JoNova

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Weekend Unthreaded

We had a an excellent few days holiday this week in the South West of Australia. What still surprises me is how these giant trees seem to sneak up on you. One minute you’re driving through normal forest and  the trees don’t seem to “get big” but you suddenly notice the scale of everything has changed. Like the car and road shrank instead.

Karri trees are some of the tallest trees in the world. See the trunk girth of a medium specimen. Try to imagine this tree in your yard.

Karri Forest, Caves Road, Western Australia

They must be the most beautiful.

Karri Forest, Caves Road, Western Australia | Click to enlarge.

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192 comments to Weekend Unthreaded

  • #
    Ron C.

    And so the claims begin. BOM has now stated:

    “Overall, 2014 was Australia’s third-warmest year on record: the annual national mean temperature was +0.91 °C above average.”

    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/current/annual/aus/

    Meanwhile, the satellite measurements for Australia from UAH:

    Ranking of years by annual anomaly:

    1 2013 0.710
    2 1998 0.683
    3 2009 0.598
    4 1980 0.512
    5 2006 0.483
    6 2007 0.461
    7 2005 0.434
    8 1988 0.368
    9 1991 0.355
    10 2014 0.323

    142

  • #

    Portents in Paris – Josh 335

    I wonder what will happen when the Green Blob meets in Paris later in the year?

    Free speech in vert ed?

    190

    • #
      Dariusz

      Now everyone is for a free speech. Is that mean that ABC and other new fascist left wingers will start reporting in a free and balanced way? They suddenly claim their solidarity but they still call me a denier etc.
      I remember in 1977 when I was 17 I started producing my own anticommunist leaflets. I was completely alone. No one help me in fact some of my same age friends derided me, but most were scared. My parents were scared too, not for me but they were worried about their own future. The WEST loving freedom some much , particularly Germany, paid untold billions to keep Eastern Europe quiet.
      Now everyone fought against communism. Now everyone was a hero.
      History repeats again. Heroes are in crowds everywhere, only when they stand individually I can,t see them.
      I stand almost alone against global climate rage again and this is nothing new to me.

      250

      • #
        gnome

        No- go to “the Drum” and have a look at the comments there about the moslem atrocities. The consensus among the ABC crowd is still very strongly opposed to free speech.

        As non-conservative liberal I hate to admit it but it’s still a very strong left/right divide. The left only supports the freedom to express something they agree with. The militant vegetarians think militant islam is a downtrodden philosophy , and should be supported. Free speech is a tool used by old white men to keep everyone else down.

        100

      • #

        I stand almost alone against global climate rage again and this is nothing new to me.

        I’ll stand with you.

        Tony.

        190

      • #
        scaper...

        Far from alone. You should consider joining the IPA. The only show in town fighting for freedom.

        70

      • #

        Dariusz,

        I thought that the “communists” at the University of Western Australia in 1977 weren’t serious; like the group(s) seeking land rights for lesbian gay aboriginal whales. Seems that I was wrong.

        It wasn’t until 10 years later, when I went back to Germany in 1987 and visited relatives in the GDR (East Germany) that I had a tangible experience with the inevitable outcome of “socialism”. Those in the West didn’t believe me when I told them upon my return that the GDR couldn’t last much longer They were so near that they could not see.

        And unsurprisingly, they could not grasp the depth of disparity between the two Germany’s when the border opened in 1989. They were ready to believe the most wonderful dream, totally unprepared for the reality.

        120

        • #
          Dariusz

          In 1982, one year after my escape I saw the communists at Western Australian institute of technology (WAIT) now the curtin uni. None of them wanted to talk to me. Nothing changed, the greenies are looking at me like I am made of antimatter.

          In 1978 I spent 1 month in East Berlin working as part of a youth brigade fixing railways. I was hoping to earn enough money to buy myself a pair used Western jeans. Needless to say I did not earn enough money as they stole some 50% of my wage.

          In 1990 drove from Hamburg to Poland and saw freshly abandoned border passes between GDR and normal Germany. GDR was black, dirty, falling apart image of the 1930 Germany. But the scariest part was talking to the locals. They were hateful, resentful towards the west and the east. Their thinking was closer to nazism than anything else. Mind you that communism and nazism is all the same to me.
          Lucky you, that you did not have go through my crap.

          120

          • #
            Robert

            Thank you for your comments Dariusz. There are many of us who know what communism is though we can never really understand it the way someone who has lived through it can. But our limited understanding of it is sufficient for us to realize it is not progress and it is not the answer to the world’s problems. It is the cause of many of them.

            When someone such as yourself is able to tell people what it was really like that helps. Many won’t listen unfortunately, but some will. You say you escaped, to what I assume you hoped or knew would be a better place, a better way. It is good that your having gotten to a place where you can speak out against communism that you do so. Don’t ever let anyone stop you.

            100

          • #

            I was lucky. My father escaped the Soviet Sector by wading through drainage ditches nose-deep. Nobody was allowed to move outside their occupation sector without permission. And fit young men weren’t allowed to leave to maintain a workforce. Borders were patrolled by armed Soviet soldiers.

            My father was received, put into a “uniform” and assigned work by the British, building stuff; including an airstrip for the Berlin Airlift.

            My brief visit behind the Iron Curtain was 10 days of oppression that I’d rather not relive. Most significantly; the inability to be able to completely trust anybody — after more than 20 years, even relatives are strangers. Unable to voice even an observation that things might be better another way. Even one’s praise had to be tempered, lest others think it being sarcasm. Just keep your head down, your mouth shut and don’t appear too curious. Even Australians weren’t immune from the scrutiny of the Stasi, Volkspolizei and Grenzpolizei (State Security, “ordinary” police and border police).

            I have no idea how a soul can tolerate years of that.

            80

    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      I have it on good authority, that the ABC has consulted with the other major news services, and they have all agreed on the actual content of the news releases, and the appropriate timing. All they need to do now, is to select the photographs that will best align with the general thrust of each piece.

      70

    • #
      Annie

      That’s clever Bernd.

      Also a very good but sobering cartoon by Josh on WUWT.

      20

  • #
    KinkyKeith

    The assault on public perception of the Climate Issue continues unabated in our local newspaper:

    (http://www.theherald.com.au/story/2803513/ian-kirkwood-climate-truth-is-out-there/?cs=2185) and yesterday in the Australian.

    Any member of the public without solid scientific background is going to be totally confused by the media reports.

    When will some sanity be brought to the discussion?

    KK

    170

    • #
      Roy Hogue

      KK,

      Surely you don’t expect sanity in this insane world? ;-)

      I’m now seeing young college freshman and high school senior age kids on my TV screen shouting about raising awareness of (are you ready for it?) global warming. They cannot possibly understand what it’s about but have been told by authority figures, like teachers for instance, that it’s happening and is dangerous, therefore the public needs to have its “awareness” raised.

      If it wouldn’t break my TV I’d throw something at it.

      The snakeoil salesman succeeds by selling both the fear and the answer to that fear.

      As a species we’ve not come very far from our caves of thousands of years ago, have we?

      271

      • #
        the Griss

        “young college freshman and high school senior age kids”

        The only thing these children would have live through, would be the pause plateau!

        Now 18yr+ on countback.!!

        171

      • #
        Rod Stuart

        It seems that people now CRAVE violence rather than a peaceful existence.
        Watch what happens in Melbourne at a DART EXHIBITION.
        It’s not even a tournament.

        20

        • #
          Dariusz

          Violence is driven by testosterone and paranoia usually when you young and old respectively or both at the same time or in any order.
          What happened to the flower power of 1960?. They grew up and possibly some of you frequent this blog. This wasn’t about any ideas. It was the rot of the first post-war generation that had unrestricted access to the pill and living in a free society where any descent is not crushed by tanks. The rot continues and it is not getting better.

          Violence is also driven by religion. The Koran is a truly blood thirsty book with numerous references to the killings of the infidels for the glory of Allah. Reading this book should be a responsibility of everyone who is non-Muslim. I am often amazed how many Muslims are not more violent in Australia. I work with the most educated Muslim engineers and geoscientists, and yet I see violence when they talk about liberal values. What stops them is the fact that they are still in the minority.

          Violence is driven by ideology, culture, personal circumstances, media, history etc.
          When Captain Kirk was defending humanity he mentioned Mozart, Einstein, but forgot to say that for every talented human there millions of killers.
          Enough said.

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          • #
            Andrew McRae

            The Koran is a truly blood thirsty book with numerous references to the killings of the infidels for the glory of Allah. Reading this book should be a responsibility of everyone who is non-Muslim.

            Yeah, I keep hearing that. The odd part is that I’ve yet to find a single verse in the Quran that actually instructs Muslims to carry out, unprovoked, violence against infidel simply for being infidel. The only ones I’ve seen so far all refer to retaliation against an outside attack, or just self defense basically.
            Of course there’s a whole bunch of verses that are incompatible with Australian values and way of life, but that’s not the charge you made. Which “blood thirsty” verses specifically upset you?

            00

            • #
              Wayne Job

              Andrew you are reading a sanitised english language version, the real one is full of rape murder and mayhem for us infidels.
              I read a copy translated by a pom in 1850 direct from the Arabic, very scary crap.

              10

        • #

          Rod. Might I disagree with your comment:-

          It seems that people now CRAVE violence rather than a peaceful existence.

          We live in one of the most peaceful periods of human history – or at least those who live in Western countries. The Weimar Republic was much worse than today. Britain in the 1970s was less tolerant of non-left opinions than today. The craving of violence to stop cherished beliefs being questioned is a very human desire, possibly drawn from an innate sense of self (or group) preservation. Freedom to question the beliefs held by authority is relatively recent phenomena, and still only practiced in a minority of the world. There are still taboo subjects that cannot be properly questioned – such as climate change or the effects of secondary smoking.
          Part of people’s defense mechanism’s is to believe in the mental inferiority and/or impure motives and/or moral degeneracy of those with different viewpoints. the terrorists in Paris believed all three points of the vast majority of people in France.

          50

          • #
            Dariusz

            Kevin
            I disagree with “the most peaceful periods” . What happened in 1 & 2 WW was anomalous.
            In the 21st century we still can,t go to most counties in Africa (I watch 1960-ties movies about peaceful Africa with nostalgia now) or Middle East. South America was always a mess. Now Western Europe is increasingly no go. You live there, I gather. We have a lot Brits that immigrate to Australia because they can,t recognise their own neighbourhoods. What Hitler failed to do in 1940 multiculturalism conquered.
            In fact the biggest security change was an introduction of ak- 47 machine gun, cheap & available to everyone. Not even under the Cold War we had a mess that leads to lawlessness on such a massive scale that we have now.

