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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It’s the name and shame campaign: Australia, you are the weakest link!

Does anyone care about actual carbon emissions anymore? (I mean, apart from our coalition government?)

What matters is not whether you emit or suck the CO2. It’s not even about whether you are seen to be doing something. Doing something is irrelevant.  It’s about joining the club and obeying the rules. And the rules are complex: Carbon trading is good. Planting trees is bad. Carbon taxes are good, but carbon soil storage is bad. And nuclear, of course, is awful — unless you are a large communist power, in which case, it’s a landmark agreement.

More efficient coal power is bad,  even if they reduce emissions, but inefficient wind towers are good, even if they don’t.

If there is a rule underlying the rules, it appears to be that any solution is a good solution if it makes big government bigger. If governments are already as big as they can get (e.g. China) then any solution is a good solution.

We can see the rules at work in the current name and shame campaign. Australia might meet those targets but who cares — it’ s now at the bottom of the Climate Oscars.

Oh no. The pain and humiliation. Australia can’t win the The Climate Change Performance Index – an award that has existed since lunch.

Australia at the bottom of list on climate change action

The Australian

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UN Climate Funds build coal plants — do we call it corruption, or is it success?

One more reason not to give funds to the UN, but do enjoy the contortions.

Japan claimed it spent $1b on a particular action against climate change, which made the UN happy. But it turns out that money went to Japanese companies to build coal fired power stations in Indonesia, which makes the UN very unhappy because the UN does not support coal-powered projects, even if they lower CO2 emissions. Coal is evil, after all.

Newsweek:  U.N. climate chief Christiana Figueres was apparently unaware of where those funds wound up until it was brought to her attention by the AP. Figueres told the AP that “there is no argument” for supporting coal-powered projects with climate money, and that “unabated coal has no room in the future energy system.”

Watch the anamorphosis as the PR picture turns inside out. Good money becomes bad money. What was UN money becomes not-UN money.  What was a CO2 reduction (with a more efficient coal fired power) becomes unsupportable.

The journalists at Reuters had to correct their Newsweek article within hours:

This article was corrected to clarify that the nearly $1 billion were not specifically U.N. funds, but rather Japanese funds that Japan claimed at the U.N. were part of its contribution to a U.N. initiative on climate finance.

So it was UN money and part of the “climate momentum” in 2009, but now that it might embarrass the UN (because coal is evil, after all) it’s called Japanese money.

Despite the update the article still says the money is UN money:

The funding came from a pot of money established by the U.N. in 2009, when wealthy nations pledged to accumulate $30 billion in climate finance over the following three years. At the time, Japan agreed to provide about half that sum.

Is it rorting, cronyism, “success” or all three?

So the UN didn’t have any watchdog or clear directives in place, and they’ve been caught. But against their finest intentions, quite possibly the new coal fired stations are reducing CO2. Though they won’t be changing the climate.

The Japanese defend themselves saying there was never a formal definition of what constitutes “climate finance”, and they’ve broken no law or treaty. According to Associated Press “Japan says these plants burn coal more efficiently and are therefore cleaner than old coal plants.” This is quite likely — the new hotter super-critical coal plants which cut emissions by as much as 15% , but oh the dilemma.

If environmentalists really cared about CO2 emissions, they would love the new coal power. Wind and solar dream of being that environmentally useful. The more we use  renewables, the less CO2 they save. In South Australia residents pay 150 times as much for energy that produces almost as much CO2 as would have been made anyway.

Rinse, Repeat, recycle that corruption

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Weekend Unthreaded

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HockeyStick, finally updated with modern trees, collapses

You’ll be shocked that after decades of studying 800 year old tree rings, someone has finally found some trees living as long ago as 2005. These rarest-of-rare tree rings have been difficult to find, compared to the rings circa Richard III. The US government may have spent $30 billion on climate research, but that apparently wasn’t enough to find trees on SheepMountain living between the vast treeless years of 1980 to now.

I’ve always thought it spoke volumes that many tree ring proxies ended in 1980, as if we’d cut down the last tree to launch the satellites in 1979. We all know that if modern tree rings showed that 1998 was warmer than 1278, the papers would have sprung forth from Nature, been copied in double page full-fear features in New Scientist, and would  feature in the IPCC logo too.

Ponder that the MBH98 study was so widely cited, repeated, and used ad nauseum. It was instrumental in shaping the views of many policy makers, journalists, and members of the public, most of whom probably still believe it. The real message here is about the slowness of the scientific community to correct the problems in this paper.

Steve McIntyre has been asking for an update since 2005. He has the details of the new paper by Salzer, and produces this devastating graph below. The black line is MBH98 – the Michael Mann curve of Hockeystick fantasy. The red line is HadCRU (the Hadley best guess of surface temperatures, from surface thermometers and computers). The droopy green line is the Graybill chronology to 1987, while the blue lines are the updates to the SheepMountain series of tree ring “temperatures”. Oops.

