Saturday salon 1/4

1. Blackmail, extortion and slavery at a restaurant near you

This is the story about an Indian couple in Melbourne, who desperately wanted to stay in Australia. They moved to Adelaide, where the wife was offered a three-year contract as a cook in an Indian restaurant for $52,500 pa under a 457 visa.

What happened is that she ended up working for years for nothing, and sums of $30,000 and then $20,000 were extorted on threat of ending 457 sponsorship. Then the authorities cancelled the company’s right to sponsor, so their visa was cancelled.


    They contacted the ATO and the Fair Work Ombudsman to try and reclaim unpaid super and wages, but that came to nothing because the company had collapsed.

So they face deportation.

All manner of scams are happening with victims scared to report, because the Australian government provides no amnesty for whistle-blowers.

    Extortion, blackmail, cash back scams and slavery are happening every day under our noses. They happen in the most unsuspecting places such as suburban restaurants and nail bars. Most suffer in silence.

2. David Marr analyses One Nation vote

David Marr’s Quarterly Essay analysing the nature of the One Nation vote was released this week. The main story is in the title The White Queen: One Nation and the Politics of Race.

Laura Tingle says that Marr’s essay:

    is not a piece of polemic but a detailed and rich unpicking of the Hanson phenomenon.

    Marr has a strong and eloquently put view: Hanson’s appeal ultimately rests on hostility to immigration and race. 82 per cent of One Nation voters regard immigration as “extremely important” when deciding how to vote, compared to numbers around the 50 per cent level for the major parties.

It’s not an economic protest vote from those who were left behind. One Nation voters are quite well off, but have an exceptionally gloomy view of the world.

I haven’t read the essay, but there is an informative extract posted by The Guardian.

ON voters are 98% born in Australia. 44% live in the big cities. The majority, 66%, identify as working class, compared to 46% Nationals, 45% Labor, 32% Liberals and 24% Greens.

30% are tradies, compared to 15% of the general population. 20% have university degrees, compared to 42% of the general population.

Certainly there is economic concern, but here are the percentages in each party calling for immigration numbers to be cut “a lot”:

    Greens 7%
    Labor 21%
    Liberal 24%
    National 32%
    One Nation 83%

Migrants increase crime, are no good for the economy and take our jobs.

They yearn for a past that probably never when ‘normal’ people occupied the country and life was easier to navigate. A stunning 88% want a return of the death penalty, compared to Nationals next at 54%.

It all suggests to me that there is a limit to their vote, but ‘meeting their needs’ is impossible and would not change their vote anyway. Here’s where their vote comes from:

    Labor 39%

    LNP 39%

    Greens 5%

    Other, including PUP 16%

3. Wording of 18C stays the same

The Senate blocked thew proposed changes to section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, while passing the procedural proposal.

Buzzfeed has 21 Things White Politicians Said During Australia’s Racism Debate. At last we get to hear what it is they want to say. David Leyonhjelm:

    “We have self-appointed representatives of Jewish Australians wanting to suppress Holocaust denialism,” Leyonhjelm said.

Malcolm Roberts says 18C = Communism, and it has the hide to protect Muslims.

4. Xenophon backflips on penalty rates

    On Tuesday Labor passed an urgency motion in the Senate condemning Malcolm Turnbull’s “lack of empathy for Australian workers who rely on penalty rates to make ends meet”.

    The motion passed with the Greens, One Nation, NXT, Derryn Hinch and Jacqui Lambie’s support.

Seems politicians have been listening to the people. However, the government rules the HoR, so the Senate vote goes nowhere.

5. Xenophon deals on company tax cuts

Xenophon has also done a deal to extend company tax cuts to companies with up to $50 million turnover.

The deal includes directing the AEMC and the Climate Change Authority over the next fortnight to jointly produce a report that provides advice with regard to a policy or policies to enhance power system security and to reduce energy prices, a review of gas retention policies, an investigation into a potential gas pipeline from the Northern Territory to Moomba and the acceleration of the creation of a solar thermal plant in Port Augusta.

There will also be one-off payments for some welfare recipients to help with power bills.

The price of ‘progress’ no doubt.

114 thoughts on “Saturday salon 1/4”

  1. I heard Marr interviewed on Late Night Live.
    He made the point that it’s a mistake to lump Hanson in with Trump, Brexit and Le Pen since she has nowhere near the level of support they enjoy.
    Well worth a listen.

  2. zoot, yes, I heard that too.

    Last night Stan Grant interviewed Marr on The Link. Can’t find the program, but Grant’s reflections are here.

    The important thing was not about her voice, which I don’t remember. Rather it was about the unwillingness of politicians to take her on.

  3. Many thanks for the link to Stan Grant’s piece Brian.
    From what I’ve heard, Thomas Frank’s analysis of the current situation (again, thank you for the link Brian) goes a long way towards explaining why our politicians (particularly on the “left”) are reluctant to take her on.

  4. Blackmail, extortion, slavery is all disgusting. I have all sympathies and can’t understand why there is seemingly no way that in such circumstances there is no compassion sensible solution for these victims.

    Marr’s insights are fabulous. I became a fan of his after reading his Essays on Rudd and then Pell. His detailing of where Hanson support comes from is really helpful.

  5. Zoot: Trump was brilliant at diverting attention to Trump. Clinton helped by attacking him instead of getting attention for the good things she wanted to do.
    It is the dilemma facing the left. Is it better to attack her or to simply ignore her talk about the positive reasons people should vote Green. Not being ON is not an overwhelming reason to vote Green, particularly if people’s priority is shocking the establishment.

  6. I stopped looking after the first sentence in the first link

    Most Australians despise what Pauline Hanson stands for,….

    How does he know this ?
    90% of Australians don’t vote for greens, doesn’t mean most Australians despise them, does it ?

  7. Hillary rat arsed Sanders, like she would anyone else.
    The Dems stayed home in droves because of that I feel.

  8. Actually I’m wrong on that last point, Hills got almost the same as Barry did in 2012. Her dirty tactics toward Bernie made little impact with the US left.

    I retract 6:41 pm.

  9. Can someone link to the full essay please, for free,I’m not willing to pay him for it.

  10. Is it better to attack her or to simply ignore her…

    John I think “attacking” her is counter productive, but we do need a way to stand up to her.
    In the LNL interview Marr talked about the way Turnbull has taken a more principled stand recently (since the essay was put to bed). Another Keating (minus the arrogance) would be nice 🙂

  11. Can someone link to the full essay please, for free,I’m not willing to pay him for it.

    I’m surprised the invisible hand hasn’t provided you a copy.
    But don’t worry, Marr is putting himself about quite promiscuously. You’ll find plenty to upset yourself with in the links to Late Night Live and Stan Grant (above) and there’s an article by Marr in the Guardian which covers a lot of his thesis.

