Friday 13th Christmas Drinks – Newcastle and Sunshine Coast

Friday 13th:   Newcastle sceptics for lunch and Sunshine Coast sceptics are getting together for afternoon drinks.

Email me: joanne AT and I’ll forward your email to the skeptic in charge. Even if you can’t get there this time, we’ll let you know for the next.  I hear the Sunshine Coast Sceptics are in for a real treat… (send me those photos please!)   Jim, in Newcastle your email bounced when I replied. Please try again.

Last week’s events were a great success in Perth, Melbourne, Adelaide and Rockhampton. Avid friendly conversations. Likeable, interesting people. Seems we all need more meetings more often:

Ray writes: “Thank you! It was quite shocking really. I was quite unprepared for normal conversation… “

There’s a regular weekly (weekly!) event in Sydney on Thursday nights.  For people in other areas — get cracking…!

Photo by Jonathan Rautenbach on Unsplash


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36 comments to Friday 13th Christmas Drinks – Newcastle and Sunshine Coast

  • #

    I would like to attend but I am caring for a cancer patient friend who is now in palliative care after sixteen months of treatment that probably extended her life, and Friday is her birthday.

    But best wishes for Christmas to all here.


  • #

    I wish I could be there — have fun.



  • #
    Kalm Keith

    Thanks Jo.


  • #

    Last week’s events were a great success in Perth, Melbourne, and Rockhampton.

    But not as good as Adelaide’s because Adelaide had a DOGGY!!! <3

    So there! Debate over. 97% agree with me!

    Dang, I added Adelaide to that list ten minutes after posting, but the edit disappeared. 🙁 Will Fix again! – Jo


  • #

    Yes please Jo, more events like the recent one in Perth would be appreciated. Great to meet you in person, but didn’t have time to meet all the others present. Good to hear that quite a few geologists were present, even a gent from the CSIRO. His explanations of his work were fascinating.


  • #

    OT but UPC Renewables (Brian Caffyn) has a stake in the wind fiasco in Australia. Some of you may remember the mortgage fraud here in the US involving several large banks, including Wilmington Trust…

    $60 million settlement in federal criminal case against Wilmington Trust
    Updated: OCTOBER 10, 2017 — 12:42 PM EDT

    Caffyn tied to Wilmington Trust. superseding indictment✔️

    EX-10.19 – › Archives › edgar › data

    “Collateral Agent” means Wilmington Trust, National Association, in its capacity as collateral agent under the …… Name: Brian Caffyn. Title: …

    Attorney for Wilmington Trust in BK:


    U.S. Attorney’s Office August 05, 2015


    United States Attorney for the District of Delaware Charles M. Oberly, III, stated,

    “This Superseding Indictment marks the next significant step in our investigation into the illegal conduct by at Wilmington Trust. The failure by these individuals to properly inform regulators and investors about the true financial condition of Wilmington Trust resulted in significant harm to those investors and losses to the Delaware community. As high-ranking bank executives, these individuals had an obligation to accurately report important financial metrics which enable investors to make informed decisions. Even in the wake of the financial crisis, their deception was neither permissible nor excusable.”

    “The deception explained in this indictment shows the defendants set out to hide information from the federal government. The men and women named in this case not only hid financial details from regulators but from the general public and investors,” said acting Special Agent in Charge Scott Hinckley of the FBI in Delaware. “These aren’t victimless crimes and those who committed them will be held accountable.”


    EX-99.T3E-14 19 a2128232zex-99_t3e14.htm EXHIBIT 99.T3E-14
    Exhibit 99.T3E-14

    To: UPC Polska, LLC
    UPC Polska Finance, Inc.
    4643 Ulster Street, Suite 1300
    Denver, CO 80237

    Wilmington Trust Company
    1100 North Market Street
    Wilmington, Delaware 19890
    Attention: Corporate Trust Administration

    Re: UPC Polska, LLC (the “Company”) and UPC Polska Finance, Inc. (and together with the
    Company, the “Issuers”) Senior Notes due March 31, 2007 (the “Senior Notes”)

    UPC Aviation Services-
    Upc Aviation Services, Inc.
    Registered Address
    4643 South Ulster Suite 1300
    Colorado Co80237

    UPC AVIATION SERVICES, INC. Corporate Registration Number(CRN) is FC022501. It was incorporated on 01/05/1998 at COLORADO CO80237. The address of the company is 4643 SOUTH ULSTER SUITE 1300 DENVER COLORADO CO80237 USA UNITED STATES .
    UPC AVIATION SERVICES, INC. is a Other company type. The nature of the company is None Supplied, .
    Current status of UPC AVIATION SERVICES, INC. is Active.

