A picture is worth a lot of words. CO2 and warming since 1895

A handy picture from an informative paper that provides a long list of counter-arguments about catastrophic warming. I take the point that very little good is done by circulating these things among ourselves, the thing is to get to a wider circle of people. We need to look for the best material to provide to others who are interested but uninformed.

Check out and circulate recent posts by Jo Nova.

The scientifically illiterate bean counters at The Australian are at it again. Vintage Alan Kohler. Bring back the NEG, ignore the science and damn the price and security of the power supply.

The current defensive, “we always thought that” stance, coupled with “I won’t put up electricity prices to do it, or put a tax on them”, to quote Prime Minister Scott Morrison in his ABC interview on the weekend, is a dead end.

That’s because first, he and his party obviously have not always believed in climate change and its connection with extreme weather events, for which there is plenty of evidence including a lump of coal in parliament, and second, anyone who did actually understand the awful risks from global warming would readily put up electricity prices to prevent them, and more.

Robert Gottliebsen is excited about the prospects for pumped hydro and the battery of  the nation. A bit late to replace Liddell but!

The “battery of the nation” project is about rescuing Daniel Andrews and to a lesser extent Gladys Berejiklian. The plan is to double Tasmania’s renewable energy capacity by developing pumped hydro energy storage, building wind farms and upgrading existing generation assets.

Fourteen pumped hydro sites have been earmarked across the state with a combined potential generation capacity of up to 4800 megawatts—about the same amount that is produced in the Latrobe Valley from brown coal.

The second leg of the plan is the construction of another direct-current transmission interconnector with the mainland — the Marinus Link — which would send excess electricity to Melbourne during peak demand periods.

Morrison claimed that this interconnector could be built as soon as 2025, although this has since shifted to 2027. 

And from Moodys.      Tell us more about the increasing frequency of extreme weather events. That has about the same legs as the demise of the polar bears. The story is in The Australian.

“Over time, increasingly frequent and severe natural disasters related to climate change are likely to result in rising and recurring costs for Australia’s general and local governments, which will test their capacity — currently strong — to mitigate these costs,” Moody’s vice-president and senior credit officer Martin Petch said.

Windwatching. Around noon today (not a screen shot) the windmills were providing a touch over 1% of the power required in SE Australia, near 0.4 GW (6% plated capacity) to meet almost 30GW of demand.  Double or triple the wind fleet and what do you get with that amount of wind compared with brown coal cranking out 4.2 since breakfast time. The low point for brown coal in recent months is 3.1GW.  Figures for the % of demand provided by the wind at dinner time this year: 65.5, 6, 12, 12.5, 8, 6, 8, 8, 9, 10.5, 8.5, 5.

More problems for solar panels. Who would have thought there would be a downside to putting fragile panels full of toxic materials onto the roofs of the nation? Paywalled story in The Australian about the danger of putting out fires in the vicinity of solar panels.

As long as solar panels are exposed to sunlight, they can continue to generate DC power during and after fires — even if damaged — leading to potential secondary fires or injuries to firefighters and other volunteers.

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49 Responses to A picture is worth a lot of words. CO2 and warming since 1895

  1. DaveR

    Alan Kohler regularly loses his financial journalist’s objectivity when a topic tweaks his leftist bias, such as climate change.

    You would think by now Alan would be able to realise his supposed justifications for the government actions he calls for are not supported by the facts, and he is just trying to dress up his ideological beliefs.

  2. tgs

    The only thing Kohler is good at is passing off ignorance as knowledge and flogging useless investment newsletters.

    Unfortunately there are plenty of suckers out there so both activities have been profitable enterprises for him over the years, leading him to drink his own kool-aid and actually believe he has something of value to contribute to the national discourse.

  3. Here’s an interesting story (from the Gippsland farmer). Licola (a small township in Gippsland that has a population of approx 21 (which includes those living on farms etc in the surrounding area, has gone fully off the grid (almost).

