#BoM

Jo Nova tears strips off the BoM

Jo Nova has published a thought-provoking piece on the Bureau of Meteorology.

For generations, it was a Guinness Book of Records type thing. Now it’s gone.
In 1924 Marble Bar set a world record of the most consecutive days of 100 °F (37.8 °C) or above, during an incredible period of 160 days starting in 1923. It was legend — but thanks to the genius homogenized adjustments, we now find out all along it was wrong. It’s another ACORN triumph, rewriting history, extinguishing the hot days of days long gone. The experts at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) have reanalyzed the temperatures from 4000 km away and nine decades in the future and apparently it wasn’t that hot…

…But never fear, the brilliant minds of the BoM are correcting past mistakes with secret methods they cannot explain to mere mortals outside the sacred guild of weather druids. Luckily for us, the new super-sensitive small box electronic gizmos that record one-second spikes of warmth from passing trucks and radiated heat from tarmac and walls is The Truth Hallelujah Brother. In another ten years, the climate of Marble Bar circa 1924 will be so much cooler. I bet the dead will be delighted. I can’t imagine why the BoM didn’t issue a press release to let the world know that Australia now doesn’t hold the longest hottest record which now goes to Death Valley.”

The rest of the article can be found here. We need a Royal Commission into BoM.

On the face of it, if the BoM is to be regarded as the hall monitor for our government to set climate policy prescriptions against, shouldn’t taxpayers and our lawmakers be entitled to 100% transparency of how BoM derives its predictions? And no, it shouldn’t be a question of we mere peons not being of sufficient intellect to be able to interpret it.

There should be standards that can face proper scrutiny and are comparable to other global meteorological bodies. If BoM’s methodology is superior, why isn’t it sharing it with the world and beating its chest to make us revere it even more? Isn’t that how we save the planet by promoting our own as the best in class that others should follow? As it stands, ASX listed companies aren’t allowed to audit their own accounts so why is BoM allowed to escape independent scrutiny of its publicly funded procedures? Given 85% of the BoM is in senior management, we might be justified in asking further questions as to whether other factors are at play.

BoM could tell you but they’d have to kill you (or charge a fortune)

Following on from yesterday’s report on the Bureau of Meteorology’s (BoM) fuzzy reporting standards which ignored satellite data, Jo Nova once again reports on the status of the ‘undisclosed’ methodology that we aren’t privy to.

On the face of it, if the BoM is to be regarded as the hall monitor for our government to set policy prescriptions against, shouldn’t the taxpayer and our lawmakers be entitled to 100% transparency of how BoM derives its predictions? And no, it shouldn’t be a question of we mere peons not being of sufficient intellect to be able to interpret it.

There should be standards that can face proper scrutiny and are comparable to other global meteorological bodies. If BoM’s methodology is superior, why isn’t it sharing it with the world and beating its chest to make us revere it even more? Isn’t that how we save the planet by promoting our own as the best in class that others should follow?

The following should boil your blood.

“The BOM Technical Advisory Forum report is out. Finally there is the black and white admission that the BOM “adjusted” dataset cannot be replicated independently, has not been replicated by any other group, and even more so, that the BOM will not provide enough information for anyone who wants to try.

As we have said all along, the all new ACORN wonder-data was not created with the scientific method. Adjustments to Australian temperature data were done with a black box mystery technique that only the sacred guild at the BOM are allowed to know. Far from being published and peer reviewed, the methods are secret, and rely on — in their own words — a “supervised process” of “expert judgment” and “operator intervention”. In other words, a BOM employee makes their best guess, ruling in or out the “optimal” choices, making assumptions that are not documented anywhere.

It’s a “trust us” approach. Would we let an ASX company audit their own books? Would you buy shares in such a company, or let it inform national policy on billion dollar schemes?

Here is the entire section on replication from page 9 and 10 (below). This is what any semi-skilled PR operative would write if they were trying to justify keeping their methods secret. My translations included.

Only BOM staff are smart enough to understand “scientifically complex”  thermometers (this is something that engineers, astrophysicists, aeronautics experts and physicists would not be able to do, is that what they are saying?):

The Forum considers that the algorithms and processes used for adjustment and homogenisation are scientifically complex and a reasonably high level of expertise is needed to attempt analysis of the ACORN-SAT data. For this reason the Forum had some queries about the ability to reproduce findings by both experts and members of the public.