            70

            • #
              KinkyKeith

              Hi Kevin and Dariusz,

              I think that you have brought out a very interesting point of discussion here.

              On a national or international level the criteria for “the most peaceful periods” may be very different to the criteria for local or neighbourhood peace.

              Sixty years ago I can remember living in a society where the safety and sense of security present in living in a highly regulated society was a great comfort to many.

              At the moment there is little guarantee of personal security in the immediate neighbourhood: a seeming 180 degree turn in personal anxiety.

              Overseas, there is a lot of potential for our country to be drawn into new wars.

              Leadership or modern societies is based purely on how to gain votes, which is a rather sad statement to make, given that we hope politicians will improve our lot.

              Basically they want to improve their lot so how do we change all this?

              KK

              30

    • #
      KinkyKeith

      Seems like a few from this site have commented to our local paper with some good input.

      See Manfred and Backslider, Peterkos and maybe Robert B?.

      One turkey seems to put his faith in the CSIRO which has a blog post saying that 2014 was the “hottest” year ever!

      Maybe hottest years since 2009 but ?

      KK

      30

  • #
    Roy Hogue

    Those Karri trees look like a species of Eucalyptus. Is that a good guess? It’s hard to tell from the pictures.

    70

    • #
    • #
      Robert O

      Yes, Eucalyptus diversicolor and some of the tallest hardwoods in the world. The current tallest would be Eucalyptus regnans in S. Tasmania but I remember I heard there were some pretty tall ones in times past in the Mary valley in Vic. as well as a few examples of Eucalyptus delegatensis and Eucalyptus viminalis, always on the valley floors with deep soils and lots of moisture.

      Notice the open undergrowth of ferns etc. due to occasional control burning. In Tasmania there is always an understorey of Rainforest (Nothofagus), and with time the eucalypts will die because they cannot regenerate, but the greens haven’t worked this one out yet.

      140

      • #
        the Griss

        “and with time the eucalypts will die because they cannot regenerate”

        Also, there is extra heat generated when a fired does go through, often killing the larger trees as well.

        71

        • #
          Robert O

          That is true, but seed stored in woody capsules in the tree crowns will fall on to an ashbed after the fire and the forest is regenerated. That is the ecology of the eucalypts, but with protection any seed falling will not survive because eucalypt seedlings require light and freedom from competition, thus no regeneration until a wildfire comes and by then, hopefully, the trees still flower and have capsules. If not, the only means of regenerating the eucalypts is to re-sow, usually done by aircraft but can be done by hand.

          The other point in the case of the Tasmanian forests, it is found when the understorey trees (principally Nothofagus) attain about 100-120 years of age the overstorey eucalypts are dead and dying due to some unknown competitive effect, and protection will result in their eventual demise unless there is intervention either by wildfire, or by logging and regeneration.

          130

        • #
          TedM

          Griss: see my comment further down, following PeterK.

          10

      • #
        Rod Stuart

        Please, I beg to differ. Those match sticks in Oregon are but scale models of the big trees.

        20

        • #
          scaper...

          My favourite Eucalypt is the Broad Leaf Western Red Ironbark. Beautiful timber, fire resistant to an extent and termite proof.

          Bought an 800 acre property in ’81 on the Great Divide near Ulan, NSW. Nearly 600 acres was covered in these trees and had not been logged for over a hundred years.

          I selectively dropped hundreds of these trees to supply railway sleepers to the Gulgong rail head. Set sleepers aside and built a house out of them.

          The exterior walls were 200mm thick and the interior, 100mm thick. Built a fireplace from slate on the property (Mudgee slate) that could take a Mini Minor in book leaf style. Should last over a hundred years.

          Discovered a gulley next to the creek that consisted of a hundred plus Ironbarks with a girth of 800mm, gun barrel straight and about 50M high. Called the place “Ent Valley”. Great place for a picnic and a swim.

          Never took one tree from there. Before I sold, dropped trees on the track to ensure no person could get there, let alone take down those magnificent specimens.

          50

      • #
        MacSual

        E Rgnans needs fire for a seed bed but a hot fire will kill the tree.
        E Regnans has a life expectancy of about 500 years,if a fire hasn’t come through and helped set the seed most of the E Regnans will die and other species take over particualy Myrtle Beach.
        The green types haven’t realised that even trees have a life span and forest will change the flora and fauna in them,it’s called nature.

        40

        • #
          Rich M

          So they need regular burning to survive

          20

        • #
          Robert O

          What you say is pretty correct, but I will add a little detail.

          Eucalyptus regnans, or Mt. Ash, is one of the dominant species of the wet sclerophyll forests of Vic. and Tas.
          There are large tracts of it due to the 1939 fire in Vic. and 1934 in S. Tas., and will be again after the recent Gippsland fires. It is a good quality timber and used for many purposes.

          In the late 1950′s Dr.J.M.(Max) Gilbert did his Ph.D. thesis on its regeneration in the Florentine valley in S. Tas. He found that the only feasible way to renew the forest after logging was to burn the coupe and re-sow on the clean ashbed as per nature. Initially they left seed trees, but found that sowing seed by aircraft was a better option. Without a clean ashbed the eucalypt seedlings just didn’t grow being smothered by the competing vegetation, a fate which awaits the forests “protected’ by the greens.

          At the time not many believed Max but he was supported by the Botany Professor, H. N. Barber, and Lecturer at the time W. D. (Bill) Jackson. This technique of regenerating the forests was adopted and now there are large areas of regrowth forest on the floor of the Florentine valley and elsewhere, some now 50 years old.

          For anyone interested in eucalypt ecology Max’s thesis is well worthwhile reading as he was a pioneer on the subject; it would be available at the University Library in Hobart.

          50

      • #
        John Knowles

        Fair point about us altering the forest ecology. Similar is occurring at Mt Irvine in the Blue Mtns (90km inland from Sydney). Brown Barrel trees (Eucalyptus fastigata) grow tall and straight on the deep basalt soil but laurels and other lush bushes crowd out the under-story precluding the Brown Barrel seedlings from growing.
        The October 2013 fires swept past Mt Irvine before the fire brigades could stop them and the under-story was badly burned in many patches so some of those majestic trees will have off-spring for the first time in half a century.
        The conditions for regeneration of the wet sclerophyll forests on the basalt capped hill-tops are harsh and specific and far from the soft-eyed vision that many tree-hugging Sydney folk imagine. Most of the properties I’ve worked on belonged to wealthy semi-retireds who would regard a controlled burn of their properties as being akin to a terrorist attack upon “their” bush.

        10

    • #
      Roy Hogue

      There is an interesting tale of woe from the early days of railroading in the U.S. There was a need for crossties by the tens and hundreds of thousands as railroads expanded very rapidly and some smart engineer noticed that certain species of Eucalyptus grow very fast. What better than to plant a lot of these trees and be able to harvest them in just a few years to supply the need? So trees were imported and vast tracts of land in the central valley of California were planted.

      So far so good, Right?

      But soon came the time to cut them and then they had to be allowed to dry a while because green wood wouldn’t hold spikes very well. Oops! As it turns out that particular Eucalyptus wood twists and cracks as it drys and the whole effort was wasted. After a lot of money and time they couldn’t use the wood for anything — anything that is except firewood. Eucalyptus burns real hot. It’s not so good for a fireplace though because the smoke is a bit greasy and can clog a chimney. But a campfire, well, nothing better than Eucalyptus on a cold evening.

      There were still some remnants of these trees visible from Interstate 5 as of about 30 years ago when I read the story.

      I suppose the moral of the story is, look before you leap — or consult a botanist first.

      50

      • #
        MacSual

        The same thinking that saw Australia introduce the cane toad and mosquitofish,there is an old saying “marry in haste repent at leisure”,at least the Americans got some use out of their gumtrees.

        30

    • #
      Rod Stuart

      Not to be confused with the KAURI of New Zealand, Roy.
      A large part of late nineteenth century (and early twentieth century as well) San Franciso was built of this timber.

      30

      • #
        gnome

        That had me rushing to google. They Have Kauri in NZ??

        The rainforest revegetation unit I volunteer in produces Agathis robusta, called Kauri pine locally and on Wikipedia, for revegetation in FNQ when we can get seeds. They are slow to get going but take off after a few years- hard to imagine they would do well in NZ.

        10

        • #
          lmwd

          I seem to remember reading somewhere that the NZ rimu is related to the gum. NZ used to have vegetation similar to Oz. The oldest nz kauri still standing, Tani Mahuta, is 2000 years old. It survived the Maori and early European wood choppers because it was more squat than tall.

          30

    • #
      KinkyKeith

      Hi Roy

      Some here may be getting the Aust Karri Euc mixed up with the NZ Kauri Pine/

      KK

      20

  • #
    TdeF

    It is fascinating how much marketing spin is behind weather announcements.

    The IPCC was started twenty seven years ago in 1988 with the explicit premise of man made climate disaster and Climate Change. Man made because that justified the UN even having such a group because if man cannot change the weather, there is no point being in the UN. Climate Change because this was an application by the World Meteorological society and the slightly rising temperatures were hailed as an imminent man made world catastrophe.

    Consider there is no UN Physics or Chemists or Engineers group, nor a Veterinarians group or Biologists group and you have to credit the then leaders of the Meteorologists for a bureaucratic coup. World funding to prevent imminent man made climate disaster. World travel and fame.

    The disappointment came when slightly rising temperatures stopped rising a few years later. So for most of twenty years the IPCC didn’t notice. Student Michael Mann was a Godsend with his one tree hockey stick. He not only wiped out all previous warming, he projected rapid future rapid warming and so the hockey stick became the new front page logo for the IPCC.

    Years passed. Then the spin. Admit nothing. Publish and promote anything which supported the existence of the IPCC. Use students as world experts. When people finally noticed twenty years of a failure to heat, admit it but use words like ‘hiatus‘ or ‘pause‘. Even ‘decade‘ for twenty years, to make it seem more recent. At annual world meetings over dinner encourage meteorology marketing people to support the cause with data which ‘emphasises’ the very real problem. All in a good cause. Then if stable temperatures persist, desperately promote the idea that temperatures are still higher than previous temperatures. Drop press releases about record heat, heat events, storms, bushfires, local disasters like floods. Never ever use terms like ‘peak‘ or ‘turning point‘ or ‘stable‘ and fight desperately to stop 2014 being actually declared lower than previous years. If that fails, admit it but with the disclaimer that this is within the margin of error and it is still very warm with deadly average heat.

