Climate change and electric vehicles

I’ve put the dual citizenship essay on hold for a week, partly because yet another person has decided that he might be at risk. He is only the President of the Senate, but there you are. There may be more, and the issue is getting more important by the day, because of the manner in which the High Court chose to decide the question.

Instead I have my eye on a report presented to the relevant Minister in the ACT about the State of the Environment (in the ACT) in 2015. The Commissioner is Professor Kate Auty, and she formerly held much the same post in Victoria, leaving it a little early because of what she saw as the inaction of the Victorian Government in her area. I went to the report because of a newspaper report suggesting that her important recommendation was the need to set electric vehicle (EV) targets in order to bring emissions down. Since EVs currently run on electricity largely generated by fossil fuels, and will continue to do so for a long, long time, I wondered what the logic here was. Before I could get there I had to wade through the Commissioner’s long account of how awful climate change was.

And that got my ire up, because the argument was so circular, and if I may say so, so pathetic. Here is the beginning of Section 2.1 Main findings.

The evidence for climate change is overwhelming. Levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are rising. Temperatures are going up. Spring is arriving earlier, and summers in both hemispheres are hotter. Ice sheets are melting. Sea level is rising. The patterns of rainfall and drought are changing. Heatwaves are getting worse, as are extreme storm events. The oceans are acidifying. These environmental changes have impacts on humans – hunger, disease, drought and flooding are likely to worsen, as are the resulting conflicts and refugee crises.

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) is already seeing the effects of climate change, and further impacts are predicted.

The Commissioner takes her cue from the IPCC’s AR5, but there is no suggestion in what she says that there is anything beneficial in global warming — there’s no reference to the greening of the planet, the greatly increased food production, the extension of growing seasons in marginal crop areas, the reduction in food poverty, and so on.

That introductory paragraph is empty of any dates or uncertainties. It is just one assertion after another. Compared to twenty years ago, for example, you would have to say that the evidence of ‘climate change’ is just underwhelming. The apparent rapid increase in temperature that coincided in the 1980s and 1990s with a rapid increase in CO2 levels has passed into a more or less bumpy small increase in temperature while CO2 goes on climbing as it did. Summers are not as hot as they were in the 1930s. Sea levels are rising as they have done for the past few hundreds of years. The patterns of rainfall seem, at least here in eastern Australia, much as they have been for the past century and a half (that is to say, cyclical). The oceans are not acidifying — that is a misuse of terminology. There may have been a tiny decrease in oceanic alkalinity, but the oceans are a big place: seventy per cent of the planet’s surface is water. Hunger and disease are declining. Her summary is almost Biblical in its thunder.

Ah, but we then come to a statement that can be checked: the ACT is already seeing the effects of climate change. Is it really? What are these effects? The Commissioner doesn’t say, anywhere, and passes quickly to what might be predicted (which is more disasters of all kinds). So I waited to find out what the effects were. In Section 2.2.3 the Commissioner states that (following the IPCC) four indicators are used: temperature, climate variables, extreme events and greenhouse gas emission levels. Then it appears that we are going to look mostly at what has happened since 1961. When we get to the ACT region all we get is model projections for the future. What is the purpose of stuff like this? Table 2.1 shows that ACT greenhouse gas emissions peaked in 2010/11 at 4459.7 kilotonnes of CO2 equivalent. They were at 3934.1 kt in 2014/2015. The target for 2020 is 1911 kt. If that is a real target that the Commissioner ought to have said that progress was appalling. In fact, she said that the ACT Government had been a ‘leader and a driver’ of climate change policy in Australia.

Section 2.3.1 takes us to ACT weather and climate 2011-2015, and there is not much anyone can say about such a short period, so the report goes quickly into dire projections, pages of them. We have to mitigate and adapt. OK. Now hear this:

We have set targets that are consistent with those that IPCC experts tell us are required to limit change to the critical 2 °C warming and, indeed, are ambitious enough to help tackle warming at the higher end of the range – up to 6 °C. The ACT is therefore beginning the process of transformational change to our economy that the IPCC considers is required to slow climate change.

The ‘We’ here is the ACT Government. Commissioner Auty doesn’t seem to know that the ‘critical’ two degrees C limit to warming has no scientific foundation, and is a figure apparently dragged from the ether at a conference. The 1.5 degree figure you will also hear about from time to time has a similar derivation.

So what about progress? Well, When compared with 14 Australian and 10 international cities, the ACT’s climate change policies and actions are at least on par with, and in some cases leading, other Australian and international cities in mitigating and adapting to climate change. Does it make any difference to anything except a higher cost of living for those living in the ACT?

Here’s another: The ACT is on track to reach its 90% by 2020 renewable energy target. In 2013–14, 18.6% of the ACT’s electricity supply came from renewable sources. As I have argued before, this is smoke-and-mirrors stuff. When we flick a light switch on we get our power from the grid. It is overwhelmingly generated from coal and gas, with a little hydro. Solar and wind are just tiny. What the ACT Government has done is to commission solar and wind generation, much of it outside the ACT, that is a contribution to the grid. My own view is that these claims are close to fraud, pure politics. It continues to surprise me that the educated citizens of the national capital fall for such tripe.

Apart from discovering that motor vehicles are the largest source of emissions in the ACT, I could not find a rationale for electric vehicles that makes any sense. They still have to run on electricity, unless they are hybrids, and even then there will be occasions when the batteries have to be recharged from the mains. That the ACT is exporting its generation of alternative energy to other States doesn’t strike me as good housekeeping, whatever else it is.

Altogether this is an exhaustive report, with an abundance of incarnation about land, water, biodiversity, heritage, waste disposal, air quality and so on, and ‘progress’ in all these areas over a very short period. I can’t see that it makes little sense, given the restraints on time (four years) and on space (the ACT is a tiny spot in the nation). I guess someone had to do it, since it has had predecessors. But I doubt that it is of any real use at all, and even The Canberra Times placed it as a small item on an interior page. I don’t think the ABC even mentioned it…

Why did I? Because it was full of such unexamined rhetoric about ‘climate change’. You’d think a Commissioner would would look at this stuff more critically. But then again, these days? Maybe not.

 LATER: Reader Jimbo has pointed out that the report I referred to has little about electric vehicles. And indeed he is right. The correct report is here. The one I dissected is two years old, and can be accessed at reports.envcomm.act.gov.au/actsoe2015/index.html. However, that is the report with the egregious account of climate change in the ACT, which is what my essay was principally about. I thank reader Jimbo for his correction.

As it happens, the new one is no better with respect to climate change, and the apparent effects of climate change on the ACT are by-passed, save for a couple of very short-term remarks about usually hot days in January 2017 and the like. Once again, the question of whether or not all this work would have any justification at all, if there were no AGW scare, is never addressed. CAGW is though to be the truth, the IPCC says so, and that is all that is needed. After reading the new report I realised again just how insidious it is when matters of science start to have a quasi-religious importance. Criticism of the basis of the whole report is not acceptable. I don’t think anything is likely to change until there are long-term changes in weather conditions that make AGW scares irrelevant, and I don’t know when they are likely to occur.

The most sobering, really worrying, aspect of the report is a box about Zurich, where the suggestion is that citizens are allowed just so much electricity, and what they do with it is up to them. The realisation that cheap, reliable electric power is in fact the absolute basis of modern society seems to have passed by the Commissioner and her enthusiastic young colleagues, who seem to me to have an evangelistic fervour about them.

Oh, and the recognition that electric vehicles will be powered by coal and gas, for the greater part, is not even mentioned. Indeed, the report seems to suggest that everyone in the ACT with such a car will be driving around on alternative energy after 2020, which seems just plain nutty to me.

