Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Economy

‘Embracing the Climate Challenge’ …

*Pic: Climate Change in ‘action’ … this year’s devastating bushfires in World Heritage Areas. Pic by Rob Blakers, https://www.robblakers.com/

INTRODUCTION

The events of the past Summer in Tasmania have brought the reality of climate change home to Tasmanians. Prolonged drought, a massive El Niño, unprecedented and destructive bushfires, regional floods and parched Hydro storages are evidence of global climatic shifts at the local level.

There is a pressing need for meaningful, sustained action. Tasmania is not moving fast enough towards a low carbon economy. Nor are we steadfastly embracing the adaption challenge. All three tiers of government are too often ignoring the expertise and scientific tools at hand. This leads to poor political decision making and creates social, environmental and economic vulnerability across the Tasmanian community.

The State Liberal Government’s response to the enormous challenge of global warming has been relentlessly disappointing to date. Following the removal of the ministerial portfolio of climate change, the new Environment, Parks and State Growth Minister introduced legislation to abolish the independent, expert Tasmanian Climate Action Council.

Shortly after, the ‘Climate Smart 2020’ strategy disappeared from view – a highly wasteful political decision that undid a uniquely collaborative approach to engagement on climate mitigation and adaptation at all levels of government, business, industry, with climate scientists, across sectors and the wider community.

It is our strong preference that the Tasmanian Government continue on the path set down in the Climate Smart strategy, but with increased urgency and resourcing given recent events in Tasmania.

Regrettably, its replacement, ‘Embracing the Challenge’, is an overtly political document that does not adequately embrace the challenge of global warming, its impacts on Tasmania and its people, or the need for new thinking and a long-term strategy.

INCREASED URGENCY

It is the Tasmanian Greens’ hope that the events of the past six months in Tasmania will sharpen the State Government’s focus on the imperative to deliver an effective climate mitigation and adaptation plan, that is appropriately resourced and overlays policy and decision making across agencies.

The failure of Basslink after a prolonged dry period and extreme El Nino event has exposed our island’s energy insecurity and the lack of diversity in its renewable energy mix.

The use of diesel and gas fired power on-island will ensure a significant spike in Tasmania’s emissions’ profile and given that Hydro’s storages will take an extended period to recover, our greenhouse emissions’ are likely to increase in to the forseeable future. This will have negative climate and brand impacts for Tasmania.

A number of townships across the north of the State have been placed on water restrictions over Summer in response to diminishing catchments and drying waterways. To date, no public authority or Minister has engaged the wider Tasmanian community on the importance of water conservation.

The dry lightening fires of January 13 this year wrought irreparable damage to Gondwanan landscapes once thought invulnerable to burning. Images of scorched Pencil pines and Cushion plants were broadcast to the world as evidence of climate change, unleashing an outpouring of grief on social media.

Oyster growers are suffering devastating losses with the outbreak of the Pacific Oyster Mortality disease (POMS), understood to be the result of waters warming at an estimated 2.5 times the global average rate.

The streets of Hobart are experiencing traffic gridlock as a result of decades of underinvestment in public transport, impacting on the liveability of our capital and its economic productivity as well as increasing emissions from fossil fuels.

The need for a strong, effective climate strategy is urgently required to build the foundations for sustainability and long term prosperity in response to current and future climate disruption.

We respectfully recommend the draft climate action plan be rewritten through the lens of the events of the past Summer and in light of the fact that February 2016 was the hottest month with temperatures spiking by a significant margin, at the end of the hottest year and the hottest decade in recorded history.

KEY CONCERNS

The Greens remain deeply concerned that the current government approach to global warming falls well short of what is necessary.

The draft action plan underplays the seriousness of the threat Tasmania faces and the extent of the changes required if we are to successfully adapt and prosper in the centuries ahead.

We recognise the current plan is only in draft form and strongly urge the Minister responsible to act on the expert and community advice contained in submissions to the draft plan to deliver a more credible, long term response to climate disruption and extreme weather events for Tasmania.

The Greens want Tasmania to be ready for the future, to be guided through challenging times by successive governments that accept their moral responsibility to take meaningful, sustained action on climate change.

Two major deficits in the draft plan are the lack of recognition of the urgent need for a long term clean energy security policy, and the highly politicised and unscientific approach that passes for forest policy in Tasmania today.

