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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The UK National Trust wants to stop floods with leeks and lightbulbs

Tony Thomas visited the UK and found old fading National Trust signs using scary photos of flood damage and warning people to “eat local” and change their light globes to stop more floods. He followed that thought to a 2005 web plea from the National Trust, to find them claiming floods are accelerating but using 20 year old photos to scare people with.

Years from now people will study climate propaganda and marvel at how stupid it was.  — Jo

Guest Post by Tony Thomas

My wife Marg and I, two Antipodean yokels, wound up at the National Trust’s Bodiam Castle in Kent last month, awed at its 650-year history. After all, our colony’s iconic historical moment was in 1854, when someone broke a hotel lamp in Ballarat, Victoria and precipitated a scuffle between goldminers and police. The ringleader, instead of being quartered like Mel Gibson  — sorry, William Wallace — acquired a seat in Parliament next year and eventually died in bed. That’s all you need to know about Australian history, unless you’re into sheep.

Marg and I had lunch and wandered out the back of the Bodiam cafe towards the Rother River. “Hey, come [...]

It’s buttons for global warming! Hello — Climate Change has a new logo

After 4.5 billion years, finally climate change has a new logo.

But even some fans of the the Big Scare Campaign don’t like it. I can’t think why…

(It is dying – the fear of a carbon crisis.)

 

It looks to me like an inverse-SEO campaign designed by someone deeply afflicted with ASE (Artistic Status Envy — see also its Literary equivalent). Is the aim here just the banal trickery of ambushing the new skeptics who type “It’s not warming” into their search engines? Will gullible teens type in the phrase and find nothing but links to soft-green propaganda? (This could so easily backfire).

Or is this a new form of mental programming for the inductees into the climate faith? Now, when they hear “it’s not warming”, they’ll be getting confirmation — warming means “bad stuff”, now not warming means “bad stuff too!” It’s a form of deep psychology — so deep it’s done right through the magma and come out the other side.

If it looks upside down, that’s because it is.

Jeremy Porter on Grist is not impressed:

[...]

Witchcraft on Catalyst — Scary weather is coming, it’s all our fault, be afraid!

There they go again. Last night the ABC again used taxpayer dollars to post up a slick advertisement for their favourite religion. Because Catalyst won’t read skeptical blogs, interview skeptics, or ask difficult questions, they give a false impression to any poor viewers who haven’t figured out that the presenters (in this case, Anja Taylor) are more activist than investigator.

“The gorilla in the kitchen remained invisible. Where was cause and effect?”

The Earth has had extremes of every kind of weather for 4.5 billion years. What makes the current ones any different? Any cause of warming could melt ice, raise sea-levels, shift jet streams, change cloud cover and shift evaporation rates. How do we know this warming is due to coal fired power stations? We only “know” because some climate modelers say so — but they rely on models that assume relative humidity stays constant when it doesn’t, and which are proven “unskilled” at precipitation, cloud cover and upper tropospheric temperature profiles.  The models ignore lunar effects, solar magnetic effects and millions of observations so they can blame your SUV and air-conditioner for causing droughts, storms, blizzards, and floods.

This is the modus operandi of the ancient witchdoctor. [...]

Domino makes carbon-free cane-sugar. It’s certified.

And you thought advertising or certificates couldn’t get more stupid. Thanks to Christopher Essex for spotting this gem:  http://www.dominosugar.com/carbonfree/

You’ll have to click to go to the Domino site to see the helpful man tell you that “This is Big”.

They probably paid a lot for that ad.

Some of the poor users are not sure what it means. That’s OK, Domino helpfully provides an FAQ page: Is it the same sugar? Will it function the same way in my recipes?

Yes, it is still 100% pure cane sugar with 15 calories per teaspoon. And, it functions just like all Domino® Pure Cane Granulated Sugar. Use it cup for cup exactly like the original Domino® Pure Cane Granulated Sugar.

Look out. You might think that carbon free sugar would be the ultimate diet-sugar. But it’s not so. Carbon free is not low-calorie. Lucky it is still useable at high temperatures “just like” normal sugar, eh? Just so everyone can appreciate this special-chemistry-moment: in the sugar molecule below, the grey circles with a “C” are the carbon ones.

A glucose molecule. C stands for Carbon.

… Remember the low-carbon crowd that this product appeals to are the ones who [...]

Choice magazine (government lap-dog) “likes” monopolies and propaganda. Oops.

For an example of modern government propaganda, wait til you see this: Your Carbon Price (No really, go spend 30 seconds there to try to guess what this production would have cost.)

I’ve never seen a website so slickly designed, so smooth to the point of oozing graphic designer dollars with every rollover. As I watched it, I was seeing our national productivity being buried under Gucci-layers-of-gloss-red-tape. It kept asking me private questions “your name” etc as if the spelling of “Jane”, “Joe” or “John” makes any difference to my carbon footprint  (my name is Noneof Yourbusiness). Bring out the sick-bag as Dellers would say.

If regulators tie up the people in enough paper chains they eventually become as strong as steel bindings. “YourCarbonPrice” takes our money to tell us we might “earn” $2 – $5 dollars a week to help the country clean up polluters while we take cold showers, sell the second fridge, and smile with delight at being a “good citizen”. What more could we ask for? A George Orwell fridge magnet?

And watch the sycophantic supporters rush to slap their logo on the propaganda tool. 

