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Is carbon pricing reducing emissions?

Australia’s carbon pricing mechanism has been vilified by the Federal Opposition and certain members of the business community, but it is a key part of Australia’s response to climate change. So one year…

One year on, what difference has the carbon price made? AAP Image/Alan Porritt

Australia’s carbon pricing mechanism has been vilified by the Federal Opposition and certain members of the business community, but it is a key part of Australia’s response to climate change. So one year on, where does it stand?

Far from being “absolutely catastrophic” and a “wrecking ball” to the economy as initially predicted by Tony Abbott, the Australian economy is still ticking over much as it was. Anyone with genuine concerns on the impacts of the carbon price should be comforted by experience to date, and those engaging in fear mongering will need to find a new story.

Tempting though it is to try to attribute various changes in the economy to the carbon price, it is remarkably difficult to unpick the many factors at play. Our economy is an immensely complex system, and the carbon price is but one influence among many.

In fact, the carbon pricing scheme was actually designed to have a relatively smooth and non-disruptive entry into the economy. It should start slowly, and pick up momentum over time as businesses adapt and become increasingly equipped to respond. The real impacts will emerge over the long term, affecting long-lived infrastructure in sectors such as electricity. The carbon price should provide gentle, firm and growing pressure to transform our economy over the coming decades.

The electricity sector is one of the most important areas where the carbon price needs to have an effect. More than one-third of Australia’s emissions come from our predominantly coal-fired power system. So while we carefully acknowledge that the carbon pricing scheme is a long-term mechanism and we shouldn’t expect dramatic outcomes immediately, it’s interesting to explore what the impact of the carbon pricing scheme may have been over the past year.

The greenhouse emissions from the National Electricity Market (covering around 80% of electricity supply in Australia) showed a 7% reduction from 2011-12 to 2012-13. However, much of this is due to demand, which reduced 5% over the same period. According to the electricity market operator, the reasons probably include dramatic increases in rooftop solar, customer responses to higher prices (mostly caused by rising network costs), increasing incentives for energy efficiency, and reduction in industrial and manufacturing loads (driven by the high Australian dollar).

Much of the remaining reduction in emissions is probably related to significant increases in renewable generation over the past year. Some of this is from an increase in wind generation (driven more by the Renewable Energy Target than the carbon price). A significant proportion comes from increases in hydro generation, a consequence of annual variability in hydrological inflows.

Although the carbon price is probably a relatively minor factor in the emissions reductions we’ve seen over the past year, there has been some re-shuffling of the dispatch order, reflected in the total volume generated by each power station over the year. Figure 1 shows the percentage change in annual generation at a selection of the biggest generators in 2012-13, compared with the average of the previous three financial years. Generators are ordered firstly by region, and secondly by emissions intensity (graphically depicted for each generator in the lower graph).

Figure 1 - Percentage change in generation at a selection of major generators, comparing total generation in 2012-13 with average of previous three years. Source: Generation data from NEM-Review. Total annual generation in 2012-13 compared with average of previous three years.

These results show that generation over the past year has generally gone down at the most emissions-intensive power stations, such as Victoria’s brown coal generators Hazelwood and Yallourn. Correspondingly, generation has increased at many of the less emissions-intensive generators, including gas-fired Tallawarra and Pelican Point, and some of the lower-emitting black coal generators.

But there are many exceptions to the trend, with even some of the lowest emitting generators showing a reduction in generation in the past year and vice versa. This is at least partly due to the transmission network’s physical limits, which constrain how much the dispatch order can change. Consider the case of Victoria. The Victorian generators use lower quality brown coal, and are therefore among the most emissions intensive in the grid. You can reduce generation at the most polluting power stations in Victoria, but the others in that region then need to keep operating at close to previous levels because there are limits to how much power you can import over the grid from South Australia and New South Wales. This means that many of Victoria’s generators are minimally affected, despite being some of the most emissions intensive in the grid.

Furthermore, it’s important to acknowledge that many of these changes in dispatch are not solely due to the carbon price. For example, much of the drop in generation at Yallourn power station is due to flooding that put several units out of service. In South Australia, a high supply of wind is causing low prices, and Northern power station has responded by withdrawing units from the market during low demand seasons.

Although it’s difficult to point to concrete short term changes in the electricity market, the carbon price is having an impact on long term investment decisions, which is where the real benefits will start to play out. The economics of power systems mean that it’s much easier to materially affect the investment decisions for a new plant than to affect the short-term dispatch decisions of an existing plant. It has been argued that this already means wind is now cheaper than coal if you’re building a new plant, due to the very large impact of the carbon price on financing costs for emissions-intensive generation options.

The market is clearly responding to long term investment signals towards lower emissions generation. The vast majority of new plants in the planning stages are either renewable or gas-fired. Here again we must acknowledge complexity and the contribution of many factors – much of the investment in renewables is driven by the Renewable Energy Target scheme, and could not be supported by the carbon price alone at this stage.

But the lack of proposals for significant new coal-fired plant is a good indication that the carbon price is having an influence over investor decisions. This is where the real pay-off lies – by avoiding the installation of more coal-fired generators we avoid the very significant greenhouse emissions that would result from those power stations over their 30-year-plus lifetime.

This highlights an underlying truth – the intention of the carbon price is to drive a long term transformation of Australia’s economy. This means that whatever happens to the carbon price in the next few years, it’s the long term policies we put in place to respond to climate change pressures that will ultimately have significance.

We acknowledge the use of NEM-Review software supplied by Global ROAM for electricity market analysis.

Join the conversation

109 Comments sorted by

  1. John Newlands

    tree changer

    I'd identify three other factors that complicate the outlook
    1) hydro and climate change
    2) LNG parity for domestic gas
    3) social justice and high power prices.

    Last year about 6% of generation came from hydro. Without westerly spring rain I suggest that could figure could be half or less this year. The quick response role may have to be taken over by open cycle gas which is is not that much less carbon intensive than coal. With east coast LNG to be exported from Gladstone next year some…

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    1. Matthew Parton

      Project Manager

      In reply to John Newlands

      Hi John,

      What are the credible sources for your estimate that the offsets produced from wind cost $200/tonne?

      The total cost of producing electricity from wind is ~$80/MWh (see the Bloomberg link in the article). The carbon intensity of coal, which wind power is largely replacing, is about 1 tonne/MWh. Therefore every MWh of wind produced, at $80/MWh, offsets one tonne of carbon dioxide.

      Of course the above calculation doesn't take into account that this ~$80/MWh includes not only the offset but also the electricity produced, which has a value of about $35/MWh looking at historical power prices (not including the carbon tax of course).

      Taking this out the cost of the offset is then $45/MWh. I've just gone from first principles here so it's possible I've missed something out. Please let me know what it is.

      Matthew

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  2. William Hughes-Games

    Garden weed puller

    Such a shame that Aus doesn't institute the second half of the Hansen Solution. You already have the tax. Now put in the Dividend. Send all the money from this tax to every registered tax payer by cheap electronic transfer. Such a vote winner for the party that institutes it.

