JoNova

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

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GoldNerds

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



Australia becomes a climate pariah and yet tourists flock to visit the Axis of Carbon!

According to the Guardian, Australia is almost a Climate Pariah TM, and owes the world an apology for voting to repeal the Carbon Tax.

What chilling effect, I wondered, did being a pariah have on international tourists?

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in July 2014 as the Carbon Tax was finally removed, tourists voted with their feet … and flocked to come. A record 573,100 visitors arrived in Australia from all over the world. Year on year tourism from May 2013 – May 2014 grew by 8%.

Pariah status it appears, may count for Guardian and NY Times columnists, but not so much for the rest of the world.

Josh Bornstein of The Guardian says Australia is seen as a dirty polluter. The Axis of Carbon!

“This is how the New York Times responded to the scrapping of the carbon price scheme:

[...]

Kill the Climate Deniers — taxes fund new “living satire” where writer plays paranoid believer admiring terrorists

I’ve come back from a few days R&R at a marvellous farm, to hear that the ACT government is tossing $19,000 to an Aspen Island Theatre Company to  do the “creative development” of a fun play called Kill The Deniers.

David Finnigan

Don Aitkin wonders if it is a comedy, so I went with an open mind to investigate. After reading his other works, I conclude the writer, David Finnigan, seems to be doing a brave new kind of living satire — one where he lives the genre full time as he prepares, never breaking out of character in tweets, blogs, or plays. Sheer brilliance! He is self-satirizing the paranoid useful idiot who swallows improbable scientific visions about controlling the weather, and uses hyperbolic crass motherf…… language in a form of scientific self-mockery. Taking things to absurd extremes, he calls himself peaceful while he admires terrorists, invents conspiracy theories, and dreams of bloody revolution.

Truly, this could be a remarkable production that we will laugh at for years to come. In a stroke of innovation, the production is not the play that is in draft — instead it’s the media, the blogs, and his own parody responses. The [...]

Gullible activists bury their heads in the sand

I guess scientific debate is too hard for some people. While skeptics want to talk about the evidence, some people just want to put their heads in the sand.

This story tritely reminds us that a picture is worth a thousands words. Indeed! The original caption read “Townsville Salutes the Australian government for their achievements in combating climate change”.  But the scientific evidence is clear that there are more accurate captions, so I thought I’d help them — strictly in the spirit of satire of course.

Fully 99% of climate models didn’t predict global warming would slow. Even in hindsight, they still don’t know why it happened.

The organizers want the idea to spread:

 Mr Hirst said he hoped that the concept would take off and that others would set up their own shots.

“People seem to like the idea … I would love to see people do it on Bondi Beach.”

 Go for it, I say. Tweet this!

 

Click here for the story of the 28 million weather balloons, and how tricky the IPCC can be at ignoring them. There’s more on the missing Hot Spot here.

Perhaps we [...]

Climate Disruption fodder for Stand Up

This is a good sign. And oh boy, there is so much more material to extend this theme. I predict we’ll see a lot more of this new form of public debate…

Michael Loftus does do a good Al Gore.

Some very funny comments about this on The Blaze.

Ridicule and mockery rather takes the fun out of things for the bully-boys of climate fear. It will dent recruitment.

So how long before DeSmog find a link to The Kochs?

 

H/t Sam.

Egypt went from wetter to drier three times in Predynastic times with perfect CO2 levels

Back when CO2 levels were ideal, and there were 1 billion less cars than today, monsoons always happened in the same place, the rain was the same year after year, and there were no local extinctions of animals.

If we could only return to renewable slave power:

[ScienceDaily] The researchers identified five episodes over the past 6,000 years when dramatic changes occurred in Egypt’s mammalian community, three of which coincided with extreme environmental changes as the climate shifted to more arid conditions. These drying periods also coincided with upheaval in human societies, such as the collapse of the Old Kingdom around 4,000 years ago and the fall of the New Kingdom about 3,000 years ago.

“There were three large pulses of aridification as Egypt went from a wetter to a drier climate, starting with the end of the African Humid Period 5,500 years ago when the monsoons shifted to the south,” Yeakel said. “At the same time, human population densities were increasing, and competition for space along the Nile Valley would have had a large impact on animal populations.”

No climate models were harmed in the production of this paper.

[...]

Get the t-shirt

Order today

Buy a T-Shirt to help get Patrick Moore to Australia.

Wear it to BBQ’s to spark some fun.

LAST CHANCE TO ORDER – $30.00 (includes postage) Details here: http://ow.ly/AVgun They need 30 more orders to reach the amount for cheaper printing

……..