    They have spent $800,000 on solar panel and batteries to provide electricity for township (which consists of a small store, a few houses and a Lions Village camp. The plated capacity of the solar panels is 167kW and additional batteries weighing 35t can provide 100kWh of electricity. However, the diesel generators that have been supplying power to the township (for decades) will not be de-commissioned, as it will be needed to provide additional power during peak periods (for an hour or two).

    I’ve been going to/through Licola for over 40 years and I truly wonder whether that ‘hour or two’ is overly optimistic as, in summer, the place is incredibly crowded with campers, Lions Village tourists and 4WDrives traveling through in the hundreds. Every single one staying there or passing through will depend on electricity all day long.

    Their ABC is very positive about this change.

    I await the tears.

  4. Terry

    Yep, there is always “plenty of evidence”, often it is overwhelming apparently (at least for the feeble-minded) and yet it can never be produced. How convenient.

  5. stackja

    bemused – Survived the fires, now come the blackouts?

  6. Bruce of Newcastle

    As long as solar panels are exposed to sunlight, they can continue to generate DC power during and after fires — even if damaged — leading to potential secondary fires or injuries to firefighters and other volunteers.

    Soar panels can also cause houses to burn down. The recent case of Walmart suing Tesla for causing multiple fires in their stores is a notable example.

    Walmart claims roof fires caused by faulty Tesla solar panels (Aug 2019)

    I have no idea what that does to house insurance, but you have to believe the insurance companies will have raised premiums because of the issue.

  7. Rafe Champion

    At Licola.

    Mr Davis said the rising costs of diesel had meant the camp was spending $135,000 a year to keep the generators going.

    Spend 800,000 to save 135,000 a year.

    “The energy we produce via our solar systems can power the entire town,” he said.

    Lets see how much they spend on diesel over the next few years. And how much they spend to maintain the solar system. Other people can worry about getting rid of the old panels.

  8. Survived the fires, now come the blackouts?

    And the floods.

  9. I reckon Australia needs a referendum on going ‘zero carbon’. Lay out the costs and consequences and see how the vote goes. It worked for Brexit.

  10. min

    Great pictures Rafe, but I still think that is too complicated for average Barry Battler to take on board . Most would not be able to read the article to the end and understand it all . KISS principal still the best method so more cartoons . Wonder if Leak would be interested.

  11. Professor Fred Lenin

    Close all coal and gas fired power stations immediately , the bushfires will stop and never come back again. If the present number of windmills cant provide any power on calm or stormy days,increse the number of windmills and make ‘the subsidy higher to the altruistic owners of them .

  12. Professor Fred Lenin

    Bemused , referendum !! No no no ! Are you advocating taking power away from the Australian National Green Uniparty ?No way mate ,you would make them feel weak and irrelevant ,where would they get a good living outside of pollielying ? They wont go back to their thriving legal practice above the fish and chip shop in HighStreet . Look at the massacre of able politicians in the last UK election , all those lovelycareers destroyed and fine people reduced to waiting at the job centre . Bitterly upset that their so called comrades at the EU are ignoring their requests for employment ,nobody likes a traitor.

  13. a happy little debunker

    Pumped Hydro means more dams.

    Which Green will dare advocate for more dams in Tasmania?

  14. Kneel

    “Over time, increasingly frequent and severe natural disasters related to climate change are likely to result in rising and recurring costs for Australia’s general and local governments…”

    Heh.
    Whoever wrote that should read the actual science on extreme weather, where they will find that, once adjusted for inflation (A$1m was a monster big house on several acres in 1900, today it’s a two bedroom bungalow on <700m2 in the major cities) and exposure (how many people lived between, say, Blacktown and Penrith in 1900 compared to today), there is no trend trend in the frequency or severity of weather related disasters. None. Zero. Zip. And not just from a single paper either – this is completely uncontroversial in the field (ask Roger Pielke Jnr).

