JoNova

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


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Midweek Unthreaded

Tips and ideas…

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Midweek Unthreaded, 6.0 out of 10 based on 22 ratings

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71 comments to Midweek Unthreaded

  • #
    MudCrab

    If I don’t get another chance between now and the 31st, can I just put forward my sincere thanks to Jo and all her friends, family and supporters for the inspiration, hope and laughs she has given us this past calendar year.

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  • #
    Another Ian

    “Snowfall on Alaska mountains has doubled – climate change blamed”

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/12/19/snowfall-on-alaska-mountains-has-doubled-climate-change-blamed/

    But in comments


    RH
    December 19, 2017 at 11:36 am

    Interesting that snow in the mountains has increased while winter precipitation statewide has stayed relatively unchanged since about 1926.
    https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cag/time-series/us/50/0/pcp/4/3/1895-2017?base_prd=true&firstbaseyear=1901&lastbaseyear=2000&trend=true&trend_base=10&firsttrendyear=1895&lasttrendyear=2017&filter=true&filterType=binomial
    Reply
    Ian Magness
    December 19, 2017 at 11:56 am

    Fantastic RH! A PaulHomewoodian standard graph of data (rather than fantasy modelling) showing damn all change over the supposed period of CAGW. But, hey, why let a few facts get in the way of the greatest story ever told?

    Improved efficiency – more depth per litre then?

    100

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  • #
    PeterS

    Just heard the NSW Chief Scientist saying we should not use our air-conditioners during heatwave conditions unless it’s a health risk. What a lot of crap! Here we have China sucking up 40+ millions new conditioning units per year in the residential market compared to our piddling 1 million per year, and someone has the utter arrogance and stupidity to say we should not turn on our conditioners? What the hell is that idiot talking about? Since when did we come worse than a third world country?

    280

    • #

      you are saying that because the Chinese are buying airconditioners means someone in Australia can’t have an opinion on air conditioner use in Australia.

      Just for the record… what other things are the chinese buying? I’ll make sure I report any comments by public officers that mention these things too

      313

      • #
        MudCrab

        Compare and contrast the following two ‘opinions’.

        I can live without aircon.

        You can live without aircon.

        230

      • #
        Annie

        You can and may indeed have an opinion GA but it doesn’t mean that we have the same one and we are certainly not obliged to have the same one. My opinion is that air conditioners are health and sanity savers in hot, humid weather such as we have been having in Victoria, especially for asthmatics.
        We didn’t install them at great expense just to be part of the décor. They might well not be used very often but in weather such as we have had lately…well, that’s what they are for. So leave us alone and don’t try any guilt trip stuff. We do not keep them ultra low temp. in the heat and neither, on the rare occasions we use them to heat, do we keep the temp. high.
        Is this a free and civilised nation or is it not?

        180

        • #

          I agree with you Annie completely and I don’t think the scientist’s advice is particularly sensible. That doesn’t mean I agree with PeterS who seems to think that we should withhold opinion because of consumer activity in another country.

          49

          • #
            Lionell Griffith

            Suggest reread the subject post. It is you who inferred that he was saying that an opinion should not have been given rather than he saying it.

            Simply saying that a particular opinion is full of crap is not to say a crappy opinion should not be offered. So never fear, you are safe and can continue to keep giving us your crappy opinions.

            170

        • #

          Perhaps the NSW Chief Scientist believes that air conditioners should not be diverted from their primary purpose as egg beaters and mayo mixers. I mean, that’s why we buy them, right?

          If we need to make the room cool we can turn on the Bamix. And if anyone complains the NSW Chief Scientist can threaten them with another light rail. Maybe even a monorail. That should quieten them down.

          80

      • #
        PeterS

        Gee Aye do I have to spell it out so that a 2-year old can understand it? OK the here it goes. China is adding multiple times of aircons what we are adding yet we are being told that our grid is in the brink of collapse just because too many of use dare to use them, while China (and many other countries) can use them without a problem? The solution is not to stop using aircons just because we have a heatwave, which is when we need it the most – otherwise what’s the point of having them? The solution is to do exactly what they are doing; build several new generation coal fired power stations and/or nuclear ones. Get the message? If not then let me know so I can even clearer.

        172

        • #

          It’s a false comparison for the argument you are making against the NSW CS. It is like going to court and claiming that the charges against you should be dropped because in another country they do it.

          here is your statement vastly improved without the non sequitur and with which I agree.

          We are being told that our grid is in the brink of collapse just because too many of use dare to use them. The solution is not to stop using aircons just because we have a heatwave, which is when we need it the most – otherwise what’s the point of having them? The solution is to build several new generation coal fired power stations and/or nuclear ones. Get the message?

          62

        • #
          KinkyKeith

          A few new dams would also be appreciated along with the new coal fired generators.

          80

    • #
      David Maddison

      No one in a modern society should need to justify using an air conditioner or anything else that’s legal.

      I’m willing to bet the Chief Scientist will still use air conditioning both at home and in the office, as would be expected of the elites.

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      bobl

      What an I*t.
      Of course it’s a self fulfilling prophesy, don’t let old people turn on the aircon in a heatwave which causes more heat related deaths so the NSW Chief Scientist can keep crowing about “Climate Change” harming more people when actually what is totalling your grannie is the NSW chief scientist refusing them the means to stay cool

      How nuts is this!

      Let me write a new headline,
      “NSW Chief scientist says the old, babies, and the sick and infirm should off themselves during heatwaves” turn off the aircon and let nature take its course says chief scientist…

      Grr, my blood is boiling

      20

  • #
    R B

    Environment Department public servants spent $700,000 in four years on taxis
    The department has admitted many of the short taxi trips have been for staff members to attend meetings only a few streets away from their office — either to other offices in the city or to Parliament House.

    160

  • #
    OriginalSteve

    Climate Change lobby ( belligerent Leftist ferals in suits ) finally classified as threat to national security…

    https://climatechangedispatch.com/trumps-national-security-strategy-says-climate-change-lobby-is-a-threat

    “Climate policies will continue to shape the global energy system. U.S. leadership is indispensable to countering an anti-growth energy agenda that is detrimental to U.S. economic and energy security interests.”

