JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


The Skeptics Handbook

Think it has been debunked? See here.

The Skeptics Handbook II

Climate Money Paper


Advertising

Australian Environment Conference Oct 20 2012


micropace


GoldNerds

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



Bloggies voting closes late Sunday – Your chance to promote skeptical science blogs

After skeptical climate science blogs dominated the science category in 2013, the bloggies caved in and dumped the whole category. This is your opportunity to show that scientists are skeptics, and the opinions of hundreds of thousands of readers still count.

So in 2014, I suggested we could lodge a protest, or we could just nominate our favorite blogs for other categories couldn’t we? And boy-o-boy, nominate we did. (Thank you.) Skeptical science blogs are now spread across many other categories. (In the end, trying to keep skeptics out may give skeptics more wins. Ain’t that the way?) But voting closes on Sunday, so if you haven’t already done it, please take the time to tick those boxes. I know it’s a chore, but it’s  a way you can help bloggers reach a wider audience, spread their influence. It’s also a way you can direct readers to sites you find rewarding that they may not have heard of. It’s also a way you can let the Bloggies organizers know that it’s no accident that skeptical blogs are so popular.

This year I’ve been lucky enough to be a finalist in three (gosh) heavy hitting categories, with some stiff competition.

  • Best Topical Weblog 
  • Lifetime Achievement
  • Weblog of the Year

What am I most proud of?

Since Sept 2008 I have written 1,403 posts and almost two million people have visited this site from over 200 countries. The Skeptics Handbook has found its way in hard copy to 220,000 people, including all politicians in Australia and the US, and was  translated by volunteers into 16 languages, and remarkably — in such a contentious topic — five years later, has survived unscathed — there is not much I would change. John Cook took two years to try to knock it down with help from four professors, but I only needed four days to take his arguments apart. Thanks to this blog, I’ve done repeated Op-Eds for The Australian, a sought after Diary post on the Spectator, and been named in the Australian Parliament — where Rob Oakshott “smelt a rat” and claimed I ran a well organized and well funded campaign “to her credit”. My favourite posts include an epic five part debate with Prof Andrew Glikson. I was one of the key protagonists getting Dr Paul Bain and Nature to issue a partial correction “regretting the offence cause by the term denier”. I still think my initial response to him is one of my best pieces. Among my readers are three national cartoonists, and at least a dozen MP’s and senators. I’ve been cited by and talked to the very people who I admire greatly — Mark Steyn, Matt Ridley, James Delingpole and Andrew Bolt, who described this post as outstanding and “a magnificent polemic”.

On the 2014 Bloggies Voting Page — Look out  for Tallbloke, Donna La Framboise (No Frakking Consensus), WattsUp,  GWPF, Climate Audit, and Small Dead Animals. Yes, some are competing with each other. Darn — you shall have to choose! Voting closes 10pm Sunday EST US time.

Anthony Watts has a list of suggestions, check his page or see below for the details on making your vote count. Remember you must tick a blog in three categories, you must scroll down, fill in the darn Captcha, with a real email, and click the link that will be sent in your email.

Whatever happens I’ve already had a win, and I’m grateful to those who nominated and voted for me in the shortlist.

HOW TO CAST YOUR VOTE

1. Click on the 2014 Bloggies Page

Keep reading  →

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.2/10 (59 votes cast)

China going cold on carbon market? Cites Australia and US

Another day is The Backdown? Everything is more important than carbon action these days. In China, real pollution is trumping the fake kind. China has been toying with carbon markets, but this month announced they might have to back away. (The shame!)

[Reuters]  “…the all-out efforts to combat China’s disastrous pollution levels might get in the way of plans to tax carbon dioxide emissions in a bid to stunt the rapid growth of greenhouse gas emissions, Zhu Guangyao, the vice environment minister, said.

“We have to reflect the requests of the majority through many consultation rounds,” he told the Beijing Morning Post from the sidelines of China’s annual parliamentary sessions.

A carbon tax is increasingly controversial among lawmakers, said Zhu, adding that an environment tax would be easier to push through without carbon in the mix.

Zhu also referred to the fact that Australia, under a new conservative government, is trying to abolish its carbon tax, while a price on carbon has been blocked in the United States.”

China’s carbon markets were never serious anyway –  the glorious plan was to launch seven pilot trading schemes –  and each new market was an excuse for environmental activists to issue press releases and proclaim “success” and “momentum”. It was all about the number of new markets opening (not the number of degrees the world would cool).  In reality, even these pilot schemes were a pile of tokens (so to speak) — most of the credits were given out for free. The fines for non-compliance were minimal. It almost looks like it was designed with PR in mind?

I’m pleased to see they have noticed the general direction of the Australian Carbon Market (and the oath to axe it). Julia Gillard wanted us to be leaders. What can I say?

Keep reading  →

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.8/10 (48 votes cast)

APS reconsiders its position on climate — Scientific storm on the way?

Everything about associations and committees is so paralyzingly slow. But nearly four and a half years after 160 members bitterly complained about the American Physical Society (APS) statement on climate change, they are finally revisiting it, and there are very promising signs. They’ve appointed Richard Lindzen, John Christie, and Judith Curry, all either longstanding skeptics or sympathetic to skeptical arguments. That’s three of six. (Though I stress that I will remain skeptical until the new statement comes out. One other member, Ben Santer, has a record of rewriting conclusions of much larger committees, and other shenanigans*.)

In 2007, the APS improbably stepped out of the world of physics and into the world of policy and proclaimed:

The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring.

If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.

In 2009, when 160 members of the APS protested, the council “overwhelmingly” voted to reject their proposal. (See how these things work? There are 47,000 members, of which 160 people took the effort and time to publicly protest, and then a council of what, six people, gets to use the word “overwhelming” as if it means something.)  They also wrote: “APS adheres to rigorous scientific standards in developing its statements. The Society is always open to review of its statements when significant numbers of its members request it to do so.” It’s all about the PR isn’t it? It’s about the importance of seeming to be transparent and open, when the reality is the APS statement of 2007 was profoundly unscientific, misleading, and against the wishes of many of the members, yet even in 2014, the statement still stands.

Prominent scientists like Nobel Prize winning Ivar Gievar and long standing Professor Hal Lewis resigned in disgust. The IPCC was exposed again and again as having poor quality control, an unscientific attitude, using magazine articles as references, and allowing activists to help review their work. One of their leading scientists was caught saying he used “tricks” to “hide declines” and other scientists were caught saying they approved of his approach. Evidence accumulated that the IPCC projections were wrong, double wrong, useless, unskilled and failed on all the major predictions. Still the APS supported them.