Thinly veiled put-down coming:

It would be useful for the Bureau to provide advice about the necessary level of end-user expertise (notwithstanding a likely tendency for end-users to feel qualified to attempt such an analysis).

It might be more “useful” if the BOM staff provided their personal exam results in fluid dynamics, heat flow, mathematics and statistics. Or even just their resumes? We’ll find people who outscored them. OK?

Here’s the statement that no one has replicated the Australian temperature set:

The Forum felt that reproducing the Bureau’s ACORN-SAT daily analyses would be a very onerous task, and advice was supplied at the Forum meeting day that, while international groups have provided independent data homogenized at the monthly time-scale, no groups other than the Bureau are known to have attempted to produce or analyse an homogenized daily data set for Australia. One option would  the Bureau to work with local and international collaborators with the appropriate skill set to broadly assess the ACORN-SAT daily homogenisation methodologies.

Here is the statement that no one can replicate them because only the BOM knows how it was done (my bolding):

The Forum noted that the extent to which the development of the ACORN-SAT dataset from the raw data could be automated was likely to be limited, and that the process might better be described as a supervised process in which the roles of metadata and other information required some level of expertise and operator intervention. The Forum investigated the nature of the operator intervention required and the bases on which such decisions are made and concluded that very detailed instructions from the Bureau are likely to be necessary for an end-user who wishes to reproduce the ACORN-SAT findings. Some such details are provided in Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research (CAWCR) technical reports (e.g. use of 40 best correlated sites for adjustments, thresholds for adjustment, and so on); however, the Forum concluded that it is likely to remain the case that several choices within the adjustment process remain a matter of expert judgment and appropriate disciplinary knowledge.

The process can’t be “automated” — which means it can’t be described by a set of rules other people, or other computers could follow. It’s a bit of a red herring: skeptics have never demanded “automation”. We just want explanations. The crux of science is replication, not automation. If ad hoc judgements were part of the process, they need to be recorded and their impact on the numbers included in the processing from raw data to final product. Justifications can come afterwards; let’s first establish what happened.

These are weak and vague promises here for something that is not just a basic tenet of science, but should be obligatory for government funded work as well. (Bolding all mine):

The Forum recommends that the Bureau work towards providing robust code that supports a level of automation that allows sensitivity analyses to be reasonably undertaken by independent parties.

What “independent re-analysis”? There is no independent analysis of all of ACORN.

This goal could be pursued through a careful documentation of existing code and feedback from the independent re-analysis recommended in the preceding paragraph.

The Bureau would like to help but it costs too much, and skeptics will have to pay more for answers from these tax-funded workers:

While the Bureau expressed willingness to support end-users who wished to reproduce findings or conduct independent analyses using the ACORN-SAT data, subsequent follow-up on such intentions may have significant resource implications. It is thus recommended that the Bureau limits the amount of assistance it provides end-users and includes a statement on the ACORN-SAT website that while reasonable assistance may be provided by the Bureau, extensive assistance could not be provided without an appropriate at-cost charge. Such limitations are likely to also limit the ability of end-users to replicate ACORN-SAT findings, but the resource implications of offering open-ended support to end-users may be substantial.

The Bureau of Meteorology Budget was 344.2 million in 2014-15. The Australian climate is a national crisis, but the Bureau can’t employ one person to answer questions about its secret methods?

When will the BOM start to behave as though the climate is important? When will the Greens demand science be done properly for the sake of the environment?

BoM’s hottest ever year claim was actually the 4th

Jo Nova has once again caught the Bureau of Meteorology being selective in its reporting.

She noted,

For forty years NASA satellites have been circling the Earth covering our landmass day and night.  But yet again, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology has released the obligatory “hottest ever year” media release without mentioning that it wasn’t the hottest year in the far more accurate satellite record of Australia, and that this new “record” depends entirely on adjustments and on ignoring all the data recorded in the 1800s. Once again they miss the change to remind Australians that it was almost certainly hotter for hundreds of years in the Holocene optimum too. Also unmentioned is that there is no trend in droughts and rainfall for the last 178 years.

2019 was the 4th hottest year since 1979 when the UAH satellite data set begins.

