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Gone Fishing

I am going to take some time out from this blog to try and complete a couple of projects that I’ve started, but am having trouble finishing. So there may be no new posts here for a while.

In the meantime you can subscribe for my irregular email updates here:

And check the ‘Community Home’ page for updates from other readers with their nature photographs and more here:

And here’s a picture I took of a fisher, a darter cormorant, in Kakadu National Park a few years ago.

Interestingly according to one account of life in the Lower Murray in South Australia one hundred years ago there was a bounty on cormorants (that are closely related to darters), with 34,000 taken in one year ostensibly because they ate too many fish [1].

[1] Travels in Australasia, by Wandandian see page 301

26th July 1909 at Caurnamont, near Mannum

‘Birds were very scarce, though we saw one fine old spoonbill wading round the swamp and swinging his head from side to side in the peculiar fashion these birds have while feeding.

On the latter day, while out shooting, I picked up a freshly decapitated turtle of the kind called by the natives “emys,” and on meeting a fisherman enquired of him whether he had caught many, and why it was without a head.

He replied that the turtles were so destructive of fish spawn, that a scalp fee of one penny was paid on the head of each by the Government, and that he caught a good many from time to time.

On further enquiry, I found that in the past year the South Australian Government had paid over £600 in scalping fees to various people for 116,000 turtles and 34,000 cormorants, thus satisfactorily explaining why the cormorants are so shy, and look upon every man with suspicion; for when one contemplates what a hunting they must have in the course of the year to furnish such an enormous “bag,” it would be decidedly strange if they were at all otherwise. In spite of all this I saw hundreds of them on the Murray and lake waters, so that I am sure many must pour in from outside to take the place of those that are shot, and should this be the case it will be many years before their numbers are at all reduced, or the Government get anything like the full value for their money, or even justify its expenditure.’

[Back then Murray cod were plentiful despite the turtles and the cormorant though now there are no Murray cod in that stretch of river below Lock 1.]


3,962 Responses to “Gone Fishing”

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  1. Comment from: Debbie

    Yes SD….it’s about as bi polar as you can possibly get.
    I posted a video that was produced for the 100year celebrations somewhere back on this very long thread.
    It led Gavin to make a comment about ‘lucky’.
    Can you believe that?
    My very belated comment is ‘lucky schmucky!!!’…He must have missed the blood sweat and tears that went in to creating the MIA…and also missed the fact that the opportunity was open to everyone in his generation…or that the entire eastern seaboard has benefitted from the development of the MIA and other ‘purpose built’ irrigation communities…including the ever increasing number of bureaucracies and semi privatised depts that are ostensibly needed to ‘manage’ them….all demanding and justifying their ever increasing ‘cost recovery’ share.
    & Yes JW I do agree…my point was that while they may be ‘experts’ in their narrow fields, they are still just as fallible and just as vulnerable as everybody else….right down to their family relationships, their finances and even the way they wear their underpants.
    As Luke pointed out sometime time ago…academics also love to argue.
    Walter Starck also often points out this fact…and has called it ‘an academic pissing contest’.
    Most of them are ‘employees’ and despite their academic expertise they are mostly required to do the bidding of their employers…just like any other employee.
    I too have been working with a lot of these people and I have found it isn’t actually the ‘scientists’ who are the problem (IMHO). I have met some bureaucrats and statiticians and modellers and policy advisors and sadly some politicians who frighten the daylights out of me because they are clearly not understanding what we need from them and are indeed way more concerned about protecting their turf and also protecting their precious ‘modelling’, even when it bears no resemblance to reality or the ‘here and now’.
    But to be fair to others….unless they have been directly affected by the ‘results’ of the poor implementation of contradictory policy…they would have no reason to suspect that people who hold some of these positions do not have the right experience nor deserve the respect and/or trust that they claim they deserve to inform social policy.
    They really only know how to follow rules and ‘terms of reference’.
    Which is a further sad indictment I guess.

