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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UPDATE: Malcolm Roberts, One Nation replies the two-stroke mower *change* is about real pollution, not CO2

Thanks to Malcolm Roberts for contacting me tonight with more information. CLARIFICATION: It’s not a complete ban on two-strokes, but a change to increase standards on motors. (It appears it will reduce real pollution, and the legislation also claims it will reduce CO2, though no CO2 limits are mandated as far as I can tell. It will stop the sales of most conventional two-stroke outboards and mowers, but not “direct injection” outboards. Gory details below)*

From Malcolm Roberts:

 Re: Genius Plan to ban two-stroke motors

Please note that Soichiro Honda himself banned his company from making 2-stroke outboard motors in the 1970’s after he visited Lake Tahoe and was shocked to see oil film on its waters. That pollution was produced by 2-stroke outboard motors.

He had the courage to do the right thing so despite the inherently higher weight and lower power of 4-stroke motors at the time. He put the real environment ahead of profits and as a result the new path led Honda to designing and building superior motors.

[...]

Genius plan to save world by banning *old style* two-stroke lawn mowers, weed whackers, outboard boat motors.

Cory Bernardi outlines legislation that has just passed banning *old-style* 2-stroke motors from 2019 — meaning lawn mowers, leaf blowers, chainsaws, weed whackers, and outboard boat motors. In Australia mowers and fishing tinnies are heritage material. It’s a new carbon tax by stealth, pretending to be about health.

h/t to  Tim Blair who adds a movie of Australians dancing with lawn mowers for the Sydney Olympic opening ceremony (just to give you foreigners some appreciation of how attached Australians are to them).

Stock up now. You may not be able to buy them (legally) after 2019. I predict a high black market value decent prices for “Vintage models on ebay”.

Bernardi argues that theoretically this ruling could be extended to farm machinery, quad bikes, and off road dirt bikes.

Why did One Nation vote for this?  Oops… UPDATE: And here’s the answer from Malcolm Roberts, who argues it is not about CO2 but about real pollution.

At Tim Blairs: Commenter Bruce there suggest this will apply to some model aircraft engines too.

Commenter P says:    Temperatures will plummet and we’ll be thrown back into an ice age

MORE INFO: See Boatsales.com.au for details about dates, reasons and what this [...]

Australians paying $600 per household to subsidize wind and solar

Australia is a wonderful living experiment for nations worldwide of how a people with more energy resources per capita than anywhere else in the world can sabotage a perfectly good electricity grid in the hope of appeasing the Weather Gods.

At the request of Senator Malcolm Roberts, Alan Moran slices up our “Chief Scientists” report (known as the Finkel Review) and gives us some home truths. Electricity costs have doubled in Australia, Finkel’s plan would take what isn’t working, and do more of it –  in the process pretty much destroying one fifth of our manufacturing base, costing us thousands of jobs, and adding almost $588-$768 per household annually to energy bills. Let’s ask Australian voters if they want cheap coal power or if they’d rather spend  $600 a year to make the weather unmeasureably nicer in 2100? Why don’t we have a plebescite on that?

In other basic truths Moran points out that while Finkel seems to think new coal fired plants are uneconomic, everyone else is building them around the world. Old plants don’t have to be blown up on their 50th Birthday either. They can be maintained instead, like lots of other perfectly good 50 year old [...]

Malcolm Roberts, a polished punchy senate speech

In his maiden speech as a new Senator, Malcolm Roberts looks sharp, stands tall, and fires his words precisely, and articulately. He oozes determination.

He’s put in long hours for years to be there and he knows exactly why he’s there. James Jeffrey in The Australian described it as “impassioned”, delivered with “the pyrotechnic power of his larynx”:

Roberts gave a speech that left even his leader, Pauline Hanson, with big shoes to fill. He quoted John Cleese, former US president Andrew Jackson and Banjo Paterson, and compared himself to Socrates. Climate change was boomingly dismissed as “a scam”.

His remarks on climate science are in the first ten minutes: Roberts strength is his reasoning — his focus on cause and effect. He’s right to draw attention to the failed predictions of Flannery and Karoly; he’s right to talk about the pause, and the cooling from WWII to the late 70s.

He’s right to question the sacred institutions like the BOM and their inexplicable and unreplicatable adjustments.

He’s right to keep asking for the data that shows that human use of hydrocarbon fuels affects the climate. Its 2,447 days since I asked if there was any evidence. To [...]

Brian Cox thinks 17,000 employees at NASA always produce perfect graphs. NASA employees disagree. Who to believe?

The key moment making headlines from the Q&A “Science Weak” episode — Brian Cox shows a temperature graph. Malcolm Roberts said the GISS temperature data has been “manipulated”. The Particle Physics Genius’ reply was argument from incredulity:  gushing, gratuitous astonishment spread over six attempts to form a complete sentence:

By who?    NASA?   The people the…  Hang on a minute.   No, no, see this is quite serious.    But can I just – just one thing. NASA, NASA…     The people that landed men on the moon?

