JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


Handbooks

The Skeptics Handbook

Think it has been debunked? See here.

The Skeptics Handbook II

Climate Money Paper


Advertising

micropace


GoldNerds

The nerds have the numbers on precious metals investments on the ASX



Archives

Weekend Unthreaded

 

Thanks to everyone who is helping with donations. It is really gratifying to see, and very very useful. – Jo

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.7/10 (24 votes cast)
Weekend Unthreaded, 8.7 out of 10 based on 24 ratings

Tiny Url for this post: http://tinyurl.com/n9pt3ps

201 comments to Weekend Unthreaded

  • #
    Gee Aye

    Don’t leave it to me to post first

    80

  • #
    Another Graeme

    SBS had an article yesterday describing Lomborg as a skeptic. The comments were the usual mindless trash from the hate crowd but I gotta say, I was truly impressed by the level of ignorance regarding Lomborg and the retraction of his position at UWA. Here is the link. I don’t have facebook but my dear wife let me comment under her profile so as to let me shake em up a bit, God blesss her :)

    222

    • #

      The dislike of Lomborg is due to a combination of willful ignorance and disliking his methods. I has a “frank exchange of views” with ..and then there’s Physics, a particularly dogmatic alarmist who lives in the UK. What I found out is that ATTP
      - Name calls without checking. He says

      Lomborg is not an academic by any standard definition.

      I looked up the definition, and found that is. Further, he accussed someone of cherry-picking by producing a list, but could not come up with come up with a single counter-example that would confirm this.
      - Assumes that Lomborg has got money to promote his own ideas. Looking at the UWA website reveals that the funding (now withdrawn by UWA) was to bring specialists together to work on projects.
      - ATTP totally rejects the common-sense notion that we cannot solve all the problems of the world at once. Lomborg’s approach is to prioritize the world’s problems, and determine practical policies that can obtain the maximum impact with finite resources. ATTP is particularly peeved that, even if you accept climate alarmism – which Bjorn Lomborg does – you will quickly find there are much bigger problems in the world.

      ATTP provides a good illustration of the people who support climate alarmism. They are people with fixed and irrefutable views on the world. If the dictionary disagrees, then the dictionary is wrong. If leading experts in an established field of study, such as economics, disagree, then the whole subject should be binned, as climatologists beliefs are prior to this. There is no possibility that two people, looking at the same complex data, could quite reasonably reach quite different conclusions. Nor that there can be different sets of values.

      110

      • #
        Slywolfe

        Re: ATTP
        Often the most difficult part of learning is unlearning the wrong.

        50

        • #
          Sceptical Sam

          Or, as Alvin Toffler put it in “Future Shock” all those years ago:

          “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. ”

          60

      • #
        Another Graeme

        “Lomborg’s approach is to prioritize the world’s problems, and determine practical policies that can obtain the maximum impact with finite resources”
        Back in 2000 I was doing B.Environmental Science at UON. This principle was at the heart of environmental remediation works. Now it seems a revolutionary statement.

        30

        • #
          RB

          I heard the ABC introduce somebody as an evidence based researcher, recently. That should have been funny.

          00

    • #

      Lomborg is the proof that global warming is about one-world, socialist, anti-capitalist agendas, not science. So far as I can tell, the one place Lomborg disagrees is with the “solutions” to climate change not the science, yet that one political viewpoint makes him a deny*r.

      There we have it—this is NOT about science in any way. Proof positive.

      141

      • #
        Graham Richards

        Lomborg is quite correct.

        Even the UN admits it’s to do with eradicating capitalism.

        Read this one: http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/021015-738779-climate-change-scare-tool-to-destroy-capitalism.htm#ixzz3RnAsCrzq

        40

      • #

        Sheri,
        I agree with you on this. At a superficial level, the demonstration that “climate” is about politics is the lack of definition of the term climatology or climate science. Look up either on Wikipedia and you will get this article on climatology. It says

        Climatology or climate science is the study of climate, scientifically defined as weather conditions averaged over a period of time.

        In the whole article there is no reference to politics, economics, ethics, public policy or decision-making under conditions of uncertainty. But there is this statement:-

        Climate is governed by physical laws which can be expressed as differential equations. These equations are coupled and nonlinear, so that approximate solutions are obtained by using numerical methods to create global climate models. Climate is sometimes modeled as a stochastic process but this is generally accepted as an approximation to processes that are otherwise too complicated to analyze.

        (italics mine)
        The first statement in italics expresses a metaphysical belief. Maybe climate cannot be expressed in terms of differential equations, as there are too many discontinuities in the underlying data. For instance, in the temperature data for Paraguay, it is clear that over a large area (200,000+ km2) there was a cooling of about a degree at the end of the 1960s. Further, using the systematic homogenisation techniques of BEST, there are numerous (and sometimes large) empirical breaks in the data, indicating that the local data is discontinuous with neighbouring thermometers. It would be an interesting area to explore. (Which I would do very competently on a $250,000 a year research grant :) ) The last part indicates that climate models may only be vaguely related to the real world. But at what point does the vagueness indicate that the climate models are out of touch with the real world? There is none. So even defining climatology leaves open why people believe in the stuff. The obvious answer (strongly supported by surveys by the great Stephan Lewandowsky) is that political beliefs take precedence over any objective measure, such as short-term predictive ability.

        90

      • #
        Raven

        There we have it—this is NOT about science in any way. Proof positive.

        Yeah, just last week I pondered UWA’s motivations.
        I figured that if they were prepared to take on Lomborg knowing the inevitable backlash, then it must be for the $4 million and concluded academia was less important.

        They’ve now caved in to the rabid mob, so it seems that neither academia nor money is all that important.

        That said, the initial acceptance to establish the “Consensus Centre” would have been described by Sir Humphrey as ‘a courageous decision’ . . . ;-)

        10

  • #
    Another Graeme

    Oh whatdoya know, all the comments have been removed. The vanity in me hopes that was my doing :D

    230

    • #
      Peter C

      Undoubtedly Graeme,

      I went for a look but found no link. I think your comment was so insightful and devastating to the confidence of the hate crowd that they decided to delete the whole lot.

      140

    • #
      Oksanna

      I found the SBS article here. I think that when the link button dialogue box appears, there is a tendency to double up on the http bit, which produces a dead link. But I am no expert.

      50

  • #

    I have this sneaking suspicion about the way that the result of the UK election was reported by virtually all sections of the media as being an astonishing, and almost unbelievable shock, one that no one in the media saw coming.

    It seems to me that the media is almost totally in the grip of the left, and it is they, the media, who make and report the agenda.

    They are willing to believe that only the left has anything good about it, so they will myopically only see what they want to see, even down to the way that they structure any questions that they put to the public prior to the election to somehow gauge opinion, so the answers are skewed as left leaning, and, when they collate all these answers, check them, and then analyse them, then it (quite understandably) leans to support for the left.

    Hence the stunned mullet look and response from virtually all sections of the media.

    It’s similar here in Australia with differing results in opinion polls depending on which section of the media is reporting it.

    There is no real checking of the mood of the people, naturally, and this election result highlights that most effectively.

    The media called it as something that no one saw coming.

    It should act as a wake up call for the media.

    Bet you it doesn’t.

    Tony.

    442

    • #
      Dennis

      Many people were surprised when two claimed to be conservative independent MPs, Oakeshott and Windsor, sided with Gillard Labor after the 2010 federal election. And the two former Nationals played their political game well, pretending to be considering both sides and later rubbishing the Coalition. The fact is that both were recruited to be “sleepers” for Labor when PM Rudd was leader, Oakeshott recruited after he won the 2008 by election and Windsor (cousin of ALP soon doctor Hawker) around the same time, both promised election campaign support and committee positions paying extra money if Labor was returned to government.

      The reason they were recruited was the results of the 2007 election, Labor won many new seats but held too many marginal seats. The experts warned Labor that the 2010 election would probably be a very close result for Labor, as it turned out to be.

      My point is polling, the electoral pendulum that Mackerras and others produce is based on the election voting results in each electorate and by polling booths. I understand that when polls are conducted, assuming that a certain result is desirable, the people polled are selected on a similar basis to the last election results and then the people phoned are questioned to discover if they are the right people to poll. I other words the pollsters can get the results their client desires.

      172

      • #
        Ted O'Brien.

        Who claimed that they were conservative MPs? They were in parliament because they opposed the “conservatives”.

        The Liberals and National head office hated Tony Windsor, because he had committed the cardinal crime of winning a seat off the coalition, and holding it with Australia’s biggest majority. A bit like Pauline Hanson, except he had a more solid foundation. It did not surprise me that he sided against them. But it did disappoint me that he fell for the AGW scam.

        41

        • #
          Dennis

          Yes they opposed their former Nationals colleagues, but they did not tell their electorates (New England and Lyne) that they were Labor supporters. Those two electorates are again in the hands of Nationals, no Labor or Greens candidate, even swapping preferences, could win either seat and that is why Windsor and Oakeshott were valuable recruits for Rudd Labor.

          Oakeshott had earlier been a state MP for the same area and after being elected as a conservative independent he offered to join the NSW ALP in return for a cabinet position, the premier at the time did not accept his offer knowing that as a Labor MP Oakeshott would not retain the seat. You might recall media discussion about Oakeshott possibly being appointed to the Gillard cabinet? She quickly denied that it would happen, but did not deny Oakeshott’s deal with PM Rudd that he would be looked after.

          In future months a former NSW state independent MP, Richard Torbay, will appear before the ICAC to answer questions relating to his association with Eddie Obeid, the former Labor cabinet minister who has also been at ICAC and is now facing charges in a court of law. It is alleged that Torbay was the money bagman who paid other recruited independent MPs for Labor NSW. When Torby was summoned he immediately resigned from the NSW Parliament.

          Clearly Windsor and Oakeshott campaigned in New England and Lyne as former Nationals, conservative independents the voters could trust.

          31

    • #
      James Bradley

      Tony,

      That’s the way of the left.

      They truly believe everyone should think the same way as they do.

      That’s why they are unable to comprehend the concepts of free speech and independent thought.

      221

    • #
      ianl8888


      It should act as a wake up call for the media.

      Bet you it doesn’t

      Not a hope

      Their vanity is completely impenetrable

      150

    • #
      Richard111

      Tony, the situation in the UK is worse than you think.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election/2015/results

      Check this link for results and you will see that more votes were cast for the UKIP party than the SNP and LibDems combined which returned 64 seats in government but UKIP only gets 1 seat!
      Also UKIP came SECOND in 110 constituencies but only one seat!
      They call this a DEMOCRACY!?!?!

      Just to remind everyone, the UK voting boundries were setup by Blair and Brown when they were in power hence the totally unbalanced results for votes against seats won for Scotland.

      180

      • #
        jorgekafkazar

        “…the UK voting boundries were setup by Blair and Brown when they were in power…”

        In the US, that’s called Gerrymandering. It’s a slimy tactic, but very effective in making sure many people’s votes don’t count.

        70

    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      Tony,

      The reason that the Tories got in, was because the Scots said bugger the Sasanachs.

      The Scots have traditionally leaned towards the left of the political spectrum, but after having the Independence poll stolen from them (as they see it), the majority voted for independence in the General Election.

      Cameron and the Tories didn’t win the election, Labour lost it.

      150

      • #
        RayD

        Agreed. The Sassenachs (Saxons) wanted no truck with National Socialism, Scottish or otherwise, a fact apparently beyond the comprehension of the Marxist Milliband. He didn’t heed the observation of P.G. Wodehouse: “It has never been hard to tell the difference between a Scotsman with a grievance and a ray of sunshine.”

        110

      • #
        DoubtingDave

        Rereke , yes labour did lose partly because of the Scots and the collapse of the Lib/Dems south of the border,its Labours own fault for bringing in devaluation under Blair and Brown. I voted UKIP and was pleased to see them get such a large share of the vote but can’t honestly say in the cold light of day , now the dust has settled that i don’t fear for the future 0f my country,we have a referendum on europe soon and we know that the tories are divided on that issue so there is a real threat to our membership, couple that with the Scots wanting a divorce and where will that leave us ? a half island nation , isolated and with a north south divide ruled by little Englanders not a happy prospect as far as i’m concerned

        100

        • #
          Dariusz

          Get GB out of the unelected Belgium commissariat.
          Stop subsiding poorer countries that keep on threatening you with the spectre war and a repeat of hitlers. Germany was the first European nation to introduce public schools for everyone whilst the Russian charist empire still languished in the feudal system. One would think that working hard is to the benefit of humanity but the First World War has mainly arisen from the fact that some nations worked harder than the others creating unprecedented wealth and nation envy. It is the lazy that get left behind and invariably cause problems like the Greeks now. At same time this apparently less fortunate nations habitually blame the richer nations for their poverty never looking at themselves as the primary cause. They blame imperialism, foreign invasions, colonies, better access to the oceans and trade routes never realising that creating value is about smart work i.e. planning and thinking continuously about what to do next.
          When I visit the mainland Europe (flying in from Australia) regardless of how poor the nations are for at least 2 summary months everyone is on holidays. I can,t remember if I ever been on holiday for longer than 15 days at one time. I also know that they are convinced that they work hard showing me statistics from the net. According to the stats Russians work one of the longest hours and yet their GDP is low. Why? Because it is not how long or even hard you work, but about how smartly you do that.
          Look at the Swiss. No colonies, no imperialism, no access to the oceans or open trade routes.

          201

          • #
            Brute

            I have long knowledge of a couple of what you call “poor” countries and have never heard anyone blaming what you call “rich” countries for a thing. In fact, the EU keeps growing precisely because additional “poorer” countries see the advantage of opting in. Naturally, there is a political struggle among the members of the EU as this is perhaps the largest geopolitical endeavor ever undertaken, bring together peacefully one of the most historically violent regions in the world… but there is no point elaborating any further. Your reductionism is bizarre and your evident prejudice clouds your judgment. You simply don’t know what you are talking about.

            411

            • #
              doubtingdave

              I agree Brute, the european union has its faults but we should be making more of an effort to improve the union from within because we are fortunate to be part of a union with our neighbours in my view

              212

              • #
                jorgekafkazar

                “…we should be making more of an effort to improve the union from within…”

                You are make joke! I laugh HAHA! at your funny joke.

                121

            • #
              Dariusz

              I just don,t have ” long knowledge” I lived in a poor country myself called Poland. I know exactly what is to be poor and don,t teach me about my own prejudice. This comes exactly from my own exprience and what talk about is grounded in numerous long discussions with the poor people.
              Before you pass judgment on me asked yourself a few questions:
              1. Did you ever stand in the bread line for hours every day for years?
              2. Did you ever lived in a society where you did not know what chocolate or banana is?
              3. Have you been queuing for spam thinking that this is ham simply because You have never seen one?
              4. Have you lived in a society that had only Georgian tea and vinegar for sale?
              5. Had 200g of rotten meat for a month for a family of 4 allowance?