  2. Comment from: el gordo

    Agree with Johnathan on human gullibility, but in regards to CO2 its obvious that mass delusion has come about because of sophisticated propaganda.

    CO2 is a harmless trace gas and doesn’t deserve the odious reputation it’s acquired.

  3. Comment from: el gordo

    Propaganda from the high priests is how mass delusion is orchestrated.

    Enlightened self interest and ignorance snared the pollies and jurnos into confirmation bias and groupthink. The ordinary people are confused and need to be debriefed on gorebull worming.

  4. Comment from: spangled drongo

    Yes EG, if it correlates it doesn’t necessarily cause but if it doesn’t correlate it sure doesn’t cause.

  5. Comment from: spangled drongo

    And Graeme, while on the subject of natural variation in polar ice caps…

    Ice caps? What ice caps?

  6. Comment from: gavin

    What a winging whining lot! Been reading your previous post from a page back. Group speak applies to all, except Deb who seems to be working from her heart for most of it. However deb; our number cruncher stats man is a scientist.

    Another PS guy we meet regularly is a poor down trodden career groomed IT specialist who needs much sympathy cause his only other avenue for excitement is home grown photography.

    Another PS, lass only 24 yo could be 2IC in some climate change group after dropping her trade after a common apprenticeship, but yesterday mum didn’t know the position details . She does however organize conferences all over like someone else we know who travels a lot. Think about kids with PS parents. An awful number of such families split up. We work too in that sense.

    A couple may also work in different cities, though there is a preference for foot loose and free during emergencies, in my time your tooth brush and a change could follow assuming your partner was home when the agent called. Agents too become that special breed known as “facilitators” and are at hand for Ministers.

    Last night I had a brief discussion about my SL campaign with a former chef who now makes decisions re project v enviro in a small PS team after transitioning to policy and legal frame works. I guess at least one of his prof/tutors was an even greater sceptic than any here and with good science too cause policy under a new regime forbids undercurrents re SLR planning region by region.

  7. Comment from: spangled drongo

    Darn! gav arrives full of specifics again and nails us to the floor.

    The British Met Office is so worried about a prediction that the “coldest winter in 100 years” is on the way that they are forced to deny that this predictive capability exists:

    Oh, the irony!

  8. Comment from: Debbie

    No Gavin,
    Number crunchers are number crunchers.
    That is a different discipline to science.
    Just because they crunch scientific data does not make them scientists.
    However, some scientists are also number crunchers.
    Gotta agree :-)
    Oh the irony!

  9. Comment from: Neville

    Here’s Humlum’s summary of the Uni of Colorado at Boulder’s estimate of SLR since 1999.
    1999= 40cm at year2100
    2005=30cm 2100
    2010=22cm 2100
    2012=16cm. 2100 july 2012.
    So you can see how the estimate has halved since approx 2002. That’s what I call a big deceleration.
    But don’t worry Gav you just keep busy with your estimates, I’m sure you’ll prevail. NOT.

    Estimated average global sea level change until year 2100, according to sea level change values provided by the Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research at University of Colorado at Boulder (see figure above). The estimated average global sea level change is calculated using a simple extrapolation of the most recent observed annual sea level change (thin line; diagram above, please see also note below). The thick line represents the simple running 3 year average of this estimate. Time is shown along the x-axis as calendar years. Last diagram update: 18 September 2012, with a prognosis (red graph) of about 17 cm average global sea level rise until 2100.

    Click here to download the entire data series since 1992.

    Click here to read about details of calibration.

    Click here to read about data smoothing.

    Note: Using the 3 year average shown in the diagram above, based on observed sea level changes, around 1999 the total sea level change from then until year 2100 would have been estimated to about 40 cm, in 2005 to about 30 cm (year 2005-2100), and in 2010 to about 22 cm (year 2010-2100). On July 14, 2012, the prognosis would be about 16 cm sea level increase until 2100. It is interesting that this simple empirical forecast has shown a steady trend towards lower values since about 2002.

