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Thin sunscreen layer to *save reef from bleaching* for first time in twenty million years

Coral reef, photo.

Scientists are suggesting that a thin layer of floating calcium carbonate can cut sunlight over reefs by 30% and save some high value reefs from bleaching.

This should work well on all the reefs that evolved in the last fifty years and which don’t have moving water.

But half of the coral genera around today have been around since the Oligocene (23-34 million years ago) and for most of that time the oceans were warmer.  (Lucky human civilization evolved just in time to save all these reefs from extinction.)

Bleaching has probably been going on for millions of years longer than we have been scuba diving with cameras to film it. We only discovered coral bleaching in the 1980s. Not surprisingly, marine life has ways to adapt to heatwaves by chucking out the symbionts that don’t thrive in higher temperatures and replacing them with new inhabitants that do.

Yes, let’s  cover our most diverse and important reef systems with an artificial layer that cuts incoming sunlight by a third — What could possibly go wrong?

Ultra-fine film possible saviour for Great Barrier Reef

Scientists from the Australian Institute of Marine Biology say tests of a floating “sun shield” made of calcium carbonate show it could protect the reef from the effects of bleaching.

“It’s designed to sit on the surface of the water above the corals, rather than directly on the corals, to provide an effective barrier against the sun,” Great Barrier Reef Foundation managing director Anna Marsden said.

The trials, headed by the scientist who developed the country’s polymer bank notes, on seven different coral types found that the protective layer decreased bleaching of most species, cutting off sunlight by up to 30%.

Marsden said it was impractical to suggest that the “sun shield” – made from the same material found in coral skeletons – could cover the entire 348,000 square-kilometre reef.

“But it could be deployed on a smaller, local level to protect high value or high-risk areas of reef,” she added.

It’s not like the whole ocean is at one temperature and one constant pH

There is and always has been constant turbulence in the oceans and marine life is used to it. Ocean acidification happens every day in some places — no biggie. There is a large daily swing after sunset in pH over many reefs. Far from that being a problem, fish seem to behave better when artificial tanks mimic these natural swings. Indeed a bit less alkalinity is better for hundreds of species. Some coral reefs thrive in a more acidic ocean, and we appear to have a pretty big safety margin: farmed fish seem to cope fine with CO2 levels that are even fifty times higher than today.

The story of life on Earth is that everything keeps shifting and biology adapts. In one situation, when trapped, salt water fish evolved to become freshwater fish in just fifty years*. In private, NOAA experts will admit they can’t name one single place that is affected by ocean acidification.

While some estimates said 90% of the Great Barrier Reef was bleached recently, other studies said it was more like 5%. Even the head of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has said that activists are distorting and exaggerating the threats.  The Great Barrier Reef is recovering faster than scientists expected.  Possibly because it is 3,000 kilometers long and has over a hundred tough spots that survive and replenish the rest.

Other ideas to save the reef include putting shade cloth over the Great Barrier Reef to save it from climate change or using giant fans to stop bleaching.

Coral reefs first became widespread about 200 million years ago. It takes some kind of delusional hubris to think they suddenly can’t survive without human help, or that we have any idea what we are doing messing with a complex well developed system.

Of course, if you work at an Australian university and say that, you too could face misconduct charges, like Peter Ridd.

Image: Wikimedia, author Wise Hok Wai Lum: Flynn Reef 2014.

*Error corrected. This originally said “six astomishing months” but should have said “fifty years”, which on evolutionary time frames is still incredibly fast.

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Thin sunscreen layer to *save reef from bleaching* for first time in twenty million years, 9.5 out of 10 based on 84 ratings

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184 comments to Thin sunscreen layer to *save reef from bleaching* for first time in twenty million years

  • #
    john karajas

    Just a minor quibble about the earliest coral reefs Jo: the beautifully exposed barrier coral reef outcrops in the Napier Ranges in the Kimberley region of Western Australia are of the order of 380-350 million years old and there are reefs of similar age in Alberta.

    Sarc/ follows: they really should never have formed as the carbon dioxide level in the Earth’s atmosphere was about 5 times higher than today. By rights the oceans would have been too acidic, doncha’ know!

    290

    • #
      toorightmate

      The Napier Range reefs were magnificent. I dived them.
      Then one day, the CO2 level increased and that was it.
      A very sad end.

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    • #
      Kinky Keith

      Hard to argue with that very clear and concise piece of science John.

      “They”, the proponents of the CO2 based hysteria, have no answer to it.

      In the same line of reasoning, it is scientific lore that the ocean levels have dropped by 1.2 metres in the most recent 2,000 year period. If you go to Ephesus you can see that the harbour, which was functioning 2,000 years ago, is now try.

      And it is also scientific fact that the oceans have dropped between 6 and 7 metres in the last 7,000 years.

      Reality is a long way away from the current global warming hysterics.

      KK

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      • #
        Kinky Keith

        Dry

        20

      • #
        sophocles

        Okay KK, I’ll see your Ephesus and raise you Thonis-Heracleion

        50

        • #
          Kinky Keith

          Only had a quick look and it looks like the place that was built on a river mouth which eventually collapsed.

          Or is this one deep?

          10

      • #
        Stanley

        it is scientific lore that the ocean levels have dropped by 1.2 metres in the most recent 2,000 year period. If you go to Ephesus you can see that the harbour, which was functioning 2,000 years ago, is now dry

        Hey KK, there are other factors contributing to apparent lower sea levels at Ephesus, such as: silting of the harbour by the river; isostatic rebound since last ice-age; uplifting due to tectonic plate collision; re-establishment of city away from mosquito infested marshy swamps.

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        • #
          Kinky Keith

          Stanley,

          You may be 100 % right.

          But that doesn’t alter the fact that every geologist will confirm that ocean levels have fallen four foot in the last 2,000 years, give or take a few months.

          Here in Newcastle we have a large flat area that was obviously a swamp at some geologically recent point in the past. I suspect it’s the same thing.

          The reason that The Algorithm doesn’t want these inconvenient observations out in public is that it would ruin the idea of imminent sea level flooding.

          Sea levels have been oscillating DOWNWARDS for the last 7,000 years. That’s very inconvenient.

          KK

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          • #
            WXcycles

            Correct. On NQ coast and islands there are ~4,500 year old preserved tidal zone deposits that are ~5 meters above current HAT. Same is found up coastal rivers, where cored flat laying marine deposits around 4,000 yrs old are as much as 8 km inland on coastal plain.

            The sea level fell quite a bit the past 4,000 years, and this is where the continental crust margin has had the weight of ~30 m of water added on top of it and around the wide GBR littoral shelf the past 11k years. i.e. not isostatic rebound, if anything the crust has settled a fair bit under the weight of the water.

            Sea level rise is DEFINITELY NOT a ‘problem’, no matter how it’s dressed up by the eco-snowflakes.

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        • #
          Kinky Keith

          Hi Stanley,

          Why don’t you have a go at using some of your obvious scientific skill and look up the isostatic rebound.

          FOR THE LAST 2,000 YEARS.

          You may even find it in some of el Gordo’s references.

          And Gee Aye is back mumbling over there.
          I feel trapped.

          20

        • #
          sophocles

          Stanley: think: Tectonic Action.

          Ephesus is in Turkey (Western Turkey). Turkey is on it’s own little tectonic plate and is very active It is sandwiched between the Asian and African plates and being beaten up by Arabia. The whole region of the Agean from Italy through to Turkey north and south around there is tectonically very active with big earthquakes common and lots of land up-lifting in one area and land sinking elsewhere.

          Thonis Heracleion sank. Ephesus effectively rose through creation of a large plain to the west of it through silt deposition. So its all up and down around there and occasionally Bang as big volcanoes go off (eg Thera/Santorini, Etna, Vesuvius etc).

          10

          • #
            Kinky Keith

            Hi Sophocles

            That’s like what Stanley said.

            The item I read about Ephesus was a few years ago and it would be interesting to quantify the effects of isostacy. The silting up could result from the removal of ocean water that might have previously helped take the silt away to deeper water.

            10

      • #

        seriously Keith… can you support the “scientific lore” statement. I’ve looked but cant find any reference or even humble web site that supports your statement.

        36

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        https://cen.acs.org/articles/96/i13/will-the-world-ever-be-ready-for-solar-geoengineering.html?utm_source=NonMember&utm_medium=Newsletter&utm_campaign=CEN

        “The first time Frank Keutsch heard about solar geoengineering, he thought the idea was terrifying. To the Harvard University atmospheric chemist, schemes such as spraying millions of tons of sulfate particles into the sky to reflect the sun’s rays and cool the planet seemed perilous. Not only might the strategies disrupt the atmosphere in unexpected ways, but they might also dramatically alter the weather and harm the lives of Earth’s inhabitants.

        “It’s a very contentious topic, and for good reason,” Keutsch says. Sure, the unknowns of opening what amounts to a chemical sunshade over our heads are worrisome. But even more troubling, Keutsch says, is the “moral hazard” of solar geoengineering: the idea that instead of dealing with the cause behind climate change directly, by cutting back on the use of fossil fuels, humans would fall back on solar geoengineering to merely stave off its symptoms. The term “moral hazard,” borrowed from economists, describes the temptation for people to make riskier decisions when they feel protected from the consequences.

        Scientists have discussed solar geoengineering in hushed tones for years, but fears like Keutsch’s meant that experiments had been taboo. That started changing in 2006, when Paul J. Crutzen, who had shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry more than a decade prior for his work on ozone depletion, penned a controversial essay calling for stratospheric geoengineering research (Clim. Change 2006, DOI: 10.1007/s10584-006-9101-y). While he hoped for a world in which we reduced carbon emissions to the point that these risky measures were never needed, he wrote, “Currently, this looks like a pious wish.”

        In the intervening decade, a relatively small number of research groups took up Crutzen’s charge, mostly conducting theoretical studies. Now some say they’re just about ready to run experiments in the real world, possibly by later this year.

        But most scientists still find this idea deeply troubling. Among them is Daniel Cziczo, an atmospheric scientist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. To Cziczo, the notion of injecting sulfates into the air as a response to climate change is a nonstarter because it would destroy ozone. It also doesn’t address ocean acidification, one of the most harmful side effects of climate change.

        “Scientists are throwing out proposals which are sometimes absolutely crazy,” Cziczo says. It’s “totally illogical,” he says, to instruct people to reduce carbon emissions while pushing forward an option that lets them ignore your advice.

        Still, government officials and supporters of geoengineering research continue to evaluate their options. Two main classes compose geoengineering: solar geoengineering—also known as albedo modification—which focuses on reflecting sunlight before it hits Earth, and direct air capture, a suite of techniques to suck carbon dioxide from the ambient air. In 2015, the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering & Medicine assessed proposals for both types of approaches in a pair of reports and concluded that there wasn’t enough information to recommend any of these geoengineering technologies for large-scale deployment.”

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    • #
      WXcycles

      John, there are many excellent area outcrops of 400 my old Devonian fossil rich coral limestone all along the North QLD coast, BUT IN LAND, between 75 to 150 km from the coast.

      But these are six sided corals, modern corals are eight sided. The six-sided corals actually went extinct during probably the biggest gobal extinction event to date.

      Modern corals have been through countless lesser global extinction events, since then though.

      No, corals, as species, are not fragile, they are among the greatest survivors of all time within the palaeo record. They are highy mobile, highly adaptive, grow like oceanic weeds and seed the oceans like weeds as well.

      There is no chance the GBR is endangered, nor are the state reef “managers”, managing ANYTHING, they are a bunch of prattling blow hards.