 

 

Join the discussion 128 Comments

  • bb says:

    We are all doomed I tell you doomed! “Dad’s Army”

  • PeterE says:

    But, as Al Gore says, do you BELIEVE? The author believes. Her audience in the ACT believes. How do you challenge and change that? Beats me.

  • JMO says:

    It continues to amaze me these people display continual complete callowness, despite the litany of failed climate doomsday prophecies. This is one (of the many) reason I turned into a climate calmist.

    Anyway to electric vehicles, are they the answer to global warming? No, they are not under current electricity production. Their motors and batteries are very efficient, granted; up to 90% for each of the motor and batteries, but the efficiency of electricity delivery from the power station to the power point is lamentable – 30% if you are lucky (more like 15-20%). At best we are looking at 24% overall efficiency from the burning of, mainly, carbon (coal) to power an EV. A modern petrol engine car is at most 25% efficient but petrol has a high proportion of Hydrogen in its molecule ( even higher if you are using LPG – as I do) but lower if using diesel, The burning of the hydrogen component into H2O in the petrol molecules reduces the CO2 emission from the combustion of the petrol molecules. The only way an EV is emission free is if the owner recharges it from solar panel on his/her roof – providing we do not account for the CO2 emitted from the production, transport, delivery and installation of those panels (which is questionable whether they will repay their CO2 debit by the end of their effective life).

  • dlb says:

    The ‘experts’ say jump, and the commissioner says how high!

  • Chris Warren says:

    Interesting statement:

    “The apparent rapid increase in temperature that coincided in the 1980s and 1990s with a rapid increase in CO2 levels has passed into a more or less bumpy small increase in temperature while CO2 goes on climbing as it did.”

    Interesting evidence:

    https://climate.nasa.gov/vital-signs/global-temperature/

    Both cannot be true.

    • Don Aitkin says:

      You’re using GISS. Try UAH, or RSS, or even HadCrut. They all give rather different accounts of what has happened, so they can’t all be right. But GISS is the least reliable.

      • Chris Warren says:

        Yes, GISS may well be less reliable – BUT not false.

        Presumably NASA is aware of this.

        Compared to most recent 20 years, the earlier warming was greater, but we know that there is a natural cycle of rises and falls superimposed on the CO2 generated extra underlying rise.

        This is clear from the chart here;

        http://donaitkin.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/image021.jpg

        ANU Emeritus Professor Tony Eggleton has looked at this overlay of variation on top of a underlying warming and found a rising trend of 1.5C century, and a periodic variation over 70 years.

        Published at Fig 11.2 p175 of his “A Short Introduction to Climate Change” (CUP, Melbourne, 2013).

        So you can easily cherry-pick any 20 year data set to suit whatever fancy you like.

        • spangled drongo says:

          “Professor Tony Eggleton has looked at this overlay of variation on top of a underlying warming and found a rising trend of 1.5C century”

          When even the warmists like CSIRO admit there has been less than 1.0c warming since the beginning of the industrial revolution, Prof Eggleton would have to be a bigger Algore “believer” and fudger than our blith.

        • spangled drongo says:

          “Yes, GISS may well be less reliable – BUT not false.”

          Ask John Bates, blith:

          John Bates, Ph.D. in Meteorology, spent the last 14 years of his career at NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center (now NCEI) as a Principal Scientist, where he served as a Supervisory Meteorologist until 2012. He won the NOAA Administrator’s Award 2004 for “outstanding administration and leadership in developing a new division to meet the challenges to NOAA in the area of climate applications related to remotely sensed data”. He was awarded a U.S. Department of Commerce Gold Medal in 2014 for visionary work in the acquisition, production, and preservation of climate data records (CDRs).

          “A NOAA NCEI supervisor remarked how it was eye-opening to watch Karl work the co-authors, mostly subtly but sometimes not, pushing choices to emphasize warming. Gradually, in the months after K15 came out, the evidence kept mounting that Tom Karl constantly had his ‘thumb on the scale’—in the documentation, scientific choices, and release of datasets—in an effort to discredit the notion of a global warming hiatus and rush to time the publication of the paper to influence national and international deliberations on climate policy.”

          Considering the tiny amount of warming involved, considerably below Nat Var, which you alarmists are trying all the time to fudge and magnify, at what point do you give us all a break and admit you haven’t got a clue?

        • Don Aitkin says:

          Chris you say that ‘Yes, GISS may well be less reliable – BUT not false.’

          What exactly do you mean? My general response to the temperature data is to place UAH and RSS at the top for global coverage. If the others agree more or less, then I assume that there is something in the tendency. But since they disagree they can’t all be right, and GISS is the most fiddled with, so I take less notice of it.

          But how it can be less reliable, but not false? I simply don’t understand.

    • spangled drongo says:

      “Both cannot be true.”

      This corruption of possibly the most reliable data on the planet might help you work out the dubious one, blith:

      https://realclimatescience.com/2016/08/noaa-adjustments-increase-us-july-warming-by-1000/

  • Doug Hurst says:

    True – both cannot be true. But Prof John Christy, in his November 2015 report to the US Congress, used graphs of satellite and ballon measures, that support Don’s comments.

    Balloon figures showed no change 1982-2000, +0.2 since then with no change since 2005. Satellites show no change since 2000.

    Christy earns his living constructing reliable climate data sets. That said, we are dealing with tiny changes to temperatures and getting good average trend information from the differing data sets is probably impossible.

    But whatever you use, there is nothing unprecedented or dangerous in recent change – bearing in mind that 65% of time since the last ice age ended has been hotter than now and for 75% of Earth history there were no ice caps, historically we are still in cool times.

    Of note – the new boss of NASA is returning it to its original mission of space exploration and is having the atmospheric studies transferred elsewhere.

    • Chris Warren says:

      Doug Hurst

      You have been tricked by a denialist.

      If you check the satellite data yourself you will see that your statement:

      “Satellites show no change since 2000. ”

      was false.

      Data tool is here:

      http://www.ysbl.york.ac.uk/~cowtan/applets/trend/trend.html

      I am guessing you have not checked the balloon data yourself?

      • Doug Hurst says:

        Chris – I was discussing John Christy’s data he used when briefing the US congress and described that data accurately.

        Why would I try to check it myself when I can use data from a reputable climate centre run by a reputable scientist with an experienced team?

        For some years Christy has been telling the congress that his research indicates human activity has some effect on climate and some change is natural, but nothing dangerous is happening, nor is there any reason to think it will, the cost of trying to influence change is prohibitive and the money would be better spent on many other problems.

        Pretty well sums it up, I think.

        Doug

  • spangled drongo says:

    Thanks, Don, for shining the inconvenient light in the corner.

    As they say, an electric car is only as “clean” as the fuel source.

    And to get “clean” renewable electricity you would need 3 cars with two on the solar/wind chargers all the time.

    Also it’s interesting that when they test them, it’s not as they claim:

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/electric-hybrid-car-emits-four-times-more-co-than-advertised-realworld-testing-shows-20171021-gz5n4j.html

  • JimboR says:

    “When we flick a light switch on we get our power from the grid.”

    Agreed.

    “It is overwhelmingly generated from coal and gas, with a little hydro. Solar and wind are just tiny. What the ACT Government has done is to commission solar and wind generation,”

    So presumably somewhat less from gas and more from solar and wind, by the amount the ACT government has committed to?

    “much of it outside the ACT, that is a contribution to the grid.”

    Given the CO2 molecules in the atmosphere don’t respect state borders, why does it matter where the generation occurs?

    “My own view is that these claims are close to fraud, pure politics.”

    Fraud in that they’ve not commissioned enough solar and wind to meet whatever benchmark they’re claiming? Or even if they could point you at an energy meter attached to solar and wind plants that they’d commissioned, and demonstrate to you that they have produced the amount of energy they aimed for, would you still consider it close to fraud and pure politics? If the former that’s easily fixed… just build more, assuming you ACT taxpayers are up for it. If the latter, I’m struggling to see where the deception is.