This is why Science-by-committee is such a hopelessly unscientific approach.

Now finally, the  APS announces it will Review that 2007 Statement on Climate Change,   February 20, 2014.

There are six members of the new committee, and it is indeed the most broad spectrum and balanced climate science committee I’ve seen. The other three members are Ben Santer, William Collins, and Isaac Held (all essentially climate modelers).

It could be that years after individual physicists and bloggers saw the writing on the wall, the APS has finally realized their support of the IPCC is shredding their scientific reputation. They have a 115 year history as one of the largest hard-science societies. They should never have supported a religion with a trillion dollar price tag.

If they jump ship, the quickening will start… that acceleration on the curve where other agencies and groups rush to dump the dying meme. The moment is coming when the phase change occurs and everyone starts to say “I was always a skeptic”.

Tony Thomas has an excellent article in Quadrant, arguing that this is “finally some real climate science” and the tide has turned. (Perhaps it has, but I’m waiting for the outcome). If the APS really is being transparent, open, and are willing to objectively assess the evidence, then it will cause a storm.

The APS audit of the IPCC makes a contrast with the Australian Science Academy’s (AAS) equivalent efforts. In 2010 the AAS put out a booklet, mainly for schools, ”The Science of Climate Change, Questions and Answers”, drafted behind closed doors. The drafters and overseers totalled 16 people, and the original lone sceptic, Garth Paltridge, was forced out by the machinations of  then-President Kurt Lambeck.[5] The Academy is currently revising the booklet, without any skeptic input at all. Of the 16 drafters and overseers, at least nine have been IPCC contributors and others have been petition-signing climate-policy lobbyists, hardly appropriate to do any arm’s length audit of the IPCC version of the science. Once again, the process is without any public transparency or consulting with the broad membership. -- Tony Thomas

As Thomas notes, the questions posed are “trenchant”. I would say they also cut to the core of the points that really matter:

Keep reading  →

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.6/10 (81 votes cast)

This is what we need more of: Scientists calling out newspaper hype

Professor Richard Betts, Head of Climate Impacts Research, Met Office Hadley Centre, responded to an alarmist news story in the Independent, both with a comment at the article, and in a tweet (or two). If more scientists spoke out publicly, reporting would get better.

Prof Richard Betts commenting at the Independent (my bold):

Official prophecy of doom: Global warming will cause widespread conflict, displace millions of people and devastate the global economy

Leaked draft report from UN panel seen by The Independent is most comprehensive investigation into impact of climate change ever undertaken – and it’s not good news

Climate change will displace hundreds of millions of people by the end of this century, increasing the risk of violent conflict and wiping trillions of dollars off the global economy, a forthcoming UN report will warn.

Based on thousands of peer-reviewed studies and put together by hundreds of respected scientists, the [IPCC] report predicts that climate change will reduce median crop yields by 2 per cent per decade …

And so on– it is pretty much all there: war, starvation, floods, seas rising, and death.
Richard Betts comments (my bolding):

“I’m one of the authors of the IPCC WG2 report, and I think this article by the Independent is highly irresponsible, especially the headline.

The author of this article has chosen some juicy bits which back up the “climate doom” meme, but ignored other information. The headline writer has then done the same with the original article to come up with the headline of catastrophe.

They’ve also completely ignored all the important discussion in the report on adapting to climate change and increasing resilience.

The upshot is a very biased, alarmist headline.

The problem is this then risks damaging the credibility of the report. There’s much more to it than the impression given by this article, especially concerning other (non-climate) influences on human health, economies, etc.

Keep reading  →

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.5/10 (67 votes cast)

Global anxiety? Scared of maths? Could that explain why some people are innumerate about the climate?

I find myself using the word innumerate more and more. Anything to do with climate change is about the numbers — how much will the planet warm? How much will it cost to change the weather? How much useful electricity do wind turbines produce? The arguments of everyone from trolls to Naomi Klein, to Sir Paul Nurse avoid the numbers. And the only time Greenpeace discuss numbers, they seem to pick the wrong kind — dollars instead of degrees. Then they miss the biggest dollars in this debate anyway (but only by a factor of 3,000). Numbers are just not their strong point.

Some people avoid the numbers strategically, — because it’s a debate they can’t win. Sir Paul Nurse hopes we don’t notice that he doesn’t even make an argument, he just declares his side “won”. He tosses a red herring about CO2 being a greenhouse gas. (Which is not what the debate is about. Perhaps he’s heard of feedbacks? He doesn’t say.) Otherwise, he declares the majority “know the cost benefits are worth it”, which is a/ a logical fallacy, b/ a lot like a car advert, and c/  completely wrong. The last UK poll I saw, showed more than 60% of Brits didn’t even believe in a man-made climate, let alone approve the cost of trying to “fix” it. Now Sir Paul is probably very numerate (being a Nobel in Medicine, and President of The Royal Society), which begs the question of why he seems so scared of talking about climate numbers? Perhaps he’s anxious?

Apparently some people are at greater risk “to fear math” not just because they did badly at it, or had nasty teachers and mean gloating friends. But genetically they might be the anxious kind of person, and not be too hot with math skills. About 40% of the differences in math anxiety, as it is called, is possibly due to genes.

Math anxiety it seems, is a hot field of study. It was a new term for me. A different study using brain scans reckons that when people worry about maths, their brain feels real pain.  It’s not something we hear about much on skeptical blogs. Probably since more than half the readers of skeptical blogs had a maths, physics or engineering background. Likewise most geoscientists and engineers are skeptics (and also not too scared of math).

Since maths anxiety seems so common among climate activists, perhaps it’s time we asked if climate-anxiety causes maths anxiety? Or rather whether maths anxiety causes the climate kind…

Time to talk about some numbers then?

Jo

Who’s afraid of math? Study finds some genetic factors

Date:
March 17, 2014
Source:
Summary:
A new study of math anxiety shows how some people may be at greater risk to fear math not only because of negative experiences, but also because of genetic risks related to both general anxiety and math skills. The results don’t mean that math anxiety can be blamed solely or even mostly on genetic factors, the researchers emphasized. In this study, genetic factors explained about 40 percent of the individual differences in math anxiety.
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.6/10 (61 votes cast)

Tribal warfare, the hatefest runs. Bully barbarians at their intellectual “best”

Here in Australia the intellectual depth and moral caliber of the fans of big-government handouts is on display. This is a world where your intellect and popularity is measured in how much you hate Tony Abbott and Andrew Bolt.

The witless debate ensues, aka the March-in-March protest this weekend: “How much money should we take; you’re a racist, homophobic, corporate a**  _______.”  Last week a thrash band mock-beheaded Tony Abbott with jets of squirting blood for entertainment. It’s base, it’s barbarian, it’s childish and extreme. Enough.

