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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Just like that: US serves notice to quit Paris Agreement

First nation out leads the way:

US Flag, Flying.Lisa Friedman, New York Times

Trump serves notice to quit Paris Aggreement

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration formally notified the United Nations on Monday that it would withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement on climate change, leaving global climate diplomats to plot a way forward without the cooperation of the world’s largest economy.

The action, which came on the first day possible under the accord’s complex rules on withdrawal, begins a yearlong countdown to the United States exit…

A true leader, Trump didn’t wait for herd approval, just made his own path.

But why does it take so many years to get out?  It’s a non-binding, non-treaty with no legal teeth except ones countries domestically screw on themselves. The wording is “should” not “shall”. Most nations aren’t even aiming to meet their own targets, and their commitment is essentially to turn up and renegotiate their commitment, and get told off for not fawning enough, whether or not their actual target reductions in carbon emissions are met or not. Is there any reason why this can’t be extinguished overnight except that the deep state bureaucrats knew the agreement was so disadvantageous they’d have to tie nations down to stop them leaving?

Paris was only ever a PR theater stunt — the point being for big-government-actors to use it to win domestic funding or to hang domestic legislation off it.

It’s worth remembering that the fourth largest nation in the world, Indonesia, has also threatened to pull out of the Paris Agreement. And when asked, 48% of Australians were happy to pull out of Paris. No biggie.

In other news, last week Sri Lanka scrapped its carbon tax

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will scrap a controversial carbon tax from the end of the year, under tax changes passed in parliament.

Sri Lanka brought a carbon tax for cars escalating for older cars used by less affluent persons who drive less.

But Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera has now scrapped the tax. However it will be charged for 2019.

h/t Dave B, Pat, Marvin W, Joe Bast Heartland


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Japan: The precautionary principle killed more people than the Fukushima nuclear disaster

Japanese homeless woman.The panicked closure of nuclear power in Japan pushed electricity prices up. The UN agrees that no people died from radiation in the Fukushima event, but the frenzied over-evacuation killed up to 2,000 people. After that, higher electricity prices led to at least 1280 extra deaths in the 21 largest cities. That translates into 4,500 deaths if the mortality rate was similar across the rest of the country.

Japan nuclear shutdown did ‘more harm than good’, study finds

World Nuclear News

Be Cautious with the Precautionary Principle: Evidence from Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Accident, by Matthew Neidell, Shinsuke Uchida and Marcella Veronesi. A discussion paper by the Germany-based IZA Institute of Labor Economics.

“Our estimated increase in mortality from higher electricity prices significantly outweighs the mortality from the accident itself, suggesting the decision to cease nuclear production caused more harm than good.”

The authors calculated that these higher electricity prices resulted in at least an additional 1280 deaths during 2011-2014. This is higher than a previously documented estimate of 1232 deaths which occurred as a result of the evacuation after the accident, they say.

“Since our data [on mortality related to higher electricity prices] only covers the 21 largest cities in Japan, which represents 28% of the total population, the total effects for the entire nation are even larger.”

 Who would have guessed, irrational scare campaigns can be deadly:

Earlier this year, Michael Shellenberger, president of research and policy organisation Environmental Progress, told delegates at the XI International Forum Atomexpo 2019 held in Sochi, Russia that a “panicked over-evacuation” of the area had caused around 2000 deaths, with fear of radiation causing “significant psychological stress”. The United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation found there had been no deaths from radiation that escaped from Fukushima, he noted.

The Precautionary Principle turns the normal cost-benefit analysis into a binary yes or no lottery.

As a regulatory tool, the precautionary principle – that activities should not proceed when the threats of damage are not fully understood – has previously been met with mixed reactions, the authors of the IZA report say, and question why, given such “surprising” results, governments invoke this principle.

“One possible explanation is that salient events, such as a nuclear disaster, affect perceived risk, which is often based more on emotions and instincts than on reason and rationality.

On the plus side, the Precautionary Principle neutralizes numbers, appeals to simpler minds and makes good bumper-stickers. On the down side, it kills people.


h/t Paul Miskelly

Image: wikimedia by Comessu

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Older adults can still improve memory with high intensity exercise

Treadmill HIIT exercise.

Image profvideos

Just 4 sets of four-minute-long bursts of intense exercise was all it took for sedentary people aged 60 -88 to get an improvement in memory scores of up to 30%.

They worked out three times a week for 3 months, and the short sharp sets were better than 50 minutes of moderate exercise. Five hundred million years of evolution will do that — hone organisms to adapt to common stressors. And even if don’t need to outrun lions very often now, we still carry the genes that did.

This won’t surprise people who’ve been reading medical research papers.  High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) appears to be good for fat loss, anxiety, depression, improves blood vessel function, may slow Parkinsons, and colon cancer, is quicker, can restore glucose uptake in diabetic muscles in just two weeks.

