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

Think it has been debunked? See here.

The Skeptics Handbook II

Climate Money Paper


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Big-government propaganda: ABC, BBC are “Aggressive political participants”. Sell or Split?

What to do with the public broadcasters? ABC BBC CBC (Can anyone explain public media in NZ?)

Big-government fans forcibly take funds from all citizens to support big-government propaganda by journalists who predominantly vote left or very-left (see here or here). The question is not whether or not they should do this but whether to privatize the public broadcasters, or to split them in two. I say, let’s forget the submissive plea to get one conservative commentator among a monoculture of “progressives”.  Chop the current one in half and call it what it is: pro big-government. Then set up a new counter half to match — the pro-small-government broadcaster with the same funds but new staff. (Game on — let the best team win that ratings war.) Abbott could keep ABC funding promises. ABC-L plus ABC-R equals current ABC-LL+ funding.

Obviously, true free-market libertarians want public broadcasters 100% sold — their incentives are always going to run counter to unbiased reporting and the hunt for the truth. On the other hand, among the populace, the ground is not remotely laid for a big-sell. Many voters remain blind to the bias, and have no idea how filtered the half-truths are: [...]

Rupert Wyndham ponders the wanton hypocrisy of Paul Nurse and The Royal Society

Rupert Wyndham is an eloquent treasure. For those who have not already seen this (and I’ve received many emails about it) — Enjoy! — His turn of phrase is something to behold: the damning indictments carefully understated, yet laid bare. That the Royal Society President has been reduced to ad hominem attacks “… demonstrates more clearly than anything else the loss of dignity it has endured and depths of corruption to which it has been reduced under your stewardship and those of your two predecessors. “

  — Jo

The Royal Society in better days: Boyle, Newton, Franklin, Jenner, Babbage, Wallace, Lister, Rutherford, Hodgkin, Shackleton. (From The stamp collection).

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31 March 2013

Sir Paul Nurse, President, The Royal Society

6-9 Carlton House Terrace

London SW1Y 5AG

 

Dear Sir Paul Nurse,

Your reply to Lord Lawson dated 8 March has come to hand. It goes without saying that I make no claim to be responding on his behalf; he is more than capable of doing that for himself. Your letter, however, is such a singular juxtaposition of barely suppressed personal antipathy (malice even), blatant mendacity and [...]

Rupert Wyndham’s excellent prose to Bishop Langrish (the 26 ethical flaws of propagandists)

No one says it quite like Rupert. Reprinted with permission, thank you. Read, enjoy the vivid panoply,

— Jo

My favourite extract — the 26 ethical flaws of propagandists

(For the full letter and context go straight to the post below – apologies to Rupert for discontinuous edits)

Climate change major risks: Such as? There is not one shred of empirical evidence for your assertion. There is, of course, an ocean of mendacious and fraudulent computer modelling by people with vast vested interests in promoting the scam.

 You state that you do not underestimate my ‘strength of feeling on this important issue’. With respect, you are well wide of the mark. I have no strong feelings about climate change. Climate change is fact of life and, in that sense, is a banality. I do, however, have a prejudice against blatant chicanery and outright knavery.

Neither is this, anyway, a scientific issue. The science is clear. There have been and are no untoward changes in global climate outside those which flow from natural variability. There have been no recent climatic phenomena, which do not have numerous precedents. CO2 has nothing to do with the [...]

Friday night reading: the eloquent take-downs

Today, while I work on something else, I thought I’d just share a few of the more entertaining pieces of writing I’ve come across lately.

How many mistakes can you pack in one phrase?

Remember how all defenders of the Man-Made-Catastrophe were trained to say that skeptics are funded by big oil, and Big Oil had that insidious agreement… that internal memo that said they were aiming to “reposition global warming as theory rather than fact” (which has all the meaning of “repositioning McDonalds as a fast food chain”, it being tritely obvious and all). Well, Russell Cook points out that this popular bumper-sticker line that’s quoted ad lib across the ether, is full of mistakes, misattributions and misinformation. It seems it’s not only not a smoking gun, but it’s not a weapon, and wasn’t fired by the prize winner shooter they attributed it too, and the guy that didn’t fire the dud shot, didn’t win a prize either.

With fanfare according to Gore it was “discovered by the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Ross Gelbspan”, but the Pulitzer site doesn’t know about Gelbspans “prize”, and you can read all the sordid details at the Climate Gate Country Club, or a [...]