Govt reveals climate change initiatives

Kevin Rudd will unveil the carbon pollution reduction scheme in Canberra today, committing Australia to cuts in greenhouse gas emissions of between 5 and 25 per cent by 2020.

The Prime Minister will outline how the Government plans to invest the billions it will earn from the auctioning of emission permits, expected to return about $20 per tonne of carbon. The $1.4 billion compensation will be drawn from these funds.

THE Government hopes to “soften the blow” of its emissions trading scheme with a $1.4 billion compensation package over five years that will assist businesses and community organisations to invest in energy-efficiency projects and low-emission technologies.

Speaking at a solar farm at Windorah in southwest Queensland, Mr Rudd said the $500 million renewable energy fund would be delivered over the next 18 months instead of the six-year time frame that was previously announced.

“It’s time for Australia to begin a solar revolution, a renewable energy revolution and we’ve got to fund it for the future,” he said.

Mr Rudd yesterday fast-tracked a $500 million investment program in solar and renewable energy.

However, the opposition accused the Government of rushing the release of its emissions trading scheme to meet artificial political deadlines.

“Climate change is best tackled from a position of economic strength,” Opposition emissions trading spokesman Andrew Robb writes in The Australian today.

“If the design of an emissions trading scheme is flawed, it could seriously set back our economy and see jobs, industries and emissions exported to other countries. Community support for a program to reduce emissions could collapse.”

Mr Robb warns of getting too far ahead of the world.

“The current Kyoto agreement doesn’t conclude until 2012, and Australia will be one of only five countries to meet their Kyoto emissions target.

“The failure of the Treasury modelling to consider the economic implications for Australia if the world fails to strike a climate deal creates huge uncertainty,” he says.

This is from an opposition who, when in Government refused to acknowlege that climate change was actually an issue worthy of attention. It gets in the way of the maintaining the profits of big business after all.

In the current economic environment, the Rudd Government’s determination to pursue emission trading targets and a climate change strategy is indeed a courageous move.

reb.

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89 Responses

  1. I tend to agree with Robb on this issue…I believe the government should allow more time to ensure they get it right or we could be setting ourselves up for acute economic pain.

    If the ETS is not well designed then the rest of the world would observe this and be hesitant in the cooperation needed on the global scale to clean up our act.

  2. I must take this opportunity to moderate the moderator – reb, could you please sign your posts as agreed… 🙂

    REB: thanks TB, fixed!

  3. In the current economic environment, the Rudd Government’s determination to pursue emission trading targets and a climate change strategy is indeed a courageous move.

    …or very silly…

    … considering that one of the major impacts of the world economic “slowdown” – (ie a bloody global recession!) – will be a reduction in production, thus naturally reducing “greenhouse emissions” with a corresponding drop in Anthropormorphic (don’t ya luv, academics!) Global Warming…

  4. In the current economic environment, the Rudd Government’s determination to pursue emission trading targets and a climate change strategy is indeed a courageous move.

    Courageous? That’s one way of putting it. Another way, assuming they are actually pursuing such targets and strategies, would be reckless.

    Even that’s not entirely accurate though. Happily, for a sceptic like me, the Rudd Government’s predicted announcement of a ‘target range’ – with the lower end at five percent – is far from ‘courageous, or reckless either, for that matter. It is their way of trying to appease the largest amount of people with the minimum possible action.

    Of course, they will be criticised by the far left – especially the greens – for failing to do enough, and by the far right, for daring to do anything at all. You can bet that when there is no firm target – only a range – the path of least resistence will be the one chosen. That is, the real aim will almost certainly be five percent.

    And that, together with the rebates given to energy intensive and export reliant industries, comes close to complying with the first rulle of good government: do no harm.

  5. And that, together with the rebates given to energy intensive and export reliant industries, comes close to complying with the first rulle of good government: do no harm.

    Which means in the long run they will do lots of harm. Of course they will be well out of the scene and just as Howard left Rudd lots of work through his sitting on his arse for a decade, Rudd is going to leave lots of work for some future government because he skimped on this.

    For all those who say now is not a good time, just when is a good time considering every day of delay is an exponential cost to the economy and environment down the track?

  6. “For all those who say now is not a good time, just when is a good time considering every day of delay is an exponential cost to the economy and environment down the track?”

    Well said Adrian. To those who don’t want an emissions trading scheme or are sceptical, no time is a good time. They are using the current economic downturn as an excuse to push their agenda (ie. no emissions trading scheme). As you said the sooner we act on this now, the less negaitve impact in the long-run.

    If the government is serious on mitigating the effects of climate change, it will act now, not later. Obviously the government is about to act now. There will be considerable debate as to whether it will be doing enough. I think the fast-tracking of renewable energy grants is a good move, which stimulates much-needed investement in renewable energy. This will also stimulate the economy and create jobs.

    I believe that the means-testing of solar panel rebates was a big mistake. If the government is serious about increasing the use of solar energy, it will drop the means-test (or at least signficantly increase the threshold) so that many more Australians will take up the program.

  7. I’d expect one of the power stations in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley to close.

    This will put another couple of thousand on welfare, in addition to the heavy welfare dependence already in this region. More social dislocation, more of the personal and child welfare problems.

    I’m sure there will be an adjustment package, but these never take the place of real jobs.

    How much less climate change will result form the closure of a power station?

    While we close a power station, I note the story “Versace hotel to refrigerate beach”, in Dubai. Yep, great to see everyone moving in the same direction.

  8. Ahem

    I was actually using the term “courageous” in the old Sir Humphrey Appleby term of phrase, meaning that a courageous decision is likely to end in tears..

    “That would be Courageous Minister, Very Courageous.”

