Quote of the week: from the reductio ad absurdum file

This story is about why laws bowing to sea level worries will make signs like this at left more common in one Australian town.

I’ve seen stupidity from local city governments before, but this one takes the cake. Residents of a small Australian port city are being “squashed” by an old law that says rooftops can’t be higher than the local historic pub, while new building codes demand a 1.5 meter (~5 feet) upward offset to deal with “sea level rise”. Is it any wonder one resident says this?

“We’re sick to death of the climate change issue and how it’s impacting our community,” she says.

From the Australian:

Higher floors, lower roofs: the town being shrunk by climate change angst

PORT Albert, on Victoria’s southeast coast, is a pretty-as-a-picture fishing village that is at war with the science of climate change.

Residents in the village have been told that because of rising sea levels, new housing has to be built on stumps almost 1.5m above ground level, despite the fact many of the town’s original colonial buildings have withstood time and tide on ground level without ill effect since the 19th century.

At the same time, a heritage overlay in the village, introduced more than a decade ago, prevents roof lines being built higher than the roof of the local pub, which is claimed to be Victoria’s oldest continuously licensed hotel.

Residents have seen land values plummet by 38 per cent in the past year under the weight of the overlays. Investment in the town has stalled. And Port Albert Progress Association president Donna Eades says that, with rising floor levels and roof lines limited by the height of the pub, “the next generation of Port Albert residents will have to be pygmies”.

Ms Eades says Port Albert residents have been made the “guinea pigs” for rising sea-level predictions, while the charm and character of the historic township has been sacrificed to climate change fashion.

“We’re sick to death of the climate change issue and how it’s impacting our community,” she says.

h/t to WUWT reader Rosalind Smallwood. Full story here:

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/higher-floors-lower-roofs-the-town-being-shrunk-by-climate-change-angst/story-fn59niix-1226096410709

Let’s look at some nearby Sea Level Data. From Stony Point, Victoria, about 80 miles NW of Port Albert, courtesy of Australia’s BoM:

Source: http://www.bom.gov.au/ntc/IDO71054/IDO71054SLI.shtml

Looks pretty darned flat for the past 20 years, doesn’t it?

Next we have Lorne Jetty, Victoria, about 150 miles NW of Port Albert:

Source: http://www.bom.gov.au/ntc/IDO71056/IDO71056SLI.shtml

Yes I can see why the local government of Port Albert is terrified of sea level rise /sarc

It may be that civil disobedience in building codes will become rampant there, which may be the last resort of many to this madness.

==============================================================

UPDATE:

Just to be sure, I plotted the data provided by BoM myself (from the source links I gave above) in the two graphs below and calculated the change in sea level rate using a polynomial curve fit for each station.

Lets take the worst case rate of Stony Point, Victoria with rate of 2.45 mm/yr.

The vertical offset required by the Port Albert town government is 1.5 meters, or 1500 mm.

At a rate of 2.45 mm/yr into 1500 mm, that result is 612 years for the offset to be met. If we use the lower rate from Lorne Jetty, the number rises to 1304 years.

It seems to me that all of the buildings built this century will be long gone before they need the offset required by the Port Albert town government.

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87 thoughts on “Quote of the week: from the reductio ad absurdum file

  1. It amazes me that this government has no rules about living on flood plains but has imposed rules about the height a building must be above sea level. Surely the free market should be able to decide the value of these low houses and the insurance companies can decide the premiums of insurance. Someone needs to take those responsible to court!

  2. The best part is the way the article is written. Nowhere does the reporter attempt to treat the concerns of the residents as Neanderthal anti-science ignorance. Nor does he even quote any of the usual “authorities” on the side of the Carbon Crime.
    Instead, he writes “the people of Port Albert are furious by the uncritical adoption of climate change predictions…”
    Objective reporting in this context is a huge victory. You’d never see this in a major American newspaper, and I’m pretty sure it’s rare in Aussie papers as well.

  3. That’ll teach them! Reminds me of the 13 1/2th story of that building in Being John Malkovich.

  4. What in the world is happening in Australia? Have they too lined their aquaducts with lead?

  5. They, that think themselves powers who should be obeyed, could be reminded of the money wasted on de-salination plants by greenies claiming rising temps and drought. Demand that they look at real data of sea levels and stop messing with the people’s lives – the village united could just lock them out of office perhaps? Simply refuse to comply with idiotic rules. Easier to do in a small community all affected by this.

  6. “I’ve seen stupidity from local city governments before, but this one takes the cake.”
    It does appear to take the cake but it’s possible we’ve both just led sheltered lives and this level of stupidity is new only in context of climate change hysteria.
    It’s a state law but try this on for size:
    “The Arkansas River can rise no higher than to the Main Street bridge in Little Rock.”
    Perhaps the city council in Port Albert should take a page from Arkansas codes and just make it illegal for sea level to rise above the floor of the pub. I don’t know about you but that would negate any angst I might harbor about rising sea level if I lived in Port Albert.

  7. Oh FFS, are you serious? One law is meant to protect against future damage and possible loss of life, the other is an ordinance designed purely for aesthetic reasons, and you deniers blame the law that is there to potentially save people and property?
    The article points out that the older buildings have remained unharmed… of course! Sea level is rising, that’s the whole point of the new law! The question is, will they remain unharmed for much longer?
    You then point out that sea level is relatively stable over the last 20 years, but how has it been since the 19th Century? The point of these laws is to make sure buildings that will likely still be around in 50 or a 100 years time are safe THEN, not NOW.
    Of course you know this, you aren’t stupid, you just know that this is the best you’ve got while people are dying in a heatwave in the US. Pathetic really.

  8. “The Sky Is Falling! The Sky Is Falling!”
    “Uhmmmm, no. We just raised the floor 5 feet…….”
    This stupidity is dumber than a box of rocks.

  9. And exactly how does the town think the sewer and water system will function? Mail delivery? Roads? Clearly it must prohibit all new construction.

