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

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Rating: 8.9/10 (17 votes cast)
Midweek Unthreaded, 8.9 out of 10 based on 17 ratings

109 comments to Midweek Unthreaded

  • #

    As of now my this post has been given 10 stars by two people

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    David Maddison

    There seems to be one single example of “advanced” technology from Sub-Saharan Africa and that is the Bantu knowledge of iron smelting although it is not known if the knowledge was developed indigenously or diffused from the Mediterranean. The Bantu no longer practice iron smelting.

    There is a video about this topic here: https://youtu.be/RuCnZClWwpQ

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    Interesting weather phenomenon here in Townsville. I just checked the water level in the stormwater drain at the back of my yard, and it is as high as it got in the ’98 floods or “Night of Noah” which was a 200 year event. (That’s under the old system of assessing events, eg before it was decided to supercharge the system using RCP 8.5.)
    The cause is the same; there is a stationary low slowly rotating directly over the city. According to (at least earlier versions of) “Australian Rainfall and Runoff”, the high intensity areas of rainstorms are expected to move across affected areas. But sometimes they don’t move. It’s going to be interesting if this one stays stationary as long as the previous one (18 hours).

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      In my youth they didn’t call the Hunter Flood an x-year event. They just called it an inland sea the size of England and Wales. Imagine what the word-tricksters, factoid-mongers and data-torturers could do with it now.

      In the 50s we used to blame extreme weather on Sputnik, the Bomb and “those things they keep sending up”. Who knew that observation and reportage would go downhill from there? Our Sputnik-hating butcher in Carss Park was a sophisticate compared with your current-day science communicator.

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        PeterS

        Reminds me of not long ago when our council decided to rezone our area as a 100-year or whatever it was flood zone. A group of us got together and wrote some angry letters to the council. Perhaps we should have added “come back in 100 years and then we’ll discuss”. As it turned out they dropped the idea after it was shown the only risk of a flood was due to their blocked storm water drains. We were situated on one of the highest points in the city too so any risk of a natural flood would be minimal, unless of course we had a 400 m tsunami hitting the east coast. Goes to show that this CAGW nonsense has become crazy. I do really hope one day they are brought to account. I’d gladly donate money to help build the extra cells.

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          Hundred year events, 500 year events…it’s so nice of Gaia to bring on events at predictable intervals. To a literal-minded mechanist born with a joystick in his hand it’s all about “the math”. Your old factoids letting you down because reality has been intruding? Just head down to Lysenko Dungeon where they torture numbers into any shape or size you need. Then just do “the math”.

          And once we had to think!

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            Dean

            A 1 in 100 year event, or 1 in 500 year event has little to do with the frequency, and everything to do with the size of the event. Its based on statistics and describes events which typically occur at certain time frequencies over the long term. It is perfectly reasonable to have 2 100 year events in the same year without needing to change the definition.

            And having studied river flows in order to understand impacts, it is patently clear that large portions of Australian cities and towns are built in rivers under any kind of long term perspective.

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            • #

              The problem, Dean, is that when two 100 year events come close together there is opportunity to manipulate opinion and emotion by use of the very terms. And there’s plenty of that going on. More than enough.

              Describe frequency with frequency terms and size with size terms, if you can. Or just say what you know, which is even better. For example, just say that a whacking great flood came through in colonial times and an even bigger flood before was described by aborigines. It’s also good to read what happened in events like Gundagai, Maitland etc. Describing these events in hundred-of-years frequency terms is meaningless and, dare I say, more than a touch manipulative.

              I remember reading the hydrology report for Wivenhoe some years back and being pleasantly surprised by its commonsense approach and language…after decades of twisty propaganda any time climate is the subject.

              So, yeah, find another definition system, definitely. If you can’t, plain English will do.

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              “2 100 year events in the same year”. Yep. And the 200 year event of ’98 was followed by another 200 year event in 2000.
              This one in Townsville has now gone over the 18 hour record for continuous downpour in the same location, so it looks like we are now in uncharted territory. I’m wondering what has happened to the tailing ponds at QNI. Maybe I’ll go up Mt Low in the morning and have a look.
              Not sure if it was ’98 or 2000, but they started to let go in one of these events. The army came in with heavy front-end loaders to patch things up. They brought them on a tank transporter that got bogged.

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          Graeme#4

          The Bridgetown WA council decided to open their river’s 100-year flood plain to new housing. And sure enough, in a few years the river flooded again, taking out the new houses. So they re-instated the flood plain building ban, which I presume will only last another few decades before the cycle repeats.

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            Sceptical Sam

            Surely they blamed AGW?

            I can’t believe that they actually accepted responsibility for their error. If so, that’s a Council worth preserving.

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            Same thing happened in Wollongong in 1998 – the corrupt council had allowed developers to fill up all the run-off gullies with houses, a big 1/100 year storm flash-flood destroyed the houses in the gullies and those houses clogged up the gullies causing the water to back up and damage other homes that would otherwise have been safe.

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        Glen Michel

        As I go around my environs one notices the river flood plains and the height and extent of previous events. Great alluvial flats that are great for fodder crops such as Lucerne.Look at the mega flood that created the braided channels of the Diamantina. A massive event. It would make a good news story on a lifeless Sunday .

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      Hanrahan

      That was a funny night in ’98. It just seemed like any rainy night, no storms to wake anyone up. What a shock for many when they got up in the morning to find they were flooded and/or the sewerage backed up. David Carmichael was probably the biggest loser, he lost most of his cars [A big Ford dealer]and his house was hit by a mudslide.

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      Hanrahan

      This low has developed into a classic cyclonic spiral. Had it been over water I suspect it would have become one.

      But Townsville gas dodged the bullet, the heavy rain falls south of the low. The Herbert R. currently has minor flood warnings but a night of this will have Giru under water – again.

      In ’98 the low was over Rollingstone, north of Townsville.

