This thread is for discussion of Australian aspects of global warming.

266 Thoughts on “Australia

  1. Richard C (NZ) on October 23, 2013 at 3:50 pm said:

    >”And never has except for the brief period 1980 – 2000″

    Oops, wrong on reflection:

    “And never has” was sufficient. Law Dome CO2 had no relation to temperature and Mauna Loa – Temp is a stretch at best. The splice is another story.

  2. Jones’ specialities include

    Climate change risk assessment methods
    Communication of climate science; risk perception and the science-policy interface
    Technical skills in hydrology; climate scenario development; historical climate data analysis; impact modelling and uncertainty analysis

    ” Communication of climate science” I give E for effort

  3. Richard C (NZ) on October 23, 2013 at 5:12 pm said:

    Also at bottom of article:

    Roger Jones is currently shortlisted and seeking funding from the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre.

    “seeking funding” – no surprises, aren’t we all?

    “Bushfire and Natural Hazards” – wait, what?

  4. Richard C (NZ) on October 23, 2013 at 5:18 pm said:

    In my defense, I had the IPCC SPM attribution and Figure 1(a) in my head – amazing how propaganda sticks……..

  5. Richard C (NZ) on October 23, 2013 at 5:28 pm said:

    ‘UN official ‘talking out of her hat’ on bushfires and climate change, says Tony Abbott’

    Judith Ireland, Breaking News Reporter

    Prime Minister Tony Abbott has dismissed the comments of a senior UN official who said there was a clear link between bushfires and climate change, arguing ”fire is a part of the Australian experience”.


    Mr Abbott batted away the comments on Wednesday, saying that Australia had had ”bad fires” since the beginning of European settlement.

    ”Well I think the official in question is talking through her hat, if I may say so,” he told Fairfax Radio.

    ”Climate change is real as I’ve often said and we should take strong action against it. But these fires are certainly not a function of climate change, they’re a function of life in Australia.”

    In the interview with Fairfax Radio Mr Abbott also defended his decision to keep up his volunteer firefighting role.

    The Prime Minister spent Saturday night with the Davidson Rural Fire Brigade on a backburning operation near Bilpin.

    ”I love my service with the brigade, it helps to keep me grounded, quite apart from being an important form of community service,” he said.

    Read more:

  6. Richard C (NZ) on October 23, 2013 at 5:47 pm said:

    ‘Bushfires in Victoria 1851 Black Thursday’

    The largest Australian bushfire in European-recorded history that burnt an area of approximately 5 million ha. which covered a quarter of Victoria.

    1: Historical account of ” Black Thursday ” 1851.

    The year 1850 had been one of exceptional heat and drought……………….[…]

    2: Damage incurred during the four days of the bushfire.

    Fires covered a quarter of what is now Victoria.
    This spans approximately 5 million hectares.The areas affected include Portland, Plenty Ranges, Westernport, the Wimmera and Dandenong districts. Approximately 12 lives, one million sheep and thousands of cattle were lost.

    After five weeks of hot northerly winds, on the 6th of February,1851 known as Black Thursday, probably Victoria’s most extensive bushfires, apparently started in the Plenty Ranges when two bullock drivers left some logs burning which set fire to long, drought-parched grass.

    From an early hour in the morning a hot wind blew from the NNW, accompanied by 47C temperatures in Melbourne………..[…]

    4: Glowing embers land on ships 20 miles out to sea.


  7. Richard C (NZ) on October 23, 2013 at 5:59 pm said:

    Summary of Major Bush Fires in Australia Since 1851

    Select an article on this page.
    1: Major bushfires in Victoria.
    2: Chronology of Bushfires, hectares burnt and the death toll incurred.
    3: ” Black Saturday ” 7 th of February. 2009 Bushfire.
    4: The most vulnerable 52 Towns identified as high bushfire risk areas.
    5: Map of 52 Towns identified as high bushfire risk areas.
    6: The largest bushfires in Australia.
    7: Australian Bushfire Map 1997 – 2008.
    8: Deaths from wildfire / bushfire disasters worldwide
    9: Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission 2009 Public-Hearings
    10: The causes of bushfires, an 1855 and present perspective.
    11: Current Active Bushfire Map and Victorian Roads closure.

  8. Richard C (NZ) on October 23, 2013 at 6:09 pm said:

    3: ” Black Saturday ” 7 th of February. 2009 Bushfire.