              Poverty is usually created stupidly, laziness, no hard work and I stand by it. I have experienced that myself personally. I came from nothing and so far I paid millions of dollars in tax in my new adopted country. I created who I am and see in Australia plenty of healthy poor people. Why? Because it is their fault living in one the best countries in the world and still can,t make it. Stupidity, laziness and the system that allows them to live off benefits keeps that in the poverty.

              Do you dare to pass judgment on and tell me that I don,t what I am talking about!

              251

              • #
                Winston

                Well said Dariusz.

                You speak from experience, others speak from whence the sun don’t shine. The EU “could” work to overcome nation envy and conflict IF it was constructed on a model that didn’t exclude the citizens of each country so far from the decision making process. As with all committees, you also have to overcome the lowest common denominator factor, where you get the organisational ability of the Italians, the tolerance of the French, the industriousness of the Greeks and the patience of the Spanish, rather than the best aspects of each nation contributing to the whole.

                As I said the EU could work theoretically, just like pigs could theoretically fly if they had wings, but they don’t and the EU is a glaring example that possibility doesn’t necessarily or automatically lead to probability. Instead it ultimately leads to failure, as this whole EU experiment has done, just ask the under 25yo’s in Greece and Spain how well the EU experiment is going. Having been a failure, we now see a systemic failure to ADMIT that it is a failure, and the harm wrought by this failing to admit failure will be the ultimate cause of economic collapse, or more worrying than that will be a slow asphyxiation of countries who should be in the full flush of prosperity given the lack of warfare, their natural resources and tourist industries, and their established financial position in the world.

                Centrist and statist ideology and methodology has never worked in history, and it cannot, because it misplaces the power from the productive to the unproductive, from the person on the ground to the person in the ivory tower far away who doesn’t understand the nuances of the situation, and it places power into the hands of people who have often risen to the top not through ability but through back-stabbing, underhandedness, corruption and immorality.

                90

              • #
                Sceptical Sam

                …you get the organisational ability of the Italians, the tolerance of the French, the industriousness of the Greeks and the patience of the Spanish,…

                Thanks Winston. That’s made my day. :-)

                40

              • #
                Ted O'Brien.

                Dariuz and Winston.

                I have been a farmer in Australia all my life. Farming in Australia operates very efficiently by world standards, with very little government assistance. But farming in Australia has been going broke for 40 years now, and the problems are political. The two biggest problems are 1. Our prices are set by a world market corrupted by subsidies, and 2. Our own lobby, educated in our own universities, doesn’t understand this problem.

                The principal villain with the price corruption is Europe, with Japan and Korea in there too. I have never seen any sign that our academies and their graduates know and understand that Western Europe, Japan and Korea have all in my lifetime suffered under the conditions which Dariuz describes in Eastern Europe and worse, actual starvation. This is why they put such a high value on food production, this is why they subsidise it so heavily to bring the price down, and will continue to do so until the people who remember this have faded from influence.

                Meanwhile our academies preach Free Market Theory as the absolute solution to all problems, and our own lobby and political representation are too dopey to see the flaws in the policies developed from those theories. Thirty years ago the National Farmers’ Federation told us that if we took the moral high ground in economics by doing away with government assistance, of which we were getting very little anyway, the rest of the world would follow our example, whereupon we, being the most efficient producers, would be on top of the world.

                This looked like a brave step, but we followed their advice, accepting cuts to assistance when we should have been seeking increased assistance. It took no more than two years to show that the rest of the world had no interest in accompanying us onto the moral high ground. They increased their subsidies. Yet the NFF and the coalition parties have maintained that policy in the face of failure to the present day.

                They later named this policy Unilateral Trade Reform. It is suicidal lunacy, as the title suggests. It has halved the number of farmers in Australia. Halved the number of small business capitalists in Australian agriculture.

                Now whose policy is that? The NFF and coalition parties have been doing the work for the Marxist Greens! And Marxists generally! So who wrote the Free Market text books?

                Not all of our leaders have lacked personal ability. Some of them were very successful in their own businesses. But as representatives they deferred to the current conventional academic “wisdom” of their staff.

                30

              • #
                Winston

                Ted,

                Thanks for that. It is amazing how first hand experiences like yours, and Dariusz’s insightful remarks, cut straight to the heart of most of our geopolitical problems.

                When you say “our academies preach…..” I think you may have hit upon the main source of the problem. Academics with no appreciation of the real life hardships and business related issues farmers would actually face in an ill-conceived rush to unilateral trade liberalisation, then they will pat you on the head and, pretending they have expertise they clearly lack, leave you to suffer the consequences. And when confronted with the destruction they have wrought, these numbskulls merely shrug their shoulders and move on to the next victim.

                The problem is that those in their ivory towers, theorists rather than pragmatists, determining the ground rules that makes the game unplayable for honest toilers and genuine contributors to society like your good self, Ted. You deserved better.

                20

    • #
      GMac

      Tony, Bet you it doesn’t
      Speaking of betting,the pollsters got it really wrong but the bookmakers got it right.
      Apparently the bookies get very close every election,maybe the people who place bets on the outcome of elections actually vote,whereas people who are polled either don’t bother voting or they like to play with the pollsters minds.
      So next Fed election don’t worry about the polls look what the odds are.

      80

      • #
        Matty

        Could the polls be the voters last chance to play out their fantasies:- eg. “Let’s stick it to them nasty Tories”, before getting serious for the only poll that matters ?

        40

      • #
        toorightmate

        I find the polls in Russia to be very accurate.

        If people from Poland are Poles, why aren’t people from Holland called Holes?

        50

    • #
      Eddie

      You may be right there Tony.

      The British Polling Council announced today it would look into causes of ‘apparent bias’ after scores complained over the ‘terrible’ polls which had Labour and Conservatives deadlocked throughout the campaign, preparing the country for a hung parliament.”

      but if so, has that same mindset also infected those doyennes of the free market, the Bookies, who also lost heavily (if not their sense of humour) ?

      Paddy Power spokesman Rory Scott said: ‘We thought it was going to be tighter than Eric Pickles’ y-fronts after an all-you-can-eat buffet, but it turns out that we were all wrong and the punters were once again right.

      ‘Paddy hasn’t been this cleaned out since his last colonic irrigation.’

      Bookmaker Coral called the election results ‘one of the biggest betting upsets in history’.

      Simon Clare, Coral Spokesman, said: ‘This is one of the biggest betting upsets in history bar none.

      ‘Only once in a blue moon do favourites as short as 1/16, the odds on a Hung Parliament, get beaten and that’s what happened last night.

      ‘Bookies have been well and truly battered to the tune of over a million pounds by this huge upset as there were plenty of shrewd political punters who ignored the polls and backed a Conservative majority at odds of 7/1 in the days and weeks leading up to Election Day.’

      Meanwhile William Hill suffered a ‘six figure loss overall’ which is thought to be around £500,000, after taking almost £3million on the General Election.

      Graham Sharpe from William Hill said: ‘We took a string of bets, big and small, on an overall majority for the Tories at odds ranging from 10/11 back in 2010 ,to 10/1 on Election night and for much of the night it looked as though we would be winning those bets.

      40

      • #
        GMac

        Those bookies who lost big(if indeed they did lose,I’m not saying that bookies lie but ……) didn’t follow the money and lay off,bookies only lose when they gamble!

        40

    • #

      Hi Tony. What I found fascinating was that all the party activists, who’d supposedly been talking to voters for weeks, all reported back with the view that it was going to be very close. I do have to wonder if they ever got out of the pub chatting with their like-minded mates.

      Now they’re all clinging to the belief that people changed their mind in the voting booth. It’d be a lot of people doing that to give a single party a 100 seat lead !

      Pointman

      120

    • #
      Ted O'Brien.

      Elements in the media, Tony. Elements! Don’t allow that the msm includes only the brainwashed.

      Some good stuff does get published. But how safe are we?

      Last week Andrew Bolt took umbrage at Paul Kelly’s critical piece in The Oz that weekend. Now Paul Kelly’s article was a very curious piece, which left me wondering: Did he write it in a hurry? Would he write the same again? Who had he been talking to before he wrote it? Had he imbibed?

      Curious particularly because, after appearing to be against Bolt at the outset, he came pretty much full circle and virtually(??) agreed that Bolt was right.

      At face value Bolt overreacted. But was this because he knew who Paul Kelly had been talking to?

      I don’t think Paul Kelly would write the same again. It wasn’t up to his standard.

      30

    • #

      Tony,
      You are right about the polls. Not one of the polls this year (at least 100) were showing the Conservatives with a lead greater than 4 points over Labour, and the average was about a 1% lead. In the event the Conservatives had 36.9% to Labour’s 30.4%. The difference was 1.985 million votes. Source BBC
      However, in terms of the media, they are far from all left-leaning. The television is left-leaning, particularly the BBC and Channel 4. The press is not. By sales the majority support the Conservatives. The Daily Express went UKIP. The Guardian and Daily Mirror (2nd largest tabloid) are left. From a distance the vocal left always seem more dominant than they actually are. They are less tolerant of other points of view.
      Living in the UK I think there might be a couple of reasons why the opinion polls were so wrong. First is that a lot of people saw some common sense – or rather saw the risks of being ruled by a coalition of two left-wing parties who were in denial of economic realities. One of those parties – the SNP – has the breakup of the United Kingdom in mind, so was clearly only out to represent the 8% of the UK population in Scotland, at the expense of everyone else.
      The other reason is that to support the Conservative party is (in a much less extreme sense) similar to being a climate skeptic. It is to hold ideas that (the vocal left say) are immoral, biased by self-interest and clearly wrong. Socialist ideas are the enlightened ones. In the secret of the ballot box people will vote as they believe, and not as is socially acceptable. I would suggest that this also what happened last year in the referendum for Scottish Independence. Those who opposed the no vote were followed around and heckled. “No vote” posters were torn down. The actual result was a much firmer “No” vote than any poll had predicted.

      40

  • #
    Peter C

    Purveyors of roof top solar are trying a new tack since the feed in tariff has been reduced ( currently 6.2c per kWh in Victoria).

    It now seems that the biggest savings are made on domestic power consumption. Because the cost has risen so much to above 25c/kWh, the case for roof top solar still makes sense. With a pay back period apparently of about 2 years, according to an electronics magazine I browsed recently.

    The question raised in my mind was; how much is the effective subsidy on roof top solar at current rates? The feed in tariff of 6.2c/kWh is probably still far too high. The grid connection is likely too cheap. Owners of roof top solar are likely providing power to the grid when it is not wanted and taking it back during the evening when it all comes from the power station. They only pay for net usage.

    132

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Peter C:

      I always use $ per MWh. The conversion is simple, multiply by 10 and call it dollars.

      So 6.2¢ becomes $62 per MWh, or twice the wholesale selling price of coal fired. Assuming you aren’t a big user of electricity you would save $1100 to $1600 in charges per year but ONLY if the sun shines 24 hours a day, every day. For an average user (15 kWh per day, 300 sunny days, and 40 % night time usage) you could expect to reduce your consumption by $675 p.a.

      30

      • #
        Peter C

        The calculation I read Graeme was based on 25c/kWh, ie the retail rate. The domestic user saves 25c/kWh for every bit of power they export to the grid and then take back. They only pay for net usage. The savings were estimated to be a least 4 times greater than you have suggested.

        There is none the less a penalty imposed on the cost of grid electricity, which is shared by all users. Hence the people with roof top solar get an effective subsidy. I am not sure how much it is.

        30

        • #
          Graeme No.3

          Peter C:

          Since your generated power goes first to offset your own usage that is the big saving. You do get 6.2c for each kWh in excess of what you use, which I neglected in the above figures as no size of the installation was given.

          Please note that roughly 40% of your usage is at night, that your bill will include a connection charge (often quite substantial) and that Solar PV salesmen do not have a reputation for under-estimating output.

          40

    • #
      Dennis

      I just glanced at ABC The Drum and noted an article about the Tesla system for DOMESTIC use. The journalist throws dirt at our PM claiming that he is a champion of coal and hopes that Tesla cannot get their act together soon so that Australia can continue to export coal. No mention of the commercial and industrial grid supply demands.

      Mike Steketee (spell check) is one of the leftist fools I avoid reading in full.

      61

      • #
        • #
          Dennis

          Thank you Another Ian, Chiefio confirmed my suspicions.

          I have a solar panel and deep cycle battery on my caravan, and keep the battery charged with a battery maintenance charger when it is stored in my shed. The solar input, even now in sunny north Queensland, is at maximum for only several hours a day. I only run LED lights from the battery and a 12V TV sometimes and a refrigerator/freezer when travelling. I note that current model caravans have 12V systems with storage battery charged from an internal 240V/12V charger and no solar panel.

          10

      • #
        Ted O'Brien.

        The only thing I see new in the Tesla talk is a factory which might minimise production costs for existing technology. And it might not, too. Will the resources be available? Sales hype as far as I can see.

        I read somewhere else something about wonderful new technology with an aluminium based battery. But I only saw this once. Fact or fiction I know not.

        20

      • #
        jorgekafkazar

        Mike Steketee (spell check) is one of the leftist fools I avoid reading in full.

        I’ve never understood that part of the Bible where is says, “Brethren, we suffer fools gladly…” I avoid in toto reading leftist fools.

        21

  • #
    Dave

    .
    Tesla has released the Powerwall.
    A compact, wall-mounted, rechargeable, lithium-ion battery for solar households

    You need 2 of the 7Kw batteries, at an estimated cost of over $10,000 installed.
    Storage of power, 14 Kw, wow.

    I was thinking of the environmental destruction these will cause, along with the Tesla Cars with 85 KW batteries?

    So many batteries at about 287 grams of Lithium per 1 Kw, the estimated requirement just for Australia would be massive. Lithium mining is not the prettiest nor environmentally friendly mining system.

    This huge Soquimich Lithium Mine in Chile, is a mess

    Have they worked out the cost of this Lithium mining on the environment?

    122

    • #
      Peter C

      Perhaps we are getting closer to the sustainably Dave.

      14kWh of storage is quite a lot. With that amount of storage a lot of homes could make enough power during a day to equal their usage, at least during summer.

      However gas fired power stations would still required for winter and cloudy periods. Who would want to build them if they are only used intermittently and how much would the power cost?

      60

      • #
        Dennis

        Early to bed, early to rise, makes a person healthy, wealthy and wise.

        And who wants to wander around forests in the dark.

        40

      • #

        The usual solution is a diesel or gas powered generator. Even places where the residents proudly proclaim themselves “off the grid and totally renewable”, after a week of calm and clouds, they are dragging out the generator to cover for the lack of “renewable energy”. If we were to get houses OFF grid, not grid connected and still claiming to use wind and solar, you would see a sudden increase in the sales of generators. This is true for all I know who use solar and wind—every one of them has a gas powered generator for backup, no matter how much battery backup their system has. Few can more than 3 days on the batteries (and they have a large number of batteries and low usage of electronics).