    Cmp. Registration No.(CRN) FC022501
    Company Category Other company type
    Incorporation Date 01/05/1998
    Country Of Origin UNITED STATES
    Company nature None Supplied, ,
    Email Address [Show_Email_ID]
    Phone/Contact/Office No. [Show_Phone_No]
    Company Previous Name’s :-


    NEW YORK, Oct. 19 /PRNewswire/ — On October 17, 2003, several
    stockholders of UGC Europe, Inc. (Nasdaq: UGCE) sent the following letter to
    the Special Committee of Independent Directors of the Company:

    Committee to Obtain Fair Value for
    Minority Stockholders of UGC Europe, Inc.
    c/o Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP
    100 Maiden Lane
    New York, NY 10038

    October 17, 2003


    Mr. Jacques Manardo
    Mr. John Risner
    Special Committee of Independent Directors
    UGC Europe, Inc.
    4643 South Ulster Street, Suite 1300
    Denver, CO 80237

    Unitedglobalcom Inc
    DENVER, CO 80237
    Cable & Other Pay Television Services

    UPC Polska, LLC
    UPC Polska Finance, Inc.
    4643 Ulster Street, Suite 1300
    Denver, CO 80237

    Relationships of UGC Europe Inc
    Mutual Connections
    Positions / Titles
    Albert M Carollo

    DIRECTOR – HoldingsPAST, DIRECTORPAST, DIRECTOR – United show details and sources…
    Andrew Lewis Jr

    Anton Tuijten

    Brian Eugene Caffyn

    DIRECTOR – Construction Management, DIRECTOR – XET CA, DIRECTOR – Construction Management, PARTNER – Capital Partners Cooperative, PARTNER, DIRECTOR – Renewables, DIRECTOR – Construction, DIRECTOR – XET CA Management, PARTNER – Cooperative, PARTNER – XET CA, DIRECTOR, PARTNER – Renewables, PARTNER – Spoika, PARTNER – Construction, PARTNER – Construction Management, DIRECTOR – Capital Partners Cooperative, PARTNER – XET CA Management, DIRECTOR – XET CA Management show details and sources…


  • #

    11 Dec: SMH: ‘Sydney is angry’: Protesters march to demand urgent action on climate change
    By Laura Chung and Matt Bungard
    An estimated ***20,000 protesters marched from Town Hall to Hyde Park on Wednesday evening, taking over George Street to demand stronger climate action as bushfires continue to rage across the state.
    The event, titled “NSW is Burning, Sydney is Choking – Climate Emergency Rally!”, was swiftly set up on Facebook last week by Extinction Rebellion, Uni Students for Climate Justice, and Greens MP David Shoebridge, in response to horrendous air conditions and ongoing bushfires across the state…

    NSW Police Inspector Gary Coffey said “it’s a very big crowd”, and later told the Herald there were an estimated ***20,000 people in attendance…

    VIDEO: 9News Grace Fitzgibbon: Town Hall: there’s a ***couple of thousand odd people turning out…demands: no new coal mines, 100% RE by 2030.

    the losers in the May election – no 20,000:

    SMH: Photo Gallery – 11 PICS

    VIDEO: 2m16s: a few thousand at most. placard “Burn the Parliament, not the Planet” etc.

    VIDEO: 11 Dec: Daily Mail: ‘Do something, you useless f***’: Angry climate activists dress as koalas and dub Scott Morrison ‘Scummo’ as they blame the PM for global warming
    By Zoe Zaczek For Daily Mail Australia and Australian Associated Press
    ***One police officer estimated the number of protesters could exceed 7,500…


    • #

      Isobel: Sydney residents swarmed CBD streets at peak hour. protester: people are saying bushfires just happen. we want some action. Isobel: that sense of ANGUISH is the subject of ongoing research. Sydney Environment Institute spokeswoman: climate and mood.
      (note: connection between the bushfires & CAGW is not mentioned as being the subject of any ongoing research):

      AUDIO: 3m19s: 12 Dec: ABC AM: Thousands march in Sydney to demand funding for firefighters, climate action
      By Isobel Roe on AM
      Thousands of people marched in the streets of Sydney last night, demanding governments better fund rural firefighters and climate change mitigation in the wake of the city’s worst day of air quality on record.
      Bushfire smoke is at hazardous levels across much of New South Wales, causing health problems and raising anxiety among those concerned about climate change.
      One expert says that feeling of anxiety many people have experienced in recent weeks is real, and won’t go away until they feel someone is listening to them.


