Wednesday, 31 December 2014

One lousy sentence

Treasurer Tim Nicholls in Gladstone Harbour
source: Courier Mail

One lousy sentence given grudgingly by the Qld treasurer, Tim Nicholls, gives no justice and portrays no understanding what farming families and other landowner...s have been subjected to in the unleashing of the CSG colossus.

Tim Nicholls is quoted in the Courier Mail article, Liquefied coal seam gas shipment set to leave Gladstone, as saying, “landholders had to be acknowledged for the sacrifice and trouble they had been put to as CSG companies moved onto their land.”

It has been a lot more than just mere trouble, Tim. Try non-disclosure of information; isolate, divide & conquer; lying; pressured negotiation; bullying; ambushing with contrived bluffs; tactics to apply pressure; limited, miserly compensation; landowners time uncompensatedstress; complete disregard & disinterest in how agricultural management systems can work in with a gas field; the co-existence myth; gates open; weeds; loss of underground water; no solution for a mountain of salt brought to the surface; loss of amenity of living; roads destroyed; dust; noise; sense of community lost; liability from contamination; diminution of property value.

The list continues.

The government has failed to govern for all. The Newman LNP government & preceding Bligh Labor government have not allowed the agricultural department to protect even the small percentage of good quality soils; the Department of Environment & Heritage has not been allowed to do its job; there was very limited legal aid made available & that did not continue; landowners suffering impacts ask government for help only to be fobbed off by organisations devised by government, Gasfield Commission & CSG Compliance Unit, with the purpose of to be seen to be doing something and to dampen down the voice of the rural landowner to be heard in the urban communities.

On top of all that with landowners already suffering significant imbalances of power the Newman government systematically made significant legislative changes that removed what few rights landowners had.

What for? This Courier Mail reveals the answer; this first ship alone has loaded $50 million worth of LNG. When the industry gets into full stride in 2017 there will be 360 ships leaving the harbour loaded with LNG every year. The Qld government is expected to rake in $500 million annually. 
LNG tanker, Methane Rita Andrea, docked at QGC LNG plant at Curtis Island
photo sourced Gladstone Observer

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Rising Seas are Nothing New

by Viv Forbes
The most careful analysis of world sea levels suggests they are rising at between zero and 2mm per year. Measurements to this accuracy are questionable as they are complicated by changes in ocean currents and wind direction, and shorelines that may rise and sink.

Sea levels are never still, but with global temperatures flat and snow cover and polar ice steady, sea levels are probably as stable today as they ever get.

Image sourced [here]

However, we still have creative climatists concocting complex computer models that predict dangerously rising seas to justify their goal to ban coastal development and to revive their failing war on carbon.

Alarmists should study earth history.

At the depth of our recent ice age, just 16,000 years ago, a thick sheet of ice covered much of North America and Northern Europe.
So much water was locked up in ice that humans could walk on dry land from London to Paris, from Siberia to Alaska and from New Guinea to Australia. The River Rhine flowed across a broad coastal plain (which is now the North Sea) and met the Atlantic Ocean up between Scotland and Norway.
image sourced [here]

There was no Great Barrier Reef as Queensland’s continental shelf was part of the coastal plain, and rivers like the Burdekin met the ocean about 160 km east of its current mouth. Most of its ancestral river channel can still be recognised beneath the Coral Sea.

Then, about 13,000 years ago, with no help from man-made engines burning hydrocarbons, the Earth began warming. This was probably caused by natural cycles affecting our sun and the solar system, aided by volcanic heat along Earth’s Rings of Fire under the oceans.

The great ice sheets melted, sea levels rapidly rose some 130m and coastal settlements and ancient port cities were drowned and are being rediscovered, even today
As the oceans warmed, they expelled much of their dissolved load of carbon dioxide. The warm temperatures and extra carbon dioxide plant food caused vigorous plant growth. Permafrost melted, forests colonised the treeless tundra and grasses and herbs covered the great plains. Iceball Earth became the Blue/green planet, supporting a huge increase in plant and animal life.

Without any zoning laws to guide them, our smart ancestors moved ahead of the rising waters and adapted happily to the warmer climate with less snow, more rain, more carbon dioxide plant food and more ice-free land.

This warming phase peaked in the Medieval Warm Era about 1,000 years ago, when sea levels also peaked. They fell during the Little Ice Age, rose slightly during the Modern Warm Era, and are relatively stable now.

