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

Why China, India and Russia want to be bought off for the Paris Climate PR Spectacle

COP21 won’t get a meaningful agreement, but they will get “breakthrough success”

Don’t think China, India and Russia can save us. They won’t give up fossil fuels in a meaningful way, but they all have a price and buying them off is a lot cheaper than you might think. That’s because the goal is not for them to reduce CO2, but only for them to give the appearance of doing so.

It’s not about CO2, but about PR

Paris is a theatre– a grand show, and China’s Vice Foreign Minister Liu Jianmin said as much. He “laughed when the ‘High Ambition Coalition’ was mentioned. “It is a kind of performance,” he said, “It makes no difference.”

The 1.5C “high ambition” target is a perfect PR win. The Green Machine will be able to claim a major success getting X number of countries to sign up for a breakthrough pledge to do something “more ambitious”, something that “far exceeded our hopes” but that is really decades away and likely to happen even if nobody did anything at all. It’s the do nothing, unaccountable promise that politicians love to make.

All three nations have publicly poured cold water on the Paris solutions, but view [...]

66% of pledges have nothing to do with the climate. Billions in claims “inflated”

Everything about Climate Fear is just PR

You will never guess. Not only does no one care if carbon credits don’t cut carbon emissions, but hardly anyone cares if so called  climate money is even spent on the climate. As many as 66% of climate projects funded by the developed world have nothing to do with “climate vulnerability”.

It’s the bragging game — politicians want to make out they are doing a lot for the climate, but there’s barely any accountability to check whether they get value for money — by how many thousandths of a degree did that policy cool the world? So they inflate their spending promises by claiming random other projects are “climate projects” or they use accounting trickery.

University of Zurich’s Axel Michaelowa, who studies climate aid grants, found “there was a huge misrepresentation. Governments were actually really not able to report properly” on aid that was supposed to help countries reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

His study, conducted on specific climate grants four years ago, showed a list of “projects without any conceivable climate change connotation,” such as Belgium funding for a “love movie festival” in the early 2000s in Africa, a [...]

Don’t drive, you encourage terrorists

If only we had more electric cars and windmills, lives could’ve been saved.

Ponder that air conditioners can cause people to do random acts of murder.  They might keep people in the room calmer, but outside that pollution* travels, heats the world, and lo, a terrorist is made.

(Call me a skeptic, but I tend to think that if we turn off all the air-conditioners (or run them on solar power, which is almost the same thing) we might get more acts of terror rather than less, but what would I know?) Bernie Sanders says that we should stop terrorists by reducing our carbon emissions. Somehow, there were people who did not laugh at him.

Time Magazine : “Why Climate Change and Terrorism Are Connected”

Drought in Syria has contributed to instability

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders used the terrorist attacks in Paris to call for action to address climate change at a primary debate Saturday. But, while the plea attracted ridicule across the political spectrum, many academics and national security experts agree that climate change contributes to an uncertain world where terrorism can thrive.

U.S. military officials refer to climate change as a “threat multiplier” [...]

Breaking: Terrorist atrocity kills 127 (+200 injured many critically) in France

Paris is under seige — Multiple terrorists arrived with AK 47s and bombs strapped to themselves in six separate attacks. The latest toll is 153 127 dead, and France has closed its borders. Our thoughts go out to the victims of these pointless atrocities, to all of their friends and families, and to all of France, in shock.

The Bataclan concert hall was attacked and people taken hostage, “at least 112″ killed.  A SWAT team arrived and over 100 hostages were released.  A suicide bomber attacked the Stade de France (the national stadium). President Holland had to be evacuated. There are gun attacks as well. There are reports of 14 people killed by gunshot at Le Petit Cambodge, a Cambodian restaurant.

Information from the CNN live update page.

Sky news Paris ‘bloodbath’ kills at least 160

UPDATE: Islamic State (ISIL) have claimed responsibility.

UPDATE: Death toll appears to be 127 plus 200+ injured, 99 critically.

Graphic sad stories in The Telegraph are rolling in.

