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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The nerds have the numbers on precious metals investments on the ASX



The Unskeptical Guide to the Skeptics Handbook

It’s taken 21 months, four professors, and three associate/assistant professors, and THIS is the best they could come up with? The printed version listed no author (the pdf has been updated with John Cooks name*) yet wears the logo of the University of Western Australia (UWA), which will embarrass that university as word spreads of the intellectual weakness of their “Guide“.

Did UWA commission this piece of rather inept, qualitative “feel-good” science and clumsy reasoning? Stephan Lewandowsky invited John Cook to speak at UWA and “offer assistance“.

The booklet uses a mislabeled graph with a deceptive scale, won’t show the damning graphs it supposedly debunks,  assumes positive feedback occurs despite the weight of empirical evidence against it (Douglass, Spencer, Lindzen), and repeats irrelevant information even though The Skeptics Handbook describes why rising sea levels and glaciers and ice sheets can’t possibly tell us what causes the warming. It misleadingly discusses a different fingerprint — one that isn’t the key point and isn’t disputed by skeptics. Cause and effect are mixed up, and naturally there are strawmen arguments to unnecessarily destroy for the spectacle of being seen to do something. To top it off, Cook still thinks a measurement is [...]

Thai Translation – The Skeptics Handbook

The volunteers keep coming. Please take a moment to appreciate how much work it takes to do a proper translation, to check it, to edit it, and to edit and arrange the artwork. Then take another moment to think of old friends and contacts who might find it interesting, and e-mail it on. Thanks.

The reach of our global human network is changing polls.

Thanks to Weeraboon Wisartsakul for his expertise and patience.

See www.wwisartsakul.wordpress.com for his Thai blog.

Thanks to Jimmy Haigh for the double-checking and help.

Click on the image to download the pdf.

Volunteers have translated the first Skeptics Handbook into German, French, Norwegian, Finnish, Swedish, Turkish, Portuguese, Danish, Japanese, Balkan, Spanish, Thai, Czech and Lao. The second Skeptics Handbook is available in French and Turkish. See all posts tagged Translations.

Help! How do I know?

How do you tell a scientist from a non-scientist? Where does science end, and propaganda, politics, and opinion begin? You only need to know one thing:

Straight away, this sorts the wheat from the weeds. We don’t learn about the natural world by calling people names or hiding data. We don’t learn by chucking out measurements in favor of opinions. We don’t learn by suppressing discussions, or setting up fake rules about which bits of paper count or which people have a licence to speak.

A transparent, competitive system where all views are welcome is the fastest way to advance humanity. The Royal Society is the oldest scientific association in the world. Its motto is essentially, Take No One’s Word For It. In other words, assume nothing; look at the data. When results come in that don’t fit the theory, a scientist chucks out his theory. A non-scientist has “faith”, he “believes” or assumes his theory is right, and tries to make the measurements fit. When measurements disagree, he ignores the awkward news, and “corrects”, or statistically alters, the data–always in the direction that keeps his theory alive.

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Spanish translation of Skeptics Handbook I

Spanish Translation – The Skeptics Handbook I

I am delighted to announce that finally, after drafts have been sent between three continents, the Spanish translation is ready to share. With over 330 million native speakers of Spanish, I expect it will be one of the most popular of all the translations.

Download the 1.2Mb emailable version.

Thanks especially to Víctor González García in Mexico, who did most of the work and coordination, and with editing help from Pepe Salama in Spain.

Please send links to this page or to Pepe’s blog page to your Spanish speaking friends, so they can download copies from either site. And consider PePe’s page as the main home for discussion of the Handbook in Spanish.

There is a larger 7Mb version here for printing.

All translations and versions are available on this page.

Volunteers have translated the first Skeptics Handbook into German, French, Norwegian, Finnish, Swedish, Turkish, Portuguese, Danish, Japanese, Balkan and Spanish. The second Skeptics Handbook is available in French and Turkish.

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4. Carbon dioxide is already absorbing almost all it can

Here’s why it’s possible that doubling CO2 won’t make much difference.

The carbon that’s already up in the atmosphere absorbs most of the light it can. CO2 only “soaks up” its favorite wavelengths of light, and it’s close to saturation point. It manages to grab a bit more light from wavelengths that are close to its favorite bands, but it can’t do much more, because there are not many left-over photons at the right wavelengths.

The natural greenhouse effect is real, and it does keep us warm, but it’s already reached its peak performance.

Throw more carbon up there and most of the extra gas is just “unemployed” molecules.

This graph shows the additional warming effect of each extra 20ppm of atmospheric CO2.

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Consensus? What consensus?

How many scientists does it take to prove the debate is not over? More than 30,000 scientists have signed The Petition Project. More than 9,000 of them have PhDs (not that that proves anything about carbon, but it does prove something about the myth of “consensus”). The petition’s wording is unequivocal:

“There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.” Source: www.petitionproject.org

The Petition Project is funded by donations from individuals and run by volunteers. It receives no money from industry or companies. In late 2007, The Petition Project re-did the petition to verify names again.

AGW says: Everyone knows the petition is bogus and filled with duplicate and fake names.

Skeptics say: Name 10 fakes.

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Pub questions

From the first Skeptics Handbook (p 14-15). The very short answers to questions you might get in a bar, or in the media tent at the UNFCCC. Point 1 below was the single most popular riposte from supporters of the greenhouse theory at COP 13 in Bali.

