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 French once did a political purge of the military and look what happened to them

Moves continue in the US to remove “extremists” from the Military. Though no one seems to know the definition of extremeist, nor what will happen to anyone identified as one.

Every illegal regime that comes to power by means of a coup lives in constant fear of the same thing happening to them. It’s their abiding characteristic and the reason they regularly have mass purges.

— The Pointman, How the Purge of the Military is Being Done

In 1899 the hard left gained power in France, and purged “the two main” conservative institutions — the church and the military. James S. Corum describes what happened and how 15 years later, it was a bloodbath in the first month of the war against the Germans, the French lost a quarter of a million men — fully one fifth of their field army.

When a Great Democracy Politicized the Military

James S. Corum, American Thinker

Even without Facebook the French government still had ways to filter out their political opponents.

In their desire to remold France according to Jacobin principles, the Left Bloc decided that conservative officers had to […]

Massive Fires: far worse 4,000 years ago in Northern Australia

Kenneth Richard at NoTricksZone, found some studies showing Fires are less common today than in the past — including a ripper of an Australian study.

Emma Rehn et al went to a small lake in far North Australia and dug up about 6m of sediment core from the bottom. They looked at charcoal deposits and a bunch of different minerals. They discovered that the top most recent layers had the worst fires for a thousand years. It had all the makings of a Great Climate Change advert. But to their absolute credit, they kept going down and further back and uncovered a story of four thousand long years of wild blazes.

Despite millennia of prehistoric infernos, no media outlets in Australia have shown any interest in this study which came out a month ago — showing Sensationalism is not all its cracked up to be, and not as much fun as Confirmation Bias.

Look at the current blip (left hand side) since European settlement, compared to the fires of 4,000 years ago (right hand side). As Mr Dundee would say, “That’s not a fire…. ”

Carbon Flux showing the intensity of fires in Arnhem land for […]

How about a Duty of Care to keep electricity cheap and teach teenagers real science?

A group of teenagers want to stop the expansion of a coal mine in Australia. They have taken a class action out against the Government because we all know Governments are supposed to manage the weather better.

Well you’d be cross too, if you thought careless old folk were going to bring you slightly warmer weather!

A duty of care’: Australian teenagers take their climate crisis plea to court

The Guardian

Eight teenagers and an octogenarian nun head to an Australian court on Tuesday to launch what they hope will prove to be a landmark case – one that establishes the federal government’s duty of care in protecting future generations from a worsening climate crisis.

If successful, the people behind the class action believe it may set a precedent that stops the government approving new fossil fuel projects.

Because the last thing you’d want is democratically elected Ministers to chose how we use national resources.

As with any novel legal argument, its chances of success are unclear, but the case is not happening in isolation.

So it is an ambit claim, backed by someone with money. Who? This could be a form […]

News and tips Friday

Just trying to see if this is useful.

h/t Leo

8.5 out of 10 based on 14 ratings

US Climate Czar turns the thumb-screws on Australia coal

And some people wondered why I paid any attention to the US election. Apart from being the biggest political story in my life, there is that effect that US leaders have even on the other side of the world.

It’s only been five weeks since the inauguration and our largest military ally is already leaning on Australia to get out of coal fired power. To put some perspective on the size of this favour — Coal is our largest single export commodity about half the time, and most years Australia is the largest single exporter of coal in the world. We export more than 400 million tons of coal per annum. We also keep some and use coal to generate more than half our electricity. Even burning through the blackstuff like that, we still have another 300 years of supply underground. It could be very profitable stuff for another twelve generations of Australians. Or not.

So our largest trading partner is launching a trade war and acting hostile, while our largest military ally is saying they want a big favour. How much room is there for Australia to manouver?

Meanwhile last year China built three times more coal power than […]

Climate Propaganda burns out: neither hope nor doom works on audiences anymore

Hard to find some good news out there today. But here’s a bit:

People are immune to climate hopey gloom

Researchers tried to figure out whether to make their climate propaganda more scary or more uplifting but found instead that they might as well show 500 people “the history of smartphones”. (That was the control video). Nothing works anymore.

It was a complete wash. No new activists were made.

However, despite these emotional responses, neither [doom nor hope] video was associated with significant differences in climate change risk perceptions, likelihood of behavior change, or likelihood of climate activism. These null results suggest that the impacts of a single hope or fear appeal can be overstated…

After watching the online movies, nobody thought climate change was scarier, nobody want to change anything they did, and no one wanted to be climate activist either, unless they were already one to start with. After 30 years of propaganda, people have heard it all. Pounding them them with more isn’t going to work.

