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 Skeptics Handbook

Think it has been debunked? See here.

The Skeptics Handbook II

Climate Money Paper


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“The Illusion Of Debate”: A History of the Climate Issue—Part 1

History buff: Cook, who believes in learning from the great men of the past, dresses up as a beloved figure from the golden age of Consensus Science.

This timeline, like the climate debate, is best taken with whiskey. Strictly for climate-tragics, it’s layered deep, well aged, and may not make any sense at all. It’s art. It’s been a looong time coming (the second longest draft post ever under development on this blog).  Thanks to Brad Keyes. Smile :- ). — Jo

Introduction by J. Cook

The great Hoofnagle Brothers define climate Menshevism as a trick to ‘create the illusion of debate.’

Opponents of the climate don’t even need to win the debate—though they usually do—they just need the audience to think we’re debating. (Which is why we must never, ever do so.)

Please enjoy as Brad Keyes, my boss at Climate Nuremberg, looks back on some of the most colorful, least edifying moments in a decades-long debate that never happened.

— J. Cook Twisted Tree Heartrot Hill 2016

_________________ c. 1850 AD Fossil fuel revolution begins Environmentalists hail the switch to alternative energies—coal, natural gas [...]

The Cassandra Effect — Academic Apes protecting territory

April 1. A new anthropology paper looks at the Academic Ape and the way it guards its territory and resources, not surprisingly rejecting unpaid contributions from outside academia as a threat to their perceived status and income. The hypothesis predicts that the more qualified and erudite the outsider is, the more vicious the response will be, especially if the highly qualified outsider gives their labor freely.

The Academic Ape: Instinctive aggression and boundary enforcing behaviour in academia

Published on  Amazon in Kindle version.

Two areas of territorial aggression are offered as examples — archaeology and climate (you couldn’t see that coming). This new paper looks at how the academic boundary enforcement compares to things like union disputes, and patterns of ape behaviour (See Table 1). An interesting paper.

The climate debate is so hostile people don’t even speak English –  “denier”

There is no accurate definition of “denier” in English in a climate science debate, yet professors use it, and importantly other professors in virtually every other field don’t seem to mind.  A survey of 5,000 skeptics shows almost all agree with most mainstream statements used in the climate debate — i.e. that CO2 is increasing, [...]

Kill the Deniers — a government-funded fantasy play where “guns” solve climate issues

This is your brain on government funding (pace Mark Steyn). The government of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) gave $18k to a theatre group to put on a play called “Kill the Deniers”. Now, lucky us, we can read the e-book. Because the climate debate really needs more guns, hostages, brute force, and threats right?

Well, it does if you don’t have any evidence.

“Kill the Deniers” — All the wit and wisdom of government funded “arts”. Can’t persuade the voters? Shoot their representatives.

The Kill the Deniers e-book is coming:

…writer and theatre-maker whose work sits at the intersection of art and science, [David] Finnigan said Kill Climate Deniers grew out of discussions with Aspen Island Theatre Company’s Julian Hobba.

‘We got really interested in talking about the climate debate, and we were wondering why it was that in Australia the debate had stalled so badly; what is it about this country? And then we moved on to asking what would it take to shift the debate forward again – what would it actually take to generate real political change?’ said Finnigan.

Why did the debate stall? They could have done some research and [...]

Climate numerology! Man-made CO2 caused heatwaves in 1930s,’40s, ’80s and ’90s

How convenient?! A new study shows that human influence on the climate started just before the major (and unerasable) heatwaves of the late 1930s, thus wrapping those awkward years under the banner of Man Made Climate. This study provides the handy peer reviewed link-bomb “answer” to that.

The inexplicable heat of the 1930s and 40s has been a constant source of pain  for Global Worriers. Skeptics can point out that the decadal rate of warming was pretty much the same back then, even though CO2 was at the ideal, clima-perfecto level, of 310ppm. How could it be that massive 400ppm of CO2 was barely able to break the heat records set when CO2 was almost 25% lower?

Well, finally, mystery solved. A new Australian study compares models that don’t-explain-the-climate with CO2, to ones that-don’t-explain-the-climate without CO2. These models assume CO2 causes warming, so when they take out the CO2 factor that was added in to produce “the climate”, the models prove, ipso gloriousi, that CO2 causes warming. Indeed their method is so good, it can’t fail. As Anthony Watts says “it seems clear to me that the conclusion existed before the paper was written.”  Quite.

Say hello to Climate Numerology [...]

The outrage! One third of US teachers bring climate denial to the classroom

They warn that the results may floor you. Strap yourself in. The National Centre for Science Education (NCSE) surveyed 1500 teachers across the US, and were shocked that a third bring dangerous climate material in to the class.

“At least one in three teachers bring climate change denial into the classroom, claiming that many scientists believe climate change is not caused by humans” says NCSE programs and policy director Josh Rosenau.

Frankly I am amazed. After twenty years of repeating the consensus message how is it that so many teachers are still unable to recite the permitted phrasing?  (And especially in a survey where everyone knows what the right answer is!).

Put on your helmet. As many as half of US teachers actually allow students to discuss the controversy. Unthinkable!

Worse, half of the surveyed teachers have allowed students to discuss the supposed ‘controversy’ over climate change without guiding students to the scientifically supported conclusion.” Scarier still: three out of five teachers were unaware of, or actively misinformed about, the near total scientific consensus on climate change.