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    1. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to William Hughes-Games

      Err, I'm not sure that we have the (James) Hansen tax, as outlined in his book "Dreams of My Grandchildren".

      In that book, Dr Hansen developed a strong argument for a consumption tax on all fossil fuel use, not just that of some designated group of "biggest emitters". Actually, my fossil fuel consumption tax (FFCT) proposal, which I first developed a year or two before the Henry Tax Review and have outlined several times in these pages, is pretty much the same as that of Dr Hansen.

      Instead, what we have is a bastardised scheme of Byzantine complexity, designed to morph into the Greatest Bankster-Led Ripoff the World Has Ever Seen ie a great big emission trading scheme.

      On the other side of the ledger, raising the personal income tax-free margin from $6,000 to $18,200 is a rough approximation of Hansen's "dividend".

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    2. John Nicol

      logged in via email @bigpond.com

      In reply to David Arthur

      David Arthur,

      Could you please advise everyone on this blog of the change in global temperature we in Australia would expect to obtain from transitioning completely, to renewables tomorrow?

      The answer of course is that by 2200 the value will still be im-measurable, using the highest possible sensitivity value projected by the IPCC which is now in retreat and suggesting lower "very likely" values than what was actually half that highest value - unless there are significant advances in the…

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    3. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to John Nicol

      Thanks for the question, Mr Nicol. Expected temperature rises vary depending on which parts of Australia you're talking about, as does changes to rainfall extent and amount.

      Crucially, it also varies with projections for global fossil fuel use. I'm not familiar with detailed modelling, but I can advise that some of the biggest hits are going to be taken in beachfront real estate values and coal mining stocks.

      The former are going to be hit by the realisation that much of this real estate…

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    4. John Nicol

      logged in via email @bigpond.com

      In reply to David Arthur

      Thank you David, but I notice now that I had framed my question wrongly. I was asking then, and I ask again " What do you expect the effect on the Global Temperature in 2200 to be, if we here in Australia we were to cease any CO2 emissions immediately - except for our breathing out.?"

      It is the effective global temperature Teff, the one which is publicised by the IPCC as rising from 1979 to 1995 and steady or falling from 1997 to 2013 and certainly falling but by a very small amount from 2002 to 2013.

      Sorry to trouble you again, but I look forward to your reply.
      Cheers,
      John,

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    5. Anthony Cheetham

      PhD Student

      In reply to John Nicol

      Here's the facts. The US emits ~15x as much as Australia, while China emits ~22x as much as us. The problem is that C02 emissions need to be reduced. But emissions are not divided equally among countries, but take population into account. The world's emissions per capita must be brought down to sustainable levels. This is a global problem that must be tackled by action from every country. In Australia we are one of the highest emitters per-capita (2.5x more than China), and must bear our fair share of global reductions.

      Otherwise, let me apply your question to another topic: Tax. What would be the effect on Government revenue if you didn't pay tax? An insignificant amount, no doubt. Then why must you pay it? Because lots of small quantities add up to a large quantity.

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    6. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to John Nicol

      Thanks Mr Nicol, Australia's actions are a NECESSARY part of global action, which you know perfectly well.

      This Teff about which you keep banging on is one measure of a suite of earth system responses to a major perturbation in the rate at which thermal energy escapes earth to space, yet you seem fixated on it, oblivious to all the other factors which will cause your grandchildren to curse your memory.

      Other earth system responses to altered rate of thermal energy dissipation to space include…

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  3. Mark McGuire

    climate consensus rebel

    Quote: "Far from being “absolutely catastrophic” and a “wrecking ball” to the economy as initially predicted by Tony Abbott, the Australian economy is still ticking over much as it was."

    Far from carbon (sic) being "absolutely catastrophic” and a “wrecking ball” to the climate as initially predicted by Rudd & 4000 scientists in white coats, global warming has plateaued as (1)acknowledged by all leading news outlets, whilst (2)co2 levels reach 400ppm tipping points, and climate continues to change…

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    1. Fred Pribac

      logged in via email @internode.on.net

      In reply to Mark McGuire

      "The Australian public deserves to know what the expected temperature reduction, and reduction in sea level rise will be."

      Simple - just read the reports published by our various government advisory bodies and freely available on the web.

      "warming has plateaued as (1)acknowledged by all leading news outlets"

      Is a "leading" news outlet defined as one that agrees with your viewpoint? Scientific advisory bodeis are "all"still in agreeance - climate change is continuing and the earth is warming…

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    2. Mark McGuire

      climate consensus rebel

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      Chris,
      1998 is the year claimed to be the hottest by Al Gore, UN-IPCC.
      http://voices.yahoo.com/nasa-admits-1934-not-1998-was-warmest-year-494073.html

      AS for your claim I use "intellectually dishonest technique of "selective quotation" where you only state one side of the cited story," the other "side" is clearly stated above by the authors.

      And Gavin Schmidt, of NASA is NOT funded by big tobacco. http://climate.nasa.gov/400ppmquotes/

      You can deny the warming plateau, but it doesn't make it go away.

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    3. Fred Pribac

      logged in via email @internode.on.net

      In reply to Mark McGuire

      Are you kidding - just go to CSIRO or the Bureau of Meteorology and anybody can find links galore - it's not hard!

      In fact ... the links you quoted yourself make the exact opposite point to your claims! So your linking clearly showed you hadn't looked past the title!

      As for the 400ppm ... I didn't claim it was a goalpost worth worrying about! Your argument is illogical and plain dumb.

      "You" on the other hand called 400ppm a tipping point - which it plainly isn't!

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    4. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Mark McGuire

      Mark,

      If you want to be taken seriously, please provide reputable links to real science - not to blogs and opinion pieces. Opinions are like arseholes - everyone has one and most are full of shit.

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    5. Mark McGuire

      climate consensus rebel

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      Mike,

      Those 10 scientists listed on that NASA page will be disappointed they are not "reputable."
      But, then again, with claims like:

      "Reaching the 400 ppm mark should be a reminder for us that carbon dioxide levels have been shooting up at an alarming rate in the recent past due to human activity.
      Levels that high have only been reached during the Pliocene era, when temperatures and sea level were higher."

      A quick squiz out your window will tell you that "temperatures & sea levels" ARE…

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    6. Tony Thomas

      Writer for Quadrant Online and Quadrant print monthly

      In reply to Fred Pribac

      The warming pause is confirmed by Uk Bureau of Met and by IPCC head Pachauri himself. It predates 1998. The IPCC modelling of strong and accelerating warming is shown by the data to be invalid.
      The government advisory bodies you seem to trust are as trustworthy as the politicians who pay them, eg "our angry summer" they write about was an average summer based on satellite temp records (the Climate Commission ignored that data in favor of land based temp readings that are seriously flawed).
      I agree about the 200 year mild and beneficial warming and hope it continues.
      The tax has not been a winner politically either.

