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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Iowa votes in droves for uber skeptic Ted Cruz

Remember how skeptics are dying out?

Tens of thousands of Republican voters in Iowa chose the most skeptical candidate they could find. The new landscape of Republican contenders is dominated by skeptics, but the voters wanted the most skeptical. Senator Ted Cruz is flagrantly  outspoken, is well read, and brings rare debate on climate issues to Congress.

Voters came en masse for the Iowa Republican  caucas. Normally 120,000 Republicans vote in the Iowa caucus, but this time 180,000 turned out. One polling station ran out of ballots. Ted Cruz received more votes than any other candidate has ever  received in Iowa.

The last few fringe skeptics of climate change must have all moved to Iowa right?

This is how skeptical Cruz is:

Ted Cruz, US presidential Campaign, USA, Donald Trump,

Ted Cruz is the candidate the climate Extremists hate the most.

See the Gullibility Index

The ABC and SMH described Cruz’s win, but did not mention that he was a skeptic. He is just someone who appealed to the evangelical base.

Cruz is not liked by the establishment Republicans at all. Should be interesting!

h/t Jim Simpson.

 

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Obama’s plan to get around Congress on climate change

While the Paris agreement was toothless the bite may well come from a pincer movement with domestic laws. Paris was voluntary and non-binding but may be used to provide a means for National laws that are binding to take effect. The laws within each country may have been put into effect earlier with specially prepared clauses that could be triggered or enabled by the Paris agreement.

Strangely Democrat members, elected democratically, don’t appear to have any problem with this. It doesn’t matter if the elected representatives get bypassed, I suppose — the ends justifies the means, the climate needs to be saved, and the voters are stupid.

I am reminded of Al Gore visiting Australia the week before the Senate was doing climate deals with Clive Palmer. Was that a similar strategy — mix and mesh local and international laws to achieve what cannot be achieved in a democracy via the old fashioned way of convincing the voters. Similarly Chiefio and American Thinker were discussing the TPP agreement and how it ominously meshed with the Paris deal too. The implications of that need to be hammered out too. These local laws that depend on international agreements can suddenly empower those benign looking voluntary deals.

Obama’s hidden climate leverage Brian H. Potts

A few weeks ago, a group of 13 prominent environmental law professors and attorneys released a 91-page report outlining this new approach, which would allow EPA to use existing laws to quickly and efficiently regulate all pollution sources, in all states

Here’s how it works: A rarely used provision of the Clean Air Act — Section 115 — gives EPA the authority to mandate that every U.S. state cut its emissions by whatever amount the agency determines is necessary to protect public health and welfare if two things happen.

First, EPA must receive a report or studies from an “international agency” showing that U.S. air pollution is anticipated to endanger public health or welfare in a foreign country. The many reports put out by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change over the past few decades meet this requirement.

Second, EPA must determine that the foreign country harmed by U.S. pollution has given the U.S. “essentially the same rights with respect to the prevention … of air pollution occurring in that country.” In other words, there needs to be reciprocity. That’s where the newly signed Paris agreement becomes important. The Paris agreement satisfies this reciprocity requirement because there are now nearly 190 countries planning to reduce their emissions, at least in part, to protect one another’s health and welfare.

The means justifies the ends…

Through the completion of an international climate deal, this plan would effectively allow the president to sidestep Congress and take full control over each states’ energy sector. It would give the White House enormous power. States’ rights activists would rightly scream bloody murder.

But while these arguments are justified, the fact is that Congress has proved unwilling to address the looming threat of climate change. Section 115 may not be the best way to do that, but right now it’s the only one.

No Brian, Section 115 is not the only way to address climate change. There’s the old fashioned method of persuading the voters…

Read more: politico.com

h/t Chris D

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Weekend Unthreaded

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Great Barrier Reef an icon that half of Australia never visits. Climate change scary as “litter”

Another survey that proves Australians still tick “yes” to motherhood statements. (Especially when there is no cost involved, and all choices are “Free”)

Survey shows Aussies’ love and concern for their Great Barrier Reef

A James Cook University researcher has found more than three quarters of Australians regard the Great Barrier Reef as part of their national identity and nearly 90 per cent believe it is under threat from climate change.

