Showing posts with label climate change denialists. Show all posts
Showing posts with label climate change denialists. Show all posts

Thursday, 28 February 2019

While Scott Morrison is trying to convince the electorate he now believes in climate change one of the denialists in his government is trying to erase it from school textbooks


There is Australian Prime Minister and Liberal MP for Cook since 2007 Scott Morrison fronting the media trying to convince sceptical voters that he and his government are now fully behind the need to tackle climate change.

However also talking to media is Liberal MP for Hughes since 2010 Craig Kelly doing his level best to undermine the current round political propaganda by calling for a rewrite of both climate science and history.

His climate change denying argument is far from unique.

Sometime around 1904 in far-off England a probably homesick second-generation Australian called Isobel Marion Dorothea Mackellar penned a six stanza poem called The Core Of My Heart aka My Country. This poem has been subverted by climate change deniers into a ‘proof’ that climate change is not real and is not happening right now.

Here Mr. Kelly citing all he can remember from the second stanza………

The Guardian, 26 February 2019:

The publisher of a NSW year-10 history book has rejected complaints from the federal Liberal backbencher Craig Kelly that it misrepresents facts about climate change.
Kelly took issue with the characterisation of climate change in the textbook Pearson History New South Wales.

Kelly has written to the NSW education minister, Rob Stokes, saying the book’s description of Tony Abbott as a climate change denier was “an offensive slur equating it with Holocaust deniers”, the Daily Telegraph reported.

The book says: “Climate change is noticeable in Australia, with more extreme frequent weather events such as the 2002-06 drought or the 2010-11 Queensland floods.”

“That is simply an inaccurate statement that is in a school history book,” Kelly told parliament’s federation chamber last week.

“What chance do we have of forming the best policies in this nation to deal with fire, floods and drought if we have children being misled by incorrect information in our history books?”

He quoted Dorothea Mackellar’s poem My Country to argue contemporary natural disasters are nothing out of the ordinary: “I love a sunburnt country, a land of sweeping plains, of ragged mountain ranges, of droughts and flooding rains,” the poem says.

“We need to understand that we live in that same country that Dorothea Mackellar wrote about over a hundred years ago,” Kelly said.

“That is why we need to prepare and help people recover from their resources instead of wasting money pretending that we can change the weather.”




Saturday, 2 February 2019

Tweets of the Week



Monday, 28 January 2019

Climate change denialism is alive and apparently thriving in 2019


One would expect this dodgy co-sponsorship from the likes of Facebook Inc, but Google and Microsoft do surprise.

Mother Jones, 22 January 2019:

Google, Facebook, and Microsoft have publicly acknowledged the dangers of global warming, but last week they all sponsored a conference that promoted climate change denial to young libertarians.

All three tech companies were sponsors of LibertyCon, the annual convention of the libertarian group Students for Liberty, which took place in Washington, DC. Google was a platinum sponsor, ponying up $25,000, and Facebook and Microsoft each contributed $10,000 as gold sponsors. The donations put the tech companies in the top tier of the event’s backers. But the donations also put the firms in company with some of the event’s other sponsors, which included three groups known for their work attacking climate change science and trying to undermine efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

Among the most notable was the CO2 Coalition, a group founded in 2015 to spread the “good news” about a greenhouse gas whose increase in the atmosphere is linked to potentially catastrophic climate change. The coalition is funded by conservative foundations that have backed other climate change denial efforts. These include the Mercer Family Foundation, which in recent years has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to right-wing think tanks engaged in climate change denialism, and the Charles Koch Institute, the charitable arm of one of the brothers behind Koch Industries, the oil and gas behemoth.

In the LibertyCon exhibit hall, the CO2 Coalition handed out brochures that said its goal is to “explain how our lives and our planet Earth will be improved by additional atmospheric carbon dioxide.” One brochure claimed that “more carbon dioxide will help everyone, including future generations of our families” and that the “recent increase in CO2 levels has had a measurable, positive effect on plant life,” apparently because the greenhouse gas will make plants grow faster.

In a Saturday presentation, Caleb Rossiter, a retired statistics professor and a member of the coalition, gave a presentation titled “Let’s Talk About Not Talking: Should There Be ‘No Debate’ that Industrial Carbon Dioxide is Causing Climate Catastrophe?” In his presentation, Rossiter told the assembled students that the impact of climate change on weather patterns has been vastly exaggerated. “There has been no increase in storms, in intensity or frequency,” he said. “The data don’t show a worrisome trend.”