        One way to extend the energy usage from the batteries is to NOT use an inverter, but that seems impossible to get people to understand. My cabin runs on 12V. I don’t have a frig, but if I did, it would be a small one that ran on 12V. There’s just too much loss through an inverter. And, yes, if you are using the inverter in your house (or on expensive electronics) it needs to be true sine wave and those are not inexpensive.

        30

    • #
      manalive

      Great, the more genuine competition (sans subsidies) in the reliable power supply market the better for consumers, irrespective of the source.

      30

    • #

      It astonishes me that people are looking at this as the for so long sought after saviour for power storage.

      This is a fallacy of the worst kind.

      So it’s claimed to have 14KW of storage, and actually ask people what that means, and they will have virtually no idea, other than ….. surely enough to run my house.

      Forget that the panels have an (absolute best case) life of 20 to 25 years. Forget that this battery may have a longer life than most current batteries, and it most definitely will not be the same as the hoped for life of the panels themselves, so you’ll need a replacement, or even two of them, at $10,000 a time. Forget that at house sale time, the big question mark will now become the age of the panels and the age of the battery. Forget the fact about the rumour that the price can only come down, and that’s wrong totally, because it most definitely will not come down to the point where it is actually cost effective.

      Forget all that. Do not listen to a word of what is said here, as it’s all propaganda in order to sell the things in the first place.

      This is aimed at those who perhaps may be able to actually afford it, so you’re looking at what will be a tiny percentage of the public, and I mean tiny.

      Again, forget even that.

      This is only for homes, because that is all they can scale them up for.

      The Residential sector consumes between 28% (in Australia) and 38% (in the U.S.) of all generated power.

      So, let’s actually pretend that these batteries sell beyond their wildest dreams and they get a 5% coverage of all residences. That still only comes to between 1.4 and 1.9% of all generated power.

      All added together, that might come to a whole big amount, but keep in mind here that is spread across not just one grid, but a whole Country, so NOT ONE of those large scale coal fired power plants (and that’s the target here) will be affected at all. It won’t even cause a blip in their output.

      Now, while that Residential sector consumes the percentage it does, the remainder is consumed in the other two sectors, Commerce and Industry.

      Now, while the average Residential consumer uses around 20KWH per day, the average Commerce consumer uses 10 times that much, and that’s just the average. The average Industry consumer uses residential multiplied by 100, again, that’s just the average.

      So, these batteries are aimed only at that Residential sector, because they would be absolutely useless in any other application.

      I have issues with the battery capacity, as the recommended standard is for a five day capacity as the recommended fitting, and 14KW is most definitely not that.

      At $10,000 per installation, there right there is four years of retail electricity from the grid as an average, and keep in mind that is ON TOP of the cost of the panels, and you’ll need more than one battery in the life of the panels.

      I know I routinely shoot at rooftop solar, and that is not because I am diametrically opposed to them by dint of being anti renewable. It’s because they are not a viable thing, on more than just the cost level.

      This is hype and hype of the most obnoxious form.

      Of course the chemical origin and the mess that the mining for the products in these things are bad, as are the prospects for their disposal, but, seriously, that is the least part of my opposition to them.

      They just don’t do what is claimed, and please, the price will not come down to the point that they will become available to everyone. That will NEVER happen.

      It will be made out as fulfillment of a big green dream, but in actual fact it’s an absolute nightmare, and a costly one at that. The people selling these things are not altruistic. They’re laughing out loud, all the way to the bank in fact.

      Tony.

      273

      • #
        Peter C

        Thanks Tony,

        I was hoping for some contributions on this topic.

        The life of solar cells has been estimated at 20 years, but we are not there yet. I have not heard of solar cell failures. We are out to about 7+ years. Solar cells seem to be doing better than wind turbines, where there have been failures.

        In terms of battery life the A123cells which Tesla were using had a quoted life of 1000-2000 cycles. I bought 20 cells which I have hardly used, maybe 20 cycles but they are still working after 4 years.

        Anyway 2000 cycles would be about 5 years of daily discharge cycles. I doubt if they will do any better than that. Probably ok for an electric car but expensive for domestic power.

        30

        • #
        • #

          Peter C,

          Note that upper end of cycles, and it’s 2000.

          When the Sun comes up, the generated power goes to the Inverter which converts it to the AC power requirement for the home. Some power feeds all the requirements for the home and some is diverted to charge the battery.

          When the Sun goes down, the charge in the battery then drives the Inverter, which then supplies ALL the home’s requirements, thus effectively discharging the battery.

          One Cycle.

          One Day.

          Upper mark of a hoped for 2,000 cycles, is 2,000 days or 5.5 years.

          And when was the last time you heard a salesman quote anything but the absolute best case scenario.

          Tony.

          142

        • #
          Dennis

          I cannot see electric cars or even hybrids being practical, value for money. Not when turbo technology and other fuel saving technologies, electric steering for example to replace hydraulic pump and belt drive, is producing petrol consumption equal to a hybrid of the same passenger capacity. Not when a intercooler turbo common rail diesel engine powers a 7-seat SUV and uses an average of 6-7 litres per 100 kilometres of country travel, 9-10 litres average towing 1,200 kilograms of trailer.

          21

      • #
        Willard

        Gee Tony, you could have given your opinion on the Tesla powerwall/powerpack last week when it was announced, Tesla have taken $800 million of bookings for this “useless” thing in the first 5 days of business, you could have saved the good citizens of North America from wasting their money.

        414

        • #

          Ah! Willard!

          Cue Curly.

          Just like I said.

          Laughing all the way to the bank.

          And surely you don’t think people want to hear the facts, when the Green Seeming provides them with the overpowering euphoria of watching their money go to a good home.

          Did you understand one word of what I said?

          Tony.

          153

          • #
            Willard

            Tony, your a regular poster with a vast knowledge of electrical information, you always appear as one that does his research, your post #6.3 was dissapointing, did you just go off what Hannah Francis had to say? There’s a lot more to it than she’s capable of writing, regardless of the powerwall or larger powerpack being viable it’s made people take notice, this is from a company that does not advertize, and remember Tesla is an open technolodgy company.

            212

          • #

            Willard,

            $800 Million at an average $10,000 per unit means 80,000 units.

            That equates to 0.035% of all U.S. power consumption.

            That’s roughly equal to zero.

            Oh, except for the $800 Million Tesla made.

            And umm, who is Hannah Francis?

            I’ve no need to copy what she said. I can do my own Maths thank you very much.

            Tony.

            153

            • #
              Willard

              The initial $800 million was split in to approx $178 million for the home powerwall and $625 million for the larger commercial powerpack. 38 000 initial orders for the US$3500 10Kwh home powerwall is tiny comparing it to the US population, but remember this is in the first five days from a company that does not advertize, if the giants of the electronics world take up Tesla’s technolodgy those numbers will increase rapidly.
              Is it about replacing large scale power stations? No, thats a headline the writers use to grab the readers, in the US the powerwall is seen as a device to store cheap offpeak power for later use, in Australia for storing solar power for evening use.

              38

              • #
                toorightmate

                As a very successful investor for several decades, I would not recommend Tesla (despite this little May 2015 windfall).

                40

              • #
                Willard

                #
                toorightmate
                May 10, 2015 at 10:22 pm
                As a very successful investor for several decades, I would not recommend Tesla (despite this little May 2015 windfall).

                Spot on toorightmate, probably a bad policy to invest in a company like Tesla that dont spend money on advertizing, open source their tech, re-invest huge amounts in to research and developement, are disruptive in many ways and are not scared to take a risk.

                35

              • #
                toorightmate

                Willard,
                What they are very successful in doing is accepting government handouts to fund these wonderful activities you quote.

                72

              • #
                Willard

                toorightmate
                May 10, 2015 at 11:07 pm
                Willard,
                What they are very successful in doing is accepting government handouts to fund these wonderful activities you quote.

                Spot on again toorightmate,
                no one should be investing in companies that accept loans, grants or tax credits from governments.

                46

        • #
          manalive

          LOL, ‘it’ll never catch on’ as they say.

          20

        • #

          Don’t worry, it will be the Green Blob that are wasting their money. Pity about the environment though.

          61

          • #

            Even more excitement for fire fighters. If the roof is smouldering under the PV panels; they will only stop the fire spreading to neighbouring properties due to the DC voltage hazard while panels are exposed to sunlight.

            Once the Li-Ion starts to burn from the external heat, it’s (essentially) self-oxidising … lithium also combines with Nitrogen when hot. Can’t “douse” it by the usual measures. Especially not with water. Control requires soaking up the heat from what’s burning. (MSDS PDF)

            Then there are the toxic fumes: Evacuate immediate neighbourhood.

            30

        • #
          Dennis

          I understand that the US Federal Government is subsidising Tesla cars and that without the taxpayer funded subsidies Tesla would have to increase their retail prices substantially. Therefore, comparing a Tesla sedan with a conventional petrol engine car of the same passenger capacity the Tesla car is fantasy on wheels. The perfect car for extreme Greens to drive with lots of room for the bottom of the garden fairies they seem to consult with.

          20

          • #
            Willard

            Dennis- you really shouldn’t be comparing an electric car to an ICE car, people are going to buy the car that suits their requirements, but as you’ve gone down that path Australian buyers have no chance at a $7500 tax credit that many US purchasers are entitled to, they pay all the same duties and taxes that other new car buyers are required to pay.
            So seeing as your keen to compare a Tesla to a petrol sedan, how about the recent Australian comparison between the highly respected Mercedes CLS500 and the Tesla P85, Tesla beat it 4 to 1, including better value for money and ownership.
            Dennis, stop with the “Green” rubbish, a lot of people dont care if a Tesla may or may not be enviromentally friendly, they may be buying it because it’s a great package across the board.

            10

            • #
              Dennis

              There does not appear to be many of them on Australian roads, and there would be even less if the real, without US Government subsidies, price was being charged.

              11

              • #
                Willard

                First Australian Model S delivered in late December, 119 deliveries in NSW first quarter, not too bad for a mid-luxury sedan that very few locals have heard of.

                11

              • #
                Dennis

                Willard I had a look at the Tesla Australia website, the cheapest model has a 400 kilometre range and costs around $120K drive away. There is so far just one quick recharge station, it is located in Sydney. Not much help to country based travellers like me.

                I agree that the Tesla is in technical terms and specifications an impressive car but it is not a practical car for most Australians.

                And if the real unsubsidised price was charged the 119 sold would be far fewer. In other words the cars are not commercially viable without taxpayer support.

                11

              • #
                Willard

                Correct $120k, $40k less than the Merc equivalent, so of course when those US grants dry up it will go up in price…. to 20k less than the Merc equivalent. Yes of course, only one supercharger in NSW, until the Goulburn supercharger is opened then as each country town catches on to the benefits more will open, but while the Model S owner is waiting for the free supercharger they”ll have to charge at home at $5.50 per 100kms.

                10

              • #

                First Australian Model S delivered in late December, 119 deliveries in NSW first quarter, not too bad for a mid-luxury sedan that very few locals have heard of.

                Willard,

                what wonderful news.

                They should sell like hot cakes.

                Battery charging, from Tesla, who recommend that you charge the battery pack overnight:

                With a single charger connected to a 240-volt outlet, which Tesla recommends, the charging pace speeds up to 31 miles of range for each hour of charging, so a full 300-mile charge takes less than 9.5 hours.

                Only NINE and a half hours.

                Wonderful news, so to fully charge from flat the battery pack, that’s 85KWH in all, and umm, that’s FOUR times the daily average power consumption for a normal Australian residence.

                Let’s not hope the car has to drive the full 480KM every day, eh.

                And Tesla recommends you charge it overnight, so that counts out solar power panels to recharge it eh.

                Hmm! Now I wonder, who does supply stable and regular power overnight?

                FOUR times average daily household power consumption, from almost completely discharged, all thanks to coal fired power no less.

                Yeah yeah, I know. You’re not buying petrol for it.

                Tony.

                22

              • #
                Dave

                The Tesla Recharging?

                Most residential properties on the grid will
                need about $10,000 worth of electrical work to
                allow the Tesla Car to recharge.

                That’s if the local substation is adequate?
                Then it will require $50,000 upgrade there.

                WOW

                How many recharge stations have TESLA built?

                ZERO

                Buy a CAT Generator for $38,000 and you’re laughing

                BTW – CAT generators run on fossils fuels

                This is going to be enjoyable to watch the downfall of the TESLA

                02

              • #
                Willard

                Dave- you are both so out of your depth on this it’s comical, do some research on Tesla before you comment.
                As for Tonyfromoz, you should know better, the average Australian car travels around 15000 kms per year, including charging losses thats about 3000kwh in a 420bhp Tesla, less than an a family sized electric storage hot water system uses in a year. Who cares if the electricity comes from coal, its Australian sourced employing Aussies.

                11

              • #
                Willard

                Oh look, silence from Tony, must be off to do some arithmetic so he can tell all his loyal followers how all those “millions” of high powered Tesla electric cars are going to put to much pressure on the Australian grid.

                10

              • #
                Joe

                Willard, most State Govs have already looked into the electric car charging regime as they are probably inevitable. I think it makes good sense to run at least one sector of transport on locally produced coal fuel rather than imported oil. We don’t even refine very much petrol here any more so that finished product is almost entirely imported. I think the coal fired power industry will be happy to have an increased night time load to bring it closer to the day time levels. I would envisage most of the recharging to happen at night and take advantage of the lower tariffs. I would be more than happy to see them let in some of the ‘low end’ Tatas from India too. They are the poor man’s Tesla. I am not too sure why there is so much negative sentiment here, you are basically talking about another electric appliance, another customer for the power station and everyone is going off on some greenie tangent. Would not the generators too like to grow their business with additional load?

                10

              • #
                Willard

                Well said Joe, that’s how an EV should be seen, another customer for the power grid, unfortunately some posters on this site continue to link EVs to those with a Green tinge.
                You can’t beat the excitement of a V8 or the towing capacity of a quality diesel but this country is pouring billions of dollars every year in to overseas bank accounts, rather my money went in to the local economy, be it coal, gas or other method of generating electricity.

                00

      • #
        handjive

        The Silliness Of Tesla’s 10kWh Back-Up Battery
        Via Citizen’s Task Force on Wind Power – Maine.org

        It will cost $7140 installed, will be dead in fewer than five hours, and can’t run an entire house or central air conditioning or charge an electric car.
        Meanwhile, for the same price, a natural gas back-up generator can run all your appliances for as long as the power is out.

        > Comment by Barbara Durkin
        Tesla’s batteries are lithium-ion. Is there a fire risk associated?
        Are Tesla’s batteries installed “already on fire”, too?

        In the First Wind wind farm fire, the lead in the storage batteries did not become molten until it caught on fire and burned to the ground over the course of several days–but with this groovy new technology, the metal is already pre-heated.

        You see, boys and girls, First Wind’s new batteries are intended to be installed already on fire.
        They are made of molten magnesium and molten antimony.

