Thursday, January 18, 2018

"Green" South Australia relies on a fleet of diesel generators to keep the lights on

Britain does too.  Diesels put out a lot of particulate pollution -- as in clouds of blue smoke -- but that's OK apparently. Anybody who expects rationality from Greenies will be sadly disappointed

SCORCHING temperatures of 41C for Adelaide on both Thursday and Friday have triggered a warning of low power reserves, as the State Government puts its diesel generators on standby.

The Bureau for Meteorology says Adelaide faces a maximum 37C today and last night upped its predictions to 41C on both Thursday and Friday.

The Australian Energy Market Operator is now warning of an elevated blackout risk for SA on Thursday evening. But AEMO and the Government stress it doesn’t mean blackouts will occur.

AEMO has a three-stage system to warn states of emerging blackout risks. The “lack of reserve 1” notice issued on Tuesday is the lowest alert level, meaning blackouts could occur if there were unexpected problems with infrastructure or demand was higher than expected.

Operators of the state’s largest power station, the gas-fired plant on Torrens Island, have previously warned it is nearing the end of its practical life and losing reliability.

Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis said he was ready to respond to the heat with measures in Labor’s energy plan, including flicking on emergency diesel generators.

“We will, of course, monitor the situation and be ready to use our new ministerial powers of direction over the market or our state-owned power plant if required,” he said.

“That is considered very unlikely at this stage. We launched our energy plan to boost local power supply and improve grid security, and importantly, the independent market operator has said that our plan has put SA in a good position this summer.”

The period of blackout risk is from 5.30pm to 6pm Thursday — the crossover point where workplaces and factories are still consuming large amounts of power as some workers return home to switch on airconditioners and appliances. It also often coincides with a drop off in production from wind farms and solar panels.

AEMO figures indicate SA will use all the energy generated within its borders as demand peaks on Thursday afternoon, while imports from Victoria ensure extra supply is available.

SA’s only other low reserve warning of the summer was in early December and is heading into its highest electricity demand period of the year, with temperatures rising and many workplaces and factories firing back up after the new year break. With a state election in March, the Government faces a political test of its energy plan. The statewide blackout in September 2016 was followed by a forced outage in February last year, in which 90,000 homes and businesses were temporarily shut down.


Black groper traumatizes pretty jogger

A man who was caught on camera allegedly groping a stranger has been charged with two counts of sexual assault - but one was for allegedly groping another female jogger a year ago.

The 40-year-old Gold Coast man was arrested by police on Tuesday, accused of repeatedly grabbing 24-year-old Jesse Ratu's backside as she unlocked the door to her Southport apartment on Sunday morning.

In the previous incident the man allegedly groped another woman in nearby Hollywell on January 17, 2017.

His arrest came almost exactly one year after he allegedly groped another female jogger in nearby Hollywell on January 17, 2017.

The man is due to appear in the Southport Magistrates Court on February 6.

Charges were laid after CCTV footage emerged on Monday showing Ms Ratu being approached by a man from behind before allegedly being grabbed on her backside five-times.

The man was then seen smiling into cameras after performing the alleged 'disgusting' assault.

'He said: "Sorry, I just had to do it, you have the best a***",' the mother-of-two told Nine News. 

The terrified woman allegedly told the man 'don't f***ing touch me' before running inside and telling her partner Brendan Wilson what happened.

The sales assistant said despite Mr Wilson running outside to confront the man, the offender had already fled the area.

Ms Ratu remembered feeling too scared to turn back out of fear she would be picked up and 'stolen', and said she now felt too traumatised to walk outside alone.

'We've only been here for six months,' Ms Ratu said. 'We're now thinking about moving. I've always lived in Southport but never lived down this end.' 

An image of the man, who is described to be of African descent, about 1.8m with facial hair and short black hair, was sent out by police in the area.


'Let's stop rewriting history': Pauline Hanson weighs into the debate around changing the date of Australia Day and urges a stand against 'vocal minorities'

Pauline Hanson has weighed into the debate about moving Australia Day, likening the idea of changing the public holiday to renaming a stadium.

The One Nation leader said the idea of shifting the national day from January 26 to another day to appease left-wing activists was 'rewriting history' and urged a stand be taken against 'vocal minorities'.

She likened the symbolic gesture, proposed by the Greens, to the renaming of Brisbane's old Lang Park Stadium and Queensland's Bruce Highway.

'The Bruce Highway will always be the Bruce Highway to me, not this new Pacific Coast Way they've changed the signage to,' she told her 219,000 Facebook followers on Tuesday.

