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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The Skeptics Handbook II

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The nerds have the numbers on precious metals investments on the ASX



Murdered on the Arctic by climate deniers (or Greenpeace maybe?)

… and those with scientific evidence don’t need “names and addresses” instead. Eh?

Two Dutch Arctic Ice researchers were sadly presumed lost last week. You, silly fool, may have thought it was an unfortunate accident in a dangerous profession. Not so, according to “Schatzie” they were viciously murdered by an unlikely cohort of Obama and at least 24 named “climate change deniers”.  While “motive”, “means” and “opportunity” are a little thin on — premeditated intent is surely there: skeptics benefit from the PR storm about researchers dying on thin ice…  oh wait.

Anyway, those responsible for heating the planet are also all murderers, which pretty much narrows down the guilty to anyone who breathes, double for those who drive, and in the end, Mr Al Gore emits a lot of CO2, right?  Indeed, blame the Pacific Ocean, it releases more carbon than even Al does.

Schatzie is looking for names to add to her list.

I ask you to submit the names of known (or even little known) climate change deniers and those responsible for heating up our precious planet.

Who is responsible for heating up the planet? I dug deep to find the real culprits:

  • All anti-nuclear protestors. (Think how cold the world would be if coal fired stations were replaced with nuclear ones? Think!) Get Greenpeace.
  • NASA — they produced the vehicles with the worst fuel economy on the planet*. None of their spaceshuttles were carbon neutral.
  • Jail James Maxwell. Imagine how cold (and safe) the Arctic would be without electricity?
  • Mr Sun.

The killers at Greenpeace

Not only have Greenpeace set back nuclear power by decades, they stopped the atmospheric bomb tests.  Surely nothing humans have done before or since could cool the planet as effectively as radioactive dust and ash in the stratosphere? Indeed, the world was cooling in the 1960s when the bombs were exploding, but lo, as the bombs stopped, the world started warming. Imagine how cold the Arctic would be if the Russians were still popping the megatonners in the Arctic stratosphere? It would be as cold, and safe, as the Arctic ever was.

Until then, we suggest researchers head to the Antarctic, where there is lots of cold and no one ever gets hurt.

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PS: What has really been murdered is the English language, polite debate, and science. Let’s show some respect for the fallen, and stop nakedly politicizing their deaths. Just a thought.

 *For pedants. The fuel economy of the shuttle was around 800mpg [gpm "gallons per mile"] in the atmosphere. In space, the shuttles get much better fuel economy, but that’s off the planet. Who cares about CO2 released to space? (More is better, right?)

 Thanks to Bemused, Jaymez. Oz, Ceetee for the mpg correction to gmp. Yes, rather!

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UPDATE: It made my day. My name added to the list, right above someone called Barack.

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Extragalactic fast radio bursts turn out to be microwave oven in the kitchen at Parkes

Who knew the opening the door of a microwave oven while it was on could release something like an extragalactic fast radio burst? Astrophysicists at Parkes  Observatory didn’t realize for 17 years, then someone noticed these radio bursts only happened in business hours.

Was there a consensus on perytons I wonder?

h/t Manfred

Strange ‘outer space’ signal that baffled Australian scientists turns out to be microwave oven

Scientists discover cause of signals detected at Australia’s Parkes telescope, originally believed to come from another galaxy

Keep reading  →

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EPA authors, media, miss $31 million dollar potential conflict of interest

media biasSteve Milloy at JunkScience holds the media and EPA scientists up to the same standards they expect from skeptics like Willie Soon.

The Headlines are everywhere:

E.P.A. Carbon Emissions Plan Could Save Thousands of Lives, Study Finds “– NY Times

And the media go out of their way to make sure everyone knows what independent angels they are:

Peer-reviewed, non-partisan academic study finds that the EPA emissions rule will save thousands of lives (Lindsay Abrams) — Salon

In most articles the study authors were just researchers from Harvard and Syracuse Uni, who declare “they have no competing financial interests”.

Milloy wonders if $31 million in EPA grants could be a competing interest?  Five of eight authors are paid grants by the EPA.

Below are listed the article’s authors and the dollar amounts of EPA grants with which they are associated as principal investigators”:

Now how could Schwartz’s $31,176,575 or Levy’s $9,514,361 or Driscoll’s $3,654,608 from EPA possibly be considered as a “competing financial interest” in an article they wrote in support of EPA’s flagship regulatory effort?

