Morrison goes to Glasgow: what’s new?

PM Morrison: AAP/Dan Himbrechts, from The Conversation

Last week our PM, one Scott (“Scotty from Marketing”) Morrison, scrambled to wrest control of our borders from a disruptive new Premier of NSW, one Dominic Perrottet, who effectively sidelined the PM, while announcing that he will indeed go to Glasgow to spruik our newly minted policy on climate change, that is, if his recalcitrant coalition partners, the Nationals, agree to have one.

Laura Tingle’s AFR opinion piece The most abject failure of leadership in living memory (published under a less pungent title at the ABC) asks “Who is in charge now?” since the states and the Nationals seem to be running the show.

Nothing has been finalised, as Michelle Grattan says Morrison set for Glasgow but has to finish packing his bag.

Energy Minister Angus Taylor will brief the Nationals on Sunday, the Liberals will meet on Monday. There will be a joint Liberal-National caucus on Tuesday, then cabinet will give it the stamp of approval on Wednesday.

Michael Mazengrab in Morrison agrees to go to Glasgow, Nationals to decide Australia’s climate policies gives Morrison’s telling quote:

    “I simply say to everyone that net zero was an outcome that I outlined at the beginning of this year, consistent with our Paris agreement,” Morrison said.

    “The challenge is not about that ‘if’ and the ‘when’. It is about the ‘how’, and I am very focused about the ‘how’ because the global changes that are happening in our economy as a result of the response to climate change that have a real impact.”

    “The plan that I am taking forward together with my colleagues is about ensuring that our regions are strong, that our region’s jobs are not only protected but have opportunities for the future.”

    “It is not just about hitting net zero – that is an important environmental goal – what is important is that Australia’s economy goes from strength to strength.”

Morrison has known for some time (Treasury would have told him) that Australia will become a pariah to international capital if we don’t not join the mob on climate action, and that Australia’s economy will benefit if we do.

Morrison also knows that while the majority of the Nationals will go for a net zero by 2050 target, a bunch of them, mostly from Queensland, would cross the floor rather than vote for such a policy. He can’t commit formally to a concrete target, because a minority of the Nationals won’t let him.

Morrison has been making a virtue of process, saying we’ll do net zero when it suits us. Hence national interest trumps the needs of the planet and all life that dwells upon it.

Writing after on Sunday night, the circuit-breaker is cash, truckloads of it, as Phillip Coorey reports in Nationals to get billions for net zero – “tens of billions” for infrastructure and communications.

    “They won’t say ‘no’ because they’ll get no cash, and they won’t say ‘yes’ [straight away] because they’ll get no cash,” said a source familiar with the majority view of the Nationals.

The formal answer was that the Nationals want more detail, before signing onto net zero by 2050, but there was a flat “no” to lifting ambition on the 2030 targets.

Angus Taylor was chirpy after the meeting where he spoke much of the new technologies of hydrogen and carbon capture and storage:

He said the conversation was constructive and collegiate and “there was a strong joint commitment to policies that strengthen our regions, not weaken them”.

“It was also clear that there was absolutely no appetite for policies that impact jobs or add to cost of living through an explicit carbon tax or a sneaky carbon tax. Which we won’t be doing.”

The latter was a reference to the Safeguard Mechanism whereby Australia’s largest greenhouse gas emitters keep their net emissions below a specified emissions limit, or offset emissions by buying carbon credits.

The baseline was meant to be progressively lowered, but under the Coalition it wasn’t. The firm Extante Data has calculated that only around 1 million tonnes of CO2-e has been abated that way since inception in mid-2016.

This leaves Morrison with a number of problems.

First, he is committed to the Gas-fired recovery, which includes unlocking five key gas basins, starting with the Beetaloo Basin in the NT and the North Bowen and Galilee Basin in Queensland.

This is completely incompatible with net-zero by 2050. Why use gas as a transition fuel when renewables, firmed by batteries, pumped hydro and demand response, are cheaper and more reliable than gas?