Obviously the 30% memory boost mostly happens to people who start out sedentary. There may not be such spectacular gains for people who are already semi fit. But it only took 12 weeks.

Researchers at McMaster University who examine the impact of exercise on the brain have found that high-intensity workouts improve memory in older adults.

Researchers suggest that intensity is critical. Seniors who exercised using short, bursts of activity saw an improvement of up to 30% in memory performance while participants who worked out moderately saw no improvement, on average.

Keep reading  →

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Weekend Unthreaded

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No laws needed Scott Morrison — tell the coward companies not to give in to namecalling bullies

 We need more free speech, not less

Extinction Rebellion protest

Is National Australia Bank scared of this? @ExtinctionR

The witchdoctor activists have been demanding bankers and insurance firms boycott new coal mines. One by one these corporate giants have jumped to obey, like towers of saluting jelly. Australia’s PM, Scott Morrison,  has “threatened a radical crackdown” as if there is some way, and some worth, in forcing free people to choose a sensible option. But this is not the way. What the nation needs is not more laws to stifle speech but someone with the balls to speak freely. Persuade the nation instead! Half the country quivers in fear of being called a climate denier by a teenage girl. Tell them to grow up and get over it.

The activists are just namecalling bullies — too chicken to engage in polite conversation because their case falls apart like a crystal mousetrap — looks good, but destroys itself on deployment. If they had overwhelming evidence they just need to explain it — not beat people over the head with it. Australians are good people, right?

They’re only a threat if we take them seriously

Whatever we do, don’t take them seriously. Instead of locking them up, we need to mock them up. Giggle at gullible babies who think coal mines control the climate. Smile at superstitious voodoo. Pat the so called fans-of-science on the back, and ask them how long the glue will last.

Most of all we need a leader with the courage to laud those who don’t cave in and who know what free speech means.

The ABC has been turning the bullies into heroes and the whistleblowers into political-lepers. Someone needs to stand up to the ABC.

Miners drive the nations engine. XR is the glue on the road. Treat them accordingly — possibly with a garden hose, not federal legislation.

Scott Morrison threatens crackdown on protesters who would ‘deny liberty’

Paul Karp, The Guardian

PM signals action on secondary boycotts of resources companies and says progressives want to tell Australians ‘what you can say, what you can think’

 Morrison told Australian corporations to listen to the “quiet shareholders” and not environmental protesters, who he suggested could shift targets from coal companies to all carbon-intensive industries including power generation, gas projects, abattoirs and airlines.

In a speech proposing limits on free speech advocating boycotts against polluting companies, Morrison said progressives wanted to tell Australians “what you can say, what you can think and tax you more for the privilege of all of those instructions”.

And so they do. But apparently so does Morrison.

Making laws “just for them” and trying to stop them speaking is not just wrong, but like pouring fuel on a fire. It will inflate their egos, power their sense of purpose and, in a way, give them just what they want. Mindless attention without any hard questions. Better to let them talk about science. The more they say they sillier they look.

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Settled! Global Warming and the pause, caused by changes in cloud cover, not CO2

That’s it: It was 4% cloudier in 1985, then roughly the same after 2000 — that’s the Pause and the Cause

A new paper in Russian, by OM Pokrovsky, shows that global cloud cover decreased markedly from 1986 to 2000. This is a very large decline in terms of the planetary atmosphere. Pokrovsky uses ISCCP satellite data (the “International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project” — a US program). It’s the best cloud data there is. The effects of clouds are so strong that most of the differences between IPCC-favoured-models comes from the assumptions the models make about clouds. Cloud feedbacks are the “largest source of uncertainty”. [IPCC, 2007]

Clouds cover two-thirds of the Earths surface, reflecting around 30% of the total energy from the Sun back to space. A small change in cloud cover can easily warm or cool the planet, like a giant pop-up shade-sail.

This, on its own, explains all the warming that occurred from 1986 – 2000. It explains the pause. We don’t know why clouds decreased, but we know it wasn’t due to CO2, which kept rising relentlessly year after year, and even faster after the turn of the century.

Something else is driving cloud formation, or density or longevity, and the global climate modelers don’t know what that is.

 ”Thus, cloud cover changes over three decades during the period of global warming can explain not only the linear trend of global temperature, but also a certain interannual variability.”

Cloud Cover, Global, graph, 2019.

Cloud cover explains the warming, and the pause.

What drives the clouds?

Cloud cover changes could be caused by changes in the solar magnetic field, which may drive cloud seeding via its effect on the cosmic rays that bombard Earth (see Henrik Svensmark). But clouds could also be affected by the solar wind or by solar spectral changes, neither of which are included in GCMs. Clouds could also be driven by changes in aerosols due to volcanoes, bacteria, and plankton. Clouds could also form differently with changes in jetstreams or ocean currents. Meandering jet streams put huge “fingers” of cold air into warm air zones — surely a recipe for more cloud formation. (see Stephen Wilde’s work).