Last week the ABC wallowed in rants, namcalling and false claims about Andrew Bolt. He who argues we should not judge people by their race, gets called a racist. Tonight the ABC finally agree to “clarify” the claims. (Why not just apologize?) Today, surprise, the ABC finds space for 43 protest photos, but omits the ones that show the depraved nature of some of the protestors.  It’s not reporting, it’s propaganda. Privatize it.

 

Placards from the March in March protest and the “beheading” band.

After Bolt was subjected to abuse he wondered if he should give up. I was struck that what he and what Tony Abbott need are not voices just urging them on, but people willing to do something. Civilization depends on people being civil. It’s not enough to stand by and just cheer on those who fight for logic, decency, and reason. It’s time to speak up against the bullies; to write letters to editors, journalist-activists and politicians. To demand that something be done about the ABC. You may think one voice doesn’t matter. But bullies follow the herd, and they need to know the grownups outnumber them and they are not impressed.

 

Another Canberra woman, November, said she was upset about too many things to list. When asked what she wanted to achieve, she said, “I want to see Tony Abbott lynched.”– Canberra Times

Keep reading  →

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.4/10 (125 votes cast)

The North Atlantic jet stream correlates with Solar output over a millennium

A new paper (Moffa-Sánchez et al) reports that they looked at layers of dead plankton in ocean mud (otherwise known as foraminifera in marine sediments) and have reconstructed the temperature and salinity of a couple of spots in the North Atlantic between 818AD – 1780 with data on δ18O and the Mg/Ca ratios. One immediate thought, an aside, is that if this technique works, there is no shortage of ocean mud, surely, and perhaps we could drill and analyze more mud for solar correlations in other places. (I hear foraminifera live in the Southern Hemisphere too). Perhaps no one is looking for the connection with the sun?

Moffa-Sánchez et al find the big climate shifts (the 100-year variations) correlate with total solar irradiance (TSI). See especially that orange line black line track in the d graph below. I stress, correlations don’t mean causation and the mechanism is mere speculation. But I find the graph intruiging. There are a lot of turning points, and in pure “curve fitting” type of analysis, this is a better curve fit than the one with CO2. (Find me a turning point that matches with carbon dioxide!) I suspect we’ll be referring back to this paper, and I hanker for more TSI comparisons with other sites and regions.

Figure 2 | Proxy records from RAPiD-17-5P. a, Solar irradiance forcing reconstruction based on the cosmogenic nuclide 10Be (ref. 10; orange) and global volcanic stratospheric aerosols30 (grey) TSI, total solar irradiance. b,
Temperature and c, salinity/18Osw estimates derived from paired Mg/Ca and 18O measurements in G. inflata calcite from RAPiD-17-5P. SMOW, standard mean ocean water. d, Three-point smoothed temperature record
from RAPiD-17-5P (black) and 1TSI (ref. 10) (orange). A 12.42-year lag has been imposed on the 1TSI forcing as indicated from the highest Pearson correlation (Supplementary Notes, Supplementary Fig. 3). Shaded areas
highlight the well-known periods of solar minima. (Click to enlarge and see original unscaled graph*)

The researchers suggest that when solar activity is low the winter jet stream over the North Atlantic is more likely to get blocked. (Which means vast tongues of cold arctic air stretch far to the south, and someone somewhere, gets freaky and not-nice weather.)

Scientists studied seafloor sediments to determine how the temperature of the North Atlantic and its localised atmospheric circulation had altered. Warm surface waters flowing across the North Atlantic, an extension of the Gulf Stream, and warm westerly winds are responsible for the relatively mild climate of Europe, especially in winter. Slight changes in the transport of heat associated with these systems can lead to regional climate variability, and the study findings matched historic accounts of climate change, including the notoriously severe winters of the 16th and 18th centuries which pre-date global industrialisation. — Science Daily

Back when CO2 levels were “ideal” the climate apparently swung wildly:

Keep reading  →

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (68 votes cast)

Weekend Unthreaded – how can any post not be an anti-climax

I’ve been humbled by donations from Australia, USA, UK, Canada, NZ, Ireland, Germany,  France, Sweden, Finland, Netherlands, Holland, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Israel, Austria, and Cyprus. I hope I haven’t missed any? (For the record, Queensland has the most skeptics per capita. :- ) )

I thought I might have had writers block trying to live up to that.

Here’s the irony, can you believe? I’ve run out of chocolate. More than 600 people bought me a chocolate, yet I have none in the house.

Back soon…

Donors came from all over the West. This graphs the number of donors from each country.

 

(Thank you to everyone, I’m trying to send emails, but I may not manage…)

*Holland/Netherlands — yes I realize, but I’m acknowledging the names that donors used.

 

UPDATE: Oh! Norway added to the post and to the graph, as it should be! – Jo

 

 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.9/10 (66 votes cast)

The end of a week un-threaded

ED here, one of the moderators. I’m stepping in here for a brief moment to start off an unthreaded post while Jo has a short respite. Certainly there must be something happening in the world that is happy, joyful and worthy of a weekend of conversation?

Cheers!

 

—–

 

Ha ha. ED I can see you and I were thinking the same thing. Thanks for looking out for me. It was an unthreaded week.  -Jo

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.8/10 (20 votes cast)

An offer I couldn’t refuse… Jo Nova gets outfoxed

UPDATE: This is just overwhelming. Amazing! New donations are coming in from the UK, Canada, France, Austria, New Zealand, Germany. Brilliant. Brilliant. Every bit counts. Thanks Anthony Thanks Jaymez.!

UPDATE #2: Donations (this random moment 9pm EST) are coming in the last hour from Columbus, OH; Lower Plenty, Victoria; Multi Way London; Newtown, New South Wales; Kew, Victoria; Aurora Ontario; Albion, QLD; Hollola Finland; Belmont, Western Australia; Sawston Cambridge, UK; Point Lonsdale, Victoria; Ermington, New South Wales; Witham, Essex UK; Marrickville, New South Wales; Ascot, Berkshire UK; Belair, South Australia; Oslo Norway; Tatura, Victoria ; Oxley, Queensland; Point Cook, Victoria; Stewarton, East Ayrshire UK …  I’m lost for the right word.

At this rate we might make the target Jaymez set.

UPDATE #3: Good news we are well over the half way  mark. I’m really delighted, thank you.