Second, he is committed to five technologies for clean energy investment – clean hydrogen, energy storage, low carbon steel and aluminium, carbon capture and storage, and soil carbon.

‘Clean’ hydrogen, means, in the first instance dirty hydrogen, known as ‘blue’ hydrogen, made from gas. Blue hydrogen is dirtier than gas.

Third, great emphasis is being placed on what we do this decade, as 1.5℃ is likely to be reached by the early to mid-2030s. So we should have no new gas or coal development, and phase out fossil fuel power at least by 2030.

Fourth, Trust has become a crucial element. Morrison has demonstrated to us over and over again that he simply cannot be trusted. Furthermore in deliberately and overtly misleading the France, has shown that his word in not his bond, and that he can’t be trusted to uphold any agreement, formal or not. In other areas of activity, he has shown the laws, rules, and agreements mean nothing to him.

Further, on trust, Angus Taylor has shown that he is thoroughly untrustworthy. No-one knows what he plans to do in relation to emissions reduction and energy, perhaps not even Taylor himself. If we judge him by his works, why would he spend $600 million on a gas-fired power station at Kurri Kurri which appears to be completely useless, even for its stated purpose.

The real purpose may well be to disrupt AGL’s original plans to replace Liddell coal-fired power station, which earned praise from independent commentators. If so he has succeeded.

So where does this leave us?

David Rowe, AFR cartoonist

Bill Hare has led an analysis that shows Australia will probably reach its 28-30% reduction target, but largely through the efforts of the states. The Commonwealth has barely lifted a finger. Hare says their study offers:

    a 1.5℃-compatible pathway, involving domestic emissions reduction to at least 65-75% below 2005 levels by 2030, and substantial increases in international climate finance.

The Climate Council, in responding to the latest IPCC AR6 report says:

    Based on the latest science, and taking into account Australia’s national circumstances, the Climate Council has concluded that Australia should reduce its emissions by 75% below 2005 levels by 2030, and achieve net zero emissions by 2035.
    (Emphasis in original)


    There is no room for any new fossil fuel developments – including gas – if we’re to avoid catastrophic warming.

That’s what the science is telling them, and they have a few scientists in their team.

It was always part of the story that if the world is to reach net zero by 2050, then the developed countries, who made most of the mess, should get there earlier.

The Australia Institute say Net zero emissions by 2050 a fraud without transition from fossil fuels. The Government is planning new gas which will add two-thirds to our emissions profile, plus 23 new coal mine proposals in NSW alone, and more.

Their conclusion?

    While a net zero by 2050 announcement from the Government may be coming, all signs show that the Government has no plan or intention to achieve this target. Key policies are completely incongruent with such a target, working to increase rather than decrease emissions.

In political terms there is every prospect that Morrison will find the Coalition wedged, with city voters unhappy about their failure to come to terms with the existential threat of climate change.

As Jennifer Hewett said a couple of weeks ago, the Nationals [are stabbing the] Liberals in the front on climate:

Bridget McKenzie is promoting a politically self-defeating, self-fulfilling proposition.

As Mazengrab pointed out moderate Liberals such as Trent Zimmerman, Dave Sharma, Josh Frydenberg Tim Wilson and others now face serious election challenges from pro-climate action independent candidates.

For now, as Federal Parliament returns, Tingle notes that the Nationals in a room somewhere will make the final decision. Never has parliament as a forum for national debate seemed more redundant.

Update: See comment October 19, 2021 at 10:11 am.

40 thoughts on “Morrison goes to Glasgow: what’s new?”

  1. Brian:
    Good post. Who knows what move Morrison makes next. With a bit of luck what the LNP wants to do about climate change will be irrelevant after the next election.
    However, it is not really clear where Albanese stands in this debate. Not helped by some of the things he said when he took over from Shorten.
    Then there are the evil Greens. People who really care about the environment can send their clearest message by voting Green. There is also a group of conservatives that are willing to put the Greens ahead of the LNP but would never put Labor ahead of the Liberals.
    Then in NSW the LNP government is pushing ahead with green action despite Morrison’s position. Ditto the Qld Labor government.