    “The energy of the fires was equivalent to more than 1500 atomic bombs the size of the one used at Hiroshima,”

  9. I find something a bit distasteful about climate change activists using the fires as an excuse to promote their political agenda, whilst people are still in mortal danger

  10. Richard C (NZ) on October 23, 2013 at 7:28 pm said:

    Yes and survivors too, constrained by ‘green” regulations, who have already lost their homes and possessions. The Summary page above states:

    “Bushfires are a natural part of ecosystem processes in Australia. However, as human settlements expand into or adjacent to bushland areas, the risk to lives and property increases.” Source: The Australian Journal of Emergency Management, Vol. 22 No. 2, May 2007

    Ain’t that the truth? I’m always amazed at the proximity of houses to scrub and trees (fire fuel) but it’s the Australian way and the risk is attendant. Green anti-mitigation regulations only exacerbate the risk however. Then to blame a conflagration on climate change for political ends as it it has never happened before is very distasteful given that the regulations are a recent imposition.

    BTW I even find the filming of people in such distress distasteful at times (almost schadenfreude), it must be devastating. Apparently some of the volunteer firefighters lost their own homes while working in another location. These people are shocked and it makes an emotional film clip but what’s forgotten is that only an instant is shown, their loss goes on for years (like from earthquakes, tornadoes and tsunamis – but you know that).

  11. Richard C (NZ) on October 23, 2013 at 7:46 pm said:

    6: The largest bushfires in Australia.

    The largest and most frequent fires in Australia occur in the southern winter and spring – and occur in northern Australia.
    Over 98% of large bushfires occur outside the more densely populated south-east and south-west of the country.
    The Northern Territory experiences fires annually on a scale which dwarfs those in southern Australia.

    During the extreme year of 1974-1975
    “over 117 million ha or 15% of the total land area of the continent was burnt in central Australia during the fire season.

    # # #

    But you wont learn that from media reports, they only focus on “the more densely populated south-east and south-west of the country” where the human interest stories are.

  12. Mike Jowsey on October 27, 2013 at 2:17 pm said:

    Aussie PM: carbon tax is ‘socialism’

    The carbon tax was basically socialism masquerading as environmentalism, and that’s why it’s going to get abolished.”

    “If the Labor Party wants to give the people of Australia a Christmas present, they will vote to abolish the carbon tax. It was damaging the economy without helping the environment. It was a stupid tax. A misconceived tax,” Abbott added.

  13. Mike Jowsey on October 27, 2013 at 10:59 pm said:

    Is any other political party in the world likely to campaign on a carbon tax? Is any government in the world not likely to start retrenching their carbon tax plans? Good on Tony Abbott for his pragmatic and grass roots attitude. Maybe even our PM will start to have quiet discussions with Nick Smith about his reduced climate budget. Time to pressure them both methinks.

    The carbon tax is bad for the economy and it doesn’t do any good for the environment,” Abbott told The Washington Post.

  14. Richard C (NZ) on November 9, 2013 at 7:34 am said:

    97% topical in OZ at the moment:

    ‘Wendy Bacon’s Warmist Wonderland’

    The UTS academic’s 222-page study of Australian newspapers’ treatment of climate change is far worse than silly. It is more than a bit sinister

    by Tony Thomas

    ’97 per cent of warmists cite a 97 per cent that’s false’

    by Andrew Bolt

    Reader James on a deceptive meme that’s repeated by warmists with little seeming interest in the truth:

    “I have submitted this to ABC Fact Checkers”

    # # #

    Note that one of the last acts of the Keven Rudd government was to give ABC AU$10m for “fact checking”.

  15. Richard C (NZ) on November 13, 2013 at 7:40 pm said:

    Remember Bill at Hot Topic?

    bill October 25, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    At my workplace we are frequently plagued by a type of person who’s moved to the wooded hills, and then wants the place more-or-less nuked in order to protect them from inevitable bushfires…………………

    If he works in NSW he wont be “plagued” anymore:

    ‘Vegetation clearing rules to be eased in fire-prone parts of NSW’

    Peter Hannam, Environment Editor, The Sydney Morning Herald

    The NSW government plans to loosen planning rules to give residents in bushfire-prone regions more freedom to clear vegetation around their homes without a permit.

    The new rules, to be introduced next year in the next session of Parliament, would allow homeowners in designated areas to fell trees within 10 metres of their homes and clear shrubs and other vegetation out to 50 metres on their own land without requiring planning permission.