    Time to out the Reds….

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    • #
      Serp

      On that basis there should be prosecutions of South Australia’s and Victoria’s administrations for having spiked functional coal fired power stations. More of this please.

      60

  • #
    pat

    yesterday it was an all-time record of 44.1C:

    19 Dec: ABC: Western Sydney sweated through new record high 15C hotter than city’s beaches
    The gauge hit ***44.1 degrees Celsius in Penrith, the highest ever recorded for the first month of summer.

    9News upped the ante to 44.5C:

    Sydney’s west could set a heat record today
    9news.com.au-19 December 2017
    A new December heat record could be set today if Penrith in Sydney’s west reaches the expected 44 degrees. … At 1,15pm, Penrith’s maximum temperature for the day peaked at ***41.5 degrees.

    9News drops it to 44.1C, but it’s not an all-time record by any means:

    20 Dec: 9News: Fire fighters, paramedics on high alert as scorching NSW heat enters second day
    It’s day two of scorching heat across NSW, where yesterday many areas saw their hottest December day in decades.
    It was the hottest December day on record for at least 23 years at Penrith where the mercury hit 44.1C, 23 years at Richmond at 42.9C, 12 years in Dubbo at 41.8C and at Bourke where it hit a whopping 45.4C.
    https://www.9news.com.au/national/2017/12/20/05/35/fire-fighters-paramedics-on-high-alert-as-scorching-nsw-heat-enters-second-day

    heard Macquarie Radio (Fairfax) Network news bulletins last nite, mentioning a high in Sydney’s West of 43C, and no mention of any all-time record.

    SO WHICH IS IT/WAS IT?

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    • #
      pat

      btw u have to scroll way down at 9News “Firefighters, paramedics” for the data I posted.

      Swamp News:

      19 Dec: Washington Free Beacon: Elizabeth Harrington: EPA Bureaucrats Complain Pruitt Doesn’t Want Them to Conspire Against Trump
      “E.P.A. Employees Spoke Out. Then Came Scrutiny of Their Email,” (LINK) the (New York) Times writes breathlessly, implying that Pruitt himself is scouring over their emails. (He’s not.)
      Readers have to get to the 17th paragraph to realize that the “scrutiny of their email” was from a Republican lawyer outside the agency who filed Freedom of Information Act requests after the bureaucrats had very publicly blasted Trump and Pruitt.
      But for the Times, it’s a “witch hunt” against career bureaucrats, and three star-crossed employees bold enough to speak out against Trump…

      The Times doesn’t mention that the bureaucrats—Elizabeth Southerland, Michael Cox, and Gary Morton—all either leaked to liberal news outlets to criticize Pruitt and Trump, or attended “resistance” rallies…

      “Washington Bureaucrats Are Quietly Working to Undermine Trump’s Agenda,” (LINK) Bloomberg reported Monday, just a day after the Times defense of the three resistance bureaucrats at the EPA…
      The article even prints one career bureaucrat’s “checklist” for resistance…

      But the employees the Times highlighted don’t have much to worry about.
      Southerland and Cox took early retirement. Both went to a liberal Washington Post columnist Joe Davidson to publicize their dissatisfaction when they were on their way out the door.

      Cox leaked his anti-Trump letter in April, which the Post ran under the headline, “EPA staffer leaves with a bang, blasting agency policies under Trump.”
      In his letter, Cox said he was “frankly insulted” that President Trump would visit the EPA, and that Trump did so to “give us the finger.”

      He called the Trump administration “arrogant and callous,” and accused Pruitt of having “not done your homework” on the Paris climate deal.”
      “Fortunately,” Cox wrote, “there are other global leaders, including China and India, who understand the urgency of the problem and are taking action.”…
      http://freebeacon.com/blog/epa-bureaucrats-complain-pruitt-doesnt-want-conspire-trump/

      40

    • #
      pat

      20 Dec: Herald Sun: Sydney heatwave: City to scorch as temperature forecast to hit 42C
      Sky News Weather chief meteorologist Tom Saunders said parts of NSW were now up to day eight of a heatwave, which is defined as three or more days of above minimum and maximum temperatures…
      Saunders: “Penrith’s maximum of 44.1C on Tuesday and minimum of 25.3C today are the highest for December on record — in 23 years of data.”…

      The heat has also prompted electricity provider Ausgrid to cancel planned maintenance outages on the Central Coast and Hunter region for Wednesday…

      COMMENT: Chris: As stated in the article, “Penrith’s maximum of 44.1C on Tuesday and minimum of 25.3C today are the highest for December on record — in 23 years of data.”
      I think all the record temperature hysteria from the media needs to be put in perspective. Those records are only from 23 years of data!
      http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/sydney-heatwave-city-to-scorch-as-temperature-hits-42c/news-story/9115ba80bdf2432313e4ada8e68dbfae

      40

      • #
        Ted O'Brien.

        Yes. In 23 years of data!

        What happened to the other 206 years of data?

        But how did that miss this part of the globe? The best we could do was 36, in a long run of about 36s. A heatwave? Yes. Extraordinary? No.

        BTW. They are mass producing new suburbs around Penrith.

        One thing I did notice about Penrith. Just like we are, they are running at less than two thirds of average annual rainfall with just ten days to go for the year.

        10

    • #
      RB

      Very few stations still open have long records. Prospect Resovoir has been open since 1887 but only has data since 1965 up. It was half a degree warmer in 1994.
      The new RAAF base at Richomond had 43.7 on that day and the old one had 43.6 in 1990. It was 42.9 yesterday.
      The Syd Obs was 7 degrees cooler than the record in 1957 of 42.2 while 40 (103.8 F) has been recorded there as far back as 1871.
      The old Richmond station was opened in 1928 but has no data for Jan of 1939 when it hit 50°C (122F) on the 11th according to newspapers, but does claim that the highest for the station is 47.8 on the 14th of that year.
      It does highlight how bad the data is to be making such claims of a record.