    The really good news is that in 2020, your chances of being killed by weather related disaster is only 1% of what it was in 1900. Yes, you are 100 times less likely to be killed by weather in 2020 than in you were in 1900.

    And check out the latest “OMG” moment – “there were 115 disasters in 2019 costing more than $1B, only 15 in 1980!”. Well, yeah – it’s called “inflation”, moron!

    Thanks coal and oil, you’ve saved millions of lives.

    Shame on you coal and oil, look at the bunch of girlie, social media focussed panic merchants your prosperity created!

  15. Kneel

    “Which Green will dare advocate for more dams in Tasmania?”

    Dam (and damn) the Franklin River!

  16. struth

    Scaring children should be a crime.

  17. I_am_not_a_robot

    Fourteen pumped hydro sites have been earmarked across the state with a combined potential generation capacity of up to 4800 megawatts—about the same amount that is produced in the Latrobe Valley from brown coal …

    Memo to Robert Gottliebsen:
    Like the battery in your car Robert pumped hydro doesn’t generate power, the generator does that and that is run by the engine that probably uses petrol or gas.
    The battery stores it for use when the engine is not running e.g. for starting but you probably knew that.
    Pumped hydro uses more energy than it can release when required.
    (Not being a subscriber this comment may be unfair, if so I apologize in advance).

  18. I_am_not_a_robot

    Fourteen pumped hydro sites have been earmarked across the state with a combined potential generation capacity of up to 4800 megawatts — about the same amount that is produced in the Latrobe Valley from brown coal. …

    The purpose of pumped hydro is to store intermittent wind-generated energy.
    Utility scale wind turbines having a nameplate capacity of 3 megawatts @ 30% generating capacity actually produce 1 megawatt, therefore 4,800 wind turbines would be needed to replace Latrobe Valley brown coal @ ~$4m installed each = $19.2b.
    And that is the cost of the turbines alone every twenty years or so, I hope I’m wrong.

  19. Language is being distorted in the name of the green god. A great example is that of power packs/battery packs, such as used by campers to power portable fridges etc. These are now being sold as ‘Solar Generators’ because advertising promotes that fact they they can be recharged by solar panels.

    I pointed out the idiocy of this to one chap and he equated solar panels to petrol that you put in a petrol generator. Ergo, these battery packs are legitimate generators. I gave up further debate after he announced that howler.

  20. Jim Hutchison

    General comment on this thread:

    It is a continuing surprise to me that commenters on the CO2/Global warming thingy and on electricity
    generating topics generally think that facts have anything to do with public debates on those subjects. I
    am a veteran of many many discussions at home, when dining out with intelligent friends and at the Pub on
    these matters. [I recall that some months ago I persuaded a friend during a Pub discussion that Israel Folau had got a raw deal from the Rugby Australia. That now appears to be correct given the settlement reached in early December. But but I would never never attempt to influence the views/beliefs of that person about a climate issue.]

    Climate is a religious matter for most people. It has to do with beliefs – not with science and not with facts.
    The source of religious belief is a mystery to me (a practicing athiest) but also apparently to many in the religion business as well as to independent researchers such as philosophers and psychologists.

    So my advice to commenters is please keep the climate debate going, keep pouring facts into the mix, but don’t be too disappointed if the net change of belief is Nil.

  21. Jim Hutchison

    Will try to do better with formatting in future!

  22. Crossie

    On the way to work today I listened to Angus Taylor being interviewed on 2GB. When he was asked will there be any new power station built he obfuscated, sidestepped and almost said no comment but he was all hung-ho for meeting and exceeded our Paris Agreement targets. I couldn’t listen any more and switched the radio off.

    Malcolm may have been ditched in favour of ScoMo but it’s quite clear now that the entire government are Turnbull’s glove puppets.

  23. Crossie

    Climate is a religious matter for most people. It has to do with beliefs – not with science and not with facts.
    The source of religious belief is a mystery to me (a practicing athiest) but also apparently to many in the religion business as well as to independent researchers such as philosophers and psychologists.

