Last week was a very hot week but not an unusual week for January. We usually see a week like that at some stage during January in each year. Something else that we also see regularly is that, regardless of the weather, coal-fired electricity continuously proves itself to be the most reliable form of mains power that we have. Without it, all of those electrical devices (such as air conditioning, fans, and heaters) which we rely on to help keep us alive during inhospitable weather, would be useless.
Figures supplied by the Australian Energy Market Operator show that between 11.30am and 4pm on Wednesday, as demand hit a daily peak of 33029 megawatts nationally, wind’s share of supply fell as low as 0.3 per cent.
The capacity factor (the amount of electricity produced compared with maximum rated capacity of the wind farm) fell as low as 4 per cent in Victoria and 2 per cent in South Australia.
In addition, graphs supplied by AEMO yesterday showed that throughout the week, demand for electricity and the capacity factor of wind generation had tended to move in opposite directions.
As Andrew Bolt points out on his blog, one of the big problems with wind power is that on very hot days there is often very little wind. I would add that the other type of hot day tends to come with very strong winds (creating dangerous fire conditions) and on those days, instead of providing more electricity, the wind is too strong for the wind turbines and they have to be allowed to spin freely with their ability to generate power disabled, as when they spin too fast, they are at very high risk of overloading.
Regardless of the wind, you would think that on a hot and sunny day there would be plenty of solar power to go around, especially with the proliferation of roof-top solar panels…no, that’s a bust as well.
More than $2 billion of subsidised investment in over 2 million rooftop solar systems contributed less than 5 per cent of peak power demand in Victoria and South Australia during the worst of this week’s heatwave.
Wind power and solar power are quite expensive when compared with coal power, and yet despite their cost they are also unreliable and unable to maintain base load power or peak demand power, and it is through the ability of coal power to cheaply and quickly adapt to changing demands for power and changing network conditions (two coal stations were offline for some hours last week at the peak of the heat due to a cable fault and a steam leak, and the remaining stations were able to pick up the slack) that the power was able to stay on.
Incidentally, it amused me to some extent that, on Friday morning while pretty much all of south-eastern Australia sweltered, two places which had been very hot during the day recorded the coldest overnight temperatures in any part of the country except Western Australia where a couple places were a little bit colder.
Goulburn was the coldest, getting down to 6.9°C (5.8° below average) after reaching 37.6°C on Thursday (9.7°C abover average) and then reaching 37.4°C on Friday (9.5°C above average). Braidwood was the next coldest, getting down to 7.5°C (4.6° below average) after reaching 36.0°C on Thursday (9.1°C above average) and then reaching 38.3°C on Friday (11.4°C above average). It is quite amazing how a place can be very hot during the day and then go on to be the coldest place in central and eastern Australia that night.
Speaking of cold weather, this is no surprise to anyone who has been following research in to how the Sun affects our climate, but it’s nice to see it getting some press coverage. Solar activity of late has been minimal and the usual 11-year sunspot cycle has failed to bring a year of great activity. There is plenty of research which shows that Earth tends to be hotter when there is a lot of solar activity than when there is little solar activity. Of late, however, the Sun has shown such a small amount of activity that there is genuine concern that we could be headed for a mini ice age similar to the one experienced in the mid 1600s.
The Sun’s activity is at its lowest for 100 years, scientists have warned.
They say the conditions are eerily similar to those before the Maunder Minimum, a time in 1645 when a mini ice age hit, Freezing London’s River Thames.
‘Whatever measure you use, solar peaks are coming down,’ Richard Harrison of the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire told the BBC.
‘I’ve been a solar physicist for 30 years, and I’ve never seen anything like this.’
He says the phenomenon could lead to colder winters similar to those during the Maunder Minimum.
Mike Lockwood University of Reading says that the lower temperatures could affect the global jetstream, causing weather systems to collapse.
‘We estimate within 40 years there a 10-20% probability we will be back in Maunder Minimum territory,’ he said.
The Maunder Minimum (also known as the prolonged sunspot minimum) is the name used for the period starting in about 1645 and continuing to about 1715 when sunspots became exceedingly rare, as noted by solar observers of the time.
While the chances of a mini ice-age are low, the chances of a prolonged period of mild cooling are much higher. This could also go some way to explaining why global temperatures have not increased for approximately 17 years and have shown a slight cooling trend over the last 5-10 years.
As I said earlier, this is not new news by any means, it’s just new research confirming much older news. Obviously we will have to wait and see what actually happens, but given the historical connection between solar activity and the climate, and the current lack of warming matching a lack of solar activity, it is certainly not unreasonable to be keeping a close eye (or properly shielded telescope) on the Sun.
Dr. Jennifer Marohasy has been in touch by email to let me know that, following my post earlier this week where my calculations cast a large shadow of doubt over the Bureau Of Meteorology’s claim that 2013 was Australia’s hottest year on record (not that I’m the first or last person by any stretch of the imagination to cast doubt on BOM claims about the climate), she was inspired to write an open letter to the Bureau Of Meteorology to seek information about how BOM reached their conclusions. It seems that it is Jennifer’s hope that, if more is known about BOM’s methods, it will be possible to independently work out whether their methods makes sense, and also whether their results make sense.
Seeing as we know that BOM only use a selection of weather stations in their analysis of the climate, I am hopeful that if we know more about BOM’s methods, it will be possible to apply their methodology to a calculation involving all of Australia’s weather stations. I would be very interested to see how that calculation would compare to BOM’s calculation.
I wish Jennifer all the best with her request.
The following is a copy of the open letter sent by Dr. Jennifer Marahosy to the Bureau Of Meteorology. I have redacted her contact details, but the rest of the letter is unchanged. If you wish to contact Jennifer, contact details are available on her website http://jennifermarohasy.com/
Dr David Jones
Manager of Climate Monitoring and Predictions
Australian Bureau of Meteorology
Dear Dr Jones
Re: Request Verification of 2013 Temperature Record
I am writing to request information be made publicly available to myself and others so we may have the opportunity to verify the claim made by you on behalf of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology that 2013 was the hottest year on record in Australia. In particular it is claimed that the average temperature was 1.20°C above the long-term average of 21.8°C, breaking the previous record set in 2005 by 0.17°C.
This claim is being extensively quoted, including in a report authored by Professor Will Steffen of the Climate Council, where he calls for the Australian government to commit to further deep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions because of this “record-breaking year”. Accurate climate records are not only of political interest, but are also of importance to those of us who rely on historical temperature data for research purposes. For example, the skill of the medium-term rainfall forecasts detailed in my recent peer-reviewed publications with John Abbot, have been influenced by the reliability of the historical temperature data that we inputted. From a very practical perspective, businesses will adjust their plans and operations based on climate data, and ordinary Australians worry and plan for the future based on anticipated climate trends.
