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

Massive, unprecedented, 10 out of 10, life threatening storm hits, drops 2 inches on Melbourne

It was all yellow: A warning was in place for the whole of Victoria.

Massive flooding forecast across “whole state”:

The Bureau of Meteorology has warned an “unprecedented” amount of rain is expected to fall in Victoria over a three-day period.

Asked to rate the storms out of 10, senior forecaster Mr Williams said: “I’ll take the punt and say it’s a 10 for Victoria.”

He said the most recent rain in a short period of time in Melbourne was 100-200 millimetres (in 2005 and 2011) and on both occasions: ”it paralysed transport routes in the city.”

Get out your sandbags!

Events were cancelled, and the Premier of Victoria told people not to “have a big night on the town” in preparation.

The city was told to bunker down for an “absolutely massive” rainfall event over the weekend …

“Half the inhabitants of Melbourne have never ever seen anything like this,” the Bureau of Meteorology’s senior forecaster Scott Williams said on Thursday.

“It is an event that poses a threat to life.”

Not so much a flood of rain, but there was a flood of text messages:

About [...]

South Australia heads back 100 years to diesel (with battery back up)

The new SA rescue plan is more diesel than battery

Diesel’s prototype engine circa 1892.

A big fuss was made today over the world record battery, but the diesel generators put on a hire-purchase plan three days ago are more than twice the power:

The world’s biggest lithium ion battery has been launched in South Australia, with Premier Jay Weatherill declaring it an example of SA “leading the world”.

The first diesel generator was patented in 1892. Go, Go, SA.

A battery bandaid arrived barely in the nick of time:

That reliability was tested before the battery’s official launch when it began dispatching around 59 megawatts into the state’s electricity network on Thursday afternoon as the state hit temperatures above 30C.

How fragile is this system?

The facility has the capacity to power 30,000 homes for up to an hour in the event of a severe blackout but is more likely to be called into action to even out electricity supplies at less critical times.

There are 673,540 households in South Australia and the Big Battery can supply 4% of them for an hour with electricity, or all of the state for a [...]

Green rules, profit, legal bullying drove the Grenfell disaster

Grenfell Tower

It takes a lot of effort to set up a situation so dangerous under the guise of “helping the poor and the polar bears”.

Grenfell — Britain’s fire safety crisis

By Gerard Tubb, Sky News Correspondent and Nick Stylianou, Sky News Producer

The UK Dept of Energy and Climate Change wanted help to get insulation onto buildings to save the world in 2011, so it asked the people who sell insulation. Somehow the plastics industry found the energy to turn up and help the government write rules that would increase their sales.

The Grenfell tower, where 71 people died, ended up being coated in Celotex — a flammable plastic. Celotex staff were on that committee, and bragged on their website how they were “working inside government”. It’s another example of a vested interest leaping onto the Carbonista-bandwagon. No conspiracy needed.

Follow the money:

A few years later Celotex revealed that the rules the plastics industry helps to write are key to company profits. Trade magazine Urethanes Technology International reported in 2015 that Warren had told them regulatory change was the “greatest driver” of plastic insulation sales. Without new regulations he was reported as [...]

*Surprise* Great Barrier Reef has 112 tough spots that survive and replenish the rest

After lasting for thousands of years through wild swings of temperature, scientists could never have guessed that the Great Barrier Reef has evolved to cope with climate change.

The reef spans  2,300km and has spawning events so large that they can be viewed from space, but who knew that some parts of the reef appear to be safer and more resilient, and would repopulate the rest of the reef? (Apparently, not most of the scientists who have been selling the message of doom). Instead it made sense that 100% of the reef was at the same risk from predatory starfish and hot months, and that any day now, the reef might be polished off for good.

Perhaps some scientists had an idea, but when newspaper headlines declared the reef was on the brink of extinction, or doomed, where were they? (Possibly in hiding — afterall, Peter Ridd is one of the only ones to speak out, and he’s now fighting to save his job).

Crikey! It restores how much?

From the abstract:

The great replenishment potential of these ‘robust source reefs’, which may supply 47% of the ecosystem in a single dispersal event, emerges from the [...]

Electrical appliances force children to marry

Thanks to The Guardian for drawing a link we would never have noticed:

Why climate change is creating a new generation of child brides

As global warming exacerbates drought and floods, farmers’ incomes plunge – and girls as young as 13 are given away to stave off poverty

 If only these girls had perfect weather, they wouldn’t have to be married so young. For a million years of human history, everyone had enough food, there were no wars, no battles, and young women could live at home under they were 25 and had finished up at the Neolithic Academy of Weaving.

Then other people wanted fridges, air conditioners and toasters. Now every time you boil the kettle, a 13 year old girl has to get married in Malawi.

 

Ferrgoodnesssake — the plight of these poor children won’t be fixed by a carbon tax or a windmill.

h/t Pat

 

 

 

 

Your car causes volcanoes (and volcanoes release CO2)

Oh. My. Lord. Keep the car in the garage.

