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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”

Pages: « 170 71 72 73 74 [75] 76 77 78 79 80 » Show All

  1. Comment from: John Sayers

    sorry Jennifer – You have outlived your Gone fishing

    May I suggest you front up!

  2. Comment from: Debbie

    Enhanced greenhouse effect?
    That’s highly ironic given discussions earlier in this thread.
    Hot Cities?
    :-) :-) :-)

  3. Comment from: Neville

    Gav that study also says this—

    “This cooling was part of a millennial-scale climate excursion
    with opposing anomalies on the eastern and western sides of the
    Antarctic Peninsula. Although warming of the northeastern
    Antarctic Peninsula began around 600 years ago, the high rate of
    warming over the past century is unusual (but not unprecedented)
    in the context of natural climate variability over the past two
    millennia. ”
    Unusual but not unprecedented. It’s happened before NATURALLY.

    Greenland is more of a problem because during most of the holocene the temps were much higher than today. I estimate at about 88% of the time temps were much higher.

    So where did that NATURAL warming come from and why is it cooler today? Remember this is from an international study financed for years by many countries.

    Also why do you ignore ALL the models graphs showing Antarctica is negative for SLR until 2300?

  4. Comment from: Neville

    Also this 2009 study shows that NATURAL peninsula warming is not unusual or unprecedentd.

    It warmed NATURALLY to present levels or more at least 3 times over the last 5,600 years. So where did that extra NATURAL warming come from?
    At least we know it was natural warming.

    But the real kicker is the NATURAL warming they found from 1042 to 1312 slap bang in the Med WP.
    They make a point that there was a reduction in ice over the SH at that time. Thanks again Cohers for the links.

  5. Comment from: Neville

    Alex Rawls does us all a favour and leaks the draft AR5 report. He gives his reasons and I think he should be congratulated.

    Could it be more of the good OL SUN that is causing some of our modern warming?

  6. Comment from: gavin

    Nev; you need to keep up

  7. Comment from: Neville

    Sorry Gav I can’t follow your logic. Graph seems to show much higher recent snow levels and much higher temps in the earlier holocene.
    What am I missing? Just asking.

  8. Comment from: gavin

    Nev; a chance to look through my eyes at a typical coastal pic taken by a local SL researcher. Note undercut rock top aligns with horizon, inshore islands and beach front tide line. The wave active zone can be measured in perspective with other stable markers, and thus we obtain aprox SL mean without max min tides.

    As I went to high school on the bus, earlier coastlines relative to recent SL peaks were clearly visible and one although often plowed ran across a long paddock as a humped step on a former beach between long lava flows. All the geology teachers knew where to direct their students attention for best effect re past ice ages. These shorelines give us much info on the duration of different SL eras. The last short one was a jump of about half a meter.

  9. Comment from: gavin

    er, drop of about half a meter

  10. Comment from: Debbie

    I fail to see where you disagree with Neville?
    To me it looks like you’re furiously agreeing with him.
    Would you care to pinpoint where you think the disagreement lies?
    Also noticed you haven’t explained what you thought was ‘not real’ in Morner’s research?

  11. Comment from: gavin

    Deb; I’m late for the workbench appointment between eye sessions but in a nutshell, Sl decel in our time is nonsense.

  12. Comment from: Johnathan Wilkes


    Nev; a chance to look through my eyes at a typical coastal pic taken by a local SL researcher. Note undercut rock top aligns with horizon, inshore islands and beach front tide line. The wave active zone can be measured in perspective with other stable markers, and thus we obtain aprox SL mean without max min tides.

    Utter tosh to put it mildly.
    Depends on the position of the camera taking the picture.

    This is a situation where a picture tells a thousand lies. And even assuming it is true what on earth does it prove?

  13. Comment from: Johnathan Wilkes

    Just to clarify,
    Two points are always in line!
    The horizon is a distraction and nothing to do with anything.
    But even if the rock and the shoreline are at the same level? So what??

