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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Category Five storms aren’t what they used to be

UPDATE: Data for Middle Percy Island has disappeared from the BOM site, but Jennifer Marohasy kept a copy. (I’m sure the BOM will be grateful!) The Courier Mail has an article quoting Jennifer.

The facts on Cyclone Marcia: the top sustained wind speed was 156 km and the strongest gust 208 km/hr. These were recorded on Middle Percy Island in the direct path before it hit land and apparently rapidly slowed.  The minimum pressure recorded after landfall was 975Hpa. BOM and the media reported a “Cat-5″ cyclone with winds of 295 km/hr. To qualify as a Cat 5, windspeeds need be over 280km/hr. The UN GDACS alerts page estimated the cyclone as a Cat 3.

The damage toll so far is no deaths (the most important thing), but 1,500 houses were damaged and 100 families left homeless. It was a compact storm, meaning windspeeds drop away quickly with every kilometer from the eye, so the maps and locations of the storm and the instruments matter. See the maps below — the eye did pass over some met-sites, but made landfall on an unpopulated beach with no wind instruments. It slowed quickly thereafter. The 295 km/hr wind speed was repeated on media all over the world, but how was it measured? Not with any anemometer apparently — it was modeled. If the BOM is describing a Cat 2 or 3 as a “Cat 5″, that’s a pretty serious allegation. Is the weather bureau “homogenising” wind speeds between stations?

What will happen when Australians living in cyclone areas have to prepare for real Cat 5s? How much respect will Australians have for the BOM (and the ABC) if they find out that supposedly dispassionate and impartial scientists have been hyping weather events to score political points? Will the BOM issue any clarifications and corrections?

What does a Cat 5 mean anymore?

The headlines are still calling Marcia a “Cat 5″ cyclone three days later. But today there are many questions about that, and very different debates have broken out on the old media and the new. On the mainstream media, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is already defending the BOM after the Marcia “surprise”. But she is talking about the sudden escalation of a Cat 1 or 2 up to a 5, and whether the BOM gave residents enough warning. On the Internet people are asking why it was called a Cat 5. As Jennifer Marohasy points out, the top speeds recorded showed the cyclone was a Category 3. “Middle Percy” was under the path, and out to sea.

There is a weather station on Middle Percy, and it recorded a top wind speed of 156 km/h, the strongest gust was 208 km/h, and the lowest central pressure was 972 hPa. This raw observational data is available at the Bureau’s website and indicates a category 3 cyclone.

As commenters unmentionable and Ken recorded here, none of the observed wind-speeds came remotely close to being Cat 5. By strange coincidence, two guest authors here, Ken Stewart and TonyfromOz, live north of Rockhampton and both “walked in the eye” last Friday. I’ve spoken to both this morning, and fortunately their houses and families are OK, though still without electricity.

The US Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Centre was tracking the cyclone and, like me, noted the surface observations from Middle Percy Island. The US Navy had been estimating wind speeds based on the Dvorak modelling method. This method is considered much less reliable than aircraft reconnaissance, with surface observations (from anemometers and barometers) historically the ultimate measure of a tropical cyclone’s wind speed and central pressure. For example, in the case of Cyclone Yasi, a barograph at Tully sugar mill recorded a minimum central pressure of just 929 hPa, and this is the value in the final report from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology confirming that Yasi was a category 5 system.

In the case of Marcia, the US Navy acknowledged that their Dvorak estimates were higher than the surface observations from Middle Percy Island. In particular their real time “warning”, no longer available on the internet, noted an “intensity of 110 knots” based on the anemometer on Middle Percy. This corresponds with the highest wind gust recorded on Middle Percy Island as Marcia passed over. The maximum sustained wind speed, however, never exceeded 156 km/h, and the central pressure was never less than 972 hPa. This makes Marcia a category 3 based on the Australian system, and only a category 2 based on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

Yet the bureau continued to report the cyclone, not as it was, based on the surface observations, but as they had forecast it in a media release the previous day: “Tropical Cyclone Marcia to reach Category 5 system at landfall”. meanwhile said yesterday that Marcia battered Yeppoon with 295 km winds. The SMH said yesterday at Yeppoon, “winds had reached 285km/h.” Yeppoon wasn’t even directly under the eye. With the BOM and others wearing out the Cat 5 label, and the two-hundred-plus winds, I predict it’s just a matter of time before Cat 6 and 7 are added (that’ll be worth a press release “Cyclones now so bad the Bureau has to add a new category!”).