We also believe the draft plan places an unbalanced emphasis on adaptation at the expense of proposing measures that also lower Tasmania’s carbon emissions across all sectors of the economy.

An effective climate plan delivers environmental, social and economic benefits, recognising that responding to climate change is a triple bottom line imperative and a matter of intergenerational equity.

The Greens are also concerned about other government policies that appear to conflict with the need for an effective climate response.

The move to a Statewide Planning Scheme has removed sensible barriers to inappropriate development, land clearing and unchecked urban growth – a major contributor to Australia’s increasing greenhouse emissions’ output.

If the Statewide Planning Scheme takes full effect it will almost certainly increase Tasmania’s emissions from land clearing for new developments and from fossil fuels as a result of more vehicles travelling longer distances to urban centres.

We are concerned the new Scheme increases the likelihood of development approvals in areas of increased bushfire, flood, landslip and sea level rise vulnerability.

The Planning Minister should seek independent advice as to whether the new Scheme may expose governments to the risk of future legal action and investors to financial risk through climate related events that are increasingly not covered by the insurance industry.

The stated government ambition to increase the value of Tasmania’s agricultural production ten fold also presents significant climate risk, potentially increasing land clearing and putting pressure on public water supplies. This goal does not appear to have a foundation in sustainability or climate science.

The Greens share widespread community concern about the adverse health, ecosystem and climate impacts of native forest biomass generation. We regard the draft plan’s consideration of forest furnaces for energy as irresponsible and urge Cabinet to seek expert independent advice on the operations of biomass generation plants in the U.S.A. and European Union.

The available evidence confirms forest biomass plants release pollutants harmful to human health while driving increased logging and deforestation.

Forest biomass generation is a significant carbon emitter.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Recommendation 1

Prioritise reducing Tasmania’s emissions in accordance with our international obligations and moral responsibility to future generations.

Recommendation 2

Amend the Climate Change (State Action) Act 2008 to establish an interim emissions’ reduction target for 2025 based on the Paris Agreement and for zero net carbon emissions by 2050, to set strong sectoral targets and bind government agencies to ambitious action on climate.

Recommendation 3

Develop a strategy that has tripartisan and community support to implement actions that mitigate Tasmania’s contribution to global warming, establishes the framework for effective adaptation and builds future community, economic and ecological resilience.

Include actions across:

• government operations

• natural environment and marine resources • rural land use • energy and economy • human settlements and infrastructure • sustainable transport • emergency management • homes and communities • waste and resource efficiency

Recommendation 4

Deliver a renewable energy security strategy that enables Tasmania to be self sufficient and an exporter of surplus clean power from a diversity of sources by 2025.

Rewrite the Tasmanian Energy Strategy to create the market, regulatory and physical conditions necessary to secure a self-sufficient, clean energy future for Tasmania.

Develop and implement a plan to assist business and major industrials to be operating at maximum energy and resource efficiency.

The Tasmanian Government and its energy GBE to both facilitate and fund investment in small, medium to large scale renewable energy sources as well as widespread energy efficiency and the implementation of smart grid technology to avoid costly gold plating of energy infrastructure.

*Tasmanian Greens’ Energy Security Plan: https://tasmps.greens.org.au/energystrategy

Recommendation 5

Fund the Tasmanian Council of Social Services (TasCoSS) to work across the community sector and with climate and social policy researchers to develop a climate resilience plan for disadvantaged households and communities who are socio-economically more vulnerable to adverse adaptation risk.

Recommendation 6

Update and extend the guiding principles in the Residential Development Strategy to all new suburban and community development to improve sustainability outcomes, urban liveability and housing design.

Work with the building and construction industry, as well as skills’ training institutions, to develop excellence in affordable, green building design and job opportunities for Tasmanians.

http://www.justice.tas.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/181348/draft_RDS_121Oct11_revised.pdf

http://www.justice.tas.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/181350/draft_RDSchecklist_21Oct11.pdf

Recommendation 7

Recognise that it is irresponsible to promote forest biomass as climate safe power and abandon the unscientific, economically unviable plan to burn native forests for energy.

* Partnership for Policy Integrity: http://www.pfpi.net/carbon-emissions and http://www.pfpi.net/biomass-basics-2

Recommendation 8

Commit to a forest management policy underpinned by the protection of biodiversity, carbon storage and ecosystem services’ principles.

