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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Greg Hunt orders CSIRO to hire back scientists to study “settled” stuff

 Cut the blob and the blob reforms

Thanks to Prof Peter Ridd for the nice one-liner.

Back in February, the new head of CSIRO, Larry Marshall, agreed that  the “debate was over” and sacked 350 pointless climate researchers who were studying stuff that was already settled. Marshall’s crime was to hire people to solve the climate problem rather than just keep the cheer squad. But the eco-carers were outraged. Seems that a cheer squad is important.

What does this mean? Not much for climate science or skeptics, its only fifteen jobs and $37 million over 10 years. It’s just another line of press releases advertising The Blob. More government waste.

Mr Hunt has announced an extra 15 jobs focusing on climate science, as well as additional support, costing $3.7 million a year. He said it would increase the number of climate researchers from 100 to 115 after the latest round of job cuts is taken into account.

These researchers are being paid to find a crisis, so they will only find the truth if it happens to coincide with a crisis. Imagine the outcry if Hunt had hired 15 full time skeptical scientists for ten years? Imagine what a difference that would make.

What are they afraid of?

Keep reading  →

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Australian Senate announced – Hanson holds four seats. Malcolm Roberts wins!

The final Australian Senate was announced today with 11 wildcard “cross benchers” (people who are not in the four largest parties). Turnbull is going to have to choose to go conservative or go left. For foreign readers — sorry about more Australian politics but this finally maps out who holds the power in the Australian government.

Senators include: Hanson, 4. Nick Xenophon, 3.

plus  Bob Day, David Leyonhjelm, Jackie Lambie, Derryn Hinch.

The Coalition needs 9 of them to get legislation through the Senate. Somehow Turnbull has to deal with both Hanson and Xenophon candidates, an impossible combination on any climate or environmental issue. Turnbull will have to do deals with the Greens to get through any pro-climate-industry legislation The Greens have exactly the number of Senators that the Coalition needs. But a Greens deal risks a Liberal party room revolt for a weak PM. Potentially the Hanson team could up the ante in protest at a climate deal by holding out on approving other legislation as a price.

Skeptics, Defcons must keep the pressure on Coalition members to stop Turnbull doing Green deals.

In this messy senate, Turnbull cannot hold the threat of an election over recalcitrant senators because he barely won the last election. That dynamic would be upended if Turnbull was tossed out and a new Liberal PM installed (see my bold point above again). We need a list of all Coalition members in marginals seats that the Defcon votes can influence.

In the cross bench, Xenophon holds a lot of power because they can “go left” and block things. To stop legislation the Labor-Green combination just needs 3 of the crossbench list (which means the Xenophon team). The Xenophon team lean closer to the Green-Labor set on many issues and are more likely to stick together with votes. The Coalition have to get one of their votes in any cross bench deal.

The Hanson story is a remarkable achievement — Welcome Malcolm Roberts to the Senate

Malcolm Roberts, One Nation.


With little funding, and no favourable media coverage, they have achieved a remarkable success. One of their team includes Malcolm Roberts, an absolute die-hard skeptic who has been fighting in the climate trenches for years. So a big congratulations to him, finally rewarded after years of work. He has a masters degree in business administration from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, and many skeptics will be familiar with his dedicated work with the Galileo Movement.

Malcolm Roberts has obviously been central to setting up the One Nation Climate Policy, which contains the Christmas wish-list of many a skeptic. Good on him:


Climate change has and will continue to be used as a political agenda by politicians and self interest groups or individuals for their own gain. We cannot allow scare mongering by people such as Tim Flannery, who make outlandish statements and are not held accountable. Climate change should not be about making money for a lot of people and giving scientists money. Lets know the facts and scientific evidence to make a well informed decision as to how best to look after our environment.

Keep reading  →

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Brexit threatens Climate Gravy train — Paris agreement, life on Earth. Time for Clexit!

Brexit was seismic. Even Nature can see the threat — The UK was big promoter of Climate witchcraft, but it’s gone now:

Brexit might be an excuse for some EU countries to withhold their signature,” says Oliver Geden, head of the EU Research Division at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs in Berlin.   Before the Paris talks, the EU had pledged to cut its greenhouse-gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030, relative to 1990 levels.

“The UK not being part of the negotiating mix means there is likely to be less pressure for ambitious targets and ensuring that the EU delivers on its Paris agreement commitments,” says Martin Nesbit, a policy expert at the Institute for European Environmental Policy in London.

But don’t relax, the Clexit movement is needed more than ever

Czech President Dr. Václav Klaus recognises this, and he Monckton, Morano, I and many others from 60 countries have joined the new Clexit movement started by Viv Forbes. Check it out. Brexit gave us a big advantage but we must press it home.

