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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Climate leader China, taxes all kinds of pollution but not CO2

Looks like China is going to apply punitive taxes all sorts of human pollution even noise pollution, but they’re not taxing CO2:

Polluters will be charged for contributing to air, water and noise pollution, according to a copy of the legislation on the NPC’s official .

But CO2 did not make the list, which includes air and water pollutants such as sulphur dioxide and sulfite, taxed at rates beginning at 1.2 yuan ($0.17) and 1.4 yuan ($0.20) per unit respectively.

It also stipulates a monthly tax ranging from 350 to 11,200 yuan ($50 to $1612) for .

China is the worlds largest emitter of CO2 and they are happy to do symbolic things for the climate, like sign the Paris agreement where they can commit to do nothing til 2030, and not much after that. But taxing carbon does  actual collateral damage on an economy. China is obviously having none of that.

For a change, the thing that apparently inspired these new laws was a real pollution problem:

The new law was precipitated after 20 cities in Northeast China went on high smog alerts, which forced the closure of factories and the removal of cars off the road. People were told to wear face masks and roads and schools were closed. Airports canceled flights. The smog alert also prompted renewed calls by China’s President Xi Jinping to research clean energy sources and make factories burn cleaner.

 What happened to China — the global climate leader?

On November 15th, was worried  that the US had been surpassed, and that China was now the global leader in climate change reform. On December 6th, Noam Chomsky was agog at the spectacle that had unfolded in Marrakech: “The hope of the world for saving us from this impending disaster was China—authoritarian, harsh China.

Last week, the  gnashed teeth that the US was Ceding Climate Leadership to China. The stakes were pretty high:

“… ceding climate leadership to China would be disastrous for the United States, whose diplomatic standing and position in the race to supply the world’s clean-energy needs would fall precipitously as a result.”

Looks like Chomsky et al can relax. Beijing isn’t going to win the Miss Climate Pageant after all.

Expect green protests about China’s lack-of-carbon-tax to start in 3, 2, 1 million years.

h/t ClimateDepot and GWPF: The Daily Caller” China Won’t Tax CO2 In Pollution Control Measures

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Merry Christmas and a big thank you

Merry Christmas to everyone.

It’s a happy Christmas here, thanks to everyone who is chipping in to help cover the costs of science research and commentary that the government won’t fund.

A big thankyou also to the moderators.

Wishing everyone the best of health and happiness.

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Mods take over the site, ask for emergency chocolate

We Must Maintain the Pressure
Dear Readers and Supporters,

The Moderators have temporarily seized control of the posts. We mods happen to know some big bills are piling up, and the bank account is very low heading into Christmas, and Jo doesn’t like to ask, but your support keeps this work, research and blog going. Please hit the tip jar, buy Jo and David a beer, a steak, a month on the server ($100), or a mini-break.

The Real IPCC consensus

The Climate Skeptic Movement has had a phenomenal year in 2016, though there is much still to do to slow the trillion dollar juggernaut that takes from the poor and gives to the wealthy. Progress is only happening through the persistent and hard work of prominent skeptics like Jo Nova who’s material is reproduced around the world, who continues to inspire and inform and who takes the brunt of abuse from climate alarmists in politicians and the main stream media.

As you all know Joanne came from a science communication background and once worked with our national publicly funded ABC, the ANU and the National Science and Technology Centre. Jo doesn’t say it on the blog, but asking questions about the ‘accepted’ science created a rift between her and her former colleagues and friends. She stayed true to the science and had the courage to establish this award-winning blog. Unfortunately, contrary to propaganda, Jo is not funded by big oil, coal, or any other fossil fuel interests.

The other half in this extraordinary partnership is Dr David Evans who has sacrificed a comfortable job in government or academia because his work has found inconvenient answers. His work on The Notch-Delay Solar Theory detailed here may well help break through the defences of the UN IPCC’s amateur-hour science when more scientists who are actually skilled in statistical analysis and physics are exposed to it.