End the industrial scale logging of all native forest and end logging in high conservation value and mature forests on public land.

Work with private landholders to apply best practice land management principles that maintain and increase carbon sequestration in the landscape.

Recommendation 9

Further the work of the previous Labor Green government in delivering the Forest Carbon Study, and commit to actively seeking out market opportunities for Tasmanian forest carbon on both voluntary and involuntary carbon markets.

Recommendation 10

Work with the Tasmania Fire Service, Parks and Wildlife Service, Forestry Tasmania, the SES and the Commonwealth to strengthen Tasmania’s rapid response remote fire fighting capacity, ensuring climate-related dry lightening fires are hit hard and early before extensive permanent damage is done to Tasmanian communities and wilderness assets.

Recommendation 11

Increase resourcing to the Tasmania Fire Service to build on emergency coordination and remote fire fighting capacity.

Recommendation 12

Increase resourcing to the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service to invest in fire and natural resource management across Tasmania’s reserve system, including in recent extensions to the TWWHA and forests protected from logging under the Tasmanian Forest Agreement.

Recommendation 13

Ensure fuel reduction burning is planned and conducted through a scientifically and strategically sound statewide approach.

Permanently extend the fire permit season statewide to account for, and adapt to, lower rainfalls and increased likelihood of extreme fire events.

Recommendation 14

Recognise that Tasmania’s capacity to assess future risks and plan for climate change is heavily reliant on the work of climate scientists globally and here in Tasmania.

Ensure the State’s reputation as a global climate hub is not further damaged as a result of the Federal Government’s cuts to the CSIRO and continue to press, at the highest level, for key scientific positions at the Marine and Atmospheric Research divisions to be restored.

Recommendation 15

To build on our knowledge base in to the future, restore funding to Climate Futures, recognising its significant value in enabling an effective adaptation response across Tasmania.

Provide accessible, scientific tools for empowerment and action on climate at all levels of the community and economy.

Engage in a sincere, sustained conversation with Tasmanians about being prepared for future climate disruption. Develop effective communications’ tools to deliver key mitigation and adaptation messages, driving community engagement and acceptance of measures taken to respond to global warming at the local level.

Recommendation 16

Review the Statewide Planning Scheme to ensure it is not a vehicle for increased emissions and does not expose households, communities, businesses and investors in to the future to known climate risk through weak, development at any cost planning provisions.

Recommendation 17

To ease increasingly serious traffic congestion in Hobart at peak times, develop a public and active transport strategy, prioritise new funding and reallocate a percentage of the roads’ budget toward improved, integrated public transport infrastructure and, work with Local and Commonwealth governments to fund and deliver Light Rail from Hobart to Brighton.

Roll out electric vehicle charging infrastructure at strategic locations statewide to encourage increased uptake of low carbon transport and reduce Tasmania’s reliance on imported transport fuels.

Recommendation 18

Prioritise ensuring all Tasmanians have access to safe, affordable and locally grown produce, particularly in areas of socio-economic disadvantage.

Work with local producers to establish food distribution networks in to local markets and community centres.

Promote the establishment of urban and rural food hubs and community gardens to improve local access to quality produce and strengthen Tasmania’s food security in to the future.

Increase funding to Neighbourhood Houses and community organisations to establish food gardens in areas of food poverty related to isolation and socio-economic disadvantage.

See Seattle: http://www.beaconfoodforest.org

Recommendation 19

Reassess current government policy for Tasmania’s agricultural output to exceed $10 billion in annual value by 2050 through the focus of sustainability and climate.

Strengthen the relationship between climate scientists, peak bodies, government, and farmers to support practices which take into account, and adapt to, the causes and impacts of climate change.

Invest in innovation to promote solutions to climate disruption across the primary industries in Tasmania and strengthen the sectors’ resilience to climate and market disruptions.

Reward environmental stewardship and offer opportunities for farmers to share their knowledge on climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies.

Continue to work with the Tasmanian Institute of Agricultural Research to develop a range of crops that are both climate resilient and can absorb greater levels of atmospheric carbon in Tasmania’s productive regions.

Encourage crop diversification and permaculture farming principles to build soil carbon, improve soil health and minimise unsustainable water use.

Undertake a risk assessment of increased foreign ownership of agricultural lands in Tasmania and the potential impacts on Tasmania’s long term food self sufficiency and natural asset conservation. Develop a transparent policy response to the findings of this risk assessment.

