Thursday, February 28, 2013

Dammed if you do.

ABC contacts an "expert"....

"Dr Kahn has warned that if the government raised the dam wall and continued to keep the dam full, floods such as the one in 1998 would be disastrous."

Who is Dr Kahn? : Dr Khan is an active water researcher with a focus on chemical contaminants in drinking water, wastewater and recycled water.

Ed comment
Now I know government agencies have done some pretty silly things in the past, but one supposes the extra capacity would be used to mitigate against floods and would not be used for storage. The current situation with respect to flood risk in the Nepean/Hawkesbury River Valley, along side the need for water storage with a growing population is unacceptable. Raising the dam wall along with changes to dam management practices will provide a much better outcome. A few more dams, and upgrades of existing dams wouldn't hurt to increase storage capacity for the Sydney Basin. 

The same can also be said of raising the height of flood levies along side our over flowing rivers. This is well and truly over due. Instead we have a government that has its head in the sand and ignores the historical records about natural disasters that we know about all to well. They would rather blow billions away on ridiculous schemes to control the weather through taxes on CO2. The opposition need a poke in the ass on this as well. The time for some real action to deal with natural disasters we are already all too familiar with is long overdue. 

Prof. Bob Carter has some thoughts on this worth reading:
"But natural climate hazard in Australia is so dangerous that nonetheless a need remains for a politically feasible, environmentally sensible and cost-effective climate policy. That policy should be to prepare for and adapt to all climatic hazards, as and when they occur and whatever their cause."

Read more:

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

surprising consensus on those 17 flat years

From an ABC report covering a recent presentation by climate rationalist Lord Christopher Monckton:"Despite an overwhelming majority of climate scientists reaching consensus on human-induced climate change, Lord Monckton says he does not believe there has been any evidence of global warming for 17 years."

From a recent interview in The Australian with IPCC head Rajendra Pachauri:

THE UN's climate change chief, Rajendra Pachauri, has acknowledged a 17-year pause in global temperature rises, confirmed recently by Britain's Met Office.

ABC continue:
He said his research shows 'extreme weather events' cannot be blamed on climate change.

Seems it's not only "his" research...

From the IPCC's recent report into extreme weather (via Roger Pielke Jnr):
A few quotable quotes from the report (from Chapter 4):
  • "There is medium evidence and high agreement that long-term trends in normalized losses have not been attributed to natural or anthropogenic climate change"
  • "The statement about the absence of trends in impacts attributable to natural or anthropogenic climate change holds for tropical and extratropical storms and tornados"
  • "The absence of an attributable climate change signal in losses also holds for flood losses"

Seems Monckton, Pachauri, the IPCC and the British Met Office are reading off the same teleprompter! All hail the new consensus! ABC's activist reporters wouldn't have a clue!


Off topic: on the shambles

Somewhat off topic. I have a letter in the Oz today that was was cut a little. Here's the full text:

Dennis Shanahan (Nothing left for ALP to do but panic, 26/2) paints a despairing picture about modern Labor. But I thank the Rudd - Gillard Government for one thing. Their collective incompetence, their dishonesty and spin, their waste and their myriad of policy failures opened my mind to considering the alternative: the potential that one day we may once again be lead by a competent government. Hence thanks to Kevin and Julia I have joined the ranks of that once rare breed: the swinging voter.
This from someone who to used to think of themselves as a rusted on ALP supporter. Of course this is more spin, for nothing can be rusted on, and once it's fallen off it's impossible to stick it back in place. ALP members in marginal seats must be thinking how much more rust will have fallen off by September?

  • From:
  • sums it nicely in her column in today's Australian....
    ...The damage they have done to the Labor brand will likely last much longer than their own short time in government.

    Wednesday, February 6, 2013

    Election Timing and ABC

    Other commentators have drawn attention to an editorial comment posted under an opinion piece at The Drum by former politician Peter Reith.

    The comment reads: "*Editor's Note: While the ABC maintains due impartiality and balance in its coverage of politics throughout the year, the formal campaign begins in August when the writs are issued. That is when we will begin monitoring and recording "share of voice" and determining free time for the relevant parties."

