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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Explaining NZ locked down with 1 case: Imagine a virus is like a house fire, how long should you wait?

Stepping right into the fray here with the hazmat suit on. Some very bright people are missing the point of locking down with only one known case.

Imagine a virus is like a house fire. When the flames start, we don’t say, “it’s just a curtain, it’s only 1% of the house.”

On Tuesday, New Zealand found one sole Covid case and locked down the entire nation immediately at, like, Defcon level 4. Which sounds bonkers, understandably, to someone living in a place that’s had 38 million cases. But the brilliant Glen Greenwald, bless him, just got this one wrong. “They seem demented (and) oblivious to the costs of sustained isolation” he said, at a point when NZ had sustained all of 13 hours of isolation its first national lockdown for a year.

In similar form, the excellent Nigel Farage, declared Jacinda Ardern had lost her marbles. In response to the foreign critics like these, defiant New Zealanders flocked to the #NZhellhole hashtag and let rip with thousands of scenic photos of ski slopes and beaches mocking what a tough life it was in the NZHellhole prison.

It’s worth mentioning at this point that the death […]

Virus Eliminated: NZ is free

Just pausing for a moment to say “cheers, New Zealand”.

The last remaining barrier there are closed international borders.

LiveScience Updates

NEW ZEALAND EASES ALMOST ALL CORONAVIRUS RESTRICTIONS AMID NO ACTIVE COVID-19 CASES

— New Zealand has no active cases of the coronavirus, and no new positive cases reported in the past 17 days, according to CNN. For the past 12 days, there are no patients in the hospital receiving treatment for COVID-19 and for the past 40 days, there is no evidence of community transmission, according to CNN. Now, New Zealand is lifting almost all of its coronavirus restrictions, while still encouraging social distancing, keeping borders shut to non-residents and requiring that residents traveling into the country to quarantine for 14 days, according to CNN. New Zealand will be under “alert level 1” rules which means there will be no restrictions on domestic transport and no restrictions on workplaces or services, according to CNN and New Zealand’s government website.

New Zealands daily new cases graphed. Black marks deaths. Wikipedia NZ timeline

New Zealand 1,500 cases and only 22 deaths. The peak of the curve is somewhere around March 30th. The quarantine measures […]

The world watches Australia and NZ tracking to zero — can we extinguish Coronavirus?

Soon after isolation began, Australian and New Zealand cases started to fall as fast as they rose

This is what Crushing the Curve looks like, and if works it will set the new standard, and change the way the rest of the world views this. It isn’t over yet, but still — something is working and the international press has just started to get excited.

Be aware the figures may jump next week, as testing in NSW has ramped up and everyone can now get a free test. But testing is already high per capita, with a very low positive test rates. (12,000 tests done in Australia yesterday and 99.8% were negative).

Australia has 25 million people and found just 18 new cases yesterday. New Zealand with 5 million people, got five new cases. Obviously these numbers look great from the US and UK where 700 people are dying every day.

The rise and fall of Australian Covid-19 cases, March and April 2020

Worldometer

Daily Mail, UK:

Australia is steamrolling the curve!

[The] Nation records just 17 cases in one day – including three states with ZERO infections – as the country’s road to […]

New finding: Phytoplankton are much bigger players in CO2 levels than realized

Mysterious CO2 activity in New Zealand shows Phytoplankton at work

Tom Quirk both finds a mystery and solves it.

Emiliania huxleyi coccolithophore | Alison Taylor.

Carbon dioxide is a “well mixed gas” yet CO2 levels over New Zealand start rising there each year in March — a whole month before we see it CO2 start to rise over Tasmania. Air over Cape Grim in Tasmania will be blown by the prevailing wind over to New Zealand about five days later. So these two stations should be showing similar numbers throughout the year. Instead some process in NZ is pushing up CO2 early. Levels also peak earlier in New Zealand, and by September, in early spring, some process around NZ is pulling the CO2 out of the sky. Both NZ and Tasmania share large forested areas, so that wouldn’t explain the difference.

Quirk wondered if it had something do with phytoplankton, so he searched for satellite data that measures chlorophyll in the ocean and shows, voila, that there is major activity right around the Baring Head station at the same time as CO2 levels are falling. Indeed, the station is smack in the middle of a mass phytoplankton bloom.

He […]

Another way to destroy a grid: add a million electric vehicles

New electric vehicles have big fat batteries, which will help solve the problem known as “charge anxiety” (let’s call that the Flat-Bat-Fear).

The new fat-batteries, however, have the small catch that they need two days to trickle charge. Hmm. Then there is the other catch that each slow charger (7kW) is equivalent to adding nearly three houses to the grid. Our Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg predicts there will be one million electric cars on Australian roads by 2030.

You might think this is slow motion train wreck, but we might avoid this if households opt for fast 50kW chargers. In that case we can do the train-wreck at top speed.

Each fast charger will apparently be “like” adding the equivalent of 20, count them, 20 homes.

This is fearmongering obviously — no one is going to want a fast charger when they could leave the car in the garage for 48 hours instead.

New Zealand report claims new generation electric vehicles threaten the power network

Ben Packham, The Australian

New Zealand’s biggest energy distributor, Vector, warned electric vehicle chargers “put a large electrical load on the network”, with even 2.4kW “trickle” chargers adding the equivalent of one additional […]

Real sea level rise: a lost continent called Zealandia submerged

File this under Nasty Nature. This is the sort of thing planet Earth throws at life.

