Saturday 20th of April 2024

another pair to compare...


Chief climate commissioner Tim Flannery says Australians have been misled by 'lies' about global efforts to tackle climate change, but they're increasingly less fearful of Labor's pollution price.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has been attacked for breaking her promise not to introduce a carbon tax, but Professor Flannery says on the flip-side people have been repeatedly told the world isn't acting, when it is.

The Climate Commission on Tuesday released a report which suggests by next year 33 countries and 18 sub-national jurisdictions will have a carbon price in place.

'These schemes could be expected to cover around 850 million people, around 30 per cent of the global economy and around 20 per cent of global emissions,' the report, The Critical Decade: International Action on Climate Change, states.

Prof Flannery says the report proves the world is moving.

'We've been misled here in Australia by a couple of lies,' the environmentalist told AAP.

'One is that the world isn't acting and (the other is) what Australia does is not important.'

more record temperatures...

Europe is basking in a mid-August heatwave as temperatures soar in parts of the continent, breaking records and prompting officials to issue heat alerts.

Germany experienced its hottest day of the year on Sunday as temperatures neared 40 C, according to local media.

Over the weekend, parts of the U.K. encountered temperatures higher than in much of the Caribbean, reaching 32 C, the Telegraph reported. Londoners flocked to city parks to enjoy the respite from a wetter-than-usual summer.

France's ministry of health has issued a weather alert urging the public to remain on guard against possible health risks. The country's weather services forecasted temperatures in the mid to high 30 C in the coming days, according to French media.

The heat has also sparked a number of fires across the continent. Forest fires ravaged the eastern Greek Aegean island of Chios for a fourth day on Tuesday. Wildfires also threatened areas of Bosnia where temperatures reached 40 C.

committed to reducing greenhouse gases emissions...

Ninety countries representing 90% of the global economy are committed to reducing their greenhouse emissions and are taking action to do so.

This is one of the take-home messages from the Climate Commission’s report “The Critical Decade: International Action on Climate Change”, released today. The report is based on a comprehensive survey of what is being done in Australia and the rest of the world to reduce carbon emissions.

The report explodes the myth that Australia is going it alone on climate change, or is leading the world in taking action. Not only are the world’s wealthy countries taking action, but large developing countries like China and India are moving on emission reductions.

Although China’s overall emissions are still growing, they have already come a long way in decoupling their emissions from economic growth. The country is also positioning itself to become a world leader in renewable energy technologies, and by 2011 had more installed renewable energy generation capacity than any other country in the world.

Many of the world’s wealthiest countries have been taking effective action on climate change for more than a decade. Over that period 12 of the world’s wealthy countries – Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Japan, Portugal, the Slovak Republic, Sweden and the United States – have all reduced their emissions of carbon dioxide while their economies have continued to grow.

meanwhile, in the polar bear melting kingdom...

The area of the Arctic Ocean covered by floating sea ice is likely to hit a record low next week, with the melting due to continue well into September, according to researchers monitoring the region by satellite.

Click HERE to view graphic

Arctic sea ice partially melts each summer and reforms again in the winter, but over the past 35 years of satellite readings the summer retreat has been getting significantly greater, with a record summer minimum recorded in September 2007.

However, scientists at the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colorado, said that this summer's melt season in the Arctic has been so rapid and extensive that 2012 will almost certainly see sea ice coverage reach a new low.

"A new daily record... would be likely by the end of August… Chances are it will cross the previous record while we're still in sea ice retreat," Ted Scambos, a sea-ice specialist at the centre told Reuters. "What you're seeing is more open ocean than you're seeing ice… It just simply doesn't look like what a polar scientist expects the Arctic to look like. It's wide open and the [ice] cap is very small."

The Arctic has seen some of the greatest increases in average temperatures over recent decades due to global warming, resulting in a significant retreat of the sea ice both in terms of surface area and ice thickness, scientists say. "Everything about this points in the same direction – we've made the Earth warmer," Dr Scambos said.


forest fires...


One of the hottest European summers on record has sparked fires across Spain, Croatia, and Greece.

The blistering temperatures, combined with high winds, have destroyed thousands of hectares of land in the three countries.

Al Jazeera's Peter Sharp reports.



MANTON, Calif. — Dozens of buildings, many of them likely homes, have been destroyed in recent days a fire burning outside the Northern California community of Manton, fire officials said Tuesday night.

