Friday, February 29, 2008

Drive for new fuel tax

As the herald sun reports

MOTORISTS will pay at least 10c extra per litre for petrol, with oil giants poised to pass on the cost of reducing greenhouse gas.

Australia's biggest petrol refiner, Caltex, yesterday called for a direct 10c carbon tax on drivers.

"Every time motorists filled up at a service station, there would be awareness of the carbon tax, encouraging motorists to think about driving less, taking public transport or buying a smaller car when possible," Caltex spokesman Frank Topham said.

But other oil giants admitted drivers would still be hit at the bowser when emissions trading started in 2010.

BP Australia said emissions trading was preferable to a direct carbon tax, but consumers would see a price rise either way.

Fun times ahead!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Australia makes bold plan to reduce world wide temperature by 0.000043 degrees per year

The Australian version of the Stern report was released today, well at least the first part. And the conclusions are terribly dire. Shocking:

CLIMATE change could be worse for Australia than any other developed country if dire predictions are realised, the architect of the country's policy on the issue says.

Coinciding with the release of his interim review into the global crisis, Professor Ross Garnaut said Australia should be ready to slash its carbon emissions by much more than the 60 per cent stated figure by 2050.

Wow more than 60%. Thats huge. But lets look at this a different way. Australia's emission rate per capita has been pretty consistent since 1990 at a little over 16 metric tonnes of greenhouse gas emission per head. (incidently, when looking at a ratio with GDP, we fare in the middle).

However Australia's population, currently at 20mill, is expected to reach around 30mill by 2050. All those extra bodies and we are still recommended to cut emissions by at least 60%. An increase in 10mill by 2050, means that a 60% decrease in greenhouse gas is equivalent to a 73% decrease in 2050. And remember exactly what Ross Garnaut said, "Australia should be ready to slash its carbon emissions by much more than the 60 per cent stated figure by 2050". That's "much more"

But how much is Australia's deadly greenhouse gas emissions killing the world? Well Australia emits around 326 million metric tonnes a year. That's compared to a world wide rate of 27 billion metric tonnes. Hence Australia emits around 1.2% of the worlds greenhouse gas.

Now lets assume that we reduce our emissions by 60%, and lets assume that 100% of all warming has been caused by greenhouse gas (note that this assumption is clearly ludicrous but hey for the sake of the example...). With the world increasing at a rate of 0.6 degrees per 100 years, this means that if Australia were to cut our emissions by 60% by 2050, we would cool the globe by around 0.000043 degrees per year.

Thats right we would cool to world by around 0.000043 degrees per year.

Like pissing in the ocean. Of course some might argue that we all have to start somewhere and someone has to set the example etc. etc. but seriously, even with the most ludicrous assumptions involved to calculate this figure, the amount of dollars spent can hardly justify the possible results.

This is merely just another token that is costing us millions.

Friday, February 01, 2008

China's Storms are/are not due to climate change

It's official, despite previous reports that China's snow storms are due to global warming,

Dong Wenjie the National Climate Centre says that

"This is mainly related to abnormal atmospheric circulation and the La Nina event"

What a relief. it's not due to climate change! But then he says:

"With climate warming, extreme weather events are clearly increasing in frequency and intensity."

Gasp! So it is related to climate change?

Australian climate scientist Penny Whetton says

"Those conditions are things that occur naturally and so every few years, few decades, everything just comes together right to produce an extreme event,"

Ahh Phew! Not due to climate change. What a relief!

"My guess is this is a natural event without any particular reason to link it to climate change. The climate change models are not predicting increases in snow events like this," Whetton told Reuters on Thursday.

Thank God for the Climate Models! Beats checking the data hey?

"Cold extremes are generally not predicted to become more intense and frequent because we have a warming climate," she said.

More good news. More good news.

But as China warms, its cold northern regions might experience more intense snow storms as moisture levels in the atmosphere rise, creating similar conditions to those that have caused the snow storms now in southern China.

Say what? The very next paragraph says that it is related to global warming. Noooo!

"Snow will hang around for less but you will probably get more heavy snow events in winter," said David Jones, head of climate analysis at Australia's National Climate Centre.

Damn it! It's related. I thought the previous paragraph said it wasn't. Someone need to make up their mind.

Jones also said China's snow storms could not be directly linked to climate change,

Ohh thank God! It's not related. Wow, this is stressful. Who knows how it will end.
But never fear, someone has actually done some data analysis:

The average number of severe snowstorms over the first 32 years of the study period was 3.2 per year, while the average over the 20-year period of 1981 through 2000 was notably less at 2.7 per year

Phew! Reading the one report I was convinced and not convinced at least 5 times each that china's snow storms were related to global warming.