        102

      • #
        Joe

        I think a lot of people that might be considering going ‘off-grid’ might be doing it simply with cost saving in mind with absolutely no interest in ‘carbon savings’ or what percentage of the total consumption they might represent. Many people in rural areas (and many don’t buy into the CAGW scam) have been doing this since Noah wore shorts simply because there is no reticulation in their area making supply costs prohibitive. Many more in rural areas that do have access to grid electricity might consider it too if their grid electricity was not hugely subsidised by the city users as mandated by the gov. It is definitely not an unreasonable thing to do. Solar panel technology is quite mature and 25+ year lifetimes have already been demonstrated with Solarex’s Australian made poly-crystaline panels of yesteryear. Panels too, have been powering our satellites reliably for longer than this. (different environment factors, I agree, but nonetheless a good achievement). So do the back-of-envelope maths on that at less than $1 per (name plate) Watt per 25 years so the crudely amortized panel costs are around $40 per (name-plate)kW per year and with a capacity factor of around 20% that is around $200 per (yearly average 365/24/7 output) kW capacity. So the effective energy costs from these amount to $200 / 365 /24 = 2.3 cents /kWh, which is reasonably low in comparison to battery costs. While those Li-Ion batteries are quite costly, the well used lead acid cells are widely used in most rural off-grid installations. Somewhat different, chemistry to the Li-Ion cells, their useful life is determined largely by how deeply they are discharged. While I am sceptical about the 10 year guarantee Tesla are claiming, it is not unreasonable to get 15 years out of the older lead acid cells if they are not cycled deeply. You can get 30 kWh worth of deep cycle wet cell for about $5000 and if you only cycle that down by a very modest 25% and effectively use just 7.5kWh each daily cycle, then 15 years is definitely possible. At that rate your battery costs are around $333 per year which is $0.91 per day or 12 cents per kWh. If you were to cycle those same batteries deeper, say down by 45% and get 13.5 kWh out per daily cycle, then the cost might be as low as 6.8 cents per kWh but more likely somewhere in between as the 15 year life might not be achieved. Some claim that the 45% is around the best point (bang for buck) but even the small 25% is reasonable at 12 cents per kWh. While we like to bang on about aircon and all the other trappings of modern day life, the reality is that there are plenty of people who would forego those ‘luxuries’ to keep cost down. Things like hot water can be got with age old solar heaters and while refrigeration is always cited as another need for 24/7 power, it is in fact quite easy to ‘over-refrigerate’ during the day directly from the solar and ‘coast’ through the night with very little requirement for night time power from the battery. It was done this way for many years with simple ice boxes. I would consider 7.5 kWh to be a very generous ‘after dark’ allowance in a battery system and in reality the discharge would be even less on consecutive bright days with the full capacity more seldom used for consecutive darker days with little effect on the battery life. Most rural people know all of these ‘tricks’ and can substantially reduce their battery and panel requirements making off grid installations both perfectly possible and desirable. Any ‘peak’ requirements are simply handled by a generator rather than designing the solar system and battery to cope with the very peak requirements. With some similar thinking, folks in the city could do exactly the same and maybe even save a little money in making the switch.

        72

        • #
          FarmerDoug2

          Am there, doing that. Though my reasons for being of grid were origonaly physical.
          Hav gas for big loads (cooking, refridgeration).
          The inflated price is what might makes it (batteries) viable for those with grid acess. Basicly though I’m comparing grid with gas and diesel with some srored for long light loads.
          Doug

          40

        • #
          Rick Will

          Joe – I have been running a 5kW lithium battery with 3kW of panels in Melbourne for 10 months now.

          I am using 16 Winston LiFePO4 100Ah cells in a 50V battery. There were two times last year when I ran down to below 50V. Both times the cells took 120Ah to recharge. Most of the times the battery operates between 53 and 55V. It would be rare that that the DoD exceeds 50%. For the year to March the average daily load supplied was 3.6kWh. I have three 1kW groups of panels to charge the battery with each group being orientated a little differently. One set is angled at 56 degrees to maximise winter input.

          So far there is no discernible deterioration in the battery capacity. I expect a very long life. With an off grid system the battery is usually sized to cater for 3 or 4 days when solar input is low or there needs to be some form of other input such as a small generator. The extra battery capacity is not really wasted because reducing the depth of discharge and rate of discharge relative to the battery capacity extends cycle life. This link gives an idea of what can be expected:
          http://gwl-power.tumblr.com/post/97128890296/faq-what-is-the-real-cycle-life-for-lithium

          I have seen other independent data from testing LiFePO4 cells in the range down to 40% state of charge to 95% that gave over 10,000 cycles. The problem will all the life cycle test data is that is does not actually cover the life in time and there are time related factors as well.

          The other factor with FLP versus lead/acid is the cycle energy efficiency. Lead/acid achieves 80% or a little higher when new and it drops rapidly with time while LFP is 95% and it remains at the level. That means an installation requires fewer solar panels to do the same job.

          The current rate for term deposits is 3% so investment in solar/battery systems has a good return by comparison.

          30

          • #
            Peter C

            Thanks Rick,

            You are walking the walk, not talking ( well you are talking but from experience). I hope that you will keep us informed about how your system performs over time.

            A lot of tax payers money was spent on creating a test solar park at the Ballarat airfield in 2009. The Park was 3000 kW capacity and ran from 2009 to 2013. It is now growing weeds. A shocking waste. The department of sustainability and energy was not really interested in field testing the facility. It was all public relations. No data currently published.

            10

          • #
            Joe

            Rick, that sounds like a nice set-up you have. Good on you for venturing down the lithium path too, the technology needs early adopters to prove itself and to become more widely accepted (as you may have sensed from the comments in this thread). The panels now are very cheap and only represent a small part of the cost over the lifetime and if you have the physical space for more it is probably cheaper to spend on panels rather than worry too much about other inefficiencies in the system. In days gone by people used to track their panels on tilting mechanisms but now most are usually fixed permanently as the panels are cheaper than the tracking mechanisms. The newer technology gathers light at wider angles than the early panels which helps a lot too. Have you juggled your usage to make the hay when the sun shines and cut down as much of the night time load on the batteries? The fridges are not too hard to sort out and can make a difference.

            10

          • #
            Dennis

            The current very low term deposit rate is not a real world comparison, it is a short term interest rate and well below stock market returns on investment. If you offered shares returning 3% of investors there would be nobody willing to buy.

            01

    • #
      gnome

      Like everything else Tesla, it’s packaging and hype. (This comment didn’t appear on their ABC’s “the Drum” but I can’t complain, because they usually put their global warming articles on on a Friday afternoon so they can cut off comments. That way, when they put up the statistics on numbers of comments by subject, global warming doesn’t get a mention. It’s their ABC, after all.)

      91

    • #
      TedM

      That’s 14kw. Assuming 12V it’s still only 1.17Kah.

      00

  • #
    TdeF

    Obama was bad enough in his offensive comments as our guest. It is sheer effrontery for Figueres, only the UN weather lady to come here and pass comment on our government policy and our Prime Minster.

    When did the undisputed fact that there is no warming become irrelevant? No one has a credible explanation for any of the many failed predictions, not least the total lack of warming in twenty years, but global warming is still happening? Flying pigs.

    How can the head of the UN department for Climate Change, set up by the world meteorological society in 1988 be someone with no credentials in meteorology or even economics? What is Figueres doing in Australia admonishing our elected representatives for not obeying her orders? Who said UN weathermen could dictate our government policy and create a new world order, as she has stated?

    Sell the ABC. Close the UN.

    The UN is clearly run by tiny countries like Costa Rica, itself with the population of Sydney and 4% of Australia’s GDP and gives carptetbaggers like Figueres a well paid activist political position to take over other countries by giving dodgy advice. How much are we in Australia paying for this from a weather department which cannot get the weather right, even in hindsight? Why does she even get media attention?

    At least it shows the UN is scared they will still have to deal with Tony Abbott in Paris. Perhaps Helen Clarke will arrive next and lecture us on how well she ran New Zealand? Seriously, will Kevin Rudd be the next head of the UN? That shows you how useless and irrelevant the organization is. If we are paying the UN a cent, we are paying too much.

    362

    • #
      Peter C

      If we are paying the UN a cent, we are paying too much

      I agree TdeF,
      Even the World Health Organisation, which part of the UN is pretty irrelevant these days.

      100

    • #
      James Murphy

      Don’t knock Costa Rica, it’s a beautiful place for a holiday!

      60

      • #
        TdeF

        Not knocking it. It has 1,000km of beaches with lovely Nicaragua and Panama as neighbours. Australia has only 37,000km.

        Just wondering out loud what possesses the daughter of the founder of modern Costa Rica to come to Australia and lecture us on her vision for her new world order based on her expert knowledge of man made global warming which is neither man made nor warming. What possesses an anthropologist to talk science? Hold on, we have our own home grown science expert, a paleontologist expert in extinct giant wombats who is also doing very well out of the not warming industry.

        150

        • #
          James Murphy

          so greedy Australia has 37 times more beaches than Costa Rica? I’m outraged! The government should do something! This is grossly unfair, and is exploiting ‘the poor’. I demand a coastal redistribution tax, now!

          In fact, I might just start a coastline credit trading scheme (not to be confused with an offshore banking scheme) so countries which have been cruelly denied a coastline, but wish to further develop as coastal nations, can now do so. The enormous profits would not be for my benefit, of course, think of the children…

          120

          • #
            TdeF

            And the children’s children. You have to mention them.

            Yes, we need sustainable beaches. Man made rapid global warming is raising water levels and soon Sydney will be under 100metres of water, but no one thinks of the beaches. Forget the people. Think of the beaches. As water rises, total beach distance shrinks rapidly. As agreed by 97% of beach scientists a one mm increase in water level could mean 100km of lost beach. Poor countries are the ones which suffer most and deserve compensation. In cash, not sand.

            11

      • #
        Anthony

        In San Jose at the moment, it is a cute little country, as Americanised as it is.

        00

  • #
    bemused

    What gets me is that the Left is rioting because of the conservative win in the UK. Can you imagine what life would be like if these people were actually in charge?

    141

    • #
      Dennis

      Be reasonable, see it their way [wink].

      60

      • #
        Graeme No.3

        Or else

        70

      • #
        Leonard Lane

        Dennis. I don’t think anyone but a radical leftist can “play it their way”. A rational person might try it, but soon he would find himself under vicious attack for breaking a politically correct rule he never knew of.
        Do not underestimate the inability of a rational mind to understand the radical leftist mind. That road leads to madness.

        111

    • #
      Yonniestone

      Previous thread I gave a link to the left wing tantrums in Downing street, what an asset to their country!

      If the little lefties think they’re being revolutionary then they’ve forgotten about the BUF movement in the 1930′s, going by the flag it would appear lightning does strike twice in the same place only 80 years apart.

      60

      • #
        Peter C

        BUF is British Union of Fascists, founded by Oswald Mosely.

        Wikipaedia describes their political position as far right, which I find confusing.

        They later changed their name to British Union of Fascists and National Socialists, which sounds rather left to me. If they were right they would have called themselves the National Conservatives.

        50

        • #
          TdeF

          The Nazis were also Socialists, if you really want to be confused. Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei . National Socialist German Workers Party. From the great book, the Etymologicon, they never called themselves Nazis. Rather they were called Nazis as a real insult. Considered dumb, Bavarian farmers were called nazis because they were often Catholics called Ignatius. The joke was on Hitler. At first.

          The extreme Right or the Left always shoot the rich and take their stuff. It is always apparently just coincidence that the people they hate most just happen to have stuff they want. There is always convenient ideology to support this. The communists were busy shooting the rich too.

          110

    • #
      James Murphy

      I noticed that before the Abbott government had even been sworn in by Bill Shortens mother-in-law, there was an online petition demanding another election as this was the “worst government in Australian history” or some such drivel.

      In relation to the UK, I wonder how many of those people protesting/rioting, actually voted at all, and how many are scared that their ‘rivers of gold’ government handouts for unworthy causes might decrease a bit…?

      101

    • #
      bemused

      I look at the riots and wonder how can ‘rational’ people ever support whatever values, views or political parties these rioters support.

      It was, afterall, a democratic election and not one run in a country predisposed to election scams. These rioters are basically saying that they wish to assault anyone who didn’t vote for what they wanted.

      In their world, physical force is what is required to control the populace. What a quaint idea.

      70

      • #
        Yonniestone

        “physical force is what is required to control the populace.” Well when you get down to the reality of crime control this is exactly what it is.

        1993 Washington Times essay by Richard Grenier: “As George Orwell pointed out, people sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”

        The left have a problem understanding who the “rough men” are and to whom the violence is to be visited upon, the idea of people freely developing their own justice system that is approved by a majority is completely lost on them.

        70

    • #
      Annie

      The behaviour of those thugs disgusts me.

      Maybe there’ll be some ‘austerity’, they don’t know the real thing we experienced after WW2, where is the harm in undergoing a little of it? They don’t know how well off they really are; spoilt brats.

      60

    • #
      GMac

      Do you really believe that Cameron is a conservative?
      Conservatism is a political and social philosophy that promotes the maintenance of traditional values, accepting that technology and society can shift, but the principles should not.
      Then there is -
      Paleoconservatism (sometimes shortened to paleocon) is a conservative political philosophy stressing tradition, limited government and civil society, along with religious, regional, national and Western identity.
      Paleoconservatives in the 21st century often highlight their points of disagreement with neoconservatives, especially regarding issues such as military interventionism, illegal immigration and high rates of legal immigration, as well as multiculturalism, affirmative action, free trade, and foreign aid, all of which they oppose.[1] They also criticize social welfare and social democracy, which some refer to as the “therapeutic managerial state”,[3] the “welfare-warfare state”[4] or “polite totalitarianism”.

      30

  • #
    Graeme No.3

    What I found interesting is the barrier raised by the first past the post system to new entrants, but rewards to the established parties.

    The Conservatives increased their share of the vote by 0.8% and gained 24 seats.
    Labour increased their share (despite the wipe-out in Scotland) by 1.5% and lost 26. (That means they picked up 4.6% of the total vote outside of Scotland).

    The Liberal Democrats and the Scottish National between them got 12.6% of the vote and 64 seats.
    The Scottish National got 4.7% of the vote and 50 seats.
    In Ulster 3 parties got 1.6% of the vote between them and got 14 seats.
    UKIP got 12.6% of the vote and 1 seat.

    Shows the value of either being a big dinosaur or a specialised regional one.

    Still, the new government has to get through the next 2-3 winters without blackouts or they will be in real trouble. As UKIP is the only party with a sane energy policy they could well be the best long shot bet for the next election.

    140

    • #
      Peter C

      It would be interesting to see how many candidates got a clear majority, ie 50% or more.

      I would guess not many. In a first past the post system, the winner may get less than 30% of the vote. Maybe quite a lot less than 30% in some instances.