Fire crews assessing the rural area determined Tuesday that 50 buildings had been destroyed, state fire spokesman Daniel Berlant said. The count included buildings burned since the fire began, but officials did not say when the structures were destroyed.

Officials didn't have an accurate count yet of how many of the structures were homes, but Berlant noted the buildings were spread across a vast rural area of mostly residential homes.

The blaze, which was sparked by lightning on Saturday has consumed more than 33 square miles and continues to threaten hundreds of homes.

Nearly 1,900 firefighters were battling the fire in rugged, densely forested terrain as it threatened 3,500 homes in the remote towns of Shingletown, Manton and Viola, about 170 miles north of Sacramento.


One has to remember that increase in forest fires was one of the indicators of the last big melt 12,000-10,000 year ago...


crap-o-matic man ....

fib-o-matic man .....

from Crikey ….

Get Fact: is Australia 'going it alone' on pricing carbon?

Crikey senior journalist Andrew Crook writes:


Yesterday, chief climate commissioner Tim Flannery said Australians were being duped by "lies" propagated by opponents of government action on climate change.

"We've been misled here in Australia," Flannery told AAP. He was referring in part to claims that "the world isn't acting", and perhaps had in mind the Coalition's consistent line over the last year that Australia was "going it alone" on a carbon tax and an emissions trading scheme.

Flannery's Climate Change Commission's report, The Critical Decade: International Action on Climate Change, was released yesterday and estimates that by next year, 33 countries and 18 sub-national jurisdictions will have a carbon price in place.

"These schemes could be expected to cover around 850 million people, around 30% of the global economy and around 20% of global emissions," the report states. Twelve per cent of the world's population will live in regions with a carbon price, including around 250 million urban Chinese.

So how does this compare to the stance by Opposition Leader Tony Abbott on climate change policy? Here's what he's on the record as saying on June 21 this year:

"The Prime Minister should be waking up to herself and waking up to the fact that the rest of the world is not taking decisive action by way of carbon taxes or emissions trading schemes. Sure, lots of other countries are doing the sorts of things to help the environment that the Coalition is recommending -- they’re taking direct action -- but they are not putting in place economy wide carbon taxes or emissions trading schemes ..." [emphasis added].

Crikey has decided to put this comment to the test as part of our GetFact series, where we subject prominent claims to a truth test.

Just to confirm Abbott's stance, on July 8, he was at it again, telling Barrie Cassidy on Insiders that "the world is running away from an emissions trading scheme at a million miles an hour. It's been obvious since Copenhagen that we’re not moving toward these things, we’re moving away from them."

Cassidy pressed him on that. Was Abbott sure international ETS's were off the agenda? "As I said, all the signs, whether it's America, Canada, whether it's the rest of the big economies, there are no signs that any of them are embracing a carbon tax or an economy-wide emissions trading scheme."

The Coalition's speaking notes, leaked to Crikey last month, state that "it was clear from the recent Durban Climate Change Conference that the rest of the world, including the United States, Canada, India, China and Japan, is not adopting a broad based Carbon Tax model."

So what are the facts?

The Climate Change Commission's report found that all developed countries have pledged some kind of action on climate change, and cited last year's Productivity Commission study of emissions reduction policies in nine countries that identified more than "1000 general 'policies' in the United States, around 235 in Australia, 130 in Germany, 100 in the United Kingdom, 80 in China, 70 each in the Republic of Korea and India, 65 in Japan, and 30 in New Zealand."

Japan has emissions trading in Tokyo and Saitama (comprising 20 million people), and South Africa will introduce a carbon tax in 2013. In Canada, Quebec and British Columbia have carbon taxes on certain products, Alberta introduced emissions trading in 2006 and Quebec will follow in 2013. Finland, Norway Sweden, Switzerland, Ireland, China and India have tax arrangements on carbon or resources. The 27 countries in the European Union are subject to an emissions trading schemes, as are Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and New Zealand. The US State of California has an emissions trading scheme due to start next year.

But as Bernard Keane noted yesterday, while carbon pricing existed or was planned at a national or sub-national level in China, the US, the EU, Russia, India and Japan, all had some kind of renewable energy target, all had energy efficiency regulation and most had vehicle emission standards -- the precise kind of "direct action" championed by Abbott. And some of the significance was overstated in the Climate Commission report -- for example, New Zealand has dragged its heels expanding its trading scheme and the EU's scheme is struggling with record low prices.

