

Dr. Ludovic Orlando: “This is truly amazing as it implies that all traits now seen in Yakutian horses are the product of very fast adaptive processes, taking place in about 800 years. This represents about a hundred generations for horses. That shows how fast evolution can go when selective pressures for survival are as strong as in the extreme environment of Yakutia.”

Analyzing the genomes shows that it’s not driven by mutations in genes as much as by changes to the regulatory [...]

Climate Spectator bites the dust

Shucks. A few days before the giant UNFCCC starts in Paris, Climate Spectator has been closed. (Didn’t know it existed? It was a part of the Business Spectator). Maybe Big Renewables is not doing such a roaring big business?

You can see how active and non-stop the pro-green energy message was, thanks to Google caching of The Climate Spectator. That was yesterday. For some odd reason the headline link to it is already gone, obliviated already and fed through to the mother-publication by default. Typically, the more popular articles got 5 – 10 comments, the rest, zero. To get the flavor, see “Going off grid” — where Tristan Edis argues that all that solar energy you make will be wasted (and it will cost you a lot of money too). He seems to think that intermittent unreliable energy is “useful” to the Grid, and there’s no sense in the article that I can see of the waste of the Grid’s resources and energy in accommodating his surplus.

The collapse of the Climate Spectator is of course, framed by some as “Murdoch strikes again”. Presumably Murdoch acquired it in 2012 and has been waiting all this time to fulfil his evil [...]

Only 3% of US people think climate is most important issue

Has there ever been a greater disconnect between what the elected leaders are offering and what the public really wants?

Obama must know what these polls say, so when he tells us that “climate change is the greatest threat” we know he’s not doing it to win votes. If he is  hoping to “lead” the people, his failure is dismal.

Is there any doubt left that The Climate Cause serves politicians and not the people?

The numbers have shifted since July when the survey was last done. “Terrorism was up from 11% to 24% thanks to Paris. The economy and jobs was down from 30% to 21%. Climate change was all of 5% then, dropped to 3% now (pretty much in the error margin).

SOURCE:  Fox News Survey. 1,016 registered voters of a random national sample with a margin of error of plus or minus 3%.


The original meaning of “denier” was those who reject a religion


In 1475, the word “Denier” meant those who did not accept the church doctrine.

Five hundred years later, not much has changed.

“According to the Oxford English Dictionary, OED, the term “denier” — starting with its coinage in 1475, during the language’s transition period — has traditionally been used in a theological context, as in “Deniers of Christ Jesus.”

– Yale Climate Media Forum

The use of “Denier” in a theological sense continued for hundreds of years. Here it is in 1835:

“A denier of our Lord’s divinity will argue that it was an exclamation of surprise and ignorance; he makes it, in fact, a sort of modern  profaneness.

The Literary and Theological Review, Leonard Woods Junior, 1835. p449

In 2015, anyone who thinks that leeks and lightbulbs won’t stop floods in Peru is a “denier”. If you don’t accept that your air-conditioner causes war in Syria, or that sharks can protect us from heatwaves, get used to being referred to as a mindless denying apostate.

I’ve put in excerpts from an 1840 book below. Breathe deeply:

“FOURTH. Point out the difficulties of Atheism


US Presidential candidates ranked for independent thinking and gullibility on climate science

How many Presidential candidates are susceptible to groupthink, scare campaigns and low-base science agitprop? Thanks to Seth Borenstein, Michael Mann & Andrew Dessler we can rank them according to their ability to resist profoundly unscientific propaganda like “there is a consensus”.

Ted Cruz is clearly the best at holding his own in the independent thinker stakes.  Ben Carson and Donald Trump do well. But poor Hillary Clinton doesn’t stand a chance against the onslaught of junk graphs, hyperbolic claims, and inane bumper-sticker cliches.

Those who fall for the consensus argument are in no position to run a nation.  Firstly it’s profoundly unscientific — we don’t vote for the laws of science; scientific theories are either true or not true regardless of opinions. Secondly, it only takes ten minutes of independent searching to find that there is no consensus among scientists as a broad group, anyway. There is a consensus among various definitions of certified climate scientists, but not among meteorologists , geoscientists and engineers or other hard science areas.

As I’ve said before, skeptics outrank and outnumber believers, they make planes fly, find mineral deposits, and walked on the moon. Believers produce climate models that don’t work. If [...]