    It’s not really a mystery when you realise that humans need to believe in something bigger than themselves. They have been told that God does not exist but they can regain the lost spirituality by adopting Mother Earth instead. Veganism is the new sacrament and solar panel and wind turbines are the new temples.

  24. RobK

    Bemused,
    The Licola story has some inconsistencies. I suspect the battery has a 100 kW inverter. 37 tonne of battery is somewhat non specific, depending on the type, but I’d guess more in the order of perhaps 1000kWh.
    The solar panels face various directions rather than tracking. This is common practice these days.
    If i had to guess I’d say the system is a Selectronic master inverter with many Fronius inverters as slaves on various buildings with solar arrays. These then feed AC into the micro grid where the master inverter controls the charging of the battery. This system is not new, but very good and developed in Australia. It is in use in many isolated areas.

  25. Squirrel

    “Bring back the NEG, ignore the science and damn the price and security of the power supply.”

    Very well said, but Australia’s rentseeking elites are so used to the national interest being sold out to benefit them, that they can hardly be blamed for expecting the climate change issued to be handled in exactly the same manner.

    In the face of this, the best thing the government can do is minimise the damage to the real economy whilst keeping the rentseekers (and the electorally important doctors’ wives constitutency) in the tent.

    Rather than succumbing to the demands for an expensively rigged “carbon market” the government would do better to talk more about science and technology as the best hope, with high profile (and fairly generous) funding for research.

  26. The Beer Whisperer

    Maybe a mathematician could confirm this or otherwise, but a highly linear CO2 increase and a highly erratic temperature path surely equals a very poor correlation, let alone actual causation.

    Temperature is mathematical and can only be the result of all inputs at any given time. The models include more than CO2, but if they are not highly accurate, than variables must be missing or wrong.

    I can’t see any way around this. There are no qualitative factors at hand that could account for unverifiable unknowns.

  27. RobK
    #3292396, posted on January 14, 2020 at 7:11 pm

    The Licola story has some inconsistencies.

    I wouldn’t be surprised, but I do suspect that it will be relying on the diesel generators far more than indicated. While Licola gets perhaps more sun on average than Melbourne, it also gets a lot more of inclement weather as well.

  28. RobK

    I do suspect that it will be relying on the diesel generators far more than indicated.
    Pretty safe bet. The cost was no doubt heavily subsidised. That said, the gensets can be scheduled to run at optimum loading and have designated quiet times. Often the cost of these schemes reflect the subsidies involved. Diesel powered grids are low hanging fruit for batteries (firstly) then RE input.

  29. Bruce of Newcastle

    Good comment Jim.

  30. areff

    I would think solar units in Licola would be shadowed in the morning by the hills to the east and, likewise, by those to the west. It’s a tight little valley, if I recall.

  31. Matt

    It looks like we are warming a touch from this data.

  32. Rafe Champion

    Good points Jim. I have no idea what proportion of the population is susceptible to reasonable discussion and facts but the aim is to make it easier for people to get a clearer picture of the issues and the choices.

    As for arguments with friends and relations, workmates and people in the pub, there is no point in being confrontational beyond a polite challenge to people who you know. My aim is to avoid any argument at all with total true believers and when there is an argument find some point of contact to start and be prepared to ask questions in case they admit that they might need more information. Be open about your own areas of ignorance and be clear about the kind of facts that would shift your position.

    The “I used to think that but now I think this…” approach can be a bridge, there is some highly professional journalism along those lines on the alarmist sites and there are many of them. This is one of them .

    Never challenge people in a group and don’t try to make too many points in one session. Etc.

  33. Rafe Champion

    Matt there is no problem about “warming a touch”, the problem is when people inflate a one degree rise per century into a scenario of ruin and disaster. It is also easy to concede that CO2 might make a modest contribution without demanding carbon mitigation that in the case of Australia will make zero difference whatever the role of CO2 might be.