This is what Cyclone Tracy did to Darwin on Christmas in 1974.

It was a compact “Cat-4″. Some argue it might have been a Cat-3 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale when it made landfall.[3] The lowest air pressure recorded for Tracy was 950 hectopascals, and 71 people died. That car at the front is Gough Whitlam inspecting the damage.


Cyclone Tracy, Darwin 1974


Gough Whitlam inspects the damage.

  This is what Marcia “Cat-5″ did in a direct hit to Rockhampton in 2015.

There are photos of houses that have collapsed, with many poles and trees downed. What I can’t find are aerial shots to convey the overall damage.

[Photo coming] I am searching for an aerial shot, please help if you find one…

It is estimated 1,500 homes across the state were damaged by Cyclone Marcia and an estimated 100 families left homeless. (Source: ABC) Cyclones just aren’t what they used to be, or we are much better at building houses and trees are a lot stronger. See the full photo set on the ABC. There is no doubt it was destructive, and there is pain and suffering in central Queensland, where thousands are still without power, but there are also no photos of damage even remotely like the ones of Tracy. One of the reasons is that houses have been built to cyclone standards in recent years (see the new report discussed below). But no cyclone has hit Rockhampton since 1949, and there are houses from the 1950s and 1960s that survived this cyclone just fine. Presumably, there would have been less flying debris which would help too.

The path of the cyclone is important, we are most interested in the wind measurements that come from right under the eye.

Wind speed measurements came in from Middle Island (of the Percy Group) and from Samuel Hill. The distance from Rockhampton to Yeppoon is 40km by road. This radar shot of the landfall from TonyfromOz shows that the eye (headed south for Rockhampton) must have passed very close to Samuel Hill. Unmentionable kept track of measurements from Williamson, Samuel Hill, and Middle Island (of the Percy Group).

For what it’s worth TonyFromOz tells me he has never experienced winds like it, but that the leading half before the eye was much worse than the trailing half. He felt the cyclone was slowing as it passed over. So perhaps the Cat 5 was a “spike” that came and went unrecorded by anything on the ground. But will this cyclone be counted a “Cat 5″ in graphs showing the trends in landfalling cyclones? Will the same modeling that finds brief spikes in cyclones be applied to past cyclones, or will the new homogenization lead to rising lines on graphs that are supposed to represent severe storms but instead represent trends in methods of  cyclone observations?

The new rapid assessment report has been released

Thanks to Martin Clark and LittleDavey in comments for this link.

Essentially the cyclone sped up and slowed down a lot faster than anyone expected. The damage to houses was not so bad because houses are built better. But even this group share concerns that the public need to be given accurate information about wind speeds.

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Weekend Unthreaded

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Peak Wheat! One quarter of wheat production will be lost to extreme climate (or maybe Not)

According to a new study released by Nature Climate Change we are, remarkably, at the very peak of conditions for wheat growth worldwide — and it’s all downhill from here. (What are the odds?) The last 15 years, which have been the “hottest on record” and saw massive human CO2 output, were the peak time for wheat. But all that is about to fall off a cliff if we do … more of the same.

To demonstrate that millions will starve: take projections of extremes from broken climate models, and put them in wheat crop models, and then assume we take no adaptive measures for the first time in human history. Ignore that even the IPCC doesn’t think extreme events are necessarily changing: “Climate models are unable to predict extreme events because they lack spatial and temporal resolution. In addition, there is no clear evidence that sustained or worldwide changes in extreme events have occurred in the past few decades. “

There’s been no increase in drought globally in the last 60 years either. Pouring free fertilizer into the sky, along with better agricultural practices, has produced a global boom in crops (See CO2science for scores of studies on biomass gain, and photosynthesis). But from now on it’s doom, gloom and pain — even though in a warmer world the air will be more humid and the temperatures more stable (the extremes of hot and cold happen under clear sky conditions). Nevermind. Give me another grant.

