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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Cuomo’s big “unAmerican” backflip: NY does soft border closure to 22 US States

If only they had done that 3 months ago

As I predicted, borders need to close. Places that don’t close the state border end up putting a border around every single home. It’s the same all over the world. But no one seems to have noticed how spectacular this backflip is.

In March when New York was the epicentre begging for ventilators, Donald Trump suggested quarantining the tri-state area  to stop infections spreading to the rest of the US.  It was exactly the right thing to do, but Governor Cuomo was enraged — declaring the idea was “preposterous”, “anti-American” and a “declaration of war”. Cuomo even argued it would be illegal for Trump to do so, and threatened to sue:

“I’ve sued the federal government a number of times over the years. I do not believe it’s going to come to that on this,” Cuomo said. “This would be a declaration of war on states, a federal declaration of war.“

Right now there are 22 US states which could threaten to sue Cuomo for the infections New Yorkers gave them.

It was weapons grade bluster on March 28, 2020, but which media outlets and creatures from the Swamp supported [...]

New York “like mass casualty event”: coronavirus and other deaths up three-fold

Across the US all-cause mortality is down as as people avoid catching the flu, getting run over, and other risks. But in New York where coronavirus has hit hardest, all-cause mortality is at record highs.

This is nothing like the seasonal flu

For the whole month of March, deaths in New York were twice as high as normal. This includes not just extra coronavirus deaths but all other causes. Deaths were even higher than the number of known coronavirus deaths, leaving cardiologists worried that there may have been an increase in other conditions like heart attacks or strokes, because people were afraid to go to hospital or couldn’t get help in time.

This is an underestimate.  The authors expect this number to rise as more paperwork gets completed. It’s still only a small excess in a giant country, but it hints at the scale of the event were no quarantine measures put in place, no flights stopped, and the virus allowed to spread naturally. The current epidemic is stabilizing in New York, but if major action wasn’t taken, this would be the early weeks of a pandemic about to sweep across all fifty states. And this would not be the [...]

Coronavirus: Nearly 800 people under the age of 50 have died in the US

Locking up the olds and letting this rip still has some drawbacks.

Coronavirus: Nearly 800 people under the age of 50 have died in the US

Alex Woodward, The Independent

Nearly 200 people in the US in their thirties have died from coronavirus, among the nearly 800 people under age 50 who have died following the outbreak.

At least 45 Americans in their twenties have died from the Covid-19 disease caused by the virus, not including another nine deaths involving people under 20 years old, according to data collected by The Washington Post.

One third of young deaths had no known co-morbidity. Doctors have little idea what factors increase their risk. It may be genes, which is yet another reason to hammer this down and delay this round.  Gene and blood tests might enable us to figure out who was high risk of being hospitalized.

How many deaths among the under 50 will the average person tolerate before they stop sending their kids to school out of fear?

Hundreds of young Americans have now been killed by the coronavirus, data shows [...]

Trump, State of the Union — Win til you are sick of winning

Donald Trump’s State of the Union is being described as one of the best ever. It was a magnificent campaign speech. Even the LA Times calls it “a pretty effective one”. I don’t watch many political speeches, but this one could be a “how to” guide.

The dour faced white suits of the #Metoo look decidedly unAmerican and self centred when Trump announces great results for all their token mascots and they can’t even clap.  Nancy Pelosi petulantly rips up the speech that Trump had to provide her with at 1:42:50. Some news services are trimming that bit off…

Trump shamelessly plugs his heroes and basks in their greatness.  Rush Limbaugh gets a Presidential Medal of Honor. Buzz Aldrin singled out early at the start. (6:30)

“This year American Astronauts will go back to Space on American Rockets.”

John Hindraker:

This puts the Democrats in a tough spot. Through the first half of the speech, President Trump reeled off one item of good news after another: Record low unemployment! Lowest black unemployment ever! Lowest Hispanic unemployment ever! Rising wages, especially at the bottom! Median net worth skyrocketing! And so on. The Democrats greeted all [...]