  12. And a late thought, the socialists in your local library can probably get a copy in for you. The library system must get at least one copy.

  13. The other has a squeaky clean modern artist named John Legend doing a satire promo with Gordon Ramsey.
    Bad language so I’ll not put it up but you can find it easy enough.

  14. zoot at 7.51pm

    How about this for a novel suggestion: point out which policies she advocates are poorly thought out, which would be highly damaging, which would lead to unwelcome (and easily anticipated) consequences.

    Expose the internal divisions, the low quality of candidates and their sackings during campaigns. [Come to think of it, Pauline herself endured the slings and arrows of Liberal Party disowning; a badge of honour now? ….. But to be disowned by the purported outsider/rebels?]

    Not “attacks” on the person, her accent, her social antecedents, her personal life, her clothing or style or body shape [there you go, Germaine Greer, alleged “feminist”; your disgraceful public attack on PM Gillard’s a**e has been noted].

    Criticise ON on policy grounds.
    Why not?
    Plenty to work with.
    She covers a wide range of topics; get each relevant Minister and Opposition spokesperson onto the tasks. Greens and Xenophonites could assist. Journalists could quote their words verbatim. Editors could print their opinion pieces. Slow drip, drip, drip.

    I know, I know, what I’m suggesting is just SO quaintly old-fashioned. And yes, it would take, oh, I dunno, maybe a PM who was articulate, calm, forensic, intelligent, liberal, charming, deft, to pull it off

    but I haven’t seen one of those for quite a few years.

  15. Newspoll

    ALP: Coalition 53:47

    With this report, Newspoll comes back closer to the average of all the recent polls; which is the more likely event if the polls are sampling a population whose views are not shifting much.

    Having set Newspoll performance as the key indicator two years ago, the PM now stares at a petard of his own making.

    C’mon Mr T, tell us about “the only poll that really counts”. We like that story.

  16. Not “attacks” on the person, her accent, her social antecedents, her personal life, her clothing or style or body shape [there you go, Germaine Greer, alleged “feminist”; your disgraceful public attack on PM Gillard’s a**e has been noted].

    Absolutely support Ambi with just about everything said in that comment. I think that macho single minded footy politics has jumped shark with Abbott. I’d argue that the majority of the electorate has either totally switched off politics or evolved into a post – combative politics mode. Only the single minded rusted on cheer crowd can now be counted on by the major parties. The rest of us broader minded people need to start a mature conversation . But that can only happen if the media comes to the table too. We also have to remind the single minded, that they have skin in the game and thus also bear responsibilities.

    In that context, let me introduce another interesting programmed error in our human psyche, the tendency to get cognitively stuck in false dichotomies. The law of evolution would have it, that there are major survival reasons to focus on a choice two opposites desires or outcomes, such as fight/flight, win/lose etc. On the other hand the universe, our world, is much more complex, so it would require to look at an issue more broadly at crucial times. That can be a problem when not being cognitively equiped to think outside dichotomies. How can single minded people evolve to be able to see beyond divisions or contrast between two things that are or are represented as being opposed or entirely different?

    With your permission, I can demonstrate, in a quick and harmless experiment, the effect I am taking about. You can participate by quickly without overthinking, in just one sentence summarise your gut feeling on how Azaria Chamberlain died.

  17. Vale Ian Turnbull (82), the NSW farmer who shot dead an environmental officer over a land clearing dispute and was imprisoned last year for 25 yrs, has died in jail from a terminal illness.

    Please read the affected Moree community sentiment in full as an an appropriate epilog to this tragedy.

    Our leaders have failed us
    Despite the horrific nature of this alleged killing, our leaders have failed us by not presenting a unified and unanimous condemnation of this abhorrent act.

    The use of this terrible event as a platform for changing the native vegetation legislation is morally corrupt and totally inappropriate.

    Statements suggesting that violence was somehow inevitable due to the supposed unjust nature of these laws only serve to tacitly legitimise the alleged actions of Ian Turnbull.

    Such statements increase the likelihood that other community members who disagree with current government policy or legislation will also take up arms.

    We must condemn such acts in the strongest possible terms otherwise I fear we will end up with further blood on our hands.

    Such acts are not a valid protest action and their perpetrators cannot be allowed to attain martyr or outlaw hero status amongst others of the same ilk.

    The issue at stake here is not one of the ‘rabid greenies’ versus the ‘poor farmer’.

  18. I’d be curious to know where the free speacher’s stand is on the sacking of Latham at Sky?

    What a craven capitulation to political correctness. What a surrender to the great values of Australian democracy, the most important of which, it needs hardly be said (although it has been said incessantly by the free speakers of the Australian) is free speech.

    How could any reputable media organisation sack a respected – nay, revered – commentator simply for telling it how it is, or at least how a reasonable person (well, a rich, white, conservative reader of the Australian) thinks it ought to be? It is a national disgrace – almost as bad as spitting on the sacred grave of the sainted Bill Leak.

    Mungo McCallum, in The Monthly

  19. I’d be curious to know where the free speacher’s stand is on the sacking of Latham at Sky?

    Myself and all the ones I know are disgusted about it.
    I don’t subscribe to any News outlets, though I have heard 1 podcast but not the 1 in question because they won’t put it up, the cowards.
    The others can be found here.

  20. Ootz,
    If you are asking what my media-driven opinion was, I was reckoning 60/40 guilty/innocent, based purely on the excited media reporting of the day.

    I’m unsure of how Azaria died. I can tell you this though:
    I attended a lunch and the guest speaker was a retired coroner. It turns out he handled [his word] Azaria’s jacket. He said it was cut, not torn. He would not be drawn any further on that topic.

  21. That story of the Indian couple being ripped off is hardly news anymore, (though I really do feel sorry for them).

    If we had a truly impartial, independent and ferocious Federal Anti-Corruption Commission years ago, the 457 swindles would never have seen the light of day.

    Think of the hard-cash costs and irreparable damage all of these scandals are having on our tourist industry, our overseas student industry, our reliable sources of overseas-trained technicians and professionals and on our mutually-beneficial Pacific seasonal worker supply.

    It would be far, far cheaper and a hell of a lot less damaging just to give every one of the 457 criminals millions and millions of dollars to go away and never mention Australia again.

  22. Without seeing the evidence again my felling is that there is every probability that Azaria was taken by a dingo. my recollection of the evidence at the time was that the prosecution was struggling to make any case and at the same time dismissing out of hand that dingoes attack people, some thing we now know for sure is demonstrably false. Of course it is possible that post natal depression could have driven the mother to a violent act, but the alternatives are far stronger. IMHO.

