Weekly salon 7/9

1. Storms for Hansen’s grandchildren

(From Hurricane Dorian: devastation and destruction in the Bahamas – in pictures)

John Schwartz at the NYT (posted at Lethal Heating) asks How Has Climate Change Affected Hurricane Dorian?

Michael Mann and Andrew E Dessler respond in Global Heating Made Hurricane Dorian Bigger, Wetter – And More Deadly. With warm seas and more moisture in the atmosphere hurricanes can intensify faster, contain more moisture, more wind power and move slower. This means greater flooding and a increased possibility of coinciding with high tides.

James Hansen worried that all hell would break loose with global warming ans superstorms. He and his colleagues identified huge boulders on the Bahamas which they think were put there by wave action during a storm:

Those storms must have been worse than we’ve got now, and he specifically associates such superstorms with the cessation of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC). He has a 15-minute video at Open Mind or for the full scientific story there is the paper Ice melt, sea level rise and superstorms: evidence from paleoclimatedata, climate modeling, and modern observations that 2◦C globalwarming could be dangerous.

What I find interesting is the relationship of climate models to paleoscience. Hansen says that the IPCC doesn’t recognise paleoscientific information in relation to ice sheet decay. However, he says observations as well as paleoscience indicate that sea level rise and ice sheet decay will accelerate faster than IPCC forecasts.

There is a new IPCC report on the oceans in the offing. The early mail (story here) is that models now do include ice sheet decay, and what they indicate is scaring the bejesus out of everyone. We are looking at 5°C by 2100, 10°C on land in places, and which, in the course of time, would result in catastrophic sea level rise. The IPCC are now looking to paleoscience to provide evidence that it won’t happen so quickly.

The problem is that we are in new territory. We’ve never jerked the system like it’s being jerked now (the forcing is around 1000 times greater than in the Miocene). No-one knows how fast changes will come in the next century or two, how far they will go, and whether they can be stopped at all.

2. Defamation laws need an overhaul

ABC RN’s Big Ideas broadcasts a discussion Australia’s defamation laws – unfit for the digital age with David Rolph, Professor of Law, University of Sydney, Osman Faruqi, Deputy Editor of ABC Life and David Marr, journalist and broadcaster.

What interested me was the comment by David Marr on the Geoffrey Rush case. He said that the article on Rush was some of the worst journalism he had ever seen. He said that there should be space other than the front pages and the law courts for behaviour of the kind reported can be taken and resolved. It should not be the role of journalists to destroy the reputation of a public figure based on hearsay ‘in the public interest’.

The tenor of the session is that Australia’s defamation laws have never been fit for purpose, with the situation made worse by social media. We are also disadvantaged by not having a constitutional or legislated right of free speech right or human rights.

3. Bojo bumbles on

The situation is fluid and impossible to predict, but Bojo is breaking records, the last being that he has been defeated five times now on the floor of the house. This from the New Statesman:

    To sum up: he surely cannot be the PM to ask for a Brexit extension having said he would rather be “dead in a ditch”, he cannot break the anti-no deal law, and he now cannot get an election.

    There is now growing speculation is growing in Westminster that Johnson may have to quit as prime minister towards the end of October, possibly to send Corbyn to Brussels as PM to ask for a Brexit delay and then hope to win the election that surely follows.

Basically, Boris Johnson is an entirely unsuitable person to be PM. No-one trusts him to act other than in his own interest.

After this is all over the Brits would do well to reflect on their system of government.

4. Adani not yet home and hosed

John Quiggin summarises where Adani is at now that native title has been extinguished, removing what looked like the last legal impediment. They still need a rail operator and engineering firms to carry the project further. Companies seem to be valuing their reputations rather than becoming involved. Quiggin says:

    Then there’s the operation of the railway. Aurizon seems unlikely to take it on, and another big operator, Genesee & Wyoming Australia, has said it won’t touch it. That leaves Pacific National, whose owners include at least one organisation, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, that’s coming under pressure to divest from fossil fuels.