  10. Civil disobedience in building codes does not work in Australia.
    The local council / shire can get (and have done this) a court order to pull down a building that does not have the proper planning approvals or that is not built to drawing.

  11. @Jason
    >What in the world is happening in Australia? Have they too lined their aquaducts with lead?
    I’ve been wondering about this too. (Conspiracy theories abound at this point). Perhaps fluoride was actually a bad idea after all, and the future belongs those of us with bad teeth…
    .

  12. But meanwhile, you can still build homes in river floodplains (and get government insurance or rebuilding grants after you are flooded).
    Canada isn’t any wiser. But you can build back in the Ninth Ward of New Orleans, also … and put mansions on the Belize sandbars of Ambergris.

  13. As a former Qld local government officer it was part of my job for many years to try to get people to (a) make sure they got the cyclonic design right, and (b) be aware of the potential for flooding. “The area may be dry today, but it is still a swamp … ” etc.
    The same minuscule tide level changes in Queensland also. No evidence whatsoever of sea levels rising. Trouble is – no one seems to understand AHD (Australian height datum) and HAT (highest astronomical tide) any more. There are about 270 tide gauges in Queensland. They ALL have slightly different levels, and there is no evidence that any are actually wrong, apart from the few where there is known change taking place, eg rise/fall in the land level, coastal geometry etc.
    The differences are attributable to natural variation. Each bay is different – you can’t take the levels from one and apply them to another. The shock/horror 1m rise is output from seriously defective modelling. I have done a fair amount of modelling, some valid, some not. I would never have released the sort of junk we are seeing today.
    Regards
    http://people.aapt.net.au/jclark19/

  14. “……….are furious by the uncritical adoption of climate change predictions that 1:100 year flood levels will rise from a present 1.75m to 2.68m in 2100.”
    ============================================================
    Indeed, and this touches on something that even skeptics have been mostly uncritical of…….not the wild azz assertions that we’re all going to drown soon, we’re critical of that, but we are not critical of the base assumptions going into these assertions. I’m working through it, but its slow going…. mostly because I’m lazy, but general sea level rise hasn’t had the critical eye put upon it nearly as much as temps have.
    The sat data is entirely suspect, and the mechanical measurements are inadequate. I’m saying the general sea-level rise, while accepted hasn’t been demonstrated. And it certainly hasn’t been shown recently. We’ve just generally accepted that because the sea-level did rise (at least what was known) it has continued mostly unabated. I think it needs demonstrated.

  15. quote: “disobedience in building codes will become rampant there”.
    Doesn’t work like that. The council will first order a stop work injunction on the building. If that doesn’t happen, hefty fines are imposed. If the building is completed the council will order it to be altered. If that doesn’t happen the Council will use legal force for compliance. Either more hefty fines or Council will undertake the work themselves and charge the owners for the cost to modify. Or even demolish the building and charge the owners clean-up.
    Disobedience is not a wise option.
    As for insurance companies; they will not insure any building which has historically flooded in the past.

  16. For many Aussies, Climate Change appeared to be a wonderful reason to feel like they were contributing to doing “the right thing” for the planet. Up until the repercussions, which are just starting to become evident, it seemed harmless. Now that the Aussies are staring down the barrel of a new tax and idiotic local laws, the reality is starting to set in. Hopefully, it’s not too late to shut the gate.

  17. How about unincorporating the town, or all of the town except for the pub? Make a new town out of the parts that seceded.

  18. Here is yet another example of bad science driving public policy in ways that are truly hurting people. It boggles my mind that our climate elites don’t understand this…

  19. Here’s what you need to get more than 1m of sea level rise in the next century. The average rate has to be more than 10mm/year. Actually, we have 3mm/year. So it should go from 3mm/y to 17mm/y to have an average of 10mm/y. So the rate has to increase by something like 1.4mm/y every decade. If this was true, the sea level rise would have been null 20 years ago and it would be 1.5mm/y higher now than at the start of the century. Oh, but I guess we are still 10-20 years away from the tipping point just like 30 years ago.

  20. the damage is being done on all fronts.
    27 July: Gold Coast Bulletin, Australia: Lucy Ardern: Rebate change hurts Coast solar jobs
    UP TO 150 jobs are under threat at two of the biggest solar retailers on the Gold Coast thanks to a problem-plagued Federal Government rebate system.
    Beyond Building Energy and Ecovation both confirmed they had been forced to restructure and said other companies would soon be doing the same…
    The problem for solar companies is fluctuations in the value of renewable energy certificates (STCs).
    Under the Federal Government rebate system, certificates are issued to a householder when an eligible system is installed. The householder often transfers STCs to the installation company in exchange for a discount.
    Companies such as Beyond Building Energy and Ecovation factor the value of those certificates into quotes, but when they go to cash them, their redemption price may have halved.
    Industry experts say the problem is being felt nationwide and comes on the back of failed government initiatives such as the insulation scheme, green loans and other solar rebates.
    A spokeswoman for Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Greg Combet said efforts had been made to help retailers, but the scheme would be reviewed by the new Climate Change Authority…
    http://www.goldcoast.com.au/article/2011/07/27/335955_gold-coast-business.html

  21. I guess this is somewhat on-topic… well, it is Australia!
    This sounds like a fantastic thing to support:
    http://justgroundsonline.com/forum/topics/convoy-of-no-confidence-in-the
    Unfortunately, rational argument alone will not hold sway, so “good on them” to all who are willing to take this step to making their views known. This is really coming to a head in Australia now, and I think the unfolding of the process there will be significant globally.