UPDATE #4!! Great news, we have claimed the full bonus from Jaymez. (Thank you! I owe a lot of people an email. I did not expect it to be reached so soon. :-)   Extra mention goes to donors to the NAB account, I have no way of identifying or thanking some of you personally (unless you email, please!). It all makes a big difference, and is support for us over the next few months. If you haven’t yet made a contribution, please don’t stop, the extra funds  are still very useful too — in the long run, we need to find a way to fund ongoing independent analysis, research and commentary in a more sustainable way. Any government will grow until something stops it. What stops it?  We, the people.  –  Jo

———————————–

I received a strongly worded email today from a long time loyal reader complaining that he almost missed this request which I placed at the bottom of yesterdays post.

Our bank account is looking very low. All contributions would be gratefully received. Thanks

   *    *   *

He claimed that hardly anyone would have seen it, and while I think I’m getting a great response, he thinks I’m crazy. He knows I hate asking for money (or even thinking about finances), but he also knows I work full time and despite the claims, big oil isn’t sending cheques, and there are no government grants to fund someone to fill in the gaps the CSIRO ($1.2b budget) and BOM ($300m) seem to miss. To cut a long story short he made an offer I just couldn’t refuse. I had to do a proper request for donations. He’s been ribbing me for ages to get onto it. I keep making excuses, but he’s finally outfoxed me, and in the nicest possible way.

This time, to ensure that I did so he made the extraordinary offer of giving me a dollar for every $4 I raise in the next week to a maximum of $5,000 (hypothetically if I was to raise $20,000). So any support you can give me would be gratefully received (and amplified by 25%). It will help me to keep not-thinking-about-money and think about corruption-in-science or getting logic-into-schools or trying to reduce your tax bill instead.

Indeed, it’s really just about our freedom to say what we think and the kind of civilization we want to leave for the kids.

I would love to claim the whole $5,000 he is offering, because it will be very useful (just wait ’til you see what’s been cooking around here). Just wait!

As Jaymez says: “So there is your challenge Jo! Now you have no excuse.”

Shucks, Thanks Jaymez.

Wow. Just wow.


For those who want to“buy” $1 units of chocolate support.  (Click on the currency button, and write in the quantity).

Deposit / Chq button

…or visit the Donations page.

Hate Paypal? There are alternatives (Deposit & Cheques button).

Why this odd arrangement? Would you believe — the Australian government say that I need permission from them to accept “donations”. (It might be your money, but you can only donate it to a Registered Charity.) So instead of accepting “donations” I’m “selling” units of $1 emergency chocolate support (for me) of which you may purchase as many as you want.


PS: For anyone wondering, Jaymez is not a magnate, not a wealthy businessman, and not in the fossil fuels industry. He spends some of his time working pro bono in developing countries. He writes that he “understands better than most how restrictions on industrial growth will impact the poorest in the world.”

PPS: I owe some other thank yous still.  They’re coming.

 

 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.4/10 (111 votes cast)

What the CSIRO State of the Climate report forgot to tell you

The CSIRO decided to leave out some information about the state of our climate in their  State of the Climate Report CSIRO.

CSIRO published these “Fast Facts” in bold. I’m publishing the things they didn’t say, but could have, in points in between.

Fast Facts from the CSIRO and BOM

“Australia’s climate has warmed by 0.9°C since 1910, and the frequency of extreme weather has changed, with more extreme heat and fewer cool extremes.”
The CSIRO-BOM team could have said:
  1. Scientifically, extreme weather measures are lousy indicators. They’re noisy and not very meaningful. They are however useful for getting newspaper headlines. It depends on what your aim is…
  2. Australia’s had extreme hot days for as long as we’ve been measuring the temperature. Charles Sturt recorded 53C in 1828 which seems fairly extreme. Thomas Mitchell did it too in 1845 and are many others (see the map below, check Trove, ask the BOM — no don’t ask the BOM). The records prior to 1910 seem to have gone down the memory hole, but if the BOM and CSIRO were trying to give Australians a true sense of the state of our climate perhaps Australians might like to know that extreme heat occurred even when CO2 levels were ideal.
  3. Before we hit the national Panic Button about the effect a hot day has on our airconditioners, ponder what other Australians went through. The January 1896 heat wave killed hundreds, and temperatures of close to, or over, 50C, were recorded right across the country in Mullewa, Carnarvon, Southern Cross, Wilcannia, Ungarie, Quirindi, Camden, Brewarrina, Cunnamulla and Mildura. No phones, no cars, no helicopters. No refrigerators.
  4. It’s misleading to say that the recent “extreme” records are meaningful. The cause and effect connection between man-made CO2 emissions and Australian “extreme” hot days is extremely tenuous. CO2 is a greenhouse gas every day of the year, so if extremes are rising in some places and on some days, but global trends are not, a normal scientist wouldn’t make much of the connection. But the CSIRO-BOM do, though in a special kind of caveat-speak where a null result is reframed:
 ”Some recent instances of extreme summer temperatures experienced around the world, including record-breaking summer temperatures in Australia over 2012–2013, are very unlikely to have been caused by natural variability alone.”
Admire how a conclusion so weak a skeptic could agree somehow “seems” to endorse the general theme of fear and angst about CO2. It’s all in the wording. The corollary to the conclusion above is equally true: some of these hot summer records are very likely to have been caused by natural and unnatural variability together. Since any unnatural effect greater than flat-zero makes the above statement technically correct, the precise message it conveys is close to nothing. As I keep saying: all forms of warming, cause warming. It doesn’t mean that CO2 caused it.

The hottest temperatures here were recorded in the 1800′s.

“Rainfall averaged across Australia has slightly increased since 1900, with the largest increases in the northwest since 1970.  Rainfall has declined since 1970 in the southwest, dominated by reduced winter rainfall. Autumn and early winter rainfall has mostly been below average in the southeast since 1990.”
  1. In a nation with the most unpredictable rainfall in the world, it would be amazing if some regions did not show some change over short periods like 100 years.
  2. In South West WA, the rainfall decline correlated better with man-made land clearance than CO2. Rainfall declined the most in areas where the most native flora was cleared. It didn’t change much in zones where humans left the scrub alone. Apparently Australians don’t need to know that planting trees might increase the rainfall. (Which side of politics wants to plant 20 million trees, again?)
“Extreme fire weather has increased, and the fire season has lengthened, across large parts of Australia since the 1970s.”
  • Fires are caused by heat, humidity, winds, fuel loads, rainfall patterns and delinquent teenagers. In the last 100 years we are sure things have got hotter, and there are definitely more delinquent teenagers. But we can’t predict wind, fuel, or humidity, or for that matter, temperature in 2100. This apparently doesn’t stop us from accurately predicting “fire-weather”.
  • This short recent trend (since the 1970s) may not include the worst fire seasons we know of like those that occurred in 1939 or even in 1851. Real scientists would not draw any serious conclusions from a marker as vague as a “fire season”, nor over such a short period of time.
“Global mean temperature has risen by 0.85°C from 1880 to 2012.”
  • Temperatures started rising in the 1700s — long before CO2 did. Even though 85% of man-made CO2 was emitted after World War II, the rate of warming is no different to the era before that. The trend in the 1870s was the same as the peak trend in the 1980s. Even Phil Jones (Director of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia) agrees both rates peaked at 0.16 C per decade.
  • Hadley Global Temperature Graph with trends according to Phil Jones trends annotated on top. Red trend lines there to show roughly where these trends occur.