      30

    • #
      Robert O

      I tend to support first past the post voting simply because the person with the most votes gets in. In our house of Reps. about half of Labor candidates, and some Liberals, get in on preferences. eg. former PM Rudd whilst Dr. Glasson topped the poll. I contend it is really a double vote, your guy doesn’t make it so you have another chance with your number 2 vote. But go to the Senate and it’s a dog’s breakfast, and one wonders how can anyone be elected with a couple percent of the primary vote. Senators Lambie and SHY are prime examples who managed to scrape up a quota; need I say more. My solution for the Senate have a couple of random lists of candidates and voters tick their SIX choices; a result in a few hours and the six with the most ticks are elected. Too simple and democratic for us!

      41

      • #
        TdeF

        I went to the trouble of looking at the election results. The total number of Labor who would be elected on first preferences? 8. The coalition, mid 50s. That is why Labor sell their souls to anyone who can get them over the line.

        In Australia, the Labor Party is still owned and run by and for the Unions legally. Check their constitution.

        Imagine if BHP Billiton legally owned the Liberal party and directly appointed candidates over the wishes of members of the Liberal party. It would be illegal, but that is exactly what Unions do. Their core problem is that only 12% of workers are Unionists now and they rely on the 41% of public servants, and pseudo public servants as in the ABC, Australia Post, Telstra, Railways, Electricity distribution etc. plus the intimidated Unionists in the health system. Unions have lost the manufacturers, car makers, shipbuilders and waterside workers simply because the strikes have driven everyone out of the country. In the US, everyone is encouraged to take their own bags onboard aircraft just to reduce the power of the baggage handlers unions.

        80

        • #
          Joe

          Did you just look at the ‘coalition’ figures or Nats and Libs separately? Not really a lot of difference between green/labor relationship and that of the more ‘formal’ coalition one. In states like Qld where the Libs were quite the minority and now that they have tied the knot with the Nats you had Libs calling all the shots and shafting the once dominant Nats. Did the Nat voters vote for Lib policy? Not likely. Same old BS. Should the Nats and Libs too be tying the knot nationally to be fair on the voters?

          30

          • #
            TdeF

            The Greens only won one seat with preferences. Both Nationals and Liberals won seats outright and in coalition. Their alignment on most policies is substantial and long standing.

            It is hard to know what Labor stands for anymore, for example elected on a unequivocal no Carbon tax promise, it was the first thing changed in government. Their immigration policy is a shambles, dictated again by the Greens. In fact you would have to say the Gillard Government was a Brown Green government where the minority party dictated all policies. Whatever it took for power.

            The $300Million live cattle trade was shutdown instantly with a phone call after a single TV program. The pink batts program was an unbelievable combination of economic waste and Green madness. As for mass uncontrolled muslim migration as a substitute for our refugee program, we will suffer the effects for a generation or more.

            Labor is no longer Labor. It is a party controlled for and by any group which can get them into power, like the land rights for gay whales group.

            30

  • #
    James Murphy

    I noticed this relatively old article making its way around social media recently. Apparently solar energy is cheaper than coal-fired energy, or, more to the point, ‘Australian coal’ in India, if one disengages all rational mental faculties…

    90

  • #
    incoherent rambler

    The ‘wind lobby’ argues that we should subsidize wind turbines because wind is vastly cheaper than solar.

    50

    • #

      Nuclear would be cheaper than wind if the British didn’t allocate one bureaucrat per neutron.

      50

      • #
        Eddie

        A great quote I heard about the Trident Nuclear system . With Government procurement you tend to end up paying for the sort of system you’d buy from Harrods yet be lucky if a third of it is working.

        20

  • #
    scaper...

    My birthday today…55!

    I must now qualify for the grumpy old white male thingy. Where is the badge?

    100

    • #
      Annie

      You are a youth yet! Happy Birthday from Grumpy Old White Woman Annie….a lot older than you are!

      40

    • #
      David

      55? You are only a lad scaper. You need three score and ten to get that badge. :-)

      40

    • #
      David

      Happy birthday anyway scaper. May you make three score and ten.

      60

    • #
      Yonniestone

      So scaper turns the Ol’ 55 eh, are you going out on the prowl tonight?

      Ever notice that mothers Day is almost 9 months after Fathers day?, anyway all the best scaper.

      Oh and happy mothers day to all those women that engaged in the 50% of procreation but got stung with 99% of the effort and pain, thanks and sorry. :)

      90

    • #
      James Murphy

      Happy Birthday.
      As you’re now a grumpy old white male, you’d just complain that badges were of better quality, not made overseas, and so much cheaper, back when you were young…

      50

    • #
      Joe

      scaper, hope you enjoy your 2nd taxpayer subsidised birthday present you will receive in the post shortly. Many happy returns!

      10

    • #
      toorightmate

      Happy Birthday to you.
      Happy Birthday to you.
      Happy Birthday ?Dear scaper.
      Ha[[y Birthday to you.

      10

  • #
    Andrew

    So, the UK had an election. The major issue to be decided was whether to listen to ultra high net worth Murdoch, or ultra high net worth Soros and Brand.

    Do you shoot that nobody has mentioned amongst all the other stupidity that went on in the campaign, is that Labour was given s go about five years ago. And during their last term, they led the country into a 1930′s style Depression.

    Apparently that’s not considered relevant, any more than it should ever be mentioned that we had a conservative govt when the subprime crisis hit and our GDP didn’t even dip due to their non-socialist policies.

    30

  • #
    pat

    ***NOTE THE PLACEMENT OF THE COMMA: “not allowed to have fascists, Isis or Bjorn Lomborg speaking at the University”

    Lenore Taylor is disgracefully tagging Barnaby Joyce as a “fascist”. Joyce should complain:

    10 May: Guardian: Lenore Taylor: Barnaby Joyce suggests hostility to Bjorn Lomborg’s centre money-based
    Agriculture minister suggests University of Western Australia’s decision to cancel ‘Australia consensus centre’ was because academics’ consultancy fees would be jeopardised
    The education minister, Christopher Pyne, vowed to find another university to host the centre and said he was taking legal advice about the contract…
    Interviewed by Andrew Bolt on Channel Ten on Sunday, Joyce…said the decision was a “disgrace” and suggested academics had been influenced by a lucrative web of climate change consultancies.
    ***“Apparently, you’re not allowed to have fascists, Isis or Bjorn Lomborg speaking at the University of Western Australia. Obviously, they don’t believe in debate,” he said…
    “Don’t stand between a bureaucrat and hundreds of millions of dollars worth of consultancy fees, and that’s the biggest threat that Bjorn Lomborg is to them, that he might actually question this unparalleled commitment to reporting about reporting about reporting for reporters’ sake,” he said.
    Joyce also rejected the idea that climate change had an impact on the incidence of drought conditions in Australia, as the government announced a $333mn “top up” package of drought assistance for farmers and rural communities.
    “Barnaby, the weather – let’s talk about it, then. Parts of western Queensland are now in drought. Do you blame global warming?” Bolt asked.
    “No. This just – this is part and parcel of it … since Dorothea Mackellar talked about, you know, droughts and flooding rains … It will rain. It will rain again and those people will be back in production. We’ve got record prices in beef and sheep for them to enjoy. We’ve got to look after them until they get to that point because then they’ll deliver bucket-loads of money back into our economy,” he said.
    “There’s a logic behind this. It’s not a permanent removal of rain … You’ll have wet periods. You’ll have dry periods. Our job is to look after people, to make sure that they get back into production and we’re doing that.”
    According to the Climate Council, which the Abbott government defunded, climate change is likely to be making drought conditions in south-west and south-east Australia worse.
    And the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) has said that, while Australia has high natural rainfall variability, “it seems likely that drying across southern Australia cannot be explained by natural variability alone”.
    But asked by Bolt about his confidence in the BoM and CSIRO and other “warmist institutions”, Joyce said they were part of a system of climate “guilt piracy” to justify new taxes.
    “Well, it’s not too warm here, I can assure you,” he said. “But, look, I just – I’m always sceptical of the idea that the way that anybody is going to change the climate … with bureaucrats and taxes. All that does is – it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. I make you feel guilty so I can get your money and put it in my pocket and send reports backwards and forwards to one another. I want to make sure that we’re effective in delivering outcomes. I’m absolutely certain that single-handedly Australia will do nothing to change any temperatures in the future … There is an ebb and flow in temperatures all the time.”…
    Lomborg: “Some Australian activists have called me a climate change heretic. As one of the globe’s most vocal proponents for much more money to be spent on R&D into green energy to solve global warming, I find this bizarre.”
    http://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/may/10/barnaby-joyce-suggests-hostility-to-bjrn-lomborgs-centre-money-based

    ABC has the headline but doesn’t even report who says the Govt is thinking of seeking legal advice. great reporting as usual, ABC:

    10 May: Radio Australia: Federal Government seeking legal advice on UWA contract cancellation
    The Federal Government is seeking legal advice over a decision by the University of Western Australia to dump plans for a think tank linked to a controversial Danish academic.
    Bjorn Lomborg, known for his contentious views on climate change, was to co-chair the advisory board for the $4 million Australian Consensus Centre being established to advise the Government on a range of social and economic areas.
    After weeks of controversy surrounding the centre, the university bowed to ***public pressure and cancelled the contract on Friday..
    WA Liberal MP Dennis Jensen, a known climate change sceptic, has described the university’s decision as “disgraceful.”
    “Universities should be about challenging received wisdom rather than saying this is the received wisdom and no challenge to that will be countenanced,” he said.
    “The reality is freedom of speech and freedom of thought sometimes might be uncomfortable for certain groups of people, that’s the nature of it.
    “The problem here is that if you go back a few hundred years the university is more in line with the inquisition than it would be with those who question the inquisition and that’s the real irony.”
    The university’s vice chancellor Paul Johnson said the centre lacked the support needed to meet its contractual obligations and deliver value for money for taxpayers
    http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2015-05-10/federal-government-seeking-legal-advice-on-uwa-contract-cancellation/1445648

    51

  • #
    pat

    i did a search of abc yesterday for Bjorn Lomborg, past 3 months and, at no time since the announcement of the Centre, did any ABC platform interview Lomborg or write a straight report of the facts, e.g.

    UWA vice-chancellor defends think tank linked to
    controversial environmentalist Bjorn Lomborg
    20 Apr 2015

    Bjorn Lomborg: Senior academic says Government approached UWA on $4m centre for ‘sceptical environmentalist’
    23 Apr 2015

    Labor criticises $4m Government grant for Dr Bjorn Lomborg think tank
    24 Apr 2015

    The World Today – Bjorn Lomborg centre: Political storm grows over multimillion dollar grant for ‘sceptical environmentalist’
    24 Apr 2015

    Media Watch: Staying tribal on Bjorn Lomborg
    27 Apr 2015

    UWA cancels contract for Consensus Centre headed by controversial academic Bjorn Lomborg
    8 May 2015

    University cancels plans to build controversial Bjorn Lomborg think tank
    9 May 2015

    Students praise UWA for ditching controversial $4m Bjorn Lomborg Consensus Centre think tank
    9 May 2015

    as for speaking to Lomborg himself, forget it, even though just prior to the announcement ABC Breakfast Show had Fran herself interviewing Lomborg. at 6 or so mins in, Fran brings up the IPCC possibility of up to 6 degrees celcius warning, catastrophic etc.

    & here’s ABC bragging in the summary:

    AUDIO: 20 March: ABC Breakfast: Cut $548 billion of fossil fuel subsidies to alleviate poverty: Lomborg
    He’s currently in Australia for his fourth visit, this time to talk about global poverty and development, more so than climate issues.
    In recent years, he’s been an advocate for using cheap fossil fuels to alleviate poverty.
    But he now says abolishing $548 billion of global fossil fuel subsidies would be a ‘smart’ sustainable development goal for the United Nations to adopt later this year
    http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/breakfast/cut-548-billion-of-fossil-fuel-subsidies/6334456

    guess it would have been impossible to get him back on the show to get his side of the story on the Centre, ABC.

    probably too soon to have him on again…after all, he’s not exactly a regular like Christine Milne.

    better to just stir up & join in the faux outrage instead, hey? can’t let facts get in the way of another anti-Govt opportunity, can we?

    121

  • #
    pat

    naturally, i didn’t watch it, but i hear the UK election was not mentioned til almost the end of the program. below is the complete summary of today’s Insiders, which would appear to bear that out. truly unbelievable. shut down the ABC:

    10 May: ABC Insiders
    Insiders Sunday May 10 Full Program
    Chris Uhlmann is filling in for Barrie Cassidy this week and is joined by Andrew Probyn from the West Australian, Lenore Taylor from Guardian Australia and Michael Stutchbury, Editor in Chief of the Australian Financial Review.

    Great Scott… Morrison to the rescue!
    The first Abbott budget was aimed at finding savings. It misfired so badly that the second is aimed at salvation. But if it succeeds, who will the messiah be: the Treasurer or the man who’s been everywhere this week, Social Services Minister Scott Morrison?

    Chris Bowen joins Insiders
    Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen is interviewed by Chris Uhlmann.

    Poll of Polls – Part 1
    Polling observer Andrew Catsaras gives us his pre-budget take on the state of the polls.

    Talking Pictures
    Mike Bowers is joined by Herald Sun cartoonist Mark Knight for an entertaining look at the week in pictures.
    http://www.abc.net.au/insiders/

    31

  • #
    pat

    been saving this for “Unthreaded”.
    surely ABC should have disclosed who organised the following event, given the presence of Mark Scott & Karina Carvalho (ABC Qld) plus a video from Malcolm Turnbull, but ABC didn’t give a clue about who was behind it before, during or when closing the program. usually they would provide such info, so why not on this occasion?

    btw what i heard is so boring, i am not recommending listening to it. only amusing moment is the first questioner. she gushes how she loves ABC, goes on about how Boards in Ausralia are so white and Anglo-Saxon with a median age of 59, so what can Mark Scott suggest be done to change it?

    6 May: ABC Big Ideas: Personalisation of digital media
    It’s changed how and when you consume your favourite shows. It’s changed how media work. It’s changed how advertising looks and targets you. Big Ideas explores the growth, sophistication and future direction of personalised media. How do organisations tap into it? And what’s the role of the consumer?
    Guests:
    Professor Michael Blumenstein, Head of School of Information and Communication Technology, Griffith University
    Rob Kent, Managing Director, Publicis Worldwide Australia
    Cat Matson, Chief Digital Officer of the City of Brisbane
    Michael Burton, CEO of Cutting Edge
    Mark Scott, Managing Director of the ABC
    Karina Carvalho, Presenter of ABC News Queensland
    http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/bigideas/personalisation-of-digital-media/6424554

    it was organised by the following. given the prominence of the google logo on this page, i wonder if they are involved in any way? Turnbull video is predictably dull.