Further, I note that you said in a radio interview on January 3, 2014, following your “hottest year on record” press release that, “We know every place across Australia is getting hotter, and very similarly almost every place on this planet. So, you know, we know it is getting hotter and we know it will continue to get hotter. It’s a reality, and something we will be living with for the rest of this century.”
The Australian Bureau of Meteorology is the custodian of an extensive data network and over a long period now, questions have been asked about the legitimacy of the methodology used to make adjustments to the raw data in the development of the Australian Climate Observations Reference Network – Surface Air Temperatures (ACORN-SAT). Furthermore, questions have been asked about why particular stations that are subject to bias through the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect continue to be included in ACORN-SAT. In particular why is ‘Melbourne Regional Office’, a station at the corner of Victoria Parade and Latrobe Street (Melbourne CBD) still included in the ACORN-SAT network when this station is known to have become sheltered from previously cooling southerly winds following construction of office towers.
I understand ACORN-SAT was used to calculate the statistics indicating 2013 was the hottest year on record, but it is unclear specifically which stations from this network were used and how data may have been further adjusted in the development of the record breaking temperature anomaly.
Rockhampton-based blogger Ken Stewart, for example, has suggested that in the calculation of the annual average temperature for Australia, the eight sites acknowledged as having anomalous warming due to the UHI would not have been included. Is this the case? I had assumed that the Bureau used all 112 ACORN-SAT locations, and thus that the record hot temperature anomaly announced by you, actually includes a UHI bias.
Radio presenter Michael Smith has given some publicity to claims made by blogger Samuel Gordon-Stewart that the Bureau has overestimated the average Australian temperature by about 4 degrees. Mr Gordon-Stewart calculated average temperatures and temperature anomalies from data from all the weather stations listed by Weatherzone.
Furthermore, given many ACORN-SAT stations have continuous temperature records extending back to the mid-late 1800s and many stations were fitted with Stevenson screens by 1900, why does the Bureau only use data after 1909, all the while claiming that 2013 is the hottest year on record? Indeed it is well documented that the 1890s and early 1900s, years corresponding to the Federation drought, were exceptionally hot.
In summary, given the importance of the historical temperature record, and the claim that 2013 is the hottest year on record, could you please provide details concerning:
1. The specific stations used to calculate this statistic;
2. The specific databases and time intervals used for each of these stations;
3. The history of the use of Stevenson screens at each of these station;
4. How the yearly average temperature is defined; and
5. Clarify what if any interpolation, area weighting, and/or adjustments for UHI bias, may have been applied to the data in the calculation of the annual mean values.
Dr Jennifer Marohasy
Scientist, Blogger, Columnist
The Bureau Of Meteorology released a statement on Friday which claimed that 2013 was Australia’s hottest year on record, with an average temperature of 23 degrees which, according to them, is 1.2 degrees above the long-term average. The numbers just didn’t quite seem right to me as 23 degrees seems like a an average maximum temperature, simply because of the massive areas of the country which struggle to reach 23 degrees during the day for much of the year, and that overnight lows don’t spend much time hovering as high as 23 degrees in much of the country for much of the year.
During the year I had also checked some of the average temperatures in different places against the long-term average and quite often found that while daytime maximums were up (although not usually by anywhere near as much as 1.2 degrees), overnight minimums were generally quite in-line with the long-term average and had occasionally been up, but had also been down on a regular basis.
With this in mind, I decided to check the numbers myself and I’ve gone in to some detail about how I did this below.
But first, what I found was that the average temperature in Australia in 2013 was not 23.0 degrees as the Bureau claimed, but 19.01762629 degrees. The Bureau’s numbers are nearly a full four degrees too hot! This also worked out to be 0.707512656 degrees above the long-term average, not 1.2 degrees as claimed by the Bureau.
Table of the combined minimum/maximum average temperature in Australia for 2013
Given the Bureau are basing their 1.2 degrees above average figure on 100-or-so of the oldest weather stations in Australia and my numbers include a bunch of newer stations in addition to the older stations, and there was a general warming trend globally through the 1900s (although not over the last 17 years) it’s possible that my long-term average is higher than the Bureau’s long-term average, resulting in some of the discrepancy between the 1.2 and 0.7 figures…but even then, their long-term actual average temperature should be lower than mine, so the fact that they’re claiming the long-term average temperature is 21.8 degrees proves that either they have increased their historical numbers and 2013 numbers, or their long-term average is accurate but their 2013 number is dodgy and 2013 was actually colder than the average and my numbers think it was above average because Weatherzone’s historical data has been corrupted by manipulated Bureau data. Either way, the Bureau’s numbers are suspicious.
From my numbers, the average maximum temperature in Australia was 25.07590106 (0.909824103 above the long-term average) and the average minimum temperature was 12.95935152 (0.505201209 above the long-term average). The more I think about it, and the more I’m reminded of the ways in which various government weather services and climate researchers have been found to have manipulated numbers to “prove” global warming is accelerating (which it isn’t), the more I think the long-term averages are manipulated so as to be lower than the real number, this making warm years look very hot. Proving it would be another matter entirely, but given the bizarre nature of the differences between the long-term averages I have been using and the long-term averages the Bureau have been quoting, it makes sense.
Table of the average minimum and average maximum average temperature in Australia for 2013
Table of the how far above or below average the average minimum and average maximum average temperatures in Australia were in 2013
Some of my findings did correlate with the Bureau’s findings. For example, the Bureau said:
All states and territories recorded above average temperatures in 2013, with Western Australia, Northern Territory and South Australia breaking their previous annual average temperature records.
I concur that all states appeared to show an increase against the long-term average (bearing in mind my earlier caveat about my doubts about the long-term average data being accurate) and WA, SA and NT were the three most above-average…although whether they set records or not, I can’t say as I wasn’t checking that.
I disagree with the Bureau on another point though.
The year started with a persistent heatwave in January, with Australia recording its hottest day (7 January), hottest week, and hottest month on record.
I have previously demonstrated that the Bureau wildly exaggerated the January heat, but now I have a little bit more to work with.
According to my numbers, January’s average temperature was 24.96473243 degrees (1.023030725 above average), and February was 24.09528836 (0.539000779) above average). This means that January’s average temperature is around 23.9 and February’s is around 23.5. This works out to be about 0.76 above average for the combined months of January and February.
How interesting it is then, that the satellite data doesn’t agree.
Satellite data plotted against Bureau data. Satellite data obtained from NASA satellites and the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Courtesy of Ken’s Kingdom.
Huge discrepancy…the satellite data doesn’t lie, so the Bureau’s long-term averages are clearly being distorted to make slightly warm years look like a convection oven.