      • #

        …demanding governments better fund rural firefighters and climate change mitigation in the wake of the city’s worst day of air quality on record.

        So, Sydney gets smoke and suddenly the urbanites believe rural firefighters need more funds.

        Anyone who was a snarky blog troll might think these Sydney types believe the world revolves around them.


    • #

      The fires are so bad in NSW we may never recapture the CO2:

      Seriously … it is becoming that stupid… I weep for critical thinking in this country.

      BTW Jo saw you were having fun with the self-professed critical thinker article at The Convo 🙂


  • #

    AUDIO: 5m38s: 12 Dec: ABC AM: Albanese courts coal country voters in Queensland
    By Kim Landers on AM
    The Federal Opposition leader Anthony Albanese is in Queensland coal country.
    He’s spending four days trying to reconnect with voters who walloped Labor at the election, leaving the party with only 6 of the state’s 30 federal seats…
    Anthony Albanese, Labor Leader


    Landers: are u prepared to also say there should be no expansion of the industry beyond already-approved mines, in order to help tackle climate change?
    Albanese: very clearly, I don’t think there will be another coal-fired power station built in Australia. there will be a transition towards zero emissions.
    what we are seeing globally is a shift towards renewables.

    Albanese: bushfire season commenced earlier, is more intense. when cyclone season comes later on, we can expect there will be more intensity there.
    criticism of Govt response to bushfires. hasn’t met Greg Mullins, who has lots to offer.


  • #

    OT – Time Magazine have announced their Person of the Year.

    Not going to completely spoil the winner, but let’s just say she will probably refuse to fly over to accept it. Sail in million dollar yatch? Maybe…

    So, given Time Magazine’s prior history of Man/Person of the Year winners (check out one or two of their pre WW2 winners) I am not if congrats or sympathy is now in order.


  • #

    imagine if theirABC actually got their climate activist group together!

    AUDIO: 4m10s: 12 Dec: ABC Breakfast: Gondwana rainforest receives rainfall after being burned for the first time
    Presenter: Hamish Macdonald
    But there’s been some good news overnight with raining falling over the World-Heritage Gondwana rainforest in New England National Park, in the state’s north.
    The so-called “permanently wet” forests burned for first time this year.
    Guest: Mark Graham, Ecologist, Nature Conservation Council of NSW

    AUDIO: 6m33s: 12 Dec: ABC Breakfast: NT Government accused of jeopardising commercial solar projects
    Presenter: Hamish Macdonald
    ***Jane Bardon reports:
    Despite its plentiful solar resources and the Northern Territory Government’s 50 per cent renewables by 2030 policy, the NT has the lowest green energy adoption of any Australian state.
    The proponents of a planned large Territory solar farm are blaming the Government’s wholly owned monopoly power corporation for blocking commercial solar farms from getting onto the grid with expensive connection requirements.
    Renewables advocates are calling on the Government to solve the impasse to make sure the Territory can reach its target.
    Ilana Eldridge, Director NT Solar
    Lyndon Rowe, Northern Territory Utilities Commissioner
    Eytan Lenko, Beyond Zero Emissions
    Dale Wakefield, NT Renewables Minister

    above reporter:

    9 Dec: ABC: Outdoor construction workers in NT’s tropical north fear changing climate
    By ***Jane Bardon
    The CSIRO found Australia’s mean average temperature last year had risen by more than 1 degree Celsius since 1910, and that the frequency of extreme heat events had also increased.
    The research body found Darwin currently experiences 11 days a year above 35 degrees Celsius but predicted this would increase to between 111 and 265 days by 2090.
    According to the Bureau of Meteorology, last year’s Northern Territory wet season months of December and January were the hottest on record by almost a full degree…
    Mr Alexopoulos (business owner) would like to see governments doing more to prepare for a hotter future.
    “We’re all worried about the climate getting affected,” he said…ETC

    following audio begins with Greg Mullins sound grab, (he was on the program before Canavan). Macdonald plays NSW Minister for Energy and Environment, Matt Kean audio, quotes environment minister Sussan Ley – connecting bushfires to CAGW:

    AUDIO: 10m46s: 12 Dec: ABC Breakfast: Matt Canavan: ‘The fires have not started due to climate change”
    Presenter: Hamish Macdonald
    The Morrison Government is committing $11 million in funding to boost aerial firefighting across the country.
    The announcement comes after the Government sustained repeated attacks this week over its alleged inaction while hundreds of bushfires continue to burn across the east coast.
    Former Fire and Rescue NSW commissioner Greg Mullins has welcomed the announcement but says more needs to be done.
    Guest: Matt Canavan, Minister for Resources and Northern Australia

    quite a different tone from Hamish when it comes to interviewing Mullins:

    AUDIO: 12m1s: 12 Dec: ABC Breakfast: Federal Govt to invest $11m into aerial firefighting
    Presenter: Hamish Macdonald
    The funding boost comes after former fire and emergency leaders called on the Prime Minister Scott Morrison to make more water bombers available to tackle bushfires.
    Guest: Greg Mullins, Former Fire and Rescue NSW commissioner$11m-into-aerial-firefighting/11791392


    • #

      11 Dec: ABC: Liberal MPs Matt Kean and Sussan Ley link bushfires to climate change
      By Emma Elsworthy
      However, Mr Kean and Ms Ley’s comments are at odds with several Coalition colleagues in NSW and federally.
      Last month, Craig Kelly — the Liberal Member for Hughes south of Sydney — told Sky News wildfires had actually decreased around the globe.
      “The facts are, if you look at globally, you look at the peer-reviewed science, wildfires have declined over the last 25 years, since we have had satellite monitoring, more than 24 per cent,” he said.
      “That’s what the peer-reviewed science tells us.”…

      The Prime Minister has previously acknowledged climate change as “a factor” behind the bushfires…
      Ms Ley, the Member for Farrer, in regional NSW, also expressed her concern for rural communities in the state, in particular the “people, the landscape, the lifestyle, the future”.
      “I think it’s extraordinarily hard for everyone involved at the moment and I’m hearing the public debate,” she said.
      “I’ve always said global climate change increases the risk and intensity of bushfires.”…

      This morning NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she expected Mr Kean to be a “champion of climate change issues”…
      Last month, Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals leader Michael McCormack criticised people linking climate change to bushfires, describing them as the “ravings of some pure, enlightened and woke capital city greenies at this time, when [people are] trying to save their homes, when in fact they’re going out in many cases saving other peoples’ homes and leaving their own homes at risk.”

      Greg Mullins, former Fire and Rescue NSW commissioner, said “this Government fundamentally doesn’t like talking about climate change”.
      NSW’s first RFS commissioner Phil Koperberg said: “If we’re not going to talk about it now, when it’s happening, when are we going to talk about it?”


  • #

    headline on ABC’s “Just In” page:

    “Weather forecasters say days of storms ahead for South East Queensland after overnight deluge”

    12 Dec: ABC: Brisbane weather relief as storm brings six months’ worth of rain in one night
    By Melanie Vujkovic
    East Brisbane had the biggest falls with 130mm — 112mm of that was recorded in one hour — while Brisbane city had 100mm.
    About 29,000 homes were left without power and there were 208,000 lightning strikes

    Queensland Fire and Emergency Services duty manager Brett Finnis: “It was very rapid, the water, the volume of jobs we were being called to, it was essentially like flicking a light switch.
    “It was quite the intense flurry of work, and it does signal for this season, as with the bushfires, ***there’s something that’s different this season.”…

    Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Michael Knepp said more storms could be on the way in coming days.
    “It looks like maybe our seasons have switched from fire season to storm season,” he said.
    “The amount of rain we had last night in Brisbane, has equalled the amount of rain we have had in the last six months, and almost all of that fell in one hour.”
    He said the rain was mostly localised, with parts of the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast missing out…

    “Those storms today will be moving a little bit quicker … so we’ll see storms developing out to the west in the afternoon and they’re more likely to move through [Brisbane] just because they’re going to be moving a little bit quicker.
    “Maybe not quite like we saw [last night], but if we do get a super cell or two you can still see very intense rainfall in a very short period of time, so you could see 50mm in 20 to 30 minutes.”
    He said there was also a chance Saturday and Sunday could see storms.
    “So there’s potential we could see five days of storms,” he said…


