The Australian budget brings weeping and wailing and garnishing of teeth from Greenies
Australia's new conservative government brought down its first budget on Tuesday night
As feared, the first Budget delivered by the new Government has seen the axe swung upon the Australian Reneweable Energy Agency (ARENA).
According to the Budget papers:
"The Government will achieve savings of $1.3 billion over five years from 2017-18 (including $223.3 million in 2018-19, $455.9 million in 2019-20, $125.4 million in 2020-21 and $131.1 million in 2021-22) by abolishing the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and repealing the Australian Renewable Energy Agency Act 2011. Funding of $1.0 billion over eight years will remain available to support existing priority projects."
The Government says the savings will be redirected to repairing the Budget and to fund policy priorities.
The Clean Energy Council expressed its disappointment in the announcement.
"A global race for renewable energy is on, and the removal of ARENA will see potential Australian and international investors now look to countries with much stronger support for renewable energy innovation, meaning we may well miss out on billions of dollars of investment and highly-skilled jobs," said Deputy Chief Executive Kane Thornton.
"Abolishing ARENA is a backwards step for the 'clever country' at a time when job losses in traditional industries like the automotive and manufacturing sectors mean we need new, innovative industries to take their place and fill this void."
The Australian Solar Council also reacted strongly, calling the budget a "boulevard of broken dreams" for the solar industry.
"The Budget has delivered a trifecta of broken promises to the solar industry," said John Grimes, Chief Executive of the Australian Solar Council.
"The Government promised the Australian people an additional million solar roofs by 2020. The Budget contains no funding to make this happen. A Million Solar Roofs is a mirage."
"The Government promised to maintain the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) but, instead, the Budget has delivered a death warrant for ARENA. Unless the Senate stands up to the Government, ARENA will be abolished."
"The Government promised to maintain the Renewable Energy Target but every indication is this key policy will also be thrown on the scrapheap."
The Sustainable Energy Association of Australia called the axing of ARENA a regressive step.
"ARENA was designed to increase the supply of renewable energy in Australia and to make it more affordable. It has been welcomed by both the industry and by investors, who were looking at Australia as a growing market for clean technologies," said SEA Chief Executive Kirsten Rose.
"Unfortunately, the proposed scrapping of ARENA means it’s likely that investment in a cleaner energy sector won’t happen in Australia, but will go to other countries with stronger, more stable policy environments for renewable energy," said Ms Rose.
Greens leader Senator Christine Milne said the Budget was "just a tunnel vision for motorways and stranded fossil fuel assets that will be worthless to our economy within decades."
Apartheid for GM food!
Could we soon farm crops in disused MINES? Growing corn in colder, isolated conditions doesn't affect yield - and could stop GM pollen escaping into the foodchain
Kent might be known as the ‘Garden of England’ but one day parts of Wales, northern and south-west England could be home to underground ‘fields’ of corn and genetically modified crops.
Scientists have discovered that lowering the temperature reduces the height of corn crops without affecting its seed yield.
They think the crop could be grown in cool places such as caves and former mines in 'controlled-environment' facilities.
Researchers installed a growth chamber with insulation and yellow and blue high-intensity discharge lamps in a former limestone mine in Marengo, Indiana.
Their aim was to test how corn would react to an environment in which its growing conditions - light, temperature, humidity and carbon dioxide - were tightly controlled.
To reduce the corn's height, the researchers used a growth chamber that mimicked the temperature conditions and carbon dioxide levels of the mine.
They dropped the temperature to 16°C (60°F) for the first two hours of each photoperiod - the time in which the corn received light.
The temperature was restored to 27°C (80°F) for 14 hours and then lowered to 18°C (65 °F) for eight hours of darkness.
The temperature dip dwarfed stalk height by 10 per cent and reduced stalk diameter by nine per cent without significantly affecting the number and weight of the seeds.
Experts think this process could be easily achieved in caves and disused mines.
Genetically-modified crops could also be grown in such isolated environments as this would prevent genetically modified pollen and seed from escaping into the ecosystem and crossing with wild plants, experts claim.
Cary Mitchell, professor of horticulture at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, believes that the technique could be useful for growing transgenic crops to produce high-value medicinal products such as antibodies.
‘Grains of corn could be engineered to produce proteins that could be extracted and processed into medicine, pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals such as essential vitamins,’ he said.
‘What we've done is show that you can successfully grow these high-value crops in contained environments.’
Professor Mitchell described corn as a ‘good candidate crop’ for the plant-derived pharmaceutical compounds industry.
Genetically-modified crops could be grown in isolated environments such as mines and caves as this would prevent genetically modified pollen and seed from escaping into the ecosystem and crossing with wild plants.
