Death in Tasmania: Australia Cloud Seeding Green Hydropower Disaster

Tasmanian devil, ferocious bad tempered carnivorous rodent, native to Tasmania. Author John Cummings https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tasmanian_devil_(Sarcophilus_harrisii),_Natural_History_Museum,_London,_Mammals_Gallery.JPG

Tasmanian devil, ferocious bad tempered carnivorous rodent, native to Tasmania. Author John Cummings https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tasmanian_devil_(Sarcophilus_harrisii),_Natural_History_Museum,_London,_Mammals_Gallery.JPG

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

JoNova has discovered that just prior to recent disastrous flooding in Tasmania, Australia, desperate hydropower operators conducted a cloud seeding operation, despite there already being forecasts of torrential rainfall.

The whole sorry mess started, when desperately green Tasmania attempted to go 100% renewable. Tasmania thought they were on a winner, and allegedly got greedy – they may have inadvertently burned out the power cable which connects the island state to mainland Australia, trying to sell too much premium “green” electricity to the mainland.

Hydro Tasmania exceeded safe power transmission levels, Basslink says

BASSLINK owners sought to restrict Hydro Tasmania’s electricity exports and enforce a “cooling off” protocol during the period of the carbon tax to ensure the undersea cable was operated safely and reliably.

The news comes as Basslink prepares to cut the cable today and enable the cause of the fault to be pinpointed.

After three outages in July 2012, Basslink parent company Cityspring Infrastructure Trust sought to enforce what it called a “dynamic protocol” on the service agreement between it and Hydro, which enable it to transmit at “certain elevated levels”.

But the company said the outages came after Hydro transmitted electricity at levels above these in early July.

Hydro and Cityspring then had a protracted dispute which was ultimately arbitrated by former Chief Justice of the High Court Murray Gleeson in 2014.

Opposition leader Bryan Green told Parliament on Wednesday that there was increasing speculation that the $875m cable had been “fried”.

Read more: http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/hydro-tasmania-exceeded-safe-power-transmission-levels-basslink-says/news-story/604185bf8d24057f82bbf56f94a0db93

With Tasmania now nearly 100% dependent on hydropower, with no backup available from the mainland, it didn’t take much of an adverse rainfall season to run the hydroelectric dams almost dry.

Hydro Tasmania has confirmed dam levels will drop even lower than earlier projections if rain continues to fall at its current rate.

A day after Energy Minister Matthew Groom said he had asked Hydro Tasmania to review its modelling given the latest delay to the Basslink repair, Hydro CEO Steve Davy revealed modelling had been done based on lower than average rainfall.

It showed dam levels could go as low as 12 per cent.

Hydro had predicted that water storages would not drop below 13.6 per cent by May, but dam levels are already at 13.9 per cent.

Mr Davy told 936 ABC Hobart that was due to receiving just a little over half of average inflows in January, February and March.

“If we received a similar amount relative to average, so a little over half over April, May and June then storages would get to around 12 per cent and stay at that level through to the forecast return of Basslink in the middle of June,” Mr Davy said.

Read more: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-30/hydro-tasmanian-revises-falling-dam-levels/7284020

When good rain clouds finally did appear, Hydro Tasmania apparently decided not to take any chances;

Hydro Tasmania seeded clouds before fatal floods, despite forecast

Tasmania’s state-owned hydro-electric power generator could face legal action for damages after admitting it cloud-seeded in or near water catchments the day ­before disastrous flooding, although heavy rain was forecast.

Hydro Tasmania’s cloud-seeding plane was sent up on Sunday morning and seeded clouds with silver iodide to increase rainfall for an hour and 34 minutes, from 10.57am, despite the weather ­forecast.

The operation targeted the Upper Derwent catchment, an area that less than 24 hours later saw damaging floods which left one man missing, feared drowned at Ouse and caused major damage to property and stock.

The cloud-seeding also was within about 10km of the Mersey-Forth catchment area, which also hours later experienced rapid and disastrous flooding that killed a woman and inundated dozens of homes at Latrobe.

“We are gobsmacked that the Hydro would do this, considering the weather forecasts as of Wednesday or Thursday last week were saying significant rain ­between 80 to 100mm or more,” said Wayne Johnston, president of the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association. “There is rising anger from farmers who have now lost significant infrastructure, without the loss of livestock and possible loss of life.

Read more (paywalled): http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/state-politics/hydro-tasmania-seeded-clouds-before-fatal-floods-despite-forecast/news-story/232439deaf47cfcbf80da868095b3c25

If Tasmania had a sensible backup strategy, involving adequate fossil fuel backup, or a zero emissions nuclear power plant, or if they hadn’t allegedly burned out their connector cable to the mainland through their alleged greed to cash in on premium renewable sales, they wouldn’t be in this sorry mess.

In their zeal to be 100% green, Tasmania made a series of decisions which in my opinion were utterly stupid. It looks like Tasmania’s green policies may have caused the death of at least one person, who died in flooding which was likely exacerbated by an unwise decision to attempt to boost an already torrential downpour.

189 thoughts on “Death in Tasmania: Australia Cloud Seeding Green Hydropower Disaster

    • So this trouble was in River City?
      I didn’t know Burt Lancaster was in town.
      And they actually dance or just listened to the “Rainmaker”.
      Did they pray for an intervention while doing the rain dance?
      That might, could’ve, maybe sent some extra rain, too.
      Gods come in many forms, even rain makers.

      • Trouble, you ask? . . .
        Trouble, oh we got trouble,
        Right here in Siants City!
        With a capital “T”
        That rhymes with “C”
        And that stands for Cool,
        That stands for cool.
        We’ve surely got trouble!
        Right here in Siants City,
        Right here!
        Gotta figger out a way
        To keep the young ones morons after school!
        Trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble..

  1. Sorry to rain on the parade, but … are you sure that cloud seeding really works? Link, please.

      • They call it ” Cloud seeding ” not ” NO clouds seeding “.
        So they know a priori, that it won’t work if you seed droplet substrates into an atmosphere that does not contain plenty of water vapor.
        so the whole idea is to find moisture bearing atmosphere in an area where you would like to have rain, and attempt to accelerate the growth of cloud water droplets to a size that can result in rain.
        You can’t get rain out of an atmosphere that does not contain much water.
        And of course if you DON’T seed a passing air mass that is loaded with water vapor, it can just pass on through to later rain out in the ocean or some other place from which you can’t retrieve the water that you let get on by.
        So why don’t you try to make a better decision, than they did, if your think they got it all wrong.
        G

      • Well I took it for granted that they did not have sufficient time to build a new huge reservoir to contain all of that downpour, before the clouds moved on out over the ocean.
        G
        The decision was between seeding and perhaps getting water, and not seeding (your choice) and perhaps not getting water.
        They were not considering building a new big reservoir, in case it rained that day.

    • Agree George, I have yet to see a statistically sound, and unequivocally, non-cherry picking, demonstration of positive effects of any cloud seeding experiments going back to the 1950’s to the present. They all seem to fail unless this set of data or that set of data are thrown out and not used in the analyses.

      • Leonard,
        ” They all seem to fail unless …”
        Don’t you mean they were inconclusive? A whole lot of cloud seeding goes on around the world, and that is kinda incompatible with all scientific tests clearly showing “failure” to provoke rain . . as I see the world I find myself in anyway.

      • Hmm . . I’m thinking more along the lines of how the military handles “data”. For example, from a 1996 Air Force “white paper” ;
        Weather as a Force Multiplier:
        Owning the Weather in 2025
        http://csat.au.af.mil/2025/volume3/vol3ch15.pdf
        (page 13)
        Before discussing research in this area, it is important to describe the benefits of such a capability.
        While many military operations may be influenced by precipitation, ground mobility is most affected.
        Influencing precipitation could prove useful in two ways. First, enhancing precipitation could decrease the (14) enemy’s trafficability by muddying terrain, while also affecting their morale. Second, suppressing precipitation could increase friendly trafficability by drying out an otherwise muddied area.
        What is the possibility of developing this capability and applying it to tactical operations by 2025? Closer than one might think. Research has been conducted in precipitation modification for many years, and an aspect of the resulting technology was applied to operations during the Vietnam War.”
        I suggest folks read that paper, for starters, because the military folks don’t treat this stuff as all hypothetical (even twenty years ago) and they tend to take things pretty seriously.