Who will ever forget the UK’s leading climate scientist, Dr Phil Jones, head of the UK Climate Research Unit admitting he couldn’t plot a trend using Excel in his Dec 2007 Climategate email? That is what we are dealing with, and once more politicians start demanding answers to the climate skeptics questions, the IPCC will be found wanting.This will only happen if the Climate Skeptic Movement, headed by people like Jo Nova and Dr David Evans, keep raising the questions and reaching the public and main stream media consciousness to prompt the politicians to ask the right questions. We moderators are awed by Joanne and David’s dedication, and what they have been through, to continue this work while trying to pay the bills and raise three lovely young, bright children.

They can’t do it without your help.We know Joanne and David don’t like to ask, but they live frugally and they and their children have missed out on a lifestyle they could have enjoyed had they not ‘bucked’ the system.We are asking you to ensure Joanne and David continue this important fight to stop the waste of trillions of dollars in taxpayer funds and economic opportunity costs. We know some people make regular or occasional contributions, but it isn’t paying the mortgage. Please make a contribution today, no matter how big or small, to theTip Jar’ via Pay Pal or credit card (or located at the top right of the page). There are  non-paypal, non-credit card options .This really shouldn’t be called a ‘Tip Jar’, it is their ‘existence fund’! We hope you believe their existence in the climate debate is as important and valuable as we do.

All the Moderators would like to take this opportunity to thank contributors for your patience and understanding that we Moderators are all volunteers working at the site on an ‘as available’ basis. Fortunately for us, most contributors do follow the rules of the site, and ‘play nice’ with those they may disagree with. We look forward to your continued participation for the rest of 2016 and in the New Year.

May you all have a very safe and happy holidays season and 2017.
The Moderators  

Mod, Ed, AZ, Fly, CTS and Oggi

 (Click on the currency button, and write in the quantity).

 After requests seemed only fair to make a button for Canada, NZ and the EU. :-)

Other non-paypal, non-credit card options (ie. mail and direct transfer details).
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UPDATED. Big dollars at stake: Irish families win court case against wind farm noise (or not)

Wind turbine, Wind farm, Wind Towers, photo.

These are Enercon wind turbines in Germany, Lower Saxony. Image: Philip May

UPDATE 3: In the washup, these updates #1 and #2  show the fierce battle to control a message. The Wind Industry denies everything, but reports say the plaintiffs are delighted.  If the story spread that wind farms were paying out to homes nearby without even contesting liability, it could go viral in a very bad way for the wind industry. Settling out of court with confidentiality agreements would be a gambit to stop a flood of similar claims. Perhaps the wind industry lost control of the message when the Irish Examiner reported it?

UPDATE #1: Hmm. Industry Body says it is all false? It’s a strange one. The original link has vanished from The Irish Examiner, and a pro renewables site SeeNews which covered their story has disappeared their copy too [cached here, screencap copy too]. SeeNews has posted an update which totally contradicts the news. Did The Irish Examiner get it wrong? Removing the story suggests they did, but they have not issued a correction yet. News of the update comes not from the court, but from the Irish Wind Energy Association, not exactly an impartial source. The IWEA flatly says that no one admitted liability, no families were forced from their homes, and there was no judgement or ruling? Yet the original story claimed all these things.

UPDATE 2: It appears to be a case of industry wordsmithing and damage control. From Pat and Phil and commenters at StopTheseThings: The plaintiffs allegedly are delighted with the result and say liability was conceded from the start, so it was never contested, and no judgement on liability needed to be issued, but the court will decide on damages in April.  StopTheseThings hopes to release court papers next month. –  Jo


The wind turbine manufacturer is going to have to pay damages, yet to be decided:

Families forced from homes due to wind farm noise win court case
Irish Examiner
11 December 2016

The case was taken against wind turbine manufacturer Enercon who has accepted full liability for causing nuisance to seven families who live up to 1 km from the wind farm. A number of families in Co Cork who were forced to leave their homes because of noise from a nearby wind farm have won a significant case in the High Court this week. The families claim they have been severely impacted by noise since the wind farm began operating in 2011.

This is the first action of its kind in Ireland…

According to acoustic expert Steven Cooper this morning, this case applies to many other families around the world. In Australia wind farms have been built as close as 680 meters from homes. But his research suggests that the gap needs to be at least five kilometers on flat terrain. In hilly areas it may need to be ten kilometers.