The is real “sea level rise” — where most of a continent (called Zealandia) sinks under the waves — and — as far as we know, though I could be wrong — fossil fuel use was minimal circa 50 -80 million years ago. Can Exxon be blamed?

New Zealanders may be feeling a bit cheesed that they carelessly lost something like 80% of their land. (Call that “Old Zealand” which was once as big as India.) Given that it is one kilometer underwater, it looks like it isn’t coming back soon. But think of all the national parks, reefs, etc that were destroyed?

Zealandia. | Credit: IODP

The story is that the Pacific Rim of Fire “buckled” 40-50 million years ago, and Zealandia sunk a lot deeper. There is a suggestion that it was originally submerged about 80 million years ago (or so), when this renegade land split from Australia and Antarctica.

Since 1,000 tide gauges estimate current sea level rise at around 1 mm a year, real climate change puts the current panic about sea levels into perspective. Even the next ice […]

NIWA’s psychic ability to predict something they say is statistically impossible

Welcome to another episode of “What was that climate guru thinking?”.

Accoding to NIWA (New Zealand’s Weather Alchemists), they have the most impossibly difficult job on the planet. (No! In the Galaxy.)

Watch the maths and communications whizzes whip up excuses for the failure of NIWA’s seasonal “forecasting”:

“Trying to communicate how hard it is to predict the weather a few months into the future, Niwa has turned to a mind blowing analogy to provide some idea of the complexity involved.

‘If you could imagine correctly predicting the outcome of every person on Earth tossing a coin 1000 times, you’d still be nowhere near the degree of complexity required to forecast seasons,’ the crown research institute says in a recent article.

Mind blowing indeed. Predicting seasons used to be a case of “Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring.”

But seriously… on the one hand predicting the outcome of seven trillion coin tosses is a snap — at least to the first 7 or 8 significant figures. It’s much easier than predicting one toss. On the other, if we assume they are talking about trying to predict the exact outcome of every single toss the odds are more like […]

David Kear, former Director-General of NZ Scientific Research, says global warming is a non-existent threat

 

Dr David Kear

Climate Depot reports on a New Zealand geoscientist who has worked at the highest levels and has just released a detailed statement about why the threat of rising sea-levels has been blown out of all proportions, and “An ‘innocent gas, CO2, has been demonized and criminalized’”.

“The widespread obsession with Global-Warming-Climate-Change, in opposition to all factual evidence, is quite incredible.”

Kear laments the ‘Astronomical Cost of Major Measures to Combat a Non-Existent Threat’.

His scientific caliber: “Dr David Kear has a background in geology and engineering, becoming the Director General of the DSIR (Department of Scientific and Industrial Research) in 1980. He is a Fellow and Past Vice-President of the Royal Society of New Zealand, and Past President of the New Zealand Geological Society [which promises to catalogue his work here]. Dr Kear has over 100 publications on New Zealand and Pacific geology, vulcanology and mineral resources.” Apparently a foraminifera shell was named after him in 1962.

He has been in this for a very long time.

h/t to Ian for the link to Steven Goddard.

Six Grave Scientific Errors and the history of an absurd idea

Kear […]

Kyoto: Australia “IN” New Zealand “Out”

 

New Zealand signed up for an emissions trading scheme in November 2009, fully expecting Australia to sign in an ETS the next week. Thanks to one vote and an Abbot win, Australia didn’t sign up then, but will get one (unless things change) in 2015.

Kyoto 1 ends in December 31, 2012, and not a moment too soon. Last week Australia signed up for Kyoto 2, but this time New Zealand didn’t.

[Reuters] Neighbouring New Zealand said it would not sign up for the next phase and would instead join a separate convention, including large greenhouse gas emitters such as the United States and China.

Kyoto 2 will only include 15% of emissions. The New Zealanders didn’t want “in” with such a small ineffectual crowd, and will wait for the US and China.

[Reuters] Australia in July introduced a A$23 ($24) per tonne carbon tax on top polluters, which will move into an emissions trading scheme from mid 2015. Australia and the European Union have agreed to link their trading schemes by 2018.

New Zealand’s abandonment of Kyoto 2 followed changes to its emissions trading scheme (ETS), which allowed unlimited use of carbon credits to meet targets at near-record […]

Don’t mention the Peer Review! New Zealand’s NIWA bury the Australian review

The Australians must have said something awful.

In the never ending quest to hide information that the taxpayer paid for, the New Zealand trial of skeptics vs alarmists is rising to new heights.

This is a legal case asking for discovery of documents, which is much harder to dodge than a simple FOI. Yet NIWA are putting in an Olympic effort to hide what the Australian BOM (their allies?) have said about their work.

The bottom line is that the NIWA team peer reviewed Australia’s new ACORN temperature set and endorsed it as being “worlds best practice” which (judging by what we’ve seen) it clearly is. What a damning review. The NIWA practice is so bad, that even the Australian BOM can’t return the favor and pretend to say something good about it.

NIWA (New Zealand’s National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research) is the official New Zealand organization responsible for climate pronouncements. They pronounced that the country had warmed almost 1°C during the twentieth century, but, oh dear, when skeptics looked, the raw data showed a rise of only 0.23°C in the same time period. And in the full record, the trend was only a 0.06°C per century since […]