  22. There you have it — proof positive that intelligence is not a prerequsite for government employment.

  23. I don’t suppose the town fathers would look too fondly if someone added an extra floor to the pub. Perhaps the whole precious building could be raise 1.5m on stilts as a show of faith in the new building code.
    Here in New Hampshire we have a law that requires new construction to not interfere with the view of the State House dome from the interstate highway that goes through Concord. Or something close to that. Ah, from http://www.concordmonitor.com/article/the-view-or-lack-thereof-is-the-problem :

    The ordinance says that “a building, structure, or sign shall not obstruct the views of the State House” from the northbound side of I-93 between Exit 12 and Exit 14, from the southbound side of I-93 between the Merrimack River crossing and Exit 14, and from I-393 between the Fort Eddy Road exit and the I-93 interchange.
    The specific ordinance in question took effect when the latest zoning code was adopted in 2001, said Ham Rice, the city’s code administrator. It wasn’t the result of any one champion of architectural history, just a collective decision among the many who prepared and vetted the zoning code, Rice said.
    “Its intent is so that somebody cruising by can see the dome from I-93 and the bottom of 393,” he said. “We feel that the dome has significant value in the appearance of the city.”
    The city’s previous zoning ordinances, adopted in 1986, also contained a provision protecting views of the dome, but that was more of a general suggestion, not nearly as specific or declarative, Rice said.

  24. Dave Springer says @ July 26, 2011 at 4:09 pm:

    “The Arkansas River can rise no higher than to the Main Street bridge in Little Rock.”

    Well, Arkansawyers are plenty capable of defending themselves and sure don’t need any help from me–but I don’t believe there is (or ever was) such a law. The Arkansas Code is here (and searchable): http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/arcode/Default.asp
    The Arkansas River is part of the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System and managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps may have rules regulating the river level since they control the dams and locks.
    OK S.

  25. Jason says: “What in the world is happening in Australia? Have they too lined their aquaducts with lead?”
    My theory is that the Germans used metagenic compounds in their poison gases in WWI.

  26. James Sexton says:
    July 26, 2011 at 4:57 pm
    For the common, everyday walk of life man, Sea Level rise is nowhere to be found.
    It might be more precise to talk of Sea Level creep.

  27. My God that is so funny. I mean it’s not funny for the poor saps who live there, but I’m sorry, that’s stupidity at its funniest.

  28. I suspect the the trendline added in the last two graphs is being boosted upwards becuse the start and ends of the graph happen to be going upwards. Just like the apparent upwards trendline of a sinewave that is going upwards at the beginning and end, when of a course a sinewave trendline is dead flat.

  29. During the bicentennial year of 1988, Australians were asked to alter the Constitution to permit local government. 87 percent of Australians said, “NO!” The Hawke government immediately ignored the result of the referendum, introducing the Local Council Act the following year to circumvent both the Constitution and the wishes of the people.
    Local government is not recognised in the Australian constitution.
    ========
    From: Attorney General –
    The Hon Robert McClelland MP
    08 July 2010
    Dear Mr Thompson,
    I refer to your letter received on 10 June 2010 regarding the 1988 Referendum.
    In 1988, four proposals to amend the Constitution were put to voters in accordance with section 128 of the Constitution. One of those proposals sought to give constitutional recognition to local government but the proposal was not carried.
    The Constitution does not currently recognize local government. Any change to the Constitution to recognize local government would need to be approved by voters at a referendum. The Government will continue to explore reform, including constitutional recognition, to facilitate cooperation with local government.
    Yours sincerely
    Robert McClelland
    Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600
    Telephone (02) 6277 7300
    Fax (02) 6273 4102
    ======
    http://www.larryhannigan.com/validbylaws.htm
    Amazing.

  30. rbateman says:
    July 26, 2011 at 8:05 pm
    James Sexton says:
    July 26, 2011 at 4:57 pm
    For the common, everyday walk of life man, Sea Level rise is nowhere to be found.
    It might be more precise to talk of Sea Level creep.
    ==================================================
    Yes, but even of that, I’m becoming more and more …….. skeptical. Sat data, we’re told matches well to physical readings……. guess what the sat instruments were calibrated to? And, they went off the rails, so they were recalibrated to models…….. As to physical readings, PSMSL had boasted of having over 2000 different locations, yet, when clicking on getting the data, 1277 stations are there…….???? Where’s the rest of it? Worse, when one looks at the geography, …….. well, its entirely lacking, except on the U.S. coasts. Which, as we are often reminded, isn’t reflective of the world. I’m not stating the sea-level hasn’t risen in the last 30 years, but I will state that there is no compelling reason to believe it has, either.

  31. Why don’t these people replace their council? The thing I don’t see mentioned is what portion of that town’s population likes the current system. If its a majority, that’s tough beans.
    Yes, the ordinance is stupid, but that may be a reflection of the population electing stupid.
    They may yet lose their beloved pub. When the Endangered Species Act started getting enforced for bugs and lizards, many property owners plowed their properties to make sure the habitat was unsuitable for the species in their area so they wouldn’t lose the use of their land. At some point somebody is likely to say “it would be a shame if something were to happen to that pub”. The law painted a big target on it. Its the law of unintended side effects.
    The best thing that town can do is replace the council and rescind that ordinance.

  32. The proposed tax on certain carbon dioxide emissions (but certainly NOT all carbon dioxide emissions) is a wake up call to many Australians and we are certainly waking up. Opinion polling shows that more than 70% of respondents now oppose the governemt – but hey – whose counting?
    – the next election is still two long weary years away.
    BUT the sea level thinggy is the big sleeper, the huge elephant in the room.
    Vast billions of dollars of water front property all around the country is in danger of (NO, not the ocean) – in danger of beauracratic red tape and intervention.
    Property owners, both multi millionaire types who deserve to be punished (for being too successful) and mum and dad retirees too – none of these will be happy chappies when they realise what is happening to their major assets, courtesy of the caring government.
    There are a growing number of other issues that our good all wise government are addressing. These will also boost its popularily greatly in a pecularly ausie NEGATIVE kind of fashion.
    We may be stupid (to have given power to this great Green – Independent – Labor coalition).
    We may be slow learners as well.
    But we are not stupid.
    We are standing in line, waiting for the polling booths to open.

