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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Before climate change: Falling rocks set fire to 10% of land, trigger mini ice age for 1000 years

Another day, another apocalypse. Life in a perfect climate

Poor sods. After 90,000 dismal cold years things were finally just warming up when a  bunch of comet fragments from a a 62 mile-wide comet, crashed into our atmosphere. It was  around 13,000 years ago, and the fireballs started the ultimate black Saturday blaze which converted 10 million square kilometers of wilderness into unauthorized carbon emissions*. Somehow, all those reckless greenhouse gas additions didn’t seem to stop the airborne dust triggering a return to a mini ice age for a thousand years. It also punched a hole in the ozone layer meaning everyone probably had to wear more yak-fat sunscreen or get more skin cancer (I suspect data is bit lean on that).

Glaciers started growing again, some ocean currents changed and thus the Younger Dryas unfolded according to a couple of new papers.

In a fairly dramatic shift of landscaping styles, mother nature razed whole pine forests and replaced them with poplars.

Gaia is full of surprises: in the end, falling lumps of ice set fire to 10% of land on Earth, and making 10,800BC the worst carbon footprint since the last 62 mile wide rock hit Earth. Primitive tribes blamed each other and tried to stabilize the climate by banning cooking fires.

Thirteen thousand years later, and homo snowflakus is worried about seas rising by 1mm a year, and the ABC is worried about an alarming surge in large fires.

Anyhow, it’s an interesting theory. Published in Science Daily.

University of Kansas.

On a ho-hum day some 12,800 years ago, the Earth had emerged from another ice age. Things were warming up, and the glaciers had retreated.

Out of nowhere, the sky was lit with fireballs. This was followed by shock waves.

Fires rushed across the landscape, and dust clogged the sky, cutting off the sunlight. As the climate rapidly cooled, plants died, food sources were snuffed out, and the glaciers advanced again. Ocean currents shifted, setting the climate into a colder, almost “ice age” state that lasted an additional thousand years.

Finally, the climate began to warm again, and people again emerged into a world with fewer large animals and a human culture in North America that left behind completely different kinds of spear points.

This is the story supported by a massive study of geochemical and isotopic markers just published in the Journal of Geology.

The results are so massive that the study had to be split into two papers.

Keep reading  →

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Weekend Unthreaded

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The People Versus the Deep State: FBI working as a wing of the Democrats

Everyone is talking about The Nunes memo, possibly because the bigger implications of what it reveals — something like an attempted coup. Explosive. Corruption at the highest level.

Big Claims:

Bigger than Watergate. Tip of the Iceberg. More Memos to come.

This thread covers the most interesting things I’ve read. First up, some very provocative talk. Further down, elected Reps. speaking I presume in careful legally vetted words. Lastly, some Democrat replies.  In the middle, a diversion about the role of the media — also a part of the Deep State. h/t David. Roger. Scott of the Pacific. Charles. Pat. RAH. others… Thanks.

THE RIGHT’S SPIN: Watergate X1000: What The MSM Is Hoping you Ignore About the FISA Memo,

by Lucian Wintrich:

With the release of the memo, we finally have proof that … the Clinton machine, powered by the Obama Administration, using the DNC as its main appendage, funded the creation of a false dossier, that they simultaneously leaked to the press and sold to the FBI, and then pressured top government employees to turn that into a FISA warrant, and more broadly into what the MSM refers to as the “Russia Investigation”.

Hillary Clinton, her campaign, and the DNC manufactured a completely false dossier, which led to the United States government, under the Obama administration, spying on Trump staffers. The DNC paid for the Steele dossier and then used their Obama administration contacts to say that it’s grounds for an investigation. … The information from the ongoing investigation … was then illegally leaked to the press in an attempt to steer public opinion toward the impeachment of now elected President Trump. …

These supposedly neutral government agencies acted and functioned as wings and branches of the DNC.

The Hill:  The FISA memo is a ‘deep state’ bombshell

The Nunes memo is out, and it is a stunning rebuke of the prevailing Democrat narrative on Trump-Russia collusion. It shows, beyond reasonable doubt, that extreme abuses of authority and bad faith were instrumental in getting the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) to approve a counterintelligence warrant that circumvents normal 4th Amendment processes for an American citizen.

