JoNova

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


Handbooks


Advertising


Australian Speakers Agency



GoldNerds

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



The Skeptics Handbook

Think it has been debunked? See here.

The Skeptics Handbook II

Climate Money Paper



Archives

Class action win: 2011 floods were man-made — seemingly managed as if “the dams would never fill”?

ABC News: Queensland flood victims win class action against state, Seqwater and Sunwater over dam negligence

In January 2011, a record La Nina was in play known to cause higher rainfall in Australia, then flooding rains were forecast, yet the main dam holding water above Brisbane wasn’t releasing water and getting ready to be the flood buffer it was supposed to be. (It was almost as if climate scientists had advised them that the droughts would never end?). When the emergency releases came, it was too much, too late, and a bad flood became a devastating one. How much did the politically correct culture of the day cloud minds and lay the groundwork for a crisis, and how much was just mismanagement?

Skeptics saw this Class Action result coming in January 2011 (particularly Ian Mott, and Treeman writing here). Finally, nine years later, some victims will get compensation.

Blogs got the gist right in a week, the experts, government and legal machine took nine years.

A victory for the usually voiceless who stuck to the facts and prevailed

Hedley Thomas at The Australian was instrumental in drawing attention to the disastrous dam management:

At a policy level, it was a perfect storm. The Queensland government-owned dam’s operators, or engineers, were at its epicentre. There was growing hysteria before January 2011 because bureaucrats and politicians had heeded the alarmist predictions of climate warriors that floods were unlikely to trouble Australia in future. Tim Flannery’s dire warning that “even the rain that falls isn’t going to fill our dams and river systems” was followed by a drought that blighted Queensland.

The best journalists don’t get treated like heroes, they get called names:

For contradicting the official line being peddled across the media, we [Hedley Thomas and engineer John Craigie and Mick O'Brien] were ostracized and branded conspiracy theorists.

 O’Brien’s qualifications as a highly experienced chemical engineer were lampooned — engineers in dam management wanted him disciplined for having the temerity to investigate their colleagues and question their conduct. Craigie grows exotic plants — his critics scoffed: “What would he know?”

Hundreds of millions of dollars and many reputations were at stake. The truth wins in the end, but with literally trillions at stake in the climate debate, how many years will it take to overcome the same namecalling, fogging whitewash reports and system inertia.

Maybe the dam managers had their eye on the wrong ball — distracted by imaginary catastrophes that never came:

The Australian: Justice Beech-Jones agreed that engineers negligently managed the dams and that they did not factor in extraordinary rainfall forecasts in deciding how best to respond to the flood event. That was despite them being obliged, under the dam manual, to do so. He found that during days of heavy rain, before the peak of the flood on January 11, dam engineers prioritised keeping downstream bridges open over trying to limit flooding in urban areas.

Guest post by Ian Mott, here, that week in Jan 2011:

. This is all very much SEQ Water’s work. They all took the weekend off and watched a 1 in 120 year flood event turn a simple task into a crisis they couldn’t deal with by Monday afternoon. All the folks who’s homes and businesses didn’t go under until Wednesday can rest assured that, despite their policies, they are actually fully insured, courtesy of the SEQ Water public liability policy. And if they SEQ Water doesn’t have a policy then the rate payers of the major shareholders, the State Government, Brisbane City Council, Ipswich Council and a number of others who are not anywhere near the flood zone, will eventually foot the entire bill. The meter is already ticking on the class action.

Commenter Robuk at the time:

It appears that your government have stopped development near the coast because of the non existent sea level rise but allowed development within a flood plain.

h/t Eliza, Peter D.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.8/10 (59 votes cast)
Class action win: 2011 floods were man-made -- seemingly managed as if "the dams would never fill"?, 9.8 out of 10 based on 59 ratings

115 comments to Class action win: 2011 floods were man-made — seemingly managed as if “the dams would never fill”?

  • #
    Dennis

    I remember that after that flood there were media reports regarding flooded housing estates along the Brisbane River on Labor run Council approved for development land, and that home owners there were considering a class action to apply for compensation.

    What happened?

    80

  • #
    Latus Dextro

    It appears very fashionable to build on flood plains these days.
    Committee on Climate Change (CCC), Great Britain is building ‘faster in the flood plain than anywhere else’. [6] Climate change experts say construction should go ahead – but households should be made aware of possible threats, Guardian Jan 2016.

    But all is not lost. Harken ye, The Green Home, Construction and Lifestyle, advises about the materials you will want to use when building on a floodplain, and how best to avoid the worst damage.

    Insanity on steroids.

    120

    • #
      Hanrahan

      Almost by definition flat land is flood plain surely?

      If you build on the side of the hill and a landslide wipes you out, the same can be said about your stupidity.

      32

      • #
        Latus Dextro

        Almost by definition flat land is flood plain surely?

        Really?

        Plateaux, ridges, table lands etc..
        Flood plains usually lie in the late stages of river flow with ox-bow lakes, shallow gradients and poetry,
        “Five miles meandering with mazy motion, through wood and dale the sacred river ran, then plunged in tumult to the lifeless Ocean, and in this tumult Kubla heard from afar, ancestral voices prophesying war.”

        21

  • #
    Graham Richards

    If the compensation claims go ahead it’s going to cost SEQ water & the state government $$ hundreds of millions if not billions.
    The question is already being asked as to where this money will come from. Bear in mind that the Queensland government already has a deficit of around $80 billion.
    So Queenslanders & water consumers in the South East of the state had best start preparing for huge water bill increases (its the drought, we’ll be told) and general increases in taxes, levies, charges, fines etc applied to anything & everything that they can find. After all that is the Way of incompetent governments. That means ALP or LNP!!

    230

  • #

    This is what happens when you listen to desk-bound experts. I await similar class action in Victoristan one day following the closure of all of our public lands.

    130

    • #
      Dennis

      Like the Snowy Mountain high country now banned for grazing grasslands being taken over by undergrowth including blackberry bushes, fuel building up for a very destructive wild fire that will severely damage that environment.

      Being preserved for future generations by the UN in registered National Parks.

      220

      • #

        All of the Victorian High Country is like that now. I travel there regularly and it’s a disaster waiting to happen.

        On a more positive note:

        Climate change alarmists are pushing for a change in vocabulary to scare people into taking global warming more seriously, starting with terms like “global meltdown” and “climate collapse.”

        130

    • #
      Latus Dextro

      Regrettably, the class action will be severely constrained by a shortage of piano wire and lamp posts.

      00

  • #
    Travis T. Jones

    I can help.

    When SEQ are asked what expert advice they were operating under, they can finger the BoM, and their ‘permanent drought’ of 2008 …

    “IT MAY be time to stop describing south-eastern Australia as gripped by drought and instead accept the extreme dry as permanent, one of the nation’s most senior weather experts warned yesterday.

    “Perhaps we should call it our new climate,” said the Bureau of Meteorology’s head of climate analysis, David Jones.”

    https://www.smh.com.au/environment/this-drought-may-never-break-20080104-gdrvg6.html

    Via Bishop Hill at the time, 2011:

    “There is also, however, this word of caution from an engineer who was involved in the dam’s construction:

    “These questions are all valid, but put it this way – you would have to have very large balls to [significantly reduce the dam's volumes in the months after the weather warnings] after 10 years of drought, because if you had got it wrong you would be accused of wasting the water”

    http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2011/1/15/more-on-brisbane-floods.html

    130

    • #

      …you would be accused of wasting the water…

      Not at all, you would have been sustaining the river. Isn’t that why we can’t build dams anymore, because we would be stealing water from the rivers?

      140

      • #
        Ozwitch

        The other issue is that water is too monetised. Dam authorities are loth to spew water out for free when they can charge “customers” for it instead. “Our customers are entitled to their water” is the standard response when floods demand mitigation releases. Can’t have all that revenue spilling into the sea can we?

        40

    • #
      Dennis

      When the Beattie Labor Government of Queensland was promoting a dam for Traveston Crossing on the Mary River south of Gympie the government failed to acknowledge that there were dams full of water in reserve outside of Brisbane but with pipeline connection to that city.

      70

    • #
      Ross

      I have said a few times, slightly tongue in cheek, that a few clever lawyers might wake up to all these places calling for a “Climate Emergency” to be declared because in most places when an emergency is declared (eg. when flooding takes place) certain rules and laws are abandoned and other regulations might come into place automatically to allow rescue activities or damage control activities etc. to go into action, without delay.

