A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).



Australian Speakers Agency


The nerds have the numbers on precious metals investments on the ASX

The Skeptics Handbook

Think it has been debunked? See here.

The Skeptics Handbook II

Climate Money Paper



Nothing shows how pathetic solar and battery power are like the pitiful celebrations

Strap yourself in: Solar Power and batteries made a whole town 100% renewable (for 80 minutes).

It’s an Australian first!  Put out a press release. No seriously, they did:

Solar and battery microgrid takes WA town to 100% renewables in Australian first

Western Australia has again demonstrated its remote renewable energy generation chops, after successfully powering the Pilbara town of Onslow entirely on a combination of large and small-scale solar and battery storage for a total of 80 minutes.

Only 520,000 minutes short of a whole year.

“The milestone achievement was announced by WA energy minister Bill Johnston on Friday morning after being demonstrated by state government-owned regional utility Horizon Power, which established the solar and storage microgrid next to an existing gas plant.”

Onslow is a metropolis of 847 people sited in one of the sunniest zones in one of the sunniest countries in the world. With at least 3650 hours of sun a year, Onslow vies for a top ten position globally.

If solar power was going to make it anywhere, this would be it. But we all know what keeps the lights on in Onslow and it isn’t solar power.

The  renewable microgrid is made up of 700kW of customer generated solar, a 600kW solar array, and a 1MW (no MWh stated) Battery Energy Storage System.

Plus a gas plant…

Keep reading  →

9.6 out of 10 based on 79 ratings

Weekend Unthreaded

10 out of 10 based on 4 ratings

Rumor: Top Chinese Secret Service man defected — says Covid was military bioweapon

It’s the sort of news that causes a Geopolitical realignment

China, dragon flag.

There are now three Chinese defectors saying Covid19 was deliberately created by the Chinese Military. The third,  Dong Jingwei, is possibly the highest ranking yet, and apparently talked to the DIA in mid February after flying into the US to visit his daughter.

The claims are that he has brought with him terabytes of data or “nearly 19 million documents”.  It’s potentially dynamite — allegedly containing studies of Covid, forecasts of spread in the West, and names of Chinese spies in the US with details of payments.

If this is confirmed, and the Chinese Military did release a deadly bioweapon on the world, as Paula Bolyard says, “it ranks as one of the worst crimes against humanity the world has ever seen” — and the media, and some intelligence agencies, helped to cover it up.

The DIA kept the defector a secret from the CIA and FBI because they believed there were Chinese spies within them.

BREAKING: Defector Claiming Chinese Military Responsible for COVID-19 Identified as Top Counterintelligence Official

Paula Bolyard, PJ Media

According to RedState, the data includes:

    • Early pathogenic studies of the virus we now know as SARS-CoV-2
    • Models of predicted COVID-19 spread and damage to the U.S. and the world
    • Financial records detailing which exact organizations and governments funded the research on SARS-CoV-2 and other biological warfare research
    • Names of U.S. citizens who provide intel to China
    • Names of Chinese spies working in the U.S. or attending U.S. universities
    • Financial records showing U.S. businessmen and public officials who’ve received money from the Chinese government
    • Details of meetings U.S. government officials had (perhaps unwittingly) with Chinese spies and members of Russia’s SVR
    • How the Chinese government gained access to a CIA communications system, leading to the death of dozens of Chinese people who were working with the CIA

One third of Chinese students may be PLA assets? 

RedState again:

Again, according to sources, Dong told DIA debriefers that at least a third of Chinese students attending US universities are PLA assets or part of the Thousand Talents Plan and that many of the students are here under pseudonyms. One reason for using pseudonyms is that many of these students are the children of high-ranking military and party leaders.

Dong could be the highest ranking defector yet from Chinese Intelligence

Jennifer Van Laar, on RedState:

Dong is, or was, a longtime official in China’s Ministry of State Security (MSS), also known as the Guoanbu. His publicly available background indicates that he was responsible for the Ministry’s counterintelligence efforts in China, i.e., spy-catching, since being promoted to vice minister in April 2018. If the stories are true, Dong would be the highest-level defector in the history of the People’s Republic of China.

The one thing that has always suggested it was an incompetent leak rather than planned dispersal was that it appeared so close to the Wuhan Lab that was working on it. If the Military wanted it to look natural it would have been easier to release far away in Yunnan. Perhaps the truth is a mix — and it was meant to be used, but leaked early, and was then fanned “towards the West” to make the most of a mistake. It’s hard to believe Military intel would assume they could leak it deliberately, then rely on the Democrats and media to help in an election year, and later fall back on an “accident” with plausible deniability. But then it’s hard to believe the Democrats would select Joe Biden.

