JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).



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



Gina McCarthy, EPA: carbon reduction is not about pollution – it’s about money

I don’t think Gina McCarthy had thought this through. McCarthy to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee:

“And the great thing about this proposal is it really is an investment opportunity. This is not about pollution control. It’s about increased efficiency at our plants…It’s about investments in renewables and clean energy. It’s about investments in people’s ability to lower their electricity bills by getting good, clean, efficient appliances, homes, rental units,” “This is an investment strategy that will really not just reduce carbon pollution but will position the United States to continue to grow economically in every state, based on their own design,” McCarthy added.

She is discussing something called the Clean Power Plan. Mark this day. She goes on to find the perpetual motion machine of economics:

Sir, what I know about this rule is that I know it will leave the United States in 2030 with a more efficient and cleaner energy supply system — and more jobs in clean energy, which are the jobs of the future,” McCarthy responded.

The EPA doesn’t just have a landline to God. They are God. They can use less energy to generate more wealth, more employment, and global peace.

[...]

Weekend Unthreaded

A place for roving thoughts …

Half the world is immune to “expert consensus” they don’t think scientists know what they are talking about

The headline here is that nearly half the population don’t think climate scientists know what they are talking about. Effectively thse people are immune to the 97% consensus figure. Who cares if most “experts” agree, if the blind are leading the blind?  The most skeptical of environmental scientists were the people of China, Japan, and Germany. Two thirds of Swedes, on the other hand, still trust environmental scientists.

Ipsos Mori  conducted this massive survey. Though, like many international multi-lingual endevours, there are confounding conflicts in the answers. All up, 16,000 online adults based in 20 countries were asked some interesting questions, and sometimes their answers made sense, but unfortunately we just can’t be sure when. In China 75% of respondents think scientists don’t know what they are talking about; 51% think that current climate change is natural, but 93% think it is also largely man-made. So 42% think that it’s our fault but it’s also natural. I suspect there is a language barrier. The Chinese were simultaneously the most paranoid cynics and the most dutiful recyclers. They were the third most skeptical nation while being the single most fervent believers and both simultaneously. Perhaps someone who knows more about China [...]

The mystery of cooling deep ocean, volcanoes, and missing heat

That deep heat almost seems to coincide with Atlantic and Southern Ocean volcanoes?

All roads lead to the ocean. This time, though, we’re talking about the mysterious deep abyss, below 2,000m and even below 3,600m. Wunsch et al, claim the data shows the deep ocean cooled by one hundredth of a degree in the last 19 years. But they admit that really… this could just be noise. (Well, shock me.) But they have some new and glorious heat maps, and I use those to do some wild speculation about volcanoes.

When all is said and done, there are three inescapable oceanic truths:

Around 90% of all the energy in the Earth’s climate system is in the oceans. Thou shalt not create nor destroy energy. If there was an energy imbalance running day after day, gazillions of Joules of energy must be somewhere. They cannot “pause”, take holidays, nor appear in future without being present in the now.

Despite the 95% certainty among 97% of certified “climate scientists”, no one can find that energy. Thus the social-science-fact meets the physical-science-fact. Which “fact” should we spend billions on? The stone-age approach is to go with the “doctors” not the data, and [...]

What meetings are like for engineers

The sole engineer meets project managers, designers, and marketers. Love it!

H/t to Eric Worrall.

Get rid of the rogue EPA and pointless “climate” policies. Governments can’t change the weather.

One day people will marvel that turn of the century governments thought they could control the climate, and needed to issue decrees about how much “change” in the weather they would allow.

From different continents come two articles with a similar theme. It’s time to dump the EPA and pointless “Climate” policies.

The US should get rid of the federal EPA

Alan Caruba and Jay Lehr tell us how it is. The EPA is a rogue tool of liberal activitists.

For years now I have been saying that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must be eliminated and its powers given to the fifty states, all of which, have their own departments of environmental protection. Until now, however, there has been no plan put forth to do so.

Dr. Jay Lehr has done just that and his plan no doubt will be sent to the members of Congress and the state governors. Titled “Replacing the Environmental Protection Agency” it should be read by everyone who, like Dr. Lehr, has concluded that the EPA was a good idea when it was introduced in 1971, but has since evolved into a rogue agency threatening the U.S. economy, attacking the fundamental concept of private [...]

Salmon quite happy to adapt to warmer world

You will never guess, but salmon that survived the hot Holocene period, and the even hotter Eemian, will probably be OK in a slightly warmer world. Expert researchers found this surprising.