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    7. Alice Kelly
      Alice Kelly is a Friend of The Conversation.

      sole parent

      In reply to Mark McGuire

      Mark, I suggest you immediately email the Mayor of New York City
      http://www.nyc.gov/portal/site/nycgov/menuitem.bd08ee7c7c1ffec87c4b36d501c789a0/index.jsp?doc_name=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ny
      You could suggest to him that, as there is uncertainty about the rates of sea level rise and temperature increase, his "Climate Change Adaptation in New York City: Building a risk management Response" program is a waste of money.
      As one of many Mayors around the world, Mayor Bloomberg is using considerable sums of the taxpayers money on this most nefarious dubious program to protect the public, from what! Oh and while your at it, all those 110-120 degree temperatures they've been having across the whole of the southern states no harm done? We've still got another 10-50 years up our sleeves, pretty cool here today, no wurries .

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    8. Mark McGuire

      climate consensus rebel

      In reply to Alice Kelly

      Hi Alice,

      Thanks for the email link, but, I couldn't make a suggestion unless I first read what you are referring to.

      Maybe you can provide a link highlighting some quotes that show a connection with co2, so I can send this email?

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    9. Alice Kelly
      Alice Kelly is a Friend of The Conversation.

      sole parent

      In reply to Mark McGuire

      "Far from climate being absolutely catastrophic and a wrecking ball"
      ........"the Australian economy is ticking over much as it was"
      "After all, sea level rise from 1 metre to 100 metres".......
      "The public deserves what the expected temperature reduction, and reduction in sea level rise will be"
      Mark No doubt you have many answers for everything. However reduction in what? the temperature and sea rise is reducing? No, both will increase, also ocean temperatures are and will increase, as will…

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    10. Fred Pribac

      logged in via email @internode.on.net

      In reply to Mark McGuire

      Mark ... honestly ... do you expect us to do your thinking for you.

      I pointed out that some links you were quoting were not in support of you. Your problem not mine!

      I also pointed out that every scientific agency under the sun has information on climate change freely available. If you can't find it that just tells us that you are commenting from a position of ignorance.

      Since you are so fond of linking to articles - here is one that is actually relavent and particularly so for somebody who apparently has trouble balancing the scientitifc evidence.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_change

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    11. Fred Pribac

      logged in via email @internode.on.net

      In reply to Tony Thomas

      I suggest you read the two links posted above by Mark incorrectly attributed as in support of a similar idea to yours.

      They go precisely to the points you are trying to make and clearly show why such selective attribution of the observations is wrong-headed.

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    12. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Mark McGuire

      Mark

      You asked me if I denied the quotes on the list just because it is collated on a blog I don't like.

      The answer is you betcha - but not because it is on a blog I don't like. I deny the quotes because many of them are cherry picked, data mined and taken out of context, and in no way reflect either the opinions of the scientists in question or the reality of the science.

      For example, take the supposed quote from Phil Jones about warming. Your blog says that he said this:

      BBC: “Do…

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    13. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Mark McGuire

      What's with this "warming has plateaued" bollocks?

      Think about it for a moment: once the atmosphere has heated up a bit, where's the additional heat going to go?
      Answer: it'll start warming up the oceans.

      What'll the oceans do with this heat?
      Answer: transport it to the Poles (Arctic and Antarctic)

      What'll the heat do once it gets to the Poles?
      Answer: melt ice, and thaw permafrost ... which emits climate-warming methane.

      So, is polar ice melting? Yes.
      Is Arctic permafrost thawing? Yes.
      So, is earth continuing to warm? Yes.
      Do we need to stop using fossil fuels? Yes.

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    14. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      Oh, and Mark, I just love this quote in one of your posts:

      '....Levels that high have only been reached during the Pliocene era, when temperatures and sea level were higher."...A quick squiz out your window will tell you that "temperatures & sea levels" ARE NOT higher, despite last time co2 was 400ppm...."

      A few things. First, if I look out my office window all I see is the building opposite.

      Second, I was not around during the Pliocene, nor have I done any detailed paleoclimate studies, so it would be pretty hard for me to judge whether or not the seas were higher and the temperature was warmer.

      Finally, anyone who thinks that 'taking a squiz out the window' is how you determine climate is - not to put too fine a point on it - completely lacking in any credibility whatsoever.

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    15. John Nicol

      logged in via email @bigpond.com

      In reply to Fred Pribac

      Fred Pribac,

      If you actually study the results of the last 16 years of Global temperature measurements published by the five major Climate Units from whom ALL climate records are taken - GISS, UAH, NOAH, CRU NASA, you will see clearly that NONE of thedata sets representing analysis of raw data by these experienced bodies who consistently showed warming from1979 to 1995, you will see that since 1997, ALL of these bodies agree that the last sixteen years, 1997 to 2013 has seen NO increase in global…

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    16. Chris O'Neill

      Victim of Tony Abbotts Great Big New Tax

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      "Phil Jones: I'm 100% confident that the climate has warmed."

      Actually, I think since 1974, Hadcrut4 observations show 99.999999999999999999999% confidence that the climate has warmed (nearly 10 standard deviations worth).

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    17. Chris O'Neill

      Victim of Tony Abbotts Great Big New Tax

      In reply to Mark McGuire

      "1998 is the year claimed to be the hottest by Al Gore, UN-IPCC."

      That claim was for the USA.

      What a clown you are McGuire.

      "the other "side" is clearly stated above by the authors."

      The point was about what you stated above:

      "global warming has plateaued as (1)acknowledged by all leading news outlets"

      That was your selective quotation. Not mine. I was simply supplying some balance.

      "You can deny the warming plateau"

      How, pray tell, do you KNOW there is a warming plateau of 15 years? There is no statistically significant decline in the rate of global warming in that time so you cannot have any statistical certainty of a plateau.

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    18. Chris O'Neill

      Victim of Tony Abbotts Great Big New Tax

      In reply to Mark McGuire

      By the way, your link:

      http://voices.yahoo.com/nasa-admits-1934-not-1998-was-warmest-year-494073.html

      is totally out-of-date. The years warmer than 1934 (1.229 C anomaly) in the USA include 1998 (1.305 C anomaly), 2006 (1.284 anomaly) and of course 2012 (1.842 C anomaly): http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs_v3/Fig.D.txt

      Of course, it's no surprise your link is completely out of date considering that you mission is to spread disinformation.

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    19. Glenn Tamblyn

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to John Nicol

      "as well as the first seven years of results from the Argo Buoys demonstrate quite claeraly that there has been no increase in the accumulated energy of the earth"

      Absolutely, Totally, Completely and flat out WRONG John!

      Look here http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/
      Select graph number 2. Ocean Heat Content from 0 to 2000 meters.

      Rising (using my eyecrometer) at around 1 *10^22 Joules per year.That is around 320 TeraWatts or nearly 5 Hiroshima bombs per second. Or if you like…

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    20. Fred Pribac

      logged in via email @internode.on.net

      In reply to John Nicol

      Thank for this delightful response John.

      Your concluding sentence clearly establishes the tenor of your comment. I hope that your comment is not moderated out by the editors because I like that it is on record for all the world to see!

