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Aynsley Kellow on Popular Nonsense in Perth October 13, 2008

Posted by honestclimate in Discussions.
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Aynsley Kellow on Popular Nonsense in Perth

Professor Aynsley Kellow

Professor Aynsley Kellow

From the Jennifer Marohasy Blog, October 13, 2008

A couple of weeks ago Aynsley Kellow, Professor and Head of the Department of Government at the University of Tasmania, gave a lecture in Perth. He said:

“I am pleased to present this lecture today in Perth.I am particularly pleased to find that Perth is still here. I last visited here in 2005 – the year that Professor Tim Flannery suggested that Perth could become the first ‘ghost metropolis’ due to reductions in rainfall because of climate change. I must confess that I was somewhat bemused by this statement, because my visit to Perth was to present a paper on water policy under climate uncertainty. I knew from my research for that paper that Perth was in fact better adapted to uncertainty in its water supply than any other capital city.

Perth and the south-west of the state have suffered a decline in rainfall, which appears to have shifted to the north-east. The cause appears to be not the gradual accumulation of greenhouse gases, but a sudden shift in ocean currents. This decline in rainfall has translated into a marked decline in catchment yields thanks to changed catchment management, and an increased yield can be obtained by thinning catchments.

Regardless, Perth has adapted to its natural environment with a number of responses: demand management; use of aquifers; the construction of the Kwinana industrial recycling plant; and now a desalination plant. Professor Flannery was, of course, talking nonsense – but, as sales of his book The Weathermakers and his subsequent selection as ‘Australian of the Year’ showed, this is popular nonsense.”

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