  33. Berényi Péter says:
    July 26, 2011 at 9:02 pm
    Jason says:
    July 26, 2011 at 3:50 pm
    What in the world is happening in Australia?
    No wonder. Folks there walk upside down and they don’t even notice it 🙂

    Its even worse than you think …
    Half the time, their AC current is flowing backwards as a cosine wave.
    And the other end of their magnets attract the opposite side of real magnets, not those uppity metric ones they’ve been trying to use.
    But that’s OK, their hurricanes spin backwards and suck the sea level up away from the bottom of the ocean so their tides can only be measured going down and up every other time when they aren’t going the opposite way first.

  34. A 1.5 meter vertical offset? So much for new buildings being “Handicap Accessible.” How much area does it take to put in a wheelchair ramp with more than a 1.5 meter rise? And hey, how steep will the steps be? I’m no midget, but I ain’t no high-stepping giraffe either. I also know people with bad legs, prosthetic legs, even replacement knees, that have problems with all but short steps. Did they even consider the misery and suffering they’d inflict now, to avoid what might be an annoying nuisance issue that’ll need eventual fixing many decades in the future?

  35. James Sexton says:
    July 26, 2011 at 4:57 pm
    “The sat data is entirely suspect, and the mechanical measurements are inadequate. I’m saying the general sea-level rise, while accepted hasn’t been demonstrated. And it certainly hasn’t been shown recently. We’ve just generally accepted that because the sea-level did rise (at least what was known) it has continued mostly unabated. I think it needs demonstrated.”
    I’ve tried to get this point across in a quite a number of comments here over the last couple of years, without a great deal of success it would seem, given the large number of comment threads devoted to arguing vociferously about whether GMSL is changing by 1.9mm, 2.6mm, 3.1mm. or some other statistician’s fantasy number. I’ve tried recommending that people review this document.
    http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/ml/ocean/J2_handbook_v1-3_no_rev.pdf
    It’s the Data Products Handbook for the JASON2 satellites that provide the observations from which the sea level data are derived. I truly believe that anyone with a reasonably critical eye who spends enough time with it to even partially understand what happens to the raw altimeric ranges before they become sea level data will never again be tempted to look at those ubiquitous sea level graphs with anything but amusement or perhaps anger.
    There at least 8 ostensible correction factors applied to the raw measurements, but if you read through thoroughly there are at least again that number of little bumps and klughes that sort of slide by in passing. Then if you delve into the main corrections you find that each is primarily model based with its own set inherent uncertainties. Even the lunar ocean tides, which are a phenomenon that has probably been monitored more thoroughly and at greater length than almost anything else in the natural world, other than the stars, are still not capable of being reliably predicted at the millimeter level. I particularly like this bit from the section on the inverse barometric correction 5.10.1
    “The uncertainty of the ECMWF atmospheric pressure products is somewhat
    dependent on location. Typical errors vary from 1 mbar in the northern Atlantic Ocean to a few
    mbars in the southern Pacific Ocean. A 1-mbar error in pressure translates into a 10 mm error in the computation of the IB effect.
    Note that the time varying mean global pressure over the oceans, P, during the first eight years of the T/P mission had a mean value of approximately 1010.9 mbar, with an annual variation around this mean of approximately 0.6 mbar. However, the T/P data products provided a static inverse barometer correction referenced to a constant mean pressure of 1013.3 mbar.
    IB(T/P) = -9.948 ∗ (Patm – 1013.3)
    Sea surface heights that are generated after applying an inverse barometer correction referenced to a mean pressure of 1013.3 mbar are therefore approximately -9.948*(1010.9-1013.3) = 23.9 mm lower than those that are generated after applying an inverse barometer correction referenced to a time varying global mean pressure, and the difference between the two sea surface heights has an annual variation of approximately 9.948*0.6 = 6 mm.”
    T/P is Topex / Poseidon the early generation sats which were almost apples to oranges for the Jason generation sats. which makes constructing a single data set from all of them much like “Mike’s Neat Trick” of appending thermometer data onto tree ring proxies

  36. “Residents in the village have been told that because of rising sea levels, new housing has to be built on stumps almost 1.5m above ground level, despite the fact many of the town’s original colonial buildings have withstood time and tide on ground level without ill effect since the 19th century.”

    Well of course this new ordinance is issued, it is a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy. After a few years or months the drummed-phony circumstances slip down the memory hole. Then before you know it, propagandists and bloggers like Joe Romm start spreading the new meme …

    ‘Stop denying Climate Change you deniers! Don’t you know that down in Victoria builders have to construct new housing on stumps 1.5m above ground level BECAUSE OF RISING SEAL LEVEL. Stop denying the facts!’

    If things in Australia are following the blueprints used by liberal bureaucrats in the USA, then you can expect the builders and construction suppliers to jump on board (it helps their business) and they’ll send donations to the pols that pushed this idiotic measure. A nice incestuous arrangement, and much like the Carbon Trading scam there are possible unethical if not illegal conflicts of interest yet to be discovered.
    Green Jobs! They’re gonna ram them down your throat whether you want them or not. Folks better wake up, you are in the midst of a Velvet Green Astroturf Revolution. And the revolutionaries want you to sleep through it.

  37. Raise the pub as suggested a couple of times above seems the best option, 38% x local property values would pay for it many times over I guess, shades of Abu Simbel and the Asswan High Dam. Electing a new town council with a small grasp of science would be an even better plan.