      As for thdle mad cap BS in the farticle, when I fish the reef, you would not believe the weight of sinkers needs to keep a line on the bottom. The currents rip along at 3 to 4 knots.

      This rubbish is right up there with Russian thoughts of spraying soot all over the arctic to melt it.

      Aussie Aussie Aussie! ….

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      • #
        john karajas

        Ah yes, WX, there are some magnificent fossil outcrops in Devonian beds in the eastern part of Oz including spectacular fish fossils. Which begs the question: how come the ocean in those times WASN’T too acidic for all this life? Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere of that times were at least 5 times higher than today and yet life flourished in the oceanic waters of those times. Of course anybody with High School chemistry could tell you about Eh/pH buffering by bicarbonate ions. Trouble is, it is not in the interests of scientists applying for govt research grants to downplay perceived problems is it?

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        • #
          Graeme No.3

          john karajas:
          It appears that the end Devonian extinction may have occurred at a time of 3000 ppm. CO2. To get this it has been necessary to suppose that the lava flows ignited beds of coals because, as every Climatologist “knows” volcanoes emit very little CO2.
          Every academic also “knows” that CO2 turns the seas acid. It couldn’t have been the roughly 6,300-7,800 gigatons of sulfur (as oxides -> sulfuric acid), or the 3,400-8,700 gigatons of Cl (as hydrochloric acid), or even the roughly 7,100-13,700 gigatons of F (as hydrofluoric acid) because these acids are ONLY ~10,000 times as acid as CO2.
          And the 3,000 ppm CO2 MUST have caused a runaway Greenhouse effect and then the CO2 dissolved into the seas and made them acidic, as Henry’s Law didn’t apply then.
          That the only other time the CO2 level was 3,000ppm was during the end Ordovician ICE Age also isn’t mentioned.
          It must be admitted that there is some dispute about the cause of the great dying but as these all seem to be dependent on vast beds of coal burning underneath thick layers of molten rock I won’t bother you with them.
          P.S. I am unaware of any coal beds under the Siberian Traps, but that just proves they were burnt to release the theoretically necessary CO2 doesn’t it?

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        • #
          WXcycles

          Yeah, the whole less-basic non-problem is beyond the pale(o). I think it really is the most blattantly dishonest nonsense I’ve seen. The fossil quality can be shockingly good, finding clean perfect bivalves that you could have seen at a beach, already cleaned by … acid rain … just sitting on top of a similarly exposed sheet of reef complex. It made me wonder what aboriginals made of it, because the site was right beside a major river, that happened to contain similar looking living ‘bivalves’. They must have cracked some of them open … rock?

          Well that ain’t right.

          30

  • #
    robert rosicka

    ” cutting off sunlight by up to 30%” , so I’m thinking there’s that magic phrase again ” by up to ” which I’m sure is scientific gobbledegook for three fifths of fug all .

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    • #
      Ted O’Brien.

      In still water that is.

      I offer a bigger challenge. I want a fresh water swamp floating on the ocean. I expect it to be useful for aquaculture.

      10

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      RR:

      Why calcium carbonate? I think some ‘bright’ spark reasoned “calcium = ferilizer for corals” and “calcium carbonate would dissolve in acidic water and counter acidification”. If the calcium carbonate is very fine it win be subject to Brownian motion. If it is coarse it will sink. In any case it isn’t much use as a barrier to sunlight.
      There is a fine line between impossible and lunacy.

      20

  • #
    toorightmate

    The ABC news web site RIGHT NOW tells us that last summer, the Tasman Sea was:
    take a guess,
    take another guess.
    You guessed it – “THE HOTTEST EVER”.

    You Sydney people and those of the NSW south coast must look like lobsters by now.
    Imagine what these high temperatures are doing to the GBR (bloody nothing).

    191

    • #
      robert rosicka

      Look on the bright side it’s why there are no icebergs in bass straight .

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    • #

      I was swimming in the creek at Crescent Head this Chrissy because the surf was too cold. (Kids ride the tide fast where it gets narrow below the mouth, but don’t tell Oceanlinx or we’ll have a wave generator rusting away there.)

      Glad someone somewhere was copping some warm currents.

      131

    • #
      glen Michel

      Well,to be sure there was a warm anomaly in the Tasman that was about 3degrees above the surrounding areas.Stuff like this happens,but go and tell your average ABC nutter that it has nothing,absolutely nothing to do with the activities of man(or any gender construction)

      80

  • #

    The commie mind at work, literal, mechanistic, simplistic. Push button, pull lever…hmmm, I wonder what this knob does if I twist it.

    Let the hundred CaCO3 ultra-fine films blossom!

    111

    • #
      Clint

      Geo-engineering ideas unfailingly give me the creeps. Whether it is sowing the Oceans with iron filings, putting large geostationary reflectors in orbit, seeding the clouds, or funding the UN IPCC to do their weather dance, it is all the same, the equivalent of a deranged blindman driven by ideology looking for a black dog in a dark room, that isn’t there.
      Of course, a collective of climatism devotees in faux-academia are kept in work and out of general public circulation, which may be a good thing for the public. There is, after all, only so much incompetence at large that one can tolerate.

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      • #

        The funniest geo-eng project was the ocean seeding that was going on in 2009, when El Nino did its trick and lifted countless tonnes of iron-rich Aussie silt and carried it on spring westerlies to the Pacific Ocean, as it did back in the 80s and 40s. There was also a lot of seeding going on from the big Arctic melts around the time of the experiment.

        Of course, the geo-eng project was more small-scale pollution than anything else: expensive, wasteful and ditsy, like Big Green itself. Desert dust and silt, along with meltwater minerals and aeolian mineralisation, are the natural way and the right way. But don’t tell the geoengineers or they’ll start wanting to nuke the poles again, as some of them proposed back in the ’70s during the now memory-holed Great Cooling Scare.

        Geoengineers. Commies in lab-coats, basically. Like globalists are just commies in suits.

        30

      • #
        climateskeptic

        Geo-engineering ideas unfailingly give me the creeps.

        What, you mean like pumping billions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere?

        20

  • #
    yarpos

    I am missing something obviously. How does the proposed magic film stay where its put? It gets a bit breezy, and wavy and tidey out there.

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    • #
      toorightmate

      If the reef does not put its sunscreen on every morning, then it just does not go outside to play.
      It’s as simple as that.
      A bit of discipline is what this reef needs.

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      • #
        Yonniestone

        Heey what about the idea that the chemical in sunscreen Oxybenzone was damaging coral reefs globally? http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-10-22/sunscreen-chemical-blamed-for-harm-to-coral-reefs/6876036
        Abstract 2015,
        Oxybenzone — also known as BP-3 or Benzophenone-3 — is found in more than 3,500 sunscreen products, said the study, published in the latest edition of the Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology.

        Worryingly for coral, scientists observed the harmful effects of oxybenzone even when it was highly diluted — as low as 62 parts per trillion, or the same as “a drop of water in six-and-a-half Olympic-sized swimming pools”, the study found.

        Sunscreen bad now sunscreen good sheesh these kids are all over the shop!

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        • #
          michael hart

          Unfortunately I can’t find the details of that particular report. Other ones show much lower toxicities (eg https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00244-015-0227-7), and I’m always suspicious of many of these sorts of claims until I’ve seen the actual experimental conditions and controls. Prima facie, I trust them about as much as I trust Greenpeace.

          20

        • #
          sophocles

          Sunscreen bad now sunscreen good sheesh these kids are all over the shop!

          Sunscreen still bad. It blocks UV-B from our skins which is essential for good human health and strong bones. UV-B gives the human skin the ability to make large quantities of Vitamin D.

          In the wake of the “Great Ozone Scare” pseudo-science, we have the “Slip, Slop, Slap” campaign which is fairly rigidly adhered to especially by new mothers, all scared by the possibility of igniting skin cancers in their new borns. Coincidental with its rise we see increases in children’s problems such as rising Asthma, Allergies, ADHD, Rickets and more, skin cancers, breast cancer, prostate cancer, heart disease, heart attacks, alzheimer’s disease in adults and, in even older people, osteoporosis. Cases of rickets in very young children are growing in Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland Hospitals. I haven’t any figures about the victims skin melanin content so I’m not making any assumptions but race will likely be involved because of skin type and melanin content.

          High levels of Vit-D are far more useful in treating pandemics of corona viruses (Common Cold), Influenza Viruses and other types of infection including TB. This last one was why Robert Louis Stevenson settled in Samoa in 1890. He had not enjoyed robust health for most of his life but the change to Samoa may have given him extra years (he died in 1899 at age 49).

          Fifteen years ago, vitamin D was not considered and now the finger is being pointed by more and more recent research (last 10 years) towards it. Our skins, with suitable exposure, make over several hundred times the amount we can take orally in that form, Vit-D is toxic above a dosage of about 200 IU (International Units). Our bodies need much larger quantities, such as levels of around 10,000 IU.
          Apparently with regular controlled exposure (without burning!) our skins can easily make that.
          More than 40% of adults have vitamin D levels which can only be called low as in deficient.

          NZ is a lot cloudier than Aus and your cancer rates are lower as are most of the other problems I’ve mentioned.and Australian survival rates are higher than NZ’s. For both countries, we’re well ahead of the rest of the world. The secret is not to become burnt. That is what sunscreens are for. But the first 30 minutes around the middle of the day are important so don’t use a sunscreen for that.

          We’ve managed to cock-up the human necessity for Solar Exposure and got it all back to front. A lot of research published around 2010 and later is pointing to this. So our panic about the ozone layer has actually affected our health, in exactly the ways we were afraid it would be affected, but not through exposure but lack of exposure. We have ever stronger sunscreens when we should be exercising simple care. Over exposure damages our skin. It’s melanin content is there to prevent that. When it comes to sunscreens though, the chemicals going into them, like Oxybenzone, are basically untested on humans. The attitude seems to be “it’s for topical application so it’s alright.” Oxybenzone, I have read somewhere (so at present this is just hearsay and should be treated as such), has been found in mother’s milk. Interesting: if true then it can pass through the skin.

          If we have managed to cock-up the human need for UV-B in controlled doses so easily what sort of a cock-up is “Sun screen for coral reefs” going to cause? I, for one, have absolutely no confidence in the science. The Ozone Scare and “Slip Slap Slop” both tell me so.

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        • #
          sophocles

          A couple of Points to remember Yonniestone:

          1. corals are filter feeders
          2. If oxybenzone is lethal to corals in minute quantities, how does it affect other marine filter feeders (barnacles, mussels, oysters etc)?

          30

          • #
            WXcycles

            Hook up some spay gear to C-17s from Amberly and you could clagg the whole reef in a week with whatever dodgy cr@p AIMS wants to use. .. tempting

            You know, if it was up to me I’d deliberately “contaminate” Mars with Life … first thing I’d do is take a dump …. Pristine much? … just pass the bog roll … I wanna litter … seed this rock

            20

    • #
      Another Ian

      Y

      Don’t t\you worry about that. They’ll invent film anchors.

      50

    • #
      Just Thinkin'

      Well, it worked in the lab……sort of….

      40

    • #
      Binny

      That’s irrelevant, we’re doing something … now please pay us. /Sarc

      40

  • #
    el gordo

    The coral bleaching happens during strong E Nino events because sea level falls in the Western Pacific, exposing the coral for too long. Nothing to do with warm water caused by AGW.

    http://landscapesandcycles.net/falling-sea-level–bleached-great-barrier-reef.html

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    • #
      Peter C

      I agree with you el gordo.

      Coral bleaching has not been shown to be caused by warm water. Coral expose at low tide (increased by the El Nino) is the likely cause.

      Sadly, only one scientist, (Peter Ridd) seems to want to test that hypothesis.

