Climate clippings 181

1. Solar delivers cheapest electricity ‘ever, anywhere, by any technology’

Half the price of coal!

    In last week’s energy auction, Chile accepted a bid from Spanish developer Solarpack Corp. Tecnologica for 120 megawatts of solar at the stunning price of $29.10 per megawatt-hour (2.91 cents per kilowatt-hour or kwh). This beats the 2.99 cents/kwh bid Dubai received recently for 800 megawatts. For context, the average residential price for electricity in the United States is 12 cents per kilowatt-hour.

Continue reading Climate clippings 181

Asylum seekers: time to close the bloody camps!

Arguably the biggest story on the Australian political scene last week was the protesters interrupting Malcolm Turnbull in a speech in a posh Melbourne hotel telling the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (ceda) that Good budget management is a vital component of our economic plan as if they didn’t know.

Protestors infiltrated the venue, posing as media:

image-20160817-3578-1iah8tq_550 Continue reading Asylum seekers: time to close the bloody camps!

Increasing the Use of Public Transport May be Harder Than We Think

“Increase the use of public transport”  is an easy response to Brisbane’s transport problems.   However, once I realized that only 10% of car commutes went to the CBD the picture became more complex. Public and active transport was no longer the answer to everything. Continue reading Increasing the Use of Public Transport May be Harder Than We Think

Should we call the whole thing off?

The spectacle of the Rio Olympics has raised a raft of questions, from whether it is at all ethical to spend public money on elite sport, to whether Australia’s performance is bad and getting worse, and the difficulties of being a host city.

The morality of funding elite sport

Rio has brought forth a couple of ads on Gruen that cut to the chase (thanks, John D for the link). Logically the Group Hug video comes first. It introduces us to a thief in Rio dedicated to stealing any gold medals our athletes might win. So they should aim for bronze. The Mr Mumbles video comprises ironic comments from the bereft and the homeless, essentially pointing to the pointlessness of the whole exercise. Continue reading Should we call the whole thing off?

Census farce caused by spectacular blunders?

Patrick Gray, described by CSO Magazine as a “respected information security journalist and podcaster” has put forward an account of the Census crash that varies from the official version.

His “sources” told him that the DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack experienced at 7.30pm came from inside Australia, not from the United States as claimed. Continue reading Census farce caused by spectacular blunders?

Saturday salon 20/8

1. International Index of Ignorance

Behold, the 10 most ignorant countries in the world.

Polling firm Ipsos MORI surveyed people about the demographics of their countries and published the results its “Perils of Perception” report. For example, they asked people’s perceptions on average age in the country, the percentage of immigrants and the percentage of people overweight.

The results are sobering. The British think 43% of 25-34 year-olds live with their parents. The actual number is 14%. Brazilians were particularly bad at judging age, saying that the average age of people in their country is 56 when it is actually 31. Obesity tends to be underestimated. Saudis, for example, think that just over a quarter of their country is overweight, when in reality the figure is around 70%. Continue reading Saturday salon 20/8

July 2016 Earth’s hottest month may herald step change in climate

Seasonally planet Earth is hottest in July. Northern summers are hotter because of the greater land mass in the Northern Hemisphere. This July was a scorcher, being the hottest single month since records began:

July_1 BiO14C2v1sMcuYJECnH1QA_600

The cool spot below Greenland is now average. Continue reading July 2016 Earth’s hottest month may herald step change in climate

Climate clippings 180

1. Tesla car drives owner to hospital, saves his life

Missouri lawyer Joshua Neally was driving his Tesla Model X home from his office when he suffered piercing pain in his stomach and chest. Rather than call an ambulance he set his Tesla Model X in self-driving mode and headed for a hospital 20 miles (32km) down the road. He was able to park it and check himself in.

He suffered a pulmonary, a potentially fatal obstruction of a blood vessel in the lungs. Very probably, the car saved his life. Continue reading Climate clippings 180

Senate terms decided by the major parties

To suit themselves, largely. Pauline Hanson, Nick Xenophon and his mate Stirling Griff, plus Jacqui Lambie will get six-year terms. The rest of the crossbench will have to front up again next election.

The Greens, who had argued for a ‘fairer’ method, lose out. Only Richard Di Natale, Scott Ludlam and Peter Whish-Wilson get 6-year terms. Continue reading Senate terms decided by the major parties

Fat bank profits

Politicians have been out there bashing banks again with CBA’s announcement of a record $9.45 billion profit. Of course if the bank keeps up with inflation it will be a record, and because it’s a big company it will be ‘fat’.

The table in the AFR gives the profit as $9.247 billion as against $9.084 billion last year. The true measure is in net earnings per share (eps) which came in at 542.5 cents, actually down from 553.7 cents last year. That’s a drop of about 2%.

The final dividend was maintained at $2.22 per share, so shareholders breathed a sigh of relief that it didn’t go down.

Bill Shorten’s comment was ignorant, and I think disgraceful: Continue reading Fat bank profits

Census crash

After the ABS Census computer was shut down on Tuesday night, one bright spark on talk-back radio said we wasn’t going to fill in the census data now. What’s the point of giving information to a government that can’t run a census, he asked. If they can’t do a simple thing like that then they can’t provide all the health, education, police, infrastructure services we need.

On radio we were told this morning that the Census needs 95% of us to supply accurate data for the data to be useful in planning future services. We are told the computer system will be up and working today. They may yet pull it off, but significant confidence has been lost and the ABS has trashed its brand. Continue reading Census crash

Climate change, sustainability, plus sundry other stuff