There are lots of reasons Paris may still succeed

The Paris agreement may appear to be struggling with just 22 tin-pot countries (sorry Norway) and 1% of man-made emissions signed up, but watch the pea. We all know if the emissions cuts were supposed to be same for every nation it would never get off the ground, but like the Paris UN convention, it’s all theater – the signing of the “agreement” was just for show. And many ratifications can be too. Not for the West, but for countries like India, China, or Russia — they can ratify their weak promises to do almost nothing. If they do, they will bring their 4%, 20% and 7% of human emissions under the Paris agreement umbrella which will cost those countries little, but be a major PR victory for the UN. It would inflict real pain on the Western nations stupid enough to sign and ratify, but most of the rest of the world would be agreeing to nothing much, and benefiting from competing with a hobbled West. Let’s shut down a few more factories in Birmingham, Adelaide or Austin.

China, India and Russia want to be bought off by the UN. View their protests now as a part of their negotiating ploys to wring more Pork. Few developing countries face much electoral backlash, and all of them have something to gain from the Climate Gravy Train. China, especially, has been getting rich on carbon credits for dams it was going to build, and factories that it made dirty just to get the credits for cleaning up.  And there are other non-climate playing cards that any of these countries could be bought off for — consider India, which says it will delay signing the deal, but really wants to get membership to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) saying: “An early positive decision by the NSG would have allowed us to move forward on the Paris Agreement.”

In other words with a big pot of UN pork up for grabs, the thing stopping the “ratification” of expensive energy and the collective hair-shirt of The West are western voters, specifically, US voters. If Hillary wins the only thing stopping the agreement will be the US congress.

The Paris climate deal is about politics and power, not the weather

The point of the Paris agreement is not to change world temperatures, or even to cut emissions of CO2, it’s to prop up the Green Industrial Complex of renewable-energy (worth $300b plus just in the EU), and the $2 Trillion global carbon trading schemes that financial houses stand to profit from. If the UN cared about CO2 emissions we all know they would choose the most cost effective way to reduce them (super critical coal, nuclear power, and programs like Direct Action which cost a mere $14/ton in reduction as opposed to the $50 – $120 per ton that wind “farms” cost.

If Greens cared about the environment they would care that carbon credits don’t cut carbon emissions, that no one counts emissions properly, and that corruption is rife. Everything about this is deceptive. The Paris Agreement is a treaty, even though it is not called one. It’s called “non-binding”, though it could bind real costs, but that was also important, so Obama (or Hillary) can ratify it without taking to to Congress.

Check out Clexit.




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Paris agreement struggles — only 0.04% of global CO2 emissions “ratified” (1% of man-made CO2)

It was all a grand theater. Greens brag that the Paris agreement was signed by “179 countries”, but it means nothing until they get 55 nations controlling 55% of the worlds (man-made) emissions. Right now, they’ve had a resounding response from no country that matters. (Forgive me Norway, with 0.14% of man-made emissions, right now, you are in a small group which includes Palestine, Palau, and North Korea.)

What they need:

UN Climate Change, ratification, carbon dioxide.

Entry into force

In accordance with Article 21, paragraph 1, of the Paris Agreement, the Agreement shall enter into force on the thirtieth day after the date on which at least 55 Parties to the Convention accounting in total for at least an estimated 55 % of the total global greenhouse gas emissions have deposited their instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession with the Depositary.

What they’ve got:  22 states which produce 1% of man-made emissions.

Paris Agreement - Status of Ratification

As of 2 August 2016, there are 179 signatories to the Paris Agreement.  Of these, 22 States have also deposited their instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval accounting in total for 1.08 % of the total global greenhouse gas emissions.

So only  33 countries and 54% of global emissions to go. (And they obviously mean “human emissions”, not “global emissions” or they’ll have to get Nero, Davy Jones, and the Union of Phytoplankton to sign up. )

So the UN has promises that cover 1% of the 3 to 4% of global emissions that mankind makes — a grand total 0.04% of total global emissions being as generous as possible.

The ratified list: Barbados, Belize, Cameroon, North Korea, Fiji, Grenada, Guyana, Maldives, Mauritius, Nauru, Norway, Palau, Palestine, Peru, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Seychelles, Somalia and Tuvalu.

Note that Climate Analytics points out that the number was not set higher at 60% because then a block could have formed to stop it. The biggest emitters are: China, 20%;  USA,  18%;  EU,  12%;  Russia,  7%;  India,  4%;   Japan,  4%. Think of it the other way, it’s a challenge to organize a block of 45% refuseniks — whatever China and the US do will make or break this. Presumably all the little countries can be bought off with UN pork or threats, and the world is waiting til the US election.