He insisted that when he hears the news that carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are rising, “I’m cheering!” That’s because, he said, carbon dioxide “is a fertilizer” that has made Africa greener and increased food production there, reducing human misery.

Rossiter also claimed that carbon dioxide emissions correlate with wealth and that the greenhouse gas “improves life expectancy” because poor countries that start burning fossil fuels have a more consistent power supply and can then clean up their water. “I’m happy when carbon dioxide is up, because it means poverty is down,” he declared.

“I come not to bury your carbon but to praise it,” he concluded.....

Thursday, 3 January 2019

The Liberal Party of Australia: fighting to suppress climate science & avoiding responsibility for greenhouse gas emissions since 1996



The Age, 1 January 2019:

The Howard government was urged more than 20 years ago to consider an emissions trading scheme, while its signature plans to deal with Australia's greenhouse gas emissions were considered by its own departments to be merely aimed at deflecting global criticism.

As the Morrison government continues to fight a debilitating internal battle over how to deal with climate change, previously secret papers from the 1990s reveal a suite of major government departments said the most effective and efficient way to deal with greenhouse gases was to impose a carbon price.

Cabinet papers from 1996 and 1997 released on Tuesday by the National Archives reveal the beginnings of the Howard government's drawn-out response to the threat posed by rising greenhouse gas emissions and the way some of those issues are still playing out in the Morrison government…….

Government departments headed by Prime Minister and Cabinet, Treasury and Foreign Affairs fleshed out the details of a series of proposals backed by the government in September 1997 in a bid to deal with Australia's emissions.
The co-ordinating document produced by the departments, which were aiming to finalise a package discussed at cabinet earlier in the month, made clear the bureaucracy did not believe the government's plans would go nearly far enough in cutting emissions but may be sufficient to deflect international criticism.

"None of the packages presented here would achieve the stabilisation of emissions at 1990 levels," they said.

"Rather, they are aimed at deflecting criticism that Australia is not fully committed to reducing its emissions."

The departments costed a series of proposals which would ultimately become part of the government's official response to climate change.

These included a focus on tree plantations, encouragement for businesses to slice their emissions, the introduction of ethanol into petrol and subsidies to boost investment in renewable energy.

They noted Australia had a "poor international reputation for driving fuel efficient cars", arguing significant gains could be made by improving the nation's car fleet.
Building codes, reform of the energy market and investment in climate research were all encouraged.

But the departments, which acknowledged the government's opposition to a price signal, said these would ultimately be expensive initiatives which would not deliver a real impact on the nation's overall emissions profile.

"The most effective way to reduce emissions would be to combine significant price signals (either general or sectoral increases in taxes on greenhouse producing activities), information so firms and individuals can reduce greenhouse production, opportunities to invest in carbon sinks and some degree of compulsion to address areas where markets cannot be made to work effectively," they said.

"It is generally agreed that reductions will not happen without significant persuasion, incentives or leadership from government."

In late 2006, Mr Howard announced a panel would investigate an emissions trading scheme. Both the Howard government and the Kevin Rudd-led ALP would take a trading scheme policy to the following year's election.

But in 1997, the government's most esteemed departments told cabinet it should consider an ETS even if the results of the study were kept hidden from the public.

"A study of possible emissions trading mechanisms and regulations would help position Australia in the event that emissions trading is introduced internationally," they said.

"This study would not be for public announcement since it may not help our international negotiating position if it became public knowledge."....

The Guardian, 1 January 2018:

In June 1996, cabinet agreed that “Australia’s overall objective in climate change negotiations should be to safeguard our national trade and economic interests while advancing compatible outcomes that are environmentally and economically effective”.

While Australia recognised “the need for effective global action on climate change”, it vowed to pursue an international agreement that “does not contain targets which are legally binding” and argued for differentiated, rather than uniform, reduction targets.

The then environment minister, Robert Hill, reported to cabinet that for the first time the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change scientific report had said that the balance of scientific evidence supported the view that the changes in climate and greenhouse gas concentrations were due to human activity.

Small island states were proposing a 20% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from 1990 levels by 2005. While other time frames were being discussed, all were potentially problematic for Australia because of its carbon-intensive economy.

