Sunday 20th of September 2020

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Parties' climate change policies lack detail: Flannery …..

Australian of the Year, Tim Flannery, has attacked the major political parties for failing to provide details of their policies on climate change.

The Government has ruled out setting a target for reducing carbon emissions until after the election.

Labor has committed to a target, but has not detailed exactly how it will be achieved.

Professor Flannery says the Government and the Opposition owe the voters more.

"A lot of political announcements that are being made at the moment are big on aspirations and pitifully short on detail," he said.

"The carbon trading scheme that we've had talked about in recent days adds up to my mind to a great big 'trust me until after the next election'.

"You as a voter, as an Australian in that election, have every right to hear the detail because it's such a critical response to this very difficult problem."

Professor Flannery says voters will not be able to make an informed choice at the election.

He says the Government expects voters to simply trust it to deliver a carbon trading scheme after the election.

He has also questioned Labor's pledge to meet Australia's international treaty obligations.

"I want to know when Australia will ratify Kyoto under a Labor Government, I want to know what the strategy for engagement will be," he said.

Parties' Climate Change Policies Lack Detail: Flannery

Weather or not...

It's raining in England...

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Steve Randall, a forecaster for the Met Office, said: "I've never seen anything like it, and I've been in the Met Office for 34 years. It's an extraordinary amount, more like you would expect in a tropical rainforest."

At Barry in south Wales, residents were trapped in their homes as sewage poured into the street. Firefighters used a boat to rescue three people from knee-high water in one building; a man was briefly trapped in his car in a dip below a road bridge. In Sussex, flooding in the Haywards Heath area led to serious train delays, while in Worthing the hospital was flooded to a depth of 18 inches.

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Gus: in one of my recent comments, I may have suggested that the snow season in Australia might be shorter than usual... But, as the good Doctor Flannery says on the subject of global warming , there are things we know for sure and things we don't know  — such as the short and long term effects on extremes. In one of my previous blogs, I was referring to Antarctica as a "fridge" and as we global warm we are leaving the door of this fridge more and more opened... Result? A complex mix of possibilities, all due to the various high and low pressure systems being affected in our kitchen... especially if we have a heater on as well. There will be some cooler spots in the room... a cooling of the room while the "fridge" is gaining heat... a stronger conflict of heat and cold convection... The cold winter in this country is thus affected by the normal seasonal patterns, plus this extra little bit of uncertainty as global warming is affecting the exchanges of weather patterns via the high and low pressure systems... May was well above average, June was slightly above average and July quite unseasonably freezing... we thus cannot judge anything on the short term... But as Dr Tim Flannery explained, the trends observed in reality are far beyond the expectations of scientific models... Up to three times faster in the case of the melting of Greenland.

Unseasonal weather? The phenomenon is worldwide...

climate change...

England under water: scientists confirm global warming link to increased rain By Michael McCarthy Environment Editor Published: 23 July 2007

It's official: the heavier rainfall in Britain is being caused by climate change, a major new scientific study will reveal this week, as the country reels from summer downpours of unprecedented ferocity.

More intense rainstorms across parts of the northern hemisphere are being generated by man-made global warming, the study has established for the first time ­ an effect which has long been predicted but never before proved.

more climate change

Changing climate on Tibetan plateau By Dan Griffiths
BBC News, Qinghai

China is one of the world's largest emitters of greenhouse gases - some say it is already number one. But climate change is also having a huge impact in China, and nowhere more so than on the Tibetan plateau in the far west, thousands of metres above sea level.

butterflies in the Amazon forest...

Brazil, Alarmed, Reconsiders Policy on Climate Change
Lalo de Almeida for The New York Times

Brazil has resisted programs to reduce deforestation. In the Amazon, areas the size of New Jersey have been razed each year.
By LARRY ROHTER
Published: July 31, 2007

MANAUS, Brazil — Alarmed at recent indications of climate change here in the Amazon and in other regions of Brazil, the government of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has begun showing signs of new flexibility in the tangled, politically volatile international negotiations to limit human-caused global warming.

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Gus: in Chaos theory, the fluttering of the wings of a butterfly in the Amazon Forest of Brazil could create a chain reaction of events, the ultimate of which would be a devastating hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico...

Recently, this Chaotic behaviour was being brazenly solved by the Brazilian government in a cunning manner... remove the forest and bingo: no butterflies, thus no hurricane...

But nature always find a way to outsmart humans... If the fluttering of a butterfly's wing can do so much damage, imagine what the clearing of millions of hectares of forest can do... "Remove the forest", nature said, "and I will dry your lands and create hurricanes in the south of your potbelly..." she said.

Thus that country, Brazil, is experiencing the drying effect of land clearing, in a place where the forest itself attracted the clouds — now attracting less and less.

Climate change is serious stuff — far greater than clearing lands to grow grass for "hamburgercows" and to grow sugar-cane to make bio-fuel... The grasses have little value in CO2 absorption and the methane resulting from belching and farting cows is speeding up climate warming... And the burning of the cane-fields is not environmentally friendly either, is it? Nor is the adding of super-phosphate and nitrostuffs to enhance the growth of crops..? So why are we so hell-bent in enforcing uneconomical farming practices on lands that had better potential as they were, and in places where there is no water...?