Quiggin says the whole plan now depends on a crony-capitalist deal involving Adani, his close friend Indian prime minister Narendra Modi and the government of Bangladesh, referring to a pay-walled article How One Billionaire Could Keep Three Countries Hooked on Coal for Decades. In India Adani is facing a slew of court cases, but Quiggin is right:


    the broader issue is the need for an orderly transition away from coal-fired electricity generation, and ultimately away from all burning of fossil fuels. If such a transition is to be feasible in the couple of decades available to us, no new thermal coal mines, or major expansion of existing mines, can be justified — and that applies to proposals such as Shenhua’s Watermark mine near Gunnedah and the New Hope mine in Acland, near Toowoomba.

That’s easier said than done. NSW’s Independent Planning Commission has just approved the expansion of a mine on the proviso it only exports to countries that are party to the Paris Agreement on climate change or have a similar plan to bring down carbon emissions:

    Glencore-Peabody’s $381 million United Wambo project in the Hunter Valley will expand an existing open-cut mining operation and develop a new open-cut mine to extract an additional 150 million tonnes of coal for the next 23 years.

Frankly, that is problematic in terms of the current climate emergency.

BTW one of their main customers is Taiwan, which is not a Paris signatory.

Even more problematic is gas where we have the breathless news that a new gas find made off the coast of Victoria close to existing production infrastructure has raised hopes of an increased supply of gas for the energy-short state within little more than two years.

That follows hard on the news of a discovery about 300km north of Perth in ‘Staggering’ WA gas find offers hope for low-cost LNG source.

Some people didn’t get the memo that gas was as bad or worse than coal.

4. Wren’s Week: Morrison’s lies and Frydenberg’s economic mismanagement

John Wren is not impressed with this pair:

Morrison made up a story about a surge in boats:


    Morrison was forced the next day to admit it was a made-up story to keep the fear of asylum seeker boats in the media. The liar from the Shire strikes again. Stupidly, the mainstream media ran with the story as usual.

For ScoMo, worse than telling lies is this:

    Morrison could easily direct Dutton to reverse his decision and be lauded as the popular peacemaker. The fact he hasn’t is indicative that he no longer has control of Dutton. Dutton is the one with the power now and the unfortunate family are the just the pawns in his raw display of naked power. What we are seeing is a lame duck PM and a megalomaniac Home Affairs Minister running roughshod over him, because, well, he can.

    In short, Morrison has the title, but Dutton has the power. Be afraid, Australia. Be very afraid.

The article points out that Dutton’s wife Kirralee runs a couple of childcare centres, where you can find this on the website:

    Children need to feel safe and secure in our environment — we are influenced greatly by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of The Child.’

Seems two young Australian girls from Biloela chose their parents badly. Now they are being punished in order to send a message.

Then on economic management:

    On a final note, what does it say about a government that is willing to plunge the nation, 25 million people, into deep recession just to be able to claim they delivered a surplus? There is no morality in that.

    In the unlikely event you’re reading this, Morrison, may I quote you Matthew 16:26:

    ‘For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?’

5. Alan Austin spells it out

Alan Austin in Corporate profits and government spending boom while wages and economy languish:


    Australia continues to lag the rest of the world.

    Many of the latest published outcomes are at historical lows and push Australia even further down the global rankings. The latest GDP figures released this week corroborate that Australia is in a serious rut, only saved by demand for minerals dug out of the ground and exported.

    The mainstream media once again preferred to focus on tangential bits of good news, chiefly by running the government’s narrative:

Austin identifies six areas of failure:

  • Annual GDP growth
  • Construction activity collapsing
  • Productivity flatlined
  • Retail trade record low
  • Housing starts stagnating
  • Housing index declining

Here’s our GDP:

And when we had a world champion treasurer:

Productivity has been flat for years:

On the other hand, corporate profits:

Here’s our chief trouble shooter on the prowl:

52 thoughts on “Weekly salon 7/9”

  1. Renew Economy reports that Solar farms switch off en masse as coal plants flex their muscle in Queensland

    There is something very unusual going on in the state of Queensland. Over the past two months the number of negative pricing events has accelerated, in some weeks to an almost daily basis.

    But it seems that the legacy coal generators are deciding not to ramp down as the market might expect. Instead, some observers suspect they are trying to force the solar plants out of the market on occasions. Some observers are comparing it to a Mexican stand-off, or even to the Survivor TV series.

