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


Advertising


Australian Speakers Agency



GoldNerds

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



The Skeptics Handbook

Think it has been debunked? See here.

The Skeptics Handbook II

Climate Money Paper



Archives

Books

You mean the ABC isn’t telling us all the news on Iran?

It’s a shame Australia’s billion-dollar-ABC apparently can’t afford a Wall St Journal subscription. In long coverage of the Iranian unrest ABC prime time news tonight said the protesters “wanted the government to create jobs”. (Sounds like an Australian election) But  The Wall St Journal, puts it differently. Farnaz Fassihi describes the slogans being chanted:

“We don’t want an Islamic Republic, we don’t want it, we don’t want it.”

“They are using Islam as an excuse to drive people crazy.

Breitbart:

Despite the threats of physical violence, women in the Islamic republic have used the opportunity to call out for more personal freedom and a relaxation of strict Islamic rule and sharia law:

In a different article Caroline Glick sees dismal coverage in the US too and speculates on a much bigger picture.

 I’m just letting people know there is another side. Best wishes for the brave people seeking freedom.

There is an epic battle going on, with lives of workers and families at stake, and the only subheader the ABC can find is” ‘Trump should focus on America’.

[...]

The Guardian invents a myth that Trump obstructs satellite research

Part #4,566 in The Demonisation of Trump – The Guardian spawns another urban myth and fake-hate-news. Donald Trump accused of obstructing satellite research into climate change

The poor ignorant readers, fed the anti-science spin, and missing all the relevant info below (or any counter point of view) — predictably respond with the words “sociopath”, “Hitler”, “Nazi’s”, “criminals”, “crooks”, “liars” and “sychophants” — and that’s just in the first 20 comments of nearly 400.

The author Robin McKie found one scientist willing to hype this in a suitable way:

“This is like throwing away the medical records of a sick patient,” said David Gallaher of the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado.

If McKie bothered to get calmer and more accurate views, he does not report them. Though he also says: “Many scientists say this decision was made for purely ideological reasons.” He names none of the “many”. Way to go McKie.

Enter a real expert in satellite systems:

Roy Spencer, award-winning satellite expert, explains how Trump is being wrongly blamed

In short, the story is that a series of US military satellites are monitoring sea ice. Four were launched from 2003 – 2014 (numbered 16 [...]

ABC renewables fantasy island “farewells diesel” (except for 40% of its power)

Flinders Island is in the Bass Strait North of Tasmania.

If there is a heaven for renewables, this island should be it. But instead, even on Flinders Island, renewables aren’t cheaper than diesel generators. This is a dismal reality, yet the ABC promotes it as a fantasy poster-isle, interviewing only vested or “no idea” people, asking no critical questions, doing no counter research and telling us renewables will be “more reliable” and implying they are cheaper too. The ABC is a three-million-dollar-a-day advertising outlet for other government agencies. Instead of serving Australians it appears to be there to help shake down the taxpayer.

ABC renewables hype strikes again: Rhiannon Shine reports Flinders Island as a showcase of the brave new renewables world. Let’s translate that spin and see just how pathetic it is. If anywhere was going to be totally renewable, Flinders Island would be it — a first world island, tiny population, massive subsidies, no access to cheap coal or gas power, government support at every level and placed in a handy wind stream known as “the Roaring Forties”.  Yeah! This is one of the last places in the first world (short of Antarctic stations) where renewables [...]

Uni NSW Journalism lecturer gives advice on how to cleanse your news sources

Christopher Kremmer, Senior Lecturer in Literary & Narrative Journalism, School of the Arts & Media, UNSW, wants to help you shield yourself from worldviews that you don’t like, so he provides a detailed “how to” list of ways to make sure you filter out, specifically, news.com.

This man lectures in journalism. Instead of teaching journalism students on how to logically outplay and counter arguments and spot the flaws, he’s teaching them to cleanse their feeds lest they be exposed to inconvenient worldviews.

The team that has no evidence and no answers has to find a way to compensate for their intellectual vacuum.