Jo Nova continues,

Perhaps in 2020 the Australian Bureau of Meteorology will set their own record, and explain for the first time how and why they adjust their data continuously and post hoc. The Australian surface data is all changed with a mystical secret technique that cools historic thermometers in paddocks, warms them in cities, and can’t be explained to anyone outside the sacred BOM guild. They also might explain why they insist on ignoring the superior satellite data and try to measure a vast continent with flawed surface stations placed next to airport tarmacs, car parks, asphalt, incinerators, skyscrapers, super highways, basically in sites and that are often not compliant with the BOM’s own standards and using super fast electronic sensors in a way that is not WMO compliant either. Let’s not forget they also get data from boxes that are a quarter of the original size, that move all the time, and that many modern records are just meaningless electronic one second “moments” that could never have been recorded in 1910 (or even in 1980). With so many scientific bombs, the marvel is that 2019 wasn’t even “warmer”.

FNF Media would only add why do people blindly follow the data published by the very government agencies they don’t trust? As Ronald Reagan once said,

The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

We’ve pointed out before that 85% of the BoM is ranked APS6 or higher I.e. senior management. Too many chiefs and not enough Indians. Best to create a narrative to sustain the quango.

10 minutes worth spending

Amazing what pesky facts can do to destroy narratives. How is it that an organization which receives $1m a day can’t even look at historical data recorded before all this climate alarmist malarkey ever existed? Yes, days were hotter in 1910 and 1896.

If the Bureau of Meteorology had a shred of credibility it would at the very least be making reference to recorded temperatures prior to 1910, even if it hasn’t been taken by them. Not the first time the BOM has been caught making grandiose statements.

It’s nothing short of disgraceful. A complicit media just plays the alarmist’s tune. Politicians then set stupid policy based on fudged reporting.

Hottest ever day in Oz? Only if you ignore history

Can you really trust anything that comes out of the mouth of the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM)? Maybe it is the hottest within their records but maybe that is the point –  they need better records.  It only has a warming bias.

It wasn’t that long ago that the BoM said Penrith was the warmest spot on the planet, recording its highest temperature ever, having “broken the all-time maximum temperature record for … the Sydney metropolitan area.” Unfortunately, as alarmist bells were ringing inside the BoM, it forgot to record the fact Penrith Lakes started recording temperatures from 1995 and it missed a much higher temperature recorded in nearby Richmond in 1939. There was no question it was hot, but perhaps heat-stroke caused the BoM to make this embarrassing error.

Even worse BoM is anti-cooling. At Goulburn Airport, the lowest ever July temperature was –-9.1°C, recorded in 1988. In 2017 that was broken when the temperature dropped to -10.4°C. The BoM recorded -10.0°C. Silence. Where was the BoM when it was the coldest recorded day in summer just a few weeks back? Deathly silent.

Maybe an organisation that has 85% of its staff at APS6 or above (i.e. senior management) needs alarmism to justify its existence.

As Joanne Nova writes brilliantly in her column today,

But look at the temperatures reported in newspapers across the country during the month of January in 1896 when people were going mad with axes, dropping dead in coaches and railway stations and birds were falling lifeless from the trees?

