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Emergencies and luxuries

February 3rd, 2013

The floodwaters have receded[1] and the miserable task of cleaning up is beginning in Bundaberg, Laidley and other communities. Here in Brisbane we were lucky enough to avoid another flood. The remnants of Cyclone Oswald hit us in the form of a summer storm, bigger than usual, but a pretty regular event here. It wasn’t surprising that hundreds of thousands of people (including me) lost electrical power, or that repairs couldn’t start until the wind had subsided. Even so, the restoration of power was very slow – in many places slower than in 2011. It’s become evident that, like all areas of the Queensland public sector, the electricity distributors (Energex in the Brisbane region and Ergon elsewhere) have been subject to staff cuts that have hampered their ability to respond. The union was issuing warnings about this last year, and they have been proved right. In one startling case, workers were delayed from responding to the emergency in Bundaberg, so they could be briefed on their redundancy options.

Ergon and Energex are government-owned corporations, which are normally supposed to make their own commercial decisions. In this case, however, the shareholding ministers, Energy Minister Mark McArdle and Treasurer Tim Nicholls, have actively intervened to push for job cuts. The obvious explanation is that they are trying to boost profitability (at least in the short term) to prepare the enterprises for privatisation. The regulatory system is supposed to require Energex and Ergon to meet reliability standards, but it seems likely that it is vulnerable to gaming, possibly by excluding extreme (but not uncommon or unpredictable) events like this storm from the criteria (I plan to look into this).

The cuts in the electricity sector have been matched or exceeded across the entire public sector, including the services on which we all rely in an emergency. Meanwhile, Campbell and Nicholls are building themselves a brand new office tower, demolishing the aging but serviceable building in which they currently work. They are paying off their supporters with cuts in payroll tax, grants to racing clubs and so on. But if you want a symbol of this government, you can’t go past Jeff Seeney, who tried to get a government plane, currently used for organ transplants and similar emergencies, allocated for his personal use.

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  1. Chris Warren
    February 4th, 2013 at 17:05 | #1

    Please read the report.

    It gives precise reasons why there is low confidence that reported cyclone changes are robust.

    This is not related to cyclones but to “insufficient observational data”.

    I suppose we will have to wait and see on this point.

    Anyone’s comments such as: ““Major storms and natural disasters are increasing in frequency, probably by a factor of 10, due to AGW. ” cannot honestly be changed to cyclones.

    But this is what you have done.

  2. Chris Warren
    February 4th, 2013 at 17:31 | #2

    Where there is data, the IPPC leaked Report says:

    There is medium confidence that anthropogenic forcing has contributed to an increase in the frequency of heavy precipitation events over the second half of the 20th century over land regions with sufficient observational coverage.

    It is more likely than not that over the next few decades there will be increases in mean precipitation in regions and seasons that are relatively wet during 1986-2005, and decreases in regions and seasons that are relatively dry during 1986-2005.

    In the near term, it is likely that the frequency and intensity of heavy precipitation events will increase at the global scale and at high latitudes.

    It is virtually certain that global precipitation will increase with global mean surface temperature.

    The increase is projected to be 1-3% increase in precipitation per degree temperature (K).

    For short-duration events, a shift to more intense individual storms and fewer weak storms is likely. In moist and some arid and semi-arid regions, extreme precipitation events will very likely be more intense and more frequent.

    In high emission scenarios, global monsoon area and global monsoon total precipitation are very likely to increase by the end of the 21st century.

  3. Chris Grealy
    February 4th, 2013 at 20:25 | #3

    Just a regular summer storm, right, oh, except for the tornadoes. In fact when it passed through here it was only 3 millibars away from being an official cyclone. The wind gusts were as bad as any I saw in North Queensland. Two power poles here in Capalaba were snapped off at the base dropping the 2kV lines on the road. Most places were without power for a while, many went without for days. Trees down all over the place, and while the rain didn’t match the event of two years ago, it came pretty close. These used to be called once in a hundred year storms; now they come every two years or so. We better get used to it.

  4. Mel
    February 4th, 2013 at 21:22 | #4

    Rabbit, stop wasting our time with distractions and irrelevancies. Here is Ikonoclast’s claim:

    “Major storms and natural disasters are increasing in frequency, probably by a factor of 10, due to AGW. ”

    I want suitable peer reviewed evidence of a likely 1,000 per cent increase in “major storms and natural disasters”. I don’t want a Lord Monckton style banquet of pork pies and snake oil. Ikonoclast should be man enough to either put up the scientific evidence or apologize for bringing this blog into disrepute.