      By declaring an emergency the lawyers are then in a position to take a class action, like that being described here, by claiming the council or city did not take the necessary action to mitigate property loss, loss of business activity etc as a result of Climate Change and we all know now, anything can be blamed on CC. That is, these cities are opening themselves up to liabilities.

      The current fires could fall into this category –after all the Greens are blaming them on Climate Change //

      90

    • #
      Treeman

      they can finger the BoM, and their ‘permanent drought’ of 2008 …

      More to the point they can finger Flannery and the catastrophe loving media.

      We must be careful to sheet home blame to where it should land. Karoly and Gergis are two Australians who should be called out.

      As for wasting the water, Wyvenhoe Dam (with a theoretical 200% capacity with 100% of that for flood mitigation) was at 140% weeks before the disaster. and was well up to 180% well before the deluge in the Lockyer Valley that Monday. For mine, the dam managers had very large balls not to [significantly reduce the dam’s volumes!

      130

    • #
      Hanrahan

      BoM is routinely alarmist on the grounds, one assumes, that not to do so would lead to complacency and they would be blamed if individuals put themselves in harms way. In this case it was their alarmism put whole communities in harms way.

      70

      • #

        BoM is routinely alarmist on the grounds…..

        Actually. I think that the BoM becoming routinely alarmist stems from an event similar to this one that led to this Wivenhoe result, and note I said similar to and not this actual event.

        They (the BoM) and the ABC were taken into the legal system for not warning of that event like this.

        The end result of it all was that the BoM, and the ABC both, then made the conscious (and widely publicised at the time) decision that for any future weather event ….. that no matter what it was going to be, they both would broadcast the absolute worst case scenario they could, and that way they would not be subject to further legal action, having warned of it.

        It puzzles me that no one actually remembers this, and again, that’s a symptom really. Everyone remembers the event and the legal proceeding which followed, but no one remembers the end result that eventuated, probably the typical thing of now it’s all over, we’ve moved on, so there’s no real need to remember it, and also that the original event was front page, and newscast leading disaster, and the end result was hidden away on page 482 because of the perceived lack of interest now the disaster was long gone.

        It’s easier (for the BoM and the ABC) to say that it might not have been as bad as we said at the time, but somewhere it might have been, and at least we have covered our fundament on all of this.

        Where it became most noticeable after this legal finding was that ALL further information on any upcoming storm of any strength ALWAYS contained the phrase ….. “and damaging hail”.

        To me, it was always a case of the boy who cried wolf, and that for the first few times it may have worked, but after that people just ignored the broadcast warnings.

        Either way, both of those entities were now covered.

        No matter where the small storm cell with all the damage was, the ‘bases were covered’ for the whole broadcast area.

        Surely there must be others out there who remember this happening.

        Tony.

        90

        • #
          Hanrahan

          This is very marked with cyclones. I remember one that went up the Fitzroy To Rocky. The BoM was still calling Cat 3 or 4 with associated warnings but the locals were in the streets posting vids on the damage, which wasn’t much. BoM’s own radar showed the wall had broken down – No wall, no cyclone.

          There were two cyclones around the same time where the anemometer broke at 200 kph. How does a state of the art instrument break down at such a low windspeed? One was at Cairns and the eye was passing over the station showing “gusts to 200 kph”. but they were quoting a cat 4 or 5 storm which have winds much higher. Who am I to say they “broke” the instrument so they could claim that the winds did, cross my heart, get stronger.

          30

        • #
          BoyfromTottenham

          Tony, I well remember watching this disaster unfold online, I downloaded the dam manual and read it as I watched with horror the dam level rise vertically over a few hours of torrential rainfall in the catchment, and read blogs where people in the path of the dam outfall were calling for help as their homes were washed away. I will never forget that night. Half of the massive Wivenhoe dam capacity was expressly reserved for flood mitigation, but the engineers let it fill to overflowing and then panicked. The dam engineers had IMO at least a week to lower the level safely before the forecast rain depression arrived but did virtually nothing. Yes, the preceding years of drought would have made them reluctant to ‘waste water’, but this was early in a predicted wet summer, with a rain depression (rather like that which caused the 1974 floods) on its way. Also, apparently the manual seemed to require the Minister’s approval for certain actions, but was uncontactable. Heads should roll and huge damages imposed.

          40

  • #
    Earl

    Remember the Asia/Pacific Forum a short while ago, where the Fiji PM berated the Australian PM for no doing enough to tackle climate change? Apparently all the Pacific Island nations will be lost to rising seas in a decade.
    I saw an ad on the telly for a new luxury hotel in Fiji, built just above the water, in, not by or adjacent to a rather picturesque lagoon.
    Perhaps the sea is not going to rise in that particular spot.
    It seems that alarmists have cognitive problems with water and water levels…

    210

    • #
      Dennis

      The Pacific Island nations are turning to China because Australia is not doing enough.

      Obviously we need to be like China to remain on side and start building many new coal fired power stations?

      180

      • #
        Latus Dextro

        ..be like China..

        Tough call but the neo-Marxist corporatist globalist Left in the West are making a reasonable fascist fist of it, copying the Chinese communist thugs in Beijing, those who promote civilian spying, social credit scores, gulags, and a CCTV army without contest, who invaded Tibet, who throttle Taiwan, who enslave Africa and the Pacific, who persecute religions, and who are steadily being brought to heel by POTUS DJT.
        Those brittle, fragile, lying communist thugs that rely on brute force and ignorance to perpetrate their crimes against humanity, intellectual property theft, and surreptitious warmongering in the South China Sea, not forgetting the economic enslavement in Africa.
        They’re smart, and as POTUS DJT accurately points out, previous US administrations were intentionally as blinded by their own avarice and they were by their own stupidity.
        Listen to Gordon Chang
        .

        10

  • #
    Penguinite

    Same floods different outcome! A pity Alan Jones lost his case for deformation though

    40

  • #

    The driest years for Brisbane post 1840 have been, in order of dryness…

    1902, 1919, 1957, 1936, 1923, 1993 (yay!), 1865 (aw), 1932, 2007, 2000…

    Of course, those are just from two available gauges, and a lucky shower, drunken postmaster or glitchy automatic gismo could easily throw things right out. And if I checked some other gauges I’d get some variations in the story. Plus, the city’s not the same as its catchment. In other words, those are just stats, the lowest form of info.

    But having said all that, rainfall is a pretty simple thing to measure and understand. For a growing city, rainfall for the years after 1999 was definitely poor all-up and a bit of a worry. But after 2007 rainfall, at least over the city, was okay-to-good for the three years prior to flooding. So where was this new normal?

    80

    • #
      el gordo

      The ‘new normal’ is all about heightened expectation, the Flannery syndrome of hysteria without due diligence.

      130

    • #

      “rainfall is a pretty simple thing to measure and understand”
      You think so? There is an ongoing problem of people using useless things like monthly rainfall figures to decide policy, coupled with the problem of ARR (Australian Rainfall and Runoff) having a built-in assumption that the rainstorm moves across the catchment. (There is a 2019 version so I’ll see if that has changed. Uh-oh the document is 120MB.)
      Sometimes it doesn’t move. Earlier this year in Townsville, the annual average of around 1200mm came down in 6 days. There were “No risk” properties that went under and “High risk” properties that didn’t go under. There have been 4 comparable stop-dead events between 1996 and present. Older cars with sensible wiring could be dried out, but newer vehicles have a mass of wiring at the level of the floor pan, so are 100% write-off. It seems there are even SUVs with wiring on or below the floor pan.

      90

      • #
        sophocles

        It seems there are even SUVs with wiring on or below the floor pan.

        Yep. To connect exhaust system catalytic converters into the engine management system. I did notice you called the vehicles SUVs rather then 4WD Off-Roaders. Suburban rich men’s `tractors.’

        10

  • #
    el gordo

    ‘ … engineers in dam management wanted him disciplined for having the temerity to investigate their colleagues and question their conduct.’

    In a different discipline, Peter Ridd ran into the same head wind.

    140

  • #
    Treeman

    So much water under the bridge these last nine years, Jo. It’s pretty sobering that we “got the gist right in a week (but) the experts, government and legal machine took nine years”

    130

  • #

    For those of you who are interested, I made a series of three Posts about this situation at Wivenhoe.

    The main information is at the Monster third part of that Series, huge because I detailed (with the actual images of the dam level information) the levels at both Somerset and Wivenhoe at the early AM level taking for both dams over those critical eight days, keeping in mind that Somerset flows directly into Wivenhoe.