      173

    • #
      Sceptical Sam

      Why would you ever expect the marine biologists to know that? El Nino?

      The best solution to the problem of bleaching is to disestablish the Australian Institute of Marine Biology and all the other hanger-on institutions that refuse to accept that they might just be a little wide of the mark in their narrow-minded, prejudiced, world.

      Name me one – just one – useful research outcome that has emanated from any of them – CRC included.

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      • #
        ian hilliar

        Best solution to coral bleaching is to provide free waterskiing/wakeboarding, around said reefs, on still, glassy days,at low tide, during the heat of the day in midsummer.. The only problem is, the funsucking greens, and their academic accomplices would never allow it. Mainly because they hate to see anyone having a good time.

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        • #

          Oh, I dunno!

          The only problem is, the funsucking greens, and their academic accomplices would never allow it. Mainly because they hate to see anyone having a good time.

          A Grande chai tea latte, 3 pumps of skim milk, white water, 2% foam, extra hot but not too hot sounds like a real good time to me!

          Tony.

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    • #
      Leonard Lane

      Good point. Suppose this loony solution could cut off 30% of sunlight. Do you think it would do the reef any good?

      70

      • #
        el gordo

        Cutting off a third of the sunlight would most likely kill the reef.

        Importantly, Peter Ridd must win his case in court, then all this nonsense about AGW destroying the reef because of hot water and acidification will disappear into history.

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  • #
    NB

    I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.

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    • #
      Kinky Keith

      I got a letter from the bank the other day to say that I would bear the costs of their latest stuff up resulting from the modernisation of their systems.

      They ended with that phrase: “we’re here to help”.

      60

  • #
    PeterPetrum

    Jo, great article! But why, oh why, do you talk about “ocean acidification” on this site? Surely you, of all people, should refer to it “less alkaline” or “lower pH”. Let us not fall into the language trap that has been set for us by the “climate changers” because that is how they foster “Group Think”. Ocean acidification sounds terminal – slightly less alkaline sounds acceptable.

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    • #
      robert rosicka

      Less caustic ,less alkaline ,less basic , not scary enough much prefer more acidic and besides it’s easier to debunk even though none of the others are true either .

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    • #
      TdeF

      Agreed. It is not a valid description. There is a world of difference between acids and bases. These are not just the same thing.

      It’s like saying the lowering your bank balance is increasing your debt to the bank or increasing your indebtedness. There is no debt.

      The oceans are a hugely buffered basic solution stuffed with highly soluble and compressible CO2 and surrounded by calcium carbonate, limestone. All the oceans are basic and will always be basic.

      So the use of the word acidificiation is intentionally deceitful, signalling a crisis which does not exist.
      Like Global warming without man made, Climate Change without man made, man made without CO2 driven. Climates change. So?

      The full phrase “Man made CO2 driven global warming caused Climate Change” is just too long and far too unlikely. So just call it Climate Change. Then every variation in the weather patterns in air or water is self evident absolute proof.

      Of course we must fix the problem we caused. Cool the planet. Cool the reef. Move further from the sun.

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    • #

      I hear you but no one online is searching for ocean dealkalinity.

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      • #
        TdeF

        That’s true but it literally leaves the dictionary to fantasists, a made up word which is deliberately misleading.

        If you look up the definition of acidification, a word I had never met in chemistry, it is exclusively owned by the phrase “ocean acidification”. In other words, they made it up. It is not a chemistry word. It is a word as odd as debtification if you take money out of your bank account. The purpose of this construct is to sound worried, to convey the idea that the oceans are actually acid, to deceive.

        So perhaps we could start using “so called” ocean acidification? This at least questions the validity of the phrase. Like the International Conference on “So Called” Ocean Acidification hosted by the CSIRO in Hobart. We can then validly question this intentionally misleading phrase while preserving the links in google.

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          TdeF

          For example, from Google

          What is Ocean Acidification?
          The Chemistry. When carbon dioxide (CO2) is absorbed by seawater, chemical reactions occur that reduce seawater pH, carbonate ion concentration, and saturation states of biologically important calcium carbonate minerals. These chemical reactions are termed “ocean acidification” or “OA” for short.

          Is Ocean Acidification bad?
          Ocean Acidification Is Bad, and It’s Getting Worse. More than 97 percent of climate scientists tell us that adding greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane to the atmosphere is changing our climate. As these gases accumulate, they trap heat from the sun and gradually raise the planet’s average temperature.

          This sort of fantasy science language is taught by reference in Google, to answer every question you ask with misleading responses.
          It is extremely cheeky to start to lecture people on Chemistry as if Acidification is a real science word, not just a made up word.
          Apparently 97% of Climate scientists use this word.

          So why not …

          debtification for withdrawing money.
          backwardification for slowing down.
          descendification for not rising as quickly.
          akalification for becoming less acid.

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        • #
          WXcycles

          After seeing that old goof David Attenborough on “Blue Planet II” couple of nights back, sitting in front if a fish tank of sulphuric, and dropping sea shells into it, and watching CO2 fizzing off … then talking absolute agitprop with some ozzie uni dag, well, I just have no good thoughts for the silly old sod, the man us officially beneith contempt.

          What a shame to do that at the end of his career.

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          • #
            Kinky Keith

            I like that.

            But I believe it’s been going on for longer than just the end of his career.

            :-)

            40

      • #
        RickWill

        A test:
        non-acidic-acidification

        50

        • #
          RickWill

          Google cannot find it as acidification yet or even as non-acidic-acidification. May need a day or two to get trawled over.

          I avoid renewable in relation to wind and solar energy as they are definitely not renewable.

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      Geoffrey Williams

      Peter you are correct, perhaps the correct terminology should be ‘decreased alkalinity’. Not too much of a mouthfull I would say . .
      GeoffW

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  • #
    Hanrahan

    I don’t see how bleaching can be anything but part of the rhythm of life.

    “The reef” is not a flat expanse of coral, it is coral outcrops growing to the sun with deep water between that is too deep for the coral to get any light so cannot be colonised. The coral on top of the bommies grow to the sun until, like Icarus they get too close and after a few too many windless days at low tide their wings melt, so to speak.

    Study the reef by all means but keep it fair dinkum.

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  • #
    George McFly......I'm your density

    This is madness on steroids

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    robert rosicka

    Queensland have a bad history of messing with the environment, I would have thought after the cane toad fiasco they would have learned their lesson .

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    PeterS

    When are the foolish scientists ever going to learn that whenever we stuff around with nature unintended consequences happen that create even greater problems or problems that weren’t there before? This is all so much BS, including the 20 million years part. Did they monitor and record on video what was happening all those years?

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    • #
      Bob in Castlemaine

      Don’t worry Peter I’m sure the intrepid reef saving scientists from the Australian Institute of Marine Biology will ensure their magnificent theory is tested just as thoroughly as was the bureaucratic brainwave back in 1935 to the introduce cane toads.

      50

  • #
    Asp

    So we have a technique to mitigate a pseudo-problem on a grand scale designed by people skilled in printing polymer bank notes. Perhaps they just wanted to direct more of that polymer money into their own pockets.

    50

  • #
    Richard Ilfeld

    When the climate changes, the treeline marches up and down the mountainside. There are fossil records left behind,
    A dozen thousand years ago, when much of our northern lands were covered in ice a mile thick, was not the sea level
    a bit lower, and the lands of the great barrier reef exposed. I’m assuming that the corals that have been around for millions of years were oozing up and down the slopes to remain at their optimum depth and circumstances, like the pines in the rockies?
    (serious question!; is there evidence of this as the sea level has risen and fallen through glaciation?)

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    • #
      The Deplorable Vlad the Impaler

      Richard:

      Yes, that is absolutely correct. In modern parlance, it’s called ‘sequence stratigraphy’; as a professor of mine said, “The seas came in; the seas went out” and implicitly, it has always been this way. It is not just glacial episodes, although they are a recent, and dramatic example. Sea level changed by triple-digit metres, and somehow, those pesky reefs managed to survive.

      Hope that helps; you can find layman-type summaries on places like wiki, which actually has a fairly decent presentation on it. Last time I looked, it was straight-forward, and did not contain any ‘preaching’.

      I’m sure that will change, after this … … …

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      el gordo

      Richard at the last glacial maximum (around 16,000 years ago) sea level was 100 metres lower than at present.

      It begs the question, did the GBR die back?

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      • #
        Peter Pond

        I have always wondered what the GBR was like during the last ice age when sea levels were so much lower and so many of today’s coral locations were well above sea level. Where were the corals then? Were there any corals then? How much coral was there then? Were they the same coral types as exist on the GBR now?

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  • #
    pat

    27 Mar: ABC: Grazier says Queensland land clearing laws will cost family millions
    ABC Capricornia By Amy McCosker and Megan Hendry
    About 500 farmers have voiced their anger at the Queensland State Government over proposed new land and tree clearing laws.
    Outside the Central Queensland Livestock Exchange near Rockhampton, protestors yelled “no farmers, no food” before moving inside for the first of five Parliamentary committee hearings in regional Queensland…
    Among the proposed changes are broad-scale bans on clearing remnant vegetation for agriculture, requirements for farmers to obtain approval to thin vegetation and expansion of high value regrowth areas…

    Some farmers estimated the losses would equate to 8 per cent off all farmland ever developed in Queensland.
    Ms Angus said the mapping was highly inaccurate.
    “We’ve got roads that have existed for 200 years that are mapped as remnant vegetation,” she said.
    “A lot of that is simply for the reason that we’ve been conservative. “We’ve had country that we developed last year and because we left shade across it, it’s been mapped as high value regrowth and we can’t ever manage that land again.”…

    Conservation group supports legislation
    The only speaker in support of the bill was expected to be Capricorn Conservation Council co-ordinator, Michael McCabe but he was not present when called by the committee.
    He said he did not receive the invitation in time but the group had made a written submission.
    “It’s a challenge because for 20 years the laws have been changing, changing back and then changing again,” he said.
    “I guess it’s been on the books for a while but at the end it always seems like a rush.”
    Mr McCabe said the group supported the majority of the amendment…

    “The Great Barrier Reef, landscapes, our soils can’t cope with that level of clearing and biodiversity in Queensland and in central Queensland in particular, is on a very steep decline,” Mr McCabe said.
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-27/farmers-protest-new-queensland-land-clearing-laws/9592738

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    • #
      OriginalSteve

      KIlling the countryside bit by bit…..

      Agenda 21 and its evil twin, Rewilding, requires removing people from the countryside and eventually restricting human access to about 90% of it under the UN Biospheres program. If this means removing a lot of farmers from their land by slowly strangling their livelyhoods, the the lackey QLD govt will have done its bit to suck up to its UN eco-loon masters…..

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    pat

    23 Mar: ABC: Tree clearing laws could threaten Queensland’s renewable energy future, growers warn
    ABC Rural By Charlie McKillop
    The Queensland Government has been warned it may struggle to meet its renewable energy target if it pushes ahead with its controversial proposal to tighten tree clearing laws.
    The $1.6 billion sugar industry has been touted as a central plank in the Government’s clean, green energy agenda, in particular its commitment to ensuring 20 per cent of the state’s electricity supply comes from renewable energy sources by 2020.

