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

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

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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.

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Scott Morrison and climate change policy


On 8 October 2018 the UN International Panel On Climate Change issued this media release:


Incheon, Republic of Korea, October 8 – Limiting global warming to 1.5°C would require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society, the IPCC said in a new assessment. With clear benefits to people and natural ecosystems, limiting global warming to 1.5°C compared to 2°C could go hand in hand with ensuring a more sustainable and equitable society, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said on Monday.

The Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C 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.

The report highlights a number of climate change impacts that could be avoided by limiting global warming to 1.5°C compared to 2°C, 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 2°C.

"Every extra bit of warming matters, especially since warming of 1.5°C 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 1.5°C, 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 1.5°C 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 1.5°C 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' 1.5°C would mean a greater reliance on techniques that remove CO2 from the air to return global temperature to below 1.5°C 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 IPCC is the leading world body for assessing the science related to climate change, its impacts and potential future risks, and possible response options.

The report was prepared under the scientific leadership of all three IPCC working groups. Working Group I assesses the physical science basis of climate change; Working Group II addresses impacts, adaptation and vulnerability; and Working Group III deals with the mitigation of climate change.

The Paris Agreement adopted by 195 nations at the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC in December 2015 included the aim of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change by "holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels."

As part of the decision to adopt the Paris Agreement, the IPCC was invited to produce, in 2018, a Special Report on global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways. The IPCC accepted the invitation, adding that the Special Report would look at these issues in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty.

Global Warming of 1.5°C is the first in a series of Special Reports to be produced in the IPCC's Sixth Assessment Cycle. Next year the IPCC will release the Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate, and Climate Change and Land, which looks at how climate change affects land use.

The Summary for Policymakers (SPM) presents the key findings of the Special Report, based on the assessment of the available scientific, technical and socio-economic literature relevant to global warming of 1.5°C.

The Summary for Policymakers of the Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C (SR15) is available at https://www.ipcc.ch/report/sr15 or www.ipcc.ch

The aforementioned summary forms part of the scientific findings informing the IPCC 6th Assessment Report currently being prepared by the working groups.

Australian Prime Minister and Liberal MP for Cook Scott Morrison sought to downplay its significance because it made no specific recommendations on a country by country basis.
He stated that last year the “same report” said that “Australia was right on the money when it came to the mix of climate change policies.

As far as I can tell last year’s special report did not give Australia a glowing endorsement.

If one wants an IPCC opinion on Australia's climate change policy one has to go documents such as this......

This is an excerpt from the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (Working Group II Report "Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability") on the subject of Australia:

Adaptation is already occurring and adaptation planning is becoming embedded in some planning processes, albeit mostly at the conceptual rather than implementation level (high confidence). Many solutions for reducing energy and water consumption in urban areas with co-benefits for climate change adaptation (e.g., greening cities and recycling water) are already being implemented. Planning for 1375 25 Australasia Chapter 25 reduced water availability in southern Australia and for sea level rise in both countries is becoming adopted widely, although implementation of specific policies remains piecemeal, subject to political changes, and open to legal challenges. {25.4; Boxes 25-1, 25-2, 25-9} Adaptive capacity is generally high in many human systems, but implementation faces major constraints, especially for transformational responses at local and community levels (high confidence). Efforts to understand and enhance adaptive capacity and adaptation processes have increased since the AR4, particularly in Australia. Constraints on implementation arise from: absence of a consistent information base and uncertainty about projected impacts; limited financial and human resources to assess local risks and to develop and implement effective policies and rules; limited integration of different levels of governance; lack of binding guidance on principles and priorities; different attitudes towards the risks associated with climate change; and different values placed on objects and places at risk. {25.4, 25.10.3; Table 25-2; Box a5-1} [my yellow highlighting]

Successive Coalition federal governments (with Scott Morrison as a cabinet minister) typified this half-hearted approach to climate change mitigation. After four years the largely ineffective Emissions Reduction Fund is almost empty, the Renewable Energy Target has been all but abandoned and the National Energy Agreement is defunct, with the government's attention turned towards growing fossil fuel energy.

As prime minister Morrison has recently announced he will not be honouring Australia's $200 million pledge to the UNFCCC sponsored global Green Climate Fund (GCF).

It is no secret that Scott Morrison admires US President Donald Trump and right wing American politics generally.

As Morrison argues an inability for Australian action on climate change to make a real difference to ongoing global warming, given we only produce est. one percent of all annual global greenhouse gas emissions, one suspects that he would also agree with this reasoning behind the latest Trump administration refusal to act on climate change.