    It’s a long read, and incidentally, since it was first posted in January of 2011, at the time of the flood, it has been one of the better posts at our site for visitor numbers.

    At that Post I link to below, the main one, it has links to both of the previous Posts (at the top of the text in that Post) which detail the background behind the dam itself, and some of the earlier history. If you do read that, note the situation of the dam level during the previous drought, and keep that in mind with the situation of the water grid they now have in place. They are NOW considering water restrictions when that water grid is at 60%. Keep in mind the earlier history. when that monster Wivenhoe was at just 17%, and Brisbane only then considered water restrictions and also raising the cost of water under a Labor Government at that time. However, the main point here I am alluding to is that the water level THEN was at 17% ….. and from the time before that when it was last at 100%, it was …..EIGHT YEARS. So there was eight years of water for the South East corner of Queensland from 100% to 17% of just Wivenhoe, and they are considering introducing water restrictions now when the whole water grid is not even at 50%. I also suspect that there may also be another raising of the cost of water too.

    Short memories.

    The information I have about that dam levels at that time is worth having a look at.

    Wivenhoe Dam Levels – The Critical Days

    Tony.

    170

    • #
      Treeman

      Short memories indeed! Most of the commentariat have little or no understanding the dynamics or the politics around this can of worms.

      100

    • #
      Andrew McRae

      Tony,

      It’s because you set high standards of meticulousness for yourself that you have to expect somebody is going to try to nitpick something with it.

      Hi. :-)

      It’s stale criticism on what is now a moot point given the adverse finding by the judge. But for completeness I have to nitpick a detail which is potentially significant in divvying up the blame for the flood damage. Back in 2011 when the blog post was first written you stated:

      These two images show the levels for the next reporting day, 9AM Monday 10th January. Now, don’t be alarmed by the fact that there was no reporting on the two days of the weekend. There never has been over all the years.

      That last statement there is false. The Wivenhoe dam level public data which I downloaded from the SEQ Water web site on 18 Feb 2011 contained readings with variable regularity going as far back as 10/01/1994 08:00. It is certainly true there was no reading for Wivenhoe in the publicly available data between 07/01/11 06:00 106.3% and 10/01/11 09:00 148.4%
      IIRC, it required a bit of hacking to extract the data from their graphing system, but after getting it in CSV format it was easy to import their data into LibreOffice and create a calculated column using the WEEKDAY() function.
      The results of this analysis were:
      Weekend readings were originally not done normally, but were occasionally done ad hoc.
      Weekend readings began regularly on 1-May-2005 (level 43.7%) and were done without fail for the next 1477 days.
      Weekend readings constitute 425 data points versus the other 2079 data points from weekdays.
      Weekend readings ended on Sunday 17-May-2009 08:00 when the level was 45.5%.
      The first time in this data it exceeds 100% is a level 100.7% at 4-Oct-2010 06:30 which was a Monday.

      When the growing disaster became apparent on Monday 10 Jan 2011 it had been 603 days since the last weekend reading, which is coincidentally the nice round number of 600 days amnnesia.

      Without trying to speculate too much about motives, it would be interesting if anyone still has old copies of level data downloaded prior to Dec 2010 which would show whether weekends suddenly retroactively disappeared or whether they were just never collected after May 2009.
      SEQ Water were collecting readings on weekends and there was no good reason for them to stop.

      50

      • #

        Andrew,

        incidentally, note my post first done at the time of the event, in 2011, and at the top of the post, note the Update I have in red text, mentioning that their data site for all those dam levels has changed.

        This morning I went there again, and noticed that it has changed again since then.

        At the very bottom of their link, now, they have new text saying the following:

        If you would like to request historical dam storage data, please email (email supplied) and clearly indicate:

        the date range (max. 4 years) in the following format: dd month yyyy to dd month yyyy
        whether you are requesting individual dam (max. up to 3) data or the combined Water Grid storages
        the purpose of your request for information and how you plan to use this data.

        A confirmation email with further instructions will be sent within ten (10) days of receiving your request.

        So, it seems that this image at this link, may not be so easily obtained any more, and this image shows the water levels for the near eight years from Wivenhoe at 100% till the low point at 15%, and restrictions were introduced at that low point, and they are now thinking of introducing restrictions with the water grid at just under 60%, and Wivenhoe at just under 50%.

        Thanks for the info about the weekend dam levels. I never knew that.

        Tony.

        40

        • #
          Andrew McRae

          _ _ _ _ _ _

          Greetings.
          Welcome to Andrew’s One-time Wivenhoe Dam Water Levels Snapshot Citizen Science Archive Service.

          If you would like to request historical dam storage data, please do not bother to email me as there is no need to clearly indicate:
          • the date range wanted (you always get all data from 1994 up to 18 Feb 2011),
          • whether you are requesting individual dam data (it’s only for Wivenhoe),
          • the purpose of your request for information and how you plan to use this data (no censorship here).

          No confirmation email with further instructions will be sent after receiving your request because instead you will instantly get the data with no strings attached.

          Wivenhoe-levels-2011-02-18.zip

          The data in XML format is exactly as it was published by SEQ Water’s web server to the public on 2011-02-18.
          The XML was converted to CSV format and ODS by myself to the best of my ability and I believe that process was correct at the time it was done (in 2011).

          Thank you for your custom.
          Please do not call again as I only have one product and you’ve got it.
          _ _ _ _ _ _

          20

  • #
    Binny Pegler

    ‘Took the weekend off’ – That’s exactly what happened. When an upstream farmer rang the dam operators late Friday to warn of massive flooding. He was told “Everyone has gone home call back Monday” By the time everyone wandered into work on Monday drank coffee, held meeting, and ate biscuits. It was too late, after 6 hours of buck passing it came down to an emergency release or lose the Dam.

    110

    • #

      As I mentioned in that Post I linked to above, I have the levels for both Wivenhoe and Somerset on each of the seven days.

      On the Friday before the big dump, Somerset was at 106.3%, and Wivenhoe at 107.2, and both readings were at 8AM. With engineers on duty, a huge rain event forecast, and the Manual saying that dam releases should start at 100%, they had all day to do that. Nothing was done until late Monday afternoon. Monday morning levels were Somerset 154.7% and Wivenhoe at 148.4% and both rising steeply still.

      And then, on the Monday, that rain event started in earnest, and I watched it on the Mt. Stapylton weather radar and it was yellow and red coloured (max rainfall) hovering directly over that catchment area for more than 12 hours.

      Somerset went huge and Wivenhoe followed, between 179% and 188% for the next four days during that time of maximum dam releases at Wivenhoe of that 645,000 MegaLitres per day.

      Tony.

      100

  • #
    George4

    then flooding rains were forecast, yet the main dam holding water above Brisbane wasn’t releasing water and getting ready to be the flood buffer it was supposed to be.

    So the BOM forecasters were correct ?
    To be honest I am a little uneasy about people being wise after the event and having 20/20 hindsight vision, and saying the engineers should have done this and that (unless they were warning before the event)
    And a bunch of rich lawyers turning it into a feeding frenzy.
    I think it would be good if the government could just pay the repair costs, but not massive lump sums, most of which goes to lawyers and judges.

    51

    • #

      George, re lawyers, me too. But the government didn’t pay, didn’t admit fault, and decided to go to court and feed the lawyers instead.

      Even better still, what we really want is accountability so people in responsible positions act responsibly, and to get political correctness out of the national debate.

      I am uncomfortable blaming the engineers too. Methinks some higher level bosses are looking for scapegoats.

      130

      • #
        George4

        Maybe the government went to court because they genuinely believed they were not negligent, but yes by all means keep political correctness and climate change threat out of the decision making.

        31

      • #
        John in Oz

        what we really want is accountability

        Does anyone know if Flim Flammery was included in the court proceedings due to his oft-quoted “even the rain that falls isn’t going to fill our dams and river systems”?

        Perhaps he could comment on the court outcome from his waterside property.

        10

  • #
    Don B

    In the U.S. Roger Pielke, Jr. was following the mismanagement of the Wivenhoe dam, and in January 2012 had an article here:

    http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2012/01/follow-up-2011-brisbane-floods.html

    60

    • #
      George4

      If they had of released water on the first few days of the heavy rain, it would have caused flooding and they probably would be sued if it stopped raining after a few days with the dam only half full.
      Most of the damage was done in the other two catchments, and to say it was all the dam water causing a backup of these catchments is exaggerated.

