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This webpage updated 20 March, 2020 - (This is the last page of this series)
You can find much greater detail for the timeframes 1550-1700 at a new website now almost finished ... THE BUSINESS OF SLAVERY... a website book also designed to bring genealogical studies up-to-date from 1530 to the present-day... as well as questions of merchant lives and activities... Click now to... The Business of Slavery (in English history).
This Merchants and Bankers Listings website is now years old ... Its timeline material on economic history (for 1560-1930) is being moved to a website managed by Ken Cozens and Dan Byrnes, The Merchant Networks Project. This website now emphasizes data on modern developments, mostly on modern/technical industry, computing, and for the future, today's climate change problems. The editor's view is that in the context of climate change/Anthropogenic Global Warming, the views of Merchants and Bankers (and Economists, politicians), the keepers of matters economic, are due for a considerable shake-up. If this website can encourage the shake-up, and help inform it reliably, well and good. -Ed
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Picture at right: Firefighters struggle against a strong wind in an effort to secure houses from bushfires near the town of Nowra, New South Wales, Australia. Photograph about New Year, 2019 by Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images.
SMH, 1-2 Feb., 2020: News Review section: Has a story on Boris Dancing in a post-Brexit UK, wundebar. Plus a wonderful column from Peter Hartcher on the deficiencies of ScoMo as Prime Minister of Australia. He ironically quotes the French democrat Alexandre Ledru-Rollin: "There go the people - I must follow them, for I am their leader." ScoMo has now spent months refusing to become active about Australia's bushfires, which in the view of UK naturalist Sir David Attenborough are "a major international catastrophe". ScoMo has abdicated leadership, whereas only governments can provide frameworks that work for sensible investors. ScoMo sent in the army reserves, but he failed to mention it to the NSW RFS commissioner - why not? It would have cost him only a phone call, five minutes of his time. But why? And so, you only get one chance to make a good first impression, and things are such that ScoMo has no hope left. That's the way it is.
(Poem 973 of 27-12-2019 by Dan Byrnes
[with great apologies to Bob Dylan, Positively 4th Street, (1965) one of the greatest and most memorable insults ever uttered by any American])
Like any koala hit by a sudden bushfire,
like any decent Christian bloke faced with extinction,
he still believes in miracles,
he still believes in ... resurrection.
He's brave. He gets on TV and utters platitudes,
as if he cares, about thoughts and prayers,
and all sorts of really cheap stuff,
like a huge collection of city mayors; but just how much can one Panda bear?
Welcome to Australia - a place now in trouble. Go figure.
Credit: Photo by Anon.
|Still, if you"re thinking tourism, visit Australia by all means - just don't go near the koalas, as that's where the bushfires might be ... Go figure. - Ed|
He went to Hawaii and his department lied about it,
and said, "I know, let's kill the messenger?"
Then he came home and apologised for going away,
and hid in a new category he called "The Hillsong Guessenger".
He played, This is an Act of God, or it's not.
He hoped, this would all go away.
He stayed high in his helicopter and he wouldn't come down,
because he's actually afraid of all the Real Aussies who are burning today.
Oh, Beloved Scott Morrison, Beloved Sir,
we know where you were when we needed you.
At the Taxation Dept, hoping to defend The Take and The Surplus,
while all the rest of Australia is sooooo boohoo ...
About climate change, or is that, Anthropogenic Global Warming?
Using too-little force about a real disaster?
A wimp, a gutless bastard, a shadow of a real man,
a politician, an inadequate person, whose passive thoughts are all ... after ...
This is government by hindrance,
this is a genuine version of "I'm not going".
This, bigtime, is, "Where the bloody hell are ya?",
where went the CEO of Boeing.
Scott Morrison, Prime Minister of Australia, and Donald Trump, President of USA, in 2019. BTW, Australian firefighter advice for ScoMo - "Never go into a room you can't get out of ...". There is also excellent advice for ScoMo to heed from the US army manual - "Remember, when they're in range, so are you."
Credit: Photo by Unknown.
Oh Sco Mo, Sco Mo, we needed you so,
but you were off with the blessed fairies.
Why don't you stay there, then, where they live?
And leave us to stare stupefied at our burned-out bushland, now so airy?
Oh ScoMo, ScoMo, let me hate you as I want to,
let me burn you with my scorn.
You espouse a religion that says "Love your enemies."
Try this on for size then, and let me wish that you'd never been born.
Weekend Australian, 1-2 Feb., 2020, News pages: And well well, how good are rhetorical questions? Our Australian bushfires are actually off the front page (they've migrated, to the Enquirer section). So relax, everyone. GM in the USA is bringing back The Hummer as an electric ute. While in Australia, gas it seems is not a fossil fuel, it's a valuable "transition fuel" of great use while we transition to where-ever it is that we're going, or being herded by climate change might be a better way to put it. But there's a bushfire on the outskirts of Canberra as Australia, being a bit hot, braces for a day of extremes. And work on Snowy 2.0 (for hydro-electricity) may, sigh, cost us a trout lake? Well, not to worry, as you can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs, can you!
From Weekend Australian, 1-2 Feb., 2020, Enquirer section, we find Rupert Murdoch's ambivalence about climate changes at play, as with a sensible article on human-caused warming by Pep Canadell, who is a chief research scientist with CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere and also the executive director of Global Carbon Project. But the Conservative guru from Sydney, Gerard Henderson, from whichever planet he lives on, feels that some of leading journos of Australia are out of touch with our nation's key issues - and how disastrous would this be? He means ABC journos, not his fellow scribes at Propaganda Corp - but well, the gloves are now off and this is probably a good thing, as with smoke haze clearing from Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney, it clears the air considerably ...
A famous rhetorical question in Australia that perhaps ScoMo forgot about - how much can a Koala bear? And the answer is: no more of ScoMo, thank you very much.
Credit: Photo from Tourism Australia.
|I should be so lucky! Lucky. Lucky. Lucky.|
Peter Jennings (who has defence department experience) is headlined - "If we're at war with nature, let's call in the professionals - the Prime Minister should waste no time in creating a military force to combat natural disasters". Of course, this Jenning's article, apart from assuming that most of Australian society is at "war with nature", and whether or not such would be permitted by the Australian Constitution, rather fudges the question - what really is a "natural disaster". This webpage feels our Australian fires are disastrous right enough, but what is arguable is how natural they are? What after all is natural about Anthropogenic Global Warming?
We also find an interesting, climate-change denialist argument from Bjorn Lomborg, who amongst other things is a visiting professor at Copenhagen Business School. Lomborg has pretty much a "business as usual" view of these Australian issues and refuses to answer the question this webpage feels is relevant: if Australia is warming, is the rest of this round earth warming as well ...? The single question that so many Australian politicians are too gutless to ask or to answer. And this webpage raises the same objections to Lomborg's argument, that it does to the proponents of "Aboriginal cool burning": that apart from global warming, Australia's settlement patterns have changed - this island-continent and its resources are different today and so are its fires ... Australia with most past bushfires had, for example, no mobile phone towers to wonder about - their location, their functioning. Measures such as fire-controlling our national parks, eg., reduction of fuel loads (which are also an employment and so a funding matter quite independent of the whims of Australian journalists), are contentious-and-expensive enough. Australia's modern settlement patterns embrace matters such as tree density, fuel loads, the siting of liquid fuel depots, farm locations and associated traffic loads on roads, bus routes and school locations, caches of poisons, bridges (wooden or concrete?) over watercourses, highways/roads and the sitings of national parks, siting of roads or electricity lines in rural areas. It all looks rather different and developed to us as compared to years ago, and so there is little point, today, in mentioning bad fires of years ago. Actually, bushfires in Australia, and certainly internationally (as quite different vegetation is burning) are not comparable, as theatres of war, or particular battles, are as comparable as apples and oranges. These arguments as used by the Murdoch press and by Bjorn Lomborg (and also Chris Kenny) seem both specious and false to us. They do not answer or talk to the essential question - which is: is global warming indeed global? Are these Australian bushfires just a prelude from an unexpected continent - however fire-prone - for "a new normal" for every other continent on earth? And a lot of islands as well.
