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Renewables And Various Other Conspiracies

Last night I noticed that Trump was speculating – not claiming, mind you, just wondering out loud – that he was the victim of a conspiracy with his microphone to make him look bad. I have to say that I wholeheartedly agree. The people televising the debate allowed his mike to be switched on, enabling people to hear what he had to say. If they’d just left it off, he would have sounded a lot more presidential. Clearly an attempt to make sound as silly as he looks…

Of course, I thought that the Trump’s microphone theory was going to be the most ridiculous thing all week, until I heard Josh Frydenburg on the radio this morning. This’ll be great for a satiric piece, I thought. But no, when I sat down to write, it was just impossible.

I mean, how does one satirise a minister who starts by agreeing that it was the collapse of transmission towers in the worst storm in fifty years that caused the widespread blackout and nothing to do with windfarms, but then goes on to tell us that this should be a warning about their reliance on renewable energy for South Australia. How do you make that more ridiculous than it is?

Well, actually young Josh had a pretty good go at it, because after criticising Labor and Nick Xenophon, he then went on to say that this is not the time for partisan politics and we should all be working to make sure this doesn’t happen again. And Malcolm followed this up by not playing politics telling us:

“Let’s focus now and take this storm in South Australia … as a real wake-up call, let’s end the ideology, focus on clear renewable target. The federal government has one as you know, 23.5% is our target.”

You don’t get much more non-partisan than that. Unless it’s Barnaby Joyce telling us that South Australia would have been just fine if they’d had a few coal-fired power stations because such things keep the gods happy and ensure that the weather is mild and that our crops don’t fail…

Of course, those “climate alarmists” may see an extreme weather event as further evidence for climate change, but they overlook some basic tenets of how the Liberal Party views such things:

1. A single extreme weather event is just that, and to draw conclusions about climate change from that is just not valid because one event is too insignificant to be considered evidence.
2. In spite of that, one can still ask on a cold morning: “Where’s that global warming, eh?”
3. A second extreme weather event is still not evidence because, in spite of popular belief, lightning can strike twice and it’s just coincidence that we had a similar “once in a lifetime” recently, so don’t jump to any conclusions.
4. A third similar extreme weather event just shows that this sort of thing is normal and, here in Australia, it happens all the time, so don’t get your knickers in knot and bring up climate change.

Yep, people see things the way they want to see them and to suggest that events in South Australia are further evidence that we should be doing more to encourage renewables, well, that’s just “ideologically driven”, according to our fear/less leader, Mr Turnbull. (And may I say that I think the “fear” and the “less” apply in equal parts to Malcolm.) On the other hand, in the midst of all this chaos to go out spruiking the benefits of brown coal – as Mr Joyce and company did – is neither political nor premature.

I’m reminded of something I read recently about “cognitive dissonance”.

As Franz Fanon put it:

“Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong. When they are
presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new
evidence cannot be accepted. It would create a feeling that is
extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it
is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize,
ignore and even deny anything that doesn’t fit in with the core belief.”

Personally, I think that there’s definitely no such thing as “cognitive dissonance”! Haven’t we always had uncomfortable feelings and they’re perfectly natural, so the most recent ones are just part of a conspiracy by the UN to impose world government. Besides, there’s been a fifteen years pause in so called “cognitive dissonance”, thanks to Andrew Bolt, John Howard and Tony Abbott…

As Malcolm Roberts explained on Q and A, I refuse to believe something until I’m presented with empirical evidence that agrees with the position I already hold. Anything else is just inaccurate or falsified.

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  1. Robert

    Once again we have found that the opinion of the LNP can not be trusted. Power towers were bowled over by the storm in SA; the source of energy had nothing to do with the outcome.

  2. Clean livin

    I find it hard to grasp, infact really hard to grasp that such Luddites have a governing position in this country.

    What, with Abbott promising to shirtfront Putin, Turnbull informing the world that Australia has the worlds best border security, and now a state blackout caused by windmills.

    It is no wonder that the world believes we are governed by idiots, but these same Luddites should not treat us Aussies believing we too, are similar idiots!