The NY Times headline, Feb. 21, 2015about Willie Soon: “Deeper Ties to Corporate Cash for Doubtful Climate Researcher.”

Being good fair and balanced journalists, I expect the NY Times will rush to show it is not a one-eyed propaganda sheet pumping the political whims of its staff. I’m looking for the headline: Deep Ties to EPA cash for scientists that promote EPA policies. Though there are many alternatives, “Work of Prominent Scientists Supporting EPA exposed as funded by EPA.” How about “Could big-government grants buy “independent” scientists”? Perhaps we might see   “Documents spur investigation into conflict of interest declarations for scientists”?

And what about a full feature article: “Pro-government but paid by government? When independent scientists are not so independent.

Keep reading  →

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Some Guardian myths about climate change

Ooh. Here’s a bit of a backdown. Skeptics must be getting to The Guardian. Smile.

Mocking skeptics and calling them deniers has somehow failed to win them over, so the Guardian is trying a slightly new tack. This time they pretend to be balanced, and post up a list of “Myths to explode” from both sides of the debate. But don’t bring the ear-muffs, or the ambulances — these bombs are pussy-foot puff balls. The air-drops on alarmist camps are so convoluted they manage to support The Big Fear Campaign even as they try (gently-bentley!) to reign in a few excesses of the believers — don’t mention human extinction, and do remember the world has been hotter before, right? On skeptical “myths”, nothing has changed but at least they’ve stopped the namecalling (Bravo!). But it’s hard for author  — she even serves up a new myth to try to squash an old one. The rate of global warming is apparently “unprecedented”, as in one-degree-in-a-century has never ever happened before, not once. How likely is that we could know the rate of global temperature swings to a tenth of a degree back in the days of dinosaurs and at continuous unbroken resolution of 100 year intervals?

The headline “Climate change: the big myths that need to be exploded” is the usual hyperbolic fluff. Nothing even pops, let alone goes bang. Five myths here are overdone alarmist claims, and three are skeptical talking points.

It’s good to see The Guardian say that “it’s Hotter than Ever” is a myth. So will they stop using “hotter than ever” headlines? Probably not. At no point do they admit that skeptics were right all along, or that The Guardian itself is happy to leave its reader with a “hotter than ever” message. How about some intellectual honesty, anyone? Instead, on this first myth, Hannah Devlin quietly sweeps the Guardian’s own history under the rug, and shifts the goals. “Hotter than ever” is wrong. Oh yessity, but really, that never mattered, and what matters is the rate of warming. Digging their hole deeper, she goes on to interview a professor who swears the rate now is “unprecedented”, as if we could measure the decadal rates of warming 50 million years ago. Good luck with that one. We’ll just quote Phil Jones — the current rate of warming is the same as in the 1870s when CO2 was perfect.

Devlin seems to believe that the Sun is nothing more than a  ball of light. To try to kill off the skeptical idea that the sun might have something to do with the weather on Earth she discusses solar irradiance like there is no other possible way the sun could influence our climate. Forget charged particles, magnetic fields, spectral changes, who cares? UV, IR, it’s all the same. If Devlin read skeptical blogs, she might have thought up some hard questions for Jo Haigh. But then she’d be a real journalist (and she wouldn’t fit in at The Guardian).

Take the article as a backhanded tacit acknowledgment that skeptics have some points that are not going to go away by simply denying them. On the plus side, this is a more mature article than the Guardian normally manages, there is no “denier” namecalling, though there is no honesty about how skeptics have been right over and over.

As a bit of sci-masochist I bothered to unpack each myth one by one. Sorry. But here they are:

Myth 1. THE EARTH IS WARMER NOW THAN IT HAS EVER BEEN

The Guardian finally acknowledges, years too late, that skeptics may have a point (not that they say it). Yes, the climate has been hotter in the past. But this doesn’t matter (they say) because the warming rate now is faster than ever. This is called “shifting the goal posts”. Global panickers have argued all along that the absolute temperature matters. Now they pretend it doesn’t and shift it to “rates”? Here’s the new fantasy goal:

“It’s not how much the temperature has gone up – that’s only around 1C over the past 100 years,” says professor Adam Scaife of the Met Office. “What’s unprecedented is the rate of change.”