See this graph? It’s all over, the crash is coming, you better believe it. Nature Climate Change says so:

Source: Worldwatch, VitalSigns.

Climate change may dramatically reduce wheat production, study shows

Science Daily

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The Telegraph censors stories to appease advertisers. Science journals would never do that…

Peter Oborne resigned from the UK Telegraph because it was scandalously holding back negative stories about HSBC, a major advertiser. His plea is an eye opener:

The coverage of HSBC in Britain’s Telegraph is a fraud on its readers. If major newspapers allow corporations to influence their content for fear of losing advertising revenue, democracy itself is in peril.

So much for the illusion of free press.

A friend said this has nothing to do with a science blog. I said, Why not?  Science journals are publishing houses too, and worse, their main advertiser is also their biggest subscriber. The journals live where a monopsony meets a  monopoly.  The largest customer of many science journals are government funded university libraries and academics. The advertisers are often the same organizations. A new Nature journal was even set up this month in partnership with a university. Independence is not just a blurry line out there, it’s deep fog. There is dominant government funding from beginning to end.

The government doesn’t have to heavy hand the journals, as HSBC did. It doesn’t need to be overt at all. In fields like climate research nearly every single employee in the chain of people who send in material, review the material, buy the subscriptions, and pay for advertising are predominantly paid from the public purse. How many of them, do you suppose, would be active critics of big-government and of big-spending policies?

Perhaps the blog model of science publishing is the purest form of publishing — one that only answers to the readers.

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Hyping cyclones

Reports are coming in that the BOM and ABC are spinning the Queensland cyclone. This is the thread for those comments. I’ll add more detail as the situation “clears”.


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The mysterious BOM disinterest in hot historic Australian Stevenson screen temperatures

When it comes to our rare high-quality historic records, and the real long term trends of Australian weather, the silence is striking. There are some excellent historical records of long term temperature data from the late 1800s in Australia, which lie underused and largely ignored by the BOM.

For the BOM, history almost appears to start in 1910, yet the modern type of Stevenson screen thermometer was installed across Australia starting as early as 1884 in Adelaide. Most stations in Queensland were converted as long ago as 1889 and in South Australia by 1892. Though states like NSW and Victoria were delayed until 1908.

Here’s a photo of the ones in Brisbane in 1890.

Brisbane was recording temperatures with modern Stevenson screens in 1890, as were some other stations, but the BOM often ignores these long records.

The BOM don’t often mention all their older temperature data. They argue that all the recordings then were not taken with standardized equipment. The BOM prefers to start long term graphs and trends from 1910 (except when they start in 1950 or 1970, or 1993).

The BOM was set up in 1908.  Before that there were Stevenson screens going in all over Australia, but somehow these records appear uninteresting to climate researchers. Could it be that the late 1800s would have been more captivating if they were colder? In the late 1800′s there was the widespread heatwave of 1896 killing hundreds of people and recording 50C plus temperatures across the continent as well as the infamous Federation Drought?

Figure that if the BOM were curious about long term natural trends, it would not be impossible for a PhD student to compare the distant past and estimate those long trends. (If two stands of trees in 1200AD are accurate to 0.1C, why not actual, but non-standard thermometers in 1890?)

Not only were some stations using Stevenson screens in Australia, but other types of non-standard but common screens were documented, along with sites, and there were studies of overlapping data. (Though there were also some highly irregular sites that would defy analysis). More to the point, with millions in government grants available for research, the BOM could even recreate some historic sites and do modern side-by-side comparisons. Surely in the space age we can figure out the temperature differences of wooden boxes?

Suppose for a moment that the old records showed cool summers, or demonstrated that Australia had warmed by two degrees instead of one? Wouldn’t there rather be a flood of papers adjusting and homogenising Glaishers and Stevensons, and perhaps even sheds and octagons? Whole new museums could spring forth, recreating sacred meteorology stations from 1862. School children would file by and gasp!

The British CRU (University of East Anglia) reports Australian trends from 1850

Jennifer Marohasy wonders where the CRU got the data that the BOM don’t want to use. She has been writing about the Stevenson screens and  asking the Australian BOM questions like this and more. Warwick Hughes has been analyzing these old records even longer.  His paper in 1995 provoked the Neville Nicholls reply of 1996 (which is used to create the map below).