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    manalive

    Michael Kile at Quadrant reports Dr Mann has been visiting NZ.
    Answering the perennial ‘sixty-four thousand dollar’ attribution question Mann’s response included:

    … You can run two parallel simulations; one where carbon dioxide is left at pre-industrial levels, and a parallel simulation where you increase these levels in response to the burning of fossil fuels. You can look at how often a particular event happens in both counterfactual worlds …

    On these model simulations Dr David Whitehouse, GWPF Science Editor:

    … They compare observations to a virtual Earth on which there has been no man-made climate change. The justification is that there has been improvements in models, and besides they know what should be happening and that makes detecting it easier …

    The logical fallacy circular reasoning can be difficult to detect when the premise and conclusion is widely separated in the reasoning process, particularly if you throw in a magic all-knowing computer:
    … The computer models assume that CO2 is the primary climate driver, and that the Sun has an insignificant effect on climate. Using the output of a model to verify its initial assumption is committing the logical fallacy of circular reasoning. Computer models can be made to roughly match the 20th century temperature rise by adjusting many input parameters and using strong positive feedbacks. They do not “prove” anything …
    Or as Dr Roy Spencer wrote: “They ended up concluding only what they had assumed to begin with!”.

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      Kinky Keith

      Good points.
      They are not modelling the climate, they are modelling their own minds.

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      manalive

      “… premise and conclusion are widely separated …” — a solecism due to editing.

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      Peter C

      I think this is a case of “begs the question”

      Begs the question is a term that comes from formal logic. It’s a translation of the Latin phrase petitio principii, and it’s used to mean that someone has made a conclusion based on a premise that lacks support.

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    David Maddison

    Have you ever seen or heard of a lawn bubble? Can you explain them?

    Video here: https://youtu.be/Py7T7fz2aqw

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    • #

      water upwelling from some source (not the same in each instance but probably a not a diffuse source)meeting an impervious root mat and pushing those enmeshed roots away from the soil.

      I did this to a lawn as a kid. Regular garden hose shoved into a lawn. Turn it on while sealing the entry using hands around the hose. The lawn starts to lift.

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      RickWill

      Can you explain them?

      A burst water pipe below thick intertwined lawn with a loam/clay binder that has be laid down on sandy ground.

      In Melbourne I have kikuyu grass that I mow near the highest setting of the mower. The grass is 6″ thick in some places and long intertwined root system. It is mostly set on clay but there are a few areas that I infilled with sand for levelling before laying tufts of kikuyu then top dressing with humus rich loamy soil to get the grass to spread. I suspect that these areas would bubble if there was a ruptured waterline below them. They are like a thick carpet with little bond to the underlay; easily separated with a bit of water pressure.

      The height of the bubble mound is indicative of the water pressure it takes to break the bond to the drainage layer.

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      PeterS

      Yes I can verify I stood on one in the middle of a paddock. There were all over the place. It was scary. I thought I stepped on something alive. Strange sensation. It was caused by a high water table over a large area of flat grassland.

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      MudCrab

      It’s a market trend within the highly competitive Landscaping Market where more and more groundskeepers invest in the dream of a lush even green coating that is weed free, drought resistant and safe for the kids to play on, only to discover the actual homeowners went for pavers and a water feature.

      It’s a tragic time that could be easily avoided if only they had diversified their investments with a few shrubs and the true victims usually end up being the people who supply and maintain mowers.

      OR…. What Gee Aye and RickWill said.

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    yarpos

    There appears to be randomness afoot in Nova land. First the Bourke thread disappears and returns, now we have two midweek unthreadeds runnings. Pay attention out there, anything may happen!

    Greatly enjoying the warmists look squirell!!! attempts to diverst attention from an increasingly snowed in northern hemisphere. Camels trekking across the Arctic apparently.

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    • #
      OriginalSteve

      They may start a war as a rather large “look squirrel”…..

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      Will Janoschka

      There appears to be randomness afoot in Nova land. First the Bourke thread disappears and returns, now we have two midweek unthreadeds runnings. Pay attention out there, anything may happen!

      Someone is futzing with! SUSE42.3 has a completely different midweek with Gee Aye than Ubuntu 14.3 with El gordo! :-(

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    Hanrahan

    Could your airbag kill you?

    Here is a list of cars and years subject to compulsory recall. I notice there are no Camry models which were Australian made.

    http://www.news.com.au/technology/innovation/motoring/motoring-news/the-cars-affected-by-biggest-recall-in-history/news-story/8860f9a3ef1cc581a464cd8a9cc8769d

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    OriginalSteve

    Talking to a work colleague this morning, who is a very switched on guy, who couldnt believe how poor the standard of science reporting in Science Journalists is now.

    I made the point that in business as in politics, often its the non-technical politicans ( or Managers in business ) who make technical descisions, then get all bent out of shape when it publically goes wrong, this is despite the techncial guys warning in advance for ages……

    Maybe the answer is outlawing dim politicans, and letting the technical dudes run the place….

    Case in point – outlawing petrol or deisel cars by 2040 in the UK so everyone has electric cars.
    Ok, so if they keep shutting down power stations, where do they get the extra power for the additional 2KW load on every house to charge an electric shoppig trolley each night? If there is an increased load but no additional power station capacity because they keep folowing “Dynamite” Weathdills lead, I guess they could shut down industry ( and jobs ) to provide for their precious & clueless mythical “Gaia” nonsense…..unless thats the idea of course……

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    pat

    27 Feb: WSJ: GreenTech Automotive Files for Bankruptcy
    Electric car venture once led by Democratic hopeful Terry McAuliffe runs out of juice
    By Becky Yerak
    GreenTech Automotive Inc., an electric car maker co-founded by former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, has filed for bankruptcy, seeking protection from creditors after having raised $141.5 million from hundreds of investors under a program allowing immigrants to qualify for permanent U.S. residency.
    The car maker, which had a manufacturing plant in Mississippi but was based in northern Virginia, filed for chapter 11 protection Monday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Alexandria, Va.