Pushing back the Deep State? US Supreme Court may be able to stop politicians fobbing off big decisions to the EPA

The Deep State gets around congress and voters but we all know it isn’t supposed to be that way

The voters may not like the decisions, but they can’t vote out the bureaucrats. Think of the EPA, the FDA, and of course, the central bankers. Think of the Clean Air Act!

Some of these agencies effectively make the guidelines that we-the-people have to live by, then they enforce them, and adjudicate them too. They become defacto Kingmakers in their own fiefdoms. They are the fourth branch of government, also known as The Deep State.

But what feels wrong, may indeed be wrong, and it’s possible the Obama era Clean Power Plan could be repealed if it is deemed to breach the NonDelegation Doctrine, and there is renewed interest in this now that Brett Kavanaugh is in the Supreme Court. (No wonder some tried so hard to get him out).

The nondelegation doctrine is centuries old, and implicit in not just the US but all written constitutions that impose a separation of power. Here’s the wikipedia entry:

The origins of the nondelegation doctrine, as interpreted in U.S., can be traced back to, at least, 1690, when John [...]

50% of Americans don’t want to spend *even one more dollar* on renewables

Who wants to pay more for electricity?

All around the world conservative politicians are afraid to campaign against the cost of renewables. So here comes yet another survey showing a huge voter group sits there unrecognized, invisible, waiting for someone to vote for.

The news from the Center for Climate Change Communication, George Mason University:

Who is willing to pay more for renewable energy?

In two recent national surveys of American adults, we asked how much more per month, if anything, people would be willing to pay to get their electricity from 100% renewable sources. Nearly half of Americans (47%) reported that they were willing to pay more, while 50% said $0.

It’s a devastating result. Think about the fantasy they were being asked to put a price on — on offer was the mythical golden goose of  “100% renewable energy”. It doesn’t exist (unless you count hydroelectricity). Even so, what was that fantastical creature worth? For half of Americans — nothing.

Instead, the Centre for Climate Communication could have put a more realistic price on “100% renewable purity”, and asked how many Americans were willing to pay that exorbitant sum — it might be 1%. Might be [...]

Trump winds back anti coal legislation, while New York ramps it up

Remember when we were told coal was dying?

Donald Trump is changing the rules which will keep older cheap coal plants running.

Trump ditches sole climate rule that aimed to reduce coal plant pollution

Emily Holden, The Guardian

Donald Trump’s administration is finalizing plans to roll back the US government’s only direct efforts to curb coal-fired power plant pollution that is heating the planet.

Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency will replace an Obama-era climate change rule with a regulation that experts warn could help some of America’s oldest and dirtiest coal plants to keep running.

 His agencies have slashed programs designed to limit carbon dioxide from power plants, cars, and trucks, and encouraged oil drilling and coal mining.

Democrat states are expected to challenge the rule in courts, but Trump’s team argues that it doesn’t have the legal authority to regulate climate. Who does? God, maybe. If Trump wins that court case a whole lot of climate gravy may evaporate.

Trump will kill as many 80,000 people

One minute we’re talking about a pollutant that isn’t. Next thing, it’s a totally different pollutant that has nothing to do with CO2:

Coal plant air pollution – from tiny particles that [...]

Trump wins: Russiagate becomes the weapon of mass destruction for Mass Media’s reputation

Trump is vindicated. The real substance of Russiagate is what it says about the media

Dragged out for two years of hate, denigration and abuse in the media, in the end the Muller inquiry found no collusion. How many journalists predicted this. How many even wrote as though it was possible? Credit to Matt Taibbi for the scathing WMD comparison.

Mueller report into collusion a stunning victory for Donald Trump, by Cameron Stewart, The Australian.

The summary of the Mueller report issued today by Attorney General William Barr clears the president and his aides of any collusion with Russia and says there is no legal case to support obstruction of justice charges against him. …

It is a devastating defeat for the Democrats and for much of the US media who had hoped, prayed and frankly expected that Mueller would somehow find a silver bullet to end or at least cripple Trump’s presidency.

