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



Scream for the climate! Schlock & Haw Haw & the ABC

Global panic — strictly for your weekend entertainment. Enjoy!

The funny side of screaming for the climate.

 

h/t Geoff S : – )

None of these people could *possibly* have a reason to like Big-Government

It goes without saying that all of these folk could just as easily prefer a sensible, small spending government that was frugal with taxpayer funds. Right?

The Australian finally gets the information on the ABC salaries: “ABC spares no expense”

 

Mark Scott | $678,940 Tony Jones | $355,789 Juanita Phillips | $316,454 Quentin Dempster | $291,505 Richard Glover | $290,000 Jon Faine | $285,249 Leigh Sales | $280,400 Barrie Cassidy | $243,478 “The ABC received $1.03 billion of taxpayer funds last financial year, of which $465 million was spent on wages, superannuation and other entitlements.”

The culture is obvious. The ABC show their respect for the taxpayer… by fighting doggedly for years in court to hide the details of their taxpayer funded salaries from legitimate FOI’s. Now that they’ve been leaked, Mark Scott has apologized to the public his staff and promises an investigation into how it happened. (Imagine taxpayers finding out how their money was spent!)

Remember Richard Glover? He gets paid $290,000 for insight like this:

“Surely it’s time for climate-change deniers to have their opinions forcibly tattooed on their bodies”. – June 6, 2011

It’s not like you can pick up that kind of ill-informed [...]

Catalyst says consensus wrong on cholesterol – but unquestionable on climate

On the ABC program Catalyst this week, Dr Maryanne Demasi slayed a few dietary myths–like, cholesterol and saturated fat cause heart disease.

She described how medical science was distorted for decades by the influence of money, and how one key researcher networked his way to the top of an influential association, casting ad hom insults at his competitor, ridiculing him, and calling his rival theory about sugar “quackery”. The personal attacks and name-calling worked, and for fifty years people have been paranoid of cholesterol, and scoffing corn syup instead, while study after study showed that that approach was not working.

Everything said about the processes in this tale could be equally well said about climate science: Correlation is not causation.  Weak, flawed studies can be cherry picked while good studies are ignored.  Associations can be taken over by one activist. Large financial interests distort science.

So the consensus was wrong about cholesterol, but is untouchable on climate? (See Witchcraft on Catalyst — Scary weather is coming, it’s all our fault, be afraid!)

Will it take 50 years for Catalyst to stop repeating the verdict of associations, and start investigating the evidence? The big lesson of the Enlightenment is that [...]

ABC plan to stop bushfires with windmills and buckets of your cash

The Australian media are going all out on climate change and bushfires.

The ABC 7:30 Report last night clearly laid out the options for preventing mega bush-fires.

Funded by you whether you like it or not.

 

Watch the whole bizarre post-modern witchcraft here: ABC Channel 1

Yes, the world has warmed by 0.7C since 1900. We are living in a new climate. Before, when things were, on average imperceptibly cooler, megafires did not happen. Right?

Thanks to Peter Ritson for the short video version.

“The Science is in”. Annabel Crabb tells us “The link is established between climate change and bushfires”. (What “link” would that be Annabel? — That when there is a bushfire there are more media stories about climate change?)

As Simon at ClimateMadness jokes, obviously there is no groupthink at the ABC because they put forward all the views from every side of Greenness:

[...]

Clive Hamilton preaches to the believers: tells them to “cringe” at deniers

The ABC keeps giving us more reasons to say “Privatize the national broadcaster”. Such is the quality of the insights on offer.

Clive Hamilton, ethics professor and former Greens candidate, uses most of the alarmist toolbox on the ABC Drum –the name-calling, hypocrisy, and argumentum ad auctoritatem. He still can’t tell the difference between science and religion, he thinks science works like a church, with decrees issued from the Mount. He talks of the mythical God known as “the science”. Clive has read the leak of the latest commandment from on high, and it says “95%”! There is gnashing of teeth:

Further confirmation of the science will certainly not persuade any climate science deniers. They are beyond persuasion, because the argument is only superficially about the science. It’s really about culture and ideology.

