Climate Change Forum

Our friend scaper wrote on the weekend thread:

On Tuesday night I’m attending one of those government climate change forums.

I will be covering the development of the MDS utilised as a water transfer network, the need for native rehabilitation in the mix, encouraging new technologies to set up manufacturing in Australia but not GSC.

I would like to hear your opinions on these subjects to perhaps broaden my platform before I put it together.

I thought I’d put it in a new thread to let us post comments better.



28 Responses

  1. Scaper

    Do you want to explain more on what the acronyms mean?

  2. Joni

    MDS…Murray Darling System

    GSC…Great Southern Cross project

  3. scaper – I now am the official doofus of the weekend.

    (yes – I even go that sentence wrong on my first attempt)

  4. A new thread, eh.

    A bit of background on the MDS…there has been a bit of to and froe-ing going on in the last few months with certain ministers.

    The creator of the vision of the ‘Water Transfer’ project has secured powerful corporate backing and the consultancy is assisting to promote the enhancement of the system.

    Anyway, the way that certain ministers are trying to play this out is…It would be unconstitutional to seize the assets of the system due to a couple of waifer thin statutes in both federal and state juristictions.

    The government has the powers, but not the will to enact such…failing this, well…plan b is to lobby the four state premiers to form a MDS co-operative to establish an authority to oversee the management of the system.

    I’m halfway there I believe.

    It is imperative that there is a stand alone authority to realise the return for over twenty billion dollars of investment.

    It is in the best interest of the government to invest in such a project…firstly for the benefit of the ecology…the increased tax receipts from the prolific food production that will lead to a substancial weight shift in the trade account balance in a world experiencing its first ripple in the global food supply pool.

  5. No doubt that something needs to be done.

    I used to spend a lot of time surfing on the Sth coast so am familiar with the area at the Murray mouth & parts of it are unrecognisable these days (Goolwa/Hindmarsh Island etc.). It almost looks a bit too late at this end of the MDS already.
    Don’t have any answers myself but will be particularly interested in what you can find out at the forum scaper.

    Also, I have done the long drive from Adelaide to the South East maaany times throughout my life & I’ve never seen the Coorong in such a state as it is now. Worrying.

  6. I have been patiently waiting across the blogosphere for just one CC skeptic or opponent to make even the smallest reference to the very much above average temperatures being experienced at that moment.

    I know it’s irrelevant for it’s weather and not climate, but these exact same skeptics and opponents had no hesitation at all on every opportunity in pointing out a fraction of a degree below average temperature anywhere in the world, but for some reason I cannot fathom are now deadly silent on the 10ºC+ above average temperatures being experienced not just here but in many places around the world.

  7. Adrian, even if there was no CC I believe that we should clean up our act by weaning ourselves off fossil fuels.

    Gee, this is the twenty first century and we must progress to the next phase in our energy requirements.

    I believe reforestation is important in the scheme of things…but it seems to not get a mention.

    I have been in contact with certain senators about this and I will be very surprised if an ETS gets passed without a provision for native rehabilitation…I don’t mind paying an ETS, but I want to see tangible results…not disappearing into the never never of the revenue pit.

  8. scaper,

    Agree, but I’m afraid that the way the ETS is shaping up it will be a very expensive for the ordinary person bureaucratic scheme that will do nothing or very little, whilst on the Far South Coast of NSW the habitat of the largest remaining Koala colony in the State is about to be cut down with police arresting protesters just for turning up, which is the first time this has ever been done.

  9. Adrian, in sixty years there will be no coastal habitat left at the rate we are going…I believe all facets of the environment should be considered.

  10. Adrian, in sixty years there will be no coastal habitat left at the rate we are going…I believe all facets of the environment should be considered.

    What’s happening down there sucks!

  11. Yeah, I mean they have already taken 90% of all habitat so why can’t they just leave the remaining bits and as you say start expanding them.

    It was like how the breakaway Liberal group in WA caused the demise of the core Liberal party there because there is just one main stand of old growth forest left in Southern WA, which is only 10% of what there used to be not all that long ago. Yet the State government wanted to log that last stand and argued they were only going to take 10%, whilst of course completely ignoring the fact they were actually contemplating taking 10% of the last 10% left in the State.

  12. Why do I get the impression things are going to become very heated (I raised the same question of Howard now it’s Rudd’s turn…how will the PM reconcile his economic ambitions with his environmental ambitions?