      Firstly - you suggest that I have not looked at the data. Wrong!

      Your suggestion that I have no training or comprehension of physics is beside the point and once again wrong! The logic of he arguments is what I chose to argue. But since you have raised the…

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    21. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Fred Pribac

      Fred Pribac wrote; "... concluding sentence ..... I hope that your comment is not moderated out by the editors because ... is on record for all the world to see" Agreed, any of John's comments moderated are now lost and they served as evidence of this fringe thinking.
      Climate science has gathered over a hundred years of observation, experiment, experience, analysis, modelling, model tuning, public record and critical thinking on data so much evidence. Establishing through a global knowledge base…

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    22. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      Mike, the climate reality to which Mr McGuire is oblivious is that during the Pliocene (ie when atmospheric CO2 last exceeded ~400 ppm), the RATE at which atmospheric CO2 varied was much slower than during Pleistocene glacial-interglacial sequences, which in turn were much slower than the Industrial era rate of atmospheric CO2 variation.

      This means that, back during the Pliocene, sea temperatures and sea levels were pretty much able to fluctuate in time with atmospheric CO2. This happy situation has not pertained over the last couple of centuries, meaning that sea water temperature and sea levels have a huge amount of catching up to do with atmospheric temperature and with atmospheric CO2.

      That is, if Mr McGuire is squizzing out his office window and feeling relaxed and comfortable about the stability of the present climate, perhaps he's living in Fools' Paradise, there on the Gold Coast.

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    23. John Nicol

      logged in via email @bigpond.com

      In reply to Fred Pribac

      Fred Pribac.

      Thank you Fred for an even more interesting response than my own. I respect your research degree and your experience.

      I know that you said that there is a "decadal variability" in the global surface temperature, but this is not the message we have been listening to from the many climate units and the Climate Commision over the past thirty years. The modelers seem not to have included such a very significant oscillation into their programming so that is another source of confusion…

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    24. John Nicol

      logged in via email @bigpond.com

      In reply to Glenn Tamblyn

      Glenn Tamlyn

      Hi Glenn,

      Let me first respond to your analysis of the basic green house effect. Your statement is a good straight forward explanation of why the earth is warmer because of the presence of green house gases aided by evaporation which would also warm the air even if Water Vapour were not a green house gas and because of the conduction across the interface when the cooler wind blows across a warmed surface. These three things, GHGs, evaporation and the cooling wind contribute an…

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    25. Glenn Tamblyn

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to John Nicol

      John

      The most interesting figure at the NOAA site is Fig 3, showing the 0-700 and 0-2000 OHC figures together. The 0-2000 figure hasn't changed much in its trend since around 1990 or so, perhaps roughly corresponding to the period after the eruption of Mt Pinatubo. However the 0-700 figure has shown a trend decrease over much of the last decade or so. Therefore the 700-2000 band must have shown a corresponding trend increase.

      This is saying that the total rate of heating is fairly unchanged…

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    26. Glenn Tamblyn

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to John Nicol

      John

      "Let us suppose they were,how would this help in anyway to establish that the earth is warming becasue of increased carbon dioxide, rather than for some other natural reason. "

      Here is a comment I put up recently at SkS to another person on this topic. http://www.skepticalscience.com/4-Hiroshima-bombs-worth-of-heat-per-second.html , comment 22.

      Essentially the magnitude of the OHC warming precludes the possibility that the observed warming is coming from a natural source.

      Note, in this comment and the calculation I made in my previous comment above I have used an OHC warming rate of 8 * 10^21 joules per year rather than the 1 * 10^22 joules per year I had used in my previous comments to you. This reflects a calibration error in my eyecrometer when reading the NOAA graphs.

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    27. Fred Pribac

      logged in via email @internode.on.net

      In reply to John Nicol

      Thank you for your detailed comment - on quick scan it looks like it will give me a better understanding of your position. You clearly take this stuff seriously and there are many points for discussion. I'll take the time to read your comment carefully at first opportunity.

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    28. John Nicol

      logged in via email @bigpond.com

      In reply to Fred Pribac

      Thanks Fred,

      I'll certainly be looking forward to your response and perhaps if you have time we can discuss some of these interesting matters a bit further. I realise that in retirement as I am, my time is my own but this is not the case for the younger people in active and very interesting jobs.

      If you are like me, when I was working, my work was also my hobby and night time was just part of the day. - I think I had/have a very understanding wife, fortunately.

      Get back when you can. Best, John

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    29. John Nicol

      logged in via email @bigpond.com

      In reply to Glenn Tamblyn

      Glenn Tamlyn,

      Dear Glenn,

      Does anyone question that there have been many ices ages over the past which occur without the influence of artificial extraction of CO2 from the atmosphere? Did the world emerge from these glaciations because of man's influence in tree clearing and the injection of large amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere.

      All of these cyclical (is it every 200,000 years??) glaciations with about a 10,000 year warm period of variable temperature in between were totally controlled…

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  4. Mark Lawson

    senior journalist at Australian Financial Review

    The authors have done a fair job and I commend them. However, I have a couple of comments. Prices have had a major effect on demand. They have gone up 70 per cent?? (not sure of the exact figure) overall since 2007. That increase, in turn, has been mostly driven by investment in the network, and that investment in turn is driven by a range of factors including the need to rebuild networks first set up (or last overhauled) in the 1940s and 50s.

    As for the bit about solar panels reducing demand…

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    1. John Newlands

      tree changer

      In reply to Mark Lawson

      I'd say the electricity price effect is stronger than the direct displacement effect. This BBC clip (at 46s) is saying night time temperatures in the southern US are staying at 35C
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-23116826

      If you ran a 2 kw aircon from say 8 pm til 5 am with no solar input that's 18 kwh of energy not provided by PV. During daytime PV efficiency drops when the panels get hot. Without a breakthrough in storage of electricity or 'coolness' PV is not the answer to heatwave thermal comfort. Shame we can't live in caves.

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    2. George Takacs

      Physicist

      In reply to Mark Lawson

      Mark,

      I think there are plenty of analyses out there showing the effect of PV on shaving summer peaks, including, I think, by one of the authors of this piece.

      As for the winter evening peaks, I think the article you linked to suggests the correct reasons for this - a combination of better insulation (pink batts doing their job), more efficient lighting, more efficient heating (reverse cycle air conditioners rather than electric element heaters) and so on.

      And let us just remember that workplace incidents under the government sponsored pink batt program were at a lower rate than they had been previously in that industry, meaning that in addition to reducing energy demand, another beneficial effect of that program was to improve safety in the home insulation industry.

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    3. Mark Lawson

      senior journalist at Australian Financial Review

      In reply to George Takacs

      George - Thanks for the comments.More efficiently lighting and heating is certainly a poss, also driven by power price increases.. more efficient insulation is doubtful as I recall reading that academics in the area point out that insulation just changes comfort levels.. I have no comment to make about the pink batts episode..

      As for "plenty of analyses" I doubt that. However, if you say the authors have done something about summer peaks I'll look for that. tnks.

