JoNova

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


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The Skeptics Handbook II

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GoldNerds

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



ABC invites BOM and Marohasy to speak — BOM decline, Marohasy accepts, but is cut off?

Bronwen O’Shea, ABC

Hm, curious event on the ABC today. Credit to Bronwen O’Shea, host of the ABC morning radio program for the Goulburn Murray, for asking both Jennifer Marohasy and the BOM to discuss the Rutherglen temperature adjustments. Good-o, I say –  public debate and answers! (Note that link is just to their website, I have not found a copy of the interview or transcript).

But everything worked against the ABC. First the BOM chose not to even try to answer. (Hm?)  Then not long after the interview started, the line suddenly went dead and Marohasy was abruptly cut off. She waited for the call back, but it never came. What bad luck eh? Even more unlucky –  when the ABC tried to call her back they got a fan of John Cook on the phone instead*. Then, things got even worse for poor ABC listeners — because the fan of Cook mistakenly thought Rutherglen was different to the surrounding stations, but the BOM raw records say otherwise (see the graph below). UPDATED: Apologies to John Cook from Jen and myself for the error. If he wants to explain his views on the BOM and homogenization, I’m happy [...]

ABC bias against coal hurts the poor and the workers: Sell the ABC

A new report shows ABC journalists are fond of renewables and overlook their dismal economic value, while putting out bad news on coal, and ignoring the benefits of vast cheap profitable energy. Who could have seen that coming: a large public funded institution attracts employees who like large public funding?

The IPA arranged for a media analysis firm to compare the ABC reporting on coal and renewables.

ABC gives the green light to renewables, and the red light to Australia’s largest export industry and provider of 75% of our electricity.

ABC accused of bias against coalmining

Andrew Fraser, The Australian

The analysis of 2359 reports broadcast on the ABC over six months before March 15 this year found 15.9 per cent of stories on coalmining and 12.1 per cent of those about coal-seam gas mining were favourable, while 53 per cent of those on renewable energy were favourable.

It also found 31.6 per cent of stories on coal mining and 43.6 per cent of stories on coal-seam gas were unfavourable, while only 10.8 per cent of stories on renewable energy were ­unfavourable.

The ABC has become its own best case for privatizing the ABC. How much could we get? The [...]

97 percent of Australian renewables investment dries up without subsidies (so the ABC gives free adverts to the industry)

We’re told “clean” energy is a viable and cost effective. But cut the government subsidies, and 97 percent of investors vanish (in Australia it’s collapsed from $2.6b annually to $80m). The truth is that renewables are almost totally dependent on taxpayer largess. No wonder they lobby like their life depends on it. It does.

Peter Hannam of the SMH:

“Australia’s investment in renewable energy all but dried up in the first half of 2014 amid uncertainty fuelled by the government’s latest review of the mandatory target, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

In the six months to June, just $40 million was invested in large-scale renewable energy, such as wind farms, the lowest level since the first half of 2001, according to Kobad Bhavnagri, head of BNEF’s Australian unit.

The investment tally compared with $2.691 billion in 2013, the second largest annual inflow of funds to the clean energy sector behind the peak year of 2010.”

Elsewhere investment in renewables has slowed from its peak in 2011 but still running at $64b a quarter, or nearly $700 million every day. Spot that vested interest! From The Australian:

“Global clean energy investment surged to $US63.6bn in the second quarter of [...]

If you ask questions about our theory you are a horrible person

In response to Australia removing the Carbon Tax the ABC News report broadcast the best arguments of believers in man-made global warming . They tell us we should spend billions to manage a ubiquitous natural molecule with a fake market, in the hope we’ll get nicer weather. If you question that you are a bad, bad person. You are the kind of vile, stupid and selfish person, a troll, who doesn’t mind killing people with asbestos or tobacco, you are an international pariah, a shock-jock and an irrational, unthinking denier.

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is our national debate, by our leading “thinkers”, broadcast on our national public news service:

ABC News 17-7-2014

ADAM BANDT, DEPUTY GREENS LEADER: This is the Australian Parliament’s asbestos moment, our tobacco moment, when we knew what we were doing was harmful but went ahead and did it anyway.

RICHARD DENNISS, AUSTRALIA INSTITUTE: … We’re outing ourselves as a pariah. We’re outing ourselves as a country that’s not committed to tackling climate change.

BILL SHORTEN: Direct Action is a Clayton’s climate policy, designed for the audience of internet trolls and shock-jock radio announcers and climate sceptics.

It is [...]

Sabra Lane, ABC 7:30 Report, was that an interview or an advert?

Sabra Lane interviews Bernie Fraser, Chairman of the Climate Change Authority on the ABC 7:30 report. She only had time for a few questions. Shame then, to only ask one’s everyone knows the answer to.

Instead of asking Fraser how many dollars each Australian will have to spend to lower global temperatures by one degree Celsius, Sabra Lane asks him about global psychology instead: “On the Renewable Energy Target, there’s a lot of talk about the Government watering it down or getting rid of it. What impact is that having on Australia’s reputation?

What does she think the head of any “authority” dependent on the fear of a carbon-crisis for its existence was going to say? Not much — Sabra, no one overseas cares a lot about what we do?

[...]

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 – [...]