    Apparantly, I’m not the only one to draw a comparison with Rudd’s decision on climate change and Sir Humphrey Appleby…

  9. The greatest thing Rudd could do that would give us lasting benefit even if AGW were the furphy many of us believe, would be to go nuclear. Save our coal & oil & gas for applications where there are no real alternatives. But then that will never happen will it. We will just dig the uranium up & sell it to others who well may be less responsible. We should be doing the lot, from enrichment to reprocessing as a condition of sale. We would then have much better control as well as much greater wealth creation.
    Ah well. One can dream of logic overcoming ideology.

  10. Another quote from “Yes Minister”:

    The consensus at our meeting was that it is only the urban intellectual middle class who worry about the preservation of the countryside because they don’t have to live in it.

    http://www.workinghumor.com/quotes/yesminister.shtml

  11. The white paper has been released and can be viewed here:

    http://www.climatechange.gov.au/whitepaper/foreword.html

    The 2020 target appears to be between five and 15 percent.

  12. 7. Tom of Melbourne | December 15, 2008 at 11:47 am

    I’d expect one of the power stations in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley to close.

    This will put another couple of thousand on welfare, in addition to the heavy welfare dependence already in this region. More social dislocation, more of the personal and child welfare problems.

    That’s a stupid analogy. If that were the case then not a single old industry that inefficiently employed lots of people should ever have closed because of technological advances.

    Some want to go nuclear which employs less than a coal fired plant, so according to you we should not go nuclear because it will cost jobs. In fact lets bring back all the old inefficiencies, get rid of the robots from the manufacturing industries and start hand making everything again.

    Just in energy efficiencies alone it is estimated a power station can close in NSW, so does that mean we shouldn’t attempt to achieve those efficiencies?

  13. No Adrian, I think that’s unfair.

    I have simply highlighted some of the consequential social problems that are likely to arise because of a decision of government.

    Moe is already has high unemployment, high levels of welfare dependency, noted examples of substance abuse, child abuse and delinquency.

    These problems aren’t because there’s something in the Moe water supply, they are caused by social disadvantage.

    What do you think the effect of closing one of the major local employers will be? And why would you have a problem with anyone pointing out the consequences of a government policy? If you are going to cause this hardship, why not quantify the benefits?

    When anyone is proposing a change, the rationale and benefits must be quantified by them. Not by those questioning the rational of the decision. Simply, unless there are quantifiable benefits, then imposing hardship on a particular region seems unreasonable to me.

    Other restructuring and the types of changes you allude to have been caused by economic conditions. This one is hardly economically generated, despite the sugar coating suggested by proponents.

    As for nuclear power, I’d suggest that if this nuclear power station was to be built, a site near the existing power industry would be likely.

  14. Tom @ 7, Adrian @ 13.

    The Latrobe valley power stations are unlikely to close for a number of reasons:

    1. Coal fired power plants will be subsidised $3.9 billion over five years under this plan for the loss in value of their businesses.

    2. There is nothing in place that can take up the loss of baseload power in the medium term.

    3. There is 500 years worth of coal in the Latrobe Valley and there will be clean coal at some stage (whether it will be truly ‘clean’ is another matter entirely).

  15. I thought Moe was the guy that owned the bar in the Simpsons?

  16. Moe hanged out with Larry and Curly I believe.

  17. Decades ago a major population shift started in the US from the northern & temperate states to the southern & hotter states. In more recent times, we have seen the same thing here.
    What prompted this shift? Air-conditioning. I have lived in Queensland now for just on fifty years. Much of that time in the hot North West. The improvement in living conditions brought about by air-conditioning is undeniable & irreversible. Unfortunately, this brings with it increased power consumption. Efficiency drives are to be encouraged but the expectation that we can actually cut power consumption is unrealistic. Air-conditioning in the work place & schools dramatically improves efficiency. The ability to get a good nights sleep on the hottest of nights not only improves health & productivity but saves marriages & family break-ups.
    There is no going back. The increased demand from this, population increase, rail electrification & potentially electric or hydrogen powered vehicles, fertiliser (nitrate) production & many other essential uses will ensure that there will either be a substantial increase needed in power production or decrease in standard of living. No fringe schemes can satisfy this demand & delaying the only rational solution will only drive up monetary & environmental costs.
    I do not classify geothermal as fringe as it has been used for decades already, though not from hot rocks as is being pioneered here in Australia. Existing schemes have used hot springs & bores. Promising as this is, it is only part of the answer for our base load needs.

  18. UPDATE: Govt rules out deep cuts in emissions

    The Australian Greens say the carbon emissions reduction targets are a global embarrassment and will ensure the destruction of the Great Barrier Reef.

    Greens climate change spokeswoman Christine Milne said the government’s announcement was weak.

    She said compensation that would flow to big business would reward, not penalise, polluters.

    “This is a complete failure of a system,” Senator Milne told ABC Radio.

    “Five per cent is a global embarrassment, 15 per cent is way below even the minimum the rest of the world wants to see.”

    Senator Milne said all of the science pointed to a climate emergency that would not wait for the Rudd government to get its act together.

    “This is a climate emergency and the Rudd government’s behaving as if it’s got all the time in the world to basically reward the polluters, compensate them with half of the money in terms of free permits and transfers of cash and wealth,” she said.

    “The coal generators are going to get massive amounts of free permits that will be tradable for them as cash.”

    The coal industry will get more than $4 billion in compensation.

    The Tasmanian senator said the compensation going to householders wouldn’t drive energy efficiency either.

    Householders will get $6 billion each year to offset the rising costs of electricity, gas, petrol and household goods.

    “It’s not actually driving a change of behaviour by giving people the technology to reduce their own emissions,” Senator Milne said.

    The Rudd government had given up on the Great Barrier Reef, rises in sea levels and coastal erosion, she said.

    “The Rudd government has decided today to give up on the Great Barrier Reef.