    GreenTech’s lawyer Norman D. Chirite blamed the bankruptcy filing on several factors, including a series of “negative articles” in 2013 by a conservative online publisher, as well as lawsuits filed by investors and state and local governments in Mississippi, where a planned investment of $1 billion and 1,500 jobs never panned out.
    A spokesperson for Mr. McAuliffe, who has strongly hinted that he is considering a run for president in 2020, said Tuesday the former Virginia governor and Democratic National Committee chairman “has not been affiliated with this company for many years and divested before he took office” in Virginia…

    GreenTech, Mr. McAuliffe and Anthony Rodham —Hillary Clinton’s brother, who was the chief executive of a company involved in GreenTech’s EB-5 fundraising—are defendants in an investor lawsuit now pending in Virginia federal court…

    The company Mr. Rodham once ran—Gulf Coast Funds Management LLC—also filed for bankruptcy along with GreenTech. A 2015 report by the inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security on abuses in the EB-5 visa program highlighted Gulf Coast as a beneficiary of political favoritism in lining up visas for investors to help fund GreenTech. A lawyer for Mr. Rodhman couldn’t be reached for comment…
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/greentech-automotive-files-for-bankruptcy-1519775795

    27 Feb: Roanoke Times: GreenTech, the electric car company once led by McAuliffe, files for bankruptcy
    BY NED OLIVER Richmond Times-Dispatch
    More recently, however, the company has faced a series of lawsuits filed by investors in the company, who have called GreenTech a “scam perpetrated by savvy and politically connected operatives and businessmen” to exploit Chinese immigrants hoping to come to America.
    The bankruptcy filing cites a $7.5 million judgment won by 12 investors and says several similar suits are pending…

    GreenTech’s filing says all the investors were advised that the investment constituted a risk and that there were no assurances that they would receive permanent residency in the U.S…
    http://www.roanoke.com/business/news/greentech-the-electric-car-company-once-led-by-mcauliffe-files/article_8c164fbf-3bd7-56f3-8b0f-b1307ea356ad.html

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      Hanrahan

      There is a good business case for Qld opening a new SC plant. When looking at the reneweconomy site Qld is almost always exporting power, much of the time abt 500 MW. As far as the state is concerned this is an export industry.

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    David Maddison

    I was just listening to the Science Show on ABC-RN radio. They were interviewing a social activist disguised as a scientist who was talking about Los Angeles air quality. She was claiming reduced air quality in the city due to volatile substances in household cleaning products.

    Just because your instrumentation is so sensitive you can measure something doesn’t mean it’s a problem.

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      Dennis

      I just caught a small part of a speaker on Radio National talking up climate change and even mentioned “deniers” that sounded very much like former Labor PM Rudd.

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    So, even though the Queensland Labor Government is (saying that they are) pushing ahead with their renewables target, it seems that Industry Queensland is looking in another direction.

    You know how you go looking for one thing, and then find something else more interesting, it happened for me again, as it so often does. Okay, I already knew all this, but what is of interest here is that this is in fact quite recent, and while not (specifically) dated, there are clues as to how recent it is, and it dates at some time last year 2017.

    It’s from the Industry Queensland site and is a pdf document brought out by the Minerals Council of Australia, a document titled NEW GENERATION COAL TECHNOLOGY and it deals with HELE coal fired power generation and why it is part of Australia’s energy solution.

    If any of you readers need a resource for reference, then this is in fact a good one.

    The link is as follows, and it’s a 16 page pdf document.

    NEW GENERATION COAL TECHNOLOGY

    I will make a couple of points about it.

    See that diagram at the bottom of page 4, where it shows that there is a CO2 reduction (grams of CO2/KWH) of almost 20% when comparing USC to the existing coal fired plants we have here in Australia. The diagram on page 13 mentions a 30% reduction in CO2 emissions intensity.

    Forget the CCS ‘blurb’ you see there, as that will never be achieved on the scale required, and I suspect it’s only there to make the text look a little more ‘attractive’ to ‘some’ of the intended target audience.

    Note the cost structure (LCOE) on page 11.

    Here, they classify SC (SuoerCritical) as HELE (which it is) and that Australia already has 6 Units, all in Queensland. Callide C, (2 Units) Milmerran, (2 Units) Kogan Cree, (1 Unit) and Tarong North, (1 Unit) for a total Nameplate of 2879MW. These 6 Units will be running long long after that 2030 Renewables target dream, perhaps longer than 2050+.

    Incidentally, those 6 Units are only 60% of the Nameplate for ALL the wind power in OZ, (4917MW) and yet those 6 Units generate deliver 70% more power than every wind tower in Australia.

    It’s a good resource, and I also noted that the coal fired power TV ads, also from the Minerals Council of Australia were running often during the Winter Olympic Games.

    It might only be small steps, but at least someone is making the point.

    Tony.

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    pat

    23 Feb: DesmogUK: Mat Hope: Climate Science Deniers’ Favourite Journal Just got ‘Overhauled’ — And it Could Lead to a Skeptic Shutout
    Long a home for papers that cast doubt on climate science and the seriousness of climate change, Energy and Environment was recently bought by publishing behemoth SAGE…

    Energy and Environment provided 131 of the ‘more than 900+’ papers that supported climate change scepticism, according to a list compiled by climate science denial campaign group the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) in 2011.
    GWPF Director, Benny Peiser, was on the journal’s “editorial advisory board” from 2011 to 2016…

    Explaining the changes to the journal’s processes, a spokesperson for SAGE told DeSmog UK:
    “As a standard procedure when on-boarding new journals SAGE works in close consultation with the editorial teams to review processes, ensuring that both industry best practices and the rigorous and robust standards that SAGE uphold, are in place.”
    Regarding specific changes to Energy and Environment, she said the company “introduced a Scholar One online submission process and a double-blind peer review policy for the journal.”
    “SAGE continues to work with the journal to provide full guidance around peer review and ensure robust policies are maintained”.

    When SAGE bought Energy and Environment from its previous publisher, Multi-Science, its climate science denier editor, Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen stepped down…
    Boehmer-Christiansen told DeSmog UK her decision to leave the journal was down to “a combination of factors” including the new “impersonal” editorial process, and reduced editorial input.

    She said, “I hope that climate sceptical science papers will still be published in future, but the emphasis may well change to engineering and remain with economic modelling of renewables, that is what governments etc. fund.”