  23. Thanks jumpy, much appreciated food for thought.

    GH, in succinct terms you would argue, based on valid and reliable evidence, it could not be the dingo? I too would confidently argue it was not the dingo.

    Keep in mind I lived with a quasi domesticated pure dingo for 15 years and have read most of the relevant coroner reports an court reports of that case, a while back. No questions dingos can and have attacked people though.

    Now BilB, you say the that the prosecution was struggling to make any case against Lindy and certain things just didn’t add up?

    Anyone else?

  24. Ootz it is easy to extend what I heard into a guilty plea. But is not to me, the absolute smoking gun. The jacket could have been planted later for example, to strengthen the unlikely (at the time) scenario of a dingo snatching the baby. Further, I don’t have any other reliable evidence or knowledge about the circumstances that might moderate the coroners evidence.

    I might incline to Bilb’s suggestion of post natal depression if there was any evidence for that, as a factor. I don’t recall any mention of that.

  25. I was at a meeting interstate at the time, so against my normal habit was watching morning commercial TV in my hotel room.

    I saw an older Aboriginal man interviewed (the TV needed subtitles) who explained that he had seen the marks in the sand and foliage etc where the dingo had dragged the baby. Clearly he knew what he was talking about, and I’ve never believed anything else.

  26. Four Corners tonight Please explain, looking into One nation. I’ve heard the reporter talk about the investigation on local radio. Sounds as though they’ve done a thorough job.

  27. Ootz, my gut feeling is that Azaria Chamberlain was taken by a dingo.
    In 1980 I was more ambivalent until I saw a photo of Azaria and her mother at the rock. The look on Lindy’s face convinced me that she could not have murdered her daughter. (Of course Azaria may have met her fate at the hands of her father or brother(s), but that would be overthinking it.)

  28. I don’t know, Ootz.

    A wildlife person was interviewed on ABC Radio just after the baby disappeared and said a dingo wouldn’t do that. Thus planting suspicion of the family in listeners’ minds.

    Since then, at least one dingo attack (Fraser Island??) on a young child in daylight.

    I feel we put others at risk by tossing food scraps to large undomesticated animals. Doubts abound on the wisdom of tempting sharks to swarm around “shark cages” housing intrepid tourists underwater.

    I always wondered why discovery of the jump suit led to Mrs Chamberlain’s immediate release.

    I heard fourth hand that a similar jump suit was given to an expert on dentition, who put some fresh meat inside it and handed it to a hungry captive dingo.

    The tear marks inflicted did not resemble those on the Azaria suit.

    I can’t draw a definite conclusion, or hazard a guess, from all this.

    Ootz, your pet no doubt behaved quite differently, in many ways, from the dingoes at that campsite.

    I don’t know, Ootz.

  29. Hold on folks, remember the instructions for this little experiment was quickly without overthinking, in just one sentence summarise your gut feeling on how Azaria Chamberlain died. and it was supposed to be harmless.

    So what I wanted to demonstrate was that most of us will resort to ‘either or thinking’, including me. It was the “dingo” or it was “Lindy”, not even the “60/40 ” escapes the pull of the dichotomy. Most responses contained some hedging, but that generally occurred after leaning towards one or the other of the two possibility and by stacking the available evidence accordingly only to end up going around in circles.

    In fact the Azaria mystery is even stronger because of an other cognitive predilection. The Zeigarnik effect states, that people remember uncompleted or interrupted tasks better than completed tasks. In other words, it explains why we tend keep on going back to the unresolved mystery or task to try solve it, because we remember it well. In other words the Zeigarnik effect won’t let us forget about the Azaria case, and yet only to trap us again in the dichotomy of ‘Lindy or a dingo’.

    I would argue most of us have spent very little time thinking outside of the two option or how else Azaria could have disappeared. Worse because of that predilection we tend to overlook evidence which could point to other options as well as put emphasis on evidence which supports our theory, as in it could not have been the dingo thus it was Lindy or vise versa. I would argue most of you spent very little time to consider alternatives outside ‘Lindy or a dingo’ was the culprit, because of the strong cognitive pull of a dichotomy.

    Please remember I am not about solving the Azaria mystery, but point to it as a opportunity to personally experience the pull of dichotomy, which in turn fosters a blind spots for other options, thats all. Thus, any further discussion focusing only on Lindy or a dingo will continue to confirm my hypothesis.

  30. As a matter of record me, both sons and my grandson have been threatened by dingoes. Two separate incidents at Newman and other son + grandson on Frazer Is. The attacking dingo on Frazer Is did not immediately stop its attack when a large stick was poked in its face by a strong and fit adult.
    I have seen wild dingoes many times on Groote Eylandt, a number of times at Newman and several time on Frazer Is without feeling threatened.
    The pair that threatened me at Newman split as though they were trying to attack me from two directions (or simply get around me) but shot through when I hit a tree loudly with my walking pole.
    My conclusion is that Azaria could have been killed by a dingo.

  31. Fair point about “dichotomy seeking”, but I think one of the reasons most considered it was L or the D, was that L cried out, “A dingo took my baby!” which statement was witnessed, and reported.

    It seemed that only L or a D could have been near the tent.

    Now, you’ve read the Coronial reports, Ootz.
    i) when did the baby disappear? Can it only have happened just before L cried out?
    ii) or could it have happened much earlier, and only noticed later?
    iii) another camper might have taken the baby?
    iv) another animal?

    Dichotomies are easier, I grant you. Two teams vie in a football match. But eight swimmers compete in an Olympic final. Hundreds run in a marathon. Thousands buy tickets in a lottery. We humans don’t always arrange things in TWOs.

  32. Brian at 6.45pm

    The skills of Aboriginals including “aboriginal trackers” are remarkable indeed, and not as widely understood as I recall from 1950s, 1960s when police forces and detectives would commonly call these bush trackers in, especially in baffling cases.

    The little I know suggests the trackers used well-established scientific principles, including properties of materials, effects of heat, breezes; animal behaviour, and encyclopaedic knowledge. Knowledge as powerful as modern “CSI” techniques, but not requiring specialist apparatus or labs.

  33. I think it has been shown that a dingo can take a child bigger than a baby. Can’t remember rightly, but I think there was a case in western Queensland a few years ago (Charleville?), apart from the more publicised attacks at Fraser Island.

    Ootz, you are perfectly right about dichotomies of thinking.