The Washington Post,  28 September 2018:

Last month, deep in a 500-page environmental impact statement, the Trump administration made a startling assumption: On its current course, the planet will warm a disastrous seven degrees by the end of this century.

A rise of seven degrees Fahrenheit, or about four degrees Celsius, compared with preindustrial levels would be catastrophic, according to scientists. Many coral reefs would dissolve in increasingly acidic oceans. Parts of Manhattan and Miami would be underwater without costly coastal defenses. Extreme heat waves would routinely smother large parts of the globe.

But the administration did not offer this dire forecast, premised on the idea that the world will fail to cut its greenhouse gas emissions, as part of an argument to combat climate change. Just the opposite: The analysis assumes the planet’s fate is already sealed.

The draft statement, issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), was written to justify President Trump’s decision to freeze federal fuel-efficiency standards for cars and light trucks built after 2020. While the proposal would increase greenhouse gas emissions, the impact statement says, that policy would add just a very small drop to a very big, hot bucket.

“The amazing thing they’re saying is human activities are going to lead to this rise of carbon dioxide that is disastrous for the environment and society. And then they’re saying they’re not going to do anything about it,” said Michael MacCracken, who served as a senior scientist at the U.S. Global Change Research Program from 1993 to 2002.....

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Australia has a prime minister who rejects realitiy and embraces idiocy


Scott Morrison with a coal specimen supplied by the Minerals Council of Australia
ABC News, 9 February 2018
During an interview with the ABC 7.30 program on 11 September 2018 Prime Minister & Liberal MP for Cook Scott Morrison declared he is “troubled” by the politics of envy in Australia and has “a very strong view” on what fairness means.

His version of “fairness” is a redefinition far removed from the contents of any dictionary wherein it is usually taken to mean impartial and just treatment or behaviour without favouritism or discrimination.

His expresses his version of fairness as “those that have a go get a go” or “a fair go for those that have a go”– phrases that are inherently judgemental.

It seems that in Morrison's world only individuals who are already capable of helping themselves in some fashion will deserve assistance from others.

Morrison again refused to say why the parliamentary Liberal Party changed leaders and in the interview sought to divorce himself from both the spill process and outcome, as though he wasn’t a participant in those rolling leadership ballots.

But what caught the attention of a numbers of viewers was his response to two questions.

The first response contained Morrison's assertion that he had separated climate/ environment and energy policies and admissions that he was removing climate change targets from future energy policy and was giving no guarantee of future funding for greenhouse gas emissions reduction.
The second involved his belief that there was a need for additional legal protections of religious freedoms when none were being threatened....... 

For Scott Morrison the primary fear of a majority of the Australian population is less important that demonstrating his missionary zeal to institutional Christianity and his unwavering support to the fossil fuel industry. 

Friday, 7 September 2018

The new Australian Minister for Energy & Liberal MP for Hume Angus Taylor has "thought hard" about climate change for over 30 years.....


..... and is holding firm to his 2014 decision to do nothing constructive about mitigating the effects of climate change either globally or nationally.

Excerpt form House of Representatives Hansard, 24 September 2014:

Mr TAYLOR (Hume) (15:44): It is a great pleasure to speak on this matter of public importance because I have had a deep concern about climate change for over 30 years. I have watched the snowline rise south of here, and it is something that I have thought hard about for over 30 years. That has meant that I have come to the conclusion that there are three things that taking climate change seriously really means. The first is effective and consistent policies that actually contain global atmospheric concentrations. Secondly, that you bring the Australian people along with you. Thirdly, you protect the Australian economy so that we can pay for all of this. Let me tell you what I believe it does not mean. It does not mean throwing lots of money at the problem for the sake of it. It does not mean passing encyclopedias of legislation. It does not mean putting endless programs in place. It does not mean establishing a cavalry of so-called independent advisers and advisory boards. It does not mean turning up at lots of global meetings.


Thursday, 6 September 2018

The world is running out of patience with Australia: Europe warns Morrison Government


Europe has strongly signalled that the Morrison Coalition Government needs to stop pretending it has a national climate change policy and keep the pledge to cut greenhouse gas emissions made under the November 2016 U.N. Paris Agreement which the Australian Government ratified and, on the government's part contained such a pitifully weak commitment to a 2030 abatement target i.e. emissions reduced by 26 to 28 per cent below 2005 levels. 

