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Fact check: How Maurice Newman misrepresents science to claim future global cooling

from Graham Readfern at the Guardian.

Maurice Newman, Tony Abbott's top business advisor, claims the world should prepare for global cooling

Maurice Newman, Tony Abbott’s top business advisor, claims the world should prepare for global cooling. Photograph: Daniel Munoz/Reuters/REUTERS

Maybe Maurice Newman was hoping nobody would check.

In an opinion column yesterday, the climate science denying (yes, I just said it right up front) former ABC chairman and head of the Prime Minister’s business advisory council launched into another of his embarrassing attacks on climate science and the laws of physics.

Given we’ve been here before, I’m starting to think that Newman might actually have written some clever computer code that first scrapes climate science denial blogs for conspiracy theories and common misrepresentations and then turns them into 950-words for The Australian newspaper.

The column, which warned of a concocted threat of “global cooling”, made several remarkable and wrong scientific claims…. read the rest here


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Elon Musk should refuse California’s offer to waive environmental rules for Tesla

Originally posted on Quartz:

This post has been updated. 

It looked like it was over, but the interstate battle to secure Tesla’s $5 billion “gigafactory” battery plant rolls on.

Last month,  Tesla confirmed that the facility, which is being designed so Tesla can produce more lithium-ion batteries—and, ultimately, more cars—was basically Nevada’s to lose. But officially, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas (whose governor, Rick Perry, has been lobbying hard for the facility), and the electric automaker’s home state of California are still in the running. Founder Elon Musk has said the company will break ground on a second site in one of those states as a hedge. The approach is clever, from a shareholder perspective, because it also means Tesla can secure more concessions and inducements from the states in contention.

And that’s already happening. The LA Times reported yesterday that California governor Jerry Brown is negotiating with the automaker to exempt it from aspects of the California…

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ACT solar farm proposal riles Uriarra residents

From the comments at the bottom of the story I would like to highlight Biff. He says…

Honest to goodness … I am getting pretty annoyed with this country. The stupidity and nimbyism of the populace is astounding. I’m always sympathetic to the loss of views or other amenities, and wind power can impact on this, but a solar farm?? If there’s a more innocuous and inoffensive form of power generation, let me know.

Having been involved with my local council at a resident level and on matters of development, the wildly exaggerated claims that some people make is very frustrating. We should ram this through and then shame these knucklebrains live on national TV. Views blocked? Wrong. House prices reduced? Wrong. Excessive lighting at night? Wrong. Town gone to hell in a hand basket? Wrong. Little children and low-flying birds vaporised by solar death rays? Wrong. Solar panels facilitating mind control via The Kremlin? Wrong.

Let’s shift the town to Morwell and see how the residents enjoy those coal fires.

Biff, I agree 100%. Some of the complaints being raised against solar are almost as whacky as the complaints leveled against wind farms. Knucklebrains indeed.

Go on to read the story now here ….ACT solar farm proposal riles Uriarra residents.


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Stop Mining Straddie

Originally posted on Jackie Trad MP:

Ms TRAD (South Brisbane—ALP) (8.28 pm): I rise to contribute to the debate on the North Stradbroke Island Protection and Sustainability and Another Act Amendment Bill 2013. From the outset, I will put the position of the Labor opposition, which is that we will be voting against this legislation.

Government members interjected.

Ms TRAD: It does appear that people are a little bit frisky tonight. Maybe there was not enough food down at the members’ dining room.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Watts): Order, members! I remind the member for South Brisbane to address the bill.

Ms TRAD: I will, as soon as my esteemed colleagues can contain themselves. As I said, the Labor opposition will be opposing the North Stradbroke Island Protection and Sustainability and Another Act Amendment Bill. Again, this bill’s title is a complete misnomer. Really it should read the ‘Sibelco continuation of sandmining on Stradbroke Island bill…

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Campbell “coal mining” Newman – corrupt.


So, how does Queensland Premier Campbell Newman repay the miners who donate to his party? By creating legislation that gives them unfettered access to coal deposits with no community consultation. That’s how. If this isn’t corruption I don’t know what is….

from Queensland Country Life

Legislation definition prompts warnings

COMMUNITY groups are set to lose the right to object to an overwhelming majority of mining projects if a new bill is approved in state parliament, according to Environmental Defenders Office principal solicitor Jo-Anne Bragg.

Passage of the Mineral and Energy Resources (Common Provisions) Bill 2014 will mean 90 per cent of proposed projects would not be open for community comment or objection.

There would also be no public notification of small-scale projects.

The bill is currently in its consultation phase and submissions to the Agriculture, Resources and Environment Committee closed on July 9.

The committee is now considering those submissions before making recommendations that will be considered and debated in parliament.

Jericho beef producers Bruce and Annette Currie wrote a submission to the committee, raising their concerns about the proposal to limit objection rights to only directly affected landholders.

The definition of a ‘directly affected’ landholder is unclear, they said, and the flow-on effects of mining should be considered.

The couple, who operate 25,000-hectare property Speculation, at Jericho, understand the importance of objection rights and were involved in the Alpha coal case in the Land Court.

“We believe it is extremely important that all sectors of the community can comment, object and have appeal rights to government decisions made on ‘regional interest areas’,” they said.