It occurs to me that 21.8C, the average temperature in the Bureau’s press release but not in their weather data, might be the real average and they might be using that in their press releases to avoid anyone running the raw historical numbers and quickly proving it wrong…if so, then 2013 with its average around 19C was actually a below-average year.
The other bizarre thing about the Bureau’s press release is this:
above the long-term average
breaking the previous record
breaking their previous annual average temperature records.
recording its hottest day (7 January), hottest week, and hottest month on record.
The highest temperature
the highest temperature
The January heatwave
temperatures have warmed
[..]warmest on record.
These are all of the relative references to temperature (eg. “hot”, “warm”, “cold”, “chilly”) from the press release. Notice something missing? Yep, the Bureau completely forgot to mention that there were some cold months as well.
From my numbers:
Nationally, November was below the average temperature.
NSW/ACT: February, April and November were below average
QLD: February and April were below average
SA: November was below average
TAS: April, October and November were below average
VIC: October and November were below average
WA: March was below average
NT did not record a below average month (odd, but not implausible, considering that Northern Australia has not warmed for 31 years)
Additionally, May and June were quite mild months across everywhere except the Northern Territory, and December was quite mild right across the country.
It seems to me that the Bureau have been exaggerating warm weather again while ignoring cool weather, and while I can’t definitively prove that their long-term average temperatures are a work of malicious fiction, I can and have proved that Australia is nowhere near as warm as they claim, and 2013 certainly was not an abnormally hot year.
Update 7:12pm: Satellite data for Australia for 2013 has just been released and it shows that 2013 was an above-average year for temperatures, but not by as much as claimed by the Bureau. Over at Ken’s Kingdom (see link in previous sentence) Ken posits that part of this discrepancy is caused by the scarcity of weather stations in remote inland areas being included in the Bureau’s dataset (a problem my dataset doesn’t have as I used all available weather stations and not just a select group of them) which results in Alice Springs having too much impact on the Bureau’s numbers.
The satellite data (which only goes back to 1979) says 2013 was the hottest on record for satellite data, but given that it was not as hot as Bureau data suggests and there were many years in the early 1900s which were recorded as being hotter by Bureau data than some recent years’ satellite data despite a severe lack of inland weather stations in hot places back then, I maintain that 2013 was not hotter than some of those early 1900s years and was therefore not the hottest year on record). End Update
The method for these findings
The Bureau provide data about daily maximums and minimums, but when I started analysing the data a few days ago they had not released any of the 2013 data, as as I write this they have only released the minimums for 2013 and not the maximums. One could wonder if they’re waiting for public interest in their statement to wane before releasing the data which can be used to check the validity of their statement, especially seeing as the dataset they release only covers about 100 weather stations across the country and all of the records for 2013 are stored in a computer format which can easily be added to the existing dataset.
The fact that only 100-or-so weather stations are covered by the Bureau’s dataset is also troubling as there are more than 700 official weather stations in Australia. The other problem with the Bureau’s dataset is that, to quote them, it is:
a complete re-analysis of the Australian homogenised temperature database [..] and utilises improved analysis techniques.
Given the Bureau’s recent history in claiming temperatures are hotter than they actually are, I can’t be entirely sure that any dataset which they have “homogenised” is going to be accurate and not skewed, so I went for data from an independent source which keeps a note of Bureau data on a minute-by-minute basis: Weatherzone.
Weatherzone pay the Bureau for access to their raw data from weather stations, radars etc and keep track of it themselves. On a day-today basis they use this data to help formulate their own weather forecasts, including for some things which the Bureau does not provide a forecast. More helpfully for this exercise, Weatherzone maintain a bunch of monthly summary pages for each state (eg. this one for Victoria for November), based on the live data they have collected from the Bureau throughout the year. These pages track the average maximum and minimum temperature and rainfall for each weather station in the country.
Part of the Weatherzone Monthly Summary page for Victoria for November 2013
If you click on any of the weather stations, you can get a summary for each day showing the actual minimum and maximum of that day, and it is possible to then click on any day and obtain the exact details of the weather in that location at each half-hour through the day. Alas there is no easy-to-download version of this data, so as much as I would like to use the daily minimums and maximums, or the temperature from each half-hour which would be even better, the data would need to be copied and pasted manually in to Excel (and then reformatted slightly to ensure numbers are all on the same row as the name of the weather station), so I settled for the monthly summaries as the average temperatures listed there are what the data from the daily and half-hourly pages would boil down to anyway.
It took many hours of copying and pasting and reformatting, partially because the numbers were pasting below the weather station name and I had to build a macro to move the numbers on to the same row as the weather station name, and partially because whenever Weatherzone’s page detects a record number it highlights it and puts another number in front of it (the number of years which records have been kept at that weather station) and thus I also had to manually go through and remove the year number so that I didn’t have cells claiming that the average temperature in a location was 8,000 degrees or more.
I separated the spreadsheet in to different worksheets for each month, and another one for the overall numbers for the year. Each month’s worksheet was broken up in to sections for each state and territory (although the ACT and NSW were lumped in together).
At the bottom of each state’s data, formulas were run to:
A) Add all of the numbers so that I could quickly check the averages without having to manually add all of the data
B) Using Excel’s “average” function which ignores cells which do not have data (this was vital as some stations could not provide a long-term average as they have been in operation for less than ten years, occasionally a station might not report in a given month, or a station might be start or cease operations in a month and it was quicker to copy and paste the formula between months than to manually build it each each month), calculate the average figure for minimum temperatures, maximum temperatures, difference from long-term average for the aforementioned.
C) Using the calculated averages mentioned in “B” above, average those numbers (as equal weighting is to be given to minimums and maximums) for the combined minimum and maximum.
At the bottom of each monthly worksheet a similar process was undertaken to come up with national numbers, however as there are a different number of weather stations in each state, the state-based averages could not be used for calculations as it would give unfair weighting to smaller states…instead, averages were calculated using every single weather station.
On the “2013 Totals” worksheet, the numbers reached in the above monthly state and national calculations were sorted in to tables to group all of the average minimums and group all of the average maximums etc. To reach a full-year figure for each location, each month was given a weighting equivalent to the number of days in the month so that the annual figure could be truly an annual figure and not be skewed in favour of the shorter months. So, for example, the number for January was multiplied by 31, the number for February by 28, etc, and then the total number was divided by 365.
For anyone who is interested in the raw data (perhaps you would like to see my findings for yourself, or just check out the data for your local weather station), the spreadsheet can be downloaded here.
For quite some time now, whenever someone has felt the need to explain the basics of the theory of anthropogenic global warming to me (the theory that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere prevents heat from escaping Earth by reflecting it back towards Earth) I have felt compelled to pose the question “but if carbon dioxide reflects heat, would it not also reflect heat from the sun back in to space, negating any excessive reflective action it may have on heat which is already on Earth?”. This usually results in me being scoffed at and told that I just don’t understand the science.