Hostile 8 min. Climate Debate Between Morano & TV Anchor on CCTV
Climate Depot’s Marc Morano vs. CCTV Anchor Anand Naidoo (formerly of Al Jazeera & CNN). Selected Excerpts from Monday May 13, 2014 Internationally Televised Debate on CCTV America (Chinese TV)
Marc Morano: You can distinguish between natural variability and the human impact. Nothing unusual is happening in our climate.
Sea level has been rising since the last 10,000. There has been no acceleration. In fact a new paper in the journal Nature since 2002, there has been a deceleration in sea level rise. Nothing alarming is happening with sea level rise. (More here and here)
President Obama claims we are feeling global warming here and now. But on every metric, you can talk tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, droughts. Not only are we not ‘feeling it now’, we are on no trend or declining trends on 50 to 100 year times scales.
Anchor Anand Naidoo: But we are feeling it, we have seen hurricanes, for instance hurricane Sandy. We have seen more Tornadoes in the Midwest in America. We have seen ocean levels rise in Bangladesh.
Morano: First of all, you used the word ‘facts’ earlier, I hope you are not using that now. Every bad weather event is now proof of global warming? There is no way to falsify the AGW theory.
We are actually going through the longest period a category 3 or larger hurricane hitting the U.S. since 2005. That is the longest period in at least a century. Big tornadoes F3 and larger since the 1950s and 1970s have been on a decline. There might be more tornadoes counted, because we have better monitoring but actual damaging tornadoes, huge decline. The most damaging decade for hurricanes was the 1940s. Droughts are on a decline in the U.S. (over the past century.)
Anchor Anand Naidoo: Are you saying nothing should be done?
Morano: Yes. There so-called solutions would have no detectable climate impact. Our President Obama, is on record as calling our failed cap and trade bill would make our planet 4 or 5 degrees cooler for our grandchildren. His then EPA director went to the US senate and testified that not only would the cap and trade bill not impact global temperature, it would not even impact global co2 levels. What they are proposing is pure symbolism. It is medieval witchcraft because they are saying we can alter through acts of congress, the EPA and United Nations treaties.
Every coal plant built today is radically cleaner than ones built 30 or 40 years ago. Natural gas fracking is replacing coal in many instances and that is causing dramatic reductions. Our emission levels are dropping due to technology. Not big government solutions brought up on by fear by people like John Holdren.
Look, in 1846, in Australia, Aborigines blamed the bad climate on the introduction of the White man in Australia. During World War 2, some blamed the war for causing unusual weather patterns. In 1933, Syria banned the Yo-Yo because they thought it caused drought. In the 1970s, the exact same things (bad weather) we are talking about today, were blamed on man-made global cooling.
Anchor Anand Naidoo: But if you say nothing should be done, doesn’t this play into the hands of big energy, oil companies?
Morano: When faced with a non-problem – as Lord Monckton once said – the best thing to do is have the courage to do nothing. On every metric they are failing. When current reality fails to alarm, they make a bunch of scary predictions. That what this report is, it is a political report. Please be careful with the word ‘fact’ that was a disturbing word you used earlier.
Anchor Anand Naidoo: You may call it a political report. It is fact. 300 scientists were involved in compilation of the White House report. There were hundreds more scientists involved in the UN report. What are your qualifications in the climate?
Morano: My qualifications are I have a background in political science which is the perfect qualification to examine global warming claims. But I don’t rely on myself, I have actually worked with teams of scientists. I authored a report of over 1000 international scientists that have dissented from so called man-made global warming claims.
Anchor Anand Naidoo: But this is climate science.
Morano: But the [Obama climate report] report you are referencing included Nature Conservancy, the Union of Concerned Scientists. It was written to cause a political agenda. And the American people are not stupid.
Anchor Anand Naidoo asks about Climate Depot funding:
Morano: One donation from the from Natural gas industry – carbon based energy – to the Sierra Club of $26 million exceeded my [parent company CFACT’s total annual] budget by about five times – just one donation to Sierra Club.
I used to work for Senator Inhofe, when he was asked ‘how much does big energy’ give you? His answer was ‘not enough when you look at how well financed the greens are’
The Koch brothers, are only 59th giving in American politics. That is where they come in. You have billionaire democrats like Tom Steyer. Are you looking at into that? Are you worried about their bias right now?
Your last guest (Michael Dorsey) talked about minorities and African Americans the disproportionate impact of ‘global warming.’ The biggest impact that minorities, seniors, and people on fixed incomes face — are so-called ‘solutions’ which drive up the cost of our energy.
In the UK people have died this past winter because of commitment to green energy based on global warming fears.
President Obama has done us a favor in a way, because no one is going to take this report seriously. Al Gore has made global warming a partisan issue and Obama has furthered that cause.
Anchor Anand Naidoo: Well, I am not sure that no one is going to take this seriously.
Morano: Well, the usual suspects will.
Anchor Anand Naidoo: Obviously there are various viewpoints on this. Marc Morano, thank you very much for joining us.