1-2-2020: SMH 1-2 Feb. 2020: Front Page: Economists warn that "unprecedented bushfires" plus the corona virus threaten to drive Australia into its first recession in thirty years. Page 2: NSW is advised to switch off air conditioning to save the electricity grid. Page 3: Famed Australian singer/songwriter Paul Kelly releases song against climate inaction, titled Sleep, Australia, Sleep. South coast of NSW is set for another bad day and "everyone is on edge". Climate change is now acting on stocks of eating fish that are popular in Australia, in the Southern Ocean, where scientists report rising temperatures and changing marine environments: the area affected is known as The Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery, which moves from southern WA under Australia east to the NSW-Qld border. Some marine species are also shifting location.
2-2-2020: BBC Headlines: Canberra escapes the worst as fires rage on, but 23% of ACT territory (or about one fifth) is now affected). Lightning strikes remain a risk.
In Australia by today there are bushfires alight, some being attended to, some not. Meanwhile, sports rorter Bridget MacKenzie has resigned as Minister for Agriculture and she may well step aside as deputy-leader of The National Party. Gee, what will Barnaby Joyce think/do? It is likely MacKenzie will be replaced by Qld MP David Littleproud. One wonders whom current Nationals leader McCormack would prefer to work with, as no one seems to be thinking of this.
Significant rain events predicted for Qld and NSW. Ross Gittins in the Business section of SMH refers in passing to "she'll be right ScoMo".
2-2-2020: An observation from your webmaster in his private capacity as a historian ... So far we have in Australian media ... (I read newspapers, I watch an awesome volume of TV news) ... heard little about the ill-effect on history of these current (since September 2019) bushfires - nothing about the burning of properties, entire houses, caches of documents (personal and/or business letters), photographs, regional histories, the destruction of families, the desolation of entire towns/villages, rates income for rural municipalities, loss of serious collections ... the lists go on ... What will happen here? We need to ask Australia's senior university historians in 43 universities, in both town and cities: what goes on here? Incidentally, why are the world's historians so bad at indicating our planet's bouts of climate change in the past, such that we are now confused about what the facts actually are and what they mean? If Australia is the land of Lest We Forget, how come we remember so badly?
3-2-2020: Still fires burn somewhere in Australia. In a surprise move after MacKenzie retires, Greens national leader (Dr.) Richard di Nitale has suddenly resigned too, citing family reasons. He is predictably replaced by Adam Bandt from Melbourne.
3-2-2020: SMH p. 12 reports that more than 250 international scientists have called for deep cuts to Australian greenhouse gas emissions, and emphasized that peer-reviewed literature points to clear links between Australia's bushfires and anthropogenic climate change. SMH reports that NSW Parliament will devote a week to bushfire condolences and that voters remain angry at ScoMo's bushfire responses ("catastrophic failure at leadership" etc).
Mayors want rates help for fire-ravaged communities - they apologise for sending out rates notices lately, sometimes to people who do not actually have properties anymore (councils in NSW are obliged by legislation to send out rates notices about now).
Koala massacre alleged in Victoria. Koalas are listed as "vulnerable" but this atrocity is independent of Australia's disastrous bushfires. On 4-2-2020 BBC Headlines says "Australia should be ashamed" and "Koalas found dead at logging site". (About 40 of them.) Victoria's government is looking into the matter.
Stephanie Westcott (an ex-teacher and now a Monash university doctoral candidate) wants to see Australian teachers with a climate change response plan whether students are climate activists or not. And p. 15., the US White House is in turmoil (again) as there is a stormy e-mail reaction to Pres. Trump's "crazy plam" to pontificate re his September 2019 ideas that Hurricane Dorian might hit Alabama. This notion has been called "crazy" by a top official at US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It's an old story, actually, now about e-mail disputes, but for one thing it indicates how the Trump administration continues to erode trust in once-respected US institutions. This webpage asks: can you now and without sanction think whatever you like in the USA, no matter how loopy it might be?
3-2-2020: Evening TV news: MP for New England (unfortunately this webpage's home electorate) and One-Nation-lookalike Barnaby Joyce says on evening TV news that he will tomorrow morning contest the leadership of The National Party (ie, he will create a spill motion), which in turn, if he were successful, would make him again the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia. A horrifying thought, so this website, trying to find its way between greater and lesser evils, mind you, plumbs for the incumbent, Mr. Michael McCormack, sheesh, a defender of Bridget McKenzie.
3-2-2020: Media Watch on ABC TV: Gets stuck into New Corps/Rupert Murdoch for blatant "climate-denialism". Are arsonists (183 police charges by 10-1-2020 but not all are for arson) responsible for this fire carnage? Or is it all a Murdoch media beat-up? There are 1% of fire cases in NSW due to arson but most fire cases are due to lightning strikes. On QandA the former major-general and now a Senator NSW, Jim Molan, lets the cat out of the bag re climate denialism - "I'm not relying on evidence ..."
3-2-2020: Observation from an astute woman at end of Q&A tonight: No one knows what will happen when kids from various parts of Australia get back to school and swap their bushfire stories with their friends. We still have to find out about this. So this webpage asks: will this childish news soon travel to Canberra or not, and will Canberra listen?
3-2-2020: Environment: Climate Change International: Milan, Italy has smog problems. Somalia declares state of emergency re locust plague, according to BBC Headlines. SMH reports that an illegal logger had died in a northern Brazil raid on an area for illegal deforestation.
4-2-2020: Whew! There's politics and there's politics. ScoMo from Maketing is now asking the States who should head the new Royal Commission into our bushfires. Meantime, too, One-Nation-lookalike-yet-former-leader-of-The-National-Party, Barnaby Joyce, is not however the new leader of The National Party. The incumbent MCCormack retains the job, assisted by his new deputy, David Littleproud. But "experts" say it's not over yet, it was very close (10-11 they say. others say 15-6) [The National Party is not good enough to tell us] and Barnaby, no matter how destabilising this is for the Liberals, the coalition partners of the Nats, may have another go at this near-the-top job. So watch this space!
4-2-2020: Business Council of Australia is planning to help certain fire-ravaged towns in NSW get back on their feet. crikey.com: Firefighters get some reprieve as blazes ease in the Snowy region. Also, an item re the "fire fight" at News Corp, or as we now term it, Propaganda Corp.
4-2-2020: Will Australia soon be plunged into recession re (a) bushfires effects and (b) corona virus problems?
5-2-2020: crikey.com says artists hijack advertising spaces to call for climate action. In UK, Boris Johnson seems to agree, that climate change is with us, he agrees that eg, ice is melting etc; so he has banned non-electric cars from 2035. That is, UK has now changed its ban on the sale of petrol, diesel and hybrid cars to be effective from 2040 to 2035. Mr. Johnson views 202 as a defining year for climate action for the planet, and has in mind a November 2020 UN climate summit. Which raises the question, what will Australia have to say for itself at this summit?
Guardian in Australia reports disputes in Cabinet re climate change (or not) - is it happening? Climate change is predicted to have greatest effect in the richest biodiversity areas hardest hit in Australia. Most of the Blue Mountains heritage area has been burned. East Gippsland in Vic will put proceeds of a fish lotto to bushfire recovery. Sydney area can look forward to good rains. NSW Nn Rivers has a flash flooding warning.
And what on earth is the National Party thinking? You'd imagine they'd be busy trying to swat off the locusts of irrelevance they face, rather than being outmoded and talking about such tired old topics as building more coal-fired power stations in Northern Queensland. BTW this webpage was reading a US article about the future-orientated investment side of "climate change matters" - the observation is made that executives will not speak about climate change in the same candid ways that they will speak about other difficult matters, such as testicular cancer, or bankruptcy. It is thus interesting to ask: why is this odd semantic behaviour? What's with ScoMo, the National Party and their pals at Propaganda Corp that aren't with eg Boris Johnson in UK? Is this some new form of global imbalance? Or some mistaken emphasis on regional problems? As with the apparent US puzzlement re cold snaps? Whereas Australian burns!
How cheap is fame in the USA?
Who do we prefer? John Denver or Donald Trump? You decide! (Credit: Photo by Anon.)
5-2-2020: Evening TV news: Intending NSW new insurers need to anticipate a 4%-6% price rise in premiums, as this summer's disasters have been so expensive. Climate Change International: Flood warnings in New Zealand eg at Gore (South Island.) Evacuations etc.
6-2-2020: Media warnings issued on flash floodings in parts of s/e Queensland/Nn NSW. Mention on afternoon Channel 10 News but without explanation (do they know quite what they are talking about?) of a "rain bomb" now being active in parts of NSW? Byron Bay and Ballina have had notable rains says Tim ("Trust me, I'm a weatherman") Bailey.
