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 II

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The Conversation — cleansing skeptical thoughts — Read the banned comments here

The Fake Conversation where Bill’s informative, polite comments are removed, but the replies are left there.

Last week Bill Johnston posted a detailed, comprehensive analysis of Sydney Observatory thermometer record here that shows that most of the warming recorded there is due to buildings and freeways. But photo’s and graphs are “denier” stuff, and The Conversation is so afraid some its readers might see those historic photos they ban links to Bill’s work and joannenova.com.au. Apparently when the Bureau of Meteorology discusses “Australia’s hottest decade” it is off topic to discuss the condition of their thermometers.

Bill Johnston was happy to defend his work in comments at The Conversation, but Blair Trewin, who wrote the post itself, was entirely absent. Cory Zanoni had to close the dangerous thread. He removed scores of comments, but left replies to Bill Johnston intact. Some “conversation”.

At least 46 of Bill Johnston’s comments were deleted from Australia’s climate in 2016 – a year of two halves as El Niño unwound   and 19 deleted from Australian climate politics in 2017: a guide for the perplexed. As Bill says: They obviously want to stay perplexed; uninformed; scary-cats, without a paddle for their leaky canoe.

Some skeptics [...]

Selling the dead-dog brand of “climate change” — it’s so ugly, they need 60,000 artist-marketeers

Oh the woe! It’s another pointless round of climate-communication-angst.

The Conversation: Elizabeth Boulton

It’s time for a new age of Enlightenment: why climate change needs 60,000 artists to tell its story

The root problem, supposedly, is that skepticism is spreading. But the real reason is not the communication, it’s the message itself. It is a dead dog. It’s boring, repetitive, wrong, and the end of the world came and went already. Oh wolfitty-wolf.

So stop being unengaging:

Climate information is still often confusing, unengaging and absent from the wider public discourse.

Engage people: set up a real debate, put some reputations on the line and watch the ratings sour. Let Professors pit their wits against skeptics.  Toss in a live audience of engineers and geologists. (Hehe.)

Linguistic analysis found that the most recent IPCC report was less readable than seminal papers by Einstein.

Get with the game. The unreadableness is deliberate. Einstein wanted people to understand his papers.

The older IPCC publications are easier to read. (Try the FAR report.) Back in the days when scientists weren’t trying to pretend the hot spot was there, wasn’t a fingerprint, and doesn’t matter. They weren’t trying to hide [...]

What stage of climate grief are you locked in?

What if you lost, say, the Great Barrier Reef? No seriously, what if you woke up one morning and it was gone? Celeste Young is paid to worry about that and she’s written a whole article on climate grief. It has no data, and uses models and namecalling which makes it a perfect fit for The Conversation.

A variety of losses can be experienced. People may grieve due to the perceived future loss of something; for example, the type of grief often expressed via social media over the potential loss of the Great Barrier Reef. Individuals and communities may grieve for the loss of a loved landscape damaged by drought, fire or flood.

She adapts the famous Kubler Ross Five Stages of Grief (doesn’t everyone) to to deliver clichés in table form. But don’t rush to knock it, I think this is a new form of grieving, where people project the grief of their collapsing religion onto something else instead, like “the environment”. Let’s call it Parody-grieving. Does Young realize the parallels? The Climate-club are still stuck at stage one. They know something is wrong but the cognitive dissonance is killing them: their heroes hide declines and data, [...]

Hulme tries to throw all scientists under a bus. It’s just “the debate is over”. Cook, consensus take collateral hit.

It’s another tiny marker on the road to reality. Mike Hulme has admitted that Cooks 97% study is “infamous” and “irrelevant”. He’s trying to wash himself of both the “Consensus” argument and Cook’s work which he can see are becoming a liability. But make no mistake Hulme is more alarmist than ever. He’s just trying to rebrand the gravy train.

In Science can’t settle what should be done about climate change he’s not trying to argue from scientific authority. But–watch the pea–it is just a different form of authority — his. He’s trying to chuck both sides of the science debate under the bus-of-oblivion and pretend that science is completely irrelevant. With his mere statement that the science is settled (according to him), he’s hoping to get the policies discussed and stop people raising awkward points about the science.

What’s amazing is that anyone falls for this nonsense at all. It’s a naked attempt to divert the national conversation with statements that are self evidently inane. He wants us to discuss how much money to spend to change the weather, but not discuss how much the weather is going to change. What, no discussion of value for money–how much for [...]

Michael Brown, astronomer, says science is not about debate, people are too stupid to judge

Michael Brown, recipient of taxpayer funds for astronomy, tells us that science is not about debate because people are not smart enough to judge the winner. He doesn’t list any evidence to support his faith in climate models (he’s just part of the herd following the consensus pack). Nor does he have any serious scientific criticism of the NIPCC climate report. But he uses plenty of names, baseless allusion, and innuendo. In the article ”Adversaries, zombies and NIPCC climate pseudoscience” in The Conversation he resorts to a group smear (with the help of the taxpayer funded site) in the hope that people won’t listen to those who disagree with him. Apparently he can’t win a fair and open debate, so he’s doing what he can to stop one.

If science now has “Gods” who are above question, it’s not science, it’s a religion. A scientist who says “I’m right because I’m a scientist” is neither right nor much of a scientist. Brown is acting like a self-appointed High-Priest of the Climate Doctrine.

The NIPCC report is more balanced, more comprehensive, and more accurate than the politically-guided tome from the IPCC . It contains hundreds of peer reviewed references put [...]

Lewandowsky, Prof of Psychology, thinks the Labor Government doesn’t benefit if he calls their opponents “stupid”.

Stephan Lewandowsky’s work is a case study in government funded inanity. Some Australians are sure that burning coal will make storms stronger. Others are not convinced. In November 2012 Lewandowsky’s intellectual contribution to science in Australia was to call the unconvinced “stupid”. If that’s not inane enough, at the same time he claimed that he didn’t recieve funding from any organisation that would benefit from his article.

How many taxpayer dollars went towards funding that? No conflict of interest?

Are Australian Research Council funds used as a form of third party advertising for Labor Government policy?

Writing in “A storm of Stupidity, Sandy, Evidence and Climate Change” on The Conversation, his reasoning is like this: some scientists reckon that a very bad storm called “Sandy” has “links” to man-made emissions of a trace gas. Lewandowsky reasons that because those scientists are called “experts”, anyone who questions them should be called stupid. (He thinks this article and that tweet were overdue). Though, in a twist, apparently he doesn’t actually think the unconvinced are actually stupid, he thinks they are ethically “disembodied” people who “mislead”. (As an aside, notice how he approves of news articles that call them stupid even though [...]