Friday, November 02, 2018

Climate change blamed for flooding at Scottish park

The key sentence below: "Flooding there has caused issues for many years".  So why blame global warming?  It's become an automatic reflex in the media

CLIMATE change is being blamed for expensive flooding problems at one of Edinburgh's busiest parks.  The council hopes to spend £220,000 to solve the flooding at Inverleith Park but will have to wait until next year for the funding to be allocated in the authority's budget. The council admits there is a risk that "more frequent and heavier rainfall events caused by climate change" means more water needs to be drained from Inverleith Park

Flooding there has caused issues for many years with playing fields regularly inundated after heavy rainfall. In 2013, the council invested £82,000 on drainage works. Transport and environment vice convener, Cllr Karen Doran, said: "Inverleith Park is one of the city's largest and most popular green spaces and attracts tens of thousands of people each year to relax in its surroundings, play sport in its fields or attend one of the key events taking place there. "For some time the park has been subject to flooding"

SOGGY: Heavy rainfall has meant playing fields in Inverleith Park are regularly flooded, despite drainage works in 2013, adversely impacting the enjoyment of those who visit, and it has been recognised that a long-term solution is required to limit the effects. Proposals to improve drainage would go some way to achieving this and funding will be considered as part of the 19/20 budget process." Organisers of commercial events are required to pay towards damage caused to the ground. Following last year's Foodies Festival, £13,127 was used for repairs.

A report by officers to the council's transport and environment committee, said: "It has been determined that some of the existing drainage system is no longer able to effectively drain surface water, given the frequency and scale of current rainfall events. "It is therefore proposed that the ineffective sections are replaced with larger and better aligned piping, and that the installation of lateral and secondary field drainage supplements these. A bid for capital funding will be made as part of the 2019/20 budget process."

Green councillors have pointed to large-scale commercial events being held at Inverleith Park for adding to the flooding problems. Green Cllr Steve Burgess said:"In recent years, pressure on the park ground has been increased by large-scale commercial events. So it is important that engineering work to sort flooding now is not undermined by heavy machinery and equipment out of keeping with parks. "Sadly, with climate change, flooding events like this   are going to be more frequent in the future - yet another reminder that prevention is better than cure."

The report to councillors adds: "During storm events, the volume of water being received is exceeding the flow capacity of the downstream pipes. This results in water backing up and the surrounding areas becoming flooded." Last year, Liberal Democrat Cllr Hal Osler put forward a motion calling for action to alleviate the flooding. At the time, Cllr Osler said: "Standing water is a health risk to people and animals and we need to investigate this problem and stop the flooding."

Edinburgh News, June 20, 2018 p.14

Legislation would require Fish and Wildlife Service to publish the science that backs up endangered species designations

The once well intentioned Endangered Species Act (ESA) has been hijacked by environmental radicals and the far left to impose an agenda rather than save animals, the Executive Director of the House Western Caucus, Jeff Smalls, is warning and a bill by U.S. Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) would change that.

"This bill requires the science to be published on the internet so it can be available to the public. It can be peer reviewed. And it also requires agencies no longer just ignore states, tribal governments, and local governments. That has been a big problem that we have seen in the past," Small explained in an interview on Conservative Commandos with Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning.

The interview discussed the modernization of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and how McClintock's bill would help return the Fish and Wildlife Service to sound science.

Environmental regulations have been based on science which has not been peer reviewed or available to the public. One of the Western Caucus's missions has been to change this through the legislation offered by McClintock.

Currently, federal environmental regulators operate with little to no discussion with local and state governments, this often produced ineffective policy that hinders local industries. State governments should have the best knowledge of how policy will impact their activity, yet federal regulators cut them out of the equation.

Manning noted in the interview, "[The Obama Administration] ignored what the people who actually had a stake in what the outcomes were said related to the science and the species and essentially imposed top down solutions which didn't have bringing the species back as a top priority but instead had changing the development and making it so people couldn't actually coexist with the species in many, many areas."

Smalls also noted how the Western Caucus was successful in overturning a policy which would have eliminated mining ability in over 10 million acres of land to protect a bird which is not actually endangered. Now, the Caucus is working with the Trump Administration to remove additional regulations that limit land use.