“Our current situation is that if the mines in our area are given the go ahead our cattle property could potentially have its ground water impacted by coal mining; if this occurs then it will destroy our business.

“It is imperative that individuals and community groups can decide if they wish to appeal a government decision. We need and want a right of appeal.”

A diagram from the Environmental Defenders Office about the potential changes.

The Environmental Defenders Office represents landholders and conservation groups on issues ranging from environmental planning to mining and coal seam gas.

EDO principal solicitor Jo-Anne Bragg said the proposed changes would only benefit mining companies.

“Essentially people’s rights are being stripped away without any justification,” she said.

“Cases like the Alpha coal case show how landholders and community groups alike act responsibly and lead to finding that some projects should not go ahead based on groundwater impacts and uncertainties.”

Natural Resources and Mines Minister Andrew Cripps said the Mineral and Energy Resources (Common Provisions) Bill 2014 was about getting the balance between resource development, landholder rights and environmental protection right.

He said the bill contained a number of key benefits for landowners that didn’t previously exist under the former Labor government.

“For the first time, directly affected landowners will have the right to give or withhold their consent for activities to occur close to their homes or businesses,” Mr Cripps said.

“This will provide a clear ‘line in the sand’, increasing the protection from 100 metres to 200 metres for mineral and coal projects.”

Read the original article here




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Humans Driving Planet’s New Mass Extinction, Say Scientists

Originally posted on Revolución Alimentaria:

Scientists warn another mass extinction event is underway due to human-made causes. (Photo: ASA Goddard Space Flight Center Image by Reto Stöckli)

Scientists warn another mass extinction event is underway due to human-made causes. (Photo: ASA Goddard Space Flight Center Image by Reto Stöckli)

New study finds human-made climate change and habitat loss largely responsible for likely die-off of terrestrial species


by Sarah Lazare

The planet appears to be at the early stages of its sixth mass extinction, and humans are responsible, a new study finds.

Published last week in the journal Science, the study incorporates scientific literature review and data analysis by a team of international scientists, led by author Rodolfo Dirzo, a professor of biology at Stanford.

Scientists say that the Earth has already sustained five mass species die-offs, the most recent having occurred millions of years ago. But unlike the mass extinction events prior, the one likely underway is caused by human-made climate change and habitat loss.

Over 320 vertebrates have gone extinct since 1500, and…

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Wind turbines and receptor numbers = The full Godwin

In my online travels, like everyone else, I come across lots of interesting stuff. Recently I highlighted more wind turbine madness from a site called There’s nothing remarkable about the lunacy at that site and I had put it out of my mind along with a lot of the other whacky climate change denial sites. Today however, it popped up in an online search, so I clicked on it to see what other lunacy they were carrying on with. It was an old post from January last year and it was out there. According to the author, people who live near wind turbines are now referred to as “receptors” and given a number. The author then went the full Godwin and linked this to Jews being tattooed with their numbers etc etc etc.

I haven’t bothered to check out the veracity of the claims that people are being referred to as receptors by wind farm proponents because quite frankly I couldn’t care less and the comparisons with Nazis is stupid and stale, but it did get me thinking, if I was going to refer to these numpties as anything, why not “receptors”? After all, aluminium is a good conductor of electricity….

If you really want to see the crazy for yourself, go here.


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Atlantic warming turbocharges Pacific trade winds


Aug 4, 2014

New research has found rapid warming of the Atlantic Ocean, likely caused by global warming, has turbocharged Pacific Equatorial trade winds. Currently the winds are at a level never before seen on observed records, which extend back to the 1860s.

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Big data confirms climate extremes are here to stay


Jul 30, 2014
In a paper published online today in the journal Scientific Reports, published by Nature, Northeastern researchers Evan Kodra and Auroop Ganguly found that while global temperature is indeed increasing, so too is the variability in temperature extremes. For instance, while each year’s average hottest and coldest temperatures will likely rise, those averages will also tend to fall within a wider range of potential high and low temperate extremes than are currently being observed. This means that even as overall temperatures rise, we may still continue to experience extreme cold snaps, said Kodra.

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Are Siberia’s methane blow-holes the first warning sign of unstoppable climate change?

Thanks Gregory!

from (I know I know)

EDIT: Thanks to Steve Bloom for chiming in in the comments below. When I saw this was a NewsLimited article that actually acknowledged AGW I should have been more sceptical of their accuracy. It would seem they’ve taken a couple of tenuously related…things….. and….anyway, here is Steve’s comment…

FYI that article’s association between Jason Box and speculation about those holes is entirely the “reporter”‘s (see also here). Jason is indeed concerned about the methane spikes shown in the graphs (which AFAICT are reproduced accurately, although the “wtf” labels seem to be a Murdochian invention), regarding which he did say some of those things (in a blog post that seems to have been the inspiration for the article). Note that there are other errors in the article, e.g. the characterization of the PETM.

WHAT do three enormous craters in the Siberian wastelands have to do with a terrified American climate scientist? Methane. And that’s something to scare us all.

The end of the world could be starting right now — in a frozen Siberian wasteland known as Yamal. It translates as “The End of the Land”.

The first mysterious crater was spotted by oil workers earlier this month. It was an 80m wide cavern that reached deep into the earth.

Read the rest here




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