Given the broad spread of Salmon in the Northern Hemisphere, and their past survival through every single interglacial warm period of the Pleistocene, I would have thought that they could cope with quite a bit of  climate change. As it turns out, they cope so well, that even salmon eggs that come from a 12C environment can be raised in an environment a whopping 8C warmer, and they were not noticeably any worse off.

Part of the concern with salmon was the spawning and eggs, and the problem with getting the salmon to shift their maternity wards and childcare arrangements (which they seem very attached too). But presumably those breeding grounds have varied before in temperature, and salmon didn’t die out, so — at least with this problem — nature has it figured out.

Map: Salmon and Climate Change, Fish in hot water, Red List.

Atlantic salmon also show capacity to adapt to warmer waters

Populations of Atlantic salmon have a surprisingly good capacity to adjust [...]

97 percent of Australian renewables investment dries up without subsidies (so the ABC gives free adverts to the industry)

We’re told “clean” energy is a viable and cost effective. But cut the government subsidies, and 97 percent of investors vanish (in Australia it’s collapsed from $2.6b annually to $80m). The truth is that renewables are almost totally dependent on taxpayer largess. No wonder they lobby like their life depends on it. It does.

Peter Hannam of the SMH:

“Australia’s investment in renewable energy all but dried up in the first half of 2014 amid uncertainty fuelled by the government’s latest review of the mandatory target, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

In the six months to June, just $40 million was invested in large-scale renewable energy, such as wind farms, the lowest level since the first half of 2001, according to Kobad Bhavnagri, head of BNEF’s Australian unit.

The investment tally compared with $2.691 billion in 2013, the second largest annual inflow of funds to the clean energy sector behind the peak year of 2010.”

Elsewhere investment in renewables has slowed from its peak in 2011 but still running at $64b a quarter, or nearly $700 million every day. Spot that vested interest! From The Australian:

“Global clean energy investment surged to $US63.6bn in the second quarter of [...]

Outgoing UK Environment Minister says green groups are profiteering anti-capitalist agit-prop

Some extraordinary statements from Owen Paterson, the man who was the UK Environment Secretary until a week ago. This is baking hot. Paterson also draws attention to the way big-goverment has fed big-government lobbyists 150 million euros since 2007. Can we get this man to Australia? — Jo

I’m proud of standing up to the green lobby

The Telegraph UK I leave the post with great misgivings about the power and irresponsibility of – to coin a phrase – the Green Blob.

By this I mean the mutually supportive network of environmental pressure groups, renewable energy companies and some public officials who keep each other well supplied with lavish funds, scare stories and green tape. This tangled triangle of unelected busybodies claims to have the interests of the planet and the countryside at heart, but it is increasingly clear that it is focusing on the wrong issues and doing real harm while profiting handsomely.

Local conservationists on the ground do wonderful work to protect and improve wild landscapes, as do farmers, rural businesses and ordinary people. They are a world away from the highly paid globe-trotters of the Green Blob who besieged me with [...]

Notching up open review improvements – a correction to Part III

Flagging an update (coming) to Big News Part III

Score 1 for open science review, thanks to Bernie Hutchins, an electrical engineer who diligently asked the right questions about something that bothered him regarding the notching effect. We’re grateful. This will improve the model. On the downside, it means we’re slightly less certain of the delay (darn) — the notch doesn’t guarantee a delay as we had previously thought. But there is independent evidence suggesting temperatures on Earth follow solar activity with a one cycle delay — the lag seen in studies like Archibald, Friis-Christainsen and Usoskin is still a lag.

What does it mean? The step-response graph (figure 2 in Part III or figure 4 in Part IV) will change, and needs to be redone. The reason for assuming there is a delay, and building it into the model, rests now on the independent studies, and not on the notch. The new step change will need to be built into the model, and in a few weeks we’ll know how the predictions or hindcasting change. David feels reasonably sure it won’t make much difference to the broad picture, because a step-response something like figure 4, Part IV, explains global warming [...]

Wow, look at those BOM adjustments – trends up by two degrees C!

The mystery of Australian temperature adjustments

Ken Stewart has been checking the Australian BOM official ACORN minima data against the raw data. This week he highlights the six very strange cases of Brisbane Airport, Amberley RAAF, Dubbo, Rutherglen, Rabbit Flat, and Carnarvon. In all these places the adjustments change the trend by more than 2 whole degrees C. It’s a kind of hyper-homogenization.