Scaife’s comment is bizarre. They are talking about the rate of warming over the last 30 or 100 years, and comparing it to a time 50 million years ago. There is no rational person on Earth who would claim to know the rate of warming to a tenth of a degree between, say, the year 50 million BC, and 49.9999 BC. They can claim it is “unprecedented” but we don’t have the proxies, there is no data with anything remotely like that time or temperature resolution. Though, conveniently, we actually know when the unprecedented rate was last precedented, and we don’t have to go back to the Eocene, but just to 1870. The decadal rate of change in the 1980s (the peak rate) was the same as in the 1870s (*Both were 0.16 C per decade). The “unprecedented” label, which doesn’t apply for the last 50 million years, doesn’t even apply for the last 150.

Myth 2. CHANGES IN THE SUN’S ACTIVITY CAUSE WARMING

The entire argument posted on the Guardian to show the Sun does not cause climate change is (a) because “scientists don’t think so” and (b) because total solar irradiance doesn’t change enough to explain the climate.

(a) is argument from authority, and wrong. Many scientists do think the sun causes changes in our climate, but they aren’t (and won’t be) employed by the Bureau of Met, nor interviewed by the Pravda-Guardian. There are hundreds of papers for the last 200 years that suggest links between solar factors and the climate.

(b) is argument from ignorance. The Sun emits more than just light. Jo Haigh, the atmospheric physicist they quote, should know better. Climate models don’t include solar magnetic, solar wind, cosmic rays, or changes in the solar spectrum, and other solar forces. A scientist can’t rule out things which has barely been studied, nor use models that assume these factors don’t matter to conclude that they “don’t matter”.

Myth 3. WE WILL BE WORSE OFF IF TEMPERATURES KEEP RISING

Skeptics have been pointing out for years that more people die due to cold weather, and in winter, than due to hot-spells and rising summer temperatures. Instead of saying that skeptics were right (they were), Devlin picks a couple of studies, waffles about details, and muddies the points that matter. Give her a half-point for at least including a useful quote: .“I think that focusing only on the negative aspects of climate change can risk scientific credibility,” Spiegelhalter says. If only he’d told the Hadley Met Centre, NOAA, the CSIRO and The Guardian that ten years ago.

What we know is that deaths during hot spells are often the people who would have died soon anyway, as mortality rates often fall after the hot spell is over. Deaths due to cold snaps are not like that. We also know that even in hot locations, more people die in winter.

As far as crops go, we know for a fact that more CO2 will generate more crops and higher yields. The extra carbohydrate slightly dilutes protein and other essential nutrients, but as I calculated, for all the lost protein in rice, we just need to feed people an extra chick-pea. Problem solved. Can we discuss real problems instead?

Myth 4. EXTREME WEATHER IS CAUSED BY CLIMATE CHANGE

Here, Devlin smacks alarmist’s connecting floods, storms and disasters to climate change, but she’s slapping them on the wrist with a limp $100 bill. Oh, the pain.

The lame defence of the shameless politicization of noise in “storms” is to pretend that saying it has a “hint of a signal” is somehow respectable science. She turns again to Professor Adam Scaife. He has this idea that climate models, which are unable to predict anything useful, are able to somehow calculate meaningful odds of events. He says: “It’s all about the risk of certain events changing. You can say that a specific type of event is more likely.” Yes, you can say that, but not if you are being scientific.

Myth 5. ANTARCTIC SEA ICE IS DECREASING

Again, this is a a backhanded acknowledgment that the skeptics the Guardian mocks and calls “deniers” elsewhere were right, and that the Antarctic Sea Ice growth is a problem for the experts who predicted the, ahem, opposite.

She reassures the readers that really it’s not so much a paradox because:

  • Scientists say it isn’t.
  • We can’t measure the thickness of the ice there and it might be shrinking still, we just don’t know.
  • Slightly more ice is disappearing from the North pole. (So?)
  • It could be due to the ozone layer hole.
  • The trend might reverse.

Dear Guardian readers, remember this is what 95% certainty looks like. Quick, let’s wreck western economies and build a global bureaucracy!

Myth 6. ARCTIC SEA ICE SEEMS TO BE RECOVERING

The Guardian’s favourite experts said the Arctic ice would disappear. Skeptics said it was cyclical.

Instead of admitting the experts were wrong, Devlin declares it’s a myth that the Arctic Sea “seems” to be recovering. Why? Because the scientists who were wrong say its “probably temporary” and five years is too short to say anything about the climate — except when we talk about one bad storm, one hot season, one flood, or heat-wave week, right?