This is a deeply concerning development, one for which there must be accountability at the government level, and a complete rethinking of the entire Russia collusion storyline that has news coverage for over a year.

There can no longer be any doubt — oppo research was used to weaponize the intelligence collection process on behalf of one American political party against the other during a presidential election.

It gets worse. We now know that, despite the highly dubious provenance of this dossier, senior DOJ and FBI officials never once, in three renewals of the FISA request, told the secret court about the dossier’s origins.

It defies belief and common sense that seasoned lawyers and investigators like James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok and Bruce Ohr would have missed the massive significance of this omission. The much more likely explanation is that they felt they could get away with it, and stopping Trump was more important than fulfilling their oaths to uphold and defend the Constitution.

Daniel Greenfield calls it a coup

A clear and simple fact emerges from the memo.

Top figures in the DOJ and the FBI, some loyal to Obama and Hillary, abused the FISA process in the hopes of influencing or reversing the results of an election by targeting their political opponents. The tool that they used for the job came from the Clinton campaign. Using America’s intelligence services to destroy and defeat a political opponent running for president is the worst possible abuse of power and an unprecedented threat to a democratic system of free, open elections.

We have been treated to frequent lectures about the independence of the DOJ and the FBI. But our country isn’t based around government institutions that are independent of oversight by elected officials. When unelected officials have more power than elected officials, that’s tyranny.

A Justice Department that acts as the Praetorian Guard for a political campaign is committing a coup and engaging in treason. The complex ways that the Steele dossier was laundered from the Clinton campaign to a FISA application is evidence of a conspiracy by both the DOJ and the Clinton campaign.

h/t Pat

For those who want the key background points, the excellent Ross McKitrick sums up the story so far in an 11 page PDF.   h/t commenter Ross (not the same Ross)

The media is part of the deep state

Things would never have got so far down the well if the media were not part of the campaign team for one side of politics. Thanks to commenter Pat for the video of Newt Gingrich speaking from a few days ago. The comments are at 4:45 and 6 minutes, but the opening comments are interesting too.

Youtube: 7mins44secs: NEWT GINGRICH FULL ONE-ON-ONE INTERVIEW WITH SEAN HANNITY (1/31/2018)

4mins49secs: “The elite media is part of the deep state. The elite media group has survived by being in collusion with the senior bureaucracy, the city of Washington, the senior reporters, the senior bureaucrats, the senior lobbyists, they all hang out together, they all talk to each other, they all compare notes.”

6mins28secs: “The elite media in the United States is not neutral. They’re not referees. They’re the offensive wing of the other team. You saw this in some of the clips you had, some of which are frankly outrageously anti-Trump in a way that is almost bizarre. These are folks who are so deeply hostile to what Donald Trump is trying to accomplish that they are fully as much a part of the opposition as is Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer and that’s part of why you’re getting this unbelievably biased coverage.”…

The bottom line

What does it mean at the bare minimum? The Republican Reps are talking about the spying issue, presumably waiting for more pieces of the puzzle to pick up the more sweeping implications. This presumably is the strongest point (legally).

Rep. Jim Jordan

That’s it? Top brass at FBI/DOJ take “salacious & unverified”(your words, not mine) partisan funded dossier to get secret warrant from secret court to spy on private American on rival campaign. Doesn’t bother you? Bothers me. And more importantly, it bothers the American people.    @Jim_Jordan

FBI doesn’t tell the court that the DNC/Clinton campaign paid for that dossier. And they did that FOUR times.  @JimJordan

Representative Mark Meadows explains:

Via The Last Refuge, h/t RAH

What this issue is all about: whether the Department of Justice and FBI, under President Obama, abused their surveillance authority against American citizens and political opponents. Put another way: was the Obama DOJ weaponized to spy on the Trump campaign?

Keep reading  →

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AEMC wants input on how to save Australia’s Electricity Grid — Due Monday Feb 6th

AMEC logo, Review, Australian Electricity Grid.AEMC is the Australian Energy Market Commission. It’s “the rule maker for Australian Electricity and gas markets”. They make the National Electricity, Gas, and Energy Retail rules. There are a lot of government bureacracies. AEMC sound more influential than most, and they are asking for consultation, but by Monday. There will be a chance to comment in March, but I know some readers have material already written that is relevant. Sorry about the short notice.