Global Climate Models have no chance of predicting cloud cover. They assume cloud changes are a feedback, not a forcing. So, right from the start, the models don’t even recognise that some outside force might be independently changing cloud cover. In 2012, Miller et al. reported that models got cloud feedbacks wrong by 70W/m2 — an error that’s nearly 20 times larger than the total effect of CO2. What a farce.

Calculating the warming effect

The effect of clouds is complicated. High clouds cause warming. Low clouds cause cooling. Clouds over the dark oceans change the albedo of Earth more than clouds over a bright desert. Clouds in the tropics will reflect more incoming light than clouds over the poles. But at its most brutally simple, the more clouds there are, the more the world cools.

Figure 9 below, describes the relationship between global temperatures and cloud cover. It appears Pokrovsky used it to calculate the effect of the reduction in clouds. A 0.07C warming effect for each 1% decrease in cloud cover, means a fall of 4% in cloud cover would lead to 0.3C of warming. This is just from 1986 – 2000AD and is roughly the same amount of warming as was seen in Hadley. In this situation, no matter how much the trend of Hadley temperatures is “adjusted up,” as long as an analyst uses Hadley temperatures to estimate the linear trend, the increase due to clouds will fit. (Expect Hadley 5.0 to start adjusting key turning points next to mess with this clear signal.)


Global temperature, Cloud cover. Graph

Fig. 9. The results of the regression analysis of the series of global clouds (ISCCP) and surface air temperature (CRUTEM3). 

The conclusions in the paper:

Figure 9 presents the corresponding regression analysis results. As global temperatures, we used the data of CRUTEM 3 (University of East Anglia, Great Britain, The number of points for statistical analysis was 318. The regression equation has the form Y = – 0.0659 X + 19.637. The determination coefficient characterizing the accuracy of the regression is 0.277. The latter means this model accounts for about 28% of the observed dispersion of surface air temperature. High global cloud cover is associated with low global temperatures, demonstrating the cooling effect of clouds. The regression linear approximation model suggests that a 1% increase in global cloud cover corresponds to a global decrease in temperature of about 0.07oC and vice versa.

In the case of global cloudiness of the lower tier, the regression equation changes slightly: Y = – 0.062 X + 16.962. The determination coefficient characterizing the accuracy of the regression increases and in this case is 0.316. From a statistical point of view, this model accounts for about 31% of the observed dispersion of surface air temperature. High low clouds are associated with low global temperatures, demonstrating the cooling effect of low clouds. A simple linear regression model suggests that a 1% increase in global low cloud cover corresponds to a global temperature drop of around 0.06oC and vice versa.

Thus, cloud cover changes over three decades during the period of global warming can explain not only the linear trend of global temperature, but also a certain interannual variability. But the inclusion of a block describing the temporal evolution of cloud cover in climate models remains a problem due to the stochastic nature of cloud variability. However, climate models are deterministic and cannot be directly combined with stochastic cloud blocks. Nevertheless, the factor of cloud cover on climate change cannot be ignored due to the significant contribution of this climate-forming parameter and should be studied more carefully to improve climate forecasts.


IPCC, Assessment Report 4, 2007, Working Group 1, The Physical Science Basis, Chapter 8. [PDF] Page 636 “Clouds”

Pokrovsky OM (2019)  Cloud Changes in the Period of Global Warming: the Results of the International Satellite Project      Russian Academy of Sciences, DOI:

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Even with a $6000 gift, people don’t want batteries with their solar: SA scheme fails

Battery back-up is so expensive and uneconomic that South Australian householders are ignoring the SA governments offer of a $6000 gift to entice them to buy them.

One man installed the batteries and still spent $18,000. Obviously batteries are a “tempting” offer for renters and the poor (if they win lotto).

Home battery scheme off to sluggish start in SA, despite $6,000 subsidy

Richard Davies, ABC

For the past 12 months, the SA Government has offered households $6,000 towards a battery, as well as access to low-cost loans to install solar panels. But so far only about 3,700 have applied, with only 2,000 batteries installed — significantly less than the target of connecting 40,000 households over four years.

Energy analyst Tristan Edis said …

“At best, you’d be getting a payback at around eight years…” and  “another reason was that feed-in tariffs to export solar energy back to the grid were still relatively generous — about 15 cents per kilowatt hour.

South Australia is the economic space where one distorted market signal meets another.

The opposition could have pointed out how this hurts the poor, but instead complain that the conservative govt didn’t advertise it well.

And who is poorer because of this scheme and who do they vote for?

h/t Dave B

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Chile cancels UN Climate conference — weeks out — COP25 forced to move

UN logo, full socialist flavourThe next annual giant UN climate junket was due to be held in Santiago, Chile  on Dec 2 – 15. But protests have driven the country into a state of emergency, 20 people have died, and 3 of the countries six train lines are not functional. It’s so bad, it may take six months to restore the train lines. The protests are reminiscent of the Yellow Vests in France — they started over a minor hike in prices (to train tickets) but escalated rapidly, are largely leaderless, but are obviously very angry.