6-2-2020: Late evening TV News: It seems that One-Nation-lookalike Barnaby Joyce might have another crack at McCormack re the leadership of The National Party. The pretext this time being "climate change" (or not as the case may be), Barnaby being of course a huge nonbeliever in said "climate change". So be afraid, be very very afraid (again). Gee, are Australia's farmers with it and are they just with it? Better watch this space (again). What's gonna happen here? The suspense is really killing some of us and leaving the rest of us literally prostrate with suspense! Indeed, is this worse than the bushfires? And the answer is: a resounding no! Luckily, late nite, Channel Seven Mate advertises a bushfire-victim benefit concert starring eg Celeste Barber. You see, Celeste Barber quickly raised more than $50 million for bushfire victims, which is a damn sight more than B. Joyce ever raised for anything, for any reason at all. Go figure.
7-2-2020: Sunset TV, Sydney could now get the "rain bomb" that Byron Bay or Coffs Harbour has had? Sydney overnight might get as much as 150-200mm of rain, so Sydneysiders have been warned to stay at home to avoid sudden risks of flash flooding. One-Nation-lookalike Barnaby Joyce is meantime making troublesome noises/threats to The National Party/Calition, it seems to be the season for same; the Federal Coalition government has a very slim margin indeed that Mr Joyce and his friends can threaten with relative ease. NSW has about 39 fires still active.
8-2-2020: Cyclone Damien/high winds bear down on n/w coast WA, and Pilbara towns of Karratha, Dampier. NSW can expect heavy rain, mostly on the coast.
8-2-2020: SMH News section: From Bushfires to floods in eastern Australia: Beach closures expected in Sydney as erosion fears grow: Rain tops up NSW dams but there are risks of contaminations. Tasters for the wine industry work to check for smoke taint in grape harvests. Politicians "ridiculous" insulting Thunberg -ex-Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull ... "Politicians 'from Donald Trump down' who insulted teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg made themselves absoutely ridiculous", said Turnbull, adding that politicians who cannot admit their mistakes are "pathetic". "There is nothing more ridiculous than middle-aged or adult people, politicians in particular, mocking or deriding teenagers for expressing political opinion. ..." Turnbull also called-out what he called the "toxic alliance" of "right-wing politics where global warming is seen as some sort of ideological or religious issue." Turnbull's remarks were made at a conference named Side by Side, hosted by Sydney's Wayside Chapel. Armidale NSW has light, intermittent rain.
From bushfires to floods in eastern Australia? Yes, but why? But how? Why? Due to monsoonal lows? Or is La Nina suddenly active (the bearer of floods for eastern Australia, she is the little sister of El Nino which gives us our droughts, but not this time, our current droughts are due to the Indian Ocean Dipole. La Nina is a weather system spread out across the mid-and-south Pacific Ocean.) It does seem as though the Indian Ocean Dipole is no longer active and bringing us drought in Australia. Are our rains (which are NOT BTW drought-breaking) due to lows from the Asian Pacific, or is anything happening as far south as the Antarctic?
And well ... in the face of determined ignorance from some Australian politicians, if the Australian media won't be good enough to engage in a much-needed public education campaign about climate or climate change, this website will! The unfortunate situation for Planet Earth is now that the planet is warming due to Anthropogenic Climate Change - that is, man-made things are warming the planet's surface too much for bearability - even if we speak of a rise of "only" 1.6 degrees Centigrade or so - enough to make Eastern Australia burn. In the USA, Natioan Academy of Sciences had indeed been sceptical about global warming till 2005, when it began to issue warnings.
There are absolute (the rises in temperature-as-measured) and relative aspects of this (the rate(s) of warming). But all this is not being believed, or it is believed in ineffective ways, and despite globally-orientated efforts, ignorant politicians in various countries can "regionalise" these differential global effects and so argue that these effects are not global. For starters, let's ignore ocean currents, which are complicated, but are understood to be stable systems - that is, at least partly understood.
Basically, Western Europe is warmed by the Gulf Stream of the Atlantic, first identified as recently as by Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), and so is a little insulated from the worst of cold snaps and confusing re warmer snaps. (Cold snaps are here understood as absences of heat, they are due to some form of heat imbalance). North America (USA and Canada) are being subjected to confusing sets of warm/cold snaps. Greenland is de-icing and will contribute to rises in ocean levels. South America has vast areas of forest or rainforest and is particularly susceptible to deforestation - and in the Andes Mountains it has glaciers. Antarctica is warming (and losing ice, which means rising sea levels). Africa is suffering from droughts vs excess water (floods) and excess insects (locust plagues in Eastern Africa.) Middle East is suffering differential effects. Poland in Eastern Europe has had floods and tornados, both due to excess heat. Asia is dominated by the Asian Monsoon (which might be on the verge of starting to wobble) and glacier-fed rivers (several of them) with their sources in the Himalayas. These rivers help feed areas of China and from India east to Vietnam. Australia as we know has been burning - and it has no glaciers. The oceans are warming - and acidifying.
But in some countries, and Australia is included, unfortunately, ignorant politicians are being allowed by supine electorates to pretend that they cannot read the global texts-and-numbers concerning global warming and are arguing - all sorts of weird things. In fact, scientists, after their long and tedious experiments, who usually only have to fight off the effects of religions, now as well have to fight off the effects of this unbelief in the reality of global warming, an effort they find as necessary as it is inexplicable.
And so in Australia, we are met with the contradiction, as in anti-ignorant-politician cartoonists, of some politicians demanding we use the best of modern scientific standards against (say) the corona virus from China while other politicians are allowed to NOT use the best of modern scientific standards regarding climate change ... As if it were logical, possible or desireable to have more than one standard being applied. And there is only one thing to be done with these ignorantly destructive politicians - vote them out. Enough said. Remember, politics is a numbers game. It therefore follows that holding power is a numbers game too. Also in 8-2-2020 SMH, items re electric cars and nuclear power.
8-2-2020: Antarctica records highest temperatures since records began, as high as 18.3 centigrade, which seems quite high to us; by the 14th it hits 20.75 degrees Centigrade. So is there more ice melt? While in New Delhi in India, poorer people are finding that groundwater is drying.
Barnaby, Barnaby, Barnaby, where were you when my weatherboard-and-iron was burning? Joyce meantime is lampooned on Insiders of 9-2.2020. Let's also now hear Tone Abbott criticise the ABC - while people are still relying on it for weather news.
Late lunchtime TV News: Dalby in Queensland has flood alert. Parts of NSW have torrential weather and/or high winds. Authorities in WA are now assessing damage from Cyclone Damien. A LOT of rain. Evening TV News: Labor said to be sending mixed signals re coal (it is not only Liberal/Coalition MPs who are idiots and can't read as far as climate change issues are concerned re voter confusions).
Getcha climate change sausages here ...
Credit: Photo by Anon.
8-9 Feb., 2002: The weekend papers: The Australian exults in the seemingly drought-breaking rains but laments that asbestos contamination is slowing bushfire recovery. (Just how much asbestos did Australia's builders use years ago?) Now that bushfire emergencies seem over, the newspaper turns its attentions to signs of political unrest. While, oh dear, the chief Boris dancer of them all, Boris Johnson, now PM of the UK, "must embrace the detail of climate debate." (Which seems to this webpage like a wild card. The wildest card of all?) The Australian's Paul Kelly sees ScoMo as having a pull off a new climate balancing act. (This webpage would like to see this.) Or, "The carnival is over" feels political editor Dennis Shanahan. Chris Kenny is convinced that "There is nothing about the climate debate in Australia that is normal. The level of misinformation is disturbing and deliberate". (This is because there is nothing normal about today's sort of climate change, Mr Kenny, it's man-made, it's not normal.) While it seems from the Australian's finance pages that one of the electricity providers that Mr Joyce of the NP will have to blame for backing off from coal is (gasp) Shell. (Perhaps someone should name for Mr Joyce ALL the investors lately backing away from coal? And what about fusion energy?) Finance journalist Terry McCrann meantime thinks "fake news" in Australia is provided by the ABC, the Nine broadloids, the Guardian and other rabble too undignified to name. So there. This seems to be because he is pro-coal and they are not. Yes, very objective! While in the SMH News Review, Peter Hartcher describes Australia's senior politicos as "masters of delusion".