    The journal’s new editor is Yiu Fai Tsang, an associate professor in the Department of Science and Environmental Studies at The Education University of Hong Kong (EdUHK). He has a PhD in Environmental engineering.
    https://www.desmog.uk/2018/02/23/climate-science-deniers-favourite-journal-just-got-overhauled-and-it-could-lead-skeptic-shutout

    Yiu Fai Tsang has, apparently, been involved in both of the following conferences. am posting the main Conference website url rather than the one where I found the Committee info:

    ClimateChangeConferences: 2nd International Conference on Climate Change 2018, 15th -16th February 2018 in Colombo, Sri Lanka
    Scientific Committee includes:
    Prof. Scott Denning, Colorado State University, USA

    ***Dr. Yiu Fai Tsang,The Education University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

    Session Chairs
    1. Dr. Salut Muhidin
    Macquarie University
    Austalia
    https://climatechangeconferences.com/

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    gbees

    Uranium outlook good, but as we know Australia will not reap the reward from nuclear power.
    Uranium Outlook 2018: Market Braces for Rise in Demand

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      We should be jealous of the 80,000 people whose properties were rendered worthless by nuclear power at Fukushima? Or jealous of the Japanese taxpayer, still funding the Fukushima clean-up after 6 years?

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        yarpos

        If you took the blinkers off , far more people have been damaged by the mining and burning of coal in the history of mankind. The damage of nuclear industry while real is a fly speck by comparison. Yet hand wringers everywhere refuse to consider it. Fukushima was negligence of design/placement/operation rather than the core technology.

        The reality is that most of Europe is held up by nuclear power, without which renewable fanboy countries would be in deep doodoo.

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    Mark M

    Moon to get 4G mobile network to stream HD video back to Earth

    “The 4G network will enable the Audi lunar quattro rovers to communicate and transfer scientific data and HD video while they approach and study NASA’s Apollo 17 lunar roving vehicle, which was used by the last astronauts to walk on the Moon to explore the Taurus-Littrow valley in December 1972.”

    It comes 50 years after the first NASA astronauts walked on the Moon.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-28/moon-to-get-4g-mobile-network/9491948

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    • #

      Wasn’t that just a hoax invented by NASA scientists to get more government grants?

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        yarpos

        If you say so, he says backing away quietly

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        Hanrahan

        If the moon landing was a hoax, Apollo 13 was an even better one. What a script!

        10

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        RAH

        Dean Armstrong, brother of Neil, was a neighbor when I was growing up. Another neighbor, Jane Bennet, who’s maiden name of Tibbets, was a relative of Paul Tibbets. Thus by chance as a kid I was able to meet both of those men who had made history when they visited their relatives. And so I have no more doubt that Neil piloted the lunar lander and landed on the moon than I had Paul had piloted the Enola Gay which dropped the bomb and that would be nil.

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    pat

    anonymous sources say:

    27 Feb: Bloomberg: U.S. Energy Chief Plans Nuclear Deal Talks With Saudis, Source Says
    by Ari Natter, Jennifer Jacobs & Jennifer A Dlouhy
    Energy Secretary Rick Perry will travel to London to discuss nuclear energy with officials from Saudi Arabia on Friday as the Trump administration pursues a deal to build reactors in the kingdom, according to two people familiar with the plans…

    The administration is considering permitting Saudi Arabia to enrich and reprocess uranium as part of a deal that would allow Westinghouse Electric Co. and other American companies to build nuclear reactors in the Middle East kingdom…

    Saudi Arabia plans to construct 16 nuclear power reactors over the next 20 to 25 years at a cost of more than $80 billion, according to the World Nuclear Association (LINK)…

    Any agreement they reach must be approved by Congress, which will have 90 days to weigh in. The potential deal has drawn opposition from anti-nuclear proliferation advocates and some lawmakers, such as Senator Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat…
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-02-26/u-s-energy-chief-is-said-to-plan-nuclear-deal-talks-with-saudis

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      Any agreement they reach must be approved by Congress, which will have 90 days to weigh in. The potential deal has drawn opposition from anti-nuclear proliferation advocates and some lawmakers, such as Senator Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat…

      Oh ya! Toshiba still owns Westinghouse, and builds reactors in China! Fool Ed Markey can pound sand! :-)

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    pat

    behind paywall. wonder if FT is thinking of potential blackouts during “Beast”/Storm Emma events:

    National Grid struggles to get data to gauge electricity demand
    Financial Times-26 Feb. 2018
    National Grid’s ability to accurately gauge Britain’s peak electricity demand has been called into question because of concerns over its access to detailed information from small generating facilities. The company, which owns and operates the transmission network that carries electricity around the UK, is struggling to get hold of data showing how much power is being generated by smaller plants that connect to local distribution networks rather than its central grid…
    As the UK’s electricity system moves towards more low-carbon sources of generation, the amount of power coming from “distributed” or “embedded” generation, which bypasses the central grid, is growing…

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    pat

    note the headline says “Adani campaigners”, NOT “anti-Adani campaigners”:

    28 Feb: AAP: Adani campaigners paid for Shorten’s trip
    by Angus Livingston
    Environmental campaigners paid for Bill Shorten’s trip to the Great Barrier Reef where he said he was prepared to revoke the Adani coal mine’s licence if it didn’t stack up…
    The opposition leader updated his register of interests on Wednesday to reveal the Australian Conservation Foundation paid for his flight to the proposed mine site and a tour of the reef…

    Mr Shorten’s office confirmed he sought a meeting with the ACF and Mr Cousins to discuss the mine.
    “It’s no secret that Bill is deeply sceptical of the proposed Adani coal mine. He believes if it cannot stack up environmentally or commercially, it should not go ahead,” his office said in a statement…
    The register of interests shows the foundation paid for Mr Shorten to take a tour of the reef on January 23, and a charter flight from Cairns to Carmichael River and Doongmabulla Springs the next day.

    On Wednesday ACF said Mr Cousins was no longer the organisation’s president when the trip took place, but the group’s CEO Kelly O’Shannessy went along.
    It said Mr Shorten had reached out to Mr Cousins, proposing a reef trip “to witness the damage from climate change-fuelled coral bleaching and to discuss the Adani coal project”.
    “Geoff approached ACF asking for our assistance in organising such a trip,” ACF said in a statement…
    “ACF was happy to organise the trip as it provided one of our senior elected representatives in Canberra with a chance to see firsthand the damage climate change is doing to our Great Barrier Reef.”