    Click here to jump back to list of contents.

  10. Comment from: gavin

    SD; buy a forecast Madden? Please try again and Deb, don’t be so gullible

  11. Comment from: Robert

    It can’t be repeated often enough that Sea Level Rise is a 19th century phenomenon.

    For highly technical types, and number crunching stats guys, 19 is the number between 18 and 20, and two short of 21.

  12. Comment from: gavin

    Nev matey, oh matey, never on the ball have a gander at this, then say who says what here

  13. Comment from: gavin

    An official SLR calculator is here

    From this link “Sea-level rise will be experienced mainly as an increase in the frequency or likelihood of flooding events, rather than simply as a steady increase in an otherwise constant level. The figure shows the rate of increase of frequency of flooding events for Australia for a 0.5 m rise in mean sea level, which will almost certainly be attained during this century. On average, Australia will experience a roughly 300-fold increase in flooding events, meaning that infrastructure that is presently flooded once in 100 years will be flooded several times per year after a sea-level rise of 0.5 m”

  14. Comment from: Robert

    One delicious explanation for the SLR that started back around 1820 is the nascent Industrial Revolution. You see this idea floating around sites like Skeptical Science, though they’re careful not to elaborate.

    Some mills and foundries in one corner of Europe triggering climate change and making the seas rise while Napoleon was still on Saint Helena?

    You can see why the warmies like to just slip it in there without too much elaboration. The script demands post-1980 SLR but the old gauges won’t co-operate. So our Green Betters just say something that sounds a bit plausible and vaguely sciency to cover that extra century and a half!

    I guess it’s the McTernan approach: say something ridiculous often enough and loud enough for long enough…and some doofus will take it on board, regardless of evidence. Why even bother to blame the Industrial Revolution? If one can believe Jane Austen, there were a lot of misogynists around in the early 1800s.

    The misogynists did it!

  15. Comment from: gavin

    Rot, Rob. “say something ridiculous often enough and loud enough for long enough” and that’s exactly what the good folks here are doing.

    After Nev ‘s latest ice age links, I did a round up of glacier news re SLR, and it’s simple ongoing truth about where we are headed. Again, no bench marks needed, just fools re quoting the opposite to observation.

    So, this ice age over the horizon myth is only linked to scams inc.

  16. Comment from: Robert

    “So, this ice age over the horizon myth is only linked to scams inc.”

    Exactly. Nobody knows what the climate will be like in five, ten, fifty etc years – for the very obvious reason that our science is pitifully raw and inadequate. The fact that many pretend to know is one of the great disgraces of our era. Publish-or-Perish and the ludicrous aspiration to “model” climate, economy etc are shaming our civilisation.

    We are actually facing an intellectual catastrophe, not a physical one.

  17. Comment from: gavin

    Rob; “our science is pitifully raw and inadequate” hmmm, can’t agree but people tasked with sorting it are often quite young. That should be encouraging.

  18. Comment from: Debbie

    Sorry Gavin,
    Gullible was something I was once.
    Not any more!
    Not saying these people don’t have something to offer but they seriously need to yank their heads out of their computers and collect their own evidence or, at the very least, double check their sources and therefore the veracity of the numbers they are crunching.
    Way too much ‘piggy backing’ happening and also rather lazy and unscientific.

  19. Comment from: Neville

    I’m sorry Gav but the USA EPA report in the 1980′s and the IPCC ongoing reports don’t agree with you.

    The trend of the estimates for SLR to 2100 is down, down, down . The EPA of USA actually had a SLR estimate in the 1980′s of several metres to 2100.

    Since then as explained by Humlum on his oceans page every IPPC report has shown that decelerating trend in their estimates of SLR. That’s from your bible don’t forget.
    Now the UNI of Colorado has reduced that back to just 16cm to 17cm until 2100. Of course Lomborg covered all these ongoing lower trends in ” Cool It” as well.