  14. Comment from: Debbie

    SL decel?
    Where does Neville claim SL decel?
    I think you have got it mixed up Gavin.
    The claims about SLR (not decel) and the claims re causes are what is being questioned.
    I also agree with JW that pictures can be distorted, not just by position but also by light, especially in relation to ocean horizons.
    They would have to back up quantifiable, empirical evidence.
    Have you got that evidence?

  15. Comment from: Neville

    Gav I’m sorry you’re having eye problems, you’ve certainly got my sympathy.

    But I’ll try to get a good history of SLs around OZ for the holocene. There’s no debate the earlier holocene was warmer with much higher SLs around OZ of 1.5m or 5 foot about 4,000 years ago.
    Catalyst ABC had a program a few years ago where this was mentioned and UNI of NSW has done some work on early holocene SLs.

    The Eemian SLs about 125,000 years BP were much higher again , probably around 4m higher than today.
    BTW I think my assessment of that graph is fairly sound but I’m prepared to have anyone else show me where I’m wrong.

  16. Comment from: Neville

    Gav here’s that link called “Narrabeen man” from ABC Catalyst. Very interesting to watch BTW.

    At about 8th paragraph down you’ll see reference to 1.5M higher SLs 4,000 years ago. This skeleton was found near a bus shelter in north Sydney I think.

  17. Comment from: Neville

    Here is Noaa’s latest study on SLR

    The Hockey schtick has the details. Only half the rate of the IPCC or 1.1mm to 1.3mm a year or less than 5 inches per century. This is a declining trend.

  18. Comment from: Neville

    This is a quote from a paper covering the holocene SLs off Australia’s east coast.

    We used the subtidal data to develop a transfer function

    capable of inferring past water depths of sediment samples

    from their foraminiferal content. The results indicated

    a robust performance of the transfer function (r2

    jack 5

    0.90). We produced ten sea-level index points, which revealed

    an upward trend of Holocene relative sea level from 28.86 6

    4.5 m AHD at 9.3–8.6 cal kyr BP to a mid-Holocene high

    stand of +1.72 6 3.9 m AHD at 6.9–6.4 cal kyr BP. Sea

    level subsequently fell from the highstand to the present-day.

    The sea-level reconstructions are consistent with geophysical

    models and previous published data.

    The above is part of the abstract.

    Here is the study.

  19. Comment from: gavin

    Deb; JW; come down the front now.

    Nev; appreciate your comments and I get the impression your last link went to Magnetic Isl where submarine studies hit on sediment/ SLR relationship based on steps in sea bed cover ad that’s what I had in mind with the Abram pic.

    BTW wave cut shelf’s anywhere are pretty flat and it docent take much effort to get a human figure on the scene for a better perspective re slope and distance between outstanding natural tide marks. Our undercut rock sits on the lowest tide line at that point. Tiny limpet like barnacles can be found along upper extremities in the tidal wash and most likely just above the current impact apex ie underside of undercut cliff.

    The latest noaa info confirms no SLr decel but your hsch blogspot discussion has no credible background or author, I my be blind too, why bother?

  20. Comment from: spangled drongo

    This is the sort of bed wetting the ABC has been indulging in for the last couple of days.

    The “inundation” is just the usual king tide heights less the reduction of recent years.

    My Chevron Is benchmark was the usual 8 inch [200mm] lower than it was 49.9 years ago even with a strong swell and surge running.

    Today was the biggest tide according to the tables and tomorrow will be slightly lower. I will have more info tomorrow.

    I provide this info so gav can have a good night’s rest, free from alarm and wet sheets.

    [A wet sheet and a flowing sea and a wind that follows fast. That sort of thing]

  21. Comment from: Robert

    King tides are now to be associated with SLR and CAGW – by sly implication only, of course. Are there any adults left in journalism and academia? Any at all?

    Hello, adults! Are you there?

  22. Comment from: gavin

    Just browsing Nev

  23. Comment from: spangled drongo

    Yes Robert, a severe weather warning is issued for a delightful event like a king tide.

    A sly implication indeed.

  24. Comment from: spangled drongo

    Gav, you are a bit late with your witnessing of king tides. You need to have been doing it all your life and then you might have some idea of what’s going on in the real world.

    And just looking at other peoples photographs is, sadly, not data.