    Henry Thornton Blog | The Australian

    John McPhilbin
    Wed 17 Oct 07 (02:58pm)
    Seriously , tax promises aside, how will the PM reconcile his economic ambitions with his environmental ambitions?
    With China now making its intentions clear it seems as though we stand to lose in more ways than one. It’s an irony that our miners are holding up the ASX as I write. Do we become part of the solution or remain part of the problem? Maybe the PM is right, the ‘economy is the central consideration’ in all of the decisions we make. Unlimited economic growth comes at a price though!
    Yesterday JOHN HOWARD called on Australians to throw off the “cultural inhibition” of fearing success and argued that the economy could keep growing indefinitely.
    “We have to get out of our systems this idea that we can’t be successful for a long period of time,” the Prime Minister told the Herald yesterday. “We must throw off this cultural inhibition.
    And today it seems China has similar ambitions:
    China’s drive ends our carbon dreams
    Carl Mortished | October 17, 2007
    HU Jintao wants to make every Chinese twice as rich by 2020. He has done it once,in just five years, income per capita doubled to $US2,000 ($A2,251) – and the only obstacle in the Chinese President’s path is the fuel needed to stoke the boiler in China’s locomotive.
    The president needs more copper, iron ore, zinc and natural gas. Above all, he needs more coal to keep the power stations humming nicely and more oil for Chinese cars and lorries. China accounts for more than a third of world demand for coal and the price in Australia soared this year as the People’s Republic switched from being an exporter to being an importer. If Mr Hu had a message for the world in his address to the Communist Party National Congress, it was this: we will burn our coal and, if we have to, we will burn yours, too.
    What does this mean? Put bluntly, it means that the Kyoto treaty on greenhouse gas emissions is dead and so is any prospect of persuading Beijing to bind itself to other curbs on carbon emissions. We can stop kidding ourselves that China will sign up to any green thingy that hinders his party’s ten-year plan to get rich quick. Instead, the ravenous demand for minerals and metals will continue and the desperate land grab by Chinese state companies in their pursuit of resources in Central Asia, Africa and Canada will become more politically embarrassing.
    Until now, we in the West have been able to sit back and watch the global energy game passively on our Chinese-made flatscreen television sets. We could pretend that wind farms and wave machines could really make substantial contributions, that carbon trading could somehow make the cost of green energy disappear. We did not understand that the real cost of our affluent, energy-intensive lifestyles was being defrayed by sweated labour in a Chinese factory. While the price of clothes, fridges, TVs and toys was plummeting, we could ignore that petrol, transport and even bread and milk were in the grip of an inflationary spiral.
    It was also revealed yesterday that: China’s Next Big Export will be Inflation
    …all those inexpensive exports gushing out of Chinese factories — the $15 sweaters, the $25 sneakers, the sub-$100 DVD players — may start getting pricier as the mainland struggles to bring its runaway economy under control. Not all economists agree it’s inevitable, but some are warning that an era during which low-cost Chinese production helped to maintain unusually stable prices for manufactured goods around the world is coming to an end. This view isn’t held just by a few lonely bears in the wilderness. In his new book and in recent newspaper interviews, former U.S. central-bank chairman Alan Greenspan has been emphasizing that prices for Chinese exports have started to rise, which will contribute to a revival of global inflation. Ben Simpfendorfer, China strategist for the Royal Bank of Scotland, puts it succinctly: “Where China was a deflationary influence over the last 10 years, it will be an inflationary influence over the next 10 years.”
    Although it may not be evident at the local Wal-Mart yet, these forces may already be in play. Demand from China, along with other fast-growing emerging economies, has driven up the price of oil and a wide range of other commodities for the past several years. But what’s really worrying many economists is the sudden appearance of relatively high inflation within China and the ripples that might cause abroad. Despite five interest-rate increases this year by China’s central bank, the country’s consumer price index has been stubbornly on the rise. In August, inflation climbed to a 6.5% annual rate, the fastest clip in more than 10 years.

  13. John,

    Congratulations…longer than the post on another thread but always a good read.

    It is indeed inevitable that the standard of living in China will equal ours but the question is will this be attained at a reduction in our standard?

    Maybe the upside is that our manufacturing industry might just be competitive again on the world stage and this would be good in my opinion.

    There is a company that will be shortly planting the first commercial broad-acre crop of hemp and there is very strong interest from China to import the lot.

    The thing is the owners who are very savvy will be establishing processing mills in WA and QLD.

    The business plan is to encourage others to manufacture the material into the plethora of products, too many to mention.

    That is one example of the many great things going down out there.

    Another concern I have is the state of our fisheries…but that still is a work in progress.

  14. Scaper

    I’m doing a lot of umming and arrring as well. Don’t you miss the good ole days when Howard had all the answers? LOL

    It’s all new territory now and the dinosaurs are dead. I guess our ability to communicate and cooperate will be the most important means of addressing the challenges ahead. Happyfeet is gladly history.

  15. John,

    That person was toxic, especially in his last few terms.

    I prefer to try and forget and move on and I have always had my doubts about any government bringing this nation together to face the challenges that face us…we have got to step up to the plate to ensure the future.

  16. I’m with you on that point Scaper “I prefer to try and forget and move on and I have always had my doubts about any government bringing this nation together to face the challenges that face us…we have got to step up to the plate to ensure the future.”

    Actually that is the very reason why I believe that there are no quick fixes and easy answers to our future challenges, hence the reason why our shared values need to become a central focus in order to successfully navigate ways forward. This applies to all issues, the global economy, the environment, future energy supplies etc.

