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One Sign Of Intelligence Is Being Able To Change Your Mind or Why Scott Morrison Is Einstein!

Remember just a few years ago when we were told that we needed to be “energy agnostic”. Well, all that’s out the window. Apparently we now have to build a church to gas because the private operators have decided that they’d rather invest in something profitable.

Why do I call it “a church”? That’s because – like a church – it will be large and unused for much of the time and in future generations people will look at it and go, “Wow, what a large structure. I wonder why they spent so much money and something with no practical purpose. They must have really believed that someone would reward them in the next life!” (In the case of the Coalition, that’s Life After Politics!)

It’s very tempting to point out that once we took it for granted that governments would be responsible for building the infrastructure that enabled us to generate energy, but we were told by the Liberal Party that private industry was a lot better at it and market forces would make the whole thing a lot more efficient. Now we’re being told that the market has failed because the market relies on making a profit and nobody in private industry is keen to build a gas-fired power station for the simple reason that it’s not economically viable.

Of course, I shouldn’t criticise the Liberals for changing their mind and completely repudiating their free market principles and totally embracing socialism. After all, it’s only the intelligent who can change their minds. At least I think that’s true…

Whatever, the Liberals are certainly good at changing their minds. Sometimes they’ll even do it from one interview to the next.

Remember when they told us that people don’t need the government making decisions for them and that individuals were best placed to decide what to spend their money on… Of course, this was before they realised that once they got the Indue card out and accepted, they could eventually roll it out to pensioners and then the rest of us and we could only shop at approved Liberal donor stores.

Remember when Scotty was all about opening up the borders but then he saw how successful various state premiers were with their border closures. Now he’s determined to keep Australia’s borders closed until… well, it’s not like he intends to set a date because targets are for the accountable. We can’t say when borders will be open again, even with the majority vaccinated. As he put it: “Even in that circumstance, you’re talking about many Australians, millions of Australians, who wouldn’t have been vaccinated. Because A, they’re children or B, they’ve chosen not to be [vaccinated].” Unvaccinated children a concern? Is this different from “Schools are safe, I can’t be any clearer than that!” Too right it is, which just shows the intelligence of the man because he’s apparently changed his mind.

Remember when they labelled that ad about the vaccines with the Liberal Party logo? Well there’s another example of them changing their mind. Now they want bipartisan support for the rollout. Surely, Labor have to take part responsibility. Why? Well, they said that the logo shouldn’t be there because it was the government who were providing the vaccines and aren’t Labor an alternative government?

And then we have the NDIS which just a couple of Budgets ago was so awash with funds that Josh Frydenberg could take $4.7 billion from it to put us into surplus. While at $4.7 billion, those “Back In Black” coffee seemed overpriced, that’s nothing compared to the unsustainable nature of the NDIS now. We need to stop those “empathetic public servants” from giving wheelchairs to people. Everyone needs to stand on their own two feet even if they have no legs. Yes, social media was very cruel and mocked Linda Reynolds about her heart condition, but even she agrees that’s better than being awash with empathy like those public servants who fail to push those on the NDIS to get better. Our PM does believe in miracles, as we all know.

And Scotty’s changed his mind on debt and deficit too. We’re going to have deficits for the next ten years according to #Scottyfromannouncements. Yes, ok, Hockey said that the Liberals would deliver a surplus in their first year of government and every year thereafter but they changed their mind about that, as well as Hockey being Treasurer. And about having a stable government who didn’t change Prime Ministers. Of course it would be unfair to bring up how the Liberals changed their minds about Abbott’s rolled gold maternity leave, because that’s so many Prime Ministers ago.

Some of you will be expecting that I’ll also be pointing out the PM’s changing his mind on electric vehicles, but apparently he hasn’t. He told us that he never mocked EVs in the lead up to the 2019 election. No, no, he was complaining about Bill Shorten ruining the weekend by simply being PM and that would have ruined the weekend of everyone who mattered so EVs had nothing to do with it.

Yes, I can certainly recommend that you vote for Scott Morrison in the upcoming election which he assures won’t be held until next year, so I’d expect it in about three months. Even if you don’t like his policies and what he announces, there’s a better than fifty percent chance that they’ll never be implemented and that he’ll change them before the month is out. You can be content knowing that if you don’t like, for example, his intention to build a gas-fired power station, that once they’ve bought the land from the Liberal donor, and once they’ve spent a few million on consultants, they’ll change their mind and sell the land to a firm who wants to make electric vehicles or develop it for social housing.

I suppose you’ve noticed that lately, Mr Morrison seems to have a booklet in hands every time he appears in the media. Perhaps he’s working on the next slogan. “Liberals: We Have A Plan AND a Pamphlet.”

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Why a 4 degree global temperature increase is the new game in town

By Dr Anthony Horton

Numerous recent initiatives intend to precipitate action on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the lead up to the Paris Climate Summit, which is now less than 2 months away. In recent weeks, approximately 2000 people and 400 organisations have made commitments to cease investments in fossil fuel producing companies. Countries were asked to nominate actions they would undertake to reduce GHG emissions to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) by October 1.