In a submission in relation to the draft NSW Wind Farm Guidelines Cooper raises the issue of sleep disturbance and the absence of any criteria to protect the community. In a recent presentation at the Acoustical Society of America Steven discussed the use of heart rate monitoring  (by fitbits and other systems) in conjunction with noise monitoring for correlation with complaints and sleep disturbance.

Research on the impact of wind towers is so pathetically immature that governments are not even sure what to measure and what threshold to set. In SA they apparently don’t even have criteria to identify “an adverse impact”.

Keep reading  →

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The US is the child saying “the emperor has no clothes”

The sorcerers say they can stop volcanoes with light globes. They come dressed as scientists, but chant fantasies about “deniers”.The Global Bullying has cowed whole nations into coughing up money for lost causes. But as I’ve said before, bullying is brittle, and once the cracks appear in the veneer, it can come apart very fast.

Francis Menton predicts the Impending Collapse  Of The Global Warming Scare

Just asking these questions in the public domain will change everything:

Now the backers of the global warming alarm will not only be called upon to debate, but will face the likelihood of being called before a highly skeptical if not hostile EPA to answer all of the hard questions that they have avoided answering for the last eight years.  Questions like:  Why are recorded temperatures, particularly from satellites and weather balloons, so much lower than the alarmist models had predicted?  How do you explain an almost-20-year “pause” in increasing temperatures even as CO2 emissions have accelerated?  What are the details of the adjustments to the surface temperature record that have somehow reduced recorded temperatures from the 1930s and 40s, and thereby enabled continued claims of “warmest year ever” when raw temperature data show warmer years 70 and 80 years ago?  Suddenly, the usual hand-waving (“the science is settled”) is not going to be good enough any more.  What now?

The eco-Worriers are pushing the message that the USA risks being a rogue state, a “backward nation”, a “pariah” — but the truth is, the USA is leading the way out of political correctness, and every nation on Earth will want to follow it to cheap energy. The little kid is saying we need fridges and phones in a house full of teenagers showing off their candles made of coconut fat. Trump has broken the spell — he’s not pandering. As the US grows rich with cheap energy, other nations will be left waving last years mental-disco-pants, and threatening not to play.

Keep reading  →

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Weekend Unthreaded

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Climate change causes full dams

Last week the Maroondah Reservoir, near Melbourne, was full. Thanks to Bob Fernley-Jones for a great shot, perfect for a weekend thread:

Melbourne, Water Storage, December 2016, Photo, Dam.

Observations early on 7/Dec/2016 in Maroondah Reservoir Park  Photo: Bob Fernley-Jones

In 2009 things were dry, the drought was endless, and in a panic, billions were spent  on desalination plants for Victoria (not to mention for Sydney, Adelaide, and Brisbane). Then the rains returned, the desal plants were mothballed. In Victoria alone, up to $18 billion will continue to be spent regardless of whether any water is used.

(Amazing what a desal plant can do for water storage. ;-)   )

Water Storage, Graph, Melbourne, December 2016

Water Storage

Water Storage two weeks into summer, Australia:  Melbourne  72% |    Sydney 91%  |  Canberra  98% |    Adelaide     89% |  Hobart 98%   |     Darwin 68%   |  Brisbane 75%  |    Perth  28% *

There is water overflowing from the full dam below.   As Bob says: “Not the greatest overflow it’s ever been but positive, and its only part of an interconnected system that is currently a very healthy collective.”

Keep reading  →

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Trump appoints even more skeptics

It doesn’t get much better than this. Mazin Sidahmed at The Guardian has posted a handy list of Trumps Cabinet Picks. The times have changed so much that it’s not a case of “spot the skeptic” but a hunt to find any believers in the climate doctrine. Make no mistake, things  are very, very bad for the fans of human-caused-weather.  Almost every name on this list would be the “top target” of green protests if they had been the one appointee among the standard Obama-Clinton picks. But almost all of them are drawing fire. People who have taken the toxic, unforgivable position of personally investing in oil and gas projects seem neutral now, compared to people who have run lawsuits against the government department they’ve been told to manage. If only The Guardian could find someone who was not in the bottom 10% of the Conservation scorecard!

Climate change denial in the Trump cabinet: where do his nominees stand?

Scott Pruitt: Environmental Protection Agency

Pruitt is the anti-christ for the EPA. He has led lawsuits against their unconstitutional grab for power. What’s not to like?

