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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London Climate Change Conference Sept 8 – 9 Don’t miss it!

If I didn’t live 15,000km away I would be going to this for sure, for the debates on the solar cycles, planets, ozone and oceans — and because Nils-Axel Mörner, Roger (Tallbloke) and Christopher Monckton will be there. Piers Corbyn too, the man who beat the UK Met Office for weather predictions and the brother of Jeremy Corbyn (Labour leader in the UK). CLEXIT will be launched. Nils has published more than 590 papers on sea levels around the world and set up the Pattern Recognition Journal which was drastically closed by the publisher, because it “doubted” the IPCC conclusions.

Entrance is open to anyone, and there is no registration fee — just a donation. If this were a government funded gravy train, it would cost hundreds to see lame predictable presentations by researchers who aren’t brave enough to question the dogma. Come to London, and watch the scientists and contributors who are pushing the bounds of science.


See the full programme and the extended abstracts in this 35 Mb document for full details.

Climate Change: Science and Geoethics

An international multidisciplinary conference to be held in London, UK September 8-9, 2016


Humans worst footprint on planet apart from algae, plants, asteroids, volcanoes

Feel the guilt in the Gaia religion: New map shows alarming growth of the human footprint

 ”Humans are the most voracious consumers planet Earth has ever seen. With our land-use, hunting and other exploitative activities, we are now directly impacting three-quarters of the Earth’s land surface,” said Professor Laurance.

And three-quarters of 30% of the world is a fifth of the world. But algae will be feeling pretty cheezed right now. They wrecked up the whole atmosphere — but get no credit. Algae define the term “voracious consumer”. The pristine state of the atmosphere was transformed forever, plus the schmucks made oil.

But nothing changes the planet quite like a 10-20km wide rock dropping in and wiping out 90% of all species on Earth. That’s a “footprint”.

Note the magical 97% appears again — a sacred number of “certainty”:

A James Cook University scientist says a new map of the ecological footprint of humankind shows 97 per cent of the most species-rich places on Earth have been seriously altered.


Experts “surprised” to discover what skeptics have known for years: world has been warming for 200 years

For years, skeptical scientists have been pointing at data that showed the the world started warming somewhere from 1700 – 1820. This has been known from glaciers, sea level studies, ice cores, boreholes, ocean heat content estimates, and more proxies than any climate-nerd cares to name.

Finally, expert climate modelers are “surprised” to discover this:

“…their study had detected warming in the Arctic and tropical oceans from around the 1830s, just 80 years after the Industrial Revolution started in England. “It was an extraordinary finding,” she said. “It was one of those moments where science really surprised us. But the results were clear. The climate warming we are witnessing today started about 180 years ago.”

How many grant dollars did it take to figure out what skeptical scientists have been saying for years?

The correlation with global temperatures and actual numerical human emissions is abysmal, so now Abrams et al ignore the numbers and appear to suggest that [...]

Great Barrier Reef: 5% bleached, not 93% says new report “discrepancy phenomenal”

In a nutshell: a government funded group finds some bleached coral on the Great Barrier Reef, and repackages the stats to come up with the apocalyptic statistic that only 7% of the reef is not bleached!  The SMH reported that “93% of the corals” are damaged. The reef is 2,000 kilometers long. Did anyone really think about these headlines?

Then in a development that “no one” could see coming, local tourism is damaged, potentially costing a lot of jobs.

“And the loss of these tourists could cost our tourism industry a whopping $1 billion a year, a report out today by The Australia Institute warned.”

This inspires local dive operators (who possibly know what the reef looks like) to pay for a two week expedition to survey 28 sites. They find about 5% damage and describe the difference as phenomenal. Indeed, they say the reef is pretty much just like it was 20 years ago when they last did a survey.

We know that both sides have an interest finding a healthy or unhealthy reef. The problem starts with self-serving taxpayer funded scientists who are paid to find a crisis. But they would not get away with it [...]

Psychoanalysis shows Nuclear Power stops countries meeting climate targets

Only higher education could produce something this silly.

The University of Sussex gets the credit for a paper that argues that countries that are committed to nuclear energy are progressing slower towards the holy grail of meeting “climate targets”. This discovery  coincidentally comes exactly as the UK Hinkley Point “hangs in the balance”. What were the odds?

The Newspeak starts in the headline — what’s a “climate target”. My personal climate target is to move into the tropics each winter, but the EU climate target is not about reducing temperatures over Spain, but about “more windmills”. The climate target of the EU has apparently got nothing much to do with the climate:

…the EU’s 2020 Strategy — to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 20%, increase the share of renewable energy to at least 20% of consumption, and achieve energy savings of 20% or more by 2020…

 They cluster countries in to 3 groups and discover that the countries that plan to maintain or expand nuclear energy (eg Bulgaria, Hungary and the UK) are not cutting emissions as fast as countries that have no nukes (Denmark, Ireland, and Norway).