  • #

    12 Dec: ABC: Greta Thunberg named Time’s Person of the Year while continuing to beat the drum at COP25
    by ABC/wires
    “In the 16 months since, she has addressed heads of state at the UN, met with the Pope, sparred with the President of the United States and inspired 4 million people to join the global climate strike on September 20, 2019, in what was the largest climate demonstration in human history,” the magazine said.
    “Margaret Atwood compared her to Joan of Arc. After noticing a hundredfold increase in its usage, lexicographers at Collins Dictionary named Thunberg’s pioneering idea, climate strike, the word of the year.”
    But the reluctant celebrity…

    Former US vice-president Al Gore, a longtime environmentalist, said the magazine made a “brilliant choice”.
    “Greta embodies the moral authority of the youth activist movement demanding that we act immediately to solve the climate crisis. She is an inspiration to me and to people across the world,” Mr Gore said…

    Addressing the summit on Wednesday, she accused business and political leaders of misleading the public by holding climate talks that are not achieving real action against what she has called the world’s “climate emergency.”
    In a speech peppered with scientific facts about global warming, Ms Thunberg told negotiators they had to stop looking for loopholes for their countries’ actions and face up to the ambition that is needed to protect the world from a global warming disaster…

    Johan Rockstrom, director of the Postdam Institute of Climate Studies, and one of the ***most revered scientists on the issue, said for 20 years “we have underestimated the pace of change and we have underestimated the risks we are facing.”…
    Following him, Ms Thunberg cited the same reports, insisting that national pledges to reduce emissions weren’t enough…
    “To stay below 1.5 degrees we need to keep the carbon in the ground.”

    11 Dec: ABC: I’m a critical thinking expert. This is how you win any climate change debate like Greta Thunberg
    The Conversation By Peter Ellerton (Lecturer in Critical Thinking; Curriculum Director, UQ Critical Thinking Project, The University of Queensland)
    As bushfires rage and our cities lie shrouded in smoke, climate change is shaping as a likely topic of conversation at the family dinner table this Christmas…
    Such discussions can be fraught if family members hold differing views. You may not all agree on the urgency of dealing with climate change — or indeed whether it is happening at all…

    So what to do? We can learn much from Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg — a master of staying on topic.
    A simple, unwavering message
    Her public statements consistently communicate a few key points:
    •the planet is warming, we are responsible and we need to fix it
    •hope is fine, but it is pointless without action
    •economic concerns are irrelevant in the face of collapsing ecosystems
    •if we do not fix this, future generations will remember us for our failures…

    She is not distracted by rhetoric, straw-man arguments, personal abuse or by condescension or appeals to economic theory…

    Research has found that people with ASD have a heightened ability to focus on some tasks and in particular, to identify “critical” information…

    If you need extra help, my colleagues and I have produced a paper (LINK) to help analyse the rationality of climate denial claims. It also helps you find the point at issue, and stay on it…In the maelstrom of ideology surrounding climate change in this post-truth world, keeping a rational focus is critical.

    pity Greta couldn’t tell 60,000 from 250,000 in NYC, nor 15,000 from 500,000 in Madrid! (see comment #20 & followup on Jo’s “Exxon” thread)


  • #

    behind paywall:

    11 Dec: UK Times: Behind the manifestos: How green is my party?
    With surveys showing that voters are increasingly worried about the environment, Ben Webster assesses the policies the parties are offering — from solar panels to single-use plastics — to woo the green vote
    In a year when Extinction Rebellion and Greta Thunberg became household names (THANKS TO THE FAKENEWSMSM) and Sir David Attenborough delivered apocalyptic warnings about climate change, it is hardly surprising that all the main parties are engaged in a bidding war for the green vote.
    More people say they are concerned about the environment now than at any time over the past 30 years. It was mentioned as one of the most important issues for Britain by 21 per cent of people surveyed last month by ***Ipsos Mori, up from just 2 per cent in 2012.