Chile’s president has just, tonight, pulled out of hosting both the UNFCCC conference, and APEC as well.

A few days ago both sides of politics were claiming the protesters as their own. But with this extraordinary news it’s going to be hard for Saint Greta’s team to say that the protesters want carbon taxes and climate action which is why they destroyed the trains.

Greta is on the way overland.

Chile cancels climate and Apec summits amid mass protests

BBC News,

Chile has pulled out of hosting two major international summits, including a UN climate change conference, as anti-government protests continue.

President Sebastián Piñera said the decision “caused him a lot of pain” but his government needed “to prioritise re-establishing public order”.

Apparently the train fares were rising partly because of renewables:

James Taylor, Heartland, Epoch Times

Santiago Metro fares are rising, despite falling oil and gasoline prices, because government officials in 2018 traded out most of the Metro’s energy sources from conventional power to wind and solar power. The Chilean government also hit the portion of conventional power that remains with new carbon dioxide taxes.

In 2015 Chile was the first country in South America to enforce a carbon tax of $5 a ton. The actual dollars didn’t start coming out of people’s wallets until 2018. The government expected to collect $160m in taxes, so that’s less than $10 per capita. But as we all know, there are hidden costs with the “transition” to random energy generators, perhaps the knock on costs are much larger?

This what a real state of emergency looks like — not like the “climate emergencies” we see all the time:

Climate Change News

Since last Friday, the country has seen barricades in the streets, the army deployed in the capital, subway stations burned and thousands of people banging cooking pots in massive “cacerolazos”, or casserole, protests every night, defying the first curfews imposed since the Pinochet dictatorship. A state of emergency has been declared.

The metro in Santiago has been severely damaged, with several stations attacked. The government has recognised the system won’t be completely restored for more than six months. Only three of the six lines are now functional and just a few stations are open.

In just over five weeks time, tens of thousands of UN climate delegates will be trying to reach the Cop25 venue on the outskirts of the city. It is close to Cerrillos station, on the relatively undamaged Line 6. But Line 1, which goes through the centre of the city where most hotels are located, has been hit hard.

 It’s hard to know what the protesters want from far away. The usual news sources are saying the usual catchphrases like “income inequality”, and twenty years later, still “Pinochet”.

The Guardian:

Chile is notorious for its income inequality: the gap between rich and poor has widened in recent years as the combined wealth of its billionaires is equal to 25% of its GDP.

But inequality is multidimensional: Chile’s employment rate languishes at 55%, ..

But perhaps most importantly, they feel discriminated against and humiliated in all these areas as they battle with inadequate public services that fail to level the playing field.

 Maybe Chileans are sick of being treated like dirt, and lectured to by elites that look after themselves at everyone else’s expense.



h/t Dave B, george, GWPF.

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ScoMo spends $1 billion on another band-aid subsidy for failing grid

Just another renewables subsidy

Bandaid on electricity grid. The Prime Ministers office has announced $1 Billion boost for power reliability which translates as a billion dollars spent on emergency measures we wouldn’t need if we hadn’t spent billions recklessly and artificially on a transition we didn’t need to have.

Ten years ago Australia didn’t have to spend a single dollar, on any batteries,  pumped storage, or “grid stabilizers”. And it didn’t need extra interconnectors. For decades the FCAS was largely free, thanks to giant turbines from coal plants. If we wanted grid unreliability back then, we’d probably have had to pay for it.

The Liberal National Government will establish a $1 billion Grid Reliability Fund to support Government investment in new energy generation, storage and transmission infrastructure, including eligible projects shortlisted under the Underwriting New Generation Investments (UNGI) program.

This is a government fund to support governments “investing” in energy generation?

The new $1 billion fund will be administered by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), drawing on the energy and financial markets expertise that has seen the CEFC invest more than $7 billion in clean energy since its establishment in 2012. The Fund represents the first new capital provided to the CEFC since it began.

It’s tin tacks in terms of solving the problem. The Snowy 2.0 anti-generator will need 5 to $10 billion. Any new major interconnector chews up $1.5b.  South Australia spent $500m on batteries and bandaids, and it’s only 6% of our total NEM Grid. Pfft.

Warning: goal posts on the move

Look who’s aiming to keep electricity only twice as expensive as it was a few years ago before Australia added all the unreliable generators:

The Grid Reliability Fund is an important initiative in the Government’s A Fair Deal on Energy policy and will contribute to meeting our $70 per MWh price target and maintaining and increasing supply of reliable electricity.

Average price for twenty years was $30/MWh. No one is even aiming to get back there. When we close coal plants electricity prices rise. Is there any nation on Earth where that’s not true?