    It said ACF had made similar offers to coalition and crossbench MPs in the past…
    http://au.news.yahoo.com/a/39348338/adani-campaigners-paid-for-shortens-trip/

    did Turnbull/Coalition come out with full-blooded attack on an Opposition leader threatening foreign investment in Australia, especially given it’s taken 8 years and billions of dollars for Adani to get the go-ahead?

    no.

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      robert rosicka

      Lil Bill says he wants to protect the Reef from Adani but is promising a bigger port for Townsville .

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    pat

    a hyped-up “secret” speech, which is little more than an opportunity to shill for unreliable “renewables”:

    26 Feb: Reason.com: 5 Things Barack Obama Said in His Weirdly Off-the-Record MIT Speech
    “We didn’t have a scandal that embarrassed us,” said the former president. “I know that seems like a low bar.”
    by Robby Soave
    On Friday, former President Barack Obama spoke for an hour to an audience of hundreds of people at a major sports analytics* conference at MIT, but his remarks were off-the-record and kept completely secret by virtually all attendees, who had to agree that they would not record, photograph, tweet, or report on the event before being granted a seat in the audience. Reason obtained a recording of the speech, however, and the most newsworthy thing about it is the simple fact that the public wasn’t supposed to hear it…

    Those were some of the highlights from his talk at MIT’s Sloan Sports Analytics Conference on Friday. The event, attended by hundreds of sports industry professionals, journalists, and students, was cloaked in secrecy. Having listened to the entire thing, I’m not sure what all the secrecy was about—it was pretty standard Obama fare, and he never once said the word Trump, though Obama did seem to imply that his White House was remarkably drama-free in contrast. Here are five key takeaways…

    2) It’s okay to argue about how we should address climate change. It’s not okay to deny the underlying science.
    As an example of the kind of epistemic closure described above, Obama offered up the debate over climate change.
    “You and I can have an argument about climate change in which you conclude, ‘we’re not going to stop the Chinese and the Indians from burning a bunch of coal, it’s gone on for a pretty long time, we’re just going to have to adapt, and maybe we’ll invent some new energy source in the nick of time, and that’s why I’m opposed to the Paris Accords,’” said Obama. “I’ll come back and say, ‘well no it just turns out if we just invest in some smart technology and we create a smart regulatory framework that incentivizes investment in clean energy, we can actually solve this problem now, and if we don’t it’s going to be catastrophic.’”

    This kind of debate is healthy for a democracy, said Obama. But, “I can’t have that same debate with somebody who just holds up a snowball in the middle of the Senate chamber in winter and says, ‘look there’s no climate change because it’s snowing!’ Which happened by the way. I didn’t just make that up.”…
    “We didn’t have a scandal ***that embarrassed us,” he said. The former president admitted that his team made mistakes, but no massive screw-ups. He then said, “I know that seems like a low bar,” at which point the audience burst into laughter. “Generally speaking, you didn’t hear about a lot of drama inside our White House,” he said. This was the closest Obama came to critiquing the new administration.
    http://reason.com/blog/2018/02/26/barack-obama-mit-sloan-sports

    ***nothing that caused the FakeNewsMSM to embarrass us. after all, they virtually ignored Fast and Furious, the IRS scandal, the wiretapping of journalists, Benghazi, Hillary Clinton’s illegal use of a private email server, the politicisation of DOJ/FBI/FISA-gate, etc etc etc.

    27 Feb: Daily Caller: In Secret Speech, Obama Says Questioning Climate Science Is Bad For Democracy
    by Michael Bastasch
    Former President Barack Obama said while debating climate change policy solutions is good for democracy, questioning the underlying science is bad for society…
    “So, if we don’t have a common baseline, our democracy over time gets strained. That’s what’s happening,” Obama told the MIT audience…

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    pat

    what a set-up the Cousins/ABC interview was…and the MSM is right in the thick of it:

    28 Feb: ABC: Josh Robertson: Revoking Adani mine licence a safe move for future Labor government, Shorten told
    Adani would get no compensation and find it “virtually impossible” to overturn a future Labor government’s decision to scrap its mining licence, according to legal advice provided to Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.
    The ABC has obtained the advice, which reportedly prompted Mr Shorten to push for a shift in Labor policy to withdraw federal approval of Adani’s Carmichael mine proposal “if the evidence is as compelling as it appears now”…

    Adani has set up a regional office in the north Queensland city of Townsville, where the local council has stepped up security at monthly meetings following apparent concerns about escalating tensions involving anti-Adani protesters.
    Earlier this month, tensions were high outside a Townville meeting that included Mr Shorten, who spoke of his misgivings about the Adani project.

    At the behest of the ACF, Brisbane barrister Chris McGrath and the Environmental Defenders Office Queensland both provided the ALP with legal opinions that a future Labor government could call a halt to the mine project by revoking approval under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act.
    Dr McGrath told the ALP a future government would not have to pay Adani anything to do this, as revoking mine approval “would not be an acquisition of property that would require compensation under the Commonwealth Constitution”…

    Dr McGrath said a new Labor environment minister, under section 145 of the EPBC Act, could rely on the “substantial new information” about environmental threats and mine impacts since it was approved in October 2015.
    He said a minister could call for a review of new information about impacts on climate change and the Great Barrier Reef, threatened species such as the black-throated finch, and groundwater ecosystems such as Doongmabulla Springs…

    Dr McGrath said that study’s lead author, coral expert Terry Hughes, would be “an appropriate expert to conduct this part of the review”.
    He said that if the minister believed the mine would have a significant impact previously not identified, Adani’s environmental licence could be scrapped…
    Adani could not legally challenge the merits of the decision, making it “virtually impossible to overturn” as long as the minister followed due administrative process “for instance by providing natural justice to Adani”…

    Reef scientist Charlie Veron wrote to Mr Frydenberg last June calling for him to scrap Adani’s approval because two successive annual mass bleaching events on the reef since 2015 constituted “important new information”…
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-28/revoking-adani-mine-licence-a-safe-move-for-future-government/9494178

    Murdoch media is no different:

    VIDEO Sky News: 5mins14secs: 28 Feb: news.com.au: Chris Chang/AAP: Legal advice reveals how Adani’s coal mine could be stopped
    ADANI’S coal mine was approved ages ago but new legal advice has revealed the government could stop it from going ahead…

    Advice from the Environmental Defenders Office (Queensland) dated 31 January, 2018 said the licence could be revoked if the Environment Minister believed a significant matter was not identified during the original assessment, or the approval would not have been granted if the minister had this new information.
    The advice suggested a minister wishing to revoke approval of the mine could initiate a review of information about key impacts including:

    1. Climate change and its effects on the Great Barrier Reef;
    2. Threatened species such as the Black-throated Finch; and
    3. Groundwater and groundwater-dependent ecosystems, particularly the Doongmbulla Springs Complex.

    Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg confirmed the licence could be revoked under section 145 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act if new information came to light, or if the proponent “negligently or by direct omission left out critical information”.
    “But here’s the critical point, that information is not at hand,” Mr Frydenberg told Sky News…

    Now that Mr Cousins has revealed details of their discussions, Mr Shorten is under increased pressure to reveal whether Labor will support Adani’s mine…
    http://www.news.com.au/finance/business/mining/legal-advice-reveals-how-adanis-coal-mine-could-be-
    stopped/news-story/89b7a9d5cf8d21c98709287711fd9576

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      pat

      my cousin in Bowen phoned today and she says people up north are furious with the media and Labor’s shenanigans re Adani Carmichael mine.

      she always says protesters from down south (paid protesters, she believes) are in Bowen as well, and locals are not happy about it, especially the way the media gives them so much publicity.

      says other resource companies are happily going about their business, while Adani gets all the flak.

      what irks her and her friends most is that the media goes on and on about how it’s important to build up/industrialise regional Australia to take pressure off the Cities yet, in this case, they are fighting against jobs in regional Qld.

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        Hanrahan

        Adani, like the Franklin, has taken a life of it’s own. Soros, who funds thousands of grass roots organisations and meddles in national affairs worldwide, is said to have tipped US$18 BILL into the pot recently.

        Don’t the sheep ever get the urge NOT to be manipulated?

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    pat

    Marles is part of the longer Sky News video posted already (btw Josh Frydenberg is in the longer video and is ABSOLUTELY PATHETIC):

    Facebook: SHORT VIDEO: Sky News Australia: Shadow Defence Minister Richard Marles: Adani is a project that doesn’t stand up environmentally or economically and Labor’s position has been very clear on this.

    FROM COMMENTS:
    William Blair: All those other coal mines in Australia no problems no protests.??? Money paid to organized protest movements and other groups. CFMEU quite even though it’s against mine workers interest and all those other jobs in engineering and related position that there members work in. Why is it really the green, vote or is it a case. Adani does all the leg work spend millions setting it up and then gets pushed out so another company can take over.

    Lachlan Roberts: Why didn’t u ask him where is the proof it doesn’t stack up environmentally like Frydenburg asked u to?

    John Browne: Marles is just another Union puppet. If the CFMEU controlled the mine they would be right behind it.
    https://www.facebook.com/SkyNewsAustralia/videos/10155309688636728/

    behind paywall:

    PoliticsNow: Bill Shorten’s gift from Geoff Cousins
    The Australian-10 hours ago
    Mr Frydenberg attacked Mr Shorten for telling millionaire environmentalist Geoff Cousins he would probably revoke the Adani licence if Labor won power. … Opposition defence spokesman Richard Marles says the Adani coalmine would probably never go ahead under a Labor government because the party does not believe the project should receive any public funds. Shadow Defence Minister @RichardMarlesMP: Adani is a project that doesn’t stand up environmentally…

    MY COUSIN SAYS PEOPLE UP NORTH ARE ANGRY WITH ALL THE MEDIA, INCLUDING ALAN JONES, FOR THEIR ANTI-CARMICHAEL MINE STANCE.

    SHE SAYS SHE BELIEVES ABC AND JONES COMBINED HAVE POISONED THE MINDS OF MANY AUSTRALIANS WHO MIGHT OTHERWISE HAVE SUPPORTED THE PROJECT.

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      el gordo

      The Townsville mob are fearful of missing out on a bonanza.

      My crystal ball puts Beijing in the box seat to buy the mine and build a rail line out of their own pocket.

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    Another Ian

    “Delingpole: The Shocking True Story of How Global Warming Became the Biggest #FakeNews Scare of All Time (Pt 1)”

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/02/28/delingpole-the-shocking-true-story-of-how-global-warming-became-the-biggest-fakenews-scare-of-all-time-pt-1/

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      Dennis

      “Next came Dr John Houghton, an evangelical Christian and former professor of atmospheric physics at Oxford, who became seized with the spirit of Bolin’s notion – and proceeded to proselytize on its behalf via his influential position as head of the UK Met Office.

      And the third of this unholy trinity was the hugely rich Canadian businessman and Marxist Maurice Strong who knew little about the environment but who quickly grasped that it was the perfect cause he could exploit to advance his left-wing global agenda.

      Without this trio’s passion, energy and influence, the entire global warming scare might never have happened. But between them they had the necessary skillset to push their pet issue onto the world stage and embed it in global political consciousness. This they did under the auspices of the United Nations, via a series of conferences – Geneva in 1979; Villach, Austria in 1985; and ultimately the Rio Earth summit in 1992 – which caused interest in global warming to snowball.”

      In or around 1975 Time Magazine featured the prediction of another Little Ice Age on its front cover with more detailed information inside the magazine. About ten years later Time featured Global Warming.

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      Gosh, and nobody’s sceptical of an opinion piece written by a pretty poor journo who has admitted he doesn’t even bother reading the science……

      Where does he get his opinions from? Seeing as he doesn’t perform any science, doesn’t even read the science, he must be involved in some kind of groupthink I guess…..

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        Geoffrey Williams

        Don’t get into a fight with Delingpole, Craig; he’ll knock the pants off you !!
        Regards GeoffW

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        Carbon500

        Given your scepticism Craig, why not write to him and discuss the issues he raises – why not find out where he gets his opinions from?
        He earns his living as a journalist, so clearly he’s not a ‘pretty poor journo’ as you state – that’s only your opinion of course.
        What are your journalistic qualifications? How much money have you made using your writing skills?
        Clearly the newspapers he writes for don’t share your view!

