A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


The Skeptics Handbook

Think it has been debunked? See here.

The Skeptics Handbook II

Climate Money Paper




The nerds have the numbers on precious metals investments on the ASX



International bullying, unfair “targeted” punishment suggested by The Royal Society over climate change

How low is too low? Do we want to live in a world where groups of countries gang up on non-compliant countries by randomly picking a target nation, and punishing it until it gives in?  Perhaps you’d prefer a world where voters or evidence matter and where our leaders persuade each other with rational argument? Me too.

“Divide and conquer” is as old as witchdoctors

Warwick University and the Royal Society published game theory “research” which argues that it might be useful to (unethically) single out a few countries randomly that are not performing “up to climate expectations”. The researchers admit that the whole approach depends on the players being irrational.

“In the mathematical model,” said Dr Johnson, “the mechanism works best if the players are somewhat irrational. It seems a reasonable assumption that this might apply to the international community.”

No matter how they dress it up, it’s just bullying by one bunch of countries to pick on one single other one until it acquiesces. Then the next wave begins with different targets, gradually picking off one state at a time. It fails if the non-compliant states get coordinated and treat any unfair attack on one member [...]

Fellow, Michael Kelly says The Royal Society must not hide uncertainty of climate

Another excellent job by the UK Daily Mail.

Professor Michael Kelly, Fellow of the Royal Society, was one of the 43 who protested back in 2010 at the Royal Society’s climate change position. (Read up on the Rebellion of the 43 at the GWPF p32.) They felt the Royal Society was breaking its own motto: motto ‘Nullius in verba’ – or ‘Don’t take another’s word for it; check it out for yourself’. Now five years later, Michael Kelly gives us an update, and he fears things are worse: “… since then the Society has become more, not less dogmatic – despite the fact that since we sent that letter, it has become evident that there is even more uncertainty than previously thought.”

Why my own Royal Society is wrong on climate change: A devastating critique of world’s leading scientific organisation by one of its Fellows

His main point is that the Royal Society is not giving balanced information about the uncertainties and model failures. (It’s the same pattern of telling us half truths, while hiding the bombs, that we see in the BBC and the ABC, and “love media”.) Kelly argued that Society ought to distance itself from levels of [...]

Climate Fat Cats exposed with naked conflicts of interest. Where was The BBC?

Another cycle of the Climate Change Scare Machine is laid bare.  David Rose explains how those lobbying and advising the government on green policies are benefiting from green projects. It’s all in the  Daily Mail. The Green Industrial Complex has simply bought everyone off, and, cleverly, done it with your money.

It’s the new business model really. Why work for customers and compete in the free market? Instead scare the public, sell them the “answer”, and to make sure they pay, convince the government that you need grants and gravy (or you’ll call them names). Pretty soon, the government forces the public to pay, disguises and splits the payments into a thousand parts, and tells the people it is for their own good. The fun ramps up when the government hires you back to advise it on how to keep the gravy flowing to you.

What is really mindboggling is that it’s so blatant. Many of these connections “exposed” by Rose are listed on the CCC website, the conflicts are obvious. Why it wasn’t exposed years ago? As I keep saying, the problem is not so much that there are people on the take (there always will be) the real [...]

Royal Society calls Lewandowsky “outstanding”, gives him money, loses more scientific credibility

Professor Stephan Lewandowsky

Over Easter, psychologist Stephan Lewandowsky moved from Perth to Bristol  (lucky UK). He’s the psychologist who is expert in an imaginary group of humans called “Climate deniers”. Neither he, nor anyone else has ever met one but he discovered their imaginary motivations by surveying the confused groups who hate them. As you would, right?

None of the so-called researchers can explain what scientific observations a climate denier, denies. It’s an abuse of English, profoundly unscientific, but has some success in shutting down public debate, if that’s what you want.

Can humans change the weather and stop the storms? If you know we can, Lewandowsky calls that “science”. If you wonder “how much”, you are a denier.

The Royal Society, possibly reaching a tipping point in its rush to abject scientific decay, has immediately awarded him the Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award. It’s effectively a top-up on his salary for the next five years, just in case the UK might lose him. While Australia is grateful, scientists everywhere, cry. Hat tip to Geoff Chambers

[The Royal Society]

Value and tenure

The scheme provides up to 5 years’ funding after which the award [...]

Rupert Wyndham ponders the wanton hypocrisy of Paul Nurse and The Royal Society

Rupert Wyndham is an eloquent treasure. For those who have not already seen this (and I’ve received many emails about it) — Enjoy! — His turn of phrase is something to behold: the damning indictments carefully understated, yet laid bare. That the Royal Society President has been reduced to ad hominem attacks “… demonstrates more clearly than anything else the loss of dignity it has endured and depths of corruption to which it has been reduced under your stewardship and those of your two predecessors. “

  — Jo

The Royal Society in better days: Boyle, Newton, Franklin, Jenner, Babbage, Wallace, Lister, Rutherford, Hodgkin, Shackleton. (From The stamp collection).


31 March 2013

Sir Paul Nurse, President, The Royal Society

6-9 Carlton House Terrace

London SW1Y 5AG


Dear Sir Paul Nurse,

Your reply to Lord Lawson dated 8 March has come to hand. It goes without saying that I make no claim to be responding on his behalf; he is more than capable of doing that for himself. Your letter, however, is such a singular juxtaposition of barely suppressed personal antipathy (malice even), blatant mendacity and [...]

Peter Doherty responds in The Australian but science is not done by committee

There’s a letter in the paper today in response to my article:

Climate scientists are not failing to convince others

From: The Australian August 27, 2012 12:00AM

Every significant science academy supports the case made by the climate science community. These academies encompass the full spectrum of science and members are elected by merit.

As a researcher in immunobiology, I watch the climate field from the sideline, go to some seminars, talk to scientists, monitor key websites and read leading journals such as Science and Nature.

Climate researchers are rigorous and conservative, and I don’t see anything that gives me unease. The Bureau of Meteorology and the CSIRO, for example, input 50,000 pieces of new data every day. These are the people who dedicate their lives to grappling with the massive experiment we’re doing with our atmosphere. Unlike my field, this is an experiment that can never be repeated.

Peter C. Doherty, Medical School, University of Melbourne, Vic

My point was that argument from authority is not science, and Doherty’s response is to argue from authority.

One of the reasons “Argument from Authority” is a fallacy is because people are human, and associations of humans don’t always neutralize our failings, [...]

The Royal Society that serves The Government does not serve The People

Paul Homewood follows the money to find Royal Society funding.

(Figures are rounded)

Even if we acknowledge that most of the money goes straight to research, there is a slab of money that goes straight to the Society:

So government funding (Parliamentary Grant in Aid) amounts to 67% of total income. Similar amounts have been fixed for a 5 year period to allow the Society to plan ahead properly. It is also worth noting the income generated from commercial activities, such as investment income and publications.

Government money is channelled through the Dept of Business, who insist that it is allocated to specific projects and programmes. Most of this is therefore paid out by the Royal Society in the form of research grants etc. However in 2010/11 £2,265,000 was allocated to “Support and Central Expenses”, in other words overheads costs.