Strangely, he’s unwitting hit upon a truth. But it’s a projection of his headspace, run rife. Who denies the evidence showing climate models are broken. Whose argument is superficial? Who doesn’t even know what science is? Yes, really this is about culture and ideology. His. And it’s a dark ideology; read on.

What Clive wants more than anything is to monsterize anyone who questions his faith. His [...]

Witchcraft on Catalyst — Scary weather is coming, it’s all our fault, be afraid!

There they go again. Last night the ABC again used taxpayer dollars to post up a slick advertisement for their favourite religion. Because Catalyst won’t read skeptical blogs, interview skeptics, or ask difficult questions, they give a false impression to any poor viewers who haven’t figured out that the presenters (in this case, Anja Taylor) are more activist than investigator.

“The gorilla in the kitchen remained invisible. Where was cause and effect?”

The Earth has had extremes of every kind of weather for 4.5 billion years. What makes the current ones any different? Any cause of warming could melt ice, raise sea-levels, shift jet streams, change cloud cover and shift evaporation rates. How do we know this warming is due to coal fired power stations? We only “know” because some climate modelers say so — but they rely on models that assume relative humidity stays constant when it doesn’t, and which are proven “unskilled” at precipitation, cloud cover and upper tropospheric temperature profiles.  The models ignore lunar effects, solar magnetic effects and millions of observations so they can blame your SUV and air-conditioner for causing droughts, storms, blizzards, and floods.

This is the modus operandi of the ancient witchdoctor. [...]

Tony Jones lets Bill McKibben get away with barking nonsense “Really one degree is utter catastrophe”

Here are the questions Tony Jones could have asked if only he or his billion-dollar organization had the time to use the Internet. Is he a journalist or an activist pretending to be one?

And how much does Jones get paid by the taxpayer for allowing McKibben a free pass to say things that are easily shown to be false? The ABC wants to keep that a secret. It wants your money, but not your opinion.

The full transcript is on the ABC site, I’ve selected parts below. (My cost to the taxpayer: $0).

ABC Lateline

“Stop investing in carbon intense industries”

TONY JONES: Let’s start with the statement most frequently used by climate change sceptics: the planet has stopped warming since 1998 and started to cool, actually cool, since 2003. True or false?

[Tony Jones is offering a blatantly false position for McKibben to knock over.... skeptics most frequently point out that there has been no significant warming  (there are 350 million google results for that compared to 10 million for global cooling since 2003). The UK Met office, and the head of the IPCC say the same thing. The issue that matters is the "pause" that [...]

Three times as many Australians think the ABC has a pro-Labor bias

The ABC will declare that “most Australians don’t think the ABC is biased” but while half the nation thinks it’s balanced, 30% don’t know, and of the 20% who are sure there is bias, there are three times as many who think it’s pro-Labor as those who think it’s pro-Coalition. Bear in mind ABC1 only has about 10% of the Australian audience, so 90% of the nation prefers to watch something else. Did the survey ask respondents if they watch the ABC? We might find that of the 20% of the population who are familiar with ABC coverage, most think it’s biased to the left.  With some probing questions, we might also find that people of different political persuasions define bias very differently. Could it be that those more likely to vote for the Coalition tend to value free speech even if they don’t agree with the views?

On the other hand those more likely to vote Labor or Green seem to think balance means skeptics shouldn’t speak at all. Is their idea of bias just “if the ABC allows skeptics to comment”. The Centre for Independent Journalism had a whole forum devoted to asking whether “balance” meant they still [...]

ABC, Dr Helen Caldicott sinks to mocking the unwell, Monckton calls for her to be deregistered

Helen Caldicott and the ABC have excelled themselves in the Art of Ad Hominem. So much so, that Christopher Monckton is not only writing to the ABC, but also to medical registration boards as well, calling for Caldicotts’s de-registration.

On ABC Radio National (about 25% into the program). Reader Steve, writes that “Helen Caldicott declares that climate change sceptic Christopher Monckton has “got thyrotoxicosis and bilateral exophthalmos”. She gives the impression that such conditions should prevent Monckton from engaging in the public debate. Waleed Aly said nothing to stop Dr Caldicott’s ad hominem attack on Monckton’s alleged medical condition.”