Recommendation 20

Undertake a rigorous assessment of the state of Tasmania’s drinking, agricultural, energy and industrial water supplies and projected future use. Assess the future impacts of global warming on water supply and quality and lead development of a water conservation plan for the State.

Work with water management bodies to publicly promote prudent water use across the community and investment in water efficiency measures.

Increase groundwater monitoring in the salinity hotspots of the Midlands, Central Highlands and Dorset regions to improve the adaptability and sustainability of Tasmania’s agricultural sector in an age of climate disruption.

Recommendation 21

Establish a comprehensive system of no-take Marine Protected Areas in Tasmanian waters to maintain biodiversity, strengthen climate resilience in the marine environment and improve the sustainability of fisheries.

Recommendation 22

Set government policy to encourage environmental restoration and carbon sequestration projects on both public and private land, particularly former plantation areas and land that is no longer suitable for agricultural purposes.

Protect and increase valuable soil carbon stocks through policies underpinned by proven sustainable land management techniques.

Explore funding streams through the Commonwealth Emissions Reduction Fund and on global carbon markets to secure ongoing revenue streams and skills’ development in landscape restoration.

Recommendation 23

Prepare for increased population and resource sustainability pressures as a result of new arrivals seeking respite from climate change impacts on mainland Australia and overseas.

Consult widely and develop a settlement strategy for Tasmania to define growth boundaries, limit land clearing, urban sprawl, traffic congestion, natural resource depletion and consequent growth in greenhouse emissions.

Recommendation 24

Restore the Ministerial portfolio for climate change, as a sign of leadership and a signal to the community that government recognises global warming is the single biggest threat to the Tasmanian way of life, but that it also presents us with an opportunity to adapt and prosper in a low carbon future.

GOVERNMENT LEADERSHIP

In this age of rapid population growth, resource depletion, environmental degradation and food insecurity, Tasmania is uniquely placed to make the successful transition to a low carbon, sustainable future.

The draft climate change action plan applies an optimistic lens to a future in which temperatures are projected to rise by 4-6 degrees over the next century under a business-as-usual scenario.

Right now, the evidence would suggest Tasmania is going backwards, losing a sense of purpose and policy gains made since the release of the Wedges Report in 2008, passage of the Climate Change (State Action) Act 2008 and establishment of the Tasmanian Climate Change Office.

We live in the hottest age in human history. It is a time for leadership, for open communication, big thinking and political courage.

It is essential that the Tasmanian Government play a leadership role and place equal importance on mitigation efforts that reduce our emissions and protect carbon reserves, while driving adaptation responses across the community.

The decisions all three tiers of government in Australia make in this decade will determine whether our communities are resilient and prosperous in the future.

The Greens also recognise it is vital for any climate plan to be based on the best possible science, be able to respond to changed knowledge, foster community input and contain measures that will deliver positive action across all emissions’ producing sectors.

The sectors that are encouraged and enabled to foster innovative, low carbon modes of operation will be best prepared for the climate challenge, strengthening Tasmania’s long term economic and social resilience.

Government also has a key role to play in attracting employment generating industries and enterprises keen to leverage off Tasmania’s clean green brand. This requires complementary legislative and policy frameworks that articulate and uphold the protection of Tasmania’s highly valuable, globally recognised brand.

The Greens believe that Tasmania can be better prepared for the future if it is guided by a strong, science and evidence based climate change strategy that progressively delivers emissions reductions and the foundations for successful adaptation across the community.

Submitted by Cassy O’Connor MP, on behalf of the Tasmanian Greens

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22 Comments

22 Comments

  1. John Biggs

    April 20, 2016 at 8:12 pm

    #18 for #17 Missed the Ural to the latest on agreement amongst scientists: https://independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/climate-deniers-get-a-reality-check,8900

