Saturday 25th of November 2017

a simple explanation...

global warming explained...

The weather is our saucepan. The climate is our stove. No super computer in their right mind would be able to calculate or predict at any point in time, where the bubbles and convection currents are and will be, though we can see them. The normal setting for the climate and weather combo is simmer. No boil, barely a ripple at the surface. We know the energy lost around the saucepan -- or in the case of the planet, what energy is lost into the blue yonder.

We know that in order to raise the amount of bubbles and speed up the convection currents, we need to add more heat.. Knowing how much stuff we have in the saucepan, we can know exactly how much heat we have to add in order to achieve boiling point. But we still don't know where the convection currents and the bubbles are at any one time. This is the conundrum of meteorology. Should we be boiling milk, it will spill over when it starts to froth up. We know the exact temperature at which the water boils. At boiling point, the more heat we add, will not add temperature to the water but speed up the time when there will be no water left (evaporated).

Soon thereafter, will come a time when the inside of the saucepan carbonises and we will have a hell of a time cleaning it up. Should we let the milk boil over, eventually it will kill the flame... Extinction...

There you are: Climate change, meteorology and global warming explained with a saucepan.

the energy market...

Introduction

The Independent Review into the Future Security of the National Electricity Market (here on in referred to as Independent Review) has been tasked with developing a blueprint for the national electricity market which:

  • delivers on Australia’s emissions reduction commitments
  • provides affordable electricity, and
  • ensures a high level of security and reliability.

These three criteria - affordable, reliable and meeting emissions reduction commitments - have been described as an energy policy “trilemma” or “trifecta”.

Recently, gas has received a lot of attention as a transition fuel. This submission therefore focuses on whether gas-powered electricity generation has a role to play toward Australia reducing its emissions and meeting its Paris Agreement commitments.

Delivering Australia’s emission reduction commitments

2016 was the hottest year on record globally for the third year in a row. The record global warmth of 2016 is part of a long-term trend. All of the world’s 10 warmest years have occurred since 1998. 2016 is the 40th consecutive year with above-average global temperatures (NOAA 2017). Human activities, such as the burning of coal, oil and gas for electricity, are driving up greenhouse gas emissions and fuelling the long term warming trend.

In 2016, Australia sweltered through its warmest autumn on record. Highest temperatures on record were experienced throughout much of eastern and northern Australia including Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and the Northern Territory. From late February through March 2016, the sea surface temperatures over the northern, most pristine part of the Great Barrier Reef were around 1 to 1.5°C above the recent long-term average (2002-2011). Warm waters caused devastating bleaching and the death of 67% of coral in the northern section. Western Australian and other reefs throughout the world were also badly affected by this mass global bleaching event, the worst in recorded history, driven by climate change and a recent El Niño event.

Climate change is influencing all extreme weather events in Australia. Heatwaves are becoming hotter, lasting longer and occurring more often. Marine heatwaves that cause severe coral bleaching and mortality are becoming more intense and occurring more often. Extreme fire weather and the length of the fire season is increasing, leading to an increase in bushfire risk. Sea level has already risen and continues to rise, driving more devastating coastal flooding during storm surges. The impacts of extreme weather events will likely become much worse unless global greenhouse gas emissions are reduced rapidly and deeply. For more details, see the Climate Council’s report, “Cranking up the Intensity: Climate Change and Extreme Weather Events”.

read more:

http://www.climatecouncil.org.au/climate-council-submission-to-finkel-re...

a better energy plan that turdshitt clean coal...

The energy and environment minister, Josh Frydenberg, accused South Australia of trying to rip up the national electricity agreement.

Frydenberg said that, under the national electricity market rules, while the states can declare a state of emergency to intervene, South Australia intends to make it easier to override AEMO. 

“What SA is today saying is that they won’t meet that threshold,” Frydenberg said. 

“They are talking about a much lower threshold to intervene. Arguably, that may be in contravention with the national electricity market rules and therefore that is something that we will take advice on.”