Hill told the cabinet that modelling showed Australia’s emissions from the energy sector – accounting for half of national emissions – were projected to be 30% above 1990 levels by 2010…..

The consternation grew further by mid-1997. A joint submission to cabinet warned of the prospect of an “EU–US bilateral understanding for progressing climate change” at a forthcoming G7 summit…..

The cabinet actively considered walking away from Kyoto altogether.

It was facing publishing its future emissions as part of the Kyoto process but modelling was now showing that emissions from the energy sector would be 40% to 50% above 1990 levels by 2010…

The cabinet also agreed in July to establish a climate change taskforce to advance Australia’s domestic greenhouse gas strategies, to strengthen its bargaining stance. One option to be explored was “domestic and international emissions trading”.

In the following months, Treasury modelled various measures for reducing domestic emissions.

The memorandum warned that none of its scenarios would cap carbon emissions at 1990 levels but would achieve potential cuts of 22%.

And so began Australia’s long and tortured debate over carbon trading schemes.
A proposal was put forward by the Australian Greenhouse Office in 2000, but was scuttled in cabinet; another came forward in 2003, but was vetoed by Howard.

Finally, in the dying days of his government in December 2006, Howard announced an emissions trading scheme, after bureaucrats convinced him it was the most efficient way to meet Australia’s commitments.

BACKGROUND

National Archives of Australia, 1996 and 1997 – Keating and Howard governments, Cabinet Papers, released 1 January 2018.

The Howard Government fight against taking responsibility for Australia's own domestic greenhouse gas missions.....

See: https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/NAAMedia/ShowImage.aspx?B=32709070&T=PDF. My apologies for not posting this document but current slow upload times have meant that I cannot yet display this document here.


Friday, 14 December 2018

Australia’s Chief Scientist gives the Clarence Valley’s Daily Examiner a polite serve



This is what happens when a once proud 159 year-old newspaper is brought by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp and begins to publish the political rot that Andrew Bolt spews forth…….

The Daily Examiner, letter to the Editor, 11 December 2018, p.13:

Doing nothing on climate change not an option

On Tuesday, December 4 you published an opinion piece by Andrew Bolt titled, ‘Less marching, more learning’, which included a reference to me ‘admitting’ that we “could stop all Australia’s emissions – junk every car, shut every power station, put a cork in every cow – and the effect on the climate would still be ‘virtually nothing’.”

Those are Andrew Bolt’s words, not mine, and they are a complete misrepresentation of my position.

They suggest that we should do nothing to reduce our carbon emissions, a stance I reject, and I wish to correct the record.

On June 1, 2017 I attended a Senate Estimates hearing where Senator Ian Macdonald asked if the world was to reduce its carbon emissions by 1.3 per cent, which is approximately Australia’s rate of emissions, what impact would that make on the changing climate of the world.

My response was that the impact would be virtually nothing, but I immediately continued by explaining that doing nothing is not a position that we can responsibly take because emissions reductions is a little bit like voting, in that if everyone took the attitude that their vote does not count and no-one voted, we would not have a democracy.

Similarly, if all countries that have comparable carbon emissions took the position that they shouldn’t take action because their contribution to this global problem is insignificant, then nobody would act and the problem would continue to grow in scale.

Let me be clear, we need to continue on the path of reducing Australia’s carbon emissions. The fact remains that Australia’s emissions per person are some of the highest in the world.

In response to the recent IPCC report, I urged all decision makers – in government, industry, and the community – to listen to the science and focus on the goal of reducing emissions, while maximising economic growth.
I was upfront about the magnitude of the task: it is huge and will require a global effort.

We’ve never been a nation to shy away from a challenge, or from shouldering our fair share of the responsibility for solving global issues.

Sitting on our hands while expecting the rest of the world to do their part is simply not acceptable.

Dr Alan Finkel AO,
Australia’s Chief Scientist. [my yellow highlighting]

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Are Prime Minister Morrison & Co determined to reduce Australia to a hot, barren desert from sea to sea?


Human activities are estimated to have caused approximately 1.0°C of global warming above pre-industrial levels, with a likely range of 0.8°C to 1.2°C. Global warming is likely to reach 1.5°C between 2030 and 2052 if it continues to increase at the current rate. (high confidence) (Figure SPM.1) {1.2}  [United Nations (2018) Global Warming of 1.5°C. Summary for Policymakers]

The global situation.....

