Thursday, January 05, 2012

Australia has the coldest autumn since at least 1950

But in its usual Warmist way the BOM is downplaying it

AUSTRALIA did its best for global cooling in 2011 but it had nothing to do with the federal government's carbon tax.

Rather, back-to-back La Nina weather systems that caused widespread flooding and ended the 10-year drought also pushed temperatures below the 30-year average for the first time since 2001, resulting in the coldest autumn since at least 1950.

As with the economy and this year's start to summer, last year's weather was a two-speed affair.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology's annual climate statement for 2011, cooler temperatures in Sydney, the sub-tropics and tropics offset above-average conditions in Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania.

And for those looking to the figures to disprove climate change, the Bureau of Meteorology says Australia was the only continent to record cooling and the nation's 10-year temperature average trend was still up.

"In 2011, the La Nina and heavy rainfall acted like an evaporative cooler for Australia," said bureau climate change spokesman David Jones. "The year 2010 was relatively cool in recent historical context and 2011 was cooler again." [But the trend is still up? Balderdash!]

Mr Jones said there was no evidence to link the strong La Nina weather systems with changing global temperatures. "We have had this regular cycle of La Nina and El Nino," he said. "The strongest El Nino on record was in 1997 and we have seen one of the strongest La Ninas on record in 2010-11." [I wonder why? Would the sun have anything to do with it?]

Mr Jones said the climate science was not very clear on what would happen with El Nino and La Nina patterns, particularly at this early stage of global warming. "We have only seen one degree of warming so far but we will see substantially more as we move through the century [He's a prophet!], but it is probably too early to draw any concrete relationship between hotter temperatures and La Nina," he said.

"One simple thing we can say is we know La Nina are historically cooler for Australia but there is a big difference between variability and climate change."

The BOM climate statement said Australia's mean rainfall total for last year was 699mm, which was 234mm above the long-term average of 465mm, making it the third-wettest year since comparable records began in 1900.

The Australian area averaged mean temperature was 0.14C below the 1961-1990 average of 21.81C. Last year, maximum temperatures averaged 0.25C below normal across the country, while minimum temperatures averaged 0.03C below normal.

"Despite the slightly cooler conditions, the country's 10-year average continues to demonstrate the rising trend in temperatures, with 2002-2011 likely to rank in the top two warmest 10-year periods on record for Australia, at 0.52C above the long-term average," the bureau said.

"If you are interested in determining whether the planet is warming, you look at the global temperature," Mr Jones said. "Australia follows the global trend closely, but it can vary."


To deter the boats, Australia must rule out permanent resettlement

THERE can be no solution to the problem of illegal immigrants/boatpeople -- neither to the humanitarian tragedy of people drowning trying to get here or the policy crisis of the government losing control of its borders and its immigration system -- until all prospect of permanent resettlement in Australia is removed for people who arrive illegally by boat.

To do this would not contradict the Refugee Convention, which people write about but never read. The only requirement in the convention is that people fleeing persecution not be sent back to the countries they are fleeing from.


Abbott displays once again as a down to earth bloke

WHEN not jockeying to become Prime Minister, it appears that Tony Abbott feels at home behind the wheel of a big rig. The leader of the Federal Opposition was driving a truck from Gatton to Brisbane, having visited the regional centre today to check on the community's progress from last year's flood disaster.

Wednesday was the first day that Mr Abbott could legally drive heavy vehicles, having recently upgraded to a "heavy combination" license. He had no trouble easing the 42.5 tonne, 540 horsepower truck out of a local truck yard and on the road to Brisbane.

Earlier, he said there was "still work to be done" to complete the flood clean up, during a visit to Grantham.

Making his 3rd visit to the small town, which was devastated by the raging waters nearly a year ago, the Federal leader of the opposition spent time listening to the harrowing stories of local residents.

"There are hundreds of human stories that came out of last years floods. Stories of heroism, stories if tragedy, but above all else, deeply human stories," he said. "It is the responsibility of local and national leaders not to forget what happened here and to remember that while the floods have gone, the work continues."

During a visit to a farm which is still recovering from the damage caused by last summers flood, Mr Abbott said the emotional scares from the tragedy had not yet healed. "There is a lot of physical rebuilding still to be done and there's a lot of mental rebuilding still to be done. Some of that mental rebuilding will take a lifetime," he said.

"And it's important that we do, at all levels of government, everything we humanly can to allow the people of this district to be whole again."


No "Teach for America" equivalent allowed in Queensland

They love their useless 4-year degrees. I was a successful High School teacher with ZERO teaching qualifications

QUEENSLAND has rejected a key federal education initiative aimed at stemming teacher shortages in mathematics and science.

The Department of Education and Training has confirmed no Teach Next teachers, who are trained for about eight weeks before they hit the classroom, will be employed in state schools next year.

The Gillard Government said in last year's Budget speech it would spend $18 million over four years on the program, which is similar to the Teach for Australia scheme knocked back by the Bligh Government.

Under Teach Next, "highly qualified professionals" take an intensive training course of about eight weeks before entering the classroom. They then complete the rest of their teaching qualification over the next two years while working and receiving mentoring.

DET executive director Tom Barlow said while the department had explored options for implementing Teach Next, there were legislative barriers relating to the registration of teachers restricting participation. "In order to satisfy teaching requirements in Queensland, graduates complete an accredited four-year undergraduate qualification, or a one-year post-graduate qualification," he said.

"The department is exploring innovative strategies to attract high-calibre teachers for Queensland state schools through scholarship and incentive programs."


Former restaurant owner a victim of government

And the business, which did not have flood insurance, is still adrift, a year after the State Government deliberately sank the barge at the height of the floods.

Owner David Moore needs $4.5 million to get the award-winning restaurant fixed up and running again. He owes creditors about $1 million. And the final straw was a massive bill from the tax office.

Mr Moore even considered "jumping off a bridge" in March when the initial drama faded and cold reality set in. "It's been an incredibly hard eight or nine months," he said. "Just getting your life back together. "And I'm still accountable for all the bills, the bank loans.

"A lot of people have been heavily supportive of us. "A lot of people have also been suffering, wanting to be compensated as much as possible."

Mr Moore in April filed a claim against the State Government, seeking compensation under the Disaster Management Act.

"Anna Bligh had been on TV during the floods saying, 'We've just sunk the Drift Restaurant'," Mr Moore said. "I met with the Premier's office a couple of weeks after the floods and said, 'You sank my restaurant, what are you going to do about it?'

"But it wasn't until November that the Government acknowledged the claim. The Act requires claims to be settled within 60 days. It is still unresolved." Mr Moore added: "I asked them why the delay and they said no one had ever made a claim under the Disaster Management Act before. "Welcome to dealing with the Government."

Mr Moore said it was only after Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale intervened that the Australian Taxation Office dropped a threat to take legal action against him to recover $170,000 in unpaid taxes. "He's the mayor of a different city but he called me and asked if there was anything he could do to help me," he said.

Mr Moore said that by contrast, Lord Mayor Graeme Quirk hadn't had time to speak to him after they both addressed a function for flood volunteers in March. Cr Quirk "said he was in a rush", Mr Moore said. "He's my own bloody Lord Mayor."

Police declared Drift a disaster zone on January 11, ordering salvage workers to leave the site. That meant firemen struggling to cut it loose from the riverbank so it could float, as it was designed to do, had to stop work. Mr Moore said the firemen's underwater cutting equipment had failed to start because batteries were flat.

He said if earlier warnings had been given about the likely impact of the floods he could have mobilised staff to remove furniture and food from the restaurant and prevented millions of dollars worth of damage.


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