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 nerds have the numbers on precious metals investments on the ASX



UPDATE: Malcolm Roberts, One Nation replies the two-stroke mower *change* is about real pollution, not CO2

Thanks to Malcolm Roberts for contacting me tonight with more information. CLARIFICATION: It’s not a complete ban on two-strokes, but a change to increase standards on motors. (It appears it will reduce real pollution, and the legislation also claims it will reduce CO2, though no CO2 limits are mandated as far as I can tell. It will stop the sales of most conventional two-stroke outboards and mowers, but not “direct injection” outboards. Gory details below)*

From Malcolm Roberts:

 Re: Genius Plan to ban two-stroke motors

Please note that Soichiro Honda himself banned his company from making 2-stroke outboard motors in the 1970’s after he visited Lake Tahoe and was shocked to see oil film on its waters. That pollution was produced by 2-stroke outboard motors.

He had the courage to do the right thing so despite the inherently higher weight and lower power of 4-stroke motors at the time. He put the real environment ahead of profits and as a result the new path led Honda to designing and building superior motors.


Genius plan to save world by banning *old style* two-stroke lawn mowers, weed whackers, outboard boat motors.

Cory Bernardi outlines legislation that has just passed banning *old-style* 2-stroke motors from 2019 — meaning lawn mowers, leaf blowers, chainsaws, weed whackers, and outboard boat motors. In Australia mowers and fishing tinnies are heritage material. It’s a new carbon tax by stealth, pretending to be about health.

h/t to  Tim Blair who adds a movie of Australians dancing with lawn mowers for the Sydney Olympic opening ceremony (just to give you foreigners some appreciation of how attached Australians are to them).

Stock up now. You may not be able to buy them (legally) after 2019. I predict a high black market value decent prices for “Vintage models on ebay”.

Bernardi argues that theoretically this ruling could be extended to farm machinery, quad bikes, and off road dirt bikes.

Why did One Nation vote for this?  Oops… UPDATE: And here’s the answer from Malcolm Roberts, who argues it is not about CO2 but about real pollution.

At Tim Blairs: Commenter Bruce there suggest this will apply to some model aircraft engines too.

Commenter P says:    Temperatures will plummet and we’ll be thrown back into an ice age

MORE INFO: See for details about dates, reasons and what this [...]

Announcing a formal request for the Auditor General to audit the Australian BOM

A team of skeptical scientists, citizens, and an Australian Senator have lodged a formal request with the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) to have the BOM and CSIRO audited.

The BOM claim their adjustments are “neutral” yet Ken Stewart showed that the trend in the raw figures for our whole continent has been adjusted up by 40%. The stakes are high. Australians could have to pay something in the order of $870 million dollars thanks to the Kyoto protocol, and the first four years of the Emissions Trading Scheme was expected to cost Australian industry (and hence Australian shareholders and consumers) nearly $50 billion dollars.

Given the stakes, the Australian people deserve to know they are getting transparent, high quality data from the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM). The small cost of the audit is nothing in comparison with the money at stake for all Australians. We need the full explanations of why individual stations have been adjusted repeatedly and non-randomly, and why adjustments were made decades after the measurements were taken. We need an audit of surface stations. (Are Australian stations as badly manipulated and poorly sited as the US stations? Who knows?)