  38. Here are the culprits (Wellington Shire Council). Have at ’em!!
    Cr Jeff Amos, Mayor
    22 Buckley Street
    YARRAM 3971
    jeff.amos@wellington.vic.gov.au
    Cr Peter Cleary, Deputy Mayor
    c/o 70 Foster St SALE 3850
    peter.cleary@wellington.vic.gov.au
    Cr Scott Rossetti
    c/o 70 Foster St
    SALE 3850
    scott.rossetti@wellington.vic.gov.au
    Cr Gregg Cook
    P.O. Box 124
    MAFFRA 3860
    gregg.cook@wellington.vic.gov.au
    Cr Jane Hildebrant
    P.O. Box 92
    STRATFORD 3862
    jane.hildebrant@wellington.vic.gov.au
    Cr Malcolm Hole
    P.O. Box 212
    HEYFIELD 3858
    malcolm.hole@wellington.vic.gov.au
    Cr Leo O’Brien
    25 Desailly St
    SALE 3850
    leo.obrien@wellington.vic.gov.au
    Cr Darren McCubbin
    18 Harpley Court
    LONGFORD 3851
    Phone (H): 5149 7021
    Mobile: 0458 006 486
    darren.mccubbin@wellington.vic.gov.au
    Cr Beth Ripper
    4 Merrick Street
    STRATFORD 3862
    beth.ripper@wellington.vic.gov.au

  39. Dave Wendt says:
    July 26, 2011 at 10:26 pm
    James Sexton says:
    July 26, 2011 at 4:57 pm
    I’ve tried to get this point across in a quite a number of comments here over the last couple of years, without a great deal of success it would seem, ……. I’ve tried recommending that people review this document.
    http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/ml/ocean/J2_handbook_v1-3_no_rev.pdf
    It’s the Data Products Handbook for the JASON2 satellites that provide the observations from which the sea level data are derived. I truly believe that anyone with a reasonably critical eye who spends enough time with it to even partially understand what happens to the raw altimeric ranges before they become sea level data will never again be tempted to look at those ubiquitous sea level graphs with anything but amusement or perhaps anger. ………
    =============================================================
    Dave, it was anger, at first, for me, now its bemusement. Skeptics uncritical of something so patently error prone. T/P, even by their own estimates was only accurate to 3cm…… I believe it was much more than that but even if the 3cm were true, we don’t have a clue as to where our GMSL was to compare it to where we don’t know where it is today! Jason 1’s problems have been well documented if not downplayed. Envisat’s sensors kept showing a lowering of the sea level so they re-calibrated to Jason’s sensors! Only to see that Jason is now showing a lowering of the sea level.
    But, I see what you mean by not having a great deal of success. There is an interesting discussion about satellite sea-levels thread on my little untended blog. http://suyts.wordpress.com/2011/06/25/discussion-so-far/ Feel free to drop by and add your little jewel. I’m going to try and work up a coherent post about it, but its difficult to properly phrase all of the required information to show just how messy this all is, and then they come up with a 0.3mm adjustment? lmao!!! They can’t get within a mm much less a tenth of one!

  40. Frank K. says:
    July 26, 2011 at 5:50 pm
    Here is yet another example of bad science driving public policy in ways that are truly hurting people. It boggles my mind that our climate elites don’t understand this…

    I suspect they know exactly what they are doing. They just don’t give a flying fornication.

  41. Dave Wendt says:
    July 26, 2011 at 10:26 pm
    James Sexton says:
    July 26, 2011 at 4:57 pm
    ….
    ====
    Hey, look guys. I’m not wild about the JSON/Nasa/IPCC 3.0mm per year number either. I’m tending to think that it should be much closer to the tidal gauge 1.8mm per year than it is … and also that the tidal gauge numbers are more likely to be too high than too low because subsidence caused by pumping fluids (water/oil) out from under the gauges is difficult to measure and is likely to be underestimated.
    At the very least, climate “scientists” should have a plausible explanation for the difference rather than simply grabbing the highest value they can find then assuming that it is really far too low and we’re all gonna die.
    BUT, let’s not lose track of the fact that sea level change is a rate of change, not an absolute number, so a wide variety of errors in computation should tend to cancel out over time. I had some experience many decades ago with satellite tracking software and don’t believe for a second that JASON2 can actually measure sea level to mm accuracy. Furthermore, I worked for a number of years in the complex (military) systems business and know only too well that system design goals all too often aren’t met in practice. But I do believe that after averaging tens of thousands of measurements a day for years, the system might well be capable of measuring sea level change to a fraction of a mm.
    So, I’m off to look at James’ unintended blog

  42. Steve Schapel.
    I will be joining the trucks In my work utility vehicle. The invitation for all to join in may see a huge amount of our grey haired nomads in their retirement mobile homes swamp our capital. The sea level thing has so many holes in it, it reminds me of a crumpet. They should in honesty check out the thousands of marked low tide dry rocks mapped by the British Admiralty all over the world. The achievement they did mapping the world was the equivalent of the moon landings in its scope. Those rocks are mapped and marked, the odd two centuries later are still dry at low tide, why is this so.

  43. Leon Brozyna says:
    July 26, 2011 at 6:49 pm
    There you have it — proof positive that intelligence is not a prerequsite for government employment.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Leon, not completely right. Actually the governments (all over the world?) would not employ someone endowed with a thinking brain. One only needs a YES brain.
    >>>>>>>>>>>
    And who is going to save the pub from climate change? That’s my major worry.

  44. wayne Job says:
    July 27, 2011 at 1:31 am
    Steve Schapel.
    ….The sea level thing has so many holes in it, it reminds me of a crumpet. They should in honesty check out the thousands of marked low tide dry rocks mapped by the British Admiralty all over the world. The achievement they did mapping the world was the equivalent of the moon landings in its scope. Those rocks are mapped and marked, the odd two centuries later are still dry at low tide, why is this so.
    >>>>>>
    Steve, great post. I am Maltese and here in Malta ( a very geologically stable rock) was under British rule since 1810 till 1964. I’m sure we have our Island mapped and marked as you said. Even before that, our Grand Harbour existed even before the Romans came here. Examining the old moorings, bastions and their foundations and other markers, one will defintilely come to the conclusion that the mediterranean sea has not seen any significant sea level changes (up or down) for 2000 years+. It could be that we had rises and dips, but the net rise during 2000 years of history and architecture is practically nil. Have a look.
    http://www.google.com.mt/imgres?imgurl=http://www.agius.talktalk.net/melit/stangelo2.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.agius.com/malta/harbour.htm&h=294&w=800&sz=20&tbnid=fwBWNhxBJ6UT0M:&tbnh=47&tbnw=127&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dmalta%2Bgrand%2Bharbour%2Bphoto%26tbm%3Disch%26tbo%3Du&zoom=1&q=malta+grand+harbour+photo&docid=DYiLyP0PATx7cM&sa=X&ei=HdsvTtvRNou0-Qa7j-iJBA&ved=0CBcQ9QEwAA&dur=3058
    And this village was founded by the Phoenicians 3000 years ago. No change:
    http://www.google.com.mt/imgres?imgurl=http://www.photoatlas.com/photo/malta_marsaxlokk.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.photoatlas.com/pics01/pictures_of_malta_03.html&h=433&w=640&sz=68&tbnid=zrp_jPd3x3yAPM:&tbnh=93&tbnw=137&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dmalta%2Bmarsaxlokk%2Bphoto%26tbm%3Disch%26tbo%3Du&zoom=1&q=malta+marsaxlokk+photo&docid=wIUdJvtFLLwLWM&sa=X&ei=w9svTr33FITOswa38ZAZ&ved=0CBcQ9QEwAA&dur=549