Taking control of who gets to send us news

… before I had even typed in my search terms, it was apparent that my options had been narrowed. The news list that the aggregator threw up was dominated by websites whose idea of what constitutes news is very different to my own.

It takes a lot of effort to build an information silo:

One by one, I began blocking offending mastheads, then refreshing the browser to check the progress of my censorship. It takes a while because news websites use multiple addresses to maximise reader access. [...]

Fake News: Whipping up a media frenzy over bizarre “records” before they occur

Australia’s “leading climate scientists” can’t predict the climate but they are very good PR operatives. Here in Perth we’ve had a cool year — for the last twelve months it’s been nearly a whole degree cooler than the average for the last 20 years. But last weekend in Perth, news stories told us we’d had an “autumn stinker” and wait for it, we might get Perth’s second hottest first eight days of March. Call that a HFEDOM record and write in the Guinness Book of records. It’s a permutation “record” almost as important as the longest distance run by a man holding a table in his teeth. Except it’s not even a record, it’s a news story about a record that “might happen”, but didn’t.

Let’s name Neil Bennett (BOM) and Will Steffen (ANU) as the Propaganda-in-Chiefs dumping meaningless climate-trivia on the people in order to generate FEAR and screw more money from the public.

Straight from the New Climate PRAVDA Manual:

Invent contrived trivial permutations in order to use the word “record” Don’t bother waiting for real data, use forecasts If record includes the word “cool”, “cooler”, or “cold”, send to trash. When wrong, crickets.

Click to enlarge, [...]

NY Times makes out climate change believers are forced to speak in hidden codes

More Fake News from the NY Times

Here’s a creative effort to sell the story that the people with billion dollar industries, all the academic positions and a sympathetic media entourage are going underground, forced to disguise their belief about “climate change”.

This is a death-throes type article, clutching for ways to pretend Global Worriers are still relevant, and to feed a fantasy that they might be the underdog.

In America’s Heartland, Discussing Climate Change Without Saying ‘Climate Change’

So while climate change is part of daily conversation, it gets disguised as something else.

“People are all talking about it, without talking about it,” said Miriam Horn, the author of a recent book on conservative Americans and the environment, “Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman.” “It’s become such a charged topic that there’s a navigation people do.”

What really happened is that climate change is overused agitprop and people are tired of being beaten over the head with it. The first most compelling example the NY Times can find is a farmer called Doug Palen who talks about “carbon sequestration” in his soil (and what crop farmer wouldn’t?) Palen is painted as a “believer”:

Trump has broken the mainstream media — a president so powerful he tells them off to their faces

A week ago, the grip of the old-school media elite was busted, but few seemed to have noticed this remarkable shift.

The top dogs in the media came to him expecting to discuss their access to him, instead he blasted them as deceitful, dishonest liars who should be ashamed.

Over the last forty years the mainstream media have degenerated into naked, unashamed political advocacy, yet conservative leaders still felt they had to pander for fear that they would get an even worse treatment if they called it for what it was. Not Donald Trump. Has there ever been a more powerful US president? They called him every name under the sun, and he took the insults and used them to win.

What other US president didn’t need to pander or even be polite to media royalty? Only a billionaire who got elected despite the old media could afford to blow them away. For the first time in US history, the top gatekeepers of the national discussion were named and shamed…  The Kings and Queens of the media finally overplayed their hand to the point where the people elected someone so powerful, so rich, and so independent that he has no [...]

Hypnotised by media hate. Donald Trump is a polarising, divisive, sexist, racist (don’t watch these videos).

Is there anyone online that hasn’t seen angry Democrats rioting, and beating up voters who made the “wrong” choice? In the land of meaningless slogans, this must be what happens when Love Trumps Hate. Presumably they are teaching Hitler’s disciples a lesson. As Mark Steyn says, every Republican candidate is called Hitler, and when everyone’s Hitler, nobody’s Hitler.