Above, the year that Nicholls 1996 describes “most” stations as being shifted to Stevenson screens.

  There were a few late exceptions to these dates.

Although there were many sites, especially in NSW and Victoria that didn’t get Stevenson screens until sometime in 1907,  vast areas of Australia in WA,  Queensland and South Australia have accurate older data. When   “hottest” ever records for these states are announced, why are the older high quality measurements almost invisible?

The debt Australia owes to Clement Wragge and Sir Charles Todd

The Stevenson screen was championed by Clement Wragge. He installed the first Stevenson Screen in Australia at Adelaide in 1884 and cheered on others like Charles Todd in 1886. Todd compared the Stevenson screen to other types and concluded in 1898 that the Stevenson was more useful. (Thanks to Lance for that history and trove links!)

Lance Pidgeon discussed Todd’s extraordinary attention to detail and his work with different screens on this site. Adelaide has one of the longest running temperature records of the Southern Hemisphere. Todd’s meteorological plan started way back in 1856. As Pidgeon quotes, Todd was responsible for setting up the telegraph network in four states, and connected Australia to the world in 1872 through Darwin. He set up meteorology stations along the telegraph lines and collected the data coming in down the lines:

“With the building of the Overland telegraph in 1855, Charles Todd, aged 30, as Superintendent of Telegraphs, established meteorological stations on every route where he constructed telegraph lines in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia’s Northern Territory and Darwin. Todd organised the real time collection of the data by telegraph and began the preparation of synoptic maps. By the 1870s, and throughout the 1880s and 1890s, the meteorological data from the telegraph stations saw an increasing use of synoptic charts of pressure, wind, temperature and rainfall for daily weather forecasting.”

Jennifer Marohasy describes how he drove the installation of these instruments at post offices in South Australia and the Northern Territory.

Australia’s telegraph and meteorological networks owe a huge debt to electrical engineer, meteorologist and astronomer, Charles (later Sir Charles) Todd, who was employed by the South Australian government initially as superintendent of telegraphs, arriving in Adelaide in November 1855. He soon had a telegraphic line operating from Adelaide to Melbourne, and by 1872 he oversaw completion of the overland telegraph line from Adelaide to Darwin connecting Australia to Europe via Indonesia. By 1877 each state had tapped into this network.

In 1870 the post office and telegraph departments were amalgamated and Charles Todd was appointed Postmaster General and Superintendent of Telegraphs. This institution, established in 1870, became a Commonwealth department at federation on 1st January 1901, and was administered from Adelaide until 1975.

For Charles Todd the telegraph and post offices were a means to an end. His first passion was meteorology, and everywhere he established a telegraphic office he established a weather station and trained the staff in the operation of the equipment. The telegraphic officers in South Australia and the Northern Territory were required to report temperatures and rainfall on a daily basis to his observatory in Adelaide.

By 1860, Charles Todd was receiving temperature data from 14 stations in South Australia and the Northern Territory. By 1879, he was publishing weather maps, which resemble current synoptic charts.

In Queensland the state meteorologist Clement Wragge took up the Stevenson screens, very quickly installing them across Queensland during 1889.

In Western Australia people tended to take their cues from Todd in South Australia, using the same octagonal design at Perth Botanical Gardens as was used in Adelaide, and single louvre wall shade screens in most other stations in the colony. William Cooke, the first Government Astronomer of the Colony, replaced most meteorological stations with Stevenson screens “before the end of 1897″ (Nicholls, 1996). Lance Pidgeon wrote about the comparisons of the octagon designs and the Stevenson screens, and I’ll do a post soon talking about comparisons of Glaisher and Stevenson screens.

In Victoria and NSW temperatures were recorded in a mix of “sheds” or “stands” that are quite different to the Stevenson screen. But plans for some of these are available, and it would be possible to build and recreate similar structures to compare the different types of screens.

In Tasmania meteorologists used shelters or sheds til 1895, then installed Stevenson screens after that. So screens were installed reasonably early, though Nicholls notes “but they were in disrepair by 1907″.

