We’ve made our beds…

28 03 2011

After decades of folly, the chickens are coming home to roost. A society can create safety nets for some groups within it, but a society as a whole has no safety net. The problem for the “rich world” of course, is we passed the point of no return. We are all on welfare: lower classes, middle classes, bankers, car companies, “green companies”, refugees, even foreigners that get welfare from us through foreign aid.

THE financial strains created by crises in Japan and Europe highlight a growing problem: The rich world is getting close to the point where it won’t be able to bear the costs of another disaster.

Japan and Europe face very different crises – one brought on by nature, the other man-made. But from a financial perspective, they are strikingly similar. In both cases, the mounting costs of mitigating disaster are stretching governments’ already overburdened finances. In Japan, the advanced world’s most-indebted government, the outcome is still uncertain. In Europe, Portugal could soon become the latest country to seek a bailout.

The strains in Tokyo and Lisbon reflect a broader problem: As advanced-nation governments take on increasing responsibility for insulating their citizens, investors, banks and companies from the pain of disasters, they are pushing their financial resources closer to the limit. That, some economists say, could leave them without enough wherewithal to respond the next time a big crisis happens.


Gillard’s Thousand Year Plan

25 03 2011

Incredible interview of Tim Flannery by Andre Bolt on MTR today. Flannery freely admits that even best-case scenario world-wide CO2 reductions would have absolutely no effect on global temperatures for hundreds if not thousands of years. It is just extraordinary how little good we would get for countless billions we have to spend and countless job we are going to lose.

Bolt: How much will it cost to cut our emissions by the Government’s target of 5 per cent by 2020 and how much will world temperatures fall by as a consequence?

Flannery: Sure. We do have economists on the commission who will be giving a very in depth look at that this evening and I don’t want to pre-empt their assessment of the various cost options, but in terms of how much it will cut temperatures that really very much depends upon how Australia’s position is seen overseas …

Bolt: No, no, we’ll get onto that, Tim. I’m not going to dodge that. The argument is indeed that we have to set a lead and the world has to follow and on our own we can’t do blah blah, but just looking at the basic facts so people can figure it out for themselves (that) the world needs to come on board. On our own, cutting our emissions by 5 per cent by 2020, what will that lower the world’s temperatures by?

Flannery:  See, that’s a bogus question because nothing is in isolation…

Bolt: Everyone understands that that is the argument But we’re just trying to get basic facts, without worrying about the consequences – about what those facts may lead people to think. On our own, by cutting our emissions, because it’s a heavy price to pay, by 5 per cent by 2020, what will the world’s temperatures fall by as a consequence?

Flannery: Look, it will be a very, very small increment.

Bolt: Have you got a number? I mean, there must be some numbers.

Flannery:  I just need to clarfy in terms of the climate context for you. If we cut emissions today, global temperatures are not likely to drop for about a thousand years.

Bolt: Right, but I just want to get to this very basic fact, because I’m finding it really curious that no one has got (this) fact. If I buy a car … I want to know how much it costs and whether it is going to do the job.

Flannery: Sure.

Bolt: In this case I want to know the cost of cutting our emissions by 5 per cent by 2020 and will it do the job: how much will the world’s temperatures fall by if Australia cuts its emissions by this much.

Flannery: Look, as I said it will be a very, very small increment.

Bolt: Can you give us a rough figure? A rough figure.

Flannery: Sorry, I can’t because it’s a very complex system and we’re dealing with probabilities here.

Bolt: …I’m just trying to get the facts in front of the public so we know what we’re doing. Just unbiased. Is it about, I don’t know, are you talking about a thousandth of a degree? A hundredth of a degree? What sort of rough figure?

Flannery: Just let me finish and say this. If the world as a whole cut all emissions tomorrow the average temperature of the planet is not going to drop in several hundred years, perhaps as much as a thousand years because the system is overburdened with CO2 that has to be absorbed and that only happens slowly.

Bolt: That doesn’t seem a good deal… Someone surely must have done the sums that for all these billions of dollars we’re spending in programs that it’s got to have a consequence in terms of cutting the world’s temperature. So you don’t know about Australia, you wouldn’t dispute that it’s within about a thousandth of a degree, around that magnitude, right?

Flannery: It’s going to be slight.

Listen here

Easily Fooled – Paul Kelly

21 03 2011

Paul Kelly today: PM offers no hope to social Left: MORE of the "real" Julia Gillard is now displayed, with the PM offering her fullest exposition for rejecting both euthanasia and same-sex marriage.

Julia Gillard today: JULIA Gillard has failed to rule out a new class of visa that would allow asylum-seekers into the community before receiving security clearance.

Note to Kelly. Judge politicians by what they do, not what they say. Most adults unlike most journalist get this point.

Man-made flooding of Brisbane

9 03 2011

ENTRIES in the “flood event log” for the devastating Brisbane River flood reveal that the senior engineers in charge knew by 7.10pm on Sunday, January 9, that high releases of water from Wivenhoe Dam would be needed ”in view of heavy rain over the last three hours”.

The entries also show that senior engineers proposed more than doubling the releases, from 1400 cubic metres a second (cumecs) to between 3000 and 3500 cumecs that Sunday night to give the dam more storage capacity to manage the flood and intensifying rainfall.

But it took until Tuesday, January 11, when the dam was almost full for SEQWater, which employs the engineers who operate Wivenhoe Dam, to start releasing more than 3000 cumecs.

By Tuesday evening, with the dam at risk, the releases were dramatically ratcheted up to 7500 cumecs – flooding thousands of Brisbane homes and leaving a damage bill of billions of dollars.


via Andrew Bolt