AEMC invites consultation on ways to deliver a reliable supply of energy at the lowest cost

Stakeholders are encouraged to provide input on the Interim report.

Keep reading  →

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Trump’s State of the Union: Australians may have no idea

Something great is happening in the US

Here’s a smattering of US news that isn’t being heard much in Australia. 75% of Americans liked Trump’s speech, and 80% felt proud. Trumps tax reforms means companies are returning to the US for the first time in decades. (How will Australia compete?) In the last month, approval for his tax bill has tripled as people figure out they will get to keep more of their money. Meanwhile James Delingpole notes a big moment in the climate debate: “It’s over” he says. Climate change didn’t rate a mention in The State of the Union or in the Democrat rebuttal.

On the other hand, the Australian ABC said Trump’s State of the Union call for unity falls on deaf ears. Sure. Listen to the crowd. There is so much applause you will get bored of it. The ABC spin is the sanitized reference to how the left half the crowd sits, stony faced, wearing black, with sad expressions, apparently disapproving of wages rising and other good news. Black jobs. Tax cuts. Car companies coming back to the US. Who cares? Meanwhile, the other half of of the audience is doing a fitness workout, up, down, up, down. Stand, sit, clap, clap, more clapping. At least Bernie Sanders could clap. Give him a point.

All the links below.

All those stories:

Keep reading  →

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JCU bans Prof Peter Ridd from criticizing scientific institutions. Defiant, he refuses, fights on!

UPDATE: Funding target reached already. Thank you!

I am astonished, very relieved and most importantly incredibly grateful for the support. I would also particularly like to thank Anthony, Jennifer Marohasy, Jo Nova, Willie Soon, Benny Peiser and many others for getting the issue up on blogs and spreading the word.
Kind regards, Peter
_________________________

JCU is trying (and failing) to gag Peter Ridd from discussing why we can’t trust scientific organisations

Peter Ridd: In an era of dangerous groupthink in science, academic freedom and scientific integrity is increasingly under attack.

Last August Professor Peter Ridd said the unsayable — that we can no longer trust scientific institutions. His employer, James Cook University (JCU) could have explained why they were trustworthy, but instead they fired back with a formal censure and ordered him to be silent, effectively to stop him criticizing the current state of science or scientific institutions. Then knowing exactly how respectable, ethical, and scientific this is, they also ordered him not to mention the censure too. Let’s censor the censure!

If there was a crisis in science, what academic would be allowed to point it out?

It gets dirtier, apparently now they are even trawling through his private emails as well, hunting for more ammunition for their misconduct case. Who’s a bit desperate?

Hypothetically, if there was a crisis in modern science, with a failure to replicate results or a lack objectivity, this could cost the nation billions, risk the reef, slow medical research, and hurt our children, but  JCU have effectively said that no one they employ can talk about it. Does the state of science matter to JCU? Not as much as their right to issue prophecies, no hard questions asked, star on the tellie, and help their favourite political cause. (Science for Big-Government’s sake).

Obviously, Ridd is having none of this, and is determined to openly and brazenly breach both instructions. Tell the World! Furthermore, he’s taking the matter to the Federal Court, and raising funds to fight for free speech. (You can help!)

If Ridd loses, what person at any Australian university will be able to discuss systematic, cultural problems with the practice of science that are damaging our research and trashing the reputations of great institutions? JCU have a dismal record of isolating, blackbanning, and ousting people who disagree with the consensus (vale, Bob Carter!) This has to stop now.

Thou shalt not question the Cardinals of Scientificness!

From Peter Ridds site – the forbidden incriminating comment:

“The basic problem is that we can no longer trust the scientific organisations like the Australian Institute of Marine Science, even things like the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies – a lot of this is stuff is coming out, the science is coming out not properly checked, tested or replicated and this is a great shame because we really need to be able to trust our scientific institutions and the fact is I do not think we can any more.”