  5. Hal9000
    February 4th, 2013 at 21:39 | #5

    There have historically been dozens of cyclones that have hit south-east Queensland. None, however, in the last thirty years. The cyclone season has just begun for 2012 – Oswald was the first cyclone of the season.

    On principle, you would expect to see more cyclones moving further south. Cyclones build and maintain their intensity by drawing on warm seas. I have no idea what the sea temperatures are off the Queensland coast, but increasing coral bleaching events on the GBR surely mean that sea temperatures are rising. It would be surprising if a tropical cyclone did not hit south-east Queensland in the next few years.

    South-east Queensland is home to numerous canal estates built on what were once wetlands. Scarborough and Raby Bay come to mind. Tens of thousands of people live in these estates. A cyclonic storm surge on a high tide would likely cause widespread devastation and loss of life. The insurance industry would justifiably refuse to cover against future events in the absence of massive infrastructure to protect these residential areas. This sets the scene for political conflict between those living in areas not subject to flooding, whether by rainfall or storm surge, and those who live in vulnerable areas. Whether by tax transfers or the cost of insurance, the prudent will be asked to finance the costs of those who are through choice or ignorance living in risky locations.

    The choices will be 1) abandon these people to their fate – savage decline in property values being the least of their worries 2) subsidise their relocation or 3) invest in massive earthworks, New Orleans style, to ‘floodproof’ their suburbs. Note that 3), as in New Orleans, may not prevent, or may indeed intensify the catastrophic effects of, cyclone-induced flooding.

    Knowing what is now known about how such events would play out, the Queensland government and local governments place themselves in considerable legal jeopardy if they continue to allow inappropriately sited developments. Somehow I don’t think that the remedy applied to avoid another ruinous potential legal liability in the case of the indigenous people cheated out of wages and monies supposedly held in trust – a one-off cheque for $10 grand or so – is going to be much of a precedent. The current State budget deficit, even on the inflated Costello calculation, looks puny in comparison.

  6. Ikonoclast
    February 4th, 2013 at 22:56 | #6

    @Mel

    “The costs of extreme weather events have exhibited a rapid upward trend in recent decades and yearly economic losses from large events increased ten-fold between the 1950s and the 1990s, in inflation-adjusted dollars.” (IPCC, 2001b)

    “Increasing frequency of extreme rains in western and southern parts including Changjiang river, and decrease in northern regions; more floods in Changjiang river in past decade; more frequent floods in North-East China since 1990s; more intense summer rains in East China; severe flood in 1999; seven-fold increase in frequency of floods since 1950s.” – IPCC.

    “Changes in Flood Risk under Global Warming Estimated Using MIROC5 and the Discharge Probability Index – Atsushi OKAZAKI Institute of Industrial Science, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan, Pat J. -F. YEH, International Centre for Water Hazard and Risk Management, Tsukuba, Japan, Kei YOSHIMURA phere and Ocean Research Institute, University of Tokyo, Kashiwa, Japan, Masahiro WATANABE, Masahide KIMOTO, Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, University of Tokyo, Kashiwa, Japan and Taikan OKI Institute of Industrial Science, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan. (Manuscript received 28 February 2011, in final form 9 May 2011)

    Abstract: We evaluated change in flood risk under global warming using the output from the latest version of the Model for Interdisciplinary Research on Climate (MIROC5), an atmosphere-ocean general circulation model. River discharge for the 21st century were simulated for the two Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5) scenarios and converted to the Discharge Probability Index (DPI) to evaluate future flood risk. The occurrence of flood events corresponding to various DPI categories was calculated for each continental region. The results show a significant increase in the risk of massive flood incidents during the 21st century in Asia, Africa, Oceania, and South America, with relatively large differences between the two scenarios. In contrast, both scenarios showed only slight increases in massive flood risk in North America and almost no change in Europe. For the RCP8.5 scenario in particular, the risk of massive flood occurrence will increase approximately ten times in Africa, seven times in Asia, and five times in South America by the end of the current century. Further analyses indicated that these projected flood increases will occur mainly due to the increases in the number of rainy days and the annual maximum daily precipitation, and the decrease in snowmelt in high latitudinal regions will play an important role on the unchanged risk in Europe in spite of the projected increase in precipitation.”

