Antarctic ice loss rates have tripled since 2012

A new study has found that Antarctic ice loss and sea level rise rates have tripled since 2012.

This assessment involves 84 scientists from more than 40 institutions, and combines data from 24 satellite surveys. It follows in the footsteps of the first IMBIE (Ice Sheet Mass Balance Inter-comparison Exercise) conducted in 2012, and paints a particularly grim picture of the years between then and 2017. Continue reading Antarctic ice loss rates have tripled since 2012

Saturday salon 16/6

1. You don’t need enemies when you have friends

You’ve probably been living under a log if you haven’t seen this photo:

They say Trump does not like G-7 meetings because they are short on people who massage his ego.

According to this account the photo was released by Angela Merkel’s office. Trump looks like a naughty school boy, recalcitrant and unrepentant. The bloke behind him is John Bolton, the National Security Advisor. Not sure what he was doing there. Continue reading Saturday salon 16/6

Blog glitch plus dirty work at the crossroads

Probably everyone who attempted to visit the Climate Plus site on Wednesday and Thursday 14-15 June found a notice saying the domain name had expired, if they found anything at all.

In simple terms the domain name of the site was due to expire on 11 June. We thought it was on automatic renewal, but that turned out not to be so. Turns out there was more to it than that. The interwebs is a place where it seems the normal ethical rules don’t apply. Continue reading Blog glitch plus dirty work at the crossroads

National emissions audit shows NSW in some trouble

The Australia Institute has instituted a National Energy Emissions Audit , which Giles Parkinson wrote about at RenewEconomy.

The April-May update tells us:

  • The capacity of large-scale solar generation supplying the National Electricity Market tripled between March and early May.
  • South Australia became a net energy exporter for the first time in March, selling the state’s abundant wind-generated power into Victoria.
  • NSW coal-fired power stations have been consistently at 65% capacity despite three closures and speculation over Liddell, with imports switching from Victoria to Queensland post Hazelwood.

Continue reading National emissions audit shows NSW in some trouble

Saturday salon 9/6

1. Banks behaving badly

When criminal charges were brought against ANZ and investment banks Citi and Deutsche Bank that sounded fair enough to me. Barbora Jedlickova, Lecturer in the School of Law at The University of Queensland says that criminal charges are more effective than fines and:

    Charging high-ranking bank executives will potentially make the deterrent more effective still, because high-ranking executives set the cultural tone for their organisations.

James Thomson in his Chanticleer column at the AFR says that victims are hard to find in this case, but it is a good idea because bankers should behave themselves. Continue reading Saturday salon 9/6

James Cook University sacks reef scientist with contrarian views

James Cook University has sacked academic Professor Peter Ridd, he claims because he “dared to fight the university and speak the truth about science and the Great Barrier Reef”. He rejects the scientific evidence linking human activity to degradation of the Great Barrier Reef, and takes the view that the Reef is doing fine.

James Cook deputy vice chancellor Prof Iain Gordon says:

    “We defend Peter’s right to make statements in his area of academic expertise and would continue to do that until we are blue in the face,” Gordon says.

    “The issue has never been about Peter’s right to make statements – it’s about how he has continually broken a code of conduct that we would expect all our staff to stick to, to create a safe, respectful and professional workplace.”

Continue reading James Cook University sacks reef scientist with contrarian views

Snowy Hydro and the future of renewables

Snowy Hydro 2.0 was, I thought, being justified at the political level by its capacity to back up with pumped storage some of the “reckless” development of wind and solar energy around the place. RenewEconomy now reports that Snowy Hydro is itself planning to develop 800 MW of wind and solar capacity. It has put out an expression of interest document, aiming to conclude contracts by September:

    “The initial aim is to procure 400MW of wind and 400MW of solar off takes,” the document states, although the company may change its mind on the 50/50 split between wind and solar depending on the offers made.

    “Snowy Hydro’s goal is to construct a portfolio of wind and solar offtakes such that the resulting portfolio benefits from diversification of fuel sources (wind / sun), geography (across NEM States, latitude and longitude) and supply profile (intra-day, week, month and season).”

Continue reading Snowy Hydro and the future of renewables

Saturday salon 2/6

1. CSL and Cochlear say ‘show us the money’

Or at least show a bit of interest.

Here they have to chase government, whereas other countries, such as Singapore and Ireland:

    “actively come out and court companies like ours” with a unified package of incentives and benefits, he said. These could include a lower headline tax rate, and other financial concessions or benefits in exchange for specified investment, jobs and revenue outcomes from biotech and technology.

Continue reading Saturday salon 2/6

Climate clippings 224

1. Oil and car companies are suddenly investing in electric vehicles. Here’s why.

Joe Romm’s article was also posted at RenewEconomy.

AEMO wants ‘demand response’ as strategic reserve

You will recall that after the closing of Hazelwood Power Station at the end of March 2017 fears were held that the 2017-18 summer would see extensive blackouts. AEMO, the Australian Energy Market Operator, was tasked to assemble a strategic reserve to keep the lights on.

AEMO assembled a reserve of 1150 megawatts mainly “demand response” capacity with capital cost approaching zero, but the mechanism the agency had used called the Reliability and Reserve Trader or RERT, can’t be automatically rolled over for the summer of 2018-19. And perhaps it can’t be done at all, because the rule-maker, the Australian Energy Market Commission, has changed the rules governing the RERT so that the mechanism can only be used on 10 weeks notice in an emergency as a last resort, which is simply impractical.

So what is going on? Continue reading AEMO wants ‘demand response’ as strategic reserve

Saturday salon 26/5

1. The sad case of Carolyn Flanagan

    Carolyn Flanagan was like any mum – all she wanted to do was to help her daughter with a loan to buy a business.

    “I’d have signed anything for her, love,” she told counsel assisting the banking royal commission, Michael Hodge, QC. “If you can’t help your children, who can you help?”

That wasn’t exactly what Michael Hodge QC wanted to hear from the elderly lady who went guarantor for $165,000 for her daughter in 2010 to invest in a business that went bust. Westpac demanded her Sydney house with vacant possession, so they could get their money back. That was in 2014. Continue reading Saturday salon 26/5

Climate change, sustainability, plus sundry other stuff