    TrafficFilm.tv/blog: A wrap up: hub4101′s ‘Who’s Googling You’ panel discussion
    On Wednesday 29th April some of Brisbane’s heavy-hitters in the digital space joined ABC Managing Director, Mark Scott to discuss the personalisation of digital media. Part of hub4101’s Disruptive Thinking discussion series…
    Cost: BSB/hub4101/ BADC members – $135pp ($1,350 table of 10)
    Non-members – $150pp ($1,500 table of 10)…
    A volunteer committee has been formed to build and drive Hub4101 and eventually set it free for the Hub4101 community to self-drive it. The committee is made up of representatives from ABC, Brisbane Marketing, Business South Bank, Griffith University, Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Red Suit Advertising, Taxi & Traffic Production, State Library of Queensland and chaired by BSB board member Bruce Wolfe of Conrad Garget Riddel Architects…
    Federal Minister for Communications, Malcolm Turnbull also created this video (LINK) for Hub4101 really highlighting why tech clusters like this are so valuable – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Sb2pVd-Hi0. Couldn’t have put it better myself.
    http://www.trafficfilm.tv/blog/

    TrafficFilm.tv: About US: Our clients include: Suncorp Bank, Pizza Capers, Rio Tinto Alcan, Commonwealth Bank, Blue Care, V8 Supercars, Deep Heat, Brisbane City Council, Qld Newspapers, RACQ, Gold Coast Institute of TAFE, Solar Farmers, James Cook University, Supercheap Auto, Bank of Queensland, Blue Care, Powelink, Subway, and Andersens…SunSuper, Energex.

    31

  • #
    MadJak

    Hey people,

    It’s been a while – I just wanted to let you all know that I have followed in the steps of Al Gore – I have bought a property close to sea level. It’s awesome – even though getting the property up to spec is consuming a bit of time.

    Of course, it hasn’t been funded by scaring people about rising sea levels. The question I have is this – should I send a letter thanking Manbearpig for ensuring the property was affordable – thanks to his contribution? Nah – probably not – now I have the property I want the local community to thrive and prosper.

    81

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      How rash of you.

      Don’t you realise that at the current political correct (i.e. exaggerated) rise in sea level you might be under water at high tide in 330 years?

      That’s assuming the high point of your land is 1 metre above current high tide level, and that you are on the southern side of Oz.

      Caution: local tidal ranges may vary according to location and proximity of an ABC reporter and/or Tim Flannery.

      61

      • #
        MadJak

        Yep,

        oohhh.. 1M sea level rise – that would mean the beach will be less distance to walk – why have a property close to the coast when you can bring the coast closer.

        Dang Nabbit, I’m sounding like manbearpig again…

        61

  • #
    handjive

    The Road to Paris, 2015.

    They want to lower the 2 °C limit.

    via @Shub Niggurath Climate

    2C: ‘AN IVORY-TOWER VIEW OF LIFE’
    Oliver Geden‘s bold article on 2C in Nature continues in the line Richard Tol highlighted many months ago: the make-believe world of international climate negotiations is running headlong toward the terrain of the impossible.

    The global climate target is being watered down in the hope of getting any agreement in Paris.
    The 2 °C warming limit need only be kept ‘within reach’.

    But if scientific advisers were to refrain from demanding exact stabilization targets, the UNFCCC would no longer be able to justify a global political agreement with a simple ‘science says so’.

    Reality check
    Climate science advisers should use the time before Paris to reassess their role.
    Do they want to inform policy-makers or support the political process?

    The climate policy mantra — that time is running out for 2 °C but we can still make it if we act now — is a scientific nonsense.

    Advisers who shy away from saying so squander their scientific reputations and public trust in climate research.”
    ~ ~ ~
    RTCC: Saleemul Huq: Ditching 2C warming goal will condemn millions
    - “You can already hear the sounds of the goalposts shifting.” 
    ~ ~ ~
    Yahoo.news: Limiting global warming to 2 degrees ‘inadequate’, scientists say
    . . .
    Don’t miss Shub’s post with links to companies in the ivory tower.

    20

  • #
  • #
    el gordo

    ‘But asked by Bolt about his confidence in the BoM and CSIRO and other “warmist institutions”, Joyce said they were part of a system of climate “guilt piracy” to justify new taxes.

    “Well, it’s not too warm here, I can assure you,” he said. “But, look, I just – I’m always sceptical of the idea that the way that anybody is going to change the climate … with bureaucrats and taxes. All that does is – it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. I make you feel guilty so I can get your money and put it in my pocket and send reports backwards and forwards to one another. I want to make sure that we’re effective in delivering outcomes. I’m absolutely certain that single-handedly Australia will do nothing to change any temperatures in the future … There is an ebb and flow in temperatures all the time.”

    Barnaby Joyce / Bolt Report and Guardian

    90

    • #
      handjive

      Re: Skeptic v non-sceptic

      John Cook, reddit:
      “iii. Science does need to be disprovable, that’s what distinguishes it from pseudoscience.
      What would turn me into a climate skeptic?

      I already am a climate skeptic because skepticism is a good thing – skeptics consider the body of evidence before coming to a conclusion (sorry, I know that’s just semantics but it’s an important point).”

      Tim Flannery sets the record straight: I am not a climate sceptic. (theage.com)
      . . .
      Oh dear.
      The only difference I see is the spelling.

      61

      • #
        Peter C

        Tim Flannery said he was not a sceptic in 2009. As far as I can see he still is not, by any definition.

        John Cook, by comparison claims to be a skeptic in 2015, since that is agood thing! However when he looks at the ” body of evidence ” he sees fingerprints everywhere, so he seems to analyse the evidence differently from real skeptics.

        He goes on later to say that John Tyndall observed the greenhouse effect in the laboratory in 1889. As far as I know that is incorrect. John Tyndall may have observed some absorbtion spectra for CO2. I don’t think that he observed the greenhouse effect. Nor has anyone else in the years since.

        71

        • #
          Graeme No.3

          Peter C:

          Quite correct, Tyndall observed CO2 absorbing and RADIATING infrared. As per Fourier’s conjecture. Neither thought of the greenhouse effect, indeed Fourier suggested for that to happen the air would have to solidify (without changing its optical effects).

          The greenhouse effect in modern terms was invented by Arrhenius to explain the end of the Ice Age. It was disproved in 1909 by Robert Wood and ignored for 70 years until its was used as the explanation for “global warming”.

          The “Greenhouse Effect” relies on energy being created, i.e. the basis of perpetual motion machines. If it were true then wind turbines would not be needed, all we would need is a large glass box from which we could extract energy at will.

          50

          • #
            Peter C

            I agree that the Robert Wood experiment is strong evidence against the Greenhouse gas effect theory.

            I am not sure about the energy creation or perpetuum mobile argument.

            Joseph Postma has made that argument a number of times.
            Roy Spencer however argues that a Greenhouse effect is more like insulation (reducing the rate of energy transfer at a given temperature). Which ever argument is made no one to my knowledge has yet shown the effect occurs for gases in a laboratory or anywhere else.

            20

  • #
    Rob JM

    Hi Jo,
    I found an interesting paper that can explain global warming sans CO2
    Late Twentieth-Century Warming and Variations in Cloud Cover

    40

  • #
    Ava Plaint

    Did this peer reviewer have a point:-

    ” to prevent the manuscript from “drifting too far away from empirical evidence into ideologically biased assumptions,”

    the reviewer wrote ”
    that got totally overshadowed by how he(?) expressed it ?

    ““It would probably … be beneficial to find one or two male biologists to work with …”

    Was it the criticism of unscientific reporting or the suggestion for improvement the authors had most difficulty accepting ?

    Reviewer ousted after sexist peer-review storm

    60

    • #
      Peter C

      The reviewer may have had a point if the paper made ideologically based assumptions. However the subsequent comment seems to fall into the same error since the paper was apparently about gender issues.

      Weakness of the peer review process has been discussed here before. I am not in favor of the annonimity of reviewers. It is argued that reviewers will not act without fear or favour otherwise. However I think a bit of fear might make them more responsible and the less favours they do the better.

      50

    • #

      Ava… so many assumptions you’ve made. One being the same as the reviewer that a male would have by definition a different ideology. Another (I’m assuming you know nothing about the content of the paper) is that because all authors are female, that there is by definition a “female” ideology (whatever that is). Give some consideration to the possibility that the reviewer was wrong

      10

  • #
    Susan Fraser

    New Zealanders visiting your site might like to accept our Govt’s invitation to make a submission “Setting New Zealand’s Climate Change Target” to prepare for the Paris meeting in December 2015.
    Submissions close 3 June 2015

    visit
    http://www.mfe.govt.nz/climate/consultation
    or email
    climate.contribution@mfe.govt.nz

    40

  • #
    Geoff Sherrington

    Would anyone here like to join a smallish, short duration but quite expert algorithmic/software group to help me apply some new software I have just obtained, for some investigations into chaos-like fingerprints in climate data like rainfall time series?
    I have some current handicaps and my C++ is too rusty. Need help. Has to be pro bono, I.e. you don’t have to pay me any money (joke). sherro1 at optusnet dot com dot au
    Ta.

    40

  • #
    Ruairi

    Dear Joanne,this gift which I proffer,
    Is now sent to your web-site coffer,
    For the truths you reveal,
    With such style and appeal,
    In the wonderful posts that you offer.

    170

  • #
    handjive

    May 10, 2015:

    Hopes of bumper season as 15cm of snow covers Perisher’s slopes with more falls predicted (dailytelegraph)
    ~ ~ ~
    So many ‘prediction links’ to choose from. I choose this:

    CSIRO, August 2003: The impact of climate change on snow conditions in mainland Australia -pdf
    Kevin Hennessy, Penny Whetton, Ian Smith, Janice Bathols, Michael Hutchinson and Jason Sharples

    Simulations of future snow conditions in the Australian alpine regions were prepared for the years 2020 and 2050, based on climate change projections published by CSIRO in 2001

    Conclusion:
    The low impact scenario for 2020 has a minor impact on snow conditions.
    Average season lengths are reduced by around five days.
    Reductions in peak depths are usually less than 10%, but can be larger at lower sites (e.g. Mt Baw Baw and Wellington High Plains).
    The high impact scenario for 2020 leads to reductions of 30-40 days in average season lengths.
    At higher sites such as Mt Hotham, this can represent reductions in season duration of about 25%, but at lower sites such as Mt Baw Baw the reduction can be more significant (up to 60%)
    . . .
    With five years to go, how is that looking?
    Via Radio National, ABC:
    Last year an update was written for Victoria’s Department of Environment and Primary Industries, but the Victorian government refused to release it.

    Bush Telegraph received the update, Climate change impacts on snow in Victoria through Freedom of Information.

    40

  • #
    pat

    9 May: Caribbean Looks to Paris Climate Summit for Its Very Survival
    FORT-DE-FRANCE, Martinique, May 9 2015 (IPS) – Caribbean leaders on Saturday further advanced their policy position on climate change ahead of the 21st Conference of Parties, also known as COP 21, scheduled for Paris during November and December of this year.
    The position of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), 14 independent countries, was put forward by the group’s chairman, Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Christie, during a meeting here with French President François Hollande…
    Saturday’s summit gathered more than 40 heads of state, governments and Caribbean organisations to discuss the impact of climate change on the nations of the region….
    Letchimy said Martinique is addressing the climate issue by aggressively implementing the Climate, Air and Energy Master Plan developed in cooperation with the French government.
    In order to promote a more circular economy that consumes less non-renewable resources, the Regional Council of Martinique has also decided to go beyond the Master Plan with a programme called “Martinique – Sustainable Island.” The goal is to achieve a 100 percent renewable energy mix by 2030…
    For the director general of the OECS, Dr. Didicus Jules, the impacts of climate change can be seen everywhere across the region, ranging from the rapid onslaught events like floods in St. Lucia, to the severity of hurricanes and erosion of beaches…
    The CARICOM chairman said a satisfactory and binding agreement in Paris must include five essential elements…
    Christie said it must also include clarity on how the financial and technological support both for mitigation and adaptation will be generated and disbursed to small developing countries.
    http://www.ipsnews.net/2015/05/caribbean-looks-to-paris-climate-summit-for-its-very-survival/

    it’s a hurricane “drought” in the US:

    VIDEO: 5 May: BBC: US Hurricane ‘drought’ since 2006
    The United States has not been struck by a major hurricane since 2005, marking the longest gap since records began and a situation described by some as a hurricane ‘drought’…
    BBC Weather’s Tomasz Schafernaker takes a look at the current hurricane ‘drought’ and the potential for it to continue into this year’s hurricane season.
    http://www.bbc.com/weather/feeds/32597388

    40

  • #
    pat

    BBC World Service “In The Balance” program yesterday was all about how to get improved growth in the UK economy.

    at the end, it was announced the program would not be aired for 2 weeks, but would return with “HOW CAN WE DECARBONISE THE WORLD ECONOMY?”:

    10 May: BBC In The Balance: UK Election: What’s Up for Business Now?
    What does David Cameron’s return as Prime Minister of Britain mean economically and for business in the UK?…
    And we look at the longer-term economic implications of this historic election with a panel that reflects its global implications: the eminent Harvard-based economist professor Ken Rogoff, Societe Generale’s Michala Marcussen, John Mills of JML, a UK-based consumer products company, and Sir Martin Sorrell, leading British businessman and CEO of WPP.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02qh7t5

    20

  • #
    pat

    as i was posting the BBC comment, i came across Booker on “decarbonising” the economy:

    9 May: UK Telegraph: Christopher Booker: The BBC on global warming is beyond a joke
    Green activists, aided by the state broadcaster, are whipping up support for a new climate treaty
    The BBC’s relentless efforts to promote the need for that treaty to ***“decarbonise” the world’s economies they so desperately want to see agreed in December are getting way beyond a joke. On Monday’s Today programme, for instance, they yet again wheeled on that joke figure Lord Stern to tell us that renewable energy now enjoys “very little subsidy or none at all” (don’t tell the owners of offshore wind farms, who imagine they are getting subsidies of more than 200 per cent)…
    An hour later, we had the BBC’s science editor, David Shukman, telling us how he had gone up to the Arctic (presumably with the aid of fossil fuels), to join a bunch of Norwegian scientists (also presumably there with the aid of fossil fuels), who were discovering that the ice had got thinner than ever, and that this was causing irreparable damage to the “biodiversity” of the poor little creatures which live under that vanishing ice.
    Not a shred of scientific evidence was offered to support this scare story, let alone the latest data from the US National Snow and Ice Data Center, which show that the thickness of multi-year ice across the Arctic has been making a dramatic recovery from its low point seven years ago (for details see Paul Homewood’s Notalotofpeopleknowthat blog).
    All this drearily make-believe propaganda is designed to whip up support for a treaty which, as the Indian government yet again confirmed last week, is never going to happen, because India and China – still building enough coal-fired stations to add more CO2 to the air every year than the total emitted by the UK – are simply giving two fingers to a treaty they regard as an even bigger joke than Lord Stern.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/11595186/The-BBC-on-global-warming-is-beyond-a-joke.html

    plus one i didn’t see before the election, but about a policy that might have put off some voters:

    5 May: UK Telegraph: Ben Wright: The £200bn economic bombshell lurking in the Labour Party’s manifesto
    Ed Miliband’s commitment to set a legal target for ***decarbonising the UK power sector by 2030 is likely to cost upwards of £200bn, according to analysis conducted by the Telegraph
    Ed Miliband’s commitment to eliminate the vast majority of carbon from the UK power sector by 2030 could cost Britain more than £200bn, according to analysis conducted by The Telegraph.
    The Labour Party’s manifesto promise to set “a legal target to remove carbon from our electricity supply by 2030” – referred to repeatedly by the Labour leader in speeches since September 2013 and during the election campaign – could result in a huge increase in energy costs for households and businesses. The findings also raise questions about Mr Miliband’s promises to tackle what he calls Britain’s “cost-of-living crisis” and freeze energy prices for two years.
    The Telegraph’s figures have been reviewed by three energy experts on condition of anonymity as they wanted to remain politically impartial…READ ALL
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/11582173/The-200bn-economic-bombshell-lurking-in-the-Labour-Partys-manifesto.html

    20

  • #
    Bevan Dockery

    On 07 May, the Scripps Institute released the latest update of the monthly atmospheric CO2 concentration recorded at the Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii, with the value of 403.43 ppm for the month of April 2015. This comes one week after the University of Alabama, Huntsville, release of their latest satellite measured atmospheric temperature data listing. Combining the two sets of data gave a correlation coefficient of 0.69 between the average lower tropospheric temperature over the Tropics(Land) zone for each 13 month period relative to the annual increase in CO2 over that period. The statistical probability of the correlation being zero was too small to calculate.

