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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Antarctic Sea Ice lowest in 40 years, but no one knows why — “back to drawing board”

Put it in a history book: scientists are sounding like scientists — admitting they don’t understand

Antarctic Sea Ice set records in 2014, but then in 2016 it rapidly declined and hasn’t recovered, indeed right now as the southern winter peaks, it’s at a record low. The long term trend is still rising, but its now only half the rate it was in 2014. On this blog, Mike Jonas recently demonstrated that the Southern Ocean had cooled, not warmed as all the models predicted. But what matters here is that sea ice covers 7% of the world and we don’t know what caused it.

What is also a record is that most scientists and journalists are showing real restraint and are not blaming this as a climate change event.

Even, bowl-me-over, New Scientist, is showing admirable restraint: Antarctic sea ice is declining dramatically and we don’t know why. This is the first time since starting this blog ten years ago that I have been able to say that. Congrats Adam Vaughan.

Decades of expanding sea ice in Antarctica have been wiped out by three years of sudden and dramatic declines, leaving scientist puzzled as to why the region [...]

The soul-searching continues: ABC finds some Greens in election denial

 Two weeks later, and the excuses are still flowing.

The left lost because: a/ their policies were stupidly ambitious and unfundable, or 2/ Tasmanian greens went too far north.

The ABC says “2″.

If only Bob Brown had got some Queenslanders to do the Adani protest instead, Bill Shorten would be PM:

Environment leaders reflect on their role in the ‘climate election’

 Michael Slezak, ABC Enviroment and Science Ad Writer:

Like many Australians, green groups were surprised by the federal election result.

Underlying much of their campaigning was the belief that the majority of voters wanted stronger climate action.

But the results did not seem to bear that out.

Did environmental groups fail to read public sentiment? And did they, in fact, help the Coalition to victory?

It’s all so easy in hindsight:

One of Australia’s leading social researchers, Rebecca Huntley, said the Stop Adani Convoy strategy was bound to fail.

“People from outside the area coming in — that just pisses people off,” said Dr Huntley, who heads up Vox Populi Research.

ABC Staff can always find someone to say what the journalists are thinking: [...]

Who knew? The fourth largest nation has threatened to pull out of the Paris Agreement

In Borneo, the Dypterocarp forest, one of the species-richest in the world (F), is being replaced by oil palm plantations (G). These changes are irreversible for all practical purposes (H).

Under the radar: In a trade dispute with the EU, about six weeks ago, Indonesia threatened to leave the Paris Agreement. Just like that. –

Where was the ABC News? Showing orangutan rescues…

Two hundred and seventy million people live in Indonesia. It’s the fourth largest population in the world – only 20% fewer than the USA. It’s also the second largest coal exporter in the world, and perversely, one of only 16 countries that are even trying to meet their Paris commitment.

Here’s the situation: Indonesia has been razing forests to make palm oil to sell to the EU for biofuel to make nice weather. Skeptics and Greenpeace pointed out the hypocrisy of destroying rainforests in pursuit of a better environment (way back, circa 2010).  Finally, in 2019 the EU commission changed its palm oil policy and declared that it should not be OK for biofuel anymore. The EU parliament is considering whether to make that law.

But Indonesia is the world’s biggest palm oil producer [...]

In Australia Climate obedience must be 100% (no matter what the evidence is)

Stating the bleeding obvious about climate science earns headlines

Tony Abbott merely states what no real scientist could argue with. Things are not quite as settled in climate science as people say. For this tiny deviation from the permitted line he is isolated and depicted in a headline as “questioning science” when he’s really just questioning propaganda lines.

The editors of both AAP and The Australian could have chosen a different headline: Abbott declares “we only have one planet”. But in headline-world, which is often the only line people will read, Abbott is made out to be saying something risky. Imagine, I am Spartacus, if every single conservative politician said “of course — Climate science isn’t perfect.” But almost none of them have the balls.

