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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Another skeptical mind: Revered wine science expert writes skeptical book to rave reviews

The message just can’t be stopped.

What makes a leader of a field, a leader? They have a brain, and not always, but sometimes, they can reason. So it’s not surprising that some leaders see through the fog. Here’s another example of how the truth gets out. It’s a specialist field, and newspaper stories are all doom and gloom (eg. Climate change threat to Australia’s top wines! ) but one of its most esteemed leaders is saying emphatically: not so.

“The effects of climate change have been dramatically over-estimated. Future global climate change caused by human activity will be much less than feared and be largely benign for viticulture”. “The 21st Century will be wine’s golden age”.

In viticulture, tiny changes in levels of part-per-trillion molecules produce prizewinners (or not). See Croser’s review to appreciate just how much. They don’t just talk in degrees but the number of days involved.

“…the quantum and quality of the tertiary aroma and flavour compounds synthesised is profoundly influenced by atmospheric temperature. John Gladstones identifies the optimal mean temperature of the last 30 days of ripening for the synthesis of flavour and pigment in red varieties as 18-22ºC and for the […]

Australians can see through it: Media scores lowest low spot on “trust” poll

Australian people know they are being “sold” a message in the media. According to the Australian Election Study from 2010, just 17% are “confident” in The Press. [Story: The Australian]

Australians were underwhelmed with the politics on offer in 2010, Rudd hit deep lows, Gillard had knifed Rudd, yet, even in that unflattering environment over twice as many people (43%) said they were confident in “the federal government ” as said the same about the media. I wonder what these results would be now?

Trust in the media is a theme I will keep returning to in 2012 – when it comes to underperforming politicians, insane laws, over-reaching judiciary, corrupt bureaucrats, and failing currencies, the problem is The Media. None of the lackluster or self-serving talent on display would be able to continue for long if the media exposed them and relentlessly demanded logic, reason, evidence and manners.

It’s what is not said that matters.


Source: The Australian

Australians trust the armed forces, universities, and the police.

The gloss of universities is striking — they are riding on the rigor and achievements of past generations.

The last survey I saw (about May 2011) showed that 50% of Australians […]

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to everyone,

thank you for your support, for being endlessly curious

and determined never to give in.







9.7 out of 10 based on 131 ratings

Climate alarmists might just be captive to basic emotions

Paul Biegler has some words of wisdom in The Age, but unfortunately he mixed up a few vital terms up in his pop-psychosocial-analysis. Once again, the projection of the alarmist’s own inner headspace is rampant. Those without the ability to reason keep “finding” that inability in those who can. (It makes sense, a brain needs to use logic to recognize logic)*. Not surprisingly, surveys also show that skeptics are more literate and numerate than believers. Those who adopt fashionable ideas to impress their friends assume their opponents behave in the same unscientific way. I have to sympathise with them. How else can they explain the mismatch between their chosen prophets and their busted prophecies?

The corrected version of this article in The Age. I’ve taken some savage edits of the article (colored like this) and corrected the terms.

“Climate sceptics alarmists might just be captive to basic emotions”

Instant gratification is a powerful, but flawed, human motivator.

Searching for that perfect Christmas gift for your climate alarmist friend? You could do worse than slinging them a book like Emotional Intelligence, Plimer’s, Carter’s or Bookers. Why? Research is mounting that your friend is the victim of a brain glitch. More particularly, […]

Inconvenient energy paper vanishes from government site

I don’t have a horse in the Peak Oil race, but Energy Security is too important to let the government “disappear” inconvenient reports. As David Archibald points out, at one time the Australian Government went to great lengths to make sure we would be more self sufficient. Lately there are times when Australia doesn’t even have three months supply.– Jo


Guest Post by David Archibald

Inconvenient report disappeared

About a week ago, the Australian Government released what it called a “Draft Energy White Paper”. It is available here:

World Annual Discovery (red) and Production of Oil (Blue) See below for details.

The White Paper contains a number of strange statements and inanities:

Page 67: “For a major global energy exporter like Australia, pursuing a goal of national energy self‐sufficiency is counterintuitive.”

Page 69: “Energy security does not equate to energy independence or self‐sufficiency in any particular energy source.”