    The last Tango in Paris will be a desperate marketing meeting of 30,000 people and the real, the only topic over the thousands of private dinners will be, how to keep it all going? A great deal of pressure will be put on our BOM chiefs to comply. The Australian BOM represents a third of the planet and this year they let the team down and now politicians are starting to waver. Questions are being asked. What is the chance the world will heat by a lousy 0.05C? God, it is not too much to ask, is it? Meteorological groups around the world are desperate. Who wants to just report the news when you can make it? Those people down the hall have Ebola. What did we get for Christmas?

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    • #
      PeterK

      TdeF: I totally agree with you. Being a non-scientific person, I have trouble getting my head around this one. If you would comment, I would appreciate it.

      The IPCC states that global warming / climate change is going to destroy us and if we don’t limit it to a 2 degree C rise, this planet will then self-inflame and we will all be roasted and toasted.

      My Question: If a person living in England lives under an average mean temperature of say 16 degrees C and then decides upon retirement to go and live in southern Italy where the average mean temperature is say 24 degrees C. He then, now lives in an average mean temperature increase of 8 degrees C. Why does he not self-inflame after moving to Italy.

      I just can’t understand why and how a 2 degrees C increase is going to be a problem other than just a political scare to send more money.

      If the average mean world temperature would increase 5 degrees C, I just do not see this as a problem. This would only make life more pleasurable for all and in my opinion, would it not also make this world of ours take off in regard to plant growth in general?

      This 2 degree C rise in temperature just does not make any sense to me.

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      • #
        the Griss

        Particularly when, iirc, most of the models say that warming will occur in winter and at higher latitudes.

        Even if the models were right (which they obviously aren’t).. how is that a problem ?

        112

      • #
        TdeF

        PeterK, you are quite right. There is no danger to anyone. Every day, summer to winter, we experience huge changes in temperature, so we are talking about an average. In Colorado, -40 in winter to +40C in summer. Snowbound to swimming pools.

        Most of the ice on land (ice on the water changes nothing) is in Antarctica where the highest average temperature is -25C in summer, so no change. The only area of concern is Greenland in mid summer only and we are just seeing the remains of the Nordic settlements from 1000AD appearing from the ice.

        So there is no danger to anyone. The real fear of the 1970s was the start of another ice age and increasing CO2 was seriously proposed as a short term solution. Really the other problem was Margaret Thatcher’s fight against the miners in Wales, where she had to demonize coal and go nuclear. This was successful, but something she later regretted in so far as the University of East Anglia kept going on this angle for thirty years, attacking the very foundation of Western societies as polluters.

        No, you do not have to be a scientist to understand this is so all politics, started with the IPCC, Thatcher’s fight and the flight of would be communists to swamp the Green parties after the fall of the Soviet Union. How many Greens are not communists? is all about redistribution of wealth, by making people poorer.

        Most scientists are apolitical. They do not enter these debates. That is where this blog is different and the evidence is overwhelming that Global Warming is a fantasy. The IPCC is the “Intergovernmental panel on Climate Change”. That name actually contains the incredible and explicit proposition that the world’s temperature is really controlled by Governments? So of course that is what they found.

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      • #
        Rich M

        There was a time millions of years ago when it was 8deg warmer, was it not?

        10

    • #
      Bevan

      TdeF, if it is acceptable to the site moderator, I recommend that you read Dr Tim Ball’s book “The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science” for the political background to the origin of the IPCC. In my opinion it could be compulsory reading for all politicians and newspaper editors, at the very least.
      The book is available as a paperback from Amazon.com or may be downloaded, for a small cost, to a Kindle reader. For those without a Kindle, the Kindle reader app for an iPad may be downloaded for free from the iTunes site.

      60

      • #
        TdeF

        Thanks. I will get the Kindle copy. I always felt with the IPCC name, they had not choice but to find the Governments controlled the Climate. To say otherwise would deny their reason to exist.

        30

      • #
        tom0mason

        @Bevan

        Dr Tim Ball’s book “The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science” is a good read for revealing some of the political shinanagins that goes on, and some of the personal pressure that’s applied to staff to ‘toe the line’.
        Also if you haven’t a Kindle, iPad, etc. why not convert any old PC you have to Linux and get a free Kindle (or any ebook reader) from the distro’s repository.

        10

  • #
    James Bradley

    Okay, so here’s this then, there’s a new peer reviewed paper toating small volcanoes as the reason for the pause.

    That’s about 61 alarmists peer reviewed papers now published explaining why the alarmist climate models got it wrong.

    That’s 2 more more than the 59 papers from Cook’s consensus representing 97% of the world’s scientists…

    That can only mean…

    100% consensus of the world’s scientists now believe the climate models are wrong.

    270

  • #
    Peter C

    Interstellar and the Greens

    I went to see the Movie Interstellar last night. I quite enjoyed it. The principle scientific theme is TIME, especially the weird time dilation effects of light speed and extreme gravity, as predicted by Einsteins Theory of General Relativity.

    However I had to visit a few web blogs after I got home to clear up some confusion I had about the plot.

    The best of these blogs was the review written by Mark Steyn. He explained the anti Grren message which runs through the film, which I had not fully picked up.

    It will not spoil the plot ( for those that have not seen the movie yet), to note that the earth is descending into an environmental catastrophe. The catastrophe however is not of our own making. Our time here on Earth is ending because of some sort of crop blight,which feeds on Nitrogen, which is 80% of the atmosphere. CO2 does not get a mention.

    The response of American’s ( we do not see the rest of the world) is to reject the approaches which have sustained us so well so far. What the world needs is more farmers, not scientists or engineers.

    And those farmers must live on small holdings in dust bowl middle America, and live in Isolated clap board houses, with their nuclear families. And they have to drive clapped out 1980′s pickup trucks with no air conditioning. All technological innovation has stalled. The only aviation is a drone aircraft – made in India.

    The schools have adopted new textbooks, which rewrite history. the moon landings did not happen. It was just a government plot to bankrupt the Russians, who tried to compete against the chimera ( where have we heard about the moon landings before?)

    Cooper, our hero, is a mid west farmer, who is also an ex astronaut. Remember how the NASA astronauts ( not the Hansen NASA), wrote an open letter to the President. Cooper is having non of this revisionist crap. He does not believe in ghosts, or the paranormal, or metaphysics. Everything must have a rational explanation. We jus have to find it.

    Fortunately the old NASA is still there, but well hidden. Cooper finds them,and away we go

    Finally there is the dastardly Dr Mann! It can’t all be accidental.

    I recommend reading Mark Steyn, after you see the movie.

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    • #
      the Griss

      “Fortunately the old NASA is still there, but well hidden.”

      But is the old NASA still there ! :-(

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    • #
      handjive

      pointman also has a take on the movie:

      Am I still on that feckin’ planet?

      No spoilers there, just pointy’s usual good read.

      60

    • #
      Manfred

      The eminent Noble Laureate and climate polemicist Dr Mann has a namesake who features in ‘Interstellar’ as a deluded, self-aggrandising man, one of several individuals sent out into the far reaches of space (courtesy of a local worm hole near Saturn, if I recall correctly) to determine the potential for selected planets to become a salvational home for humanity.

      Dr Mann, marooned on an icy, utterly inhospitable planet, advertises his particular version of hell as The Future because he wants to be rescued from cryosleep and a quick ride back home, and…this bit is the clincher…conceals the data that confirms life on the his frightful icy hole of a planet is very very far from the ideal future for humanity. Amusingly, the plot line is further and unnecessarily complicated by the fact that he has also become insane.

      I have to say it’s absolute scream. Sadly though, on conducting a personal straw poll of my own I was able to determine that no one I asked had any idea who Dr Mann is (and apparently even less interest) or what his possible relevance might be to the climate current dogma.

      It seems as though it is an ‘in-joke’. I’m not sure whether the joke is on us, or on him. Irrespective, it succeeds as an enjoyable distraction.

      Now as a much lighter Weekend Unthreaded aside, it appears of all things that a Green bowel movement should be ‘handled’ – as the Green Huff suggests quite differently. Isn’t Green toilet humour just fascinating? /sarc

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      • #
        Matty

        ” It seems as though it is an ‘in-joke’. I’m not sure whether the joke is on us, or on him. Irrespective, it succeeds as an enjoyable distraction. ”

        Not having seen it but from your description doesn’t it sound perhaps more like Erik the Red and his reputed motivation for naming Greenland?

        The story that can be read both ways that appeal to the widest possible audience ?

        10

      • #
        C.J.Richards

        That’s a live feed you linked, which is probably just as well considering what you seem to have been trying to show us.

        10

    • #
      Richo

      Hi Peter

      The best part of the movie is that Dr Mann is the main villain.

      60

      • #
        Peter C

        Agreed.

        Pointman gets it wrong here. He thinks Mann is a reference to Michael Mann the movie maker (bowling for Columbine).

        Note however that the movie character is Dr Mann, the only one of the astronauts who is given a title. Also note that he sends back falsified data about his planet. The reference is unmistakeable.

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    • #
      Peter C

      Not sure about metaphysics now I think about it. I was thinking that metaphysics meant religion.

      Metaphysics might include; worm holes, black holes, dark matter and even the Big Bang Theory. And of course the Green house theory.

      30

  • #
    TdeF

    The French and counting. Some of the greatest mathematicians in history were French, including my hero Rene Decartes who changed the world. Ergo cogito sum and Cartesian geometry and rationalism. However they have real problems with seven days in a week, so much so that Charlie Hebdo sounded like someone’s name.

    It isn’t. Hebdo in French simply means Weekly, the word straight and unchanged from the Latin and the Greek for weekly, seven days. Also hebdomadaire. The closest in English is Hepto as in Heptogram for a seven sided shape. In most other things we and the French use Sept as in September, the seventh month (the years used to start in March, so October, November, December. Emperors Julius Caesar and Augustus stole two)

    So the French also have a real problem with words for counting. For example, they talk about eight days in a week. Next week is en huit jours, in eight days. A fortnight is en quinze jours, fifteen days. Even the word for today is aujourdhui which is literally au jour d’huit, one day of eight. It isn’t.