Abbott questions climate change science

AUSTRALIAN ASSOCIATED PRESS, The Australian

Tony Abbott has questioned the “so-called settled” science about climate change, a month after dropping his view that Australia should pull out of the Paris climate agreement.

The former prime minister insisted he was a realist when asked about his position on climate change during his election campaign launch in Manly on Friday.

“The so-called [...]

Trump wins: Russiagate becomes the weapon of mass destruction for Mass Media’s reputation

Trump is vindicated. The real substance of Russiagate is what it says about the media

Dragged out for two years of hate, denigration and abuse in the media, in the end the Muller inquiry found no collusion. How many journalists predicted this. How many even wrote as though it was possible? Credit to Matt Taibbi for the scathing WMD comparison.

Mueller report into collusion a stunning victory for Donald Trump, by Cameron Stewart, The Australian.

The summary of the Mueller report issued today by Attorney General William Barr clears the president and his aides of any collusion with Russia and says there is no legal case to support obstruction of justice charges against him. …

It is a devastating defeat for the Democrats and for much of the US media who had hoped, prayed and frankly expected that Mueller would somehow find a silver bullet to end or at least cripple Trump’s presidency.

Matt Taibbi on Russiagate: ‘Death Blow for the Reputation of the American News Media’

It’s official: Russiagate is this generation’s WMD

Nothing Trump is accused of from now on by the press will be believed by huge chunks of [...]

Blame Climate Change for stupid British Voters choosing Brexit says ABC

If only we had built more windmills, and changed more light-globes we could have prevented the British voting to control their own nation. It all makes sense — if you are insane, or a broadcaster paid one billion a year to promote Big Government.

What a disaster — the fifth largest economy choose to trade more with the rest of the world and be less under the thumb of Germany and Brussels. Such madness needs an explanification. So here it is: Our coal plants caused a terrible drought in Syria which made lots of nice people seek refuge in rich countries, I mean “globally”, and that made people talk about a refugee problem in the UK (which wasn’t really a problem, see) and that made scared, selfish and small minded populist voters choose fear and Brexit over the glorious wonder of the EU.

 This is the genius analysis we pay Sabra Lane and the ABC for:

SABRA LANE: Could it be that Brexit, the UK voting to leave the EU, is the result of a cascading series of events due in part to climate change?

ROBERT GLASSER: Yeah, so there was a persistent [...]

Climate Change will make coffee extinct or something like that

The terror. Sit down I tell you.  The ABC tells us that you should “Grab a latte while you still can”.

Coffee beans  |Image wiki Hesham Raouf

In full, the true catastrophe is that if the models that are always wrong get something right, some wild coffee relatives, but not actual coffee crop plants, might go extinct. We don’t use them for coffee but you never know, we might one day use them as breeding stock. It’s that serious.

And we can’t save the seeds because apparently liquid nitrogen is too expensive. Wail. Gnash. Fawn.

Since bulk liquid nitrogen is cheaper than spring water, I rank this one as a Prime SkyWhale Class Scare, it’s all hot-air and scary for the wrong reason. You are meant to be afraid of the end of coffee, but what’s really frightening is that science journalism is dead instead.

By Belinda Smith and Nick Kilvert, ABC Australia

Most coffee species at risk of extinction due to climate change, scientists warn

The set up:

You might also want to sit down before reading this. And maybe grab another latte while you still can.

Of the 124 wild coffee species worldwide, [...]

Narcisistic or delusional? Former BBC reporter admits he did biased reporting

Paid by the people to give them the facts, Clive Lewis is proud that he deceived them and delivered a message that served his own interests rather than theirs. From a Jan 2018 story by  Amanda Cashmore For Mailonline:

“Clive Lewis admits broadcasting biased news“:

In 2017 Lewis admitted to biased reporting whilst working for the BBC. At a Momentum rally he stated: “I was able to use bias in my reports by giving less time to one than the other. I reported on both but the angle and words and the language I used — I know the pictures I used — I was able to project my own particular political positions on things in a very subtle way.“

This is clearly in breach of the spirit, ethics and whole point of the BBC. Did he think the people of the UK needed his wise but hidden counseling because he’s been born so much smarter than everyone else.