Matt Taibbi on Russiagate: ‘Death Blow for the Reputation of the American News Media’

It’s official: Russiagate is this generation’s WMD

Nothing Trump is accused of from now on by the press will be believed by huge chunks of [...]

Warning! Wind power warms local climate for next hundred years, needs 5 – 20 times as much land

It’s not often we see a report that turns things on their head quite like this.

Wind turbines may cause more local warming than global cooling in the next century.

Photo: Jo Nova

If the US were to install a lot of turbines, Wind power could warm the United States by 0.24 degrees Celsius instead of cooling it, because wind turbines “redistribute heat” in the atmosphere. They mix the surface layers. (0.24C would be equivalent to two decades of recent warming.) The largest effect is at night where wind plants can warm the local area by 1.5C.

At least 10 previous studies have now observed local warming caused by US wind farms. Keith and Miller compared their simulated warming to observations and found rough consistency between the data and model.

Nick Carne — Cosmos magazine

The new studies by Keith and Miller were published in Environmental Research Letters and Joule.

Major downer. The power density of wind energy is up to *100 times* less than predicted.

The new research suggests we can’t put too many turbines to close together or the whole group become far less efficient. That means we need 5 – 20 times [...]

New study: Conservatives not fooled by “extreme weather” in media but liberals suffer imaginary droughts

Good news. There is hope for average Americans; not so much for academics.

It’s bad news for the Eco Worriers though who were hoping that constant displays of extreme weather would finally convince conservatives — a flood here, a Cat 6 there, a hottest first Sunday of Lent. It all washes over Conservatives. The weather-porn won’t convince them.

But the most interesting and novel discovery here is buried in the third paragraph from the bottom and barely mentioned. The researchers are only interested in how to “convince conservatives” and not remotely concerned that the media may be misleading a lot of the population by hyping up the weather.

Apparently media propaganda has convinced 40% of the US population that they’ve lived through a drought that didn’t happen and 10% think they’ve lived through a hurricane that wasn’t.

I graphed the differences between perceived events and real ones. Below, red columns show the percentage of people who said they had lived through droughts, tornadoes, hurricanes and floods. Blue columns show the percentage of those same people who were living in counties which NOAA said had actually experienced those events.

A lot of people think they’ve been in a drought or [...]

It’s not a job interview, This is hell — and other stuff the ABC left out of our news.

One of the fieriest and most apt speeches in Washington was surely from Senator Graham. Since ABC viewers have missed this, I thought I would help out.

If the Democrats get away with this (so they can do it again) only a kevlar-coated-narcissist would want to run for public office.

Question for the #Metoo movement. When the mob rules and evidence is irrelevant, which gender will be less likely to want to play the game?

Weapons grade bullying is a good way to keep good men out of politics but it’s even better at keeping good women out. Good one gals.

Americans may wonder why other nations don’t understand them:

Exhibit A:   ABC National News, IView 14:08  (sorry if people overseas can’t see this)

Today tens of thousands of Australians will feel certain that they saw the key moments of the hearing and they will know that Kavanaugh is an abuser because the ABC told them so, right in the first line. Ford was there to warn Senators, Kavanaugh was an abuser. (The ABC actually said that).  Her claims were portrayed in graphic detail, and she was painted as a victim from the second line. In contrast, Kavanaugh’s words [...]

We Are Living Nineteen Eighty-Four

Some points here that the national media may not have shared. Supreme Court Justices in the most powerful Democracy on Earth may be at the point of being selected by character assassination. Evidence is so old fashioned…

As Donald Trump says “ it’s a ‘very big cultural moment‘ for the United States.” In terms of civilizations, some things matter.

We Are Living Nineteen Eighty-Four Authored by Victor David Hanson, National Review

Truth, due process, evidence, rights of the accused: All are swept aside in pursuit of the progressive agenda. 