Page 123: “As a result of increased daily net imports in recent years, the level of oil stocks in Australia has regularly fallen below the 90‐day requirement since mid‐2010. The National Energy Security Assessment found that this does not […]

Carbon Price just jumped 30% — It’s not a free market, it’s a fixed charade

A small group of selected rulers just raised a hand, changed the rules, and sent billions of dollars from some people to some others.

This type of arbitrary control over the carbon market shows why it is a misnomer to call it a “free” market, and why a “market” is the wrong tool to try to use to reduce emissions. CO2 is a universal molecule, found in every walk of life and many inanimate processes. We can’t include them all, and someone somewhere gets to decide which ones count and which ones don’t, and how many of them we are allowed to emit in the first place.

Supply and demand of CO2 emissions are not set by a free market (you know, voluntary and willing participants exchanging things for mutual benefit). The bureaucrats just mandated an illusion of market forces, within a range set by said ‘crats. The price of carbon credits had gotten too painfully low for the rulers and their patrons and fans, so something had to be “done”. They made the carbon caps more stringent. If the price was too high, they would have loosened them (and they admit as much below). This has nothing to do […]

Ian Plimer: How to get expelled from school

It’s well written, packed with references, and has an unapologetic, irreverent tone.

If you are a skeptical teacher, this is an essential book; if you are an alarmist teacher, it’s doubly so. This is the ammunition that smart teenagers will use to point score against you. (Be prepared, eh?)

My only grievance with this book is that Plimer got this excellent title before me 😉

One hundred and One Questions for your teacher 8.7 out of 10 based on 62 ratings […]

The IPCC exaggerate: Monckton calculates how much

Following on from blackbody discussions, here is Christopher Monckton’s simple account of how we know the IPCC is exaggerating climate sensitivity. This comes from page 12 of Moncktons: Regulation without reason (on the Canadian coal regulations.)


Guest Post: Christopher Monckton Are the IPCC’s global-warming projections proving accurate?

IPCC (2007, scenario A2) expects 3.4 C° manmade global warming to 2100. The calculations so far in this paper have assumed that the IPCC is right. Environment Canada does not ask any questions about the IPCC’s global-warming projections. Officials should have made some allowance for IPCC overshoot.

Since 1750, whence IPCC dates our influence on climate, a recent study (Blasing, 2011) shows 3 W m–2 of forcing from our greenhouse-gas emissions, less –1 W m–2 from non-GHG influences (IPCC, 2007). Global temperature had risen by 0.5 C° from 1750-1983 (Hansen, 1984), with a further 0.3 C° since (HadCRUt3, 2011). Of this 0.8 C° warming, 50 to 100% may be manmade. Thus, the 261-year transient climate sensitivity parameter is (0.4 to 0.8)/(3 – 1) = 0.2 to 0.4 C° W–1 m2. Multiplying by the forcing at CO2 doubling, i.e. 5.35 ln 2 (Myhre et al., 2001, cited by IPCC, 2001, 2007), gives […]

Monckton on blackbody radiation

I wrote to Christopher Monckton a while back to ask him about a post Blackbody – the key error in climate science, and bless his soul, he whipped off a letter with his detailed answer and wrote it all back to me, saying that other people were asking him about that too. It’s a shame to keep it hidden and high time I brought it out. Usually this topic generates quite a discussion. Though, warning (!) it contains equations, and primarily discusses the physics of blackbody radiation from Earth. It is essentially a debate about the core physics among a few skeptics. The most curious thing being that this time — this blog is on the mainstream end of opinions. (Yes, I think there is a greenhouse effect as I explained here and here).

Huffman asserts there is no measureable greenhouse effect on Venus and Earth and that the temperatures of both planets is determined by their distance to the sun. (Michael Hammer responded to that with an explanation of why we know There is a Greenhouse Effect on Venus). My unsophisticated thought was that if distance explained it all, then ergo, albedo would have no effect at all […]

Tallbloke and Fenbeagle with a Christmas Pantomime

Fenbeagle does the full Star Wars parody for Christmas, check it out! This is just a part. But before you go, if you haven’t already read the letter from Tallblokes attorney, see below. All jokes aside, we don’t want the establishment to think they can get away with invasions of privacy like this. UVA spent $1million helping Mann to hide the emails that the public paid him to write. Tallbloke (Roger) was just writing from home when 6 police turned up to take his computer and copy the entire contents.



Tallbloke will pursue legal action and could use some help From Anthony Watts WUWT: 9.4 out of 10 based on 61 ratings […]