    If you have to fall back on nonsense like supposed greater storm surges etc because of this decelerating trend in SLR then that’s your problem not mine.
    I repeat the trend in the estimates for SLR has been heading down for at least 25 years and that’s from YOUR IPCC.

  20. Comment from: Neville

    Gav here is Prof Ole Humlum’s climate for you where you can see the UNI Colorado trends and graphs on the Ocean link at left.

    Have a look at the trend graph since 1995 at the bottom and you can read the info at the bottom of page that I copied to here yesterday.
    But just to pin you down so we all understand, do you believe the lowering trend from the IPCC or not? Yes or no.

  21. Comment from: gavin

    Nev; what the IPCC says or said re SL predictions is of little concern. Always happy to discuss observations like this though

  22. Comment from: spangled drongo

    Gav is conned by govt alarmists who spout the following methodology for predicting SLR:

    “By combining two uncertainties (the frequency of present storm surges and the uncertainty of future sea-level rise) into a single likelihood, a statistically robust prediction is generated.”

    This “statistically robust” prediction reckons we are about to experience a 300-fold increase in flooding events.

    IOW our 1 in 100 year records in our coastal cities [which are most of our main cities] are going to happen now 3 times a year.

    Tim Flannery should be locked up.

    When empirical measurements show negative to very little SLR [at the least a deceleration], this is outright, lying hysteria to propagate green ideology.

    But gav thinks that no benchmarks are needed and we should all embrace Timmy’s ideology.

    Do you really support this “science” gav?

    Please give us a simple yes/no answer.

  23. Comment from: Neville

    Gav the trend is down for SLR and has been for decades. But just to have it on the record, you don’t believe the IPCC reducing trend for SLR since the their first report?

  24. Comment from: Neville

    BTW Gav that graph you linked just proves my point, the trend is down. Just lay a straight edge on the blue line and you can easily see a drop off in the trend.

  25. Comment from: Neville

    But ya gotta laugh at Gore and Hansen and their SLR estimate to 2100. In his book Lomborg points out that to get to their 6 metres of SLR by 2100 we would need to see a rise of 120 mm per year, every year until 2100.

    Geeez gav when’s it gonna start, better be soon or that looney estimate will have to have an accelerating megatrend for sure for the next 88 years.

  26. Comment from: cohenite

    There are now FOUR sources of information about Gillard which have gone missing:

    1 Slater and Gordon file missing in Victoria

    2 WA state archives file missing

    3 QLD Federal court file missing

    4 NSW Federal Court file missing.

    You do not have a legal system without secure storage of records and evidence; FOUR seperate sources holding evidence and information about Gillard have been compromised. Think about it.

  27. Comment from: spangled drongo

    Cohers, that is mind-blowing and yet it doesn’t rate a mention at the ABC.

  28. Comment from: ianl8888


    Raises a million questions, of course, but none will have answers as yet

    Has the appearance of Organised Crime to me may have some information on this

  29. Comment from: Robert

    Re the missing files: These things happen…happen…happen…happen.

  30. Comment from: ianl8888


    Yes, it all just may be complete coincidence with nothing sinister at all, just incompetence at some bureaucratic level or other within the various Court/Registry filing systems – four times in different cities across the country within the last 12 months …

    Certainly, deliberately removing evidence from a Court filing system is an actual crime. So perhaps the now missing evidence was inadvertently replaced back in the wrong box … four times across the country in the last 12 months

    As I noted, may have some more information here

  31. Comment from: Neville

    Hold on Robert, let’s use a little logic and reason here. So the files go missing and about one particular case and at entirely different locations and states?

    If that happened by chance it would be almost impossible. what would be the chances? It must be organised.

