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 nerds have the numbers on precious metals investments on the ASX



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Matt Ridley on Brexit: Brits should give foreign aid to EU (with strings) as parting gift

Matt Ridley writes the letter Theresa May should send to the EU

For 40 years Britain has propped up the EU with nothing in return but complaints and insults.

The fifth biggest economy in the world can offer foreign aid to the failing EU but on the same terms as other needy states.

BRITAIN SHOULD GIVE THE EU £20 BILLION EXTRA AS AN ACT OF CHARITY

Dear Angela, Emmanuel and others (cc Donald, Jean-Claude, Michel),

I enclose a cheque for £40 billion as agreed. However, you will notice that it is post-dated March 30, 2019, and that it will bounce without a free-trade agreement between us, as I mentioned on the telephone. We are delighted to be in a position to be so unilaterally generous, and sorry that you find yourselves in such dire need of our help.

We cannot help feeling that a little more financial discipline on your part might have avoided the need for such a large sum.

For instance, we notice that all Eurocrats can draw generous final-salary pensions when they get to the end of their lucrative careers, throughout which they will have had handsome allowances and expenses [...]

Last winter 9,000 more British pensioners died than usual — how many were due to high heating costs?

Higher electricity costs mean more people turn off their heaters

There’s a big freeze coming to Britain with minus 12C temperatures possible in the next three weeks.

Last year in winter in England there was a remarkable 40% rise in winter deaths

David Archibald emails that last year was a mild winter for Brits, but the death toll rose from the normal 25,000 excess to 34,000 people. Remembering that it’s moderate cold that kills far more people than extreme temperatures. The UK government advises rooms be heated to at least 18C. (I’ve been in a Canberra house where the temperature fell to 11C indoors, and that was in May.) Despite all the newspaper headlines about outside temperatures, the big killer is indoors.

The big killer is indoor temperature and moderately cold, not extremes.

Campaigners demand urgent cuts to power bill after number of winter deaths among the elderly rise by 40%

Pensioner groups are demanding urgent measures to cut the cost of heat and light after official figures revealed a surge in deaths last winter. There were some 34,300 so-called ‘excess’ deaths during the cold months, according to new figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS). [...]

Britain can have electric cars or turn Scotland into a wind farm, which will it be then?

Who wants to wait for charging? Instead, just dump the flat batteries, pick up a new set. (See the youtube below).

Having a nation full of electric cars is fine as long as you don’t want to drive them.

Wind Farms would need to “cover whole of Scotland” to power Britain’s electric vehicles

By Paula Murray

Jack Ponton, emeritus professor of engineering at Edinburgh University, said another 16,000 turbines would be required in order to replace petrol and diesel cars with electric vehicles.

“If you want to do this with wind turbines, you are talking about 16,000 more wind turbines, four times as many as we have at the moment, and I’ve estimated that would occupy some 90,000 square kilometres, which is approximately the size of Scotland.”

The academic – a member of Scientific Alliance Scotland, a group which promotes open-minded debate on issues such as climate change – believes the plan is “unworkable”…

The UK plans to phase out combustion engines by 2032. What happens when surges of holiday tourists arrive in a town without enough charging points? “Charge-rage” and long queues. Lets spend our holidays waiting for [...]

UK government blew £168m on Cancelled Carbon Capture Projects

How fast can we burn millions of dollars trying to stuff a perfectly good fertilizer down a sinkhole? This fast…

Carbon capture must rank as one of the most flagrantly ridiculous ways to spend money (even more pointless than desal). To capture and bury the CO2 of a coal fired plant we have to spend around 60% more to build every new power station and then throw away 40% the electricity it makes. (See TonyfromOz’s calculations in the link below).

Sputnik News reports on the second collapse of UK funding for Carbon Capture:

The UK Government has wasted US$123 million on a competition to develop technology that will capture carbon emissions. The project was cancelled according to a report, after the Energy Department failed to agree the long-term costs of the competition with the Treasury.

Concerns over the price to consumers led to the competitions demise, according to the National Audit Office (NAO).

The report, which was produced by the NAO, warned that it was “currently inconceivable” that the CCS projects would be developed with government support, and that the competition costs did not achieve value for money.

This is not the first time a competition run by the government to kick-start CCS has been cancelled. In 2011, the government having spent [...]

If only “free energy” was free. UK Govt spending £319bn on quest to change future weather

(More at the Daily Mail)

UPDATE: Full GWPF report (PDF) A bargain at half the price

The geniuses in the UK government decided to take £10,800 from every UK household to cool the world by a figure which, rounded to the nearest tenth of a degree, is 0.0 degrees C a century from now.

The Daily Mail:

Hot air: Bombshell report shows green levies backed by government will cost the economy £319bn by 2030 The radical shift to green, renewable energy will have cost £319bn by 2030 The huge sum is three times the annual NHS budget for England The policy will be adding an average burden of £584 a year to every household by 2020 and £875 by 2030 Shocking report takes its calculations from official figures issued by government

The real cost to poorer families paying vastly higher electricity bills might be measured in terms of people choosing second best health options, putting off treatments, foregone holidays, going cold, and for some on the brink, perhaps divorce or worse. (It’s hard to imagine how forcing people to do £10k of pointless work will improve mental health stats).  If the UK government came knocking at doors asking for [...]