    Looks like the coal fired generators may be willing to sell at unprofitable prices to drive out renewable competitors. Read the details. Includes claims that pumped storage was not used at times where the very low (negative) price of power would have made that logical.
    Supports my suggestion that a government owned corporation should be running the qld power system, setting up capacity contracts and deciding where power should be coming from.

  2. John, there are more questions than answers in that piece, and it looks as though something untoward is going on. I’m not sure how the regulator or anyone in the Qld government could find out.

    I have heard of Stanwell being anti renewables. I’ve also heard of CS Energy being co-operative.

    Parkinson quotes Dylan McConnell, who has expertise and is respected, plus an anonymous industry insider, who I would be cautious about. What with futures and hedges and FCAS the whole thing is too complex for me to have a decent guess or opinion.

    I agree with government ownership, but it wouldn’t guarantee that what happens in the optimal outcome.

  3. Brian:

    I agree with government ownership, but it wouldn’t guarantee that what happens in the optimal outcome.

    I have no strong feelings re private ownership and operation of the grid and generating/storage.
    What is important is that government owned corporations control the system. In particular it should:
    1. Using competitive tendering to set up long term contracts for the supply and operation of large scale generating/storage/grid capacity. (The contracts should use a payment formula based on installed capacity, standby level and actual power produced/stored.)
    3. Use competitive tendering or other processes to set up payment contracts for minor/household generation and storage.
    4. Market the power produced.
    5. Control standby levels and what power is being used/stored at any one time.
    6. Control the demand from customers that are using controlled power.
    What generating capacity is running and at various standby levels at any one time.
    2.

  4. John, I think the points you raise indicate that the way to go is to have a government monopoly retailer.

    The NEG put retailers in charge of meeting emissions standards as well as security criteria (keeping the lights on). As I understand it Taylor is accepting the second half of that, but not the first.

    Either way it is problematic when you have 20 or more retailers competing with each other, when the major part of the bill is in poles and wires and the amount charged subject to the regulator’s (AER) evaluation of the worth of the assets and a fair return.

    Then large gentailers (AGL etc)are frowned upon by the likes of the ACCC when it seems to me they would be the only ones with enough grunt to make any such commitments.

    Having a government monopoly retailer means that entity could have the capacity and responsibility to decide what power is bought by using longer term contracts supplemented by short term measures such as demand response, as well as contracting for standby power and grid stability services.

    So think I’m agreeing with you.

  5. Good to see that the late John Wren is blogging again.

    But Pedants Anon asked me to point out that Mr Wren expresses admiration for
    New ealand’s Norm Kirk.

    IMO Norm Kirk was a Labour PM in the 1970s of a smallush Unglush-speaking nation going by the moniker of

    New Zealand.

    But I could be mistaken of course.

    ***
    (FOOTNOTE: Frank Hardy is immortal but had feet of clay, like the rest of us persons.)

    ***

    PS: I hope none of our Quinceland posters have been affected by those bushfires..

  6. Looks like the coal fired generators may be willing to sell at unprofitable prices to drive out renewable competitors.

    Dear me, capitalists conspiring to distort the market – who would have thought it! (apart from Adam Smith of course).

  7. John,

    I think the points you raise indicate that the way to go is to have a government monopoly retailer.

    It is more complex than that. Some customers will have steady (or at least predictable) demand. Other customers will have some capacity to handle reduced consumption for a limited period of time because of the nature of their business or the power storage they own. Some customers can cut back on consumption provided they have time to shut down properly.
    Some of the generators like solar PV can increase or decrease their output very quickly. Others are much less flexible. Then there is the problem of crash stops or the effect of clouds and wind changes.
    Then there are issues like maintaining frequency and power factors and having enough capacity for very hot days etc..
    It is a complex operating problem that needs a single entity to manage this complexity. It is certainly not a problem that can be handled by the marketeers that have stuffed up the current system.

  8. It is a complex operating problem that needs a single entity to manage this complexity. It is certainly not a problem that can be handled by the marketeers that have stuffed up the current system.

    Exactly.