The medical experts who refuse to use low-energy lightbulbs in their homes
Professors have stocked up on old-style bulbs to protect against skin cancer and blindness. So should YOU be worried?
How would you view a man who's stockpiled a lifetime supply of old-fashioned lightbulbs because he believes low-energy bulbs could lead to blindness?
You might well dismiss him as dotty. But the man in question, John Marshall, is no crank. In fact, he's one of Britain's most eminent eye experts, the professor of ophthalmology at the University College London Institute of Ophthalmology. So concerned is he that he has boxes stacked with old-fashioned incandescent lightbulbs at home.
'I bulk bought incandescent lightbulbs before the Government made it illegal to import them,' he says.
'I can't give you an exact number, but I have enough to see me out.'
Nor is he alone in his concerns about modern lightbulbs. Another eminent British professor, John Hawk, an expert in skin disease, is warning they may cause sunburn-like damage, premature aging and even skin cancer.
He doesn't have any low-energy bulbs in his house, explaining: 'I have lots of old-style bulbs I bought in bulk when they were available.'
Incandescent bulbs had been the standard form of illumination for more than a century. But following an EU directive, the Government banned the import of 100-watt bulbs from 2009. This was followed by a ban on 60w bulbs in 2011 and a full ban on all 'traditional' bulbs in 2012.
The EU directive was aimed at cutting fuel and carbon emissions. The low-energy bulbs - or compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), to give them their technical name - are said to use 80 per cent less electricity and to last longer.
Old-fashioned incandescent bulbs work by electrically heating a filament inside a glass globe filled with inert gas, so that it emits light.
Instead of a glowing filament, low-energy bulbs have argon and mercury vapour within a spiral-shaped tube. When the gas gets heated, it produces ultraviolet light. This stimulates a fluorescent coating painted on the inside of the tube. As this coating absorbs energy, it emits light.
The concern is about some of the light rays emitted in high levels by these bulbs, says Professor Marshall. Recent scientific evidence shows these specific rays are particularly damaging to human eyes and skin.
Light is made up of a spectrum of different coloured rays of light, which have different wavelengths. As he explains: 'Light is a form of radiation. The shorter the wavelength, the more energy it contains.
'The most damaging part of the spectrum is the short wavelength light at the indigo/violet end of blue.
'Incandescent bulbs did not cause problems, but these low-energy lamps emit high peaks of blue and ultraviolet light at this wavelength.'
Rubio: Climate Change Proposals ‘Will Destroy Our Economy’
Marco Rubio doesn’t think human behavior is causing the world’s climate to significantly change.
“I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying it,” the Florida Republican senator told ABC’s “This Week” in an interview that aired Sunday.
“And I do not believe,” Rubio continued, “that the laws that they propose we pass will do anything about it, except it will destroy our economy.”
Saying that the global climate “is always changing,” Rubio said scientists had taken “a handful of decades of research” and called it “evidence of a longer-term trend that’s directly and almost solely attributable to manmade activity.”
Nick Loris, the Herbert and Joyce Morgan fellow at The Heritage Foundation, said Rubio was “spot on in saying climate regulations will do much more to harm our economy than combat climate change.”
“Despite Congress’s rejection of cap-and-trade proposals,” warned Loris, “the administration is moving forward with the regulatory equivalent that will drive up energy prices for American families and businesses, reducing income and destroying jobs in the process.”
Obama Slams 'Climate Deniers'
While delivering a speech promoting renewable energy last week, Barack Obama said, “[W]e’ve still got some climate deniers who shout loud, but they’re wasting everybody’s time on a settled debate.” He added, “Hundreds of scientists, experts and businesses, not-for-profits, local communities – all contributed over the course of four years. What they found was unequivocally that climate change is not some far-off problem in the future. It’s happening now. It’s causing hardship now.”
Really, it took a plethora of scientific groups to figure out that the climate is always in a state of change? And yet they still don’t get it. Mona Charen recently wrote, “The Economist magazine noted [that] ‘half of all published research cannot be replicated … and that may be optimistic.’” Such fabrication would include the EPA itself. “The point,” Charen concludes, “is not to ignore scientific data but to treat all studies, models and predictions with a degree of skepticism.” Something for those who emphatically proclaim “the science is settled” to consider.
Obama Shines on Walmart
Barack Obama visited a California Walmart to announce a new push for solar energy. He unveiled some executive actions so minor even The New York Times admitted Obama's "initiatives will not amount to much in terms of energy policy or their impact on global warming." The Times continued by saying Obama's move is preparation for a new round of EPA regulations that will be unveiled in June.
Obama praised Walmart for its green initiatives like installing solar panels, saying, "Those upgrades created dozens of construction jobs, and helped this store save money on its energy bills. And that why I'm here today, because more and more companies like Walmart realize that wasting less energy isn't just good for the environment, it's good for business."
If Walmart did that on its own, why do we need the vacation-taking, porn-watching EPA to draft more red tape in its spare time?
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