  2. George Smiley

    April 20, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    Hi Frank
    I hate to say this to you but we are pulling biochar (coal) out of the ground and burning it thousands of times faster than we could incarcerate it -simply because the plant for producing and incarcerating has to be more expensive/less profitable at best per tonne. Increasing fire risk pulls it back out of the ground. Coral is probably more important and here we are acidifying the oceans and negating their positive contributions. What bedevils scientists most is that the stasis mechanisms are biased the wrong way until another Permian extinction which is the reset button. Which isn’t so bad in the long run- resources like the tar sands exist, the Tarkine after all sits on beds of oily black shale. Anyway CO2 isn’t going to kill off the world directly, it only needs to tip the ongoing incarceration of methane from the ocean bottoms and peat deposits of the planet to a negative and then all hell breaks loose.
    The question that bothers me most about extinction is whether the gods will still favour their faithful servants come hell or high water over the (damned) majority. Will He reward good intentions? An aquaintance (denier, tea party) says “Even if we are wrong we still have all the guns.” But that might be academic long before we lose the ice caps. Best wishes. GS

  3. Frank Strie, Terra-Preta Developments

    April 20, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    Re George Smiley #19
    Ha-ha that last statement just reminded me of a discussion (some years ago) at AGFEST, between Senator Erich Abetz and myself and my son Holger listening, about the outlook of Climate Change and the science underpinning the reasons for it …
    I had the last word that time: “I just wish and hope you would be right!”
    It was a shocker of a get together, we could not believe what we had just been told, no laughing matter actually!
    Let’s hope and do the right things at the same time:
    Effectively sequester Co2 from the atmosphere, firstly photosynthesize via plants & sunlight, followed by carbonization via pyrolysis or gasification, and then let’s put this black, stable carbon material to best use:
    https://www.biochar-journal.org/en/ct/2-The-55-uses-of-biochar

  4. George Smiley

    April 20, 2016 at 3:31 am

    Chris, I have despaired for a while about these things and although politicians need upbeat stories to rally the troops, the polite toleration of BS by the rest of us isn’t productive. The deniers claim to be objective – pork away kiddies; the fix is in; growth and prosperity on earth and eternal life in the hereafter for those (like oneself) who have lucked onto the correct religious, moral, and economic juju. When they demand ‘references’ it is just low cunning – the reference they really stand for is the biblical promise to Noah. Or they have jobs in the industry, whichever just hit enter on Google for a million references and no-one has the time or expertise to critique any of them. The whole point of civilization is ease and security, the method is co-operative division of labour, especially in the sciences. Having actually studied physics and meteorology I can understand the papers but am totally unqualified to critique them. A previous head of CSIRO said “I don’t know, but I trust the industry and integrity of my colleagues who have spent lifetimes running the numbers through super computers; refining the models.”

    Hopefully we are wrong and the faithful are right and no-one will be happier than us failed grinches (Christmas still comes once a year) but historically the correlation of desirability with truth looks suspiciously on the negative side.

  5. John Biggs

    April 20, 2016 at 2:47 am

    #17 Read this davies. Re-re-established that 97% of climate scientists (not just any old scientist) say global warming is man made. That leaves just 3% who don’t, You can keep quoting the latter but I prefer mainstream so on the precautionary principle I’ll go with them. What you are advocating is smart-arsery at its dangerous worst.

  6. davies

    April 19, 2016 at 7:36 pm

    I asked first #14 but in the spirit of cooperation here’s a few morsels for you to chew on.

    Less extreme weather events: From the last IPCC Report

    “In summary, there is low confidence in observed trends in small-scale severe weather phenomena such as hail and thunderstorms… In summary, the current assessment concludes that there is not enough evidence at present to suggest more than low confidence in a global-scale observed trend in drought or dryness….

    [T]here is medium confidence that globally the length and frequency of warm spells, including heat waves, has increased since the middle of the 20th century… In summary, there continues to be a lack of evidence and thus low confidence regarding the sign of trend in the magnitude and/or frequency of floods on a global scale.

    In summary, confidence in large scale changes in the intensity of extreme extratropical cyclones since 1900 is low. There is also low confidence for a clear trend in storminess proxies over the last century… Likewise, confidence in trends in extreme winds is low…

    Over periods of a century or more, evidence suggests slight decreases in the frequency of tropical cyclones making landfall in the North Atlantic and the South Pacific… Little evidence exists of any longer-term trend in other ocean basins…”

    So the IPCC itself shoots down the larger and more frequent extreme weather events myth. But wait there’s more!

    Callaghan and Power (2011) find a statistically significant decrease in Eastern Australia land-falling tropical cyclones since the late 19th century.