She continues,

History down the memory hole: Links go to the newspaper article of the day

Geraldton W.A. Wednesday, 1 Jan 1896 – 114° Fat Geraldton observatory“.
Geraldton W.A. Thursday, 2 Jan – 115° FA child succumbs to the heat. ” at “ Northampton, where the thermometer ranged even higher than at Geraldton.”
Geraldton W.A. Friday, 3 Jan – 125° F most papers, 115° F in some (possibly a date error as it matches the previous day).
Perth W.A. 3 Jan – 112° F ” Five deaths have been reported in the city on account of the great heat.”
Mullewa W.A. 3 Jan – 121° FThe town has been enveloped in clouds of dust.”and “crowds of people have bad to sleep out of doors. Water is very scarce.”
Carnarvon W.A. 3 Jan – 121° F Brick House station “It is farther reported that the mercury has been up as high as 125 in the shade there.”
Pinjarrah W.A. 3 Jan – 114° F followed by a minimum of 97° F.
Southern Cross W.A. Week ending 5 Jan – ”averaged 115deg.” “It has often been as high as 122deg.” Mr Mckay died in his office chair of heat apoplexy.
Cue W.A. Sunday, 5 Jan – ”Three weeks of uninterrupted excessive heat“ ”each day exceeded 105“ ”on two occasions reaching 118.
Wilcannia N.S.W. Monday, 6 Jan – 117° FWyalong follows close with 114°. Then come Nowra and Corowa with 112.”
Isisford Qld. 6 Jan – 112° F ” The Government Astronomer states that the high temperature has been caused by a heat wave which has come across the continent from Port Darwin,“.
Bourke N.S.W. 6 Jan – ”The fact is that out of 93 weather telegrams sent in, 64 gave temperatures ranging from 100° at Cooma, Tabulam, Tenterfield, and a few other places, up to 118° in the shade recorded at Brewarrina and at Bourke. There were 22 stations which reported temperatures ranging from 110° to 118° inclusive.
Canowindra N.S.W. 6 Jan – 114° FReaching the highest point on record“.
Farina S.A. 6 Jan – 113.5° Fthe place occupied by the thermometer being a shadebox such as is used at the Adelaide Observatory.
Ungarie N.S.W 6 Jan – 125° Frural districts do not always recognise the nice distinctions between true shade and other shade.”
Farina S.A. Thursday, 9 Jan – 112.3° F
Quirindi N.S.W. Monday, 13 Jan – 120° F. Out of 54 temperatures shown on that list only one does not meet the 95° F (35° C) heatwave threshold.
Bulli N.S.W. 13 Jan – 115° FThis has been, the hottest day known“.
Kiama N.S.W. 13 Jan – 117° F ” A Scorcher Everywhere. Death and Distress.
Parramatta N.S.W. 13 Jan – 111 ° FFruit Broiled on the Trees.” “Birds and Animals Drop Dead.”
Camden N.S.W.  Tuesday, 14 Jan – 123°F ”Great Heat Wave ” “LIST OF CASUALTIES.”
Araluen N.S.W. Friday, 17 Jan – 110° FIt was thought that the heat had passed, but it was back again to-day
Brewarrina N.S.W 17 Jan – 122° F “125 deaths attributable to heat apoplexy” (Sydney).
West Wyalong  N.S.W 17 Jan – 114° FThe thermometer at the post office“.
Nannine W.A. Saturday, Jan 18 – ”After about three weeks of most oppressive heat, with the thermometer frequently registering 120deg. in the shade, the weather has broken.”
Farina S.A. Tuesday, Jan 21 – 112.3° FOld residents say this is the hottest summer they have ever experienced.”
Broken Hill N.S.W. Wednesday, Jan 22 – 113½° F ”Two horses dropped dead in the street from the effects of the heat.
Farina S.A. 22 Jan – 113° FThe temperature of our police cell was 148° several times.”
Charleville  or  Cunnamulla QLD. 22 Jan – 120.5 ° F (116 °F official ) “The average daily temperature from the 1st instant exceeded 114 degrees.” 25 days!!
Olary S.A. Thursday, 23 Jan – 116° Fand dust flying in clouds during the afternoon.”
Adelaide S.A. 23 Jan – 111° F “Herbert Crown, an ostler at the Langham Hotel, fell down in King William-street this afternoon with sunstroke.”
Swan Hill Vic 23 Jan – 116° F “To-day, it is again exceedingly oppressive”.
Farina S.A. 23 Jan – 114.3° FFive deaths have occurred in the town and one outside“.
Mildura Vic 23 Jan – 120° FPHENOMENAL HEAT IN VICTORIA.
Broken Hill 23 Jan – 115° FDr Enill took the temperature of the body an hour and a hall after death, and found that it was 109¾ .”
Halbury S.A. 23 Jan – 118° FMany children are unwell, and it will go hard with them unless a change soon, comes.”.
Rapanyup Vic 23 Jan – 113° FTo-day it is again exceedingly oppressive“.
Natimuk Vic 23 Jan – 115° F ”Telegrams from the country districts show that the heat was general throughoutthe colony.”(Victoria).
Bega N.S.W. 23 Jan – 113° FThe minimum heat during last night was 73 . To-day the heat was terrific In the true shade the reading was 113 at 2pm“.
Geelong Vic 23 Jan – 110° F ” Largely due to a burning north-west wind.
Hergott Springs S.A. 23 Jan “On three different days it showed 118° and three times 116°, the average for the last month having been 113°F. “
Grenfell and Ivanhoe N.S.W. 23 Jan – 122 ° FAt Ivanhoe the heat was so intense that the mail horses fell dead on the road.”
Charleville / Cunnamulla QLD. Friday, 24 Jan – 126/5° FThe official readings at the Post Office are lower; but the instruments used are placed in a thickly-planted garden which has been heavily irrigated during the last week,” So at which town was this garden and non stevenson screen recording? The clue is in the name “Grosvenor” here.
Cunnamulla QLD 24 Jan – ” The official record showed a reading on Tuesday of 111 degs. in the shade, on Wednesday 116 degs., and to-day 117 degs. On Wednesday at midnight, the high temperature of 99 degs. was recorded.”
Isisford QLD 24 Jan – “The thermometer on Monday rose to 114 degs., on Tuesday to 112 degs., on “Wednesday 115 degs., and to-day 118 degs. The country is very bare and the water is giving out fast.”
Wilcannia N.S.W 24 Jan – 123° F “not a breath of wind was stirring during the night”.
Hillston N.S.W. 24 Jan- 115° FAnything under 110 is now beginning to be looked upon as contemptibly cool.”
Wilcannia N.S.W.  Saturday, 25 Jan – 120° FThe thermometer fell 50deg. at Wilcannia, but a death from sunstroke occurred there yesterday.”