      • In Israel the met service has been cloud seeding for decades.
        I believe there are a few papers on this with evidence of some benefit.
        In the early days there were ground “ovens” backed by by an aircraft, but today only the aircraft is working.
        Again. it seems for certain areas there has been a moderate improvement.

      • as far as I knew cloud seeding was Banned in Aus in the 60s?
        I am unsure when exactly but they DID cloudseed on the mainland and they got massive flooding in an area they hadnt planned to soak think it may have been Victoria? maybe NSW? but it killed some people I think- I read about it over 20yrs ago so its sketchy
        but after that I thought they banned it.
        always amazed me they didnt use it in times of drought when Qld especially HAS huge high clouds but they just wont drop the water for us.
        could save a lot of death of stock and billions in lost crops and farmers losing their land.
        and I am glad to see it reported here cos ABC radio had ONE newsreport on it
        at 4am or something like..when the majority of people dont hear it.
        they dont want to upset their meme of its ALL co2s fault.

      • John Knight said:
        because the military folks don’t treat this stuff as all hypothetical (even twenty years ago) and they tend to take things pretty seriously.
        You mean like all that paranormal stuff they were studying 40 years ago? They took it very, very seriously. Doesn’t mean it is real though.
        I am sure (well, hope) that military has plans for very many really unlikely scenarios, including alien invasion, zombie apocalypse and other stuff. Doesn’t mean they actually know that aliens exist or zombie apocalypse about to happen.

      • Udar,
        “I am sure (well, hope) that military has plans for very many really unlikely scenarios”
        I’m sure they plan for scenarios they find likely, too, and when they speak of “owning” such potentials, I tend to suspect they have already done some “renting”, don’t you? Sure fits with the “climate weirding” talk we’ve heard from some in the alarmist clan, it seems to me. Nothing else I’m aware of does anyway . .

      • I agree – I have thought that the extensive experiments in the 50s and 60s showed that it may, or much more usually did not work. The water crystals had to be in a state of readiness for precipitation. As for John Knight’s assertion that cloud seeding and the consequential rain would be of military advantage is fine unless you are fighting Russians, the Vietnamese, anybody living in the tropics, Indians (the self determining kind), and a host of others, including guerillas who are used to torrential rain. The Russians, for example, outfought the Germans in the rain and mud seasons that occur twice a year. Their famous tank, the T34, could go anywhere in mud or dry. They also had 50 divisions of horsed cavalry that could also cope with mud. These mounted soldiers fought either as cavalry or as mounted infantry and did so brilliantly. So, if I were a general I would “hi hold the silver, away” (for those of you old enough to remember the western programmes for kids). And I bet a fortune was spent on coming to this conclusion whereas a sensible person would have rejected it upon presentation.

      • “As for John Knight’s assertion that cloud seeding and the consequential rain would be of military advantage…”
        It was not my assertion, it was people in the military . .
        “I have thought that the extensive experiments in the 50s and 60s showed that it may, or much more usually did not work.”
        Apparently those people in the military saw things differently . . and there really is a lot of cloud seeding done in many places. I don’t doubt it is done under favorable conditions, it costs money and all . .

    • If Hydro Tasmania’s defence is that cloud seeding doesn’t work, so they were just spending money on a meaningless modern rain dance, that will likely be another WUWT article.

      • I think the consensus is that it needs to be close to rain for it to work but this experiment seams to indicate that it can produce CO2 like weather events, catastrophic?

      • I think the consensus is that it needs to be close to rain for it to work but this experiment seams to indicate that it can produce CO2 like weather events, catastrophic?

        The point about cloud seeding is about getting it to rain over the catchment areas as much as anything. Cloud seeding cant magically make rain but if its close to raining it can tip it over into actual rain…where you want it geographically.
        The whole cloud seeding made a disaster argument seems dubious at best. It would be very difficult to prove cloud seeding made things worse unless the flooded area was in a catchment area. In which case, the result could be argued to be “as intended”.

      • It works in Tasmania Eric probably because it is an Island in the path of the roaring forties which means a relatively cool and moist flow of air from the west. The Hydro have been doing it for decades. I am aware that it does not always work in other parts of the world but there you go.

      • Yeah either its a warmist plot to drown innocent Tasmanians and sell their electricity to filthy mainlanders or,
        its a plot by loopy wamists to waste our money on something that doesn’t work. Either way its another nail in the coffin of the warmist myth that humans can somehow affect the weather. Huh, to think they were trying do it with just a Cessna. Losers.
        And how about Basslink or the Hydro trying to hide behind behind green-washing. They must think we came down in the last cloud-seed.

    • Curious George asked, ” … are you sure that cloud seeding really works? Link, please.”
      Maybe. Maybe not. Wikipedia takes both sides.
      “Cloud seeding is no longer considered a fringe science, and is considered a mainstream tool to improve rain precipitation and snow. New technology and research has produced reliable results that make cloud seeding a dependable and affordable water-supply practice for many regions.”
      “A 2010 Tel Aviv University study claimed that the common practice of cloud seeding to improve or induce rainfall, with materials such as silver iodide and frozen carbon dioxide, were not as effective as was hoped.”
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_seeding
      ‘Cloud seeding’ not effective at producing rain as once thought, new research shows
      https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101101125949.htm
      It appears that the answer is still up in the air.

  2. How could the greens ever be wrong their goals and motives are so right. Of course the universe does not much care what your motives are and instead reacts to forces of nature.

  3. Plenty of stick handling around the facts in this one Eric. For one thing, Mr. Foster was taken in Ouse, which actually had very little rainfall. But the biggy is this nonsensical statement “If Tasmania had a sensible backup strategy, involving adequate fossil fuel backup”.
    It does have adequate fossil fuel backup. It just chose not to use it because of the witchcraft and buggery associated with the idiotic concept of “green energy”.

    • From the quote from The Australian;

      The cloud-seeding also was within about 10km of the Mersey-Forth catchment area, which also hours later experienced rapid and disastrous flooding that killed a woman and inundated dozens of homes at Latrobe.

      • The Mersey-Forth catchment are is a large chunk pf Tasmania with the Mersey being to the east of the Forth River. It is referred to as the Mersey – Forth because the mersey flow is diverted to the Forth well upstream so the material consideration is whether the seeding was effective upstream or downstream of the diversion point (between Lake Paranagana on the Mersey and Lake Cethana on the Forth and about 50 or 60 km from Latrobe as the crow flies and say 100 km or so along the river).
        The flooding at Latrobe and Devonport was in the lower Mersey river, on the north eastern side of the total M-F catchment, closer to the east coast. The Mersey catchment below Parangana is largely in the low lying, rural areas to the east and well clear of the highland catchments where cloud seeding is conducted. ’10 km from the M-F catchment’ could be 100 km S-W from Devonport-Latrobe when the system was coming from the east! 10 km from the M-F catchment could well be to the south and closer to the Great Lake or upper Derwent catchments and with an easterly weather pattern downwind from the M-F.
        Do some research Eric and don’t rely on some dribbledick journo’s cheap drivel in a newspaper.
        This sort of of finger pointing is what the cops do when they detain people of a certain skin colour just to get a collar and then fit it to the neck in detention. You carry on like one of those who subscribe to the ‘two headed Tasmania’ thing mate. The trouble with that is thet it would make Tasmanian’s 4 times as smart as those who swallow half witted drivel like what you have written.

    • Ah, but if they used they used the “dirty” fossil fuelled backups they could no longer claim to be 100% “green”, so they’d rather start polluting the skies by spraying chemicals to seed cloud. That’s OK.
      “witchcraft and buggery” indeed. Love it.

  4. Its suspected that Hydro’s over selling of energy to the mainland also contributed to low dam levels as the burnt up stored water to generate income at inflated prices. Greed.
    Funny that Green successes from previous decades in blocking dams stopped them from having capacity to ride this out better.
    The state they get there extra power from (they were importing 40%prior to the failure) rently announced it would be cabon free by 2050. As the current coal fired power also supports South Australia the southern state power grid will become a house of cards if it goes ahead as promised. All this while EU backs away from wind.