    The origin of Charlie in Charlie Hebdo was from the death of Charles de Gaulle and an irreverent association for cartoonists with the character Charlie Brown in Peanuts.

    Also in their unique French way, always seemingly taking the hard road, only the French had the political courage to ban the Burqa instead of the usual Western policy of appeasement for extremists. You can only to admire the courage of the cartoonists of Charlie where a cartoon became a death sentence. They didn’t kneel to deadly intimidation.

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    • #
      handjive

      GOOD FOR THEM: Vox Runs Charlie Hebdo Covers.

      “Charlie Hebdo and its biting satire, explained in 9 of its most iconic covers”
      . . .
      Every religion was the cartoonist’s target.

      Unless we show the cartoons, the jihadis have won.

      All those #wearecharlie followers need to hold up the cartoons as a sign of ‘solidarity’.

      That is what they died for. Not a hashtag.

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      • #
        ianl8888


        Unless we show the cartoons, the jihadis have won

        They’ve already won the propaganda war

        Easily predictable, the leftoid meeja in Aus (notably the ABC and Fairfax) waffled on about individuals marginalised by racist bigots and culturally offensive red-necks, while News Corp prattled on with grandiose rhetoric about freedom of speech/press and society’s core values –

        BUT

        not one of these puffery Aus meeja outlets were, are or will be game to actually publish the “offending” material so we may judge for ourselves

        Terrorism works. I suspect that the real (unstated) rationale for refusing to repeal 18C is an attempt to reduce the opportunities for “offence” to be taken and then retaliated against

        We must be kept “safe” through social engineering, especially proscribing comment that may offend someone or other

        So, here’s an example: *all* religions are based on stone-age superstitions

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        • #
          Annie

          Quote: *all* religions are based on stone-age superstitions

          No offence taken. For the record, I am an Anglican variety of Christian!

          00

      • #
        Matty

        ” All those #wearecharlie followers need to hold up the cartoons as a sign of ‘solidarity’. ”

        Up to a million marchers (expected) wearing depictions of the Prophet ?

        What are you trying to start ?

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  • #
    TdeF

    On tall trees, it has been hard to find a definition of a ‘pine’ tree, whether the needles for leaves before the development of broad leaf trees or perhaps the single trunk. Australia did have a few pine trees, like the Woolamai, an ancient pine species from 200 million years ago. We really had little pine in Australia, so Melbourne was floored with Baltic pine, brought as ballast on the ships. The lacework also came as ingot and ballast, cast into lace patterns in 74 workshops in Melbourne.

    Anyway when France and England were fighting for supremacy on the seas, the arms race included the revolutionary copper bottoms on the English ships, then the very thick American oak hulls on French boats to repel cannon balls and that greatest prize of ships growing rapidly in size, the huge keel made if possible from the trunk of a single very tall straight tree.

    So it is little known but there was an arms race in the South Pacific to take control not of Australia but of little Norfolk island, where the world’s tallest pines grew. That could mean the biggest, most powerful boats in the world. The French attempts to colonize Australia were only two weeks behind the English and they were chased to NZ but managed only to grab a few islands including New Caledonia, Tahiti and more, usually against a nearby British island possession like Vanuatu. The irony in the story was that when the prize was finally harvested, the Norfolk Island pines were found to be rotted inside and so useless, but here we are.

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    • #
      Peter C

      I thought that the Norfolk Island Pines were to be used as mast timber. I knew that they were not in the end used for that but I did not know the reason.

      The ship builders seem to have missed all those tall straight Kauri trees in WA.

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      • #
        TdeF

        Masts too. However the keel is the strength, like the backbone. The forces on the mast are largely straight down, not bending. All mast forces meet at the keel. You can break a boom or even a mast and it can be repaired or replaced. You can laminate, splice, join, bind, reinforce, wrap and keep going. Break the keel and the ship is dead. Like the animal backbone. Even today, the ceremony for any boat is still the laying of the keel, even if with modern joining technologies, there is no such thing. Yes, there were much taller trees in Australia, especially in Victoria. However a single branch is a weakness, a point where a keel can snap. So the search for the world’s tallest pine.

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    • #
      Robert O

      The true pines are members of the family Pinaceae: Baltic pine, Pinus nigra, Scot’s pine, Pinus sylvestris, Monterey pine, Pinus radiata, etc. Whereas Norfolk Is. pine is Araucaria excelsa and is a member of the family Araucariacea as is hoop pine Araucaria cunninghamii. The recently discovered Woolemi pine is vaguely related to the Araucarias. The tallest tree in the world is the Californian Redwood, Sequoia sempervirens of the family Taxodiaceae, as is the King Billy pine in Tas., Athrotaxis selaginoides. All are gymnosperms, not angiosperms as are most flowering plants.

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      • #
        aussie pete

        Hey Robert,
        I want to invite you to my next bar-b-que to keep us all spellbound. Love ya work.

        10

      • #
        TdeF

        Sure, this is the raw taxonomy and subspecies, but what are the specific characteristics which make a ‘pine’ a pine? When someone identifies a pine, what are they using to classify it?

        10

        • #
          Robert O

          It comes back to hardwood/softwood and the cell anatomy. Angiosperms have vessels, say between 0.5 and 0.8 mm. long , whereas gymnosperms have tracheids which can be 3-5 mm. long. In the paper industry pine (spruce, fir) “fibre” provides strength to the paper; cardboard is predominately made from long fibre, whereas printing paper is made from a blend of long fibre, say 10%, and mostly short fibre, clay and additives which gives it good optical properties. Ancient paper was made from papyrus or rice fibre which is about halfway between soft and hardwood. Fibre can be re-cycled for paper production, but a little virgin fibre is used as well. For example, the paper mill at Bislig in Mindanao (Phillipines) uses a mixture of tropical hardwoods and imported cardboard from N. America to produce newsprint.

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          • #
            TdeF

            Yes, but what is a ‘pine’ tree? This is not a microscope based definition from cell anatomy but an ancient one. I could not find a botanical definition nor remember one from botany, so I looked at the many trees we call pine, including the ones you listed.

            The things I find in common are pine cones so the method of reproduction, pine leaves which are needles and a single straight trunk with no substantial branches, at least branches which support other branches. They look almost the natural Darwinian successor to the antique palm and ferns and before the multi branch, big leaf trees, like say the oak and elm and plane and linden and larch.

            So when people first saw the giant Norfolk Island Pine from a distance, they knew instantly it was a pine, even if it is more closely related to South American pines than European ones. So is it true? Do pine trees have only a straight trunk, so unlike the broadleaf trees?

            10

            • #
              Robert O

              Most conifers, that is cone bearing trees, do have the Xmas tree pyramidal shape, especially when young and also do not have leaves as such, but needles of some sort or another. Take the Tasmanian celery top pine, Phyllocladus asplenifolius, and it has phyllodes which are flattened leaf stalks or petioles. In the southern hemisphere the main conifer families are the Podocarpaceae, Taxodiaceae, Araucariaceae with representatives in Australia, N.Z. Chile and Argentina. As well, the Taxodiaceae include the Cryptomeria in Japan, the Dawn Redwood in China and the Californian Sequoias. Sorry forgot the cypresses too. The true pines, family Pinaceae, are in the northern Hemisphere and include the true pines, the spruces, the firs, the larches and the true cedars. There are repesentative species in both Europe, northern Asia and north America. The cedars include the Atlas Cedar (Morocco), Deodar Cedar (N. India) and the Lebanon Cedar, good quality wood, Solomon’s temple was built from Cedar I believe.

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              • #
                TdeF

                Thanks. Cone bearing, I understand. A cone defines a tree as a conifer. A distinct reproduction mecanism.

                However my simple and perhaps silly question remains. Do pine trees have a single straight trunk and no deviations?
                Then are such branches as they have relatively small, evenly spaced and sub branches.?

                I say all this because I have been endlessly puzzled about the tree classifications and have found nothing to make it clear why a particular tree is called a pine, or a cedar. Conifer is simple enough. Pine appears to be a more general description of a tree. It must have a simple description.

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              • #
                Robert O

                I guess that the apical dominance is greater in the conifers than the hardwoods, hence the shape; this is related to giberellins in the apical bud which inhibit growth of side shoots. A lot of trees can be grown by cuttings, but I believe that cuttings taken from the N.I pine branches tend to grow sideways without any apical dominance, though with Wolemi pine they were pretty successful in propagating it commercially to save the species.

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      • #
        gnome

        People keep rushing me off to google this morning- I learned Araucaria heterophylla for Norfolk Island pine as a boy- Wikipedia agrees. The juvenile leaves and the adult leaves are different.

        The gymnosperm which deserves a mention when floors come into the conversation is the Murray pine or White Cyprus pine (Callitris somethingorother). It doesn’t grow into a big tree, but is highly figured, so very decorative, and so hard that termites can’t touch it. Not everyone’s cup of tea for woodwork because it will (often) shatter if you try to drive a nail into it without drilling first and greasing the nails. There isn’t as much of it as there once was, but there is still a sawmill at Mendooran which doesn’t do anything else, and there are almost certainly others left too.

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        • #
          TdeF

          As before, this is defining the tree by the type of wood harvested. My question above is whether there is a recognizable simple external difference? A gum tree has gum, for example, no matter what the subspecies or uses or the hardness of the timber. There was also an Australian cedar, a species which was quickly wiped out, but maybe the parallels with other cedars from the outside although perhaps it could be the fineness of the grain?

          So as an exercise, think of any pine. I just looked up a Huon pine, a very unusual, perhaps unique Tasmanian species. See if it is a single straight trunk with spindly twigs for branches. Yep. I suspect pine is a simple and ancient description and one which is not even written down in Wikepedia. It is not even in Botany books.

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    • #
      jorgekafkazar

      Aren’t Norfolk Island pines related to Monkey Puzzle trees? We had one of the latter beside a house in California. Araucaria, iirc.

      00

      • #
        Robert O

        Yes, Araucaria excelsa (N.I. Pine) and Araucaria araucana, the Monkey Puzzle. It gets back to Gondwanaland when the southern continents (inc. N.Z.) were joined. Another example is the genus Nothofagus with species in Tas/Vic, N.Z. and Chile.

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  • #
    stephen

    Jo we here in southern Vic have a very tall tree as well its girth is not as great but its tall ( mountain ash ) I have visited southwest WA a few times I have folk there ,the thing about your trees is that they seem not to get much thinner as they go up , both trees are mind boggling .

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    • #
      TedM

      Stephen: Did you mean to say thicker, not thinner as they go up?