      70

  • #
    RickWill

    Something very unusual occurred on Tuesday 19th Dec. It is the first time I have seen SA with the lowest cost power in the NEM for any billing period. Wholesale prices at 1530 were:
    SA $48
    QLD $193
    Tas $254
    NSW $279
    VIC $290

    The wind was solid in SA and the SA-VIC link was maxed out with SA exporting to VIC. Demand in both VIC and NSW was high due to warm temperatures. VIC is missing Hazelwood. Victorian power prices are set for ignition to rocket upward; possibly outpacing SA.

    With businesses winding down for the holidays it appears that the NEM has made it through November and December 2017 without load shedding. However the ingredients are in the mix for load shedding in February when business return to full capacity. It will require the combination of high temperature in NSW and VIC and low wind in SA.

    There remains the possibility of SA having another blackout event if a weather front comes through. The number of AEMO notices on weather conditions indicates they are no confident SA can ride through a decent front.

    110

    • #
      Dennis

      For South Australia 2018 is a state election year.

      50

    • #

      There’s something really interesting about this spike in costs that RickWill mentions here.

      Remember a couple of Threads back here, I mentioned the costing structure for power here in this five State AEMO coverage area, and I linked into a diagram for those cost structures, and so you don’t have to go chasing it again, here’s the link to that diagram.

      The same thing as Rick mentions happened the day before, at 5.30PM on the Monday, when Unit One at the Eraring power station failed. As I mentioned in that earlier Comment, this was not a staged outage where it comes down slowly, but an instantaneous failure where the Unit stopped generating power immediately, from 700MW down to zero in an instant.

      So then, how do you cover something like that without blackouts ensuing.

      Okay, so now go back to that cost structure image which shows the five levels of power required and their costs, as the Demand (consumption) rises.

      That’s not a case of we’ll (the operator at AEMO) call you when the time comes. It’s a case of we’ll soon be needing your power, so you need to be already up and running and waiting for the light to come on, or our call, for when to switch your Unit onto the grid, so the power NEEDS to be there waiting, if you can see that.

      Now, even so, there’s no way known that the AEMO will have that much power (the lost 700MW from Eraring) waiting in just the one State.

      So now, cue in not ONE but four of those costing structures for the States surrounding that failed Unit. We now have FOUR States waiting with Units ready to come on line immediately, as they are already waiting for the call.

      NSW immediately brings on line ALL the Units waiting to come online.

      Tasmania brings all its waiting Units online, because they will need to supply into Victoria, because Victoria now has to supply into NSW to make up SOME of that missing power from Eraring

      Victoria brings online all its waiting Units to supply some power into NSW.

      Queensland brings online all its waiting Units to supply into NSW

      So, that missing 700MW from Eraring is now being covered by new units in NSW, new Units in Queensland, and new Units in Victoria, enough to make up that instantaneous loss, and enough to do THAT in the same instant.

      Hence, and now back to that cost structure image in FOUR States, the instantaneous cost for electricity doubled in those four States.

      All those Units waiting for that extra demand to kick in now had to come online, and they had to be ready to come online.

      This was a problem of unique nature, and in fact it was lucky (if could call it that) that this actually was in NSW, where they could call upon their own reserve, and the reserves of their two surrounding States, Qld and Victoria.

      The problem last year in South Australia was that the power that they lost had to be made up within their own State and only ONE other State Victoria, which was already strapped in supplying the full amount via their two interconnectors, so there was nowhere else for them to go.

      See now how delicate a balance it is to keep the power on.

      Contrary to what the SouthAus Premier said, AEMO is most definitely NOT asleep at the wheel.

      Now note also that when it comes to something like this, the need for REAL power, that can only be supplied by Units which can deliver power at a moment’s notice.

      This was 700MW here, and no toy battery will ever be able to cover that. Likewise Wind Power, and likewise solar power.

      That power just HAS to be there, not maybe, but IMPERATIVE.

      It doesn’t matter really. The job was carried out so efficiently, that my guess is that the only people who knew 700MW was taken out of the system would be those few people at AEMO, and life just went on.

      You’ll never see anything like this explained to the public. As long as the power comes out of the hole in the wall, people will blindly believe that it was some battery somewhere that did that.

      I learn something new every day. My task is to tell you people how it all works.

      Tony.

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      • #
        James in Melbourne

        Hi Tony,

        What fired all these ‘new’ units that saved the day?

        James in Melbourne

        20

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          • #
            Ted O'Brien.

            And what is the cost of maintaining these ready to snap into production?

            00

            • #

              I am told that gas units that are ready are like a jet engine. When you need them, you put your foot on the accelerator and they respond. What I’d like to know is whether these units were already spinning and just “ramped up”.

              That is a big instantaneous loss to deal with.

              00

              • #
                Graeme No.3

                Joanne:

                They are OCGTs (open cycle). Just a jet engine driving a generator. No, they aren’t running all the time, they are started when extra power is needed. Various claims are made but it seems that it takes about 5 minutes to full power.

                CCGTs (closed cycle) ones run most, or all the time. They are much more efficient hence cheaper to run, give less emissions (esp. if gas fired as against diesel) but can only cycle from (approx) 70 to 100% and more slowly as part of their output comes from a steam boiler set.
                If gas is very cheap, e.g. in the USA from frakking, then CCGTs can replace coal fired power stations, but in Australia gas prices are too high so they cost more to run than coal. The OCGTs installed by Weatherdill are much more expensive to run, probably as much as a diesel generator in your back yard.

                00

      • #
        Andrew McRae

        Tony says:

        This was 700MW here, and no toy battery will ever be able to cover that.

        The Kout says:

        South Australia’s giant battery is already showing its worth, state Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis says.

        The world’s largest lithium-ion battery, built by tech billionaire Elon Musk, responded quickly last week when the coal-fired Loy Yang power plant tripped and went offline.

        The battery delivered 100 megawatts into the national electricity grid in 140 milliseconds.

        “That’s a record and the national operators were shocked at how quickly and efficiently the battery was able to deliver this type of energy into the market,” Mr Koutsantonis told 5AA radio on Wednesday.