  9. Buzzfeed has All The Ways Brexit Could Go Now, Explained For People Who Are Confused – 13 in all.

    My bet is that Johnson will move a successful no confidence motion in himself to force an election, which will result in a hung parliament.

    The Europeans will say “good riddance” and there will be a ‘no-deal’ Brexit.

    Which would mean a closed Irish border, problems in getting basic pharmaceutical and other medical supplies.

    I believe that most of the vets supervising killing in abattoirs are from eastern Europe. There will be all sorts of strange issues surfacing.

  10. Wiser heads than mine have doubtless examined this but….

    If a chap moves a Vote of No Confidence in himself and it passes, why on earth would HM the Queen take that chap’s advice?? Does she have to because he is still Her Prime Minister?

    Does he advise HM to appoint the Trotskyist Corbyn to be Caretaker PM and send Mr Corbyn off to Brussels to have a bit of a chinwag with those truly ghastly Europeans?

    Or does he invoke the Malcolm Fraser Clause and promise to hold an election and promise to keep supply going and promise not to investigate the actions of the outgoing Government (his own)?

    Dog days.
    Cur time.

  11. “ Project Fear “ is rife but it’s mostly just nonsense.
    There are plenty of Countries not in the EU doing just fine on WTO rules, including Norway and Switzerland.
    The UK has a top 10 sized economy.

    The proletariat have voted 3 times in 3 years to Brexit.
    No wonder Corbyn is running away from letting the people vote again and Boris wants to.

    But like any defector from a socialistic dictatorial regime the EU will be as nasty as possible to the UK to dissuade others.

    But they’ll be fine.

  12. Jumpy: A majority of Sassanachs may want to Brexit but the canny Scots are smarter than the Poms. The Scots are only part of the UK as the result of a rather brutal invasion and it is about time they made their own decisions about whether their economic strategies.
    Time we changed Brexit to Eeeeeexit. (Pronounced with a screaming sound.)

  13. Jumpy

    It may well be true that an England outside the EU has opportunities to prosper. But what the people and Govt are focussed on is the actual departure/rupture/exit/divorce.**

    This could be confused and confusing.

    In the long term things may go swimmingly; the immediate problem, however, is how long the rupture will take to “settle down”, “work its issues through”, make itself felt etc.

    When PM Johnson’s hero Mr Churchill urged Britain to stand firm against Mr Hitler’s Germany, he warned of dark days ahead, the spilling of blood, privation, and misery.

    Wartime it was, indeed.
    Perhaps the Great Depression, or the GFC are better analogies….

    Mr Boris might do well to reduce his flippancy and learn some gravitas. You never know, the voters might respond.
    I just can’t see that the antics of a Pantomime joker are what the English polity requires in 2019.

    ** let’s try the “divorce” analogy for size: ultimately the divorcer looks forward to a life of freedom, but in the meantime has to deal with the Family Court and/or a lawyer to deal with Property, Money in the bank, Superannuation balances, etc.

    (Harder than that in the case of an EU exit: currencies, customs rules, citizenship, borders, loans and grants, taxation, laws and Parliaments,…. Think of all that as squabbling over the kids and paying for their future education and deciding where they will live.)

  14. John, if the Scots hold a referendum to leave the UK, in it gets up, then the Scots leave the UK.

    Imagine if Australia had a referendum to become a Republic, and it gets up, the derision the would befall the politicians that blocked it. Then a general election where the only major party that guaranteed leave wins. Then a ( hypothetical) Commonwealth election were held and the Auexit party won.

    What the hell would your position, as a citizen, be ?

  15. Mr A

    Mr Boris might do well to reduce his flippancy and learn some gravitas. You never know, the voters might respond.

    Let them decide for the 4th time ?
    Fine, but do it now and let there not need a 5 th, 6th….
    ….. That’s what shouldn’t after the Referendum.

  16. Mr J

    Being a Republic, and being a member of the Commonwealth, are not incompatible.

    Chin up old bean!

    BTW British Cabinet Minister Amber Rudd has resigned from the Cabinet and from the Conservative Party, to join the “21 Conservative rebels” who voted in Parlt for the law prohibiting a no-deal Brexit, and were then expelled from the Tory Party by PM Johnson.