  3. Max Gross

    Ross, your final par is a cracker! I laughed until I cried because we really are in the hands of demented medievalists

  4. david1

    I phoned my 15 yr old grandson in NZ on reading RossLeigh’s article and asked him to define in as fewer words as he could, how he would explain climate change.
    I wrote his response…’.variable climate conditions’. How did he conclude that?…”we study CC in College”
    I believe his and his peers understanding of CC is so superior to that arse Frydenburg and his ignorant collegues, it is beyond comprehension how brain dead this Govt is.and why they should be thrown out of office. They are a danger to this and future generations!
    Makes me so angry.

  5. Rossleigh

    Ah well, a couple of years ago a car ran into a power pole in our neighbourhood and we were without power for several hours. After listening to Liberal politicians today, I have come to realise that the reason was because we’d installed solar panels and not because the lines supplying power to our house were down.

  6. Harquebus

    A lot of people are going to have egg on their faces when the real cost of producing wind and solar Pv energy collectors becomes known. Manufacturing, installing and maintaining these inefficient devices are a waste of precious fossil fuel resources which, need to be conserved as much as possible.

  7. @RosemaryJ36

    Harquebus: I installed 12 solar panels mid-January and I am now in credit with my power provider. And the panels and associated equipment are likely to be productive for at least 2 decades.

  8. Clean livin

    @RosemaryJ36, but what about all the coal you are probably sitting on? Seems like a waste of precious fossil fuel, just waiting to be dug up at no cost, as suggested by Harquebus, and Luddite mates in government.

  9. paulwalter

    I’d like to consider the underlying issue of privatisations. The most obvious example has been the outsourcing of detention centre operations to corporations operating in a foreign country: we know this is done so that the Australian government can avoid its duty of care responsibilities as well as driving another nail into the coffin of state responsibility, this time on people movement issues, in the cause of neoliberal reduced government theory.

    Electricity was privatised by the Olson Liberals back in 1997 despite an explicit election promise that this wouldn’t happen..as to what the shabby details involved I am not quite sure, but I wonder if the conditions of the privatisation were too weak to ensure that private operators and the national system, now outside of the control of the government, employed best available technology to deal with the sort of thing that happened last night…sort of stuff that could have been added if executive bonuses were reduced?

  10. Gangey1959

    Would the storms have been so bad if there were fewer really big turbines, or lots more smaller ones ?
    I couldn’t get a clear and definitive answer from the muppet that answers to frydenberg.
    (Sorry Professor Honeydew, but I’m sure it and its mates crawled out of one of your dumpsters at the back of the muppetlabs)

  11. king1394

    Paulwalter makes a good point. The SA power system was privatised nearly 20 years ago. Why are there no questions being asked about whether the efficiency of the grid has been sacrificed for private profit

  12. lawrencesroberts

    What would a “Merchant Banker” know about power supply, he can’t even get The NBN to run on time.

  13. helvityni

    lawrencesroberts, I prefer ‘The Merchant of Venice’ title that Albo gave him. I thought that he could not go any further down in my estimations, but lo and behold, he’s done it again and has reached the rock bottom with his silly talk blaming the renewables for SA storms and electricity outages…WOW.

  14. Harquebus

    @RosemaryJ36
    Built on the back of fossil fuels. Your financial savings are offset by the pollution caused and the energy used manufacturing your panels that will never be returned.

    Clean livin
    “just waiting to be dug up at no cost, as suggested by Harquebus”
    I said no such thing. You are full of it.

    “despite a string of optimistic choices resulting in low values of energy investments, the ERoEI is significantly below 1. In other words, an electrical supply system based on today’s PV technologies cannot be termed an energy source, but rather a non-sustainable energy sink or a non-sustainable NET ENERGY LOSS.”
    https://collapseofindustrialcivilization.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/ferroni-y-hopkirk-2016-energy-return-on-energy-invested-eroei-for-photo.pdf

    “Reckless dumping of industrial waste is everywhere in China. But what caught the attention of The Washington Post was that the Luoyang Zhonggui High-Technology Company was a “green energy” company producing polysilicon destined for solar energy panels sold around the world.”
    “Polysilicon production produces about four tons of silicon tetrachloride liquid waste for every ton of polysilicon produced.”
    http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/31478-china-s-communist-capitalist-ecological-apocalypse

    “Windmills are too dependent on oil, from mining and fabrication to delivery and maintenance and fail the test of “can they reproduce themselves with wind power?””
    “Not only would windmills have to generate enough power to reproduce themselves, but they have to make enough power to run civilization.”
    “If the energy costs of intermittency, back-up conventional plant, and grid connection were added to the “cost” of windfarms, the EROEI would be far lower than current EROEI studies show.”
    http://energyskeptic.com/2015/wind/

  15. paulwalter

    Thanks king1394.