      00

  • #
    Jonesy

    Remember this! Wivenhoe dam is two dams…there is the water storage…and the flood compartment above it. These dicks filled the flood compartment to 80% full for REVENUE! The flood compartment was designed to hold back a flood the size of 74 with the storage compartment at 100%…that is the simple truth. They got caught with their hands dirty and nowhere to run. Regardless of the freakish nature of the event, geologically, there is ample evidence everywhere all over the Lockyer valley. Creeks that barely run at the bottom of deep vee’ed out gullies. This only happens in very high flow regimes. For years it puzzled me until this event. There were new deep gullies everywhere after the flood had gone. All it took was that perfect storm over the upper catchment.

    80

    • #

      Wivenhoe can hold 230% in total including the flood compartments. Some might say that Wivenhoe only got to 189%, so it could have held more.

      However, keep this in mind here.

      They were releasing water at the rate of 645,000ML per day, the maximum release, and Wivenhoe went from 148% to 189% before falling five days later.

      So water was flowing ….. INTO Wivenhoe quicker than they could release it.

      My guess is that even had they started releasing at a lower than max rate as early as the Friday, they would still have had to ramp it up on Monday to where they did ramp it up to, because of that huge rain event.

      Tony.

      60

      • #
        Lance

        Time to get better operating engineers or more attentive management. At least some who might read the manuals.

        Gross Negligence, bordering upon criminal incompetence, comes to mind. Or a mix of operative words.

        The lot of them ought be sacked, absent written warnings dated Thurs or Fri before the crisis.

        Compensation might well be in order for those adversely affected, but the real issue is one of mismanagement and general incompetence.

        Good luck addressing either.

        60

    • #

      The irony in all this is that far and away the hugest windfall of all out of all this will be going to the lawyers who ran the Class Action, by far the best money spinner of all legal actions.

      I recall that their take may be in the vicinity of 30% plus, and then individual takes from all the people listed on that class action.

      Will keep them all in Porsches for life.

      Tony.

      90

      • #
        Lance

        Classical Literature lends a hand here.

        Shakespeare’s Henry VI, Part II, Act IV, Scene II, Line 73, Dick Butcher states: “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers”.

        Nothing intended, other than an appreciation for Shakespeare and his prescience.

        80

  • #
    pat

    front page of The Advertiser today, behind paywall:

    30 Nov: Adelaide Advertiser: Hands off our lakes
    by CATHERINE HOCKLEY
    South Australia’s water minister has rebuked the NSW government over its claim that SA needs “pull its weight” by letting salt water flood lower Murray wetlands…
    the barrages near the Murray mouth to allow sea water to enter Lake Alexandrina. The Advertiser can also reveal NSW has failed to finalise any of the 20 water … premier John Barilaro’s swipe at SA and his call to flood the Lower Lakes with salt water…
    Deputy NSW Premier John Barilaro says he will “rip up” the Murray Darling Basin Plan if the state is made to hand water over to South Australia…

    reminder:

    2 Nov Issue: NewsWeekly: COVER STORY Murray-Darling Basin Plan based on debunked science
    by Patrick J. Byrne
    “It is not the drought causing farmers to leave in droves, it’s governments taking 30 per cent of irrigation water under the new Murray Darling Basin water plan that is based on ‘erroneous’ science that is driving farmers out of business,” according to a long-time Murray River farmer…
    He explained to News Weekly how the network of huge dams across the Basin, that once stored enough water to last farmers through a five-to-seven year drought, now only store enough allocation water for a two-to-three year drought. “These storages have been reprioritised to provide water to the Lower Lakes (Alexandrina and Albert) in South Australia to artificially maintain them as freshwater lakes,” he said…

    Now, a revealing research paper published by the CSIRO refutes claims that the Lower Lakes have been freshwater lakes for the past 7,000 years.
    The CSIRO paper, “Watching the tide roll away – contested interpretations of the nature of the Lower Lakes of the Murray Darling Basin” (LINK), was written by Dr Peter Gill of the School of Health and Life Sciences at the Federation University of Australia.
    It is a sad read, not only for its exposure of erroneous science, but for how erroneous science was used to frame a new Basin Plan and for allocating $13 billion to “disinvest” in the Basin’s agriculture – that is, to reduce irrigation water allocations by one-third, resulting in an untold number of farms shutting down and causing enormous economic hardship and suffering…

    Furthermore, Dr Gill says that “this observation for an estuarine history” is now “vindicated” by another 2019 study of the region’s environmental history by Anna Helfensdorfer, Hannah Power and Thomas Hubble. Their paper, “Modelling Holocene analogues of coastal plain estuaries reveals the magnitude of sea-level threat” (LINK), in Nature, shows that estuarine conditions extended as far as 200 kilometres north of Lake Alexandrina, even at times in the earth’s history when sea levels have been significantly lower than today…READ ALL
    http://www.newsweekly.com.au/issue.php?id=535

    60

    • #
      pat

      VIDEO: 5min38sec: 26 Nov: news.com.au: Sky: We will ‘rip up’ Murray Darling Basin Plan: Barilaro
      Deputy NSW Premier John Barilaro says he will “rip up” the Murray Darling Basin Plan if the state is made to hand water over to South Australia. “I’m fighting for team New South Wales,” Mr Barilaro told Sky News hosts Alan Jones and Peta Credlin. “We have no more water to give – and we’re not going to give water to South Australia which was once upon a time a saltwater lake, and yet we want to somehow pretend that environmental flows are more important than people.”
      https://www.news.com.au/national/we-will-rip-up-murray-darling-basin-plan-barilaro/video/1fde149b904ece780f4d6ad4a4c7fbd4

      behind paywall:

      NSW demands SA ‘pull its weight’ on water just weeks after desal deal
      The Advertiser – 11h ago

      27 Nov: SMH: Minister flags water recycling expansion for Sydney as drought intensifies
      by By Alexandra Smith and Lisa Visentin
      “The NSW government is also looking into the expansion of the Sydney Desalination Plant, currently operating at 100 per cent and supplying 15 per cent or 250 million litres a day of Sydney’s needs,” she said…

      Greens MLC Cate Faehrmann said the government should have acted on the climate science and “planned for longer, hotter and drier droughts years ago”…

      Recycled water is used across the city, with Sydney Water supplying 44 billion litres in 2018-19, including 10 billion litres for residential and commercial uses and 15 billion litres for environmental flows and agriculture purposes…READ ALL
      https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/minister-flags-water-recycling-expansion-for-sydney-as-drought-intensifies-20191126-p53e90.html

      20

      • #
        Deplorable Lord Kek

        Greens MLC Cate Faehrmann said the government should have acted on the climate science and “planned for longer, hotter and drier droughts years ago”…

        of course, the real course of the water restrictions in Sydney is a combination of (1) drought (2) exploding population (3) no new dams.

        the greens + globalist establishment support (2) and do not support (3).

        40

  • #
    PeterS

    It’s interesting to see the polarisation in the community about what causes such major events, including the recent bush fires. One group says (wrongly) they are all due to man-made climate change and the other groups says (rightly) that they are either normal and natural or man-made in the sense of bad management, both in the case of the floods (failure in managing dam overflow) and the fires (insufficient clearing, fire breaks and back burning). I wonder how long before the majority of the people wake up and begin calling out the first group as borderline terrorist for demanding we close down our coal mines and power stations all in the senseless effort to stop the climate from warming?

    140

    • #
      Lance

      One must wonder what the general population might think about such scenarios as you outline, but with the added feature of zero grid power available at the same time.

      It is a realistic possibility at the rate things are going.

      Risk is a manageable thing. Stupidity isn’t.

      80

  • #
    George4

    They seem to have been releasing water leading up to the flood and getting complaints about that.

    Parts of Brisbane set to flood as water released from Wivenhoe Dam combines with high tide
    THE decision to open the floodgates on southeast Queensland’s biggest dam could trigger flooding in inner Brisbane, residents are warned.

    “What do people want us to do, hold back water and put the city at risk?”

    Mr Dennien said state legislation required water to be released from the dam within seven days of it filling to 100 per cent to ensure there was capacity in the event of a flood.
    OCTOBER 14, 2010

    https://www.news.com.au/national/parts-of-brisbane-set-to-flood-as-water-released-from-wivenhoe-dam-combines-with-high-tide/news-story/dbe4221564d0e7f9d224f8b24e31e7db

    40

    • #
      Lance

      “Within 7 days of it filling to 100%”.

      Well now, that’s a legislative solution that leaves out the part about the upstream watershed and its impact upon fill rates and release rates.