    • that would be Victoria…and seeing as SA has just about ruined n wrecked Pt Augusta for power gen
      and Vic is carrying the load and likely will crash our systems this coming yr as SA really halts Augusta fully..if Tassie was to relly on us also I see some foul blackouts coming
      WORSE for us in Vic is the basta*ds mandated smart meters which means they can reduce power to homes and risk burning out our fridges n freezers etc.
      and for this “service” we now pay over $100 per quarter for added costs DUE solely TO the crappy smart meters.
      Ive had 3!!! installed as they Fail rather often I gather. one didnt last 3mths

      • It started 100 years ago Eric and continued into the 80’s. It was the issue that CREATED the Greens!
        Hilarious, the complete hillbilly ignorance defence!

      • Yep… like them poor ol’ ignorant West Virginia hillbillies in this neck of that woods that makes their livin’ by selling creek water to them smart rich yankees for 2-3 dollars a bottle a bottle.

    • This whole debacle started because of the Carbon Tax from the previous Federal Government.
      The Giddings Labor/Green government used as much hydro water as they could in pumping electricity back to the mainland to scam as much money as they could from Australian government subsidies.
      That did 2 things.. left the dams very low at the start of summer, and overloaded the old BassLink cable.
      It also seems that the area cloud seeded wasn’t actually where most of the the flood actually originated.
      And Nick, you know that without the hydro dams Tasmania would still be importing coal and gas from the mainland.

    • If Greens don’t like carbon-free Nuclear or Hydro, what do you like, no energy production at all? Or are you okay with bird-killing wind or bird-killing solar like they have at Ivanpah? These green-energy experiments are bringing us closer to a “silent spring” than DDT ever did.

    • Another Stokes shift. The reference he gives doesn’t name any specific “industry interests”, only the government owned hydro-electric commission.

      • Well, here is a bit more of the history. The hydro development was originally to support electrolytic zinc refining at Risdon, and expanded in the 1970s to supply power for aluminium smelting at Bell Bay.

      • …Which seems to be even worse than his usual interventions, which are often factually correct, but irrelevant distractions. This one doesn’t even appear to be correct on the ‘evidence’ supplied.

      • Oh my! ZINC refining. ALUMINUM smelting. Yeccch. Only horrible people would want to produce the zinc and aluminum that all of us use every day in the products and services that keep us alive.

    • Nowadays Nick, every aspect of human development faces fierce environmental opposition. They are so pro-nature they’re anti-human!

    • Nick,
      By “industry” you no doubt mean a nationalized, government dominated quango called Hydro Tasmania.

      • No tetris, by “industry” he means the aluminium refinery and manganese smelter at Bell Bay, the pulp mills at Burnie and New Norfolk, the iron ore pellet plant at Port Latta, the Zinc refinery in Hobart, the bearing factory in Launceston and a series of mines on the west coast among other things. That ‘industrial’ enough for you?
        The ‘government dominated quango’ was actually set up by the government in such a small state as there was no way the private sector would have taken the punt, it was never ‘nationalised’, i.e. taken over from the private sector.

      • M Seward
        Thank you for clarifying the picture. In my book industry is good, including smelters and the like – I live in BC, Canada and we’ve learned to manage the environmental effects of pulp/paper, mining and energy without shutting everything down as the hard core eco-fascists would have liked . That said, it still seems though that its the Tasmania government hydro company that’s the cause of the problem. Not the industry so reviled by the Greens.
        I’ve tried the following on hard core greenies -give it a try, the effect is not only instructive but also very funny: ask them to start removing in public from themselves everything they’re wearing that in any way shape of form is derived from hydrocarbons. Some get it by the time they take off their boots/shoes -sometimes the penny only drops when the lycra containing bra has to come off.
        Message being that we live in a complex industrial society from which it is impossible to remove hydrocarbons and everything we’ve learned to do with them / make from them, and that pretending that we can do without and protesting new developments while continuing to enjoy the comforts of the products they produce is hypocrisy in its most despicable form.

    • The “Hydro in Tasmania” is “Hydro Tasmania,” which has constructed wind farms are far back as 1998 and as recently as 2013. Yeah, I am sure they’re “very far from a Green enterprise.”
      I’m sure it was “industry interests” that decommissioned the oil-powered Bell Bay Power Station in 2009 and not environmental ones. I’m sure it was “industry interests” that mothballed the gas-fired Tamar Valley Power Station as well.
      I’m sure environmental groups have been fighting Tasmania’s hydro-electric development since it started in 1914. I’m sure it was the environmental groups that had called for the Bell Bay Power Station in the1960s during energy shortages as well.
      Just STFU is you’re going to come here and lie about stuff.

      • “I’m sure it was “industry interests” that decommissioned the oil-powered Bell Bay Power Station in 2009”,/i>
        That power station was built about 40 years earlier as a more expensive backup to hydro. After the BassLink connection to Victoria was completed in 2005, that role diminished, and the new adjacent and larger Tamar Valley station was also commissioned in 2009.
        None of this changes my original contention – Hydro Tasmania was not a Green initiative. Far from it.

      • Nick is right on this, Michael. The Green party formed in Tasmania in opposition to Hydro’s policies, not to support them. There was a massive battle of Greenies vs Hydro when the Hydro wanted to dam the Gordon river below Franklin thus flooding what is arguably some of Tasmania’s most scenic areas.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franklin_Dam_controversy
        Tasmania was “Green” well before the world. We’re so green that we argue against green policies in favour of magic and unicorns.

  5. Something tells me the politicians have diesel back-up, where as the commoners can go pound sand. Secondly, we don’t want to be like the alarmists blaming “caused the death of at least one person” on this. Could have been through their own-rite or circumstance. I’d like to see WUWT keep these innuendos out as this is the warmistas warring cry. Don’t play by their rules in other words.

  6. Green and greed mix together about as well as oil and water. For some reason, greed always finds a way to rise to the top.

      • Interesting. Old big-piston engined aircraft used water injection too – it cools the induction charge, allowing for a denser gas mix and higher compression. It is a bit like an intercooler on a turbo. All high power take-offs were done with water injection.

  7. There’s Green and then there’s Green. Killing birds is now Green. Covering up land with expensive plates is now Green. Burning food is now Green. Burning down the Amazon rainforest for ethanol sugarcane is now Green. Dams are now Green – except when they aren’t. Whatever the people with the most political power deem Green is now Green. It can vary from nation to nation or state to state.

  8. I have operated HVDC submarine cable systems for many years. There are automatic protective systems that will prevent the cable from being overloaded, and until we know the cause of the cable fault, all this nonsense is simply viral speculation!!!

    • But most of the initial green greed in using hydro to send large amounts of power back to the mainland to scam Federal subsidies, was down to the previous Labour/Green government.

    • Are you saying that this is the same government who decided to go 100% renewable in Tasmania? Isn’t that what started this whole problem? If it was a “conservative” government that decided to go 100% renewable and shut down or prevent the building of fossil-fuel sources of energy, they can’t be all that conservative.

      • I grew up in Tasmania. It always was 100% renewable if you count hydro power as renewable. There was a coal-fired power plant at Bell Bay which was used as back up but during my 25 years of life there (until the mid-1980s), I think it may have been used once or twice. The mess started after I left.

      • There you go! Sensible people would run the coal plant anytime the reservoir level drops below 50%.
        Result: Reliable power at low cost regardless of drought or equipment issues.

      • John writes

        Sensible people would run the coal plant anytime the reservoir level drops below 50%.

        I dont think you understand the scale of Hydro power in Tasmania. Sensible people would (and did) put a cable into place connected to the mainland instead of running our own fossil fueled generators. There are plenty of coal fired generators on the mainland for Tasmania to draw on during non peak times.

      • Louis, I thought I had posted a second comment under that one.. but its isn’t there.
        Went something like this…
        Most of the decision to grab as much carbon tax money as possible was almost certainly down to the previous Labor/Green government. I don’t think is really anything to the cloud seeding story,
        The Liberals do have a lot of “fixing” to do though. The state has been on “green” idealism for a long time !!

      • Hopefully they have learnt something from all this, and keep the Tamar gas plant clicking over so it is available for ramp-up if supplies do start to drop. Maybe even double its capacity..

    • Intent is what is important in my opinion. They seeded because they believed it worked. They were therefore negligent in that they failed to have regard for the potential harm that could ensue if their actions were successful. They had no right to take that inherently irresponsible risk!

