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Who is to blame for the fires?


Bruce
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I reckon the greens and the left are about 10 percent responsible. The main thing is climate change, but land-clearing for fire hazard reduction is nowadays regarded as a tricky business. 

 

Try as they might, the greenies cannot escape the fact that stories like the landowner fined a million dollars for making a firebreak too wide are out there.

 

Now there is an imbalance between the unlimited power of the state and the means of the private person. The state, through a bureaucrat who has never passed a sanity test, can bring on a prosecution which many cannot afford to fight.

 

There are scrub areas on this farm, and just finding the regulations and seeking any permissions discovered to be needed , looms as a very big and difficult job. So the job has never been done.

 

 

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The well-worn accusation that we progressives want to deprive the affluent Western world of energy. 

 

What a crock! 

 

In reality, we are trying to speed up the inevitable transition to cleaner, cheaper energy sources.

 

I guess back in the day people who sold horses were not happy about these new horseless carriages. They were probably angry about governments building highways and other infrastructure.

 

 

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I have seen it so many times before: the mindless resistance to new ideas by vested interests.

 

The smart people see the enormous potential of this country in transitioning to clean energy. With so many renewable technologies being developed, in a few short years Australia could be refining our mineral wealth with clean energy and exporting it for squillions more than the pittance in royalties we currently receive.

 

 

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Of course we should be going to clean energy. If Australia were to stop mining coal and join in with sanctioning the countries who continued to mine the stuff, that would be great.

 

We could even suck some co2 out of the air for geological time if we charred and buried organic stuff.

 

But I am writing this from a farm which is not permitted to construct any firebreaks due to green regulations, at least I think. The regulations are very obscure. There is something about red-tailed cockatoo overlays, whatever that means.

 

 

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There was virtually zero fossil fuels in use in the 1800's, yet major bushfires were prevalent then.

 

The simple fact remains the current fires are a result of a toxic combination of an extended and intense drought period, coupled with a burst of extreme heat - and to a certain degree, a level of arson activity.

 

Lightning strike is the greatest single cause of bushfires, followed by arson, followed by arcing powerlines, followed by accidental ignition (tool and machinery use, and car crashes).

 

Whether a major reduction in the amount of fossil fuel use or CO2 production, will increase rainfall and reduce average temperatures overall, is something that cannot be proven, until the passage of another 50 years at least.

 

It certainly cannot be proven scientifically, yet the IPCC is effectively intimating it will happen. Personally, I believe we are merely in a period of particularly adverse climatic cycles (or oscillations) overlap.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_variability

 

 

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Onetrack has produced some very good evidence compiled by Australia's Bureau of Meteorology that Australia's climate runs through a series of  natural cycles that are the result of Australia being an island, and therefore its climate is controlled by the circulation of water in the Southern, Indian and Pacific Oceans. He has introduced us to the Indian Ocean Dipole and the Southern Annular Mode, which would be less familiar to us than the  El Niño–Southern Oscillation of the east coast. 

 

These cycles are the cause of "droughts and flooding rains". A 2009 study by Ummenhofer et al. at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Climate Change Research Centre has demonstrated a significant correlation between the IOD and drought in the southern half of Australia, in particular the south-east. Every major southern drought since 1889 has coincided with positive-neutral IOD fluctuations including the 1895–1902, 1937–1945 and the 1995–2009 droughts. The study also shows that the IOD has a much more significant effect on the rainfall patterns in south-east Australia than the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) in the Pacific Ocean as already shown in several recent studies. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Ocean_Dipole  has links to those studies and reports)

 

So,

 

  1.  Who bears the ultimate blame for the conditions that lead to fires? The natural climate.
     
  2.  Who bears the ultimate blame for the severity of the fires in settled areas? Those who ban the use of controlled burning to reduce fuel loads, because one or two little critters might get burnt.
     

 

 

 

 

 

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The regulations are very obscure. There is something about red-tailed cockatoo overlays, whatever that means.

 

And look where that got them. Probably thousands of red-tailed cockatoos, along with many other bird species, and kangaroos, koalas, wombats and any number of other native animals, not to mention the domesticated animals and rare plant species destroyed. Many of them now extinct. Why weren't those greenies out there chained to the trees to stop the fire?

 

Give it six to nine months, and a lot of the trees will recover and have fresh green leaves sprouting all over. I saw it myself in the late seventies in the Blue Mountains.My mother in law lived at Hazelbrook and the fire burnt fence posts within 10 metres of her back door, and destroyed the wooden footbridge over the railway line directly opposite her front door. The house two doors down was destroyed. Fortunately her house was unscathed. Next spring, all the blackened tree trunks had sprouted new leaves.

 

And as for shutting down coal mining immediately, who is going to feed and clothe the hundreds of workers who would be thrown out of employment and their families, and support the communities which rely on them?

 

 

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It isn’t the coal workers and their families, it is us who will suffer from lack of electricity. There is nothing wrong with replacing coal power, we are doing it already. We just don’t have the alternatives available at the rate required by the alarmists. And it will make no difference to bushfires.

 

 

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Think back a bit and remember that it was renewable electricity that caused the power lines in SA to collapse, leading to blackouts, so how can power lines cause the start of fires? At least that is what the pollies believe, or rather, what they want us to believe.

 

We have too much fuel on the ground, which burns and eventually it can ignite the crowns of trees. than the chances of putting the fire out diminish drasticly. We have fires burning downhill towards habitation and there is nobody with any idea of how to control them, resulting in evacuation of whole towns.