      Seems like rather a simplistic view of an overall watershed and dam combination.

      Legislators might want to look at dynamic simulations of mandatory release rates and timing with respect to upstream watershed flow rates under varying rainfall rates and incorporate those items into their views.

      Nearly all disasters are viewed in the rear view mirror, but often needlessly.

      The response of a flood control system to upstream watershed influence is completely predictable, if one wishes to widen the viewpoint from a static dam fill condition to a dynamic fill condition + fill rate – outflow.

      Does anyone consider the dynamic situation? Or is that simply not done?

      60

      • #
        George4

        Yes, no doubt there are lessons to be learnt, and I don’t know that much about the details, but I just have a feeling that they weren’t particularly negligent and just did what probably 100 other engineers would have done, and the lawyers want to pounce on the organisation with the deepest pockets to sue.
        It must have required a change in mindset to go from a decade of falling dam levels down to 15% with ever more draconian water restrictions and a tripling in water rates to a flood.

        22

        • #
          Lance

          Agreed, in principle.

          That said, if the legislation only addressed mandatory outflow after 100% fill, said legislation ignored the impact of upstream watershed effects. A competent operating procedure would have addressed capacity, outflow, inflow, and downstream effects. It is a predictable scenario. The tools to predict it exist. Why they weren’t used is a mystery, or if they were used, why they weren’t applied/enforced.

          I’m quite sure everyone trusted the manuals and the legislation. What they didn’t do is question the upstream watershed effects. That’s a shame.

          The dam was designed according to some set of parameters. A comparison of the design criteria to the event criteria, the operating criteria, and the legislation, would be most interesting. All lawyers seek the deep pockets, but in this case those pockets are ultimately the citizenry themselves.

          30

          • #
            George4

            I guess they will put more research into deciding when to release water, and all the factors involved.
            I find it interesting that the dam reached 100% capacity but can hold back additional water for flood mitigation to 225% capacity til spillover.
            And on 11 January 2011, it reached its highest level ever, 191%.
            A flood that about doubled the water stored of such a large dam is pretty incredible.

            20

        • #

          It must have required a change in mindset to go from a decade of falling dam levels down to 15% with ever more draconian water restrictions and a tripling in water rates to a flood.

          Again, as I mentioned in that Post I linked to, I mentioned at the bottom of the Post in an Update, the value of that water to the umm, owners of that water, the State Government. Having raised the costs of the water supplied into the South East Corner, the value of that water with the water grid at 100% is, wait for it, almost $6 Billion Plus, and again, it was just a matter of using Maths to work that out.

          So, each rain event that fills all those 25 dams that make up the water grid is money falling from heaven for the State Government.

          Thank heavens Sir Joh built Wivenhoe, because these days, there no way it would get out of ‘thought bubble’ stage.

          Tony.

          80

          • #
            George4

            I don’t know if their main priority is to maximise profit from selling water, rather they don’t want to run out and really be in the sh#t.
            They have water saving campaigns and rainwater tank rebates etc.
            Running to 100% capacity means they are less likely to run out.

            00

          • #
            robert rosicka

            In the case of the Hume dam someone let slip the millions of dollars worth of water that would be flushed down the Murray into the sea which is most likely the real reason .
            The balance of flood mitigation and profit must be a beancounter decision I’m thinking .

            20

  • #
    pat

    from the summary, Thwaites sounds like a worthy academic:

    AUDIO: 13min01sec: 30 Nov: ABC Saturday Extra: Geraldine Doogue: The desalination era
    With future water availability uncertain, the political focus is rapidly turning to desalination.
    Desal plants around the country have this year either commenced operation, or increased their output. And there is talk of more plants being built.
    But is it the solution we need?
    Guest:
    Professor John Thwaites, chair of Melbourne Water, and professorial fellow at Monash University, Chair of ClimateWorks Australia, a not for profit advisory body, and the Monash Sustainable Development Institute
    https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/saturdayextra/the-desalination-era/11751686

    Wikipedia says he’s a “politician”:

    Wikipedia: John Thwaites (Australian politician) served as Deputy Premier of the state of Victoria from 1999 to 2007 (STEVE BRACKS’ GOVT)…
    After the November 2002 state election, at which Labor was returned with a record majority, Thwaites asked for a less demanding role and was appointed Minister for Environment, Water and for Victorian Communities…
    In June 2007, rumours of Steve Bracks resigning as premier, a series for leaks from inside government about Mr Thwaites and his family been given free accommodation, lift passes, food and drink at ski resorts over the last five years without declaring it. The family stayed at government-owned apartments at the invitation of the management boards, which he had appointed.

    Documents obtained under freedom-of-information laws show Thwaites made 17 taxpayer-funded visits to Victoria’s snowfields and national parks between 2003 and 2007. He had eight stays at Tidal River on Wilsons Promontory, five trips to Mount Hotham and two each to Mount Buller and Falls Creek in the four years he was environment minister…

    Since leaving politics, Thwaites has become a Professor at Monash University and Chair of its Sustainability Institute and ClimateWorks Australia. He is on the boards of the Climate Group (Chairman of Australian board), and the Green Building Council. He is also a consultant to the Sustainability and Climate Change group at Maddocks, an Australian law firm…
    In 2012, he was appointed as Chair of the National Sustainability Council that provides independent advice to the Australian Government on sustainability issues and produces independent reports on sustainability indicators and trends.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Thwaites_(Australian_politician)

    20

    • #
      pat

      btw it’s worth listening to the audio for the claims re rainfall. they may be correct, but it would be good for someone with access to the data to comment.

      00

    • #
      Maptram

      The problem with desal plants is that they require a lot of power and water is more likely to be required in times of hot weather, the sort of weather that also produces unstable power supply, so no water at times when it is needed.

      Some time ago I saw a documentary about a vegetable production business that uses solar energy to heat salt water which produces electricity that the business uses for it’s power needs. The steam is then condensed into fresh water which is used to meet the business water requirements. So the system produces electricity instead of using it and produces water as well.

      10

    • #
      Serp

      Still waiting for a coherent explanation of the simultaneous resignations from the Victorian Parliament of Premier Bracks and his deputy Thwaites on 27 July 2007.

      10

      • #
        el gordo

        I believe Bracks quit because of an ‘alcohol-fuelled car accident involving his eldest son Nick, had sealed his decision.’ The Age

        Thawaites didn’t have the numbers to be Premier, so he also quit politics.

        10

  • #
    Deplorable Lord Kek

    And here we go again

    COP25 Press Release: The UN Push for an All Powerful Global Carbon Market

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/11/29/cop25-the-push-for-a-strong-global-carbon-market/

    10

  • #
    graham dunton

    not on topic, but our cause to further the truth.
    This may interest some.
    An update from judicial watch, had this interesting information about thanksgiving, I often wondered what it was about, and ivé made smart comments, of how I wish they would eat those political Turkeys. Still not a bad idea, but that tradition started long ago. so, read on.

    Tom Fitton
    Happy Thanksgiving!

    I’d to again this year to recall what life was like for the Pilgrims who arrived on these shores in December of 1620. As the Plimoth Plantation describes it:
    Many of the colonists fell ill. They were probably suffering from scurvy and pneumonia caused by a lack of shelter in the cold, wet weather. Although the Pilgrims were not starving, their sea-diet was very high in salt, which weakened their bodies on the long journey and during that first winter. As many as two or three people died each day during their first two months on land. Only 52 people survived the first year in Plymouth. When Mayflower left Plymouth on April 5, 1621, she was sailed back to England by only half of her crew.
    Nevertheless, a year after their arrival they sat down for a feast of thanksgiving. They had befriended and made a treaty of mutual protection with the Pokanoket Wampanoag leader, Ousamequin, also known as Massasoit to the Pilgrims.

    In the fall of 1621, the colonists marked their first harvest with a three-day celebration. Massasoit and 90 of his men joined the English for feasting and entertainment. In the 1800s this famous celebration became the basis for the story of the First Thanksgiving.

    It would be easy to focus on the passing difficulties of our time, especially for those of us who fight daily to preserve the God-given liberties that have blessed this land since the time of the Pilgrims. But, as they did, we must pause to reflect on all that is good and on the Source of this goodness.

    I am particularly fond of a hymn popularly associated with Thanksgiving Day and often sung at family meals and religious services on this day, having been brought to America by Dutch settlers in New Amsterdam, now New York City. It was written by Adrianus Valerius and is entitled “Wilt Heden Nu Treden” (“We Gather Together.”)