    • spangled drongo says:

      Jimb conveniently doesn’t get that when you can be selective of many people’s mistakes [IOW, have enough suckers in trouble because of your hypocritical preachings] you can be oh-so-self-righteous and make money at their expense as well:

      http://joannenova.com.au/2017/11/germans-get-paid-to-use-junk-electricity-wind-power-generates-when-people-dont-want-it/

    • Don Aitkin says:

      Jimbo, the ACT Government has announced that it has a target of 100 per cent renewable energy for electricity by 2020. You can read it here: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/act-commits-to-100-per-cent-renewable-energy-target-by-2020-simon-corbell-20160428-goh1l9.html. You would assume that this means all electricity used the ACT will come from alternative energy sources.

      It never, ever, says that this not exactly the case, that in fact it is planning to increase the grid’s alternative energy capacity to the point where the estimated amount of electricity that Canberra consumes has been offset by the estimated amount of alternative energy that has been produced through its commissioning. In any case, no one could actually be in a position to work out whether or not it has succeeded. Also the government is fond of talking about plate capacities for turbines as though they are real, when in fact the real electricity produced over a year is usually between a quarter and a third of the plate capacity. It is, as I said, smokes-and-mirrors stuff. We will never know the truth about all this posturing, which I see as close to a fraud. There are, of course, other political frauds.

      • Don Aitkin says:

        And to add, you should also go to

        http://www.environment.act.gov.au/cc/acts-greenhouse-gas-emissions

        where you will learn that there is an ambitious ACT Government plan to reduce ACT greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent below the 1990 level, and to be at net zero by 2050. Now the latter year is a way off, but I expect to be about in 2020, where I also expect this target to have been missed by a long way. The baseline year was 1989/90 where emissions were at 3197 Gtons of CO2 equivalent. At the moment the figure is a little over 4000 Gtons. There is no way I can see that the target can be reached, though the government paper at the link talks confidently about the effects of alternative energy coming on line. It also says, without qualification of any kind, that one hundred per cent of ACT electricity will come from alternative energy sources.

        The ACT is growing rapidly in population, but even per capita emissions are staying pretty steady too.

        I think more honest government would be a great help, but if you like that sort of hypocrisy then there is no arguing about tastes.

  • Boambee John says:

    “What the ACT Government has done is to commission solar and wind generation, much of it outside the ACT, that is a contribution to the grid. My own view is that these claims are close to fraud, pure politics. ”

    Don,

    There is a way for the ACT to meet its renewable target, albeit it could be painful.

    Each Sunday, find how much power has been generated in the previous seven daysby the “renewable” resources that the ACT has commissioned. That figure becomes the allowable power use for the next seven days.

    Set priorities (eg hospitals first, and so on down through the users). As the allowable limit is approached, cut users at the bottom off.

    Then wait for the return of rationality, certainly before the next election!

    • Don Aitkin says:

      Yes, I feel something like that when I enter regions that have signs everywhere saying ‘No coal gas’, or its equivalent, but where the denizens are happy to use the gas that comes from elsewhere.

  • Aert Driessen says:

    Don, you are my hero. As Rowan Dean would say, I let you read these reports and take note of your comments so that I don’t have to. I can say with absolute certainty that every collation of data, interpretation, modelling, deduction, etc. contravenes the Scientific Method and therefore I have decided that it is a waste of my time to consider any findings. The only instrument I have left is my vote and I will exercise that at the appropriate time. I only hope that enough others will also see this and vote accordingly.

  • Neville says:

    Boy this donkey path of so called renewable energy is a frustrating business. But I’ll try AGAIN and link to the real earth and the real data supplied by the IEA.
    In 2015 Germany and Denmark generated just 3.5% and 8.4% ( of total energy) from geo+ S&W.
    BUT in 2015 they still generated 91.6% and 88.3% from fossil fuels and Bio& waste.
    This is after decades of trying to reduce emissions and spending endless billions of $ on this fra-dulent nonsense.
    Perhaps someone should remind these fools that Germany only emits 2.2% and Denmark 0.1% of global co2 emissions. How do you get these fools to wake up to themselves? If Denmark emits just 0.1% of global co2, then the ACT would barely rate a mention. Here is the 2015 IEA data for Germany.

    http://www.iea.org/stats/WebGraphs/GERMANY4.pdf

    • Peter Trandafilovic says:

      Neville, thanks for the graph. As you probably know, Denmark has more pigs than people – you’ve got to get creative in getting rid of all that s#$%. Despite those massive eye sores, aka wind turbines along their coastline, and fields of solar panels where the sun shines 100 (?) days a year, its comforting to know that the Danes haven’t completely lost their marbles and that fossil-derived power generation still does the job admirably for 365 days of the year.

      I guess the taxpayer-derived, galactically generous subsidies to the conmen and spivs in the renewables and global warming industry will eventually run out or, at least, be phased out. I predict (a lay-down misere methinks) that the subsidies will end long before supplies of coal, gas and nuclear peter out. Trump has made sure of that in the US while our “I’ve never had so much fun” Turnbull is simply confused until Lucy tells him what to do next.

      Only remaining question is what is the next global and/or Australian-based scam and when will the subsidies for it start. On form, Australia will be amongst the first to pour community money into the next scam. We’ve got to be good at something since we hardly make anything anymore – our future employment and economic endeavours could be in the great growth industries of delivery vans, lawn mowing, public service and political office, along with retraining and human re-purposing franchises. Ah, the lucky country….

  • Neville says:

    Amazing how the US always cops it in the neck about co2 emissions. But looking at the latest data from the EIA we find that the US now emits ( end of 2016) just 10% more than they did in 1973 or 44 years ago. Also the US now emits less co2 than they did it 1995.

    The 1973 pop of the US was about 215 M and today is about 325 M or about 50% higher. Certainly there is no other country on earth that has reduced co2 emissions as much as the US. The 2017 EIA data shows that 2017 up to August is continuing on this path.

    https://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/monthly/pdf/sec12_3.pdf

  • Peter Trandafilovic says:

    I’ve always thought of the “ACT Government” as nothing more than a regional council with tickets on itself, with the “real government” being the one on Capitol Hill. Yes, Capitol Hill, that knoll at the end of Kings Avenue/Commonwealth Avenues where I used to finish my jogging run which took in the two hills – the other being behind Russell Offices the name of which I’ve long forgotten.

    Ever since Maria Duggan did the coronial inquest on the ACT fire and broke ranks to tell the “inconvenient truth” about the incompetence of the ACT council, I have had disguised contempt for that sewer-like, pseudo government.

    The appointment of Professor (? really) Auty marks yet another milestone in how the ACT Government (council) has failed the long-suffering residents of the ACT. To quote the Professor (Honorary) from her own bio based on her previous work on the environment “(quote) …the choices facing local government in regard to a rapidly changing climate.(end quote)”. Bugger me, “rapidly changing climate” – all my studies in physical geography never ever hinted that. I had always believed that climate change takes eons. Anyway, looks like the ACT residents will have choices, indeed, to either emigrate to Queensland or look forward to a future with electric cars all over the place plugged into a socket while waiting for the sun to shine or the turbines to rotate.

    How lucky are you, Don, eh?

    • Aert Driessen says:

      I think that Professor Auty got herself confused between climate change and the transition from winter to spring. That should explain her perception of a ‘rapidly changing climate’.

