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

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The Skeptics Handbook II

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ABC national tribute to vegan lecturer climber who died on Everest

Who are the national heroes according to the ABC?

Last night we saw two full indulgent minutes on our ABC national news broadcast (from 12:25 mins) on the death of the unfortunate Maria Strydom, as she tried to descend Mt Everest. My issue is not with her, but with the ABC choice of national priorities. The 34 year old climber ticked all the PC boxes, a vegan academic in pursuit of better holidays. The ABC lost one of their tribe. But where are the accolades for the 50 people have died already this year doing their jobs in Australia, like the farmers and miners who die supporting their families?

The effusive coverage did not mention the phrase “unnecessary risk”. It was just a straight out tragedy. (A very first world kind of one).

There was an unbridled virtue message about hallowed university experts:

“…intellectually, reaching a PhD by age 30 — massive achievement”

“…celebrate the life of people like Maria — who actually did what she loved”

ABC narrator James Hancock revealingly sums it up: “…risking their lives in pursuit of the ultimate goal”

Because in ABC-world, “the ultimate goal” is adventure for self-gratification?

The news article [...]

Climate change causes hybrid Grolar bears? ABC cites facebook pic, no data, scientists guess

Does “climate change” cause more polar bears to chat up the grizzly girls producing Grolar Bear babies? Maybe…

The Headline: “Grolar bears: Climate change could be behind grizzly-polar bear hybrid, scientists say”

The evidence:

Chris Servheen, a bear biologist and Adjunct Associate Research Professor at the University of Montana, said sightings of this hybrid bear species have been very rare in the past.

“But they seem to be more common now,” he said.

Mr Servheen said not very much was known about the grolar and pizzly bears, as little contact had yet to be made between them and humans.

The recent photo of what many suspect to be one of the hybrid bears was posted on Facebook…

That’ll be one data point confirmed then?

Mr Servheen said it was hard to know how many of the bears existed.

In 2006 a bear shot by hunters in the Arctic was tested and confirmed as a polar-grizzly hybrid.

So if a scientist reported that thermometers “seem” to be more near airport tarmacs than they were in 1910, with a photo of an unconfirmed one on facebook, would that be worth [...]

ABC attacks philanthropist for old skeptical email. UPDATE Is it a sackable offence?!

UPDATE: A new ABC version of this story asks if it is a sackable offence for an energy company chairman to send an email praising The Skeptics Handbook years in the past before he was appointed? NSW Labor thinks so.

Click to download the PDF

The NSW Labor spokesman for Energy, Adam Searle, has described Mr Massy-Greene’s stance as “disturbing” and is calling for him to clarify his views or resign.

“If he is a climate change skeptic then his position as chair of publicly owned electricity businesses is untenable”, says Mr Searle.

“If Mr Massy-Green won’t resign, the Baird Government, which appointed him, needs to sack him.”

Amazing. Just to have ever sent an email praising the skeptics handbook years before he was appointed.

Are you now, or have you ever been a skeptic?

__________________

Streisand Effect coming

Nearly 7 years ago Roger Massy-Greene sent an email around to around 200 VIP’s with a link to the Skeptics Handbook saying “the best piece I have seen on global warming, and helps to explain what has so far been a very confusing debate.” Mr Massy-Greene later became chairman of [...]

Hot magma is melting Greenland ice – can windfarms save it?

Here on the ball of magma called Earth, there’s a hot plume of rocks under Iceland that stretches right across under Greenland. Those hot rocks are melting the ice from below in a band 1,200 km long and 400 km wide.[1]

I don’t think solar panels are going to stop Greenland melting.

The main part of the plume has been progressing eastward over the last 120 million years, right under Greenland and now lies under Iceland.

Will the media take a million years to catch on?

Presumably, being world class journalists, from now on all ABC/BBC/CBC stories will not mention melting Greenland ice-sheets without also noting that geothermal heat may be causing it instead of your long hot showers.

But a similar study published in Nature Geoscience 3 years ago was the forerunner to this one with similar conclusions and the mainstream media don’t seem to have noticed yet.[2]  No mention of magma, tectonics and hot rocks here: ABC — [...]

ABC news is bread and circuses agitprop, nothing to see on matters of national importance

UPDATE: For those who can’t see the ABC footage we have a copy at dropbox, thanks to Panda.

UPDATE #2: This episode has now been pulled from the ABC website 13 days early. The ABC, with its billion dollar budget, has a website to show all its programs for 14 days after they run. But for no stated reason this one has been deleted after just one day. Did the ABC not like us discussing it? (H/t to Panda). Thank goodness we have a copy. [Screencap of current ABC page here.]

h/t to Peter Q. Thanks to Andrew M as well.

Dennis Jensen has  a lot to say on matters of national importance, but the ABC doesn’t ask him very often about those.

Tonight Dr Dennis Jensen was just the “Climate denier” target who had stepped over the line on another topic — breaking a sacred taboo. He might lose pre-selection. He might be out of a job. The ABC seem to think we care about the party political machinations more than the suffering of Australian citizens, which Jensen had been trying to get us to discuss. Instead the ABC went into great details of [...]

ABC is not a state broadcaster, it’s “independent” says new boss Ms Guthrie. O’Really?