But what the media-release doesn’t say is that after 25 years of hearing how the climate apocalypse is coming, people think climate change is going to be slightly worse than beach litter.

In terms of extreme threats, 6% more people think Climate Change will be worse than flotsam and jetsam. As a multibillion dollar marketing campaign endorsed by the UN, WMO, IMF, and western media — that’s got to hurt. Climate change is not much more scary than litter, ships, or runaway fertilizer.

...

Figure 3: Respondent perceptions of threats to the Great Barrier Reef as scored on a 10-point scale (1=not at all threatening and 10=extremely threatening). The “Top 2%” refers to the percentage of respondents who selected a 9/10 or 10/10. The “Top 5%” refers to the percentage of respondents who selected a score of 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10.

Australian government research at its best?

““We’ve described the personal concern and connection Australians have with the Great Barrier Reef “

Because no one has done that before, right.

How much do Australians care? Look right at the end of the press release:

- 44% of Australians have visited the Great Barrier Reef

So 56% of Australians have not. The PR team tries to reframe this statistic:

Keep reading  →

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World will still rely on oil and gas in 2040 says Exxon — Renewables no threat to fossil fuels

If there were grand profits to be made from renewables the big rapacious energy giants would be buying in to solar and selling out of coal and oil. They’ve done their research.  The fantasy fear campaign would have us think that Big-oil is afraid of renewables, but they truth is that if renewables were worth a lot, big-oil would have bought them.*

This week Exxon released their report on the energy outlook for the decades to come. Not much has changed since the last report in 2014, even though 40,000 people met in Paris and did historic breakthrough type things.

Exxon says oil and gas will still dominate energy in 2040

By DAVID KOENIG   The Associated Press

The way oil giant Exxon Mobil sees it, the global energy landscape won’t be radically different in 2040 than it is today.

Oil and gas will remain king, accounting for an even slightly larger share of the energy supply. Coal will fall behind natural gas to become the third-largest source of energy.

Exxon forecasts that emerging renewables such as solar and wind power will triple but remain small — just 4 percent of the world’s energy. And carbon emissions will continue rising until around 2030, when cuts in industrialized nations gain traction lead an overall reduction.

Rex Tillerson, CEO of Exxon, told his shareholders in May last year, that ‘his firm hadn’t invested in renewable energy because “We choose not to lose money on purpose.”

That  was apparently met with loud applause.

The main Exxon predictions for the world are that  oil use will grow by 25%, natural gas will grow by 50%, coal will slip a bit, but all the trendy renewables will be producing only 4%:

Keep reading  →

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Mystery Divergence? There’s a strange gap between temperatures measured by satellites and on the surface

Right now there is a very odd divergence of satellite and surface thermometers. It started about two years ago. It is not like the El Nino of 1998, where all four rose together, and satellites recorded a higher spike than the surface records. This time around the satellites are lower. In the graph below, David Evans uses the older UAH official set, not the new “beta” version which would show UAH much closer to RSS and would make this divergence look even more stark.

According to the theory of Man-Made Global Catastrophe, the satellites, which record temperatures in the lower troposphere, should be warming faster than the surface. Where is that trend?

El Ninos slows ocean turnover, keeping a layer of warm water at the surface instead of stirring it in with the cooler water below. For some reason the thermometers near airports, carparks and cities are picking up the ocean warming better than the satellites. Hmm?

Global Temperatures, NOAA, NASA, UAH, RSS, Hadley, 2015, record.

I’m wary of concluding anything at this stage. There was a big gap in 2007 which resolved in two years. This gap is longer, but may resolve soon too.

Then of course, there’s the point that even the past can change, and — who knows what the current divergence will look like with five years of hindsight and post hoc corrections? Remember how the 1970s kept warming for three decades afterwards?

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Since 2000 humans have put out 30% of their total CO2 but there is nothing to show for it.

The global “pause” has been running for nearly 19 years. But a whopping 30% of all the human emissions of fossil fuels, ever, has come out since the year 2000. Nearly 40% of all our emissions since 1990.

