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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What the heck are science journalists for?

From The Skeptics Handbook II

Last week a science journalist at The Guardian wrote the best summary I have ever seen of the state of the profession known as “science communication”. Only, he thought it was a spoof. Well, it is — and it’s satirically funny at the same time as being an unwittingly cutting commentary. (We laugh at the formulaic approach because we know it’s so true, and then we bang our heads on the wall…).

Science journalists who churn out mindless ritual productions are effectively being PR and marketing writers. Dangerously, though, they are dressed as “investigative” journalists. The public assumes they are checking that their stories don’t break laws of logic and reason, that they are supported by evidence, and that they are providing the whole story. Their PR is the most powerful advertising there is, it’s not just free, it’s a third party endorsement.

Ironically, the same journalists probably don’t realize how important they are. They think they’re there for a fluffy feelgood reasons: to help promote science, raise public awareness, and attract school leavers into careers in science. They don’t realize that their most important role is to protect science itself and be guardians […]

Is the Western Climate Establishment Corrupt? Part 7: Other Climate Establishments Disagree

The public might not understand the science, but they do understand cheating

Dr. David Evans 6 October 2010

[A series of articles reviewing the western climate establishment and the media. The first and second discussed air temperatures, the third was on ocean temperatures, and fourth discussed past temperatures, the fifth compared the alleged cause (human CO2 emissions) with the alleged effect (temperatures) and the sixth canvassed the infamous attempt to “fix” that disconnect, the hockey stick.]

Click to download a pdf file containing the whole series

The western climate establishment consists of the climate science research bodies in the western world, and their climate scientists. The leading organizations are the IPCC of the United Nations, the CRU in Britain, and GISS and NOAA in the United States. Personnel move around within the establishment, getting funding from the same sources, collaborating on projects, and publishing in the same journals.

There are other climate establishments in this world, and […]

Is the Western Climate Establishment Corrupt? Part 6: The Hockey Stick

I know the Hockey Stick is old news to most blog readers here, but it’s easy to forget that the people reading the mainstream news (ie: most of the West) have no idea of the scale of the audacity involved. Up until the 1998 MBH paper came out, it was widely understood that there was a Medieval Warm Period, indeed there were hundreds of papers available at the time. The Hockey Stick Graph completely rewrote everything, yet was accepted and widely promoted without anyone so much as asking for the data… until, of course, McIntyre and McKitrick tried. It will do down in the annuals of science as one of the most egregious examples of “the not-so-scientific” method. — JoNova

The public might not understand the science, but they do understand cheating

Dr. David Evans

6 October 2010

[A series of articles reviewing the western climate establishment and the media. The first and second discussed air temperatures, the third discussed ocean temperatures, the fourth discussed past temperatures, […]

Shock! Climate models can’t even predict a linear rise

SOURCE: Semi-Satirical News

Preschooler outdoes climate models

Back in 2001, little Alby Brushtail was just 4 when he predicted global sea levels for a decade by drawing a straight line through a graph. Today, Will Steffen, Director of the Climate Institute admits that global climate models are woeful at predicting sea levels in a story titled: “Sea levels rising at top end of estimates”.

The failure of the sophisticated models is all the more baffling because by 2001, global sea levels had been rising at the not-so-tricky, fairly steady rate of 3mm a year for the previous nine years. Despite this simple linear trend, even with the worlds best equipment and budgets of millions, the top experts only barely managed to predict future sea levels within their broad error margins.

In the end, they couldn’t outdo the four year old who drew the line in with an orange crayon in his preschool class and who simply said that the 3mm a year trend would “just keep going”.

For his remarkable success in 2001, Alby credited Mr Squiggle, but says he’s moved on now, and uses a […]

Robyn Williams shreds the tenets of science

Robyn Williams presenting at the Prime Ministers Awards 2006

As I keep repeating, there’s only ONE thing that makes science different to religion, and that’s evidence. Robyn Williams is the most lauded commentator on science in Australian (read the rave here, he was the first and only journalist to be elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science; a professor at two universities, and received 5 honorary doctorates) yet despite the accolades he mistakenly hails the opinions of paid PR hacks above evidence and reason, and hallows the Blacklist of Approved Climate Sorcerers, sorry, Scientists as if it holds the key to the question of climate sensitivity of a trace gas. (How many “scientists” do you need to warm a planet? Answer: Whatever $79 billion can buy.)