    “We are condemned as a community … by what the Rudd government’s done today, and they are culpable.”

  19. Rudd fails and this is enough for me to not vote for his government at the next election, depending (and this is a big BUT) if the opposition come up with a better scheme by the next election.

  20. Wow, she only used the Great Barrier Reef twice in her rant!

    The reef has been there before we came along and will be there long after we wipe ourselves out…a bad example to drive her point home.

    I like the thingy about 15% is way below what the rest of the world wants to see…gee, does that mean that the rest are on board, have ETS schemes in place and have the targets in place higher than this so called pittance that relates back to 2000 levels???

    And another thing…I’ve yet to hear anything about reforestation or in some cases rehabilitation of native habitat to re-establish the natural order from these so called greenies…Green in name only in my opinion.

  21. #15. Tony of South Yarra | December 15, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    3. There is 500 years worth of coal in the Latrobe Valley and there will be clean coal at some stage (whether it will be truly ‘clean’ is another matter entirely).

    Clean coal is a furphy. I believed in it once and argued for it but the more I’ve looked it up the less viable it has become. It’s something the coal industry has used to buy time.

  22. Tony, I think we will see the closure of one of the power stations, not immediately of course.

    Consider Hazelwood, or Yallourn. While these power stations operate efficiently in power generation, the brown coal they use produces plenty of carbon, significantly more than black coal.

    If the government is serious about cutting emissions, then at some point it will have to deal with Hazelwood particularly. And this won’t be in 20 years.

    In the uncertain future for brown coal, the owners will loose commitment to spending on maintenance, refurbishment and upgrade. Without this uncertainty Hazelwood would continue to operate indefinitely.

    Clean coal may be feasible for black coal at some point, but making the damp brown coal of the Latrobe Valley clean is a long way off. Best not to plan on using it for the next 500 years.

  23. This announcement is no surprise. The Rudd Government have given many signs that they were going to be very cautious about this. Let us all hope that the slow actions of the Rudd Government towards 2020 will not cost us dearly in the future.

  24. “By their fruits you will know them.”

    Kevin Rudd has just proved what I suspected all along: he too is a climate-change sceptic. He doesn’t really believe all that nonsense inflicted on unsuspecting cinema-goers by Al Gore.

    Rudd has an eye to his legacy, and he does not wish to be known as the man who approved the destruction of our economy based on an untestable theory.

    Welcome to our ever-expanding club, Kevin. 🙂

  25. Very disappointing by the Rudd government.

    Maybe understandable but I think they should have been more courageous.

  26. Adrian, I’m more inclined to sit back and see how this rolls out before condemning this government.

    Maybe a soft approach might be the best strategy given the circumstances at the moment and when this scheme is introduced…this Copenhagen summit might just see the target increased in line with the world if they come on board.

    It allows for room for movement and refining the scheme as it will be far from perfect in my opinion.

  27. Which club is that Tony? Like Europe?

  28. 14. Tom of Melbourne | December 15, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    Can’t agree Tom. Over the millennia and longer, ever since the first cave man exchanged some food or clothing for something they wanted, jobs have been lost to better products and efficiency gains by others, usually through technological gains by the producer or better more efficient service provision.

    Why should coal workers be sacrosanct just because their industry is located in a high unemployment area. The major car manufacturers are mostly located in high unemployment industrial areas, yet it didn’t stop them ousting workers through technology and by going offshore over the last 50+ years.

    Better the workers gradually start shifting to new skills now (which is what always happens with paradigm shifts in comparative advantage) than getting whammied in a decade or so with nowhere to go and nothing else in place as others have taken up all the positions in the alternate energy industries.

  29. 28. scaper… | December 15, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    Adrian, I’m more inclined to sit back and see how this rolls out before condemning this government.

    Maybe, but I can’t help feel this seems to be a chicken’s way out, scratching at the surface whilst deep underneath the problem is still growing at a greater rate than his supposed fix.

    And yet again the very industries that have caused this mess and who have grown fat and rich because of it, get to continue on and the taxpayer, yet again, bails them out of their responsibility. Seems to be a theme now world wide and it makes me wonder just who is ruling this world, governments or industries?

    PS. I think my threat is very hollow anyway for the chances of the opposition coming up with a courageous environmental plan are about as likely as me riding a pink moped into a pack of Hells Angels.

  30. This cut to greenhouse gas emissions is regularly misreported. I think it is important for everyone to know that they are proposing the emissions cuts compared to 2000 levels.

    Interesting to know that Federal Labor proposed 2050 cut is 60% compared to 1990 levels (which were noticeably lower than 2000 levels). The scientific consensus is that the world needs a reduction of 80-90% compared to 1990 levels to reach 450 parts per million.

    Kevin Rudd today said that he wanted to aim for 450 parts per million in the long-term. I just wonder how he thinks he’s going to get the world to cut emissions by 80-90% with policy actions like those announced today. I also wonder how he thinks our country is even going to reach Federal Labor’s more modest long term target of a 60% reduction compared to 1990 levels by 2050, with policy actions like those announced today.

  31. Which club is that Tony? Like Europe?

    Not sure what you mean by the Europe reference. I was referring to the club of rational individuals who demand proof before committing billions to a possible non-problem. You may know them as denialists. I call them sceptics. 😉

  32. ” just wonder how he thinks he’s going to get the world to cut emissions by 80-90% with policy actions like those announced today.”

    That was poorly worded. Should have said: I just wonder how he thinks Australia is going to help contribute to a world cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 80-90% with policy actions like those announced today.

  33. Spot on Alastair, that’s the way I read it as well, which is why I’m peeved at Rudd. It’s a cop out and takes away any modicum of ability for him to stand on a world stage as an good example to be followed. It does the opposite and opens the way for him and this country to be dumped on, and rightly so.