It may be no accident that the Lab Leak theory is finally getting accepted

Given the timing of Dong’s defection, and the gradual spread of the details from that trove, it makes sense that news has finally grown legs from early May when the Nicholas Wade article appeared. That doesn’t change the fact that there was always enough evidence to treat the lab leak as a possibility all along.

If this is true, it may be just what the West finally needs to pull together against a real threat and to help identify the rot within. It will also put pressure on the Chinese Communist Party’s position in China.

9.6 out of 10 based on 98 ratings

People abandoning BBC propaganda for new UK Channel “GB News”

Signs of life in the UK outpost of Civilization

A new TV channel called “GB News” only opened on Sunday, to smashingly good ratings.  GB News outdid the BBC and Sky on its first day as 164,000 people tuned in to see if they got real news for a change instead of repetitive inane cliches approved by some middle level bureaucratic arts graduate who was pushing their own political agenda to pump up their grifting salary and impress their friends. The BBC got 133,000 viewers and Sky 57,000.

BBC hit by mass boycott as viewers flock to Andrew Neil’s GB News and cancel TV licences

by Laura O’Callaghan, Express

AVID fans of GB News have hailed Britain’s newest TV channel and vowed to continue their boycott of the Beeb as they seek information from alternative sources.

Naturally, the collectivist bullies have gone after the advertisers, and while many spineless corporate CEOs have folded to cancel culture, at least one team is fighting back.  Companies with weak CEOs include Kopparberg, Grolsch, Nivea, Open University, and Ikea.

Bravo to The Co-op which stood their ground 

The Co-op announced that it would not remove its advertising.

”Hi, we have developed a detailed and thoughtful advertising approach, which is driven by 3 principles:

    1. “We will not seek to affect the editorial independence of publications or channels.
    2. “We will not undermine the commercial value of our society for our members.
    3. “We will ensure our values and principles are clear and undiminished regardless of surrounding content.”

Former Ukip MEP Patrick O’Flynn tweeted that The Co-op had “knocked it out of the park” and he would be proud to shop at his local Co-op store.

As Sacha O’Sullivan says: GB News has been ‘cancelled’ and made a roaring success out of it.

In his opening introduction, Andrew Neil vowed to expose “cancel culture” and focus on the news that matters to people outside of the “Westminster bubble”.

Keep reading  →

9.3 out of 10 based on 87 ratings

Kim Jong Un Attends Ivy League University To Learn New Brainwashing Techniques

When only the best will do:

“I thought I knew all there was to know about communist indoctrination, but I was wrong,” said the ruthless dictator to reporters after sitting through a 2-hour lecture on why fidget spinners are a remnant of Western patriarchal oppression. “Your American college professors have this down to an art!” …

The murderous leader of North Korea plans to go back to his home country and start his own Ivy League school: Kim Jong UNiversity.

Thanks to the Babylon Bee. Click the logo to read the rest.

9.9 out of 10 based on 41 ratings

China suddenly puts brakes on climate action, wind and solar subsidies

It’s almost like China’s climate action was just window dressing. It seems to be unraveling…

Symbol China Map.China’s National Carbon Trading Scheme was supposed to go into full operation later this month, but now it’s been cut back by two-thirds. Instead of burdening 6,000 companies it will only afflict 2,000. And only a week ago, the Chinese government suddenly axed solar and wind subsidies, with the cuts starting just six weeks from now. Oilprice calls it “a crushing blow for wind and solar”. In a devastating move, there are even demands that solar plants have to sell electricity at the same price as coal power. The cruelty!

China produces three quarters of all the world’s solar panels, having subsidized-the-heck out of the global industry, exploited slave labor and driven the US leaders out of production.

Judging by the Wall St Journal story — in the last two months the paradigm has shifted from Environmental control to Economic priority. Perhaps solar power wasn’t much use for building ballistic missile submarines?

How different things would be if solar was actually cheaper than coal…

No new solar power plant subsidies. Just like that?

China to stop subsidies for new solar power stations, onshore wind projects in 2021

BEIJING, June 11 (Reuters) – China will no longer grant subsidies for new solar power stations, distributed solar projects by commercial users or onshore wind projects from the central government budget in 2021, the state planner said in a statement on Friday.

And now solar power can only sell at the same price as coal power? Really?

Electricity generated from the new projects will be sold at local benchmark coal-fired power prices or at market prices, the statement said.

Probably the reason for the solar subsidy cuts is because the bill had heated up to $42 billion by mid last year. And those subsidies are largely paid by electricity consumer serfs who weren’t too happy*.