Myth 7. THERE IS NO SCIENTIFIC CONSENSUS ON WARMING

Ah, the mythical-myth the global worriers want to believe more than any other. It’s a myth that consensus matters. It’s a fact that there is no consensus among scientists. To be sure, there is a consensus of certified climate experts, but no consensus at all among scientists at large. The certified experts have failed utterly to convince the broad masses of people trained in the scientific method. Surveys show that half of meteorologists and two thirds of engineers and geologists don’t find the carbon-catastrophe at all believeable.  There is no survey, anywhere, that interviews all scientists, there are mostly just fallacious, inept rehashes of surveys that asks people-who-get-grants-to-study-a-crisis what they think of that crisis.

The inaccurate fogging of the terms “climate scientist” and “scientist” is misleading. But who cares about accurate English, it’s only the fate of the world at stake right?

After investigating, scientists also found no evidence that papers with a sceptical slant were being systematically rejected by journals.

Which investigation was that I wonder — one of the Climategate whitewashes? Is that why Devlin doesn’t cite it?

But wait til you see this:

The strength of the consensus appears not to have been conveyed to the public.

After twenty years of relentless propaganda and headline after headline about the “Consensus”, Devlin expects people to believe that just repeating it for the 800th time will finally convince the public? The truth is that 57% of people just don’t believe that climate experts know what they are talking about.

Myth 8. HUMANS FACE EXTINCTION AS CLIMATE CHANGE INTENSIFIES

In the weakest possible way Devlin is saying (between the lines) that it might not be good idea for believers to wax loquacious about the death of humanity. It’s more like PR instructions for fellow fanatics than anything we could call reporting.

Though apparently calling humans “hard-to-kill weeds” is a perfect alternative: extinction is out, human-weeds are “in”.

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UQ’s Denial 101x : Putting the stink in distinction

Guest Post By Tony Thomas*

A keen student, I have just completed Week One of John Cook’s MOOC at Queensland University: “Denial 101x – Making Sense of Climate Science Denial.”

A MOOC is a Massive Online Open Course, and Cook’s course has 13,000 students so far.  He is a Climate Communication Fellow for the Global Change Institute at the University  and author of the notorious 2013 study purporting to find a 97% climate consensus in the science literature.

One normally gets a buzz from study. But my brain needs a shower and scrub to feel clean again.

I was not intending to write about my studies so early, in case that got me prematurely expelled. But one week of it is enough.

For example, in case I forget elements of Cook’s denialist ideation, he provides an acronym FLICC. This covers Fake experts, Logical fallacies, Impossible expectations, Cherry picking and Conspiracy theories.

Worse is in store. Cook says, “Next week’s interviews are equally exciting, as we speak to Phil Jones from the University of East Anglia…” Jones is the author of   “pretty awful emails” (his words) in Climategate. Other stars in the Cook course firmament will be Michael “Hockey-stick” Mann and sort-of historian Naomi “Merchants of Doubt” Oreskes, who in another book fantasizes about how warming may kill your kittens and puppies in 2023.

Cook is clearly stung by FOI and other determined requests for the data on which his work is based. He complains in his course about deniers “accusing the scientific community of falsifying their data”, and of attacking the scientists themselves via emails and blogs, hacking their personal correspondence and excessive FOIs. Incredibly, the lavishly-funded Cook plays the victim card for himself and the team  – at a time when scientists like Willie Soon are being subjected to Joseph McCarthy-style attacks. Cook says:

Perhaps the most damage to the integrity of science comes in the form of pressure being applied to academic journals and universities.

There’s a growing body of literature into the nature of complaints being received by academic institutions…The intent is to interfere with one of the basic principles of scientific work – the freedom to responsibly conduct research and accurately communicate the results.

The immediate consequence is that some academics are now facing what amounts to scientific censorship.”

He also claims – incredibly – that fear of denialist attacks is causing climate scientists “to underestimate the impacts of climate change, in order to avoid a hostile response.”

Cook begins the course by breezily defining “denial” as coming to a conclusion first, and then discounting any evidence that conflicts with your belief. [Like what Cook does, right, says Jo, who used to believe, but changed her mind.]

