JoNova

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


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Australia to dump renewable energy subsidies, quit trying to control climate with windmills and solar?

Wow.  Australia may dump the RET — the renewable energy target — and stop trying to use our national grid to make global weather nicer for our great grandchildren? This would be legendary.

“Lowering prices will be more important than lowering emissions”

Don’t break out the Moët yet. Note two caveats.

1. The Daily Telegraph “understands” this to be true. Not definitively announced. Not passed through cabinet. Is this just testing the water to see how hot it is?

2. Australia will still try to meet our pointless Paris agreement some other way. Sure.

Will those big complex winner-picking, market fiddling schemes go?

Daily Telegraph

RENEWABLE energy subsidies and emission-reduction targets will be replaced with a focus on lowering electricity prices under the Morrison government.

New Energy Minister Angus Taylor said the federal energy policy has been “a mess” and says the fact prices have soared while blackouts persist means something has “gone terribly wrong”

The complex schemes Mr Taylor refers to are understood to be the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET), which subsidises the development of renewable energy.

The Daily Telegraph understands emission-reduction [...]

Silence to save the Planet! Stop debates, chuck hissy-fits, and hope no one notices.

The alarmist case is so strong they will Not Discuss It.

Right now, the world is going to hell and expert scientists need to convince the doubting masses that they face a dire threat. They have rock solid evidence. Do they:

Patiently answer questions with graphs and data.  or Shout “fire” and ask for 89 trillion dollars, then tar those who disagree as pedophile-nazi-loving-idiots, throw a tanty and refuse to answer questions.

Obviously, expert scientists make mistakes.

Michael Bastasch | The Daily Caller

Climate Alarmists refuse to debate skeptics:   “We are no longer willing to lend our credibility to debates over whether or not climate change is real. It is real. We need to act now or the consequences will be catastrophic,” reads the letter signed by 60 self-described “campaigners.”

Beware — balanced articles can kill people, cause floods! Run, Run…

From the letter:

In the interests of “balance”, the media often feels the need to include those who outright deny the reality of human-triggered climate change.

Balance implies equal weight. But this then creates a false equivalence between an overwhelming scientific consensus and a lobby, heavily funded by vested interests, that exists simply to sow [...]

Midweek Unthreaded

Climate change brings snow to Europe in summer

Good news. Children who don’t know what snow is can now ski in summer.

Heavy Summer Snowfall in European Alps – Austria, Italy, Germany & Switzerland Receive Up To 40cm

Matt Wiseman, Mountainwatch

Heavy snow fell above 1500 metres across the European Alps this weekend with a number of destinations reporting over 40cm of the fluffy white stuff.

While it is still summer in Europe, temperatures dropped over 15 degrees and dipped into the negatives in less than 24hrs

European heatwave comes to an abrupt end

Debbie White,  Mail Online

There’s been a dramatic plunge in temperature across parts of Europe where searing heat has suddenly given way to heavy snowfall of up to 40cm – despite it still being summer.

About 25cm of snow was dumped on Germany‘s highest peak, the Zugspitze, where temperatures reached a decidedly chilly 19.4F (-7C) yesterday.

Even Italy gets snow and a minus 8 C freeze

A ski resort in northern Italy was coated with 10cm of snow on Sunday as  temperatures plunged to -8C.

Snow is also falling on Calgary and Alberta too.

Locals are a bit surprised:

Another day, another blackout — Lightning is too much for Australian grid now

Last Saturday at 1pm both Queensland and South Australia were cut off from the national grid. In Sydney 45,000 homes lost power for a couple of hours. Shops had to close. Trains were stopped. Passengers were stranded. Traffic signals were not working on major roads. Chaos. Industrial users shut down in a mass of 725MW of load shedding.

Apparently this was due to lightning.

Once upon a time, Australian states were self sufficient, now interconnectors allow us to share problems:

Two states “Islanded” simultaneously

Two vital interstate power interconnectors blew without warning at the weekend, causing blackouts and critical industrial incidents and isolating two states from the national electricity grid, in a dramatic reminder to Scott Morrison just days into his prime ministership of the nation’s energy policy paralysis.