    “The Environment Agency, which is responsible for flood warning in England and Wales, recently stated that flooding is now twice as frequent as 100 years ago and predicts that there will be a ten-fold increase in flood risk over the next century.”

    “Milly et al. (2002) demonstrated that the frequency of large floods has increased substantially during the twentieth century. For all (but one) large basin (>200 000 km2) analysed, the control 100-year flood is exceeded more frequently as a result of CO2 quadrupling.* In some areas, what is given as a 100-year flood in the control run, is projected to become much more frequent, even occurring as often as every two to five years (i.e. 20- to 50-fold increase in frequency). Particularly strong increases are projected in Northern Asia. According to Milly et al. (2002), the likelihood that these changes are due to natural climate variability is small.”

    * Note: CO2 quadrupling is a future scenario.

    Therefore: “Major storms and natural disasters are increasing in frequency, probably by a factor of 10, due to AGW. ” Note “are increasing”. The historical process is not complete but is well on the way. Better go and join the deniers Mel, that is your true home.

  7. Mel
    February 4th, 2013 at 23:23 | #7

    Ikonoklast, you once again show a lack of any interest in truthfulness. Your first cite is from IPCC 2001, which is now 12 years out of date. What is of interest is AR5 2013. Also, it says absolutely nothing about frequency of extreme weather events.

    None of your other cites support your claim of a probable 1,000% increase in “major storm and natural disaster” frequency due to AGW.

    I’m beginning to suspect you are a troll planted here by Jo Nova or Anthony Watts.

  8. Ikonoclast
    February 5th, 2013 at 06:53 | #8

    @Mel

    “The costs of extreme weather events … rapid upward trend… economic losses from large events increased ten-fold between the 1950s and the 1990s, in inflation-adjusted dollars.” (IPCC, 2001b).

    “…. seven-fold increase in frequency of floods since 1950s.” – IPCC. (Re parts of China)

    “For the RCP8.5 scenario in particular, the risk of massive flood occurrence will increase approximately ten times in Africa, seven times in Asia, and five times in South America by the end of the current century.” – Japanese study.

    “The Environment Agency, which is responsible for flood warning in England and Wales, recently stated that flooding is now twice as frequent as 100 years ago and predicts that there will be a ten-fold increase in flood risk over the next century.”

    I now understand you Mel. Even when evidence is provided that a statement was reasonable you just continue with denial of evidence and vituperative abuse. I think the statement “I’m beginning to suspect you are a troll planted here by Jo Nova or Anthony Watts.”, probably applies to you. Chris Warren and I have replied with cite after cite to indicate there is plenty of evidence that my statement is reasonable. You have not posted any cites to the contrary. Put up some evidence of your own or shut up.

  9. Ikonoclast
    February 5th, 2013 at 07:15 | #9

    @Hal9000

    You are absolutely right. Our poor development pattern and decaying infrastructure both leave us in an extremely vulnerable position with respect to extreme weather events and bushfires.

    I would prefer the nation’s money be spent on progressively moving parts of the most vulnerable towns and suburbs to higher ground. This would be more economic in the long run. The suburbs impacted in Bundaberg should never be re-occupied in my opinion. The simplest principle is that what has flooded (catastrophically in this case) can flood again.

    I’d be intrigued if anyone (perhaps an economist) knows what constitutes a reasonable economic boundary line for building relative to flood lines. Clearly, a place that floods houses every five years on average is not viable. Clearly, only building above a (genuine) 1 in 1,000 year flood line would be too stringent. What is the economic boundary line? Also, what is a reasonable social and psychological boundary line for social and personal disruption? These lines might be different.

  10. rdb
    February 5th, 2013 at 08:01 | #10

    IEEE Spectrum Network Damage After Sandy Through The Eyes of A Disaster Forensics Expert

    Is there news of this kind of “disaster forensics” happening?

  11. Chris Warren
    February 5th, 2013 at 08:12 | #11

    @Ikonoclast

    At this stage, ignoring trouble makers is the best policy.

    The sources provided were from;

    Pew Center on Global Climate Change
    United Nations
    NASA
    MIT-Princeton University
    EMDAT

    The twit made a claim:

    Such an increase in the frequency of major storms

    (1) has not been observed anywhere

    which was firstly, not the terms of the original, and secondly, was contradicted by EMDAT.