    Gangey, equally you could ask if the storms would have been so big if the grid was still government controlled.

    Helvi, lawrencesroberts, I wonder what he really feels about the latest kyboshing the NBN. Didn’t he originally think it was a good thing till Minchin, then Abbott, told him otherwise?

  16. helvityni

    Paul, all that BS he spouted in New York was bad enough, and now he’s anti renewables, where are his convictions, what is this man really on about…being the PM enough…?
    I expected better of him, so therefore I rate him below Abbott. ( I knew Tony was a big mistake)

  17. Kim Southwood

    I think it would be presumptuous to argue that conversion to renewable energy is likely to cause whole states to be without power. It might also be presumptuous to hold that the production of solar or wind equipment is likely to create wanton dumping of toxins in the environment.

    Certainly those are outcomes we must aim to exclude from our most vital drive to reduce carbon emissions. Vigilance against corrupt practice is always necessary when the pressure’s on and there will always be people out to make an easy buck. [Case in point: dodgy business practice in roof insulation in QLD exploiting financial stimulus handouts during the GFC]

    Renewables are certainly not the problem, but standards are. It is humans who set the standards. We have to move away from coal as quickly as possible. We can do it without replacing one toxic menace with another. We have the intelligence, the science and the technology to effect a rapid change. We know that innovators in science and technology are working together to improve sustainable, clean methods of delivery.

    Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE) is an Australian think tank which has undertaken “The Zero Carbon Australia Project [which] comprises six plans providing a detailed, costed and fully researched road map to a zero carbon economy for Australia. Following six guiding principles, each plan uses existing technology to find a solution for different sectors of the Australian economy.” See their recent report on electric vehicles at http://media.bze.org.au/ev/bze_ev_report.pdf

    The work BZE has invested in their 6 plans deserves our serious attention. They provide such erudite and positive proposals they might even be regarded as an inspiration to us all. They seek only to be acknowledged, understood and supported which is a very small ask.

    Let’s stay on a positive page and proceed to combat climate change effectively and professionally. That also means we hold our politicians to account and call them out when they so blatantly seek to turn an extreme weather event to their own political advantage. If the context of their schoolboy naivety were not so serious I could even laugh. Thankyou for your article Rossleigh.

  18. Annie B

    Rossleigh – another great article, raising good comment and a few hackles. !!

    Anyone who might advance the validity of the ” coal for keeps” argument – – should also bear in mind that fossil fuels are not infinite. They do have an end of life. ! And while the coal mining operations belch their poison into the atmosphere, causing harm to the environment and people …. science will attest to volume and impact – ( haven’t the time to look it up at 12.52 a.m.) ,,,,,, please think on other renewable energy sources – as listed below.

    Renewable energy

    Biofuel.
    Biomass.
    Geothermal.
    Hydropower.
    Solar energy.
    Tidal power.
    Wave power.
    Wind power.

    Now unless one has a super crystal ball, and can see 100’s of years into the future, and they truly believe wind will stop completely, oceans will remain totally still, sun shine zero, and the rivers will dry up ! ( none of which is feasible ) … the renewables are infinite. And all the while, science and technology will be advancing to capture and use these infinite fuel sources, far more efficiently, year after year, decade after decade.

    Just 45 years ago, no-one could have imagined walking around with a phone in their pocket, or being able to read received messages and mail, while on a train to work.

    But we can !! ….. and the same advances will be forthcoming, for renewable energy.

  19. Terry2

    During cyclone Yasi 2011 in Far North Queensland we lost power for four days : with cyclone Larry in 2006 we lost power for ten days.

    These were weather related events and the LNP didn’t even think about kicking renewables as there was clearly no connection.

    The delay in re-connecting transmission and general infrastructure here , as in SA, is due to the volume of work that falls on a few skilled and dedicated workers.

    Turnbull, Joyce and Frydenburg are a disgrace trying to make political points over what is clearly a major weather event with no connection to renewables or “state Labor governments”.