  • Neville says:

    Here’s Matt Ridley’s cautionary tale about how the electric car could backfire. Anyway does it really save co2 emissions after the cars are built and have to rely so much on fossil fuel charging?

    http://rationaloptimist.com/blog/electric-cars/

  • JimboR says:

    “a report presented to the relevant Minister in the ACT about the State of the Environment (in the ACT) in 2015. ”

    Don, are you sure you read the right report? It’s hard to believe the Canberra Times would be reporting on a two year old report and I can’t find any reference to EV targets in the report you reviewed. I think the relevant report might be:

    http://www.environmentcommissioner.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/1116324/CSE-ISR-Report-Aug2017_FA_AccPDF_c2.pdf

    “You would assume that this means all electricity used the ACT will come from alternative energy sources.”

    You might, I wouldn’t. Energy storage will have to advance a long way before that would be a valid assumption.

    “It never, ever, says that this not exactly the case, ”

    How about:

    “By 2020 the ACT will be sourcing, on an annual net basis,
    all of its electricity from renewable generation sources,
    chiefly solar and wind.”

    (Hint: “on an annual net basis”).

    “It continues to surprise me that the educated citizens of the national capital fall for such tripe.”

    Perhaps the educated ones understand what’s really being promised.

    • Don Aitkin says:

      Jimbo, you are right about the report, and I have added a correction to the body of the essay above. I can’t explain how it happened. I went from the Canberra Times report to the web, and the 2015 report was what was there. There was no other. Had I used ‘implementation’ rather than ‘environment’ as the lead-in I would have done better.

      ‘Annual net basis’. Hmm. How many will know what that means. It could mean many things.

      If you can find a statement beginning: ‘The ACT Government is not saying that all the power used in the ACT will come from alternative energy. What is going to happen is…’ then I would be prepared to agree that the Government was not being disingenuous. I have never found such a statement, though Minister Corbell once went close, and I have been following this issue for some years. I wrote a piece to this effect for the Canberra Times before the last ACT elections, and there was no response at all from anyone in the government or its public service. Of course, the Liberals in Opposition had decided not to make climate change an issue at all, so they didn’t take it up either.

    • JimboR says:

      “‘Annual net basis’. Hmm. How many will know what that means.”

      I suspect a whole lot more than you give credit for, especially amongst “the educated citizens of the national capital”. As far as I know there’s no major population centre in the world that is running from purely renewable sources 24×7 (aka gone “off grid”). Maybe if you searched hard enough there might be some place blessed with huge hydro capacity, or geo-thermal capacity, but certainly not wind and solar alone. If a population the size of the ACT were claiming to achieve that by 2020 with wind and solar it would be major news worldwide. Tyalgum is a small village in northern NSW and they hope to be the first Australian town to pull that off.. but year after year it’s always reported as “real soon now” because the storage technology just isn’t there yet.

      “I wrote a piece to this effect for the Canberra Times before the last ACT elections, and there was no response at all from anyone in the government or its public service.”

      My guess is there was a collective forehead-slap along the lines of “Yes Don, nobody is claiming we’re trying to achieve that”.

      “Oh, and the recognition that electric vehicles will be powered by coal and gas, for the greater part, is not even mentioned. Indeed, the report seems to suggest that everyone in the ACT with such a car will be driving around on alternative energy after 2020”

      For now I’ll set aside your concerns that they’ve not commissioned enough wind and solar to achieve their goals (“the government is fond of talking about plate capacities for turbines as though they are real”) as I don’t have the time to verify if they’ve made such a basic mistake, and even if they have, the solution is simple… commission more. The point is that if they do achieve their stated goals (complete with the “annual net basis” caveat) and they continue to achieve them even with the added demand from all the EVs, then effectively people will be driving around on alternative energy after 2020.

      As far as CO2 emissions go, it doesn’t matter a damn if a coal fired power station in NSW is charging up your Tesla at 3am in the morning, provided that some time later a similar load in NSW is being fed by an ACT sponsored solar/wind plant. Neither the electrons in the wires, nor the C02 molecules in the atmosphere are tagged with their source. That’s what “annual net basis” means.

  • spangled drongo says:

    The true believers in CAGW hate mining but simply don’t realise that with even a small percentage of EVs, we ain’t seen nuthin’ yet:

    “In an all-EV future, global mining would have to expand by more than 200% for copper and by at least 500% for minerals like lithium, graphite, and rare earths, and far more than that for cobalt.

    An EV requires at least 2,000 times more weight in cobalt than a smartphone. Even the modestly aspirational goals for EVs will require cobalt production to rise far more than even the most optimistic forecasts for expansion of that mining sector. To paraphrase, there will be digging.

    The International Energy Agency’s most optimistic forecast puts the world EV fleet rising from today’s 2 million to 200 million by 2030, which translates into about 15% of all cars by that date. That share, in turn, means displacing about 7% of world oil demand because light vehicles use about half of all oil. (The rest is for trucks, aircraft, chemicals, etc.)

    That 7%, as they say, is not nothing. But it’s hardly an existential threat to oil producers in a world where petroleum demand has been rising for thirty years, and has actually accelerated over the past five.

    Meanwhile, the EV future will require trillions of dollars in value-destroying subsidies, never mind how many backhoes are put to work digging up the earth. Which future would you bet on — or prefer — given such stark economic asymmetry?”

    So we will create ever more problems to fail to solve a non-problem.

    What’s not to like? Full story:

    https://www.investors.com/politics/commentary/why-silicon-valley-loves-mining/

  • David says:

    “Apart from discovering that motor vehicles are the largest source of emissions in the ACT, I could not find a rationale for electric vehicles that makes any sense. They still have to run on electricity, unless they are hybrids, and even then there will be occasions when the batteries have to be recharged from the mains.”

    Let me help. Depending on how the electricity is produced, the electric vehicle will produce equivalent emissions as a conventionally powered petrol car that runs at 68 mile per gallon (US data). Not many petrol-powered cars can give you that fuel efficiency in city conditions. Replacing cars that run at 35-40 mpg in city conditions with an electric car that runs at 68 mpg, would result in a net reduction in CO2 emissions and a net gain for the environment.

    Do you follow?

    • Neville says:

      David you are talking nonsense as usual and the stupid actions of the ACT govt will not add up to a row of beans. I’ve provided you with the IEA and EIA data and according to the NY Times up to 1600 new coal fired plants are planned and being built in the future. What is it you don’t understand? Here’s a quote from the NY Times story.

      “Over all, 1,600 coal plants are planned or under construction in 62 countries, according to Urgewald’s tally, which uses data from the Global Coal Plant Tracker portal. The new plants would expand the world’s coal-fired power capacity by 43 percent.”

      https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/01/climate/china-energy-companies-coal-plants-climate-change.html?smid=tw-share

    • Don Aitkin says:

      No. But if you have a link to a source that shows all this terms of data and not assertions from WWF or Greenpeace, then I’ll read and respond.

      • David says:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miles_per_gallon_gasoline_equivalent

        This link shows how MPGe (equivalents) are calculated for electric cars.

        • Don Aitkin says:

          David, interesting as your link is, it does not bear on the point, which is that the EV still has to run on electricity, and that electricity in our part of Australia is overwhelmingly produced through burning coal, gas and oil. You might profitably read the article on EVs that I mention below. It might give you something more to think about, and forestall your quick slide into personal slurs. You have to take account of where the electricity comes from, and you don’t, and nor does your source.

          I have no objection to EVs at all and would use one if it made sense. It doesn’t, because my driving is and has been for many years, at about 25,000 ks a year, and includes many trips to Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide, as well as other road trips to see the country. We have only one car, and it has to do short trips as well as long.

    • dlb says:

      Just ignoring CO2 but looking at energy efficiency.

      A quick check on the web seems to indicate that electric powered vehicles are more energy efficient than internal combustion engines, when you consider the original source of the energy.