    That reminds me of another line of discussion, make a list of the adverse human and environmental impacts of carbon mitigation and find out if people are even aware of such things, then if they show any interest give an indication of the scale of the damage. I did a post on the topic a few months ago.

  34. Rafe, given that you have comprehensively lost this argument, how long are you going to waste energy trying to pretend your defeat never happened?

  35. Rafe Champion

    Human costs

    Lives lost, the biofuel story. Matt Ridley reports that ethanol uses 5% of the world’s grain, mostly corn. This puts up the price of food and the poorest suffer. He cites an estimate that almost 200,000 people die annually and this is probably on the high side. Many different figures circulate but even Mike Hulme who is nuanced alarmist reported in strong terms on this situation. He wrote this in Why We Disagree About Climate Change:

    The UN’s special rapporteur on the right to food condemned the growing of biofuels as ‘a crime against humanity’ because they diverted arable land to the production of crops which are then burned for fuel instead of sold for food’…Rather than contributing to the theoretical food security of hundreds of millions of the world’s poor in 50 years time, it has reduced the actual food security of tens of millions of the world’s poor today.

    Lives not being saved. These are the millions who die prematurely in developing countries for want of clean power to replace the animal dung and other fuels that they use with poisonous consequences for their lungs. John Christy is eloquent on this topic on video. Under the influence of the Obama administration and EU greenies major lending agencies have not allowed investment in coal and gas projects in the Third World.

    From another Lomborg paper.

    Almost three billion people cook and keep warm by burning twigs and dung, creating fumes that lead to one out of every 13 deaths globally. Funding appropriate projects could prevent many of these fatalities by expanding access to [reliable hydrocarbon based] electricity, which would power basic stoves and heaters while fueling productivity in agriculture and industry.

    Impact on the natural environment

    Millions of birds and bats including endangered species minced and roasted annually.

    Rainforests cleared for palm oil for biofuel.

    Forests felled for woodchips to burn in DRAX instead of coal.

    Other ecosystems scraped clean to make way for wind factories and fields of solar panels. A pity about the wildlife and also the effect on power prices and reliability.

    Impact on the social environment

    Regulation nation. The social of Nanny statism – no plastic straws the tip of the iceberg of misguided environmental regulations. 3000 pages of law and regulations to establish the renewable energy grid in South Australia, the model for all commonwealth and state regulations that followed.

    Corruption of public debate and the political process.

    Corruption of science.

    Trashing school education.

  36. Nighthawk the Elder

    areff
    #3292533, posted on January 14, 2020 at 8:57 pm
    I would think solar units in Licola would be shadowed in the morning by the hills to the east and, likewise, by those to the west. It’s a tight little valley, if I recall.

    That’s exactly how I remember it as well. And those hills are all lined thick with trees so even more shadow.

  37. cohenite

    Shut up you fat little troll: Jo Nova put up papers disproving AGW a long time ago:

    http://joannenova.com.au/2012/10/man-made-global-warming-disproved/

    There is not one proof of AGW, none. It is a product GCMs and their defective assumptions. That these assumptions are defective was admitted by the climate scientists/activists in the email scandal back in 2010.

    Time after time we have seen failed predictions, data adjustments, secrecy, hysteria, pseudo science and politicisation of children. AGW is a miserable lie.

    The D.B. Stealey graph headlining this thread is great because it scales temperature correctly; there are plenty of others showing the complete lack of even a correlation between temp and CO2 levels. Perhaps the best is engineer Frank Lansner’s post:

    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/CO2,Temperaturesandiceages-f.pdf

    Alarmism is a hideous scam. It’s supporters are hideous too.

  38. cohenite, you can quote other people who are wrong until you are blue in the face, that doesn’t make them any less wrong. The alarmists predicted that what has happened this summer would happen. Any bleating by you is irrelevant. You have lost the argument. Reality bites.