    Anyone can obtain a 10 fold increase in any upwardly moving chart simply by choosing appropriate start and end points. Any increase in storms, if it continues – as is likely – will always reach a 10 fold point. The timing depends on the starting point.

    The IPCC is using terminology, that is synonymous with probable, but with multiple gradations of probability.

    At this stage stumbles should go out and play in the traffic.

  12. Mel
    February 5th, 2013 at 12:59 | #12

    Rabbit, EMDAT data includes earthquakes, tsunamis and other non climate related disasters. It isn’t meant to be a database of AGW caused natural disasters. If you’d accessed the EMDAT site rather picking a graph from a New Age spiritual healing website you might have worked that out. Talk about thick.

  13. Chris Warren
    February 5th, 2013 at 14:06 | #13

    Stumbles

    Fool,

    The site has a search function where you can dissect data.

    The data feeds into the UN and and other august bodies – as cited.

    If you think that EMDAT has data showing:

    Such an increase in the frequency of major storms

    (1) has not been observed anywhere

    then produce it.

    If you want to include other disasters – then the EMDAT chart from 1900 to 2000 shows a probable twenty-fold increase.

  14. J-D
    February 5th, 2013 at 14:28 | #14

    Since it is true that any currently increasing trend will eventually produce a tenfold increase if it continues unchanged, the description ‘a trend that will produce a tenfold increase if it continues unchanged’ means no more than ‘a currently increasing trend’.

    That doesn’t mean there’s no difference between a trend that will produce a tenfold increase in a year’s time, a trend that will produce a tenfold increase in a hundred years’ time, and a trend that will produce a tenfold increase in ten thousand years’ time.

  15. Mel
    February 5th, 2013 at 14:30 | #15

    Rabbit – “If you want to include other disasters – then the EMDAT chart from 1900 to 2000 shows a probable twenty-fold increase.”

    Yes, dopey, that is largely because of population growth, growth of cities and infrastructure etc and ease of reporting circa 2000 cf circa 1900. The emdat cannot be interpreted in the manner you suggest and it does not invalidate what is said in the IPCC AR5 documents. No wonder you’re a Marxist.

  16. Chris Warren
    February 5th, 2013 at 14:43 | #16

    @J-D

    Yes, you can easily pick your start and end points.

    And it doesn’t imply the increasing trend to be constant.

    However the trend is apparent, driven by a probable 1-3% increase in precipitation per degree temperature (K). it is unlikely that temperature increase will remain constant.

    Only stumbling denialists think otherwise.

  17. may
    February 5th, 2013 at 15:36 | #17

    as a comment on the comments.

    is there a hatching out pod for argument-for-arguments-sake proponents?
    there seems to be a continuing tag team relay thingo.
    one lot drop out and the next lot try a different twist on the same old theme.
    i suppose they serve the purpose of eliciting elucidation for the likes of me in what can be a quite esoteric discipline.

  18. Jim Rose
    February 5th, 2013 at 16:13 | #18

    what are the solutions to politics interfering with the running of state owned businesses?

  19. Ikonoclast
    February 5th, 2013 at 19:32 | #19

    @Jim Rose

    What are the solutions to capitalists exploiting workers?

  20. Jim Rose
    February 6th, 2013 at 07:18 | #20

    @Ikonoclast Capitalists do not exploit workers. Workers exploit capitalists who start businesses that fail. These workers are paid more than they add in labour value to failed start-ups.

    • A self-employed farmer scraping a living with the help of a part-timer is exploiting that worker while a manager who owns no shares on a salary of $500,000 a year is a downtrodden and exploited member of the proletariat!

    • Elite athletes, celebrities and TV and movie stars are the most exploited of all proletarians. Itinerant workers with no income security at all. At the mercy of the selectors, the record companies and big studios.

    • Many capitalists scrape a living and often go bankrupt and lose their house and marriage after business failures while many workers are highly paid. The university educated are well-paid proletarians with low unemployment rates.

    • How is your superannuation portfolio going? Riding high on the fat of the working class? Pension fund socialism was never a promise of long-run super-normal profits. Despite the majority of labour surplus now going back into the hands of workers in their retirement savings, the share market is still a dog.

    As Jon Elster noted “Marxian economics is, with a few exceptions, intellectually dead” and Marx’s labor theory of value is “useless at best, harmful and misleading at its not infrequent worst.”

  21. Chris Warren
    February 6th, 2013 at 09:26 | #21

    A self-employed farmer employing workers is not a capitalist.

