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 nerds have the numbers on precious metals investments on the ASX

Uninformed climate amateurs ask professionals to explain their data revision

David Karoly knew he had to defend the BOM with regard to the hot questions about adjustments to Amberley, Bourke, and Rutherglen data. What he didn’t have were photos of historic equipment, maps of thermometer sites, or quotes from people who took observations. Instead he wielded the magic wand of “peer review” — whereupon questions asked in English are rendered invalid if they are printed in a newspaper instead of a trade-magazine.

Prof David Karoly, Climate Professional called people who ask for explanations poorly informed amateurs. In response, we Poorly Informed Climate Amateurs wonder what it takes to get Climate Professionals to inform us? Instead of hiding behind ‘peer review’, vague complex methods, and the glow of their academic aura, the professionals could act professional and explain exactly what they did to the data?

We discussed the mysterious transformation of Amberley and Rutherglen — where cooling trends became warming trends due to unrecorded site movements that were detected by thermometers hundreds of kilometers away. I also discussed how skeptical scientists have been asking for details for years but the BOM would not provide them. What we still don’t know is why thermometers in 1941 were recording temperatures nearly 2 degrees [...]

The heat is on. Bureau of Meteorology ‘altering climate figures’ — The Australian

Congratulations to The Australian again for taking the hard road and reporting controversial, hot, documented problems, that few in the Australian media dare to investigate.

How accurate are our national climate datasets when some adjustments turn entire long stable records from cooling trends to warming ones (or visa versa)? Do the headlines of “hottest ever record” (reported to a tenth of a degree) mean much if thermometer data sometimes needs to be dramatically changed 60 years after being recorded?

One of the most extreme examples is a thermometer station in Amberley, Queensland where a cooling trend in minima of 1C per century has been homogenized and become a warming trend of 2.5C per century. This is a station at an airforce base that has no recorded move since 1941, nor had a change in instrumentation. It is a well-maintained site near a perimeter fence, yet the homogenisation process produces a remarkable transformation of the original records, and rather begs the question of how accurately we know Australian trends at all when the thermometers are seemingly so bad at recording the real temperature of an area. Ken Stewart was the first to notice this anomaly and many others when he compared the raw data to [...]

Too funny. Roy Spencer invented satellite temperature analysis, gets called “a blogger”

Careful Cheryl Jones, your groupthink is showing. She’s a science writer who writes today in The Australian about “climate bets”, but without seemingly using The Internet.

Here’s how she describes Roy Spencer:

Although a blogger, Spencer does publish research in the scientific journals. He was not surprised that Newman had invoked his name. “I’ve testified in the United States Congress probably half a dozen times,” he tells The Australian. “My name is out there.”

To put this in perspective, this is Roy Spencer, Principal Research Scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. He’s not just a climate scientist either.  Roy Spencer and John Christy were the first two scientists to develop a method for getting temperatures from satellites, and the pair won NASA’s Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement, and the American Meteorological Society’s “Special Award.” But Roy does write an excellent blog…

No sure bets in the climate debate

Cheryl Jones, The Australian

LAST summer, Nobel laureate Brian Schmidt challenged Tony Abbott’s chief business adviser Maurice Newman to bet $10,000 that the Earth’s average surface temperature would be lower in 20 years than now.

If Cheryl Jones had gone so far as to type “climate bets” into a [...]

Skeptical view makes Australian front page: climate madness, dishonesty, fraud, deception, lies and exploitation says Maurice Newman

The giant boondoggle is coming undone.

What makes this article remarkable is the strong language coming from a credible source on the front page of a major national daily. We have crossed another line in the decline and fall of the Great Global Warming Scare.  Maurice Newman is chairman of the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Council , was Chairman of the ABC, and of the board of the Australian Stock Exchange. He was Chancellor of Macquarie University until 2008. The Op-Ed and news article today sums up the worst of the last five years of climate, and is the first time I can recall seeing a well respected commentator use such unequivocal and damning language and so prominently. There is no hedging here, no pandering. Newman obviously reads skeptical blogs and is very aware of what is going on. Ponder that he was Chairman of their ABC, and if someone of his sensible insight could not clean it up, we need far more drastic action (that’s another topic we will explore soon).

His opinion piece in the Australian (Crowds go cold on climate cost), is discussed on the front page as a news item titled “Climate policies helped kill manufacturing, [...]