Could it be, I wonder, because countries that [...]

The million year prehistory of Cricket — the fast bowlers got fed

The researchers don’t say it, but this is obviously the beginnings of cricket. (David says “baseball”).

Archaeologists found lots of round rocks like this that are around 70,000 – 1.8 million years old in a cave in South Africa. They thought they might be tools, but now reckon that they were used as a weapon for hunting. With models (yeah, yeah) these are apparently the ideal size and weight to score maximum high speed damage at 20-30m distance given the mechanics of a human arm. So before spears, people probably throw rocks overhand to hunt. We are the only animals that can do this –  which might explain why a million years later people are still so enthused about cricket (and baseball).

Maybe the South Africans have an unfair advantage playing the game so much longer than everyone else. (David doesn’t think much of my theory, but cricket suddenly makes a lot more sense to me now).

Snippets from the press release:


Weekend Unthreaded

We should protect our kids from climate change by not having them

National Public Radio (USA): ‘Should We Be Having Kids In The Age Of Climate Change?’

h/t to Climate Depot

Daily Caller Andrew Follett reports on a set of stories about population control “for the climate”:

‘We should protect our kids from climate change by not having them’ says Travis Rieder of NPR.

I reckon it seems fairer to have the kids first, then ask them.

Humans have put out 50% of all our emissions of CO2 since 1988, so everyone under 30 may have wished they hadn’t been born during the Anthropocene apocalypse. (All those hot summers, those boring lectures at school). Lets do that  survey. How many 28 year olds think their parents made the wrong call in 1987?

Raising offspring is hard work. “Saving the world” might just be the excuse you’re looking for if you are not inclined to do nappies.

NPR Travis Rieder, a philosopher at Johns Hopkins University, told NPR. “The situation is bleak, it’s just dark … Population engineering, maybe it’s an extreme move. But it gives us a chance.”

Rieder said America produces a lot of carbon dioxide (CO2) per person, and the world’s poorest nations will be most [...]

McKibben: It’s The Climate World War. Hitler, Nazi’s, panic!

When you can’t persuade people to fight your imaginary enemy, declare a war.

New Republic We’re under attack from climate change—and our only hope is to mobilize like we did in WWII.

BY BILL MCKIBBEN     August 15, 2016

Translated: Expect 200 million imminent deaths (equivalent to WWII).  Give us your firstborn, and lots of your money.

Not quite a dispassionate scientist at work:

In the North this summer, a devastating offensive is underway. Enemy forces have seized huge swaths of territory; with each passing week, another 22,000 square miles of Arctic ice disappears. Experts dispatched to the battlefield in July saw little cause for hope, especially since this siege is one of the oldest fronts in the war. “In 30 years, the area has shrunk approximately by half,” said a scientist who examined the onslaught. “There doesn’t seem anything able to stop this.”

Panic now? In late 2015, Antarctic sea ice shrank by 13 million square kilometers, and nothing seemed to be able to stop it.

Then autumn came. Sea ice is projected to recover by September (like it does every year). Nature is full of cycles. Nothing about the current batch of climate shifts is unprecedented. [...]

Brian Cox thinks 17,000 employees at NASA always produce perfect graphs. NASA employees disagree. Who to believe?

The key moment making headlines from the Q&A “Science Weak” episode — Brian Cox shows a temperature graph. Malcolm Roberts said the GISS temperature data has been “manipulated”. The Particle Physics Genius’ reply was argument from incredulity:  gushing, gratuitous astonishment spread over six attempts to form a complete sentence:

By who?    NASA?   The people the…  Hang on a minute.   No, no, see this is quite serious.    But can I just – just one thing. NASA, NASA…     The people that landed men on the moon?

In a blink of reductio ad absurbum, Cox sweeps aside a potentially useful discussion about thermometers near car-parks, airports, skyscrapers, and mysterious 1,200 km homogenized smoothing. In its place he gives cheap theatrical tricks. Follow his thought to its logical conclusion — everything that NASA does (or presumably will ever do) must be 100% correct. NASA becomes an apostle of the holy order. He treats the brand name as untouchable, but NASA is not just Neil Armstrong and a Big Step, it’s an agency with 17,000 employees. But hey, none of them have ever produced a manipulated graph.

Since experts matter (so Cox tells us) let’s ask the experts — like say, Buzz [...]