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  5. Paul Richards

    integral operating system

    In the article; "Although it’s difficult to point to concrete short term changes in the electricity market, the carbon price is having an impact on long term investment decisions" This generally how public policy similar to this rolls. But no one could blame the conservative sector for trying to focus on the publics ignorance. they have very little but fear to sell. As Australia despite both major parties influencing the last decade in a minor way, we have benefited from China and its response to the death of Globalism.
    Without China, Australia and New Zealand we could have become versions of Greece, Spain or Italy in the Southern hemisphere.
    Now the conservatives are trying to condition us to accepting monetarist Austerity, when the theory of globalism is dead. With Cina and the US going it alone. Not to mention in all of human history 'Austerity' as a policy has never actually worked. Literally. Accept to transfer wealth from one sector to another, guess which one?

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  6. Fred Payne

    retired

    It seems odd that having endured the pain of introducing the carbon tax that the new Prime Minister is in such a hurry to change to an ETS.

    In and article titled 'Do Markets Punish Pollution Control' the US Network for Business Sustainability reported on the 20th of June that 'that buying emissions-trading permits is more profitable for companies than reducing their actual greenhouse gas emissions'. But in the long term 'environmental actions may lead to greater returns'

    Surely in the light…

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  7. Greg North

    Retired Engineer

    " This highlights an underlying truth – the intention of the carbon price is to drive a long term transformation of Australia’s economy. "

    That it may and then it could also be a Gareth Evans, it seeming to be a good idea at the time.

    Whilst some Australians might take comfort in some CO2 emission reductions, there will also be many that have seen their jobs go overseas where new coal fired power stations are still abundantly being constructed.
    Certainly it is not the Carbon pricing alone…

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    1. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Greg North

      Greg North wrote; "..... also not have occurred if a lot of new infrastructure was not required for renewables." There are other options, putting up with Edison's model of Energy monopolies could be rethought. Could micro grids be another option.
      Asking the question could we develop alternatives to one size fits all grid system, and corporate control?
      ________________________________________________________________________________
      http://www.technologyreview.com/featuredstory/429529/how-solar-based-microgrids-could-bring-power-to-millions/

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  8. Geoffrey Henley

    Research Associate

    Of course, the much more pertinent question is whether the carbon tax will have any noticeable affect on global temperatures. A fair bit of research suggests that global temperatures are relatively insensitive to changes in the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. Even using the unverified IPCC models, significant reductions in Australians carbon emissions is unlikey to result any measurable decreases in global temperatures for several decades.

    The fact remains that current renewable technologies…

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    1. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Geoffrey Henley

      "....A fair bit of research suggests that global temperatures are relatively insensitive to changes in the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere..."

      Your usual nonsense I see Geoff. When you use such a deluded statement in your opening paragraph, its pretty difficult to take anything you say seriously.

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    2. Geoffrey Henley

      Research Associate

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      Your usual evidence-free response with nothing of any substance to add.

      The IPCC models all significantly overestimate actual observed warming. There's no getting away from it no matter how much you cherry-pick and twist the facts.

      It's pretty obvious that evidence of positive feedback mechanisms remains quite thin.

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    3. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Geoffrey Henley

      Well Geoffrey, you may well complain that my response was evidence free. But in doing so, all you are doing is confirming that you are a hypocrite. I note there isn't a scrap of evidence in anything you have provided either.

      I, at least, have the evidence of hundreds of science papers written over the course of the last few decades by way of support for my position. You have your opinion that you have trawled from a denier blog and had confirmed by Alan Jones and Andrew Bolt.

      I will stick with the science and the scientists thanks very much.

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    4. Geoffrey Henley

      Research Associate

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      The IPCC models are simply wrong. This is according to real science by real climate scientists.

      http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/06/still-epic-fail-73-climate-models-vs-measurements-running-5-year-means/

      Any half-decent scientist would admit that the models contain at least one of more false assumptions. But many of the IPCC scientists under the grip of groupthink stick their collective heads in the sand and ignore what real world empirical data is telling them.

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    5. Glenn Tamblyn

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Geoffrey Henley

      Geoffrey

      You mean the real science done by Roy Spencer who completely ignored the 3rd group analysing satellite temperature data that are reporting a warming trend for the mid troposphere 3 times higher than Roy's UAH team are reporting.

      That sort of 'real science'?

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    6. John Nicol

      logged in via email @bigpond.com

      In reply to Glenn Tamblyn

      Glenn Tamlyn,

      Show us an example of their ("3rd group analysing satellite temperature data") results Glenn. NASA's GISTemp, ROY Spencer's UAH and the ground based balloon measurements of the tropospheric temperatures coincide almost exactly.

      See plots at: http://www.jonnic.net/fifteenyeartemps and study them verycarefully, themn come back and tell us what you saw, including the matter of sea surface temperatures.

      Please assure us that your third group actually exists?? Was it in the form of a petition on Thursday or what?
      John Nicol

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    7. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Geoffrey Henley

      Geoffrey

      Firstly, there are no such thing as "IPCC scientists". There are scientists who's work is included in the IPCC report.

      And second, let me repeat the same advice (fact really) that I have told all your other denier compatriots. An opinion piece written on a blog is not science, no matter who writes it. If you want to refute anything in science, please provide a properly constituted letter or paper from a peer reviewed journal, which has been properly assessed by other scientists, and which contains facts and data to support its position.

      Oh, and given that you are using Roy Spencer's opinion as a reference, I guess you agree with all his opinions on science issues - would that be correct?

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    8. Glenn Tamblyn

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to John Nicol

      John

      Here: http://www.star.nesdis.noaa.gov/smcd/emb/mscat/index.php
      Bottom most line on the graph for TMT. Matching satellite sensor channel to that used by UAH and RSS.

      'The Center for Satellite Applications and Research (STAR) is the science arm of the NOAA Satellite and Information Service (NESDIS)'

      UAH Trend calculation - 0.04 C/decade
      RSS Trend calculation - 0.078 C.decade
      STAR/NESDIS Trend calculation - 0.124 C.decade

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    9. John Nicol

      logged in via email @bigpond.com

      In reply to Glenn Tamblyn

      Glenn Tamlyn,

      Thanks Glenn for the link to to the Star Research Centre which gives a set of anomalies of the various layers of the atmosphere. These come as no surprise at all since some years ago I carried out a series of calculation on the behaviour of the atmospheric temperatures at all levels based on:

      1. Increases in the level of CO2 in the atmosphere over ranges to include several times the current value of 400 ppmv.

      2. The varying density of CO2 with height

      3. The changes in…

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    10. Geoffrey Henley

      Research Associate

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      The peer review process is only effective when the journal editors and designated reviewers are independent to and dispassionate towards the paper under review. However, in the world of climate science where ideology regularly trumps objectivity, this is often not the case.

      There exists plenty of evidence where certain scientists (passionate CAGW activists) have attempted to undermine the peer review process. There are instances of attempts to have certain papers rejected for publication, not…

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    11. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Geoffrey Henley

      So let me get this straight John.