    Read more:

    “10 metres of their homes” = 20m diameter (1256.6 m2 or 0.1 hectares) + area of the home.

    “….out to 50 metres on their own land” = 100m diameter on their land (up to 31,415.9 m2 or 3.1 hectares) + area of the home

    So in a semi-rural cul-de-sac of 10 homes that’s potentially 1 hectare and 30 hectares respectively if everyone clears their land.

    The “carbon” released will be horrendous.

  16. Richard C (NZ) on November 13, 2013 at 8:23 pm said:

    Well, that was rubbish. Correcting:

    “10 metres of their homes” = 20m diameter ([314] m2 or [0.03] hectares) + area of the home.

    “….out to 50 metres on their own land” = 100m diameter on their land (up to [7854] m2 or [0.7] hectares) + area of the home

    So in a semi-rural cul-de-sac of 10 homes that’s potentially [0.3] hectare and [7] hectares respectively if everyone clears their land.

  17. That’s shocking. Putting people’s lives above those of trees. Bill won’t be happy at all

  18. Richard C (NZ) on December 22, 2013 at 7:44 am said:

    [Jennifer Marohasy] – I was disappointed to recently reread an article written in 2011 about the Murray River entitled ‘Water under the Bridge’. While its author, Kate Jennings, was sympathetic to my work, until I reread the piece I had forgotten her disparaging comments about my AGW scepticism. She wrote: “Jennifer Marohasy is a prominent climate-change sceptic, so her work on the barrages is dismissed out of hand.”

  19. Richard C (NZ) on February 14, 2014 at 7:17 pm said:

    ‘Confusion should give alarmists pause for thought’

    Written by Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun on February 12 2014.


    It’s farce like that [Ship of Fools] which helps explain why the CSIRO reported last week only 47 per cent of Australians buy its spin that the climate is changing and we’re to blame.

    Australians now rate global warming of “low importance”, the CSIRO sighed, and warmists faced “the challenge of finding the right language” to gee them up. But up bobs another Climate Change Research Centre scientist to show the warmists’ problem isn’t the “right language” but the false hype.

    Two years ago, Professor Matthew England appeared on the ABC’s Q&A to attack Nick Minchin, the former Howard government industry minister and a sceptic. Minchin had raised a puzzling fact: the planet had not warmed further since 1998.

    “Basically we’ve had a plateauing of temperature rise,” he said. CO2 emissions had soared, but “we haven’t had the commensurate rise in temperature that the IPCC predicted”.

    England’s response?

    “What Nick just said is actually not true. The IPCC projections from 1990 have borne out very accurately.”

    England later even accused sceptics of “lying that the IPCC projections are overstatements”.

    So imagine my surprise when England admitted last week there had been a “hiatus” and “plateau in global average temperatures” after all. Startled readers asked England to explain how he could call sceptics liars two years ago for mentioning a “plateau” he now agreed was real.

    England was defiant: “In terms of my comments on Q&A, I stand by them. Back then, the observations had not departed from the model projection range. In the past year or two, 2012 average and also 2013, that’s no longer the case.”

    What bull. In fact, five years ago the pause was already so obvious that Family First senator Steve Fielding confronted Penny Wong, Labor’s climate change minister.

    “Global warming quite clearly over the last decade hasn’t been actually occurring,” Fielding said, and showed Wong the temperature charts. Wong and her advisers — chief scientist Penny Sackett and climate scientist Will Steffen — said he was wrong. Journalists mocked him. Except, of course, the warming pause is now so obvious even England now admits it.

    True, the warmists always have excuses and the ABC reports each without noting how the latest contradicts the last. Last week it reported England’s new paper explaining the warming pause: “Stronger than normal trade winds in the central Pacific are the main cause of a 13-year halt in global surface temperature increases …”

    England now claims those stronger winds somehow drove the missing warming into the deep ocean.

    But only eight years ago the ABC reported the opposite: “The vast looping system of air currents that fuels Pacific trade winds … has weakened by 3.5 per cent over the past 140 years and the culprit is probably human-induced climate change.”