Three cheers for Senate Micro’s

We have discussed this issue at length on The Senate-Rage! post. I’ve taken those thoughts a bit further in an Op-Ed in The Australian today. There are no comments allowed there so here is a thread for further thoughts and feedback on our new Senate and whether we need to revamp the system. This is my first purely political op-Ed. I find it surprising that almost no one, on any side of politics, is speaking out for the little guys and the disaffected voter. Bob Brown (former Greens senator) calls it a “scandal” of “legally induced frauding”, that “must” change, so I know I am onto something. He thinks Liberal voters don’t know the difference between “liberals” and “liberal dems” and that “Stop The Greens” might fool Green supporters. How stupid are the voters. Really?  — Jo


Three cheers for micros by: Joanne Nova From: The Australian September 13, 2013 12:00AM

UNLEASH the sanctimony! Practically everyone on all sides of mainstream politics is not pleased with the success of the micro-parties in the Senate election. For goodness’ sake, car-loving, sports-crazy Australians may have elected car-loving, sports-mad senators. Is that so bad?

The not-quite-elected souls [...]

Jo Nova in The Australian: Carbon credits market is neither free nor worth anything

Credit to The Australian for printing both points of view. Published as an Op-Ed today.

Carbon credits market is neither free nor worth anything by: Joanne Nova From: The Australian July 31, 2013 12:00AM

THE paradox du jour: people who like free markets don’t want a carbon market, and the people who don’t trust capitalism want emissions trading. So why are socialists fighting for a carbon market? Because this “market” is a bureaucrat’s wet dream.

A free market is the voluntary exchange of goods and services. “Free” means being free to choose to buy or to not buy the product. At the end of a free trade, both parties have something they prefer.

[Those who know what real free markets are know that an emissions trading scheme is not and never can be a free market. The "Carbon-Market" is a market with no commodity, no demand, and no supply. Who needs a "carbon credit"? The government entirely determines both supply and demand.]

A carbon market is a forced market. There is little intrinsic incentive to buy a certificate for a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. It says a lot about the voluntary value of a [...]

ClimateGate II: Handy Guide to spot whitewash journalism – The top 10 excuses for scientists behaving badly

Sorting real journalists from sock puppets is not too tricky: real investigators tell you what the story is about; PR writers tell you what to think.

Do they “discuss” ClimateGate emails … without quoting the emails?

Who digs for details, and who hides the evidence?

The PR writers for Big-Government were quick to come up with excuses for ClimateGate II. Which is all very well, but it’s blindingly obvious where their own personal prejudices lie if they won’t print the emails that they are supposedly discussing. It’s not so much cherry-picking, but cherry-denial. “Don’t mention the radioactive cherries, but lets discuss how cherry farmers have been victimized, talk about the history of cherry tree farming, and hear their excuses and assertions that the cherries are an essential part of our diets. Don’t mention the Geiger counter. OK?”

The top 10 excuses for PR writers  who pose as “journalists” to ignore ClimateGate emails

This is standard issue damage control for ClimateGate — protect the cheats and liars, attack the whistleblower, and  use excuses and padding-fillers to cover a story without actually giving the public any information on the [...]

Australia picks last possible moment to leap ONTO burning ship

Gillard — the Australian Prime Minister — got the timing perfectly wrong.

Within two weeks of the Carbon Tax finally becoming Law, it’s becoming hard not to notice that the whole Global Scam is fragmenting. This Carbon ship is on fire,  the lifeboats are leaving, the rats are jumping, and the Australian team just turned up with the family jewels. Their policies are “take no prisoners” and “bring no life jackets”. Their exit plan is to have No Exit.

Sergey Abramov (ship, 1960) …By Leksey

It’s hard to imagine how the timing could have been more quintessentially insane, or their  “Leadership of Clean Energy” more poignantly inane.

After subterranean lakes of Shale Gas were discovered two months ago under Lancashire in the UK , even half-tinted-Green governments started stepping backwards from diabolical renewables deals. Nearly everyone popped up and said No No No to Kyoto. “Let’s be frank” said EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard, “At best we could only get the EU, Norway and maybe two or three more countries to sign up for a second Kyoto period.” The Bloomberg article about the collapse of the Kyoto agreement discusses 14 nations and two continents, but Australia wasn’t  [...]

Conspiracy Theories in the Australian: Not by me though?

It’s nice to know Christian Kerr of The Australian reads my site and wants to quote me, but really Christian, where’s the conspiracy?

“Science broadcaster turned climate-sceptic blogger and convoy backer, Jo Nova, let loose. “The ABC coverage is so shamefully biased, a government PR agency could hardly have done a better job,” she claimed.

“They carefully avoided selecting any of the key messages in the speeches or petition (but they put in any odd unconnected grievance they could find). They didn’t interview the organisers, instead just showing a snippet of a song and a truckie tooting.” But the opponents of the rally were no less inclined to conspiracy.”

When the media coverage of the Convoy was so dismally biased, I wasn’t suggesting a conspiracy. No one needs a conspiracy when good old fashioned incompetence will do. I have documented some of the poor media coverage of climate science, and especially ABC coverage, at length.