    For me I was convinced by the authenticity and directness of the Aboriginal man’s statement. It soon became evident, however, that there was more going on. From that point there had to be doubt, and I was interested to listen to the evidence.

    I thought that the first coroner got it right:

    February 20, 1981 Alice Springs Coroner Denis Barritt finds a dingo took Azaria but her body was disposed of by person or persons unknown.

    Things looked bad for Lindy and Michael when masses of blood was found in the car. But that turned out to be wrong, and the expert witness unbelievably incompetent.

    There is a question, I think, as to why the NT police seemed so disinterested in third party involvement.

    Ootz, if you didn’t hear it you may be interested in Richard Fidler’s interview with Alana Valentine, who read the tens of thousands of letters to Lindy, expressing hate, blame and apology, then wrote a play.

  34. ‘Blood’ traces turned out to be a standard fluid used in making that model of car…… embarrassing.

  35. That’s a good exercise Ootz.
    I’ll admit to frequently succumbing to dichotomies of thinking, it’s an easy trap to fall into. Probably the most common example in Australia is the charge that people who advocate a more humane approach to asylum seekers are advocating the removal of all restrictions on immigration.

  36. All good points and questions Brian, Ambi and John Davidson. However, so far all discussion revolve around the dingo and Lindy apart from Ambi’s:
    iii) another camper might have taken the baby?
    iv) another animal?

    My argument is that we tend to get cognitively trapped by framing a memorable event or political issue as division or contrast between two things that are or are represented as being opposed or entirely different. By large this poses a cognitive handicap when resolutions can’t be brought about and where broader investigations or views are required to look at the evidence or solutions.

    The fact that mothers have killed their babies and dingos have attacked people does not prove anything in the Azaria case. As pointed out in comments above, there is good evidence that neither Lindy nor a dingo could have killed Azaria and my reading of the events confirm that.

    So please reflect on this, given the evidence, why are we still focusing on two impossibilities then and what will it take for our cognitive processes to ‘move on’ and ‘consider else’?

  37. Yes zoot, that is the point I endeavour to make. In your example with refugees i usually also bring up the ‘old prevention is better than cure’. We should stop invading and blowing up countries on the basis of lies. Or stop arming up the major source of political and religious extremism to the degree that they are the third largest spenders in the world on defence.

    There are more examples of where we are ‘stuck’ with difficult political problems through this kind of paradoxical thinking.

  38. What about “super-dichotomies”? One like the black-white, Left-Right, guilty-innocent thinking that cripples our legal and political thinking, one the one hand, and, the flexible, multifaceted one that is the foundation of both military intelligence and science-and-technology, on the other.

    Hey, Ambigulous: I like your analogy of swimmers in an Olympic pool and runners in a marathon.

  39. Yes, ‘super-dichotomies’ are a blight on our imaginations. Been there, thought like that. Sad indeed.

    Every human calling has its special ways of thinking and doing: I’m impressed by John Davidson’s engineering/practical approaches, by Brian’s analytical and wide-ranging assessments, by Ootz in this discussion, by zoot’ scalpel, by Graham, Geoff and Val. Impressed to see the distinctive problem-solving methods of a dentist, wood carver, architect, water colourist, builder, airline pilot in an emergency, skilled classroom teacher, barrister, GP, conscientious check-out person, detective, research scientist.

    Makes me proud to cheer them on as a spectator.

    There was a poignant cartoon, in an American newspaper I think, on the death of Albert Einstein. It showed Earth, and a sign saying, “Einstein lived here.”

    We couldn’t do it, but one of our species could.

  40. Ootz, I have never personally tried to look at all the available evidence in the Azaria Chamberlain case. Just processed evidence as it came to me. However, you say above that the dingo couldn’t have taken the baby. The only evidence I’ve heard about that was from that English canine expert, who claimed the jaws could not extend widely enough. I was never too impressed with that.

    Above you said that you would confidently argue it was not the dingo and that you lived with a quasi domesticated pure dingo for 15 years. With the greatest respect, the behaviour and relationship with a single quasi-domesticated dingo can’t be extrapolated to the behaviour of a single wild dingo living around tourists.

    So I might have missed it, but to me it appears you haven’t made your case that it wasn’t a dingo.

    There is another common habit of mind where the particular is generalised, and another where the differences in particulars are ignored.

    It seems a bit of a stretch that any third party would have the motivation to do it, and in that particular way.

    There are credible scenarios supporting the first coroners finding, but again I would concede that very strange and counter-intuitive things happen and can’t be excluded.

  41. Brian, please be patient with me with details, I have not looked at that case for 5 years and and in great depth more like 15 yrs ago.

    There is one key forensic evidence finding, which the Royal Commission, trapped in a false dichotomy, neglected to consider, the coagulated blood on the matinee jacket contained no sand. In other words the dingo would have had to neatly lift Azaria out of the tent, do a clean kill and remove her out of the jacket in the air … etc.

    The third coroner John Lowndes had it right, when he found that ‘only two theories as to the manner in which Azaria Chamberlain died’ had ever been investigated: she had been murdered by her mother, Lindy, or taken by a dingo. Lowdes found that each had a less than fifty-percent chance of being the explanation, and yet no other alternative had ever been seriously investigated. Why? Was there a truth that no one was prepared to broach, evidence no one was prepared to see?

    Shouldn’t we we all from time to time seriously investigate other alternatives when stuck on a major issue?

  42. Not that this was even a dull blip on my radar at the time but the discussion is enthralling.
    Who are the other suspects, that the official investigators at that time ruled out, are more likely ?

  43. Well jumpy, I was encouraging ALL of us to seriously investigate alternatives when stuck, and to be honest, in particular had you in mind. Practice is the beginning of mastery and you can start right here, so you may too improve your ability to think outside your square when required.

    Remember I am conducting an experiment, more an opportunity to learn and expand our knowledge and understanding about your self. The emphasis is not on who done it, rather, why have we ended up with such an outcome in the Azaria case . My hypothesis is, due to the trap of false dichotomy – from the Royal Commissioner (professional slip up), to the press (conveniently/habitually?), to the punters in the street (popularly).

    My inquiring mind screams why did we get trapped, not who done it. The why will give you the clue to the who, that is all I give away 😉

  44. I must clarify, when I say
    “”I am conducting an experiment, more an opportunity to learn and expand our knowledge and understanding about your self.””.

    That is a general comment addressing all of us, as, an opportunity to learn about our ‘self’ with all it’s human quirks 🙂

  45. “”Who are the other suspects, that the official investigators at that time ruled out, are more likely ?””

    You also need to improve your reading skills

    .. and yet no other alternative had ever been seriously investigated.

