Monday 1st of September 2014

a government that is shamefully idiotic...


Here I was, this morning, thinking that, soon, global warming was going to hit us for six, relent, let a couple of doosies go to the keeper and hit us for four... In the next over, global warming would hit us in the head, in the balls and for another six beyond the reporters boxes... And the ball is lost on the roof...

record hot days across Australia ...

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”.

“They kill hundreds of people and the fact they are accelerating beyond the predicted trends is a concern,” he said. “Heatwaves are coming earlier, they are lasting longer and they are hotter. They build up for days and before you know it, elderly people, infants and the homeless are in danger.”

On Monday, Tony Abbott dismissed talk of a link between climate change and drought, saying there “have always been tough times and lush times”. Last year he played down the connection between climate change and bushfire.

Flannery said there was “clear evidence” of these links and said the government had yet to articulate the dangers of climate change and how it would combat it.

“We’re not looking at these things in a linked-up way, we don’t seem to recognise the relationship between the number and intensity of heatwaves on bushfires, and the impact on droughts,” he said. “It’s an inconvenient truth and people don’t want to face the truth.

“Aspects of drought conditions are clearly linked to heatwaves. I’ve spoken to farmers in NSW and they say they’ve never seen anything like the evaporation rates from dams before, due to the number of very hot days.”

Flannery added: “Governments have a responsibility to keep Australians safe from dangers such as climate change. You need to be explicit about that threat. We have yet to see that policy yet. I mean, who knows what Direct Action is?”

Flannery said he had a “long friendship” with Greg Hunt, the environment minister, who is regularly depicted by Labor as being sidelined within cabinet by Coalition climate sceptics.

“Like any minister he has moments of frustration,” Flannery said. “There are clearly others in the party who are outright sceptics. The government certainly doesn’t seem to be leading the discussion on climate change.”

“We don’t comment directly on policy issues, but it’s clear to see that we had peak emissions in Australia in 2008 and, since then, we’ve reduced emissions by one third of 1%. In the US, they had their peak in 2008 and have reduced emissions by 10.9%.

“China has made incredible gains in renewable energy and reducing emissions intensity. We should be keeping up but we are in danger of losing sight of the frontrunners.”

fairly dicky...

fairly dicky

decline of the once lucky country...

I AM WRITING THIS as I am at my wits end with the current political climate and the hopeless state that Australians find themselves facing.

We have two governing bodies that are hell bent on undoing years of environmental protection, further stalling and destroying progress, removing human rights and crippling the people of this nation.  For whatever gains they are doing this are yet to be seen. A little like budget surpluses.

This country of ours has an abundance of natural resources — both in the ground and climatically.

Over the years, there have been numerous solutions to fixing our water problem (the sunburnt country), the Diamantina water scheme and desalination plants in dry areas being just two of them, but nothing has been done to harness the massive amounts of rain we receive every year during the monsoon (cyclone) season.

I would question why, when so much money can be thrown behind mining.

We mine our resources and send them overseas. We should be using those resources here and manufacturing the end products to send overseas.

I am well aware of the costs of this, as we are not a cheap population to employ, but this in itself is due to governments present and past, who have made this country a very expensive place to live. Australia is a high salary/wage nation, but this is relative to the cost of living in this country.

We are now about to remove incentives to convert to natural power solutions, which most people are adopting to alleviate the costs imposed on living. We should be, as a nation, promoting alternative power solutions, we have an abundance of sunshine, wind & water – these three elements allow a mind blowing amount of power resources. One has only to look at Europe & England with their new solar bridges to see what is possible.

We have now gone backwards with our heritage listed wildlife areas, with logging now allowed in Tasmania wilderness, losing us 74,000 hectares of protected forest, along with preliminary approval for dumping in the Great Barrier Reef.,6183

alleged bribery...

Dick Warburton investigated over foreign bribery scandal
National Political News
Abbott knew of Warburton inquiry

Tony Abbott appointed Dick Warburton to head a review of the Renewable Energy Target despite knowing of a secret inquiry touching on the businessman's past.

The senior businessman appointed by Prime Minister Tony Abbott to review Australia's renewable energy target has been the subject of a secret internal investigation into his role as a former director of a firm involved in Australia's worst foreign bribery scandal.

The investigation findings were sent earlier this month to the Reserve Bank board and deal with Dick Warburton and his fellow former Note Printing Australia directors' knowledge and handling of Note Printing Australia's sanctions-busting trip to Iraq in 1998.

On Monday, Mr Abbott personally approved the appointment of Mr Warburton to review the nation's renewable energy target, despite serious questions about the role of Mr Warburton and his fellow former NPA directors in overseeing a company that police allege engaged in repeated foreign bribery.

Read more:


in the conservative heartland of pommyland....

It's an unmistakable taste of things to come. The floods that have deluged Britain may be small beer on a global scale. Compared with the cyclone that killed thousands in the Philippines last autumn, the deadly inundations in Brazil or the destruction of agricultural land and hunger in Africa, the south of England has got off lightly.

But the message has started to get through. This is exactly the kind of disaster predicted to become ever more frequent and extreme as greenhouse gas-driven climate change heats up the planet at a potentially catastrophic rate. And it's exposed the David Cameron who wanted to "get rid of all the green crap" and who slashed flood defence spending by £100m a year as weak and reckless to his own supporters.

Of course there have been plenty of floods in the past, and it's impossible to identify any particular weather event as directly caused by global warming. But as the Met Office's chief scientist Julia Slingo put it, "all the evidence suggests that climate change has a role to play in it". With 4% more moisture over the oceans than in the 1970s and sea levels rising, how could it be otherwise?