For anyone who wants to know the fine print of the agreement:

On 17 March 2016, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, acting in his capacity as Depositary of the Paris Agreement, transmitted pdf-icon certified true copies of the Agreement to all Member States of the United Nations and Parties to the Convention.

 UPDATE: Thanks to questions from commenters I found out which countries are in that club and added the map. :- )

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Heatwaves on Earth traced to tremendous ball of energy in our solar system

Solar Flare, Sun, NASA

Star discovered in our solar system.

The Onion, ahead of the worlds scientific societies, reports on a “watershed moment” in scientific history:

Scientists Trace Heat Wave To Massive Star At Center Of Solar System

PASADENA, CA—Groundbreaking new findings announced Monday suggest the record-setting heat wave plaguing much of the United States may be due to radiation emitted from an enormous star located in the center of the solar system.

Scientists believe the star, which they have named G2V65, may in fact be the same bright yellow orb seen arcing over the sky day after day, and given its extreme heat and proximity to Earth, it is likely not only to have caused the heat wave, but to be responsible for every warm day in human history.

The “tremendous ball of energy” may explain everything from drying puddles to hot car seats.

Governments will have to act, though the path is unclear:

When asked if anything could be done to prevent or counteract the star’s heat production, Kivens expressed skepticism.

“No, for the foreseeable future, I think we’re locked into orbit with this thing,” he said. “Although the star seems to disappear every night, 24-hour reports from around the world seem to indicate the star never leaves Earth entirely.”

Residents of heat- and drought-stricken regions welcomed the findings, thankful to finally have an explanation for the high temperatures, if no relief from them.

“That makes sense, because it’s usually hotter when that [star] is up in the air,” said Stillwater, OK resident Asher Arps, … “The big star heats the earth, and the moon cools it—I get it,” he added.

Many mysteries still to solve:

…renewable energy specialist Dr. Martin Flint said “We still don’t understand how it’s possible for that thing to be up in the sky in January when it’s freezing outside.”

Read it all: Heatwaves traced to massive star

Thanks to the GWPF for finding this one.

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Weekend Unthreaded

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Trite Science Prize: New science paper tells us air over land “heats more than water”

Is it science or is it a marketing machine?

This press release with psychedelic art tells us land regions will warm by more than the global average, because oceans are slower to heat. No kidding. They use more broken models to breathlessly talk about being locked in to 1.5 °C rise — “more than preindustrial times”. How scared do we need to be about a 1.5C rise — it’s not just locked in, it’s already here.  NASA chief climate scientist Gavin Schmidt says so ” 2016 so far is about 1.5 degrees Celsius ( 2.7 degrees) warmer than pre-industrial times.” Since Gavin is talking “globally” the extra rise over land above and beyond that is not so much programmed in, as pre-baked.

The art might be the most original part of the paper.

Let’s redesign those cities:

The results of the new study have implications for international discussions of what constitutes safe global temperature thresholds, such as 1.5°C or 2°C of warming since pre-industrial times. The expected extra warming over land will influence how we need to design some cities.

Human civilization already lives in towns from -50C to +40C. I reckon we’ll manage a 1.5 degree rise (especially one that’s already happened). Can we cope with -48.5 to +41.5,  The UN wants $89 trillion to do it. So give me $88T. I’ll give you a trillion in change.

How much redesigning will these warmer cities need anyway? A move from Sydney to Brisbane  produces an apocalyptic 4 degrees rise. And we have about a thousand years to accomplish a transformation that big.

The inanities just keep coming. It’s like the peer reviewers have missed the last three decades of the climate debate. Here are the two big news flashes.

1. The climate is out of equilibrium (was it ever “in” equilibrium?)

The research team found two main reasons behind the result.

First, even if it was possible to keep carbon dioxide concentrations fixed at their current 400 parts-per-million concentration levels, then the planet would continue to warm towards new equilibrium higher temperatures. At present, the climate is out of equilibrium, with the oceans drawing down very large amounts of heat from the atmosphere. However this will decline as the planet is bought towards a stable climatic state.

2. Wait for it… Land heats more than ocean.

Second, warming rates over land are far higher than those when averaged globally which include temperatures over the oceans. This is a feature observed in meteorological measurements and reproduced across a large suite of climate models.

Not just observed in climate models and meteorological measurements, but observed on the nightly news too. Even at primary school.

Is this the voice of guilt?

Lead author Dr Chris Huntingford from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology said, “It would certainly be inappropriate to create any additional fear over climate change.