    We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing;
    He chastens and hastens His will to make known.
    The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing.
    Sing praises to His Name; He forgets not His own.

    Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining,
    Ordaining, maintaining His kingdom divine;
    So from the beginning the fight we were winning;
    Thou, Lord, were at our side, all glory be Thine!

    We all do extol Thee, Thou Leader triumphant,
    And pray that Thou still our Defender will be.
    Let Thy congregation escape tribulation;
    Thy Name be ever praised! O Lord, make us free!

    All of us at Judicial Watch wish you and yours a most blessed Thanksgiving!

    Until next week,

    20

  • #
    Brian

    Nil desperandum. Obviously NSW has learned the lesson, releasing 22 gigalitres of water from Wyangala dam as an environmental flow and reducing stored level to 15.8%. They are not going to be caught out by retaining too much water in the middle of a drought.

    90

  • #
    pat

    29 Nov: Breitbart: Greta the Teenage Climate Puppet Goes Full Marxist
    by James Delingpole
    In her latest public statement (LINK), she says that the ‘climate crisis is not just about the environment’:
    It is a crisis of human rights, of justice, and of political will. Colonial, racist, and patriarchal systems of oppression have created and fueled it. We need to dismantle them all…READ ALL
    https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/11/29/greta-thunberg-goes-full-marxist/

    29 Nov: AFP: In US, climate anxiety churns up psychological storm
    In the melting Arctic, communities are racing to maintain their way of life. In the rising Pacific, residents are sounding alarm bells. And in Rhode Island, Kate Schapira and her husband are not having a baby…

    Schapira, a 40-year-old senior lecturer in the English department at Brown University, is addressing that unease in a number of ways.
    The decision not to have children was not just about concern for their future wellbeing amid environmental degradation, she explained, but also about not wanting “my sense of responsibility to the world to shrink down to the size of one person.”
    Schapira also says she has likely taken her last flight…

    So in 2014, Schapira started setting up a “climate anxiety” booth in public spaces, such as farmers’ markets. It’s a bit like Lucy’s psychiatry stall from the beloved comic “Peanuts.”
    “Climate anxiety counseling, 5 cents. The doctor is in,” the booth’s sign reads, welcoming passersby in Providence to talk about their fears.
    As it turns out, Schapira was far from alone.

    Widespread worry…
    Debbie Chang, 43, who organized a group counseling session on dealing with climate anxiety on the National Mall in Washington in May, has also decided not to have kids and tries to follow a zero-waste policy…
    Chang said until not that long ago, it was difficult to find information on “climate anxiety, climate grief, climate despair, climate counseling.”
    Now “there’s more… people are starting to realize it’s a thing,” she added.
    https://www.afp.com/en/news/826/us-climate-anxiety-churns-psychological-storm-doc-1mn6wu144

    20

  • #
    pat

    the New Economics Foundation poll which gets the final word is a total joke:

    29 Nov: UK Independent: Brexit Party and Tories worst for climate change policies, Greenpeace analysis shows
    Conservative support for polluting industries, such as aviation, oil and gas ‘at odds with their net zero target’, analysis says
    by Harry Cockburn
    According to the ranking, the Green Party tops the list with 19 points out of a possible 20, followed closely by the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats, on 16 and 15 respectively. Plaid Cymru come in fourth with 13 points, while the Conservatives score poorly with 7. The Brexit Party sit at the bottom of the pile with just one point…

    Polls indicate more than half of UK voters say climate change will influence how they vote.

    ???In marginal seats in the North and Midlands, 70 per cent of voters say climate change will be an important deciding factor for them in this election, according to a new poll from the New Economics Foundation.

    reminders:

    Wikipedia: Andrew Simms is an author, analyst and co-director of the New Weather Institute. He is a research associate with the Centre for Global Political Economy at the University of Sussex and Fellow at the ***New Economics Foundation…
    Andrew Simms also served as Policy Director for ten years, Communications Director, and established the Climate Change Programme for the foundation. He co-authored The Green New Deal and co-founded the Green New Deal Group, the climate campaign onehundredmonths.org and cooperative think tank the New Weather Institute. He was a Principal Speaker of the Green Party…

    1 Aug 2008: Guardian: 100 months to save the world by Andrew Simms
    Time is fast running out to stop irreversible climate change, a group of global warming experts warns today. We have only 100 months to avoid disaster. Andrew Simms explains why we must act now – and where to begin…
    But from today, I smell smoke, I see flames and I think it is time to shout. I don’t want you to panic, but I do think it would be a good idea to form an orderly queue to leave the building…
    · The material on climate models for this article was prepared by Dr Victoria Johnson, researcher at NEF (New Economics Foundation) on climate change…

    AND, WHEN THE 100 MONTHS WAS UP, IT WAS NOT EVEN NOTED BY THE GUARDIAN, OR SIMMS, WHO SIMPLY CARRIED ON REGARDLESS.

    10

  • #
    Hanrahan

    I’m not surprised by this decision but I suspect the blame goes all the way to the top. Anna Bligh may well have given the engineers their riding instructions with priority on water storage. I’m not stating that as fact so Jo cannot be sued.

    The gates weren’t opened in Ross R. Dam earlier this year until storage had reached 200%, although I doubt they could have altered the flooding much.

    That flood did an awful lot of damage, some homes are still not repaired and a number of businesses never reopened.

    40

  • #
    WXcycles

    Typhoon Kummuri

    Since last weekend ECMWF forecasts have consistently shown a very strong Typhoon hitting the north-central Philippines on about the 3rd of Dec. These forecasts have been quite accurate at forecasting its formation, its location, track, timing and movements of the now fully-formed Typhoon Kummuri. It is currently projected to impact north-central Philippines from late Tuesday night, right through the 3rd of Dec. It’s on the same path as predicted almost a week ago.

    When you see such a stable consistent long-duration storm forecast as this in ECMWF the storm usually occurs as was forecast. Kummuri is currently a well-formed (at least) Cat-1, with very strong upper-level symmetric outflow, and a central pressure that’s already fallen to 972 HPc. Within the current forecast Kummuri reaches Cat-5 early tomorrow night and the winds peak at 313 km/h hours before landfall where it takes an almost due-westerly track through the north-central Philippines, weakening to Cat-3 to Cat-2 as it exists on the western side.

    The current satellite loop: Looking at the spiked upper outflow development it’s at least a Cat-2 right now, and has begun an explosive-intensification phase:

    https://on.windy.com/32jj2

    Windfield 313km/h peak: (Vivid purple=Cat-1 | Yellow=Cat-2 | Blue=Cat-3 | Orange=Cat-4 | Red=Cat-5)

    https://i.ibb.co/m0NNgjr/TCKummuri-2019-11-30-Pre-Landfall-Wind-field.png

    Thunderstorms & rain field:

    https://i.ibb.co/hftswhq/T-Kummuri-2019-11-30-Pre-Landfall-Thunderstorm-field.png

    The widespread symmetric thunderstorm field is quite a-typical (numerous lightning icons). It indicates widespread symmetric deep-convection, meaning the Typhoon will still be maintaining strength as it comes ashore. If the forecast holds it would reproduce 2013 Typhoon-Haiyan type impacts. This would trigger all forms of ‘Climate’-Apocalypse™ rhetoric, despite it being just weather-noise and the event level guaranteed to occur, from prosaic natural-variability alone, even if human did not exist on the planet.

    “But who would virtue-signal then?!”

    Anyway, Saint Greta and LaVagabonde are now about 83% of the way across the north Atlantic, measured from departure point on great-circle path to northern Spain. The location shown in link below is current and accurate. They’re currently making 10 kt ENE or ~240 nm per day. They have 600nm left to go and at the present speed they would get to Spain in just ~60 hours. But they won’t get there that quickly, due to the weather (i.e. Climate-Crisis™).

    The ECMWF forecasting earlier in the week has been very accurate, and the boat has been in the predicted strong tail wind for a few days, but a cold northerly from a N-S jetstream ‘kink’ near Iceland and a low forming NNE of them is moving toward eastern Spain. So a cold northerly wind will begin to affect them late Sunday. At which point they will probably be about 400 nm west of Spain’s coast. The wind will turn strong NE on Monday and reach ENE gale-force closer to the coast Tuesday, with wind and high waves on their port bow. If they continue directly towards northern Spain’s coast which seems to be their preferred landfall destination, they would be bashing into that. The unfavorable winds and waves will be the worst conditions of the trip and will slow them during Sunday.