1. How can so many scientists be wrong? Most scientists are not wrong, but they’re not studying the central question either. Instead they’re researching the effects of warming — not the causes. Whether orangutans in Borneo are facing habitat loss tells us nothing of what drives the weather. Likewise: wind-farm efficiency, carbon sequestration, and insect-borne epidemics. Warm weather changes these things, but these things don’t change the weather. Consensus proves nothing. It takes only one scientist to prove a theory wrong. Theories fit the facts or they don’t. Instead of saying “Which side has more PhDs?” a better question is “Where’s the evidence?” Once upon a time, the masses thought the world was flat, that no machine could fly, that the sun went ‘round the Earth.

The only thing we know for sure about climate change is that big government-funded committees [...]

Carbon rises 800 years after temperatures

Ice cores reveal that CO2 levels rise and fall hundreds of years after temperatures change

In 1985, ice cores extracted from Greenland revealed temperatures and CO2 levels going back 150,000 years. Temperature and CO2 seemed locked together. It was a turning point—the “greenhouse effect” captured attention. But, in 1999 it became clear that carbon dioxide rose and fell after temperatures did. By 2003, we had better data showing the lag was 800 ± 200 years. CO2 was in the back seat.

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Skeptics Handbook II! Global Bullies Want Your Money

Finally, Part II in the Skeptics Handbook series – the bluster and bluff, the deceit, and the money.  Enjoy & Share.

It’s unthinkable. Big Government has spent $79 billion on the climate industry, 3000 times more than Big Oil. Leading climate scientists won’t debate in public and won’t provide their data. What do they hide? When faced with freedom-of-information requests they say they’ve “lost” the original global temperature records. Thousands of scientists are rising in protest against the scare campaign. Meanwhile $126 billion turned over in carbon markets in 2008 and bankers get set to make billions.

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Danish translation: Håndbog for skeptikere!

With COP 15 in Copenhagen coming up, we had to have a translation to help up to 15,000 delegates understand why 90% of them are superfluous.

With impeccable timing, the Danish Translation is here. The back up copy is on this site.

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Science communication pollution

Here’s an example of SciComm Pollution — an article that leaves the world slightly less enlightened than they would have been had it not existed. It’s also proof that the media blackout works so well that even theoretically educated people like, say, an archaeologist, are unaware of basic uncontroversial scientific truths.  Here’s Michael Berry, in the Salt Lake Tribune, having trouble reasoning, missing the point, being fully a decade out of date, and acting unwittingly as a public relations agent for a giant  bureaucracy.

He tries to claim Senator Orrin Hatch and The Skeptics Handbook are wrong on the Vostok ice cores.

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The main “cause” of global warming is air conditioners. p7

The headline is tongue in cheek, but the message is serious.

Look at these pictures of NOAA’s U.S. temperature stations. These thermometers on the ground have recorded faster temperature rises than sensors on satellites and weather balloons.

Lucky heat doesn’t rise off asphalt…

Things may have looked different at this site in 1909.

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Ilmastoskeptikon käsikirja -Hello Finland

The Skeptics Handbook continues to storm the world. (If I do say so myself).

Once again, there is no shortage of people who are willing to work pro bono to help fight the scam.

I’m told Finland has a very active community of climate realists. (And as it happens, over 1000 people from Finland have visited this distant site so far this calendar year without even a reference to Finland, or Finnish text before now).

There are plenty of Scandinavian skeptics all round and this translation adds to the already competed versions in Norwegian and Swedish.  (Where are the Danes?)

So send this version to all your Finnish friends and enemies! (Click on the image to download the booklet).

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Climate money: Monopoly science

The scientific process has become distorted. One side of a theory receives billions, but the other side is so poorly funded that auditing of that research is left as a community service project for people with expert skills, a thick skin and a passionate interest. A kind of “Adopt an Error” approach.

Can science survive the vice-like grip of politics and finance?

Despite the billions of dollars in funding, outrageous mistakes have been made. One howler in particular, rewrote history and then persisted for years before one dedicated fact checker, working for free, exposed the fraud about the Hockey Stick Graph. Meanwhile agencies like the Goddard Institute of Space Studies, can’t afford to install temperature sensors to meet its own guidelines, because the workers are poorly trained and equipped to dig trenches only with garden trowels and shovels. NOAA “adjust” the data after the fact—apparently to compensate for sensors which are too close to air conditioners or car parks, yet it begs the question: If the climate is the biggest problem we face; if billions of dollars are needed, why can’t we install thermometers properly?

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The unwarming world

Click for a larger (powerpoint size) image

The world has not warmed since 2001.

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DeSmog accidentally vindicates The Skeptics Handbook

DeSmogBlog could’ve flattened The Skeptics Handbook in just one sentence.

All they had to do was point to empirical evidence that more CO2 forces temperatures up. They can’t and everything else is bluster and bluff.

The question of evidence is on the front page; the book is built around it, and billions of dollars hinges upon it, on this topic, “nothing else matters…”. Yet Jeremy Jacquot’s sole attempt at evidence only shows he doesn’t know what evidence is. Even a bright junior high spark could prove him wrong with a 20 year old encyclopedia. Jacquot uses 3000 words to NOT answer that question, he confuses himself, resorts to cut-n-pasting from the site that does his thinking for him, and makes at least 9 errors of logic and reason. Jacquot complains that I’ve rehashed and repeated old arguments, which only makes it all the more embarrassing that he still hasn’t got any good answers.

But the part I like best was the way he jumps through the hoops just as I predicted. The Skeptics Handbook says when you poke a believer they will bark ‘Santer’, ‘Sherwood’, and ‘amplification’ and he does, right on cue. Yap Yap Yap. DeSmogBlog [...]