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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Whole suburbs flooded after exhaustive expert flood modelling says they won’t

Another triumph of modeling

In 2014, Townsville City Council launched a detailed flood mapping service.

The maps will allow people to search individual properties to find out the risk of it being inundated during a one-in-100-year flood event.

Five years later and they’re publishing inundation maps. Sadly, new suburbs were built with the wrong expectations.

 Townsville flood maps reviewed as more homes go under

Jared Owens and Charlie Peel The Australian

Townsville City Council’s spokeswoman said last night the model, which was based on expert modelling of different scenarios, was overwhelmed by an “unprecedented” monsoonal trough …

Local Government Associa­tion of Queensland chief executive Greg Hallam said Towns­ville’s flood maps relied on “exhaustive modelling of every possible scenario”, looking at variable­s such as rainfall and artificia­l structures.

“We’re not God. We don’t have supreme knowledge. We only have the best science, the best knowledge we can have,” he said. “We now know with the (dam) gates fully open … what will flood and what won’t, so there will be a new set of flood maps prod­uced out of this event.”

If we had better climate models, perhaps we might [...]

Townsville floods again: 1881, 1892, 1946 and 1953. It’d be climate change if it stopped flooding

After epic flooding in Townsville, witchdoctors are blaming climate change.

 Queensland’s recent extreme weather – bushfires, heatwaves, coral bleaching, drought, Cyclone Penny, Townsville’s floods – showed Queensland is clearly experiencing climate change, Professor Ian Lowe said.

 Thus spake the Druid of Runes waving a bunch of multifactor complex processes that have been happening forever, can’t be predicted and only have scary trends if you draw short graphs with no error bars. Verily we see doom, doth payth my grant, or whatever it is that keeps Prof Ian Lowe going. He is allegedly in the  Queensland Climate Advisory Council (QCAC) — an organization so successful its only existence on the internet appears to be a sidebar on page 15 of a government PDF. But whoever they are, they’re experts, trust us, that the media doesn’t need to ask for an alternate opinion.

Wouldn’t you know it though, floods seem to happen quite a lot in Townsville

This is not to say that the current floods are not serious but just that Townsville is a floody kind of place. It’d be climate change if things stopped flooding in Townsville.

In the last ten days Townsville has had 600mm of rain [...]

Even in sunniest Queensland, solar can’t run without big subsidies — so big they have to be kept secret

Solar is so competitive that the Queensland government has to pour in money to keep solar developers from running away.

How much money? Who knows. Whatever it is, it’s so big, the government has to keep it a secret.

Queensland taxpayers kept in dark as they prop up solar firms

MARK SCHLIEBS, The Australian

The Queensland government is concealing its financial support for large-scale renewable energy projects, guaranteeing subsidies to solar companies that do not ­appear on balance sheets.

With an expert panel previously finding the government would need to spend between $500 million and $900m in subsidies to meet its 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030, there are now calls for spending to be made public.

The government has struck four deals with major solar-farm developers, under “contracts for difference”, with floor prices nominated for the sale of their ­energy in order to attract finance. When the market price falls below that threshold, the government has to make up the difference.

Luckily for Queensland taxpayers — who don’t know how to spot a good investment or the energy source of the future — the Government can spend their money for [...]

Event in Brisbane Friday: Mark Latham, Malcolm Roberts, Ross Cameron “Cost-of-Living”

Click to enlarge

What a fantastic line-up of speakers at the One Nation, Cost of Living Summit on Friday 13th October, 9.30-4pm.

Go see Malcolm Roberts, Mark Latham, Ross Cameron, Graham Young, Tim Andrews, Dr Alan Moran, Prof Tony Makin, and Dr Dan Mitchell (USA) and others speak on Friday at the Queensland Parliament House, LC (red chamber):  Just $20.

https://www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=323166

From the flyer:

Australians are facing severe cost-of-living pressures and decreasing living standards caused by Federal and State governments who no longer represent everyday Australians. Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party are bringing together experts in tax, regulation, money, banking, housing, farming and energy who will highlight the key issues driving our high cost-of-living in Australia.

Our Cost-of-Living Summit will demonstrate how excessive government interventions have created a mess in the energy market resulting in our unaffordable power prices, and how we can remove these drivers of high costs to create a fairer and more affordable future. One Nation wants to set our nation free, harness human ingenuity and resourcefulness to create a better Australia for all Australians.

Solar Homes use more grid electricity than non-solar homes

There are probably more solar panels in QLD than anywhere else in the world. Back in February last year, the boss of the Queensland state power company announced the awkward result that households with solar panels were using more electricity than those without. Apparently people without solar were turning off the air conditioner because electricity cost too much, but the solar users didn’t have to worry about the cost so much.

Queensland solar homes are using more grid electricity than non-solar, says Energex boss

Feb 2016:  Solar-powered homes in south-east Queensland, which boasts the world’s highest concentration of rooftop panels, have begun consuming on average more electricity from the grid than those without solar, the network operator has found.

Terry Effeney, the chief executive of state-owned power distributor Energex, said the trend – which belied the “green agenda” presumed to drive those customers – was among the challenges facing a region that nevertheless stood the best chance globally of making solar the cornerstone of its electricity network.

From October 2014 in Queensland, the average grid electricity use of solar homes started to exceed the average use of people without solar power and stayed higher for the at least the [...]

Thanks to Green schemes Queensland dumps gas for coal

Green Fairy Gods of Economic Management

Another unintended consequence of policies to control the climate. Who would have guessed? Laws aimed to disrupt the energy market, disrupted the energy market. Just like Germany, parts of Australia are now dumping expensive gas, resurrecting old coal burners, and voila: The Fairy Gods of Economics tinker — and get the opposite of what they intended.

Here’s the chain of events as best as I can figure. The greener-governments raised the cost of all electricity, but tried to slap an advantage on some forms at the expense of others. The catch is that there is just not enough alternate energy to go around.

More projects used gas, partly due to other state based green schemes like the Gas Electricity Scheme of Queensland. So gas demand rose and gas became more expensive. At the same time, those who owned gas found that export markets will pay more for gas for other uses. So it didn’t make sense to keep the gas for the power-stations here when they could sell it for a greater profit elsewhere. Meanwhile, other forces were also at play. The Green drive created a glut in fickle solar and wind power. [...]

Oops Climate Commission graph: Queensland warmed nearly 3 degrees in 50 years?

If Alan Jones needs to get “educated” because he got the level of CO2 wrong once, the Climate Commission surely needs to go back to do high school maths, because anyone who has done junior high can see that the running average in the graph below is an impossibility. The latest Climate Commission report: “The Critical Decade: Queensland climate impact and opportunities” starts with blatantly incorrect figure. Since when do “averages” run outside the extreme highs and lows? Thanks to reader Ian E.

Eyeballing this graph suggests Queensland’s average temperature has risen by 2.7 C since the 1950′s.

The text on the same page says: “The average temperature for Queensland has risen by about 1°C since early last century”. So at least the writing matches the official (if exaggerated) records.

Who proof-read this document?

Three professors (Will Steffen, Lesley Hughes, Veena Sahajwalla) and Mr Gerry Hueston, all Climate Commissioners, signed off on it.

The correct graph should look more like this.

 (Graphed by Ian E)

Even the 1 degree trend in this graph above is likely to be exaggerated [...]