    A manager on $500,000 benefits from capitalist exploitation.

    Your view of elite athletes is at your normal standard of understanding.

    Small businesses are more likely to go bankrupt than capitalists.

    Graduate unemployment is higher than any other unemployment if you assess this on the basis of working in a job associated with their qualification.

    Over 8% of graduates are unemployed
    Over 15% of graduates are forced into part-time, casual roles while waiting for employment.

    Superannuation consists of take-home wage cuts to force workers to gift capitalists huge funds to boost investments. In the long-run the super-schemes are cut (pleading affordability) or the jurisdiction pleads bankruptcy (US states).

    Marxist economics is nothing but the continuing essence of Ricardo. You do not even know what Marx’s Labour Theory even is.

    The continuing ratcheting in macoeconomic instability – merely alleviated by population increase and increased participation of low waged labour as a short-run tactic – proves beyond dispute that the labour theory – properly understood is the only basis for economic stability and social justice – with or without Marx.

  22. Ikonoclast
    February 6th, 2013 at 10:18 | #22

    @Jim Rose

    My question was a ripost to your leading question of “what are the solutions to politics interfering with the running of state owned businesses?” This was a leading question or suggestive interrogation which is one that suggests a particular answer the examiner is looking to have confirmed. It was obvious what you were driving at, the unexamined assumptions you were making and the preferred answer you had in mind. I was not going to play your game. Instead, I asked a leading question of my own albeit with an analytical basis on much firmer empirical ground. As I expected, my leading question deflected yours and touched you off on a highly unsupportable and muddled anti-worker rant.

  23. Nick
    February 6th, 2013 at 10:51 | #23

    Chris, you quoted some excerpts from the leaked IPCC doc, which can viewed here:

    http://www.stopgreensuicide.com/summaryforpolicymakers_wg1ar5-spm_fod_final.pdf

    In the spirit of all of us hopefully learning a few things – and apologising for my earlier crankiness (the way you’re talking to some of the other commenters really does push my buttons…two to tango, and all that)…

    I think Figure SPM.4 on page SPM-23 is instructive as to the very different changes in precipitation being experienced by different latitudes.

  24. Nick
    February 6th, 2013 at 10:52 | #24

    I also found this page fascinating, on the history of flooding in China:

    http://factsanddetails.com/china.php?itemid=395

  25. Ikonoclast
    February 6th, 2013 at 11:31 | #25

    @Nick

    Part of that dog fight occurred because I made a statement that sounded on the face of it like a rhetorical exaggeration. One commentator took great exception but instead of using facts to refute me indulged in continuous crude, personal and vituperative attacks. As it turned out, what appeared to be rhetorical exaggeration on my part was largely supportable by various sets of empirical data and modelling albeit some, but not all, of the modelling required extension to 2100 (close in historical terms) for my claims to be validated. Given that the kind of planet and climate we bequeath to our children and grandchildren is a very valid concern, the timeline of potential events to 2100 is clearly admissable in the debate.

    The dissenting commentator continued to ignore or deny evidence validating my broad claim in many large regions and even continents albeit not entirely globally, continued to abuse me and even defamed me by strongly suggesting I was a denialist provocatuer and troll. He/she offered no direct refuting evidence but only general claims that a yet unpublished, leaked, draft document from the IPCC belied my claims. He further denigrated earlier IPCC reports as being in error, not in early modelling projections which of course could be the case, but as wrong in fact in reporting about empirical events which had already occurred. The flooding increase in China is an example. He/she offered no evidence or reasoning for this extraordinary claim. Is it any wonder C.W. and I got more than a little cranky and responded with proportionate vigour to these scurrilous attacks? I do not resile from doing so.

  26. Ikonoclast
    February 6th, 2013 at 11:54 | #26

    @Nick

    I also note that the draft report you linked to says as follows (if we want to admit it as evidence in this debate).

    Heavy precipitation events. Frequency (or proportion of total rainfall from heavy falls) increases over more areas than decreases:

    1. Is ”Likely” to have occurred since 1950.
    2. There is ”Medium confidence” humans have contributed to this trend.
    3. Is “Likely” to continue this trend for future decades.
    4. Is “Very likely” to continue trends based on projections for 21st c using RCP scenarios.

    I will admit, I don’t understand the technical or substantive difference between points 3 and 4 without further explanation.