See Climate Audit for details and sources.

The  obvious message is that these particular proxies don’t work now and probably never did, and that this hockeystick shape  depends on not using tree rings after 1980.

More important than the details of one proxy, is the message that the modern bureaucratized monopolistic version of “science” doesn’t work. Real scientists, who were really interested in the climate, would have published updates years ago. (Indeed, would never have published the hockeystick graph in the first place. Its dysfunctional combination of temperatures and truncated proxies is mashed through a maths process so bad it produces a hockey stick most of the time even if the data is replaced by red noise.)

The screaming absence of this obvious update for so long is an example of what I call the “rachet effect” in science — where only the right experiments, or the right data, gets published. It’s not that there is a conspiracy, it’s just that no one is paid to find the holes in the theory and the awkward results sit buried at the bottom of a drawer for a decade.  The cortex soaked in confirmation-bias couldn’t figure out how to explain them.

See Climate Audit for McIntyre’s view on Salzer et al 2014.

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Good news. Australia say NO to UN Green Climate Fund – bypasses Green Gravy Train

Good news. The Australian government is cutting out the enviro-middlemen, saying “No” to one $11 billion Green Blob.

Australia stands as the only wealthy country to have ruled out a contribution to the United Nations’ Green Climate Fund. As of last week, the fund had received pledges from 22 countries totalling $US9.6 billion ($A11.2 billion) against an initial funding target of $US10 billion.

The UN money making scheme was never about the poor or the environment. If it was they wouldn’t be wasting “aid” on so-called clean energy subsidies, which won’t change the weather:

The fund is a new financing mechanism to help developing countries protect themselves from the impacts of climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It will invest in clean energy generation and distribution, energy-efficient buildings and transport, forest conservation and management, and the “climate-proofing” of infrastructure and agriculture against storms, floods and higher temperatures.

Apparently the Australian government can see that funding these UN agencies is hand-feeding sharks. By paying for environmental aid direct, our tax funds might achieve something useful, and it exposes the hypocritical self-interest of the Green Gravy train. Which environmental groups will praise Abbott and Bishop? All the ones that put the environment and the poor ahead of the Blobby.

That list here …

 

Instead, the so-called greenies will talk about Australia committing unforgivable social crimes like “falling out of step”, “failing to match international action” and being “mean”.

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Satellites show 2014 was NOT the hottest ever spring (or winter or summer or autumn) in Australia.

The headlines are burning around the nation: 2014 was the hottest ever spring! Except it wasn’t. The UAH satellite coverage sees all of Australia, day and night, and are not affected by urban heat, airport tarmacs, “gaps in the stations”, or inexplicable adjustments.

When will the Bureau of Meteorology discover satellites? How many years will it take to train the ABC journalists to ask the BOM if satellite measurements agree or disagree with their highly adjusted, altered, deleted, and homogenised ground stations?

I used exactly no tax dollars to email John Christy of UAH, get the latest data, and graph it to show that in Australia 2014 was not the hottest spring, and not the hottest winter, summer or autumn either. Why can’t the BOM or the $1.1 billion ABC do that?

The obsession with cherry picked, unscientific and irrelevant single season records that are not even records shows how unscientific the Bureau of Met is. By its actions we see a diligent PR and marketing agency. If the BOM served the public, they would make sure the public knew that these records depend entirely on their choice of dataset and on their mysterious homogenization procedures. If the BOM were outstanding and honest, they would provide the full picture instead of activist’s sound-bites. It’s as if the BOM were working for Greenpeace instead of us…

 

not the hottest ever spring Australia 2014

Click to see the other “not hottest” seasons in Australia.

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Peter Spencer update: In court today former Environment Minister Kemp. Plus Bob Katter attends

Today is a big day for the trial of Peter Spencer versus the Commonwealth with Dr David Kemp, Minister for the Environment and Heritage in 2003, appearing as a witness. Bob Katter will give  a press conference. Dr Alan Moran, former IPA director will appear too. See times and details below. Public  are welcome.

The background: Peter Spencer versus the Commonwealth and why it’s potentially “bigger than Mabo”

Peter Spencer is the farmer in New South Wales who bought a farm and then lost 80% of it when rules changed to stop people clearing native vegetation. Unable to use most of his property, but still owing money on the mortgage for it, he was bankrupted. He broke no law, but lost his life’s work. Farmers all around Australia lost billions of dollars in assets but at the same time the federal government gained billions of dollars in carbon credits and met our Kyoto requirements by counting the carbon in the vegetation that was locked away.