The Sydney Morning Herald, 31 August 2018:

The Coalition's internal climate war risks damaging the economy after Europe declared it would reject a $15 billion trade deal with Australia unless the Morrison government keeps its pledge to cut pollution under the Paris accord.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison this week reset his government’s course on energy policy, declaring a focus on lowering electricity bills and increasing reliability, while relegating efforts to cut dangerous greenhouse gas emissions.

He has reaffirmed his government’s commitment to the Paris accord despite persistent calls by conservative Coalition MPs, led by Tony Abbott, to quit the agreement.

However there is deep uncertainty over how Australia will meet the Paris goal of reducing Australia’s carbon emissions by 26 per cent by 2030 given the government does not have a national strategy to meet the target.

The policy ructions did not go unnoticed at a meeting of the European Parliament's Committee on International Trade in Brussels, where the EU’s chief negotiator on the deal, Helena König, faced angry questions from the floor over Australia’s commitment to climate action.

Australia and the EU will in November enter a second round of negotiations over the deal that would end restrictions on Australian exports and collectively add $15 billion to both economies.

In a video of this week's proceedings, Ms König told the committee that “it’s the [European] Commission’s position ... that we are talking about respect and full implementation of the Paris agreement [as part of the trade deal]”.

“No doubt we will see what comes out in the text [of the deal agreement] but that I expect to be the minimum in the text, for sure.”

Her assertion is a clear signal that any failure by Australia to meet its international climate obligations would have serious economic consequences.

Ms König fired off the warning after a question by Klaus Buchner, a German Greens member of the Parliament who said “the intention of the new Australian regime to withdraw from the Paris Agreement unsettles not only Australians”.

“Australia is by far the biggest exporter of coal in the world ... what will the commission do when Australia does indeed withdraw from the Paris agreement? Is this a red line for us in these discussions or do we just accept it?

“I believe as the largest trading block in the world we have a responsibility to go beyond pure profits.”

Thursday, 19 July 2018

It's business as usual as Trump appointees dismantle US environmental law and regulations



5 July 2018:

Scott Pruitt, whose tenure at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was tarred by corruption scandals and hostility to environmental regulation, offered his resignation today, effective July 6.

The EPA’s new interim administrator, Andrew Wheeler, is a former coal lobbyist, 
profiled by DeSmog.

DeSmog's prior profile of Wheeler reports:

Wheeler is the latest former staffer of climate change denier James Inhofe to join the EPA. Prior to joining FaegreBD Consulting, Wheeler worked as majority staff director, minority staff director and chief counsel at the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works for Inhofe. He worked in a similar vein at the Subcommittee on Clean Air, Climate Change, Wetlands and Nuclear Safety under the chairmanship of Inhofe and also that of George Voinovich. Before that, he worked as Inhofe's chief counsel from 1995 to 1997.

Under Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, Wheeler spent four years as a staffer at the EPA's Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics before moving on to his position at the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

Until mid-2017, Wheeler lobbied on behalf of Murray Energy, the nation's largest privately owned coal company. Run by vocal climate change denier Robert Murray, the energy company has fought against industry regulation and climate change mitigation efforts. According to EcoWatch, Wheeler brought in at least $3 million in income for his firm from Murray Energy.

Murray Energy, while Wheeler's client, produced an “Action Plan” for the Trump Administration including complete elimination of the Clean Power Plan, overturning the endangerment finding for greenhouse gases, and eliminating tax credits for wind and solar energy. In his confirmation hearing, Wheeler admitted to having seen the plan.

According to his profile at Faegre Baker Daniels Consulting, Wheeler “worked on every major piece of environmental and energy-related legislation over the last decade, including greenhouse gas emissions legislation, the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, the Clear Skies Act and the Clean Air Interstate Rule.” The consulting firm also notes that Wheeler has worked on 1998 and 2005 Highway Bill reauthorizations, the Diesel Emissions Reduction SEP Bill, and Renewable Fuel Standards. His regulatory work includes “all major fuel related issues including Refinery MACT, Gasoline sulfur, and the NSPS program.”

“Andrew Wheeler’s nomination is very much in keeping with the Trump administration’s agenda of fossil fuel exploitation and climate inaction,” Michael Mann, a climatologist at Penn State University told HuffPost.

Read the full article here.

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Australian climate change denying journalists are at it again


This was @SkyNewsAust, tweeting on 3 June 2018:

.@chriskkenny: Australia’s total carbon emissions is around 550 million tonnes. That is lower than the annual emissions from volcanoes. If our emissions go up or down, it will make precisely no difference to the planet. #kennyonsunday

News Corp journalist, author, former Liberal Party political adviser and Sky News host of "Kenny on Sunday", Chris Kenny is toying with comparisons in an attempt to downplay climate change facts and figures.