  34. Alistair, I attended a climate change forum and professor Clive Wild of Griffith University said that the level of CO2 in the atmosphere is now 388ppm.

    Now if all this CC stuff is correct and we are suffereing now then what the fluk is 450ppm going to do to our environment???

    For your information the concentration was 274ppm before the industrial revolution according to ice core sampling.

  35. Adrian, restructuring due to economic conditions is generally unavoidable. I’d add that putting anyone out of work should be the last decision to be made after all other options have been examined.

    Economic restructuring and the unemployment that goes with it is painful for workers, and their children. It hurts them, it causes divorce, it causes alcoholism and substance abuse. Put simply, I hate the idea of putting people out of work, it is ugly. And a decision without clearly quantifiable benefits is not good enough.

    When Hazelwood closes, we can see the effect on the local community. But what will be the effect on climate change?

  36. For your information the concentration was 274ppm before the industrial revolution according to ice core sampling.

    Now, I haven’t studied this article carefully, but it goes to show that there are plenty of doubts about so many aspects of the ‘settled’ science of climate change:

    “Pre-industrial CO2 levels were about the same as today. How and why we are told otherwise?”

    http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/6855

  37. Scaper, I believe that the 450ppm refers to greenhouse gas emissions, which includes many more gases than just CO2, eg. methane.

    450ppm is the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases at which most scientists believe we need to maintain in the long-term to avoid the catastrophic effects of climate change.

    If the world only reduces greenhouse gas emissions by a small amount, scientists believe we won’t even be able to contain greenhouse gas emissions under 550ppm.

  38. I agree Adrian. I particularly don’t understand the setting of a maximum level of emissions cuts by 2020 and the low level at which it is set. There is considerable push in various circles for a cut of at least 25% compared to 1990 levels by 2020. Why have they closed the door on this? It appears that the Rudd Government is going to be a resisting force to such a global agreement. It is extremely disappointing!

  39. Tony some stuff about the author you quote:

    You should have been suspicious the moment you saw that the article was posted in a conservative website and not a scientific one.

    The deathless and – in many specific respects – completely fictional meanderings of Dr. Tim Ball have begun appearing again on right-wing blogs all over the net. At City Troll, at Convenient Untruth and at New Orleans Lady, the same tired and retreaded old climate rant paints Dr. Ball as the courageous victim of a plot to silence a well-meaning skeptic.

    But Ball can’t even tell the truth about his own resume. His claim to be the first Climatology Ph.D. in Canada is a total falsehood; his degree was in historical geography – not climatology – and it was nowhere near the first ever granted to someone writing vaguely in the field. It also was granted by the university as a doctor of philosophy, not the more prestigious “doctor of science” that Ball claims in these articles.

    He claims as well to have been a professor (again of climatology) at the University of Winnipeg for 32 years, while he confirmed in his own Statement of Claim in a pending lawsuit (look here ) that he was a professor (of geography, never climatology) for just eight years.

    Dr. Ball claims never to have been paid by oil and gas interests, but if you look here , you’ll find a Globe and Mail story in which Dr. Barry Cooper, the man behind Ball’s former industry front group, the Friends of Science , offers this clumsy admission: “[The money’s] not exclusively from the oil and gas industry,” says Prof. Cooper. “It’s also from foundations and individuals. I can’t tell you the names of those companies, or the foundations for that matter, or the individuals.”

    Lot’s more on Ball if you look him up.

  40. Adrian, I thought you had stopped attacking the author. Did you even read past the title of the article?

  41. Tom. The closing a coal fired energy plant is quantifiable to the nth degree. So the effect of closing a dirty coal plant can only be beneficial. Since the plant spewed out its first carbon atom I bet the amount of gasses it has spewed forth and the environmental degradation it has caused are known down to decimal places.

    The question should be what is the long term effect on many future generations by not closing it so short term pain can be alleviated by a few now.

    Tom the arguments you give for not causing hardship by sacking workers is one that can and has been applied across the board and across the ages, in industries of all types. Unions, your dreaded bug bear, fight to stop sackings all the time, but you want to get rid of them, or have their powers drastically curbed, so they can no longer fight to help workers who have been sacked or stop them from being sacked.

    Your concern for the workers in this case would be wonderful if it weren’t so selectively applied.

  42. 42. Tony of South Yarra

    Yes I did, and in this case the author is important because he can’t be trusted, which means the data presented can’t be trusted.

    He is a liar and deceiver so why should he be given any credibility. If he releases a peer reviewed paper on the subject using his true credentials then he might be worth quoting and reading.

  43. Alistair, that is the problem…so many conflicting sets of figures out there, I’m just relating what I was told by someone respected in his field although I have to admit that I was cross questioning him and got him a tad flustered.

  44. I always surprised how left/green people feel disenchanted and/or ‘betrayed’ by Labor Governments.

    What do you expect? Labor will never go out on a limb for these things. They calculate that they may lose votes in the inner suburbs but fear losses in the outer metropolitan more.

  45. I’m not sure whether to be grateful that our government has demonstrated that it does not really believe in Anthropogenic Global Warming or furious at the fraud it perpetrated on the Australian nation at the last federal election. Mind you, the Coalition are perpetrating the same fraud, but are just less convincing.

  46. Just as a bit of fun, Adrian, I looked up the author of your article: “Richard Littlemore has been trained by Al Gore as part of The Climate Project, an initiative designed to educate the public about climate change.”

    You can’t get much more qualified than being trained by the Goracle himself, I suppose.

  47. Guido,

    “I always surprised how left/green people feel disenchanted and/or ‘betrayed’ by Labor Governments.”

    The Rudd Government appear to not be meeting their election commitment to the Australian public of doing something substantial about mitigating the catastrophic effects of climate change. Given that they are backing away from a substantial election commitment that many people voted for, why does it surprise you that many people view this decision negatively?