Naturally, we know where people struggling with reality end up in the climate debate. This is Clive Lewis, Jan 1 2019:

Politicians must persuade consumers to make dramatic lifestyle changes if devastating climate change and mass extinctions [...]

Paul Krugman sticks pins into the Climate Denier VooDoo Doll

Excuse #101: Denying Climate Change is an Evil Depraved Sin so we don’t need to bother coming up with reasons anymore

Why is Krugman sticking pins into Denier Dolls? It makes him feel better.

He said it himself — if people disagree about climate change in good faith, it means climate believers need to be more persuasive. But if they are just evil, there’s nothing you can do. This is the end-days desperation. And after thirty years of propaganda, there’s nothing left in their communication toolbox. The awful truth is that in the muted, lopsided debate, they had all the money and institutions but they still lost.

When you can’t convince people with polite discussion all that’s left is to agree with your opponents or demonize them. So that’s what Krugman does. Change the goal-posts — he’s saying these evil people are not even worth talking to.

Humans are incredibly good at rationalizing stupid things. Pace Paul Krugman, who wrote this in the NY times last week. This week, the Sydney Morning Herald became the copy-paste late repeater of junk analysis and naked smear by a failed economist. Bravo.

Denying climate change is evil Climate denial is rooted in [...]

MediaWatch: Jo Nova, McLean, Newscorp fools! Govt committees are always right.

Ponder the irony — MediaWatch is meant to be a media auditor, but it starts from the assumption that every government run collective is 100% accurate (at least on climate change). And unaudited UN committees are infallible too. Indeed newspapers have a duty to repeat what these committees say without questioning them. Host Paul Barry actually uses the word duty.

Once upon a time, the duty of investigative reporters was to to investigate, now their job is to be glorified marketing hacks advertising the latest government scheme to change the weather.   What could possibly go wrong?

How about if governments set up all their institutes to find problems with CO2 and asked none of them to audit the others? What if whole government departments were tasked to slay the carbon dragon, and while exactly no groups anywhere were funded to find out if the sun controlled the climate instead? Using the MediaWatch Wand of Truth, only government scientists can criticize government scientists (and only then for five minutes until their uni trawls through their emails and sacks them). Thus and verily IPCC scientists should be obeyed.

MediaWatch marvels that the Australian Newscorp media can’t be bothered repeating [...]

ABC Fake News Bubble needs conspiracy theories about Murdoch and Stokes

It’s Projection — the ABC fantasize about Murdoch and Stokes because the ABC wants that power themselves

Turnbull was the ABC’s pick for least-worst Conservative PM. They didn’t predict nor craft his demise, 45 elected representatives did. The People foiled the ABC, but instead of admitting that conservative voters matter, the ABC staff project their own desire to pick PM’s onto Murdoch and Stokes — which feeds the self serving fantasy that Australians need to pay for a national broadcaster to oppose big nasty corporates and their fake power.

While the ABC has no conservative commentators, as in zero, some other media outlets allow both sides of politics to speak — which clearly threatens the ABC bubble. Therefore it serves the ABC entirely to delegitimize the competition and to paint them as mindless corporate sock puppets.

The whole fake news conspiracy theory is bizarre beyond analysis. Rupert Murdoch supposedly picked PM’s by demanding his national masthead paper run no editorials calling for Turnbull’s demise, and silence no commentator that defended him. Meanwhile the ABC runs editorials disguised as news every night at 7pm. One time ABC management effectively called Tony Abbott “the most destructive politician of his generation.” ACMA eventually [...]

BBC tells journalists that IPCC is God, can not be wrong –”No debate allowed”

If the IPCC are wrong, the BBC will be the last place to say so

Lets all bow to the IPCC — a modern God that shalt not be questioned. The Holy Sacred Climate Cow!