Plus

125°F at Middle camp station Netely (Perhaps 160 kilometres south-east of Broken Hill).
129°F at Gundabooka Station near Bourke. (or try here).
125°F at Nelyambo station (Near Nyngan?).
121°F at Namagee N.S.W. “There is no appearance of a change“.
125°F at White Cliffs.
124°F at New Angeldool,  Jan 27.
124°F at Mossgiel (Where is that?).

So when all is said and told, it is clear our BoM needs a thorough investigation into the practices.
And shame on the media for parroting this alarmism with no effort to fact check the claims. They are too busy having a go at PM Scott Morrison for taking a holiday and not being on the ground dispensing water bottles at bushfire sites. Did they forget that a recent PM is actually fighting fires right now? Obviously Tony Abbott doesn’t count!

Of course the BoM will tell us it was the hottest “average” day. Can we be sure every single number was measured the same as it was the previous time with the same number of readings? As far as averages go, statistically speaking, what was the mean and median? What were the outliers? What were the errors?

Given the BoM has been caught placing temperature equipment in areas that amplify heat (i.e. shrinking the size of Stevenson screen boxes or placing next to bitumen (which we might add doesn’t meet BoM’s own criteria)) and has hid 40 years worth of hot days, is it any wonder we get such outcomes?
In closing we should think that the taxpayer doesn’t need to hand over $1m a day for the BoM to peddle climate alarmism. There are plenty of bodies that will gladly do that for free.

Campaign BoMbing

Good to see the climate alarmists deep in a trance fiddling data from a century ago to get a warming effect. Jo Nova notes,

What a bombshell. Despite the non-stop stories of unprecedented heat the original data at 60 of the oldest sites across Australia shows there are no more Very-Hot-Days now than there were early last century. That’s no trend in 40 degree days for 100 years. No change – that is, until the Bureau of Meteorology adjusts the data…

Now that we know the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) has 85% its staff in senior management it isn’t hard to take a cynical position that they are creating work for themselves to justify their existence. Best create a warming scare so the money keeps rolling in. Utopia.

This can only end in tears

ECB.png

As Sweden’s economy slows to the worst economic growth rate in 5 years under a negative interest rate policy, one would think the Swedish Central Bank (Riksbank) would be seeking to prudently manage its asset book on the basis of appropriate risk/reward as opposed to lecturing Australia and Canada on their respective carbon footprints. What we are witnessing is yet another discrete move by authorities to manipulate markets based on fantasy rather than fact.  The hypocrisy is extreme as we shall discover.

While the Riksbank should have complete freedom in how it wishes to deploy capital, we should view this is a pathetic sop to the cabal at the European Central Bank (ECB). Since when did central bankers become experts on climate change? The RBA is no better. Deputy Governor, Guy Debelle, gave a speech in March 2019 on the risks posed by climate change which based prophecies on the data accident-prone IPCC and Bureau of Meteorology. Why not seek balance? Easier to fold to group think so as not to be outed as a pariah. Utterly gutless. Our own APRA is also pushing this ridiculous agenda on climate change reporting. It is willful negligence.