The rise of the skeptics — Brexit shifts the ground: Boris promoted, DECC gone

Don’t underestimate the Brexit effect. The landscape is shifting.

The Paris agreement just became less likely. The UK Dept of the environment will submerge, and Boris Johnson, the outspoken skeptic and Brexit figurehead, has been promoted to foreign minister.

James Delingpole says: Britain’s New Prime Minister Drives A Stake Through The Heart Of The Green Vampire

Britain no longer has“the greenest government ever.”   This is good news. Very good news. The agonised screeching of all the usual suspects in the Environmental movement will be enough to sustain many of us in lols for weeks and months to come.

Five years ago, could we imagine an “infamous climate denier” like Boris rewarded in any Western Government? There were closet skeptics in the cabinet, but that’s not the same. In Australia, Tony Abbott once said climate change was “crap” and somehow still managed to become PM, but once he was, his official line was the permitted global warming story. ( He pandered, but in the most sensible possible way. And because he did not flagrantly add to the climate slush fund they still called him a “denier” but he rarely said anything openly skeptical.).

To have Boris in such an [...]

Brexit: Lots of countries want to do trade deals with UK. (Surprise, Surprise)

The fifth biggest economy in the world suddenly frees itself from worlds biggest bureaucratic basket case, and everyone else is knocking at the door?.

Daily Mail:  Countries are lining up to enter trade talks with Britain in the wake of the decision to leave the European Union, it was claimed last night.

American politicians are clamouring for an agreement, while talks could soon begin with Australia, South Korea and India.

Otherwise, Brexit is a disaster. Indeed it is so unthinkable, half the pundits are still thinking up reasons why it might not happen. Today uncertainty is what Tony Blair wants, and for as long as possible — “Let’s keep the options open” he says, as he thinks up a list of excuses to ignore a Yes:No vote, like an opinion poll.  “People can change their minds” he points out. And they do, which is why we elect governments then throw them out two weeks later when their polls fall below 50%.

On the Twelth Day of Brexit the excuses are hitting the Orwellian-Turbo-Booster: If Britain leaves the EU it will lose sovereign control says some guy in Ireland. Black is white. Up is down. And [...]

What Brexit market disaster?

For five days headlines have told us the markets are being “Pounded”, with “Turmoil”, like a “Wild Ride” with “bloodletting“. I thought I’d graph the horror of the last week on the FTSE100, DAX, the CAC40 and the Euronext.  Naturally big-government fans in the media have no interest in overselling the disaster that is Brexit.

Spot the crisis?

The last five years of the FTSE 100. See the carnage of the last week:

5 Year FTSE graph   TradingEconomics.com

More shocking routs on the continent. Here’s the last twelve months of the EURONEXT:

[...]

EU panic — yells “xenophobic isolationist” — at people who held the largest global empire in history

EU fans are rightly fearing the unravelling of their empire, built on decades of sneaky, undemocratic bureaucratic creep. The French, Austrians, Finns, Dutch and Germans want a vote on the EU.

All over the establishment media, the derogatory narrative is that “Little Brits” are scared of the outside world, and are xenophobic, racists, too afraid to engage with the rest of the world. So let’s look at how inward-looking and timid the Brits were in times before the EU modern wisdom.

Here’s the British Empire circa 1920:

The Sun never set on the British Empire

Map adapted from Wikipedia

Get into the spirit Rule Brittania! Want more?

“Little Britain” ran the largest empire the world has ever known — spreading democracy, justice, and one language across a broader array of races and places than any other nation.  (And the real Anglosphere includes The United States of America.)

The Brits are the bigots who outlawed slavery, widow-burning and fostered democracy in India.

It’s not surprising that the Brits are leading the way out of the false anti-democratic empire known as the European Union.

The fight has just begun

Based on past form, we know that [...]

Brexit reporting — nobody mention “Switzerland” or “Norway”

Both sides of Brexit were shocked — the Remainers because they have never met a Brexiteer nor bothered to read their arguments. And The Brexiters were a bit shocked too — amazed that despite the big-media bias, puffed up economic scare and the blanket of institutional warnings, the public can still fight off big-gov with their votes in a bloodless coup. It’s a rare win.

Who wants to be tied to an economic basketcase?

Under the media shock and warnings of  the recession coming almost no one mentioned “Switzerland”, or “Norway“. Here’s the GDP growth graph from the World Bank showing just how well the EU fares compared to the non-EU countries of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, The US, Switzerland and Norway. Note the success of the EU red line which in nearly every year is outdone by nearly everyone else. The economic disaster that the UK faces is better GDP growth.

EU GDP Growth 2008 – 2015, World Bank, compared to non-EU nations, Switzerland, NZ, US

The reasons to leave the EU were so compelling the amazing thing is that 48% of the public still voted to stay. Chalk that “success” up to the media, and on an [...]