If I had a Choice mag subscription, I would write [...]

Let’s say “Yes” to real science

Let’s say “Yes” to real science, the way it’s meant to be, science that relies on  measurements from things like thermometers, ice cores, and satellites. Real science is about observations of the real deal, not “simulations” on a computer. 28 million weather balloons, 6000 boreholes, 3000 ocean buoys, and 30 years of satellites tell us that rising CO2 is not much to worry about.

Let say “Yes” to helping the environment by looking at real problems instead of fake ones. Let’s do practical things to stop our soil being eroded, to save our flora and fauna, and to stop real pollutants like soot, ozone and sulfur dioxide. We all know that a tax won’t solve salinity, or change the weather.

Lets say “Yes” to using our tax money wisely. Who are we kidding? Solar panels, windmills and funny light globes are not going to stop droughts, floods and nasty storms. Why put more money into the hands of people who’ve spent around 4 billion dollars putting Chinese solar panels on roofs, and pink batts in houses.  We can’t control the weather and we can’t export second hand solar panels. Let’s say NO to pork barrelling, and pink-batts-that-kill, and solar [...]

ABC – Agitprop for the Bureaucratic Class

The ABC is so afraid that the public might read comments from global warming skeptics that they frequently censor or delay reasonable comments, while allowing defamatory, unprofessional, and unsubstantiated ones through. (Guess which way the editors of The Drum vote?)

Marc Hendrickx describes how hard it is to get rid of a single baseless defamatory comment on the ABC taxpayer-funded-site:

The following anonymous comment was posted to [Sara] Phillips’s blog shortly afterwards:

Annie : 03 Dec 2010 7:07:53pm

The denialist clowns return again . . . climateaudit.org . . . run by Stephen McIntyre a known climate denialist and extremist right-wing provocateur . . . you are a joke as are your answers . . . laughing hysterically.

Marc Hendrix suggested it be removed as defamatory. The ABC editors protested, and here’s the weird thing, it would have taken them less time to just say “yes” — after all, it’s only a comment. But in the sum total editorial-calculation-of-the-day there was apparently some net benefit in fighting to keep an unsubstantiated insult visible among hundreds of other comments? (Go figure.) According to the ABC editors: “He [MacIntyre] could reasonably be described as ‘right wing’ as a speaking member of the [...]

Black Propaganda: US Government solicits software to generate fake personas

Part of the US Government has been caught trying to buy software that would allow it to generate 500 fake personas generally known as sockpuppets. They plan to use Facebook, Twitter, and blog comments. This particular leaked email refers to a submission from the Air Force, and apparently for use in Afghanistan and Iraq, but the details reveal that “persona management software” is a spookily mature market sector. Who knows how widespread this is already?

Astroturfing by community organizations is one thing. But Establishment anti-news, non-points, and funded fake opinions are quite something else. When the Establishment sponsors the activists and the activists post fake messages, taxpayer funds are used against the taxpayer. Is it happening? How would we know?

The story is starting to spreading through blogs.

According to an embedded MS Word document found in one of the HB Gary emails, it involves creating an army of sockpuppets, with sophisticated “persona management” software that allows a small team of only a few people to appear to be many, while keeping the personas from accidentally cross-contaminating each other. Then, to top it off, the team can actually automate some functions so one persona can appear to be an entire [...]

Tradecraft of Propaganda

Image thanks to Andri Krychok

Who knew Nigel Calder’s father was a skeptical reporter who was drawn into writing war time propaganda to help the Brits in World War II? Nigel Calder, a former editor of New Scientist (back before it became Non Scientist), and author of The Chilling Stars, is one of the few science journalists I really admire. So I was delighted when readers here told me Calder had started his own blog, and very interested to read a recent piece by him describing the parallels between World War II propaganda and official Climate Science gloss productions.

My story was about a discovery in the physics of the weather. To find anything comparable you have to go back to the 18th Century. That was when the postmaster of Philadelphia, Benjamin Franklin by name, flew a kite in a thunderstorm. He proved that lightning is just a big electric spark. To be precise, he described how to do the experiment, and let the French try it first. They lived to tell the tale, so Franklin repeated it for himself. A very prudent postmaster.

In 1996, in Copenhagen, the climate physicist Henrik Svensmark made another discovery just as amazing. [...]

Government advertising by any other name

Poor writing can throw up a fog to hide dubious claims.

Prasad Menon

The Extravaganza of the Deakin Lectures is taking place at the moment in Melbourne, and Des Moore on Quadrant Online accused them of being a one-sided propaganda machine paid for by government money (though not in those exact words).

In response, the Wheeler Centre defended themselves on their blog, and claimed that Quadrant’s missed the point: They don’t need to do the debating thing because bloggers do that (and they link to moi).

So the Wheeler unit, which is supported by the Victorian Government, EPA Victoria, Carbon Innovators Network, The Age, and the ABC et al defends a policy position taken by Government Departments, and minor clubs like, y’know, the UN,  and yet it’s OK, there’s no fear of government funds being used to propagate a one-sided message, because JoNova is discussing the science (with no government funding, no industry sponsorship, and no university support). So that’s what they call balance.

The rest of us call it government advertising. It’s just a different form. A government-funded unit gets to use taxpayer dollars to prop up a government policy and help large investment funds and a stack [...]