  2. John, Labor has some policies here. Click on ‘climate change’ and four will appear.

    Albo tends to spruik net zero by 2050, and the economic opportunities, plus promises to have a near-term target after Glasgow and before the election.

    Bowen keeps saying, net zero by 2050 is the bare minimum, and Labor has always said it will follow the science.

    So it depends where they will get their science from.

    Malcolm Turnbull was good on ABC RN Drive in “Australia is looking more and more isolated”: Turnbull says Morrison determined not to lead on climate.

    He said Morrison was a follower rather than a leader, and was long on tactics, but short on strategy.

    He could be right.

  3. Also Laura Tingle talks to Phillip Adams about the nuts in the Nats and related matters.

    I don’t have a direct link yet but it seems the Nats want to extend the Inland Rail from Toowoomba to Gladstone.

    Apparently it won’t be economic unless it carts coal, which would probably mean digging up some very fine productive land (when it rains).

    No doubt you’ve seen Michael Mazengarb at RenewEconomy in Joyce fills Morrison’s policy vacuum and says no to green energy transition:

      Recent analysis published ClimateWorks Australia estimated that thanks to State and Territory ambition, Australia is on track to cut emissions by as much as 42 per cent by 2030.

      That would give the Morrison government a free-kick to increase its 2030 target without having to introduce any new policies – but Joyce indicated before Sunday’s meeting that the Nationals wouldn’t even be able to bring themselves to take that free-kick.

    Then there is Andrew Blakers – Australia could easily meet a doubling of its 2030 emissions targets. Here’s how.

    I suspect Angus Taylor is smart enough to know how fast renewables are going, and is trying to slow them down.

  4. From what I’ve read and heard this morning, it seems likely that the Nats will come to terms with net zero by 2050 before Morrison takes off for Glasgow. The question is, what will they extract from the public purse in exchange for their agreement?

    Morrison will take with him a spreadsheet showing how they see this unfolding, because most of the reductions come late in the piece, from 2040 on, because they depend highly on hydrogen and CCS maturing as technologies.

    A factor I didn’t mention in the post, the proposed government $250 billion loan guarantee scheme for new fossil fuel developments is still on the table. Keith Pitt said that 75% of fossil miners are having trouble finding finance.

    This is an abomination. Taxpayers saddled with paying for stranded assets created by government policy.

    On reflection it would not surprise if Labor in opposition voted for net zero by 2050 legislation. Shorten promised Turnbull Labor would vote for the NEG, cancelling the Coalition members who would vote against, but Turnbull wouldn’t trust him.

    Morrison is likely to leave that until after the election, so he can say he has a mandate.

    Labor is likely, I think, to opt for a 2035 target to take to the election. The Paris deal is that countries would ramp up their commitments every 5 years. 2030 is what happens in Glasgow, and after Glasgow that is history, so we look forward.

    Just a reminder, Blakers said we could easily double our 2030 commitment. Three quarters of it would come from renewable energy, a quarter from electric vehicles, plus no new sources of emissions.

    The biggest impediment is that we need a new grid to share decentralised power around. Labor’s central policy is Rewiring the Nation – $20 billion to do a new grid, which is happening piecemeal at present, through state/commercial/federal initiatives.

    Final reminder, for around at least a decade now I’ve said we need net zero by 2030 and aggressive drawdown thereafter to reach 350 ppm by 2050. It’s probably not possible to hit net zero by 2030 now, so just move that to 2035, and still try for 350ppm by 2050. Now I’d say we it seems clear we’ll have to go all the way to 280 ppm at least, ASAP, if we want to constrain sea level rise. The heat to give us multimetre sea level rise, possibly this century, and almost certainly in the next, is already in the ocean.

    The Climate Council, and the Greens, last time I looked, come close.