Sorry, did I say controversy? I meant “controversy” (any resemblance this debate may have to a real debate is [...]

Climate causes Heated Cats, native extinction. Wait… your light globes?

And so it flows. Climate causes bored dogs, but warmer winters cause, er, heated cats. The randy felines make more kittens, which means more strays, more ferals, and less marsupial mice.

Track the logic. We took long showers which made more CO2, the Earth warmed and so more cats have kittens out of season. The answer then is to take cold showers to change the weather and save the Black-tailed Antechinus. Then again, we could give the cats the cold showers instead…

  When Kristina Vesk started working at the Cat Protection Society of NSW in 2006, she rarely saw kittens in winter. Now warmer weather means cats are breeding all year round, increasing the numbers of unwanted kittens and the threat to native wildlife from strays and feral cats.

 Hold that thought — there is another theory. Conflict coming:

Vanessa Barrs, a Professor of Feline Medicine at the University of Sydney, said … breeding can be influenced by photoperiod, the number of available daylight hours, and “cats artificially exposed to 12 hours of light indoors … can be induced to breed all year round”, she said.

So that would be all the CFL and LED blue light [...]

Bored dogs, ripped furniture — blame climate change

Things are really getting serious now. There is not only extinction and endless droughts, but there are depressed dogs.  Unprecedented depressed dogs. The chain of effect goes like this: electric heaters cause climate change which makes winters wetter in England and owners don’t like mud, so ipso, ergo, garbo, dogs get stuck indoors, go stir crazy and rip furniture.

I presume the answer to this is to sell the car, cancel the heating, and wait for the world to warm cool for your dog to get happy?

Leading pet behaviourists told The Independent that the number of depressed and unsettled dogs they have seen in recent months is unprecedented.

Carolyn Menteith, a dog behaviourist who was named Britain’s Instructor of the Year in 2015, says Global Warming might be causing pets to become depressed:

“I’ve never seen our dogs or horses this bored before in 20 years.

Yes, this is the worst in recorded history, or 20 years, whichever comes first.

Horses that have lived happily outside before are saying ‘I actually can’t cope with this mud and wet anymore’…”.

For me, the unprecedented thing here is the talking horse.

[...]

CO2 kills aliens — Oh No. The Gaiian bottleneck

 Global Worriers can explain everything with CO2 (hammer: meet nail, meet hail, meet ET too).

The holy matrix theory strikes again. (h/t to Phys 1)*

With our university approved CO2 helmet we can explain things, like why there are no aliens. And we know there are none because we’ve had mass radio for 100 years out of the last 4.5 billion** and no one has picked up Alien FM. Plus we’ve landed some kind of gadget on nearly 1,000, almost 100, not quite 10, well 2 whole other planets and we haven’t found a single Klingon. Indeed we haven’t even found a cousin of e-coli.  And some of the probes on Venus hunted for a full 120 minutes before they were vaporised.

Though naysayers about our knowledge of alien life point out that if intelligent life also went on to develop fibre optics,  Wifi, and then entangled quark phones (or whatever) the radio transmissions window may last 500 years (or less) and thus we’re looking for intelligent life which may be a million years ahead of us which also happens to be a million light years away (and whose radio signals are still comprehendable spread over a sphere which is [...]

Don’t drive, you encourage terrorists

If only we had more electric cars and windmills, lives could’ve been saved.

Ponder that air conditioners can cause people to do random acts of murder.  They might keep people in the room calmer, but outside that pollution* travels, heats the world, and lo, a terrorist is made.

(Call me a skeptic, but I tend to think that if we turn off all the air-conditioners (or run them on solar power, which is almost the same thing) we might get more acts of terror rather than less, but what would I know?) Bernie Sanders says that we should stop terrorists by reducing our carbon emissions. Somehow, there were people who did not laugh at him.

Time Magazine : “Why Climate Change and Terrorism Are Connected”

Drought in Syria has contributed to instability

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders used the terrorist attacks in Paris to call for action to address climate change at a primary debate Saturday. But, while the plea attracted ridicule across the political spectrum, many academics and national security experts agree that climate change contributes to an uncertain world where terrorism can thrive.

U.S. military officials refer to climate change as a “threat multiplier” [...]

Lo! Shark god protects us from storms, floods, heatwaves (sayth Nature & ABC)

Big news: A new endogenous forcing found for climate change — sharks. For millions of years you thought predator-prey relationships were just about big fish having dinner, but not so, they are climate forcings. Sharks cool the planet, and stop storms, floods, droughts and malaria. Crabs, on the other hand, pollute like a coal company. It’s a miracle that the planet made it through the last billion years without the EPA managing the  shark-crab numbers thing. This ABC interview inspired me to channel the spirit of neolithic science.

The dusken-shark doth smite the naughty fishies and give us nice weather

New research has found that sharks play an important role in preventing climate change, warning that overfishing and culling sharks is resulting in more carbon being released from the seafloor.

“Sharks, believe it or not, are helping to prevent climate change,” said Dr Peter Macreadie, an Australian Research Council Fellow from Deakin University and one of the paper’s authors.

Sharks: Good.  Crabs and Turtles: Bad.  Kill those turtles!

“Turtles, crabs, certain types of worms, stingrays — these animals that are overabundant to do with loss of predators used to keep their numbers in check,” [...]