    Only one of the 35 deadliest tropical cyclones was in the 21st century, while the 2nd most deadly was in the 18th. Katrina is the only 21st century hurricane to make it in to the 31 deadliest Atlantic hurricanes. Number one was in the 18th century

    Of the deadliest late season hurricanes, 3rd and 4th on the list were in the 16th century. The year with the most major hurricanes was 1950.

    A huge amount of data out there indicating the last 50 years is less active than the previous 50 years. One last interesting stat. According to Johnathon Nott of James Cook University Australia hasn’t had so few tropical cyclones for many centuries. Up to 1400 years…

    So can we all agree that when a politician highlights that human activity has either caused an extreme weather event or exacerbated it, that they are totally ignorant and devoid of facts.

    On sea level rises, both Beenstack et al and Nils Axel Morner show global sea level rises of around 1mm per year. Which seems to be backed up by Paul Kench and his NZ group that found islands in the Pacific are just as likely to be growing than reducing in size.

    All cereal crops around the world are either at or close to record harvests. You can confirm this on the FAO site.

    And the last word I will leave to the alarmists bible, the IPCC Reports. On the issue of the accuracy of climate modelling:

    “for the period 1998 to 2012, 111 of 114 available climate model simulations show a surface warming trend larger than the observations…”

    Yet we are told the science is settled and dissenters should be jailed!

  7. Frank Strie, Terra-Preta Developments

    April 19, 2016 at 6:41 pm

    As an alternative methodology to broad area burns, how about where technically possible we pick the excessive,’still unloved’ biomass up,potentially hazardous materials up and make proper use of it, utilise the growing knowledge of strong, porous and very, very long lasting carbon material?
    How about we Tasmanian Islanders develop and adopt carbon-negative, thus climate positive actions?
    Such intelligent, responsible, new opportunity may be called ‘Climate Forestry’ just like we can already find many good examples of Climate Farming, whereby we effectively sequester Co2 from the atmosphere by firstly photosynthesize via plants and sunlight, followed by carbonization via pyrolysis or gasification.
    Time will tell. …

    I like to recommend:
    https://www.biochar-journal.org/en/ct/5-Justus-von-Liebig-and-the-birth-of-modern-biochar

    Justus von Liebig and the birth of modern biochar
    by Kelpie Wilson

    Cheers

  8. Robin Charles Halton

    April 19, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    Apart from essential visitor services at the main Parks centres there wont be money available for chasing remote fires and incidents in WHA.

    An expenditure of $26M fire fighting this season reflects an appalling waste of money, some of it being over kill especially the extended wasted effort around Lake Gordon.

    Fuel reduction burning yes. Recently we have witnessed autumn burning of reasonably worthwhile areas around the back of Hobart to protect the slopes of Mt Wellington and communities fringing on the city.

    Despite this more and more needs to be prioritised to protect Ferntree and Mt nelson and the spread of wildfire along the flanks of the Southern Outlet towards the back of Taroona towards Kingston.

    As JMS, Tasmania’s top reserves fire protection expert suggested earlier this season fuel reduction in the WHA should be extensive ranging from north to south and everything in between.

    Practical enough to carry out mainly by aerial means, get in and do it as a matter of fire protection reality.

    Burn lightly but extensively as opportunity arises.

  9. abs

    April 19, 2016 at 1:50 am

    to quote you, davies, “Please provide references. “

  10. davies

    April 18, 2016 at 4:29 pm

    #12 and yet that was implied. We are causing climate extremes? That 100% human-induced? What data shows an increasing frequency and/or ever severer extreme weather?

    Data seems to show less extreme weather events in the last 50 years compared with the previous 50 years. And even the IPCC admits little correlation between global warming and extreme weather events.

    Surely what we have here is climate variability. You can see it in the temperatures every single day. The BOM have data for the hottest and coldest day for each day of the year for cities in Australia. For example for today, Hobart hottest temp on record was 25.0 degrees and this occurred in 2012. The coldest was 3.7 or so in I think 1942. The hottest 19 April in Melbourne was 31.2 degrees and that occurred in 1902. Coldest was 3.1 degrees in I think 1942. On every day there is a wide range of temperatures, and that is just over the last 120 years or so. Apart from Hobart, the hottest temperatures ever for each major Australian city occurred decades ago.

    I am quite happy to follow the evidence, pre any adjustments the paid alarmists make, but all I am seeing, as are a growing number of scientists and others, is an increasingly shrill message from intolerados wanting to use climate as their vehicle to get through world-wide radical and dangerous economic and environmental policies.