Rising seas are never a lethal threat to life on Earth. The danger sign is falling sea levels caused by a return of the great ice sheets. This would quickly put high-latitude farming into the deep freezer, thus creating widespread starvation. Trying to grow crops on emerging salty mudflats in an icy climate will give some future farmers a real climate concern.

And despite World Heritage listing, when the next ice age comes the skeletons of the stranded Great Barrier Reef will become bleached limestone deposits on the coastal plain. The indestructible coral populations will abandon their marooned homes and build new reefs further out under the retreating seas.
Image sourced [here]
For those who would like to read more:

Ice Age Europe

Nothing New about Rising sea levels:

Sea levels were probably been higher than this during the Medieval Warming, and fell in the Little Ice Age:

The Buried Burdekin River Channel

Sea level in the southwest pacific is stable:

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Renewables NOT Renewable

by Viv Forbes
Horse Hollow wind farm
There is an incessant chorus from the green gospellers glorifying “renewable” energy and warning disbelievers that continued use of carbon fuels will damn the world to eternal fires of global warming.

Their ire is focussed on carbon dioxide, one very minor but beneficial atmospheric gas which is accused of causing more of everything bad: pollution and extreme weather, droughts and floods, snowstorms and hurricanes, malaria and mosquitos, icebergs and glacier retreat, heat waves and blizzards, declining polar bears and multiplying cane toads.

We are told that using “renewable” energy will prevent all these disasters and produce cheap “clean” electricity. Four points are relevant:

First, carbon dioxide produced by burning coal, oil, gas, diesel, petrol or wood is not a pollutant in the atmosphere, not the key driver of global warming or climate change, but a boon to all plants (and thus all life). It is clean and green. There is thus no environmental or climate justification for punitive taxes on carbon dioxide, or for really silly stuff like emissions trading or carbon capture and burial.

Second, wind and solar power have a role in remote or mobile applications and in domestic hot water generation, but are an unreliable and high cost addition to grid power. Because of their intermittent and unpredictable supply characteristics, the large areas of land required to collect significant energy, and their need for back-up generators or huge batteries, they can seldom compete in a fair market with coal, gas, nuclear or hydro power. Nothing anyone can do will change these natural characteristics.

Third, those who wish to use “renewable” energy or to become independent of the grid are free to do so, and this should continue. But green energy should not be molly-coddled with subsidies from taxpayers or other users, nor protected by extra taxes on carbon energy, taxpayer loans, mandated market shares or propped up prices.

Finally, there is one killer point that has recently emerged.

The data collected shows that renewables will barely generate sufficient energy over the life of the facilities to recover the energy used to manufacture, construct and maintain those facilities.

Google has long supported green energy and had a dream to power all of their energy-hungry computers and air-conditioned data centres with “renewables”. It was revealed recently by their own technical advisers that this dream is a delusion. The fatal flaw discovered is that wind/solar energy may not reduce life-time emissions of carbon dioxide and is unlikely to ever be cheaper than coal. The data collected shows that renewables will barely generate sufficient energy over the life of the facilities to recover the energy used to manufacture, construct and maintain those facilities.

Most so called “renewable” energy relies on the sun, and is better referred to as “in-exhaustible”. But at any point on Earth, wind/solar is more accurately called “intermittent energy”. And to build plants to extract electricity from the sun using wind or solar collectors is a zero-sum game or worse – they may not produce enough energy to recoup the energy cost of replacing those facilities.

Wind/solar energy thus fails its central justification – it is not renewable.

Viv Forbes,

For those who would like to read more:

Google Green tried hard to make green energy work:

But Google Engineers now say renewable energy won’t work:

Troubles at world’s largest solar plant: production down, gas usage up:

The Catch22 of Energy Storage:

Large amount of steel & concrete used for a wind turbine base. photo sourced [here]

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Tragedies under Kyoto 1 will be echoed under proposed Kyoto 2.