        The minister said that the battery’s quick response time showed its worth over other forms of power generation.

        “Now if we got a call to turn on our emergency generators it would take us 10 to 15 minutes to get them fired up and operating which is a record time compared to other generators,” Mr Koutsantonis said.

        00

        • #
          Graeme No.3

          Andrew:

          No battery can deliver 100MWh in 0.14 seconds. They are chemical. It is more likely that Koutsantonis has mistaken the known total capacity of the Musk battery and assumed that it sent all that out.

          00

          • #
            Andrew McRae

            Administrivia: The shifting sands at News.com have buried the version I linked above and it is now published here
            http://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/thats-a-record-south-australias-tesla-battery-responds-to-coalfired-plant-failure/news-story/d9e02c0dbf6774ffea948a1b919f3b7f
            I don’t have the old version but I think the only change is the headline.

            - – - – - –

            News Limited said:

            The battery delivered 100 megawatts into the national electricity grid in 140 milliseconds.

            You said:

            No battery can deliver 100MWh in 0.14 seconds.

            Graeme, I know what you’re trying to do there with your fancy number division, but you’ve misread the article, misunderstood my point, and probably overestimated my abilities of mental arithmetic.

            The article did not say megawatt hours, it said 100 megawatts, so in repeating that I was not claiming it had delivered at 700MW because they did not claim that. I understand dimensional analysis and I can read. I also had not noticed 140ms was ~1/7th of a second until now.

            It was posted quite late at night and I’m not sure what point I wanted to convey, which is probably why I had not put in any clarifying remarks of my own. So your misunderstanding is not your fault. I agree in hindsight my comment reads like a counterpoint. I did not intend to say Tony was mistaken about this, although his statement is about the future so it is neither wrong nor right it is currently undecidable (pun intended). Interesting that the power level delivered is 7 times less than what was needed, which is less than one power of ten different so is getting into the ballpark for what technological improvement, economies of scale, and more dollar spend could achieve in future.

            In general this story was relevant to Tony’s statement about batteries and long-running chastisement of ruinables and trumpeting of coal. I think there was no single point I was trying to highlight as there are so many points one can mine out of this article, so take your pick.
            • Loy Yang tripped offline and there was no mention of this event in Tony’s weekly roundup of baseload power for week ending 16 December.
            • The running theme of Tony and JN commentary is that we can’t depend on ruinables because they are unpredictable, but here’s a case where we could not depend on a coal-fired plant because suddenly tripping offline is totally unrelated to how the power is being generated, it is an electrical distribution problem. (OK, ruinables are predictably unpredictable, it’s not a known unknown.)
            • The Kout talks about the battery as being a generator when ultimately it is not, the wind plant next door and the coal fired plants in Victoria are.
            • The role that Tesla’s battery performed in this situation was one of grid stabilisation, like FCAS, but not time-shifting wind for primary supply like it was first touted.
            • The battery was rubbished by many here, including myself, for not having a large enough capacity to run SA’s grid for more than 12 minutes, but in fact it only needed to run for as long as it takes to start up the reserve emergency generators, which it did do in this case.
            • Despite the cost of the battery, it still could not match the power capacity that dropped out in Tony’s example.

            There is more info about that event here:
            http://reneweconomy.com.au/tesla-big-battery-outsmarts-lumbering-coal-units-after-loy-yang-trips-70003/
            Loy Yang was delivering 560MW when it dropped out. The Tesla unit only delivered 7MW for frequency stabilisation, not to take over the lost capacity. The whole News article is an exaggeration when you uncover the actual power number!
            The Kout says emergency generators take 15mins to start up, but that’s for replacement of capacity, not for FCAS which is required to respond in 6 seconds not 15 minutes.

            Maybe the article I quoted is more useful as an example of spin than information.

            00

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    pat

    ABC removes/replaces original article; neither were dated & no attribution.

    the adjusted version:

    ABC: Canberra weather falls short of near-record heat forecast, BOM expects cool Christmas
    Updated yesterday at 4:01pm; First posted Tue at 6:49am
    Canberra has been spared a severe summer scorcher, with temperatures failing to reach the near-record highs that were forecast.
    The capital was expected to hit a high of 39 degrees Celsius, coming “very close” to the December record of 39.2C set in 1994, according to senior forecaster Neil Fraser.
    Mr Fraser said a heatwave crossing over the Tasman Sea, combined with north-westerly winds bringing serious heat from central Australia, could see Canberra give the record a nudge.
    But, according to the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), the city topped out at 34.3C.
    BOM’s New South Wales forecasting service said a lot of the hotter temperatures stayed further north than expected…

    A number of towns in the central-west NSW climbed well into the 40s, while Penrith recorded Sydney’s hottest temperature of 44.1C.
    “To push that warmer air mass [into Canberra] you need a more pronounced north-westerly air stream,” meteorologist Jiwon Park said.
    “That’s why the air mass stayed further north and didn’t reach Canberra and the southern tablelands.”…
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-19/canberra-falls-short-of-december-record-after-39c-forecast/9270654

    the original:

    Canberra weather: Sizzling 39C day forecast, but relief expected by Christmas
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-19/canberra-set-to-sizzle-through-39c…/9270654
    22 hours ago – Senior forecaster Neil Fraser said today’s maximum temperature would likely come “very close” to Canberra’s December record of 39.2C. He said the sweltering conditions were due to heatwave crossing over the Tasman Sea, with north-westerly winds across Eastern Australia. “That brings down lots of hot …

    19 Dec: Warwick Hughes: Canberra forecast 39°C BoM monster fail
    So far max 34.3 @ 3.17pm – any other examples around the wide brown land?
    (BoM page)
    1 COMMENT by Beachgirl: LINKS TO UPDATED ABC ARTICLE ABOVE, AND ADDS: “What on earth relevance is this “heatwave crossing over the Tasman Sea” ? Are you now getting weather from NZ?”
    http://www.warwickhughes.com/blog/?p=5477

    from original cached version, undated, unattributed:

    Canberra weather: Sizzling 39C day forecast, but relief expected by Christmas
    Updated yesterday at 1:03pm
    Canberrans are urged to keep cool and stay hydrated as they brace for a scorching top temperature of 39 degrees today.
    But the Bureau of Meteorology expects some relief before Christmas.
    Senior forecaster Neil Fraser said today’s maximum temperature would likely come “very close” to Canberra’s December record of 39.2C.
    He said the sweltering conditions were due to heatwave crossing over the Tasman Sea, with north-westerly winds across Eastern Australia.
    “That brings down lots of hot air from central parts of the continent and, with no real change, that air mass just lingers right through,” he said.
    “Cold fronts approaching that high have been weakening and stepping away from the south-east, so no real air mass change has been occurring and that’s the case for another couple of days.”
    Director of Emergency Medicine at Calvary Hospital Stuart Stapleton said there was a high risk of heat-related stress when temperatures exceeded 35C…BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH

    20

    • #

      The ABC page says “The capital was expected to hit a high of 39 degrees Celsius, coming “very close” to the December record of 39.2C set in 1994, according to senior forecaster Neil Fraser.”
      A quick fact check not including more reliable records than the BoM, shows 39.7 recorded in 1938 at Acton 070099 in grey italics until they get through the 79 year backlog to QA check it. From that CDO online page it can also be seen that they have the near miraculous ability to QA check the monthly averages and daily December record min and max without having first approved the daily temps. The monthly average for 1938 in dark QA’ed bold is 28.9 and the full record daily December maximum as you would expect from the worlds best practice first class outfit is 21.7 as are other things like the full record daily December minimum.

      From “The Canberra Times” Wed 28 Dec 1938 The same higher record temperature for Canberra and even higher for Yass. (103.4 degrees F = 39.7 degrees C) (106 is 41.1)
      https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/2503118

      21

  • #

    Beware – Sarcasm alert.

    I’d just like to point out how totally insignificant and utterly unneeded coal mining and coal fired power really is, following on from the two previous Threads here at Joanne’s site.

    It took two and a half weeks, but we now have a Government in Queensland.

    The new Treasurer, and soon to be next Premier Jackie Trad in one of her first tasks, released an update into the financial position for Queensland, announcing a huge huge surplus, even though debt has now conveniently moved to the separate departments, and is around $89 Billion, but hey, surplus sounds way better than debt eh!

    That increase in the surplus is due to (thank you very much) the mammoth increase in mining royalties, and I couldn’t find if this was the total, or just the increase, but $3.9 Billion of those mining royalties came from, umm, coal mining alone.

    So, it seems that Queensland actually stays afloat thanks to coal.

    Who would have thought, eh!

    And then we have coal fired power in Queensland.

    There are 8 power plants with 23 Units and a total Nameplate of 8149MW.

    Every single Unit is on line and delivering. The total power coming from Coal fired sources is 7400MW currently, (and that’s at a Capacity Factor of 91%) and that’s out of a total power generation of 8200MW, so more than 90% of Queensland’s total power generation is coming from coal fired power.

    Queensland is currently consuming 7150MW, so coal fired power is supplying, umm, more than 100% of what Qld is using. Keep in mind that there’s no coal fired power north of Rockhampton, and small Units of differing non coal fired sources are providing in the North and in the West of this vast decentralised State.

    Queensland is currently delivering 1000MW into (Northern) NSW, so it seems that coal fired power is keeping NSW afloat as well as Qld.

    Bah humbug!

    Coal fired power. Who needs it?

    Well, everyone it seems!

    Tony.

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    David Maddison

    It is not just a perception that your iPhone slows with age, it is programmed that way.

    http://dailym.ai/2oPDPlO

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    David Maddison

    In less than 24 hrs Australian Government debt (Federal, State and Local) will hit another billion dollar milestone, $763 billion. It is going up around $200 million per day.

    http://www.australiandebtclock.com.au/

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      Dennis

      In fact the federal segment of public debt creation has slowed since the budget for 2014/15 and borrowing has been much lower than the November 2007 to September 2013 zero to circa $500 billion after provisions were made by the Abbott Coalition Government to pay for several unfunded Labor Budget 2013/14 items.

      Treasurer Morrison announced yesterday repayment of more than $20 billion over this current financial year 2017/18. Also Finance Minister Corman was given credit for significant budget spending cuts.

      A very long way to go but had the original debt creators continued to borrow at the same rate until present day the federal debt would be at least $170 billion higher.

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        Peter C

        That may be a small consolation.

        Less spending seems like the best way to address the problem. That is difficult especially politically.

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        Pauly

        To be precise, MYEFO is supposed to be a report on how the government is tracking this financial year. The only news I could find on that was an increase in revenues above what was expected. There may also be a reduction in planned government expenditures as well, but the net result is still a deficit this FY. So net and gross debt continues to increase, but perhaps not as much as anticipated when the Budget Papers were put together.

        Any comments regarding future debt levels are estimates only, ie, they are no better than the previous estimates.

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    pat

    ***ABC looks on the bright side…never mentions the possible causes of blackouts, or their daily calls to shut down coal:

    20 Dec: ABC: Sydney would be chaos with overflowing sewerage and stuck trains in SA-style blackout
    By state political reporter Sarah Gerathy
    Updated about an hour ago
    The alarming picture was painted by the Energy Security Taskforce (EST) of what might happen if the power failed in New South Wales like it did in SA last September.

    While the report, released yesterday, noted a similar blackout is “highly unlikely” in NSW, it also argued there were “significant gaps in knowledge preparation and planning for black system events”.
    And, in the event of a state-wide blackout, Sydney would be one of the last places where the lights came back on, but more on that later.
    According to the EST, power to the CBD could be down for several days.