The implications of this case apply to land holders across the continent. Indeed, if any governments can arbitrarily take assets without paying, or force a small minority to bear the burden of the majority,  this is not just about property rights, it’s about the kind of country we want to live in.

Testimonies December 4th, 2014:

  • 9:30AM, Federal MP Mr Bob Katter will hold a press conference in support of Peter Spencer at the entrance to the Federal Court building in Queens Square, Sydney.
  • The valuer for Peter Spencer, Mr Colin Davies, will complete his evidence.
  • Followed into the witness box by Dr David Kemp, who was the Minister for Environment & Heritage in the Howard Government at the time of the proclamation of the 2003 Native Vegetation Act. (Scheduled for 10:15am at Court 22B, Federal Court of Australia, Law Courts Building, Queens Square, Sydney.
  • Next Dr Alan Moran, former Director of the Institute of Public Affairs as an expert witness for Peter Spencer.

Public visitors welcome — the sessions are 10:15 to 12:15 PM, and 2:15 to 4:15 PM.

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Abbott government chops UNEP funding by 80% to help reefs, forest. Greens hate it.

This is tin-tacks taken back from the Green Blob, but cheer it on. The Abbott government apparently wants to use the money to protect rainforests, instead of given to green-bureaucrats. Enjoy the apoplexy among greens and environmentalists. Excuse me, I think your priorities are showing!

ABC news

The Federal Government has slashed funding to a key United Nations environment agency by more than 80 per cent, stunning environmental groups ahead of a global climate change summit in Peru.

The ABC has learned the Government cut $4 million from the UN Environment Program (UNEP), which provides advice on environmental policies and climate change negotiations.

Instead of giving $1.2m a year, we are giving $200,000. True to form, the green-blobby is “stunned” and immediately responds with a higher ambit claim. There is a scale for everything, and too much is never enough:

Environmental groups are stunned, especially because according to UNEP’s Voluntary Indicative Scale of Assessments, Australia should have contributed around $2.2 million next year.

The money is going to the environment, and environmental groups hate that:

Environment Minister Greg Hunt said the Government had to “make choices in a difficult budget environment”.

“I would imagine that most Australians would see putting $12 million into coral reef protection within our region and combating illegal logging of the great rainforests of the Asia-Pacific as a pretty good investment compared with $4 million for bureaucratic support within the UN system,” Mr Hunt said.

The appropriate response when the government takes money from bureaucrats and uses it to protect reefs and rainforest is to call it “anti-environment”, “anti-nature”, “anti-science”, and “denier”.

Christine Milne is aghast:

The Greens leader, Christine Milne, labelled the funding cut “a slap in the face”. “Australia is a global pariah on the climate front,” Milne said on Tuesday. “This sleight of hand is just extraordinary.”

The denier-pariahs want to do what?

She accused the government of using money taken from UNEP to fund its commitment to stop illegal logging of rainforests, made at the World Parks Congress in Sydney in November.

What’s more important than rainforest to a Green? Our social standing among the global thought police!

“This is really Australia on a world stage behaving badly on the climate. We are so out of step as a nation with the rest of the world. We are not only risking the environment, but Australia’s standing in the world is seriously diminished by the Abbott government,” Milne said.

Keep talking Christine.

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The Green Blob expands: BBC wants Australian ratings. Their editor Wendy Frew heats Aust by 90C.

What’s better than Pravda? When Pravda is controlled by big government but masquerades as “commercial” and, even better, when it competes with and sucks money from independent competitors–making it harder for journalists who do ask the government hard questions to be heard at all.

Who needs the ABC?  The BBC has arrived to provide the propaganda for free and wants to compete with commercial news outlets. They’ve appointed the most gullible journalists they could find (who’ll believe any official edict). Their new Australian Editor, Wendy Frew, accidentally revealed that while she’s good at rearranging a press release and calling it news, she is not too good with numbers.

In a BBC article yesterday by Wendy Frew titled “Australia has hottest spring on record as temperatures soar” comes the extraordinary news that Australia has warmed by 90C since 1910.

“Australia has been warming up by about 0.9C [a year] since 1910,” Dr Braganza told the BBC.

The online article was fixed this morning (with no mention of the mistake), though copies of the error appear elsewhere. It says something that Frew went out of her way to add “[a year]“ into Braganza’s quote without doing the numbers and realizing what that meant. Despite her history of reporting climate news, evidently she did not know that all the climate fuss was about a total warming in Australia of only a tiny 0.9C in 100 years. (And that’s all the BOM can find even after sweeping adjustments that throw out the hottest original records, ignore the hot decades of the late 1800s, and artificially cool old temperatures down and  make trends warmer by as much as 2C.) Was she surprised? We’ll never know.