      10

      • #
        stephen

        Sorry TedM no I meant what I said they seem to hold there girth a lot longer than most trees the red cedar in USA do much the same nearly as thick at the to as the bottom , the mountain ash here in Vic do taper and get much thinner at the top .

        30

  • #
    Peter C

    I thought that the Norfolk Island Pines were to be used as mast timber. I knew that they were not in the end used for that but I did not know the reason.

    The ship builders seem to have missed all those tall straight Kauri trees in WA.

    10

  • #
    PeterK

    Opening sentence says “We has a few…”

    I think this should read “We have a few…”

    Sorry to nit pick.

    20

    • #
      joseph

      I think this should read “We had a few . . . ”

      Sorry to nit pick. :-)

      20

      • #
        Sceptical Sam

        Well Joseph, Jo is visiting Margaret River after all.

        I hope she has had a few!

        My favourite is Juniper Estate Cab Sav.

        10

        • #
          gai

          My favorite is the Blue Spruce ( Picea pungens)

          I even asked for one for my birthday as a kid. I planted it in the front yard and last time I looked it was about 20 feet tall. (The house had long been sold but I went by to check on ‘my tree’)

          20

  • #
    TedM

    Glad to see that you had an enjoyable break in my stamping ground Jo. And yes Roy Hogue the karri is a species of eucalypt, “Eucalyptus diversifolia”. So named because the upper and underside of the leaves have different colouration. They are the second tallest “flowering plant” (emphasis flowering) in the world. Unfortunately while you do see some lovely karri from the roads the best is accessible only by walking. Walking through it is damned hard work.

    Griss: Karri is only killed by severe fire. Fire in low to moderate fuel level is likely to kill only the most senescent, if anything. However high intensity fire in high fuel levels karri forest can reach an intensity that is measured in megawatts per linear metre. I have done some post fire monitoring in karri forest following a severe fire event. Fire ecology is extremely interesting, something else the Greens get mostly wrong.

    50

    • #
      Len

      Karri is one of the few woods allowed in WA for scaffolding planks. Another one is Oregan.
      Karri is very susceptable to termite attack and I understand is not to be used below plate height in building construction. It is reported to be a difficult wood to plane as the grain goes everywhere. This gives it its strength.

      30

    • #
      Roy Hogue

      Ted,

      I made the guess at Eucalyptus based on the appearance of the bark. It’s not possible to tell much about the leaves from the pictures Jo posted.

      Eucalyptus is very popular in Southern California as a decorative tree and I see a lot of different ones being used. Nearly all of them have bark that cracks and peels off like what the Karri in the photos looked like. Hence, Eucalyptus came to mind.

      During my teenage years we lived in a house with a fairly deep back yard and the original owner had planted some species of Eucalyptus along the property line on both sides for the full extent of that yard. They grew fast, needed constant trimming and the branches tended to be brittle and broke easily when the wind blew — frankly a nuisance. So my dad finally had them cut down. The logs made excellent firewood for the fireplace. And I got to see firsthand how the wood twisted and cracked as it dried. I was surprised at first to read that the Karri doesn’t have this behavior. Shows you the folly of lumping everything Eucalyptus into one bucket.

      00

    • #
      Robert O

      I think Eucalyptus diversifolia is a coastal mallee; its Eucalyptus diversicolor.

      00

  • #
    Climate Researcher

     

    IMPORTANT BREAKTHROUGH

    It’s time that all who realize that James Hansen was wrong about back radiation come to grips with the correct physics now being discussed in this 21st century. The Hockey Schtich blog has run articles on the gravito-thermal effect, as has Clive Best and Tallbloke’s Talkshop. They give sound and correct reasons as to why it must be what is determining planetary temperatures – simply because the data stacks up. However, as explained in a critique of the Hockey Schtich articles here, they have not yet understood why and how the correct physics is based on the Second Law rather than imaginary parcels of air that in fact have nothing to hold them together and don’t just “fall” when they supposedly run out of kinetic energy.
     

    32

    • #
      KinkyKeith

      In the end it all comes down to:

      KE = 1/2 m.v2

      and

      PE = m.g.h

      and

      E in = E out + E held in transit

      However you put it , the result must comply with basic physics and conservation of energy principles.

      KK

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      • #
        KinkyKeith

        ps. Doug, When you calculate “energy held in transit” give me a call and I’ll help you celebrate.

        Come to think of it, it may be hard to assess E in and E out to withing 50% accuracy so good luck with all that.

        The only solution is the “black box” so useful in complex static thermo situations.

        KK

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        • #

          “on the gravito-thermal effect”
          When “Climate Researcher” can show that during the medieval warm period so called gravity increased and during the little ice age it decreased, this theory may be worth another look. That the increase in density means that more thermal energy exists as you go down into an atmosphere makes sense but it does not explain change.

          When Kinky Keith can explain why the universe has accelerating expansion using “PE = m.g.h” that too may be worth another look.

          Try M(KE = 1/2 m.v2)h with ∆KE being an accelerating external force like the vector sum of neutrino impacts or energy imparted via refraction of same(collision not required).

          Till then I stick with what works and mark the rest as more info required. Do wonder if neutrino refraction imparts significant thermal energy. Also wonder if the NOT pure antiphase relationship between cosmic radiation and solar wind can be explained by variations in neutrino acceleration of both being sometimes in phase and sometimes out of phase.
          Not being an expert in this stuff at all by “neutrino” i mean any little fast moving subatomic thing. Sorry if I have offended the experts in type differentiation.

          01

          • #
            KinkyKeith

            “Not being an expert in this stuff at all”

            Hi Silliggy.

            There was no need to say that it was obvious.

            My equations; just as for the much abused Stephan-Boltzmann equation, only work in the environment specified ie on Earth.

            And as to off the planet matters, even Stephen Hawking can’t explain the workings of energy give and take in deep space so maybe you could give him a call and help him.

            I’m not all that interested at the moment.

            KK

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            • #

              KK
              Yes I do not understand subatomic particle type definitions at all but it does need to be said for others that don’t (Not it seems you). All I am pointing out is that if it comes down to a delicate balance between those three formula then a misunderstanding of acceleration “g” will throw all theories out of whack.

              “My equations; just as for the much abused Stephan-Boltzmann equation, only work in the environment specified ie on Earth.”
              Do they? Are you absolutely sure sure “dark energy” has no effect here?
              This seems to be within the specified environment.
              http://www.allais.info/docs/pugarticle.pdf
              http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aa/2012/263818/

              The Stephan-Boltzmann equations need to be used with Q factor of all involved resonances, bandwidths and losses. That is just too complex.
              Nothing is certain except that change is normal.

              10

              • #
                KinkyKeith

                Hi Silligy,

                I have previously commented on Stephen Wilde’s thread that I am way out of my depth in matters relating to the functioning of the heat exchange mechanisms at work on the entire band of interest from land-ocean level up to deep space.

                I still have a functioning ability to detect irregularities in the thermodynamics of some situations and that is especially so where people deliberately complicate things past the point of usefulness; again see Doug etc on the Stephens thread.

                My inclusion of those very basic equations above was just to indicate that people who, like Doug, claim to be working out accurate depictions of what goes on in the atmosphere need to keep things simple.

                This would also apply to the influence of “dark energy” on the use of the Stephan Boltzman equation.

                If it ever gets to the point where dark matter ever effects S-B calcs from one minute to the next we may all have to abandon ship.

                On the other hand it has been postulated that Earth may move periodically through regions of the Galaxy -Universe which are highly active and can vary conditions on Earth. I think the periodicity of this effect might be somewhat longer than a decade or two.

                There are not a lot of black bodies around and even few situations where S-B equation can be used – even then it is only useful in situations where experimental results can be tested over a range of condition before the required measurements are done.

                ie The experiment has to be “Calibrated” and the S-B equation will not be of much use in getting absolute values without that calibration.

                Thermodynamics is a practical science not a text book science.

                ” That is just too complex. Nothing is certain except that change is normal.”

                ??? What does that mean?

                KK

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              • #
                Rod Stuart

                Siligy do you know Dark Energy?
                I met Dark Energy back in 1975. I picked her up in a bar in Atlanta Georgia.

                20

              • #

                “On the other hand it has been postulated that Earth may move periodically through regions of the Galaxy -Universe which are highly active and can vary conditions on Earth. I think the periodicity of this effect might be somewhat longer than a decade or two.”

                In PE = m.g.h you have acceleration of 9.8 M/S/S assumed for g. If g is acceleration caused by a vector sum of repulsive forces imparting some of their 1/2 m.v2 energy with or without G (the attracting force) assisting, a small slow time scale modulation in the balance of vector sums may cause little change to the total average acceleration vector g but a large enough change to “E held in transit” to mean our planet is accumulating or losing energy long term synchronous with the change in modulation. All this without upsetting either the man elevated to law making god status (Maxwell) or the CO2 back radiation power. I think we have been accumulating both energy and matter the whole time making it a growth rate modulation anyhow.
                As per this but perhaps with a different time scale.
                http://youtu.be/oJfBSc6e7QQ

                “??? What does that mean?” Nothing more tha Q factor is complicated at both the TX and RX radiation end and that assuming anything was constant before humans came along is just another asumption.

                Rod how did her repulsive force affect things? Please finish the story.

                10

            • #
              Roy Hogue

              Yes, Rod, please do finish the story. You have everyone on pins and needles until the full tale is revealed.

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      • #
        Matty

        ” E in = E out + E held in transit ”

        Is it Trenbreth’s missing heat hiding in a luggage office ?

        Isn’t it so hard to find anywhere to leave luggage these days because they’re afraid of what you may be hiding in it.

        20

  • #
    MadJak

    So Just a couple of random thought here which has stemmed from some of the recent tragic events for which I am interested in your views. None of this is completely thought through and I suspect the potential implementation of what I suggest here would be bound to cop undesirable consequences as well, so i am mentioning this as a stimulus for discussion.

    Whilst some say if people don’t like societies values they can frig off (which I agree with with regard to core values like, say, freedom of speech, for example), I am wondering if another technique might help alleviate things a bit more.

    I have always been intrigued with how radical communists and fascists were protected and used the rights of civilised societies even though they themselves were fundamentally opposed to others having those rights. Would the Nazis have obtained power in Nazi Germany if their freedom to protest and express themselves had been quashed?

    So here’s a the idea :- If any member of society is shown to be against any of the core values of a society (as exercised locally or overseas), they lose the protections that right gives said member of society.