    I’m aware that the IPCC reckons SLR will settle if we get to net zero. This is basically nuts, as it is based on one meta-modelling study. Models can’t yet cope with deglaciation, and it assumes that the future will be smooth and basically linear like the past. Paleoclimate science tells us that change can happen rapidly. James Hansen reckons towards the end of the Eemian we had metres in decades for a while, probably as West Antarctica collapsed.

    That was with 300ppm and temperatures roughly what we’ve got now, or are signed up for in the next little while.

  5. Could be worse: France far right candidate Marine Le Pen vows to tear down country’s wind turbines.

    In comments on French commercial radio network RTL last week, Le Pen declared: “Wind and solar, these energies are not renewable, they are intermittent. If I am elected, I will put a stop to all construction of new wind parks and I will launch a big project to dismantle them,”

    The last French election was held in April and May of 2017, when Macron’s En Marche! party handily beat Le Pen’s National Front, with 66% and 34% of the vote respectively.

    They get more support in France than our National Party.
    Hope this doesn’t give the LNP crazies bright ideas.

  6. John, Matt Canavan and others believe they are right. No arguments will change their minds.

    They were reminded today that the Liberal Party holds more regional seats than the Nats.

    Other than that, I heard an interview with Gladstone Mayor Matt Burnett [who] will run for federal seat of Flynn.

    From what I heard, he could give it a shake. He’s big on renewable energy, but also on supporting coal miners while coal is still supplied for steel-making, and other counties buy it.

    Turns out he was the one behind the extension of Inland Rail to Gladstone. He secured a $10 million grant to do a business case.

    As toi coal from Toowoomba, he says it’s better to ship it to a proper coal port rather than have it roll through Brisbane suburbs in open wagons to a port already congested. I this he actually has a point.

    He believes the Inland Rail should not be brought down the range to Brisbane. Better to stop at Toowoomba and use it as a distribution hub.

    That’s not a trivial idea either, as bringing Inland Rail to Brisbane is difficult and fraught.

    Could be that once established on coal, the Gladstone connection will develop other traffic and be quite viable when coal goes.

    Anyway I liked the cut of his jib. With the retirement of sitting Lib Ken O’Dowd he’s up against Colin Boyce, member for Callide in the state parliament. Inland and mostly south of Gladstone. The safest Liberal seat in Qld. I don’t think there is all that much overlap between Callide and Flynn.

    The worst thing Labor could do is chase National Party votes, but Flynn would be handy.

  7. “But I stand here today to make a commitment to the world that Australia will not only do its part, but that we are here to lead, and to help all nations meet our collective challenge.“

    What lying prick. This after forcing the UK in the interests of trade advantages to water down the CO2 emission reduction commitment of 3 times the Australian population (65 million).

  8. On a more pessimistic note: Fossil fuel production to soar in face of emissions pledges, United Nations report says

    Despite climate targets being ramped up, the world is set to increase the production of fossil fuels until 2040 and beyond, according to the United Nations Environment Program.
    Using the projections of governments around the world, the UN report noted that fossil fuels would be generated at a rate almost three times higher than what’s needed to stop global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius.


    Australian government funding fossil fuels
    Despite Australia’s small population, it is one of the world’s heaviest hitters when you take into account the emissions caused by fossil fuels produced onshore and exported overseas.

    Looking at emissions that way, Australia is the sixth-worst polluter in the world. We are the biggest exporter of coal and the world’s second-biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG).
    “It is imperative that fossil fuel-producing nations recognise their role and responsibility in closing the production gap and steering us towards a safe climate future,” Mr Nilsson said.

    Believable plan anyone?

  9. James Hansen’s September temperature update has a graph which shows Australia’s per capita emissions as second only to the USA.

    The BBC has an article BBC – COP26: Document leak reveals nations lobbying to change key climate report. Australia was one country that tried to interfere with the IPCC AR6 report to omit the statement the coal had to be phased out.

    The Climate Council has a whopper From Paris to Glasgow: A World on the Move. See also New Report: Australia Ranks Dead Last on Climate:

      There are currently over 80 proposed coal projects in the pipeline for Australia and five new mammoth gas basins, as well dozens of smaller gas projects dotted across the country.