Around the world many people remain baffled as to how 60 million US citizens could vote for the sexist, racist, trash talking Trump.  In one survey only 4% of Germans said they would vote for him. Here in Australia I don’t know the numbers, but The Flummoxed are everywhere.  Thank the media for the one-dimensional caricature they sell.

Things are so bad here that The Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) put out a story saying there were “reports from Trump Tower in New York on Tuesday evening” with crowds of thousands chanting: “We hate Muslims, we hate blacks, we want our great country back”. Michael Smith found a tweet pointing out that their entire source for this was a guy who runs a known parody account on Twitter @sRowntreeNews. Smith clocked up the screenshot, sure that the newspaper would correct their inflammatory uber [...]

Intolerant, closeted, media sell hate and silence: can’t figure why electorate is so divided

Who are Trump’s loyal army asks Michael Goldfarb of the BBC

America is so divided in 2016 that one half of the electorate can barely understand the other. Comprehending the Donald Trump phenomenon has become the dominant theme of US election coverage…

Dear BBC et al, half the electorate is mocked, reviled, and otherwise ignored. No wonder the other half are clueless…  The divided electorates throughout the West don’t understand each other because there is no national conversation to understand. When was the last time the BBC (or ABC) employed a show host that was a skeptic, Brexit-fan, or UKIP voter?  Count the years. How about a whole panel? A series? A doco? When was the last government grant awarded to someone to explain the dangers of big-creeping-government?

It’s practically BBC official policy not to even interview people who disagree with certain views, even if that includes 62% of the British public. This is a good way to divide the electorate and create ignorance and misunderstanding, yes? It’s not that the skeptical half can’t get half the evening news, they can’t even get a 10 second, heavily edited sentence in. Greenpeace, on the other hand, get invited to [...]

ABC reports pushy brain-snap from greenie activists to rename “Eggs and Bacon Bay”

Eggs and Bacon Bay, Tasmania

Their billion-dollar-ABC reports every irrelevant thought bubble a greenie group can dream up:

“PETA launches bid to change Eggs and Bacon Bay to healthy alternative”

The ABC can’t find a single local who wants the change, but they treat the fantasy to a three-photo feature, complete with expert opinions and interviews. The locals think the idea is a bad joke. Listen to Doug:

…Doug said locals were perfectly happy with the name.

“These single-interest groups ought to go overseas and annoy the shit out of ISIS,” he said.

The only person outside the ABC who thinks this issue is worth discussing is some poor chicken mayor who is happy to sell out the locals for fear of offending the busybody control-freaks:

Huon Valley Mayor Peter Coad is willing to consider the idea.

“Obviously these issues should be taken seriously and have some merit,” he said.

Dear Mayor Coad, PETA are demanding a meat-free map. You think this is serious?

One type of Eggs And Bacon Flower.

The town, by the way, is named after a flower. That’ll be next on the hit list, and before [...]

The “77 Vote” Skeptical Senator and the journalists who don’t think 600,000 voters count

Malcolm Roberts

Some in the love media have real trouble understanding preferential voting. Big numbers seem to confuse them.

There are headlines that Malcolm Roberts “only got 77 votes” as if to delegitamize the skeptic. The Courier Mail put it on the front page. What they couldn’t find was one voter who voted for Pauline Hanson who was unhappy about where their vote went. And there were plenty to ask:  Hanson’s party got 593,000 first preference votes nationally and won four Senate seats.

Apparently to be considered a real senator the magic number of first preference votes this year is “100″.

In South Australia, Stirling Griff of the Nick Xenophon Team won “103″ votes, and Sky Kakosche-Moore won “129″. Alex Gallacher, Australian Labor Party, won with “330 votes”. No newspapers seem to be suggesting that they don’t deserve to be there, or that their success is a reason to axe preferential voting.

In WA, the Liberal Party won fully 3 of their 5 Senate seats on a average of just 600 “votes” each. Let’s ignore that the Liberal group ticket in WA had 510,000 votes. They ended up getting five senators elected with less votes than the [...]