  9. Or its green only when they say its green. Tocks Island dam in New Jersey was cancelled. I guess too much premium land to build on. Much like cancelling the connector for I 95 through Hopewell Township… ( made the bond holders of the turnpike very happy) … SAVE THE FARM… well the farm is gone and in its place is a huge housing development. Meanwhile, I want to see the next ” unprecedented” drought in New Jersey like the one in 1963 where the river was so dry there was a mere trickle. You could walk across over to Pennsylvania. That will have to global warming and of course there are a lot more people that depend on water from the Delaware River. So that will be interesting since they didn’t build the dam. Oh, and they’ve built housing now, McMansions, in areas that I know have flooded… along with the state capital. They will be yelling ” worst ever ” either way.
    I’m sure somebody in Tasmania knows similar details about what is going on.

  10. Unintended consequences strike again regardless of the reason. Much of the world is removing a reliable, safe, and affordable form of energy in the name of an ideology that denounces humanity. And they are not only being allowed to do it they are being aided by the governments built on that energy source.

  11. The whole sorry mess started, when desperately green Tasmania attempted to go 100% renewable.

    Tasmania has always been essentially 100% renewable, Eric. In recent times we installed a cable to the mainland to either export or import energy. The State’s energy problems arose from a perfect storm including carbon tax encouraging more valuable green energy selling to the mainland lowering water reserves, the El Nino reducing rainfall and finally cable failure when we needed it for import due to the first two.

    • Goes to show the dangers of relying on one energy source and then pushing your luck by manipulating the markets using taxpayer funded subsidies. Doesn’t mean they’ll learn anything though – blinded by ideology, from A through Z

      • Hence the installation of the cable. It also means that Tasmania can provide peak power to the mainland and import power during non-peak (and cheaper) times thus improving overall efficiency of the Australian grid. And yes, big fail on water management but in Hydro’s defense it did take multiple effects to cause to problem. They didn’t take huge risks… 20/20 hindsight is a wonderful thing.

    • Yes, and don’t forget that the Tasmanian Government owned, Hydro Tasmania, made a motza (A lot of money) out of the Carbon tax. This was widely reported and experts documented it in Parliament. Because of the mainland cable they deliberately reduced Hydro output before the introduction of the tax, in order to store capacity. Then they went in to full capacity selling it to the mainland. They increased profits 10 fold in on year earning an extra $80 million on the back of the Carbon Tax. Ultimately all customers paid more than they should have for the power and the money went in to the State Governments coffers (Presumably!). Of course, it now looks like they may have burn’t out the cable, the ‘drought’ then had a bigger impact resulting in what may be viewed as a very poor decision to cloud seed!! ;-(

      • Scott W B
        You’ve got your finger on the sore spot: governments feeding and riding the green wave have become dangerously dependent on the tax revenues this has allowed them to put into play. By way of example, in most EU countries 75-80% [no Josephine, no typo] of what you pay at the pump are taxes and eco levies of some description. While some are straight 5-10 cent eco levies on anything they can remotely justify, most taxes are of the “diode” variety – meaning that when underlying costs go up taxes go up but when underlying costs go down, the customer still pays the same.
        Remove of this streams of taxation and most governments would face and overnight, unbridgeable cash flow crisis, bankrupting them. Worse that the Green true believer eco fascists, its our governments that are the culprits and have every interest in keep up the environmental scare machine.

  12. Geoengineering is playing with fire, at least at this stage in the game. We might (possibly) be forced to resort to it. But as of now, in the strategic scope of things, geoengineering is a Hail Mary play, and that’s all it’s good for.

    • I live in Western Canada. They cloud seed next door in Alberta to prevent hail. I have no idea if it works but they believe it does. Seeding to possibly prevent damage might make sense.

      • John H
        That’s sounds like a greenie voodoo interpretation of the “precautionary principle” – throw some shit against the wall, you never know, it might stick- scientifically roughly on par with homeopathy, astrology and fish gut reading.

      • The Alberta gov’t states clearly that it does reduce crop losses from rain, which can run into the hundreds of millions of dollars. I expect they are correct.

  13. More watermelon economics. If they do not do something stupid because they are green, they do something else stupid because they are red.

  14. Currently, things are reasonably good. The IPCC says there will be net benefits from both warming and elevated CO2 for some decades to come. So what we need to do now is create a whole lot of wealth (esp. in the UDCs). The good old “create wealth” strategy.
    Money, wealth, and love thereof, may be the root of all evil, but it is pretty much the root of all good as well. It is a the root of just about everything, including how long you live, how bad you hurt, and, for all UDCs past and present, if you ever have a Sunday’s rest in your life. The so-called “affluent society” is also a whole lot gentler than that which passed before.
    The strategy can change if the paradigm changes. But — for now — wealth creation will bring the greatest good to the greatest number. For every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven. And if you don’t get that right, you are cruising for a historical bruising.

  15. Found at:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_seeding
    Effectiveness
    Cloud seeding is no longer considered a fringe science, and is considered a mainstream tool to improve rain precipitation and snow. New technology and research has produced reliable results that make cloud seeding a dependable and affordable water-supply practice for many regions.[6] While practiced widely around the world, the effectiveness of cloud seeding is still a matter of academic debate. In 2004 the United States National Research Council released a report stating that to date, there is still no convincing scientific proof of the efficacy of intentional weather modification as it only has 30 percent or less chance of success.[7]
    Referring to 1903, 1915, 1919, 1944, and 1947 weather modification experiments, the Australian Federation of Meteorology discounted “rain making”. By the 1950s, the CSIRO Division of Radiophysics switched to investigating the physics of clouds and had hoped by 1957 to better understand these processes. By the 1960s, the dreams of weather making had faded only to be re-ignited post-corporatisation of the Snowy Mountains Scheme in order to achieve “above target” water. This would provide enhanced energy generation and profits to the public agencies that are the principal owners.
    Cloud seeding has been shown to be effective in altering cloud structure and size and in converting supercooled liquid water to ice particles. The amount of precipitation due to seeding is difficult to quantify.
    A key challenge is in discerning how much precipitation would have occurred had clouds not been seeded. Overall, there is general expectation that winter cloud seeding over mountains will produce snow, expressed by professional organizations.[8][full citation needed][9][full citation needed][10][full citation needed] There is statistical evidence for seasonal precipitation increases of about 10 percent with winter seeding.[11]”
    I would hate to be the lawyer whose job it is to try to prove that the cloud seeding caused any damage.
    It’s a little like AGW: Some effect may be there, but it is so small that it can’t be separated out from the natural processes.

    • I would love to be that lawyer, who bills by the hour (the billable kind, not the ones that mark our days), regardless of whether I believe in the case or not.

      • John Harmsworth
        June 11, 2016 at 5:35 pm
        “I would love to be that lawyer, who bills by the hour (the billable kind, not the ones that mark our days), regardless of whether I believe in the case or not.”
        **************************************************************************************************************
        I would love to be that lawyer, who bilks by the hour.
        Typo fixed.
        You’re welcome. 🙂
        SteveT

  16. In India both warm and cold cloud modification experiments were conducted by NPL/New Delhi during 1957-66 and IITM/Pune from 1967 to 1986 — Central Government stopped this from 1987 as there were no positive results. Also, some state and private agencies also conducted cloud seeding operations. In China during Olympic time used this technique to see rainfall will not cause disruption at the glames. This affected the agriculture and thus farmers protested against this. The State of Andhra Pradesh also initiated clod seeding to augment rain. We found the operator is choosing clouds under low pressure systems that give copious rains in downwind direction. We told [I was one of the member of the technical committee to over see this operation] the operator not to seed such systems. He turned it down saying in our agreement there was no such clause. Then I sent a detailed note showing how the rainfall in downwind direction affected with the seeding of low pressure systems. In other words the rainfall really reduced drastically. The government later stopped the extension of the operator though the concerned minister requested for five years extension. Since then the operation of cloud seeding was stopped.
    Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

    • Does reduced rainfall downwind of the area seeded mean all the rain fell where the seeding took place? In other words, the seeding worked?

