Saturday 20th of July 2024

hunt — the minister for denialism...

him !
How far will the climate purge go?

The axing of the Climate Commission should be no surprise. Environment Minister Greg Hunt has long flagged that it would go if the Coalition was elected.
The concern is whether the move is symbolic of a government that does not care about climate change.

After all, there are a lot of other climate bodies in its sights - the Climate Change Authority, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation - not to mention the carbon price. It is tearing down more than it is putting up.

In a week, the world's leading climate science body - the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - will hand down perhaps the most important document on global warming. The six-year assessment of the status of climate change - how fast it is occurring and what threat it poses- will be long and technical. It will be almost impossible for the average person to navigate.

Having institutions such as a Climate Commission to distil such complex and confusing information is critical for a functioning democracy. To quote Thomas Jefferson: ''Whenever the people are well informed, they can be trusted with their own government.''

The Coalition says it axed the commission as part of its plans to streamline the government. Independent analysis and advice on climate change will be continued by the Environment Department, it says.

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If you circulate amongst the Liberals (CONsevatives)  like I do too often, one would know that for about 90 per cent of them, climate change is NOT happening.
95 per cent think that if it was happening, humans have nothing to do with it...
About 50 per cent of the Liberals (CONservatives) think that if it was happening then global warming would be beneficial while about 100 percent of Liberals (CONservatives) never ever heard of global warming...
Greg Hunt of course is the new minister for the destruction of the environment — in favour of digging till it hurts, cutting trees for profit and concrete everything in general, to minimise the maintenance... 

meanwhile on the air waves...

On Greg Hunt and his sacking of the Climate Commission, Michelle and Fran crappily dithered as usual on Radio National, ABC... Nothing new... Political commentators dithering with no understanding of the science, no understanding of the situation beyond the studio door and the broom cupboard. That's the way they like it... Comfy and chummy...

Distressing !...

Blood oath it was worth it...

"The Bureau of Meteorology puts out advice and information on weather events, but doesn't cover the economics or international action happening around climate change," he said.

"There's various other groups that may or may not be able to do some of it, but having an independent strong authority that's committed to just telling the facts as they are …we're the group that was doing that.

"You need a well-informed public in order to make the right sort of decisions."

Professor Flannery says, despite the difficulties he experienced as commissioner, he would gladly do it all again.

"There's always a cost to anything you do. Trying to make a difference, you are sure to make a lot of enemies," he told Lateline.

"Blood oath it was worth it. It's like a game of rugby ... you know you have to cross that try line with the ball no matter what's thrown at you.

the not so quiet gus...


Likewise, the quiet scaling back of the funds available to the government's Direct Action plan by $300 million, and the promise that additional funds would not be spent to meet the 5 per cent target. These are messages that climate change is being moved down the list of priorities for this government; that climate change isn't so very important.

But that should be precisely what is expected of the newly elected government. Indeed, it should be congratulated on making good on election committments (sic).

Prime Minister Tony Abbot's sincerity in his belief in climate science was never assured. He always promised to dismantle the price on carbon as soon as he could.

This is simply his promises being enacted. No surprises there.


The not-so-quiet Gus: Fuck that! What sort of "environmental journalist" would write this sort of crap?... Come on! This is not an environmental piece! This is a glorification of Tony's deranged faculties to understand the reality of global warming... Hell... But what else can we expect from the ABC's right wing slant and management?


resurrection into climate council...

The Climate Commission has been resurrected just days after its highly controversial axing by the Coalition government as a new, privately funded body called the Climate Council, after being "overwhelmed" by support from the Australian public.

Tim Flannery, outgoing head of the commission, told Guardian Australia that he and the other commissioners – who include the climate scientist Will Steffen and the former BP executive Gerry Hueston – had been "deluged" by emails and calls from people pledging financial support.

"We haven't got a huge amount of money in the bank, but there's enough seed money there for us to get started and then put in place a subscription model to see us through," said Flannery, who declined to name the initial backers of the venture.

"The people who contacted us feel very strongly that they don't want to be left in the dark over climate change. We've had hundreds of people get in touch from, I must say, across the political spectrum, from hardcore libertarians to the deepest greenies. You would be astonished to know who is supporting us."

Flannery, who last week said he was "dismayed" by the scrapping of the commission and said the Australian public was being denied the right to know climate change information, won't draw a salary from the Climate Council. Flannery previously earned $180,000 a year for his chief commissioner role.