    My guess is they won’t head directly into it (especially Tuesday) and will probably turn approximately SSE with less sail then SE to approach land at or near Lisbon in Portugal, in about 4 days, in much smoother conditions.

    https://www.windy.com/distance/boat/43.17,-22.56;42.79,-8.91?gust,42.404,-15.735,7

    30

  • #
    robert rosicka

    I never heard the outcome from the Hume Dam fiasco from a few years ago when farmers were flooded out because of mismanagement with lake levels .

    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/politics/farming-disaster-a-matter-of-dam-timing/news-story/027f1e9186dbb1b8ba343dcadbb17fa6

    10

  • #
    spangled drongo

    It only needed someone who understood the operations manual, like Campbell Newman, [he handled a similar situation when he was in charge in 2013] to work out how to pay attention to the weather and do simple sums.

    But those who were supposed to be on watch back in 2011 were not even on deck. And when they eventually set foot, the dam was within inches of being swept away.

    So panic stations were the order and we are still arguing over it and paying for it.

    50

  • #
    pat

    behind paywall. covering for China – blame Trump’s “denialism”:

    27 Nov: UK Telegraph: China’s latest coal mania is alarming but green technology has already won the battle that matters
    By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
    PIC: CHIMNEYS, “SMOKE”: China’s CO2 emissions match those of the US, the EU, and Japan combined
    No further coal plants should be built anywhere in the world ever again. The great majority of existing plants should be phased out within fifteen years.
    That is the message of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as delegates descend on Madrid for next week’s COP25. There is no chance of keeping CO2 emissions below critical thresholds and preventing run-away climate change if this does not happen.

    So one might justifiably be aggrieved by news that China is engaged in a massive – if surreptitious – expansion of its coal power fleet in breach of earlier pledges, ***seemingly taking advantage of climate denialism in the White House to raid our global commons. Xi Jinping’s industrial machine accounts for half the world’s coal consumption. He is now adding a large coal plant every two weeks…
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2019/11/27/chinas-latest-coal-mania-alarming-green-technology-has-already/

    20

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Dear old Ambrose? China adds CO2 as fast as the USA, Japan and the EU combined, and is building ever more coal fires plants (and more in Asia and Africa which he han’t noticed yet) but SOMEHOW green methods are winning?

      I wonder if he is the same age as David Attenborough?

      30

  • #
    pat

    29 Nov: Deutsche Welle: Berlin climate protesters brave icy weather and waters
    by Kate Brady, Berlin
    Even the biting chill of Berlin’s already wintery fall weather wasn’t enough to hold protesters back on Friday…ENOUGH SAID
    https://www.dw.com/en/berlin-climate-protesters-brave-icy-weather-and-waters/a-51463670

    20

  • #
    Ross

    OT but does anyone know any Spanish farmers? The French, Dutch, German and now the Irish farmers have had enough.

    It would be great if the Spanish farmers got in their tractors and drove into Madrid in their thousands when the COP talkfest is on next month.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/11/28/farmers-bring-central-dublin-to-a-halt-with-tractor-protest/

    40

  • #
    pat

    Bristol City Council: Climate emergency: Mayor’s response
    In November 2018 the City Councillors and Mayor declared a Climate Emergency.
    The Mayor has now developed an initial plan of action in response to this…
    We have now established an Environmental Sustainability Board which will lead the development of a new Climate Strategy for Bristol.
    Related links
    Council use of renewable energy…
    https://www.bristol.gov.uk/policies-plans-strategies/council-action-on-climate-change

    29 Nov: UK Times: Bristol council buys fleet of diesel vans despite dirty car ban
    by Graeme Paton
    A city council introducing Britain’s first diesel car ban has spent millions of pounds on diesel vehicles.
    Bristol city council has acquired 64 diesel vehicles, mainly vans, for use around the city despite proposing to ban all private diesel cars, irrespective of age, from the city centre in an attempt to cut pollution.
    The ban will include the cleanest Euro 6 models registered in the past few years and will apply to diesels in a central zone between 7am and 3pm. Private vehicles will be blocked completely while commercial vehicles such as vans will face a charge. A wider clean air zone will also be imposed, and van and taxi drivers will pay £9 a day to enter…

    29 Nov: BBC: Bristol council adds diesel vans to fleet despite ban
    A council planning to ban people from driving diesel cars in a city centre has acquired dozens of the vehicles for its own fleet.
    Bristol City Council has added 64 diesel-powered vans to its pool as part of an upgrade, a spokesman confirmed…

    Bristol’s rollout of 135 new vehicles – including the 64 diesel ones – is already underway.
    The council is planning to buy 207 more, some of which are likely to be diesel while others will be electric, the spokesman said…

    ‘Widespread confusion’
    Matt Griffith, director of policy for Business West, which is made up of local businesses, said the council was “perfectly entitled” to buy new diesel commercial vehicles which, under the scheme, would be allowed into the city centre.
    But he said the move added to “widespread confusion about the scheme among the public and business”…
    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-bristol-50587738

    20

    • #
      Annie

      Some hypocrisy on the part of Bristol City Council methinks. The ban on private diesel cars couldn’t just be another money-making scam, could it? Surely not…..sarc/

      30

      • #

        “U.N. Agenda 21 is an agenda for the 21st century. It is an inventory and control plan; inventory of all land, water, all minerals, all plants, all animals, all construction, all means of production, all food, all energy, all information, and all human beings in the world.” – Rosa Koire.

        Annie, I think the short term motivation for squeezing diesel off the road is the same as the motivation for encouraging it a mere decade ago. The car fleet needs flipping so a new generation of sub-prime debt can be created. In an age of negative interest rates, fairy-floss money needs to be solidified somewhere, somehow.

        Longer term, we’re being conditioned for the new feudalism. Tiny living, bug-eating, pervasive surveillance, social scoring, trans-everything.

        Don’t get me wrong. It will all fail. It’s just Bolshevism again, run as before by fiercely bright people who are abysmally dumb where it counts. But there’s likely to be some mess. Quite a lot of mess, actually. As before.

        50

  • #
    pat

    29 Nov: HeraldScotland: Scotland left with ‘scraps off table’ in £2bn wind farm boom
    By Martin Williams
    Scotland has missed out on hundreds of millions of pounds of work in the creation of one of the country’s biggest offshore wind farms to overseas firms, the Herald can reveal.
    Unions are furious at what they see as “the scraps off the table” that Scotland has received in the work on the £2 billion Neart Na Gaoithe (NnG) wind farm off the Fife coast, awarded by EDF, the French state energy giant.

    It is understood that in a key contract – it is proposed a minimum of eight of 54 steel foundation jackets which anchor the turbines to the seabed will be built in Scotland with the rest being constructed in south east Asia.
    The Herald can also reveal that Scotland has lost further important project work, worth hundreds of millions of pounds to England, Germany, Finland and France…
    But while the fanfare over the finances for what is one of Scotland’s biggest renewable energy projects was made yesterday, a Saipem source stated that the Scottish contract, which it was hoped would revive BiFab’s fortunes in Scotland, is yet be signed.

    BiFab, which employs (employed?) around 1,400 workers was rescued from the brink of administration by the Scottish Government with a loan valued at £37.4m, but then was purchased by Canadian firm DF Barnes, although hundreds of jobs were shed.
    The workforce is now estimated to then stand at just 115
    The only new confirmed jobs Scotland would gain is 50 over 25 years, at a new maintenance base at Eyemouth harbour.
    It has added further fuel to the anger over what unions have described as a renewables market “chaos” which is increasingly placing Scotland’s green energy revolution in foreign hands…
    https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/18067846.scotland-left-scraps-off-table-2bn-wind-farm-boom/

    28 Nov: BBC: Shell launches Greenpeace legal action over North Sea protests
    Energy giant Shell has launched a legal action in a bid to stop environmentalists from boarding unmanned North Sea installations.
    Lawyers acting for Shell have gone to the Court of Session in Edinburgh seeking an interim interdict against Greenpeace.
    It follows protestors boarding platforms in the Brent field off Shetland last month.
    Greenpeace claims an order would breach its right to protest.