“The amount of heat stored in the global oceans has increased, and global mean sea level has risen by 225 mm from 1880 to 2012.”
  1. The oceans appear to have warmed by two hundredths of a degree in the last 10 years. (If you believe that we can measure the 1.4 billion cubic kilometers of ocean to a hundredth of a degree, I have a giant working solar plant to sell you.)
  2. The heat stored in all the oceans is pretty hard to measure, and based on the best measurements we have, we are fairly, possibly, or a little bit sure the heat has  increased. Though the increase was a lot less than we predicted, and quadrillions of joules of energy is missing, these may not matter because the real error bars are so large that the ones on the observations totally overlap the ones on the predictions, ergo, we are still possibly right (or at least Not Wrong Yet). In 40 years we’ll know, in the meantime call it “settled”.
  3. The seas started rising in the early 1800′s about the same time Napoleon launched the moon mission. (Sorry, we mean that horses, carts, and wind-driven-boats caused pollution. Scratch that. Punters don’t need to know that.)
“Annual average global atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations reached 395 parts per million (ppm) in 2013 and concentrations of the other major greenhouse gases are at their highest levels for at least 800,000 years.”
  • For most of the history of life on Earth CO2 levels were higher than they are today, sometimes 10 times higher. It was a lot hotter, except when it was a lot colder. For 500 million years nobody taxed carbon. Somehow life flourished and coral reefs existed.
  • Sometimes asteroids dropped in — and then, boy, did that climate change. But that’s not the point, no one can tax an asteroid.^

 

“Australian temperatures are projected to continue to increase, with more extremely hot days and fewer extremely cool days.”

The best models in the warmest decades, peak CO2 emissions, and still no glory for modelers.

 Information about the graph. [See all posts on Climate models].
“Average rainfall in southern Australia is projected to decrease, and heavy rainfall is projected to increase over most parts of Australia.”
  • See the point about models above. The models don’t work. It would be cheaper and just as scientifically valid to throw darts.
“Sea-level rise and ocean acidification are projected to continue.”

If the BOM and CSIRO had wanted Australians to be informed and calm about the risks of Ocean Acidification, they would have said things like this:

  • The oceans are not acidic, and not close to being acidic with a pH of more than 8 which is alkaline. However natural unpolluted clean rainfall has a shockingly acidic pH of about 5.  [Source CSIRO] Life on Earth seems to cope. Some natural undersea vents have a pH as acidic as 2.8. That’s acidic.
  • The ocean changes pH naturally. In the Southern Ocean pH shifts by 0.3-0.5 units every summer and winter. Quite a lot of marine life are okay with this.
  • Some parts of the ocean vary even more every day than the most pessimistic models predict the ocean will change in the next 100 years.
  • It’s tricky to know what the pH of the world’s oceans are today (because of this natural variability) but it’s even harder to know that the pH was in 1750 since the pH scale and meters and what not, was only invented 150 years later. Instead our scientists estimate what the pH might have been then with models. Did we mention we are uncertain about the accuracy?
  • Sea level rise has decelerated lately, which suggests that more CO2 does not make the sea rise faster. A lot of heat is missing from climate models, but if the “missing heat” is hiding in the oceans — sea levels would be rising faster.
  • Australian and New Zealand sea levels were rising faster in the 1930s and 1940s than they have in the last 40 years.  (Isn’t that a bit relevant?)
  •  Sea levels all over the world started rising before 1800 when CO2 was still at “perfect” levels. Something was warming the planet back then.  If climate modelers knew what it was, their models might work.

More information

Posts on , , , .

 

Our bank account is looking very low. All contributions would be gratefully received. Thanks

   *    *   *

* Remember how the BOM had to change the whole color scheme on the national weather map just to forecast a  potential “50C” in 2013? They had to issue a whole press release, where they also didn’t mention the previous 50C+ days in our national archives. Spot the pattern.

^This does not preclude the possibility that we might “need” a large bureaucracy and soon, to protect us from falling space rocks. Pace NASA, and DOD. Awaiting events in Syria/Ukraine…

 

REFERENCES

Berner et al, GEOCARB III: A revised model of atmospheric CO2  over Phanerozoic Time, American Journal of Science, Vol. 301, February, 2001, P. 182–204. (GEOCARB III)

Scotese C.R.,  Golonka, J., and Ross, M.I. (1994) Phanerozoic Paleogeographic and Paleoclimatic Modeling Maps, in A. F. Embry, B. Beauchamp, and D.J. Glass (editors), Pangea, Global Environments and resources, Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists, Memoir 17, p. 1-47.

Scotese, Worsley, T. R., Moore, T. L., and Fraticelli, C. M. (1994) Phanerozoic CO2 levels and global temperatures inferred from changing paleogeography, in Klein, George D., (editor), Pangea; paleoclimate, tectonics, and sedimentation during accretion, zenith and breakup of a supercontinent. Special Paper Geological Society of America 288, p. 57-73, Boulder, CO.

Scotese C.C., Upchurch, G.R., and Otto-Bliesner, B.L. (1999) Terrestrial vegetation and its effects on climate during the latest Cretaceous, E. Berrera and C. Johnson, (eds), The Evolution of Cretaceous Ocean/Climate Systems, Geol. Soc. Amer. Spec. Paper, v. 332, pp. 407-426.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.6/10 (99 votes cast)

Kochs give $100 million to hospital. People protest.

How much do they hate the Koch brothers? So much, that when the Koch’s paid for a new hospital care centre, nurses stormed the streets.

Washington Beacon: it was the New York State Nurses’ Association, the NAACP New York State Conference, and SEIU Local 1199, among others, who marched on the soon-to-be-built David H. Koch Center at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, which was funded in part by a $100 million donation from the man one prominent liberal recently predicted would go down in history as a “famously evil person.”

