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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Cricket will be sport hardest hit by climate change “fundamentally changed” by summer rain

Forget the plight of snow skiers who won’t know what snow is – it’s cricket that will be hit hardest.

That’s why the sport must take notice of a report published by Climate Coalition, …

The document names cricket as the sport that will be hardest hit by climate change in England, stating that “wetter winters and more intense summer downpours are disrupting the game at every level”.

God forbid. This is a death spiral:

.. Glamorgan Head of Operations, Dan Cherry, …warned that climate change could “fundamentally change the game”.

“The less cricket we play, the fewer people will watch it, the less they will come to the ground and pay to enter, the less chance there is for young people to be inspired,” said Cherry.

This change, it seems, has already begun.

Wait til you see the evidence:

In international cricket, 27 percent of England’s home one-day internationals since 2000 have been played with reduced overs because of rain delays. The rate of rain-affected matches has more than doubled since 2011, with five percent of matches abandoned completely.

By crikey. That is a six year weather trend. Statistical significance [...]

Old GOP voters are skeptics, so it takes 20 years to recover from education and wise up to the media

From Jo: Bookings close this Sunday.

Hope to see you in Sydney the weekend after next!

I’ll be speaking with Ian Plimer at the ATA Friedman18 conference.

It’s a great line up of speakers on May 25-27, or come for the Gala dinner.

Get a 10% discount with the code Nova18.

On Climate, There’s A Sharp Generational Divide Within GOP

USNews, Alan Neuhauser

A Pew survey exposed a stark gap between younger and older Republican voters on global warming and energy policy.

 

Neuhauser doesn’t mention it but the implications are pretty dire — look how long it takes to recover from school:

Republican millennials – people roughly ages 22 to 37 – are far less likely than older generations to support the use of coal, oil and other fossil fuel sources. By one count, while three-quarters of Republican baby boomers and older generations supported more offshore oil and gas drilling, fewer than half of millennial Republicans felt the same way.

At least most Republicans grow up:

Among [young and old] Democrats, by contrast, there was only a small divide.

If half the population is shifting in the same direction [...]

Meteoranxiety — pre traumatic stress about climate change that hasn’t happened yet

More support for snowflakes.

Are you feeling stressed about imaginary man-made climate change that hasn’t even happened yet? Thanks to taxpayer funds, there is a virtual reality event that may help you (or not). The Bureau of Meteoranxiety is on in Melbourne this week. This experimental, untested technique doesn’t look like it gets to the nub of the problem.

If victims spent 45 minutes with a friendly skeptic instead, they could be cured for life. Where is the grant for that?

Image credit: Michael Tartaglia

Are you feeling stressed about the end of the world? If yes, you might want head to this Next Wave event. An immersive live art experience incorporating VR technology, Bureau of Meteoranxiety by Perth-based artists Alex Tate and Olivia Tartaglia will allow participants to work through their fears of climate change by exposing them to “experimental visual therapies and sensory remedies” and providing “new language and coping strategies to help stay above the metaphorical and literal flood line”.

Blindside: Bureau of Meteoranxiety.

Book your tickets for Melbourne (or pick an airline and fly somewhere else).

Hannah Francis of The Age tells us the treatments seem “counterintuitive”. Not half. You [...]

Study: Skeptics are more environmental — believers do less but want government to solve it instead

Ain’t that the way? When it comes to taking individual action, skeptics are more environmental than the people who call themselves “environmental”.

A new psych study shows that skeptics are more likely to use cloth shopping bags, catch public transport and buy eco-friendly items. Hall et al somehow got 600 people to fill in a survey up to seven times in one year about their belief in “climate change” and their self-reported action. They found there are three types of people: the “highly concerned” about climate change, the “cautiously worried” and the “skeptical”. The “highly convinced” believers may tell the world we have to act, but they were more likely to use plastic bags themselves and drive their car. They were more likely to want government policies to magically solve the problem. Skeptics meanwhile, were more passionately against government meddling than any group was on any issue. It was the single most definitive score.

Skeptics (blue) were more likely to reuse shopping bags, buy eco-friendly things, and catch the bus and train. The highly concerned (red) were more likely to recycle goods and otherwise support government action.

 

Researchers were pretty much baffled by their results and admitted as [...]

No kidding – humans happier on sunny days, perfect temp is 25C, freezing days similar to terrorist attacks on US mood

New research looking at three and a half billion social media posts from tens of millions of individuals showed the very unshocking result that people are happiest on sunny clear days around 25C. Facebook and Twitter comments on those days used more positive, fun terms. Days below 20, above 30, that were cloudy or had a humidity above 80% put people in a less happy mood. So did terrorist events, and the effects of weather were pretty comparable. Temperatures that are below freezing put a real dampener on expressions of positive sentiment. (The next ice age is going to be no fun.)

Peak positive occurs in the mid to high twenties and on days with zero mm of rain.

The effect of temperature and rain on Facebook and Twitter moods in the US.

Some people have a sunny disposition, others have cloudy faces and everyone over two knows what those expressions mean.

If our aim is to maximize human happiness and productivity, shouldn’t the UN Weather Control Committee (IPCC) be aiming to reduce freezing days and maximize the zone of 25C days on areas with the highest population density?