The striking lack of curiosity

The BOM sweat to issue press releases telling us how serious “climate change” is, and how it will hit Australia harder than the rest of the world. They make sure Australians know all the infinite details of projections from climate models we know are broken. But when it comes to our rare high quality historic records, and the observed long term trends of Australian weather,  researchers mostly seem to have something better to do. It’s OK to adjust modern Stevenson screens with stations 300km away to rescue a signal, but the old data is apparently beyond hope. Who wants to add 10 or 20 extra years of data? The interminable tedium of those long term natural trends!

Years of toil and diligent care collect dust in backroom archives. “Nothing to see here”.

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What to call a “doubter” asks Justin Gillis. NY Times agitprop: is namecalling “scientific”?

Welcome to “science journalism” at The New York Times where climate forces are not so much about sunlight and cloud cover, but about “deniers”, “doubters”, and “disinformers”. While our climate is supposedly the crisis the world must face, the NY Times solution is not to investigate and debate the leading ideas, but to ask what names we toss at Nobel Prize winners who don’t endorse the approved establishment line. Pravda would be proud.

Most surveys and polls show 50% of the population are skeptical. A real newspaper that was leading and shaping the public debate would find the most informed views from both sides and put them forward, shaping and hammering out the public debate. Instead, the NY Times discusses petitions pushing namecalling.

Justin Gillis asks: What to Call a Doubter of Climate Change? What indeed, I wonder? Does any single real person doubt that the climate can change? I have not met such a person (though many believers of the dominant government-endorsed paradigm seem to think the climate was stable and perfect before emissions of man-made CO2). The UN redefined the boringly obvious term “climate change” to be a coded shorthand for “man-made global warming”. Justin Gillis has fallen for that cheap rhetorical trick (as the UN knew many gullible “reporters” would). Who needs a dictionary when you can just blindly repeat agitprop?

If Gillis used accurate English, he might wonder what to call people people who were unconvinced of the hypothesis that humans control the climate. The only term is “skeptical”. Those who support the theory can be called “scientists” if they provide empirical evidence — how about some observations of strong positive water vapor feedback for starters? Alas, there are no “scientists” who can provide this evidence. Even the IPCC admits there is “high confidence” that most models overestimate this largest feedback factor, and explains the gap between observations and predictions as an “elusive” bias.

Until a scientist names observations to back their theory, skeptical scientists remain skeptical, and the scientists with broken models, faith, and hope should be called “unskeptical scientists” (as I’ve been saying for five years). Hey, it’s accurate English, if you care about that sort of thing.

History will show that the “deniers” are those who deny results from 28  million weather balloons, and who pretend the climate was stable and ideal before we invented cars.

Maybe “opponents of climate science” are those who call people names instead of discussing the evidence? Just a thought.

Gillis ought to learn how to Google

“The scientific dissenters object to that word [denier], claiming it is a deliberate attempt to link them to Holocaust denial. Some academics sharply dispute having any such intention, but others have started using the slightly softer word “denialist” to make the same point without stirring complaints about evoking the Holocaust.”

Some skeptics do object to the Holocaust allusion (which is exactly how some name-callers use it), but this skeptic just objects to the abuse of English (Defining “denier”. Is it English or Newspeak?). In this science debate, a denier ought to deny something — I’ve been asking for evidence for five years. What observation do “deniers” deny? Be my guest Justin, lay it right out. You can have a guest post on my blog. Please.

Gillis refers to those who ask questions about government publications as “opponents of climate science“, as if climate science itself is defined by government press releases rather than logic and evidence. But the opponents of climate science are those who want to stifle real debate by declaring the debate over before it starts. The only point of promoting the activist’s namecalling petition is to stop debate by denigrating alternate opinions. It’s a cheap smear article designed to let readers know they are not permitted to ask questions, lest they be seen as a brainless crank, right wing ideologue, or reprehensible “denialist” (aka rock-for-brains or a fan of Hitler).

Those without evidence preemptively call themselves the winners, and toss childish names at their opponents. Real science is about observations and logic, not ad hominem attacks. Obviously, if Gillis could find the scientific observations to back up his devotional faith, and win a real debate, he wouldn’t namecall to denigrate opponents.