    Robert, to elaborate on above, there are some roads that always get covered with seawater in king tides and these areas should be broadcast so people don’t drive through them, ruin their vehicles awa create other problems but that problem doesn’t seem to rate a mention.

  25. Comment from: Neville

    Table 1. Trends and Seasonal Fit for Components of Sea Level Rise and Total Sea Level as

    Measured by Altimeter
    Steric (Argo) 0.2 ± 0.8
    Mass (GRACE, Paulson GIA) 1.0 ± 0.2
    Steric + mass (Paulson GIA) 1.2 ± 0.9
    Total sea level (Jason-1 and Jason-2) 1.6 ± 0.8
    Determined with a least squares fit of a sine, cosine, trend, and constant over January 2005 to
    December 2011. The error bounds represent the 95% confidence interval obtained from the least
    squares fit.

    Gav the above is from the latest 2012 report from NOAA covering 2005 to 2012. Total SL is 1.6mm year or 16cm in 100 years.
    This is the same as Ole Humlum and Uni Colorado and it is a declining trend.
    Photos and press reports are rather silly when compared to these declining SL reports.

    Here is that NOAA study again, please read pages 7 and 8 again.

  26. Comment from: spangled drongo

    I have been getting reports from my many waterfront dwelling mates who have lived in the same waterfronts for 30-40 years and they all report that this HAT [highest astronomical tide] was at least 200 mm lower that those of years ago.

    Those Gold Coast waterfront estates going back to the ’50s almost all had sea walls built to the king tide datum of the time. The biggest tides years ago topped those walls by about 10 cm but this HAT was at least 10 cm below the tops of the walls.

    At my 66 year old benchmark at Cleveland Point the HAT was also around 200 mm below flooding over the grass.

    The new IPCC draft report on SLR says that “SL changes integrate many aspects of Climate Change” so I suppose one can extrapolate that if the only “change” is down, there is not much beyond nat var happening with CC.

    See the trouble I go to for you gav, to help you sleep better?

  27. Comment from: Johnathan Wilkes

    I think you are wasting your effort on gav, SD.

    What I find strange and slightly amusing that his kind call us rigid in our position and ignorant of science, when in fact it’s the opposite.

    I’m easily persuaded by facts, but annoyed when BS is thrown at me.
    Annoyed because they think of me as a fool. Don’t know about the rest of the sceptics but I resemble that.

  28. Comment from: gavin

    JW; resemble what?

    SD, no data! what about dates, pressure, temp etc?

    Nev; what noaa graph has the last word on SL decel?

    For the record, I have always related SLR to recent SL max and its well defined old coastline about 1M above present SL but not model predictions cause we don’t need them given RL steps in the landscape and sea bed.

    Btw, who read Nerile’s CV? my discussion re her seascape was in part, an attempt to draw attention to her background in current scientific method.

  29. Comment from: Johnathan Wilkes

    I am busy at the moment so I might be a bit late in catching up with what I’m interested in, but this caught my eyes.

    “Throughout this (negotiation) process the South Australian Government has been unwavering that we need a plan; we need a plan that’s based on the best available science and a plan that returns a minimum amount of water to develop a healthy river system,” Mr Caica said.

    “It is absolutely crystal clear that the Murray River water resources have been over-allocated and this is the cornerstone issue to be addressed through the Murray-Darling Basin Plan,” he said.

    Upstream states took 93 per cent of the Murray-Darling surface water, leaving South Australia with just seven per cent in total – with only one per cent for Adelaide, Mr Caica said.

    They have more water now, and more importantly “guaranteed” water than they ever had historically, I mean in the good old days before the dams upstream. So what gives? Did we get it wrong and there should be no dams?
    Do they want to go back to the days of the Darling and Murray systems running? being dry?

    I despair.
    Is this for the climate?
    We will wake up some day, but this water allocation thing bothers me. Why do we build dams and towns and anticipate prosperity if we don’t appreciate the outcome?

  30. Comment from: Johnathan Wilkes

    “JW; resemble what?”
    gav, if you don’t get it, there is no hope for you.
    You are hidebound.