From crikey.com on 10-2-2020: ABC chair Ita Buttrose says disaster coverage does not come cheap. Food drops for distressed wildlife may have to go on for a year till bushfire areas improve. National Party chaos as MP for Wide Bay and Barnaby Joyce backer, Llew O'Brien from Queensland, "resigns". One-Nation-lookalike Mr. Joyce meanwhile asks if the overseas buyers of Australian coal for their coal-fired power stations are idiots, and yes, they are idiots, Mr. Joyce, if they are still buying Australian coal for their coal-fired power stations. Rumours circulate that climate change denier Andrew Bolt has due to the bushfires become a new climate change believer, new about which we remain very very cautious. SMH reports that "Coalition rethinks climate targets". Chaos on East Coast as storms bring evacuations, power failures. Electricity grid problems for solar power sources. Prospects are searched re nuclear energy. Columnist Dr Matt Edwards a photovoltaic expert from University of NSW lambasts Coalition for "wilful blindness" re economics of renewables.
An anti-right-wing quote that recently came our way and which we like as it seems to explain Trumpism succinctly: "There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge'." Isaac Asimov, column in Newsweek (21 January 1980). TV news reports that insurers are advising that our bushfires and flood costs now represent a repair bill of about $45 million.
QandA on 10-02-20: On climate change non-denial: C02 can be made into various things. (We didn't know this, except about plants/wood!) Can we make zero net emissions by 2050? Should we legislate for this or not? On the state of technology re gas vs coal? How out of touch are our politicians? What is with The Big Disconnect when the grown-ups are not behaving like grown-ups? How dependent on our job-type can we/should we get? How to usefully disseminate relevant information and research? (Gee, the media cannot be relied on for this? What about a gigantic communication failure by 43 Australian universities?) Relevant technology can take 20 years to take up. We need leadership on such questions as: how do we create a new national vision? Songwriter Paul Kelly then sings his new lullaby, Sleep Australia Sleep.
11-2-2020: Climate-Change-International: Uganda now suffers from locust plague, which seems to be moving south in mid-eastern Africa. Locust plagues also swarm in South Yemen and in N/w India (Pakistan. There are also by about 23 Feb, some reports that locusts are in plague numbers in Saudi Arabia.)
11-2-2020: Is the media telling us properly about how and why the rains have come to eastern Australia? Are they perchance due to the Asian Monsoon coming a bit more south than is usual? Or are they playing "don't tell the kiddies about it" again? Better pray successfully about this topic too. As for example, we find in w/e Australian, contributor Jamie Walker is willing to see an "interconnected planet" re medical emergencies and coping with them (corona virus), while the newspaper is not willing to see the planet as interconnected re its climates. Go figure.
11-2-2020: In Sydney the Collaroy-Narrabeen beach area loses about 25 metres of sand. (In 2016 the area lost about 50m of sand in a single weekend. The area is a goner!)
12-2-2020: This website is doing its bit to help ensure that climate change believers become as famous as our top-line climate change deniers (such as Ian Plimer or Pauline ('Special Treatment") Hanson or Barnaby Joyce) so we advise readers that SA Climatologist (25 years' experience with Climatology) Dr. Jacquelin Balston is speaking today in Adelaide on climate change and the ageing of infrastructure. While chief scientist Dr. Alan Finkel (Australia's 8th chief scientist and a former Chancellor of Monash University) will speak in Canberra at National Press Club on Australia's hydrogen future. We mean, there is nothing like being well-credentialled to speak on a topic, is there? In introducing Finkel, Mark Kenny says Australia is caught in a feedback loop re climate change. And it sure is! Kenny sure is correct here!
12-2-2020: One of this website's mates with a penchant for real practicality says about recent doings at the Australian High Court, "Whaddya mean we gotta stop deporting our Aborigines, first we gotta decide what planet they are from, don't we? And there is nothing wrong with the Australian Constitution, either!?" Meantime in International climate change news, we learn from an expert Australian panel that Australian C02 emission figures flatlined in 2019.
12-2-2020: crikey.com worries that an expert panel says that 113 species in eastern Australia (seemingly animals and birds, not plants) are now in danger of extinction due to the bushfires.
13-2-2020: Storms cause erosion at Newcastle's Stockton beach. Leadership chaos reigns for Australian political parties. Pauline ("Special Treatment") Hanson of One Nation reneges on a promise. Albanese of the Labor Party staves off The (pro-coal?) Otis Group. The Greens have just had a leadership change. McCormack of the National Party staves off leadership challenges from Barnaby Joyce et al. (Is Joyce's true destiny in Northern Queensland!! Even more importantly, is it by now merely an accident of geography that top-line climate change denier, Barnaby Joyce, remains MP for New England?) ScoMo meantime has his problems (including the sports rorts affair, including trying vainly to regain his irrevocably-shattered credibility). It seems to this webpage that climate change matters send Australia's political parties into frenzies of uncertainty, real fits of blood, sweat and fears, real seizures of anxiety, instead of frenzies of agreement. Voila!
13-2-2020: Climate Change International Watch: The London-based BP (British Petroleum) today announced it is going "green" and will reduce its emissions by 2050 to zero. It may also one day extract C02 from the atmosphere. Go figure.
14-2-2020: S/E Queensland has flash flooding problems. Due to rains, all NSW fires are now contained. Lord Howe Island now checks its cyclone damage.
Getcha climate change sausages here ...
Credit: Photo by Anon.
15-2-2020: The National Party Plan for The Foreseeable. It's as cunning as a shithouse rat. Where should we start? We begin with the general air of distrust with which voters are viewing government and their poliitical representatives - see QandA. We note the possible demise of the National Party (except perhaps in Queensland where the National Party has joined with Liberals). We think it's humorous and revealing that Barnaby Joyce and Matt Canvan have been driven to Northern Queensland and not mid-NSW or Latrobe Valley in VIC with their NP leadership aspirations. We also think that Climate Change is no respecter of persons or political parties, and that it may be too late for the NP to transmogrify into a party useful for the future. We see the idea of a new coal-fired power plant for Collinsville as raising too blatantly the spectre of Socialism (government funding) for the Australian future, as well as an avoidance by private enterprise of ALL the issues. In the absence of effort by the private enterprise sector, there is no way short of socialistic machinations for the NP to build a new coal-fired power plant for Collinsville, this is why it is idiocy for any Queensland munafacturing worker to hope that NP forces will work to save them in any numbers. Nor is the NP relevant to general underemployment in non-metropolitan Australia. This is all last-gasp politics. There are after all only 21 MPs for the NP. And so yes, the Canberra-bubble Coalition MPs feel that McCormack (from the NSW Riverina area) as official leader of the NP has his days numbered and that David Lilleproud will take over from him.
While Barnaby Joyce retreats to North Queensland - and possibly helps plan an anti-McCormack leadership spill of the remnants of the NP. To be part-overseen by another NP name, Matt Canavan. Yes, it's Canavan's turn to enjoy a place in the setting NP sun and to help destabilise the Scott Morrison government by sidelining McCormack. Or David Littleproud, who would have Joyce in his Cabinet. Returning Joyce to power? It's all as funny as ... And so we return to the theme of the general air of distrust with which voters are viewing politicians today. Who would vote for any of these climate change deniers - men and women who simply cannot read, they cannot read either basic documents, basic science, or the writing on the wall either ... The Australian meanwhile worries that the Morrison government is lacking in experience levels. (So we might say, send in the work experience folks?)
15-2-2020: More to come: International Watch. BBC Headlines today predicts a food crisis for East Africa amid locust plague said to arrive from Yemen, for Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. (This southern part of Yemen has just lost a civil war but it is not being reported that the losing area is now producing a locust plague. Why not?)
15/16-2-2020: The weekend press ... The Australian leads with disappointment - how we failed the bush fireys with outdated trucks and other equipment, poor radio communications, shortage of helicopters, shortage of masks, inadequate training programs, too much reliance on volunteers, volunteers being aged not young, and sub-standard technology despite many reviews recommending upgrades. Will government funding dry up as public donations have been so generous? Now you tell us? Meantime there is great anger in Sydney about an unnacceptable slowness of some power-reconnections. Paul Kelly warns that Trump seems set to be elected for a second term (which is probably right!) The SMH for 15-16 Feb., 2020 worries about NSW beachfrontages and work being done to save them. Also that politically, "green shoots" are emerging but that political leaders will not grasp them! Also that the climate change blame game should be ended. (But this website believes that there will not be time for this; the time for luxurious timewasting is over as of this Australian summer - and next in the Northern Hemisphere.) SMH also reports that the firey who abused ScoMo now has his beer bill regularly paid for by donors; ScoMo says in public that he is unworried, anyway. Beaches might be closed due to Lord Howe Island's cyclone. Too-slow electric power reconnections in Sydney's northern suburbs. World economy slowish with nothing helped by effects of corona virus. The paper examines prospects for scientists using geo-engineering intervening in global climate systems before climate-changes itself does. Being tried are "geo-engineering", sequestration of C02 in the oceans using iron, seaweed farming, use of giant space shades, tree planting/reforestation. But nothing about wilful blindness.
