This year is shaping earily like 2010-2011. There was heavy rain around South East Queensland late in 2010, followed by a flood of the Brisbane River, backing up the Bremer River into Ipswich, so both cities suffered significant inundation and flood damage. A Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry was convened, and over 500 pages later came to the conclusion that the flood engineers had acted inappropriately and in breach of the Flood Manual, setting up the conditions for a class action. Three of the four engineers were recommended to be referred to Crime and Misconduct Commission.
In this post I mainly want to link to three comprehensive posts at the time at Larvatus Prodeo and summarize what I treated at length there. I think, modestly, they are essential reading if you want to understand what happened. The class action lawyers certainly have not, and are spruiking complete rubbish to the media. Continue reading Wivenhoe legal sharks start to rip and tear
It’s the season for cherry picking on electricity prices as an election is called in Queensland. This can happen because no-one, not journalists, not ABC radio hosts, and unfortunately not ‘experts’, reads Queensland Government media releases. The offending politicians from the opposition LNP are getting a free ride, with statements like ‘Prices increased 70% under Labor’ (Tim Nichols on TV) and, ‘We will put downward pressure on electricity prices’ without saying how.
I’ve assembled a fair bit of information in two posts – Queensland powers up for a warm summer and Electricity bills – Queensland acts because it can. In this post I’ll summarise what I think has happened, and then mention some of the cherry-picked claims being made. There is some new information in the post. Also there is a particular problem with Steve Austin on Mornings on local ABC radio. I don’t mind the bloke, normally, but on electricity he’s lost the plot.
I’ve provided some links here, but there are many more in the earlier posts. Continue reading Cherry picking electricity prices in Qld election
A bit longer than 250 million years is when we had the Great Dying, the Permian–Triassic extinction event, when up to 96% of all marine species and 70% of terrestrial vertebrate species became extinct. A mere 65 million years ago saw the extinction of the dinosaurs and the dawn of the Cainozoic Era. From a screenshot of this YouTube, this is how the continents were placed around the globe:
Continue reading Where will we be in 250 million years time?
The Adani board has given the nod to the $16.5 billion Carmichael projects which would generate 10,000 direct and indirect jobs, with pre-construction works starting in the September quarter of 2017.
Yet there are some cautionary voices:
Continue reading Adani – a mirage that will dissolve into mist?
For something a bit different, for many years our neighborhood has had a carpet python that visited the back yards from time to time, where it cleaned up any vermin and then moved onto the next house. At over two metres it was sizeable – we know it has devoured a possum or two. Recently when it appeared in a yard nearby, hanging about in a small tree, we thought it might be dead after it stayed motionless for a couple of days:
Continue reading Snakes alive
Back in November 2010 I did a post on Climate change and the Murray Darling Basin at a time when a plan for the Basin was proposed, but not yet settled. The post still gets a steady trickle of visitors.
The Murray Darling Basin Plan was passed into law in November 2012, when Julia Gillard was prime minister, and Tony Burke the minister responsible. There has been a recent kerfuffle, when Barnaby Joyce said an extra 450 GL of water probably would not be forthcoming. Yhe reaction from SA premier Jay Weatherall and his ministers, and Senator Nick Xenophon seemed to imply the South Australia would be left high and dry. Turns out that’s not really the case. Continue reading Murray Darling Basin perspective
Stephen Hawkins thinks we will probably go extinct on this planet if we don’t find a new one within 1000 years. Science writer extraordinaire Julian Cribb wonders whether we will make it past 2100.
His book Surviving the 21st Century: Humanity’s Ten Great Challenges and How We Can Overcome Them poses the ten existential challenges facing Homo sapiens, and answers each one. It is a book of solutions, severally and collectively. Continue reading Can we survive the 21st century?
1. Stupidity over SA blackout
“Ignorant rubbish” is what Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews called Malcolm Turnbull’s initial comments on the SA electricity blackouts. “It’s the weather, stupid”, is more or less what Bill Shorten said, and he was right. The press has reported two ‘tornadoes’ in the north of SA which made pylons look like this:
The questions to be asked in this case are not about the reliance on renewables, rather on why fractures to the grid 200 km north of Adelaide took the whole state down. Continue reading Saturday salon 30/9
It’s not quite done and dusted, but the scientists on the official working group have overwhelmingly declared that the new ‘epoch’ of the Anthropocene has begun in the geological time scale.
Years ago I recall a caller on talkback radio saying that in 50 million years time the only sign of humans will be a layer of toxic slime in the geological record. Stratigraphy is what we are talking about here, so it’s serious. Humans are leaving an imprint on the earth’s crust that will be there forever, or until the dying sun expands, and burns the planet to a crisp. Continue reading Behold the dawn of the Anthropocene
“Increase the use of public transport” is an easy response to Brisbane’s transport problems. However, once I realized that only 10% of car commutes went to the CBD the picture became more complex. Public and active transport was no longer the answer to everything. Continue reading Increasing the Use of Public Transport May be Harder Than We Think
What follows is a study I made some time ago into low cost ways of reducing congestion along Moggill Rd, a key through road that goes through Kenmore Brisbane near where I live. The study is of general interest because many of the identified problems and solutions are applicable for a wide range of urban situations. Continue reading Low Cost Ways of Reducing Congestion
1. Protect your plastic money
If you haven’t heard about it you will. And if you think it won’t happen in Australia, you’re wrong.
Thieves can use RFID technology to empty your card. Seems they can steal your details with a cheap credit card reader, which they hold near you wallet or purse. It could be on public transport, or standing next to you in a supermarket. Continue reading Saturday salon 21/5