Bushfires And Climate Change

After what I thought was a fairly mild Summer, with only a few hot spells (20+/-C to 40C and back to 20+/-C in successive days), the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) once again declared it the hottest on record, as they always do. Despite the BOM’s usual prestidigitation, the bushfires only started in Gippsland with a vengeance come Autumn. For many days we lived in the smoke palls from numerous fires burning in our north and east, but fared much better than many who lost their homes in the Bunyip fires that raged north-west of our township. Any thoughts of going camping before the weather started to change were rapidly quashed as more areas to our north and east began to burn and eventually the High Country was ostensibly closed off to all visitors. Even locations in the south at Wilson’s Promontory were evacuated due to fires.

Gippsland Bushfires 2019

Gippsland Bushfires 2019

And right on queue, the usual warming worriers started to blame climate change, with the BOM once again producing supporting figures for the worriers to pounce on as solid evidence and which was subsequently plastered all over news sites; well certainly the warming worriers publications of choice, the Age and Their ABC. Incidentally, the raw data that forms the BOM’s published figures are never made available for independent analysis, funny about that. However, it was the usual breathless exhortations that the world was in imminent danger unless all efficient and reliable electricity generation in Australia was not halted immediately. Never are these bushfires discussed in a sensible manner and the real causes pointed out. The real causes are once again what I would suggest are close to criminal negligence of forest management. No matter how many Bushfire Royal Commissions are held, with the outcomes clearly indicating that lack of proper forest management ie culling of fuel loads is the root cause of these devastating fires, no matter how they flare up, nothing changes. As Roger Underwood* points out:

The catastrophic bushfires of 2009 in Victoria, and the other great fires of recent years in that state, New South Wales, the ACT and South Australia are dramatic expressions not just of killing forces unleashed, but of human folly. No less than the foolish strategies of the World War 1 generals, these bushfires and their outcomes speak of incompetent leadership and of failed imaginations. Most unforgivable of all, they demonstrate the inability of people in powerful and influential positions to profit from the lessons of history and to heed the wisdom of experience.

But just a minute, I can hear some of you thinking. Is old Underwood going too far here? What about the malignant influence of global warming on bushfire conditions, making things impossible for firefighters? What about the “unprecedented” weather conditions on the day, making the fires of February 2009 “unstoppable”. What about the years of drought making the bush super-ready to burn? Does he not realise that conditions beyond human understanding have now arisen in Victoria, making killer bushfires inevitable? And what about the promises of technology, the super-aerial tankers and so forth, that will give the initiative to our firefighters for once and for all?

I have thought about all these issues. I am well aware of the drought, of the conditions on the days of the fires, and of the view from some quarters that all of this is a result of global warming. I accept that drought and bad fire weather increase the risk of serious bushfires. What I do not accept is that “unstoppable” bushfires are inevitable. And while I will always welcome improved firefighting technology, I know from experience and from an understanding of the simple physics of bushfire behaviour, that technology can never be a substitute for good land management. The serious bushfire is like a disease that is incubated over many years; good land management is the preventative medicine that ensures the disease does not become a killer epidemic.

The issues of leadership and of good governance are central to my position. What these killer bushfires point to is that the leaders of our society, Victoria’s politicians and senior bureaucrats, have palpably failed to do the most fundamental thing expected of them: to safeguard Victorian lives and the Victorian environment in the face of an obvious threat. They have failed to discharge their duty of care. Just as we now look back with incredulity at the amateurish strategies of the generals in The Great War, so will future Australians look back on the work of those responsible for land and bushfire management in this country — our bushfire generals.

*Roger Underwood is a forester with fifty years experience in bushfire management and bushfire science. He has worked as a firefighter, a district and regional manager, a research manager and senior government administrator. He is Chairman of The Bushfire Front, an independent professional group promoting best practice in bushfire management.

The warming worriers such as the Greens and their supporters in Parks Victoria firmly believe that you can’t reduce fuel loads and that the only solution is to shut down coal fired power stations and install more windmills and solar panels. This is also fully supported and heavily promoted by the renewables industry, which profits immensely from government (aka taxpayer) subsidies to build more and more ineffective and inefficient electricity sources. I travel the Victorian High Country regularly each year and witness first hand the ever increasing fuel loads in the bush and see it even in our local area where ‘Preserve Our Forests’ groups fight tooth and nail to ostensibly prevent any logging that inherently creates less fire prone forests. Loggers put in roads (which aids access in case of fire), they have fire prevention policies in place and have a vested interest in ensuring that their source of income is protected. And by the way, trees are the most renewable of all resources.