Ryan Zinke: Department of the Interior

He is  a congressman, former Navy Seal and Iraq war vet. He votes for oil and gas drilling projects. He scored 3% on the League of Conservation Voters scorecard.

Rick Perry: Department of Energy

A skeptic for sure who has called climate change “an unproven scientific theory”.

Rex Tillerson: Department of State

 Tillerson is a mixed bag. He’s said some pro-Paris-agreement things, yet run the company that was threatened with a RICO investigation for funding non-government approved views on climate. He didn’t turn Exxon in to a BP or a Shell version of a carbon trading lobby group. He’s probably a skeptic, but perhaps it’s not a high priority?

 James N Mattis: Department of Defense

The Guardian haven’t got much. There is an ambiguous hint that Mattis may be more concerned about the military having energy. But there’s also the suggestion from a very worried fan of the Man-made-crisis-meme” that  General James “Mad Dog” Mattis would be a better pick than most other Generals on the shortlist.

Ben Carson: Department of Housing and Urban Development

When Carson talks about climate change he’s the perfect skeptic: “I know there are a lot of people who say ‘overwhelming science’, but then when you ask them to show the overwhelming science they never can show it”

Mike Pompeo: CIA

Sounds like a good man: “Pompeo is among the most the outspoken critics of climate change legislation. ” “He derided Barack Obama last year for describing climate change as a national security threat. Pompeo referred to the Paris agreement as a “radical climate change deal”.”

Michael Flynn: National security adviser

Flynn also told off Obama for talking about climate change after the Orlando terrorist attack. At least Flynn has his priorities straight.

Jeff Sessions: Attorney general

Sessions is very much a skeptic. Smile. He voted in the Senate against climate action. The League of Conservation Voters giving him a scorecard of 7%. (High praise indeed!) He knows that there are “legitimate disputes” about global warming, and that CO2 feeds plants and is not harmful. “Sessions reportedly said last year that the fight against climate change hurts poor people.” In 2015, he conceded CO2 might cause temperature increases, but still said it wasn’t a pollutant and was plant food.

John F Kelly: Department of Homeland Security

There is not much to go on. Kelly has at least given a neutral statement on climate change  “… whether one agrees or disagrees with the cause-and-effect claims – all are at least fully aware of the issue. Even those who reject the science have reduced their energy consumption and know it is good for the environment.”

 Tom Price: Department of Health and Human Services

Price supported a bill to stop the EPA and spoke of  “recent revelations of errors and obfuscation in the allegedly ‘settled science’ of global warming.” He has consistently voted against incentivizing renewable energy sources… He signed a pledge to oppose climate legislation.”

Wilbur Ross: Department of Commerce

Ross will be managing NOAA. His views on climate change are not clear, but he has invested in oil and gas.

Steven Mnuchin: Department of the Treasury

He’s a Goldman Sachs guy. No public statements on climate. Hmm.

Betsy DeVos: Department of Education

She is chairman of the Windquest Group which started in 1989 and invests in “clean energy technology”. That was a long time ago. We sure hope that doesn’t get in the way of repairing the education system. The Guardian doesn’t mention that she is active in promoting a bigger role for parents in education through school vouchers. E’Gad! Imagine public schools having to compete with private schools, and being judged by actual taxpayers. So even if public schools still push the one sided propaganda on climate, at least parents will get more choice to avoid it:

For nearly 30 years, as a philanthropist, activist and Republican fund-raiser, she has pushed to give families taxpayer money in the form of vouchers to attend private and parochial schools, pressed to expand publicly funded but privately run charter schools, and tried to strip teacher unions of their influence.

But Ms. DeVos’s efforts to expand educational opportunity in her home state of Michigan and across the country have focused little on existing public schools, and almost entirely on establishing newer, more entrepreneurial models to compete with traditional schools for students and money. Her donations and advocacy go almost entirely toward groups seeking to move students and money away from what Mr. Trump calls “failing government schools.”

Elaine Chao: Department of Transportation

She’s been a fellow at the Heritage Foundation, which would be unforgivable in the Obama-world. In 2009 she “derided a proposed cap-and-trade system” as a way to deal with carbon emissions.

Read the full descriptions at The Guardian.