All that CO2, and nothing to show for it. Half of all human emissions of “carbon pollution” have occurred since 1987.

 

Global CO2 emissions, man-made, anthropogenic,

Here’s your handy reckoning table for human emissions from 1751 – 2014. (I know you’ve been waiting for it). Next time you need to know what percentage of the total human emissions of CO2 has been emitted since, say, Ash Wednesday, Cyclone Tracy, or Napoleon, or whatever, this is the table you need.  When we hear that it’s the warmest summer since 1939, this table tells us what the CO2 levels were in 1939.

Keep reading  →

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CO2 kills aliens — Oh No. The Gaiian bottleneck

 Global Worriers can explain everything with CO2 (hammer: meet nail, meet hail, meet ET too).

The holy matrix theory strikes again. (h/t to Phys 1)*

With our university approved CO2 helmet we can explain things, like why there are no aliens. And we know there are none because we’ve had mass radio for 100 years out of the last 4.5 billion** and no one has picked up Alien FM. Plus we’ve landed some kind of gadget on nearly 1,000, almost 100, not quite 10, well 2 whole other planets and we haven’t found a single Klingon. Indeed we haven’t even found a cousin of e-coli.  And some of the probes on Venus hunted for a full 120 minutes before they were vaporised.

Though naysayers about our knowledge of alien life point out that if intelligent life also went on to develop fibre optics,  Wifi, and then entangled quark phones (or whatever) the radio transmissions window may last 500 years (or less) and thus we’re looking for intelligent life which may be a million years ahead of us which also happens to be a million light years away (and whose radio signals are still comprehendable spread over a sphere which is now two million light years in diameter?). Pfft. I say. Details. Who can argue with CO2 causing extinction of all intelligent life?

The Brilliant Gaiian Bottleneck theory reckons that intelligent life has to get smart fast enough to control the climate and stabilize things before they get killed off by climate change.

In studying how life might develop on other planets, the scientists realized that early critters likely had a hard time quickly evolving to their heating or cooling planets and did not survive. So essentially the reason we haven’t found any aliens yet is that quite simply while the percentage of life-sustaining environments could be high enough, they’re not around long enough for them to evolve from the pools of primordial life. — PopHerald.com

Because humans need a stable climate to evolve in, right. Like this?

Vostok ice core, temperatures, Petit, 1999

Vostok Ice Core temperature proxy — the stability that humans evolved in.

It’s adaption or climate control

What’s more likely, that biology adapts to the environment, or that biology controls the planetary climate?

Keep reading  →

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Weekend Unthreaded

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Hottest Shattering Year since the last one: Five reasons it was not hot, and not relevant

 Tell the world, 2015 is the hottest year since 2010.

The fuss made over contested decimal points in highly adjusted datasets of irrelevant factors only shows how unscientific the public debate is. It probably wasn’t the hottest year in the last 150, and even it was, who cares –  that doesn’t tell us anything about the cause. (Remember when cause and effect used to matter to a scientist?) Natural forces like the Sun and clouds can cause hot years too. Even if it was “the hottest” in a short noisy segment, the world has been hotter before (and life on Earth thrived) and the climate models are still hopelessly wrong. If CO2 was a big driver of the climate, 2015 should have been a lot hotter.

1. It wasn’t the hottest year.  Satellites have better, broader coverage, surveying almost  the whole planet (rather than selected car parks, runways, etc. like the surface thermometers). The satellites say that both 1998 and 2010 were hotter. In any case, these kind of piddling noisy differences are just street signs on the road to nowhere — what matters are the long term trends, and the predictions of climate models. (If the models worked, “scientists” wouldn’t need to do a gala performance about nothing eh?)

Hottest year in 2015, Graph, Satellite, UAH, RSS, Global Temperature

2015 is the hottest year since 2010. So what?

2. 2015 was a failure for Global Worriers — not hot enough. Compared to 1998, the IPCC-endorsed climate models all say it should be warmer than it was. We had another El Nino in 2015, and since 1998 humans put out more than a third of their all-time CO2 emissions, yet 2015 was cooler than 1998 and 2010. CO2 is not driving the climate.