    In her resignation letter she claimed the PM had made an assault on “decency and democracy”. In a BBC interview she said it seemed to her that 90% of the Johnson Govt efforts were going into preparations for a no-deal departure. She also said the “proroguing” had been sprung on Cabinet on the morning of the day the PM announced it. She had asked to see the legal advice on proroguing Boris claimed to have, but was never shown it.

    Let’s see if other Ministers grow a backbone follow Amber out of Cabinet.

    There were quite a few former Ministers in the 21.

    Meanwhile on the Labour side, Comrade McDonnell says the only caretaker PM acceptable to Labour is Comrade Corbyn.

  17. Mr J at 7.38pm

    I was merely making a comment on leadership styles.

    IMO other Party leaders with too much flippancy have included Mark Latham, Bill Shorten, John Gorton, Alexander Downer, ….

    Tempted to add Malcolm Turnbull, but journalists kept telling me he had urbane wit. He certainly knew how to signal to the audience that he was about to be witty. I wonder if he had been a barrister? It’s the kind of trick a good barrister deploys…..

    “Your Honour may forgive me for saying that XXXXX (lawyerly witticism)…” Appreciative chuckle from the Bench.

    I wonder why some voters thought Mr Turnbull “talked down to them”? A mystery.

  18. Mr A
    If Her Majesty the Queen exercised her Constitutional right in drafting laws and regulations over Australians as the EU does over the UK then I’d be for a no deal Republic.

    Any Australian that believes in democracy and favouring a Republic that doesn’t agree that Brexit is the will of the people is a hypocrite as far as I can see.

  19. Come now, Mr J.
    I think the YES to Brexit won the referendum 52 to 48, with a high voter turnout. I don’t question that result.

    On an Australian Republic, no comment.

  20. Jumpy: It is years since the brexit referendum. People are much better informed now and should be given the chance of voting again.
    Part of my problem with Boris is that he is trying to get a no deal brexit through by trying to avoid giving the parliament the chance to reject what he is proposing. It seems too Trumpish to me.

  21. I’m for a second referendum, but what would the question be?

    I can see an argument for a straight yes or no referendum now that people, as John says, are better informed.

    I can also see that any deal done should be put to the people for approval.

  22. Mark says that a BoJo vote of no confidence in himself would not be accepted by the speaker.

    However, a no confidence motion put by Corbyn would, and probably would be successful.

    The Queen could then install Corbyn as PM. The first thing he would do is ask the EU for an extension, which no doubt would be granted.

    What happens then?

    Well Corbyn’s plans are as clear as mud, so it’s future indefinite again.

  23. Ambi, thanks for the thought about fires, above.

    57 fires they said on the news tonight, but no-one hurt that I know of.

    Definitely unusual, although I remember something akin in 2000 when my sister came over for the Olympic games. We got about 40% of normal rainfall that year.

    We’ve been having cool nights, but very hot days. When we get a cool spell it cools down to 1 to 3 above average.

  24. Thanks for the tip from Mark, Brian.
    Speaker Bercow is a magnificent public performer.

    Can his rulings be challenged in the Courts, or is Parliament a realm into itself?

  25. Ambi, I don’t know, but I think the system is being tested. Isn’t the highest legal institution in the UK the Privy Council which is the House of Lords constituted as a court?

    Alexander Downer has an interesting piece in today’s AFR, but he doesn’t have a clue about how things will go either.

  26. Our correspondent from Mackay will be horrified to know that Mackay construction company Fergus Builders has been awarded the contract to build the $7 million Resources Centre of Excellence, a joint Queensland Government and Mackay Regional Council project.

    Assistant Minister for State Development and Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert said the awarding of the tender to Fergus Builders is a major step forward in the delivery of this election commitment, which will create up to 22 direct and indirect jobs onsite and through the supply chain.

    “The Palaszczuk Government is proud to partner with Mackay Regional Council to deliver a world-class facility that will drive research and innovation in the mining equipment, technology and services (METS) sector,” Mrs Gilbert said.

    “It will also provide improved training opportunities for the new wave of apprentices entering the industry.

    “Mackay is one of Queensland’s major resource industry support hubs, and this new centre of excellence will leverage off existing local expertise and further advance the state’s METS vision.”