    This implies that temperature controlled the rate of change in the CO2 concentration. That is, changes in atmospheric CO2 have not caused a detectable change in temperature for the period December 1978 to April 2015. The causation cannot logically go in the other direction, that is, the temperature level cannot be set by a rate of change in CO2 concentration. This is not supposition, theory or computer modelling, it is a measure of what has actually happened over that 36 year period.

    It is confirmed by the fact that not only has the global temperature been constant for more than 15 years but so too has the rate of change in the CO2 concentration.

    A possible explanation is that the Earth has warmed naturally since the last ice age. This in turn has caused micro-organisms to multiply in the soil, consume carbonaceous matter and emit increasing amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere as they did when the first life forms appeared on the Earth.

    50

    • #

      hi Bevan, a link to data and analysis is needed so that we (skeptics) can assess the evidence for the statement that, “This implies that temperature controlled the rate of change in the CO2 concentration. ” Here you have just asserted a causation to the observed correlation, and asserted that it can’t go the other way.

      00

      • #
        Bevan Dockery

        Hi Gee Aye, I hope that this helps:
        For the Scripps Institute data, go to http://scrippsco2.ucsd.edu/data/atmospheric_co2
        from there select the monthly CO2 file: http://scrippsco2.ucsd.edu/data/in_situ_co2/monthly_mlo.csv
        For the UAH satellite data, go to http://www.drroyspencer.com/ , go down the page to “UAH V6.0 Global Temperature Update for April, 2015″ and choose the Lower tropospheric temperature data: http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/v6.0beta/tlt and select the latest file at the bottom of the list, namely
        uahncdc_lt_6.0beta2.txt

        The analysis is simple linear regression applied to the annual changes in CO2 concentration vs the average of the satellite lower tropospheric temperature over that 13 month period, eg CO2: Jan 86 minus CO2: Jan 85 relative to the average of the monthly temperatures from Jan 85 to Jan 86. This is necessary to eliminate the strong seasonal variation from the data listing which is also due to life, namely the seasonal life cycle that provides us and other animals with their food.

        As for the implied causation, having a rate of change of CO2 concentration cause a particular level of temperature is non-sensical. It would mean that, for example, a change of CO2 concentration of 10 ppm per annum would cause a temperature level of say 20 deg C regardless of whether the change was from 0 to 10 ppm, 69 to 79 ppm or 523 to 533 ppm.

        For the causation, we already know that higher temperatures give greater rates of growth – the mould goes faster in the shower recess during summer than during winter. Alternately consider the profusion of life in the Tropics compared to the dearth of life in the Antarctic.

        Note that this is also basically what Professor Murray Salby has been stating in his lectures.

        50

        • #

          thanks for that Bevan. I can’t help but think you’ve created several straw men to tear down there.

          btw

          Page not found
          The requested page “/default/files/data/in_situ_co2/monthly_mlo.csv” could not be found.

          Your message is very unclear. It is something about energy and carbon transfer through the biological system and something about simplistic assumptions about delta CO2 at different [CO2]. You also seem to be taking parts of a complex system without consideration of the complexity.

          Finally, and it might be my own mental fog but I did try to see through it, you have not linked to anything that supports this statement, ““This implies that temperature controlled the rate of change in the CO2 concentration. ”

          00

          • #
            Bevan Dockery

            Gee Aye, in more detail, for access to the Scripps Institute data go to http://scrippsco2.ucsd.edu/data/atmospheric_co2
            from there, under the Heading “Mauna Loa In Situ CO2 Data”, select : “Monthly CO2 (1958-present)” to either download or read the file: http://scrippsco2.ucsd.edu/data/in_situ_co2/monthly_mlo.csv

            As for simplistic assumptions, what can be more simplistic than blaming catastrophic climate change on man-made CO2 emission as per the IPCC, climate scientists and world leaders.

            I, obviously mistakenly, thought that everyone would be aware of the connection between temperature and CO2. In Spring time, as the temperature rises, seasonal life forms flourish with the resultant decrease in CO2 concentration. Then in Autumn, as the temperature falls, the seasonal life dies off with the simultaneous release of CO2. Note that this is the source of the regular annual cycle apparent on all CO2 records and is the complete reverse of the IPCC mantra of increased CO2 causing increased temperature.

            The annual increase in CO2 stems from both aerobic and anaerobic life forms which multiply as the temperature increases, fungi, yeasts, moulds, etc. of which new species are continually being discovered. The IPCC attempts to quantify their CO2 production but really has not way of achieving a meaningful estimate. Any substantial estimate would nullify their mantra of catastrophic climate change due to man-made CO2 emission so it would not be in their interest.

            20

    • #
      David-of-Cooyal in Oz

      Thanks Bevan,
      I read that as being supportive of Ian Plimer’s work reported in his 2009 book “Heaven and Earth…”
      Cheers,
      Dave B

      40

  • #
    el gordo

    Hooray!

    Britain gets real.

    ‘As well as deep welfare cuts The Independent understands that the Department of Business and the Department of Energy and Climate Change, previously run by the Lib Dems, will be among the biggest casualties in terms of spending reductions.’

    The Independent

    60

  • #
    Victor Ramirez

    The Australian newspaper is giving some considerable space to the Lomborg UWA issue today. I will try to copy the relevant articles for those who do not have access.

    Professor Henry Ergas writes in an opinion piece titled “Left strives to keep students in the dark”:

    Aristotle opens the Metaphysics with one of his most striking phrases: “By their nature, all men desire to know.” Quite so. But not at the University of Western Australia.

    Nor is there any mystery as to why. According to a press release issued late Friday by the university’s vice-chancellor, Paul Johnson, the proposal to establish, with $4 million in federal government funding, an Australian Consensus Centre which would undertake “detailed economic cost-benefit analysis into many of Australia’s, and the world’s, biggest challenges”, had met “strong opposition” and hence could not proceed.

    Since there was no consensus to seek consensus, it was better to let ignorance flourish than for the merest shard of knowledge to creep in.

    To say that is not to ignore the distress Bjorn Lomborg’s occasional presence at the proposed centre, where he was to have been an adjunct professor, would have caused the university’s tender minds.

    Yes, Lomborg’s credentials might seem impeccable: not only is he Danish, gay and invariably clad in a T-shirt and jeans, but his books on environmental issues are heavily cited, including by an array of the bien-pensant that ­ranges from Barack Obama to Ban Ki-moon.

    But all that, as the Romans used to say, is just the hood that masks the crime.

    For by his own admission, Lomborg is a “sceptical environmentalist”, which implies that doubt may be warranted; and while — heaven forfend — he has never questioned the reality of anthropogenic climate change, he has argued that the costs and benefits of devoting scarce resources to mitigating that risk should be compared to those of addressing the planet’s other pressing woes.

    Where that might lead hardly needs to be spelled out. After all, cost-benefit analysis forces one to identify the objective being sought, measure the sacrifice seeking it would impose and specify any uncertainty about the gains that would be achieved.

    Moreover, it exposes those estimates, and their assumptions, to public scrutiny, making it possible for them to be tested as new information comes to light.

    Tim Wilson, Australia’s Human Rights Commissioner, writes in an opinion piece titled “Soft censorship wins out over public policy”:

    The University of Western Australia’s decision to reject Bjorn Lomborg’s Australian Consensus Centre is disturbing for its validation of a culture of soft censorship.

    The human right of free speech is about ensuring laws don’t restrict what people can say. One of the most important arguments in favour of free speech is that it keeps debate open so bad ideas can be challenged and exposed, to continue the march of human progress.

    That requires more than just stopping censorious laws.

    It also requires a culture that tolerates dissent and allows for challenging ideas to be voiced, heard and debated.

    Australia’s culture of open debate is increasingly sick.

    Outrage, confected or otherwise, is a popular tool to condemn your opponents because it avoids the need to actually debate ideas.

    Instead you merely need to demonstrate they are offensive or attack the legitimacy of the person voicing them.

    The centre to be led by Bjorn Lomborg was established to debate competing public policy priorities.

    Lomborg heretically thinks that tackling infectious diseases that kill millions is more important than cutting greenhouse gas levels.

    UWA academics claimed the centre “tarnishes the reputation of the university”.

    The UWA student guild claimed “students, staff and alumni alike are outraged” because a centre would be “led by someone with a controversial track record”.

    The campaign of outrage eventually led to vice-chancellor Paul Johnson cancelling the centre because it lacked support from the academic community.

    Those students and staff involved at UWA have successfully adopted a cancerous tactic from Britain called “no platforming”.

    “No platforming” is a policy of Britain’s National Union of Students.

    The policy evolved out of an attempt to stop institutions having speakers that promoted racism and fascism.

    To “no platform”, students protest against someone being given a platform to speak, or where it has been provided, campaign to have it removed.

    In Britain, the tactic has been successful.

    But it has now evolved beyond simply opposing racist or fascist views to target people who don’t fit accepted progressive groupthink, such as Lomborg.

    Some may wrongly draw a parallel between Lomborg’s experience and that of former SBS sports commentator Scott McIntyre.

    They are nothing alike.

    McIntyre slurred a large section of the public and broke the terms of a voluntarily agreed employment contract that led to his dismissal. Lomborg simply proposes contrarian public policy ideas. That’s it.

    As with the financing of any activity with public money, it is entirely legitimate to question the Abbott government giving $4 million towards Lomborg’s consensus centre.

    But for the most part that wasn’t the reason that academics and students condemned the centre.

    The predominant criticism of Lomborg is that he thinks there are higher public policy priorities than climate change.

    Lomborg’s views are not about science, they’re about public policy.

    Public policy is a debate about competing priorities for government.

    Everyone is entitled to their views on public policy.

    There is no one correct answer in public policy.

    Nor is policy about evidence. Evidence informs policy development. The direction of policy is primarily decided by the questions you ask. The questions asked are heavily informed by values and political priorities.

    For example, if we ask the question about how we stop man’s contribution to climate change, it is underpinned by a number of values including that it is a priority, and that mitigation of emissions is better than adaptation, among many others.

    Similarly, if the question is, as Lomborg asks, what’s the most efficient use of taxpayers’ money to tackle the world’s problems, it is underpinned by a different line of values and inquiry.

    The question informs how evidence is then collected, weighted in any analysis and thereafter used to draw conclusions.

    If the evidence Lomborg collects to answer these questions is wrong, then it should be exposed through evidence and reason. If they’re right then they will be influential.

    Instead, the University of Western Australia essentially endorsed a culture of soft censorship by stopping these public policy questions even being asked.

    It’s hard to think of a more anti-intellectual act to promote wilful ignorance about contemporary public policy challenges.

    A friend of mine recently joked: what’s the opposite of diversity? UWA just proved the answer: university.

    Tim Wilson is Australia’s Human Rights Commissioner. tim.wilson@humanrights.gov.au

    A retired biology professor of UWA, Hank Greenway writes in the Letters page “Naively, I thought that universities were for vigorous debate, not to stifle minority views. So apart from political correctness, we will now have academic and scientific correctness. Alas, we are getting close to burning the books, or an index of forbidden works.”

    90

    • #
      ianl8888


      Alas, we are getting close to burning the books, or an index of forbidden works

      We are already there and have been for some years now

      Geological exploration of Kakadu National Park in the form of non-invasive airborne geophysics (magnetics, gravity) is verboten – the instruments must be turned off when flying over the Park

      Any knowledge that may be gained with such techniques is strictly forbidden; any reports compiled with any such forbidden knowledge will be burnt

      40

  • #
    Victor Ramirez

    Apologies, the Henry Ergas piece above was accidentally truncated. The full opinion piece appears below:

    Aristotle opens the Metaphysics with one of his most striking phrases: “By their nature, all men desire to know.” Quite so. But not at the University of Western Australia.

    Nor is there any mystery as to why. According to a press release issued late Friday by the university’s vice-chancellor, Paul Johnson, the proposal to establish, with $4 million in federal government funding, an Australian Consensus Centre which would undertake “detailed economic cost-benefit analysis into many of Australia’s, and the world’s, biggest challenges”, had met “strong opposition” and hence could not proceed.

    Since there was no consensus to seek consensus, it was better to let ignorance flourish than for the merest shard of knowledge to creep in.

    To say that is not to ignore the distress Bjorn Lomborg’s occasional presence at the proposed centre, where he was to have been an adjunct professor, would have caused the university’s tender minds.

    Yes, Lomborg’s credentials might seem impeccable: not only is he Danish, gay and invariably clad in a T-shirt and jeans, but his books on environmental issues are heavily cited, including by an array of the bien-pensant that ­ranges from Barack Obama to Ban Ki-moon.

    But all that, as the Romans used to say, is just the hood that masks the crime.

    For by his own admission, Lomborg is a “sceptical environmentalist”, which implies that doubt may be warranted; and while — heaven forfend — he has never questioned the reality of anthropogenic climate change, he has argued that the costs and benefits of devoting scarce resources to mitigating that risk should be compared to those of addressing the planet’s other pressing woes.

    Where that might lead hardly needs to be spelled out. After all, cost-benefit analysis forces one to identify the objective being sought, measure the sacrifice seeking it would impose and specify any uncertainty about the gains that would be achieved.

    Moreover, it exposes those estimates, and their assumptions, to public scrutiny, making it possible for them to be tested as new information comes to light.

    And since not all problems can be tackled at once, it allows an informed assessment of whether the cause of alleviating human misery might not be better served by investing in, say, defeating malaria than by building wind farms and solar panels.

    Simply countenancing that possibility is doubtless more than sufficient to condemn the venture outright. But Lomborg’s crimes don’t end there. Rather, as Mungo MacCallum noted, not only has his work been praised by Tony Abbott but “Lomborg is (a) favourite of The Australian” — to which that noted scholar adds “enough said”.