Bunyip Bushfires 2019 (source: SBS News)

Bunyip Bushfires 2019 (source: SBS News)

Sadly, Bunyip has exactly the same sort of ‘Preserve Our Forests’ group, supported by the likes of Friends of the Earth, that protested the approval of logging in their area and I guess their wishes have now suffered the usual unintended consequences. Those areas that they wanted to ‘preserve’ have now been turned to ash and who knows how much wildlife has been killed in the process. When controlled burns used to be conducted, they were low intensity and slow burning fires that allowed wildlife to escape to safe areas and then return when the fires had passed and regrowth resumed. With these high intensity and fast burning fires, wildlife has little chance to escape and they are ostensibly wiped out. All the well-meaning in the world will not address the real dangers inherent with the Australian bush and the increasing lack of understanding and unwillingness to address the issue, in a meaningful manner, exacerbates the entire situation. Strangely, Australia’s indigenous people seemed to know more about forest management than our latter-day ‘experts’.

Bunyip Bushfires 2019 (source: 9Now News)

Bunyip Bushfires 2019 (source: 9Now News)

Why is it so easy to sell climate change as the culprit? Perhaps it’s because the majority of people do not remember the hots days of the 60s and 70s, being born much later. So it’s easy to make up figures and fool people into believing the world is becoming increasingly hotter. And who believes old people nowadays? So why do politicians do nothing about ensuring proper forest management? Because it costs money, which they don’t want to spend, and the outcomes are usually invisible to the public (no bridges, roads or train overpasses to open), and it’s all too easy to blame the situation on climate change. It’s a win-win for politicians. And what do vested interests then suggest as a solution, spend more taxpayer money as was recently illustrated, ‘‘We need our own Elvis’: Former fire chiefs warn Australia is unprepared for bushfire peril’:

Australia’s firefighting capacity will fall short unless it buys its own fleet of water-bombing aircraft rather than borrowing them from overseas because monster blazes burning simultaneously across the globe are becoming the norm, two respected former fire chiefs have warned.

Former NSW Fire and Rescue commissioner Greg Mullins and former Tasmanian Fire Service chief Mike Brown – who together have 90 years’ firefighting experience – say increasingly overlapping fire seasons in the southern and northern hemispheres, driven by climate change, mean Australia must procure its own fleet of large air tankers and other craft – some possibly operated by the military.

This is exactly what’s being done in the US, relying on technology to try and fight fires, rather than working on better ways of preventing them in the first place. This is akin to doing no scheduled servicing of your car, but always fixing things when the car breaks down. And it’s very interesting that one of the proponents of all of this, and who constantly cries ‘climate change’, just happens to have become a member of the Climate Council, an organisation whose sole mission is to spread fear about global warming. If you note in the link, one of it’s most infamous members (or should I say ‘experts’) is none other than Tim Flannery, the same person that predicted that Perth would become ‘the first ghost metropolis in the 21st century‘, amongst many other failed predictions. But let’s just keep doing the same things over and over again, hoping for a different outcome. There’s a term for that. Seriously, for how long will people, especially politicians, continue to listen to so-called experts before they start doing what’s right, instead of what’s easy?

‘A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it.’ – G,K, Chesterton

Update 1. And this is what’s really happening and is something that’s basically being covered up by the media, the BOM, universities etc, ‘Raw Data Bombshell: no change in Very Hot Days in Australia since World War I‘. This is why I urge people to look at other sources of information and discussions on climate change so that they become fully informed:

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…

In 2011, the BoM’s ACORN 1 adjustments wiped out some of the “very hot days” recorded at weather stations in the early 1900s. These were records that had stood for a whole century. Then, quietly six years later, the ACORN 2 readjustments turned the statistical air conditioner on again and cooled people from 100 years in the future.

Despite a community belief that global warming is creating a climate of extremes with more very hot days in Australia than ever before, analysis of the Bureau of Meteorology’s 112 ACORN weather stations shows nothing much has changed since 1910.

6 thoughts on “Bushfires And Climate Change

  1. Kerry Woods Mrs

    Good morning

    Really appreciated above article and all info on it re ‘climate change’ to which I also do not subscribe to….
    I was born in ’52 and it has always been – at times – very hot with fires – in Australia…

    Kind regards
    Kerry Woods

    1. Ray Post author

      Thanks for that. I really do fear for the future of our forests and its denizens because governments are too scared to properly manage them as was done in the past (via experienced people in the Forests Commission). The Victorian government wants to make all of Victoria a national park and will have no capacity to manage it. We are yet to experience the worst.

  2. Max Christy

    Worst part about Global Warming, nothing mentioned about all the groups listed below, that been orchestrating our governments and running them, placing those Ministers that support the left movement into position and then placing more left into adminstration.

    When you think of Greta Thunberg, learning about Global Warming at the age of eight, stopping her parents from eating meat, flying and more it all relates to many organisations out to create a New World Order. Worst is many do not know history enough to associate why!
    New World Order begun with Roman Catholicism to dominate and have all Roman Catholic.