It didn’t matter which movie they saw.

Neither doom, hope nor placebo did a thing.

The multi-billion dollar industry of climate propaganda was hoping to tweak […]

Texas dodged a bullet: Would you like explosions with your blackouts?

Houston Texas, Feb 2021. Image by Fish & Trips

Texas toyed with cascading crises

The Green Experiment could have gone so much worse. Here’s a man who was a gas industry executive involved in a near miss in New England in 1989. The four day blackout sounds bad, but it was a lottery win compared to the worst case scenarios. Not only was a full state-wide blackout possible, which may take months to correct, but the gas system is a bomb waiting to go off too.

ERCOT officials admit they only just averted a blackstart:

Texas was “seconds and minutes” away Texas’ power grid was “seconds and minutes” away from a catastrophic failure that could have left Texans in the dark for months, officials with the entity that operates the grid said Thursday.

— by Erin Douglas, Texas Tribune

The Blackstart in Venezuela took weeks to restart — rebooting an induction motor takes six times the normal current. Energizing a substation can cause explosions. It’s much easier to add load to an operating grid than to rebuild one from scratch. Surges on start up can break things, that fail. It can take rolling rounds […]

Extinction level event? 42,000 years ago Earths magnetic field shrank to nothing

Don’t look now, it’s a climate disaster of massive proportions and it has nothing to do with CO2.

Scientists have just discovered what they say was a wild era 42,000 years ago — where the Earth’s magnetic field practically disappeared. They’ve called it the Adams Event (after Douglas Adams of Hitchhikers Guide fame).

This was hidden previously, just before the Laschamp Excursion which we’ve known about since 1969. That event happened about 41,000 years ago – during which the Earth’s magnetic field briefly flipped. It was a pretty big deal in itself. For 800 years the field strength fell to 28% of it’s current strength and was reversed North-to-south. Due to the weak magnetic field, the theory is that cosmic rays zinged further into the atmosphere and created a layer of enriched beryllium 10 and carbon 14 which remains to this day in a thin slice around the world buried under all the layers of dirt that came after it.

The giant kauri tree log preserved in Ngāwhā, New Zealand, was alive during the Adams Event. Photo: Nelson Parker https://www.nelsonskaihukauri.co.nz/

Extraordinarily, during all this, one giant Kauri tree managed to live for more than 1,700 years. It grew […]

Texas was prepared for global warming but not the return of the cold

If only climate modelers had warned us that children would know what Frozen Fish Tanks were?

Instead Texas spent most of the last decade and billions of dollars trying to cool the world by changing its electricity grid.

Thanks to market-distorting policies that favor and subsidize wind and solar energy, Texas has added more than 20,000 megawatts (MW) of those intermittent resources since 2015 while barely adding any natural gas and retiring significant coal generation. — Jason Issac

Indeed Texas has the fifth largest windpower fleet in the world — bigger than everyone except China, the USA, Germany and India. But having that industrial fleet of free clean energy didn’t save Texas this week. What happened appears to have been a systemic wide failure on so many levels. But one of those levels surely, is the failure to winterize the grid. There are plenty of gas and wind plants in colder places like Canada and they run through winter just fine.

But the awful truth is, that it costs more to add these “heat and de-icing” features and with everyone planning for Global Warming, well, who needs ’em? It’s almost like ERCOT in Texas assumed the […]

Texas: day four without power and water for some, fishtanks freeze, pipes burst, “worse than Africa”

Even if the Texas situation resolves tomorrow the anger will burn for months

A few hours ago, about one quarter of Texas still didn’t have power. After three or four days without power some houses are so cold the fishtanks have frozen over. Some people have been without power for 84 hours straight and ERCOT — the Texas Electricity management can’t say when it will be restored (though they have just announced it might be soon). It is still operating under the EEA 3 highest emergency level. Many people have had their power return for a couple of hours only to lose it again. And there is a burning anger at the unfairness of it all. People say they can see houses, shops and office buildings “lit up like Christmas trees” but have had no power themselves for days. Some are using their cars to warm themselves and charge phones but after three days they are running out of gas. There are restaurants that are offering free food.

It’s so cold in Texas homes that fish tanks are frozen. pic.twitter.com/IRuDjpG5Af

— Cleavon MD (@Cleavon_MD) February 18, 2021

Others are desperately using gas BBQ’s indoors even though it […]