    But the peak body Canegrowers is questioning where the Government would source the biofuels needed to power biofutures, renewable energy and ethanol industries.
    Canegrowers chief executive Dan Galligan warned the industry’s contribution was being put at risk by the Government’s policy, which he described as one of the biggest “pinballs” in Australian agricultural and political history…

    Mr Galligan stopped short of saying the laws, if they proceed, would stop the Government achieving its renewable energy target, but said it cast serious doubt about the role of the sugar industry in biofuels and biofutures.
    “Our members are involved in a number of projects across the state and the mills are very heavily involved in the production of energy and electricity as alternative uses for their processing facilities, which has been a great thing for the state of Queensland,” he said…

    He also pointed to a submission by Ergon Energy highlighting the difficulty in managing the electricity network posed by the removal of current provisions in the vegetation management regime, and the possibility of further upward pressure on power prices…

    Growcom chief advocate Rachael Mackenzie went further, suggesting the legislation, if not amended, would threaten food security…
    “Land clearing for horticulture averaged 56 hectares a year under the existing legislation, compared with 5,700 hectares of prime agricultural land lost every year to urbanisation,” Ms McKenzie said.
    “Where is our food going to come from?”…
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2018-03-23/tree-clearing-changes-could-threaten-clean-green-energy-agenda/9581902

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    pat

    27 Mar: RockhamptonMorningBulletin: ‘We’re getting flogged’: 500 (Central Queensland) protesters against law
    by Jessica Powell
    Applause filled the main arena when North Burnett Regional councillor Robert Radel looked sternly at the panel and said: “The people who are making these decisions have never actually stepped foot out on these farms.”
    Cr Radel “guaranteed” everybody in the packed-out arena understood more about the land vegetation management than anyone who had proposed the laws…
    New laws currently before the Queensland Parliament will reinstate vegetation management controls repealed in 2013…

    Cr Radel said many rural families had grown up watching their parents’ land “get flogged by mother nature”, but were now seeing it get “flogged by the government”…
    Former Department of Agriculture and Fisheries principal scientist Dr Bill Burrows displayed his disappointment as he felt his 40 years worth of research had been disregarded.
    “It absolutely amazes me that there’s no evidence that the current laws, current scientific input, has had any recognition of that 40 years of work,” Dr Burrows said.

    Exporting to 30 countries around the world and one of the biggest players in the beef industry, Blair and Josie Angus today addressed the speakers and crowd as landholders.
    Josie took had previously taken her “call to arms” to Facebook.
    “There aren’t too many jobs in Rockhampton that don’t rely on our beef cattle industry,” she said.
    “This legislation hits CQ hardest, it strips 1.7 million hectares of developed farmland, that’s 8 per cent of all the developed country in the state off farmers, the only thing they can do with that land is watch the suckers grow.
    “If you work at an abattoir in Rocky that’s 8 per cent of your supply chain, if you are a retailer that’s about $1.7 billion stripped off the balance sheet of the family businesses who shop in Rocky.
    “This is a time to stand up for each other, this is a time to say enough is enough…
    https://www.themorningbulletin.com.au/news/were-getting-flogged-500-cq-protesters-against-law/3372212/

    related…A MUST-READ:

    27 Mar: BeefCenral: James Nason: Landholders were never compensated for tree clearing controls: Smith
    Cattle Council of Australia president Howard Smith says Queensland landholders were never compensated despte having shouldered the cost of helping Australia meet its commitment to the Kyoto greenhouse gas reduction protocol…

    Earlier in the conference, outgoing NCTA president Tom Stockwell also lamented the lack of science in the carbon debate…
    As he did in his speech last year, Mr. Stockwell drew attention to data showing that North Australia is a net sink for Carbon Dioxide.
    Satellites which record atmospherice CO2-e from the earth’s surface to the top of the atmosphere show that every year, on every hectare in North Australian woodlands, 2.2 tons of CO2 is sequestered, mostly trough woody thickening.
    With every increase in wood came a rapid decrease in grass…

    He quoted from a recent submission by rangelands scientist Dr. Bill Burrows, a Fellow of Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, to the Climate Change Review: “Australia needs to proudly proclaim to the world that it has mot likely reached the holy grail of GHG reduction by achieving ‘zero net emissions’. This comes about by virtue of our huge vegetated land mass, coupled with a relatively small human population.
    “Yet we appear to be embarrassed by this good fortune and seem to want to keep these advantages hidden. It’s time for the self-flagellation and misleading grandstanding on this issue, by all Australian governments, to stop.”

    Mr. Stockwell said that despite huge actual CO2 sequestration, in Australia we “pretended that managing woody thickening was a sin”.

    Mr. Stockwell compared the lack of science used by decision makers in the modern carbon debate to the same lack of science that saw England refuse to accept that human waste was a cause of cholera in the 1800s, preferring instead to accept claims by lawyer Edwin Chadwick that smelly air was responsible.
    “Humans don’t change much apparently – we just need fewer Chadwicks and more Burrows,” Mr. Stockwell told the conference… READ ALL
    https://www.beefcentral.com/news/landholders-were-never-compensated-for-tree-clearing-controls-smith/

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    TdeF

    Another mad scheme to interfere with nature, all based on a broken prediction of rapid Global Warming, a tiny warming which has not happened for twenty years. The original idea was 0.5C in ten years, so +5C in 100 years. With the evidence now of twenty years of hindsight, it has not happened. The idea is now absurd.

    Now we are going to interfere with nature on an unprecedented scale. This idea is as nutty as the proposed layer of NaCl 18km in space to cool the entire planet.

    Now when has any of these environmental schemes worked? Rabbits? The Prickly Pear? Bindy Eye? The Cane toad? Myxamatosis? Cloud seeding? Or even the ongoing devastation of our electrical system wholly and solely in an attempt to change world CO2 levels, as that is the only point of closing Australian coal power stations and erecting windmills. Massive self harm to signal good intentions? This is no clever country.

    As for the implicit idea that a 50% increase in CO2 is selectively and warming the water around our Great Barrier Reef, what sort of science is that? How is any and all warming of water caused by CO2? How on earth does that happen? Where is there even a theory let alone proven fact?

    So let’s cool the planet, force the growth of ice at the North Pole, ice which reflects more light and produces more cooling which produces lower temperatures and we can get runaway glaciation and a new ice age. Brilliant! We just escaped from an ice age a mere 10,000 years ago. So this is just what we need. 100 years of rapid growth for man and a scheme vastly more dangerous than building useless windmills.

    This is ridiculous science fiction. Unnecessary, likely to massively backfire and based on the idea that in only a hundred years we are now masters of the planet, a planet controlled by the EU and the United Nations. An idea as dangerous as it is unlikely. We control the barrier reef? Really? Like those robots planned swim around trying automatically identify crown of thorns starfish and inject them with poison. Killer swimming robots more lethal than jellyfish. No way will that backfire.

    This shows what happens when politics and ego supplants rational science. Did no one learn from Lysenkonism?
    Attempts to control our universe can only do massive damage to the world. It’s hard to believe this is from the same Green group which does not believe in genetically modified crops.

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  • #
    Hasbeen

    I have mentioned that I used to run reef trips, taking an average of 180 people a day to the reef 5 days a week.

    We had a 60Ft imitation submarine coral viewing boat running from a permanent installation traversing the same 500 yards of reef for a number of years.

    I was out there myself a couple of times a week, so got to know that bit of reef very well.

    Over a few years you could see the change in the corals growing in our area. People wouldn’t believe our promotional photographs taken over 3 years were of the same bit of reef.

    When the changes happen slowly you tend not to notice them. It was only the photos over 3 years that showed clearly how much the composition & colour of coral undisturbed by storms or people could change in a fairly short time.

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    • #
      TdeF

      Can you comment on the bleaching and whether you believe the reef will recover naturally without intervention?

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      • #
        Hasbeen

        Sorry TdeF to answer your second question, I believe it doesn’t need to recover. It will vary as it always has, & this bleaching event is wildly exaggerated.

        A reef fisherman from MacKay told me 35 years ago of a scare they had, when Coral Trout started to disappear from their catches. A couple of years later they were back. No one knew why, not even those wonderful boffins in Townsville.

        One of the resort islands used to run a lot of guest fishing trips to a particular pinnacle in Whitsunday passage. It came straight up from 240Ft to 80Ft, & attracted the fish.

        They had been catching pinkies, [Pink Due] in their dozens there for decades, but sometimes there were much fewer. They discovered that there was a similar spot up at Hayman island, which their skippers used in the same way, with the same variability.

        Keeping some records, & comparing notes the skippers figured out that those damn pinkies swim around. They were going from the passage for regular holidays up to Hayman, without telling the skippers, or the Townsville boffins about their plans. The hide of them.

        There is a hell of a lot more we don’t know about the ocean, than we do know. Pity those boffins don’t do some useful research, rather than grant mining in Townsville fish tanks.

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    • #
      Hasbeen

      I was running boats in the Whitsunday area from 76 to 87. I ran a range of boats & companies, including island day trips & fishing trips, island ferries, sail yourself bareboat charters, plus walk on the reef trips, timed for low tide at the reef, 9AM to 5PM outer reef day trips with the 325 passenger international cats, Plus overnight, & up to 2 week outer reef fishing trips for 2 resort islands.

      I never heard of coral bleaching in those days, & never saw it in the area from about MacKay to Bowen. I passed through other areas but did not know them well. The bunch in Townsville were still busy getting grants to research the crown of thorns back then.

      I also spent some years in northern New Guinea waters, & the Solomons. In these areas the water is often tepid in areas of shallow water, where the coral is most profuse, much hotter than on our reef. This can vary to very cold where the tepid water is mixing with water upwelling from a thousand fathoms deep.

      In those areas when diving I have gone from unpleasantly warm water to shiveringly cold, by entering an area of upwelling. Unlike coral I could turn around & get out of the cold stuff.

      The area of our reef I know well has very benign conditions, it’s greatest danger is the fool academics, who play around in fish tanks in Townsville, & think, or pretend, that what they are doing has some relevance to the real thing 40 miles offshore.

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    Joe Civis

    I wonder when will humanity reach “peak stupid” but fear that stupid has an endless well to draw from as long as those afflicted are shielded from the consequences of their stupid.

    Cheers!
    Joe

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    • #
      TdeF

      I think this is directed to politicians. Most members of the public are not and rely on their politicians to act sensibly. Unfortunately the new breed of politicians are besotted with the minority Green vote. So we have a party with one seat in parliament controlling our public policy. Plus nine senators who make sure neither party can govern.

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    • #
      yarpos

      You assume that exposure to consequences will cause change, this infers the ability to learn, and our starting point is people being stupid. I submit exhibit A, Jay Weatherill’s 75% target.

      90

      • #
        TdeF

        It didn’t work. Jay had nothing to lose trying, but no one seriously believes you can run a state on windmills. He lost the election last time, but the gerrymander gave him control unexpectedly. Again, nothing to lose. He can now retire on a great pension, having done so much damage to South Australia. Does he really care? Few politicians do. It beats having to work for a living.

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    • #
      OriginalSteve

      Peak stupid I think is accelerated by smart phones.

      People feel smarter because they have these whizz bang devices, but in effect its only allowing more connectivity, but also requires less thinking, so in mnay respects, the smart phone replaces thier normal brains.

      And as people feel smarter, they are more prone to hubristic-driven errors and less likely to admit they are wrong. And dumb people equipped with high tech is never a situation that ends well….

      What could possibly go wrong…..?

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    • #
      The Deplorable Vlad the Impaler

      Hi Joe,

      It’s been quoted many, many times, but can never be said enough:

      “Only two things are infinite: the Universe, and human stupidity; and I am not certain of the former.”

      Dr. A. Einstein

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  • #
    grahamd

    Wow, what a thought, under water protesters signs and all, protecting the crown of thorns from extinction. While being invaded by killer robots..