China Delivers Crushing Blow To Wind, Solar Power

June 11, 2021, Oilprice

The country’s finance ministry had previously committed to granting 57 percent more subsidies to solar power projects this year, although it did slash subsidies for wind power.

Keep reading  →

9.6 out of 10 based on 65 ratings

Thursday Open Thread

9.8 out of 10 based on 9 ratings

What really happened on Capitol Hill on Jan 6?

Entrapment on Capitol Hill: Did the FBI infiltrate and even lead the riot?

Capitol Hill Riot, Jan 6 2021. Congress.

Capitol Hill, January 6

A very strange pattern

Many people are still being held in jail, without bail, five months later, but some of the people who appeared to be the most aggressive activists at Capitol Hill didn’t even get indicted. Were these people legally protected because they were undercover operatives or informants working with the FBI? If so, how much did these actors instigate events and thus entrap genuine protesters?

And if the FBI knew this event was going to happen, on “the most important day ever in Congress”, why didn’t they stop it and let Congress debate the question of whether the election was stolen? Seven US states had sent in dual electors, effectively choosing both Biden and Trump, and a growing number of Senators in five of those states had upped the ante by calling for an official decertification. All that Donald Trump, Rudy Guiliani and 88 State Senators were asking for, was a ten day delay so those key states could consider the new evidence and vote again and choose one set of electors.

Look who benefited from the Capitol Storming?

As reader Chris says:

The last thing genuine Trump supporters, or Republican constitutionalists wanted was to disrupt this critical sitting and the tabling of election fraud evidence.

But, the last thing the SWAMP wanted was the tabling of election fraud evidence.

Revolver takes a close look at the two different types of protestors at Capitol Hill:

Unindicted Co-Conspirators in 1/6 Cases Raise Disturbing Questions of Federal Foreknowledge


The first category is the group of mostly harmless tourists who walked through already opened doors and already-removed barricades, and at most were guilty of minor trespassing charges and light property offenses. The second group consists of those who were violent with police officers, broke down barricades, smashed windows, belonged to a “militia” group engaged in military-style planning prior to the event, discussed transporting heavy weaponry, and so forth.

What’s at stake in these investigations:

If it turns out that an extraordinary percentage of the members of these groups involved in planning and executing the Capitol Siege were federal informants or undercover operatives, the implications would be nothing short of staggering. This would be far worse than the already bad situation of the government knowing about the possibility of violence and doing nothing.

Instead, this would imply that elements of the federal government were active instigators in the most egregious and spectacular aspects of 1/6, amounting to a monumental entrapment scheme used as a pretext to imprison otherwise harmless protestors at the Capitol — and in a much larger sense used to frame the entire MAGA movement as potential domestic terrorists.

Must see TV: Tucker Carlson

Bitchute link

Meanwhile the ABC News said nothing, and SBS News told Australians tonight that “White Supremacy” is the single greatest threat the US faces.

There was a practice run three months earlier in Michigan led by the FBI

Remember the strange “Governor Whitmer Kidnapping Plot?” One third of those that Stormed Michigans Capitol turned out to be FBI agents or informants, and many of the people at that storming also came to Capitol Hill on Jan 6th.

…what if we told you that scarcely three months before the 1/6 Capitol Siege, the FBI arrested 14 people for planning to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and overthrow the State Government — and that the alleged conspiracy to overthrow the State government involved storming of the State Capitol?

And what if we told you that of the 14 individuals who allegedly plotted the “kidnapping” and overthrow of the state government, at least five were undercover agents and federal informants? And as if that’s not enough, many of the individuals allegedly involved in this plot appear to belong to the “Three Percenters,” one of the very same militia groups now blamed for storming January 6.

And, as the cherry on top, what if we told you that the director of the Detroit FBI Field Office, who oversaw the infiltration operation of the Michigan Plot, was subsequently granted a highly coincidental promotion to the D.C. office, where he is now the lead FBI agent for all 1/6 cases?

As crazy as it sounds, all of this is true…

What did the FBI know, when did they know it, and were they involved?

  1. Did the FBI infiltrate the militia groups and protesters at Capitol Hill and how many agents were there?
  2. Why are some people who were there being kept in solitary confinement five months later, while others, who appeared to be leaders on the day, are able to go free?  Is it because these people were FBI agents?
  3. Why are federal agencies hiding 10,000 or more hours of security camera footage of what happened on January 6th at Capitol Hill? Including, probably detailed footage of the pipe bomber the FBI supposedly want to catch.
  4. Who killed Ashli Babbit?