Ambitiously, Cook wants to ‘reclaim’ the word sceptic from the sceptics. [No chance, says Jo who wants to reclaim the word scientist from the unskeptical believers, who hide data, declines, and pander to a "consensus". - Jo]

And given Cook’s cognitive psychology  background, he intends to teach his students about ‘drivers of denial’, denial psychology, and ‘tell-tale characteristics of denial’.

Screenshot of Pistachio the koala in the course material

Cook reaches down to kindergarten-standard teaching. He enthuses about securing an interview with ecologist Sir David Attenborough, then says, a la Play School,  “But giving Sir David a run for his money is another star of this course – Pistachio the koala. “ [I think it makes a "grate" segue, says Jo.]

“And we mustn’t forget Christine Hosking, the University of Queensland scientist who researched the impacts of climate change on koalas.

Another highlight of the MOOC that I’m particularly excited about is “The Climate of Middle Earth”, featuring a climate scientist from the University of Bristol, Dan Lunt. We captured so much exciting footage of Dan simulating the climate of Middle Earth that we divided his interview into a trilogy starting in week 4.”

I had to check that Lunt isn’t talking geology but yes, Lunt is talking Gandalf and Frodo Baggins.

Lunt of Bristol U., in role.

Cook’s rhetorical gyrations are puzzling. Having found fame and fans with his “97% consensus” paper,  oft-cited in the course, he also remarks,  “Science isn’t based on a show of hands. It’s based on evidence.  The more lines of evidence we have, the more confident we are that our scientific understanding is correct.”

[Jo says: Righto -- they don't count hands, but they do count lines?]

He drills his students that the “consensus” is that human-caused CO2 promotes warming. This is hardly controversial. I can’t find anywhere in Week 1 where he explicitly states, rather than implies, the orthodox case that humans have been causing most of the past half-century’s warming – an assertion at the heart of the climate controversy.

Instead he says that  satellites are showing   “less heat escaping to space”. And  this somehow proves that greenhouse gases are responsible and what’s more, it’s “a human fingerprint in outgoing heat”.

[This'll be Harries et al, which shows that CO2 is indeed a greenhouse gas and does absorb the frequencies we think it does. It doesn't show that there is less heat escaping overall, just that there is less heat escaping in a small part of the spectrum. It shows that CO2 levels have increased, which skeptics agree with, and which we already know.  - Jo]

Another   “distinct human fingerprint”, he says, is that there’s a warming lower atmosphere (not for the past 18 years, actually) but a cooling upper atmosphere. The two fingerprints, plus others, “rule out” the sun and internal variability as causes of the (halted) global warming.[i]

[The warming lower atmosphere and cooling stratosphere can also be due to changes in ozone, it's not unique, and it doesn't show that the models have their calculations right. The key fingerprint that climate experts predicted is the tropospheric hot spot that is absolutely, completely missing. - Jo]

All the following phenomena do not involve ‘internal variability’ as a climate driver, Cook maintains: Cooling upper atmosphere; less heat to space; rising tropopause; annual cycles; daily cycle; ocean warming; more heat back to earth; and  land warming faster than oceans.

The human-caused warming evidence, says his co-lecturer Scott Mandia (Suffolk College, New York), is just as strong as the settled fact that smoking increases the risk of lung cancer.

“(E)ven if you threw out every climate model in the world, our confidence that humans were causing global warming would be just as strong. That’s because we have many human fingerprints all adding to a great pile of evidence,” Cook says.

Strange, that the Australian Academy of Science cites the models as   primary evidence for human-caused warming.[ii]

Cooks considers that  his feeble exposition 100% validates his global warming case, and hence anyone disputing it must be in thrall to psychological and ideological obsessions. At great length he and Mandia probe  into denialist political beliefs and neuroses, which is their academic specialty.

Now put yourself in a student’s shoes, and take some of this Cook course’s official exam, intended to gauge if you have mastered the Week One material.