      You think the peer review process is flawed because the peer reviewers are not necessarily independent, and their ideology trumps objectivity.

      So to overcome this, you rely on posts from blog sites. Ummmmmmmmm, you don't even listen to your own arguments do you?

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    12. Geoffrey Henley

      Research Associate

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      My point is that just because a paper is peer-reviewed and published, it doesn’t mean the paper is at all credible. Such is the case with Lewandowsky’s “moon landing hoax” paper. Had this paper been reviewed objectively on a scientific basis, it would have been immediately consigned to the dustbin. However, there is no question that this paper was published for purely political reasons as a vain and ultimately pointless attempt to demean those whose views differed from Lewandowsky’s.

      Even a cursory glance is enough to spot the many fatal flaws in this paper. Even allowing for these flaws, the data ultimately provide no evidence that sceptics are more prone to nutcase conspiracy theories than their non-sceptic counterparts.

      John Cook’s promotion of this paper and his involvement in the just as ludicrous follow-up “Recursive fury” paper is testament of his total lack of objectivity in this matter (i.e. ideology trumps objectivity).

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    13. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Geoffrey Henley

      Oh I agree Geoffrey - peer review does not automatically make a paper credible.

      But then, an opinion piece published on a blog is far less likely to have any credibility, and your exclusive reliance on the opinions of others to support your views is a pretty telling indication of the weakness of your position.

      I am also going to suggest to you that, even though there are some papers that slip through the cracks and pass peer review when they shouldn't, to extrapolate that into an opinion…

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    14. John Nicol

      logged in via email @bigpond.com

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      Mike Swinbourne,

      You Say "your exclusive reliance on the opinions of others to support your views is a pretty telling indication of the weakness of your position." Oh Please!

      When did I last see you, Mike, present a detailed explanation of the physics of the radiation/carbon dioxide/N2/O2 interaction which shows that the increase of Co2 in the atmosphere will lead to increases in the global Tempertures? Your comments always rely totally on the "opinions of others", whose very livelihood depends…

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    15. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to John Nicol

      First of all John, my comment was directed at Geoffrey, not you. But since you have raised the issue, let me respond.

      You are right – I have never “….present(ed) a detailed explanation of the physics of the radiation/carbon dioxide/N2/O2 interaction…”, for the simple reason that I am not a physicist. And I do not suffer enough from the Dunning-Kruger syndrome to suggest that my basic university physics classes that I took as part of my undergraduate science degrees makes me expert enough to…

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    16. Geoffrey Henley

      Research Associate

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      "but that does not invalidate the findings of virtually every single paper on climate science which has found that the earth's climate system is gaining energy because of anthropogenic emissions of certain 'greenhouse' gases."

      I find this statement quite incredulous. Where is there any credible research to support this statement? Maybe at some blog I guess. It is like the oft-repeated 97% figure. When you look closely, there exists no credible research to support the 97% claim.

      I would say that the bulk of papers relating to climate science merely research the supposed effects of climate change without offering any insight as to the causes behind any observed changes in the global climate.

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    17. John Nicol

      logged in via email @bigpond.com

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      Mike Swinbourne.

      Mike,

      Perhaps I should not have interfered but those of us who try to defend the sceptics side of the case do suffer somewhat more criticism on this blog than most. Undoubtedly your perception is in the opposite direction and I have to respect that.

      First, I am unfamiliar with the term "Dunning-Kruger"syndrome, so you will have to forgive me for not commenting, but perhaps you will let me know what it means.

      Secondly, I had not known that you were close enough to Professor…

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    18. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Geoffrey Henley

      "...When you look closely, there exists no credible research to support the 97% claim...."

      Well Geoffrey, there are two separate, published peer reviewed studies that have confirmed that number. If you have a different perspective, one which is supported by a detailed study which has been also published and peer reviewed, please provide it.

      Otherwise your assertions have no basis in fact and are just opinion based on ideology. But I will reserve judgement on that until you provide the evidence for you position. Over to you (and no - an opinion piece you trawl from WUWT or similar will not suffice as evidence).

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    19. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to John Nicol

      John

      You appear confused with this statement:

      '....Perhaps I should not have interfered but those of us who try to defend the sceptics side of the case do suffer somewhat more criticism on this blog than most. ..."

      It is I who is defending the sceptics side of the case, not you. It is the scientists who study these issues who are the sceptics, not the deniers who base their opinions on ideology. And it is I who is the one defending the scientists from baseless and unwarranted attacks from…

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    20. Geoffrey Henley

      Research Associate

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      Which studies are they?

      Assuming definition of consensus is that ‘human activities are responsible for most of the observed warming in the last half of the 20th century’. Note that Cook’s so-called consensus paper provides three different definitions of the so-called consensus. Perhaps to deliberately confuse the issue.

      Cook et. al. – approx. 12,000 studies which contained at least 1 of 2 search terms.
      Two-thirds stated no position re AGW. Approx. one-third stated support that some of the…

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    21. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Geoffrey Henley

      Rubbish Geoffrey.

      Just because you have trawled a criticism of the Cook paper from some denier website without having ever read it yourself and without even a modicum of expertise to analysise it does not mean it is either confusing or incorrect. How about, if you are going to provide a criticism like that, you at least have the integrity to provide a reference for where you obtained your information.

      I would much rather have a discussion with a person than a parrot.

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    22. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to John Nicol

      John Nicol wrote; "...but those of us who try to defend the sceptics side of the case do suffer somewhat more criticism on this blog than most." Just why is that? Why do you defend the science? Why does it matter? Not the reams of boring 'data' but the actual why?
      I am missing something and after more time than I care to remember reading - then scanning these days. I admit, I am curious as to the values you hold.
      Can you explain? leaving the science out naturally.

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    23. Geoffrey Henley

      Research Associate

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      Many of the problems I have outlined with these papers are based on basic and well known statistical principles. I have clearly and comprehensively shown why none of these papers support the 97% claim.

      You offer nothing of substance to refute my claims. Most likely because your understanding of statistics is limited. Which might explain why you have been so comprehensively hoodwinked by Cook and co.

      Do you even know what response bias is? Do you not know that a study which only requires voluntary responses has no statistical validity? These are basic statistical principles.

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    24. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Geoffrey Henley

      "....I have clearly and comprehensively shown why none of these papers support the 97% claim....."

      No Geoffrey, you have shown nothing. All you have done is to cut and paste information that you read on a denier website somewhere. Could we have a reference please.

      "....Do you even know what response bias is?..."

      Yes I do - I took statistics classes as part of my science degrees. It is something you show all the time when you make a comment.

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    25. Geoffrey Henley

      Research Associate

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      I have not cut and paste anything. I have merely applied well-known and well-established statistical principles to these studies and demonstrated clearly that they are not capable of supported the oft-repeated claims made by CAGW advocates.

      You, on the other hand, have not supplied a single thread of evidence to refute my claim! It appears pointless debating someone who is incapable of seeing the blatantly obvious?