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  • #
    Amadeus

    Jo, I have a relative working at the GBRMA. Listening to her carry on about the reef and how “endangered” it is claimed to be, I have come to the independent, but unscientific, conclusion that the greatest threat to the reef is the rest seekers, pointless bureaucrats, scientists sprucing outside their areas of “expertise” and water melons who will latch on to any scheme to enrich themselves on the reef bandwagon. I’m soooooo much over the annual “pre-budget” scare-mongering and beat-ups in the hope of another government grant to keep the hangers-on bubbling along.

    50

  • #
    Ruairi

    As for warmists, they need to be seen,
    To be ‘saving the planet’ and Green,
    With their ranting and raving,
    That the coral needs saving,
    On the Reef with a massive sunscreen.

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  • #
    ivan

    The biggest danger to coral reefs is not warmer water or a slightly less basic ocean or even strong sunlight. It is Australian marine biologists aided and abetted by green environmentalists.

    If those people can be kept away from the coral it will thrive – let them near it and growth is stunted and they may even kill off large swathes with their meddling.

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    • #
      PeterS

      Indeed. So called coral reef experts are always calling for Australia to take the lead on saving Great Barrier Reef. It doesn’t need saving. What really needs saving is Australia’s economy because when it implodes under the current and impending leftist government, any remaining interest in saving the Great Barrier Reef will disappear completely anyway.

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  • #

    I agree that after the cane toad and cactus disaster episodes, you would think these people would have learned something about interfering with Nature. I also agree that terms like ‘Ocean Acidification’ should never be used on this site. Language is how the Greens/socialists control agendas. “Less caustic, less alkaline, less basic” are all viable alternatives that do not encourage Green Alarmism. When things are alkaline, they can get less alkaline until they hit 7 and move into acidic. Then then can get acidified or more acid, but not before then.

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    • #

      It isn’t about reality, it’s about political power and
      the ‘necessary’ lie, which if told often enough becomes
      truth to the uncritical. They’re doing it in k-12 values
      education all the time, not critical thinking but ‘reeling, writhing, to begin with, and then the different branches of arithmetic, ambition, distraction, uglification and derision,’ direct from the Wonderland hand book..

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  • #
    michael hart

    I would be slightly concerned to learn that someone so dim had designed any bank notes in my wallet.

    40

  • #
    Geoffrey Williams

    This kind of solution to what is a non-problem anyway, is so impractical and just typical of university academics.
    Controlling the dispersion/application of this proposed floating sunshield presents so many difficulties eg wind, waves, sunlight, drift, to name just the obvious. I have calculated it would require 2 cubic meters to cover 1 sq km.
    This adds up to a large amount when you consider the size of even small areas of the reaf. Just not a good idea I believe.
    GeoffW

    30

  • #
    Geoffrey Williams

    This kind of solution to what is a non-problem anyway, is so impractical and just typical of university academics.
    Controlling the dispersion/application of this proposed floating sunshield presents so many difficulties eg wind, waves, sunlight, drift, to name just the obvious. I have calculated it would require 2 cubic meters to cover 1 sq km.
    This adds up to a large amount when you consider the size of even small areas of the reef. Just not a good idea I believe.
    GeoffW

    20

  • #
    pat

    27 Mar: ABC America: Critics concerned Pruitt could limit the type of science EPA can cite
    By STEPHANIE EBBS
    VIDEO: CHIMNEYS, BLACK SMOKE
    The former administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and other critics say they worry EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is considering a rule change that would require researchers to make more of their methodology and raw data public — a move which could impact regulations intended to limit pollution, among other consequences.

    Former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy wrote that the move would “paralyze” the agency in an op-ed in The New York Times.
    “This approach would undermine the nation’s scientific credibility. And should Mr. Pruitt reconsider regulations now in place, this new policy could be a catalyst for the unraveling of existing public health protections if the studies used to justify them could no longer be used by EPA,” McCarthy and Janet McCabe, a former administrator in the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, wrote in an op-ed in The New York Times.

    David Doniger, senior strategic director for the climate and clean energy program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said that the main target of this policy is a set of studies that began in the 1990s and were cited as the basis for public health standards like regulations of soot and other tiny particles of pollution that are linked to respiratory issues like asthma.
    He said the administration wants to disqualify that research…

    ut the EPA says those characterizations are too narrow and that Pruitt is looking more broadly at how to make the science cited by the agency more transparent. They said there has not been any announcement or change in policy at this time.
    “Administrator Pruitt believes that Americans deserve transparency, with regard to the science and data that’s underpinning regulatory decisions being made by this Agency,” EPA spokeswoman Liz Bowman said in a statement.

    Pruitt’s goal is similar to what House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas, proposed in his Honest and Open New EPA Science Treatment Act of 2017, nicknamed the HONEST Act. That bill would have blocked the EPA from crafting any rule unless all scientific and technical information was available to the public “in a manner sufficient for independent analysis and substantial reproduction of research results.”
    That bill passed the House in 2017 but was blocked in a Senate committee.
    EPA documents, including Pruitt’s schedules recently obtained by ABC News through a Freedom of Information Act request, show that he met with Smith on April 5 of last year and that the topics for discussion included the agency’s scientific advisory boards and the HONEST Act…

    Smith has been a vocal critic of existing climate science and said in a statement that the HONEST Act would allow the public to independently determine whether data supports the EPA’s conclusions.
    “Administrator Pruitt feels strongly that Americans deserve to see the underlying data, and the American people will appreciate his efforts to make sure regulations are based on good science, not science fiction,” Smith said in a statement.

    And a representative of the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists tweeted last week that the proposal is a “trojan horse” to restrict science at the agency…

    Supporters of Smith’s bill and moves to increase access to data cited by EPA say that they question some of those findings and want researchers to provide more of the raw data so anyone can try to replicate the conclusions.

    Steve Milloy, who served on Trump’s EPA transition team and is a vocal critic of what he calls “junk science,” wrote in an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal that there were questions about the original research the EPA used to regulate particulate matter and that an analysis of public health data released by the state of California found that particulate matter was not associated with death.

    “The best part is that if you don’t believe the result, you can get the same data for yourself from California and run your own analysis. Then we’ll compare, contrast and debate. That’s how science is supposed to work,” Milloy wrote in the op-ed tweeted out by an EPA spokesperson…

    Pruitt previously announced that scientists who receive any grant money from the EPA would not be able to serve on committees intended to advise the agency on scientific questions, a move that he said would increase transparency on possible conflicts of interest.
    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/critics-concerned-pruitt-limit-type-science-epa-cite/story?id=54040477

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    • #
      pat

      behind paywall…

      26 Mar: NYT Op-ed: Scott Pruitt’s Attack on Science Would Paralyze the E.P.A.
      https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/26/opinion/pruitt-attack-science-epa.html

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    • #
      Mary E

      Former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy wrote that the move would “paralyze” the agency in an op-ed in The New York Times.
      “This approach would undermine the nation’s scientific credibility.

      Only if it is discovered that most of the science used in formulating their policies was provided by those who most benefit from those policies. And if so, it is the prior EPA’s “scientific credibility” and the credibility of its scientists – not the “nation’s” in general – that will suffer (and maybe rightly so.)

      And should Mr. Pruitt reconsider regulations now in place, this new policy could be a catalyst for the unraveling of existing public health protections if the studies used to justify them could no longer be used by EPA,” McCarthy and Janet McCabe, a former administrator in the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, wrote in an op-ed in The New York Times.

      Or if it came to light that the “studies” being used to justify existing public health protections were, again, provided by those who most benefit from the policies (and EPA was not meant to be a “health” department.) Or if the “studies” were so one-sided and poorly designed/run that they would be considered junk science by a class of 5th graders.

      There shouldn’t be any issue with making all data from now forward available.

      The data used for past policy making should also be forced into the light for all to examine.

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    kevin george

    Random thoughts

    I was a wee lad in 1960′s Scotland when I first read (Glasgow Herald?) about something called “Continental Drift”

    Up until then, I had thought it was obvious. And up until then I thought scieniists were pure.

    The German geophysicist Alfred Wegener had proposed in 1912 that the continents were once all connected, then broke up and drifted apart. Wegener was not the first to notice that the east coast of South America seemed to fit together with the west coast of Africa

    What shocked me at the time was the vitriol from the consensus directed at the non-conformists.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/16/weekinreview/16chang.html

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      kevin george

      What I thought was obvious was the joined-up continents.

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      sophocles

      What shocked me at the time was the vitriol from the consensus directed at the non-conformists.

      The vitriol directed at anything new from the those with a position or stake in the status quo is neither new nor unique. Darwin suffered it for his ideas of evolution, Wegener for his ideas on continental motion, Bohr for quantum mechanics, Eddy for the Solar Wind, Solar influence on climate, are all examples, so it should be awfully familiar by now.

      “Science advances one funeral at a time.”

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    kevin george

    scieniists

    That’s not a typo, it’s your lying eyes, denimiers.

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    Jonesy

    Is it just me but wouldn’t this CaCO3 just be absorbed into the buffer? If there is no chemical interaction then it suggests to me the medium is not carbonate but some other impermiable polymer. If an impermiable membrane then I would hate to be an airbreathing sea creature surfacing with this above me. Sea snakes and turtles come to immeadiate thought.

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    pat

    behind paywall – extra excerpts found on electricityinfo.org.
    by Caroline Lucas, Co-Leader of the Green Party of England and Wales:

    7 Mar: UK Times: Caroline Lucas: We must take back control of our future and stop burning fossil fuels
    Every few years, since 1990, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has produced a detailed, vital and bleak report on the state of the climate
    Evidence from literally thousands of scientists across the world is brought together in one substantial report, setting out exactly what we know about the way the climate is changing, and carefully calibrating the confidence with which we know it.
    Though these reports are long and complex, the summary of their findings is strikingly simple: we have to stop burning fossil fuels…

    Global temperatures have now risen by 1C. Half way to the 2C that the governments of the world have agreed is the threshold of dangerous climate change.
    To avoid the worst of a climate catastrophe it’s clear we urgently need a just economic transition towards a carbon-free energy system.
    The good news is that we already have the technologies to deliver secure, affordable carbon-free energy to everyone…

    The costs of solar have fallen 69 per cent in the past six years. Onshore wind costs have fallen 18 per cent in the same period. And a recent Goldman Sachs report forecasts that by 2023, “renewables will be able to operate without government subsidies”. Improving efficiency is the fastest and cheapest way to reduce carbon pollution – and it’s also the fastest and cheapest way to reduce energy bills for Britain’s homes and businesses…

    The truth is that it is ideology that’s blocking climate action. If the core of your political project is much smaller government, ever lower taxes, less and less regulation and no constraints on freedom of choice then it’s far harder to admit to climate change being a problem.
    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/caroline-lucas-we-must-take-back-control-of-our-future-and-stop-burning-fossil-fuels-ss05pc39x

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    pat

    27 Mar: TheWeatherChannel: Brian Donnegan: Where’s Spring? Snow, Cold Grips Northern U.S. as March Ends and April Begins
    By Brian Donegan
    If you’re hoping the weather will feel a bit more springlike as the calendar turns to April this weekend, we have bad news: colder-than-average temperatures are expected to dominate the northern United States during the final days of March and into April’s first week.
    The chilly temperatures could also be accompanied by some snowmakers…

    Colder-than-average conditions will likely persist through much of next week in areas from the northern Plains into the Midwest and much of the Northeast, with some of this chilly air possibly lingering into April’s second week…
    https://weather.com/forecast/regional/news/2018-03-26-spring-snow-cold-northern-united-states-late-march-early-april

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    pat

    27 Mar: RenewEconomy: Giles Parkinson: This is how baseload gets replaced by renewables and storage
    Deconstructing baseload. It is the title of a chapter in a recent report from REN21, the global renewable energy agency, highlighting just how dramatic the energy transition will be as the cost of wind and solar continue to fall, and storage continues its rapid adoption…

    In this “conceptual progression” from the Baseload Paradigm to a New Paradigm of 100% Renewable Electricity, REN21 outlines the key steps that are taking place and will take place…
    Australia, like many other countries, is somewhere along this path – not so far in the still coal-dominated states like NSW and Queensland, but quite far in states like South Australia, already sourcing some 50 per cent its supply from wind and solar, and increasing rapidly.
    And some of it is happening already, and you can read Tristan Edis here about how renewables trumped brown coal and gas in Australia over the 2017/18 summer (LINK)…

    The later stages of the progression towards fully renewable power systems, REN21 says, will be marked by the integration of variable renewable power into the system by advanced forecasting, grid reinforcements, strengthened interconnections, and improved information.