United Nations, Sustainable Development, 8 October 2018:

The Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC was approved by the IPCC on Saturday in Incheon, Republic of Korea. It will be a key scientific input into the Katowice Climate Change Conference in Poland in December, when governments review the Paris Agreement to tackle climate change.

“With more than 6,000 scientific references cited and the dedicated contribution of thousands of expert and government reviewers worldwide, this important report testifies to the breadth and policy relevance of the IPCC,” said Hoesung Lee, Chair of the IPCC.

Ninety-one authors and review editors from 40 countries prepared the IPCC report in response to an invitation from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) when it adopted the Paris Agreement in 2015.

The report’s full name is Global Warming of 1.5°C, an IPCC special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty.

“One of the key messages that comes out very strongly from this report is that we are already seeing the consequences of 1°C of global warming through more extreme weather, rising sea levels and diminishing Arctic sea ice, among other changes,” said Panmao Zhai, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group I.

Limiting global warming 

The report highlights a number of climate change impacts that could be avoided by limiting global warming to 1.5ºC compared to 2ºC, or more. For instance, by 2100, global sea level rise would be 10 cm lower with global warming of 1.5°C compared with 2°C. The likelihood of an Arctic Ocean  free of sea ice in summer would be once per century with global warming of 1.5°C, compared with at least once per decade with 2°C. Coral reefs would decline by 70-90 percent with global warming of 1.5°C, whereas virtually all (> 99 percent) would be lost with 2ºC.

“Every extra bit of warming matters, especially since warming of 1.5ºC or higher increases the risk associated with long-lasting or irreversible changes, such as the loss of some ecosystems,” said Hans-Otto Pörtner, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group II.

Limiting global warming would also give people and ecosystems more room to adapt and remain below relevant risk thresholds, added Pörtner. The report also examines pathways available to limit warming to 1.5ºC, what it would take to achieve them and what the consequences could be.

“The good news is that some of the kinds of actions that would be needed to limit global warming to 1.5ºC are already underway around the world, but they would need to accelerate,” said Valerie Masson-Delmotte, Co-Chair of Working Group I.

The report finds that limiting global warming to 1.5°C would require “rapid and far-reaching” transitions in land, energy, industry, buildings, transport, and cities. Global net human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) would need to fall by about 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching ‘net zero’ around 2050. This means that any remaining emissions would need to be balanced by removing CO2 from the air.
“Limiting warming to 1.5ºC is possible within the laws of chemistry and physics but doing so would require unprecedented changes,” said Jim Skea, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group III.

Allowing the global temperature to temporarily exceed or ‘overshoot’ 1.5ºC would mean a greater reliance on techniques that remove CO2 from the air to return global temperature to below 1.5ºC by 2100. The effectiveness of such techniques are unproven at large scale and some may carry significant risks for sustainable development, the report notes.

“Limiting global warming to 1.5°C compared with 2°C would reduce challenging impacts on ecosystems, human health and well-being, making it easier to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals,” said Priyardarshi Shukla, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group III.

The decisions we make today are critical in ensuring a safe and sustainable world for everyone, both now and in the future, said Debra Roberts, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group II.

“This report gives policymakers and practitioners the information they need to make decisions that tackle climate change while considering local context and people’s needs. The next few years are probably the most important in our history,” she said.

The Denver Post, 8 December 2018:

Global emissions of carbon dioxide have reached the highest levels on record, scientists projected Wednesday, in the latest evidence of the chasm between international goals for combating climate change and what countries are actually doing.

Between 2014 and 2016, emissions remained largely flat, leading to hopes that the world was beginning to turn a corner. Those hopes have been dashed. In 2017, global emissions grew 1.6 percent. The rise in 2018 is projected to be 2.7 percent.

The expected increase, which would bring fossil fuel and industrial emissions to a record high of 37.1 billion tons of carbon dioxide per year, is being driven by nearly 5 percent emissions growth in China and more than 6 percent in India, researchers estimated, along with growth in many other nations throughout the world. 

Emissions by the United States grew 2.5 percent, while emissions by the European Union declined by just under 1 percent.

As nations are gathered for climate talks in Poland, the message of Wednesday’s report was unambiguous: When it comes to promises to begin cutting the greenhouse gas emissions that fuel climate change, the world remains well off target.