Is she not aware Monckton had Graves?

Caldicott is a doctor and also the co-founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility, “an organization of 23,000 doctors”. [See her Bio]. Perhaps she thinks it would be “socially responsible” to start a show where panels of doctors speculated on the medical conditions of celebrities they had never met? They could make fun of fat politicians and disabled sports stars? What fun. How about the laughs of picking on Stephen Hawking?

Stephan Lewandowsky could be a regular guest, pronouncing that non-Labor-Green fans were paranoid conspiracy [...]

ABC uses taxpayer money to hide how it uses taxpayer money

Assume for a moment that the ABC was a dedicated team working to serve the public, getting fair rates of pay. Then imagine Australians asked the ABC what salaries they paid their “celebrities”. The ABC team would be happy to provide that list, and surely it could be done in one working day.

Instead the national broadcaster has been hiding those details for two years and has just lost the second appeal. (How much money has it cost to hide the money ABC presenters get?) The ABC gets $1 billion a year from the people of Australia, and it has refused to disclose the details of its $25 million dollar “contractors and consultants” bill, and the salaries of top staff of shows like Media Watch, Four corners, and Mornings with John Faine.

A Freedom of Information request was lodged more than two years ago by the Herald and Weekly Times, seeking access to documents “dealing with salaries, or any payments” paid to program makers working on 13 programs, including those listed above, for the financial year ending 2010.

The BBC was caught paying presenters through personal service companies which allowed those presenters to pay less tax. (Are these the same [...]

Full UnCut video now available – “I Can Change Your Mind” Evans, Nova, Minchin & Rose.

Thanks to Frank Brus, at least one camera is now on YouTube in full, with sound. Many thanks to other skeptics who volunteered with other helpful suggestions and ideas: to J.J., Ruth, Jim, and Raymond. Thanks to Steve for info about bit-torrent (at least we don’t have to go there this time).

An excellent talent pool out there. I didn’t even know some people had access to post Very Long Movies on Youtube (1 hour 56 mins.) Some of my favourite points are at the end. Check out the last 15 minutes.

There were two cameras recording at the same time:

 View 2 (Front more distant camera)

OR (UPDATE)  View 1 (Back camera view) closer.

 Thanks to Barry Corke for driving hundreds of kilometers with his high tech equipment to record this for no fee at all!

 

The original post has all the background and information on this video:  ABC Doco “UnCut”: Evans, Nova, Minchin and Rose — the full unedited video. Look for the moment when Anna is surprised we agree with CO2 being a greenhouse gas: “How can you be skeptical?” Notice when she describes David’s modeling work as “data entry”.

The videos posted [...]

ABC Doco “UnCut”: Evans, Nova, Minchin and Rose — the full unedited video

Finally two hours of entertainment unlike any you’ve seen on TV

The Media IS the Problem – Part I

When the Smith and Nasht came to our house (on behalf of the ABC) to take footage for the “I can change your mind” documentary, David and I asked fellow skeptic and camera-man Barry Corke if he could film them filming us, so we have our own copy of what happened. He agreed — it was obvious to all of us that we needed some insurance against biased edits. We all knew that petty chicanery was possible. James Delingpole had recently given the BBC three good hours of his time, only to find they trimmed all of his clever answers down, waited for him to have a hypoglycemic vague moment and then crowed about how the great James Delingpole was, can you believe, tongue tied (the failure!)

In the final version that went to air,  not only did three of the four key sets of evidence that fuel our skepticism vanish, the editors split and diced sentences to make it appear that David said a sentence he never actually said. He doesn’t think the poorly sited thermometers show the “models were [...]

Ficklestein strikes again — Here’s a prime example of why regulating free speech is a hypocritical bad joke.

Let me see if I’ve got this straight — the Australian Press Council manages media standards in Australia, but isn’t doing it well enough according to Mr Finklestein (and fellow regulators), who want it overhauled. They want newspapers to be regulated so they can be as trusted as the ABC “is”.*  So Finklestein thinks the ABC complaints process works well, and the APC one is too weak.

