Sydney's coldest June morning since 1949

Winter wonderland!

Forget the Gore Effect, here we have the “Watts Effect” – Anthony Watts comes to Australia and suddenly we’re setting records for cold! From the “Weather Isn’t Climate” department (except when we say it is):

People across south-east Australia are complaining about unusually chilly temperatures and experts say there will be no relief from the cold until Sunday at the earliest.

But ABC weather specialist Graham Creed says people’s complaints are justified.

“It’s definitely quite unusual to see such widespread cold weather in June, it would be more typical in July and August,” he said.

“So people are complaining about the cold for a good reason.”

Mr Creed says most areas across the south-east are experiencing temperatures well below average.

“Last weekend a cool change moved through and that introduced some significantly colder air across most of south-east Australia,” he said.

“Quickly in behind that we had a high pressure ridge move through, producing clear skies during both the day and the night, but it’s also helping to trap that cold air in.

“The clear skies mean we are losing what little daytime heating there is and overnight temperatures are dropping into the minuses through many of those states, producing widespread frosts.

“On top of that we’ve got quite a breeze in certain areas and the air is very dry so that’s producing very low wind chill, so not only is the sun not providing much warmth, you’ve also got the assistance of the wind making it feel colder than it actually is.”

Sydney recorded its coldest June morning today since 1949, with temperatures diving to 4.3 degrees just before 6:00am (AEST). (source)

That would be at Sydney Observatory. And in a pretty good demonstration of the Urban Heat Island effect, the ACM weather station (a Davis Vantage Pro 2) up on the North Shore of Sydney recorded a minimum temperature of just 0.4˚C at 7.40 am this morning.

Plot of temperature at the ACM weather station

"The Greens' cave economics have no place in mainstream debate"

Not fit for politics

The Australian slaps down the Greens. Well, someone’s gotta do it, after Bob Brown’s cheap attempts to bribe Julia Gillard into accepting a carbon tax earlier in the week:

The Greens are unprepared for real-world politics

GREENS leader Bob Brown has once again relegated his party to the status of a protest movement, instead of aspiring to join the main political game where real policy change happens. Perhaps he has misread Julia Gillard, because it is plain the new Prime Minister could never entertain adopting the Greens’s new five-point plan on climate change and a legislated carbon price designed to end coal-fired power.

Coal provides more than 80 per cent of Australia’s electricity. In the absence of a large-scale nuclear power industry, which the Greens also oppose, that reality will not change in the foreseeable future. Coal also provides more than 40 per cent of the world’s electricity and is the backbone of the cement and steel industries that are boosting the living standards of some of the world’s poorest people.

Were Australia to commit economic hari-kiri and wind back our largest export industry, the consequences for jobs would be dire. It would be worse, not better, for the planet as Australia’s coal customers – Japan, South Korea, China, Taiwan, India and Europe – turned to other producers. Generally, the anti-pollution standards of coal mines in Indonesia, Russia, South Africa, Colombia and Kazakhstan fall short of those in Australia. The Greens’ cave economics have no place in mainstream debate.

Couldn’t have said it better.

Read it here.

New Zealand's climate disaster

Climate disaster

I’m not talking about some disaster caused by climate change (because there haven’t been any), but an economic disaster caused by pointless efforts to “tackle climate change”. Not only is New Zealand’s ETS “beyond rescue”, but it also has a liability of up to $5bn under the Kyoto protocol for failing to meet emissions targets. Now $5bn is a truckload of money, which could have been far better spent on health, education, employment, infrastructure etc – in fact, anything rather than trying to change the planet’s climate:

The authors of The Carbon Challenge – Victoria University researcher and economist Geoff Bertram and climate-change analyst and researcher Simon Terry – also describe the Government’s current ETS as “technically obsolete” and “beyond rescue” as a sustainable framework for tackling climate change.

They say the scheme will not make any inroads into cutting New Zealand’s gross emissions levels.

On top of that, the ETS was so unfair in the way it distributed benefits to high emitters with political influence, while placing a regressive quasi-tax burden on households, that there was a risk it could undermine the public’s willingness to support a stronger regime in the future. [So I guess the news isn’t all bad.]

The authors say the bulk of the financial liabilities of several billion dollars arising from New Zealand exceeding its Kyoto Protocol target will fall on future taxpayers, making it a “massive intergenerational transfer of liability”.

The ETS completely fails as a mechanism to make today’s polluters meet today’s emissions bill.”

The book says there is complacency in New Zealand that credits for storing carbon in forestry crops will save the country from having to seriously address reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

But this year’s Budget had broken with the past by flagging the real cost of New Zealand’s 22 per cent overshoot of its Kyoto target. Depending on the price of carbon, it said the Kyoto liability could be as much as $5.7 billion.

That Budget reference officially scotched the myth that the Government did not face any financial effects under the protocol because it could rely on offsetting credits from plantation forests.

“The credits must be paid back when the trees are harvested in the 2020s.” The authors say using these credits to pay the Kyoto bill is like putting it “on the plastic” for the next generation to pay.

And Australia is heading straight down the same path.

Read it here. (h/t Andrew Bolt)

Wong: Gillard wants carbon trading

Get back in the cave

Penny Wong has crawled out from the cave she’s been in since December to tell a climate conference that Julia Gillard wants a carbon trading scheme.

Some of the world’s leading climate change scientists have gathered on the Gold Coast to discuss how the world can best adapt to a warming world.