“I think that most of the scientists who are pushing out this stuff they genuinely believe that there are problems with the reef, I just don’t think they’re very objective about the science they do, I think they’re emotionally attached to their subject and you know you can’t blame them, the reef is a beautiful thing.” — Sky News with Alan Jones, August 2017.

On the basis of these comments I was accused of not acting in a ‘collegial’ manner.

Ironically, Ridd had submitted a paper on exactly this topic, which was published a few months later in November in the Marine Pollution Bulletin. It’s a peer reviewed paper on the problems with peer review (among other things). Eleven days after it was published, JCU wrote saying he had engaged in serious misconduct and issued him with a “final censure”!

So that which can’t be said on a Sky News chat show can be published in a peer reviewed science journal. It might be good enough to pass expert review, but don’t mention it to “a shock jock”. Imagine if the public started to question the words of certified, authorized scientists? (Imagine if the public realized that all those certified, authorized scientists are only certified and authorized as long as they speak the Uni-commissars approved lines?)

From Peter Ridd:

The way I have been treated, if they get away with it, will have a serious chilling effect on future research and public discussion.

I am putting myself on the line – this action will be costly in terms of time and reputation – but I have spent my whole life fighting for scientific truth and I do not intend to stop now.

From Graham Lloyd in The Australian:

A revised statement of claim alleges JCU trawled through private email conversations in a bid to bolster its misconduct case against him.

“This is as much a case about free speech as it is about quality of science,” he said.

“I am very keen that the trawling of emails to dig up more dirt becomes known.”

  From The Institute of Public Affairs (who have been very supportive of Ridd from the outset):

JCU claimed that Professor Ridd’s comments denigrated the university and the university directed him to make no future such comments.

“The actions of James Cook University (JCU) follow a now-familiar pattern of behaviour by Australia’s universities.  The search for truth has been replaced by unquestioning allegiance to consensus, group-think, and orthodoxy.  The treatment of Professor Ridd by JCU is no different to what the University of Western Australia did to Bjorn Lomborg in 2015,” said Mr Roskam.

IPA research has found a worsening state of free speech on Australia’s university campuses. The IPA’s Free Speech on Campus Audit 2017 found 34 of Australia’s 42 universities are hostile to free speech on campus through their actions and policies.

Professor Ridd has launched a GoFundMe to fundraise the legal costs for action against James Cook University to protect his academic freedom to discuss integrity in science.

I spoke with Peter Ridd today. He’s calm, well spoken, and absolutely determined to get science back to where it should be. We can’t let the forces of groupthink win.

The group-thinking warmists who preach,
A consensus, will censure free speech,
And those who might dare,
Have their science laid bare,
They would gladly dismiss and impeach.

–Ruairi

REFERENCE

Larcomb, P. and Ridd, P. (2017) The need for a formalised system of Quality Control for environmental policy-science, Marine Pollution Bulletin, Volume 126, January 2018, Pages 449-461https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2017.11.038

h/t Jim Simpson, George, Dave B, C Paul Barreria, Robber, and Martin Clark.

 

 

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Blood moon eclipse

Perth was lucky enough to see a full blood moon eclipse last night (and at a sensible hour). The red color comes as sunlight passes through dust, and became much more obvious once we got half the moon covered. It was also a supermoon and a so-called blue moon (being the second full moon in January).  h/t Tom Q. Thanks for the call.

Blood Moon, Super Moon, Blue Moon. Photo, Jan 2018

Blood Moon, Super Moon, Blue Moon. Photo, Jan 2018

With a different exposure the shadow of the Earth was more obvious.

Blood Moon, Super Moon, Blue Moon. Photo, Jan 2018

Blood Moon, Super Moon, Blue Moon. Photo, Jan 2018

Unlike the edge of sunrise on the moon, which is beautifully sharp, the edge of the Earth shadow was blurred and spread over a wider area. The camera found it hard to cope with both the intense full moon light and the shadow side. In some exposures there is a real sense of it being a 3D ball hung in space. A curiosity, but well worth the look if you get the chance. The next total lunar eclipse that will be visible in the UK is on July 27, 2018. Americans and UK folk can look forward to another “super blood moon” eclipse coming on Jan. 21, 2019. (No “blue” artefact, but whatever).  The next super blue blood moon will happen exactly 19 years from now, on Jan. 31, 2037.