An enlightened discussion of the petition could discuss the scientific method instead. But Gillis just uses it as a mindless label:

“The petition asking the news media to drop the “climate skeptic” label began with Mark B. Boslough, a physicist in New Mexico who grew increasingly annoyed by the term over several years. The phrase is wrong, he said, because “these people do not embrace the scientific method.”

Since the scientific method works by discussing observations rather than discussing names, it’s Mark Boslough who doesn’t embrace it. It is the exact opposite of the scientific method to accept a hypothesis on the authority of an opinion poll of experts and Bill Nye the Science Guy.

Gillis — bringing you the news ten years after it happened (the “olds”?)

“It is perhaps no surprise that many environmentalists have started to call them deniers.”

Started? Environmentalists have been calling anyone who disagrees with their religion a denier for more than a decade.  Perhaps he’s heard of George Monbiot, who was tossing out the term in the media in 2005? Desmog blog started in 2006 and hasn’ t missed a day of denier namecalling since.

Readers, help me, when did the denier term start? Is Gillis ten years late, or twenty?

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Australian Academy of Science hides model failures, other rainfall predictions, feedbacks evidence

The Australian Academy of Science (AAAS) updated their “Science of Climate Change” document. It’s more glossy unscientific propaganda.

Garth Paltridge wonders in The Australian  if the Academy will come to regret it. As usual, it’s what they don’t say that matters. They don’t mention how badly the current models have failed, and they hide that climate models give contradictory rainfall projections and just cherry pick one that gives the answer they want. They repeat the meaningless argument that their models don’t “work” without CO2. Perhaps they should let the taxpaying voters know that their models don’t “work” with CO2 either? None of the models can explain what caused the Medieval or Roman warming when CO2 was “ideal”. They conceal that the model forecasts rely on assumptions of feedbacks that the empirical evidence shows are wrong.

Basically the Academy has fallen into the trap of being no more than a conduit for a massive international political campaign ”

 Climate of cherry-picking

The problem is that, after several decades of refining their story, the international gurus of climate change have become very good at having their cake and eating it too.  On the one hand they pay enough lip service to the uncertainties of global warming to justify continued funding for their research.  On the other, they peddle a belief — this with religious zeal, and with a sort of subconscious blindness to overstatement and the cherry-picking of data — that the science is settled and the world is well on its way to climatic disaster.  The Academy document fits neatly into the pattern.  It is a sophisticated production that tells only one side of the story.

For instance it does not say, or illustrate with a diagram, that all the mainstream climate models have over-estimated the general upward trend of global temperature for the last 30-or-more years by a factor (on average) of at least two.   Nothing is said about the distinct possibility that the models include feedback processes which amplify far too much the effect of increased atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Instead, the document talks about an apparent pause in global warming since 2001.  It attributes the pause to some temporary fluctuation in the internal behaviour of the ocean.  It does not mention that climate scientists have for many years deliberately played down the contribution of natural oceanic fluctuations to the rise or fall of global temperature.  The possibility of naturally induced rises seriously weakens the overall story of human influence.

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The quickening for Paris has started: gravy-train begins PR avalanche

The pace and volume of the cheerleading is picking up. Over the weekend, the Vatican announced that climate is now a Catholic issue, and they are setting up an enviro “think tank” (what does God think of Climate Change?)  The Australian Academy of Science produced its new advertising to feed the cash-cow called climate-grants (details on that later). The zombie issue of imaginary climate refugees resurfaced — 45 Fijian Villages are “projected” to be relocated in the next five to ten years; which bureaucrat says this, and will they apologize and quit 10 years from now if this turns out to be a wild exaggeration like the last  claim?

It’s On. In 2015, we are going to be swamped with climate-spin.

The UNFCCC meeting in Paris is a major money and power-grab, and those with snouts in the trough know that their future fat cheques depend on how well they push propanganda, silence critics, and shout down intelligent debate. At one stage they were asking for 1.5% of global GDP (about $2,500 per Western family of four annually).

How much will they take? As much as we let them.

