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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GoldNerds

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



The Green Blob expands: BBC wants Australian ratings. Their editor Wendy Frew heats Aust by 90C.

What’s better than Pravda? When Pravda is controlled by big government but masquerades as “commercial” and, even better, when it competes with and sucks money from independent competitors–making it harder for journalists who do ask the government hard questions to be heard at all.

Who needs the ABC?  The BBC has arrived to provide the propaganda for free and wants to compete with commercial news outlets. They’ve appointed the most gullible journalists they could find (who’ll believe any official edict). Their new Australian Editor, Wendy Frew, accidentally revealed that while she’s good at rearranging a press release and calling it news, she is not too good with numbers.

In a BBC article yesterday by Wendy Frew titled “Australia has hottest spring on record as temperatures soar” comes the extraordinary news that Australia has warmed by 90C since 1910.

“Australia has been warming up by about 0.9C [a year] since 1910,” Dr Braganza told the BBC.

The online article was fixed this morning (with no mention of the mistake), though copies of the error appear elsewhere. It says something that Frew went out of her way to add “[a year]“ into Braganza’s quote without doing the numbers and [...]

Sydney Morning Herald allows a skeptic to say the games up for climate hysteria

Reader Cookster expressed amazement asked if the tide was turning and linked to Tom Switzers piece in the SMH today “Game Finally Up for Carboncrats”.  It’s a no-holds barred description of the current state of the climate scare. I’m not a regular reader of the SMH (the left leaning major daily in Sydney), so I might be wrong, but I’m tempted to agree with Cookster. What I can’t tell from the other side of the country is whether this was put out in print in the main Op-Ed section (please let me know).

Switzer is well respected in Australian newsprint (he’s the editor of The Spectator Australia) which no doubt made it hard for the SMH to say no. But look how confident, and well informed he is. The bland truth is that Kyoto is over, and as Tom says:

“Prospects for a replacement are virtually zero. Rich nations are rejecting climate compensation for the developing world. Europe is in a coal frenzy. Germany, a former green trend-setter, is slashing unaffordable subsidies to the renewables industry. The European Parliament is losing confidence in the EU emissions trading scheme. No Asian nation has an emission trading scheme in operation. China’s and India’s [...]

Sydney Morning Herald: Jessica Wright gets the facts wrong. An attempt to defame and smear?

The SMH — another Fauxfacts publication

Jessica Wright of the Sydney Morning Herald blatantly tries to smear The Heartland Institute with outright falsehoods:

“A sister pro-tobacco lobbying organisation and corporate member of ALEC, the Heartland Institute, paid for Senator Bernardi’s accommodation and travel to the US on four separate occasions in 2010 and 2011. The institute recently ran a two-day conference in the US entitled ”Can Tobacco Make You Healthier?”

Read more: SMH

But she apparently didn’t do much research. Heartland point out that the title was not “Can Tobacco Make You Healthier”, but “Can Tobacco Cure Smoking” and the “two day” conference was a 75 minute seminar from an expert, discussing another way to help smokers quit.

“The speaker, Prof. Brad Rodu, is one of the country’s (indeed, the world’s) leading authorities on the use of smokeless tobacco products to encourage smokers to smoke less or stop altogether. Given that message, it would be more accurate to say that Heartland sponsored a seminar on ‘how to stop smoking.’

Heartland corrects the record.

It’s probably sloppy journalism. But in its darker form, thus can a propaganda artist pose as a journalist, defaming and denigrating those who oppose their own [...]

Major Australian dailies disappear the Muller “conversion” article: Opps. 404 error!

UPDATE: Gee Aye has found an App copy on the SMH site. It’s not clear whether this is a new copy, or was always there (for “apps”). The fact that all the news copies of the page went 404 for the network of Fairfax major dailies is just plain odd. It’s easy to imagine an accident taking down one copy, but not all the separate newspapers. Though, we’ve discovered all the comments across all the papers are linked into one file. (Yes if you comment on The Age your comment is posted on the SMH, Canberra times and Brisbane times too and visa versa.) We’re those comments too hot? Was this an accident? The pages have not been restored, as we might expect, nor is there a “moved here” note. Who knows? — Jo

UPDATE: People repeatedly think they have found copies of these pages. Not so! They are other Muller pages on the SMH And the AGE. They are not the one shown in the image. Those links are still 404 errors. The title is “How I saw past the Hot Air on Climate”.

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It appears skeptics are getting to the Fairfax press (finally!)

The Sydney Morning Herald [...]

David Evans in the Fairfax press: Climate change science is a load of hot air and warmists are wrong

Today in the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, for the first time, David Evans has been published in the Op-Ed section. Something is going on in those newsrooms…? This article, below, simply makes the point that the models amplify the direct effect of CO2 by a factor of three and that is where the most important uncertainties lie. This key factor in the debate — which we cover repeatedly on this blog– has virtually never been made before in these newspapers which are the major dailies for Australia’s two largest cities. Any debate about the effects of CO2 needs to start with the fact that most of the warming in the models comes from amplification of humidity and clouds. If the models were right about water vapor, we would have found that missing hot spot.  –   Jo  PS: The SMH and The AGE have both closed comments already! Have they run out of electrons? Oh my? Or were they afraid the comments looked like a debate?

UPDATE: I’ve just posted that these major dailies have “disappeared” the Muller conversion article too!

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Dr David M.W. Evans

31 Jul 2012

Climate scientists’ theories, flawed as they are, ignore [...]

Muller-the-pretend-skeptic makes three claims. He’s half right on one.

Almost all the coverage of the Muller and BEST results confounds three different points, is poorly researched and mixes up cause and effect. Richard Muller is shamelessly promoting himself as something he is not, and his conclusions are nonsense on stilts that defy rational explanation.

Everyone knows hot air rises off concrete, yet scores of people get befuddled by statistics. The maths-talk is irrelevant. If your analysis tells you that thermometers next to combustion engines and industrial exhaust vents is recording global warming — your analysis is bunk, and we don’t need a peer reviewed paper to say so.

Muller’s three claims:

He’s a converted skeptic. (Naked, demonstrably wrong, PR.) The world has warmed by 0.3C/decade. (He’s half right — he’s only exaggerating 100%.) That it’s mostly due to man-made emissions. (Baseless speculation.)

As far as public policies go the only point that matters is 3, but most of the conversation is about 1 and 2. Worse, most journalists and many so-called scientists think evidence for warming is the same as evidence that coal fired power stations did it. How unscientific.

We need to deal with each claim separately.

1. He’s a converted skeptic. No he’s a dishonest alarmist. [...]

Green-socialist-autocrats generate bluster, media copies it

I realize non-Australian readers are only so interested in the mining tax debate down-under, but the techniques for an unfair fight are the same everywhere. Instead of answering green-socialist-autocrats on their own ground, we need to raise the debate and expose the way they add confounding fog.

There are rhetorical tricks that friends-of-Big-Government use to promote their own political aims. They reframe debates entirely, and are expert at pouring confusion. Watch how these coalition of Green-Unionified groups appoint themselves as speakers for the people, then ignore the people, they create a false conflict, and turn groups of productive entrepreneurs and hard working employees  into an inanimate entity (the enemy). Read between the lines, the voters are turning away from the option these advocates prefer, therefore the public are easily misled (code for not-too-bright, you know, easily fooled by adverts from billionaires).

“Fairness” is apparently what the anointed decide it is, not what voters actually vote for. These groups believe in a fake democracy. The will of the people only counts if it’s also the will of the anointed.

SMH: Tax debate must return to average Aussie.

Which comes from AAP, which took most of it and rephrased bits [...]