  45. Friends:
    Human existence requires adequate supplies of energy, food, shelter and water. An insufficient supply of any one of these requirements kills people.
    So, anti-humans oppose supplies of these requirements. In many places they are achieving
    displacement of adequate and reliable energy supplies with wind, solar and biomass,
    and
    displacement of food production by using agricultural land for production of expensive and inefficient transport fuels.
    The above report is an example of the anti-humans removing adequate shelter by displacing adequate dwellings with homes only habitable by dwarfs.
    The anti-humans now only need to find ways to inhibit potable water supplies and they will have adopted every possible method to reduce human population (i.e. to kill people) other than genocide.
    And before anybody asks, yes, this post is a serious comment and not sarcasm.
    Richard

  46. These new houses shouldn’t be a problem. Unless Australians have changed a lot from the ones I know, they’ll be in the pub most of the time in any case.

  47. Of course there is no need to worry if the ocean is lapping round the edge of your house.
    Just call in those wonderful guys at Boeing. The Boeing Company and SkyHook International Inc. announced that the design of the SkyHook Heavy Lift Vehicle (HLV) means they can now lift up your house while a friend shoves a few bricks underneath, and that will keep you dry for another couple of decades.
    http://media.defenseindustrydaily.com/images/AIR_LTA_Skyhool_JHL-40_Concept_Arctic_lg.jpg
    Of course there is a cheaper way ……

  48. The only legal way to build a new building in this town would be on a slant, so that one could at least sit in a chair at a certain angle (it would feel like a La-Z-Boy, I guess), in which position one could inhabit the room with a certain degree of comfort. Of course, standing or walking could be a problem, and wheelchairs would have to be de-gravitized (neat work if you can get it); but one could achieve a diagonal height that would accommodate human stature. Be sure to introduce this idea to the city council.
    Please note that this plan has not yet been submitted to the Engineering Department nor the Architecture Board.

  49. Where have we seen something like this before? Oh, yes, when religious dogma meets reality. This is just another example of why AGW is the new religion.

  50. Kelvin Vaughan says:
    July 27, 2011 at 1:35 am
    How accurately can you determine the hight of a satellite orbit?
    ====
    More accurately than you might think. They use a sort of backwards GPS system called DORIS that allows the satellites to determine their position using signals from a number of constantly transmitting ground stations at precisely known locations. That gets around having to compute drag with impossible accuracy.
    Still though, they are mostly depending on averaging together a large number of measurements (around 55000 a day after eliminating ground, sea ice, and a few other returns for JASON2 — I think) to get around the errors in individual measurements.

  51. wayne Job says:
    July 27, 2011 at 1:31 am
    “Those rocks are mapped and marked, the odd two centuries later are still dry at low tide, why is this so.”
    ====
    Conceptually, and maybe in fact, the reason is that the surface of the Earth isn’t static. Some places in the high Arctic (e.g. Churchill, Manitoba, some parts of Northern Scandinavia are rising rapidly. They are still recovering from being pushed down by glaciers during the last glaciation. Other places like the Hawaiian Islands other than Hawaii itself are presumably sinking. They are volcanos cut off from the magma source — cooling and settling. And others are sinking because of human activity — primarily pumping of oil and water. Terminal Island in Los Angeles harbor is surrounded by huge berms because they pumped large amounts of oil out from under it in the 1930s and it sank.
    Also, the rate of sea level change appears to be quite low. Averaged tidal gauge data for the 20th Century puts the change for the century at about 18cm (7 inches). The IPCC claims that sea level did not change significantly prior to the 20th century — which, like anything from the IPCC, may be fact or fiction. But even if we assume another 7 inches or so since the admiralty maps were drawn, it would still only add up to about a foot. So, between local rising in many places and the slow rate of sea level rise, it wouldn’t be any surprise at all to find most of the rocks mapped by the Admiralty surveys still are visible.

  52. Pat mentioned it above, but it bears elaboration.
    Sea level rise is not like a flood, which comes for a few days, then goes away. When the sea level rises, it is PERMANENT. Putting houses up on stilts only means that they will be little islands, with gardens, sidewalks, streets, sewers, water supplies etc. all under water – forever (or until the carbon taxes do their job and reverse the situation). The townspeople will be boat people. DId the absurdity of this obvious bit of logic ever penetrate the discussion by the town council? Didn’t think so. The nice thing about this argument is that it doesn’t require determining how or why or if the sea level will rise, but only the proposed response to that belief.
    D. L. Hawkins thoughtfully provided the email addresses of the council. Perhaps we should all do our bit by each asking an incredibly obvious question, like “How do you propose to provide sewer services underwater?”

  53. Raise all buildings by 1.5 m.
    Make residents buy stilts (1.5 m of course).
    Issue tourists life jackets.
    Make Karmakaze the town cryer to explain what sea level really was like during the 19th Century.
    Rename the town Stickittoem.
    FFS, I would even travel there for a visit.