In July, Manning spoke at the Western Caucus on the issue and noted, "The House Western Caucus is to be applauded for reigniting this effort to reform the ESA so that there is a balance between the economic and environmental needs of our nation.  It is particularly important that sound science with full transparency be employed in reaching and reviewing any findings under the Act as called for by Representative McClintock's HR 3608. Hopefully due to today's activities, the reform effort will lead to sound, transparent and replicable science with frequent and regular reviews being required before knee-jerk actions destroy other industries and communities.  Ending forever the ability of fundraising driven environmental hysteria to destroy people's way of life, with the actual protection and recovery of the threatened or endangered species being a secondary concern."


Adani solar plant guzzles illegal fresh water in drought-hit Tamil Nadu, India

The world's largest solar PV farm uses 200,000 litres of water each day to keep the panels clean. Yet some people think that we are soon going to source all our electricity from solar farms in deserts.

The world's largest solar power plant, installed by the Adani Group in 2,500 acres in Kamuthi taluk of Tamil Nadu, is not as green or sustainable as it seems. Local residents claim the 648 MW renewable energy plant is a water guzzler.

It takes as much as 2 lakh litres of good quality water to keep its 25 lakh solar modules clean each day. That water is sourced from borewells 5 km away without permission from the district authorities, the villagers allege.

Near the dried Gundar riverbed on Kamuthi-Mudukulathur road at Kottai Medu, one can find borewells functioning round the clock, filling 6,000-8,000 litre tanks that are attached to tractors.

Around 40 tractors are said to have been contracted by Adani Green Energy (TN) for cleaning the giant solar modules, each of which is approximately 125 ft long and 28 ft wide. Two contract workers in each vehicle fetch water and clean the modules, often twice a day. The panels need to be kept clean, else production could drop by as much as 25 per cent.

The plant's security head S K Sharma told Express they were not drawing or buying borewell water directly. Since cleaning work has been outsourced, it's up to contractors to manage the water source. That part has been specifically written into the contract, he claimed. The Adani top brass was unavailable for comment.

A revenue official attached to Kamuthi taluk confirmed "no person or company has got permission to sell the groundwater, but they are selling it to contractors to clean the solar modules."

Seeman threatens to protest

NTK leader Seeman says the State provided all support needed for Adani's group to set up the plant, right from land acquisition to setting up an exclusive sub station of TANTRASCO. "But the company has now started exploiting the water source," he said, threatening to protest


How the green movement is humiliating itself

Despite its general lack of merit, a lawsuit by the New York attorney general's office is an entertaining symbol of all that has gone wrong with the green movement in the era of climate-change politics.

Exxon is accused of failing to adopt sufficiently penitential accounting for its oil and gas projects in light of climate regulations that, ahem, don't exist. Indeed, politicians around the world have declined to enact the green wish list even when given the chance, notwithstanding their endless verbal opposition to climate change.

Presume for a moment the accusations against Exxon are accurate. Then greens should actually be glad because Exxon has spared them future embarrassment when the company is forced to increase the recorded value of its assets to account for the failure of green politics to deliver the expected carbon regulations.

Words are challenged to express how laughable this case is. Before getting lost in distinctions that Exxon internally draws (and the attorney general muddles) between project-specific costs and policies that would suppress demand for fossil fuels generally, let's remember a few things.

Like all businesses, Exxon seeks to take only those risks that will pay off, and has every incentive to anticipate future regulatory costs correctly. The attorney general's office and its green backers have an entirely different purpose: They want Exxon to use its internal disciplines to prevent oil and gas development even if it would pay off.

The mood ring the greens are wearing is not a pretty colour. They can't enact meaningful curbs through the political process. They failed to use the courts to hold Exxon and others liable for global warming, never mind that the damages they sought would have been paid by producing more oil and gas (and therefore more greenhouse gases).

They have not succeeded in slowing the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide, but now are suing Exxon for not pretending otherwise in its accounting. It's almost as if extorting Exxon's participation in a fantasy of green success has become a substitute for actual green success.