  31. Comment from: spangled drongo

    “For the record, I have always related SLR to recent SL max and its well defined old coastline about 1M above present SL”

    So gav, you haven’t got any benchmarks, just a rough appraisal of the general landscape?

    Quelle drive-by science!

    You could at least use Google Earth.

    And you’ve got the hide to ask me about data?

    But just to set your mind at rest the barometer was a couple of hectopascals above normal, the date was yesterday and I don’t know that the temperature would have had much bearing on the outcome.

  32. Comment from: Neville

    Gav I’m saying it’s a declining trend not NOAA. Humlum shows the declining trend as well. Compared to more recent estimates by IPCC etc over the last 25 years it is definitely a declining trend.
    At the moment it’s about 16cm per 100 years. It may go up or decline further, who knows.

  33. Comment from: Graeme M

    SD what you report about King tides is exactly my own anecdotal experience and something I’ve mentioned before. At the end of the day, actual SLR as reported by satellites etc notwithstanding, it is the on-ground effect that counts. And really, what actual effect is being noted around Australia? If we do see a rise of something like 2-3mm/yr, then over the course of 100 years we should have seen as much as 30cm.

    I for one haven’t seen anything like that at my home town of Hervey Bay. Now, it *may* have happened, but as far as I can see, nothing is different either from photos or from anecdotal comment. Certainly, King tides appear to be less significant now than when I was a boy 50 years ago.

    How much SLR is required before there is a significant impact?

  34. Comment from: spangled drongo

    Yes Graeme, because of the ever increasing hysteria of SLR by the “concerned”, I have paid ever more attention to benchmarks to check if there is any sign of it and the closer I look at the less evidence I see. Or to put it better, the more evidence I see of no SLR.

    In fact I have become more convinced that our longest and oldest benchmark, Port Arthur in Tas, is more likely showing as John Daly suggested, a SL fall of around 30 cm in 170 years.

    CSIRO claim by a tortuous route that it shows 13.5 cm SLR but either way it is nothing to bed-wet over let alone claim it confirms CAGW.

    The only thing it confirms is that we live in a remarkably stable climate and we don’t need to squander trillions of our “savings” on ideological sacrifices.

  35. Comment from: Ian Thomson

    That’s where you are on the money.
    Touched on by Muddied Waters , seldom mentioned anywhere else-
    Most of the allocated water is stored, potentially disastrous, flood water. Stored in dams built by people who had vision and stored for a non-rainy day. – ( Thereby saving most of North Vic and South NSW, from periodic inundation. )

    The major exception to this is the old, mostly disused, station pumping licenses along the rivers.
    Many of these licenses were fully activated , mostly by corporate ag during the 1980s and 90s.
    One such corp. actually recently sold a heap of this water to the Feds .

  36. Comment from: el gordo

    NASA’s latest prediction on our stars behaviour.

    ‘The current predicted and observed size makes this the smallest sunspot cycle since Cycle 14 which had a maximum of 64.2 in February of 1906.’

  37. Comment from: Neville

    A good post on extreme weather and superstition. Says it all really.

  38. Comment from: Johnathan Wilkes


    Don’t want to sound unkind but I’m not sure whether sacrificing maidens wasn’t a better idea than wasting all the money and sacrificing our standard of living?
    Only one suffered for all, now we all do for the few!
    After all the result is about the same.

    Problem of course is where do you find true “maidens” under 12 these days?

  39. Comment from: Johnathan Wilkes


    Problem of course is where do you find true “maidens” under 12 these days?
    this should of course read as “OVER”

  40. Comment from: Debbie

    Yes JW & Ian,
    that 93% fig is a total mjsrepresentation and is related to the depth of the drought.
    Without the storage systems & irrigation networks SA would have had NOTHING AT ALL (bold) on several different occasions between 2002 & 2009 let alone numerous other times prior to the last drought.
    Those old disused licences, sometimes called ‘sleeper licences’ were activated when water was separated from land and the usual suspects did not legislate correctly (or didn’t have the intestinal fortitude to deal properly with the issue).
    And despite the incessant rhetoric, it has sweet FA to do with the climate.
    Most of the AGW argument re the MDB is bi polar.
    It totally ignores WHY(bold) the storages were built in the first place.