      If you run a car on gas by internal combustion it would be 15% energy efficient.
      However if you generated electricity by gas in a combined cycle power plant this would be 57% energy efficient, while electric cars are 80% efficient, and throw in losses in electricity transmission and battery storage of perhaps 20%, you end up with a total efficiency of around 36%.

      Coal fired power stations are only 31% energy efficient, so running an electric car off this may be more marginal, but could be cost effective due to cheap price of coal.

      This is back of the envelope stuff, I am sure somewhere the calculations have been done?

      • David says:

        I think you will find this interesting dlb. It expands on your back of the envelope analysis. The article explains the formulation of MPG_Equivalents, which allow the energy efficiency of different vehicles to be compared. Its is the sort of information Don might have included in his Post if he read more than he wrote.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miles_per_gallon_gasoline_equivalent

        • Neville says:

          David your links are totally irrelevant because there will be soaring co2 emissions from the developing world for the foreseeable future. See my links above from the EIA/IEA and NY Times article etc.,
          Because of this huge increase in non OECD use of coal your links don’t add up to a row of beans. And your so called reduction in co2 emissions from EVs are very doubtful when everyone knows that they will be recharged (mostly) from fossil fuel sources.
          Of course if you have a cloudy week with very low winds we’ll really be in trouble if you are relying on clueless S&W energy to run businesses and save jobs.
          Tesla’s “world’s biggest battery” in SA can only last for a very short period and Murphy’s law will test it out unless it is saved by fossil fuel back up. Simple maths and science.

        • dlb says:

          David, unfortunately the link only describes energy efficiencies downstream after you “fuel” your car. Obviously at this stage electric vehicles are more energy efficient than internal combustion.

          The article states:
          “The EPA MPGe ratings displayed in window stickers do not account for the energy consumption upstream, which includes the energy or fuel required to generate the electricity or to extract and produce the liquid fuel; the energy losses due to power transmission; or the energy consumed for the transportation of the fuel from the well to the station.”

          I’m interested in the whole energy chain. There could be three audits; an energy efficiency audit (Miles per Gallon equivalent), a cost audit (MP$e), and for the climate concerned a CO2 audit (CO2 per Mile equivalent).

  • Boambee John says:

    “Depending on how the electricity is produced, ”

    There is a lot of flexibility in that caveat.

  • Neville says:

    Germany’s rush for more renewables like S&W are helping to destroy the environment. And this claim is from a German environmental group who work to protect nature. Why are we blindly following these fools ?

    http://www.thegwpf.com/truly-green-how-germanys-energy-transition-is-destroying-nature/

    • Chris Warren says:

      In the absence of new technology, this development of new coal fired plants almost guarantees a future climate catastrophe.

      Possibly the new coal plants are still within the various Paris commitments of the nations receiving Chinese plants. At least one company has said that this round of coal plants will be the last.

      This points to a key dilemma – no nation on Earth would accept being permanently locked into poverty simply because their per capita CO2 emissions are well below those across the OECD. The entire globe has the same right to the same living standard, irrespective of where they live.

      On any basis, any low amount of CO2 emissions multiplied by 10 billion people, will always increase the CO2 in the atmosphere.

      So it seems that CO2 in the atmosphere will be increasing forever, unless someone can come up with a lifestyle that emits only as much CO2 that can be reabsorbed by the Planet’s carbon sink or we find some new means of extracting carbon from the atmosphere in addition to natural sinks.

      • JimboR says:

        “we find some new means of extracting carbon from the atmosphere in addition to natural sinks”

        Tim Flannery fancies giant seaweed farms. It grows quickly and he reckons if you can sink it in the deep oceans that carbon is gawn forever (well, at least until it eventually turns to coal and somebody digs it up and sets fire to it).

        http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/4722454.htm

        • Chris Warren says:

          Yes, I saw the original program and I remember Flannery stated the sea weed needed to be close to a suitable shoreline. He mused whether it could be grown on rafts.

          He is right – trees are not the solution.

          The program indicates that with sea weed, and area equal to a small house or 2bed flat can store 16 tonnes of Carbon (not CO2) per year.

          This is attractive but there are also projects looking for catalysts to convert CO2 to carbon monoxide and/or fuel.

          Flannery’s rafts would need to be more than a million km long.

          The only answer is the impossible one – population decrease and bringing the average global standard of living to a suitable level.

      • spangled drongo says:

        Keep going, blith, you’re almost there.

        So, what’s the most logical and rational solution, would you reckon?

  • Don Aitkin says:

    Coincidentally, Anthony Watts is running three articles ‘In Defence of the Electric Car’, which will soothe those readers who think they are the future, and ought to be the present. As always, the Comments are mandatory! The first is now available.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/11/05/in-defense-of-the-electric-car-part-1/

    • JimboR says:

      “As always, the Comments are mandatory!”

      All 497 of them? (probably more by the time you read this). Don, you’re blessed with a lot of free time.

      • Don Aitkin says:

        Jimbo, I had enough time to scroll through the comments and see what the general lines of disagreement were. It doesn’t take that long.

      • Don Aitkin says:

        These points run through the Comments section of the WUWT post (not by Watts, but by someone called John Hardy, who is pro-EVs). The whole urban transportation issue is important, and I think EVs will have place there. I don’t however see any need for their purchase to be subsidised by the taxpayer.

        • spangled drongo says:

          I could see some point in getting one as a daily shopper for my cheese’n’kisses but as we have to select 4wd at the front gate, that’s out of the question.

          As an all purpose vehicle to do a bit of towing and long distance travelling they are also OoTQ.

          Hybrids are much more dependable but as I showed upthread, their true consumption [and emission] is much, much higher and running on ICE they are pretty pathetic.

      • Chris Warren says:

        What drongo youtube rubbish is this.

        You cannot count CO2 emissions from electricity production for recharging EVs, as equal to emissions from EVs.

        Such emissions have already been counted in National Inventories when and where the electricity was produced. Drongo logic amounts to double counting.

        Not only this, but the introduction of EVs is occurring as we introduce low emissions electricity.

        You reduce emissions by closing coal-fired power stations, not by reducing EV’s.

        • Chris Warren says:

          That was a reply to the drongo, posted in the wrong spot.

          • spangled drongo says:

            At least you got it on the right blog site, blith.

            Whether it’s been counted or not, the fact is that it will be putting incredibly more demand on fossil fuel derived energy.

            Only a believing blitherer couldn’t get that.

        • spangled drongo says:

          Can you believe that our blith could watch all of Lomborg’s salient, rational comments on this critical subject and then come up with this silly comment?

          What withering, blithering logic this boy possesses.

  • Don Aitkin says:

    Apparently the city of St Louis has decided that from 2035 its residents will get all their electric power from renewable sources. There is a small difficulty. St Louis gets 96.5 per cent of its electricity now from fossil and nuclear sources, 1.6 per cent from hydro and 1.56 per cent from wind and solar. There’s seventeen years to go. Once again, you see people making decisions without, apparently, the slightest real knowledge of what they are proposing.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/11/06/renewable-energy-by-royal-decree-meanwhile-the-poor-suffer/

  • JimboR says:

    “I think EVs will have place there. I don’t however see any need for their purchase to be subsidised by the taxpayer.”

    The head of VW Australia agrees with you:

    http://www.drive.com.au/motor-news/volkswagen–ev-incentives–wrong–116168.html

    “These points run through the Comments section of the WUWT post”

    Well, if you’d included any of them in your essay on EVs we could discuss them here, but discussing the comments section of another blog in the comments section of your blog all seems a bit third-hand-twice-removed to me.