Climate Change Minister Senator Penny Wong welcomed almost 1000 delegates to the event, stressing the importance of the science behind the debate. [Ha, ha – my aching sides]

Senator Wong said the government would listen carefully to what the conference had to say.

“Julia Gillard has made clear her commitment to this issue, and her views about the need for a price on carbon,” she told reporters.

“The reason we don’t have a price on carbon is Tony Abbott tore down a leader (Malcolm Turnbull) and installed himself on the basis that he doesn’t believe climate change is real, and the Australian Greens voted with Mr Abbott. [You mean like faceless factional bosses tore down Kevin Rudd and installed Julia Gillard? The irony is clearly lost on Penny]

“All of us who understand the risks climate change poses to Australia and its future have a responsibility to work and build a consensus, which Tony Abbott torpedoed.”

Ahh, how I’ve missed Penny (not).

Read it here.

Save the planet – paint the Andes

This guy's serious

Wacky Scheme Alert as an “inventor” from Peru decides the best way to save the planet is to start whitewashing mountains. The World Bank considered this idea worthy of a prize in its competition “100 Ideas to save the planet”. That, by the way, tells you all you ever need to know about the World Bank. ACM reported on Eduardo Gold’s plan to go ape with a tin of paint here, but now it’s actually happening:

Gold has already begun work while he waits for the 200,000-dollar prize money [200 G’s for that? The World Bank is truly insane] to fund his pilot project. His plan is to paint a total area of 70 hectares (173 acres) on three peaks in the Andean region of Ayacucho in southern Peru.

Chalon Sombrero, the name of an extinct glacier which used to irrigate a valley and several rivers, is where he’s started with a team of four men from the local village, Licapa.

The workers use jugs – rather than paintbrushes – to splash the whitewash onto loose rocks around the summit. So far they have painted some two hectares, just a tenth of the total area they aim to cover on that peak.

A white surface reflects the sun’s rays back through the atmosphere and into space, in doing so it cools the area around it too,” explains Gold.

“In effect in creates a micro-climate, so we can say that the cold generates more cold, just as heat generates more heat.”

It’s pure climate madness. At least there is an small injection of sanity:

But Antonio Brack, Peru’s Environment Minister, told the World Bank that its funding would be better spent on other “projects which would have more impact in mitigating climate change.”

He said: “It’s nonsense.”

Actually it would be better spent on anything rather than idiotic schemes to “tackle climate change” – which we can’t anyway.

Read it here.

Carbon capture flaws exposed

Flawed idea

The enviro-headbangers can’t abide nuclear power, despite the fact that it is the “greenest” form of energy generation available, because of the problem of storing waste. So it is ironic that the technology which the warmists believe will save the planet, carbon capture and storage (CCS), suffers from the same flaw:

Professor Gary Shaffer from the Danish Centre for Earth System Science examined a range of CCS methods to determine their effectiveness and long-term impacts.

Reporting in the journal Nature Geoscience, Professor Shaffer says there are still questions over which sequestration process is best and which is least likely to leak carbon.

“CCS has many potential advantages over other forms of climate geoengineering,” he said.

“However, potential short and long-term problems with leakage from underground storage should not be taken lightly.”

The study reveals leakage of sequestered CO2 could cause large scale atmospheric warming, sea level rise and oxygen depletion, acidification and elevated CO2 concentrations in the ocean.

Professor Shaffer says storing CO2 in the deep ocean is a bad idea because of the problems it creates for deep sea life by creating a “large dead zone”.

He says deep ocean stored CO2 would return to the atmosphere relatively quickly.

Geological storage of CO2 – either underground or below the ocean floor – may be more effective, but only if leakage can be kept down to 1 per cent or less per 1,000 years.

Professor Shaffer says any long term leakage would need to be actively countered by re-sequestration, which would need to be carried out over many thousands of years.

Another brilliant idea down the pan.

Read it here.

Gillard wants more renewables to tackle climate change

Pushing renewables

Which means more money wasted on subsidising solar panels and wind farms, both hopeless for baseload electricity generation. But at least she talks vague sense on an ETS and acknowledges that there isn’t a consensus for a price on carbon… yet.

Labor sources have confirmed the focus of her pitch for the environment vote will be on renewables — boosting the use of solar and wind power to help meet the government’s pledge to slash greenhouse gas emissions.

But arguing that community consensus is “not there yet” on an ETS, Ms Gillard yesterday backed the need to put a price on carbon to encourage businesses to change their practices; she offered no timetable on delivering one.

The newly-installed Prime Minister said yesterday she accepted “my fair share” of the responsibility for the decision to delay the introduction of an ETS, a policy backflip that coincided with a collapse in Kevin Rudd’s polling.

Asked if it were true she had argued for the ETS to be dumped as part of the Rudd government’s powerful kitchen cabinet, Ms Gillard confirmed she had.

“I was concerned that if you were going to do something as big to your economy as put a price on carbon, with the economic transformation that implies, with changing the way in which we live, you need a lasting and deep community consensus to do it,” she told the Nine Network.

“And I don’t believe we have that lasting and deep community consensus now.

“Now, I believe we should have a price on carbon, and I will be prepared to argue for a price on carbon . . . so that we get to that lasting and deep community consensus, but we are not there yet.”

Ms Gillard pledged that she would soon be making further statements on new policy measures to “address the challenge of climate change”.

I am not a denier — I am not a denier, but I’m someone who believes that you have got to take the community with you when you make lasting and deep changes,” she said.

All I can say is that it’s extraordinary to hear Gillard use the word “denier” in the context of her own beliefs, especially after her post-ETS vote down speech (see here).

Read it here.

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