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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Heat and fires from when CO2 was “ideal”: Black Thursday, 1851

The year 1851 and CO2 is 287ppm in Law Dome Antarctica. The climate is perfect, but Australians are dealing with the worst fires in recorded history, scorching heat, drought, searing wind and by the sounds of it, an arabian dust storm. There are no skycranes, no mobile phones, and no helitankers. Temperatures in the shade hit 117F in Melbourne (that’s 47C), 115 in Warnambool, 114 in Geelong. But those are not BOM official records (the BOM didn’t exist until some 50 years later). The conditions were unprecedented in living memory even though, at the time, many people said fires and droughts were commonplace. Businesses stopped, and it was described as “wanton martyrdom” to go out in the streets. People fighting the fires realized they had to flee instead and took en masse onto galloping horses to head for bare hilltops or watercourses. One writer two weeks later suggests the fire consumed 150,000 pounds of life and property, “to the utter ruin of many families.” The population was around 80,000. Despite the devastation, no one suggests a carbon tax.

‘When the smoke turned day into night’ Painted by William Strutt | Library Of Victoria

Apparently the pall of smoke was [...]

Chance to see Bob Carter, Mr David Leyonhjelm in Perth – Saturday

The PGA (Pastoralists and Graziers) convention is on Saturday morning in Perth. It’s a great event, has a few movers and shakers going, and I very much enjoyed the last one I went too. If you want to go, email the PGA or phone them today. The normal fee for non-members would be $250, but I put in a plea for readers who might be retired, or just coming “out of interest”, and Jenni Stawell kindly offered to reduce the price — mention you read about the offer here.

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Bill McKibben says wind is cheap as coal. Jo Nova says “so who needs a carbon tax then?”

Bill McKibben wants to stop a mine in Australia because it might affect the weather. He says wind power is as affordable as coal.

The Australian, Friday Oct 25: “… we’ve reached the point where alternatives have become realistic.Wind power is now as affordable as coal-fired power in Australia, not to mention the limitless energy potential of the powerful sun that shines on your continent.”

To which I say, fantastic. If wind power is as cheap as coal, we don’t need a carbon tax, emissions trading schemes, renewable targets, or other subsidies … people will use wind simply because it is cheaper. Alternatively, Bill is talking out of his hat.

Kill the schemes, cut the subsidies. Bring it on. I say!

We can see how many people rely on Windpower in Australia

That’s the yellow part. Coal is the black or brown part.

Source: ESAA

Source: ESAA

All the assertions of “cheap wind power” are only true if we assume our CO2 emissions cause warming, amplified by water vapor and cloud changes, which causes dangerous and expensive outcomes. Furthermore we must assume that it is cheaper to mitigate rather than adapt (which it isn’t), and then assume that taxes, [...]

Nearly $1 billion a day to change the climate… the invisible vested elephant in the room

Here’s a stark statistic that came out last week in a new report: The Climate Industry draws in nearly $1 billion dollars a day. But here’s an ominous combination: … it openly admits that taxpayer money is its “engine-room”. Reading between the lines below, this industry is almost completely dependent on domestic policies that funnel money from citizens to itself, and tilts the playing field — without those policies, it can’t attract much private money. That is, it can only get money at least partially by coercion, people won’t give it money purely voluntarily. These same groups want even more — they want the public to take the risks too. What could possibly go wrong?

Al Gore, said it himself: “Special interests control decisions too frequently.” [See the ABC]. So he must be concerned about the lobbying weight of a $360 billion dollar baby whose existence is contingent on government gravy? As if…

From: The Global Landscape of Climate Finance 2013 from the Climate Policy Initiative

“Landscape 2013 finds that global climate finance flows have plateaued at USD 359 billion, or around USD 1 billion per day – far below even the most conservative estimates of investment [...]

Weekend Unthreaded

A favourite rock pool of mine. My photo.

 

 

Catalyst says consensus wrong on cholesterol – but unquestionable on climate

On the ABC program Catalyst this week, Dr Maryanne Demasi slayed a few dietary myths–like, cholesterol and saturated fat cause heart disease.

She described how medical science was distorted for decades by the influence of money, and how one key researcher networked his way to the top of an influential association, casting ad hom insults at his competitor, ridiculing him, and calling his rival theory about sugar “quackery”. The personal attacks and name-calling worked, and for fifty years people have been paranoid of cholesterol, and scoffing corn syup instead, while study after study showed that that approach was not working.

Everything said about the processes in this tale could be equally well said about climate science: Correlation is not causation. Weak, flawed studies can be cherry picked while good studies are ignored. Associations can be taken over by one activist. Large financial interests distort science.

So the consensus was wrong about cholesterol, but is untouchable on climate? (See Witchcraft on Catalyst — Scary weather is coming, it’s all our fault, be afraid!)

Will it take 50 years for Catalyst to stop repeating the verdict of associations, and start investigating the evidence? The big lesson of the Enlightenment is that [...]