  • Neville says:

    I suppose we should look at the world’s no 1 and 2 emitters of co2 since 1990. According to this graph in 2013 from the NY Times ( EIA etc used as ref) the US was close to 1990 levels and China was rapidly heading north after becoming no 1 in 2006.
    But I would prefer a graph directly from the EIA or IEA myself. Just incredible to see that China and the non OECD have increased co2 emissions by so much in a little over 10 years. ( since 2006)

    https://static01.nyt.com/images/2013/02/27/blogs/dotchinaco2new/dotchinaco2new-blog480.jpg

  • Peter Trandafilovic says:

    Prudence has made me hold off replacing my 6 year old Volvo XC70, D5, i.e. 2.5 litre, twin turbo diesel and 70 litre fuel tank (to save you looking it up).

    The bride and I recently made a round trip Brisbane/Dubbo/Narrandera/Melbourne/Eden/Canberra/Sydney/Port Macquarie/Grafton/Brisbane. The Volvo delivered an average 1,340 klms between tank fills for the trip. And, I didn’t have to plug it in once. That was my contribution to reducing fossil fuel usage and that nasty CO2 stuff

    Had I let the bride drive most of the way, the average distance would have been closer to 900 klms….talk about a lead foot!!! The damage to the environment by her driving habits would have been, in some eyes, catastrophic.

  • Neville says:

    Even on a small fantasy island renewables will only supply 60% of the power and diesel will have to supply the rest.

    http://joannenova.com.au/2017/11/abc-renewables-fantasy-island-farewells-diesel-except-for-40-of-its-power/

  • dlb says:

    This one is for Marg.

    “GIRLS go for men with “green” cars rather than those with gas-guzzlers, according to a British survey.

    More than half of women reckon drivers of expensive sports cars are arrogant, the poll from Motors.co.uk found.

    But many women, and men too, found drivers of eco-friendly cars such as the Nissan Leaf and Toyota Prius to be conscientious, intelligent and safe motorists.

    The survey of 2000 UK adults showed that 48 per cent of men were convinced that an expensive car made them more attractive to the opposite sex.

    But 53 per cent of women labelled drivers of expensive sports cars as arrogant, while 44 per cent considered them self-centred and 38 per cent reckoned they were a danger on the roads”

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/latest-news/girls-go-for-men-with-green-cars/news-story/190368223dcb71055f2a0a9c0690b07f

    • Peter Trandafilovic says:

      Mmmm, I must be a shoe-in….the Volvo XC 70 is eco green, and goes like a V8 (170kw/430kms) on the smell of an oily rag. I can look intelligent, don’t wear a hat in the car, 54 years and no accident (except for our third daughter) and can do conscientious at the drop of a hat. (:-)

      • Peter Trandafilovic says:

        minor correction on vehicle power output : stupid auto spell correct can’t interpret “nm” which I put after the “430” and decided kms was more appropriate.

  • Don Aitkin says:

    The second part of John Hardy’s defence of the EV is now available at

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/11/07/in-defense-of-the-electric-car-part2/

    • Chris Warren says:

      The Union of Concerned Scientists have looked into EV’s.

      They say:

      “Of course, while electric cars produce no tailpipe emissions, that doesn’t mean there are no emissions associated with driving them. Just how green they are ultimately depends on how the electricity used to charge the car’s battery is generated. To offer the most accurate assessment possible, UCS analysts rated 26 regions of the United States using power plant data from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). A region that relies more heavily on coal-powered electricity generation, for example, rated worse for global warming emissions than a region using more renewable sources of energy.”

      and found that:

      ” driving and charging an electric vehicle anywhere in the United States produces fewer global warming emissions than driving an average new gas-powered vehicle. ”

      Naturally as the proportion of renewables in a national grid increases, the climate efficiency of EV’s must increase.

      The Union of Concerned Scientists examined:

      “the latest data about how electricity is generated around the country, as well as crunching the numbers on the energy and materials required to build the batteries that power electric cars, UCS analysts examined all global warming emissions created during an electric car’s lifetime—from its production and years of driving to its eventual retirement. ”

      See: http://www.ucsusa.org/publications/catalyst/winter16-electric-vehicles-just-how-green-are-they

      • dlb says:

        A shame they don’t list the precent of ‘green’ power generated for each State.

      • Neville says:

        Chris overall this will not make any measurable difference to climate by 2100 at all. And then work out how much this will cost compared to todays average family car.
        Like Don I think that for city driving they may eventually be okay but we need a big improvement in charging times and a big improvement on the battery technology as well.
        But they shouldn’t be subsidised at all and govts have no place telling us they will phase out our present cars any time soon.

        • Chris Warren says:

          It is not safe to make projections like this.

          I am hoping that there will be a whole series of dramatic changes by 2100 so that the carbon being emitted does not exceed the earth’s carbon sink. This is not zero emissions but limited emissions. There is no alternative.

          If EV’s play a part, good.

          Subsidies may be useful although they do disrupt the market and can feather-bed some business. However subsidies can be countenanced if there is a social need that cannot otherwise be met.

  • David says:

    Don despite your soothing reassurances about the possibility of a cold change with rain etc, today the Canberra Times reports that in 2017 world is on on track for the warmest non el Nino year on record.

    http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/ct-editorial/worlds-warmest-non-el-nino-year-prediction-cant-be-ignored-20171107-gzgl3p.html

    • Don Aitkin says:

      Other newspapers say it will be the third warmest. A lot of projections are being made in the context of the COP meeting. It depends on whom you listen to/read.

  • David says:

    If you want my opinion, Don, I think your arguments would be a lot more persuasive if global temperatures had decreased since 2008.

  • beththeserf says:

    Ryan Maues coolwx site, posted 10/11/2017, 2216 obs. Zero stations have broken their
    daily high record but 62 stations have broken their daily low record.
    http://coolwx.com/record/

    • Neville says:

      Beth this is a difficult site to fully understand and is not taken from the official record. But here is the BOM OZ record for all time highest and lowest temps and highest rainfall. Highest OZ temp set in 1960 at Oodnadatta SA 50.7 c.
      The all time lowest OZ temp record of minus -23 c was set in 1994 at Charlotte Pass NSW.

      http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/extreme/records.shtml

    • Chris Warren says:

      This is a very easy site to understand and is damaged by broken links.

      But what is the point – surely at this stage no-one with an ounce of sense would be denying that global warming is occurring.

      The only issues being maintained are; whether all the warming we are experiencing is unrelated to industrial increased GHGs? and over the rate of warming, ie whether there is any need for concern.

      Little posts inserting political fabricated memes of cooling may well be a tactic of some disgruntled denialists – their last gasp.

  • Bryan Roberts says:

    There are only two points worth considering: whether anthropogenic global warming is actually occurring, which is contentious; and whether humans can do anything about it, which is unlikely.

    • Chris Warren says:

      Bryan Roberts

      Global warming is not contentious within reason.

      There are those who want to make the moon landing contentious, or the theory of Evolution contentious but so what?

      Reasonable people can eliminate any contention through scientific, cross-examinable, data.

      So what happens if humans cannot do anything about it? This well may be our predicament.

      • Bryan Roberts says:

        Chris Warren,

        I SAID anthropogenic global warming, which is contentious, with reason.

        • Chris Warren says:

          I think most reasonable people would have understood that, anyway …

          Anthropogenic global warming is not contentious within reason.

          There are those who want to make the moon landing contentious, or the theory of Evolution contentious but so what?

          Reasonable people can eliminate any contention through scientific, cross-examinable, data.

          So what happens if humans cannot do anything about it? This well may be our predicament.

          Is there any example of someone arguing that non-anthropogenic global warming is somehow contentious?

          • spangled drongo says:

            “Is there any example of someone arguing that non-anthropogenic global warming is somehow contentious?”

            I’m pleased to see that you admit that non-AGW is possibly natural, blith.

            There’s hope for you yet.

            But tell me, has it ever occurred to you that in geological time scales, the complete lack of correlation between CO2 and temperature may have a considerable bearing on this non-problem?