In Orwell’s world of 1984 Oceania, there is no longer a sense of due process, free inquiry, rules of evidence and cross examination, much less a presumption of innocence until proven guilty. Instead, regimented ideology — the supremacy of state power to control all aspects of one’s life to enforce a fossilized idea of mandated quality — warps everything from the use of language to private life.

Newspeak and Doublethink

Statute of limitations? It does not exist. An incident 36 years ago apparently is as fresh today as it was when Kavanaugh was 17 and Ford 15.

Presumption of Innocence? Not at all. Kavanaugh [...]

EIA estimates for USA in 2050: The Future is Fossil Fuels and Cheap Electricity

What energy transformation?

The EIA Annual Energy Outlook 2018 is out. The hard heads at the US Dept of Energy crunched the numbers, assumed technology will improve, and modeled the outcomes. According  to their best estimates (and even their “worst” estimates) thirty years from now, the main energy source for the US is natural gas and fossil fuels. Renewables grows from 5% to 14%, but coal, nukes, hydro stays about the same. When the Australian Greens say “we don’t want to be left behind”, the answer is “Exactly! So explore for gas! Use Nukes!”

The World’s largest economy will still be nearly 80% fossil fueled in 2050.

On the road, most people are still using gasoline cars, and here’s the kicker — electricity prices are still at about 11 cents per kilowatt hour. Weep all ye Australians, Brits, Germans and other who would be grateful if electricity only rose 10% a year, not 10% over 30 years.

How much does an interconnector cost from Townsville to Texas? 

h/t Paul Homewood who has quoted Mark Perry from AEI:

Despite all of the hype, hope, cheerleading, fuel standards, portfolio standards, and taxpayer subsidies for renewable energies like wind and [...]

1200 years of climate change in the Bear River Basin, Utah

A bunch of scientists used tree rings to figure out the streamflow in Bear River, Utah, since the dark ages. This is what a perfect stable climate looks like.

Obviously we need immediate carbon trading to stop whatever is going to happen next:

Figure 1. Reconstructed Bear River decadal-scale drought (brown) and wet (green) periods from cubic smoothing spline with frequency response of 25% at wavelength 10 years. Dashed lines indicate 1 SD from reconstruction mean. Adapted from DeRose et al. (2016).

Thanks to the excellent CO2Science site for analyzing it in their collection.

In   1200 Years of Historic Streamflow we see that there was a dreadful drought in 1210 that lasted 70 years.  The worst wet period lasted nearly 50 years and started in 1378. Spot the effect of CO2. Anyone?

Naturally there has already been a Bear River Climate Change Adaptation Workshop, with “thirty-nine representatives of 20 state and federal agencies, local governments, academic institutions, and non-governmental organizations.”

The old 2010 Workshop  report tells us we have to let go of the idea that the climate is stable  — “stationarity is dead”. *

“ We are no longer working in a world where we can assume [...]

The USA — Fracking its way to jobs, wealth and lower emissions

It’s everything the Green revolution was supposed to offer — jobs, energy independence, money money money, and massive reductions in CO2. Australians hear how bad fracking is but not much about the transformation of the US.  h/t GWPF…

The Black Gold Rush

Exploitation of new oil and gas reserves by fracking shale rock has transformed the US economy since it started just 11 years ago – creating at least a million jobs and slashing electricity bills and greenhouse gas emissions.

The scale of this energy revolution is almost unimaginable.

The Marcellus shale bed in Pennsylvania is thought by geologists to contain enough gas to power and heat every home in America for 50 to 100 years. Yet a few hundred feet beneath it lies another giant formation, the Utica, that contains enough gas for a further century. – Daily Mail UK.

Emissions from electric power in the USA are back to 1987 levels

There’s a message here about how Australia could meet its obscene 28% reduction targets for carbon emissions. A caring Greenie would say No to more gifts for windfarms — and get cracking on the fracking. (Do they want to save [...]