Question #1: What characteristics of denial are used in the Global Warming Petition Project, the petition listing over 31,000 scientists who don’t believe that humans are disrupting climate (you may mark more than one):

  1. Cherry Picking
  2. Fake Experts
  3. Conspiracy Theory
  4. False Dichotomy
  5. Magnified Minority

Question #3: What characteristic of science denial is used in the following 1946 advertisement:

  1. Fake Experts
  2.  Logical Fallacies
  3.  Impossible Expectations
  4.  Cherry picking
  5. Conspiracy Theory

Question #6: Tick which of the following examples of media coverage are examples of balance-as-bias that distort an issue (you can choose more than one):

  1. A story on the link between smoking and lung cancer featuring a cancer researcher and a tobacco industry spokesperson
  2. A story on tax reform that features a conservative and a liberal
  3. A story on space travel that features an astronaut and a moon landing conspiracy theorist
  4. A story about the solar system that features an astrophysicist and a geocentrist (thinks the universe revolves around the Earth)
  5. A story on religion that features a religious believer and an atheist

Question #9: Identify the category that each tactic fits in

(i) Sending complaints to universities and scientific journals. [Your choice is]

  1. Cast doubt on scientific evidence
  2. Attack scientists

(ii) Petitions featuring non-climate scientists   [Your choice is]

  1. Cast doubt on scientific evidence
  2.  Attack scientists

(iii) Conspiracy theories about falsified data [Your choice is]

  1. Cast doubt on scientific evidence
  2.  Attack scientists

My main disappointment with the course is that Cook’s grasp of the climate science debate is so flabby.   He’s not a serious opponent for anyone. Cook and Pistachio the Koala say something about standards at Queensland University, somehow  ranked 3rd in Australia, sixth in Asia/Pacific and 85th in the world.\

* Journalist Tony Thomas has 63 climate essays at tthomas061.wordpress.com


[i] Cook’s course says nothing yet about the tropical tropospherical hotspot which was supposed to verify the climate models and become an AGW fingerprint, but is missing in action.

[ii] Climate models allow us 
to understand the causes of past climate changes, and to project climate change into the future. Together with physical principles and knowledge of past variations, models provide compelling evidence that recent changes are due to increased greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. 
 -; AAS, Feb 2015,  p4

UPDATE: My other posts on John Cook

 

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Wind Turbines useless for carbon reduction — From $50 – $120 ton. Greens should hate them!

Wind Turbines around 7 times more expensive than Direct Action

You would have to be bonkers to use wind turbines to reduce CO2. The Australian RET Review estimates that the cost of reducing CO2 via wind power is $32 – $72 per ton of CO2 avoided, which means it’s far more expensive than the Direct Action plan, which costs $14 per ton. Peter Lang is concerned the real story is even more costly than that, because it appears the RET Review does not account for the way wind turbines become less effective as they supply a larger portion of our electricity grid. The gas and coal generators get less efficient and they ramp up and down and burn fuel on standby, trying to cope with the fickle supply from the wind. The study of the Irish grid shows that nearly half the CO2 savings of wind turbines disappear as rest of the generators on the grid burn more fuel per unit of electricity. From my reading of Peter’s submission the real cost is more like $80 - $100/ton.

The Australian Parliament is seeking submissions to the ‘Senate Select Committee on Wind Turbines’. It closes Monday. Peter Lang has submitted a 36 page report which concludes the cost in Australia of reducing CO2 using wind towers may be 67% higher than the RET estimates by the time windpower is 15% of the Grid.  (So $50 – $120/t for abatement.) Why are we even talking about wind power as a way to reduce CO2?

When they hear this, I’m sure Christine Milne (Greens leader), Ed Milliband (UK Labor leader), Obama, Tim Flannery, etc. will all be very concerned. Any day now, they will declare that, for the sake of the planet, Australia and the West simply cannot afford to waste any more environmental time and eco-money on wind power — we must use taxpayers dollars where they are most effective. “We need action now”. After all, species will die, this is our last chance, and Armageddon is coming. The more money we spend on wind-turbines instead of Direct Action, the more the planet will warm, right? Paris, Dec 2015, is the final, final, last ever chance to save the planet. The Greens won’t want to miss the chance to save 7 times as much CO2.

Do the Greens want to reduce CO2, or not?

Anyone who cares about reducing CO2 would protest, boycott and placard concrete bird killing towers which are so expensive and ineffective at stopping CO2 emissions. They would decry them as token do-nothing symbols of modern bureaucrats who don’t want to solve a problem, but want to be “seen” to be solving it.

If CO2 had much effect on the climate, no one in their right mind would choose an expensive, immature technology that costs so much to achieve so little. But a friend in need is a friend indeed, and big-renewables needs big-government. Is that the real point of the RET — more support for friends who advertise, lobby and support big-government? Say it ain’t so.