Thanks Tim... As an independent body you will have the opportunity to be bloody. For some people, the salary at the commission may have seemed excessive but if one knows the work and the brickbats involved, it was just right... Now your main enemies are entrenched in the press and in other bunkers of denialism — such as Jo Nova who wants to tear you apart... 

bush fires, smoke as seen from the other hemisphere...

When the writers of the long-running Australian soap opera Home and Away return to work, they’ll have plenty of real-life drama to inspire fresh story lines. On Sept. 28, an out-of-season bushfire — as wildfires are called in Australia — stripped bare 17 hectares of bushland overlooking Palm Beach, the golden strip of sand 45 km north of Sydney where the soap is set. A quick response by 80 firefighters and three helicopters saved a handful of bush walkers caught up in the middle of the inferno. Also rescued was local landmark the Barrenjoey Lighthouse, a 133-year-old sandstone building crowning the point.

“We smelt some smoke so my husband went out onto the balcony and yelled, ‘Fire!’” a Palm Beach resident tells TIME on condition of anonymity. “We called the fire brigade, and in the 20 minutes it took them to get there, the flames had spread from one small point right across the entire headland.”

That couple’s multimillion-dollar home, along with those of actress Rachel Griffiths, former world No. 1 tennis star Lleyton Hewitt and other members of Sydney’s glitterati, was never really threatened by the fire thanks to geography: the two headlands, Barrenjoey and the suburb of Palm Beach, are separated by a mostly treeless isthmus of sand. The same could not be said of residents in the Markwell Valley 190 km to the north, where an out-of-control bushfire has consumed 245 hectares and threatens homes. It’s one of 60 bushfires reported across the state of New South Wales this weekend and one of 25 that continue to burn uncontained.

The Barrenjoey Lighthouse:

barrenjoey lighthouse

Picture by Gus Leonisky

cleaner energy...


From Tim Flannery


But what of China? It produces over a quarter of global emissions, so what it does is vital. One of the great drivers of change for the Chinese is the horrific state of their air they breathe. Air quality apps are widely used in the major Chinese cities, and the news is almost unrelentingly bad. One recent study shows that air pollution, linked largely to the burning of fossils fuels, has reduced life expectancy in northern China by five and a half years. China's romance with coal has ended. Recent announcements, including a cap on coal use and a reduction in coal burning around Chinas largest population centres of 5% in the next four years, signal a dramatic turnabout. Chinese investment in renewables reached $63bn in 2011.

With the US backing out of coal and the world bank declining to fund the construction of coal-fueled power plants in most circumstances, the coal industry has taken a hit. The drop in price for thermal coal from $94 to $82 earlier this year severely dented the industry's plans for massive expansion such as Queensland's Galilee Basin. Projections for growth now rely on India. But will the Indians be foolish enough to foul their air as comprehensively as the Chinese?

Many think India will become the first nation to transition directly into solar and other renewables. The future of energy is seen most starkly in Germany. It has 10 times as much solar and wind as Australia. They provide the new baseload, and 60% of the nation's electricity on a slow day. Yet the German grid remains one of the most reliable on earth. The impact of renewables on the utility companies, with their vast fossil fuel assets, has been profound. European utility companies have lost a staggering half a trillion dollars worth of assets in the last five years. Some hope that the uptake of electric cars will help, but even if every car in Germany went electric, it would only add 20% to the demand for electricity – not enough to restore the utilities to health. 

There is little individuals can do about global negotiations, but a huge amount they can do about renewable energy. One million Australian households now generate their own electricity with solar power, and two community owned wind-farms have been set up, supplying electricity to thousands. Energy efficiency is also having an impact. Little wonder that the amount of (predominantly coal-generated) electricity traded in Australia's national electricity market has declined 5% in the last four years.

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Electric cars okay as long as the electricity is from renewables... See toon at top...


severe weather conducive to severe bushfires occurring...


Environment Minister Greg Hunt was given a thorough briefing about the effects of climate change on Australia's weather patterns three weeks before he told a BBC radio interview he had sourced information on bushfires and global warming from Wikipedia.

Confidential Bureau of Meteorology briefings, obtained by Fairfax Media through freedom-of-information laws, show senior officials warned Mr Hunt that the extreme heat that baked Australia in 2013 was "unprecedented" before Mr Hunt downplayed any link between fires and climate change in an interview with the BBC's Newshour in October last year.

The initial briefings show officials advised Mr Hunt that recent extreme heat was consistent with "a pattern of global warming", while subsequent advice in November said climate change had increased the odds of "severe weather conducive to severe bushfires occurring".

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Like his master Turdy Tony, Greg Hunt is a deliberate ignorant idiot... See toon at top...