This odd juxtaposition of discussing modern science with neolithic reasoning is unfortunately de rigeur, such is the abysmal state of my profession, known (misleadingly in this case) as science communication. These same commentators who complain about “the people who confuse the public”, don’t seem to realize they’re the ones who lead the pack. They break laws of reason known for two thousands years, destroy the central tenets of science, and conflate […]

Is the Western Climate Establishment Corrupt? Part 5: CO2 Emissions Versus Temperature

The public might not understand the science, but they do understand cheating

Dr. David Evans

6 October 2010

[A series of articles reviewing the western climate establishment and the media. The first and second discussed air temperatures, the third discussed ocean temperatures, and the fourth discussed past temperatures.]

Click to download a pdf file containing the whole series

Notice How They Never Directly Compare Temperature With Human Emissions of CO2?

According to the man-made theory of global warming promoted by the western climate establishment, the recent global warming is due to human emissions of greenhouse gases, which are dominated by carbon dioxide (CO2).

So let’s compare the alleged cause (human emissions of CO2) with the alleged effect (temperature).

Human emissions of CO2 have been estimated from historical data for the period 1751 (before the industrial revolution) to 2007 for the major sources—coal, gas, and petroleum use, cement production, and gas flaring—by the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center within the US Department of Energy. (The cumulative figures below extrapolate to 2010 using average annual emissions for the previous 14 years.)

8.1 out of 10 based on 15 ratings […]

Is the Western Climate Establishment Corrupt? Part 4: Past Temperatures

The public might not understand the science, but they do understand cheating

Dr. David Evans

6 October 2010

[A series of articles reviewing the western climate establishment and the media. The first and second discussed air temperatures, the third discussed ocean temperatures.]

Click to download a pdf file containing the whole series

They Don’t Tell You: The Current Global Warming Trend is Over 300 Years Old

A Scene on the Ice by Hendrick Avercamp, circa 1600

Satellite data only goes back to 1979, and global land-thermometer records only go back to 1850. Before that we have to resort to “proxies”, which are various natural phenomena from which temperature can be deduced. As we go further back in time, the errors and uncertainties increase.

6.6 out of 10 based on 7 ratings […]

New Zealand – Where did that warming go?

UPDATED (below)

Think of this as a car crash. NIWA says: “The car’s fine, there’s nothing wrong with it.”

Then: “We can’t find the keys (actually we’ve lost the car)”.

Later: “We weren’t driving it”.

Finally: “The car doesn’t exist”.

There’s a litany of excuses. The National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) claims New Zealand has been warming at 0.92°C per 100 years. But when some independent minded chaps in New Zealand graphed the raw NZ data, they found that the thermometers show NZ has only warmed by a statistically non-significant 0.06°C. They asked for answers and got nowhere, until they managed to get the light of legal pressure onto NIWA to force it to reply honestly. Reading between the lines, it’s obvious NIWA can’t explain or defend the adjustments.

Richard Treadgold was one of that team and wrote it up here.

The legal documents:

August 2010: The NZ Climate Science Coalition’s put together legal claims.

The NZCSC filed judicial review proceedings against NIWA, requesting the Court to:

• Declare the 7SS invalid • Direct NIWA to prepare […]

The scientific world is fracturing

The rift between real science (the pursuit of truth) and PR-science (the pursuit of of money and power) is growing. Associations like The Royal Society, the APS, and the American Chemical Society are beginning to fracture internally as eminent members reject the unscientific pronouncements made on their behalf by small “secret and stacked” committees.

Hal Lewis comes from the elite upper levels of science — a physics professor at University of California (Santa Barbara), and a member of the Defense Science Board (a group of the top 40 or so, advising the Pentagon).

He’s resigned from the American Physical Society (APS) today, after 67 years. The APS is the world’s second largest organization of physicists, with 48,000 members. He is scathing of the fall from grace of the once renowned institution.

Anthony Watts is calling it “…an important moment in science history. I would describe it as a letter on the scale of Martin Luther, nailing his 95 theses to the Wittenburg church door.”

For reasons that will soon become clear my former pride at being an APS Fellow all these years has been turned into shame, and I am forced, with no pleasure at all, to offer you […]

Another 10:10 parody

Note: There’s gratuitous offensive violence here, all from the original 10:10 eco-snuff movie. I wrote about the deplorable nature of this in Sick green-psycho-stars want to kill your children.

The first 1 min:18 of this is jolly good fun (watch that well informed class give the teacher a hard time), then, of course, you-know-what-happens. The Ten Ten Classroom Debate.

7.8 out of 10 based on 4 ratings […]