And the solidity of UNFCCC international pacts remain dubious. According to last year's Garnaut review, "89 developed and developing countries, representing more than 80 per cent of global emissions and about 90 per cent of the global economy, have pledged large cuts and actions" under that year's Cancun Agreements. At the Durban UNFCCC summit, 195 countries, including the US, China, Japan and India, agreed to negotiate a new international deal by 2015 with "legal force" to reduce emissions, taking effect from 2020. But the Durban Platform could also be interpreted as an agreement to continue talking. India famously held out for the language to be watered down -- to "legal force" from "legally bound".

There are some facts that are not disputed. The Climate Commission notes that Australia is the world's 15th largest emitter, and the biggest polluter per person. The Coalition has proposed a $3.2 billion plan to meet Abbott's commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 5% by 2020, without carbon pricing.

We rate Abbott's statement that the ALP is "going it alone" on pricing carbon as "mostly rubbish".

the craftsman of bullshit...


"I'm going on the facts that Marius Kloppers said today when he was directly asked if the decision on Olympic Dam was affected by Australia's tax situation and I'm going on the facts that are outlined in their results statement that they've issued. Have you actually read BHP's statements?" Sales asked.

Mr Abbott replied: "No, but I've also got again the statement of [BHP chairman] Jacques Nasser, who says, "While we're still evaluating the impact of the carbon tax, but it just makes it more difficult'."

Sales then gave Mr Abbott another opportunity to clarify whether he had read BHP's statements.


Today the bullshit mastercrafter says he had actually read the document but chose to ignore what was in it. "The document did not attack the government as I would have"... is basically what this annoying little shit is saying.

Abbott? You're a silly lying idiot....


in search of his baffling rubbish...

Perhaps Tony Abbott needs to send out a search party or post a reward because, bafflingly, his carbon tax wrecking ball appears to have gone missing.
It's now almost two months since the tax that he predicted would work like a ''wrecking ball'', with ''unimaginable'' and devastating consequences for the economy, came into effect. To date there has been, from the Coalition's point of view, a very inconvenient absence of devastation.
In fact, almost every economic statistic continues to look pretty good. Indicators of business and consumer confidence have improved. Unemployment has fallen slightly. Investment is strong and inflation remains low, although the one-off impact of the new tax will flow through in coming months.
Undeterred in his quest for carbon tax-induced wreckage, the Coalition leader appears now to be claiming as evidence any unrelated piece of economic bad news.

Hence he appeared in mournful procession with his South Australian MPs to declare that the carbon and mining taxes were, in fact, responsible for BHP Billiton's decision to shelve expansion plans for its Olympic Dam uranium and copper mine.
No matter that the mining tax applies to neither uranium nor copper and that the company had said the decision was entirely due to ''current market conditions including subdued commodity prices and higher capital costs'' and that the ''tax environment for this particular project has not changed at all since we started working on it six or seven years ago''.

Earlier the same day, he and the Liberal senator Michaelia Cash hauled the media pack to a Canberra suburban home to highlight the carbon tax's ''devastating'' impact on a regular family.
The Newman family, Abbott declared, had a household power bill of $4000 a year, which would increase by about $600 due to the direct impact of the tax in the ACT, an amount that ''more than outweighed any compensation they are going to get''.
Depending on their joint income, the Newmans (she a part-time public servant, he a builder) will receive at least half and probably more in tax cuts and benefit increases announced as direct carbon tax compensation or added sweeteners in the budget.
In the worst-case scenario, they are $300 a year, or $6 a week, worse off - which is obviously money the Newmans would rather have in their pockets but is hard to paint as family budget devastation.
Senator Cash also declared that Mr Newman could not pass on any extra costs borne by his building business. But building is hardly a trade-exposed industry. Canberra tradesmen are not in competition with carbon tax-free builders from China. The impact of the carbon tax would fall equally on Mr Newman and his competitors, who, incidentally, are working in a market where building approvals increased by 9.1 per cent in June, bucking the national trend.

What about the electricity sector, hit harder by the tax than any other - surely the signs of the wrecking ball's devastation must be evident there by now.
But Origin, Australia's largest energy utility, this week posted a 33 per cent increase in underlying profit and AGL, the second-largest retailer, posted an 11 per cent increase in underlying profit after stripping out the costs of a major acquisition. Its managing director, Michael Fraser, said the carbon tax introduction had been ''smooth''.