The lawsuit is the last dribble of the grand inquisition launched by now-departed Attorney-General Eric Schneiderman, subsidised (as we later learned) by outside climate lobbyists. Mr Schneiderman was forced to leave office in May due to his practice of hitting women he was dating. He set out originally to prove that Exxon had lied about climate science, which Mr Schneiderman apparently believed is devoid of uncertainties. (Exxon had pointed to uncertainties.)

That fell through, perhaps when his staff opened any of the reports of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. These not only testify to the continuing uncertainties, but ironically have themselves become a five-volume testament to science's inability to reduce these uncertainties despite tens of billions invested in climate science.

Here's another embarrassment. Since climate change moved to centre stage and became the holy cause of the green movement 20 years ago, greenhouse gases have grown faster than ever. The climate-change lobby has devolved into an angry cult. It does not seek to build bridges to others. It has run, by now, an exhaustive experiment showing conclusively that hysterical doom-mongering and vilifying sceptics as the equivalent of Holocaust deniers is a recipe for political failure.

Most of all, it has abdicated on the crucial grounds of cost and benefit, though it's entirely possible to envision climate-related policies that would meet a cost-benefit test. Investing in basic science and research is almost always high-return. All governments must tax something; most governments tax hundreds of things. A carbon tax is one strategy that could command support across the political spectrum if sold with a touch of the conciliatory mindset that is crucial to democracy.

The idea was not alien to the green movement, before it went insane. In the 1990s, environmentalists promoted a "double dividend" strategy - in which a carbon tax would be used to reduce taxes on socially useful activities like work and investment. As the Resources for the Future's Richard Morgenstern said in a 1996 paper: "Taxes on labour discourage work effort; those on savings reduce the pool of capital available for investment; and those on investment discourage risk-taking."

Today's greens and their Democratic allies would rather chant about the need for impossible, inherently corrupting, never-going-to-happen command-and-control actions to ban fossil fuels and subsidise alternative energy. And bonkers beyond words are the legionnaires of Naomi Klein, who insist that before we can address climate change, we must get rid of capitalism. Whatever is driving such people, it's not a desire for progress on climate policy.

No less observable is the bad faith of the New York attorney general's office. It debases itself and the law by trying to invent some kind of complaint against Exxon merely as payback for its green allies.


"Killer heatwave": What the heck are they talking about?

At mid afternoon Thurs 1st November in Brisbane (S.E. Queeensland), my thermometer reads 29.5C -- and my thermometer synchronizes well with Brisbane BoM readings. And a normal summer afternoon reading is 34C

Killer heatwave strikes: Temperatures on Australia's east coast soar towards 40C - and it won't end until next week

Australia is sweating its way through the first heatwave of the season, prompting dire warnings from fire and health authorities.

Temperatures in Sydney are set to reach the mid-to high-30s by Friday and more than 40C in regional areas.

Unusually dry conditions, strong winds and scorching temperatures have also increased the risk of dangerous fires.

Weatherzone meteorologist Brett Dutschke told Daily Mail Australia the heatwave would be contained to inland areas for southern parts of the country.

'In the far north of the country parts of the tropics are getting the heatwave, such as the eastern part of Cape York,' Mr Dutschke said.

Most of southern Australia is set to endure three to four days of the scorching heatwave. However, areas such as northern New South Wales and southwest Queensland will be met with much more severe heat.

Most of the coast will be lucky to avoid the heatwave due to sea breezes, but will still see warmer than normal temperatures.

The Bureau of Meteorology's Jake Phillips said it was the first heatwave of the season and while it won't be very intense, it could impact people more than normal given the recent run of mild conditions.

'One of the characteristics of heatwaves is not just hotter maximum temperatures but also hotter minimums,' he said in a statement.

As the heatwave stretches across most of the country, authorities have urged residents to prepare themselves for a 'killer' bushfire season.

Friday and Saturday will be the hottest days as the heatwave makes its way across the east coast before being pushed north.

Weatherzone meteorologist Jacob Cronje said the heatwave was the result of a cold front pushing the warm weather towards the coast. 'At the moment there is very hot air over the interior of Australia, which has had very little cloud cover,' Mr Cronje said. 'A cold front is forcing and dragging all that warm air down.'




Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here


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