Queensland and South Australia were exporting power across the interconnectors when they were simultaneously tripped on Saturday, forcing power to be cut to big industrial users and retail customers in NSW and Victoria.

The nation’s biggest single-site power user, the Tomago aluminium smelter in the NSW Hunter Valley, lost power without warning, halting two pot lines for up to an hour. Alcoa’s Portland smelter in [...]

Scottish summers not doing anything they haven’t done for 800 years already

Gotta love a long unbroken proxy.

Scientists looked at 44 pines sites across the Scottish Highlands and used their tree rings to create a continuous temperature series for the last 810 years. Showing admirable restraint, they did not paste on adjusted thermometer records to create a hockey stick effect. Instead we can see that Scottish summers were just as warm in the 1300s, the 1280s and around 1500 as well.

The rate of warming is not unprecedented. The temperature is not unusual. But thermometers don’t tell the same story as the tree rings in the last 50 years. They both can’t be right. Either the tree rings are always unreliable thermometers or the thermometers are placed near ice cream trucks and adjusted up-the-kazoo?

Thanks to CO2Science:

Rydval et al. extended “the previously published Scottish dendroclimatic record (Hughes et al., 1984) by nearly 500 years,” in order to create an 810-year-long proxy over the period AD 1200-2010. The reconstruction was derived from a network of 44 Scots pine (Pinus Sylvestris) sites across the Scottish Highlands from both living and subfossil samples that correlated well with summer (July-August) temperatures.

In placing the most recent warming of the instrumental [...]

At 40C Victoria has a one in three chance of blackouts in summer

In Victoria, 40C used to be known as “A Hot Day”, but  now thanks to climate change it’s called an “extreme condition”  (wasn’t it meant to become a common event?) Nevermind.

The AEMO (Australian Energy Market Operator) has pretty much warned us the Victorian electrical grid can no longer cope with “a hot day”.

[The AEMO] predicts a one-in-three chance of load shedding under extreme conditions this summer unless additional action is taken.

“Specifically, temperatures of 40C or more in Victoria could be the catalyst for extreme, one-in-10-year electricity demand conditions.

“Particularly when these temperatures are experienced towards the end of the day when business demand is still relatively high, residential demand is increasing, and rooftop PV’s contribution is declining.”

So since solar PV is useless in this situation, the Victorian government is spending one billion dollars installing Solar PV. One billion dollars of generation that is guaranteed not to work when we need it.

Will the new PM, Scott Morrison, be able to solve this problem? Thousands of engineers can.

Once upon a time even the brainless inanimate free market did.

h/t Dave B, Pat

PS: Still travelling.

Weekend Unthreaded

Who will be our PM tomorrow? — Someone politically correct or a leader of free men?

UPDATE: Scott Morrison won 45 to Dutton 40.

Hours from now the Liberal Party members will decide whether Peter Dutton, Scott Morrison or Julie Bishop will be PM.  Dutton is aligned with Tony Abbott, but Morrison seemingly and Bishop definitely, with Turnbull. I doubt Bishop has a chance. Morrison has not pinned his colors to the mast on climate change but the ABC is pushing for him according to Andrew Bolt — so we know who threatens the most sacred cows. Go Dutton.

Likewise, Fairfax are telling readers not to vote for Dutton: “In sunny Kooyong, Liberals find the thought of PM Dutton ‘appalling’“. So they managed to find a few people who don’t like him and turn that into a story.

Malcolm Turnbull is, as usual, being statesmanlike, thinking only of the Party:

Malcolm Turnbull promises a scorched earth for his Liberal enemies

He’s promised to resign and force a byelection in his seat. Tossing bombs as he leaves. On the plus side: no more Malcolm in Australian politics. Not unless the member for Goldman Sachs joins the Labor Party.

Will the new leader of the Liberals take the easy and obvious winning path of Abbott, Trump Dean, [...]

Midweek Unthreaded

Turnbull’s “pet fetish” – thinks people will sing hallalujah to climate change. He’s ruined. (Blame Abbott)

Abbott is an incredibly powerful man. From the backbench he’s creating disunity, stopping legislation, ruining careers, and bringing down Prime Ministers, all just for the fun of it.