The IPCC is an unaudited and unaccountable foreign committee. Not only are no scientists paid to check its findings, now the publicly mandated BBC is making sure none of their journalists will check its findings either.

Carbonbrief has a copy of the BBC new internal guidance on how to report climate change.

In April, the UK regulator, Ofcom, found the BBC was guilty of not sufficiently challenging Lord Lawson, a skeptic. So in response the BBC now promises they will never sufficiently challenge the IPCC. That’s “false balance” for you.

The BBC issues a guidance to journalists

What’s the BBC’s position?

Man-made climate change exists: If the science proves it we should report it. The BBC accepts that the best science on the issue is the IPCC’s position, set out above. If only BBC baby-scientist-rulers knew what “proves” means in science. The IPCC can never be “proven” right, though it has been proven wrong, and many times. Be aware of ‘false balance’: As [...]

Guardian journalist tries to understand “deniers” by interviewing… himself

Who needs interviews when you know all the answers?

Greg Jericho, of The Guardian, can explain why the government is in “denial” and spends 15 odd paragraphs doing psychoanalysis of himself.

Has he met a skeptic? Not likely.

This government is not even pretending to act on climate change any more

Perhaps somewhat surprisingly I have a degree of sympathy for members of the public who are climate change deniers. I have this sympathy because I was once one of them.  …doing my level best to deny it was happening. Because it scared the bejeezus out of me.

… so I understand why people choose to believe those who say climate change is not the issue, that the issue is power prices and thus we need to fire up the coal furnaces.

Denial is a very easy way out of guilt that your lifestyle is leaving your children and grandchildren an awful legacy. Denial is a good way to throw away concerns that you might have to actually wear a cost – either through lifestyle changes or monetary loss.

It is a scary thing to hear talk of the impacts [...]

Climate Change is a ratings killer — Everyone is bored to death of the sermon

After 30 years with no debate and one predictable, repeated lecture the audience is switching off

Scott Whitlock at Newsbusters reports that one climate-worrier journalist revealed in a tweet that climate change kills the ratings. Another tweeter had prodded Liberal MSNBC journalist Chris Hayes to cover more on climate change. “Acting like there is nothing to be done is not excusable.”

In reply Chris Hayes lamented:

“almost without exception. every single time we’ve covered it’s been a palpable ratings killer. so the incentives are not great.”

@chrislhayes 24 July 2018

Those crashing ratings would change overnight if news networks threw open the doors and pitted skeptics against believers in a real televised form of debate. The spectators would suddenly be able to pick sides — may the best person win. There would be genuine controversy. Sacred cows would be slaughtered, and for a while at least, climate change would rate well.

What stops the media doing this? Most editors are too scared of being called climate deniers if they dare allow the other side to speak. Look at the pushback when the BBC allowed Professor Bob Carter to do one interview:

The [...]

One third of Australia wants public ABC spending cut. That’s 14 cents a day but Not Worth It

New essential poll today shows 35% of respondents support cutting spending on the ABC.

The ABC once had a hallowed status, but those days are over. One in three Australians are not enthused with non-stop naked Green-Labor advertising combined with derision and scorn for the deplorable half of the population.

We pay 14 cents a day for the ABC and it’s not worth it.

ABC ratings  plummet 13% in the last year

Showing that this survey is not an abberation, the whole nation is voting with the remote control:

Last week ABC News attracted about 660,000 viewers in the mainland capital cities. This compares with about 760,000 viewers a year ago.

That’s a trend line headed for zero by 2025.

Most Australians don’t watch the prime time 7pm news service they are forced to pay for. Apparently the ABC is a subsidy package for poor inner city elites who can afford to live in Darlinghurst but not to pay for their own news service.

The ABC rescue plan is a workshop on telling stories

The ABC solution yesterday is to get better at “storytelling”. It does not include employing a second conservative or libertarian commentator (one, Amanda Vanstone, [...]