In a PR move the CEFC has been retasked

This is another billion tossed at green fairies, and given to a group that has spent $7b of taxpayer money wrecking our grid. There are better ways this could have been spent. It’s a fence-sitting move, feeding the crocodile. Axing the CEFC and setting up a new group would have been a red rag to the XR-mob. Perhaps ScoMo is afraid of being called a “climate denier”, so the PM has retasked them instead.

Eligible investments will include:

  • Energy storage projects including pumped hydro and batteries,
  • Transmission and distribution infrastructure, and
  • Grid stabilising technologies.

The CEFC may do less damage than it used to do, or maybe not. These band-aids are still subsidies to industries that are destroying grid stability, and will make more of them possible. Instead we should be figuring out a way to get the unreliable generators to pay for reliability-fixes.

Keep reading  →

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California: maybe prescribed burns once every 500 years are not enough?


Californian fires, NASA image.

California’s devastating Kincaid Fire located in Sonoma County has grown to over 66,000 acres and NASA’s Terra satellite captured this dramatic image of the smoke plume cascading down the coast. OCt 27, 2019.  |  NASA image.

In Western Australia (WA) we have incendiary gum trees, regular droughts, and humidity so low that sometimes the clothes dry in the washing machine. Far be it for me to tell Californians how to manage their forests, but thought it worth a mention that Western Australian State govt do managed burns on 8% of the forest each year, and our top experts say it should be twice as much.

Compare that to California, where the rate of prescribed burning is now around 0.2% of the forest or so. Not the same type of fire-loving trees, but still the flammable kind…

BushfireFront: WA burns about 8% annually

  A regime of green burning also produces a healthier and more vigorous forest and is better for biodiversity. This approach was applied rigorously in WA forests for nearly 30 years, with tremendous success. Unfortunately since about the 1980s green burning has been under constant attack from environmentalists and academics. As a result, in Victoria and New South Wales, especially in forests which are now national parks, almost no effective prescribed burning is done.  Even in WA, where green burning was once championed, the area burnt each year has now fallen well below that required to ensure an effective fire management system. Here the annual burning target is 8% of the forest – simple arithmetic allows you to calculate that this equates to a turn-around time of 12 years, which in the jarrah forest at least is nearly twice the recommended burning rotation length if summer wildfires are to be manageable.

 California: Burns about 10% every 50 years….

Twenty-first century California, USA, wildfires: fuel-dominated vs. wind-dominated fires

Jon E. Keeley & Alexandra D. Syphard
Although national parks began this movement 50 years ago, it is clear that, over this period of time, they have not come close to returning historical fire frequencies (estimated at 10 to 30 years) to Sierra Nevada forests. For example, 50 years of prescription burning in national parks has only burned around 10% of the forested landscape, which, at this rate, would take 500 years to burn all of the forested landscape, assuming no reburning of previous burns.

Mechanical treatments that remove understory fuels and thin the density of trees has two advantages over prescription burning: it can be done over a greater portion of the year and potentially can pay for itself through timber sales.

Let’s see that data again. After truly awful fires of 1961, prescribed burns were ramped up dramatically, and then wildfires were almost non-existent for the next twenty years in WA. See that data (before someone alters it). Gradually greens took more control of forest management. As less controlled burns were done, the fires of the uncontrolled type increased to “fill that gap”.

Fires, burnoff, Western Australia

As prescribed fire reduction declined, wildfires increased in South West Australia.  (Click to enlarge)

In Australia we can either have man made fires or natural catastrophes.

Apparently some Californians have been burning off since practically the end of the last ice age. It’s just university educated Californians who don’t seem to have the hang of it yet:

 The native communities across California have been practising traditional, controlled forest burning techniques for 13,000 years….

 CA neglecting safe burns

Ryan Sabalow, Dale Kasler, Maya Miller, The Sacramento Bee

In much of CA firefighters are not even allowed to let natural fires burn in safe conditions:

In California, the debate over prescribed burns is complicated by a deadly history with wildfires that have grown quickly out of control, the state’s stringent environmental regulations, fear of liability lawsuits and infringement on property rights, and the huge swaths of federal forestland with their own management rules and oversight.

For their part, the Tahoe National Forest’s managers say they understand the ecological value of allowing fires such as the Sugar to burn when conditions are safe. But while the agency has loosened the rules on letting fires burn on some national forests, managers of the Tahoe are still required to extinguish any fire that ignites in the woods as quickly as possible.

Researchers estimate that in 1800, 15% of Californian forest would burn each year:

By some estimates, many of the state’s forests have up to 100 times the amount of small trees and underbrush than what grew prior to white settlement. Meanwhile, researchers estimate that prior to 1800, some 4.5 million acres of the state’s forests burned in a typical year — more than the 1.9 million acres that burned in 2018, the most in modern history.