Climate Change Could Increase Volcano Eruptions

Dr Graeme Swindles, from the School of Geography at Leeds, said: “Climate change caused by humans is creating rapid ice melt in volcanically active regions. In Iceland, this has put us on a path to more frequent volcanic eruptions.”

The study examined Icelandic volcanic ash preserved in peat deposits and lake sediments and identified a period of significantly reduced volcanic activity between 5,500 and 4,500 years ago. This period came after a major decrease in global temperature, which caused glacier growth in Iceland.

The findings, published today in the journal Geology, found there was a time lag of roughly 600 years between the climate event and a noticeable decrease in the number of volcanic eruptions. The study suggests that perhaps a similar time lag can be expected following the more recent shift to warmer temperatures.

Read more at University of Leeds

It’s amazing what you can achieve when you take a simple correlation and run with it.

Meanwhile in New Zealand, Mt Ruapehu is emitting high levels of CO2

Look out, we may set off a deadly volcano spiral [...]

I’m speaking this afternoon in Perth — 3 ways to destroy a good electricity grid

Three ways to destroy a perfectly good electricity grid

Council for the National Interest (CNI)

Royal Perth Yacht Club 2:30 til 4:30

Australia II Drive, Crawley Bay, Nedlands.

Free Entry

UPDATE: A great success and a lot of fun. These events are always so well run. If you live in WA check out CNI. A smart, polite and friendly crowd.

Climate Unicorns downunder as Australians offer to cut CO2 by 50% per capita in 12 years

I’ve been saying the Australian commitment of a 28% reduction by 2030 was an economic suicide pact. Terry McCrann’s got numbers on just how suicidal it is:

The so-called NEG or National Energy Guarantee is dammed upfront by the total irreconcilability of its three aims: to ensure both affordable and reliable electricity (and, indirectly, gas) and meeting our commitments under the Fake Paris Accord to cut emissions of carbon dioxide by 26-28 per cent by 2030.

This, not exactly incidentally, means we have to cut emissions per capita by closer to an economy-killing and individual-impoverishing 50 per cent, and do so, in barely a dozen years, thanks to our crazy-stupid “build another Canberra ever year” high immigration, for want of a better word, policy.

What were our negotiators thinking?

Nobody mention immigration. Australia has the fastest growing population in the West. China wants to use “per capita” calculations for obvious reasons. Australia doesn’t even want to talk “per capita”.

We cut our emissions per capita by 28% from 1990 – 2013, but that was done by stopping land clearing and by confiscating land from farmers, stealing their right to use their property, and jailing them if [...]

Climate change will make Bearded Dragons dumber

Young Bearded Dragon worried about falling SAT scores.

Ominously, cute Australian Bearded Dragons (Pogona vitticeps) may grow up to be more stupid if their eggs are incubated in a hotter world.

Bearded Dragons Are Dumber Because of Climate Change

–National Geographic

This has all kinds of implications.

Obviously, it follows that Victorian Bearded Dragons must be smarter than their Queensland cousins. I can see future papers coming on the IQ gradient of dragons down the East Coast of Australia.

Secondly, with this handy simple relationship between IQ and temperature we can infer the entire intellectual history of Bearded Dragons as the climate fluctuated: including the Peak Holocene Dolt Era and the Glacial Genius Maximum.

 

From National Geographic

” The researchers took a single clutch of 13 eggs and split them into two groups. Seven eggs were incubated at a toasty 30°C (86°F), while the other six were incubated at a milder 27°C (81°F). There was an almost even mix of males and females.

Ahh. The cause of lower IQs may be not a hotter world, but a hotter artificial incubator. The message in this paper is Don’t leave artificial incubators lying around [...]

Antarctica cooling since Roman Times, climate models wrong (again)

A new study suggests temperatures across Antarctica have been falling for the last 1,600 years.  This natural climate change would have been a threat to baby penguins, forcing them to walk much further across sea-ice for food. (Looks like it was even worse for polar bears ). The cooling trend would have threatened inland lakes, shortened summer breeding periods, affected seal behaviour, extended glaciers over important habitats, and destroyed rare tundra. It may have contributed to the death of a man called Scott. If man-made climate change warmed Antarctica we need to burn more oil.

Any recent weak “man-made” warming trend would have slightly reversed this destructive slide — restoring the continent back to levels last seen in 1400AD. Though, given that the models are wrong about everything, including Antarctic warming, maybe not.

 

These trends are not what the Climate Models predicted for Antarctica. The slight recent warming trend is too small. (Polar Amplification, anyone?)

The Daily Caller:

However, Stenni admits the “absence of significant continent-scale warming of Antarctica over the last 100 years is in clear contrast with the significant industrial-era warming trends that are evident in reconstructions for all other continents (except Africa) and [...]