    Terrible most of Australua bern sold out to overseas, over 49%, 10% water, Utilities, manufacturing, our education

    Our young growing up without the three r’s, taught Global Warming, now push to stop farming of meat,cdrive people back into cities, surveillance on everything even in homes

    Many who come out against Trump Roman Catholic, most Celebrities, Actors speaking against Trump. Many of those world wide leaders pushing the left Agenda Roman Catholic or associated in some way.

    Like How Pope Francis has divided the Roman Catholic Church even more pushing the Amazon Church. The Popes aligning itself with Islam saying we all have the same God. No we do not as the Christain faith build on Jesus Christ. Lately Pope Francis telling Catholics to put the Church before Jesus Christ. Yes Islam has a Jesus, named Isa but only a prophet, not the Son of God.One forgets the Bible The Word was with God in the beginning and the Word became flesh in Jesus Christ. Jesus was their in the beginning.

    Donald Trump as President has not had a Trilateral leader in Government as all the others have.

    Even worries me how the George Soros Open Society Foundation has a finger in many Aid programs and is part of the NWO push

    Agenda 21? The Plan To Depopulate 95% Of The World By 2030

    For starts most of all has been planned for over a century. And even 50 and 75 years back
    Just list different organisations that all work together.

    These are just a few and pays to look at members, associate, as well as casual of the below. The Club of Rome can be broken into many world wide and all active in somexway controlling as Club of Madrid, Club of Portugal and so on. We all missed learning about the Summit held in South Africa on the Sixth November.

    Winlands Project
    Committe of 300
    Tavistock controls media
    Commission of Foreign Relations
    Club of Rome
    Young Reporters for the Environment
    UN’s Lima Declaration
    UN’s Agenda 21
    UN’s Agenda 2030
    Trilateral Commission
    Trans Pacific Partnership
    EMS Agenda 2050

    1. Ray Post author

      All of this is tied in with Socialism and concentrated power which, sadly, is on the rise again and seen by many as a positive. So many honestly believe that examples of countries where Socialism hasn’t worked (eg Venezuela) is because it hasn’t been done right, except the outcomes that we see are because it has been done right. Is the move to Socialism in the west inevitable? Who knows? I hope not.

    2. Victoria

      Although I believe that you have a point in the role that poor forest management has played in these bushfires and that the government seem to reduce the environment’s importance in order to focus on more industralised issues (ie. building economic prosperity). I think that it is very important that all generations, whether you were alive in the hotter days or not, should become more educated on what the Climate Change Crisis really is. It is easy to reduce the figures are made-up to fool people into making change but it is harder to ignore when there is scientific proof everywhere and warnings over the last 30 years by scientists (yes people who’s whole lives are built upon proving or disproving it). Yes, it is confronting to believe that maybe the older generation have damned the younger generation into a future that will not see past 2050, but that fact we must get over, put our egos aside and listen to who is calling for our help. The younger generation would not be trying to have their voice heard if their lives were not being affected by this crisis, it is easy for us to ignore it when we are going to die anyway, the idea is to leave the world with its best chance of survival. Veganism and Renewable Resource lifestyles are the least of our problems.

      1. Ray Post author

        The problem is that these ‘scientists’ have been crying wolf for nearly 30 years, with every year being a tipping point from which we cannot recover (Perth has yet to become the first abandoned city). Yet nothing has changed, the climate goes on as it always has, only the cries of catastrophe have increased and now children are being brought forward to lecture adults. Children who have the best lifestyles and life expectancy of any generation ever, yet they rail against that which gives them everything they desire and which they cannot live without (see how they go without their mobile phones).

        Rather than just listening to the main stream media, seek out alternative sources and give them a chance to offer a different point of view. Look for Jo Nova, Watts Up With That, Dr Jennifer Marohasy and many others. Are you aware that for the last 20 or so years, trillions of dollars has been spent on the climate change industry, yet nothing has changed and those same people want even more money? And who are the biggest supporters of the climate change industry? Bankers, financiers, Big Oil (eg Shell calling for action against coal, to hit BHP, so that they can sell more oil and gas) and any industry that can make money out of the renewable energy (solar panels and wind mills) and which is replete with government subsidies (none can seem to exist without subsidies, yet coal, gas, nuclear etc can).

        When the new head of the CSIRO decided to close some elements of climate research, because the ‘science’ was settled and he now wanted CSIRO to work on science research that would investigate how we could adjust to any changes, all hell broke loose. Those same scientists who for years were saying the science was settled, suddenly started arguing that it wasn’t and more research was required. That’s what the climate change industry is all about, keep up the scare stories, pull in more grant money and keep those jobs going.

        And to top all of that off, China alone produces more CO2 in two weeks than Australia does in one year and their output is increasing until at least 2030. India is also one of the largest emitters as they drag themselves into prosperity, with others following in their footsteps. Check where Australia sits on the list of emitters and note that the figure for Australia includes our exports of coal, gas, iron ore etc, which we don’t actually consume ourselves. We could shut Australia completely and it would make no difference to global CO2 emissions or the climate.

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