In a blink of reductio ad absurbum, Cox sweeps aside a potentially useful discussion about thermometers near car-parks, airports, skyscrapers, and mysterious 1,200 km homogenized smoothing. In its place he gives cheap theatrical tricks. Follow his thought to its logical conclusion — everything that NASA does (or presumably will ever do) must be 100% correct. NASA becomes an apostle of the holy order. He treats the brand name as untouchable, but NASA is not just Neil Armstrong and a Big Step, it’s an agency with 17,000 employees. But hey, none of them have ever produced a manipulated graph.

Since experts matter (so Cox tells us) let’s ask the experts — like say, Buzz [...]

Malcolm Roberts on Q & A : 1 skeptic against 6 who believe the consensus

On the Eastern side of the country the new skeptical Senator, Malcolm Roberts is on Q & A.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Greg Hunt - Minister for Industry, Innovation & Science Linda Burney - Shadow Minister for Human Services Brian Cox - Particle Physicist and TV Presenter Lily Serna - Mathematician and TV Presenter Malcolm Roberts - One Nation Senator-elect for Qld

As usual it is 6 against 1 the skeptical views that 54% of Australians share. Glaciers will form in hell before the ratio on the ABC would run 1:6 the other way. For Groupthinkers it’s very important that the group discussing a “controversial” topic agrees with each other. This neutralizes any damaging effects of hearing a lone voice put forward counter arguments.

John Cook has sent in a Question about empirical evidence.

Cook points at “less heat escaping to space” – Jo says –this doesn’t mean anything. We assume he means less heat escapes at certain frequencies (which he should have said). Sections of the outgoing spectrum are missing (e.g. Harries et al), which shows that CO2 is stopping some outgoing radiation and is a greenhouse gas (and we knew that already), but it doesn’t show that overall extra heat is staying [...]

ABC investigates grammar entrails of Malcolm Roberts

Malcolm Roberts, Lateline, ABC

This is what we pay the ABC a billion dollars for, so they can investigate the really big questions we were all asking, like why Malcolm Roberts used such odd grammar five years ago, and is he connected with other groups that use odd grammar?

One Nation senator Malcolm Roberts denies links to Sovereign Citizens movement

Yes, I’ve never heard of them either.

The big breakthrough was that Malcolm Roberts wrote some letters five years ago with highly suspicious grammar:

The senator has been quizzed about his knowledge of the Sovereign Citizens movement because of the existence of documents he began writing five years ago in a style similar to that used by the group’s adherents.

The crime:

Among the documents’ distinctive characteristics was an unusual style of punctuation.

593,000 people voted for One Nation, but the ABC wants to ask about semi-colons.

Similar stylisation of names is often employed by those within the Sovereign Citizen movement, in the belief that hyphens and colons can help them evade governments’ use of grammar to enslave their citizens.

And it takes three people write up about some tenuous [...]

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 [...]

Australian Senate announced – Hanson holds four seats. Malcolm Roberts wins!

The final Australian Senate was announced today with 11 wildcard “cross benchers” (people who are not in the four largest parties). Turnbull is going to have to choose to go conservative or go left. For foreign readers — sorry about more Australian politics but this finally maps out who holds the power in the Australian government.

Senators include: Hanson, 4. Nick Xenophon, 3.

plus  Bob Day, David Leyonhjelm, Jackie Lambie, Derryn Hinch.

The Coalition needs 9 of them to get legislation through the Senate. Somehow Turnbull has to deal with both Hanson and Xenophon candidates, an impossible combination on any climate or environmental issue. Turnbull will have to do deals with the Greens to get through any pro-climate-industry legislation The Greens have exactly the number of Senators that the Coalition needs. But a Greens deal risks a Liberal party room revolt for a weak PM. Potentially the Hanson team could up the ante in protest at a climate deal by holding out on approving other legislation as a price.

Skeptics, Defcons must keep the pressure on Coalition members to stop Turnbull doing Green deals.

In this messy senate, Turnbull cannot hold the threat of [...]

Shocking – Potential Senator wants to teach scientific method, climate scepticism in schools

The outlandish policy:

[One Nation] wants the teaching of climate science in schools to be based on “the scientific method of scepticism”.

It’s hard to overstate how disastrous this would be to the indoctrination program. Life on Earth depends on hiding alternate views from impressionable minds. Students should continue to be taught that scientists are of one-mind, or they may grow up to think scientists are supposed to be skeptical, instead of gullible.

How did it come to this?

Malcolm Roberts

The man responsible for this travesty is Malcolm Roberts who most skeptics will have come across as Project Leader for the Galileo Movement. He  has been in the trenches of the climate debate for years in Australia, and he’s the second name on the One Nation ticket in Queensland for the Senate. He has been remarkably tenacious. The man has drive and energy. (See for yourself at his site.) He also has a BE (Honours in  Mining) and  an MBA from the Uni of Chicago Booth School of Business.

The Turnbull coup converted the Liberals to a center left party, leaving a galactic vacuum in Australia on the right. Pauline Hansen did so well, getting 1.2 [...]