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 would you say to Daniel Westerman, head of Australia’s AEMO?

Guest post by Rafe Champion

Daniel Westerman, AEMO

In May this year Daniel Westerman replaced Audrey Zibelman as the CEO of the Australian Energy Market Operator. She was appointed in the Turnbull era after she was tipped as a possibility for Energy Secretary under President Hilary Clinton. In the event their loss was our gain.

Daniel Westerman is now the head man in the organization that runs the operation of our grid and prepares scenarios for decarbonization of the power sector.

What questions would you ask him if you were on the panel to interview the candidates for the position?

9.5 out of 10 based on 18 ratings […]

Guest post: What are your favourite climate books?

by Rafe Champion

And how much do you really need to read if you are short of time and shelf-space?

Everyone will have favourite books and people who read a lot will have a lot of favourites but you might be unwilling nominate any, in the way that you are not supposed to express favouritism among your offspring.

To get the ball rolling I nominate two books that could in principle substitute for most of the climate books on my shelf, at least to get a thorough overview of the field before deep diving into selected topics.

This question came to mind because I am reading Michael Hart’s Hubris: The Troubling Science, Economics and Politics of Climate Change and I nominate this book alongside Ian Plimer’s Climate Change Delusion and the Great Electricity Rip-Off. It runs to 600 pages but it treats practically the whole range of issues in the field. Ian’s book provides some scientific depth that goes beyond Hart and it also covers the power situation in Australia. I see the impact of climate policies on the power supply as one Achilles heel of alarmism. The other is the impact of those policies on the environment.

10 out […]

Dogger Bank wind farm: Big, New, and essentially worthless, with a value like minus £1 billion

The great offshore revolution that never happened

Dogger Bank Wind Farm

Dogger Bank will become the World’s Largest Wind Farm and maybe the World’s largest white elephant too.

Despite years of research and hyperbole we can conclusively say that offshore wind is still a charity project, losing money from start to end. The GWPF highlights a new Norwegian report that shows that the Net Present Value of Dogger Bank is “minus £970 million.”

Britain’s biggest, newest offshore wind farm still isn’t profitable. It may be killing eagles and hypnotising crabs, but it isn’t cost effective at making energy, and it isn’t cost effective at changing the global weather either.

NetZeroWatch saw it all coming:

The report confirms as series of findings published by the GWPF and others [1–5], which show that offshore wind costs are very high, at best are only falling slowly, and are far above the auction strike prices being agreed.

Andrew Montford, Deputy Director of Net Zero Watch said:

“We have been warning since 2017 that there has been no revolution in offshore wind costs. Every time we get new financial data from offshore wind farms, the cost estimates […]

Nifty — Every radio station in the world at a click

Radio Garden

There is something very cool, very curious, about being able to tune in to any station in the world. Spin the globe and pick a green dot. Hear Cher play in Novosibirsk, Russia, or Knights in White Satin in Port Chambers, New Zealand, and hear the same Uber Ads we hear in Australia in Peterborough, UK.

Radio Garden is a great talking point for the next family gathering.

Marvel at how many stations there are in America, and how few there are in China. Seriously. Are a billion people listening to the same ten stations in Guangzhou? Turns out there are a few more than it appears. A larger dot may link to 15 stations in the menu on the left.

But still, there seems a empty space there waiting for a civilizational mind to share.

Any station in the world…

There are not many stations in Africa. It’s a heartbreak kind of empty…

Somehow the world seems so much smaller.

On radio and in music English is the cultural paradigm. Many stations are not in English, but no other language appears on every continent, in so many songs.

9.9 out of 10 based on 34 […]

Space is full of rocks. We’ve found 27,000 near Earth Asteroids (so far)

Back in the eighties people laughed at scientists who talked about the threat from asteroids. Then we got better tools, and started tracking them. Now we are finding more every night.

Not only are there 27,000 near Earth asteroids that we know of, in the rest of the solar system we have found a few more, like 750,000. All this since the late 1990s.

Some computer somewhere is tracking all those orbits and arcs into the future. How often do these rocks run into each other and generate surprises?

Just how many threatening asteroids are there? It’s complicated.

By Meghan Bartels

“If you talk to the scientists who were studying this in the ’80s, there’s a phrase they often refer to called the giggle factor,” Carrie Nugent, a planetary scientist at Olin College in Massachusetts, told Space.com. “They’re basically saying that they couldn’t talk about this scientific topic without people kind of laughing at them.”

It looks like we’ve probably found all the big one-kilometer-wide asteroids that might pose a problem. And the little rocks will just burn up on entry. So it’s the middle sized ones (140m – 1000m) that we don’t know […]

The Charity Industrial Complex

Easy Money Begats Easy Billionaires, who build Easy Foundations, which are easily captured. And before you know it, the apolitical becomes political, and the political becomes a lobbying machine. Big Money becomes Huge Money and Huge Money wields power.

And a perfectly good civilization goes to waste.

h/t Scott of the Pacific

How Charity Foundations Damage Western Societies

by John Smoke, im1776

by Freestocks-photos

Charities are as large as the entire University sector.