  48. “why does it surprise you that many people view this decision negatively?”

    And irrespective of whether their views are green, left-wing, right-wing, centrist, liberal, conservative, moderate, socialist, social democratic or whatever.

  49. Alistair @ 50.
    Because Rudd said one thing, which pissed half the population off, then did(n’t) another, which pissed off the other half. He won’t lose on this, because the Opposition have been pathetic on the issue.

  50. James of North Melbourne @50, I completely agree.

  51. Adrian, that doesn’t make sense. To support the employment of people in Australian industry, I have to provide unqualified support for unions???

    I support unionism, but with significant misgivings about some of the excesses of past practice and behaviour. I don’t think I ought to be disqualified from expressing my support for employment as a policy priority on this basis

  52. Alastair ,

    Of course people are entitled to feel betrayed and angry. But I was just expressing the cynicism about the fact that the ALP (since the mid 80’s I guess) has never been that environment friendly really.

    As an ex-ALP member I always felt that people put too much trust in ALP governments to do ‘the right thing’.

  53. One of my hopes is that when the dire predictions fail to come to pass, like the demise of The Great Barrier Reef within five years or an Ice Free Arctic within five years, that those who have been conned by them, turn on these prophets of doom. Then again, over my life I have many times heard the preaching of a particular sect that the end of the world was neigh. They claim the failure of their predictive powers is a blessing. So, I am pessimistic that the perpetrators will ever be held to account.
    It’s like the Nigerian scams. They only survive because people believe in them against all logic.
    CO2 levels continue to climb yet temperatures do not climb in tandem. The Arctic Ice Cap has recovered yet so called experts still claim it is receding. Unbelievable. The temperature increase over the last century has had the same effect as would be felt if you moved from the Southern boundary of a cattle station something like 30 kilometres to the Northerly boundary. Given a century to adapt to the change, I would not call this catastrophic & it is well within natural cycles.
    As for the Barrier Reef, there have been numerous predictions of its demise over the past thirty years. The previous doomsayers have not been held to account. It’s a great fund raiser to cry wolf in any church.

  54. Carlyle,

    Have they found the WMD’s yet?

  55. 55. Carlyle | December 15, 2008 at 7:09 pm

    One of my hopes is that when the dire predictions fail to come to pass, like the demise of The Great Barrier Reef within five years or an Ice Free Arctic within five years, that those who have been conned by them, turn on these prophets of doom.

    Which credible scientists made those predictions? The only ones I have read making predictions like that have been unaccredited radicals. If you want to believe them more fool you.

    So many holes in your snippets of what you think are facts and wild sprays as usual, but I’m not going to spend pages arguing the same stuff over and over yet again.

    I’ll just ask one thing on the Arctic ice cap recovery. Can you tell us if it is to the same thickness and extent as in the past, and if every recovery is of equal extent as previous ones or if the recoveries are slower or at the same pace?

    Also how about telling us what is happening to the krill and plankton in Arctic waters. Strange that for a place that supposed to be normal.

    Anyway you just keep beating an empty drum, it might amuse you but most everyone else has moved on to a different drum.

  56. What is the relevance joni@56? Looks like he used them all on the Kurds. He did move his air force to Iran once too you know.
    The evidence for WMD was much more persuasive in light of the fact that he had used them against the Kurds than the evidence for AGW. Accepting that no WMD were found after Sadam’s demise despite the evidence that virtually the whole world believed to be incontrovertible, what chance do you give AGW? Lets have a little wager. If the reef were to disappear within five years, what would you expect the percentage loss would be in one year? Ditto The Arctic Ice Cap. Is the loss going to be linear or exponential? Ask one of your preachers. They claim they deal in science so give us something measurable or is it really spiritual & we are trying to measure souls or how many angels can fit on the head of a pin?

  57. 48. Tony of South Yarra | December 15, 2008 at 4:19 pm

    Just as a bit of fun, Adrian, I looked up the author of your article: “Richard Littlemore …

    Where has Littlemore ever lied about his credentials or mislead about his allegiances?

    Where has Littlemore falsified data?

    Plus have a look around for info on Ball and see just how much credibility he has. He out and out lied about his credentials yet you want us to take his data as fact, and it’s not even peer reviewed. When Ball releases a scientific paper into the public sphere for review instead of onto right wing websites then he might gain some credibility. It might also help if he puts up his real credentials at the head of his pieces instead of telling everyone he’s a climatologist.

  58. Carlyle stop making the false claim about the Great Barrier Reef disappearing in five years. The only scientific data I can find states 30years with some scientists saying 50 years.

    You are deliberately being mischievous here in stirring the pot, it reflects badly on you as your debating and arguments are normally lucid and sensible.

    Now if the Reef doesn’t disappear in 50 years I’ll concede you were right, but damned if I’m going to do nothing waiting to find out.

  59. Adrian’ I think you must be inside the drum & it has deafened you to any views contrary to your own. Has blurred the vision too. Plenty of AGW people predicted that the Arctic would be ice free last Northern summer because the ice formed during the previous winter was thin. What happened in fact? Summer ice loss was much less than the previous summer & Ice coverage continues to expand to a greater extent this early Northern winter. So, even though once again the predictions were false you chose not to believe the facts. If the previous ice was so thin, how come it did not melt this past summer? I cannot be bothered with the krill & plankton nonsense. The Antarctic continent is larger than Australia. Taking a few measurements in a limited number of locations proves nothing & in any case, the Antarctic ice sheet is expanding overall.

  60. I don’t know why I’m going to bother but here goes.

    Arctic Ice Returns, Thin and Tentative
    Older Arctic ice being replace by thinner new ice. This is very bad.

    Plenty more if you look.