Indeed, Mark Scott, director of the ABC himself admitted that the ABC is there to help the government. The fact that he thought it was OK to admit that publicly tells you how far the ABC has come from any notion that it is [...]

We need a free market in climate science

This weekend, I’ve got another article in The Weekend Australian. It’s a credit to the Murdoch News team that they are willing to print both points of view. This point is one that resonates with many people — a consensus can be bought with monopolistic science funding. It explains  why research could run off the rails. We paid to find a crisis.


Climate change suspect must be given a fair trial

GOVERNMENTS across the world have paid billions to find links between carbon dioxide and the climate, but very little to find the opposite, and that’s a problem.

Teams of professionals have searched high and low for any possible hint that CO2 poses a threat, and that is all very well, but no one has been paid to find otherwise. CO2 has been convicted without a defence lawyer.

It is self-evident that any expert in a field will reap more rewards, fame and fortune if their field is critically important. Why would anyone expect such experts to go out of their way to hunt down evidence that might suggest their field ought not be the centre of a global [...]

JoNova ignores cost benefit studies. What studies?

In a letter in The Australian Tom Biegler claims JoNova didn’t look at cost benefit studies:

Joanne Nova [Wasting money on Climate betrays the sick] bemoans the lack of cost-benefit analysis to support a price on carbon. She didn’t look very far. The energy economics literature is awash with estimates of the cost of both climate change and abatement measures. They disagree of course, but so would cost-benefit analyses of medical research expenditures, which Nova ignores.

A world where governments spent our money purely on the basis of cost-benefit assessments might look appealing but it’s not going to happen. Priorities reflect what voters want, annoying as that may be. It’s a small price to pay for our wonderful democracy that lets us keep arguing and trying to change each other’s minds.

Tom Biegler, St Kilda East, Vic

My reply sent to The Australian yesterday:

Tom Biegler thinks I’ve ignored cost benefit analysis of climate change abatement. No sir. There are no cost benefit analysis that start with checking the science. No institute or government committee has been paid to audit the IPCC, the BOM or CSIRO’s findings. All the reports assume that the UN [...]

On climate change, the wrong choice kills people either way

Here’s a topic close to my heart. Before I became involved in climate change and currencies, my hot topic-of-choice for years was medical research and health. In my honours degree I worked to get a tiny step closer to treating Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. When I saw that The Australian Government was threatening to cut medical research, I wanted to put a razor fine point on just what muddy thinking costs us. This article I wrote is published in The Weekend Australian today. We can’t afford to get the decision wrong on climate change. We must fight the battles that matter, not build fortresses against imaginary foes.

Wasting money on climate change betrays sick Joanne Nova From: The Australian May 07, 2011 12:00AM

Fabíola and Julio Licinio in 1964. She died of non-Hodgkins Lymphoma a few weeks later.

LOST opportunities are invisible but deadly. On climate change, the call to buy insurance by pricing carbon is a cop-out. Where is the cost-benefit analysis? We’re thinking of axing Australian medical research yet we’re supporting solar panel manufacturers in China. It doesn’t have to be this way.

All the money spent employing green police, subsidizing solar or researching how to [...]

A journalist who confuses journalism with propaganda

Great news: This commentary appears in The Weekend Australian today (in a slightly different edited version). Below was what I submitted, before the edits, with the links intact. Comments are open at The Australian. I’ll be posting less often over the Southern Summer, possibly quite irregularly, so if you want to get an email from me and find out when the more important posts go up, please add your email to my list (top right, see “register”).

In the print edition the headline is “Journalists who think Newspapers should lead the country”*

David McKnight’s criticism of The Australian (Sceptical writers skipped inconvenient truths) makes a good case study of the intellectual collapse of Australian universities.

Here’s a UNSW “Senior Research Fellow” in journalism who contradicts himself, fails by his own reasoning, does little research, breaks at least three laws of logic, and rests his entire argument on an assumption that he provides no evidence for. Most disturbingly — like a crack through the façade of Western intellectual vigour — he actually asserts that the role of a national newspaper is to “give leadership”. Bask for a moment in the inanity of this declaration that newspapers “are our leaders”. Last [...]

Key Tool for the Scare Campaign: Censorship. How bullying critics keep editors from straying.

A very curious thing happened on Saturday.

There’s a media war going on here in Australia. At stake is free speech — but the discussion about it is completely disguised and parades instead as a debate about “balance” in science reporting.

It’s reached the point where our national masthead felt the need to issue a whole feature article rebutting their critics (Climate debate is no place for hotheads) which includes quote after quote of The Australian’s pro man-made-global-warming editorials. But why under the Goddess of Free Press should any serious newspaper feel required to declare their belief in a particular scientific theory?