  46. Erm..does anyone else think Ootz’s 3 responses to an innocuous question, to a case I really don’t give a shit about ( clearly stated ) , is weird ?

    Well jumpy, I was encouraging ALL of us to seriously investigate alternatives when stuck, and to be honest, in particular had you in mind.

    What, like some sort of argumentative trap or ambush or something ?

    Ootz, faid dinkum, are you really ok ?

  47. Thank you for your kind concern Jumpy, I am perfectly ok. And my apologies if I have upset you in someway. I must admit to some sloppy writing on my part, as the offending sentence lacks a ‘too’.

    Well jumpy, I was encouraging ALL of us to seriously investigate alternatives when stuck, and to be honest, in particular had you in mind too.

    I am indebted to you for providing me with a great learning opportunity. I ensure you, that I will make every effort to be more careful of I word or typing my sentences as not to offend anyone. Should I fail in future to do so, please do not hesitate to let me know, thank you.

  48. Ootz, the information about the lack of sand does certainly make a difference.

    Apart from us and our dichotomous thinking, the question is why the NT cops were so blinkered and constrained, in fact appeared to be obsessed with the conviction that Lindy did it.

    I always thought things went pear-shaped when the Chamberlains and Lindy in particular did not show the grief that TV and the other media expected, nay demanded.

    Women are always expected to show emotion. When they don’t they get hammered and when the do – well it’s a sign of weakness in many circumstances.

    But Ootz, on your experiment, I don’t think you are weird

  49. “Women are always expected to show emotion’. Well, Brian, at the time, this was an assumption that hanged the Chamberlains in the eyes of many.

    Having been around a lot of death, my own experience is that reactions cover a whole range of emotions: stunned silence – quiet weeping – a fugue state with the same words screamed out over and over for days – bursting into laughter – rage – behaving as though nothing had changed at all – well-controlled almost clinical behaviour – punch-ups – relief and thankfulness – squabbles over who gets what of the deceased’s property – blaming all and sundry – dignified sadness – the list goes on and on.

    I don’t give two hoots what a hints and vague suggestions a celebrity news-presenter makes, I prefer to form my own opinion.

  50. Good points, Graham.

    TV news particularly highlights raw emotion, and if an interviewee isn’t emoting, the stock question, “How do you feel?” will often bring on the tears that the producer requires.

    I await in hope, the day when an interviewee says, “pretty much like this…” and punches the interviewer in the guts, on camera.

    Sorry, that’s my dichotomous thinking boiling over again.

  51. “”Sorry, that’s my dichotomous thinking boiling over again.””

    Lol Ambi, I have to confess to similar emotional response in these situations. I did say above: “The law of evolution would have it, that there are major survival reasons to focus on a choice two opposites desires or outcomes, such as fight/flight, win/lose etc.”

    Thank you for sharing these tragic but interesting personal observations and insight Graham.

    Brian I am glad you approve of my ‘experiment’ on your blog and hope it has contributed beneficially to the rich tapestry of information and insight Climate Plus provides.

  52. My wife and I tend to be the people who stays calm during crisis. This is not because we don’t care but because we care and think it more important to resolve the crisis rather than vent emotions. Sometimes however, it may have been better in the long term if we had shown more emotion at the time.

  53. On the Chamberlain episode, I didn’t understand the intense Nationwide interest in it.
    From memory it was like some strange game of ” Whodunit ” by folk that didn’t know them, were never directly affected and who’s opinion wouldn’t affect the outcome even if they were 100% correct.

    That said, Oozt, what are the findings of your experiment, as you see them ?
    Do the confirm or reject your theory that prompted the experiment in the first place ?

    ( all be it a tiny sample of mostly likeminded )

  54. That said, Oozt, what are the findings of your experiment, as you see them ?
    Do the confirm or reject your theory that prompted the experiment in the first place ?

    Jumpy appears to have completely misunderstood Ootz’s exercise. None so blind as those who will not see?

  55. Jumpy appears to have completely misunderstood Ootz’s exercise. None so blind as those who will not see?

    Have we change it from an experiment as stated many times to an exercise now ?
    Tricky to see things clearly that totally change in front of your eyes zoot.

  56. (I’ll probably regret this.)
    Jumpy, to demonstrate that you’re not merely trolling, please tell us what you think Ootz’s ‘experiment’ was.

  57. Thanks Brian, I’d never heard of Paul Bloom before and I agree with him.

    I encourage everyone, especially Bilb, to listen to it all.

  58. Jumpy, to demonstrate that you’re not merely trolling, please tell us what you think Ootz’s ‘experiment’ was.

    Futile yet entertaining for some.
    You ?

  59. I answered honestly, you did not.
    The name calling continues, the dichotomic divide is not lessened by you as I’m hoping it could.

  60. I answered honestly, you did not.

    Jumpy there are only two ways your answer could be honest:
    1. You didn’t read the thread, or
    2. You didn’t understand the thread.
    Either way, your aggressive response (April 4, 9:34 pm) is not consistent with someone seeking to engage honestly.
    Ootz explained what he was doing with great clarity. Nobody else on this thread had any doubt about the nature of his ‘experiment’ and some of us found it valuable. It was anything but “futile”.
    As I have said before, you’re obviously not here to exchange ideas, you come here looking for a fight, and it is extremely tiresome.

  61. Jumpy, re Paul Bloom, you are reacting to a superficial reading, I think. I’ve had a post half done on the issue for some time. In large part it comes down to definitions, but I’ll leave explaining until the post.

  62. Jumpy, to be frank, the worst example of dichotomous thinking we’ve had recently, was you demanding of Roger Jones that he explained a scientific issue to your satisfaction, OR he was full of shit.

    No other alternative would be acceptable to the common man who will be the judge of what is science and what is not.

    I won’t forget it, that’s a promise.

  63. Jumpy you bring up alternative viewpoints, and they often provoke counter views or responses that seem to be accurate and eloquent. Often, well frequently, at the expense of your view(s).

    Don’t stop please because I really like the responses you elicit from the folks here. But may I comment that hanging so preciously onto weird arguments/statements seems like a self-insult at times.

  64. ….. and best not to tell another poster that they are replete with faecal matter.

  65. Sigh … yeah manners. I think I once told him way back to wipe his feet before he comes on these pages here and leave clods all over the place.

    But otherwise I agree with Geoff, I too appreciate contrarian views. They are the best measure how ones own world view stacks up. They form part of critical analysis of any important subject. The Opposium totalis is an important species in the political environment and has many noble attributes, such as

    Defines the phrase “goes against the grain.” Never hesitates to inject a contrary viewpoint, whether at
    a department meeting or Grandma’s Thanksgiving dinner table. Habitual sender of email forwards promoting offbeat philosophies. If you say right, this head-butter goes left.

