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


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GoldNerds

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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 [...]

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. [...]

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 [...]