 

As others have said, the bush will recover, in fact there are some Australia species that require fire to produce viable seeds.

 

On my own property there has been a change in the vegetation since I stopped burning each year. The grass cover is different, resulting in a change in the animals we see. I used to see Pretty Faced Wallabies commonly, now there are only Grey Roos. I don't regret not burning each year, but it is so difficult to get a permit to burn, that the fuel load is greater than I would like.

 

I don't care what the powers that be say, I will protect my place with back burning if it becomes necessary.

 

Especially after watching an easily controlled fire, allowed to jump a beautiful road fire break and threaten houses, just because the firies would not burn from the road towards the advancing fire.

 

 

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This question."Who is to blame?" reminds me of a story that I used to read to my young kids called, "Mr Archimedes bath". A group of friends are enjoying a bath together until the final one hops in and the bath overflows. Of course he cops the blame for the overflow.

 

The moral of the story is that we ALL share the blame for the bushfires. People who make the tree change. People who (like me) are addicted to fossil fuels. People who build massive trophy homes requiring 20, 30 or more kW of reverse cycle to keep cool. Coal miners who, through no fault of their own, need jobs to support their families and governments who find the easiest path to re-election to their cushy positions is to push easier options such as resource extraction over longer sighted tech advancements of the economy. I am sympathetic to "green" issues having lived in and enjoyed the Aussy bush. I am interested in following the very plausible theories of great environmentalists such as Tim Flannery and the politics of Bob Brown.

 

This is the challenge of our times, a watershed when the old ways of half-hearted she'll be right must give way to a new discipline. We will need to sink or swim and face unpleasant reality or suffer worse and worse consequences.

 

 

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I hope any future Royal Commission has broad enough terms to cover all the issues involved. So many things are wrong, like councils giving town planning approvals for developers to do subdivisions in bushy areas, then banning residents from touching any of the vegetation. In my area, we've had people apply to council for permission to remove large trees that are a threat to their house, been refused permission, then later on had the tree blow down and fall on the house. Brain dead local authorities are a good starting point for any Royal Commission.

 

 

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Another "no-brainer" is the water extraction industry. We live in Canberra where, as a plumber, I know that we have the best drinking water available. You wouldn't believe the number of people who will only drink water from "disposable" PET bottles!

 

In other areas aquifers are being drained as the locals need to import water from distant sources for their own use. Doesn't even begin to describe the lunacy of mines below Sydney's water catchments or miners getting "free", almost unlimited, access to water to enable huge , export coal mines. FFS!

 

 

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Sometimes the politics of things don't look good. Locals were a bit upset at the the Southern Downs Regional Council in Queensland approving a development application for the Chinese company, Joyful View Garden Real Estate Development Resort Pty Ltd, to operate a water extraction and distribution facility, then the next day imposing severe water restrictions on locals. The water is to go to a bottling plant and the Qld. government has given Joyful View a water extraction license for 96m litres p.a. from the aquifer until year 2111.

 

 

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I take issue with the assertion that Canberra water is the best.   

 

As a Hobartian I reckon we have the best tap water (even though at home I'm on tank water - the stuff at work tastes pretty good too!)

 

Makes me laugh when I see people down here buying bottled water.

 

 

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I used to like Bob Brown until he ditched the green's sustainable population platform for political reasons ( it was too much like Pauline Hanson's ). And the greens have shown that they think coal is better than nuclear, so they are scientifically illiterate.

 

I used to like Flannery too, but I have been told that he has bought a harbourside place in Sydney, so maybe he doesn't really believe his own stuff.

 

With regards to water.... everywhere is better than Adelaide. The water here has gone though at least one sewer and several cows before it is filtered up for us.

 

BUT did you know that Adelaide had the first truly modern sewage system in the world?  By modern, I mean that the poo is kept completely separate from stormwater.

 

Back on the subject... this guy was fined $50,000 for making firebreaks bigger than allowed. His was the only house to ( barely ) escape being burned down for miles around.

 

I think he should get an apology and his money back.

 

 

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There was a water taste off just a few months ago and it was won by Mackay I think.

 

Our water here is very good when we have it. Tank water and we are not subject to pollution. Sadly we had to use town water because the dams and tank ran dry, but we still had a drinking water tank.

 

Now we are wanting rain, although we got 27mm last night, but at least the fuel on the ground is damp now.

 

When they took the cattle out of the high country the opinion of the graziers was that the Snow Gums would burn and disappear. I wonder how they are fairing now.

 

 

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This is interesting - a comparison map of our fires overlaid on the U.S. map. Americans have always been known for their lack of knowledge of world geography.

 

https://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/the-size-of-australia-shocks-america-in-bushfire-map-comparisons/news-story/164589ea8d6e2f339340cc45ae671ebf

 

P.S. does anyone know how to delete an unwanted Quote box?

 

 

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It isn’t the coal workers and their families, it is us who will suffer from lack of electricity. There is nothing wrong with replacing coal power, we are doing it already. We just don’t have the alternatives available at the rate required by the alarmists. And it will make no difference to bushfires.

 

Crickey PM, I agreed with half of your post. We mainly seem to disagree about the speed at which alternatives can come on stream.

 

Matters are made much worse because economic forces have herded most of our population into urban areas, living in black-roofed houses dependent of large power stations for cooling.

 

When our over dependence on electricity becomes apparent, too many people blame renewables.

 

 

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