  20. Keith

    Dr J Romm, a Physicist, has spent time investigating renewables against fossil fuels. His conclusion was that fossil fuels are definitely on the way out. Storage of renewable energy technology on a large scale or small scale is already happening overseas. In Australia, the COALition do everything possible to scotch renewable energy; their latest thought bubbles about the South Australian weather disaster and equating that to renewables being the latest example.

  21. Zathras

    I thought cognitive dissonance was the ability to support two conflicting opinions simultaneously, like convincing yourself to believe something you know deep down not to be true – much like religion.

    This is what politicians do for a living.

  22. Keith

    Zathras, much of what Rossleigh writes is of a satirical nature.

  23. Rossleigh

    Like I said, Zathras, there’s no such thing as “cognitive dissonance”…

    Actually, it’s when you have a feeling of discomfort when you hold are holding two contradictory beliefs or when your behaviour doesn’t match your belief. Generally, if they don’t change their minds or behaviour, people find ways to rationalise or justify it. For example, I don’t believe in violence and I punch Fred in the face every time he expresses an opinion, which just shows how impossible Fred is because a pacifist like me keeps hitting him!

    In the Josh, Malcolm, Chrissy et al scenario, they are experiencing no apparent mental stress or discomfort with holding two contradictory positions on the South Australia position thanks to years of practice. I suspect that the Liberals spend at least part of every party room meeting doing workshops with a professional contortionist.

  24. helvityni

    Rossleigh, I agree, I have always thought the Right-wingers go to a special school for would-be Liberal politicians. Like Johnny, Mal got a lot of praise from the trainers for effective(?) hand-waving and fist-making…

    They also learn how to do the contemptuous laugh.

    Lying seems to come naturally to them, and the feeling of being superior originates from wearing fancy uniforms…

  25. diannaart

    Imagine, if we had never privatised our energy…. how much easier to transition to sustainable power sources… dreaming on…

    Reality is the stomach churning feeling whenever Barnaby Joyce speaks – it is not that I couldn’t predict what he would say and how he would say it (previous history indicates a steady increase of bullshit since 2016 election) none of which makes it any easier, thanks to the red-faced twerp and his cronies (Josh Frydenberg & that PM puppet, Malcolm Turnbull – looks like Tony Abbot finally got his hand all the way up PM’s arse) – I had to turn off the power to my radio – A LOT! to save imminent radio smashing, can only conclude that I am doing my bit to reduce greenhouse gases – not quite how I imagined, but that’s reality for you.

  26. paulwalter

    “..they are experiencing no… stress with holding two contradictory positions..”.

    This is macabre stuff, a bit like the idea of Trump with his fingers on the nuke button.. The one hope is that the Lemmings or more accurately, Gadarene Swine, in accordance with their firmly held beliefs, finally take the logical option and head for the cliff.

  27. Clean livin

    So, Harquebus, what is the solution for our energy needs if you are anti renewables.

    Where will the world source its energy requirements, in say, 2000 yrs when like minded great thinkers like yourself have used all our non renewables?

    Or do you believe that’s irrelevant, as climate change will have wiped out the human race, along with a need?

  28. Keith

    There is a philosophy working against us at present; truth is lying and lying is truth. A leading exponent is Trump who very openly in the US press is being called a liar. The debate between Trump and Clinton was fact checked as it progressed. Trump was caught out a number of times; Clinton was also caught out, but far fewer times. There is much difference between telling lies already identified as such, and exaggerating points.

    Creating fear is one of the weapons Trump uses, it has been suggested that people who have a conservative mind set are more inclined to react to fear propaganda. The Dunning-Kruger effect is also an issue.

    http://www.rawstory.com/2016/08/a-neuroscientist-explains-what-may-be-wrong-with-trump-supporters-brains/

    Hyperlinks in the article provide extra information.

    Quote:

    “The Dunning-Kruger effect explains that the problem isn’t just that they are misinformed; it’s that they are completely unaware that they are misinformed. This creates a double burden.”

    And:

    “A brain-imaging study published in Current Biology revealed that those who lean right politically tend to have a larger amygdala — a structure that is electrically active during states of fear and anxiety. And a 2014 fMRI study found that it is possible to predict whether someone is a liberal or conservative simply by looking at their brain activity while they view threatening or disgusting images, such as mutilated bodies.”

