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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It’s on: Abbott’s message to David Cameron “Join skeptics in Aust, Canada, NZ, and India”

The Australian PM wants Britain to join an anti-carbon pricing alliance with Canada, NZ and India

Tony Abbott, Australian PM, has been shaking hands with Stephen Harper, Canadian PM, saying “it’s like a family”. They are both skeptical of schemes that aim to change the weather through fake markets which don’t do much to reduce emissions, but do enrich financial houses, lawyers and bureaucrats. Harper has applauded Abbott before, now Abbott is returning the favor.

The message is aimed at David Cameron, British PM, who has been quite the friend of the greens — leaving a legacy of  “collectivist, bat killing, bird chomping, property-rights-destroying wind farms”, as James Delingpole would say.  But Cameron got savaged by the UKIP skeptics in the recent elections. Signing up with Obama won’t solve that headache.

Obama, meanwhile, is trying to swing momentum back to costly climate action with his aim to bypass congress and use an executive order to enforce a 30% cut in US emissions by 2030. He’s on his own. Even the Chinese are watering down expectations (see below). New Zealand abandoned Kyoto II and tied themselves to the lowest value carbon credits there are.

Sydney Morning Herald has the video

All five [...]

A moment of truth in the State of the Union?

Mark From the Hooterville gazette has spotted a very telling moment in Obama’s speech when the crowd laughs. Watch it closely.Without being in the room it’s hard to know who was laughing, and why. A year ago we could have assumed that laughter after a line about “overwhelming evidence” was really the crowd mocking those who don’t believe. But this is different.

“I know there are those who disagree with the overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change….        but….     but…      but here’s the thing, even if you doubt the evidence, providing incentives for clean energy and efficiency is the right thing to do.”

I watched it a few times to be sure I wasn’t misreading it. But the clues are clear. Watch Obama, he is not expecting to say a funny line. His response to the rising laugh tells us the laugh was not part of the plan. A good speaker (and he’s polished) knows intuitively that the way to kill a laugh is to speak over the top of it and interrupt the “moment”. (Professional speakers are coached to pause after delivering a scripted line that’s intended for comic effect). But tellingly, [...]