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UPDATE: Responding to comments.  Messages on t-shirts do not have to be logical, grammatically correct, nor literally accurate. The more people who wear this the better.

[...]

We are 99.99999% sure that broken models produce stupid climate statistics

Amazing what they can discover with data from just the last 130 years. Hey but it must be right. It’s bootstrapped!

Finally, the study you’ve been waiting for. Now we can be absolutely certain — it’s practically proven beyond all doubt –  your SUV changes the climate.

We just need to assume the climate models understand the climate and that there are no longer natural cycles at work AND that there are no effects from the sun from the solar wind, solar magnetic fields, or spectral changes. Easy. (Don’t look at the evidence,  the pause or all the model failures.)

The new headline:

99.999% certainty humans are driving global warming: new study

It’s at The Conversation – -the government funded site where government funded scientists discuss their bestest ideas.

WARNING – Modern global temperatures (red) were homogenized with imaginary Vostok data for entertainment purposes only. See footnote*

Obviously being 95% certain is not enough. Desperate believers are upping the ante. I guess all those people who were not convinced by 95% certainty will now switch over, blown away by the last 4.999% certainty that was missing before. It’s the third decimal place that does it.

PS: There’s a [...]

ABC invites BOM and Marohasy to speak — BOM decline, Marohasy accepts, but is cut off?

Bronwen O’Shea, ABC

UPDATED: Correction. The interview was done by a fan of John Cook, not John Cook. Notes in the post and apologies. – Jo

Hm, curious event on the ABC today. Credit to Bronwen O’Shea, host of the ABC morning radio program for the Goulburn Murray, for asking both Jennifer Marohasy and the BOM to discuss the Rutherglen temperature adjustments. Good-o, I say –  public debate and answers! (Note that link is just to their website, I have not found a copy of the interview or transcript).

But everything worked against the ABC. First the BOM chose not to even try to answer. (Hm?)  Then not long after the interview started, the line suddenly went dead and Marohasy was abruptly cut off. She waited for the call back, but it never came. What bad luck eh? Even more unlucky –  when the ABC tried to call her back they got a fan of John Cook on the phone instead*. Then, things got even worse for poor ABC listeners — because the fan of Cook mistakenly thought Rutherglen was different to the surrounding stations, but the BOM raw records say otherwise (see the graph below). UPDATED: Apologies to [...]

John Cook’s consensus data is so good his Uni will sue you if you discuss it

UPDATE: After I wrote this Brandon published the letter in full and raised some provocative questions. (See below)

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What bad news for The University of Queensland. Their entire legal staff were on holiday at the same time and this eminent university was protected only by a Law & Society 101 student who staffed the overnight service of FreeLegalAidOnline. A mockfest is ensuing across the Internet. It is so unfair.

A year ago John Cook published another 97% study (the magic number that all consensuses must find). It was published under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license (see Anthony Watts view). Cook’s work is obviously impeccable (except for the part about 97% being really 0.3%), but evidently it uses a special new kind of “open data”. The exact date and time each anonymized reviewer reviewed a sacred scientific abstract is commercial and must be kept secret. These volunteer reviewers allegedly stand to, er … lose a lot of money if that data is revealed (they won’t be employed again for no money?). Such is the importance of this that the University of Queensland left the data on secret-secret forum protected by no passwords and then put urls to [...]

If only Bill Nye knew what science was, John Oliver could’ve been funny

Bill Nye thinks science is about opinion polls — not about reason and evidence, and John Oliver (who’s he? A British/US comedian) thought they should take that fallacy and run with it.

Oliver couldn’t quite sort out his opinion polls from his facts. He seemed to think that when believers do key-word surveys of abstracts it’s “a fact”, but when 75 million Americans are skeptical of a theory (which only has key-word surveys to back it up) “who gives a s***?”

He goes on to say:  “You don’t need people’s opinions on a fact”. Except the “fact” in question is just some other people’s opinions. Obviously what matters to him is not the number of people who believe something, but whether they are card carrying members of the right club. After all only 62 climate scientists actually reviewed the chapter that mattered in the 2007 IPCC report, but some 31,000 scientists, including 9,000 PhD’s, 49 NASA scientists and 4 Apollo astronauts, and 2 Nobel Physics Prize winners disagree. Other surveys show that skeptics are older, better with numbers and smarter. Two thirds of geoscientists and engineers are skeptics. The obvious conclusion (if you think surveys matter in science, which I [...]