How interesting it is then that a recent NASA study (and remember, NASA has been one of the main proponents of the theory of man-made warming) seems to prove me right.
A recent flurry of eruptions on the sun did more than spark pretty auroras around the poles. NASA-funded researchers say the solar storms of March 8th through 10th dumped enough energy in Earth’s upper atmosphere to power every residence in New York City for two years.
“This was the biggest dose of heat we’ve received from a solar storm since 2005,” says Martin Mlynczak of NASA Langley Research Center. “It was a big event, and shows how solar activity can directly affect our planet.”
Mlynczak is the associate principal investigator for the SABER instrument onboard NASA’s TIMED satellite. SABER monitors infrared emissions from Earth’s upper atmosphere, in particular from carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitric oxide (NO), two substances that play a key role in the energy balance of air hundreds of km above our planet’s surface.
“Carbon dioxide and nitric oxide are natural thermostats,” explains James Russell of Hampton University, SABER’s principal investigator. “When the upper atmosphere (or ‘thermosphere’) heats up, these molecules try as hard as they can to shed that heat back into space.”
For the three day period, March 8th through 10th, the thermosphere absorbed 26 billion kWh of energy. Infrared radiation from CO2 and NO, the two most efficient coolants in the thermosphere, re-radiated 95% of that total back into space.
“This is a new frontier in the sun-Earth connection,” says Mlynczak, “and the data we’re collecting are unprecedented.”
5% of the energy which was received from the sun made its way through to the planet’s surface. This is to be expected as we obviously receive enough energy from the sun at ground level to keep warm and to see sunlight etc, but 95% of the energy was absorbed and sent back out in to space through a process of temporary heating of carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide in the atmosphere. Surface heat making its way up to the atmosphere could very easily have a similar effect in that it heats up the atmosphere, causing the majority of the heat to be radiated back out in to space while a small amount (5% based on this study) to stay on Earth.
Over at Principia Scientific International (PSI) greenhouse gas effect (GHE) critic, Alan Siddons is hailing the findings. Siddons and his colleagues have been winning support from hundreds of independent scientists for their GHE studies carried out over the last seven years. PSI has proved that the numbers fed into computer models by [NASA’s chief climatologist, Dr James] Hansen and others were based on a faulty interpretation of the laws of thermodynamics. PSI also recently uncovered long overlooked evidence from the American Meteorological Society (AMS) that shows it was widely known the GHE was discredited prior to 1951.
As PSI’s own space scientists have confirmed, as solar energy penetrates deeper into our atmosphere, even more of its energy will end up being sent straight back out to space, thus preventing it heating up the surface of our earth. The NASA Langley Research Center report agrees with PSI
To those independent scientists and engineers at Principia Scientific International this is not news. The “natural thermostat” effect of CO2 has long been known by applied scientists and engineers how have exploited it’s remarkable properties in the manufacturer of refrigerators and air conditioning systems. The fledgling independent science body has repeatedly shown in it’s openly peer reviewed papers that atmospheric carbon dioxide does not cause global warming nor climate change.
The findings of this study show that carbon dioxide is less of a heater and more of a cooler, although it could also point to carbon dioxide not really being a heater or a cooler, but a regulator. Either way it shows that the sun’s cycles have more to do with the earth’s temperature and climate than carbon dioxide levels, especially given that despite consistent increases in carbon dioxide levels over the last few decades, we have not seen any statistically significant warming of the planet in the last 17 years.
The links between the sun and the climate becomes even more clear when historical records of solar activity are checked against temperature records as there is a remarkable correlation between the two. Perhaps now we are starting to understand the science behind the link. I look forward to more research in to this link in the future.
Those of us who have been carefully monitoring the activities of Obama for some time have noticed that he has a habit of saying one thing and doing something completely different, especially when it comes to economic matters, so it came as no surprise that, yet again, he used his State Of The Union address yesterday to claim that he was hard at work reducing the debt and the deficit. All of the evidence shows this to be entirely untrue, but that’s par for the course.
It also came as no surprise that, given his flagrant disregard for the rule of the constitution, he vowed to effectively implement some sort of carbon tax scheme (or similar) via executive order if Congress doesn’t produce something along those lines, completely ignoring the facts that executive orders are not constitutionally permitted to produce that sort of scheme, or that the planet hasn’t warmed for 16 years which pretty much completely debunks the theory of man-made global warming.
To that end, it was good to see Sean Hannity and Mark Levin get together today to discuss these and related matters of Sean’s Fox News program. It’s well worth a look.
(If Fox had uploaded either of these segments to their own site, I would have used their official videos, but for reasons best known by them, they didn’t, so I didn’t).
It’s been far too long since I’ve had the opportunity to link to some of Hannity’s work or Levin’s work. I’m very pleased that they got together to so logically and insightfully discuss this topic today.
Last week, it was hot. No doubt about it. And on the back of that heat there were a number of stories in the media about “record heat” and how it’s never been hotter, and it’s just going to keep getting hotter. It was the usual collection of summer news stories presented in a handful of new ways.
The first story to catch my attention was a story about it being so hot that the Bureau of Meteorology had to add a new colour to their temperature maps for all of these newly reached temperatures. I immediately realised that these colours were really just re-classifying temperatures which have previously been classified under a different colour, but I didn’t recognise the full extent of the trickery involved in the colour-fiddle. I’ll explain that in a moment.
As the days went by and more stories popped up along the “record heat” lines, I started to see a few discrepancies which were disproving earlier stories. This was bugging me all weekend, but I didn’t have time to investigate the stories properly…this afternoon however, I do have time, and I’m glad because my suspicions have been vindicated.
As I said at the top, it has been hot, although after a mild and wet summer last year, this year’s summer probably feels warmer than it really is. That’s anecdotal though. The facts are in the numbers.
On that note, back to that map from the Bureau Of Meteorology.
(Temperature map for the 8th of January)
This map was plastered across much of the media, with the general line from most of the media being along the lines that “it’s so hot that the weather bureau have been forced to add two new colours to the temperature map to display these hot temperatures”.
Australia’s record-breaking heat wave has sent temperatures soaring, melting road tar and setting off hundreds of wildfires – as well as searing new colours onto weather maps.
Record highs? Recent extreme heat? Hmmmm, perhaps we should look a bit further down the ABC article:
Shades of deep purple and magenta have been added to the forecast map for temperatures up to 54 degrees Celsius.
The temperature range was previously capped at 50C.
Yes, that’s right, it’s a forecast map, not an historical map. While the ABC article does state this, it’s not the impression given by their opening remark. The same can be said for most of the other media outlets that ran this story.