    This will come with controlled technologies, the widespread adoption of storage technologies, greater focus on energy efficiency and demand response, and the coupling of the heating and cooling and transport sectors.
    In short, the latter spells the electrification of most things…
    http://reneweconomy.com.au/this-is-how-baseload-gets-replaced-by-renewables-and-storage-47898/

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      yarpos

      That all reminds me of the early days of data networking. Networks grew in size and complexity very quickly. Pretty soon nobody really understood what was happening in totality, they were problematic to manage and problem determination was a nightmare.

      The paradigm talks reminds of a wonderful slideshow about the launching of a Petrobas oil ocean platform. The text was a bunch of weasel words from the then CEO talking about how rig was built and launched in record time by removing the constraints of old world project management and operating under a new and unique paradigm. As the slidshow progressses the rig is towed out to sea and when set into position turns turtle, breaks up and sinks. All with the CEO still waxing lyrical about the world beating success.

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    pat

    ***according to ex-BBC’s Richard Black’s ECIU:

    27 Mar: UK Times: Ben Webster: Wind turbines may grow twice as tall
    More than 750 turbines at 60 sites are coming to the end of their operational lives, with less than five years remaining of the 20-year period for which they have planning permission. They could be dismantled and the landscape restored, but the wind industry is lobbying to be allowed to replace them with much more powerful turbines.

    The existing turbines are mostly 50m to 60m tall. The new ones would be up to 120m and produce up to eight times more power.
    The taller turbines would increase the total capacity of the 60 sites from 440 megawatts to 1,300 megawatts and produce enough power for 800,000 homes, according to a report by the ***Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU), a think tank that supports renewable energy…

    Wind farms could be rebuilt with fewer turbines, it said…
    Critics say that the visual blight from taller turbines is worse even if there are fewer of them…
    The ECIU report said that taller turbines had “greater resilience to high winds in which older units were unable to operate safely” and that their height allowed them to access stronger winds…
    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/wind-turbines-may-grow-twice-as-tall-hqdg7rcts

    26 Mar: Exeter University: iGov: New thinking for Energy
    Presentation: Smart Lessons from States of USA and Australia
    From: Catherine Mitchell (Professor of Energy Policy at Exeter University)
    Presentation to: BEIS, Brown Bag Lunch, 22nd March 2018
    Summary
    •Australia is an example of where the ‘future’ energy system is already happening…

    This presentation can be found here: Brown Bag Lunch BEIS 22 March 2018 (LINK).
    http://projects.exeter.ac.uk/igov/presentation-smart-lessons-from-states-of-usa-and-australia/

    presenter Catherine Mitchell is on the Advisory Board of ex-BBC’s Richard Black’s ECIU, as is ex-BBC’s Robin Lustig, Lord Oxburgh, Sir Crispin Tickell, etc:

    Exeter University: Catherine Mitchell
    She was a Lead Author (LA) in the IPCC Working Group 3’s Fifth Assessment report (AR5) and a coordinating Lead Author (CLA) of the Policy, Financing & Implementation Chapter of the IPCC (Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change) Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation 2008-2011.She also was a Lead Analyst of sub-Chapter 13 (Policy) of Chapter 11 (Renewable Energy) of the Global Energy Assessment undertaken through the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) 2008-2010; She is currently an EPSRC Established Career Fellow leading a 3 year project (2016-2019) Innovation and Governance for Future Energy Systems (IGov2). This is an extension of a 4 year project on Innovation, Governance and Affordability for a Sustainable and Secure Economy (IGov), which ended in September 2016. She is Chair of the Regulatory Assistance Project – a US based non-profit organisation that provides regulatory advice to Governments; and on the Advisory Board of the GB based Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (***ECIU). She has also advised numerous national and international companies, NGOs and institutions on various aspects of the transition to a sustainable energy system…ETC

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      pat shows us this: (my bolding here)

      The taller turbines would increase the total capacity of the 60 sites from 440 megawatts to 1,300 megawatts and produce enough power for 800,000 homes…..

      Wow, 60 sites (six zero) and 800.000 homes supplied.

      Bayswater …..ONE coal fired power plant ….. TWO MILLION homes supplied.

      Tony.

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    pat

    27 Mar: Reuters: China says North Korea pledges denuclearization during friendly visit
    by Ben Blanchard, Joyce Lee
    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has pledged to denuclearize and meet U.S. officials, China said on Wednesday after an historic meeting with President Xi Jinping, who promised China would uphold its friendship with its isolated neighbor…

    The China visit was Kim’s first known trip outside North Korea since he assumed power in 2011 and is believed by analysts to serve as preparation for upcoming summits with South Korea and the United States.
    North Korea’s KCNA news agency made no mention of Kim’s pledge to denuclearize, or his anticipated meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump that is planned for some time in May…

    China’s Foreign Ministry cited Kim in a lengthy statement as telling Xi that the situation on the Korean peninsula is starting to improve because North Korea has taken the initiative to ease tensions and put forward proposals for peace talks.
    “It is our consistent stand to be committed to denuclearization on the peninsula, in accordance with the will of late President Kim Il Sung and late General Secretary Kim Jong Il,” Kim Jong Un said, according to the statement.
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-missiles-china/china-says-north-korea-pledges-denuclearization-during-friendly-visit-idUSKBN1H305W

    also, in case u missed them when they came out of moderation on Jo’s “EarthHour” thread – go check comment #41:

    26 Mar: CNBC: China’s premier pledges to open markets in a bid to avert a trade war with the US

    27 Mar: PittsburghPostGazette: In a landmark for Trump, South Korea agrees to open its auto market in return for a tariffs exemption

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    pat

    26 Mar: WorldNuclearNews: Barakah 1 construction formally complete
    President Moon Jae-in of South Korea and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan today attended a ceremony to celebrate the completion of construction at the United Arab Emirates’ first nuclear power reactor.

    Initial construction of the South Korean-designed APR-1400 pressurised water reactor, built for Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec) by a consortium led by the Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco), was completed last year. Today’s ceremony, held at the reactor site, marked the official completion of the construction phase. The focus for Barakah 1 now shifts to completing the preparations for operation needed to receive an operating licence from the UAE’s nuclear regulator, the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR)…

    Barakah represents the first exports for Korea’s APR-1400, a third-generation, 1400 MWe pressurised water reactor with an operating life of 60 years. The first APR-1400, Shin Kori unit 3, entered commercial operation in Korea in 2016. The design of the Barakah plant has been adapted to suit the UAE’s unique climate conditions and requirements of the FANR.
    Four APR-1400s are under construction at the site, in the Dhafrah region of Abu Dhabi, 53 kilometres south-west of the city of Ruwais…

    Unit 2 is now more than 92% complete, with unit 3 more than 81% complete and unit 4 more than 67% complete. All four units are scheduled for completion by 2020. According to Enec, the construction of the project as a whole was 87% complete as of the end of February. When operational, the four Barakah units will provide up to a quarter of the UAE’s electricity needs…

    Agneta Rising, Director General of World Nuclear Association, said today’s ceremony was an important step towards start-up of the first reactor at Barakah. “The UAE will soon benefit from the reliable supply of clean electricity that Barakah will produce,” she said. “The UAE’s policy of reducing electricity generation from fossil fuels by developing a mix of clean energy technologies that includes a substantial contribution from nuclear energy is one that should be embraced worldwide, including in South Korea. Using nuclear energy will help ensure the swiftest and most cost-effective transition to a clean, secure and reliable energy future,” she added.
    http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NN-Barakah-1-construction-formally-complete-2603187.html

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    dr bob

    Getting back on topic … the proposition that the GBR can be protected from bleaching with something that screens sunlight is at odds with the current version of warmist dogma … are they now saying that its solar radiation that is causing the bleaching, and not C02 from coal warming the oceans? … if so, they are at last talking some sense, because it is indeed solar radiation that’s the culprit … and it happens during El Nino’s when low tides are at their lowest … reef flats are exposed and corals bleach accordingly … and in deeper waters, when reef weather is dominated by blocking highs, the sea is calm and glassy, and solar radiation reaches to a greater depth … this link between unusually low tides was described back in the 1960′s … its Mother Nature in action with no C02 effect required at all …

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    pat

    New Zealand study finds power network threat from electric cars
    The Australian · 14 hours ago
    Electric vehicles pose a threat to national power networks as next-generation cars with bigger batteries multiply household electricity demand by up to 20 times, a new study reveals. New Zealand’s biggest energy distributor, Vector, warned electric vehicle chargers “put a large electrical load on the network”, with even 2.4kW “trickle” chargers adding the equivalent of one additional home to the grid…

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    pat

    who would have thought?

    27 Mar: Gizmodo: Confronted With Severe Climate Change, Ancient Britons Kept Calm and Carried On
    by George Dvorsky
    Soon after the glaciers melted at the end of the last Ice Age, our planet was vulnerable to abrupt and dramatic shifts in climate, including prolonged cold snaps that lasted for decades. New research suggests early hunter-gatherers living in the British Isles didn’t just manage to survive these harsh conditions—they actually thrived.

    Ancient hunter-gatherers living at the Star Carr site some 11,000 years ago in what is now North Yorkshire didn’t skip a beat as temperatures plunged around the globe in the immediate post-glacial era, according to new research (LINK) published in Nature Ecology & Evolution. This latest research suggests abrupt climate change wasn’t catastrophically or culturally disruptive to this long-standing community, and that early humans were remarkably resilient and adaptable in the face of dramatic climate shifts…

    Anthropologists figured early humans living in northern Britain suffered during this time, but the new study suggests this wasn’t the case…
    https://gizmodo.com/confronted-with-severe-climate-change-ancient-britons-1824109115?IR=T

    links to Nature Ecology and Evolution: The resilience of postglacial hunter-gatherers to ABRUPT climate change

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    pat

    just say no:

    28 Mar: ClimateChangeNews: UK MPs call on Gove to trigger climate reporting clause
    Financial regulators drew parliamentarians’ ire after failing to meet their demands to voluntarily report their climate adaptation plans
    By Zak Derler
    UK parliamentarians have called on the environment secretary to use the country’s climate change act to compel financial regulators to report their plans to adapt to climate change.

    The call comes after the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) met with three regulatory bodies and asked them to voluntarily participate in the reporting of their climate change plans. The Pensions Regulator (PR), the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) had not satisfied the committee’s demands.
    Committee members told secretary Michael Gove that financial regulators have a responsibility to integrate discussions on climate change risk management into their future work.