We can protest now, or protest later, but why wait? They will ask for “as much as the voters will bear”. Let’s mark out the pain-threshold right now. The more they get, the more they want. They deserve nothing.

The meeting, COP 21, is Nov 30 – Dec 11. It is a giant junket, a grand theater to generate headlines and reward compliant serfs in the media, in science, and in the NGOs. The real action is on right now, the negotiations are taking place in the months leading up to the meeting. Whether or not it will succeed will likely be decided long before Nov 30. It’s time for us to get serious.

To beat this wave of government funded fog, you can help support independent science by writing letters, emails and comments and through donations. We get no government grants to show where governments are wrong, and we have some big bills to pay. Dr David Evans has been working full-time using his Fourier work and Stanford level maths to update the notch-delay theory and look at the equations that underlie the models. (If you wonder why we’ve been quiet on it, it’s because he prefers to bury himself in productive solitude and private emails, not hack out issues in the “bloodsport” of mostly pointless ad hom comment wars. He’s been industrious; there is a busy year ahead on the blog.) We have more big news to release on both soon. The notch-delay comes out stronger than before after working through the issues raised last year. This work (and our household) depends on support from independent thinkers like yourself. See the bottom of the post for personal thanks to some direct deposit donors as well. The paypal option is here. US dollars and British pounds are also accepted, and thanks to the falling Australian exchange rate, foreign cash goes an extra long way now. Every contribution helps. Thank you, Jo

We must roast the media for pushing propaganda

The media IS the problem. Letters to editors discussing how their journalists are gullible patsies for not being even a tiny bit skeptical of government propaganda will hurt much more than letters that just dispute science content. Letters about science undermine their confidence as a “scientist”, but letters about their journalistic ability hurt so much more.   Journalists kid themselves that they are independent critical thinkers. Wedge them by politely pointing out the questions they didn’t ask.

The “200 countries” headline below is there to pump the illusion of inevitable momentum toward a climate deal. Two hundred countries did what?

200 countries agree on draft to slow climate change

Almost 200 countries have agreed a draft document on how to best slow down climate change.

The blueprint is a first step towards negotiations for a deal to be agreed in Paris later this year which would come into effect in 2020.

The United Nations required an official text six months ahead of the French summit. That text was drafted in Geneva.

“The text has grown, so yes that makes June, which is the next time that they will get together, a little bit more difficult, but it does have the huge value that it is recognised as a formal negotiating text and that all parties will be eager to engage with that text,” said Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Real journalists would ask: So what exactly did “two hundred” countries do? Did their parliaments discuss this exact draft? Did a single citizen of each nation sign off on something (and if so, who were they)? Was this agreement anything more substantial than an email to some sub-sub-bureaucrat of the Dept of upper-middle-climate-control? Does “agreement” mean 200 bureaucrats were sent a draft and they didn’t actually say “we want no part of this”?

Euronews, whoever they are, does not bother to try to answer these questions.

How big are those UNFCCC aims?

What’s ultimately up for grabs in Paris is a global bureaucracy that can control carbon emissions (meaning energy) worldwide. It is one of the largest and most ambitious political and scientific ambit claims ever, and it is hidden in plain view (but don’t hold your breathe waiting for the media to point it out).

“This is  probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the economic development model, for the first time in human history”, Ms Figueres stated at a press conference in Brussels.” –  Christiana Figueres, the Executive Secretary of UNFCCC 3 Feb, 2015

They are aiming for some sort of UN or global body to be able to override national governments. As the history of federations such as the USA or Australia show, that sort of control will likely evolve to centralize powers even further. This will necessarily entail a class of global bureaucrats, probably not directly accountable, paid what they think they are worth out of tax income, and dispersing funds worldwide according to their agenda.

In the meantime, a bit of redistribution of income is on the agenda: In the draft of UN climate agreement, the developed countries are footing the bill. Vague lip service is paid to “fiscal sovereignty” of developing countries. Developed nations? They belong to the UN.

Option 6: Public sector financing from developed country Parties shall be the primary source of resources, with other sources to be considered supplementary. Different sources to be considered on the basis of clear criteria in order to avoid incidence and ensure fiscal sovereignty of developing countries, and ensure the sustainability, predictability and additionality or resources.]


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