That has fallen to 0.3% per year:

Yet in a state with more than 30 million acres of forest, only about 87,000 acres of California land were treated with prescribed burns last year to reduce undergrowth prior to the state’s deadly fire season, according to data from Cal Fire, the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

CA doesn’t have the incendiary mix that Western Australia does, but perhaps needs something more than burnoffs once every 500 years.

Best wishes to everyone affected.

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Shrinking Stevenson Screens cause global warming (and peeling paint, long grass…)

The Australian BOM has lost its way

Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology is paid more than a million dollars a day, and the planet is under seige, yet the paint is peeling off some Australian thermometer screens, the grass is long, and wasps are nesting in them. What once were large 230 litre wooden boxes have shrunk to 60 litres and are now even turning to plastic.  The old glass thermometers are being replaced with electronic gear that can record a burst of hot air — yet somehow those freak high spikes are supposed to be comparable to temperatures recorded 100 years ago by slow glass thermometers.

Old larger boxes protected thermometers from sudden changes in air temperature.

Stevenson Screens, Australia, Bureau of Meteorology.

Left: Len Walker with a 230L screen in 1940. Right: Blair Trewin with a modern 60L Stevenson screen.

Possibly the hardest thing to explain is that even though the BOM collected comparison data on the different types of thermometers, which might help to assess new versus old, they routinely throw the data away. Compounding that, the metadata on sites is incomplete, missing, lacking in documentation.  Giant six lane highways are built next to equipment sites but not recorded. There is a huge disconnect between the urgency and the fear of climate change and the care and attention paid to measuring the climate. Despite all this the BOM repeatedly tells the public that the science is settled, and we’re hitting new record temperatures which are supposedly accurate to a tenth of a degree.

Bill Johnston is a seasoned weather observer and agricultural climatologist.  He’s been documenting the dismal state of our national climate monitoring network for years, all unpaid. See his previous posts here on Bourke, Port Hedland, Canberra, and Sydney Observatory.

Bill Johnston’s paper: Blowing the whistle on Stevenson screens

Bring on an audit! — Jo


Australia’s climate-trust catastrophe!

A climate critique by Dr. Bill Johnston

The Bureau of Meteorology has lost its way. Replacement of standard 230-litre Stevenson screens with 60-litre ones, which accelerated over recent decades; automatic weather stations (AWS) becoming primary instruments in September 1996; installing PVC screens in the hottest places they could find, closing offices, sacking staff and reducing maintenance to one or fewer site-visits per year have warmed Australia’s climate.

Lack of site control is endemic and it’s not true that changes in data are due to climate change and warming. Small Stevenson screens relocated to dusty paddocks and airports, which are seldom cleaned or repainted, are invariably biased-high (Figure 1). It matters that paint peels off and screens lose their lustre, grime builds up and that grass is not regularly mowed (Figure 2). Recent record temperatures and increases in the frequency of warm days are predominantly due to relocating screens to warmer aspects, AWS and small screens becoming primary instruments, and lack of maintenance.

Stevenson Screens, Australian, Bureau of Meteorology.

Figure 1. While the screen and other equipment at Wagga Wagga airport were well maintained by Bureau staff in June 2016 (left), placement of the AWS temperature probes 2-cm closer to the north-facing rear of the screen made the temperature warmer on warm days. At Rutherglen (right), by July 2019, the neglected screen was grimy; home to a mud wasp (arrowed) and outside paint was peeling around the roof and louvers. Lack of regular maintenance results in bias and causes the frequency of warm days to increase. (Sensors measure relative humidity (RH) and temperature (T).). Stevenson Screens, Australian, Bureau of Meteorology.


The Bureau has lost its way

Standards have slipped and the Bureau’s core function of monitoring the weather can no longer be trusted. The community is poorly served by its penchant for hitting the headlines with exaggerated claims of record hot days, months and years in time for the evening news.

Even worse, in 2017 they established seven new sites in southwestern NSW in the warmest places they could find using PVC screens with mat-black interiors that radiate heat onto the instruments on warm days. It is therefore no coincidence that temperatures have increased in recent time; that records are regularly smashed and that heatwaves and extremes seem more frequent. However, it’s a major problem for climate catastrophists that trends and changes don’t reflect what’s actually happening with the weather.

The climate emergency doesn’t exist. In order to fit the narrative, Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology has altered the conditions under which temperature is measured. Aided by the Monash misinformation hub, the ABC, The Conversation the Fairfax press and The Guardian, a campaign is underway to tag our normal weather as non-normal and extreme.

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The Australian Bureau of Met hides 50 years of very hot days

History is being wiped out

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology has not only disappeared the Very Hot Days graph but they have wiped out thousands of 40 plus hot days in the years from 1910 – 1963 — years when almost all temperatures in Australia were recorded on Stevenson screens by trained officials under the central management of the Bureau. Volunteer, Chris Gillham, found the data and the changes between ACORN 1 and ACORN 2 and created this transformative graph below.