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Climate Change causes more snow and ice on Greenland

Right now, the hottest year ever appears to be causing an extra 4 billion tons a day or so of frozen stuff on Greenland.

Thanks to Patrick Moore, @EcoSenseNow, who tweeted: “Holy Shomoly, look what’s going down on Greenland. Ice World” after Richard Cowley posted the DMI link.

Greenland, Surface Mass Balance, Ice, snow, 2016.

Top: The total daily contribution to the surface mass balance from the entire ice sheet (blue line, Gt/day). Bottom: The accumulated surface mass balance from September 1st to now (blue line, Gt) and the season 2011-12 (red) which had very high summer melt in Greenland. For comparison, the mean curve from the period 1990-2013 is shown (dark grey). The same calendar day in each of the 24 years (in the period 1990-2013) will have its own value. These differences from year to year are illustrated by the light grey band. For each calendar day, however, the lowest and highest values of the 24 years have been left out.

Source: Danish Climate Centre.

Over the last decade the Greenland Ice Sheet may have been losing 200Gt per year, but evidently, this winter it’s making some of that back. The Danish Climate Centre describes the graph:

Keep reading  →

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The solar wind dumps energy into the far upper atmosphere through a kind of slow massive lightning

UPDATE: Libby Plummer at The Daily Mail  has a different take, calling this a natural thermostat that cools the upper atmosphere after solar storms. I guess we’ll have to wait to see the paper to see if this can be connected to the global surface temperature at all.

The solar wind is is coming at us at a million miles an hour, but we really don’t know much about what happens when it weaves and buffets past us. In a news release NASA GISS describe how their traditional understanding of what is going on 150 miles up can sometimes just turn inside out. That’s  “Revolutions in Understanding the Ionosphere, Earth’s Interface to Space”. It describes how energy from space weather can get into the ionosphere, and also muck up some of our satellites.

Despite climate models being sure that the Sun has hardly any effect, even NASA Giss admits there are some pretty wild things going on up there, and they are mostly due to the Sun. As the solar wind blasts in, it can set up a voltage difference between the upper layers of the atmosphere and the “magnetosphere”. A current will flow, discharging this energy into the ionosphere. They call it “lightning” but say it can take hours, making it hard to visualize without a few beers. Rather significantly they also warn that “the amount of energy transferred is hundreds to thousands of times greater”. Ooh?

This type of lightning is more likely during solar storms, and not surprisingly, can heat up the ionosphere and upper atmosphere. That effect can slow satellites, but it doesn’t always work like that. I gather the new finding is that sometimes these geomagnetic storms can make nitric oxide in the upper atmosphere and this would dump heat into space and cool things. Indeed the NASA experts talk about “overcooling” and say the upper atmosphere collapses down instead of puffing up (as it does when it warms). The poor satellites end up speeding up. It must play havoc with the orbits. (I wonder if the Grace satellites, which assess ice loss through changes in the speed of the satellites, are at the right height to be affected.)

“Overcooling is most likely to happen when very fast and magnetically-organized ejecta from the sun rattle Earth’s magnetic field,” said Knipp. “Slow clouds or poorly-organized clouds just don’t have the same effect.”

This means that, counterintuitively, the most energetic solar storms are likely to provide a net cooling and shrinking effect on the upper atmosphere, rather than heating and expanding it as had been previously understood.

Apparently there is an effect from ground level storms that changes things up high (and anyone want to bet that there is an effect back down…)

It’s all very poorly understood, but the big climate models are 95% certain it has no effect at all. Sounds to me like we’re getting a little bit closer to figuring out another mechanism whereby the sun can change the Earth’s climate through magnetic fields and solar winds. Perhaps this is the “notching effect” or Force N or if one of these parameters lags solar TSI (total solar irradiance) by 11 years, it may be Force D, the delayed effect. Or it might be neither, and have little effect down on the ground… these overcooled patches seem to be “localized” and obviously we’ve got very little data to guess with. What kind of proxy tells us about atmospheric temperatures 150 miles off the ground, and 150 years ago?

– Jo
Ionosphere, Atmosphere, Storms, space weather, NASA.


Scientists from NASA and three universities have presented new discoveries about the way heat and energy move and manifest in the ionosphere, a region of Earth’s atmosphere that reacts to changes from both space above and Earth below.

Keep reading  →

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