    The state’s hospitals are equipped with backup generators to run ventilators, monitors and primary lighting, but diagnostic equipment could not be used and sterilisation procedures would take up to three days.
    There would also be no air-conditioning in hospitals, meaning many patients would have to be evacuated…

    The EST said there was concern about the ability to secure fuel supplies in an extended blackout event…

    In previous blackouts, landline telephones have literally been a lifeline.
    But since the introduction of the NBN, many landline telephones now require power and mobile phones are of course dependent on their battery life.
    Customers with fibre to the node, fibre to the building and fixed wireless would not have operable phones…

    Why Sydney would be last for lights
    This is mainly because it lies physically at the edge of the network in relation to the main generators…

    ***The good news is the last time a blackout of this magnitude happened was during the winter of 1964.
    Chief Scientist Mary O’Kane said that happened in the middle of the night and most residents were unaware it had even occurred.
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-20/sydney-could-be-chaotic-if-sa-style-blackout-hit-city/9274992

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    Dennis

    During an interview on ABC 7.30 Report a few years ago a Labor MP Anthony Albanese spoke about meeting his Italian father Carlos during a visit to Italy and several times thereafter. Anthony tracked his father down and arranged to meet him. His mother had not married Carlos but had adopted his surname and returned to Australia pregnant explaining about her failed “marriage” and related pregnancy. She did not tell Anthony the truth until he was about 15 years old. During the first visit to Italy Anthony showed his father a picture taken with his Carlos, his mother and other passengers on a ship where she met Carlos. He had a copy of that picture too he told Anthony. At their first meeting Carlos presented his other son and his daughter to Anthony who had his wife and son with him. It was an emotional time which we can all understand.

    But to the present day Anthony Albanese maintains that his birth certificate is marked father unknown and that this makes him unique and not an Italian citizen by birthright. As readers would be aware, based on a High Court ruling relating to Section 44 of the Constitution, a number of serving MPs have had to resign for not admitting to or failing to renounce foreign country citizenship or birthright citizenship. National Party Leader Barnaby Joyce an example and he was unaware of his birthright as when he was born his father was an Australian citizen who had renounced his New Zealand citizenship and his mother was Australian born, as was Barnaby.

    On the latest investigation into MP citizenship Anthony Albanese again marked the form father unknown, a copy of this and the 7.30 Report story can be viewed at Michael Smith News website.

    Not long ago Anthony told The Australian newspaper his unknown father story.

    Surely he should be referred to the High Court?

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    pat

    19 Dec: CarbonBrief: Guest post: Bioenergy ‘flaw’ under EU renewable target could raise emissions
    by Prof Sir John Beddington
    Prof Sir John Beddington was the UK government’s chief scientific adviser between 2008 and 2013. He is a senior strategy adviser at the Oxford Martin School and professor of natural resource management at the University of Oxford.

    Europe is currently considering a renewable energy directive that would raise the requirements to use renewable energy from a level of roughly 16% of final energy demand in 2015 to a level of 27-35% by 2030.
    While this is a laudable target, policymakers do need to consider very carefully some potential unintended consequences (LINK) of the rules that they are proposing. There is a real risk that these policies may even lead to a situation whereby global emissions accelerate…

    The flaw is this: the directive will use an expansive classification of bioenergy products, allowing countries, factories and power plants to claim credit as renewable fuel for using trees harvested specifically for use in power plants and not merely residues and wastes…READ ON
    https://www.carbonbrief.org/guest-post-bioenergy-flaw-under-eu-renewable-target-could-raise-emissions

    18 Dec: EurActiv: ***Adair Turner: Decarbonising Europe: Matching aspiration with action
    (Lord Adair Turner is Chair of the Energy Transitions Commission (ETC), which brings together a diverse group of leaders to accelerate change towards a low-carbon energy system)
    Since 2008, wind power costs have fallen about 70%, solar power over 80%, and battery costs have similarly reduced…

    Since the economic facts have changed, so too should Europe’s targets. The EU should now increase its 2030 renewable electricity target from today’s 50%, and aim for close to zero carbon electricity by 2040. In addition it should aim for rapid electrification of those economic activities – in particular building heating and light duty transport – where the technical feasibility is clear and the economics increasingly attractive.

    But while power decarbonisation is crucially important, it will not be sufficient to achieve Europe’s 2050 aspiration, let alone to deliver a truly zero carbon economy. By 2040 indeed, in Europe and across the world, over 60% of declining total emissions could come either from heavy industries such as steel, cement and chemicals, or from trucking, shipping and aviation, all sectors where electrification is less certainly feasible or likely to be more costly…

    But as we turn to sectors where the optimal choice between alternative technological paths is unclear, we need a significant and rising carbon price to unleash a market driven search for lowest cost solutions. If the EU imposed a carbon price of €25 today, rising to €50 by 2030 and higher thereafter, it would dramatically increase the pace of decarbonisation in the “harder to abate” sectors…
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/electricity/opinion/decarbonising-europe-matching-aspiration-with-action/

    Wikipedia: Adair Turner, Baron Turner of Ecchinswell
    Jonathan Adair Turner, Baron Turner of Ecchinswell is a British businessman, academic and was Chairman of the Financial Services Authority until its abolition in March 2013. He is the former Chairman of the Pensions Commission and the Committee on Climate Change, as well as the former Director-General of the Confederation of British Industry. He has described himself in a BBC HARDtalk interview with Stephen Sackur as a ‘technocrat’. He is a vocal advocate of the so-called “Helicopter money” idea whereby central banks would finance directly government spending or cash distribution to citizens…
    His career with BP started in 1979 and he worked for Chase Manhattan Bank from 1979-82. He became a director of McKinsey & Co in 1994 after joining in 1982…
    He lectures part-time at the London School of Economics…
    ***Institute for New Economic Thinking
    In April 2013, it was announced that Lord Turner would be joining ***George Soros’ economic think tank as a senior research fellow in its London offices…

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    pat

    19 Dec: Yale e360: Fred Pearce: Carbon Loophole: Why Is Wood Burning Counted as Green Energy?
    A loophole in carbon-accounting rules is spurring a boom in burning wood pellets in European power plants. The result has been a surge in logging, particularly in the U.S. South, and new doubts about whether Europe can meet its commitments under the Paris accord.
    It was once one of Europe’s largest coal-burning power stations. Now, after replacing coal in its boilers with wood pellets shipped from the U.S. South, the Drax Power Station in Britain claims to be the largest carbon-saving project in Europe. About 23 million tons of carbon dioxide goes up its stacks each year. But because new trees will be planted in the cut forests, the company says the Drax plant is carbon-neutral.