Judging by this awesome Hedonometer graph, during the hottest ever [...]

Conservative voters are blind, with deficient mental software, says psychologists

The implications are staggering, half the population fail at blink tests, and can’t see newspaper headlines about “climate change”. If only we could make them see by using rhetorical and psychological trickery to get past their faulty filters, the world would be saved. Please send us another grant!

The research you’ve been waiting for:

Why some conservatives are blind to climate change

Naturally, this self-serving, circular, and poorly researched piece is brought to you by The Conversation. Where else?

The big insight looks like pattern seeking and confirmation bias to me:

When we modified the test to measure people’s attention to climate change, we found people who are concerned about climate change are better at seeing climate-related words, such as carbon, right after the first target than those who are less concerned.

When we analyzed the data, we found a pattern: Conservatives who were less concerned about climate change were less likely to see climate-related words than liberals who were worried about the issue.

In short, conservatives showed climate change blindness.

Or in another hypothesis, conservatives had better filters for pointless news stories with a prediction success rate lower than random chance. From experience, conservatives have [...]

Our electricity crisis is “the cost of virtue signalling”

Let’s get “certainty” — dump the RET.

Chris Kenny in The Weekend Australian puts almost all the pieces together.  This is self-sacrificial, pointless, and the RET is the problem because the subsidies allow renewables to drive out true baseload generation. The so-called hunt for “certainty” is a hunt for high prices because no one will speak the obvious “Dump the Renewable Energy Target”.

Dumping green folly will secure energy future, reboot economy

We are an energy-rich nation. Last year we exported 388 million tonnes of coal (valued at $35 billion) to supply affordable and ­reliable energy to countries such as Japan, China, South Korea and India. Our liquefied natural gas exports are doubling from 30 million tonnes a couple of years ago to almost 80 million tonnes (valued at $42bn) by 2019.

Australia also remains one of the largest exporters of uranium…

While we happily export our energy advantage, we have deliberately sacrificed it at home.

Turnbull — doing exactly the wrong thing after Trump won:

Astonishingly, less than a day after Donald Trump won the US election promising to abandon Paris, Malcolm Turnbull announced Australia’s ratification. The Prime Minister thumbed his [...]

Infamous Milgram experiments repeated: Only a few will stand up against authority

The Milgram Experiment. Image Wikimedia.

The chilling Milgram experiments have been replicated, and yet again, 9 out of 10 are willing to inflict electric shocks and pain on another person. In these infamous experiments the power of a white lab coat was enough to get more than half the participants (26 out of 40) to deliver a fatal shock (the participants didn’t realize the shock was faked, and the victim an actor).

This willingness to obey authority is both a great strength of humanity when authority is worthy and yet leads to the darkest abyss when it is not.

By nature, we are largely empathetic creatures: most people really don’t want to cause pain, they get quite upset themselves in the process. Yet many people will override this inbuilt ethical wiring if a person in a position of authority insist they do. It’s time we talked about ways to train people to resist. There is hope as outlined below in a different study from last year.

Conducting the Milgram experiment in Poland, psychologists show people still obey

Press Release: The title is direct, “Would you deliver an electric shock in 2015?” and the answer, according to the [...]

Psychoterratica — environmentally induced mental distress

With every baseless scare come the inevitable victims:  those who are gullible, through no fault of their own, like children, graduates of eco-science degrees, and people who think the ABC gives them impartial information.

Psychoterratica:  or earth related (terra) mental health (psyche) states or conditions.

© 2013 Glenn Albrecht.

GlennAlbrect did a Ted talk, if you can bear to watch it, tell us the best quotes: I spot a “Tipping point of the brain”. He’s a philosopher. If only he understood the philosophy called science, he might be useful.

We live in the richest, safest era of human life on Earth. For a hundred thousand years everyone was afraid of dysentry, snakes, and the marauding tribe next door. They all starved periodically and buried their children often. They said prayers to pagan gods they hoped would save them. Now 1 – 2 billion lucky sods have escaped that dreadful fear, and live a life rich beyond the wildest dreams of the neolithic grinder. Some that won the lottery worry instead that burning coal in Queensland will melt arctic ice and create homeless polar bears. Or they think there are climate death squads.

Apparently the ABC is [...]

Dismal: The polarization of climate debate depresses believers: The solution they all miss

It’s “depressing”, “hopeless” and “dismal”

The climate debate is more polarised than ever. David Roberts at Vox is very honest about the challenges believers face to solve the deep partisan political divide. But despite all the grants and funding to solve this problem, the experts miss the obvious. I explain below why polarization will solve itself. Indeed, all their best efforts to reduce polarization in the climate debate are creating the polarization. It takes a sustained effort and millions of dollars to keep a false belief alive.

Now Dunlap and McCright (along with Oklahoma State’s Jerrod Yarosh) have updated their study, giving us a fresh look at public opinion on climate change at the end of the Obama era.

The findings are dismal, if not very surprising: Polarization only accelerated after 2008, the gap between the parties is wider than ever, and the trend shows no sign of stopping.

The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) scores politicians. It tracks the voting records of members of Congress. Way back in 1970 both sides of politics wanted to approve environmental legislation about equally.

(Dunlap et al, Environment)

Public opinion has a similar trend. Here are Gallup poll results since 1997. (The [...]