Excuse Files: Arctic treemometers measure sunlight too

The Satirical Times

Mother Nature has issued a disguised voluntary recall notice for Arctic Treemometers. Sold as a way of measuring temperatures over the last two millennium, they turned out to fail frequently, even going against trends in most other thermometers in the last half century. The flaw has been quietly recognized for years, but is rarely mentioned in polite circles.

Critics wonder why it took Mother Nature so long to issue the recall and why it is so qualified and partial. They point out that these safety warnings only seem to appear when product salesmen are also offering a repair kit for sale too.

In this case Stine and Huybers tell us they can fix the “divergence” problem with treemometers by considering incoming light. Treemometers are failing, they say, because of global dimming and inconvenient volcanoes. As long as sunlight reaches trees the treemometers work. (Critics dryly reply that it’s hardly news that sunlight affects tree growth, and that they never bought the tree-ring data in any case.)

Meanwhile Mann-made Treemometers Inc issued a statement in 4-point Roman Half-Uncial script at 3am saying that their Treemometers are as accurate as ever in all locations where cloud cover, [...]

Antarctica stealing Australian rain. (Prof Matthew England, ANU, UNSW, Nature, struggle to get “cause and effect”)

A miracle has occurred, climate models which have been plagued with failure and have finally been gifted with The Scientific Truth. Apparently the God of Weather has visited upon Matthew England and others. (We wonder why God didn’t visit earlier, but are grateful for this insight.)

The climate models didn’t predict Antarctic sea ice extent trends. Polar amplification was supposed to mean it would warm twice as fast at the poles, yet inconveniently after years of massive output of CO2 — above the levels assumed in the models — Antarctic sea ice has hit another record high. Finally in the eighth round of making excuses for their excuses, the Scientific Truth has emerged to sweep away the scientific untruths that went before. (After all, climate models couldn’t possibly have been expected to understand heat flow around the planet could they?)

The yellow line shows how much rain Antarctica is stealing and dumping as sea ice. If you turn on your tumble drier the penguins in Antarctica have to walk further.

 

Ocean winds keep Antarctica cold, Australia dry Science Daily   May 11, 2014 Source:   Australian National University

New research has explained why Antarctica is not warming as much as [...]

Sea level rise has slowed. (It must be time to correct that data!)

Filed under the Semi-Satirical Press.

The Universe is surely conspiring against ecologicist scientists*. Their task is to convince the world that things are dire, and yet just as humans pump out more carbon dioxide pollution than ever before, many natural markers start behaving as if CO2 was having barely any effect at all. It’s all potentially so misleading.

A new paper by Cazenave et al 2014 digs deep to uncover the reasons for yet another unfortunate un-catastrophic trend change.

First, global surface temperatures stopped rising in the late 1990′s. Now, it’s become irrefutable that, for the last ten years, the rate of sea-level rise slowed by thirty percent. Seas were rising at 3.5mm a year up til 2003, then the rate fell to 2.2mm per year for the next eight years. This is exactly what ninety-eight percent of expert Global Climate Models did not predict. The slowing sea level rise is extra problematic because it forms the backbone of the excuse for the long pause in surface warming that wasn’t supposed to happen either.  The fact that it coincided with the global pause in surface temperatures was no comfort at all. The missing heat, after all, must be [...]

Unthreaded Lewandowsky weekend

What can I say. Not another “downfall” video, oh yes. Oh Yes! But for those who know the background on the Recursive Fury retraction, the irony is delicious. Enjoy. Right to the end.

… …

Yesterday I said I had to learn German. Today it’s probably better that I haven’t.

Read on for clues if you are not familiar with the saga.

[...]

Long live satire. Amen. Germans mock their green faith.

We’ve reached the end-game. The sensibles have all left the room and there is no point trying to fight a religion with reason.  What utter foolishness to treat their ideas as sensible! The only response to satirical science (thank you Green-ecologicists) is to hold it up for the world to see its true nature.

Green-electricity may not run your heaters well, but it is excellent fuel for the funnies. Enjoy!

These Germans are so good at this, I have to learn to speak German.

H/t to the brilliant James Delingpole

As the video notes, every single German must now pay Euros 240 a year (“a total of 21.8 billion Euros for power which on the market had a value of only 2 billion. That’s sick!”) in order to subidise worthless green energy projects – such as the ugly wind farms for which swathes of forest are being cut down and the ludicrous solar panels now found on every other roof (in a country not exactly known for its sunshine) – which, as even Germany’s former Godfather of Green Professor Fritz Vahrenholt has now conceded, are the wrong solution to the wrong problem.

Germans spend ten times as [...]

