Being prepared for any extreme phenomena over which we have …

Comment on Extreme variability: local climate change right now by Dave Richards.

Being prepared for any extreme phenomena over which we have little or no control makes sense, so it was refreshing to see yet another article based on yet another report about climate change that emphasised practical responses to the possibility of floods, heatwaves and even more frosts (!) rather than the need to reduce emissions, which may have little or no effect on rising temperatures.
But David De Vries is right about the cherry picked statistics; add that to the fact that almost all of us are woefully subjective in our memories and experience of weather, and you have a warning against alarmism and the unnecessary anxiety it creates in many soft souls.
It is a bit presumptious to suggest that people got into solar because they were responsible citizens. Without being cynical, I would suggest saving money on subsidised power was a stronger and more reasonable motive.
The protests of an apparent minority against gas powered energy was hardly a reason not to proceed with it; economic considerations are also important, especially given that gas creates a lot less carbon emissions than other fossil fuels. (In fact the decrease in emissions in Obama’s America has been pinned on the increased use of gas).
I suggest Stuart Traynor’s new book, Alice Springs, as a reality check for climate worriers; people of all cultures have survived and thrived in climatic extremes without any of the mechanical aids we have today. Meanwhile it is somewhat misleading to unduly attribute the spread of buffel grass, increases in erosion and greater bushfires to climate change when they may be simply down to changes in land use in combination with a few wet years.

Dave Richards Also Commented

Extreme variability: local climate change right now
@ Kieran: Speaking for myself alone, I would say they don’t suggest anything of the sort. They suggest that one would want to see data over much longer time scales and from many more locations before deducing any long term trends. I don’t have such data and I doubt if anyone else does. Do you?

Recent Comments by Dave Richards

Heatwaves need to be treated as emergencies: Cr Cocking
Dom: You claim to be amazed that people are having a discussion about climate change in this particular context, but by having a dig at “politicians that still question the science and are happy to gamble with the futures of our children’s and grand-children” you are joining in the discussion – even if it is only to [disagree with] people with whom you don’t agree and appeal to authority rather than address any of the points raised in the discussion.
You also evoke the precautionary principal, but it is unclear from your post whether that is in relation to emergency plans for heatwaves or climate change itself.
If it is the former, then of course it is a good idea for authorities to back such plans, as long as the money they spend in doing so is used effectively.
If it is the latter, we also need to consider the precautionary principal in relation to the economy and the effect that the draconian measures proposed to eliminate carbon emissions in developed countries could have on people less well-off than you or I.
The Laborers’ International Union of North America recently responded to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “green new deal” by evoking the precautionary principal with somewhat less impractical idealism than is the current fashion: “We enthusiastically support real measures to move toward a carbon-free energy future. We also believe in science, which dictates that we will never reach that goal without lower-carbon bridge fuels such as natural gas and carbon-free fuels such as nuclear power. According to the resolution, a ‘Green New Deal’ would require every car to be electric-powered and ban all fossil fuels, among other proposals. It is difficult to take this unrealistic manifesto seriously, but the economic and social devastation it would cause if it moves forward is serious and real.”

Heatwaves need to be treated as emergencies: Cr Cocking
Jimmy Cocking is right: It is almost certain that Central Australia will continue to have record-breaking heatwaves.
When you consider that records deemed accurate by the Bureau of Meteorology have only been kept for much less than a century, it would be as unlikely that we never have another record-breaking heatwave as it is that we have never had worse heatwaves in the past, heatwaves which have either not been recorded or are not deemed accurate.
The abuse of statistics to create a false or frightening impression is unfortunately a common practice even by taxpayer-funded bodies (no reflection on Mr Cocking).
It is also very unlikely that we will never have record-breaking cold spells, either here or elsewhere (as North Americans can testify).
Jacinta Price, however, can be forgiven for assuming that Jimmy Cocking is making his call on the basis of climate models and recent experience (although he may simply be trading on his knowledge of probability).
Accusing Ms Price of being a climate change denier is a deliberate abuse of the language.
It is plain dishonest to label as “deniers” those who are uncertain about the extent of climate change, the relative importance of different factors in causing it, or the likelihood that it will continue at the same rate or in the same direction.
But of course it is well known that the term was cynically borrowed from recent history because “climate change sceptic” was considered too benign a term to apply to heretics who dared to question official claims.
Who would think twice about expressing an opinion if the worst someone could call you is a “sceptic”?
Meanwhile, Mr Sharp is being overly pedantic in picking on Mr Bell for his King Canute analogy.
Whether he meant to or not, Canute demonstrated that humans can not control the tide.
It is not unreasonable to consider that, similarly, they cannot control the climate.
Whether or not they can remains to be convincingly proved.

Four more years of same-same
It’s questionable whether a high number of candidates mean that a “significant” proportion of the town wants change, especially when the vote indicates that a demonstrably significant proportion doesn’t want change.
I have no idea what motivated individuals to stand, but it is quite possible for a group with particular views to put up as many candidates as they can muster with the aim of getting at least a few of them on council, and perhaps that is what has happened here.

‘Do you mind if I speak to you?’
Thank you Howard. Your wonderful account reminded me of the song by the Youngbloods, I Am A One-Note Man.
It was refreshing to read about someone who asks for so little.
Can anyone tell me, is it true that this gentleman is also a pianist?

Sex aids and fracking: Up the wrong tree
@ 2: With due respect, Dalton, the issue Erwin is raising is not whether fracking is good or bad, but whether a particular survey is a reliable indicator of public opinion or not.
The fact that Erwin chose to use the “lowest form of wit” to raise that issue does not detract from its importance.
Public opinion polls within themselves have the power to influence public opinion; it is important that we can rely on them as being scientifically conducted and truly reflective of what the general public believes.
Whether he and you agree that fracking is destructive or not is a completely different issue … unless one believes that the end justifies the means.

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