    If it is a government initiative it must be in essence bad, right?

  27. Brian

    If it is a government initiative it must be in essence bad, right?

    A couple of disclosures to begin with. I indeed have those plans and an invite to tender, have tendered and won a subcontract to this project. In due course my men and I will do an outstanding job on this unnecessary taxpayer funded assistance to the COAL mining industry that they could, and do for themselves ( we’ve worked on some of those too )

    I sleep at night by reconciling the socialist element with getting some of my taxes and rates back. Sort of almost balances out.

    Do you think this taxpayer assistance, by your QLD ALP, to the COAL companies is good ?
    Or did the “ Centre of Excellence “ bling title cloud your vision of what it actually is, a subsidy to the Planet killers ?

  28. Jumpy, I honestly don’t know. If coal mining is to go on “for a time”, as Albo correctly says, then it’s better that it be done as well and as efficiently as possible.

    However, coal mining must cease, and the sooner the better, at least if the purpose is to burn it.

    If the centre is about coal mining, and I suspect you are right, then it probably should close before produces much that is beneficial.

  29. I wonder what nefarious means the government used to prevent capitalism building this centre years ago.

    They didn’t, the private sector has been doing for years, ask John, he was part of that excellence to the Coal industry.

    I doubt you’d understand what it is even if I sent you the tender package. Perhaps JD could explain it in green speak to assist you.

    * little help John please ? “

  30. Brian

    If the centre is about coal mining, and I suspect you are right, then it probably should close before produces much that is beneficial.

    There is very little else but coal being mined in CQ, of course it’s a $7,000,000 subsidy to coal.

    Well done Gilbert, Palacechook, Tricky Trad, Mayor Williamson and all involved.

  31. Sub-contracting excellence….
    outstanding job on this unnecessary taxpayer funded….”

    Jumpy, you remind me a bit of the late Norm Gallagher.
    Likely before your time.

    Maoist leader of the Builders Labourers Federation (union) in Victoria. Renowned as a militant. BLF lads would halt a concrete pour: expensive for the owner of the concrete mixer truck, almost full [as it soon became] of solid concrete. Chip that out, you capitalist-pig lackey of the ruling classes! Sound a bit like a contemporary building union??

    The BLF ran a tight ship on building sites: a bit of biffo, threatening managers etc. Eventually a State Labor Govt cooperated with a Federal Labor Govt o have the Victorian union deregistered.

    And you?
    I was getting to that.
    Patience, please….

    At a time when the NSW BLF was putting “green bans” to prevent demolition of “heritage buildings” in Sydney, and led by CPA (non-Maoist) officials (inc. Jack Mundey), Mr Gallagher was asked about green bans.

    He said, “Listen, I’m interested in jobs for my members. If someone pays them to excavate big holes and fill the holes with marshmallows, that’s good, as far as I’m concerned.

    Norm’s love of the great outdoors and holidays down at McLaughlins Beach led to a holiday for him at Pentridge Prison…. later.

    cheerio

  32. Jumpy:

    Do you think this taxpayer assistance, by your QLD ALP, to the COAL companies is good ?
    Or did the “ Centre of Excellence “ bling title cloud your vision of what it actually is, a subsidy to the Planet killers ?

    Couldn’t stop laughing. You excelled yourself.
    Glad you got a government subsidy driven contract even if it might reduce the time you put into keeping me amused.

  33. Thanks John, I think…., I aim to please.

    Could you please explain to the group what this $7,000,000 ( + blowout) is for in words even zoot understands ?

    Thanks again in advance.

  34. Jumpy:

    They didn’t, the private sector has been doing for years, ask John, he was part of that excellence to the Coal industry.

    Yep. I personally put a lot of effort into increasing the production of salable product per tonne carbon mined and reducing the energy, tonnes of steel etc required to produce a tonne of product – which all helps reduce emissions per tonne product.
    The work done by government organizations like CSIRO, JKMRC and universities also helped in these endeavors. However, it is worth noting that a lot of the money that goes into mining industry research at these institutes comes from mining companies acting both collectively and individually. The mining industry uses these government research centers because they really are centers of excellence, they have researchers who have been there a long time and have along term vision of where the research in particular areas needs to go. (The mining industry is unusual in that it supports a lot of collaborative research. At some stages I have been involved in setting up collaborative research projects and allocating the money from the coal mining research levy so I do have some feel where the money was going and why it was going where it did.) A government owned center of excellence in central Qld seems the smart way to go to me.