      • John Harsworth — Seeding did not worked but it created a premature birth and thus the system supposed to give copious precipitation on its way in downwind direction, ceased raining. In Andhra Pradesh state with low pressure systems [cyclones] the reservoirs fill but with the cloud seeding this affected negatively. The operator took of to seed a place [where there was no low pressure system] and without informing the ground operations moved in to low pressure system and seeded. Even without seeding this system would have given copious precipitation, not only at seeded point and as well as areas in the downwind direction and with the seeding this negated. China system — frontal system, even without seeding they rain.
        We say seeding is successful, only when the seeded area is free from low pressure system. In fact this is what we wanted. This was not successful even in one percent level.
        Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

  17. Couple of points ,
    1- There was no adverse rainfall season in Tasmania ,it was an average rainfall year for the west where most of the catchment areas for the hydro dams are .
    2- Hydro electric was chosen as Tassie’s primary means of generation due to the availability of rain and suitable catchment areas , NOT for any of the current renewable nonsense . Hydro power has been lighting up the north of the state from 1895
    3-The state would have been 100% self powered by hydro now if not for idiot environmentalists opposing further hydro development in the 70’s and 80’s and the federal government of the day being willing to screw the whole state over for a few green votes .

    • Byron is one who knows what he is talking about.
      Hydro electric power has served the island state well for a hundred years.
      There was a time when Hydro was run by Engineers, but a generation ago it was taken over by Green lawyers and accountants. One lesson that should come from the situation is that public ownership of a crucial asset should never be in the hands of politicians who cannot possibly understand the business.
      No one has yet mentioned the best example of stupidity in the the entire show. They were Hell bound they would sell the gas turbine out of the combined cycle plant and the biggest peaker right up until the cable failed. Stupid on a variety of fronts. Stupid to sell them, and stupid to believe anyone would buy them.
      Tasmania never had a coal burning power station. It should have. The island has extensive coal deposits.
      The other lesson is that Green nonsense distorts any market; especially the electricity market. Another fundamental reason for the situation.

      • Tasmania has coal deposits, but they could hardly be described as “extensive”. They are also high in sulphur and non-combustibles. The biggest deposits have been used for cement-making, gas generation and the firing of the odd district-heating scheme. As a source of thermal power generation, they hardly stack up, except as a desparation measure. The deposits were known prior to the establishment of the major hydro-electric power schemes.

    • Byron writes

      The state would have been 100% self powered by hydro now if not for idiot environmentalists opposing further hydro development in the 70’s and 80’s and the federal government of the day being willing to screw the whole state over for a few green votes .

      I love our Hydro Power. The State can still be 100% renewable with lots of Solar installation and more Wind (although I dont like wind). Every kW generated by solar installations is a bucket of water that doesn’t need to be spent from the dams during the day. Solar energy is particularly effective in our State…
      But even loving Hydro like I do, I wouldn’t have wanted the Gordon below Franklin. Tourism is also huge in our State and its one of the few places in the world left where there are truely untouched wilds and the Franklin river is spectacular to say the least. Better to have a cable to the mainland I think for multiple reasons.

      • I’m with Tim. ( and Nick).
        Eric has made an ass of himself on this one. He has carried on like a bit of a ‘delcon’ (a new term for those not from Oz, means ‘delusional conservative’). In the US Delcons will vote for Trump because he’s not Hlllary.

      • Seward must be joking! Or he hasn’t bothered reading the whole sorry and greedy saga of the Tas. mess. Eric is spot on; the deluded ambition for crony capital renewables (with NO supporting evidence that CO2 has ANY significant effect), the gross distortion of the electricity market with subsidies, the distorted price leading to the greedy sale of elec. from limited stored dam water, the greed sale burns out the cable, no back up, and now up the swollen s*&#^ creek without a paddle.
        Seward needs to apologise.

      • Every kW generated by solar installations is a bucket of water that doesn’t need to be spent from the dams

        That’s wishful thinking only , wind and solar provide random bursts of power at x3 and x6 the cost per kwh respectively (vs Hydro or coal ) to the grid , neither hydroelelectric nor gas turbines ( which are the fastest response dispatchable means of generation available ) can keep up with the fluctuations of wind and solar during the course of a typical day so most solar/wind power is wasted as output profiles from real generators have to be matched to probable consumption profiles at 5 minutes ahead at the very least . Entire wind “farms” can bounce from 75% or more of their rated output to nothing in seconds , solar is little better as it provides a trickle of power even under cloudy conditions but it still has the problem of sudden drop off from 60% of rated output to 1-10% simply from transient weather conditions . The way grid controllers deal with this is assign VERY low probable output values to the random burst generators (Wind/solar) and run the output from real generators accordingly . The alternative is brownouts, blackouts and constantly running the risk of a full blown cascading failure of generation and transmission components

      • Guess what Fin, he ain’t gonna.
        Eric craps on about ‘desperately green Tasmania attempted to go 100% renewable’ when the reality is that ALL Tasmania’s dams were built from 120 years to a few decades ago. The green madness STOPPED us buiding more. Rather than being ‘desperately green’ we were just taking rational advantage of a natural resource which happens to be renewable since we dobn’t have huge coal/oil/gas reserves but doi have shiploads of rain and wind. This is like characterising say Wills Eschenbach as being ‘desperately green’ if he has solar panels or a wind generator on his yacht, let alone the green madness of using his sails.
        Eric then focus’s on the cloud seeding event, outside the M-F catchment and probably down wind from the east coast centred weather event and extraoplates that as if some journalist wasn’t just manufacturing a headline with implications of ‘deadly’ in it.
        What you are talking about is just the loony behaviour unleashed by the mad scheme of attaching a premium price to ‘green energy’ in recent years which only turned to crap when the cable (being used to sell said renewable juice) broke. Otherwise we would be buying cheap, baseload coal fired power from Vic/NSW while we waited for the dams to fill up again ( which they are at a great rate thanks to godd ol’ Gaia).
        That we took advantage of some mainland suckers is our good luck, that it all turned to crap is our bad luck Stuff happens.

      • Byron writes <blockquote<That’s wishful thinking only , wind and solar provide random bursts of power at x3 and x6 the cost per kwh respectively (vs Hydro or coal ) to the grid , neither hydroelelectric nor gas turbines ( which are the fastest response dispatchable means of generation available ) can keep up with the fluctuations of wind and solar during the course of a typical day
        That’s a general statement and irrelevant in Tasmania. I’m not idly saying that…its what happens on a daily basis. Tasmania is almost exclusively powered by Hydro Electricity and yes, it can ramp up and down fast enough. We have dozens of generators some small, some large and when the wind and solar generation changes, the Hydro energy generation is set to match.

    • Byron is correct and knows something on the subject. Tasmania’s first hydro station was at Duck Reach on the South Esk River and gave Launceston electric lighting pre 1900.
      Looking at the BOM rainfall maps the west coast catchment areas received average rainfall for the past few years.
      The current problems of electricity supply are due entirely due to mismanagement in running the storages down to 23% prior to the usual dryish summer, then the cable mis-functioned. They got as low as 12% before there was some useful rain.
      The two big storages, the Great Lake, and Lake Gordon are practically empty, and these supply the larger power stations.

    • Byron
      Sounds a bit like Sweden, where the current Greens wanted to introduce a tax on hydro akin to the one on nuclear – both being deemed environmentally unfriendly. Reason appeared to have prevailed and not only wil there be no tax on hydro, but the existing nuclear eco tax has been repealed.

  18. Aaah Tasmaina, Albania of the south.
    They have an unbelievable history of stupidity and self-immolation;
    Extinction of unique animals,
    Total genocide of aboriginals,
    It goes on and on to this day.

    • Forrest,
      Wikipedia has a summary:
      “Geoffrey Blainey wrote that by 1830 in Tasmania: “Disease had killed most of them but warfare and private violence had also been devastating.”[9] Other historians regard the Black War as one of the earliest recorded modern genocides.[10] Benjamin Madley wrote: “Despite over 170 years of debate over who or what was responsible for this near-extinction, no consensus exists on its origins, process, or whether or not it was genocide”. However, “[using the] UN definition, sufficient evidence exists to designate the Tasmanian catastrophe genocide.”[3]
      By 1833, Christian missionary George Augustus Robinson, sponsored by Lieutenant Governor George Arthur, had persuaded the approximately 200 surviving Aboriginal Tasmanians to surrender themselves with assurances that they would be protected, provided for and eventually have their lands returned to them. These ‘assurances’ were false, there is no suggestion that Robinson or Lieutenant-Governor Arthur intending anything else but exile to the Furneaux Islands and the assurances were given by Robinson in order to facilitate the removal of the Aboriginal people from mainland Tasmania.”

