JoNova

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 Skeptics Handbook II

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Archives

Genius plan to save world by banning *old style* two-stroke lawn mowers, weed whackers, outboard boat motors.

Cory Bernardi outlines legislation that has just passed banning *old-style* 2-stroke motors from 2019 — meaning lawn mowers, leaf blowers, chainsaws, weed whackers, and outboard boat motors. In Australia mowers and fishing tinnies are heritage material. It’s a new carbon tax by stealth, pretending to be about health.

h/t to  Tim Blair who adds a movie of Australians dancing with lawn mowers for the Sydney Olympic opening ceremony (just to give you foreigners some appreciation of how attached Australians are to them).

Stock up now. You may not be able to buy them (legally) after 2019. I predict a high black market value decent prices for “Vintage models on ebay”.

Bernardi argues that theoretically this ruling could be extended to farm machinery, quad bikes, and off road dirt bikes.

Why did One Nation vote for this?  Oops… UPDATE: And here’s the answer from Malcolm Roberts, who argues it is not about CO2 but about real pollution.

At Tim Blairs: Commenter Bruce there suggest this will apply to some model aircraft engines too.

Commenter P says:    Temperatures will plummet and we’ll be thrown back into an ice age

MORE INFO: See Boatsales.com.au for details about dates, reasons and what this [...]

Momentum shifts on Renewables Targets in Australia (mini revolt brewing)

Things are heating up to stop other things blacking out

Last week the AEMO (which controls our electricity grid) said we needed 1,000MW of spare power to keep the lights on in SA and Victoria this summer. Didn’t that light a fuse? Then AGL (a major energy player in Australia with coal, gas and wind assets) dug in and repeated that it was going to be hero and definitely close another coal plant (called Liddell) in 2022. At this point, the Prime Minister, no less, had to suddenly enter into talks to convince AGL to sell Liddell or keep it running a bit longer — anything but a shut down. (Figure how screwed up a market has to be for the owner of an asset to need to be talked into perhaps, maybe selling it for money instead of throwing it away? Isn’t any money better than none? Well, maybe not in a river of subsidies… more on the games going on in AGL soon.)

Desperate, Turnbull even offered to buy a stake in Liddell (with tax dollars). So the government may have to buy up exactly the kind of project the government has been working to close with RET [...]

Former NASA GISS climate scientist tells new NASA head to stop funding “corrupt, carpet-baggers”

A new incendiary blog by Dr. Duane Thresher  and Dr. Claudia Kubatzki unleashes on NASA Goddard Institute (one of the two main motherlodes of climate activism), calling for them to be defunded because they are “ignoble”, with “herds of do-gooders”, and “NASA GISS is a monument to bad science that truly should be torn down. Take the money and buy a rocket.”

They are a husband and wife team, both producing peer-reviewed climate papers. He worked at NASA GISS for seven years. Since they came out as skeptics in California, they’ve had to move house.  Thanks to Marc Morano for the tip.

His latest post calls on the new NASA head, appointed by Trump, to just turn off the tap, cut the cash: Bridenstine, Climate Scientists Are Not Noble, Stop Paying Them

Everyone assumes climate scientists are noble. Fighting to save the planet. What nonsense. Not even close.

They write about a wave of new money into climate science and the decay of the field:

Enter opportunists, carpetbaggers, the corrupt, the ignoble.

What to do?  Stop paying climate scientists. The good ones are so into their science they will work for food, maybe less, [...]

Jo Nova speaks: “How to destroy a perfectly good electricity grid in three easy steps. Weds 20th Sept in Perth

How many solar panels does it take to stop floods and droughts in Australia? The science of managing the weather with power stations and other modern superstitions.  September 20 @ 6:15 pm - 9:00 pm

The Generous Squire,   397 Murray St,  Perth city, Western Australia.

Organized by LibertyWorks:  $20 or Free-for-members. Includes a beer or wine. Early bird discount of $15 ends tomorrow at midnight. Food for sale.

How to destroy a perfectly good electricity grid in three easy steps

The World is watching Australia. Despite being handicapped with abundant resources, we’ve turned ourselves into an international spectacle with rampant blackouts, flying squads of diesel generators, and the highest electricity prices in the world.

An achievement like this does not come easily.

The grand experiment unfolds around us, as the nation discovers why “free” energy isn’t free, why storage is deceptively expensive, yet baseload is deceptively cheap.

 

 

Australian Bureau of Met uses 1 second noise, not like WMO, UK and US standards

Cambridge University Press

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology may not be meeting WMO, UK, US standards

Since the Australian BOM allows for one second “records”, it’s not clear it is even meeting guidelines recommended for amateurs.

The key question: How much of the warming trend in Australia is due to the switch in the mid 1990s from older slower thermometers to new electronic zippy ones that could record every waft of hot air? How many records today are just noise?

If the BOM would release its calibration and comparison data instead of deleting it, we might know. Why won’t they?

Here’s an example graph from Maryborough where the daily maximum was 1.5C above every thirty minute reading. Ouch — are we writing outliers and noise into our history books and climate data bases?

Add “sampling method”  and averaging to your skeptical vocabulary. There will be a lot more discussion on these.

Maryborough. Graph by Ken Stewart.

Let’s consider some basic standards in the meteorology world

The Weather Observer’s Handbook 2012 tells us the new electronic sensors are more sensitive than the old mercury thermometers. The author, Stephen Burt, explains that the new electronic sensors can be too sensitive, and [...]