'Lang Park will always be Lang Park, not Suncorp Stadium. 'And Australia Day will always be Australia Day.'

Senator Hanson's intervention in the Australia Day debate comes a day after Greens leader Richard Di Natale likened the arrival of British First Fleet in Sydney Harbour, in January 1788, to 'genocide'.

Former prime minister Tony Abbott on Monday tweeted there were '364 other days' for the Greens to be 'politically correct' while his successor Malcolm Turnbull has described the call to shift the national day as 'divisive'.

The debate about moving Australia Day has also coincided with former Labor leader Mark Latham making a campaign video with indigenous Alice Springs town councillor Jacinta Price to 'Save the Date'.


Simple reason negative gearing will never be scrapped

DESPITE ongoing debate, politicians will never scrap negative gearing for one simple reason, Australian economist Saul Eslake has said.

The tax concession has been a key driver in rising housing prices, providing incentives for investors and tax relief for those who rent out their properties.

It’s also been partly responsible for locking thousands of Australians out of the property market, effectively crushing the great Australian dream, and has contributed to the widely acknowledged housing crisis for the same reasons.

Extraordinary property prices have put pressure on politicians to take action on housing affordability, with stripping the negative gearing tax concession considered one of the simplest and most effective options to drive down prices and open up the market to millennials.

But while it might seem like a no-brainer for those of us desperate to join the homeowners’ club, Mr Eslake explains, it would be one of the dumbest political decisions possible.

And It all comes down to votes.

“On average, about 100,000 people successfully become home buyers in every given year. They would obviously like the government to do things to make housing cheaper, more affordable for them,” he told ABC’s 7.30.

“There are over two million people who own at least one investment property, and the last thing they want to [see] a government to do is make housing cheaper and more affordable for people who don’t currently own housing.

“Even the least intelligent of our politicians can do that maths: 100,000 people who want cheaper housing versus two million people who want housing to get more expensive.”

Economist Saul Eslake. Picture: Nikki Davis-Jones Source: News Corp Australia

Despite this clear-cut argument, debate continues to rage among our major political parties over what to do with negative gearing.

Federal Labor is currently pushing to scrap the controversial tax concession, which Paul Keating did as treasurer in the 1980s, only to have it reinstated by then prime minister Bob Hawke a short time later.

It has seized on research presented at a Reserve Bank of Australia workshop which found eliminating negative gearing would benefit renters and owner-occupiers and raise the number of Australians owning their own homes, but the government has dismissed the paper as “preliminary and incomplete”.

The change would have a minimum impact on the economy while curbing the appetite of investors and the top 20 per cent of earners for owning multiple properties, the paper, based on economic modelling by Melbourne University researchers, predicted. The study said 75 per cent of Australian households would be better off if the policy was ditched.

An RBA report says three-quarters of households would be better off without negative gearing. Picture: Brendon Thorne/Getty Images Source: Getty Images

Last week NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian was criticised for ignoring advice from her Treasury officials that the Federal Government should conduct a comprehensive study of negative gearing and capital gains tax arrangements “and consider alternative policies that would improve outcomes for Australians”.

Confidential federal Treasury advice published earlier this month contradicted the Turnbull Government’s claims that changing negative gearing and the capital gains tax discount would act like a “sledgehammer” on the Australian economy.

Federal Financial Services Minister Kelly O’Dwyer, who labelled the Melbourne University paper “preliminary and incomplete”, said Labor can’t argue negative gearing and capital gains tax reforms would both make houses more affordable and have no impact on prices.

Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen said the research shows Australian households would be better off.

“We have seen case after case of experts calling for negative gearing to be reformed,” Mr Bowen told reporters in western Sydney on Saturday.

“What negative gearing reform would do is take the heat out of the housing market and put a more level playing field in place for first home buyers, change the mix for purchases of housing and give people a chance.”


The inconvenient truth is that catastrophists are wrong

It should come as a great relief to know the freezing temperatures recently experienced in the northern hemisphere do not signal an end to global warming.

Imagine if mankind’s increasingly costly attempts to arrest CO2 emissions were unnecessary. That the misallocation of productive resources, prolonging the misery of the world’s most vulnerable people, was nothing more than a cynical ideological exercise?

Hopefully, those global warming doubters in Florida watching frozen iguanas falling stiff from the trees now know that while they were freezing, according to Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology, little old Penrith in Sydney, Australia, was the warmest spot on the planet, recording its highest temperature ever, having “broken the all-time maximum temperature record for … the Sydney metropolitan area”.