Thermometers are supposed to be accurate to a tenth of a degree. Australian average trends are sometimes calculated to one hundredth of a degree. What then do we make of adjustments that change the trends by a whopping 2 degrees, and decades after the data came in? The only thing we know for sure about Australian temperatures is that we need an independent audit. Why is it left to volunteers to check? Surely the Greens want good data too?

Some of these stations are isolated outposts, so theoretically they are the heavyweights on Australian area-weighted averages. The map scales can be a bit deceptive. In outback Australia the nearest neighbours can all be 500 km away (300 miles). Some dots on the map are not so much a town as a motel and a gas station. [...]

Ian Plimer launching his new book: Perth Monday, Melbourne Tuesday, Bris next Monday

Don’t miss: The Book Launch: “Not for Greens” by Ian Plimer.

“Not For Greens is a powerful critique of the green movement and the damage it has done to living standards around the world.”

PERTH: Monday, July 21, 2014,   at 6:00 PM, Fire and Ice, Subiaco Square (next to Subiaco train station), a mere $10. I’ll be there. The Perth Book Launch info.

MELBOURNE: Tuesday 22 July, 5.00pm for 5.30pm to 7.00pm, CQ Functions, 113-123 Queen Street, Melbourne  RSVP (IPA)

BRISBANE: Monday July 28, 2014 5.00pm for 5.30pm to 7.00pm Pullman Brisbane King George Square, Corner Ann & Roma Streets, Brisbane

RSVP for Melbourne and Brisbane at the IPA here http://rsvp.ipa.org.au/. 03 9600 4744.

H/t to Lance thanks!

Weekend Unthreaded

Wayward thoughts…

If you ask questions about our theory you are a horrible person

In response to Australia removing the Carbon Tax the ABC News report broadcast the best arguments of believers in man-made global warming . They tell us we should spend billions to manage a ubiquitous natural molecule with a fake market, in the hope we’ll get nicer weather. If you question that you are a bad, bad person. You are the kind of vile, stupid and selfish person, a troll, who doesn’t mind killing people with asbestos or tobacco, you are an international pariah, a shock-jock and an irrational, unthinking denier.

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is our national debate, by our leading “thinkers”, broadcast on our national public news service:

ABC News 17-7-2014

ADAM BANDT, DEPUTY GREENS LEADER: This is the Australian Parliament’s asbestos moment, our tobacco moment, when we knew what we were doing was harmful but went ahead and did it anyway.

RICHARD DENNISS, AUSTRALIA INSTITUTE: … We’re outing ourselves as a pariah. We’re outing ourselves as a country that’s not committed to tackling climate change.

BILL SHORTEN: Direct Action is a Clayton’s climate policy, designed for the audience of internet trolls and shock-jock radio announcers and climate sceptics.

It is [...]

Was the Hottest Day Ever in Australia not in a desert, but in far south Albany?!

Albany, Western Australia. Not near a desert. Not near the tropics. Hottest place in Australia?

Lucky, thanks to the BOM, that we have such high quality data to understand the Australian climate. Without it, we would never have found out that the hottest day ever recorded in Australia appears to be the 8th of February, 1933 in, wait for it… Albany, in the far cool south of Western Australia.

Chris Gillham emails:

“Guess where and when was the hottest day ever recorded in Australia? 50.7C at Oodnadatta on 2 Jan 1960? No way! Mardie at 50.5C on 19 Feb 1998? Get out of here! It was at Albany on 8 February 1933, that historic day when this normally chilly town on WA’s southern coast was razed with a temperature of 51.2C. Don’t believe me? You can’t question the accuracy of ACORN, a temperature network that shapes economic policy, and the screenshot from last night’s ACORN download for Albany max proves it …”

The all new marvellous ACORN  dataset has been “expert peer reviewed”, it “employs the latest analysis techniques “ and it is “a complete re-analysis of the Australian homogenised temperature database”. Phew. The BOM lists their [...]

Finally! Carbon Tax Gone – Australia gets rid of a price on carbon

As of today, Australia no longer has the most expensive “carbon” price in the world. The voters didn’t ask for a tax in 2010,  but it was forced on them in 2011. They rejected it wholeheartedly in 2013 but it still has taken months to start unwinding this completely pointless piece of symbolism which aimed to change the weather. The machinery of democracy may be slow, but this is a win for voters.

11:15am EST today: The Australian Senate passes the carbon tax repeal bill.

“Australia has become the first country in the world to abolish a price on carbon, with the Senate passing the Abbott government’s repeal bills 39 votes to 32.“ SMH

Now we need to turn off the tap to all the other green gravy rent-seekers who ignore the evidence.

h/t Matthew (aka Matty thanks!)

