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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Australian Environment Conference Oct 20 2012


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GoldNerds

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Michael Brown, astronomer, says science is not about debate, people are too stupid to judge

Michael Brown, recipient of taxpayer funds for astronomy, tells us that science is not about debate because people are not smart enough to judge the winner. He doesn’t list any evidence to support his faith in climate models (he’s just part of the herd following the consensus pack). Nor does he have any serious scientific criticism of the NIPCC climate report. But he uses plenty of names, baseless allusion, and innuendo. In the article ”Adversaries, zombies and NIPCC climate pseudoscience” in The Conversation he resorts to a group smear (with the help of the taxpayer funded site) in the hope that people won’t listen to those who disagree with him. Apparently he can’t win a fair and open debate, so he’s doing what he can to stop one.

If science now has “Gods” who are above question, it’s not science, it’s a religion. A scientist who says “I’m right because I’m a scientist” is neither right nor much of a scientist. Brown is acting like a self-appointed High-Priest of the Climate Doctrine.

The NIPCC report is more balanced, more comprehensive, and more accurate than the politically-guided tome from the IPCC . It contains hundreds of peer reviewed references put [...]

Lewandowsky, Prof of Psychology, thinks the Labor Government doesn’t benefit if he calls their opponents “stupid”.

Stephan Lewandowsky’s work is a case study in government funded inanity. Some Australians are sure that burning coal will make storms stronger. Others are not convinced. In November 2012 Lewandowsky’s intellectual contribution to science in Australia was to call the unconvinced “stupid”. If that’s not inane enough, at the same time he claimed that he didn’t recieve funding from any organisation that would benefit from his article.

How many taxpayer dollars went towards funding that? No conflict of interest?

Are Australian Research Council funds used as a form of third party advertising for Labor Government policy?

Writing in “A storm of Stupidity, Sandy, Evidence and Climate Change” on The Conversation, his reasoning is like this: some scientists reckon that a very bad storm called “Sandy” has “links” to man-made emissions of a trace gas. Lewandowsky reasons that because those scientists are called “experts”, anyone who questions them should be called stupid. (He thinks this article and that tweet were overdue). Though, in a twist, apparently he doesn’t actually think the unconvinced are actually stupid, he thinks they are ethically “disembodied” people who “mislead”. (As an aside, notice how he approves of news articles that call them stupid even though [...]

Government funds anti-science name-calling crowd: “deniers”, skeptics are old “will be gone soon”

There’s a mindset, a world view here that’s profoundly unreal, anti-science, and of course, fully funded by the Taxpayer from start to end (how could it be any other way?).

From the researcher who holds childish assumptions and misunderstands his own results, to the site that posts it all as if it were “higher thought”, to the trained communicator of science who then parrots the mistakes and insults half the population at the same time. Cheers! Private money couldn’t fund a satire like “The Conversation”. (Well, it could if it were funny.)

The Conversation recall was funded with $6 million.

Stephan continues his war on science

Lewandowsky’s bread and butter stuff is breaking the central tenet of science — namely, that evidence is more important than opinions. His mission (though I don’t think he’s aware of it) appears to be to return us to pre-Enlightenment days when Bishops controlled the public conversation. In this post-post-modern era, some things are so post they’re posterior – some parts of science are returning to unscience.  This “science” is not about your data or reasoning, and not about your results — it’s about your ability to get a grant, a title, a university badge. [...]

Soaking in money — a fake “independent” unscientific Conversation

What kind of organization receives all its funding from one source, then claims to be “independent?” (Yes, spot another GONGO idea).

 

The Conversation trumpets that it is “Independent” but it’s funded with $6 million from … the Government. As Tim Blair said “it’s a baby ABC“. (A Government organized “non government” organisation).

The Conversation gets 20,000 readers a day (apparently). According to the Alexa Stats, I single-handedly get about half the global traffic they do. They have an entire nation of university staff to help write stories. I’ve had ten guest authors and have written over 700 posts myself.

(If what they do costs $6 million, does that mean my site is worth $3m? Am I grossly underpaid, or are they grossly overpaid?)

This is another example of the self-growing-cycle of big-government. The site is dominated with stories that favor statist-big-government policies. They break laws of logic and reason, claim that experts are writing, but we non-experts working from home can point out the errors of those with professorships in our spare time, and with no PhD.

Consider the wit and wisdom of one Stefan Lewandowsky — who writes as a Professorial Fellow of a misnamed topic [...]

Skeptical scientists are like… frauds who hunt yetis?

What’s the worst thing you could call a scientist? Apparently, a “climate change denier” and “a fraud”.

Even scientists who are hunting Yetis are not suspected of being as evil, unscrupulous and deranged as skeptics-of-the-extent-of the-UN-committee’s-projections-of-man-made-global-warming, aka, “climate-change-deniers”. I mean, who would dare question the UN, eh? It is a collective God, it can’t be wrong — like, say, the Pope in 1633. If they say it’s 3 degrees / 2 degrees /3.3 degrees, whatever, they must be right (even if they do keep changing their mind).

Scientists who are hunting Yetis have no credentials, poor sods and are ripe for a whack.

Who are these “international scientists” who are going to find his Yeti for him? We have been given no names, nor credentials, nor institutions they belong to. I suspect, like so many of the so-called climate-change deniers, they are frauds.

But here’s the thing, I know the author, Darren Curnoe (though it’s been a while), and he’s a really nice guy. We shared a group house once, when I was on the way from science to TV, and he was on the way from TV to science. We had avid conversations about the evolution [...]

Lucky you’re not a climate “scientist” eh? Worse, you could be a skeptic.

On The Conversation Matthew Bailes, Pro Vice Chancellor at Swinburne University of Technology, is feeling sympathetic towards those poor climate scientists who have to deal with daily criticism, but he doesn’t seem to know much about how climate science works. I’d like to help him out, but don’t think the Conversation team would let me add my comments into his article, so I’ve done that here, responding to Bailes:

“Imagine for a minute that, instead of discovering a diamond planet, we’d made a breakthrough in global temperature projections. Let’s say we studied computer models of the influence of excessive greenhouse gases, verified them through observations, then had them peer-reviewed and published in Science.”

Verified?”#$%^!!  Sorry, what’s that? No one in the official world of climate science has mentioned “verification” since the mid 1990′s. Shhh. In climate science they verify the observations first: when they fit the models, then they know the equipment worked.

“Instead of sitting back and basking in the glory, I suspect we’d find a lot of commentators, many with no scientific qualifications, pouring scorn on our findings.”

No qualifications?  Psst, Ivar has a Nobel Prize (and … in Physics). I know Nobels [...]