South Australian premier Jay Weatherill’s $550m energy plan will also fund a new $360m state-owned gas-fired power plant, provide a $150m renewable technology fund add $24m for gas exploration grants. The premier has also pledged to provide 10% of gas royalties to landholders who allow access for conventional gas and fracking development.

read more:

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/mar/14/coalition-says-so...

the reef is dying faster than thought...

SYDNEY, Australia — The Great Barrier Reef in Australia has long been one of the world’s most magnificent natural wonders, so enormous it can be seen from space, so beautiful it can move visitors to tears.

But the reef, and the profusion of sea creatures living near it, are in profound trouble.

Huge sections of the Great Barrier Reef, stretching across hundreds of miles of its most pristine northern sector, were recently found to be dead, killed last year by overheated seawater. More southerly sections around the middle of the reef that barely escaped then are bleaching now, a potential precursor to another die-off that could rob some of the reef’s most visited areas of color and life.

“We didn’t expect to see this level of destruction to the Great Barrier Reef for another 30 years,” said Terry P. Hughes, director of a government-funded center for coral reef studies at James Cook University in Australia and the lead author of a paper on the reef that is being published Thursday as the cover article of the journal Nature. “In the north, I saw hundreds of reefs — literally two-thirds of the reefs were dying and are now dead.”

The damage to the Great Barrier Reef, one of the world’s largest living structures, is part of a global calamity that has been unfolding intermittently for nearly two decades and seems to be intensifying. In the paper, dozens of scientists described the recent disaster as the third worldwide mass bleaching of coral reefs since 1998, but by far the most widespread and damaging.

 

read more:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/15/science/great-barrier-reef-coral-climate-change-dieoff.html

pumping water uphill...

 

 

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will today reveal plans for a $2 billion expansion of the iconic Snowy Hydro scheme that could power up to 500,000 homes through a new network of tunnels and power stations.

The surprise intervention, a potential game-changer in the political brawl over flaws in the nation's electricity system, will increase the scheme's 4100 megawatt capacity by as much as 50 per cent.

 

The four-year project would massively increase the amount of renewable energy storage capacity in Australia through pumped hydro technology, which involves using cheap electricity to pump water uphill so it can be later released downhill through turbines, creating electricity when demand is high.

No new dams would be built, but a fresh series of tunnels and power stations are on the agenda, at an estimated cost of $1.5 to $2 billion. A feasibility study should be completed by the end of 2017 and the search for expansions sites will led by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. The Tantangara Dam is understood to be an early area of interest.

read more:

http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/snowy-hydro-20-mal...

 

And we are not the first of April... There is base-load merit in the project. See what happens... At the moment it rains so much in Sydney, one could place water mills in the gutters and power the whole world...

 

the military solution...

The 4-C programme of 20 March 2017 spelled clearly the intensification of conflicts due to global warming. This was compelling viewing though it skipped over the role of the USA in taking advantge of this intensification to promote their own empire. For example, instead of food being given to the poor and the displaced, guns became the staple through various terrorist routes including support from Saudi Arabia. The decision to get rid of Assad in Syria and that of getting rid of Gaddafi in Libya was as dumb as one can get out, in oder to promote survival of people in distress. Here one must note, that the USA have been taking advantage of this distress to promote their own agenda — and that of their friends th Saudis. Poor people are just fodder. As well when there was shortage of wheat in Egypt, the USA imposed sanctions on Russia that prevented it to fill the gap. This people in Egypt revolted and this was the "Arab Spring" that only exacerbated the situation and lead to the creation of Daesh, etc...

 

See: The age of concequences.

 

By PBS International, Jared P Scott



The Age of Consequences - Monday 20 March 2017

"We are not your traditional environmentalists." Gen. Gordon Sullivan (Retd), Fmr. Chief of Staff, U.S. Army 

Four Corners brings you the views of distinguished former members of the US military and senior policy makers who warn that climate change is not only real, it's a threat to global security.

"I'm here today not only representing my views on security implications of climate change, but on the collective wisdom of 16 admirals and generals." Rear Admiral David Titley (Retd), U.S. Navy

They say climate change is impacting on vital resources, migration patterns and conflict zones.