Well, perhaps in all that excitement the bureau can be forgiven for overlooking the fact Penrith Lakes started recording temperatures only in 1995 and for missing a much higher temperature recorded in nearby Richmond in 1939. But they were right. It was hot.

In a hurried piece in Fairfax publications, the Climate Council of Australia’s Will Steffen throws hot water on any misconceptions that may have been drawn from abnormal snowfalls in Britain, Switzerland and Japan, the record-breaking cold snap in Canada and the US, and the expansion of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet.

He says: “Terms like ‘global warming’ and the mental images they trigger can be misleading when people attempt to understand what is happening to the climate. A far better term is ‘climate disruption’, which captures the real nature of the vast array of changes, many of them abrupt and unexpected, that are occurring.”

So fire and ice, it’s to be expected.

Of course you won’t be surprised to learn Steffen claims “the climate disruption we are increasingly experiencing is not natural. It is caused by the heat-trapping gases we humans are pouring into the atmosphere primarily by the burning of coal, oil and gas.”

On the day Steffen’s opinion piece appeared, this newspaper republished Matt Ridley’s article in The Times claiming “the Earth is very slowly slipping back into a proper ice age”. This confirms research by Henrik Svensmark, Australia’s David Evans and others, who correlated low solar activity (fewer sunspots) and increased cloud cover (as modulated by cosmic rays), with a cooling climate.

Indeed, last year scientists submitted 120 papers linking historical and modern climate change to variations in solar activity.

Steffen wasn’t among them. He says: “Whole ecosystems are succumbing to (human-induced) climate disruption. In 2016 unusually dry and hot conditions triggered massive fires in Tasmania’s World Heritage forests, while ocean circulation patterns have moved ­unprecedented underwater heatwaves around the world, driving the tragic coral bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef.’’

Yet the chairman of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Russell Reichelt, dismisses many of the claims that he says “misrepresent the extent and impact of coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef.”

Peter Ridd from James Cook University goes further, saying: “We can no longer trust the scientific organisations like the ARC (Australian Research Council) Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies. The science is coming out not properly checked, tested or replicated, and this is a great shame.”

Steffen’s work could fit this description. He spends much time pushing eco-catastrophism. “Climate disruption” he says “brings growing risks of large-scale migration and conflict as people, particularly the most vulnerable, are forced to deal with increasingly difficult conditions where they live. Some security analysts warn that climate disruption will dwarf terrorism and other conventional threats if present trends continue or worsen.

“Had enough of climate disruption? Then let’s leave our 20th-century thinking behind and get on with the job of rapidly building innovative, clever, carbon-neutral 21st-century societies.”

But Ridley questions the influence of carbon dioxide. He reminds us that: “In 1895 the Swede, Svante Arrhenius, one of the scientists who first championed the greenhouse theory, suggested that the ice retreated because carbon dioxide levels rose, and advanced because they fell. If this was true, then industrial emissions could head off the next ice age. There is indeed a correlation in the ice cores between temperature and carbon dioxide, but inconveniently it is the wrong way round: carbon dioxide follows rather than leads temperature downward when the ice returns.”

But where would manmade global warming “science” be if it relied on just facts? For decades, climate science has been plagued by scandals, deceit and the confessions of whistleblowers.

Penrith’s hyped recording is not new. Scientist and long-time BOM critic Jennifer Marohasy has been calling for an audit and urging Energy and Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg “to inform the World Meteorological Organisation that the temperatures recorded by our bureau are not consistent with calibration, nor any international standard”, and, to “direct the bureau to desist from announcing new record hot days”.

Still, institutionalised data bias is a handy default for radical-left eco-catastrophists who have a tendency to extract worst-case scenarios from every weather event.

But despite their best efforts, in the public’s eyes their story is wearing thin. There have been too many false predictions and unwarranted alarmism. People are wising up to the reality that climate science has become an unfalsifiable ideology and resent having their moral conscience questioned should they disagree.

If Ridley is right and the earth is slowly slipping back into a proper ice age, it will be literally cold comfort, not to mention lethal, to keep passing it off as climate disruption.

To survive such an event, our successors will need a plentiful supply of cheap, reliable energy, impossible given today’s intelligentsia’s religious objection to low-cost fossil and nuclear fuels.

It’s not carbon dioxide that threatens us with extinction but blind ideology dressed up as science.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

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