16-2-2020: As Australian politicians bicker pointlessly about what is to be done, here is a list of concerned musicians including international names appearing at today's Fire Fight concert hosted bv Channel 7 TV. Queen + Adam Lambert (global superstar), Michael Bublé (exclusive live cross performance), Canadian singer-songwriter k.d. lang, Alice Cooper, 5 Seconds of Summer, Amy Shark, Baker Boy, Conrad Sewell, (and his band), Daryl Braithwaite (and his band), Delta Goodrem, Grinspoon, Guy Sebastian, Hilltop Hoods, ICEHOUSE, Illy, Jessica Mauboy, John Farnham (and his band), Lee Kernaghan (and his band), Olivia Newton-John, Peking Duk, Pete Murray, Tina Arena, William Barton. The concert will be hosted by writer, actor and comedian Celeste Barber, who has already raised more than $50 million towards bushfire relief through her own record-breaking online appeal. Plus, Michael Usher. Concert raises about $9.5 millon. Go figure.
16-2-2020: Climate change international watch: In USA the Mississippi River is rising. In UK are excess rain and high winds after a recent, earlier, storm leaves eight people dead; these Storm Dennis rains turn out to be record-breaking floods. A friend emails a copy of an Australian radio program on likely future water wars, internationally (eg., India-China or the urban/rural divide generally). Today's SMH criticises Germany's reputation in EU and around the world as a leader in the field of useful adjustment to climate change issues, as too good to be true.
17-2-2020: Today's Sydney Morning Herald stories include: Experts warning that fire-torn Australian regions are at risk of an exodus of former residents - The full-time-vs-volunteer-firey issue is raised again - Warnings issued re which charities to donate too, donors need to be careful. Feral animal cull proceeds in Guy Fawkes National Park near Armidale. ANU University has forum, "Imagining Australia with renewable energy - how do we get there?" And from crikey.com on Zali Steggall’s climate breaker - There is a successful model to de-politicise climate change. It works in Britain, and a private member’s bill says it could work here. Paddy Manning on independent MP Zali Steggall’s proposal to end the climate wars in Australia.
18-2-202: TV News: University estimates are that 75% of Australian population were affected directly or indirectly by the bushfires. Some 14% were directly affected. (This webpage imagines that this is a LOT of people disappointed by ScoMo, including this webpage.) International backpackers are to be recruited to aid Australia's bushfire recovery. And one historical item: One of eastern Australia's first coal miners was John Henderson (c.1781-1835). In the Pemberton-AACo investor lists he was manager of a colliery for the Australian Agricultural Co. at Newcastle NSW., and did some (coal) prospecting. Otherwise he is seen as the first manager of the coal division of the AACo 1825-1835. See an online article on him by R. Rigby/University of Newcastle. See also In the Service of the Company: Letters of Sir Edward Parry, Commissioner to the Australian Agricultural Company. Vol.1, December 1829-June 1832. Canberra, ANU Press, 2005. We wonder how many of Australia's so-vocal, top-line climate change deniers know any of this early mining history. Mining in Australia was largely started by the AACo., and mining of course was turbo-charged by the Australian gold rushes of the 1850s, which also probably put more nails in the coffins of Australian Aboriginals, which even today is very seldom discussed by anybody in Australia.
Getcha climate change sausages here ...
Credit: Photo by Anon.
18-2-2020 Climate Change International Watch: Amazon boss, Jeff Bezos, said to be worth more than $120 billion, has pledged $10 billion to fight climate change, which he sees as our planet's "biggest threat". The venture, to be known as Bezos Earth Fund, will assist the work of scientists, activists, NGOs and various "other groups". BBC Headlines. (Top-line climate change deniers of Australia, please note.) Also, and to make the point a second time, ScoMo wants the best and brightest of Australia's scientific minds on the Corona Virus Problem, but not on The Climate Change Problem. Go figure.
19-2-2020: At crikey.com, Amber Schulz writes on: "Australia's bushfire losses are worse than first thought". Losses are now estimated at $4-8 billion, entailing property, productivity, consumer spending, business losses. The counts are now: Lives lost, 33. Animals are 1.25 billion. Land is 8.6 million hectares of which agricultural land is 2.4 million hectares. Insurance claims are about 1.9 billion (75% of Australians are insured). Buildings impacted are 58,200. Eg., Telstra's costs for wasted infrastructure is about $50 million. In other news: Some 99% of NSW is still officially in drought. SMH reports that new audits of NSW's river management reveal that it failed to monitor water quality and water extraction. About which this website again sings: Barnaby, Barnaby, Banaby, where were you when we needed you?
20-2-2020: crikey.com reports: Cannon-Brookes teams with Tesla, 5B to fund solar and batteries for fire victims. Newcastle: A NSW upper house committee will hold a regional hearing as part of an inquiry into the regulation of building standards, building quality and building disputes. A rare mention of risks from clathrates (very old and frozen packets of methane gas) from science broadcaster Robin Wiilliams on ABC midday TV news.
21-2-2020: crikey.com reports that Australian scientists are closer to developing the "holy grail" of clean energy ... But that a new paper in science journal Nature by Benjamin Hmiel et al shows that the proportion of methane emissions made by man is 25-to-40% greater than we thought. About the latest Royal Commission called by ScoMo's government to look into our recent fires, crikey-com says, "It will also be the 58th parliamentary inquiry into bushfires in 80 years — nationally, we’re averaging one inquiry every 14 months." crikey.com sources also say - "Australia has become the “poster-child for irresponsibility on climate change” according to Christiana Figueres, the former head of the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change, who was instrumental in delivering the Paris Agreement in 2015. Figueres is in Australia on a speaking tour, and in an interview this morning she said the world had to halve greenhouse-gas emissions by 2030 if it wished to limit warming to 1.5 degrees. “If we are not at that point by 2030,” she says, “we will not be able to control the consequences of unmitigated climate change anymore, and the entire world will see scenarios like the Australian bushfires.” In her co-written book The Future We Choose, Figueres paints a frightening picture of a worst-case 2050, in which huge swathes of Asia, Africa and Australia are uninhabitable. But Figueres is also surprisingly optimistic." And about ScoMo, crikey.com says - "Does Scott Morrison finally have a climate policy? Scott Morrison is sandwiched between the climate deniers in his own government on one side and [actor] Russell Crowe on the other, as he tries to come up with a new climate policy." Labor Party announces it has a new green plan for zero net emissions by 2030 that is, broadly speaking, met with either disbelief or ho-hum by voters.
22-2-20-20: Evening TV news has it that around Australia, protests were held to insist that the Liberal/National Federal government does more re climate change. Meantime, is the media in Australia engaging in a "don't scare the kiddies" campaign when it fails to tell us about climate-change risks from clathrates (frozen packets of old, naturally-occurring methane gas that just might melt).
22-2-20: Anthony Albanese , leader of the Australian Labor Party, and on Insiders TV, is attacked by Federal Government for not providing figures re his emissions targets, (while the government also doesn't bother with providing useful figures) and so it goes in Australia ... Where politicians are actually quite ambivalent about "climate change" ... is it real or not, and/or, what to do about it if it is real?) All they have to do meantime is agree that if Australia is warming (by about 1.5 degrees Centigrade, which is just enough) - then so are all the other continents of the world warming. Yes folks, that's what this debate is actually about. Say 1.5-2 degrees Centigrade of global warming. And given such terms for debate, this webpage is betting that global warming has lately gone past all the so-called "tipping points". We are now in globally-warmed territory where weather world-wide is really going to get out of hand. And if this webpage is wrong, all we will have to do is apologise for being a bit alarmist. But if we are right, there is going to be hell to pay and not just hell-to-pay by Australia ... BUT now put the boot on the other foot. What's going to happen if the climate-change sceptics are wrong or they are right? Will their apology be, by itself, good enough? And this webpage thinks not!