    I gather the reason you don’t want to know about the microscopic Arctic flora and fauna is because like many flora and fauna species around the world they point to a warming.

    I suppose you have an explanation why all these normally tropical species are turning up in supposedly colder climates where they have never been seen before, and why cold climate species like the Arctic krill are suffering deformities due to heat stress.

  61. Adrian of Nowra

    Don’t bother! But there are encouraging signs that the world is recognising that there is a massive problem even if there is a lack of political will to take a serious approach. Be interesting to see what Obama will do.

    As you say the evidence is mounting when it comes to e demise of the Artic ice.

    BTW, it was hot in Brisbane today but not as hot as yesterday which proves that it is cooling doen’t it?

    Don’t bother!

  62. Chose any two dates you like over the past year & you will see the growth of the Arctic Ice Cap this year compared to last. By the end of the new Northern winter, the Ice Cap is likely to be back at the 1988 level or very close. The Northern winter is already showing signs of being colder than last. Last winter was colder on average than for quite a few years previously, about 10 or 15 years. I cannot remember precisely.
    http://igloo.atmos.uiuc.edu/cgi-bin/test/print.sh?fm=12&fd=14&fy=2007&sm=12&sd=14&sy=2008
    How do you hyperlink on this site?

  63. To me, seems the 5% to 15% decision on GGEs serves two purposes:

    1. It appeases the majority of Australian voters who see Climate Change as a problem;

    2. Serves to act as a political wedge against the Liberals. Turnbull has no room to manoeuvre on this one.
    Poor ol’ Malcolm. His days as leader are numbered.

  64. Serves to act as a political wedge against the Liberals. Turnbull has no room to manoeuvre on this one.

    I also see it as a wedge, literally an issue that can divide the Liberals.

    With Rudd moving to the right on this it leaves the Liberals with nowhere to go but further to the right themselves. At the far-right there be dragons!

    If they move further right, they will lose any of the small l Liberals that might have come back to them under Turnbull, for example, doctors’ wives, inner-city yuppies.

    A move to the right won’t gain them any votes; they already have that end of the spectrum sown up. They can only lose votes by moving further out. Though the hard-right “dries” of the party would feel vindicated and needed.

    This may thus be the beginning of the end for that pinko liberal, Turnbull. I’m expecting Tony Abbott to open the cutlery drawer any time now and draw out the longest, sharpest blade he can lay his calloused palms on …

  65. 65. Oftenbark | December 15, 2008 at 9:33 pm

    You know Oftenbark, I have always believed that the ALP is a deceitful and immoral political party elected by deceitful and immoral people. You have just reinforced my beliefs.

    let me get this right. The ALP position is all about politics and staying in power. This is what i believed before the last election. The ALP is a big tribe, but not big enough to win the election themselves. It needs the green vote. So it sucks them in by saying it will do something about AGW. But when elected do nothing.

    So its current position sooths the conscience of some people ( but does nothing about AGW) and creates a wedge.

    Oftenbark you are a supporter of the ALP first and an Australian second.

    What an immoral policy you support. I think Howards policy was more honest. It should be remembered that the ALP has built desalinisation plants in Queensland, NSW, Victoria and WA.

    But Bob Carr said desalinisation was bottled electricity.

  66. Neil of Sydney:

    Your last post and apparent attack on me and the ALP shows your lack of analytical skills. Nobody cares about what you believe in, especially when your thoughts are a blatant set-up job.
    Do not ever use me as a bastion for your beliefs. Do not ever assume I vote one way or another in any election, or that I have political affiliations one way or another.
    I do not.
    You’re new at this, aren’t you Neil?

    Using the words honesty and John Howard in the same sentence is an oxymoron, part of which describes you fully.
    Your comment on political coalitions is both dishonest and stupid. Where have you been living sonny?
    Tell me Neil, does your mum know you’re so stupid, does she know you are up so late at night?

  67. Caney: I agree entirely with your last comment. However, I’ll take this up from another perspective. I feel Turnbull has let down the Liberal party and the Australian public by not offering a credible parliamentary opposition, which is to say, the Libs do yet not seem to have an alternative political manifesto.
    Now, Rudd cannot conveniently attack what does not exist, while Turnbull cannot espouse the principles of what does not exist, thereby turning the parliament into a lame duck debating house, with no real dire political policy consequence to either leader, although, Turnbull must be seen as caught between a rock and a hard place, a fighter without ammunition. Strange days indeed.
    Turnbull has a choice. To declare Liberal policy clearly and concisely NOW, or prepare the Liberal Titanic for further re-arrangement of its deckchairs.

  68. 66. Caney | December 15, 2008 at 11:18 pm

    Serves to act as a political wedge against the Liberals. Turnbull has no room to manoeuvre on this one.

    I also see it as a wedge, literally an issue that can divide the Liberals.

    With Rudd moving to the right on this it leaves the Liberals with nowhere to go but further to the right themselves.

    They can move to the left Caney and try to move into the centre/centre-left ground Rudd is crabbing away from by moving to the right in his effort to take the ground from underneath the Liberals.

    Also this is bad because Rudd shouldn’t be playing politics with climate change but putting in place appropriate policy in response to that, not to some political agenda or business lobby.

  69. Al Gore: “[url=http://gatewaypundit.blogspot.com/2008/12/al-gore-north-pole-will-disappear-in-5.html]North Pole Will Disappear[/url] in 5 Years” (Video)
    He has already been saying this for a year.

    [url=http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,18732575-25717,00.html]See how lucrative alarmism is.[/url]
    How many times must the experts be wrong about Barrier Reef devastation before we disbelieve their scares?

  70. Al Gore: url=http://gatewaypundit.blogspot.com/2008/12/al-gore-north-pole-will-disappear-in-5.html
    North Pole Will Disappear in 5 Years” (Video)
    He has already been saying this for a year.

    url=http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,18732575-25717,00.html
    See how lucrative alarmism is.
    How many times must the experts be wrong about Barrier Reef devastation before we disbelieve their scares?