    In Australia we have our share of Trump in training politicians.

  29. diannaart

    Keith

    We can identify the problem.

    Now, HTF, do we fix it?

  30. Harquebus

    Kim Southwood
    Population reduction is an alternative to wasting precious resources on a concept that has no possibility of succeeding.
    Please see my link above to truth-out.org
    To ignore renewable energy’s toxic byproducts is foolish.
    I will read your link sometime later today.

    “Manufacturing wind turbines is a resource-intensive process. A typical wind turbine contains more than 8,000 different components, many of which are made from steel, cast iron, and concrete.
    One such component are magnets made from neodymium and dysprosium, rare earth minerals mined almost exclusively in China, which controls 95 percent of the world’s supply of rare earth minerals.”
    “There’s not one step of the rare earth mining process that is not disastrous for the environment.”

    Big Wind’s Dirty Little Secret: Toxic Lakes and Radioactive Waste

    Annie B
    “and the same advances will be forthcoming, for renewable energy.”
    Are you sure about that?
    “Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future.” — Niels Bohr

    Keith
    Trade depends on transport depends on oil.
    We “might” end up with the know how but, without oil for transport the means to do so will not be available. This is why it must be conserved as much as possible. The Seneca cliff is approaching.

    Diannart
    If we had not privatized Telstra, we would already have our NBN.
    Hydro electric is the best carbon free nearly “sustainable power source” but, it has its own problems and most of the best locations have already been taken.

    “As the sediments accumulate in the reservoir, so the dam gradually loses its ability to store water for the purposes for which it was built. Every reservoir loses storage to sedimentation”
    http://www.internationalrivers.org/it/sedimentation-problems-with-dams

    Clean livin
    Civilization collapse might just be the only thing that can save us from ourselves.
    Population reduction and control is the only viable solution and one way or another, it is going to happen and if it is not done voluntarily, it will be bloody.

    “It’s coming home to roost over the next 50 years or so. It’s not just climate change; it’s sheer space, places to grow food for this enormous horde. Either we limit our population growth or the natural world will do it for us, and the natural world is doing it for us right now.” — David Attenborough

    “Using his burgeoning intelligence, this most successful of all mammals has exploited the environment to produce food for an ever increasing population. Instead of controlling the environment for the benefit of the population, perhaps it’s time we controlled the population to allow the survival of the environment.” — David Attenborough

  31. Rossleigh

    Now those pesky renewables are causing floods in SA!

  32. helvityni

    ” Despite having a clear statutory definition of renewable energy and an ample supply of sunlight,] renewable energy development in Queensland lags behind other Australian states.”(Wiki)

    No doubt there will be plenty floods up there too,but the Queenslanders can’t blame the renewables. But hey, no worries, it will all be Labor’s fault.

    Maybe no floods, no storms, the weather being so fickle… On the other hand maybe storms and floods are like Muslims, hated by Pauline, and head towards south…

  33. Keith

    Diannaart

    That is the $64,000 question.

    There are many matters that may; or may not have an influence.

    The electorate is now used to being lied too by politicians; probably given a nudge by Howard’s core and none core promises.
    Denier groups such as Heartlands, IPA having an impact on attitudes through false information.
    Political extreme ideology determining policy rather than pragmatics.
    People with fundamental religious and neo con views along with neo con politicians push hard against climate change and renewables. Scientific papers are doctored or misrepresented by deniers (Monckton being a good example).
    Prior generations were involved in demonstrations; my recollection is that students were warned not to demonstrate during the Howard era. Whatever the reason, there was a almost a generation of Uni students who did not demonstrate.
    With 24 hours of constant news many would see that as tiresome.
    Newspapers are not so involved in investigative journalism.
    The neo con view on economics has readily been accepted generally.
    No need to be concerned about climate change is a message that people wish to hear.
    In the US particularly, climate scientists are harassed by deniers; it provides a climate where they are inclined to subdue their views.
    Climate science is quite complicated which puts people off investigating further.
    Scientific research is hidden behind pay walls.
    Some media is able to feed wrong information to their readers.
    Even when tackling out right lies, people are not willing to change views.
    Conservative politicians have knack of trying to create fear, when I was young it used to be Communists.
    People fear a break down in the economy if funding goes to mitigation; but, over $15 billion in costs are said to have been created by the Louisianna floods by a Insurance Journal.

