JoNova

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


Handbooks

The Skeptics Handbook

Think it has been debunked? See here.

The Skeptics Handbook II

Climate Money Paper


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GoldNerds

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



Archives

Books

The Unskeptical Guide to the Skeptics Handbook

It’s taken 21 months, four professors, and three associate/assistant professors, and THIS is the best they could come up with? The printed version listed no author (the pdf has been updated with John Cooks name*) yet wears the logo of the University of Western Australia (UWA), which will embarrass that university as word spreads of the intellectual weakness of their “Guide“.

Did UWA commission this piece of rather inept, qualitative “feel-good” science and clumsy reasoning? Stephan Lewandowsky invited John Cook to speak at UWA and “offer assistance“.

The booklet uses a mislabeled graph with a deceptive scale, won’t show the damning graphs it supposedly debunks,  assumes positive feedback occurs despite the weight of empirical evidence against it (Douglass, Spencer, Lindzen), and repeats irrelevant information even though The Skeptics Handbook describes why rising sea levels and glaciers and ice sheets can’t possibly tell us what causes the warming. It misleadingly discusses a different fingerprint — one that isn’t the key point and isn’t disputed by skeptics. Cause and effect are mixed up, and naturally there are strawmen arguments to unnecessarily destroy for the spectacle of being seen to do something. To top it off, Cook still thinks a measurement is [...]

The Great Leap Forward. Professors et al realize they need to talk about evidence instead of insults.

Plenty of copies

"Scientific Guide" To The Skeptics Handbook

I’m elated. Last night outside the Watts Up lecture at UWA here in Perth there were people handing out a so-called “Scientific Guide” to the Skeptics Handbook. Let’s put this in perspective, I wrote the Handbook two years ago, and it’s taken this long for those-who-want-to-scare-us to put together a specific printed response. I’m an unbacked, solo pro bono writer, and they needed no less than 5 professors, 2 associate professors, and 21 months, and THIS is the best they can do?

I’m also chuffed. The infamous Professorial fellow Stephan Lewandowsky spoke the night before in the same room as we spoke in (about the dangers of consensus) but maybe he’s finally read my multiple responses to the stone age reasoning he was using and the light bulb has gone off. Maybe he’s realized that the masses of engineers, geologists, lawyers, medical experts and people with just plain common sense out there are never going to be fooled by his old witchdoctor routine about the Gods of Science at the IPCC. I was informed by people who saw the presentation that for the first time he spoke without resorting [...]

How John Cook unskeptically believes in a hotspot (that thermometers can’t find)

John Cook might be skeptical about skeptics, but when it comes to government funded committee reports, not so much.

The author of “skeptical science” has finally decided to try to point out things he thinks are flaws in The Skeptics Handbook. Instead, he misquotes me, shies away from actually displaying the damning graphs I use, gets a bit confused about the difference between a law and a measurement, unwittingly disagrees with his own heroes, and misunderstands the climate models he bases his faith on. Not so “skeptical” eh John? He’s put together a page of half-truths and sloppy errors and only took 21 months to do it. Watch how I use direct quotes from him, the same references, and the same graphs, and trump each point he tries to make. His unskeptical faith in a theory means he accepts some bizarre caveats while trying to whitewash the empirical findings.

In the end, John Cook trusts the scientists who collect grants funded by the fear-of-a-crisis and who want more of his money, but he’s skeptical of unfunded scientists who ask him to look at the evidence and tell him to keep his own cash.

These two graphs are not the same [...]

Science communication pollution

Here’s an example of SciComm Pollution — an article that leaves the world slightly less enlightened than they would have been had it not existed. It’s also proof that the media blackout works so well that even theoretically educated people like, say, an archaeologist, are unaware of basic uncontroversial scientific truths.  Here’s Michael Berry, in the Salt Lake Tribune, having trouble reasoning, missing the point, being fully a decade out of date, and acting unwittingly as a public relations agent for a giant  bureaucracy.

He tries to claim Senator Orrin Hatch and The Skeptics Handbook are wrong on the Vostok ice cores.

[...]

DeSmog accidentally vindicates The Skeptics Handbook

DeSmogBlog could’ve flattened The Skeptics Handbook in just one sentence.

All they had to do was point to empirical evidence that more CO2 forces temperatures up. They can’t and everything else is bluster and bluff.

The question of evidence is on the front page; the book is built around it, and billions of dollars hinges upon it, on this topic, “nothing else matters…”. Yet Jeremy Jacquot’s sole attempt at evidence only shows he doesn’t know what evidence is. Even a bright junior high spark could prove him wrong with a 20 year old encyclopedia. Jacquot uses 3000 words to NOT answer that question, he confuses himself, resorts to cut-n-pasting from the site that does his thinking for him, and makes at least 9 errors of logic and reason. Jacquot complains that I’ve rehashed and repeated old arguments, which only makes it all the more embarrassing that he still hasn’t got any good answers.

But the part I like best was the way he jumps through the hoops just as I predicted. The Skeptics Handbook says when you poke a believer they will bark ‘Santer’, ‘Sherwood’, and ‘amplification’ and he does, right on cue. Yap Yap Yap. DeSmogBlog [...]

Emails with an unskeptical skeptic

the email exchange between Sceptico and myself, that started off as a friendly enquiry by me, as to why a self-proclaimed ’skeptic’ thought that anyone raising scientific questions about global warming should be lumped in with creationists, and called a denier. I wondered if he was just innocently unaware that the science has changed. [...]

Reply to Deltoid

This is vintage spinmeister-Tim. Overall he claims I’m deluded, confused, constantly repeating discredited arguments, “doesn’t even know what the hot-spot is”, and “doesn’t understand how the greenhouses gases warm the planet”. But when it comes to backing up the giant patronizing put-downs, it amounts to nit-picking phraseology; irrelevant points; straw men; his own false understanding of what a fingerprint is; and then an own goal when he drops in a graph that shows that the hot-spot is indeed missing. [...]