    Young people are the most worried, with 29 per cent of 18-24 year olds listing the environment and pollution as a major concern.
    The Conservatives moved swiftly to neutralise two toxic green issues…


  • #

    video audio almost sounds like it’s recorded. who knows. video doesn’t make anything clear:

    TWEET: Arthur Wyns, Climate Change & Health Researcher @WHO | Helping journalists @climatetracking | contributing to @the_ecologist

    Civil society Protests inside #COP25 responding to the complete lack of progress at the climate talks
    VIDEO: 25secs
    11 Dec 2019

    Seems like all protesters have been debatched and locked outside at #COP25

    Meanwhile at #COP25 UN Secretary General opens plenary while 200 people are being kicked out of COP after staging a protest inside

    All protesters have now been locked inside and are being pushed off the COP25 premises. No observers are allowed near…


  • #

    Benalla’s council sure found out that global warming is the new religion when it asked artists to paint some murals for Christmas.
    Artist Tim Bowtell decided that the icon he’d paint on the side of this Victorian council’s service centre was Greta Thunberg.

    Of course! Thunberg, the troubled 16-year-old Swede, is indeed the Messiah of the global warming faith that’s supplanting Christianity.
    That’s why my daughter was likewise startled in the carols service of her church last week to hear the chaplain preach that Thunberg was leading us to “a better world”, just “like the Christ-child”.

    Last Christmas, a Church of Sweden pastor in Limhamn went further, tweeting: “Jesus of Nazareth has now appointed one of his successors, Greta Thunberg.”
    All very amusing, but for the fact that Thunberg’s new apocalyptic faith has now swept through the ABC…LINK FULL POST BEHIND PAYWALL

    11 Dec: Newsbusters: Nets Grovel Before Greta: She’s ‘Woke’ With a ‘Sweet Voice’ That’s ‘Inspired a Lot of Kids’
    By Kristine Marsh
    All three networks devoted reports Wednesday to hyping radical Swedish teen climate change activist Greta Thunberg being honored by Time Magazine today with their “Person of the Year” award. Journalists from ABC, NBC, and CBS all praised the “deserving” “good choice” and touted the teen “taking on” world leaders while “inspiring” other teens to become climate evangelists.

    NBC spent the most time groveling over Greta. They even had Time’s editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal on to puff up the teen as “the biggest voice on the biggest issue facing the planet this year,” leading a “worldwide movement.”…
    Today co-host Sheinelle Jones marveled at the 16-year-old’s “sweet voice” that she used to bash world leaders with at the UN summit: “And she’s got that sweet voice….Everybody thought, aww look at this cute little girl, and she went for it!”
    “She’s the face of young social activism,” fellow co-host Craig Melvin touted, adding that she was “woke.”…READ ON


  • #

    12 Dec: ABC: NSW bushfires could cripple forests’ ability to reabsorb carbon dioxide, climate scientists say
    By Kevin Nguyen
    Australia’s bushfires have been so devastating, the country’s forests may not be able to reabsorb the toxic carbon dioxide produced by the blazes, climate scientists say.
    Bushfires are normally considered to be “carbon neutral” because, unlike fossil fuels, their emissions output is reabsorbed when the vegetation in fire-affected areas regrows.
    However, experts fear the sheer scale and intensity of this year’s unprecedented fires, coupled with worsening drought conditions, has disrupted this recovery process.
    The NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment said it was yet to determine size of the fires’ carbon footprint.

    According to the Global Fire Emissions Database, the fires in the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil — which were burning at a rate not seen in almost a decade — added 14 million tonnes of carbon to the atmosphere this year.
    Pep Canadell, a senior research scientist at the CSIRO Climate Science Centre, said Australia’s forests had more in common with the Amazon than people would think.
    “We’re talking about very different sizes, of course. [There] are more carbon-dense forests in Amazonia than in Australia,” Dr Canadell said.
    “Having said that, a lot of [bush areas] burning now in NSW are actually exceptionally carbon-dense — they’re very tall and quite dense forests.
    “So from a per square metre or hectare level, we’re certainly not shy away from what is happening in the Amazon.”

    David Bowman, a professor of environmental change biology at the University of Tasmania, has been worried about this “nightmare scenario” for a decade.
    “In a stable climate it’s like a bank account, where a fire comes along and burns some forest and releases carbon,” he said.
    “When the forestry regrows it’s like putting money back into your account. Over the years, your bank balance account is about the same.”
    He said intense fires were like “huge transactions”, but the “high mortality rate” of NSW and Queensland forests meant they were not taking back the carbon being withdrawn.
    The blazes, he said, had been so savage that even the famously resilient dry sclerophyll and eucalyptus forests were not likely to regenerate effectively…

    Professor Bowman said we may already have entered a “slippery slope of negative feedback” where forests become sources of carbon instead of carbon sinks.
    “The nightmare scenario is that because of climate change, the forest isn’t able to recover itself,” he said.
    “Once we actually know for certain what’s happening, it’s going to be too late.
    “And this is a big thing to be wrong about.”