    BTW Gav I’ve shown that there is a declining trend for SLR for decades, but we also have a flat trend for temp as well for at least 16 years.
    Therefore two of the iconic trends for CAGW don’t look very good for the alarmists it seems.

  32. Comment from: Neville

    Been out working and just had a silly thought about Robyn “100 metres Williams” . He claimed to Bolt that it’s possible we could see a rise of 100 m in SL by 2100.
    Just the sort of steady sensible, rational. logical bloke you’d expect to be running the ABC science show. NOT.

    But he’d better get his skates on because the trend is in decline so he’ll need well over a metre a year from now until 2100.
    Geezzz only a metre or more a year, anyone else here expect that to happen anytime soon.
    Certainly not the IPCC or Uni of Colorado.

    But ya gotta laugh I suppose.

  33. Comment from: Debbie

    :-) :-)

  34. Comment from: Neville

    Debbie we live in a strange world where the temp trend has been flat for 16 years and the SL trend is in decline and yet we get this silly report from the world bank.

    I’d just say that if they believe this stuff these people should take there protest to China and India because they are now the biggest emitters of co2 into the future not the flatlining OECD.

  35. Comment from: Debbie

    That link is a major report from the other ‘number crunchers’.

  36. Comment from: John Sayers

    James Hansen strikes again.

    A new Dutch book written by ‘the climate-lawyer’ Roger H.J. Cox has sparked a lawsuit being filed against the Dutch government, claiming that the Netherlands is under a legal obligation to reduce its CO2 emissions by as much as 40% by 2020 and up to 95% by 2050.


  37. Comment from: cohenite

    Oh, the world bank report; they must be one of these banks:

  38. Comment from: Neville

    Here’s that part of the Williams interview with Bolt in 2007.

    This prediction is not merely an anti-climax, but a lovely surprise. After all, didn’t the ABC’s top science presenter, Robyn Williams, once warn that the seas could rise by not one metre, but 100?

    Here he is on his own Science Show in 2007, at the height of warming hysteria:

    Andrew Bolt: I ask you, Robyn, 100m in the next century . . . do you really think that?

    Robyn Williams: It is possible, yes

    Seems like Robyn has a lot of catching up to do, he’s already missing much more than 5 metres of SLR since that interview in 2007.

    BTW John I can’t believe the nonsense in that new Dutch book. Trust Hansen to receive the first english addition, a barking mad book for a barking mad SL expert.

  39. Comment from: spangled drongo

    Throughout the centuries the Dutch have fought a battle like no other country against SLR. Farmers controlled the water level on their land, a quarter of which is below SL, using mills and dykes in an attempt to keep their feet dry. In the last century, the sea level rose by 17 cm and no-one understands possible future SLR better than the Dutchies.

    Pity Hansen didn’t help out by keeping his hand in the dyke instead of pleasuring himself with this BS.

  40. Comment from: spangled drongo

    Dutch SLR for the last 140 years from tide gauge 32 from cohers link.

    Nothing happening now that hasn’t been happening for quite a while.

    What is it about predicting doom that gets people in, I wonder?

    Somehow you don’t get the impression that it’s to save the human race.

  41. Comment from: Johnathan Wilkes

    “What is it about predicting doom that gets people in, I wonder?”

    Ask any psychiatrist, they tell you, it’s a proven fact, most people are secretly fascinated by and attracted to disasters and doom and gloom.
    Mostly in the hope of course that they themselves won’t be affected.

  42. Comment from: Minister for Truth

    Cohers says that:

    “1 Slater and Gordon file missing in Victoria

    2 WA state archives file missing

    3 QLD Federal court file missing

    4 NSW Federal Court file missing.

    You do not have a legal system without secure storage of records and evidence; FOUR seperate sources holding evidence and information about Gillard have been compromised. Think about it.

    Its no wonder then, that Giilard, without flicker of an eye lid can say quite brazenly that “there is no evidence of any wrong doing being alledged.”