Other news services are starting to cover this.  All the cross-benchers except Nick Xenophon (who was absent) voted for the repeal. Labor and the Greens opposed it. News.com

Soon big companies will stop paying a penalty on carbon emissions, currently just over $25 a tonne, ending Australia’s most controversial policy implementation since the 2003 decision to join the Iraq invasion.

Labor [...]

Niger, Africa where 17 million people use less electricity than Dubbo, NSW

Niger, Africa, is considering building a new small coal fired power station. Greenpeace have protested before at coal power stations in Africa. But how compassionate are those who don’t want Africa to use cheap coal fired power (like, say, professors at western universities?) TonyfromOz puts the issue in perspective. I knew much of Africa was very very poor, but this rather lays the dismal extent out before us. Mali, a nation of 15 million people produces the same amount of electricity as the small town of Dubbo, NSW. Niger, with 17 million, produces even less. All up, there are 23 nations in Africa that each produce less electricity than Dubbo. If we combine them, the 142 million people in those 23 nations are using the same amount of electricity as Adelaide in Australia (which has about 1.1 million people). Stark.

Perhaps we could ask Niger if they’d like to help reduce global temperatures by 0.0 degrees, or if they would rather save money and have electricity that works at night instead?   — Jo

Guest Post – TonyfromOz

Niger, Africa

Recently, a new coal fired power plant was proposed for the country of Niger in [...]

Labor Party gift to Coalition — gullible green-left still want a tax to change the weather

The Coalition must be thrilled today that the Australian Labor Party want to run the next election on the carbon tax. Could there be better news for Tony Abbott? Labor has vowed “to fight for “a serious, credible climate change policy’’ .”

The Carbon Tax was a centrepiece at the last election and the voters threw it out. Current polls show only 35% of voters want it. So far it has brought down two prime ministers and an opposition leader. The damage looks set to continue.

For Labor, nothing has changed. They still think it was right to tell the voters there would be no carbon tax in the 2010 election campaign, and then bring in a carbon tax. (Who cares what the voters think?) The Labor Party still thinks a tax can change the weather. They still are the gullible patsies for large financial houses bringing in a fake market in a product that nobody wants, that depends on unknowable “intentions”, and is prone to fraud. The Labor Party plan to help workers by transferring billions of dollars from citizens to the financial sector and green-renewable industry patrons, all in a quest to reduce the global temperature by 0.0C [...]

Tic-tic-tic: Carbon tax repeal goes to Australian Senate (track that progress)

UPDATE Thursday: DONE Success at 11:15am this morning in Canberra. The Carbon Tax is gone.

UPDATE: Weds — This could take days. The repeal was before the Senate this morning. Labor and the Greens are “dragging the debate out” with speeches. “Filibustering” according to Finance Minister Mathias Corman (The Australian). More debate is due tonight. But the Senate has agreed to extend sitting hours after Friday and keep coming back until this is resolved. They were due to start a 5 week break on Friday. (See Sky News too). This doesn’t look like being resolved today. (SMH)

Sydney Morning Herald:   It [The government] was concerned that while all eight cross-bench senators say they are committed to consigning the carbon tax to history in a final vote, as many as three might baulk at the use of a guillotine to bring an end debate and force that vote.

In a further sign the government had lost exclusive control of the legislative timetable, the Climate Change Authority bill was removed from the list of those to be considered, supposedly at the insistence of the PUP.

Sources said the CCA bill, the purported vehicle for Mr Palmer’s proposed ”dormant” [...]

Australia already has a kind of emissions trading scheme. Surprize — banks are major players

For all the fuss about an Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), Australia already has a version of a market in carbon credits and it was set up in 2001 by the conservative Howard government. The RET, Renewable Energy Target, aims to reduce emissions by mandatory use of 20% renewable energy by 2020. For all kinds of reasons we are overachieving, and headed for 27% renewables mix (along with shocking electricity bills, see here too).*

“Official estimates suggest that the RET will generate a transfer of $20bn from householders and industrial users by 2020.”

So in this artificial government-mandated market, which sector is fast to get involved?  Finance.

This is not so much an efficient free market as its pale cousin, the whimsical fake market. But free or fake, banks are there. You can’t blame them. But nor do we need to feed the machine unless there is a good reason.

Banks exposed to big RET risks

The Australian:  AUSTRALIA’S banks are holding nearly $900 million worth of certificates designed to stimulate investment in renewable energy generation as the price of those instruments becomes captive to the political debate over green energy schemes.

Banks including [...]