  66. I beleive this to be the ” triggering ” comment, for the record !

    MARCH 29, 2017 AT 11:29 PM
    You are talking to a common man, a tradie, a voter, a member of society that in a Democratic Society gets to decide the direction of policy on this very topic ( and probably pays your salary ).
    Fancy insults aren’t going to get this sorted.
    If “Observations worldwide are consistent with this, with Cat 4 and 5 TCs on the increase.” then I need to be shown in the way a man like me can see.
    Be sure that if you do, I will tell others like me.
    If you don’t, men like me will call you full of shit.

    Misread it again to your hearts desire.

    No one owns the patent on achieving the best outcomes.

  67. … and men like me will ask you to be polite to everyone.
    We’re all guests here, right?

  68. If everyone is held to the same standard ( equality ) sure.
    Can you Ambigulous admit that I didn’t call Roger Jones ” full of shit ” ?

  69. Can you Ambigulous admit that I didn’t call Roger Jones ” full of shit ” ?

    First important point: nobody on this thread has accused Jumpy of calling Roger Jones full of shit. Jumpy has constructed a strawman.
    However, with the comment he has so kindly reproduced we can see Jumpy’s threat that “men like him” would call Roger Jones full of shit if he didn’t do what Jumpy demanded.
    So is Jumpy now saying that while “men like him” would call Roger FOS, he, Jumpy, would not?

  70. Zoot, there was no threat or demand given, please, defending myself against false allegations may make some giggle but I’m tired of it.


    First important point: nobody on this thread has accused Jumpy of calling Roger Jones full of shit. Jumpy has constructed a strawman.


    APRIL 6, 2017 AT 3:02 PM
    ….. and best not to tell another poster that they are replete with faecal matter.

    Case dismissed.

  71. It’s like playing cricket when your bat is considered as part of your pad by the Umpire and every delivery is an LBW appeal.

  72. Point taken. I searched for “shit”. Should have also looked for synonyms. There is no strawman.
    However – no threat? No demand?

    … I need to be shown in the way a man like me can see.
    Be sure that if you do, I will tell others like me.
    If you don’t, men like me will call you full of shit.

    I leave it as an exercise for competent speakers of English to decide that.
    In the meantime it would be polite of Jumpy to respond to my final sentence:

    So is Jumpy now saying that while “men like him” would call Roger FOS, he, Jumpy, would not?

  73. Jumpy, as I read it, you advised that if the other poster did not reach a standard of proof you set out, then he deserved to be judged “full of nonsense” by men without technical expertise, but intelligent and practical……

    It was expressed in very impolite, indeed aggressive terms.

    We’re all guests here, right?
    Flinging ordure around, prerogative of a guest?

  74. Jumpy,

    your statement was an implied threat. “Give me what I want, or else”

    I had very carefully described the evidence that was available, with caveats.

    When you doubled down, by saying thousands of scientists had surely seen the data why didn’t they have the graph you wanted …

    (Do you have any idea how arrogant that is? I don’t accept your expertise because it doesn’t fit my biases and I am not going to spend any time trying to understand what you are saying)

    I linked to a review paper that said why ‘thousands’ of scientists (more like a few gross in that area) had not come up with the graph you wanted. It backed up what I had said earlier

    So you are intelligent enough to get a backhander when it is aimed at you. That means you are intelligent enough to understand what was being explained. But it didn’t fit your priors, so you didn’t want to accept it.

    A claim to authenticity – salt of the earth – tradie, common man, battler who pays your taxes. “Don’t come at me with that insulty garbage. I demand science in the form that satisfies me.”

    Jumpy, I don’t owe you a thing. I have been working my arse off for the past 35 fucking years, mostly 7 days a week, when IPCC assessments are on, sometimes 36 hours in one stint, just to get things done. We are poorly funded, we do our best to explain things to the normal person. I can talk to farmers, taxi-drivers, emergency services volunteers, if your livelihood is on the line due to climate change I can talk to you about it.

    But that’s not good enough for Jumpy. I want a chart and I want it now.

    I don’t owe anything to a man like you.

    My work and the work of my colleagues is being rolled out to all sorts of people. We do projects where we explore and understand their decision making frameworks and build our knowledge into it to help them with the decisions they need to make. To accuse me of not speaking to the common truth is just a sign of how twisted you really are inside. Get a life.

    Brian’s comment at 10:32 is spot on.

  75. Roger, first up I’d like to apologise for the treatment dished out to you on this blog. Jumpy is sometimes barely coherent, but is usually polite even when his interlocutors become understandably a bit frustrated and irritated. He does present a view that is different from what you commonly get from others currently commenting in this space.

    There is obviously value in such views, but I find it tiresome when we have to go over the same territory again and again.

    I do wonder what others think of our comments thread. Every day the stats show a steady stream of visitors who access the blog through internet searches or referrals. The ‘About’ page sometimes gets viewed. It’s noticeable, though, that none stay to comment, and I wonder whether some are concerned that they might get the Jumpy treatment.

    Any way I was astonished at the late night (11.29pm) frontal attack, which I feel was ignorant, arrogant and appalling manners.

    Jumpy also defends positions to the death which are indefensible. The “men like me” side-step does not relieve Jumpy of the authorship of the attack.

    Jumpy, the irritation of some commenters to your style of commentary does move to the personal at times when they legitimately characterise your thought process and style of argument. However, there is a step difference to what you perpetrated in this instance, so it’s not the defence you clearly think it is. If I were you I’d apologise and move on.

  76. Roger, I’d like to thank you for your extended comment riffing off the standard graphs I posted on the earth’s energy budget. I was trying to emphasise the importance of the ocean in the climate change story.

    Clearly the research you are doing has far-reaching implications. I’ll just repeat the last paragraph:

    This completely rewrites one aspect of climate change science, while keeping the rest (core greenhouse theory) intact. It also shows that Lorenz’ ideas about butterflies and hurricanes also applies to climate change, not just climate variability (He thought that, but didn’t have proof). It also opens the door to a unified climate change theory that blends externally-forced climate with internally-generated variability. The complex system theoreticians have been after this for a while – what we have done is to identify a practical way to get into it.

    Seems to me that when the history of climate change research is written, we might be looking at a pivotal moment.

  77. Thanks Brian, I’d like to think this does make a difference.

    As to the other, I do get angry when I take time to explain and those efforts are abused. The “we pay you so we can demand what we want” attitude is common on one side of online debates about science and evidence-based policy. And it is wrong. Anyone who gets frank and fearless advice should suck it up and have a think about what that means.