The map doesn’t report temperatures, it predicts temperatures. It was not changed because the temperatures had gone above the existing scale (which, incidentally, topped out at 50+, not a flat 50) but because one of the Bureau’s computers had predicted a hot day.
So, that map, which was used by much of the media to convince everyone that new records had been reached in a large section of South Australia, actually said no such thing…not that the Bureau were in any hurry to correct the record.
Hot on the heels of that, the Bureau had some more climate confusion for everyone: A measure called an “area-average high temperature”. Basically what that means is that they take the hottest temperature of the day at every weather station in the country and then, with a bit of mathematical work to assign temperatures from weather stations to the areas around them, they work out what the average temperature across the country was. They reached a conclusion that we had the hottest day ever, with an average maximum of 40.33 degrees.
Assistant Director of Climate Information Services, Neil Plummer, said the heatwave had broken national records. This is consistent with the trend of an increase in extreme heat events associated with climate change.
“On Monday the average maximum daily temperature record for Australia was broken at 40.33°C. The previous record, 40.17°C on 21 December 1972, was held for 40 years. The daily average maximum temperature yesterday (8 January 2013) is a close third at 40.11°C.”
It’s an interesting statistic, but when you consider how it’s calculated, it’s not a particularly useful metric as, due to the increasing population over the years, more and more inland temperature gauges have popped up (even in places like Western Sydney which is always significantly hotter than Coastal Sydney), and as technology has improved, more of them are now full-time gauges, whereas there was a time when a lot of temperature gauges, especially inland ones, would only work at certain times of the day and could therefore miss the actual hottest point of the day and report on a slightly cooler point of the day instead.
Naturally, with more inland gauges, more hot temperatures are reported, which skews the measurement towards higher temperatures. It may only be slight increases in the calculated measurement, but when you’re talking about averages of large amounts of data, small changes make quite a difference.
This measurement broke some records from the 1970s, which is interesting because it doesn’t quite tally with records for actual temperatures: Canberra: 42.2 (1 Feb 1968). The highest so far this year was 40.1 on the 5th of January. Sydney (coastal): 45.3 (14 Jan 1939). The highest so far this year was 42.3 on the 8th of January. Penrith, in Sydney’s west: 46.0 (15 Jan 2001). The highest so far this year was 42.0 on the 8th of January. Melbourne: 46.4 (7 Feb 2009). The highest so far this year was 41.1 on the 4th of January. Adelaide: 45.7 (28 Jan 2009). The highest so far this year was 45.0 on the 4th of January. Alice Springs: 45.2 (3 Jan 1960). The highest so far this year was 44.4 on the 12th of January. Cairns: 40.5 (20 Dec 1995). The highest so far this year was 33.8 on the 3rd of January. Dubbo: 45.0 on the 12th of January, exceeding the previous record of 44.5 (15 Feb 2004). Bendigo: 45.4 (7 Feb 2009). The highest so far this year was 41.0 on the 7th of January. Mildura: 46.9 (3 Jan 1990). The highest so far this year was 44.2 on the 4th of January. Coober Pedy (in the Bureau’s purple hot spot): 47.1 (25 Jan 2011). The highest so far thus year was 46.3 on the 7th of January. Hobart: 41.8 on the 4th of January, exceeding the previous record of 40.8 (4 Jan 1976).
The interesting thing about those temperatures is that none of the records were set in 1972 when the former area-average record was set, and only two of the twelve towns in that fairly representative selection of places which were apparently very hot over the last couple weeks actually set a record this year, and even they didn’t set a record on the day which the Bureau claims is our hottest on record, based on their calculation. Two of those towns had their hottest day of the year-to-date on the 7th of January this year, but that is hardly significant given that we’ve only had two weeks of this year, and it’s definitely not a record.
In order for not even one of those places to have set a record at the time the area-average maximum calculation set a record, either an absolutely outstanding number of places set a record on those days or the calculation has to be giving too much emphasis to some places which are significantly hotter than other places.
So, did a large number of places set records on the 7th of January, the day on which we apparently broke that area-average maximum temperature record? No. Only one place set a record on that day: Leonora in Western Australia which recorded 47.8 degrees, and even that is not a new record as it previously reached the same temperature on the 1st of January 1957.
(The document which the Bureau published which contains this information is being updated daily. At the time of writing, the version which I used was on the Bureau’s website at http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/current/statements/scs43c.pdf however, as this document will be changed in short-order by the Bureau to add data from today and future days, I have archived this document here so that my reference material is available for perusal in the form which I saw it).
In that case, mathematically speaking, the Bureau’s area-average maximum temperature calculation has to be giving too much emphasis to places which are regularly hotter than others in order for it to have set a new record. In other words, it’s bunkum, it’s bogus data, and it’s junk science.
There is a little bit more evidence of the fact that this summer is not hotter than ever before, and I touched on it very briefly near the start of this post. That temperature graph which supposedly topped out at 50 degrees, did in fact not top out at 50 degrees. I noted earlier that the top colour was for “50+” and that temperatures in excess of 50 degrees have been seen in Australia before.
In a somewhat peculiar (due to its emphasis on recent heat despite noting multiple older and hotter temperatures), but accurate, story which was also picked up by the media, WeatherZone advised that we saw our hottest temperature in 15 years. This story published on the 13th of January, added to the cavalcade of stories about “record heat” and gave the media some more information with which to continue to advise that global warming was running rampant.
Yesterday (Saturday) Moomba in the far northeast of South Australia recorded a maximum temperature of 49.6 degrees, which makes it the highest temperature recorded in Australia in 15 years.
True enough, although it should be noted that this record is missing from the Bureau’s list of records set over the last week or so, which I noted a short time ago, as this is one of those weather stations which have been added in recent years, having been commissioned in 1995. The Bureau’s document only notes stations which have existed for at least 30 years.
This is the hottest recorded day in 15 years, which means that every day between:
February 1998, in the Western Australian Pilbara, where Nyang reached 49.8 degrees.
and Saturday the 12th of January 2013 when the Moomba Airport record was set, has been colder. Not exactly compatible with the theory of warming temperatures, but entirely compatible with the truth that global temperatures have barely moved in the last decade or so.
Anyway, I’m drifting away from the Bureau’s hot spot graph which I was talking about. The WeatherZone article by meteorologist Brett Dutschke also notes that:
Moomba’s 49.6 degrees is also the highest temperature recorded in SA since Oodnadatta reached 50.3 degrees 53 years ago, in January 1960.
Australia’s record is held by Oodnadatta, 50.7 degrees, also in January 1960.
On more than one occasion temperatures in Australia have exceeded 50 degrees, and on every one of those occasions a black “50+” colour has sufficed. Of course, this map from the Bureau was predicting temperatures in the 52 to 54 degree range on the 8th of January, and if such temperatures had come to pass, then the new colours might have been useful, but we didn’t even come close to breaking an existing record which managed to fit on the old colour scale, let alone see a temperature in the new colour range.