The donation was the largest in the hospital’s history, and will presumably create a fair number of new nursing jobs. So why are the usual suspects up in arms? Well, the agitators were apparently agitated because this particular hospital didn’t need all the money. Oh yeah, and because it was International Women’s Day, and the Kochs are the primary funders of the “war on women’s reproductive rights … and many other issues of concern to American women.” They’re also behind “the effort to defeat and repeal healthcare to all Americans,” whatever that means.

From the twitter #kochBros

David Koch is against affordable healthcare. Why is his name on a hospital?

The real issue apparently is “Affordable Healthcare”. If you are dependent on big-government largess (or aiming to be that way), I guess the last thing you’d want is successful free market philanthropy.

Once upon a time people who created productive industries and gave away large sums of money were lauded, now there is no amount of money the Koch’s could give…

If you like your small hospital, you can keep your small hospital?

Oh the dilemma, The Koch’s support of climate skeptics* means the hospital gift is tainted money:

David Koch Gives $100 Million Dollar Donation to New York Presbyterian Hospital-Their Largest Single Gift in History While Koch Maintains Campaign Against Climate Changing Science..

The donation will bear his name, David Koch on a new outpatient facility and he sits on the Board of Trustees at the hospital.  This just goes to show what wealth is doing today in the US, sure the hospital welcomes the money and who wouldn’t but it’s strange spot to be in with the political side of where Koch goes with their campaigns, so I guess in essence we need fossil fuels to keep some hospitals going?  It’s a strange world we live in today.  BD

Grist are right into the irony (as they see it). The hospital is “desperate” because of the extra patients due to the trauma of Hurricane Sandy, and yet The Kochs helped made Hurricane Sandy worse!

“NewYork-Presbyterian declined to comment on whether the hospital is comfortable accepting millions of dollars from a donor whose companies create the conditions for future superstorms.”

 

h/t Marc Morano Climate Depot

*I’m not one.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.6/10 (79 votes cast)

Weekend Unthreaded

The loose ends….

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.0/10 (26 votes cast)

Media bias — ABC, CBS exclude skeptical scientists for 1300 days

The bias is obvious in what they don’t say. Reporters are supposed to seek out and promote the most rational, well argued positions they can find. Instead they elevate themselves to defacto “science judges” and decide which scientists deserve to be heard. It could be called arrogance, or it could be called “lying by omission”.

 COLD SHOULDER: ABC, CBS Exclude Scientists Critical of Global Warming for More Than 1,300 Days | NewsBusters

Like a simple parlor trick, the networks are able to make skeptical scientists vanish, at least from the eyes of their viewers.

In some cases, the broadcast networks have failed to include such scientists for years, while including alarmist scientists within the past six months. ABC, CBS and NBC’s lengthy omission of scientists critical of global warming alarmism propped up the myth of a scientific consensus, despite the fact that many scientists and thousands of peer-reviewed studies disagree.

Neither CBS nor ABC have included a skeptical scientist in their news shows within the past 1,300 days, but both networks included alarmists within the past 160 days — CBS as recently as 22 days ago. When the networks did include other viewpoints, the experts were dismissed as “out of the scientific mainstream” or backed by “oil and coal companies.”

CBS was the worst, ignoring skeptical scientists for 1,391 days, ever since the May 15, 2010,  “Evening News.” That night, CBS interviewed former NASA climatologist, Dr. Roy Spencer during an extensive profile of alarmist meteorologist, and non-Ph.D., Dan Satterfield.

It was just 22 days ago, on Feb. 12, 2014, that CBS included an alarmist physicist, Dr. Michio Kaku on “This Morning.” Kaku is a contributor to “This Morning” and that day he warned of the “heating up of the North Pole” which “could cause gigantic storms of historic proportions.”

ABC last included a skeptical scientist 1,383 days ago. During the May 23, 2010, segment of “World News,” ABC played a brief, 23-second clip of Princeton-educated Dr. Fred Singer expressing his skepticism over man-made climate change, along with clips of two alarmist scientists. Singer’s was the only opposing view in that report and his views were actually taken from a much earlier interview aired on ABC March 23, 2008.

The ABC referred too here is the American one, not the Australian ABC. (Has anyone analyzed the local highly influential mass-media outlet?)

For those choosing networks in the US, NBC did better than either the ABC or the CBS. Of course, the evil Fox out-rates them all. Could it be those viewers hate being told what to think?

Fox News topped the cable news ratings race for the 12th consecutive year in 2013, with more total viewers than MSNBC and CNN combined. Meanwhile, MSNBC slid to third place in total-day viewership while CNN hit a 20-year low in prime time.  — politico

Cue the commenters who will claim news ought to reflect the consensus. Meaning that journalists should decide who goes to air, not by reason and evidence, but because key-word surveys on specialty magazine publications suggest that there are more scientists who believe a particular, unlikely, idea. Rent out your brain, you “investigative journalists”. Government funding pays for magazine subscriptions, just like it pays for repeated irrelevant press releases. Since when was this science?

Keep reading  →

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.1/10 (82 votes cast)

The miracle gas that causes everything and nothing

In the true spirit of satire Steve Hunter manages to pretty much expose the grand flaw.

Thanks to Steve Hunter

Man-made global warming is unfalsifiable.

Scientists make predictions and test them. Only unskeptical scientists ignore the failures.

Flannery has missed a few. Bolt has a copy of Flannery’s Dam Predictions. For the record.

For your entertainment, the list of things that global warming can cause has been collected by NumberWatch:

A list of things caused by global warming

A snippet from I – K:

 … indigestion, industry threatened, infectious diseases,  inflation in China, insect explosion, insect invasion, insurance premium rises, Inuit displacement, Inuit poisoned, Inuit suing, invasion of alien worms, invasion of Antarctic aliensinvasion of Asian carp, invasion of cane toadsinvasion of caterpillarsinvasion of catsinvasion of crabgrass, invasion of herons, invasion of jellyfish, invasion of king crabs, invasion of lampreys, invasion of midges, invasion of pine beetles, invasion of rats (China)invasion of slugs island disappears, islands sinking, Italy robbed of pasta, itchier poison ivy, Japan’s cherry blossom threatenedjellyfish explosion, jets fall from skyKew Gardens taxed, kidney stones, killer cornflakes, killing us, kitten boom, koalas leaves inedible, koalas under threat, krill decline…


 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.3/10 (129 votes cast)

Zombie carbon market falls 60%, revived by EU decree – media spins “soaring success”

Global Carbon Markets peaked in 2011 at €96bn euro. Over the next two years they plummeted to €36bn* euro collapsing by 60%. Though the press didn’t seem in a hurry to convey that, and if I search,  no government funded agency has done a graph like this below (perhaps I missed it?)