    There is one problem. Ecologists say that the claims of carbon neutrality, which are accepted by the European Union and the British government, do not stand up to scrutiny. The forests of North Carolina, Louisiana, and Mississippi — as well as those in Europe — are being destroyed to sustain a European fantasy about renewable energy. And with many power plants in Europe and elsewhere starting to replace coal with wood, the question of who is right is becoming ever more important…

    Wood burning is booming from Britain to Romania. Much of the timber is sourced locally, which is raising serious concerns among European environmentalists about whether every tree cut down for burning is truly replaced by a new one. But Drax’s giant wood-burning boilers are fueled almost entirely by 6.5 million tons of wood pellets shipped annually across the Atlantic…
    And there is no system either within the EU or at the UN for reporting actual changes in carbon stocks on land, so the carbon is not accounted for at either end — when trees are cut, or when the wood is burned…

    Roughly half the cut wood in the EU is now being burned to generate electricity or for heating…
    For several years, the Swedish state power company Vattenfall imported wood chips from old rubber trees on the giant Firestone rubber plantation in Liberia. The project, part-funded by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, a U.S. federal agency, had originally promised to light homes in the West African nation. But that never happened, and after the project collapsed in 2012, the wood chips began being shipped to Sweden.
    Drax buys on a small scale from Canada and has plans to buy Brazilian wood…

    Do their boilers run on specially cut timber or waste wood? Most operators of wood-burning power plants publicly insist that their main fuel is forest “thinnings,” such as twigs and branches. But in practice, the definition of “thinnings” often includes whole trees. In fact, it is often mostly whole trees.
    Drax, for instance, describes its fuel as “low-grade wood such as forest thinnings, tree tops and branches.” But when the company took me around its U.S. mills, the wood I saw piled in timber yards ready for turning into pellets was mostly tree trunks six meters or more long…

    With wood pellets, we may be seeing the birth of a new global business exploiting loopholes in current climate rules that could cause an unseen surge in carbon emissions and fatally undermine the Paris Climate Agreement.
    http://e360.yale.edu/features/carbon-loophole-why-is-wood-burning-counted-as-green-energy

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    pat

    here we go again:
    18 Dec: BBC: Ofcom to investigate BBC climate change interview
    Media watchdog Ofcom has launched its first broadcasting standards investigation into the BBC since taking over as its regulator in April.
    Ofcom will look into whether Radio 4′s Today programme broke broadcasting rules during an interview with climate change sceptic Lord Lawson in August.

    The BBC has admitted the item broke its guidelines and said Lord Lawson should have been challenged “more robustly”.
    It followed a 2014 interview with Lord Lawson that also breached BBC rules…
    After that appearance, the BBC’s editorial complaints unit upheld complaints from three listeners that Today had given undue weight to his views and had conveyed a misleading impression of the scientific evidence…

    A BBC spokeswoman said: “We have already acknowledged that we should have challenged some of Lord Lawson’s statements more robustly.
    “We recognise the weight of scientific consensus on climate change and the Today programme has covered the subject on many separate occasions with a range of voices from scientific backgrounds.”

    In 2011, the BBC Trust drew up guidelines saying BBC coverage should reflect the “general agreement among climate scientists” that the evidence is in favour of global warming caused by human activity.
    That doesn’t mean scientific research shouldn’t be properly scrutinised or that sceptical views should be excluded from BBC programmes, according to the guidelines.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-42400653

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    pat

    19 Dec: SMH: Michael Koziol: Climate review: Turnbull government will allow companies to purchase foreign carbon credits
    The Turnbull government will reverse course and allow businesses to buy overseas carbon credits to meet Australia’s emissions reduction targets, a policy long questioned by climate experts and once labelled “dodgy” by Tony Abbott.
    Backed by industry and some climate change observers, the move allows big businesses to purchase emissions reductions in other countries – most likely at lower prices – to offset their own carbon production.

    Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg on Tuesday gave “in-principle” support to joining 60 other nations – including Canada, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea – in an international trading market once rules are finalised after 2020.
    “Our thinking is to find the lowest-cost abatement,” Mr Frydenberg said on Tuesday. “When it comes to helping the environment, it doesn’t matter if you’ve reduced a tonne of CO2 here in Australia or in another country.”

    That differed from the view given by Mr Abbott in 2011, while opposition leader, that overseas permits involved money “going offshore into dodgy carbon farms in Equatorial Guinea and Kazakhstan”.
    Mr Abbott’s views were backed by the Greens on Tuesday, whose climate spokesman Adam Bandt accused the government of “outsourcing” climate policy by allowing firms to buy “dodgy permits from pig farms in China”…

    The government will also wait until the market rules of the Paris Agreement are finalised to decide whether other countries can purchase Australia’s mostly land-based carbon credits, fearing it could drive up the cost of domestic abatement. There is no guarantee international negotiations will finish by 2020, however, with talks mired in disagreement about how to link various schemes.

    International permits will become particularly important for 140 large Australian businesses with facilities that emit more than 100,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year. Under the “safeguard mechanism”, these operations will need to keep their emissions below baseline levels or offset them using domestic and, now, international credits…

    At present, international permits are significantly cheaper than the cost of abatement domestically under the Emissions Reduction Fund, although overseas credits will likely become more expensive as global demand rises…

    Industry groups including the Business Council of Australia welcomed the change-of-heart as a “practical” measure giving businesses flexibility…
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/climate-review-turnbull-government-will-allow-companies-to-purchase-foreign-carbon-credits-20171218-h06zia.html

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    pat

    ***poor Dana – he begins with all the dogmatic CAGW fervour we associate him with…but ends with a whimper with “significant uncertainty” and some “dampening”!

