Friday 22nd of August 2014

abbott's baloney...



The Prime Minister has declared he wants to make Australia the "affordable energy capital" of the world and says the system of promoting renewable energy is pushing up power prices.

Tony Abbott made the statement after one of Australia's largest power generators blamed increasing gas prices for its decision to close a major gas-fired station near Brisbane.

Stanwell Corporation will instead fire up a coal facility and sell the gas it would have used to generate electricity.

It has also reportedly called for the country's renewable energy target to be cut back, claiming it is distorting the energy market.


stupid abbott...


The Abbott Government has announced yet another pointless inquiry into the health impacts of windfarms. Dr Michael Vagg from The Conversation saysit's a colossal waste of time and taxpayers' money.

SO IT APPEARS we are to be treated to another pointless examination of a manufactured controversy in the name of health science. One can only guess at the motivations for the Federal Government announcing a NHMRC-led review of the science around the purported health effects of wind farms, but you can be sure it’s not being driven by scientific curiosity.

In fact this review is probably the most futile bit of spending yet announced in the term of the Abbott administration and is exactly the sort of tomfoolery you might expect of a cabinet which has no room for science. Why? Because there is no controversy about the so-called Wind Turbine Syndrome. It doesn’t exist as a thing. It has not, as the philosophers might say, been reified.

Wind turbines have no health effects on the surrounding populations. That’s not just my personal opinion. It’s the overwhelming scientific consensus. The book is closed, the story is written, the circus has folded its tents and moved on.

It would, however, potentially suit the Abbott Government politically to keep this manufactroversy going. The conservative side of politics in this country has a well-documented preference for fossil fuel production, largely based on economic arguments and the hope of carbon capture technology to reduce carbon emissions from current coal-fired power stations. Using fringe science to advance political ends is nothing new, but this is not a political comment column so I don’t propose to stray too far from discussing that science.

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On top of this, one must realise that the Commonwealth government has subsidised the coal burning for energy industry for yonks......


wettest UK january on record...


MUCHELNEY, England — The village of Muchelney has become an island. Cars stand idle; locals canoe across the flooded plain or take a police boat down the road-turned-river connecting them to what they now call the “mainland.” About halfway, a silver sedan bobs in the water, its roof barely protruding. It has been there for five weeks.

Even by Britain’s rain-soaked standards it has been a wet winter. For several parts of the country, it was the wettest January on record, and it is still raining. Large swaths of southern England remain on flood alert. Muchelney and the adjacent hamlet of Thorney, about 120 miles southwest of London, are among the hardest hit areas — though it took the government awhile to realize this.

Roderic Baillie-Grohman, 57, was standing in knee-deep water in his living room here one recent afternoon, surveying the damage, when the phone rang. It was a recorded message from the environment agency, the British government body in charge of flood management. The flood warning has now been lifted, a cheerful voice told him, as gentle waves curled around his rubber waders.

“I nearly burst out laughing,” said Mr. Baillie-Grohman, a stonemason, who recounted the scene this week.

Other bureaucratic blunders have been less amusing. When the water first rose on Jan. 3, it flooded not just homes but septic tanks, making it impossible to flush toilets. It took the local government authority three and a half weeks to send portable chemical toilets to the village, Mr. Baillie-Grohman said.

Until then, he said, “it was plastic bags.” Showers have been rationed and cold, and the use of washing machines — those not destroyed by the flood — discouraged to avoid adding to the water table.




Swathes of England experience wettest January since records began more than 100 years ago

LAST UPDATED AT 15:30 ON Thu 30 Jan 2014

PARTS of England have experienced the wettest January since records began more than 100 years ago, with little hope of relief as more rain sweeps in this weekend. 

Large swathes of the country, from east Devon to Kent and parts of the Midlands, have already seen twice the average rainfall for the month.

More than 175.2mm fell between 1 and 28 January this year in the South East and central southern England, beating the previous record of 158.2mm set in January 1988.

More rain is on its way in the coming days, with the possibility of snow and high winds too, reports the BBC. The Met Office has issued numerous yellow warnings – the lowest of its three alert levels – for the next few days.

Parts of central Scotland and northern England are being warned of snow on Friday, while high winds are expected for many western parts of the UK on Saturday and Sunday.


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Gus: when I saw the "charts" in November last year I worked out that this winter (2013-14) was going to be very stormy in England (and parts of Europe). So far my "predicting" (scientific analysis) of conditions has proven more that spot on. I predicted then at least four major storms and a few little nasty ones... The present one doing massive damage is a "small" storm in comparison to a super storm that is presently travelling fast in mid Atlantic and that is predicted to hit the UK early on Sunday the ninth of February... The French meteorological bureau is also at a loss as to when the bad news will stop... According to my "estimates" the bad European weather (beating previous record of wet, wind and numbers of storms) might stop soon or around the 27th of March... a week after the equinox.  Meanwhile some nasty damage will have occurred. 


coldest days on record in Seattle...


Though no significant snow was reported in the Seattle area Thursday, save for a few flurries, the below-freezing temperatures were cold enough to break a few records.

Seattle narrowly avoided a snowstorm that swept into Southwest Washington and Northwest Oregon, but the city still recorded its lowest highs Wednesday and Thursday, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

The warmest temperature Thursday at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport — where Seattle’s official weather data are recorded — was 29 degrees — 8 degrees colder than the previous record set in 1949.

On Wednesday, the high was 31 degrees, a record from the high of 34 set in 1989.

“Temperatures have been below freezing,” said NWS meteorologist Johnny Burg. “I wouldn’t be surprised if some icicles formed.”

And they did

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(Note temperatures mentioned above are measured in F)

Meanwhile temperatures are soaring in Australia: 

Heat just keeps spilling from northern VIC into Melbourne

Source Weatherzone THU 06 FEB 2014

Summer keeps on providing extraordinary heat for Victoria, with this week no exception. Today or tomorrow should mark Mildura's 16th day over 40 degrees since the start of summer, the highest number since 1980/81. Later in the week there should be another three days over 40, making it the most since 1938/39 when there were 22. This remarkable heat hasn't been limited to northern Victoria, as almost all Australians will know. In the past 24 days, more than half of Melbourne's days have exceeded 30 degrees, including five over 40 degrees. Only in three years in the 158 years of records have seen six or seven days reach or exceed 40 degrees in summer. 

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increasing heat...

The government has been urged to better articulate the dangers of climate change after a report that shows the frequency of heatwaves in parts of Australia has already surpassed levels previously predicted for 2030.

The Climate Council report highlights that Adelaide, Melbourne and Canberra all experienced a higher average number of hot days between 2000 and 2009 than was expected to occur by 2030.

Research by the CSIRO forecast that Melbourne would experience an average of 12 days over 35C each year from 2030, but the average over the past decade was 12.6 days.

Adelaide experienced an average of 25.1 days a year over 35C in this time, while Canberra surpassed this mark an average of 9.4 days.

The annual number of record hot days across Australia has more than doubled since 1950, according to the Climate Council report, with the south-east of the country at particular risk from more frequent heatwaves, drought and bushfires.

Last month’s heatwave, which enveloped much of Victoria and South Australia, caused 203 heat-related deaths in Victoria alone, according to the report.

Tim Flannery, of the Climate Council, told Guardian Australia that heatwaves were the “most dangerous natural hazards in Australia”.