JoNova

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


Handbooks


Advertising


Australian Speakers Agency



GoldNerds

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



Archives

Books

Unthreaded Weekend

. . .

The free market strikes back. Renewables Investment plummets 22% in first quarter of 2013

What the government giveth, the government can take away. So it came to pass that the glory of green investments fell over its peak and started to slide — a slide we hope will continue forthwith with speed until such day that Renewables Actually Work.

Weakest quarter for clean energy investment since 2009 [Bloomberg] 15 April 2013

Investment worldwide in the first quarter of 2013 was $40.6bn, down 22% on a year earlier, due to a downturn in large wind and solar project financings London and New York, 15 April 2013 – Global investment in clean energy in the first three months of 2013 was lower than in any quarter for the past four years, according to the latest figures from research company Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

2013 Q1 is not marked here (except with a dodgy red star thingy). It s somewhere around 22% below Q1 2012. [Graph: Bloomberg]

Remember in the land of warmer-investments, this is just a global pause. It’s the fourth highest first-quarter investment. Ever. (!)

The US leads the way. Europe is following. Australia is too irrelevant to mention.

“Among the key details of the first quarter 2013 data were a 54% year-on-year fall in [...]

Game Changer? EU carbon price hits “Junk Status”. (Australian Govt hits $10b Black Hole)

The EU is a basket-case, teetering, so when the European Parliament had the chance to “fix” the carbon market yesterday, they surprised everyone and chose not to. Being unfixed, it’s free to collapse, which it did and by 40%.

The Economist headline today is “Carbon Trading Below Junk Status”.

The EU carbon market once was around €22/tCO2 (that was 2008). Australia turned up five years late to the party, and is still trying to trade at similar rates.

Today Point Carbon is listing the carbon price as “€2.80“. Obviously, subject to change, and possibly trending-to-zero.

[BusinessTimes] “Campaigners and traders warn the carbon price could now fall below 2 euros or even to near zero in the coming weeks, and government sales could fail if they don’t meet minimum price requirements, as banks that act as liquidity providers pull out.”

 

The EU carbon market is not dead yet, but this could be a game changer

[The Economist] The rejection [of the bill to rescue the carbon market] was a surprise. The parliament’s environment committee had looked at the plan in February and approved it by a surprisingly wide margin of 38 votes to 25.

Antarctica gaining Ice Mass (balance*) — and is not extraordinary compared to 800 years of data

It’s difficult to say anything for sure about Antarctica because the weather is so variable. Bumper snow one year, not so much the next. (Noise and uncertainty is large). But 800 years of ice cores spread across Antarctica shows the Surface Mass Balance (SMB) is more likely to have been increasing over the last century. (Which fits with what Zwally et al found in 2012 with ICESAT satellite data).

Note the correlation of the smoothed average of the SMB (orange line) with Total Solar Irradiance (green line).

Antarctic Ice has been increasing for the last half century, and over 800 years it correlates with solar radiation. TSI: Total Solar Irradiance (Click to enlarge) Fig. 5. (A) Mean normalised stacked SMB anomaly time series at the continental scale, calculated as described in the text (black line with positive and negative values filled in with red and blue contours, respectively) and the 40-yr central running average smoothing (orange line). The green line represents the normalised TSI anomalies, and the corresponding ±1 uncertainties are indicated by the green vertical bars.

H/t: HockeySchtick and Jaymez

A paper published today in The Cryosphere finds Antarctica has been gaining surface ice and snow accumulation [...]

Lewandowsky, Prof of Psychology, thinks the Labor Government doesn’t benefit if he calls their opponents “stupid”.

Stephan Lewandowsky’s work is a case study in government funded inanity. Some Australians are sure that burning coal will make storms stronger. Others are not convinced. In November 2012 Lewandowsky’s intellectual contribution to science in Australia was to call the unconvinced “stupid”. If that’s not inane enough, at the same time he claimed that he didn’t recieve funding from any organisation that would benefit from his article.

How many taxpayer dollars went towards funding that? No conflict of interest?

Are Australian Research Council funds used as a form of third party advertising for Labor Government policy?

Writing in “A storm of Stupidity, Sandy, Evidence and Climate Change” on The Conversation, his reasoning is like this: some scientists reckon that a very bad storm called “Sandy” has “links” to man-made emissions of a trace gas. Lewandowsky reasons that because those scientists are called “experts”, anyone who questions them should be called stupid. (He thinks this article and that tweet were overdue). Though, in a twist, apparently he doesn’t actually think the unconvinced are actually stupid, he thinks they are ethically “disembodied” people who “mislead”. (As an aside, notice how he approves of news articles that call them stupid even though [...]

The Monster has arrived. Thanks to friends… : – )

The Monster is in the house. I haven’t actually laid a finger on it, but I’ve been introduced.

It is currently being fed with special monster baby food — heavy windows, slow drivers, stuff like that — it is pacified with shiny plastic discs and drip-fed digits from far-distant lands.

At a hundred-billion-tera-flops a gargle-second, it’s learning fast. A lot seems to be going on.

In the meantime, sorry for the silence. I’ve been working as fast as I could on a tiny coaster-sized array of pixels with unfamiliar software, no mouse, and no ability to load up pictures to my usual storage site, or read my usual emails (except one at a time with 14 keystrokes of complexity and a 20 second wait for the next – I gave up). I dream of graphs I can’t make. I reboot the old machine, and sometimes feel normal for a half hour. Then it goes.

Space-time is being warped in my head. Things I used to do in five minutes take me all day.

Some futurists have waffled on prophesizing about the coming integration of hominid brains and silicon chips, blah-de-blah. I always thought they were bonkers. But I was wrong. [...]