    Shell is seeking to prevent Greenpeace protestors from breaching a 500m (1,640ft) safety zone around platforms in the Brent field. It claims the protests could create serious safety risks…
    Judge Lady Carmichael will give her ruling on 4 December.
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-50585925

    00

  • #
    pat

    behind paywall:

    Investment into renewable energy projects has fallen 60 per cent.
    Townsville Bulletin – 19h ago
    NORTH Queensland’s renewable energy boom is fading fast as operators and developers are dogged by a lack of transmission capacity and demand as well as stricter requirements from regulators to ensure the network’s stability is not put at risk…
    Meanwhile, generation data indicates some established solar farms in North Queensland are … by a lack of transmission as well as a shortage of customer demand …

    10

    • #
      RickWill

      The grid solar subsidy farms are in almost direct competition with rooftop solar. The later obviously have priority access to the market so are strangling the grid scale solar. If they did not have tracking arrest they would be making next to nothing.

      The other changes is that the coal generators are prepared to accept negative prices over a short period to ensure they stay connected and producing at minimum output. They can set the price just under gas when the solar goes dark.

      The crazy thing is that Yarwun is dumping waste heat when the price goes negative as they will not want to accept negative prices.

      It appears SA is heading for grid minimum demand to fall below 400MW; maybe tomorrow. All those wind generators with no load.

      20

  • #
    pat

    30 Nov: MorningMail: Paradise Dam: today’s builders—booted off Pyramid projects!
    How can it be that the Pyramids in Egypt, for example, built with primitive construction aids, a right angle wooden square and a piece of string with rock serving as a plumb bob about 4,500 years ago are still standing, but the Paradise Dam in Queensland designed by university trained architects and engineers with computers etc can build a dam that is in fear of collapse 14 years after construction? Is it a disaster waiting to wipe out Bundaberg?

    The Queensland Government has announced an independent inquiry into the structural issues at Bundaberg’s Paradise Dam, after technical reports released today show the faults originate with its initial construction. “The dam was constructed in layers of rolled concrete, and the bonding between those layers, that is the issue,” Natural Resources Minister Anthony Lynham said…
    LINK: ABC (excerpt) Dr Lynham said former Supreme Court judge John Byrne will head the inquiry into the dam, which was built by the Labor government in 2005…READ ON
    https://morningmail.org/paradise-dam-todays-builders-would-be-sacked-on-pyramid-project/#more-110722

    00

  • #
    pat

    cricket just ended for the day; checked to Foxtel menu, saw Sky has 1h40min of the following, which ends at 10.20pm.
    watched less than a minute. deadly boring. there is a shorter audio at the link:

    AUDIO: 46MIN: University of Sydney: Event: Who should govern environmental disasters, and how?
    Effective governance for extreme weather events
    As global warming rapidly heats up our planet, the likelihood and frequency of environmental disasters caused by extreme weather events – from bushfires to floods – rises substantially. But are we equipped to manage these disasters?

    Bushfires, hurricanes, life-threatening heatwaves and floods have ravaged our planet in recent years. There is a mounting pool of evidence that climate change, including global warming, is a major cause of these extreme weather events.

    This Sydney Ideas event brings together scholars working on environmental disasters from a range of disciplines, issue areas, and countries to grapple with the following questions: what we need to do to govern such disasters effectively? Who should govern environmental disasters and how?…

    This event was part of the Environmental Disasters Symposium (21-22 November), a collaboration between Sydney Social and Humanities Advanced Research Centre, Sydney Environment Institute and the University of Sydney Office of Global Engagement.
    SPEAKERS ETC…
    https://sydney.edu.au/engage/events-sponsorships/sydney-ideas/2019/environment-disasters-governance.html

    20

    • #
      pat

      this twitter feed, which includes mention of the event on Sky, is worth a look, if only to despair further over the state of academia. it popped up next to the Sydney Uni link I posted, so thought i’d add it to the mix:

      Twitter: David Schlosberg, Professor of Environmental Politics/Director, Sydney Environment Institute, University of Sydney. Enviro justice, just adaptation, sustainable materialism.
      https://twitter.com/dschlosberg?lang=en

      10

  • #
    PeterW

    So if floods are a reasonably anticipated event for which the authorities have a responsibility to prepare, why not fires?

    If a private person has an unreasonably high fire risk on their property, the fire services can require them to reduce it….. or we can do it ourselves and send them the bill.

    NSW National sParks and Wildfires are a law unto themselves. They have aa clear conflict of interest.

    30

  • #
    John Nicol

    Having followed very closely the state of the Brisbane dams (Somwrset and Wivenhoe) for months before the flooding and in particular for the six weeks leading up to the floods and Having sat up all night in Brisbane when the floods were rising in 2011 listening to the reports from engineers and others regarding the delicate operation of the flood gates, I have no doubt at all that the gates wer operated appropriately for the circumstances. Absolutely appropriate for the circumstances.
    o
    It is quite stupid for the judge to say that the operators were at fault, (in flying through rain and wind in helicopters out to the spillways tp operate the gates) that they did “not follow their own written procedures”! This was not a time to follow any text book. This was a time to use intelligence to obtain te best outcome for Brisbane in the circumstances which included avoiding the possibility of a burst dam. The work of the dam operators was in my view exemplary. One wonders why this case was taken to a NSW court!!!! Obviously because Queensland judges may be too familiar with the real facts.

    Claims that the Weather Bureau had predicted heavy rain at the time is quite fanciful. Even in the Bureaux own document submitted to the first enquiry into the floods, they did not pretend to have predicted the cloud burst in the upper Brisbane Valley which caused this unprecedented flooding. Their statement was an all encompassing prediction of some weeks earlier which highlighted probable cyclones, indicating that the forecast was actually aimed at North Queensland, NOT the South East. No one in their right mind would have taken that forecast to have been aimed at the events which eventually took place. Again the judge’s comments on this were totally out of order.

    All of the buildings which were effected were in areas which had already been submerged in the 1974 and many earlier floods. Thus people who elect to build houses or businesses in these places have reaaly only themselves to blame.

    Do I have sympathy for the people affected? Of course I do. Do I believe that they deserve compensation from the Queensland Governement? Absolutely NOT!!!!

    10

  • #
    Vishnu

    One of the great mischiefs peddled by sceptics – that they held onto water because Tim Flannery said it would never rain again? Evidence his prophecies were involved. About 0.0 – Pure bunk.

    Record rainfall event not early forecast for the dam catchment. Engineers trying to minimise the flack from already downstream flooding.

    Current form – reducing water levels before wet season. Of course the other end of the big flood is the big drought. Looking at Brisbane River paleo data good luck with that – https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0031018218301469?via%3Dihub

    One thing we do know for certain – flood plains get errr flooded episodically.

    01

    • #
      PeterW

      “Mischief”?

      That would be you, misrepresenting reasonable speculation – very reasonable given the extent and magnitude of public support for Flannery’s claim.

      Hard evidence that it had no influence…. Equally 0.0 and speculative assertions to that point seem even less reasonable.

      Nice of you to link to yet another piece of evidence that climate has varied in the past, without human-induced CO2 increases. It has always been a point for our argument that the climate has changed, which means that in the absence of good understanding of what caused those changes, we cannot control for the presence of those factors in current observations.

      You know that floods and drouggts happen. You know that we – particularly those specifically tasked for that work – have a responsibility to prepare for flood, fire and drought.

      Blaming “Climate Change” is not an acceptable excuse.

      40

  • #
    Tel

    Remember Julia Gillard’s Flood Levy?

    I would like my tax money back now please … if that’s not too much to ask.

    40

  • #

    Since the blog runs on WordPress, I’m wondering whether whoever set it up has added a host of words to the Settings/Discussion/Comment Moderation section that picks up words contained in my post. There could also be a comment moderation plugin in use that’s being overly aggressive with the words it selects.

    10

  • #
    Graeme No.3

    I think ‘bemused’ is on the list.
    After all, it has 3 syllables which is beyond the range of most trolls.

    Also you might have been provocative using words like facts, proof and evidence.

    40

  • #
    Graeme No.3

    I was replying to bemused at no.31. Perhaps there is a gremlin** in the system.

    ** old fashioned word indicating that certain words/phrases/actions make no sense e.g. carbon abatement, carbon pollution. carbon induced warming, carbon capture etc. and trigger an unwanted action.

    10

  • #
    Analitik

    When you reply to a post that is in moderation,it winds up at the end of the comments, seemingly as a new thread and then subsequent replies also end up in this state. bemused did this to question why his comment went into moderation and now we have a flow of pseudo threads that will be rolled back into a comment thread once the original post is released.

    As to why bemused’s post ended up in moderation, it’s likely he/she will never find out as it has happened to me several times and the moderators themselves have no clue as to the trigger. I can only assume that WordPress themselves fiddle with the moderation filter and users just have to put up with their whims.

    20

Leave a Reply

  

  

  

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>