    People just switch off with so many complications; hence the Dunning-Kruger effect and reaction to fear.

    .Politicians need a code of ethics, they swear an oath on being elected, and then, immediately break it.
    .Where possible Education needs to be “deprivatised”.
    .Political donations need to be stopped.
    .Employment of CEOs of major Government agencies should be vetted by the whole of Parliament.
    .A Federal ICAC with teeth, politicians given a moratorium period to settle minor infringements.
    .There is no debate about climate science.
    .Roberts needs to be asked in the Senate about what he understands the laws of thermodynamics are, he is champion for deniers in Parliament. Dr Jones has indicated he has misunderstood all the laws of thermodynamics.

  34. diannaart

    Keith

    Right now “.A Federal ICAC with teeth, politicians given a moratorium period to settle minor infringements.” to clear out some of the riff-raff

    Then assessment for key understanding of climate, pollution and consequences by all politicians – so as not to cause any favouritism. Those who fail, are to resign and replaced by publicly elected human beings who demonstrably understand basic science.

    Other abilities for assessment include empathy and care for all living things.

  35. Jexpat

    In light of Franz Fanon’s quote, I’ll add an apocrypha often attributed to John Maynard Keynes. It goes something like this: “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?”

  36. Keith

    Harquebus

    The Norwegians have developed ships using renewable energy.
    A business as usual approach means many areas will become inhospitable, a temperature spike was experienced by Iran of 60C.

    The cryosphere is in a mess; Arctic sea ice extent was at a record low for the maximum reading in April 2016, and second lowest for minimum extent in September 2016. Sea ice volume is of greater concern measured at 16,900 km3 in 1979, in 2015 it was 5,700 km3, and a provisional volume of 4,400 km3 rounded up for 2016. There has been rapid freezing since the minimum was reached, not good news as it means that areas of multi year sea ice has not been able to merge together.
    There are yearly variations; but, the trend line is going down. Should the trend line continue; then we have 10 years +- before there is no ice volume. The cryosphere moderates temperature for Earth. Should the volume of sea ice reach nil in around a decade plus/minus; then, economics will be a lost word

    Can you give an absolute guarantee that around 10 years that sea ice extent and volume will be in good order?

    California is considered to be a bread basket area for the US; they are still in a drought situation, a number of domestic aquifers have dried up. The so called “blob” had blocked precipitation in California for a few years; the expectation had been with El Nino that the blob would dissipate, instead it has reformed. India was in a drought situation not long ago and a number of farmers committed suicide as a result. Just two examples of impacts of extreme weather.

  37. Harquebus

    Keith

    Norway’s renewable sector was built using the proceeds from crude oil. What are they going to use after oil depletion to maintain and build new renewable energy collectors? The energy from renewable energy collectors? Sorry, when factoring all the energy invested, they don’t even return enough to replace themselves.

    Did you see this week’s ABC Foreign Correspondent?

    “Keep Calm and Drill On”
    http://www.abc.net.au/foreign/content/2016/s4546534.htm

    Other than that, I pretty much agree with you and will add that Arctic warming represents a threat that could wipe us out. Methane.

    I don’t deny anthropogenic global warming and agree that fossil fuels must be left in the ground. If we stopped burning all fossil fuels today, we would still be in for about 40 years of warming.
    It is only the solution that I disagree with most people.
    Population reduction, regardless of what anyone thinks, is going to happen so, we might as well make it easier on ourselves and start now.

    Cheers.

  38. Annie B

    Keith and Harquebus.

    You both mentioned the Arctic as losing massive amounts of sea ice. …. “Arctic Warming”, and proposed massive destruction for earth, if it continued to lose its ice at the current rate. … “Sea ice is thought to act as a regulator for the world’s climate systems.” … and yes it has been diminishing. The thinner ice melts every year in ‘summer’ … and grows again in winter(s) .. becomes multi-year ice. It is this area that has NASA concerned – as it too is diminishing overall – not just because of ‘summer’.

    There is one other small ( ??? – ) area of massive ice on this planet. “Antarctica is 2,440,000 square miles (6,310,000 square kilometers) bigger than Australia.” …. a fraction under double the size of Australia.

    > The Arctic is iced ocean, surrounded by land ….