January 6 became the reason the Biden government claim they need to use law enforcement to crush anyone who opposes the Biden government.

Read the whole Revolver account, and watch Tucker Carlson.

h/t David, Bill in AZ, and Chris D

9.6 out of 10 based on 64 ratings

Bunions and broken bones: medieval shoes show price Homo Sapiens fashion victims willing to pay

x-ray of bunions.

Would you like bunions with that?   |  Photo: Mshirk

Believe it or not, Medieval shoes tell us something important about modern civilization. The hyper-gregarious Homo Sapiens might be able to walk on the moon, but ultimately a large proportion of the species just want to climb the social ladder. And the smarter, higher order sapiens might paradoxically be willing to pay the most stupid price.

In this case, being “progressive” in the 14th Century meant wearing pointy shoes that left 4 out of 10 people buried at the friary with bent and sometimes broken bones. Bunions make it harder to balance so they increase the risk of falls.  The undeniable benefits of scoring social fashion points were apparently worth spending decades distorting foot bones. Before you dismiss this as a teenage girly thing, ponder that two thirds of the victims were men.

The social competition to have the pointiest shoes became so dangerous that in 1463 King Edward IV passed a law declaring toe-points had to be 2 inches or less within London.

Ancient Near Eastern copper statuette of an unknown horned deity with corresponding pointy shoes (proto-Elamite 3000-2800 B.C.)

Pointy shoes in a statue from 3,000 BC.   | Camocon

The pointy shoe fashion bubble has struck all over the world: Japan, China, Sweden, Turkey and even in the 20th Century. The horned statue to the left is from the near East circa 3000 BC.

In the battle of stupid fashion trends the best weapon is free speech. If the King makes pointy shoes an employment criterion, even smart men who know the price will still pay it to get the girls and the goodies for their offspring. It’s a cold cost-benefit calculation, not a religion.

It’s quickly cured if the court jester can mock the King. Once the price is named out loud the race is over, and all the contestants lose.

Medieval shoe trend brought ‘plague’ of bunions to Britain

Keep reading  →

9.5 out of 10 based on 25 ratings

Climate fears stop new gas plants in Europe, then cold hits and they go back to coal

God’s joke on governments that try to control the climate with their electricity grid: 

Europe talks itself out of building gas plants in order to stop global warming, then after an extra cold winter, they also run out of gas, and now they have to go back to burning coal.

Spooked investors weren’t funding many gas plants now that the glorious renewable era was here and policy makers were all wearing their Hydrogen badges, and waving their carbon capture wands. In the last year all the geniuses of the European Investment Bank, the IEA, the European Commission were saying “gas is over” and it would be a stranded asset.

One month ago, Nina Chestney was predicting a gas supply crunch:

Gas faces existential crisis in climate wary Europe

May 14, 2021, , Reuters

Europe faces the prospect of higher electricity bills and a supply crunch, as utilities struggle to finance new gas-fired power plants unless they meet tougher emissions criteria imposed by banks pressured to stop financing fossil-fuel projects.

…Gas projects worth some 30 billion euros were cancelled, delayed or indefinitely postponed last year as they struggled to find funding.

The costs of renewables are expected to continue falling, while gas plant owners are exposed to EU carbon prices, which have hit record levels above 50 euros a tonne, and volatile wholesale energy prices.

But in Europe, where coal is already hard to finance, lending institutions and governments have moved on to tightening requirements for funding gas projects.

The European Investment Bank, Europe’s largest public lender, has revamped its lending policy to largely exclude new gas infrastructure from the end of this year.

“To put it mildly, gas is over…Without the end to the use of unabated fossil fuels, we will not be able to reach the climate targets,” EIB president Werner Hoyer said in January.

And so the shortage came to pass:

Not only was there a shortage of gas plants, but also a shortage of gas too. Winter was freezing, and Russia was sending more gas to China, and less through the old pipe to Europe through Ukraine. Plus the pipes from Norway were under heavy maintenance.

Gas Is So Scarce in Europe That Coal Is Making a Comeback


Europe is so short of natural gas that the continent — usually seen as the poster child for the global fight against emissions — is turning to coal to meet electricity demand that is now back to pre-pandemic levels. Coal usage in the continent jumped 10% to 15% this year after a colder- and longer-than-usual winter left gas storage sites depleted, said Andy Sommer, team leader of fundamental analysis and modeling at Swiss trader Axpo Solutions AG.

EU Gas Supplies

GIE European gas storage: percentage of full

Keep reading  →

9.8 out of 10 based on 87 ratings