23-2-20: Ceremony in Sydney for the honouring of lives lost by the recent bushfires. The people of the Stockton Beach area, Newcastle, are angry and on TV and want their beach back, but this webpage rather feels they are in situation of King Canute - the question remains - what to do about rising sea levels?
22-23 Feb 2020: The Weekend Australian. Once again it's almost as though the fires had never happened. But lo and behold, we are riding a wind and solar wave. Australia might have as much as 50 per cent of its power from renewables by 2030! Senior writer Paul Kelly feels that the Australian Labor Party has decided to "live or die by climate change"; Kelly feels this arises as an article of faith, not a reading of the science! Hmm, etc. The newspaper moves on, and reports that up to 17,000 wild horses face being culled due to the bushfires. (That's a lot of bullets!) Many of these feral horses are in Kosciuszko National Park. One letter-to-editor writer remarks that the royal commission's terms of reference into bushfires will not address the reasons for climate change. While in the w/e SMH ... the UK will see a new, post-bushfires tourism campaign from Australia (shades of ScoMO!) - there is political angst re Labor's likely 2050 climate target(s) - our Great Barrier Reef is on a "knife edge" re mass bleaching as oceans warm, and one scientific response will hope to expand protected oceanic areas. The News Review section reports on the post-bushfire clean up on the NSW south coast (there is even mention of the sound of chainsaws).
24-2-2020: crikey.com reports: that for Australians - CLIMATE CHANGE OVERTAKES ENERGY ANXIETY - The latest Newspoll has voters, for the first time, prioritising climate action over energy prices (43-42) — although significantly more people blamed “a failure to conduct adequate hazard reduction burns” as a cause for the bushfire crisis compared to global heating (56-35). Australians and their politicians are remaining very ambivalent about climate change as crikey.com reports that: MEDIA RENEWS ATTACK ON CLIMATE ACTION - Cabinet ministers, the National Farmers’ Federation and freight lobbyists have all called for Anthony Albanese to cost his economy-wide target of net-zero emissions by 2050, The Australian reports. (According to the Albanese critics, he is "all target but no plan", which reminds us of the famous Texan insult about ranchers who are all hat and no cattle.) Albanese resolves this by challenging ScoMo to a debate on climate change before the late-2020 summit on this in Glasgow, Scotland. (ScoMo possibly says no to this, and reminded meantime of taking the low road or the high road, we wonder deeply who will get to Scotland first and we'll let you know what happens.) But meantime, eek, you mean they are actually seriously considering a climate-change debate with such a huge carbon footprint!
TALKING POINTS: Stories here, however, do not mention the relative cost of inaction — which, while slightly existential, the Climate Council puts at over $2 trillion by 2050 for Australia’s agriculture, property and productivity sectors. In general news, about this, One-Nation-lookalike and MP for New England, former Leader of the NP, Barnaby Joyce, clashes in Parliament with Labor's Joel Fitzgibbon, as well-lampoooned in evening TV news broadcasts. Policy disputes reign, ok. Including about whether Australia's emissions have actually dropped slightly - about 0.3% - big deal. In Australia, politicians are now so serious as to be talking live on TV about (gasp!) "economic suicide notes". Australia's electricity grid is reportedly under strain as it cannot absorb its intakes from "renewables". But too few ask, (maybe we'd better get some electrical engineers in to write about this?) what might happen if the numbers were bigger than they are. (Only 5% of our electricity so far is derived from solar power. Also not a big deal. Not yet.)
SMH on 24-2-2020: The head of Newcastle Port in NSW, the world's largest coal port, Craig Carmody, feels that Newcastle must transition away from fossil fuel before it is too late for useful action. (Which could take 15 years.) Mr Carmody notes $2 billion worth of private investment money, but wants to see more certainty coming from NSW's government-run areas. The situation is complicated by commercial arrangements re the port which are now legally challenged. Meantime, Mr. Carmody feels that Australia will develop a sensible energy policy. The situation - which is partly dependent on international investment levels - not just for Newcastle, but the entire Hunter Valley area, remains "in-flux". In other Australian climate-change news, SMH reports that a group of Australia's top environmental experts, worried about bush fire smoke haze, publishing in Medical Journal of Australia, wants the entire country to report in real time on air-quality. These experts, who include Assoc-Professor Fay Johnston and Prof. Clare Murphy of School of Earth, Atmospheric and Life Sciences at University of Wollongong, feel that the 2019-2020 bushfires were "different", we are in "new territory".
Fiona Simpson, National Farmer's Federation head, has taken a swipe over water-handling re the Murray-Darling river system at NSW Water Minister Melinda Pavey. The letters-to-editor section excoriates political short-termism from our politicians, and one letter-writer from Ulladulla notes that Vic and SA state governments have exempted bushfire victims from some property-based stamp duty, but NSW has not - and wants consistency here. Amongst the opinion writers, Bob Carr, once premier of NSW, says the most dramatic shift in thinking arising from the bushfires has been from business, not from the public or from government. The board rooms are strikingly ahead of Canberra, he feels. Investors now want firstly to know how a company plans re climate issues. Carr quotes Gore Vidal, the US writer who thought "I told you so" were four beautiful words. 'Nuff said.
24-2-2020: Climate Change International Watch:
Miley Cyrus is to perform in Australia for bushfire benefit concerts.
Peru has savage flooding.
25-2-2020: Perth WA has powerful storm.
Getcha climate change sausages here ...
Credit: Photo by Anon.
26-2-2020: Floods in Sn Queensland. The treasurer of Australia, Josh Frydenberg, declares that the corona virus (from China and on the verge of becoming a world pandemic) is a greater economic threat to Australia than the bushfires; more than $50 billion has already been wiped from the Australian Stock Exchange. crikey.com reports: Why an Australian mining giant chose wind and solar over gas for $1 billion project — Giles Parkinson (Renew Economy): “It’s basically unheard of in Australia: An Australian mining giant announcing that it will choose wind, solar and battery storage to provide 80 per cent of the power needs of a proposed $1 billion nickel mine in outback Australia.” Go figure. Today in Sydney, NSW’s 2019 Scientist of the Year, Professor Rose Amal, will present her latest research, “Harnessing Solar Energy To Power Our Planet”, at NSW Parliament. Flash flooding in Newcastle, NSW. The ABC TV program The Drum discusses climate change issues.
International Climate Watch: 26-2-2020: The price of tomatoes in Kenya is going up, maybe by seven times. There is more rain and more water in Kenya, which has caught-out many growers and reduced supply. But is climate change a cause? Is climate change making the Indian Ocean Dipole expand its oceanic temperature contrasts and so dump more rain water? Climatologists here cannot speak of cause-and-effect, they can only speak of changing probabilities; while climate sceptics say they want the facts, man, they just want the facts. So it's you who has to decide what is a fact vs what is a fact vs what is a probability! Go figure, and do it quickly, would you!! After all, we can't have our climate sceptics slowed up at all, can we? Ask for example, Barnaby Joyce, he'd know.
27-2-2020: BBC Headlines reports a snowfall in Tasmania. The skittery Australian stock exchange wipes 120 billion off the value held by Australians and their investors. One Australian commentator memorably said that it's like "the world has changed in four days." This ranks with the remark in 2008 from New York, "There is only one position to adopt and that's the foetal ..."
28-2-2020: crikey.com advises: Great Barrier Reef: coral bleaching to worsen unless weather conditions change.
w/e Australian 29 Feb-1 Mar 2020: In the Inquirer section, that redoubtable climate change warrior, Chris Kenny, has his nonsense avidly headlined, "Our leaders open to ridicule in setting silly climate targets". He pours ridicule on "The evangelical enthusiasm for [targets] from green/left politicians, activists and journalists is irrational, more emotional and gesture than reason and fact." Really? In a newspaper so uncommonly concened with the economic effects of tjhe world-wide corona virus! Really?
SMH 29 Feb-1 Mar 2020: Albanese of the Labor Party believes Australia will be exporting coal for decades to come: 'ridiculous' bushfire funding holds back waterbombers. In the News Review section is a list of Australia renewables in 2019 with a dire warning, that there is an urgent need to upgrade the various Australian electricity grids. (There were 75 interventions about the grids in 2018-1029 as compared to 32 interventions in 2017.)