This has nothing to do with the 54% of Australians who are skeptics.

Turnbull has lost control of government. He cannot get legislation through the lower house. But hey, if only Abbott wasn’t there, Australians would be happy to buy expensive electricity. It would take a ‘miracle’ to save Malcolm Turnbull

Peter Hartcher, The Sydney Morning Herald

“Turnbull thinks people will fall on their knees and say hallelujah!

Turnbull’s supporters are angry and frustrated at Abbott. But among many in the conservative faction of the Liberal Party, there is glee. Turnbull has been humiliated. And, to the conservatives’ great satisfaction, he has been humiliated over what they consider his pet fetish – climate change and carbon emissions.

“Turnbull is obsessed with this issue,” says a leading conservative MP. He thinks it’s a “‘greatest moral challenge of our time’ type of initiative”, a reference to the Kevin Rudd description of climate change. It was a challenge that Rudd failed because of an internal insurrection and now Turnbull [...]

Turnbull stays – can’t last

Good news for people who like political drama. Turnbull lives on, as does the lack of unity, purpose and meaning of The Australian Liberals.

Malcolm Turnbull wins partyroom ballot against Peter Dutton 48-35

The Australian

Malcolm Turnbull has won a leadership ballot against Peter Dutton in the Liberal partyroom by 48 votes to 35 and Peter Dutton has resigned to the back bench.

Dennis Shanahan:

Malcolm Turnbull’s victory in the leadership ballot has solved little for the Liberal Party.

It has also shortened the odds of an election before Christmas and confirmed the rebellion against the Prime Minister is far wider than just a few malcontents.

As the leadership crisis engulfs the Australian Government…

Turnbull braces for leadership challenge

Simon Benson, Geoff Chambers, The Australian

Malcolm Turnbull has lost the confidence of half of his Liberal Party cabinet colleagues as the Prime Minister’s backers admit they are bracing for a leadership challenge from Home Affairs Minister and leading Queensland conservative Peter Dutton.

As the leadership crisis engulfs the government, sources close to the Prime Minister were yesterday briefing that they were expecting a leadership challenge as early as today. Liberal MPs last night claimed that Mr Turnbull had begun calling colleagues to shore up support.

Mr Dutton’s camp believed that it could get to the required 43 votes to roll Mr Turnbull…

Peter Dutton may be ineligible to sit in Parliament. His lawyers say clearly no. Other lawyers say “Maybe”.

Anne Twomey, The Conversation

Section 44(v) says that any person who “has any direct or indirect pecuniary interest in any agreement with the Public Service of the Commonwealth” is disqualified from sitting as a member of parliament.

Dutton, as recorded in the parliamentary register of interests, is the beneficiary of a discretionary family trust. This trust, through its trustee, apparently owns two childcare centres [...]

Rebel numbers swell: Carbon emissions poised to bring Turnbull down a second time

An imminent train wreck that has been coming a long time…

Supporters of an overthrow of the Australian PM are phoning in, numbers are being tallied:

by Simon Benson, Dennis Shanahan, Joe Kelly, The Australian

The leadership crisis engulfing Malcolm Turnbull has deepened, with cabinet ministers privately accusing the Prime Minister of cobbling together his plan to cap retail power prices in a last-minute bid to save his leadership.

The Australian is aware that a number of MPs called Home ­Affairs Minister and leading Queensland conservative Peter Dutton at the weekend to pledge support should he seek to challenge Mr Turnbull.

Former prime minister Tony Abbott told a Tasman­ian Young Liberals meeting at the weekend he was looking forward to serving under a “Dutton government”.

Even PM’s allies ask: what use is he to us?

Simon Benson, National Affairs Editor, The Australian, says the word is that the challenge is “inevitable”.

Malcolm Turnbull is in full capitulation mode. In the face of a possible and increasingly likely challenge, he has buckled to rebel MPs, and in the process surrendered the future of his leadership to the demands of a few.

It’s [...]

Weekend Unthreaded

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