  41. Comment from: Johnathan Wilkes

    Ian Thomson December 16th, 2012 at 11:43 am

    “Touched on by Muddied Waters ”
    I’m really sorry I missed that and there is not a lot of chance of a repeat either.
    Not in the league of troubled housewifes or something obviously.

  42. Comment from: sp

    A question for JW, Robert, El Gordo, Cohers and those who seem to know a lot more detail than I do. And it is not a trick question – I am seeking advice / information.

    The following was mentioned to me by a friend who is in converation (debate) with another:

    A person (like Gavin) provided anecotal evidence of warming in Alaska based on the opinion who had lived there for 50 years and who claimed Alaska is warming and about 6 weeks of “extra” good weather due to early spring / late fall. When cahllenged on this another (person) claimed the following:

    - Over last 60 years Alaska has warmed 3 F / 1.6 C (higher than world average)
    - The whole point (of global warming) is that it is unevenly spread
    - Most of this warming occured in the 70′s (and this is partially confirmed by an dramatic increase of temp in large lakes in the north of England, which a rarely previous average since)

    This link was provided: … hange.html

    I dont know enough, but think one of the problems with this is the lack of thermometers in Candada, and much of the “warming’ is a result of “smoothing” or “infilling” of temperature from “urban” areas into the very wild areas of northern Canada which are basically in the Artic circle.

    I note the paper states: “The period 1949 to 1975 was substantially colder than the period from 1977 to 2011, however since 1977 little additional warming has occurred in Alaska with the exception of Barrow and a few other locations. The stepwise shift appearing in the temperature data in 1976 corresponds to a phase shift of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation from a negative phase to a positive phase.”

    What is the simple response to this?

  43. Comment from: cohenite


  44. Comment from: Debbie

    You can view the ‘muddied waters’ doco online JW. (I think?)
    If that’s wrong, will post correct link tomorrow.
    Or maybe someone else can confirm link?

  45. Comment from: sp

    Thanks Cohenite

  46. Comment from: gavin

    coh; lets shoot your messenger first as a well known non researcher AGW denier.

    however as the link shows, no true academic can escape Earth based measurements and our local RL perception of events. Data may be thin but for looking back over recent climate change in remote areas like Greenland, it should serve us well.

  47. Comment from: cohenite

    gav, you want to shoot Dick Keen? That’s a bit rough; why don’t you do his quiz instead:

  48. Comment from: Neville

    Just read this article from Wikipedia about the Holecene Optimum and found this quote.

    Alaska was much warmer during the Hol opt. Summer temps 2 to C NATURALLY warmer than today and much less ice in the ARCTIC THAN TODAY.

    Of 140 sites across the western Arctic, there is clear evidence for warmer-than-present conditions at 120 sites. At 16 sites where quantitative estimates have been obtained, local HTM temperatures were on average 1.6±0.8 °C higher than present. Northwestern North America had peak warmth first, from 11,000 to 9,000 years ago, while the Laurentide ice sheet still chilled the continent. Northeastern North America experienced peak warming 4,000 years later. Along the Arctic Coastal Plain in Alaska, there are indications of summer temperatures 2–3 °C warmer than present.[5] Research indicates that the Arctic had substantially less sea ice during this period compared to present.[6]


    West African sediments additionally record the “African Humid Period”, an interval between 16,000 and 6,000 years ago when Africa was much wetter due to a strengthening of the African monsoon by changes in summer radiation resulting from long-term variations in the Earth’s orbit around the sun. During this period, the “Green Sahara” was dotted with numerous lakes containing typical African lake crocodile and hippopotamus fauna. A curious discovery from the marine sediments is that the transitions into and out of this wet period occurred within decades, not millennia as previously thought. ago,

    Just proves once again how quickly huge NATURAL swings in climate and temp can occur. Transitions in and out of this wet period occured within DECADES.

    Here is the Wiki article.

  49. Comment from: Neville

    Alec Rawls responds to Sherwood’s nonsense on THEIR ABC.

  50. Comment from: el gordo

    Canada officially out of Kyoto.

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