“The Australian ‘s editors are being attacked for questioning authority. They’re supposed to be journalists who investigate everything, not a PR agency who promotes an ideology. In reply the Australian could have been roasting the other media agencies…”

The Australian has been taking heat from the rest of the Australian media (notably Fairfax and ABC employees, and a couple of book writing academics). It’s not that The Australian has held back on publishing the illogical, unreasonable PR, and baseless posturing of vested-carbon-scare-interests, no sir. They are just as ready as anyone to publish the unscientific Lomborgs, [...]

Now we are not even allowed to doubt?

It’s Naomi Oreskes reasoning which is scary.

Some people just can’t think.

Naomi Oreskes “reasons” by Remarkable Parallels, which is as bogus a way of thinking as any tea-leaf-incantation that we thought we left behind in the caves. She thinks that because she can find parallels between Tobacco and Climate Skeptics, therefore skeptics are wrong about climate sensitivity due to a trace gas. Go figure why anyone struggles to analyze ice cores when they could have just done a Google search?

I can find remarkable parallels between Lysenko and modern climate science, but I don’t bother writing a book on it. If I want answers about the climate I look at the data from the planet, not data about personalities.

Mike Steketee (Some sceptics make it a habit to be wrong) has learnt a new way to throw names from Oreskes. Nick Minchin (recently retired Senator from the conservative opposition) is just the latest target of this effusion of confusion.

Now anyone who raises points against a policy can be called a “doubt-monger” and the Orwellian destruction of our language advances one more notch.

Naomi Oreskes IS the Merchant of Doubt

Ponder the irony of what Oreskes herself [...]

Lomborg: uses irrational name-calling and denies the evidence

The Australian published Bjorn Lomborg: A Rational Take On Warming last week.

It was self-contradictory, baseless name-calling from a formerly sensible writer.


Lomborg and Gore are not so far apart

The only rational response to climate change is to use empirical, observable evidence. Rational people can point to results from 28 million radiosondes, 6000 boreholes, 30 years of satellites, 3000 ARGO ocean diving thermometers, raw data from thousands of surface thermometers, as well 800 peer reviewed references which include studies of corals, caves, pollen grains, ocean floor sediments, ice cores, and diatoms.

Lomborg is happy to call these rational people names, but irrationally doesn’t appear to have read their arguments. His method of quoting scientific studies, which was so successful on other topics, has come unstuck on climate science. He doesn’t realize that the US government poured $79 billion dollars into demonstrating one theory, but next to nothing to research, audit, or question that theory. He’s been tripped up by the skewing effect of monopolistic funding.

Far from being rational or scientific, he accepts the opinions of the Scientific Gods at the IPCC, and ignores the empirical evidence

Far [...]

Hamilton rages on, Monckton replies

Clive Hamilton, the Australian “public intellectual”, and failed Greens candidate is a busy man: leave no ad hominem unsaid, no law of logic unbroken. The man has a predictable formula. Rule one:  Make an unsubstantiated claim; cast aspersions on all who so much as question it — dig deep for an attempted character assassination if possible; then top it off with feigned moral indignation mixed with grandiose generalizations. It helps to toss in some strawman conspiracies, and confound it with unrelated topics. Rule two: never discuss the evidence.

The Australian newspaper: MP’s obligation is to the planet

Hamilton was trying to guilt trip and intimidate the independent parliamentarians in Australia (who will probably announce their decision tomorrow about who will form government). Almost everything he says is based on a bluff.

The danger of climate change towers over all other influences on the security and health of future generations, yet the Liberal Party and the Nationals are run by people who reject the vast body of scientific evidence that proves it.

Can’t one journalist just ask Hamilton to name the scientific paper that we “deniers” deny? Something that shows carbon dioxide has a major effect on our climate (ie. more [...]

Science associations give science a bad name

In this story from The Australian, we have the ludicrous double-irony of subscribers paying to read a story that disguises how their own taxpayer dollars are used against them to fund the  propaganda that’s used to justify milking them for more taxpayer dollars….

Sometimes, you’d think media releases from science associations and universities were Commandments from God.

If football associations put out media releases that tried to whitewash the news of clubs rampantly breaking rules, or of officials letting them get away with it, or of umpires placing bets on the outcome of games they rule over, the sports journos would bake the officials, grill the umpires, and lampoon the clubs. But, when the topic is “science”, and the spokespeople have polysyllabic titles, they are untouchable.

Admittedly, there is that other effect: advertising. The Higher Education Supplement is designed to sell advertising space to universities, and asking the top dogs biting-hard questions is probably not the way to win big contracts (the journalists might be cynical, but Australian universities are a $12 billion dollar industry). And look in the last budget: There’s a neat pink icing on the cake in the graph below, thanks to the man-made theory of global warming. That [...]