            And suggest that climate sensitivity is well and truly on the low side and nothing to be concerned about?

            Wouldn’t a rational person consider that when we have had increases of CO2 at 1750% greater than currently, with mild warming that was not only life sustaining but extremely life promoting, there may not be the urgent need to rush into ill-considered, life-changing decisions?

  • Neville says:

    The first two graphs in this article show why the US shouldn’t ever sign the Paris COP 21 BS and fra-d agreement.
    For the 21st century they lead the reduction in co2 and coal stakes by a long, long way. In fact they are on their own way out in front.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/11/07/cop23-in-one-graph-best-reason-ever-why-the-usa-doesnt-need-to-be-in-the-parisagreement/

    • Chris Warren says:

      Neville

      Such cherry-picked charts are misleading. The United States and Europe are the cause of Chinese and India’s emissions.

      The US was cutting production emissions but only by importing carbon-produced products from China. Picking one chart only looks at one side of the problem.

      You see how US and Europe cause carbon emissions in other economies at fir 4-4 pg 14, here:

      https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/au/Documents/Economics/deloitte-au-economics-carbon-analytics-consumption-based-carbon-emissions-050815.pdf

      • Neville says:

        Chris you’re having a lend of yourself if you think China is only exporting their products out of the goodness of their hearts. They are also making money and building wealth just like the Japanese did after the war.
        But you are correct that co2 emissions will increase while we trade with other countries and economies continue to expand. India has hardly begun and many other Asian countries are also rapidly building hundreds of new coal plants.
        It’s called development and trade and hopefully it will go on for the rest of this century. Welcome to the real world.

  • Neville says:

    I’ve shifted my comment from off topic to here, just for David. Don was correct about the earlier 1910 to 1940 trend. Of course this was Phil Jones just seven years ago and the latest trend for 1975 to 2009 has now been adjusted up from 0.161 c to 0.193 c/ dec. This post mentions climate so this should be okay here.

    David here AGAIN is Dr Phil Jones’s 2010 BBC chin wag where he admits that there is essentially no stat sig difference between the four warming periods since 1850. He was then the head of the HAD centre etc.
    I’ve checked the difference and it is about 0.016 c per decade from highest to lowest trend. Since then ( just 7 years) they’ve adjusted their data-set again and again , but Don is correct about the 1910 to 1940 trend compared to the later trends as at 2010.
    Co2 levels in 1910 would have been less than 300ppm and not much more in 1940 and in 1860 to 1880 ( first warming trend) it would’ve been about 290 ppm.
    BTW UAH V 6 still shows no stat sig warming since 1994 or about 23 years or nearly a quarter of a century.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8511670.stm

  • Neville says:

    I’ll transfer my last comment from off topic as well. I find very few people who really understand these facts about recent OECD/ non OECD co2 levels.

    Here’s a few more facts that might help some people here. Bill McKibben and Dr Hansen etc calculate that we should aim to keep co2 at 1990 levels or about 350 ppm. See the site 350.org below.
    Since 1990 the OECD countries have only increased emissions by about 10% at most. And the US is nearly back to 1990 levels even though it has a much larger population. Its emissions are only about 10% higher than they were in 1973, even though the pop has increased by over 50% in the last 44 years.
    The non OECD countries ( China, India etc) have increased emissions by about 90% since 1990 and this will continue to blow out until 2040 and beyond. The EIA expects co2 emissions to increase by another 34% by 2040. I hope this helps.

    https://350.org/science/

  • Don Aitkin says:

    I write to say that I am in hospital with pneumonia, and unable to write anything, though I can now follow what is being posted. There will be no essay from me for a few days. My apologies.

  • Don Aitkin says:

    I am provided with light but interesting fiction, including a Josephine Tey detective story which included this gem: ‘It’s an odd thing but when you tell someone the true facts of a mythical tale they are indignant not with the teller but with you. They don’t WANT to have their ideas upset. It rouses some vague uneasiness in them, I think, and they resent it. So they reject it and refuse to think about it. If they were merely indifferent would be natural and understandable. But it is much stronger than this, much more positive. They are annoyed.’

    I have a Jane Austen quote at home that has the same ring, and when I get home I’ll find it and publish it.

  • Neville says:

    Dr Marohasy continues her battle to get more info from the BOM. What a gutsy lady, well done Jennifer.

    http://jennifermarohasy.com/2017/11/law-unto-australian-bureau-meteorology/

  • Neville says:

    Another clueless wind turbine crashes to the ground, but this time in Antarctica at OZ Mawson base. Fair dinkum you couldn’t make this stuff up, but thankfully a RELIABLE diesel motor/ generator has taken over. What a sick, lousy joke on the poor Aussie taxpayer and the wind speed was only moderate at the time. Another wind turbine has been switched off at the site.

    http://joannenova.com.au/2017/11/antarctic-wind-turbine-crashes-in-normal-wind-conditions-no-one-hurt-diesel-saves-day/

  • Don Aitkin says:

    A thought from the ward: When the curtain is pulled across your space an examination of you is about to start. When that is over the curtain is often left in place, and all you can see are the corridor lights. Your ears become the searchers for sense. What is happening out there? There are ten beds in this area, and I can hear something from the near ones, a confused chattering. More distantly there is almost a hum, of conversation in all ten, plus wardsmen, nurses at the end, visitors talking as they walk. The nurses wear soft flat shoes, and make little sound as they move. But there’s a rapid tap-tap–tap-tap as a young woman with high heels goes past. I heard those sounds earlier. Now two ambos go past, and they are wearing boots, ‘thump, thump’, and talking as men talk, quite loudly.

    Then there are the electronic noises. My machine — one of my many machines — is giving out a ‘beep’ every minute or so. If my oxygen level goes below 90 it will go up an octave and become much louder and faster. Someone else has one of them, but its beep is a tone lower than mine. And there is often a high, loud electronic call, perhaps from the nurses desk — it always seems to come from that direction. Is it a call to action? If so, what action? I can hear a bed coming, and I wait for the ‘clunk’ as it is locked in place, and then the sound of the bed’s being raised, with a regular ‘squeak, squeak’. I am the longest serving resident of this ward, and I know all these sounds. Learning their meaning is important to me. I know the sound of the meal trolley, and the various sounds as meal trays are taken to each bed-space. Ah, here comes mine…

  • beththeserf says:

    A speedy recovery, Don. Reading Josephine Tey, eh! 🙂

    I’ve only read ‘Daughter of Time,’ Detective story. Did Richard kill the little princes in the tower?
    A timely theme at any time, how received history is questionable and ought to be questioned. )

    Must read her other books… bts.

    • Don Aitkin says:

      Dear Beth,

      Indeed, just that book, and good too. History was my first intellectual love, and my mentors were insistent that you brush past secondary and tertiary sources to get to the real stuff. Good advice, which I have followed ever since.

      • beththeserf says:

        Don,

        Yes, primary evidence and context. Studied history at Melbourne with distinguished historians
        like Geoffrey Blainey . Some light reading from a serf on history’s checkered history. )
        https://beththeserf.wordpress.com/2013/09/08/268/

        Do enjoy some well researched historical fiction, have you read Hilary Mantel, ‘Wolf Hall’ and
        ‘Bring Up the Bodies,’ Don?

      • David says:

        “…brush past secondary and tertiary sources… ”

        Thats a bit rich comming from you, Don. I dont think you have calculated one mean and confidence interval in the 4+ years I have been reading you.

  • Chris Warren says:

    15,000 scientists give catastrophic warning about the fate of the world in new ‘letter to humanity’

    Source: http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/letter-to-humanity-warning-climate-change-global-warming-scientists-union-concerned-a8052481.html

    A new, dire “warning to humanity” about the dangers to all of us has been written by 15,000 scientists from around the world.