According to the Dept. of Environment and Energy Quarterly Update of Australia’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory annual greenhouse gas emissions for 2017 stood at 531.9 million tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent (Mt CO2-e) by September that year.

That represents a 1.1 per cent increase in Australia’s annual emissions.

While according to U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Since the start of the Industrial Revolution, human emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels and cement production (green line) have risen to more than 35 billion metric tons per year, while volcanoes (purple line) produce less than 1 billion metric tons annually. NOAA Climate.gov graph, based on data from the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC) at the DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Burton et al., 2013. [my highlighting and emphasis]

Leaving aside the fact that Australia has no active volcanoes so no direct comparison can be made between domestic man-made greenhouse gas emissions and domestic natural volcanic emissions, it is clear that the level of human emissions far exceed volcanic emissions at global levels.

It is also clear that a rise in Australia’s annual greenhouse gas emissions will have an impact, because carbon emissions are still rising globally and this country's annual increase is factored into that total global increase.

It is precisely that total global greenhouse emission figure which is definitely making a difference to the planet and, according to established climate science, that difference is already causing global warming induced problems world-wide.

No amount of sophistry will change that fact.

This was also  @SkyNewsAust tweeting on 3 June 2018:

.@rowandean: On the first day of the calendar winter we've also had a record breaking cold start to the season despite, only a day earlier, the climate change-loving Bureau reassuring us all how warm it would be.

News Corp journalist, magazine editor, author and Sky News commentator, Rowan Dean, is confused about what the term "record breaking" actually means.

On 1 June - the exact date of the start of calendar winter - in Sydney the lowest temperature was 13°C. The lowest recorded temperature for 1 June was 2.1°C in 1932 and the average minimum for June is 18.6°C. 

In Melbourne on the same day the lowest temperature was 3°C. The lowest June record for Melbourne was previously set at 3.3°C in 1937 and the average minimum for June is 6.9°C. 

Brisbane's lowest temperature on 1 June was 8°C. The lowest recorded June temperature for Brisbane was 5°C in 2001 and the average minimum for June is 10.9°C. 

So yes, it was a cold start to winter. However the cold was no across the board record breaker.

When it comes to what the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) stated about Winter 2018 - it didn't state every single day would definitely be warm or warmer.

What it did state on 31 May 2018 was that:






 NOTES
*timeanddate.com at https://www.timeanddate.com/weather/australia for Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane temperatures on 1 June 2018
*BOM at http://www.meteorology.com.au/local-climate-history for climate histories of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane
* http://www.eldersweather.com.au/climate.jsp

It doesn't take a genius to see that Sky News Australia (founded by Rupert Murdoch in 1989) appears to be running an anti-science agenda.

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Where the Trump Regime goes the far-right in Australia's Turnbull Government are sure to follow


Emboldened by the Heartland Institute's capture of the US Trump Government, I suspect that Australia will see a renewed push by one of the compatriots of this American lobby group  - the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) - to further wind back federal and state environmental protections.

The IPA already has an uncomfortably close relationship with the Turnbull Government as a number of its members are within its ranks.

This is the current state of play in the United States.

DeSmog Blog, 29 May 2018:

A lawsuit filed in March by the Southern Environmental Law Center and Environmental Defense Fund has revealed new levels of coordination between Scott Pruitt's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the climate science-denying think tank the Heartland Institute.

The EPA had repeatedly failed to respond to Freedom of Information Act requests by the two groups, which resulted in the lawsuit and subsequent release of the email communications.

However, both the EPA and the Heartland Institute have strongly defended their actions revealed by the newly released emails. EPA spokesperson Lincoln Ferguson told the Associated Press that communications with the Heartland Institute helped “to ensure the public is informed” and that this relationship “… demonstrates the agency’s dedication to advancing President Trump’s agenda of environmental stewardship and regulatory certainty.”

The current head of the Heartland Institute is former Congressman Tim Huelskamp who also was quick to defend the relationship.

“Of course The Heartland Institute has been working with EPA on policy and personnel decisions,” Tim Huelskamp said in a statement to AP. “They recognized us as the pre-eminent organization opposing the radical climate alarmism agenda and instead promoting sound science and policy.”