Ask Stephan Lewandowsky anything, except “please can I have that data”.

Good news, according to The Guardian Stephan Lewandowsky is doing Reddit/Science Ask Me Anything session (finished for today, but back again tomorrow).

Richard Tol asked Stephan Lewandowsky how he felt about data. Stephan Lewandowsky replied with exactly the right answer, saying it’s crucial, and “I release all relevant data immediately”. Then Barry Woods quoted the Vice Chancellor of UWA refusing to provide Lewandowsky’s data (after many requests). Apparently it is UWA practice not to release data, no matter how many times researchers politely enquire. How unfortunate for Stephan to have worked at such a backward institution?

Strangely,  Barry Woods comment disappeared completely. (Lucky there’s a screen-shot.)

There must be something wrong with the server at Reddit, surely? Nonetheless Stephan Lewandowsky is passionate about data, I’m sure he will fix this as soon as possible in the morning. (Actually he is probably emailing Stephen McIntyre this minute). It could all be solved so quickly.

Of course, it is too late for him to call the Vice Chancellor, so it may take til lunch time tomorrow to change UWA’s data hiding practice.

We look forward to advancing cognitive science with open data too Professor Lewandowsky.

-Jo

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The Reddit Comments

Scream for the climate! Schlock & Haw Haw & the ABC

Global panic — strictly for your weekend entertainment. Enjoy!

The funny side of screaming for the climate.

 

h/t Geoff S : – )

Welcome to Climate Nuremberg

A blog after my own heart. One that espouses extreme opinions, no holds barred. Absurdio reductum to the end!

Do be careful to read it in the right spirit.

Climate Nuremberg

Communication Dilemmas #1: Wishing Death on People Without Losing Them

Part of being a science communicator is hoping a natural disaster kills as many members of the audience as possible, as soon as possible, with as much media exposure as possible. As a communicator myself, I’d like nothing better than if thousands of middle-class white people died in an extreme weather event—preferably one with global warming’s fingerprints on it. Live on cable news. Tomorrow.

The hardest thing about communicating the deadliness of the climate problem is that it isn’t killing anyone. And just between us, let’s be honest: the average member of the public is a bit (how can I put it politely?) of a moron. It’s all well and good for the science to tell us global warming is more dangerous than Nazism, but Joe Q. Flyover doesn’t understand science. He wants evidence.

So we’ve probably reached the limits of what science communication can achieve. At this point only nature herself can close the consensus gap—or the fear gap.

[...]

Mapping the Skeptical Blogosphere

 People are writing in about the  Amelia Sharman study called Mapping the climate Skeptic Blogosphere. It came out last year as a Working Paper from The Grantham Institute, and then to show how meaningless peer review is, this fairly pointless, weak, banal production has come out again, almost unchanged as “new” but not original research in the peer review literature. What is the point? But I had a lot of fun with this study last year, so I’m reproducing nearly the whole post. And let me stress, at least Amelia Sharman seems to be very genuine in her inquiries, which is truly rare, and admirable. I just wish the brains trust advising her had a grip on logic and reason (and had less of our tax dollars).

The bottom line is that thousands of dollars were spent on a blogroll study which discovered that skeptics “value scientific inquiry”, and  are “alternative public sites of expertise.”

As well as WattsUp, Climate Audit and JoNova, obviously Bishop Hill, ICECAP, Tom Nelson, No Frakking Consensus, and Climate Etc were also found to be influential and connected. Note Climate Depot was ruled out because it pools stories rather [...]

There are fewer Australian tropical cyclones (thanks to climate change?)

UPDATE: Cyclone Ita is now Category 5 bearing down on Cooktown in North Queensland, the radars will show it soon. 175km NNE of Cooktown. Winds up to 300km /hr.  931 hPa.  See The BOM warnings. Thoughts for those in the path. (It’s clearly visible in the satellite image on the radar link).

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A new paper by Andrew Dowdy tells us that from 1980 to 2013 the incidence of tropical cyclones around Australia has been falling. If CO2 is influencing cyclones around Australia, presumably this implies we should burn more coal.

Those convinced about the power of CO2 will point out that the models predict an increase in intensity, not frequency. To that end, I say: see the BOM graph below. Note the red bars marked “severe”. Then tell yourself that the science is settled and we should spend billions to change those trends. The BOM say “the number of severe tropical cyclones (minimum central pressure less than 970 hPa) shows no clear trend over the past 40 years.”

Interestingly Callaghan et al 2010 goes back all the way to 1870. It finds the trend of severe land-falling cyclones has fallen by a whopping [...]