  54. OK S. says:
    July 26, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    Dave Springer says @ July 26, 2011 at 4:09 pm:
    “The Arkansas River can rise no higher than to the Main Street bridge in Little Rock.”
    Well, Arkansawyers are plenty capable of defending themselves and sure don’t need any help from me–but I don’t believe there is (or ever was) such a law. The Arkansas Code is here (and searchable): http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/arcode/Default.asp

    I hear ya. I didn’t really believe it either but there are many thousands of quotes of it all the intertubes and I couldn’t find any refutation of it on Snopes.com. I spent about 10 minutes trying to find out if was true or false and couldn’t make a determination. I figured there was probably more to the story such as it being a law aimed at the Army Corps of Engineers who are generally the rule-makers for major flood control systems. States don’t have the jurisdiction to tell the USACE what to do. State legislature would surely know that so it was probably not a law but rather a resolution.
    In fact I just now did a little bit more searching before posting and found this:

    This is not a law in the State of Arkansas, it is a ‘Good-will’ ordinance of the City of Little Rock, and the Army Corps of Engineers (who operate locks and dams) are to pay the fine.
    [Reply]
    RW Reply:
    September 25th, 2010 at 12:06 am
    Clayton is right the Army Corps gets the fine.
    [Reply]

  55. The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity. ~Harlan Ellison

  56. Well, those poor folk can write a submission to the Minister of Planning, Matthew Guy, who is asking all Victorians how they think the planning system should be improved. They need to have the submission in by 31 August, though.

  57. When exactly did Oz become a nation ruled by w*****s? What happened to the strong, independent Aussie of yore?

  58. Can’t they just jack up the local pub by 1,5 mtr? Problem solved.
    About the climate madness: these government people should be trialed in court for fraud.

  59. Civil Disobedience in building codes is quite possible. In fact it is practiced all the time in the U.S. at least. Code says one thing, the homebuilder knows this, the inspector knows this. The house looks up to code when the inspector comes, the inspector signs off. The house changes when the inspector leaves. I admit, 1.5m Stilts are a difficult thing to change once the inspector is gone, but there are still ways around the requirement, like clever grading of the land, a basement slab prone to sinking as the ground packs in underneath, etc..
    Also, 1.5 meters? Really? I have to have the equivalent of a garage underneath my house for floodwaters? If that’s really necessary I’m not sure I’d want to even live in such an area.

  60. With Lady Muck- Bluey as the Prime Minister, and her mob,
    Australia is led by a collection of jelly kneed sooks. Yes ma’am
    the MPs cry as they bend over for another spanking.
    The people look on aghast, but are too stunned to even speak,
    because they cannot believe the pantomime that masquerades
    for government nowadays in Canberra.
    Abbot should be round at every Labor MPs house, explaining
    why they should change sides, before those other berks and
    dipsticks destroy the source of Australia’s wealth. He must
    explain that the State CANNOT provide social services if
    there is ni money to do so. It is their best interests to cross
    the floor of the chamber and join the Liberal Party, if they
    really want the State to be able to afford, State Pensions,
    Free travel for the over 65s, Free medical treatment for the
    poor, and indeed less poor & more wealthy and healthy
    people in Australia.

  61. Let’s do the math:
    Take a sea level rise of 3.2mm per year.
    1.5M = 1,500mm
    1,500mm / 3.2mm = about 469 years. (I hope the house is well built to last that long!)
    This assume that the sea is right at the doorstep of the house; however, IF the house is a few meters above sea level, it’s going to take a lot longer.

  62. The folks at the Univ of Colorado will have to adjust their sea level rise data once more to account for rising first floor building elevations.

  63. Lets do another math:
    Take sea level actually falling and not rising at all
    $Billions wasted on fatuous schemes
    How many years in the can will Lady Muck-Bluey actually receive ?

  64. marcoinpanama says:
    July 27, 2011 at 6:20 am
    Pat mentioned it above, but it bears elaboration.
    Sea level rise is not like a flood, which comes for a few days, then goes away.
    ====
    Actually, it is like a flood in that the first time the residents of Port Albert will become aware of it is most likely when an unfortunate combination of high tides and storm surge puts water in their stores and homes. If the place actually has a history of storm floods or near floods then maybe putting buildings on four foot stilts is a good idea. And I suppose that four foot footings might not be that much more expensive than the 18 inches that might be more reasonable for 21st century sea level rise expectations.
    ISTR that houses in Darwin where they are subject to enormous tides and possible tropical cyclones are built on 8 or 10 foot stilts, so the idea isn’t always and everywhere idiotic.

  65. Given that most politicians are primarily concerned with getting re-elected, the main thrust of their efforts will typically be to obtain and maintain popular support until all the votes are in. To this end they pander to every noisy activist group that catches their ear, forgfetting thet the quiet voters also vote, and are more likely to remember such foolishness. If the Port Albert constituents act with due diligence, they will remember this come election time and remind ALL the voters of just how stupid their elected officials are – far too stupid to be trusted with public monies.

  66. And Port Albert Progress Association president Donna Eades says that, with rising floor levels and roof lines limited by the height of the pub, “the next generation of Port Albert residents will have to be pygmies”.
    Ms Eades says Port Albert residents have been made the “guinea pigs” for rising sea-level predictions, while the charm and character of the historic township has been sacrificed to climate change fashion.
    —————————–
    Ms. Eades probably meant to say “guinea pygmies” …

  67. Actually this really is just a panic over nothing. Don’t just listen to interpreted news stories, and vacuous scare stories. Check with the real data. OK so there may not be an “official” sea level station actually at Port Albert. However just around the coast near Philip Island, there is an official Sea level station at STONY POINT (“Crib Point” on the map).
    Here is the official data page, where you can see that apart from the annual ocillation, where the level varies by about 300mm ( about 12 inches ), there is really nothing much going on over the last 20 years and longer. If anything, the level has been slightly falling in recent times.
    http://www.psmsl.org/data/obtaining/stations/1033.php
    Data Authority :
    National Tidal Centre
    Bureau of Meteorology
    PO Box 421
    Kent Town 5071
    South Australia
    AUSTRALIA

  68. http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/scripts/PhotoSearchItemDetail.asp?M=0&B=11780427&SE=1
    Darwin homes on stilts. Evidently due to storm and tidal surges.
    We see this type of construction along certain rivers in the USA. Usually for vacation or weekend cottages which are built in known floodplains and below the “100 or 50 year” flood level. Such are rarely suitable for “permanent” residences as no or few utilities such as electric, sewer, water, or maintained roads are now permitted to be installed. Usually cannot be insured. And, during even minor flooding, cannot be reached except by boat and the currents may prevent even that.
    I assume that the Aussie community being discussed will now require all new and resurfaced roadways to be elevated by said 1.5 meters?