    Given this information and extant local and regional emirical evidence of five to tenfold increases in overall flooding damage caused by frequency times intensity over the decades from 1950 to the present, my case rests as reasonably proven. What proportion is due to climate change and what proportion is due to deforestation and land use changes is a moot question. But it clear both are likely (at the very least) to be conjointly involved.

  27. Mel
    February 6th, 2013 at 16:28 | #27

    Ikonotroll again demonstrates a lack of truthfulness. Global population in 1900 was 1.6 billion people. At that time we had no satellites, mobile phones or computers. Vast areas of wilderness remained. It simply dishonest to look at an aggregation of natural disasters in 1900, compare it with now (as Chris Warren did with the EMDAT data) and say this is evidence of an increase in “major storms and natural disasters” due to AGW. Emdat themselves make no such claim and acknowledge the limits of their data.

    Ikonotroll introduced another dishonest argument to support his claim by looking at historical dollar value changes in the costs of extreme weather event damages. This is dishonest because global GDP grown at a rapid rate for over one hundred years.

    Here is an example of Ikonotrolls evidence: ““The costs of extreme weather events … rapid upward trend… economic losses from large events increased ten-fold between the 1950s and the 1990s, in inflation-adjusted dollars.” This data only becomes meaningful once you acknowledge the doubling of real global GDP each decade since the 1950s and tendency for much development to occur in harms way, such as seaside development in areas subject to cyclones etc…

    The fact remains as I stated, that being:

    (1) IPCC AR5 does not say we are on a trajectory of a 1,000 per cent increase in major storms and natural disasters due to AGW, and
    (2) no body of peer reviewed research published in reputable publications say we are on a trajectory of a 1,000 per cent increase in major storms and natural disasters due to AGW

    In truth, IPCC AR5 has backtracked on some of the more alarming claims made in earlier IPCC reports. FRom New Scientist:

    “… the IPCC has changed its 2007 prediction on droughts. Then, it concluded that a world beset by more intense droughts was “likely”. But the authors of the new report have taken heed of recent criticisms that the statistical measure of drought favoured by climatologists is unreliable.
    The draft quotes studies that show recent “decreasing trends in the duration, intensity and severity of drought globally”.
    Another common expectation of a warmer world also bites the dust: more frequent tropical cyclones. In 2007, the IPCC said there had been a “likely” increase in tropical cyclones since 1970, which was “more likely than not” due to global warming raising sea temperatures.
    But the new report backtracks. “The [previous] assessment needs to be somewhat revised,” it says. After a review of past cyclone counts, it concludes that “tropical cyclone data provides low confidence that any reported long-term changes are robust”. There is evidence, however, that the average intensity of cyclones will rise in the years ahead.”

    wwwDOTnewscientistDOTcom/article/dn23014-what-leaked-ipcc-report-really-says-on-climate-change.html

  28. may
    February 6th, 2013 at 16:39 | #28

    Chris Warren :A self-employed farmer employing workers is not a capitalist.
    A manager on $500,000 benefits from capitalist exploitation.
    Your view of elite athletes is at your normal standard of understanding.
    Small businesses are more likely to go bankrupt than capitalists.
    Graduate unemployment is higher than any other unemployment if you assess this on the basis of working in a job associated with their qualification.
    Over 8% of graduates are unemployedOver 15% of graduates are forced into part-time, casual roles while waiting for employment.
    Superannuation consists of take-home wage cuts to force workers to gift capitalists huge funds to boost investments. In the long-run the super-schemes are cut (pleading affordability) or the jurisdiction pleads bankruptcy (US states).
    Marxist economics is nothing but the continuing essence of Ricardo. You do not even know what Marx’s Labour Theory even is.
    The continuing ratcheting in macoeconomic instability – merely alleviated by population increase and increased participation of low waged labour as a short-run tactic – proves beyond dispute that the labour theory – properly understood is the only basis for economic stability and social justice – with or without Marx.

    ah a perfect lead in to the current hoo hah about super.

    our one party broadcasting industry is at it again.(still)

    a small percentage of battling superannuitants on a measly $52,000 per annum are claiming to represent all superannuitants who are not on $52,000 per annum in claiming tha gubmunt is going to do us all down.
    the untrustworthy baarstuds.

  29. may
    February 6th, 2013 at 16:43 | #29

    orh
    and the coalition policy is to get rid of tax breaks for low income superannuitants .