BBC Global want Australian audiences and Australian advertising dollars too

The BBC announced on October 2, 2014 that they want Australian marketshare online — ratings matter, and so does the money:

BBC Global News Ltd, the world’s most trusted international news brand, is extending their local coverage in Australia by launching a dedicated Australian news service on BBC.com from October 21 and producing a series of programs called Australia Direct to air on BBC World News throughout the period of the G20 Summit.

BBC wants to beat commercial rivals:

“…director of advertising sales Alistair McEwan said. “We’ve got to increase our positioning up that ranking. We wouldn’t want to put a number on what rank we’re looking to achieve.

“We have growth international growth objectives for audience, traffic and revenue.

“We’ll aim to commercialise that growth across desktop and mobiles.”

“We’re the most globally tweeted news source in the world,” Davies said. “What we are seeing globally is that people will go to a trusted news source.”

Naturally, the BBC is filling all the holes left by the private media:

In addition to news, untold Australian stories on a range of topics will be commissioned for the BBC.com verticals: Future, Culture, Autos, Capital and Travel, as well as the newly launched BBC Earth.

Evidently there are not enough stories on cars and holidays.

Wendy Frew’s role is to “drive the news agenda” in a “priority market”:

BBC News has appointed Wendy Frew as Australia Editor, Online. Wendy is a former SMH journalist and Chief of Staff and her remit will be to drive the news agenda of the day and work with our global correspondents and growing team of freelancers on news features and analysis. She will be joined by another journalist who together will work with the BBC’s Sydney correspondent Jon Donnison, and regular contributors Phil Mercer and Katie Beck.

Chris Davies, Director of Sales and Marketing, BBC Global News Limited said: ‘Australia is a priority market for us and with this local market investment together with our large network of international journalists, we are uniquely placed to offer readers stories they don’t normally hear from local media, giving them the full picture on news that affects them.’

When the government runs a commercial media outlet

Is the British taxpayer funding it? Hard to say,  but it’s wholly owned by the BBC, and its aim is “commercial returns”. What’s better than Pravda? When Pravda is controlled by big government but masquerades as “commercial” and, even better, when it competes with and sucks money from independent competitors–making it harder for journalists who do ask the government hard questions to be heard at all. The Green Blob expands.

In Australia we think of the ABC as being a media octopus:

It is now easily the biggest media outlet in the country, with five radio stations, four TV stations, an online newspaper, a huge social media presence, a publishing house and a string of bookshops promoting ABC-approved writers and journalists. — Andrew Bolt

But the BBC is really the giant deep sea squid. Look at the reach:

BBC World News and BBC.com, the BBC’s commercially funded international 24-hour English news platforms, are owned and operated by BBC Global News Ltd.  BBC World News television is available in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide, and over 380 million households and 1.8 million hotel rooms. The channel’s content is also available on 178 cruise ships, 53 airlines and 23 mobile phone networks. BBC.com offers up-to-the minute international news and in-depth analysis for PCs, tablets and mobile devices to more than 76 million unique browsers each month.

BBC Worldwide is the main commercial arm and a wholly owned subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).  Its vision is to build the BBC’s brands, audiences, commercial returns “

Wendy Frew has been producing climate “news” for years (without realizing all the fuss was about 0.9C of warming). Check out this article from 2007 in the SMH (an excellent training ground for unskeptical reporters).

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Thousands will die if we don’t pay the UN enough

The UN Department of Pointless Statistics tells us that 250,000 extra people will die every year from 2030 – 2050 because of climate change. This is assuming that the climate models which have never worked, start to, and that people behave like gladioli, staying put, not building walls, farms or inventing better gladioli homes. It also assumes that a 60% increase global atmospheric plant fertilizer will make no difference to crops.

Indur Goklany tries to help the UN by checking some of their assumptions in his new report: “Unhealthy Exaggeration” GWPF

“He argues that the health organisation wrongly assumed that people would not take practical steps to protect themselves. These include improving water supplies and hygiene to reduce disease and relocating away from stretches of coast most vulnerable to flooding. The assumptions used by WHO are not mentioned in its fact sheet but instead relegated to the third column of a table in the full report, which is based on computer models. The column, headed “potential options not included in model”, reveals that the forecast for deaths from diarrhoea does not include “improved water, sanitation and hygiene”. The forecast for coastal flooding victims does not include “population relocation” and heatwave deaths does not take into account “improved heat health protection measures; early warning systems”. — The Times (via GWPF)

I would add that at the moment the current rate of global death is about 55 million people a year, so the theoretical  “climate” toll would be an extra 0.4% above that.  Unless, of course, the global death rate falls.

The trend so far during mass human CO2 output:

All that warming and global death rates (dark blue) decreased.

UNICEF record the effect of climate change on infant mortality to date:

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