  20. Richard C (NZ) on August 28, 2014 at 2:09 pm said:

    ‘The crazy world of Renewable Energy Targets’

    JoNova, August 18th, 2014

    […] The RET scheme in Australian pays a subsidy to wind farms and solar installations. Below, Tom Quirk shows that this is effectively a carbon tax (but a lousy one), and it shifts supply — perversely taxing brown coal at $27/ton, black coal at $40/ton and gas at up to $100/ton. Because it’s applied to renewables rather than CO2 directly, it’s effectively a higher tax rate for the non-renewable but lower CO2 emitters. […]

    Renewable energy sources – Complications!

    Guest post by Tom Quirk

  21. Richard C (NZ) on August 28, 2014 at 8:00 pm said:

    RET Review report
    Renewable Energy Target Scheme
    Report of the Expert Panel

    Report of the Expert Panel – Full Report [PDF]
    Report of the Expert Panel – Executive Summary and Recommendations [PDF]

    ACIL Allen Modelling Report

    ACIL Allen RET Review Modelling – Full Report [PDF]
    ACIL Allen RET Review Modelling – Executive Summary [PDF]

    Report of the Expert Panel – HTML Version

    Executive Summary

    Executive Summary
    Key points

    # The objectives of the Renewable Energy Target (RET) are to: encourage the additional generation of electricity from renewable sources; reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the electricity sector; and ensure that renewable energy sources are ecologically sustainable.

    # The RET has encouraged significant new renewable electricity generation, which has almost doubled as a result of the scheme. Installations of small-scale systems have exceeded expectations, with output from these systems already exceeding levels anticipated for 2020. To date, the RET has delivered a modest level of emissions reductions.

    # With the renewables industry now established in Australia, the main rationale for the RET hinges on its capacity to contribute towards the Government’s emissions reduction target in a cost effective manner. However, the RET is a high cost approach to reducing emissions because it does not directly target emissions and it only focuses on electricity generation. It promotes activity in renewable energy ahead of alternative, lower cost options for reducing emissions that exist elsewhere in the economy. In the presence of lower cost alternatives, the costs imposed by the RET are not justifiable.

    # The economic landscape has changed significantly since the current RET was adopted in 2010. In particular, demand for electricity has been declining and forecasts for electricity demand in 2020 are now much lower. Rather than adding generation capacity to meet growth in electricity demand, the RET is contributing to a large surplus of generation capacity.

    # The current RET would require a further $22 billion cross-subsidy to the renewables sector in net present value (NPV) terms over the remainder of the scheme (in addition to the $9.4 billion cross-subsidy provided from 2001 to 2013) and encourage more than $15 billion (in NPV terms) of additional investment in renewable generation capacity to 2020. This investment comes at the expense of investment elsewhere in the economy and the additional generation capacity is not required to meet the demand for electricity.

    # Analyses suggest that, overall, the RET is exerting some downward pressure on wholesale electricity prices. This is not surprising given that the RET is increasing the supply of electricity when electricity demand has been falling. Artificially low wholesale electricity prices can distort investment decisions in the electricity market and are unlikely to be sustained in the long term. Over time, all other things being equal, wholesale electricity prices could be expected to rise to better reflect the cost of generating electricity.

    # The direct costs of the RET currently increase retail electricity bills for households by around four per cent, but modelling suggests that the net impact of the RET over time is relatively small. The impact on emissions-intensive trade-exposed businesses and other industries is significantly greater. The RET does not generate an increase in wealth in the economy, but leads to a transfer of wealth among participants in the electricity market.

    # The Expert Panel has recommended options to the Australian Government for both the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target and the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme. The Panel considers the Government should emphasise alternative, lower cost approaches to reducing emissions in the Australian economy. In putting forward its recommendations, the Expert Panel has been mindful of the impacts particular options will have on those who have invested in renewables on the basis of the RET as currently legislated.

  22. Richard C (NZ) on September 11, 2014 at 12:14 pm said:

    ‘Newspapers as the guardians of hot history’

    By Jennifer Marohasy

    […] I went and checked not only the old newspapers but also the book in the national archive, because, guess what? The Bureau of Meteorology is claiming it was all a clerical error. They have scratched this record made on 3rd January 1909 from the official record for Bourke, which means it’s also scratched from the NSW and national temperature record.

    Yep. It never happened. No heatwave back in 1909.

    They have also wiped the heatwave of January 1896. This was probably the hottest January on record, not just for Bourke, but Australia-wide. Yet according to the rules dictated by the Bureau, if it was recorded before 1910, it doesn’t count.