  19. Nice line about ‘desperately green Tasmania’ but that’s about all and only good enough for a cheap headline, not up to it to put in a song.
    Tasmania is 75% mountainous and has twice the average rainfall of the mainland so hydro has always been prospective and we started the journey a century or so ago, long, long before green marxism took hold. Its also very windy so wind is a more reasonable option. Not that I support wind generally, its hideously capital intensive for the energy outcome, but it makes more sense in Tasmania than most places especially if you use the wind power to pump water uphill, i.e. sharing the hydro energy storage system. The real irony is that the building of those dams was the raison d’etre for the creation of the Greens who viscerally hate our hydro system cos, sniffle, it drowned all those trees. Murderers!
    As for the cloud seeding, it has been an effective strategy for decades in Tasmania where our temperature-humidity mix is favourable. In their wisdom and going with the free market model, the Hydro have outsourced their cloud seeding program to a private operator. As it happens we are coming off record low dam levels due to a true blue clusterf%&k of free market punting and a green energy premium payment so the general context was to seed, seed, seed those clouds.
    Its a bit of a Tim Flannery moment to be honest (record low dam levels drawing public ridicule by the green-left whereupon Gaia sends a massive rain bearing low pressure system) but the material facts somewhat spoil the melodrama of cheap headlines. The system we have just experienced came from the east with heaviest falls on our east coast. I live in Launceston in the central north which had a 50 – 100 year flood event and thankfully our recently refurbished levees did their job. Latrobe and Devonport, on the next major river to the west, copped a bit of damage and there was a lot of local damage to older rural roads and bridges as well as some loss of life.
    Most of our dams are in the mountainous areas of the north, north west and west of the state and none are in the east which is normally very dry. While our smaller, ‘run of the river’ storages are largely full, the big storages at Great Lake (central) , Lake Gordon and the tragedy that is Lake Pedder (both south west) are down in the 10 to 20% full range so cloud seeding in the central highlands and west may well have been prospective.
    Jo Nova lives in Perth, Western Australia which is dry as dry compared to Tasmania so maybe this is just a bit out of her area of expertise, sorry Jo 🙂 . In the west it is so dry from time to time and they basically don’t have mountains over there, well none you would write home about. If two guys take a leak together they will declare that a river, get three guys on song and they get naming rights (I don’t know if that rule applies to gals but surely it should). Rather than seed clouds they just drink lots of cheap beer over there.

  20. Most posters are ignoring the ‘fried’ $875 million cable.
    I bet the cable was the fault of a manager looking at the ‘big picture’ from 30,000 feet and ignoring the advice of her engineers.
    Here’s what I think is a similar accident. Canada’s military brass didn’t like the weight limits of their Griffon helicopters operating in Afghanistan. Since they out ranked the engineers, they obviously knew better and increased the limit by more than a thousand pounds. The rest was predictable. link

    • The “fried” $875 million cable debacle was basically covered here previously.

  21. I can’t believe how stupid the human race has become in the past 40 or so years, what seemed to be lining up to be a “Golden Century” is quickly becoming the dark ages. But when I watch the current crop of kids from 5 to 30 chained to their tv’s, computers, hand held’s etc , it is no wonder . The level of critical thinking has all but hit zero.

  22. I think you will find it’s was more greed than green. Hydro Tasmania (state owned) were flogging our states resource to the mainland to make as much money as they could to bolster the states coffers. They almost run us dry and left the state powerless. Tasmania may have been where the green movement started in Australia but we are not all out of the same mold.
    P.S. Basslink cable has now been repaired and is due to be placed back into service on Tuesday 14\06\2016.
    Lets see if they have learned anything.

    • “I think you will find it’s was more greed than green.”
      Provide the Green incentive and they will come.
      “Tasmania may have been where the green movement started in Australia but we are not all out of the same mold.”
      Neither are we all in South Australia with our copious bird killers and the dearest power prices in the world, but unfortunately with half the population of Oz now living off the other half and having the vote, we can be outnumbered too.
      We may soon be in a similar predicament having made Leigh Creek brown coal and Playford Power Station uneconomic and now having to rely upon interconnectors to Victorian brown coal power stations, with their State Premier promising to be fossil fuel free by mid century, or some such nonsense. Western Civilisation lives in interesting times.

  23. IMHO, anyone that has watched any of the 1,000’s of time-lapse videos of thunderstorm formation, and still believe spraying something into that maelstrom will change anything, must be romantics of the most hopeless type.

    • u.k(us),
      Well, I think it unlikely the Air Force white paper I linked to above was produced by hopeless romantics, and it’s got things in it that seem to . . beg to differ.
      “This study by William M. Gray, et al., investigated the hypothesis that “significant beneficial influences
      can be derived through judicious exploitation of the solar absorption potential of carbon black dust.”
      The study ultimately found that this technology could be used to enhance rainfall on the mesoscale, generate cirrus clouds, and enhance cumulonimbus (thunderstorm) clouds in otherwise dry areas” …
      “Numerous dispersal techniques have already been studied, but the most convenient, safe, and cost-effective method discussed is the use of afterburner-type jet engines to generate carbon particles while flying through the targeted air. This method is based on injection of liquid hydrocarbon fuel into the afterburner’s combustion gases. This direct generation method was found to be more desirable than another plausible method (i.e., the transport of large quantities of previously produced and properly sized carbon dust to the desired altitude).
      The carbon dust study demonstrated that small-scale precipitation enhancement is possible and has been
      successfully verified under certain atmospheric conditions.”

  24. The astute electricity market watchers over at Wattclarity do some figuring over the costs of flogging Tassie hydro power into the artificially stage managed Green power market and likely frying Basslink in the process-
    http://www.wattclarity.com.au/2016/06/update-on-cost-of-tassies-energy-crisis/
    You might like to think of Tasmania as the California of Oz but sadly without the international IT income to support their idiocy or the warm climate. The one great comfort energy rationalists can take from this typical Green debacle is when the bird really hits the fan, the powers that be couldn’t roll out the diesel gen-sets fast enough.

    • Question is, what will they do with those gen-sets once BassLink is fixed and the dams are full. 🙂

    • observa, you a need to observa da facts.
      Tasmania started going hydro in 1895 with the Dcuk Reach PS in Launceston’s Cataract Gorge, a completly natural 30 – 50 cumec annual average riverine flow. Tasmaania has twice the average rainfall of mainland Australia (which includes some very, very wet tropics) so you can see how the idea cottoned on and it was much more to do with industrializing the State rather than ‘greening’ it.
      To give you an idea of how nutty people are oregardingwhatever happens in Tasmania regarding the environment, I recall an incindiary letter to the editor some years back from an interstate visitor regarding a section of clearfelled forest alongside a highway on said visitor’s route back to the ferry terminal at Devonport. I imagine the visitor’s family were all utterly traumatised by the scene of buchenwald like devestation. The poor children must have needed monthes of counselling ( ‘there were just tree stumps everywhere, sniffle sniffle’ )
      Do you know what this scene of environmental mass murder of trees actually was? A plantation of 30 y.o. radiata pine! An effing pine plantation!!
      Giva me a breaka, obeserva!

    • Why don’t we give the greens their own state ? Move em all to Tasmania so they can live like hippys and we can sit back with some popcorn and enjoy the show .

      • they pretty much HAVE..and the poor locals now have bugger all industry or means to make a living
        all the govvy depts moved there..and theyre majority bleeding heart shit for brains warmists!

  25. “Basslink has located the fault in the undersea cable which connects Tasmania to Australia’s power grid but the discovery of further water damage has pushed back the repair date.”
    “Faulty sections of cable identified and removed Basslink cable expected to be out of action until mid-June Cause of initial breach in cable’s protective coating unknown A tear “the size of a human thumb” was responsible for shutting the cable down for more than three months and was a “one-off” event, according to Basslink operators.”
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-29/basslink-pinpoints-fault-in-undersea-cable-tasmania/7280820

  26. Hydro Tasmania (HT) was in the list of the top 500 carbon polluters. During the first year of the “proice ohn cahbon” HT made an extra AU$50mil profit.

    • What does a power producer, in a country where we don’t have that many power producers, making the top 500 list of carbon polluters, actually mean according to you? What’s the importance of this information?