    I doubt you’d understand what it is even if I sent you the tender package. Perhaps JD could explain it in green speak to assist you. * little help John please ?

    Bit of a challenge. You might have noticed how hard it is to convince some people that long term contracts and competitive tendering is the sensible thing to do even though a form of long term contracts based on competitive tendering (renewable energy auctions) is the main driver in the worldwide take up of renewables.

  35. Fires are still a challenge. O’Reilly’s Guest House at the other end of Lamington National Park from Binna Burra had 97 people cut off from the escape route to Canungra. I imagine they’ll be OK, because it is not nested in the forest as much as Binna Burra.

    10 homes have been lost at Peregian Springs, Peregian Beach, Peregian Breeze Estate and Marcus Beach on the Sunny Coast. Mark is about one suburb away, but I think OK.

    We had a short holiday at Peregian a couple of years ago when when my daughter and family came to stay. Great spot!

    Lower Beechmont have been told to evacuate.

    I believe 7 schools along the Scenic Rim will be closed. OTH the schools that were closed at Stanthorpe will be opened on Tuesday.

    Fighting the fire with big helicopters they were sucking water out of the local dam, which is due to run dry later this year.

    The fire authorities are saying there has been nothing like this, ever.

    We here that a lot these days. meanwhile here it is bone dry and really annoying wind we are not used to. Normally a ‘westerly’ last 2 or 3 days, but this one has been going for a week. They are promising better on Wednesday, but then it gets hotter again.

  36. Sorry, I seem to be wheel spinning at present. I’ve got a few half finished projects on the go and can’t seem to finalise.

    Four meetings on ALP election review and climate policy in the past week, then one of those celebratory weekends put on by the school I attended 60 years ago. I feel I want to go, and was trying to assemble a few reflections on my life over the last 10 years. I’m at the stage that when you see someone you haven’t seen in a while, it’s a fair chance that it will be the last time you see them.

    Have I learnt anything in the last 10 years? Well yes, quite a bit.

    There has also been a stoush on Mark’s Facebook with people who don’t actually read Labor’s policies, but then want to dump on them. These are the intelligentsia!

    Any way, please be patient. I haven’t finished yet.

  37. I’m ever so glad neither my wife nor I got Facebook or Twitter.
    All I seem to hear about them from older folk are the stoushs.
    Yet the reasons older folk give for having them are contact with friends and family.

  38. Another way of keeping contact would be an app like WotsApp, where you can set up your own group, e.g. “Family” so it stays private.

    FaceBk?? Also known as FaceFist.

    Twitt? Why bother.

    I reckon youse made a good decision, Mr and Mrs J.

  39. Jumpy: I enjoy using facebook to keep in touch with long term friends and share things with friends that i think they might be interested in.
    Don’t use facebook to argue with people and am careful not to share things about myself that might be used by criminals trying to steal my identity.

  40. John, it is a fact that identity theft actually happens and Facebook is definitely a worry. My main interest is keeping up with what the kids are doing.

    I’m half an hour short for a new post, but it will have to be tonight.

  41. You just cannot make this stuff up.

    A Kurdish spokesperson in Syria claims their spy purloined the underpants of Mr Baghdadi so that American officials could test the DNA on tge underwear to check that it was indeed Mr Baghdadi whose whereabouts had been discovered.

    Ambi

  42. “But what have the Kurdish ever done for us?”
    – Donald Trump, October 2019

    Obviously an Adam Schiff School of Fake Quotes alumni.

    Anyway, quite unsurprising the difference in media reportage of Obama’s brave heroics with Bin Ladin and Trumps bumbling idiocy with Al Baghdadi.

    Unsurprising to me, unnoticed by the left.

  43. “He used … sarcasm. He knew all the tricks, dramatic irony, metaphor, pathos, puns, parody, litotes and… satire.”
    – Luigi Vercotti, 1970

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