Yet again, the Bureau’s predictions of warming doom have failed to come to pass. Yet again, the data shows us that, far from seeing an alarming rate of warming, we are seeing a continuation of the usual cycle of cold, medium and hot years and that, this year, we happen to be experiencing a peak which is to be expected after the recent mild years. Not to mention that on the global front, places like China are more than compensating for our alleged warming with a bit of a cold snap where they’ve seen temperatures as low as -40.
As usual it seems that the spinning of the numbers by the Bureau and the cherry-picking of that spun data by various sections of the media, bares little if any relation to the facts:
The planet is not warming at an alarming pace
Global temperatures have been virtually stagnant for over a decade
Australia is not experiencing an abnormally hot summer
The facts speak for themselves. It’s just a shame that many people will never hear them from most of the media or the government agencies who have been put in charge of monitoring the climate.
It is not often that things uttered by The Greens astound me as I am quite used to them saying the most absurd things, but I have found myself in that position today, although to be fair, their comrades in the Labor Party have helped to produce my state of astoundment (yes, it’s a word, even if spellcheck doesn’t know it).
Yesterday the ACT Government announced that a large sun receptacle will be placed in Royalla, in Canberra’s deep south (I would normally call it the deep dark south, but that wouldn’t bode well for solar power now would it?). It will produce power which The Greens believe is lovely and cheap.
Royalla will produce 20 megawatts of power each day, enough to power about 4400 homes at a price of 18.6c per kilowatt-hour, about three times the cost of energy produced using coal-fired power.
“The reverse auction tariff price of 18.6c/kilowatt-hour also reflects just how quickly the price of solar energy is falling, and that the more we invest in renewable energy, the cheaper it becomes.” said Shane Rattenbury, ACT Greens Energy spokesperson.
(via ACT Greens who do not receive a tip of my hat, period.)
So, if three times the cost of good old reliable coal power is “cheaper”, how many more taxpayer dollars do we have to throw at this stuff before the cost at the retail side is something which won’t break the bank?
Speaking of taxpayer dollars, it looks like this 18.6c/kilowatt-hour price has been reached by throwing a significant taxpayer-funded subsidy at the project. Back to Simon Corbell in The Canberra Times:
Mr Corbell said the cost would be passed onto consumers and be capped at no more than $13 per year to each Canberra household.
So in other words, the more power you use, the more money this taxpayer subsidy will have to throw at the Spanish sun receptacle company so that your power bill doesn’t go up by more than $13 per year…and with the coast of the solar power being triple that of normal power, and with very few people (probably none, actually) having $6.50 annual electricity bills, the cost of this subsidy will blow out quickly. (Just an explanatory note about the math, if a bill is currently $6.50 and it triples, then it becomes $19.50 which is $13.00 more than the original $6.50 bill).
And yes, that’s right, the company building the sun station is Spanish, so I do have to wonder who gets the carbon credits if the ridiculous carbon dioxide tax stays in place?
And then there’s the other bizarre part of this whole thing. This power plant can power 4,400 homes. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ 2011 census, Canberra has 145,229 homes, so this power plant can only power 3% of Canberra’s homes and yet all of them are going to pay for it whether they receive power from the plant or not. This means that 97% of Canberra’s homes are going to be subsidising the power supply for that 3%. Based on that, to give you a better indication of how much more this solar power will cost, if only that 3% were paying for the solar power and the $13 cap over the 100% was adjusted so as to receive the same revenue from just the 3%, then it would be an annual cap of $433.33 extra per household per year, and even then it would be subsidised by the taxpayer for an unknown amount.
It is truly astounding that the ACT Government is forcing people to pay extra through both their power bills and their taxes for an unnecessary and uncompetitive solar power plant, all in the name of reducing carbon dioxide emissions which they incorrectly believe are warming the planet. It’s ludicrous, but I can see why the Spanish folks are coming all this way…it’s a giant cash cow and it’s not their taxpayers that have to foot the bill.
For many years, the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit has been one of the main drivers of the argument that the earth is warming dangerously and it’s all due to human activity. In recent years, it has been proven, by the words of the researchers themselves in leaked emails (Climategate), that these claims are false and the data has been deliberately manipulated to “prove” their case. Despite this, they have continued to trot out data showing an alarming increase in global temperatures.
So you can imagine my surprise when the Climatic Research Unit released data last week which showed that the planet has not warmed since 1997. This new data is roughly in line with the raw data emanating from satellites which measure the planet’s temperature, and what the old manipulated data should have looked like if it hadn’t been manipulated.
Not surprisingly, the data was released very quietly. Any time data is released (usually by a body related to the United Nations) which shows some alarming end-of-the-world-is-nigh warming, it is released to a lot of fanfare and all of the usual suspects such as Tim Flannery, Phil Jones and, to a lesser extent these days, Al Gore plaster their dire warnings across all of the media. For this data though…I’d be willing to bet that the majority of the people reading this here or in The Daily Mail On Sunday were hearing about it for the first time.
The Daily Mail On Sunday reports that, reminiscent of the 1970s, some scientists are now warning of an impending ice age because of, wait for it, a lack of solar activity! Yes, that’s right, the big glowing thing in the sky which has been proven to have a fairly substantial effect on the earth’s climate (and is our only source of heat) is now being recognised as a driver of climate by a growing number of previously “carbon dioxide will doom us all” scientists.
Based on readings from more than 30,000 measuring stations, the data was issued last week without fanfare by the Met Office and the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit. It confirms that the rising trend in world temperatures ended in 1997.
We are now at what should be the peak of what scientists call ‘Cycle 24’ – which is why last week’s solar storm resulted in sightings of the aurora borealis further south than usual. But sunspot numbers are running at less than half those seen during cycle peaks in the 20th Century.
Analysis by experts at NASA and the University of Arizona – derived from magnetic-field measurements 120,000 miles beneath the sun’s surface – suggest that Cycle 25, whose peak is due in 2022, will be a great deal weaker still.
According to a paper issued last week by the Met Office, there is a 92 per cent chance that both Cycle 25 and those taking place in the following decades will be as weak as, or weaker than, the ‘Dalton minimum’ of 1790 to 1830. In this period, named after the meteorologist John Dalton, average temperatures in parts of Europe fell by 2C.
However, it is also possible that the new solar energy slump could be as deep as the ‘Maunder minimum’ (after astronomer Edward Maunder), between 1645 and 1715 in the coldest part of the ‘Little Ice Age’ when, as well as the Thames frost fairs, the canals of Holland froze solid.
Now, it has to be said, that the projections of what the next solar cycle will do, do seem to be a bit on the low side given the historical record and current trend.