    The message updates an original warning sent from the Union of Concerned Scientists that was backed by 1,700 signatures 25 years ago. But the experts say the picture is far, far worse than it was in 1992, and that almost all of the problems identified then have simply been exacerbated.

    Mankind is still facing the existential threat of runaway consumption of limited resources by a rapidly growing population, they warn. And “scientists, media influencers and lay citizens” aren’t doing enough to fight against it, according to the letter.

    If the world doesn’t act soon, there be catastrophic biodiversity loss and untold amounts of human misery, they warn.

    Only the hole in the ozone layer has improved since the first letter was written, and the letter urges humanity to use that as an example of what can happen when it acts decisively. But every single other threat has just got worse, they write, and there is not long left before those changes can never be reversed.

    There are some causes for hope, the letter suggests. But humanity isn’t doing nearly enough to make the most of them and soon won’t be able to reverse its fate.

    “Soon it will be too late to shift course away from our failing trajectory, and time is running out,” the letter warns. “We must recognize, in our day-to-day lives and in our governing institutions, that Earth with all its life is our only home.”
    10 photographs to show to anyone who doesn’t believe in climate change

    A host of environmental calamities are highlighted in the warning notice, including catastrophic climate change, deforestation, mass species extinction, ocean “dead zones”, and lack of access to fresh water.

    Writing in the online international journal BioScience, the scientists led by top US ecologist Professor William Ripple, from Oregon State University, said: “Humanity is now being given a second notice … We are jeopardising our future by not reining in our intense but geographically and demographically uneven material consumption and by not perceiving continued rapid population growth as a primary driver behind many ecological and even societal threats.

    Climate change might be worse than thought after scientists find major mistake in water temperature readings

    “By failing to adequately limit population growth, reassess the role of an economy rooted in growth, reduce greenhouse gases, incentivise renewable energy, protect habitat, restore ecosystems, curb pollution, halt defaunation, and constrain invasive alien species, humanity is not taking the urgent steps needed to safeguard our imperilled biosphere.”

    In their original warning, scientists including most of the world’s Nobel Laureates argued that human impacts on the natural world were likely to lead to “vast human misery”.

    The new notice, written as an open-letter “viewpoint” article, won the support of 15,364 scientists from 184 countries who agreed to offer their names as signatories.

    The authors drew on data from government agencies, non-profit organisations and individual researchers to set out their case that environmental impacts were likely to inflict “substantial and irreversible harm” to the Earth.

    Prof Ripple said: “Those who signed this second warning aren’t just raising a false alarm. They are acknowledging the obvious signs that we are heading down an unsustainable path.

    “We are hoping that our paper will ignite a widespread public debate about the global environment and climate.”

    Scientists warn of ‘ecological Armageddon’ after study shows flying insect numbers plummeting 75 per cent

    Progress had been made in some areas – such as cutting ozone-depleting chemicals, and increasing energy generated from renewable sources – but this was far outweighed by the damaging trends, said the scientists.

    They pointed out that in the past 25 years:

    The amount of fresh water available per head of population worldwide has reduced by 26%.
    The number of ocean “dead zones” – places where little can live because of pollution and oxygen starvation – has increased by 75%.
    Nearly 300 million acres of forest have been lost, mostly to make way for agricultural land.
    Global carbon emissions and average temperatures have shown continued significant increases.
    Human population has risen by 35%.
    Collectively the number of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds and fish in the world has fallen by 29%.

    Prof Ripple and his colleagues have formed a new independent organisation called the Alliance of World Scientists to voice concerns about environmental sustainability and the fate of humanity.

    More: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/pope-francis-short-sighted-humans-global-warming-bonn-germany-pacific-islands-a8050506.html

    • spangled drongo says:

      Poor ol’ blith is really desperate when he uses the Pope to support his “science”.

      Do get some facts, use your brain and stop bed-wetting:

      http://joannenova.com.au/2017/11/so-what-15000-scientists-sign-warning-but-30000-scientists-are-skeptics/

    • spangled drongo says:

      Hey, blith, remember that Pope that gaoled Galileo for claiming that the earth moved around the sun?

      Our blith thinks consensual science has it all sussed. What a guy!!!

    • spangled drongo says:

      “10 photographs to show to anyone who doesn’t believe in climate change”

      Hey blith, not one of those photographs indicate anything about climate change that is any different from nat var or everyday weather occurrences/situations.

      Let alone indicating anything caused by human CO2 emissions.

      Floods, droughts, fires etc. aren’t even climate change let alone CAGW.

      And they’re not even prepared to be specific.

      Because they know, like you, they are simply blithering.

      And this simply proves what fakery consensual science really is.

  • Bryan Roberts says:

    “concerns about environmental sustainability and the fate of humanity”
    “the number of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds and fish in the world has fallen by 29%”
    “Human population has risen by 35%”

    Correlation is not causation. The number of obvious tragedies in the world is remarkable; the fact that nobody notices is even more remarkable.

    • Chris Warren says:

      Bryan Roberts

      Effects are always correlated with causes.

      It is not possible to have an effect without a cause.

      Any cause will have an effect.

      The only issue is to find the right cause and effect – which you have failed to do.

    • spangled drongo says:

      “The only issue is to find the right cause and effect – which you have failed to do.”

      Yes, Bryan, smarten up and pay more attention to what our blith is telling you.

      Any fool could see that a tiny 1,000% increase in population plus keeping the thermometers where all those people, factories and airports now exist and fudging the temps for the ROW could have nothing to do with that less-than-1c temp rise since the beginning of the Ind Rev.

      Even natural warming cycles like the MWP that were warmer than present with no human emissions could have no bearing on that huge current increase.

      Get with it, Bryan, consensual science has spoken!

  • spangled drongo says:

    Interesting that the only “denier” is the country that is more than meeting emission reductions but I wonder when the money runs out for the rest of the developed countries, will the “science ” change?

    https://www.thegwpf.com/frustration-shows-up-as-un-climate-summit-remains-deadlocked/

  • David says:

    Get well soon, Don

    • margaret says:

      Nice David – even bad margaret agrees.

      • spangled drongo says:

        Bad Margaret, did you ever study philosophy?

        In ancient Greece (469 – 399 BC), Socrates was widely lauded for his wisdom.

        One day an acquaintance ran up to him excitedly and said, “Socrates, do you know what I just heard about Diogenes?”

        “Wait a moment,” Socrates replied, “Before you tell me I’d like you to pass a little test. It’s called the Triple Filter Test.”
        ‘Triple filter?” asked the acquaintance.

        “That’s right,” Socrates continued, “Before you talk to me about Diogenes let’s take a moment to filter what you’re going to say. The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?”

        “No,” the man said, “Actually I just heard about it.”

        “All right, “said Socrates,” So you don’t really know if it’s true or not. Now let’s try the second filter, the filter of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about Diogenes something good?”

        “No, on the contrary…”

        “So,” Socrates continued, “You want to tell me something about Diogenes that may be bad, even though you’re not certain it’s true?”

        The man shrugged, a little embarrassed. Socrates continued, “You may still pass the test though, because there is a third filter, the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about Diogenes going to be useful to me?”

        “No, not really.”

        “Well,” concluded Socrates, “If what you want to tell me is neither True nor Good nor even Useful, why tell it to me or anyone at all?”

        The man was bewildered and ashamed. This is an example of why Socrates was a great philosopher and held in such high esteem.

        It also explains why Socrates never found out that Diogenes was having it off with his wife.

  • spangled drongo says:

    Ah! The joys of virtue signalling, climate fakery religion:

    Welcome to your exciting wind, sun and battery ‘powered’ future!

    https://stopthesethings.com/2017/11/18/renewables-battery-boom-exploding-mega-storage-system-generates-fireball-toxic-lithium-plume-in-belgium/

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