“We are in trouble. We are in deep trouble with climate change,” United Nations Secretary General António Guterres said this week at the opening of the 24th annual U.N. climate conference, where countries will wrestle with the ambitious goals they need to meet to sharply reduce carbon emissions in coming years.

“It is hard to overstate the urgency of our situation,” he added. “Even as we witness devastating climate impacts causing havoc across the world, we are still not doing enough, nor moving fast enough, to prevent irreversible and catastrophic climate disruption.”

Guterres was not commenting specifically on Wednesday’s findings, which were released in a trio of scientific papers by researchers with the Global Carbon Project. But his words came amid a litany of grim news in the fall in which scientists have warned that the effects of climate change are no longer distant and hypothetical, and that the impacts of global warming will only intensify in the absence of aggressive international action.....

When hard-right, anti-science, fundamentalist ideology in Australia descends into madness………….

The Guardian, 10 December 2018:

 As four of the world’s largest oil and gas producers blocked UN climate talks from “welcoming” a key scientific report on global warming, Australia’s silence during a key debate is being viewed as tacit support for the four oil allies: the US, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Kuwait.

The end of the first week of the UN climate talks – known as COP24 – in Katowice, Poland, has been mired by protracted debate over whether the conference should “welcome” or “note” a key report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The IPCC’s 1.5 degrees report, released in October, warned the world would have to cut greenhouse gas emissions by about 45% by 2030 to limit global warming to 1.5C and potentially avoid some of the worst effects of climate change, including a dramatically increased risk of drought, flood, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people.

The UN climate conference commissioned the IPCC report, but when that body went to “welcome” the report’s findings and commit to continuing its work, four nations – the US, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Russia, all major oil and gas producers – refused to accept the wording, insisting instead that the convention simply “note” the findings.
Negotiators spent two and a half hours trying to hammer out a compromise without success.

The apparently minor semantic debate has significant consequences, and the deadlock ensures the debate will spill into the second critical week of negotiations, with key government ministers set to arrive in Katowice.

Most of the world’s countries spoke out in fierce opposition to the oil allies’ position.
The push to adopt the wording “welcome” was led by the Maldives, leader of the alliance of small island states, of which Australia’s Pacific island neighbours are members.

They were backed by a broad swathe of support, including from the EU, the bloc of 47 least developed countries, the Independent Association of Latin America and the Caribbean, African, American and European nations, and Pacific countries such as the Marshall Islands and Tuvalu.

Australia did not speak during the at-times heated debate, a silence noted by many countries on the floor of the conference, Dr Bill Hare, the managing director of Climate Analytics and a lead author on previous IPCC reports, told Guardian Australia.

“Australia’s silence in the face of this attack yesterday shocked many countries and is widely seen as de facto support for the US, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Kuwait’s refusal to welcome the IPCC report,” Hare said…..

Australia’s environment minister, Melissa Price, arrived in Katowice on Sunday, with negotiations set to resume Monday morning.

 “The government is committed to the Paris agreement and our emissions reduction targets,” she said before leaving Australia. “Australia’s participation in the Paris agreement and in COP24 is in our national interest, in the interests of the Indo-Pacific region, and the international community as a whole.”

Price said a priority for Australia at COP24 was to ensure a robust framework of rules to govern the reporting of Paris agreement targets. “Australia’s emissions reporting is of an exceptionally high standard and we are advocating for rules that bring other countries up to the standard to which we adhere.”

The latest Australian government figures, released last month, show the country’s carbon emissions continue to rise, at a rate significantly higher than recent years.

Australia’s emissions, seasonally adjusted, increased 1.3% over the past quarter. Excluding emissions from land use, land use change and forestry (for which the calculations are controversial), they are at a record high..... [my yellow highlighting]


The Guardian, 11 December 2018:


Patrick Suckling (sitting on panel right), Australia’s ambassador for the environment, waits as protesters disrupt an event at the COP24 climate change summit in Katowice, Poland. Photograph: Łukasz Kalinowski/Rex/Shutterstock

Australia has reaffirmed its commitment to coal – and its unwavering support for the United States – by appearing at a US government-run event promoting the use of fossil fuels at the United Nations climate talks in Poland.

Australia was the only country apart from the host represented at the event, entitled “US innovative technologies spur economic dynamism”, designed to “showcase ways to use fossil fuels as cleanly and efficiently as possible, as well as the use of emission-free nuclear energy”.