  39. RobK

    The alarmists predicted that what has happened this summer would happen.
    Foresters and firefighters made submissions warning of the dangers.
    Climate catastrophists predict all manor of things, occasionally one comes to pass. It doesn’t prove anything.
    Climate is composed of many chaotic systems. It is not something readily modelled with long term confidence.

  40. classical_hero

    The adjusted data fits the rise in CO². Fiddling with the data is the essence of bad science.

  41. mem

    Alan Kohler is one of Turnbull’s PR and marketing men compliments of the Oz Newspaper. I thought everyone knew that!

  42. classical_hero

    mOnty, fires happen each year and fuel loads is the biggest reason why they are so bad.

  43. Pumped hydro – sounds great but a few reality checks…

    1) It is useful for storing power but the schemes proposed usually only give 8-10 hours duration. If we are determined to close fossil fueled power and rely on unreliable renewables then we will run out of power fairly quickly from these. Any quick study shows there are many periods in the year when the pumped hydro scheme will be unable to recharge. Hey presto blackouts.

    2) They are 70% efficient. So you need to put more power in than they put out.

    3) The economics are not great, except if power prices are v high (think South Australia or worse). Think about it. They can only make money for a max of 8-10 hours per day and have point 2) to deal with. They also have very high capital costs, which must be paid back. And they have to pay for the power in the first place so rely on the ability to make a margin

    In the end though due to the total stupidity of our southern states in not planning for the future we will be forced to build them. I guess we could go back to the crony days where the states built all the power stations (and now pumped hydro), made nothing on the power and taxpayers effectively subsidise it all but that was the way they used to think

  44. classical_hero

    Climate is a religious matter for most people. It has to do with beliefs – not with science and not with facts.

    I think Chesterton said that “when man stops believing in God, he doesn’t believe nothing, he believes anything.”

  45. Rayvic

    It is not surprising that Alan Kohler’s objectivity in relation to global warming leaves a lot to be desired. He is subservient to climate change groupthink at the ABC.

  46. cohenite

    The alarmists predicted that what has happened this summer would happen.

    Liar.

    1896 still holds the record for the hottest and driest year.

    In extent the 1974-1975 bushfires were 10X bigger than the current ones.

    In terms of deaths, on a per capita basis, the 1939, the second hottest and driest year, were the worst, with 2009 the second worse.

    You’re a fucking troll.

    But you’re right about one thing. Gramsci’s march of the alarmist/commies through the institutions including the disgusting media, has them on the ascendency.

    Aren’t you sick. Here’s hoping.

  47. Rafe Champion

    Monty predictions can be correct for invalid reasons. I can predict that the sun will come up in the morning because a big wombat drags it across the sky. Sure enough it is up this morning!
    Big fires occur when a number of things happen at the same time and none of those things depend on the beneficial warming and increased CO2 that we have enjoyed since the Little Ice Age.
    It is true that saying things over and over again does not make them true.

  48. Cardimona

    m0nty
    #3292569, posted on January 14, 2020 at 9:47 pm
    cohenite, you can quote other people who are wrong until you are blue in the face, that doesn’t make them any less wrong.

    Oi; m0nty!

    Have you found the links to the news reports of the “last few years’ random constantly-burning bushfires in the Daintree rainforest” stories yet?

    Or did you make that up?

  49. Deplorable Lord Kek

    The alarmists predicted that what has happened this summer would happen. Any bleating by you is irrelevant. You have lost the argument. Reality bites.

    Nope.

    There is no control group so other variables can be ruled out. The prediction is unfalsifiable.

    There are numerous other variables (besides warming) involved, notably including:

    (1) Fuel load: Bushfire scientist David Packham warns of huge blaze threat, urges increase in fuel reduction burns (2015)

    https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/bushfire-scientist-david-packham-warns-of-huge-blaze-threat-urges-increase-in-fuel-reduction-burns-20150312-14259h.html

    (2) Natural climate cycles: The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) was positive in late 2019, contributing to lower rainfall and higher temperatures. The same occurred prior to major fires in 2009 and 1983 (and others too):

    https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2009GL039902

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