    18 Dec: Guardian: Dana Nuccitelli: Scientists have beaten down the best climate denial argument
    Clouds don’t act as a climate thermostat, and they’re not going to save us from global warming
    Climate deniers have come up with a lot of arguments about why we shouldn’t worry about global warming – about 200 of them – but most are quite poor, contradictory, and easily debunked by consulting the peer-reviewed scientific literature. The cleverest climate contrarians settle on the least implausible argument – that equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS – how much a doubling of the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will increase Earth’s surface temperature) is low, meaning that the planet will warm relatively slowly in response to human carbon pollution…

    DENIER, DENIER, DEBUNKED, DEBUNKED ETC

    There’s still ***significant uncertainty about how clouds will respond to global warming, but the evidence points to an amplifying effect, ***or at least not a significant dampening. The new Nature study adds to the mountain of evidence ruling out the contrarian argument for an insensitive climate. Clouds aren’t going to save us; only rapid cuts in carbon pollution can do that.
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2017/dec/18/scientists-have-beaten-down-the-best-climate-denial-argument

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    Chad

    Clouds…and the Sun….The missing Link with climate change
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/12/19/new-svensmark-paper-the-missing-link-between-cosmic-rays-clouds-and-climate-on-earth/

    ……PRESS RELEASE: DTU Space at the Technical University of Denmark

    A breakthrough in the understanding of how cosmic rays from supernovae can influence Earth´s cloud cover and thereby climate is published today in the journal Nature Communications. The study reveals how atmospheric ions, produced by the energetic cosmic rays raining down through the atmosphere, helps the growth and formation of cloud condensation nuclei – the seeds necessary for forming clouds in the atmosphere. When the ionization in the atmosphere changes, the number of cloud condensation nuclei changes affecting the properties of clouds. More cloud condensation nuclei mean more clouds and a colder climate, and vice versa. Since clouds are essential for the amount of Solar energy reaching the surface of Earth the implications can be significant for our understanding of why climate has varied in the past and also for a future climate changes….

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    pat

    Nuccitelli’s alter ego Readfearn:

    19 Dec: Guardian: Graham Readfearn: Checkmate: how do climate science deniers’ predictions stack up?
    While many pseudo-sceptics are quick with an unfounded criticism, it’s rare for them to put their own alchemy to the test by making firm projections about what’s to come.
    But sometimes they do and the results are often spectacularly and comically bad. Let’s have a look at a few.

    The $10,000 bet…
    El Niño enough?…
    What about Newsweek?…
    Plimer minus £1,000 …
    Archibald prize?…
    Cooling any minute…
    Rapid cooling…

    Climate fail army
    Fellow Guardian environmental blogger Dana Nuccitelli wrote a whole book about the predictive qualities of this failed army of “sceptics”, called Climatology versus Pseudoscience: Exposing the Failed Predictions of Global Warming Skeptics…

    So allow me to make a couple of predictions.
    First, based on their record, climate-science deniers will keep telling you that global cooling is just around the corner or that all that extra CO2 will be just great anyway.
    Second, many will look to the comments section to yell that climate models are broken and global temperature records are being nefariously tampered with.
    In short, the climate fail army will descend.
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/planet-oz/2017/dec/19/checkmate-how-do-climate-science-deniers-predictions-stack-up

    compare Readfearn’s weak list with:

    30 Oct: WUWT: Some Failed Climate Predictions
    By Javier
    Here, for the first time in public, is Javier’s entire collection of massive, “consensus” climate science prediction failures. This collection is carefully selected from only academics or high-ranking officials, as reported in the press or scientific journals. Rather than being exhaustive, this is a list of fully referenced arguments that shows that consensus climate science usually gets things wrong, and thus their predictions cannot be trusted…READ ON
    PLENTY MORE IN THE 400+ COMMENTS…AND MANY MORE WHICH AREN’T INCLUDED
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/10/30/some-failed-climate-predictions/

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    Robert Rosicka

    News from the northeast Victoriastan, have spent the last two days in hospital at a bedside vigil for a dying relative and last night the region was hit by a large ferocious storm .
    Power went out in many areas locally including the hospital late in the evening but the hospital generators kicked in so all good for a while then the generators went down as well leaving only emergency lighting at the exit signs .
    So no power for any critical machines or exit doors in the whole hospital until power to the area was re-connected probably more than two hours later .
    Makes you realise just how essential reliable electricity is in our everyday lives , I know in this case it had nothing to do with our electricity woes from low baseload generation but it makes you think .

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      toorightmate

      Robert,
      The main problem with what you have said is that we seem to be devoid of thinkers.

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      James

      How hard should it be to keep standby generators operational? At a place I used to work we used to run on the generator once a month to ensure that it was operational if the power failed! Was it a public hospital? How is that socialized medicine working out. A similar thing happened at Flinders when the SA blackout happened.

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        Robert Rosicka

        The power outage was made worse by the linesmen refusing to do overtime because of an industrial dispute although emergency services were exempt .

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    toorightmate

    Bloomberg News is currently bemoaning the fact that European stock markets are now performing very poorly compared with the USA.
    Remember a bloke about 14 months ago saying that he intended to make America great again.
    Despite often violent opposition tom the Democrats and the press, he seems to be doing exactly what he said he would do.
    Shock!! Horror!!

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    James

    I was surprised to see this article on news.com.au:

    http://www.news.com.au/finance/economy/australian-economy/it-will-destroy-australia-as-we-know-it-dick-smiths-warning-as-population-surges-towards-25-million/news-story/feb3ccbc6257ac21314e703ce0828b5b

    I was also surprised that it was Dick Smith who said all this. Will Australia ever come to its senses and make itself an attractive place to do business?

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      Dennis

      Probably not until we have a statesman prime minister who places Australia first and treats the United Nations and its many organisations acting like inter nation government departments as foreigners who, according to POTUS Trump, are having a good time on donated monies.

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      el gordo

      ‘….our cities are huge by developed country standards. They’re way past economies of scale, to [arguably] diseconomies of scale.”

      The cities are bursting at the seams, which is why they plan to build a continental bullet train network and satellite cities in the outback.

      Barnaby Joyce is the new Infrastructure Minister and I reckon he will recommend ‘land capture’ to pay for it.

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