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Damp prophet of doom August 27, 2011

Posted by honestclimate in Discussions.
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Damp prophet of doom

Quadrant Online, August 24, 2011

“The only way in a democracy that a country can come to terms with these issues is to have a well-educated populace, otherwise you keep on making the wrong decisions” said Professor Tim Flannery last week. As Australia’s Climate Change Commissioner, it’s his job to educate vox populi about anthropogenic global warming.

He was chosen for this $3,000 a week job for his expertise, his communication skills, and his track record in the competitive business of sounding alarms about the dire consequences of our “carbon polluting” ways. His alarms, he claims, are based on an anthropogenic global warming theory that has been confirmed by an overwhelming consensus of scientists to be ninety per cent probable – the implication being that there is only one chance in ten of him being wrong.

But how can his teachings and preaching ever be tested? Most of his apocalyptic prophesies are projected far enough into the future for him to be well and truly beyond accountability when they are proved right or wrong.

When it came to Australia’s rainfall, however, Flannery threw caution to the wind and declared that the apocalypse is now.

In 2004 Flannery said:

I think there is a fair chance Perth will be the 21st century’s first ghost metropolis. It’s whole primary production is in dire straits and the eastern states are only 30 years behind.

He warned that Australia, being so dry, is especially fragile in the face of climate change. We are “one of the most physically vulnerable people on the Earth,” and “southern Australia is going to be impacted very severely and very detrimentally by global climate change.” We are going to experience “conditions not seen in 40 million years.”

In 2005 he wrote in The Weather Makers:

Australia’s east coast is no stranger to drought, but the dry spell that began in 1998 is different from anything that has gone before….The cause of the decline of rainfall on Australia’s east coast is thought to be a climate-change double whammy – the loss of winter rainfall and the prolongation of El Nino-like conditions. 

The resulting water crisis here is potentially even more damaging than the one in the west … As of mid 2005 the situation remains critical… very little time to arrange alternative water sources such as large scale desalination plants.

Also in 2005, on ABC News Online, he predicted that the ongoing drought could leave Sydney’s dams dry in just two years.

In 2006 he said:

We’re already seeing the initial impacts and they include a decline in the winter rainfall zone across southern Australia, which is clearly an impact of climate change, but also a decrease in run-off. Although we’re getting say a 20 per cent decrease in rainfall in some areas of Australia, that’s translating to a 60 per cent decrease in the run-off into the dams and rivers. That’s because the soil is warmer because of global warming and the plants are under more stress and therefore using more moisture. So even the rain that falls isn’t actually going to fill our dams and our river systems, and that’s a real worry for the people in the bush. If that trend continues then I think we’re going to have serious problems, particularly for irrigation.

In January 2007 Flannery wrote:

What this tells us is that Australia’s extraordinary drought is part of a global phenomenon: it simply cannot be part of some local natural cycle. The one-in-1000-years drought is, in fact, Australia’s manifestation of the global fingerprint of drought caused by climate change.

There are other indications that climate change rather than natural variability lies behind this dry. Common sense tells us that, in a warming world the winter rainfall will retract southwards, which is precisely what we have seen over the past 50 years. Common sense also tells us that warming will lead to greater evaporation and loss of soil moisture, which again is just what we see in nature.

Furthermore, the computer models predict that as the Pacific Ocean warms, rainfall across eastern Australia will reduce until a semi-permanent el-Nino-like state is induced.

Read the rest here


Greens go mad: Stopping coal to China will stop Somalis starving August 8, 2011

Posted by honestclimate in Discussions.
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Greens go mad: Stopping coal to China will stop Somalis starving

Andrew Bolt Blog, 8 August 2011

Droughts in Africa are not new, but they are devastating in a failed state destroyed by war and an Islamist uprising. As the founders of Free the Children put it:

Somalia is different; it’s a failed state, so drought pushed an already desperate people across borders for refuge… Islamic militants hostile to Western-backed aid agencies made long-term development in the fractious country impossible

Drought is not new to East Africa. The response this time is reminiscent of past emergency aid operations that provided short-term relief, but halted prior to addressing systemic change. We need more than food drops to stop famine. We need boreholes, irrigation, agricultural capacity-building, water-catchment systems, permanent schools, sanitation, and policy research…to start.

But Greens Senator Lee Rhianon thinks the way to stop starvation in Somalia is to stop Australian coal exports to China:

Federal Greens Senator for NSW Lee Rhiannon today congratulated Rising Tide activists who scaled a coal conveyor belt at the Port of Newcastle to highlight the link between coal, climate change and famine in Somalia…

“Ship after ship leaving Newcastle Port, heaped with coal, is contributing to the greatest threat we face in human history.

Stopping the expansion of Newcastle Port and NSW’s coal industry is essential if we are to ward off similar human tragedies such as that being experienced by Somalians today,” Senator Rhiannon said.

I’m struggling: is Rhianon’s ignorance worse than her opportunism? Or is her endorsement of law-breaking more sinister than either?