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    26. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Geoffrey Henley

      "..... have not cut and paste anything. I have merely applied well-known and well-established statistical principles to these studies...."

      So you are saying that the analysis you provided above is all your own work? Pardon me if I have my doubts.

      "....It appears pointless debating someone who is incapable of seeing the blatantly obvious?...."

      I couldn't agree more.

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  9. John Nicol

    logged in via email @bigpond.com

    Unfortunately articles such as this, and there are many, put the cart before the horse, as I explain below.

    First, though, one needs to know what the numbers are, to break down the proportions of energy provided by each source. No numbers are given in this article except for the vertical ordinate on the graph, which is a very strange omission, since it purports to be arguing on the basis of quantities and without these numbers, the arguments are quite meaningless.

    Because of the recent…

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    1. John Nicol

      logged in via email @bigpond.com

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      Thanks for your response Mike Swinbourne. Perhaps I had an error in the link I offered, and if so I apologise. The blog site, yes is associated but has no information yet.

      The link should have been http://www.jonnic.net/fifteenyeartemps/ . It shows a large number of plots from all of the major National Climate Units such as NASA, NOAH, CRU, UAH etc who advise the IPCC on the measurements of the global temperature. These people obtain the data bases by collating data from all of the many meteorological…

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    2. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to John Nicol

      John

      I guess you missed the second part of my post where I asked for real science, and not stuff posted on a blog. Please provide some real science to support your opinions, not just someone else's opinion.

      And no, I was not aware that the head of the IPCC had conceded that the global temperature had not risen for 17 years, since he did no such thing. Once again, blindly relying on what you read in a blog or in a newspaper is what is leading you astray. That article was written by Graham Lloyd, a well known science denier, and does not directly quote Dr Pauchari. In fact, his views on the issue are completely at odds with what is in the article.

      So please, stop providing nonsense and lies as supposed support for your views. Go away and read some real science. You may actually learn something that's factual.

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  10. Mike Hansen

    Mr.

    One of the common themes you hear from the climate cranks is that (a) no one takes climate change seriously and (b) if they do, any policy they may implement will have no effect because China/India are building 1000s of coal fired power stations.

    Unfortunately for the cranks, reality is starting to intervene.

    West Australian conservative Premier Colin Barnett made the following comment to a Perth business forum on Friday.

    "The change in the coal price is beyond cyclical: it is a structural change," he said. "And while coal remains the world's most used fuel for power generation and other purposes, the world is making policy decisions which mean that coal usage, in my view, will progressively decline. It's a long-term structural change and that should not be dismissed as something that is purely cyclical."

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/in-depth/coal-facing-a-structural-decline/story-fnivd8cj-1226671643971

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  11. MItchell Lennard

    Researcher - Distributed Energy Systems

    The article makes a reasonable point. An ETS ( regardless if it starts off with a fixed price for a fixed period or not) is a long term measure. The reality is given the nature of our market, the dynamic nature of the effect on the economic contraction on demand and the other variables (eg hydro variability) it is just far to early to draw significant conclusions on what impact the ETS is having.

    There may be a reduction in overall demand due to price but even that is a bit difficult to conclude…

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    1. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to MItchell Lennard

      Spot on, Mitchell - too early to tell definitively but evidence to date is strongly indicative of minimal economic damage (economic wrecking balls tend to impact fairly quickly) and preliminary evidence of longer-term influence on investment/construction decisions. That sounds about wha tI'd hope for and expect of the first, fairly cautious year of a long-term transition process like this.

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  12. Anton Lang

    Retired

    It seems the article's authors haven't done much in the way of background checking.

    They mention that the Northern Plant in South Australia has closed down except for the Summer Months, and that the large South Australian supply from Wind has lowered power prices in that State.

    I wonder if they have checked the AEMO pricing chart for May 2010 shown at this link.

    http://www.aemo.com.au/Electricity/Data/Price-and-Demand/Average-Price-Tables/Daily-Price-Tables?year=2013&month=05

    Note the…

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    1. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to Anton Lang

      What does the AEMO actually say.

      "The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has noted that the South Australian wholesale prices are lower than they have been since the start of the national electricity market, and that the wind “tends to depress the South Australian regional prices”."

      http://theconversation.com/power-of-the-wind-how-renewables-are-lowering-sa-electricity-bills-9945

      http://www.aemo.com.au/Electricity/Planning/South-Australian-Advisory-Functions/Archive-of-previous-SASDO-reports

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    2. John Newlands

      tree changer

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      I presume the LGC subsidy (currently $31 per Mwh) is not included in the wholesale price which makes it appear artificially low
      http://ret.cleanenergyregulator.gov.au/For-Industry/ret-power-stations

      Carbon taxed old black coal ( 1 tCO2/Mwh) would have a carbon taxed wholesale price only about half that of subsidy included new wind power. Sample calc for old coal $45 internal cost + $24 c.t. = $69 per Mwh. New wind $90 internal cost + LGC subsidy $31 = $121 per Mwh.

      Intermittent running of old stations like Northern is inefficient and I would guess it takes a day to get steam pressure and reduce thermal shock from a cold start.

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    3. Gary Murphy

      Independent Thinker

      In reply to Anton Lang

      Gas turbines have an LCOE of $200 / MWh at a capacity factor of only 10%. If those high prices persist it will result in the construction of more gas capacity and the maximum prices will retreat to $200.

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    4. Gary Murphy

      Independent Thinker

      In reply to John Newlands

      New wind internal cost $90 = average wholesale price of $60 + LGC of $30.

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  13. John Sayers

    Designer

    Mike Hansen, Colin Barnett only said that coal would play less in power production, that's because he probably believes that Natural gas will become more dominant with the expansion of CSG. Still a fossil fuel but a different one. Same CO2 output.

    there's a very deceptive poster put out on the social media by Environment Victoria. https://www.facebook.com/environmentvictoria

    It claims brown coal usage is down 12%. What it doesn't tell you is that Yallourn Power Station (1480MW, Brown coal) was closed down due to flooding in it's coal mines during the Gippsland floods!!

    Renewables up by 23% they brag - 23% of 6% is sweet F all and is that actual power output or is it installed capacity?

    This is typical of the deceptive BS the environment groups are spewing out these days - disgraceful!!

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    1. Gary Murphy

      Independent Thinker

      In reply to John Sayers

      Very strong opinions for someone who obviously hasn't done much research. Natural gas has about half of the emissions of coal.

      http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/australian-power-emissions-fall-to-10-year-low-as-coal-output-drops-29083

      Interesting stuff on that website:
      Chinese renewables investment nearly doubling coal investment.

      Religious leaders calling for bipartisan support on carbon pricing:
      http://www.assembly.uca.org.au/news/item/1397-an-open-letter-from-australian-religious-leaders

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    2. John Sayers

      Designer

      In reply to Gary Murphy

      So who hasn't done much research? The Chinese renewables investment you refer to is in Hydro power where output grew by 196 TWh, bringing total hydro production to 864 TWh. China has 198GW of hydro power, more than the US and Canada combined.

      http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/newsdesk/energy/news/china%E2%80%99s-wind-power-production-increased-more-coal-power-did-first-time-2012

      When was the last time a hydro dam was approved by the environmentalists in Australia?