The decline was looking pretty terminal, but the EU government has now voted to backload (which means hold off the permits and cut the supply). This is a desperate measure involving over half the new permits to keep the “free” market alive.

Instead, the news agencies with greener leanings have underplayed the fall, and the 60% decline is now invisibly massaged in places like BusinessGreen into a “market set to soar”. This is not just media-spin but a news-through-a-centrifuge.

The value of the world’s carbon markets is set to soar to €64bn (£53bn) this year, up from €39bn in 2013, as the European Union launches a temporary fix to revive its ailing emissions trading system.

Peak carbon came and went. Those 2014 figures are speculation. Otherwise the trend was terminal.

A breathless journalist at Thompson Reuters describes the possible revival of the market back to 30% below the peak as “astounding”:

Emil Dimantchev, analyst at Thomson Reuters Point Carbon, anticipates that such significant growth will be driven by “expectations that after imminent backloading is implemented early in 2014, EUA prices could rise to €7.5/t, increasing over-the-counter and exchange traded liquidity. This would lead to an astounding increase in value, up by more than two thirds to €61bn ($US84bn) from €36bn ($US49bn) in 2013”. –BusinessSpectator

Let’s not forget this soaring revival is only due to Government decree. The EU voted to simply hold back some promised carbon credits. They cornered the market from the start. There is nothing “free” about this fixed market, and the people who will pay (consumers and taxpayers, us) don’t get a choice. The Australian carbon market is still tied to the EU one. Ask Bill Shorten (the opposition leader) why a group of EU bureaucrats are setting the price.

The long-awaited “backloading” of European Union carbon allowance auctions will start on 12 March, marking the first time that governments will sell fewer permits than required by power producers

Keep reading  →

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.3/10 (73 votes cast)

Warren Buffett says climate change made no difference to insurance on catastrophes

A CNBC show interviewed Warren Buffett  — and in the context of talking about insurance shares — the billionaire (and Bershire Hathaway shareholders) are smiling all the way to the bank. Climate scientists may be predicting disasters, but as far as insurance goes, nothing much had changed.

Interviewer:  How has the latest rise of extreme weather events changed the calculus on Ajit Jain in reinsurance?

Warren Buffett: “The public has the impression, because there has been so much talk about climate, that the events of the last ten years have been unusual. …They haven’t. We’ve been remarkably free of hurricanes in the last five years. If you’ve been writing hurricane insurance it’s been all profit.”

 Warren Buffett: “So far the effects of climate change, if any, have not affected… the insurance market.

It has made no difference. I calculate the probabilities in terms of catastrophes no differently than a few years ago… that may change in ten years.”

Warren Buffett: “I love apocalyptic predictions, because … they probably do affect rates…”

 Warren Buffett: “Writing US hurricane insurance has been very profitable in the last five or six years… now the rates have come down and we’re not writing much, if anything, on Hurricanes in the US at all. The biggest cat risk right now.. I think is earthquakes in New Zealand.”

Watch the interview on Squawk Box CNB.

It’s worth watching. Even the interviewers are skeptics.

 h/t Willie and the Wall St Journal.(Headlined:  “Warren Buffett, Climate-Change Denier. The sage of Omaha punctures liberal myths.” So the phrase “climate change denier” is used with cachet here. How times change. No insult intended. Ouch. Soon, everyone will want to be one.

Keep reading  →

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.3/10 (91 votes cast)

Weekend Unthreaded

: – )

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.7/10 (26 votes cast)

UNSW climate scientists shift goal posts, publish irrelevant “extreme hot days” trend

The pause in global warming is so crippling, so crucial, that scientists will go to extremes to find any excuse to issue something that combines the magic terms “no pause” and “extreme temperatures”. This is the winning combination in climate bingo. But marvel how far these researchers have to stretch to get there.

Gaze upon  Seneviratne et al  (UNSW) declaring that there is no pause in the trend of “extreme hot temperature days”. Watch the pea (or rather peas).

Globally, on average, regions normally expect around 36.5 extremely hot days in a year. The observations showed that during the period from 1997-2012, regions that experienced 10, 30 or 50 extremely hot days above this average saw the greatest upward trends in extreme hot days over time and the area they impacted.

The consistently upward trend persisted right through the “hiatus” period from 1998-2012.

If the world was warming, they wouldn’t bother with this strained nonsense, would they? They are talking about 15 year trends in air over land, in summer, on the hottest 10% of days.

  1. Seneviratne et al acknowledge the pause in global temperatures. Therefore the models, and the theory is wrong. Every other incidental trend in smaller markers is a deckchair on the Clitanic.
  2. There is no causal connection with CO2. The greenhouse effect is supposed to be full time. It’s not like there are days when it doesn’t work. CO2 is either making the global average warmer as predicted or… it isn’t and their models are useless.
  3. The paper admits the summer extremes are warming over land, but not the warm winter extremes. So the greenhouse effect switches off in winter? That will be news. Wait, they also find there is a cooling effect in the mid-high latitudes of the northern hemisphere during the boreal winter? Isn’t that pretty close to when and where peak CO2 levels occur? I guess that’s only 10ppm of extra CO2, but this is not “parts of a jigsaw” coming together — it’s cherry picking.
  4. Extreme heat doesn’t necessarily mean hot. Looks like some of these extreme warm days occurred in places like Russia, Alaska and Greenland. As far as I can tell, they define “hottest extreme days” as being the hottest 10% of all days in a grid cell from 1979-2010. The average July temperature in Nuuk, Greenland is 10C (50F)  so the top 10% of “extreme hot weather” there is not so scary.
  5. Are they serious? A 15 year noisy trend in 30 year dataset is irrelevant. The graphs start in 1979 (when satellites start) but that’s also near the start of the last long warming cycle. For all we know it is connected to the natural upswing in the 60 year PDO cycle. Indeed, if surface cooling of the ocean is reducing global averages now (the explanation Seneviratne offers for the lack of global warming), obviously surface warming of the ocean could have been doing the opposite before. Without longer records this is meaningless, mindless PR headline hunting with no scientific significance.
  6. Just because something is statistically significant doesn’t mean it is meaningful. Since it warmed for the first 20 years of the dataset and then paused at the warmer level, it’s hardly surprising that someone can still “discover” some short trends that are rising.

Are the UNSW scientists trying to learn something about the world, or are they trying to generate headlines with the words “extreme hot temperatures”? Judge them by their press releases….

Click to enlarge. Note big blue cooling areas in the DJF months (northern winter) and warming extremes in the Sahara. Note also the amount of “extreme” heat days in high cold latitudes from December to May.

