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 one most important factor for Paris — The US congress

Will Obama and the UN succeed in forcing “climate taxes” on the US?

h/t to GWPF for finding the stories that matter

When the press releases come out saying that Paris has succeeded (which will happen, no matter the outcome) the key factor is not just whether the agreement has any meaningful teeth, but whether it can be forced on the US without approval of Congress. The US didn’t approve Kyoto, and now, more than then, there is no reason to think anything significant would get through. The GOP Republican candidates are not paying lip service to the global warming meme anymore, things have changed so much they’re almost all competing to be skeptics. Just 6 weeks ago a poll in the US showed the amazing, astonishing result that 31% of respondents agreed with GOP candidates statement that Climate change is a total hoax.

The EU and UN players know they can’t convince the US people, and nor can they get past their elected reps so they are talking of doing things in ways that don’t require congressional approval. Naturally, if they had overwhelming evidence, and half a case, they wouldn’t have to do that.

No matter what country you […]

Weekend Untheaded

I’m travelling today…

7.4 out of 10 based on 17 ratings

1 million German households had power shut off in last three years due to green energy cost

How much further backward do things have to get?

In the great industrial nation of Germany power companies are going broke, and 350,000 households are getting their electricity turned off each year because they can’t afford the bills. In a nation of 82 million, power companies are issuing some 6 million threats to cut electricity.

Pierre Gosselin no trickszone: Socially explosive German homes losing power

From Speigel:

“Over the past three years it all totals to be a whopping 1.025 million households.”

“Spiegel writes that the price of electricity in Germany has doubled since 2002 in large part because of the renewable energy feed-in surcharge. Private households are the hardest hit; they have to pay some 45% more than the EU average (while German power producers get 30% less than the EU average)! The government-interfered market is grotesquely distorted.”

It is not only Germany’s power companies who are bleeding to death financially, but so are many private citizens, who are unable to pay for their power. A shocking situation in one of the world’s most technically advanced nations.

9.1 out of 10 based on 104 ratings

Bullying is everywhere and it works — even on surgeons

The evidence is overwhelming right?

Civilization is a pretty thin veneer, really.

Bullying and coercion is not just a school-yard thing. It’s everywhere and even at the highest levels.

This report on Australian surgeons was released a few months ago, uncovering bad behaviour from people we would normally think of as being outstanding and pretty darn smart. So bullying works even on people at the top of the pecking order, and in supposedly the most caring of professions.

We humans are a gregarious lot, and we pretend we’re all rational, but the pressure to conform and fit in is intense. Even for rational souls it’s easier to say nothing. No wonder the climate science debate is loaded with namecalling, bad manners, and petty mockery. Politicians and newspaper editors often don’t speak up because they are afraid of being called stupid or a “denier”.

Bullying-endemic-among-surgeons-but-victims-too-scared-to-speak-up

Bullying, discrimination and sexual harassment are rife in the surgical profession, a damning report has found.

Half the surgeons and trainees who responded said they had been victimized.

We are winning the debate on the science, but we need to win the social war too:

Although about three out […]

Don’t drive, you encourage terrorists

If only we had more electric cars and windmills, lives could’ve been saved.

Ponder that air conditioners can cause people to do random acts of murder. They might keep people in the room calmer, but outside that pollution* travels, heats the world, and lo, a terrorist is made.

(Call me a skeptic, but I tend to think that if we turn off all the air-conditioners (or run them on solar power, which is almost the same thing) we might get more acts of terror rather than less, but what would I know?) Bernie Sanders says that we should stop terrorists by reducing our carbon emissions. Somehow, there were people who did not laugh at him.

Time Magazine : “Why Climate Change and Terrorism Are Connected”

Drought in Syria has contributed to instability

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders used the terrorist attacks in Paris to call for action to address climate change at a primary debate Saturday. But, while the plea attracted ridicule across the political spectrum, many academics and national security experts agree that climate change contributes to an uncertain world where terrorism can thrive.