2-3-2020: crikey.com reports that Scott Morrison will announce a new recycling policy at today’s National Plastics Summit, The Age and The Australian report, focusing on greater infrastructure, technology, and government purchases of recycled content, ahead of a looming export ban. Plus, FUN FACT: Following a massive backlog of recycling in Victoria, the news allows the announcement of a fourth purple bin, for glass — along with a container scheme for the state, the ABC reported ... Also that: Bushfire relief for business and for farms slows as politicians bicker over rules. SMH reports that: Government blame game over bushfire relief delays; summers start early now while winter is in retreat; a bushfires summer raises the SMH readerships; NSW government surveys state's limits on water use; ScoMo federally wants more government outlets to use recycled goods, is tempted to use government powers to build a market for the national waste sector. An Irish entrepreneur Norman Crowley (of an energy efficiency company, Crowley Carbon) is investing $100 million in Australia in a bid to combat climate change. This a joint venture with an existing Australian company, Climatech, and will look at business buildings re their heating and cooling systems, a problem that Mr Crowley says our politicians do not understand.
General TV news today indicates that the average eastern Australian summer has expanded by 31 days - summer is now dramtically longer than it used to be - things are staying hotter and our hottest years incidentally have been recorded since 2005, so all this seems relatively recent. But in reality that was 15 years ago, and partly due to speedy 2020 reactions to the Corona Virus (also a threat), it occurs to this website that one reason why societies/empires have been ruined by climate change in the past is simply that climate change is slow, almost imperceptibly slow. This is partly why, world-wide, the current set of political reactions to our climate change has been so fatuous. Idiot politicians are capitalising merely on the fact that climate change is actually slow, and that it expresses itself differently on different continents. Slowness however does not mean that climate change is not happening, it means merely that it is camouflaged by the passage of time. Fatuous politicians in our society (such as Tony Abbot, Barnaby Joyce, or Pauline ("Special Treatment") Hanson), are thus merely capitalising on camouflage. So don't be taken in. Don't just regurgitate. Annalyse. Do the Math. Think. Know. Go figure. But also expect a quickening of the delivery of problematical/inconvenient information as webpages like this one become more common now that post-2019.
Australia is seen world-wide as "a canary in the mineshaft" as climate change proceeds and presents sets of changes/threats - including military threats - world-wide. There is meantime something wrong with world-journalism's reporting on the Corona Virus! The UN recognises 195 countries in the world but the world media is reporting on not much more than 70 countries so far. Responses are varying according to country and culture. This is happening with fast-moving reporting on a world health issue, a virus-on-the-move! Why imagine that anything would be different, albeit much slower, with a world-wide issue such as Anthropogenic Climate Change? This in turn raises issues of cultural integrity around the world in the light of a similar-but-different threat - that of worsening climate change. Especially the issue of societies using world's-best-practice to fend off the worst effects of climate change. Again this website asks: What on earth (pun intended) is the point of respecting cultural differences if the planet becomes unliveable?
2-3-2020: Channel 7 Evening TV News and shit-as-it-happens: Bushfire victims might be tossed out of their temporary accomodation(s) to make way for Easter tourists. Sorry 'bout that. Meantime, has ScoMo really found new ways to stop our oceans being choked by plastic? All by himself? My my, really!? We wonder how long this has been going on? One of this webpage's good friends, who has thought about stuff like this, (he observes that the roadways industries are fantastically addicted to fossil fuels at all levels [including re the ashphalt used on roadways and highways]), wants to see that ultimately, maybe chopped up a lot, a lot of our plastic waste ended up back on roadways not as roadkill but as roadfill. Go figure.
3-3-2020: crikey;com reports that "Tasmania boosts renewable hydrogen aspirations with $50m 'action plan'”. Note how quicky a climate-related measure becomes a more-ordinary economic measure.
Re Mr. ScoMo's information: Here is where the world's worst gyres of plastic garbage are located ... not surprisingly where the ocean gyres have long been located - as has long been known - this is just a generic image from google, found in early March 2020. Go figure.
4-3-2020: Australian scientists continue working on an improved, satellite-driven system for analysing bushfire-prone areas re fire probability and risk assessment, reports ABC Midday TV news. We say, hear hear.
BTW, unless our memory is faulty, and we will certainly check for you, the Australian Constitution states that electricity provision is a state responsibility, not a federal responsibility. So what are Federal MPs (like Barnaby Joyce, who is Federal MP for New England, not anywhere in Northern Queensland) doing by way of having an opinion on anything? But this webpage is a republican Australian, so if we from time to time indicate that the Australian Constitution might be deficient in some way, do not be surprised!
BTW, ENERGY: How Denmark is bidding farewell to fossil fuels - "Denmark is managing the transition to a low-carbon future better than any country in the world. Since 1990, Denmark’s economy has grown by about 55 per cent in real terms (around the same as the European average), while over the same period gross energy consumption has decreased and total greenhouse gas emissions have shrunk by 38 per cent. ‘We have been able to decouple economic growth from the use of energy,’ Danish energy-policy expert Finn Mortensen said”., says Schwartz Media, a crikey-com-type source of today's date.
This webpage BTW has an old draft copy of the Australian Constitution to hand - we'd better get it out soon and tell you what it says about various issues ...
BTW, about power/electricity, let's now list the options so we can better tell if politicians are pulling our legs or not. Should our electricity come from coal-fired power stations (either state-owned or private-sector owned? But with a secure baseload capacity?)? Or from wind power? Solar power? Tidal/wave power? From big hydro (presumably state-owned). From small hydro (presumably non-state-owned but no reason really why it couldn't be state owned?) A mix of "renewables"? And well, re tidal power ??? Australia has some awesomely long coastlines, but somehow the best places for work on tidal power are a long way from our settled areas - unless one wants a lot of power-drop-out during transmission (something that is BTW never mentioned re coal-fired power stations).
Now, some useful stats from an article by Ross Gittins ... "Despite neglect, we're muddling towards low-carbon electricity" ...And we are in the same technical boats as are Ireland, California, Germany, Spain and Portugal, we are not as ScoMo has it, a world leader re renewables. Gittins quotes from a new report, Health of the National Electricity Market by the Energy Security Board of the Council of Australian Governments ... which has at least one independent chair, an economist, Dr. Kerry Schott. It's all a bit bureaucratic, but, it's a worry that our Federal Government refuses to tell business what our emissions targets are. It is also a worry that we have insecure electricity supply, and have trouble putting supply from renewables into our grids. Our extreme weather events lead to extra reliance on the electricity grids just as our electricity generation is ageing to the point of being less reliable. But our adoption of rooftop solar is something Gittins finds encouraging. He thinks, we'd be mugs not to exploit more solar power. (This webpage agrees.)
Getcha climate change sausages here ...
Credit: Photo by Anon.
5-3-2020: crikey.com reports: The Department of Industry confirmed government funding for Australia’s only dedicated bushfire research centre will end next year, The New Daily reports. ADF chief Angus Campbell confirmed defence has a coronavirus plan in the works, The Australian reports, and described talking with Scott Morrison about the “discomfiting” use of ADF personnel, without permission, in that bushfire video, The Guardian reports. Climate denialists forced world-class scientists to justify, ad nauseam, science. BBC Headlines reports meanwhile that climate change boosted Australian fire risk by 30% at least. One report author is Prof. Geert van Oldenborgh of Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute of De Bilt, Netherlands and 17 others from six countries.
5-3-2020: Late afternoon news from Schwartz Media: A fear at the end of the earth - James Button spoke to scores of people about climate change and what it means to them. He found deep anxiety – but also a contradiction between how people thought and how they acted. Today, find out what a conversation about ecological catastrophe could look like. Schwartz Media also like this webpage today wants to know why ScoMo's government wants to use the best of new-science-knowledge for corona-virus-issues but not for climate-change-issues. Just why is this anomaly and when is this absurdity going to end? We'd like to know!
Continuing its campaign against climate change theory, The Australian reports that "green 'lawfare' hits projects worth $65bn": to which this website says: you ain't seen nothing yet.
6-3-2020: Promo for ABC TV Landline Program. Re drinking straws. Plastic-made drinking straws are being phased-out in SA. Suitable alternatives are bamboo, wood, and particularly, stalks of rye, as used by the Vikings. Incidentally, non-plastic replacements for drinking straws are not-yet made in Australia.
6-3-2020: crikey.com asks: THE COMMENTARIAT - Ocean degradation falls heaviest on those least responsible — Tommy Remengesau Jr (The Sydney Morning Herald): “Humanity is waking up to the crisis happening in our oceans. Warming and rising seas, acidification, plummeting fish stocks, and pollution are finding more space in newspapers and on political agendas.”
