Michael Smith News.com uncovering fascinating details touching on history of seawater desalination in Australia

Starting on 26 August Michael Smith has a series of articles relating interesting history of Labor personalities over a decade or more associated with the water industry and the introduction of large scale seawater desalination to major Australian cities.
Newest on top. This is a long term interest of mine and I just wanted the links recorded in case readers know of new material to add.
That Candy Broad from Emily’s List – 28 Aug 2013
Bob Kernohan – most impressive witnesses – Robyn McLeod has a bit of explaining to do – 28 Aug 2013
Robyn McLeod’s missing years discovered! Every touch leaves its trace. -27 Aug 2013
School teacher to union rep to $300,000 PA Water Commissioner – 27 Aug 2013
The best friends met when Robyn McLeod worked in the water industry and Ms Gillard was an industrial lawyer – 27 Aug 2013
Robyn McLeod worked at Thiess, the AWU, the Labor Party, MEL and ADL Water – maybe she knows what workplace reform got done? – 26 Aug 2013

University of Colorado research claims Australian rainfall in 2010-2011 lowered global sea levels

My attention has been drawn to this new research led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and I have had a quick check of some of the facts.
Australia is 1.5% of global area – so 98.5% of the globe is also available to cause fluctuations in sea level.
Australia contributes 1% of global runoff according to this Wikipedia page – Water distribution on Earth. So I would ask – what happened in the other 99% during 2010-2011?
A quick read of their online article “Global sea level rise dampened by Australia floods – August 19, 2013” revealed two statements that are at odds with facts as I know them.

The article states – “Now that the atmospheric patterns have snapped back and more rain is falling over tropical oceans, the seas are rising again. In fact, with Australia in a major drought, they are rising faster than before.”
Major drought!!! – not according to our Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) – for the 18 months 1 Jan 2012 to 30 June 2013 only very minor areas of Australia are in drought.

The NCAR authors also say the continent, on average, received almost one foot (300 millimeters) of rain more than average. The actual number according to the BoM page – “Australian climate variability & change – Time series graphs” is 240.3mm averaged over the two years 2010-2011. You expect more attention to accuracy from top scientists.

I hope readers can contribute other insights and observations.
I have been hunting for Australian and global runoff annual time series.

We must never forget the GreenLabor disasters

Readers can contribute their favourite examples from the last six years which illustrate how Labor does not deserve to govern.
My over arching winner is the constant bleating on about how they saved us from the horrors of the GFC.
The truth is somewhat differnt.
In fact our economy powered on very well comparatively through the GFC thanks to China buying our resources and Govt coffers being stacked with cash from the prudent Howard administration. Labor just got it all wrong.
There never was any call from Australians for the stimulus packages. Were there two tranches of $900 cheques mailed out to all beneficiaries? Were there other benefits too? I read where a lot of this money simply went into savings and did little to stimulate anyway. What was the cost of the broadcasting of cheques?
Then the school buildings bonanza for the construction industry. How useful are the buildings now? All being well used I hope, no building quality issues?
Then the pink batts fiasco – BTW, who qualified to have insulation installed free?
Then after running the Nation into debt – now ~$300 Billion) which our Grandchildren have to pay off – to pay for all the above – they kept the stimulus on way too long, pushing up the AU$ to 1.1 x parity with the US$ in early 2011 harming our vital export sector – in the face of the RBA increasing rates to calm the over-stimulated economy. Utter madness and we are still living with the effects of the wreckage which we must never forget.
I have to mention the loony-toon East Timor asylum seeker solution early in the term of new prime Minister Gillard, late 2010 I recall. It just went on and on and on obvious to everybody that it had not a feather to fly with.
Then the years of mad predictions of a 2012-2013 surplus – in the face of scepticism from almost everybody else in the country. Gotta love GreenLabor.
It will take the Coalition at least a three year term to start getting the economy back on track again.

Strange media statement about Perth rainfall

The Fairfax online news site “WA Today” has this article commenting on plentiful rain for Perth and SW WA
Rainfall average under despite deluge – August 8, 2013 – 2:09PM – Leanne Nicholson
Adding to the dippy headline – Included is this sentence continuing the rich tradition in official Perth Govt/water circles of downplaying rain – “Despite the recent deluge, Perth has recorded an average 65.8mm this August, well under its average rainfall of 133mm for the month.”
In view that when the article was written we had only had 8 days of August which = 25.8% of August – yet Perth had enjoyed 65.8mm of rain which is 54% of the August average – it must take a particular mindset to compose the above sentence and headline. How dare Perth skies not open up for the full August average in the first 8 days.

Australian Bureau of Meteorology lacking required scientific balance in reporting warmest July for Melbourne – record warmth was confined mainly to inner urban “heat island”

BoM inspired media reports have widely spread the news that July 2013 in Melbourne was the warmest on record – most seem to be quoting daytime or maximum temperatures. here are a few articles –
Sydney Morning Herald
Herald Sun
ABC Online news

I recall seeing an article that did mention the ever expanding Melbourne “urban heat island” (UHI). I quick check of July mean max for the following outer Melbourne weather stations indicates that outside the centre of Melbourne July in 1975 was warmer than July 2013. The record July 2013 warmth seems confined to the Melbourne UHI. Checking BoM data histories here and getting July 2013 data from here, select your station then follow the “Recents Months at…” links

Laverton RAAF BoM# 87031 – July 2013 15.3 – July 1975 15.7
Melbourne Airport BoM# 86282 – July 2013 14.7 – July 1975 15.1
Frankston BoM# 86079 – July 2013 14.2 – July 1975 14.8

Other Victorian stations to have July 1975 – or July from several other years, warmer than July 2013 are, Echuca Airport BoM# 80015, Rutherglen Research Station BoM# 82039, East Sale Airport BoM# 85072, Ouyen Post Office BoM# 76047, Omeo BoM# 83025.

Surely any balanced media release from the BoM should have recognized the restricted and man-driven nature of their Melbourne claim.

Claim of warmest July ever for Canberra fails to pass elementary checks

The mainstream media TV weather news and press has been spouting the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) claim that July was the warmest ever in Canberra with a mean monthly max of 13.3. Yet you only have to check early 20th Century data from Queanbeyan to see the claim is dubious. Data from BoM.

Queanbeyan recorded the same 13.3 in July 1924 and 1937. OK so Qbn was no doubt UHI affected to some extent – but probably no more so than Canberra Airport is now. So given the poor quality of data from weather stations – the best you could claim about July is that it was warm and probably similar to a few other July’s in the past 100 years. As I have said a few times, everything the BoM says needs examining with a fine toothed comb.