      “It will be game over for Australia on ever being taken seriously on climate change again if these polluting fossil fuel projects are allowed to proceed,” said Dr Bradshaw.


      The Climate Council has calculated that Australia should reduce its emissions by 75% (below 2005 levels) by 2030 and achieve net zero by 2035. As a first step, Australia should match the updated commitments of our key allies – including the US and the UK – and pledge before Glasgow to at least halve national emissions this decade.

  10. The problem with national targets is that they are not net targets. (Net targets take account of inflows of fossil carbon + the inflow and outflow of contained fossil carbon as well as fossil carbon used to produce exports and imports.)
    Part of what Boris is doing comes across as replacing production with imports.

  11. John, the ABC article on the UN report on fossil fuels you linked to above does not link to the actual report. This always annoys me.

    The link is to The Production Gap: Governments’ planned fossil fuel production remains dangerously out of sync with Paris Agreement limits.

    There is almost a new report every day as various bodies try to influence the Glasgow COP in early November. This one from the American Security Project is especially noteworthy:

    Plenty of accessible information.

  12. Here’s the official site for UNFCC COP26.

    People have been saying:

    • last best chance
    • last chance saloon
    • pivotal point in history
    • a code red for humanity

    25 times they have met, and the results just don’t show in the CO2 levels shown at Mauna Loa.

    It should have been a pivotal point in Kyoto and 1997.

    I’m doing another post, but it might take a day or two.

  13. Brian: “25 times they have met, and the results just don’t show in the CO2 levels shown at Mauna Loa.”
    Yep: The people who made these commitments are long out of power and, even in the short term did very limited.
    What we really need is commitment for the next term of government.
    The media seems more obsessed about Macron saying something about Morrison that is hardly news to lots of us.

  14. John, I got diverted into family history tonight. There was a fascinating conversation between Richard Fidler and Hannah Kent about research she did for her new novel Devotion.

    It’s about the first shipload of German migrants who came to SA in the late 1830s.

    There more about India in India strengthens climate targets, aiming for net zero by 2070 .

    It’s genuine progress, I think. India have always maintained the right to pollute their way to prosperity. They seem to have cottoned on to the notion that the fossil fuel stage can now be bypassed.

    Here’s a Book Review: Ending Fossil Fuels: Why Net Zero is Not Enough by Holly Jean Buck.

    I think people seem to be slow to work out that 1.5C is not a stable stopping point, with glaciers in play, leaking methane clathrates, SLR, and the possibility of the Thermohaline circulation stopping etc etc.

  15. John, it is beautiful farmland. I’m not denying the greenish hue of NSW Coalition govt, but if Toole’s job is to look after rural folk, it would be a crime to let the miners in.

    The related article Why is the coal industry making more money than ever before? is interesting because it says the price of coal has gone up five times.


      Instead of being a sign of the coal industry’s vitality, both Mr Buckley and Mr Simington said high coal prices could actually speed up its decline.

      The more expensive coal becomes, the more economic sense it will make to switch to cheaper renewable solutions.

      NSW’s pledge to halve emissions has placed a spotlight on the mining industry’s future.

      “Now that [coal] is five times more expensive than it was a year ago, solar looks even more ridiculously cheap by comparison,” Mr Buckley said.

      “So countries like India and China will accelerate the deployment of lower-cost renewable alternatives at a speed that is unprecedented.”

  16. Brian: China’s recent linking of trade and trivial politics makes adding new capacity just because China has a temporary need in the crazy horse basket. Just as crazy as allowing China to buy Australian mining companies. My favorite sign in the motel I spent a lot of time in at Singleton said. “Ban mining. Let the bastards freeze in the dark!”
    Even without the Chinese behaviour we should not be allowing new leases and fossil mining expansion given the state of the planet.

  17. John, when you insert links you have to delete the shadow http:// that appears.

    Toole sounds promising!

    I watched Q&A tonight. Matt Kean was far and away the most sane and sensible person there, and the calmest!