Charitable foundations, and the specific charities they fund, are the single most important force in modern Western societies. They complete a triumvirate of the “journalism plus academia” shorthand of the Cathedral as Curtis Yarvin sees it. The amount of money sloshing around these organisations is simply mind-boggling. The latter is hard to reliably quantify, but in the UK, the charity ‘industry’ apparently registered £45 billion in revenues in 2021 alone. Compare this to the £40.5 billion total income in the UK higher education sector a couple of years ago and you get the idea.

John Smoke adroitly connects the dots and draws the spiral vortex that draws most charities in.

It starts so gently:

Imagine a billionaire. He’s an […]

Rafe Champion guest post. Calling Paul Kelly and Greg Sheridan

A post written and edited by Rafe Champion

Note from Jo: This is a change from the last 5,000 posts. Rafe has written and edited this entirely a guest. Given the dearth of independent blogs in Australia since the end of Catallaxy, it seems an experiment worth trying.

Introducing myself. Jo has taken me on board as an occasional contributor after the old Catallaxy Files closed down and I was homeless. Due to the break I have not got back into the routine of posting four or five times a week on a wide range of topics and I am now spending more time wind-watching with the Energy Realists of Australia. You can see how we are taking on the renewable energy farce here. My thoughts on other issues can be found on my personal website.

Back to the topic.

Why are supposedly quality journalists so misguided on climate change?

Paul Kelly and Greg Sheridan have clearly taken on board the alarmist global warming narrative. To explain the context for overseas readers, Kelly and Sheridan are very senior and respected journalists on The Australian, the one national daily that Rupert Murdoch established in 1964. That paper along […]

Freedom Rally: The largest protest I have ever seen in Perth

Huge protests were held all over the world. Here in Perth, Western Australia with a population of 2 million, I’ve never seen anything like this. It’s a not a political town, has had barely 30 cases of Covid in the community (in total) and yet, the central mall was packed wall to wall.

Walking in with placards, strangers in the traffic were shouting approval through open car windows.

The best video is at the bottom of this twitter thread, but can’t seem to display it without the first two. (Perhaps a twitter genius will tell me how?)

#DownUnder A series of other “freedom rallies” planned for #Melbourne, #Sydney & #Brisbane began at 12pm on Saturday with massive crowds taking to the streets.#Perth #Australia #PasseSanitaire #NoGreenPass pic.twitter.com/yUazCK0aFH

— 🌎 Sarwar 🌐 (@ferozwala) November 20, 2021

These were peaceful people: mums with prams, nurses, truckies, tradies, and hippies.

But according to PerthNow and the ABC there were two opposing protests in Perth:

Perthnow headlines. Not the news.

 

Here’s that rival Pro-Vax rally from the ABC News

Just for perspective.

Taken at 5:40 on the ABC News

That’s what it takes to get a headline […]

Oh No! A cold spell now will spawn Climate Change Illiteracy

It’s another great day in science. Marshall Shepherd, once a meteorologist at NASA GISS, warns us that a cold snap will destroy reading skills. Don’t let the kids out!

A Cold Start To Thanksgiving Week Will Spawn Climate Change Illiteracy

Marshall Shepherd, Senior Contributor, Forbes

Luckily this only happens in Thanksgiving week, eh?

As the climate cycles turn to cooler trends, expect to see a lot more of this kind of bizarre conjecture and weapons grade excuses. There’s a flock of believers to guard from reality.

Shepherd seems to be trying to preempt and inoculate believers who might get exposed to skeptical comments at Thanksgiving dinner when they meet all those relatives:

Like clockwork, I will also start to see Tweets and Facebook posts claiming that global warming or climate change is not real because its cold. These types of Tweets belong in the Hall of Fame (or Shame) of Climate Illiteracy.

So now believers are primed to gasp or snigger at the right moment round the dinner table. Marshall goes on with a longwinded explanation of how it’s cold now because a rock hit the Earth when it was a baby-world and made winter. He […]

Nothing says “Trust Us” like we need to hide the data til 2076: The FDA buries Pfizer results

Photo by Hakan Nural on Unsplash

The FDA licensed the Pfizer vaccine in August but hasn’t released the data and documents the decision was based on. So lawyers filed a suit against the FDA to make that information fully available to the public.

Aaron Siri, a lawyer at Siri Glimstad explains that the FDA has now asked the judge to allow it to drip-feed out the information at a pace so slow that the complete set won’t be available until 2076.

Remember, the vaccine is totally safe and has astonishing efficacy, right?

Perhaps they need a bigger internet cable.

The FDA promises full transparency for Pfizer Vaccine data “in 55 years time”

by Aaron Siri:

The federal government shields Pfizer from liability. Gives it billions of dollars. Makes Americans take its product. But won’t let you see the data supporting its product’s safety and efficacy. Who does the government work for?

To date, almost three months after it licensed Pfizer’s vaccine, the FDA still has not released a single page. Not one.

Instead, two days ago, the FDA asked a federal judge to give it until 2076 to fully produce this information. […]