  71. Al Gore: http://gatewaypundit.blogspot.com/2008/12/al-gore-north-pole-will-disappear-in-5.html
    North Pole Will Disappear in 5 Years” (Video)
    He has already been saying this for a year.

    http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,18732575-25717,00.html
    See how lucrative alarmism is.
    How many times must the experts be wrong about Barrier Reef devastation before we disbelieve their scares?
    (Trouble with links)

  72. carlyle

    your comments went into the spam queue which i only just got around to checking. and the blogofaq tab has details on how to put in links.

    good to have u here…

  73. I realize many here don’t find the subject of population growth as being relevant but for so many to go on and on about AGW without even addressing the underlying reason for it strikes me as odd. Same tired conversations addressing “snap shot” data tit for tat. In medicine we only treat the symptoms of disease if no cure is to be had; here we have the cure staring us in the face and most still want to blab away suggesting unfeasible long term ideas based on “theory”. Even now, with the meager cuts proposed under Rudd in what amounts to symbolism, he is calling for more mass immigration and ultimately more carbon emissions. Oddly, many of the same people who are usually beating the drum about AGW are also the first to demand every last human being on the planet has a “right” to live where ever they want, bad habits and all. Wake up folks! China may have gotten it wrong but their instincts were certainly dead on. Many demand we alter our lives in such a way that that they would have us living in the 18th century again like most of the 3rd world that now “demands” access to our shores and our way of life. However dare mention “birth control” as a prerequisite before receiving any further humanitarian aid, refugee status etcetera and one suddenly calls you a radical? For the last time, until we do something to curb human growth, all the blather about technology, emission cuts here, carbon credits for this and AGW in general is just a flipping waste of time! Something we are quickly running out of along with our natural resources like clean oceans, fauna, clean air and the works. In microbiology we call symbiotic bacteria “mutualist” and those that cause damage “pathogens”. Further, when you have a pathogen that continues to breed and destroy or kills its host we sometimes label them as being “stupid bugs”. Hmmm, I wonder where humans fit into that analogy.

  74. Al Gore is not a credible scientist Carlyle and to quote him as one is disingenuous.

    And quoting an Andrew Bolt piece, you certainly don’t change. How many times does Andrew have to be wrong before you stop using him as a source to discredit others. Hoegh-Guldberg has said 50 years so where did you get the Reef disappearing in five years from? Still haven’t answered that one.

    Both Gore and Bolt are from the same mould, just with different agendas.

    Most scientists are saying 50 years for the Reef Carlyle not five, so for you to keep using the discredited alarmists views is yet again being disingenuous. The earliest I have read is 30 years for a around a 60% reduction.

    Barrier Reef just 50 years from death

    The Great Barrier Marine Park authority which 10 years ago was saying climate change wasn’t a factor are now saying it is. But I guess they wouldn’t know anything about the reef but Bolt’s an expert?

  75. For me, the jury is still out on if this is a good policy, or too weak a cut.

    As the goverment says,

    the cut is equivalent to a 27-34 per cent cut below 2000 levels when you factor in a population growth of 45 per cent between 1990 and 2020.

    By comparison, the impressive 20-30 per cent cut in emissions flagged by the European Union is only 24-34 per cent lower than 1990 levels.

    http://blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/samanthamaiden/index.php/theaustralian/comments/rudd_goes_soft_on_climate_target/

    I think it is too early to gauge exactly if this statement is true or not, but the fact is, we have finally found a government who is doing something. Even the newly converted liberal party are arguing to go softer or not at at all?

    It is a start, and that really is what counts. The greens should be thankful, but, then again, having both them AND business complaining from opposite ends of the spectrum can only mean one thing, the government is steering a steady course. And they are doing this in the midst of a major global economic downturn. That certainly helps me get over any perceived ‘weakness’ in the decision.

    And welcome back Carlyle, nice to know I don’t need to go to bolts site anymore for my daily dose of global warming conspiracy theories. I can get it all here live now. 😉

  76. Adrian at number 70 wrote:

    Rudd shouldn’t be playing politics with climate change

    I don’t see why he shouldn’t play politics on this. Rudd lives and operates in a political world. His longevity in public office (the position from where his is best placed to make a difference) stands and falls on his ability to get the politics right. It hinges on playing politics, and playing to win.

    Realisitically the only way we the people will get across-the-board action on climate change is via the political system. Oh, sure, we can make adjustments in our own personal lives and consumption habits to minimise our individual contribution to the problem. But to get business and the big polluters in on the act too (they would be unlikely to do anything unless either pushed by market forces or required by law) needs the involvement of the political system. Enter Kevin07.

    I’m all for Kevin wedging the hell out of the Liberals on this. For over a decade they did little but dodge the issue. Make the bastards suffer I say enthusiastically.

    They can move to the left Caney and try to move into the centre/centre-left ground Rudd is crabbing away from

    I find it difficult to believe they can move left. Hence I think they’re wedged. The kooky denialist bloc of voters, I would think, would be rusted-on Coalition supporters. I doubt they’d sacrifice that precious vote for something like climate change, which many Liberals/Nationals are not convinced of themselves.

  77. FFS people – can’t we have a debate on the actual policy without descending into the same old tired debate of whether or not climate change is or isn’t occuring. For the sake of debating the topic, how about we work from the assumption that there is a need for climate change action and debate the merits of this policy acheiving this.

    After all, we don’t debate whether or not there is a god when deciding whether or noty to give tax exemption to religious charities or schools (although perhaps we should).

  78. On the actual topic – I am yet to read the white paper but based on the media reports, I’m less disappointed with the targets than I am with the free allocation of permits.