    So if we have a member of society who is against say a cartoonist poking fun at a religious figure like the pope and are actively demanding that the cartoonists be muzzled by the law, then that individual loses their right to freedom of speech in the same way that they are requesting to occur to the cartoonist, for example. The examples, would of course, differ between societies.

    For individuals whose interpretation of a belief system directly conflicts with the values of the society they are within, they must either choose to renounce that interpretation of their belief system or lose particularly rights and privileges within the society they reside in. As an example, if a fundamentalist relies person believes in and advocates for “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth”, or “Jihad” – they are required to renounce their belief in those aspects of their religion or they will no longer be protected from that behaviour from other members of society. They will also be held responsible for the consequences of any act within society that is performed under this ethos – by anyone.

    Thoughts? Would this result in anarchy? or would it result in encouraging those who won’t accept a societies core values to go somewhere where their core values will match the societies? Or would it just drive the individuals underground and starve them of attention and air time?

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    • #
      RB

      The problem with this is that Australia was built by people with different core values. We are not abiding by those values but are living a good life because of it.

      It was only the decade before I was born that it was sociably unacceptable to walk around without a hat on. It was also acceptable to punch someone blowing a whistle incessantly to annoy you and a paper with a cartoon that mocked the Pope (rather than criticised) would not sell. I don’t know many of those old values were necessary for society to develop but the people deciding what modern norms should be are not the best people to be making such judgements.

      80

      • #
        MadJak

        RB,

        You’re right – however, I do think that there are some core values which have become non negotiables which maybe should be institutionalised and protected even if just from the extreme fringe?

        I wouldn’t want to cite ny of them because that could lead to a whole other can of worms.

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          Sceptical Sam

          MadJak’ isn’t that just the problem?

          If people are not prepared to identify what they consider to be the “core’ values and stand up for them, then nothing has value?

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      Yonniestone

      It’s obvious that a good democratic society can be trapped by it’s own core values like freedom of speech where openly anti-democratic people are concerned, but when you attempt to single out or make exception for certain individuals you only set a precedence for basic/core, laws/values to be corrupted to the point of destroying the reason those rights were agreed with originally and thus the integrity of the society people hold dear, in other words the enemy wins.

      The example of the Nazi’s is perfect as history showed during their reign they acted upon this very idea of ‘law by exception’ when certain party members or citizens either threatened the power of hierarchy or public opinion, the Night of the long knives is one example where this ‘law by exception’ was exercised in many ways notably Ernst Rohm who despite Hitler knowing for many years of Rohm’s homosexuality and the public scorn the party could face (due to the times) he turned a blind eye simply because Rohm was useful, until he became competition and a potential public liability, he was then used as a sacrifice to show how much the Nazi’s respected and protected the Fatherlands core values.

      No I believe the core values of a good democracy can deal with each case of criminal acts on their merits as it’s designed to, leave the insanity for the insane.

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        MadJak

        Hi Yonniestone,

        I agree this could be a slippery slope -and the example, so I refer back to my second query which is that maybe people advocating values that are in direct conflict with core values – like Jihad vs the rule of law as an example should be required to renounce that value?

        I guess would be an extreme example of say, kiddie fiddlers or Jihadists – we all agree there is no place in society for them unless they change their messed up values – if they don’t – what can we do to ensure they d not influence others within society – particularly those people more impressionable?

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      Retired now

      MadJak, some useful thoughts, though I’m not sure how they would work in practice.

      i am very aware, living in a suburb with a high proportion of Muslims that I cannot afford to be visible in my beliefs. I have lost my freedom of speech in general sphere, though not in most of my social groups. I feel more constrained though by the hand wringing lefties. An acquaintance said “if you poke a wasp nest with a stick you can expect to get stung.” To which my response is if you recognise you have a wasps nest next to your home you kill every last one of them. So the analogy is not that useful [SNIP - could be misinterpreted - and we don't have free speech.]. But I do feel very socially contrained in how I’m able to work through this at a local level.

      However my basic thoughts are:
      There are no “moderate” muslims. They all believe in, hope for and work for Sharia law to be implemented. Islam is not just a religion, it is a full legal, social, cultural and political system that wants and works for total submission to their interpretation of theocracy.
      This impacts heavily on my freedom of speech, my freedom to think and publically disseminate any thoughts contrary to their beliefs.
      No one may criticise, judge, satirise or in any way be negative about Mohammad [and SNIP we don't have the freedom to publish that either, or any other opinion which may offend - 18c.]

      So to me giving up my freedom of speech, of humour, of expression so they can impose a theocratic, authoritarian belief system that I have to “respect”. No I don’t have to respect it, nor them, the holders of those beliefs. I do not respect people who do evil. I do not respect pedophiles. I do not respect those who want to hold others to slavery. No, no, no. I hate everything they stand for. I see nothing positive in their religion, despite reading quite a lot about it.

      So in practice implementation would be impossible. I think what we have to do is come down exceptionally hard on the apologists, those who want to find a justification for their bad behaviour that is somehow the west’s fault. We have alienated them. Bah. Sh-t happens. Get over it. Life isn’t fair. Our culture has never been perfect. Most of us have been hurt by it in some way or other. Some people have much worse time of it than others. As one who has had a difficult life at times (details aren’t necessary) I say get over it. Choosing to stay alienated is vexatious to the spirit and if you always go around blaming others and feeling alienated you don’t have the energy to focus on what you can do to improve your lives.

      So overall I say it is time to draw a line in the sand. [SNIP - 18c] We do not want Sharia law. [SNIP - 18c]

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        MadJak

        Retired Now,

        I understand your views and believe me, I completely respect them. I also agree about becoming less tolerant on the apologists – those who quickly make up reasons or justifications for heinous acts or views. Whilst I believe they are often doing it with the best of intentions and whilst they can provide a middle ground perspective, they’re often too naive to do this effectively or appropriately. I find them to be simplistic in their views.

        With the example you experience, I can see how the effect would be for non muslims in your area to move out in order to exercise their freedom and rights. If this continues we can end up with larger swathes of society which become more emboldened with possibly forcing their views on the country.

        I am a strong advocate that people should have the freedom to move and locate to areas where their values align with the society they live in. I really struggle with people moving to another country with an intention of implementing their own values on that country on such a broad scale – particularly as some of those values collide with freedoms that so many have sacrificed so much to implement and preserve.

        I guess the question is this – if elements of society have these values – how/can assimilation be peacefully and appropriately done and should it be done at a local or national level? If both sides cannot assimilate with each other – how can the minority be treated so that they can make the most appropriate response? – be it moving to a country more sympathetic to their way of life or compromising to bring the more acceptable values into the broader society?

        I guess this is where I say that I have acquaintances who are islamic – and whilst I have never discussed the topic of Jihad in depth with them, I am tempted to breach the topic to get an understanding for myself – much in the same way you have.

        Are there islamic people who renounce the concept of Jihad in the way I know of many christians who renounce the concept of “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth”?

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          Retired now

          Rereading my reply to you I realise I came across more angry than I intended. I am agreeing with you. Its just that I don’t know how to implement it. I’m angry because i have worked very hard, after some very trying circumstances to put a life together in a new country, to assimilate, to work with the best of my home culture and the best of the Aussie culture. I chose to come, to be an Aussie, to work hard, buy a house and pay it off in a short period of time, through very frugal living. I hate it that I might lose it as the Muslims move in to the suburb and we will have to move out because they choose not to become one of us, but to demand that the Aussies accept their slavery, pedophilic, lying culture. (As explanation: the women I know cannot have visitors or even talk to someone unless their husband approves. They are not allowed to work nor have any freedoms he approves of, so in my definition they are slaves. Mohammad was a pedophile and the koran justifies his behaviour, as do many of his followers. And they have a doctrine which allows them to lie to make their law acceptable in the early stages of moving in to a new culture.)

          I have been doing a lot of thinking about the best of my European heritage that I want to keep. The freedom of speech, the freedom from religious controls, the freedom to have a sense of humour, the freedom to think for myself. The freedom to be liberated from the bad, to work for a fair go for us all, to enjoy our musical, intellectual, academic, religious, artistic and craft based heritage. There is so much I could go on and on.

          The basic thing is how do we get the message across that we won’t stand for the demands that we continue to change and muzzle ourselves because they become offended. I am enormously offended by their demands, but that offence doesn’t seem to matter.

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            Roy Hogue

            For whatever it may be worth, I agree with you.

            Unfortunately the very real threat of physical harm for standing up to them intimidates those who would otherwise stand with you. And the rest are lost in the muddled thinking of the progressives who have a moral equivalence argument that says the culture of one group is always as acceptable as the culture of any other.

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              MadJak

              I think almost all the responses to my OP are the same – The discussion that I believe needs to take place hasn’t taken place and is drowned out in a sea of politic noises around tolerance – even though it is becoming clear that many segments of society are expected to be tolerant of each other when it is unclear as to how tolerance can be achieved without compromising core values.

              We can all get to gather and hold hands as these atrocities take place to feel better about things (and to provide an outcome opposite to what the terrorists would like to see), but until a productive and balanced debate actually takes place, all groups are being forced to stall and delay and mask their views for fear of being called xenophobic or intolerant.

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            PeterK

            Have a read of what some polling in the U.S. has uncovered.

            http://www.wnd.com/2012/10/guess-who-u-s-muslims-are-voting-for/

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      KinkyKeith

      MadJak

      I have a vague recollection of a system in France which addresses the situation where some people who are unable to live within the rules of society and continue to demonstrate that incapacity, are sent to live in a special isolated region and cannot move out of it.

      They then have to suffer others who have a similar approach to living together.

      Anybody heard of this?

      KK

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      Roy Hogue

      MadJak,

      I’ve argued three things for years, mostly to deaf ears.

      1. Rights come with responsibilities. You don’t do to others what you don’t want others to do to you, even if you have a statutory right to do it. Nowhere could we benefit more from application of this simple principle than in the right to free speech.

      2. It’s plain stupid to let our enemies use our laws against us to subvert and destroy the very institutions they enjoy and use to do their subversion.

      3. The loss of your rights is the eventual outcome of trying to deny others the same rights you enjoy, subject only to points 1 and 2.

      Rights have limits. The absolute upholding of the right of someone bent on destruction of civilization to keep on destroying is going to kill civilization and put us back in the stone age.