If the next solar cycle is as inactive as is predicted, then I have no doubts that we will see some significant cooling, but it doesn’t even have to be that low for there to be cooling. Consider the daily effect of the sun on a given section of the earth. At dawn, the sun starts to shine but can only slow down the falling temperature at first, until the sun’s intensity rises a bit and the section of the earth begins to warm. The sun reaches peak intensity at around midday, however the planet continues to warm for the next few hours. The sun, with diminished intensity, is able to maintain temperatures through the late afternoon, and it is only when the sun is about to disappear that temperatures really start to drop, and then when the sun goes away completely it still takes an hour or two for temperatures to enter a free-fall. Put simply, daily temperatures trail the sun’s intensity by a few hours.
In the same way, it seems to be quite plausible that the overall temperature of the earth trails the sun’s intensity by a period of time. We have seen a drop off in solar intensity of late, temperatures plateaued for a while (like the late afternoon) and are now appearing to enter a period of falling (half a degree last year). The sun’s intensity does not currently seem to be enough to raise temperatures, but is enough to prevent a free-fall in temperatures. If the next solar cycle matches the intensity of this solar cycle, it is probable that temperatures will continue to fall ever-so-slightly.
All of that said, the effect of the sun on global temperatures, while currently appearing to be linked, is still largely based on historical data which is somewhat sporadic. As Pal Brekke, senior adviser at the Norwegian Space Centre said in the Daily Mail On Sunday article:
Nature is about to carry out a very interesting experiment,’ he said. ‘Ten or 15 years from now, we will be able to determine much better whether the warming of the late 20th Century really was caused by man-made CO2, or by natural variability.
Indeed. Carbon Dioxide controlling the climate is now pretty much a debunked theory, and the next ten to fifteen years will determine whether the sun truly is the main driver of the climate.
In spite of a multidecade international campaign to enforce the message that increasing amounts of the “pollutant” carbon dioxide will destroy civilization, large numbers of scientists, many very prominent, share the opinions of Dr. Giaever. And the number of scientific “heretics” is growing with each passing year. The reason is a collection of stubborn scientific facts.
Perhaps the most inconvenient fact is the lack of global warming for well over 10 years now. This is known to the warming establishment, as one can see from the 2009 “Climategate” email of climate scientist Kevin Trenberth: “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.” But the warming is only missing if one believes computer models where so-called feedbacks involving water vapor and clouds greatly amplify the small effect of CO2.
The lack of warming for more than a decade—indeed, the smaller-than-predicted warming over the 22 years since the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) began issuing projections—suggests that computer models have greatly exaggerated how much warming additional CO2 can cause. Faced with this embarrassment, those promoting alarm have shifted their drumbeat from warming to weather extremes, to enable anything unusual that happens in our chaotic climate to be ascribed to CO2.
The fact is that CO2 is not a pollutant. CO2 is a colorless and odorless gas, exhaled at high concentrations by each of us, and a key component of the biosphere’s life cycle. Plants do so much better with more CO2 that greenhouse operators often increase the CO2 concentrations by factors of three or four to get better growth. This is no surprise since plants and animals evolved when CO2 concentrations were about 10 times larger than they are today. Better plant varieties, chemical fertilizers and agricultural management contributed to the great increase in agricultural yields of the past century, but part of the increase almost certainly came from additional CO2 in the atmosphere.
If elected officials feel compelled to “do something” about climate, we recommend supporting the excellent scientists who are increasing our understanding of climate with well-designed instruments on satellites, in the oceans and on land, and in the analysis of observational data. The better we understand climate, the better we can cope with its ever-changing nature, which has complicated human life throughout history. However, much of the huge private and government investment in climate is badly in need of critical review.
Claude Allegre, former director of the Institute for the Study of the Earth, University of Paris; J. Scott Armstrong, cofounder of the Journal of Forecasting and the International Journal of Forecasting; Jan Breslow, head of the Laboratory of Biochemical Genetics and Metabolism, Rockefeller University; Roger Cohen, fellow, American Physical Society; Edward David, member, National Academy of Engineering and National Academy of Sciences; William Happer, professor of physics, Princeton; Michael Kelly, professor of technology, University of Cambridge, U.K.; William Kininmonth, former head of climate research at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology; Richard Lindzen, professor of atmospheric sciences, MIT; James McGrath, professor of chemistry, Virginia Technical University; Rodney Nichols, former president and CEO of the New York Academy of Sciences; Burt Rutan, aerospace engineer, designer of Voyager and SpaceShipOne; Harrison H. Schmitt, Apollo 17 astronaut and former U.S. senator; Nir Shaviv, professor of astrophysics, Hebrew University, Jerusalem; Henk Tennekes, former director, Royal Dutch Meteorological Service; Antonio Zichichi, president of the World Federation of Scientists, Geneva.
(h/t The Wall Street Journal, and US radio host Joe ‘Pags’ Pagliarulo for bringing it to my attention)
Effectively what they are advocating is for us to do what we have always done: adapt to an ever-changing climate, and to spend money on researching a myriad of climate theories rather than obsessing on a debunked one.
I can support that. I’m ready to adapt to colder weather with what seems to be a growing number of heavy jackets, and warmer weather with an easily increasable number of light t-shirts.
An email to 2UE’s John Kerr, who was accused by his second caller of the morning of being obsessed with Brussels Sprouts because he had made one mention of them earlier in the morning
Good morning John,
There was an article on page six of Friday’s Canberra Times which was brought to my attention yesterday and gave me a good laugh, so I thought you might like it. The first paragraph in particular was quite interesting.
“A soft-drink shortage is gripping Australia due to disruptions in supplies of carbon dioxide – the gas that puts the pop in soda.”
So, now we have a shortage of carbon dioxide? When we’re always being told that we have to have a carbon tax because there’s too much carbon dioxide? It certainly made me laugh.
And about Brussels Sprouts. I never really liked them as a kid but would eat them under protest with tomato sauce on them. Now I don’t mind them plain but still like to have the tomato sauce on them, not because I want to cover up the taste of the sprouts, but because I think they’re plain and don’t really have much of a taste of their own. People say that chicken has no flavour…well I disagree, it’s Brussels Sprouts which have no flavour.
Have a good week John. I’ll try to give you a call next weekend.
One does have to wonder how the carbon tax will be calculated on factories which produce carbon dioxide as their main product…perhaps if they start recycling the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere they would receive carbon credits.
(h/t Tom White for bringing the Canberra Times article to my attention)
This has been coming for a while, but it’s official now.
Canada will formally withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, the minister of the environment has said.
Peter Kent said the protocol “does not represent a way forward for Canada” and the country would face crippling fines for failing to meet its targets.
He said meeting Canada’s obligations under Kyoto would cost $13.6bn (10.3bn euros; £8.7bn): “That’s $1,600 from every Canadian family – that’s the Kyoto cost to Canadians, that was the legacy of an incompetent Liberal government”.
