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Australasian politics, Australia, Climate Science, CO2, General Topics, Loony Toons, NGOs, Oceans, Settled science?, These items caught my eye

These items caught my eye – 11 May 2013

In this post I thought I’d wander around my blogroll and see what I could find that may not have hit the mainstream. Subjects include: The Great Barrier Reef; It’s Global Warming, Jim – but not as we know it; Do Aid Agencies do more harm than good? Probably; Why Technocrats need to step aside from policy; Clouds and who has his head buried in them. To be honest, if one wants to stay clear of the Benghazi saga, and I do, for now, it’s been a hard week for finding interesting items. Please remember to read the comments, as the information (and the links) contained in them often put the main article into context. If you follow a site that is, maybe, a bit off the beaten track and think it would be of interest, please contact me and I’ll take a look.

The Great Barrier Reef: Have we Really Lost Half of It? [Part 1: Water Quality]

Posted on May 5th, 2013 by Jennifer Marohasy

IT was all over the news again this morning, that unless action is taken to improve water quality the Great Barrier Reef could be placed on the World Heritage list of sites in danger and by the way, there has already been a 50 percent decline in coral cover at the Great Barrier Reef.

Photograph by Walter Starck

Photograph by Walter Starck

No wonder the average person is concerned about the environment! Such casual reporting that we have already lost a full half of the Great Barrier Reef!

This publicity is all part of a campaign to stop the development of new port facilities along the Queensland coastline. But rather than just come out and say they don’t want more development– that in fact they despise industry– the activist scientists dress it up as the end of the Great Barrier Reef as we know it.

I have written extensively about the water quality scare campaigns of the late 1990s and early 2000s [1,2,3]. They weren’t about new port developments, but they did prostitute science just like this new campaign.

It is still my contention that while agriculture is having a measurable impact in Great Barrier Reef catchments i.e. in river and streams that flow into the GBR, there is no measurable negative water quality impacts on the Great Barrier Reef proper [1,2,3].

This is a highly contentious claim. But it’s supported by the data [4]. Indeed the Australian Institute of Marine Science has been measuring water quality across the GBR for decades –- cross shelf and seasonal patterns of water column nitrogen (nitrite, nitrate, dissolved organic nitrogen, particulate nitrogen) and chlorophyll a concentrations –- and the data shows no trend of eutrophication. Indeed both nearshore and offshore reefs appear to be developing, for the most part, in a generally low-nutrient environment.

Click here to read the full article

An interesting Ag Report

Posted on May 8 2013 by the Chiefio

This is a weekly report, so any one week, it will be different from right now. This one shows some cool soils, but I think they are a bit optimistic…(it does say “preliminary data”) and the ‘records’ part says a whole lot of precipitation records with some snow records in the North West. They show high temp records over the SouthWest AND California where I am. As I was just chased off the patio by the cold, and I’ve not started a garden as it’s just not been like it was (hot in May, good to go in April…) I’m very skeptical of those hot records… This year has NOT been hot. Not even near it. (See page 9).


For most significant crops, they have an entry like this (from Page 13… yeah, it had to be page 13…):

Click here to read the full article

The big green killing machine: They sit with God in paradise.

Posted on May 3, 2013 by Pointman

It was a hellishly hot African day. Mac stood behind the young Danish girl, who sat at a table in the open air. He’d rigged a tarpaulin shade over them to give some relief from the midday sun. They’d never quite worked Mac out. What he didn’t appear to have in terms of any obvious noble intentions, he more than made up for by being eminently practical. The tarp he’d put up and at the same time the gun he’d insisted on carrying, were typical of Mac’s bipolar touches. In front of them stretched a long line of people waiting their turn with stoic African resignation.

Starvation and heat will do that to you. They both slowly grind you down. As each family eventually arrived at the table, the girl stamped their hands with indelible ink and gave them a food voucher, which they took over to the relief lorries. There it would be exchanged for a small bag of rice, enough to keep them going for a day or two.

Squeeze it, mebbe three.

They were starving. The rains had come too late to prevent what pitiful crops they grew withering away. They still grew the same shit poor varieties that came out of Mesopotamia thousands of years ago; none of your GM drought resistant seeds for them. That stuff wouldn’t be in their best interests, their betters in far away foreign lands had decided for them.

Click here to read the full article

The Perils of Energy Technocracy

Posted on May 10, 2013 by Donald Norman

The technocracy movement that arose in the early part of twentieth century advocated turning over the reins of governmental decision making to scientists, engineers and other “technocrats”. It was argued that the expertise of technocrats would result in better decisions than those made by private companies.

The idea of technocracy was embedded in the concept of central planning and was heralded by Thorstein Veblen and embraced by the Soviet Union. In the early years of the Great Depression the movement enjoyed renewed popularity, the belief being that technical, rational and apolitical expertise could revive the economy.

As an aside, one of the advocates of technocracy was M. King Hubbert who later developed his theory of Peak Oil production. Hubbert also proposed that energy certificates be issued to replace conventional money. These certificates could be divided equally among all members of a North American continental “technate.” Hubbert went on to become a geoscientist at Shell Oil.

Click here to read the full article

Nuccitelli Holding Two Diametrically Opposed Thoughts

Posted on May 10, 2013 by suyts space

Nuccitelli is on at the Guardian, again. You know it’s going to be a beaut when this is the headlines……

What you need to know about climate sensitivity

This is fascinating because he’s pretending that he knows what the sensitivity is. I find that highly misleading. But, that’s an alarmist for you. He starts babbling, but he quickly comes to this affirmative statement.

We also know that if we double the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the increased greenhouse effect will cause the planet’s average surface temperature to warm about 1.2°C (2.2°F) in response.

He nor anyone else, knows such a thing. It’s simply impossible to know at this stage. And, I suspect the primary sensitivity is much lower, but, I don’t know this. Of course, this doesn’t sound scary enough, so Nuccitelli devolves into a discussion about feedbacks.

Click here to read the full article





  1. Pingback: the Great Barrier Reef. | Beyond the Realm of Logic - May 22, 2013

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