In March Huelskamp wrote a piece in The Hill titled “Scott Pruitt is leading the EPA toward greatness,” in which he made it quite clear that the reason for this greatness was that “Trump and Pruitt share an understanding that climate change is not a significant threat to the prosperity and health of Americans.”

While in Congress, Huelskamp’s top donor was Koch Industries, the massive petrochemical empire owned by the conservative billionaire Koch brothers, Charles and David.

However, this latest revelation is unlikely to derail Pruitt’s career at the EPA. Pruitt is currently the subject of at least ten investigations. At a scathing hearing in April, he was told by one Congressman that “you are unfit to hold public office and undeserving of the public trust.”
Still, Pruitt remains the embattled chief of the nation's top environmental agency under Trump, and, perhaps not surprisingly, President Donald Trump has been supportive of Pruitt……
Like his boss, Pruitt is quick to blame the media for his problems.

“Much of what has been targeted towards me and my team, has been half-truths, or at best stories that have been so twisted they do not resemble reality,” Pruitt said in his opening remarks to Congress during the April hearing. “I'm here and I welcome the chance to be here to set the record straight in these areas. But let's have no illusions about what's really going on here.”….

Supported by funding from the Koch network, Heartland has been actively spreading disinformation about climate science for years.

What the latest EPA emails reveal is the extent which these Koch-funded climate deniers are now in direct communication with the EPA and helping influence policy. 
One email from John Konkus, EPA’s deputy associate administrator for public affairs, assures Heartland's then-president Joseph Bast that “If you send a list, we will make sure an invitation is sent.”

The list refers to Heartland’s recommendations for economists and scientists that the EPA would invite to a public hearing on science standards. Under Trump and Pruitt, climate science deniers are now hand-picking who advises the EPA on climate change science….

Read the full blog post here.

BACKGROUND

 DeSmog Blog, undated:

May 16 - 18, 2010

The Institute of Public Affairs was a cosponsor (PDF) of the Heartland Institute's Fourth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC4). [28]

DeSmogBlog concluded 19 of the 65 sponsors (including Heartland itself) had received a total of over $40 million in funding since 1985 from ExxonMobil (who funded 13 of the organizations), and/or Koch Industries family foundations (funded 10 organizations) and/or the Scaife family foundations (funded 10 organizations). [29]
October 1, 2010

Together, the Heartland InstituteAmericans for Tax Reform, the Property Rights Alliance, and the Institute of Public Affairs sponsored the Heartland Institute's Fifth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC5) in Sydney, Australia. [30]

The Conversation, 6 June 2016:

A group of prominent Melbourne businessmen founded the IPA in 1943 in the wake of the United Australia Party-Country Party coalition’s devastating election loss.

Inaugural chairman G.J. Coles (founder of the Coles supermarket chain) outlined the IPA’s approach. He said it:

… did not wish to be directly involved in politics, but it wanted to help create a modern political faith, which would be constructive and progressive and which would receive a large measure of public support.

Concerned the Labor Party was leading Australia down a path of central planning and socialism, the IPA set out to develop and promote an alternative vision. To that end it published a 70-page pamphlet titled Looking Forward: “a post-war policy for Australian industry”.

One person paying close attention was Robert Menzies, who in 1944 described the pamphlet as:

… the finest statement of basic political and economic problems made in Australia for many years.

Many of the policies outlined in Looking Forward were incorporated into the platform of the Liberal Party, founded the following year.

Though the IPA and the Liberal Party were characterised in their early decades by a mildly Keynesian, interventionist approach to the economy, since the 1980s both have switched to a more hardline neoliberal philosophy – embracing free markets, lower taxes and trickle-down economics.

Shared personnel

David and Rod Kemp, sons of the IPA’s founder and driving force C.D. “Ref” Kemp, became key figures in both the IPA and the Liberal Party.

David wrote his honours thesis on the founding of the IPA, then combined an academic career with stints advising Malcolm Fraser before entering parliament in 1990. Rod took over and revitalised the IPA in 1982 before he was elected to the Senate, also in 1990. Both were ministers in the Howard government.

Former Liberal MP and leading economic “dry” John Hyde ran the IPA from 1991 to 1995, before being replaced by Mike Nahan, who is now treasurer in the Western Australian Liberal government....

When Herald Sun columnist Andrew Bolt was found to have breached Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act in 2011, the IPA was outraged and immediately launched a campaign to repeal the offending section.

A full-page advertisement was taken out in The Australian. It included the names of senior Liberals such as Jamie Briggs, Michaelia Cash, Mathias Cormann, Mitch Fifield, Nick Minchin and Andrew Robb.