    Of course not, there is now no evidence…. that has been seen to.

    What sort of country have we become when we have:

    1. PM who on the balance of evidence that remains available, is a crook.

    2. A Speaker appointed who was morally and intellectually bereft.

    3. Independants MPs who are out control, and not reflecting their constituents, nor the nation.

    4. Hoards of advisers and media hacks of no particular talent, who will be appointed to plum jobs within the PS before the election is announced, and into positions they cannot do and are not qualified for.

    (And we are that stupid we also import the very worst of these refugees from previous UK Labor failures)

    5. MPs voting for legislation based upon what union so called “leaders” say. When they havnt got their sticky fingers in their members tills.

    6. Elected leaders removed by palace coups.

    7. Ministers who by any standard are incompetent,and barely literate.

    8. …and when they are eventually gone they will continue to suck on the public teat through generous allowances that were orginally designed to ensure that we get the best to represent us..

    9. Debt increasing with every passing week.

    10. Productivity in decline.


    What an absolutely shameful mess.

  43. Comment from: spangled drongo

    MFT, are people in positions of power telling more lies or are we just finding out about it more.

    BoM, NIWA, Hansen and NASAGiss:

  44. Comment from: Neville

    Here’s a list of 32 SL stations around OZ, but only up to 2003. All 32 stations have an average SLR of 0.9 mm a year up to that time.

    They then remove the negative stations to give a SLR of 1.2 mm a year for the rest.

    Of course since 2003 the trend should have declined. They state that OZ stns agree with trends at that time around the world.

  45. Comment from: Minister for Truth


    I think it is a bit of each

    We are finding out a lot more, but standards in the various PS’s/Govts have been going down for quite awhile, and community cynicism/distrust has been rising in line with this decline.

    I dont think the competence levels within any PS has risen anywhere,State or Federal for at least a decade.

    But that is a diffferent matter to the general incompetence of this Labor Federal govt

    Whats causing the decline in standards ?

    Putting so called CEO’s on contract would be good starting point as would be the way they hire minions.

    Complete compromising of the impartialityof the PS would be another, along with hiring of hoards so ministerial advisers, ie mates from the local pub, who have minimal quals and experience for the jobs they are supposed to do …but in the next few months they will be parachuted into secure positions knowing stuff all about it. You watch what happens.

    But it does go further . Most Professional Institutions have also been captured by the lefty activists, so that democratic process are by- passed, and that again the unsuitable and unworthy are shoe horned in, and the fee paying members are duped. Not many professional bodies in Australia would hold elections that did not comply with the 7 main principles of what passes for democratic elections in organisations.

    We are losing our democracy bit by bit and I blame academics and activists, and a compliant Govt media ie ABC…The fact that the ABC has been almost silent on the Gillard affair is quite shameful in its own right.Its GW bias has been legendary, as has been shown on this blog over a long time

    Most people out there earning quid are just not aware of this bias and manipulation… and dont have the time anyway to get involved…which is another weakness.

    Memberships levels in professional bodies are quite low being < 10% (where it is voluntary)

    Thats my view FWIW

  46. Comment from: Neville

    Here’s the latest satellite SL, but I think most experts consider this to be far too high.

    It’s 3.1 mm a year or about 27 cm until 2100, that’s less than a foot.

  47. Comment from: spangled drongo

    Neville, as Walter Starcke points out, their science is very dubious. If it wasn’t for their adjustments and assumptions their evidence would be non existent:

  48. Comment from: gavin

    “A new NASA-funded study by the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colo., finds climate model projections that show a greater rise in global temperature are likely to prove more accurate than those showing a lesser rise” from all over the net and you guys haven’t seen it yet?

  49. Comment from: Robert

    Climate model projections? Whew, you had me worried for a while, Gav. I thought you were talking actual science and the real world – not old episodes of the Jetsons.

  50. Comment from: hunter

    Studies like that are poorly disguised op-ed columns.

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