They are discussing a 15 year trend in “hottest days” at the end of a natural variation which is something like this:

The graph ends 100 years ago. So extend that red line up 0.9C. Then whip up some panic about the last quarter millimeter.

Sure, this is GISP — one ice core from Greenland and not global temperatures. The truth is we have no idea whether the current level of “extreme” hot days is much different to the hot spells 1,000 years ago, 2,000 years ago, or 7,000 years ago. It is completely disingenuous to pretend that a 15 year trend in a data set this noisy tells us something that matters.

Forget global average temperatures — move those goal posts

This paper is very ambitious — they would like us to believe that global average temperatures aren’t that important now, really these heat extremes have more impact. And maybe heat extremes do have more impact (it’s debatable), but they don’t tell us about the cause.

The climate scientists really hate the term “pause” calling it “ill-chosen”, “misleading” and “erroneous”. (Who is in denial?)

Keep reading  →

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.9/10 (96 votes cast)

Australian Science Curriculum over run with green politics. Help them fix it!

The Labor Party pushed and got a National Australian Curriculum. Now instead of the states separately mucking up parts of kid’s education, we’ve achieved a monoculture — an entire generation spoon-fed the same flaws. At least with the state systems — for all their imperfections, some states would do better than others, and we’d get a generation of Australians with different strengths and weaknesses.

Three sacred topics?

Get the Pillars of Political Correctness out of our curriculum

The new Australian Curriculum insists that three areas were so important they must be taught in every subject. So, if you are a maths teacher or a French teacher or any other teacher of K – 10, you’ll need to consider how to embed these “Cross Curriculum Priorities” in your subject.

You and I might, in our naivety, think that the pillars of Western Civilization might be the sacred keys — perhaps we ought teach how free speech influenced maths, science and social studies? Maybe the idea of equality before the law, the Magna Carta, or property rights and liberty, the political foundations of our society’s success, ought influence every subject? Or how about the idea that science is a philosophy like no other — a way of knowing and understanding that depends on observations and not opinions — the most egalitarian of philosophies where gurus can be proven wrong, and favoured dictums can be overturned.

But instead of three pillars of Western Civilization, we’ve got three pillars of  political correctness:

Did anyone ask future employers whether they want maths graduates who understand calculus, or maths graduates who understand that good citizens reuse shopping bags?

For each cross-curriculum priority, a set of organising ideas reflects the essential knowledge, understandings and skills for the priority. The organizing ideas are embedded in the content descriptions and elaborations of each learning area as appropriate.

For example, figure out how you would teach the periodic table with reference to organizing idea 4:  “OI.4 The arts and literature of Asia influence aesthetic and creative pursuits within Australia, the region and globally.” Mendeleev, eat your heart out. Shall we stir-fry some Strontium? This is not simplifying and clarifying our curriculum, it’s a bonfire of clutter and complexification. These are disorganizing ideas. These are politicizing where politics does not belong, a la the Soviets, with every teacher a potential political indoctrinator, comrade.

To be sure, an excellent teacher can still be excellent even within this politicized curriculum, but for teachers who are taught by this system, and with the same philosophy in university, what chance do they have?

Turn these tables around. Rather than have social, political, and historical themes all through maths and science, shouldn’t we make sure the logic of maths and science are taught through every other subject. Get the humanities out of science, and put some science and reasoning into the humanities and we will all be better off.

“Sustainability” doesn’t mean sustainable. It means Green politics

I want sustainability – I want sustainable civilizations.

It would be fine it sustainability meant sustainability — but it doesn’t, it’s a coded, loaded word for sustaining Green philosophies. Consider that the new curriculum aims to sustain the biosphere, the ecosystem, and the environment, but not our lifestyle, our living standards, our productivity, liberties, or our budget. This is not a philosophy that cares about sustaining the workforce, our health, or our legal system. Real sustainability would be concerned with sustaining The Scientific Method. Green political sustainability does the opposite.

In the disorganizing idea of sustainability, the word environment appears six times, the word global — three times, but spending, budget, debt, or balance sheet don’t get a single mention.

I want sustainability – I want sustainable civilizations. What makes human cultures rise and fall, why have some countries prospered or conquered and others collapsed? What is it about the West, or the Anglosphere, that extends lifespans, increases wealth, discovery, productivity and means we look after our environments so much better than poorer civilizations? What is it about the West that means people from most other cultures want to move here, but few of us want to leave? (Pace Daniel Hannan, UK MEP that I was lucky enough to meet at the CIS event in Perth – book here for Melbourne.)

 A racist curriculum?

I’ll probably be called a racist for protesting that Aboriginal or Asian culture, beliefs and spirituality should not be a key part of our maths and science curriculum, but note that it is not me, but the curriculum that is making race an issue. Maths has no race. Science is not about skin color but about universal truths. Which part of trigonometry do we leave out in order to add Cambodian counting systems? Isn’t it odd that introducing race where it does not belong and treating subjects differently by race is not considered racist by you-know-who, but protesting that probably is. Orwellian.

Not to put too fine a point on it, Chinese, Korean and Japanese kids outscore ours in maths. Perhaps we should  teach maths in our maths class instead of teaching ours how to save the spotted quoll? I’ll bet the Korean curriculum does not insist kids engage with westerners and Christianity in their maths plan.

 Please send a submission to the review today or tomorrow.

 Terms of Reference

To read the Australian curriculum visit the ACARA website.

The people who created the curriculum don’t understand maths and science

Consider the  rationale for science. The whole topic is damned with faint praise. This is not about a philosophy that gave life to billions of people — that feeds the world, moves the food, cools it, warms it and cured diphtheria. This is not what keeps 10,000 planes in the sky continuously day in and day out.

“Science provides an empirical way of answering interesting and important questions about the biological, physical and technological world. The knowledge it produces has proved to be a reliable basis for action in our personal, social and economic lives. Science is a dynamic, collaborative and creative human endeavour arising from our desire to make sense of our world through exploring the unknown, investigating universal mysteries, making predictions and solving problems. “

Likewise the team which wrote the rationale for Maths seems to find maths a bore  — and we wonder why kids switch off? There is no passion, no concept of what maths means. They say “Learning mathematics creates opportunities for and enriches the lives of all Australians”... but we could say the same about golf. The discipline of numbers and quantifying our lives is the difference between phoning your friend or sending a carrier pigeon. It’s about having enough food to eat, or the right dose of medicine. Our quality of life depends on our ability to quantify our needs and meet them. The plane flies or it doesn’t; it is not about a spiritual connection, a diversity of people, or the uniqueness of an environment. Is the national curriculum more class warfare by the postmodern arts graduates who run our society against people who actually know what they are doing, or what?

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.5/10 (120 votes cast)