    I was disappointed in Adam Bandt. he wore his silly T-shirt with “no more coal and gas” emblazoned, was rude in talking over Greg Sheridan, dissed Labor and the Coalition equally.

    At the end he stated the Greens policy as -75% by 2030 and net zero by 2035, “and give them [the Pacific Islanders] the 1.5C they want”.

    He did not mention drawdown to 350 ppm, which is the critical part of the Greens policy (IMHO).

    Matt Kean was the only one who understood that to debit us with the scope 3 emissions when other countries burn our coal is double counting.

    Greg Sheridan was the only one awake to the fact that if you punish manufacturing here it is likely to go offshore, and that is significant in how Britain and Europe have succeeded in suppressing their own emissions.

    No-one was aware that under the UNFCCC dispensation, developing countries are allowed to lift emissions in the short term and take a little longer to get there. Correspondingly if the planet is to be net zero by 2050, the advanced countries need to get there earlier than that.

    No-one mentioned that methane produces its entire effect in 12 years, after which it is a mere 26 times more potent than CO2. Adam Bandt’s claim the methane was 86 times more potent than CO2 was, as I recall, based on spreading the effect over 30 years. If you spread it over 10 or 15 it’s worse.

    I can’t follow Michelle Cain at all in COP26: a global methane pledge is great – but only if it doesn’t distract us from CO₂ cuts.

    She says attacking methane is a distraction which will give us a worse outcome. I think we need to walk and chew gum at the same time, plus, plus.

  18. Brian: I think part of the methane fuss is vegetarians wanting to reduce meat eating. As you say, ruminant methane goes through a cycle where the methane oxidizes to CO2 which ends up in the vegetation the ruminants eat.
    This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try and reduce methane released to atmosphere in the process of extracting fossil carbon.

  19. Brian: “No, if it displaces effort away from the main driver of global warming – fossil CO₂ emissions.” Interesting article on the low relevance of acting on methane.
    I think it is more important to reduce the extraction of fossil carbon (Methane and CO2) as well as taking carbon out of the atmosphere. Burping ruminants are just a distraction because burps recycle into animal feed.

  20. Brian: He really has lost it and should go now: “Scott Morrison’s COP26 speech slip-up goes viral on Chinese social media Weibo

    Mr Morrison mistakenly said in the speech on Tuesday “global momentum to tackle China”, when he instead meant to say “climate change”.
    The hashtag “Australian Prime Minister Misrepresents Tackling Climate Change As Tackling China” has so far been seen more than 130 million times on Weibo.
    A social media post from Chinese state media outlet mocked Mr Morrison’s mistake and said in a post: “[His] head is full of China.”
    It has been shared nearly 2,000 times and liked by more than 10,000 users.

  21. The Chinese got this right:

      State broadcaster CGTN said Mr Morrison had developed a reputation for being “a person whose words cannot be trusted” and of pursing short-term political goals with “scant concern for the consequences”.
  22. Brian: “Then the Liberals would choose Peter Dutton, whereupon states south of the Tweed would vote 60-40 for Labor.”
    Some people think Frydenburg could be the next LNP leader. Problem is that the Greens went close to beating him last time around.

  23. John, Frydenberg won by 12.8% 2PP.

    It is said that one of these new independents might shake him, but with 49.4% first preference, you would think he would be safe.

    In Dickson Ali France is having another crack. It’s a very strange electorate, which divides demographically four ways. Last time Dutton invited PH One Nation who took some skin off Ali in the poorer areas, and the preferences did not come back.

    Also a kerfuffle about her not living in the electorate, which Dutton ramped up. In fact she is a special needs person who couldn’t buy any old house. That has now been sorted.

    She’s already fulltime campaigning, so we’ll see what happens.

  24. John, just on methane and ruminants again, I think your conclusions are far too crude. On the face of it, the carbon in the grass consumed does recycle, but in the short time (12 years) it’s in the air it warms the planet at around 90 times the rate of CO2. You have to look at that cycle against a scenario where the grass isn’t eaten. A fair chance it would burn.