If it weren't for the misery for the people at the sharp end, you might even imagine there was some divine justice in the fact that the areas hit hardest, from the Somerset Levels to the Thames valley are all Tory heartlands. It's the same with the shale gas fracking plans the government is so keen on: the fossil fuel drilling and mining so long kept away from the affluent is now turning up on their Sussex doorstep.

read more:

revolution now!...

Writing for Quadrant in 2011, in a two-part series, Warburton dismissed climate science as a product of “group think”. He also questioned why anyone would trust the findings of scientists.

It has also been revealed by Fairfax that Warburton is being investigated for bribery.

In response to the obvious criticism generated by his appointment, Warburton sought to defend himself in the pages of the climate sceptic-friendly The Australian:

“I am not a denier of climate change,” he said. “I am a sceptic that man-made carbon dioxide is creating global warming.”

Right. And black is white and ignorance is strength, Dick.

Do you hear what I hear? That's the sound of George Orwell spinning furiously in his grave in response to such tortured logic.

There is nothing coincidental in the appointment of men such as Warburton. Ideologues and lobbyists have rushed in to take over the levers of power.

They are gleefully dismantling environmental protections and legislation in order to further their own interests and industry.

But it's not just scientists and the renewable energy sector under attack.

It is no overstatement to say that our future, and that of our children, is under assault.

We know what impact a six degree increase in average global temperatures will have. It will create a literal hell on Earth.,6212

the wooden spooners in RET...


If we can spend $307 million on sport and $20 mill to get a few minor medals at the Winter Olympics, we can afford to keep the renewable energy target, writes Lachlan Barker.

In my weekly blog I recently wrote that I felt I needed a boilerplate opening paragraph which went something along the lines of:

'I was incensed this week when "x" [member of the Abbott Government], did "y" [latest offence to intelligent voters].'

This article needs that from the off.

The particular piece of rage-inducing lunacy that slithered to the top of the noisome pile of slime that is Abbott Government policy was the cutting, sorry, 'reviewing' of the renewable energy targets.

For future reference, note that when an Abbott acolyte – sorry, troglodyte – says they are 'reviewing' something, it means that funding is being withdrawn; this is the simplest way to scupper anything that Government disagrees with.

So, what's the problem?

Well, I'll do my best not to make this article a long series of twenty per cents by this date and fifteen per cent underloaded by this week and the like. Even as I tried to read the documentation, I found my eyes glazing over with all the figures, so I will try to coalesce it down to manageable bites.

The Howard Government introduced the mandatory Renewable Energy Targets (RET) in 2001 and this led, as you would expect, to an increase in investment in clean energy sources in Australia.

One example is windfarms in South Australia is, solar, both on roof, and at concentrated solar thermal (CST) plants, is another.

Despite all the sceptics crying at the time: "Solar only works during the day" and "none of these can provide adequate base-load power", the various renewables got a little toehold in the market and began making slow inroads.

The problem we have today is that, slow though this progress has been, it has already frightened the major players in the energy sector – Energy Australia (EA) and Origin Energy – so much that they called Canberra and told Treasurer Joe Hockey, Environment Minister Greg Hunt and Energy Minister Ian Macfarlane that they wanted this pinko, hippy, renewable energy thingo stopped in its tracks — pronto!

The three amigos duly obliged and called for a 'review', with the clear goal of knocking this clean energy nonsense on the head for good.

Now, when I did my research, I thought I was going to find that the reasons given by the government for stopping the RET and continuing with coal fired power would be the old standard "solar and wind are just not practical".

But much to my astonishment, I found that it was much simpler than that.

The energy sector big boys said that the RET must be stopped because, they aren't making the profits they used to.

How's that?

Apparently, because of the high prices that Origin and EA charge, we homeowners have begun reducing our power usage to save money.

Hence a drop in profit for coal-fired energy companies.

Added to which, with an increasing number of homeowners asking for their power to come from green sources, the energy sector latched onto this as the primary cause of their falling profits.

read more:,6217


Move up a couple of notches to see "fairly dicky"... See toon and read articles from top.

dicky cooks the books with coal...

The renewable energy industry has labelled a controversial Abbott government review an “unprecedented scam” and a “stitch-up” after learning that it was conducting electricity industry modelling on the assumption there would be no risk or cost to investments in coal-fired power stations in the next few decades.

The review of the renewable energy target – headed by veteran businessman and self-professed climate sceptic Dick Warburton – and its modellers from ACIL Allen consulting held a workshop with industry participants on Wednesday at which they revealed the modelling would assume investors in fossil fuel generation would not need to factor in any risk due to climate policies for decades – neither a carbon price, nor a requirement to invest in emission-reducing technologies, nor any cost from any other government policy or regulation.

Many of the 50 participants said this assumption was entirely unrealistic.

John Grimes, chief executive of the Australian Solar Council, said it made the whole review a farce.

“This is an absolute stitch-up. They are predetermining the outcome of this modelling by the assumptions they are making … it is an unprecedented scam in policy-making and it needs to be called for what it is,” Grimes told Guardian Australia.

“It is clear that the RET review report will protect the vested interests in the current electricity market.”

Grimes said that any model that ignored international action on climate change and failed to consider a carbon price up to 2030 “lacks any credibility”.

Ric Brazzale, managing director of Green Energy Trading, said it was “ridiculous to assume you can increase greenhouse emissions for decades with no kind of cost or risk at all”.