For the incoming ABC boss, the first priority is to keep up the pretense that the public broadcaster is “independent”.

Independent of what, you may ask? It’s independent of public accountability. We can’t vote for programs or presenters; we can’t choose not to pay for it. We can’t choose to sell it, or even to send our tax funds to a different broadcaster.

The organization that depends on big-government for funds wants you to believe it’s in-dependent of big-gov.

When BP sponsors art, it’s an outrageous reputational risk (stage a sit in!). In that case the offensive BP donations to Tate were a mere one fortieth of the membership income. When Big-Gov provides almost all the income for the national broadcaster we’re supposed to laud it’s independence?

SMH: ABC boss defends independence of public broadcaster

Ms Guthrie was officially announced on Monday morning as the replacement for outgoing managing director Mr Scott. She will begin the role in May after a month-long handover period with Mr Scott.

In an interview with ABC 24 she said the essence of the ABC as an institution was its independence.

Watch Guthrie turn truth upside down:

“The important [...]

How many things can Lord Deben get wrong?

I did a spot on the ABC Drum today. Very odd to do it from a studio where I could not see any of the panel at all, and didn’t know the etiquette of how these things work. (I know a lot more now). But I’m glad to have a chance to speak, even if it was short.

So just in case there is anyone out there thinking that Lord Deben had some good points, here’ s what I was thinking as he spoke without pausing to breathe, and here’s my reply (it would have been nice to say it on air):

Firstly, all of this presupposes that there is a reason to reduce CO2. Thousands of scientists and millions of measurements suggest not.

That aside, saying Australia is “not a special case” is to deny geography and demographics.

The UK might have the fastest growth rate in the EU but Australia’s population growth rate is two-to-three times faster than the UK.  Do those people count? Not in climate change maths. Australia’s population has grown by 38% since 1990. It’s massive and it matters.

Adding more wind power won’t help solve the [...]

Rent-seekers reveal awful truth: Abbott wanted to investigate BOM data, Hunt opposed “due diligence”

Imagine the crime of trying to audit the BOM?

Last year, Graham Lloyd wrote in The Australian about how the BOM had made whopping two degree adjustments to data which turned cooling trends to warming trends and instead of improving the data, it created discontinuities. The BOM’s eventual explanation lamely exclaimed that the stations “might” have moved. (And they might not, too. Who knows, but remember this is what 95% certainty looks like.) Lloyd wrote about how historical records of extreme heat at Bourke had effectively been thrown in the trash. Who cares about historical records?

In response to the embarrassment and revealing questions, Tony Abbott wanted an investigation.  But Greg Hunt, and The Dept of Environment opposed the investigation and opposed doing “due diligence”. What are they afraid of? Instead, Hunt helped the BOM set up a one-day-wonder investigation with hand-picked statisticians that wasted another nine months before admitting that the BOM methods would never be publicly available or able to be replicated.  If it can’t be replicated, it isn’t science.

The BOM’s defense is always that their mystery method is considered “best practice” by other agencies around the world — who share the same incentives to exaggerate warming, [...]

#TalkAboutIt: Climate change sceptics versus the scientists (correcting ABC mistakes, strawmen, and misleading lines)

#TalkAboutIt: Climate change sceptics versus the scientists, By Clara Tran and staff

Busy slaying strawmen instead of real debate?

What a facade. The ABC says its skeptics versus “the scientists” except there are no skeptics present. In typical Newspeak the ABC says “#TalkAboutIt”, but it’s a conversation with themselves. They invent “DorothyDixer” strawman questions for their own team to bravely kill.

If the ABC really wanted their listeners to discuss skeptical views, they would invite skeptics to make them — but interviews are a thing of the past (back in the days when the ABC was an institution of repute). The fake debate is the only kind that professors like Matthew England can win.

This is why the ABC fails so dismally to dint skeptical numbers in Australia. If they want to convince skeptics of their point of view then they have to deal with actual skeptical arguments, but they are too afraid to air them. Consequently they sideline themselves out of the national debate, relegated to the propaganda wars.

Correcting the ABC:

Skeptical Scientists versus The Unskeptical

The ABC offers arguments allegedly made by climate skeptics, all of them minor and of little consequence (short version first, more [...]

Climate change causes more tsunamis — The ABC will believe anything

Too much panic is never enough. Fran Kelly asks Stephen O’Brien, lawyer and UN official, about that the effects of climate change which are “already being felt”. She does not blink when his answer includes more frequent and more severe tsunamis. His qualifier…  It’s not a question of “if”, but “when”.

Yes, yes, this is “best and brightest” ideas from around the world, apparently.

 ABC Radio National

Fran Kelly: “Give us a sense of the effects [of climate change] which are already being felt in our region and discussed at this conference.” (at 1 minute)

Stephen O’Brien: “The Pacific Region, and particularly the Pacific Island countries whose land, as you rightly say, are the ones just above sea-level, are the ones that really do have the greatest challenge when it comes to climate change effects on humanitarian need, with the regularity of cyclones, tropical storms, and tsunamis coming through [at 1.30 minutes]. It’s not a question of if, it’s a question of when. And we see that [these] effects of climate change seem to be exacerbated so that they are more frequent and even at times more severe…”

ABC gives free advertising for “the cause”

ABC staff [...]