"Climate change is one of the variables that must be considered when thinking about instability in the world." Gen. Gordon Sullivan (Retd), Fmr. Chief of Staff, U.S. Army

Rear Admiral David Titley spent 32 years in the US military. He was the US Navy's chief oceanographer and led the Navy's Task Force on Climate Change. He argues climate change must be acknowledged.

"Our collective bottom line judgement is that climate change is an accelerating risk to our nation's future." Rear Admiral David Titley (Retd), U.S. Navy

The film analyses the conflict in Syria, the social unrest of the Arab Spring, and the rise of groups like ISIS and how these experts believe climate change is already acting as a catalyst for conflict.

see more:

 

http://iview.abc.net.au/programs/four-corners/NC1704H007S00#playing

 

 

Meanwhile our idiots in Canberra still live in denial...

 

The next instalment about climate change comes from Media Watch:

 

Clean and green or toxic and deadly?

Think wind turbines are good for the environment? Think again, says Today Tonight. But have they just cherry picked facts to fit their story?

South Australia’s plan has some interesting ideas like battery storage and royalties for farmers to encourage gas production. 

But The Australian’s army of columnists lavished it with scorn as, misplaced, 
too late, 
too expensive, 
too complicated, and a problem we should never have had in the first place.

While the Weekend Australian’s former editor Nick Cater who now runs the Menzies Centre bizarrely blamed it all on global warming science, which, he said, offered intellectuals. 

… an opportunity to settle old scores by re-fighting the lost battle of the Cold War: the fight against free markets. 

— The Australian, 15 March, 2017

Yes, Cater continued:

There are certainly parallels. Marxism, according to Friedrich Engels, was scientific socialism.

— The Australian, 15 March, 2017

For the record I am not a Communist, and I believe in free markets. But I reckon renewable energy is an essential part of the future. It surely is time The Australian got used to it. 

But Nick Cater is not the only one crying danger, because Today Tonight in Adelaide told us recently that green and clean is wrecking the planet. 

ROSANNA MANGIARELLI: Now to the green energy myth. You might think you’re helping the planet by supporting wind power and driving a hybrid or electric car, but as Hendrik Gout reports, there can be a terrible price to pay.

HENDRIK GOUT: Clean, green, renewable is dirty, poisonous, deadly. Because what you don’t know is that making these green, eco-friendly, non-polluting, sustainable wind turbines means making this: a lake so toxic, so deadly, a vast cauldron of acids, chemicals and radioactive tailings.

— Today Tonight Adelaide, 1 March, 2017

Oh dear. Sounds horrible. And scary.

And even though Today Tonight admitted that what they call rare earths are used in lots of hi-tech products there was no doubt which one it saw as the villain. 

HENDRIK GOUT: … They’re used by the tens of tonnes to generate wind power, turned into the permanent magnets for fitment into the towers. A three megawatt turbine uses two tonnes of rare earths. So in China …

NIGEL COOK: There is an awful lot of environmental damage.

— Today Tonight Adelaide, 1 March, 2017

So is this right? Well, for a start, it’s an 8-year-old story.

Some of the footage of those toxic lakes that TT relied on was shot in 2009 by Britain’s Channel 4. 

Which Today Tonight lifted off the internet, complete with interviews, without payment or permission.

Naughty, naughty. 

But more to the point, according to Channel 4’s Lindsey Hilsum, TT beat up their story. 

… our story was responsible, pointing out the issues around Rare Earths - which were not widely known at that time - without demonising the renewables industry … This is a retread, seemingly without nuance or updating. 

— Twitter message, @lindseyhilsum, 8 March, 2017

Also not impressed with Today Tonight’s story were two Australian interviewees whom TT relied on to make its case. 

Dr Nigel Cook, a geologist from the University of Adelaide, claimed he didn’t know it would focus on wind power. And he added:

This just seemed to be extremely negative, certainly it’s not reflecting our points of view. 