    In a press release Mary Creagh MP (LABOUR), Chair of the EAC said: “A young person auto-enrolled in a workplace pension today may be 45 or 50 years away from retirement. In that timescale, climate change – and society’s response to it – will have huge economic consequences for a wide range of industries and investments.”…

    The UK Climate Change Act gives powers to the environment secretary to direct certain organisations to report their formal adaptations to climate change. The EAC argued Gove should trigger that clause…

    The committee has had friendly relations with the Bank of England and the Prudential Regulation Authority – presently the only two regulators who have integrated climate change management into their work.
    The EAC’s Green Finance inquiry, under which discussions with regulators took place, is exploring the UK’s necessary investments to meet climate and sustainability targets…

    Climate Home News contacted Defra, the FCA and the PR, but none had returned requests for comment by the time of publication.
    http://www.climatechangenews.com/2018/03/28/uk-mps-call-gove-trigger-climate-reporting-clause/

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    James Murphy

    “…Scientists from the Australian Institute of Marine Biology…”

    They are really scientists? I find that very hard to believe.

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    pat

    lengthy…worth reading all…more of a response to the Aurora Spring Forum 2018 at Oxford Uni:

    27 Mar: CarbonBrief: Simon Evans: Q&A: What does ‘subsidy-free’ renewables actually mean?
    Recent announcements in the UK and across the rest of Europe seem to be ushering in a new era of “subsidy-free” renewables, which can be deployed without government support.
    Yet “subsidy-free” is a nebulous phrase that means different things to different people. In fact, many of the “subsidy-free” schemes announced over the past 12 months would not meet the purest interpretations of the term.
    While the arrival of subsidy-free renewables means zero-carbon electricity ***at reduced costs for consumers, it is not without challenges…

    Many of the schemes in the subsidy-free pipeline may never get built. Companies may have secured only enough finance to get a project through the planning process, rather than to build it…

    Moving from this safe, low-risk investment environment to the riskier world of subsidy-free deployment means financiers are likely to demand higher returns to match that risk.
    Gordon Edge, former policy director for wind industry group RenewableUK and now director of his own consultancy firm Inflection Point Energy, tells Carbon Brief: “Banks would not touch that kind of risk with a barge pole. ***Pension funds won’t do it [either].”

    He thinks only private equity firms would be willing to take that risk and would demand returns of perhaps 15% to lend the money. “I fail to see how that flies, as once you load that cost of debt onto the project it gets really expensive…Someone needs to be there taking away that price risk. The best player as it stands is government.”…

    1 COMMENT ONLY:
    Joris75:
    Great expose, except for …
    “Then there is the cost of integrating variable renewable output onto the grid, estimated at up to £10/MWh in the UK.”
    That £10/MWh estimate holds for a situation where variable renewables provide only 30% of UK electricity. If the market share of VRE rises beyond that 30%, the integration cost (per MWh) rises as well. Achieving 100% renewable energy would increase integration costs (per MWh) by an order of magnitude, making integration more costly than the renewable energy itself.
    https://www.carbonbrief.org/what-does-subsidy-free-renewables-actually-mean

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      RickWill

      The direct subsidies are not the only form of assistance that wind and solar get. The most expensive form of subsidy is the hidden cost of intermittency. That destroys base load and forces low-cost slow response thermal stations out of the schedule, leaving only high cost, fast response thermal to meet the shortfalls. That is even higher cost tham most subsidies.

      It is becoming increasingly apparent that economies pushing high market share for intermittents are becoming globally uncompetitive. The USA has gained a massive competitive advantage by getting out of Paris. Others will do it by necessity but not quite so visibly. The crazy aspect is that USA has reduced CO2 output more than Germany!

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    pat

    telling WWF to rack off! time to fight back:

    26 Mar: UK Telegraph: Sheep farmers in row with WWF after wildlife foundation claimed lamb stew environmentally unfriendly
    By Francesca Marshall
    Sheep farmers have butted heads with a national wildlife foundation after it published a report labelling lamb stew as one of the most environmentally unfriendly meals in the UK.
    Farmers’ Unions have been left “astonished” and “disappointed” by a report published by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) which labelled Welsh lamb cawl as the most polluting classic British meal.
    The report, published to highlight how some of Britain’s favourite dishes could change as a result of climate change, said a bowl of lamb cawl produced as much pollution as boiling a kettle 258 times because of methane from sheep…

    The National Sheep Association and National Farmers Union Cymru argued that the findings had failed to highlight the advantages of Welsh lamb stew; both environmentally and from a nutritional perspective.
    Phil Stocker, chief executive of the National Sheep Association, said: “From our perspective it’s a pretty shoddy piece of work that hasn’t looked at the wider benefits of sheep farming at all…

    According to the report, producing a dish of lamb cawl is the the equivalent of having an LED light bulb switched on for 65 days, driving a car 31 miles or charging a smartphone 722 times…

    “The report does not acknowledge the many benefits to biodiversity of grazed livestock, nor does it note the possible benefits of the carbon stored in our grasslands, hedges and farm woodlands. There are also a variety of cultural and social benefits that have not been taken into account, seemingly because the facts don’t fit the agenda of this report…

    In response to the criticisms aimed at the report a WWF spokesperson said: “Climate change is a major threat to our world and its precious wildlife and landscapes.
    “Food consumption is one of the biggest drivers of carbon emissions which is why our report showed the impact of climate change on Britain’s most iconic dishes, including Welsh cawl.”
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/03/26/sheep-farmers-row-wwf-wildlife-foundation-claimed-lamb-stew/

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    pat

    MSM swamp creature Margaret Talbot doesn’t like Scott Pruitt…or Donald Trump.

    apart from these excerpts, there’s probably at least another hundred paragraphs of anti-coal rubbish, etc:

    New Yorker: Scott Pruitt’s Dirty Politics
    How the Environmental Protection Agency became the fossil-fuel industry’s best friend.
    By Margaret Talbot
    (Margaret Talbot joined The New Yorker as a staff writer in 2003. Previously, she was a contributing writer at the New York Times Magazine and, from 1995 to 1999, an editor at The New Republic. Her stories, covering legal issues, social policy, and popular culture, have appeared, in addition to in the Times Magazine and The New Republic, in The Atlantic Monthly, National Geographic, and the Times Book Review)
    (This article appears in the print edition of the April 2, 2018, issue, with the headline “Dirty Politics.”)
    Audio: Listen to this story

    Unlike many people who have joined the chaotic Trump Administration, he seems unconflicted about his new role, his ideological and career goals fitting together as neatly as Lego blocks. The former attorney general of Oklahoma, Pruitt ascended politically by fighting one regulation after another. In his first year at the E.P.A., he has proposed repealing or delaying more than thirty significant environmental rules. In February, when the White House announced its intention to reduce the E.P.A.’s budget by twenty-five per cent—one of the largest cuts for any federal agency—Pruitt made no objections. His schedule is dominated by meetings and speaking engagements with representatives of the industries he regulates. He has met only a handful of times with environmental groups…

    At the Harvey mine, Pruitt wore a solid-red tie and, on his lapel, an American-flag pin; he briefly put on a white hard hat inscribed with the phrase “Make America Great Again.” He delivered his remarks in a sterile, fluorescent-lit room, a contrast with the audience, which was filled with miners in coal-dusted uniforms. He spoke in a precise staccato that was softened by the light Southern accent of his native Kentucky. In the speech, which Pruitt gave before touring the mine, he said, “I’m looking forward to puttin’ on those suits you’ve got on, goin’ down, and checkin’ it out and havin’ fun doing so.” He joked that whoever said you can’t have your cake and eat it, too, didn’t know “what you’re supposed to do with cake.” …

    It’s an open secret in Washington that Pruitt would like to become Attorney General if President Trump fires Jeff Sessions, and at the E.P.A. he often sounds like he’s trying out for that post, repeating a set of talking points, honed in conservative legal circles, about the dangers of “federal overreach.” In Pennsylvania, Pruitt told the miners, and a contingent of corporate executives, that “the days of our agency declaring war on your industry are over.” He went on, “It’s not right for government to do that.” Many of his comments that day sounded like rallying cries. “You guys are a handsome crew!” he declared. “The cavalry’s on the way!”…

    In June, Pruitt joined Trump in the White House Rose Garden as Trump announced that the United States was withdrawing from the Paris climate accord. Although there is a consensus among scientists that human activity is causing climate change, Pruitt is skeptical of this view; unlike Trump, who has called global warming a “hoax” created by the Chinese, Pruitt expresses his dissent with deliberate mildness. Last March, he told CNBC, “Measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do.” He went on, “I would not agree that it’s a primary contributor to the global warming that we see. But we don’t know that yet. We need to continue to debate, continue the review and analysis.” The E.P.A., he has said, will commence a “red team–blue team” review of climate-change science that puts “experts in a room and lets them debate.”…
    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/04/02/scott-pruitts-dirty-politics

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    RickWill

    Topic for midweek ut:
    https://www.aemo.com.au/Electricity/National-Electricity-Market-NEM/Planning-and-forecasting/Integrated-System-Plan

    Integrated System Plan Consultation: Summary of Submissions
    This document summarises the key themes that were evident across submissions to the ISP Consultation. AEMO is currently considering all feedback, and will respond to recommendations in the 2018 ISP report.

    https://www.aemo.com.au/-/media/Files/Electricity/NEM/Planning_and_Forecasting/ISP/2018/ISP_Consultation_Submission_Summary-March-2018.pdf

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    David Maddison

    Just 22,000 years ago the sea level was 120m lower than it is today so all coral and underlying reefs you see today is younger than that. Just sayin’.

    Also, didn’t Sir Joseph Banks on Captian Cook’s voyage mention something which today would be understood to be bleaching? I have heard this but not found a source. Does anyone know?

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      Peter C

      I found this account of the great barrier reef in which Banks says it is exposed at low tide:

      A Reef such a one as I now speak of is a thing scarcely known in Europe or indeed any where but in these seas: it is a wall of Coral rock rising almost perpendicularly out of the unfathomable ocean, always overflown at high water commonly 7 or 8 feet, and generaly bare at low water; the large waves of the vast ocean meeting with so sudden a resistance make here a most terrible surf Breaking mountain high, especialy when as in our case the general trade wind blows directly upon it.

      http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks05/0501141h.html#aug1770

      Later on he describes what was likely coral spawning.

      I did not find coral bleaching (although it may be there somewhere).

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    Phillip Bratby

    You couldn’t make it up – except they keeping doing so.