9-3-2020: crikey.com says: Be honest Australia, you’re not ‘meeting and beating’ your emissions targets — Christiana Figueres (The Sydney Morning Herald): “Emissions have increased in every calendar year since 2014. The government’s own projections say Australia will reduce emissions by only 16 per cent by 2030, not the 26 to 28 per cent it promised in Paris, nor the 50 per cent required by science to limit warming to 1.5 degrees.”
How cheap is fame in the USA?
Who do we prefer? John Denver or Donald Trump? You decide! (Credit: Photo by Anon.)
w/e SMH 7-8-3-2020: Main news section: Corona virus infects fire ravaged retail sector; Lower Darling River to get a decent drink; Finance section: Global fossil fuel divestment is testing Australia's resolve: only 32% of large banks even partially disclose how climate risks would affect their financial performances .... and a QUESTION ARISES ... will global climate change replace the use of the term globalisation - will we now know what "globalisation" was really about?
w/e Australian, 7-8 March, 2020: Main news section ... Farmer wants water speculators left high and dry; New dams a priority for National leader; plus joy re the rains (but a normal drop, not a drop between hot bouts of climate change phenomena; culling for kookaburras in Tasmania (where they are not an indigenous bird);
Inquirer section: [If we can just inquire into the inquiring here? Who after all watches the watchdogs?] Chris Kenny kicks off more climate-change denialism with his selfishness-promoting article, "Forget the UN, we need to do what's best for ourselves". [That's right, Australia is as go-it-alone as the USA is, and don't you ever forget it!] Kenny laments the green lobby's hysteria and alarm, it's retreat from rationalism and surrender to emotionalism ... Kenny thinks that "Catastrophist approaches can only frighten people, create irrational reactions and distract us from practical and sensible action" and gee, why doesn't Kenny write this sort of stuff for the End Times loons of Australia and the USA? They might learn something apart from the joys of The Rapture? But more to the point, Mr Kenny, we fear, forgets that the corona-virus worries are relatively speedy, while climate change worries are quite slow by comparison. We might need to ask then: is Mr Kenny a slow learner? Can't he actually notice things?
Paul Garvey continues the anti-climate change theme with a piece on our addictions to plastics. While Bjorn Lomborg writes on "extra emissions are the dirty little secret of electric cars". Lomborg informs that globally, 0.3 per cent of cars bought are purely electric; electric cars are not necessarily better for "the environment"; hybrid cars (electric-petrol) are, emissions wise, better for the environment; in Norway, 42 per cent of all cars sold in 2019 were pure-electric; but Lomborg is still sceptical that electic cars will do much good, in the broad, for the envionemt. And in the recent, immortal words of the leader of the National Party, Michael McCormack, "He's welcome to his opinion".
Ean Higgins, National Rural Reporter for The Australian continues the climate-changing nonsense when he writes on: Harvesting water: the most lucrative crop of all. [Which reminds us to ask: just what is Australia's most lucrative crop of all? It used to be wool.]
9-3-2020: The Sydney Morning Herald. Christiana Figueres [here paraphased], a former UN climate chief says: "Australia's bid to lower carbon must be honest - Fudging about emissions figures denies the government the credibility it must claim on the global stage - Australia needs to lead the Asia-Pacific region to a new energy future - Australia's bushfires are perhaps the tipping point for climate politics in Australia -but we now have the return of the climate wars, a handful of climate deniers given PR space by powerful media sympathisers and a Prime Minister [and Cabinet] "unwilling to fully embrace the science" ... Yet since the 2008 Stern Review the world has known that the cost of not acting is greater than the cost of acting, and since the 2008 Garnaut Report [which has been proved by Australia's 2019 summer events to be correct], Australia's droughts and bushfires will be more frequent-and-intense, so it is now time to move from denial, delusion and delay to preparedness and productivity ... if we include exports in the figures, Australians have the biggest per capita carbon footprint in the world. Admittedly, Australia by itself cannot address world climate change, but Australian-feet-dragging is slowing the international credibility of a stronger global response. Australia's biggest corporations are rattled by bushfires and other climate-related risks, and now include Rio Tinto, Qantas, Telstra and BHP - international targets of net zero emissions of zero by 2050 are now common around the world - and coal still accounts for 60 per cent of Australia's energy mix. But the coal technology is tired, unreliable in summer, highly polluting and no longer price competitive with solar or wind power. As example, South Australia's 100-megawatt "big battery" has so far stabilised the state electricity grid, saved consumers $50 million and produced handsome returns for its investors. Australia needs more political honesty and vision.
Getcha climate change sausages here ...
Credit: Photo by Anon.
10-3-2020: More honesty? But crikey.com says: Gaslighting on emissions: IEEFA says burning LNG “worse than coal” for climate ...
More honesty? From Schwartz Media on 10-3-2020: Climate beef: “If you accept the science, as most rational people do and my company does, the baseline discussion that is coming from our lawmakers is very, in some cases, toxic … I speak to a hell of a lot of farmers every day of the week, big ones and small ones. I’m not getting any push-back on the fact that climate change is coming, and they’re willing to adapt. So I don’t know why the discussion isn’t easier to have in all levels of government.” THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW - Hugh Killen, head of Australia’s largest listed cattle company, Australian Agricultural Co., warns politicians that they are hurting the industry with their toxic debate on climate change.
11-3-2020: Californian singer Katy Perry performs a bushfire concert for free at Bright, Vic.
11-3-2020: Side View - From Bernard Keane, a subeditor for crikey.com. CLIMATE: Preparing for a disastrous future: a new ASPI report looks at what Australia must do to address the threat posed by climate change to our security. This news comes as we discover that climate change is driving an increase in global hunger for the first time in a decade. Coal consumption in the United States is collapsing. But the coronavirus crisis, while producing a temporary fall in emissions, is likely bad news long-term for climate action.
12-3-2020: "I’d do it all again": Celeste Barber responds to fire fund critics; Regional NSW town (Manilla near Tamworth) to host large-scale hydrogen energy storage project – state’s first. Plus, and this is from a crikey.com item of today's date, here are the names of some of the world's most-active climate science deniers - Australia Viv Forbes, Belgium Rob Lemeire, Canada English Jerry Foss, Canada French Reynald du Berger, France Benoit Rittaud, Germany Franz Vahrenhott, Ireland (Republic of) Jim O'Brien, Italy Alberto Prestininzi, Netherlands Guus Berkhout, New Zealand Terry Dunleavy, Norway Morten Jodal, Sweden Ingmar Nordin, UK Lord Monkton, USA Richard Lindzen. See above and also previous files for other names of top-line climate science deniers mostly in Australia.
12-3-2020: Late afternoon TV news: Armidale Regional Council is to form a committee to keep a watch on climate change issues.
13-3-2020: crikey.com reports: "Wonderful" flows prompt removal of Lower Darling River temporary dams. Melbourne Architect of the 2015 Paris Agreement Christiana Figueres and climate economist Ross Garnaut will speak at the Wheeler Centre event, “Climate Solutions Now”. BBC Headlines reports that in the Northern Hemisphere, brown bears are coming out of their hibernation earlier due to warming climate change.
2042: Projection on population of Australia for 2042 is 25 million (a figure nearly reached by 2020!). In 2002 the Australian population was 19.6 million. C'est la vie.
Complaints Dept: (As in, who do you complain to??)
Should RFS volunteers remain as volunteers if they have to or choose to travel to outside their home region, and/or if they can be sent by their superiors into life-threatening situations? Should they remain volunteers or should they be paid? The point also bears on questions of - what rights do the family of these volunteers have or not have as the case may be? Is this the end of the volunteer system? And, should a State or a Federal government pay the wages of a permanent rural fire service which will presumably fill in their downtime with "cool burning" (back burning?).
Does the Anthropogenic Global Warming Movement need a new logo by now? (Probably, yes!)
Whaddya mean you don't know what you're talking about? Were you talking about Anthropogenic Gobal Warming (which is man-made) or were you taking about climate change (which could be natural). Or, God forbid, both at once? Do try to sort it out!
Why isn't the Australian media busier with asking the insurance industry what it thinks about such issues? Insurance premiums are already set to rise in price?
Whaddya do ifn ya email package goes haywire? Like mine has lately (Feb. 2020, it's Linuxy, it's an email package called Evolution, it's got from Linux Mint and it's currently a dud upgrade - is probably the problem).
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