Its panel discussion was disrupted for several minutes by dozens of protesters who stood up suddenly during speeches, unfurling a banner reading “Keep it in the ground” while singing and chanting “Shame on you”.

Patrick Suckling, Australia’s ambassador for the environment, and the head of the country’s negotiating delegation at the climate talks, spoke on the panel. His nameplate bore a US flag…..

…Simon Bradshaw, Oxfam Australia’s climate change policy adviser, said it was “extremely disappointing” to see Australia line up behind the US in pushing a pro-coal ideas.

“It is a slap in the face of our Pacific island neighbours, for whom bringing an end to the fossil fuel era is matter of survival, and who are working with determination to catalyse stronger international efforts to confront the climate crisis. And it is firmly against the wishes of an overwhelming majority of Australians.”

Bradshaw said continuing to use coal was not only uneconomic, but would “be measured in more lives lost, entrenched poverty, rising global hunger, and more people displaced from their land and homes”.

He said the advice of the IPCC showed emphatically there was no space for new coal and that Australia’s position on coal was isolating it from the rest of the world.
The Climate Vulnerable Forum, a group of 48 countries most acutely affected by climate change, has committed to achieving 100% renewable energy production by the middle of the century at the latest. Other developed countries, including the UK, France, Canada and New Zealand, have committed to phasing out coal power by 2030.

Wells Griffith, a Trump administration adviser speaking alongside Suckling on the panel, said the US would continue extracting fossil fuels, and warned against “alarmism” about climate change…… [my yellow highlighting]

Greenhouse gas emissions in Australia to date.....

Trend emissions levels are inclusive of all sectors of the economy, including Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF)

Reading Quarterly Update of Australia’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory: June 2018 [PDF 39 pages] released on 30 November 2018 it is highly unlikely that the Morrison Govenment will be able to meet Australia's commitments under the Paris Agreement.

Australia was closer to meeting Paris Agreement goals in 2013 under a Labor federal government than it is today under a Coalition federal government.

Friday, 9 November 2018

When will the Federal Government realise there is a Climate Emergency?



The need for urgent and effective action on climate change is becoming a major issue in Australia .  More people are starting to realise that we are facing a climate emergency and that we are being caught short largely because of the incompetence of our Federal Government which continues to be captive to climate denialists and the coal lobby.

The message from the October 20 Wentworth byelection does not appear to have resonated with Prime Minister Morrison and others in his Government.  Morrison is equating the devastating swing against the Government with the electorate’s concern about the dumping of their popular member, Prime Minister Turnbull.  While that was certainly a factor, there were other concerns about the Government’s poor performance with a major one being its lack of effective climate action.

Despite all that Wentworth voters said about climate change (as well as the way they voted), there are Government members who claim Wentworth cannot be seen as comparable with other electorates. Wentworth is different! According to them, climate change is not a major issue elsewhere.  It will be interesting to see if this wishful thinking lasts until next year’s federal election campaign.

While Wentworth indicated the growing public concern about climate change, other recent developments in relation to climate have further shown how out of touch the Government is. 

Morrison started his Prime Ministership with the determination to assist drought-affected farmers.  But he brushed aside any linking of this latest severe drought with climate change.  However, the National Farmers Federation and an increasing number of farmers acknowledge the link and understand that simply throwing drought relief money at the problem is only a short-term solution.  Calls for discussion about land use in parts of the country are growing.   These include consideration of the viability of some forms of farming and whether farming will be sustainable in some areas as climate change impacts worsen. 

The latest data on Australia’s climate emissions for the twelve months to March 31 was released late on the Friday afternoon of the Grand Final weekend (September 28). The Government had been sitting on this data for months and quite obviously did not want it noticed – for good reason.  The report showed that emissions have continued rising as they have every quarter since the end of the carbon price in 2014. Emissions continue to increase simply because the Government does not have an effective policy to curb them.

Despite this bad result, the Prime Minister and Melissa Price, the Minister for the Environment, managed to put a positive spin on the figures.  Price claimed Australia would beat its 2020 target – an impossible achievement.   And Morrison, ignoring reality completely, claimed Australia was on track to achieve its 2030 Paris targets and would do so “in a canter”.  This is despite the analysis of experts who say we will fall drastically short unless there is an urgent change in government policy.