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    pat

    26 Mar: UK Telegraph: Jillian Ambrose: E.On to push back on UK’s ‘damaging’ energy policy short-termism
    E.On boss Michael Lewis has called out the UK’s “damaging” short-termist energy policy as the group prepares to refocus on the household supply market through a £38bn deal with RWE.
    The German energy giant’s chief executive urged the UK Government to reconsider using energy efficiency measures to cut hundreds of pounds off bills, in favour of a temporary energy price cap.
    “This is a far more sustainable policy which politicians should consider embracing,” he told The Daily Telegraph…

    Mr Lewis also said he will continue to push for the Government to rethink its clampdown on onshore wind power, even as he prepares to hand over the group’s renewable energy business to RWE…
    “We continue to engage with Government on future plans to facilitate, if not subsidise, onshore wind in the future,” he said…
    “Economically it makes sense that the lowest cost options for decarbonising the energy system are not ruled out. Where there is local support for onshore wind, we believe the Government should provide a viable route to market which is likely to be at a level comparable with subsidy free,” he added…
    Mr Lewis, speaking at a The Economist event in London, said long-term policy had proved crucial in helping transform E.On from a coal-fired behemoth to the majority owner of the world’s largest operational offshore wind project, the ***London Array…

    “Policy and business have to be in line; there has to be an implicit partnership, or an explicit partnership. It’s really important to say; it wasn’t a foregone conclusion, back in 2008, that we would have delivered all of this growth in renewable energy or that we would have brought the cost down so far,” he said.
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2018/03/26/eon-push-back-uks-damaging-energy-policy-short-termism/

    reminder:

    15 Mar: UK Times: Emily Gosden: Wind turbines are wearing too fast at the world’s largest offshore farm
    Hundreds of offshore wind turbines in UK waters need emergency repairs after they started eroding within a few years of being installed. Owners of the 175-turbine ***London Array wind farm off Kent, the biggest offshore farm in the world, and the 108-turbine West of Duddon Sands wind farm off Cumbria have have applied to the Marine Management Organisation for permission to carry out urgent repairs”…

    The London Array was completed in 2013 and West of Duddon Sands a year later. Both use a type of turbine made by Siemens Gamesa, which has admitted that the leading edge of the blades — the part that slices through the air when the turbine turns — is being eroded much faster than expected on some of the machines. A spokesman said that various factors including the “wind speed, the rotor configuration, the amount of rain, a nd even the size of raindrops” were thought to be behind the problem…
    More than 1,600 turbines operate in UK waters, but critics have long questioned how reliable they will prove in the harsh conditions offshore. If the issue with the Siemens Gamesa turbines proves symptomatic of a wider problem, it could undermine the economics of building wind farms…
    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/london-array-offshore-wind-turbines-near-kent-wearing-too-fast-qdv76g7cm

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    pat

    27 Mar: Daily Mail: How smartphones are heating up the planet: Experts warn the devices will contribute to 125 MEGATONS of carbon dioxide emissions by 2020
    Smartphone users are contributing to global warming, too, a new report says
    PCs, monitors, laptops and tablets also contribute to the problem
    A McMaster University professor is arguing that the issue should be tackled now
    Professor Lotfi Belkhir suggests making data centers run on renewable energy
    His argument was published in an essay on The Conversation
    By Lotfi Belkhir For The Conversation

    Having conducted a meticulous and fairly exhaustive inventory of the contribution of ICT – including devices like PCs, laptops, monitors, smartphones and tablets – and infrastructure like data centers and communication networks, we found that the relative contribution of ICT to the total global footprint is expected to grow from about one percent in 2007 to 3.5 percent by 2020 and reach 14 percent by 2040.
    That’s more than half the relative contribution of the entire transportation sector worldwide…

    Perhaps the most surprising result of our study was the disproportionate contribution of smartphones relative to the overall ICT footprint.
    We found that the relative emissions share of smartphones is expected to grow from four percent in 2010 to 11 percent by 2020, dwarfing the individual contributions of PCs, laptops and computer displays…

    In absolute values, emissions caused by smartphones will jump from 17 to 125 megatons of CO2 equivalent per year (Mt-CO2e/yr) in that time span, or a 730 percent growth…
    The lion’s share of this footprint (85 to 95 percent) will be caused not by the use of the device, but rather by its production…

    On the infrastructure side, we predict the combined footprint of data centers and communications networks will grow from 215 megatons of C02 equivalent a year (Mt-CO2e/yr) in 2007 to 764 MtCO2-e/yr by 2020, with data centers accounting for about two-thirds of the total contribution…

    For comparison purposes, the entire carbon footprint of Canada was about 730 MtCO2-e in 2016 and is expected to decrease by 2020…
    The incredible – as well as unsustainable – growth in the emission footprint of all this hardware is there for only one purpose: to support and serve the software universe…

    The way out?
    ***At the societal level, we must demand that all data centers run exclusively on renewable energy…
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5547227/Experts-warn-smartphones-contribute-125-MEGATONS-emissions-2020.html

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    Lawrie

    Late though I am to this discussion I thought you should know that David Attenborough in his latest series of course came to the GBR and found it on the brink of total extinction. He found some kid who had been diving off Lizard Island since he was in nappies. The kid explains the reef there has been damaged beyond repair and will all die and the little fish will have to find new homes. That was in 2016 when that segment was filmed. It would be interesting to see if the reef is recovering or dead as predicted. If it is recovering then Mr sanctimonious should issue an addendum to his film. Indeed old David has been an ardent global warmist ever since the BBC sacked David Bellamy for questioning global warming.

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    pat

    19 Dec 2013: IndependentRecord: ***Brian Morris sworn in as federal judge
    By MIKE DENNISON
    Once Morris and Watters take the bench, all three of Montana’s full-time U.S. district judges will have been appointed by President Barack Obama…

    26 Mar: InsideClimateNews: Judge (Brian Morris): Trump Admin. Must Consider Climate Change in Major Drilling and Mining Lease Plan
    The plan covers 15 million acres in the Powder River Basin of Montana and Wyoming. The ruling on it is the latest to cite risks of fossil fuels and global warming.
    By Neela Banerjee
    (Neela Banerjee led the investigation into Exxon’s early climate research, which was a finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service reporting and the recipient of nearly a dozen other journalism awards… Banerjee grew up in southeast Louisiana and graduated from Yale University)
    A federal court has ruled against a U.S. Interior Department plan to open more than 15 million acres of public land and mineral rights to fossil fuel extraction, concluding that the government failed to adequately consider how the oil, gas and coal development would affect the climate and other environmental resources…

    The case was filed in 2016 by a coalition of environmental groups over a plan by the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management to lease federally owned land in the Powder River Basin of eastern Montana and Wyoming. While the BLM plan included the possibility of oil and gas development in the area, the Powder River Basin is the country’s largest coal producing region. About 40 percent of all the coal burned in the U.S. comes from the area, and it accounts for about 10 percent of the country’s annual greenhouse gas emissions…
    The area holds about 10.2 billion tons of coal and the possibility of 18,000 new oil and gas wells, the plaintiffs estimated…

    U.S. District Judge Brian Morris upheld the core assertion by the plaintiffs, although he ruled against other claims. Morris ordered the BLM “to conduct new coal screening and consider climate change impacts to make a reasoned decision on the amount of recoverable coal made available” in the Miles City and Buffalo areas…

    Just before Trump took office in January 2017, Obama Interior Secretary Sally Jewell released the results of a year-long coal leasing review. “Based on the thoughtful input we received through this extensive review, there is a need to modernize the federal coal program,” she stated. “We have a responsibility to ensure the public … get a fair return from the sale of America’s coal, operate the program efficiently and in a way that meets the needs of our neighbors in coal communities, and minimize the impact coal production has on the planet that our children and grandchildren will inherit.”
    Jewell’s successor, Ryan Zinke, reversed those steps: The results from the review of coal leasing were discarded, a moratorium on new leases lifted and a proposed rule to increase royalties rescinded…

    The Interior Department’s Office of the Solicitor declined to say if the Trump administration would appeal the decision. “The court upheld several aspects of the BLM’s Resource Management Plans. For the claims found to be in noncompliance with the National Environmental Policy Act, the BLM is currently reviewing the court’s decision to determine the appropriate next steps,” the office said in an emailed statement…
    https://insideclimatenews.org/news/26032018/coal-mining-climate-impacts-powder-river-basin-fossil-fuels-wyoming-montana-blm-nepa-ruling

    27 Mar: KTVH: Judge denies coal expansion in Montana’s Powder River Basin
    The Western Environmental Law Center sued to block the plan on behalf of six environmental groups: the Western Organization of Resource Councils, Montana Environmental Information Center, Powder River Basin Resource Council, Northern Plains Resource Council, the Sierra Club, and the Natural Resources Defense Council…

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    Peter C

    Climate Change on Trial!

    California vs Oil Companies (BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell)
    https://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2018/03/exxonknew-trial-header.png

    This quite interseting. The judge ( The Honorable William H Alsup) seems up to the job.

    Christopher Monckton et all have submitted an amicus brief which has been accepted. Monckton has also provided some commentaries on WUWT.

    Jo May take this up as a post (or more than one post).

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    Professors Happer, Koonin and Lindzen have also submitted
    an amicus brief.
    https://pacer-documents.s3.amazonaws.com/27/318403/035116525933.pdf?response-content-disposition=inline%3B filename%3D”N.D.

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    robert rosicka

    Tasmania unplugged or is that Victoriastan unplugged ,looks like the extension cord to the two states is offline due to damage .

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-28/basslink-cable-offline-after-contractor-damage/9598996

    Oh if only this had have happened a month ago .

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      Peter C

      Tasmania Unplugged!

      It is expected Tasmania will instead rely on gas, renewables and wind energy for the duration of the outage.

      I thought that Basslink was there to save Victoria from blackouts and for Tasmania to make a lot of money in the process. Now it looks like Tasmania is in even greater need.

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    Roy Hogue

    If you think the Great Barrier Reef has plenty to fear from climate change, try what would happen if the moon suddenly disappeared.

    It looks like the moon gets about 1.5 inches farther away each year so maybe we should worry about being moonless rather than climate change. Or maybe we should worry about being mooned.

    In any case, it looks like the moon’s orbit may not be stable. Or maybe these experts are getting their information off the floor in a stable.

    Or maybe, just maybe, the whole human race is unstable. ;-) or maybe :-(

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      Roy Hogue

      AOL will publish anything. Even reports of flying saucers. Yep, they’re back again too.

      At least life is never dull. But maybe those UFOs have come to save the Great Barrier Reef. Or maybe vaporize the world. I guess we can take our pick of options.

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      Peter C

      Good thought Roy.

      Is the Earth special? Why is Life found here?

      Scientists have thought for many decades that life must exist elsewhere because of the number of Stars. Our SUN is a non descript star, apparently one of many. Therefore there should be planetary systems around some of them and some of those planets are in the Goldilocks zone.

      So far indirect observations have suggested that all that thinking is correct.

      However:
      1. We live in a stable galaxy,
      2. We are far from the galactic centre,
      3. We are near the periphery of our galactic arm (Orion arm)
      4. We are not disturbed by passing stars, which might provoke comets and catastrophe,
      5. Our plane is in the goldilocks zone,
      6. We have liquid water in the surface,
      7. Our planet is rocky,
      8. Our planet is small,
      9. Our planet is large enough to retain an atmosphere,
      10. Our planet has a large moon (raising tides on Earth’s surface),
      11. Our planet is in a single star system.

      Combining all of these attributes the probability of similar planets plummets dramatically.

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        Yep. Not too many species
        reflectin’ on the universe.
        Newton, Shakespere ‘n Bach,
        yer pretty unique.

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        Kinky Keith

        Interesting

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        Roy Hogue

        I didn’t think much about the combination of things that must be true for the Earth to have developed here and aged so well for so many billions of years waiting for life to appear.

        I have always asked myself, why, not what, when it comes to existence of anything, much less humans. Why should there be a planet capable of supporting life at all? Why should there be even one of the most insignifiicant subatomic particles? But here we are. And when I think about it I can’t escape the conclusion that from the beginning, whatever that was, it was all designed to lead to life, not necessarily human but certainly it includes humans.

        I’m amazed at the whole thing, amazed that it’s so stable, amazed that it’s so complex, amazed that any living thing can even work and keep on going long enough to reproduce itself, amazed when I look at the face of my grandson who is so eager to explore and learn and imitate what he see’s the adults around him doing and I think, my god, it must be hard to go through those first 3 or 4 years. Yet we all did it and I wouldn’t complain that it was hard. It happened automatically. It was when we became older that we were aware of having to work and sometimes to fight for knowledge we wanted.

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    The suggestion of putting a thin film over a reef area to protect it from insolation reveals the utter technical incompetence of these armchair academics. Not only would such a film be immediately destroyed by waves and tides; but, if it did manage remain in place for a few days in some protected location it would soon be covered with algae and fine silt.

    Actually, there is already a natural filter in place over the entire reef at depths below a half-dozen meters where the sea water itself provides this effect.

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