      Our constitutions and laws are not suicide pacts. We must come up with criteria by which we avoid undeserved deprivation of freedoms and yet can take away certain freedoms from those we can identify as enemies.

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    aussie pete

    I have been expecting news of widespread economic disaster in the northern hemisphere ski industry by now.Can anyone point to ski fields failing to open due to lack of snow. Just curious.

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    RB

    I’m a bit slow to reply to the previous story on droughts in Queensland.

    I looked at the red spot in NSW for the lowest rainfall for a 24 month period on record. The only station that has a long record and data in the area for the past few years (even stations still open?) is Angledoon.

    It is 89 mm less than for the 24 month period of 1943/44, but the beginning month back then had 141.7mm while Jan of 2013 had 13.0mm. The older record for 23 months is still about 40mm drier.

    Nearby Lightning Ridge had a drier January in ’43 and had 2mm less rainfall for the 1943/44 period (its annual average is 4mm less) than Angledoon in 2013/14. There is no annual rainfall after 2011 recorded for lightning Ridge PO (and a few others in the area). The Lightning Ridge Visitors Centre had about 1mm more than 1943/44 at the PO, about 35km south of Angledoon, so LR was about 3mm off of the 24 month record.

    This shows how variable the rainfall in the region is, so unless the record had been shattered for all stations within 100 kilometers, the lowest on record is meaningless.

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    Peter Miller

    In matters of climate, we all understand that the concept of: “The science is settled” is complete BS.

    Those that peddle this concept are scientifically ignorant bigots – don’t believe it? Just look up those who have said it.

    Ignorant bigots also want to murder and cause mayhem in support of the concept: “The religion is settled”

    Ignorant bigots of both types have only one purpose in mind, namely to collapse the world economy in order to achieve their own perception of paradise.

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    Slywolfe

    Since carbon dioxide is “carbon pollution,” isn’t a drought “dangerously past peak Hydrogen” ?

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    The Backslider

    I have had quite enough of Islamist terrorists.

    I note that almost all of the terrorists in the recent sieges, both here and overseas have been previously convicted on terrorist charges.

    It is time now for a mandatory life sentence, throw away the key, for any conviction on any terror related charge.

    One strike and you are out.

    That will give them something to think about…..

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    Climate-Researcher

     

    You don’t need to “wait for the science” because it’s already here …

    When you realize that The Second Law of Thermodynamics can be used to explain the energy flows which maintain planetary core and surface temperatures, then you are left with no uncertainty that the CO2 conjecture is the greatest scientific mistake in all history.

    See http://climate-change-theory.com

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    Manfred

    …a mandatory life sentence

    In a ‘comfortable’ jail with three meals a day, the opportunity to acquire and education, free life long medical care…..all in all, a constant drain of resources, a bit like Green Renewables.

    Hmmm. Are their conceivably other, better ‘modeled’ solutions?

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      Manfred

      …there…

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        MadJak

        Obviously, anyone supporting or fighting a group who are in military conflict with ones own countries’ armed forces is, by definition a traitor….

        I don’t see how anyone fighting over in the middle east for groups fighting australian armed forces only gets a few years in prison. I thought there were meant to be more permanent punishments for treason.

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      gai

      Place the jails in Mexico. Various countries can pay Mexico to house the prisoners. (You Don’t want to end up in a Mexican jail.)

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      Leonard Lane

      Manfred, I believe there are better ways. Treat our countries like our homes. I believe we have a right to choose who comes into our home, and if someone threatening, or obnoxious, or profane, or anything that we do not practice in our home, we have the right to ask them to leave, throw them out, or call the police and have them ejected by the police. And refusing to leave when we ask them to or demand that they leave, should in and of itself be a serious crime.
      I also believe every country has a right to defend its borders, control entry, and remove anyone who does not assimilate or otherwise abide by the rule of our laws and our beliefs of what is acceptable behavior. Then, just as in our homes we should have the right to kick them out of our country.

      Now, about native born citizens. Here our laws must be equitable and allow for basic freedoms such as speech, religion, press, etc.. and be much more lenient about different beliefs, being annoying (but not traitors, but have reasonable limitations such as limiting freedom of speech to shouting fire in a crowded theater. Now I am not smart enough to devise such a systems of laws, etc.. But I believing our Founding Fathers were and we should strictly enforce the Constitution yes, I am a conservative American).

      My rights have been seriously limited by political correctness, and the mores, conventions, and laws used to enforce only one view of things–the radical leftist views.
      I believe that with open borders and amnesty for everyone (the vast majority of whom will vote for the leftist Democratic party) my rights and safety, employment prospects, etc. are being seriously abridged. The question here is have we tolerated leftist political correctness too much by allowing freedom of speech to be so severely limited, so that it is forever lost? Have we admitted so many illegal immigrants (somewhere around 50 million out of a total population of 320 million) that a two party democracy is impossible; and thus, it a one party totalitarian party now firmly ensconced and permanent in America?

      I wish we could have a national conversation about this. But just like discussing rationally and politely with a leftist- global warming radical is impossible, so is rational and polite discussion impossible with radical leftists who want to “fundamentally transform America”, and has happened under Obama.

      There must be a way for America to regain its Constitutional freedoms in a logical, rational, and peaceful manner. Or is there?

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        Dariusz

        Terrorists and criminals are still scared of America, but not Australia. In fact Australia is used by more cluey criminals to commit their crimes and if caught they get sentenced here. The Human life in this country is nothing. Get 5 to 7 years, get out in 3 to 4 for good behaviour.
        Oh how I wish for a death penalty … for drugs, pedophilia, murder.
        Democracy does not mean being soft. The only two rights I believe people have is the right to live and the right to die. Sadly even these basic rights current Australian system does not recognise.

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        KinkyKeith

        Leonard

        The acceptance of the sort of behaviour you describe as unacceptable is directly related to Politicians cultivating voting blocks for the next election.

        Democracy has been shafted by a system that requires politicians to cater to “special interset groups” within society.

        In Australia we have many such groups who live off the wealth of this society which was created by the hard work and frugality of previous generations.

        Politics is a game of give and take, but for honest citizens it is mostly the experience of being taken.

        KK

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    pat

    ambitious, what?

    10 Jan: Canberra Times: Simon Corbell: Canberra’s on track to deal with climate change
    Environment Minister Simon Corbell kicks off a series, exploring what Canberra will look like in 2060, from four different viewpoints, as a result of climate change.
    One of the most significant challenges we face in maintaining our standard of living into the future is climate change.
    Looking to the past, we know that Canberra’s climate has been changing.
    Our climate records show that the number of days each year over 35 degrees since 1976 have almost doubled when compared to the preceding three decades.
    When we look to the future, we can project in fine detail what Canberra’s climate will be like.
    Recent research released by the NSW and ACT Regional Climate Modelling project has projected a temperature increase of 0.9 degrees by 2030 and up to 2.3 degrees by 2060. We could also have an extra 20 days over 35 degrees a year by 2060…
    We are on track to meet the territory’s ambitious targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions (40 per cent on 1990 levels by 2020) and sourcing our energy from large-scale renewables (90 per cent by 2020).
    The ACT is also moving to a low-carbon economy in a measured and responsible way that drives investment in our knowledge economy…
    I see a city with an integrated light rail and bus network, a 90 per cent renewable energy supply and where people can cycle and walk to work with ease…
    The cars we drive will be primarily electric, with plug-in recharging widely available.
    Work is now under way to define pathways for transformation across multiple sectors and the ACT Climate Change Adaptation Strategy will be released by the end of 2015…
    Our emergency services and health sector will be well prepared to deal with the impacts of extended heatwaves and kept informed by increasingly accurate climate forecasts…
    http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/canberras-on-track-to-deal-with-climate-change-20150110-12kfrk.html

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      I see a city with an integrated light rail and bus network, a 90 per cent renewable energy supply and where people can cycle and walk to work with ease…
      The cars we drive will be primarily electric, with plug-in recharging widely available.

      Please Tony, don’t laugh out loud.

      Tony.

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        Robert O

        Interesting to know where all these KwH are coming from to run it. The message that green energy does not produce reliable high load electricity hasn’t got through yet to the plebs.

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        James Bradley

        Canberra,

        What a bunch of tossers.

        They’ll embrace 90% renewable energy as long as they can’t see the windfarms and solar panels from their place.

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        Cookster

        Hi Tony, hopefully you read this comment and can find the time to reply (and mods are obliging :-) ).

        I read a comment posted to Peter Martin’s article in today’s Sydney Morning Herald claiming concentrating solar thermal could compete with coal unsubsidized by 2020 (linked). Also the usual claim about how much taxpayer funded subsidy the coal industry receives.

        Now I know that concentrated solar thermal has little chance of achieving price parity with coal unsubsidized and that the total subsidies received by the fossil fuel industry are far less per megawatt hour actually produced compared to wind and solar – but I’d be keen to know your opinion on such claims? These claims often come up from the devoted and I know from Jo’s blog you are a wealth of information on the subject.

        http://www.smh.com.au/comment/climate-change-why-some-of-us-wont-believe-its-getting-hotter-20150110-12koa1.html#comments

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          the Griss

          “concentrating solar thermal could compete with coal unsubsidized by 2020 ”

          In Canberra, maybe.. Everything shuts at 6pm anyway!

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          Cookster, and I suppose I’m so late to this comment that no one will come back and read it.

          Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) – The best they have has run for 36 consecutive days, and in fact the plant shuts down for more than three months over the Winter Months, as the compound never reaches operating temperature high enough to make the steam to drive the (tiny) turbine.

          It is, (and here I have to put it in block quotes so I cam make it Bold)

          ….. 20MW…..and that is twenty, two zero, 20)

          in Nameplate Capacity.

          That’s the biggest that they can so far manage with heat diversion so it actually can run for the full 24 hours in the absolute middle of Summer only.

          Bayswater is

          2,640MW

          If that’s the ability to compete, then I’m dumbfounded.

          The biggest CSP plant on Earth is Ivanpah, and it runs three 125MW generators, one unit at each of its three plants. It has NO heat diversion, and is currently averaging around three and a half hours a day of power generation from its solar only component. It has proven to be a classic case of over-reach, because they just cannot make the heat required to even make the steam to turn the turbine which then runs the generator.

          They have to use natural gas fired turbine to run the generator until the heat from the Sun can take over. It is currently generating around 25% of the power that was promised from this plant.

          CSP cannot compete on cost, and even if they artfully find a way to jimmy up their data to make it seem like they do, then you be the judge for comparisons sake.