Hurricane Irma formed over cooler water, 7th worst, but Climate Druids see fingerprints, tea leaves, crystals everywhere

Hurricane Irma is a big bad storm, like other big bad storms. Six awkward facts: It’s only the 7th most intense at landfall in US history. It formed over water that was two degrees cooler than normal, 1893, 1933, 1950, 1995, and 2005 had more Accumulated Cyclone Energy by Sept 10. In 1933 two hurricanes hit the US in just 24 hours In 1893, 1909, 2004 there were three Cat 3+ landfalls in US (blame climate change). NOAA itself says there’s no evidence anyone can detect that greenhouse gas emissions have an effect on hurricanes.

Not to be stopped by a lack of any scientific connection, climate druids are out in force finding fingerprints in every storm. Like all the great witchdoctors of history, Big Storms are a chance to pump fear and sell their services.

Tim Flannery is up with other great scientists like actress Jennifer Lawrence:

Graham Lloyd, The Australian:

Oscar-winning actor Jennifer Lawrence said Harvey and Irma were signs of “Mother Nature’s rage and wrath” at the US for electing Trump to the presidency and not believing in man-made climate change.

The Tim Flannery-backed Climate Council declared: “Fingerprints of climate change all [...]

Cat 4 Irma path now squarely through Florida

UPDATE #4: Now Cat 2, crossed the coast, winds 105 mph (165 km/h) and 942 mb.  Slowing down,  but hurricane force winds are still covering an area 80 miles from the eye.  Hurricane Jose is Cat 3, 120 mph,  956 hPa. Moving at 14 mph.

UPDATE #3: Late Sunday night Australia time (Sunday morning US 11AM) Official advisory updates are here. #46 says 130mph, with lowest pressure 933 hPA . Watch news come in on twitter #IRMA. Blackouts across Miami –  over 1 million without power. Storm surges. Streets turning into rivers. Waterspouts off the east coast of Florida.

For comparison:

A few hurricanes that have hit Florida Hurricane Year hPa Speed mph Fatalities Labor Day 1935 892 160 160 Camille 1969 900 175 259 Andrew 1992 922 145 65 Katrina 2005 902 175 1,245–1,836

Katrina is listed as 920 and 902 hPa on different wiki pages. (PS: Judging by the map on this post, Camille and Andrew did not hit Florida. Hmm. Wikipedia?)

UPDATE#2: Sunday morning Australia time. Irma now aCat 3, up to a Cat 4 again, savaging Cuba and weakening as it loses moisture being half over land. It is [...]

BOM Review admits skeptics were right, but say “trust us” it doesn’t matter

The BOM’s bad luck never seems to end. Of all the 695 stations in Australia, 693 worked perfectly, but Jen Marohasy and Lance Pidgeon happened to live near, or have a personal random connection to the only two stations that didn’t — Thredbo and Goulburn. Apparently these stations had been flawed (not fit for purpose) for 10 years and 14 years, but the BOM world-class experts hadn’t noticed. I expect they were just about to discover the flaws when (how inconsiderately) Lance and Jen announced the errors to the world and the BOM were forced to do this pointless 77 page report to stop people asking questions they couldn’t answer.

The nub of this fracas is that something called an MSI1 hardware card was installed in cold locations even though it would never report a temperature below minus 10.4C. Awkwardly this doesn’t explain why the 10.4C appeared in the live feed, then was automatically changed to -10C in the long term data sets which are used for climate analysis. Does the BOM think the dumb public don’t know the difference between -10 and -10.4? Implicitly — the BOM installed the wrong type of card, and also accidentally had an error [...]

Uni NSW Journalism lecturer gives advice on how to cleanse your news sources

Christopher Kremmer, Senior Lecturer in Literary & Narrative Journalism, School of the Arts & Media, UNSW, wants to help you shield yourself from worldviews that you don’t like, so he provides a detailed “how to” list of ways to make sure you filter out, specifically, news.com.

This man lectures in journalism. Instead of teaching journalism students on how to logically outplay and counter arguments and spot the flaws, he’s teaching them to cleanse their feeds lest they be exposed to inconvenient worldviews.

The team that has no evidence and no answers has to find a way to compensate for their intellectual vacuum.

Taking control of who gets to send us news

… before I had even typed in my search terms, it was apparent that my options had been narrowed. The news list that the aggregator threw up was dominated by websites whose idea of what constitutes news is very different to my own.

It takes a lot of effort to build an information silo:

One by one, I began blocking offending mastheads, then refreshing the browser to check the progress of my censorship. It takes a while because news websites use multiple addresses to maximise reader access. [...]

Electricity “Bill Shock” in Australia is so bad it will push up inflation figures

Who knew it would cost a lot to change the climate?

It’s crisis time in Australia. Electricity bills have doubled, and the fallout is just starting to feed through to consumers. Not only does electricity cost more, but so will nearly everything else. Large businesses, economists, and miners are warning that Australians will be paying so much more it will push our inflation figures up.

Major packaging and brick makers, supermarkets, soft-drink bottlers and poultry producers said yesterday the bill shock would chip away further at profit margins and could push up consumer ­prices…

Economists, including Nat­ional Australia Bank chief economist Alan Oster, warned the power bill shock was expected to show up in national inflation figures as early as next month.

He predicted headline inflation would increase 0.6 per cent for the July-to-September quarter, purely from energy price rises.

Paul McArdle from WattClarity makes the point that for most of the last 16 years our electricity prices didn’t even rise with inflation. In this graph, since the start of the NEM (National Electricity Market) in 1998 the spot price of electricity was about $30 per MWh, barring major drought, carbon tax and the [...]