      • I still don’t understand the importance of that information. How was the fact that Hyrdo Tasmania made the top 500 list used to support the carbon tax, and why does it matter?

      • The fact that it highlights the CO2 scam (Renewables, wind, solar, hydro ALL emit CO2 at every stage of manufacture, construction and power generation). Fairly obvious to me.

    • Few people are aware that hydro produces more CO2 per GWH than a gas fired CC installation. Creating a reservoir provides for the accumulation and decomposition of plant and animal matter, after all.

  27. Patrick MJD writes “Hydro Tasmania (HT) was in the list of the top 500 carbon polluters.”
    Reference?

      • [blockquote]Patrick MJD June 11, 2016 at 9:08 pm
        Get a 404 on the link to public government data, I wonder why?[/blockquote]
        Worked fine from New Zealand right now with Chrome on Win 10.

      • Oops sorry about the dud tags.

        Patrick MJD June 11, 2016 at 9:08 pm
        Get a 404 on the link to public government data, I wonder why?

        Worked fine from New Zealand right now with Chrome on Win 10.

      • I am using Chrome too, but I am in Australia. If I recall correctly HT Was about 250th in the list at a Govn’t website when I read it before the tax was introduced. It surprised me enough to make posts about it here at WUWT. I don’t recall if I posted links, though I probably would have.

    • Patrick MJD writes

      Here is a reference about profit as a result of the carbon tax.

      The Hydro buys and sells carbon credits so perhaps the list of “polluters” is driven simply by the number a company has. Also Hydro has contracts on the mainland and buys and sells mainland (Coal based) power to cover them. Such is the nature of being a player in the national market.

    • Whilst I can’t provide the reference, Hydro Tas transformers use a aerosol that leeches into the environment that has a far higher impact than CO2.
      As such it is considered as an effective carbon emission – similar to methane.
      Hence, a top 500 polluter

  28. During a drought in California, Hatfield was hired by the San Diego city council with a four-to-one vote and promised $10,000 in a handshake deal if he could make it rain.
    Although Hatfield was considered a rainmaker, his original profession was a sewing machine salesman.
    He convinced people he had the methods of creating rain from a chemical cocktail he formulated.
    To inject his rainmaking concoction into clouds overhead, he built a 20-foot tower in the area and burned the chemical mixture from the top of the structure. Witnesses claimed he shot the chemicals into the air like bombs, spurting fumes and smoke to ascend into the sky and convince the cumulus clouds to send down rain.
    He preferred the title “moisture accelerator.”
    Hatfield inspired the 1956 film “The Rainmaker,” starring Burt Lancaster and Katharine Hepburn.
    On January 1, 1916, the rain started in San Diego and it didn’t stop for the entire month, resulting in 30 inches of rain. The floods destroyed the dam, washed out roads, lifted railroad tracks, caused property damage across the region and killed an estimated 14 to 50 citizens.
    Hatfield never got his money. The city council claimed the floods were an act of God, not an act of Hatfield.

  29. So Greens hate hydro power, but are quite happy to take the carbon credits when they’re on offer? They don’t like dams because they flood koala homes, but a year before the World’s Biggest Carbon Tax it’s OK to run the dams up to 99% by burning coal instead. Then use all the water and burn out the cable (plus let the water drop to 13%).
    Doesn’t sound like they have many principles that don’t involve the words “tax” or “subsidy.”

  30. Surprised that no one has explicitly mentioned the East Coast Low that caused the flooding and destruction. This storm started near the Gold Coast and gradually moved south along the coast, eventually creating the flooding in Tasmania. Suggest you look up the Wikipaedia article on them. Also suggest you look at this article – at least it is up to date: http://www.weatherzone.com.au/news/east-coast-low-drenches-nsw/520323
    A bit of history and geography. Tasmania has mountains and high rainfall (normally). As such, hydro power is ideal, and Hydro Tasmania developed dams here there and anywhere that one would be viable. This meant that industries that consumed large amounts of electricity could be built based on cheap power. Eventually the Hydro Electric Commission made plans to build the Gordon-below-Franklin Dam, resisted by the nascent environmental groups. This was eventually given the go-ahead by the High Court, as the area had been determined to be a World Heritage area under a UN Convention, and thus fell within the “external powers” given by the Constitution to the Commonwealth government. During this, the then Attorney-General, Gareth Evans, obtained the nickname “Biggles” for authorizing an RAAF surveillance flight over Tasmania. See:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franklin_Dam_controversy for details of that imbrogolio.
    What can be fairly certain is that as a result of the non-building of the dam, industrialization in Tasmania was, and is, held up, resulting in Tasmania being the poorest State in the Commonwealth. It is also plausible that had the dam been built, there would have been sufficient hydro capacity to provide for Tasmania’s needs during the last six months.
    A footnote on the ECL, my brother lives a few miles west of Frankston, on the southern shore of Port Phillip Bay. He told me that the ECL had passed to the east, giving areas a few miles east the drenching downpours and winds which so much wrecked Sydney and other coastal areas, but he got no more than a very light shower or so.

  31. The cable’s been a disaster for Tasmania. With it the magnificent hydro system’s no longer a benefit to the broader Tasmanian public as a cheap clean energy source. Tasmania used to be a very industrious state. The low cost energy resulted in suitable productive employment for anyone who wanted it.
    Now Hydro Tasmania has effectively been hijacked with the cable. Before the benefit was a thriving productive economy. Now Tasmanians have high cost energy and the benefits from the hydro system flow straight to state government coffers and do little other than feed a growing public sector.
    Once Hydro Tas was run by engineers. Now it’s run by types described as having “business acumen”.
    Go figure.
    The worst of it can be seen in the local papers every week. In the stories of growing drug, crime and violence problems in certain areas. These people are what remain of the industrial class. Now with no industry and the structure and purpose it gave them their quality of life declines into mere existence. They are the innocent victims of it all.

    • JamesL writes

      Now Hydro Tasmania has effectively been hijacked with the cable. Before the benefit was a thriving productive economy. Now Tasmanians have high cost energy and the benefits from the hydro system flow straight to state government coffers and do little other than feed a growing public sector.

      The cable allowed Tasmania to properly enter the National Energy Market. Tasmanian’s no longer pay “Hydro” prices, they pay national prices. Prices derived largely from coal based energy production…

      • Indeed. In fact the spin originally was electricity would be sold to the mainland at peak rates and bought back at off peak rates.
        Entering the national energy market hasn’t been anything like the boon it was spruiked to be.
        What was built to benefit Tasmanian industry and households has become just a cashcow for the state government. It’s been hijacked.

      • The State Government has always owned the Hydro. All profits were always paid back to the State Government both before and after the Hydro’s entry to the market. Nothing has changed.

      • Everything has changed.
        The purpose of the HEC was to underpin a productive private sector with reliable energy at cost. That meant the public sector consiously relied on a vibrant private sector.
        Now that Hydro Tasmania is just a direct cashcow for the state government the public service perception is that the private sector doesn’t matter and with energy prices being higher national market prices any energy advantage Tasmanians had no longer exists.
        That along with horizontal fiscal equalisation has made Tasmania a Green basket case with a bloated public sector that’s hostile to most private endeavour.

      • JamesL writes

        HEC was to underpin a productive private sector with reliable energy at cost.

        The HEC hasn’t been in existence for decades. The Tasmanian Government has been receiving returns from the Hydro from well before Tasmania and the Hydro joined the NEM.

      • Yes with the addiction to the cash getting worse and worse. The cable and the running out of of the dams and consequent frying of the cable was just the junkie chasing a bigger hit. Damn near a fatal overdose.
        Perspective, the Tasmanian Hydro system’s just the public generator for the island state. Linking up with the national grid’s just worsened it’s diversion from purpose.