    The levels set, while they could be higher, still represent at least a reduction of around 15% on current levels over the next 10 years with another 45% promised in the following 30 years (or 15%/10 years). The Science tells us we have to make deeper cuts internationally but the reality is that we have done SFA over the past 10 years due to the past Government’s inaction and making deeper cuts now will hurt more because our economy hasn’t gone through the transitioning that other economies like the EU have.

    The grandfathering of a very high % of credits is appalinng IMO. The who point of introducing a market based system is to use market drivers to reduce emissions and drive investment into lower emission technologies; by grandfathering around 50% of the credits, the ability of the market to acheive this is severely undermined. As a result we have massive public investment into CCS (to ascerrtain whether or not it can work) rather than forcing the emitters to invest in it themselves in order to survive and compete against the cleaner technologies. If you thought that the introduction of means testing on the solar panel rebates was a bad policy, this is far far worse.

  79. So tiring Adrian. You give a link to a report by an alarmist re ice thinning made early in the year. The prediction was false as you can easily see by going to the Daily Sea Ice site I linked to. Do the comparisons yourself.
    My posts were about AGW alarmist. You insisted I only quote accredited scientists. You mean like your links? You are setting the ground rules are you? Poor examples. There was a report recently about 5 years for The Great Barrier Reef. I have not re discovered it & can not be bothered looking further as it is obviously nonsense as the reports twenty years ago about The Crown of Thorns wiping out the reef was nonsense. Same alarmism just change the name of the killer. No more credible. Our reef is healthy. No weather related damage of any consequence since 2004 & that was not out of the historic norm despite numerous dire warnings, and appeals for funds of course.

  80. Risks to the Great Barrier Reef

    Risks to the Great Barrier Reef have been overstated and Australians should be more worried about population growth and noxious weeds, a physicist says.

    Testing Link Skills…

    joni: links working perfectly Carlyle 🙂

  81. So Carlyle if many dozens of divers and a long term concerted planned effort had not been launched to pick up and destroy thousands+ Crown of Thorns starfish, along with a CSIRO developed chemical injection that divers administered to them, then the Reef would be in fantastic condition today without any loss?

    What an absolute waste of time, effort and money according to you, all they had to do was allow the Crown of Thorns to go on without interference and they would just have died out naturally and instead of being hunted down and harvested in their thousands.

    PS. Shouldn’t have bothered with testing your link skills, and article from February 2006? I’ll try my link skills though with something more recent straight from the Reef Marine Park authority.

    What is coral bleaching

    Climate Change on the Great Barrier Reef

    How about the CSIRO in an article from last year and a tool they have developed that measures bleaching: Barrier Reef bleaching

  82. There have been large infestations of Crown of Thorn Starfish since, both on the Great Barrier Reef & other reefs. When it occurs now, only areas close to tourist spots have them removed. Other areas recover naturally.

  83. Just an observation…I went up to the Barrier Reef for a month every xmas when I was a kid in the sixties and early seventies and saw the die back, now called bleaching.

    I remember one area in particular because I was feet from getting taken by a shark, that suffered this die back…the next year it was falling apart and the year after it was flourishing again.

    The island is called Lindeman in the Whitsunday Passage…great memories.

  84. The World Meteorological Organisation has just released its annual climate report.

    2008 was the 10th hottest on record, but to show you how misleading cherry picking time frames can be, if you compare it in the last seven years it was the coldest. 2008 was also marked by the second lowest level of Arctic ice ever.

    The 2008 average was slightly lower than previous years but the global average is one third above the average. If the 2008 temperature had occurred 15 years ago, it would have been the hottest on record.

    The World average temperature continues to rise and in a new disturbing find methane levels in the atmosphere, which had levelled out quite a while ago, have now increased for reasons unknown.

  85. Carlyle,

    “Risks to the Great Barrier Reef have been overstated and Australians should be more worried about population growth and noxious weeds, a physicist says.”

    Absolutely on the population concerns there Carlyle!!!!! Nice to have you back by the way! Oh but you guys are set to keep importing more green house gas with every one of the new 100,000 plus migrants your “Rudd” seems to think your booming economy can’t live without per year. Got to keep those tax revenues coming in and the CEO’s fat and happy. Sounds like a familiar story.

  86. For Carlyle who insists there is no problem in the Arctic.
    (highlights mine)

    Artic sea ice down to second-lowest extent

    Arctic sea ice extent during the 2008 melt season dropped to its second-lowest level since satellite measurements began in 1979, reaching the lowest point in its annual cycle of melt and growth on 14 September 2008. Average sea ice extent over the month of September, a standard measure in the scientific study of Arctic sea ice, was 4.67 million km2. The record monthly low, set in 2007, was 4.3 million km2.

    [b]Because ice was thinner in 2008, overall ice volume was less than that in any other year.[/b]

    A remarkable occurrence in 2008 was the dramatic disappearance of nearly one-quarter of the massive ancient ice shelves on Ellesmere Island. Ice 70 metres thick, which a century ago covered 9 000 km2, has been chiselled down to just 1 000 km2 today, underscoring the rapidity of changes taking place in the Arctic. The season strongly reinforces the 30-year downward trend in Artic sea ice extent.

    Strange that for a planet that is supposed to be cooling over the last decade, the Arctic continues to melt. Did Bolt forget to tell it that it’s supposed to be growing instead of shrinking.

  87. Far from our five percent being a small cut when compered to Europe, it looks like we’re actually on pretty much the same page:

    The wrangle over the EU’s controversial climate package at a separate summit in Brussels wrong-footed the world’s green bureaucracy. The EU climate deal was diluted beyond recognition. Instead of standing by plans to cut CO2 emissions by 20% below 1990 levels by 2020, the actual reductions might be as trivial as 4% if all exemptions are factored in.

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