    Good thing then that the proposal has been scotched, defaming Lomborg in the process. As Daniel Defoe — who, having been condemned for blasphemy, knew a thing or two about tolerance — wittily wrote three centuries ago, masquerading as a High Church Tory Anglican: it might be too much to hope that “Her Majesty (could ensure) all Dissenters were hanged or banished”; but surely “as in (the) case of insurrections and rebellions, if a few of the ringleaders suffer, the multitude are dismissed”.

    It would, however, be quite wrong to regard this as censorship, the National Tertiary Education Union’s WA division secretary, Gabe Gooding, assures us. On the contrary, “it’s absolutely not censorship, it’s about the academics being really concerned about standards”.

    And as UWA student guild president Lizzy O’Shea emphasised, there are impressionable 17-year-olds on the campus, who don’t deserve to be exposed to someone with Lomborg’s “sort of research standing”.

    So true; and so reminiscent of Andrei Zhdanov, Stalin’s commissar for culture, who claimed that far from being censorship, “protecting” Soviet youth from the “decadence”, “orgies of mysticism and superstition” and “passion for pornography” of writers such as Anna Akhmatova and Boris Pasternak was “liberation”, which helped keep “the only conflict in Soviet culture that between good and best”.

    It is therefore not surprising that Lee Rhiannon, who imbibed the Zhdanov doctrine as mother’s milk, led the charge against the centre; nor is it surprising that the green Left, with its “fiends of righteousness”, in Blake’s expressive phrase, who are not seekers but saviours, would thunder at anything which threatens their beliefs.

    And it is unsurprising too that Labor, which refused to release the climate change model Treasury had developed and prides itself on rejecting cost-benefit analysis, would fall smartly into line.

    But one wonders whether the vice-chancellor, a distinguished economist, was well advised. Faced with no less intense controversy, Max Weber, perhaps the pre-eminent social scientist of the 20th century, had little doubt about the course to take.

    If there are views which disqualify an applicant from appointment to the faculty, he wrote, then there are views the university’s current researchers are not allowed to come to. From that moment, freedom of inquiry is irrevocably dead; and “the result of such a castration of the freedom and disinterestedness of the university cannot be compensated by the finest institutes, the largest lecture halls, or ever so many prize-winning works”.

    The great American social scientist Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who Labor’s Andrew Leigh claims is his role model, was equally forthright. If university administrators did not unflinchingly oppose “the authoritarian tendencies of the Left” and its refusal of rigorous analysis of policy alternatives, “you are going to end up with a university in which decent men simply do not try to serve their function of teaching and learning”.

    When the president of Stanford found he could not resist their pressure, Moynihan concluded, it was unquestionably his duty to resign. And indeed it was. Because Aristotle teaches us this too: that we can speak the truth only when we can say how things really are. If our universities can’t, they don’t deserve to exist.

    70

  • #
  • #
    el gordo

    We know the subtropical ridge has been strong for awhile and appears to be too far south.

    http://www.bom.gov.au/fwo/IDY65100.pdf

    Its also worth noting that the northern hemisphere STR is weak at the moment.

    30

  • #
    • #
      Dennis

      I trust that somebody has informed the Ship Of Fools expeditioners, no barbecues on the ice this year.

      20

  • #
    pat

    remember when CAGW-infested-invested (Risky Business) Bloomberg was writing stuff like this:

    Nov 2013: Bloomberg: Coal Seen as New Tobacco Sparking Investor Backlash: Commodities
    It harks to the 1990s anti-tobacco push and is gaining help from unlikely partners. The International Energy Agency, a 28-nation group promoting energy security, is lobbying increasingly to limit the release of heat-trapping gases…
    Investors cite both ethical and financial concerns with carbon-bearing fossil fuels…

    well, it’s time people realised they are being played for suckers.
    ***take note ABC/Fairfax/Guardian:

    7 May: Bloomberg: Franz Wild: The Dealmaker Who Helped a U.S. Hedge Fund Score Congo Oil Prize
    Africa’s last shadow master trades favors to make profits for everyone — including himself
    For a businessman who doesn’t spend much time at his burgundy mansion in Morocco’s ancient city of Marrakesh, Jean-Yves Ollivier throws quite a dinner party.
    Three servants in black tuxedos silently file past in the soft light, keeping the nine French art dealers, lawyers and charity workers topped up with a fruity blend of cabernet sauvignon and merlot. The guests dine on roast rosemary lamb, Mediterranean vegetables and potato dauphinoise, on crimson plates from Istanbul. Silver bowls brim with red roses and two elephant tusks form an arch by a dining room wall. The chatter ranges from quips on French politics to exclamations at the crunchiness of the pomegranate seeds in the mousse…
    ***PHOTO CAPTION: Jean-Yves Ollivier lights a cigar at his residence in Marrakesh, Morocco, on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014…
    After dinner, the guests pass under pointed archways and domed ceilings and step across a zebra skin for ***Cuban cigars, mint tea and pralines in the lounge. Ollivier picks out a ***Hoyo de Monterrey. It’s short and thick, his favorite kind…
    Ollivier doesn’t spend much time at the Marrakesh house, or at any one of his other residences around the world: in Paris, Zurich, Brazzaville in the Republic of Congo and on the 15th story of Marilyn Monroe’s old building on Sutton Place in Manhattan’s midtown. His favorite is at South Africa’s Kruger safari park. He says he spends more time in the air than in any one place…
    PHOTO CAPTION: Jean-Yves Ollivier pauses while smoking a cigar during an interview at his Marrakesh house…
    By 2009, Ollivier was a go-between for the Congolese government and the oil venture Och-Ziff had set up. Daniel Och had created the fund manager in 1994 after 11 years at Goldman Sachs & Co., where he had most recently been co-head of U.S. equities trading. As chief executive officer and chairman of the eponymous company, he secured investments from pension funds, foundations, corporations, private banks and more to build the assets under management to $47 billion today, according to the company website…
    The resulting African Global Capital funds made investments in projects including uranium mining in Democratic Republic of Congo and a ***coal company in South Africa. It was African Global that secured the oil deal in the Republic of Congo, the DRC’s smaller neighbor to the northwest…
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-05-07/the-dealmaker-who-helped-a-u-s-hedge-fund-score-congo-oil-prize

    8 May: Bloomberg: Heesu Lee: Saudis Splurge in Asia to Win Loyal Oil Customers for Decades
    Saudi Arabia is spending generously now on Asian refiners to lock in its position as the region’s biggest supplier of oil for decades to come.
    The Saudi national oil company is part of a group that’s building a processing plant in China and it teamed with Asia’s biggest refiner on another in Fujian province. Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi traveled to Beijing last month, highlighting the importance of the world’s second-biggest crude consumer to his country’s future. He also visited a South Korean refinery in which his country has a majority interest.
    Pressure is rising on Saudi Arabia to hold on to market share in Asia as competitors including Iraq, Mexico and Russia make inroads…
    Daily consumption of 31.2 million barrels in Asia this year will take the region’s demand above that in the Americas at 31.1 million barrels, according to the Paris-based International Energy Agency. Asia will account for two-thirds of the growth in global oil demand in 2015, the IEA says…
    In Vietnam, a 400,000 barrel-a-day plant will be jointly constructed by Aramco and PTT Pcl in Binh Dinh province, according to the Thai company’s 2014 annual report…
    Aramco’s refining strategy isn’t limited to Asia. The company owns half of Motiva Enterprises LLC, which operates three plants in Texas and Louisiana with total refining capacity of about 1.1 million barrels a day…
    Potential investments also include Indonesia. Pertamina Persero PT will join Aramco for a study to upgrade the Cilacap refinery this year…
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-05-07/saudis-splurging-in-asia-to-win-loyal-oil-customers-for-decades

    Christiana Figueres, don’t come to our country and tell us we can’t use coal.

    40

  • #
    OriginalSteve

    Was musing over this one the weeekend – I’d read somwwhere there was a link betrween gravity and magnetism.

    Is it possible to create a significant enough magentic field to cause gravity to cavitate and thereby create weightlessness?

    10

  • #
  • #
    pat

    an elderley neighbour just brought the following up with me. he and his wife are totally dependent on their landline phone to keep in touch with children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, etc.

    i explained i heard News Ltd. journos being asked about it on 4BC’s Overnight talk show early this morning. it seems it had been a topic during the evening. the journos were more or less giggling saying, if you read the article, it doesn’t really say what it seems to say. went on to say such a suggestion brought down a South Australian Govt in the past hee hee. when quizzed further, the journo basically didn’t want to say more, because he didn’t want to kill the story before it went out! unbelievable.

    i told my neighbour i felt Malcolm Turnbull was behind this very damaging leak just as the Budget was due & that it was meant to hurt the Govt. he said yes, Malcolm Turnbull was behind it, as he had read the story in the Courier Mail.

    i just found the article. it’s a total disgrace from beginning to end. the writer, Simon Benson, has already written “Budget 2015 is Joe Hockey’s last stand” and we had warnings when the attempts to overthrow Abbott failed, that another attempt would be made in May around Budget time.

    11 May: Daily Telegraph: Simon Benson: Federal Government considering axing laws mandating untimed local phone calls
    PHOTO CAPTION: Moves to axe untimed local calls have sparked fears people who rely on landlines will be hit hard
    A briefing paper prepared by the Department of Communications, obtained by The Daily Telegraph, revealed that the government would consider “removing the requirement to offer untimed local calls”…
    However, a report last year by the industry regulator, ACMA, warned that “older Australians continue to rely on their fixed-line telephone services to a greater extent than other groups”.
    It claimed a survey showed that more than half of over 65s still relied on their home phone for local calls, compared to 10 per cent of the rest of the population.
    More than 9 million people in Australia still have landline telephone services…
    ***“This is a dangerous thought bubble from Malcolm Turnbull (Communications Minister),” he said.
    “If he doesn’t have plans to make Australians pay more for local phone calls, he should rule it out immediately,” he said.
    Parliamentary Secretary to Mr Turnbull, Paul Fletcher — a former Optus executive — said the government would not consider any proposal from industry that would adversely impact on consumers…
    Mr Fletcher met with industry stakeholders last week under a formal group known as the Telecommunications Deregulation Stakeholder Forum.
    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/federal-government-considering-axing-laws-mandating-untimed-local-phone-calls/story-fni0cx12-1227349645962

    disgusting journalism. obviously, any Govt spokesperson should have ruled this out completely. as if it isn’t perfectly clear it would “adversely affect” large numbers of Australians!

    my neighbour then mentioned the following was in the news today and this could also bring the Govt down, even though Labor had also advocated such a move, he said:

    11 May: ABC World Today: Mandie Sami: Budget 2015: Banks fear deposit tax will be introduced in federal budget
    A tax on bank deposits, that could raise more than $400 million, looks set to be amongst the measures that Treasurer Joe Hockey will announce in tomorrow’s federal budget.
    Consumers in Australia have never before been charged a tax for depositing money into a bank account.
    However, according to the Australian Bankers Association’s chief executive, Steven Munchenberg, that looks set to change.
    “This tax is actually an announcement of the former government, but it hasn’t been ruled out by the current Government and until they do it remains in the budget,” he said.
    “So we were hoping that the Government would rule this tax out tomorrow. If it doesn’t, it means that they are on track to bring in a tax on peoples savings, on deposits that you have in the bank.”…
    Treasurer Joe Hockey has already hinted the Federal Government will push ahead with a tax on bank deposits.
    Asked on Channel Ten’s The Bolt Report whether he would be introducing such a tax, he said the Government would have to impose unpopular measures to reduce the budget deficit…READ ALL
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-05-11/banks-fear-deposit-tax-will-be-introduced-in-federal-budget/6461114

    50

  • #
    pat

    for the record, the neighbour i wrote about is a retired farmer, who has voted National Party all his life.

    60

    • #
      toorightmate

      Malcolm Turnbull is a retired lawyer who will probably vote Labor when he matures – sometime in the distant future.

      30

  • #
    Matty

    The Greenies seem visibly relieved, at the appointment of Amber Rudd to replace Ed Davey , who has been relieved of his duties at UK Dept. Energy and Climate Change.

    Is Climate Change becoming some kind of diplomatic game that Conservative parties in power still feel the need to pander to ?

    50

  • #
    pat

    someone brought the following to my attention this evening.

    quite amusing, given it got absolutely no MSM attention whatsoever outside of WaPo & the Council on Foreign Relations website(lol), which carried it.

    yet Maurice Newman’s piece in The Australian caused OUTRAGE in the MSM, even tho he was merely quoting Climate Chief, Christiana Figueres.

    incidentally, i did a search to see if any MSM carried Figueres’s “transform the economy” remarks in early February and found zero coverage (funny given how eager they usually are to spread her every utterance).

    no wonder the attacks on Newman (which is what they boiled down to) didn’t include the telling quote!

    and now to the “conspiracy theorists” at WaPo:

    20 Dec 2009: WaPo: Copenhagen climate deal shows new world order may be led by U.S., China
    By Anthony Faiola, Juliet Eilperin and John Pomfret
    COPENHAGEN — If the talks that resulted in an imperfect deal to combat global warming provided anything, it was a glimpse into a ***new world order in which international diplomacy will increasingly be shaped by the United States and emerging powers, most notably China…
    ***Ever since the concept of a G2 was proposed this year by former U.S. national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, the idea that the United States and China together are going to solve all the world’s problems has been pooh-poohed by both American and Chinese officials…
    “The mark is being stamped on a ***new political world,” said Duncan Marsh, who directs international climate policy for the Nature Conservancy. Said Jake Schmidt, international climate policy director for the Natural Resources Defense Fund: “Coming into this conference, it was about 193 countries, and coming out of it, it clearly came down to a conversation between the leaders of those two superpowers.”…
    “We’re not exactly partners, but we’re much more equals,” Schell (Orville Schell, a longtime China watcher who is director of the Center on U.S.-China Relations at the Asia Society) said. “The Chinese miss the idea that there’s some ***grander, stronger authority.”…
    China has a long history of opposing verification, seeing it as a violation of its sovereignty…
    But on Friday, Wen (then Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao) ultimately agreed to stronger verification language. By the nature of the agreement, however, China’s participation will be voluntary…
    “Of course you could say, ‘It’s just words; they won’t do anything,’ ” Lieberthal (Ken Lieberthal, a former senior director for Asia at the National Security Council who is now a China expert at the Brookings Institution) said. “But words matter internationally. You can hold people to their words and ***shame them if they don’t comply.”
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/19/AR2009121900687.html

    10

  • #

    Warming activist Greg Laden has added me to his list of “deniers” on Twitter.

    Perhaps I should remind him of the possibly-defamatory comments he made about Roger “Tallbloke”‘s place being raided by the police looking for evidence on the alleged Climategate “thefts”. And who saved his behind from getting sued by warning him that what he had published initially was factually incorrect; as trivially verifiable by reading real press reports. i.e. his statements were indefensible.

    60