Our man in Tolga (north Queensland) has written to the local press on the absurd green tape tying up farmers.
The ever-tightening regulatory stranglehold on farmers by governments “for the health of the Reef (The Express, 21/8) is based on what Professor Peter Ridd has called “faulty science”.
Fertilisers are expensive and they aren’t used wastefully. They’re plant food; if the crops don’t consume them then the neighbouring vegetation, on land or in waterways, will – long before they get to the Reef.
If fertilisers were running off farms there’d be big green plumes leading downhill from them, easily visible on Google Earth. There aren’t. Likewise with herbicides and pesticides, there’d be big plumes of dead flora or fauna visible to drones. Again; there aren’t. It may have happened in the past, but these aren’t current problems.
Terrestrial silt run-off is a different matter to fertilisers and herbicides/pesticides. It has been pluming out from rivers since time began. The coastal reefs have always experienced it.
Just 15,000 years ago during the last ice-age the seas were 120 metres lower, the Reef’s current site was a coastal plain, and the Reef clung to the edge of the continental shelf. Everything that came out of the rivers washed over the whole Reef. And, yes, there was a lot of silt during the ice-age. CO2 was much lower due to the cooler seas (Henry’s Law), so plants were sparser. It was colder and drier so there was less rain to water what plants there were.
Aboriginal tribes were doing it tough, so they used firestick farming to get what small game there was. That left a lot of bare earth which blew as dust into valleys and was washed out to sea when the rains did come.
But it’s different now. Much of the main Reef area is 40 to 70 kilometres out to sea, and as Professor Ridd said, the prevailing south-easterly wind and currents keep terrestrial run-off much closer to shore. Professor Ridd also notes that more clean ocean water flows through the Reef each day than flows from our rivers each year.
Nonetheless, the mud-meme is being heavily promoted at present; “Earlier this year, a muddy plume of polluted water hit our Reef. It was so big you could see it from space.” Search the internet for “Muddy plume extends to Great Barrier Reef images from space” and there’s several alarmist websites (including ‘our’ ABC) showing just one obviously-modified image.
It purports to show a wet-season plume (during the recent Townsville floods) extending about 50 kilometres out to sea from the Burdekin River – which drains an area twice the size of Tasmania. The nearest reef to the Burdekin’s mouth is about 57 kilometres out and the plume certainly isn’t “hitting” it, let alone even touching the other 344,400 square kilometres of the GBR.
But we sceptics always track information back to its source, in this case the original image is found here. https://eoimages.gsfc.nasa.gov/images/imagerecords/48000/48438/qsld_amo_2011004.jpg.
Yep, you guessed it, the alarmists “shopped” the photo, the soil run-off is getting nowhere near the Reef; at best it’s going about 40 kilometres out – and it isn’t even a real problem anyway.
But the regulations on the farmers who produce our food get ratcheted ever tighter – based on myths and deliberate misinformation.
There is so much wrong with the anti-farmer attitudes of our governments that I struggle to find anything right with them. How did we come to be “led” by such damagingly ignorant people? Who do they really work for; Australians or the United Nations?
Jo Nova on the firestorm of fake news about burning in the Amazon, quite likely Green sabotage to discredit one of the few leaders in the world who is prepared to stand against the Green tide. Read it all and circulate!
More incendiary reporting from Jo on nonsense about rising sea levels.
BONUS LIBERTY QUOTE
Capitalism has created the highest standard of living ever known on earth. The evidence is incontrovertible. The contrast between West and East Berlin is the latest demonstration, like a laboratory experiment for all to see. Yet those who are loudest in proclaiming their desire to eliminate poverty are loudest in denouncing capitalism. Man’s well-being is not their goal.
— Ayn Rand
UPDATE. An important new paper by Judith Curry, a really big hitter in the climate science community and one of the most sane and helpful commentators.
A few words on the intended audience and motivation for writing this:
First and foremost, this is written for the clients of Climate Forecast Applications Network who are interested in scenarios of future climate change [link]
Second, this paper is written as a contribution to my series of academic papers on the topic of uncertainty in climate science:
Climate Science and the Uncertainty Monster
Reasoning About Climate Uncertainty
Nullifying the Climate Null Hypothesis
Climate Change: No Consensus on Consensus
Climate Uncertainty and Risk
Third, the paper is written to inform the public debate on climate change and policy makers. I am ever hopeful that some sanity can be interjected into all this.
A well-illustrated short paper on why CO2 is not the key factor in warming.