This week the ABC announced it was fine to equate skeptics to pedophiles as a researched comment by a host on a “science” show, while at the same time, the APC ruled that it was not fine for a skeptic who used loose satirical colourful language in a newspaper column to repeat a quote from an angry farmer who used the word pedophile to describe wind-farm operators.

 ABC sets lower standards bar Nick Leys From: The Australian

DRAWING comparisons to pedophiles to attack your opponents is acceptable under the ABC complaints process – held up as the ideal model by media inquiry head Ray Finkelstein – but has been ruled out of order by the newspapers’ existing regulatory body.

But two decisions this week reveal the APC is tougher on commentators [...]

Maurice Newman fights back: No slur is too vicious for Robyn Williams and the ABC

When Robyn Williams recently equated skeptics to paedophiles on the ABC “Science” Show the skeptic-most-targeted was Maurice Newman, former chairman of the ABC itself. Newman responds to these deplorable and unscientific insults in today’s Australian and throws down the challenge to the current board.

ABC clique in control of climate by: MAURICE NEWMAN From: The Australian December 18, 2012 12:00AM

On November 24, Robyn Williams intoned to his audience on ABC’s The Science Show, “if I told you that pedophilia is good for children, or asbestos is an excellent inhalant for those with asthma, or, that smoking crack is a normal part and a healthy one of teenage life, you’d rightly find it outrageous. Similar statements are coming out of inexpert mouths again and again, distorting the science”. My article was given as an example of an anti-scientific position.Really? Questioning climate science is like advocating pedophilia, abetting mesothelioma and pushing drugs to teenagers? Well yes, according to the ABC’s science man. Stephan Lewandowsky, a guest on the program, asserted that those with a free market background were, according to his research, more likely to be sceptical of science. As well as climate science, “they are also rejecting the link between [...]

The IPCC was wrong. (Matthew England and the ABC mislead Australians)

This is a rare unequivocal case of overreach.

Prof Matthew England proves he is either willing to stretch things beyond reason “for the cause”, or he doesn’t know what he is talking about, or both. Sarah Clark at the ABC didn’t do five minutes research on the story to check the facts or ask informed questions. This is not science, and it isn’t journalism either.

The Facts: The IPCC used the word “prediction” in 1990 and predicted a best estimate of 0.3°C with a  range of 0.2°C – 0.5°C per decade Even with the most generous overestimate of current trends, the temperature trend has fallen below their lowest estimate, while CO2 emissions were higher than expected. The 1990 predictions can not be called “true”, “consistent” or to have “occurred” by any definition in any English dictionary. The IPCC Prediction was Wrong

The quote from the first page of the Executive Summary of the Summary for Policy Makers, FAR 1990:1

“Based on current model results, we predict:

Under the IPCC Business-as-Usual (Scenario A) emissions of greenhouse gases, a rate of increase of global mean temperature during the next century of about 0.3C per decade (with an uncertainty range of 0.2°C – [...]

BREAKING: Skeptics equated to pedophiles — Robyn Williams ABC. Time to protest.

Hat tip to Graham Young editor of Online Opinion.

“That is worse than anything Alan Jones said. ” Follow Graham Young on twitter.

A bad-taste joke by Alan Jones in October created a national storm. These comments in the “science” show were supposedly considered, deliberate and researched.

This morning on the “science” show Robyn Williams equates skeptics to pedophiles, people pushing asbestos, and drug pushers. Williams starts the show by framing republicans (and skeptics) as liars: “New Scientist complained about the “gross distortions” and “barefaced lying” politicians come out  with…” He’s goes on to make the most blatant, baseless, and outrageous insults by equating skeptics to people who promote pedophilia, asbestos and drugs.

“What if I told you pedophilia is good for children, or that asbestos is an excellent inhalant for those with asthmatics, or that smoking crack is a normal part and a healthy one of teenage life, to be encouraged? You’d rightly find it outrageous, but there have been similar statements coming out of inexpert mouths, distorting the science.”

“These distortions of science are far from trivial, our neglect of what may be clear and urgent problems could be catastrophic and now a professor of [...]