3. It’s been hotter before, and for thousands of years. It’s normal. Even if 2015 had been the hottest year in modern records (which start in 1850), the world was still hotter many times in the last ten thousand years. Antarctica didn’t melt. The Great Barrier Reef survived, and so did polar bears and penguins.  Warm weather is not an apocalypse, and it wasn’t caused by CO2.

Get a grip at the way temperatures rose and crashed in Greenland  (below). Current temperatures are probably similar to the Medieval Warm Period (this graph ends around 1900AD). The spikes here only represent Greenland, not the whole world, but the message is clear. Climate change is normal, and what’s happening now is not unusual.

Greenland temperatures, GISP, ice cores, Holocene era.

UPDATED: Ice core data is marked red to show where the modern global warm period begins (specifically 1705AD – 1855AD, long before CO2 levels rose). This graph ends in 1855, so none of the warming after that is shown.

 

4. Where is cause and effect? The latest batch of global warming started long before CO2 started rising. None of the scientists can explain why global warming started nearly 200 years before the first coal fired power station. Either coal affects the space-time continuum, or perhaps they read the tea leaves wrong?

Ljundqvist, Christiansen, Graph, Medieval Warm Period, Little Ice Age.

Temperatures bottomed out around 1700AD according to scores of proxies (See Ljundqvist and Christiansen Fig 4a.)

Global Sea Levels, Trend, Graph, 1700, 1800, 1900, 2000. Jevrejura, PMSML

[Graphed by Joanne Nova based on data from Jevrejura et al located at this site PMSML]

5. Since we are in a 300 year warming trend, it is inevitable that  “hottest ever” records will be broken.Back in WWII we could have had the same headlines. If you were alive from 1938 to 1948, you could have heard about five of those records being broken. (H/t and graph thanks to  Geoff Sherrington with red annotation from me.)

Graph, hottest ever years in 20th Century. Global Temperatures.

Every year with an arrow is another “hottest ever year”.

6. Shattered? What kind of scientist is shattered that it was a tenth of a degree warmer than the last area-averaged, homogenized, adjusted record? They should be shattered that they still can’t explain the pause, the medieval warm period, the little ice age, or the missing hot spot.

MIT Professor, Richard Lindzen, says these “hottest year” claims are “spin on nothing”

Thanks to Climate Depot:

“And the proof that the uncertainty is tenths of a degree are the adjustments that are being made. If you can adjust temperatures to 2/10ths of a degree, it means it wasn’t certain to 2/10ths of a degree,” he added.

 “70% of the earth is oceans, we can’t measure those temperatures very well. They can be off a half a degree, a quarter of a degree. Even two-10ths of a degree of change would be tiny but two-100ths is ludicrous. Anyone who starts crowing about those numbers shows that they’re putting spin on nothing.”

The things the media won’t tell us

 Joe Bast, Heartland Institute

Bast: “The “news’ story makes no mention of the Congressional investigation of NOAA underway, finding evidence that NOAA falsified its temperature data. No mention that the surface station data aren’t actually global and are known to  exaggerate warming trends. And are contradicted by the truly global satellite data, which are in turn validated by weather balloon data. Or that saying “reliable global record-keeping began in 1880” conveniently puts the beginning of the data series at the end of the Little Ice Age. Heartland’s James Taylor tried to inoculate the press from NOAA’s virus with a piece last week at Forbes.com “2015 Was Not Even Close To Hottest Year On Record”.

UPDATE: Top Graph updated to add the word “satellite” instead of “main” which reflects that this is just the main satellite sets. To see all of the main surface sets, including the satellites (notice how similar they are) see this graph published 2 days later. Thanks to DavidR. I prefer this clarification.

UPDATE #2: Thanks to Josh and Twinotter  for pointing out the x axis title on the GISP graph was out by 50 years. The wording “Years Before Present (2000AD)” was incorrect and has been changed to “Years Before Present (1950AD)”. The change doesn’t affect the message or meaning here, but I’m grateful. The graph is more accurate. Thanks also to Just-a-guy for his analysis.

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