  30. Chris Warren
    February 6th, 2013 at 16:57 | #30

    The troll is back…

    Oh well;

    Where there is data, the IPPC leaked Report says:

    There is medium confidence that anthropogenic forcing has contributed to an increase in the frequency of heavy precipitation events over the second half of the 20th century over land regions with sufficient observational coverage.

    It is more likely than not that over the next few decades there will be increases in mean precipitation in regions and seasons that are relatively wet during 1986-2005, and decreases in regions and seasons that are relatively dry during 1986-2005.

    In the near term, it is likely that the frequency and intensity of heavy precipitation events will increase at the global scale and at high latitudes.

    It is virtually certain that global precipitation will increase with global mean surface temperature.

    The increase is projected to be 1-3% increase in precipitation per degree temperature (K).

    For short-duration events, a shift to more intense individual storms and fewer weak storms is likely. In moist and some arid and semi-arid regions, extreme precipitation events will very likely be more intense and more frequent.

    In high emission scenarios, global monsoon area and global monsoon total precipitation are very likely to increase by the end of the 21st century.

    and:

    Does this show a probable tripling or a probable quadrupling of floods – since 1980?
    Or is it a decrease?
    www-flickr.com/photos/isdr/7460711188/in/set-72157628015380393/

    and:

    Anyone can say “probably X%” or “probably by a factor of Y” including:
    probably by a factor of 10?
    Only nutters would carry-on as if someone was therefore

    arguing the case for a tenfold increase.

    Your deliberate fabrication was not appreciated.
    However any increase from a small base, can lead to a ten-fold increase if it continues long enough.
    Anyway, put on your glasses, and tell me if you can see a probable 10 fold increase here:
    www-tinyurl.com/Mel-disaster

    and:

    Didn’t you know that, using models, a joint MIT-Princeton University research team has shown that the frequency of intense storms would increase due to climate change.
    Try: www-enn.com/climate/article/44006

    and:

    Are you able to read English?
    try: www-thorntonweather.com/blog/climate-change/nasa-says-global-warming-will-increase-severe-storms/

    and:

    Such an increase in the frequency of major storms
    (1) has not been observed anywhere

    You seem to be suffering from the stumblebum syndrome.
    Are you able to read a simple graph showing increased storms?
    try: centerforoceansolutions.org/climate/impacts/cumulative-impacts/storm-intensity/

    And not only all that – but the trends are that, matters are only going to get worse in the future.

  31. Nick
    February 6th, 2013 at 16:58 | #31

    “The flooding increase in China is an example.”

    Ikon, I’m seriously at a loss to find any evidence of a seven-fold increase in flooding in China.

    I’ve read through a bunch of papers, including the ones referenced by the IPCC (on holiday in Qld atm, btw, so have some time on my hands and an interest in the subject), and can’t find anything like that. Total precipitation, as well as frequency of extreme precipitation, have at most increased by 7-10% per decade since 1950 – and only in particular regions. They’ve decreased in other regions – and the totals for China as a whole really haven’t increased much, if at all.

    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/JCLI-3318.1

  32. Nick
    February 6th, 2013 at 17:00 | #32

    Also see Table 3 here

    Average all those figures and you get a decrease in 50-year events ie. an increase in their return times.

    I’m kinda concluding (until shown differently) that seven-fold increase referred to is similar to the EMDAT figures – it refers to the frequency of flood damage reporting, not the frequency of extreme weather events.

  33. Mel
    February 6th, 2013 at 17:17 | #33

    Ikonotroll and Rabbit are apparently unaware of the role of hard surfaces and inadequate storm water drainage in floods. I well remember parts of Northcote/Thornbury in Melbourne flooding in the late 90s after a 50mm downpour. Such a downpour wouldn’t have caused any flooding 20 or 30 years earlier because there was much urban consolidation including fewer dual occupancy, fewer concrete driveways and other hard surfaces.

    As I’ve said all along, AGW is a serious issue that must be addressed as a matter of priority. However the antics of ne’er do wells like the two stooges, Rabbit and Ikonotroll, makes action less likely.

  34. may
    February 6th, 2013 at 17:24 | #34

    is it just a coincidence that the colouring of the commenter who calls the “breaker-of-icons” a troll,is very samish as the colouring of the self described torturer who called an MP “stasi-eyed”?

  35. Chris Warren
    February 6th, 2013 at 17:24 | #35

    @Mel

    You have lost track of what you are even arguing about.

    No one has mentioned the role of hard surfaces etc.

    It is all in your head.

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