— Dr Nigel Cook, Geologist, University of Adelaide, 14 March, 2017

And South Australian Greens leader Mark Parnell—who also appeared in the report—was even blunter, telling Media Watch:

In total, the story was a complete beat-up.

— Mark Parnell, SA Greens Leader, 2 March, 2017

And why’s that? Well, for starters, rare earths are used in just about every electronic product we rely on, like mobile phones, computers, TV screens and cars. 

And more than half of rare earths exported to the US are used in catalysts to make petrol. 

But as Parnell points out, that wasn’t the story TT wanted to tell. 

The emphasis was not to make people feel bad about using mobile phones or watching TV, it was to make people feel bad about using renewable energy, so it wasn’t a balanced story at all. 

— Mark Parnell, SA Greens Leader, 8 March, 2017

But the key problem is the program was factually wrong. 

Most wind turbines in Australia do not use rare earth magnets in their turbines. Because they’re too expensive. 

We’ve looked at the specs of all the turbines in Australia and on our count, fewer than one in five use rare earths.

With none in Tasmania.

Only 1 in 12 in Western Australia.

And only 1 in 5 in South Australia, where Today Tonight and Hendrik Gout are based. 

So how did TT get it so wrong? 

We suspect because they wanted the facts to fit their story. 

And because they didn’t take the time to check.

Hendrik Gout told us:

This wasn’t an easy story on an important topic. Few people know what rare earths are and don’t know it’s many uses ... Illustrating the point with turbines in SA … was an apt way of illustrating their application.

— Hendrik Gout, Reporter Today Tonight, 17 March, 2017

And he added:

If one-fifth use rare earth magnets that’s a lot.

— Hendrik Gout, Reporter Today Tonight, 17 March, 2017

Actually it’s not, because it means 4 out of 5 do not. 

And so TT’s claim that renewable energy equals dirty, poisonous and deadly, is just plain wrong.

 

See video at:

http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/s4638993.htm

 

As many readers of these columns know, Gus worked in a rare earth factory in Europe in the early 1960s (or was it 1950s?) and He can CATERGORICALLY SAY THAT, by his ansers to the questions, HENDRIK GOUT IS A BULLSHIT JOURNO.

 

the drunken cities...

Cyclone Debbie had barely had much of a resume (we were told by the Bureau of Meteorologists that she would be impressive) but here she was, howling with green adolescent insistence that there was something worth considering.

She, in short, was out to make an impression, the debutante about to remind everybody that she was the great show on the stage. And my, had she grown, from a tropical depression to a raging Category 4 force able to rip homes from their supports.

The entire disaster response team was there to cheer her on. The great contradiction on responding to disaster in Australia is that it is phlegmatically assumed, much like a bad toilet motion. For that reason, teams for “disaster management” are created in advance of imminent disaster. It is the embryonic assumption, the sense that the worst will happen. For that reason, we need the paperwork inked even before Debbie makes landfall.

The residents in Bowen, North Queensland were already claiming that they were waiting for her, a sort of reverse date. (The idea of gendering and sexing a cyclone is itself absurd, but this was what was happening.) Tables were taken in though no gourmet assortments would be on offer.  If Debbie liked canned food well and good, but most preferred her to stay outside.

But the language, in an artificial sense, was the same as one anticipating a rendezvous with someone dashing. This was cyclonic erotica, the sense that the immensity approaching had a presence worth noting, a catwalk of destruction making her presence felt with more than nudging appeal. She had the full show, like a Kardashian and more so: an update every hour as she approached in vengeful awareness, a true live show.

The walk towards the Irish liquor dispensary – or bottle shop, as it is termed in Australia – was itself revealing. Dan Murphy is the name associated with cheaper options Australians flock to, filling their shopping trolleys to the point of immobility. Here, in Townsville, the thirsty punters were crowding and ready: they knew that Dan’s would be off the radar of purchase for some days. The cities of Mackay, Townsville, and Bowen would be hitting the bottle hard. Truly, cities driven to drink.

Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge and lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne.  Email: bkampmark@gmail.com

 

Read more:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/disaster-as-joy-in-australia-cyclone-debbie...

 

see also:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-04-01/nsw-floods-two-dead-as-water-moves...

some states in the US are trying to save the earth...

 

This story was originally published by Fusion 

It's a precarious time for federal climate change action in the US, to say the least. Just last week, a sweeping executive order signed by President Trump moved to roll back the Obama administration's flagship Clean Power Plan to curb greenhouse gas emissions from power plants—the latest in a series of efforts by Congress and the White House to repeal various Obama-era rules.

But even as the Trump administration continues reversing federal environmental regulations, state governments are stepping up as the nation's new front line of defense against climate change. The same day as last week's executive order was revealed, Gov. Jerry Brown of California and Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York released a joint statement reaffirming their commitment to curbing their states' carbon emissions.

"Climate change is real and will not be wished away by rhetoric or denial," the statement said. "We stand together with a majority of the American people in supporting bold actions to protect our communities from the dire consequences of climate change."

California and New York currently maintain some of the nation's most ambitious state-level climate action plans, including goals in both states to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions 40% below their 1990 levels by the year 2030, and 80% by the year 2050. Both states also have plans for the advancement of clean energy and energy efficiency programs, and both participate in carbon pricing schemes—California has had its own statewide cap-and-trade program since 2012, and New York is one of nine northeastern states participating in a joint cap-and-trade scheme known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

read more:

http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2017/04/trumps-domestic-war-clima...

 

Read from top...

 

and congress too...

With budget battles and promised tax reform ahead, President Donald Trump is running out of time to claim legislative wins. Especially since most of them have been from his rollback of environmental regulations put forward during the waning days of the Obama administration.

So far, Trump has signed 11 bills using the Congressional Review Act, a 1996 law that lets Congress overturn federal rulemaking with a simple majority vote. Republicans have been striking down Obama-era regulations that were anathema to the oil, gas, and coal industries, among them an Environmental Protection Agency rule protecting streams from coal debris, an anti-bribery rule requiring oil companies to disclose foreign payments, and an obscure Bureau of Land Management rule updating land management guidance. The White House this week celebrated its triumphs during a press call in which legislative director Marc Short insisted, "If you take in totality what we've been trying to do on the regulatory front, it is a news story."

But there is a limit for this legislative free-for-all. Use of the CRA is time-limited to 60 congressional working days, so the opportunity to use the CRA to repeal rules from the Obama administration that stretch back to mid-2016 will end around mid-May. And one environmental executive order that should have been a slam dunk is in trouble. The bill to overturn a methane regulation for public lands that has been long disliked by the oil and gas industry has stalled in the Senate. A number of moderate and Western state Republican senators have worried about the implications of permanently restricting the Interior Department's ability to regulate methane emissions.

read more:

http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2017/04/trumps-rollback-obama-era...

 

Most likely the bills will get pass at the 11th hour. The US will be a more sorry place but as our Derryn Hinch would say "That's life"... Moderate republicans should fiercely battle to protect the environment.

noo zealand too...

Heavy rain has begun to hit New Zealand's North Island, ahead of what is being called the worst storm in generations.

New Zealanders have evacuated towns along the north coast, where severe weather warnings are in place.

The storm is due to make landfall from 19:00 local time (07:00GMT) over Bay of Plenty. Officials have warned of high waves, storm surges and landslides.

It is then expected to move to the South Island early on Friday.

It comes after severe floods caused by the remnants of Cyclone Debbie hit some parts of the country last week.

The storm - expected to bring torrential rain and winds gusting at up to 150km/h (93mph) - has been classified as an extra-tropical cyclone.

That means it has changed into a different kind of weather system on approach to New Zealand, but has not necessarily weakened or been downgraded, according to the New Zealand MetService.

Parts of New Zealand's North Island are now under a state of emergency, with residents in the low-lying parts of Coromandel, which has already seen landslips and closed roads, being told to leave immediately.

 

Read more:

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-39585868