Catalyst: climate astrology in your very own backyard

The ABC tv program Catalyst was quite special last Thursday. Was that a science report, or an advertorial?

Brisbane was recording temperatures with modern Stevenson Screens in 1890, as were some other stations, but the BOM often ignores these long records.

Forget gloom and doom it’s “kinder” climate now

The ABC team have shifted gear. They heard they should stop being all gloom and doom (it’s climate fatigue you know) and make it simple. So they did, and everything was delivered in a cheesy canter, like an episode of Playschool. Smile everyone! Floods will increase, but we won’t hammer you with ominous music, instead we’ll show Jonica-the-presenter cleaning the floor of her very own home, joking about the pesky trickle in the living room (To paraphrase: It’s flooded again — can you believe?).

Dr Jonica Newby reckons things have changed since she bought her house. It’s simply unthinkable that the climate now is not exactly the same at her house as it was when she first moved in — way back in the historic year of…  2000. (Gosh, eh? I wonder why the BOM don’t publish a paper on it?) Now our national debate is reduced to presenters, not [...]

ABC Biased. Scientist Matthew England, outrageous error or dishonest? Nick Minchin owed an apology

Bottom line: On Q&A Nick Minchin said the IPCC predictions were wrong. Matthew England said “Not true” their 1990 prediction was “very accurate”. But the IPCC predicted 0.3C per decade, and we got at most 0.18C per decade. (Forster and Rahmsdorf 2011 ) How is is “very accurate” when the result is below their lowest estimate?

———————————————————————————-

Oceanographer Matthew England owes Nick Minchin an apology. Will Tony Jones correct the record on Monday?

How strange is this debate where politicians know the science better than the “scientists”?

The ABC Q&A program shows they have no interest in pursing the truth on climate change. The panel was, as always designed to push an agenda. Five believers, with a sixth in the audience, faced two skeptics. No skeptical scientists were invited to attend, let alone sit in the front row with a mike, like England who was called in so the warmists could get the last word on the science without fear that a skeptic might disputing their version of events. We can’t allow people to damage the faith of those duped ABC viewers.

Nick Minchin claimed there is a major problem with the [...]

The people fightback against the ABC (re: Wendy Carlisles Hatchet Job)

The voice of The Ben Bernank debunks the ABC.

This was posted in Sept 2011. I don’t know why I didn’t see it til this week (h/t Jennifer Marohasy’s).

“They want to regulate every aspect of your life, and they are prepared to lie to do it…”

Great job here from 1984Report. (Do please contact me “1984″ )

On this Monckton tour Carlisle spent hours listening to David Evans and myself talk about errors in climate models, with peer reviewed evidence that the models are wrong, yet she didn’t think it was worth mentioning that to the people of Australia whose government was proposing new taxes based on those models. She interviewed me for an hour and asked for references, and presumably she couldn’t find holes in them, because she didn’t mention them either. She wanted to know where I got my money from. When I explained how pure and untainted my funding was, that I essentially hardly have any, she forgot to mention that too. Character assassination, anyone or is it just a form of ABC Alzheimers?

[...]

Media Watch witch hunt

“In the old days they would have just bound her, thrown her into the lake, and waited to see if she floated.

Though a primitive method of witch-hunting, it would surely be far more effective than Jonathan’s, and would require much less in taxpayer funding.” 

[MediaWatch comment by Preacher]

Jennifer Marohasy belongs to the “wrong” tribe, according to the ABC’s Media Watch program.

Media Watch is panting with excitement because — stop me if you’ve heard this before — she’s a scientist who earns money. My favorite part of the inadvertent expose-of-ABC-bias was the sneering voice-over, meant to be Marohasy or any supporter of her: petulant, petty and childish.  The full ABC-festival-of-smug is right on display, thanks, as always, to the Taxpayers of Australia.

It’s so bad, it’s satirical:

MW:   But many real journalists struggle when reporting science.

“Struggle?” Mr Holmes? You mean they are so confused about the real world, they think if a US group funds a group who write about a distantly connected topic, that therefore, ergo, and quid pro quo — that tiny funding demonstrates that Lake Alexandrina was always [...]