1952 had more hot days than any year since. Not any more. All those poor sods in 1952 who endured an average twenty one 40-degree-plus days will find now that it wasn’t really that hot. The BoM is like an air conditioner that cools the country 70 years in the past. And it’s only a million dollars a day…

As Craig Kelly MP points out — 2011 had the fewest “very hot days” of the last century, but even the recent data from expert equipment can change eight years later.

Chris Gillham also tested the effect of the latest secret ACORN 2 changes on the “old century” 100F cut off, and found, remarkably that there were more “hotter-than-100″ days in the raw data in the first half of last century. All that global warming eh? You’ll be shocked I tell you, shocked, to find that the BOMs latest adjustments change that trend from a fairly stable one to … an increase.

Ponder that with millions more people, concrete and cars in the modern era, it’s the old measurements in good screens in open fields that are being quietly adjusted down, not up, and by secret methods.

If the BOM were a bank adjusting it’s own tax receipts, the Labor Party and Greens would be demanding a Royal Commission.

Check out Chris’s site, a vast amount of data-crunching, all done unpaid. Thank him here!

– Jo


Extreme adjustments distort Australia’s very hot days

Guest post by Chris Gillham who publishes WAClimate

Only a few people know that in early 2019 the Bureau of Meteorology updated its ACORN dataset and increased Australia’s per decade rate of mean temperature warming since 1910 by 23%. The Australian remains the only media that has ever mentioned ACORN 2 or its ramifications. At least 25 million Australians have never heard of ACORN 2 …

Even fewer are aware that ACORN 2 has influenced and distorted the number of days at 40.0C or above, defined by the bureau as “very hot days”, since 1910.

The animated graphic below shows very hot days from 1910 to 2015 in the ACORN 1 dataset source archived bureau pages within the WayBack Machine when compared to very hot days from 1910 to 2018 within the ACORN 2 dataset sourced to current readings at the BoM website.
Very Hot Days in Australia, graph, Bureau of Meteorology.

Sweeping changes in record hot days? The Bureau of Meteorology adjusted raw data to make ACORN 1 and has adjusted that further to make ACORN 2!

The animation points arrows at how the record high averaged number of very hot days in 1952 within the ACORN 1 dataset was reduced by 24.1% in the ACORN 2 dataset, and the ACORN 1 averaged total for 1952 is still more than the ACORN 2 averaged total for 2018.
To shine a spotlight within the annual averages animated above, it’s worth looking at a random sample of individual stations:
  • At Bourke in NSW from 1910 to 2017 there were 1,909 very hot 40C+ days in RAW (average 41.7C), but in ACORN 1 there were 1,727 very hot 40C+ days (average 42.0C), and in ACORN 2 there were 1,589 very hot 40C+ days (average 41.7C). From RAW to ACORN 2 this is a 16.7% reduction in days.
  • At Marble Bar in WA from 1910 to 2017 there were 11,345 very hot 40C+ days in RAW (average 42.4C), but in ACORN 1 there were 10,060 very hot 40C+ days (average 42.5C), and in ACORN 2 there were 9,962 very hot 40C+ days (average 42.4C). From RAW to ACORN 2 this is a 12.2% reduction in days.
  • At Alice Springs in the Northern Territory from 1910 to 2017 there were 1,526 very hot 40C+ days in RAW (average 41.1C), but in ACORN 1 there were 1,421 very hot 40C+ days (average 41.1C), and in ACORN 2 there were 1,232 very hot 40C+ days (average 41.1C). From RAW to ACORN 2 this is a 19.3% reduction in days.
  • At Boulia in Queensland from 1910 to 2017 there were 4,889 very hot 40C+ days in RAW (average 41.6C), but in ACORN 1 there were 4,236 very hot 40C+ days (average 41.6C), and in ACORN 2 there were 3,500 very hot 40C+ days (average 41.7C). From RAW to ACORN 2 this is a 28.4% reduction in days.
  • At Wandering in WA from 1910 to 2017 there were 325 very hot 40C+ days in RAW (average 41.1C), but in ACORN 1 there were 266 very hot 40C+ days (average 41.1C), and in ACORN 2 there were 219 very hot 40C+ days (average 41.2C). From RAW to ACORN 2 this is a 32.6% reduction in days.
The animation above makes clear that the overwhelming bulk of these reduced very hot days in ACORN 2 at these individual stations and at most others was in the first half of the 1900s.

What about the old Fahrenheit “Hotter than 100 days”?

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Giles weather station — sited next to almost the only bitumen for 500 km

I visited the famous Giles weather station a couple of weeks ago. It’s an ACORN top ranking site, it even has a Met office. Because it so central and so remote the measurements here are used to estimate temperatures across a vast area — indeed, arguably, it’s the most influential site in terms of Australia’s area-averaged temperature. It’s 1,700km drive from Perth (1,000 miles) and the last 800 km of that is dirt road with wild camels. It’s so remote the nearest post box is 340 km away across the state border at Uluru / Ayers Rock.