    The complication in the Qld meat industry in particular is that with limited tree clearing there is quite vigorous regrowth.

    I knew there had been a study in 2007,but had never seen it. I was surprised to find Net carbon position of the Queensland beef industry, a study by government scientists, when we still had some.

    It looked at the total carbon footprint inside the farm gate, with data drawn before the tree-clearing laws had effect. However, it projected their effect and found the Qld beef industry roughly carbon neutral.

    The study doesn’t claim to be definitive, and I’ve only had a skim. If correct, the Australian government has been dining out on the pain of Qld beef pastoralists (NB not ‘Australian farmers’).

    Having your pasture lands turn in to wooded regrowth is not fun, because controlling regrowth is difficult when certain activities have to be given specific approval, and you sometimes you know the person on the other side of the counter is a greenie.

    There is a prima facie case of sovereign theft in this story, mentioned recently, but needs a good analysis.

  25. Brian: The climate warming bottom line is partly about the movement of carbon into and out of the atmosphere. It can move into as a result human activity and natural processes such as the oxidation of coal seam outcrops, rotting organic matter, coal fired power etc. It can also move out of the atmosphere as the result of trees growing, erosion of minerals that absorb carbon dioxide, the growth of coral that ends up as limestone etc.
    Farming can be responsible for moving carbon in both directions and what we farm and how we farm it can affect this balance. To my mind one of the crucial things is the net flow of fossil carbon into the atmosphere by things like the use of fossil fuels for transport, energy and the production of the fertilizers, metals etc used by farming..

    • …net flow of fossil carbon into the atmosphere…

    Yes, but carbon is traditionally viewed as 80% of what the Kyoto six GHG’s are about, expressed in terms of CO2e. The “e” part is mostly methane and nitrous oxide, and not part of the carbon story.

    When people first talked about carbon budgets, they published graphs like this:

    Rather than tapering to a peak the emissions graphs have accelerated as we saw in graphs that matter. So now when they talk carbon budgets they show us something like this:

    So what we do in the next 10 years matters. The fact that during the next 10 years it is methane not CO2 up there, and as such it’s about 90 times more potent than CO2, that matters.

    I’ve heard it said that half the recent warming actually comes from methane, and half of Australia’s methane I gather comes from ruminants.

    BTW, a problem with the beef study is that I didn’t see how they calculated the potency of methane. Probably it was the old style, 26 times more potent than CO2

  26. BTW, the kink in the black line of the second graph is consistently there in such graphs, but is bogus.

    I think outfits like Climate Tracker calculate emissions by adding up the figures they get from national accounts. There almost certainly was no often quoted ‘flattening of the graph’ in 2017-19 for fossil fuel emissions. If there was it should be visible in Mauna Loa, and it isn’t.

  27. Meanwhile :Queensland planning minister giving community a say on Clive Palmer’s Waratah Coal power station proposal

    Mr Miles has given notice of a proposed call-in — meaning he would take over the decision-making process for the development application.
    Ministerial call-ins are designed for use in exceptional circumstances and in response to development applications of state significance.
    Waratah Coal is seeking to build a new coal-fired power station near the central western Queensland town of Alpha.
    The multi-billion-dollar proposal is seeking approval directly from the local Barcaldine Regional Council — a move Mayor Sean Dillon described as a “peculiar” scenario when he spoke to the ABC’s 7.30 in September.
    Under the local government process, there is no legal requirement for the company to notify the public.

  28. John, thanks for the link.

    I would support the intervention, but to be frank, I’m not sure I’ll like what happens next.

    Calling in Adani didn’t work out well.

  29. Brian: I am assuming Clive wants the local power station because he cannot afford the railway line to the port.
    Who knows what the Qld government will do

  30. Brian: I think local council’s should be consulted as part of this process to help make sure local water and environmental concerns are considered.
    However, I don’t think local council’s should be able to approve coal fired power stations and the process should be open to the public.

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