    Sea levels are barely rising and anyway have been rising for 300 odd years so when do you start blaming humans for that! Temperatures, even the adjusted ones, show barely a rise in 20 years when all modelling showed a marked rise. Apparently we can get very excited about temperature rises from 1970s to late 1990s and extrapolate all sorts of disaster scenarios from that but we have to ignore 1998 to 2016 because it is only 20 years and therefore is not a trend…

    And current temperatures are not the hottest ever. The Medieval Warming Period was hotter. The Roman Warm Period (2000 years ago) was even hotter than the MWP and the Minoan Warm Period (3000 years ago) was hotter than the RWP. Now that’s a long term trend…

    That is not to say we don’t have some pressing environmental issues. But I see air pollution, water contamination, land degradation as way more important to spend some effort on rather than trying to reduce the amount of C02 in the atmosphere. Particularly as C02 is essential for all plant life on the planet.

    It is truly sad to see us humans, well the intolerados, spending over a billion dollars a day of our money trying to change the climate by reducing C02. For example, human activity in Australia is responsible for 1 C02 particle in every 9,000,000 air particles. Even if we were to successfully reduce that to 0, what is the likely change? What a ridiculous way to spend billions of dollars.

  11. Chris Harries

    April 18, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    (#11) It would be rash to claim explicitly that humans are causing El Ninos. That we are causing climate extremes is now beyond doubt amongst scientists and meteorologists. That applies whether we are in an El Nino event or not.

    The ‘pause’ theory advanced by denialists is, to [put it bluntly, stupid. Climate change is a long term trend that cuts through shorter term ups and downs. But you know that, Davies.

    As for denialists there are two kinds: those that are paid and those that do it for free. Most of them are in the latter category and to give benefit of the doubt to all I presume that they are in this category, unless proven otherwise. Those in this benign category generally come around when their psychology can handle it.

    The majority of citizens are in a state of ‘secondary denial’. That is, they accept the news but don’t feel a strong urge to respond. This is by far the biggest problem because it afflicts nearly all of society.

  12. davies

    April 18, 2016 at 1:10 pm

    #4 So which Report is stating humans are causing El Ninos? Please provide references.

    “humans are causing rapid global warming”. Really? Even Michael Manne and the IPCC admits there has been a pause in the last 20 years.

    Is it just humans causing the global warming? Any other factors? Since 1900 world temps have gone up about 0.8 degrees. What percentage of that was caused by humans?

  13. Chris Harries

    April 18, 2016 at 11:25 am

    Don’t disagree with you George.

    Question is, in politics is it best to announce despair, even if that is based on reality? Or better to look at ways ways forward that politics and people can handle?

    Totally agree that the word adaptation is silly in the context of climate change, because it sends signals that we can adapt to catastrophe. Better language is to ‘cope as best we can under ever worsening circumstances’.

  14. George Smiley

    April 18, 2016 at 2:21 am

    Our slogans and ideologies aren’t worth a cracker – embracing climate change? As if we can adapt. Even at plus 1.5 degrees it’s more like the Japanese onslaught in Southeast Asia- our jumping-off points are being overrun before we can even show up to make a defense. This year there was no hay, and unless you had a dam or otherwise access to large amounts of water for irrigation there was no crop. Most people had some fodder left over from last year but unless we have some winter rains (not very encouraging to date) next year could easily cement the disaster and we will be a net importer of food and electricity into what future if any when everybody is.

  15. Chris Harries

    April 17, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    There are heaps of positive ways forward. Also plenty of inevitable cynicism about any policy stream that comes from any side of politics. The Greens should at least be commended for delivering one of the best policy directions during the previous term of government, the low income hosting energy project. It delivered both environmental and social plusses.

    With regard to the fate of our Gondwana habitats, their fate parallels that of the Great Barrier Reef. It is highly likely that both habitats are totally doomed by the end of the century no matter what action governments take, now that climate change has passed critical tipping points.

    Ecologists will privately tell you this, but are reluctant to too loudly because it seems to let government off the hook. If anything this sobering reality should motivate our representatives more than ever to take serious action on the climate front.

  16. A.K.

    April 17, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    #6, what politicians babble out is pure ideology, according to accepted definition.