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Submission to the Select Committee on Wind Turbines

Wind turbines’ CO2 savings and abatement cost

Wind turbines are less effective and CO2 abatement cost is higher than commonly assumed

 

By Peter Lang

 April 2015

Wind turbines are significantly less effective at reducing CO2 emissions than commonly assumed.  This means the CO2 abatement cost (i.e. the cost per tonne CO2 avoided by wind turbines) is higher than commonly recognised.  It is likely the CO2 abatement cost of wind turbines is commonly underestimated.

Keep reading  →

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Grow a spine! The sudden raging popularity of those who stand up to the Offendotrons

There’s a message here to politicians from marketers: Grow a spine, stand up for something sensible

Martin Daubney on Breitbart describes a new form of internet-era marketing. Companies that put out provocative ads predictably get attacked by the holier-than-thou. But if they stand up to the thought police, they suddenly find themselves in the middle of a social media war and at the winning end. Because they didn’t cave in to the PC, they get thousands of passionate defenders online, lots of new customers, loads of free PR, and the “wave” breaches the social media world and spills into the mainstream.

For example, Protein World got attacked for an ad with women in bikini’s. They didn’t pull the ad under the condemnation from the usual quarters; instead they baited the “Offendotrons” with a parody twitter pic of a beached whale “Are you Feminist Body Ready?”. In response to the furore, Protein World has “added 20,000 customers and driven revenue in excess of £1 million – in the last four days alone.”

Likewise, BarberBarber, which does men’s haircuts, banned women from its premises. It got death threats, but sales are booming, there are queues to use it, and new branches are opening. It’s not just “controversy sells” but about calling the bluff and standing up for something. In the BarberBarber case, the offensive insult is not that women aren’t welcome at a place that trims beards, but that people think women are so insecure that we might be offended by a banal common-sense rule. Who is vulnerable and precious? Most women want to cheer – Not me!

Daubney doesn’t say it, but there’s a message here for politicians, especially polite conservative ones who so frequently cave in to the namecalling bullies. The public are sick of being told what to think, treated like babies, and being called sexist, or racist, homophobic, polluting “deniers”, ignorant, stupid, immoral, etc.. There is a wellspring of passionate support waiting to be tapped for any politician willing to turn the tables back on the name-callers. But it is, of course, a high risk game, and those playing it need to get their house in order before they play. If they are at all sexist, racist, or homophobic etc, it will blow up in their face, and in a terminal way.

No wonder voters are cynical to the end

Politicans fail both sides of the spectrum. Left leaning politicians stand for something (though often the wrong thing on “science”), the left-leaning media whips them into messiahs, then they predictably fail to deliver. (Think Obama, think Rudd.) Right leaning politicians stand weakly for the same things, and pander to the outrage-crowd in an effort to avoid the flak. They aim for what they think is the “middle-ground” only to find they are still called misogynistic deniers (even if their deputy and chief of staff are both women and they spend billions to reduce “carbon”).

The big-lie under the outrage crowd, or Offendotrons as Daubney brilliantly daubs them, is that they pretend they represent “most people”  but often they’re just the loudest five or ten percent of the population. (Look out, the noisy fringe yells  “extremist” — it’s projection, projection, all the way down.) Conservative politicians who pander to this earn no votes from those-who-shout, but lose passionate support and feet on the ground from the 50% of the population who’ve had enough. And the national conversation swirls a sinkhole of nothingness while real issues beg to be noticed.

Tony Abbott stood for something when he made a blood oath to get rid of the carbon tax, but when he panders to the vested interests in the RET (Renewable Energy Target), gives money to UN Green Funds, or gives in on free speech with Section 18C, he burns off the once fired up defenders. Appeasement has a price.

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Youth are rebelling against climate dogma: at 18-20, nearly half in US are skeptical

The X-Gens will be the maximal climate believers. The worm is turning with an uptick in skeptical thinking coming from the late-Millennials (born after 1994) who are just now starting to reach a voting age*. This group was raised on climate dogma and relentless propaganda, and the age-old rebellion of youth is starting to kick in. The big-scare-campaign may have missed its moment; it’s been pushed too hard for too long. Not only have the PDO and other natural cycles rolled into unfriendly cooler-wetter zones, but the generational wheel is rolling too.