With between forty and fifty thousand people converging on Paris in two weeks to start the UNFCCC COP21 meeting the obvious question is security [...]

Has the Australian government decided to sign the Paris agreement (whatever it is)?

Does Ove Hoegh-Guldberg know something about Paris that hasn’t been announced?

Last week his office sent out an email to all pollies, inviting them to a propaganda event for the climate machine (all paid for by the taxpayer, as usual). Not only were we told that Greg Hunt apparently supports this event (whatever that means), we are also told that

“leading Australian climate scientists will discuss the impact of Australia’s decision to sign the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and the upcoming COP21.”

That sentence is ambiguous, but potentially loaded. We definitely have decided to endorse the UN goals for 2030 (whatever that means, and who knows?). Julie Bishop did it last week. But have we also decided to sign the Paris agreement? That would be news. Either Ove is forward projecting his fantasies, or he’s just let slip something that Hunt told him privately.

Who knows what is on offer at Paris anyway? I think the real scandal is that Australians have no idea what either the UN goals or the Paris document means. The nation ought to get to look at the fine print before anything is signed. How much sovereign power will Bishop and Turnbull give away to unelected UN bureaucrats?

As [...]

Flashback: IPCC official admits UN climate meetings redistribute wealth in one of the “largest economic conferences since WWII”

Time to revisit the revealing quote from Ottmar Edenhoffer, IPCC leader in November 2010. He candidly said that climate policy was about redistributing wealth and has almost nothing to do with the environment. He also admitted countries who don’t sign up will be better off (so much for all the talk about creating green jobs). To give some sense of the scale of wealth transfer he described the up and coming UNFCCC Cancun meeting as “not a climate conference” but  “one of the largest economic conferences since WWII”.

In 2010, ten thousand people went to Cancun. On November 30th,  50,000 people are expected to attend Paris COP21.

h/t to Egor the one. Image assembled by Cyrus Manz.

h/t to Egor the one. The creator:  Cyrus Manz.

Ottmar Edenhofer is co-chair of the IPCC Working Group III. He did this  interview in German in the lead up to Cancun, 2010 and GWPF translated it.

“Basically it’s a big mistake to discuss climate policy separately from the major themes of globalization. The climate summit in Cancun at the end of the month is not a climate conference, but one of the largest economic conferences since the Second World War. [...]

An emergency meeting for 40 world leaders to do climate deals? The real “Paris” negotiation?

Give us our junkets, and forgive us our flights. We’re here to save the world.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon just announced plans to invite 40 world leaders to a “closed shop” climate meeting in just four weeks time. How often does that happen?

UN summons leaders to closed-door climate change meeting  Financial Review

Frustrated by slow progress in global climate talks, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon plans to invite around 40 world leaders including President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to a closed- door meeting next month.

The meeting will take place in New York on September 27, a day ahead of the UN general assembly, said three people with knowledge of the matter. Ban also plans to invite French President Francois Hollande, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, as well as Chinese leaders, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because they’re not authorised to speak to the media.

The bonanza of money and power on offer in Paris is so large that nothing will be left to chance. The industry is worth $1.5 trillion a year already. Laws about energy use cut across every part of the [...]

Myths about Myths of the climate change debate (as made by the Sydney Morning Herald)

Looking for some mythical myths?

Sydney Morning Herald/Age serves their subscribers up a few. Apart from “Myth 1″ below, Adam Morton avoids answering the most important points skeptics are making, but offers up some secondary bit and pieces. He supplies vague wordy answers announcing definitive conclusions based on irrelevant, motherhood type reasoning, non-sequiteurs, and little research: it’s just what we’ve come to expect from a Fairfax “investigation”.

“Myth 1″: The new climate target will be difficult to meet

Adam’s has four arguments (3 irrelevant, 1 wrong) to convince us it will be easy. I’ve paraphrased the wordy stuff. His arguments are so weak, the marvel here is that our national conversation is so irrational. “Not even trying” as they say.