Click here to see more of the progression…

Keep reading  →

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Mystery: Australian electricity costs rise six times faster than wages – up another 12%

More bad luck for the renewables industry. Despite providing free energy from the sun and wind, electricity prices keep rising relentlessly, shockingly fast. Even doubling in wholesale costs in South Australia and Victoria.

It was supposed to be cheap to collect low-level-energy across hundreds of thousands of square kilometers. Who knew that subsidized, unreliable energy would induce volatile pricing, allow the players to game the system, create obscene spikes, drive out the cheapest providers, require expensive battery storage, more frequency control, more maintenance, just as much back up supply, $400 million dollars worth of extra diesel generators (and the rest) and extra long transmission lines? Who knew? — Probably thousands of engineers.

Spot the pattern? Every other nation with lots of renewables has expensive electricity and our forward market says there’s more price rises coming.

Australian electricity prices rising six times faster than wages are growing

Sydney Morning Herald

Electricity prices have jumped by six times the rate of the average pay rise, new figures reveal, as family wallets are increasingly squeezed by essential services such as education, utilities and fuel.

The most significant price rises were electricity, up 12.4 per cent, fuel up 10.4 per cent, domestic holiday travel up 6.3 per cent and fruit up 9.3 per cent.

If you think our economy is flaming out now, wait til we reach the 23% RET target, and pay for the $1 billion interconnectors and the $4 billion extra hydro storage that we didn’t need when we had enough coal power. Then, after we reach the bottom, we’ll have to pay more to build new USC coal baseload, just to keep up with Indonesia, because we were too frightened to upgrade the old cheap plants; and it’s too frightening for any investors to do it for us.

High energy prices make everything else more expensive too. How much of the rise in hospital services, education, and beer is due to the higher costs of energy? Last week Victorian hospitals couldn’t even afford to keep all their lights on. The only thing that high energy prices don’t push upwards, is wages.

Most of the rises were in states that blow up or disassemble their coal plants

Wholesale prices double in a year in SA and Victoria (paywalled)

Samantha Hutchinson and Michael Owen, The Australian

Prices, Electricity, wholesale, Graph, Australia, rises in 2017.

Average wholesale energy prices in Victoria and South Australia have more than doubled since this time last year, as experts warn that blackouts and supply issues are likely to increase as state governments chase ­aggressive ­renewable energy ­targets.

The mass outages [last weekend] affected more than 60,000 residents, some of whom were cut off for more than 28 hours.

Grattan Institute energy ­director Tony Wood said Sunday’s and Monday’s blackouts and high pricing showed that the state had botched its energy transition program by allowing baseload power sources — such as the Hazelwood power station — to be replaced by renewables, which delivered intermittent power.

The Victorian State Premier blames privatization (can someone tell him about Texas?)

In Victoria, Mr Andrews blamed the outages on the Coalition’s decision to privatise the state’s energy assets in the 1990s. “Fact is, there was more than enough power being generated to meet the demand yesterday — but the private companies and their distribution systems failed yet again,” he said on Twitter.

The SA government thinks SA electricity is cheap:

SA Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis said wholesale power prices were “notoriously volatile”. “Since August, wholesale power prices in South Australia have been consistently cheaper than Victoria, and in September and October, SA had the cheapest wholesale prices of mainland states in the National Electricity Market,” he said.

In fairyland people only need electricity in months starting with O and S. Can someone remind him that a couple of years ago, in 2015, every state had cheaper wholesale electricity. The wholesale price in SA in 2015 was $41/MWh. By 2017 it was the “cheapest in the nation” at $69/MWh. Laugh til you cry.

Odd 2018 CPI trivia: Three of the four fastest rising items are energy: energy for our homes and businesses, energy for human bodies, energy for cars. Is that a message there?

– Nothing that 5 or 10 nuclear plants and a few new gas wells can’t fix.

h/t Dave B, Robber, TdeF, El Gordo, Lance. Thanks.

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Midweek Unthreaded

Ideas that don’t belong…

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