Only 20% of US people think the media even try to be unbiased on politics

The good news is that a majority of people are aware of media bias, and are skeptical of what the media tells them. The bad news is that this is just another marker showing the average Western citizen is losing faith in the integrity of so many key institutions.

The activist journo’s have overplayed their hand. They are not even trying…

 “Voters Expect Reporters To Help Clinton Over Trump”

[July 21st, 2016] A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that only 20% of Likely U.S. Voters think that when covering a political campaign, most reporters try to offer unbiased coverage. Most (69%) say reporters try to help the candidate they want to win. Eleven percent (11%) are not sure  (To see survey question wording, click here.)

The media have lost so much influence. They described Brexiteers as loony, selfish and xenophobic, but more than half the country ignored them and voted for Brexit. Similarly, the US media mocked and denigrated Trump supporters, and continually predicted he wouldn’t stay in the race, and wouldn’t make it through the primaries, and  yet he did. Poor pundits keep being surprised by the people.

The key word in this [...]

Even believer media are bored of climate change — TV coverage down

It’s panic stations over at Believer Central. They are losing their grip on the media. And 2015 was a bumper year for Climate Scares – the hottest ever year, the giant Paris Junket, The El Nino, The Pope!  (The Pope?)  Despite all that, the media spent less time on the climate. It doesn’t get any better  than 2015 for the Global Worriers — there is no higher level of panic. But the free propaganda machine is slowing…

Lookout, climate denial is on the rise (don’t ask about the error bars):

 

Dana Nuccitelli, The Guardian

During the most important year for climate news, TV coverage fell

A report by Media Matters for America reveals that the media are failing to inform the American public on the most important issue of our time.

Media Matters for America has published a report detailing US broadcast news coverage of climate change in 2015, and their findings are stunning.

Stunning eh? Or not.

Dana might be knocked over, but I see ABC down 20, Fox up 20, and some “other stuff”. It’s not really much of a trend. The thing that really bugs Dana seems to [...]

ABC news is bread and circuses agitprop, nothing to see on matters of national importance

UPDATE: For those who can’t see the ABC footage we have a copy at dropbox, thanks to Panda.

UPDATE #2: This episode has now been pulled from the ABC website 13 days early. The ABC, with its billion dollar budget, has a website to show all its programs for 14 days after they run. But for no stated reason this one has been deleted after just one day. Did the ABC not like us discussing it? (H/t to Panda). Thank goodness we have a copy. [Screencap of current ABC page here.]

h/t to Peter Q. Thanks to Andrew M as well.

Dennis Jensen has  a lot to say on matters of national importance, but the ABC doesn’t ask him very often about those.

Tonight Dr Dennis Jensen was just the “Climate denier” target who had stepped over the line on another topic — breaking a sacred taboo. He might lose pre-selection. He might be out of a job. The ABC seem to think we care about the party political machinations more than the suffering of Australian citizens, which Jensen had been trying to get us to discuss. Instead the ABC went into great details of [...]

The non-disaster of 150,000 missing penguins? They just went somewhere else.

The media hype and the story of the false Penguin Panic

Image: UNSW/Chris Turney

Much fuss was made of 150,000 missing penguins in Antarctica as if climate change had killed them. A monster iceberg had washed in, stopping the cute swimming tuxedos from getting to dinner and the colony of 160,000 suddenly shrank to 10,000. Where did all those penguins go? In previous tough times, when they could be tracked they just split up and went to different colonies.

Given that the penguins have survived repeated ice ages and warming for millions of years who would have thought that they would have a strategy for dealing with the odd big iceberg?

The penguin catastrophe:

[Grist] Researchers found that a colony of Adélie penguins in Antartica’s Cape Denison has decreased from 160,000 to just 10,000 since 2011, when a huge iceberg ominously named B09B became grounded in nearby Commonwealth Bay. The penguins were once a short waddle from their food source, but the arrival of the iceberg — which is nearly the size of Rhode Island — has turned that jaunt into a 75-mile round trip. Talk about a long lunch.

Cry for those penguins:

“It’s eerily silent now,” expedition leader Chris Turney told [...]