Lo, behold, it will be “easy” to cut our carbon emissions by 26%, because:

1. The last small target we set for 2020 of a “5%” cut was less than other countries are achieving.

Jo says: There’s a reason our target was smaller.  Australia’s population is growing faster (proportionally), our distances are larger, population density smaller, our largest export earner is “coal”, and some of our other exports have “energy” built in (so the carbon emissions occur in [...]

A bit of a backdown? — G7 leaders to go slow on low carbon

World G7 leaders resolved to bravely free us from fossil fuels after most people alive today are long departed. Either this a back-down, admitting that the tipping point is not upon us, or possibly, they are reframing the Paris target. This modest announcement paves the way for a press release in December saying they will decarbonize by 2075. Imagine the headlines: “Shock historic agreement in Paris accelerates decarbonization deadline.” Forgive me being a cynic.

Greenpeace welcomed the “vision of a 100% renewable future”, saying “Elmau delivered”, as if world leaders have not been issuing motherhood statements about clean-green-energy-visions for twenty years. Avaaz got excited that Angela Merkel “‘Auf Wiedersehen’ (farewell) to fossil fuels.” They’ll get excited about anything. But at least Friends of the Earth said the delay would be “devastating”. Perhaps Friends of the Earth still thinks CO2 matters?

Every step is major step — even the announcement of a non-binding far distant wish list:

[Reuters] Leaders of the world’s major industrial democracies resolved on Monday to wean their energy-hungry economies off carbon fuels, marking a major step in the battle against global warming that raises the chances of a U.N. climate deal later this year.

Save the world with legislation? Three quarters of worlds emissions “limited” by red-tape and meaningless targets

Here’s a new form of climate control. Red-tape. Count the laws for the climate!

[ScienceDaily] London School of Economics (LSE)

Three-quarters of the world’s annual emissions of greenhouse gases are now limited by national targets, according to a new study published today (1 June 2015) by the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at London School of Economics and Political Science.

Obviously, it’s all taken care of then, and we don’t need to do any more? We’ll just hound and hassle the last few stragglers who haven’t set a limit. But wait… despite the heart warming momentum implied there, apparently this global circle of covenants might not save the world. Oh No! Is there a chance these nations won’t deliver? The sad truth makes a brief appearance in paragraph four: The pledges are unlikely to be “consistent” (read, they’re “inadequate, empty wishes”). Red tape, it seems, will not stop heatwaves exactly, but provides atmospheric things called “confidence” and “credibility”, “opportunity” and “ambition”. But the 75% “limit” makes for a good headline.

The Grantham Research Institute speaks. Your job is to figure out what they are saying:

Lead author of the study, [...]

A Handy-Dandy Carbon Tax Temperature-Savings Calculator

 Patrick J. Michaels and Paul C. “Chip” Knappenberger have created a calculator of exactly how many degrees of global warming will be averted if the IPCC is right. I can’t think why the IPCC didn’t do this before. For example, if all industrialized nations  achieve a 100% reduction  (that is, stop using coal, oil, gas, diesel, and avgas tomorrow*), then 87 years from now the world will be 0.352C cooler (assuming climate sensitivity is a high 4.5C and the models work, and nothing else changes in the atmosphere). The great thing is you can adjust the parameters yourself to see how many ways Global Action does not add up.

Calculator from CATO.org (Click to go to the calculator)

Unfortunately it does not also project the costs. Version II perhaps?

*Please forgive me for that sweeping assumption. We all know that to get a true 100% reduction in CO2 emissions we’d need to do a lot more. Like building nuclear plants from handmade mud-bricks using solar powered trucks and wind-powered cranes. And no more flights to anywhere unless you have a pedal powered hang-glider or one of those marvelous solar planes that takes 2 months to cross the US.

[...]

Manuel du Sceptique Climatique

Parlez Vouz Francais? The French version of The Skeptics Handbook is released! Send it to your friends who speak French; send it to your friends who don’t speak French but would like too, and send it to schools in the hope that students might learn logic and reason in their language classes, because they probably won’t learn it in science*. [...]