  • #

    Updated 11 Dec: ABC: ASIC investigating large companies’ climate change risk management
    By political reporter Jack Snape and senior business correspondent Peter Ryan
    The corporate watchdog has launched a new surveillance program to ensure Australia’s biggest companies are dealing with the risks of climate change…
    “We confirm we are undertaking this work but we do not, at this stage, intend to comment further on the nature of the surveillance work,” a spokeswoman said…

    Pressure extends to government-appointed directors
    The threat to directors being found negligent even applies to those on boards of government-owned businesses.
    Defence Force Chief Angus Campbell prepared a speech for senior managers in government agencies at a retreat in June that noted that Australia is in “the most natural disaster-prone region in the world” and “climate change is predicted to make disasters more extreme and more common”.
    At the same retreat, legal advice was circulated detailing directors’ obligations to address climate change risks, according to The Financial Review (LINK)…

    ASIC is expected to reveal the findings of its investigation by July…
    A report out on Wednesday from advisory firm KPMG noted that climate change is the “new normal”, with global climate-related losses the fourth highest on record at $76 billion.
    KPMG insurance partner Scott Guse told the ABC’s AM program that, in addition to big super funds and central banks, general insurers are now factoring climate risk into their investment decisions more than ever.
    “All the major insurers, as well as the Insurance Council of Australia, believe that climate change is present and it is certainly affecting the level and severity of catastrophic weather events that we’re seeing across the Australian countryside,” Mr Guse said.
    “It is certainly on the forefront of all insurance companies’ minds and it is certainly the new normal.”

    KPMG’s link to climate risk comes as superannuation funds, the Reserve Bank of Australia, the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) demand greater disclosure and action on climate change.
    Mr Guse said, in the face of current bushfires and dangerous smoke smothering Sydney, climate deniers need to face the facts.
    “I think the research is pretty clear that we are seeing increasing temperatures year upon year and we are seeing the frequency and severity of weather events, which do occur from climate change, increasing,” Mr Guse said.
    “So, I think the statistics are there, front and centre, for everyone to see.”


  • #

    11 Dec: ABC: Greens leader Richard Di Natale warns German firm it risks ‘reputational damage’ over Adani deal
    Exclusive by Josh Robertson
    German multinational Siemens has signed on to work for Adani’s Queensland coal mine in spite of a warning from Australian Greens leader Richard Di Natale that it risked damaging its global reputation over a “dangerous project”.
    Adani announced on Wednesday that Siemens had signed a deal to provide signalling for Adani’s rail network to haul coal from the Carmichael mine.

    Senator Di Natale wrote to Siemens boss Joe Kaeser in Munich on Tuesday, urging him to walk away from a “carbon bomb that the world cannot afford”.
    The Greens leader told Mr Kaeser in the letter that given Siemens’ “great work on clean energy technologies” and its collaborations with Australian universities it was “crucial that Siemens’ reputation stays in good health”.
    “There is a very real chance of reputational damage amongst the university sector, as well as across Australian and global operations generally as a result of Siemens profiting from the Adani mine,” Senator Di Natale wrote.
    “On behalf of millions of Australians, I urge you to not proceed with this contract and at least pause before signing on the 13th December, so that the board can properly consider the implications for Siemens, should this project proceed.”
    Instead, Siemens has proceeded with the deal two days earlier than expected…

    Senator Di Natale told the ABC Australians would be “appalled by this decision Siemens made”…
    Senator Di Natale said it appeared Adani had fast-tracked the contract after Siemens came under pressure from activists, including those who set up a protest camp outside Siemens’ Melbourne office on Wednesday.
    The ABC has seen documents leaked to activists by a number of Siemens staff to help with targeting the company…

    ‘Siemens staff hate the idea’
    Ben Pennings from the anti-mining group Galilee Blockade said Siemens was “making a billion-dollar gamble for a $31m contract”…
    “We expect staff will continue to leak information and Siemens can be assured we’ll act on it so the Adani coal railway never proceeds.”…


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      I hope Siemens continue to ignore di Natali’s bullying tactics. We need more people to refuse to cave in to the bully boys’ tactcs. I’m sick of everyone giving in to this behaviour on the part of the small minority who did not win any right to tell us all what to do.