While it is true that on a per capita basis, Australia and Canada’s emissions are higher than the global average, why doesn’t the Riksbank give us credit for lowering that amount 11.4% since 2000? Even Canada has reduced its carbon emissions by 7.3% over the last 18 years. Admittedly Sweden’s emissions per capita have fallen 21.9% according to the IEA. Greta will be happy.

Why hasn’t the Riksbank taken China or India to task for their 169.9% or 94.7% growth in CO2 emissions respectively? There are plenty of oil-producing nations – Qatar, UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Oman that have worse per capita outcomes than Australia or Canada. Do these countries get special dispensation from the wrath of the Riksbank? Clearly.

The US has pulled out of the Paris Climate Accord. If the US has marginally lower emissions per capita (15.74t/CO2-e) than Australia (16.45t/CO2-e), isn’t a double standard to write,

The conditions for active climate consideration are slightly better in our work with the foreign exchange reserves. To ensure that the foreign exchange reserves fulfil their purpose, they need to consist of assets that can be rapidly converted to money even when the markets are not functioning properly. Our assessment is that the foreign exchange reserves best correspond to this need if they consist of 75 per cent US government bonds, 20 per cent German and 5 per cent British, Danish and Norwegian government bonds.

Essentially Riksbank commitment to climate change is conditional. The US which is responsible for 13.8% of global emissions can be 75% of holdings. Australia at 1.3% can’t. No doubt sacrificing Queensland Treasury Corp, WA Treasury Corp and Albertan bonds from a Riksbank balance sheet perspective will have little impact on the total. In short, it looks to be pure tokenism. The Riksbank has invested around 8% of its foreign exchange reserves in Australian and Canadian central and federal government bonds. So perhaps at the moment, it is nothing but substitution from state to federal. Why not punish NSW TCorp for being part of a state that has 85%+ coal-fired power generation?

At the very least the Riksbank admits its own hypocrisy.

The Riksbank needs to develop its work on how to take climate change into consideration in asset management. For instance, we need a broader and deeper analysis of the issuers’ climate footprint. At the same time, one must remember that the foreign exchange reserves are unavoidably dominated by US and German government bonds. The Riksbank’s contribution to a better development of the climate will, therefore, remain small. This is entirely natural. The important decisions on how climate change should be counteracted in Sweden are political and should be taken by the government and the Riksdag (parliament).

Still, what hope have we got when Benoît Cœuré, member of the Executive Board of the ECB, lecturing those on “Scaling up Green Finance: The Role of Central Banks.” He noted,

2018 has seen one of the hottest summers in Europe since weather records began. Increasing weather extremes, rising sea levels and the Arctic melting are now clearly visible consequences of human-induced warming. Climate change is not a theory. It is a fact.

Reading more of this report only confirms the commitment of the ECB to follow the UN’s lead and deliberately look to misallocate capital based on unfounded claims of falling crop yields and rising prices (the opposite is occurring) and rising hurricane and drought activity (claims that even the IPCC has admitted there is little or no evidence by climate change). Sweden is merely being a well-behaved schoolboy.

Cœuré made the explicit claim, “The ECB, together with other national central banks of the Eurosystem, is actively supporting the European Commission’s sustainable finance agenda.

CM thinks the biggest problem with this “agenda” is that it risks even further misallocation of capital within global markets already drowning in poorly directed investment. It isn’t hard to see what is going on here. It is nothing short of deliberate market manipulation by trying to increase the cost of funding to conventional energy using farcical concocted “climate risks” to regulate them out of existence.

Cœuré made this clear in his speech,

once markets and credit risk agencies price climate risks properly, the amount of collateralised borrowing counterparties can obtain from the ECB will be adjusted accordingly.

What do you know? On cue, Seeking Alpha notes,

Cutting €2bn of yearly investments, the European Union will stop funding oil, natural gas and coal projects at the end of 2021 as it aims to become the first climate-neutral continent.

All CM will say is best of luck with this decision. Just watch how this kneeling at the altar of the pagan god of climate change will completely ruin the EU economy. The long term ramifications are already being felt. The EU can’t escape the fact that 118mn of its citizens (up from 78m in 2007) are below the poverty line. That is 22% of the population. So why then does Cœuré mention, in spite of such alarming poverty, that taking actions (that will likely increase unemployment) will be helped by “migration [which] has contributed to dampening wage growth…in recent years, thereby further complicating our efforts to bring inflation back to levels closer to 2%.

