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



Big-government propaganda: ABC, BBC are “Aggressive political participants”. Sell or Split?

What to do with the public broadcasters? ABC BBC CBC (Can anyone explain public media in NZ?)

Big-government fans forcibly take funds from all citizens to support big-government propaganda by journalists who predominantly vote left or very-left (see here or here). The question is not whether or not they should do this but whether to privatize the public broadcasters, or to split them in two. I say, let’s forget the submissive plea to get one conservative commentator among a monoculture of “progressives”.  Chop the current one in half and call it what it is: pro big-government. Then set up a new counter half to match — the pro-small-government broadcaster with the same funds but new staff. (Game on — let the best team win that ratings war.) Abbott could keep ABC funding promises. ABC-L plus ABC-R equals current ABC-LL+ funding.

Obviously, true free-market libertarians want public broadcasters 100% sold — their incentives are always going to run counter to unbiased reporting and the hunt for the truth. On the other hand, among the populace, the ground is not remotely laid for a big-sell. Many voters remain blind to the bias, and have no idea how filtered the half-truths are: [...]

Coal is like “torture” rage Guardian, Friends of the Earth

Oops. Who hates “the environment”? Green lobbyists keep revealing  how little they care. Friends of the Earth want to categorically rule out one of the most cost effective ways to reduce our carbon emissions.  New supercritical hot burning coal plants can reduce emissions by an amazing 15%. But Friends of the Earth and The Guardian hate coal more than they care about CO2.

The green climate fund (GCF) refused an explicit ban on fossil fuel projects at the contentious meeting in Songdo, South Korea, last week.

“It’s like a torture convention that doesn’t forbid torture,” said Karen Orenstein, a campaigner for Friends of the Earth US who was at the meeting. “Honestly it should be a no-brainer at this point.” — The Guardian

Poor old solar and wind power are so useless that the debate is about whether they achieve any reductions at all.  Their intermittent power means some kind of back-up base load power source has to run on standby to pick up the pieces when they collapse. The more wind power you have, the less CO2 you save. Solar Power provides “cheaper” electricity to the rich at the expense of everyone else, and potentially [...]

Bloggies 2015 winners. Climate Audit, NotaLotofPeopleKnowThat, JoNova

Thanks to all the readers here who took time to vote. Skeptical sites are well represented in the finalists and winners largely thanks to readers here, at Tallblokes, Realscience  and NotALotOfPeopleKnowThat.

Best European Weblog: Not a lot of people know that Lifetime Achievement: Climate Audit Best Topical Weblog: JoNova Best Australian or New Zealand Weblog: The Pickering Post Best Weblog about Politics Breitbart News Network

Congrats to Steve McIntyre who surely deserves every bit of his LifeTime Achievement award. I’m delighted to see Paul Homewood (Notalotofpeopleknowthat) win in Best European blog. He was stiff competition in the Topical category given his role in the Christopher Booker series on the scandalous temperature adjustments which made such an impact around the world. Breitbart was also a favourite of mine, largely thanks to James Delingpole.

Congrats to all finalists like Tallbloke, WattsUp,  RealScience (who is moving to RealClimateScience) and NoTricksZone. Tallbloke, the ultimate good sport, was a finalist for the LifeTime Achievement, but announced he’d vote for Climate Audit.

One day, maybe The Bloggies will bring back The Best Science Blog Category which skeptics would obviously dominate at the moment. Repressing a passionate crowd doesn’t work.

For the overseas crowd, Larry [...]

Weekend Unleaded

Don’t forget Power Hour, your chance to shine.

Ted Cruz — US Presidential candidate and skeptic who “follows the science” on climate

I don’t see how this man can possibly get elected. On climate change he is far too sensible.

This is one of the best short video responses by a politician that I have ever seen. Such clarity…

The full video is at the right scoop.

If this man stays in the campaign running for long he will change the dynamics of the whole public climate debate.

h/t to Joe B. Thanks

BoM forum been, gone. Rejoice! Invisible problems being solved behind closed doors

You’ll be glad to know the BoM problems are all dealt with. Some hand-picked statisticians met with some BoM people yesterday, and they had a robust private chat about secret temperature stuff at the technical advisory forum (that’s the tea-and-cakes one-day-wonder). I’m so relieved to know it was “productive”. (Imagine if the press release had said it was “predictable, boring and unproductive”?)  In a few months we will find out a small, filtered version of what they said and possibly something of what the BoM approved statisticians think about the nameless, unlinked, public-submissions.