    Firstly the notion that ABC "maintains due impartiality and balance in its coverage of politics throughout the year," is highly contested. Given it does not have a single conservative commentator maintaining "due impartiality and balance" appears an impossibility.

    Secondly it seems the editor's reading of the relevant legislation is open to question and if so we may see ABC forced into providing equal time for the major parties.

    From the act, the red highlighted text along with the PM's public announcement of the election date, makes it pretty clear ABC's Drum editor is simply wrong. 


      Broadcasting of political or controversial matter
                 (1)  Subject to this Act, the Corporation may determine to what extent and in what manner political matter or controversial matter will be broadcast by the Corporation.
                 (2)  If the Corporation broadcasts political matter at the request of another person, the Corporation must, immediately afterwards:
                         (a)  if the matter was broadcast by radio--cause the required particulars in relation to the matter to be announced; or
                         (b)  if the matter was televised:
                                  (i)  cause the required particulars in relation to the matter (other than the particulars referred to in paragraph (c) of the definition of required particulars in subsection (5)) to be announced; and
                                 (ii)  cause all the required particulars in relation to the matter to be transmitted in the form of images of words.
                 (3)  The Corporation must, in relation to political matter broadcast at the request of another person, keep a record of the name, address and occupation of the person or, if the person is a company, the name and the address of the principal office of the person, for the required period and must give to the ACMA any particulars of the record that the ACMA, by written notice, requires.
                 (4)  For the purposes of this section, a person authorises the broadcasting of political matter only if the person is responsible for approval of the content of the political matter and the decision to present it for broadcasting.
                 (5)  In this section:
    "election" means an election to a Parliament or a local government authority of a State or Territory.
    "election period" means:
                         (a)  in relation to an election to the Legislative Council of Tasmania, or an ordinary election to the Legislative Assembly for the Australian Capital Territory--the period that starts 33 days before the polling day for the election and ends at the close of the poll on that day; and
                         (b)  in relation to any other election to a Parliament--the period that starts on:
                                  (i)  the day on which the proposed polling day for the election is publicly announced; or
                                 (ii)  the day on which the writs for the election are issued;
                                whichever happens first, and ends at the close of the poll on the polling day for the election; and
                         (c)  in relation to an election to a local government authority--the period that starts 33 days before the polling day for the election and ends at the close of the poll on that day; and
                         (d)  in relation to a referendum whose voting day is the same as the polling day for an election to the Parliament of the Commonwealth--the election period in relation to that election; and
                         (e)  in relation to any other referendum--the period that starts 33 days before the voting day for the referendum and ends at the close of voting on that day.
    "Parliament" means:
                         (a)  the Parliament of the Commonwealth; or
                         (b)  a State Parliament; or
                         (c)  the legislature of a Territory.
    "person" includes a political party, a corporation and any other association (whether incorporated or unincorporated).
    "political matter" means any political matter, including the policy launch of a political party.
    "referendum" means the submission to the electors of a proposed law for the alteration of the Constitution, whether or not the proposal to make the submission has been announced.
    "required particulars" , in relation to a political matter that is broadcast, means:
                         (a)  if the broadcasting was authorised by a political party:
                                  (i)  the name of the political party; and
                                 (ii)  the town, city or suburb in which the principal office of the political party is situated; and
                                (iii)  the name of the natural person responsible for giving effect to the authorisation; and
                         (b)  if the broadcasting of the political matter was authorised by a person other than a political party:
                                  (i)  the name of the person who authorised the broadcasting of the political matter; and
                                 (ii)  the town, city or suburb in which the person lives or, if the person is a corporation or association, in which the principal office of the person is situated; and
                         (c)  the name of every speaker who, either in person or by means of a sound recording device, delivers an address or makes a statement that forms part of that matter.
    "required period" , in relation to the keeping of a record in relation to political matter, means the period of 2 years commencing on the day on which the matter was broadcast.

    Friday, February 1, 2013

    MWD 2013

    Media Watch Dog is back for 2013. The Stop Press in this year's second edition is an Aunty Special!

    Media Watch Dog