    > The Antarctic is iced land, surrounded by ocean.

    …….. and the Antarctic had been increasing in sea ice rapidly to peak in 2014 – and then diminished this year, by 1.5 million square kms to be one of the lows. … Dr Jan Lieser from the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre said ” the finding was surprising, but did align with a long-term trend.” >>> ( and ) “We need to look at much larger time scales, 35 to 40 years that we need to know, to be sure.”

    My son is currently in the Antarctic, based at Mawson, but it is no use me asking him much – under the Secrecy Act he had to sign, there are many of my questions he is not permitted to answer, and never will. … ( I wish he could ). He is always very polite when refusing to answer, though. 😉

    Anyway … while there is room for some concern, and certainly a conserted effort to be taken to reduce carbon emissions across the globe ( and if that means renewables use – so be it ) … at this point in time, it is not helpful to “do a pollie” and speak of dastardly happenings in the near future for mankind – i.e. spread fear. We get enough of that crap from politicians.

    Just thought you might be interested in all that ….. !

  39. Annie B

    Harquebus …. to answer your question ( at 11:29 am ) … re advancements for renewable energy.

    “Are you sure about that?

    I simply put forward a probability – in positive terms.
    No-one can be absolutely certain about anything.
    Possibility and probability are two different things.

    “Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future.” — Niels Bohr “
    Niels Bohr was born in 1885 … died in 1962. During his life time, he could not have imagined in his wildest dreams, the advancements in technology that have happened, and are continuing to happen, now – ( for good and for bad / dangerous btw ). ‘The future’ in his day, was nebulous to say the least. …. Still and all, he was correct for his time – and most likely was referring to his speciality in physics – atomic structure and quantum theory.

    He also said ” The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. … But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.” … something we should all ponder. D’ya think ?

  40. diannaart

    Annie B

    “doom&gloom” disease is both viral and produces nothing. So why don’t we just ignore nothing? 🙂 I have limited energy myself, and am reduced to skimming much of Harquebus, et al, not a perfect solution, but nothing is.

    Indeed, renewable tech won’t stop ALL pollution – but maybe just enough.

    Yes, the world can only support a finite number of humans – we can act collectively on that and assist other nations with education in conjunction with birth control, agriculture, fast tracking sustainable industries, skipping the coal era completely – there’s sooooo much we CAN do.

    PS

    Your son, living one of my dreams

  41. Harquebus

    Annie B
    I read every article I see that contains the name “Antarctica” and am aware of the the things you say. The Antarctic can only add to sea level rise. The Arctic Tundra has the potential to release vast amounts of CO2 and vast quantities of methane from the seafloor. I’ll look the figures up if you like. The Arctic is also warming much faster than the Antarctic probably because of the geological factors that you stated. I’ll have to check that as well.

    Here is a website I visit every couple of days or so. Truly. Click on the link “Antarctic daily images” to see an interesting graph.
    http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

  42. Annie B

    diannaart ….

    You are right – the ‘doom and gloom’ scenario is rife on the internet, social media, and other media – especially the MSM. Not to mention the politicians ( Barnaby Joyce comes to mind !! ) and of course Abbott in his brief tenure as PM … constantly throwing fear at the population in order to dumb-us-down. Some fell for it ( Reclaim Australia for instance – and their off-shoots ).

    Fear becomes like a virus … and then a bacteria … and if not dealt with by the individuals who listen – can be quite psyche / life-attitude changing, in fact.

    I think we do not ignore ‘nothing’ because a ‘nothing’ statement by whoever, always has something that can resonate with others. Just a few words will do, and off we all do go.

    Agree with your statements, ending in ” there’s sooooo much we CAN do.”

    And ( hopefully Michael and the team at AIMN don’t mind ) … as I do not have an email address for you, and you are obviously interested in the Antarctic ( as I am — for obvious reasons 🙂 !!! ) – here is a link to go to for the Australian Antarctic Division ( AAD ) … it is for public edification, and I don’t think I am breaking any rules. http://www.antarctica.gov.au/living-and-working/stations/mawson/this-week-at-mawson/2016/this-week-at-mawson-30-september-2016

    It is interesting – – but I note my son did not mention the mishap to me via email ( for personal reasons I guess ) … he was on that expedition out to Ledinghams Depot and he is shown ( on the left ) of a photograph while they were resolving the problem of a Haggslunds track vehicle that had problems with thinning ice – an unusual situation as they meticulously measure depths before proceeding – ( similar to military who seek out land mines on war fronts ).

