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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Puerto Rico: Hurricane destroyed wind, solar. Plus five months on, 15% still blacked out.

In South Australia, when the lights went out, Olympic Dam took two entire weeks to get operational again. Spare a thought for those in Puerto Rico. Right now, five months later, and one in 6 still don’t have electricity. That’s five full months of blackout – surviving off candles, car batteries, small diesels and whatever anyone can get. Some people will be waiting til May. Though that’s “95%” connected, so still no joy or lights, for one in 20 people. How do you put a roof back on your house when you can’t even power up your drill? (See The Atlantics photo montage from January 27th to get some idea of what life is like, months after the storm).

Puerto Rico has 3.6 million people, was poor and corrupt, with failing infrastructure and huge debts before Hurricane Maria hit on Sept 20th. The government has a budget of $10b per year, but owes more than $70b. The hurricane wiped out 80% of the infrastructure, completely trashing some of the solar and wind “farms”, and bringing down transmission lines.

The remains of one solar plant:

See the complete destruction here:

Brett Adair with Live Storms Media

One wind [...]

Midweek Unthreaded

Global Warming causes Siberian cold snaps

The Beast From The East is coming

Siberian winds are blowing across Europe, just as the IPCC didn’t predict.

In Rome, it’s snowing for the first time in six years, the Air Force is ‘helicoptering over the city, looking for isolated people. Naples got the heaviest snow in 50 years. Schools are closed and people are skiing down the streets.

The UK is expecting heavy snow and a wind chill of minus 15C. The snow has already caused more than 200 trains to be cancelled. Roads and hundreds of schools are closed.

If we could only install enough windmills we could stop this.

Still, it could be worse. “During the Great Frost of 1683–84, the worst frost recorded in England the Thames was completely frozen for two months, with the ice reaching a thickness of 11 inches (28 cm) in London”. — Wikipedia

Thames Frost Fair 1683-84, Painting by Thomas Wyke scan from FT magazine.

@ITVLorraine Tweets: #BeastFromTheEast #uksnow

@PunctureSafe-NE Tweets:

2 feet of snow expected

#BeastFromTheEast #uksnow

In Europe we’re awaiting the Beast, A Siberian blast from the East, Where the warmists foretold, No snow and no cold, But more often where [...]

Midweek Unthreaded

Bourke: How 1km of land clearing can warm a million square miles

Yet again, we have to ask: does the Bureau of Meteorology care about Australia’s long term climate trend? Are they even trying?

Bourke could be one of the top ten most influential temperature sites in the world, mostly by virtue of being miles from anywhere, and used to homogenize a large slab of the land mass of Australia. Bill Johnston documents how changes to the site create most of the temperature trend.

The Bureau of Meteorology’s fancy magical and secret homogenization protocol does not detect changes that obviously affect the temperature (like the clearing in the photo below). But sometimes the BoM make “corrections” because of site changes that don’t appear to have mattered. Is it conveniently selective or just inept?

The BoM don’t even document major site changes a lot of the time. Even iconic sites that affect huge areas are badly managed. Someone got the tractor and plough and cleared the vegetation. As usual, a citizen scientist, a volunteer, documents it (along with a suite of other site changes).

In the last ten years land was cleared around the thermometer. This denuded area has a lower humidity, and higher volatility of temperatures. The data from this thermometer [...]

Weekend Unthreaded