U.S. military officials refer to climate change as a “threat multiplier” […]

New Science 19b: A Synopsis

We’ve had a lot of requests for a single document to summarize the blog posts so far. Some people like to print and read all in one place (that’s me). I hope this helps. Skeptics on threads are busy cracking away at getting a rerouting mechanism fleshed out. The quest… thanks to everyone who is supporting this project in so many ways, whether it be via email, sharing with others, or through donations. We really do appreciate it. We’re going to figure this out. :- ) — Jo

Dr David Evans, 15 November 2015, David Evans’ Basic Climate Models Home, Intro, Previous.

I’ve prepared a synopsis of the 19 posts in this series. It’s a standalone document of 20 pages that explains the important points, some from a different point of view than the blog series. The summary and introduction at the front are non-technical and suitable for politicians and journalists. The synopsis is light on for equations — there are some, but you can pretty much ignore them because it mostly reads fine without them.

If you wanted to show someone the series, this is the document to use. It is downloadable from the project home page, […]

Weekend Unthreaded

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7.7 out of 10 based on 20 ratings

Breaking: Terrorist atrocity kills 127 (+200 injured many critically) in France

Paris is under seige — Multiple terrorists arrived with AK 47s and bombs strapped to themselves in six separate attacks. The latest toll is 153 127 dead, and France has closed its borders. Our thoughts go out to the victims of these pointless atrocities, to all of their friends and families, and to all of France, in shock.

The Bataclan concert hall was attacked and people taken hostage, “at least 112” killed. A SWAT team arrived and over 100 hostages were released. A suicide bomber attacked the Stade de France (the national stadium). President Holland had to be evacuated. There are gun attacks as well. There are reports of 14 people killed by gunshot at Le Petit Cambodge, a Cambodian restaurant.

Information from the CNN live update page.

Sky news Paris ‘bloodbath’ kills at least 160

UPDATE: Islamic State (ISIL) have claimed responsibility.

UPDATE: Death toll appears to be 127 plus 200+ injured, 99 critically.

Graphic sad stories in The Telegraph are rolling in.

With between forty and fifty thousand people converging on Paris in two weeks to start the UNFCCC COP21 meeting the obvious question is […]

Wow? On sea-levels NSW councils told to take “scientific” approach, not IPCC predictions

This is a big deal. Here’s a state government telling people to be more scientific, and not blindly follow the IPCC. This is a win we need to translate to other areas.

The former Labor government in NSW had told councils they had to plan for sea-level rise “according to the IPCC”, but that made sea-side properties unsalable, and was pretty painfully stupid compared to what the tide gauges were actually saying (like in Sydney where the rise is a tiny 6cm a century). The new strategy says councils need to be scientific and look at the conditions on each beach separately.

In this issue, the costs of following the IPCC plan were borne by those living on the coast (and property developers), and that pain motivated them to press the State government to get the IPCC out of the way. This is a reminder that it is worth protesting and sane things do happen.

If we can get citizens of the free west to appreciate the true cost of the IPCC, it would surely be gone by 2020. Now there’s a target..

Rob Stokes announces shake-up of council coastal management

In an interview with The Australian, […]

Blockbuster: Are hot days in Australia mostly due to low rainfall, and electronic thermometers — not CO2?

Blame dry weather and electronic sensors for a lot of Australia’s warming trend…

In this provocative report, retired research scientist Bill Johnston analyzes Australian weather records in a fairly sophisticated and very detailed way, and finds they are “wholly unsuitable” for calculating long term trends. He uses a multi-pronged approach looking at temperatures, historical documents, statistical step changes, and in a novel process studies the way temperature varies with rainfall as well.

His two major findings are that local rainfall (or lack of) has a major impact on temperatures in a town, and that the introduction of the electronic sensors in the mid 1990s caused an abrupt step increase in maximum temperatures across Australia. There will be a lot more to say about these findings in coming months — the questions they raise are very pointed. Reading, between the lines, if Johnston is right, a lot of the advertised record heat across Australia has more to do with equipment changes, homogenisation, and rainfall patterns than a long term trend.

Bill Johnston: On Data Quality [PDF]

“Trends are not steps; and temperature changes due to station changes, instruments and processing is not climate change”, he […]