A US Clean Power Plan which was announced in August this year could reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power stations by 870 million tonnes by 2030 (equivalent of taking 166 million cars off the road). China has committed to peak emissions by 2030, and there are indications that emissions may peak before that. Two weeks ago on September 25, China announced that a national carbon emissions trading scheme would commence in 2017. Shortly after that, Brazil announced a 43% cut in greenhouse gas emissions from 2005 levels by 2030.

When the Paris Climate Summit begins, the parties negotiating a deal need to consider the extent to which global warming is already occurring. Global carbon dioxide emissions in 2012 were 58% higher than they were in 1990 and atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations have increased from approximately 340 parts per million (ppm) in 1980 to nearly 400ppm today. It is a commonly held belief that in order to limit warming to 2°C the total amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere must stay below 1 trillion tonnes.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), we were more than half way to 1 trillion tonnes in 2011 with a total amount of 515 billion tonnes in the atmosphere. If global greenhouse gas emissions continue at the rate of 140 billion tonnes each year, temperatures may rise by up to 4.5°C by 2100. Even if each country fully honours its Paris pledge, it is possible that global temperatures may increase by 3.5°C by then.

Global average temperatures are approximately 0.8°C higher than before the Industrial Revolution and a recent study in the journal Science showed that a suspected warming hiatus between 1998 and 2012 didn’t occur-the cooler temperatures arose from measurements from ocean buoys rather than ships. A subsequent study also found flaws in the statistical modelling in the research that pointed to the hiatus.

The world’s oceans are absorbing most of the heat which is being added to the Earth’s climate system. Arctic sea ice coverage in summer has reduced by more than 40% over the past 40 years, and mean sea levels have risen by approximately 20cm since 1880 and could rise by up to 1 metre more by 2100. The Kiribati Government has recently purchased land in Fiji to accommodate residents in the case of flooding.

Given that fresh water is less dense than salt water, melting sheets of ice interrupt oceanic circulation patterns. It is possible that Europe’s climate may cool slightly as a result of the Atlantic meridional driving cold salt water into the deep ocean and warm water northward. The changes in ocean currents may also be shifting jet streams and altering storm patterns.

According to Simon Lewis from University College London, forest fires in Indonesia could release up to 2 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide. Recent US fires have consumed more than 2 million hectares of forest. Alaska fared worst due to soot from the fires darkening the ice and reducing its ability to reflect solar radiation away from the Earth.

The Arctic region is reportedly warming twice as fast as the rest of the Earth, and if the permafrosts (that store 1,700 Gigatonnes or 1,700 billion tonnes of carbon) thaw out, huge amounts of methane will be released. The big problem with that is the global warming potential of methane is 25 times that of carbon dioxide.

In a paper recently published in Nature Climate Change, researchers from Universities of Cambridge and Colorado estimated that the economic impact of both methane and carbon dioxide being released could be as high as 0.7% of global gross domestic product (GDP) by 2200 using environmental models. Their research did however include a high level of uncertainty.

A little more than a week ago Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney warned that measures necessary to avoid catastrophic climate change in the long term could result in huge losses in the shorter term by rendering oil, coal and gas essentially untouchable.

See more on the 4 degree warming scenario here.

I have to say I admire Christiana Figueres’ persistence in urging immediate action-seemingly on a weekly basis. As overseer of the Paris Climate Summit in December she has an unenviable task in obtaining an unprecedented global agreement. Her task is not made any easier given the justification with which some countries are defending their Paris commitments (despite considerable pressure from others) and their apparent lack of understanding that we are all residents of the one Earth.

Most developed countries understand that the old “business as usual” approach simply won’t cut it anymore and that they have a responsibility to take the needs of people in developing countries into account, especially as the majority of these countries have made little contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions. Announcements are being made virtually every day on social media regarding renewable energy initiatives and/or countries, states or towns that are moving from a reliance on fossil fuels to larger and larger percentages of renewables in their energy mix.

Whether the global average temperature increase by 2100 is predicted to be 2°C or 4°C, it is inevitable that countries need to join together and help each other, including their nearest neighbours. Australia’s recent move to “throw its toys out of the cot” if the UN established an organisation charged with the responsibility of assisting people that are fleeing from the ravages of climate change surely flies in the face of the need to help those around us.

This article was first published on The Climate Change Guy.

rWdMeee6_pe About the author: Anthony Horton holds a PhD in Environmental Science, a Bachelor of Environmental Science with Honours and a Diploma of Carbon Management. He has a track record of delivering customised solutions in Academia, Government, the Mining Industry and Consulting based on the latest wisdom and his scientific background and experience in Climate/Atmospheric Science and Air Quality. Anthony’s work has been published in internationally recognised scientific journals and presented at international and national conferences, and he is currently on the Editorial Board of the Journal Nature Environment and Pollution Technology. Anthony also blogs on his own site, The Climate Change Guy.

 

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