We do know that the BoM didn’t want public submissions, but in their good grace, they have given them to the select forum members anyway. (Be grateful serfs, you don’t get acknowledgment or answers, but your dedication in listing and referencing known scandalous problems with our national dataset is worthy of one line in the last paragraph of a press release. Congratulations — maybe. Only one two submissions have been formally acknowledged which means the others, with months of work, might fall off the back of a truck, lost in the mail.*It’s possible. Is it too much to expect officials to send an email receipt with acknowledgment?)

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One quarter of the US are now implacable skeptics of “climate change” fears

The new Gallup Poll is out. Most commentators are focused on the worried “a great deal” category, which is back to 1989 levels, but that’s largely noise. The important trend is at the other end of the spectrum, and seems to be missed. The only category with steady growth are the hard core skeptics, people who are worried “not at all”.  That’s doubled from 12 to 24%; the trend is up.  This is an unequivocal category. One quarter of the population are solidly, completely skeptical.

Given the 4% errors, there are only two clear trends in this table below. Firstly, those who had no opinion have now got one, and it’s skeptical. Secondly, the number of the most implacable skeptics has doubled.  After 20 years of propaganda the section of the population that is not buying the scare is steadily increasing. The size of the groups with variable levels of worry flicks up and down as people switch. But the numbers of those who worry “not at all” are steadily rising, and therein lies the death of the scare. It’s a one way ticket from being uninformed and worried to the “only a little/not at all” category.

The “enviro-scare” campaign [...]

The 97% Cook Consensus – when will Environ Res Letters retract it?

Richard Tol has an excellent summary of the state of the 97% claim by John Cook et al, published in The Australian today.

It becomes exhausting to just list the errors.

Don’t ask how bad a paper has to be to get retracted. Ask how bad it has to be to get published.

As Tol explains, the Cook et al paper used an unrepresentative sample, can’t be replicated, and leaves out many useful papers. The study was done by biased observers who disagreed with each other a third of the time, and disagree with the authors of those papers nearly two-thirds of the time. About 75% of the papers in the study were irrelevant in the first place, with nothing to say about the subject matter. Technically, we could call them  “padding”. Cook himself has admitted data quality is low. He refused to release all his data, and even threatened legal action to hide it. (The university claimed it would breach a confidentiality agreement. But in reality, there was no agreement to breach.) As it happens, the data ended up being public anyhow. Tol refers to an “alleged hacker” but, my understanding is that no hack took place, and the [...]

The climate religion is God’s gift. (God spoke to NOAA, right?)

Hail the Episcopal Bishop who “knows” which experts are right in this science debate. She hath declared that certified climate scientists paid by government grants speak the word of God.  Other scientists (like 48% of Meteorologists, and two thirds of Geo’s and Engineers, plus practically everyone retired from NASA) are immoral, blind, threatening the poor, and wrong.

The Guardian: Climate denial is immoral, says head of US Episcopal church

The highest ranking woman in the Anglican communion has said climate denial is a “blind” and immoral position which rejects God’s gift of knowledge.

Get ready climate denier, for your brain was not a gift from God. When you speak of Aristotle, Popper, and Feynman, you are not using the gift of knowledge to take apart the false posturings of broken climate simulations. Nor are you protecting the poor from  witchdoctors with biblical prophesies of doom.

Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of the Episcopal church and one of the most powerful women in Christianity, said that climate change was a moral imperative akin to that of the civil rights movement. She said it was already a threat to the livelihoods and survival of people in [...]

CO2 is not making storms worse near Japan either

Yet more evidence that there is no relationship between CO2 and cyclones, hurricanes, and typhoons. This paper from 2012 tests the theory that global warming made storms more severe and tried to find any effect on typhoons hitting Japan that could be linked to climate change since 1980.

There has been no increase in “super typhoons”. The typhoon season is not longer, nor is it delayed in starting. There has been no change in intensity. The wind speeds are not increasing. The minimum pressure is pretty much the same.

CO2 appears to influence storms in simulated worlds, but not so much in the real one. There is no sign of more severe storms in Australia, New Zealand or the South Pacific either. Nor is there any pattern in the Global Energy indicies, US Hurricanes, US Tornadoes either.

When will scientists and reporters make sure that their audiences know that?

The authors conclude:

“The results suggest that typhoons have not been influenced by global warming. In conclusion, global warming has not significantly changed the characteristics of typhoons, and there is no close relationship between the two.”

Figure 19. Number of super typhoons that develop

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