Read more:

linking carbon price with europe...

Australia and the European Union will be linked in what will become the world's largest carbon market under a deal announced by Climate Change Minister Greg Combet today.

Mr Combet said Australia was ditching its earlier plans to impose a floor price on carbon emissions when the current fixed-price carbon tax moves to a floating market mechanism in July 2015.

Instead, he said the Australian market would be linked to that which operates in Europe, where more than 500 million people are covered by carbon trading schemes, meaning the two blocs' carbon price would be "effectively the same".

Australian businesses will be able to buy carbon credits in Europe when the scheme kicks off in 2015.

But the linkage will be one-way only until 2018, with European businesses unable to buy Australian carbon units until the initial three-year trial period has elapsed.

Mr Combet said the long-term average European carbon price was around $23 per tonne.

"Australia's carbon price will effectively be the same as that that operates in our second largest trading bloc, and effectively the same as that of 30 other countries, and the same carbon price that will cover 530 million people," he said.

"The EU carbon market with which we will link is the largest carbon market in the world and the EU collectively is the third largest greenhouse gas emitter internationally.

"This is a very good move for our economy and a very good move for our environment."

He said there would be no change to the Government's carbon tax household assistance packages.

Mr Combet said the deal would pave the way for similar agreements with other economies in the Asia-Pacific.

please don't despair...

In this age of rapidly melting glaciersterrifying megafires and ever more puissant hurricanes, of acidifying and rising oceans, it is hard to believe that any further prod to climate action is needed.

But the reality is that we continue to live in a business-as-usual world. Our media is filled with enthusiastic announcements about new fossil fuel projects, or the unveiling of the latest fossil-fuelled supercar, as if there's no relationship between such things and climate change.

In Australia, the disconnect among our political leaders on the deadly nature of fossil fuels is particularly breathtaking.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison continues to sing the praises of coal, while members of the government call for subsidies for coal-fired power plants. A few days ago, Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor urged that the nation's old and polluting coal-fired power plants be allowed to run "at full tilt".

In the past, many of us have tolerated such pronouncements as the utterings of idiots — in the true, original Greek meaning of the word as one interested only in their own business. But the climate crisis has now grown so severe that the actions of the denialists have turned predatory: they are now an immediate threat to our children.

A 'colossal failure' of climate activism

Each year the situation becomes more critical. In 2018, global emissions of greenhouse gases rose by 1.7 per cent while the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere jumped by 3.5 parts per million— the largest ever observed increase.

No climate report or warning, no political agreement nor technological innovation has altered the ever-upward trajectory of the pollution. This simple fact forces me to look back on my 20 years of climate activism as a colossal failure.


Read more:


Dear Tim,

Please, don't despair. Keep pushing what you know. Support the young ones who come onto the breach, like Greta. I have been following your career even before you wrote "The Future Eaters". In regard to the warming of the planet, the one thing that is lacking in the open, due to confusion and doubt brought in by the predatory climate denialists, is a more comprehensive scientific explanation of the problem for dummies — us. As well many people have been swindled by the term climate change — which is different to GLOBAL WARMING.  When I started to look at this problem in the late 1970s, the term used was "greenhouse effect". All true, but distinctions have to me made in the mind of the public and our mediaphonic institutions.


Eventually I wrote "What is global warming?" on this site as a refuting argument proposed by the ignorant OffGuardian on this subject. I already had posted a few articles from 2005 onwards, because I naively thought global warming was self-explanatory considering that global warming had also been understood by the fossil fuel merchants, was being distorted by well-organised profit makers — including the said fossil-fuel merchants — using "terrorist tactics" aka use internet trolls to confuse the public — and the Murdoch media platform (which is a 70 percent influencer in what the general media peddles). I posted about these tactics in "(nearly) all in the family..." and "my unhealthy obsession..." and many other posts. See:


I guess, your admission of a "colossal failure" is part of a tactic to attract media attention. But it has been my humble observations that you made a few mistake in your political allegiances. At one stage, it appeared that you supported Malcolm Turnbull for example. Malcolm is a good talker, until his vacillating hubris is found out. He got kicked out by his mates, not because of his wishy-washy policies but because of the "political game" which he was going to loose. The "game" is what we need to defeat. Even Labor is in the "game".

So don't despair, failure is part of the process of learning. 


Gus Leonisky

Expert failure.



Read from top.


What is global warming?


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