The recent dire announcement by the IPCC has shown just how urgent the climate issue is.  According to an analysis of the IPCC report published by the Climate Council “limiting global warming to 1.5°C would require rapid and far-reaching transitions during the coming one to two decades – in energy, land, urban and industrial systems”.  (The aim at Paris was to keep global temperature rise well below 2°C above preindustrial levels and to attempt to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C. A rise of 2°C would produce catastrophic effects.)

At war within itself, our Government just does not have either the interest in the issue or the will do what is essential - to act effectively across the board to reduce our emissions drastically. This is in spite of the Wentworth result and all the polls indicating that a growing number of people are concerned and want effective action. 
As well as concerned individuals, scientists, environmentalists and farmers, it is significant that many in the business community, who know they need to take measures to protect their businesses in a carbon-constrained world, also want effective action from the government.

Just what are the chances of the current Government coming to its senses and acting in the national interest?   At the moment that seems unlikely.  We may have to wait for a change in government - unless a grass roots campaign across the nation persuades Morrison that he has no chance of political survival unless he changes tack.

Hildegard

Northern Rivers
29th October 2018

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
GuestSpeak is a feature of North Coast Voices allowing Northern Rivers residents to make satirical or serious comment on issues that concern them. Posts of 250-300 words or less can be submitted to ncvguestspeak AT gmail.com.au for consideration. Longer posts will be considered on topical subjects.


Monday, 5 November 2018

Scott Morrison doesn't know watt's watt


This was the ‘interim’ Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on ABC TV The Drum, 23 September 2018:

SCOTT MORRISON: I want more dispatchable power in the system.
ALAN JONES: Could you stop using the word dispatchable? Out there they don’t understand that.
SCOTT MORRISON: Well, real power, OK?
ALAN JONES: Real power.
SCOTT MORRISON: Well, fair dinkum power.

So what exactly is this “dispatchable power” the Prime Minister is talking about whenever he cites “fair dinkum power” that “works when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing”.

This is what Energy Education:has to say on the subject:

Dispatchable source of electricity

A dispatchable source of electricity refers to an electrical power system, such as a power plant, that can be turned on or off; in other words they can adjust their power output supplied to the electrical grid on demand.[2] Most conventional power sources such as coal or natural gas power plants are dispatchable in order to meet the always changing electricity demands of the population. In contrast, many renewable energysources are intermittent and non-dispatchable, such as wind power or solar power which can only generate electricity while their energy flow is input on them.

Dispatch times
Dispatchable sources must be able to ramp up or shut down relatively quickly in time intervals within a few seconds even up to a couple of hours, depending on the need for electricity. Different types of power plants have different dispatch times:[3]

Fast (seconds)
Capacitors are able to dispatch within milliseconds if they need to, due to the energy stored in them already being electrical, whereas in other types of power storage such as chemical batteries the power must be converted into electrical energy.
Hydroelectric facilities are also able to dispatch extremely quickly; for instance the Dinorwig hydro power station can reach its maximum generation in less than 16 seconds.[4]

Medium (minutes)
Natural gas turbines are a very common dispatchable source, and they can generally be ramped up in minutes.
Solar thermal power plants can utilize systems of efficient thermal energy storage. It is possible to design these systems to be dispatchable on roughly equivalent timeframes to natural gas turbines.

Slow (hours)
While these systems are typically regarded as only providing baseload power, they often have some flexibility.
Many coal and biomass plants can be fired up from cold within a few hours. Although nuclear power plants may take a while to get going, they must be able to shut down in seconds to ensure safety in the case of a meltdown.

What this tells us is that renewable energy can and is used as “dispatchable power” and often responds faster than coal-fired power.

Battery storage by way of home battery installations and mega battery installations such as the Tesla system in South Australia are just two successful examples of storing renewable power for later use – making it dispatchable power.

According to the Melbourne Energy Institute, South Australia’s new mix of renewables and traditional source of energy is working well.

What has become increasingly obvious over the years is that once renewable energy via wind and solar reaches a reasonable scale it becomes cheaper than coal and other fossil fuels. That is where Australia is now.

Yet Scott Morrison apparently doesn’t understand how electricity generation and the national power grid work – it’s a though he has been asleep for the last decade. Because he appears to believe that renewable energy systems have not evolved to meet market demands.


Which in his mind means more coal-fired power.

Expensive, polluting, coal-fired power supplying electricity to Australian homes at maximum cost to ordinary consumers.