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    cedarhill

    The “rule by Democrats” results in The Village (see the 1996 Hillary’s ghostwriter wrote It Takes a Village).
    Puerto Rico is just another Village that socialism has built. It’s nothing more than Western Civilization Root Rot with similar results.

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    nc

    Now this has to be embarrassing

    https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/25/gas-shortage-japanese-firms-to-bring-lng-to-australias-east-coast.html

    [NOTE: The linked article will balk if you have an ad blocker running.] AZ

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      Philip Mulholland

      Japanese firms to bring LNG to Australia’s east coast amid gas shortage?
      Works OK on my Brave browser

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    Dennis

    A bill to corporatise local government

    The Andrews Government has drafted the Local Government Act 2018 that has many draconian features about it. Reading the Bill indicates the following events will happen if the Bill passes through the parliament unchallenged:

    ALL local councils will become legitimised as “corporations” as representing “the third tier of government”. Our Constitution does NOT allow for this to happen; nor is it appropriate for a corporation be both a commercial profit-making enterprise and an arm of government.
    ALL Councils will be elevated to “Authority” status; meaning, they will become laws unto themselves.
    ALL councils will be able to make their own “Local Laws” (which are different to by-laws) and they will able to enforce them – even utilising the police when necessary.
    Councils will be required to bring community housing up to the standards specified in the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target 2007. This means they will send “approved officers” to people’s homes and businesses to produce a list of work required by the landowner to meet these targets for energy efficiency.
    If the landowner fails to complete the work within the given timespan, the council will then arrange for the work to be done. This could cost $$0,000’s!
    Once completed, the council gives the landowner time to pay. If he/she cannot do that, then the land is “”transferred” to the council.
    The council will then determine “market value” of the property and after any mortgage costs, encumbrances, fees and fines are deducted, many people will not see much cash remaining from the value of their former home. They could also be looking for other accommodation too.
    Cairns News

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      James

      The way I read the Bill is the Environmental Upgrade agreement is something that is voluntary be a property owner and the council. We have similar schemes in the USA. They prey on the Elderly, and probably get a kickback from the contractors involved!

      https://www.yourcouncilyourcommunity.vic.gov.au/31547/documents/68132

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        James

        Thinking about this a bit more, the local government (in the US) hands out the home heating assistance funds. Then the local government person who might be easy to persuade that the need these home insulation schemes and easy to get to sign such a contract. They poor or elderly signs without understanding that their property taxes (rates) will go up substantially, and unaffordably. Then the home gets foreclosed upon for taxes. Property gets sold to a developer, and gets subdivided. Lots of fees to the local government for the subdivision, building approval etc. Plus the state gets another dose of stamp duty or similar taxes when the new houses get sold.

        The traditional way of living on a 1/4 acre block is disappearing in Australia. Higher density housing is being forced upon the population. The environmental upgrade scheme will be used to help hasten this process. The Australian standard of living is going down.

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    el gordo

    Heat Island Effect

    “There’s also pollution effects, because we don’t get those winds that often clear the air.

    “And we live in a basin so pollution is higher and hence the actual impact on people is higher.

    “Cardiovascular disease, higher respiratory illnesses, every cancer rate that you can look at is higher in Western Sydney than on the eastern seaboard.”

    ABC

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    James

    https://youtu.be/cB5ihHGsm2o

    I just watched the Stephan Molyneax video about Peurto Rico. Then there was a suggestion to watch this video about Australia by him as well. It is from 5 years ago, but a lot of what is discussed is relevant to what we talk about here.

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    Chad

    Rooftop solat output data.
    I had previously asked if anyone knew how the reporting sites got data for rooftop solar generation data, since smart meters do not monitor rooftop solar ?
    I have now been directed to the APVI website http://pv-map.apvi.org.au/live Where it is all made clear.
    Apparently they have a database of 6000 rooftop systems reporting live data from across Australia…spread over 57 post code zones.
    They use that data to “estimate” all the other system % outputs against their recorded capacity ,
    How accurate is that considering the 100s of thousands , maybe millions, of rooftop systems in the country, and the huge variations in individual system performance ?
    Not much more than a guess really, and at best its unreliable data.
    So, treat any reported rooftop solar generation statistics with caution !

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    Geoffrey Williams

    I see California is having some huge snow just now . .
    When it melts it will solve their water problems!
    GeoffW

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      Geoffrey Williams

      UK will get some serious flooding also.
      GeoffW

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      Hanrahan

      They don’t want too much water flowing into Oroville dam. They have done a massive amount of work but things aren’t finished.

      For anyone interested this chap Juan Brown, an airline pilot, has done the best reporting, avoiding alarmism. He can talk intellegently to engineers.

      This is his latest update a few days ago:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVu8i7UYU5U

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        RAH

        The new spillway has already developed cracks even before they have finished the repairs/replacement. Just like in 1968 when the new dam and spillways were dedicated and cracks had already developed officials said it was not a problem. https://www.mercurynews.com/2017/11/28/state-official-new-oroville-spillway-already-has-cracks/
        But according to University of California civil engineering professor Robert Bea, a veteran analyst of structure failures, said cracking in high-strength reinforced concrete structures is never expected.
        The cracking “develops paths for water to reach the steel elements embedded in the concrete and accelerate corrosion,” Bea wrote in an email. “Such corrosion was responsible for the degradation and ultimate failure of the steel reinforcing in parts of the original gated spillway.”

        The bottom line is if they didn’t dig down to solid bedrock or pump a bunch of cement slurry into the overlying “shot rock” those spillways will fail again when they’re most needed.
        California is always quick to note that they have the 8th largest economy in the world. But can’t afford the repairs and so is asking the US tax payer to pick up the approximately 800 million dollar tab for repairs and rebuilding that would not have been necessary on the scale they are had an extra 2 million dollars been spent to dig down to the bedrock in 1966 when the dam was constructed.

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          Hanrahan

          Just like in 1968 ……..

          In ’98 the cracks were visible in GEarth. What they have now are hairline cracks. Juan covers this in earlier blog posts.

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    Hanrahan

    Is western Qld In for a Big Wet?

    Higgins Storm Chasing thinks so. I have no reason to believe their crystal ball is better’n the the BOM’s. For amusement only.