    ‘1953 Headline: Melbourne’s weather is changing! Summers getting colder and wetter’

    By Joanne Nova

    Once upon a time — before the Great Politicization of Climate Science — CSIRO was able to analyze trends from 1880 to 1910. In 1953 CSIRO scientists were making a case that large parts of Australia had been hotter in the 1880s and around the turn of last century. >>>>>

    See also ‘Temperature Records’ thread:

  23. Richard C (NZ) on September 11, 2014 at 12:40 pm said:

    ‘Bureau of Meteorology warms to transparency over adjusted records’

    Graham Lloyd, The Australian
    September 11, 2014 12:00AM [Paywall]

    THE Bureau of Meteorology has been forced to publish details of all changes made to historic temperature records as part of its homogenisation process to establish the nation’s climate change trend. Publication of the reasons for all data adjustments was a key recommendation of the bureau’s independent peer review panel which approved the bureau’s ACORN SAT methodology.

    ‘Scientists should know better: the truth was out there’

    Graham Lloyd, The Australian
    September 11, 2014 12:00AM [Paywall]

    IT reflects poorly on key members of Australia’s climate science establishment that tribal loyalty is more important than genuine inquiry. Openness not ad hominem histrionics was always the answer for lingering concerns about what happened to some of the nation’s temperature records under the Bureau of Meteorology’s process of homogenisation.

  24. Richard C (NZ) on February 22, 2015 at 11:17 am said:

    Ted O’Brien.
    February 22, 2015 at 7:14 am · Reply

    This was all recorded in Australia a century ago.


    “We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanrahan,
    In accents most forlorn,
    Outside the church, ere Mass began,
    One frosty Sunday morn.

    The congregation stood about,
    Coat-collars to the ears,
    And talked of stock, and crops, and drought,
    As it had done for years.

    “It’s lookin’ crook,” said Daniel Croke;
    “Bedad, it’s cruke, me lad,
    For never since the banks went broke
    Has seasons been so bad.”

    “It’s dry, all right,” said young O’Neil,
    With which astute remark
    He squatted down upon his heel
    And chewed a piece of bark.

    And so around the chorus ran
    “It’s keepin’ dry, no doubt.”
    “We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanrahan,
    “Before the year is out.

    “The crops are done; ye’ll have your work
    To save one bag of grain;
    From here way out to Back-o’-Bourke
    They’re singin’ out for rain.

    “They’re singin’ out for rain,” he said,
    “And all the tanks are dry.”
    The congregation scratched its head,
    And gazed around the sky.

    “There won’t be grass, in any case,
    Enough to feed an ass;
    There’s not a blade on Casey’s place
    As I came down to Mass.”

    “If rain don’t come this month,” said Dan,
    And cleared his throat to speak–
    “We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanrahan,
    “If rain don’t come this week.”

    A heavy silence seemed to steal
    On all at this remark;
    And each man squatted on his heel,
    And chewed a piece of bark.

    “We want a inch of rain, we do,”
    O’Neil observed at last;
    But Croke “maintained” we wanted two
    To put the danger past.

    “If we don’t get three inches, man,
    Or four to break this drought,
    We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanrahan,
    “Before the year is out.”

    In God’s good time down came the rain;
    And all the afternoon
    On iron roof and window-pane
    It drummed a homely tune.

    And through the night it pattered still,
    And lightsome, gladsome elves
    On dripping spout and window-sill
    Kept talking to themselves.

    It pelted, pelted all day long,
    A-singing at its work,
    Till every heart took up the song
    Way out to Back-o’Bourke.

    And every creek a banker ran,
    And dams filled overtop;
    “We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanrahan,
    “If this rain doesn’t stop.”

    And stop it did, in God’s good time;
    And spring came in to fold
    A mantle o’er the hills sublime
    Of green and pink and gold.

    And days went by on dancing feet,
    With harvest-hopes immense,
    And laughing eyes beheld the wheat
    Nid-nodding o’er the fence.

    And, oh, the smiles on every face,
    As happy lad and lass
    Through grass knee-deep on Casey’s place
    Went riding down to Mass.

    While round the church in clothes genteel
    Discoursed the men of mark,
    And each man squatted on his heel,
    And chewed his piece of bark.

    “There’ll be bush-fires for sure, me man,
    There will, without a doubt;
    We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanrahan,
    “Before the year is out.”

    John O’Brien.

    John O’Brien was the pen name used by Father Patrick Joseph Hartigan. This poem was published in 1921 in “Around the Boree Log.”

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