    • Apologies – I’ve found this post late. (Exam marking!)
      There are several things wrong with this post, I’m afraid Eric — and not just the photo of the Tasmanian Devil! (Devils are black and white, and if the British museum specimen has faded to be THAT brown they should seek a new specimen -– or a new taxidermist). Let me deal with some of the problematic statements in your post.
      ‘Tasmania thought they were on a winner, and allegedly got greedy they may have inadvertently burned out the power cable which connects the island state to mainland Australia, trying to sell too much premium “green” electricity to the mainland.’
      No – the cable failed on 20 December, well after the abolition of the carbon tax removed the premium for renewable energy.
      ‘With Tasmania now nearly 100% dependent on hydropower, with no backup available from the mainland, it didn’t take much of an adverse rainfall season to run the hydroelectric dams almost dry.’
      No – the record dry spring (caused by El Nino) came BEFORE Basslink failed. They were the reason the long-term storages (Great Lake and Lake Gordon) were no recharged after selling hydro energy at a premium while the carbon tax was in place. The cause of the cable failure has yet to be disclosed (if known), but it is likely it was importing thermal energy into Tasmania when it failed.
      ‘It looks like Tasmania’s green policies may have caused the death of at least one person, who died in flooding which was likely exacerbated by an unwise decision to attempt to boost an already torrential downpour.’
      That is a very long stretch. The 80 year old farmer at Ouse who is missing went out to feed his sheep and slipped into the floodwaters. The cloud seeding (a long standing practice that Hydro Tasmania estimates increases catchment yields by around 5%) took place just to the NE of Great Lake (see Lee’s map), one of two major storages, not just because of the volume of water, but the very high generating head (758m rated head). (The generating station is at the bottom of a very high escarpment). The weather system came in from the NE heading SE. Any enhancement of rainfall would have assisted both Great Lake and Lake Gordon, which is directly SE of Great Lake – and therefore would have assisted the restoration of levels in the two main storages. (Storages are now back to around 25% capacity, run-of-the-river dams are spilling and Basslink is repaired and commenced operating today – EXPORTING 112 MWh to the mainland).
      The seeding barely touched the Mersey catchment (again, see Lee’s map) and would be highly unlikely to have played a part in the death (the only confirmed death) at Latrobe (an elderly and infirm lady who perished in her house because her husband could not lift her to safety upstairs). The other (unconfirmed) death was at Evandale, through which I happened to pass yesterday. The gentleman rather foolishly attempted to cross a rather low bridge. The Bridge was still closed yesterday, but there is a higher and safer route he could have taken (and I took).
      The famers are long-standing opponents of cloud seeding, as they blame it for reduced rainfall in the east of the state (the prevailing westerly winds bring most of the rain).

      • Perhaps the tax on air was gone, but the idiotic RET remains, with its REC’s (Renewable energy certificates) which is even more devastating.

      • True Karabar, but Hydro Tasmania can generate RECs by selling peak power at a premium. I think it was the introduction and then pending abolition of the carbon tax that created the incentive to maximise revenue before abolition by running down storages. I think this is mainly a carbon tax and carbon tax abolition story: maximise profits while the tax was in place and then refill the storages later by importing thermal from the market. I think that led to the move away from the strategy of selling peak hydro at a high price on the NEM and importing cheaper base load at a low price. (Marcus’s excellent blog – of which I was previously unaware – has a nice graph showing this). The mistake was in not recognising the risk of Basslink failing, compounding the effects of El Nino.

  32. Western Tasmania is one of the wettest areas in the world and virtually uninhabited, why not build more dams and hydropower there?

    • Were about too at one stage but were stopped for green votes.
      The gordon below franklin stage was to be the second stage of the gordon developement. Would’ve given us a second crack at the water from the gordon.
      Miserable wet place the west of Tasmania is. It may as well be dammed in every place possible.
      Back after the gordon below franklin development was stopped a popular line was “dam the Derwent below Hobart”. With Hobart being Greens central it sounds like a better and better idea as time goes on.

      • You obviously have little or no appreciation of the wonderful world in which we live, James L. There is good development, and there is dumb development. Damming the Franklin would be the latter.
        As someone who has actually rafted the Franklin, I can assure all readers that it is an absolutely magnificent place. Yes it’s wild, uncompromising, wet, cold and people die in it. But it’s priceless not worthless. It should be left alone, un-dammed. There are other better options, such as nuclear or coal or (sensibly) imported power from the mainland.
        If you need limestone for building purposes or to make cement, you don’t go ripping into the Great Barrier Reef. If you need power in Tasmania, you don’t dam one of the best wild rivers in the world. That would be dumb.
        When the original proposal to dam the Franklin was put forward in the 1970’s, over half of Tasmanian houses didn’t have insulation. Tasmania’s a cold place. Back then the Hydroelectric Commission (HEC) and Premier “Electric Eric” were totally out of control, looking to dam (and damn) anything they could, and the Franklin was simply next in line. What Tasmania needed then was smarter thinking. Same applies now.
        BTW, I work as a geo in the oil industry and I’m not a greenie at all. The Greens have made Tasmania the poorest state in Australia with their anti-development stance on everything but on the Franklin they were and are right.

      • Joe from Perth is on to it. Even the most wacky eco-loon of them all, none other than Bob Brown, at the time insisted that coal was a better option. Of course in those days CO2 was supposed to be causing another Ice Age. He had the right answer for the wrong reasons.

      • Correct, Joe from Perth. I did some research on Tasmania’s coal resources at the time and the Wilderness Society loved the idea of coal. Shell had a prospect at Mt Nicholas and CSR a brown coal prospect near Westbury. They even interviewed me for a TV advertisement for the referendum saying that coal was an alternative to the Gordon-Below-Franklin.

  33. Aurora energy sell domestic power for around 21c per kWh. If you want 100% renewable then it’s another 6c per kWh. This is for power sold in Tasmania which would be renewable from Hydro if they didn’t sell the green power to the mainland. The flip side is Aurora then buy cheap power from coal from the mainland and sell that the inflated price of 21c per kWh. We understand that the dam levels were driven down by Hydro Tas selling as much green power to the mainland as it could, relying on power imports if the dam levels dropped too low. If they had just left Hydro power for Tasmania then we wouldn’t be in this mess.

  34. The aim of the BassLink cable was to sell expensive power at peak times to the other eastern states, and buy off peak cheaper coal fired power from the Yallourn stations. But with the carbon tax and greed the original purpose of the cable was forgotten leading to 23% of water left in the dams mid December before the cable mis-functioned. Seriously, it is difficult to justify management decisions for this knowing Tasmania is in a winter rainfall zone and the summer months from December until about April/ May can be quite dry.
    As to the speculation about cloud seeding causing the floods is just not supported by the evidence. The death of the man at Ouse was because the river flooded due to overflow from Lake Augusta. Liawenee got a 100 mm. (4 inches) over a short period and from a northerly- north-easterly weather pattern which is uncommon.

    • The article doesn’t actually itemize the costs, does it. How much of that cost is as a result of the Hydro having to buy mainland power (potentially at spot prices!) to service its mainland contracts for the 6 months?
      That wouldn’t be a “green” problem, would it, nor would it even be a “greed” problem.

  35. why not check before posting??
    “Tasmania thought they were on a winner, and allegedly got greedy – they may have inadvertently burned out the power cable which connects the island state to mainland Australia, trying to sell too much premium “green” electricity to the mainland.”
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-29/basslink-pinpoints-fault-in-undersea-cable-tasmania/7280820
    Updated 29 Mar 2016, 8:56am
    Basslink has located the fault in the undersea cable which connects Tasmania to Australia’s power grid but the discovery of further water damage has pushed back the repair date.
    Key points:
    •Faulty sections of cable identified and removed
    •Basslink cable expected to be out of action until mid-June
    •Cause of initial breach in cable’s protective coating unknown
    A tear “the size of a human thumb” was responsible for shutting the cable down for more than three months and was a “one-off” event, according to Basslink operators.

    • Shhhh. You’ll wreck everything. Never mind that I could find the information that escaped Mr Worrall in about 5 minutes of googling. Never mind that Tasmania didn’t run out of power, and does have backup generators that could have been used if necessary. Never mind that it wasn’t trying to export too much power that caused problems with the cable.
      Never mind any of that. The article is just fine as it is. Just put that aside, pull with the team, and get on with laughing or frothing at how stupid greenies are, because it’s the right thing to do.

  36. Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    “It looks like Tasmania’s green policies may have caused the death of at least one person, who died in flooding which was likely exacerbated by an unwise decision to attempt to boost an already torrential downpour.”
    Greens – killing the Earth (and people) to “Save” it. Shock news.
    Read this latest Green-zealot doozy…

  37. I would suggest that the article should be updated, but there wouldn’t be much left. All that’s left with the “facts” removed is a few insults directed in the direction of greens.

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