    Just an additional note, I explained my habit of long winded explanations with Tim some time back and, I believe, it originates from my previous life as an analyst. I’ve found that simple explanations are quite often misinterpreted, and given I had to explain the obvious to senior level managers in a somewhat toxic political environment I developed a somewhat 360 degree systems approach as a survival mechanism. Sad but true. Cover thine arse became my modus operandi whilst exposing the truth and I still ended up becoming a target and having my career derailed – Can’t help myself, I just have to call it like I see it LOL

    Not always suitable for this type of environment where common values and mutual respect are the rule rather than the exception. I do, however, enjoy examining multiple perspectives and am grateful to have a forum for sharing and learning from others.

    I don’t take any offense whatsoever when anyone has a crack about the length of posts and will endeavor, whenever possible to keep it short.

    And please, if any of my responses come across as blunt and disrespectful please don’t take offense. I’m always willing to offer apologies – why do some people view apologies as a ‘sign of weakness’ I can’t fathom that at all?

    In the end, mutual respect is what helps us all move forward productively.


    John Mc

  17. John,

    Well said and I repeat they are always a good read and certainly do not need to offer any apology here on that count.

    I believe a person apologising is a valuable trait and being able to take the piss out of oneself is healthy in this world that we live in…it gives me a good dose of humility, which is the medicine I require to keep me on course.

    Your posts were very interesting way back when Matt was at his best and I tip my hat.

  18. Don’t stop teaching me John!
    I don’t think you ever waste words, length is sometimes the price to be paid for getting the point across properly.

  19. Scaper and Human Dividend I appreciate your kind words.



    It would be interesting to read the report on this.

  21. It would be interesting to read the report on this.
    scaper… | October 6, 2008 at 6:42 am
    The fisheries “may” be on a loser – but the climate change scientists are on a “winner” – can just see all the Mum’s & Dad’s advising kids to be Climate Change “professionals” – careers for life I reckon…


    This in my email Newsletter from Energy Matters:

    “We’ve heard a whisper that the Federal government will be discussing a feed in tariff at the next COAG meeting; this Thursday 2nd October. As COAG meetings don’t happen very often, it *may* be when the government announces feed in tariff plans and perhaps ceases the $8,000 rebates.

    Rumour has it that the government has already decided on a net feed in tariff. Once it’s announced the $8000 rebate could end – so if you’ve been considering connecting solar power to your home, you may want to get in quick! ”

    Still waiting for a response from EcoKinetics for my solar power system (they’ve got my deposit – had to ring ’em to make sure!)

  22. TB,

    I am very cynical of any report that has to go through the PM’s office for ‘clearance’ before media release.

    There is only one question I want an answer to from the experts that will be there tomorrow night…” What is the acceptable level of CO2 in the atmosphere that will reverse climate change?”

    If the government stands behind the statement they made concerning the Great Barrier Reef, the MDS, Kakado and the rising sea levels they have to attain that target…anything less would only be symbolism.

    Careers for life…I can think of worthier employment than being a climate cop!!!

  23. Gotta mention the weather (not the climate). The equal hottest start to spring on record with the most days over 30 degrees in a week, then just a week later there is snow on the mountains and in Tassie whilst Brisbane has over 30 degrees. There is a 20 degree difference between Hobart and Brisbane in Spring.

    If our weather isn’t cockamamie enough the largest glacier in Europe is melting at an increasing rate and it is estimated by 2030 there will be no glaciers left in Europe.

    Global warming or no global warming there is something wrong with our weather patterns and the current weather anomalies in both number and intensity have no historic precedence.

  24. Adrian,

    We had similar weather in Brisbane in 1987 I think it was…I suspect a wet summer will follow.

    But I would have to agree that it is not usual…time will tell but that is no reason to sit and wait.

  25. Adrian, that’s pretty significant stuff.

    Brisbane is 1785 kl from Hobart

    Edinburgh (3 degrees) is 1081 kl from Paris (15 degrees) – only 12 degrees difference

    Anchorage is 2310 kl from Washington and is only 13 degrees colder.

    Mmmmmmmmm……could be onto something here, Adrian

    …and the solar hot water was literally steaming as it came out of the tap…(did the floors again today, “he’s me uncle, he’s a clean old man” (Hard Days Night)

    (Where are emoticons when you need them?)

  26. Good piece by Ken Lambert on Crikey.

    Many opponents of AGW or CC often use historical cyclical data to make the point that what is currently occurring is nothing unusual. Also some proponents use historical data to instil fear and exaggerate their predictions.

    Ken writes a good short article putting the historical data into context whilst still ending on the note that something is currently amiss.

  27. OK the link didn’t work so here it is:

    How do you get a link onto a block of text?

  28. Interesting link, Adrian.

    As you know I’m yet to be convinced…but the “uncharted waters” is true…either way …as Lambert points out.

    The interesting bit for me was the 300ppm and 380ppm that’s a bloody big difference! I have trouble getting my head around a 12m sea rise though – that’s 40ft in the old “currency”.

    Certainly increase the value of the familys’ three homes, all on the same hill (ridge) about five minutes drive from the seafront!

    Trouble is no-one would have the money to buy – most of Oz would be under water – and we would be on an island!

    Anyway the asteroids have arrived, won’t be long ’til that big one arrives…(see link)

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