    Nothing I post has anything to do with doctrine, myth or beliefs. Just observable and historical fact everyone can see, if they are prepared to open their eyes and wash out the deluded ideological denial that fills their being Ideology,

    “The body of doctrine, myth, belief, etc., that guides an individual, social movement, institution, class, or large group.”

    There is nothing within the body of O’Connor’s rant, which reflects workable ideas, directions or actions that would make a difference to the future. It’s all worthless semantic dribble, which is all you get from empty headed ideologues.

    To embrace climate change, you need a direction, workable plans which enhance the future, not keep it in the past.

    The questions are simple, we have to prepare for massive change, including constant fire storms, lack of drinkable water, energy, food and transport.

    The answers are even simpler, but seem to beyond the mental scope of the political and elitist system.

    All we get from the over educated elites, is more of the same ridiculous dribble. Which revolve around semantics, designed to fool everyone into thinking they have answers.

    If they did have answers, we wouldn’t be in the disastrous position we face for the foreseeable future.

    Then again denial is the forte of ideological humanity, so it’s understandable and laughable, clones would claim the 24 recommendations presented here have workable substance. When anyone with just the slightest bit of intelligence, can see the entire piece is completely empty of forethought, understanding or workable solutions.

  17. John Biggs

    April 17, 2016 at 3:50 am

    I generally agree with what’s being said in Cassy’s article but a long list of 24 similar sounding recommendations invites AK’s likewise ideological babble (think about it AK).

    #3. ‘More people die of cold than heat …’ Oh great, so let’s burn more carbon and save lives!

    Kelly’s article looks back, not acknowledging the bigger picture of what is happening now to polar ice, carbon levels, ocean warming and acidification and so on and on. Kelly’s data are probably correct (how could I know?) but they are a photograph of the past, and not relevant to taking in a host of other data that is essential for predicting the future.

  18. Baking a Cake

    April 17, 2016 at 1:09 am

    As long as population growth is considered a requirement for economic success we have Buckley’s Chance of beating climate change.

    According to BHP figures, many national governments have already lowered Co2 while increasing GDP, and yet the Co2 graph marches ever upward.

    A two children per family limit is the only solution for this planet’s ills, and it will never be imposed, not by any democratic government anyway.

    In other words, we are screwed.

  19. phill Parsons

    April 17, 2016 at 12:49 am

    #2. There certainly has been a massive El Niño. We know that humans are causing a rapid global warming involving ocean temperatures increasing.

    Intensification of El Niño is not yet clear but models suggest El Niño will be more frequent in a hotter world.

    For those who scoff I would hope their denialism is correct except for that one damned nuisance, the evidence.

  20. Mark

    April 16, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    ‘…draft plan to deliver a more credible, long term response to climate disruption and extreme weather events for Tasmania.’

    Cassy was given a Paper from Engineers at Cambridge Uni, who had analysed climate articles/papers, which determined there were more extreme weather events in the first half of last century than the latter. Perhaps it is crap…

    http://www.omicsgroup.org/journals/trends-in-extreme-weather-events-since-1900–an-enduring-conundrum-for-wise-policy-advice-2167-0587-1000155.pdf

  21. davies

    April 16, 2016 at 1:13 pm

    So human activity causes El Ninos?

    Must have missed that in the IPCC Reports, or any other reports…If you cannot back up this claim it needs to be withdrawn.

  22. A.K.

    April 16, 2016 at 11:22 am

    Hilarious, just loads of empty ideological babble and not one decent idea or plan to take us forward in a sustainable way.

    Like all ideological fools, the greens want to increase the population on a dying island, now that’s really intelligent. The fastest way to destroy Tas is to allow more people into it, when we can’t even provide enough decent services, employment or food and clean water as it is.

    Then they want to restrict urban sprawl, how do you do that when you are planning to increase our population without bounds. now that’s real foresight.

    None of this thread makes sense at all, just a load of PC dribble which would be so expensive, as they’d have to have all these inquiries, boards, reviews and investigations. All completely useless and a waste of our money.

    We can’t develop the Tas economy or support local growers and sellers, when we are controlled by monopolies in just about every aspect of society. Until we get rid of these greedy wasteful community destroying corporations, it will be down hill all the way.

    Elect the Greens, liberals, labor or any political party and we are doomed. This is the 21st century, political parties and their systems are from the dark ages and not conducive to good government in this century. It’s the people who should have hands on control, not overeducated empty headed ideologues.

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