There was an exposé on the PBS network last night on the disappearance of birds in the countryside of America... Many populations of birds had declined by up to 97 per cent in about 40 years... One can only be reminded of the native pigeons in the US, so prolific they were a "pest", they were netted and then... became extinct. Boom.

But the new "endangered" wild birds were mostly decimated by the destruction of their "HABITAT"... The grasses and plants they used to feed upon had been replaced by crops. 40 years ago, 50 per cent of the area described was still wild prairies, now only one per cent of it remained and had more or less being protected by dedicated bird watchers trying to help species "survive" beyond the onslaught. Patiently, these dedicated scientists would re-sow, by hand, the native grass in reclaimed fields and remove, by hand, noxious and overactive useless exotic weeds... So far, following a few painstanking years, they could claim that the populations of birds had regenerated somewhat, up to 400 per cent in some cases. But 400 per cent of 3 per cent is 12 per cent of what the bird populations used to be 40 years ago... As one scientist puts it: it would be easier to protect species that are still at a "common" stage (that is good healthy numbers) by protecting their habitat, rather than having to try to having to fight and try make survive "endangered" species at great costs....

But modern farmers and miners see the lands in a different light: they can't see past the glow of the eye on top of the truncated pyramid that adorns the US dollar bills... Old style (including organic etc) farmers sees the value of insects in pollinating crops. New style farmers use Roundup and hi-impact insecticides and buy new seeds from Monsanto...

Kill all butterflies!!! They create storms!!! Remove trees!!! They harbour butterflies!!! And we need more hamburgers!!!... to feed the fat people... then we can show them in freak shows on the tele and make them slim again at great cost... Hey, don't be daft!!! There are huge profits to be made in the Fat-Thin syndrome...

We are a sad clowning lot, aren't we... ?

Anyway, the government of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has begun showing signs of new flexibility... Call me a cynic, you'd be right... I see his sign of flexibility as a euphemism for delaying as long as possible more inaction in a sea of inaction...

see cartoon at the top of this line of blogs... 

extinct Passenger Pigeon...

From the birds of Nebraska — an interactive guide....

The Passenger Pigeon, also extinct, was believed to have numbered in the 3-5 billion range and that the population formed 25-40% of the total bird population of what is now the U.S. The habitat in which they roamed was approximately a billion acres of forest that produced large quantities of beechnuts, acorns and other favored foods. As late as 1871 as many as 136 million pigeons concentrated in one nesting colony that was approximately 850 square miles in area. About 700,000 birds were killed per month for market. The last nest of the wild passenger pigeon was reported in 1894. The species existence seemed to depend on close association in large numbers with others of its kind. The small remnant populations were scattered and separated and were unable to reproduce in sufficient numbers to survive.

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Gus: Extinction? It's that fast.... 

the science of elasticism?

Australia right to reject Kyoto: British experts

Two researchers in the UK have backed Australia's decision not to ratify the Kyoto protocol, saying it has failed to deliver cuts to carbon emissions.

The protocol sets binding targets for the reduction of greenhouse gases, but a report published in the journal Nature argues it is the wrong tool for the job.

While more than 170 countries have signed the agreement, Australia and the United States have refused to do so.

Professor Gwyn Prins from the London School of Economic Science co-wrote the report and supports the position the two countries have taken.

"It's nice to have someone to kick and if the someone to kick looks like [US President George W Bush], or in the domestic case of Australia looks like [Prime Minister John Howard], then people who don't like them for other reasons have found Kyoto a useful [issue] with which to bash them over the head," he said.

"But here again the inconvenient truth is they did the right thing."

But Australian climate change researcher Dr Ben McNeill, from the Climate Change Centre at the University Of New South Wales, says Kyoto should not be thrown away, despite its inadequacies.

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Gus: If economy is a science, it is that of elastic irrationality to suit a purpose between masters and workers, and between politicians and their decisions. As a "science", economy is based on the value of shells exchanged for the value of beads, depending on the mood of the exchangers, on a large scale. Nothing more nothing less. Sure we've constructed an array of artificial reefs to maintain the illusions of values and I will say it's good. But economic subjects are not science but art forms.

True science is the study of nature — via experiments of analysis and synthesis in which we get confirmation of the knowledge — a nature that tells us of the past, of the present and can give strong indication of the future... Presently the indicating factors tell us we're in dire straights if we do not do anything drastic now. Although the climatic conditions of the planet have strong "elastic" elements in it, mostly due to our inability to acquire complete data for systems in which minute changes can induce great shifts, the study of climate is a science. The study of economy is an art form in which the elasticity of human relations can affect the fluctuating nominal value of trust... While science cannot be affected much by beliefs because of its inbuilt skepticism, "economies" can be strongly affected by spruiking, advertising and porkies. These are artistic disciplines at the height of manipulating illusions of value.

The Kyoto Protocol, as imperfect as it is, is the only positive link between true science and the economic art of "elasticism". Australia has to sign the Kyoto Protocol. Get rid of John Howard.