It used to be that the older the survey group, the more skeptical it was. Youth are easily fooled by passion and namecalling. But new evidence suggests the rebellion factor is kicking in: 20% of 18-20 year olds in the US are implacable skeptics, and 23% are  unconvinced. After twenty years of propaganda 55% of the generation “believe”, and only 12% are passionate. More of the same is not going to increase that. There is real hope here.

Data comes from Harvard Public Opinion Project. (PDF, currently not publicly available)

H/t  GWPF

Harvard Political Review “For Young Voters, Climate Change Takes a Back Seat

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Congrats to Dellers, Booker, Monckton, Lawson — Carved into Denier Stone Prize Art

What success! Six skeptics have been honored in prizewinning art at Anglia Ruskin, a large university in Britain. Their names were carved into a plywood mock-rock, that drips oil.  James Delingpole is rapt — who wouldn’t be?

The top of the “rock” reads “Lest We Forget Those Who Denied”. The names: Christopher Booker, Nigel Lawson, Christopher Monckton, Melanie Phillips, Owen Paterson.

Indeed, the 2015 Sustainability Art Prize went to great sustainable art. In years to come, when everyone realizes how silly it was to demonize carbon, this art will live on — recycled as a testament to the vacuity of post-modern art. This work is already a classic of government-funded-largess, capturing the pure inversion of insight that comes through unwitting satire as “daring” artists pander to power. Perfecto.

These heroic names should be carved into real rock.

James Delingpole:

The sculpture has been described as an “oil painting with a difference” because a continuous stream of engine oil drools symbolically over the “deniers’” names, like tragic sea otters after an Exxon spill.

 

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New telescopes see magnetic flux ropes on Sun (which can’t possibly affect Earths climate).

A new telescope has peered into the Sun to see solar magnetic flux ropes for the first time. Severe flux rope twists have been described as being like “earthquakes” on the sun, and are linked to eruptions of large solar flares that change magnetic fields, and cause radiation and energetic particles to rain on Earth.

We don’t know much about solar magnetic flux ropes. We know they affect space weather, but thanks to climate experts we already “know” they can’t possibly, ever in a million years, affect Earth’s weather. Even though we’ve only just been able to see them and have no long term data on them, we have Global Circulation Climate models (which don’t include these solar factors), so we have 95% certainty that none of the particles, fields or radiation changes have much impact on Earth. They might fritz satellites, electronics and communications, but Earth’s atmosphere has no electrical component (wink), and the models “work” (kinda, sorta, apart from “the pause”, the arctic, the ocean, the antarctic, and the holocene) without any of this fuzzy solar stuff. Got that? Repeat after me. The Sun does not affect Earth’s climate. (Good boys and girls. You are fit for a government grant.)

Fine details of a magnetic flux rope captured by the New Solar Telescope at Big Bear Solar Observatory for Solar Active Region 11817 on 2013 August 11. The structure is further demonstrated by the 3-D magnetic modeling based the observations of Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager on board Solar Dynamic Observatory. The image was created by Chang Liu, one of the co-authors of the paper.Credit: Chang Liu

 

Science Daily: Scientists at NJIT’s Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO) have captured the first high-resolution images of the flaring magnetic structures known as solar flux ropes at their point of origin in the Sun’s chromosphere.

Flux ropes are bundles of magnetic fields that together rotate and twist around a common axis, driven by motions in the photosphere, a high-density layer of the Sun’s atmosphere below the solar corona and chromosphere.

 David’s solar notch delay theory, which predicts cooling, by the way, is doing very well. We’ll be discussing an update and more news on his theory that TSI is a leading indicator (but not a direct cause) of temperature changes on Earth in up and coming posts. Energetic particles, solar winds, changes in radiation and magnetic fields, are all candidates for the force (or forces) that influence Earth’s climate, but are delayed by half a full solar cycle (of ~22 years) from changes in the TSI. Previous problems with Fourier transform approximations have been fixed, and a delay is indeed implied by the notch. Sorry about the big gap in publications on it, there is something scientifically big going on (separate from the ND solar theory) behind the scenes and he prefers to work with a low profile rather than in the “blood sport” distraction that publicity brings. Thanks to all the people who support our ground breaking research. Donations to this blog keep us both going. To the team who make independent science and independent science commentary possible — We’re very grateful, we can’t do this without you.

We will be entering the fray again soon. I have a series of posts lined up. Thanks for your patience.

The Press release: New solar telescope peers deep into the sun to track the origins of space weather

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