Closer to home, the National Australia Bank (NAB) has joined in the groupthink by looking to phase out lending to thermal coal companies by 2035. The $760 million exposure will be cut in half by 2028. If climate change is such a huge issue why not look to end it ASAP? This is terrible governance.

Why not assess thermal coal companies on the merits of the industry’s future rather than have the acting-CEO Philip Chronican make a limp-wristed excuse that it is merely getting in line with the government commitment to Paris? If lending to thermal coal is good for shareholders in 2036, who cares what our emissions targets are (which continue to fall per capita)? Maybe this is industry and regulator working hand-in-hand?

The market has always been the best weighing mechanism for risk. Unfortunately, for the last two decades, global central bank policy has gone out of its way to prevent the market from clearing. Now it seems that the authorities are taking actions that look like collusion to bully the ratings agencies into marking down legitimate businesses that are being punished for heresy.

This will ironically only make them even better investments down the track when reality dawns, just as CM pointed out with anti-ESG stocks. Just expect the entry points to these stocks to be exceedingly cheap. Buy what the market hates. It looks as though the bureaucrats are set to make fossil fuel companies penny stocks.

Why are there so many chiefs but so few Indians in the APS?

APS6.png

Did you know that your Australia Public Service (APS) at a federal level is becoming more bloated among executive management ranks?  According to the APS website, “An APS Level 6 employee would generally be required to undertake work that is complex in nature, work under limited direction with the opportunity for reasonable autonomy and accountability. Employees at this level exercise both initiative and judgment in the interpretation of policy and in the application of practices and procedures.

This first chart highlights the level of APS Level 6 (and above) positions as a percentage of total staff. It is not an exhaustive list of every single department or agency but a large cut of the main ones. CM left out the Australian Tax Office (ATO) for obvious reasons. Although a post-divorce audit wouldn’t reveal very much…we also left out the Department of Defence due to the inconsistency in the annual report data.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) is the worst offender, with over 85% of the staff classified as APS level 6 or higher. A marginal lift on a decade ago. CM already reported on the poor performance of the BoM earlier in the week.

Dept of Treasury (DoT) and the Dept of Industry, Innovation & Science (DIIS) also have three-quarters of staff in senior positions. DoT is almost 10% higher and DIIS c.5% more vs 2008-2009. We literally have to get down to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) to break the 50% threshold between management and non-execs.

While there is a point to be made that some career public servants deserve to be promoted,  surely it is a fair question to ask why there are so many more chiefs than Indians in most of the departments?

Salary APS

Headcount in some departments has fallen but on the whole, the total employee cost has risen. You can see this below.

Cost Employee

Mathematically, the more junior levels would seem to be leaving these government departments as opposed to the old guard stepping down in order for APS Level 6+ percentages to keep rising.

Staff number.png

A point worth mentioning within these figures has been the amalgamation of certain departments such as the Dept of Human Services (DHS),  which includes the merger of Centrelink & Medicare (in 2009). This explains the large jump in staff numbers thereafter. Although the Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet trebling over the last decade seems somewhat excessive.

The Dept of Home Affairs (DHA) now includes the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, Multicultural affairs, ASIO, the Australian Federal Police, Australian Border Force, the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission and AUSTRAC so the more than doubling in size does not appear inconsistent.

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When analysing average salaries in these departments it is clear that the Dept of Foreign Affairs is the place to get paid. Average salaries are around $210,000, up from $170,000 a decade ago. Although given the low base, the Dept of Human Services has risen the most. Do note DHS has the best ratio of 25% chiefs to 75% Indians.

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Of course, inflation would explain away some of the salary increases over the last decade but it still stands to reason that the growing percentages of senior staff within the public service are continuing to put upward pressure on budgets.

In private enterprise, it would be unheard of to have these types of management to employee ratios. While some may argue that certain departments fulfil roles the private sector might struggle to do as efficiently, given the bulk of these public services have 50%+ management structures suggests there is plenty of streamlining that could be achieved. How is that the BoM has 85% of staff in management yet less than 3% performing the role of research scientists? Despite all that management experience at BoM how is it so many errors and mistakes are made? It literally doesn’t add up.