Republished from Australian Climate Sceptics blog (LINK)

But the Abbott Government is also in the middle of a new controversy at the Lima conference over the way Australia's emissions target will be calculated under the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, the current global climate agreement, due to expire in 2020 and replaced by any new deal signed in Paris next year. 
With apologies to John Spooner.
Australia is seeking to use favourable rules around land clearing - originally agreed to under Kyoto in 1997 to establish an earlier target - in calculating its promised cut for 2020 under the protocol's second stage. 
If Australia is not allowed to include land use emissions to calculate its target it is estimated that it will increase the national 2020 goal by between 40 to 80 million tonnes of carbon emissions or up to 2.5 per cent. 
Australia is threatening that it will not ratify Kyoto again if it does not get its way on targets, and has won support from major developed nations and also Brazil. (bold added)
In 1998, under the Howard Government, the Science, Technology, Environment and Resources Group issued Current Issues Brief 10 (link) contained inter alia:

Allowance for emission reductions from land use changes was permitted in the base year in the Kyoto Protocol. Thus, reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from declining rates of land clearing or forestry can be used to meet target commitments. Similarly, removals of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by absorption into biological systems can be used. These removals of carbon dioxide, for example the planting of forests, are referred to as 'sinks'. 
Ian Hampton writes of Australia's actions in Lima:
This is a carbon copy of the tactics adopted by the then Howard Government in the lead up to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol agreement. Australia's "success" in getting the "Australia Clause" in the Kyoto Protocol led directly to the Howard Government "engineering" the much more restrictive 2003 NSW Native Vegetation Legislation and similar legislation in Queensland.
Why Tony Abbott would pander to the loony lefties who read the SMH and watch "our" ABC is a mystery. Turning his back on the people who voted for him and bowing to  people who will never vote for him seems a suicide move.

SO, how did the Kyoto 1 Land Use Protocol work out for Australian Land holders. Let's look at two examples:
  • Farmer tried to work with the Land Use Protocol;
  • Farmer lost farm due to the Land Use Protocol. 

Farmer tried to work with the Land Use Protocol

Cate speaking to ABC radio May 20, 2014, about how carbon farming is a “good business strategy” at . But the banks, for good reason, thought otherwise.
Cate Stuart among the mulga trees the Stuarts have used to create a
carbon-storage scheme with the help of Australian Carbon Traders.
Picture: Lyndon Mechielsen
 Source: News Corp Australia

Mark and Cate Stuart tried to work within the system and create a carbon sink. The sink was supposed to create income of $400,000 every 3 years. (link)
Cate and Mark Stuart will be evicted from their historic Charleville cattle station, Mount Morris, on Thursday after rural lender Rabobank last year called in the receivers Ferrier Hodgson to ­recoup an outstanding debt of $2.6 million. 
The Stuarts are heartbroken. But the tough outback family, which has run the 20,000ha far-west Queensland spread for the past six years, isn’t going without a fight. A very modern fight. 
They say the bank has failed to recognise their wild and sprawling home is more than just a cattle farm: it is a carbon bank. 
For the past four years, the ­Stuarts have worked with thespecialist carbon farming company Australian Carbon Traders to capture and store carbon on 5000ha of their mulga tree ­reserves. 
They planned to earn up to $400,000 every three years in valuable carbon credit payments.
Mt Morris is now for sale - See LINK.  The Stuarts have lost everything.

Cate has been featured before on the Australian Climate Sceptics blog, during the Convoy of No Confidence: LINK
Cate is now known as "Convoy Cate from Charleville." Listen to Cate on ABC's Counterpoint HERE.

Farmer lost farm due to the Land Use Protocol 

Readers of these pages should be aware of Peter Spencer: Our friend, Joanne Nova, has written a magnificent summary HERE
Peter Spencer’s story is one I didn’t think could happen in Australia. He is the farmer in New South Wales who bought a farm and then lost 80% of it when rules changed to stop people clearing native vegetation. Unable to use most of his property, he was slowly bankrupted. Though he broke no law, he lost his life’s work and his beloved farm in late 2010. There was no way out. He couldn’t sell the property — who would buy a piece of land that could not be used? Farmers all around Australia lost billions of dollars in assets as the value of their land and produce declined. 
It is this legislation and the resulting theft of the stored carbon in the resulting trees by the Commonwealth (enabling Australia to meet its Kyoto commitments) that is at the root of Peter Spencer's case against the Commonwealth and NSW. (link)

Read the trial notes in  "Peter Spencer: Court diary"

These are just two stories (from both sides of the boundary fence) of the myriad tragedies caused by Land Use Protocol under the original Kyoto Protocol.

Now, landholders (and all Australians)  should gear up for more tragedies IF the Abbott Government gets acceptance of their new Land Use Protocol.