Archive for December, 2011

Scandal in Oz, Part 2

12/08/2011

“It is not climate change that is threatening the coastal towns of Australia.

It’s exaggerated predictions of rising sea levels that are slashing property values, driving away small businesses and making residents tear out their hair.  …

Gosford Council is “prepared to write off 9000 families…by introducing draconian development controls that ultimately are designed to turn all of Davistown & half of Woy Woy and Empire Bay into derelict suburbs,” says [Pat] Aiken [secretary of Coastal Residents Incorporated].

Coastal councils stacked with risk-averse dupes and green agitators have been imposing ad hoc restrictions on development near the water in anticipation of catastrophic sea inundation by the end of this century, as promised by the likes of Al Gore and Tim Flannery.  …

The council was promoting a policy called a “reactive management strategy” which [homeowner Stephen] Hunt describes as “a hideous policy that gives the council and state government the power to turn off the utilities within the street and force landowners to walk away from their properties without any financial compensation”.  …

Similarly, in Port Albert, Victoria, residents claimed property prices fell 38 percent after the local council enacted absurd planning laws requiring new houses to be built 1.5m above the ground to avoid rising sea levels, while requiring roof heights to remain the same. This prompted angry residents to complain their houses would be suitable only for pygmies.  [see Higher floors, lower roofs: the town being shrunk by climate change angst]  …

[S]imilar nonsense continues up and down the east coast, with each township having to mount a defence against the catastrophists. With wildly varying predictions of sea level rises as high as 75m coming from NASA, the IPCC and experts such as Flannery, councils were opting for the extreme precautionary principle.”  “We must see level heads or our coast is doomed

Scandal in Oz

12/08/2011

“Amid exaggerated predictions that sea levels would rise by 75m, [coastal engineer Doug] Lord made the career-ending mistake of actually measuring the sea level and trying to publish the results.

This caused him to be “let go” from his government job and have peer-reviewed scientific papers pulled at the last minute from a conference in Shanghai last year, from a conference in Perth in September and from a journal where they were to be published this year.

Not only that, but he was banned by his bosses at the NSW environment department from representing Engineers Australia, whose national coastal committee he chaired, at a 2009 parliamentary inquiry into managing climate change.  …

With colleague Phil Watson, Lord examined 110-year tide gauge records from Fort Denison in Sydney Harbour, and other sites. They found the sea level was rising at less than 1mm a year …

In 2009 Watson published the results, putting the lie to [then Minister for Climate Change and Water] Penny Wong’s claims sea level rises would wipe out beaches and hundreds of metres of coastline. “The analysis reveals a consistent trend of weak deceleration at each of these gauge sites throughout Australasia over the period from 1940 to 2000,” he wrote in the Journal of Coastal Research.  …

This was an inconvenient truth to governments who were busy beefing up climate risk assessments at the time. The federal government predicted a sea level rise of 1.1m by 2100. NSW came up with 0.9m.

But Lord’s data showed they had exaggerated the rise by 1000 per cent. His measurement of 1mm a year gives you a sea level rise of no more than 90mm [~ 3.5 inches], (0.09m) by 2100.  …

Last year, Lord and Watson were banned from presenting three papers they had prepared for the International Conference on Coastal Engineering in Shanghai.

“(At the time) the government was finalising its sea level rise policy,” he said. “I was told [the department] wouldn’t support the three papers because they weren’t consistent with the policy that was being developed.”

By this stage, Lord had lost his job, after a departmental “restructure”.

Nevertheless, he and Watson wrote another paper, which was peer-reviewed and approved for publication in the journal of Australian Civil Engineering Transactions. In September, just before publication, the department refused Watson, still an employee, permission to publish.

Then a conference paper the two men were to present at a Coasts and Ports conference in Perth was pulled.”  “Tide rises against climate lies