It should be noted that “Liberal government” in Canada means left-wing as their Liberal Party is somewhere in the realm of our Labor Party.
Canada has seen through the folly of man-made global warming. They embraced a conservative government which promised to not introduce an emissions trading scheme, and now they are opting out of economically destructive things like the Kyoto protocol which will do nothing to help the environment.
It’s about time that we followed suit…although seeing as our federal government is touting the same factually-inaccurate line as the BBC article that “a last-minute deal on climate change was agreed in Durban” when in fact what happened was that countries agreed to keep talking until 2015 with the aim of possibly having something set up by 2020, with the optional involvement of China and India in the talks, I think we’re going to need a change of government before we start to see any sanity in government climate policies in this country.
The passage of the Carbon Dioxide Tax through the House of Representatives yesterday was a travesty and a major blow to those of us who don’t want the tax, and also those who simply want the Prime Minister to follow through on her pre-election promise that she would not introduce the tax. The tax will pass the Senate thanks to the numbers held by the Labor and Green parties, and sadly there is nothing that we can do to prevent that.
This is a blow, a big one at that, but is not defeat. If anything, this should make those of us who are opposed to the Carbon Dioxide Tax stronger in our resolve. The only way to get rid of this tax is to have it repealed, and the only way to do that is to vote this government out in a large enough margin so that people who pledge to repeal the tax can take control of both houses of Parliament. In particular I am thinking of Tony Abbott and many (but not all) of his Liberal/National Coalition colleagues, and various others such as the Climate Sceptics Party.
We must stand up for what we believe. We must do so at the ballot box. One way or another, the people will have their say on this tax (for a second time, we rejected it overwhelmingly last time and I hope the same happens next time…it will actually mean something next time). I believe that it is vital for the future of this country that this tax is repealed, and I hope that the Australian people continue to see it that way at the next election.
Yesterday was a bad day, but a predictable impediment. Today we regroup and refocus our efforts on what needs to be done to get rid of this tax. The road ahead is long, but repeal is very achievable…don’t let Julia Gillard make you believe otherwise, rather make sure that she knows that her tax can and will be repealed, and that her attempt to reshape this nation will not survive.
We must be strong. We must continue. We must repeal this tax.
At long last, one of the anti-carbon dioxide tax rallies is set to happen at a time when I am able to attend. As such, I feel that the following disclaimer about my attendance is in order.
Samuel wishes to advise that he will be attending the protest rally at Parliament House today with the intention of opposing the carbon dioxide tax. Samuel may or may not agree with other aspects of the rally, but will not be attending for those purposes. Samuel will be representing himself and only himself; he will not be attending on behalf of any organisation and his attendance should not be construed as having the endorsement of any organisation.
In particular, I believe that this is necessary so that it is absolutely clear that I am not attending this rally on behalf of, or in representation of, any media organisation to which I may have ties. I’m proud of what I stand for, but I respect the rights of the aforementioned organisations to remain neutral to this protest.
And with that out of the way…
I support this:
In an effort to stop this:
(Both songs courtesy of The Ray Hadley Morning Show and The Robertson Brothers)
Yesterday morning I went along to the National Press Club to see Czech President Vaclav Klaus’ address on the subjects of climate change as well as socialism, communism and the like. When I arrived, I was a tad early, so I was directed to the club’s lounge where I had a cup of coffee and was pleasantly surprised to find that Lord Monckton was in the room, however he was busily engaged in conversation so I did not interrupt, although I was fortunate enough to say hello to him and have a quick chat with him when he opened himself up to the handful of people in the room who wished to say hello.
After this, I went downstairs and found that for some peculiar reason I was registered on two tables, eight and nine. I forget which table I ended up sitting at, however I had a very pleasant conversation with the other people at the table. The club provided barramundi for lunch and then the speech began.
President Klaus made it quite clear that he was no in the country to advise the government, but rather to offer up his own views based on his own experiences and observations.
On the subject of climate change, President Klaus spoke at some length about how he sees no real evidence of the changes in the climate being unusual, extreme or dangerous, and that to the same extent he sees attempts to control the climate as futile, and from an economic perspective considers adaptation to any changes to be the more prudent approach, and one that has worked well for us for a very long time.
President Klaus also recounted some of his observations from his time within the former communist state of Czechoslovakia, including some of the difficulties he encountered being a believer in the free market in such a state. He also, while making clear that he does not believe that the global warming agenda is a socialist plot (he did mention at one stage that he simply does not believe in conspiracy theories), noted that he sees many similarities between the actions of those who claim that global warming is a problem and have a solution, and the actions of the socialist leaders, and this worries him greatly.
After his address, during the period of time dedicated to questions from the media, President Klaus was asked about his views on the policies of our current government and opposition. Having already made it clear that he sees carbon trading as a pointless and economically destructive idea, he focused on the Coalition’s “direct action” policy which he said was slightly better than carbon trading because it was a more tangible idea and easier to account for, but that he still regarded it as a “crazy” idea, something which those of us in the room who believe that the Coalition really wouldn’t do anything about climate change took some comfort in.
After all of this, the Press Club presented him with their usual gift, a bottle of wine and a pen, which caused some amusement within the room due to an incident which occurred in Chile earlier this year where he was caught on video pocketing a pen during an official visit and was widely accused of theft in the international media, however both he and the Chilean President deny that there was any theft and instead say that the pen was a gift to President Klaus.
I thoroughly enjoyed the address and the company of the various people that I met, and found President Klaus’ address to be quite illuminating, and I’m very glad that I went in person and did not merely watch on television.
That said, it is good that it was televised as this allows me to share the video of the event with you in the hope that you will also find it quite interesting.
Then public transport costs wouldn’t go up, and would probably go down.
COMMUTERS could be hit with public transport fare increases of up to $150 a year when the carbon tax kicks in, confidential state government figures show.
the NSW Treasury estimated that the potential fare rises for all modes of public transport in NSW alone – due to increased electricity costs for trains and fuel costs for buses and ferries – could be expected at an average 3.4 per cent.
[NSW Premier Barry] O’Farrell said yesterday it was “crazy” that public transport would be hit by the tax when petrol for cars would be exempt: “This will create more pollution and defeat the whole purpose of a carbon tax.
“The federal government is crazy if it thinks this tax is going to reduce carbon emissions when it will lead to higher public transport fares and create an incentive for people to use their cars.”
Precisely Barry. We get told that car drivers are evil and public transport users are saints, and yet it’s those “saints” who pay a bigger share of the tax, which will be more likely to encourage them to drive than to stay on the trains and the buses and the ferries.
I keep saying it. This tax has less to do with climate change and more to do with social change, even economic change.