    The thinning sea ice got the better of them apparently, with no-one hurt thank heaven. Now that it is public, I can ask him a question he CAN answer …. LOL 🙂

    Some comment here too, about wind turbines used down there – for anyone else interested.

    Enjoy ……

  43. Annie B

    Harquebus …..

    Thanks for the link. … it is indeed interesting, and very informative.

    You might be able to rummage around on the AAD site I have posted in reply to diannaart – there’s heaps of info. on all kinds of ‘Antarctica’ stuff on there – if one is prepared to spend the time searching the site. It is very comprehensive, and at times, a little difficult to negotiate.

    But it’s damned good and doesn’t pull any punches – doesn’t under-play any weather / sea ice / scientific situations that it is inclined to impart. Much however, cannot be relayed to the public – according to the dictates of our ‘esteemed’ ( ??? 🙁 ) guv’mint.

  44. Harquebus

    Annie B
    Thank you also.
    I had a look earlier and will be getting back to it.

  45. diannaart

    Annie B

    Thank you for link – very much enjoyed reading and have bookmarked for future reference. While I read about the team work, knowledge and skills required to both work and thrive at Mawson, got to thinking how people, such as your son, could explain how wind turbines work in even the most extreme of conditions to our PM, plus a few lessons on working collaboratively for the benefit of all.

    Of course I dream on…

  46. Annie B

    Terry 2 …. Thank you so much for the link provided. … It is an excellent read and has loads of observations about the oddities in weather in the Antarctic. …. Would recommend that everyone have a read of it.

    My son Craig took his first deployment to Antarctica in the 2013 / 14 year of expeditions, leaving August 2013 on a sea journey that is supposed to take 12 to 14 days max – and ended up being 24 days to get to Davis Station ( where he was posted the first time ). This was due to the inordinate amount of very thick sea ice, that the dear old “Aurora Australis” P&O ship, had to try to find a way through, and the extent to which the sea ice had furthered itself outward – all around. … Now – in 2015/16 .. the sea ice has taken a backward step !!

    Disturbing information on that link, relates to the decreasing amount of hard packed ice on and/or beneath glaciers there – which if melting, will cause a sea rise … ( as I understand it ). … I think that is caused by warmer ocean currents floating around somewhere, beneath the surface. But your link explains it better than I ever could consider doing. 🙂

  47. Annie B

    diannaart … pleased you enjoyed the link.

    Will ask about the wind turbines – would be most interesting, and I think he could answer those questions – as the turbines can be observed from their HQ. … Many blizzards occur at Mawson ( far more blizzards and colder conditions than at Davis – which is jokingly referred to as the “Riverina of the Antarctic” !!! ) ….

    “Blizzes” as they are referred to, sweep in – at times almost horizontally with heaps of snow, at around 100 +++ kmph … and build up massive piles of the white stuff which if given time, would turn to hard packed ice. … The expeds. have to reduce that asap. …. Then there are the katabatic winds and how they affect the entire structure of the surfaces … the following link will provide good information about the actual use of the wind turbines ( and there are only 2 of them at Mawson ) … which provides the electrical requirements for the station. http://www.antarctica.gov.au/living-and-working/station-life-and-activities/renewable-energy/wind-power …. this makes me wonder if the government are as little interested in wind renewables, as they say they are. hmm ! … They do not listen too closely to expert opinion, and do things like cutting CSIRO funding – as they have done recently … but then that just might suit their coal (ition) agenda for the mainland. … Heaven only knows. !!

    Barnaby Joyce should be sent down there to ‘enjoy’ a complete year of deployment – might teach him a thing or five. But – as you said — “dream on”. !!

    A most fascinating place …. and one that expeds. return to, time and time again. Gets in their blood somehow .. and that perhaps is not so suprising.

  48. Keith

    If you have 45 minutes, an interesting film about civil disobedience and how it has had an impact in so many areas …slavery, women’s rights (still ongoing) , segregation, tyrannical governments etc. The concept of fossil fuel miners being the radicals is posited; they are the ones doing so much damage to Earth.

    https://youtu.be/8I7qCiqm8n0

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