    Higgins Storm Chasing
    15 hours ago
    Hi everyone, we are currently producing a forecast for Queensland that could rival anything during the past 44 years. It may even be so significant that nothing has ever been experienced like it in this state. Stay tuned we will edit this post with the details once the forecast is completed in around 2hrs time.
    EDITED: Posted 1st March 2018. All of Western Queensland need to prepare for a potential Major Record Flood which is forecast to impact the area during the next 5 days. It could rival anything during the past 44 years (since the 1974 flood), it may also be so significant that nothing has ever been experienced like it in this state. Widespread rainfall totals of 200 to 400mm is likely with up to 550mm possible! Click here for full details >>> https://higginsstormchasing.com/major-record-flood-forecas…/ ~ Jeff ~

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      RAH

      Hey we in the eastern US and you Aussies in Queensland are having the same problem apparently. I live in central Indiana and had flood warning alerts on my phone from the NWS for 5 straight days. The last one on Monday. Now the flooding is occurring down south. The blast that will become the Nor Easter out near shore in the NE US this weekend is now passing north of us over Michigan. We have had rain and later this afternoon will have winds up to 38 mph according to the forecast when we get on the backside of it.

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    What Ever Happened to the first Midweek Unthreadedthat starts:
    el gordo
    February 27, 2018 at 8:24 am · Reply

    It has been calculated that the Holocene Interglacial should have come to an end by the time of Christ.

    What went wrong?

    Graeme No.3
    February 27, 2018 at 8:51 am · Reply

    Was that calculation done by the IPCC?

    Dennis
    February 27, 2018 at 9:52 am · Reply

    It was passed on to the BoM and CSIRO

    Environment Skeptic
    February 27, 2018 at 8:55 am · Reply

    Apart from the 10,000 Italian tourists trapped in snow, Grey Seal hunters catastrophic losses due to too much ice, The north pole at minus 31.3C……..other cold weather and so on…… what went wrong with the latest piece by Jo “Bourke: How 1km of land clearing can warm a million square miles”?

    toorightmate
    February 27, 2018 at 1:40 pm · Reply

    No, no, no.
    MSM and Fairfax are reporting a heatwave at the North Pole.

    tom0mason
    February 27, 2018 at 10:27 pm · Reply

    Yes they are confused as to what SSW means.
    Oh no…. it’s a natural event!

    Graeme No.3
    February 28, 2018 at 3:08 am · Reply

    It apparenty got to 1℃ for an unspecified time.

    Sceptical Sam
    February 27, 2018 at 8:25 pm · Reply

    And, it’ll snow in Brighton (UK) today (Tuesday) apparently.

    David Viner, eat your heart out.

    https://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2013/09/05/following-up-on-david-viners-expert-forecast/

    Ceetee February 27, 2018 at 10:01 pm · Reply

    How do I explain the circular reasoning and confirmation bias to my youngest daughter who has just become a uni student. She won’t know it or recognise it. She will be confused because she’s not a sheep. She’s heard me bleat about it often enough. Many of those charged with the duty of educating her hide behind the the real academic history of years of academic probity on which their institutions base their reputations. They hide behind politics which neatly disguise the abrogation of their solemn purpose. The rest keep their heads below the sandbags. I don’t actually give a rats what the UN says or does, it was never more than a pantomime anyway but when it comes to the education of our children I get damn angry. If you want to judge a politician just look at their attitude to the education of YOUR children.

    Ceetee
    February 27, 2018 at 10:02 pm · Reply

    I fear this post is misplaced. Apologies.

    Ted O’Brien.
    February 27, 2018 at 10:38 pm · Reply

    Unthreaded!

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    Hanrahan

    Saline in IVs may increase risk of death, kidney failure

    IV bags filled with saline solution are one of the most common items in hospitals. But new research suggests replacing the saline with a different intravenous solution may significantly reduce risks of death and kidney damage among patients.

    During a two-year period, Vanderbilt researchers carried out two studies involving 28,000 patients. The data collected showed that negative outcomes, such as death or kidney failure, were about one percent less likely with the balanced solution. Although the percentage may seem small, when it comes to something so common as an IV, large numbers of patients are affected.

    “When you look at the millions and millions of patients that have fluids given to them every year in the U.S., a one percent difference for each patient starts to be a big number when you multiply it out by millions,” Self said.

    Critical care specialists have welcomed the research, saying they have long been concerned about the potential problems of saline.

    “We’ve been sounding the alarm for 20 years” about possible harms from saline, Dr. John Kellum, a critical care specialist at the University of Pittsburgh, who wasn’t involved with the research, told CBS News. “It’s purely inertia” that prevents a change, he added.

    https://www.ajc.com/news/health-med-fit-science/saline-ivs-may-increase-risk-death-kidney-failure/cXlaSnIAquV02UMhZf0CkL/

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      RAH

      Actually we were taught to call it “normal saline” because it’s pH is supposed to be identical to blood. It has been the IV medium most commonly used for TKO (To Keep Open) IV ports or for the injection of dilute medications over time.

      BTW there was a significant shortage of the next most commonly used IV fluid which is Lactated Ringers for awhile in the states recently because the largest manufacturer had it’s plant shut down for noncompliance issues for a time.

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        Hanrahan

        Seems they have problems. This is from the linked article above:

        There has been a shortage of IV bags due to Hurricane Maria, which hit Puerto Rico hard last fall. Baxter International, one of the biggest makers of the saline fluids, had electricity cut to three of its plants on the island, temporarily halting production

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    yarpos

    Weatherills enthusiasm for solar thermal lead me to suspect that it must be a relatively useless technonology, given his propensity to pick duds.

    The site below shows the real performance of non fossil supplies in the US, expressed in capacity factor.

    Solar thermal ranges from 7% to 30% when its working. So really about as useful as wind. Go Jay! queue up another billion!

    https://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/epm_table_grapher.php?t=epmt_6_07_b

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    Rod McLaughlin

    The Guardian turns good news about penguins into bad news about climate -

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/mar/02/mega-colonies-of-15-million-penguins-discovered-in-antarctica

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    Chad

    OK ..wakey, wakey, all !
    It is Saturday arvo , so where is Weekend Untreaded ??

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