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    11 Dec: SBS Insight: Where are they now: Climate sceptics nine years on
    Bushfires, melting glaciers, rising sea levels – what do climate sceptics make of global warming nine years after declaring they didn’t believe it was a thing.
    By Gemma Wilson
    Former Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull recently called out “climate deniers” within The Coalition party.
    Speaking on ABC’s Q&A program, the former PM said it “was nuts” that those on the right were questioning the existence of climate change.
    “The Coalition has a fundamental problem in dealing with climate change because there is a group within the Liberal Party and the National Party who deny the reality of climate change,” he said.

    The concept of climate deniers is not new. Back in 2010, Insight invited the late internationally renowned climatologist, Stephen Schneider to take on a room full of Australian climate change sceptics.
    Nine years on, what do some of those people think now? Have their opinions changed?…

    You can watch Insight’s program, The Sceptics, on SBS On Demand.


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    Another Ian

    Comment worth re-using IMO

    “If stupid was gravity, this event would create a black hole.”


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    11 Dec: SBS: ‘Cause for great concern’: Australia ranked last in global assessment on climate action
    Australia’s record on climate change has been panned in the latest Climate Change Performance Index tracking nation’s efforts to combat global warming.
    By Tom Stayner; With additional reporting from AFP and AAP.
    The Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) measures the emissions, renewable energy share and climate policies of 57 countries and the European Union.
    It has been released at COP25…

    According to the report, Australia, Saudi Arabia, and the United States give “cause for great concern” over their performance on emissions, renewable energy development and climate policy…
    (Australia’s) policies were given a 0.0 rating, in comparison the United Stated ranked one position higher held a 2.8 rating and the top-performing nation Portugal received a 98.7…
    (from the report): “While the government is not proposing any further targets for renewable energy beyond 2020, it continues to promote the expansion of fossil fuels and in April 2019 approved the opening of the highly controversial Adani coalmine.”…

    China, the world’s largest single emitter, was found to have taken “medium action” due to its high investment in renewables…
    Ursula Hagen from the environmental watchdog Germanwatch, who co-authored the accompanying report, said both the US and China were “at a crossroads” on climate…

    The global assessment cited destructive bushfires in Australia as a “pre-summer heatwave hits the country” as one example of the magnitude of the global climate crisis.

    Climate Change Performance Index: Country results
    (About: Germanwatch, the NewClimate Institute and the Climate Action Network publish the Index annually)


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    11 Dec: Rush Limbaugh: Horowitz Hearing Filled with Bogus “No Bias” BS
    RUSH: Well, if you’re watching this fiasco, I know that it’s frustrating to watch, and I gotta tell you, folks, it’s frustrating to have to come here and do this each and every day because every day we’re faced with bold-faced lies, misrepresentations, lawyerly, passionless explanations of things. But that’s what it is, that’s what we get to deal with, that’s what we will deal with.

    GRAHAM: Former FBI Director James Comey said this week that your report vindicates him. Is that a fair assessment of your report?
    HOROWITZ: I think the activities we found here don’t vindicate anybody who touched this…

    LIMBAUGH: There’s nothing but bias in this entire investigation, a bias that derives from personal, raw hatred for Donald Trump. This guy Horowitz is even asked about Page and Strzok and their texts. Lindsey Graham read them. CNN did not cover it, by the way. CNN did not cover Lindsey Graham’s opening statement. They had a panel discussing what they thought Lindsey Graham might be saying but they didn’t cover it.
    They didn’t start covering until Horowitz gave his statement…READ ON


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    Email sent Jo


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    Don A

    Sunshine Coast Christmas meeting of “Concerned Climate Citizens” had a great time with some wonderful people. Thanks for the idea Jo.


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    I know it’s the “Morning After” (or evening in this case) but just a note of virtual participation…

    We had Sushi Dinner and a bottle of Sake… or rather, I had a bottle of Sake… Oh did I get sake…

    It was very nice and very pleasant… then it was tomorrow 😉

    But I was with y’all. Virtually at least 😎