This paper wins the Trite Science Prize for 2016 –

That’s the peer reviewed science paper that tells us what we already know.

Keep reading  →

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Delcons do matter — defiant non-left voters were “most influential group”

Aiming for the passionless imaginary center doesn’t work

Defcon, Delcon, T-shirtSome big surprises from exit polls from the Australian election day, thanks to the Australian Institute of Progress (AIP). Non-Greens third party voters (code for Delcons – or Defiant conservatives) were more interested in “cultural issues like immigration, Islam, gay marriage, refugees, industry protection and political correctness”. Graham Young, Executive Director of the AIP calls these voters the “most influential in Australia, effectively choosing who will form the government.”

The next election will be won by the party that manages to reap more than its fair share of the non-Greens minor party voters. They are up for grabs for Liberal or Labor.

In the end, around 50% of the Delcons are prepared to put Labor above Liberal in preferences (the nuclear option) –  showing how wrong Mark Textor’s theory is that the Liberal base “doesn’t matter” and the Liberals should aim for the centre and can afford to mistreat their base. Another theme I see is that parties need passion — when it’s missing from the base, it sure isn’t coming from the centre. As I said before Turnbull took over, “the passionate support base for the Liberal party will switch to other conservative or libertarian parties.” It was all so obvious. Turnbull had to personally throw in a million dollars to make up for some of the loss in donations.

One gratifying surprise is that the naked Mediscare campaign may have helped the Liberals and hurt the Labor Party. More people who named it as “important” were likely to be repelled by the scare. The Labor Party overdid it. The people who were fooled by it were already voting Labor, and some of the people who might have voted Labor saw it as heavyhanded propaganda. The Labor party could have won more Delcons if it had been halfway sensible. Instead they retreated left to “the green centre” and so alienated centre voters. Many Delcons had no choice but to go to a third party.

Another surprise — the economy, normally safe ground for the Libs, probably cost them votes. Fully a third of voters still care about the economy above anything else and the Libs hardly won any Labor voters over this time, but lost 3% of the economy-driven-voters who picked them last time (if only they could have run the anti-carbon tax theme eh?).

Superannuation, predictably, was a vote repeller away from the Liberals, though was an issue that only mattered for 3.6% of the population. (Presumably most people don’t have enough Super to care — that’s the 401k for US readers, Pension Provision for the UK.) I’d bet the larger cost of the Super Bomb was that those with more Super who were Liberal supporters stopped donating and volunteering to help. Graham Young doesn’t mention that effect, but even if the direct loss of votes was small, the passion causes an indirect loss that is larger.

The full analysis of of federal election exit polling by Australian Institute of Progress (AIP)  is available at these links:

If you are not already a member of Australian Institute for Progress you can join by clicking here.

The Mediscare hype probably worked against the Labor Party

This is comforting. It was a naked, dishonest effort which involved a lot of people on the street repeating the same false accusation, handing out gimmicky cards, effectively trying to “create” an issue where there was none. In the end it probably swung more people, especially the Delcons, to the Liberals. The Labor Party could have captured more Delcons if it had been just not so damn grubby:

Keep reading  →

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Globally 91% of wars have nothing to do with climate change

Ruins of Qunaitra, War, Syria, conflict, climate change.Climate change causes war (maybe) and meaningless statistics (definitely)

One day when you grow up, children, you too can be a research scientist who writes papers that tells the world something banally obvious — like, say, that natural disasters make conflict more likely.

Who, exactly, thought natural disasters brought peace?

I don’t think the journalist who wrote this next paragraph asked himself what it means (if anything):

Globally, there was a nine per cent coincidence rate between the outbreak of armed conflicts and natural disasters like droughts and heatwaves. But, in countries that were deeply divided along ethnic lines, this rose to about 23 per cent.

I suspect it means not much (define “coincident”), but if it did, it implies that globally, 91% of wars don’t coincide with natural disasters.

If there is a real message here, it appears to be that ethnic divisions cause wars:

Dr Jonathan Donges, who co-wrote the paper about the study, said: “We’ve been surprised by the extent that results for ethnic fractionalised countries stick out, compared to other country features such as conflict history, poverty, or inequality.

Keep reading  →

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Petition to remove air conditioning from all US State Property

You know it makes sense — air conditioners are as dangerous as suicide bombers. They must be stopped. Next up, refrigerators…

Here’s a petition you can support:  Do it for the children, for the future.

Remove air conditioning from all US State Department property.

John Kerry, Airconditioners, ISIS

WHEREAS, Secretary of State John F. Kerry has suggested that air conditioners are as big a threat as ISIS, and

WHEREAS, it is the duty of our elected and appointed government officials to lead by example,

Keep reading  →

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