      Coal still accounts for 79 percent of electricity production in China, According to the World Resources Institute China has plans for 557GW of coal powered power stations.

      The article you mentioned on that website yet again confirms what I said - "This is typical of the deceptive BS the environment groups are spewing out these days - disgraceful!!"

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    3. Gary Murphy

      Independent Thinker

      In reply to John Sayers

      Again - your research doesn't even include following the first link. Where it states "In fact, wind alone outpaced new coal plant investment in China in 2012."

      Follow the source of that:
      "Thermal power use, which is predominantly coal, grew by only about 0.3 percent in China during 2012, an addition of roughly 12 terawatt hours (TWh) more electricity. In contrast, wind power production expanded by about 26 TWh."

      In fact - that is exactly what your link states. (?)

      I think you owe them an apology.

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    4. John Sayers

      Designer

      In reply to Gary Murphy

      Quoting development in terms of TWh is highly deceptive, typical of Greenpeace.

      "A difficulty in tracking Chinese coal data is that new plants frequently displace older ones. In 2007, the National Development and Reform Commission (NRDC) of China announced that the building of all new coal plants must be accompanied by the elimination of older, less efficient generators. For example, a new 300 MW power station will require the decommissioning of 240 MW of capacity of an older station. All coal…

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    5. Gary Murphy

      Independent Thinker

      In reply to John Sayers

      From your own link:

      "Niall Stuart, chief executive of Scottish Renewables, which represents renewable energy companies in Scotland, said the winter of 2009/10 was one of the calmest on record and that it was "no surprise" output figures for the year were below average."

      Generation data shows Australian wind farms operate at 35-40% capacity factors.

      It seems no-one can reproduce the results of that other study.

      “REF’s report suggests that the capacity factor of Danish onshore wind farms…

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    6. John Sayers

      Designer

      In reply to Gary Murphy

      where is your evidence that Australian wind farms operate at 35 - 40%?

      Here's the data - you can check it yourself day by day.

      http://windfarmperformance.info/?date=2013-06-02

      Ah - The Renewable Energy Foundation report on wind farms - sortta like the foxes report on the chicken run.

      "Author’s Note
      Note: The views expressed in this paper are strictly personal".

      Yeah sure.
      How about a peer reviewed science paper on the subject?

      "What would you prefer?"

      Installed capacity because…

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    7. Gary Murphy

      Independent Thinker

      In reply to John Sayers

      LOL

      The report I linked to is the actual report that the newspaper article you linked to is based on.

      The Renewable Energy Foundation is actually a deceptive name for an organisation that campaigns against renewable energy and commissioned that paper.

      Check out the table - it clearly shows that the actual generation from wind farms does not decrease over time. Then he claims that there actually is a decrease that is being masked by "differences in location and wind availability over time".

      What does that mean? Does he think wind speeds steadily increase over time? Or does he think turbines have become mobile and move to a slightly better location every year?

      If there was such a significant decrease - do you not think the owners/operators would have worked out why and done something about it?

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    8. John Sayers

      Designer

      In reply to Gary Murphy

      you said: "The Renewable Energy Foundation is actually a deceptive name for an organisation that campaigns against renewable energy and commissioned that paper."

      They say:

      http://www.ref.org.uk/about-ref

      "The Renewable Energy Foundation is a registered charity (1107360) promoting sustainable development for the benefit of the public by means of energy conservation and the use of renewable energy.
      REF is supported by private donation and has no political affiliation or corporate membership…

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    9. Gary Murphy

      Independent Thinker

      In reply to John Sayers

      Sure - the graphs after he has made his 'adjustments' show a marked decline. The raw generation data doesn't show any.

      They can't? A 3MW turbine is worth $7 Million and generates around $1 Million worth of electricity per year (30%cf, $100/MWh). What do you think causes this supposed degradation? Do you really think the operators wouldn't be able to or wouldn't find it worthwhile to fix?

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    10. John Sayers

      Designer

      In reply to Gary Murphy

      "The symbol of Green renewable energy, our saviour from the non existent problem of Global Warming, abandoned wind farms are starting to litter the planet as globally governments cut the subsidies taxes that consumers pay for the privilege of having a very expensive power source that does not work every day for various reasons like it’s too cold or the wind speed is too high

      The US experience with wind farms has left over 14,000 wind turbines abandoned and slowly decaying, in most instances the turbines are just left as symbols of a dying Climate Religion, nowhere have the Green Environmentalists appeared to clear up their mess or even complain about the abandoned wind farms.."

      http://toryaardvark.com/2011/11/17/14000-abandoned-wind-turbines-in-the-usa/

      http://www.thenewamerican.com/tech/energy/item/15069-14-000-idle-wind-turbines-a-testament-to-failed-energy-policies

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    11. Gary Murphy

      Independent Thinker

      In reply to John Sayers

      Do you believe everything you read on the internet?

      That particular myth originated in Hawaii where an anti-wind activist calculated the percentage of inoperative turbines in a farm that was nearing decommissioning. He then extrapolated that percentage to the total number in the world (not the US).

      http://www.aweablog.org/blog/post/fact-check-about-those-abandoned-turbines-_1

      I also found this:

      http://www.aweablog.org/blog/post/fact-check-oops-wind-farm-performance-stays-strong_1

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  14. UCL Australia

    International Energy Policy Institute at Education Industry, Energy, Resources

    Whilst a price on carbon is putting pressure on industry to curb emissions, it looks likely that Australia will miss its reduction target of 5% below 2000 levels by 2020. This is partly due to the increase in energy intensity in the mining sector. Decarbonisation of this important sector will only come about through stringent emission caps and certainty in an effective market in carbon allowances. Abandoning cap and trade, as the Liberal Party claims it will do, threatens to undermine the achievements to date.

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  15. Ev Cricket

    Energy Nerd

    Exceptional article, the most thorough I've read on this topic.

    As you've said, the electricity market is really, really complex. Attributing any change to a single factor is always going to be risky. This article walks the line between information and certainty that I would really like to see more of.

    Excellent.

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  16. mark carter

    thinker

    The carbon that all plants need as food is kept at the altitude of the existence of such vegetation or trees.Carbon is a heavy gas in its various forms .It would be disastrous if it was depleted and oxygen levels rose in my opinion plunging the earth into an ice age.
    Wondering if research has been done on other gas levels and the implications on the world climate.??
    To my understanding the ETS ranges from 20 to 90$ tonne --is this just a mechanism(scheme) for speculators to pay off the world global property debt.

    I think the plants that rely on carbon for food should be consulted before humans relentless drive for financial profit makes them an endangered species.Ask them why they dont grow at higher altitudes if the carbon they rely on is rising to such heights.I am aware many yrs ago research was undertaken warning of interfering in natures laws of balance.

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