    On the other hand, the interested punter does have a right to call out jargon and BS if the ‘expert’ is snowing them. It’s a fine balance sometimes and everyone has to respect that.

    But hiding behind so-called good manners to dismiss well-intentioned responses can also be pointed out when it happens.

  78. Ok, I broach the subject with caution and as politely as I know how.
    In this from the IPCC 2013 , on the table on page 5, under ” Assessment that changes occurred (typically since 1950 unless otherwise indicated) ” and ” Increases in intense tropical cyclone activity” finds ” Low confidence in long term (centennial) changes”
    I have looked at the Guidance Note but admit my comprehension skills fall short.
    I would appreciate someone explain ” confidence levels ” in layman terms, perhaps in a percentage range way.

  79. Look, I reckon a retaliatory air strike on an Air Force that seemingly used illegal weapons against non-combatants and children, is OK as the new President’s first armed action.

    And if “the rebels” use illegal weapons, what’s good for the goose should be good for the gander.

  80. I will think twice before I invite Roger again to explain his recent research findings, or for that matter anyone else, if that sort of treatment that he received is to be expected.

  81. I am still resolute in my decisions not to invite folks I know to Brians Place.
    That could get messy in many ways.

    No, I know their perspective and I’ll seek others where I can, alone.

  82. Jumpy can’t you sense that you have done damage here? I doubt that you set out to do so, but the damage is there – we all see it.
    The damage was needless and serves no good to anyone.
    That said, it would be very timely to exhibit a small conciliatory gesture. ‘Not asking you to lose your whole face, just acknowledge the unintended consequences, and mutter some appropriate words. Not a big ask. This is a forum, not a star chamber. Come on Jumpy, let the lease out just a bit huh?

  83. Ootz @ 7:12 that would be a shame. Nothing should inhibit sound understanding and shared knowledge.

    Readers might find this interesting. It is an article published by Steve Turton. He actually delivered an address to James Cook University this week but the video is elusive. However this article seems to cover a lot of the ground he covered.

  84. Jumpy,

    I’ll have a go – I was one of the contributors to the same table in the Third Assessment Report shared between Working Groups I and II

    (Actually, the emails where we discuss the table were part of the leaked emails from the University of East Anglia – no one talks about the thousands of routine emails showing people doing science, they just focus on the few where people are being childish and petulant).

    This is stripped from the table you link to with my commentary:
    Increases in intense tropical cyclone activity

    Assessment that changes occurred
    Low confidence in long term (centennial) changes
    Virtually certain in North Atlantic since 1970
    Low confidence
    Likely in some regions, since 1970

    What this is saying is globally, a consistent change cannot be detected but that the N Atlantic is well studied – virtually certain is the highest likelihood possible. The low confidence (details of which are discussed in Chapter 14) is due to data quality, and the possibility that the relatively short recent records may be affected by decadal variability. Likely changes in some regions is judged as a 2:1 chance or better of being correct.

    Assessment of a human contribution to observed changes
    Low confidence
    More likely than not

    This means they think that yes, humans have affected intense cyclone activity (2:1 or better), but the low confidence is related to the observational uncertainty mentioned above and competing explanations. For example, aerosols are affecting cyclones in some regions.

    Likelihood of further changes: Early 21st century (2016-2035)
    Low confidence

    This means that they have not got a clear signal in the modelling studies that can be summarised. According to Chapter 14, what aerosols do is a large part of that uncertainty. Part of the problem is that the models are less sensitive to forcing that the real world is – all modellers know this but do not compensate in their judgements to allow for this. They tend to say low confidence until they have something more concrete.

    Likelihood of further changes: Late 21st century (2081-2100)
    More likely than not in the Western North Pacific and North Atlantic
    More likely than not in some basins

    I’m not going to say that Working Group I is always internally consistent in their judgements because here they are not. They are saying increases are better than 50:50 in some basins and nominate the NW Pacific and N Atlantic. The likely rating (2:1 or better) should have been a confidence rating (medium or high confidence). In fact, the research they summarised (up to 2012 and early 2013), had no studies where decreases in intensity occurred late 21st century – all studies projected increases. This is still the case.

    The research posted earlier in the discussions on TC intensity was published after AR5, since 2013. Gradually the picture is becoming clearer as historical records are pored over and quality controlled and modelling studies are being conducted and reported.

    However, if I put my risk hat on, to plan for changing TCs with this level of caution would be negligent. The risk manager has to look at the spread of plausible future risk and plan for the high end. That sort of approach is covered better by Working Group II.

  85. Thanks, Roger.
    Tricky indeed. Quantity of available data seems to be a factor. Would the proximity of US scientists, and their relatively good funding be related?

    Or more generally, areas where the population densities of well-equipped meteorologists is higher?

    Are some basins inherently easier to model than others?

    (As an amateur, I was looking for a general model of evaporation from inland lakes and other water bodies a decade ago and was shocked to see a statement that each lake must be modelled in its own right, because each has different surrounding land topography, internal depth variations, wind and sun conditions, etc.)

    Blooming heck!!!

  86. Thank you Roger.
    Your reply raises a few more questions but I shan’t push my luck.

  87. Ambigulous,

    I used a general model of lake evaporation in my Ph D thesis, modelling the past climate of western Victorian lakes through lake level records.
    Minimum data is temp, sunshine or radiation, dewpoint temp, lake morphometry, inflows and outflows: surface and groundwater, and rainfall.
    Works for lakes not large enough to create their own weather.

  88. For those trying to read IPCC reports, Roger Jones and Celeste Young wrote an Explainer: how to read an IPCC report, written in September 2013, just before the first of the IPCC AR5 series was published.

    People should be aware that, by the nature of the process, they are a bit out of date when published, and of course some years have passed since then.

    Here are the final key considerations from Jones and Young:

    – Due to the nature of establishing a scientific consensus from a wide range of scientific opinion, the findings of these reports are considered conservative by many researchers.

    – The climate system is dynamic and complex. As a result, conclusions drawn from reading IPCC reports that are not informed by sufficient expertise may not represent findings accurately. It is advised that, when unsure, seek advice from a suitably qualified person.

  89. Jumpy, at this point I’ll just say that I was disappointed that in the end you conceded nothing in relation to your problematic comment, and have ignored the comment from Geoff who is fair-minded, and in this matter I think a sympathetic observer.

    If the “people you know” showed up they’d likely end up in the bin, which is large and commodious.

    Generally speaking your continual libertarian spray on politics and social issues bothers me more than what you have to say on climate change, where you sometimes provide interesting links. However, your threat to Roger was something else again.