  69. When I saw someone say the sea level rise-rate was anomalous I started laughing so hard my pizza had to be trapped behind a tooth grill while I tried to not snort it through my nose.
    If it had, I’d have had all I needed to get it peer reviewed! Obviously all the necessary ingredients would have been there to call it a ‘RealClimate’ “study.”

  70. The obvious answer for those who believe sea levels must be rising (because the models tell me so) is the raise the historic pub. Hell, raise the whole street. It’s other people’s money, right.
    The obvious answer for the rest of us is to shake our heads and give a low chuckle. Would Al Gore have bought that condo on San Francisco Bay if we really believed rising sea levels were going to drown it? There are plenty other AGW celebrity alarmists who own beach-front property. None of them have sold and moved to higher ground, either.

  71. That sign doesn’t even come close to the most stupid, on the Maroondah Hwy between Mt Slide and Yea, a road carved through a forest, are signs stating “TREES NEAR ROAD”

  72. I think I would simply try to get a permit to build a ‘temporary structure’ that would qualify for a waiver of the stilts. We still have ‘temporary’ WWII housing in some areas.
    You might not be able to get a mortgage for it, but from what we’ve seen over the past couple of years, that might be a good thing.

  73. this is terrifying, if these trends continue the sea could rise 1 metre by the year 2828. The time for debate is over, we must take drastic measures now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

  74. Arrrrrg, we’re sinking. We can’t get rid of the ridiculous law(s), so let’s instead build the Pub up a few stories. We can put an amusement park ride beneath it. And we’ll need very tall and sturdy rails atop, with huge soft slides and soft landings for the drunkards. And of course an elevator is essential. It will be smashing, darling. Much better than houses that are only 1 meter tall.

  75. Shonky science in Australia: Climate Change Minister Penny Wong sinks to a new low
    One million dollars of taxpayer’s money was given in May 20010 by Penny Wong; a scientist to stick a picket in the mud on Saibai island + to biff-up the local fear /propaganda. No, Saibai is not an island in a lake. It’s in same water that is of Sydney, New York; where the sealevel is monitored on 1000 places. Evenly distribution of gravity makes the water to rise or fall simultaneously on every sea on the planet. It’s for special reasons monitoring on Saibai Island, in Torres Straight. It’s because we are leaders in environmental deviancy; we are even proud of it !!!
    It’s an island in Torres Straights. As in every straight on the planet, the water is funneled from one ocean into another, via narrow straight. The water pressure blasts even granite rock. For example: Bass Straights separated Tasmania from Victoria for the last 10 000years. If the water was demolishing only 2m a year; Bass Straights would have being now only 20km wide, but the straight is much wider. Have into account that: the currents on the latitude of Bass Straights need less mileage to go around the planet than the waters in the equatorial region as around Saibai island = the pressure is greater in Torres Straights. Indonesian archipelago narrows the currents from the Indian ocean as high-pressure hose onto the Torres Straights islands for 6 hours, then spreading into Pacific (the pull and push force). Then it turns the other way, every day and night. Anyway, the strength into Straights is 700-900% higher than of normal tide. New Guinea island and Cape York are narrowing / concentrating the water = Saibai island is the target = getting blasted. Presume that: from Byron Bay to Port Moresby was no land west = the currents would be going east, then west. But because is lots of land in-between, all that water is squeezed via narrow straights, digging the islands in the straights. In physics known as: ,,the Venturi Force’’. That’s where Saibai Island is – on the firing line. As experiment: let the water-hose to run on the ground as normal water flow. Then with your finger block 70% of the opening of the hose = you will see the extra strength the water blasts. But that scientist suppose not to know that; instead to fabricate and to scare the islanders and the nation that: the sea is rising from the phony global warming…! He knows that: if he tells the truth = he will not get any funds from the honesty deficient politicians.
    Reason 2: Any soil disturbed on the island, the wind is blowing it into that strong current = goes into Pacific. Is not as in Cairns for example. Where the soil washed from the hills into the sea – goes back in front of Cairns mudflats. Reason 3: Saibai island is geographically positioned in regular cyclone and high tropical storms area. Soil is washed into the strong currents – no mountains to erode and compensate. Reason 4: Australian tectonic plate is pushing New Guinea = New Guinea’s mountains are rising; to compensate for erosion. In the same time, those mountains are pushing back (reaction on action). That is another reason for Saibai to sink slowly. None of those reasons has being taken in consideration by the shonky scientists involved in the propaganda. Why not? A: because is taxpayer’s money paid to the traitors as reward, to keep the fear alive. If CEO of a private company was squandering company money for personal interest, that is detrimental for humanity – he would be made to pay the money back from his own pocket, why shouldn’t Penny Wong?
    If people did know the real problems, they would plant prostrate grass as in Cairns backyards; to prevent soil erosion from strong winds and regular storms on every lowland island on the planet. But because the phony global warming suppose to be rising the sealevel… because the essential molecule for life, CO2 is falsely blamed, no prevention can be implemented. Land in any straights on the planet are the worse place to monitor the sea rising, or falling. That’s where ,,The Honorable Senator Penny Wong’’ is wasting taxpayers money to con the nation (this is just a small example). When the strong currents and storms wash some soil; to make the people on the island to think that: seawater is up a bit, by next Monday, or next month will get up by few meters. To panic the ignorant people and children on the island, by using taxpayer’s cash. Those people and children, and their nerves are being used as a sacrificial lamb, for the misleading propaganda…

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