Too many chiefs, not enough indians

Minimum temperature outlook map

Did you know that 85.1% of the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) staff are classified as APS6 or higher? That means the overwhelming majority of people in BoM are classified as senior management with executive responsibilities within the public service. The APS website notes the following:

An APS Level 6 employee would generally be required to undertake work that is complex in nature, work under limited direction with the opportunity for reasonable autonomy and accountability. Employees at this level exercise both initiative and judgment in the interpretation of policy and in the application of practices and procedures.

Of the 1,671 staff, the BoM has 3 apprentices, 5 graduates, 1 APS level 1, 3 APS level 2, 61 APS level 3, 29 APS level 4 and 115 APS level 5. All data gleaned from the Annual Report 2017-18. Almost $180m in salaries are spent on them.

Is there a real need to have so much senior management, especially as the outputs have come under much scrutiny in recent years? The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has 50.8% of its staff in APS6 positions or above. It too is a data collector. Shouldn’t seniority numbers more closely align with the ABS at the BoM?

The Deptartment of Environment & Energy has 51% of its staff at APS level 6 and above. The Department of Finance 57.2%. DFAT 67%. The Department of Health 71%. Alarming that half of staff are in senior positions in many government agencies, but 85% for BoM?

Should we be surprised at the number of hiccups with measuring equipment when the BoM’s field offices have consolidated from 55 to 36 in the last 5 years? Should we applaud the consolidation as decisive leadership on cost containment or question larger sized field offices leading to suboptimal reporting outcomes and the propensity for making mistakes from remote stations?

JoNova notes a whole raft of incidents at the BoM. From using temperatures in Victoria to help adjust temps in Tasmania to installing thermometers atop hot tin roofing and bitumen. Homogenized data. The lot. It is frankly disgraceful.

Several highly dedicated amateur meteorologists are methodically going through the BOM’s weather stations. Approximately 18% of them do not meet the BOM’s own criteria for “best practice”. Not only that but the BOM’s electronic thermometers record the temperature every second. The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) states that records must be continuously averaged over each running two minutes to cut out the risk of temperature “spikes”. However the BOM refuses to do this meaning that a thermometer at the edge of an airport, for example,  receives a three second spike from a taxiing aircraft, that becomes set as the maximum temperature for the day.

Remember the BoM went on the offensive claiming the hottest day ever until having to retreat with a tweet,

#SydneyHeat: Sorry, in our earlier checks we missed a 47.8 degrees C temperature recorded at an old #Richmond station (now closed) in 1939. 47.3 today still beats the previous #Penrith record.

Yes it was hot, but so eager to push their warming bias, that they fell foul to poor governance controls.

Of the 1,671 staff, only 55 are recorded as ‘research scientists.‘ While this number has grown in recent years, shouldn’t the BoM be investing in more people to ensure the data isn’t prone to so many errors?

For an organization that spends nearly $400m pa, shouldn’t things be reassessed? Shouldn’t the government look at how much bloat is in the BoM ranks? Don’t hold your breath at the new blood entering BoM. Trainees undertaking the Grad Dip in Meteorology is at a 10 year low.

Is a Royal Commission into our BoM not being conducted for fear of discrediting the practices of an organisation that must be revered by we mere peons for our temperature data?

With so many chiefs and not enough indians, is it any wonder that the BoM seems more about the politics of weather than the actual science?

BoM strikes again

BoM

Jo Nova has an interesting piece which describes the shameless behaviour of our Bureau of Meteorology (BoM). She notes,

The Streaky Bay information (site 018079) tells us it opened in 1865 but the site only has monthly data from 1926 and daily data from an even shorter period. The rest presumably hasn’t been digitized yet. As best as I can tell, the station metadata appear to mark this site as being at the post office from 1865 to 2018, and record the ground cover as becoming asphalt in July 1987. That means for 31 years the Australian Bureau of Meteorology knew the site was sitting on hot bitumen and couldn’t be bothered to move it? The BOM gets more than a million dollars a day, and claims there’s a dire crisis running, and they don’t even care enough to measure climate change properly? They’re not even trying.

If you click on the Streaky Bay information site link above you’ll be directed to a “page not found.”

Jo Nova demands a Royal Commission (RC) into the BoM. CM agrees. If they have nothing to hide, there is nothing to fear. People might claim it is a waste of money to host a RC on the BoM but the savings of that investment would far outweigh the billions spent on poorly derived data-driven expenditure on renewables.