This could have been the best site in Australia, unaffected by UHI, open since 1956, staffed with professionals.

Despite the site being surrounded by three deserts and 500,000 square kilometers of wilderness somehow the only short stretch of bitumen for miles starts 600m from Giles and runs within 10m of the Stevenson screen.

Giles Meteorology Station, Map

Giles is arguably the most central and most remote station in Australia.

Never fear, civilization is here:


Giles, Bureau of Meteorology, ACORN, site, Stevenson screen, WA.

Giles, Bureau of Meteorology, ACORN, site, Stevenson screen, WA.

Stepping back — the site is surrounded by gravel:

Bureau of Meteorology, ACORN-Sat, Giles siting. Stevenson screen.

There is even a kind of gravel car park beside the site. Not that there are that many cars. |  Click to enlarge.


The quest remains to find one good long running site in Australia.

Ken Stewart gives Giles Met Station a Fail.

By the Bureau of Meteorology’s own standards the site is non-compliant.

The screen is surrounded by an extensive area of graded bare gravel, unlike the environment it is supposed to represent, (buffel grass, spinnifex, and low scrub). Bitumen was laid on the road between September 2011 and October 2012 and is less than 30 metres from the screen. 30 metres is exactly how far a [6m wide sealed] surface should be. The bare gravel surface right beside the screen is the main problem.

The BOM knows this of course, in excruciating detail. The road was sealed around 2011. This is all marked up on  the BOM site info. Presumably, they’ve “corrected” for the road using sites a thousand kilometers away?

There’s a thousand square kilometers of better spots in every direction.

Giles layout. Bureau of Meteorology, Sites metadata.

Giles layout. Bureau of Meteorology, Sites metadata PDF.  |  Click to enlarge.

Giles Meteorological Station

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Seattle School says Maths is racist, used to oppress people of color

Postmodernist reasoning taken to its logical conclusion. Starts with zero, ends with identity-maths.

Is Maths Racist?

Free Press International News

The Seattle Public Schools Ethnic Studies Advisory Committee (ESAC) has determined that math is subjective and racist.

In a draft for its Math Ethnic Studies framework, the ESAC writes that Western mathematics is “used to disenfranchise people and communities of color.”

Hammers and drills too. They build mansions for white people.  Tools of oppression.

Using the ESAC’s framework, Seattle’s public school students will be able to “construct & decode mathematical knowledge, truth, and beauty” so that they can contribute to their communities.

Just what we need. More people to contribute wokeness and entitlement.

Students will also analyze the ways in which “ancient mathematical knowledge has been appropriated by Western culture,” and “identify how math has been and continues to be used to oppress and marginalize people and communities of color.”

 Six. Seven. Hate. Nine. Let’s ban the number hate!

In 2017, a University of Illinois math professor Rochelle Gutierrez argued in a newly published math education book for teachers that they must be aware of the identity politics surrounding the subject of mathematics.

Right now Gutierrez is oppressing black and asian mathematicians:

“On many levels, mathematics itself operates as Whiteness,” she argues with complete sincerity, according to Campus Reform. “Who gets credit for doing and developing mathematics, who is capable in mathematics, and who is seen as part of the mathematical community is generally viewed as White.”

Some mathematicians are more equal than others:

Gutierrez also wrote that the importance of math skills in the real world places what she calls an “unearned privilege” for those who are good at it.

Unearned privilege being defined as anyone lucky enough to spend twenty years practicing algebra.

Because most math teachers in the United States are white, white people stand to benefit from their grasp of the subject disproportionate to members of other races.

 Is she really saying afro-hispanic-asian people can’t learn maths from white teachers? If I said that, they’d put me in jail.

“Are we really that smart just because we do mathematics?” she asks, raising the question as to why math professors get more grants than “social studies or English” professors.

Indeed. Why do lawyers earn more than maths professors? Why do English professors get paid more than hair dressers? It’s so unfair. We could pay everyone the minimum wage. To quote that great Russian ethnic: “From each according to his ability,” Did leftist intellectual reasoning start with Karl Marx, or end there?

Shame Prof Gutierrez cant see cultural injustice. People who are good at maths have been oppressed for a hundred thousand years. The Eulers of the iron age were wasted, digging holes and smiting voles. They were denied their cultural identity, mocked for their spear throwing and forced to live in a world without numbers, or even a PDP-11. Now, after 5,000 generations, finally they have a chance to shine.

It’s free world. We won’t expect her to turn up to the national sorry maths day, but Gutierrez can always work on her own culturally inclusive maths, with woke numbers, and use it to design her own unoppressive phone.

h/t Howard “Cork” Hayden

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