          20MW versus 2,640MW

          Incidentally, the power generated by that 20MW unit in Spain over those 36 consecutive days was delivered by Bayswater in …..

          six and a half hours

          That’s not competition.

          Tony.

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      the Griss

      “The ACT is also moving to a low-carbon economy “

      And if I recall.. NOT ONE of those solar plants or wind turbines were going to be actually in the ACT !!

      The ACT public service GIMME culture reigns !!

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      toorightmate

      I hope Canberra’s climate is changing.
      It has been for hundreds of thousands of years, so why should it stop changing now?
      I am sure that the sensible people in Canberra could tolerate a few warmer days in summer to offset less freezing, miserable days in winter.
      And please don’t burden me with the old “harmful effects of carbon dioxide>”

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      hasbeen

      No problem generating Canberra’s power by renewables.

      Just surround parliament house with windmills, & all the hot air will drive them no problem.

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    pat

    TdeF -

    the english and counting:

    think september, october, november, december.

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    RoHa

    Nice pictures. So Weatern Australia is a real place, then?

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    pat

    the following Klare article was published at TomDispatch.com, headlined: “Carbon Counterattack: How Big Oil Is Responding to the Anti-Carbon Moment” below an introduction headlined: “Tomgram: Michael Klare, Perpetuating the Reign of Carbon” by website owner, Tom Engelhardt.

    Engelhardt’s intro at TomDispatch is full of memes – Oreskes/Big Tobacco/Big Energy/funding of “climate deniers” etc. as for Salon.com, they are being deceptive by including “We dare you to stop us” in the headline, when it is, in fact, just a ***Bill McKibben quote!

    and, as for Salon’s “inside big oil’s sinister plan” in the headline, it’s available to everyone online, in full, for free:

    December 2014: Exxon: The Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040
    http://corporate.exxonmobil.com/en/energy/energy-outlook

    11 Jan: Salon.com: Michael T. Klare: “We dare you to stop us”: Inside big oil’s sinister plan to derail the anti-carbon movement
    Rather than retreating, Exxon and other companies are going on the offensive as mankind hangs in the balance
    ***“Basically [the big energy companies have] said, we’re going to wreck the planet, we don’t care what you say, we think we can, and we dare you to stop us,” observed climate activist and 350.org cofounder Bill McKibben in a recent interview…
    According to the Outlook (ExxonMobil’s The Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040­) virtually none of the expected increase in global energy demand will come from the older industrialized countries, which can afford more costly alternatives; rather, its source will be developing countries, which generally seek cheap energy quickly — that is, coal and natural gas for electricity generation and oil for transportation. Of the 201 quadrillion BTUs in added energy required by the developing world between now and 2040, predicts Exxon, 148 quadrillion, or 74%, will be provided by fossil fuels — a statistic that, if accurate, should chill us to the bone in climate change terms…
    This is the basis for what can only be termed “carbon humanitarianism” — the claim that cheap carbon-based fuels are the best possible response to the energy-poor of the planet (despite everything we know about the devastation climate change will cause, above all in the lives of the poor)…
    The problem, Exxon claims, is that wind and solar are more costly than the fossil fuel alternatives and so are not growing fast enough to meet rising world demand. Even though the energy provided by these renewables will expand by 315% between now and 2040, it still represents such a small shareof the total global energy mix that, by the end of this period, it will only reach the 4% mark in its share of total world energy consumption (compared to 77% for carbon fuels). Renewables are also said to be problematic as they provide only intermittent sources of energy — failing at night and on windless days — and must be bolstered by other fuels to ensure uninterrupted energy output…
    Put together, this represents a dazzling vision of a future in which growing numbers of people enjoy the benefits of abundant energy and unlimited growth. You can already imagine the heartwarming TV commercials that will be generated on a massive scale to propagate such a message…
    But this vision, like so much contemporary advertising, is based on a lie: in this case, on the increasingly bizarre idea that, in the twenty-first century, humanity can burn its way through significant parts of the planet’s reserves of fossil fuels to achieve a world in which everything is essentially the same — there’s just more of it for everyone…
    This is, of course, a modern fairy tale that, if believed, will have the most disastrous of results.
    Someday, it will also be seen as one of the more striking lies on whatever’s left of the historical record…
    As climate conditions deteriorate, croplands will wither, coastal cities and farmlands will be eradicated, infrastructure will be devastated, the existing middle class will shrink, and the poor will face ever-increasing deprivation.
    Preventing these catastrophes will involve sustained and dedicated effort by all those who truly care about the future of humanity…
    However fraudulent their arguments may be, they have the potential to blunt significant progress on climate change and so must be vigorously repudiated. Unless we do so, the apostles of carbon will continue to dominate the debate and bring us ever closer to a planetary inferno. This is the only way to thwart and discredit those who seek to perpetuate the Reign of Carbon.
    http://www.salon.com/2015/01/10/we_dare_you_to_stop_us_inside_big_oils_sinister_plan_to_derail_the_anti_carbon_movement_partner/

    (Michael T. Klare is a professor of peace and world security studies at Hampshire College and the author of Resource Wars and Blood and Oil. Consider this essay a preview of his newest book, Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet: The New Geopolitics of Energy, which has just been published by Metropolitan Books. He is a regular contributor to many publications including The Nation, TomDispatch, Mother Jones, and is a frequent columnist for Foreign Policy In Focus.)

    rd sums it up beautifully in the comment section:

    comment by rd:
    They’re actually correct. The global middle class is the largest in history, both in absolute numbers and relative to global population. The poverty rate is the lowest in history – there has absolutely never been a smaller portion of humanity living in poverty. The people escaping poverty are in the developing world, which will continue to increase its energy use. Electricity helps women and children the most: in most “traditional” societies women do all the housework. Electricity makes their lives easier. (We rich world “progressives” want the rest of the planet to live in picturesque poverty, but the people there don’t actually want to live that way.)
    So until Bill McKibben unveils his secret energy source that is both clean and cheap the developing world will continue to use cheap fossil fuels. We in the rich world are moving away from the dirtiest fuels, like coal, because even though it’s cheap it’s dirty, and we can afford to use cleaner energy. Really poor people can’t, which is why they ruin their health by using even dirtier energy sources than coal, like cooking with wood or animal dung and using candles – picturesque and “traditional” but actually extremely dirty and unhealthy. For them a coal burning power plant is a step up.

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    Annie

    I hope you thoroughly enjoyed your stay down in the SW of WA Jo. It’s a wonderful area. We loved those forests when we drove through them. Did you visit any of the caves or any wineries like Vasse Felix? A magical part of the world.

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      Leonard Lane

      Yes, it is. I once had the opportunity to go to a soil conservation conference by driving south and east from Perth to a place called Pongerup (Sp?). We spent a week there in a rustic lodge or resort and it was truly an amazing place. Such different, but beautiful, plants and ecosystems. I would go back there for a more extensive stay if it were possible.
      Hope Jo and family are having a wonderful and safe trip.

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    Annie

    Does anyone know of a way to get rid of that horrible artificial shiny stuff on bought apples? ATM I have to peel them as I loathe the taste and artificiality of the gruesome stuff. We can’t yet produce enough of our own for the year.

    Even roadside stalls I’ve tried have these synthetic looking apples.

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      Graeme No.3

      As far as I remember, the coating is based on partially oxidised low MW polyethylene wax and supposedly tasteless.

      The bad news is that it isn’t terribly soluble. The spraying solution is made by trickling molten wax into hot water containing a little alkali, or possibly alkoxylated amine. DO NOT TRY this at home.

      I am amazed that road side stalls use this stuff to make the apples look good. (Unless those apple are from the wholesale market and originally treated for supermarkets and shops). Turn up at the stall looking like you will buy, and then ask if they are coated. If they say yes, or don’t know, reject them. Loss of a sale gets them talking to their supplier. Alternately move to an apple growing area and get to know an apple grower.

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        Annie

        Thank you Graeme no 3. I did refuse the coated ones at the roadside stall! This stall was on the highway between Nagambie and Seymour and some of their other stuff was very nice. It means I’m stuck with what Foodworks have to offer as we ran out of our own supplies months ago. I’m now fighting the cockatoos and bitter pit to get this year’s supply!

        I planted quite a few “heritage” varieties 16 years ago and they’re pretty sturdy now….just need netting and TLC.

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          Annie

          I used to enjoy some unsprayed Pink Lady apples from Oakleigh Market as bought by some family member, but they no longer live there and we’re not down in Melbourne very much…least of all on Sundays.

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    nfw

    Have been down that way and have to agree they are big trees. However, if you want to see really BIG eucalypts go to Portugal. The conditions there are just right for our Australian weeds to really grow big. And they wonder why they have impressive fires? We know.

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    Sunray

    Thank you Jo, I spent a lot of time “in” the bush around Pemberton in the 60s. The astounding thing that struck most of us, was how thick the secondary growth was, around the locations of felled giants, as part of the best practice logging programme. The oddest thing I experienced “in”the bush was at Canungra in Qld, where we were actually walking over the top of Lantana thickets that we could not walk through. It was the last bit of dusk, which gave the eerie sensation of not being able to see the sticks/twigs/branches, that were holding us up.

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    “The law that entropy always increases holds, I think, the supreme position among the laws of Nature. … if your theory is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation.”
    —Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, The Nature of the Physical World (1927)

    Until readers recognize that all forms of energy (including gravitational potential energy) play a role in entropy and thus in determining the state of thermodynamic equilibrium (which the Second Law tells us will evolve) then you are barking up the wrong tree with radiative heat transfer theory as your only concept in your beliefs about temperatures on all planets and satellite moons.

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    Kim

    I’m currently just over from Caves Rd. towards the ocean. It is a good place to look at what is happening to the climate naturally. The South West of Western Australia (Bunbury and below) is sparsely populated, it is away from the more populated Eastern States and it is far away from the heavily populated Northern Hemisphere. As such it provides a good simple measure on what is happening to the world’s climate :-

    * average temperatures down ~1.5 to ~1.8′C.
    * frequent cold Antarctic wind up to early January. It is most out of place – feels odd. You have the hot sun coming down and the chilly wind blowing.
    * cool springs, late summers.
    * Antarctic ice shelf increased massively. No urban heat islands to keep the ice down.

    So the obvious conclusion is – there is no global warming – only a spot of global cooling going on. What is happening in the Northern Hemisphere is purely urban heat island effect. If CO2 was causing the warming then the Earth would warm up all round.

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