    While I acknowledge that others sometimes personalise their criticisms, and would ask them to take care, your complete denial of responsibility is problematic for the blog. Strictly speaking you should be in moderation. It’s just that I’m often not around when others are, and if moderating your comments was the first task after logging on, that would be a disincentive for me.

    So I’m letting you know that you’ve used up all your luck.

  90. Probably coming a bit late to this but there was something I wasn’t quite sure of earlier. My understanding is it’s not clear whether cyclones will become more intense with global warming but they are likely to hold more water. Isn’t that what happened with cyclone Debbie?

  91. Not so much hold water, Val as I understand it, as process and recycle it. The energy to power the Cyclone comes from the moisture in the area below it. A cyclone is like a huge vacuum machine that is powered by the air rising through its inner cylindrical core.

  92. Brian

    However, your threat to Roger was something else again.

    I issued a threat to Roger ?
    Being what for the love of all things honest ?

  93. Val, Jumpy has provided an excellent link about the formation of cyclones, which is complex. So more warmth, with the ability to contain more moisture does not necessarily mean more cyclones. I suspect the models have difficulty coping with all the complexities, and there is not a long history of data to feed in, so the uncertainties are significant.

    But let me have a go. jumpy, or someone knowledgeable may correct me.

    Generally it is thought that there may be fewer cyclones, but more intense ones, which will themselves be more intense.

    Intensity, crudely put, I think is about barometric pressure in the eye and wind velocity expressed in metres per second.

    The amount of rain you get seems to me to depend on the precipitation rate, the size of the cyclone (how wide it is) and how fast it moves. If a cyclone is smaller the rain event at a particular spot tends not to last as long.

    Debbie as a rain depression when it passed over SEQ and northern NSW was being pushed by a front coming in from the west. So it cleared us in about 30 hours, which I think was less than half what some further north experienced. We had two very intense bursts of about three hours each in the event which delivered us 286mm, nearly 11 and a half inches on the old scale. BOM had predicted up to half a metre, but some got more than that. In general BOM was right.

    I don’t know that there are predictions that there will be more precipitation delivered from cyclones as such, but that would not surprise.

    There is also a notion that tropical cyclones may venture further south and north as cyclones. They always have in the form of rain depressions, and I heard Debbie ended up dumping on NZ.

    BTW James Hansen reckons that on the basis of what happened during the Eemian about 120kya when the temperature was similar, all hell may break loose, but not everyone agrees.

  94. Jumpy, if I might say so, you seem to have a mental block. There are other less flattering ways of putting it.

    Roger Jones, who is an intelligent man said here:

    your statement was an implied threat. “Give me what I want, or else”

    You need to take account of people’s perceptions.

    I thought the threat was more than implied:

    If “Observations worldwide are consistent with this, with Cat 4 and 5 TCs on the increase.” then I need to be shown in the way a man like me can see.
    Be sure that if you do, I will tell others like me.
    If you don’t, men like me will call you full of shit.

    “Men like me” does not give you wriggle room. As zoot, I think queried, are you like yourself, or not?

    Also as I pointed out, you chose the words and wrote them. It was a clear piece of intimidation with consequences, not a prediction of what you ilk would do.

  95. Val

    Good questions, and BilB gave a very good sequential description of the physical processes, up thread.

    “Intensity” can have several meanings, e.g.
    1. Mopping up afterwards, what was the total rainfall over several days?
    2. Intensity = precipitation rate, as Brian mentioned. This is particularly relevant for urban flash floods. Drains can deal with runoff rates that are low or moderate; if very high, drains may simply reach capacity (kilolitres per hour) then roadways start flooding; vehicles & drivers in peril; damage to buildings, underground car parks and gravel roads etc.

    In extreme cases, dams walls fail if overflow excessive; in rural areas creeks, rivers flood. Roads and bridges washed away, farm stock drowned, fences swept away by trees etc rushing downstream.

    3. Brisbane can flood.

    We’ve seen all this in the past.

    On the upside, we’re breaking droughts, right?

  96. Hi again Val,

    Apologies if I just wrote simple stuff you knew all about.

    Another relevant factor is rainfall over previous weeks. In Victoria, moderate rain in forests infiltrates the soil. Gardeners and farmers prefer steady low intensity rain, soaking in, no topsoil washing off.

    Floods when soil is saturated, e.g. it has rained on and off for several weeks.
    Then run off, flooding of rivers, towns more likely.

  97. Ambigulous, we also need rain sufficient to run water. Amazingly, Debbie only supplied Brisbane with about 8 months of water. The dams are a bit over 78% full, and haven’t been full for about three years.

    Some fool was talking about letting water go from the Wivenhoe when it reached 90% full, forgetting that when it’s 100% it is actually only half full, as it has a flood compartment about equal to the full storage.

    The authorities got burnt in 2011, because the dam management plan prioritised keeping the low level crossings below the dam open over the possibility of flooding Brisbane. If they’d started letting water out when the dam hit 100% storage everything would have been fine.

    Wivenhoe wasn’t there in the 1974 flood, and the 2011 flood was a 1 in 1000 year event, far bigger than 1974. I think it’s unlikely that Brisbane will seriously flood again. Unless the climate changes dramatically, which is possible. Also even one metre of sea level rise would be inconvenient.

    There is also a current proposal to lift the wall four metres. I’m not sure how much that would add, but I’m guessing in the order of 50%. Apparently, although safe, the current wall doesn’t meet international standards, so it’s highly likely something will be done.

  98. Ambiguous: In very dry country you get flash floods because the water just runs off very dry ground at first and there is little vegetation to slow it down.

  99. Ambigulous, I just checked and the Wivenhoe dam is designed to store 1.165 megalitres of water. I think 500,000 megalitres constitute what is known as a Sydharb.

    The flood compartment holds a further 1.45 megalitres to make a total of 225% of storage capacity.

    In 2011 it was 191% capacity, and still pissing down.

    The plan to raise the wall will get us nearly an extra two Sydharbs.

    It’s true that the Grantham flood in 2011 went down the Lockyer Creek, which joins the Brisbane River below the dam wall. You get stuff like this, saying that if the Grantham dump hits the Wivenhoe catchment the dam will fail.

    When I was researching it later I recall that they think there were several Grantham-style cloudbursts in the Wivenhoe catchment, but it is bushland where no-one lives, and the rain can fall between the gauges.

  100. John, in the bushland that makes up much of the Wivenhoe catchment I understand it takes 50mm to wet the catchment before you get any runoff. Leave it a couple of weeks and you have to start all over again. It’s why we can go a whole summer with next to nothing running into the dams.

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